The Dim-Post

September 6, 2013

Labour leadership punditry, 2011 edition

Filed under: media,Politics — danylmc @ 7:34 am

For the last few years Bryce Edwards has been aggregating media and blog writing about New Zealand politics into his NZ Politics Daily column. Turns out a lot of these are online at his blog, and if you get out of bed early enough you can read through the entries relevant to the 2011 Labour leadership race and see who predicted what.

Firstly, the conventional wisdom of the left-wing blogosphere has it that Shearer was the right’s candidate. But a lot of left-wing people supported Shearer. Here’s Matt McCarten, here’s Chris Trotter:

In David Shearer Labour has already found its Kevin Costner. If the caucus will only let him build Kiwi voters a new “field of dreams” – they will come.

Bahahahahaha. Here’s Keith Ng, who, to be fair, seemed more anti-Cunliffe than pro-Shearer. Here’s Lew. And I wrote:

I think both of the contenders in the Labour leadership will (probably) be strong leaders, so while I’m tepidly pro-Shearer, I’m not staunchly anti-Cunliffe. (I do think his choice of Deputy is daft – although obviously it makes tactical sense within the hermetically sealed world of the Labour caucus.)

Anyway, one of the criticisms leveled against Shearer is that he isn’t – or won’t be – ‘strong in the House’, meaning Question Time in Parliament. That may be true, but it ain’t a drawback. The Prime Minister is reliably awful in the House and he’s our most popular politician ever. The House doesn’t matter. Lack of experience or presence in it is not a deal-breaker.

Bahahahaha.

It’s also entered into left-wing, online mythology that Shearer was endorsed by Matthew Hooton, Cathy Odgers and David Farrar. But Odgers actually endorsed Cunliffe. David Farrar vigorously promoted Shearer, and wrote in his December Herald column:

I think a David Shearer led Labour Party will pose more of a threat to National, than any alternative leader.

Wow, that sounds really familiar! I can’t find Hooton’s endorsement – I’m pretty sure there was one – but in a bonus ‘Matthew Hooton is wrong about everything’ link, here he is predicting that the Greens would be a ‘crucial’ component of the post 2011 National government, and that Key would entice Russel Norman with ‘policy sweeteners’ to sideline the ACT Party.

The worst prediction of all goes to Patrick Gower, who endorsed Shearer as the savior of the Labour party – he described Shearer as a fighter who had the common touch which, again, sounds really familiar – but confidently predicted Labour would never make him leader because he’d shake up the party too much.  Second best prediction goes to Dr Brian Edwards who (famously) wrote:

Shearer has had nearly three years to demonstrate his skill as a debater and about a fortnight to provide some evidence of competence in handling the media. He has done neither. His television appearances have bordered on the embarrassing. He lacks fluency and fails to project confidence or authority. Watching him makes you feel nervous and uncomfortable – a fatal flaw.

My instinct is that the Labour Party is about to make a huge mistake. Their logic, I suspect, is that they must replace an unpopular leader with a popular leader. But it is shallow thinking. What the next Leader of the Opposition must be able to do is best and bring down John Key. That really isn’t a job for ‘a nice guy’.

Best prediction/commentary goes to someone called Jadis, who was writing stuff on DPF’s blog while he was on holiday in Africa:

My learned Labour contacts suggested to me before the vote even took place that it didn’t really matter all that much who was elected Leader of Labour.  Their view was that the victor would never be the next Labour Prime Minister.  We are seeing Labour lurch from Phil ‘fill-in’ Goff to another fill-in guy.  Shearer’s going to find it tough.  He’s backed more by Labour’s old guard but without the real depth of relationships (or indeed institutional knowledge of the Party) while needing to reach out to the more progressive members of the Party.  Shearer has a timeline worse than English ever had.  Shearer may not even see an election.

Let’s hear more from her.

59 Comments »

  1. Shearer was the candidate of the right. His core support – and those who put him up to it – were Phil Goff, Annette King and the rest of the old guard. He also got support from Grant Robertson and his followers in a deal for deputy, but this was purely pragmatic.

    The new candidate of the right is Shane Jones, and he has exactly the same support base in caucus that Shearer did. I don’t think there’s any conspiracy going on, but it’s interesting the media commentariat has decided to strongly back Jones this time, just as they did Shearer last time.

