Phil Goff

The problem with Labour’s campaign so far, they’ve forgotten we have MMP

Apart from the obvious policy cock-ups there is a fundamental problem with Labour’s campaign.

They are basically running and electorate vote campaign and one that is worse than in 2011 when Goff flopped to the lowest vote in 80 years.

Right now Labour are on target to the lowest vote in their 98 year history.

But far be it from me to criticise, let the lefty blogsters explain.

Danyl Mclauchlan first, from Wellington:

Photo/ Dimpost

Photo/ Dimpost

All of the Labour billboards are for the electorate candidates: Cunliffe’s face was nowhere to be seen. If you squint you can just make out the Labour logo in the bottom right-hand corner of the board. Seems like a weird way to run an MMP campaign. Especially since that’s just what they did three years ago and this was widely regarded as a catastrophically stupid move contributing to their historic defeat.

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Armstrong on Joyce and Cunliffe

John Armstrong critiques Steven Joyce’s virtuoso performance in the house where he rinsed Cunliffe.

Joyce took the first call in Wednesday afternoon’s general debate — long a platform for Parliament’s better orators — to parody Labour’s under-the-weather David Cunliffe in a fashion that was as clever as it was cruel as it was funny.

Within the space of a five-minute speech, Joyce had revealed another weapon in his armoury — the ability to cut an opponent down by sheer wit — and thereby further enhanced his credentials as the frontrunner for National’s leadership when Key finally moves on.

There was, however, another interesting outcome from his contribution — its impact on those sitting opposite him.

Cunliffe was not in the chamber. But those Labour MPs who were initially tried to ignore what was a virtuoso performance. But their barely suppressed smiles gave the game away.

If any group of people could do with a bit of a laugh it is Cunliffe’s colleagues.They have watched in increasing despair as their leader of just 10 months has virtually self-destructed and taken the party’s support down with him from the mid-30s to the mid-20s in percentage terms. Cunliffe is now very much marooned in a malaise from which it is almost impossible for a Leader of the Opposition to drag himself or herself out.

You can do nothing right. Every opinion poll just brings even more bad news. No one takes you seriously. You become the target of every cheap joke and jibe. The media spit on what remains of your dignity. The public write you off. In short, you are deemed to be terminal. You then wait for the firing squad — the knock on the door from a delegation of your MPs who have determined your use-by date has long passed and your ability to resuscitate your party’s flagging support is seen as likely as a squadron of pigs gliding past the Beehive.

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Why is David Cunliffe Running a Witch Hunt?

mw-witch_hunt_0

David Cunliffe is back from his holiday in the middle of the campaign for his political survival, and rather than getting back on message with some sensible policy announcements he has spent the best part of 24 hours instituting a witch hunt.

Obviously he thinks that New Zealand cares more about who in his caucus reckons he has, in rugby terms, tits for hands, and that smoking them out will win more votes that talking about how he and his party can make New Zealand a better place. 

The problem for The Cunliffe is the senior people in the party have no respect for him.

This isn’t his first break this year, and in 2011 he had to be held down and beaten to be prevented from taking a two week holiday in the middle of the election campaign.  Read more »

Could convergence become an issue

Labour continues to be mired in the 20s, the Greens are slowly climbing towards the 20s…hoovering up the disaffected hard left of Labour as The Cunliffe continues to disappoint.

Could convergence become an issue, where the Greens supplant Labour as the largest opposition party.

Matthew Hooton discussed that in his column at the NBR:

Don’t rule out convergence.

Labour’s disastrous decision to replace David Shearer with David Cunliffe and spend nearly a year swinging to the far left has inevitably crashed its poll numbers.

The recent ploy to swing back to the centreappears to have come too late. The days are long gone when Mr Shearer had Labour polling around the mid-30s and, with the Greens in the low teens, well on track to become prime minister. In both the major polls released this week, Roy Morgan and Fairfax-Ipsos, Mr Cunliffe’s Labour was languishing under 25%.

Both polls were taken mainly after Mr Cunliffe’s apology for being a man, but also after his major education announcements. Despite Labour strategists privately claiming their internal polling responded favourably, the public polls suggest that the promises of cheap laptops and slightly smaller classes have failed to capture the imagination of middle-class parents.

