Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Jonesing

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  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Russell Brown,

    On the rare occasions I have done work paid for by a ministry it is very clear. Food is covered, but never alcohol.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2157 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Attachment

    I honestly don't give a rats arse about his watching of pron. What I care about was his mind-numbing stupidity to do it on a work credit card which demostrated such a lack of basic common sense that I wouldn't want him anywhere near any kind of responsibility.

    A gratuity for you, Bart.
    There, I knew there was some reason for keeping last week's blurry photo of a rat speeding over the horizon with left-over walnut. :-)

    Otherwise to say I substantially agree with you, though perhaps there's a good place for Jones in a non-leadership role.

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sam M,

    Not sure why we expect politicians to subsidise their work requirements (schmoozing) with their personal cash.

    Well, one could note that these same Ministers spend their Opposition careers going through the audit trails of senior civil servants and SOE managers for anything fragrant with potential political embarrassment. Never met a politician who lost a poll point or media hits denouncing bureaucratic "waste and extravagance". Practising what you so loudly preach to others isn't only a mark of character, it's also good politics.

    Oh, and one may also note that when the annual baseline salary for a minister is currently over two hundred grand, I don't think picking up a $70 tab for two bottles of wine was a monstrous imposition on Phil Heatley. Especially at a party conference which he was attending as a National Party member NOT a minister of the crown.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to ChrisW,

    FINALLY someone who.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones, in reply to Russell Brown,

    For better or worse, this is how most of the world does business.

    I think some of the public reaction to it stems not so much from outrage that servants of the public get to adopt a kind of business class lifestyle, but that there's a big gap between that business class lifestyle and the one that most people live. MPs etc are easier targets than forex traders and so forth, because they're on our news every night making decisions that affect us, whereas we don't know the people whose investment decisions shut down our factory or foreclosed our mortgage or traded our country's entire wheat crop, and we don't get to elect them.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Myles Thomas,

    Could it be that Jones is the more right-wing of the three hence he is the preference for the National Party and for Guyon and Duncan (Guncan anybody?)

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Thinking about my namesake's candidacy, I can't help but wonder if anyone's done a serious analysis of where the urban women's vote has gone since 2008. I remember someone saying that Labour had lost it to that nice man John Key - perhaps it was Trotter. Now there's the Greens hitting 14%. I can't think of a group likelier to appeal to urban women, and likelier to benefit from Labour turning its back on its moderately feminist history of the last thirty years. But I don't have the numbers to show it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I know what you mean. Idiot/Savant tends to fly into a rage when it emerges that a travelling minister has a wine with dinner, or entertains relevant contacts in a fairly standard fashion. For better or worse, this is how most of the world does business.

    Up to a point, Mister Brown. While I did enjoy snarking my arse off at Shane's expense, what smacked my gob about Shane is that I thought he'd be a little more sensitive to the *cough* perception issues around being loose with other people's credit cards given his 'Business Browntable' background and his chairmanship of the Waitangi Fisheries Commission. The mainstream media isn't that good at catching the nuances, but it's not as if Shane himself is exactly shy about denouncing "iwi elites" making out like bandits while the flaxroots wither to receptive audiences.

    Yeah, people can be extraordinarily forgiving -- sometimes more than they should, I guess. But the shit that sticks is the perception of hypocrisy.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Sam M, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I'll never buy the salary argument. Where should it start and stop? Why not taxis, meals, etc. Yes it is a good salary, but it is their money once it is paid and I don't want politics to be dominated by those who can afford to throw their own money at it in order to be successful.

    I agree you should be reasonable, but I do not think it unreasonable for a person to have a drink the evening when travelling for work.

    Now, how much you should spend and whether you should do so at a Party Conference is another question. Examples of how some very poor behaviour by some spoil things for the majority of reasonable people.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW, in reply to James Butler,

    My pleasure!
    I look forward to capturing a blurry photo of two such rats, then I could non-gratuitously give my view of the rat race.

