Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Ideology for Evidence

215 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 5 6 7 8 9 Newer→ Last

  • Sacha,

    I was in a stay off my lawn mood. Can see how curmudgeonly codgers like his Garthness got their start..
    #slipperyslope #righto

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Jenni McManus' latest article is worth a read - but the figure below in bold is wrong. According to the PSA their membership is 57,000. Honest mistake or not? Draw your own conclusion:

    Can the public expect a loud and co-ordinated union campaign of opposition, as happened with the Employment Contracts Act in 1991? Or even a general strike?

    It depends on the attitude of the public sector unions – the PSA – which control 250,000 of the CTU's 300,000 members, political commentator Chris Trotter says. If the PSA decides not to join the fray, "it's likely to dampen everything down and put a stop to any militant response".

    The private sector unions could mount a campaign on their own, but it would probably be much less sophisticated and would be starved for cash, Mr Trotter says.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4355 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Reeves,

    The PSA "control" their members? Just another out-of-touch journalist, or a right-winger spreading disinformation?

    Near Donny Park, Hamilton… • Since Apr 2007 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Not that deliberate, but revealing. If you only have a top-down "in charge" model of the world in your mental toolkit, any organisation must work that way - the minions do what they're told. The numerical error seems to have come from nostalgic Chris Trotter.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Compare two identical Herald stories by the same journalist about how key campaign staff for Mayoral candidates are interacting with the communications staff of the Councils they currently head.

    John Banks and Scott Campbell, 176 words:

    Auckland City emails reveal the pattern of communication between former TV3 journalist Scott Campbell and council staff.

    Banks pays Campbell to work as his media liaison.

    ...

    And councillor Glenda Fryer said: "It looks like the bureaucracy is there helping him not as mayor but for his mayoral campaign."

    Len Brown and Conor Roberts, 462 words:

    But the content of many of the emails will remain secret as Roberts insists he is a "private person" - even though he is campaign manager for the man who may become one of the most powerful politicians in the country.

    The arrangement has attracted criticism and will come under close scrutiny as campaigning for the Auckland Supercity mayor heats up.

    The Office of the Auditor General has strict instructions banning council staff from any involvement in campaigning, rules that are intended to make sure public servants are neutral.

    ...

    Roberts claimed that Manukau ratepayers got value out of his presence, and they didn't have to pay for it.

    But he refused to say who was paying for his time. He knew the identities of the donors who paid his wage but refused to disclose their names.

    ...

    Manukau councillor Dick Quax, who supports John Banks, said any contact was time taken from the ratepayer. "There should be no contact between Conor Roberts and council staff. It's wrong."

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Compare two identical Herald stories by the same journalist about how key campaign staff for Mayoral candidates are interacting with the communications staff of the Councils they currently head.

    I noticed that too. Fisher had essentially the same story for both Banks and Brown -- if anything, Banks' is a bit weirder and more complicated and involves a whole fleet of advisors -- yet wrote them in quite different ways.

    Also, Conor Roberts isn't a "spin doctor" in any meaningful sense of the word. He's a fucking campaign manager.

    And rather than just seeking the predictable partisan opinions of Fryer and Quax, Fisher should have also sought their views on what their guys were doing. Particularly wrt to Quax, who is explicitly aligned with Banks, but is flaying Brown for doing the same thing Banks is doing.

    It might have made for a more interesting, and useful, story.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18968 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    yet wrote them in quite different ways

    Quite

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Another burst from the 'warped sense of priorities' file.

    The Automobile Association said yesterday it would be happy to extend its defensive driving programme into every school in the country.

    The nine-hour course includes one hour driving with a professional instructor. With 47,247 Year 13 students nationally, and a $165 cost each student, the total cost implementing the plan would be only $7.8 million.

    But Transport Minister Steven Joyce balked at the cost and called the proposal "simplistic". He said he agreed young people needed improved skills but "if we had $8 million to spare, we would spend it in different ways".

    This from a deluded fool who maintains cars and trucks are king and nothing will ever change that.

