What will Cunliffe do?

December 16th, 2011 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

An embittered is refusing to rule out quitting Parliament altogether as leader David Shearer moves to finalise his front bench.

It is understood Mr Cunliffe has been offered a front bench seat and a senior portfolio but has balked at his proposed ranking.

Offering Cunliffe anything less than his current rating or portfolios, always runs the risk of a refusal.

has been allocated eight front bench seats in the new Parliament and it is likely Mr Cunliffe has been offered either the sixth, seventh or eighth slot.

The top places are likely to be taken by Mr Shearer, deputy Grant Robertson, Jacinda Ardern, finance spokesman David Parker, Shane Jones and Clayton Cosgrove with the remaining two slots open to Mr Cunliffe and his running mate, Nanaia Mahuta, or possibly Ruth Dyson or Maryan Street.

So lets look at this from Cunliffe’s point of view. You’ll accept Shearer, Robertson and Parker all being ranked higher than you. But if the story is correct it is proposed that two other MPs would be higher ranked than Cunliffe, such as Jacinda Ardern or Ruth Dyson. Cunliffe would have a fair point to ask why any of those named deserve a higher ranking than him.

Now of course it is at the discretion of the leader, what ranking to give out – but it is also at the discretion of the MP whether or not to accept.

Meanwhile, former list MP , who is close to Mr Shearer, has been offered the role of chief of staff.

He said he wanted to discuss it with his partner first, and would give Mr Shearer his answer by Sunday.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity, because I believe David Shearer can take us to victory in 2014.”

That’s a smart move. Labour really are on their way to rebuilding.

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29 Responses to “What will Cunliffe do?”

  1. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Silent T will soldier on. Money and perks are too good to let go. The faint smell of power is an added incentive.

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  2. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    Cosgrove higher than Cunliffe, Lasy Jones higher than Cunliffe, Ardern higher than Cunliffe – quit DC whilst you are ahead

    Cosgrove and Dyson and Street are the new face of Labour – sheesh

    Shearer Labour is a bunch of apparatchiks and helengnomes

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  3. Mark1 (90 comments) says:

    They should give Kelvin Davis a job as well. He was the only Labour MP that I had a lot of respect for. It’s a travesty that he was so far down the list.

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  4. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    Can anybody name anything that Jacinda Ardern has done? Ever.
    A status given because she is the only lab female who does not have a face like a bulldog licking piss off a thistle?

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  5. backster (2,142 comments) says:

    Oh how the mighty have fallen,Cunny should have been the Leader, not packing down behind the girl with the big teeth, still if he keeps his head down and does what he is told for a while he may be able to build his support base again with the help of the workers and their representatives.

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  6. 3-coil (1,215 comments) says:

    Barnsley Bill: “Can anybody name anything that Jacinda Ardern has done? Ever.”

    She once ate an apple through a tennis racket – does that count?

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  7. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    I thought that, unlike National where the PM selects and ranks the cabinet, in the Labour tradition the caucus selects the leader and cabinet positions by caucus vote.
    Has this changed?

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  8. Bob R (1,360 comments) says:

    ***Can anybody name anything that Jacinda Ardern has done? Ever.***

    Former President of the International Union of Socialist Youth. So she could be a future Prime Minister of Cuba.

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  9. flipper (3,948 comments) says:

    1. Owen.
    Not to my knowledge.
    Ranking is by caucus vote.
    Allocation of responsibilities by “leader”

    2. All others… Who were the front bench candidates’ previous employers? Toothy Adhern – professional socialist. and so on. Want to bet they can re-connect with Joe and Blow middle voter ? Control the middle and you win the game, so wrote Alsop circa 68. Sad end for a ce proud political party.

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  10. homepaddock (435 comments) says:

    Shearer’s first big test was to get the caucus lined up in-house and without trouble.

    He’s failed.

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  11. Pete George (23,429 comments) says:

    We’ll see next week whether Shearer has failed his first big test as leader or not, this is all just a press report, accuracy unknown. If it is accurate-ish that is a fail, ‘new Labour’ as leaky as an incontinent beer drinker.

    On Back Benches Grant Robertson mentioned he’d just bought a new BBQ, a bit quick off the mark?

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  12. orewa1 (428 comments) says:

    Cunliffe deserves better than this. He is a smart MP who in different circumstances could have been in a right wing party.

    Jacinda and the appeal of youth is understandable, but being listed below Clayton Cosgrove is an insult of the highest order.

