Small on Robertson

August 30th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

at Stuff reports:

If the party believes it can win by an incremental improvement, replacing an inarticulate but decent man with a safe pair of hands who can front John Key without making any major slips, then it will choose .

If it thinks it just needs to remove the negative and turn the focus back on the policy mix and the broader front bench, aiming to pick up a percentage point or five to allow it to form a Left-wing government, in harness with the Greens on 10-14 per cent, then the Wellington Central candidate is its man.

But if it thinks it needs to take risks, that whatever the policy mix a showman, an impresario is needed, then it will opt for .

If it thinks a slow and steady climb is beyond it and the Labour Party needs a jolt, a risk – even one that could backfire and kill off its chance of a victory in 2014 – then the MP for New Lynn is the “peacock or feather duster” option it will choose.

This is pretty much what I have said also. Robertson is the safer option, but Cunliffe has greater potential reward – and risk.

Mr Cunliffe has clearly made the early running.

While Mr Robertson chose a low-key launch, including an interview in a strangely empty studio, and the third wheel Shane Jones took an even more random approach, Mr Cunliffe went for the doctor.

His launch, with cheering fans, his team of supporting MPs and a tub- thumping speech, could not have made the risks and rewards of choosing Mr Cunliffe clearer.

It made a far greater impact and will have energised his supporters, including his social media crew.

But it sailed dangerously close, if not over, the line between upbeat hoopla and a cringeworthy revival meeting lacking authenticity.

What you thought of the launch probably varied by your interest in politics.

To hardcore left activists, the launch was the Messiah in action. They loved seeing the chosen one in action. And there is a fairly large segment of the NZ population that would respond to a forceful charismatic speaker saying he is going to tax the rich and send the PM off to Hawaii.

To people who are very actively involved in politics (journalists, MPs, staff, former staff) it was somewhere between cringeworthy and hideous, and as Small says shows the risk of Cunliffe.

What is unknown is how it would go down with those who are not activists or “beltway” but just families at home not too happy with the Government and wondering if there is a better alternative.

My feeling is that it wouldn’t go down that well, or at least not if done to that extreme. However a more toned down version could well resonate.

Cunliffe is many things, and one of them is intelligent and he learns from his mistakes. I doubt we’d see a repeat of his campaign launch, hence why I think he is still Labour’s best bet for them.

However as Small says, he is a risk. The infamous speech at the Avondale Markets is a reminder that he can and does over-extend.

Tags: , , ,

28 Responses to “Small on Robertson”

  1. nickb (3,686 comments) says:

    He still hasn’t answered the question: why did he have to move to $2m plus Herne Bay for his wife to breastfeed?

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Akaroa (552 comments) says:

    When i saw Mr Cunliffe waving a bouquet of roses and generally acting like a teenage cheer leader I thought for a moment that we’d been magically transported back to the Sixties!

    (Not that there was anything wrong with the Sixties, mind you!)

    (Except that we’re fifty odd years past those times!!)

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. iMP (2,353 comments) says:

    So, what we’re saying is that Cunliffe’s launch was a but gay?

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Chuck Bird (4,831 comments) says:

    One issue with Robertson is whether he is a homosexual activists MP or an MP who just happens to be gay. We may soon find out. Shane Jones appeared on RadioLive with Willie and JT on Monday at 1pm and answered questions from the public as well as from Willie and JT. They extended an invitation to Cunliffe and Robertson but on Tuesday they said both declined. On Wednesday they said Roberson had decided to take up their invitation on Friday. I assume he will be answering questions from the public. I think this could be very interesting.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. tvb (4,321 comments) says:

    Grant Robertson is a risk though a different kind of risk from Cunliffe. On balance I think Cunliffe is the least risky option but his launch did not help him.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    To people who are very actively involved in politics (journalists, MPs, staff, former staff)

    Why would any intelligent person pay attention to those vapid, myopic poltroons?

    Political journalism in NZ is a joke.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. RRM (9,773 comments) says:

    The risk with Robertson is that someone will ask him “so what did you do before you decided to get into politics?”

    Vote: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Cunningham (836 comments) says:

    He is just so slimey and arrogant. Will he really resonate with the general public? It’s a big risk alright. If he continues on like he did at the launch, he will fail.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Paulus (2,598 comments) says:

    Big Yawn – Helen Kelly will decide anyway.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Nigel Kearney (970 comments) says:

    >The risk with Robertson is that someone will ask him
    >“so what did you do before you decided to get into politics?”

