Hard News by Russell Brown

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

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  • Rex Widerstrom,

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

    I was just channelling Forrest Gump (or something)... you know "evil is as evil does"... and CT haven't done anything effectively evil for about seven years now.

    It's kind of like John Key twirling his chair round in his underground evil HQ, clad in his silver jumpsuit, pinky finger to corner of mouth, and announcing "That's right, well you should fear me, for I have hired... Crosby Textor!!! Mwahahahaha!!!"

    Only to have his minions shuffle and cough embarressdly and mutter "Uhh... boss? Actually... ummm... since you've been frozen in ice that whole time, umm... they're not actually all that good any more".

    Perth, Western Australia • Since Nov 2006 • 157 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    raise a family, drive a car and keep a their heads above water

    I think that's:
    pay a nanny, drive a Ferrari and keep one's head above the balmy waters of the Carribean.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    Hello!

    This evening I happened to bump into the very person who tipped off the Standard to the RDU interview.

    Let's just say: Labour-friendly, but not in Wellington and not in or at Parliament. So all ninth-floor conspiracies should be set aside.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Is there a blog fued between the standard and kiwiblog? I don't think so.

    When asked in the 17th century why England was going to war with the Dutch, some English general or another frankly replied along the lines of "Because they have to much trade and we have resolved to take some of it." I think that is the nature of the relationship vis-a-vis the left-leaning Standard and David Farrar's National party cypher kiwiblog, and i think The Standard has achieved its goal of leveling the research playing field and bringing the bracing breeze of competition (doesn't everyone love competition?) to the blogsphere.

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

  • Tom Semmens,

    Oh and in relation to the Maori seats - just as only a conservative government could probably deliver us unto the sun lit uplands of becoming a republic, so only a left wing government would be able to abolish the Maori seats, and only then if Maori agree.

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

  • Kracklite,

    I think you'll find that Aro Valley in Wellington is home to both the Hippys (ies?) AND the socialists.
    Both of whom vote Green.

    And:

    Which would relate if 'lived in Aro Valley' and 'members of the Green Party' were the same set.

    In recent years the place has become thoroughly infested with the FUV-driving, doing-lunch set.

    One facet of socialism is a tendency toward centralised decision-making, and this clearly goes against the Appropriate Decision-making Green Party charter principle

    Mikaere Curtis, thank you for making that distinction. I am sooo bored with people who still insist on fighting the Cold War. Forget the Guelphs and Ghibelines, fer Cthulhu’s sake, there’s a damn bigger picture than that!

    You've still got Bill English.

    Much as I dislike the man and his attitudes, I do respect him as someone of integrity. Key strikes me as a… never mind, he’s banality personified (except that banality by its nature is without personality), and that in my mind is evil enough.

    very, very smart and capable person but can be prone to a common failing among very, very smart and capable people -- intellectual arrogance.

    My favourite sin,a part from alcoholism. It’s just so much damned fun.

    but I have a pretty big problem when proportion, good taste, good humour or even regard for basic matters of fact go down the toilets to be replaced with outright hackery

    Something Orwell said about the most compelling arguments against socialism or christianity being their followers…

    A very little more seriously, I think that I’m a liberal for exactly the same reasons that Craig’s a conservative (lack of faith in human nature and utopian reform and all that). Depressingly, I’m probably going to have to vote Green, despite their lets-all-eat-organically-grown-cold-lentils-in-the-dark-while-wearing-hair-shirts anti-science Luddism because I am so pissed off with Labour’s visionless micromanagerialism.

    In 2008, there are National MPs I think will be good value in government,

    Groser for example.

    and some I don't really look forward to having back.

    Ryall, Smith, Smith… sigh.

    As for Hagar, I never trust anyone who pouts. Speaking as an academic (“speaking as a-” is a cue to start adding the sodium chloride BTW), his willingness to see the immanent truthfulness in something simply because he realised it himself makes me clench all over. Hello, it’s Doctor Popper on the line…

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Tom said:

    and i think The Standard has achieved its goal of leveling the research playing field and bringing the bracing breeze of competition (doesn't everyone love competition?) to the blogsphere.

    I pretty much agree. The Standard has succeeded as the obvious alternative; a clearly left-leaning blog. However, it's also avoided the worst trolls and partisan hacks who exist only to bag the other team; sadly this is the majority at kiwiblog used to be a forum for debate but is no more (IMHO).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    This is an area in which National has actually been transparent, and consistently advocated a relatively unambiguous policy based on a clear principle... I fail to see how this is either cavalier or arrogant.

