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Speaker: An Open Letter To David Cunliffe

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    But yeah, let’s just say he needs to go, because it sounds good.

    Well there’s also the fact that about three-quarters of his caucus, including his own deputy, don’t want to work with him. I don’t really see a way around that, even if Cunliffe is returned by his party with a thumping mandate (which I don’t think he will be).

    I don’t think the experience of the Labour activists and candidate in this thread who report knocking on literally thousands of doors and repeatedly hearing that people wouldn’t vote Labour because of Cunliffe is irrelevant either.

    And then there’s Cunliffe’s odd behaviour since the election, which seems to have been what tipped David Parker over the edge.

    Basically, the guy led the party to a really terrible result – not just in scale, but in nature. His comparison of his position to that of Helen Clark in 1996 was absurd. I think I’ve known Cunliffe longer than anyone else in this discussion. He’s a good man and I’ve frequently noted his legislative achievements. But he can’t command the loyalty of his own caucus (in part because of actions driven by his own ambition), a fair slice of the public thinks he’s weird and I can’t see any way of his continued leadership being viable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Ianmac,

    Of course it is not because they see David as a threat is it? How about you?

    I doubt they are saying it because they see him and his 24-25 % a threat. I'm saying it because I can't see him winning and I want a Labour government.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    And your point is Deep Red? The increasing debt is the result of National pursuing orthodox Keynesian deficit spending in a downturn. That there is more debt was not my point. I am hardly going to deny what is obvious. My point is that National were attacked vigorously by Labour and hysterically by the Greens for not spending enough, especially in the first term. They used the UK term "austerity" to describe the National approach at a time Nationalwere running extremely largely operating deficits to support public spending, maintain demand in the economy and avoid a deeper downturn. Those deficits required very large borrowing, hence the increase in our debt. My point was that, Labour wanted to spend more than National and the Greens even more than Labour. To do so they would have had to borrow far more, even if they had raised taxes (counterproductive in a downturn anyway). The deficit and net debt profiles are in Fig 3 of the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update 2014. In your table you will also notice the debt to GDP ratio fell in 2014. Once again this is consistent with increasing tax revenue from a growing economy requiring less borrowing. That's why, Russell, Labour did not have to make extreme spending promises - and David Parker doesn't strike me as an extreme kind of guy - during the election campaign. Now is the part of the economic cycle when revenue rises and you can both keep increasing government spending - as National has done throughout the GFC - and start paying down the debt accumulated to ameliorate the impact of the downturn. That's what National began to do in 1994 after the public finances returned to surplus and Laour continued through most of the 2000s until our very own downturn before the GFC happened.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Matt Crawford, in reply to Russell Brown,

    That's a sound analysis Brown, and I think you've hit the nail on the head. Regardless of Cunliffe's potential merits or appeal, his inability to work with caucus all but rules him out as a rational option.

    Robertson's problem however is that he has hitched his leadership ambition to the the dead wood of the ABC clique. Mallard, Goff, King, Cosgrove are his loyalists and represent the worst aspects of this stale and unpleasant caucus. A vote for Robertson may well mean a leader who shackles the party with these people until at least 2020.

    In my opinion Cunliffe was elected last year primarily as a protest vote against caucus. If Robertson does not understand this he will forever struggle to gain membership buy-in. I'm sure as hell not volunteering to keep Clayton Cosgrove's political career alive via the list.

    I think a Robertson alternative who does not have the ABC baggage could come through in the votes of the membership.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 58 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Mr Mark,

    Yeah, I get the impression James is pretty ambitious and has therefore hitched his wagon to the Robertson juggernaut. Probably hoping for a reasonably high List spot or Safe-ish Electorate somewhere down the line.

    Mr Mark: I guess you're a relative noob hereabouts, but the usual house style is to extend people the presumption they're speaking in good faith and engage with what they've actually said. If anything, James has been up front about where he's coming from and it's pretty shitty to dog-whistle that he's not. (It's also pretty insulting to Russell as well, who I've disagreed with a LOT over the years but he doesn't play bullshit games through proxies or prosecute stealth agendas.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Matt Crawford,

    Robertson's problem however is that he has hitched his leadership ambition to the the dead wood of the ABC clique

    I don't know what else he could do though. Unfortunately the demands of getting caucus support and the demands of appealing to the electorate are almost completely incompatible. The Labour caucus is just so unrepresentative of the country, which is, um, the real problem here.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    I reset my scrambled password, sorry for popping up like this, I’ll try to be brief but may not succeed. Stephen Judd and Keir Leslie, from reading the both of you over the years, I feel I have a reasonable idea as to your outlooks and ideals, certainly more than James Dann has provided in either of his guest blogs here or on his video, in fact so familiar am I that I would have voted for either one of you.

