Stuart Nash

The unacceptability of David Cunliffe

After David Cunliffe bizarrely compared himself to Helen Clark and Norman Kirk we are going to see a demonisation of David Cunliffe much like the attacks on Kevin Rudd by pro-Gillard forces in Australia like Stephen Conroy, Stephen Smith and Wayne Swan.

We have already seen this with the Ilam candidate, James Dann, damning Cunliffe in an open letter.

It will be systematic, and it will be nasty. His reputation will be trashed by his own team, making him completely unacceptable for the membership to foist him upon the caucus. The caucus knows that they can’t command the membership, but they can make Cunliffe so unpalatable that the unions will act.

The problem is caucus too is highly factionalised. Clayton Cosgrove has been acting the bully-boy strong arming other candidates to stand aside and promote Grant Robertson. The problem is Clayton Cosgrove is so thoroughly discredited after running a candidate campaign in Waimakiriri, one that failed and also delivered up an appalling party vote result. He is despised as a result, even by those on the right of the Labour caucus. But caucus has to block vote now to send a message to the membership that they cannot countenance a dud leader like David Cunliffe. They need to effectively veto Cunliffe but that won’t work.

It won’t work because the membership is feral left. That membership believes that David Cunliffe is a martyr and that he was set up to fail by the caucus…a caucus of centrist traitors to the socialist cause. The only thing that unites caucus right now is their mutual loathing of David Cunliffe.

The hard left of the party, stocked now with old Alliance war-horses, are more interested in being pure rather than being in power. They are septic that their mates like Carol Beaumont got rinsed and are on the outside. Beaumont is so thoroughly disliked that when asked to provide her with a job, Helen Kelly refused out-right. Of course it is the same hard-left that was pulling strings inside Labour for them to tank Kelvin Davis in Te Tai Tokerau. They loathe candidates like him and Stuart Nash. They believe in a puritanical socialism, where people like Nash and Davis are actually closet tories and should actually be run from the party rather than emulated for their electoral success.   Read more »

Chris Trotter on why changing leaders won’t be enough for Labour

Chris Trotter is a wise man of the left, more’s the pity that they don’t listen to him more often.

WHY DOES LABOUR do this to itself? Yes, they have just suffered an unprecedented (post-1922) election defeat, but that’s only because the 2014 General Election was itself unprecedented (post-1951).

And, besides, I’m tempted to say ‘so what?’ In 2002 the National Party suffered an even more embarrassing result when Bill English led his party to its worst defeat ever. National’s Party Vote plunged from a bad 30.5 percent in 1999, to an even worse 20.9 percent in 2002. (A whopping percentage point slide of 9.6, compared to David Cunliffe’s 2.8.)

The interesting thing about that debacle, however, is not what the National Party did in response, but what it didn’t do.

For a start, it didn’t change its leader. National understood (as Labour apparently does not) that a debacle on the scale of 2002 has many more contributing factors than simply a poor performance by the party leader. Defeat on such a scale is clear evidence of systemic – as well as personal – failures. Which is why the first priority of National’s hard-headed businessmen and farmers was to give the party organisation a very solid kick in the bum – not to sack Bill English. (He would keep.)

In the months following its 2002 defeat National thoroughly renovated itself: achieving for the Right what Jim Anderton, between 1979 and 1984, had achieved for the Left. Namely, the transformation of an ageing party into a vehicle more appropriately aligned to the economic, social and political context in which it operated.

Crucial to the success of such operations is the concentration of decision-making power in the hands of those best equipped to wield it. Under MMP, one of the most important functions to streamline is the formation of the Party List. National has achieved this by means of an all-powerful board of directors; the Greens by giving the job to their party members. For Labour, however, the list formation process remains the Party’s Achilles’ heel.

Bluntly, party list formation in the Labour Party is a colossal rort; a travesty of democratic principle on the scale of the “rotten boroughs” that once allowed the British aristocracy to control the composition of the House of Commons. More horse-trading takes place during this dangerously opaque process than at an Irish county fair – with considerably worse outcomes.

It’s ironic really, because Labour once boasted the most ruthless and centralised mechanism for selecting candidates of all the political parties. Seventy years ago it was the selector representatives of the all-powerful Labour Party Executive who called the shots – and they seldom missed. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then National, when renovating its structures, post-2002, paid Labour the most fulsome of compliments.

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Labour: Desolate, deluded and desperate

The Dance of the Desperates is about to begin, yet another leadership primary to decide who will replace the now drowned captain of the sinking ship Labour.

The desolation of the Labour party shows in the potential contenders for the race.

Speculation is now mounting that the contest won’t just be a race between the cardy wearing, beltway candidate , Grant Robertson and the narcissism of David Cunliffe.

First there are the truly deluded.

Andrew Little thinks the special votes will get him over the line in New Plymouth:

Former union boss Andrew Little did not rule out a tilt at the leadership, but pointed out that his return to the New Plymouth seat was still up in the air – it depends on special votes.

Yeah, that’s a nah for Little Andy. The election night results for New Plymouth show that he was spanked by more than 9000 votes by Jonathan Young. On top of that Labour lost the party vote by more than 12,000 votes. There is no way the specials can save Andrew Little and his claims of returning to a seat he has never held are simply deluded.

It is true that the specials might cost him his list spot in Labour though…perhaps that is what he meant.

From the deluded we get to the desperates:

Other names in the mix include former leader David Shearer, who regrets standing down a year ago and may have another shot.

