Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A week being a long time in politics

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  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Parks,

    way off base

    or desperately trying to whistle to them

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16599 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Steve Parks,

    Glad about that (likewise, hopefully Deep Red, whom I quoted).

    I await the polls with interest, but even so, polls are predicated on the assumption that people will rationally express their overriding judgements. I don’t just mean that the “proles” are fools, since I’m sceptical of reason and consciousness in general. Prostetnic Vogon Joyce might be right, or rather the shade of Muldoon whom he is channeling, in saying that the public are annoyed by the distraction of this specific issue, but then again, they may or may not start thinking, “Well Key’s a bit smarmy really, and a bit insecure… and really, a bit of a dick when you come down to it… he tries a bit hard… don’t get me wrong, he’s a nice guy and I’d like to have a beer with him, but…”

    Choices are often much fuzzier than pollsters will have you believe (after all, they’re trying to justify their own roles). I agree with William Goldman’s axiom, “Nobody knows anything”, wholeheartedly.

    That said, I don’t predict a collapse of the National vote (people have too much invested to repudiate it all at once), but I think that there certainly won’t be an absolute majority, and the next term will not be comfortable for the Pry Minster now that the sharks smell blood in the water.

    Can’t say that I’m happy with a lot of the protest vote probably going to Winston Peters either. He will be though – he’ll probably think that revenge is best served hot after all.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 973 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Steve Parks,

    . . . his analysis on this tea pot tape issue is way off base.

    To me it's a close replay of the frantic bloviation over the Hollow Men farce. Same for Hooton, though lacking Farrar's inherent obsequiousness he doesn't necessarily believe his own spin.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3427 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    After tear-gassing of Occupy protestors at University of California Davis, a junior staff member has written to his ultimate boss, the Chancellor who ordered the police in.

    This is what balls sound like. Heard anything remotely similar in NZ politics any time lately?

    You are responsible for it because this is what happens when UC Chancellors order police onto our campuses to disperse peaceful protesters through the use of force: students get hurt.

    ...

    I am writing to tell you in no uncertain terms that there must be space for protest on our campus. There must be space for political dissent on our campus. There must be space for civil disobedience on our campus. There must be space for students to assert their right to decide on the form of their protest, their dissent, and their civil disobedience—including the simple act of setting up tents in solidarity with other students who have done so. There must be space for protest and dissent, especially, when the object of protest and dissent is police brutality itself. You may not order police to forcefully disperse student protesters peacefully protesting police brutality. You may not do so. It is not an option available to you as the Chancellor of a UC campus. That is why I am calling for your immediate resignation.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16599 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    I don't think Farrar believes his own spin either. I don't think belief even comes into it. This is a ... mammal (perhaps)... that admires Carl Rove. If anything, the more he spins, the more he'll congratulate himself on his perceived skill in spinning.

    Naturally obsequious though? Oh yes.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 973 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Kracklite,

    I don’t think Farrar believes his own spin either.

    OK, I'm too kind. If I were to make the effort to picture him it'd be kneeling in prayer, Christopher Robin-style, invoking the almighty to keep him in mind for one of those knighthoods. And did he tell any lies today? Little fibs perhaps, but all in the highest of causes.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3427 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    does that actually work?
    #notametaphor

    It works for me, but that may be my old friend the placebo effect. :)

    And you quoted this from Lew (who I have a lot of time for) which still annoys me – because there’s real insight mixed in with a load of foofy-tosh.

    While I disagree with his assessment, what’s more interesting is how he framed that assessment: as a normative argument about what election campaigns ought to be about, and what “real New Zealanders” care about; echoing John Key’s “issues that really matter” rhetoric, which is precisely what all the National supporters I’m in touch with have been saying: nothing to see here, it’s a sideshow, can we get back to the substance, and all that.

    Well, I’d note the irony that Phil Goff would rather like some coverage of Labour’s bulging “goody-bag” this week – guess whoever is advising him doesn’t share The Standard’s confidence that a full-on tea-bagging of Key is a winner. Guess those “real issues” that “matter to real New Zealanders” (as opposed to those much-neglected surreal Kiwis, I guess) matter after all.

