Speaker by Various Artists

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Speaker: An Open Letter To David Cunliffe

614 Responses

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  • CJM, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I’ve been through this shit since the late 70s. My first labour vote was in the UK 1979 election which Thatcher won. The 80s were profoundly depressing, Callaghan. Foot, the Bennites, Kinnock, Militant (especially in my home town Liverpool). Came to NZ in the late 80s just as your Labour party was getting it all arse about tit. Seeing Blair smarm his way through the 90s was at least geographically removed but just as depressing. Clark years were like the sun coming out.
    I know politics is a continuum of compromise and conflict and the wave form rises and falls but I just find myself wearying of all the bullshit, especially when there is a National party dismantling the country in broad daylight, unopposed.
    This election we were delivering Labour flyers in Epsom for fucks sake, the very definition of pissing in the wind, and you just sort of get to the ‘whats-the-friggin’point’ of it all.
    Sigh.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    This is nothing compared with the late 1980s. For years the Labour Party tore itself to pieces. Halls full of people shouting at each other. People who had been on the same side of the barricades in 1981 nursed an active and long lasting hatred of their former allies. No wonder so many people are still fighting those battles.

    My impression of those battles is that they were about political differences. The current ones, not so much.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Mr Mark,

    Precisely how unusual is it for some erstwhile Labour supporters to be grumpy about the Party leader in any given Election ?

    The thing is Phil Goff did the honourable thing and resigned. Cunliffe lost and went backwards but is trying to keep the leadership. This is all for his own purposes and not for the good of the party or the country. If he really wanted to become PM (as I'm sure he does), he could have resigned and bided his time patiently and made another run in 2020 or 2023, many a politician has done this before. He's still young so it's not like he's running out of time.

    People make Clark comparisons but Clark's loss wasn't on the scale of Cunliffe's, in fact had Winston honoured his pre-election statements she would have become PM. Cunliffe just can't accept that he's a loser and the public don't like him (hell even his own colleagues don't like him which says a lot) and won't vote for him.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    What gets my goat is this. How can anyone in Labour from the OP leader down to any member etc see any advantage in airing their differences anywhere else but in Party / members/ Caucus meetings. Thrash it out amongst yourselves and come out with a plan that is worthy of announcing. What we are seeing is a Party bickering with "he said,she said" childish behaviour. It's ridiculous that so many want to squabble. It was just really sad to see James want to give up so quickly if one person in Labour was going to stay on. I think there is proof that there are many personalities in Labour and it's hard anywhere to get along with a large group of people, but I thought if a common goal existed then it should be ok to have meetings until it gets sorted. I thought Politics was a career decision. If there are many amongst Labour who don't want DC and many in Unions announcing they may not vote his way this time and caucus support declining ,then DC wont get the job and everyone else can be happy. To air this all in the public domain is tainting the Party and to suggest that DC should have to be different to everyone else in Labour and give up his right to run for Leader, is antidemocratic to say the least. Bitching hasn't helped anyone least the Labour Perty.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls,

    Such a demonstrable inability to compromise is a really bad look for a party in the MMP system.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I don’t know why I’m saying this, but Cunliffe isn’t “forcing” anything but acting entirely within the rules. Those rules might be inconvenient – or downright embarrassing – but it’s hardly dirty politics, and nobody outside Labour itself is in any way responsible.

    No, but I do think it's not good for the party.

    If you want to do a review of the election and where your party needs to go, and then choose a leader that best fits that, then you need to complete the review first (assuming that an election can achieve this goal).

    But for political reasons Cunliffe has resigned now to force the vote and give his opponent less time to gear up. Would it have hurt if the MPs had come together and said "We will hold a review, after which Cunliffe will resign and he and other candidates will stand in February/March to be leader"? How come that shit couldn't be sorted in a 7 hour meeting?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    As previously noted, those bitter battles of the late '80s were resolved by people leaving Labour, and forming new parties.

    The current impasse is because people want the healing, but without the splitting. Hard to see how.

    Probably the least bad outcome is that Robertson wins AND the old guard retire - without it being depicted as toys out of pram (if Cunliffe should win). That would be the kind of noble "voters before party, party before self" action that seems about as likely as John Key demanding to be better informed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1324 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to bmk,

    The thing is Phil Goff did the honourable thing and resigned

    The soft bugger never did actually commit seppuku though. Instead, he hung on to become the most popular Labour seat holder with National party voters, ever.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Open letter to my wife:

    贝贝,如果你不做他妈的鸡蛋,我们就离婚吧!

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    It was just really sad to see James want to give up so quickly if one person in Labour was going to stay on.