    As for McCarten and Trotter, they’re idiots. For McCarten it was personal, and Trotter changes who he supports on a fortnightly basis. Neither are members of the Labour Party.

    Comment by Daveo — September 6, 2013 @ 8:02 am

  2. I was sucked in by the Shearer back story and thought the rest would be but a matter of media trading. Second worst call in my life.

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 6, 2013 @ 8:11 am

  3. Just a matter of time, and the Marketing Army will already be in top Adjective Search gear. By 2011 SMARMY and SMUG had successfully neutered Cunners, and MUMBLEFUCK has now done its job. RUTHLESS or AMBITIOUS might make a comeback, but we’ll have to wait for Paddy and the clip editors. Or a polite provocateur might drop it right here. Money on COLD and WEALTHY.

    Comment by ak — September 6, 2013 @ 8:15 am

  4. There’s a lot of crow to be eaten re: Shearer.

    Comment by Hugh — September 6, 2013 @ 8:21 am

  5. In David Shearer Labour has already found its Kevin Costner.

    To be fair to Chris Totter (hey, someone has to be!), given Costner’s post-Waterworld career, this wasn’t an entirely inaccurate claim … .

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — September 6, 2013 @ 8:49 am

  6. Re: Hooton and Shearer – I think he may have been the first pundit to endorse him for leader, immediately after the by-election win in 2009
    See this post by-election clip of them together: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufdLEX4Fa6s

    Comment by Mike — September 6, 2013 @ 9:01 am

  7. Matthew Hooton did a piece – quite a good one, actually – a while back saying why he was wrong about Shearer.

    Not as if he hasn’t called attention to it.

    Print edition of NBR, probably not online.

    Comment by Rob Hosking — September 6, 2013 @ 9:08 am

  8. Yes, Trotter wrote a similar piece. Most of the pundits in my list did. The point is that literally ANYONE can get things wrong and then justify it ad hoc, but these people are (mostly) paid to get things right. Looking back through Bryce’s archives it quickly becomes very obvious that most of our political pundits are usually wrong about everything (‘Make no mistake Hilary. This Mighty River Sale will be popular, and it will be a success.’)

    Comment by danylmc — September 6, 2013 @ 9:13 am

  9. “…it quickly becomes very obvious that most of our political pundits are usually wrong about everything…”

    Our spies only ever spy illegally, and only on us.

    Our police force always discontinues the high speed pursuit 60 seconds before the fatal crash, something the IPCC never finds suspicious.

    Our business elite are wedded to a zombie economic theory and are an unattractive bunch of crony monopolists, white collar thieves or both.

    We are truly doomed.

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 6, 2013 @ 9:20 am

  10. 2.I was sucked in by the Shearer back story and thought the rest would be but a matter of media trading. Second worst call in my life.

    Sanc, don’t leave us hanging….

    Comment by Phil — September 6, 2013 @ 9:25 am

  11. My guess it was that first vote for labour that gave us PM Lange and his merry men

    Comment by Raymond A Francis — September 6, 2013 @ 9:38 am

  12. “… but these people are (mostly) paid to get things right”

    Are they?

    I mean, I’d accept that they’re presented as if they’re being paid to get things right. Few people would probably pay attention otherwise.

    Comment by izogi — September 6, 2013 @ 9:43 am

  13. “…Sanc, don’t leave us hanging….”

    Oh, first worst call ever was a woman.

    It is always a woman.

    I am going away to sob silently in the loos now.

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 6, 2013 @ 9:43 am

  14. Pundits are not primarily paid to get it right – there would be a completely different cast if that were the case. They are paid – in money or clicks or links or likes – to be entertaining and provocative. Getting it right is definitely a secondary priority.

    Comment by Tinakori — September 6, 2013 @ 10:53 am

  15. Rubbing salt in the wounds, are you?

    Comment by Daniel Lang — September 6, 2013 @ 10:56 am

  16. Pundits are not primarily paid to get it right – there would be a completely different cast if that were the case. They are paid – in money or clicks or links or likes – to be entertaining and provocative. Getting it right is definitely a secondary priority.

    SOME of us “pundits” have higher goals than this.

    But then, we don’t get any money. Or very many clicks/links. And definitely not much like. Sigh.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — September 6, 2013 @ 11:13 am

  17. But then, we don’t get any money. Or very many clicks/links. And definitely not much like. Sigh.

    You need to talk to your agent, AG.

