Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: This Is Not A Complicated Issue

277 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 12 Newer→ Last

  • Heather Gaye,

    I think this is a Lockwood issue. Also, a fuckwit issue. They’re closely related issues.

    Bahahaha, Lockwit!

    Frankly, I’m feeling pretty positive about this whole debacle. The point of parliament incorporating an ever-more-diverse group of people is to ensure that ever-more-diverse groups of people get better representation and services.

    I’ve learned a lot from conversations with Sacha, & his contributions to PA: he has a very advanced understanding of the disabled in NZ as individuals, and a (very diverse) community, and a demographic. Over time I’ve learned quite a bit about the kind of problems they face, and specifically that there still needs to be a paradigm-shift across the whole of the population to improve their quality of life. Mojo’s mere existence in parliament might well (or may have already) put this discussion front and centre, particularly in relation to abled-privilege.

    Under the western motorwa… • Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    an old white man issue

    From a post I wrote yesterday, whoop which I’m not going to offer the obligatory apologies for self-linking, because it’s highly apposite. In any case, this is the most salient bit.

    I am starting to see in Smith a resolute defender of the patriarchy. In his first term as speaker, he was lauded for imposing more discipline on Question Time (one, two) and he himself took pride in restoring some of the daily ceremonial to parliament (source). But recall the way that he wouldn’t let Hone Harawira offer a statement in Maori before taking the oath. It has become the accepted practice for MPs who oppose some or all of the words in the oath to make a short statement first, and then to take the oath to fulfill the form required by our law (source). But Smith refused to allow that practice to continue when it came to a radical Maori man taking the oath. And now he won’t allow a woman with a disability to participate in Parliament.

    It’s all about sticking with the way we do things around here, that is, the way that suits men with white skins and able bodies. Heaven forbid that we should try to do something different, try to find a new way of organising our government that celebrates diversity instead of privileging those who are already powerful.

    Defending the kyriarchy

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1303 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    From page 1 of the 2001 New Zealand Disability Strategy:

    Disability is not something individuals have. What individuals have are impairments. They may be physical, sensory, neurological, psychiatric, intellectual or other impairments.

    Disability is the process which happens when one group of people create barriers by designing a world only for their way of living, taking no account of the impairments other people have. Our society is built in a way that assumes that we can all move quickly from one side of the road to the other; that we can all see signs, read directions, hear announcements, reach buttons, have the strength to open heavy doors and have stable moods and perceptions.

    From the website of the Office for Disability Issues at www.odi.govt.nz. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is there too. We ratified the Convention in 2008; just do the implementing please.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2030 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Nice cheap shot there

    Yup it was a cheap shot.

    However it would be nice if the National Party actually spoke up about how outrageous this is. Their silence makes them an obvious target.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3266 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    However it would be nice if the National Party actually spoke up about how outrageous this is. Their silence makes them an obvious target.

    So say that then. Might also be useful to draw a non-trivial distinction between National and the fucking Speaker of the House because accusing any Speaker of spite-fucking non-Government MPs is pretty serious. At least it was when Margaret Wilson couldn't open her mouth without driving Matthew Hooten insane.

    But, hell, that’s one brick wall I can’t be bothered banging my head against anymore.

    Yes, Lockwood has half-a-point that he can’t just pull money out of his arse – at least I hope he can’t. That’s not really the issue for me. As far as I can tell this is not outside the terms of the specific appropriation for the Office of the Clerk -- which is responsible for providing secretarial services to the House. Nor would it have been particularly difficult for the three members of the Parliamentary Services Commission (including the Leader of the Opposition, FWIW) to meet and authorize the expenditure quickly and painlessly before Christmas if they could have been arsed. Mathers hardly kept her profound hearing loss a secret, and it was apparent fairly early in the campaign that the odds of her getting into Parliament were high.

    Really, I think that’s more than enough to go on with without spinning off into another demented Evil Tory conspiracy theory.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • steve black, in reply to Helen Miller,

    BTW NZSL is the country’s third official language...

    From the stranger than fiction department: I know Te Reo is an official language, but I think you'll find that English is not an official language. I heard that some time ago from a linguist discussing preservation and support for languages on NatRadio (long before this event). It turns out that "official language" actually means "a language other than that of the dominant group which we feel we ought to help preserve/foster". Enjoy the irony if it checks out. ..I haven't tried to fact check it yet.

    Meanwhile, at times like these I always stop to ponder the options:

    Is Lockwit completely unaware of the likely media consequences of his utterances? His approach is rather like announcing you are "against mom and apple pie" while campaigning in the American Midwest. Or announcing that you have just developed a new way of moving babies more quickly and at lower cost...using pitchforks.

    Or is he doing this so that the Government can use it's not unheard of ploy of announcing something draconian so that they can then negotiate to something acceptable and look reasonable?

