The Dim-Post

July 20, 2014

Strategic defeat

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 6:49 am

It’s been a shambolic couple of weeks for Labour. They had their congress and launched a major education policy, carefully designed to attack National where they were vulnerable and attract centre voters back to Labour, and they’ve spent every day since then talking about either Moas, or banning cosmetics, or Cunliffe’s ‘man apology’, or changing the burden of proof in rape cases, or Kelvin Davis’ support for the holiday highway, or te reo in schools – with some Labour MPs supporting this and some opposing – ie they’ve been talking about pretty much anything other than the huge new policy they just launched.

And this incoherent disunity is registering with the electorate. All of the polls now have Labour in the mid twenties. on Thursday Labour advisor Rob Salmond wrote:

While I think it would be irresponsible to blame single comments (whether about manhood or moas or whatever else) for the state of things, it is obvious now that there is no room for further slips. Closing this gap within 9 weeks will – at a minimum – require everyone of the left working hard, seamlessly, together, and well.

So, inevitably:

Labour MPS are disgusted by leader David Cunliffe’s skiing holiday just two months before the election and will question his work ethic at a caucus meeting on Tuesday, a senior party insider has told the Sunday Star-Times.

As Labour hit a new polling low of just 23.5 per cent in the latest Stuff/Ipsos poll and data suggested those numbers would climb quickly if its leader quit, Cunliffe took a week’s leave to go skiing in Queenstown. That decision has infuriated a significant number of Labour MPs, the insider claimed.

“A lot of MPs are really f….. off about it,” he said. “They are all working hard up and down the country, and f…… Cunliffe is on holiday. Guys like [Phil] Goff and [Annette] King and [David] Shearer, these guys really want it badly and they are working like their lives depend on it. And I think they are a little incredulous about what the guy is doing.”

Mallard or Hipkins? Probably Mallard. I think what’s happening here is that Cunliffe is signalling that he’ll stay on as leader after the election. ‘Helen Clark lost an election and stayed, and look how that turned out.’ His mechanism for doing so is to bring allies into caucus using the party list. So his enemies – who are electorate MPs – are cheerfully sabotaging their party’s campaign to prevent any new list MPs coming in.

What really gets me about this is that there are hundreds if not thousands of Labour volunteers around the country who are giving up time with their families to go doorknocking or leafleting or staff call centres for the Labour Party because they believe in it and its values, and all that work is being pissed away by the actual MPs, who obviously don’t.

62 Comments »

  1. “His mechanism for doing so is to bring allies into caucus using the party list.”
    Not so much, the number of list MPs Labour will bring in will be low because they are (were?) expected to pick up several electorate seats (Chch Central, Waimak, Kelston, Napier & 2 Maori seats) – so the likely ‘new blood’ on the list is limited to just 1 or 2 (Priyancha Radikrishnan & Rachel Jones) – and they have to get more than 30% for that to happen – and before those two, there are a number of MPs on the list that will not support Cunliffe

    Cunliffe is trying to write a narrative for the activists and the unions to vote him back in over the caucus after the election – “undisciplined caucus, evil MSM out to get me” etc but as the latest Chris Trotter piece shows, it seems like “fool me once, won’t get fooled again” for the nutcase left

    And really, he only has himself to blame for “sorry for being a man” and the Queenstown skiing holiday

    Comment by Mike — July 20, 2014 @ 7:09 am

  2. “all that work is being pissed away by the actual MPs, who obviously don’t.”

    If I was you, Danyl, I’d leave it up to actual Labour supporters to audit who is and isn’t a believer in Labour values.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — July 20, 2014 @ 7:22 am

  3. Mallard or Hipkins? Probably Mallard.

    I reckon. Mallard seems completely blatant about sabotaging the party if it will keep him personally in Parliament.

    …I’d leave it up to actual Labour supporters to audit who is and isn’t a believer in Labour values.

    If Labour activists are happy with this kind of behaviour, it’s no wonder the party’s down in the mid-20s. Personally, I’d be willing to bet they’re not happy with it.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — July 20, 2014 @ 8:00 am

  4. The holiday thing is a good point though, John Key is on a long holiday. Great opportunity to wrestle back the initiative wouldn;t you think?? How much do they really want this?

    Comment by max — July 20, 2014 @ 8:28 am

  5. I’m not a Labour voter or Cunliffe supporter, so feel free to write off what follows as concern-trolling if you must, but BLOODY HELL this is low. Cunliffe has a young family, and is about to work the next 60+ days straight. These school holidays will be the last opportunity he gets to spend any meaningful time with his kids. I think very few people (outside Labour’s ABC club) would actually begrudge Cunliffe taking a week off with his family.