    In this instance James Macbeth Dann has dropped a bomb and walked away, as ‘the help’ you are here to clean up, address any loose ends, and it’s this lack of meaningful engagement that epitomizes modern Labour.

    Legends of Norman Kirk’s ability to bowl up anywhere and converse with the humble Kiwi aren’t easily forgotten. So where exactly is James now? Though not the best example, Sir Rob Muldoon would have absolutely trolled the shit out of blogs and the like, in order to engage, and to engage in order to enhance his understanding of what his constituents thought, wanted, and feared. Though his feet were no closer to the ground than Icarus’, at least he had no qualms about getting the fuckers dirty.

    As I said “I would have voted for either one of you”, what may now inform any change of heart here, is that reading between the lines, it would seem that not only might the two of you have played a role in putting James’s up to this, but that you are also certainly facilitators. What is absolutely clear is that he’s simply not engaging with people here. Like it or lump it at least John Key gives the impression that he can mix it up with Joe Tūmatanui.

    It is exactly this kind of puppet master politics that some old Labour loyalists like myself are tired of. I’m over hearing someone who rote learned the CGT stumble over the details, I want the brains behind it, someone so intimately acquainted with the detail that they can fill me with confidence about the every last scarab of the policy. I’m tired of listening to someone spiel off David Slack’s (behind the scenes) work, I want to vote for David Slack himself, and that sentiment includes a bunch of people I read and have engaged with here.

    Labour wants to choose a leader, well how about instead of locking yourselves into a weekend long orgy and issuing barbs accross cyberspace, you actually try to revisit that long forgotten practice of engaging with the constituency. Get your feet back on the God damned tarmac, send the lot of those MPs out ‘a door knockin’ with clipboards to collect suggestions and signatures for preferred PM, log on to places like Publicaddress, TheStandard, Kiwiblog to engage, discuss, debate and listen to opinion. Please, just anything at all but this forever incest.
    Get human.

    And Richard Aston:

    Maybe all MPs should be biffed after 3 terms .

    Superb, perhas an obligatory one term stand down every five terms, get those ‘career’ types to reconsider their priorities.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Danyl asks whether New Zealanders are ready to elect an openly inane PM?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to bmk,

    When you take 9 members of a union and none of them will vote for the Labour party … well then you have a problem. And when everyone says the reason is Cunliffe –

    I see this as strange given the numbers in the Unions supporting Cunliffe. It was the Unions that chose him. interesting that Key made this a Presidential person contest and its interesting that Cunliffe looked knda funny to you. The Labour Party seems to have been forced into a competition against Key and Lucy(I think) said it best that one looks genuine but isn't and the others look smarmy but is.

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

  • Sacha, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    The Labour Party seems to have been forced into a competition against Key

    that's a strategic decision.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to mark taslov,

    As I said “I would have voted for either one of you”, what may now inform any change of heart here, is that reading between the lines, it would seem that not only might the two of you have played a role in putting James’s up to this, but that you are also certainly facilitators. What is absolutely clear is that he’s simply not engaging with people here. Like it or lump it at least John Key gives the impression that he can mix it up with Joe Tūmatanui.

    Oh, get a grip. He's written an honest open letter that is frank, but not at all abusive (which stands in contrast to what I gather are some vile responses in comments at The Standard). It's not the kind of thing you go and endlessly relitigate. And no one has to agree.

    Also: please desist with the accusations. Stephen and Keir have not "facilitated" James or "put him up to it". You know how I know that? Because he's an adult who can make his own decisions.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to mark taslov,

    , it would seem that not only might the two of you have played a role in putting James’s up to this, but that you are also certainly facilitators.

    Nope. Had no idea this was in the works and the first I knew was via Twitter. It was actually slightly annoying as it undercut a rant I had at a caucus member about getting their shit together the day before.

    However, obviously I have bonded with James after months of working together. Corroborating claims which have been questioned is something I feel obliged to do.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to mark taslov,

    It's also absurd to declare that James is disengaged. Disengaged people don't do things like this.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to mark taslov,

    Jesus wept. Mark, ask me any f^%&$ing!!! thing about the CGT and I will answer it for you. In detail.

    Also, I know for absolutely certain sure that Stephen Judd, who has the utmost integrity, and who has a huge reputation here, was not any sort of "puppet master" behind James writing this post. I haven't been in contact with Keir, so I don't know for sure, but I'm sure as can be that he wasn't behind this post either.

    Give James the credit for being a grown man who is entirely capable of making decisions for himself.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Oh. Stephen - snap! Also, Russell - snap!

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I must admit my appetite for writing a guest post on what it's like to do doorknocking has waned :-/

    Thanks f0r the nice words, Deborah. Back atcha.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Oh, get a grip.

