The Dim-Post

November 20, 2012

What an excellent day for an exorcism

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 8:32 am

Vernon Small reports:

David Cunliffe will be stripped of his portfolios and banished to the back benches for disloyalty today after a leadership vote in which Labour leader David Shearer is set to win unanimous backing.

I think the efficacy of this depends on how real the anti-Cunliffe bombast coming out of Labour really is. If David Cunliffe understands that he’s being stood down to make his leader look tough and leader-like, and he has a chance to redeem himself then he has every reason to keep his head down. If all this talk of Cunliffe’s political career being over is genuine then he has no reason not to sit on the back-bench and leak material that will damage Shearer’s supporters and continue to undermine his leadership.

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35 Comments »

  1. Please be #2 ’cause that will be so much more funnier

    Comment by TransportationDevice A7-98.1 — November 20, 2012 @ 8:38 am

  2. Can we play Press Gallery Bingo?

    How long before Shearer is pursued through the corridors by the Gower Gang demanding … “If Cunliffe had to be sacked, will you now be doing the same to X? Isn’t this latest crime worse? Are you a leader or aren’t you? Answer, dammit?”

    I’m picking Shane Jones, five minutes after being reinstated.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — November 20, 2012 @ 8:46 am

  3. The Labour Party caucus is an odd bunch of odd people.

    Comment by NeilM — November 20, 2012 @ 8:51 am

  4. Sacking Cunliffe won’t settle the fight between the Auckland party membership and Trevor Mallard’s useless caucus gang.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 20, 2012 @ 8:58 am

  5. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?

    Comment by Roger Parkinson (@RogerParkinson) — November 20, 2012 @ 9:53 am

  6. The Dom Post front page headline is “Cunliffe cast adrift after failed challenge.” He mounted a leadership challenge and failed? When was this again? Oh, I see – when you read the accompanying article by Vernon Small, apparently a “leadership challenge” consists of being repeatedly accosted by Patrick Gower with “when did you stop beating your wife” questions. Well, yes – I’d probably fail that as well. Doesn’t seem much of a front page story, though.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — November 20, 2012 @ 10:03 am

  7. In France the govt is cutting income tax, decreasing govt spending, giving tax breaks to business all the while the opposition is locked in a debilitating leadership struggle.

    I’m not sure if the UMP has suggested borrowing money to invest in the property market.

    Comment by NeilM — November 20, 2012 @ 10:36 am

  8. If Shearer can’t stand up to Patrick Gower, then how’s he meant to compete with Key? Shearer’s one asset is everyone’s mistaken impression that he is a “nice guy”. If he decides to discard that, what’s he got left?

    Comment by pete — November 20, 2012 @ 10:49 am

  9. The media coverage of this issue has been simply incredible. A challenge has been invented out of nowhere, but you wouldn’t know that from reading the Dom Post. There are articles, opinion pieces, letters to the editor, an editorial, and ‘to the point’ pieces which all blame Cunliffe for supposed disloyalty. I can’t help but think that the heavy handedness shown by Labour will work here, Cunliffe will now be known by most as a backstabby ambitious sociopath. That is dreadfully unfair on him, but sometimes politics is very very dirty.

    Comment by alex — November 20, 2012 @ 11:03 am

  10. I can’t see how Cunliffe can feel he has a path to redemption after Hipkins went on the record saying he had backstabbed two leaders in a row. That makes it near impossible to rehabilitate him – at least under current leadership. This is one of the reasons why MPs will so rarely go on the record about a colleague – you still have to work together for the next two years.

    Comment by dpf — November 20, 2012 @ 11:03 am

  11. Doing the numbers for the New Lynn by-election, DPF?

    It would be quite funny to hear the likes of Hipkins and Mallard insist that Cunliffe has “stabbed us in the back” by suddenly resigning his seat, and causing a bunch of new headaches for Labour … like picking a candidate acceptable to both the angry electorate AND the leadership.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — November 20, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

  12. He should start his own party and call it Cunliffe’s United New Team or something. Then run in New Lynn and offer support on confidence and supply in return for a clear run from Labour. Guaranteed limo (if Labour ever win another election).

    Comment by richdrich — November 20, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

  13. Nah, call it the Central Party of New Zealand and start off with 65 former MP’s of Labour, National, Greens, and New Zealand First, all of whom have near-centrist views. That’ll spice things up.

    Comment by Dan — November 20, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

  14. “Nah, call it the Central Party of New Zealand and start off with 65 former MP’s of Labour, National, Greens, and New Zealand First, all of whom have near-centrist views. That’ll spice things up.”

    Pete George called. He wants his wet dream back.

    Comment by Flashing Light — November 20, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  15. Pete George called. He wants his wet dream back.

    Well, Dan certainly does appear to have Pete Georgian ability to completely miss the point.

    Comment by Gregor W — November 20, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

  16. Yeh, Hipkins comments are the kiss of death for Cunners. Because Hipkins has been one of the few Labour MPs to show a pulse and any sort of activity and competence. He is one of the MPs Cunliffe would have hoped to get onside and working to bind the factions together if Dave C had won any leadership vote.