    There was an exchange during question time in parliament today between Labour MPs and the transport minister, Steven Joyce about the so-called holiday highway and the proposed Hamilton-Auckland commuter rail link.

    ...

    (Transport Minister) Steven Joyce: The member opposite once again shows a disturbing misunderstanding of economics and economic efficiency. The reality in this country is that 85 percent of passenger transport occurs in private vehicles, and that will continue to occur.

    Read the comments for dissection of the actual numbers and the laments that the opposition failed to use them to.. oppose.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    How come Minister Joyce can't find $8m for defensive driving, but can still find hundreds of millions for a Holiday Highway? Two words - pork barrelling.

    We seem to be imitating the negative aspects of Japan without the positives - whaling issues, pressure-cooker education, highways to nowhere, and now labour issues.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4355 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    "if we had $8 million to spare, we would spend it in different ways".

    I guess he's saying we can't even afford ambulances for the bottom of the cliff, too...

    Maybe they could pay for it with all the fines collected from the small-business-crushing idea of permanent bus lanes on Dominion Road... that way the Supercity could be seen to be benevolent to the rest of the country...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5055 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Can the public expect a loud and co-ordinated union campaign of opposition, as happened with the Employment Contracts Act in 1991? Or even a general strike?

    Has the law changed? My understanding is that general strikes are illegal. You can only take industrial action in pursuit of a pay claim to which you are a party. Union officials argue against general strikes when members raise them.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Tolley takes gloves off - says league tables for primary schools now "inevitable". Oops, I slipped and introduced something ideological against all evidence..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    But wait, there's more. Fran O'Sullivan applies tired ideological categories from last century yet somewhat postmodernly breaches confidence writing a story about John Key breaching union confidence on workplace access changes.

    I'm talking out of school here, but I found it fascinating to have a drink with Kelly at the Waldorf Hotel in New York last year while on the way home after the United States-New Zealand Partnership Forum where the Trans-Pacific Partnership was a key focus.

    I couldn't help thinking then that Helen Kelly's father, the late trade unionist Pat Kelly, would have rolled in his grave at the thought of his daughter even visiting the citadel of capitalism, let alone sharing a drink with a "right-wing columnist" at the Waldorf, shopping for a well-priced trouser suit at Bloomingdales sale or visiting former Prime Minister Helen Clark at her ritzy apartment high up in the Trump Towers.

    Ooh, unionist buys clothes. Class traitor!

    Not sure who O'Sullivan is listening to but this marks a change from recent Key-bashing. She's concerned about interference with the US trade agreement, a goal shared with the little boys in suits who run cabinet. Common enemy I guess. Stakes must be high, eh.

    Already Kelly has successfully persuaded top American trade union leader Richard Trumka to spurn the Government's invitation and cancel his visit to New Zealand in February

    ...

    The union camp's reasons for trying to sabotage New Zealand's international trade linkages are frankly spurious and self-interested.

    Those pesky unions should have meekly accepted rollbacks in union and worker rights and just listened to daddy. Who do they think they are?

    My soundings indicate the CTU could have "agreed to disagree" on these measures. But Kelly warned Key on July 15 that if National toughened up on union access to the workplace, it would do irreparable damage to the working relations between the CTU and the Government and reduce the potential of good relationships between unions and employers in the workplace.

    Letters obtained by this columnist show the CTU believed Key was "on record at our conference as saying this is not an issue people raise with you and you understand how important the issues of collective bargaining and access are to unions and workers in NZ and that you did not see them being progressed any time soon".

    "You also gave Peter [Conway] and me a personal assurance that you had pulled the original paper on access (which we understand you did) and would come back to us if it were to come back on the agenda," wrote Kelly.

    At least that fleshes out why the unions would be feeling so betrayed by the blandly smiling assassin. Doubt they'll be buying Fran a drink any time soon either.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    The DMCA alone is reason to be cautious of an NZ-US FTA, if the Aussie experience is anything to go by.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4355 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    (please delete, duplicate post due to interweb needing percussive maintenance.)

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4355 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The DMCA alone is reason to be cautious of an NZ-US FTA, if the Aussie experience is anything to go by.

