Mike Moore

A lesson from history for Bill English

Our commenters are observant of history, more so than our media.

A question for the history buffs:

When was the last time (if ever) a PM in NZ won a subsequent election having replaced the incumbent PM within the preceding term?

I can think of Mike Moore and Jenny Shipley – both didn’t succeed.

Not sure about the earlier ones

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Bye bye Clayton

Clayton Cosgrove, the man who replaced and mimicked Mike Moore but who never really delivered, is quitting parliament at the 2017 election.

Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove is to stand down at – or before -?the next election.

The list MP?- who had held the Waimakariri seat for four terms – said it was not a decision he made lightly. He?had discussed it with his leader Andrew Little,”who understands this is about new challenges and opportunities for me”.

Cosgrove, 46, said he was elected when he was 30 and now was the right time to take the next step in his career.

“Before entering politics I held senior executive positions in business both in New Zealand and Australia, and so I feel extremely fortunate to have gained so much experience in both the private and public sector,” he said. Read more »

Labour’s leaders on the TPPA

Arts, lifestyle and travel blogger David Farrar is blogging like he used to.

The frigid polar air has done him wonders.

Last night he posted this image:

labourtpp Read more »

Another “worst kept secret” announcement: Mike Moore quits as ambassador to US

The former Prime Minister suffered a stroke in April this year and a statement given to his staff today says next month will be his last in Washington.

After leaving politics, Mr Moore became director-general of the World Trade Organisation.
Trade was a focus during his time as ambassador too, as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) was negotiated.

“I am now the longest serving continuous ambassador to the US. I didn’t seek this job but felt I should do it because great issues were at stake. The time was ripe for it,” Mr Moore said.

“On a security level things have moved up several notches. You are aware of the many exercises we do together and the important contribution we are making in the struggle against Isis. Read more »


Minor Losers, Ctd – Clayton Cosgrove


Clayton Cosgrove?s career is all but over, even if he hasn?t realised it yet.

Despite a lifetime of trying to emulate Mike Moore he has succeeded only as matching his girth.

He got out muscled for the nomination in Christchurch East, then Christchurch Central, then he managed to lose in Waimakariri. ?? Read more »

The post from The Standard that Labour doesn’t want you to see

Lyn Prentice from The Standard likes to go on about how independent the authors are, how no one tells them what to do or say, and since the election has been gobbing off repeatedly along those lines.

Then yesterday he wrote a post attacking Clayton Cosgrove.

In the afternoon however the post disappeared, and this message popped up on The Standard.

standard message

So, after telling us how all independent?they are they get a message from Tim Barnett to take the post down, and incredibly they then do so.

I have had, over the years, many requests from the hierarchy of the National party requests to take posts down, or instructions to stop bashing people, like Peter Goodfellow, and all those requests were met with a polite “Get stuffed”. If they pushed the issue then it go a stronger response along the lines of “Go f*ck yourself”.

Yet here we have a supposedly independent blog and author taking orders from the Labour party hierarchy.

Word from my Labour sources, both inside Fraser House and labour’s caucus is that Barnett and Moira Coatsworth are trying to hose down the animosity and open warfare and so are strong arming people to shut up, or remove posts like the one that has disappeared from The Standard.

Unfortunately for the world’s greatest sysop this is the internet…and nothing is gone even when you delete it.

So as a public service and as a matter of public interest in trying to understand why the Labour party is successfully censoring The Standard,?here is the text of the post that the Labour party is trying to quietly bury. ?? Read more »

Armstrong on Joyce and Cunliffe

John Armstrong critiques Steven Joyce’s virtuoso performance in?the?house where he rinsed?Cunliffe.

Joyce took the first call in Wednesday afternoon’s general debate ? long a platform for Parliament’s better orators ? to parody Labour’s under-the-weather David Cunliffe in a fashion that was as clever as it was cruel as it was funny.

Within the space of a five-minute speech, Joyce had revealed another weapon in his armoury ? the ability to cut an opponent down by sheer wit ? and thereby further enhanced his credentials as the frontrunner for National’s leadership when Key finally moves on.

There was, however, another interesting outcome from his contribution ? its impact on those sitting opposite him.

Cunliffe was not in the chamber. But those Labour MPs who were initially tried to ignore what was a virtuoso performance. But their barely suppressed smiles gave the game away.

If any group of people could do with a bit of a laugh it is Cunliffe’s colleagues.They have watched in increasing despair as their leader of just 10 months has virtually self-destructed and taken the party’s support down with him from the mid-30s to the mid-20s in percentage terms. Cunliffe is now very much marooned in a malaise from which it is almost impossible for a Leader of the Opposition to drag himself or herself out.