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia, in reply to Tom Beard,

    salt-of-the-earth misogyny and homophobia

    That's what has annoyed me greatly about Jones' campaign and the journos who have espoused it. I actually admired the way Jones' coped with the porn scandal so I don't think that incident has put me off him. It's what he has said since and an overwhelming feeling that so intelligent a man with such potential to help the people of the north has sunk so low. He MUST have felt pretty stink doing that 3rd Degree story.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Myles Thomas,

    Could it be that Jones is the more right-wing of the three hence he is the preference for the National Party and for Guyon and Duncan (Guncan anybody?)

    My working theory is that he's the candidate who is most like a corporate neolib swinging dick, which means that for National (and certain other middle-age white men):
    a) he's the only one whose motivations they understand, and
    b) he's obviously the public's first choice, I mean, what more could anyone want?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to James Butler,

    My working theory is that he’s the candidate who is most like a corporate neolib swinging dick, which means that for National (and certain other middle-age white men)…

    Um, I can’t speak for the rest of the NatBorg (stupid fricking WiFi) but I don’t think most of us are as fascinated by these embarrassingly contrived photo-ops as we’re supposed to be. At least until our cousins across the pond finish their latest cycle of political Ick-Factor Australia.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    The sneering tone you adopt in discussing those you clearly consider to be your social inferiors perhaps answers your question better than I ever could. It is called the Labour party for a reason, one of those reasons being organised Labour makes Jack as good as all his masters - including the condescending middle-class intellectual ones.

    I should probably let this lie, but ... any "sneering" in my post is a sneer at the mythological straw-bloke conjured up by the anti-"identity politics" commentators: hence my use of the words "supposed" and "essentialised". It's the sneer at the false dichotomy that the likes of Trotter, Tamihere & Jones keep trotting out: economics vs racism/sexism/homophobia/environmental issues. It's condescending to suggest that someone struggling on the minimum wage doesn't care (or is atcively hostile to) issues that affect women, LGBTI people, people of colour or those facing a fucked-up environment. You know, there might even be some overlap between those people. Shockingly, some might even suggest that those people might have been more heavily fucked around by neoliberalism than straight white male unionists.

    As for "makes Jack as good as all his masters": well, I guess your choices of name and pronoun speak for themselves.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Oh, here's a nice quote:

    I think a David Shearer led Labour Party will pose more of a threat to National, than any alternative leader.

    David Farrar in the Herald, back in late 2011.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Jones is a joke candidate. He's like, I don't know, when you run in the Presidential primary in order to score Secretary of State. (Or possibly, when you run in the Presidential primary in order to score a cabinet post in the other party's cabinet.) He's also got very little to lose.

    I don't think it's true that this is a contest aimed at the Labour Party membership. It's a contest decided by the Party, but it's also a consciously designed exercise in political theatre. One of the most frustrating/hilarious things has been watching political journalists appear surprised that a set of rules carefully designed to produce exactly this outcome have done so.

    Generally it's been hilarious watching pundits/journalists who have no clue at all about the Labour Party (and I include most left-wing commentators here as well) opine about the relative political positions of the candidates, the way the process will work, who's "winning" etc. They just don't have a clue!

    Since Jul 2008 • 1395 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    On the rare occasions I have done work paid for by a ministry it is very clear. Food is covered, but never alcohol.

    Oh yes. I've been in situations with public servants where in the private sector it would be considered entirely appropriate to buy a bottle of wine -- ie, we're all only there because of our jobs, and I've put a drink on my business Mastercard -- and they're required to reach into their own pockets.

    The gravy train is a real disappointment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    I don’t think it’s true that this is a contest aimed at the Labour Party membership. It’s a contest decided by the Party, but it’s also a consciously designed exercise in political theatre.

    Fair point.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    some might even suggest that those people might have been more heavily fucked around by neoliberalism than straight white male unionists.

