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Where’s the Whip?

Written By: - Date published: 1:23 pm, September 23rd, 2014 - 146 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Our Labour MPs seem to be in disarray.  Somehow the party that teaches solidarity keeps on being fractured, while the party that teaches individualism is a strong union.

Why are they talking to each other through the media instead of picking up the phone?

Why did Cunliffe not call Stuart Nash to congratulate him on election night?  He should have called all his new MPs before he went to bed.

And on Sunday he and the whips (Sue Moroney & Iain Lees-Galloway) should have called the rest of the team – that’d only be 8 phone calls each – to work out a co-ordinated response.

Shearer etc could have called Cunliffe too, with their concerns.

Hopefully today’s caucus meeting clears the air.  Because at the moment the country will be thinking they’ve dodged a bullet not being run by this fractious crew.

I think ‘Mclauchlan’s Hierarchy of Political Needs’ is right – and while the current policy and values are great and in tune with New Zealanders, it’s the 3rd tier that needs fixing.

We’ve had 3 wasted years of infighting and setting up offices and learning the ropes.

We need National-like media discipline.  We need 3 years of a working leader’s office focussing on “jobs, homes, families” (yes, that may mean skipping the flag debate…), and 31 MPs backing the leader up.

So, let’s have the leadership contest – good clean fun of whomever explaining how they will best communicate Labour’s policies & values, unite the party and be trusted by the wider public – and then have our MPs and party hierarchy get in behind whomever is the leader.

Before that they can work on some media discipline too…

[apparently Sue Moroney has now resigned being chief whip and a new one – unannounced – elected]

146 comments on “Where’s the Whip?”

  1. blue leopard 1

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Bunji.
    Especially the bit about 3 wasted years – well actually I think it has been 6.

  2. SGThree 2

    to quote your opening comment – “Somehow the party that teaches solidarity keeps on being fractured, while the party that teaches individualism is a strong union.” Perhaps, just perhaps, there is a lesson to be learned here?

  3. Tom Gould 3

    Problem is he would likely only have 6 or 8 in caucus who want him. The rest don’t. And no amount of whining about the last six years will change that. No team can perform without leadership they have faith in and respect. Imposing a leader on the caucus might make some in the politburo feel powerful and tough, but the result was there for all to see on Saturday night.

    • blue leopard 3.1

      Do you know who chooses the caucus in Labour, Tom?

      • Tom Gould 3.1.1

        The voters in their electorates or the party bosses who run the list like a lotto game? I guess what you are really saying is that the politburo picks them and makes them MPs, so their are kind-of employees and should do what they are told?

        • blue leopard

          No, it was a genuine question. Adam answered it on another thread. The MPs choose the caucus.

          (My understanding is that the caucus is a smaller group that have more ‘say’ and they are picked out of all the MPs .)

        • blue leopard

          I voted for a Labour electorate MP.

          I didn’t vote for them to be undisciplined or disrespectful toward their current leader’s directives. I voted for them because they were the most likely leftwing candidate to win.

          I will strongly consider holding my nose & voting for the most likely to defeat a Labour electorate candidate, even if that means voting for a National MP, for the electorate vote in the next election if Labour MP’s show the slightest lack of discipline & disloyalty to their leader or party principles in the next three years.

          I do not like that my electorate vote is read as a carte blanche for egotistical behaviour.

          I will be encouraging others to do the same.

          There, I said it.

  4. logie97 4

    … it is indeed unbelievable that 72 hours ago these MPs thought they might be running the country. Shearer had a reputation of keeping a cool head in war zones. A reputation that could well be damaged if he carries on like this.

    • chrissy 4.1

      A number of people need to take a deep breath and exercise a little self control right now. David Shearer is one of them. Please, David, dont keep undermining the good opinion most of us have of you, as you have been doing since the election.

  5. thatguynz 5

    How does that correlate with a workplace analogy Tom? I’m sure most people have worked for managers that we neither like nor respect yet we still get on and act professionally and do the job to the best of our ability. Why should politics be any different?

    • rain33 5.1

      thatguynz, I would wager a bet that if you were working for a manager you neither like or respect, it would be a pretty unhappy workplace! Good grief, talk about lowering the bar.

      • thatguynz 5.1.1

        Bet taken. I am a contract worker/consultant and thus I work in a number of organisations. Whether I like or respect the manager at any of the organisations is completely irrelevant to whether I enjoy the role, gain satisfaction from what I do, or conduct my activities in a professional manner. I frequently have a happy workplace with the other staff in the organisation – despite what the manager is like.

        The bar hasn’t been lowered at all. I can only assume you have been fortunate with the managers you’ve worked for? I’m surprised that you would use your relationship with your manager as a sole barometer of workplace happiness.

