Charles Chauvel

Sledge of the Day

Chris Finlayson is a sarcastic bastard…and one of the best sledgers in politics…check out this one against Charles Chauvel from yesterday:

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Carol Beaumont, the Nasty Party Faction and Increasing National Majorities

Carol Beaumont will return to Parliament after Charles Chauvel jacked in a life sucking on the public teat in New Zealand for a life sucking on the public teat at the UN. Carol is a key member of the Nasty Party faction in Labour, and like others in the faction known for her inability to win votes.

At the last election there were only three Labour List MPs who managed to increase their opponents margin, Carol Beaumont, Sue Moroney and Steve Chadwick.  Read more »

The Herald Herald on Chauvel Chauvel, so good they had to repeat themselves

The “decent journalists, trained and skilled” at the Herald have out done themselves today.

In their rush to talk about Charles Chauvel they seem to be repeating themselves…either that or their site has developed an echo:

chauvel-twice

 

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Tweet of the Day

from Cactus Kate:

Runner up is Bill Ralston:  Read more »

Chauvel quits making way for Carol Beaumont’s return

Cameron Slater at the Truth reports

Charles Chauvel has quit parliament in a fit of pique, taking a lifeline no doubt supplied by Helen Clark, though he denies this publicly.

It is no secret that Charles Chauvel was a fan of David Cunliffe and this will be a large factor in his bolting from Labour.

What is of more interest however is that Chauvel sees an exit to the UN as more preferable than sticking around and hoping that a David Shearer led Labour party may perform an electoral miracle and manage to govern after next year’s election.

Chauvel has clearly weighed up Labour’s chance and also his own and realised both are slim at best.

Click here to read the rest of Cam’s article.

Just as Labour is starting to build a little bit of momentum against the Government, they end up shooting themselves in the foot with this side show.

 

Charlie Shovel Resigns, sick of being beaten to a pulp by Crusher

Charles Chauvel has resigned making way for The Caropotamus, Carol Beaumont to return to parliament. Clearly Chauvel has had enough of being ignored by Shearer, and the final straw may have been Shearer’s pro-homophobe stance yesterday:

Labour MP Charles Chauvel is resigning from Parliament to take up a job with the United Nations in New York.

Mr Chauvel, a List MP, said he had resigned effective from March 11.

He will work for the UN Development Programme organisation former Prime Minister Helen Clark leads – as an advisor on Parliamentary Development and Democratic Governance.  Read more »

Hardly overwhelming David, time to fess up

I’ve been thinking a fair bit about David Shearer’s leadership.

To my mind he is doomed. The much heralded and signalled…well required…leadership vote was held and afterwards Labour rather embarrassingly announced that David Shearer was endorsed as leader in a ballot that had only one candidate by “an overwhelming margin“.

That got me thinking and it got me scratching around my Labour sources…that didn’t sound right…”an overwhelming margin”…what does that even mean?

Then I was emailed by a reader who heard Katie Bradford-Crozier talking to Justin duFresne this morning on NewstalkZB. She said that int he leadership vote there were 10 abstentions.

This confirms what I have heard too from my Labour sources. Ten abstentions.  Read more »

David Cullen Bain should get nothing, the Herald survey is wrong

David Fisher has taken a break from repeating Kim Dotcon’s words verbatim or from regurgitating Ian Wishart’s latest conspiracy theory to write (did he really write it) about a survey/poll that shows that most Kiwis, apparently, support giving David Cullen Bain some taxpayer cash.

Well not me, not ever.

All that poll/survey shows is how susceptible people are to long term persistent pr campaigns like that run by Joe Karam.

You know the survey/poll is totally suspect by the constant qualifications in Fishers article.

Herald-DigiPoll summer survey found 74 per cent of those polled believe Mr Bain should be compensated if the judge who reviewed the case recommended that. (The survey was started on December 7, before Justice Ian Binnie’s recommendation of compensation became public.)

and;

The poll of 500 people was done amid fallout from the review by Justice Binnie.

But what is it? A poll or a survey? The two are quite different. Clearly Fisher doesn’t know the difference. He is more intent on printing Charles Chauvel’s nasty little smears:

Labour justice spokesman Charles Chauvel said the “ad hoc” process had become “rotten”. He said Justice Binnie’s report was “perfectly adequate” and did not deserve “bile” from an “Auckland tax lawyer” like Ms Collins.

