Dim Post on Labour

February 19th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Danyl writes at Dim-Post:

So the big political story on TV3 news over the last few nights has about a bunch of reporters in TVNZ’s Maori and Pacific Unit acting as Labour Party activists. It’s a good story, and another indication of how comprehensively the TV3 political journalists are setting the news agenda and dominating political reporting. (I keep seeing people on my twitter feed demanding to know the difference between Shane Taurima and, say, or Paul Henry. I think the main difference is that if wanted to set up a fundraising operation inside TVNZ the National Party wouldn’t let him because it would look terrible and destroy his career).

That is a worthwhile point. Anyone with an ounce of political common sense should have been saying it is a terrible idea to hold political party meetings inside TVNZ.

But it was a clip from another TV3 story the same night that’s really haunting me. Here’s a screen-grab of leader David Cunliffe standing in front of a super-luxury yacht company explaining that his $2.5 million dollar mansion is just a ‘do-up’, after criticising Key for living in a nice house.

It’s hard to compress so much failure into a single image. Up to now I’ve felt that the outcome of the election is too close to call. The sides are pretty even, small changes at the margins could have huge impacts on the results. But my gut feeling now is that Labour’s support will collapse and National will win a third term. It feels like a replay of the 2011 election in which Labour keep doing baffling, stupid things and then demand to know why the media is biased against them and how anyone could like John Key. People don’t want idiots running their country.

Mike Hosking also touches on the Cunliffe issue of downplaying his own wealth:

A piece of advice for David Cunliffe – be who you are. Don’t hide it. Don’t pretend you aren’t it. Don’t think there are points to be gained by putting on an act. Don’t try and morph into what you perceive people want you to morph into. It is the trap of so many in the political and public sphere.

This scrap has broken out about houses. John Key lives in a big one in Parnell, Cunliffe lives in a flash one in Herne Bay. Both are beautiful, both are expensive, yet it’s only Cunliffe who has made the mistake of trying to make it something it isn’t.

In attacking the Prime Minister for living in a leafy suburb, he not only makes the mistake of making it personal, he gets hoisted by his own petard given he lives in one as well. That makes him a hypocrite.

Further, he then went on to try and pretend it wasn’t a great house, that it was a do up, that it probably wasn’t at $2.5 million (the average for the street), that it was the worst in the best street. With each example, another shovel load of expensive real estate was dug and the hole kept getting bigger.

Labour are trying to paint Key as out of touch. But they are mainly managing to make themselves out of touch by promising welfare to those earning up to $150,000 and claiming $600,000 a year is a “reasonably middle range existence”.  People earning $50,000 a year will be shaking their heads.

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34 Responses to “Dim Post on Labour”

  1. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Wonderful headline!

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  2. RF (1,452 comments) says:

    This and the news that Crim dot Com is being handed his arse by the Court of Appeal has made my day. Time to open a bottle of my best fizz.

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  3. alex Masterley (1,523 comments) says:

    The only issue with the screen grab that I have is that while Fitzroy yachts does build luxury yachts it has none on it’s books and is laying off many of it’s staff through the lack of work. As an aside Fitzroy is one of a number of boat builders experiencing lean times at the moment.
    However if Cunliffe had been talking about the dire straits such businesses were in the shot would have been appropriate but talking about his house in leafy Herne Bay was not such a good look.
    Another facepalm moment.

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  4. beautox (422 comments) says:

    Yeah Cunners – be who you are – a complete cunt. Embrace that silent T.

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  5. Grizz (610 comments) says:

    I seem to recall last year the media were having a good go at John Key. It was brushed aside at the time as part of the business of being in government. I wonder if it is going to happen again soon or have some media attitudes changed at least for now?

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  6. Huevon (223 comments) says:

    Reply to Mike Hosking – what are you saying? David Cunliffe is acting EXACTLY how he is. He isn’t pretending, what you see is what he is really like.

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  7. Sadu (129 comments) says:

    Facepalm.

    It’s incredible that Cunliffe hasn’t made the connection here. He must genuinely think that he’s not part of that evil 1% club that John Key belongs to.

    Labour’s personal attacks are just getting more and more retarded.

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  8. tvb (4,512 comments) says:

    Yes I felt Labour shat all over Taurima who has probably destroyed a reasonably successful broadcasting career for good. He has skills and I assume he will pop up somewhere. Taurima who is probably full of his own importance should have accepted his Senior role with gratitude and forgot about a political career, (which is lower pay and full of shit).

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  9. Simon (762 comments) says:

    Yep if Baron Cunnlife is middle of the road just about everyone else must be fucking peasants.

