Posts by Grant McDougall

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  • Island Life: What I saw at the product launch,

    By the way, there seems to be an awful lot of mourning on this site. I think that's unfortunate...A celebration of democracy might also be in order. Thems the breaks folks..The last three years politics are the result of the price Labour paid to keep Don Brash's hands off the treasury benches.

    I reckon we're just letting off steam. Once we've all let of the steam, we'll settle down. Every cloud has a silver lining and I'm entirely thankful that it'll be John Key as PM and not Don Brash. Key I can tolerate, but Brash would've been unbearable.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 722 posts Report Reply

  • Island Life: What I saw at the product launch,

    And you might not much like what John Key & Bill English (or Helen Clark & Michael Cullen those damned academics!) did for a living before entering Parliament, but I rather doubt any of them scored their degrees on their backs. I don't know about you, Grant, but I don't think my c.v. gives be too much ground to be quite that snotty.

    Craig, I have no qualms whatsoever about what Key, English, Clark and Cullen did before becoming MPs. My comment was not meant to be snotty, either. (Or did you actually mean "snooty" ?). ;)

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 722 posts Report Reply

  • Island Life: What I saw at the product launch,

    *sigh* But a "community organiser" isn't such a bad call, right?

    I "hear" what you're saying Craig, but let's not forget that he was also president of the Harvard Law Review, etc. The man's not a mug, with out wishing to state the obvious.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 722 posts Report Reply

  • Island Life: What I saw at the product launch,

    I have heard Nikki Kaye speak at meetings and on the radio. I have yet to hear her commit herself even once to a clear and unequivocal opinion.

    Her words are the stuff of modern management. The sentences are embroidered with 'In terms of' and 'the reality is'.

    She seems to proceed with the caution of the ambitious young executive who will not speak without clearance from head office, or in this case, campaign HQ. Modern companies are bottom heavy with biddable young twenty and thirty somethings. So too, it seems, is Parliament becoming the smart choice of the young man or woman with an MBA textbook on their bedside table.

    She's obviously a clever young woman. Plus she must've ran a good campaign to win a previous Labour stronghold.
    However, she also struck me as lacking ideological substance whilst being interviewed on TV1 last night. I think this is because she has never experienced the white, hot, heat of controversy or turmoil, of the kind in which ideology is forged, such as Vietnam, Springbok tour, Rogernomics, Ruthenasia, etc.
    Instead, she's grown up in an extremely calm, stable era of minimal controversy, restructuring or upheaval. There's been nothing for young people to draw a defining line in the sand over. I'm glad such conditions have existed and I don't want turmoil, but there's really been nothing for young politicians to cut their teeth on.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 722 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Prospects,

    In 20 years' time, those achievements will be regarded as prodigious and defining of an era. The fact that Helen Clark signed a painting for charity, or that her car once went really fast with a police escort on an open road; or the absurd mythology constructed around the departure of an under-performing police commissioner; none of these will be thought of as anything important.

    Good call. A year or so ago I was talking to Brian Roper, a political scientist at Otago (and one of about three die-hard Marxists in NZ) and he said much the same thing. "They will be remembered very favourably" , he said.
    Apart from their major achievements, one thing I am very pleased has happened is that there was no major, radical reforms that really threw the country around, as Rogernomics, privatisation, Ruthenasia, etc, did. It's all been very steady and moderate. Should National win, I hope they go slow and steady as well - the country does not need nor want fast, radical changes.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 722 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: God's squads,

    So is The Standard alleging National MPs try to run protesters down with their cars.

    Fact: In 1990 Bill Birch ran over student protester Felix Geiringer at Otago University. I know, as I was at the same protest. I wouldn't be surprised if Kyle Matthews had been in the vicinity, either.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 722 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: God's squads,

    No, Laidlaw was Labour, beating Denis Welsh (ex-Listener) of the Alliance in the by-election.

    Ken Grey won the nomination for a safe Labour seat, so it’s reasonable to count him too.

    Doh! You are entirely correct.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 722 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: God's squads,

    And Labour had Chris Laidlaw and the late Ken Grey (sadly never got to make it to parliament)

    And NZ First had Tu Wylie.

    Ex rugby players reasonably evenly distributed I’d have thought.

    Laidlaw was briefly an Alliance MP after winning a by-election, then lost at the following general election.

    I named three All Blacks that became National MPs, you've only named one for three other parties. Plus, Tu Wylie only ever played for the Maori All Blacks, not the "proper" All Blacks.
    At 3:1, per party, hardly "reasonably evenly distributed", I reckon.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 722 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: God's squads,

    I'm amazed that anyone's amazed about Michael Jones and Inga Tuigamala turning out for National yesterday in South Auckland.

    I completely agree. It's no surprise at all that two former All Blacks endorse National. Now and again a former All Black pops up as a National MP (Ben Couch, Graeme "look at my cool perm" Thorne, Tony Steele, etc) and all they do is make up the numbers on the back-benches for one or two terms, then get the boot. If Jones or Tuigamala ever become National Party MPs, exactly the same will happen to them.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 722 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Granny for Sale,

    Winston will be missed for his antics, and he's definitely achieved far more for seniors than anyone else would ever even have tried

    I'm loath to admit this, but he's not only done that, but has been, in all fairness, a very, good, solid, competent Minister of Foreign Affairs. But of course he's shot himself in the foot with the whole Owen Glen fiasco.

    Anyway watch the Clark v Key debate on TV3 tonight ? Clark was on autopilot with snatches of sparkiness, Key fairly staid.

    I thought the best comment came from Linda Clark while they were wrapping up: the swing to Nataional will be bigger than predicted and what the Maori Party does won't be relevant.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 722 posts Report Reply

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