Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Scuffling and screaming on The Left

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  • Deborah,

    (and apologies to Deborah that this paragraph largely rehashes a comment I made on her excellent blog last week).

    No worries! Your analysis deserves a much wider audience than it will get over at my place.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1326 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    The hallmark of a successful ad campaign seems to be the misuse of a song chosen because the chorus sort of sounds a bit like the message the ad is trying to get across.

    One of the Reagan campaigns used 'Born in the USA' as a theme song, presumably because they never listened to any of the verses.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    We in advertising NEVER let the client listen to the verses.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 244 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    More or less, except that I wouldn't ever call Churchill a wanker. Misguided (often, especially on India), a complex character (always) but mostly on the right side.

    (typical Churchill incident - in 1913, when the original UVF were threatening insurrection in Northern Ireland, his chosen weapon to deal with this was the Dreadnought battleship. He was all set to send a battle fleet to shell shit out of them when saner counsels prevailed).

    You have to judge people by the standards of their time, as well.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4480 posts Report Reply

  • Gervais Laird,

    So what are they getting all exercised about?

    From this side of the ditch it looks like a group of people have been arrested on firearms charges. Serious charges like possession of illegal firearms always take some time to get to defended hearings in a court of law. Have there been other charges laid that could be perceived to include some sort of erosion of civil liberties that the protestors are so agitated about? The voice of the extreme left on this is so muddled, its hard to get a handle on what's going on or what they're even complaining about.

    My one concern from that TV3 video is wtf with the mullets! We didn't know any better but the kids of today don't have that excuse...

    Sydney • Since Jan 2007 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    You have to judge people by the standards of their time, as well.

    I think Churchill was a wanker even by the standards of his time. He was just our wanker.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8659 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Rich of Observationz: I am afraid I belong to the "Churchill was pretty much an big idiot" camp, a man whose incompetencies cost many New Zealand lives. The Grand Fleet was largely Fisher's and Louis Battenburg's creation. The Dardanelles was his baby and an utter fiasco. In his next incarnation in office his delusions of imperial grandeur finished off the remnants of British industry with his grandiose return to the gold standard. In WWII, he loathed Ghandi and was utterly opposed to home rule for India, rightly seeing it as the end of his beloved British Empire. His decision to send Imperial troops (including the New Zealanders) to Greece before finishing off the Italians was a strategic error as disasterous the fall of France. His dispatching, and the subsequent loss of, Force Z to the Japanese along with his blind committment to strategic bomber offensive showed his propensity to cling to failed strategies rather than admit Britain was no longer a great power. His three towering achievements were to early recognise the danger to democracy presented by fascism, his rallying of the British people in 1940 and his realisation the war would be lost unless he got the Americans involved.

    It seems odd that an anarchist can be so enamoured of a man who was basically a 19th century aristocratic super-patriot.

    Sorry for th diversion, as you all were.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1817 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Darlington,

    So, if anarchists are happy to ally themselves with Tame Iti on the basis of "My enemy's enemy is my friend," does the same principle apply to allying themselves with neo-Nazis? After all, if Hitler invaded hell you'd have a kind word for Satan...

    Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Margaret B,

    Are we really seriously considering that NZ's anarchists, who from my experience are at worst politically incompetent and confused (not to mention very angry with someone) and at best really lovely human beings who have some good ideas about how we can live together better (in peace I should point out), are somehow in the same abhorrent political category as neo-Nazis?

    Anarchists are a convenient whipping group for those of a more mainstream political bent. I don't share their views. I do respect some of them (as I respect some in Labour, even a few in National) for living their values. I could never ever say the same about neo-Nazis.

    (And as an aside, has this thread now been Godwin-ed?)

    Since Oct 2007 • 59 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I walked into the conference having 'shame' and 'scab' yelled at me, and then went straight into a meeting where we discussed what mechanisms to implement to help improve the lot of low paid workers like myself and my workmates.

    Yeah, I have some sympathy with that but I don't think my partner will - let's just say he's seen enough of the really nasty treatment some union folks hand out to non-union members in his industry that the phrase 'karmic debt' may come up before long. Not for the first time recently, it's really, really difficult to feel over much sympathy for either side.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    (A massive digression from the topic - sorry Russell :-)

    I think Churchill's prime achievement in WW2 was to lead a government that delivered total mobilisation to win the war. Like the North in the American Civil War, the allies didn't win because they had clever generals and braver troops - they won through application of a preponderance in men and material. Plus, equally, the immense sacrifice made by the people of the Soviet Union.

    The problem with criticism of strategic bombing is that it generally doesn't consider what would have happened if there had been no such activity:
    - the Luftwaffe would not have been required to retaliate by bombing Britain and would have been able to concentrate on support for ground operations

    - German war production would have undoubtedly been greater without the damage and disruption caused by bombing

    - British civilian morale would not have had the consolation that we were at least retaliating against Germany in one sphere of operations

    Plus, although Churchill's peripheralist strategies have been widely criticised, the North African/Italian campaign, which one could regard as another example of peripheralism, was a success both in taking German controlled territory and in providing Stalin with a concrete piece of allied combat involvement.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4480 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Are we really seriously considering that NZ's anarchists ... are somehow in the same abhorrent political category as neo-Nazis?

