Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Calling the race before it's over

204 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 5 6 7 8 9 Newer→ Last

  • Russell Brown,

    Just been reading discussions at The Standard. It is not a good advertisement for Labour activism.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Barnard,

    Having said that, there are lots of people claiming Cuncliffe as a man of left, who’ll will wipe away any traces of neo liberal orthodoxy.
    Have I missed the evidence for these claims?

    You haven't missed it, it's been practically nonexistent. Which isn't to say it's not true, just that it's never been laid out in public as an actual disagreement on the politics of the two men, which you could read as deliberate on the part of both participants, or as a failing on the part of commentators, or both.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Barnard, in reply to BenWilson,

    I’m guessing, but I suspect

    Is the tale of this weekend.

    Sure, but whether it's innocent or deliberate there does seem an unwillingness from DC and his supporter to grasp both how these things _always_ play out in the media, and the damage it's likely to do. I can't help but think they could easily have done a lot more to knock it on it's head without undermining the validity of February's vote.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2012 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Barnard, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    You haven’t missed it, it’s been practically nonexistent. Which isn’t to say it’s not true, just that it’s never been laid out in public as an actual disagreement on the politics of the two men, which you could read as deliberate on the part of both participants, or as a failing on the part of commentators, or both.

    I guess the irony is that so long as speculation over the leadership exists a mature out in the open battles of ideas isn't going to happen.
    That seems to be the other thing Cuncliffe's backers on the blogs don't seem to grasp, if they are privy to this information about him they're failing spectacularly to get that across, it appears to the rest of us as just petty and mean.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2012 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Williams,

    There's some clever saying about not fighting tomorrow's battles based on historical defeats I'd like to quote but can't recall.

    Plenty of head-shaking about lack of basic nous here, I assure you.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Danyl offers a concise post about the situation.

    ...

    That’s why the media jump all over alleged coup attempts and rumours of war. And it’s why politicians bend over backwards to give the illusion that there is no factionalism within their party. So when a senior caucus member refuses to rule out a coup, it’s a big deal. It’s Doing Something Wrong. It’s kind of like your wife or husband asking you if you plan to cheat on them in three months time. You can give all sorts of cute answers like: ‘I haven’t made a decision on that matter yet,’ or ‘That is not the current subject under discussion.’ But really, any answer other than ‘No’ is unacceptable.

    So Shearer had no choice but to demote Cunliffe. The press gallery love it when politicians fight in public and sack each other, so we’ll probably hear lots of giddy squealing about how Shearer is ‘tough’, and that he’s finally showing his leadership qualities. But being forced to sack your top-performing MP from your under-performing front-bench is not a great development for an opposition leader. Shearer isn’t being tough, he took the only option available to him because he’s spent the last year making poor choices, which provoked this coup. He’s cauterised a self-inflicted wound.

    ...

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Biking distance...

    ...next year’s Labour conference will be in Christchurch.

    We aren't worthy,
    but we'll build a conference centre specially!
    (Hell, Gerry'll throw in a stadium too!)

    Stephen, thanks for telling me, well hell,
    probably the rest of the country, too.
    I hadn't read that anywhere else .
    That is news that either the Labour PR machine
    didn't trumpet or the mainstream media omitted?
    (Admittedly I'm only shallow grazing MSM lately,
    and who can afford a clipping service?)

    Where will it be held?
    - Can't see the proposed new ConCentre being open
    (an abandoned (Renewed) school would be quite a statement...)

    and how many would be there?
    - I'm guessing a lot of inter-party billeting...

    and I assume they'll spud in a new candidate then...
    (plus the new State Insurance model we'll need by then...)

    I see they have started painting the town red already...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5092 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    OK, apologies in advance for using PA as therapy, but believe me, it's going to save neighbours and colleagues from being collateral damage from my rage (and me from a coronary).

