Cunliffe silent after being demoted

By Peter Wilson, NZN Political Writer, NZ Newswire Updated November 20, 2012, 8:12 pm

Labour's caucus has given party leader David Shearer a unanimous vote of confidence and his rival, David Cunliffe, has been stripped of his portfolios and banished to the back bench.

Mr Cunliffe, the party's fifth-ranked MP who was the spokesman for economic development, avoided media when he left Tuesday's caucus meeting.

Mr Shearer called his MPs together because Mr Cunliffe refused to endorse his leadership at Labour's weekend annual conference and persisted with his campaign to undermine his position.

"I no longer have confidence in him, he has lost my trust," Mr Shearer told a press conference after the caucus vote.

"I have demoted David Cunliffe from the front bench to the unranked section of the caucus."

Mr Shearer hasn't taken action against any of Mr Cunliffe's supporters, thought to number fewer than 10 in the 34-member caucus.

They weren't prepared to show their hand on Tuesday but Mr Cunliffe will be able to use the summer recess to muster support for a challenge at the leadership review in February - if he wants and if he can gather enough backers.

To trigger a leadership vote in February he will need 40 per cent of caucus to back him - 14 votes - and after Tuesday's vote that seems unlikely.

Mr Cunliffe had previously said he would support Mr Shearer in the caucus vote, but wouldn't give an assurance that his loyalty would last through to the February review.

Mr Shearer says he is demanding a united caucus and expects to win in February if Mr Cunliffe mounts a challenge.

"I will win, I can count," he said.

"I have the confidence of my caucus, I've spoken to many of them and February isn't an issue."

Mr Shearer will announce a new economic development spokesman in the next few days.

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  1. StuR08:30am Wednesday 21st November 2012 NZDTReport Abuse

    How come John gets more than 500 characters ? ? ?

  2. BOSS08:04am Wednesday 21st November 2012 NZDTReport Abuse

    So "G" says this is all a plot by John Key. John Key he says is manipulating Cunliffe. It really scares me at times that some people are allowed to vote! I honestly believe that there should be an IQ test of some description that people have to pass before they could vote. That would of course spell the end of the Green Party and Labours vote would be halved BUT that is not a bad thing!

    1 Reply
  3. joe07:53am Wednesday 21st November 2012 NZDTReport Abuse

    Essentially under MMP--that's what the left voted in--the left fractionated the vote.Never again will their beloved gay dominated-Union rabblerousing/mischief making lot gain total power.No.Have to share it with Extreme Lefties and Money printing hyenas like the Crazy Greens and opportunists like Winnie and maybe the racist Maori Party.A Recipe for chaos.Disaster and mayhem unheralded in the History of NZ.At your doorstep.Meanwhile the strike action by their affiliated mates is drawing near.Holiday time.Summer.Xmas near.Yes sir.The usual strike on the Cook Strait ferries is rolling in on the next wave.This is of course the Gay Labour Way.The lefty means of creating disorder and ego chasing opportunities at the expense of Mr and Mrs Public and kids.Local rail will be next.Keep it up lefties.More chaos.Less votes.More associations with Crazy parties like Aussie Norman and his tulip munching Money printing band means less votes.But thickness comes in various sizes.And the thickness of the Left wouldn't breach a ships container.

  4. Hombre07:35am Wednesday 21st November 2012 NZDTReport Abuse

    Richard. The social engineering carried out by Helen Clark and Sue Bradford should have told you that it isn't about any benefits for 'us', its about control and power. Clark sent NZ into a Socialist Welfare State on behalf of the UN and today a large percentage of the population now relies on this 'welfare' and moan when a sensible govt. like National comes along and tells the bludgers to stand up for themselves. How do you think Clark got the UN job ?

  5. Richard05:00am Wednesday 21st November 2012 NZDTReport Abuse

    What we need is a party that is there for all of us. we are fast becoming more devided, in the long run if we sell state assests it will hurt us deeply. state assest sales is only a short term fix.we have only red and blue party there is no nutrual white color to find the balance in all of us.we all need to unite and find a balanced party.

