I live in Auckland, many would say that gives me a handicap in talking and commenting on politics which is largely centred inside the Thorndon Triangle or to use the American idiom, “The Beltway”.
I find that living outside of the incestuous and collegial atmosphere of Wellington means I get a different perspective on matters and can say and write things without fear of my restaurant dining buddies and cafe, latte sipping confidantes getting upset and refusing to talk to me.
The same could be said for Dene Mackenzie at the Otago Daily Times.
A change in the Labour Party leadership to Grant Robertson would have benefits for the two Dunedin MPs, Clare Curran and David Clark, both of whom were strong supporters of Mr Robertson in last year’s leadership round.
Mr Robertson indicated yesterday he had ”no intention” of challenging leader David Cunliffe before the election. However, another bad poll for Labour and Mr Robertson is likely to feel his colleagues breathing down his neck, urging a change.
Mr Cunliffe’s actions are coming under increasing scrutiny, particularly after it emerged this week he had written a letter on behalf of wealthy Chinese businessman Donghua Liu.
The letter was written soon after Mr Cunliffe was elected New Lynn MP, 11 years ago.
He claims to have no recollection of the letter or any meeting with Mr Liu. But the first sentence of the supporting letter indicates either he, or his office, had been approached by Mr Liu.
Dunedin South MP Ms Curran was demoted by Mr Cunliffe after he was selected as leader of the party, as his support came mainly from the membership and trade unions, rather than caucus.
Dunedin North MP Dr Clark lost some seniority in the reshuffle, but took it well by taking a long-term view of his prospects.
Both MPs told Mr Cunliffe of their support for Mr Robertson before the Labour leadership forum held in Dunedin.
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