Clayton Cosgrove

New job for Clayton Cosgrove?

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2014 has been an unmitigated disaster for supermarket giant Countdown.

With the Commerce Commission’s investigation in full swing and, from what I’m hearing they’re leaning towards believing the suppliers over the bullies at Countdown’s head office, things are not going well for NZ boss Dave Chambers.

Maybe Dave Chambers would like to try the stunt its owners at Woolworths are now watching roll out in Australia with its arch rival Coles.

Coles has decided it needs to “rebuild bridges with grocery suppliers” and has hired former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett to oversee a new supplier charter.   Read more »

Labour’s reverse campaign

Rodney Hide discusses Labour’s reverse campaigning.

The Labour MPs who didn’t want David Cunliffe as leader also didn’t want him as prime minister. They still don’t.

These MPs are reverse campaigning. Their aim is to achieve a once-in-a-generation transformation of the Labour Party.

Their reverse campaigning is witnessed in their focus on the electorate vote, contradiction of party policy, plans to de-extinct moa and public criticism of Mr Cunliffe taking time to holiday.

None of this is accidental. These are professional politicians.

Here’s the logic. Labour this election picks up two Maori electorates plus Clayton Cosgrove wins Waimakariri and Stuart Nash wins Napier. Their success knocks out four Labour list candidates.

Labour polls in the low 20s. That means less than 30 MPs. The 27 constituencies that Labour wins largely fills Labour’s MP quota. The list MPs are cleaned out. Sue Moroney, Andrew Little, Maryan Street and Moana Mackey are gone.

The result is a different Labour Party. The constituency MPs are centrists. They have to be to win and retain their seats. The list MPs are to the left. The election cleanout changes Labour’s political dynamic. It’s ideological centre shifts rightward. The remnant Labour Party is more centre-right than National’s Cabinet.

Mr Cunliffe goes. He can’t survive such a catastrophic defeat.

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Tired and rundown

A Ground Crew member emails:

Came across this whilst walking the dog.

Clayton looks tired and run-down much like the Labour party!

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“It almost seems as if he wants the glory, but he hasn’t got the guts.”

Labour’s caucus have had a gutsful with The Cunliffe and they are talking out of school.

Labour MPS are disgusted by leader David Cunliffe’s skiing holiday just two months before the election and will question his work ethic at a caucus meeting on Tuesday, a senior party insider has told the Sunday Star-Times.

As Labour hit a new polling low of just 23.5 per cent in the latest Stuff/Ipsos poll and data suggested those numbers would climb quickly if its leader quit, Cunliffe took a week’s leave to go skiing in Queenstown. That decision has infuriated a significant number of Labour MPs, the insider claimed.

A lot of MPs are really f….. off about it,” he said. “They are all working hard up and down the country, and f…… Cunliffe is on holiday. Guys like [Phil] Goff and [Annette] King and [David] Shearer, these guys really want it badly and they are working like their lives depend on it. And I think they are a little incredulous about what the guy is doing.”

The insider said while Prime Minister John Key was also holidaying – in Hawaii – there was a “world of difference” between an incumbent prime minister enjoying 52 per cent support in the polls and an opposition leader trailing nearly 30 points behind.

“It sounds a little treasonous, but the guy doesn’t want it badly enough. If he did, he would be working. I think it is disgraceful behaviour, and not the sort of behaviour becoming of a guy who wants to be prime minister.

We will be having a talk to David at caucus about his work ethic on Tuesday. We’ll be letting him know he’s got two months to turn this around, and we’re backing him and right behind him but he’s got to lift his game.”

The insider believed up to 20 of the 33 Labour MPs were deeply unhappy with Cunliffe’s leadership, but had accepted that an attempt to dump him this late in the term would backfire.

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Clayton Cosgrove using National’s slogan and hiding Labour links

As predicted we are seeing Labour MPs doing everything they can to avoid painting themselves as Labour candidates and they most certainly are not putting up billboards and hoardings with The Cunliffe on them.

Clayton Cosgrove has recycled his billboards from past elections as again, as I predicted, they are mostly white with only the barest hint he is standing for Labour.

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Countdown proves they are bullies, now posturing against the FGC

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2014 has been a fiasco for supermarket bully Countdown.

It kicked off the year bullying Kiwi suppliers with threats of being black-listed unless they ponied up with additional payments.

Then Countdown tried to call Shane Jones and Clayton Cosgrove’s bluff by sending threatening letters to the Commission Committee.

After the Commerce Commission announced there was sufficient evidence to launch an inquiry into Countdown’s behaviours, the company decided a new PR offensive was needed.

They fly in their Australian boss Ralph Waters, who then conveniently forgot about 15,000 of their “team members” and said it was a case of Aussie bashing.

Wheeling in an Australian boss to tell Kiwis they had it all wrong worked well for them with WOBH’s supermarket sources saying Countdown’s market share taking a hammering.  Read more »

More from the Herald on The Cunliffe

The Herald has continued their series on “The Cunliffe”.

While last weeks effort would have made The Cunliffe happy I doubt he will be pleased with todays works, especially those by Claire Trevett.

He is fingered as a snitch:

Cunliffe describes that 1999 intake as the first political generation that had not been “scarred” by Rogernomics or the acrimony after it. But that first term also saw the start of the problem Cunliffe has struggled with since – his relations with his caucus colleagues.

Cunliffe and Tamihere gravitated towards each other, part of a group of junior MPs including Clayton Cosgrove and Damien O’Connor, and dubbed themselves the “Mods” – short for Modernisers. They met in each other’s offices for drinks and discussed policies and the direction Labour might take in the longer term, post-Clark. They decided to recruit others and Tamihere says Cunliffe returned with loyal Clarkists. Whether it was innocent or deliberate, he was seen to have dobbed them in.