    Comment by Andy M — July 20, 2014 @ 8:44 am

  6. I agree that this morning’s story is utterly unhelpful. But I don’t think there is a Machiavellian “cheerful sabotage” grand-strategy behind it, partly for the reasons Mike gives in comment #1. More likely the insider (no, I do not know who) is stressed out and pissed off and shooting from the hip.

    Comment by Rob Salmond — July 20, 2014 @ 9:12 am

  7. It’s the Labour right. They’re willing to sabotage the party for their own egos and they’ve been undermining Cunliffe from day one.

    It disgusts me.

    Comment by James D — July 20, 2014 @ 9:29 am

  8. Is the insider an MP, or a staffer paraphrasing what MPs are saying?

    Comment by Jeremy R — July 20, 2014 @ 10:01 am

  9. Politicians are creatures of spin. So a holiday (with your tamariki), as others have pointed out, can easily be spun as ‘kids/family friendly ‘ or ‘skiving off’ depending in you desired outcome. One must assume that it is being spun negatively on purpose.

    Rob Salmond’s ‘shooting from the hip’ insider theory (IMHO) doesn’t hold water. You are dealing with people who are political and spin, professionally. You would have to be a ‘grade A’ moron to hurt your election chance like this and not mean it (assuming winning is your goal).

    Odds:

    Mallard 5/3
    Hipkins 2/1
    Robertson 5/1
    Cunliffe 50/1
    Raymond Huo 400/1

    Comment by J Mex — July 20, 2014 @ 10:20 am

  10. Cunliffe needs some monkey heads on spikes. And also someone in his top team who inhaled cos that was the point. Though I guess that might be McCarten…or possibly Metira and Russell

    Comment by sheesh — July 20, 2014 @ 10:27 am

  11. I find it incredible how willing people are to blame every straw in the wind for Cunliffe’s foibles. He makes a lame statement – blame ‘rape culture’ if he’s criticised. He is MIA in support of major policy like education, it’s a media conspiracy, he goes on holiday when he’s supposed to be working twice as hard to win an election, it’s because he’s composing a narrative to get union support. Or, it’s the ‘labour right’ out to ‘get him’. Poor ickle David, we’ll kiss it better for you. Seriously, can you name a single thing this man has achieved during his political career apart from his own rise in the ranks? FFS when are people going to fess up and recognise the elephant in the room? Right here, right now far as Labour are concerned,
    Cunliffe is its problem, not its solution.
    Cunliffe of coursr know s he has a snow ball in hell’s chance of winning, but it’s all about David. That’s why he’ll happily let the troops throw themselves on every grenade.

    Comment by Lee Clark — July 20, 2014 @ 10:33 am

  12. Part of the reason John Key (and Obama for that matter) is popular is he comes across as a rogue, someone who could make a party more interesting- and none of the names mentioned in that article are that, nor for that matter are Cunliffe or Parker- both very sincere guys who love the economics…Maybe sack the whole parliamentary branch (cos that’s possible right?) and get Moira Coatsworth to be President and Leader…

    Comment by sheesh — July 20, 2014 @ 10:38 am

  13. Yeah that’s bullshit Lee Clark. The members voted for him. The caucus on a head to head were just slightly less than Grant. Let him do his job and stop running off to the media like some spoilt brat. I think there’s been one name in the firing line recently and constantly under attack- and again it hasn’t been any of the names in that article.

    Comment by sheesh — July 20, 2014 @ 10:44 am

  14. Any chance that the insider is Cameron Slater? This is a beat-up and I am surprised that Danyl is willing to promote it. National strategy is to look for an angle, leak it to the Press and by the time it is found that David is still working and meeting and planning, the damage has been done – again.

    Comment by xianmac — July 20, 2014 @ 10:53 am

  15. Rob @ 6. Please. If you’re fucked off there are things you can say to people, but doing it public can only mean calculation.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — July 20, 2014 @ 11:17 am

  16. “This is a beat-up and I am surprised that Danyl is willing to promote it.”

    I can’t remember the last time Danyl didn’t promote the latest media beat-up against Labour.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — July 20, 2014 @ 11:58 am

  17. Probably unfair to speculate, but, yeah, I must admit Mallard was the first name that came to mind.

    Comment by swordfish — July 20, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

  18. And now for a bit of reality from Kilgallon of all people:
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has hit back at criticism of his leadership saying he works as hard as anyone in politics.

