I suspect we will see lots of this sort of distraction
Which nobody is obliged to pay the slightest bit of attention to over the next six months. (The reverse of that coin, of course, is not matter how much you try you can't actually force people to give a shit about your "real issues" if they don't.)
As for how Labour should deal with the Green tainting: They should own it. It’s nearly certain that they will need the Greens as a coalition partner. They can sell it as that they will “keep each other honest”.
Or how about stop treating duly electred representatives in a parliamentary democracy as impertinent interlopers? Oh, and stop treating citizens like they're utter fuckwits. If I can get that Labour and the Greens have substantive policy differences, you go into an election campaign to maximize your vote, and you require a majority to pass legislation, anyone can figure it out.
But respect is a two way street, Ben. Yes, clearly articulate those differences. But you can't tacitly send out Shane Jones to brown-neck the Maori Party and Greens before the election, then clutch your pearls in horror when that doesn't exactly leave them well-disposed afterwards.
I can’t see the connection with a September poll date. They’ll lose by less than if they wait for November?
Um, yeah... I'm not seeing the logic in that either. Clark went seriously early in 2002, because the Opposition was such an almighty mess it would have been churlish not to take full advantage and the Alliance melting-down was a very convenient pretext. (Even Clark wasn't pushing with much conviction the party line that the Alliance/Greens split rendered the country ungovernable. At no point were the Greens talking about denying confidence.)
Shane Jones should give it up and go and be CEO of his slave-fishing operation again.
Well, you know what - I think Cunliffe needs a plausibly deniable Winston Peters analog to do all that icky populist stuff that wouldn't look at all nice coming from a rich white prick. Shame that didn't get a few people people outraged.
but if it’s in the position of having to do the same for Colin Craig and his Conservative Party – and that position is only a matter of a couple of points of support – things might get a little more tricky.
Yeah, sorry… still not seeing Colin Craig being “gifted” East Coast Bays or Upper Harbour anywhere outside the media’s damp and excitable imagination. McCully has one of the largest majorities in Parliament, and a solidly supportive (and very well-heeled) electorate organization. If you think National is going to nuke that for the dubious charms of the Conservatives, I've got a second harbour bridge to sell you.
(and, let’s face it, New Zealand First)
Yup, and without repeating myself that's another ride on the bullshit merry-go-round I'm not going to enable. Sadly, the media's bad bromance with Peters is going to be doing enough enabling for all of us.
The news media came to believe that being underwritten by advertising was a birthright, and it wasn’t. The phenomenon that sees The Guardian, a paper with around 200,000 readers in print, reach an internet audience of 36 million is the same that sees The Guardian burn up its trust account at the rate of £30 million to £40 million every year.
Well, yes. And after reading this, I don't know how long the London Review of Books, and it's generously and promptly paid contributors, is going to survive when editor Mary-Kay Wilmers' family trust is no longer under-writing things.
First one to make it easy gets my money.
Sometimes you just need to state the bleeding obvious, because "plug in and play" is a siren call to me. :)
One reason for the judgement is that some suicides are self obsessed and even selfish acts. Sometimes the things left behind cause a great deal of harm to those living. In those cases, yeah there is some judgypants going on.
OK, and I can respect that framing if that’s what some survivors need to do when working through grief. But what’s not useful or acceptable: People who assume that a newspaper column, or an internet connection, gives then standing to shit on complete strangers as weak-willed narcissistic arseholes because they suffer from depression, or self-harm, or are addicts (have we forgotten Philip Seymour Hoffman already?)
The dead are beyond caring or harm when you decide to model the new season “judgypants”. But it would show a lot of empathy (and common human decency) if everyone thought harder about who’s listening when mental illness and self-harm are treated like they're the result of a lack of dietary moral fibre.
*TW: explicit discussion of suicide*
The only suicides I consider selfish are the ones which basically make someone else kill you. Train jumpers, death-by-cop.
Let's not go there at all, please. BTW, Jack, my partner was a train driver when a woman threw herself in front of his train many years ago and is coming up on his 50th year working in the industry. Any rail-related fatality is dreadful for a lot of people, and can have profound and long-lasting effects. We can respect that without getting into shaming value-judgements of anyone.