And it begins, retribution.
It seems the Labour Party leadership will take their anger at being forced to be more democratic out on Cunliffe by crucifying and demoting him.
That will be a slap in the face to the membership, a slap in the face to Auckland and a slap in the face to the left wing of the Party.
The media who had no real concept of what happened wrote the democratization of the Party off as a giant leadership coup that could be fueled by 'dark forces' as Vernan Small ridiculously put it.
So instead of fighting John Key and talking about 100 000 new homes, David Shearer and the leadership who did everything they could to smoother allowing members and unions to have their say will publicly whip Cunliffe and demote one of their most talented performers?
Cunliffe hasn't said he would go for a leadership challenge, what he said was that wasn't the issue at hand and that he favored the Party becoming more democratic. How is that a hanging offense?
The leadership were frightened that members and unions wanted a left wing vision articulated rather than the Pagani beneficiary on the roof centrist crap being explored at the beginning of Shearer's reign and it seems to be the leadership are taking their vengeance out on Cunliffe.
Shearer should be fighting Key and talking about his 100 000 new houses to prove he should be the leader of the Labour Party rather than crucifying David Cunliffe.
David Shearer gave a great speech yesterday, it finally articulated a Labour Party vision that didn't disgust the rank and file but the question still remains, outside a room full of supporters can Shearer front foot it one on one with Key?
Shearer should be attempting to answer that question now, instead he will execute David Cunliffe in front of the media.
If you thought this was ugly before, watch where the anger within the leadership takes this now.
PS - Shearer's stumbling performance on FirstLine this morning doesn't help. Is he channeling George W Bush with his 'I will strike at a time of my choosing' stuff?