US Consul-General on Cunliffe

July 9th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

An interesting cable on Wikileaks from the then US Consul-General in Auckland after he met with . Some extracts:

Summary. Up-and-coming Labour Party Minister David Cunliffe is confident about his party’s reelection chances despite poor recent poll numbers.

That was in June 2007.

Pointing out that elections are as far as 18 months away, Cunliffe said Labour had plenty of time to make up the lost ground and would do so.

They’re saying the same thing now, and only 77 days to go.

Cunliffe said there was last year debate within Labour regarding how to respond to the then-National Party leader, the intellectually respected but politically awkward Don Brash. Many in the Labour caucus, Cunliffe said, believed that Brash’s clumsiness was a gift to Labour, and that Labour should do all it could to ensure Brash remained leader of the opposition. Most Labour MPs, however, argued that Key would certainly unseat Brash before the next election. If it was inevitable that Key rather than Brash would lead National into the next election, the argument went, it was in Labour’s interest to have Key in the opposition leader’s seat as soon as possible so that the friction of politics could rub away some of his glow. Better to run against Key when he’s been opposition leader for 18 months rather than only 4-6 months. Therefore Labour kept the heat on Brash, doing whatever they could to speed his downfall.

That strategy worked well!

While emphasizing that New Zealand Muslims are loyal to their adopted country and inclined to leave the conflicts of their homelands behind them, Cunliffe expressed some concern that more radical imams are trying to enter the country and stir up trouble. Asked what tools he had to exclude those who have committed no crimes but still might be considered a threat, Cunliffe turned coy. “Some people simply find their visas don’t get renewed,” he said.

Excellent judgement.

Cunliffe is a former diplomat and is widely touted as one of Labour’s future leaders.

That was right.

Asked why he left the diplomatic service, he said he was more tempermentally suited to politics than to diplomacy. Another reason he cited for leaving was so that his spouse, whom he described as the family’s breadwinner, could return to her law practice. Cunliffe, who spent six years studying and working in the U.S., comes across as genuinely pro-American.

Don’t tell The Standard and The Daily Blog!

While a student, he worked on Senator Kennedy’s re-election campaign against Governor Romney. Cunliffe has a mixed reputation among his colleagues, some of whom have complained to Emboffs that he is arrogant and (ironically) undiplomatic.

Heh.

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23 Responses to “US Consul-General on Cunliffe”

  1. Albert_Ross (290 comments) says:

    Are you really comfortable using stolen material in your blog DPF?

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  2. ashishnaicker (21 comments) says:

    ‘Are you really comfortable using stolen material in your blog DPF?’

    They have been extracted within the legal limits.

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  3. m@tt (629 comments) says:

    So. About internet-mana saying they’ll get rid of coat tailing but being happy to use it or those greenies that drive around in petrol driven vehicles or fly long distance on jets while saying we shouldn’t use oil.

    You rightly cast them as hypocritical. You are being so yourself.

    Real Damage From Wikileaks
    David:

    I’m all for less secrecy, but that is not the same as no secrecy. And in terms of who decides what remains secret – I prefer those I elect to Parliament to do so, rather than Julian Assange who is accountable to no one at all.

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  4. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    >Cunliffe said there was last year debate within Labour regarding how to respond to the then-National Party leader, the intellectually respected but politically awkward Don Brash.

    Translation: David Cunliffe reported internal Labour Party discussions to the US Government, while keeping those discussions secret from the people of NZ.

    Maybe his CIA handlers were one of his secret donors?

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  5. Huevon (222 comments) says:

    Cunners would have been perfectly in character to tell the Yank exactly what he wanted to hear…..

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  6. wikiriwhis business (3,996 comments) says:

    “Keyliffe reported internal Labour Party discussions to the US Government, while keeping those discussions secret from the people of NZ. ”

    KeyLiffe: the name of the Nat/Lab coalition.

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  7. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (888 comments) says:

    Messiah is a winner in anybody’s book!

