Cunliffe muzzled by Shearer

May 12th, 2012 at 3:09 pm by David Farrar

Tensions on the Labour front bench have just got even worse.

’s speech on an economic direction for Labour did not go down well with many of his colleagues. reported today that Cunliffe was told in the following caucus meeting that his speech was stupid and foolish. I think it was neither of those – rather very calculated. But many MPs got up to criticise Cunliffe for his speech, including .

The Nation invited David Cunliffe on this morning to talk about his views on economic development, and the problems he identified with current and previous policies. He was happy to do so, but Shearer’s office banned him from going on.

Now this is a very rare thing. Certainly some Ministers will sometimes not accept an interview request, but Opposition MPs pretty much never turn down such opportunities. We now have a situation where Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson has been gagged from speaking publicly on economic development and related issues. This is not the sign of a happy camp, and indicates how tense things must be.

The Nation even promised that they would not ask any questions at all about leadership. It would be an interview only on economic issues. But even that was enough for Shearer’s office to gag Cunliffe and ban him from being interviewed.

Shearer’s leadership is safe (for this year anyway), but the marginalisation of Cunliffe will go down badly with the many party activists who recognise Cunliffe’s talents and praised his speech.

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34 Responses to “Cunliffe muzzled by Shearer”

  1. bhudson (4,738 comments) says:

    I can’t see Shearer supporting a shift to allow members vote to select the party leader!

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  2. pq (728 comments) says:

    Cunliffe looks like a dork, and is

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  3. jims_whare (403 comments) says:

    I’d actually read it as Shearer growing some gonads (microscopic though they may be)

    After his speech last week he had to do something – would have been stronger to demote Cunliffe all together.

    But for once Shearer is actually acting like a leader not just the highest paid nit of a bunch of nitwits.

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  4. jaba (2,137 comments) says:

    regardless on where you sit in relation to the dysfunctional Labour party, Cunliffe is a loose unit and needs to put up or shut (also lose the beard). He was weak as weasel piss during Goffs train wreck period, known as his leadership reign, and then lost out to someone way out of his depth when he did make his move

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  5. Leaping Jimmy (16,290 comments) says:

    I’m starting to wonder if Shearer isn’t being secretly advised by McCully and Brownlee since he’s acting in a similar way to what Key was acting like all through his first term, given the selections Shearer’s been making from the plethora of available and frankly better, alternatives.

    Cunliffe since “the speech” has been like the man who offers a bribe: he prospers either way. Demoted? Who cares? He goes into the ‘waiting in the wings’ mode. Promoted? OK, it’s no more than he deserves…

    Shearer is and was the one who needs to act and doing what he’s just done simply makes him look petulant. It’s a typical Wgtn beltway move.

    Let’s hope they don’t get their shit together for quite awhile but I’m afraid after this long hard winter with Shearer making gaffe after gaffe Cunliffe will be quite in position to build support within the team for a successful challenge when the caucus re-assesmbles after the Christmas break thus sheparding in a change of govt in the next poll. His [Cunliffe's] main challenge will of course be assembling support from those in the NY faction which is why he lost to Shearer in the first place.

    But if Cunlifffe offers Robertson something – not Deputy but maybe Foreign Affairs, he’ll get the rest of the LGBT on board and Hulun cares these days much more about S-G of the UN than the silly ole NZ Liarbore Party so her influence while significant, isn’t as total as it used to be. So I suspect Silent-T will finally get what he believes he’s always deserved, a shot at PM, next election. Which he might well get.

    And then people, this is where things start going wrong.

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  6. Viking2 (11,413 comments) says:

    Pe4rhaps he might muzzel the trian wreck of bullshit and bluster from Wainui along with his Freind from Dunedin.

    Now that wopuld really make some sense. None of them are very clever and all of them seem to have a death wish when it comes to their survival as a group.

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  7. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    DPF…

    We now have a situation where Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson has been gagged from speaking publicly on economic development and related issues.

    Because the man (Cunliffe) is an economic ignoramus as Not PC blog already said in a recent blog post.

