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Speaker: An Open Letter To David Cunliffe

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  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I obviously can't speak to Labour's internal processes, but the best way to indicate you want a sitting MP on a substantial majority to get gone is to deselect them and dump their arses so far down the list they need a canary and a hurricane lamp.

    They couldn't deselect Mallard - he had enough support in the LEC to withstand orders from above, and that's no bad thing so long as party democracy means anything - but they did offer him a list placing so low that he had to reject it (like Curran). This exacerbated the situation of MPs whose paramount interest was to win their electorate seat and not drum up the party vote, so it's not necessarily a winning strategy either.

    That said, I believe it was James himself who posted on Twitter a picture of a glorious piece of advertising by ABC supremo Clayton Cosgrove in which he effectively distanced himself from Labour to increase his personal vote. And he still lost, and he still got in on the list. And that's just what having a profoundly dysfunctional party looks like (and a reminder of how pinning it all on Cunliffe or his faction is just ludicrous).

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews, in reply to Tinakori,

    Those deficits required very large borrowing, hence the increase in our debt. My point was that, Labour wanted to spend more than National and the Greens even more than Labour. To do so they would have had to borrow far more, even if they had raised taxes (counterproductive in a downturn anyway).

    It's like having a discussion with a National Party election pamphlet.

    You mean raise taxes, like raising GST from 12.5 to 15% right? Because that would be counterproductive in a downturn.

    National decreased income taxes, which overwhelmingly assisted people who earnt more, and then increased GST which hits poorer people harder as its a flat tax.

    And claims that they massively increased expenditure is just nonsense. Austerity cuts you mean, in real terms.

    Come on Joe, arguing that someone could at least deign to join the conversation beneath the blog posts they’ve contributed at Publicaddress isn’t a cheap shot. it’s pretty much exactly what happens all the time.

    It's not beyond possibility that James has been told to pull his head in and not contribute further by a bunch of people.

    I don’t know, does anyone? New Zealand isn’t a fair and equal society, the Prime Minister “earns $428,000 from his PM’s salary along with this year’s $5,000,000 increase in his wealth (according to NBR’s rich list) which gives him a total income of $5,428,000. On this total income he pays just $132,160 in income tax and approximately $21,400 in GST giving a total tax of $153,560 or 2.8% of income”

    I simply asked Deborah what, if any, change in reasoning/ philosophy has occurred within Labour to introduce a flat tax that has any possibility at all of taking yet more money from the lowest possible denominator? As opposed to them introducing a more refined policy that would under no circumstances take money from the lowest possible denominator. When you have years and years to refine these types of policies to your hearts’ content, why not safeguard the poor?

    You didn't think before posting this, that it's possible that part of that 5 million dollars might be capital gains, and which might be taxed under the Labour CGT? Given that there's very few poor people who are going to be picking up an extra $5 million in wealth each year, this flat tax would in effect be progressive in nature.

    I understand the purpose of the tax, it’s the leeway for collateral damage that eludes. It’s the emphasis on revenue collection at the possible expense of anyone at all, even just a single individual, for whom that money might make a big difference, that has me lost. When did that person stop mattering?

    You could say this about several taxes. GST isn't affected by your income. You could complicate our tax system by including it in a personal tax return that everyone has to complete so you know what their total income is, or you can simplify it and lose the ability to charge poorer people less.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Yes -- but it also indicates that it's not Clayton Cosgorve & Friends who are worried about the prospect of another three years of David Cunliffe.. It's Clayton Cosgrove, people who like Clayton, people who think Clayton needs to reconsider his position in the party, people who think Clayton should be out on his ear, etc. It is a big big tent.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    It is a big big tent.

    It's a tent who regards Cunliffe as a bigger problem than even Clayton Cosgrove, I get that. And it disturbs me, because Cunliffe was chosen by the most democratic process the party has ever had. To turn around one year later and express outrage at the fact he's daring to even challenge for his own leadership strikes me as very troubling. It's also entirely and willfully blind to the huge problem of a caucus that is plainly contemptuous of the larger party.

    This is all the more paradoxical since on purely political grounds Robertson needs Cunliffe to run, so he can beat him - which he will - and be fully legitimized as the leader chosen by all components of the party. And then get on with the job of rejuvenating the caucus, and so forth.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    They couldn’t deselect Mallard – he had enough support in the LEC to withstand orders from above, and that’s no bad thing so long as party democracy means anything

    Totally agree with you there -- and unless there's a very nasty surprise coming down in the next few days, Mallard (however narrowly) will be confirmed as the duly elected Member of Parliament for Hutt South at the return of the writ. In the end, that's the only poll that really counts.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    If Clayton Cosgrove was leader, I would see that as a very very big problem. But he's not.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Francis,

    The Labour Party isn’t a vehicle for you to indulge your fantasy of being Prime Minister.