        • rain33

          The manager sets the tone for the entire business. You are lucky, obviously you don’t have a lot to do with your manager. FYI…I am the Manager, and I know the importance of having the respect of your staff. ‘Attitude reflects leadership’..an oldie but a goody.

          • anker

            My experience has been that I must believe in the manager’s competence. I have never put being a nice guy at the top of my list of priorities.

            I can respect someone who knows what they are doing.

            BTW I sent a email to all Labour MPS telling them (in polite but firm terms to STFU and stop talking to the media.

          • thatguynz

            Au contraire – I have (and have had) a tremendous amount to do with my manager on a daily basis. I make a conscious decision to not let their ability/attitude drive my enjoyment or otherwise about my work and that of my teams.

            Suffice to say that I don’t manage my teams in the same manner however that is not the point – my point is that in a “professional” environment you suck it up, get in behind the leader/manager and do what needs to be done to ensure collective success, irrespective of what your thoughts of the leader are. There is no reason that I can see where politicians would be exempt from this.

            Ideal? No. Practical and professional? Yes.

    • Annie 5.2

      +1. Caucus has to grow up and accept whatever the result is of a democratic election process. They are free to participate fully in the contest, but once the decision is made they need to do the right thing.

      • MP’s are selected through a (supposedly) democratic process and their job is to represent their electorate and be involved in making democratic decisions within caucus. It used to be that part of that responsibility was to appoint the leader. Recently that changed (dumb move) so now you have the result of foisting an unpopular leader on caucus as a result of him being able to gather sufficient support outside the parliamentary wing. Absolutely crazy! The blame doesn’t lie with caucus, it lies with the wider party which gives 60% of leadership voting rights to party members and unions. No wonder it doesn’t work.

        • thatguynz

          🙄 try re-reading my original comment..

        • gobsmacked

          Except, it works fine in democratic parties all around the world.

        • Colonial Viper

          MP’s are selected through a (supposedly) democratic process and their job is to represent their electorate and be involved in making democratic decisions within caucus.

          Yeah these MPs’ job is to represent the fucking electorate. And the Labour Party membership. Guess what voters think of this ongoing BS from some members of the Labour caucus?

    • Hami Shearlie 5.3

      Exactly – why should party members care if the Caucus “likes” the leader – they are supposed to be professionals doing a JOB – they’re not there as members of a fan club! Party members want someone as leader who has new ideas, can speak to the Press, debate well in Parliament, and explain policy to journalists and the public. That person is David Cunliffe – if the old ABC club don’t like it, I say, don’t let the door hit you on the way out – the party is more important than your petty likes and dislikes – you are all stale and used up, so get over yourselves and start doing your job – you know, the one we pay you very handsomely to do!!!! Or LEAVE!!

      • AmaKiwi 5.3.1


        One of the nice things about business is by law there is one clear goal: maximize returns for the owners.

        National knows in politics there is only one clear goal: get elected.

        We on the Left don’t need to be dragged down by those who have another agenda, whether it is Labour MPs with ego needs or special interest groups who don’t care how their agenda will damage the party’s chances of getting elected.

  6. alwyn 6

    The first person to take your advice should be, perhaps, the party leader.
    Wouldn’t the press conference have been best held after, not before, the caucus meeting?
    This isn’t really the way to keep party unity is it?

    • Benghazi 6.1

      Alwyn – the press conference always occurs before the caucus. To not have held it would have been to depart from routine and thereby set the media off again. The media were already in high dander after Cunliffe didn’t respond on Monday.

      • alwyn 6.1.1

        I never realised that was the norm for the opposition.
        The PMs press conference is always after cabinet, not before.

  7. aerobubble 7

    John Key goes on TV last night, and says oops, sorry 2% growth not the 4% we have being having. Kiwis will have to deliver the growth, his words. How did it come to be that Labour’s platform, for increasing growth by fixing the revenue grabbing system, you remember the debate about our growth prospects all got fog-gotten by dirty Key in just one night.

    Well he’s how. The messengers are all the same, they all co-ordinate off a very strict version of shia economics, Boag, Farrer, Henry and Hooten. The media keeps inviting back the same faces, with the same team Key measure, like there was no split on economics, or split on the right over state secrecy, these are all left wingers according to media. Hager pointed this out, that the government message, its messengers, where ubiquitous and unassailed, unquestioned.

    So you ask where’s the whip, indeed! The media are whipped by a very few ideological minded gatekeepers who fogged out any debate about growth during the election. And day one, the first monday Key discovers the issue and pouts it back on kiwis.

    How will Kiwis raise growth from 2% to 4% when they voted for Key to keep it at the 4%, when Key and his party shouted and hackled out opposite spokesmen on TV and Hager-Collins-DotCom etc all buried our democracy under yet more fog.

