Posts by Tom Semmens

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  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,

    But it is a very interesting and scandalous aspect that a paid staffer of the PM illicitly accessed the server and then connived to break the story as a scandal rather than quietly advising the site administrators, which is what any decent person would have done

    Well, what anyone who respected the values and institutions of democratic governace would do.

    My take is I think everyone sorta knew this already. The PR machine run by Ede was just to smooth, to faultless, to perfect for to long. These revelations resonate because with them a whole lot of pieces of a puzzle fall into place.

    They make sense at a gut level to anyone who has observed the Key government and the ruthless glass and steel corporate culture he has brought to the Beehive.

    The arrogant high handedness of Collins and Brownlee, the frank cronyism, the deals done without regard to due process are obvious symptoms. If you can’t be bothered with all the chekcs and balances of this democracy bullshit then it is but short hops from breaching beneficiaries privacy for political gain (Paula Bennett), to accessing Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition databases for party partisan ends, to using information gathered by state security agencies to trash your opponents.

    It is the logical behaviour of a corporate culture of a pathological pursuit of profit and power elevated to a governing principle in the very highest office of our democracy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1774 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Not doing justice, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    It doesn't surprise me you would think that, you tend to be a melancholy pessimist on the sunniest of days.

    If someone gives his word he didn't mean something to be interpreted in a particular way, that is good enough for me until he proves otherwise.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1774 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Not doing justice,

    Anti-semitism isn’t a trivial issue.

    You are assuming he was knowingly anti-semitic, which he says he is not. On what grounds do you challenge his word?

    Neither is the inability of our major parties (remember Aaron Gilmore, etc) to recruit enough half-decent candidates to cover 71 electorates.

    I agree, but that isn’t what the media is talking about, is it? Because if they did, there would be a giant neon finger pointing right back at them.

    This is all stuff that contributes to impoverishing our political discourse – it’s not all Paddy Gower’s fault.

    No, it isn’t. An unelected, obnoxious and opinionated prat like Gower trying to insert himself between the voter and the political process as if he has some sort of democratic mandate to tell us what we should think wouldn’t exist if we had a proper media as part of a proper political discourse.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1774 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Not doing justice,

    Difference doesn’t mean division

    It does to Paddy Gower. The mainstream media assiduously cultivates only one legitimate truth and interprets anything else as dissent.

    I disagree with the commentators here asking to that criticism of Labour or the campaign be silenced.

    And lo, at the first suggestion of a bit of discipline during the campaign all people want to do is have a bitch about a caucus faction. So much for vote positive. I don’t mind criticising the health policy, but at least do it within the context of actually trying to win the damn election – and that reality is old people vote, and getting them to vote Labour is therefore kinda important.

    But the problem is our media is so bad even our media commentators have forgotten what real journalism looks like and just talk about the people talking about nothing. So here we are, spending an entire day discussing whether or not the fag-end of democracy – a candidate selected unopposed in an unwinnable seat in the back of beyond – has actually read (and understood) The Merchant of Venice.

    I have to agree that it seems somewhat odd to say “I can use Shylock in a sentence” without it entailing that “I know what ‘Shylock’ refers to.” It is, after all, a quintessential anti-semetic stereotype.

    Jesus, what world do you live in? Reality check time: not everyone is a high falutin’ dinner party intellectual like the PA crew. I would say that the name Shylock is more or less unknown to the majority of Pakeha New Zealanders, let alone the PI and Asian ones, and expecting everyone to understand his character in the context of 16th century anti-semitism or else suffer the scorn of the chattering classes smacks of intellectual snobbery. The guy is at least having a go, which is more than anyone here has achieved so give him a break.

    Everyone sits around wringing their hands at the trivialisation of politics, when the trivial issues are all they seem to want to can talk about – probably because we’ve all actually forgotten how a proper media would discuss an election.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1774 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Not doing justice,

    It’s probably no surprise to you that I know a few people in the Labour Party.

    Perhaps you could do them all a favour then and try to be a bit more on message during an election campaign?

    National’s election strategy is to do a six week long poor little rich boy whine as a distraction to their lack of any sort of policy whatsoever, and this post is simply playing into their hands. After all, It isn’t like Farrar, Slater and the MSM journalists (including, it seems, Radio New Zealand) who use them as primary source won’t make sure it is covered in exhaustive detail anyway.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1774 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Grey Fucking Area, in reply to llew40,

    IMHO the "Fuck John Key" mini-tornado is not a vote shifting issue for middle class voters. The battle this election isn't over the middle class. They are long gone. The three B's (Bach, Boat, BMW) middle class wouldn't vote Labour now even if Christ was leading it. John Key runs the country for people like them, and they appreciate him for it. Like many other countries with huge wealth disparity (Thailand, Chile) the political action is now between the top third who think they are entitled to run the country and an alliance of the disaffected. To my mind, this is where the IMP becomes so subversive to the elite, and why the Internet/Mana hook up makes more sense than the establishment pretends it does. Both parties are not business as usual, a re-arrangement of like minded middle class MPs. And unlike the "traditional" left, it has got money. Lots of it. It might actually get enough of the missing million disaffected voters to make a difference on September 20th. And the reaction from NZ political/media establishment shows it isn't used to a fair fight on a level playing field from people who are not just like them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1774 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Grey Fucking Area, in reply to bob daktari,

    Does the Labour party have a comms team? A strategic team? Anyone with a clue…
    they really don’t want to win do they?

    A faction would rather lose than become part of a left wing party with truly radical elements like the Greens and IMP.

    But it is only a faction, and it is fighting a doomed rear guard action.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1774 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Grey Fucking Area,

    OK so two things here. One, is it good for the Internet Party? Almost certainly. Nothing makes you the man more than having a bunch of establishment wrinklies declaring war on the young people at your gig.

    Second is Danyl at the dimpost’s ‘scare the middle-class horses’/distraction from real issues hypothesis. That is worth a bit more thinking about.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1774 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Grey Fucking Area,

    If we are going to talk all Hitlerian, the real reason the right are having fainting fits over this video is because it challenges a central tenet of the right's narrative. The painstakingly constructed big lie by a middle aged and middle class corporate media to feed to a middle aged and middle class audience of the cult of John Key as universally adored and loved in a tranquilized, hard-news free New Zealand is completely undercut by a roomful of young people.

    Intrusions of reality into our media's la la land are always treated as phenomena inexplicable except in terms of distant externality.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1774 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The silence of the public square, in reply to bob daktari,

    Political interviews and debates seem to be about shouting over your opponent making snide comments, simplistic point scoring, being plain rude and saying anything that doesn't actually involve policy or often the actual truth

    Also called popular democracy in action.

    One the beefs I have with this site is it's middle class nose holding at the idea that healthy politics might something other than a genteel discussion between like minded members of some 1950s Hollywood version of the Roman senate.

    Policy analysis and debate can occur in forums other than one where you have two candidates desperate to be elected trying to persuade a hall full of partisan followers - TV is just a bigger hall.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1774 posts Report Reply

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