The Dim-Post

October 3, 2014

Just shut up

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 6:27 am

So in the past couple days of Labour’s leadership contest we’ve had @TarnBabe67, James Dann’s open letter to David Cunliffe threatening to resign from the party if Cunliffe is re-elected, and now Phil Quinn publishing Labour President Moira Coatsworth’s email urging Labour members not to act like jerks during the contest, which Quinn describes as ‘a sinister Orwellian gambit designed to restrict speech.’

I guess that if you’re really invested in what’s happening inside Labour then it’s very satisfying to put this stuff out there attacking your opponents and see it amplified by the mainstream media. But I really doubt that the general public are so engaged that they’re won over by these tweets, or blogposts or whatever. I’m pretty sure they’re thinking what I’m thinking: that Labour looks like a party filled with hysterical, squabbling egotists who all despise each other and can’t keep their damn fool mouths shut. And that’s a perception that’s going to endure long after this contest is over – especially if it goes on like this for two more months.

38 Comments »

  1. Dim-Post Reader Survey: is there anybody, at all, who thinks Moira Coatsworth’s message was “Orwellian”?

    Note – the question is not “Do you like Cunliffe/Robertson/Labour/other axe to grind?”

    It’s not even “Can you shut up?”. It’s more … “Can you read?”.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — October 3, 2014 @ 7:25 am

  2. Quinn didn’t “publish” Coatsworth’s perfectly reasonable email. It had already been published by being emailed to every member of the party. Quinn is just another stale leftover of the Blairite era of Labour politics. As for James Dann – he was the Labour candidate for the Ilam electorate. That’s it. So, some whining little shit of a two-bit candidate selected unopposed to stand in an unwinnable seat somehow has an opinion that everyone on PublicAddress (that echo chamber extraordinaire of identity politics specialists) is intensely interested in? Why might that be?

    But you are right; Quinn and Dann (A Pagani-esque character who looks all set to spin a single failed campaign in an unwinnable seat into a career as the darling of the Rainbow facction) and all the rest of the miserable little whiners on the right and liberal factions should stick a cork in it.

    I have decided to vote for Cunlifee, just because hopefully by doing so the Nash equilibrium will shatter, and the pig-headed baby-boomers like Mallard and Cosgrove will fuck off and form a new party, and the identity politics faction will piss off in a huff and start a food blog instead.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 3, 2014 @ 7:27 am

  3. For the record, I think voting for/re-electing Cunliffe is a really, really, really bad idea. And probably pointless. If he’s re-elected the caucus will do a deal among themselves, decide on a successor and roll him.

    Comment by danylmc — October 3, 2014 @ 7:44 am

  4. I haven’t read any of the rest of these but I found Dann’s email really incredibly tone-deaf and lacking in perspective.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 3, 2014 @ 7:50 am

  5. I liked Dann when I met him. I wonder if prospective Labour MPs are looking at their caucus running around shitting all over, throwing tantrums and generally acting like dicks and thinking ‘That’s how successful MPs behave!’

    Comment by danylmc — October 3, 2014 @ 8:07 am

  6. Glad to hear that such nonsense as gender equality and gay rights are as important as food blogging, thanks, Sanctuary.

    Comment by E — October 3, 2014 @ 8:19 am

  7. I think the short answer is that large chunks of informed opinion within the party think re-electing Cunliffe is an absolutely atrocious idea, particularly since he’s gone off the deep end since the election (“my personal brand is statesmanlike”), and so people are pretty willing to take very strident and public positions, in part as a form of costly signalling, to try and ensure that Cunliffe doesn’t get re-elected.

    Phil Quinn’s just being a dick.

    PS Sanctuary aside from generally being a clown you do realise that Clayton’s not a baby boomer. Also shouldn’t you love him what with the hating on the special interests and all that jazz.

    Comment by Keir — October 3, 2014 @ 8:20 am

  8. I’m sure Dann is a lovely guy when you meet him. I’m sure a lot of the people involved in this saga are. But when we’re dealing with issues of long-term party viability, “lovely guy” doesn’t enter into it one way or another.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 3, 2014 @ 8:29 am

  9. Hi Keir, How did you clowns do for Labour in Christchurch again? Oh that’s right – you royally fucked it all up. So STFU and at least pretend to be a bit chastened for a change, instead of like an out-of-touch know it all who can’t even win seats a city incompetently governed by King Gerry.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 3, 2014 @ 8:43 am

  10. @Sanc: That’s a bold line for you to take, Mr “The Internet Party Will Get 4%”.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 3, 2014 @ 8:50 am

  11. Its interesting to see Labour tear themselves apart. Imagine, just for a moment, if they did get into collalition with the Greens and others. If they can’t even harmonize their own party how will they do so with other competitors for the left vote.

