Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Idiotic and lamentable behaviour

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  • Russell Brown,

    Hi folks. Given previous discussions here, I thought this deserved prompt consideration by y'all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    FFS, is this the way they plan to run a government?

    Well, Russell, I certainly hope the next National-lead Government isn't going to be playing quite the same silly buggers with the Opposition we've seen recently. If there's a hell of a lot of toxicity and flat out paranoia on both sides at the moment - and I'd say that's a considerable understatement - then I think everyone (and that includes Cullen and King) needs to take a deep breath and just chill out.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    I think everyone (and that includes Cullen and King) needs to take a deep breath and just chill out.

    I agree.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    BTW, I'll just put on the record a hearty 'you go girl!' to Audrey. While I don't think John Key is one of those paranoiacs (not looking at anyone, Winston) who thinks the Press Gallery are out to get him, I don't blame Young for getting uber-pissed at (in her view) being called a liar who fabricates quotes.

    I just hope Key is going to have the sense to take Audrey out for an (off the record) drink, apologises publicly and rebuilds some fences. Politicians fuck up - so do journalists and bloggers. It's what you do afterwards that counts - and this is a golden opportunity for Key to regain some points in my book.

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

  • Neil Morrison,

    I think "misrepresents" was a bad choice of words. The Nats might not have meant "intentionally deceive" but that's the way it comes across.

    just chill out

    where's my natural therapeutic valium?

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Felix Marwick,

    FWIW Winston put out his compromise option on the Bill about six weeks ago and did promote it to all and sundry as the perfect compromise.

    However it turns out he did not show a written version of his SOP to any political party. I did a ring around the week before King put the Government's Bill on hold and was told by every single one of them that they'd not seen it. This includes the Government.

    It was seen for the first time this afternoon by National, and the Greens only saw it because Sue Kedgley happened to come into our office as we were reading it.

    As far as SOP's go it's not a very substantial one. It's just a smidge over half a page long and had the distinct air of being banged together in one almighty rush.

    Read into that what you will.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Felix,

    FFS, is this the way they plan to run a government?

    You mean stumbling from one deception to the next in a desperate drive to maintain and consolidate power? Meh. Ever seen them run one any other way?

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    Has John Key got a nickname yet ?

    I vote for "Jandal"

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Read into that what you will.

    Thanks Felix. Very useful. I'll update the post in the morning.

    Meanwhile, Jordan makes the expected post and his regular hostile commentators get completely bizarre. Certainly entertaining.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    This is turning into a nightmare, slow burner issue for National that will be a test of their political management. So far, their tactics of political doublethink have worked. It will be interesting to see if the wheels start to fall off....

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

  • Eleanor,

    Pick up the phone and ask for it.

    That's surely not how parties are briefed about legislation that's up for debate, is it?

    Educate me.

    Look. As a mere stakeholder I can appreciate how flabbergastingly difficult it has been to receive real and current information - either by default or by demand - from the government on this issue.

    I can't believe I'm resorting to providing a quotation from a National shadow Cabinet member, but this is what wily Ryall said back in the December debate:

    "Annette King has destroyed the opportunity to have a cross-party approach to the regulation of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and natural health products in this country. She completely ignored and denied the recommendations that repeated Health Committee inquiries and reviews have made. She did not consult with any other party in this House. She has treated this bill as if it were a health bill that she could push through just on the sheer weight of her huff and bluff and numbers in the House. The fact is she did not have the support. She had the opportunity to work with other parties in this House to get a regime that would be low cost and would do the job for New Zealand, but what did this arrogant Minister do? She ignored it.
    This is how bad it is. In trying to justify her consultation, and in trying to justify the fact that she consulted with other parties, do members know what Annette King claimed? She said that giving a set of overheads to Richard Worth and another member of our caucus was consultation. She said she consulted with National because she gave two members of our caucus some overheads. That is what she said is consultation. The fact is, Annette King has destroyed the opportunity for a cross-party approach to develop rules and regulations that would be good for New Zealand."

    (sorry about that I guess it is probably typical parliamentry rhetoric, but I had the same experience and treatment as Tony Ryall described - so I know "What Tony Said" is unfortunately true)

    Jane Clifton's recent Listener article summed up some of the issues beautifully, especially about King's attitude - which has been such the letdown.

    Slightly off topic re Key... but reflects consistency in his party I suppose... which predates this storm-in-a-chamomile teacup!

    wellington • Since May 2007 • 81 posts Report Reply

  • Eleanor,

    PS Felix how did Winston

    promote it to all and sundry as the perfect compromise

    ?

    And how and where could I (for example) have found it?

    I did go looking.

    ... maybe I'm a bad sleuth.

    I'd LOVE to know how he got "the word" out there...

    wellington • Since May 2007 • 81 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Meanwhile, Jordan makes the expected post and his regular hostile commentators get completely bizarre. Certainly entertaining.

    Not even that, Russell - "Yo bitch iz a fat old-digger! Yeah! Well, yo bitch iz a lying nappy hobag!" If I want to listen to this crap, I believe there are any number of hip-hop artistes who will stroke off for my listening pleasure at a modest price. But considered political debate it isn't.

    But if this is a taste of things to come over the next sixteen months or so, I don't think I'm going to be the only one looking back on the more demented patches of recent political history with nostalgic longing.

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

  • Felix Marwick,

    I'd LOVE to know how he got "the word" out there...

    Winston first referred to it in a speech he gave in mid-June (I believe it was to Greypower). On the next sitting week he gave further comment to the media and was definitely selling it as a compromise acceptable to all sides. His comments were comprehensively reported by ZB, RNZ, the Herald, the Dom'Post and others at the time.

