The Dim-Post

October 1, 2014

Is New Zealand ready for an openly inane Prime Minister?

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 6:18 am
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In the current leadership race for the Labour Party there are two candidates: Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe. There has been much discussion of their strengths and weaknesses, but one subject has been delicately avoided; perhaps because of political correctness, or fear of reprisal, the unorthodox lifestyle of one of these candidates has been self-censored out of the public dialog. It is the issue that dare not speak its name.

David Cunliffe is openly, unashamedly inane.

Now let me begin by saying that I, personally, have no problem with inanity. There is inanity in my family. I have silly friends. I myself was absurd myself during a brief experimental period as a teenager and I fully support the inane community. But the Labour Party must ask itself hard questions about whether mainstream New Zealanders will elect a preposterous Labour leader as Prime Minister.

David Cunliffe has made no secret of his inanity. He has openly celebrated his inane lifestyle. Just recently he gave a rousing victory speech on the night of his historic election defeat and only yesterday he told John Campbell that he lost the election because voters prefer stability and prosperity. David Cunliffe deserves our support and praise for having the courage to be open about his daftness.

But is New Zealand ready to be government by someone who constantly says and does stupid, stupid things? Are we mature enough as a people to have a guy who criticised secret trusts while operating a secret trust, and who attacked Key for living in a large mansion while he himself lived in a large mansion representing us on the world stage? Are we wise and sophisticated enough to elect someone rash and silly? I would like to think we are, but realistically I fear the answer is no.

True, the inane have made great strides during the last few decades. People with terrible judgement were once shunned and mocked but now New Zealand’s business, entertainment and media communities are proudly led by gibbering, empty-headed morons. However, prejudice remains: not in wealthy, urban electorates where unconsciousness buffoonery is regarded as normal, part of our vibrant multicultural society. No, sadly it is lower-income Maori and Pacific Island communities where witless dolts still suffer terrible discrimination. Can Labour, in this moment of crisis, pretend that this bigotry against idiocy does not exist? Would it be foolish to force foolishness down their throats?

I do not pretend to know the answer to these questions, but Labour members must think deeply on these issues. In the grand tradition of the Labour Party, they must examine their own values, discuss them with their communities, reach intelligent considered decisions and then do the exact opposite. Labour can make New Zealand inane.

44 Comments »

  1. Nice work Danyl – aIthough I do wish wish you would get back to writing satire soon – these insightful factual pieces are too depressing…

    Comment by Michael Dudding — October 1, 2014 @ 6:52 am

  2. Are you sure you haven’t missed out an ‘S’ in the word “inane” there, Danyl?

    Comment by J Bloggs — October 1, 2014 @ 7:19 am

  3. Snigger

    Comment by rayinnz — October 1, 2014 @ 8:00 am

  4. It is a funny old one. On the one hand, to mention the inanity of David Cunliffe is to be a bigot who clearly isn’t ready for an inane leader. On the other, to not mention it is to be accused of politically correct self censorship, particularly as one of the reasons being commonly put about for your defeat is that inane people, a small fraction of the wider population, have grown to wield to much influence and power within the party.

    My view is it is an issue if people are talking about it, which they are. So we need to discuss David Cunliffes inanity, but only in terms of the message electing an inane leader sends to an electorate that already thinks Labour spends to much timeconsidering the views of the inane, vapid, and asinine.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 1, 2014 @ 8:09 am

  5. No, no! This might make him stop and we will be deprived of the very, very entertaining demonstration of why Cunliffe’s colleagues didn’t want him to be leader in the first place.

    Comment by Tinakori — October 1, 2014 @ 8:19 am

  6. In reply to J Bloggs. No. ‘Insane’ indicates that intelligence, no matter how skewed, is flickering away. In the Cunliffe case., every neurone is flat-lining..

    Comment by Leopold — October 1, 2014 @ 8:28 am

  7. Is it possible for one’s wife to catch inanity?

    Comment by SHG — October 1, 2014 @ 8:59 am

  8. Inanity makes me SICK. Why do these people CHOOSE to be inane, and then try and force me to ACCEPT their inanity as some sort of thing they’re born with. Thank G*D the annual Inanity “celebrations” have stopped. I’m tired of having inanity FORCED down my throat. The ultimate outrage is Inane “marriage”, where two inane people make a mockery of normality. G*d created Adam and Eve, NOT Dopey and Pillock. STOP THE INANITY NOW!

    Comment by Hugo Drax The Destroyer — October 1, 2014 @ 9:07 am

  9. Seems like inane-marriage is legal in this country

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11334613

    Comment by eszett — October 1, 2014 @ 9:43 am

  10. Nice, but I think you are glossing over a crucial distinction between inane and stupid.

    Comment by Mark — October 1, 2014 @ 9:53 am

  11. Personally, I would rather have the occasional awkward statement from Cunliffe than the cringe-worthy statements from our current PM, who constantly reminds me of the really annoying smart-arse that most of us remember from the third form.

