Nov 30, 2011

triple threat

A few thoughts on Closeup’s interview with the main contenders for the Labour leadership:


Easily the strongest. Cunliffe was the most relaxed, concise and prepared. He also varied his tone and expression well. Cunliffe wisely played to his strengths intelligently identifying one of his weaknesses as a tendency to call “a spade a spade”. Of course this isn’t a weakness in the eyes of 90% of New Zealanders – it’s only a weakness in the eyes of Labour’s, and I hate using this term, PC brigade. However, Cunliffe could be perceived as smug, but hell he’s nowhere near as smug as Simon Bridges and the high priest of smug Steven Joyce.


Parker stumbled early. A little stiff, which is to be expected, but unlike most he didn’t seem to loosen up as the night progressed. Strangely Parker kept claiming he can “touch people”. I thought that was a strange way to say he can connect with New Zealanders. Surprisingly, according to Parker he has no weaknesses as a leader. Wow. In the face of Labour’s massive defeat humility will go a long way. Someone should tell Parker.


I love Shearer’s story, but he didn’t look ready tonight. Under prepared and not very good off the cuff. That can be fixed though. Easy. Ultimately, he didn’t seem to ooze, for want to a better description, gravitas. Cunliffe and Parker looked and sounded more like leaders in waiting. Shearer, rightly in my opinion, focussed on the fact he’ll be different from the Clark government and he brings a fresh face. But I don't think that was enough in the face of his constantly stumbling. He was always searching for answers rather than firing them out.


He conducted a very blunt interview.

Finally, the txt poll had Shearer on top with 50%. Understandable. Cunliffe polled second and Parker third. On tonight's performance I'm backing Cunliffe. Shearer a close second and Parker a distant third. For me, the ideal ticket is Cunliffe as leader, Shane Jones as deputy, Parker at finance with Robertson, Ardern, Mahuta, Shearer, Twyford, Hipkins and Dalziel rounding out the top 10. 


  1. Well there's not much you can do with a caucus of around 20 or so MPs. It's not like you've got lots of options. Labour might have to ring Wall Street for assistance - as National did. But after National have finished there might not be much to manage.

  2. Close Up rarely tries for a serious interview.
    Shearer lost points not laughing at the fails to put the toilet seat down joke
    [for many women it is not a joke, just lack of consideration ]
    I am surprised that you have not proposed Nanaia Mahuta as deputy as she has served her time effectively, is a mother and is also intelligent !
    The increase in green votes shows that New Zealanders know that we have environmental issues to address and Close Up's light weight performance did not enable David Parker to show his high competency in this area.
    For a greener NZ, I am hoping for Parker's sensitivity and leadership.

  3. Hard to make a place for O'Connor given his tendency to go off message and attack his own party.

  4. Definitely backing Cunliffe, he's one of the few who employs his brain, disagree re: Jones though - probably because I personally dislike him (Uncle Tom). But I also think the parliamentary expense debacle has probably ruined any chance of leading the party.

  5. The pollsters are already trying to influence the outcome. If we rely on polls so much why not go the step further and accommodate direct democracy all every issue through secure e-voting facilities. That way there'd be no need for ubiquitous polls and no need to for local or central government and everyone will have a real say. It worked in Libya until, of course, the West-backed invasion destroyed everything - for 'humanitarian' reasons.

  6. Nanaia Mahuta and more Kingitanga arrogance and corruption extended. Yay! Tainui can keep their useless monarchs and dictators

  7. I don't care who becomes the next Labour leader but whatever they do they shouldn't buy into the polls trying to influence who it will be; if anything, and just for the hell of it, they should go against the desperate influences of the polls.



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