Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Laying Down the Law

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  • Graeme Edgeler,

    It's nice that Mr McCully has noticed that I join the fun at the Hero Debate. I've only been doing it for three years.

    So you now admit you're a long-time supporter of Labour ... the plot thickens etc.

    To be fair to McCully - you supporting Labour via the Hero Debate isn't news until you get something in return. Donor loans money to the British Labour Party - who cares? Donor recieves peerage - news.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Is coverage of our political system a soap opera? Same characters, same stories, manufactured drama, and poor acting? If so, they need hotter chicks and more fight scenes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • nothingelseon,

    That VU stuff is completely brilliant!

    Welling-Town • Since Mar 2008 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • KP,

    ACT are definitely up to no good with their lists.
    Having unwisely filled out a survey for them last election (or possibly even the one before) I still get emails from them. I unsubscribe (sometimes using swear words) but a few months later I'll get an email from a particular ACT MP or electorate office. So I end up having to unsubscribe to every email that they send.
    Then last week one from ml-ingenious about Roger Douglas and the second coming.
    Then I got one from a National MP recently - the only way I could think they'd get my address is from ACT?
    If anyone can give advice on how to get off their list for good - it'd be much appreciated!

    Westland • Since Mar 2008 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I once signed up to an ACT list as a 'keeping an eye on the bad guys' thing for my work old work.

    Unsubscribing was tremendously hard. The unsubscribe page said it worked, but the emails kept on coming. Eventually it took rude emails to some administrator to get me off.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Great "Sister Ray" -- I refuse to accept that VU can be classified as dad rock, though.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 638 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    And a 19-min 'Sister Ray' ...

    Sure, it's rather short, but it's better than nothng.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    My doctor told me he never got spam before he gave his email address to the National Party.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8015 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    All of the talk of Republicanism often seems to me to just be from an anti-Monarchy position rather than a pro-Dempcracy position.

    If we are to move away from Monarchies? Why is it we must move towards a Repulic? Why not a install a Democray where all votes are truely equal and not mediated by Parties or Representatives?

    Republicanism itself is also anti-Democratic like Monarchies.

    To devolve power truely to the people in a true democratic model of one person, one vote on each issue.

    The removal of elected representatives and the installation of power of the people. Rather than one person, one vote for a party & Representative - who have been known to move away from their platform as soon as they get the reigns of power.

    Can we agree MMP is the wrong name for our electoral system?

    In that the Mixed Member Proportional system it is a Mixed Party Proportional system.

    The Party being a further mediating factor away from democracy and towards representation modelled on Republicanism.

    The aim of Republicanism is to mediate ideas and influences of democracy into political parties and as such is anti-Democratic.

    It would at least solve the problem of elected representatives and silly political parties which I'm sure no-one agrees with every point of their political party policy and so with a one person, one vote on each issue could be true to themselves without the compromises and contradictions of our current system.

    Just a thought.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The debate is produced by the Labour Party as part of the Hero Festival, and also benefits the Cartier Bereavement Trust, an excellent HIV-AIDS support organisation whose leader, Karen Ritchie, spoke movingly at the event. I'm not about to be intimidated by Mr McCully into not supporting something like that.

    Yes, the Cartier Trust is an entirely worthy cause -- and one I hope Judith would be supportive of as the local MP -- and I guess I can't complain about the sponsors engaging in a wee bit of product placement but FFS... the freaking Labour Party conference wasn't as heavily 'branded' as that stage, if the photo was anything to go by.

    Judy, take it from this style queen, there's a fine line between fabulous excess and the plain tacky. And I'd be saying the same if McCully and the East Coast Bays Nats turned a fund raiser for (say) the local hospice into an excuse to use up all the old bunting.

    Having said that, I've dropped Mr. McCully a line asking whether I should resign from the National Party when I finally get my paperwork done to come on board as a writer for Media 7? Or shall I go the whole hog, emulate Colin James, and not vote? I await the reply with considerable interest.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I am wondering how long editor Tim Murphy can keep claiming with an injured tone that the Herald isn't running a honest and openly partisan editorial line AND a dishonest and manipulative anti-Labour news line.

