Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: So long, and thanks for all the fish ...

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  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    I’d also like to see the next Labour leader firmly punish anyone like Shane Jones who slags his party’s natural coalition partner – or at least be honest enough to back him explicitly if that’s what they also believe.

    Well, yes... but while I hate defending Shane Jones, you think Goff and Shearer didn't know exactly what he was doing? For the sake of argument, I don't think there's anything intrinsically wrong with Labour having strongly held policy difference with the Greens, Maori and Mana and vice versa. But, as you say, don't be passive-aggressive about it, and don't expect people who've been pissed on in eye-wateringly offensive terms by the likes of Jones to just "get over it" at your political convenience. (Again, I'm pretty sure Clark was smiling through gritted teeth when she publicly buried the hatchet with Jim Anderton. But when it was done, it stayed done and I think it would be fair to say she wasn't the only one who maintained pretty impressive self-control for longer than anyone was expecting.)

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

  • Ian Dalziel,

    everything but the gill...
    Nice to see that Andrea Vance is a Public Address reader...
    ...or if not flattery by imitation, it must be a resonant cultural meme...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    ...let me jump on a side track

    I have no problem drinking fluoride but I also think if enough people don't want it in the water supply then it shouldn't be there. Europe seems to be getting on fine without it. We offer iodised salt, we could add fluoride to that mix. Then people could make the choice for themselves.

    To dismiss any debate on fluoride as Dr Strangelove insanity is ridiculous. You actually miss the point that only about half of our country has fluoridated water, so what is happening to the other 50%? A salt system would reach a broader population base, give people the choice and take the risk away of overexposure to bottle fed infants. Certainly worth discussing.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Shearer’s own political principles, ideology if you will, were never clear to me

    This is what I can't get over. After 20 months, it's no clearer what David Shearer truly believed. What were his bottom lines, the principles he'd die in a ditch for? What, crucially, did he think of economics, and neo-liberalism?
    The appalling speech that began with the man on the roof, and moved from beneficiary bashing through a vision of a tech/science-led economic revival, with a casual jab at teachers, more-or-less sealed it for me. If it was a strategic attempt to slide to the centre, leaving the riff-raff vote to other lefter parties, it was cynical. If he meant it, it seemed heartless and out-of-touch. Most crucially, there was nothing in it that couldn't have come from Stephen Joyce.
    And after that, not much. Shearer's rhetoric on the GCSB sorely lacked any firm principle. At no time did he express uneasiness at the GCSB spying on New Zealanders. Or give a clear sense of what sort of oversight might be adequate. Plenty of chance to say: under Labour, the GCSB will not electronically snoop on Kiwis. Instead we were promised a nebulous inquiry.
    Cunliffe isn't- can't be- just a more articulate face for the same old commodity. Refreshingly for the current Labour caucus, he's been forthrightly critical of neo-lib 'orthodoxy'. Whatever you think of him, he's saying the stuff that will excite the Labour base.
    Robertson may also have interesting ideas about the economy, but he's not been anything like as outspoken. If anyone knows where he stands, it's not because he's touted it round town.
    Bryan Bruce's doco 'Mind the Gap' on TV3 Thursday 7:30 aims to put economic debate squarely into the next election. Hope so. I reckon it's a debate we need to have.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Samuel Scott,

    only about half of our country has fluoridated water, so what is happening to the other 50%?

    Interestingly, Onehunga doesn't have fluoridated water courtesy of having its own bore. Could make for quite the control group to an empirical study if someone from the School of Population Health were so inclined.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to BenWilson,

    Just enjoyed a blast from the past, looking back to when Shearer got selected.

    This is a gem from the angry 39er :)

    Another thing that gives me pause. iPredict, which has been extremely accurate so far, has been holding Shearer as the most likely candidate for a while. However, recently, it’s stopped predicting a Labour win in 2014. What do all those insider traders know?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    This is a gem from the angry 39er :)

    What do all those insider traders know?

