Y'know, as easy and fun as it is to mock the Herald's front page "news" such as what Sonny Bill Williams got up to this week, this is the sort of stuff that's truly disturbing. Their celebrity-led stories are driven by profit; this sort of story is driven by agenda. It's a disservice to their 1.74m readers.
And to think that Currie just got promoted.
Just as an aside, I found it difficult to settle on an amount to donate. If it were a straight, once-a-year donation, like for a charity, I'd normally give between $20-100. But since this was funding future stories (which is how I saw it, rather than a "reward" for this particular story), there's the implication it'll require ongoing support, so I gave $10. Which seems low, but then again I can get an entire magazine full of stories for less than $10. $20 for one story felt too high, especially if lots of others were going to chip in.
Just my thought process. Maybe something to keep in mind for this type of funding model in the future. I might just be cheap.
Thanks for your hard work, Keith. It's good to see someone care. If this is the only way to get proper investigative journalism done in New Zealand, then it's worth the donation.
Despite the lowest turnout in decades, National gets enough votes to govern alone. This gives them a 'mandate', 'political capital' and 'full-on boners' and they'll proceed to fuck the country for the next three years. However, it'll be long-term fuckage, like breeding a new generation of criminals because of welfare reform and low wages, so they'll be able to blame the resulting increase in crime on Labour in 2018. The economy continues doing sweet fuck all, National continues to blame the Worldwide Economic Crisis (c 2009), John Key reminds people he used to be a banker, and not one of his supporters makes the connection because they're all wondering what it'd be like to touch his flesh. They continue to ruin NZ's "clean, green" image so the reason people would contemplate moving here is because they want to live in a smaller, much less efficient China. Gerry Brownlee eats Tony Ryall and no one notices. The Maori Party, formed over one issue which they promptly sold out on, continues to fret over stuff like whether they can fly a flag over a bridge, while they carry on supporting whatever underclass-destroying policy National comes up with – just to fuck with them, National proposes "All Alphabets With Less Than 16 Letters In Them" tax. Maori Party backs it, under urgency. John Key threatens to kill Annette King's children, but on Parliament TV so no one sees it. ACC is "opened to competition", so finally those poor lawyers and private insurance companies can make some goddamn money in this country. After the media remembers what their job description is, they attack National's constant secrecy with the NZ Herald's condemning editorial written in red ink on its front page (under a banner teasing 'Sonny Bill William's Erect Cock' on page 3 – turns out he bought a very alert rooster). In response, National pledges not to suppress REDACTED unless it's because of "commercial sensitivity" and anyone who REDACTED will get a right REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED Umbrella Man REDACTED. Public Service Television will be a funny nostalgic concept that people think about and cock their heads to the side like, 'did anyone ever go for that?', sorta like jazz. The only thing remaining on free-to-air TV is Marcus Lush chatting to some unique Kiwi characters in Bulls. National places no less than four - FOUR - energy companies on the NZ Stock Market and blame the Worldwide Economic Crisis as to why they don't make $4 billion after all. By 2020 electricity prices will be so high there'll be a hipster trend towards hand-cranking. John Key steps down in 2013 so he can focus on converting his swimming pool of water into a swimming pool of jam. Petrol becomes so expensive that the only people able to afford running a car are National party members, leading to laws banning walking and standing without the aid of a motor vehicle. National comes to the homes of anyone who publicly disagrees with them and kneecap the women, but the public says it's still better than Labour's "nanny state where I couldn't choose my own lightbulbs." Stephen Joyce becomes the head of Telecom. National bans the colour red. 'Cannibal' becomes occupation option on census. There is no more sun, only ash.
Labour + Greens narrowly win the 2014 election.
My favourite bit of over-emotionality was Mark Sainsbury on Close-Up asking John Key if Richie McCaw should be knighted (because that is how we recognize our heroes in New Zealand in 2011, isn't it, Mark?). Key wisely battered the question away, only for ol' Sainsbury to blather, "What about Sir Graham Henry, Sir Martin Sneddon..." Yes, Martin Sneddon should get a knighthood for organising a tournament. FFS.
I feel sorry for Key having to answer such stupid questions. Ideally, he shouldn't be asked anything, rugby has nothing to do with him.
The "nek minnit" thing is older than that. My partner was using it about 6 years ago, and when I asked him where it came from, he said his ex used to say it all the time. So it's at least 10 years old. (When I started hearing people saying it during this recent spate, I was kinda freaked out, because I'd always thought it was a in-joke. It was like someone had been eavesdropping on our conversations.) Would love to know where it originally came from.
Russell, "notorious douchebag PJ O'Rourke" gets his ass handed to him on this very issue on the latest Real Time with Bill Maher (episode #227). If you can't find it anywhere, the audio podcast is available for download in NZ.
Balls – Clark was pretty damn good at being “unavailable for comment” when there was no possible advantage for her getting pummeled for five minutes on Morning Report. That’s what you have a Cabinet and a small army of spin things for. Really, please say that it’s appalling and there’s better than even odds I’d agree with you. But don’t shit on a cracker and expect me to swallow the nonsense that it never happened before November 8 2008.
Craig, you’re so hard to have a conversation with because you argue against things people never said. When I agreed with Russell that this government is refusing to front on serious issues, it does not automatically follow that I think any previous government was an open book. I’m not talking about parties, I’m talking about the current situation which is the media not doing their job (or being able to do their job through lack of access) and a general decline in democratic involvement. This could very well be just as bad under a new Labour government, I don’t know.
"They won last election with a policy of no policy;"
And that’s crap too – you’re entitled to your opinion that National’s platform was awful in all kinds of ways, but it’s just twanky twaddle to say they had “no policy”. (Though I guess on the bullshit buffet, it’s a fine whine that matches well with the not-at-all secret “secret agenda
I’m not sure what this “secret agenda” thing is, but I do believe that National, which is full of the same MPs that lost to Labour three times in a row, consciously avoided airing their usual policies in order to appear more centrist and win over swing voters who remembered how awful people like McCully, Brownlee, Smith, English, etc were the first time around. And I think as their term in office has progressed, more and more of their old right-wing policies have come out, like state asset sales, like private partnerships, like having a go at dismantling ACC. And I think next term we’ll see a lot more of them, now that they’re “safe”.
So I don’t think National’s platform pre-election was awful, because I think they kept a lot of it to themselves, and didn’t really have a platform. I thought they had a “secret agenda” in the same way I thought Iraq had weapons of mass destruction before the war (i.e. it was bloody obvious what was going on).
And that really is the issue. The Prime Ministers and other senior ministers will not front for serious questioning about what they're doing.
Normally, the reason politicians would go on a show where they're going to be asked hard questions (apart from serving the electorate, lol) is because they know if they don't, the same media will rake them over the coals. However, the media's still so in love with the Key government that National have no fear of reprisals. They won last election with a policy of no policy; I reckon they can get away with another one.
I think people tend to overhype Key's popularity. It's less "this is the kind of man Kiwis want to lead them at this time" than "he's not Helen Clark or Phil Goff." Labour were at the end of three terms, voters were desperate to be rid of them, and John Key was a cipher, someone so unoffensive and bland they could vote for without feeling dirty for voting for the old '90s National crew. English and Brash couldn't bring those swing voters over, they had too much baggage.
Now, people just don't pay enough attention to politics to see Key act like a goofball in Parliament or come out with some stupid off-the-cuff remark in interviews. They see him for thirty seconds at a time on the news, sounding authoritive on some pre-briefed topic, and that's all they need to influence them when the pollsters call. Plus, he's not Phil Fucking Goff.