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The test

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 am, November 1st, 2013 - 114 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, labour, Media - Tags:

Fairfax (joined to a lesser extent by the Herald) has decided to go a bit mental on Labour and Cunliffe. An endless stream of stories trying to tweak Cunliffe’s nose over every little thing. Part of this is covering the embarrassment of their own rogue poll. More importantly, it’s a test that all new leaders get. The wave of hypercritical stories don’t mean much in themselves, how Cunliffe’s Labour responds does.

If Cunliffe appears to be shaken or to go to ground, then that will reveal a weakness in leadership. If Cunliffe responds with strength and confidence, that will define him as the incoming PM.

Having just heard a clip of him on RNZ, I think we can be confident he’ll go with the latter. He knows himself and he knows the issues – and he provides excellent quotes.

My advice would be that Cunliffe is Labour’s great strength – the rise in Labour’s polling since his took over shows that – and they should seek to maximise his msm opportunities.

That means him fronting on issues rather than spokespeople more often. It means giving radio and print in particular the message that they should go to him for comment on big issues, rather than to the portfolio holder (TV’s harder because you have to be in a major city to get filmed for the news and Cunliffe’s doing a lot of travel – while regional visits are important and he got good coverage in Shannon, I would be hesitant about putting him in media blindspots too often). It also means approaching any radio stations where he doesn’t have a regular weekly interview slot and asking for one.

My other piece of advice would be for Cunliffe to take a leaf from Key’s book on tricky issues and shrug them off. Fairfax is trying to make a big deal over some of the conference remits, for example. Cunliffe should say ‘this is a democratic process, that means letting people present a range of ideas and what it produces are well-thought through, reasonable positions’.

Lastly, remember that this is a test, it’s not a declaration of war from the journalists. So don’t treat it like one, don’t go into siege mode. Just pass the test.

114 comments on “The test”

  1. amirite 1

    Just listened to Marcus Lush’s interview with Cunliffe, where Cunliffe criticised the media for focussing on just one of many issues to be discussed at the conference. After the interview finished Lush comment was something like this :”Cunliffe should be careful how he interacts with the media. The media can make you and break you”.
    And this is what Labour is against.
    If only they had the moral fortitude to treat ShonKey and his dodgy bunch the same way.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      Lush is a well known Farrar supporter/confidant

    • tc 1.2

      Radio Live = Mediawonks = Steven Joyce = Shonkey’s DJ gig in last election campaign besides all the BS from the likes of Gluon/ Dunkster/ Glower

      Cunliffe has to run these gauntlets as part of the gig.

    • greywarbler 1.3

      amirite
      Gosh, that from marcus Lush sounds like a really malicious threat against Cunliffe.

      • David H 1.3.1

        Yeah but it was only Lush (The radio version of Gower). Not like it was from a jouno/radio host of some renown.

  2. Puckish Rogue 2

    So the media are are doing their jobs and questioning the next potential leader of NZ…it will be interesting to see how he does

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1

      It’s a step up, at least, now you’re parroting Eddie rather than National Party talking points. Go for broke with an original thought of your own.

    • karol 2.2

      Pity they media didn’t do that when Key became leader of the Nats caucus. The country may not have been subsequently sold down the river.

      • Wayne 2.2.1

        Karol,

        Think about what you have said. John Key has been the Leader of the National Party since 2006, around 7 years, and has won 2 elections to date. His personal rating remains high (even if softened a bit).

        You cannot seriously pretend that he has not been subject to a great deal of media scrutiny over that time.

        New Zealanders have got to know him pretty well, both his strengths and weaknesses. And they have made their judgements, which of course can change.

        And I know that you are not one of those who thinks a large percentage of her fellow citizens are stupid dupes, simply because they vote National and think that John Key, by and large, has been a good PM.

        • Lanthanide 2.2.1.1

          “You cannot seriously pretend that he has not been subject to a great deal of media scrutiny over that time.”

          Given the way he acts in parliament is quite different from what is displayed the rest of the time, it seems to me like the media really haven’t subjected him to adequate scrutiny.

          • thechangeling 2.2.1.1.1

            The only time Key ever got seriously grilled was on BBC Hardtalk where he was spectacularly dismantled unlike any kiwi journalist has managed to do since.

            • Crunchtime 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Correction: unlike any kiwi journalist has TRIED to do since. It’s not that nobody can. Nobody WANTS to touch Key because the owners of the media – ie the ones who pay all the reporters and journalists – want him in.

              • thechangeling

                Noam Chomsky’s 5 media filters operating here? Wouldn’t surprise me.

              • Lanthanide

                John Campbell tried not too many weeks ago.

                • Richard Christie

                  And Kim Hill made him look like know-nothing dick on morning report (she was standing in for a week) several months ago.
                  But in general Key won’t front for serious interviews. It’s soundbites only folks.

                  • Lanthanide

                    What’s the bet Key was just filling out his bucket list?
                    “Interview with Kim Hill – check”.

                • Dumrse

                  Like a kindergarten show wasn’t it?

            • politikiwi 2.2.1.1.1.2

              That remains one of the most stunning interviews I’ve ever seen.