    Comment by Gregor W — September 6, 2013 @ 11:15 am

  18. You need to talk to your agent, AG.

    She stopped taking my calls when she worked out what 10% of nothing amounts to.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — September 6, 2013 @ 11:19 am

  19. Incidentally, where IS David Shearer? Ex-leaders can disappear pretty fast, but has it ever happened while a leader is still in the job?

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — September 6, 2013 @ 11:26 am

  20. “But then, we don’t get any money. Or very many clicks/links.”

    I think it’s because you don’t display a photo of yourself clearly wearing a neck tie.

    Comment by izogi — September 6, 2013 @ 11:32 am

  21. I think it’s because you don’t display a photo of yourself clearly wearing a neck tie.

    I was going for the whole Toby Manhire casually-dishevelled, broodingly-looming-towards-the-camera vibe (http://www.listener.co.nz/author/toby-manhire/). But I guess it doesn’t work if you haven’t got the flowing dark locks and cosmopolitan backstory … .

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — September 6, 2013 @ 11:40 am

  22. Flowing dark locks are for wimps and commies.

    - Redbaiter.

    Comment by Gregor W — September 6, 2013 @ 11:46 am

  23. “… she worked out what 10%…”

    10%? Just 10%? PAH, the witch took me for everything I had!

    *sobs some more*

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 6, 2013 @ 12:12 pm

  24. Tear yourselves apart bitches…

    (BTW, Gregor, you’re a coward.)

    Comment by Redbaiter — September 6, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

  25. ipso facto

    Comment by Gregor W — September 6, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

  26. Incidentally, where IS David Shearer?

    Shane Jones “drove him to the airport”.

    Comment by Auto_Immune — September 6, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

  27. Here’s my favourite prediction, from 2000:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

    According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become a very rare and exciting event.
    “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — September 6, 2013 @ 2:00 pm

  28. #13 and #23

    My first worst call was also a woman. My second worst was also a woman. Count your blessings….

    Comment by PPCM — September 6, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

  29. “…Tear yourselves apart bitches…”

    You should write lyrics for Robin Thicke.

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 6, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

  30. “Incidentally, where IS David Shearer?”

    According to Toby Manhire, seen walking dog on Auckland beach, looking very relaxed and happy.

    Comment by Rob Hosking — September 6, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

  31. Having had our curiosity about Sanctuary’s tragic life choices sated, ….. actually, you can see how the MSM get hooked into that kinda thing… ;)

    Totally agree with Daveo’s prognostications; Shearer is the man of the liberal capitalists. Cunliffe has superbly reinvented himself from free marketeer to Keynesian/interventionist capitalist, and Robertson is the identity politics faction’s man.

    But really, what can any leader do for Labour unless the caucus and party back a different economic platform to that of National? Goff failed in large part on the ‘no asset sales’ new policy of Labour because he was tainted by asset sales in his and Labour’s past. Shearer may have been the working clas lad who wouldn’t nanny state us, but that is undermined by MPs like Steve Chadwick pushing decriminalised abortion and Louisa Wall’s gay marriage. No caucus discipline, and a caucus divorced from party member’s policy demands mean this leadership contest could be a meaningless farce within a few months.

    There, that’s your daily Labour doom and gloom ;)

    Comment by bob — September 6, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

  32. “Incidentally, where IS David Shearer?”

    According to Toby Manhire, seen walking dog on Auckland beach, looking very relaxed and happy.

    So, like a guy painting his roof, except getting paid far more and doing less work. Good to know.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — September 6, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

  33. Prediction is an overrated activity.

    Outside some technical areas, most prediction is basically guesswork with a fairly low strike rate.

    The best way to elevate your strike rate above the other guy’s is to have insider knowledge.

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — September 6, 2013 @ 5:29 pm

  34. Corollary: if you don’t have insider information you probably shouldn’t try to predict public affairs.

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — September 6, 2013 @ 5:31 pm

  35. “But then, we don’t get any money. Or very many clicks/links. And definitely not much like. Sigh”

    Ah, the loneliness of the long distance pundit.

    Comment by Tinakori — September 6, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

  36. >So, like a guy painting his roof, except getting paid far more and doing less work. Good to know.

    LOL. Nice one.

