The Dim-Post

August 30, 2011

Clown show watch

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 3:04 pm

Via Stuff:

Labour Leader Phil Goff is refusing to accept his party’s poor popularity saying its bad polling is because people aren’t focused on the issues.

He continued to deny rumours he asked his colleagues whether he should stand down as leader.

“People aren’t focused on the issues at the moment and we need to focus on the electorate, on those issues, once the world cup is behind us and the election campaign is underway.”

Meanwhile, in totally unrelated news, Shane Jones was on The Nation last weekend implying that David Cunliffe was behind the recent caucus leaks, and today Trevor Mallard has hinted to gallery journalists that Shane Jones was the culprit*.

Anyway, leadership spat aside, I was more intrigued by these comments made by Jones during his interview with Garner:

Duncan So if you win the seat you have said that you want to play a bigger role in the party?

Shane Sure.

Duncan What sort of role?

Shane Oh no I think that – there’s a couple of things that I’d like to think we can do going forward etc. Number one is never ever be afraid to project why we really exist, but secondly is, there has been a misapprehension grow that we the Labour Party or parties of the left, are parties of big government, and the country doesn’t have an appetite for big government.

Maybe it’s just rhetoric, but I have heard from my own leakers in the Labour Party that Jones is ‘to the right of ACT’, as well as being socially conservative.

The other question to ponder here is why someone – Cunliffe, Jones, whoever – is leaking to undermine their own leader prior to the election. Goff will announce his resignation on election night or a couple of days later – why stab him in the back now?

Is it possible that some of the MPs lower down on the list are in a rival camp to whoever leaked, and that while losing those MPs (Nash, Sepuloni, Davis) might be bad for the party, it’d be highly advantageous for someone with leadership ambitions who doesn’t enjoy their support? Is anyone that devious?

Update: Trevor Mallard insists he was pointing to the men’s room, not Mr Jones’ office as the place where the leak occurred.


  1. Another possibility is that nobody in the Labour Party really has any idea what they’re doing. Based on the party’s record, this is more likely than the other Machiavellian scenarios

    Comment by Matthew — August 30, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

  2. Maybe your ‘sources’ are tied to those trying to discredit Jones

    Comment by Brad Gibbons — August 30, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

  3. Poor Phil Goff.

    42 problems and a bitch aint one.

    Comment by Gregor W — August 30, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

  4. It says something that, when a Labour MP talks about leaks, the last place a journo thinks they are talking about is the restroom…

    And continuing the trainwreck – yet another foot-in-mouth moment from Labour makes this post – about Labour’s inept media skills – the top story on DimPost, instead of the next post down, which is about National’s quake estimates being half what they are now saying. Which is pretty bad for self-proclaimed economic geniuses.

    Perhaps the nation could shout the Labour caucus one-way tickets to the Galapagos til after the election, and appoint Sonny Bill Williams to run their campaign in absentia (I understand he’s free after the RWC). Anthony Mndine and Khoder Nasser would liven up things a bit, perhaps bring in David Tua to face off against McCully,….

    Comment by bob — August 30, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

  5. The Clown Show continues.

    Yet again, the story is about irrelevant things, because insiders decide that this is what the story is.

    Comment by George D — August 30, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

  6. Duncan Garner is obsessed with Labour leadership. You could show him a policy document that said National intended to shoot every farmer in the country, and he’d still find a way to make it about Phil Goff.

    Comment by George D — August 30, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

  7. National has guzzumped labour with it’s ‘shooting farmers’ policy, leaving the CGT looking weak and ineffectual in comparison. Much like Goff’s leadership.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — August 30, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

  8. Yes, it’s an insider/Garner irrelevance, but … why has it made it into the media in the first place?

    Answer: because of Shane Jones. On Saturday, I actually watched ‘The Nation’ (sad but true). Before Jones, there were three lesser-known Labour MPs being interviewed together (Sepuloni, Nash, Beaumont, I think). These Labour MPs simply did their job. They wouldn’t have converted many swing voters (none watch The Nation anyway), but they stayed dutifully on message, and didn’t stuff up. So there was no “disunity” story for anyone to beat up. Basic discipline, campaigning 101. Everyone understands this …

    … except Shane Jones. He was the next interview, and duly handed out the free ammo to Duncan Garner, Audrey Young and anyone else who wanted some.

