Labour keep focusing on the Royal Tour

April 9th, 2014 at 2:30 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Earlier today, leader David Cunliffe took a swipe at John Key over the royal visit, suggesting the prime minister was milking the extra “face time” with Prince William and his wife, compared with his own limited meetings.

Oh dear. This is not a good look.

Labour seem to have had an obsession with the Royal Tour (which frankly I find a bore). They first invented a convention that you never have a royal tour in election year. After I pointed out there had been around five ro six previous royal tours in election years, they changed this to be no royal tour within six months of an election, but again there had been royal tours (when Labour were in power) much close to an election than this.

So first they invented conventions, and now they’re complaining they are not getting enough invites to hang out with the royals.

He also described a possible visit to the White House as “pre-election PR from the prime minister ” who was “stage managing the calendar of the year as it suits him”.

Umm, the NZ Prime Minister doesn’t decide the timing of an invite to the White House. In fact such invites are very very hard to get. If the PM is getting an invite, it is because President Obama likes and rates him.

A diplomat made an interesting observation to me a few weeks ago. He said that the national leader who has spent the most time in the last year with the President of the United States would be the NZ Prime Minister. He also said that the national leader who has spent the most time with the President of China would be the NZ Prime Minister. Now it is pretty extraordinary for any NZ PM to be the leader either super-power President has spent the most time with. But to be have had the most face time with both the US and Chinese Presidents – I’d say unprecedented for almost any national leader, let alone a minnow like New Zealand.

Cunliffe said it was very  important that the treatment of the royal visit was as even-handed as possible between the government and the opposition, and also that the visit was well-spaced from the election.

Of course the Prime Minister is going to have more time with overseas dignitaries than the Opposition Leader.

Asked why Key had so many events with the royals Cunliffe said, “I guess he likes the camera time.”

Key said that he would not be at the “vast, overwhelming” number of events on the royal visit schedule and did not believe he was milking the event.

“I don’t actually think anyone’s going to vote National, Labour or any other political party because we’re seen standing next to the royals when they’re in New Zealand,” Key said.

“They vote on the economy, law and order, health and education. As soon as David Cunliffe starts talking about that and not this sort of rubbish, he might do a little bit better.”

That’s actually sound advice. Whining that you have not had enough time with Price William is just not an attractive look – even if you honestly feel slighted.

At his one-on-one meeting with the prince, Cunliffe expected to discuss those issues the visitor wanted to raise. He would also be happy to brief him on things Labour thought were important such as building a fairer and more decent country and including everybody in the opportunities.

“I’m sure that he would agree with that.”

He would also talk about the deeper economic issues, such as the problems with the balance of payments.

Labour’s going to talk about the Balance of Payments with Prince William. Hell I may be a republican, but that’s just a step too far – cruel and unusual punishment!

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50 Responses to “Labour keep focusing on the Royal Tour”

  1. RRM (9,834 comments) says:

    So he is liked by not only most NZers, but also by the Democrat president of the USA, and the leaders of Communist China?

    You’d think international socialist league members NZ Labour party (are they still in abeyance due to non-payment of membership fees…?) would be pretending not to see this, not making an issue out of it!

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  2. Peter (1,699 comments) says:

    Has anyone asked Will and Kate if they want to spend time with Cunliffe?

    Or Len Brown, for that matter.

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  3. Elaycee (4,375 comments) says:

    Has anyone asked Will and Kate if they want to spend time with Cunliffe?

    Haha…. Very good. :lol:

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  4. Cunningham (843 comments) says:

    Pathetic Labour, just pathetic! Do they ever learn? My wife is getting sick of me yelling at the TV when I see Cunliffe on it. I can’t think of a more unappealing politician.

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  5. GPids (19 comments) says:

    This is a prime example of why his perferred PM rating is so low. What a dick.

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  6. tas (623 comments) says:

    I think Cunliffe and Labour are miserable malcontents. They complain about everything, even when it’s going better than expected. Their whingeing about the royal visit is a perfect example. I hope Cunliffe’s comments get front page coverage — he’ll sink another few percent in the polls immediately.

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  7. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    Cunliffe should just write off the next ten days, there’s nothing in it for him. The election campaign will not get into gear until after ANZAC day.

    I actually despair at how bad Labour is handling things, there’s no sign of a coherent strategy at all. This election should be very winnable, it’s like they’re not even trying.

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  8. Elaycee (4,375 comments) says:

    Cunliffe is a complete sook.

    And if this is one of the ‘new strategies’ coming from Matt McCarten / the Labour ‘War Room’, then they may as well pack up their bongos / quit whilst they’re behind and save themselves the cost and effort of running an Election campaign.

    What an embarrassment.

