The narrative structure that Grant Robertson needs to combat right now is the perception that Cunliffe has the momentum after his candidacy launch and that Cunliffe has far wider support amongst the membership than Grant can gain.
As Brian Edwards so righteously points out however, the ABCs (Anyone But Cunliffe) who have built their careers on the back of neoliberalism will not under any circumstances allow Cunliffe to revisit those sleeping dogs and start a discussion about Milton Friedman. They would prefer to lose 2014 than threaten an open discussion on their economic paradigms.
The NZ Left are always guilty of having leaders who would rather be captains of the losing team than be members of the winning team.
Grant won’t want much scrutiny of how he and his clique propped up a leader like Shearer for 20months who never had the ability to lead the Party to victory, so Grant needs to skewer the perception that Cunliffe has the wide spread support that the pundits have assumed.
How does he do this? Why he plumps up his social media cred. Robertson has cleverly merged his Leadership FB page with his Wellington Central Candidacy Page into one giving the false impression of a staggering 2206 likes compared to Cunliffe’s fledgling 1312 (I say fledging as Cunliffe started a full 24 hours after Grant).
Normally such chicanery wouldn’t become news, but with a vacuum of news, Journalists will start making it up. The Wellington Press Gallery who initially came gushing out for Robertson are feeling a bit dumb for showing how utterly out of the loop their precious bubble world beltway opinions are after the tub thumping of Cunliffe in Auckland, so expect them to be the first to start using Robertson’s inflated social media rankings as a sign that Grant now has the momentum.