Will Caucus ignore affiliates & members by voting Robertson?


The beltway ABC Caucus have shown with their tactics that they are prepared to do anything to win. From Hipkins defamation of Cunliffe after last years conference to Curran’s claim of homophobia and Robertson’s proxies denigration of Jenny Michie, the hope that peace will break out post Sunday seems naive in the extreme.

Grant isn’t left wing ideological, he’s left wing institutional, the difference is profound. In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, NZ requires unique solutions that go beyond the Helen Clark manage rather than challenge strategy. Grant is a student of that thinking, and I don’t believe for one second he can bring himself to implement the type of reform that is required to challenge the free market paradigm.

Robertson and his friends with the help of the ABCs supported a dead leader for 20months who clearly couldn’t do the job, all out of political spite for Cunliffe. That isn’t leadership, that’s bordering on cult group dynamics.

Cunliffe on the other hand began a series of speeches challenging Free Market orthodoxy after seeing it implode so spectacularly in 2007/2008. Cunliffe has the ego required to implement radical change but also most importantly, he has few other options but to take risks. The reality is that if Cunliffe wins (and I would be surprised if he did not), he will only be allowed to run till the election and if he doesn’t win it, the factions will launch a coup against him to put in place their cherished Robertson.

So, Cunliffe, if he wins, needs to chainsaw much of the dead wood while retaining the talent that resides (I’ll give a full break down of who Cunliffe’s shadow Cabinet should be on Monday – if he wins), the factions who have sunk to such tactics against him before won’t be loyal and the only way to beat them is with the cudgels of success.

Cunliffe needs to do some radical things, not to just appeal to the affiliates and members who have put their faith and trust in him, but because he will only have 16months to make the type of impact required before the ABCs rise up if he loses 2014.

The mainstream media meme is that Cunliffe must come back to the centre to win over the 800 000 NZers who were enrolled, but whom didn’t vote. What a load of predictable nonsense. Of course the msm pundits are calling for that, they are terrified of a genuinely left wing party because those very same highly paid pundits would be facing a higher tax rate under Cunliffe. If those 800 000 enrolled voters were so bloody centrist, why didn’t they vote National or United Future in the last election? They didn’t vote for National or United Future because they don’t agree with where those parties are going, and they didn’t vote for Labour wasn’t articulating an actual opposite political narrative to what National stood for.

Cunliffe can articulate that alternative narrative because if he doesn’t, he’s gone by the day after a loss in the 2014 election. Nothing motivates like oblivion.

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If the Caucus go against the wishes of their members and affiliates and elect another experiment as leader (a candidate who is currently polling 3rd), then those MPs must be held politically responsible for the Greens going over 20% in 2014.

The call for unity is hollow. If Robertson wins, expect a full blown civil war erupting at The Standard, if Cunliffe wins there will have to be demotions.

If only the NZ Left could fight Key with as much passion and gusto as we fight each other.


  1. I agree the left leadership is not looking at forming a coalition they are all stuck in first past the post mind-sets. Recently the Greens took the credit for the referendum on selling state owned assets when this was a combined team effort between Labour, Greens and Mana. If the left continue to cut each other’s throats we can expect another term of a Key lead national government he has basically hijacked. Remember the goal is the defeat of National not internal left wing squabbling.

  2. I just think some of these Wellington liberals are out touch with the wider population which make up the working class.They would rather sit in opposition throwing arrows and spouting their ideas of utopia then get off their arses, get the left united and throw out this government.To get the 800 thousand off the couches and too vote for a change of government they need hope of a better life for them and there’s.So put away the infighting and squabbles and listen too the people!

  3. Why are decent, likeable Labour MPS like Jacinda Adern backing Grant Robertson? That’s what worries me – it doesn’t seem to be just the old guard.

    • To pervert Bomber’s labelling a little, I’d say it’s because Jacinda Ardern is institutional decent and likeable. She’s another one who’s been put there by the machine and owes her allegiance to the institution. You can see this in Parliament, where she often takes her cue from Mallard.

  4. IMHO if you think this is wrong, then do not vote for Labour. Vote for the Greens or vote for Mana, or abstain.

    Voting for the status quo Labour Party is like a woman returning to a physically abusive husband.

  5. Outside the members and the affiliates votes if they do not show a clear preference and unquestionable winner,then it will be left to the caucus votes to decide who shall be the leader and that as clear as day, has delivered them the full power to decide who shall be the leader.

    It should be questioned, why a caucus members vote is valued at 1.5 or 2 percent of all votes cast,150 votes for the former and 200 for the latter on the percentage of votes cast.Has this been done to counter the Affiliates vote, who!s members may also vote as a Party member.

    Should not the caucus members have the same as the Party members, one vote and counted only as 1 vote only.

  6. “…..the hope that peace will break out post Sunday seems naive in the extreme”

    All voting results will be published. So, if peace doesn’t break out we’ll know who to blame.

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