    If the report is true then Shearer has indeed failed. Incomprehensible, given the small flock he has to satisfy. Cunliffe has a big following, who will not forget.

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  13. Graeme Edgeler (3,280 comments) says:

    I thought that, unlike National where the PM selects and ranks the cabinet, in the Labour tradition the caucus selects the leader and cabinet positions by caucus vote.
    Has this changed?

    It has not changed. Labour Tradition is that caucus elects the Cabinet. A Labour PM then ranks them, and determines portfolio responsibility.

    The difference here is that we are not talking about a Labour PM and a Cabinet, but a Labour leader of the opposition and opposition spokesmanships. Unlike in government, everyone’s going to get something.

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  14. Tautaioleua (296 comments) says:

    My question is more pragmatic,

    What will Sheep Shearer do?

    Helen Clark is notorious for keeping her friends close, and her ‘enemies’ closer (Dr Michael Cullen). But is Shearer smart enough for this strategy or will he play the ‘alienate/isolate those against me’ card?

    It will be interesting to see his front bench unfold.

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  15. tvb (4,324 comments) says:

    Cunliffe could be trouble which is what he is saying. Shearer does have man management skills so he will need to be careful.

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  16. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    I bet National is just PRAYING for Cosgrove and/or Dyson on the front bench. Praying!

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  17. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,880 comments) says:

    Auberon

    Make that PRAYING

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  18. trout (933 comments) says:

    I trust the voters will note that Cunliffe is not bothering to turn up to Parliament next week – ‘taking some time off’. When will the troughers learn that they are employed by the people to do a job? If he wants to throw a tanty and chuck his toys then bugger off and let someone else take his place. Shearer is turning out to be an inspired choice.

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  19. BlueSilver (25 comments) says:

    I’m actually starting to feel a little bit sorry for Cunliffe. He is after all an intelligent and very capable individual and being ranked down at 6, 7 or 8 on the front bench would clearly be an insult and not reflective of what he could bring to the Labour team if fully engaged. Its interesting that the unofficial Labour “primary” to elect their new leader, while initially bringing some positive press and interest in Labour, could really backfire on them if Cunliffe really throws his toys out of the cot.

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  20. Elaycee (4,353 comments) says:

    Orewa1 says of Cunliffe: “He is a smart MP who in different circumstances could have been in a right wing party.”

    He is one of the biggest socialists around and yet you suggest he could be a potential member of the VRWC???

    Comedy Gold! :D

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  21. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    “It is understood…”

    Sounds like the reporter has been interviewing his or her computer. It’s merely opinion.

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  22. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    “Grant Robertson mentioned he’d just bought a new BBQ, a bit quick off the mark?”

    Well, quite. He obviously thinks the weather is going to improve.

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  23. mavxp (496 comments) says:

    Cunliffe should bite his tongue, and play the long game.

    Accept the defeat with all the humility and grace he can muster: He is in service to his country first, party (team) second, individual ambition somewhere after that. He is a rival to the current leadership and must earn their trust. Prove them wrong that he can be trusted to support the leadership through doing the hard yards. Earn their respect, the oppositions respect, and the countries respect as a formidable MP. If Shearer doesn’t fire, he will be right there, and the party may then turn to him. If Shearer does achieve what they need, even by different means than Cunliffe would have done, he will still be in government and a senior minister and able to implement policy. Right now Labour need reform and re-engaging with the NZ public. That should be priority 1 for the whole party.

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  24. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    What the leadership contest seemed to show is that Cunliffe is very capable and effective but not necessarily that well liked. Shearer should make him Finance and Deputy PM in the mould of the very effective Clark/Cullen, Key/English leaderships.

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  25. Keeping Stock (10,265 comments) says:

    @ mavxp – Cunliffe did all that on Tuesday. But 72 hours is a lifetime in politics.

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  26. jaba (2,120 comments) says:

    what amazed me was how fast they picked Hippy and Fenton as whips .. the nats will be shaking in their boots

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  27. Pete George (23,429 comments) says:

    Richard29 – Shearer can’t make Cunliffe deputy, the deputy leader (and whips) are voted by the caucus. Sheare can only assign them spokesroles and assign seating order.

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  28. backster (2,142 comments) says:

    Meanwhile what has happened to the strategist and good keen guy for Shearer “Our Trev’ what’s his place Back Row?

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  29. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    I get the impression that there is a bit of behind the scenes horse-trading going on here. Cunliffe would make a good strategist – bugger his placing in the ranks, stop f**n about, and start building the party for the next election. History would judge him more fairly than we can at this time.

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