Has Cunliffe got it wrong again?

April 29th, 2014 at 9:44 am by David Farrar

In a speech to a conference over the weekend spoke of his grandfather’s service in WWI and specifically referred how his grandfather won the a Military Medal for valour.

However Whale has checked the service records (which are online and available to anyone) and there is no record of the MM being awarded to Bob Tuke, Cunliffe’s grandfather. There was one awarded to an Edmund Tuke, who is Bob’s brother.

Unless the service records are faulty, the claim doesn’t appear to be correct. I presume it is relatively easy to verify – one could ask the NZ Defence Force to confirm.

I think it is important to stress that anyone who served honourably in WWI, deserves our thanks, recognition and honour – regardless of which medals they did or did not receive. To me, they are all war heroes.

However if you are making a formal speech, and referring to medals received by your ancestor, then it is a very good idea to make sure your facts are correct. If you are an aspiring Prime Minister, it is even more important.

UPDATE: The Herald reports that the claim is definitely incorrect.

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109 Responses to “Has Cunliffe got it wrong again?”

  1. Manolo (14,153 comments) says:

    Can P.G. and Politicheck verify Silent T’s claim?

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  2. Huevon (228 comments) says:

    I’ve always thought Cunners was a “my dad is better than your dad” kind of guy. I guess so

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  3. Rich Prick (1,749 comments) says:

    Cunliffe now embellishes the CV’s of others to make the reflected glory brighter for himself. I suppose that is a risk when reflected glory is all he can claim.

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  4. itstricky (2,011 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  5. BeaB (2,164 comments) says:

    If true this is yet another example, along with his CV and other fudging and boasting, of his habit of self-aggrandisement.
    This is a hollow man who adopts poses, personae and other people’s lives to make himself into something he is not.

    Just look at him with Mallard and the fluffy dog on TV – shirt opened once again a button too far and some kind of thong around his neck, I bet with a bone carving or something similar. He looked like a Green rather than a PM. And when he talks he smirks and his eyes do that strange upward squint that liars do.

    This is a deeply strange man.

    He also stupidly misses oportunities like this morning on Radio NZ when he refused to talk about their damp squib of an economic policy because David Parker was announcing it within the hour. Why wait for what was only a matter of minutes? And why wasn’t he fronting the policy, surely their most significant if it will have such an effect on the economy?

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  6. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    In my experience, Army records from that era aren’t completely reliable. My grandfather enlisted for WW1, WW2, and J-Force. The official records show different places of birth for each enlistment, in NZ, the UK, and Canada. One of the records manages to get his mother’s name wrong. I suspect that these records were mostly maintained by semi-qualified clerks who had also enlisted for the war, and were more interested in getting able bodied men deployed overseas to where they were needed rather than maintaining an accurate record of an individual’s war experience.

    Then you add a hundred years worth of family stories and things get really mangled. I’m no Cunliffe fan, but his story is close enough for me… it is mostly true, and that is better than probably ninety percent of family history.

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  7. somewhatthoughtful (472 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  8. martinh (1,272 comments) says:

    Lets see how Cunliffe confirms it
    I think the guy has a delusional image of himself
    Davidp: I take your point but i would of thought a medal of valour would be properly documented

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  9. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    More doubtful facts claims from his speech, in fact repeats of Cunliffe and Parker claims on property speculators not paying tax.

    We have too many children who are getting sick because they live in cold, damp, cramped houses with black mould growing up the walls. Sometimes owned by speculators who just push the rent up while getting rich on tax-free capital gains.

    Cunliffe and Parker repeat claims on property speculation

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  10. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    This fits Cunliffe’s pattern. Not content to run on his reasonable background and record, he is intent on artificially boosting and exaggerating. Thus the respectable indeed prestigious MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government came to include additional references to an MBA as well from Harvard, an impressive embellishment that he allowed numerous media to publish uncorrected for some time. Likewise his Boston Consulting work – it’s reasonably impressive to claim credit for consulting the Dairy Board but he had to add the provably false next step – that of helping with the formation of Fonterra.

    Had he mentioned his grandfather’s WW1 service, any audience would’ve thought “that’s awesome” especially on ANZAC Day but he had to add the made up bells and whistles of medals and suffering that were not the experience of the relative he cited.

    It adds to the unappealing package of his inauthenticity and gives ample reason (amongst many) for voters to not vote for him.