    Cunliffe was in Queenstown last week for a skiing holiday with his family, a decision questioned by Labour MPs according to a party source.

    “David Cunliffe works 16-18 non-stop days, pretty much 7 days a week, with a few hours for family on one weekend day. I have been his media director since January; in that time he has had perhaps about 6 days leave from a highly demanding schedule that would have flattened most ordinary people,” media director Simon Cunliffe said.

    The three-day break was a well needed rest as the gruelling election campaign begins in earnest, his camp said.

    For the record, David Cunliffe spent three days, Monday to Wednesday, with his family skiing. He was back at work on Thursday doing regional visits and meetings with Labour Candidate Liz Craig in Queenstown, and then travelled to Timaru for a day of media… on Friday. So he was working,” Simon Cunliffe said. …
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10287781/Skiing-holiday-puts-Cunliffe-on-slippery-slope

    Comment by xianmac — July 20, 2014 @ 12:02 pm

  19. Odds:

    Mallard 5/3
    Hipkins 2/1
    Robertson 5/1
    Cunliffe 50/1
    Raymond Huo 400/1

    The way points have been stretched to undermine Cunliffe, it might be simply a retread of the bellyachings of this useless hua.

    Comment by Joe W — July 20, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

  20. More likely the insider (no, I do not know who) is stressed out and pissed off and shooting from the hip.

    The story is designed to generate a second bad news cycle on Tuesday, when the gallery will stake out caucus and ask all the MPs if they still support their leader. It is a calculated attack.

    Comment by danylmc — July 20, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

  21. The story is the source (like Danyl, I’m guessing it’s Mallard).

    The rest is just people jerking the knee and slobbering for Pavlov. People who respond to Cunliffe being attacked by saying “Oh look, isn’t Cunliffe useless!”. People who respond to the media reporting the attack by saying “Oh look, the media hate Labour!”. That’s all irrelevant.

    Where the story comes from *is* the story, and it’s kind of sad that in our supposedly media-savvy age, this still needs to be pointed out, even when the source is holding up a neon sign saying “Can you see what I did there!”.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — July 20, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

  22. At what point does even the most tribal Labour supporter have to acknowledge that Labour’s current caucus fail to show the qualities that needed in Government. Surely Labour supporters deserve better than this. Or is the argument …. let’s ignore the shambles and elect these guys because, once elected, they will be transformed into a competent and cohesive caucus. Labour needs to get its house in order first – and only then can they go to the electorate and ask for a mandate to govern.

    Comment by Tomas — July 20, 2014 @ 1:44 pm

  23. “If I was you, Danyl, I’d leave it up to actual Labour supporters to audit who is and isn’t a believer in Labour values.”

    And if I were you, kalvarnsen, I’d be very hesitant about telling anyone what they should or shouldn’t have an opinion on, but more importantly, I think for some of us there’s a duty to audit amongst politicians who is and who isn’t a believer in Labour values, both traditional Labour values that are about fairness and participation for all citizens including the poorest of the poor and which Labour appears to have permanently abandoned, as well as current Labour values which are about lying to the public so a few selfish and ignorant individuals can keep their cushy jobs.

    Comment by Chris — July 20, 2014 @ 2:10 pm

  24. So the question is – what can the Labour party/movement do about Mallard, Hipkins, et al? They clearly consider themselves untouchable by the rank and file, but they could be expelled. It have to come to that to get rid of them – after all, Mallard has been rejected by his wife, his country and his party but his lazy narcissism means that even that has not been enough to get the message across that he should bugger off and do something else.

    This reactionary fifth column is guilty of actively working to destroy their party at this election rather than move in the direction they were ordered to go. Do Mallard and Hipkins really think they can white-ant their own party and not face any consequences? If Labour were to lose, should the Labour membership move to expel one or both of them? Surely, at the next conference the rank and file need to make it clear that they either retire gracefully, or end their political careers as one term independents after the party expels them. If Labour lose, better blood on the floor in 2015 and a few less people in caucus than three more years of lazy, incompetent and selfish arseholes like Mallard.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 20, 2014 @ 2:26 pm

  25. why was my comment eaten?

    Comment by Sanctuary1 — July 20, 2014 @ 2:27 pm

  26. In any case, this only reinforces the need to cast the dead wood adrift. Who’s the closest Left equivalent of Michelle Boag when the country needs one?