    He is a fuckwit, but worse, a fuckwit who genuinely thinks he’s smarter than the non-fuckwits. Time and again, he demonstrates that he isn’t.

    Comment by sammy — August 30, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

  9. “You could show him a policy document that said National intended to shoot every farmer in the country”
    Nah, National support for ETS is old news. And with an ETS, it’s the poor who get shot the most.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — August 30, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

  10. “… and today Trevor Mallard has hinted to gallery journalists that Shane Jones was the culprit*
    Update: Trevor Mallard insists he was pointing to the men’s room, not Mr Jones’ office as the place where the leak occurred.”

    On 3 News tonight there was a clip of journalists asking Mallard where the leaks were coming from. He gave a nod towards where the bathrooms are, and said something to the effect of “Looking for leaks? Well, that’s where you find leaks”.

    It seemed pretty frickin’ obvious that he was making a pee joke (in much the same way as his “darling” retort to the question of which “camp” he was in was a gay joke). But Gower chose to run with “Mallard denies fingering leaky Jones” rather than “Mallard has a wee laugh”. Bet Gower’s regretting it now. Missed out on gems like “… but it seems as though it’s Labour’s election hopes which are in the toilet”, etc etc…

    Comment by FFS, really? — August 30, 2011 @ 8:26 pm

  11. sammy, I watched The Nation (repeat on Sunday) and I thought Jones sounded better than the three policy parrots – at least he sounded like he was talking for himself (probably too much for himself) and didn’t sound like a slogan loop.

    Comment by Pete George — August 30, 2011 @ 8:30 pm

  12. Being able to pass spin off as “talking for himself” does not stop him being a fuckwit. Just look at our PM

    Comment by Myles thomas — August 30, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

  13. Unfortunately for Trevor, Shane Jones’ parliamentary office is directly opposite the toilets on that floor.
    Or perhaps that’s exactly what he meant…

    Comment by Mike — August 30, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

  14. Labour Leader Phil Goff is refusing to accept his party’s poor popularity saying its bad polling is because people aren’t focused on the issues.

    Yeah, might be a little easier to focus if your senior spokesmen (and campaign strategist) weren’t sniping at each other in front of live cameras. If John Key isn’t pinching himself at the wonderful birthday present, he should be.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — August 30, 2011 @ 10:58 pm

  15. I’m still perplexed by Jones’ actual policy stances. I know Matt McCarten rates him as a good guy…it’s a mystery

    Comment by Hobbes — August 30, 2011 @ 11:34 pm

  16. @ Hobbes – Shane Jones can’t be bothered with such trivialities as policy stances. He’ll just wow the masses with his off-the-cuff witticisms. Whaddya mean, that’s not enough to be PM?

    Though, ironically, you have exposed what is wrong with Phil Goff. Goff has had 2 1/2 years to get his caucus organised, with decent policy developed, and MPs trained to recite their policy stances to anyone with a microphone, yet….. we are treated to the unedifying sight of an open leadership jostle between Cunliffe, Jones & Mallard (which reveals none of them expect Labour to win).

    Perhaps we should all just ignore Labour entirely, and say nothing about them. But they’re kinda like reality TV – so bad you can’t drag your eyes away from the disaster sequences…

    Comment by bob — August 31, 2011 @ 12:52 am

  17. Clowns distance themselves from Labour antics.

    Comment by will — August 31, 2011 @ 5:13 am

  18. Poor popularity because of Goff. He’s not a leader, he’s a follower. Clark was a leader, that’s why she served as out Prime Minister for three consecutive terms. Key is a reptilian perhaps, appointed by Fay, Richwhite, and the late Rockefeller to be out leader until they destroy the Earth or turn our brains to mush with their cleverly disguised MTV and poisionous soda concoctions (whichever comes first). Goff is one of the ones who drinks the ‘soda’.

    Comment by Gryte — August 31, 2011 @ 10:59 am

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