Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Triangulated by Fools

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  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to dc_red,

    In what way was their fifth Labour government not social democratic?

    The way a minority was able to make huge untaxed capital gains on the back of a credit fueled housing boom? Maybe that's the elusive definition of social democracy - from each according to his ability, to each according to his leverage

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4480 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    There are Young Labour members coming through, but they mostly have very little understanding of issues outside of minority rights, the environment and whatever the MPs are saying in Parliament.

    This is not really true, and quite patronising.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1378 posts Report Reply

  • Barnard, in reply to samhilltok,

    There are Young Labour members coming through, but they mostly have very little understanding of issues outside of minority rights, the environment and whatever the MPs are saying in Parliament.

    The fact is that Labour is being outflanked by the Greens on these issues anyway, but Labour are failing to connect with voters on issues that really affect people; cost of living, wages, housing, rural economic development etc.

    But if you read Parker's blog on meeting Stiglitz, the discussion on a holistic view of the economy, and a focus on inequality seems in a way far closer to what's been coming from The Greens of late.
    I think it's completely outdated to view the Greens as simply focusing on the environment and minority rights, in fact their surge in support seems to be on the back of them convincing more and more people they've something to offer on 'issues the really effect people', and creating a narrative that doesn't play those & what's seen as core Green values off against each other.
    Actually reading that from Parker is encouraging, as it's not some simplistic ideological swing to left, but is definitely of a thinking that breaks with current orthodoxy.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2012 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    Who do you think they were calling an “angry feminist”?

    I’d attempted to explain to them the day before why Key’s use of the word “gay” was stupid, and had been given the silent treatment for the rest of the day as a result. No point bashing my head against a brick wall, given that I spend more time with these people than with my own family.

    It goes to show anti-PC is the new PC and has become what it hates. Not too long ago they would have complained about not being able to have a debate without being labelled bigots. Now the pendulum has swung to the opposite extreme, and it's increasingly difficult to have reasoned debate with such people without having the "PC gone mad" label stuck on us.

    They're not Randroid libertarians by any chance? Or just floating voters or members of the "precariat"?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Barnard,

    But if you read Parker’s blog on meeting Stiglitz, the discussion on a holistic view of the economy, and a focus on inequality seems in a way far closer to what’s been coming from The Greens of late.

    It's coming from everywhere. Our adherence to stern neo-liberal principle is being seen as fairly odd these days.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    This is not really true, and quite patronising.

    Second that. While all parties have lacuna, and their youth take a particular subset of issues as their 'own', there's sufficient breadth and depth amongst YL that a statement like that really doesn't hold water.

    However, they can be accused of caring passionately about particular things and seeking to change New Zealand with respect to those issues. That is a very good thing.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Barnard, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It’s coming from everywhere. Our adherence to stern neo-liberal principle is being seen as fairly odd these days.

    The left in Europe might take some convincing of that, & TINA is certainly still on first name terms with Gideon & Cameron.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2012 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I am greatly cheered by Scott Yorke's new post, Labour's 2012 Conference In Pictures.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    I wonder if I could randomly point out two little frustrations being poorly communicated. I've tried to frame them using the approach Neville G. gave me one day:

    I mention these because they are likely to cause serious strategic damage to our nation in the long term. I don't understand why Labour aren't all over them as they are real hearts and minds stuff - one will impoverish people right smack in the middle of our retirement funding crisis, the other will ensure an underclass.

    PPP's aka PFI's. Complete mess in the UK, going to cost billions, money long gone. Issue: they rarely work. At the very best they are an expensive way of borrowing. No net shift in sovereign debt but looks better due to an accounting technicality. Villain: ideological ignorance. Hero: ???

    Even the Telegraph agrees.... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9362658/PFI-is-the-boondoggle-to-end-them-all.html

    2. Introduction of student testing. Britain have pretty much admitted its introduction in the nineties has been a disaster. I'm sure it's coincidence that the first generation to fully go through this nonsense is the one that rioted.

    Issue: national standards will drive our education system into the ground. Villain: baby boomers who think that just because they did tests, kids today should. Hero: teachers who manage to deliver a decent education despite the ideological garbage.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/16/schools-exam-system-not-fit

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to slarty,

    Fine points. Yet because we tolerate incompetent self-serving fools in NZ politics, those are unlikely to be coherently argued any time soon. Joyce wins.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to slarty,

    PPP's aka PFI's. Complete mess in the UK, going to cost billions, money long gone. Issue: they rarely work. At the very best they are an expensive way of borrowing. No net shift in sovereign debt but looks better due to an accounting technicality. Villain: ideological ignorance. Hero: ???

