Kelvin Davis

The Cunliffe still at odds with Kel Davis over SH1

David Cunliffe still insists on dissing State Highway 1 and insulting Northlanders by insisting they should all want trains not roads.

David Cunliffe says the Labour Party’s new regional development fund will do more to help Northland than the Government’s Puhoi-Wellsford highway, at a fraction of the cost.

Labour is planning to put at least $200 million aside for regions that “have been hollowed out under National with young people leaving for the cities and overseas”.

“Most regions in New Zealand have been going backwards under the current Government,” Mr Cunliffe said on Firstline this morning.”

“Thirteen out of 16 have a lower median income than the day John Key was elected, and unemployment is lower than when he was elected in only one place, which is Canterbury, and that’s because of the rebuild. Everybody else has gone backwards.”

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has called it a “classic” Labour response of throwing money around, which Mr Cunliffe rejects.  Read more »

Meanwhile deep in the bunker…

David Cunliffe is on the back foot.

cunliffe-buttIf you have to tell everyone you are working your butt off then most people will generally scoff at you and mock you for being a shirker.

People know when someone is working hard…they don’t have time to explain how it is that they are working hard.

Labour’s frontbench MPs gathered in Auckland yesterday, knowing some of them could be out of a job in two months if the downward slide is not arrested.

Senior sources yesterday confirmed caucus discipline was a key focus of the meeting, after recent headlines overshadowed party policy.

My Labour sources tell me The Cunliffe spent a considerable amount of time ringing around possible suspects conducting a witch hunt for the person who squealed to Fairfax.

The Sunday Star-Times yesterday reported an unnamed Labour Party source criticising Cunliffe’s decision to take time off so close to the election, to go skiing with his family in Queenstown.

Cunliffe yesterday rejected the complaint. “I work long hours with every ounce of energy that I can ever muster, and I took a last break before the election for a few days with my family.

“I was sick for two days and I had a three-day holiday skiing with my children and that is it. They probably won’t see much of me now before the election.”

He said the break had not been raised with him by any of his MPs. “There’s a general recognition that I work bloody hard, for 18-hour days and more.”

Oh dry your eyes! What a sooky-pants…boohoo I was sick doesn’t cut it. This is the big game now…take a Codral and soldier on.  If he hadn’t apologised for being a man I would have suspected it was “man flu”. Read more »

“It almost seems as if he wants the glory, but he hasn’t got the guts.”

Labour’s caucus have had a gutsful with The Cunliffe and they are talking out of school.

Labour MPS are disgusted by leader David Cunliffe’s skiing holiday just two months before the election and will question his work ethic at a caucus meeting on Tuesday, a senior party insider has told the Sunday Star-Times.

As Labour hit a new polling low of just 23.5 per cent in the latest Stuff/Ipsos poll and data suggested those numbers would climb quickly if its leader quit, Cunliffe took a week’s leave to go skiing in Queenstown. That decision has infuriated a significant number of Labour MPs, the insider claimed.

A lot of MPs are really f….. off about it,” he said. “They are all working hard up and down the country, and f…… Cunliffe is on holiday. Guys like [Phil] Goff and [Annette] King and [David] Shearer, these guys really want it badly and they are working like their lives depend on it. And I think they are a little incredulous about what the guy is doing.”

The insider said while Prime Minister John Key was also holidaying – in Hawaii – there was a “world of difference” between an incumbent prime minister enjoying 52 per cent support in the polls and an opposition leader trailing nearly 30 points behind.

“It sounds a little treasonous, but the guy doesn’t want it badly enough. If he did, he would be working. I think it is disgraceful behaviour, and not the sort of behaviour becoming of a guy who wants to be prime minister.

We will be having a talk to David at caucus about his work ethic on Tuesday. We’ll be letting him know he’s got two months to turn this around, and we’re backing him and right behind him but he’s got to lift his game.”

The insider believed up to 20 of the 33 Labour MPs were deeply unhappy with Cunliffe’s leadership, but had accepted that an attempt to dump him this late in the term would backfire.