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  11. JC (948 comments) says:

    It matters for a very important reason. If its true that a brother was indeed the recipient of the medal then he has stolen valour from another family. He has taken their history and made it his own. If that family has been quietly proud of its ancestor or even told his story then Cunliffe has just made them look foolish and liars.

    That is a pretty big deal.

    JC

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  12. gump (1,676 comments) says:

    My great-grandfather was awarded a military cross during WW I.

    A few months later he got turned into fertilizer for a Belgian farmer.

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  13. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    martinh>Davidp: I take your point but i would of thought a medal of valour would be properly documented

    I suspect that Cunliffe mixed up his grandfather and great uncle. But I wouldn’t be too sure about medal documentation. The Army had a war to win. That meant mobilising and training huge numbers of men; shipping them half way around the world; equipping them with weapons, ammunition, food, and enormous quantities of other supplies; and providing them with medical, catering, and all the other services needed to support the force in the field. That’s a huge task, and in both world wars they did it from a starting base of almost nothing. In which case, records and medals must be an afterthought because they’re pretty incidental to the main objective of defeating the enemy.

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  14. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (899 comments) says:

    “Unless the service records are faulty” – yes, that could be the case here. I have fought with Cunliffe and Kris Fafoi in all the world wars. So I trust Cunliffe.

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  15. radvad (734 comments) says:

    Why did he need to mention it at all? My father fought in WW2, my grandfather fought in WW1 and my great great great great………………..grandfather fought for the Scots against the Poms therefore I am over qualified to be PM.

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  16. RRM (10,096 comments) says:

    Could he have been referring to his other Grandfather?

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  17. big bruv (14,211 comments) says:

    Is there anything lower (considering that we have just remembered the ANZAC’s) than making a claim such as this?

    Will the media pick up on this, somehow I doubt it.

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  18. Nostalgia-NZ (5,317 comments) says:

    Silly if it’s not true. Having a great Uncle who won a MM is in itself something for descendants to proud of which in fact seems to be the case with Cunnliffe. However mysteries run deep in the War Records, some deliberately so. I have a ‘live’ mystery of a GU shown in an official photo as being a winner of a MM though there is no apparent record of it. There however seems to have been such a person from Tauranga with a variant spelling of his name, so may never know despite the fact his service medals were sent to his family after he ‘died of wounds’ in the Somme, having earlier served at Gallipoli. A current researcher tells me that ‘died of wounds’ was among other things the words that expressed being gassed.

    Don’t agree with false claims being about ex serviceman, or someone else outside the serviceman’s family putting the boot in. But I guess that’s politics, right? I thought this would be the business of Edmund Tuke’s descendants if the counter allegations are true, if there is any offence to be taken surely it’s theirs.

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  19. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    Seriously, we’re making a thing of this ?

    Could just be a simple mistake with records or things getting mixed up in the family over 100 years. Stuff like this happens all the time.

    Great Uncle Ed may have no descendants, the MM may well be in the Cunliffe family.

    Who knows? Frankly who cares.

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  20. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    Labour leader David Cunliffe has admitted he muddled the war medals won by his ancestors.

    In a speech to a Young Labour conference at the weekend Cunliffe marked ANZAC day and said his Grandfather Bob Tuke was awarded the Military Medal for valour in World War I.

    In fact the medal was awarded to his brother Edmund Tuke, who is Cunliffe’s great uncle.

    A spokesman for Cunliffe said he had ”mixed up” the medals. Bob Tuke was instead awarded service medals.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9988652/Cunliffe-fesses-up-to-medal-muddle

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  21. BeaB (2,164 comments) says:

    An MM isn’t a routine decoration so is more likely to be recorded accurately. Perhaps he could check with Simon Cunliffe.

    But it just shows the generosity of spirit of Kiwiblog follwers, that they are so ready to give Cunliffe the benefit of the doubt.

    How different it is in the vengeful, spiteful world of The Standard. And that awful Grant Robertson so driven by his dislike of women.

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  22. dime (10,202 comments) says:

    “Could just be a simple mistake with records or things getting mixed up in the family over 100 years. Stuff like this happens all the time.”

    thats true. same with all his other lies.

    just the other day i told people i went to auckland uni, i actually went to massey but shit happens. i made a mistake. who can keep track?

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  23. BeaB (2,164 comments) says:

    Pete George
    Thank you for that.
    As always the devil is in the details and someone so careless(or knowingly duplicitous) with the truth should never ever be PM. Our interests would always take second place to his ego.