    Also, that particular editorial and the Armstrong column confirm (at least to my mind) that the Herald gets most of its information these days from blogs. The telling comments "admittedly based on a tiny number of respondents" & "Admittedly, the samples of minor party supporters are tiny" to my mind can only come from reading Idiot/Savants analysis on norightturn. It would be nice if the Herald admitted that they no longer have the headcount to allow their staff to actually get out of the office for the op-ed stuff anymore and acknowledge the real journalists out there doing their work for them.

    The Hong Kong test is probably an inevitable development in the professional circus era of rugby; But I can't help worrying that its another step along the road of turning the All Blacks into the rugby equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters, a bunch of performing seals whose primary mission is to provide thrilling athletic exhibition matches for their richer betters in other parts of the world.

    And as for Murray McCully - he's long been the political equivalent of something absolutely disgusting that you have to occasionally scrape off your shoe.

    Oh yes, and TVNZ 7 has finally persuaded to buy a freeview box today (if it stops raining), if only to see if I can spot the slightly dishevelled fellow with the bowtie.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    My doctor told me he never got spam before he gave his email address to the National Party.

    Funny, the only unsolicited mail I get from any political party is Labour, and I can't for the life of me imagine how I ended up on their mailing databases.

    On one level, if Labour wants to waste their resources spamming the least receptive household on the North Shore, mmore power to 'em. I'm just surprised that political parties don't have the advertising savy to realise how damnably irritating it is -- especially after polite 'cease and desist' notes have been ignored.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The other thing that made the voters' preferences less "clear" than the editorial sought to assert was the fact that only decided voters were reported. How many were undecided? Did they have a view on coalitions?

    Also, these preferences don't have much meaning until everyone has announced some actual policy, which would logically have a significant bearing on the views of the respective voters.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17938 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    My doctor told me he never got spam before he gave his email address to the National Party....
    Funny, the only unsolicited mail I get from any political party is Labour

    duh! It's only spam if it comes from the party you don't care about, otherwise it's a useful informative email.


    And the Dropkicks had a bit to say about the Hong kong game as well, not as positive though

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2079 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Sportsfreak not so positive either

    It's one thing having this unecessary match, it's all the spin around it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Also, that particular editorial and the Armstrong column confirm (at least to my mind) that the Herald gets most of its information these days from blogs. The telling comments "admittedly based on a tiny number of respondents" & "Admittedly, the samples of minor party supporters are tiny" to my mind can only come from reading Idiot/Savants analysis on norightturn.

    Or by talking to Audrey Young. She at least had the decency to be embarassed about her overinterpretation of data. Armstrong and whoever writes the editorials keeps peddlign it anyway though.

    And the numbers are slightly worse than suggested - as a reader pointed out to me yesterday, some of the percentages are a giveaway. For NZ First, there were 15 or 16 respondents, but 90% to 9.1% means 9 to 1, so only 11 of them expressed a coalition preference (and 10 for National). For the Maori Party, it's 11 respondents, and 4 to 3 for National. For UF and ACT, as we already know, it's three people.

    This is the sort of data which would make a social scientist embarassed (I know social scientists are the butt of many jokes, but one thing you can credit them with is basic stats). Sadly, journalists seem to have no sense of shame about using data sane people would regard as junk.

    OTOH, if the polling company (who ought to know these things) doesn't tell them which bits are meaningful and which aren't, can we really blame the journalists for reporting what they're fed?

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1591 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    I'm still undecided about the ELVs. My first thought was that if referees policed the old rules effectively, did away with the coaching ("roll away 7") and blew up misdemeanors at the tackle more quickly, we would have improved the game immeasureably.

    There is still inconsistency amongst referees in how quickly they blow up transgressions at ruck time, so the hard word from the referee coordinator needs to come sooner rather than later.