    #1) FISKING OF David Cunliffe’s speech
    #2) Spending, “austerity,” and starting to grow again

    And as Not PC said in #1), maybe Cunliffe should have studied history at Harvard instead of poetry?

    As I’ve already said here before on Kiwiblog that some think Mr Cunliffe is smart because he’s a Harvard scholar, but anyone can read the 2 articles above and conclude that the man is simply dim. Its not the attending of Harvard that makes someone smart. It is the course that he/she did in Havard that counts. See, I think that Havard teaches degree qualification in Psychics & Palm-Readings. So, just because someone got a PhD in Palm-Reading from Harvard doesn’t automatically mean that he/she’s smart is it? People are mesmerized with the word Harvard that whenever they hear someone who had attended & qualified (in whatever field) from that prestige University is to be treated the same as shoulders of giants as Einstein , Feynman, etc… Yes a PhD from Harvard should be highly regarded, but in not in Poetry or Palm-Reading.

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  8. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    This might be a positive sign, that Shearer is starting to assert his authority, which has to be a good thing. Unless Labour unites and supports Shearer fully they may end up wasting another term of not rebuilding.

    But there’s still a lot of negative indicators. I pushed micky to show a commitment to party leadership a few days ago and he had a half hearted attempt. Coinciding with Cunliffes speech he made an announcement of the “experimental” website subtitled “This is the campaign website for New Lynn Labour and David Cunliffe.” It seems to have stopped dead. Cunliffe’s speech is on the site but not accessible by links off pages:]

    http://newlynnlabour.nationbuilder.com/speech_get_your_invisible_hands_off_our_assets

    And there’s some pro Cunliffe comments over The Nation at TS today.

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  9. JC (949 comments) says:

    Actually, Cunliffe’s speech showed economic ignorance and something dredged up from the 1950s. He could never be leader of a mainstream party with views like that.

    Like it or not its in all our interests for Labour to be competent enough to do least damage when it comes back to power. As Europe now shows us.. there’s a terrifyingly small tolerance for moderate govts still spending more than the good times, and the spending loopies who can replace them.

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  10. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    This is just highlighting the position Labour are in the polls. Just like an equity price is mimicking the standing a company has in economic terms. Until Labour get their sh*t together, they will be stuck in opposition, even with the 100% commitment of the MSM rooting for their cause.
    While the economy holds together Labour are not going to get much traction, but a declining World economy will help their cause with the swinging voter. Then it is up to National to convince the swinging voter they deserve to stay in office.

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  11. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    No mincing words here:

    @patrickgowernz
    Cunliffe no-show on @theNationtv3 clearly shows he’s been gagged by Labour hierachy fearing he appears up for leadership challenge

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  12. Leaping Jimmy (16,290 comments) says:

    Actually, Cunliffe’s speech showed economic ignorance and something dredged up from the 1950s.

    Well he is a Liarbore politician JC so what pray tell did you expect. So of course he’s wrong, like all the lefties are, all the time. This just goes without saying, so please understand this is the basis for what I say next.

    Who cares?

    For our opposition Finance spokesperson, we either have a tax and spend big govt UN-educated idiot who thinks money grows on trees cos this is what his employment record is, or we have Cunliffe. Who was associated with the Douglas faction at least enough to know, what the background to the Hayek philosophy which Douglas implemented had been actually been about. Which is knowledge that 90% of the Liarbore caucus DO NOT HAVE AND NEVER EVER NOT IN A MILLION GAJILLION YEARS EVER WILL HAVE BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL IDEOLOGICALLY DRIVEN FRUITCAKES WHO DON’T GET IT AND NEVER WILL.

    Seriously. This is in fact the position. I thought I’d “shout” it in case people don’t get it but it’s true, not 1 in 10 lefties understand in the least what Hayek is on about, they have no fucking idea. They think, the naive fools, that the only economist who ever lived who ever had anything worthwhile to say about anything, is Keynes. This is of course to the educated person, like someone saying the only inventor who ever lived who ever did anything worthwhile is Edison. Completely forgetting about Tesla, who after all, is responsible for our AC electricity, isn’t he. So the profound and utter ignorance behind such lefty foolery has to be headed off at the pass with extreme prejudice, lest we sink into the abyss of utter and complete dark and dank ignorance.

