Greg Presland

War footing has moved to “fight back”

David Cunliffe is a big fan of bumper sticker slogans.

When he was elected leader by his union paymasters he exclaimed that Labour was no on a “war footing”, that they were going to “take the battle to National” and he even created a “war room” which now resembles the bunker of an under siege despot.

Today however he is challenging Rocky Balboa and describing the yet to be seen revival of labour’s electoral fortunes as a “fight back”.

Labour leader David Cunliffe says he is “not making light” of recent bad polls and insists his MPs are united behind him.

A string of polls has put Labour support in the mid-20s and Cunliffe said this afternoon’s caucus meeting, postponed to allow him to get back from delivering a speech in Nelson, would have some “earnest conversations about how we can do better”.

“I am sure that the caucus will be as determined as I am that we stick to our knitting and to our core messages about jobs, homes and families, and avoid distractions,” Cunliffe said.

He scoffed at suggestions that some in his caucus were “doing the numbers” on a leadership change.

“That’s nonsense, absolute nonsense. I am confident I have the full support of my caucus.”

Cunliffe insisted Labour could win the election, now less than two months away. The party was much larger, it had done more canvassing of voters and had better organisation to turn out the vote.

“Those advantages don’t show up until the polling [voting] opens,” he said.

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Josie Pagani on Labour’s woes

Last night on The Cauldron, Josie Pagani elucidated precisely what it was that is costing Labour this election.

She has written a post about it and what Labour must do to arrest the sinking polls.

First, stop blaming the media.

The problem isn’t ‘right wing framing’. There isn’t a media conspiracy to get a third term National government. When you fall behind everyone airs their favourite explanation and negatives get repeated and amplified. It’s the job of politicians, not media, to inspire a change in the story.

There is also no point blaming whoever went public at the weekend to criticise David Cunliffe for going on holiday. It was poor discipline, but poor discipline is not the main reason the party is 30 points behind National.

Politics isn’t fair. Even if  the media is sometimes unfair (such as when the Herald went too far with unsubstantiated claims of undeclared donations from Donghua Liu), one of the things the public are judging is how you behave under pressure. Stop complaining.

Unfortunately for Josie the Donghua Liu donations weren’t unsubstantiated. I suspect there is more to play out on that. She is right though in the folly of blaming the media, but they just can;t help themselves.

David Cunliffe just yesterday was claiming smears and media beat ups, and his loyal mouth piece and donation launderer Greg Presland was on the Standard claiming a smear about his visit and cozy lunch with NZ’s Rolf Harris.

Stop saying the polls are close. It reminds voters that Labour aims to lead a bloc in which it might not be all that dominant and which could include the toxic Dotcom party. Tortuous explanations about the Left Bloc v the Right Bloc sound cynical, as if you don’t care about winning support of people.

Distance Labour from Dotcom. One reason for Labour’s poor polling is people just want to get rid of Dotcom and somehow he has become Labour’s problem now. Only because he is an enemy of our enemy.  Labour should only ever say of Dotcom, “he shouldn’t be in the country and National should not have let him in. We want him and his party nowhere near government.”

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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 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 »

Ching says not me…look at other Chinese bagmen

Stephen Ching has emailed me a statement for publication.

  1. Today (June 26,2014) the NZ Herald’s report regarding me was incorrect. The Journalist Jared Savage didn’t consult with me before making the story. I don’t know who had made Mr.Liu to buy the wine and book for Labour Party. I reserve my right to sue the NZ Herald.
  2. To my best knowledge I didn’t took Mr.Liu to Labour New Lynn Office seeking  support for his immigration case. It’s better to ask Mr.Henry Mao of MMW Consulting (group) who was his agent in NZ to clarify this matter. He may know who had helped Mr.Liu to donate funds to Labour Party.
  3. After 2005  I was no longer a candidate for Labour, So It’s better to ask Mr.Raymond Huo or Ms.Susan Zhu to understand any details of Chinese community fundraising function.
  4. In April,2007 I was invited to attend a fundraising party as a guest only. I was no longer an organizer for Labour to raise any funds after 2005 election.

