The Press on Cunliffe

October 29th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

editorial:

But the poll has brought home the harsh reality that it was always going to take more than just the replacement of the maladroit, tongue-tied Shearer with the clever, experienced, articulate Cunliffe to improve Labour’s fortunes. And for all his touted virtues and supposed preparedness for the role, Cunliffe, in his first few weeks in the leadership, has been less than assured.

He has not got the better of Key in the House. A publicity stunt designed to highlight difficulties young people have buying an affordable house in Auckland backfired when the chosen example was a 23-year-old complaining about not being able to afford a pricey house in one of the more salubrious suburbs that he was not sure he was going to live in anyway.

Yeah I loved how Labour campaigned for the right of 23 year old property investors to buy a half million dollar home with a less than 10% deposit.

In a speech to trade unionists, Cunliffe was heard breathing fire as he told them what they wanted to hear on industrial policy, which he shortly afterwards cooled down considerably for more general consumption. Skirmishing with the Government over the SkyCity convention centre deal, he has been studiously evasive over what Labour would do.

Say one thing to one audience, and another elsewhere and hope no one notices.

None of this may be particularly significant but it points up a shallow opportunism and an unsettling lack of substance in what Cunliffe has so far offered.

National’s continuing high ratings in the opinion polls are almost certainly attributable to satisfaction with the Government’s handling of the economy, the core issue in any general election. On that score, the Government has done well, with growth, inflation, unemployment and the country’s finances looking good, certainly by international standards, and likely to remain so. Cunliffe has not yet presented any reason for voters to believe a Labour-led government would do any better.

As far as I can tell Labour’s economic policies are for more tax, more spending, more debt and more inflation.

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27 Responses to “The Press on Cunliffe”

  1. Sector 7g (229 comments) says:

    I’m surprised that New Zealanders haven’t come around to Labour yet. I mean, if you look below, you will see they only ever focus on the big issues facing Kiwis today.

    “The Labour Party conference in Christchurch this weekend looks set to approve a remit that will require its list to “fairly represent” gays and lesbians among candidates.

    At present, the constitution says there shall be no barriers to nominees on the grounds of sexual orientation or marital status. But a remit proposed by the party’s ruling New Zealand Council would require the list-ranking committee to pro-actively ensure that its list fairly represents “sexual orientations”, as well as tangata whenua, gender, ethnic groups, people with disabilities, age and youth.”

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  2. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    ……the replacement of the maladroit, tongue-tied Shearer[Gillard} with the clever, experienced, articulate Cunliffe[Rudd} to improve Labour’s fortunes…..

    …..Say one thing to one audience, and another elsewhere and hope no one notices……

    …….He has not got the better of Key in the House…….

    ……A publicity stunt………

    …….shallow opportunism and an unsettling lack of substance……..

    ………has not yet presented any reason for voters to believe a Labour-led government would do any better……..

    …….As far as I can tell Labour’s economic policies are for more tax, more spending, more debt and more inflation…….

    Rudd. Rudd. Rudd. And more Rudd.

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  3. Pete George (21,804 comments) says:

    In his latest column Colin James also sums up Cunliffe as Labour leader to date:

    Then there is Cunliffe’s yet-to-be-proven consistency and genuineness — and his kitsch-proneness.

    It will be a major test for Cunliffe at the upcoming Labour conference – whether he can come across as a strong and genuine contender for Prime Minister or if he continues to preach different messages to different crowds.

    If he want to be seen as honest he has to start stating some honest positions on issues.

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  4. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    David Cunliffe is orally ambidextrous – he speaks out of both sides of his mouth

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  5. Pete George (21,804 comments) says:

    But a remit proposed by the party’s ruling New Zealand Council would require the list-ranking committee to pro-actively ensure that its list fairly represents “sexual orientations”, as well as tangata whenua, gender, ethnic groups, people with disabilities, age and youth.”

    Nothing there on experience, ability nor competence.

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  6. flipper (3,269 comments) says:

    And the Whale carries this… all of which aligns with what DOF and the Press say:
    ***
    Just exactly how badly is Cunliffe doing?

    ” An example of how badly Cunliffe is actually doing; here are the preferred PM numbers from party leaders a month or so in the job –

    Lange – Feb 1983 31%
    McClay – Feb 1985 16%
    Bolger – April 1986 22%
    Palmer – September 1989 40%
    Moore – October 1990 38%
    Clark – Feb 1994 21%
    Shipley – Dec 1997 35%
    English – Nov 2001 18%
    Brash – Feb 2004 26%

    With Cunliffe on 12%, it doesn’t look flash for him. He’s already written off before he gets started.

    National support is 45%, Key as preferred PM: 43% – 95.6% support of own party

    Labour support is 34%, Cunliffe as preferred PM: 12% – 35.3% support of own party

    United Labour Party my arse…

    The unions are the tail wagging the dog here, and even their own voter base don’t like the look of it.”

    - The Whale

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  7. radvad (620 comments) says:

    “As far as I can tell Labour’s economic policies are for more tax, more spending, more debt and more inflation.”

    Who knew?

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  8. Manolo (12,618 comments) says:

    It would be bad, very bad, to have Silent T as PM, but far worse to see Comrade Norman as Minister of Finance.
    Heaven forbid!

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  9. Yvette (2,589 comments) says:

    Could it be as simple as three clowns running around the country promising everything but what was officially agreed in annual conferences, has left potential voters without a fucking clue what Labour actually stands for?