    Boy, does the Labour caucus hate Cunliffe. Did he poison their cats or something? Oh, that’s right, he spoke out about how NZ needs to shift away from free market capitalism. Kiss of death in Labour.

    Comment by bob — November 20, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

  17. So what happens now if Labour takes a dive in the polls?

    Comment by billbennettnz — November 20, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

  18. > So what happens now if Labour takes a dive in the polls?

    IACF – it’s all Cunliffe’s fault. :) If Labour loses in 2014, it will be Cunliffe’s fault, though how long Labour can continue to use that excuse remains to be seen.

    Comment by Ross — November 20, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

  19. Nah, sorry, it’s all mine.

    Comment by Dan — November 20, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

  20. Over at Stuff: “Scratch beneath the surface of Cunliffe the politician, and you find everything that gives politicians a bad name”, backstabs one anonymous MP who clearly has no understanding of irony.

    Comment by pete — November 20, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

  21. Shane Jones has been putting the boot in too … calls Cunliffe the “huhu grub”.

    Yes, that Shane Jones. Irony just exploded.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — November 20, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

  22. I could be wrong, but just because Cunliffe gave some left wing speeches, how does that make him suddenly a man o people? Did he do anything in government to suggest this? If anything I would hazard that he was more right/centre leaning. Now suddenly he is the working class saviour? Seriously

    Comment by max — November 20, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

  23. Incredible they’re willing to fuck themselves over like this just to shit on Cunliffe. LabourFail… business as usual.

    Comment by Rob — November 20, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

  24. Max – He did effectively dismantle Telecom’s monopoly (which was leftish).

    Comment by Gregor W — November 20, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

  25. “I could be wrong, but just because Cunliffe gave some left wing speeches, how does that make him suddenly a man o people? Did he do anything in government to suggest this?”

    The same way David Shearer gave a few speeches and that made him a go-getting breath of fresh air who would revitalise Labour with new thinking a year ago.

    Comment by Hugh — November 20, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

  26. He did effectively dismantle Telecom’s monopoly

    seems to be his one claim to fame. maybe he got lucky at the time having Clark and Cullen as mentors.

    Shearer looks like he might want to be back with the UN tackling more civilised tasks such as bringing peace to the Middle East.

    Comment by NeilM — November 20, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

  27. So they’ve decided to go with…

    … he has no reason not to sit on the back-bench and leak material that will damage Shearer’s supporters and continue to undermine his leadership.

    Excuse me, I’ve got to go and bang my head on the table for a bit.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — November 20, 2012 @ 7:09 pm

  28. “maybe he got lucky at the time having Clark and Cullen as mentors.”

    could have been luck or it could have been well-managed government with effective leadership. something neither big party can boast about atm.

    Comment by nommopilot — November 20, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

  29. It is a bit disturbing that media speculation appears to be driving political reality.
    The Cunliff/ Shearer thing is almost irrelevant.

    Where the hell the were the Labour Party voters in the last two general elections?

    Caucus members and their reliance on focus groups and internal gossip have long lost touch with their electoral roots, let alone their party membership.

    Media gossipists do not have any authority. At best they are observers.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — November 20, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

  30. “Media gossipists do not have any authority. ”

    If only Labour had a leader that could show some authority: “We’ve actually just announced some really important policy that deserves to be talked about and I refuse to enter into political games. Let’s start talking about our CGT”

    Instead he’s trying for “Respec’ Maa Authoritaa” and coming across like an insecure stool pidgeon.

    I don’t understand why Shearer and his people allowed this to distract from what should have been an opportunity to get their policy in the media. The media obviously aren’t blameless in this, but it seems like the Labour caucus are doing nothing to try and refocus things back onto the very important things that apparently also took place there.

    Comment by nommopilot — November 20, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

  31. Agree with Nommopilot.

    And what really grates is that for the past few days the Shearer Team have been very good at generating media coverage, setting the agenda, inserting the snappy soundbites, being totally on-message and so … they got the result they wanted.

    Which is what we’ve been begging them to do for the past four years. They’ve been really bad at Comms 101 … until it was time to fight for their own political lives.

    If only they fought National – no, fought for us – with the same passion.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — November 20, 2012 @ 10:40 pm

  32. Sammy nailed it at 10.40 pm.

    Comment by Lee C — November 21, 2012 @ 6:21 am

  33. If only Labour had a leader that could show some authority: “We’ve actually just announced some really important policy that deserves to be talked about and I refuse to enter into political games. Let’s start talking about our CGT”

    Yes. Exactly this. They just blew whatever opportunities the conference gave them by letting media clowns like Gower and Garner stampede them whichever way said clowns want. The senior Labour MPs now look even less like a potential govt than they did a few weeks ago.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — November 21, 2012 @ 7:33 am

  34. So it’s all Gowers fault? That reminds me of this.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — November 21, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

  35. Vernon Small knows what is going to happen to Cunliffe at the meeting, why does he know?
    The outcome was exactly as he said it would be, so who has leaked ?

    Comment by anne — November 24, 2012 @ 1:11 pm


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