D-day looms for Cunliffe
Mon, 19 Nov 2012 6:01p.m.
By Political Editor Duncan Garner
D-day is coming for David Cunliffe. His colleagues are lining up to nail him.
Labour Party chief whip Chris Hipkins says people have “had enough”.
“He's been undermining the leader, he's been undermining the whole team's effort – I think people are frustrated,” says Mr Hipkins.
Mr Cunliffe had every chance to rule out challenging David Shearer for the party leadership over the weekend – but instead he effectively said "bring it on".
When asked whether he would endorse Mr Shearer for the leadership, Mr Cunliffe was initially evasive.
"I’m not going to speculate on my position or the position of any of my colleagues, that is a matter for the caucus,” he said, “It doesn't matter how many times you ask me that question... I am going to give you the very same answer."
Mr Hipkins says his intentions were clear.
“I think Cunliffe made it clear in the weekend he is challenging for the leadership. Now is the time for him to put up or shut up.”
Mr Cunliffe's tough talk whimpered out this morning. He 'shut up' after realising he didn't have the numbers, and said he would endorse Mr Shearer after all.
“David Shearer has my vote in any early confidence vote, I expect he will be confirmed in February.”
But his colleagues have decided to throw him under a bus anyway. Mr Cunliffe now faces demotion to the backbenches and a public flogging from Mr Shearer and the caucus tomorrow.
Mr Shearer will also seek a caucus vote on his leadership, and he's expected to win.
“I think David Shearer has a clear majority in the caucus – he has very firm support,” says Mr Hipkins.
Mr Cunliffe needs 14 votes to force a party-wide vote on the leadership, but 3 News has him with just 11 votes, and some of those are dropping off fast.
Mr Shearer's people say he has 23 confirmed supporters – enough to keep him in his job – and he may actually have quite a few more.
“I think David Cunliffe has made it very difficult for the Labour Party caucus to work with him, he has undermined the leader just as he undermined the last leader,” says Mr Hipkins. “That's not good enough, it's time for that to come to an end.”
So Mr Cunliffe is no longer smiling – he has over-reached, and Mr Shearer is about to sack him – but he's proved time and time again, he's not one to sit in the wilderness quietly.
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20/11/2012 10:51:01 a.m.
Best for Mr. David Gunliffe and all the members of the Labour Party to stand by and support Labour Leader David Shearer to the fullest.
Bare it in mind that this country and its people had suffered enough with this National Government and we want to form a new Government counting on the Labour Party to make those amendments.
20/11/2012 7:14:59 a.m.
Banishing Cunliffe won't solve the problen of Shearers leadership. As we now know Shearer will be confirmed as leader Labour today which makes it certain that Labour will not win the 2014 election. After they lose, Labour will move quickly to dump Shearer and those MPs vigorously supporting him will quickly turn their backs. MPs play a double game and most of their decisions around leadership are determined by self-interest rather than what is good for the party.
20/11/2012 2:04:31 a.m.
Kevin M wrote:
Cunliffe is the best sword Labour has.Without David Cunliffe there is no Labour.
19/11/2012 11:03:58 p.m.
The consequences of martyring David Cunliffe will have a legacy far beyond today, 2014 and the long term.
Those who espouse the same policies, issues and ideas as Cunliffe will be targeted, then their friends and then those who are suspect.
There are two Labour Parties and Cunliffe represents the real morehu of whatever ethnicity. The persecuted eventually turn on their tormentors.
Their wrath will be awesome.
19/11/2012 10:21:06 p.m.
The problem is not david cunliffe, its a lack of strong well thought out policies. this latest one about building first home housing has obviousley not been fully thought out. It does have the potential to be an excellent idea, however when interviewed Labour didnt even have all the facts or figures which should probably have been done before going public with it. $50,000 for land??? if land was that cheap everyone would be doing it and would be no need for this initiative. this idea will more than likely come at a huge expense to the taxpayer when the bills start rolling in. Its been a year since the election and theres plenty of finger pointing coming from Labour but not alot of action. Do we really want the next government to be this impulsive? It will do the country no favours in the long run. Shearer is clearly not the person that is needed to ignite some spark into Labour as they still come accross like a defeated party who are in way over their head. Cunliffe is loyal to the labour party but is being used as a scape goat, instead of punishing his lack of loyalty to Shearer maybe Shearer should prove him wrong by actually leading the party???
19/11/2012 10:13:31 p.m.
....or is it 't' day ?!!
19/11/2012 9:53:17 p.m.
Mr Garner, trumpeting recently that Shearer must go, described him as a stuttering mess. But Shearer will survive such attacks because he appears to possess some core kiwi values like personal integrity and moral courage. When did charisma help the poor and needy or protect a country's assets?
19/11/2012 9:08:10 p.m.
David Cunliffe is my first choice
19/11/2012 8:48:59 p.m.
I live in New Lynn.If Cunliffe fails,and I hope he does fail,to become Leader of the Labour Party then I want him to resign as MP for New Lynn.He is an idiot and New Lynn doesn't need such an adverse character representing the area and community.New Lynn deserves a much better and not so into self-serving intentions MP.Not some useless twit like Cunliffe who has done the area absolutely no favours.
I just hope he doesn't drop little red pencils into our letterboxes like he did in the past.The little red pencils were attached with a hint to vote for him(firstly)and Labour(secondly).
David Shearer.Do the brave thing and boot Cunliffe out of the Labour Party.He doesn't even merit being an Independent though undoubtedly his free-loading approach will be to become one.
19/11/2012 8:39:53 p.m.
The difference between a Japanese nuclear reactor and the Labour Party is that Japanese reactors know when to stop melting down.
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