    And, yes, I make no apologies for being *cough* disturbed that I listened to three hours of Morning Report nine days before the general election and there was no policy-related campaign stories. Why aren’t you, Lew?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11902 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    National discusses the Issues, yeah right

    But Radio NZ has been counting the number of times he has turned down interview requests on Morning Report. And its website reveals that National declined to answer any of the 100-plus written questions...

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6077 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Lew's entire point there is that nobody should be limiting the audience to an “either-or” choice of topics here. So, no “irony” is involved, and he wouldn’t necessarily be comfortable with a total absence of policy discussion either.
    That said, I’d quite like somebody in the media to take Key up on National’s economic record once he tries to shift the topic there.

    “We can’t do anything about it, it’s the global economic situation.”
    “So you’re saying you’re useless, then.”

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 889 posts Report Reply

  • Lew Stoddart, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    And, yes, I make no apologies for being *cough* disturbed that I listened to three hours of Morning Report nine days before the general election and there was no policy-related campaign stories. Why aren’t you, Lew?

    I don’t lament the lack of policy-focused coverage in the media too loudly because (a) I think there’s a reasonably substantive policy discourse, especially on Radio NZ, and (b) things other than policy matter, and in some cases other things matter a great deal more than policy. The political character of our leadership is an example of that, and a matter that the public has an interest in. As I get sick of arguing, and as people probably get sick of reading, if you’re not a wonkish subject-matter expert you’re probably better making your political decisions on the basis of broad brushstrokes signalling general policy direction and signals related to personality, character and political/institutional competence than on the nitty-gritty technical details. This is not a very fashionable view, but it is what the National party has been campaigning on, and I’ve been telling Labour they should shift their strategy in this direction.

    So at the very least I’m consistent. Which is more than can be said for most Tories when it comes to this case (yourself notably excluded).

    L

    Wellington, NZ • Since Aug 2010 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lew Stoddart,

    Yes, I had an interesting chat with a non-voting friend recently, someone who is mostly disengaged from the details of NZ politics, having felt that no party represents him for a long time. His take was that Winston Peters and the teapot fallout represented at least one good thing about our version of democracy - that at least one function of small parties in MMP had to be "calling out powerful secretive wankers on their hypocrisy". Nearly everyone can see that there's something a bit fucked about a media too scared of the government to publish some extremely minor stuff that virtually everyone knows is precisely how these guys roll. At least Peters is not scared, and in Parliament he will be able to do this with impunity, as he always used to. To that end he doesn't necessarily have to hold the balance of power at all, he can indeed stay outside of any coalition, and probably should.

    I don't like much about Peters myself, but I can see that he serves a function very much like a court jester, as practically the only person in the room who can say what many are thinking. It's a very humanizing thing, rather like the stray comments of children and the elderly often can be, a reminder that it takes a lot of training to play the courtly game of politics, with its neverending rules and courtesies, and sometimes laughter is a powerful force for change.

    Ironically, jesters always wore baubles IIRC.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8439 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lew Stoddart,

    I know we're not at Dimpost, but this is bad for Phil Goff.

    I recall saying here some days ago when this thing first blew up that starving campaign oxygen was not in Labour's favour.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16599 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I don't regard poll results as the determinant of right

    Hooten on the other hand..

    A fresh poll supports Key's decision to refuse permission to publish, with 44 per cent of people backing his stance. Thirty-three per cent of the 1200 people polled thought he should grant publication.

    National Party insider Matthew Hooton said the public reaction showed the Herald on Sunday had made the right decision to keep the contents of the recording private without the permission of Banks or Key.

    "The judgment was probably right. The Herald on Sunday did in fact decide the Prime Minister's right to privacy outweighed the importance of what was on the tape."

    From the same Herald on Sunday story:

    THE NEWSPAPER'S VIEW

    The Herald on Sunday did not "bug" the Prime Minister. We did not know his conversation with John Banks had been recorded until a freelancer gave it to us afterwards. We assessed the tape as having a public interest and asked for the politicians' permission to print. They said no, so we didn't.

    It is what we do every week with a mountain of information handed to the paper - is it interesting, is it legally and ethically permissible to print?

