Cunliffe wins

September 15th, 2013 at 2:49 pm by David Farrar

David Cunliife wins with 51.5% on the first preferences. Huge win.

Robertson narrowly won the caucus vote, Cunliffe got 60% of the members and 70% of the unions.

  • The caucus voted Robertson 47%, Jones 21%, Cunliffe 32%.
  • The members voted Robertson 27%, Jones 13%, Cunliffe 60%
  • The unions voted Robertson 17%, Jones 12%, Cunliffe 71%

This means Cunliffe got just 11 out of 34 votes in caucus, Jones got 7 and Robertson 16.

 

 

 

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148 Responses to “Cunliffe wins”

  1. questlove (242 comments) says:

    oh it’s on like donkey kong

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  2. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    Told you that you had the members too low. Gobsmacked about the union vote: 70% or thereabouts.

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  3. dime (9,607 comments) says:

    the sociopath takes it lol this should be fun to watch.

    hopefully he cleans out the ABC club. funny.

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  4. Alan (1,073 comments) says:

    Do we have a sections breakdown ?

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  5. Michael (898 comments) says:

    Popcorn at hand, let the fun begin…

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  6. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    Alan, Robertson won caucus.

    Cunliffe about 60% of the members and about 70% of the affiliates.

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  7. Alan (1,073 comments) says:

    It’s massive endorsement from the party to win on first preferences, no one anticipated such a clear result.

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  8. Duxton (589 comments) says:

    This isn’t the sort of licking that Robertson was after.

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  9. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    Yes. The caucus ought to take heed of that. He absolutely smoked Robertson among the members and affiliates.

    Colour me shocked, but not as shocked as Trevor Mallard. ;)

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  10. Jack5 (4,786 comments) says:

    Congratulations to John Key. Third term coming up.

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  11. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (828 comments) says:

    Speaking to his supporters, Mr Cunliffe said today was a new beginning for Labour and New Zealand.

    “Tomorrow morning we start our election campaign against the Key government.

    “Mr Key’s got a problem.”

    I think John Key is history now.

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  12. tvb (4,234 comments) says:

    Caucus will accept the result until the election. Now it is time to dump the old guard – Goff, King, Mallard, Dyson, Cosgrove Robertson though he may one King?

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  13. beautox (433 comments) says:

    You’ve confused “history” with “historic”

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  14. WineOh (575 comments) says:

    New movie to be released this Spring starring Daniel Day Lewis, David Cunliffe and the Labour Caucus:
    “There Will Be Blood – Part Two” – a sequel to Daniel Day Lewis’s previous movie where he beat a preacher to death with a bowling pin.

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  15. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    Caucus will accept the result until the election.

    I think they’ll have to. It’s a blatant warning from the members and unions. Since they helped elect him, I imagine many of these people will be enthused about campaigning for him.

    I wonder if National will adopt a similar process. It would encourage membership and perhaps recapture the days when political parties were mass organisations that actually involved the public.

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  16. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    Figures from the NZH calculated by me into percentages.

    68% of the membership / 32% of caucus / 78% of the unions.

    That is what we ’round here call a whuppin’

    I guess Cunliffe got 12-13 caucus votes. More than I thought.

    edited to correct figures

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  17. NK (1,102 comments) says:

    This tells me:

    The MPs despise Cunliffe because he is smug and arrogant and rich.

    The members despise Robertson because he is gay.

    The Unions despise Jones because he didn’t want to raise taxes.

    So all Labour needs for a perfect leader is a down-to-earth, heterosexual, socialist.

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  18. Scott Miller (3 comments) says:

    Might as well start telling that ABC (Anyone But Cunliffe) Club to start packing their bags :)

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  19. TheContrarian (1,080 comments) says:

    No real surprise. It was always going to be Cunliffe

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  20. peterwn (3,192 comments) says:

    Jack5 – Not so sure – of the three contenders David Cunliffe is the one to cause John Key the biggest headache. David’s initial task is to pull the party together. He has handicapped himself by lurching to the left and showing his hand in the leadership bid.

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  21. AJC (14 comments) says:

    The T is still silent

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  22. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    The T is still silent

    Leave Trevor alone. He’s probably having a good cry.

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  23. swan (659 comments) says:

    Is this a first? A political party leader in NZ that the caucus didnt vote for.

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  24. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    I see Dave’s figures are better than those from the Herald.

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  25. scrubone (3,074 comments) says:

    Cunliffe’s tweat: “Thank you. Whether you supported me, Grant, or Shane, we are a stronger and more unified party. Labour is ready and united to win in 2014.”

    So apparently he hasn’t been following the race, even though he won it. This has done major damage to the Labour brand.

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  26. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    Is this a first? A political party leader in NZ that the caucus didnt vote for.

    Nobody got a majority in caucus because they didn’t need to count the second preferences. My guess is that Robertson would have had a majority of caucus on preferences. I’d say Cunliffe would have a good chance of taking another 4-5 off of Jones second preferences.

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  27. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    Cunliffe’s tweat:

    He tweeted a pic of his nipple? Gross…

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  28. Redbaiter (7,853 comments) says:

    Get ready for the unity.

    I hear Cunliffe has ordered a special metal plate to fit under his shirt and between his shoulder blades.

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  29. nickb (3,673 comments) says:

    Good luck Cuntliffe, you will need it.

    Bad luck Grant. Maybe next time don’t lie about your boyfriend standing behind you in full view of the camera when directly asked where he is by a reporter. Kind of contradicts your assertions you don’t think your sexuality is a factor.

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  30. nickb (3,673 comments) says:

    Had to lol at this on Stuff:

    Robertson said Cunliffe had his 100 per cent loyalty.

    The strangest sense of deja vu just washed over me…

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  31. PhilP (158 comments) says:

    With Robertson gaining the most votes from caucus (about 16 I think) how on earth is Cunliffe going to unify caucus with that many MP’s voting against him. It will be fun to watch this play out…….popcorn anyone?

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  32. Bob (491 comments) says:

    I wonder how Cunliffe will go. Even though union and member votes got him in the caucus votes didn’t. The overwhelming votes for Robertson suggest Cunliffe will have trouble getting good caucus support unless there is a big cleanout. They might still stay divided. After all the union and party members don’t have to work with him.

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  33. Yvette (2,736 comments) says:

    Do these figure reveal that the Caucus is least aware of how members and affiliates feel?
    I mean, they wouldn’t act in out-of-touch self interest would they?

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  34. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    With Robertson gaining the most votes from caucus (about 16 I think) how on earth is Cunliffe going to unify caucus with that many MP’s voting against him. It will be fun to watch this play out…….popcorn anyone?

