Clark and Cullen on the Leadership

September 4th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Several people have wondered who and will vote for (as party members they get a vote) in the leadership.

Helen Clark is hard to pick. Grant worked for her for many years. Cunliffe was her choice as successor to keep Goff out (if she won a 4th term).

I suspect on balance Clark will back Cunliffe. He has ministerial experience, and was her chosen successor. She also understands the importance of Auckland. She may well think that Grant also has time on his side – they may both end up as leaders at some stage.

Michael Cullen has endorsed Grant. That is not secret. What is less well known is his severe dislike of . Just last week he joked at a book awards function that could not be there to pick up a prize for his book “Learning to walk on water – what I learnt from Jesus of Nazereth, and what he learnt from me”.

The fact he would so openly diss Cunliffe, seems to hark back to the Cabinet days when it was too obvious Cunliffe wanted Cullen’s job.

However his dislike appears to be even greater than Trevor Mallard’s. A source overheard a conversation last week where Dr Cullen was reported to be more vitriolic about Cunliffe, than he was about, well anything.

So Clark and Cullen may be backing different candidates. It is a sign of how divided things are!

UPDATE: I understand that Dr Cullen is not standing on the sidelines like Helen, but is actively lobbying on behalf of Robertson. This is helping him with some members, but others resent figures from the past being involved.

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20 Responses to “Clark and Cullen on the Leadership”

  1. Rob Hosking (77 comments) says:

    “However his dislike appears to be even greater than Trevor Mallard’s. A source overheard a conversation last week where Dr Cullen was reported to be more vitriolic about Cunliffe, than he was about, well anything.”

    That sets the bar *extraordinarily* high.

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  2. tvb (4,501 comments) says:

    The Labour Party take politics very personally. One or other hates each other. How is it possible to do business in such an environment. For Robibson to win he needs the overwhelming support of caucus. It seems he does not have that.

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  3. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    Details on Cunliffe / Mallard animosity?

    I am assuming it has somehting to do with wanting to cleanout the dead wood? That would explain the dislike from King, Goff etc as well.

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  4. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    nickb,

    I suspect it stems from one of them having some intelligence, along with legitimate capability. And Trevor Mallard being jealous.

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  5. tvb (4,501 comments) says:

    The dead wood should go and surely it is time. Goff especially and Mallard is a squalid nuisance.

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  6. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    tvb – the “new shoots” aren’t much better.

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  7. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,917 comments) says:

    Cullen, ever the nasty prick.

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  8. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    Michael ” I left the cupboards bare ” Cullen..an arrogant little man I truly dislike..should have been hung alongside Clark .

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  9. James Stephenson (2,223 comments) says:

    The dead wood should go and surely it is time.

    The Labour party is like a rosebush – it needs pruning back hard to a few inches above the ground every winter.

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  10. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    James Stephenson,

    I see they left the pruning till late Spring in 2011

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  11. burt (8,310 comments) says:

    Is Clark backing the one who will do the most long term damage to NZ ?

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  12. burt (8,310 comments) says:

    Question: Will Clark cry when she needs to pick a male rather than a female ?

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  13. burt (8,310 comments) says:

    Rob Hosking

    “However his dislike appears to be even greater than Trevor Mallard’s. A source overheard a conversation last week where Dr Cullen was reported to be more vitriolic about Cunliffe, than he was about, well anything.”

    This might imply that Cullen thinks Cunliffe won’t do enough damage to the NZ economy to be considered a “labour great”.

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  14. s.russell (1,646 comments) says:

    Re pruning the “dead wood”: The problem is the the “dead wood” represent most of the saner and more competent members of Labour’s caucus. Without them Labour would veer even further into la-la land.

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  15. Paul Marsden (999 comments) says:

    Cullen Who??

    An arrogant communist who did more to wreck the NZ economy that perhaps any other politician in our living history.

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  16. KapitiCoast (114 comments) says:

    Mallard is a snake and Robertson/Cunliffe both know the old axiom of keep your friends close and your enemies closer…Mallard will be wanting the speakers job if Labour win next election (sorry just threw up a wee bit in my mouth there) or he can make any Labour leader uncomfortable/embarrassed/ineffectual by just being the nasty piece of work he is!….don’t forget this is the man who got off scott free for masterminding the election campaign that lead Labour to worst defeat in 70yrs, he must have some dirt on all of them to not be kicked out….afterall him doing the right thing and resigning after such a dreadful result was never going to be on the cards as that takes a person with humility, gravitas and a conscience.

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  17. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Dr Cullen ? History teacher right.

    He was a blight,a nasty nasty bastard ,in fact are Kevin (unemployed this Saturday) Rudd and him related.? the same type of smarmy prick plus hes a pom plus he was a labour minister plus he is still sucking on the government tit. Bugger all to recommend him as a human actually

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  18. Black with a Vengeance (1,865 comments) says:

    Sometime in the not too distant future Bill English will make Michael Cullen seem like a genius by comparison.

    Though having had his day in the sun, he should just STFU !

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  19. KapitiCoast (114 comments) says:

    bwav…Cullan was only a fair weather finance minister, why do you think he ran for the hill’s when Labour lost in 2008 when he uttered the immortal words ‘The cupboards bare’ after spending the last of the money on his train set, 750million for something worth 250million?, as he knew he would be asked questions that he would not rather have to face, so took the cowards way out and left Parliament just like his Dom Clarke.

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  20. Ian McK (237 comments) says:

    Cullen was a vile piece of works, but at least he was a man, with a family, not even a partner of the same sex.

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