    Comment by DeepRed (@DeepRed6502) — July 20, 2014 @ 2:28 pm

  27. It’s funny how a three day holiday with the kids turns into a week of doing sweet FA and kissing the election good bye. As soon as I heard the “news” I took it with a grain of salt. Danyl, you should know better.

    Comment by Ross — July 20, 2014 @ 4:18 pm

  28. On the surface of it, the saboteur is probably not Hipkins: “I’ve never given much credibility to the rumblings of those too gutless to put their own name to their words. Front up or shut up. Simple as”

    Comment by DeepRed (@DeepRed6502) — July 20, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

  29. Konfusion reigns.

    Comment by Simon — July 20, 2014 @ 5:15 pm

  30. @Danyl #20. Certainly the comments *have* the effect of sending the chooks chasing after everyone. Whether they were *designed* to produce that effect is another thing again.

    Comment by Rob Salmond — July 20, 2014 @ 5:50 pm

  31. Respect to Chippie if that is true. I think he can probably see that he has little to gain by pissing off the Labour party members who voted clearly for Cunliffe. Insider is quoted. I don’t think that says MP. That could be anyone. If you are really cynical you could see it as a double bluff ploy to make Cunliffe look victimised by some in the party so that if things go badly he can point to evidence of sabotage and also have some (further) ammunition to force a generation shift in the Labour Party.

    Comment by sheesh — July 20, 2014 @ 6:14 pm

  32. Though there is plenty of priors of people bleating about the party under the title senior caucus figures or senior MPs say etc etc. Mr Dover Samuels was showing his commitment to living wage etc earlier in the week. Was it you Rob? Just for the record…

    Comment by sheesh — July 20, 2014 @ 6:24 pm

  33. I think it’s someone who actually isn’t very well connected to the party, but who is chummy with the Press Gallery, who eat this stuff for breakfast.

    What a demoralising time for the activists though. I saw one guy at the markets this morning, a friend of mine. He stood forlornly in the cold wind, giving out leaflets for the local candidate. He left after about half an hour.

    Comment by George — July 20, 2014 @ 6:29 pm

  34. Is it a prominent NZer Labour insider? Still I think you’d want a Prime Minister who was a good husband and father, good on Cunliffe for making the time. Certainly Key’s family has featured in his public presentation and he does genuinely seem to be a decent husband. Would seem a bit rich with all the focus on children and public holidays if anything else were the case for the guy auditioning for Labour PM.

    Comment by sheesh — July 20, 2014 @ 6:33 pm

  35. Well, if you offer a vision of the promised land and things (the polls) get worse, mostly because of things you’ve done or screw ups you’ve made, a little dissent is the least you can expect. The caucus warned the party after all. They are the ones who have to sell Labour to the voter and they didn’t think Cunliffe could do the job. And they were surely the people most motivated to make an accurate judgement on that particular point. Their own screwups may have contributed to the current position but the main contributor is Cunliffe himself, I think we can all agree – leaving aside, that is, Sanctuary’s whole masochistic “we have to destroy the village in order to save it” thing. Circular firing squads are wonderfully comic events for all but those who take part.

    Comment by Tinakori — July 20, 2014 @ 8:38 pm

  36. As a parent, I go back to school holidays, kids, two months to the election … What is wrong with Cunliffe taking a break now? John Kay has been living it up in Hawaii, where’s the criticism of him? Pure hypocrisy by the “insider” concerned.

    Comment by Pene — July 20, 2014 @ 10:48 pm

  37. Well, Mallard has tweeted that it was nae him and I;m prepared to accept that. I knew it was a bad idea to speculate (always need to be careful of indulging in witch-hunts) but I just could nae resist.

    Comment by swordfish — July 21, 2014 @ 12:53 am

  38. The caucus warned the party after all. They are the ones who have to sell Labour to the voter and they didn’t think Cunliffe could do the job. And they were surely the people most motivated to make an accurate judgement on that particular point.

    The caucus, or rather, the ‘old guard’ in the caucus had their chance. Goff, King and Mallard got to run the party for three years and they led Labour to an historic defeat. Then they scared the hell out of the membership when they put their proxy David Shearer in charge and had him sending out signals that a Shearer led government would be a reprise of the 1984 Labour government.

    That’s what so frustrating about the situation within Labour. If King, Mallard, Goff etc really were wise, competent politicians who knew how to lead the party to victory but can’t because they’ve had Cunliffe forced upon them then that would be one thing. But the reality is they had their big chance, and they just completely sucked. But instead of retiring they’ve all decided to undermine anyone else who tries to run their party after their catastrophic failure.