    Comment by Oho — October 3, 2014 @ 8:54 am

  12. @kalvarsen – the point is everyone has some blame to take for an electoral failure that was systemic – an ideological failure, an organisational failure and a policy failure. Keir spends his whole time running around as if the election never happened and everything is hunky dory. He needs stop carrying on like a pollyanna delivery boy and at least accept that in his own backyard Labour hopelessly underperformed.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 3, 2014 @ 8:59 am

  13. I agree, Danyl. Even for those us without a dog in the fight it is getting perilously close to a schadenfreude overdose. But it also doesn’t look easily resolvable. The difficulty that Cunliffe’s main opponent, Grant Robertson, has is that he seems to be saying I will do everything David did policy-wise because I too am a man of the left. I will just do it better. This approach attributes pretty much all of the election loss to Cunliffe’s many and varied defects, as a leader and manager. While there is a lot to this argument, as we all saw in his tenure as leader, I suspect it is not entirely the case. You have argued that all of the more left wing policy Cunliffe introduced is popular with the public but Labour remained unpopular with the voters because the party was fractured/badly organised/led by cretins etc. Making a life long professional politician and operative like Robertson the leader would I think result in a far better run caucus and party and provide an effective test of your proposition. My bet is that as a package the policy would not be as popular as you think. That also partly depends on what happens with the economy over the next couple of years and whether National can manage itself well during that time. A lousy economy and a badly run National will make even Labour’s policy look palatable enough for a victory. An additional factor is how Robertson chooses to portray himself. Cunliffe was utterly, utterly useless at this. Far worse than Bill English in 2002. I don’t think his sexuality is an issue compared with his authenticity. Banging on about how he loves rugby and beer is almost as unconvincing as Cunliffe’s famous speech at the Avondale markets. I think he might be better presenting himself as what he is, someone who, like Peter Fraser, can make the political trains run on time.

    Comment by Tinakori — October 3, 2014 @ 9:01 am

  14. 10: mate, you have no idea how much I think Labour under-performed! 24% isn’t acceptable. That’s why we need to change the leadership team that oversaw this historic defeat, and it’s why we need to seriously reform the party so we re-engage with our communities and all that. I’m under no illusions about how poorly we performed, and that’s why we need to change the leadership.

    Comment by Keir — October 3, 2014 @ 9:07 am

  15. I guess that rules Grant Robertson out since he was part of that leadership team for two years.

    Comment by Ant — October 3, 2014 @ 9:21 am

  16. So you think it would be a bad idea to re-elect Cunliffe but will you be voting Danyl?
    [ It might be like letting Mathew Hooten choose ]

    Comment by Dorothy — October 3, 2014 @ 9:36 am

  17. Princes and princesses fighting over birth rights supposedly from the party of equality and fairness. In the one party state Labour is fast becoming a mere shadow of the National party.

    Comment by Simon — October 3, 2014 @ 9:59 am

  18. “Making a life long professional politician and operative like Robertson the leader would I think result in a far better run caucus and party”

    Wasn’t Cunliffe a life long professional politician too?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 3, 2014 @ 10:11 am

  19. So STFU and at least pretend to be a bit chastened for a change, instead of like an out-of-touch know it all who can’t even win seats a city incompetently governed by King Gerry.
    Khrist Sanc, the James Dann you’ve ignorantly lumped in with the godawful Josie Pagani more than held the line as a throwaway candidate against Brownlee. If you’d paid attention to what’s been happening in a city that you’ve never shown anything but a studied provincial contempt for you’d know that Dann’s been taking the fight to Brownlee and his minions since well before he was a Labour candidate. Conflating one of the few Labour-aligned people left who actually walked the walk with the likes of Pagani is a sick joke.

    Comment by Joe W — October 3, 2014 @ 10:18 am

  20. I think he might be better presenting himself as what he is, someone who, like Peter Fraser, can make the political trains run on time.

    Dead on. “Voters a suckers for competence” redux.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 3, 2014 @ 10:54 am

  21. Question; has anybody seem Sanctuary and Bomber Bradbury in the same room?

    Comment by rayinnz — October 3, 2014 @ 11:23 am

  22. 13 : “You have argued that all of the more left wing policy Cunliffe introduced is popular with the public but Labour remained unpopular with the voters because the party was fractured/badly organised/led by cretins etc. ”

    What ‘more left wing policy’ are you referring to?
    In contrast to some of his rhetoric before being elected leader, the policies Cunliffe campaigned with for the 2014 election were largely more centrist than those for the 2011 campaign.

    Comment by Kalelovil — October 3, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

  23. “Wasn’t Cunliffe a life long professional politician too?”

    I suppose the argument can be made but I was thinking of Grant’s University days, his stint with NZUSA, his work as Marian Hobbs’ minder and his time in Helen Clarks office. MFAT got squeezed there too. Cunliffe never went from staffer to MP and worked in both the bureaucracy and the private sector before getting into Parliament in his late 30s. That’s a renaissance man by Labour standards.

