Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Judge Harvey: My part in his downfall

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  • Russell Brown,

    It seems prudent to clarify that the title of this post is a play in the title of Spike Milligan’s book Hitler – My part in his downfall – although I’m sure Judge Harvey would know that.

    Also, I never did get to enjoy my prize. I left the bottle in the conference room and never saw it again.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18520 posts Report Reply

  • peter mclennan, in reply to Russell Brown,

    ... the Spike Milligan joke (to keep tracing it back) being that in the book you mention, newly recruited soldier Milligan was given an official photograph titled 'THIS IS THE ENEMY.' "It was a photograph of Adolf Hitler," wrote Spike. "I looked all the way through the train, but he wasn't there."
    Now I suppose I'll be accused of Godwinning.
    Mrs Tweedie (@Proofer3)

    AK Central • Since Nov 2006 • 151 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to peter mclennan,

    … the Spike Milligan joke (to keep tracing it back) being that in the book you mention, newly recruited soldier Milligan was given an official photograph titled ‘THIS IS THE ENEMY.’

    Ha! I'd forgotten that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18520 posts Report Reply

  • peter mclennan,

    Never admit your subconscious is doing the work, buddy! Let them think you're a genius.

    AK Central • Since Nov 2006 • 151 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Nat Torkington argues that Harvey shouldn't have had to stand aside and strongly faults the Herald's reporting of the comments.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18520 posts Report Reply

  • artig,

    Isn't the TradeMe operations manager Mike O'Donnell (MOD), not O'Connell?

    BoP • Since Oct 2010 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    Is there an 'Untertag' video version coming

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 204 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    ting a ling ling...

    the Anerican cartoonist Walt Kelly

    That Pogo's a no go...
    Now Heather is an Erica
    She's an all Anerican girl...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4555 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Beagle,

    I think Nat's criticism is wrong on a number of counts.

    Firstly, I think the media were correct to draw the parallels between Judge Harvey's comments about the US govt's attitude to copyright in the TPP and the case that he is currently judging which is... about the US govt and copyright. Indeed, the connection is so strong that they'd be failing in their job if they didn't mention it.

    Secondly, I think Judge Harvey was foolish to make that comment considering the case he was assigned to. Isn't "not making public comment about one side of a case you're considering" one of the more obvious rules for judges?

    Thirdly, Nat conflates judges and politicians with "Do we want our judiciary engaging in discussions? Do we want politicians coming down from the Beehive to actually talk to us about what they think, and learn from us in an honest exchange of views?"

    Yes we do want and expect politicians to talk to us, it's part of their job. And if they say silly things while they're talking to us, we're going to report them and ask them to justify themselves.

    However, politicians and judges have very different roles in our society. I do appreciate that Judge Harvey engages with the community, but I value judges being both impartial and being seen to be impartial even more. And if judges do engage and are foolish enough to say silly things, it's entirely reasonable to report them.

    In summary: It's sad that Judge Harvey won't be on this case because he was probably the best person to judge it, but it was his fault not that of the media.

    New Zealand • Since Nov 2007 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Nat Torkington argues that Harvey shouldn't have had to stand aside

    Yup. In the given context the US doesn't literally mean 'the USA' and the enemy doesn't literally mean 'the foe'.

    On the other hand you can see why an American would feel differently to being referred to as 'the enemy' than would a Kiwi. Unfortunate choice of words.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to artig,

    Isn't the TradeMe operations manager Mike O'Donnell (MOD), not O'Connell?

    Duh. Typing errors in effect. Fixed now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18520 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Russell Brown,

    strongly faults the Herald’s reporting of the comments.

    Granny’s overall tone has been pretty negative towards KDC, in both “factual” (I know, it’s Granny) and editorial content. I’m really not surprised that an opportunity to slap the judge was leveraged fully, though I doubt the intent was to get Harvey off the case.

    It’s nice to know that our judiciary take the appearance of independence so seriously, but it’s a huge blow to have lost Harvey’s expertise as the presiding judge. I hope that he will be consulted, even if it can only be as a source of technical nous.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3889 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve,

    Unfortunately I think it was a poorly considered remark by Harvey given that he was hearing a case where "U.S." is one of the parties involved. It wasn't related to the Dotcom case but it was related to both copyright law and the USA which are pivotal in the Dotcom case.

    Regardless of what Harvey meant by his statement, and I have no reason at all to doubt his professionalism as a judge, it can clearly be interpreted as being biased.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Waugh, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Judge Harvey: My part in his downfall

    That is totally crying out for a downfall movie Hitler mashup........

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    No one seems to have mentioned this, but I hope everyone knows the good judge was also almost certainly making a very subtle witty allusion to one of the iconic military messages in United States history, that of Oliver Hazard Perry who reported his victory over the British at the battle of Lake Erie in 1813 thus: “We have met the enemy, and they are ours”.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1743 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I was surprised Judge Harvey wasn't more careful as this would be exactly the sort of thing that can be twisted out of context and deliberately misrepresented....which is what the Herald seems to do best these days.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 280 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I deeply admire Harvey's ethics in realising that a perceived conflict counts and stepping aside in the interests of his profession and of a fair hearing for all parties, even though I have no doubt he was personally very keen to be part of it.

    Imagine if more public figures had the same moral sense?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Thomas Beagle,

    the connection is so strong that they'd be failing in their job if they didn't mention it.

    Quite. It was an obviously standout line even for this non-journo sitting in that session.

    And the whole event was so constructive that those standard 'news' angles about conflict and angst would have provided thin pickings otherwise. Getting editors and journos to see the news value in hope without going all pollyanna is a bigger challenge that needs tackling.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Was that an earlier, more verbose version of W00T?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4362 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    I can verify at least part of Russell's account as I was sitting next to him at the "Bad Behaviour" session and he was tweeting away. Indeed, I was tempted to lean over and take his device off him!

    I think the Herald's decision to lead with this story (and deliberately mis-interpret the context?) is as ill-judged as Judge Harvey's quip. Oh, the irony!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2272 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Or "I have met the enema and it wasn't fun"?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2272 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Fear,

    Could someone kindly clarify what it was that Judge Harvey actually said? The Herald reports it as "...[the] U.S." and the BBC reports it as "...he is US.". Russel on the other hand wrote that he tweeted "...he is us."

    Just wondering as the reference to 'us' vs 'U.S.' are rather different, though that won't make any difference now.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2008 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Robert Fear,

    Phonetically: "he is you ess".
    Smart quip. Too smart, as it happens.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Robert Fear,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1743 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Robert Fear,

    Russell said "he is us". Judge Harvey said "he is [the] US".

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3889 posts Report Reply

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