Robert Muldoon

The far left say Cunliffe is no Bill Rowling…in a bad way

You know things are bad when you are being compared to Bill Rowling…the man Robert Muldoon once described as ‘a shiver looking for a spine to run down’.

The hard left are saying that David Cunliffe is no Bill Rowling…and they aren’t being positive.

HIS SUPPORTERS say that David Cunliffe is the man to lead Labour¬† away from neoliberalism. According to The Daily Blog’s¬† Martyn Bradbury, for instance,¬† ‘the establishment have gone romper stomper on Cunliffe‚Äôs desire to break with 30 years of neoliberalism.’

And, like Bradbury, blogger and columnist Chris Trotter¬† is of the opinion that ‘left wing’ Cunliffe is a target of right wing conspiratorial forces within Labour. Bradbury calls them the ABC’s (Anyone But Cunliffe).

The problem for Bradbury and Trotter though is two fold. First of all they have actually have no concrete evidence there is a conspiracy and are seemingly  hell bent in engaging in endless speculation where the facts are few and far between.

The second problem with this view is that David Cunliffe isn’t the left wing politician that Bradbury and Trotter keep on insisting that he is.

The reality is that David Cunliffe¬† is not so much the ‘change’ candidate, but a politician who will deliver more of the same neoliberal policies that both National¬† and Labour governments have followed over the past 30 years.

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Compare and Contrast

14 June, 30 years ago a drunk Robert Muldoon calls a snap election…euphemistically called the “schnapps” election.

13 May 2014, a slurring Winston Peters makes a dick of himself in the house:

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Beware the power of the slogan

A reader emails their thoughts on David Cunliffe.

Politicians are rarely remembered for their years of self sacrifice and good deeds. It doesn’t matter that you single handedly saved the planet from a Klingon invasion, you’ll be remembered for a silly act or a catchy slogan. I’ve been around long enough to recall several of them – Norman Kirk and the popular song ‘Big Norm’, Piggy Muldoon and ‘Think Big’, David Lange’s ‘You can smell the uranium on his breath’, Rogernomics, Shipley’s ‘Mother of all Budgets, Winston Peters’ ‘Wine Box Enquiry’, Shane Jones and his porn-friendly credit card, and more recently John Banks’ and his cup of tea.

The samples above show that this is not a new phenomenon and as a Politician you would have to be careful how you tread lest you become immortalised by a silly catch phrase or random act of stupidity.

And now there’s David Cunliffe. Almost daily he offers us new opportunities to forever remember him by his brainless and/or ill-informed statements and amateurish pretence at Perception Management (crisis ? what crisis?).

Ever since he cockroach-crawled his way into the Labour Party hierarchy, and subsequently onto our TV screens with cringing regularity, I have struggled to think of something other than Butthead (from Beavis & Butthead) every time I see him. You’d think that someone who could be a Prime Minister, and who already resembles half of a comedy cartoon,¬†would put just a little bit more thought into the ramifications of voluntarily offering us the tag line ‘Big Tool’.

Butthead, what were you thinking?

[Name withheld by request]

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Herald on Sunday editorial – Labour is deluded

The Herald on Sunday editorial is blunt and to the point.

However I doubt Labour will heed a word they say, because they are so deluded as to think the Herald is a tory rag.

Labour has done a poor job of refreshing its caucus. There are MPs who have been there so long that they eyeballed Robert Muldoon across the House. It is in desperate need of new blood, leaders of the future like [Kelvin] Davis. Yet last election, Davis was relegated down the list below a clutch of faceless union apparatchiks.

It was outrageous that Labour thought that decidedly less than average Carol Beaumont, Sue Moroney and Rajen Prasad were all better possible MPs and deserved higher list ranking above people like Kelvin Davis and Stuart Nash.

In the long-term, Labour needs people like Davis. But in the short-term (the only terms in which most senior MPs think) Labour may want Harawira.

Because of MMP’s derided coat-tails rule, Harawira can win just the one seat and bring in another MP from the Mana Party, perhaps a couple more from the Internet Party when they formalise their ragtag alliance in two week’s time. This would provide Cunliffe with a real prospect of toppling John Key from power – despite the fact that Labour is trailing about 17 poll points behind National.

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Tweets of the Day

Judith Collins is back in the country:

Understandably some people are concerned.

and Judith’s reply channels Paul Keating’s quip.

Plunket on Key vs Campbell

Sean Plunket tried to get fellow Mediaworks employee onto his radio show last week to explain his tumble from grace, but to no avail.

Instead Plunket has written an opinion piece for the Dompost about the interview.

I wasn’t even a working journalist when Sir Robert Muldoon uttered the famous line, “I love you, Mr Lange“.

It was July 1984 and Ian Johnstone was moderating the final televised leaders’ debate of the snap election between just two party leaders, incumbent prime minister Sir Robert and ebullient Labour leader David Lange.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet 30 years on I could watch the whole thing again this week. Not so I could get all dewy eyed about my lost youth but rather because this week I saw for the first time in three decades a television encounter which matched that debate in terms of utter dominance for one participant and defeat for another.

I’m talking, of course, about the mighty John-off on TV3 last Wednesday night, Campbell v Key on the GCSB.¬† Read more »

Affordable Homes 1984 styles

via the tipline

A 1984 Listener advertisement for an ‘Affordable Home’. This edition came out on election day, and so technically it was an Affordable Home under a National government led by Muldoon.

1061063_10152133892154488_1171371024_n Read more »

Rodney Hide on Norman on Key vs Muldoon

Rodney Hide had a great column Sunday about Russel Norman. I was away most of Sunday and so have only got to it now.

Norman was safe and secure in launching a personal attack on Key. It is Key’s style and strategy not to fire back. But Muldoon would not have sat quietly by. Muldoon would have eaten him up and spat him out.

Muldoon also would never have shared his leadership as Norman does. He wasn’t a touchy-feely, let’s-sit-around-the-table-holding-hands sort of guy. He was leader and that was that. Muldoon would never have tolerated a co-leader.

And then there was Norman crying, “Give me back my flag. Give me back my flag.” That was when he was attempting to stick the Tibetan flag in the face of Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping. Muldoon would never have done that. He was polite and respectful to our guests, whatever he thought of their domestic politics.

And if Muldoon did get into a scuffle, he would not have come out second. Once a rowdy group of young protesters shouting “Heil Hitler” attacked Muldoon as he was leaving a meeting. They hit him in the face, kicked his leg and shoved him against his car.

The then Leader of the Opposition decked one and chased the others down the street shouting, “One at a time and you’re welcome”.

Muldoon was condemned for brawling in the streets. But everyday Kiwis liked the guy for his belligerence. They saw in him a man who would get on with the business and who could stick up for himself.

It’s hard to imagine Norman, (a) bare-fisted defending himself, and, (b) not having a whinge about it afterwards.¬† Read more »

Shearer: Key is like Muldoon

We all know David Shearer’s bloody awful at answering questions, but the popular view has been that he’s getting better.

But, here¬†is the full video of today’s media Stand-Up on the way to Caucus.

Among other things he agrees with the OECD view that there needs to be a ‘comprehensive’ Capital Gains Tax (including the family home), then goes on to suggest that he never saw Russel Norman attack John Key, so couldn’t judge whether he was being ‘shrill’.

This is despite the fact that Norman’s attack on John Key has been in the news all weekend.

So do we now assume that Shearer doesn’t read blogs, and doesn’t watch the news either?¬† Read more »

Armstrong on Norman’s claims

John Armstrong discusses Russel Norman’s wonky comparison of John Key with Robert Muldoon.

Muldoonist? John Key? Russel Norman cannot be serious.

The Green Party co-leader’s assertion that the “divisive and corrosive” behaviour exhibited by the leader of the National Party is akin to that of his most notorious of predecessors is certainly headline-grabbing. It also verges on the ludicrous. Sir Robert Muldoon was without question our most belligerent, abrasive, polarising, dictatorial and vindictive politician.

The fear and loathing he was capable of generating within his own ranks – let alone in the wider world of politics – was summed up by a caucus colleague who said he went to Muldoon’s funeral only so he could be assured the lid on the coffin had been nailed down properly.

The MP was only partly joking. Norman appears not to be in claiming Key is likewise behaving like a “schoolyard bully” in becoming noticeably undemocratic, hostile to rational debate and intolerant of opposition.¬† Read more »