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  13. bhudson (4,738 comments) says:

    Actually, Cunliffe’s speech showed economic ignorance and something dredged up from the 1950s. He could never be leader of a mainstream party with views like that.

    Perhaps his speech was aimed less at the voting public in 2014 than certain factions within the party faithful in 2012…

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  14. noskire (839 comments) says:

    I think you’re pulling a very long bow if you think Shearer’s position as leader of the New Zealand wing of the CCCP is safe for the year.

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  15. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I think Cunliffe’s degree from Harvard was actually in public administration.

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  16. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    cunnliffe is articulating the failure of the neo-lib experiment…and conceding that labour must share the blame for this…

    ..and those sneering at him should know he is one of the most effective operators in parliament..

    ..this is why the right is so terrified of him..

    ..because he is effective..

    ..and is talking of undoing their gains/class-robbery..

    ..and taking labour back to being a party of/for the people..

    ..and not just playing tweedledee to nationals’ tweedledum…

    ..whereas shearer hasn’t got that need-to-renunciate the past message ..yet..

    ..he had better get a rattle on…’cos those pressures cunnliffe is reacting to are only going to get stronger..

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  17. Leaping Jimmy (16,290 comments) says:

    cunnliffe is articulating the failure of the neo-lib experiment,

    No he isn’t. He’s pretending he wouldn’t have done what Hulun/Cullen did. He hasn’t said what he would have done differently. Nor did he say this at the time the “neo-lib experiment” was taking place, during Hulun’s watch.

    The “neo-lib experiment” phil, happened on Hulun’s watch, not on Keys.

    You’re not pretending otherwise, are you?

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  18. Yvette (2,781 comments) says:

    And Mr Ryall said the Government would look at the Queensland loyalty bonuses.
    “Certainly I think the experience in Queensland has that it has encouraged Queenslanders to hold on to their shares longer,” he said. (Although it did perhaps did not help the political popularity of state asset sales overall, which was seen as a contributing factor to Labor’s recent loss).
    “We’ll be considering that over the next few months.
    “But I wouldn’t want people to think that that is necessarily going to be a feature of the offer.
    “We haven’t made any decisions on that yet.” 

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/government-looks-loyalty-bonuses-asset-share-buyers-ck-118701

    So, National is still buggering around not really decided what they are doing [or lying!] but is Labour in there like a mad dog worrying the hell out of this major [and according to Labour, the only] Election issue?
    No, they continue to fuck around with the deck chairs a bit more.
    The country didn’t want them as Government
    and they are proving fucking useless as any form of Opposition as well

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  19. kiwi in america (2,428 comments) says:

    When you aren’t making an impact in Parliament, when you give vague non committal speeches and when your party suffered its worse defeat in 80 years and its still polling in the doldrums while its centre left rivals rise, then you find yourself where Shearer is right now: damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. Taking no action against Cunliffe and he looks weak – taking this action and he’s fuelling the fires of caucus (and the left of the party’s) discontent.

    Pass the popcorn!

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  20. Johnboy (16,077 comments) says:

    What a lot of erudite comment on the schism within Labour. :)

    I prefer to see the whole thing as a socialist circle jerk, in a darkened room, with none of them sure who has who’s hand on whoever’s cock! :)

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  21. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..The “neo-lib experiment” phil, happened on Hulun’s watch, not on Keys.

    You’re not pretending otherwise, are you?..”

    do you have basic comprehension issues..?

    what the fuck do you think this means..?

    “cunnliffe is articulating the failure of the neo-lib experiment…and conceding that labour must share the blame for this…

    ..(and..)

    ‘..and taking labour back to being a party of/for the people..

    ..and not just playing tweedledee to nationals’ tweedledum…”

    dosen’t that answer the questions you asked..?

    ..f.f.s..!

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  22. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    KIA

    You won’t need popcorn in your local election.

    Looks like the black man is gonna piss in again!

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  23. wiseowl (869 comments) says:

    Cunliffe should be muzzled forever. He should never be anywhere near economic decision making in this country.