    I've just been listening to Brent Edwards on Morning Report telling us about Cunliffe undermining Labour, and the need for unity, etc. He also told us that Cunliffe could make it all go away by issuing a statement to his supporters, calling off his dogs (paraphrase, but in essence correct). There is similar coverage elsewhere.

    Now, I suppose by commenting here I immediately become a Cunliffe Henchman, but what the hell. I vote Labour, even last time when I was very unhappy with them, and I desperately want them to be united, and not "undermined".

    But for four years I have been "undermined". By Labour. I can instantly recall incidents of ill-discipline and idiocy in media, social or mainstream, by ...

    Mallard, Jones, Curran, O'Connor, Fenton, Nash, Sio, Mahuta, and ... well, let's call them the Labour caucus. That took ten seconds to recall. No doubt there are more. I didn't need Google, I just needed to touch my bruised forehead, from years of banging it on the wall, and it's very generous of me to only mention Mallard once. Copy and paste him for a page if you want a truer picture.

    Included on that list would be Cunliffe (e.g. his pre-election comments about Judith Collins, though at least he was quick to apologise). But if anybody thinks that Labour's problems stem from Not Being Tough with one particular MP, and that Peace and Unity will prevail once he is gone, they must have spent the last four years in a sensory-deprivation chamber (I wish I had).

    And I'm only talking here about blatant failures - never mind basics like the inability to ask a competent follow-up question in Parliament, or issue a press release some time before the publication arrives in the dentist's waiting room. The Greens somehow manage this every week - it must be because they don't have David Cunliffe.

    That's just the caucus. The current leader's obvious limitations would turn this comment into one of those e-book thingies.

    I know that David v David is today's story, and it's all terribly exciting for journos bored with Home and Away , but can we please get some perspective? Can we dispense with this absurd fantasy that Labour would be doing just fine if David Cunliffe was poet-in-residence at Harvard? And that WE (the dumb voters) only get pissed off at Labour's leadership (leadership?) and rant about them on blogs because DC tells us to?

    Let's stipulate that Cunliffe's behaviour was/is a "problem" (in some conveniently unspecified way). Now, how about sorting out the rest of them?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Barnard,

    I suspect the attempt to portray the disagreement as non-ideological was a result of Cunliffe thinking he could have a bob each way. If he lost, he would still be able to do his job as a member of the party, because hey, we're all friends here, right?

    And Shearer's camp wouldn't want anyone thinking there were people inside the party who were unhappy with its direction, so they went along with it.

    Commentators never lose by framing leadership battles as horse-races, so no pressure there, either.

    But for all I know, the challenge could genuinely have been as personality-driven and non-ideological as it appeared. If that's the case, I'm surprised the challenge garnered as much attention as it did.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    You haven’t missed it, it’s been practically nonexistent.

    Based on the Listener article, if he manages his media presentation as carefully with everything, how the hell would anyone who hasn't met him know anything about what he is like. I just about spat my morning tea all over my keyboard when I read about him not wanting a photo opportunity on the grass or on the beach. FFS.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6221 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to simon g,

    The Greens somehow manage this every week

    Here's what a real leader sounds like - Metiria Turei discussing this matter coherently and compassionately on Morning Report, and managing to mention party policy too (3 mins, listening options).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    ...next year’s Labour conference will be in Christchurch.

    Where will it be held?
    - Can't see the proposed new ConCentre being open
    (an abandoned (Renewed) school would be quite a statement...)

    If Mallard's level of interest in Chchch matters is any indication they'll hold it in the Hagley High "prayer room".

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3597 posts Report Reply

  • Barnard, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    But for all I know, the challenge could genuinely have been as personality-driven and non-ideological as it appeared. If that’s the case, I’m surprised the challenge garnered as much attention as it did.

    I'm not, it just reflects how politics is no longer presented as a battle of than of ideas. Obsession with soap opera is a natural extension of that.

    Can we dispense with this absurd fantasy that Labour would be doing just fine if David Cunliffe was poet-in-residence at Harvard?