    Check this out. It gives the results of round 2, even though Cunliffe won on round 1.

    http://labour.org.nz/sites/labour.org.nz/files/2013%20Leadership%20Election%20-%20Results.png

    If you class those members of caucus who gave their last preference to Cunliffe as ABCs and those who gave their last preference to Robertson as ABRs, then it is the case that 16/34 members preferrred Cunliffe or Jones over Robertson and 18 preferred Robertson or Jones over Cunliffe.

    So the ABRs number 16 and the ABCs 18. That’s very close.

    However, Robertson could never be leader because after all preferences are counted over 2/3 of the members wanted anyone but him, and over 3/4 of the affiliates wanted anyone but him.

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  35. alwyn (397 comments) says:

    This breaking news from San Francisco is just in.
    The US immigration has just announced that they have received an application for political asylum from a New Zealand visiting San Francisco for the America’s cup.
    The MP, in a distraught and emotionally fragile state, arrived at their door pleading for asylum they said. He claimed to have well-founded beliefs that if he was returned to New Zealand he would be sentenced to the death of of his political career.
    The US Government said they were unable to confirm this as they had never heard of the MP concerned, who gave his name as “the mad duck” and had also never heard of the person he was worried about, identified only as “silent t”.

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  36. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    You win an internets, Alwyn,

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  37. nickb (3,673 comments) says:

    Lmao

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  38. Michael (898 comments) says:

    Labour MPs and officials are now all talking of unifiying behind the new leader, how the divisions are history, they are united, one team, etc.

    Notice how National, the Greens, and NZ First are not having to use the same language? I reminded of the old adage in politics, if you are explaining, you are losing.

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  39. nickb (3,673 comments) says:

    Chippie, you better see if your parents still have a spare bedroom.

    LMAO

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  40. Ian McK (237 comments) says:

    Hope he mounts a rear view mirror on his collar, he will need it to dodge the knives . . . he knows the score.

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  41. Fisiani (980 comments) says:

    So Cunliffe is supported by 11/34 members of caucus 32%. Less than one third. In other words two thirds of caucus did not support him.
    Q1 To the PM ” do you stand by all your statements”
    A. ‘Yes. Especially the statement that I am supported by every member of my caucus.”

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  42. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    So Cunliffe is supported by 11/34 members of caucus 32%. Less than one third. In other words two thirds of caucus did not support him.

    You don’t seem to get that it was a preferential vote.

    11/34 had Cunliffe as first pick. That = the number of people who wanted him rather than anyone else. This is not the same as the number of people who wanted him less than everyone else, which numbers 16 after Jones’ preferences were allocated between Cunliffe and Robertson.

    It’s about the same as it was for the last Labour leader election, where C lost narrowly to Shearer.

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  43. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    where C lost narrowly to Shearer</I.

    and look what happened to Shearer ,duh

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  44. Black with a Vengeance (1,608 comments) says:

    Boo…bet that didn’t scare any of you nutjobs cos you’re probably scared enough as is.

    And what is that whoosing sound in the background?…i do believe it is John Keys pants filling up with pooh!

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  45. davidp (3,551 comments) says:

    Apart from the rumours that his colleagues think he is the second coming of Kevin Rudd, I don’t have a clear picture of Cunliffe in my head. One of the only times I’ve heard him speak is his famous address from the top of a bus. And to be honest, it sounded like English was his second language and he hadn’t been paying attention in his English-as-a-second-language classes. Are NZers willing to vote for a man who can’t string nouns, verbs, and adjectives into a coherent sentence but is reduced to talking in a semi-coherent pidgin-style language?

    I’ve also heard he has a picture of himself on his wall. Will this be compulsory for the rest of us, like in North Korea?

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  46. Duxton (589 comments) says:

    Yo Black. Good to see youz fullez back on da site. Alwayz enjoyz youz fullez comments. Big ups bro.

    Choice.

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  47. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    and look what happened to Shearer ,duh

    The problem there was appointing the equivalent of an inflatable sex doll to be the party leader.

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  48. Keeping Stock (10,161 comments) says:

    @ Tom Jackson – so even with second preferences, Cunliffe does not have majority support in caucus with just 16/34. How can he lead effectively when more than half of caucus rated him as their least preferred candidate?

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  49. Rex Widerstrom (5,307 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson points out:

    Since they helped elect him, I imagine many of these people will be enthused about campaigning for him.

    A major advantage of opening internal processes up to the membership, and one not to be underestimated. Just listen to the die-in-a-ditch supporters of any US presidential or gubernatorial candidate… they’re willing to crawl over broken glass for “their” guy or girl because they supported them right through the primaries and feel a sense of ownership, and that their candidate’s victory will, in a real sense, be their own.

    I wonder if National will adopt a similar process. It would encourage membership and perhaps recapture the days when political parties were mass organisations that actually involved the public.

    They could, out of both self-interest and (hopefully) a commitment to real democracy. Of course National wouldn’t have to (and shouldn’t anyway) accord special status to a narrow interest group like the unions, so they could trump Labour and claim and even stronger mandate in their pick for Leader.

    Meanwhile Michael suggests:

    Notice how National, the Greens, and NZ First are not having to use the same language?

    National are better disciplined (or if you want to say the same thing cynically, better at managing dissent), but that’s no excuse not to be more democratic.

    NZ First… well is there any point in asking members “Are you happy with Winston, or would you perhaps prefer Andrew Williams, Richard Prosser or perhaps Arsenati Lole-Taylor?” They need to stop gerrymandering their list ranking process and get some candidates with more than a luke warm IQ and a half baked sense of their own importance into Parliament first.

    And the Greens actually do have a very democratic selection process for their leadership.

    I reminded of the old adage in politics, if you are explaining, you are losing.

    In many cases, yes. But if… and it’s an admittedly giant, Cunliffe-ego-sized if… Labour now manages to remain unified then I think they’ll gain at least some points in the mind of the electorate for being prepared to give their own members (and thus a sizeable chunk of their fellow voting public) a say in who will be PM if they entrust Labour with their vote.

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  50. maxwell (48 comments) says:

    Hallelujah, hallelujah. Jesus has risen.

    Let the sermon begin. And never end.

    On bended knee, rich pricks.

    Genuflection starts now. Amen.

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  51. Rex Widerstrom (5,307 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson says:

    The problem there was appointing the equivalent of an inflatable sex doll to be the party leader.

    So are you saying they’ve swapped a useful c*** for a useless one? :-D

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  52. Fisiani (980 comments) says:

    Tom you idiot
    So Cunliffe is supported by 11/34 members of caucus 32%. Less than one third. In other words two thirds of caucus did not support him.

    You don’t seem to get that it was a preferential vote.

    Two thirds of caucus did not prefer Cunliffe, what part of that do you find hard to understand.

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  53. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    The problem there was appointing the equivalent of an inflatable sex doll to be the party leader

    yep and Silent T was the one that fucked him,, I’m just waiting to see if he likes being a receiver.

