Garner on the Cunliffe Problem


Is David Cunliffe the new Chris Carter of the Labour party. Duncan Garner is presently burning bridges behind him with the Labour party…and all power to him, he has revealed what is really going inside Labour and it is deeply unpleasant:

The majority of Labour politicians clearly dislike David Cunliffe. With a passion. And with a serious degree of what now looks like hatred and mistrust.

That’s become so very clear to me this year – but even clearer since I released our 3 News poll on Sunday night.

I suggested David Shearer might be rolled before the next election if he couldn’t get his numbers up. And while not many in Labour denied that – they all said Cunliffe won’t replace him. Over their dead bodies.

In fact, Labour MPs have openly joked with me that Cunliffe, who is away on a lengthy family holiday overseas, should stay there.

Two very senior MPs have told me they would like an internal travel fund set up to keep Cunliffe out of the country for as long as possible. How nasty is this caucus? He is clearly not missed.

But Cunliffe is not only disliked by his caucus – he is not trusted. So many have told me he never delivers on his promises and is sneaky and lazy.

Sources have told me Shearer was advised to demote him when he became Labour’s leader, but Shearer resisted and said he wanted to work with Cunliffe.

Ouch…what on earth is Cunliffe going to do? Garner asks this but doesn’t give options. Perhaps he could work for the UN like all the other problem MPs of Labour seeking travel funds.

I can’t see him being the leader of this party. Ever. You need friends in the Labour Party caucus to survive. Cunliffe can count his on one hand with ease – he may even have fingers left dangling.

If I was him I’d look for a new career. It’s clear there is an impenetrable roadblock between him and his aim of being party leader.

And they all sit in the same room as he does. This hatred has largely stayed out of the mass media to date. But this is a story worth telling. This is not a collision course for Cunliffe. He and the caucus have already collided – and it’s a big pile up.

The real question is – does he know how bad it is? And what will he do next?

Hmmm…what are his options, from where I am looking at it, there is only one, resignation and a by-election, it certainly would keep his missus happy as I understand she would like the big bucks again like when he was consulting.


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  • Guest

    Two very senior Labour MPs?
    You mean Mallard and Mallard?
    Didn’t you say this about his tame journos the other day Whale?

  • Anonymouse coward

    We know the caucaus is a cesspool of jealousy duplicity and petty rivalry.

    How does Cunliffe stand  out?

  • Pete George

    Thats some sharp caucus daggers that have been handed to Garner.

  • Troy

    Add to the most disliked list Mallard, King, Cosgrove, Parker, Ardern (yes the one with horse teeth that is more like Clark everyday), Chauvel and Little.  There are more but it would take too long to list them.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    I think Puff Pastry is stirring the pot as he cannot bag National this time after they jumped 5 points in the poll. I have a nasty feeling that Labourers will dump Sheep by December and bring on Socialist Cindy as their leader with a slogan – “She ain’t Clark,but better”. John Key is toast then :-)

    • Mully

       Three-time electorate loser (and zero time winner) as Labour Leader?

      She’d be eaten alive. Her “senior” collegues already have to come to her rescue when the nasty Cabinet Ministers are being mean to her.

  • GPT

    Sounds like he’s the NZ Kevin Rudd.  Intelligent, some resonance with the public (possibly) but despised by his caucus.

  • le sphincter

    Two little words …..

    Bill. English.

    See how someone they hate is still around and in fact Deputy PM.
    C’est la vie

    • Dion

      Bill English is Deputy PM because he’s unelectable and as such not a threat to John Key.

      So what’s your point, exactly?

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

       Spinach – How come you are still active even after seeing the weekend poll results?

  • Cows4me

    The Liarbore caucus reminds me of the Monty Python movie where the knight challenges all to a fight to death. First he loses a arm and blood is pissing out everywhere ‘don’t worry it’s only a flesh wound” Next he loses a leg then another arm then the remaining leg till all he has left is his torso. He’s still going “come on you bastards I’ll take you all on”. Reminds me of the socialist, still telling the world they are relevant but are really just a rotting corpse.

    • le sphincter

      Sounds like u have it all worked out …or something

    • Travis Poulson

      And one of my favourite Monty episodes too. 

  • Phar Lap

    Last week i read someone said Ardern was so big in the mouth and teeth ,she could eat a pineapple through a tennis racquet.Or even a bag of jelly beans ,as there is more   life and political  experience in  5 dead rats.Must be a fruit loop,the Auckland voters at the last election must have figured, she might be too sweet to be wholesome.

    • TMallard

      I’d still enjoy blowing a load over her face.

  • le sphincter

    WE all know Muldoon was loved by his caucus too.
    And late Rodney Hide  said  Key was a lazy git …..

    Backstabbing is the Official Sport of Parliament, so nothing new here.

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

       Clutching the last straw are we Spinach?

  • Notrotsky

    if any of the army would like some sport, troll on over to the standard where they are wailing about the traitor in labour’s midst

    • Sweetd

      The leftists are all falling over one another to find some answers in the garner opinion blog. Garner has dropped a big bomb here. What’s most funny is a week or so ago Zet wrote a blog bit on how the Nat’s eat their own.

  • Gravedodger

    For an alleged “lazy git ” he aint done so bad eh.
    State house.
    State school,
    Solo mum,
    found a job,
    made some serious coin,
    leader of the National party,
    Prime minister,
    Holiday home in Hawaii,
    Unchallenged as the Boss,
    still accepted as PM by numbers that most would dream about both in caucus and the public.
    Appears to be liked by most who meet him and work with him.

    Great if a few more lazy gits would get out of their comfort zone and do some work.

    • Mully

       And that’s probably why half of Labour have John Key-itis…

      They can’t *stand* that he’s done the rags-to-riches thing and so they have to throw “rich prick” at him.

  • Michael

    A few years back, I was chatting to a serving NZ Trade Officer (unnamed here) and he said that generally the task their office hated the most, and which used up too much of their time, was providing material for pollies to use during parliamentary Q & A. It was a task they’re obliged to do, but it was thankless and often they dealt with poor behaviour and attitudes from demanding, obnoxious MP’s and their staff. I laughed and asked, “So who was the worst”, and my friend, a genuinely professional and nice guy, said through gritted teeth “Cunliffe, the prick”.
    So, it won’t just be his own party who won’t work with him… whats the bet that there’d be a serious level of quiet, but determined opposition from senior civil service?

  • BillODrees

    David Cunliffe went door to door and took a “safe” National Seat in Titirangi in 1999. He met the people and they liked him. Since then he has grown his majority at each election in New Lynn. In 2011, while National has a majority of about 1,000, Cunliffe beat their man Groser by about 6,000. That is because he works hard, meets lots of people, talks sincerely and passionately and in widely liked.
    Except by National and fools that he does not suffer. So Robertson, Mallard and Garner don’t like him either.
    Cunliffe was very successful in each ministerial portfolio he held. He is highly respected by the hard working and intelligent public servants who worked with him

    • Mark C

      Good morning, David.

    • CJA

      Apart from the guy Michael mentioned above?

    • Michael

      Haha, so everyone that doesn’t like Cunliffe is, by definition, a fool?

      This response shows that he is smart enough to employ good PR operators. Never mind the truth, but.