Who is New Zealand’s Kevin Rudd?

Duncan Garner is exacting revenge at the moment.

Yesterday he gave his detractors a larrup, and also commented on the #Laboursgottalent contenders.

Grant Robertson:

The anti-Cunliffe people will fall in behind Robertson – and make no mistake Robertson believes his time has come. I met him recently and asked him if he wants to lead the party and the country. His answer was yes. Good on him. He knows what he wants.

He is a great debater. A likeable bloke – he loves his rugby, his soccer, a drink, a chat and his husband, Alf – another good bloke.

I used to joke with Grant, that he was ‘almost perfect’ – he got the joke – and I hope no one is offended by it.

Being gay shouldn’t count against Robertson – I hope it doesn’t, but it will come into the spotlight.

Can a gay man from Wellington beat Key in the provinces?

Can a gay Wellington man beat Key in Auckland? 

That will come into people’s considerations as Labour members gather to vote.

David Cunliffe:

A smart bloke, a bright man, an intellectual man – an odd man – who is seriously disliked by some. Is he the Kevin Rudd of NZ politics? Sometimes I think he is.

I cannot repeat the words in this column that some Labour MPs use to describe him. But this is his time. It’s now or never for Cunliffe.

These opportunities rarely come up. Both men could do the job in my view.

Both men are flawed:

The weaknesses?

Robertson might not be embraced by enough New Zealanders to get Labour across the line.

And the public might tire of Cunliffe quickly if they see what Labour MPs have seen for the last few years.

So the fight begins.


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  • Whafe

    Good comments, but it doesn’t address the core shocking state the NZ Labour party is in… All these commentators speak like all will be well with a good leader.
    What a crock of shit, the core issues are that deep and diverse that a great talented leader (of which they don’t have) will not bring NZ Labour into contention to govern NZ…
    These commentators should grow some balls and start discussing that without the core ideologies sorted, NZ Labour is screwed

    • You’re right Wafe. With Shearer sidelined, the #manban plan is out of the wastepaper basket and back on the desk. And that’s just one issue that will strangle Labour from within.

      • BobaJob

        I don’t know about that Petal? – I reckon the man (using the term loosley here) ban got Flounder.

    • niggly

      Very good points Whafe, MSM and those at the Standard talk about leadership contenders (like Cunliffe for example) as being good enough to take the fight to National but gloss over (or ignore the fact) that the rest of Labour “doesn’t have talent’ and lack business nous etc.

      The MSM (journos trained and skilled etc) and Standard may mock the posts and commentators on WOBH or Kiwiblog or KS but at least the authors and commentators are looking “under the hood” (rather than looking at the shiny coat of paint on the surface) and critiquing the wider abilities of the team – after all takes a team effort to win or loose (elections) – not the captain on his/her own.

    • Col

      When you think about Shearer had a very soft landing from the commentators, what I did hear, was who will be able to give JK a good going over, so JK got good press really.

    • arlo

      A bit like trying to fix the Wallabies by getting rugby enthusiasts to vote in a new captain.

    • steve and monique

      Brings up that old saying “you cant polish a turd,but you can roll it in glitter”. Labour is a turd, and adding glitter wont change it.

    • niggly

      And to reinforce your point, caught a few minutes of the Nation and a Labour Party blogger from the Standard (Jenny Michie) simply thinks a change of leadership will be the magic bullet (ignoring that the car engine has been removed and in its place are a tread wheel but the mice are crippled).

      (And lol, when asked about Robertson potentially not resonating with Labour Pasifika and conservatives she tangented off onto gay marriage not being a biggee at the end of the day (maybe so for liberal middle classes but still so for many pasifika) and SHE has no problem with a gay leader. Talk about ignore who the question was directed to and talk about one’s self – just reinforces how Labour are out of touch with elements of society that are/were/should be their core supporters and the view from the top down is what counts)!