    Well, dissolving a political consensus that's been in place for over 140 years is a pretty radical act, especially for a party that represents itself as being conservative. Sure, the Maori seats were originally a way of minimizing Maori political representation, but they grew into an accepted institution -- a settled compromise that both peoples could live with. I don't see how unilaterally trashing an institution like that -- especially considering the, uh, historical events it grew out of -- could be anything but cavalier and arrogant.

    But then, given the apparently blissful ignorance of those events that Key displayed last week, perhaps this degree of recklessness is unsurprising.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    And just to totally change the subject...

    At midnight on the last day of June, can I pat the other PAers on the back for this being the first month when we've exceeded 55 thousand unique readers (56,491 to be precise -- with a mean visiting time of 8 minutes).

    And that would also be a staggering 7 million hits this month -- 50 per cent more than the number of people in the country.

    What's North & South's circulation down to these days?

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    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.

    George: I'm sure our resident Legal Beagle could come up with all kinds of perfectly sound objections, but how complicated would it really be to fix the election date at (say) the first Saturday in November every three years, unless the Government lost confidence and supply in which case the election would have to be held (say) six weeks after that date?

    It certainly would save us the ugly spectacle of a snap election being called, and definitely announced in a well-lubricated fit of pique. I certainly don't think even Clark herself defended the rationale for the 2002 snap election with much conviction, but I'll give her props for being sober when doing it.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    What's North & South's circulation down to these days?

    Hope it's not as low as APN's share price. :(

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

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    George: I'm sure our resident Legal Beagle could come up with all kinds of perfectly sound objections, but how complicated would it really be to fix the election date at (say) the first Saturday in November every three years, unless the Government lost confidence and supply in which case the election would have to be held (say) six weeks after that date?

    I'm sure I could come up with some problems, but I very much doubt they're anything that couldn't be worked through. Quite a fan of the idea, myself.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    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.

    OK, Stanley. I'm sorry to tell you this,but we do draw the line at Satanic rituals. It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye during the human sacrifice-slash-baby blood lubricated orgy.

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

    Well, rather dishonest anyway.

    Well, dissolving a political consensus that's been in place for over 140 years is a pretty radical act, especially for a party that represents itself as being conservative.

    Well, Caleb, I've never heard anyone hankering to take the great leap backwards to reintroducing the property qualification or genuinely disenfranchising women. I'm also rather keen on getting rid of the 'political consensus' that New Zealand's head of state has to meet a religious qualification imposed by the British parliament over three hundred years ago.

    There is actually a difference between being a conservative, and an opportunistic reactionary.

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

  • dc_red,

    Well, Caleb, I've never heard anyone hankering to take the great leap backwards to reintroducing the property qualification or genuinely disenfranchising women.

    Well, there is one ex-pat conservative blog I can think of where such ideas go down well.

    I'm also rather keen on getting rid of the 'political consensus' that New Zealand's head of state has to meet a religious qualification imposed by the British parliament over three hundred years ago.

    Indeed. You can add to that sexual discrimination (sons prioritized over daughters in line of succession) which would presumably be illegal under domestic NZ law, as well as being morally offensive.

    Not to mention the bizarre form of discrimination which is inherent in 'choosing' your Head of State from within a single aristocratic family (which, bizarrely, lives literally on the other side of the world). Might as well be the dark side of the moon.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Not to mention the bizarre form of discrimination which is inherent in 'choosing' your Head of State from within a single aristocratic family (which, bizarrely, lives literally on the other side of the world). Might as well be the dark side of the moon.

    I'm one of those people who's intellectually a republican, but where I get stuck is what the hell you replace it with. to be honest, I sometimes think the republican movement is its own worse enemy -- cf. the frankly squalid, populist hysterics over the "insult" of a member of the royal family not attending Ed Hillary's funeral. That was one Skoda of a bandwagon for republicans to climb on. Nor do I think our constitution should be determined on whether you like Prince Tampon and his horse-faced home-wrecking slut of a second wife.

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

  • Kerry Weston,

    Why don't either of the Big 2 realise that kiwis are born with inbuilt bullshit detectors? The sad thing about Key is that it's become obvious that he is constrained by *whoever* and comes across as very uncomfortable. Diana Wichtel picked it up in the Listener - Key was on Moon tv, plainly to push a message, not to actually be part of the show. If he had only used the chance to show he had a real sense of humour and been relaxed, he could have scored points. The fastest way to show a kiwi you're real is to crack a joke - one of your own, not a scripted one.

    OTOH, Clark is so well polished, she's unreachable.

