Phil Goff

John Roughan on Labour’s leadership spill

John Roughan echoes my stance on Labour’s leadership problems and Helen Clark’s legacy.

But he discusses just precisely how if any one of the four mediocre people standing for leadership of the Labour party at the moment was elected that our economic policy, at least, wouldn’t change that much.

Labour’s leadership problems began with Helen Clark’s retirement announcement on the night her Government was defeated. The audible groan from Labour people in the hall that night was possibly not simply sorrow at her sudden departure. Seasoned members, as most seemed to be, might have sensed what would happen.

In need of a new leader quickly, the caucus elected the next most experienced minister still in its ranks, Phil Goff. When Goff went down to predictable defeat, he followed Clark’s example. It may seem the noble and proper thing to do, but it is not in a party’s interest. It is better that the defeated leader soldiers on, suffering the taunts and indignities of a lame duck, until a natural successor emerges from the pack.

To force the issue so soon after a devastating election defeat not only runs the high risk of choosing another poor leader, it increases the risk that the party will be destabilised in its policies and direction too. This might be exactly what returners from the Alliance desire. ¬† ¬† Read more »

Just go now you fool

David Cunliffe continues to fail the no dickheads rule.

Labour’s former leader David Cunliffe says he will never run to be leader again and has not decided whether he will stand for Parliament in 2017.

Mr Cunliffe told the Herald that speculation he had not completely given up on his leadership ambitions despite pulling out of the leadership contest was misplaced. “I’m out. Otherwise I would still be running. I’m not running, I have no intention of ever being leader again. I’m out.”

While he intended to stay in Parliament this term, he was yet to decide whether to stand again in 2017. ¬† Read more »

An interesting perspective on Martyn Martin Bradbury and the looney left

I actually don’t care too much about what those on the left¬†say or don’t say about me. Mostly their blogs are the sound of one hand clapping.

However they do have an audience, albeit a shrinking one.

I generally can’t be bothered analysing Martyn Martin Bradbury, mostly because he is just wrong. But others have done that and I think this is one of the better posts about him.

It is called the Daily Poison.

In recent history according to Martyn Bradbury, the Labour Party failed to win the election because the Party was disloyal to David Cunliffe and too far to the right. Those ‚ÄúNeo-Libs‚ÄĚ sleeping under the deck, who want to pander to middle ‚ÄúNu Zillind‚ÄĚ are to be the death of the party.

In saying this Bomber not only insults the intelligence of those in the centre, and the intelligence of those to his right, who include Joseph Stalin and Helen [sic] Kelly, he also embodies everything that is poisonous within the Labour Party and the politics that has failed to win the past three elections.

Cunliffe’s lack of trust in those around him came from his inability to lead effectively, which in my view, resulted from his being elected against the wishes of the caucus team that he was to lead.

The lack of loyalty he received is a simple consequence in the lack of loyalty Cunliffe showed to his predecessor’s, Phil Goff and David Shearer.

My mum always told me that you should treat others as you would like to be treated yourself, and, possibly more apt in Cunliffe’s situation, you reap what you sow. Wise lady, my mum.

In constantly planting the seeds of disloyalty prior to taking on the leadership David Cunliffe was doomed by his own hand and now that he has pulled out of the race to be leader, he should pull his head out of his backside and resign from parliament.

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Get out, and don’t come back

David Shearer isn’t best pleased with David Cunliffe, the man who undermined his leadership.

He has told him to quit politics and parliament altogether, a sentiment I endorse.

David Cunliffe is a vainglorious, drop kick, loser who lives in a parallel universe inside an echo chamber…he should go. His cancerous persona is eating alive Labour from the inside out.

Labour MP David Shearer has ruled out trying to get his old job back but has sent a blunt message to David Cunliffe to get out of Parliament altogether, saying as long as he was there he would be a lightning rod for speculation over the leadership.

Mr Cunliffe announced yesterday he was pulling out of the leadership contest and throwing his support behind Andrew Little instead. He will stay on as an MP and hoped to play a senior role.

Mr Shearer said last night he had decided not to put his name forward, leaving a contest between Mr Little, Grant Robertson and David Parker. Nominations for the leadership close today and the candidates will kick off the first of 14 meetings for members tomorrow.