      • LabTested

        I was trying to work out what her accent is. Something North American? Why do we have pinko foreigners trying to tell us how to run our country

        • Mr Sackunkrak

          They are other countries’ rejected pinkos. We get the worst of the worst. There should be an international convention on how many pinkos one country can palm off to another.

      • Hazards001

        It’s not just Pasifika, the traditional blue collar labour voter is a dyed in the wool conservative.

        There may be many homo wharfies, construction workers, fisherman,freezing workers etc. (and there are if the graffiti in the mens bogs is anything to go by) but I can well assure you they don’t put it out there in the workplace. And everyone knows why. They may well vote for the rainbow faction but the majority of their co workers will NOT!

    • Whafe

      I see Annette King is banging on about how many woman at the Labour Womans Conference are ready to be leaders….
      And into it again, another MP whom thinks just getting a new leader will sort all of Labours problems…. PPFFfftttttttttttt
      And the so called political commentators will agree that, yes a good new leader is all that is required…..

      • niggly

        Cool, can’t wait for the Labour Women to put forward a candidate (accompanied by a strongly worded press release) and piss off Cunners, Robertson etc who thought they were a shoe in!

  • David Cunliffe – just like Kevin Rudd, but without Rudd’s charisma…

    • Mr Sackunkrak

      Lol, and an advanced vocabulary.

  • Michael

    If you go through Labour’s caucus the choice for leader is hard. There seems to be no-one capable of taking the bull by the horns and putting to bed Labour’s policy nightmares like Key did on replacing Brash. Caucus renewal is always a problem for political parties, but it seems Labour has missed two oppurtinities to bring in a new generation of leaders who can go toe to toe with the National front bench.

    • Whafe

      Again, sorry to be a worn out record, but a new leader is not going to be the turning point for Labour…..
      They are not even running on 2 cylinders under the hood

  • jagilby

    FFS, who cares if he’s a good debater Robertson has zero real world experience!

    I couldn’t care less if he’s gay and I’m ambivalent about Cunliffe.

    Why does the media continually spruik a guy who has done nothing except be president of a cosseted tin-pot organisation (NZUSA), working as a wonk at MFAT, running an aid programme worth $7m (chump change in he context of NZs GDP), and just generally graduate from being child of the beltway (Clark’s lacky).

    Robertson has done nothing in my eyes to suggest he is Prime Minister material – he is just the embodiment of a career politician, the type of individual that will only offer bribes to the electorate to cling to office and will knowingly jeopardize the economy to score cheap political points.

    • jagilby

      Further, what relevance is it that Alf is a nice guy? I mean, good for him, but so what? I’ve heard this mentioned so often in discourse about Robertson being leadership material. It’s totally irrelevant – the good character, or otherwise, of a straight politician’s husband/wife never comes into the equation as it righty shouldn’t.

      • Patrick

        Exactly, they are already framing this, if people start criticising Robertson it will because they are homophobic, just like the Obama critics are supposedly racist. You never heard anyone say Key’s missus or Goff’s missus was a nice bird, but somehow we get to hear that Robertson’s partner is a nice bloke – even on this blog. Who gives a rats arse.

  • LesleyNZ

    “his husband”. Sounds ridiculous. Labour need to elect a bloke who can relate to ordinary NZers. If Duncan can’t repeat the words used to describe David Cunliffe then none are worthy to be in the Beehive.I did hear once that David Cunliffe wasn’t too happy with the pornography culture within Labour ranks – wonder if this is true? Might have been just a bit of gossip.

    • Frank

      I agree. It was one thing for Helen C to be a closet lesbo but it was hidden. Now we could be thrust into the bedroom of Robertson and his ‘husband’.
      It’s got all sorts of connotations that red blooded rugby loving kiwi blokes will simply not connect with.
      An openly gay man can never connect with men.
      Goto any rugby club in a Sat night and ask if they would vote for a gay man with a husband. I bet the answer is ‘no’ and I bet the club-rooms is the barometer for NZ.