              Sackur is brilliant. Every NZ journalist should be listening to the HardTalk podcasts religiously. I know I do.

          • BrucetheMoose 2.2.1.1.2

            Johnny has been subject to media scrutiny, in a pretend sort of way, as not to at all would have serious future repercussions on those media factions and those heading them.

        • locus 2.2.1.2

          hmm right wing voters think what they think… it didn’t make berlusconi a good pm and it won’t make history any the kinder to shonkey when he’s long gone

          David Cunliffe on the other hand doesn’t need media advisers to tell him to perform in any particular way. He knows what he’s talking about, knows what’s needed to bring New Zealanders together… and he has a warmth and a genuine concern for everyone in our increasingly divided country who’s not getting a fair shake – and this will shine through whatever the msm might decide to ‘test’ him with

          • Wayne 2.2.1.2.1

            Locus,

            Now I know you don’t really think that John Key is actually comparable to Berlusconi, and neither would you be able to convince any NZ’ers that he is (well maybe a couple of your close friends).

            However, I do think a relevant comparison would be Stephen Harper of Canada.

            • framu 2.2.1.2.1.1

              “Stephen Harper of Canada.”

              and hes a total scum bag – thanks wayne

              are you seriously going to sit here and claim that key didnt ever get an extended soft treatment from the media?

              If you are your either deluded or fibbing

        • karol 2.2.1.3

          Wyne, after Key became leader, and right up to him becoming PM and beyond, the MSM largely cheerleaded Key. He was not given the same amount of scrutiny, especially in the early days of his leadership, as already being applied to Cunliffe.

          Key has had some scrutiny from time to time, but, on balance, he gets treated softly in comparison with the way Cunliffe has been treated. Scrutiny was applied to Cunliffe even before he became leader. Key, in contraST, was just tipped favourably to become Nats next leader.

          • Wayne 2.2.1.3.1

            Karol, That probably is a fair point, at least of John’s first two years as leader. Mind you he did not leave himself open for such scrutiny.

            Not many contradictory statements. Not different things said for different audiences. A much more united party. And not the slight touch of smugness that David Cunliffe seems to carry about himself.

            • framu 2.2.1.3.1.1

              yep – deluded

            • karol 2.2.1.3.1.2

              Wayne, Key was often seen to say different things to different audiences. That was much commented on here. Of course, Key tends to mangle many of his statements so it is not always clear what he is saying – the statements seem to be implying something specific, but closer scrutiny sometimes results in bafflement as to the exact meaning.

              “Smugness” must therefore be in the eye of the beholder.

              The Nats are much more tightly controlled and work within an autocratic structure – provides a public face of unity. This and a very slick PR machinery that the MSM tends more to follow unquestioningly, rather than apply very much in-depth scrutiny.

              • Wayne

                Having been a senior office holder before I became an MP I do not agree that the Nats are more autocratic than Labour (which I have some knowledge of), but we were aware of the need for a united front, especially since it was not so present 1999 to 2004. Read Richard Harman on this referred to by Bryce Edwards in yesterdays Herald.

                And as for the slight smugness (and I only mean slight), many journalists also comment on this.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Many journalists mindlessly repeat other right wing mantras too.

                • framu

                  “many journalists also comment on this.”

                  the same journos who have given key a free ride for years?

                  Its funny you talk up the “slight smugness” yet cant seem to see the out right lies, threats, different personalities and general contempt displayed by key

                  for someone whos been in parliament for years your making some beginner level rhetorical mistakes

                  • gobsmacked

                    Perhaps Cunliffe needs to bribe – sorry, reward – sorry, selflessly show kindness to – the journalists?

                    Fact: John Key hands out gifts of bottles of wine to journos, picks up bar and restaurant tabs, ingratiates with his wallet, not just smiles.

                    Fact: few journalists report this fact.

                    It would fail any conflict of interest test. So they don’t tell us about it.

                    • framu

                      exactly – wayne?

                    • Jim Nald

                      Wayne is one of the many who have been helping Natz fight a public relations battle of trialling pejorative labels to make them stick on Cunliffe. This time they are also trying to be more subtle by adding the qualifying “slight”.

                      Big Bruv was around recently to test “extreme narcissist” which their counterparts tried on Rudd. And the Nats backroom machine as well as Gower was previously using “over the top”.

                      Just keep a watchful eye on what they are attempting.

                • RedBaronCV

                  Wayne – can I ask a question? Why do you bother with us? I really don’t feel that you are holding discussions, rather more it feels like a lecture and you are telling us this “for our own good” because we can’t be trusted to make those decisions for ourselves.

                • Tim

                  Are you SERIOUSLY trying to use Richard Harman as an example of a ‘fair and balanced journalist’?
                  There goes a man who uses the good work he’s done over the years – and his length of service (experience) as a means to portray some sort of unbiased impartiality.
                  It’s actually quite pathetic really.
                  Some of us have longer memories and a knowledge of their ‘sympathies’.
                  It’s a bit like using Ralston as an example of a non-bigoted, fair and balanced ‘journalist’. Some of us remember his referring to his benefactor (TVNZ) as “STATE TV” (right up until the time it began fruiting).
                  Richard Harman is intelligent, diligent, and certainly no fool – but definitely BIASED in favour of the right wing agenda that feeds his ego and pays his bills.

