The kiss of death?

Mike Williams aka Fat Tony has endorsed David Cunliffe, in what is a truly bizarre explanation too.

Former Labour Party president Mike Williams has given David Cunliffe’s leadership chances a boost by publicly endorsing him for the job.

In a blog post, Williams said his mind was finally made up “when some overzealous twerp demanded to see David’s wife’s membership card in Dunedin”.

Williams’ endorsement is a crucial one for Cunliffe, who is still seen as the favourite over rivals Grant Robertson and Shane Jones.

Williams said polls showing Cunliffe ahead of Robertson and Jones were also important because the contest was about who could best lead Labour to victory – and with only a year to turn things around.

How strange…how is that any kind of justification? 

His additional comments about the contenders are interesting.

“Grant’s major advantage in my book is the block of support he has in the caucus.

“These people tend to know the contenders best, and I would normally give that great weight if the same people had not given us David Shearer, and then changed their minds.

“His [Robertson’s] disadvantages are his lack of experience in government and a pretty thin CV. His lack of recognition by the voting public is also a concern at this point in the cycle,” Williams wrote.

“Every poll has put Grant in third place. This is not necessarily fatal, but it does mean that the Labour Party will have a much harder selling job if Grant is the choice, and only a year to do it.”

On Shane Jones, Williams said he had been a revelation.

“If you’d been a visitor from Mars at the meeting I attended, your vote would have gone to Shane.

“He spoke without notes, but laced a substantial speech with colour, imagery and humour.” But with only a narrow base in the powerful caucus vote, “he almost certainly can’t win”.

Cunliffe, meanwhile, was another with an Ivy League education, a broad grounding in both private enterprise and the bureaucracy, and ministerial experience. “He is perhaps the only contender who, through his courageous deregulation of telecommunications, has benefited vast numbers of Kiwis.”

Cunliffe also had disadvantages – “his former inability to suffer fools gladly, a perceived vanity and an inexplicable capacity to polarise.

“It’s strange how the smallest incident can tip the balance and this came when some overzealous twerp demanded to see David’s wife’s membership card in Dunedin.

“Yesterday I gave my tick to David Cunliffe. He just starts too far down the track.

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