    Much as I appreciate the verbiage, your not being James Dann only further underlines my point. Find another Guest blogger in recent memory on your site who has after two posts completely declined to engage with the discussion on your site about their posts and I’ll concede your point. Otherwise I’m not convinced that you get it.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Deborah,

    Jesus wept. Mark, ask me any f^%&$ing!!! thing about the CGT and I will answer it for you. In detail.

    Ok thanks Deborah, in proposing CGT as it was laid out, what is Labour’s reasoning for introducing this further tax to include and be applicable to those on low or unsustained incomes? The reason I bought this up is because Mr Cunliffe smudged details.

    Cunliffe told reporters there would be a one-month grace period before an inherited house would be hit with a capital gains tax.

    Perhaps you can provide more direct and clear answers to basic questions than David Cunliffe. I’m well aware it doesn’t apply to the family home, I’m well aware it only applies on a realisation basis, neither of these answer my question, which I’ll restate for better engagement:

    in proposing CGT as it was laid out, what is Labour’s reasoning for introducing this further tax to include and be applicable to those on low or unsustained incomes?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to mark taslov,

    It doesn't apply to the family home, it only applies on a realisation basis, it only applies on a forward basis. Someone who earns a lump sum by realising a capital asset is earning income, and will pay tax on that income in the form of a CGT. The rate is set at a low level (15%) in part to accommodate exactly that sort of situation.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Must be tough being back to irrelevancy.

    But he isn't. He will be used by the MSM exactly as he was before, because simply they do not care.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to mark taslov,

    Find another Guest blogger in recent memory on your site who has after two posts completely declined to engage with the discussion on your site about their posts and I’ll concede your point.

    It might have been an idea for you to go and look before saying so.

    Otherwise I’m not convinced that you get it.

    I get the point you're making. I just don't think it's very relevant.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It might have been an idea for you to go and look before saying so.

    Yeah I’ve done that, link up the two time Guest Blogger who has entirely failed to engage with their discussion, I’m happy to be proven wrong on a specific instance in case you feel that the trend in itself is not enough to call the behaviour into question.

    Whether you think it’s relevant or not, your votes are only worth as much as mine.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to mark taslov,

    Much as I appreciate the verbiage, your not being James Dann only further underlines my point. Find another Guest blogger in recent memory on your site who has after two posts completely declined to engage with the discussion on your site about their and I’ll concede your point.

    I don't know how or why James should "engage" with anyone, here or elsewhere, who've pretty much called him a liar with a covert agenda who has acted in the very worse of bad faith. Russell is right, more fool me for looking but some of the shit thrown at James on The Standard is vile. "Tribal" in the very worse sense of the word.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    We’re 9 pages in Craig. The reaction could be classed as mixed. James isn’t applying for a job as a librarian. The ability to effectively engage with opposition, criticism and just general bullshit is a mandatory requirement for a successful MP and most definitely for a would be quote/unquote Prime Minister.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Look, can we stop, for one minute with all bickering. Can we try to accept that people act in good faith in Labour, because it is evident that it has been that way in history. Can we please stop insinuating/analysing that one or another person in Labour has ulterior motive or is a bit better? For what? To win on their own? It ain't going to happen. At this point no one is moving forward. We are feeding a machine of Opposition to Labour and it is creating exactly what it set out to do which is destabilise Labour. It's causing an insecurity amongst the people involved. Hell I believe Cunliffe gave the job of Twitter to staff. Key says he does whenever it suits him. I believe his wife wants to shout and scream because she genuinely feels her man doesn't deserve it. She should know. The fact this info is getting into the public arena so quickly says it all. Yes, its twitter, Yes she did it and yes, Cosgrove is straight on TV to denigrate Cunliffe. And Mallard. says nothing. Meanwhile everyone blames Mallard.
    So what is the purpose of James letter. It's his feelings. That's what letters are. It's open so it's public. I really really hope he gave Cunliffe a chance to respond before it went public. If not, he wanted the debate. Maybe to be swayed or for other reasons but he is one of the few people entitled to have a say. I'm kinda glad he is a stranger to me because I would love Labour to all support each other and communicate to each other so it's not the 6 o'clock news. The news embellishes any info it can insinuate as possibly a huge problem without fully knowing. It's all insinuation.. I'm sure this is having a bad effect on them. Instead of bitching it is really easy to email every single one of them which is what I do and y'know what, they reply No Shit Sherlock! I like Labour ,they are being spun and it's working. Everyone is buying in to denigrating them. How about ideas to help instead.? James if Cunliffe wins again, your choice. If you love Labour, you could still help. Good Luck. Labour is so much more than the Leader. That's a winning ticket.

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

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