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  24. Keeping Stock (9,366 comments) says:

    You’re quite right itstricky (9.50am); and of course the Left would never make an issue of what someone believed more than 30 years ago, or what shares they may or may not own. And the principled Left would NEVER secretly and illegally record Ministers making comments at a private function would they? No, the Left is above that ;-)

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  25. Kea (13,523 comments) says:

    Has Cunliffe got it wrong again?

    It’s a trick question suckers :)

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  26. Komata (1,220 comments) says:

    Kea

    ‘Yeah, Nah’

    What more is there to say?

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  27. kowtow (8,922 comments) says:

    It’s a troll question,suckers.

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  28. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (899 comments) says:

    “Labour leader David Cunliffe’s incorrect claim that his grandfather won a Military Medal was the result of a family mix-up, his office says.”

    So take it on the chin and move on bro. No story here…..

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  29. questlove (242 comments) says:

    Could just be a simple mistake with records or things getting mixed up in the family over 100 years. Stuff like this happens all the time.

    His great uncle Edmund Tuke was actually the one who won a Military Medal for valour. His grandfather won medals including the British War Medal, the Victory Medal, the Gallipoli Medallion, the War Medal 1939-45 and the NZ War Service Medal. In his speech on Saturday Mr Cunliffe had confused the names of the medals.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11246190

    What a scandal!?!?

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  30. kowtow (8,922 comments) says:

    There is a story here.

    The man wants to be PM of this country and in a speech on Anzac Day gets an important detail wrong.

    If he is ignorant (at best ,deceitful at worst) about basic facts concerning his own family how then can he claim to be competent to run the country.

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  31. Than (510 comments) says:

    I’m amazed Cunliffe is still making these kind of exaggerated claims. He must realise his statements will be under much closer scrutiny than they have been in the past. When the facts inevitably come out it gives National another piece of evidence to make the “tricky” label stick. This wasn’t an off the cuff remark, it was a prepared speech and he should have known better.

    The only explanation I can think of is that these kind of small deceptions must be so habitual to him he doesn’t even realise he’s doing it.

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  32. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    This current day Tusi Tala “Tojo” liar is not fit to even be a member of the rainbow room, let alone leader. As has always been said, “Cunliffe is a charlatan”.

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  33. kiwi in america (2,314 comments) says:

    “Muddled the war medals” – a largely incurious media will give him a pass mostly because they are of a generation that don’t realize you don’t mess with claims about medals. His quick denial and apology tells us Cunliffe knows this has the potential to cause damage. If it was his sole indiscretion it would be a minor pin prick but Cunliffe has exaggeration bad form and this kind of thing is confirmation of it. It’s either a deliberate tactic to wring maximum perceived political advantage and hope the mea culpa is buried or it’s just plain sloppiness. Either is not a good look for a prospective PM.

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  34. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Cunliffe has no love for the returned movement, only a desire for votes of survivors. He sat and texted during an Anzac service, so further shows his contempt for the RSA. He has a desire to see the RSA disestablished, and I don’t doubt anything anti services he would be involved in. After all, wasn’t his father a conshie!

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  35. Elaycee (4,424 comments) says:

    questlove: His grandfather won medals including the British War Medal, the Victory Medal, the Gallipoli Medallion, the War Medal 1939-45 and the NZ War Service Medal.

    These are service medals awarded to all soldiers who served in these theatres. And I salute Cunliffe’s grandfather for serving his country.

    However, the Military Medal was awarded for valour. And it would have been the subject of family chats over the years – so it’s hard to work out how an adult is unable to remember whether it was his own grandfather who was awarded the MM or whether it was his grandfather’s brother. Just saying.

    Besides, it’s not as if this is the first time Cunliffe has been found copper plating something…. he has got form!

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  36. gump (1,676 comments) says:

    I’m not sure why my comment has been so heavily down-voted. It’s an historical fact that my great-Grandfather was awarded the Military Cross for “conspicuous bravery” in mid 1917, and a few months later he got turned into fertiliser by the German forces in Ypres during the Battle for Passchendaele.

    Just another one of the many millions of war dead.

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  37. wreck1080 (3,999 comments) says:

    @gump:

    People have no sense of humour.

    Good on you.

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  38. RRM (10,096 comments) says:

    Gump –

    I think people are trying to tell you you should only speak about your fallen grandfather in a way they approve of.

    Political correctness rears its ugly head on Kiwiblog, I suppose it was only a matter of time.

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  39. kowtow (8,922 comments) says:

    I don’t think it’s PC.

    I think people are drawing an inference that gump the chump is being disrespectful to the war dead.