    My wife…………….yes my wife, says Obama will not be elected.Seldom makes a political comment but is nearly always right.

    Fingers crossed.

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  24. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,888 comments) says:

    Wiseoul @ 7:35

    The media is doing its level best to hide it but I think Mr Obama will go right down the gurglar within four or five weeks.

    On Cunliffe and Shearer? Good on him. Now he must deal to Mallard and then he might have a shot at revitalising a dead party.

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  25. DJP6-25 (1,376 comments) says:

    As always, what’s bad for a socialist party is good for New-Zealand.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  26. Pete George (23,476 comments) says:

    While they may appear to be a ruskus in the ranks I think it may be a potential positive, with Shearer starting to actually lead, and to make it clear to others what theirn position inn the party has to be.

    Is it, at last, signs of Shearer’s leadership?

    Perhaps a step in the right direction, but his party has to get in behind him.

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  27. kiwi in america (2,428 comments) says:

    Really Luc I guess you missed the latest Rasmussen presidential tracking poll – Romney up 50 to 43 – http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll
    You and the MSM are still clinging to those registered voter screens using D/R/I weightings only slightly different to 2008 vs the more accurate likely voter screen.

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  28. Skipper1708 (2 comments) says:

    The battle of the David’s is not creating jobs, building houses, reforming our schools and prioritizing our health system for all New Zealanders.

    Godzone deserves better. The real Kiwilanders, those voting for Mana, the Greens, even Winston, the ‘No Asset Sales’ advocates and the visionaries of an independant Aotearoa-New Zealand, free, egalitarian and principled,- deserve better.

    If the two David’s don’t understand this then the two D’s both deserve to fade away- fast. Probably too the Labour Party because they won’t ever be the government again, all consumed in the perfumed night of the lamb knives.

    There truly is a crisis of leadership in the land of the long white cloud.

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  29. tom hunter (4,732 comments) says:

    KIA

    Why are you wasting your time with Luc? Any normal left-wing, New Zealander would not be sounding like a Democrat partisan hack if they wanted to retain any self-respect – and since Luc is a far-lefter he actually has a very low opinion of Obambi (not to mention that his ignorance of American politics is vast).

    His assertions are merely a version of the street protest bellowing that he’s used since his glory days in the 60’s and 70’s, except now they erupt by banging the empty skin drum known as his head. Trolling – in every way.

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  30. backster (2,152 comments) says:

    LUC……….The most recent poll {Rasmusson} = Obama 42% Romney 50%

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  31. kiwi in america (2,428 comments) says:

    tom
    Agreed – but its still fun to give him a reality check

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  32. tom hunter (4,732 comments) says:

    Oh I know KIA. I bit back myself yesterday when another commentator introduced one of the usual soundbites about “right-wing fruitloops” by referencing Bachmann’s Swiss citizenship kerfuffle.

    I figured I’d just change the narrative completely by noting the bottomless, near insane stupidity of Joe Biden. Soundbite for soundbite: as with your comment above it’s necessary for debate framing purposes on a political blog – but bloody tiresome.

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  33. mister nui (1,027 comments) says:

    by banging the empty skin drum known as his head

    Fucking brilliant Tom, and oh so correct!

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  34. larry shearer (1 comment) says:

    seems like a lot of people on this blogg site are afraid of cunliffe, rumour is rife, from good sources that shearer and parker have a cosy relationship with johnie kee, that a deal was brokered and cunliffe was to be ousted, the media then turned on cunliffe and a nobody (shearer suddenly was the man) cunliffe mentioned regulation of power prices and he was silenced.
    The deal , shearer does nothing in opposition, National takes a severe beating in the next election for asset stripping NZ, the boys take the booty, shearer walks in as PM, ah but now rumour is rife that cunliffe will throw shearer and Nats are dreading that, old school labour are sick of the pathetic opposition, fancy going into the last election with Goff and no money to run a campaign, it was political suicide, and now most people have woken up to the pathetic tea party creeps and the pathetic attempt from labour, cunliffe is the only hope Labour have, shearer and his mob are simply ring ins.

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