    That’s easy. He watched Sesame Street and played with lego just like all the other kids.

    Vote: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Ross12 (1,379 comments) says:

    A lot of people say Cunliffee is more of a centrist (ie I presume they mean on the right of the Labour party). But Whaleoil had a video clip up yesterday from a couple years ago where he says alot of his politics is similar to the Greens.
    Is it simple a case of he doesn’t really know and will flip with the wind.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. wf (417 comments) says:

    Speaking from the provinces – I just don’t like the LOOK of Mr Cunliffe. He looks too clever for his own good. And he talks smart.
    No vote here.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (871 comments) says:

    My sources tell me that the next opinion poll will show Labour overtaking National. Cunliffe factor effect. I also understand Kiwis are ready to pay more taxes now.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. tvb (4,321 comments) says:

    Labour overtaking national with Cunliffe?? Looks like a fake to me.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. s.russell (1,592 comments) says:

    I love Small’s line on Cunliffe:

    It’s like he can spell banana but he doesn’t know when to stop.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. David Garrett (6,971 comments) says:

    I had never heard the Avondale markets speech before now… Despite close contact with one group of them, I don’t claim to have any real understanding of how the PI mind works – I have lived and worked among Tongans for 15 years on and off, was married to one for seven years, and they are still largely a mystery…maybe they will buy that complete bullshit delivered in an accent halfway between Billy T James and a character from Bro Town…maybe they will.

    Isnt it sad though how the speech reinforces the mentality of permanent dependence on the state? those millionaire bankers “the greasy fulla in the blue suit” represents will “slash your benefits” etc….no emphasis at all on improving the position of the brown proletariat; no suggestion that they can do better than be permanent vassals of the Labour Party…maybe I do prefer the fat homosexual from Wellington Central…somehow I can’t quite see him delivering a speech quite as cringemaking…

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Chuck Bird (4,831 comments) says:

    “maybe I do prefer the fat homosexual from Wellington Central”

    You might like listen to how he handles questions from the public if he does show up on RadioLive with Willie and JT this afternoon.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. wally (64 comments) says:

    DPF: “Cunliffe is many things, and one of them is intelligent and he learns from his mistakes. I doubt we’d see a repeat of his campaign launch, hence why I think he is still Labour’s best bet for them.”

    He may be intelligent but his fatal flaw is hubris. His extreme pride and arrogance means he is unable to even contemplate he has ever made a mistake. Hubris is always followed by nemesis.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. David Garrett (6,971 comments) says:

    Wally: “hubris is always followed by nemesis”…I like that! Is it original? (serious question)

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. wally (64 comments) says:

    Thanks David. An old principle of Greek tragedy. This explains it better than I can:

    “In classical Greek works, hubris present in the heroes of Greek tragedy was an arrogance that seemed to offend even the gods. Seen in this light, hubris is regarded as the hamartia or flaw in character which becomes the cause for the nemesis that befalls the character. ”

    Sounds like Cunliffe to me……

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. David Garrett (6,971 comments) says:

    Thanks Wally…Oh for a classical education!

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Redbaiter (8,309 comments) says:

    “A lot of people say Cunliffee is more of a centrist (ie I presume they mean on the right of the Labour party). ”

    Yeah well, they’d be dreaming, wouldn’t they.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. backster (2,141 comments) says:

    Chuck:…. According to our local leftwing rag.They are having a meeting in Levin on Saturday. Each candidate will give a speech and then the media will be EXCLUDED while they have a question and answer session for party members.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Chuck Bird (4,831 comments) says:

    @backster

    Thank you for that. It will be interesting to see if Roberson does front up to the Willie & JT show as was advertised on Wednesday. If he does hopefully he will be answering question from the general public.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Chuck Bird (4,831 comments) says:

    I just heard Willie say that Robertson will be on the show at 1pm. I hope he will be taking questions from the public.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Paulus (2,598 comments) says:

    Did Cunliffe make his Avondale Market Speech starting with

    “I have a dream” ?

    or was that somebody else ?

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Chuck Bird (4,831 comments) says:

    Willie & JT’s producer would not allow be to ask my question about Robertson’s policy on homosexual’s being allowed to donate blood.

    When I was in ACT the first time before the libertarians took over Michael Coote was a candidate. He is openly homosexual but unlike Robertson he was not and is not a homosexual activist. I would have no problem with him being an MP.

    I have just been informed that when Robertson was co president of NZUSA he was a homosexual activist.

    I doubt if anyone would find a homosexual MP in either Labour or the Greens who was not an activist.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.