    That said, if this tosser is agin them (without even seeing them in action), maybe I am in favour:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/rugby/article3454931.ece

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 556 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    can we really blame the journalists for reporting what they're fed?

    Well, yes! It doesn't take much thought to realise that just 3 people opining on something does not make a trend. We do expect journalists to apply a bit of judgement.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The internet is indeed a wonderful invention. It saves journalists from having to go outside in the rain.

    Eventually, the Herald will outsource it's content to a team in Bangalore, who, having had a crash course in NZ politics from Murray McCully (as well as a bit of schooling in appropriate cliched language) will produce a newspaper without having ever seen the Beehive or the Sky Tower.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4209 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Deborah: you may be assuming they read past the executive summary there.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1591 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This is the sort of data which would make a social scientist embarassed (I know social scientists are the butt of many jokes, but one thing you can credit them with is basic stats). Sadly, journalists seem to have no sense of shame about using data sane people would regard as junk.

    Thank, I/S, most illuminating.

    It probably seems like I bang on about the Herald a lot, but it's my local paper and I should be able to rely on it. Leaving aside any argument about partisanship, my local paper is becoming a prime vehicle for bad science.

    Someone I know took a close relative to the doctor last Friday. That relative has bipolar disorder and has had several major psychotic breaks. They got to the doctor and he declared that he should go off his meds -- because he'd read in the paper that they didn't work. He was convinced otherwise, but the possibility remains that he'll decide to stop himself. It's a wildly dangerous situation.

    And what did the Herald do? Buried two complaints about the SSRIs story at the bottom of the next day's letter's page and ran away. This was the previous day's lead story.

    Then you have Garth George (and on one occasion, Fran O) given a platform to bang away about what nonsense global warming is, without really having any idea what he's talking about.

    If the paper's business section was as loose with the facts as that, there'd be hell to pay.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17938 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    duh! It's only spam if it comes from the party you don't care about, otherwise it's a useful informative email.

    Not quite, Hadyn, I'm a financial member of the National Party so (yes) I expect and welcome a certain amount of correspondence. Anything that drops in my letterbox with a Parliamentary crest on it -- regardless of party -- goes in the bin.

    Also, these preferences don't have much meaning until everyone has announced some actual policy, which would logically have a significant bearing on the views of the respective voters.

    Oh, how about we try gaming coalitions after we've had this queer thing called a general election? I'd prefer that Winston Peters bite his tongue and die, but that's exceedingly unlikely. I'd be downright orgasmic if National got such a good result that coalition negotiation consisted of John Key extending his middle finger and chanting "we won, you lost eat this, Mikey." But that's not going to happen either.

    To be quite cynical, can we just write this off as a rather lame attempt to sex up another 'Labour has another humiliatingly bad polling cycle'. Fail to see how an essentially meaningless question becomes any less so with more data.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11614 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Deborah: you may be assuming they read past the executive summary there.

    I was. How silly of me!

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    @Legbreak
    Nice post on Sportsfreak

    @Craig
    Yeah I know, it was just what came to mind, when I thought about the "corporate emails" I get.

    @the world at large
    The ELVs (or "elves") don't seem to have made much of a difference in terms of game speed to me. Does anyone have stats on game stoppages that we can look at?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2079 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Craig: In an MMP environment, voter coalition preferences matter. They provide useful data to both parties (who want to know how not to piss off their supporters) and to other voters (who may very well change their voting preferences depending on their desired outcoming and assessment of which way a party will swing). So, I'd very much like to see more information about this. I'd just like it to be good, robust data rather than bullshit based on the opinions of a handful of people.

    Sadly, I really can't see the media doing it. You need a sample size of ~400 to get an acceptable margin of error, and at current support rates you'd ned to call tens of thousands of people (assuming they all respond) to find your sample. And good luck finding 400 random United Future or ACT voters - they're so thinly spread hat you're needing ~100,000 respondents (at which stage you're polling a substantial portion of the electorate. At huge expense).

    You could I suppose glom the data together from repeated polls, but then time and changing opinions will likely make the result meaningless.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1591 posts Report Reply

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