Mr Shearer said he would have preferred it for the new leader’s sake if Mr Cunliffe had stayed in the race and lost. “I think it would have been easier for whoever wins if he had stood and lost. It would be a cleaner break for whoever takes over. His followers undermined Phil Goff and myself and I think he continues to be a presence that will make it difficult for a new leader.”

He said if Mr Cunliffe had lost this would have sent a clear message to his supporters, rather than let them have the impression he could have won if he hadn’t withdrawn. He was also disappointed with Mr Cunliffe’s decision to stay on as an MP. “It would be easier for the new leader if he decided to move on.”

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All they need now is Goff to stand

Labour's leadership contest has become a Carnival of CLowns

Labour’s leadership contest has become a Carnival of CLowns

Labour’s leadership spill is fast becoming a farce, like the whole party really.

Labour talks boldly of their membership, but outside of the unions fake membership numbers there are actually precious few members. Certainly nowhere near the numbers the National party has.

Those members though are the hard core, and seriously deluded activists. They drank all the koolaid and everytime there is a new leader they enthusiastically tell everyone that this guy is the “game-changer” that will rid the nation of John Key.

Phil Goff was smarter than Key, better in debates…and choked on “Show me the Money”. David Shearer apparently saved 50 million people while John Key made $50 million, and had a fabulous back story, but was wholly unprepared for back-stabbing inside his own caucus. David Cunliffe of course was the new messiah for Labour, the man to take them back left, the Slayer of Key, the Man, the Chosen One, anointed by the party membership and ultimately a vainglorious idiot who got his beans at the election.

So far David Cunliffe has decided to have one last sally forth to lead Labour. Grant Robertson who has destabilised three leaders now wants his crack at the job. Andrew Little, a man so unelectable he keeps losing in his home town also wants a crack.

To add misery to the leadership spill the man who got his leg over with the wife of a Labour icon and recent stroke victim is now putting his hand up for the leadership despite being the architect of all the failed policies that voters rejected. No doubt we will be told he is a nice guy (as if we can believe that given his personal background), a man with a big brain, but not as big as a planet because David Cunliffe has got that one covered. The problem is for David Parker, quite part from his personal life, is that the narrative just doesn’t work. In politics, nice guys finish last.

Which now leads onto the joke that David Shearer is now trying to resurrect his leadership aspirations, bringing the number of leadership aspirants to five. ¬†¬† Read more »

I bet the decision to stand was ‘Not given lightly’…

The Labour leadership spill is already a farce and yesterday it became more of a farce with strong rumours that acting, temporary leader David Parker will also enter the race.

Will he now stand down and hand of the acting temporary leadership to another hapless fool?

The Labour leadership will be a four-way race when David Parker throws his hat in the ring today.

It is a change of heart from Parker, Labour’ s finance spokesman and acting leader since David Cunliffe stepped down, who had previously ruled out standing. Insiders suggest his about-turn is a response to the party tearing itself apart in recent weeks.

But the move could also be a case of Parker driving a stake in the ground after the emergence of dark horse candidate Andrew Little.

Little launched his bid by signalling he’d dismantle Parker’s flagship economic policies including raising the pension age and a capital gains tax.

Parker is popular with the party and carries mana within the Labour caucus and will take votes away from caucus favourite Grant Robertson.

But Little’s targeting of contentious policies such as raising the pension age, free doctor’s visits for over 65s and a capital gains tax, has resonated with many in the party.

Parker has put up his hand for the leadership previously but withdrew, in part because of concerns over headlines about his personal life. ¬† Read more »

Robbo continues to show Labour’s condescension toward voters

Are Labour really about to take notice of what the voters are telling them, an historic moment if it’s anything more than lip service.

David Parker the media’s favourite policy wonk who has been awarded plaudits for developing policy and the details behind it…..well not really has been thrown under the bus.

Labour’s manifesto is in tatters as without the inflated forecast revenue from the CGT and the savings in pension there is no cash to fund any other policies, except of course that old favorite of cracking down on tax dodgers.

You do have to wonder what on earth Labour have been doing for their taxpayer funds considering the CGT, pension age, minimum wage have been policy for four years and only now are they noticing that the public think Parker and Labour are idiots.

