Dom Post on Cunliffe

June 20th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post editorial:

itched to be Labour Party leader for years. After losing power in 2008, the party lumbered along under two failing leaders. He barely hid his ambitions to replace them.

Now, 10 months into his tenure, he should take a moment to enjoy the role. Barring a miraculous campaign performance, he’ll be finished soon.

Ouch.

The heart of the problem is Cunliffe’s judgment and temperament, which have been found lacking yet again. Under direct questions on a specific matter, about a public figure involved in repeated scandals, the Labour leader got it completely, insistently wrong.

He followed up the blunder by issuing veiled threats at caucus colleagues considering disloyalty – all but calling them “scabs”.

That was a huge mistake. It was obviously the pressure getting to him. But the pressure of being opposition leader is nothing compared to the pressure of being Prime Minister.

If Cunliffe was ahead in the polls, or if this was an isolated misstep, he could shrug it off quickly. But his support is so low, and his gaffes so familiar, the impression will linger longer than the incident itself: that he is not up to running the country.

From his secret trust for donations to his leadership bid, to his laughable description of his $2.5 million Herne Bay home as a “doer-upper”, Cunliffe has repeatedly made a fool of himself in awkward, revealing ways.

Combine those mistakes with a haughty, serious style, a tendency to preach instead of persuade, a fondness for vague rallying cries (with liberal talk of “Kiwis”) instead of insights that speak to people’s concerns, and Cunliffe’s predicament is not surprising.

Despite all that MMP means Labour could get to form a Government despite winning say only 25% of the vote. The election will always be close.

Yet the way things stand, it isn’t making a case for anything much. Cunliffe’s leadership is a big part of that. If he can’t urgently change something – and so far there’s little to suggest that he can – then he should get ready for the inevitable end.

92 days to go.

Also today is the start of the regulated period where the parliamentary budgets can no longer be spent on most advertising, and any spending by parties must fall under the spending caps.

Tags: , ,

39 Responses to “Dom Post on Cunliffe”

  1. burt (7,424 comments) says:

    Also today is the start of the regulated period where the parliamentary budgets can no longer be spent on most advertising, and any spending by parties must fall under the spending caps.

    Are you suggesting Labour will stay within the rules ?

    Vote: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. virtualmark (1,305 comments) says:

    Also today is the start of the regulated period where the parliamentary budgets can no longer be spent on most advertising, and any spending by parties must fall under the spending caps.

    And combined with that:

    (a) Labour are short on funds to run an election campaign with, and
    (b) the Police have surely been stung by the John Banks case and should be expected to prosecute any breaches of electoral law in this campaign.

    I suspect this isn’t going to end well for Labour.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. lastmanstanding (1,310 comments) says:

    Seems to me Mr Liu is doing what all good Chinese folk do when they are not given what they have paid for. A bit like Kim Dotcom did to John Banks.
    Fact is having dealt with these people for many years you need to understand their culture. What we see as bribery and corruption they see as merely oiling the wheels. No big deal.
    However they have no concept of a signed contract as we in the West do. You can sign a contract one day and the next find that deal has been ripped up and a new deal in place especially if they have the upper hand.
    Similarly if you accept a gift or in these cases donations to your cause and you cant or don’t deliver as they see fit they will round on you and do all they can to bring you down.
    John Banks now knows this.
    David Cunliffe is in the painfully process of finding this out.
    That’s how it is. Its all about the cultural difference.
    For what its worth I have a number of good Chinese friends and business colleagues and all find us a bit odd that we get so worked up by talk of bribery corruption. They just smile and shake their heads Funny Westerners they say.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Brian Smaller (3,965 comments) says:

    Also today is the start of the regulated period where the parliamentary budgets can no longer be spent on most advertising, and any spending by parties must fall under the spending caps.

    Watch Labour and the Greens skirting or ignoring the rules. Remember – it is not illegal when the left does it.

    Vote: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. kowtow (8,932 comments) says:

    “Scabs”
    True to form under pressure.

    “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

    WSC.

    Vote: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. ross001 (233 comments) says:

    Now that Michael Woodhouse has lied about his involvement in the smear, I guess it’s only a matter of time before the “right honourable” minister resigns.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 25 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Nigel Kearney (1,095 comments) says:

    Sadly for Labour, they actually don’t have anyone better.

    In the seventies they just kept Rowling in the job through three election losses until they found someone they could win with. I think that’s a better strategy than continually replacing one hopeless leader with the next. But the ‘placeholder’ does have to be someone who doesn’t routinely make a complete dick of themselves, so probably Goff is best for that role.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Rich Prick (1,750 comments) says:

    “Scabs”. They really do eat their own when cornered.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Paulus (2,707 comments) says:

    rossoo1

    What smear – is it the truth that hurts. As the Immigration Minister Woodhouse asked for the Departmental file on Liu in view of the innuendoes from Labour, and found a cherry in the file. Where is the smear ?