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  9. Cunningham (843 comments) says:

    Alan (903 comments) says:

    “it’s like they’re not even trying.”

    They’d probably do better if they didn’t actually try. That’s the point, the more they try the more they fuck things up!

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  10. SHG (312 comments) says:

    When I heard about the Labour “War Room” all I could see in my head were Downfall videos.

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  11. Rex Widerstrom (5,349 comments) says:

    What sort of genius strategist says “Oh nooooooo!! You’re not getting enough photo ops with some dim-but-pleasant figureheads! We’re hemorrhaging votes over this! Everyone knows that when the average voter is alone in a polling booth, ‘face time with minor royals’ is the very top of their list of concerns! Quick, to the press release generator…!”

    Clearly though, someone is.

    The people who stood in the drizzle so they could swear that some balding chappy gave them a wave don’t care who else is in the picture. In fact if the barriers came down, poor John Key would be tramped to death in the stampede to shake the royal hand.

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  12. radvad (755 comments) says:

    “At his one-on-one meeting with the prince, Cunliffe expected to discuss those issues the visitor wanted to raise. He would also be happy to brief him on things Labour thought were important such as building a fairer and more decent country and including everybody in the opportunities.”

    What a pathetic sook. It is made even sadder by Cunliffe intending to lecture the prince about “a fairer and more decent society”. This just after a study putting us top of the world as a place to live. Why is Mr 8% so determined to denigrate NZ at every opportunity?

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  13. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    As if Prince William wants to hear about ‘a fairer and more decent society’. He’s a prince FFS; by definition he’d be against fairness.

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  14. davidp (3,580 comments) says:

    What a complete cock! Like most NZers under the age of 75, I have zero interest in the royals. But it is obvious that the Prime Minister represents the country and has to interact with visiting royals and the President of the US. It is part of his job description. There is no reason for Obama or the royals to meet Cunliffe, except that Cunliffe wants a photo opportunity and AMAZINGLY thinks that holding baby Prince Joffrey (or whatever he is called) is his election strategy.

    But anyway, it looks like Prince William is going to have to sit down for a chat with Cunliffe. Rather than have Cunliffe bore him silly with a lecture about balance of payments, I have prepared a few questions for William to ask Cunliffe:

    1. So David, who are your secret donors? Are they embarrassed to be associated with you, or vice versa?

    2. State control of the electricity industry and prices didn’t work out too well in Venezuela. Why do you think you can implement a Chavez-style policy without making a complete mess of your economy?

    3. Why do you creep out so many voters? What about your caucus?

    4. NZ’s economy is booming. One of the best in the world. So why do you go around moaning about things, telling lies, and spreading gloom? Is the lying just compulsive by now?

    5. I live in Boris Johnson’s city. You live in Len Brown’s city. How did you get stuck with such a weird little man?

    6. Hang on, you’re saying that Brown is a LABOUR Party mayor? What were you thinking?

    7. Could you please stop squeezing Joffrey. He is turning blue.

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  15. Peter (1,699 comments) says:

    The “War Room” metaphor is all wrong.

    The public don’t want a war. They want political solutions to *their* problems. Yet another example of Labour’s wrong thinking, borne from a lack of empathy.

    It’s like John Key is the popular, affable head prefect and Cunliffe is the officious hall monitor. He thinks he runs the school. He sees the head prefect as the enemy who he will valiantly bring down. But because the hall monitor lacks popularity, he just looks like a tool for attacking someone most people like. The hall monitor can’t see it, partly due to his own ego, and partly due to being surrounded by people who weren’t good enough to be hall monitors.

    Otherwise known as The Standard regulars.

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  16. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Cunliffe comes from a line of conscientious objectors and draft dodgers . . . he has the guts of a whitebait, not even being worthy of leading a pathetic party of fairies, rainbows, and envious leeches.

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  17. chris (644 comments) says:

    So according to Cunliffe, when someone from the royal family decides to come visit*, if it happens to be an election year we’re supposed to tell them to fuck off and don’t come? Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.

    (* Remember, they chose to come visit, JK didn’t invite them.)

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  18. holysheet (363 comments) says:

    Silent T
    “Wah wah wah wah, blub blub blub boohooboohoo

    I wanna play with gorgyboy

    Wah wah wah wah, blub blub blub boohooboohoo

    Ill tell my mummy on you
    Wah wah wah wah, blub blub blub boohooboohoo”

    Mummy silentT

    “Now now cunners, I know I promised you everything. but life can be so cruel. For gods sake grow a pair and shut the fuck up”

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  19. backster (2,152 comments) says:

    Cunliffe and his party are desperately trying to put a damper on the wave of positivity sweeping the country in the wake of the visit by the Royal Heir Apparents. Prince William seems a well balanced young man with plenty of commonsense and it is for that reason the Cunliffe intends to sound him out on economic policy, he being well aware that his colleagues have little understanding of such matters.

