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Opinion: Why is Cunliffe scared of Dotcom?

Thursday 24 Jul 2014 11:45a.m.

Why is Cunliffe scared of Dotcom?

David Cunliffe should forget about fretting over his red scarf and start worrying about the black tracksuit.

Yes, Kim Dotcom's black tracksuit is all over the political scene once again - and Cunliffe is running scared, refusing to rule Internet-Mana out even though voters think he should.

Internet-Mana is on the rise big-time and the Dotcom-boom is hurting Labour.

Cunliffe has left the door open to Labour working with Internet-Mana to form as Government. But the latest 3 News-Reid Research poll shows a majority of voters want Labour to rule them out.

Voters were asked:

Should Labour work with Internet Mana to form a Government?

  • NO, rule them out: 59 percent
  • YES, work with them: 29 percent
  • Don’t know: 12 percent

Even a majority of Labour voters want Cunliffe to rule out a coalition with Internet-Mana.

  • NO, rule them out: 47%
  • YES, work with them: 40%
  • Don’t know: 13%

So the rise of Internet-Mana has created a big problem for Labour. Dotcom and Harawira are love-hate figures.

The reality is, with centre voters, they are probably more hated than loved.

There are lots of centre voters who don’t like Dotcom and lots who don’t like Harawira and a fairly decent core who don’t like both of them. The refusal to rule out Internet-Mana is hurting Labour with centre voters.

The party is split on this: MPs David Shearer, Chris Hipkins, Kelvin Davis and Phil Goff have all publicly bagged Internet-Mana. Cunliffe’s position is that Internet-Mana will “most likely” not be around the Cabinet table.

Act and Peter Dunne aren’t around John Key’s Cabinet table – but they are still well and truly part of the Government.

The Cunliffe/Matt McCarten position is a halfway-house and the public will see through it. And things are only going to get worse for Labour as things get better for Internet-Mana.

Its no secret McCarten and Harre are close – here’s a selfie she took at the EPMU conference dinner in June.

The Hone-Dotcom merger is at 2.2 percent in the latest 3 News-Reid Research poll - which means if Harawira wins Te Tai Tokerau then Laila Harre and Annette Sykes come into Parliament on his coat-tails (with John Minto not far off).

Internet-Mana is going up and up and up and I would expect them to go further.

The Internet Party is doing politics in a modern, exciting way that the other parties will be jealous of. Mana has some hard-headed experienced activists and existing networks.

Merged together there has been a jolt of political energy – and, of course, there's Dotcom's cash too.

Yes it has been formed on the back of a dirty, cynical electorate deal. But it seems there is no stopping Internet-Mana now.

Cunliffe’s refusal to rule them out just gives them further credibility and as it rises, Internet-Mana will probably end up taking votes off Labour too.

As its own popularity falls, Labour cannot do without Internet-Mana’s numbers.

That’s why Cunliffe is scared of Internet Mana – he's too scared to rule them out.

The rise of Internet-Mana tells us a lot about the fall of Labour.  

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