    Just cos it’s a rellie of his doesn’t confer added rights to be disrespectful.

    Another take could be he is suggesting the sacrifice was worthless ( fertiliser for a Belgian)

    Either way ,not really funny .

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  40. kowtow (8,922 comments) says:

    Lest we forget.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WmeKksOf_I

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  41. OneTrack (3,347 comments) says:

    Alan – “Seriously, we’re making a thing of this ?”

    No, not really. Cunliffe jumped the shark some time ago. This is just same ol, same ol. Nobody (nobody!) expects any better any more.

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  42. mikenmild (12,280 comments) says:

    From Stuff:
    Labour leader David Cunliffe has admitted he muddled the war medals won by his ancestors.

    In a speech to a Young Labour conference at the weekend Cunliffe marked ANZAC day and said his Grandfather Bob Tuke was awarded the Military Medal for valour in World War I.

    In fact the medal was awarded to his brother Edmund Tuke, who is Cunliffe’s great uncle.

    The discrepancy was picked up by a blogger.

    A spokesman for Cunliffe said he had ”mixed up” the medals. Bob Tuke was instead awarded service medals.

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  43. Colville (2,318 comments) says:

    I am with gump on this. Lighten the fuck up people.

    My Grandfather fought thru the Pacific, had his lifetime friends head blown off inches from his own and brought back a Japanese kit bag of souvenirs including dried ears.

    War sucks.

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  44. Duxton (658 comments) says:

    As a Second Lieutenant, Bob Tuke is unlikely to have been awarded the MM.

    The MM is reserved for Other Ranks, up to the rank of Staff Sergeant. Officer and Warrant Officers were awarded the Military Cross.

    I agree that war stories have a habit of changing as they become part of family histories. When I worked at the Army Museum in the late ’80s and early ’90s, I frequently dealt with the children of Maori Battalion soldiers who claimed that they (their fathers) had been wounded during WW2, but were being denied war disability pensions. I checked each claim, and in every single case the ‘wound’ had actually been an STD, requiring hospitalisation in Syria.

    If it weren’t for Cunliffe’s Boston/Fonterra/etc claims, I’d be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt on this. Unfortunately, however, he now has form for a tendency to exaggerate.

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  45. Kea (13,523 comments) says:

    War sucks.

    Wrong audience.

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  46. SW (249 comments) says:

    How fucking pathetic and petty of you to lead this DPF. Any claims by you of favouring playing the ball rather than the man should be laughed at.

    You fail to point out the medals his grandfather did win, the mix up could be for all sorts of genuine reasons.

    This is just more nasty politics from the National attack dogs.

    [DPF: Where have I been nasty? I’ve pointed out public statements made to a political conference from the Labour Party leader were incorrect. Labour now agree they were incorrect.]

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  47. kowtow (8,922 comments) says:

    SW

    The grandfather did not “win” the medals he was awarded.Those were campaign medals awarded as recognition of participation.

    Gallantry awards such as the MM or MC are another matter.One must be cited for the award thereof.

    Nothing wrong with DPF or anyone else posting on this. Cunners spoke at a conference ,not in private. He’s running for PM ,see my 1131.

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  48. Kimble (3,952 comments) says:

    He shoots, … he SCORES!!!

    Cunliffe 32 : Foot 0

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  49. SW (249 comments) says:

    Kowtow – fair enough, excuse my ignorance on the discrepancies between different awards.

    Still, this is crazy. Firstly, why was this fact checked in the first place? It shows unhealthy efforts to try and discredit the guy. Secondly, does this mean CUnliffe has to go and check the accuracy of any family story if told in public?

    Please don’t try pretend this thread would read the same if the story was exactly the same with key substituted for Cunliffe

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  50. backster (2,194 comments) says:

    In defense of Cunliffe he may have thought that Edmund not Bob was his grandfather, but then he would probably have claimed that Edmund Blackadder not Tuke was his grandfather.

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  51. Rich Prick (1,749 comments) says:

    Well SW, Cunliffe has “form”, shall we say, so of course we can’t take him at his word. Apart from that it seems easy and fun.

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  52. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    The moral of the story is if Cunliffe wants to avoid being in the firing line (of harpoons) he should do some basic homework and avoid handing out ammunition in speech notes.

    He has repeatedly proven sloppy with facts so his claims have a big target painted on them.

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  53. wreck1080 (3,999 comments) says:

    Imagine the outrage from the left if John Key made such claims.

