Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The perils of political confidence

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  • DexterX, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I don't think it is credible - remorse is only for those that get caught out. But I must say it was well expressed.

    IMHO it is likey that if the partner of the party Leader's executive assistant knew - then it was not a secret.

    Would love to see, but don't expect to, who ordered, printed and paid for the stickers and who drove who around putting them up.

    I feel this issue is low key as Key might just need the Greens should Winston get up and Act fade away. Winston is sitting around 4.5% of the party vote.

    I don't see -

    the dread hand of Darth Joyce/Crosby Textor/the lesbian-unionist cabal running the Labour Party/whatever

    behind this - I see stupidity which is the order of the day/month this election.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1203 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to DexterX,

    I don’t think it is credible – remorse is only for those that get caught out. But I must say it was well expressed.

    IIMHO it is likey that if the partner of the party Leader’s executive assistant knew – then it was not a secret.

    If it was some kind of performance art on Norman's part, then I've got to say he's in the wrong profession. He should leave politics, take every Green I know, and become a Shakespeare wallah - it was an Oscar worthy act.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to DexterX,

    see stupidity which is the order of the day/month this election

    Bryce Edwards discusses that and provides relevant links.

    So where is all the policy focus that was promised for the campaign? Why has it all suddenly descended into trivialities, legalities, and pettiness?

    Part of the answer is that the political parties have all contrived to make this campaign utterly boring and mostly meaningless. National and the Greens, in particular, have so far been ultra-cautious in this election, running tightly controlled and highly scripted campaigns. But such control-freakery is never liable to last and in the last few days we have seen some own goals from Key and Green party members. And these careless episodes really do have the potential to badly damage their campaigns, because both the teapot tapes and billboard damage campaigns relate to issues of political integrity.

    and on the Greens' "unfortunate" billboard genius:

    Of course the rule for these types of political 'black ops' is don't get caught. That the Greens responsible for the attack then did interviews and put out a press release is mind bogglingly incompetent and almost rivals the foolishness of having a secret conversation just metres away from an assembled media horde.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    "What happens when it moves to other high profile New Zealanders having a conversation with their wives about personal issues?
    "What happens if a couple of high profile New Zealanders have a conversation about their son or their daughter being suicidal - a Sunday paper reports that and that child takes their own life.

    Kind of reminds me of this:

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    He is great where he is thanks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1203 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Not so sure on Minto (#3). Getting to be ok with Harawira. It's his mum I find... off-putting. And they're keeping her quiet, a blessing in itself :)

    Minto? I know John Key thinks little of him. At least Minto knows where he was in the 1981 springbok tour protests. I know he stands up for human rights. What's so bad about Minto?
    I guess Titiwhai has defiantly stood up for what she believes in. I also guess her belief that the Maori party was going to do what was needed under National was upset when Hone left it but I am sure she would support her son's decision. Maori Party do look like anything but what she hoped for. The 79 year old may still have a loud voice but how that equates to be a vote for Mana is beyond me and I don't see how she could influence all who are in Mana now. Hone is a man in his own right. He is not working for his Mother. Jus' sayin'

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6298 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    The 5% threshold argument is compelling, but politicians going to be politicians and the order of complexity (and borrowing) rises, never diminishes, until finally the order always switches over to it's antithesis, enantiodromia. Perhaps this is the reality that we all fantasise to escape from.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Sacha,

    I have to agree with Bryce.

    My take on this election is that it has become a teenage melodrama - Key owns the PA and even though he can't play or sing everyone wants to be in his band - including Russell whose friends hate Key, Goff is Hard Rock and every one else is wanting to form a Heavy Metal Band, and Winston well he is Iggy Pop on the comeback trail who just might out rock them all.

    John Banks and Don Brash are still hanging up on the coat hangers in the foyer by the belts of their pant; even though Key has got them down once he is loathe to appear uncool and get them down again.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1203 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Minto is a great thinker and is principled. I hope he gets in and gets to help build the new left. The left that labour left behind.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1203 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Yeah, but y'know, tactical voting and all that.

    I think it's taking the idea of thresholds too far to suggest that it's a wasted vote if it doesn't push them over the 0.83% threshold for each candidate on the party list, given an electorate seat is won. That applies to every party. Your vote isn't worthless just because it wasn't the one that tipped a candidate in our out. And even if it is, you never know, for any candidate, if that close vote mightn't happen after all. It's only parties well under the 5% without an electorate that have substantial wasted votes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8615 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    Part of the answer is that the political parties have all contrived to make this campaign utterly boring

    Yeah, because I really think the point of elections is to keep the media and commentariat entertained, like they’re children at a birthday party marking time between the sugar buffet and the clown who makes balloon animals. You know what, if you’re so damn bored learn to ride a bike, take up knitting, learn a musical instrument or slip a good book in your bag. Petty vandalism isn’t it.