    It's no more an absurd fantasy than the one that Labour would be doing just fine if only David Cunliffe was leader

    Wellington • Since Nov 2012 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    true, and Mallard has also closed the odd school
    as well... mixed messages (=sage mess!)

    I no longer think of Cunliffe, Mallard, Jones, Curran, O’Connor, et al as being True Labour, more as a bunch of idiosyncratic egos that Labour is riddled with, especially the older ones - their personalities get in the way of the ideas that need to be driven ahead, and some are seemingly very slow to change lanes or keep their speed up... a tad more humility and rabble rousing, please...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5092 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Paul Williams,

    isn’t it time for talent regeneration

    Aren't all the people you mention National supporters?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4484 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to simon g,

    Let’s stipulate that Cunliffe’s behaviour was/is a “problem” (in some conveniently unspecified way). Now, how about sorting out the rest of them?

    So, who do you email in the Labour Party? Have you told any of them lately how you feel? The only mp I haven't heard from in Labour is Sio, who obviously doesn't care to discuss marriage equality but I keep on keeping on as it were. Although many think sides may be necessary to discuss Labour leadership, I don't really. I particularly think Cunliffe is good at what he does, and his field is economy, finance. Interesting to me (only) that he also shows similar traits to English and Key. Sure, Shearer fluffs about alot in public which he could try to do better and I actually think he has, since he got this present job, but some take longer than others to settle in and I'll give him that. One thing he does do is email me every week. He says where he has been, who he's talking to out in the street, what he is being told in different communities, so I have a feeling of a person trying to get to grips with what the people are saying . It's quite satisfying to get your therapy by emailing the mp that is not performing as you think is helpful or that you think is doing great . That is why I like the internet, such an appropriate name huh? I also think Simon G's last post would make a great email to Shearer.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6349 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to simon g,

    they must have spent the last four years in a sensory-deprivation chamber (I wish I had).

    Heh. Isn't the world record like 4 days or something?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8675 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    My theory:
    The 'left' in NZ is a much bigger group than the 'right' and always has been probably since the early days of pakeha settlement. The left is a much more diverse movement and that is why it tends to have various groupings. There has been some interesting research recently showing people who hold conservative views also value things like authority and loyalty, while the left values such things as diversity,democracy and the collective. However, to stop the left fragmenting too much and making itself ineffective there has to be a requirement for those seeking power to be team players which does not sit easily with many on the left who want to challenge authority whatever form that takes.

    I think we are in a very significant time of transition for all sorts of reasons. The Labour Party itself is still deciding what sort of party it is post Rogernomics and post Helen Clark, and 75 years since the first Labour government established the welfare state with the 1938 Social Security Act (and remember the Savage/Lee battles of that time), and positioning itself for another period of political power and reforming for a modern welfare state (eg action on housing, poverty, lowering voting age). However, this time it will be with the Green Party as its main ally (which has also had periods of significant painful transitioning but is now seen as a strong and cohesive party).

    So this is a time of rebuilding for a party hoping to reflect a significant portion of the NZ voting public, which means building a team to reflect the diversity of the left. While the right, with its natural love of authority, can do it relatively quickly and cleanly, the left does it more loudly and messily. What is not necessarily a bad thing so long as general cohesion eventuates.

    What I think augurs well for the LP now is that a mild mannered person who has calmly dealt with warring war lords is well placed to bring the left block together, and there seem to be some skilled people around him.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2131 posts Report Reply

  • Barnard, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    The ‘left’ in NZ is a much bigger group than the ‘right’ and always has been probably since the early days of pakeha settlement.

    You sure?

    Since 2nd WW there’s been I think 22 elections, Nats have come out as the biggest party in 14, Labour in 8. Ok, a couple of those were badly distorted by FPTP, and you can argue over what’s ‘left’ ,what’s ‘right’ & what’s ‘centre’, which has been further complicated by MMP but I don’t see how you can argue the left has always been ‘much bigger’.

