The fight is getting nasty, buy more popcorn

As the nasty knife fight inside Labour gets underway we can see that David Cunliffe is still at sixes and sevens.

Last night on Campbell Live he had this to say:

David Cunliffe: The reality is National has never gone out in two terms; that it’s very rare for a government to go out on [a] % growth rate, and it’s very, very hard when you’ve got distractions like Kim Dotcom

John Campbell: The 4% growth rate was predicted. It was very much in Treasury’s books when you made that speech 12 months ago . You promised Labour you could do it. You got 24%.

DC: 24.7% … Nobody is saying this is good enough … the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who needed a fresh start were disappointed by it.

JC: Why didn’t they vote for you?

DC: That’s the subject of a review.

JC: Hold on a sec. You are a leader, and you are a bright man. Why didn’t they vote for you?

DC: I think at the end of the day, people wanted stability. They wanted prosperity. They saw the current government, for now, delivering that for them, and they weren’t prepared to take what they saw as some kind of risk for a change.

Whilst this may be a good strategy for leader of the Labour party, after all the election is already lost, it shows that the voters didn’t see stability in Labour so they voted for change. They will continue to do that if the voters don’t see real change inside Labour.

It looks like David Cunliffe is going down the path of explaining how he is still the messiah but the policies he had to sell were rubbish, forgetting that he was the leader and could have vetoed those policies at any time.

Meanwhile the knife fight is getting nasty.

The ugly public spat between Labour leadership rivals David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson continued this morning as they traded blows ahead of another caucus meeting.

Cunliffe’s bid took another hit today as his deputy David Parker withdrew his support. But Cunliffe has the backing of Manuwera MP Louisa Wall, who says she will nominate him to contest a primary style run-off.

In a TV3 interview last night, Cunliffe appeared to being driving a wedge between MPs who do back him, and the wider party.

He took aim at “beltway politicians” and suggested some MPs put more effort into winning electorates over party vote.

However, the party vote share in his own New Lynn electorate also dropped.

Cunliffe will formally resign today after the party’s election night drubbing. He was forced into the move after a bruising seven-hour caucus meeting last week.

Asked about Cunliffe’s ‘beltway’ swipe – widely interpreted as a slight against the Wellington Central MP – Robertson said: “It’s an American political term so perhaps someone has been watching too much West Wing. It’s not a term I use.

“Every member of the caucus I know works hard for all of the constituents in their electorate wherever they are from and … I think our party is all about the people of New Zealand.”

He also took exception to the party vote accusation, saying it was “an insult” to volunteers: “I don’t know any of my colleagues who didn’t put in a 100 per cent effort to get the party vote out. He is absolutely wrong.”

On his way in to the meeting, Cunliffe insisted his comments were not aimed at individuals.

Yeah, nah, of course the comments weren’t aimed at individuals…it was aimed at the ABC, who David Cunliffe is first going to blame for the loss then have to cut a deal with if he is to remain leader.


– NBR, Fairfax

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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.