    And Tuesday the markets drop, so much for Keys honeymoon.

    Media should try other right wing commentators, that actually believe in liberty, in free markets needing to be regulated to be stay free, and end the love in with our authoritarian governing media-politics-finance cabal.

    • adam 7.1

      Do you right wing libertarians feel betrayed – us left wing ones have been warning you for a while now. Have a look in the US mate, many of the libertarians over there, (not to be confused with lehman brother libertarians) are now joining hands with the libertarian left. From memory, there was a contingent in the climate change marches in New York. Why? Because the right have turned very authoritarian, I can see that happening here.

      • aerobubble 7.1.1

        We are all libertarians in the sense we believe in our own liberty.
        We are all green because we believe in the sustainability of our species.
        We are all socialists in the sense we believe in community.
        The authoritarian puts state above liberty, greens, socialists, above citizens.
        Capitalism rewards people who seek rent on what we regarded as free, and when the state took responsibility for protecting its stakeholders, the citizens, it would step in and contain and remove those incentives.
        In the late 70s a political movement came to power that said they did not believe in society, that they could bring growth despite that growth being predictable in the glut of middle eastern oil about to swamp the world. They claimed to be for liberty, yet we know they had individuals collectivizing if they are unions but love them collectivizing if companies and boardrooms. The environment is some place where they can dump their pollution, cancer causing, diabetes causing, etc because its free and they can make money taking something free and making us pay to clean it up.
        I see nothing different between being a social green libertarian, its the pure faith of the authoritarian, in a state that abuses its citizens ,rather than serving them that co-opts liberty, socialism, even green platforms if necessary to gain power.

        The so called libertarians on TV were not as advertized. They were always for a big state, in fact you can tell who they are, they start by declaring for a smaller state. Debt under Key has jumped, spending has gone down on lower to middle income needs (not kept up to inflation), the tax system was shifted to burden the lower and middle income earners of the revenue take. So Key, shifted the tax system to raise more tax from the lower to middle income earners, run up debt on them, sell off profit producing assets, and lowered the services government provides them. Two hundred years ago we’d call him a Tory, and he’ll be Lord Key of Epsom, with a serf army of indentured servants and farm workers. No right thinking new wealth industrialist would have a bar of him, they would see him, and the aristocracy, as a parasite on the national wealth. Progressives of left and right would take their wealth away from them, since they were unproductive. And guess what we in NZ suffer a productivity crisis, where we continue, businesses and individuals, to pay too much for poorer and poor quality.

        If you forget history you are liable to repeat it. Welcome to the class system NZ style. Where a few pander nonsense to the majority in order to shift the wealth into unproductive, low productive financial scams. Buying and selling homes and farmland does not make one extra widget, instead it removes profit that would have been re-invested to grow the economy, and hands it to financial brokers, like Key was before he became a MP (and still is at a distance through his massive wealth portfolio).

        Key never made one widget of real production or service to our economy, he worked in a part of the finance industry that channels profits into the hands of the few wealthiest.

      • Tracey 7.1.2

        imagine, key lied about growth right up til friday but by monday remembered the real figure, probably while discussing edes resignation…

  8. Bill 8

    Not sure which thread to paste this in. I’ll refrain from making comment (the vids a cut’n edit job) and limit myself to a simple question – was all of this from earlier on today?


    • gingercrush 8.1


      I really don’t think Cunliffe can survive when the Labour caucus is a huge ABC club.

    • adam 8.2

      Heard that today on Radio after 1 pm. Shearer looks wasted, or is that just me. I know, I know, he always looked like he’s half asleep – but in that video, he looks like he been hitting something bad.

    • Colonial Viper 8.3

      David Shearer, as articulate as ever.

  9. BM 9

    Your choice of image is interesting.

  10. Not a PS Staffer 10

    Shearer, a Bitter Old Man being used by the same manipulative crew that wasted so much of our capital already. Time for them to ship out. Cunliffe has a moral duty to hold out against these careerists and keep LABOUR in the Labour Party.

  11. Not a PS Staffer 11

    Nash is just a side show. Coming up to 50 years of age and he finally wins a seat in his own right. He was intoxicated with his success and thought he had got to the top table of politics. If McVicar does not run next time Nash will probably lose the seat. So the aging lad has to crawl up the rankings very quickly if he is to have any semblance of the political career that feels he is genetically entitled to.

    • but nash didn’t win the seat ‘in his own right’..

      ..the only reason he won..is because garth mcvicar split the rightwing vote..

      ..and nash came thru the middle..

      ..and i know nash is trying to builds self-serving myths around that victory..

      ..but they are all utter bullshit..

      ..the split-vote numbers tell the real story..

