Sunday 15 September 2013

Cunliffe Wins Labour Leadership

Winner, by a knock-out blow in the First Round, David Cunliffe! (Photo: Greg Presland)
A GREAT DAY for David Cunliffe, the Labour Party and the New Zealand working-class.

Whoso beset him round
With dismal stories,
Do but themselves confound;
His strength the more is.
No lion can him affright,
He'll with a giant fight,
But he will have the right
To be a pilgrim.
John Bunyan 1684

Now, let's get rid of this National-led Government!

This posting is exclusive to the Bowalley Road blogsite.


Anonymous said...

Yippieehhh, what a convincing victory for David Cunliffe, only caucus has not been so supportive, but we knew that some there are more concerned about their personal agendas and own positions than the wellbeing and future of the labour movement, the party and NZ as a whole.

This is now a clear signal, that Cunliffe has the overwhelming support of members and affiliates, and that he must be supported by caucus also.

Look out John Key and his gang, your days are numbered now, as you will now face a formidable challenger and his new, more competent front bench that will be announced soon.

This is a signal of hope for all those that have been short-changed, that suffered much under this government. It is a start for a renewal of Labour, and hopefully the beginning of a new, convincing, progressive and constructive set of policy program to be worked out.

Many in this country feel a bit more hopeful for their future now, and the mainstream media better wake up, and start focusing on real topics, on real politics, the real challenges for NZ, and to report fairly, as they have been getting so much wrong so far, have tried to apply bias (see Key in 2008 and 2011) and protected a government that never deserved such preferential treatment.

Go Cunliffe, go Labour, go opposition, take them on, we are waiting for a game changer, a change of government in 2014.

Anonymous said...

Despite the evidence to the contrary, God must exist because the Labour caucus has made a good decision; they're not capable of it without divine intervention.

- David Howard

Brendan McNeill said...

If Cunliffe manages to get Labour out of the Slough of Dispond, then the rest of New Zealand will be cast into it.

Don Franks said...

"A GREAT DAY for David Cunliffe"

I reckon.

"the Labour Party"

When half the guys working that shift are said to hate David's guts?

"and the New Zealand working-class"

Words completely fail me here Chris, you spell it out for us. What scerrick of tangible advantage will this big mouthed smarmy millionaire deliver into our lives?

Chris Trotter said...

The first and most important "tangible advantage" a Cunliffe-led Labour Government will deliver to the NZ working-class, Don, will be the repeal of all the anti-union legislation passed by the Key-led National Government, and it's replacement with employment legislation supportive of collective bargaining and union growth.

And if you genuinely believe that strong unions make not a skerrick of difference to the lives of working people, then you and I really are on different pages of the left-wing song-book.

don Franks said...

"The first and most important "tangible advantage" a Cunliffe-led Labour Government will deliver to the NZ working-class, Don, will be the repeal of all the anti-union legislation passed by the Key-led National Government, and it's replacement with employment legislation supportive of collective bargaining and union growth."

Ok Chris I will stick that first one up on the wall and keep an eye on it.

Let me tell you a secret, I like strong unions.

Regarding that, if Cunliffe gets a finger on the power, you watch him roll when the next union confrontation comes up against the man.
Call me a silly old shit but my money will not be on David killing Goliath for us.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps someone would like to tell Cunliffe that we did "get out of bed" on election day, we just couldn't bring ourselves to vote labour because there's nothing to vote for. First foot in mouth? And if it casts you into this slough of despond Brendan, that would just about make my day. :-)

Gerrit said...

Has anyone asked the working class if they want that union representation?

Huge assumptions being made. Labour did not institute compulsory unionism for the nine years the were in office.

Could it be that the internal Labour party focus groups consulted simply said they did not want it?

Be interesting how far Cunliffe will take the promises made into an election.

I just don't see a return to cloth cap compulsive unionism an election promise must have, for the Labour party.

They will throw in a few crumbs like the 90 day period but compulsion it wont do.

The other reason is simply the unions and their shoddy book keeping is such a tempting target for National to focus on at election time that Labour will spend the best part of the electioneering process defending were the EMPU millions have gone, why Unite did not pay PAYE, etc., etc.

Chris Trotter said...

I'd never call you a silly old shit, Don. Eeyore, maybe - but never a silly old shit.

I've had my share of disappointments and betrayals from Labour types - just as you have - but sometimes, Don, it's important to behave as if the better world you're seeking is actually possible.

If you're absolutely convinced the worst will always overcome the best, then why bother to even get out of bed?

The quest for a better tomorrow is always, in the end, a matter of faith.

For the moment, I'm opting to keep the faith - even in Labour.

Tiger Mountain said...

Don is a treasure of a certain kind, remember him well from car industry days (oh dear, import substitution, Ford L.Hutt etc.) but his trotskyite defeatism is wearing thin.

“little progress has been made because we predicted little progress would be made”

Marxists need to proceed from the discernible facts and in this period a main requirement is to remove the Key led govt. simple as. A stronger Labour party like it or not is part of that.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Cunliffe attracting those 800,000 nonvoters is partly this: problem 1 – we're asked to believe that he's moved from the right wing of the party to the left. Problem 2 – if he has done so what does that say about the content of his character? :-)

Davo Stevens said...

I am using a 'wait and see' approach. I too, have been let down by Labour in the past.

Remembering that Labour gets it's funding from similar sources as National does, so they won't want to frighten the horses.
Compulsory Unionism could cause a horse stampede. So it's unlikely that they will bring it in, at least not straight away.