    And yet again, I want to throw my laptop at the wall every time someone pops up in the lamestream media to bitch about what a lightweight circus the campaign is, as if the media itself is a victim instead of a perpetrator/enabler.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    and on the Greens' "unfortunate" billboard genius
    Of course the rule for these types of political 'black ops' is don't get caught. That the Greens responsible for the attack then did interviews and put out a press release is mind bogglingly incompetent and almost rivals the foolishness of having a secret conversation just metres away from an assembled media horde

    Totally agree. Whatever they were thinking, 'going public' was an act of idiocy, potentially damaging to the Greens, and clearly opening themselves up to legal problems.
    But that's their issue. I reckon Norman should have taken the line: the Green Party in no way endorses or condones this sort of behaviour. We'll investigate, and if any of our paid party employees had any role in this, there will be consequences. But we cannot, of course, be held responsible for the actions of anyone and everyone who joins the party. We have xThousand members. It would be unreasonable to expect any party to be able to control the actions of every member. (Perhaps insert here some egregious action from a member of Labour or National Party :)) But I repeat- if any of our paid employees was involved, they will find there is a clause in their contract (eg,about 'bringing the party into disrepute) and there will be consequences.
    Handing them over to the police and National- and setting about using party members to 'repair' National billboards? More damaging to their party. IMHO.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1582 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Handing them over to the police

    What? Sourced, credible link please.

    Meanwhile, I’m getting more and more creeped out by the chic cynicism “if you’re going to vandalise election hoardings, the only sin is getting caught”. I wonder if folks like Edwards, Gordon Campbell et. al. have ever had to take down a hoarding that’s been defaced with charming political wit like “RAPE DYKE CUNT”? How about fielding a call from an 80 year old widow severely distressed by someone trespassing on her property in the middle of the night to slash up a hoarding?

    I've done both, so anyone who thinks vandalism like this is just a game (as long as you don't like the target or have to clean up the ugliness, of course) can play another one. Try reading my lips, while guessing which finger I have rigidly extended.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    But we cannot, of course, be held responsible for the actions of anyone and everyone who joins the party.

    That's not how politics works.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I’m getting more and more creeped out by the chic cynicism “if you’re going to vandalise election hoardings, the only sin is getting caught”.

    That is right in some ways, defacing a political billboard can be seen as free speech
    whereas tagging someone’s fence is just vandalism.
    The Greens, on the other hand, seem to be playing this as a way of appearing to be amenable to National, for fairly obvious reasons. If they ever support National on supply and confidence they will upset a great deal of their grass roots support and that is a gamble I don’t think will play out well for them.
    If, however, they get a few votes from National bent swinging voters then go on to form a government with Labour it could be a worthwhile risk for them.
    I, for one, will not be voting for them this time, the thought of them supporting National gives me nightmares.
    Anyway, it is not as if National aren't guilty of messing with billboards themselves.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4941 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Gordon Campbell says handwringing hacktivist Jolyon White has his ego to blame.

    By hubristically going onto RNZ to brag about his actions, White had made it inevitable that his identity – and affiliations – would eventually become publically known. With less than a fortnight to polling day Norman had no option but to try and pre-empt any revelations that might carry over into the final week.

    As an aside, Campbell also notes that White is employed by the Anglican Bishop overseeing the part demolition of Christchurch Cathedral.

    Further down, Campbell has more about minimum wage evidence. I do wish someoine would tell him it's better to post three separate articles than one unrelated long piece that's harder to link to. I guess print sensibilities die hard in some older journos.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    If they ever support National on supply and confidence they will upset a great deal of their grass roots support

    As noted many times here, it's those grassroots members who get to sign off on the Greens' arrangements with other parties, not some elite cabal as in many of the other parties.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I, for one, will not be voting for them this time, the thought of them supporting National gives me nightmares.

    I'm in two minds. They could temper National on some fairly major things I seriously oppose. More roads and mining.

    Or the latest and most sickening suggestion, that beneficiaries should be drug tested, and lose their benefit if not clear. That's one of the most punitive suggestions towards beneficiaries that's ever been seriously proposed by a major party. To be regularly drug testing hundreds of thousands of people, and then imposing on them punishment that goes well beyond what the employed get if they are caught in possession, is a major violation of human rights, a form of social profiling I find incredibly objectionable.

    If the Greens supported that idea, I would never consider voting for them again in my life. There would be nothing they could do to recover from it, in my eyes.

    ETA: And it goes without saying that the same would go for National but x10

    ETA2: I can't think of a policy more likely to cause an instant spike in crime than to put people who not only haven't got a job, but now are even more unlikely to get one, and who have a drug habit to support, to have no means to support themselves.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8615 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    The Greens, on the other hand, seem to be playing this as a way of appearing to be amenable to National

    To be fair to Norman, I think he'd have done exactly the same thing if it was Labour (or anyone else) being targeted and rightly so. As for the idea that this is some kind of foreplay for a Teal coalition, I really don't think that's likely outside the imaginations of some bored (and mischievous) bloggers and columnists.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Sacha,

    it's those grassroots members who get to sign off on the Greens' arrangements with other parties,

    Note I said supporters not Members, their voting base as opposed to their membership.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4941 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to BenWilson,

    I'm in two minds. They could temper National on some fairly major things I seriously oppose. More roads and mining.

    Which was the whole bloody point of MMP, right? Right? And that could actually be achieved without the scare-mongering around the Greens going Teal (which the Standard does intermittently) - after all the simply fact of electoral math is that you can't pass a damn thing without the votes.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    OK. I wonder if anyone has analysed who those two groups are now. I suspect it has evolved rather a lot in the last decade.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Note I said supporters not Members, their voting base as opposed to their membership.

    Do you really think that Green members on the whole are more likely to be OK with a "teal" coalition than Green supporters? I would have thought the opposite.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    As for the idea that this is some kind of foreplay for a Teal coalition,

    I find it hard to accept that those close to the leaders were planning this for months and the leaders had no knowledge of it, I wouldn't be surprised to find out this was a deliberate ploy, if it was then it was very clever. If not, it would appear that there is a split very high up in the party.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4941 posts Report Reply

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