    Is there something even more odious about to be released to the public from the Govt and they are hoping that it will come out during the next news cycle or two which is dominated by DeafGate? This is from the same people who brought you "two johns two cups" .

    Something else? (suggestions welcome)

    sunny mt albert • Since Jan 2007 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    From http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/AboutParl/HowPWorks/Speaker/PSC/

    The Commission is made up of representatives from each of the parliamentary political parties, chaired by the Speaker.

    So really, we're back to Lockwit, aren't we? Did he convene the PSC to discuss this matter? It appears not. Would they convene without him? I doubt it very much, given the rulings he's made in the House based on tradition, especially around respect for the role of the Speaker.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Reply to Steve, Apparently selling our farms offshore is not all it’s cracked up to be?

    Justice Miller’s decision appears based on his view that the economic benefits to New Zealand of Shanghai Pengxin’s purchase were overstated in the Overseas Investment Office’s recommendation.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10785695
    Because if you really think about it, this was a test case and it don’t stack up ay OIO.
    Nats have had no wins on the privatisation front to date.
    As for Smith, dude has destroyed the role of Speaker, simple.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Shit ! Can we get subtitles too! I find it rediculous that I cannot understand what Maori MP’s say in the House.

    Parliament TV is, I understand it, only on Freeview, or on the Internet. Both of these options allow you to choose the audio stream with simultaneous translation.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    All I said was The National Party could look a lot better if they spoke up about how stupid this is. As far as I'm aware they have been silent on this, which makes them look bad and hence a target.

    I know full well that The Speaker is neutral and never suggested otherwise.

    Did you have to go ballistic?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3266 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Did you have to go ballistic?

    Not...going...there...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to steve black,

    From the stranger than fiction department: I know Te Reo is an official language, but I think you’ll find that English is not an official language. I heard that some time ago from a linguist discussing preservation and support for languages on NatRadio (long before this event). It turns out that “official language” actually means “a language other than that of the dominant group which we feel we ought to help preserve/foster”. Enjoy the irony if it checks out. ..I haven’t tried to fact check it yet.

    There is no statute that defines English as an Official Language of New Zealand, but there is no way that that is what "Official Language" means. English is an official language in New Zealand.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to nzlemming,

    So really, we’re back to Lockwit, aren’t we? Did he convene the PSC to discuss this matter?

    As far as I'm aware, the PSC's current membership is the Leaders of the House and Opposition. Whatever your views of the abilities of Messers Brownlee and Shearer, I believe they're entirely capable of picking up the phone and arranging meetings if they're so inclined.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Helen Miller,

    NZSL used to be taught at night classes in many venues. The cuts to community education funding by the Government three years ago has meant the death of night classes in many cities and regions, and there are hardly any places left offering such accessible NZSL classes. This, together with cuts to educational support for Deaf children, has led to a reduction in the numbers of people wanting to train as qualified NZSL interpreters. Sad. Just imagine if we were all taught NZSL at primary school – how useful it would be for so many situations.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2030 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Did you have to go ballistic?

    Yes. You might want to go back and re-read the “cheap shot” I referred to and which you (kind of) sprang to the defense of. I’ll tick off Smith for being bullheaded, intransigent and infuriatingly obtuse.

    Idiot Savant has convincingly (to my mind) fisked Smith’s procedural defense as essentially bullshit.

    But implying this issue wouldn’t have arisen if Mathers was a National MP? Think about the role of the Speaker, and tell me that’s not a line that should be crossed with extreme care. And a hell of a lot more evidence than is on the table.

    Needless to say, if any such evidence does come to light I'll show you what what a full spread of rhetorical ICBMs look like when I turn them on Smith. Speakers showing partisan malice towards any non-Government MPs should be named, shamed and removed from their office with extreme prejudice. Or I'll want to know why not. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    From http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/AboutParl/HowPWorks/Speaker/PSC/CorpDocs/3/a/d/00SpeakPSC11AR1-Annual-Report-for-the-year-ended-30-June-2011-Parliamentary.htm

    Members of the Parliamentary Service Commission, as at 30 June 2011 are:

    Chair, Dr The Rt Hon Lockwood Smith, MP
    Leader of the House, Hon Gerry Brownlee, MP
    For the Leader of the Opposition, Hon Annette King, MP
    For the National Party, Chris Tremain, MP
    For the Act Party, Hon Sir Roger Douglas, MP
    For the Māori Party, Te Ururoa Flavell, MP
    For the Labour Party, Hon Rick Barker, MP
    For the Green Party, Metiria Tūrei, MP
    For the Progressive Party, Hon Jim Anderton, MP

    Lockwood's the Chair. He can't duck the responsibility and you can't duck it for him. Obviously Douglas has gone, and Anderton as well. Shearer was new at his job and Gerry was apparently busy in Chch. I wasn't making this a partisan thing, but you seem to be intent on that course. I'm just talking about responsibilities. If Lockwit wants the best seat in the House, the flat that goes with it, the respect and admiration of all around etc, then he has to step up. He hasn't and he's made himself look like a complete tosser into the bargain.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Jeanette King, in reply to steve black,

    Ngā mihi ki a koe, Steve - while Te Reo and NZSL are official languages de jure, English is a de facto official language of NZ - so powerful and ubiquitous it doesn't need the power of the law to consolidate its position. Tēnā tātou katoa!