    I do not think Cunliffe is inane as much as somewhat unaware of how things he says can be used against him. I would hope that he could learn from his mistakes given more time in the role.
    The trust was a stupid mistake, but the mansion comment and the “sorry for being a man” were taken out of context (and to be fair, a $2 million house is not the same as a $10 million house plus luxury holiday homes in Hawaii and Omaha). Should he have realised they would be? I suspect he will be more careful, but that in itself has its dangers, as he is then seen as inauthentic.

    Cunliffe is smart, but he needs to work at some of his character and communication defects. I do think, however, there is a better chance of fixing Cunliffe than replacing him with someone else with their own set of character flaws.

    Comment by Karen — October 1, 2014 @ 10:05 am

  12. You are a bit behind the times Danyl.
    This was the question that the New Zealand electorate asked itself a couple of weeks ago. They answered it, as you can see from the voting, with a resounding NO.
    Why do you see the need to re-open an already decided debate?

    Comment by alwyn — October 1, 2014 @ 10:30 am

  13. Some would argue this is all a little too derivative of the classic Monty Python Election Night sketch but, to be fair, you’ve adopted the broad theme and then taken it in an exciting new direction, customising it to local tastes….

    You argue, Danyl, that “I myself was absurd myself during a brief experimental period as a teenager…” Re-read that passage. Do you not think that, on reflection, you’re still just a wee bit inane ? Or, at the very least, borderline ? High-functioning inane ?

    Comment by swordfish — October 1, 2014 @ 10:47 am

  14. I think Cunliffe has been ‘playing up; his ‘inanity’ to ingratiate himself with the inane faction within the Labour party. When he was a minister/shadow minister, he didn’t make such a big deal of his fatuousness . Now… he’s all like… “I’m the leader,… look at how foolish I am!!!”. It’s as though he’s defining himself by being as witless as he can. I think New Zealanders are grown up enough to accept a little inanity. We just don’t like it being shoved down our throats, thankyouverymuch.

    Comment by J Mex — October 1, 2014 @ 11:09 am

  15. I am tolerant of all lifestyle choices, inanity, vegetarianism, they make no mind to me.

    Comment by Paul Rowe — October 1, 2014 @ 11:26 am

  16. I know it’s not fashionable with the Aro Valley set, but I still think that ordinary, hardworking New Zealand families are opposed to the homoidiota agenda.

    Comment by Liam Hehir — October 1, 2014 @ 11:29 am

  17. the Labour Party must ask itself hard questions about whether mainstream New Zealanders will elect a preposterous Labour leader as Prime Minister.

    Well, mainstream New Zealanders have elected a preposterous National leader as Prime Minister. What you seem to be asking is: are New Zealanders equal opportunity employers?

    Comment by Ross — October 1, 2014 @ 11:30 am

  18. Please ease my OCD and edit –
    “But is New Zealand ready to be government by someone ”
    government -> governed

    “urban electorates where unconsciousness buffoonery”
    unconsciousness -> unconscious

    Although, rarely is the question asked, is our children learning government unconsciousness?

    Comment by Greg — October 1, 2014 @ 12:07 pm

  19. Agreed Karen. David has far more plusses than minusses. And he has been subjected to an enormous amount of slings and arrows which have been far more damaging than those which slid of the Key machine. David answers questions where Key avoids, deflects and lies. David has had some glitches but they are not nearly bad enough to deter me. I also wonder how come some commentators keep a list of glitches so that they can drag them out at every chance. Sort of Slateresque approach.

    And if Dirty Tricks becomes prominent and relevant as it should do, maybe David would be better and more ready for a snap election???

    Comment by xianmac — October 1, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

  20. Thank you.

    Comment by Ataahua — October 1, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

  21. “to be fair, a $2 million house is not the same as a $10 million house plus luxury holiday homes in Hawaii and Omaha” – Karen @ 11.

    If you live in a $2m house, I’m sure you can see a big distinction, yes. If you’re trapped in a crappy rental on the other hand…

    Comment by Andy Milne — October 1, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

  22. I do not think Cunliffe is inane as much as somewhat unaware of how things he says can be used against him.

    OK – so rather than inane, Cunliffe is merely a ingénue?

    Comment by Gregor W — October 1, 2014 @ 12:54 pm

  23. Very good Danyl. Very good indeed!

    Comment by Adolf Fiinkensein — October 1, 2014 @ 1:08 pm

  24. Swordfish: “High-functioning inane?”

    You may jest, but there more of these people around than you might think. Mike Hosking for one.

    Comment by Mark — October 1, 2014 @ 2:50 pm

  25. I know David Cunliffe appears to be inane, but through prayer and the love of Our Lord John Campbell I believe it is possible to change. There is hope! Maybe if he starts talking loudly about “applied Christianity” like Phil Goff used to, or telling everyone that Catholics are the real core of the Labour Party, like Josie “John Paul III” Pagani has just done on Pundit, or even playing up the fact that his dad was an Anglican vicar who sold chook raffles at the pub in Pleasant Point, maybe some of his truly inexplicable vacuousness will go away and he will be able to resume a normal political lifestyle of cynicism and hypocrisy.

