Posts by Tom Semmens

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  • Hard News: Incomplete, inaccurate and misleading,

    Has an unelected, clearly mentally unbalanced individual who has never held a a significant public office or credible public role ever had such an effect on a supposedly advanced first world democracy? What on earth possesses Key to keep talking to Slater? Why does our media continue to provide such a compulsive and delusional liar airtime? Why is it I am not sure if my last sentence applies to Slater, Key or both of them?

    Anyway, to be serious for a second Slater’s paranoid delusions – thinking people are conspiring to kill you is usually the preserve of inmates of the secure wing of the Mason Clinic – is the stuff of mass shooters.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1840 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Incomplete, inaccurate and misleading,

    The thing that shocks me the most is the way Key outsourced his relationship with the SIS – of which he was the responsible minister – to a politically ppointed National party hack (De Joux). It sounds all to typical of a government whose ambient values are contemptuous of public service convention and democratic accountability.

    The thing that astonishes me the most is how comfortable all Key’s apologists are with that. I can only assume David Farrar will now be totally comfortable when prime minister Little allows Matt McCarten to independently get the SIS to trawl back through every email David Farrar ever exchanged with John Key and then get Bomber Bradbury to selectively OIA and publish them in a way that casts him in the worst possible light.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1840 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Incomplete, inaccurate and misleading, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Slater emphatically denies this….

    Slater has denied quite a lot of things, denials that later turned out to be straight lies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1840 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: News from home ...,

    Quality leadership requires the taking of some decisions because they are necessary in spite of their unpopularity.

    I bet you’d make the trains run on time to. The idea that rule by a technocratic elite making “quality” decisions based on some sort of detached rational criteria is somehow superior to the rough wisdom of the commonweal as delivered by the ballot box is an unfortunate one, but it is widespread amongst certain classes.

    Democracy does not concern itself with “quality” leadership in your rather Robert A. Heinlein sense. It concerns itself with who gets the most votes, with whoever gains the most votes automatically being of the highest “quality” by virtue of the act of winning. It follows then that forcing through unpopular decisions makes those decisions by definition “bad quality” in a democracy, whether or not some technocrat thinks them necessary.

    The political reality of a democracy though is a party puts forward a mix of policies for the voters to peruse, a curates egg of some popular, some less so popular and some pigs, hidden at the back with lip stick and a tutu on to hide it’s porcineness. It then claims the democratic mandate of victory to implement this mix. Going to the voters pushing a hoary old squealer as one of your flagship policies is not “quality leadership” in a democracy. It is stupid leadership designed to ensure you always lose.

    After all, you always campaign on the tax cut, not on how you plan to pay for it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1840 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: News from home ...,

    but it would be a bit odd ditching an orthodox policy like CGT because it was too strange and challenging for voters

    Little hasn't said a CGT is too strange or challenging for voters. He said that effectively Labour lost the argument and keeping it as a policy would continue to keep it as an albatros around their neck and alienate the swing voters Labour need to get back into power. All he is doing is applying Colbert’s dictum – seeking to pluck the feathers that make the geese squawk least. Anyway, there are more ways to kill a cat than choking it with cream. Ruling out a CGT doesn't mean you've ruled out a land tax, for example. Good politics is listening to the people and and noisily dumping the CGT, whilst waiting for the Friday before Xmas to quietly announce a land tax in terms most cub reporters still at work won't understand, then never mentioning the topic again.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1840 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: News from home ..., in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1840 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: News from home ...,

    I am just listening to Little on Radio NZ climbing into SSC and the Ian Rennie/Roger Sutton cover-up.

    After six long years, we finally have a decent opposition leader.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1840 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: News from home ...,

    It seems Russell Brown and his merry band of liberal Gen Xers want a democratic Labour party, but only as long as it is a democracy that suits them.

    The Labour leadership is elected in the way it is as a direct result of the rift between the desires of the membership and unions and the caucus. It is an outcome of disunity and not the cause of it.

    Robertson schemed with a faction of the party to undermine the leadership of Cunliffe and has paid the price for his disloyalty and identification with that ABC faction by there being a significant reaction to his becoming leader. A lot of people voted for ABR – anyone but Robertson. Sure, the Maori caucus voted for Mahuta but don’t be fooled, their second preferences were for Little.

    Representatives of two of biggest sections of New Zealanders that still heavily vote Labour (Maori and unionised workers) therefore supported Little. Hopefully, he will now get on and talk about issues that concern those supporters.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1840 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: News from home ..., in reply to Grant McDougall,

    If you are not happy with the result, there's the door bozo.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1840 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: David Fisher: The OIA arms race,

    While I sympathise with the author, a mirror might have been handy for him. The insincerity and distrust has been earned on a two way street and much of paranoia in government and business is of the once bitten twice shy variety the fault for which can squarely be laid at the door of journalists.

    We live in age of low-cost, low information yellow journalism, when comms staff are justified in suspecting journalists are not really looking for how many Kauri stumps are exported but rather sifting for a gotcha story that'll generate a headline for that afternoon's website masthead of their paper. A semantic difference in what the minister says vs what the department reveals, or a revelation that minister has allowed his ministry to get on the job and is "exposed" as "incompetent" because he or she is unaware of some aspect of their departments work will be the story - not whether or not the Kauri stump export figures tell the reporter anything interesting. That story will be later, if ever.

    One of the reasons Key and government were able to ride out the Dirty Politics revelations is because the public is nowadays inured to screaming red-top scandal headlines. Where once six-inch type was reserved for declarations of war and great disasters, now it rolled out week after week because the mayor has a mistress. Having cried wolf to often and to long on nothing much, the media can no longer convince a sceptical, low information public that a real scandal is important.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1840 posts Report Reply

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