    Edgeware • Since Oct 2010 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to nzlemming,

    Gerry was apparently busy in Chch

    Gerry is always busy elsewhere. It works a treat in Ilam, where he didn't make a single public appearance during the last election campaign.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3386 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    It works a treat in Ilam, where he didn’t make a single public appearance during the last election campaign.

    Probably what got him re-elected.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Aw Craig, you made me comment on Kiwiblog ...

    The nurses are lovely here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18715 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to nzlemming,

    Lockwood’s the Chair. He can’t duck the responsibility and you can’t duck it for him.

    Mark: This is me not going ballistic. Take a picture. You might, however, want to stick to direct quotes if you can’t paraphrase me more accurately. .

    Shearer was new at his job and Gerry was apparently busy in Chch.

    And both could have made the time if it actually mattered to them. I honestly don’t see what’s so damn controversial about that – because (yes) I think the real teachable moment here is what unthinking ableist privilege looks like and how little forethought could have avoided it. Since the Parliamentary Services Commission’s entire reason for existence is to “advise the Speaker about the services to be provided to the House of Representatives and to members of Parliament” I think they can all be fairly asked why Mathers was failed so badly.

    (And something else I think Smith can be fairly pinged for – a pretty standard case study in privilege-denying dude-ism. Because, yeah, this is really all about YOU and your hurt feeling. Not helped by a deeply entrenched political culture where nutting-up and saying, “OK, I might be wrong on this…” is pretty much automatically derided as weakness and changing a position snarked as “flip-flopping”.)

    Not as entertaining as “evil Tory fucking over a disabled Greenie out of partisan malice”, I grant you, but it bugs me.

    I’d like to think that if my partial hearing loss gets any worse, I won’t have to put up with this kind of nonsense from future employers. It’s such a needless waste of time and energy over what is, in context, petty cash. (And as Russell pointed out in his OP, a modest spend with a potentially impressive cost-benefit ratio.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Recently I've been struck by some people knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing. The first was when Key proclaimed that Monday-izing two public holidays would cost $ [insert invented millions here]. The second was this case. Can't help what wonder what some international media would make of it, if the story ever got their way. Wouldn't reflect well on NZ I'm guessing...

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    And both could have made the time if it actually mattered to them.

    No. Smith is the responsible minister. He convenes the meeting. And he was the one in a position to recognise an issue. I don’t for a moment think that either Brownlee or Shearer would have refused to make time for a meeting in these circumstances, but they weren’t asked and they quite probably hadn’t been privy to the discussion.

    The Speaker is the responsible minister and Lockwood Smith is the minister.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18715 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to dc_red,

    I'm working on a different kind of not reflecting well on NZ at the moment, but yes, this is pathetic leadership. This kind of behaviour from Key and Smith is more suited to deciding which minor luxury (licorice allsorts or chocolate... tough call... ) to buy on your weekly grocery shop rather than running a country.

    Regarding Key's made up hundreds of millions in lost productivity from Mondayising two public holidays, I did a quick count: In China we get 18 days of public holidays per year - 7 each for National Day and Spring Festival, 1 each for Mid-Autumn Festival, Qingming, Intl Labour Day/May Day and Dragon Boat. What is it for NZ? 11? Interesting comparison, I think.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2011 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Mark: This is me not going ballistic. Take a picture, because it’s not going to last if you keep misrepresenting my views like that.

    Good and fine. However, I’m not representing your views at all, let alone misrepresenting them.

    And both could have made the time if it actually mattered to them.

    Sure they could, and they didn’t and that’s not good, I agree, and then they’d have to deal with a Speaker irate that his power/authoritah had been eroded (and Lockwit has been very definite about his authoritah being respected) and the fallout from that. It’s also a fair question to ask if Shearer even knew that he, Brownlee and Smith were the Commission between Parliaments, although that’s not to excuse him.

    Not as entertaining as “evil Tory fucking over a disabled Greenie out of partisan malice”, I grant you, but it bugs me.

    If this is the line that’s bugging you, then (apart from Bart’s admitted cheap shot) you’re the one making the most noise about it. I don’t think I have ever alluded to it.

    I thoroughly despise Lockwod Smith for who he is – an over-privileged, self-important white male who cannot bring himself to understand that there are people in the world worthy of consideration who are not like him. His politics have very little to do with that, though I tend to view them as a result, rather than a cause.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1890 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 12 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.