    No, I think they're supposed to be Churchill, and Tame Iti et al are the Nazis. Or something like that. The original quote was just supposed to show that some people will have sympathy for other people they disagree with if they're being attacked by a common enemy.

    I'm no military historian, so from my point of view Churchill's greatest achievement was to get a cuvee of Pol Roger named after him.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    I'm no military historian, so from my point of view Churchill's greatest achievement was to get a cuvee of Pol Roger named after him.

    According to legend, he'd drink a quart of the stuff before getting out of bed in the morning. That's the way to win a war.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Smith,

    RB, I haven't read all the blog today, and I know it's mainly about scuffling etc but this article on ADSL speeds perked me up when I read it. Do you have a comment? Looks promising.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4262608a28.html

    Since Jan 2007 • 150 posts Report Reply

  • insider outsider,

    RIch

    Most of the strategic bombing criticism seems to focus on the moraility of it rather than the objective of destroying means of production ie it wasn't accurate enough and so there were bound to be civilian casualties.

    The counter to that is, the war was a total one and relied on civilians to be prosecuted, so such casualties were acceptable as part of total war.

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Tom S " In WWII, he loathed Ghandi and was utterly opposed to home rule for India, rightly seeing it as the end of his beloved British Empire."

    I was wondering where the Churchill quote would go & I think a comparison with Churchill as Clark and Ghandi as Iti could be done as a question of home rule applies to both.

    These are loose comparisons - same game different leagues.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    re: churchill - what tom and rich said.

    the man was a giant of this time, but utterly fallible, and a worthless strategist. most his "wins" were slick with the blood of commonwealth soldiers.

    it'd be more accurate to say hitler lost the war than churchill won it.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    I was wondering where the Churchill quote would go & I think a comparison with Churchill as Clark and Ghandi as Iti could be done as a question of home rule applies to both.

    Are you making a concerted effort to make each and every post more fatuous than the last, or does it just come naturally? What on earth would be gained from such a comparison other than a realisation that the situations are totally unrelated?

    Tame Iti as Ghandi? He's even further from being Ghandi than he is from being Michael Collins...

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Woo! Serious derailment!

    Carry on folks -- I have to go and talk to some students about Teh Internets.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Darlington,

    Are we really seriously considering that NZ's anarchists... are somehow in the same abhorrent political category as neo-Nazis?

    No, we're not. We're attempting to figure out the alliance between them and Tame Iti's crowd, an alliance which certainly baffles me. Follow the quote trail:

    Tom Semmens:

    I have a wider question for the lefty-left - why do people who profess such anarchistic and revolutionary views make such a knee jerk alliance with a bunch of reactionary, patriarchal tribalists with a fixation on the 19th century?

    Rich of Observationz:

    I think Winston Churchill gave one answer to this after the German invasion of Russia:
    If Hitler invaded hell, I would at least make a favourable reference to the Devil

    Me:

    So, if anarchists are happy to ally themselves with Tame Iti on the basis of "My enemy's enemy is my friend," does the same principle apply to allying themselves with neo-Nazis?

    In what sense is it not a fair question, given the preceding discussion?

    PS - yes, the thread has been thoroughly Godwined. Everyone loves WW2.

    Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Finn I clearly qualified the the question and still think it is valid.

    It has been compared to the sacking of Parihaka & so not unreasonable to explore other comparisons. Here's a little bit that draws on that too.

    "Parihaka historian Te Miringa Hohaia has studied the life and writings about the man of mana. "Te Whiti was one of those great leaders. We had Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther-King, Nelson Mandela and Te Whiti o Rongomai.

    "Te Whiti was the forerunner of them all."


    Te Miringa Hohaia: Beside Te Whiti's memorial at Parihaka.

    Te Miringa says Gandhi knew about Te Whiti. "He learnt about Te Whiti from an Irish delegation that visited Parihaka and then had a meeting with Gandhi. Although Gandhi was already committed to non-violence, the impact of finding out about Te Whiti must have been startling."

    http://www.pukeariki.com/en/stories/conflict/pacifistofparihaka.htm

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    That's nice Michael, and I'm sure that most people would be happy to compare Gandhi to Te Whiti.

    However your original post (below) linked Ghandi and Iti, who, I think we'll all agree, isn't really Te Whiti at all.

    I was wondering where the Churchill quote would go & I think a comparison with Churchill as Clark and Ghandi as Iti could be done as a question of home rule applies to both.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6217 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    a comparison with Churchill as Clark and Ghandi as Iti could be done

    Who do you think would be most flattered by the comparison?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Tom B - Iti would be clearly.
    Clarks favourite leader from history is Cromwell. Churchill needed a war to continue to hold power & Clark has done extremely well without a threat of war in/on NZ - well almost.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Come on Kyle - Te Whiti was widely despised at the time.
    Ghandi did sleep with the daughters/wives of his followers, to test himself. hmm

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

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