David Parker

Unfortunately Tracy there is nothing to like and even less to trust

Tracy Watkins writes about The Cunliffe and his likeability and trust issues with the electorate.

Labour leadership is a brutal job. If Helen Clark had been made of different stuff she never would have survived Opposition.

Her colleagues tried to roll her just months out from the 1996 election and with good reason.

Labour’s polling under Clark was disastrous. Support for her as preferred prime minister was laughable. Voters thought she was arrogant, aloof and out of touch.

Everything about Clark – her hair, her teeth, her mannish voice – was picked over and dissected as another reason for voters to reject Labour. They were the worst years of Clark’s life. But when a delegation of Clark’s colleagues knocked on her door asking her to resign she stared them down.

There is said to be a desk somewhere around Parliament that still bears the scars from Koro Wetere digging his fingernails into its surface during their faceoff.

The story even had an (almost) happy ending when Clark took Labour close to winning the 1996 election – though perhaps not as close as her supporters believed on the night.

It was largely thanks to Winston Peters and MMP that she was able to keep Labour’s hopes alive before Peters opted to do a deal with National. But it was enough to secure Clark’s leadership. Three years later she led Labour to a sweeping victory and nine years in power.

Is Clark protege David Cunliffe made of the same stuff?

The difference between Helen Clark and David Cunliffe is two-fold. She had balls and a spine, both things that are sadly lacking from The Cunliffe. His self doubt is immense and hasn’t been helped with former leaders knocking on his door at parliament and assuring The Cunliffe that he shouldn’t worry, the polls will come right, chin up.

Labour’s poll ratings have sunk like the Titanic under Cunliffe’s leadership. The latest Stuff.co.nz/Ipsos political pollhas Labour marooned in the mid-20s.

Forget about winning – avoiding an old-fashioned drubbing has become the priority. Only MPs with seats in Labour bastions like Manukau seem safe.

It is not at all far-fetched to imagine Labour sinking to National’s low point in 2002 – 21 per cent.

Under that scenario the damage to Labour could be immense. Unthinkably, even finance spokesman and number two on Labour’s list, David Parker, could be at risk. So too would stars like Jacinda Ardern and Andrew Little.

The only difference between now and 1996 is the election date. When Clark’s colleagues knocked on her door in May 1996 the election was still five months away. Even if Labour wanted to change its leader now, it probably couldn’t. Voters would punish such a visible display of panic and disarray just two months out from an election. Many in Labour’s activist base would revolt.

Cunliffe was their man, their nuclear option against a caucus that did not reflect their world view. A change of leader now would bring to the surface all the things voters reject – panic, a party in disarray and disunity.

Read more »

No one likes The Cunliffe

Cunliffe - Sh_t

David Cunliffe aka The Cunliffe, isn’t as popular as Greg Presland thinks he is.

In fact the Fairfax Ipsos polls shows that Labour would do better without him.

Vernon Small delivers the bad news.

Labour would get an immediate lift in the polls if it dumped leader David Cunliffe, a new poll suggests.

The stuff.co.nz/Ipsos poll reveals that Cunliffe may have become Labour’s biggest liability, with a significant number of voters saying they would be more likely to vote for Labour if someone else were leader.

Click here for full poll results in graphics.

The effect is sizeable, making a 13.5 percentage point difference to Labour’s vote.

Although a similar effect is seen on National when asked the same question about John Key, it is much smaller.

The finding will plunge Labour further into crisis after yesterday’s poll result cementing Labour’s support in the mid-20s.

Privately, Labour and the Greens now acknowledge that it would take an unprecedented swing against National to force a change of government on September 20.

Some Labour MPs were yesterday privately canvassing leadership options, even at this late stage.

But they believe Labour would be even more severely punished by such an outward sign of panic.    Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

The Cunliffe wants to remain as leader after election, citing Clark precedent

I have been picking up this talk all week, from my Labour sources.

That The Cunliffe believes and is working towards retaining 60% support of caucus to keep the leadership even if Labour suffers a humiliating defeat under his leadership.