    I’m also wary of attributing simplistic attributes to left and right as well, there’s very much been an authoritarian left which puts an emphasis on order over democracy, and classic liberals if not actual libertarians who’d you’d usually label ‘right’ would certainly argue they very much believe in a diversity of views.

    Also whilst I do completely accept the centre right do tend to fall into line much quicker and easier than the left, historically that’s been more People’s front of Judeaism as it has been a love of democratic debate.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2012 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    You haven’t missed it, it’s been practically nonexistent. Which isn’t to say it’s not true, just that it’s never been laid out in public

    Public speeches by both DS and DC make up the bulk of what I've gleaned, all discussed extensively here :)
    DS began badly, with a speech that started with some drive-by beneficiary-bashing, moved on to claim a la Stephen Joyce that tech entrepreneurs will save us all, and detoured to aim a kick at teachers. He's learnt from this debacle- but it certainly dented his credibility (if it was cynical, it was nasty; if it was earnest, it's hard to believe DS is of the progressive left.)
    DC may well have cynically played on this perception in speeches which emphatically excoriated 'leave it to the market' neo-liberalism. Cynical or not, they sounded cracking good to some in Labour :)
    Are there substantial policy differences? Since DC has been (rightly) forbidden from publicly setting out 'his own' policies, that's hard to know. If as as a back-bencher he challenges for the leadership in Feb we might expect some serious policy debate.
    But that's a big if :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Where will it be held?

    I don't know, and I suspect a venue hasn't been settled on. That might be a reason why there wasn't a big announcement, or perhaps it just wasn't news -- that decision got made yonks ago.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2972 posts Report Reply

  • Rochelle, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    I agree [and with HenryB, Lucy Telfar Barnard and Tristan and Gordon Campbell via Sacha]> I have been a member of the LP since 1977, sometimes in despair at the policies or personel.. but have hoped it would basically be a socialist/social democratic Party. I was really impressed that there was a "who do you want as Leader" tour, attending the meeting in Wellington.
    It was almost no contest in that large audience: David Cunliffe was clear, decisive, knew where he wanted to go [and I basically agreed]; David Shearer related anecdotes from his diplomatic/negotiating career. He was utterly weak on the political front..[ie wanting to defeat the National Party next election to stop bad policiies, make better ones].
    But caucus ignored the considered views of the Party membership and instead voted for Shearer because he is kinder and gentler with them, I assume..
    So I, and many, have hoped like hell we were wrong about Shearer, and so far we were not. National have been able to get away with bad policy and lies/mistakes.
    February was the time that Shearer and the caucus had agreed would be the leadership decision time.
    David Shearer's hissy fit shows he is not a political animal. So why does he want to be the Leader I wonder; a big encounter group to demonstrate his negotiating skills with? Personal ego I surmise

    Kapiti • Since Feb 2011 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Barnard,

    I would say that the left is bigger than the right internationally. The Occupy movement highlighted that. So does that values survey that Massey University used to do. I bet that if there was a survey of the world's population the princicples, loosely described, of socialism would be overwhelminly popular. Humanity basically wants fairness, justice, education, food, shelter, work, and support for those old, young or otherwise vulnerable etc for all, and a degree of an interventionist democraticlly elected governance authority to achieve and maintain it all. It is not the same as measuring through elections which disenfranchise large segments of the population such as young people, and can also be manipulated by money or the media, or the power of those who set up the systems.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2131 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I don't think you can use the size of the Occupy movement as proof of the size of the left. It's only really an indication of the size of the left among people who were prepared to go and camp in public places. I suspect that's not something the size of the right would be particularly keen on.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 396 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I mean the articulation of the Occupy movement of the idea of 1% and 99%. Not the actual size of the events although it was an amazing global movement They showed that the powerful elites of the right are tiny compared with the ordinary lives and interests of the citizenry.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2131 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 5 6 7 8 9 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.