Who knows maybe even the groupthink the MSM might one day notice their audience don’t like these policies either and start questioning them properly.

Grant Robertson has made his pitch for the party leadership, signalling a crackdown on banks, supermarkets and power companies and a plan to rebuild the party.

As he moved to counter the momentum building behind former party president Andrew Little’s bid, Robertson formally filed his nomination yesterday, signed symbolically by Maori MP Rino Tirikatene and Mana MP Kris Faafoi.

He is expected to launch his campaign in Auckland next week aiming to reverse the 2011 leadership launches where David Cunliffe overshadowed him.

As rumours swirled in the party that Cunliffe may withdraw, given Little‚Äôs hit on his union base, Robertson yesterday promised ‚Äė‚Äėa three-year programme to rebuild and reconnect the Labour Party as the driving force for progressive change‚Äô‚Äô. ¬† Read more »

Has the NZ Herald never heard of Jenny Shipley?

The NZ Herald had a piece yesterday about all of Labour leaders in the past 6 years.

I thought the piece might be interesting until I saw the first line.


11 November: Resignation of Helen Clark, after serving three consecutive terms since being elected as New Zealand’s first woman Prime Minister in 1999.

If they can’t get basic facts right in the first line then that doesn’t hold much confidence for the accuracy of the rest of the article.

Jenny Shipley was New Zealands first woman Prime Minister and no amount of re-writing history or weasel words can take that away from her. Oh sure the media and their pals in Labour like to say Helen Clark was the first “elected” Prime Minister but that is just pathetic semantics. We don’t elect our Prime Ministers in New Zealand, we never have and never will. There is no separate¬†ballot for Prime Minister.

The rest of the article looks at the lengthening list¬†of Labour’s failed leaders from Clark to Cunliffe, all slain in battle by Phil Goff, with the only exception being David Shearer, who nicked himself to death before finally falling on his dropped sword.

On present performance and the fact that¬†Labour’s talent pool is as shallow as a car-park puddle expect the list of lonesome losers to grow.

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Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

Things are pretty bad for Cunliffe & Labour when Brian Rudman attacks

Brian Rudman usually saves his columns in the Herald to call for subsidies for the arts or the building and/or restoration of his favourite theatre.

A dyed int he wool cloth cap socialist spending his last days in print typing away interviewing his keyboard he sometimes comes up with a ripper.

Yesterday he excoriated David Cunliffe and Labour:

Late Saturday night, while Labour Party workers were still cleaning up the blood from the worst electoral thrashing the party had received since 1922, leader David Cunliffe was busy on his computer trying to save his skin. In a mass mailing to members and supporters he said, “Let’s congratulate ourselves” on “a campaign well-fought” and declared his intention to stay on as leader.

Just how he can declare himself “immensely proud” of a campaign that resulted in Labour receiving 22,353 fewer election night votes than in 2011 against a two-term National Government is a mystery. Only measured against the 2011 election night calamity when Labour lost 165,000 votes on its 2008 result, does Saturday’s result start to look less than a total disaster.

After the 2008 debacle, leader Phil Goff immediately fell on his sword, to be replaced first by David Shearer, and then when he was judged to be under-performing, by Cunliffe. Now it’s Cunliffe’s turn. His departure seems inevitable.

It was a disaster. Nowhere int eh world, generally, does a government win a third term on an increased vote, and certainly not ever before under the mMP system, let alone majority. The scale of the disaster for the left has yet to be realised.

It took National two election to recover from Bill English’s disastrous 2002 election campaign. I suspect it will take Labour much longer. Especially as their fool leader won’t quit.

Whether kicking and screaming or gracefully is over to him. The problem for Labour is, who next? The retread, David Shearer; the steady back room policy wonk, David Parker; or the new generation team of Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern?

Labour’s challenge is not just solving its leadership problems. It also has to decide whether it wants, in two years’ time, to celebrate its 100th birthday celebrations as the generally accepted, centre-left “broad church” alternative to the National Party. Under MMP, this is no longer a given. Since the election, both Green co-leader Russel Norman and New Zealand First’s Winston Peters have made claims to the leadership of the Opposition. A try-on for sure, but with Labour stuck in its present doldrums, is it any wonder the mice are playing?

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