    What a weird comment. You've made it clear that you support Robertson but I'm not sure why you felt the need to go off the rails.

    Wairarapa • Since Apr 2012 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Francis,

    However, 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.

    I'm guessing that Cunliffe wasn't too rapt with losing. Your feelings are shared by many others. Helen Clark endured 6 years as Opposition leader before she became PM. In comparison, Cunliffe has been in the job a short time.

    National might have "won" but it could turn out to be a pyrrhic victory. Labour can do without that sort of win.

    Wairarapa • Since Apr 2012 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    canvasing support...

    It is a big big tent.

    and all those guy ropes...
    ...and the flapping
    in the wind.

    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Paul Williams,

    Attachment

    Trevor’s lost some ground in Hutt South, but that’s partly boundary changes and his relative decline is still a lot better than many others I suspect.

    Nope, while boundary changes might be the cause, Hutt South's decline (depending on how you measure it, and I am measuring it as percentage of Labour vote (pre specials) to electorate size at election time relative to percentage of Labour vote to electorate size at previous election) was in the worst half-dozen or so.

    Not that I think if it is time for Mallard to think about retiring has much bearing on the leadership issue.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    And that's just what having a profoundly dysfunctional party looks like (and a reminder of how pinning it all on Cunliffe or his faction is just ludicrous).

    I totally agree that it's not all Cunliffe's fault, but I also agree that the party looks profoundly dysfunctional. I'm not sure keeping or changing the leader is going to make the party look more functional without other major changes.

    I don't know what would, but I do think that until they look less like a mess, they're not going to do well in the polls.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Francis,

    Then when you got your chance as leader, you led Labour a party that was polling in the mid-30’s to one that sits firmly in the mid-20’s. There is no place for you in this party anymore.

    Actually at the time Shearer stepped down, he was polling around 31% and his poll rating had fallen. To believe that Shearer would have performed any better than Cunliffe is naive in the extreme.

    The fact you want Cunliffe out of Parliament (if he loses) makes no sense. It's curious you make no mention of the work Cunliffe did while he was Minister.

    Wairarapa • Since Apr 2012 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    If Clayton Cosgrove was leader, I would see that as a very very big problem. But he's not.

    And publishing a letter that essentially amounts to "anyone but Cunliffe" is different from how Clayton has been carrying on how exactly?

    What I really don't get is the outrage. Cunliffe is quite entitled to run again. The party in all its components is equally as entitled to reject him, as they most assuredly will. Democracy wins. This race to blame him for everything, including things he's obviously not responsible for (he was a disgraced backbencher when Shearer resigned), whilst simultaneously denying things we have ample evidence for - when Cunliffe suggested some candidates weren't seeking the party vote, Robertson replied it was an insult to the party volunteers who worked so hard (!) - should make members concerned that the faction that is about to take over is very, very doubtful of its own strength and appeal.

    If Robertson felt confident, he would welcome Cunliffe's challenge. Demonising the outgoing leader serves no purpose other than creating a fresh rift with his defeated supporters, however small in number they might be. Blaming Cunliffe for six years of losses, including the time when he wasn't leader, is also plainly nonsense, and if Robertson actually believes that narrative, he will fail even more spectacularly than Goff and Cunliffe did.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    What I really don’t get is the outrage. Cunliffe is quite entitled to run again.

    Exactly. It even seems like the right thing to do, to me. Then Robertson, or whoever, gets to actually beat someone. Or maybe, the party does actually soberly throw its hat in with Cunliffe again. It's not an impossible idea, even if it has casualties. It is certainly going to be of great interest to see who does actually support it, and to hear their reasons.

    Furthermore, it IS happening. There's really no point carrying on about it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Matt Crawford,

    I normally don't read Duncan Garner, but this opinion this is unusually direct in the way it sheds light on the ABC clique.

    But, Karen Price is actually right: The ABC club never died when Cunliffe became leader – they just retired to the corner and got more bitter and twisted. It’s no secret who they are: Trevor Mallard is the life president, Clayton Cosgrove, chief plotter, David Shearer, general-secretary, Stuart Nash, head of communications, Annette King, camp mother, Grant Robertson the uncle, Phil Goff, kaumatua, and the errant ABC kids are Jacinda Ardern, Chris Hipkins and Kris Faafoi.

    I believe many of this crew ran electorate campaigns, so they could get back in and nail Cunliffe should he lose. They wanted to stack the caucus with ABCers, that’s also why they were desperate for Kelvin Davis to win in the north. He’s no fan of Cunliffe either.