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  54. nickb (3,673 comments) says:

    Betters news than Cuntliffe winning – Sue Moroney is likely to be deputy. That dream team will really strike fear into Key and English.

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  55. flipper (3,767 comments) says:

    It is all very well to talk about percentages, but they tell us nothing ABOUT ACTUAL SUPPORT.

    A general election is all about numbers, not percentages, is it not?

    So the scrawny rump, that is labour’s union and other membership represents 60% of the deciding vote.

    But that means fuck all.

    The only numbers we have, because labour cannot hide them, is caucus. 34. Big deal

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  56. Nostradamus (3,079 comments) says:

    Excellent!

    Cunliffe is on public record as saying “I’ve looked closely at that issue [Jenny Michie], I’ve made a decision to stand a person down from my campaign team just because I think maintaining the appropriate perceptions that we are a united party and a united caucus is really important,” he said.

    So, as 23 out of the 34 in Labour’s caucus didn’t vote for Cunliffe, it must surely be time for someone to update this oldie-but-goodie:

    Tamihere Maclary

    Out of the party
    And off for a walk
    goes Tamihere Maclary
    From Don Brash’s diary

    Should be applauded
    For being recorded
    Drank lots and lots, and took some cheap shots
    Did Tamihere Maclary
    From Don Brash’s dairy

    Helen Clark
    Has teeth like a shark
    Helen’s assistant is butch and persistant
    Says Tamihere Maclary
    From Don Brash’s dairy

    Steve Maharey
    Is slippery and swarmy
    Helen Clark, teeth likea shark
    And John Tamihere calls Chris Carter a fairy
    With a scatter of claws
    and a jabber of jaws
    Caught with his pants down
    He’s the toast of the town
    With a foot in his gob
    Will he still keep his joh?
    He doesn’t like queeries
    He’s Tamihere Maclary
    From Don Brash’s dairy

    After all, if even Cunliffe thinks it’s “really important” to maintain the “appropriate perceptions that Labour is a united party”, then surely the public are entitled to know what the Labour caucus is really saying about him behind closed doors!

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  57. flipper (3,767 comments) says:

    Say, davidP….

    ” **** I’ve also heard he has a picture of himself on his wall. Will this be compulsory for the rest of us, like in North Korea?
    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 .. ***

    Could he be the new Mickey Savage?

    I once had one of Savage, inherited from an Aunt, that I hung in the outside WC.

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  58. David Garrett (6,661 comments) says:

    Is Moroney really deputy, or is that just someone’s fantasy?

    As someon else said earlier, it was always going to be Cunliffe…Now watching them all pretend to be all unified behind him is going to be fun…

    Has any leader anywhere EVER succeeded when 2/3 of their caucus don’t support them? does anyone know?

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  59. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    Tom you idiot

    I’m not going to bother explaining how preferential voting works to you.

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  60. Fisiani (980 comments) says:

    So on first preference more than two thirds do not want Cunliffe and after second preferences neither do the majority of caucus. Yip You are an idiot.

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  61. David Garrett (6,661 comments) says:

    Lots of leftie trolls on here this arvo, ready to report back to the Politburo how the evil right is taking the news!

    Well, this unashamed right wing former poli is absolutely delighted…Robertson might have had some show of uniting them; this guy, not a chance…and if my short political career taught me anything, it is that disunity is death…

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  62. JC (929 comments) says:

    Rex,

    “Just listen to the die-in-a-ditch supporters of any US presidential or gubernatorial candidate… they’re willing to crawl over broken glass for “their” guy or girl because they supported them right through the primaries and feel a sense of ownership, and that their candidate’s victory will, in a real sense, be their own.”

    So I checked voter turnout in Presidential elections since 1972.. its an average of 53.6%. That system as an exercise in democracy is a flat fish.. probably because the general public gets to look ad nausea at said supporters on radio and TV, experience them at close range in their neighbourhoods, up town, in restaurants and bars.. and determines they wouldn’t vote for any candidate that attracts such people.

    JC

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  63. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    I’m not going to bother explaining how preferential voting works to you.

    we know how preferential voting works, you are sounding like some smug new elected labour leader yourself.

    preferential voting is like being asked how do you want to die – car crash or cancer- you have to give an answer even though you don’t like the question.

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  64. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    https://www.facebook.com/#!/greg.presland.7?fref=ts

    silent T’s number one fan boy Mickey Savage , I honestly thought sycophancy like this didn ‘t exist anymore, quite dsiturbing actually

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  65. David Garrett (6,661 comments) says:

    Imagine having to search the faces of your “colleagues” at every caucus, trying to detect which one is Judas…or Brutus… who’s the bagman, and who is just thinking about it…having to monitor every barbecue and other private gathering where two or more of your loyal colleagues are getting together…having a team of spies comb the blogs, trying to analyse language patterns to discern who is behind the sniping..

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  66. greenjacket (429 comments) says:

    So on Monday Cunliffe will meet his caucus, in the knowledge that 2/3rds of them don’t want him and a significant number absolutely loathe him.

    I’ll need to buy some more popcorn…

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  67. Psycho Milt (2,348 comments) says:

    Lots of leftie trolls on here this arvo, ready to report back to the Politburo how the evil right is taking the news!

    Comrade General Secretary, it appears that the country’s right-wingers dislike not only Labour’s leadership candidates but also the party itself. It’s utterly inexplicable…

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  68. David Garrett (6,661 comments) says:

    greenjacket: Yep! What a gig he’s signed up for..

    PEB: I dont “do” Facebook….is there some way of reading what Presland has said about the new messiah without being signed up to it? I might put on my surgical mask and check out the Stranded…

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  69. kowtow (7,873 comments) says:

    duxton @256…..hahahaha very good.

    When caucus votes ,is it a secret ballot ,so they don’t know who their enemies are?

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  70. Reid (16,066 comments) says:

    As we all know, lefties don’t take disappointment very well, and they’re going to be very disappointed as Cunliffe first rises then rapidly falls as the public get to see him more and more and more on telly.

    It doesn’t matter whether or not he really is a Silent-T, the public will start to think so after they’ve seen him a few times. Then, like a snowball slowly gathering momentum down a very steep hill, he’ll become an unstoppable freight train of falling ratings. Then the caucus will start circling and it’ll get even worse. Then Key will call a snap election.

    He can’t hide it, it’s in his DNA. He’s an unelectable leader just like Don Brash, Bill English and Bill Rowling were. Don’t get me wrong. I liked all three of them and thought they would have all made good PMs from a performance perspective and I anticipate thinking the same about Cunliffe when I’ve seen him a bit more, but I don’t think the same way the public do and I am confident the public aren’t going to like what they see in Cunliffe. They will for awhile, give it till say, March-April next year. After that, tanking starts, big time.

    Bwahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

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  71. Rightandleft (652 comments) says:

    JC, The problem with the US system is the electoral college, combined with the FPP system mean that voters in 38 or so states know each time that their vote really won’t make one bit of difference.

    That said I don’t think their primary system helps matters at all. It just radicalises both parties ensuring only the most far left or far right candidates stand, or the best liar.

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  72. David Garrett (6,661 comments) says:

    Right, been there, survived it…Some thoughts:

    He obviously has very wide support among the “Labour faithful who blog” community…

    Andrew Geddis..sorry PROFESSOR Andrew Geddis is happy to use his own name over there, but uses a pseud here so he doesn’t show up on Google searches as commenting on the nasty right wing blog…

    Most risible comment over there: “Sanity prevails” !!! FFS, if what Cunliffe has sold them is sanity I would hate to hear the looney policies!!

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  73. Steve (North Shore) (4,517 comments) says:

    Now that Cunliffe is head of the Nasty Party, watch the power go to his head.

    Do you know who I am?

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  74. Alan (1,073 comments) says:

    Of course Moroney isn’t going to be deputy leader. That position needs to go to a Robertson supporter, almost certainly Arden.

    After Bosworth Henry Tudor married Elizabeth of York. I’m sure neither Henry or Elizabeth were keen on the deal, but they did what needed to be done. So will Dave and Jancinda.

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  75. David Garrett (6,661 comments) says:

    Alan: So you dont see tubby Grant staying on as deputy under the new messiah? If Cunners is going to “reach across the divide” why not keep Robertson himself?

    Are you in any position to know any more than the rest of us filthy righties??

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  76. Duxton (589 comments) says:

    Silent T and Jacinda the Filly……both chinless wonders.

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  77. Colville (2,151 comments) says:

    The NZLP deserve Cunliffe. Really they do ;-)

    The only itsy bitsy teeny tiny thing that worries me in all this is that the freaks and zealots that voted for Cunners will be out in force in Dorkland knocking on doors late next year trying to get people to vote for that *unt. Some dumb people might actually buy what they are trying to peddle.

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  78. Colville (2,151 comments) says:

    Silent T and Jacinda the Filly……both chinless wonders.

    Cunners really must take care with his media. Being shot from low down really does show up that douple chin of his.

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  79. Alan (1,073 comments) says:

    @DavidG, no of course not. Tubby is a goner as deputy, but one of his supporters will need to be given the job. Hence my prediction that Jancinda will get that position.

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  80. Duxton (589 comments) says:

    Heyz Black. Youz fullez still in da hood? Waiting for youz fullez to stick it up da righties on dis site wiz youz witty repar…rip…ripar….doze word dat youz fullez tipe on youz computa thingy.

    Come on bro! Get off da TAB site and get stuck in here.

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  81. Alan (1,073 comments) says:

    By giving a Robertson supporter the job and not him, you divide those who oppose you.

    It’s good practice.

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  82. Rex Widerstrom (5,307 comments) says:

    JC points out:

    So I checked voter turnout in Presidential elections since 1972.. its an average of 53.6%… probably because the general public gets to look ad nausea at said supporters on radio and TV, experience them at close range in their neighbourhoods, up town, in restaurants and bars.. and determines they wouldn’t vote for any candidate that attracts such people.

    I LOL’ed :-D I was making the point about the amount and extent of cheerleading and sheer hard work a popularly selected leader could drum up, but you make an excellent point… for every extra yard sign they’re hammering in while decked head-to-toe in campaign regalia there’s probably half a dozen voters pulling the curtains and hiding lest the wild-eyed zealot knocks on their door.

    Actually, I had two like that on a campaign once… I only discovered in the last weeks of the campaign that they’d decided to door knock for me, driving their car with a bullet hole in the windscreen (yes, seriously) up people’s driveways and then standing there, one with a dead-eyed unblinking stare and hair that looked like the aftermath of a gorse fire, the other with a pronounced facial tic (yes, again, seriously) saying menacingly “You are going to vote for Rex, right?”

    Evidently voters canvassed were too terrified to complain lest they received a return visit, and it wasn’t till the pair blundered onto a campaign committee member’s front doorstep that I got told.

    So your point about the unintended consequences of zealots is well made.

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  83. Paul Williams (877 comments) says:

    I’ve no more insight into this than others here, expect I’m a member and I had a vote and I have friends in the caucus. FWIW, I didn’t vote first preference for David, I voted for Grant and as much as I am disappointed for Grant, I’m absolutely clear that this outcome is fair, positive and one I can and will support.

    All the BS above is either partisan, worried or puerile… some is all three

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  84. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    you divide those who oppose you

    No, all you do is give that faction access to information and influence they can use to undermine you. Just as Robertson did with Shearer.

    That will be all the more so if it goes to Ardern – she and Cunliffe despise each other.

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  85. Rex Widerstrom (5,307 comments) says:

    David Garrett asks:

    is there some way of reading what Presland has said about the new messiah without being signed up to it?

    I’m sorry David, I tried to oblige you, I really did, but only got as far as a comment posted on his wall by a “Liz Tibbutt”:

    Well done, Greg. All your hard work and unflagging support has paid off. I guess that makes you the man behind the man! [my emphasis]

    At that point I had to demur for medical reasons… sides splitting, eyes watering, etc.

    And yes I know we can’t be responsible for what other write on our Facebook page but that’s been up for two hours so I’m not expecting a belated outbreak of modesty any time soon.

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  86. David Garrett (6,661 comments) says:

    Ah…the gardener is back…now we know who is reflexively voting “down” to each vaguley “right” comment, regardless of its value or insight…

    I’m sure “David” is buoyed no end by your whole hearted support “Paul”….

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  87. Yvette (2,736 comments) says:

    So what the fuck is Labour policy now?
    What party remits – discussed and voted on at Labour Conference – decided, whatever they were?
    Or what David Cunliffe made up as he went, whatever that was?

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  88. doggone7 (746 comments) says:

    Yvette, Yvette, Yvette, don’t panic! When you join their party you’ll find out. If you’re not interested in joining their party but want to know this stuff to see if you’ll vote for them also don’t worry – that won’t be happening.

    If you want to do something to positively contribute, get a media job so that you can watch Robertson or Jones walk into a room and not hug, shake hands or even acknowledge Cunliffe. It doesn’t matter if each of them is very engaged and occupied with what they are doing and so not noting the presence of the other, but you can describe it for your outlet. I’ll help with the headline, “Dramatic divisions in Labour caucus – Cunliffe snubs rivals.”

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  89. Yoza (1,654 comments) says:

    …why not keep Robertson himself?

    Because he needs to clear out that ‘in crowd’ cabal that sees the party as a vehicle through which they can indulge their personal ambition rather that an organ that represents the beliefs and ideals of its members. If Cunliffe has any sense, and he seems fairly astute, he will work to make the Labour Party selection process more open than it is; which would play to the massive support he received from the membership and the unions.