    Comment by Higgs Boatswain — October 1, 2014 @ 3:18 pm

  26. If you live in a $2m house, I’m sure you can see a big distinction, yes

    Here’s a potential $1 million dollar house – you might not want to live in it though. (You are ignoring the context of Culiffe’s comment – which is a big distinction.)

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11333686

    Comment by Ross — October 1, 2014 @ 3:53 pm

  27. As against the bloke who can’t remember how he felt about the springbok tour, or thinks science consensus is just something you could totally get a second opinion about, or didn’t read the book because it was a massive left-wing media conspiracy (about their massive right-wing media conspiracy). We in the media loves us some inanity if it gets us some big-ass tax cuts and keeps the housing market hot for another year or two. Yes we do.

    Comment by tussock — October 1, 2014 @ 4:05 pm

  28. ” I do wish wish you would get back to writing satire soon”

    Don’t you realise that this whole blog is a long-running satire of the smug urban liberal class?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 1, 2014 @ 5:14 pm

  29. It’s official. Inanity is out of the closet.

    Comment by Kumara Republic — October 1, 2014 @ 5:40 pm

  30. Hi Daryl,

    don’t agree. I think the media have hounded and vilified Cunliffe and you are buying into this spin.

    That is very disappointing.

    Comment by anker — October 1, 2014 @ 6:12 pm

  31. perhaps inaneness flows out of the tap in his two million dollar house (a smaller problem) which isn’t in the electorate he represents (a much bigger problem) when his wife calls herself an environmental lawyer and one of her biggest clients is sky city casinos – listening to your dad preach to the converted every sunday must be a difficult formative experience to shake free from

    Comment by Mag Rod Aigh — October 1, 2014 @ 7:18 pm

  32. Made my day.

    Comment by Timbo — October 1, 2014 @ 8:52 pm

  33. Cunliffe was doing just fine until those backroom strategists decided he should try to outdo our incumbent emperor of inanity. An impossible feat as the election proved. It takes a special sort of stoopid to rule this village.

    Comment by Sacha — October 1, 2014 @ 9:34 pm

  34. Well, you can have David, and stand up for inane rights, or you can have prime minister Clayton Cosgrove, pissing on your face all day long.

    Comment by Tarnbabe67 — October 1, 2014 @ 10:07 pm

  35. Inane comment Danyl
    Aucklanders’ get used to ‘we love to hate Aucklanders’ attitudes from the rest of the country
    but it is not so much fun for potential leaders.

    Comment by Dorothy — October 2, 2014 @ 10:37 am

  36. “But is New Zealand ready to be government by someone who constantly says and does stupid, stupid things?”
    Yes, we elected one for the 3rd time

    Comment by lewis — October 2, 2014 @ 11:28 am

  37. …his two million dollar house (a smaller problem) which isn’t in the electorate he represents (a much bigger problem)…

    If only he had the political nous of the current PM, who has adeptly avoided this particular example of inanity by, er, having a ten million dollar house which isn’t in the electorate he represents…

    Comment by Psycho Milt — October 2, 2014 @ 4:34 pm

  38. Cunliffe is known on political blog sites as Cumliffe or clownliffe. Robertson will become known as Rub-my-fore-skin.

    Comment by dan — October 2, 2014 @ 7:13 pm

  39. Cunliffe is known on political blog sites as Cumliffe or clownliffe. Robertson will become known as Rub-my-fore-skin.

    Great point. We’re clearly talking about people of great intelligence who really, you know, matter. So Robertson should change his name or something, right? You know, just so he’s not targeted by former playground bullies with an internet connection.

    Comment by Chris (@slackjawdtownie) — October 2, 2014 @ 8:01 pm

  40. No, those that were bullied as kids that have to resort to technology to vent their spleen. *Keanne Lawrence* – not real name.

    Comment by dan — October 2, 2014 @ 8:43 pm

  41. Cunliffe is known on political blog sites as Cumliffe or clownliffe.

    He is, huh? Which ones, exactly?

    Comment by Psycho Milt — October 2, 2014 @ 9:25 pm

  42. Yes Danyl, once you were conceited.

    Now you are perfect.

    Gee that must make you feel SO good criticising everything.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — October 2, 2014 @ 10:00 pm

  43. the dudebro dan likes it though

    Comment by Marcus — October 2, 2014 @ 10:16 pm

  44. Cunliffe is known on political blog sites as Cumliffe or clownliffe.

    “Silent-t” is the only juevenille Cunliffe name call I can recall seeing.
    And, as a heterosexual male, I have to say it’s not a revolting nickname. The thing(s) that nickname refers to are actually pretty great.

    Comment by Phil — October 6, 2014 @ 12:07 pm


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