Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Jonesing

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  • Rich of Observationz,

    Personally, I discount any information or opinions on the Labour leadership from the right, whether that's Farrar or the press gallery.

    At least those of us to the left of Labour would (mostly) like to see them forming a succesful government - the right want either the Nats in again, or if that's impossible a "Labour" government sufficiently right-wing as not to disturb their many privileges and interests.

    My problem with Shane Jones isn't his pr0n viewing, though it would be nicer if he wouldn't use our money to do it (top tip for politicians - if you're offered a credit card, refuse it. File your expenses after the fact and have a trusted assistant check them through thoroughly for appropriateness).

    I just object to his support for big corporates screwing their workers and the planet.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4444 posts Report Reply

  • The Ruminator,

    It was TV3 that ran the "biggest poll ever" wasn't it about spying on our personal lives? And 89% of people didn't want the GCSB to have more abilities to spy on New Zealanders.

    Because .... ummm .... yeah.

    John Campbell would be spinning in his grave.

    Since Apr 2013 • 52 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Danyl:

    Oddest thing about this leadership contest: TV3′s endorsement of one of the candidates. In some ways it makes sense: Jones is friends with the journalists who are promoting him and running negative campaigns against his opponents (it would all be an outrageous breach of ethics if their mate had any chance of winning). But portraying Jones as a street-fighting man of the common people when he’s a Harvard educated former corporate chairman who talks like he’s swallowed a thesaurus and ends every sentence with ‘etcetera’ elevates it all into absurdity, and its hard to get wound up about it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18822 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Jones does as he pleases it seems, why would you let a a non-team player run the show?
    Or is he perceived as Labour's maverick version of John Key - in that lazy old 'if-ya-can't-beat-them-fairly, emulate-them' kinda way...
    Not my cup of tea...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4838 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    Clearly the crew at 3rd Degree have run out of ideas. I didn't watch it so don't know if Shane did his bloke of the people act but it seems likely from reports.

    Overall the Labour party at present seems to be populated by invisible mps which lets opportunists like Shane have a crack. Whoever wins will get a crack at PM or oblivion. Labour needs to recover support that has gone elsewhere and until they make a selection its a popularity contest.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    an obligation to offer up their private lives

    Because filming the families of politicians is challenging journalism requiring the best and brightest our media has to bring to bear on what is an issue of national importance, or they could send Espiner and Garner.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3313 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    This is a new thing in New Zealand politics, isn't it? I can't recall any previous in which the contenders for leadership of a political party engaged in a process which was so public.

    In this case, it's deliberate - Moira Coatsworth and Tim Barnett have seen the party's open discontent with Wellington horse-trading, and demanded democracy and use of the process they worked through their conference last year. That's a manifestation of the age and the expectation of democracy in all processes, but it's hardly sui generis. It is almost certainly influenced by the confidence with which the Greens have been able to support their party-elected leaders.

    If this exercise is successful, it's hard to imagine that National will not be forced to incorporate elements of it into the next selection process they undertake, even if it is carefully stagemanaged. What it has done for Labour is given them an open platform from which to begin the 2014 election campaign. The invigoration of members, the mobilisation, the flood of emotional associations, and their affects on the party's challenged financial situation are all likely to be highly positive. When we put that beside the large scale membership and volunteer mobilisation opportunity afforded by the asset sales referendum, they're once again in a strong position, if they make good on it.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2132 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster,

    Seems like a distraction, well, an attempted one, from all the almost refreshing political talk coming from the other two candidates.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 139 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    And to add:

    The willful, almost playful ignorance of the dynamics of this situation - this is a closed primary performed for the benefit of the members and several hundred union delegate - is something to behold. For once, the men with microphones aren't the most important people in the room. But that hasn't stopped them openly pretending otherwise.

    That's what's so harmful about the way in which Jones has sought to flout the soft conventions established by his counterparts and the membership. It isn't strongly offensive, but it's sufficiently so to drive membership against him.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2132 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to George Darroch,

    This is a new thing in New Zealand politics, isn’t it? I can’t recall any previous in which the contenders for leadership of a political party engaged in a process which was so public.

    Indeed. And I did anticipate that it would generate unprecedented visibility. It's the "something to hide" implication that gets my goat.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18822 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to George Darroch,

    What it has done for Labour is given them an open platform from which to begin the 2014 election campaign. The invigoration of members, the mobilisation, the flood of emotional associations, and their affects on the party’s challenged financial situation are all likely to be highly positive.

    Unless Robertson gets the nod, in which case the danger is the war between his power base of aging neo-liberal museum pieces in caucus and the largely Auckland based R&F will simply re-ignite after a few months.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1796 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Unless Robertson gets the nod, in which case the danger is the war between his power base of aging neo-liberal museum pieces in caucus and the largely Auckland based R&F will simply re-ignite after a few months.

    And there's the rub, isn't it? Being an outsider, I rely on hearsay, but I'm led to believe that the membership skews strongly Auckland and strongly Pacific, with reasonable contingents of 'old-time' members who skew socialist, and youth who are very socially liberal. Union delegates are usually pragmatic working people, but they tend to be well to the left of the average New Zealander.

