Caucus anger at Cunliffe

July 20th, 2014 at 9:51 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Labour MPS are disgusted by leader ’s skiing holiday just two months before the election and will question his work ethic at a caucus meeting on Tuesday, a senior party insider has told the Sunday Star-Times.

As Labour hit a new polling low of just 23.5 per cent in the latest Stuff/Ipsos poll and data suggested those numbers would climb quickly if its leader quit, Cunliffe took a week’s leave to go skiing in Queenstown. That decision has infuriated a significant number of Labour MPs, the insider claimed.

I think Labour MPs need to think more carefully about this. According to the Fairfax/Ipsos poll Labour will do better if Cunliffe remains on holiday and is not out campaigning for them!

Labour MPS are disgusted by leader David Cunliffe’s skiing holiday just two months before the election and will question his work ethic at a caucus meeting on Tuesday, a senior party insider has told the Sunday Star-Times.

As Labour hit a new polling low of just 23.5 per cent in the latest Stuff/Ipsos poll and data suggested those numbers would climb quickly if its leader quit, Cunliffe took a week’s leave to go skiing in Queenstown. That decision has infuriated a significant number of Labour MPs, the insider claimed.

To be fair it is important to have your leader recharged and in full fitness, ready for what will be a gruelling campaign.

“We will be having a talk to David at caucus about his work ethic on Tuesday. We’ll be letting him know he’s got two months to turn this around, and we’re backing him and right behind him but he’s got to lift his game.”

The insider believed up to 20 of the 33 Labour MPs were deeply unhappy with Cunliffe’s leadership, but had accepted that an attempt to dump him this late in the term would backfire.

Those numbers sound right to me, and the key word is deeply. This is not a small level of concern.

Instead, he said some, especially those whose places in Parliament were now at risk because they would not be returned on the Labour list on present numbers, would run increasingly individual campaigns focused solely on regaining their seats. Clayton Cosgrove, eighth on the list, and Kelvin Davis, 18th, were deviating from party line, as seen by Davis’ public backing – against party policy – of the Puhoi-Wellsford SH1 “holiday highway” upgrade.

“Clayton knows at 23.5 per cent he’s not back on the list, so if he doesn’t win his seat, it’s the end of his career. And he also knows his career is very closely tied to the political capital of David Cunliffe.”

The insider believed Cunliffe’s decision to go on holiday showed he didn’t have the qualities to become prime minister.

Would be interesting to know who the insider is. My guess is it is an MP. Insider is a term commonly used to describe MPs. However to be fair it has been used for me in the past.

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34 Responses to “Caucus anger at Cunliffe”

  1. Manolo (13,837 comments) says:

    Another proof that Silent T is not leadership material.

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  2. duggledog (1,559 comments) says:

    Maybe the caucus and the entire Labour movement need to look at themselves first and see if there’s any blame to be found there.
    Unlikely as these people are already blinkered

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  3. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    If it quacks like a duck……

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  4. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    The party is run by homosexuals, lesbians, leeches, and genderqueers . . . I hope they sink in the gutter where they are long overdue.

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  5. BeaB (2,125 comments) says:

    He will be saved of course by the cissies surrounding him, all good at whispering behind his back but none of them with the guts to take over the leadership.
    If these people were leaders they would be doing something else. You have to ber a special kind of wally to want to spend your life playing silly games in parliament and thinking it makes you important.
    Robertson is too soft. Can you imagine him having any credibility at all with any of us? And he’s a proven liar too.
    I could just about imagine King and Mallard in charge but sadly they are both has-beens and even poor old Trev looks a bit crazed these days with his obsession with moas and banning lipstick.
    How is it that we lavishly fund these guys’ useless lifestyles for so long and they never step up and answer the call? They should be shoving each other out of theway to topple Cunliffe.

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  6. Yvette (2,824 comments) says:

    The insider believed up to 20 of the 33 Labour MPs were deeply unhappy with Cunliffe’s leadership, but had accepted that an attempt to dump him this late in the term would backfire.

    It’s hard to be Leader and say all your caucus is behind you, when so many are obviously coming down on top of you.

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  7. tvb (4,430 comments) says:

    Cunliffe should come out swinging. Demand to know who it is and then label him or her a scab and expel the MP from the party. That should take care of this week. Meanwhile sept 20th is looming large. But there is plenty of time yet. But the election is this year not 2015.

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  8. Bob (497 comments) says:

    With a gruelling campaign coming up it seems to me a short relax would be in order. Isn’t Key on holiday? I am hardly a supporter of Cunliffe but you have to be fair.

