Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Pomp and Circumstance

287 Responses

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  • Paul Williams,

    Lest, I quibble too much, I think it is obvious that John Key and his advisors have shown great skill and purpose in sealing these agreements to govern in just over a week.

    Agreed. I remain wary of this government but they deserve credit for quickly and calmly assembling a government. It's a cliche I know, but there's real merit in the swift and trouble-free passing of authority.

    In including the Maori Party, they have demonstrated not only tactical nous but a sense of vision. But I can't help but think it's not the Maori Party agreement that we're all going to be talking about.

    Similarly agreed. The RNZ Focus on Politics for last week highlights the calmness and consistency of of Turia and Sharples compared with the silliness of Hide. First he's all swagger, bluff and confidence, then suppine and conciliatory and finally just outright nuts suggesting we not pay our Kyoto committments. Every government's got their jesters, but they're not often the Leader.

    In this same edition, Key indicates the form of the final agreement will not lock parties into specific targets etc. I understand this approach, and tactically I see the merit, but I'd've thought it very risky for the minor parties that need to claim specific wins. Simply retaining the Maori seats, for the time being, and reviewing the Foreshore and Seabed wouldn't be enough for Maori surely?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And so it begins. Turia to Hide: on Maori spending, you can stick your private-sector razor gang up your arse.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17935 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    First he's all swagger, bluff and confidence, then suppine and conciliatory and finally just outright nuts suggesting we not pay our Kyoto committments.

    Maybe privately Rodney is wary of a carbon trade war with the G20?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3893 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    Wait for them to abolish the dole.

    Hasn't Turia said she is in favour of replacing it with work schemes or something? I'm sure Rodney would agree. And, of course, under Labour, the DPB is now lumped in with the Unemployment Benefit, single parents being unemployed in their eyes.

    There's nothing socially progressive, liberating, or even "equal" in demoting motherhood to an optional duty outside work hours. And people wonder why there's so many social/family problems...

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Fox,

    I've got a feeling that John Key's Big Tent will look more like Billy Smart's Big Top by the end of this parliament.

    Since Nov 2006 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I like this bit from the National-Act Agreement Appendix on the Climate Change Select Committee:

    hear views from trade and diplomatic experts on the international relations aspects of this issue

    Always good to have the important issues of the day shoved into the cupboard because they made be bad for getting on with other countries and making money.

    This is the same tosh that National was doing a couple of decades ago with Nuclear Free, which they since changed their minds on.

    Act's now got them doing it for Climate Change. Can we have a right-wing government with vision for a change?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Meh. I feel like National wins the golden ring either way. Maori and Act snipe at each other in the foreground; National uses whichever one it wants to get legislation passed in the background, all the while looking 'reasonable'; most media concentrate on the sniping rather than the legislation; and we look up in three years and suddenly notice that we've, like, privatised the air in public parks or something.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3582 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    It may be a clever move to have Reviews as a means of delaying action or reaction to tricky problems, as, at the time of setting up a new Government, scrutiny is intense. As it is, the approval is focussed on how clever the new Leadership has been in setting up so quickly. Must be a good decisive Government!

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    National uses whichever one it wants to get legislation passed in the background, all the while looking 'reasonable'; most media concentrate on the sniping rather than the legislation; and we look up in three years and suddenly notice that we've, like, privatised the air in public parks or something.

    I think you've just alighted on their exact strategy; let the wingnuts compete for column inches and just get on with it (though I'm predicting a pretty modest first-term program if circumstances permit).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    See what you mean about the difference in the tone of the agreements, Russell.

    If Rodders is impressed by the linguistic baubles of Full Initial Capitals, perhaps Turia and Sharples are more like e e cummings..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15709 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    and we look up in three years and suddenly notice that we've, like, privatised the air in public parks or something.

    Now that's just silly Danielle, they'll never get away with that.

    What they'll do is privatise the air over private property. Then when the air moves over public parks, it will still be in private ownership, and you'll have to pay a small levy to use it.

    Any air owned by the public which is used by private companies will similarly be levied, but this amount will be over-offset by tax credits, because we want to encourage growth, and times are tough, don't ya know?

    It'll be the Private-Public-Partnership-on-Air-Usage.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    "privatise the air" - let's not give Rodney any ideas.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15709 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I should note, that if the air that you breath is of bad quality, you should feel free to negotiate with another Private-Public-Partnership-on-Air-Usage Provider for higher quality air.

