New Lynn v Hipkins

November 23rd, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Electorate Committee have said:

Statement by the New Lynn Labour Electorate Committee

November 21, 2012

The New Lynn Electorate Committee of the Labour Party, at a special meeting called today, voted unanimously to express its full confidence in its Member of Parliament . While acknowledging that this decision was within the prerogative of the party leader, the LEC noted David’s demotion with regret.

The LEC also resolved to raise with the New Zealand Council of the Labour Party concerns about recent public statements made by Labour’s Senior Whip, and the leaking of confidential caucus information by unnamed MPs following Tuesday’s emergency caucus meeting.

As these processes are now internal party matters we do not intend making further comment.

There is a lot of anger over those comments – more so than the demotion. A demotion can be reversed eventually. But having your Chief Whip call you “dishonest” and “disingenuous” are quotes that can never be shaken off.

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15 Responses to “New Lynn v Hipkins”

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

    There seems to be widespread bitterness and anger over what’s happened, on both sides.

    The same person involved in posting the New Lynn LCE complaint has also blogged:

    The powers that be reacted quickly. Their spin was impressive. The phrase “Cunliffe overplayed his hand” kept appearing. A professionally written guest post by someone called Sam appeared in the Standard. Given the shellacking the Standard has recently given Shearer and in the interests of balance allowing the post was appropriate. Tracy Watkins in the Dominion used the same phrase as did Peter Wilson from TV3.

    The proposition from some nameless MPs is that this was all a conspiracy by David Cunliffe. Activists and members will be insulted by this.

    More happened yesterday. Cunliffe was accused of all sorts of things. Shearer threatened to discipline him and the word expulsion was flying around. Chris Hipkins also made comments and absolutely destroyed any pretense that he as chief whip should have at being independent. He claimed that Cunliffe openly undermined Goff and is openly undermining Shearer. He also claimed that Cunliffe is planning to roll Shearer in February 2013 and that he is dishonest and disingenuous.

    These claims are extraordinary.

    I have previously analyzed the allegations about Goff and concluded that the allegations are just not true. I have yet to see proof to the contrary.

    And the claims that he is undermining Shearer? Well when he had a microphone thrust in his face by TV3 he said that the conference was a constitutional conference and not a leadership conference. He also said that he was always loyal to the leader. This somehow was interpreted as disloyalty. To TVone he said that he had given the leadership no thought whatsoever.

    It is not as if Cunliffe was out on his own, others also preferred to keep their views to themselves. They included Trevor Mallard. Some would relish the thought that he should be disciplined for failing to publicly support his leader.

    Brian Edwards has elegantly summarized the situation. All MPs have the right to vote confidentially on who the leader should be. And he and today’s editorial writer in the Herald are right. If Labour’s polling is lifting healthily then Shearer will be fine. If not his reign will be in danger.

    The basic problem with the caucus is there is an A(BC) team and a B Team. The A team get the best positions, questions and speaking slots and the B team miss out. Anything but blind loyalty and pledges of future support are required, otherwise the A team will deem others to be “disloyal”.

    This is wrong on so many levels. Helen Clark united the caucus and formed a formidable team that won in 1999 and spent 9 years making New Zealand a better place. This current approach will not achieve this.

    The behaviour is so unlike Shearer. His experience in Rwanda, Jerusalem and Afghanistan ought to have placed him perfectly to handle Labour Party Factionalism. His best approach would be to be relaxed, to keep talking about policy and to concentrate on the National Government. His macho posturing yesterday morning only destroyed all the benefit that he gained from what was a really good speech yesterday. And it is so unlike him to behave like this. A UN trained diplomat would be chilled about what was happening.

    Last week it looked like Shearer’s reign was terminal. He brought it back through a very good speech and the membership of the party want to give him another chance. The party actually prefers consensus and peace to conflict and always want to give a leader a fair chance. Shearer through his performance gained their support.

    Some keep saying that Caucus hates Cunliffe. It is true that some do. Like a High School cult they have deemed Cunliffe uncool. Others will support Cunliffe if they think that the balance of power has changed.

    Finally some seem to think that I am Cunliffe’s online alter ego. This is not true. If Shearer would lead the party to improved fortunes and if Labour would follow a principled progressive path I would be a very happy rank and file member of the party.

    http://waitakerenews.blogspot.com/2012/11/labours-leadership.html

    While there are conciliatory tones towards Shearer there is also a fair bit of getting things off a chest and pointing fingers at other MPs. And more anger and bitterness (albeit more restrained than many elsewhere, like at The Standard).

    Sometimes you reap what you sow.

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  2. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    One thing that can be said about those of an strong ideological leaning is that they can get really nasty when they think theyve been insulted or slighted.

    Its a personality problem exhibited by those who think they know EVERYTHING and that they know whats good for EVERYONE except themselves.

    Examples include the various communist parties that do or did exist around the world.
    Various extreme outfits – like the Nazis and the people in Cambodia who killed millions.
    and left parties
    and environmental parties (who think they know the answers to climate change and want it FORCED upon everyone)

    The LEC committee in New Lynn are from the same mold as the various examples above – and they are reacting exactly as one would expect extremists to react – ie: claim they are right and everyone else is wrong – and no matter how stupid their action – they are going to make a point.