Right so someone who she worked as a lawyer, specialising in employment, property, commercial, tax law and active in legal associations, and was President of the Auckland District Law Society and Vice-President of the New Zealand Law Society is an “Auckland tax lawyer”.

Using that logic I guess one could say Chauvel is a former editor of a little read legal bulletin and former lickspittle and lunch boy to proper lawyers engaged on important matters of law.

Shearer’s appalling lack of talent – A Guest Post

A leader with mediocre talents weighed down by a caucus whose bitterness is only matched by its shallowness. That is the plight of the Labour Party, and David Shearer’s next moves will entrench that perspective.

In light of his summary execution of David Cunliffe for failing to be a devout disciple in the face of sagging poll numbers, Shearer now faces the task of welding together a shadow cabinet. This task will be a study of the man’s ability to think about what’s best for himself and his party.

Cunliffe was arguably Shearer’s strongest asset on the front bench, a point Cunliffe himself knew only too well. Ironically he will now sit on the back benches with one man who is clearly the equal or perhaps better than most of the government’s front bench: Shane Jones.

Post Cunliffe, Shearer’s options are limited. Grant Robertson is deceptively smart, but he is the Environment spokesperson. Environment is not about green issues; rather it is about the apportionment of property rights in a world where human progress intersects with nature. What’s the point of ranking the Environment to number two in the caucus rank when Labour has no analysis of private property rights, let alone how those rights ought to be upheld?

Shearer is heavily reliant on David Parker in both Finance and now Economic Development. Parker is a clever politician, a lawyer by trade and has experience as a Cabinet Minister in the latter stages of the previous Labour government. But Parker’s is hog-tied to a party that is either incapable or unwilling to wean itself off a diet of big spending commitments. Why for example is Labour committed to KiwiBuild, a strategy that would see the state involve itself in the construction of 200,000 new homes? (More than three times the total stock of Housing New Zealand properties).

Shearer places great faith in Jacinda Ardern in Social Development. Aside from being disliked and isolated from the majority of her female caucus colleagues, Ardern is both linear and doctrinaire. Her default position is to argue every issue from an ideologically left perspective, something that more adept operators like Annette King and Phil Goff would periodically avoid. As a result Ardern has little in common with blue collar conservative voters, many of whom consider welfare to be an unfair wealth transfer from the battlers to the bludgers.

Clayton Cosgrove is a formidable debater in Parliament. But like Robertson he struggles to make an impression due in part to Labour’s lack of analysis for the ownership of assets or the future of New Zealand’s capital markets.

Maryan Street continues to be overrated and ineffective both inside Parliament and on the hustings. Labour has been completely outgunned by Tony Ryall in Health, and Street’s perseverance in that portfolio (while earnest) fails to close the yawning gap between the Labour and a historic Achilles heel for any government.

Nanaia Mahuta has never been popular with her caucus colleagues.. Nicknamed “the princess”, Mahuta has done well to hang on to her Tainui constituency. But she has performed poorly in Education, and is consistently bettered by her junior colleague Chris Hipkins. The trouble for Shearer is demoting Mahuta will send a signal to the Kiingitanga movement that their designated representative in Parliament is less valued, a tough sell coupled with the fact that Mahuta is a Cunliffe supporter.

William Sio is not to be underestimated for his links within the Pacific community. But Sio is a social conservative in a party that is seeking to redefine marriage to allow men to marry men and women to marry women. This strategy both offends and tests Labour’s ties with the Pacific community, a point that Sio himself has made publicly.

Phil Twyford has done well to dig in in Te Atatu and has scored headlines on local government and transport issues. But that in itself is small fry compared to the task of building an alternative government.

Beyond that Shearer has a caucus of candidates who are in the twilight of their careers (e.g. Parekura Horomia, Trevor Mallard, Phil Goff and Annette King), or who are simply too lightweight to be taken seriously (e.g. Sue Moroney, Moana Mackey, and Louisa Wall). Some options are simply not trustworthy (e.g. Charles Chauvel and David Cunliffe himself), or have yet to make an impact (e.g. Claire Curran).

Shearer could and probably will promote Chris Hipkins and Andrew Little. But neither man has any reason to show loyalty to Shearer long-term, particularly if Shearer is unable to reverse Labour’s sagging poll ratings.

