Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Base

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  • Ian Dalziel,

    I'm guessing you called this post 'The Base' to ensure visiting Homeland Security head honcho Janet Napolitano gets to read PA....
    ...and I guess she is here to ensure we know what Draconian laws Mr Key has to put in place to meet our TPPA obligations and keep the US under the illusion it is the home of democracy and the free.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4555 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Deborah,

    and he doesn’t downplay it, or pretend that he’s not smart.

    And why the hell should he?

    We don't ask Beatrice to pretend she isn't an athlete of the highest quality. New Zealanders really need to get their head around the idea that just because someone was born with a brain that is capable of learning and storing data they are somehow elitist for using that ability.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3217 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    is that he does indeed have a weakness in relationships with his colleagues

    And that is all too likely. It's a different set of skills to learn, combined with a base aptitude. You can learn to be better at being a leader, you just have to realise that you need to.

    But it's also worth noting that he actually doesn't need to be the leader to contribute. That of course may be a difficult lesson for someone who chose to enter politics.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3217 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    But it’s also worth noting that he actually doesn’t need to be the leader to contribute. That of course may be a difficult lesson for someone who chose to enter politics.

    Indeed. If Shearer remains leader, Cunliffe would be the perfect foil for Prostetnic Vogon Joyce and Bulldozer Brownlee. Especially given the work he did on local loop unbundling.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4058 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to dc_red,

    Also in the interests of fairness … Key can do smarmy, and it doesn’t seem to have hurt him in any way.

    Key's brand of smarmy seems, unfortunately, to work very well on latent inferiority complexes.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4058 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to DeepRed,

    That's because Key's brand of smarmy is aimed at taking the piss out of people who are successful at things other than taking money from suckers.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1768 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Yes, Key has always been smarmy, but opposition tended to go for a higher level of insult, accusing him of being outright evil. The lesser flaw can often be much more believable and telling as an attack.

    Alternatively, the explanation -- and it seems much more likely -- is that he does indeed have a weakness in relationships with his colleagues.

    Rather than them having a weakness in relationship to him? I really can't judge which is more true. All I can clearly see is their weakness in relationship to me, and his strength. But sometimes it's better to have the really strong players not in the leadership - sports teams are often very well captained by people who aren't the most outstanding players. Hadlee, for instance, was never a contender for captain.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    In effect, what we are asking David Cunliffe to do is to set aside his personal ambtitions, and work for the team. To his great credit and with good grace, that is exactly what he has done since the caucus chose David Shearer as leader. However, it’s a huge shame that Shearer et al haven’t done the same in return, and kept David Cunliffe on as Finance spokesperson. What’s-his-name Parker has been nearly invisible in the role.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1296 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Deborah,

    However, it’s a huge shame that Shearer et al haven’t done the same in return, and kept David Cunliffe on as Finance spokesperson.

    I agree. Although, again, the big policy fiefdom would have made just as much sense. I'm not sure if Cunliffe is wandering off his turf already by talking about regulatory reform. Not that that's a bad thing. At all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to nzlemming,

    That’s because Key’s brand of smarmy is aimed at taking the piss out of people who are successful at things other than taking money from suckers.

    And forget tall poppy syndrome, it's the exact opposite that threatens to split NZ right now, as alluded to in my earlier posts on 'last place aversion syndrome' and 'Why Nerds Are Unpopular'.

    I'm pretty sure there's a far catchier term for it than 'latent inferiority complex' or 'scapegoating the downtrodden', and 'soft fascism' is too simplistic and childish to describe it, but we know it when we see it. Economic depressions are a common cause of it, as is wedge politics, or an unholy alliance of the two. The collapse of the Weimar Republic supercharged it up to 11.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4058 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to DeepRed,

    Indeed. If Shearer remains leader, Cunliffe would be the perfect foil for Prostetnic Vogon Joyce and Bulldozer Brownlee. Especially given the work he did on local loop unbundling.

    Which is undoubtedly going to have to be done all over again in the broadcast and telecommunications sector. The parallels between Sky and Telecom in the 1990s are inescapable.

