Posts by Tom Semmens

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  • 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 • 1842 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 • 1842 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Hager saga continues, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Ah, whatever you say bro, just don't hit me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1842 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Hager saga continues,

    From a Whaleoil post to Claire Trevitt publishing it in the Herald took about 4-5 hours.

    Why bother interviewing Hager? Looks like Dirty Politics never happened, the two tier smear strategy is back in action and lazy churnalists like Trevitt can lap it all up safe in the knowledge Cameron Slater can supply her next headline direct from the ninth floor National party comms unit.

    The system was shaken, but nothing was broken.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1842 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Hager saga continues,

    Are there any indications that the Green Party is having a review of its electoral performance?

    Right across the West Green party support has failed to significantly break the 10% barrier.

    The truth is voters much prefer traditional populist right wing parties as a protest against the political establishment over what middle class environmentalists offer.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1842 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Hager saga continues,

    Because I just don’t understand how Slater warrents so much attention.

    Because for a long time there he clearly had lofty contacts in the National government that verifiably went up to and included Judith Collins, the prime ministers department and John Key himself, and probably others like Anne Tolley. He was was clearly part of the governments communications policy. His “tipline” and “scoops” came from impeccable sources, and our journalists clearly worked that out even if they were to stupid to make the intellectual leap to questioning the ethics and legality of his activities.

    Anyway, anyone who goes and spends a few minutes to scroll through his site now will quickly realise the tap is, at for the time being, firmly turned off. His site is just a collection of internet deitritus and bile alternating with nauseating self-pity.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1842 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Sunlight Resistance,

    You know one telling little thing about our media that has amazed me? Not a single newspaper or magazine has bothered to get it’s book reviewer to read and review Lusk’s book. Is it because they lack book reviewers, or they lack the curiosity, or they so part of the game that they don't need to review his book to know what it about and assume the public are stupid to care? All of the above?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1842 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The sole party of government, in reply to BenWilson,

    You asked me to tell you what I think would be constructive, and I have. I didn’t see the internet party calling for devolution.

    You got any better ideas?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1842 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The sole party of government,

    OK here is my thoughts. First of all, Labour – like all the Anglosphere social-democratic parties – needs to re-define it’s mission, what and who it stands for and what it wants to achieve. Managerialism as a status quo poor cousin to a well funded right wing party is not an option. Identity politics has failed, because the progressive left is just wedged against the majority on issues that don’t put food on the table. Labour is a party of revolutionary change, it needs to define what it wants that next revolutionary change to be and to promote that vision. Watching Greenwald and Snowden in the town hall reminded me that people will come out a cold night and cheer if you give them a bold but achievable vision. And to me, if dirty politics and the dropping participation rate and the irrelevance of gotcha politics amongst elite cadres tells me one thing it is that our democracy is broken, and it it needs a social democratic party to fix it before a constituency for economic reform can be rebuilt to challenge the neo-liberal hegemony. So I would like to see Labour dedicate itself to a great democracy project. It would have three parts.

    1/ – Electoral reform:

    – Term limits. When even the Green leadership starts exhibiting comfortable job for life syndrome you know it time for term limits. And show me a politician offering to clip the wings of fat cat politicians who ever lost votes. No more jobs for life on a party list.

    - Campaign finance reform. Forbid parties any source of income except from membership fees that are capped by the electoral commission. State fund parties based on polling, number of MPs and membership with party membership the main criteria. So, for example, for every financial member the party get X dollars of state funding per year. No more elite cadre parties where palace courtiers decide who gets on the list or makes it for candidate selection.

    – Fixed election dates, electronic voting, every voter gets a $20 gift voucher which they can bank or donate to charity.

    - Election day would be a paid public holiday like Xmas- paid upon presenting your employer with evidence you voted. Otherwise, don’t vote – don’t get paid for your day off.

    2/ – Media reform:

    - Digital citizens: All New Zealand households will have a right to free broadband internet access to any site, via a government ISP. The portal would contain a VoIP option and access to Broadcasting NZ

    - Sell of TVNZ, but forbid whoever buys it from using the name NZ in the title, or calling it’s channels TV1 0r TV2. Create a new state owned TV company incorporating RNZ, Kiwi FM and a new online entity ( Fund it properly by a 21st century “broadcasting fee” – a levy collected by the ISPs on all internet accounts for every gigabyte downloaded.

    - Forbid foreign ownership of the NZ media. Forbid any one company from controlling more than 30% of any print or broadcast media outlet (bye bye Sky monopoly). Make any not-for-profit media company or owning trust tax free.

    3/ – Deepening democracy: Participation in the community is the the warp and weft of a civil society. It builds the ties of deep democracy and devolved power to communites is the best way to create a better society.

    - The replacement of all benefits with a non means tested UBI (plus top ups). The UBI will be payable to all New Zealanders regardless of income upon the completion of 208 hours of community or voluntary work per year, unless you are exempted (sickness or having small children being obvious exemptions).

    - create community juries for about every 25-40,000 people run on weekends and in evenings at local halls and schools where minor offenses are dealt with. The jury will consist of 8-12 locals plus an advisor and a presiding official. They juries will decide guilt and a range of summary punishments. All convictions are wiped from the record after 12 months.

    - Devolve various central government powers to new local authorities modeled on the lines of Swiss cantons. The new local authorities will be free to organize themselves as long as they respect basic principles of democracy, central government laws and protect minorities. They will have the power to levy various taxes and be responsible for all the current territorial powers plus transport, housing, education, and some environmental laws.

    There. It is all about democracy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1842 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The sole party of government, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    So we’ve gone from “Labour picks bad candidates who under perform” to “Labour picks good candidates who perform as expected but tarnish their personal brand”. This is not exactly convincing material.

    Whereas you appear to have completely failed to understand we got wiped out last night and just offer a load of lame excuses.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1842 posts Report Reply

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