This is very, very interesting.

Ching is saying that media should go ask Susan Zhu about Chinese fundraising methods fundraising. Ms Zhu is a lawyer working for Presland & Co. Greg Presland, the donation laundering blogger at The Standard, the very same Greg Presland who set up David Cunliffe’s anonymous, but not really anonymous donations in a secret trust.  Read more »

Donations, favours, gifts and the hypocrisy of the left

Rodney Hide’s Herald on Sunday column saves the best till last.

Meanwhile, if you think you may ever need some help from your local MP, don’t donate to the National Party. Nothing is now more likely to see that door slammed shut than your name appearing on the donor list.

But Labour, too, has its problems. In chasing down Collins it has failed to confront the elephant in its caucus. We know who donated to National. We can spot the possible conflict. We can’t say the same about Labour. That’s because its leader resolutely refuses to name the donors to his leadership campaign. He has kept his donors secret.

What has Cunliffe got to hide? What favours has he promised? Labour keeps insisting that money taints politics. Well, who has tainted Cunliffe? Will he ever tell us?

All very good questions, pity the media are giving David Cunliffe a free ride while they pursue silly stories about National

And with that we can see that the crusade against National continues with a silly pice by Matthew Theunissen about a cellphone used by Maurice Williamson.  Read more »

Cunliffe keeps secret donors to secret trust secret

After making a speech in parliament about ethics and accountability David Cunliffe has failed his own test.

He has kept his secret donors whose donations were laundered by Greg Presland through a secret trust secret.

The pecuniary interest register update is out and there is no declaration as required by parliament of his donors. He has declared his trust but not the donations into it.

Discharged debts
Labour Leadership Campaign expenses discharged for: (1) graphic design, (2) printing (x3), and (3) volunteer reimbursement for sundry expenses – TR Trust  (The TR Trust received voluntary donations from individuals, including T Gibbs, P Keenan, and S Pellett; as disclosed to the member after 28 February 2014)

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Key demands answers from Cunliffe over his secret donations

While Labour chases Judith Collins over a dinner in Beijing David Cunliffe still hasn’t revealed who his secret donors were .

He has his donations laundered through a secret trust, organised and run by blogger and flea lawyer Greg Presland and has failed so far to declare his donations as required in the parliamentary pecuniary interests register. He has resisted all questions from journalists and continues to be sneaky, tricky and furtive about the donations.

Yesterday John Key gave him a good hard smack over it off of the back of Shane Jones announcing who his donors were.

Questions remain around who funded the various campaigns in Labour’s leadership battle last year.

Shane Jones has acknowledged getting support from National Party stalwart Sir Wira Gardiner and New Zealand Oil and Gas director Roger Finlay for his failed bid.

John Key says if Mr Jones was prepared to identify those two donors, why won’t David Cunliffe reveal the names of his.   Read more »

Beware of the bunker mentality


On Thursday evening the latest Roy Morgan poll came out. Normally I don’t comment on Roy Morgan polls, for a start they aren’t a member of the Market Research Association of NZ and their poll is all over the place showing massive swings for no apparent reason.

The only reasons that I comment on Roy Morgan polls is because it is the darling of the left-wing commentators who clutch at straws these days and because they tell us that they poll mobile phones, which is yet another bugbear of the left who think the indigent classes are left out from land line polling. There is not evidence at all to suggest this is the case, yet they persist with the urban myth. That, therefore, is why I comment on Roy Morgan…because the very things that the left uses to discount results of other polls that don’t suit their narrative don’t exist in Roy Morgan polls.

So, looking at left-wing commentary since the latest Roy Morgan it has been a struggle to see anything. save for the erudite musings of Chris Trotter, other than int he comments sections of the more popular left-wing blogs or on news sites.

The one thing that is apparent though is the bunker mentality of some.

