You cannot be serious. Even if you believe the party is better off without Jones, having him go rogue and publicly blindsiding Labour with his resignation has done nothing to enhance the status of Labour as a serious and stable party.
How did he "go rouge"? I feel kind of sick defending Jones, but he's a list MP who (unless I'm seriously mistaken) has announced he's leaving Parliament. The way some people are carrying on, you'd think he'd flounced out of the room and accepted a winnable position on the National list in the middle of the campaign. I know the usual suspects are trying to turn a transitory headache for Labour into a terminal brain tumor, but the only weird thing here is that Jones didn't go the usual route and line up a set of cushy board appointments to walk into in after the election.
Here's a serious question, is the lead from John Armstrong's usual curate's egg of a column actually true?
Shane Jones' shock decision to quit as a Labour MP will lead voters to draw one conclusion and one conclusion only: that he thinks Labour cannot win the September general election.
Orly? Voters could draw the equally plausible conclusion that Jones long since cashed the reality check that even if Labour wins the next election, his rise up the greasy pole is severely curtailed by a good proportion of his own caucus and party who think (fairly or not) he's a unacceptably high friendly fire risk who doesn't play well with others unless he's getting his own way in all things.
I’m inclined to go with Paddy Gower’s assessment: it has McCully’s pawprints all over it. I would not be surprised if the timing was McCully’s.
Yeah, Russell, I really get McCully is Satan Incarnate to you and Gower but it's equally plausible to me that Jones cashed the reality check that he was going nowhere fast a long time ago, was quietly fishing around for a soft landing spot and this came up. And Gower's still pushing the delusional theory that Colin Craig is just going to walk into East Coast Bays -- how about he stop interviewing the Press Gallery liquor cabinet and do some actual reporting?
Yet people feel quite entitled to talk down their noses about a profession that has both a statutory obligation to the law and to their clients, as well as a professional obligation to same. How's that work? What makes y'all so high and mighty and moral that you get to preach about lawyers?
You ever faced the serious prospect of being financially and professionally destroyed, about a year out of journalism school, because you did you job? I have, so excuse me if I don't give the proverbial rodent's rectum about the hurt fee-fees of anyone at ChenPalmer or libel mills like Carter Ruck. They're just "doing their job"? Fine - they can harden the fuck up and stop waiting for the thank you cards from a profession that has plenty of experience of litigious intimidation.
Ah. It wasn't Mai Chen herself -- Potaura seems to have used her name interchangeably with that of Chen Palmer itself.
Well, in that case I am happy to withdraw and apologize to Ms. Chen for my comments directed at her personally. Still think the firm with her name over the door can find more useful things to do.
Obviously, ChenPalmer's understanding of mana differs from mine significantly, but I'm more heart-sick than angry reading that last paragraph. The kaupapa and mana of Kohanga Reo was built up over years -- even decades -- of passion and commitment from flaxroots activists who would make their case with anyone, anywhere. Not... this.
Do we want to live in a world in which your legal rights are determined by the personal moral scruples of whomsoever happens to be your lawyer at that time?
Not particularly. But I'd sure like to see libel law less easily used as a bludgeon to (and again, let's not be naive here) intimidate and harass journalists. And, yes, I make precisely no apologies for feeling ever so slightly contemptuous towards lawyers (and firms like London libel mill Carter Ruck) who profit off it. But you do have a point -- as long as the law allows that kind of bullying it's not entirely fair to blame the monkey for the organ grinder's tune.
Any way, why does a stern letter have to be seen as bullying ?. Would it not be a lapse to NOT point out the full implications of a transgression.
With all due respect, Steve, I don't think the dozens of libel actions Robert Maxwell had in train when he died against journalists investigating the state of the Mirror Group's pension fund were begun as a favour to anyone but himself. I'd also hope Mai Chen knows the diffference between alleging a statement is defamatory is a very long way from proving it in a court of law.
The law is a tool box, and a lawyer uses the tool that is needed to get the relevant job done.
Well, that's true as far as it goes. Can I just note the irony at Mai Chen being quite a high profile media commentator on legal and constitutional issues, while with the other she's happily using her tool box (and let's not be naive here) to try and beat down uppity journalists from asking inconvenient questions of her clients.
The response was a heavy letter from Mai Chen on the trust board's behalf declaring that the claims were "false and defamatory" and demanding that the site remove the statement immediately.
Of course it's legal bullying, Russell. It's also really fucking rich coming from the same people who complain Native Affairs committing investigative journalism isn't "how Maori resolve things". Well, darlings, in my book when you hire a high profile lawyer (who just happens to have her name over the door of a firm that has a lot of public sector clients AND a lobbying side line) you've lost that card.
ETA: And what's the going rate to hire Mai Chen to try and intimidate your critics? Not at all cheap I suspect...
This is heresy, and betrayal from me as a Green, but I'm starting to wonder if the best realistic outcome from this election might be for National to have to cobble up a flaky coalition with Winston.
'Heresy" would be too strong a word, but I'd like everyone (including the media) to think very carefully about what price we'd pay for another go-around with a pathological bigot like Winston. Hey, since we've now got to wait until after the election before asking such impertinent questions (at least where Labour is concerned) I guess we'll never know until it's far too late. But you'll excuse me if I find somewhat unreliable the "social conscience" of a man who has dubious distinction of having opposed every piece of pro-GLBT legislation since Homosexual Law Reform.
Steady on. No one was asking John Key whether he wanted to campaign jointly with Colin Craig, were they?
No - instead there were bizarre fantasies that Colin Craig was just going to be handed one of the safest National seats in the country, with the cheerful acquiescence of Murray McCully and the local organization. Which, let me tell you, resulted in some rather ungenerous speculation hereabouts about how many political journalists would pass random workplace drug tests.