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  20. Mrs Trellis (34 comments) says:

    Cuntliffe on TV1 last night was the saddest thing I’ve seen since Shearer’s fish :)

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  21. lolitasbrother (669 comments) says:

    Its quite amazing how young royals attract people.
    My Thai wife said to me
    ” please to me organise you life now husband, next week , so I can see English Royals and baby”.
    in Christchurch. “Your new King look good she said., also Queen lovely ”

    I said OK wife., I drop you off at the meeting place,I quite like Royalty myself,
    but it will be a bastard getting into Madras street.

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  22. lazza (381 comments) says:

    Give him George’s Buzzy Bee … to go suck on

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  23. lazza (381 comments) says:

    Your Thai is lousy …

    ” please to me organise (orgallizze)

    you life now husband (husbun) ,

    next week (leek) ,

    so I can see English (Linglish) Royals (Loyals)

    at Christchurch (KlistChurch) .

    “Your new King (Cling) look (velly) good she said (sled)

    … also Queen lovely ” (Kleen Lully).

    Soooo … “Glett a Glipp”

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  24. minus (178 comments) says:

    Pointed out on General Debate this morning, but obviously more pertinent to be mentioned here–

    Cunliffe complains about his exposure with the Royals
    So Television ONE screens extra footage of Prime Minister John Key having a marvelous “family” time with William, both cooking meat on a barbeque, beautiful shots, during a previous visit, and John playing golf with Obama thrown in too – footage we would not have been reminded of, nor seen again, without Cunliffe’s complaint.

    To be involved with the Royals 4 times compared to Key’s 6 times is rather high compared to Cunliffe’s popularity rating of 9% to John Key’s 50%, but then, by spurring ONE to rescreen old footage, Cunliffe has raised John’s 6 appearances this tour, to already 7.

    Cunliffe whines for more coverage, John Key gets it.
    Karma.

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  25. dime (9,856 comments) says:

    I thought kermit and miss piggy were the leader of the opposition?

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  26. Sofia (856 comments) says:

    No, Dime, that’s the Greens

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  27. Nukuleka (307 comments) says:

    Republicans like DPF may well find the Royal Tour and royalty ‘a bore’ but when compared with the celebrity hoopla surrounding the US ‘royalty’ of Presidents and First Ladies- or the shenanigans of France’s Presidents – we are well off indeed. Republicans continue to be in denial that replacing the monarchy with a republic will change nothing in terms of costs to the NZ taxpayer republic would end up costing us a great deal more than the monarchy does at present- and for what advantage? Having Helen as our ‘head of state’? God forbid.

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  28. Fentex (937 comments) says:

    I suspect Cunliffe thinks younger, less likely to vote but more likely to be republican, New Zealanders might be encouraged to vote, hopefully for Labour as opponents to royal privilege and favour if he creates such an impression.

    But that’s rather hard to do without being impolite and he doesn’t seem to have the wit or elegance to pull it off.

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  29. bringbackdemocracy (425 comments) says:

    The Labour caucus don’t even like spending time with Mr 9%, why would the Royals.

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  30. Komata (1,178 comments) says:

    Nukuleka

    Re: ‘Having Helen as our ‘head of state’? God forbid’.

    Hopefully He will – the evil witch’s UN tenure has got to end at some time, and she’ll be looking for a job…

    What better role for her?

    Scary thought isn’t it?

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  31. RRM (9,834 comments) says:

    William has flown a bunch of search and rescue missions, and his brother did a combat tour as infantry in Afghanistan.

    I am sure HRH will listen very intently to how unfair life in nz is for those who don’t work and get paid anyway!

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  32. J Mex (187 comments) says:

    Madness from Labour.

    Not getting as many photo Op’s with the Royals = 0 points (to Key’s +10)

    Whining about not getting as many photo Op’s with the Royals = -10 points (to Key’s +10)

    Labour seem to be under the misapprehension that National need to give away their “home court advantage” in election year and that somehow the business of government need to stop.

    Cunliffe just comes off as petty and a bit of a sad sack.

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  33. OneTrack (3,023 comments) says:

    “What sort of genius strategist says “Oh nooooooo!! You’re not getting enough photo ops with some dim-but-pleasant figureheads!”

    Clint?

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  34. OneTrack (3,023 comments) says:

    “I suspect Cunliffe thinks younger, less likely to vote but more likely to be republican, New Zealanders might be encouraged to vote, hopefully for Labour as opponents to royal privilege ”

    So why is he chasing around after the royal couple looking for a photo shoot?