    Comment by danylmc — July 21, 2014 @ 5:33 am

  39. Any way sheesh, i stand corrected, two of the five days off he was in bed with the flu.
    It’s times like this, and look, I don’t say it often, well I’m sorry for being anti-Cunliffe….

    Comment by Lee Clark — July 21, 2014 @ 6:20 am

  40. The caucus warned the party after all.

    I don’t recall any of them warning the party they’d actively engage in undermining the new leader if it was one they didn’t want…

    Comment by Psycho Milt — July 21, 2014 @ 7:33 am

  41. 38 eh the bogeyman figures of Goff/Mallard/King are pretty overrated. Pretty much everyone in caucus dislikes Cunliffe at this point, it’s not just the “old guard”. If it was just G-M-K being mean, then it wouldn’t be that hard for Cunliffe to crack down. But it’s everyone, and apart from anything else no one has a clue who the leaker here was, because it could have been any one of 10 MPs.

    Comment by John Lee — July 21, 2014 @ 7:43 am

  42. “But the reality is they had their big chance, and they just completely sucked.”

    Really? The party was polling better under the old rather than the new guard and Key has had to cope with cock ups from his supporting cast every bit as bad or worse than Cunliffe. Perhaps it is the product that Cunliffe’s party backers supported – the man and the policies – that people are rejecting? If that’s the case, the other stuff isn’t helping for sure but if the central policies were resonating with the wider world that would just be noise rather than the main event. The problem for Labour, to me, is that the current package – the leader and his policies – is very popular with only a small core of existing hard core Labour voters. That’s fine if you are trying to create a boutique MMP party but I suspect it was not your ambition when you advocated Cunliffe as the replacement for Shearer.

    Comment by Tinakori — July 21, 2014 @ 8:07 am

  43. The problem really is that Labour are the story, and they’re not controlling it. What have we heard about Nat policy? Sweet fuck all. They’re staying mum as they don’t need to say anything – just keep the focus on any small screwup of Labour, comment negatively on any policy they release (even if said comment is complete bullshit – the media in this country will report it diligently, and this goes for both sides rubbish) and plant any beat-ups and falsehoods as and when they can (such as this one that appear on the face of it to be falsehoods).

    Comment by lefty — July 21, 2014 @ 8:45 am

  44. The problem really is that Labour are the story, and they’re not controlling it. What have we heard about Nat policy? Sweet fuck all.

    We will hear little about National policy until right before the election, and what we do hear will be gloriously reported.

    Labour will be savaged after Cunliffe wears the same shirt two days in a row.

    Comment by George — July 21, 2014 @ 11:06 am

  45. The Greens will continue to release policy and look organised, and take the shine off Labour.

    Perhaps this is Labour’s biggest problem, aside from the numbers and a hostile media. They’ve had their reputation diminished by a party which is doing the same things, only better.

    Comment by George — July 21, 2014 @ 11:08 am

  46. Wasn’t Shearer in the mid 30s before Cunliffe started his campaign to undermine him. Who knows if Cunliffe had decided to be a team player Labour could be closer to 40 than 20, Clark was a centerist as was Blair and they are by far the most successful left leaders in a generation (love them or hate them they were winners) this leftward lurch in appeasing the unions and the members is an unmitigated disaster.

    Comment by David — July 21, 2014 @ 1:48 pm

  47. I thought I was joking when I said that the media would criticise Cunliffe for a ridiculous hypothetical situation involving clothing.

    The Herald actually published this, today.

    Comment by George — July 21, 2014 @ 1:57 pm

  48. Sick eh George and one of the female TV commentators ripped into David for wearing a red scarf. What is it with these weirdos?

    Comment by xianmac — July 21, 2014 @ 2:23 pm

  49. “… thought I was joking when I said that the media would criticise Cunliffe for a ridiculous hypothetical situation involving clothing…”

    Satire is redundant.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 21, 2014 @ 2:32 pm

  50. The Herald has a headline: “Labour chief meets sex offender but says he didn’t know background.” Above a photograph of Cunliffe with the candidate for Clutha-Southland, Liz Craig.

    Satire is truly redundant.

    Comment by George — July 21, 2014 @ 4:48 pm

  51. @David: Clark was not a centrist.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — July 21, 2014 @ 6:38 pm

  52. @Danyl: So wait, we’ve decided that Shearer was just Goff’s neoliberal puppet?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — July 21, 2014 @ 6:39 pm

  53. @46 “Clark was a centerist as was Blair and they are by far the most successful left leaders in a generation (love them or hate them they were winners) ”

    Really? Comrade Helen? The Commissar of Helengrad? I’m sorry, among all the hysterical hyperbole didn’t realise that the right really thought Clark was a third-way centrist all along.

