Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: A plot point is reached

89 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

  • johnno,

    While parts of the racing industry might have some questions to answer, I still think the real story lies in the fishing industry, and their ability to bully, threaten and bribe with little or no comeback.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    I'm coming around to the opinion that our political funding system is hopelessly compromised. We've always known that National were as dirty as hell, and in Owen Glenn we have one individual giving gigantic donations to Labour, New Zealand First and (allegedly) attempting to finance the Maori Party if they entered into a Labour coalition. Maybe Glenn gave all that money away because he genuinely believes in what Clark et al are doing but it suddenly looks very easy to buy yourself a government.

    I'm starting to think we need state funding of political parties, serious (>10 years in prison) sentences for political corruption (or 'innocent mistakes' as the Prime Minister seems to refer to it) and an independent investigative body to police these laws.

    I can't see any of this happening, nor do I anticipate either National or Labour deigning to follow the law very closely this time around when it comes to soliciting and spending other peoples money.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Peters seems like he is both an irredeemable politician as well as a half decent Minister. I know a number of people who still see Ka Awatea as a high point in Maori policy. I also know people who were in his office when he was first Treasurer to Bolger/Birch/Shipley and who spoke well of him. And while it is no longer possible to indulge him further, I'm prepared to believe there's a degree of co-ordinated attack by a 'wronged-media'. But it no longer matters, politically speaking. Unless he can somehow produce a series of killer facts proving all the allegations wrong, he's a liability to this and any future government.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    Capilloried indeed.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Glenn, as we’ve noted here before, was saying some strange, and palpably untrue, things at the time. But if he drops her in it -- and he might -- the few days' dawn of the Morgan poll will be over.

    Well, it's the old question of at what point 'plausible deniability' just stops being plausible. And while its often said that a smart politician never asks a question she doesn't already know the answer to, the less well-known corollary is that when you suspect the answer isn't going to be to your liking (or will come back to bite you in the arse), you don't ask the question at all.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison,

    There is one thing that fascinates me about this WP affair, and hopefully my memory hasn't failed me.

    There was an investigation into the way MFish allocated quota, especially scampi quota, a few years back. Vela was alleging that there was corruption within MFish because Siminovich Fisheries ended up with a majority of the recently-allocated scampi quota. WP and the so-called journalist, Rod Vaughan led the charge, but of course, there wasn't any corruption and the investigation died away suddenly.

    Who do we now find funding WP; both sides of this investigation.

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Smith,

    I think Winnie's real stuck this time:

    "O he started to climb out of the hole. He pulled with his front paws, and pushed with his back paws, and in a little while his nose was in the open again ... and then his ears ... and then his front paws ... and then his shoulders ... and then-'Oh, help!' said Pooh, 'I'd better go back,' 'Oh bother!' said Pooh, 'I shall have to go on.' 'I can't do either!' said Pooh, 'Oh help and bother!' ...

    Since Jan 2007 • 150 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    ... the less well-known corollary is that when you suspect the answer isn't going to be to your liking (or will come back to bite you in the arse), you don't ask the question at all.

    A not unfair assessment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Peters seems like he is both an irredeemable politician as well as a half decent Minister. I know a number of people who still see Ka Awatea as a high point in Maori policy. I also know people who were in his office when he was first Treasurer to Bolger/Birch/Shipley and who spoke well of him.

    And I'm sure your sources were right, from their perspective. I also know people who say he was lazy and often badly prepared (which was ably covered up by officials), had a vindictive streak toward anyone who had the gall to disagree with him, and a sense of entitlement that meant he never actually had to bother doing the grunt work of actually convincing anyone else of his position. Everyone was just supposed to drop to their knees at his utter brilliance.

    I'm prepared to believe there's a degree of co-ordinated attack by a 'wronged-media'.

    And more prepared to believe that Winston finally hit the tipping point where his squee squad in the Press Gallery couldn't explain his bullshit away as that loveable rogue Winston just being himself. I've said it before, and will say it again, that I think Winston had gotten away with endless crap over the last twenty years nobody else would have. It wouldn't take someone with the psychoanalytical acuity of Freud, the sharp eye for social nuances of Jane Austen, and the sheer genius for tragi-comedy of the Bard himself to get to the bottom of that pathological relationship.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Bum poo wee... That last sentence should read "It WOULD take someone..."

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Bryce Edwards,

    Yes - the various Glenngate and NZ First political finance scandals show how inadequate the Electoral Act 1993 was in achieving the putative transparancy expected by politicians. But it's far from clear that the Electoral Finance Act 2007 does this either. There are incredibly loopholes in the EFA. And these aren't easy ones to fix up. As for increased state funding - there's no evidence that such a 'solution' would fix the problems we're looking at here. The lessons from other countries with generous direct state funding is that it either fixes nothing or exacerbates the political finance scandals. By giving politicians even more money doesn't do anything to make them less corrupt.

    Bryce
    www.liberation.org.nz

    Dunedin • Since Oct 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    it seems reasonable to ask whether the racing industry has anything else it would like to tell us. Because the big money that swings around there seems like a malign influence on the body politic.

    Not least millions of dollars in direct payback for their genorisity, negotiated by the minister they'd secretly donated to. It looked bad enough already; now that we've learned they were exercising hidden financial interest, it looks positively corrupt.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Stuart Coats,

    I know it has been asked before, but why do we have a Minister of Racing? If we have a minister for that, should we have other ministers for other high-profile industries that have money sloshing around in them? If so I volunteer to be the Minister for Wine.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    ...he was lazy and often badly prepared (which was ably covered up by officials), had a vindictive streak toward anyone who had the gall to disagree with him, and a sense of entitlement that meant he never actually had to bother doing the grunt work of actually convincing anyone else of his position.

    Heard that too, but that could describe a lot of Ministers hey - on both sides of the spectrum? Perhaps not lazy but, lazy Ministers tend to f**k-up.

    ...And more prepared to believe that Winston finally hit the tipping point where his squee squad in the Press Gallery couldn't explain his bullshit away as that loveable rogue Winston just being himself.

    I'll not disagree with that either Craig; but he's talent for them and they equally love and loathe him. He's guaranteed column-inches. I think he's finally going to fall ingraciously to the bottom of the heap here and potentially face prosecution. If half of the allegations are true, he should be sacked and charges laid. And, I'll not lament his demise. I well recall the impact of his hateful dog-whistling about race; it was contemptable and possibly for that alone, I'd be happy he was not in Parliament.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I know it has been asked before, but why do we have a Minister of Racing?

    'Cause it is a hugely significant economic activity... and many other industries effectively do have their own Ministries e.g. Fisheries. Plus it's also because it's pretty heavily regulated. I don't know the figures in NZ, however in NSW (the second largest centre for thoroughbred racing in the southern hemisphere), the industry is struggling to compete with new forms of sports-betting and entertainment and there's a lot of employment linked to racing that's increasingly perlious...

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    >10 years in prison

    Prison doesn't work. It should be kept for violence and the most heinous fraud, not political fiddling.

    I'd suggest a ban from seeking election for individuals, a ban for parties from contesting elections (although I guess they could just reform) and disenfranchisement of electorates (like Tauranga) stupid enough to vote for the idiots.

    Because in the end, the problem isn't Peters, it's the 130,000 people dumb enough to vote for NZ First.

    Also, this process stuff is boring. Is there any chance we could discuss *policies* (such as ACT having come out firmly on the side of climate change denial) or is does that take too much effort?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    'Cause it is a hugely significant economic activity

    Really? According to the 2005 Briefing to the Incoming Minister it was responsible for $424 million of GDP, or about 0.37%. $130 million of that is export sales, but that's nothing large. Racing clubs have only 27,000 members, and its chief social impact is as a focus for gambling addiction. This isn't "hugey significant" to anyone other than the industry itself and its elderly, dying fans who remember the days when it was mass entertainment. So why a minister?

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    'Cause it is a hugely significant economic activity... and many other industries effectively do have their own Ministries e.g. Fisheries.

    Racing is, by NZFirsts probably high estimate, 1.3% of GDP.

    Industries that have Ministers:
    Agriculture
    Education (mostly provision)
    Sports, Fitness & Leisure (mostly provision, I guess)
    Energy
    Fisheries
    Forestry
    Tourism
    Communications
    IT

    There isn't a minister for retail or engineering.

    The real reason for having a racing minister is so the biggest Good Old Boy in the Cabinet can spend his time at the races.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    The real reason for having a racing minister is so the biggest Good Old Boy in the Cabinet can spend his time at the races.

    And because once upon a time it was important, rather than being a bunch of sad old farts remembering that they used to be.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Because it’s a dodgy industry that needs regulation more than most?


    I might be wrong, but hasn’t the racing portfolio traditionally, if unofficially, been linked to the sport & rec portfolio in the past?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    why do we have a Minister of Racing?

    Technically, it's a Minister for Racing. The job is to be an advocate for racing.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Committee hearings make great theatre. From McCarthy to Anita Hill, from Watergate to Ollie North. So where's our TV coverage? Or do we have to wait for Guyon and Duncan to tell us what it all means, saving us the trouble of working it out for ourselves?

    I want to see the Jack Nicholson Moment live. Or maybe Jimmy Stewart as Winston, in a plot twist to stun us all.

    (also starring Katherine Hepburn as Helen Clark and Matthew Broderick as John Key).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1321 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Also, this process stuff is boring. Is there any chance we could discuss *policies* (such as ACT having come out firmly on the side of climate change denial) or is does that take too much effort?

    First, Rich, nobody is stopping you talking about whatever the hell you want. (And anyone around here who tried to "thread Mom" or direct discussion tends to get told to naff off, so I'm not stopping you.)

    But I guess "process stuff" is boring -- like the scut work involved in making sure that - whether you like the outcome or not -- we're going to have a free, fair and credible general election overseen by politically-independent electoral agencies.

    It won't be marked by massive and systemic voter fraud, harassment and intimidation of those who support the wrong party or even the threat that the military is going to step in if the result isn't to their liking. Process.

    So is "process" by which we don't accept that the (alleged) shenanigans of politicians like Philip Field and Peters is just the way things get done in this country. That there isn't one law for the powerful and their friends, and quite another for the rest of us.

    Boring - but still important.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Has anyone else realised how much Owen Glenn looks like the late Augie Auer ? Maybe they were seperated at birth, or something...

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Technically, it's a Minister for Racing. The job is to be an advocate for racing.

    WRT the comment upthread, I feel personally equipped to be an advocate for wine.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.