    But it wasn't just local loop unbundling. Cunliffe's telecommunications reform expedited things like number portability, which had been dismissed as too hard for, like, a decade.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm not sure if Cunliffe is wandering off his turf already by talking about regulatory reform. Not that that's a bad thing.

    Filling a vacuum is understandable.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Cunliffe’s telecommunications reform expedited things like number portability, which had been dismissed as too hard for, like, a decade.

    You know that once the engineers were allowed to talk to each other about this the guts of the technical solution was literally sketched out on some bits of A4 in about half an hour?

    To hard my arse.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1739 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Er, Deborah, with all due respect, there's some that would say that making a speech that gets reported on Kiwiblog as laying the ground for a coup is not exactly keeping your head down.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1263 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Politically too hard, not technically. Hardly ever is. Imagine the frustration with things like disability policy when your average hamster can see what needs changing.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    We've just seen in Parliament that the only person who can be held responsible for what is said on Kiwiblog is DPF.... Shearer left stumbling over PM 'quote'

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1296 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Sacha,

    average hamster

    Sadly we didn't get the option to vote for hamsters.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3217 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I think that's a bit too glib, given it wasn't just DPF that read it as that, and some of the slightly odd noises coming out of certain quarters that week.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1263 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Sure, but there has been a noticeable silence from the Labour party, and only two really rather poorly received speeches from David Shearer. If there had been more of substance from other senior figures in the Labour party, including from David Shearer, then perhaps David Cunliffe's speech would not have received so much notice. But really, aside from those two speeches by David Shearer, there has been nothing. A vacuum, as someone said upthread, and it got filled.

    David Shearer is on notice, as he has been since he was chosen by the caucus, and as any new leader would have been, given the process by which he was selected. I think he's still got time, perhaps even until the end of the year. I think that would have been the case no matter who the caucus elected. I'm not convinced by Shearer yet. But I think he has yet to have been given enough of a chance to make a go of it. As I said, if nothing is changing much by the time he has been in the job for a year, then perhaps the leadership issue will need to be revisited.

    None of this will seem quite so urgent if the Herald Digipoll result is not an outlier.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1296 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    You know that once the engineers were allowed to talk to each other about this the guts of the technical solution was literally sketched out on some bits of A4 in about half an hour?

    To hard my arse.

    Heh. When I was at Computerworld in the 90s, I had a Telecom person explain it to me as something akin to achieving lasting peace in the Middle East.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18509 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Deborah,

    the only person who can be held responsible for what is said

    those backroom comms/strategy advisors still doing a sterling job.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    whereas 0867 was such an elegant solution. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    some would argue we did. sub-average ones.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to Sacha,

    Those backroom / comms people…. it took me about 5 minutes on google yesterday to work out that it was DPF rabbiting on about ethical standards (Unethical vs illegal), but that Key had said something very much to the point about six weeks ago in response to the Nick Smith and ACC fiasco.

    Mr Key acknowledged Dr Smith’s “huge contribution” to the National government but said he expected higher standards of his ministers.

    “It is important that Ministers are seen to actively manage both real and perceived conflicts of interest in the exercise of their duties,” Mr Key said.

    “I have always expected high standards from my ministers – and I will continue to do so.

    Source

    I think the back room advisors have to stop playing silly psephological games with themselves and each other, and stop pretending they’re all in The West Wing . I don’t think there is a magic phrase or a special word that will suddenly spark a wholesale surge to Labour. There’s just a lot of hard work and hard thinking to be done. So far, the only people I can see doing it are David Shearer and David Cunliffe.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1296 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Also, nobody is asking Cunliffe to put aside his personal ambition. He is, after all, still in line to be a senior minister in the next Labour government, a pretty high honour.

    (While I hate to defend the honour of the shadowy backroom advisors, it does strike me that most of the discussion thereof is about as informed as my discussion of the office politics (with a small-p) at any given workplace in NZ would be – that is, essentially uninformed.)

    [edited to add: and really, what is back-room standing as code for here? There seems to be way too much weirdness going on here for me to be entirely happy with the uncomplicated/frustrated use of such terms.]

    Since Jul 2008 • 1263 posts Report Reply

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