Posts by Tom Semmens

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  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,

    Charmless, smarmy, witless, utterly untrustworthy. But to his supporters he’s _their_ charmless, smarmy, witless liar and you’d have to pry him from their cold, dead hands.

    Spot on. John Key doesn’t have to be charming, witty or trustworthy. He just has to be “one of us”. So what if John Key corruptly used the SIS to discredit Goff. At least the economy is doing well, and he is normal with a wife and kids “like us”. And did you see how while his urban liberal critics smugly talk about their diverse food culture in Mt Eden and Kingsland, Key has a BBQ with Prince William, just “like us?"

    Now, I was reading Rob Ford has a good chance of being re-elected mayor of Toronto. In other words, the Toronto suburbs hate the ’the downtown liberal elite’ so much that they would rather re-elect a buffoon and a criminal drug addict than let the inner city elite have a victory. John Key is our Rob Ford. And like Rob Ford John Key is the measure by which we can begin to gauge just how much provincial and suburban New Zealand hate the people whom Rob Ford and his supporters hate most — ’the urban liberal elite’. Key might be Visionless and inarticulate, but at least he is a regular guy who sticks in the craw of all those queers and liberals and femininazis.

    John Keys personal popularity is the product of the progressive left’s disastrous twenty year experiment of combining acceptance of the neo-liberal economic status quo with an urban liberal sense of cultural snobbery. This politics of place – sentiments of resentment, exclusion, and social isolation felt by provincial and suburban New Zealanders of varied backgrounds towards the inner city urban elite status quo – is the reason for Key’s successful appeal to “middle New Zealand”.

    Like Ford’s various Toronto scandals, the dirty politics scandal may flake off enough support for the progressive “left” to tack together a shaky majority. But the fruits of happenstance shouldn’t deflect from the real lesson for the left. The lesson the left must learn from John Key and his popularity is that its primary political vehicle (the Labour party) cannot simply be a party of left leaning urban liberals. It also has to be a party with a leader and policies that appeal to those in the provinces and outer suburbs who feel excluded from the fruits of economic growth and threatened by cultural change.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,

    Dragging Franks into the shit means it won’t just be ADLS looking at its members…

    It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.


    Idiot/Savant spells it out for the taxpayer in terms of the revelations about David Bain:

    So, just to make that clear, the Justice Minister used a blogger to smear someone when she was considering their case for compensation for a miscarriage of justice. Which would seem to be a textbook case of bias and predetermination, and to hand Bain his judicial review on a plate. If you don't think Bain deserves compensation, you might want to get angry at Collins about that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,

    I hope an incoming government wouldn’t be so stupid as to engage in blatant political utu that compromises the basic editorial independence of public broadcasters

    Graham Bell frequently appears on the panel, and is introduced as what he is – a retired ex-police detective who hosted a popular crime reality TV show. As it turns out, Graham Bell has views you’d largely expect an aging white male ex-cop to have. I have no problem with that, his cards are on the table and knowing what I know of his background, I find some of what he has to say the wisdom of age and experience, some of it the prejudice of age and experience and some of it born from pure Pakeha social conservatism.

    John Bishop is a neo-liberal (ex?)ACT party member, a PR flack and chairman of the astro-turf taxpayers union. As it turns out, he has views you’d largely expect from an aging white male right winger. I would have no problem with that, if his cards were also on the table.

    I don’t regard it as “utu” to expect high standards of transparency and disclosure from our public broadcaster. I don't think it is "utu" for an experienced public broadcaster like Jim Mora to be reminded of his obligation to ensure his listeners are in full possession of relevant information regarding those offering opinions on his panel, particularly when they are currently active in a high profile right wing ginger group like the Taxpayers Union and we are in an election campaign. If Jim Mora doesn’t like being reminded of these common sense and basic ethical standards for a brodcaster, I am sure he can find a slot for himself on ZB or Radio Live.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,

    It’s rare for RNZ to be accused of being right-wing…

    That isn't really my point. Rather, that Jim Mora allows people with hidden agendas to appear on his panel as if they are disinterested observers, and his little lies on this matter has turned out to be the thin of the wedge in what has become a general decline in ethical standards in the media. From failing to acknowledge John Bishop as a hard right activist it is a ethically lazy short step to using Farrar and Slater as a news source, and we now know that leads directly to collusion and collaboration with National's two tier PR agenda.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,

    Meanwhile, John Bishop - ACToid, PR flack and chairman of the right wing astro-turf taxpayers union is on Mora's show as a panelist, where he gets to sound off with right wing talking points on politics. The taxpayers union has form in the dirty politics scandal -

    “[Jordan Williams] sent [a piece quoting his own NZTU attack on Labour] to Slater, saying, ‘Just emailed you a blog post (assuming you’re no fan of David Clark). I’m happy to do more over the break if you’re wanting them.’ Slater replied, ‘Sure, chuck them thru.’ The post appeared under Cameron Slater’s name a couple of hours later.”

    Now, I don't care if John Bishop is on the panel if everyone is up-front about who they are and their politics. But Mora's on-going refusal to do so with his panel guests - in an election campaign no less - is disgraceful, and the sort of nod nod wink wink enabling of sneaky right wing political agendas that ends up with the complicit cooperation with Slater that has got the Herald's journalists into trouble.

    Jim Mora seems to think he can get away with business as usual. I hope an incoming government cleans up his shows casual little lies in the general wash up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: UPDATED: Media Take: Election…,

    They must have been unable to believe their luck when Tom gave them exactly what they needed yesterday.

    This song dates from 2013. It was dredged up as a counter-play by National (probably their research unit) and fed into a oh-to-willing media via Slater/Hooton/Farrar and Lusk. And yes, you also took the bait.

    Must we continue with blindly accepting the right's framing of issues?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: UPDATED: Media Take: Election…,

    Ah, the power of propaganda spread via a complicit media addicted to certain news sources.

    Peter Fowler is to polite to say it, but you’ve all been played by Slater/Farrar/Hooton/Williams – BlogWatch: Anatomy of misinformation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: UPDATED: Media Take: Election…,

    This one is a picture of a politician masquerading as an All Black, wearing their uniform, and flanked by real All Blacks.

    And Key reckoned he got a text message from McCaw that he read out at the National party campaign launch. Tthe rugby union needs to yank McCaws chain and tell him the STFU. As it is, rugby is increasingly a game where rich white folks watch brown people entertain them. Aligning the captain of the All Blacks with John Key is a dumb idea. I really, really hope Ritchie McCaw doesn’t force me and others to pelt him with good, red socialist tomatoes next Super XV game he is in at Eden park.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: UPDATED: Media Take: Election…, in reply to Pharmachick,

    That’s quite funny. To many Toms.

    But I guess I am a bit mixed on this. Unlike a lot of people I think this is just all the noise of democracy. I don’t like a conversation of elites. On the other hand, if you’ve got dirty politics and libels proliferating like diddymo then you run the risk that you’ll choke off the oxygen of legitimacy necessary to the survival of democracy.

    On the balance, a bunch of dis-empowered hip-hoppers singing a fantasy song about knocking off the PM is pretty small beer to a well-connected at the highest level right wing online Brownshirt like Cameron Slater, with his refusal to accept the legitimacy of the law and belief he can behave in a totally lawless and thuggish way with the approval of the minister of justice and the Prime Minister. I know which one I think constitutes the real threat to democracy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: UPDATED: Media Take: Election…, in reply to Pharmachick,

    When people are voiceless, they will have temper tantrums like a little child who has not been paid attention to.

    -- Martin Luther King, Jr. July, 1967

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

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