Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Nefarious Machinations of the Nightbeasts claims already in

A rather cryptic title for a short thread observing that, over on The Standard, Fanatics 4 Cunliffe have already started muttering about how the leadership is going to be handed to Robertson, or Jones, or - all together now - Anyone But Cunliffe through some devious plotting by the 'old guard' in caucus.

Good grief. So if Cunliffe loses after an open contest where votes are divived between caucus, the membership and the unions, some people will STILL not be happy with the result?

I think he will win – though a bit less certain since Robertson seems to be quite hungry – and I want him to win. But I can’t believe we can already see the factionalist refusniks already starting their wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Obviously, for some, it seems the only fair 'election' would be the coronation of David Cunliffe.


lprent said...

Try this comment for the thread. You're rather missing the point that was being made by the people you were looking at.

Many of the people in that particular thread are old campaigners (ie at 2-3 decades like myself). They more pissed off with silly gaming that has been going on inside caucus than who the candidates actually are. That particular thread had people from several different strains of the party. What was surprising was how wide the range was who had a near identical response to that bit of information.

What they were getting upset about was a reporter saying that someone inside caucus was leaking "numbers" about who in caucus was going to vote for whom. Now that was simply impossible for several reasons.

It is a classic signature of a hoary old dirty tricks propaganda tactic - the "leaked poll about the winner". It'd take a cub jonolist to get sucked in by it. But it is also an effective technique outside of the more active membership because it is simply uncheckable. Why? Because it is a damn *secret* ballot. No-one can tell who actually voted for whom in advance of the ballot happening or even afterwards. It is a straightout lie.

However it is a sign that someone in the caucus or close them is being stupid enough to think that kind of crap is still acceptable to campaigners inside the party. It now isn't because while fun for the jerkoffs doing it, it is a complete waste of active members efforts.

It is directly as a consequence of that type of stupid behaviour that members decided to get involved in the leadership last year and changed the rules. It is also why active members are deciding if they are going stay working for Labour both at this election or ever based on how well the caucus and their minion operates through this leadership primary.

I know exactly how they feel because I saw exactly the same stupid amateur level politics at the last conference and wrote this post in response. I simply hit my toleration level for working for a stupid and ineffectual caucus last year.

Of course I burnt through my toleration level very fast as I've spent the last 6 years in public trying to explain why they consistently shot themselves in the foot *every* time they started making traction. So the Labour caucus has already lost my party vote and most of my accumulated campaigning expertise (a few personal claims aside). What is now at stake is my future membership.

Like many other people voting and observing this contest, I'm less interested in who wins this contest than in how caucus and for that matter the unions operate in the process. It hasn't been noticeable recently that these things have been done for the good of the party or of the left.

Hell, in the unlikely event the overall vote went to Shane Jones (my personally most detested member of the caucus) and he wins in a clean and clear contest, then I'd probably hold my nose and retain my membership. But even a hint of dirty work that causes more stupid damage to the underlying party and I'll leave.

Why? At present I distrust the basic competence of the caucus to attempt to win an election. Even if they did win it through John Key and/or National losing it, then I'm uninterested in a one term left government. I'd question that if the Labour caucus can't hold themselves together in a cohesive and workable fashion in opposition - then how in the hell are they going to hold the required coalition together to produce a viable government to last more than a single scarring term.

Basically that is what you are failing to understand about the thread that you read. Perhaps you should re-read it rather than slapping a rather blind interpretation on it.

lurgee said...

I'm honoured by the fulsomeness of the response. You could just have said, 'You're wrong, dillweed.'

I find it odd you claim it is 'impossible' that Jessica Williams had been told who people were going to vote for. Or rather, I understand she can not know how people who have yet to cast votes voted; but then, Williams does not say that.

She relays what she has been told by a source with in 'Team grant' about the numbers. That's a valid story. She was given information, she reported it. She acknowledges the source was likely not unbiased. She also identifies Cunliffe as the 'member's favourite.' Odd how that comment was overlooked by the wailers and gnashers.

Her piece is not a 'straight out lie' - or at least you can not demonstrate is, because you can't verify the source's information. Perhaps it is a straight out lie. Perhaps someone has been doing the numbers and thinks Robertson has 18 solid votes in caucus.

Given that is likely true, Cunliffe would have to lose massively in caucus to lose overall. And there's a case to be made that if he can't win a solid chunk of the Caucus support, he'll be doomed. That was what did for Shearer, after all.

I am sure the leaking of this information is an attempt by someone on Robertson's team to boost his flagging campaign. But that's not against any rules that I'm aware of, and just because you don't want it to be true doesn't mean it isn't. You can't brand it a lie without knowing the provenance of the claim. Do you? If you don't you're as guilty of deceit as you suggest Williams, or the unidentified source, is.

I dispute your description of Jessica Williams as a 'cub reporter.' She has been working in journalist and current affairs for a decade, including a stint as the producer of the BBC's Hardtalk programme. She will be nobody's patsy.