David Cunliffe

Bill always looks after his mates, others not so much

Bill English has always been loyal to his mates. It is why dead set useless idiots like Nick Smith keep their jobs.

It is also why he isn’t that popular and needs a refreshed caucus who have not experienced his feather-bedding, favouritism and retribution. That’s basically how he got elected leader again.

Now he’s shafted Maurice Williamson and a cosy deal arranged by John Key between Labour and National, preferring to release his mate from parliament early instead.

Barry Soper has the story:

There was a lot of speculation as to why Bill English decided to go to the polls early, on September the 23rd, rather than giving himself a bit more time to solidify his hold on the job following the shock departure of John Key.

English could have waited another couple of months before he was forced by law to go to the country. ? Read more »

Red Claire writes Cunliffe’s political obituary, and it isn’t much, really


Cunliffe’s resignation came in the same week former Labour leader Mike Moore said on Q+A that Labour should change its rules back to allow leadership to be decided by caucus alone.

Moore said caucus support was critical: “because you need to lead people and take them down roads they’ve not travelled before. It’s a very lonely job, and the roads we haven’t travelled in the next few years are going to be important to us.”

Cunliffe certainly took Labour down roads it had not travelled before: direct to destination 25 per cent. It was Labour’s lowest result since the 1920s. Read more »

Cunliffe still ?narcissistic and messianic?

David Cunliffe lacks self-awareness. Red Radio joins in on the ritualistic kicking and celebration at his demise.

Talk to David Cunliffe’s caucus colleagues and they describe him as brilliant and analytical but completely and utterly unable to make a decision or come across as authentic.

A cockwomble in other words.

Mr Cunliffe announced yesterday he’ll be retiring from politics at the next election.

An MP recalls a discussion in the weeks leading up to the 2014 election campaign when Mr Cunliffe was leader about a particular media appearance and whether or not he should do it.

The whiteboard came out, with ‘pros’ on one side and ‘cons’ on the other.

The group of senior MPs and staffers thrashed it out, some of the MPs went out to dinner, when they came back Mr Cunliffe was still consulting the whiteboard while the remaining staffer was asleep on the couch.

Read more »

Is Andrew going to cancel all undercover operations on his first day as Prime Minister?

It would seem that?Andrew Little is going to cancel all undercover?police operations on his first day as Prime Minister?

That will, of course, be in 10 years time, but it certainly seems that way from his?latest pronouncement.

It would be frightening if police had used a parliamentary inquiry into euthanasia as the basis for setting up a “dodgy” breath testing checkpoint to identify euthanasia supporters, Labour leader Andrew Little says.

Questions are still being raised about what prompted police to set up the checkpoint near an Exit International meeting last month as part of their investigation into a suspected euthanasia death.

Act Party leader David Seymour opened Question Time in parliament on Tuesday with the issue, asking Police Minister Judith Collins if the public were right to be concerned about police using roadside breath testing to collect personal information for unrelated investigations.

“Does the minister believe it is a good use of police officers to interrogate law-abiding people at a peaceful meeting of an advocacy group, given an 18 per cent increase in burglaries reported this week?” he asked.

Ms Collins said she couldn’t comment because the matter was being investigated by the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

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Even Vernon Small puts his kicking boots on to nail Cunliffe

Vernon Small lives life looking through pink tinted glasses. He is at least honest about that.

He sets about providing his, rather low, opinion of David Cunliffe:

So what to?make of David Cunliffe?

There is no doubt he is?bright – perhaps one of the highest IQs in the Labour caucus in recent years. Former PM?Helen Clark could?see it, and maybe hoped it would help him rise above his unpopularity?with colleagues. But in the end it didn’t.

Because as stellar as his IQ was, his emotional quotient was low. His colleagues – and not just those who?became known?as the ABCs, “the Anyone but Cunliffe” brigade?- came to see him as divisive, ambitious, self-absorbed and self-confident to a messianic level – all the time not picking up on how that was playing with those he had to work with mostly closely.

The famously waspish Sir Michael Cullen quipped at the NZ Post Book Awards he expected future entries to include Cunliffe’s “The Dummies Guide to Walking on Water: How I learned from Jesus’ Mistakes”.

Trawl through his media coverage over the years and a number of words and themes repeatedly jump out. “Vainglorious” is one. “Self promoting”,?”clever” and?“inauthentic” are others.

The last was his fatal flaw.

As I’ve have said before, there was a reason why the nickname ‘Silent T’ stuck. ? Read more »

Rob Hosking on Labour’s extremely shallow talent pool


Usually when politicians quit people lie through their teeth and wax lyrical about their abilities.