    The Labour Party membership have fought hard for this against the self-serving arrogance of a caucus representing the undemocratic ideas inherent in the neoliberal model. I put this victory down to the power of social media as people have more easily interacted online which acted as a counter-balance to the ability of the self-selected cabal to manipulate the selection process behind closed doors.

    I think Cunliffe will promote Adern to Dep.Leader as she is in the Robertson camp, but she is too feeble to be a threat. Hipkins and Curran will probably be demoted out of sight. King looks like she’s getting ready to leave, Cosgrove and Mallard will hang around like a bad smell.

    Most of those ABCs are going to be given lessons in listening to the membership, which is anathema to the way things have worked in the past. More democratic processes are always for the best, even those that lead to mistakes.

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  90. Yvette (2,736 comments) says:

    doggone 7 – I neither want to join their Party , nor find out what they stand for to vote for them.
    I just would be interested how anyone holds them to account or even decides if they are lying, when they just make krap up on the run. It’s that simple.

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  91. Alan (1,073 comments) says:

    @ Bhudson – “No, all you do is give that faction access to information and influence they can use to undermine you. Just as Robertson did with Shearer.”

    and there you have the failed paradigm that let Robertson to defeat after he rolled the last leader.

    The party elects the leader, not the mps. Cunliffe has a very clear mandate from the wider party, you know, the people that put boots on the ground and pay the bills.

    If the preference from Jones votes are taken into consideration, Cunliffes margin of victory over Robertson would be close to 2 to 1. I suspect he’ll offer the olive branch to all, but be savage to those who scorn it, safe in the knowledge that the membership backs him. People who oppose him openly may have issues with selection.

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  92. UglyTruth (4,550 comments) says:

    More democratic processes are always for the best, even those that lead to mistakes.

    Some people can’t distinguish between democracy and conspiracy.

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  93. big bruv (13,454 comments) says:

    If you really want a laugh hold your nose and head on over to the Labour party hate site know as the standard.

    The comrades are beating themselves into a frenzy at the prospect of Martin Luther Cuntliffe taking over the leadership of the world.

    It is bloody hilarious.

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  94. nasska (10,834 comments) says:

    Cunliffe was effectively elected by those outside of the Labour Party caucus. This will make him damnably hard for MPs to undermine & backstab a la Shearer.

    As such he doesn’t have to be over conciliatory to those who didn’t side with him…..he can do what he likes with them yet they have little sway & less say.

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  95. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    People who oppose him openly may have issues with selection.

    Alan,

    Who said anything about openly undermining? If you think this is the end of the infighting within the current caucus you are deluding yourself.

    And what the members want and who they voted for leader is now immaterial – it is caucus that decides who the deputy will be, not the members.

    If Cunliffe has enough animal cunning (and I’m sure he does) he will be strongly advising caucus not to elect Ardern (or any major Robertson crony) as deputy.

    There is no healing of old wounds by offering deputy to a Robertson adherent.

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  96. HC (152 comments) says:

    New Zealand Labour have after 5 years found a true leader again, I just heard.

    Wow, and even supported by large majorities of members and affiliates, and nearly half of caucus.

    I hear a party going on at Judith Collins’ house, and I hear someone booked a 1-way ticket to Honolulu, Hawaii for December 2014, early, to take advantage of a cheap fare.

    Change is in the air, I presume, some love it, some are excited, others hate it, frown, are grumpy and start feeling deeply anxious and depressed.

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  97. Alan (1,073 comments) says:

    I guess we’ll know soon enough

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  98. RF (1,324 comments) says:

    What a sick joke. The Silent T and his faithful sidekick Mickey Mouse aka I need a new facelift presland. . I am really going to enjoy watching the Labour caucus swollowing dead rats if they support him.

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  99. Keeping Stock (10,161 comments) says:

    @big bruv – thanks for taking one for the team. Now go and have a hot shower.

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  100. David Garrett (6,661 comments) says:

    Nasska: you make a good point about him being elected effectively over the heads of the caucus…but how will that play out? To be effective, any caucus – and even more so any cabinet – needs some unity of purpose; a willingness to – at least to some extent – submerge personal ambition and dislikes for the common goal…How is he going to inspire people who cant stand him? I suppose he could threaten de-selection of those who wont play ball….some commenters over at the Stranded are already suggesting “recall” of sitting MP’s the brothers dont like! How will that play out? An unelectable Labour caucus of extremist lefties a la pre 1972?

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  101. David Garrett (6,661 comments) says:

    HC: “…supported by nearly half of cacus”….Do you realise how ridiculous that spin sounds? I suppose I could say I was “almost six feet in height”..(I am 5′ 9″ in shoes)

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  102. Nostalgia-NZ (4,992 comments) says:

    ‘Keeping Stock (9,145) Says:
    September 15th, 2013 at 8:03 pm
    @big bruv – thanks for taking one for the team. Now go and have a hot shower’

    What an unfortunate choice of words, ‘one for the team.’

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  103. doggone7 (746 comments) says:

    Yvette : Good for your considered reply.

    I’m just as interested if anyone holds the other mob to account or even decides if they are lying, if they just make krap up on the run or there are alternatives which include; lying after careful thought and planning, lying after making it up on the run, being weasly and devious by careful design, being shonky and deceitful by common practice, or something else. It’s that simple.

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  104. HC (152 comments) says:

    David Garrett – 08.15 pm: Well, take it like this: The member and affiliates votes alone put Cunliffe clearly in front, and having the 34 caucus “MuPpets” vote count as 40 per cent input to the end result, that means giving them far too much value for a start.

    So each MP has a far too highly weighted “vote” for a start. As Jones was always to be “further ran” material, and as the much more important larger numbers of votes of members and affiliates should be given more weight, Jones’ support should not really be counted as that much, by overly considering the few in in caucus who gave him the preferred candidate vote.

    Most that supported Jones actually also support Cunliffe before Robertson, with the second votes they had.

    So that means, just about half of caucus do have a favourable inclination towards Cunliffe, which leads him to nearly match the votes for Robertson. Even if all further preferential votes in caucus would be counted, I am sure that David Cunliffe got more than the 30 or 32 per cent that voted directly for him as preferred leader.

    In any case, the total vote is so clear, one must accept and concede, that Cunliffe is the deserved winner and must be followed by those in caucus, who bothered to vote for Robertson.

    Maybe caucus MPs should start to wake up, that there actually are members of the party out there, who have slightly different ideas about what policies and leader(s) Labour should follow, than what a lot in caucus think.

    This is a real major game changer, what has happened.