You can do nothing right. Every opinion poll just brings even more bad news. No one takes you seriously. You become the target of every cheap joke and jibe. The media spit on what remains of your dignity. The public write you off. In short, you are deemed to be terminal. You then wait for the firing squad ? the knock on the door from a delegation of your MPs who have determined your use-by date has long passed and your ability to resuscitate your party’s flagging support is seen as likely as a squadron of pigs gliding past the Beehive.

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Vernon Small on Cunliffe’s ‘the heart of darkness of his political year’

Vernon Small, usually the embedded Labour cheerleader in the gallery, has some stern words for David Cunliffe and Labour.

?Helen Clark would have lowered her voice and with a hint of authority – and a side order of menace – drawled “it’s time to move on”.

Labour leader David Cunliffe must be hoping he can move the party, and the political agenda, on after what is surely the heart of darkness of his political year.

If things could get any worse than the cluster failure around Shane Jones’ sudden departure to work for a government he was supposed to want out of office, it is hard to see what they could be.

The danger for Cunliffe, in the wake of Jones’ departure, is that with some in the party wading knee deep in vitriol it will spill over into civil war, revisiting the divisions of the 2012 annual conference. (That’s the one where according to some Cunliffites the media fabricated Cunliffe’s challenge to David Shearer’s leadership.)

Already the same divisions are surfacing. On one side there are the “good riddance to Jones” merchants who seem to believe the broad church party would have a wider appeal if its MPs came from a smaller chapel. It sometimes seems they would rather people – voters – changed their ways rather than the party appealed to a broader array of views.

On the other side are those who lament the loss of Jones’ appeal to Maori, soft centrist or conservative National voters but use his supposed straight talking – too many “geldings” in the party etc – to attack identity politics.

At times it becomes indistinguishable from prejudice and downplays the strong strand of liberal egalitarianism and concern for human rights at the party’s core. Both axes seem to think tolerance is essential, as long as you agree with me.

Cunliffe’s task is to heal those wounds yet again – as Clark mostly did after her messy coup against Mike Moore in 1993 – and get the party back to its core messages. There are, after all, only 20 weeks till polling day.

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Manufacturing Clark’s history

Helen Clark does so like to re-visit and re-edit her history, aided and abetted by an unquestioning and ill-informed media.

She has recently given a nice soft cosy interview to Channel Nine in Australia where this claim was made:

Having led the Labour Party without barely a whisper of a coup for six years in opposition and then nine years as Prime Minister, human resources at the UN could hardly argue that credential.

Oh rly?

Is that what she told the hapless Channel Nine reporter? I don’t see where he’d have got it from otherwise… he wouldn’t have the background knowledge of NZ politics.

And then Fairfax repeat it unquestioningly… probably because there isn’t anyone there who’s older than 12.

I’m sure readers don’t really need reminding, but if you do:

Fifteen years ago, Helen Clark stared down a party coup mounted by her eventual successor, Phil Goff. But her victory came at a huge price for Labour.?Phil Quin, one of the plotters, offers an insider’s account.

About six weeks before Helen Clark finally cemented her grip on NZ Labour – one which she maintains to this day, even in absentia – I had finally convinced Phil Goff to topple her.

[…]? Read more »

Hosking editorial on polls

Mike Hosking says Labour has no chance unless they change their game plan.

So with two weekend polls to deal with, the common theme is how close they are.

When polls vary you can dismiss them, especially if you?re the one that hasn?t polled so well. But these two polls are remarkably close: National on 47 and 46, Labour on 31 and 31, and the Greens on 11 and 11.

Given that, there is no escaping the fact Labour has major trouble. Although it?s six months to the election and although there is policy to come, and you can probably argue the bulk of us aren?t really tuned into the fine detail of how we?re going to vote and who stands for who, as each of these polls passes and each week ticks by the intensity and pressure on the party intensifies. In this case it?s Labour.

They pressured David Shearer into quitting with numbers that were better than those David Cunliffe has right now. The pressure is enormous in Labour. Plus there is the added pressure of a potential traitor in their midst.

The Greens at 11 are about where the Greens always are and have been. New Zealand First may or may not be there. In one poll they have 7 and in the other they don?t cross the 5 per cent threshold. My guess is they?ll make it and line up with the left, and in doing so will probably line up behind the left to at least give them a shot at forming a government. But that?s a punt, and if you?re Labour you?re not relying on it to save you.? Read more »