    “What ‘more left wing policy’ are you referring to”

    The stuff actually that Danyl referred to repeatedly on this very blog.

    Comment by Tinakori — October 3, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

  24. Come on guys, it’s not like “presenting yourself as the most competent candidate” is some kind of revolutionary game-changing strategy. It’s only slightly less useless than advising somebody to “try to win the election, don’t use it”. Every candidate in every election everywhere tries to present themselves as the most competent candidate.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 3, 2014 @ 5:11 pm

  25. “try to win the election, don’t lose it”, rather. Bloody morningposts.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 3, 2014 @ 5:11 pm

  26. @Orwellian: Has anyone actually read 1984? Asking people to avoid dirty pool, it’s not exactly Orwell. It’s not even a slippery slope argument, it’s just completely off-target.

    Installing face-recognition software on Auckland’s CCTV “traffic monitoring” system that “won’t be used” is Orwellian.

    Comment by tussock — October 3, 2014 @ 6:09 pm

  27. You also missed out on Cosgroves response to Cunliffe. Cunliffe and Robertson are both egotistical power hungry maniacs with no regard for anyone or anything but their own political ambition. Robertson cannot win, while Cunliffe has taken that one step further and actually demonstrated that he can’t win. How can you chose between them and what is the point of choosing between them when the outcome will be exactly the same.

    Comment by Dex — October 3, 2014 @ 9:36 pm

  28. This is good for Phil Goff?

    Comment by Phil — October 4, 2014 @ 1:19 pm

  29. Phil

    Not sure about that but it sure as hell is very good for John Key.

    For what its worth, I predict Robertson will win and the party will then tank further in the polls, at which time he will be rolled and Parker will take Labour into the 2017 election, gaining a massive increase in party vote to 26%.

    Comment by Adolf Fiinkensein — October 4, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

  30. You predicting anything, Rob, makes the likelihood of it occurring diminish to zero.

    Comment by Judge Holden — October 4, 2014 @ 5:02 pm

  31. Looks like Little Andy is now in.. and with a good chance of success I would think.

    JC

    Comment by JC — October 4, 2014 @ 6:09 pm

  32. One left wing outlet is run by employees of the department of internal affairs “in their spare time” and spends 25 percent of its time attacking the daily blog / Bomber. Sometimes the amount of scorn poured on a subject can be a good indication of how serious a threat it is regarded as… But my point is, imagine if a right wing attack podcast that revealed in subtweeting made up rumours was broadcasting every week… I think internal criticism within the left is a good and healthy thing. The problem is that that self-analysis is reported on by the media as a weakness, rather that a strength – which it is.

    Comment by Dave — October 5, 2014 @ 4:07 am

  33. I predict something will happen. If it turns out my prediction was correct, I’ll take the credit for being awesome and being able to guess the future. If it turns out I’m wrong, I’ll seek to blame confounding factors that were visible at the time but which I chose to ignore. The validity of my prediction either way will be validated, and I’ll then go on to make another prediction using the same formula.

    Comment by Chris (@slackjawdtownie) — October 5, 2014 @ 5:18 pm

  34. @Chris: Danyl? Is that you?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 5, 2014 @ 8:03 pm

  35. Sometimes the amount of scorn poured on a subject can be a good indication of how serious a threat it is regarded as

    And, sometimes, scorn is poured all over an idea or thing just because it’s really stupid. It amuses me no end to see comments on Kiwiblog or the Standard cheerfully gloating that the other side must be ‘running scared’ because all of the twitter is getting its hatez on after the latest brain fart from a politician on their side.

    Comment by Phil — October 6, 2014 @ 12:03 pm

  36. Poor Nicky Hager, his line of attack claiming that Dirty Politics is the sole preserve of right wing politicians is being refuted daily.

    Comment by unaha-closp — October 6, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

  37. The politicians contesting the Labour Party leadership need to be active publically, because they are engaging in a primary election and can’t shut up.

    If the Labour Party wants behind closed doors leadership contests the Labour Party should change its rules.

    Comment by unaha-closp — October 6, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

  38. The comment about the only farms owned as family farms are small lifestyle blocks is dead wrong
    My farm is a 500 ha dairy farm
    It started in 1995 as a 300 ha sheep farm
    Some family’s get stronger some get weaker
    The problem with the Green Party and farmers is the inability of the greens to work with the rual community .
    My farm in 2007 was leaching 55k of n a year per ha
    Last year it was 35 kg of n
    In the same time we went from 1200kgms an ha to 1550 kg
    The goal is to improve the environment
    While preserving jobs

    Comment by Graham — October 6, 2014 @ 9:38 pm


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