[“By the pricking of my thumbs/Something wicked this way comes"].
This election I ran against Labour’s candidate in Ilam, James Macbeth Dann, alongside/against Gerry Brownlee. I was actually more against James than I was Gerry (you can see our candidate’s debate here. See Episode 5) but ‘James Macbeth’ was an informed and articulate Labour candidate, if a little angry (like many Lefties). That anger has now turned on his leader (which is very Labour) generating some Shakespearean hubristic melodrama.
[“I have no spur/To prick the sides of my intent, but only/Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself/And falls on the other”].
Knives are pulled, there are witches, and there’s blood everywhere (just the beginning of the bloodletting I suspect). [Oh winter of discontent!"]
‘James Macbeth’ has delivered in due soliloquy a very public ‘Macbething’ of David Cunliffe. It is devastating, but he’s correct. His assessment is on performance and results.
“We delivered tens of thousands of pieces of paper with your face on it. But the reality, the hard truth, is that people in the electorate just didn’t connect with you. I lost count of the number of times I door knocked someone who told me they had voted Labour all their life, but wouldn’t vote for us as long as you were leader. People who would have a Labour sign – but not one with your face on it.
The anger…it burns… James Macbeth tries sarcasim.
“The Labour Party isn’t a vehicle for you to indulge your fantasy of being Prime Minister…
[Not so sick, my lord, as she is troubled with thick-coming fancies that keep her from rest].
“While you might think that it’s your destiny to be the visionary leader of this country, the country has a very different vision – and it doesn’t involve you.
“I think I did a good job in a very difficult electorate, and would like to build on it at the next election. However, I won’t be part of a party that you lead. Not because I don’t like you, but because I simply don’t want to lose again. That’s the reality David. The people of New Zealand don’t want you to be their leader. The comparisons that you and your supporters have thrown up don’t hold water – you aren’t Norm Kirk and you aren’t Helen Clark. You’re David Cunliffe and you led the Labour Party to it’s most devastating result in modern history.
[“Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing"].
“If you win, I’ll step aside from the party, to let you and your supporters mould it into the party you want. But in return I ask this: if you lose this primary, you resign from parliament. In your time in opposition, we’ve had you on the front bench, where you let down your leader at the most critical point of the 2011 campaign. You ran for leader and lost, then destabilised the elected leader. Then when you got your chance as leader, you led Labour a party that was polling in the mid-30’s to one that sits firmly in the mid-20’s. There is no place for you in this party anymore.”
This objective assessment of actuals below is, I think, the coup de grace. And coming from a foot soldier working hard in a safe National seat, well, he deserves his say…
“…we’ve had you on:
• the front bench, where you let down your leader at the most critical point of the 2011 campaign.
• You ran for leader and lost
• then destabilised the elected leader.
• Then …you led Labour a party that was polling in the mid-30’s to one that sits firmly in the mid-20’s.”
NZ politics at its Shakespearean best. [“Out, damned spot! out, I say!”].
Meanwhile, away from the Dark Side the Center-Right trades respectfully and collegially which is how we do in Ilam.