Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Of course it's about the book

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  • rodgerd,

    The fact Bill English detests McCully makes me all the more enthusiastic about the idea of him as National Party leader. I may not like National much, but they'll get into power sooner or later, and I'd rather it be alon English's axis that a "drown government in a bathtub" whackjob like McCully.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • hamishm,

    The media personality was Paul Holmes.

    The real reason for the gaffes!

    Since Nov 2006 • 357 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And while there is some truth to the politics=mendacity meme there are levels of mendacity and there is also getting caught with your pants around your ankles.

    Ah, yes, and isn't it funny how the "level" lowers dramatically when it's the people you happen to vote for? Sorry, Alistair, I may change my mind if I bother reading the thing, but I have to agree with RNZ political editor Brent Edwards that there's an element of 'pot calling the kettle black' hypocrisy on display here, and it remains to be seen whether this is (to coin a phrase) going to be one of those 'Beltway issues' we hear so much about. In a perverse way, the Blair-lite political culture of spinning your way to lowered expectations Clark's made a fine art of could come into play here. I don't think that's a good thing, but it's really hard to feel much sympathy for Labour if this doesn't turn out to be the king hit they're expecting.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12359 posts Report Reply

  • Joel Zwartz,

    the homophobic party one

    Simon Upton? David Round?

    Welly • Since Nov 2006 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    Wow... really interesting to compare the two approaches of Campbell Live and CloseUp to the story.

    Campbell Live with really strong with the Brash lied angle - no intereviews; just a comparrison of Brash's statements past stastements about his relationship and knowledge of the exclusive brethren, and the contents of the emails. CloseUp was an interview of Gerry Brownlee and Richard Prebble - no surprises as to what they said: the work being a fiction, everything Hager has ever said before being wrong (no challenge from Wood on any of these statements), and absolutely no mention or description of any of the actual contents of the book. Really weird, I thought.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Homophobic thingo...lockwood?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10488 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Ben Wilson:

    Really cute - how shall we speculate on the name of the closeted gay Labour MP I has the misfortune to hear make a respulsively homophobic - and grossly defamatory, so I won't quore it thank you very much - slur about out now-National MP Chris Finlayson? I miss Norm Jones and John Banks who at least paid gays and lesbians the (dubious) respect of shitting on everyone without fear, favour or dissembling. Then again, once you've been called "morally euqivalent to a Jewish Nazi' or a "house nigger" enough times because of your politics, you really just have to shrug at the hypocrisy and move on.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12359 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Baker,

    Close up had Gerry and Richard? Gosh, how balanced...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    Yes, CloseUp thing was really very odd. Wood herself was very dismissive of the entire situation - which doesn't worry me so much as the fact that at the end of the piece I just sort of felt like I hadn't learned anything about the actual contents of the book, only three opinions about it (which were, incidently, very much all in agreement).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Macro,

    Cambell Live shows that "Honest" Don is the most Blatant Liar of recent history. Now that (more correctly) "Devious" Don has been exposed; a vote of thanks should be made to the courageous few, who had the gumption to forward the correspondence on to someone who could be relied on to deal with it, in an appropriate manner!
    I trust that Keys will also heed the message - but I doubt it! The fact is the front bench of National is the epitome of "Hollow Men". Full of self-importance and hubris, and completely lacking in anything approximating moral conscience. I can see the Tui's ad now!

    " No I do not know anything about that email I did not open it! - Yeah right!

    Well John if you didn't know anything about it, and you didn't open it - you should have! Because every one else around you sure did! Even the so-called minions! Some were so disturbed about it they chose to make it public! So don't do a Don and deny it all - you were in there boots and all!

    What makes the whole thing even more scurrilous though, is the persistent sanctimonious refrain from the National benches about a corrupt government! Surely Don never listened to the sermons of his Dad - I'm sure there would have been more than one or two on judgement of others - Judge not lest you yourself be judged! Before you remove the speck of dust from your neighbor's eye - remove the plank from your own! All good stuff and well worth remembering!

    Since Nov 2006 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Compie,

    Really interesting listening to Richard Griffin and Chris Trotter talking on the panel today.

    All the stuff about hidden agenda was just very spooky.

    What a creep.

    How bad is that lot if I say Katherine Rich is starting to look like an angel compared to that lot, funny thing perspective eh.

    Dunedin/Vancouver • Since Nov 2006 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,


    I wonder if Rev. Brash ever preached on Matthew 7:16, while we're trading Biblical tags : Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12359 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    but I have to agree with RNZ political editor Brent Edwards

    Is that the same Brent Edwards who, when the whole Brash affair came out went on NatRad and explained how he didn't like doing negative stories about Brash because he's such a nice man?

    Let's just say at that point I lost any interest in the opinions of NatRad's gallery reporters, since they are obviously now taxpayer funded cheeleaders, rather than actual reporters.

    and it remains to be seen whether this is (to coin a phrase) going to be one of those 'Beltway issues' we hear so much about.

    Ahh, of course. Libel about David Benson-Pope: critical to the national interest. Evidence that suggests working journalists are also acting as party political hacks without declaring the conflict of interest: beltway issues. Auditor-General retrospectively declares election spending improper: most corrupt government in NZ history. Massive campaign to flout NZ election law to the tune of millions of dollars: beltway issue.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Matt Jeffs,

    Have I missed something... but none of the mainstream NZ media appear to have rightfully attacked the paradox of one of New Zealands major political parties having its strings pulled at the highest level by a right wing secretive sect who don't believe in taking part in the political process.This is the bit the media should have between their teeth and not let go of. Also this has now made international headlines. Spot this from the BBC News website: Enjoy.


    UK - ex Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    MAtt Jeffs wrote:
    a right wing secretive sect who don't believe in taking part in the political process

    Last time I looked, we don't have a voluntary, secret ballot iin this country - and may that never change. Don't know about where you live, but here in Aucland less than half the electorate vote in local body elections, I wouldn't be in the least surprised if most couldn't tell you who their local and ARD representatives are, but everyone has something to say when their rates go up, yet again.

    And am I the only person who cringes everytime John Campbell et. al. huff about how 'weird' it is not to own a television. Moments like that make me wonder if the EB don't have a point on that.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12359 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Weird: "Of a strikingly odd or unusual character; strange".

    I would say not owning a television qualifies as weird.

    Maybe once or twice every couple of years I'll come across somebody who doesn't own one and more often than not they themselves are weird.

    Since Nov 2006 • 901 posts Report Reply

  • Matt Jeffs,

    Even though I now live away from Aotearoa I am still a registered NZ voter in the overseas ballot and I exercise that right every election. However I do agree that its also everyones right to not cast a vote in general elections if they truly feel disengaged from the whole process but my problem is with the EB pressuring or in any way being seen to influence the social policies of a major political party. I know major businesses have done this sort of thing all over the western world for years but when a group of people, whoever they happen to be, publically refuse to vote but see their way to exercising any sort of influenece in the Beehive then it becomes a major problem.
    Thats my 'old man' rant for the day..........

    UK - ex Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    So, it's been a year with the two dominant political parties coming out smelling of poo. It's probably not the last of it either, although I expect the summer recess will dampen down the faeces flinging somewhat.

    How would you vote? Weigh up the negatives, see which party has the fewest and look for some positives?

    "They lied the least, therefore they'll get my vote."

    I don't know that I could do it in that manner.

    Since the issues came out, it's fair to say the democratic process is alive in NZ. The sheer volume of scandals in just one year really does point to some serious rot in the system however.

    Since Nov 2006 • 529 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    Alastair Thompson said:

    Regarding supplies of the book...

    From what I hear all 3000 copies of the book are already pre-sold. So unless you have had a purchase order accepted by a retailer who is expecting some incoming books then you are not getting a copy on monday.

    I just called Dymocks to ask about the release of the book and they confirmed the embargo thing (who embargoed it and why I don't know) but they did let me put my name down for a copy for Monday, so either there's an extra print run or the first 3000 aren't all ordered yet.

    My apoligies to Whitcoulls for sharing the now discredied rumour about them being the cause of the embargo. Although I reported it as a quote from another bookseller and qualified it with an "__if__ it's true" statement I prolly shouldn't have shared it without checking all my facts first.