      • aerobubble 11.1.1

        I haven’t heard him, seen his political ability, yet. Maybe he convince enough National voters to vote for McVicar and so let him squeeze in. Now I would suggest we need that innovative zeel. Politics is about as much as turning your own crew out on the day, turning off and keeping your opponents voters at home, and as Nash did, getting your opponents voters to misdirect their votes.

        Key does that all the time. Politics was never clean. Ask dirty John, he’ll tell you all about it if he was honest John, lol.

      • Kevin Welsh 11.1.2


        Stuart Nash has been campaigning for Labour for two years now and was well out in front before Garth McVicar even announced his candidacy.

        This was a classic case of local politics being perceived as more important than national politics.

        • lprent

          In that case either he or the Nat or both lost a awful lot of votes to McVicar. I’m afraid that it looks to me like a right split vote helped him quite a lot. Somehow I suspect that a lot of votes went from the National to a candidate further right.

          Look at the numbers in 2011 and 2014 and realise how much of fool you sound like.

          • Kevin

            Both lost votes to McVicar LPrent. He is a strong local identity and was always going to do well. There were two local issues driving the campaign here and basically nothing else was of concern.

            And no, I am not a fool. Far from it.

    • Hami Shearlie 11.2

      Genetically? Stuart Nash was adopted – so he is not technically related to Walter Nash! Mr Nash may be seen by some as charismatic, but my assessment of him is that he could be reckless and let his ego run away with him – Slater and the Nats would have a field day over his private life too, unfortunately!

    • anker 11.3

      Yes, who the F leaked that Cunliffe hadn’t phoned Nash as per this article…………Why tell the media.

  12. Brooklyn 12

    Nat unity is a result of their success – watch the cracks open when the polls are close. Alas the opposite holds too.

  13. Tracey 13

    the difference between nats personal self interest and labours?

    Nats pretend to resign and then say nothing to the media
    Labs wont resign and squeal as often as they can to the media.

    Like or hate the Nats they dont shoot themselves in the foot.

    • aerobubble 13.1

      Cunliffe should serve the party and resign, gifting his list seat to a member off the list. He lost party votes, how can he live with keeping a MP out of parliament. His failure, he should wear it.

      Robertson, Goff and Shearer should all say they had their run, its time for new blood.

      But Labour doesn’t want to win, Helen Clark would have pushed anyone with the ability to take over from her out of the way, out of the party. Crushed anyone, and give rewards to those who served the party (her), and make them think that it was their brilliance, and they could take over from her with her support.

      Goff should have waited and had a convincing challenge to his leadership after a year. Shearer should never have been in the running, he hasn’t the selling skills.

      Cunliffe is just to error prone and conceited. Cunliffe thought he won before he won. On now wide imaginings could Cunliffe win without the Greens, yet he ran with them at a distance, without any common purpose, leaving two platforms, One green one Labour. Goff made the same mistake, trying to compete with the Greens when in fact they were allies. Both had ads against asset sales, WFT were they thinking.

      Labour were strong on economy under Clark. Greens are strong on environment. So it stands to reason that Greens should have the social programs, that cost money and Labour goes out and says, only if we can afford it.

      Cunliffe failed to have a strategy, and it showed even more when the fog of Hager, Collins and Dotcom descended on the campaign. It was dull to start with, no shining contrasts, and immediately drowned. Key saw it, he had Joyce talk over Robertson, and set the tone there on in. Joyce would not have talked over and stopped Labour getting out the message had he not had Key’s confidence to do so.

      So Cunliffe should resign parliament and let the next list MP up.

      • Tracey 13.1.1

        If you are saying cinliffe should resign from parliament, its not about the list but a by election in his electorate.

        • alwyn

          It’s not only a by-election which could bring in a new Labour member.
          It’s very likely a by-election that Labour would lose. Look at the party vote favouring National.
          Aerobubble is also pretty tough on Shearer. The guy has only had 5 years in Parliament. He actually sounds much better than he did before he was rolled. He merely got promoted to the point where he had to try and take on an expert in John Key much to early. He was also being white-anted throughout by Cunliffe.

          [lprent: Bullshit. If there had been white-anting about Shearer by Cunliffe then I’d have both heard about it and reacted against it. There wasn’t much. I always react against it and have done so ever since I realised how Mike Moore operated against perceived opponents.

          I don’t care who does it. It is corrosive and invariably causes the party damage. That means I am as harsh against Cosgrove as I am against Carter.

          There was a hell of a lot less white-anting against Shearer than there was against Goff in the first term.

          Just another right wing myth by a fool who can’t think. ]

          • word

            @Alwyn. Shearer wasn’t rolled and wasn’t “white anted throughout by Cunliffe” either. It was a culmination of factors, one being his inability to handle the media, and speak coherently without tripping over his words, he would have been a laughing stock in the debates against John key, and most importantly, have people forgotten why he lost the confidence of caucus? It came out in parliament that Shearer was having secret talks with John key. Do you think labour caucus have such short memories and have forgotten that?

