MSM gobsmacked at David Cunliffe gaffe

My expose on David Cunliffe’s housing cockup yesterday is being echoed through other media today.

Susan Wood at ZB observes

Political stunts are fraught with danger. The dead snapper former Labour leader David Shearer held up in Parliament didn’t do his career any good. And this week’s choice of an aspiring home buyer to represent young Aucklanders struggling to get into the Auckland property market seriously missed the mark. It was part of Labour’s attack on new mortgage lending restrictions that came into force yesterday.

Labour leader David Cunliffe met with the 23-year-old, Kanik Mongia, in central Auckland in front of media. The IT consultant has been looking for properties in the $400,000 to $500,000 price range in South Auckland or Mt Wellington for the past four or five months. He has saved enough for a 10 per cent deposit, so that is $40,000 or $50,000 in the bank.

What was so unusual about Labour championing this young man’s plight is that he doesn’t seem to have a plight. These were his words about buying a property: “If it’s good enough I could live in it, otherwise it could be an investment property.”

Excuse me, an investment property?

This is not a young man struggling to get a home to live in. He obviously has a roof over his head if he is talking about buying an investment property.  He has saved 10 per cent already, he has a job as an IT consultant and one assumes with a little more time will be able to save some more for a deposit.  And he is just 23.

From Rufus Paynter to Snapper to Kanik Mongia, Labour just can’t resist gravitating to their own destruction.

The Dominion Post also chimes in with an opinion piece  

The immensity of the task facing new Labour leader David Cunliffe is starkly illustrated by his party’s bungled attempt to embarrass the Government over new minimum house deposit rates.

Mr Cunliffe has talked about putting Labour on a war footing. This week’s events show it is not on a war footing. It is in a deep slumber.

I’ve used the analogy earlier, but Labour’s idea of a “war footing” is shooting itself in the foot.

Over, and over, and over again.

It is six weeks since the bank announced a minimum deposit level of 20 per cent for most home buyers. You’d think in that time Labour would have been able to come up with a young family who’d been saving for several years and had had the dream of home ownership snatched from their grasp at the last minute. Instead the best the party could manage was a 23-year-old IT consultant who was not even sure he would live in a house, if he bought it. “If it’s good enough I could live in it, otherwise it could be an investment property,” said Kanik Mongia.

No criticism of Mr Mongia. Good on him for saving enough for a 10 per cent deposit on a $400,000 to $500,000 home.

But does Labour really want to portray itself as the party of upwardly mobile young property investors? And is it really prepared to undermine the integrity of monetary policy to give Yuppies a leg up?

I think it is safe to say the whole thing turned into a giant cluster-thing and there was absolutely no intent to champion the causes of the upwardly mobile property investor.

Mr Cunliffe has made an interesting start as leader. Already there have been verbal stumbles in Parliament and missteps outside it, but it will not have escaped the notice of his political enemies, either inside or outside the Labour Party, that he has been far more assured and forceful than his predecessor David Shearer.

“Interesting start” is one of those political euphemisms that really means “colossal cockup”.

And the fact unlike Shearer, Cunliffe is trying to bluster his way through with fake confidence we’ve already seen during the Chorus/Caucus gaffe, the outright CV cheating denials, and now once again by completely mismanaging the housing policy hit on National.

“Interesting start” indeed.

We’re looking for “courageous” next.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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