Gagging Cunliffe is the most inane political self mutilation of the year
Brian Edwards makers the point about Shearer's team gaging Cunliffe from appearing on The Nation...
The conventional political wisdom these days seems to be that, if it is to win the next election, Labour has to ‘move to the centre’. But if you’re on the left, the only direction in which you can move closer to the centre is to the right. Logic tells you that that can only result in loss of differentiation between you and your political opponents and an at least partial loss of your identity – in this case, what Labour stands for.
There is an inherent dishonesty in this approach which involves pretending to be something you aren’t in order to gain the power to reveal who you really are. But that of course is commonplace in politics.
Anyway, ‘the top team’ didn’t like Cunliffe’s brilliant speech and he was apparently bawled out by Shearer and others and told the speech was’ naive and stupid.’ That tends to be the price you pay for idealism. And, according to the extremely well informed Duncan Garner, the price may be high for Cunliffe who has been ‘put in his place, somewhere down the bottom of the pecking order’.
This is so utterly stupid that it beggars belief. Cunliffe is not only intellectually brilliant, he is by far Labour’s most accomplished debater in the House and on television and radio. No-one in the Labour Party can hold a candle to him as a media spokesperson. Stammering and stuttering seem to be the main criteria for that at present.
...by launching 'true labour', Cunliffe has attracted the wrath of a Party leadership trying to drift to the right. Shutting him down while other opposition leaders take the limelight simply because the current leadership is frightened by Cunliffe's abilities is the most inane political self mutilation of the year.
Do I really need to set up a 'Let David Cunliffe appear on TV3's The Nation' Facebook group?
I've covered the strategies the new Labour changes in how they select their leaders will play out with the various factions over the weekend, but with this new censorship of Cunliffe, the ABC clique will certainly do all they can to put the November changes in leadership rules that will allow the party members to have a say off until next year because the ABC know the Party will overwhelmingly support Cunliffe for the leadership.
If the changes go ahead this year, a challenge could be mounted over the Summer, but if the changes are put off until November 2013 then there could be no real challenge.
The right wing pundits like David Farrar, Fran O'Sullivan and the NZ Herald editorial team of course will be cheering Shearer on, reassuring punters that he's the best leader for the job right up until Key wins his 3rd term.