There is an old proverb

September 21 [Sat], 2013, 11:10

That means dominating the debating chamber, Accounting in HK and the belief is that voters can't be persuaded a front bench that's on the back foot is going to be capable of running the country.

The opposition has to present itself as a credible and assertive alternative governmentStorage for toys.

David Cunliffe will set out to do that on Monday when he names his shadow cabinet.

That's what he's calling it, and he's specified there will be 15 shadow ministers in it with two outsideotter box iphone case.

Naming a shadow cabinet is a way of showing voters what they're going to get if they elect a Labour-led government.

It's a few notches up from handing out portfolios to a set of spokesmen and spokeswomen, and it can be assumed with reasonable certainty that most of those named on Monday will become cabinet ministers if there's a change of governmentMen clothing brands online.

Not all them, because if there's a coalition government the Greens would want a share of the portfolios, but on Monday the country will get a clear idea of what Labour is offering.

Cunliffe is promising "a reasonably significant amount of refreshment" and his front bench needs it.

Labour's senior MPs were a lacklustre lot under David Shearer and for 20 months they gave the government an easy ride.

Inspiration was non-existent, there probably wasn't much direction and Shearer himself never seemed sure he actually wanted to be leader.

Cunliffe most certainly wants to be leader. He believes in himself, Income Tax Hong Kong doesn't doubt his own ability and will expect much more from his MPs than Shearer ever did.

One sure thing is that his new front bench is going to be severely tested.

The government's senior ministers are a seasoned group, confident of their positions and sure of themselves.

Those who get the most attention in parliament - Bill English, Steven Joyce, Judith Collins, Tony Ryall, Paula Bennett and Nick Smith - are strong debaters.

Cunliffe is going to give economic development to Shane Jones, who will go head-to-head with Joyce.

That's going to be fascinating. Jones is going to have to do a lot more than shout and come up with a few one-liners.

Andrew Little is the current justice spokesman but he's not on the front bench. He should be, if he keeps the position, although he's been less than convincing against the ferocious Collins.

Little's union background should assure him of a senior position because of the strong support union members gave Cunliffe when he was elected leader.

Will Annette King keep health? She's a former health minister and knows far more about it than any other Labour MP.

But she's old guard and might not fit into Cunliffe's "refreshment" agenda.

Phil Goff is from the same mould. He's a former foreign minister and Shearer gave him the foreign affairs portfolio. Goff is one of Labour's most active MPs and has great contacts in the ministry - remember all those leaked restructuring documents. But as Labour's leader he lost an election and, like King, he's been around forever.

Ruth Dyson will be lucky to keep conservation and Chris Hipkins' career has already hit a rock. He quit as senior whip before he was pushed.

Hipkins holds the key education portfolio, Business Registry Hong Kong and he's made a good fist of it. But the accusations of disloyalty he levelled at Cunliffe means there will have to be a lot of forgiving and forgetting if he is to keep it.

Cunliffe's problem is that there isn't a wealth of talent on Labour's benches outside of those who currently hold senior positions - and not all of the incumbents are high grade.

He's sure to spring some surprises on Monday.
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