Watkins on Cunliffe

July 19th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

writes:

Private enmity rarely trumps personal ambition. If Cunliffe had delivered on the promise of a more sure-footed leadership, a more organised Opposition, and a clearer direction, the doubters would have become converts.

But Cunliffe has often been his own worst enemy. He has been too loose with details too often and he has tried to style his leadership around American and British-style political oratory. In the New Zealand context, where we are used to our politicians being of the plain Jane variety, there is a fine line between soaring oratory and coming across as fake.

Can Cunliffe use the final few weeks to turn things around? He has to use them to embark on a massive charm offensive with the New Zealand public.

Policy is not the problem. Labour has released a wealth of policy which shows it has a credible alternative plan for government. But voters either don’t know or don’t like .

Winning now comes down to one simple recipe. Cunliffe has to show them that he is someone they can like and trust.

That is possible, but it takes time. His biggest opportunity is probably the leaders debates, but I suspect he’ll go very aggressive and try and paint Key as an uncaring rich prick, which ironically may hurt him more.

The other issue is that after 15 years he hasn’t been able to convince most of his colleagues to like or trust him, so can he get the public to do the same in 63 days?

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21 Responses to “Watkins on Cunliffe”

  1. smttc (752 comments) says:

    No because being the narcissist he is, he will not see the problem.

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

    Maybe he can explain why smacking his 2 year old son in public was not hypocritical.

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  3. Ross12 (1,432 comments) says:

    That reads like Tracy Watkins is trying to convince herself all is OK in the Labour camp except for Cunliffe’s “few image issues”. Time to get your head out of the sand Tracy.

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  4. smttc (752 comments) says:

    Ross12, exactly.

    Credible alternative economic policies, my arse.

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  5. trout (939 comments) says:

    The MSM are desperate for a close race. It makes for faux excitement and more papers sold. If they can nobble Key in the run up they will. But in the end a few days out they will give their ‘considered’ opinion that Key is the man for the job. The loopy, conflicting economic policies of the hydra on the left will be simply too much to stomach.

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  6. duggledog (1,559 comments) says:

    ‘Policy is not the problem. Labour has released a wealth of policy which shows it has a credible alternative plan for government. ‘

    What an utterly daft thing to say. The policy is half the problem Tracey dear. Credible government? F***’s sake; what’s credible about Labour AND THE GREENS ETC scrapping amongst themselves for the next three years. Do they pay you for this? If so, can my chair have a crack? It’s got my arse on it right now so should come up with some better copy that this.

    Sheesh

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  7. Yvette (2,824 comments) says:

    I think it all still comes down to Party performance.

    In opposition, Labour joined with the Greens to sabotage the price for the partial asset sell off power shares – a policy mandated by Labour’s one issue Election campaign and then failure to argue sufficiently to overturn National’s policy validated by law, so after that point their actions amount to simple treason.

    Labour’s other performance in Opposition has been to change their Leaderdship three times – internal Labour Party business that has occupied almost the entire electoral term of three years – and obviously that has only descended to lower levels of talent and incompentence, and for this utter wastage tax payers should demand a refund from such a fucking useless “Opposition”.

    The so-called American-styled Leadership primaries seemed to only consist of each contender making up policies not ratified at all by the usual Party conference remits, and of course has left the country wondering what Labour stands for – apparently now, just some grossly over-payed occupation slot for 34 people, hopefully many less after September 20.

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  8. flipper (4,084 comments) says:

    Watkins says….

    “… Policy is not the problem. Labour has released a wealth of policy which shows it has a credible alternative plan for government….”

    I agree with duggledog, but would further and describe the statement (Watkins’ endorsement of rubbish) as crap.

    There is not one thing they have promoted that makes sense, and not a single thing that has grabbed the support of voters – apart from those who cannot see, and will always vote liarbore.

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  9. tvb (4,432 comments) says:

    Good analysis Yvette. Three leaders over the life of this Parliament and even a possible 4th leaves Labour no time to get into shape for the electorate. There is not a credible centre left alternative on offer. How will a very complex government work. What is their economic policy. What role will Dr Norman play? Will they do a Treadurer/Finance Minister split?? This should have been sorted ages ago.

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  10. Bingo99 (88 comments) says:

    Can’t help but groan at yet another journalist glossing over the enormous flaws in Labour’s economic policies. Especially the Kiwisaver policy, which is so fundamentally flawed and, I’d argue, dangerous, that it should have been torn limb from limb by now. Just goes to demonstrate the economic illiteracy that pervades the media.

    Having a policy doesn’t equal having a good policy. Actually there’s only on. Labour policy that I’ve found remotely reasonable… lifting the retirement age, something Key has unnecessarily cornered himself on.

