David Cunliffe

Dotcom’s actions “reprehensible”

My how the worm has turned.

The left wing is turning on Nicky Hagar and Kim Dotcom…mostly Kim Dotcom.

David Cunliffe has thrown him under the bus in a desperate bid to save his leadership.

Labour leader David Cunliffe has delivered a belated acknowledgement that it was a mistake not to work more closely with the Green Party and lashed out at Kim Dotcom as “reprehensible.”

Asked if Mr Dotcom had affected the chances on the left, Mr Cunliffe said “absolutely.”

“For anybody to wade into New Zealand politics, spend over $4 million and end up wiping out his own supporters and damaging the left I think is reprehensible.”

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How about all those game changers, eh?

During the last parliamentary term we were all told repeatedly that this policy or that person was a “game changer”.

How did those game changers all work out?

Chris Trotter thought Matt McCarten was a game changer:

These are the stakes the Left is playing for – and they could not be higher. If progressive New Zealand rallies to Cunliffe’s and McCarten’s bright-red banner and helps them convince Middle New Zealand that Labourism, far from being an alien and dangerous creed, actually stands for all that is best in this nation, then it will have won an historic and lasting victory. But if it fails to seize the opportunity it has been given, then all that is worth fighting for on the Left will go down to defeat and New Zealand will be National’s for the foreseeable future.

Now IS the time for all good comrades to come to the aid of the party. Because, whichever way it turns out, the appointment of Matt McCarten is bound to be a game-changer.

Chris Trotter was very prescient in that post, he also predicted disaster.

[T]he Left has been given an extraordinary opportunity to prove that it still has something to offer New Zealand, but a desperately short period of time in which to do it. If old wounds, old grudges, old defeats (are you listening Jim?) are allowed to get in the way of making this unprecedented situation work to the advantage of ordinary New Zealanders, then it will end in failure.

And that failure won’t just be Cunliffe’s and McCarten’s, it will be the failure of the entire progressive movement. And it won’t just be for a triennium (or three) it will be for an entire generation.

If Cunliffe and McCarten are allowed to fail, the Right of the Labour Party and their fellow travellers in the broader labour movement (all the people who worked so hard to prevent Cunliffe rising to the leadership) will say:

“Well, you got your wish. You elected a leader pledged to take Labour to the Left. And just look what happened. Middle New Zealand ran screaming into the arms of John Key and Labour ended up with a Party Vote even more pitiful than National’s in 2002! So don’t you dare try peddling that ‘If we build a left-wing Labour Party they will come’ line ever again! You did – and they didn’t.”

Be in no doubt that this will happen – just as it did in the years after the British Labour Party’s crushing defeat in the general election of 1983. The Labour Right called Labour’s socialist manifesto “the longest suicide note in history” and the long-march towards Blairism and the re-writing of Clause Four began. (Never mind the impact of Maggie Thatcher’s unlikely victory in the South Atlantic, it was Michael Foot’s socialism wot won it for the Tories!)

Plenty of others thought Matt McCarten was a game changer…they just didn’t realise he wasn’t working for Labour. He certainly was a game changer…for National.    Read more »

Russell Brown dissects the election

tearsofimpotentragePosts, pans, and pannier bags blogger Russell Brown is having conniptions over the minutiae of the election.

1. Christ, what a shellacking. Click around Harkanwal Singh’s Herald interactive. In electorate after electorate, polling place after polling place, National won at least a plurality of the votes. Even where voters collectively chose to return their Labour MPs to Parliament, they generally gave their party votes to National. Labour won the party vote in only five general electorates. I don’t think it’s viable for Cunliffe to stay on after this.

No it isn’t. Cunliffe must go and go now….he lost his own party vote in New Lynn FFS!

3. The election was not primarily about policy. Although it will understandably be regarded as a mandate for National’s policies, I don’t think this has been an election about policy, but about who the voters have seen as fit to govern. Where discrete policies have been tested in polls, the public has often-as-not favoured Labour’s over National’s. They just didn’t back Labour to enact them. I’m very concerned now over what happens in education, where I think the degree of the mess National has already made (National Standards is objectively a shambles) is not widely appreciated.

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Cunliffe is tits at fundraising

On election night and the day after Labour’s worst election result in more than 80 years David Cunliffe claimed that Labour has no money.

He was using that as an excuse for the loss.

What Cunliffe forgot is that the people most responsible for fundraising are firstly the leader. If people don’t like you then raising money is doubly hard. As we have seen 75% of the voting population decided to cast their votes elsewhere and that is due in a large part to the unlikeability of David Cunliffe.

Secondly the President and General Secretary are also responsible. My Labour sources, both inside Fraser House and in the wider party tell me that fundraising efforts were vetoed or blocked by Tim Barnett and/or Moira Coatsworth. At the same time they refused to fundraise themselves, thinking it was beneath them.

David Cunliffe has been dead set useless as Labour leader. He has managed to tank Labour’s vote to an undeniably bad level.

One of the worst parts of Cunliffe’s leadership, just as it was with Phil Goff and David Shearer’s leadership, is their inability to raise money.