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  105. nasska (10,834 comments) says:

    David G

    IMHO the Labour caucus from now on will become united if for no other reason than individual MPs sense of self preservation & regardless of their love or loathing of Cunliffe. They have lost power over the leader’s fate & may have to listen to the electorate Long term this will improve the LP..

    Short term we can expect a fairly long queue of hopefuls lining up to felate the arrogant bastard.

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  106. Nostalgia-NZ (4,992 comments) says:

    Caucus ‘disunity’ elevates the participants ‘morals’ higher than reality, if caucus consider that DC will get them into power they’ll mostly be bowing and scraping from here on in until the next election. That is, provided of course, that they have the capacity to understand that the unions have essentially pledged to lift voter turnout. Another interesting watch will be the comparison between the willingness of Shearer to be all things to all people, particularly the greens, and whether Cunliffe shows a Clark like understanding of not letting them crowd the stage.

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  107. noskire (834 comments) says:

    From what I’m hearing, Robertson will be deputy-leader. Goff will retain his shadow-portfolio(s). Mallard done and dusted.

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  108. Black with a Vengeance (1,608 comments) says:

    Bwahahaha…youz fullez iz gunna getz yo asses handed backz to yaz in shreds at da elecshunz next year eh !

    fuck all y’all stoopid cracka ass crackaz and your fucken stoopid ideaz on da economy eh!

    me an da bros an da missuses are larfing our arses off and getting pissed as to celebrate already!

    chur ow!!!!

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  109. OneTrack (2,755 comments) says:

    Noskire – Surely in the name of equality, they should have a female co-leader. What are they thinking?

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  110. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    noskire,

    That would be as good as outcome as any for me. (But then I’m not a Labour supporter.)

    I think Cunliffe would be a mug to think he could manage Robertson after what happened with Shearer. Still, if he was going to be ballsy enough to have one of the Robertson faction as deputy, better it be Robertson himself than some fallgirl/guy.

    I’m sure Cunliffe would think that would make Robertson also responsible for Labour’s performance. That would be a mistake – we saw how he successfully divorced himself from responsibility for Shearer’s results.

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  111. noskire (834 comments) says:

    OneTrack, you’re making serious presumptions about the ability of the Labour Party to think…

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  112. noskire (834 comments) says:

    bhudson,

    Cunliffe doesn’t have a choice with a split caucus. Clark and Key have had to play the same hand to a similar degree – ie. keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

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  113. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    @DGNasska: you make a good point about him being elected effectively over the heads of the caucus…but how will that play out?

    Back to the old days lud, when the cloth cap wearing unionist thugs treated Parliament like it was their fucking tearoom, full access to the Minister arriving when they want with instructions

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  114. Psycho Milt (2,348 comments) says:

    Most risible comment over there: “Sanity prevails” !!! FFS, if what Cunliffe has sold them is sanity I would hate to hear the looney policies!!

    Given the circumstances surrounding the demise of your own political career, and the jaw-dropping antics of the party you represented, do you really feel like your assessment of what would constitute political sanity carries a lot of weight?

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  115. Doc Holliday (36 comments) says:

    Weight? Would it tip the balance?

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  116. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    noskire,

    Except I can’t see Robertson ‘getting in behind’ and playing the loyal deputy role like Bill English or Michael Cullen.

    If Cunliffe sees he ‘has’ to do it, he will be leaving himself open to underhanded and below the line sniping from Robertson & friends.

    Cunliffe is trying to lead the party without the support of caucus. That has never been done successfully before.

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  117. Fox (202 comments) says:

    A leader foisted upon a hostile caucus by the membership.

    Google the words ‘Rudd’ and ‘Labor’ to see how this is going to end.

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  118. Psycho Milt (2,348 comments) says:

    So what the fuck is Labour policy now?
    What party remits – discussed and voted on at Labour Conference – decided, whatever they were?

    So what the fuck is National policy now? How much of the current government’s programme was discussed and voted on at a National Party conference? You’re getting your knickers in a knot over nothing – Cunliffe’s said what policies he favours, that’s about it. How much of it eventually turns into legislation is a matter of what the rest of his eventual Cabinet is willing to implement – kind of like (well, OK, exactly like) the Key government.

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  119. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    This is a real major game changer, what has happened.

    Yep. They’ve been put on notice.

    They also know that should any set of caucus members attempt to destroy the people’s choice of leader, then the candidate of that clique will be decisively trounced at the next leadership election.

    The more I think about it, the more I think that the party made pretty smart decisions with the new system (I’m not a member).

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  120. noskire (834 comments) says:

    bhudson,

    Labour are desperate to be back in Govt. If this doesn’t work for them then the party will split.

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  121. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Cunliffe’s said what policies he favours

    Wrong

    He has made promises, these promises bought the vote of the members , he has made promises to the unions who supported him, thats what you get with this style of vote buying. he will have to put up and in doing so the electorate at large will go ” fuck off labour” mint

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  122. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    Except I can’t see Robertson ‘getting in behind’ and playing the loyal deputy role like Bill English or Michael Cullen.

    Why not?

    If anything, the election sent him the message that he needs a higher profile and more support among the members and affiliates. This is something he will have to WORK FOR. What better way to position yourself as a suitable candidate for leader than making a really good job of deputy? For the reasons given in my last post, he cannot use the position to stab Cunliffe in the back, because he has to think about what the members and affiliates would say about that.

    Look, he’s not stupid, and he has the potential to be a leader. He just needs to work at it. Cunliffe is there because he worked at it.

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  123. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,814 comments) says:

    The most astute comment here yesterday was “He’s the best Muppet they’ve got.”

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  124. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    New Zealand Labour have after 5 years found a true leader again, I just heard.

    Cunliffe is the first genuine Labour leader since Bill Rowling.

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  125. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    I think Cunliffe will promote Adern to Dep.Leader as she is in the Robertson camp, but she is too feeble to be a threat.

    And because people like her. Paula Bennett was partially right: Ardern is a sweetie.

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  126. cha (3,830 comments) says:

    Too good not to share.

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  127. duggledog (1,417 comments) says:

    Before Cunliffe even starts to think of taking on Key he needs to cut ties completely with the mental raving looney Greens. In other words ‘no government I lead will have any Green MPs in it’.

    If he doesn’t he’s fucked before he starts. Ford couldn’t take on Holden at Bathurst with a Trabant motor inside it

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  128. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Cunliffe is the first geniune Labour leader since Bill Rowling.

    dear oh fucking dear, I suppose you are right though Bill got bloody good at being the leader of the opposition, nearly nine years. Silent T will love your comparison Tom.

    And you’re being a bit rude to helen, how could she not be considered a genuine labour leader, – she was a consumate liar, a total control freak and outstandingly selfish, all of which make her the perfect labour leader.