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 »

Duncan Garner on Labour MPs running for the life rafts

I covered this earlier today, Duncan is on it too

Three Labour MPs have broken ranks in recent weeks – quite loudly and very publicly.

They are interested in one thing: self-preservation. They want to win their seats and they’ve given up relying on their party. They are clearly concerned Labour will poll poorly on election night, so they’ve decided to run their own campaigns – away from head office and away from the leader.

These MPs have either chosen not to be on the list or they have a low-list spot. They are vulnerable. It’s all or nothing for them.

They must win their seats to return to Parliament; this sort of pressure usually focuses an MP’s mind.

They want to be back in Parliament and they want the $150k salary.

I’m talking about West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor, Hutt South MP, Trevor Mallard and list MP and Te Tai Tokerau candidate, Kelvin Davis.

Take Davis: yesterday he engaged Labour in its biggest u-turn in years. He told me he supported the Puhoi-Wellsford road project that his party has openly mocked and criticised.

Labour MPs call it the holiday highway; David Cunliffe has campaigned against it. Labour, until yesterday, was going to can the project upon taking office. Who knows where they stand now!

Davis told me people in the north tell him they want the controversial project and so does he.

Jobs, transport, industry, tourism.   Yeah, controversial indeed.  If only Labour supported ‘radical’ ideas like that.

Read more »

Yet another Labour MP gives the middle finger to the Labour party

Adam Bennett has the story

Labour’s only Northland MP, Kelvin Davis, is backing National’s Puhoi to Wellsford extension, the roading project mocked as an unnecessary “holiday highway” by his caucus colleagues.

Mr Davis revealed his support for the upgrade to the main route to Northland as the recent storm stirred up a political debate over the state of the region’s roads.

List MP Mr Davis came into Parliament when Shane Jones, who was also willing to reject the party line on economic development projects for the north, stepped down earlier this year. However, even Mr Jones did not support the Puhoi to Wellsford project.

But Mr Davis yesterday told the Herald he was being told “loud and clear” by Northlanders to stop criticising the project.

“The message I’m getting from the North is ‘Kelvin, stop taking pot shots’ at what has come to be seen as an essential piece of infrastructure.

“They want a safe and solid highway that’s going to get our people and goods in and out and that’s not at the whim of Mother Nature.

“This weather event has shown how vulnerable and susceptible the North is and it’s really important that we have a road where emergency services and whatever can get through, but also we’ve got to have a road that’s going to be able to export our produce outside of Northland and one that’s not going to be washed away in the next storm or flood.”

He said his support for the project did not put him “entirely at odds with the Labour Party policy”.

No, not entirely.   But it does show that Labour’s collective approach doesn’t allow for regional variances.  Well, that’s not true either.  You should see the bribes going into Christchurch.  Nothing to do with making the Labour mayor look good, I’m sure…   Read more »

Phil Quin on why Dotcom’s pets actually help National

- Dominion Post, Tom Scott

– Dominion Post, Tom Scott

Phil Quin must be getting close to a visit by the union thugs to teach him a thing or two about shooting his mouth off.

He writes at Pundit about the Internet Mana party and the left’s unholy alliance.

In pursuit of political legitimacy, Dotcom’s millions won’t amount to much unless the media plays along — and coverage of Harre’s cannabis stance, as well as the NZ Idol-style list selection over the weekend, suggests Internet Mana’s shiny newness is too much for an otherwise bored press gallery to ignore.

