Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Calling the race before it's over

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  • Tristan, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I like what Chris Hipkins said.

    I hate what he said. less than 24 hours after the party has made clear its desire for a proper democratic process involving them on leadership issues Hipkins comes out and demands to know which way everyone will vote (because whats good enough for cunliffe is good enough for every MP right chris?)

    This is the kind of shit people are sick and tired of.

    I will say this though at least he put his name to his quote as for the rest of the #abc club they are all content to snipe and snarl from the shadows those are the real ‘finks’ here…

    speaking of which.. Robertson and Little dont think we dont know that your actions are all about a play for the leadership after the next election doing a little cutting off at the pass are we?

    I’m getting annoyed now ..lucky there is not an election tomorrow because while I support the party their MPs could use a career break

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Ch ch ch changes...
    From a totally parochial viewpoint, I reckon Labour missed their chance to make some friends in Chchch again - I had hoped they might have announced a new candidate for Christchurch Central, so they could start to get known in the electorate - still I guess no candidate is almost as effective as the nigh-on invisible incumbent, National's Nicked Wagon or some such personage...

    But no, Shearer merely says: "... to the people of Christchurch: we are committed to helping you rebuild your city from the grassroots up – not the Beehive down." and otherwise it's Labour's weak policy to date - 'leave it to the girls on the ground' - which is not to denigrate the excellent and tireless work Lianne Dalziel, Megan Woods and Ruth Dyson are putting in down here...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4225 posts Report Reply

  • Barnard,

    Of course, Shearer could demote Cunliffe for not saying now how he’d vote next February. That’s his privilege. But trying to discpline and not just demote a caucus member, something that Chris Hipkins seems to be implying, for exercising his rights would be really worrying.

    You're putting a pretty naive & innocent spin to Cunliffe's actions & statements. You don't have to be a cynical hack to see this as Cunliffe trying to keep the speculation live in the hope things will turn to his personal benefit in the near future.
    Ok, I don't believe he's manipulated the rule change, but he does seem to be clearly trying to take advantage of it.
    What's going to change between now and February other than the rules under which any vote's taken? So how he votes then will be purely governed by whether he thinks he has the numbers by then. If you're Shearer, and the rest of Labour trying to get on holding the government to account then it's hardly unreasonable to want to bring all that to head.
    It's not about Cunliffe 'exercising his rights', but about whether you can go forward with someone quite clearly with designs on the leadership undermining what the party is trying to achieve until its sorted.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2012 • 69 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Ian: we'd love to, but a) electorate boundaries for the next election are up in the air and b) candidate selection processes are all going to change next year. So any announcement of a new candidate would be moot at best.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2906 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I don’t know if it is him or if it is the producers demanding a different style.

    It all feels so Rupert Murdoch Foxy style, and Gower probably aspires to be just like Duncan Garner. I jus want the fax man! Give me some real info about the conference. I dont tweet,or friend face. It's ridiculous our countries biggest paper only cared about speculation.
    The only thing I see when watching Parliament tv Question Time is National doing it's finest . Belittling the opposition through obfuscation and questioning Shearer and Cunliffe based on whether or not Cunliffe is growing his beard. It's pathetic niggling. Keeping the story alive as it were. Shearer appears to want to stop it once and for all because it's nothing but distracting from absolutely everything that the National Government are doing to us. National are not accountable for any of the debacle we are in, when the main news is Shearer and Cunliffe. How's those asset sales progressing quietly?
    What Shearer is going to achieve is that everyone will know whether or not it is he, Shearer, that can get Labour to a victory if we actually concentrated on our countries problems instead of speculation every day. He needs to know this for himself.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5725 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Barnard,

    You’re putting a pretty naive & innocent spin to Cunliffe’s actions & statements. You don’t have to be a cynical hack to see this as Cunliffe trying to keep the speculation live in the hope things will turn to his personal benefit in the near future.

    Depends on your view of Cunliffe really. If you're anti-Cunliffe, of course you'll describe it as "naive and innocent". If you're pro-Cunliffe, you don't think "his personal benefit" is what he's all about.