                  Harman should actually keep well away from politics – if he did, he might be someone that an audience (regardless of political persuasion) would pay some respect to.
                  Unfortunately, and in that regard – he’s no better than a respectable version of a slippery Slator (and all built on a publicly funded platform he’s only ever TAKEN from, rather than GIVEN to).

                  Come the revolution – the likes of Harman/Ralston and others (half of TVNZ senior management) are the very people that need licking out of the way if ever we’re to resurrect public SERVICE media in whatever form.
                  (Don’t worry – there is an unwritten list – and they won’t be getting golden handshakes – not even tin ones)

                  • Tim

                    btw …. having said that – giving them a golden handshake just to get rid of them might actually be a good investment

            • Daveosaurus 2.2.1.3.1.3

              Not different things said for different audiences.

              You mean, like telling businessmen that he’d “love to see wages drop”, while telling the country “firstly, we will raise wages” ?

            • Murray Olsen 2.2.1.3.1.4

              Key’s smugness is not a slight touch at all – it’s laid on with a shovel. I bet if he was exposed to penetrating questions for a week by competent journalists, he’d lose his rag completely. The way he refuses to answer questions in parliament, resorting to puerile wisecracks instead, is disgusting. His habit of not holding anyone on his side accountable and appointing his mates to important positions is extremely damaging. He’s just like Berlusconi, minus the young girls and the media ownership. Mind you, with the ownership and direction most of our media has, it serves his purpose without being owned.

              I haven’t mentioned his little habit of being more than economical with the truth.
              Jeez, Wayne!!

            • Unicus 2.2.1.3.1.5

              In typically Australia style APN and Fairfax colluded to get rid of Helen Clarks government at the beginning of its third term.- the National Party owned Radio Networks of course had been using its propagandists to undermine Labour from the beginning . In Clarks final years as Prime Minister faux scandals were used to attack her credibility – speeding through Temuka – signatures on paintings –

              MSM elevated Key to saviour status – through his own ineptitude that status has been exposed as fraudulent although every opportunity is still taken to sustain the fiction of his competency

        • Blue 2.2.1.4

          He’s been subjected to a great deal of media attention but I wouldn’t exactly call it scrutiny.

          That’s life in a media environment which is centre-right politically and the journos personally like the man in the top job. They simply don’t find too much they dislike and find excuses when they do.

          That the sheer volume of attention has allowed people to see some of Key’s flaws is true enough though.

          • gobsmacked 2.2.1.4.1

            For anyone who’s forgotten – or chooses to …

            When Key was at the same stage as Cunliffe (i.e. new oppo leader), the coverage was sycophantic in the extreme.

            The Herald produced one of the most extraordinary pieces that I have ever seen in a democracy. It was co-written by one journalist who then joined Key’s Beehive office, and another who was his speech writer (Paula Oliver and Carrol DuChateau). Over several days and pages, it advertised (sic) the leader of the Opposition shamelessly.

            That was the worst example, but there were many more. An interview on Campbell Live (that lefty hack, we’re told now) was trailed thus:

            “Hi, I’m John Key and I’ll be appearing on Campbell Live tonight.” As if he were a visiting celeb. The subsequent chat was softer than marshmallow pillows.

            Much of this is still online – use the Google archive for 2006-2007. There is NO comparison with Cunliffe’s treatment. None at all.

        • RedBaronCV 2.2.1.5

          His coverage comes from media outlets that haven’t printed the unemployment rate since when??? There has also been some academic survey of “media mention” that seemed to disclose favourable coverage bias.

        • David H 2.2.1.6

          Wayne you said..

          “You cannot seriously pretend that he has not been subject to a great deal of media scrutiny over that time.”

          Upto about a year ago you would have been lucky to ever find a bad story by MSM as they were all kissng his ass. And even now, when everything is turning to shit in the Nat party, the MSM still don’t print much about it . They would rather go and make up stories about the Labour party, and it’s leader. Easier than actually doing their jobs, and reporting the news.

  3. vto 3

    the test will be a doddle

  4. BLiP 4

    I’m beginning to wonder if it would be in New Zealand’s long-term interest for the Labour Party to spend another three years on the opposition benches. Another term might provide an opportunity to get in with the trepan and permanently remove those stubborn remnants of the Roger Douglas era, along with a few of those parliamentary parasites. Cunliffe can spend some time considering whether he’s genuine about reversing the neoliberal agenda or whether he’s just happy slowing it down. I’m sorry to report but it looks like John Key was right when he said Cunliffe supports the Sky City scam. Cunliffe just admitted as much in today’s New Zealand Fox News Herald. He’s also talking up the fallacious benefits of the TPP. At this stage, Cunliffe’s coming across as more of a glib change-manager rather than a leader. Sure, another three years from now, Sir John Key will be swanning about some international board room, there won’t be any assets left, and the dole queues will be lining up around the block. Yet, the mood of the nation will be such that Labour’s traditional core beliefs will provide, just about, the only way out from under the impending totalitarian jackboot and climate catastrophe.

