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Five little letters


It was Helen Clark, a consummate politician it must be said, who once opined that elections were about trust. Trust is a small word with only five letters, but it means a lot. By and large NZ voters do not trust their politicians all that much. Therefore, it is of concern that David Cunliffe so recently elected Labour Party leader appears to embody so few, if any, attributes required of one who seeks to lead the nation. Why is Adam concerned about this. Well like it or not and Adam detests the thought, Cunliffe could be elected later this year as head of a party able to form a ruling coalition and thus become NZ Prime Minister. A ghastly thought he knows, but all too possible given the vagaries of MMP.

So let us look at Mr Cunliffe against the background of those 5 little letters forming the word trust:-

T – is for truthful. Well there we seem to have a problem, because it seems that this is not quite the case. Take the case of his claims regarding off shore oil drilling. Comprehensively shown up for falsehoods by Minister Amy Adams.

R – is for reliable. Again we seem to have a problem, because as shown by the baby bribe speech and subsequent multiple explanations what Cunliffe said on Day 1 was not in fact the policy as it is intended to work.

U – is for unethical. As we have seen in the last couple of days Cunliffe seems very prepared to skate close to the line, if not over it when it comes to donations. No less a person than leading left wing blogger No Right Turn wrote The thing about values is that you live them, and they’re instinctive. Cunliffe’s aren’t. When faced with a choice between transparency and corruption-enabling secrecy, he chose the latter, and then tried to cling to that choice when it was questioned. These are not the actions of an ethical man who believes in open politics – they are the actions of someone trying to get away with something they know is wrong. And actions like this are yet another example of why the New Zealand public thinks all politicians are liars, cheats and scoundrels.

S – is for smarmy. One definition has smarmy as ‘ revealing or marked by a smug, ingratiating, or false earnestness’. Cunliffe tries to hard to appeal to everyone. The end result is that he appeals to few. He in some ways epitomises the famous quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln ‘ You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.’ It seems to Adam that Cunliffe is rapidly demonstrating the truth of that maxim.

T – is for two faced. Cunliffe has a propensity for telling audiences what they want to hear. Therefore he tells the unions one thing and then quietly tells business the opposite. Consequently people do not know what to believe. This led Duncan Garner to write as part of an editorial piece on his radio show ‘I’m starting to wonder just who Cunliffe is. What does he stand for? Is he anti-business or pro-business? Does he care about the poor? Or hang out with the rich? My big question really is this: Who is the real David Cunliffe? Is he a fake?

So there we have it . David Cunliffe as defined by the 5 little letters which spell Trust, but in regard to Cunliffe spell out so much more. Which makes Adam wonder just why the supposedly astute Matt McCarten hitched his wagon to this particular socialist star.

  1. Quintin Hogg permalink
    05/03/2014 08:53

    I agree with KS. Great Post.

    I think that Mr Cunliffe would have difficulty with that little word Integrity. My favourite definition of the term is “doing the right thing even when no-one will see you doing it.”

    Mr Cunliffe by his actions would not meet that standard.

    My other point is that Trust is hard earned but can be lost in an eye-blink and takes a long time to recover. Mr Cunliffe is discovering that.


  2. 04/03/2014 19:27

    Excellent post Adam; couldn’t agree more.


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