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  8. Albert_Ross (290 comments) says:

    ashishnaicker, I am not sure what you mean – is it the wikileaks publication, or David’s use of it, that is “within the legal limits”? I do not suggest that DPF himself is breaking any law, but wikileaks publishes material which was written without the intention that it be published and which would have been written differently if the author had known it was to be published. This can do real harm, including for example by damaging the careers of the individuals involved, making people less willing to share information and set out opinions freely and frankly in future, and providing help to those who want to damage national interests.

    As m@tt points out, David himself has commented to that effect in the past, which is why I was surprised to see him drawing on wikileaks in this instance.

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  9. publicwatchdog (2,593 comments) says:

    Is David Cunliffe a shareholder in the Bank of America?

    NZ Prime Minister John Key is …….

    Working for whom?

    Oh – that’s right – ‘Team 1%’

    Penny Bright

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  10. Johnboy (16,483 comments) says:

    Tomorrow post what the Cunners said to the Russian Ambassador! :) :)

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  11. Johnboy (16,483 comments) says:

    The day after tomorrow post what the twit Cunners said today to the idiot MP for Dunedin South!! :) :)

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  12. nasska (11,468 comments) says:

    Cunners wouldn’t dare say anything to the member JB. He surrendered his balls to the sisterhood last week. :)

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  13. big bruv (13,880 comments) says:

    Johnboy

    In the meantime I will post what Cuntliffe said in Avondale.

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  14. Johnboy (16,483 comments) says:

    But when he’s PM will he turn the water back on? :)

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  15. ShawnLH (4,998 comments) says:

    Love all this 1% daftness, this time from Penny.

    How many people here who support National are in the so-called 1%?

    Not me. Yet in Penny’s fantasy world she represents me and Key doesn’t.

    The arrogance and presumptuousness of that is staggering.

    Standard left wing rhetoric from someone who claims to be an “independent public watch dog.”

    Pass me a Tui! :)

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  16. mara (784 comments) says:

    In less diplomatic speak, out of the way of interception, they would have probably just said “DORK.” Or “KNOB.”

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  17. Rick Rowling (813 comments) says:

    Penny, Curia’s tracking would suggest Key’s working for “team 50.6%” while Cunliffe’s working for “team 27.2%”.

    I know which strategy is more likely to succeed…

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  18. polemic (460 comments) says:

    Cunliffe utters another inconvenient truth .

    comes across as genuinely pro-American.

    I feel sorry for him – why doesn’t he at least try quoting some convenient truths and leave the inconvenient ones alone!!

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  19. lilman (957 comments) says:

    Penny, why do you care some much about Key?

    Why dont you pay the amount you OWE to the Auckland Council?
    How can you be so dishonest?
    How can you steal from others who are paying their way?
    Why do you continue to pay for the internet when you could put that money into paying what you owe?

    I will wait for you to pay for what you OWE,then I will read all your posts in full from that point on.
    Dishonesty is a trait either you have or you dont,I know where you sit,Penny.

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  20. tvb (4,415 comments) says:

    He sang like a canary to a foreign Diplomat, no doubt fueled by a good lunch with ample alcohol. He is never this open with the NZ public nor I suspect his colleagues. He always tries to be canny saying different things to different audiences. He is a very insincere man.

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  21. MH (751 comments) says:

    The Labour Party and any printed policies would be gone before lunchtime.

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  22. stephen2d (83 comments) says:

    Speaking of percentages, Penny can only dream of 1% of votes, let alone of anything else 1%.
    More like 0.1%.

    Penny, why are you so envious and jealous?

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  23. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,570 comments) says:

    Penny forgets that she herself could be a 1%er. Compare the money she bludges to the wages of the extreme poor throughout the world. Compare the access she has to property, fresh water, freedom to screech, food and she suddenly is in the top percentile.

    Use your 1% bullshit as much as you like Penny but you’re one of us.

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