      • GazzW

        Rugby clubrooms are the natural habitat of Waitakere Man.

        Anyway how could any self-respecting country have a First Lady called Alf?

        • hookerphil

          Perhaps he is Mrs Robinson,ex 60’s, in drag.

        • LesleyNZ

          Now that enough for no vote! Well said.

  • Ururoa

    Stop mucking around with Robertson. There is no way he will be acceptable to such a huge part of Labour’s electorate that Cunliffe is the only option. Labour caucus will just have to suck it up.

    The one big benefit for the country is that Cunliffe will take it to the Greens and give them a bit of a whipping in the house from time to time to keep them in their place. A Cunliffe – Shane Jones ticket would probably be the best option for the country, and their best chance in an election to nail a couple of extra Maori seats.

    • Hazards001

      Jones will never shake the stigma of the credit card porn. Which is a damn shame really. I could care less that a red blooded kiwi guy whacks one out to a bit of porn while away from home.
      Unfortunately I do care about his mindless lack of judgement in using his work credit card to pay for it.

      I doubt most the hand wringing moralists have actually bothered to make the connection but so what?
      Like many that have made an error in judgement (such as getting married) Jones like Morgan before him will continue to pay the price for a relatively trivial misdemeanour in the grand scheme of things.

  • Wilson

    I read in the Herald that Andrew Little is ‘biding his time’ but a contender.
    Whilst some of the actual contenders are narcissistic tits Andrew Little is your best Kevin Rudd comparison except the difference is that we haven’t seen Little pick his nose and eat the benefits and Little is as thick as shit.
    Little is also universally hated. In the safe seat of New Plymouth they sent him packing because – as relatives of mine there put it – he is an obnoxious little cunt.

  • peterwn

    National has the most party votes in Wellington Central, followed by Greens then Labour, although Labour+Greens exceed National. If the electorate candidate vote follows the party vote then National would win the seat, however Green voters support the Labour candidate (Grant Robertson) to keep National out. However if a sufficient number of Green voters get brassed off with Labour or Grant, they could support a Green candidate – this is the stuff of dreams for National aspirants for Wellington Central, and conversely a nightmare for Grant. In practice, Grant is fairly safe, but this is a vulnerability the Greens could try and exploit – ie pressure Labour in giving the Greens a clean run in some electorate eg Rongotai.

  • drummerboy

    Cunliffe is no Kevin Rudd, yes Cunliffe is disliked by people in his own party, but he isn’t a complete incompetent idiot like Kevin Rudd, he is a lot smarter.

  • johnbronkhorst

    labour……always looking for that “magic bullet”…”pill to cure everything”…solution to the countries ills (as they see it) or their own.
    If they were paying attention, they would note that the answer to their ills (and the country’s) lies opposite them in parliament.
    Pragmatic, workable solutions with:
    Measureable goals
    Achievement oriented solutions
    One step at a time methodology
    Careful research
    Not dwelling on failings, just changing them
    and above all remembering that achievement is
    20% inspiration and 80% perspiration.
    Labour have no inspiration (hoping to get it from a new leader after failing twice already) and have NEVER (in my lifetime [53 years]) been willing to work hard!

  • johnbronkhorst

    As an aside, I see on Sky News Australia. Rudd’s support has slipped even more!

  • Truthhurts

    Robertson will never connect with mainstream NZ men. Because whilst we tolerate gays and lesbians and whilst we know to shut up and say nothing we all know deep down inside ourselves that the thought of two men sucking cock is too much for us. It’s weird and its not right.
    Rural NZ won’t support him. Testosterone laden men of other locations won’t either. He’s a fringe outsider to kiwis despite his party ranking.
    The homosexual revolution hasn’t changed the way we think, it’s created laws and barriers and political correctness that bans and obfuscates the truth masked down inside us all.
    Which is that Robertson is gay, has a gay ‘husband’, takes it up the bum, sucks cock and would likely be beaten for it by men repugnant with the thought of it.
    Men vote for men. Not poofters

    • LesleyNZ

      Pretty graphic what you have said. But it is the truth.

