Labour Party Coup Watch – The twitter coup


Team Shearer (11)
David Shearer, Phil Goff, Annette King, Trevor Mallard, David Parker, Clayton Cosgrove, Damien O’Connor, Kris Fa’afoi, Ross Robertson, Maryan Street, Ruth Dyson.

The Young and The Restless (9)
Grant Robertson, Jacinda Ardern, Chris Hipkins, Phil Twyford, Clare Curran, Megan Woods, Ian Lees-Galloway, David Clark, Darien Fenton.

Cunliffe’s People (10)
David Cunliffe, Lianne Dalziel, Moana Mackey, Nanaia Mahuta, Louisa Wall, Sue Moroney, Rajen Prasad, Rino Tirikatene, Su’a William Sio, Raymond Huo,

Team Wavering (3)
Shane Jones, Carol Beaumont, Andrew Little


Last night Duncan Garner set twitter alight with the following tweet…

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 5.54.59 AM

…within 80 minutes, Duncan was backing down…

TDB Recommends

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 5.58.21 AM

…So what happened? There seems to be a fascinating internal fight going on within the Labour Party as they struggle with what to do with Shearer.

It seems the same MP who spoke to Gower suggesting Shearer had until Spring was the same MP who told Gower that a letter was being circulated, what is most interesting about this is that it was not anyone from the Cunliffe camp.

There is a new faction attempting to form and push the leadership issue on top of the existing factions who are currently trying to determine the way forward. Even if this is bluster, the fact that it is active doesn’t bode well for stability. One source spoken to suggested that the letter being circulated wasn’t a letter of no confidence but was a letter asking those to sign claiming they hadn’t been the MP who had spoken to Gower.

The allegation will be that Garner got it wrong, and he is being pilloried on twitter now, but that’s an easy out. There is turmoil within Labour and ambition is running amok. What this failed late night coup alludes to is that the numbers game wasn’t there yet for the 50% threshold, the question is how long that will be the case.

There is genuine fury within the Party at how the man ban fiasco was politically managed, and that is winning Shearer few friends.

One person spoken to suggested the ABCs themselves are trying to put together a counter candidate to stymie any challenge by Cunliffe if Shearer is axed. Interestingly the only group who come out of this with any honour are Cunliffe’s faction who had no hand in it.

Let’s see what shakes out after the weekend, if Shearer lasts until Monday TDB will downgrade the coup watch.


  1. for gods sake just get rid of this national party plant. No one could be that incompetent without trying and he is clearly a right wing dingbat going by his statements so far. The labour party are full of self serving dicks in the top jobs right now.The country and the members deserve bettor.

  2. “Let’s see what shakes out after the weekend, if Shearer lasts until Monday TDB will downgrade the coup watch.”

    Serious question Martyn. Are you really that confident or optimistic that the coup watch will remain at code red? Is this not just a twitter flurry that burned and died or is the threat to Shearer’s leadership real, genuine and urgent? If the latter is true then it’s time they came clean and stopped all this mucking around. Whats stopping them?

    • TDB was tipped off by a source independent of who ever is talking to Gower & Garner that there was a wave of rebellion sweeping through the party – it’s very complex picture and the emergence of a new faction is making it even more difficult to read

    • Hi Rosie, I’m not answering for Martyn, rather this is how I see it:

      What’s happening here is a destabilisation campaign. The question is who is behind it. The right is attempting to capitalise on it and claim itself as having the proof of Labour being rudderless. But the right wants this to bleed on and on, as that will benefit National in the polls, in the debating chamber, its relationship with the media and the public service. The right’s claim of proof is clearly nonsense.

      But, the rumours have been emitting from Labour itself. That said, no caucus member is going to be caught out being a first-hand source of the rumours. Buffers are being used instead.

      This makes it difficult if not near impossible for those outside the loop to get a handle on what’s really happening. But, the destabilisation tactic is often used as a prelude to achieving a goal of rolling a leader. Is that happening now?

      Like we saw occur across the ditch in Australia a destabilisation campaign can go on for ages, breaking down a leader until the leader doesn’t know who to trust or really what to say. It’s always ugly, and raw.

