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Cunliffe blaming others for his own problems

Stuff reports:

Labour leader  came out swinging in Hamilton after weathering an onslaught of criticism over repeated gaffes that threaten to derail him in an election year.

He was in Hamilton to push his Best Start policy to the education and social service sectors and the party faithful after a week-long scandal he said was just a storm in a teacup.

“Mate, that is just Wellington beltway politics,” he said yesterday. “Government has been trying to throw the kitchen sink at me in the last couple of weeks just to discredit me.”

Cunliffe said the same on Radio NZ, saying that the Government has been trawling through his accounts and trying to make out he is the victim of some Government hit campaign. But the reality is that all of his problems have been self-inflicted. Let’s take them in order:

  1. His misleading speech and false advertisement about the baby bonus – own goal
  2. The next day not knowing the details of part of his own policy – own goal
  3. Deciding to go after John Key for living in a leafy subject – own goal
  4. Describing his own household as a middle rang existence while on prob $600,000 or more a year – own goal
  5. Setting up a secret trust for his leadership donations – own goal, and exposed by NZ Herald – nothing to do with National
  6. Failing to disclose an investment trust to the Registrar of Pecuniary Interest on time – own goal, and exposed by TV3 after they heard him mention it
  7. Having his own office send Amy Adams their ICT policy ideas – own goal
  8. Letting Clare Curran take the blame and fall for a stuff up by his own office – own goal

I sort of wish National was so good they had a secret smart unit that was responsible for all of Cunliffe’s problems. But they’re not. All of them have been own goals, and the two about trusts have all been stories exposed by the media.

Earlier in the week the Labour leader admitted the late disclosure was a lapse of judgment but yesterday he said: “They are threatened by the ideas that we are bringing to New Zealanders. Everybody gets a chance, not just the few at the top. I guess the guys at the top, they don’t like that because they think they are going to pay for it and so they are really trying to take me out.

“Well, they can try but I am tougher than that.”

The humble phase doesn’t last long, does it.

Political commentator David Farrar posts at Kiwiblog.

Comments and questions

It's that business of getting Clare Curran to take the blame for an error from his own office that tells me all I need to know about Mr. Cunliffe, although It also tells me why the ABC faction exists.

I agree. He's probably not a bad guy, and also probably quite smart, but It is just untenable for those he purports to lead to have any faith in him.

While I had never heard of Clair Curran before, the fact she accepted the blame and did not stand up for herself tells me a lot about bullying from the top, and complete weakness below. It also says no Labour MP has any values (but probably that is not just Labour)...

I understand part of the reason Shearer gained the leadership is because people hated working with Cunliffe so much.

It's always easier to blame others for the predicament one finds oneself, because then you can avoid responsibility & accountability and then use the "I'm being attacked" label as a soapbox platform to attempt to deflect attention elsewhere.

The perception of Cunliffe as a Prime Minister in waiting is nothing more than a mirage in Labour's political desert wilderness.

Labour and the Greens are just quietly eating into Nationals lead while smirking John Key and his arrogant acolytes' trample all over the kiwi way of life. Christchurch is one disaster for National after another and they will lose the next election because of that and the host of other own goals they score without even realizing it. The list is longer than 10.

As long as there is the ABC's and Cunliff himself, as a tricky unit National does not need a 'secret smart unit'.

And don't forget his dodgy CV, that must also be Nationals fault?

Narcissists are God and Master of the Universe. They don't make mistakes. Others do, but not them. Nasty stains are but minor blemishes on their otherwise shining armour.

Accountability is very important. But not a single person I have ever met or observed has done everything perfectly in their lives. And it is even more difficult to do everything perfectly when you're involved in something that has lots of intricate and delicately balanced rules. So lets see these attacks on Cunliffe for what they really are. A smear campaign designed by spin doctors to discredit a party and person that actually wants to help New Zealand. It is great shame that New Zealand politics can't rise above the stupid spin doctoring and get on with the business of running the country. Impression management is very important, but you need to look beneath the surface. Don't allow a trophy chaser to dig some dirt out on someone and stop you from seeing the wood for the trees. The neoliberalist need to go...send them packing!

I'm no spin doctor, nor do I belong to any political party. I call it as I see it... as have just about anyone and everyone else with any passing interest in NZ politics.

Cunliffe only wants to help himself to the levers of power and his narcissistic behaviour and attitude demonstrates it. His double speak out both sides of his mouth is behaviour demonstrated of such attitudes.

That's another reason why even commentators on the Left are asking "Will the real David Cunliffe please stand up?"

Ironic, you're talking about dirt diggers - when Labour and the political Left are still trying to dig dirt on Key & National from years way back when Mike Williams failed to find any in Aussie - despite numerous weeks of frantic searching... and on-going efforts since.

Cunliffe has shot himself in the foot, not once or even twice, but numerous times over numerous days. Pointing this out is not a "conspiracy" it's just drawing attention to his numerous fumbling knock-on's 5m from the try line.

He better hope for a much better second half, or he'll likely find, Captain or not, he'll be sidelined for a reserve player in much better form... like a scrappy, stocky, front rower itching for a try!

But let's face it, most of the politicians have a degree of narcissism. Thay all engage in double speak and spin doctoring at one time or another because that is the nature of life and especially politics. I still remember when Helen Clark could not make prime minister because she was way too moral. Everyone attacked her from left and right. So she had to get involved in the dirt slinging in order to stand any chance of being elected. But the reality was that it was mainly the national party that engaged in that behaviour. They spun everything to make everyone else look bad and them look good. Then they got into power and made the rich richer and the poor poorer. Wasn't that predictable? The systemic issues this has created for New Zealand will continuie to have an impact for many years to come.