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  54. wreck1080 (3,999 comments) says:

    “Firstly, why was this fact checked in the first place? It shows unhealthy efforts to try and discredit the guy”

    I think anything a prominent politician says on record will be fact checked by someone .

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  55. dishy (248 comments) says:

    SW, if it’s even-handed treatment that you crave, go and bleat to the MSM.

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  56. Jimbo (43 comments) says:

    Look, people get these details wrong all the time – when they don’t care enough about them. That’s the problem: Cunliffe had very little interest in his grandfather’s life and times up until the point it became politically advantageous to do so.

    A sad case of David Cunliffe laying down Granddad’s life for his own.

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  57. SW (249 comments) says:

    Pete George – I have been critical of Cunliffe’s performance and agree he has had some bad moments. That said, this is not one – I would expect anyone with objectivity to see that.

    Wreck1080 – in one word, bullshit. Carry on thinking that way but please give examples if you want to convince someone like myself.

    Dishy – I crave KFC, even-handed treatment from DPF not so much!

    I only commented here because this has been reported by the MSM. I think it shows the type of influence DPF and Whale have with the press, and makes a joke of claims here that the MSM is somehow captured by the left.

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  58. cha (4,129 comments) says:

    Imagine the outrage from the left if John Key made such claims.

    I think Key prefers to ignore his forebear’s service record.

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  59. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    This is just more nasty politics from the National attack dogs.

    You seem surprised. The Tories can sense the end is nigh. Why do you think 15 of them have already thrown in the towel…

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  60. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Imagine the outrage from the left if John Key made such claims.

    Yeah nah he’d rather torture rodents. :)

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  61. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    SW – I agree this is relatively minor but it’s a bit sloppy and Cunliffe is getting a record for not being loose on details. He has to tighten up his act or he’ll get no medals for service as PM.

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  62. goldnkiwi (1,611 comments) says:

    Pete George Cunliffe is loose on details.

    This matter did make me go look up my WW1 family casualties though to see how easy it is and what information is available on line (it is a while since I have done it. I had forgotten that two of my grandfathers’ brothers died on the same day at Gallipolli, being the 8th of August 1915. I found that on the War Graves Project that their dates of birth are missing so I have made moves to amend that. The detail is important, especially in a public context and especially so around ANZAC day. Lest we forget.

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  63. David Garrett (7,693 comments) says:

    ross69: the only man who thinks 15 “tories” ending their political careers and going on to do something else paying better money and with fewer demands on their home life is a bad thing.

    This Cunliffe/medals thing is so funny…over at the Standard (yeah, I know, it’s a bit like going to watch the lunatics at Bedlam but it’s a slow day) they are comparing this supposed “gotcha” story with Charley Shovel being dobbed in for grumping at noisy kids on a plane and, wait for it….the Moyle Affair!

    Apparently poor Colin was lured to a well know Wellington Cottage by an anonymous caller who was going to provide him with some secret imformation (I’m not making this us)…The anonymous caller didnt turn up, but the police did, homosexual acts being illegal at that time..”and then.. [I quote from the Standard post] Moyle was hounded out of office.”

    No mention of the small matter of Moyle lying to the House about what went down that fateful night!!

    But FWIW I dont really think it matters whether Cunliffe’s Great grandfather or Great Uncle got the Military Medal (half of the other medals mentioned were of the “I was there” type)…What IS notable is that he tried to get some reflected glory for deeds done by his forbears three or four generations ago…

    The “heroism” gene doesnt travel down the generations very well…the son of a Minister in Churchill’s War Cabinet who had served with distinction in WW I was hanged for treason…

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  64. Longknives (4,947 comments) says:

    C’mon Guys- An honest mistake!
    I often forget which of my Granddaddys single-handedly defeated Hitler…similarly I often forget which University I studied at.
    *Can I be Prime Minister now??

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  65. Nookin (3,556 comments) says:

    “Yeah nah he’d rather torture rodents”

    One in particular. I think he says “hello Mr 8%” to him on a daily basis.

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  66. gazzmaniac (2,306 comments) says:

    Another take could be he is suggesting the sacrifice was worthless ( fertiliser for a Belgian)

    Given that WWI achieved nothing, becoming fertiliser in Belgium is probably the sum total of good that his death gave the world.

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  67. mikenmild (12,280 comments) says:

    Storm in a teacup.

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  68. Steve (North Shore) (4,536 comments) says:

    Has anyone asked Cunliffe to confirm his lie yet?
    How about a trained and skilled media reporter/journalist – or are they scared of getting the sack for exposing lies?