      What is clear is, for NZ Labour, three things have come into alignment:
      * David Shearer is being held accountable for a perceived inability to convince a satisfactory number of those polled to vote for him and Labour
      * Julia Gillard’s removal from the ALP leadership in favour of Kevin Rudd has seen a surge in support for the ALP (elevating a view that it may not be too late to replace David Shearer with another who is match-fit)
      * The gender selection issue exposed division within the party, and questioned David Shearer’s leadership style.

      What seems to have occurred is these three elements have caused everyone who is interested to add up 1+2+3=?

      That ‘?’ represents a multitude of questions including, why now, who, what faction, how, and when… Currently there are no clear answers to those Qs.

      What we were all hearing was the Grant Robertson group, Andrew Little group and those who support David Cunliffe were talking about ‘a’ future. The rumours suggested a Robertson-Little leadership may form with Cunliffe being elevated into Finance. Was it true? No one can say. If anyone acquired confirmation from each of those three factions, then they would have run with it. But we didn’t. In fact, as Martyn said in his piece, Cunliffe’s people were not suggesting any letter had been signed and presented. And Cunliffe himself went on Twitter last night to say suggestions that a coup was on were “ridiculous”.

      Some journalists and pundits who are attuned to the way these things roll have been seduced into running too early with a ‘the coup is on!’ call.

      I know Duncan Garner and he will have judged he had enough info from inside Labour to make that call. Then, once he did, his source quickly distanced him/herself from it. Why? Because this is a destabilising campaign and it is not the time for signatures to be be applied to a piece of paper.

      Will that time be soon? Only Labour’s caucus can answer that and at the moment it is unified in saying no his leadership is safe. Remember though, in politics timelines are very subjective.

      From here, Labour can continue to pour cold water over this, Shearer can demonstrate his leadership style, and Labour can play for time until the voting public sees all this stuff as a tangent to the real issues and real political solutions to real problems.

      Or, it can do what the ALP did and replace a leader who for whatever reason has not yet convinced a swinging constituency to support his and Labour’s policies.

      • Ok, that sounds fairly credible, but what I don’t understand is why they don’t just get on with it. Surely the longer it gets left, the closer Labour are to the election with a new leadership team. That can’t be good.

        “Shearer can demonstrate his leadership style”

        Yeah, right. Give him another 6 months, he’ll come good.

      • Ah. Thank you Martyn, and thank you Selwyn for the time you took to explain the complexities behind the machinery.

        Your view and explanation goes quite some way to alleviate my own personal frustration and impatience with the uncertainty and what I perceived as hesitation around moving Shearer on. Your destabilisation theory shines a light on it.

      • Ok, that makes sense…but meanwhile labour’s credibility keeps heading south. If they are going to do it, do it swiftly.

        and they need to make sure Cunliffe is Leader…Little will be too inexperienced in politics and Robertson too inexperienced outside of politics…Cunliffe has a good balance.

  3. The thing is IF Shearer was a great leader these rumours simply wouldn’t be happening. No one is talking about coups in the National party and they are as riven with factions as the Labour party. The mere fact that this is happening regularly shows how weak a leader he is.

  4. Greenpaddy is right there are members of the Nat caucus who are lethal I,ve always said the Nats are as bigger danger to each other as they are to the rest of us what they are doing is diverting the public,s attention away from themselves so the public don,t focus on their filthy intentions they have no interest in governing for the people that is well proven

  5. It would appear the Union movement , at last are trying to take back the workers party from the factions trying to move away towards Middle NZ. About tim etoo!

    • How has Andrew Little ever supported workers? Being the poster boy for unions through the 1990s/2000s is nothing to be proud of. He has nothing to offer.

    • Hi Roadie. I’d dearly love to share your enthusiasm for Team Wavering and would love to see worker’s right’s firmly back in the centre of the agenda, however, I’d have to agree with Fatty on this one.

      I recall Andrew Little’s reaction to RAM’s GST- off -food petition in 2008. He was quite hostile to the idea. Any Union leader who can’t see the benefit in helping out the poor and working poor (as well as everyone else) by removing a consumer tax on life’s essential’s is to my mind one who doesn’t genuinely stand with the people. It was that one stance that put me off him for good.

  6. Little is the least charasmatic and warm person in politics. Any interview I have seen on TV he comes across as cold and passionless. He couldn’t even win an electorate seat.If you can’t convince your own local electorate to vote for you, how in god’s name do you convince the country to. If Shearer is bad for Labour( and he’s terrible) then Little would be the kiss of death.