    • SeanWellington

      You fucking nasty internet troll. And this is why countries such as ours have anti-discriminatory legislation. Trust me, I know from experience that those who vehemently hate are often fueled by a sense of self-loathing, something core to their identity that they wish was different or not there at all. That sounds like you, mate. Say you had a heart attack – and given your use of the word ‘poofter’ it sounds like you’re in the right demo – are you gonna question the sexual orientation of your cardiac surgeon before kickoff? Opt for a straight one if he turns out to be gay, because you’ll be repulsed? And recall Georgina Beyer – so much for your theory. Please God, I hope this guy hasn’t bred.

      • Hazards001

        Seriously? Fuck off Sean. The fact that you don’t like the way real men think has sweet fuck all to do with lifes realities. But of course people like you are exactly the reason the thought police exist.

        You are a minority but by God you are going to make FUCKING laws to make it illegal for anyone to have an opinion that is contrary to your own!
        Fucking queers.

        • SeanWellington

          Jesus, I hope you don’t have kids either. The poor bastards, spawned and brought up by a hater. And you consider yourself a real man, speaking on behalf of all other ‘real men’ I see. Hmmmm. Again, I’ve seen plenty of life’s realities, including ranters/haters like you who’ve turned out to be gay/bi and fought it for years. Most REAL men, regardless of sexual orientation, wouldn’t give a rat’s arse about Robertson being gay. Their focus, including mine, will be on his governance skills. Cheers.

          • Hazards001

            My kids are girls, their favourite Uncle is gay, My favourite Uncle is gay. Fuck off you fucking toe rag. People like you make me want to scream you fucking PC piss weak pansy tosser. You want to shape the world to your fucking needs and don’t give a fuck that the majority of people actually don’t want to live in your fucking world, they liked the one they had!

            I don’t give a fuck that Robertson is gay you fuckwit and neither does Truthshurt, his point was that he is unpalatable to Waitakere Man and his point is correct.

            Now piss off troll!

          • SeanWellington

            Wow! And a lunatic too. Now go and swear like that in front of your girls, Mr Real Man. That’s me done. Cheers from this ardent Nat supporter (that’s why I’m on this site).

          • Hazards001

            I couldn’t give a fat flying fuck if you were John Keys big sister you nasty fucking poof!
            You are just another fucking minority that thinks you have some god given right to ram your fucking ideas culture way of life or beliefs down everyone else’s throats by calling them intolerant racist sexist homophobic or whatever else fucking PC label you can come up with.
            You make me want to be fucking sick you cunt! I don’t give a fuck who you support you self absorbed fucking areshole!

          • seanwellington

            You are a dangerous man, Hazards001, GCSB take note. At no time did I say I was gay, or even implied it. but you are just brimming with hatred which I don’t get at all. And thanks LesleyNZ for your effort at tempering.

          • Hazards001

            Oh I’m dangerous all right fag, just not in the way you allude too.
            My life experience tells me that when a single issue cunt comes flying in foaming at the mouth spitting rhetoric it’s easy to put them in their box. Just like I did for you.
            If you want me to expand I’d imagine you are some sort of lawyer, accountant or the like, possibly a shiny shoed wanker in the Government but I doubt it.
            And you are correct, I hate cunts like you. Not because you are gay but because you believe you have some right to inflict your genome deficiencies on the rest of us via legislation and verbal attacks trying to make normal people seen sub human to make up for your own lacking.
            I used to be in agriculture. We culled any animal that didn’t couldn’t or wouldn’t breed or failed too so as to make the genetic bloodlines stronger.

            You and your ilk do the exact opposite in the human world and do all you can to make it weaker.
            Shove your GCSB crap up your ass with your boyfriends cock you little poof. I don’t need to access meta data to know a cunt when I see one! Slimy little shit!