    The question was then put to Clark at her weekly post Cabinet press conference as to whether the Peters SOP would be acceptable to the Australians. Her reply was that it was her understanding that it was.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Felix:

    OK, I've probably missed something here (at least, I hope I have) but had Clark actually seen a copy of this SOP when she was talking it up? What was the basis for her 'understanding', because it seems that the 'Peters Compromise' definitely wasn't going to fly with the Australians.

    I'm seeing nothing to change my view that nobody is staggering out of this farce with their dignity intact, and there's been way too much game-playing for domestic consumption on all sides that everyone has to be held accountable for . Frankly, I don't know who to believe - and this is one issue where that's just not good enough.

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

  • BenWilson,

    "You have to give John Key his credit: when he flip-flops, he generally contrives to do so in the right direction."

    Would have been catchy. But needs the caveat "...at least whilst in Opposition". When he's PM?

    To my mind this shitfight is the outcome of flipflopping. If National would simply make their position clear in policy documents then this argument about "what people meant when they said X" would just never happen.

    But as I've said before, Key is not going to change his tune, which has put National miles in the lead in the polls. Being deliberately vague has served him well so far. I think the lesson he's learned is not to even have that kind of interview with the likes of Audrey Young in future.

    And Labour's only hope is to try to draw Key into these kinds of confrontations repeatedly. If they can project an image of someone who hasn't got a clue what his party's position is on anything, or at least he isn't going to tell us in an unambiguous way, they might stand a chance. I'm doubting it though. Most people probably have even less of a clue than Key does about most issues (I would hope so, given that he's probably our next PM), and he trades on that. They simply won't remember from one flipflop to the next.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • ron,

    Am I the only one who finds almost everyone's behaviour inexplicable here?

    The only thing I find inexplicabe is your failure to discuss DBP's departure from Cabinet.

    auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    To my mind this shitfight is the outcome of flipflopping. If National would simply make their position clear in policy documents then this argument about "what people meant when they said X" would just never happen.

    Oh, Ben, how delightfully naive - there's always the nefarious 'secret agenda' (which, of course, you can't rebut because secret agendas are... well, secret). So, the game plan for securing a fourth term is to FUBAR your own legislative program, and perhaps make sure any cross-party relations are absolutely toxic? Now, if you're a purist libertarian who thinks legislative gridlock is utopia there's no downside. The rest of us might have some doubts. Don't get me wrong, Ben, I applaud the breath-taking cynicism and contempt for the electorate you're proposing. I'd prefer to have a little more faith in the intelligence of the peasants.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, and I don't think it's OTT to say I'd certain like it if National, Labour, NZ First and the Greens wouldn't play party political silly buggers with other people's health and potentially their very lives. I've little time for 'alternative' or 'complimentary' medications, but there are a lot of folks out there who don't share my POV.

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

  • Don Christie,

    Pick up the phone and ask for it.

    That's surely not how parties are briefed about legislation that's up for debate, is it?

    No they have to arrange to meet first. The Herald blog said Helen Clarke, no less, called McCully to make such arrangements and was told to shove it.

    Key: The way it was relayed to me was that she [Clarke] rang him [McCully] and said, look, as they have said to us on before number occasions `we'd like to get this thing over the line and we have always made it clear, carve out complementaries and we are there.

    Herald: If the Prime Minister invites National to a briefing about the proposal why didn't you say yes.

    Key: I wasn't aware of it. She didn't invite me to a briefing.

    That is breathtaking.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Jordan Carter,

    One thing that we might all be able to agree with is: shouldn't there be a website where parties can / must lodge SOPs that they intend to move?

    It is hard enough finding a Bill sometimes, though the new Parliamentary website does that OK at last, even if they usually post scanned PDF copies.

    SOPs that have been moved are posted on the Parliament.nz site too, but what about proposed ones? Wouldn't that be rather useful?

    As for expected post, Russell, I thought I was quite restrained. I thought of lots of rude things to write about the ineptitude being displayed here but actually, they're unnecessary. Key's actions speak for themselves through the very words he spoke.

    Great way to start your first conference as leader. Not.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    That is breathtaking.

    It also casts an interesting light on Jane Clifton's "it's all because Annette King is such a cow" explanation of events.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    And Labour's only hope is to try to draw Key into these kinds of confrontations repeatedly. If they can project an image of someone who hasn't got a clue what his party's position is on anything, or at least he isn't going to tell us in an unambiguous way, they might stand a chance.

    My impression is that party leaders are anointed by the media. For example, that worm thing that resulted in United Future going from one to six MPs in the space of a week.

    John Key was similarly anointed, IMHO, during the 2005 election campaign and stayed that way despite his vacuousness on anything other than tax cuts. As was Bill English before him (which was subsequently withdrawn when he failed to perform).

    And now "Jandal" Key has picked a fight with the political editor of the Herald, a direct result of his strategy of obfuscation and flipflopping.

    The so-called honeymoon with the public is more likely a honeymoon with the media. And Key is burning his credibility with the media.

    I hope he keeps it up, I've got a 40oz of Bombay Sapphire riding on National losing the next election :)

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    That is breathtaking.

    Certainly is, then again do you think perhaps Labour has made a rod for their own back - just a wee bit? Sorry, Don, I just don't buy the notion that there's any blameless victim here.

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

  • Tom Semmens,

    "...I've got a 40oz of Bombay Sapphire riding on National losing the next election :)..."

    I think that is such a negative FPP thing to say! National won't lose, they'll just be unable to form a government. Its a fine distinction, but its an MMP one.

    Mind you, if National can't form a government next election at least the right wing bloggers will fall silent. They'll be to busy moving to Aussie, or inciting a military coup, or simply retreating to the bath with a 40oz bottle of Bombay Sapphire and a stanley knife.

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

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