Labour’s caucus is the by-product of a party and a selection system that rewards cronyism over talent, gender and sexual orientation over competence and union-dominated fiefdoms over political smarts. That is why Darien Fenton rather than Kelvin Davis or Stuart Nash sits behind Shearer at question time. The lack of talent means Shearer turns up to a gunfight with John Key holding a bread and butter knife rather than a loaded firearm.

It’s no wonder Labour’s rank and file members are itching to have a go at shaping that party’s leadership. Maybe they should start with their own MPs too.

Labour’s leadership woes – Guest Post

What a shambles.  What a disgrace.

Labour’s circular firing squad reveals many things about the state of that party.  Firstly it reveals a lack of character on the part of its leader, a man incapable of leading by example, by stature, or by design.  Secondly it reveals a lack of cohesion between the caucus and its wider constituent bodies.  Thirdly it reveals the jealousies that exist at all levels of the party.

Shearer’s ritual dismissal of Cunliffe is not a new strategy.  Shearer and his lieutenants Trevor Mallard and David Parker have taken a leaf out of Julia Gillard’s book.  When faced with destabilisation from Kevin Rudd, Gillard wheeled out her caucus surrogates to denounce Rudd as a demagogue unfit to lead his party or his country.  Whereas Gillard had Wayne Swan, Simon Crean and Nicola Roxon, Shearer had Hipkins and Faafoi front the media to denounce Cunliffe as a destabilising force within the caucus.

Next Shearer demanded endorsement at the point of a gun, no debate, no dissent.  Having achieved ‘unanimous’ endorsement from his colleague, Shearer then dismissed Cunliffe to the back bench.  In effect Cunliffe is now the excuse for low opinion polls, a man who is to serve as toilet paper for Shearer’s failed leadership, languishing at the bottom of the Labour Party’s political long-drop.

The problem with this scenario however is Cunliffe alone is not to blame.  Labour has yet to move to a level of political support it realised when it lost office in 2008.  This is extraordinary.  Students of history will know Bill Rowling lost the 1975 election, but outpolled Robert Muldoon in 1978.  Mike Moore led Labour to a landslide defeat in 1990, but he came within one seat of winning in 1993.

Shearer leads a party approaching its fifth year in opposition and he shows no sign of leading a recovery.  Relying of a coalition of friends based on Russel Norman and Hone Harawira is a declaration of defeat, the conclusion of a failure of leadership that he Shearer’s responsibility and Shearer’s alone.

The leader of the Labour Party is incompetent, mangles his words, struggles with basic policy concepts, and has little or no feel for human behaviour.  How does he expect his diminishing band of party members to raise money and knock on doors when he has just thrown their preferred candidate for leader under the wheel of a bus?

And Shearer need not think his so-called KiwiBuild policy will make a blind bit of difference.  Communism-meets-lotto housing based on cheap homes situated on cheap land around train stations is hardly going to motivated 200,000 mortgage-paying voters to switch their party vote from National to Labour.

Cunliffe is no better off today than he was last week.  Yes he has been demoted off the front bench, but in a caucus of 34 led by David Shearer, it was never likely that Cunliffe was going to feature in a government any time soon.  Once Shearer accommodates Norman, Turei, Harawira, Sue Bradford, and a mandatory quota of feminist unionists and others from the Rainbow sector, what role would a white heterosexual male possibly have in a future Labour-led government?

However Cunliffe alone deserves the odium that he is coping.  A weak-kneed to Shearer’s ultimatum is a disappointing end.  Yes, Cunliffe should not have hedged at the weekend conference; the smart thing would have been to publicly endorse Shearer there and then.  But having been called on to front up, Cunliffe should have done just that and tested the resolve of the Labour caucus.  Having lost, he could have then resigned and moved to the back bench rather than being dumped by a political featherweight.

Cunliffe has been unwise to rely upon the likes of Charles Chauvel, Moana Mackey and Louisa Wall.  None of his core supporters represent the aspirations of mortgageville New Zealand, and none of them were likely to have the fortitude to go through the fire on behalf of their candidate.

Cunliffe is a vain and flawed man, and someone who is deserves to be disliked by his colleagues.  But Shearer is ten times worse, a leader who seeks strategic direction from Trevor Mallard.

Well might Labour members throw up their hands in horror.  As John Key rightly points out, how can they run the country if they can’t even run a conference?

The correct response now is for Labour’s rank and file to force all MPs to face selection contests.  A contest of ideas is the only way to force its caucus to align with the party that carries it.