          • alwyn

            I will have to take your word for it as I have never been in the party.
            I confess that I tended to accept what the then, and future whip had to say on TVNZ at the time that Shearer was leader.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.2

        aerobubble – what is it with you at the moment? Getting rid of Cunliffe to let the next on the list (whoever that is) slide into the Labour caucus? That’s not even a vague semblance of a dream of the startings of a political plan.

        • The Al1en

          ‘not even a vague semblance of a dream of the startings of a cunning political plan’?
          Sure you’re not a Blackadder instead of a Viper?

        • alwyn

          “Getting rid of Cunliffe to let the next on the list (whoever that is) slide into the Labour caucus?” you say
          Surely you have been around long enough to know that if an electorate MP (which Cunliffe is) resigns there is a by-election? It is only if a list MP quits that they go to the next person on the list.
          How do you think Shearer replaced Clark, even though he had never been on the party list, whereas Cullen was simply replaced by the next person on the list.

      • Benghazi 13.1.3

        The strategy of not running with the Greens was one forced by the ABCs.

      • AmaKiwi 13.1.4

        Cunliffe has the overwhelming support of the party membership, made stronger by his exposure and excellent performance in this campaign.

        We, the Labour Party members, will not tolerate the caucus forcing him out.

        Think about that you Labour MPs who are attacking him. Destroy DC and you destroy your party.

  14. gnomic 14

    Twofish is a dickhead. I had to turn it off when I heard him bleating to Ms Ryan on Monday morning. And this is a senior member of the caucus? I say again, it’s all over for the Labour Party. Maybe they could try rotating the leadership through all the MPs? That might work.

  15. Tracey 15

    Hooton started his BS about under shearer they were cruising to victory cos he knows idiots like hipkins believe it…

    • aerobubble 15.1

      Shearer had his opportunity. Cunliffe should resign, and Shearer and Goff would not have an opportunity to destabilize the waka, as they both had their chance.

      • word 15.1.1

        @aerobubble. I disagree. I would like to see David Cunliffe stay on as leader. Am so impressed with him during the campaign. There is no one better for the job, which he hasnt even had for a full year yet, he deserves another 3 years.

        • aerobubble

          Cunliffee took too long to turn around, when he sounded scripted, he lost votes, yet it took him weeks before he got that. Just like its taken Labour six years to realize its Key that the problem, not how Cunliffe is a man, or Cunliffe isn’t connecting, or Cunliffe isn’t working hard enough.

  16. higherstandard 17

    What a clusterf***


    Guess Key was right when he was asked on saturday night what would happen with Labour over the next few weeks.

    • weka 17.1

      At an extraordinary press conference at Parliament this morning, the Labour leader insisted he would not step aside as leader, and reiterated his desire for a leadership primary – but refused to acknowledge that the only way such a primary could be triggered was for the caucus to deliver a vote of no confidence in him.

      Is that true? Can DC not call for a leadership primary without a vote of no confidence?

    • word 17.2

      @Higherstandard. Just like it happened with national who suffered the worst election defeat of just 21% in 2002.

  17. rain33 18

    Goodness me. I am reading some of the comments here in disbelief. Why are you even talking about John Key at this moment? They are the victors, fact. Yes, you can be disappointed with the result, but the people of this country cast their votes, the result did not happen by accident. It was about the failure of the Labour Party and its leader. Chatter and bicker among yourselves ad-nauseam, meanwhile National laughing all the way to the next election. .

    • gobsmacked 18.1

      Um, so what’s your point? Who is saying the election didn’t happen?

      People are debating the future of the opposition, after a defeat. As always happens.

      What should we be discussing? Aaron Cruden?

  18. rain33 19

    higherstandard (17) You said it so well…may I say it again, just to reinforce the fact…

    What a clusterf***

  19. Annie 20

    I would urge all Labour Party members to email the whole caucus and tell them what we think of them talking to journalists about what should happen with the leadership and party direction instead of to each other and to US.

    Caucus need us if they have any hope of winning in 2017, and we should withdraw our voluntary labour from the ones who don’t play nicely and make sure they don’t get back in in 2017.

    • rain33 20.1

      Annie (20) I have no problem with members talking to journalists. Who are US? The people of this country are all free to vote Labour if they wish. If individual members want to talk to ‘the people’ through the media, what is wrong with that? What the heck …maybe we could get them to go out and burn some books while they’re at it.

      No wonder the Party is in trouble.

      • gobsmacked 20.1.1

        They are free to do lots of things. They are free to dance down the street wearing bananas in pyjamas costumes and singing songs from the Wizard of Oz, while waving the flag of Kazakhstan and eating 20 cheeseburgers. In front of the TV cameras.