    I suggest that they are in the process of completely screwing their member. Their action will mean that he is truly rooted now. Its only a matter of how long before hes kicked out.
    As for hipkins – nothing will happen and hes probably already been awarded the parties highest award for the greatest contribution to the leader……

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  3. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    The lad’s a Chippie off the old [Mallard] Block

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  4. Elaycee (4,353 comments) says:

    DPF:

    But having your Chief Whip call you “dishonest” and “disingenuous” are quotes that can never be shaken off.

    Agree. Hipkins, in my book, is one of the few Labourites to emerge from this shambles with any credit – he proved he’s not only prepared to identify crap but to call it when he sees it. Good on him.

    But he still reminds me of Ritchie Cunningham. :D

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  5. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    Long may they feud with one another

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  6. TripeWryter (715 comments) says:

    It seems that David Cunliffe’s supporters (such as his LEC, Brian Edwards. Chris Trotter) have adopted the tone of Injured Dignity and Hurt Pride. David (Cunliffe) had done nothing wrong. David (Shearer) was now exhibiting signs of Being A Bully.

    So they’ve fastened on to Chris Hipkins as a target for their resentment and their revenge. Get him removed from the post or otherwise chastised for his remarks in support of (St) David Shearer and you take away a key ally and perhaps weaken the Leader.

    I have to say that young Chris has gone up in my estimation over this. He has shown staunchness and loyalty to his Dear Leader.

    It has pretty much replaced my memory of him as a disloyal head boy at Petone College. In 1997, in an act of disloyalty against the principal, Lindsay Scott, he set off the school fire alarm to trigger a pupils’ strike against Mrs Scott.

    She had ideas that some in the education fraternity didn’t like: that every child was entitled to the best that a public education system could provide, and that every child, despite their background, had the capacity to achieve. Some of those people were in the Ministry of Education; others were teachers. People in those groups knew each other.

    Anyway, that’s in the past.

    I could vote for a David Shearer-led Labour Party. I would never vote for a David Cunliffe-led Labour Party. I would vote for a Chris Hipkins who stuck by his Leader.

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  7. notrotsky (79 comments) says:

    Greg Presland is the most self serving, self satisfied fanboy you’d ever come across, a man who would suck Winston Peters cock if it meant dear Labour and his favourite local MP were back at the top of the Labour pecking order.

    In any reasonable country they would all be pelted to death with frozen number 9 tegel chickens.

    [DPF: Bordering on demerits]

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  8. hmmokrightitis (1,585 comments) says:

    Further comment just in from greg presland…

    “waaaaahhhhhhhh….waaaahhhhhhhhhh”

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  9. Ross Miller (1,686 comments) says:

    I don’t care. NZL doesn’t care. Labour can do what it likes to itself. By their own action they have consigned a once great Party to irrevelence ….. and unlike National in 2002 I don’t see any Don Brash equivalent riding to the rescue. By default the Greens have become the defacto official Opposition …. they must be laughing in their herbal teas.

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

    unlike National in 2002 I don’t see any Don Brash equivalent riding to the rescue.

    This is a good point. National imported Brash, who only just managed to lose after assisting a major recovery. And they imported John Key, who did the rest.

    Labour have tried their import, David Shearer. Unless there’s a massive change and lift in his performance that will be a failure. There are no more fresh Labour imports, and they helped dump the few up and comers they had last election.

    Now Labour are too incestuous. To work your way up through the party you have to either work for Labour in palriament or work for a Labour affiliate, a union. Then earn your way up the ladder through pandering to those above you.

    Ok, I guess Andrew Little is fresh talent, albeit ex a union career. But it’s hard to see Labour having the guts to risk another newbie this soon.

    Helen Clark lost an election and fought hard to the top, but the equivalent now would have been continuing after the last election. Have they got the patience for Shearer (or Robertson) to learn the ropes and earn the votes in 2014 as a practise run for 2017?

    It may not matter if they continue to scrap their way out of contention.

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  11. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    By their own action they have consigned a once great Party to irrelevance.

    That arc has been particularly long. IMHO their problem is that they bought into the idea that oppression has a single source, and, thus, that a victory anywhere is a victory everywhere. So they’ve been led off into campaigning for gay rights and Maori rights and women’s rights, all of which are good causes, but none of which make ordinary folk better off. Enough of them have become jaded by the constant deferral of their concerns that they just don’t bother voting at all, since they get nothing in return for their support.

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  12. sparky (235 comments) says:

    I cannot stand Chris Hipkins. He is just a cocky BIG mouth, who THINKS he is very important. UGH!

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  13. SPC (5,573 comments) says:

    Hipkins is my local MP – I think his comments about a caucus colleague were stupid.

    If he does not apologise for them, I cannot see how they can both have a future in the same caucus.

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  14. nzrckstr (5 comments) says:

    Have to say I struggled to suppress an urge to point and laugh at the New Lynn Cunliffe office as I drove by. Worst.Coup.Ever.

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  15. Michael (903 comments) says:

    So, the media this week has been focused on Shearer vs Cunliffe, inflamed by Hipkins comments. Other political stories have been relegated like Kim Dotcom’s allegation that he has proof of John Key knowing about him before the police raid, Labour’s affordable housing initiative and the big push on the flagging referendum this weekend. What were Labour thinking?

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