    Except of course she wasn’t – she was a mainstream social democrat, not a third-way centrist like Blair (or Goff), and certainly not a Maoist or a Stalinist, no matter what the shriller voices of the reactionary right liked to maintain. And yes, Clark was a winner, but not without being a loser first. Among her many advantages was a long six-year apprenticeship as leader of the opposition. It’s hard to imagine that the Labour Party would allow any leader to have that sort of extended on-the-job training in these days of in-house polling and focus-groups.

    Comment by Higgs Boatswain — July 21, 2014 @ 7:51 pm

  54. @Higgs: They came extremely close to ditching Clark in 1994 after an extended bout of shitty polling, but she stuck it out – admittedly, she had the significant (although not decisive) advantage that there was nobody with a real yin to replace her.

    But I’m sure that, had we had widespread internet access in 1994, plenty of ostensibly friendly bloggers would have been castigating Labour for not ditching Clark after she [some trivial mistake].

    Comment by kalvarnsen — July 21, 2014 @ 8:41 pm

  55. I gave up on Labour years ago for exactly these reasons. The interests of a few party hacks appear to always trump the interests of everyone else. Yet another reason why I have no time for electorate MPs. Get rid of the lot of them. I remember when this lot were warning up about MMP because of all the party hacks they imagined would appear. The reality of course, is that the LOCAL MPs are the worst party hacks of all…….

    Green is good. Red is….if not dead, then committing suicide.

    Comment by Steve W — July 21, 2014 @ 10:18 pm

  56. I keep coming back to: why was this even a story? Then I look at the current Labour MPs, consider their words and behaviour, and I despair … Who among them defended Cunliffe and showed some public support? If the same criticism had been lobbed at Key, Steven Joyce or Bill English would have torn the throat out of whoever loudly … That no-one on Labour’s front bench is speaking up for Cunliffe says it all really.

    Comment by Pene — July 21, 2014 @ 11:40 pm

  57. #46: Tony Blair’s reputation seems to be going the way of disco, particularly with the Iraq thing. Whereas Clark by and large is still respected in the geo-political sphere.

    In any case, I still think the Labour caucus needs its equivalent of Michelle Boag, who’s got the guts to tell the old guard when to quit. There’s some decent talent in much of the new guard, but it counts for little when the old guard keeps making headlines for the wrong reasons. By contrast the Greens and NZF seem to have their act together, given how little they’ve had to use their crisis management, and when they do have to use it, it’s put to rest very quickly.

    Comment by DeepRed (@DeepRed6502) — July 22, 2014 @ 2:31 am

  58. In any case, I still think the Labour caucus needs its equivalent of Michelle Boag, who’s got the guts to tell the old guard when to quit.

    It could be Moira. She’s got the respect of the party.

    the Greens and NZF seem to have their act together

    That’s because the media regard every MP other than Peters as a joke, not to be considered seriously. If LOL-Taylor was highlighted, there would be a lot more negative noise (not all of it negative with voters, who often vote for reasons not approved by political pundits).

    Comment by George — July 22, 2014 @ 7:00 pm

  59. Yeah nah Moira doesn’t have the moral authority or the power to get rid of the “old guard”. The “old guard” problem is that it’s all very well to say let’s get rid of experienced effective electorate MPs who also hold down major portfolios but actually doing that’s a lot harder, especially given none of the LECs want to get rid of their MP.

    And it’s not like the old guard are the only ones who hate DC, half the new MPs hate his guts as well.

    Comment by John Lee — July 22, 2014 @ 9:09 pm

  60. While we’re keeping track of stories about Cunliffe’s clothing, Gower did a scarf story last night.

    Comment by George — July 23, 2014 @ 9:00 am

  61. There was a scarf story on the Paul Henry show last week.

    Comment by George — July 23, 2014 @ 9:02 am

  62. ‘It’s been a shambolic couple of weeks for Labour”. I invite you to enjoy how it may appear to imply that for the previous five years or so, everything has been pretty plain sailing, and the past two weeks have been just a glitch for an otherwise tightly, controlled and smoothly-run operation. I’d suggest replacing “shambolic” with “typical”.

    Comment by LeeC — July 25, 2014 @ 11:39 am


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