    • amirite 4.1

      I completely disagree that three more years of National pillaging and plundering the country is good for Labour. It will leave New Zealand in complete disarray that will be near impossible to sort out.

      • SpaceMonkey 4.1.1

        Harder but not near impossible. Although another three years of National would kill off neoliberalism in NZ, the parlous state that NZ society would be left in might make some things easier to change.

        • thechangeling 4.1.1.1

          You guys speak as though neo-liberalism can be got rid of from our shores but as long as the policy coming out of the WTO, IMF and WB remains neo-liberal in nature and New Zealand is wedded to them to trade and receive international finance, neo liberalism will not leave our shores.
          David Held’s ‘Cosmopolitan Social Democracy’ needs to replace the global neo liberal policy platforms that are enforced by those international institutions.Until an uprising large enough and angry enough to make global change in international trade and finance policy happens, NZ remains wedded to a neo liberal orthodoxy.

      • Tim 4.1.2

        After the Ruthenasia era, I often thought that the damage done would take 2 or more generations to undo. Unfortunately, Labour decided to have a lay down and a cup of tea (or rather a gorgeous glass of chardonnay, more than likely poured & regularly topped up by a slippery Josie Pagani engineering her political career – or someone of similar ilk). In their 3rd term (last Labour gubbamint), Labour lost their momentum and provided the careerists an opportunity to entrench their little pozzies of comfort – stalling the opportunity they had to reverse many ills inflicted on NZ citizens by the NActs (embouldened by all that 84/87 neo-lib Labour junta. They fukn blew it!
        A golden opportunity lost! A leader (probably one of the best PM’s ever had) losing interest and having to push an increasing number of dead weight opportunists with their self-interests and growing sense of entitlement – believing they’d ‘paid their dues’ – FORGETTING they are/were actually there to REPREfuckingSENT their constiuencies!.
        Trevor fucking Mallard ffs!. Maid Marion – having achieved so much but letting her frikken …. well better not say it …. but maternal instincts, ego, probably have a fair bit to do with it – things she should have grown out of anyway!
        It’s the reason why Labour will not get my party vote under ANY circumstances until they prove themselves. Once I’m disgusted at, Twice they lose my trust, Thrice they well and truly fucked up and need to show the left that they actually REPRESENT the left. That’s where we at now – in a space where they need to show it and demonstrate it. I might even become a member again some time in the future if they pull it off.
        Alternatively ….. well, we’ll wait and see, but the onus is on them. If they actually start to recognise that, then those 800k plus ‘disenfranchised’ might actually begin to give them more support than they do watching episodes of “The Block”

        • ak 4.1.2.1

          Onya Tim. But Hels tried hellishly hard, old man.

          The Brash bullshit is what got her. Orewa One.

          Deliberate, planned, hatemongering – all there in The Hollow Men, old sport.

          Joe Public played like a fiddle. NATzies from gutter to gods in a second.

          Freaked from there on in. Fucked by the non-fickle finger of Farrarsies. But more importantly, his Scribes.

          F&S. ECA.

          Choose your acronym. Or none.

          Just sit in the back of a speeding car, or sign a painting for charity.

          “Cunliffe……..” is all they’ll see tomorrow.

          And like the “One Law for All” headlines of yore, it’s the only lie that will matter…….

    • thatguynz 4.2

      BLiP – I fully respect a lot of things you do and say around here but personally I couldn’t stomach another term of National, simply because of the state that it would leave the country in. Irrespective of whether that makes Labour eminently more electable next time around (which isn’t exactly a selling point for me), the damage would be too significant. That is of course barring a potential new party arriving that could turn politics in NZ on its head and get us back to a democracy that is representative of the people rather than the corporates – in essence a significant paradigm shift within NZ. Given I don’t see that on the horizon in any way, shape or form, another National term would likely see me packing up the family and exiting stage left..

    • Tim 4.3

      @BliP – In some ways I’m inclined to agree with you (the benefits of another term in opposition – “burying the remnants of the Roger DOuglas era”, etc.).
      Except it’d probably be easier for some bugger to just shoot the bastard, but more importantly – another 3 years will result in there being nothing left of ‘NZ’, its sovereignty and its citizens (in hibernation as many of them currently are).
      I think the more likely scenario though is that if Labour blow it this time, they destined to just become totally irrelevant – fighting to represent something that will no longer exist.

      What scares me most is that in many ways – history is repeating. Most are unwillingly to apply the ‘fascist’ labels to much of what’s going on (here in NZ as the centre for political experimentation and trials of various ideologies and agendas), AND globally.
      It scares me, only in the sense that the longer the destruction goes on whilst the sheeple sleep, on their awakening, the more violent and destructive the fight-back will be.
      Thankfully I won’t be around, but my offspring will.

      Labour/Greens need to win! THEN once they have, and have proven themselves, they’ll earn the respect, and the votes of a good many of those that have simply lost interest! I’ll even become a member again (maybe).