Worse for Labour, while there may be good evidence the polls tend to overestimate National’s support by around 5% at the expense of smaller parties, the trend line for Labour in at least the last two elections has almost exactly predicted its actual party vote.

In 2011, Phil Goff led Labour to its worst result since 1925. If Mr Cunliffe’s tilt to the centre continues to fail, he risks taking New Zealand’s oldest political party below the 24% it won in the first two elections following the World War I.

Poll numbers also have an element of self-fulfilling prophecy. People don’t like voting for losers. As the election nears, Labour risks losing a crucial few further points to the Greens, Internet-Mana and NZ First.

Bill English currently wears the electoral dunce cap in the New Zealand parliament, having led National to its 21% debacle in 2002. The finance minister may dare to hope he might finally get to pass it on to Mr Cunliffe after September 20.

For all this, the risk of a change of government remains high.   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.

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The Predictable Failure of David Cunliffe, Ctd

Cunliffe - Sh_t

The two most recent polls have shown what all of us known.

David Cunliffe has a poo fingered touch, everything he touches turns to poop.

This was entirely predictable.  Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

Pot, Kettle, Black Mr Goff, do you remember your own ducking for cover?

I see Phil Goff thinks that the government is ducking for cover over the Malaysian diplomat incident:

The Government has gone to ground in response to the woman at the centre of the Malaysian diplomat scandal speaking out and saying Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully should resign.

Mr McCully is en route to Europe and Prime Minister John Key is out of the country on a break.

The acting Prime Minister Bill English also did not want to comment.

“They’re absolutely ducking for cover,” says Labour MP Phil Goff.

Brooke Sabin was probably still in school when a certain incident happened at Darren Hughes landlady’s house in Hataitai.

Wasn’t it Phil Goff who tried to cover up Darren Hughes little incident at his landlady’s house for almost two weeks until Jonathan Marshall flew down to Wellington and busted the case wide open? Why yes it was.  Read more »

Manawatu Standard endorses Josie Pagani’s sentiments

The Manawatu Standard, normally a hotbed of arch socialists has become quite strident in recent weeks against the Labour party.

Yesterday they endorsed the sentiments of Josie Pagani’s 2012 article in the NZ Herald, the one that essentially caused her excommunication from the Labour party for daring to utter the truth. What she wrote back then is as true today as when she wrote it and perhaps even more true.

After Labour was humbled in the 2011 election the party’s Rangitikei candidate had some advice for the party.

Be more positive, Josie Pagani wrote in January 2012 in the New Zealand Herald.

“We were turning up on people’s doorsteps telling them their lives were gloomy. And anyone who has ever been poor knows the last thing you want is someone telling you your life is crap,” she wrote.

Labour had started to forget its roots, she said, that it was a workers’ party with a focus on making the lives of working people better, not a party focused on providing for those who were out of work.

When Labour launched its campaign at its general conference on the weekend it was clear some of Pagani’s message from 2012 had sunk in, or the party had reached the same conclusions independently.

The party’s slogan for 2014 is Vote Positive, with a tick instead of a v for good measure.

It was accompanied yesterday by a call from party leader David Cunliffe for candidates to refrain from sledging members of the opposition.

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Did the opposition forget all their attacks on Maurice Williamson?

I see we have various politicians now arguing that Murray McCully should have intervened in this case both with the police and with MFaT.

Former Labour Party Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff told Radio New Zealand Mr McCully had to explain why there was such an “extraordinary indifference or incompetence” by him and the Ministry in dealing with the matter.

“Speaking as a former foreign minister I know for a fact in an extraordinary situation like this, the minister would be right on top of the issue.

“He would be having daily negotiations and discussions through his chief executive officer in the ministry – the matter would never have been able to drift as this has been allowed to drift.”

It seemed Mr McCully was more interested in sweeping the issue under the carpet than taking the matter up and seeing justice done for the alleged offence, Mr Goff said.

The Malaysian Government would be embarrassed that one of their nationals had allegedly behaved illegally, he said.   Read more »