Posts by Danyl Mclauchlan

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  • OnPoint: Set it on fire, then,

    for the record, like (I think) many, I'm of the opinion that there seems to be a need for serious change within the system of student associations we currently have - there are far too many Joel Cosgrove's in the system as it stands, and as Paul Williams mentioned upthread, it obscures the really valuable work most associations do. But attacking them in this way is not going to lead to that reform - if anything, it will simply see a continuing decline in quality as revenues start to dry up and a vicious cycle around membership starts up. Reform is what we need in this space, not destruction.

    This would have been a great and important conversation to have several years ago, when all of these points were still obvious and salient, and the massive flaws in the existing system didn't make it effortless for the unions' political enemies to destroy them.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 914 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Set it on fire, then,

    They’re democracies

    Not meaningfully. Voter turnout is around the 6% mark. Most students don't know they've joined. It's just a single entry in a long list of fees when you pay your tuition.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 914 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Set it on fire, then,

    I think the easiest way to clarify thinking about VSM is to imagine that they were dominated by ACT on Campus and the Young Nats, instead of Young Labour, and that they protested and advocated for things those groups believed in. Asset sales. Mining in the conservation reserve. A flat tax.
    Now how would you feel about being compelled to join that association and fund the political activities of all those young ACT and National student politicians? I'm guessing you'd feel pretty damn angry. And the ACT and National students would defend their associations with statements like, 'But we're advocates for students! We are societies conscience!' Would that change your mind about compulsory student unionism?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 914 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Set it on fire, then,

    one service I can't see being easily replaced by institutions is that of student advocacy,

    It won't be replaced by the institutions, but I predict we'll see pretty much the same people advocating on behalf of students after VSM as we do now.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 914 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Who owns the news?,

    My impression is that 'editorial resources' aren't particularly squeezed. Both big newspapers seem to have loads of editors, deputy editors, web editors, news editors etc. It's the actual journalists that are thin on the ground.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 914 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Minister's Brain Has Exploded,

    Armstrong occasionally writes some interesting stuff, but it has been clear for some time now he is completely besotted with Key at a personal level and all his irritating assumption he knows what voters think is complete tosh.

    Armstrong just loves whoever is powerful. You should go back and read some of his columns back when Helen Clark was flying high in the polls - sycophantic doesn't even come close. And he gets really excited when politicians do crazy, irrational things - he thinks it shows 'strength'.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 914 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Other People's Wars,

    Only a few pages in, but I liked this quote from the introduction:

    Military soldiers should not talk about soldiers dying to protect freedom and democracy on the battlefield if they are not prepared to defend those ideals when they brief politicians, take a call from a journalist or receive a request under the Official Information Act.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 914 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Other People's Wars,

    anyone who thought we sent the SAS there to help build houses is seriously deluded.

    Did anyone think that? I really doubt it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 914 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Other People's Wars,

    Insiders.

    It reminds me of an interview I heard with Bart Ehrman, who's a biblical scholar based in the Southern US specialising in copying errors in the New Testament. And he gives talks to general audiences about translation errors and redactions and medieval additions to the gospels, and religious people in those audiences have various extreme reactions: they cry, or get angry or have crisis of faith or angrily denounce his work.

    And then he gives the same lecture to priests of any denomination - who preach at the churches attended to by the very freaked out people in his lay audience - and they shrug and say, 'Yeah yeah yeah, we learned all of that stuff at seminary. So what?'

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 914 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Other People's Wars,

    There was a similar response to the Hollow Men - which contained rather astonishing revelations about the marketing and funding of political parties, and journalists like Jane Clifton yawned and replied, 'But we ALL knew all that.'

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 914 posts Report Reply

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