Waht I'm saying, is less of the mud slinging and more attantion to actual policies. Dig beneath the surface of the real issues, not so much the silly mistakes that only make all of us human.

It's interesting that you bring rugby into this. While Cunliffe might be fumbling a bit, if he stood up and scored an amazing try, any previous fumbling would soon be forgotten. I still remember a very nervous looking John Key on election night. He was a trerrible public speaker when he started. How about we stop knocking down the tall poppies before they even raise their heads?

Actually National have made everyone richer, as they have grown the pie.

Labour/Greens will not only shrink the pie, they will then serve larger pieces to those who don't deserve it.

So which party do you think a rational person would vote for?

Really?. I think not! Most peoples incomes have not matched inflation....but in CEO land things are great. Time for you to talk to people in the real world not just in the Golf Club and Koru Club.

Actually historically there has been higher economic growth under Labour Governments than National!

Helen Clark also played things quite well in always sending Michael Cullen in to face the music when anything inconvenient came up, rather than going to question time herself.

Helped that Teflon finish stay pristine.

Marc, they are not attacks, that is the tenor of Farrar's article. Cunliffe has made the mistakes himself and therefore gets to be accountable for them.Well, other than in his own mind, where it appears he thinks it is National's fault that these things happened. I'd suggest your dislike of neo-liberalism is misguided, given that the alternative of collectivist central planning has not worked anywhere it has been implemented. Ever.

There is a great saying...."De nile ain't just a river in Egypt". Of course they're attacks. If I drop a lollie paper in the playground and don't even notice, and another person tells the teacher on me, am I truly culpable? In my book the other person is just annoying, probably because he was jealous of my lollies. Its kindergarten stuff.

Regarding neoliberalism v communism, I don't accept that the failure of communism means we should immediatly adopt exactly the opposite view. That is dualistic thinking that doesn't acknowledge all the grey area in between and is ultimately unhelpful.

'The neoliberalist need to go...send them packing!'

And replace them with what ? A group of retreads whose best idea is expanding the welfare state.

The actions highlighted in the media were in Cunliffe's own words 'lapses of judgment'. Those actions were all taken by him after serious consideration and you have to assume advice. Where is his head at ? This is not superficial or inconsequential there is a pattern emerging of bad judgment political and otherwise.

Whose Idea was it for Curran to take the fall for the email sent in error? Another bad call. Cunliffe either sanctioned it, ordered it, or permitted it. However it happened it shows a willingness to blatantly lie in public. Bad leadership, worse organisational culture.

Labour are hanging on to the bottom rung of hope. Too many more 'lapses of judgment and they will start preparing for 2017 not 2014. Shane Jones is already campaigning.

Yes, there is a pattern of bad behavour being drawn to the public's attention. But its not all Cunliffe. Waht about Judith Collins supporting an affiliated company in China, and did I hear right that John Key has done the same? Have we forgotten all of John Keys lapses of judgment, or is he just more forgivable because he plays it down better? Or do we ignore it because he makes the rich richer?

Did it ever occur to you that Labour attempting a political beat-up about a competitor politician might just be a red hearing beat up?

Convenient for Labour they only "discover" that Crusher had a glass of milk whilst overseas, several month's ago - only the very day after Cunliffe has his "Worst day ever" as reported by media.

Call me a cynic, but I call that a poor attempt at deflection. Because if there really was something of an issue to be had - everyone can bet their bottom dollar that Labour would have made a huge song and dance about it at the time.

Do you wonder why they didn't?

Shane Jones may well be campaigning for 2017 and probably knows who of the ABC mob is leaking internal information, if it's not Jones himself. It could be in his interests to see Cunliffe lose heavily at the 2014 election. The same could be said of Grant Robertson. One thing' is for sure as I see it; neither Cunliffe, Jones or Robertson will ever be Prime Minister. Labour has not found their leader yet.

'Impression management is very important, but you need to look beneath the surface.'

Excellent observation that describes perfectly what Cunliffe did with his CV.

Very slip shod operation. If he can't get this sorted Lord help us if he ever occupies the Treasury benches - it won't be just the big end of town paying for his mistakes.

What David Farrer has said is factually true. I have been listening/watching parliament this week and the TV and radio. Own goals all those David F has outlined. I will not vote for such persons as some will make some mistakes. John Key makes them but not all the time like David Cunliffe. Mr Cunliffe will have to be even tougher as there is more coming in this election year. What I want to see again is Mr Cunliffe's rant just before the election last time when he was going around in a bus ranting conspiracy theories which he has still not denied or left alone.

Why do Labour MPs want the public to vote for someone they voted against?

So concluding, do we want the right honourable ( always wondered about that title when dealing with politicians ) David Cunliffe leading the country.
Its the old story of those in glass houses and stones. If those in labour could actually come up with some positive polices they wouldn't have to have the sticks poked at them

I must say all this Cunliffe kerfuffle is also distracting nicely from the fact the GCSB hasn't gotten around to fixing up all its shoddy practices, as featured in the news this week.

Must have liked doing things as they were...

It would be great for government generally if we had a really useful opposition. Unfortunately they look like complete clowns to me with David Cunliffe excelling in the dodgy clown role. Cunfliffe is even being nailed in the parliamentary interchanges. The ABC faction were right.

Let's just see this for what it is
A sustained political campaign against Cunliffe by David Whale. What I don't understand is why, if he is as incompetent as you all say he is, Whale and the rest of you continue to devote such attention to him. As Marc says
Aren't there other political issues? Apparently not. So I can only assume that most of you are concerned National Party loyalists acting as its propagandists