    Re: Hooton for Shearer, I watched iPredict on Stratos leading into the election most nights and Hooton was anointing Shearer as “The next Labour Prime Minister of NZ” several times. Check with Bomber if you want any confirmation.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — September 6, 2013 @ 6:16 pm

  37. History always repeats. We repeatedly make the same mistakes without learning from them. We are stuck in a vicious circle. Our collective memory is shortening day by day. Thank you for pointing this out.

    Comment by nigelsagentinthefield — September 6, 2013 @ 10:35 pm

  38. Key ADJECTIVE Update: ALL-ORGAN ALERT:

    Current am K1 ~DANGEROUS~ early internal adoption trial poll-positive,recc general release stat

    Current am Paddy ~VICIOUS~ ref RUTHLESS link, hold SMARMY SMUG DO-GOODER, incompatible in interim

    RISK: ref Risk Register below:

    *AAA1; Negative politics warning. Opposition acknowledged as threat (dangerous) for internal motivation only. Recc hold .Maintain PUSH JONES, await GSCB C dossier,

    Comment by ak — September 6, 2013 @ 10:53 pm

  39. Flowing dark locks are for Aaron Gilmore.

    And Steve Chadwick hasn’t been in office since 2008, and was never an MP in the period Shearer was.

    That is all.

    Comment by the pigman — September 6, 2013 @ 11:30 pm

  40. Correction, Chadwick left Parliament in 2011. Still before Shearer became leader, so I’m not sure how she undermined Shearer’s working class credentials as you say..

    Comment by the pigman — September 6, 2013 @ 11:32 pm

  41. Pigman, the point was that rogue MP’s like Wall & Chadwick before her (and pre-Shearer) have consistently undermined Labour’s unity and team front. Winston alluded to Wall slipping her Member’s Bill in the ballot without Shearer knowing, ambushing him with a divisive issue that took attention off the economic issues Labour was trying to nail Nats on, etc. If Chadwick had remained an MP she was going to do the same to decriminalise abortion.

    This shooting of both Labour feet happens over and over, *because* there is no unity in their caucus and between their caucus and party members. The members are pretty disciplined, caucus not so much. Like in Oz Labor, they would rather lose than pull together as a team.

    Comment by bob — September 8, 2013 @ 12:00 am

  42. Wall is a rogue MP because she supports gay marriage…well, based on that logic, most of Parliament comprises rogue MPs because it voted for gay marriage.Talk about a straw man!

    By the way, how is legalising gay marriage nanny state? In other words, how does gay marriage affect YOU?

    Comment by Ross — September 8, 2013 @ 7:53 am

  43. Good point, Ross. Decriminalising abortion is even less “nanny state”: it will get the state out of women’s reproductive decisions.

    Comment by Laura — September 8, 2013 @ 8:56 am

  44. Same sex marriage/abortion reform is “nanny state” on the following logic.

    (1) “Nanny state” stuff is bad,
    (2) Same sex marriage and abortion reform is bad,
    (3) Therefore, they are nanny state stuff.

    QED.

    Comment by Flashing Light — September 8, 2013 @ 1:52 pm

  45. ” *because* there is no unity in their caucus”

    so exactly like national before the backers said “this key chap will do nicely – OK? cool” then.

    Once national loses, Key will leave – then out will come the blue handled knives.
    Im pretty sure when that happens labour would have finished with their complimentary “steak” knives (and the free DVD) and all that will be needed is a coat of paint

    isnt part of your time in opposition about a bit of in fighting, regardless of left/right/conservative/liberal/sasquatch?

    Comment by framu — September 9, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

  46. @ framu – sure, a bit of blood is okay, so long as a party is genuinely sorting out their future policy direction and caucus talent lineup. Labour now seem to be doing that, which is very good; their previous blood-lettings have dodged the issues they got kicked out of govt for.

    Which included the right-wing meme of Labour being ‘nanny state’, which is mostly a load of BS, but Labour were successfully tainted with that brand by Nats shills like Hooten , Farrar and Slater. Especially given how quietky interventionist Key has been…

    So, Flashing Light is kinda right, but I wasn’t saying that. ‘Nanny state’ was just a right-wing meme, disconnected from reality. Gay marriage (and Chadwick’s total legalisation of abortion, Maryann Street’s euthanasia Bill) are not nanny state, and I nenver claimed that; they are examples of Bills that backbench Labour MPs pushed against party HQ wishes (because they may match Labour MPs views, but are divisive among the wider public who Labour want to swing back and vote for them).