        That doesn’t mean it’s a wise course of action, though.

        • rain33

          gobsmacked (20.1.1) That is a bit of a paper tiger argument. This thing is a complete mess, anyway you look at it. I honestly think that some members talking to journalists is the least of Labours problems to be perfectly honest. Also, it doesn’t actually change anything. People are not stupid…they know there is terrible division within the Party. That was evident after Saturday nights result. Put it another way…if your neighbours are having a massive row and the entire street can see it, there is not much point closing the windows if the curtains are still open.

          • gobsmacked

            I was responding to your silly “book burning” line. Reductio ad absurdum.

            Labour lost the election badly, and needs to look at what went wrong, that’s a given. Doing so with a megaphone isn’t smart. And falling back on “But we can if we want” isn’t persuasive.

            • rain33

              gobsmacked, if you want to discuss silly lines…there was only one of us talking banana’s in pyjamas the wizard of Oz and cheeseburgers. Oh yes…I’m sure if certain critics of David Cunliffe were keeping quiet everything would be just dandy. However, according to Chris T this morning, Cunliffe’s failures since the election have been even more significant.

              • Colonial Viper

                problems driven by the same caucus ill-discipline and leaking to the media, which you don’t think are particularly bad problems. Dick.

          • Colonial Viper

            I honestly think that some members talking to journalists is the least of Labours problems to be perfectly honest.

            Which plainly, is a stupid and naive comment from you. It means that you don’t understand how destabilising it was for Labour after Goff left, to have Labour MPs leaking BS to the media and talking out of turn. It also means that you have no recollection of how destabilising the very same behaviour was to the public’s perception of Labour when the ABCs ordered a media hit on David Cunliffe in 2012.

            And now, the same utter lack of professionalism and caucus discipline by the same players, including fucking Stuart Slide In Nash.

            But apparently, according to you, “the least of problems.”

            What a fcukwit.

      • Tracey 20.1.2

        how long have you been a member

  20. And already we have fuckwits like Robertson and Shearer going to the papers first, desperate for the spotlight. Have they learned NOTHING?

  21. Distilled essence of NZ 22

    Isn’t it a case of party membership being quite left wing, but many senior members of the caucus being of the old right guard? Caucus is out of step with the membership. But to bring caucus in to line with the membership would take getting rid of quite a few senior MPs who won seats in the election. Really quite a tough problem to solve. Amirite?

    I say it’s time for the membership to demand to take control of the party, and let the chips fall where they will. Caucus has too much power. Labour needs to be democratised along the lines of the Greens.

    • alwyn 22.1

      The problem you will have is that the membership is probably far to far left for the voters. The veteran MPs are much more in line with what the public think. Why do you think so many of them retained their seats even though National won the party vote in their electorate?
      At the end of the day it isn’t that important what the members of a party think. It is only the voters who matter.

      • Distilled essence of NZ 22.1.1

        Alwyn – obviously public opinion is very important. But the fact is that there are many left wing policies that have been polled and are very popular. Higher minimum wage, state-funded affordable housing and child poverty reduction to name a few. Where Labour tends to fail is not being too left-wing, but having poor unity, and very poor perception management – PR. We have been losing the game of personality politics for a long time now. We need to become more professional, not more right wing.

        • alwyn

          You may be right and they may genuinely be things that people are willing to pay for.
          I am rather cynical about people being polled with regard to their approving of things that sound caring and desirable. They tell the pollster what they think people should say to sound good and kind. They do it even when they don’t know the person on the other end of the telephone line and are never going to meet theme.
          It shows up in small things. People think that they will sound noble if they say they care for the environment and that they will vote for the Green Party. They then come to vote, realise that they would have to pay for those noble thoughts and actually vote their wallet. Why do you think that the Green Party always get about 20% less votes in an election than the polls would seem to promise them? On the other hand they do better with overseas voters than they do with voters here. People overseas aren’t going to have to cough up their money.
          Similarly if you ask people do they give blood they lie. You should, so they say they do. They don’t though.
          As I say, it is cynical but I think it is true.

          • rain33

            alwyn, you nailed it. It would appear too many people here talking to themselves…you tend to get the answers you want.

          • Distilled essence of NZ

            I don’t think the majority of New Zelanders end up having to pay more tax under Labour, so no I don’t think it’s about that at all.

            Remember – for many decades, the top tax rate was over 50% in NZ. NZ is traditionally a very left wing country.

            • rain33

              “traditionally a very left wing country’. Well after Saturday night I would have to question that we are a ‘very’ left wing country. I would be very interested in an age demographic re the weekends results.

              • Distilled essence of NZ


                Politics is all about perception. Unfortunately, Labour’s perception management has been a spectacular failure in an era of “gotcha” politics.