  6. John04:17am Wednesday 21st November 2012 NZDTReport Abuse

    The REAL issue is the National Govt's abject policy failures in all fields! These have forced Key to desperately try to drive a wedge between leading Labor Party members, and between the Labor Party and its allies such as the Greens. Key has nowhere else to turn, after the ongoing uncontrolled job losses, especially "outsourcing" of jobs, eg Rakon and F&P, and now Hillside, along with likely job losses from Crafar Farms when the new Chinese owners start importing their own Chinese farmhands. These show there is NO WAY unemployment will go down under National, despite their election promises! National's only REAL goal is huge tax cut$ for the rich at any cost, which are squandered on imported luxuries or overseas holidays,or sent to offshore tax/banking havens; NOT used to create jobs in Godzone. This (to hide the results of tax cut$ for the rich) is the reason for National's fire-$ales of $tate assets earning average 18% pa compared to the 6% at which the Govt could borrow, AND why Godzoners are going overseas in droves. National's policies since 2008 have made over 170,000 Godzoners vote with their feet since 2008 into political asylum in Oz with its successful Labor-led Govt, now 1,000 per week. Without this and remittances from Godzoners in Oz back home, unemployment in Godzone would be at least 15%, not just the politically-cooked 7.3%! The number now equals the 170,000 jobs National promised to create since 2008 with wages on a par with Oz, which jobs must be all in Oz itself! Tax incentives including a R & D tax credit would help. All this is why workers must urgently unite to restore Godzone ASAP to the Socialist paradise that it was under a Labor-led Govt in 2000-8, with a Labor-Green-NZFirst-Mana Govt, to ensure job growth and get Godzone going again, reduce attraction of Labor-ruled Oz to Godzoners, for jobs,health,education,and housing for all, no more $tate a$$et or Crafar-type land $ales, no worker/beneficiary-bashing, and repeal of all National's Fascist laws, including 89-day worker turnovers,the Search & Surveillance Act, and Criminal Procedure Act. The National Govt will fall before 2014,halting $tate a$$et $ales. It will take only one lost byelection, probably in Ohariu where Turncoat Dunne is looking sick and in terrible trouble for promising no asset $ales last election,to stop them passing any more such anti-social policies,and enable repeal of the Godzone $tate A$$ets $ale Act and others. Frustration of National's agenda (due to Maori Party opposition and eventual defection) will then cause an early election. The terrible weather in Finance Minister Bill English's Clutha-$outhland and nearby National seats, and ongoing quakes and volcanic eruptions in National seats, are God's replies to National's Godzone $tate A$$ets $ale Act,Crafar Farms $ale, English's Budgets, Fascist new laws, and worker/beneficiary-bashing. If National does any $tate asset $ales, God will do both an eruption from Mt Ruapehu (which He is already stoking up, in a National seat), and an HUGE earthquake in Wellington, to ruin Parliament Buildings and the nearby National Party and Business RoundTable offices, centered in Dunne's Ohariu seat and wrecking his house. Jealously safeguarding His Name, God takes seriously all political events in a country calling itself Godzone, judging them against His Scriptural authority. The Bible shows He is a rabid Socialist,by His concern for the poor, oppressed,and powerless,using His "acts of God" to warn and punish evildoers especially corrupt politicians.

  7. Ross Elliot12:46am Wednesday 21st November 2012 NZDTReport Abuse

    I suspect that Shearer will eventually be the best prime minister we never had. He has everything needed except the mongrel. The frightening prospect is three more years of Key. Dishonest, conniving, smug and smarmy Key. The country is going to hell on a handcart, and all we get is that sickening smirk.

  8. #1G11:37pm Tuesday 20th November 2012 NZDTReport Abuse

    Key tried to get rid of Shearer by manipulating Cunliffe, but it has backfired.It will be interesting watching this develop.Shearer is NZs sleeping giant and Key wanted him gone.

  9. Ana10:57pm Tuesday 20th November 2012 NZDTReport Abuse

    Seriously what a bunch of muppets. It makes me laugh how stupid politicians are. If they believe they can get somewhere on their current leadership then they got to be kidding. People knew that Shearer was going to struggle under pressure in this environment. You cannot compare it to "Saving Children in Africa" because that sort of work actually requires people whom firstly have a heart. You won't find hearty people in parliament. If Labor want to compete, face the facts, they need someone controversial like Cunliffe who will force discussion from John and push issues that will actually hold National accountable. At the moment, they couldn't push a decent fart out of their asses and as it currently stands. National will hold firm and good on them. They have my vote of confidence at this point.

  10. 10:55pm Tuesday 20th November 2012 NZDTReport Abuse

    Shearer needs to learn to work with the skill base he has inherited and this means that he has to allow Cunliffe to front up nationally on the issues he knows heaps about. That's politics too.


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