    Wait for the financial revelations to come then wet yourself.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. burt (7,424 comments) says:

    ross001

    Only a socialist would be crowing about others resigning for the same reasons as their team refuse to.

    Popular. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    The latest I’ve heard is that this was all Key’s fault. It was a major sting operation involving the counterfeiting of cunners’ letter and placement of the bogus copies on Immigration and cunners’ files by SIS operatives in the dead of night. So incompetent is the government that the SIS operatives mis-filed it under “Lui”.

    Vote: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. burt (7,424 comments) says:

    thedavincimode

    National have access that Labour don’t via OIA requests. Those things need to have letters written and Cunliffe can sign them but neither read nor write them.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. coventry (322 comments) says:

    Can anyone answer any of the following questions.

    a) Why did Liu (or his agent) approach the New Lynn electorate office when he lives no where near there ?
    b) Why does Cunliffe refer to him as a constituent, when he clearly can’t vote (as non-resident) and he doesn’t live and has never lived within DC’s electorate boundaries ?
    c) How did the Electorate office converse with Liu, if his English is non-existent ?
    d) How hard is it to search within multiple MS Word documents for a simple 3 letter name ?

    Vote: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Longknives (4,951 comments) says:

    Surely if Cunliffe puts on a ‘Fresh’ accent and talks about “Rich Pricks cutting our Benefits” he will win over the people and talk his way out of this??

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Manolo (14,164 comments) says:

    Oh, dear. The situation must be really dire for such a left-wing rag to turn on Silent T.

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. burt (7,424 comments) says:

    coventry

    Can anyone answer any of the following questions.

    It’s different when Labour do it – Move on.

    That’s the answer you should expect.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. flipper (4,327 comments) says:

    ross001 (76 comments) says:

    June 20th, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Now that Michael Woodhouse has lied about his involvement in the smear

    *****

    Don’t you remember Fat Tony Williams and the H1/H2 attempt to neutron bomb J Key, rossie troll?

    So while Labour’s “smear” of Williamson, Collins and Banks is perfectly fair and acceptable, “national’s” smear of Cuntyliffe is unacceptable, dirty pool. Crap.

    If the truth be known, National let matters run, Collins bit her tongue (as did others), in the hope that Labour would dig their own grave. They did.

    Yes, Labour/Cuntliffe/wussycats all dug their own cess pit,. They will now drown in it.

    Good bye….. until you, rossie, and Cuntliffe attempt to explain the $300,000 rumours.

    Vote: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. burt (7,424 comments) says:

    flipper

    until you, rossie, and Cuntliffe attempt to explain the $300,000 rumours.

    Lets get a few of the likely soundbites out in the open.

    It’s different when Labour do it.
    It’s the way we have always done it.
    The rules were confusing.
    Others did it too.
    It’s not fair to just punish us.
    It was courageous corruption.

    What’s left … Oh that’s right – We’re Labour and the ends justifies the means.

    Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. flipper (4,327 comments) says:

    Burt….

    Yep.. won’t it be fun to watch :-)

    But a question that TV news producers must now be asking is “How are we going to help Cunners escape from this cess pity?”

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. burt (7,424 comments) says:

    ross001

    Come back, tell us more about how it’s different when Labour do it and Cunliffe is just a little misunderstood ?

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Mark (1,502 comments) says:

    Cunliffe has the dual problem of simply not being a likable personality and now being perceived as an untrustworthy one. The first being a hurdle to being prime minister, but not in itself insurmountable ( we have had a few unlikable characters as Prime Ministers int he past) but Cunliffe has struggled because the average punter does not trust him. This latest fiasco has nailed that door shut and Cunliffe is left with nowhere to go but to be unceremoniously dumped after what is going to be a shellacking in the upcoming general election.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. tvb (4,553 comments) says:

    Cunliffe stared at the camera and did his sincerity act saying he did not help Mr Liu. So when he sincerely says something is not correct can anyone believe him. He has done the sincere act a bit too often for it to be credible now. That makes it very difficult for him to be a credible PM.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Rich Prick (1,750 comments) says:

    tvb, yes the “now listen to me” sincerity look grates with me too. I think now, any words that accompany it can be safely regarded as utter bullshit.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. greenjacket (486 comments) says:

    Ross001: So some basic political research is done under the Official Information Act (research that Labour was to f*cking inept to do itself). And this uncovers that Cunliffe had also advocated for Liu. How is that a “smear”?
    Face it – the incompetence of the Labour Party in failing to do the research before they attacked Collins and Williamson has resulted in Cunliffe shooting himself in the foot.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. mara (769 comments) says:

    Silent T simply lacks situational awareness. He really just doesn’t get it. He is embarrassing.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. David Garrett (7,698 comments) says:

    Coventry: I think Cunliffe is still saying he never met Liu, and the contact was through an Immigration consultant…and that is quite believable… as is the claim that he has forgotten the incident…

    The howling great problem he has lies in launching his attack on Williamson from his Crystal Palace in Herne Bay…

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. wreck1080 (3,999 comments) says:

    One thing amuses me — Labour went out of their way to smear Don Brash back in the day.