      I hope Labour (and Greens) are thinking a little deeper than just getting votes as well – such as constitutional changes that will ensure none of this wholesale selling of assets and sovereignty cannot reoccur, and those that engage in such endeavours are both held to account and punished appropriately. (Like in some private SERCO prison located on a remote island along the Tonga Trench somewhere).

  5. Sable 5

    Labour should take a leaf out of Ecuador PM’s Rafael Correra’s book and generate their own media campaign/outlet. Instead they exhaust time and effort responding to false claims from the low rent mainstream media.

    The problem with this approach is its very easy to engineer information to make it look like their is legitimacy in any claim made and responded to. Its akin to the old “have you stopped being a witch” scenario, its a loose, loose situation.

    Instead if Labour side stepped the MSM by starting a leaflet or modest quarterly newspaper delivered to people or available as free hand outs (akin to the old notion of a broadside) much as the local free newspapers do, they could respond on their own terms and counter the lies/half truths told by the MSM.

    As it stands Labour are playing the MSM’s game and that is to no ones benefit save National and its right wing cohorts.

    • Lloyd 5.1

      How about contracting or buying existing local papers?

    • Tat Loo (CV) 5.2

      “Instead if Labour side stepped the MSM by starting a leaflet or modest quarterly newspaper”

      Perhaps one like the namesake of this blog?

      That’s right, Labour has had to struggle against the right wing media for a very long time.

      • ak 5.2.1

        Go Tat – but remember and learn the lessons of Mining and Obama, it’s been done old boy, just carry it on……and literally for Christ’s sake, see the Greens, and suckle them to your breast.

  6. Olwyn 6

    This piece succinctly outlines the challenge to the Cunliffe-led Labour Party:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11149582

    “Required here is a wholesale rearticulation of the role of government in generating collective goods in their widest possible sense. Also required is a serious commitment that future generations inherit an economy that works for New Zealanders within a healthy ecosystem, rather than a balanced budget for a national economy that has failed to deliver prosperity for most people. It’s a tall order for any leader in Opposition, but no one said it was easy.”

    I was disheartened hearing David Parker defending the idea of raising the pension age on RNZ this morning. “Soon we will paying more for pensions than for education,” he said, or words to that effect. Which may be true, but it is the same old song we have heard, rejected but still had inflicted upon us for 30 years now. A well-paid man telling us who must be thwarted this time round for the sake of the books. The minotaur needs feeding. It’s not his fault, that’s just the way things are. Well those of us who have drawn the shorter straws have had enough. Labour needs to understand that.

    • karol 6.1

      Damien Rogers? Fran Mold’s partner?

      And scholar of issues around international small arms control & ex-GCSB, MOD, employee?

      • Rodel 6.1.1

        Damien Rogers.What C-T drivel! Sorry I looked at it..Is this person purporting to be an academic actually lecturing to students?

      • Olwyn 6.1.2

        I know very little about this guy, nor about his views in general. But I do largely agree with the view he has expressed in this piece, whatever his motive for expressing it. David Cunliffe offered change and many voted for him for that reason. He now needs to deliver it. The same old third way dressed up new rhetoric will not cut it.

        • Olwyn 6.1.2.1

          I should add that I voted for David Cunliffe and I am glad that I did. But I really do not want to see a retreat back into Goff-Shearer territory.

          • karol 6.1.2.1.1

            Well, I wouldn’t either, Olwyn. But taking into account Rogers pSst activities and views, I’d say he is firmly in Goff-Shearer territory.

            • Pascal's bookie 6.1.2.1.1.1

              What annoys me about that piece is that he spends the first half blathering about nothing, and then drops that stuff in the second to last para, which goes nowhere.

              he says it’s real hard, and that the LP might not have the firepower for the job. He’s an academic. What does he think we are paying him for? Put your thinking hat on and start coming up with alternatives instead of just bleating that there must be one and Cunliffe must deliver it. Fucksake.

              • greywarbler

                Sounds like this Damen is preparing to be beaten before he has played the game. Won’t want him in the All Blacks. Or any team that is aiming for No.1.

              • karol

                Pb, the first half of the article looks like pay back for Cunliffe replacing Shearer. It repeats the mythology about Cunliffe becoming leader through underhand means. It also takes a pretty cynical and skewed view of poll results since Cunliffe became leader – all-in-all Rogers panders to right wing spin lines.

                It then goes on to accuse Cunliffe of the very failings exhibited by Shearer in terms of appeasing neoliberalism.

                However, underlying all that spin, of course Cunliffe’s performance at the Conference will be a measure of his performance and approach.

                I’m still waiting to see what Cunliffe and the Labour membership have to say on things like the TPP, resurrecting social security and state housing.

                • Olwyn

                  Yes, I must admit that I read the piece over-hastily, still a bit cross after hearing David Parker on RNZ, and did not think about possible agendas for writing it.

      • David H 6.1.3

        Doctor of what? anything useful?

