He has won, and won well. But the ever-culturally connecting Twittersphere is already looking forward to David Cunliffe’s “Red Wedding”: Tuesday’s caucus meeting.
As Game of Thrones followers know, the dreaded wedding was attended in good faith by rival kingdoms who thought they were invited in the spirit of reconciliation, but a striking number of guests were executed by the victor even before the bouquet-toss. Cunliffe will long have been calculating how many scalps he can take from among his caucus opponents, without perpetuating the deep divisions from which his party is suffering. He has already indicated senior roles for his two leadership rivals, Grant Robertson and Shane Jones, and for former leader David Shearer. But lust for caucus blood-spillage within the party appears pretty strong. If he doesn’t wreak vengeance, his supporters will be bitterly disappointed. Those identified as ABCs – Anyone But Cunliffe – are obviously on automatic notice. But it’s not that simple, as few of them are expendable. Beside Robertson, the ABC ranks have included top younger party talents Jacinda Adern and Chris Hipkins, along with respected former leader Phil Goff and popular frontbench veteran Annette King.
The smart money is on Cunliffe restricting utu to the least cuddly of his opponents: top of the demotion list, Trevor Mallard and Clayton Cosgrove. Clare Curran, who has for a second time caused fur to fly in the thick of an election campaign through injudicious blurts on social media, may join them in the dogbox.
Mallard has been knifed, as has Hipkins…what will happen to Cosgrove?
The older members may just shuffle off into the mists of time. They lost, end of story.
Of course they may just wait and watch to see of Cunners fails.