    Thomas I think you are just a tad over excited about Silent T getting set up to fail today- perhaps a cuppa and a good sleep might be in order

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  129. Psycho Milt (2,348 comments) says:

    Before Cunliffe even starts to think of taking on Key he needs to cut ties completely with the mental raving looney Greens. In other words ‘no government I lead will have any Green MPs in it’.

    Like bold, courageous John Key clearly stating that no government he leads will have Winston First MPs in it? Well, until it started looking like his chances of a next government might need Winston First MPs, at which point he discovered the merits of taking a pragmatic approach? Cunliffe’s better off short-cutting the process and going with pragmatism from the start – for one thing, he’ll look less of a big-noting twat than Key did.

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  130. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    dear oh fucking dear, I suppose you are right though Bill got bloody good at being the leader of the opposition, nearly nine years. Silent T will love your comparison Tom.

    Name one leader of the Labour Party since Rowling who has publicly come out against the post 1984 economic model. Clark didn’t. Lange, Palmer, Moore and Goff were all in it up to their necks.

    Funny thing about Rowling is that Muldoon would probably have been a one term PM if we’d had MMP back in 1978. Rowling’s Labour got more votes than he did in 78 and in 81. I guess it would have been decided by whoever old Bruce Beetroot decided to jump in with. Funny that.

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  131. Psycho Milt (2,348 comments) says:

    Wrong

    He has made promises

    Yeah, good luck with that. We’re still waiting for lower taxes and the reversal of the exodus to Australia, but I notice it hasn’t damaged Key’s standing any.

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  132. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    Thomas I think you are just a tad over excited about Silent T getting set up to fail today- perhaps a cuppa and a good sleep might be in order.

    I don’t vote, and have refrained from voting for many years.

    I have never belonged to any political party.

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  133. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    What better way to position yourself as a suitable candidate for leader than making a really good job of deputy?

    If he thought that way he would have done so for Shearer.

    For the reasons given in my last post, he cannot use the position to stab Cunliffe in the back, because he has to think about what the members and affiliates would say about that.

    Not quite. If Cunliffe fails and Robertson can weasel his way out of blame with some degree of plausible deniability, then he can take over with the assent of the members. (In fact he could get away with it by being the sole nomination from within caucus – although that would upset some members.)

    So his best game is to pretend to be a loyal caucus member (deputy possibly) and work below the radar to undermine the leader.

    It’s not like it’s something he is unpracticed in…

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  134. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Funny thing about Rowling is that Muldoon would probably have been a one term PM if we’d had MMP back in 1978. Rowling’s Labour got more votes than he did in 78 and in 81

    coulda shoulda woulda- do you remember poor old Wallace on TV?, he made Shearer look incisive positive and articulate

    Cunliffes not going to either, you really have no idea if you think he will say 84 was bad. don’t know how old you are but NZ was pretty sad pre 84 and the only time I will ever say anything good about labour was that Douglas brought us into the real world, it’s just a shame Lange was gutless otherwise the entire raft of reforms could have been completed

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  135. Nostalgia-NZ (4,992 comments) says:

    ‘So his best game is to pretend to be a loyal caucus member (deputy possibly) and work below the radar to undermine the leader’

    The naïve bhudson speaks from his own personality. Who would have thought.

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  136. BeeJay (69 comments) says:

    Poor old black with a vengeance, obviously had his schooling during Labour’s years fucking up the country! Can’t spell, can’t speak, limited vocabulary, can’t even string a proper sentence together! Obviously never taught by the nuns. Imagine what the kids would be like with Cunliffes bunnys in power, along with their partners, the green Australian with the green co partner finance expert who hasn’t got a clue that reducing house prices will totally destroy the real estate market and take NZ back to the days when grandad had to beat the commies over the head during the wharf strike! Oh shit oh dear!

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  137. mikenmild (11,231 comments) says:

    I think Labour’s 2014 chances just got a whole lot better, but maybe not enough for the Labour/Greens to get up for the win over National/NZ First. What baubles will Winston demand this time round?

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  138. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    coulda shoulda woulda- do you remember poor old Wallace on TV?, he made Shearer look incisive positive and articulate

    And yet despite his deficiences as leader, he still managed to get more NZers to vote for him than Robert Muldoon did in 2 of the 3 elections they went up against each other.

    That’s a fact.

    but NZ was pretty sad pre 84 and the only time I will ever say anything good about labour was that Douglas brought us into the real world

    I’m that old. It was for many people a great deal better than NZ post 1984. While I wouldn’t want to return to certain elements of pre-1984 NZ, that’s in no way an endorsement of even most of the policies that have been followed since then, which I think have been silly and largely ideological.

    Douglas was and is not very bright in my view. I actually met the guy once and was surprised – there’s really nothing there in his head – he’s Willy Loman got lucky. He was in my view an impressionable man who was taken in by people proposing views on issues that he really didn’t understand himself, but could accrue flattery and kudos to himself by espousing.

    Neoliberalism was and remains a failed political ideology based on an elementary economic fallacy. It hasn’t done anything to genuinely shrink government, and all it has done is allowed for waste on a massive scale, covered up by a ridiculous expansion of credit in order to hide its electoral deficiencies. The only thing it has ever been good at is devoting all its energies to convincing people that there is no other alternative, and that’s really all that it does.

    If Cunliffe does nothing more than start a genuine public discussion about the various alternative forms of economic policy, he will have succeeded in my view. There are always alternatives, and we need to talk about them even if we don’t practice them.

    I personally find our political consensus to be inane, and most journalists just foghorn mouthpieces for it. Would be nice to get back to the days when your choice of party was a genuine alternative.

    Aren’t you market liberals about choice?

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  139. Roflcopter (445 comments) says:

    So…. 51.5% of the Labour Party and supporters are racist homophobes… whoddathunk? :)

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  140. Tom Jackson (2,479 comments) says:

    Robertson isn’t taking the defeat well:

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  141. Black with a Vengeance (1,608 comments) says:

    Poor old black with a vengeance, obviously had his schooling during Labour’s years fucking up the country! Can’t spell, can’t speak, limited vocabulary, can’t even string a proper sentence together!

    Wotz iz u torking about ow?

    I can fucken speel as good as the nect cunt eh.

    go on, juts arks me sumfing an i’ll showz u!!!!

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  142. kiwi in america (2,462 comments) says:

    That Cunliffe won the membership by the margin he did comes as no surprise. They were for him in November and he promised them every left wing policy they wanted to hear. As for the unions, all Cunners had to do was match Robertson’s promises to give the unions every legislative return to the bad old days of closed shops and de facto compulsory unionism and then subtly play the poof card and they swung in behind. With the party and the unions in the bag, Cunliffe didn’t have to even try and woo caucus colleagues.