    This is an exercise in capturing their affections.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2132 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Bill Ralston has subsequently expressed the same view: that Jones is the one who’d keep National’s strategists awake nights.

    I don’t have access to the same senior MPs as Espiner and Ralston, but I have talked to a couple of National senior staffers who consider the idea of a Jones-led Labour Party completely absurd, for reasons which are obvious to everyone except our senior political journalists. At the moment they’re briefing against Cunliffe, as in: ‘People think Cunliffe will be good but he won’t because he’s too weird,’ or whatever. Which suggests to me that they think the winner will be Cunliffe so they’re pre-emptively undermining him.

    I think the Nats are mostly just sad that Shearer's gone.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 901 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to George Darroch,

    That’s what’s so harmful about the way in which Jones has sought to flout the soft conventions established by his counterparts and the membership. It isn’t strongly offensive, but it’s sufficiently so to drive membership against him.

    He seems to run the risk of being a popular but powerless caucus rebel, which I don't think is what he was aiming for.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18822 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Darlington,

    There were some weird notes, not least Espiner’s implication that it was only Labour’s “middle-class intellectuals” who had an issue with Jones’ use of a ministerial credit card to pay for porn in 2010.

    Even if we were to grant him that one (in a fit of wild generosity, perhaps), it's certainly not just Labour's middle-class intellectuals who'd have an issue with a Leader of the party having been implicated in a highly dodgy immigration scandal. If this weren't someone else's blog I'd have an appropriate word for it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    It has provided a very positive platform for him to show his wares.

    As a one-time reader of The Female Eunuch (eons ago) and a sometime reader of The Woman's Weekly, I'm appalled at his "wares":)

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 522 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Can someone please point to evidence of Jones being a/ a really good speaker b/ amusing/witty/funny c/ in good command of all aspects of a complex situation?
    From what I've seen in the contest to date, he's just not living up to the hype.
    Yet people whose opinion I respect insist he's the man for the job.
    Yrs
    Puzzled of Shakesville

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1538 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    a really good speaker

    I was at the Levin meeting. He was very droll, but he had no passion or conviction. He's a distant third for me.

    I own a copy of The Female Eunuch and I read the Women's Weekly, albeit mostly in supermarket queues.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1303 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard, in reply to Tim Darlington,

    middle-class intellectuals

    Is it just me, or does it strike anyone as weird that middle-class intellectuals (academics and teachers and public servants and socially liberal professionals) aren't considered part of Labour's core voting base? Surely they/we have been for generations.

    I have strong memories of my parents taking me to Labour Party events in the 70s and 80s, in between anti-Tour and nuclear disarmament rallies. A wide spectrum of social justice, environmental and yes, "identity politics" issues have been as much a part of that movement as economic and equality issues. When did we start turning the clock back to the days of cloth-capped blokey-bloke wharfies and miners and catering to some vision of their supposed salt-of-the-earth misogyny and homophobia as an essentialised emblem of "true Labour" voters?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to George Darroch,

    This is an exercise in capturing their affections.

    Yes and no. I think that the general zeitgiest on the left is a desire for someone who will start to talk about economics again, and who can espouse a believable, transformational alternative to neo-liberalism. Neo-liberalism is now seen as a discredited zombie ideology that is clinging on because it is has the advantage of being the comfy, incumbent position of the political/media “establishment”, and the left wants a candidate who can change that.

    To me, at least, this is the attraction of Cunliffe as a candidate. He seems the only one of them who is prepared to mention the lengthening queue of hungry people outside the gossip dominated neo-liberal vicars tea party that parliament has become. In terms of capturing affection, this is Cunliffe’s shrewdest insight into the current political climate on the left, and it is one that has only belatedly (if at all) come to Robertson and Jones. It is this desire from the left for a mainstream party leader who is NOT a business as usual candidate that the courtier media like Garner and Espiner are ill-equipped to see or grasp. Like all courtiers, they are to close to the palace to see the revolution coming.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1796 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Tom Beard,

    Surely they/we have been for generations.

    It fits about 30% of the Labour voters I know :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8444 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Tom Beard,

    When did we start turning the clock back to the days of cloth-capped blokey-bloke wharfies and miners and catering to some vision of their supposed salt-of-the-earth misogyny and homophobia as an essentialised emblem of “true Labour” voters?

    I think it started some time around when Don Brash came uncomfortably close to beating Clarke, off the back of Orewa.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8444 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Can someone please point to evidence of Jones being a/ a really good speaker b/ amusing/witty/funny c/ in good command of all aspects of a complex situation?

    It's worth watching the 3rd Degree report for that. He's certainly at home on the marae. But there have been a number of reports from the leadership meetings that have noted his performance.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18822 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tim Darlington,

    a Leader of the party having been implicated in a highly dodgy immigration scandal

    Good point.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18822 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Graham,

    I have heard that the porn thing was Jones covering for a staff member and, alternatively, for his son. Both rumours unverified and somewhat challenging to common sense. But out there, nevertheless...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

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