  7. Duuuncan Gaaarner heeeere! Hear me, hear me, I am on “3rd Degree” and on the “Drive Show” on “Radio Live”, hear me, hear me, as I WANT your ratings, and to put up with my rantings!

    My real goal is to justify my salary and earn BIG money, to sell the advertising for Radio Live and TV3.

    I am a journalist at heart, at the heart of the commercial paymaster, that is. I am honest, I am really honest, I want money, to feed myself, my kids and have a good lifestyle. I have been getting it, my ratings are up, and that is where I come from.

    I am cool and great, got it??? I am here, here to stay, and with whomsoever, I dig dirt, and I dig deep. I do it with “The Vote”, I do it with Espiner as a “team” with common goals and “motivations”, I am in the game, really.

    I want higher ratings for MY shows, and I stir, hey, can I stir, have you seen and heard it?

    Now I get twittered all the time, and when I see a tweet, and it promises headlines, I do spread it in a story, a story, a story, get it?!

    So it went, there are more stories, and one of the best was so far the “man ban”. Hey could not be better, what a great slogan, could never have thought it out myself.

    Great stuff, love whale too for that. And others, I get on with all, who play MY game.

    So Shearer is mincemeat, it is obvious, so obviously we make headlines and money out of it. We would be fools not to. We have our country at heart, that is our country of commerce and money, and we all need the dosh. We must live, to support me, I give you another hitting story tomorrow, be this psycho drugs, expensive housing, a “man ban” , a “woman ban”, prostitution, gambling or else, the list is endless. There is always a rape or robbery around the corner to fill the gap by the way. Happy to serve.

    Good night folks, was great to see you on my bandwaggon. More to come tomorrow. Do not forget to tune in, I live off you guys, dear faithful fools. Great, all superb, New Zealand is a great country, because it gives such superb opportunities to all, just look at me.

    Great good noddy off for sure now.


  8. The New Zealand Labour Party needs to rediscover its founding ideals of championing equal economic opportunity for all citizens and businesses of legitimate enterprise and – protecting all citizens and businesses of legitimate enterprise from slave-minded monopolists trying to rip them off by force or financial trickery.
    Real Labour did not – and should not – support an uneconomic – unsustainable – model of commerce that proposes that citizens ripping off each other and the environment is the only way forward.
    Real Labour should not – in forums they know the working class does not frequent – talk fully of the pyramid aspects of the international money structures – that they know are being discussed and admitted at the highest levels of international regulatory agencies – for which I can produce mountains of proof – from their very own mouths – then when talking in more mainstream forums – disclose only tiny bits that see it remain a riddle to citizens and businesses of legitimate enterprise – who’s efforts and assets are being stolen under false pretences.
    Our public service structures for reasons of ignorance – in the main – but smatterings of fear or favour – is officially sanctioning a lie about the growing external and internal inequities our nation faces and the predatory pyramid aspects of the money structures that have taken us down this path.
    Real Labour should not be talking relentlessly about the symptoms of poverty among plenty without disclosing in full the cause – which with such a level of available evidence – is a lie to any longer cover it up in the manner they have been.
    Real Labour should not be covering up the fact that it has had – since its very founding in the late 1800’s – known the foundations of a plan that would break the predatory money structure pyramid scam we have suffered and return the economic sovereignty of our nation and the equal economic opportunity of the citizens and businesses of legitimate enterprise within it.
    Those that have been in the public service a long time and have only recently realised that a fraud against the nation has been committed on their watch – under their noses – must put aside their ego’s and – instead of attempting to tweak up a fix without disclosing their incompetency – come clean – because this financial pyramid can not be fixed by tweaking – it needs rebuilding from the ground up – from an angle of the greater common good.
    Real Labour – please return to your very founding ideals even more needed today than ever – for the very same reasons – or suffer death by a thousand cuts and another movement grabbing the baton to advance it toward the finish line.
    Real Labour have always known it was a class struggle that the upper levels of the current financial pyramid scam enjoy nothing more than the minority group lower levels scrapping each other to death – as it distracts them from looking up!

  9. Anyone read Steve Braunius’s column in todays SSTimes, 14/7/13, Brilliant, Media watch also covered the Garnage Carnage this morning on Nat Rad

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