    And, the whole thing about the brethren was absolute bollocks.

    So, now to see some karma is nice.

    I suspect Cunliffe is probably just guilty of being a total dick , but the series of blunders adds up to the word incompetent.

    One thing though, politicians should not be allowed to advocate for new immigrants like they have been doing.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. smttc (767 comments) says:

    Gee Mr Editor, don’t hold back. Tell us what you are really thinking.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. David Garrett (7,698 comments) says:

    Anyone been over to the Stranded? It’s literally unbelievable…even for them…”As National’s smear campaign unravels” says one…”Overshadowed by this week’s smears” says another…Its as if they literally have blinkers on and can’t see their own – Bradbury FFS – eating them!! About the only leftie media “personality” who HASN’T weighed in stropping Cunliffe is Campbell…

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Ross12 (1,484 comments) says:

    I thought the NZ Herald got the letter from a OIA. Separately Key asked Woodhouse to get the department look through the files on the issue. ( Maybe the same work was done for both requests to get the information but the Herald had its own OIA request)

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    DPF: Ouch.

    Agree, that’s a real “apply cream to burned area” moment right there! :lol:

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. David Garrett (7,698 comments) says:

    Ross12: Ah no! What happened was the Immigration Service apparently leaked the info that Cunliffe had written in support of Liu to the Nats…they then informed their “pet” journos of the existence of the letter so said journos could in turn OIA the right document…That, I think, is how the conspiracy is supposed to have worked… as the saying goes, you couldn’t make this up.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. stephieboy (3,513 comments) says:

    Is this yet a new twist as the plot gets thicker,. ?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11278299

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. David Garrett (7,698 comments) says:

    Stephie:…Yes…I think it’s safe to say that everything and everyone around Mr Donghua Liu smells like week old fish..

    I would support any other letters being released, and also a thorough enquiry into every Chinese “businessman” granted entry here because they have a lot of smash…Does anyone know if the whore mongering Chow Brothers got in on that category??

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. stephieboy (3,513 comments) says:

    D G, like here.? ,

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/30/us-china-bribery-idUSBRE83T01U20120430

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. David Garrett (7,698 comments) says:

    Stephie: Yes…it must be damn difficult doing business in a culture which just doesn’t see corruption the same way we do…It’s a little bit like trying to explain to Tongans that they can’t use aid money to employ their cousin who happens to own some earth moving machinery, or another cousin who is an accountant… or their brother who owns a construction company…they genuinely don’t get it…Family – nuclear and extended – is everything, so of course you benefit them whenever and however you can…When you try and explain why nepotism is wrong they think there is something wrong with you…or you don’t love your family!!

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Ross12 (1,484 comments) says:

    So DG it goes like this :

    1. Cunliffe and Labour have a go at Williamson over connections with Liu
    2. Key asks Woodhouse to get Dept. to look at files on Lui in regards Williamson contact and finds Cunliffe letter
    3. Cunliffe keeps going at Williamson
    4. Williamson resigns from Cabinet.
    5. NZ Herald does OIA ( maybe after a tip off) and gets letter
    6. It hits the fan for Cunliffe —karma arrives
    7. Cunliiffe thinks he is a victim after being played at his own game
    8. Cunliffe still cannot see that he has been smashed and tries to dig hole deeper by asking Key” to put up or shut up” ( Cunliffe still does not realise Key is the best prepared politician around)
    ….
    ….
    Cunliffe continues to prove to the voters he is an idiot with no political ” street smarts”

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. Rich Prick (1,750 comments) says:

    Actually Ross, it goes like this:

    1. Cunliffe is a c#*t.
    2. See 1, above.

    So much easier.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. ross411 (902 comments) says:

    Ross12 (1,082 comments) says:
    June 20th, 2014 at 7:10 pm
    8. Cunliffe still cannot see that he has been smashed and tries to dig hole deeper by asking Key” to put up or shut up” ( Cunliffe still does not realise Key is the best prepared politician around)

    I thought that calling Key out came across rather well. Not that I am a Cunliffe-sympathiser. Personally, I think he looks like that bear on the old show Rainbow. I call him Bungle, which is what I believe the bear was called.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote