Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Not doing justice

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  • HORansome,

    Is it me, or does there seem to be much more noticeable anti-semiticism this election? I remarked on the radio an election ago how pleasing it was that we didn't make much (or anything at all) about John Key's mother being Jewish and his banking background. Was I just being optimistic or have things actually got worse this time around?

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Show-off.

    Boom! Seriously though, a lot of actual political campaigners don't leave their homes much these days, and that's okay. Terms like slacktivism are bandied about mostly by people who are lazier than the supposedly lazy.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I think his banking background is fair game, so is his working in the US in the Wall Street world and that whole mindset - the Jewish thing not so much, but it shouldn't be a secret, we should celebrate that we don't care that he's Jewish and that anyone can aspire to be PM

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2606 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    Racism is just stupid. The Labour candidate deserves to lose and if he does not I would be concerned about that electorate.

    There are so many legitimate societal errors perpetrated by this government it really shows a lack of imagination and intelligence to make this statement about the National Party leader.

    I do question Key’s engagement over the Zionist pogrom of Palestine and I do question Key’s vision for a future for New Zealand with his training as a day trader and if that makes me a racist well tie me to a log and roll me in the mud.

    Since Mar 2010 • 378 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I went to a packed public meeting in Khandallah this afternoon to hear David Shearer speak about Gaza (organised by Virginia Andersen the Labour candidate). I couldn't believe the numbers there - across the age range - at a meeting in the wealthy heart of the Ohariu electorate on a Tuesday afternoon. David Shearer was a great raconteur speaking on this topic he know a great deal about and without notes. He talked about the irony of having a good relationship with his neighbours in Jerusalem and then driving through the heavily secured wall into the intensely populated outdoor prison of Gaza. He mentioned that it is not about anti-Semitism but about the abuse of state power. In the end he had to leave the area because of the injustice, particularly to children. For example, he mentioned that some Palestinian young people won scholarships to overseas universities but were not permitted to take them up.
    Some thoughtful questions and good discussion too.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    the Jewish thing not so much

    Should be completely irrelevant in NZ by now. I resent locals deliberately conniving on that angle. We're not Europe or the US.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    it is not about anti-Semitism but about the abuse of state power

    this. I detest warmongers who do not learn from their own history.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    David Shearer was a great raconteur speaking on this topic he know a great deal about and without notes.

    This is doing my head in. I lost faith in Shearer's ability to lead his party when I went to a local meeting and ended up feeling that if he apparently didn't know why he was there, how was I supposed to?

    And now he's commanding crowds? Crazy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to HORansome,

    Is it me, or does there seem to be much more noticeable anti-semiticism this election? I remarked on the radio an election ago how pleasing it was that we didn’t make much (or anything at all) about John Key’s mother being Jewish and his banking background. Was I just being optimistic or have things actually got worse this time around?

    It's not just you. I would hate to think even a section of the Left has jagged this way, but it seems that might be the case.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Russell Brown,

    David Shearer also said he thought there was a lot more anti-Semiticism around this election and how sad and inaccurate that was.

    He would be a great foreign minister. Is comfortable in all environments and with people from all backgrounds. Mentioned that part of his job was showing people around Gaza - like Tony Blair and Ban Ki Moon. Gave some advice in his talk to John Kerry. But as an old hand not in a pretentious way. Also said Gaza was not genocide - Ruanda was genocide - he was there too.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Shearer is so much better now he's off the leash. Also, he's speaking in the area where he is strongest -- of course he's great, he knows that shit inside out.

    When he was on the leash, he had the ability to select his advisers, and the ability to refuse their advice. He had the option to speak from conviction and instinct, and the option to inform himself. His performance then is still the result of his choices if he was badly advised and underinformed.

    Maybe he would have grown in to being leader if given longer, or maybe not. I don't think we can say even now.

    On the antisemitism front, can't help but think that the current fighting in Gaza is playing a role there. But maybe social media is letting us know more and know faster re defaced billboards and dopey comments? Maybe the cult of Key is having unexpected blowback as people struggle for angles of resistance, however stupid? I don't know.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Is comfortable in all environments and with people from all backgrounds.

    Except television, leading a left-ish political party. Had to be said: watching him was bloody uncomfortable for the viewer. Can’t have been comfortable for DS.
    Creeping anti-semitism: oddly, I don’t think it’s a response to the attack on Gaza. Most people can draw a clear line between opposition to Isreali militarisim and anti-semitism.
    I think it’s just ugliness creeping out from the shadows. Some malicious and even cynical, but more ignorant. Not helped by the endless Godwins.
    It’s disturbing.
    eta: Might be wrong about Gaza, Stephen, that’s just my take. There is an element at least of letting off visceral dislike of the PM. I think it’s a little like people who mock Gerry Brownlee for his size. I’ve seen plenty of that, and I hate it. Plenty of good reasons to dislike what he is and stands for, and people resort to that?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    People desperately want to find reasons someone they're meant to like is not simply an arsehole - cos he's one of [insert group here] is easy.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Except television

    He was great recently - on this particular topic which he is an expert in. Candidates for broad leadership roles must have the time to develop solid knowledge - or really good advisors.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Terms like slacktivism are bandied about mostly by people who are lazier than the supposedly lazy.