John Key, meanwhile, could hardly script a more favourable turn of events, or conjure a better cast of villains: “That’s what you’re going to see from the far left of politics,” he warned voters last month, “you’ll be led by Russel Norman, Kim Dotcom, Mana, David Cunliffe”. By refusing to close the door on Internet Mana, and even talking up Laila Harre’s political pedigree, Cunliffe risks giving credence to exactly that ungainly prospect. This stance, understandable if somewhat timid and ambiguous, was cast in unflattering light by the forthright rejection of Internet Mana as a “scam” by Kelvin Davis, Labour’s candidate in Te Tai Tokerau.  Read more »

Comment of the Day

A bit early to call it, but it is rather on point

This year I have stepped out of my comfort zone… I will support a Kelvin Davis Labour seat and a John Banks acquittal. The alternative seems offensive, and morally corrupt.  – Planesailor

Pagani on the left’s cup of tea

The same people who have derided National and Act’s deal in Epsom are now ardent supporters of coat-tailing.

Some on the left though have integrity and although this is a feature of MMP that both sides have used it is now part of our electoral lore that these are, rightly or wrongly, dodgy deals.

Just a few weeks ago before the dodgy deal was announced Michael Wood was using John Banks’ appearance in court to political advantage calling for an end to coat-tailing.

With the spectacle of ACT MP for Epsom John Banks standing trial today, the newly selected Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood is vowing to end the ACT Party rort in Epsom.

“The ACT Party is a political corpse. It survives only through a distasteful manipulation of the electoral system and a sweetheart deal to gift them the parliamentary seat of Epsom. ACT has turned Epsom into New Zealand’s ‘rotten borough’ and this needs to end” says Michael Wood.

I suspect he is now an enthusiastic supporter of the attempted rort in Te Tai Tokerau. It was distasteful when he issued the press release, I bet now he thinks it tastes just fine.

Josie Pagani isn’t so sure that a deal with the Internet Mana party is such a good idea…and she is being castigated for daring to voice her opinion.

If Hone Harawira, the Mana-Internet Party, NZ First, Greens or anyone else want to be in parliament, they need to advocate for themselves. They need to win in their own right, not as the recipients of largesse or dirty deals with other parties. (There is definitely a case for lowering the threshold for parties to get into parliament, so our parliament is more representative. But the lack of that provision doesn’t justify keeping the ‘coat-tailing’ clause.)

That is how MMP is meant to work. In the old days, each of the two big parties had to contort themselves to accommodate all their side in a single tent. Now if you want to be in the tent you have to win your own place.

Kelvin Davis laid out Labour principles when he spoke about his priorities on returning to parliament: Jobs for Northland, promotion of te reo, opportunity for all through education, and fury at men raping women.

To ask that Labour should set his candidacy aside to help Hone Harawira is to express a lack of confidence in Labour values. It asks Labour people to believe there are principles that are more authentic and a higher priority for Labour than its own.   Read more »

Colin Espiner on Kim Dotcom and his marriage of convenience

Colin Espiner is snarky in his article…very snarky indeed.

Say what you like about the sacrifice of conscience for cash – a great big German spanner has just been flung into the machinery of this year’s election campaign.

I wasn’t going to write about Kim Dotcom’s vanity party again this week. It has had far more publicity in its short life than it deserves.

Plus, it seems that everywhere you look Dotcom is there. Giving evidence in the John Banks trial. Breaking up with his wife, Mona (on Twitter, of course). Fighting Hollywood over access to his millions. Calling on Prime Minister John Key to resign (again).

Shortly, it will be Dotcom in the dock as he fights extradition to the United States on fraud and racketeering charges. Forget Banks and buckets of mud – that hearing is going to be the trial of the year. So a bit of Dot-gone seemed like no bad thing.

And then suddenly, there he was in a civil union with the beneficent ghost from socialist Christmases past: Laila Harre.

And Colin Espiner thinks Laila Harre is the bee’s knees…or does he?

The media was expecting Dotcom’s Internet Party would announce a flake as its new leader. Or a complete moron. Either would have done just fine. We could have ridiculed them, and moved on to more important matters.

But Harre isn’t a flake. And she’s certainly no moron. She’s one of the most driven, persuasive and intelligent politicians I’ve met. I don’t know how Dotcom managed to put a ring on the darling of the Left but on the face of it, it’s a major coup.

The question, though, is for who?     Read more »