    That's how the media should operate in a free society.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16599 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    McCarten advises tactical voting for the left in certain electorates, and opens with this 'reasonable' expectation:

    This column is strategic advice for centre-left voters only.

    Right wing readers should obey John Key's edict on private political conversations. So please turn the page.

    and ends thus:

    Thankfully, the other side won't know what we are really up to, because no one can divulge this communication without you and me agreeing.

    Well, that's what the Prime Minister says anyway.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16599 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac,

    It baffles me that so many Government MPs are not fronting up to candidates meetings nor for interviews. Especially since Mr Key is the National Party as shown by billboards and speeches, surely he would be pleased to front up and talk about his policies and long term plans? But apart from reading prepared statements he just doesn't front and neither do many of his Ministers. Surely it would be a good poll question to find out if the people believe that democracy is being bypassed by the PM.

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red, in reply to Ianmac,

    Sadly, up to 56% of the voting public couldn't care less.

    56% good grief. Everyone who's ever reached such lofty heights as deputy assistant treasurer of the Taumaranui branch of the National Party will become an MP.

    This is called the "Gilbert Myles" syndrome for those who remember 1990-

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ianmac,

    It baffles me that so many Government MPs are not fronting up to candidates meetings nor for interviews.

    It's in their interests to stay silent. And no one is making them do otherwise.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16599 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Sum total of questioning about this whole bloody business in Paul Holmes’ Q+A interview with John Key:

    PAUL Anyway, the week just gone – good week?

    JOHN Oh, look, it’s another week, anyway. Let’s put it in those terms. Election campaigns are always a bit quirky, but the one thing that does come through – this is a campaign that’s about the economy. It’s about economic leadership and about who can provide stability over the next three years.

    PAUL Let’s talk about the economy shortly.

    JOHN That’s what people care about.

    PAUL I understand that. Let’s talk about the economy shortly. I have to deal with the teacup tape just briefly.

    JOHN Yeah.

    PAUL The worry about your going to the police that people have, I think, is you’re the Prime Minister; you’re effectively using the police to suppress this information. Is that healthy in a democracy?

    JOHN Well, firstly, I utterly reject that. That’s not correct.

    PAUL But that’s what’s happened, though, isn’t it?

    JOHN No. I mean, we believe that the information was illegally obtained. We believe that’s in breach of the Crimes Act, and therefore on that basis, I think that is the view of a number of newspapers, because they haven’t actually printed it. So in my view, we took the course of action that was required. And, look, people can say politicians are fair game. Fair enough. Some people take that view, but my view, and I take that view very seriously and I’ve stood up for that principle even if I’ve been attacked by certain parts of the media for doing so, I think it inevitably leads to prominent New Zealanders and then ordinary everyday New Zealanders, and I’m standing up against that principle.

    PAUL Very well. Let’s move on.

    I gather Phil Goff was interviewed by a journalist.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18815 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    we believe that the information was illegally obtained

    Dialled back from the earlier emphatic pronouncements.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16599 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Baffled by bullshit...

    Some people take that view, but my view, and I take that view very seriously and I’ve stood up for that principle even if I’ve been attacked by certain parts of the media for doing so, I think it inevitably leads to prominent New Zealanders and then ordinary everyday New Zealanders, and I’m standing up against that principle.

    So what exactly was the principle he was standing up for and against??

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4822 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    all you need to hear is that he has some, ok.
    look, a penguin

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16599 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I was aware that an email went around APN staff on Friday asking them to be particularly alert for people who might be breaching office security, but it didn't seem prudent to tell the world about it -- not least because I didn't know what it was really about.

    Turns out, it was because of Michael Laws' vile radio show. I'm in fucking despair about this.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18815 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Turns out, it was because of Michael Laws’ vile radio show. I’m in fucking despair about this.

    The one where he told listeners to shoot journalists? I think the Crimes Act, Sections 306 & 307 come to mind. That man is well an truly an unhinged Glenn Beck type.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4227 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Sacha,

    Hooten on the other hand..

    It's a Hooton Nanny party.

    <coat>

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2132 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Re:Lhaws

    Here's hoping the vile little prick is hot on Mr Henry's heels to Australia soon. Must still need some shoeshine boys in Kalgoorlie..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16599 posts Report Reply

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