Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: It's not funny because it's our money

146 Responses

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  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Our “Esteemed Prime Minister” also enjoys this disgraceful abuse of Parliament.

    I agree with you, up to a point. This might sound strange coming from me, but I don't think facetious answers to serious questions (I'll err on the side of generosity here) is the right tone to take.

    Honestly, I wasn’t awfully enamoured of Michael Cullen’s “witty” lacing of his answers with snide insults then looking all outraged at the entirely predictable result. Not really sure I pay my taxes for live-trolling to the Press Gallery.

    You know the really weird thing about Select Committees – you see these caterwalling numpties behaving like grown-ups taking their jobs seriously and treating each other with grown-up civility and respect. Wonder if it has anything to do with the lack of television cameras, and pretty light press benches, in the majority of SC meetings?

    We constantly get politicians bitching about how they get no respect and can’t understand why the political process is so often viewed with cynical contempt. Here’s a crazy idea: You get what you give, folks, and karma’s a bitch.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12040 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    We constantly get politicians bitching about how they get no respect and can’t understand why the political process is so often viewed with cynical contempt.

    Not from Brownlee you don't. As much as anything it's his utter lack of concern for such trivia that makes him the perfect guy to absorb the political hits.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3565 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Presumably it's bad form to draw attention to the fact that he's also morbidly obese.

    It's probably bad form considering likely links between high workloads, stress and obesity, but if the intent is to appeal to the same crowd who were convinced to rationalise a genuine, serious hate of Helen Clark by reasoning she was ugly and female at the same time, it might catch some attention.

    I'd be interested to see some opposition election campaigns that highlighted what I think is disgusting and dismissive behaviour in the house, but I'm also not convinced many voters would care or do anything but rationalise it away to match what they already think.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 434 posts Report Reply

  • Terry Baucher,

    Well put Craig. Facetious remarks are inappropriate when MPs and Ministers are charged with governing including managing over $70 billion spending annually and opposition MPs have the role of holding the Govt to account over that. We shouldn't accept Gotcha questions and snide asides as part of that.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2008 • 88 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to izogi,

    It's probably bad form considering likely links between high workloads, stress and obesity, but if the intent is to appeal to the same crowd who were convinced to rationalise a genuine, serious hate of Helen Clark by reasoning she was ugly and female at the same time, it might catch some attention.

    Izogi my point wasn't about manufacturing cheap shots based on Brownlee's appearance. It's about this Government's credibility in concentrating responsibility on someone who by any reasonable standards has to be at serious risk.

    During David Lange's motor racing phase, Jim Bolger descended to sniping at the former "Billy Bunter" figure, suggesting with some justification that he was losing the plot. If Brownlee isn't copping this kind of thing I don't think it's because standards of political debate have improved.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3565 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Sacha,

    The cancelled expressway section was most certainly part of the project - hoping someone pings Brownlee for lying to Parliament.

    The Speaker has already made it clear that Ministers can lie to their heart's content in supplementaries, and that it is only primary questions, personal explanations, and other "statements of some formality" where they must be honest.

    And then MPs wonder why the public has such contempt for them.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1661 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Bodnar, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I was quite disappointed in Brownlee's mocking of her work. Not because it was hers, but because it's devaluing the relationship between transport planning and urban form. Transport planning has human effects and NZTA must be allowed to assess the impacts. I don't care if Brownlee has a jab to make, the end result is bigger than he is.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2009 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Presumably it's bad form to draw attention to the fact that he's also morbidly obese.

    Yes, it is. Brownlee has lots of flaws. His appearance isn't relevant to them.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1661 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    I/S, apart from the obvious symtom, morbid obesity isn't about appearance. Brownlee's apparent concentrated workload would be bizarre enough without the added statistical risk factor.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3565 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Sacha,

    Sometimes laughter is the best response to people behaving absurdly. Metiria used it to great effect on the recent Native Affairs panel when village idiot Brendan Horan started spouting about the hygiene of the poor (no I’m not kidding).

    I/S:

    Yes, it is. Brownlee has lots of flaws. His appearance isn’t relevant to them.

    And who could forget David Lange’s chainsaw wit? He adopted it to combat being bullied at school over his size, and never had to look back. More recently, I've found creating visual satire (as seen on my blog) to be quite therapeutic.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4365 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Greg Bodnar,

    the end result is bigger than he is

    I believe that was Russell's key point - this is not some sort of game for fools to play amongst themselves. It's our future, and it deserves more respect.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to merc,

    Gerry serves at the behest of the Queen

    Brownlee: Good morning yer majesty. What can I do for your eminent egrescence?