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  69. Komata (1,220 comments) says:

    mm

    Not so. Unfortunately, for Cunnliffe. D, there are enough military people and enthusiasts in our country, to know what was or was not awarded and for what purposes such awards. Mr. Cunnliffe’s ‘mistake’ was that he forgot this and , in trying to be the big ‘Hero Man’ and present himself as ‘all things to all men’ – especially those in the ‘junior ranks’ of his own party, got caught out. This in itself would not normally be a problem, as has already been pointed out, BUT, it IS NOW BECOMING A PROBLEM!! This chap wants to be the next PRIME (as in ‘first) Minister of New Zealand, yet he is repeatedly caught-out lying, and ‘exaggerating’ then gets all anti when he IS caught out and it is ‘Noticed’. In that regard he is actually very fortunate that the MSM is sympathetic to his cause. In other countries he would be constantly targetted. . He is (unfortunately) a walking, breathing answer to the old question ‘Would YOU buy a used car from this man? In light of his falsifications, his lies, his ‘exaggerations’ (of which this is but the latest example; and there will, sadly, be more), there are an increasing number of Kiwi’s who are now answering the ‘used car’ question with a definite ‘no’. He is also becoming increasingly to be seen as a buffoon (through his own actions, not those of anyone else.).

    The odd thing in all this is that it is almost as if Mr. Cunnliffe has some sort of ‘death wish’ and is determined to continue on making these incredible ‘mistakes’, as if there is no election in September and as if all that he says, actually doesn’t matter.

    It’s very strange behaviour, very strange indeed, especially as, even through they don’t like his politics, most Kiwi’s are actually prepared to ‘give the guy a go’, and overlook his foibles. But the ‘foibles just keep going on, and on and on…

    As I said, it’s really very strange.

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  70. goldnkiwi (1,611 comments) says:

    Perhaps it is just a case of ‘one up man chip’ as seen on tv :)

    As for the storm in a teacup, it may be to some people but anecdotally when people were requesting to go along to Gallipolli next year, a lot of people found out that their family stories were untrue or garnished, RSA members have been pilloried for claiming gongs that were not theirs to claim. How hard is it to check, if you are in the public eye and pontificating.

    It is a very sensitive subject to some people, if there is no scale of ‘value’ in the various medals awarded there would be no purpose to them. Recipients of medals, other than service medals, correct me if I am wrong, have to be commended by superior officers, which of course if there are few survivors means that acts of bravery are not acknowledged as there are no living witnesses. Part of me thinks that every poor person at Gallipolli should have been awarded a V.C. All my family got were death plaques.

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  71. David Garrett (7,693 comments) says:

    Gary the maniac: What an odious individual you are…dismissing in a cavalier fashion the deaths of 20 million men in WW I as “fertilizer for Belgium”…

    Golden: As far as I know you are right; for a person to receive a gallantry medal he/she must be recommended for it by an officer of superior rank, and this recommendation needs to be confirmed by others higher up the chain…Sometimes the “higher ups” dont accede to the recommendation, and the medal is not awarded..that happened to several NZ soldiers in WW II

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  72. OneTrack (3,347 comments) says:

    And the lefties accuse Key of lying. FFS.

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  73. big bruv (14,211 comments) says:

    Will this story feature on Labour party TV tonight?

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  74. big bruv (14,211 comments) says:

    So over ANZAC weekend we had Cuntliffe being late for dawn service, spending what was left of that service arrogantly checking his emails and now telling bare faced lies about his families involvement in the war.

    The man is an utter and complete wanker.

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  75. David Garrett (7,693 comments) says:

    “all my family got were death plaques”…what a poignant statement…

    Even at the advanced age of 56 I find myself tearing up every ANZAC Day thinking of the senseless deaths of the cannon fodder of the Western Front…much worse than Gallipoli: at least that was a coherent plan which might have worked if the dithering Generals in charge of the whole debacle had pulled their aristocratic fingers out…

    BB: surely you are joking? The c…t checked his e-mails during a dawn service??

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  76. big bruv (14,211 comments) says:

    DG.

    Yes indeed, Whale even has a pic of him doing so while he sat on stage.

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  77. mikenmild (12,280 comments) says:

    Still. A. Storm. In. A. Teacup.