Normally the left-wing blogs will crow about the Roy Morgan, now there is nothing but silence. Greg Presland even went out of his way to write a post that declared last week a win for David Cunliffe, despite his “cluster truck” policy being panned universally all week, their manufacturing policy launch slipping by un-noticed due to releasing it late on the day before a long extended holiday weekend and continued vocal criticism of their inept and wonky social media campaign that continues to deliver cock-ups and mis-steps. No mention of the poll still despite three days having elapsed…but plenty of time to write a post as to why Chris Trotter and Kiwi in America are wrong, dead wrong, and labour really is on the up and up.

Even Lynn Prentice felt so compelled to fill the void of political commentary that he wrote a lengthy post about how the servers operate The Standard, proving once again that he is the world’s greatest sysop. For a site with so little traffic they seem to have engineered themselves something Telecom would be proud of to run their enterprise.

The bunker mentality has set in, and it is bunker mentality that really takes its toll in politics. People hunker down, they ignore observable facts and details and continue to issue stirring announcements about great victories when the reality is they are pressed on all sides.

Comments dismissing polls and commenters with spurious reasoning shows this:

Pete it was one poll taken during the royal visit, Labour and the Greens went down and the right track wrong track rating went up by a similar amount to National’s increase. Wait for the next few polls and then have the discussion. Or do you think that we should cancel the election now and just let Key get on with it.

And do you always agree with Chris or just when he backs up your world views?


Presuming it is valid, and RM does bounce around, it seems that the Royal Tour has had the desired effect …

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Hey Clint! Will you start bashing the Greens now you work for Cunners?

Clint Smith aka James Henderson aka Steve Pierson, a blogger at The Standard and former green staffer has cut and run, poached by David Cunliffe to work for Labour.

Labour has had its own ”Hey Clint!” moment.

Leader David Cunliffe’s chief of staff Matt McCarten has confirmed the party has recruited the Green Party’s political and media adviser, Clint Smith, to beef up selling its economic message.

Smith, who had earlier worked for Labour before going across to the Greens, shot to prominence when, during a television interview, MP Gareth Hughes turned to him with a ”Hey Clint!” to check if the party was happy its power policy had put a dent in the Mighty River Power sale.  Read more »

Trotter on Cunliffe’s lack of voice

Chris Trotter has gone from writing off Labour to pleading that someone, anyone, helps David Cunliffe find his political voice.

The political voice he uses now is different depending on the audience he is speaking ot. On radio he lowers his voice and appears conciliatory, yet promising or saying nothing. It is literally boring. You can hear that he has dropped what there is of his chin onto his chest and is looking down as he speaks…nodding at the phone as he speaks…close your eyes next time he is on radio and remove all distraction and see if I am right.

His stand up voice is smug and smarmy, he again drops his chin, but not as much and talks down, imperiously to journalists, but usually over their heads to someone else, though there is no one else there. Again his body language is all skew whiff, nodding when he should b shaking his head, shaking his head when he should be nodding, and he has this disastrous quirk where he tilts his head on its side in an attempt to make his mouth seems straight but only serves to give the impression he is sneaky and lying….which he probably is.

His final voice is the his Avondale market voice which is a toffs version of bro-speak, interspersed with little snippets of Maori to impress the natives. It is as fake as his CV.

So which voice is it that Trotter wants to hear?

DAVID CUNLIFFE’s biggest problem is his voice. Not his actual voice, which is fine, but his political voice: the way he is heard by the voting public. It’s a problem because the one he’s using at the moment isn’t working. It doesn’t ring true. And until it does he’s not going to be able to engage with the people he needs to make him Prime Minister.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Cunliffe is a fake. One-on-one, eyeball-to-eyeball, in small groups, he can be utterly transfixing. In the discussions I’ve had recently about the Labour leader’s “voice” problem, this ability to inspire has been attested to over and over again. And I know it’s true because I’ve felt it myself. When Cunliffe fixes his eyes on you and speaks about the things that matter – both to him and to you – he can be utterly compelling.

Unfortunately, all that communicative power and authority is lost whenever Cunliffe is required to address a hostile and/or sceptical audience – most particularly the news media. At these moments he becomes the political equivalent of Iron Man. In the blink of an eye the high-tech suit of armour snaps shut around the vulnerable person inside and his communication, while factual and fluent, loses all colour, all life. It becomes, in a word, robotic.  Read more »