Name of the Year: Kim (from Kardashian to Dotcom via Pyongyang).
Interview Word of the Year: Look ...
New Zealand Word of the Year: Australia
OK, apologies in advance for using PA as therapy, but believe me, it's going to save neighbours and colleagues from being collateral damage from my rage (and me from a coronary).
I've just been listening to Brent Edwards on Morning Report telling us about Cunliffe undermining Labour, and the need for unity, etc. He also told us that Cunliffe could make it all go away by issuing a statement to his supporters, calling off his dogs (paraphrase, but in essence correct). There is similar coverage elsewhere.
Now, I suppose by commenting here I immediately become a Cunliffe Henchman, but what the hell. I vote Labour, even last time when I was very unhappy with them, and I desperately want them to be united, and not "undermined".
But for four years I have been "undermined". By Labour. I can instantly recall incidents of ill-discipline and idiocy in media, social or mainstream, by ...
Mallard, Jones, Curran, O'Connor, Fenton, Nash, Sio, Mahuta, and ... well, let's call them the Labour caucus. That took ten seconds to recall. No doubt there are more. I didn't need Google, I just needed to touch my bruised forehead, from years of banging it on the wall, and it's very generous of me to only mention Mallard once. Copy and paste him for a page if you want a truer picture.
Included on that list would be Cunliffe (e.g. his pre-election comments about Judith Collins, though at least he was quick to apologise). But if anybody thinks that Labour's problems stem from Not Being Tough with one particular MP, and that Peace and Unity will prevail once he is gone, they must have spent the last four years in a sensory-deprivation chamber (I wish I had).
And I'm only talking here about blatant failures - never mind basics like the inability to ask a competent follow-up question in Parliament, or issue a press release some time before the publication arrives in the dentist's waiting room. The Greens somehow manage this every week - it must be because they don't have David Cunliffe.
That's just the caucus. The current leader's obvious limitations would turn this comment into one of those e-book thingies.
I know that David v David is today's story, and it's all terribly exciting for journos bored with Home and Away , but can we please get some perspective? Can we dispense with this absurd fantasy that Labour would be doing just fine if David Cunliffe was poet-in-residence at Harvard? And that WE (the dumb voters) only get pissed off at Labour's leadership (leadership?) and rant about them on blogs because DC tells us to?
Let's stipulate that Cunliffe's behaviour was/is a "problem" (in some conveniently unspecified way). Now, how about sorting out the rest of them?
Just want to add my thanks and support for Keith and his source. You have done the whole country a huge favour, and I hope that knowledge will sustain you as things turn nasty.
Time to watch Homeland ... taking a break from the unbelievable reality to the more believable fiction.
Good discussion. I don't know anything about all these peoplemeters and demographics and that, so I'll just say this:
Like many New Zealanders I have to deal with the jokes from friends overseas (well, they're mostly jokes) about living in the past, "turn your watch back 30 years", etc. And of course I either joke back, or if I'm in the mood, I rant about how outdated and unfair that view is. You know how it goes - mentioning the Conchords is obligatory at some point.
And then, astride my high horse (or moa), I turn to our national broadcaster (you know, the one with those flag-waving, heart-warming promos) and discover ...
Are You Being Served?
and a little piece of New Zealand dies. Sob.
I think you showed up a lot of slackness here, both in government and the rest of the media.
Yes. The transcript *was* a story. If the journalists had heard the Prime Minister's actual words, and could confirm that he had not said "conflicts", then the correct response was to report that.
To say (in effect) that the State Dept had made a serious error, and therefore it wasn't a story, would be a failure of journalism. I don't subscribe to the conspiracy theories ("MSM = Key's PR"!1!!) but I would like to know why the gallery reporters didn't immediately see this as news. Because it clearly was.
Official rules for describing unelected activists:
When Sue Bradford or John Minto turn up at a protest, they shall be called "rentamob". Even if no money has been paid to rent anyone.
When Colin Craig pays a lot of money to distribute pamphlets, he shall be called a "party leader". Not "the man who actually did rent a mob to march down Queen St".
we’re doing marriage equality right now and it’s pretty fucking awesome.
Yes it is awesome. Louisa Wall has been awesome. But you can't have it both ways.
You say "We're doing marriage equality", but if "we" means "Labour", then the party leader has been a follower. Listen to his wishy-washy distancing here ..
It's been the same in many other media appearances, ever since Obama kicked it off. You can almost hear the advisers whispering "Don't sound too strong on this one! Waitakere Swing!", and the effect is thoroughly uninspiring. Is it so hard to say "I'm voting for equality, and I'm proud to do so"? Every time he downplays it, my heart sinks.
I acknowledge the Labour leader for allowing the private members' bill to be put in the ballot, and for voting for it (along with most government Ministers). He followed Obama and tied with Key. That deserves a pass mark. But it has been a missed opportunity for Shearer, and I suspect it's been missed for the wrong reasons. Saying you believe in something doesn't have to cost votes. Waffling usually does.
I'll start listening to any Labour people who complain that teh rainbowz "distract us from our main message", just as soon as they work out what the hell that message is supposed to be. And how to communicate it. (So far the Labour message appears to be - "We don't want David Cunliffe").
Until then, Louisa Wall's bill is only a "distraction" from the cricket. Which is fine by me.
Very good news.
I listened to about six speeches on the radio. John Hayes was the worst (ramble, ramble, "Labour's social reform agenda", ramble some more). The others were pretty reasonable, including Paul Hutchison, in favour.
But the bigots are only part of the problem.
It's now clear that MPs are pushing at an open door. Public opinion was either already there, or at least willing to be persuaded.
But for years (and still) we've heard so many politicians find every possible reason not to engage. Not to oppose, just - not to talk about it (as Emma's previous post skewered so well). That's about more than just one issue - you get the same kind of waffle across a whole range (e.g. a republic is "inevitable", said Clark and Key, while refusing to do anything about it).
I'm not going to doff my cap and be 'umbly grateful to MPs who constantly tell us that doing something simple (which they also think is right) is "not our focus" or "something I'm not uncomfortable with' or "not something we're putting out there" (the last was David Shearer's). Is it so hard to say "I think we should do X because Y"? Not least because - to speak the language they understand - maybe it would impress the voters?
Memo to our MPs: Martin Luther King's speech is remembered, and it's not because he said "I am at this time not opposed to having a conversation about the issues around a dream". Would you like us to remember you?