The Dim-Post

September 19, 2013

Conspiracy theory of the day

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 9:55 am

David Cunliffe continues to demonstrate his weakness as Labour leader by hiring staff he knows and trusts and appointing whips that haven’t publicly denounced him. Yesterday he appointed Auckland based lawyer Wendy Brandon as his Chief of Staff, but what’s interesting is that rumors of alternate candidates kept popping up in various places. Gallery journalists were tweeting that it was going to be Chris Harrington or, alternately, ‘some guy called Karl’, WhaleOil confidently announced that it was someone called Sarah Clark.

Maybe that was all just fabrication, but I wonder if Cunliffe and his team are employing a little counter-intelligence here, confidentially advising Labour MPs and staffers with bits of disinformation and then waiting to see which false rumors pop up where. If you tell one of your staffers something and it shows up on WhaleOil or Kiwiblog, that’s probably not someone with the best interests of the party at heart, which makes re-appointment decisions real easy.


  1. There does seem to be a new breeze, and a lot of previously open doors seem to be slamming shut in it…

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 19, 2013 @ 9:59 am

  2. Cunliffe does look a bit like Tyrion.

    Comment by pete — September 19, 2013 @ 9:59 am

  3. Tyrion pulls this trick with Varys, Littlefinger and Grand Maester Pycelle.

    Labour leakers better watch out or they’ll find themselves in the oubliette with their beard cut off.

    Comment by Tim Denee — September 19, 2013 @ 9:59 am

  4. Oh and Cameron Slater is a proven liar who makes shit up, so hardly a surprise there.

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 19, 2013 @ 9:59 am

  5. I hope whoever maintains the spreadsheet with all the factoids and who got them is trustworthy.


    Comment by Lew (@LewSOS) — September 19, 2013 @ 10:03 am

  6. Tyrion pulls this trick with Varys, Littlefinger and Grand Maester Pycelle.

    I was thinking of JJ Angleton trying to track down the Cambridge Ring. I fail my geek roll.

    Comment by danylmc — September 19, 2013 @ 10:05 am

  7. Chris Harrington worked on his campaign didn’t he? That might be where that rumour came from.

    Comment by The Ruminator — September 19, 2013 @ 10:32 am

  8. Angleton turning out to be bugfuck crazy and massively degrading the efficacy of the CIA suggests this way of managing personnel may not be ideal.

    Comment by The Fan Club — September 19, 2013 @ 11:31 am

  9. I am still not sure where on the political spectrum Cunliffe actually sits, but reading Barry Soper today reinforces my sneaking suspicion that the main reason there is an ABC club in parliament is Cunliffe has the background to identify, and call time on, a lot of well-entrenched and self-important B-grade mediocrity who think they are the dynamic, A-team high performers.

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 19, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

  10. I don’t think it is a disinformation campaign. People just like to speculate. As it happens Chris has been hired as a press sec for DC and I think (not sure) Carl may be Dep Chief of Staff. The rumours about Clark and one other ex staffer are based on what I understand to be be their very indiscrete lobbying to get the job.

    A credit to DC that so many people wanted to be his Chief of Staff.

    Comment by dpf — September 19, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

  11. I understand Chris says he has not been hired as a press secretary. I was going on the basis that his name tag at the Ideas Shop Party said “:Office of the Leader of the Opposition” which as you can imagine I took to mean he had been.

    Comment by dpf — September 19, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

  12. “wrongnado”

    Comment by MeToo — September 19, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

  13. I’m very impressed with what’s been said about Brandon. Her seniority and experience are useful, and she seems to have an excellent temperament and a record of managing sensitive and demanding organisations. That she has history with Cunliffe and presumably a high degree of built trust makes her even more indispensable.

    Cunliffe needs an H2, and this woman should take on at least some of that role.

    Comment by George D — September 19, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

  14. I don’t know if the Angleton strategy really helps. Realistically I don’t think it’s possible to totally prevent leaks. In the words of Malcolm Tucker, dark shit has a way of getting out. It’s better to put oneself in a position, politically and strategically, where leaks don’t matter.

    Comment by Hugh — September 19, 2013 @ 5:50 pm

  15. I do so hope you are correct in your conjecture. the LP is in pretty shaky shape, largely due to a self serving caucus. Any remaining rat moles need to be flushed out.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — September 19, 2013 @ 7:35 pm

  16. I’ve got a conspiracy theory. David Cunliffe is associated with the Freemasons. He has a family tie to Richard Seddon and Richard Seddon was a Freemason. The Freemasons advertise this when they are out in public trying to get new members. Sir Keith Holyoake was also a Freemason.

    Comment by Daniel Lang — September 28, 2013 @ 9:28 am

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