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  10. Peter (1,723 comments) says:

    He also has a thing for multiple pairs of shoes. Imelda Marcos also had public image problems, I believe.

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  11. davidp (3,588 comments) says:

    I find it interesting the way that three party leaders have dealt with issues over their extravagant homes:

    1. Key. Nothing to defend or hide here. He is a successful person and we all know he can live where ever he likes.

    2. Cunliffe. Pretends that his place is a hovel compared to the neighbours and he would rather live in a more modest suburb. But hasn’t moved, for reasons that are unexplained. Poor David can’t even trade in his expensive home for a cheap one, so we should all feel sorry for him.

    3. Turei. There is a genuine issue here in that someone complaining about inequality shouldn’t be spending money on frivolities like a member of the pre-revolution French aristocracy. So Turei handles the point by flaunting her home and her expensive clothes, like Marie Antoinette telling peasants to eat cake.

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  12. Ed Snack (1,927 comments) says:

    Sadu, I think the state of mind is that it is all about intentions. Key, being a flaming righty (in their dreams !) is evil per se and doesn’t deserve any of his obviously ill gotten gains. In contrast, Cunliffe, being of the “care & compassion” party really, really cares about you (and makes countless daily statements about how much he really cares) and thus deserves to be wealthy (as he is) because he is a moral and deserving person. Or whatever.

    It is all about making the perception the reality, only they (Labour) aren’t competent at conveying the perception.

    The other way to look at it is to consider that Key is perfectly happy to have other people become wealthy; it is generally to be admired (with exceptions, dotcom cough cough). Whereas Cunliffe wants to make sure that as fewer people as possible can become wealthy; they’ll only clog up the exclusive streets and exclusive cafes and exclusive child care minders and exclusive etc that he wants (and deserves) to enjoy.

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  13. anticorruptionnz (215 comments) says:

    Pardon me if I am a little confused

    but why is it such a big thing that the TVNZ premises were used as a meeting place for a group of labour people when

    we totally ignore and actively cover up the fact that council premises were used by a council manager for private pecuniary gain and
    on top of that he was able to write legislation for his own business plan , advise on it as independent adviser to the select committee and then make an application using a fictional trust for law enforcement powers.

    He then used the council premises staff and infrastructure to carry out the obligations of the SPCA like organisaton and prosecuted people having the proceeds of the prosecution deposited into a bank account which only he administered.

    Is it that we only deal with pettiness to make it look as though we are serious on corruption? and at the same time cover up real corruption?

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  14. Rick Rowling (815 comments) says:

    2. Cunliffe. Pretends that his place is a hovel compared to the neighbours and he would rather live in a more modest suburb. But hasn’t moved, for reasons that are unexplained. Poor David can’t even trade in his expensive home for a cheap one, so we should all feel sorry for him.

    Have you forgotten? He only lives there because his wife was breast feeding.

    Won’t somebody think of the children!!!1!

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  15. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    The fitzroy yachts situation is a logic loop that would cause most lefties to stroke out.
    Yacht builder- builds boats for rich pricks-goes broke-hooray-yacht builder staff lose jobs-boo

    How do you spin that?
    Rich pricks not rich enough to keep yacht builder in business?
    Evil rich pricks cost hard working kiwis jobs?
    John Key is a lizard?

    If Cunliffe had been thinking instead of bullying cub photographers he might have framed the story instead of making himself look a goose. Ironic for somebody who lives in a mansion and is probably served roast goose of an evening.

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  16. davidp (3,588 comments) says:

    Barnsley Bill>The fitzroy yachts situation is a logic loop that would cause most lefties to stroke out.

    Obama had a similar intellectual problem to deal with:

    1. GFC.
    2. Big corporations buying fewer bizjets.
    3. Result: Workers at bizjet factories losing their jobs.
    4. Obama response 1: Enact tax incentives so that big corporations buy bizjets again. Jobs preserved. Hooray!
    5. Obama response 2: A few months later, condemn and shame greedy corporations for buying extravagant bizjets.

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  17. wat dabney (3,809 comments) says:

    Yeah Cunners – be who you are – a complete cunt.

    Exactly the same thought occurred to me.

    When you’re a smarmy cunt with the permanent smirk of a child molester ‘be yourself’ is absolutely the worst possible advice.

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  18. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    Check this site out (about the origin of the Cunliffe surname) – it’s a bit of a laugh –
    http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=cunliffe

    Quote – “Cunliffe Name Meaning –

    English: habitational name from a place in Lancashire, near Rishton, recorded in 1246 as Kunteclive, from Old English cunte ‘cunt’ + clif ‘slope’, i.e. ‘slope with a slit or crack in it’.

    Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press”

    Bwahahahaha……… :)

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  19. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (895 comments) says:

    All he is trying to say is he is poorer than John Key.

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

    I seem to recall last year the media were having a good go at John Key.

    It wasn’t an election year, and they needed the viewers.

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

    “Yeah Cunners – be who you are – a complete cunt.”

    Exactly the same thought occurred to me.

    When you’re a smarmy cunt with the permanent smirk of a child molester ‘be yourself’ is absolutely the worst possible advice.

    Wow…

    I know it’s an election year, but that’s pretty over the top.

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  22. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    I’m backing Tom on that, uncalled for and way over the top Wat.

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  23. Peter (1,723 comments) says:

    Will this evenings pheasant stuffed with swan be mid-level portions at Chez Cunliffe? i.e. no Partridge or Dolphin butter in order to stay in touch with the peeps?

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  24. wat dabney (3,809 comments) says:

    Fine.

    I apologise to any child molesters who may have been offended.

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

    I apologise to any child molesters who may have been offended.

    I was looking for an excuse to stop, given the increasingly toxic atmosphere.

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  26. SPC (5,775 comments) says:

    The use of work premises and resources for private and party political purposes is common. The work phone and internet the most common these days – as day time traffic here might suggest.

    The only real distinction is in the expectation of the (TVNZ) journalists not to be involved in what they are reporting (say politics) – thus the need to declare such outside involvement and sometimes to resign or take leave while so involved. It’s an obvious inclusion in the code of conduct for employees. Whether the organisation is public, or not, is irrelevant.

    This has nothing to do with inherent bias (as with Hosking, Henry and Campbell) or the probable commonplace behaviour in some workplaces of various political party members.

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  27. Ryan Sproull (7,285 comments) says:

    Great points from Danyl and Hosking both.

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  28. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    When you’re a smarmy cunt with the permanent smirk of a child molester ‘be yourself’ is absolutely the worst possible advice.

    This is simply untrue. Key is apparently quite popular.

    Not to mention, Judith Collins has the most patronising manner I’ve seen in a politician and radiates self-satisfaction at what must surely be toxic levels. If someone with a personality like that can be occupying a cabinet position, Cunliffe certainly has nothing to fear.

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  29. Wayne Mapp (67 comments) says:

    Everyone keeps up the pretense that David Cunliffe’s house is worth $2.5 million. I would be amazed if there is even a single house in Marine Parade that you buy for $2.5 million. More likely $3.5 million for a house on a full site. And I am sure that David Cunliffe will know the likely market price of his house.

    But then it makes you wonder even more why he would risk getting into such a debate. It is not as if he lives in a $800,000 house in New Lynn!

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  30. annie (539 comments) says:

    Cunliffe should give up banging on about the house being an essential and reasonable expenditure to enable the ms to breastfeed.

    Most women breastfeed, most working women feeding babies express and refrigerate, an onerous and lengthy process. They’d give their eye teeth to be able to nip home from work and feed.

    They’ll see the plea for what it is – privileged and monied elite trying to camoflague themselves as “one of the masses, just like you poor jerks”.

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  31. E. Campbell (91 comments) says:

    I agree with the main thrust of the post which is that Labour will be toast at this year’s election. Cunliffe hasn’t achieved any traction at all, the gaffes are piling up and yes, this will be 2011 repeated.

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  32. Sadu (129 comments) says:

    That comment from Cunliffe about breastfeeding is hilarious.

    You have to wonder why he doesn’t just say he lives in Herne Bay because it’s nice and he can afford to live there. No other explanation would be necessary.

    The whole logic is flawed – Is it supposed to be a big surprise that John Key (worth 50 mil or whatever) has a flash house in a nice part of town? I’d imagine most would be struggling to be surprised or outraged here.

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  33. Pete George (23,683 comments) says:

    A comment on that Dim-Post thread:

    If the Labour comms or strategy team were half way competent, Cunliffe would’ve said something along the lines of “yes, I do live in a fancy house in a wealthy street, and I got there because I got an excellent free education, healthcare etc. and had support from the state. I want all NZers to have the same opportunity that I did. That’s the difference between me and John Key: he’s pulling the ladder up after himself. I want to strengthen it.”

    And Cunliffe on Firstline this morning:

    “But let me be very clear – I am not ashamed of where I live. My family has worked very hard, and we’ve had opportunity which has been provided by a good state education system, a good healthcare system – it looked after my father when he was very, very ill – and I’m pleased that I had those opportunities, just as Mr Key did. The difference between us is we don’t pull the ladders up.”

    Curious. Labour spin team listening?

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  34. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    Calling any man a “cunt” is a great compliment.

    I rather like my wife’s cunt.

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