    Ok, I don’t believe he’s manipulated the rule change, but he does seem to be clearly trying to take advantage of it.

    I don't think "take advantage" is the phrasing I'd use either.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 227 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tristan,

    I will say this though at least he put his name to his quote as for the rest of the #abc club they are all content to snipe and snarl from the shadows those are the real ‘finks’ here

    Along those lines, this Standard post may be of interest.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15741 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Ian: we’d love to, but a) electorate boundaries for the next election are up in the air and b) candidate selection processes are all going to change next year. So any announcement of a new candidate would be moot at best.

    Thanks Stephen. such a logical response and informative. See, that's soo much better than speculation. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5725 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Grodon Campbell also offers an interesting perspective on the ructions and their implications.

    All these rational arguments have been eclipsed by the conflict with Cunliffe who – like it or not – is able to articulate Labour’s positions clearly and forcefully in a way that Shearer usually struggles to match. There is a sense that Cunliffe has tacked left within a centrist Labour Party in order to locate a convenient source of support – but in doing so, he has tapped a level of genuine frustration within the party, and he pulled Shearer leftwards on the weekend. For that alone, Labour should be grateful for Cunliffe’s efforts.

    It is all very well to talk about the need for unity, but a unity that merely wallpapers over the party’s real divisions is simply a cosmetic job done for the benefit of the media, and it will not last. Either Labour has to choose to become a genuine party of the left again and contest the entire spectrum of centre left issues effectively with the Greens – or the party rank and file will need to fully and consciously embrace an MMP logic whereby a Shearer-led party positions itself deliberately in the fuzzy centre and willingly cedes the party’s traditional ground to the Greens, with all of the patience and discipline that this will require. It can’t do both things at once.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15741 posts Report Reply

  • Barnard, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Depends on your view of Cunliffe really. If you’re anti-Cunliffe, of course you’ll describe it as “naive and innocent”. If you’re pro-Cunliffe, you don’t think “his personal benefit” is what he’s all about.

    I genuinely have no particularly strong views, although that's starting to change.

    It seems to me if it really wasn't about his personal benefit, he'd make his position clear so the party could deal with it one way or the other and move on.

    I reckon you'll find people are probably sicker of politicians seemingly more interested in their own careers and internal ranglings than issues that matter to them, than they have strong views on party constitutional structures.

    I don’t think “take advantage” is the phrasing I’d use either.

    I guess we'll find out in February, but unless Shearer does something in the mean time the speculation isn't going to stop to then, and I fail to see how that helps Labour.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2012 • 69 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Quite rightly, when asked about next February’s vote, Cunliffe says he doesn’t know. I would have hoped all intelligent MPs would have said the same. If the February vote is to mean anything then it is a time for the leadership issue to be addressed again afresh.

    I really don't see what all the fuss is about. As I understand it there's a regular vote in February which confirms or changes the leadership. If Cunliffe is going to be putting his name forward then, I don't see what the big deal is. It's an election, I'd struggle to call it a coup, and if he hinted now that he was thinking about doing that I don't see that as disloyal or newsworthy. We can think someone else is doing an OK job and be loyal to them, while thinking that we'd do a better job.

    Feels like everyone on both sides of the camera needs to grow up and get on with something important.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to HenryB,

    Of course, Shearer could demote Cunliffe for not saying now how he’d vote next February. That’s his privilege. But trying to discpline and not just demote a caucus member, something that Chris Hipkins seems to be implying, for exercising his rights would be really worrying.

    I agree. facing a vote sooner rather than later is one thing, but planning to "discipline" Cunliffe is unhelpful.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17969 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Barnard,

    politicians seemingly more interested in their own careers and internal ranglings

    And we saw where their approach got the left over the past few years. Led by some of those backing not Cunliffe but Shearer, I'd note.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15741 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    planning to "discipline"

    the 'whip' role was bound to go there eventually

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15741 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    the 'whip' role was bound to go there eventually

    I thought whips were meant to be about internal discipline, giving stern remonstration, pulling rank and kudos to keep the young loose cannons in line. I guess when the whip is 34 years old, though, it doesn't work so well, lecturing people old enough to be their dad, and complaining helplessly to the press seems like a better method.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8029 posts Report Reply

  • Barnard, in reply to Sacha,

    And we saw where their approach got the left over the past few years. Led by some of those backing not Cunliffe but Shearer, I’d note.