        • karol 6.1.3.1

          Depends on what you regardsas useful:

          He holds a PhD degree in Political Science and International Relations from the Australian National University, and postgraduate degrees from the University of Canterbury and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Rogers is author of Postinternationalism and Small Arms Control: Theory, Politics, Security (Franham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2009) and is currently reading for a PhD on international prosecutors of atrocity crime at the University of Waikato.

          That last sentence can be read more than one way.

    • Sable 6.2

      Parker ought to keep his trap shut. They lost the last election trying to flog this unappetizing chestnut to the public.

  7. Tracey 7

    Cunliffe needs to leave behind phrases like “in camera” and say “in private”. Little things I know.

    wayne, now we know every western country is spying on each other do you still believe secrets are kept in the tppa negotiations? It now seems beyond dispute that the only ones in the dark cos of confidentiality clauses are tge citizens?

  8. jrb 8

    I have been a supporter of David Cunliffe for some years and thought he had what it took to lead the country. I was impressed with what I saw when he participated in political debates during election campaigns over the years, I thought he was very sharp and performed well. I used to follow him on Red Alert a few years ago also, and I thought he was a highly intelligent man who understood the big picture.

    I have been a bit disappointed with him so far as Labour leader though. It is very early days, but he seems to be not quite hitting the mark when he speaks. I can’t quite put my finger on what the problem is, but it is like he is trying too hard to please everyone and to be liked and he doesn’t come across as believable somehow or as decisive as he was. I wonder whether the internal troubles within Labour have taken their toll, and he is now too worried about being seen as arrogant and not a team player and therefore not having the support of his caucus.

    It is easy to be leader of the Nats, they are all united around the common goal of maximizing incomes for the moneyed class. Labour is so diverse, and now with so many politicians in the caucus operating purely in self interest being leader is like herding tigers. I hope DC still has some mojo left, New Zealanders like a bit of mongrel in their leaders, and he had that in spades once. I hope he is getting some media training too.

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      I have been a supporter of David Cunliffe for some years and thought he had what it took to lead the country. And then I read a DPF post and got pissed off about how he looks like a cat. What’s up with that. Why does Cunliffe kill fantails?

    • gobsmacked 8.2

      I reckon the discussion in Cunliffe’s office would have gone something like this …

      “So, the media are only interested in Len Brown’s rooting. Shall we make that major policy announcement today, or just stick it straight in the shredder to save time?”

      “Nah, let’s wait until they’re paying attention. Conference, then by-election. Two platforms guaranteed, unless there’s an earthquake or the Queen dies.”

      Sounds smart to me.

    • Rogue Trooper 8.3

      sure didn’t leave much off the list of Concern there jerb

    • greywarbler 8.4

      I think this is right from jrb and we should all remember this when we are thinking and talking about Labour and policy and people. Penn nearly got in in France because of all the splinter groups of the left with their separating points of view fracturing the broad movement.

      It is easy to be leader of the Nats, they are all united around the common goal of maximizing incomes for the moneyed class. Labour is so diverse, and now with so many politicians in the caucus operating purely in self interest being leader is like herding tigers.

  9. captain hook 9

    who are these bloody journalists to decide who should lead.
    what about examining the policies?

  10. tricledrown 10

    Sable print media is on the deline big time.
    Obama managed to use the digital media and people on the ground.
    Labour greens the left need to get numbers of volunteer supporters to help motivate those who didn’t vote last election simple solution but hard work to get people on the left to help door knock!
    The personal touch will win voters over.
    Delivering an expensive papet to everybodies letter box a waste of money and time as it will end up in the trash.

  11. Rogue Trooper 11

    Audrey Young on Labour, the Greens and Cunliffe’s “pro-growth” stance
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11149670

    An interesting article examining many issues and Joyce characterizing much of the ‘left’ as preservationist . If by that he means preserving the eco-system we rely on for survival, then I agree.

  12. Rich 12

    They’re crumbling though.

    I think the APN sale of magazines might be a harbinger of renewed attempts to sell the newspapers. Given the unlikeliness of them finding a buyer, I can see the Herald and it’s clones going digital-only quite soon.

    Fairfax cannot be far behind (given that through the stake in TradeMe, most of their ad revenue in NZ doesn’t actually come from owning a newspaper).

    • greywarbler 12.1

      Haven’t Fairfax gone and sold Trademe for some strange reason? Last year or something.

  13. greywarbler 13

    If that’s Joyce’s description it must be meant to be derogatory. Preservationists! Is that view a result of NACTs desire to get rid of everything of value that’s left if they get back in.

    They are treating NZ like a dying relative and they are in control of their propertyhaving been given a sweeping enduring power of attorney that enable anything to be sold or bought now or later, sort of the One Ring to rule them all. The family administrator can keep family treasures and memoribilia and assets for the others or hock them off and enjoy the proceeds. The family can moan later when it is too late. The items will be gone, there may be some legal recompense involving money but if the goodies are sold the right of ownership has passed away.

    The double loss of a closely related family member, and all the remembered items and memorials and valuable estate is a wipeout of an important relationship, and that will be all that is left after NACT is given the opportunity for power again.