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  10. Nostalgia-NZ (4,685 comments) says:

    As I mentioned yesterday, for Labour the enemy is within. Along with Kelly and co they give the appearance of being practised in the art of self-defeat without even the discipline to hide it. They won’t make an impact on the ‘middle’ from the extreme fringes, they need to be cut free to give middle New Zealand confidence. Shearer failed with a simple message – that Nat’s have done well – though they have run out of ideas and forgotten the middle ground where more improvement is necessary and where Labour can provide that leadership. Is Cunliffe tough enough to exert strong leadership and give a clear message without one variation for the ‘party’ and another for the public? Who knows. While Labour has been apparently infighting the Nats have been solidly building – that’s an impression anyway.

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  11. Kleva Kiwi (267 comments) says:

    They (Labour) have not presented any alternative to the current government as Labours policies are inherently destructive in nature with regards to the economy.

    Fact is, people want stability and measured prosperity in the economy at this time, something the left can never offer. People generally are tepid about growth that is to fast or radical changes. Steady as she goes.

    Love them or hate them, National are doing a fair job with regards to the economy at present in these uncertain times.

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  12. dime (8,750 comments) says:

    It would be interesting to see how much damage labour could do to the economy in 3 years..

    course, it would be the rights fault.

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  13. davidp (3,319 comments) says:

    At first look you’d assume that Cunliffe is a Kiwi Kevin Rudd. There is an inability to work with colleagues, dreaming up strange policy announcements on the fly, and grandiose narcism.

    But the tax, spend, and nationalise economic policies remind me of Francoise Hollande. France’s economy is collapsing and all Hollande can think of is dreaming up new taxes and regulations.

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  14. CJPhoto (182 comments) says:

    Labour (and the Greens) have been suspiciously quite about their Kiwipower plan over the Meridian IPO process.

    My guess is Cuntliffe has backed off on this plan.

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  15. Pongo (356 comments) says:

    And you get to work for another two years for your pension to cover the government largesse.

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  16. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    It would be interesting to see how much damage labour could do to the economy in 3 years..

    course, it would be the rights fault.

    The interesting thing for me is seeing how many ways you guys can try to say the same thing in different ways for the next 18 month.

    Key good, Cunliffe bad. National good, Labour bad. Greens terrible.

    Ok, got that…

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  17. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    Yes…..in maths two negatives do make a positive.

    But that doesn’t mean that two negatives under Labour marxism – stealing peoples money, and lazyness – will ever become a positive.

    It just doesn’t compute.

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  18. OneTrack (1,958 comments) says:

    dime – It would be interesting to see how much damage Labour, and the Greens, and Mana, and Winston and could do to the economy in 6 months.

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  19. RichardX (290 comments) says:

    In maths, 2 negatives only become a positive when one is subtracted from the other
    They become a bigger negative when they are added together

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  20. scrubone (2,971 comments) says:

    I saw him on TV last night, and I just was trying to pinpoint the problem with the way he talks.

    The best thing I can come up with is “slimy”.

    His sneering, accusing tone contrasts so sharply with John Key’s more upbeat frankness.

    Also, does anyone seriously suggest that the bidding war of irresponsible policies wasn’t going to do serious damage to brand Labour?

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  21. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (519 comments) says:

    Yes Labour has just one policy – Tax and spend. Their new messiah, David Curryleaf got the unwashed excited for a brief period and now people have realised he is a fork tongued snake oil salesman. Now I am waiting for the next Roy Morgan poll (which is now the left’s flavour of the month…) to show a bounce for National. What the hell happened to the TV3 poll?

    DPF – any idea about the TV3 poll?!?

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  22. thedavincimode (6,105 comments) says:

    Key good, Cunliffe bad. National good, Labour bad. Greens terrible.

    Ok, got that…

    There’s hope for you yet Blackie. No shortcuts though; make sure you complete the full course.

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  23. Paulus (2,294 comments) says:

    If it appears to be accepted by the various polls that the Key coalition Government have and are doing well for middle New Zealand, please may I ask Cunliffe what he is going to do that will better that.

    Really it is a simple question.

    Mr Cunliffe – How are you going to continue to better what middle New Zealanders currently have, because that it what it is all about.

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  24. gander (80 comments) says:

    @RichardX at 10:26:
    In maths, 2 negatives only become a positive when one is subtracted from the other

    No, 2 negatives also become a positive when one is multiplied or divided by the other.

    Not sure how that translates into politics, though.

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  25. RF (1,128 comments) says:

    I see that useless drop kick Micky mouse over at the standard is getting plenty of air time. He writes about anything to grab the headlines He will be pissed off about the failure of his dear Leader not being able to rejuvenate the party. A lost cause that will see silent t consigned to the back benches early next year. Next leader please step forward… Not you mallard.

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  26. Bad__Cat (117 comments) says:

    When you enemy is making mistakes, do not interrupt him.

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  27. thor42 (767 comments) says:

    Labour’s “policy” is as shallow as a carpark puddle (just like their talent pool). The Nats have got to *hammer* Labour’s core policy of the “living wage”, showing that it won’t work because it’ll simply drive up wage costs and result in businesses laying off many more staff.
    They need to keep it simple for Labour’s knuckledragging supporters –
    Higher wages = higher business costs = more layoffs = higher unemployment.

    The Nats should *also* highlight their partnership schools policy, and show up Labour’s opposition to it as pure “teacher union patch-protection”.

    If the Nats can do those things (and hammer the Greens with their constant panic-stations the-world-is-roasting nonsense) then they have some chance of getting in again.

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