    Sure, but that Standard posts attacks Shearer for not turning the guns on Key, whilst at the same time making it perfectly clear that they'd (and allegedly the membership) like to see a change of leadership.
    They says the rule change has nothing to do with Cunliffe, but everything else in the post make it fairly obvious that that's exactly what it's about. They say there's no plot, but then say he should rightfully be leader.
    If Labour party members/activists really want Cunliffe as Leader then stop talking in circles.
    I'd agree disciplining him is probably stupid, but so is others saying different things out of opposite sides of their mouths.
    It's almost like they love the idea of having Cunliffe as leader, but are scared of actually forcing the issue in case he turns out not to be the white knight.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2012 • 69 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Russell Brown,

    but planning to “discipline” Cunliffe is unhelpful.

    Depends also. Discipline may come in many forms and to suggest it is just Cunliffe may be assuming unless you believe everything the likes of Trevett write because so much has come from her in the Herald over the weekend thus strengthening the speculation.So many of her articles were updates on old stuff with one sentence added and a different title.It could be that the entire caucus is to be disciplined on their agreement to stand unified.
    Jus sayin'

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5725 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Barnard,

    If Labour party members/activists really want Cunliffe as Leader then stop talking in circles.

    I don't have a dog in the fight and am struggling to make sense of this situation myself, but if members have changed the rules now after being ignored by caucus a year ago, isn't that taking action?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15741 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    The odd thing is, if the vote on the 60/40 rule on Saturday was really a proxy vote on the leadership, then David Cunliffe won it.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1276 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa, in reply to Sacha,

    I don’t have a dog in the fight and am struggling to make sense of this situation myself

    Same. If only one of the Davids would change their name to Goliath, it would be so much easier to follow...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Deborah,

    The odd thing is, if the vote on the 60/40 rule on Saturday was really a proxy vote on the leadership, then David Cunliffe won it.

    Am I right in guessing it actually wasn't?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17969 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Barnard,

    designs on the leadership undermining what the party is trying to achieve

    Having designs on leadership does not necessarily means he is undermining the party.

    If however, the methods he uses to gain leadership do undermine the party then it is negative.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3115 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jolisa,

    I don’t have a dog in the fight and am struggling to make sense of this situation myself

    Same.

    And me. I've met both men and been impressed by them -- and subsequently less-than-impressed by both of them.

    My wish? That they'd find a friggin' way to work productively together. And that's not a partisan wish, it's a wish with the good of the country in mind.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17969 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yup. Both basically stellar dudes who, once pointed in the same direction, could get so much done.

    Plus, all things come to those who wait, right? In that nothing's guaranteed, and if you're in politics for the long haul, you can play the long game. Sometime's it's very good to be a good person-in-waiting.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Barnard,

    I don’t have a dog in the fight and am struggling to make sense of this situation myself, but if members have changed the rules now after being ignored by caucus a year ago, isn’t that taking action?

    But at the same time we're being told that's nothing to do with Cunliffe, or any specific leadership challenge.
    It seems pretty obvious to everyone o/s the party where this is heading (or at least where those people want it to head), but at the same time no one's quite prepared to be up front about it.
    So, yes it's taking action. But it seems they also want to give the impression they're doing something else entirely, especially as some have given a kind of mealy mouthed support for Shearer (in the short term).
    If this desire to democratize the party is driven by concerns over the last leadership contest & a belief the wrong man is leading the party, then why can't those people say so. They may well have a point, it's the way they're going about it that seems kind of self defeating
    It must seem obvious to Shearer that he's being backed into a corner, but as they're doing it very slowly he & outsiders are not suppose to notice, and then everyone's annoyed when they do.






    .

    Wellington • Since Nov 2012 • 69 posts Report Reply

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