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  9. FeralScrote (220 comments) says:

    Cunliffe is doing just fine exactly where he is,David for Labour leader for life… keep up the good work David every National supporter is behind you.

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  10. stigie (1,220 comments) says:

    Would they lose anymore support if they all went skiing ? Just askin !~

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  11. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    @ Bob, there is a tremendous difference between Key being on holiday sitting on 50%+ territory and every major poll showing Nats being able to govern alone – Cunliffe and Labour are fighting for political relevance and after Labour Conference should be all hands to the wheel to attempt to salvage some dignity (and list seats).

    Going on holiday when well behind this close to an election smells of “giving up” – unerstandable that the caucus is livid about it as while Cunliffe’s days are numbered (and he knows it) but others still trying to hold on to their political careers.

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  12. big bruv (13,930 comments) says:

    “According to the Fairfax/Ipsos poll Labour will do better if Cunliffe remains on holiday and is not out campaigning for them!”

    I think you do these people a disservice DPF. They are as cunning as a shit house rat, this is a long game they are playing. The ABC club (who should all be knighted for services to the community) know full well that the election is all but lost, they are well aware that the public see Cuntliffe as lazy, a liar, and a charlatan.

    What the ABC club want is for Cuntliffe’s loss to be total, they want him front and centre so that the oncoming massacre is Cuntliffe’s and Cuntliffes alone. They want the man humiliated (to be fair Cuntliffe does a pretty good job of that without any help) they want him dead and buried so that after the election when the Labour party faces its mandatory vote for the leader Cuntliffe has no chance at all of remaining leader.

    Of course the great news for those of us on the right is that the man they are lining up to replace Cuntliffe is even more unelectable. :)

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  13. C W McCall (1 comment) says:

    It is from a sole, unnamed source, that story, which smacks a bit of either a beat up or just someone who had to throw a story together fairly quickly on deadline. Or both, I guess.

    But it has something of a ring of truth about it.

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  14. Lindsay Addie (1,529 comments) says:

    “The insider believed Cunliffe’s decision to go on holiday showed he didn’t have the qualities to become prime minister”.

    That has to be the outright winner of the idiotic comment of the week award in NZ politics.

    I wouldn’t vote for DC no matter what but I do think he’s actually trying too hard. Labour’s problems go far beyond the current leader. The whole caucus has hardly covered themselves in glory since the last election. Also I don’t have hard facts to prove it but I would surmise that the party infrastructure is in serious need of reform. They should start with their relationship with the unions and the influence they have on the party.

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  15. JC (958 comments) says:

    I’d lay a bet that both Key and Cunliffe studied Obama’s success in electioneering.. and Key saw the things that swayed independents and waverers towards the Dems and Cunny saw the Greek columns and catchy phrases guaranteed to piss off NZ voters.

    JC

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  16. flipper (4,084 comments) says:

    Bob …

    There is nothing fair in war, or politics.

    But …..
    A close look at the respective Labour and National campaign organisations will disclose why it is appropriate for J Key to take a pre race break (tapering for the finishing burst!), and why CminusT should be going hell for leather, with a full training load, to beat up National and J Key.

    National’s is a “professional” operation, well organised by professionals and talented volunteers, and financed by 70,000 plus members (and still more supporters)individuals and corporate donors, while Labour relies on unions and two or three thousand “activists”.

    Labour’s professional politician class and the union thugs have the most to lose on September 20. All they can now do is to minimise the damage.

    Whatever way it is spun, CminusT should have been slicing at J Key for the past 10 days instead of rolling snow balls in Queenstown (flying there on the tax payer teat?), because as even he must know, he now does not even have a snowball’s chance in hell.

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  17. Paw Prick (43 comments) says:

    The fact that there is still a chance that these guys on the left bloc can still form a government is ridiculous!
    If they do and the pm of NZ ends up being a guy that 9% of the people and very few even in his own party support would hopefully lead to a backlash against and subsequent ditching of mmp

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  18. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    I have heard a few negative assessments of Qtown flipper but never “Hell”.
    He is covering two marginals Waitaki and Clutha Southland, from the border country and Clutha S must be up for grabs with English retiring.

    What a great job Mr c is doing eh bro.

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  19. backster (2,174 comments) says:

    I think the ‘Insider’ is probably Grant Robertson. He probably suggested the holiday to Cunliffe and it is noticeable that he has stepped in to fill the vacuum on all the media questions whereas the elected Deputy wears a cloak of invisibility. Perhaps Parker also is sorry for being a man whereas Robertson is entirely comfortable with what he is.

