Fran O’Sullivan is off on holiday until September 8th, but leaves us with a piece on “Problem Child” David Cunliffe
In a previous life Cunliffe was one of capitalism’s handmaidens. He spent time with Boston Consulting; his wife is a top environment lawyer; they live at a very nice address in Auckland’s Herne Bay.
But he was marked out for destruction by his colleagues when Clark (too openly) took him under her wing when he entered politics.
This does not explain why the ABC (Anyone But Cunliffe) Club is led by Trevor Mallard. I doubt at the time he felt displaced by Cunliffe in Helen Clark’s affections as Trevor wasn’t under Clark’s wing but her thumb. Truth is Labour has more than the Shearer/Cunliffe faction, they have the Robertson faction and the Maori faction. Then there is the Union faction and the GLBT faction.
So, it’s not surprising that the “ABC Club” (Anyone but Cunliffe) quickly sank his chances, levering the political neophyte Shearer into the Labour leadership against the party’s clear preference for the politician who can cut the mustard in Parliament with every bit as much venom and vigour as Sir Michael Cullen used to display.
Cullen tried to roll Clark in a coup remember.
There is a typo in here for sure, Clark was never an internationalist, surely Fran means Cunliffe?
Like Clark, Shearer is an internationalist. In his bones he does not stand for the kind of reversion to cloth cap ideology that Cunliffe has been nakedly embracing.
Outflanked? Jesus Shearer is being outperformed by Parekura Horomia presently and Trevor Mallard gets more media attention because his lights are still on, even if no one is actually home in Wainuiomata.
Shearer is clever. But rather flat in his political demeanour. He does not like being outflanked by a colleague with more obvious political wattage.
Fran has suggested Labour need to find a way to shut Cunliffe up, Chinese style.
As with Bo in China, Cunliffe has launched a serious challenge to the prevailing ideology of his party’s political wing. Does he seriously believe the nostrums in his three speeches or has he cynically “gone red” to build votes within the party at large. And will his colleagues succeed in burying him? The ABC club can’t place Cunliffe under house arrest. They might just have to engage instead.
Or not. After this past week the caucus may be thinking of engaging Grant Robertson instead.