Chris Trotter

The problem with Labour’s campaign so far, they’ve forgotten we have MMP

Apart from the obvious policy cock-ups there is a fundamental problem with Labour’s campaign.

They are basically running and electorate vote campaign and one that is worse than in 2011 when Goff flopped to the lowest vote in 80 years.

Right now Labour are on target to the lowest vote in their 98 year history.

But far be it from me to criticise, let the lefty blogsters explain.

Danyl Mclauchlan first, from Wellington:

Photo/ Dimpost

Photo/ Dimpost

All of the Labour billboards are for the electorate candidates: Cunliffe’s face was nowhere to be seen. If you squint you can just make out the Labour logo in the bottom right-hand corner of the board. Seems like a weird way to run an MMP campaign. Especially since that’s just what they did three years ago and this was widely regarded as a catastrophically stupid move contributing to their historic defeat.

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Labour MPs “not fit for purpose” – Trotter

Chris Trotter laments the situation the Labour party finds itself in.

He has decided that the current Labour MPs are “not fit for purpose”.

Which is a fine sentiment, but misses the point that if he finds them unfit for purpose then there is little reason at all to vote for them, or for the Labour party.

Has Labour ever been so hopelessly lost? Has the path to electoral victory ever been so obscured? Starting from where they are now, how can they possibly get to where they need to be on 20 September?

What is it? What is making it so hard for David Cunliffe and his party to get any sort of political traction?

The answer lies in Labour’s caucus. Not only is a majority of the caucus profoundly unhappy with Cunliffe as their leader, it is also profoundly at odds with the Labour Party members who elected him. Labour’s MPs are torn between their desire to occupy the Treasury benches – and thus be free of the Party’s influence – and the realisation that even becoming the government would only postpone the confrontation with the party that Cunliffe’s election made inevitable.

Expressing the problem with maximum brutality: most of Labour’s present crop of MPs are not fit for purpose. A handful are holdovers from the Rogernomics Era – and thus reminders of the very worst period in Labour’s history. More are the products of Helen Clark’s personal intervention in the candidate selection process; followers of a career-path that began in the student unions (or MFAT) and ended on the Prime Minister’s floor of the Beehive. The remainder are what emerges from the deeply compromised horse-trading that assembles Labour’s Party List – burnt out trade unionists and identity politicians.

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Labour’s worst poll result in 15 years in Digipoll


We are voting positive #forabetternz...for National

We are voting positive #forabetternz…for National

The latest Herald Digipoll is out and The Cunliffe experiment is shown for what it is…abject failure.

Labour’s support has slumped to its worst rating for 15 years in the latest DigiPoll survey, putting critical pressure on leader David Cunliffe.

Its 26.5 per cent support is a slide of four points since June.

With just two months to the election, Labour could slip into the disastrous territory held by National in 2002, when it polled 20.93 per cent in the face of the highly popular Labour Government.

On this poll of decided voters National would be able to govern alone comfortably and gain another 10 MPs.

National has jumped 4.5 points to 54.9 per cent. A Stuff/Ipsos poll earlier this week also put support for National at 54.8 per cent.

Prime Minister John Key is more popular than he has ever been, scoring preferred prime minister on 73.3 per cent, compared with Cunliffe on 10.5 per cent and New Zealand First’s Winston Peters on 5.5 per cent.

The second-most-preferred PM out of Labour MPs is David Shearer, with 2.2 per cent, followed by Jacinda Ardern on 1.4 per cent.  Read more »

Chris Trotter on The Cunliffe

I’ve been waiting for this post by Chris Trotter.

He is the left’s canary in the coal mine. When others blame the messenger it is  Trotter is analysing the message.

MUCH SCORN has been heaped upon the claims of Fairfax political journalist, Vernon Small, that a change of leader could rescue Labour’s electoral fortunes. But shooting the messenger, as so many have done in relation to this story, is a poor substitute for studying the message. Especially a message like this one!

