Posts by George Darroch

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day,

    I’m happy for Naked & Famous and all but God help me they’re representative of a dull strand of indie pop. You expect NZ to succeed with something a little off-kilter, like… er… Lorde, but those kids are nothing more than a testament to professionalism.

    Rather bland, eh? I'd like a bit more bite and spice.

    Meanwhile, Pitchfork lay down a long and comprehensive read on the implications of streaming for music. It's huge.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2078 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The perilous birth of the…,

    Basically, what Russell said. James is a straight shooter, in my experience. Chen Palmer also work for *everyone*. They use their knowledge of government against Peter Dunne's ministries on a regular basis. This, again, is well known to any person in the legal and health sectors and any media organisation that employs credible researchers.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2078 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The purpose of science and its limits,

    But we also need some help, in particular from the MSM. Because as much as we as scientist are really trying to make sense to our audiences, if the MSM insists on playing silly buggers with disinformation then there is very little we can do to counteract that.

    This is one of the reasons I believe that it is absolutely essential that we have a publicly funded broadcaster with a mandate to inform and educate. The ABC's Catalyst is only an hour a week, but it means that a very large part of the population have access to scientific thinking, and a smaller section of the population are informed by Australian and international research on a given issue. So when drought or concussion or whatever issue of interest is discussed in public, a good number of people have at least an inkling of facts and the ways in which an issue is considered. My own anecdotal experience is that this matters.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2078 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The purpose of science and its limits,

    Simon Lamb's film Thin Ice is an excellent film in its own right, but it is also a clear explanation of the work and value of scientists. I'd recommend it.

    My discouragement at the lack of a framework that enables scientists is also real, but it isn't from disappointment. I've been pleasantly surprised because I thought things would be significantly worse at this point in time.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2078 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To be expected, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Link here. Trigger warning for massive fits of pique from Russel’s Facebook followers (Labour is “corrupt and self-serving” etc). The volume of bile being spat at Labour for differing on the issue seems unhelpful.

    Important to clarify that this set of people represents the general public, ie. is quite different from the set of people who are in Green member-only Facebook groups. Unfortunately, people's engagement with politics is often wafer thin, and premised on stirred emotion.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2078 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The perilous birth of the…,

    I was at a local body committee meeting this morning. It's fair to say that the councillors were disappointed that the responsibility for making the decision on the location of outlets had been put in their hands. They did not know the harm caused by these substances, and were waiting for guidance from the Ministry of Health. But they felt compelled to make decisions on the basis of community response and a desire to minimise harm.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2078 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To be expected, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    how does the Green Party play in South Auckland? Well, not very well, to be frank. How about marginals, like the Coast or Waimak? Erm. Ah.

    The Greens have done poorly in the South Auckland electorates for the same reason National does poorly; ongoing loyalty to Labour, weak electorate organisations, a lack of resourcing and attention, and poor candidates (a result of the previous factors). Labour doesn't 'need' the Greens in Mangere. But they do need the sum total of the party vote to get sufficient seats to form a government.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2078 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To be expected,

    Again though George, you’re a Green party member! Of course you like the idea that Labour commits to the Greens.

    Yes. Their Wellington Central campaign manager (a volunteer position). But I also accept that politics is a business in which numbers count, and Labour would be ill-advised to take a course of action which made it harder for them to form a government. They are essentially saying to the Greens "come back on the 21st of September".

    I am asserting that this makes a Labour-led Government of any form less likely, rather than more. This isn't based on sentimentality, but on my own expectations about the behaviour of voters - most of whom are non-partisan and vote based on a range of factors including; competence, likelihood of victory, self-interest, likeability, appearance and superficial factors. I do not believe this announcement strengthens them strongly on any metric that matters except for strength, and weakens them on several that count.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2078 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To be expected, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    It became routine to talk about the Labour/Green position in the polls (‘Neck and neck!’) instead of just Labour vs National (’miles behind). And that was helpful to Labour. It makes them relevant and gets them to say they’re in with a chance, that there’s a stable government in waiting, and it meant they didn’t have to worry about being attacked from the left.

    That falls apart…

    The public need a narrative. The media desperately need a narrative supplied, or they are forced to invent their own. And the narrative of 32-35% is quantitatively different than the narrative of 44-47%, as we are at at this point in time.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2078 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: To be expected,

    Rob Salmond (who advises Labour's leader) offers his opinion, which comes down to New Zealand's comparatively fair electoral system doesn't provide Labour much incentive to accept it.

    I find this unconvincing, but for the reason that I think it does not bolster Labour's own support within its potential voter pool. They (and the Greens, but independently too) need to be able to present themselves as a government in waiting in order to pull together the unenthusiastic masses and convince them that going down to the local school and ticking the red box is a valuable use of their time.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2078 posts Report Reply

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