    He is just pathetic. And it keeps getting worse.

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  35. OneTrack (3,023 comments) says:

    dime – “I thought kermit and miss piggy were the leader of the opposition?”

    They are. Whatever Labour is at the moment, it isn’t the “Opposition”.

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  36. burt (8,238 comments) says:

    The best we can hope for is Prince William telling ‘silent T’ that his belief in socialism is admirable but then asking him if he’s ever noticed that a socialist government always runs out of other peoples money !

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  37. Komata (1,178 comments) says:

    Does anyone else find it strange that the leader of a party that is fundamentally dedicated to the destruction of the monarchy, is scuttling around the country trying desperately to ‘cosy-up’ to the representatives of everything he and the party hates, loathes and despises?

    Very, very strange.

    I wonder what Mr. Cunnliffe’s ‘anti-royalist’ side would do if he was ever offered a knighthood? (Scary thought BTW).

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  38. doggone7 (777 comments) says:

    We’ve got the Royals here to concentrate on, to focus on, to pay attention to, to be besotted by. God knows why Cunliffe is focussing on them.
    His priorities are obviously confused, wanting to be criticised for focussing on them instead of for ignoring them and being accused of being disrespectful, out of step, contemptuous and traitorous. Arrogant man, distracting us to talk about him instead of leaving us to discuss who made the dress, whether it’ll be worn twice, an eighty three year old from Liverpool who spoke to the Queen Mother in 1954 and whether the baby poos like other babies.

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  39. goldnkiwi (1,280 comments) says:

    Someone should focus on women (especially royals) being expected to balance on lawn in heels for long periods of time. A thoughtfully placed stepping stone/s would be greatly appreciated I am sure!!!

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  40. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (876 comments) says:

    What about Norman meeting the royals?

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  41. smttc (741 comments) says:

    Just posted on Jadis’s post but probably more pertinent here:

    Too funny. Mike Hosking on Seven Sharp just gave Cunliffe his lines for when he actually does get to meet the Duke and Duchess instead of the crap he said he was going to raise.. Fuckin funny. Toni Street looked like she was peeing in her panties with laughter.

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  42. doggone7 (777 comments) says:

    “Mike Hosking on Seven Sharp just gave Cunliffe his lines…”

    That’s got to be a win win!

    Cunliffe will be happy that God told him what to say. Hoskings will simply be happy that he is God.

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  43. smttc (741 comments) says:

    doggone7, you may be a Cunliffe apologist. But it was fuckin funny and over 500,000 people saw it. So suck it up.

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  44. doggone7 (777 comments) says:

    I’m sure being an obsequious crawling, devotee of John Key is much more rewarding than being a Cunliffe apologist and that’s one reason I shun the latter role and leave the former to people like Hosking. Being a keen commentator on the commentators is much more fun. The responses and reactions to be had when a mirror is held up make the effort worthwhile.

    What I cannot understand is that an ineffective political leader of a minor party with little or no chance of electoral success, has media heavyweights (chuckle, chuckle) like Hosking and the doyens of NZ political blog sites, David Farrar and Cameron Slater, relentlessly campaigning, lampooning and impugning him as if he is some sort of threat. Is it paranoia, panic, some sort of hysteria or simply their version of peeing on a lamppost?

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  45. OneTrack (3,023 comments) says:

    doggone7 – it’s more like watching a train wreck. It’s hard to look away.

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  46. smttc (741 comments) says:

    doggone7, let me give you a clue. Because he is a media attention seeking whore who will do anything for attention politically including resorting to hyperbole, lying and gross exaggeration to make some stupid or fuckin’ irrelevant point. The man invites, no begs, mockery.

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  47. doggone7 (777 comments) says:

    “Because he is a media attention seeking whore who will do anything for attention politically including resorting to hyperbole, lying and gross exaggeration to make some stupid or fuckin’ irrelevant point. The man invites, no begs, mockery.”

    Fancy talking about Mike, our man at Seven like that!

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  48. smttc (741 comments) says:

    doggone7, it was your question/your post inviting comment about Cunliffe. Had nothing to do with Hosking. Nobody cares whether Hosking is also a media attention seeking whore – it comes with the territory. So you hit nothing – scored nothing with the shot at Hosking.

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  49. Paulus (2,607 comments) says:

    Where is the Prince meeting with all the other Opposition Leaders ?
    Cunliffe surely is only one of many.

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  50. Mark (1,480 comments) says:

    Delicious dilemma for Cunliffe and great politics from Key. Royal tours in election year possibly a bit marginal but Cunliffee gets sucked in to whinging and looks like a precious twat (well more of a precious twat than he already looks). Nice move by Key, wins with the tour and wins with Cunliffe being a dick.

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