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  78. David Garrett (7,693 comments) says:

    Milky: Maybe for you old son…I happen to think there is no more sacred day for New Zealanders – religious or secular – than ANZAC…Out here in the wops even the tattooed solo mums attend the citizens’ service in Helensville and hush their scrofulous children when the Last Post is sounded and the Ode is read…

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  79. mikenmild (12,280 comments) says:

    Don’t attend it myself David, but always get a poppy. I like to think of the old soldiers every time I go down to the Lower Hutt War Memorial Library. It has a very moving mural and roll of honour in the foyer. ‘Their sacrifice…preserved freedom’

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  80. goldnkiwi (1,611 comments) says:

    mikenmild, it is to you, it is not for me. Very few subjects get me really going, this is one of them. Not just Cunliffe but Nationhood, youth turning out at dawn wearing those ‘medals’, learning their family histories and the part that they played in this our ‘democracy’ despite its warts. I confess to having seen the ANZAC day picture on Whaleoil sent in by a member of the public where Cunliffe is checking his phone so when I saw this article as well, it just confirmed my opinion of people politicising ANZAC day insincerely. imo.

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  81. mikenmild (12,280 comments) says:

    Sure, I appreciate how you feel. Phones should be tucked away out of common courtesy at any such occasion. If appears Cunliffe is still to grasp that he is in the public eye all the time.

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  82. big bruv (14,211 comments) says:

    goldnkiwi

    I will say something for Cuntliffe, at least he turns up for dawn parade (even if he was late), if you remember Helen Clark refused to ever attend dawn parade as she “did not do mornings”

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  83. mikenmild (12,280 comments) says:

    Did she go to any Anzac servcies? A lot of older Kiwis did not attend dawn services – they were always seen as something for the veterans themselves, with civic services later in the morning for all.

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  84. goldnkiwi (1,611 comments) says:

    You know, at least she was honest about it. As our remaining older veterans become fewer perhaps Dawn services should be shelved. Our remaining veterans were in the rain likely to catch their death, possibly felt that they ‘had’ to do it’ out of respect. Dawn as I recall, is when the body is at its lowest, the wounded were most likely to die then? The dead no longer feel the col., Urging those survivors to their grave serves no one, least of all their families.

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  85. nasska (12,072 comments) says:

    goldnkiwi

    Perhaps the veterans should be left to make up their own minds. No one forces them to attend….it’s their day to honour their comrades.

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  86. cha (4,129 comments) says:

    Did she go to any Anzac servcies

    Dawn services in 2000 and 2005.

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  87. goldnkiwi (1,611 comments) says:

    You are right Nasska, no one forces them to attend but when else would we consider it acceptable for late 80-90 + men and women to be out in the cold and possibly wet. Sometimes conventions should take into account changing circumstances. I do not know if the idea has ever been considered, noblesse oblige and all of that.

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  88. David Garrett (7,693 comments) says:

    Goldn: I agree with you basically…but I also think it’s up to them…Certainly no-one at the citizens service out here cares if the vets – there was only one WW II vet this year – have also been to the dawn service…As I said it tears me up…I have been out here 8 years, and the service has gone from half a dozen WW II men to one…and since he must be well into his 90’s that may of course be his last parade.

    BB: did the Beast really say “I dont do mornings”? Good thing those who landed on the Normandy beaches managed to adjust their body clocks on the trip across the Channel…

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  89. nasska (12,072 comments) says:

    I don’t doubt your motives goldnkiwi & I accept that their health could be adversly affected.

    What I’m getting at is that it may not be the veteran’s first priority. At 80-90 years they are probably sick of being bossed around & told what is good for them. I know a couple of returned soldiers & it is an absolute matter of pride to them to turn up at Dawn Parade.

    You could improve their health & break their spirit with the best of intentions. Leave things as they are….it’s worth the risk.

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  90. Yoza (1,923 comments) says:

    Has Cameron Slater ever had a real job?

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  91. mikenmild (12,280 comments) says:

    Wasn’t he editor of Truth till it collapsed?

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  92. goldnkiwi (1,611 comments) says:

    Nasska, although I consider my powers considerable ;) I doubt that is within them. It will be a moot point soon as there will be none of them alive. Surely if the public are sheltering under an umbrella it should be permissible for everyone to. Form, pomp and circumstance should not always dictate. I had a wee chuckle regarding the not like being told what to do, as they advance under orders.

    I just do not think that it should be deemed weak, if it is and that their advanced ages could be catered to more without there being a feeling of letting the side down, if that is in fact the case. I certainly have no desire to dictate, just to propose.