    It's true that finally unions like Unite are reaching out to the traditionally marginally-unionised, and the win for careworkers the other week was phenomenal. But it's taken a long time to get there compared to the traditionally-male craft unions.

    As for the reverse-snobbery of sneering at the "liberal" middle-classes, I can't think of any revolution (let's go back to socialist roots) that was successful without co-opting what we think of as the middle class.

    No-one needs to play oppression Olympics here. Conversely, don't throw the not-just-like-me groups under the bus when our social justice and economic fairness aims are more similar than not.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 497 posts Report Reply

  • Jenny Kirk, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yes - Jones is at home on a marae . I was there, and that aspect was good to observe.
    What was not so good - Jones and his TV entourage did not stay for the actual business of the hui. They did the powhiri, had cuppa tea and chat, and left.
    The business presentation was about future economic development for the north - a subject Jones as regional development spokesperson for Labour, should have been interested in. Not a good look.

    Northland • Since Sep 2013 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    it’s also a consciously designed exercise in political theatre…
    it’s been hilarious watching pundits/journalists who have no clue at all about the Labour Party (and I include most left-wing commentators here as well) opine about the relative political positions of the candidates …. They just don’t have a clue!

    The ‘political theatre’ isn’t working well when we don’t know the political leanings of the main characters. Unless it’s theatre designed to deceive … (give them their due, National learnt that lesson, and have campaigned openly on unpopular policy.)
    I like the process. It’s been great.
    But I’m mystified we know so little of the ‘relative political positions of the candidates’ that we’re reading tea-leaves and parsing tweets. However ‘hilarious’ for insiders, that’s not a good thing. For Labour or NZ.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1599 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman, in reply to Sam M,

    I agree you should be reasonable, but I do not think it unreasonable for a person to have a drink the evening when travelling for work.

    I don't really have a problem with paying for a minister to have a nightcap after a day negotiating with hard arsed Eurocrats, but what stuck in the craw was when I saw that they were choosing to just use the euro hotel minibar, paying euro hotel prices in euros for a bloody miniature of johnny walker red. Why not get a bottle of something decent at duty free, for the love of christ?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 216 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I don’t know that the Labour Party is under any particular duty to decide on political direction in the full glare of the media. I also don’t think that, if you’re not a member, you have any particular right to know the content of the Party’s internal decision making. The party doesn’t write policy by fiat of the Leader, so it’s not appropriate for leadership candidates to be making policy on the hoof.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1395 posts Report Reply

  • Jenny Kirk, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    "The ‘political theatre’ isn’t working well when we don’t know the political leanings of the main characters. Unless it’s theatre designed to deceive …"

    Its not "political theatre".Its a real effort to have the Labour membership involved in deciding who will be the next Labour leader - and judging by the large numbers of previously unfinancial members coming out of the woodwork to have their say, and new members joining up at the door of the leadership meetings, involving the ordinary Party member in this process is proving attractive.
    As to the "political leanings" of the main characters - I thought that was fairly obvious from what they have said, and what has been said about them in the mainstream media. Jones - to the right, doesn't like the Greens or environmental policies. Robertson - one of those caucus members who pushed for the inexperienced Shearer as leader (doesn't say much for his political nous) and known to be conservative - maybe right as well. Cunliffe - producing new ideas to Party members which achieved aclaim from members, and with the political experiences in his background to really "take" it to Key and the National Government.

    Northland • Since Sep 2013 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Robertson – one of those caucus members who pushed for the inexperienced Shearer as leader (doesn’t say much for his political nous) and known to be conservative – maybe right as well.

    Except he isn't in fact right. He's probably, on the public positions he's taking right now, slightly further to the left than Cunliffe. Based on my experience working with him on the Policy Council, I wouldn't say he's conservative --- he's careful, and doesn't like to fuck up, but those are positives, not negatives. He's also got a clear vision for where the Labour Party should be, and it's not one primarily defined by being Robertson-led, it's one defined by principle.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1395 posts Report Reply

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