    But specifically Laura, abortion is the ultimate nanny state decision – the state endorses and funds and provides the termination of unborn babies’ lives. That is the ultimate ‘nanny intervention’ in that baby’s life, huh? Sure the mother can choose, but not the baby…. That of course, depends on whether you believe an unborn baby is a living human being distinct from the mother, which science kinda does show (look at the blood type and DNA – the latter is always different to the mothers).

    Comment by bob — September 9, 2013 @ 3:53 pm

  47. bob – yeah kinda agree with all that – im more talking about the other meme, that labour are dis-united because they are labour. When its really a symptom of losing power

    but re – abortion, is making something available an intervention? Surely it would need to be forced to be an intervention.
    I dont see how offering something to the populace that a significant number of citizens both want and use (as long as that option isnt forced onto others) can in anyway be called an intervention or nannystate.

    and in a weird way – isnt making something illegal an intervention via the denial of the option?

    “you cant do that, and if you do we’ll lock you up” is surely way more invasive than “you can do this, if you choose to”

    Comment by framu — September 9, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

  48. Gay marriage (and Chadwick’s total legalisation of abortion, Maryann Street’s euthanasia Bill) are not nanny state, and I nenver claimed that…

    But you did say “Shearer may have been the working clas lad who wouldn’t nanny state us, but that is undermined by MPs like Steve Chadwick pushing decriminalised abortion and Louisa Wall’s gay marriage.” Which certainly seemed to link abortion/gay marriage with the “nanny state”.

    Semantics aside – what you seem to be saying is that Labour MPs shouldn’t promote things that matter to them and that actually are very popular amongst the population at large because a smaller group within Labour don’t like those policies and … unity. Which kind of begs the question – who is the problem here? People like Louisa Wall and Steve Chadwick, or you? Because if unity is all, then why aren’t you doing your class duty and proudly proclaiming how happy you are that Labour was the vehicle for bringing same-sex marriage to New Zealand?

    Comment by Flashing Light — September 9, 2013 @ 4:49 pm

  49. @framu & bob,

    My perception is that one thing national has always been better at is coups.
    Put it this way, the infighting of the Moore-Clark and Goff-Shearer-DC/SJ/GR era seems much more open conflict in comparison to the relatively swift and quiet removal of Bolger, then Shipley, then English, then Brash.

    Comment by Phil — September 9, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

  50. @Flashing: I kind of get what’s being said here, although I may be putting a sympathetic cast on it.

    It’s true that Wall and Chadwick’s members bills didn’t fit into Labour’s overall strategy. This could easily be seen as a problem with Labour’s strategy, rather than Wall and Chadwick, though.

    Comment by Hugh — September 9, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

  51. Phil – I suspect it’s because the right view politics as a function, a means to and end that should be disrupted as little as possible, whereas the left like to position themselves as constant revolutionaries, with all the factionalism and infighting that goes with it.

    Comment by Gregor W — September 9, 2013 @ 11:06 pm

  52. Phil & Gregor – yes, but also because the right wing have always dangled carrots of later jobs/rewards for leaders/members who go quietly. Witness Georgina te HeuHeu, Bolger, Shipley, etc. Winder where Aaron Glimore will turn up? (I pick Alcohol Advisory Board…hehe)

    Flashing Light – with regard to:
    “Which certainly seemed to link abortion/gay marriage with the “nanny state”.
    Not unless you see linking as mentioning two things in the same sentence. Shearer (& Goff) were supposed to shake off the nanny state meme Clark had been tagged with. My comments on Wall, Chadwick, Street were about their refusal to adhere to normal Labour process for promoting policy positions. That’s disunity.

    Which is where Hugh’s point comes in – we/Labour/any party decide what is and is not part of their strategy by some kind of democratic process. Wall et al bypassed all that, which is why I picked those examples. It would be a different, and legitimate, process (though it may not change my view on those issues) if Wall or Chadwick or Street had followed a grassroots campaign with remits to regional and national policy bodies to change party policy or promote a Bill as needing to be pushed by the party right now. But they didn’t really do that, which is why Winston was laughing at Shearer being ambushed by his own MPs. No wonder the poor bugger quit.

