OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Dear Labour Caucus

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  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    It’s nice to read a reason that isn’t tied up with reinforcement of the author’s pre-existing theory, or an argument about who really carries the baggage of the last Labour government.

    Yes. + 1. Only serves to make me question my preference again . But I merely care about the state of the Nation. Not just the Party.
    Dammit ;(

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joshua Arbury,

    Whoever wins the leadership battle, I hope like he'll it is because Labour MPs think that's the person who can win the next election, not because it's a mate or there's a promise of a plum job. Another 2 terms of National would really hurt the country.

    +1

    It has been infuriating the last couple of years watching putative leaders put preserving their positions ahead of the interests of those they supposedly serve - and who pay them to do so.

    But I merely care about the state of the Nation. Not just the Party.

    snap

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng, in reply to Don Christie,

    Winston can get away with it because he's Winston, and he exists on a plane where everything and nothing are facts.

    Who's dumping on Cunliffe for being organised? I'm dumping on him for not being organised as a Finance Spokesperson because he was too busy campaigning for the leadership.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Keith Ng, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I would love to. However, it was an event closed to the media and for party members only.

    Did they ask you not to talk about it?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Keith Ng,

    Did they ask you not to talk about it?

    Twas a sanctuary. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    I know a couple of Judith Tizard Jokes, but I guess you had to be there.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Sacha,

    link?

    Look at all the speculation, that camp Shearer has done nothing to deny, and you won't see a senior post for Cunliffe. I guess that Shearer has to take care of another former rival in Parker, who would get finance, but still.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • BlairMacca, in reply to Sacha,

    The new Labour leader should insist on some quick resignations to get better candidates like Nash or Davis back in off the list. Not holding my breath.

    Depends on who goes. If they are electorate MP's (which many of the old guard are) that would require a by-election. Not such an easy task.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 208 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to BenWilson,

    I don't really buy the idea that Labour's weak performance over 3 years is all down to Cunliffe's long game. I never heard much from Shearer either. Or anyone in Labour, most especially its leader.

    My guess is they were rightly keeping their powder dry until Goff stepped down, so that they'd have less of the baggage of the Clark years.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5439 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Look at all the speculation

    Oh, I thought you meant an actual statement. I've only seen stuff like this:

    They said speculation on the front bench was premature, but Mr Cunliffe said he would want Mr Shearer there, and Mr Robertson would also likely be there.

    Mr Shearer said he had not given any undertakings to his colleagues.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    By the same token, I think that Cunliffe’s palpable alienation of so many colleagues doesn’t speak well for his ability to lead a united Parliamentary party.

    Mind you, Cunliffe has thought out loud of setting the dead wood adrift.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5439 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Sacha,

    Mr Shearer said he had not given any undertakings to his colleagues.

    The basis of this post is that Cunliffe has given firm undertakings, Shearer none (not even to Parker. Yeah, right.), and that Cunliffe supporters have been bought, whilst Shearer are disinterested agents of change. One would want to see some sort of, you know, evidence, other than a bunch of people surrounding Cunliffe's car on election night.

    As for the credibility of the speculation, Robertson has in fact lined up as Shearer's deputy, hasn't he? So we know at least that bit was correct. As for the rest, we won't know until after the election, but that goes for both candidates.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    I’m dumping on him for not being organised as a Finance Spokesperson because he was too busy campaigning for the leadership.

    Fair enough.

    Oh, except that Goff already had the numbers and was hoping to delay their release for a couple of days. From above a comment above - http://business.scoop.co.nz/2011/11/19/phil-goff-on-the-nation-2/

    I'm a little surprised at the this article, to be honest. Are you sure it wasn't written by Keith Not Ng, it is bereft of factual information.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Maybe Labour should adopt a more transparent mechanism that puts the leadership and list decisions in the hands of ordinary members?

    Can anyone provide a convincing reason why not?

    Because it would mean an end to this sort of machine politics. Which in turn would be bad for Labour's machine politicians. So a "democratic" party ends up being an oligarchy to benefit its leadership, not its members.

    (How do you change Labour's constitution anyway? Do some grassroots members want to try?)

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BlairMacca,

    fair point. I note some speculation of stepping back which is a start.

    Departing leadership team Phil Goff and Annette King are expected to vacate the front bench, as are Parliamentary veterans Trevor Mallard, Ruth Dyson and Mr Horomia.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    During the Christchurch town-hall debate I was google-chatting with a National Party press sec, and I said something along the lines of ‘I’m going to start a fake rumour that Cunliffe refused to release his costings to Goff and then tipped off the PM’s office.’ I didn't, but I occasionally fret that this got taken up and spread around.

    Anyway, Labour released ‘the numbers’ about five days after the ‘show me the money’ moment so no, Goff didn’t have the numbers.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    Nail meets head.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    By the same token, I think that Cunliffe's palpable alienation of so many colleagues doesn't speak well for his ability to lead a united Parliamentary party.

    It's hard to be sure which comes first. Maybe they're not a particularly united bunch anyway. I think that's highly likely, considering how there is not one dissenter in there from the idea of "let's have a royal rumble". There may be a strong but silent faction jockeying for a major bloodletting. Which might be a healthy thing, considering the ridiculous choices Labour made for their list prioritization.

    May, might, could. My current feeling is of disconnect - it is not a process in which anyone but the caucus are involved, so it's all a bit soap opera. Who knows what fait accompli might have been pulled, what dirty photos are being handed around, what midnight meetings are being held by co-conspirators? Will Chris Warner suddenly appear, and declare his undying love one way or the other?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Don Christie,

    Goff already had the numbers and was hoping to delay their release for a couple of days

    Again, it's unlikely to have been Goff's call - and Mallard put his hand up already as you noted.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    Will Chris Warner suddenly appear, and declare his undying love one way or the other?

    now that would signal a different approach

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to BenWilson,

    Which might be a healthy thing, considering the ridiculous choices Labour made for their list prioritization.

    That's another thing I don't get about this post: if Cunliffe has really been scheming for a whole term (while Parker/Shearer haven't) and is so complicit with the way the list punished new talent in order to preserve voting blocks in caucus, how come his block was so far behind Shearer's at the starting line, and the former leader and deputy leader - who surely are most responsible about the list selection process - lined up behind his opponent?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    if Cunliffe has really been scheming for a whole term while Parker/Shearer haven't

    can you recommend a good place to read more about that?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Sacha,

    can you recommend a good place to read more about that?

    I haven't got one, I'm going by the Inscrutable Wisdom of Keith. Just trying to apply logic to it.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Another thing that gives me pause. iPredict, which has been extremely accurate so far, has been holding Shearer as the most likely candidate for a while. However, recently, it's stopped predicting a Labour win in 2014. What do all those insider traders know?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew E,

    While it is useful to have another forum in which to discuss the Labour leadership contest, I'm afraid the article preceding this discussion doesn't do the author much credit. Keith has built his reputation through well-researched and intelligent deconstruction of others' spinning. Unfortunately, this piece comes over as a piece of Farrar-esque spin. There's nothing wrong in writing a piece supporting your preferred leadership candidate, but why not just write something which honestly and openly espouses the virtues of the candidate, instead of this kind of pretty insubstantial innuendo?

    I don't mean this to be taken as playing the person rather than the ball - like I said, Keith's writing is normally first class.

    A more important question, to my mind, is how the Labour Party thinks it can address the problem of popular disengagement with politics, when it doesn't even give party members outside of the parliamentary caucus a vote in choosing the leader?

    174.77 x 41.28 • Since Sep 2008 • 200 posts Report Reply

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