Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: "Evil called: Can you make a meeting at 11?"

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  • Kyle Matthews,

    First, Crosby Textor aren't that evil any more. They failed to save John Howard. They failed to get Michael Howard across the line. And their "small target" strategy for Boris Johnson overlooked the fact that his status as the "anti-Livingstone" was what appealed to his core supporters.

    That might make them incompetent. It doesn't make them not evil... or otherwise.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    To blame the work of "evil" consultants (I know you were exaggerting Russ, I suspect Hager and others believe the hype)

    Evil called again. They can't do lunch. How's a breakfast of devilled kidneys?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Huh? I thought I was saying I don't expect the sky to fall if the government changes this year, and you seem to have me saying something different. Did I miss something?

    Just that you seemed to preface your comments by quoting what I thought was a pretty ambitious attempt to divine Labour supporters' collective conciousness. I wondered why your comments were introduced this way?

    Now I fear I'm being over-sensitive so I might just let it go...

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    There are politicians, on the other hand, who travel overseas to bad mouth our country.

    Not even going to dignify that with a response beyond Samuel Johnson's observation that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. I had no idea that lacking love for the government of the day and its actions, meant one has no love for your country -- which, for the record, existed long before either National or Labour, and will exist (I hope) long after they're both footnotes in the history books.

    This seems to me to be an entirely legitimate undertaking for the Prime Minister.

    Certainly is, but whoever came up with that cringe-inducing bit between the reporter and Clark about swishing down the "dangerous" piste, but staying "always in control" should be shot. It was crude and frankly begging to be re-framed as 'Clark going downhill at high speed'. Unfortunate symbolism, Stan, like I very much doubt Brash 'walking the plank' was read as intended. Live by the spin and photo ops, die by the spin and photo op.

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

  • Stephen Judd,

    "How's a breakfast of devilled kidneys?"

    I love kidneys! Luckily, I have a long spoon.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Really, if that Clinton ad is the best "on the other hand" you have I think you simply prove my point.

    Don: I think you've proved mine -- it's not as if Clinton is a Republican or Karl Rove, because they're the only people who ever engage in scummy attack politics. Right? Wrong -- everyone has to called on this shit all the time, or it's open season.

    You can't credibly have it both ways because being a little bit scummy is like being a little bit pregnant. Sorry, but in my honest opinion anyone who looked at that 3am ad, and didn't hear the dog-whistle "vote for me, or the kids get it" (and doing so on an utterly dishonest claim of "experience") would believe anything.

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

  • Idiot Savant,

    Helen Clark and John Key could be getting their campaign advice from the devil, for all I care. The point of this, in my not so humble opinion, is that the major opposition party in NZ is engaging in an election strategy that relies on debating only the issues of its choosing, and keeping the public in the dark on everything else. That is the scandal.

    And four months out from the election, we're beginning to really need to know.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    You know I (or my Mother) see Helen on the slopes up in Central at least at least once a year just being a normal person, she often seems to do some local prime-minsterial-opening-something sort of function while she's there - she probably needs to get outdoors and get fit like the rest of us - that she can ski should not be a surprise

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Nah, doesn't cut the mustard, Craig. See, if the USA engages in an unjust war like Vietnam or Iraq, I don't immediately equate Kennedy / Bush to Hitler, who also engaged on unjust wars.

    But, if you can't see differences of scale and substance I will leave you to your true absolutism.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    But seriously, Craig, what's that got to do with anything? Labour isn't the DNC, any more than National is the Rethuglicans. I mean, this isn't even Look! Labour does it too! -- It's Look! Another supposedly Left-wing candidate somewhere in the world ran an attack ad!

    And the connection between this and the issue at hand is...?

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And four months out from the election, we're beginning to really need to know.

    I'm still doing National the credit of believing they will reveal policy when the election is called -- after all, if Labour cared that much, they could dispense with their own games and announce the date tomorrow.

    But:

    (a) I hope the policy announcements have a *lot* more substance than those so far.

    (b) Show me the numbers. Really.

    (c) The evasiveness over this relatively trivial matter does not fill me with confidence.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    As I've said before, I expect a National-led government would be less to my taste, but not really that different. There's a fairly high degree of political consensus in this country -- although I think I was correct in feeling that was under threat from the people who clustered around Brash.

    Does that included their non-negotiable declaration that they will unilaterally remove the Maori electorates ? It's one of the few things that National are clear that they will do.

    Seriously, the fallout from this kind of cavalier, arrogant, disenfranchisement will be massive. And the "high degree of political consensus" will be the first casualty.

    At least with the FS&SB debacle, Maori still had a voice, and we used it to ensure we had representative MPs who did more than toe the Labour party line. Deleting this representation, and the Maori Party to boot, is a key risk inherent in the coming election.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    she probably needs to get outdoors and get fit like the rest of us - that she can ski should not be a surprise

    Oh, she's scary fit. Cross-country skiing is not for the faint of heart.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Does that included their non-negotiable declaration that they will unilaterally remove the Maori electorates ? It's one of the few things that National are clear that they will do.

