Seemed like quite a good speech to me.
Obviously, it annoyed the Cunliffistas at The Standard; so it must have been a very good speech.
Of course, it won't make any difference, because 99% of opposition leader conference speeches make no difference.
No-one cares - other than the fanatics on either side of the tectonic Shearer / Cunliffe division. The factionalists don't get this. It doesn't matter that Shearer isn't making an impact just now. He can't. He's the opposition leader.
No-one (other than the sort of people who post about oppsoition leader's speeches on blogs) would care if Cunliffe had won a year ago. The only impact opposition leaders can do under standard circumstances (i.e. against a government that hasn't made itself entirely hated) is negative.
And that is what Labour has accomplished, masterfully. It's managed to make itself hateful, nasty and amateurish, full of petulant self serving prima donnas squealing as their egos sustain bruises.
For what it is worth, I hoped Cunliffe would win a year ago; he didn't. Unlike the epigones now shrilling on his behalf, and the man himself, I accepted that result. If you don't get to be the captain of a football team, you don't start trying to win by subterfuge and spoiling your team's chances of success. Your team mates will shun you. Your supporters will hate you. That's what awaits Labour.
And Cunliffe's casting himself as a hairy Cassius means that he will probably be booted out of the shadow cabinet. He might be a arrogant, self serving git, but he's a talented arrogant, self serving git.
The Labour Party needs him. Instead, he's incited the Labour Party to exile him to the back benches, in the hope that will shut him up and stop people fantasising about him being leader one day. Like that has ever worked ...
It's a pity, but I can see another thrashing being doled out in two years time. Not because Cunliffe or Shearer is leader. But because the other one refuses to accept the fact.
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