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  93. nasska (12,072 comments) says:

    Yoza

    Until he suffered his mental breakdown he owned his own business…..computer security from memory.

    goldnkiwi

    Keeping it to a proposal would be safer….some of those old veterans can get a bit snarky & bossy, if well meaning, women are considered a legitimate target. :)

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  94. David Garrett (7,693 comments) says:

    Nasska: I quite agree…at the age of 90 plus, having served their country, the remaining vets can do what they damn well please in my book…

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  95. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    nasska (9,625 comments) says:
    April 29th, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    What you say is correct and I totally agree. Just because someone is elderly is not a reason for others to step in and make decisions for them.

    These men fought in conditions we only have nightmares about. They lost their best mates in violent blood baths – standing in the rain to honour their fallen mates year after year is their way of paying their respects and remembering.

    Who the hell are we to take that away from them with some sort of condescending garbage. But then, I guess when the criticism comes from someone that sued their own father, the concept of respect is something they would never understand.

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  96. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ David Garrett (5,192 comments) says:
    April 29th, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Well said! :-)

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  97. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ goldnkiwi (656 comments) says:
    April 29th, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    They already have options. If they are unable or unwilling to attend the dawn services they are able to go to later services, and indeed some areas already offer services in rest homes and RSA’s for those that have limited mobility.

    There is even a group that will conduct memorial services on an individual basis in private homes if the veteran is immobile and unable to attend elsewhere. These services have been available for several years, since most of our surviving service men and women turned 80 years +

    However, most prefer to struggle, no matter what effort it takes to make the services. I guess when you look at what these men did on the battle fields, attending a service, even if physically difficult, is what they want to do, and offers them a mental boost that most would struggle to understand.

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  98. David Garrett (7,693 comments) says:

    Yoza: You ever had a job where you didnt need a union card to get it? It must be dreadfully sad…aged 60 plus…watching your ideology crumble all around the world…leaving a small Island in the Carribean as the last bearer of The Standard (Pun intended)…

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  99. goldnkiwi (1,611 comments) says:

    ‘Judith’ would you prefer that I had killed my father rather than having taken him to court. Then you could make excuses for me.

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  100. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ goldnkiwi (657 comments) says:
    April 29th, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    There is nothing I could think of that would excuse you and the things you do and say.
    I am fussy who I support, you can be well assured, you’d never make the list.

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  101. David Garrett (7,693 comments) says:

    goldn: How fascinating! What did you sue your father for? I mean the cause of action…(If you dont mind me asking…)

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  102. goldnkiwi (1,611 comments) says:

    ;) back on topic ‘fussy’ ‘Judith’.

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  103. goldnkiwi (1,611 comments) says:

    Civil case, he was in breach of his duties as trustee of my mothers estate, money the root of most if not all evil!!!!

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  104. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ goldnkiwi (659 comments) says:
    April 29th, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    For once I agree with you. Suing your own father over money, has to be some special kind of evil.

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  105. David Garrett (7,693 comments) says:

    Yes indeed…although I believe that well known “quote” is actually a misquote…Isnt it “the love of money is the root of all evil?”

    If the old coot hadnt been administering the trust properly you had every right to sue him if you were a beneficiary…Which way did the judgment go?

    I might have sued my late unlamented..but “Being a useless father” is a cause of action unknown to the common law…

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  106. goldnkiwi (1,611 comments) says:

    My sister and I won, Justice Fisher was the presider, my father tried to claim matrimonial property, Fisher of course having written the bible on such matters didn’t agree. However as he was a professional, an ‘officer and a gentleman’ amongst other old boys ‘accoutrements’ it was interesting and gave me an interest in ‘law’.

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  107. David Garrett (7,693 comments) says:

    Judith: Dont talk rubbish…if a will sets up a trust the trustees – whoever they may be – are obliged to use their best care and skill – and if they dont have it, they need to obtain it – in order to maximise the beneficiaries interest…My late mother left small legacies for my children which dont vest till they are 21…which is my son’s case is 13 years away…If the trustees havent tripled or quadrupled my son’s legacy by then, they will get bloody sued all right…

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  108. freemark (642 comments) says:

    What about the poor he was pimping in his speech? The woman earning $525 & paying $400 rent? I have seen the same figures bandied about before. No WFF? No accommodation supplement? I call those those figures bullshit, from the serial bullshitter.

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  109. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    It was a careless statement which, while hardly a great scandal, makes Cunliffe look shifty. He needs to do his homework much better.

    If his father was a “conchie”, does that mean he should be banned from politics?

    Key’s father fought in Spain alongside Communists. Should Key go too?

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