This discussed in Claire Trevett’s revealing article in the Herald in The Cunliffe.

[The] Cunliffe says he intends to stay on if Labour is in Opposition after the election when he faces a confidence vote. His supporters agree – Tizard points to Helen Clark staying on after losing in 1996. But some former ministers say Cunliffe’s situation is different. Clark had a strong core of experienced supporters behind her, ready and able to keep caucus in line. Many of Cunliffe’s supporters are relatively new to Parliament or junior other than Nanaia Mahuta and Sue Moroney. Cunliffe names his ‘kitchen cabinet’ – the group he calls on when there is a sticky matter at hand – as David Parker, Grant Robertson and “the venerable and formidable” Annette King. None were Cunliffe supporters in the past.

This is all The CUnliffe is focussing on at the moment…oh that and skiing…as he seeks to shore up his leadership ambitions going forward.

Labour have abandoned any pretense of achieving 40% in this election and even 35%, instead The Cunliffe is now talking about being happy at or around 30%.

That is no position to attempt to pretend you can lead a government, when you can’t even command a third of the population to your way of thinking.

David Cunliffe though is seriously deluded if he thinks that he has the support that Clark had in attempting a two election strategy to gain the premiership. For a start he doesn’t have the leadership skills, and never will, that Clark had. Then there is his inherent laziness and poor planning. The Cunliffe is a classic type of person that resides in any large organisation…a shadow dweller who leaps into prominence when wins are on offer, or to claim a key role in a victory of some sort.    Read more »

It’s all a matter of trust. Or soundbite politics. Or something… #votepositive… maybe

DC:  Hey guys!  Let’s launch THE flagship policy of the election during my Congress keynote speech ok?   Read more »

Vernon Small has been drinking Labour’s Kool Aid again

Vernon Small seemed to have enjoyed his weekend sipping the Labour Kool Aid, and has come away all giddy that union bought socialist policies still have a place outside of Venezuela.

Labour’s election year congress started with a whimper – as if the party was struggling to “keep the hope alive”.

All the talk of an enthusiastic campaign team, voter strategies and strong support on the ground looked for all the world like the upbeat preparations of a school first XI about to take on Brazil.

But it ended with a bang as leader David Cunliffe’s speech to a packed Michael Fowler Centre – Labour optimistically claiming more than 1000 supporters – was cheered to the rafters, especially for his promise to fund another 2000 teachers.

It remains to be seen if that mood can survive or will be doused by the cold reality of the next poll.

But it was a boost to morale that the party faithful were thirsty to swallow, with poll ratings becalmed below 30 per cent.

Campaign planning does look in good shape, and the opening speech on Saturday from newly-minted “egalitarian man”, finance spokesman David Parker, went down well. He even got a standing ovation midstream that seemed to surprise no-one as much as him.

Labour’s run of education announcements also hit the spot with party delegates – and likely the public.

Add together the extra teachers, smaller class sizes, a move to freeze out the loathed “voluntary donations”, and subsidised portable personal computers for students and it adds up to an attractive package.

Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

taxpayers

I wonder if Moira shudders every time Cunliffe attacks evil property developers

David Cunliffe and various other Labour spokes-people like to attack property developers and speculators. It is the rationale behind their capital gains tax proposals.

David Cunliffe in speech to Young Labour:

We have too many children who are getting sick because they live in cold, damp, cramped houses with black mould growing up the walls. Sometimes owned by speculators who just push the rent up while getting rich on tax-free capital gains.

David Parker on The Nation:

  • “You need to tax the speculators….capital gains tax
  • “Loan to valuation ratios would not be needed if they were taxing speculators and building affordable homes.”
  • “National Party, despite the fact that we had 40 percent house inflation, they’re not doing anything about it. Not taxing speculators…

I wonder though what evil property developers, Moira & Ian Coatesworth, think about that policy.

Moira Coatsworth and her husband Ian live just north of Thames on the Thames Coast.    Read more »

Why Cunliffe’s apology for being a man was so stupid

It’s simple really, endless mocking…like this:

Labour can explain it away all they like but they have two nutless wonders now as their leaders. Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin