Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Phoning a Friend

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    The sudden decision's political effectiveness was greatly enhanced by the fact that it actually put John Key on the spot, whereupon he looked some way short of decisive in reply.

    Especially when I think he'd do us all a favour if he just told Duncan Garner to go fuck himself with his microphone. Seriously, what the hell is going on with Three. Garner's not doing a bad job, on the whole, but when he's going for the 'gotcha' -- and he's an equal opportunity offender, so no bias involved -- it falls flat more often than not. And what makes it worse is that there's usually a solid story under the juvenile attempt to catch some poli out.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Meanwhile we got the full court press on Rob Waddell's heart condition -- the one he's been quite happily living with for the best part of fifteen years -- which was apparently responsible for him losing a "deciding" race that didn't actually decide very much at all. Guess they had to justify sending the press pack down to Lake Karapiro "in the first place.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Smith,

    The move by Cullen at this late stage is a complete balls-up. Those who have shares in AIA should feel utterly betrayed. This may be a good decision for the country, on the whole, but to be so stupid as to leave it so late is bad management. If Cullen was my CFO, he would be gone by lunch-time.

    Since Jan 2007 • 150 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Smith,

    But good news...Liverpool 4, West Ham 0

    Since Jan 2007 • 150 posts Report Reply

  • Socrates,

    "And finally, congratulations are due to Hillary Clinton's people for getting so much momentum for talk of her "comeback" when the fact is she can't win. Not in the conventional sense of picking up more delegates than her opponent anyway."

    Well that also depends on the fall out from the Florida delegates as well.

    However, from my reading it seems that in the end neither can win without superdelegates now.

    Since Feb 2008 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    But good news...Liverpool 4, West Ham 0

    Offended!

    Kick a man while he's down whydoncha!

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    If she plans to seek the nomination without winning the delegate count, then the floors of the Democratic convention will surely be quick with blood …

    and Obama would do the same. I think the odds favour Obama but at present he's more likely to loose against McCain than she is and she's gone back to having the lead nationally. (the oscillation of the lead is quite something). So if it's about choosing a candidate who will win then those superdelegates might have a bit of thinking to do.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    But good news...Liverpool 4, West Ham 0



    Could someone tell me - and I am genuinely fascinated to hear a sensible answer - why so many people are obsessed with a foreign domestic competition on the other side of the world?

    I am puzzled. Is it colonial cringe? Cultural cringe? Why don't people get all hot and bothered in the same way about the NFL/NHL?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1824 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Graham,

    If Clinton did take the nomination with a large load of superdelegates, The truly fascinating result would be for Obama to run as an independent.

    A lot of Republicans won't vote this election because things havn't gone so well for their ideas recently. That'll make McCain's result lower than his polling (people will say if asked, but not be enthused enough to actually vote). Add to that the people who feel McCain isn't really a Republican and the 'Not that woman" vote.

    Obama might, just maybe, be able to win a split vote. Certainly a better chance than anyone else for +-50 years.

    Of course Nader on the Daily show last night showed that the system is rigged against that. [sigh] forget I said anything.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    These are relatively small fits of indecision, but will have confirmed in Labour's mind that Key is prone to blurting when he can't phone a friend.

    Lucky for him in politics, the 50/50 option is almost always available. Sell/don't sell. Smack/don't smack kids. Deadline for treaty negotiations/not... er almost, kinda maybe not definite deadline.

    Why don't people get all hot and bothered in the same way about the NFL/NHL?

    I haven't seen Monday night's game because the cap is taking ages (if anyone posts a spoiler there will be blood on the floor), but my Anaheim Ducks are only four points behind Dallas Stars for 2nd spot in the West. They're 9-1-0 in the last 10, _with_ players on the IR. Giggy is pulling numbers that put him right at the top in the league, Selanne is having a brilliant return, and they're setting themselves up for a big run right into June and a repeat performance to lift the Stanley Cup.

    What, no one else follows NHL? Soccer/football? Whatever.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6227 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    So if it's about choosing a candidate who will win then those superdelegates might have a bit of thinking to do.

    Neil:

    Yes, if Clinton loses the popular votes, scores fewer delegates and gets the nomination thanks to a clot of unelected and unaccountable party grandees...

    Well, I'll just say I suspect Al Gore will have his Blackberry full of interview requests, while McCain implodes with glee.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I have to say, those ESPN sports jocks have got a wonderful patois all of their own, its like listening to a Frenchwoman speak English - it doesn't matter what she is saying, you just like the sound.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1824 posts Report Reply

  • DaveC,

    Last year, long-overdue legislation was tabled to allow these sentences to extend to six months. National supports this extension and in Government we will, as a matter of priority, pass the legislation to make it happen.

    Saying that you'll implement an extension of youth sentences (along with a lot of other changes) when you're in government doesn't mean you'll support legislation that you regard as flawed overall when you're in opposition.

    Since Nov 2007 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • uroskin,

    is * the new s at the Herald? Is this breach of free speech another aspect of the EFA?
    I quite like "arsed" and "parsed" instead of the American spelling. Can't they cope with the parsimoniousness of their filter, or is that parsimony?
    Leave the donkey out of it.

    Waiheke Island • Since Feb 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    Yes, if Clinton loses the popular votes, scores fewer delegates and gets the nomination thanks to a clot of unelected and unaccountable party grandees...

    A popular vote that included many Republican and independent voters that turned up on the day to vote for Obama. That's the rules and Obama benefits from that particular anomaly.

    Those unelected grandees actually include many elected Democrats - such as John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi. If the superdelegates turn out to favour Clinton then that's the rules and she benefits from that particular anomaly.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Less forgivable, in my view, is National's freakish about-face on support for Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Amendment Bill (No 6) -- whose extension of youth sentences Key declared in his January State of the nation speech to be "long overdue"

    freakish about face is harsh. National made very clear when the suggestion of raising the age of full criminal responsibilty to 18 was raised that they were appalled at such a suggestion.

    The quote in the speech was (as you note):

    Last year, long-overdue legislation was tabled to allow these sentences to extend to six months. National supports this extension and in Government we will, as a matter of priority, pass the legislation to make it happen.

    Legislation was tabled, the increase in sentences in the Youth Court is long overdue. National supports that extension ... and will wait until they're in Government to support it.

    Why wait until then? The obvious implication to anyone who understands the other bits of the bill is that there is something else in it that National cannot swallow - raising the age of criminal responsibility to 18.

    And the impilication is made clearer when you read the preceeding paragraph:

    All offenders over the age of 16 are also referred to the adult courts. This, too, should continue to be the case. Labour thinks 17-year-olds who commit adult crimes should get youth sentences. National thinks they should pay with adult sentences.

    Now it happens to be a policy position I disagree with - though I wish the increase would also come with an increase in the age for age discrimination in the Bill of Right Act/Human Rights Act. If we're increasing the age of criminal responsibility to bring us in-line with International laws, we might also note that the age of 18 is the age at which anti-discrimination obligations kick in. But the policy was pretty clear - before, during, and after the speech.

    It's not unlike Florida democrats :-)

    A law went through the Florida legislature - it would require paper records at all elections, it would also move the date of the state's primary's forward (to a date where the democratic party will strip it of all its delegates). They voted for the bill, because they really want paper records this year.

    John Key/National is faced with the same question, but is in a different position - they'd like increased sentences now, but not at the cost of vastly decreased sentences for 17 year-olds. Another year before the bill is passed will disappoint, but it won't be the end of the world (which voting against paper ballot records in Florida might have been for the Democrats)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3012 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Re the Primaries: good to see on last night's Daly Show that Ralph Nader's back in town.

    He compared 2 party system to systematic capitalist oligopoly.

    Turns out that if you voted in the Texas primaries, you're prohibited to sign a petition for an indy candidate.

    In another state, you give em a cheque for $500. And in NJ, you just collect 800 signatures from, like, anyone, and you're hat's in the ring.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 217 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Could someone tell me - and I am genuinely fascinated to hear a sensible answer - why so many people are obsessed with a foreign domestic competition on the other side of the world?

    People follow all sorts of sport from all over the world. What's the problem?

    Also, along with the Europe-wide Champions League it is (arguably) the top of the pile for world football, a sport a lot of NZ'ers play, so why wouldn't they be interestedin it? Just like a NZ team/club/school basketball player probably supports a NBA team.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    A popular vote that included many Republican and independent voters that turned up on the day to vote for Obama. That's the rules and Obama benefits from that particular anomaly.

    It's not an anomaly - I'm pretty sure republicans and independents get to vote in November :-)

    You're right about the superdelegates though. Most of them are elected (e.g. every member of congress, every member of the DNC). On the whole, they're more accountable than the elected delegates. If an elected delegate changes their mind nothing happens. If a superdelegate does something the people don't like, they could lose their job.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3012 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    On the Auckland airport thing, is there something in people thinking it is OK to sell off assets to Canada but not Dubai?

    And on English football. I really can't get interested in it, even though I tried when we were living in Cardiff in 2004. It was interesting how they banned beer sales inside the Millennium Stadium for football but not for rugby. Instead, when a big football match was on (the FA Cup, for example), they turned the whole city centre in a beer farm, with beer stalls on every corner and police all over the place. It sort gave fuel to my belief that a drunken state was necessary for football, to fill in the hours whilst the teams kicked a ball around, to maybe end in a scoreless draw
    And why are so many football teams named after lunch bars eg West Ham?

    There does seem to be a bit of cultural cringe here, reflected in a yearning for the Old Country and its curious pastimes--as well as a cultural distinction from those who believe that rugby is The Beautiful Game.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2344 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Smart,

    Auckland airport is a natural monopoly. I dealt with the Wellington Airport culture when it was run by Don Huse and experienced first hand how restrictive they could be if you wanted to do something on airport land.

    God forbid that we should sell monopoly assets to foreigners. It is bad enough letting Kiwi’s make monopoly profits out of us without letting a bunch of Canadians or Americans or anybody else for that matter.

    Strategy should not enter into it but if that is what we want to call it, so be it!!

    Since Nov 2006 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • Snowy,

    Key's performance in the media just demonstrates how woefully ill-equipped for the job he really is. Challenge a position or question the detail and he falls to pieces - every time.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Turns out that if you voted in the Texas primaries, you're prohibited to sign a petition for an indy candidate.

    That was just bizarre. It's not just that there are various levels of government in America that are anti-democratic.

    It's that they're not even subtle about it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6227 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    freakish about face is harsh. National made very clear when the suggestion of raising the age of full criminal responsibilty to 18 was raised that they were appalled at such a suggestion.

    I guess so. I just read the speech as saying they'd expedite the passage of the measure he described as "long overdue". He could have been clearer, couldn't he?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    Neil said:

    and Obama would do the same. I think the odds favour Obama but at present he's more likely to loose against McCain than she is and she's gone back to having the lead nationally.

    As always, it depends on which polls you're looking at. Your link was to Rasmussen, which a) is only one polling company out of many and b) isn't particularly accurate at the moment. Try Real Clear Politics for a compilation of a whole bunch of pollsters' results in terms of head-to-head against McCain, and this page for preferred Democratic presidential nomination.

    Obama's still ahead in both head-to-head against McCain and preferred nominee when you average out all the pollsters - although the gap between him and Clinton has certainly narrowed over the past couple of days.

    He's also still ahead in the popular vote, by about half a million, and even with the Florida votes counted, he's still ahead. And of course he's ahead in the delegate count by over 100 delegates - a gap which Clinton can't possibly bridge without the help of the superdelegates.

    Another really interesting one is the Intrade Political 'Securities', where Obama is running at 72.5% to win, against Clinton at 26.1%.

    But whatever the numbers say, I can see them battling this out until the convention, trading wins and losses all the way down the line. And that is something I'm not too keen on, because I think they need to be attacking McCain, not each other...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 330 posts Report Reply

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