          • Distilled essence of NZ

            Also recall that NZ never voted for the radical right wing changes we got in the 1980s. The now ACT-affiliated Labour Party members were never honest about the policies that were to be introduced. The National Party only got in on the back of Jim Bolger’s “Decent Society” speech which promised a return to NZ’s more traditional values, of caring for the economically disadvantaged. But again NZ was deceived in to accepting a right-wing government we didn’t want. The Labour Party of the early 1990s was unelectable, having been torn apart by the ACT faction. Yes there is a huge appetite for left-wing policies in NZ. There always has been.

      • brian 22.1.2

        Spot on +1

  22. Rob 23

    Yes the Labour MPs need to understand that the media will see them as food for headlines
    The media are not Labour’s friends
    They should be hunkered down have their fight and blame whoever then come out United if Labour is to survive

  23. Hami Shearlie 24

    Better to lose those few pesky ABC members than to lose all the party members methinks!

  24. Tautoko Viper 25

    It is noticeable that the rightwingers Armstrong, Hooton, the Herald editorial are all trying to get rid of David Cunliffe. Now why would that be?
    It is all very well for those MPs who want to move the party more to the centre, but if the electorate workers do not want to go in this direction, then this will not work.

    Why is Jock Anderson given airtime on the Panel?

    • chris73 25.1

      Now why would that be?

      – Because hes shit?

    • word 25.2

      Agreed Tautoko Viper. Funny how they forget that national still hold the record for having the worst election defeat in history, 2002, 21% worse than Labour’s 2014 election result.

      RWNJ’s are desperate to get rid of David Cunliffe, in fact there has been an orchestrated attack against him from the time of the first leadership bid almost a year ago. And its even more so since he dealt to John key in the debates. Personally I feel David Cunliffe who appears to have strong ideas to sort labour out, is the best person to lead the party.

      • chris73 25.2.1

        Um no we haven’t forgotten, we also rejuvenated and got rid of dead wood and brought in some new blood (including one John Key)

        and the right don’t fear the Cunliffe but instead they treat him as any leader of the opposition (that is to go out and beat him)

        But if it makes you feel better and you derive a small crumb of comfort then who am I to deny you that

        • word

          @Chris73 No need to be smugly patronizing and condescending. I just pointed out a fact that national had suffered a worse defeat, and I should have added, that national bounced back, and so too will Labour.
          But despite the fact that national historically win third terms, I personally feel, that in the case of the Key led government, it would not have been the case, if the media had of done their jobs, and had been fair and unbiased and at least been somewhat honest.

          • chris73

            If the media had done their jobs then Hager and rest of the muppets wouldn’t have got such an easy ride, its only now after the election the msm are starting to ask hard questions of the left

            • word

              If the media had of done their jobs, then national would not have won a third term. The media should be asking the hard questions of John key and his party, not sweeping national’s dirt under the carpet. You obviously didn’t read the book, dirty politics are the words and actions of the Key led national government.

              • chris73

                Dirty politics is one long litany of “he might have said” “it could mean” which served one purpose and one purpose only: to increase Nicky Hagers bank accounts (and fair enough)

                and it came to nothing

                • word

                  You obviously didn’t read the book. Did it come to nothing? Personally, I dont think the repercussions have shown up yet.

                • framu

                  forget dirty poltics

                  just how many times did key say something that was proven to be a lie, with documents to prove it and the media didnt bother checking or even applying the slightest bit of pressure?

                  just how many times did key say something that was nothing more than opinion which was then turned into fact and became the basis of several weeks of reporting?

                  Just how many times did the media ignore real failings by the govt in order to vilify and even manufacture trivialities in the opposition?

                  Yes – labour dropped many many balls – but the media have been a fucking disgrace and are damaging things for everyone regardless of who you vote for

                  think about it – the govt bullshitting its way through office, shitting on govt convention, throwing away the rule book and doing whatever it wants and using state power to attack and smear public servants and political enemies is now the norm thanks to the nats and the media.
                  Yes this has always happened to a lesser degree – but the volume dial on this sort of thing has been turned way up in the last 6 years.

                  is that the democracy you want? – I dont want this – from any party. And any party doing these things will never get my vote because policy is nothing if your corrupt, venal and thuggish

                • Tracey

                  so speaks an uninformed who blindly believes whatever comes from keys mouth for as long as he thinks wealth lies round the corner for him

                  you havent read the book.

                  no one has sued hager for defamation

                  slater sued to get his emails back… so not fake.

      • RedBaronCV 25.2.2

        And that was the % for all of the right. Labour + greens far exceed that

        • chris73

          Just a shame its 2014 not 2002 but hey its all good

          • word

            That was a good point RedBaronCV made, and you must understand that Politics is cyclic. You cannot live in 2014 forever. At some stage, national will get voted out.

