OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Dear Labour Caucus

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to George Darroch,

    I’ll also rescind my above edit. Discussion about class has been policed here, because (consistent) rejoinders to swerves away from acknowledging its structural conditions have been characterised as aggressive and ‘dickish’, because they are consistently directed towards the person making the claims. Giovanni is a sharp writer, but not a malicious one.

    Look, I’m sorry. Perhaps I got it wrong. I simply checked in and saw the same bickering going on. Damian’s a friend and a blogger here. He may have been over-sensitive in this case, but he also got jumped on again. I honestly think his intent was not as alleged. And I’m at a loss as to what “claims” he was making.

    I am not trying to police the discussion of class. I’d be delighted if someone wrote a post about it and other people discussed the post, or if this discussion continued.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17938 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    I also want to respond briefly on the Grant Robertson thing because I think it’s pertinent: I don’t have much of a problem with the guy, I thought he was weak on special needs in education but liked a couple of his campaigns in Parliament (particularly on the vote to prisoners).

    I am however enormously frustrated by the tendency on the part of almost all of our politicians – and certainly not just Robertson – to empty their speeches of political content, leaving us to try to divine what they’re about from Hansard or their voting record or inside knowledge of party debates.

    I did feel completely frustrated by trying to discuss it with you. I thought that he did state an admirable political purpose in his maiden speech, and others pointed out his longstanding and sincere engagement with disability issues. You just kept moving the goalposts, until we ended up with your problem with him being one common to all other MPs. Which did raise the question of why we were discussing him in particular at all.

    When Robertson appeared to be supporting Parker, who’s on the far right of the party, it came, if not as a surprise, as a confirmation that I was at a complete loss to work out who he was. And so I asked PAS because here he is well liked, and I figured somebody could enlighten me

    Which I did actually try and do. I stopped what I was doing to look up his speech and quote it.

    But it might be more productive to look at other elements of his record than to speculate on a leadership contest that none of us really knows much about. Is Parker really to the “far right” of his party? Is he really further right than Cunliffe, a wealthy former business analyst who lives in Herne Bay? I’m sure someone could build the same narrative around Cunliffe using those two facts – it wouldn’t make it true. You just seemed determined to be pissy about it.

    I have had people privately ask me if you were all right while this thread’s been running. I’ll try and monitor my own judgement better in these matters, but I can only do my best.

    Edit: I guess it didn’t help that after I took issue, in a very gentle way, with about how you were addressing Damian, you bragged on Twitter that you didn’t care about upsetting “liberal sensibilities”. Taking delight in it wasn’t really helpful. I’d handle this differently if I had to do it again, but I would also hope the same of you.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17938 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Deborah,

    It's not just governance. It's the extent to which the community allows dissent. "Don't be a dick" is very coercive.

    Perhaps "show good grace to each other" works better for you. It means the same thing to me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17938 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    This is Benny Franklin's "don't be a dick" list.

    1. Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation."
    2. "Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation."
    3. "Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time."
    4. "Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve."
    5. "Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing."
    6. "Industry. Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions."
    7. "Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly."
    8. "Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty."
    9. "Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve."
    10. "Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation."
    11. "Tranquility. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable."
    12. "Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation."
    13. "Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates."

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    How 'bout. Understand everybody is different so agree to disagree. Simple?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5696 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    but surely politics is painful, the fact that you converse anyway is to invent or progress a political point.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    It's been confirmed the Business Roundtable and the NZ Institute are merging. I still think it's either infiltration, some kind of hostile takeover, or at the very least an attempt to launder the Roundtable's reputation.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3896 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    12. “Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”

    Ben was around 20 when he made that list, and he would appear to have modified his views over time on point #12. While the consensus seems to be that tales of his later-life gout-ridden lechery are exaggerated, Ben didn't seem averse to hyping his own legend.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3291 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to DeepRed,

    It's weird, is what it is.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17938 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    and Sunday Night musing.

    Why isn't Russell Brown a senior reporter for TVNZ? It offends the Alex Ferguson in me.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    But that doesn't mean one is right and one is wrong. Individually one can get to wherever they want. Why not? Go for it. Get passionate. Disagree to agree or don't. I find political issues one of my biggest interests ,I think because it is my being. At the moment I am bummed the Govt. is worse. I'm not judging here. I was just trying to give the rule a simple suggestion if indeed we need one. I am not interested in going around in circles. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5696 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    Why would I want to do that?

    It would play havoc with my lifestyle.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17938 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    am not interested in going around in circles. :)

    Show me the posters who are. It's probably not so much a circle but a return to what are usually hot political battlefields.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm not thinking about you :) , it's a smile comment.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    Benny Franklin's "don't be a dick" list

    Fascinating. Thanks for that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15715 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Virtue, he wanted to know what virtue meant.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I am not trying to police the discussion of class. I’d be delighted if someone wrote a post about it and other people discussed the post, or if this discussion continued.