    What does David Slack say to that buggering of his name? He has done most of his work at the keyboard too!

    Oh shit. I shouldn't have used the word bugger. (see History).

    And christ! I pity the first Maori Prime Minister if this is how we treat the white guys given what we see in the US of A from the birthers and their ilk.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1588 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    This is rather interesting, about Rangitata at least. Growing up as I did a little to the south of this electorate, in a National household, Timaru certainly and to a lesser extent, Oamaru, were always in the Labour Party camp. Not necessarily by electorate, although Labour did win Waitaki/Oamaru and Timaru consistently when it was possible.

    Looking at the 2008/2011 results, Labour seems capable of getting about a bit over a third of the vote in that electorate at present.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1019 posts Report Reply

  • Matt Crawford, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    That point about the current I/P conflict Rob is bang on - none on the antisemitic stuff I've seen featured so prominently on the National-run blog sites so much as touches on the conflict. Meanwhile there is a ton of reporting of international anti-Israel protests turning antisemitic.

    The billboard defacement we've seeing seems more akin to the traditional use of Nazi imagery by NZ motorcycle gangs. Using the symbols to offend and as anti-social markers.

    That's probably more analysis than the awful shitheads with the spraypaint deserve. But this is rather concerning and I'd hate to see more of it.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 58 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    I'm trying hard not to say this is wrong but...

    As younger chap I often struggled to articulate my frustrations with what I saw in the middle east and specifically Israel-Palestine. This was not helped by the wilful conflation of antisemitism with criticism of Israel as a way to excuse what has beeen described here as abuse of power.* I don't think I am the only one to have felt that way. In the nexus between frustration and confusion may well live a brief but predictable tolerance for those true anti-semites who lurk in the shadows. This I believe to be a distinct discourse from that which merely uses offensive means to demonstrate a wider dislike of authority, state and circumstance. Both these issues still warrant debate without it frustration I suspect will grow.

    * I don't think this fully captures a long history of trying to erase Palestine structurally, culturally and geographically from occupied territories; this I agree isn't genocide either though.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Matt Crawford,

    That point about the current I/P conflict Rob is bang on - none on the antisemitic stuff I've seen featured so prominently on the National-run blog sites so much as touches on the conflict. Meanwhile there is a ton of reporting of international anti-Israel protests turning antisemitic.

    So why has overt anti-Semitism only surfaced in the 2014 election, and not the 2011 one? I suspect it's because what's happening in Gaza, as well as elections in general, are even more closely tied to social media than they were even only a couple of years ago.

    And I've found that anti-Semites and Islamophobes have much more in common than they'd like to admit. They're both obsessed with paranoid conspiracy theories and Big Lies, as well as the desperate need to find a scapegoat for all the world's problems.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    So what other incidents have been encountered, on the public stage, this election campaign? I'm not in country at present so perhaps have missed finer detail. I haven't noticed at least any reports of cemetery desecration like which has happened in years passed, which is a small mercy.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1019 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    I unfriended someone recently after years of anti-Israeli FB posts culminated in a wave of nonsense during the height of the fighting in Gaza. The pattern of selective emphasis ultimately implied something really unpleasant.

    I remember when a university acquaintance started trying out anti-Jewish references ('don't be such a Jew', etc). I don't know what to say when he now holds forth on Middle Eastern politics in broadly orthodox (but strongly pro-Palestinian) terms.

    I can understand why the Jewish people are suspicious of ostensibly principled criticism.

    Since Nov 2006 • 784 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    So why has overt anti-Semitism only surfaced in the 2014 election, and not the 2011 one?

    Becouse Kim dot com being German.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    So why has overt anti-Semitism only surfaced in the 2014 election, and not the 2011 one?

    Becouse Kim dot com being German.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    And I’ve found that anti-Semites and Islamophobes have much more in common than they’d like to admit.

    Are you talking about the Middle East?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    I unfriended someone recently after years of anti-Israeli FB posts culminated in a wave of nonsense during the height of the fighting in Gaza. The pattern of selective emphasis ultimately implied something really unpleasant.

    I don't think this is uncommon. On the one hand it isn't unreasonable to be upset with something that does appear to be at best a string of wrongdoings over an extended period. Where nothing changes and the broader narrative seems difficult to justify it is also easy to fall into some pretty unpleasant ranting. My concern is how similarly easy it is to consign those angry ranting souls to an echobox that just makes things worse.

    It seems possible that Facebook has begun enable such stupidity.

    This is well worth a read;

    http://www.wired.com/2014/08/i-liked-everything-i-saw-on-facebook-for-two-days-heres-what-it-did-to-me/

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

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