  25. repateet 26

    There are not many Labour members in the House but most of them there love the view from the side that they’re on. So much so over the past three years they determinedly fought to stay on that side.

    Now, in a surge of enthusiasm, many of them are establishing an onslaught to ensure that any who remain after the next election will have the same view.

    It seems that more than a few in Parliament know what they’re there for – themselves. There is no focus making it into the wide world about what they believe in, what the party believes in and how they’re going to make that happen.

    Bryan Gould asked why the Labour brand is so unappealing and why so much Labour policy seems to constrain rather than liberate.
    When he pondered how Labour remain true to the traditional values it shares with so many New Zealanders maybe he didn’t consider that there are new values that have assumed absolute paramountcy and subsumed only remnants of what he probably sees as “traditional” values. The new traditional values are those of greed, every man for himself and Devil take the hindmost.

    An evolutionary process with those primary goals is something we probably have to go through. Result? Poverty? Yes. A fraught more splintered society? Yes. Victims? Yes. The burning of effigies of political figures as the only way of fighting back? Probably.

    For the good of the country a principled party with clearly identified core policies is needed. That requires leadership from all MPs. Anyone who has just been elected who can’t see that should shun their desirable view and resign immediately.

  26. Duct tape. Everything can be fixed with duct tape, starting with a liberal application to the faces of Messrs Mumblefuck, Robertson and Goff.

  27. lurgee 28

    Given Cunliffe strted his re-election campaign about two lines into his concession speech, I think it is a bit rich for anyone to be telling anyone else to be quiet.

    • chris73 28.1

      Kinda reminds me of this:

    • Rich but practical. Labour has an image – well-earned – for backstabbing and chaos, which they demonstrated, so what is your point – that they should run off at the mouth?

      • lurgee 28.2.1

        They should all shut up with their plotting and scheming for personal advancement. They should get on with working out why only 25% of the population voted for a party that should easily represent the interests of 80% or 90% and devising a Cunning Plan for making sure it doesn’t happen again in 2017.

        Because if the next three years are going to be a repeat of the last three years, then we’ll be back here having pretty much the same discussion about pretty much the same election result. Only I doubt as many as 25% will continue to support such bunch of losers.

        • word

          @Lurgee. New Zealand needs to brace itself for the pain thats coming over the next 3 years.

          • chris73

            @Lurgee. New Zealand needs to brace itself for the improvement thats coming over the next 6 years.

            Thats better

            • word

              At least you’re fancifully optimistic, however, judging by the last 6 years, one can only assume national are only going to make it even harder for most. I am not looking forward to my country losing what remains of its democracy, losing its sovereignty, being stripped bare, and in the hands of foreign ownership. I have never felt so worried for my country, like I do now.

  28. Ad 29

    Nice to see Benghazi back with the deep inside word.

  29. weka 30

    You know, as an outsider to Labour, I have to say that all this “Labour needs to do x, y, z” commentary (unity, dicipline etc) sounds depressingly familiar. Hasn’t this conversation been going on for quite some time now? As in years.

    At what point will we stop and consider the possibility that the things that Labour needs to do simply aren’t possible, that tha Labour caucus factions are in a stalemate? And then look hard and honest at what that means for the left, and what the real options are?

    • BM 30.1

      I’d say the best thing would be for all the hard core left within labour to move on over to the greens.

      There by freeing up Labour to chase the more centrist vote.

      It’s a total mess at the moment and always will be until one of the factions moves on, as Ramírez said in Highlander “There can be only one”.

    • blue leopard 30.2

      These are the type of thoughts I have been having too. 🙁

      A sinking feeling at the familiarity of both the issues and the advice.

      Groundhog day.

  30. Reddelusion 31

    Plus one BM The labour need to break up, the factions are ungovernable


    The feminist party
    The rainbow party
    The unionist and far left party
    The blokes party
    The pacific island party
    The maorie seats just jump waka with a grand Union between the maorie party and mana
    The david Cunliff party of one

    All 7 parties then form a coalition under the Greens as the dominant left party. It will be like herding cats but fun to watch and really no different than trying hold the facade that is now the labour together

  31. felix 32

    Shearer on rnz yesterday, supposedly speaking for himself, accidentally admitted he was speaking for “we”, as in “cunliffe wants a vote now, but what *we* are saying is… I mean, what *I* think, and maybe some colleagues agree but I wouldn’t know, we’re definitely not coordinating anything, I, I mean *i’m* not,” etc

    Shearer, Nash and Goff should all be dragged behind the barn and beaten with alkathine pipe. They are running a destabilisation campaign through the media to disrupt the labour party.

    Their memberships should all be revoked.

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