    Totally, and ACTA is another attempt at DMCA through the backdoor, as is s92. Both see the same dodgy Hollywood lobbyists pushing their industry's interests on our regulators, with our craven "leaders" demanding NZ sucks up in the name of landing an Amerikan trade deal.

    Colin Jackson describes witnessing the industry submissions to the most recent s92 select committee hearings, a process he respects.

    The next submitter was NZFACT and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). This was led by the MPAA’s managing director for Asia Pacific, Michael Ellis. He made much of the fact that he had flown from Singapore to New Zealand to talk to the Committee.

    Jackson's own submission is well worth a read.

    22. Pressure on New Zealand from, say, the US, to tighten its copyright law – which would come at a cost to ordinary New Zealanders – needs to be balanced against the pressure from other countries not to do so. New Zealand is currently pursuing trade agreements with both the US and India. Why should it favour the policy of one of these two countries – again, at a cost to the rights of its own citizens – when the far larger country of the two holds the opposite view?

    ...

    31. Since no valid domestic justification has been made for this Bill, it must have been introduced in response to pressure from elsewhere. We are seeking to tighten our copyright regime at a cost to ordinary New Zealanders for the benefit of other countries. The US, for instance, makes no secret that it regards the copyright policies and laws of many countries as inadequate and continually presses for their revision.

    32. While international cooperation is desirable in many areas, it is hard to understand why governments would devote so much effort to protecting the exploitation of an infinite resource – people’s creativity – when they seem incapable of agreeing to manage finite resources like tuna, fossil fuels and atmospheric carbon.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Rick Shera,

    @sacha - the RHs have done a great job in diverting attention onto s92A repeat infringer termination, which is a side-show IMHO. Meanwhile, s92C which emulates the takedown core of DMCA, snuck through and has been in force since the original amendment Act was passed. As Colin mentioned, s92C has way less due process than will be in the new s92A regime (actually ss122 onwards but, hey, let's not lose the hashtag to the Sikorski 92A crowd).

    Not that I should complain; s92C is great because all it takes is a simple cease and desist letter to TelstraClear and a client's ... ahem ... ambitious copyright complaint nicely morphs into the blocking of a competitor's website. No fuss, no risk, no pesky evidence requirements and no courts.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Doesn't sound nearly complex enough to be lucrative :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Julie Fairey,

    Even if the 250,000 figure was the public sector unions combined it's way too high (or maybe the 300,000 is too low?) I wonder if Trotter was the source for the contention in last week's The Insider column in the Herald's Friday business mag that the unions were split over all this? Of course they weren't and the CTU affiliates are now mounting a united campaign against Key's proposals, under Kelly's leadership.

    Orcland • Since Dec 2007 • 217 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Trotter is, frankly, a menace to the moderate left of ANZ politics.
    And he knows & plays on that-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Trotter is, frankly, a menace to the moderate left of ANZ politics.
    And he knows & plays on that-

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4355 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Kerre, Kerre, Kerre - even keeping it really brief doesn't make it sensible.

    A caller to my show this week said if motorists didn't know when the 50m mark kicks in on the bus lanes, why not make the bus lanes 50m shorter?

    Only cars turning left and buses could use it.

    ...

    Such a logical and obvious solution...

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Replied:

    Yup, so much easier to invent special 50-metre stretches of "I Can't Believe It's Not Still a Bus Lane" for buses and turning cars than to just put up a sign at the 50-metre mark...

    This caller would certainly make an entertaining mayor. I have a feeling that if I asked him how to get from A to B, his answer would involve the whole rest of the alphabet, plus another few letters he'd invented himself just for fun.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Heh

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    A caller to my show this week said if motorists didn't know when the 50m mark kicks in on the bus lanes, why not make the bus lanes 50m shorter?

    Only cars turning left and buses could use it.

    First they came for the bus lanes, and I didn't speak out because I was not a bus lane...

    <deity> save use from the logic-challenged, both hosts and callers of talkback radio.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3909 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 5 6 7 8 9 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.