    Providers will obviously compete for your business, this will lead to much better results than the ETS.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    And so it begins. Turia to Hide: on Maori spending, you can stick your private-sector razor gang up your arse.

    Jostling at the trough.
    When I was a kid I had a job where I carried buckets of skim milk from the milking shed and poured them into a pig trough. As the trough was to short to accommodate all pigs at once I stood by with a fence post, delivering a tap or two to the overly greedy. There were a couple of expensive prize pigs which I was cautioned to go easy on. Problem was they knew it, and were the worst offenders.

    I wonder if John Key has a better method.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3291 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Key is very wise to include the Maori Party in his coalition. Where in the past parties have been held to ransom by the bare majority they got with the minor parties, now the parties can be played off against each other. National will call the shots.

    There is a flipside. National can also be safely held accountable. They can't point the finger at their partners to show why they did various things.

    They're still on honeymoon. I'm waiting for the first 'private sector review' to hit a department that does things the public generally cares a great deal about. I'll be totally amazed if there isn't a culture clash that can be heard from the other side of the world.

    I'm not surprised that climate change is on the table, as ACT's first act of Utu against their nemesis, the Greens. I have a funny feeling that 9 years of Labour-Greens will have left substantial institutional knowledge about the science of climate change that may stand as a massive barrier to ideological cherry-picking of science to suit ACT. We shall see, interesting times.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8011 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    This whole ACT act is a disaster.....

    While I am walking around the Epsom electorate these days I feel the need to randomly kick passers-by in the balls.
    It's quite likely I will be booting-in the gonads of someone who voted for Hide.

    Sheesh - what a side-show and we are only at Day One.

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Smart move, having reviews chaired by the private sector so they can be blamed for unpopular decisions.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15709 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Garrett was somewhat contrite about his behaviour when the HoS called. But the question persists: what kind of moron turns up steaming drunk to participate in a TV discussion on paedophilia?

    One ACT may not long live to regret putting into Parliament. National and Labour can survive a Brian Connell or John Tamihere or two (dozen) down the years. Someone should be keeping a very close eye on Garrett, until he realises Garth McVicar (the lowest rent media whore in town) isn't his boss any more.

    But there's another question that persists with me: What kind of producer would let a steaming drunk on air to discuss anything, let alone a subject where the emotional temperature is at boiling point from the beginning?

    Does Eye to Eye actually want to be more than talkback radio with pictures? Considering Willie Jackson's day job, perhaps not. You had a fair point on the other thread, Russell, we all made judgement calls in the moment that go bad. But I think there are stakeholders who are perfectly entitled to ask that it not become a habit.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Blake Monkley,

    Will the reviews take place around a roundtable..

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 213 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    hear views from trade and diplomatic experts on the international relations aspects of this issue

    Kyle, I actually think this is one of the few heartening things in there! The negative impacts on trade and our role in international diplomacy (beyond just climate too) would be significant if we were to jump out of Kyoto or, to a lesser but still important extent, if we watered down our response to be pointless. Getting those views into such a review weighs heavily towards a "stay in Kyoto and react properly" outcome...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1712 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    And no doubt, in a Dick Cheyney/Haliburton stylee, John Key and Rodney probably have their private sector companies set up and ready to take on those reviews. "Tranzrail shares? What Tranzrail shares? No, of course I don't have shares in a private sector company contracting to the governement for all those lovely big contracts."

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 234 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    For once I agree with Craig - I would also question why the guy was let on if he was drunk.
    I mean, how drunk is 'too drunk'?

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    But there's another question that persists with me: What kind of producer would let a steaming drunk on air to discuss anything, let alone a subject where the emotional temperature is at boiling point from the beginning?

    I watched part of the show, and at least for the couple of minutes I saw him talking, he was making half sense (and half nonsense, but you get that with wingnuts), and not obviously drunk. No doubt the producer reached the same conclusions and decided to go ahead. His behaviour might have been shocking at other times, but on air he was at worst just a waste of the airwaves, which is nothing new on many TV shows.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    The general public neither care nor will be interested in the niceities of the support agreements or which ding-bat coalition partner privatised the water supply or killed off the ETS or were responsible for the (inevitable) corruption scandals in the newly created divolved Iwi funding authorities. They will just blame "the gummint."

    Water supply - I suspect it is already shaping up to be the Section 59 for this government.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Getting those views into such a review weighs heavily towards a "stay in Kyoto and react properly" outcome...

    Heh. Yeah, good luck with that being integral to the discussion. There's another bullet point a few down which talks about international competitiveness and whatnot.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

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