    When you marry the left’s crowing triumphalism over having a leader cut from their cloth and Cunliffe’s grandiose narcissism, his instincts will be to clean out and humiliate the ABCs – after all they humiliated him when they backed Shearer post 2011 and the 2012 Party conference stoush. Cunliffe and his supporters won’t have forgotten. Cunliffe has four major problems now (apart from the obvious baggage of his left wing promises that Key and National will ruthlessly exploit):
    1 – The caucus that supported Robertson will elect the deputy and if the ABCs sense that Cunliffe will deal to the them, they will try to hamstring him with a deputy he won’t like
    2 – Ditto the Chief Whip – Chris Hipkins will be near the top of Cunliffe’s revenge list but the ABCs may ensure his reinstallation if he refuses to quit as Cunliffe will surely demands he does
    3 – Labour’s caucus talent pool is puddle deep and the vast bulk of the front bench with experience are against Cunliffe – if he promotes his few supporters to senior front bench positions they will be even less effective against National and the resentful ABC old guard, relegated likely to middle bench roles, will devote more energy to white anting Cunliffe than defeating the Nats.
    4 – Cunliffe will bring his harder left cabal of younger staffers into the LOO office – relations with caucus will sour even more than was the case under Shearer where the frustrations were more at Shearer’s office’s sheer bumbling incompetence.

    The scene is set for a very nasty ideological battle to effectively purge the caucus of dissent and Cunliffe will feel invincible because the party and unions are behind him and will re-elect him no matter how disgruntled the caucus gets. The few people in Labour’s caucus with any link to a time when Labour was a centre left party with a broad church concept that drew support across a wide portion of NZ will either chose to retire or be driven out by the activist left in the party influencing electorate selections and list rankings.

    The left will get their wish – a more socialist progressive party in their image – a party more at ease with the hard left policies of Russell Norman and Meteria Turei but in all their giddy glee at ‘grassroots democracy’, they will completely overlook that they will have an utterly unelectable party that shares even fewer values and policy inclinations with the heart of political power – middle New Zealand. When you add defending hard left policies made on the hoof to the promises to bolster the power of unpopular unions to Cunliffe’s arrogant hubris that will be hard to contain, John Key might be briefly rethinking his atheism and believe there is a God in heaven!

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  143. kiwi in america (2,462 comments) says:

    Cunliffe has another problem. The fact that a major political party’s membership chooses the leader is new territory in NZ politics. The US has a long tradition of primary elections and so the tactics used by eventual nominees to both major parties (of appealing to the more ideological base and then tacking to the centre during the general election) are well understood by the US voting public and so it is much easier to get away with the move to the centre. NZ voters and Labour Party members do not have those traditions to temper how they will see Cunliffe’s shifts in policy. His likely attempts to jettison the more electorally unappealing of his promises are further complicated by the NZ system of policy formation and implementation especially on the left. The major US parties are not structured to formulate policy inside the party – usually the official platform is decided by the eventual Presidential nominee (in consultation with the respective national party head office staff) and the manifesto ends up being even more vague and sound bite driven than the more detailed manifestos that NZ parties (particularly those on the left) produce. This makes it easier for the eventual candidate to go on the campaign trail with a few pithy focus group driven polices and narratives because they know that the eventual legislation has to be negotiated with Congress.

    Not so in NZ. The candidate for Prime Minister, should his/her party form a winning coalition, can implement their manifesto legislatively with far less compromise. Thus the platform or manifesto is far more important because it contains the germs of eventual legislation. The left see political office as using the power of the state to impose their desired outcome on what they see as an entrenched elite wealthy power structure. Cunliffe’s campaign rhetoric has been laced with the class warfare politics-ofenvy standard fare. People join a party like Labour and endure the endless meetings precisely because the party validates an internal policy making procedure. Party Conferences are dominate by debates about remits that are the amalgam of the grass root’s ideological thinking. The party sees the caucus as being their servant and the Parliamentary implementers of the party’s policy wishes. Cunliffe has been careful to promise the very things that he knows the party would pass by way of remits at its national Conferences. However the secret to Labour’s electoral success over the decades has been the ability of its most electorally successful leaders (Savage, Fraser, Lange and Clark) to move forward (and persuade senior Cabinet and caucus allies) with only with the policies that will fit in a wider middle NZ centre of power context. Thus the more extreme policies that would cause swing voters to not vote Labour are shelved or put into a permanent holding pattern of maybe. The parliamentary caucus would throw the party enough bones to keep it happy as long as Labour kept winning elections.

    Cunliffe has far less leeway to do this because the party own him now. Indeed they changed the Constitution and elected him precisely to an end to the tactic that actually ensured Labour’s electoral success. Any tack he makes to the centre will be tempered by the pressure the party and the unions will bring to bear on him and his own ideological leanings. Because low information centrist non ideological voters are not used to the US style swing back from the base, Cunliffe runs the risk of being perceived as a shameless flip flopper anxious to do what ever it takes to get elected. Kiwiblog’s mostly centre right readers already know that truth but in time, middle NZ will come to see it as well and will not be as excited by his full throated enthusiasm for the progressive policies that excite the Labour Party membership who elected him.

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  144. Ian McK (237 comments) says:

    This is “Tojo”, he who made a statement in “The Dominion”, “I would have preferred to sacrifice thousands of allied lives in preference to dropping the bombs”. I suppose if, and I doubt ever, he gets into a position of influence, this typical anti-defence Labourite would apologise to the Japanese for our involvement with the US in the war. This is the attitude of most of the draft-dodging offspring in the Labour line-up. By the way, this goon also wants the RSA movement disbanded, he reckons it glorifies war . . . he is a mongrel in the making. Still none of them had anything to offer NZ, and at least he is a man with a real wife and family.

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  145. Pete George (23,166 comments) says:

    John Key is a rival ringmaster for their future. Now that the leadership circus is over the lions, monkeys, zebra, crocodiles and chameleons of caucus have to first work out how they can get on together. Voters may see unity, but they will see disunity and bared teeth much more easily.

    The left of Labour wish for a more interventionist high spending socialist state. They have a dream that the 800,000 non-voters share the same dream and only need to be awoken from their electoral slumber. If the any of the 800,000 Rip van Winkle voters will ever be rouse from their apathy, disillusionment and political disconnection they may be a lot harder to convince than Labour activists that the rash of promises that have just been made can ever be kept.

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  146. hj (6,612 comments) says:

    I wonder how many union members know they voted for Cunliffe (top down democracy)?

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  147. lolitasbrother (563 comments) says:

    Yes thanks for comments everyone, quite a lot of reading. It was especially useful to read Kiwi in America and others to see how the new voting system has huge ramifications. That is that the Labour parrty will expect Cunliffe to be good to his word, and he will not be able to because the only votes he can steal are from Green, not NZ Nat party.

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  148. lolitasbrother (563 comments) says:

    Also the video posted above ny NickB sept 15, is absolutely wickedly funny

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