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  20. flipper (4,084 comments) says:

    Heh grave…..

    I bow to your superior understanding of the idiosyncrasies of South Island politics :-)

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  21. Fentex (986 comments) says:

    he insider believed Cunliffe’s decision to go on holiday showed he didn’t have the qualities to become prime minister.

    What a load of bollocks. The only thing this non-story shows is how badly riven Labour is and how much fun their opponents can have dwelling in making meat of the most trivial things.

    The only thing that provides a hook to hang a claim of bad leadership on this story is that people are unhappy with Cunliffe, in other circumstances it would be a story about how the Labour leader calmly took a rest to prepare for the rigours of the campaign. That’s sort of how it would be written in Key took a holiday now – only as things now stand that story would be accompanied by jokes at Cunliffes expense for how relaxed Key can afford to be.

    It’s a self reinforcing meme rolling down a hill now, Cunliffes made enough miss-steps that anything he does now can be fitted to the narrative of his incompetence.

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  22. peterwn (3,277 comments) says:

    John Key would have sought consensus from his caucus re going away, in David Cunliffe’s case he probably just announced he was having the week off. Much of the alleged concern would be related to his performance so far. If he was in a good position no one would have said ‘boo’ to his going away.

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  23. Chuck Bird (4,897 comments) says:

    I heard on Q + A that some unhappy Labour member has an anti-Cunliffe video on YouTube. Does anyone have a link?

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  24. SPC (5,643 comments) says:

    We will be having a talk to David at caucus about his work ethic on Tuesday … that sort of implies that this is an MP and that they and at least one other want to pitch in grievance mode before a supposedly “appreciative 20″ in the caucus.

    If it’s either Little or Robertson, my guess is that they will have lost any chance to lead the Labour Party and will most likely be retiring in 2017.

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  25. SPC (5,643 comments) says:

    A real workers party would not resent their leader having time with family at weekends or a holiday.

    It’s what the party was for.

    It’s also a sort of glass ceiling where only a woman without children can aspire to leadership. And men are expected to be absent fathers and hand over the parent role to their wife.

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  26. Couchpotatoe (35 comments) says:

    At least Cunners spends his holidays here in Nil Zilund.

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  27. thedavincimode (6,800 comments) says:

    Couchpotatoe

    At least Cunners spends his holidays spent a holiday here in Nil Zilund.

    There ya go!

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  28. thedavincimode (6,800 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird

    No need for them to bother. cunners has already done his own anti-cunners videos –

    here

    here

    and here

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  29. Pete George (23,601 comments) says:

    Stuff have made a correction on their online article, it was a three day holiday, not a week. That’s quite a significant difference.

    A previous version of this article mistakenly reported Labour’s most recent polling at 23.5 per cent. It also incorrectly said Cunliffe had taken the week off when he was away for three days.

    And they have updated the article.

    The three-day break was a well needed rest as the gruelling election campaign begins in earnest, his camp said.

    “For the record, David Cunliffe spent three days, Monday to Wednesday, with his family skiing. He was back at work on Thursday doing regional visits and meetings with Labour Candidate Liz Craig in Queenstown, and then travelled to Timaru for a day of media… on Friday. So he was working,” Simon Cunliffe said.

    So they ran the story based on an ill-informed and/or ill-intended “insider”.

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  30. Couchpotatoe (35 comments) says:

    How was Honalulu Shonkey?

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  31. pejhay (29 comments) says:

    In an update, SilentT’s Media Director says Cunliffe ‘works as hard as anyone in politics’. Thanks Cuz !!!

    Herald Nov 18, 2013: “David Cunliffe has appointed journalist Simon Cunliffe as his chief press secretary and media director.

    The pair are first cousins – their fathers were brothers.”

    So Simon’s grandfather didn’t win a Military Medal for Valour either.

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  32. Duxton (654 comments) says:

    Potatoe @ 2.44pm: At least Cunners spends his holidays here in Nil Zilund.

    Like, who. Helen Klark, with her Norwegian ‘friend’ in Sth America?

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  33. Duxton (654 comments) says:

    I know Simon Cunliffe, very well. He’s a lying scumbag, like……well, another Cunliffe…..

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  34. lolitasbrother (702 comments) says:

    hope he doesn’t fall over in the snow, we need him back to lead Labour to the most ignominious defeat ever

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