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The left’s problem and a possible solution

Selwyn Manning is a nice guy, I genuinely respect him. Even though he is from the left he is at least considered and only prone to occasional lapses of judgement and falling for conspiracy theories.

His recent articles on the SIS OIA were very fanciful, and he should talk to sensible people rather than ranting idiots who are invariably wrong like Martyn Martin Bradbury.

His latest article though looks at the problems with Labour, the left and he also suggest a possible solution. It is TL;DR, but I have read it for you.

Here are the best parts.

Labour must wake up and scent the air. Because from outside this once broad-tent, in the real New Zealand, springtime has sprung. People are moving on, fast. From here, Labour’s self-dissection will simply create a political latency that in turn will become Labour’s self-conceived prophesy – it risks creating a political sea-anchor that will cause the party to stall, further disengage from opposition-politics, and further render its MPs as irrelevant and cumulatively a spent-force.

We know from previous observations that Labour is notorious for its naval-gazing. Whenever a crisis occurs, those who have occupied its caucus seemingly for decades roll out the tried and true rhetoric of “oh we must examine why this has occurred” and “we must learn from our mistakes”. Well, this tradition fails to cut it when one considers the responsibility this party shoulders as the leading force of the political centre-left – irrespective of last Saturday’s failure.

Any self-examination, of what went wrong or otherwise, will only reveal what has been blindingly obvious to any independent observer over the past six years. The detachment, the disengagement, the aloofness, the tribalism, the inability of the party to attract quality candidates based on merit. That the inverse has too often been the case where selections have been based on a person’s label, their political identity, rather than on their raw ability to represent and lead.

This, in large part, has contributed to Labour’s estrangement from real contemporary New Zealand. Out here, real people aspire to progress and desire to prosper and expect the party they elect to be representative of their own values.

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Martyn Martin Bradbury gets something right

Political pundit Wrongy Wrongson being wrong again

Political pundit Wrongy Wrongson being wrong again

Martyn Martin Bradbury is the most dead set useless political pundit and strategist in New Zealand.

Not only does he lose with his strategies…he also gets his predictions so wrong it is no longer funny. He started Thee Daily Blog to counter WOBh, claimed they would have a million page views per month by the time of the election…yeah, nah. Then there were his election predictions…rinsed on those too. To cap it all off he ran an attempt to hijack my advertisers, which has backfired as I have more advertisers than ever before.

Kim Dotcom is probably sending in the debt collectors now looking for a refund.

However yesterday he did get something absolutely right…for once.

He has created a list of strategies for Labour to implement that would actually work.

So let’s give the sleepy hobbits what they want, uncomplicated boiled meat and 3 vege politics led by Cameron Slater’s mate, Stuart Nash as leader and Grant Robertson as deputy. Grant will be there to reassure the PSA and EPMU that they don’t need to do much and Stuart to reconnect with the ‘average’ NZer in a way that never threatens the mainstream media’s corporate masters or our neoliberal overlords. Put Goff in as shadow trade minister so America knows its TPPA will get signed, Shearer in as Foreign Affairs so America knows it can get whatever it wants  and Jacinda Ardern somewhere on the front bench so it can pretend to be liberal and gender balanced.

The 5 horse people of the mediocrity.

Stuart Nash has all the ambition of a piranha in a feeding frenzy and this should be his top 6 start list for becoming leader of NZ.    Read more »

Labour’s leadership battle will look like 300

300-soldier-blood

Labour’s leadership battle is shaping up to be an epic re-run of the battle scenes in 300.

Blood and guts everywhere.

It’s going to be awesome.

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The maths on Napier

Commenters seem unable to see the obvious.

So here are the numbers in Napier.

Nash 14041
Walford 10308
McVicar 7135
Nash Margin 3733
McVicar – Margin 3402
Half of above 1701
Total Walford needed to win 5434
For Walford to win he had to win back Nash’s 3733 margin to start with.

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Labour’s Tony Milne Problem

The Labour Party has a really big problem.

It keeps selecting candidates that cannot win, even in seats that they should win.

The best example of this is Tony Milne in Christchurch Central.

Milne did the hard yards over the years, made all the right connections and was very, very close to former MP Tim Barnett.

The problem is that to win you actually need to be electable.

Milne was never electable. Unfortunately for Tony he has absolutely no presence. He is a midget that wears massive dark framed glasses and walks into a room and nobody notices him.

Check out Tony’s campaign video.

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Did Stuart Nash win Napier because of the Conservatives?

Did Stuart Nash win Napier because of the Conservatives?

The short answer is no.

The long answer is that with a majority of 3733 Nash would have almost certainly won whether Garth McVicar was in the race or not.

Napier Read more »

Labour’s Leadership Problem

Cunliffe - Sh_t

Labour had a shocker of a campaign, which all started when they didn’t do any proper polling or focus groups on their leadership contenders last year.

Arts, Travel and Lifestyle Blogger David Farrar interrupted his hectic world travel schedule to do the kind of research Labour needed to do on Cunliffe last year and was consistently saying he had very high negatives and he would tank Labour’s vote.

For Labour to be relevant again they need to start by doing the kind of research our pinko mate did and find out who can actually connect with Middle New Zealand.

Cunliffe has proven he can’t.

Robertson has similar negatives, so it might be time for Labour to look at someone that actually can reach out to middle New Zealand.

 

Grant Robertson can’t lay claim to the leadership. He massively lost the party vote on the night in his electorate…coming a distant third.  Read more »