    For me the issue is not about writing one post or having one discussion about class. It's being able to include that perspective in the discussions in which it is relevant without generating olympic levels of puzzlement or making people sad. Which has either become harder to do on PAS, or perhaps it's just that I've become more aware of it or less able to handle it, or all of these things. At any rate I find it very frustrating and when one is frustrated (because obviously I care about the place, 7,000+ comments say I'm not exactly here to sneer at the towels) then one is also more likely to act like a dick, perhaps. If so, I'll cop that.

    I did feel completely frustrated by trying to discuss it with you. I thought that he did state an admirable political purpose in his maiden speech, and others pointed out his longstanding and sincere engagement with disability issues.

    I'm sorry if I appeared difficult. I certainly wasn't trying to shift the goalposts. To me the fact that I couldn't locate Robertson's political compass was and remains a problem. Like I said, I found him quite slippery on disability issues. His maiden speech in Parliament praised a leadership of the party that did absolutely nothing for beneficiaries or disabled people and that midway through a nine year stint in government abandoned even the pretence of wanting to close the income and equity gaps, concentrating all its efforts into making life better for the middle class. Then his name became associated with the Parker camp, and sorry, but Parker? Really? There was a rumour that his defection to Shearer was in fact what scuttled the Parker bid, but I think the question in the context of the topic of this blog was relevant. Throughout the leadership contest there had been, to reiterate, almost no attempt at all to define the political differences between Cunliffe and Shearer. So maybe we could try with one of ours, Robertson. But it seems that even by raising the issue I was painting him as "a hollow man". Really I don't think I was being that offensive. And maybe the discussion was so uncomfortable for reasons that weren't entirely down to me.

    As a veteran of usenet, I know only too well how gut-wrenchingly unpleasant it is to raise these sort of meta-issues, but in my defence every time I try to leave the conversation somebody addresses me directly and so I feel like I would make matters worse by not responding.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    "Bring the Facts" here . I vote on the facts. Gio has abused me in the past to an irrritation but because I have no idea who Gio is it lasts ten minutes, you get past 500 posts and expect debate, it's quite thrilling and I like Gio's posts so he gets a pass in the blind stumbling world of the most reasonable political threads of New Zealand. (Maybe by default).

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Hang in there friend-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade, in reply to Islander,

    Possibly we all need to edit more and realise that typed discussions are a new phenomina, and not the greatest forms of discussions. Any discussion that thinks lol is a substitute for a response is limited in a way.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    quiet days in ... Franklin

    6. “Industry. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”
    7. “Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”
    +
    11. “Tranquility. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”

    By combining the merits of 6, 7 & 11, Ben was able to proactively weather any insult, so when told to 'go fly a kite', he got quite a charge out of it...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4197 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    C'mon Ian, no one disses the Ben. Not in public.

    and it makes us all look bad with Gio and Russell bickering. Think of the P.A.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Really I don’t think I was being that offensive.

    Neither did I. But after I made one mild comment to you, you flew off the handle and described that as "bordering on the obscene"

    And maybe the discussion was so uncomfortable for reasons that weren’t entirely down to me.

    It certainly wasn't. Damian can be a bit snarky, I might have handled it differently in places and I'm sorry for that -- but you seemed to be taking some pride in what you were doing. I'm glad you finally got from "I'm entitled to be difficult" to "I’m sorry if I appeared difficult".

    As a veteran of usenet, I know only too well how gut-wrenchingly unpleasant it is to raise these sort of meta-issues, but in my defence every time I try to leave the conversation somebody addresses me directly and so I feel like I would make matters worse by not responding.

    You ventured upthread that this was a lounge with occasional pretensions to be being a public square, and that that placed additional obligations on me as its moderator. I don't know, really. I do what I can to make it good and that's quite taxing when I'm here all the time.

    But Usenet's a public square. The Trade Me forums are a public square. Yahoo.co.nz is a public square. They're frequently horrible. I began discussing on Usenet in 1993, but withdrew, like a lot of the the people here, because I got sick of it. Not-turning-into-Usenet is a motivation.

    If I recall rightly (don't make me go and look) I said that while it might not have been your intention, the appearance was that you were picking fights. (Emma did put that more strongly than me.) I honestly think the same conversation could have been had differently.

    I think I'll blame Keith.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17938 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    maxim millionaire…

    This is Benny Franklin’s “don’t be a dick” list.
    …no one disses the Ben. Not in public.

    but, but, but he wrote & published Poor Richard’s Almanack!
    He was the Uber-’Dick' of his age,
    and adages…
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4197 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Jeremy Eade,

    are a new phenomina, and not the greatest forms of discussions. Any

    ???

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

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