    The baggage of Goff, Mallard, King and Cosgrove will do Labour no favours in the future. As it is a vote for Robertson looks like a return to power for these leftover retreads from the Clark regime. If he would only cut them loose I'd seriously supporting him, he's probably the most naturally talented person in caucus.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 58 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    But Why force this expensive process straight after an election?
    Sure it makes great media entertainment & the best fun ever for national .

    But if it's because none of his MPs are doing what he tells them to.
    Well STFU suck it in and prove you can lead, turn those MPs around, help move labour forward.

    If Cunliff wins are all these MPs suddenly going to do what he tells them?
    No
    So why not do the Hard Work and earn respect? OR at least wait until a decent post election review is done so party members can base their votes on facts not supposition.

    And remember Robertson did not push this vote, sure he might do so post review, but maybe not.

    Also I like Trevor Mallard he is awesome and has been a wonderful support of Hutt based community events i've been part of. Annette King also although i look at how closely she works with Paul Eagle at community events and assume they have an actual succession plan in place for when she chooses to retire.

    Finally, no, just no to limited term MPs. There is wisdom in age and experience also navigating the clusterfuck that is politics. For me the ideal party is one that has a mix of ages across the board, you need new faces which labour is lacking, but (and i haven't done the numbers) labours old guard (for lack of a better word)is possibly smaller than nationals it's just that it has so few MPs it's a bit more obvious.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Sue,

    But Why force this expensive process straight after an election?
    Sure it makes great media entertainment & the best fun ever for national .

    But if it's because none of his MPs are doing what he tells them to.
    Well STFU suck it in and prove you can lead, turn those MPs around, help move labour forward.

    Or: why does Labour hate democracy so much? Because not for nothing, but Cunliffe won his election fair and square. It wasn't up to him to "turn those MPs around". It was for those MPs to acknowledge that the party had passed a pretty big vote of no confidence on them and that their job was to be loyal to the leader. Which some of them very plainly weren't. And "oh but Cunliffe wasn't either!" really doesn't cut it.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Actually, claiming that candidates weren't seeking the party vote really is insulting to volunteers. Candidates don't run campaigns on their own: they run them with huge amounts of help. If you think Goff wasn't trying to win the party vote, you also have to think Michael Wood, the Mt Roskill LEC, etc etc were all in on this conspiracy. It is insulting.

    As for Clayton. Clayton has run the same campaign for the past ten years, no matter who the leader is: Clark, Goff, Cunliffe. It's not about leadership, it's about Clayton believing the only wan to win is to run a blue-dog campaign in a National seat. It's a strategic mistake now that that seat is no long marginal, but it's not about the leadership, it's about Clayton being convinced he's god's gift.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to David Hood,

    Very interesting graph. Got any others?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    It was for those MPs to acknowledge that the party had passed a pretty big vote of no confidence on them and that their job was to be loyal to the leader. Which some of them very plainly weren't. And "oh but Cunliffe wasn't either!" really doesn't cut it

    For me, this is exactly it. MPs had to learn to play under the new rules of MMP. Now the Labour caucus has to play under the new rules of the Labour parliamentary leader selection process, which means that if you lose, you get over it and on with the job.

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Actually, claiming that candidates weren't seeking the party vote really is insulting to volunteers.

    Nonsense. Volunteers don't set campaign strategies: candidates and campaign managers do. A person within the party told me Nash was having success in Napier by disassociating himself from the Labour brand. And those Clayton Cosgrove ads doing the very same thing were circulated after the election *by James*! This problem exists and is acknowledged even by people who don't want Cunliffe back. To pretend otherwise seems another great step towards Disaster 2017.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sue,

    But Why force this expensive process straight after an election?
    Sure it makes great media entertainment & the best fun ever for national .

    FFS, Sue. Unless I’m very much mistaken, this “expensive process” is the one laid down by the Labour Party in its own democratically-determined constitution and rules. The media don’t get a say in that. Neither does the frigging National Party.

    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.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    There is, and has been for a long time, a very simple stratagem for Labour to deal with all of this, which is to split into 2 parties, one that contests electorates, formed probably from old guard, and one which contests directly and pretty much only for the party vote. They could openly support each other. Even if only a small breakaway group did this, it would help a lot. Following the tradition set up by Anderton, they could call themselves "Old Labour". People would be encouraged in any electorate with an Old Labour candidate to split their vote between Old Labour and Labour. Then they could actually benefit from strongly contesting both votes. Currently, all they achieved was shrinking the political left, giving the Nats their outright majority.

    It's a thought, anyway.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • CJM, in reply to BenWilson,

    !!?!
    How about having one party where everyone involved believes in the same aims and supports those elected to lead it?
    Oh, wait…what am I thinking, this is the Labour Party we’re talking about isn’t it…..

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to CJM,

    Oh, wait...what am I thinking, this is the left we're talking about isn't it.....

    The Greens seem to manage that fine.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

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