There is no doubt that David Cunliffe’s quick action signalled that all three are sticking with the plan in the Labour Party leadership contest; that is to keep clear of personal attacks. Perhaps the more cynical would say that Davis merely used this move to portray himself as decisive and that he can lead from the front.
A more generous view would be that he indeed wants to keep it clean. Whilst the person in the middle of the latest rather tame pronouncements from David’s team (Grant Robertson) was slightly bemused, one could still adhere to the position that the actions taken were necessary. I very much doubt that the person ‘fired’ for her opinion will stay unemployed for long. One does not throw away good people, certainly not for something so far down the chain in terms of indiscretion.
Labour has almost completed the process where they chose their new leader and it has to be said that so far, it has been a successful exercise in promoting how the party can be; one united and quite different from their Australian counterparts. Something is missing in that party, apart from the ‘u’ in their name!
However, we should not get too carried away as the New Zealand Labour Party also has it’s natural divisions between ‘left and right,’ union and technocrats, just to mention a few. The personalities too, will always provide fodder for future struggles. In the meantime, they need to stick to the current path and present themselves as a true alternative to the present government. The prize is there for the taking, if only they can hold it together.