    Juha - thankfully in NZ it isn't an either/or scenario any more (hooray for MMP) - and there's an easy answer to your question. Don't vote for either of 'em - vote Green. :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 331 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    Oh here we are - this is why it's embargoed until Monday:

    Hollow Men In Shops On Monday - Craig Potton Publishing weren't allowed to start physically distributing the book until after the injunction was lifted, and as that was halfway through Friday and the warehouse is in Nelson, rather than drip-feed the book to outlets they decided to do it all in one go on Monday.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 331 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Craig, just joining the fun on the guessing game. I didn't notice Lockwood was already eliminated. I wouldn't be playing if I had the book.

    I must say I'm impressed that you're up late here defending the Nats. The other usual Nat supporters have packed up or stuck to Kiwiblog etc. You've got stamina at least.

    I agree with all your comments that the private mail store of most pollies would be treasure trove of embarrassing dirt. Unless they're like me, and don't really favour email as a form of communication, despite being in the email business! But I got caught out long ago on minor email indiscretion so I learned not to commit to digital form things that you wouldn't say in public, because one day they may very well become public.

    Having agreed with that, it still doesn't make all these revelations of cynical lies any less cynical or mendacious. Sorry man. I'd love an expose of private Labour email, that would be a real look at how power works. But we haven't got one, so I'll have to make do looking at how crooked the Nats are instead.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10488 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman,

    The EB obviously have the right not to vote. They also obviously have the right to donate money to whoever they want, and to campaign for whoever they wish. I don't think anyone has a problem with that.

    Many people do not vote for reasons of apathy, or not having a candidate they like, or they are anarchists or what have you. The EB's reason for not voting is that they profess to believe that governments are raised up by Gods hand and thus voting is to question Gods will. That is fine, like communists and facists or libertarians or anyone else, they are free to have whatever political philosophy they wish as long as they don't try to overthrow the system through force.

    What worries me about them (not much but a little) is that, in trying to influence the election as they have, there has clearly been a change in Brethren policy.

    The fact that they have done so all around the world means it is Brethen policy, not individual rebellions against the old policy. The fact that they still do not vote means that the policy has not been abandoned but somehow reinterpreted to allow background, secret lobbying and influence.

    The thing that concerns me (and again to be clear I'm not losing any sleep over it) is that they may well be seeing themselves as acting on Gods behalf, as His instruments enacting His will. This type of thinking can easily and quickly lead to not seeing the instrument of Gods will as being limited to acting within the legal frameworks. After all, if God wishes for the framework to change, or if the framework can be blamed for stopping Gods will being implemented, then Gods instruments are obligated to act outside of that framework.

    I would be much happier if, on their ads, they indicated that it was the Brethren speaking. Voters have a right to know who large expensive campaigns are being run by. For example all union ads clearly say that they are funded by the union, they don't say 'concerned citizen'. Obviously The Eb know that this would be counterproductive. They know that the 'world' does not like them, and so they must be stealthy to enact Gods will.

    They are a cult, and when cults start playing these games, democracies should be aware. I do not mean to say that they should be demonised or prohibited in any way, but rather that they are not immune to the spotlight and that we are under no obligation to take them at face value. They may feel that they are under a religious compulsion to decieve, and we should remain aware of that.

    Here endeth the ramble.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 247 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    There's a lot of dots out there and Hager has always had an idiosyncratic way of joining them. Waring's preface was particularly underwhelming.

    I'll be pleased to see Key as leader but I'm yet to be convinced that there's anything here more than the usual backroom deals that no duobt Labour could also be embarrassed by aswell.

    Just like with corngate all this looks overly conspiratorial and not great for political discourse in NZ. There are issues like how NZ can make its way in the world that are more important.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Matt Jeffs,

    Well 'rambled'. I couldn't have put it better myself.
    I know Hagar's book may need to be taken with a pinch of salt but it will be an interesting read nonetheless. Any public debate over the book won't do his sales any harm. Good on him for having the courage of his convictions.

    UK - ex Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Graham,

    Well said Alex.

    Isn't it interesting that the main defence of National supporters is simply "but Labour are just as bad" - which isn't really a defence. Not much moral high ground left anywhere is there!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

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