    Brenda: The road from Paraparaumu to Levin?

    Brownlee: I know it well.

    Brenda: It's a bloody disgrace. I'm informed by young Willy that it took him over 10 minutes to get through that puker-ow bay place, even with Plod giving it the full blues and twos.

    Brownlee: Some people pronounce that 'pu-ker-ua'

    Brenda: Then they're probably darkies. Anyway, it's got to be sorted before Phil the Greek sets foot down there. He can't be more than 15 mins from a suitably appointed garderobe at his age. Get some concrete poured - four lanes should do it, but make sure you don't use the builders we had on the Windsor Castle extension.

    Brownlee: Right you are, your galactic and exalted majesty, I'll get right down to it. Now, could I trouble you for one of those Buckingham Palace mugs that I saw Grump Gillard had on my last trip to Ozzie?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Heh, seriously I don't think Der Kommissar is actually allowed to talk to, write to, or otherwise communicate with the Queen.
    Mr Key did and was told to sort out Her Cathedral in Christchurch, which he has promptly done. She is after all the head of the Church Of England.
    Funny how protocols work eh? Our Parliament is a sham. The day we are allowed to call liar! in Parliament is the day we are free.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    I'm sorry, I usually find what you have to say reasonable, but are you really concern-trolling about Brownlee's weight with that remark about "risks"?

    Two things: obesity is not an infallible predictor of heart disease or any other disease, and I assume you are not his doctor; there is also this tedious little law that it is illegal to discriminate against people due to their health status.

    His size has nothing to do with his personality or ability to do his job, such as they are.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I still watch NZ question time when I get a chance and although I agree with the comments here about Brownlee and others, NZ question time is a vastly superior process compared with the equivalent in the NSW and federal parliament in Australia. Feel free to check it out for yourselves, but I'd say the role of the NZ Speaker, particularly Lockwood, and the requirements of the NZ Standing Orders ensure the process is far more meaningful though it could surely be further improved.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Genter is addressing it now. Pointing to the bullshit.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6281 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Presumably it's bad form to draw attention to the fact that he's also morbidly obese.

    His size has nothing to do with his personality or ability to do his job, such as they are.

    If one eats so much that one becomes overweight it could be suggested that one is greedy. Greed is a personality trait, a trait common amongst the right wing muppets we have lording it over us at this point in time.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4931 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    If one eats so much that one becomes overweight it could be suggested that one is greedy.

    Steve, if this is your depth of understanding of how human metabolism works, can I politely ask that you shut up now? And perhaps find an issue that matters to talk about?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Labour's Phil Twyford has apparently just lodged a Privilege complaint against Brownlee over this. As noted above, it will almost certainly fail - a secondary question is not "a statement of some formality", so MPs apparently have carte blanche to lie and mislead. But by doing so, he signals that its not OK, and pushes for further reform. Which hopefully, one day, we will get.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1661 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Been looking for a theme song for our RoNS.


    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1500 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Emma Hart,

    can I politely ask that you shut up now?

    No. Your level of comprehension is sadly lacking if you consider asking someone to "shut up" to be polite.
    Greed may have been touted as being good in the Eighties but I doubt if I am alone in thinking that time has proven that the opposite holds true.
    As I said...

    If one eats so much that one becomes overweight it could be suggested that one is greedy.

    Well you could, this does not imply cause and effect, they are not mutually exclusive.
    The fact that, as I write, Parliament is discussing an SOP with regard to punishing DPB recipients for receiving more than they are "Allowed" when they are obviously in need while the likes of Jenny Shipley are receiving in excess of $2000 a day for pontificating over matters over which they have little direct knowledge.
    $2000 a day from the same public purse because of need or greed?. I would plumb for the latter.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4931 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Parliamentary reform + meteor strikes Auckland this afternoon = John Key

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to TracyMac,

    I'm sorry, I usually find what you have to say reasonable, but are you really concern-trolling about Brownlee's weight with that remark about "risks" . . . I assume you are not his doctor . . .

    "Concern-trolling"? In this context you make it sound like practicing online medicine without a license.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3565 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Can we please lay off talking about Brownlee's weight. It just distracts from his behaviour which is more than enough to sustain a discussion.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Sacha,

    Don't worry Sacha, I swear not to mention it again. And may I say how much I appreciate your courtesy.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3565 posts Report Reply

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