No stitch up, there will be a contest

I was talking with Phil Goff, along with Mike Williams this morning, about the leadership issue within Labour.

During the conversation he intimated that he wished that there had been a leadership contest for him, that things within the party may have gone a whole lot better had there been a contest and a resolution instead of his being anointed by Helen Clark and then a unanimous caucus resolution.

The discussion then moved on to the process for Labour now.

Goff was adamant that there would be a contest and caucus will not present a stitch up to the members. He believes a contest is vital mainly as a means to unite the party.

Mike Williams agrees. 

So it would seem that we are going to see a challenge, some robust debate and ultimately a balloting of the members in order to find the next leader of the Labour party.

Given the announced candidates thus far and the fact the membership will be involved I suspect that we will see David Cunliffe selected as Labour’s leader.

Andrew Little is talking up his chances but if the scoffing of senior Labour MPs is anything to go by he hasn’t a chance at all. Their considered opinion is that if you can’t win an electorate seat then you don’t deserve to be there.

Focus will quickly move to who will be deputy. That could get interesting. I know for sure who it won’t be…and that is Chris Hipkins…who must be feeling extremely nervous right now.

Trevor Mallard, another who should be nervous of a Cunliffe led labour party probably did enough in the knifing of Shearer to avoid serious repercussions. It really depends on how much revenge Cunliffe will seek.


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • rockape

    Got that one wrong then didnt I! Mind you thats great for National. A 4 week distraction,who will remember GCSB or Snapper. Also it almost certainly means a lurch left and that can only harm the Greens not National. It may also see NZ first look right,not left. Wonderfull news if you believe anything Labour say.

    • Very true. Whatever they do – whoever they choose – the Labia party will move to the left of where it is now! And that has to be great news for those of us who lean towards the right.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Curryleaf will be hard for Key to manage….bad time for National bros….

    • Patrick

      You have swapped horses mid race without breaking stride- amazing athleticism SCS!

      • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

        Go with the flow bro, go with the flow, need to survive….started to promote Curryleaf among the unwashed Labourers….

      • steve and monique

        Well the last horse he backed is now Uhu .

        • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

          I am seriously thinking of promoting uncle Rajen Prasad…

          • steve and monique

            Why not Chicken Little. Better to loose him next year then Cunnie, and Rainbow robertson

  • Robertson should stand aside as deputy leader forthwith. He can’t be both leader and deputy, and it is highly unlikely that Cunliffe would trust him enough to offer him the job. Labour should have a complete clean-out at the top, including some significant pruning of the deadwood.

    • Goldie

      If Labour were to clean out their deadwood, then frankly they’d be a caucus of about three people.
      All this discussion about the leader conceals a deeper weakness for Labour – the utter paucity of talent in their caucus.
      Consider the National frontbench – English, Joyce, Collins, Finlayson, Adams, Ryall – very capable and bright people. Witness how these guys absolutely shred their opponents in the House. And behind them you have got some emerging talent like Bridges. Compare that to Labour (Shane Jones is bright but he is lazy). And their emerging talent, Jacinda Ardern, has been exposed as a fluffy silly lightweight.

  • cows4me

    This leadership issue will be like a picnic by the seaside, throw the bones out of the KFC box and watch the screeching, feathers and shit everywhere.

    • kevin

      Yes, those gays get really bitchy quite easily.

      • steve and monique

        Lots of handbags and hairy legs

  • Agent BallSack

    Most pundits are calling Silent T. Which is going to fuck off the ABC faction no end. I dont think he can get over the line due to the amount of people he will dispatch once he gets there. So Labour will end up with a lame duck leader and probably the first openly gay opposition leader.

  • Agent BallSack

    Perhaps Shearer standing down was a quiet little fuck you to everyone who has destabilised him over the last 20 months. Labour have so many factions he knows it will be a messy fight because none of them can come together for the good of the party. They’re all too into the trough for their own vile reasons.

  • JC

    I wonder if the union vote is that solid for the angry Little fellow.. Cunliffe is Auckland and a good chunk of AK unionists might prefer him to someone from the boonies. Also, if I were a unionist I might well think Little hardly covered himself in glory over the Pike River disaster when he was leading the union.

    I’m thinking Cunliffe need only promote more AK spending to pull the union bloc in behind him.


    • Goldie

      Exactly. How Little Andrew, who was boss of the EPMU before the Pike River disaster, has emerged unscathed is a mystery to me. Little was a total failure as Labour Party president. And he has been absolutely pathetic in the House and Shearer demoted him because he was so useless.
      I don’t know why he is continually put forwards as a possible leader.

      • Whafe

        Only reason there is talk of little angry Andre little is because the Unions own Liabour…

  • CheesyEarWax

    The talents are not there for Labour. From leader to deputy, to other major portfolios to go up against English, Joyce, Collins, Brownlee, Ryall etc.. They cannot win by just replacing the leader and deputy, certainly not in 2014.

  • mike

    I foresee a bitter struggle and at the end a leader who hasn’t got the true majority vote (more than 50%), merely someone who has got just enough votes to beat everyone else… could see a leader elected who has 40% support of his party with the runners up on about 30% each now wouldn’t that be interesting and potentially dangerous for Labour… could be that under this outcome there is another leadership row just before the 2014 election.

    • Alloytoo

      So who wants to be Key’s next scalp…….

      • mike

        Who cares who ends up on the end of the scalping (or should that be scalpings?)… all I care about (and lets be honest it’s really all any of care about) is how much fun it will be to watch Labour die the death of a thousand cuts.

        • blokeintakapuna

          It would be poetic justice if it really wasn’t such a serious matter for the leadership of our country and future.

  • old shunter

    here’s an interesting interview done in 2010
    paul holmes interview