    I have just recently been enjoying Wind in the Willows which I think is a delightful little children’s tale, done by many great artists. NACT is like Toad, an incorrigible fool and manic and dangerous incompetent. Only Toad had a good side to him, and was forgiven much by his friends, NACT doesn’t compare – there isn’t anything good there.

  14. Adrian 14

    Getting back to how much of an easy ride Key got by the print media and particulary the DomPost,at the time of the tax scam scandal that Mike Williams took the fall for the DP in the earliest edition ( that goes out to the SI and NI country areas) had a photo on the front page of the multi-million dollar cheque at the centre of the controversy. The signature on it looked a lot like John Keys, the photo did not appear on any later editions and could not be found on the website. I think Key claimed it was signed by Colin Ash or some such fall guy.

    • Adrian

      Due to many hours of research I have done into this, I’m confident John Key was not a signatory on that cheque.

      I do however have every reason to believe that the statements he and his ex-Elders Merchant Finance (EMF) colleague Paul Richards gave to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in 1991 about an alleged ‘lunch’ they had had in August of 1988, were (and still are) entire fabrications..

      Australia’s National Crime Authority (NCA) was investigating Elders IXL (domiciled across the ditch, and EMF’s parent company) on other matters, when an SFO investigator from New Zealand went to the NCA to seek their assistance in unraveling a series of perplexing forex trades that Elders IXL had had with Alan Hawkin’s Equiticorp in 1988.

      In the course of these investigations, Key was asked to provide a collaborating statement for Richards, who had named Key as someone who could confirm his version of events that he was alleging had happened on a particular day. The NCA was charging him with fraud for the part he played in facilitating the faux transactions.

      I’m not exactly sure what purpose it would serve Richards to insist an event happened on a different day when all other parties involved in the fraud were in agreement it was another date altogether.

      Still, Richards and Key remained insistent an event had taken place on a particular date, 31 August 1988, saying they could allegedly recall the date because it was the same day they were celebrating Key’s career move to Bankers Trust in Auckland with a lunch – a lunch they say that Richards was called away from for a short period of time. The story goes, Key was due to start with Bankers Trust the next day, 1 September 1988.

      No evidence can be found of a lunch on the 31 August, at the restaurant they named, nor any evidence via any payment receipts (by either party) at that restaurant or any other. The charges against Richards were eventually dropped in return for him being a witness for the NCA and their prosecution of Elders IXL exec/s on this matter and others.

      Apart from the lack of evidence of the alleged ‘lunch’ ever having taken place; more damning for John Key and the very real reality that his statement was a fabrication – are the media bios on him in 2008, which had his ex-Bankers Trust CEO, Gavin Walker (now Chair of New Zealand Super Fund) talking at length about the ‘lucrative relationship’ Key had had with infamous American currency raider Andrew Krieger.

      Key, we were told, had responsibility for all the millions of dollars of trades Krieger and others at the New York branch of Bankers Trust were putting across Key’s trading desk; trades they say, that soon turned Key’s dealing room into the number 1 dealing room in the country.

      Key himself discussed receiving a call from Krieger not long after he (Key) had started with Bankers Trust, saying Krieger’s first questions were to ask about New Zealand’s monetary supply.

      One small problem – it is well documented that Krieger resigned from Bankers Trust in February 1988 in disgust over a bonus payment. After he resigned he went on holiday, worked briefly with a couple of different firms, but by end of June he had retired from the currency markets altogether; not too return to them until some two years later.

      My blog, John Key did you lie to the Serious Fraud Office?, provides links to articles, videos and radio interviews and asks the questions our media haven’t (or won’t). Feel free to share.

      Lastly my research unearthed one other piece of evidence that is potentially very damning for Mr Key, that I’ve yet to put out there publicly. I would be keen to talk to someone who knows a great deal about restructuring companies first.

  15. Natwest 15

    I note silent “T” is now back tracking fast on Labours (Phil Twyford and Moana Mackey) absolute promise to re-open the Napier – Gisborne rail line if elected to Government in 2014. Now, it’s a been declared as a desire. This follows the flip – flop by “T” over the Sky City Convention Centre Contract. Question: when is a Labour promise, a promise – and when is a Labour promise, a desire? Because, like me, the rest of the country must surely becoming confused.

    [lprent: you are confused, we know that. However I made a wee promise to myself that I was tired of this T shit. It was amusing. It is now boring and I have warned on it. You are the first to benefit from my irritation.

    Two week ban. Each person from here on out I will double the ban each time I have to ban someone on it. ]

    • framu 15.1

      stop thinking the rest of the country and you are in agreement.

      You never go beyond baseless assertion and you never respond when challenged

      your nothing by a drive by idiot – so keep driving

      • Natwest 15.1.1

        Well that’s an incredibly intelligent response. Tell me how my question is baseless – you numb skull, or is an answer beneath your level of intelligence? So I’m responding – how about you dickhead.

        • framu 15.1.1.1

          you routinely post absolute BS then when points of difference or just plain corrections of facts is put to you, you fucking disappear.