That isn’t happening with Silent T…because he really was a C U Next Tuesday.

Rob Hosking puts the boot in at NBR:

Former Labour leader David Cunliffe?s decision to quit politics represents a kind of bowing to the inevitable by the New Lynn MP.

Mr Cunliffe was going precisely nowhere under Andrew Little. Giving Mr Cunliffe the superannuation and retirement portfolio in the last reshuffle was a not-so-subtle hint.

The fact Mr Cunliffe was also given the tertiary education portfolio ? and wearing that hat he has scored some veritable hits on the government ? should have helped his long-term political prospects, but it didn’t.

The 53-year-old MP was a grandiloquent, grandiose disaster as Labour Party leader in the 2014 election?but before that was one of Helen Clark’s more effective ministers during the last Labour government and his role in regulatory reform of telecommunications should not be forgotten. He did a good job there.

As party leader, he had an authenticity problem he never quite got over: Here was a wealthy, Herne Bay-domiciled economically literate and, by all accounts, extremely bright man posing as a tribune of the New Zealand left and spouting the most arrant economic moonshine.

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Sledge of the Day


Judith Collins wins the internet for a day:

Most politicians offered at least some praise for Cunliffe:?Labour leader Andrew Little said he would “leave a gap in terms of our intellectual firepower”, while Prime Minister John Key described him as “obviously a talented guy”.

However, Collins – who slated Cunliffe as a moron after the 2014 election – was less positive when asked for comment on his announcement.

“I’m trying to think of something nice to say – well, he was really helpful in the 2014 election campaign for us.” ? Read more »

Cunliffe quits, Labour desperate to avoid by-election

Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t, sh*t

Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t, sh*t

Just two years after his ignominious defeat at the hands of his caucus and John Key, David Cunliffe has chucked in the towel.

Labour MP and former party leader David Cunliffe will not seek re-election in 2017, Labour leader Andrew Little has announced.

Little said Cunliffe had chosen to retire “to pursue a new management consulting career outside politics”, wishing him well for the future.

“He has made a strong contribution to the party as the MP for New Lynn since 1999 and as a former leader and finance spokesperson.

“He was a Cabinet Minister in the Fifth Labour Government where he held the portfolios of Health, and Information and Communications Technology, and Immigration.”

Cunliffe would step down at some point next year and did not want to trigger a by-election, Little said.

Read more »

The political retardation of Andrew Little

I thought that David Cunliffe was the biggest political retard of our times when he apologised for being a man.

Then Andrew Little said this:

“The starting point has got to be ‘here are the standards’. And it’s not good enough just the have insulation because all that does in the middle of winter [is it] traps in the cold air. You’ve got to have a source of heating, you’ve got to have ventilation,”

The man is either utterly stupid or a fool…it is possible he is both, which makes David Cunliffe look like a comparative genius.

What Andrew Little is saying is that all those people who have put in Pink Batts or other insulation are stupid, that the business model for insulating houses is ridiculous and R ratings for insulation are meaningless.

It also means scientists who study these sorts of things are stupid and wrong as well. All those people who bought down sleeping bags have bought them for the wrong reason…they bought them to stay warm and now it turns out that they just keep cold air inside the sleeping bag. Read more »

Don’t miss Question Time on Tuesday – all hell will break loose

The government is in for a fight when parliament sits on Tuesday.

Foreign trusts, the prime minister’s integrity, departmental incompetence and a suspect land deal – it’s all there and Labour and the Greens are locked and loaded.

It all ties back to the Panama Papers, the millions of documents leaked from Mossack Fonseca, the law firm that specialises in setting up foreign trusts.

It was those documents that led Labour’s David Cunliffe to discover the identity of the buyers of Onetai Station in Taranaki.

They were Argentinian brothers Rafael and Federico Grozovsky, operating through a company called Ceol and Muir.

They were Mossack Fonseca clients, which didn’t mean they’d been involved in anything illegal but inevitably raised suspicions.

The Overseas Investment Office, which investigates applications to buy big slices of farmland (1320ha in this case) gave the Grozovsky brothers the green light in 2013.

They bought the station in 2014, and made no secret of it. Local beef farmers were taken on as advisors, they aimed to increase production.

So far so good. Prime Minister John Key says the Mossack Fonseca connection was irrelevant.

There’s no claim or evidence they used a foreign trust to pay for the station and the deal was handled this end by law firm Kensington Swan.

All hot air? ?Or is there more? ? Read more »