    Hero: transparency. And anyone who blew the whistle on the Sydney Cross City Tunnel. There needs to be repeated framing of such projects as pork barrel politics and white elephants in the making. Imagery of the Gravina Island Bridge should also be invoked.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Why are Labour not arguing over arcane financial instruments, instead preferring to pick a fight on the topic of housing affordability? Buggered if I know.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1378 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    who's in charge of strategy? ask them for the rest of us

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I think that’s a kinda unanswerable question. In terms of short-run political tactics, there’s a bunch of gossip about who’s behind what initiative and who wrote what and all that, but really it’s a bit meaningless.

    (By the way, the other reason I think attacking PPP and standards and all that is kinda dumb is that in the long run, I want a party that articulates a positive vision for NZ, not just `the opposite of whatever Key said!’ The thing that pissed me off the most about conference, more than anything else, was the amount of time we wasted talking about the National Party.)

    [post above changed as I was replying]

    Since Jul 2008 • 1378 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    I'm talking strategy, not policy

    [post above changed as I was replying]

    added second sentence in case that was the last thing I wrote until tomorrow eve.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Sacha,

    Why are Labour not arguing over arcane financial instruments

    Pretty easy to frame PPPs in simple terms. It’s weaselly privatisation (“selling off the roads”) AND crony capitalism/corporate welfare (“pork barrels for fat cats”).
    Actually national standards is the really hard one to frame negatively.
    It’s probably far worse, as we’ve discussed here at length. But it seems so simple and ‘accountable’ and sounds like it’s just about insisting we do something (measurable) about the (indubitable) educational underachievement of many kids, and indeed about raising the standards for all.
    Which is total hogwash, but you can’t explain that in a soundbite.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1582 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    In terms of short-run political tactics, there’s a bunch of gossip about who’s behind what initiative and who wrote what

    you're joking - so party members don't know who is setting strategy?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Strategy and policy are closely related here --- one reason hard to talk about who's responsible for the strategy. For instance I assume King worked with Shearer closely on the housing policy announced at the weekend, as housing spokesperson. To what extent does that conversation become strategic?

    No worries about the edit, just didn't know if my post made sense as a reply to the edited version!

    [Edit: what do you mean by strategy?]

    Since Jul 2008 • 1378 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    All good. Overall party strategy and positioning are usually separate from individual policies. More of a comms/governance function, if you will.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I guess the thing is that part of the democratisation of the party is democratisation of the strategic functions. So no, there's not one person you can point at and say: they are responsible for strategy. The parliamentary leadership are responsible for a certain amount of it. NZ Council for a certain amount of it. Policy Council for a certain amount of it. No one actor is in charge.

    (My comment about gossip relates more to day-to-day tactics.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1378 posts Report Reply

  • Barnard, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    (By the way, the other reason I think attacking PPP and standards and all that is kinda dumb is that in the long run, I want a party that articulates a positive vision for NZ, not just `the opposite of whatever Key said!’

    But in the case of PPP/PFIs they're not just about an arcane financial instrument. They're generally justified on the basis of two things . 1, Public investment is too expensive to be funded in any other way & 2. The public sector is inherently inefficient, and needs private sector rigour to give value for money.

    Challenging both those assumptions can be very much part of strategic positive vision.
    Of course there's also the reason Rob points out, but talking about them need not simply be opposing National for the sake of opposing.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2012 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Which is total hogwash, but you can’t explain that in a soundbite.

    Quite.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Actually national standards is the really hard one to frame negatively.
    It’s probably far worse, as we’ve discussed here at length. But it seems so simple and ‘accountable’ and sounds like it’s just about insisting we do something (measurable) about the (indubitable) educational underachievement of many kids, and indeed about raising the standards for all.
    Which is total hogwash, but you can’t explain that in a soundbite.

    How about, "2 Plus 2 Does Not Equal 5, Ms Parata!"

    With charter schools it's pretty easy. Scientology, Brian Tamaki, Wahhabism, Intelligent Design, John Birch, Stalinism... you name it.

    More ideas here, although it seems largely focused on the Gulen Movement.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Why the hell do political journalists continually turn to John Tamihere for comments about a party that he hasn't belonged to for the last decade or so and which he continually and relentlessly sledges at every available opportunity? Or for that matter, Chris Trotter, who wouldn't know a social democrat if one bit him on the arse?

    Craig Y

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 377 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Craig Young,

    Why the hell do political journalists continually turn to John Tamihere . . . Or for that matter, Chris Trotter . . . ?

    Political cryptozoologists? Sasquatch/moehau/Waitakere man sightings?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3595 posts Report Reply

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