“.. In a previous life Cunliffe was one of capitalism’s handmaidens.
He spent time with Boston Consulting; his wife is a top environment lawyer; they live at a very nice address in Auckland’s Herne Bay.
But he was marked out for destruction by his colleagues when Clark (too openly) took him under her wing when he entered politics.
The general rule of politics is to “breathe through your nose” when beginning a parliamentary career -
- pay endless obeisance to the leader -
- (this is usually achieved by repeating the leader’s name at every opportunity -
- as for instance does Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye in her Facebook announcements detailing the latest event where she has been the PM’s handbag in New Zealand’s commercial capital) -
- but not complacent to the point of being brain dead by the time you are considered for a senior role.
Cunliffe never really played that game – made no secret of his own obvious intellectual attributes.
So, it’s not surprising that the “ABC Club” (Anyone but Cunliffe) quickly sank his chances -
- levering the political neophyte Shearer into the Labour leadership against the party’s clear preference for the politician who can cut the mustard in Parliament with every bit as much venom and vigour as Sir Michael Cullen used to display.
Shearer in turn stacked his front bench with more neophytes who have yet to land serious blows on John Key’s front-row.
Like Clark, Shearer is an internationalist.
In his bones he does not stand for the kind of reversion to cloth cap ideology that Cunliffe has been nakedly embracing.
Shearer is clever.
But rather flat in his political demeanour.
He does not like being outflanked by a colleague with more obvious political wattage.
So Labour has a problem..”
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