    The really dumb thing - out in the Land of the Great Unwashed, we all know how contrived and manipulated the whole show is. All the spinning is self-defeating. It increases the levels of mistrust, the alienation of the people from the processes of democracy. A great leader is one who carries the people with them and has some real faith in them.

    The message I get from parliament and the bureaucrats is that they hold the rest of us in contempt.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Well said Kerry
    Best comment in the whole string

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 576 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

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

    Well, rather dishonest anyway.

    What's this Craig, are you calling me dishonest ? Unless you subscribe to the principle that criticising National's policies is thoughtcrime and therefore inherently dishonest, I suggest you visit a dictionary and look up the meaning of disefranchisement.

    Oh, and I'd welcome an apology while you are about it.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    Thanks Caleb for pointing out that the demise of the Maori seats is linked to National's heroically ambitious timetable for final settlement of historic Treaty claims.

    While this might be long enough for National to have a change of heart, I'm minded to conclude that since they have effectively ditched any hope of winning a Maori seat (through ill-conceived attacks on Maori), that they would see that abolishing the seats would render them contestable again.

    OTOH, they could simply get some decent policies in place and campaign in the Maori seats once more. If NZ First could win Maori seats, there's no reason why National can't.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    George: I'm sure our resident Legal Beagle could come up with all kinds of perfectly sound objections, but how complicated would it really be to fix the election date at (say) the first Saturday in November every three years, unless the Government lost confidence and supply in which case the election would have to be held (say) six weeks after that date?

    I'd support that too Craig. I fail to see why the election date should be left up to whatever the PM last drank.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The really dumb thing - out in the Land of the Great Unwashed, we all know how contrived and manipulated the whole show is. All the spinning is self-defeating. It increases the levels of mistrust, the alienation of the people from the processes of democracy. A great leader is one who carries the people with them and has some real faith in them.

    I do agree with you, but there's the other side of that equation -- my late and extremely great Nanna used to say that when you treat people like scum, you shouldn't be in the least surprised when they live down to your expectations. Why the hell should any politicians ever tell you a damn thing when every word, every action is going to be parsed to a degree nobody could ever stand? Any mistake is going to be put down to malice or incompetence. And God forbid you ever change your mind or admit you're wrong because that's a sign of weakness.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    And just to totally change the subject...

    At midnight on the last day of June, can I pat the other PAers on the back for this being the first month when we've exceeded 55 thousand unique readers (56,491 to be precise -- with a mean visiting time of 8 minutes).

    And that would also be a staggering 7 million hits this month -- 50 per cent more than the number of people in the country.

    I should point out that that's our internal count. Third-party measures (ie Nielsen and Google Analytics) have us quite a bit lower on unique visitors, but that's the case for all web publishers. Every now and then we web titans get together to bitch about it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    What's this Craig, are you calling me dishonest ?

    Not at all, Mikaere. "disenfranchised" has a rather specific meaning -- the revocation of the right of suffrage (the right to vote) to a person or group of people -- and if you're not engaging in rhetorical over-kill then your definition of what constitutes disenfranchisement is so broad as to be meaningless.

    While I wasn't a supporter of MMP, I don't buy the argument that the 5% threshold is 'disenfranchises' anyone unjustly any more than I've been "disenfranchised" under FPP because (strange but true) I never voted for a successful candidate under that system.

    If it's National Party policy to amend the Electoral Act to remove the right of Maori (presumably including myself) to vote, I sure want to know. I'd find that profoundly offensive. But if you want to play the racist card with a disingenuous rhetorical dog-whistle, then bring it on. I just believe the Maori seats are well past their use-by date, and deserve to be thrown in the same historical dustbin as the property qualification, male-only suffrage and the idea that (in England) Jews, Catholics, Muslims and non-conformist Protestants were unfit to sit in Parliament.

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

  • Paul Williams,

    Kerry said:

    The message I get from parliament and the bureaucrats is that they hold the rest of us in contempt.

    I agreed with most of your comment Kerry, but I don't agree with this, particularly with regards bureaucrats (but I would say that).

    The spin and polish does tend to obscure the individual and the tendency to avoid questions in preference for being on message is unbelievably frustrating, but I don't think the motivation is contempt (I'm sure there's a fair amount of avarice however). Outside the studio and press conference, I've found most politicians are actually pretty reasonable people. It's only when they've got a microphone stuffed under their noses that they revert to sound-bite automatons; I think that's why so many people have a begrudging regard for the renegades e.g. Winston.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I think that's why so many people have a begrudging regard for the renegades e.g. Winston.

    No, he's a git. Renegade or not.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

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