    I thought they'd hedged and qualified that one up the wazoo. Is it still live?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    exactly - I was going to say that I didn't think she was really in to downhill which would kind of give away where she skis (didn't realise it was public knowledge) - I figure people need some privacy in their own time - which is why in the past I haven't named other politicians I've had private dealings with (or my local Nat MP's name above though you can probably guess that too)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    "...its an obvious mouth organ, far more so than David Farrar's site or any other political blog in New Zealand. And the people who contribute to it do seem to have endless amounts of time to research and write their virulently pro-government anti-National propaganda. It just seems to me to be the most plausible explanation..."

    That is getting quite close to a whine there Danyl, especially as you haven't graced it with anything approaching a fact. the amount of trying to discredit the standard that goes on in the right wing blogsphere approaches paranoia at times. Most lefties on the web long ago accepted Farrar's impact as significant - it sometimes seems Kiwiblog is the primary news source for the Herald op-ed writers - and stopped bleating about it. So you can hardly complain if somebody's got organised and set up their shingle right across the virtual road.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And the connection between this and the issue at hand is...?

    That the fashionable bogeyman de jour (and one set up to suit the partisan interests of the speaker, more often than not) doesn't do a damn thing to address a toxic culture. One that's a little more complex than finding foreign bogeymen lurking behind every bush, and fabricating some vast right-wing media conspiracy.

    And you really want to know something -- I don't actually want to end up like too many of my American, British and Australian acquaintances who've just turned off politics entirely because they want to keep some self-respect. It's Look! A plague on all your houses because I just can't swallow the taste of bullshit anymore. I won't stand politicians and media outlets that treat me with naked contempt! And no matter who wins, my stomach turns at the prospect of the aftermath being even worse than the campaign.

    And, Don, I am absolutely and unapologetically 'absolutist' about there being some baselines of honesty and sheer common decency in political campaigns. It's a convenient cop out to say "it's all Karl Rove's fault" or "everything would be puppies and moonbeams if it wasn't for those right-wing c**ts at Crosby/Textor". But that's just a lie, and I'm done with it.

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

  • George Darroch,

    if Labour cared that much, they could dispense with their own games and announce the date tomorrow.

    The privilege of setting the election date is a relic of First Past the Post absolutism. Give it to the electoral commission, with the option of invoking the Governor General should the Government not have the confidence of the house.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    the amount of trying to discredit the standard that goes on in the right wing blogsphere approaches paranoia at times.

    Most lefties on the web long ago accepted Farrar's impact as significant - it sometimes seems Kiwiblog is the primary news source for the Herald op-ed writers - and stopped bleating about it.

    Like this, Tom? You've really arrived when you've got your very own attack blog, but as I've said here before the running blog feud between Kiwiblog and The Standard (which seems to have abated quite a bit) is boring as only blog-feuds can be.

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

  • Paul Williams,

    The privilege of setting the election date is a relic of First Past the Post absolutism. Give it to the electoral commission, with the option of invoking the Governor General should the Government not have the confidence of the house.

    Is there something that could be done in NSW first - fixed terms is going to prove a nightmare here!

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Like this, Tom? You've really arrived when you've got your very own attack blog, but as I've said here before the running blog feud between Kiwiblog and The Standard (which seems to have abated quite a bit) is boring as only blog-feuds can be.

    I have come to share your view on this Craig which is why I've stopped my involvement in kiwiblogblog...

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    I thought they'd hedged and qualified that one up the wazoo. Is it still live?

    From the National Party website:

    The National Party Caucus today moved to confirm its position on the future of the Maori seats, which involves tying their abolition to the settlement of historic Treaty claims.

    "The Caucus today confirmed that the Maori seats will be abolished, which we anticipate will take place around the time of settlement of historic Treaty claims," says National Party Leader John Key.

    "Around the time of the last settlement - which we anticipate will be in 2014 - National will begin a constitutional process to abolish the seats. The reason for such a process is that this is a major change of interest to all New Zealanders.

    "National will also ensure more resources are available to help speed up the claims settlement process.

    "I want to see an inclusive, tolerant society, where every New Zealander is equal before the law.

    "National thinks there's no place for ethnically-based electoral systems in 21st Century New Zealand," says Mr Key.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Seriously, the fallout from this kind of cavalier, arrogant, disenfranchisement will be massive.

    I'm certainly not disenfranchised by being on the general roll. I don't see how it would be any different for New Zealanders of other ethnic backgrounds.

    If memory serves, there's a decent proportion of Maori on the general roll already.

    This is an area in which National has actually been transparent, and consistently advocated a relatively unambiguous policy based on a clear principle (recent waffling about "probably before 2014" notwithstanding). I fail to see how this is either cavalier or arrogant.

    It might not be a principle you agree with, but to cry disefranchisement seems foolhardy.

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

  • Stanley Pointen,

    So Craig, it's a lie and you're done with it? Sadly, those deprived of power for almost 9 years, unable to cope with the natural order of things being so disordered, will do absolutely anthing to right the wrong. They proved it last time (although I was in the US for months and had to rely on web coverage of the campaign) and will prove it again this time. Time to head back to the US me-thinks? It's 40 degrees in Texas.

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The Family Party is Destiny.

    So have they changed their name so that Tamaki's preachatisements aren't considered election advertising?

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

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