According to Small, if every person who claimed they would vote for Labour if David Cunliffe was no longer its leader kept their word, then support for the party would skyrocket. From its present parlous position, located somewhere between 23 and 25 percent, support would rise by an astonishing 13.5 percentage points to an election-winning 38.5 percent.

Whether this projection is statistically valid or not interests me much less than what the numbers cited by Small tell us about the political preferences of the electorate.

Clearly, there is an extremely large number of voters (several hundred thousand) who would like to vote for the Centre-Left but are disinclined to so while it remains in its current state.

At the heart of this disinclination is the Labour Party itself. Looking at it, they see a tortured, internally fractious, ill-disciplined organisation peopled by individuals who clearly loathe one another, and who seemed determined to not only lose the Election of 20 September 2014 – but all subsequent elections.

Not surprisingly, the person they blame for this state of affairs is the Labour leader, David Cunliffe. In spite of so obviously wanting the job, the general consensus among centre-left voters is that, having got it, he has made a God-Almighty mess of it.

Cunliffe’s tentativeness and outright bumbling has both surprised and disappointed his supporters. He had led them to believe that if Labour’s members and trade union affiliates made him their leader he would lead his party in double-quick time back to its democratic socialist roots. But, when Labour’s rank-and-file did exactly as he asked, Cunliffe spent the next three months doing three-fifths of bugger-all.   Read more »

Trotter on The Cunliffe and his apology

Chris Trotter writes about The Cunliffe and his apology:

“PLEASE TELL ME I’M DREAMING”, texted a friend of mine. “Please tell me that David Cunliffe didn’t just apologise for being a man.” I stared at my cell-phone in disbelief. Was he joking? Why would the leader of a political party languishing in the opinion polls alienate at least half of the voting public? Why would he hand his opponents such an enormous cudgel? As if his party wasn’t already battered enough?

Later that day, at the pub, the guffaws and the jokes continued. I have to confess, I contributed my fair share of them. I would also point out that although all of my drinking companions were lefties, by no means all of them were men. This was equal opportunity ridicule.

So what was going on here? Why were a tableful of seasoned leftists – male and female – and all of them well-versed in the facts and figures of domestic violence in New Zealand so unanimous in condemning the opening sentences of David Cunliffe’s speech to last Friday’s Women’s Refuge Symposium?

It might be useful, here, to remind ourselves of his actual words:

‘‘Can I begin by saying I’m sorry – I don’t often say it – I’m sorry for being a man, right now. Because family and sexual violence is perpetrated overwhelmingly by men against women and children. So the first message to the men out there is: ‘wake up, stand up, man up and stop this bullshit’.’’

You see? Written down in full and contextualised, Cunliffe’s words don’t look all that silly – do they? Indeed, you might even say they look rather brave.

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The Daily Blog: Never mind the quality, feel the width


Awesome.  We’d like to congratulate The Daily Blog for being well on the way towards 1,000,000 by the election, which is what their objective was upon launching.   A bit disappointed they cut us off the rankings tho’ – we don’t do that to them, but it’s their blog, their rules.

Of course, a bit of creative editing went on above to make it look better, so forgive us for doing the same thing:


Oh look, The Standard is third now.  And by a significant 100,000 pageview margin.   (100,000… is that a lot?) Read more »

Guest post – Reclaiming the Left – 2014 election

A lefty frustrated at not being able to make this point on left wing blogs without being blocked out, or having comments removed by moderators has politely asked if I will post it.

I have no problem with posting dissenting views or alternate viewpoints, therefore I am happy to post it.


Who Do We Want To Win This Year?

This year’s election is being promoted by some of my colleagues on the left as a battle between good and evil.

Usually I’d agree with them; left-wing politics is the politics of community and altruism, right-wing politics is about selfishness.

But not this time. Because some on the left have allied themselves with a fat-cat capitalist fraud.

The “alliance” of Mana and Dotcom’s Internet Party is the greatest treason to the left in New Zealand since Roger Douglas and co. sold Labour down the river in the 1980s.