    I disagree that committing yourself to seeing through an electorate campaign is 'so quickly'. Some firm lines in the sand may help people make the necessary decisions.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19695 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Sacha,

    seeing through an electorate campaign

    Some citation may help there Sacha, I can’t find that in the letter:

    I won’t be part of a party that you lead. Not because I don’t like you, but because I simply don’t want to lose again […] So I’ll promise you this. If you win, I’ll step aside from the party, to let you and your supporters mould it into the party you want.

    Unless you mean

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    The problem with leaving (or threatening to) on personal matters instead of policy, is that you're left with the Epsom Syndrome.

    Voters in Epsom (we have been constantly told) are fed up with the antics of Hide, then Banks, then ... somebody or other.

    Voters: "Up with this we will not put!"

    Response: "OK, you'll get the lefties in government."

    Voters dutifully return and do Key's bidding.

    So if it's not about policy (as in Rogernomics) then you find it harder to vote for - or work for - somebody whose policies you think worse.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1324 posts Report Reply

  • andrew gunn,

    Hey I’ve got a question, and it’s a genuine non-rhetorical one. But first:

    1) I usually vote Labour
    2) I’m not a party member
    3) I’m not backing any particular horse in the current leadership race. No, really. I’m not just saying that to sound all reasonable and objective. I just can’t get excited about any of them.

    Now here’s the thing. I’m hearing that Labour’s newish system of electing a leader, with the party and affiliates and all, is more democratic. But I’m not getting that.

    It used to be the leader was elected by the caucus, who were voted in (list or electorate) by voters. We voters may not have agreed with caucus’s choice, but at least we voted for the people who voted for the leader. In that way it could be said we had some sort of say.

    Now, under the new process, that some sort of say has been diluted by 60%.

    So my question: for the vast proportion of Labour voters who are not Labour Party members, but on whose votes a Labour-led government will rely, and who wouldn’t mind having some sort of vague and indirect say in the leadership of the party they’re giving their precious tick to, how is the new process “more democratic”?

    And can I just reiterate that I’m really not backing any leadership candidate. No, really.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2009 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    there is a National party dismantling the country in broad daylight, unopposed.

    But they look so leader-like while they are doing it.
    Donkey has turned into a white steed, his mane is flowing in the blowback. He's pointing That-a-Way... no matter if its a deadend.
    Time just goes on mercilessly.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to mark taslov,

    eh? he ran for an electorate this time. that's committed enough, surely.

    I wish more people would get really clear about what they are prepared to support and what they aren't and then act accordingly.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19695 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to andrew gunn,

    So my question: for the vast proportion of Labour voters who are not Labour Party members, but on whose votes a Labour-led government will rely, and who wouldn’t mind having some sort of vague and indirect say in the leadership of the party they’re giving their precious tick to, how is the new process “more democratic”?

    Exactly.

    Their new method means they get the leader who the party membership most wants. Not as in the past, the leader that would most likely appeal to the populace and in particular the potential Labour voting portion of the populace.

    The new method means that the views of voters who have their say on leader on election day no longer have such an impact. The people have voted on Cunliffe as leader and their vote was clear.

    Also the newer method means you can end up with a leader who the caucus despise; which is just untenable. It would be like a manager appointing a team leader who everyone says they hate and can't work with. It does happen but it never ends well.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    If the US doesn't withdraw troops from Iraq, I will paint my nails purple.

    Ultimatum.

    Thanks everyone for the epic point-missing.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Don Christie,

    I'd love to see you write an open letter to Clayton Cosgrove.

    +1. Just for fun, even.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19695 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to bmk,

    Not as in the past, the leader that would most likely appeal to the populace and in particular the potential Labour voting portion of the populace.

    That's spinning how it used to work to the max. It's not like they've never once chosen a lemon before the members were allowed to vote. They've lost more than half of the elections since they first won one.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    I will paint my nails purple

    do it anyway

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19695 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Sacha,

    I will paint my nails purple

    do it anyway

    I did. :-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • simon g, in reply to bmk,

    It's only a "new" method in our insular little world.

    Parties in democracies have various methods of picking a leader. Leaving it to the caucus alone is the exception these days.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1324 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Mark, in reply to bmk,

    "People make Clark comparisons but Clark's loss wasn't on the scale of Cunliffe's."

    1996 Labour 28.2% Down 6.5 points
    2014 Labour 25.0% (my Final Result estimation) Down 2.5 points

    Depends how you look at it really.

    The broader point being, as Gio so rightly put it: "The theory that Cunliffe is solely responsible for Labour's defeat or even its main cause seems outlandish to me."

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Bryce Edwards rounds up the coverage.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19695 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    my heroine

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19695 posts Report Reply

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