Posts by Alastair Thompson

  • Speaker: Things I have learned running RockEnrol,

    Hi Laura,

    Well from this political pundits POV what you did was amazing. The energy that you threw at everything and the eternal optimism was inspirational. I am sorry you didn't get the financial support you needed but on the smell of an oily rag you accomplished something pretty remarkable.

    You are right that politics (especially at election time) makes people weird, suspicious and often rather unreliable. But one of the most fantastic things that has been achieved thus election has been the consistent focus on turnout and participation. The significant efforts by other groups including the CTV, NZUSA and Climate Voter Coalition Gen Zero were inspired by your pluck and enthusiasm.

    Without Rock Enrol I don't know if that would have happened. You punched way above your weight and generated buzz and energy and life around something which we now know that some elements in the political process are deliberately trying to make unattractive and unpalatable. And you succeeded. The Early Voting numbers are extraordinary and RockEnrol deserves a significant part of the credit for making that happen.

    From my POV kiwis, old and young, have learned a little about the value of democracy this election. And while too many people who should have helped you didn't this time round I am fairly confident that in 2017 the alleged champions of NZ democracy will be a great deal easier to rally to your flag.


    You and your crew have earned the right to do so with bells on.


    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dotcom: Further news of the unlikely,

    I think there is piles in this that is new in response to the "more of the same" meme which seems to be gaining traction in the Socialverse. It seems to me that the Govt, John Key and Jonathan Coleman are caught in something of a bind.

    The current defence/explanation for the "political pressure" asserts that Jonathan Coleman (and the SIS and INZ were prepared to go along with this) was willing to sell residency to a person for $10 million being deposited in a NZ bank account.

    The alternate version is that Coleman did some dirty work for the Cabinet Club which he cleverly managed to keep at arms length through a special delegation. It looks externally as if everybody who was involved in this apparent conspiracy knew full well that what they were up to was as dodgy as.

    So either they corruptly sought to allow a criminal type into NZ knowing him to be a bad egg - in return for a bank making some fairly small bikkies (a nd the SIS went along with this) - or there was a conspiracy to lure him to NZ so they could offer him up to the Americans - as Kim Dotcom has long claimed.

    The evidence is increasingly pointing to the latter, but both explanations play rather bad for the PM.

    I have long wondered if this is the real reason that Simon Power resigned. He was Justice Minister through all this and also well informed (unlike the PM) of what was afoot.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Gower Speaks,

    That would have to be one of the longest and most cogent expositions on the subject of politics that Paddy has ever had the privilege of being associated with.


    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Muse: Guilt By Association Copy,

    Most excellent point Craig, and very well made, and quickly too. Bravo!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Crowdfunding Time,

    Hi Russell,

    This looks great. I have signed up and I hope lots of other readers of Public Address do so also.

    Personally I definitely received $10 worth of value out of Public Address each month and I expect that if they think about it so do several hundred of your readers.

    Ten dollars a month is not a lot to pay for a community that is in your place, talks about your stories, genuinely reflects your values and offers you the opportunity to participate in fascinating public policy debates.

    I wish this effort the best possible start.

    Alastair Thompson

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: About Radio NZ's new…,

    Hey Megan! Congratulations.

    Great post. And an auspicious start. 354 Twitter followers already on @thewirelessnz. ( after this comment I will see if I can figure out how to post a picture of the launch in this thread.)

    The content strategy behind what you are doing there looks great to me and what you say above explains that a little - targeted share-able usable content about stuff that matters to the yoof. As always the key will be in creating content that connects which is as we all know remarkably difficult.

    You can't go much past the advice given to Hamlet, be true to yourselves and you will be true to your audience. And be courageous too.

    I was particularly excited with the news of the $190k budget for digital content contributions - this is an initiative which is much needed and is paving the way for funding of digital news content online.


    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Mega Strange, in reply to Morgan Davie,


    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: nz.general: a speech,


    I can vouch for Jimmy Rae Brown's employability. He is very obliging and capable and we will keep employing him to do tasks for us from time to time.

    Great speech Russell. Sorry I missed it. Have had man-flu for more than a week!


    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Political Idol, or whatever…,

    Nicely said Russell. This was my thought when the decision was first taken, and I wondered which genius at the Labour Party was responsible for the timing - the morning after the GCSB Bill passed.

    Unconventional politics, perhaps. But dramatic!

    And potentially high risk.

    So far however it is working like a dream.

    It has had the effect of sucking all the oxygen out from what would have been the spectre of John Key basking in his victory over the powerless communists, civil libertarians and their Twitter Chorus.

    And as you say - if that process can be managed in a way to produce light rather than heat, then it can be fantastic experience both for the country and for the party as well as building "him" a great platform for beyond.

    Which is why I was keen for Jacinda Ardern to be in the race. Shane Jones is not a real contender and never has been, Jacinda is, and the absence of a woman from the line-up is a bit of a shame IMO.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The GCSB Bill: eleventh-hour arguments,

    I have just posted an extensive open letter to Peter Dunne. Right now we really do need him to change his mind and everybody telling him he is craven and has already betrayed us isn't necessarily helping the process.

    It's more like 3000 words actually. And concludes thus:

    Peter, the fact is that the only person who can ensure the right thing is now done is you.

    The people of New Zealand and Wellington and perhaps even Ohariu will be enormously grateful if you ensure that due process is properly followed and that at the very least the Privileges Committee inquiry into the report leak is completed before the passage of the GCSB Bill.

    The issues at the heart of the illegal mass-surveillance controversy - which now thanks to the disclosures of former NSA staffer Edward Snowden are now several orders of magnitude more serious that they were when the Kim Dotcom case began - are globally significant.

    What happens with the GCSB Bill this week in NZ matters not just here, but throughout the world.

    In 1985 the NZ Government chose - backed by a massive public mandate - to pass legislation the effect of which was to stop US ship visits to New Zealand. Four years later the wall came down and thirty years later the number of warheads has fallen from 60,000 to 16,000.

    The legislation New Zealand passed was trenchantly opposed by the State Department at the time.

    The US was fearful of what message us passing such legislation would send to the rest of the world, and particularly Denmark, Norway and Japan.

    28 years later with NZ nearly back in ANZUS there is a strange symmetry between those events and the current situation.

    Now the US Government is keen for us to pass the GCSB Bill as quickly as possible.

    This time the US would like an example of NZ's acquiescence to the legality of it's ubiquitous surveillance infrastructure to provide to other nations whose politicians are coming under increasing pressure to explain just what the NSA, GCHQ, ASIO (Australia) and GCSB are doing and why it is ok that they are doing what they are doing.

    Here in NZ what happened to you at the hands of the David Henry inquiry illustrated the dangers of investigators who do not understand the limits of their powers.

    What happened to you also illustrated very clearly why it is not ok to grant powers of surveillance to agents of the executive - especially when those powers are poorly defined.

    I hope you agree with me that down this is path we find Star Chambers, despotism and the destruction of freedom.

    This is not something that should be allowed to pass softly as if we do not care, while we concentrate our attention on what our Prime Minister thinks ought to concern us, namely, how much snapper we are allowed to catch.

    Dear Peter, right now the only thing that stands between the aspirations of millions of NZers to live in a country they are proud of, and the passage of this bill is you.

    And this is why I entreat you to think on what I am saying.

    S.O.S. (Save our Souls) and do not support the third reading of the GCSB or TICS Bills until there has been a proper inquiry into the matters which are raised by the Kim Dotcom and David Henry cases of investigative over-reach.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 177 posts Report Reply

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