        • LesleyNZ

          Now now calm down Hazards. Too much bad language!

          • Hazards001

            I know..sorry Lesley..people like that get my goat. Best you don’t read any more of my replies to him.

      • LesleyNZ

        Truthhurts is not being an internet troll. You yourself are being very intolerant of someone who happens to think differently than you. Truthhurts is allowed his opinion just as much as you are. What Truthhurts described in a rather graphic way – is – true.

        • SeanWellington

          At least you sound more rational than the Hazard lunatic. I take your point.

    • AngryTory

      Not just “Testosterone man”.

      These days labour depends on South Auckland Christians vote. If they vote, Labour wins, if they don’t Labour loses. They’re already running their own mayoral candidate. If they see that that “John Key Legalized Gay Marriage” while “Labour is the Gay Party” and “The Greens are Pagans” they’re much more likely to vote for a Pacific Christian party – keeping Labour out.

  • Truthhurts

    Labour is screwed before they even choose a leader. The reason is that Labour is no longer made up of people who represent and connect with ordinary New Zealanders – the type who traditionally vote for them.
    The problem stems back to recruitment. Labour has failed to find its direction since MMP and since the greens slipped in. Ever since then Labour has struggled to fill ranks with quality people and who it has are flukeys and week wristed homos.
    Where is their Lange? He was clever and a guy people could connect with who enjoyed things like motor raving and arse jokes.
    All Labour has to choose is angry unionists.

    • GazzW

      Well said TH. You have laid it out for all to see and they are vital points that the MSM has chosen to overlook.

    • LesleyNZ

      Lange would definitely be an outsider in today’s Labour Party. I don’t see any David Lange’s on the horizon any time soon.

  • rockape

    I dont think this change of leadership will make much difference. Its the Labour Caucus that runs the show,more particularly, the Labour shadow cabinet. Just shuffling the chairs round a bit makes little difference. The Shadow cabinet are mearly mouthpeices for Labours policies. Right now those policies are weak and from what I see uncosted. eg Their home building policy. The best salesman in the world has difficulty selling crap and thats what Labours new team will have to do. I am sure for the third time in 4 years we will get the old line” the last lot had it wrong,we are new and will revolutionize Labour”. Not going to happen when the are shackled to so many who served under Helen. Being untarnished by past policy errors was a major plus for JK. Its what Labour should look to,but they just havnt the numbers or the talent to promote. Thats why I see after a short honeymoon them failing to impress.
    It show how shallow they are, talking about on-line surveys supporting Shearer. Dont they realise that less than 30%of those participating are Labour voters and a lot of the others are like me,Taking the piss!

    • AngryTory

      Right now those policies are weak and from what I see uncosted.

      and right now any of those policies that are at all popular are immediately adopted & enacted by National.

      From a policy point of view – that’s great. From a horse-race point of view – that’s terrible. Labour is basically screwed: can’t go left, can’t go right.

      Their only hope is that National moves to the right, giving Labour some space between them.

  • rockape

    he National front bench team are pretty competent right now. Just because Labour choose a new leader makes little difference to their shadow cabinet. They will still show the same ineptitude at question time. Still make the same mistakes in producing policy and quite frankly are still tarred with the Old Labour brush. They still dont represent much of a threat, at least to the right,they will leane left so the person who will be worried is one Wrussel Norman!

  • YoungA

    Cunliffe is a total champagne socialist. Despite him being highly educated, I feel it will be a major set back. And especially living in Herne Bay – fuck me. At least Helen Clark was incredibly self aware, e.g. living in a modest suburb such as Mt Albert. No one likes a smart ass – and I think that’s what the caucus sees him as; potentially as do some other Labour voters, especially those in South Auckland. How is a Herne Bay ponsing, highly educated white socialist supposed to relate to PI voters???