    And “credible government”? Ha! Given Labour’s weakness you have to look across the left spectrum of nutjob policies to determine that. And nutjobs they are.

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  11. Yvette (2,824 comments) says:

    Just a few –

    1] Baby Bribe
    Cunliffe said 59,000 families would get the $60 per week bonus for a full year, but the actual number is closer to 33,000 families.
    And most important, in the fuss everyone misses that NO ONE born before April 1, 2016 gets anything. 2016? Yes, 2016.

    2] Big Tool
    Making Kwisaver compulsory and increasing payee contributions to lower house prices when it is miserable USA banks [where a 2 year deposit can loose 1%] that up the NZ dollar value.

    3] Beneficiaries [possibly hung over] to work in forestry, New Zealand’s most dangerous industry.

    4] Back flip over the Maui dolphins.

    5] trucks in the left lane only and reduce fees on caravans? Panel-beaters’ dream.

    6] I’m sorry to be a man. Cunliffe, and Labour’s policy is that: if the government can prove you had sex, that sex was rape, unless you prove it wasn’t.

    But instead of sorting any of this out Labour’s Biggest Tool goes skiing instead.
    May be very much less hazardous.

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  12. Anthony (796 comments) says:

    To those policies you can add a 15% CGT which would favour shorter term property speculators and hurt the long term investors, and because of the delayed ‘bite’ would do nothing to discourage the massive number of property investors propping up the Auckland market in particular.

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  13. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    Trout,
    “The MSM are desperate for a close race. ”

    Yes they are. But it IS a close race, unfortunately. If you add up all the parties that will or may join a left wing coalition you get a frighteningly high percentage – not enough, but close to enough.

    See:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/opinion/10285316/Editorial-No-margin-for-error

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  14. JC (958 comments) says:

    Ditto most of the comments on policy.. its tits like Cunliffe but expresses journalistic leanings quite nicely.

    Thats also like the gush about the Green’s “business friendly” policies and increased business acumen.. really all the Greens have done is move out of the Middle Ages and jumped straight to a version of Muldoonism, ie big on crony capitalism, command economy plus Looney Tunes green initiatives.. but its orgasmic stuff to a journo-listing to port.

    But whatever people think of Cunliffe one thing they know for sure.. there is no way in hell he can control the rats nest of parties trying to slip stream in Labour’s effluvia.

    JC

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  15. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    duggledog nails it. Credible policy? They fired their treasury secondee because they got sick of having their inability to do basic maths pointed out to them.

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  16. BeaB (2,125 comments) says:

    Sorry. It’s simple. We don’t like him. We don’t believe a word he says.

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  17. georgebolwing (870 comments) says:

    Just come home from driving through the traditional Labour heartland of Mt Albert and Mt Roskill electorates and noticed that the election hoardings have gone up.

    On the corner of Balmoral and Dominion Rds, which is on the boarder between the Mt Albert and Mt Roskill electorate, there where signs next to each other for National, Labour, ACT, the Greens and Internet Mana. Tellingly, the National billboard had a photo of John Key, the ACT had one of Kenneth Wong, and the Labour had one of the local member, D. Shearer. If you looked hard, you could see the Labour Party logo on it, but it was really an ad for David Shearer.

    Interesting that neither the Greens or Internet Mana graced their ads with a human image.

    On Hillsborough Rd, in Mt Roskill, the three signs, for National, CCCP and Labour all had photos. National’s was of John Key and the locl national candidate; CCCP had Mr Craig and the Labour one again was for the local member, one P. Goff. Again, I am guessing that is was put up by the Labour Party, because it was red, but because we where driving at 50 km/h, we didn’t have time to work out what the small logo was on the bottom.

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  18. Akaroa (558 comments) says:

    BeaB at 4.00 PM

    Absolutely right on the button with that observation BeaB!

    The truest words to appear herein today!

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  19. Fisiani (1,040 comments) says:

    Sadly under MMP the second third fourth and fifth parties can form a government if they get 50% It does not matter how crap The Cunliffe is he caould still form a government. National need to get over 50%. Get out and keep The Cunliffe out.

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  20. Left Right and Centre (2,986 comments) says:

    I don’t like his face. It looks like a rug that needs a lot of straightening.

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  21. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Okay, lets all vote only for ‘pretty’ people.

    I guess Bridges is quite ‘pretty’ and I like Hekia’s smile. Winston’s not bad for an old guy, and Jacinda’s kinda cute.

    Craig reminds of a mouse – and I don’t like mice. Harre’s okay, I guess.

    I love Gerry, but accept his aesthetic limitations. Lockwood was lovely, but he’s not there… sigh.

    Not a lot to pick from on the ‘pretty’ stakes, is there?

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