Labour, Internal Division and Social Media

On the weekend, Stuff carried a story about issues within the Labour party. It contain quotes from “a senior party insider”:

However, Labour MPs are disgusted by Cunliffe’s skiing holiday just two months before the election and will question his work ethic at a caucus meeting on Tuesday, a senior party insider said.

“A lot of MPs are really f….. off about it,” the insider said.

“They are all working hard up and down the country, and f…… Cunliffe is on holiday. Guys like [Phil] Goff and [Annette] King and [David] Shearer, these guys really want it badly and they are working like their lives depend on it. And I think they are a little incredulous about what the guy is doing.”


This article elicited an interesting response from Chris Hipkins on Twitter.


Now Chris is a member of the Anyone But Cunliffe (ABC) faction of the Labour party. Is this tweet a statement of opinion that may offend the source of the story? Or is it part of an internal political battle?  Does what Patrick Gower tweeted have a bearing on that?



Trevor Mallard is also a member of the ABC faction. He has also denied being the source of the story. Which leaves a smaller group of MPs that could be the source.



Twitter presents a good place for MPs to engage in the denial of stories. However, it is a dangerous area, if they are not being completely truthful, then there is a record there for all time to prove this. As well, Twitter is bringing some of the internal disputes into public. MPs can be a little quick on the send button, or conversely, if a number of MPs are denying being the source, it narrows the field as to who is, this bringing the internal disputes even more to the fore.