          Now suddenly come over all “ooh thats a smart response”

          Its pretty obvious that your only responding to my comment for the simple fact that its not actually forcing you to think beyond your own scrotum

          Put up some evidence for a start – then we can talk about whether your actually talking facts or just some unevolved bacteria floating around in your empty cranium

          without any supporting evidence you have what! What exactly do you call making a claim without evidence! – a baseless assertion genius

          You have the gall to talk of intelligence!

          • gobsmacked 15.1.1.1.1

            As I point out below, Natwest just copies directly from W. Oil. It’s too stupid to think for itself – or even to pretend to – so best just to ignore it.

        • Sable 15.1.1.2

          Maybe you could take a up a job with Unfairfacts oops I mean Fairfax, Fatvest?

    • gobsmacked 15.2

      Here’s a strange coincidence.

      Why does “Natwest” comment at exactly the same time, on exactly the same subjects, using exactly the same language, as Mr W. Oil?

    • karol 15.3

      What’s Trevor Mallard got to do with it? I much prefer him being silent.

  16. Saarbo 16

    Personally Im gutted I couldnt make this conference. I hope it goes well, glad the media are not allowed in on Sunday…the were absolute dick heads last year..

    Good luck labour!

  17. chris73 17

    The problem for Cunliffe is hes over-promised and now has to back-track on his and labours promises…sorry not back-track on promises but “subject to the provisions of fiscal responsibility”

    Hopefully he now realises that what he says and promises will be taken note of and replayed

    • gobsmacked 17.1

      Another Oil parrot … don’t any of you guys have original lines? It appears on Twitter, minutes later – like clockwork – it appears here.

      Do you guys realize how laughable it is when you all get your talking points from the same source?

      (helpful hint, use a thesaurus so at least you can disguise the plagiarism).

      • Rogue Trooper 17.1.1

        Such Crimes of Graffiti.

      • felix 17.1.2

        Or maybe “chris73” is providing whaleoil with the talking points first…

      • Dumrse 17.1.3

        Any chance you want to comment on the actual message without getting mentally stressed about how it got to you?

        • felix 17.1.3.1

          Not particularly. This “message” is just a bunch of false assumptions wrapped in hypocrisy. There’s nothing about worth remarking upon, just tories pretending they run the Labour party.

          The story about the person writing for whaleoil and kiwiblog is far more interesting. Apparently he works for John Key’s office but is paid by PS so immune to the OIA.

          • North 17.1.3.1.1

            Spot on Felix !

            “…….Tories pretending they run the Labour Party.” Could not be better said !

            Their bloated arrogance and sense of omnipresence is palpable.

  18. lolitasbrother 18

    I didn’t realise the media was soft on the centre right, but glad to hear it

  19. North 19

    Get this incoherent opining from Old Wanker Armstrong in the Herald this morning:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11150241

    Sniffy pejorative from the author of “John Key has gravitas”.

    Subtext – “Hmmm………Cunliffe’s run away somewhat…….we’d better set about pegging him back…….all together now 1-2-3……”

    So many on TS have anticipated the ramping up of the corporate media attack. Here it is.

    As for TS contributor Wayne – ignore the pompous prick and his mock reasonableness. He’s here to obfuscate not to educate. Just like Old Wanker Armstrong.

    • Paul 19.1

      The Herald really is a disgusting rag shilling for large corporates.

    • karol 19.2

      Well, Armstrong accuses Cunliffe of being out of touch on key issues. Yet if anyone appears out of touch in Armstrong’s latest piece it is him. He has focused on some issues that he marks as marginal, and ignores others – where is mention of the superannuation issue?

      His main compliant about Cunliffe and Labour is this, as in the caption under the Cunliffe photo:

      Marching leftwards is neither in Cunliffe’s best interests nor Labour’s, as a mainstream party.

      And in the article:

      Cunliffe is the left’s man. They have given him a power base outside the caucus. They have got him where they want him. He is now expected to start backing up the rhetoric, which only stretches so far for so long, with some real substance.

      And judging from conference papers alone, that means heading in one direction – leftwards.
      […]
      Marching leftwards is neither in Cunliffe’s best interests nor Labour’s, as a mainstream party.
      […]
      They would seem to prefer engaging in a pointless and unrewarding war with the Greens for the relatively few votes on the far left.

      And what are all these things on the agenda for the conference that show it is heading “marching” (shades of fac1ism!) to the left?

      It all reinforces the impression of a party focused inwards rather than outwards.

      That is underlined by the series of policy remits which deal with such pressing matters as compulsory Maori language classes in schools, apologising to Maori over the foreshore and seabed farrago, state funding of political parties (a hardy annual) and entrenching the Bill of Rights (whatever difference that would make).
      […]
      Even on a matter of moment – state asset sales – Labour seems to be living in the past. One proposal up for debate at yesterday’s workshops would have had a Labour government reviewing the state-owned enterprises model so that it was no longer “pro-capitalist” and enabled “workers’ participation, control and management of industry”.

      The “policy proposal” would have also required Labour to “re-nationalise” every state asset privatised by the current National Government, with compensation being paid only to shareholders with “proven need”.

      Armstrong just woke up to the smell of his own fear – looking everywhere, in every nook and cranny – to find something to say it ain’t so….. change is coming.

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