When will Grant Robertson Move?

imagesThe word inside Labour after the 2011 election was that never again would they leave a leader who was obviously useless in place for as long as they left Phil Goff in place. The polls for three years said the same thing, Goff didn’t appeal to the public and the election results proved this.

Labour is in a similar situation with David Shearer. He is useless as a leader, has repeated polls showing how useless he is, and he is going to lead Labour into another term of opposition. Labour’s caucus know this because it is so obvious that even the most deluded and bewildered can see it.

Labour’s new system for electing leaders means that caucus can’t just axe Shearer and replace him with their preferred choice, Grant Robertson. They have to get the unions and the membership onside, and these two groups get 60% of the vote for the leader. They may not want Robertson, preferring David Cunliffe who is liked a lot better by those outside caucus than those inside.  

The problem for Grant is that if he doesn’t challenge now why will the party and the unions choose him over Cunliffe after Labour has been hammered in another election? Caucus may move more in Robertson’s favour, but why would the unions or the membership change their mind about him just because there has been an election loss?

Robertson should man up and challenge now to give Labour a fighting chance at the next election. He would be better to try than to wait, or he could spend another three years in opposition.

Of course they could mitigate the leadership spill somewhat by Robertson cutting a deal with Cunliffe so there is only one name on the ballot, and Cunliffe serves as Robertson’s deputy.


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  • Get a grip

    Roberston as leader! Get a grip, he shows the immaturity of a 12 year old!

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      Word on Wellington Street is their next PM could be a Wellingtonian….

      • There’s just one small impediment to Robertson’s quest to become Labour Party leader; the small matter of who the “public servant” known as Person A worked for…

        • LesleyNZ

          How about playing the “Hangman” game – we can all try and guess…………

          • That’s very naughty of you Lesley. We just have to wait until the Court of Appeal hands down its judgment where Person A’s appeal is dismissed. Mr Robertson can hardly wait!

      • Bad__Cat

        Is that where Crusher lives?

        • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

          ooo Meow – that is spicy….

      • Clive

        About time too much Auckland control of the country hence the problems….

  • rockape

    My bet would be post election. They need at least 6 years to reinvent themselves so why the haste. They are going to loose the election anyway. What good is a change from bad to bad going to do.

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      After election Sheep will be firmly in the power seat. Why worry?

      • rockape


        • Dave

          Nah, sheep will quietly be put out to pasture, in the US, working for the UN on a big ranch, grazing happily on the contents of his US bank account for the next 40 years.

          Show us the money Shearer you Rick Prick

  • Chris

    The difference between Goff and Shearer is that Shearer is worse than useless. I say keep him as leader. As leader Shearer is one of Key’s biggest assets.

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      Please do not talk ill of a leader who has the vision to build houses, reduce power prices and impose CGT and defer super changes. Sheep is not worried about popular decisions. He wants what is good for people of this country.

  • The General Debate this afternoon should be fun. I daresay that the Nats will want to make David Shearer squirm and David Cunliffe grin some more!

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      I understand John Key will be grilled on his U-turn on the Auckland Rail link decision. It is a dead rat he has to swallow.

    • Dave

      Yes, word reaching these far shores, is the “house” will be serving huge portions of roast and grilled Mutton for lunch and dinner for the next few weeks.

  • Lion_ess

    Couldn’t help myself bringing in this line from the Daily blog article below ..
    ..”What else can one expect when the most vocal supporters for David Shearer are the entire Herald editorial team, Whaleoil, John Armstrong, Favid Farrar and Fran O’Sullivan?..” Winning!


    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      What a loser this guy Martin Bradbury is….landlines…

  • Bart

    There is the biggest problem with the current incarnation of the Labour Party, the multiple factions competing against each other, and the weighting of the Union vote in any leadership challenge will only perpetuate the status quo. There will be no change when no defininte leader can emerge from the deliberately obfusctated process. It is a farce, a real ‘polish parliament’.

  • Euan Ross-Taylor

    It’s a lose ;lose for Robertson. If he challenges now and loses, he hands all his cards to Cunliffe and goes back to the naughty stool on the back bench allowing Cunliffe the opportunity to move forward a row. If he leaves it he will certainly be overtaken. My bet is he doesn’t have the balls and will prefer his front seat in the chamber (nothing to do with loyalty).

  • Agent BallSack

    6 months before the election IMO. That will give them the 10-15% they need to form a government with greens/mana.

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      Without any change Sheep will sleep walk to victory with Green/NZ First/Mana combination. Hippie Norman is so power hungry, he will stoop to the gutter level to win the election. I understand, Norman will instruct Green voters to give their electoral votes to Labour in order to defeat National candidates….

  • GazzW

    Robertson has less even charisma than Shearer and when provoked he’s prone to hissy fits. Seems prone to petulance and will go down like a cup of cold sick with provincial NZ. His partner, Alf might be a nice bloke but he’ll make for a shit first lady. I don’t think NZ is quite ready to go there.

    • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

      I hope Labour picks him as their leader in that case… Can only be good for keeping them out of power.

    • Tamaki

      You guys seem to be mon..keying around… (get it??)

      Poor Grant, I’ll stand in for Alf. Look pretty good in a pink hat.

  • baw

    Changing the leader just makes them look desperate.

    National was in a similar situation back in 02.

    My Question is this:

    If Whaleoil were to suddenly switch sides what would he do to fix the labour party and help them win the next election?

    Aside from hacking off most of their corporate donors.

    • baw

      After all most readers of this blog would prefer the reds to the Greens.

      • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

        The greens are reds. Watermelons.

    • Mediaan

      I bet Whaleoil’s consulting fees are high. You sure you want to ask?

    • Dave

      WO switch sides, at least WO/Cameron could actually LEAD the party, get them to follow and to stay OFF social media, give them a plan, turn them around etc. However, most labour pollies are only in it for the salary and perks, so they well know 50% of them would be gone under the WTBH (well they’ll beef hooked) leadership. Then the unions, oh crap, that would work well, NOT, farewell unions.

      Cam for PM

    • Jimmie

      Not that hard to fix Labour.

      Have a bunch of candidates to stand for Labour that actually have an idea of what they stand for.

      These same candidates would have real world experience (even if its working on the factory floor) and have a decent dolop of common sense between them.

      Amongst these candidates there would be one or two who have a reasonable dose of charisma and leadership-by-example skills.

      Once in Parliament they would bring an alternative vision for New Zealand that sees the country moving ahead and prosperous.

      The policies they implement (even though more left wing than I would like) would be practical and workable and would be for the benefit of all kiwis.

      Not going to happen with the current mob though – self promoting egotists the lot of them.

    • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

      They very clearly are desperate. If they have to have a caucus cleanout, where’s Trevor Mallard going to go? No school will allow him to be their janitor.

  • In Vino Veritas

    Roberston, the careerist public servant, is caught between a rock and a hard place. If he challenges and wins, and Labour lose the election, he’ll get toasted for Cunliffe. If he doesn’t, and Labour loses, then it could well be that he misses out for Cunliffe anyway. Given that so many in caucus seem to detest Cunliffe, you’d expect them to walk if he wins the vote, putting Labour behind the eight ball for a good few years into the future. My view however, is that because these people are by and large deadbeat troughers, with no way of retaining a similar salary in the private sector, they’ll all put their heads in the sand, do as they’re told, and continue collecting from the taxpayer trough.

    • Agent BallSack

      In other words they are there for their own purpose, and not the electorate they profess to stand for. Roll Shearer tomorrow and get silent T in – tell NZ, we listened to you. Then if things are still crap in 2 years time Robertson gets his lash at it.

      • In Vino Veritas

        For their own purpose ABS? Yep, I’d say a good few are. Where do you think the likes of Fenton, Mahuta, Ardern, King, Street, Hipkins, Jones, Moroney, Woods, Twyford, Beaumont, Dyson, Mallard and Wall would go to earn a lazy $130 -$140K?
        I seriously doubt that any of that lot would have the wherewithal to earn that sort of money in the private sector.

  • Saccharomyces

    Deck chairs on the titanic……… I don’t think it would matter who was leader, they’re going down anyway.

  • GregM

    They could always ask H1 to come back….

    • blokeintakapuna

      Horrible thought – people will be trying to digest food at this time of day. That’s just sick Greg!

    • blokeintakapuna

      But it could be a clever tactic.
      NZ gets entirely sick and tired of Shearer / Labour / whingers, with zero alternatives – credible or otherwise…
      …and then, up pops a spritely Auntie from out of no where to once again lead Labour and NZ into victory…
      It would certainly put some noses out of joint – but not as much as once again being the Greens lap dog in opposition, as opposed to being the Government.
      Let’s just hope Auntie still enjoys the baubles of UN hospitality…

    • Dave

      She might not want to come back with out her G/friend in tow, and its much colder in wellington than the UN offices!

  • Euan Ross-Taylor

    Move over Grant and Cunliffe, The Horrid is reporting that Dotcom is about to enter politics. At this rate my popcorn supply is too small, need to fill the cupboards in the garage too – off to the shop, again!
    “Mr Dotcom also said he planned on getting involved in next year’s general election – but wouldn’t expand on how.”

  • redeye

    I would have thought it was a females turn to lead them. Gay is not a gender.

  • LesleyNZ

    Think Labour will sink deeper in the hole if Grant Robertson takes the reigns.

    • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

      Bring him on!

  • TC NZ

    I wonder how many of those 10% that have voted “Right Leader, right direction” in Stuff’s online poll today we’re like me – choosing that answer because as long as they continue to decline, it is in fact at least the “right direction”.

  • Time For Accountability

    Where to?

  • Bad__Cat

    I think Labour are fine just the way they are now!

  • Douglas Perenara Johnston

    Interesting article – the third paragraph in particular stood out when considering Labour in both NZ & Oz at present. Perhaps it is a good thing that caucus can’t just axe Shearer. A similar rule allowing the membership and unions in Oz a say could have prevented the whole Gillard v Rudd fiasco. So perhaps Rudd (or Cunliffe) are unpopular in caucus? Perhaps the caucus should think about what their membership want and the party needs and not just their own petty preferences. Surely do don’t have to be mates with everyone you work with. Membership involvement in the party is a good thing right? Unions having a say might not sit well with all Labour voters perhaps but it is meant to be a party for workers is it not? Or is it just a brand? Hmmm, as I said, interesting.

  • FrederickM

    Both Cunliffe and David Parker are, Clark, leader picks, not people who came up thru the Labour party and union structure. Therefore neither is fully trusted. Cunliffe like Kevin Rudd is a former diplomat and therefore is likely to approach the GCSB issue with a modicum of common sense, restraint and knowlege of the reality of our international relations.
    I can not see Grant Robertson as electable and credible. The Robertson and Russel Norman approach is to approach the GCSB issue from the local labour party point of view. We are the tiddler in the five eyes arrangement and therefore can not impose any real conditions and overview on it.