Dotcom is not a socialist. He didn’t grow up poor. He made millions by sloshing money from one pocket to the other, never created an ounce of real value, and stole from other workers in doing so. Hundreds if not thousands of film workers here and overseas lost their jobs because of Dotcom and his ilk. And not content with just stealing, he also committed insider trading.  Read more »

They don’t like it up ‘em

“If the Herald’s protestations of fairness were genuine Mr Liu would have been required to swear a formal and legally binding affidavit attesting to every one of his funding allegations. This is what Mr Cameron Slater of the Whaleoil Blog did when he exposed the Len Brown Scandal. What’s more, Mr Slater was willing to post the sworn affidavit of Mr Brown’s paramour on his blog for everyone to read. It is highly significant that, to date, the Herald, by steadfastly refusing to release Mr Liu’s “signed statement”, has treated it readers with less consideration than the Whaleoil blog. A professional discourtesy which Mr Cunliffe has quite understandably construed as a breach of “natural justice”.”

– Chris Trotter

Two things.

1.  It appears that, at least to Chris Trotter, Whaleoil has higher journalistic standards than the NZ Herald.  My, how things change.

2. My sources in Labour tell me this isn’t over by a long shot, and they know it.  I’m not sure how the war room is seeing it, but some Labour people are singing like canaries.   Soon there will be no need for affidavits.

Of course, the thing Trotter isn’t considering is that if Whaleoil had done the same thing and not posted the affidavit, people would have written it off.   Read more »

The far left say Cunliffe is no Bill Rowling…in a bad way

You know things are bad when you are being compared to Bill Rowling…the man Robert Muldoon once described as ‘a shiver looking for a spine to run down’.

The hard left are saying that David Cunliffe is no Bill Rowling…and they aren’t being positive.

HIS SUPPORTERS say that David Cunliffe is the man to lead Labour  away from neoliberalism. According to The Daily Blog’s  Martyn Bradbury, for instance,  ‘the establishment have gone romper stomper on Cunliffe’s desire to break with 30 years of neoliberalism.’

And, like Bradbury, blogger and columnist Chris Trotter  is of the opinion that ‘left wing’ Cunliffe is a target of right wing conspiratorial forces within Labour. Bradbury calls them the ABC’s (Anyone But Cunliffe).

The problem for Bradbury and Trotter though is two fold. First of all they have actually have no concrete evidence there is a conspiracy and are seemingly  hell bent in engaging in endless speculation where the facts are few and far between.

The second problem with this view is that David Cunliffe isn’t the left wing politician that Bradbury and Trotter keep on insisting that he is.

The reality is that David Cunliffe  is not so much the ‘change’ candidate, but a politician who will deliver more of the same neoliberal policies that both National  and Labour governments have followed over the past 30 years.

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Phil Quin on why Dotcom’s pets actually help National

- Dominion Post, Tom Scott

– Dominion Post, Tom Scott

Phil Quin must be getting close to a visit by the union thugs to teach him a thing or two about shooting his mouth off.

He writes at Pundit about the Internet Mana party and the left’s unholy alliance.

In pursuit of political legitimacy, Dotcom’s millions won’t amount to much unless the media plays along — and coverage of Harre’s cannabis stance, as well as the NZ Idol-style list selection over the weekend, suggests Internet Mana’s shiny newness is too much for an otherwise bored press gallery to ignore.

John Key, meanwhile, could hardly script a more favourable turn of events, or conjure a better cast of villains: “That’s what you’re going to see from the far left of politics,” he warned voters last month, “you’ll be led by Russel Norman, Kim Dotcom, Mana, David Cunliffe”. By refusing to close the door on Internet Mana, and even talking up Laila Harre’s political pedigree, Cunliffe risks giving credence to exactly that ungainly prospect. This stance, understandable if somewhat timid and ambiguous, was cast in unflattering light by the forthright rejection of Internet Mana as a “scam” by Kelvin Davis, Labour’s candidate in Te Tai Tokerau.  Read more »