Cunliffe denies it: “I certainly didn’t go telling tales on class mates. JT and I were in the middle of that group, not everybody agreed with everybody else and in the end it didn’t go that far. But I’d reject that I dobbed anyone in.”

Whatever happened, Cunliffe’s friendship with most in that grouping waned after that point. One onlooker at the time recalls Cunliffe as trying to be friends with everyone. “It was like high school kind of stuff. He’d walk in [to Parliament's cafe] and go ‘g’day bro’ how you going?’ and JT would just look at him like one of the nerdy kids had come up to him in the playground.”

Tamihere says there was no big blow out and they did maintain a professional relationship. Asked about the Mods’ goals now, Tamihere laughs and says “well, you always go down there with those heady ideals.”
“He’s an extraordinarily talented chap but you never get to see the real David. You get to see the David that he thinks you want to see. And that’s his problem.

What Trevett didn’t mention, but my Labour source did, was that after ratting out the Mods to Clark H2 (Heather Simpson) summonsed each of them individually and gave them a dressing down. They were rinsed and it is something that Clayton Cosgrove has never forgotten and why he is the ex-officio leader of the ABCs.  Read more »

Are Woolworths Aussie owners getting ready to dump Countdown managers?

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Via the tip-line

Countdown’s ongoing PR debacle seems to be taking a nasty twist with rumours out of Australia saying the Aussies are preparing to throw Dave Chambers and the NZ management team under the bus.

Word reaching WOBH is that Woolworths are undertaking “research” on NZ suppliers – specifically asking what suppliers think of the managers of Countdown.

Now you could pass this off as usual market research to help understand how the company is perceived with its customers and suppliers. Nothing to see here, move on.

But when taken in light of the Commerce Commission investigation into Countdown’s Godfather tactics with NZ suppliers, a more sinister element starts to emerge.   Read more »

Labour’s 30% doctrine dooming it to electoral disaster

Phil Quin, a longtime Labour party insider continues to snipe at Labour’s inept strategy.

In the NBR he strikes out against their abiding belief that they would somehow have the moral mandate to government despite hovering around 30% in current polling.

Delusions have consequences. If Labour persists in the belief it can somehow stitch together a governing coalition with a fraction over 30% of the vote, and that this is possible through a deft combination of coattail trickery and unprecedented turnout among non-voters, what can possibly persuade them to change course?

The problem with redefining defeat as almost-victory is that you deny yourself the urgency that comes with the prospect of imminent humiliation; you eschew bold risk taking for careful equivocation when the former is badly needed; and you end up with a great deal more bathwater than baby.

Labour needs to act like a party that knows it’s losing, starting with an acknowledgement it as failed as yet to make the case that National under John Key has run its course. There’s no point blaming David Cunliffe, even if it’s true he has proven no more capable than his predecessors of denting the PM’s formidable popularity.

No traction, no dents, despite attempts to portray National as crony capitalists, crooked and corrupt. The plan has failed but they persist with it.

During the race to replace David Shearer, Mr Cunliffe’s supporters made much of his superior debating skills and media polish. But the notion that sharper presentation alone could rescue Labour’s fortunes was always far-fetched. As excuses for losing go, it’s a fallacy as pernicious and commonplace as that which holds voters to blame for refusing to know what’s good for them.

Among rivals for the Labour leadership, only Shane Jones seemed to understand the gravity of Labour’s predicament, or sense a way out. Before making a credible claim on the Treasury benches, Mr Jones argued that Labour would need to set the bar at 40%, not 30%. Mr Jones, admittedly a flawed candidate in many respects, attracted close to no support among party and union elites who saw his call for a broader church as more evidence of unreliability.

Populism has no home in today’s Labour Party, a proposition Mr Jones made sure to test one last time before quitting Parliament altogether. His departure was calamitous for Labour for two reasons: it looked like a vote of no confidence in Labour’s chances and, just as importantly, reinforced a growing perception the party has become inhospitable for a Greens-baiting, unashamedly pro-growth populist.

And yet, the activist clique which governs Labour and adheres most stringently to the Thirty Percent Doctrine couldn’t have been happier with Mr Jones’ exit if they had overseen the purge themselves.

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Labour’s 10,000 outstanding earthquake claims is actually less than 1500, busted again

Labour has proposed a horrendously expensive solution to a non-problem.

They must be rueing the day they kicked their Treasury advisor to touch because this is exactly the sort of thing they would have caught and saved David Cunliffe severe embarrassment in launching a policy to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

The Insurance Council notes:

In a press release earlier today, Labour EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove questioned the number of Canterbury insurance over cap claims with ‘settlements pending’.

Insurers involved in the Canterbury earthquake recovery have 22,455 over cap dwelling claims with 87% fully settled or agreed with customers.

Based on figures collected in the CERA quarterly survey, at the end of March 2014 there were 9,877 (44%) dwelling claims closed and completely settled.

“There is a further 9,755 (43%) which CERA refers to as ‘pending settlement’, which essentially means the insurance company has reached an agreement with their customer and is in the process of being settled, so contrary to what Mr Cosgrove suggests there is no dispute,” says Insurance Council spokesman Samson Samasoni.

“Pending settlement means that there are builders on site completing the rebuild or repair, it’s scheduled for a rebuild or repair or they’re waiting to receive their cash settlement. Insurers don’t call it ‘completely settled’ until the key to the front door has been handed over or the cheque is banked,” he says.    Read more »