    @ framu – yes, you are correct. Any action (for or against) by the state is an intervention, which just reveals how ludicrous the ‘nanny state’ meme truly is. So banning abortion is just as interventionist as enabling it. I would say ‘just as’ interventionist, because NZ history shows the pro-abortion camp are not happy with simply saying ‘abortion is legal’. They have and currently are campaigning to:
    - force medical practitioners to offer abortions in all geographic areas (other wise abortion isn’t really ‘available’), overriding conscience for medical staff. Bill English’s wife Mary and a group of GPs won a court battle stopping the Medical Council from issuing new guidelines that would have pushed this.
    - massively promoting abortion as a ‘solution’ to teen & ‘unwanted’ pregnancy, etc despite decades of evidence showing that doesn’t work. When our tax dollars are spent merrily pushing abortion (and I know DHB staff doing this), that’s intervention.
    - ignoring the human rights of the most defenceless humans – unborn children. Like I said, DNA is incontrovertible. People can disagree on that, but it is pretty interventionist for the state to promote a ‘medical procedure’ which ends the life (if you believe unborn babies are alive) of it’s people.

    So I’m happy as Larry for the state to intervene in all kinds of things; for me the gold standard is that the state should be caring for it’s people, not harming them. Which is often framed around what we define as human rights, which is why it’s such a sharp debate around issues like gay marriage and abortion, as they are at the crux of competing human rights (gay rights vs religious freedom, women’s ‘reproductive’ rights vs baby’s right to life, etc).

    Whew! Hope that’s useful clarification. I’m off to do some work ;)

    Comment by bob — September 10, 2013 @ 2:07 pm

  53. bob,

    Here’s Charles Chauvel, talking to the Gay Express newspaper before the 2011 election: ““It’s our policy to open up the right to marriage so that people can make the choice,” says Charles. “I imagine there will be some who have some difficulty with that, but it’s consistent with our commitment to equality.””

    So perhaps you need to actually check what Labour’s policies are before you start saying people are acting inconsistently with them? And furthermore, now you know it was Labour’s official policy, perhaps you ought to put the Party before your own personal beliefs and just accept it? After all, it would be the unifying thing to do … .

    Comment by Flashing Light — September 10, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

  54. 52.Phil & Gregor – yes, but also because the right wing have always dangled carrots of later jobs/rewards for leaders/members who go quietly. Witness Georgina te HeuHeu, Bolger, Shipley, etc.

    You might have a good point if we’d never seen Labour flunkies get some of that sweet, sweet, post-parliamentary gravy train…

    Comment by Phil — September 10, 2013 @ 3:58 pm

  55. Chris Carter, Helen Clarke, Michael Cullen…

    Comment by Clunking Fist — September 12, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

  56. Sweet, sweet candy

    Comment by TransportationDevice A7-98.1 — September 12, 2013 @ 1:12 pm

  57. Comment by TransportationDevice A7-98.1 — September 12, 2013 @ 1:12 pm

  58. Fair point about Labour flunkies Phil, but Clunking my friend, you have erred in your examples: Cullen was given gravy by the Nats, and Clark and Carter went off under their own steam to the UN, which was outside the power of NZ Labour to organise for them! (okay, Clark chucked a liferaft for Carter and Chauvel, but still). Besides, my point wasn’t that Labour MPs don’t get gravy after they leave Parliament, just that the Nats are better at sorting it for their friends than Labour, which is one reason the Nats have better loyalty.

    Flashing Light – but Chauvel was not ambushing his leader by talking about already decided gay marriage Labour policy; Wall ambushed Shearer by dropping her Members Bill in the ballot without getting head office clearance. And while Labour (and Greens and Mana) have all kinds of liberal left policy, they choose which ones to push at which time. All I was saying is that Labour’s core problem is a big chunk of their caucus don’t want to follow the playlist their coach picks, but want to pick whichever move they did in practise that each MP liked the most, which kinda ruins on-field cohesion…

    Oh, and I’m not a Labour member. I realise my poor grammar may have misled you into thinking that. Sorry (but not sorry I’m not in Labour ;) ).

    Comment by bob — September 12, 2013 @ 11:52 pm

  59. I don’t think any party’s membership, or supporters, have a monopoly on poor grammar.

    Comment by izogi — September 13, 2013 @ 7:18 am


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