Cunliffe has the advantage of being able to go toe to toe with Key.

jh said...

A great day for the working class who in the technological age have academic elites eloquently elucidating their concerns ("based on years of research") and even extending those concerns to those workers excluded by those unfair nationalistic arrangements called borders.

Anonymous said...

You're not wrong Davo. Remember how Cullen was spanked by big business after the 'We won...." statement.

Anonymous said...

Chris, I have a question for you:

How many actual working class people do you know? How many do you meet or deal with on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?
How many are your friends?
I am especially curious about people on the minimum wage, or close to it.

RMJ1 said...

If Norman Kirk were here today he would be smiling methinks

.....and as to Michael Joseph Savage, he would perhaps say at last a bloke who may keep the faith and carry on the creed.

Chris Trotter said...

Well, Anonymous@3:49, I worked for five years in a low wage industry, was employed by a federation of unions for two years, have many working-class friends and comrades and have been married to a working-class gal for 30 years.

But the whole premise of your question: that no one who isn't working for the minimum wage or living among the poor has any capacity to understand their situation; is deeply flawed.

If human-beings were unable to empathise, to put themselves in another person's shoes, social progress would've been next to impossible.

Was William Wilberforce a black slave? Was Abraham Lincoln?

The fact of their common humanity was what made them their brothers' and sisters' keepers - and their liberators.

No man or woman in possession of an empathic imagination and a hunger for justice will allow the fact that they were not born with the same coloured skin, or in the same social class, as those suffering exploitation and oppression, to prevent them from reaching out a helping hand.

In the simple words of JFK: "For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's futures. And we are all mortal."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous@3:49 here.
Call me John. For it is my name.
I didn't say the middle clas had no capacity to understand the working class. Interesting that you assume that's what I meant.

By the way,how do you define working class, in New Zealand?

jh said...

Chris, since you empathise with workers, do you think high immigration brought in under the Clark government has made life better for Labour supporters given house prices, shrinking section sizes and negative economic ramifications pointed out by the Savings Working Group?

jh said...

But the whole premise of your question: that no one who isn't working for the minimum wage or living among the poor has any capacity to understand their situation; is deeply flawed.

To be listened to today you have to be eloquent and educated and it is the eloquent and educated who are speaking for the uneducated, ineloquent (replacing a shop floor). Hence we are hearing their world view.
Every member of the liberal elite can quote their student days when they had a holiday job in a factory but they were just passing through town. It shows inability to connect.

Skippers said...

You seem to assume - optimistically, I suggest - that the 800 000 non voting ex labour supporters are all firmly on the left, pro union, anti everything that the Nats promote.
I find it hard to reconcile Cunliffe's devotion to all this with his Harvard education, mansion in fine suburb, obvious enjoyment of the baubles of office. Maybe I don't know about his years as a student activist, union representative, etc ( and I apologise if this is so). Looks more like a Nat than a dedicated socialist.
And how he can possibly succeed as leader when the majority of the people he works most closely with can't stand him: we have all worked at some time with a boss no-one liked or respected and know the unpleasantness and ineffectiveness of this situation. It usually ended in a messy separation, one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

It should have been Jonsey, he is truly a man for the blue collar worker.
Cunliffe, yeah, wait and see.
I too got out of bed on voting day, and voted for NZ First.
Probably still will.

Anonymous said...

How can Cunliffe's personal wealth, residence in a moderately wealthy suburb (herne bay), Harvard education, and distinguished professional life be regarded as a betrayal of the people and socialism. In my view Herne Bay is basically a retirement zone. Surely your first obligation is to put your own interests and those of your family first. To be healthy people need good food, clothes, accomodation and good sex and social life. Possibly even booze and excitement as well. Most great society have been inclined to be made by well endowed fast livers in my view in the Political, Economics and Military view. The worst are those with plain puritan tastes.Kirk, Rowling, Nordmeyer, Savage. Nothing was resented by my mother and both sets of grandparents than the first Labour cuts cuts in imports of fashion items, US imports and restrictions on luxury. My maternal grandparents were basically importers of fashion clothing from the USA and ran a seamstress industries. No one in the country hated Savage, Nash and Lee more than my mother. The other grandmother, was one of the two unrelated interchangeable Mildred Harris, underages who flirted with C.Chaplin and appeared in some of his films sort of the stand in for Lindsay Lohan or possibly Shyla Jennings of the day. She was mainly noted as the best dressed women in Karori and unmentionable by the other wives of Vic Uni staff, as she spent her days at the races, shopping and at dog races and wrestling matches with fast Jewish male company. My mother did admire her clothing. I can't imagine what crime it was for Cunliffe to go to Harvard as it won't advantage him or Shane her, unlike any other nation in the world. Here Cunliffe won;t even be distinguised from a Chicago boy and even Stephen Franks always said he was interested between Chicago and Harvard school competion. Which is the clue that act are socialist not market, because the distinction is the core of capitalism. It definetly didn't help my father or grandfather that they were Balliol in 1913-14 and 1949-50 because even if it they had not been the best and worst of years both personally, academically and in legend, it wouldn't have helped. An Aussie who goes to Oxford usually becomes a PM, in NZ your an object of suspicion and can't recall an Oxford alumni every really vaguely achieving in potential in NZ.

Anonymous said...

BB's don't speak for me, especially ones who want to send me back to 1983.