Instead of working their guts out like Don Brash did to rebuild National’s war chest Cunliffe blames everyone elseRead more »

A leadership spill is not Cunliffe’s call to make

David Cunliffe thinks he can orchestrate the process to initiate a leadership ballot and primary race.

He is wrong.

For someone who has a lawyer for a missus it is somewhat strange that he has taken a postured approach to saving his doomed leadership.

Labour’s leadership is governed by an appendix in the constitution. This is the relevant section.

Election of the Leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party – the Leader must be a Member of Parliament; an election for the position of Leader is triggered if there is a vacancy, or if requested by a simple majority of Caucus (at any time), or if the Leader fails to obtain the support of 60% plus 1 of the Caucus membership in a vote held within three months after a General Election.

What this means is Cunliffe has no choice but to put the leadership up for a contest unless he can get 60%+1 to vote for him. That vote will be taken when caucus says it will be taken and not on the timetable of a losing leader.   Read more »

So, all that was needed was a reach around?

This has to be headline of the year.

harre-handjob

So what is Laila Harre trying to say…that all that was needed was a hand-job for Kim Dotcom?

Internet Pary leader Laila Harre believes the right’s vilification of Kim Dotcom, and the left’s failure to counter it, cost David Cunliffe the election.

She also said the party should have recognised the effectiveness of the right’s portrayal of Mr Dotcom as electoral poison, and pulled him from the campaign’s frontline.

Last night’s election result delivered to Internet-Mana a lowly 1.26 per cent of the party vote – but it has failed to gain a foothold in Parliament because Mana leader Hone Harawira lost his grip on Te Tai Tokerau.

The result puts the future of the internet Party – and its alliance with Mana – in doubt.   Read more »

David Cunliffe must go, lowest vote for Labour in 86 years

In 1928 Labour got 26.19% of the vote.

Only in 1919 (24.2%) and in 1922 (23.7%) did they score less that what David Cunliffe delivered up last night.

It is their third lowest score ever and David Cunliffe was the leader.

He thinks he can move onwards.

he believes he can use the Clark precedent of 1996 when she thought she’d won and would become NZ’s first woman Prime Minister.

David Cunliffe is wrong to use Clark as his precedent. In 1996 she won 28.19% of the vote…still higher than him.    Read more »

Labour’s Leadership Election

Labour’s constitution says the following.

Election of the Leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party – the Leader must be a Member of Parliament; an election for the position of Leader is triggered if there is a vacancy, or if requested by a simple majority of Caucus (at any time), or if the Leader fails to obtain the support of 60% plus 1 of the Caucus membership in a vote held within three months after a General Election (and in February 2013, as a one-off); the Electoral College comprises 40% party members, 40% Caucus (both One Member One Vote), and 20% affiliates (varying voting systems); the first version of administrative rules will be developed by NZ Council, in conjunction with the Caucus, by end 2012.

So David Cunliffe putting the leadership up for grabs was mandated anyway.

Labour leader David Cunliffe has promised to put his party’s leadership on the line before Christmas after leading it to what has been described as a “tragic” defeat.

Labour slumped to 24.7 per cent support, down from 27.5 per cent in 2011 and the party’s worst result in decades.

But Cunliffe, elected leader little over a year ago, will not walk away from the drubbing.

Speaking this morning on TV One’s Q+A programme, he said a leadership vote “should be over by Christmas”.

“I don’t believe that rotating leaders is the key to changing and upgrading our party, if I did then I would simply stand down now.” Read more »

Dimpost on the left’s slaughter

Danyl McLauchlan writes about the slaying of the left.

  • The National Party is an incredibly well resourced, well managed, professional political party and it turns out that these things counted for a lot last night.
  • The phone was not off the hook for Labour. Twelve months ago, just after Cunliffe won the leadership of his party Labour were on 37% with the Greens on 12%. There’s a cliche that oppositions don’t win elections, government’s lose them, but Labour lost this election. Cunliffe is probably the worst campaigner in New Zealand political history.
  • Based on the preliminary figures I think turnout will end up being slightly higher than last time but still very low. I was a strong advocate for a strategy of having left-wing parties try and improve their vote by targeting and mobilising younger voters, but it turns that that strategy is electoral suicide! Sorry guys!
  • So the lesson from last night’s right-wing landslide seems to be that older New Zealanders are very engaged with the political process and younger New Zealanders are not. That’s a shame but it’s a message politicians cannot ignore. No one’s going to waste time and energy chasing ‘the youth vote’ again for a very long time.

Youth don’t vote, ever. A few Nat MPs I know don’t bother chasing this vote, the effort required for the payoff means you are better off working elsewhere.

  • I think that the best way forward for Labour is for Cunliffe and ‘the old guard’ – Goff, Mallard and King – to resign. They’ve been at war for six years now and they’re tearing their party apart. I doubt this will happen though. The civil war will drag on for another parliamentary term. That party is dying.

Read more »

David Cunliffe’s Chopper Read Pitch

Cunliffe - Sh_t

David Cunliffe had an absolute shocker last night.

If David Shearer had have remained leader and polled at the same level he was polling at before he was rolled Labour would have had between 8-10 more Mps and would be looking at forming a government.   Read more »