    I guess they read all those endorsements from Opinion Shapers Who Matter, from Farrar to Armstrong, about what an absolutely capital choice Shearer was.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    I did a focus group myself, no long after that, which was clearly sponsored by the Labour party, looking at how Shearer might improve his image. We were all swing voters. At the start of the session, the Nat voters had pretty much no idea about him at all. By the end, they liked him more than even the Labour voters. I found that rather telling at the time. They asked us a bit about policy, but far, far less about that than more pressing kinds of questions like what kind of things we think he'd wear and what kind of house he'd live in. This was done before and after watching a video about him, to gauge how we'd change our perceptions, presumably. I came away with a heavy heart, wondering what place this kind of thing was having in forming plans for our government in waiting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Grant chaired the Policy Council that wrote the new Party Platform. I'm not super concerned about his policy chops.

    It's also worth saying that Grant's been in a position for the past few years where he hasn't been able to articulate a vision of a Robertson-lead government, because that would have been spectacularly disloyal.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Sacha,

    I’d also like to see the next Labour leader firmly punish anyone like Shane Jones who slags his party’s natural coalition partner – or at least be honest enough to back him explicitly if that’s what they also believe.

    Well, at least if Shane Jones becomes leader, we know where he stands on the matter of the Labour-Greens relationship. Much as I'd hate to see it happen, it would at least be interesting to watch how he'd deal with the reality of Labour not being in a position to gain power if they don't have the support of the Greens. Bit different when one is holding the reins instead of carping from the back seat.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    If Shane Jones becomes leader, then it will be time to watch for the pigs gently lofting away.

    Also, hey, Sacha, should the Greens firmly punish anyone who slags Labour?

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Much as I’d hate to see it happen, it would at least be interesting to watch how he’d deal with the reality of Labour not being in a position to gain power if they don’t have the support of the Greens.

    Well, to be entirely cynical, probably exactly the same position as Clark, Goff and Shearer. Appoint a pack of attack dogs to slag off your potential coalition partners as "haters and wreckers", tree-hugging loonie birds etc. until the day after the election, when you artlessly expect your new best friends to just GTFOI and come to Jesus.

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

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    If Shane Jones becomes leader, we'll also know what he thinks of his female colleagues.

    I imagine some might claim "no, no, he doesn't think that himself, he's just saying what the public think." If that were the case, he wouldn't have used the word "geldings". I wasn't particularly bothered by the blue movies, but his choice to call women MPs geldings was repulsive.

    I've been trying to think of an appropriate time for Shane to be leader. "Pigs flying", well, too easy to put one in a plane, or some other cheat. Blue moons happen with predictable regularity. And since Hell is in Norway, I imagine it freezes over quite regularly. All of those things are far too likely. I'm looking for something that means "Never, not ever, under no circumstances"...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    “Never, not ever, under no circumstances"

    When the Chinese Communist Party willingly gives up power? Close enough?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Yep, I could probably live with then.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    If that were the case, he wouldn’t have used the word “geldings”

    Have you been to Kaitaia lately? I am still getting used to, in and around there, just where the locals get their( lack of) information and very outdated opinions. I can completely hear some of the locals calling women geldings but do wonder why Jones would choose to use it himself.I am actually amazed at the level of ignorance I have discovered. I have also tried to quell misinformation only to be told "politics is bullshit" (this coming from prominent in the area business people). Sad but true in the provinces. Yes, Jones didn't help himself there .Still I think throwing his hat in can possibly get some interested in a shift to vote for Labour's "bloke" much the same as O'Connor enjoys.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    I can completely hear some of the locals calling women geldings

    No arguments there

    but do wonder why Jones would choose to use it himself.

    And that’s where the problem lies. Unless he was misquoted (and given that the quote was long, I doubt it), there's no excuse.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    They don't actually elect him or anything, though. I know I said upthread that the list/electorate thing doesn't matter, but it is quite conspicuous that Jones has lost 4/4 electorate contests, all in allegedly grassroots working class areas.

    (Although with most Maori voting in Te Tai Tokerau, Northland must be pretty much unwinnable by Labour. BTW, does anyone know if candidates for Maori seats have to be on the Maori roll and vice versa?)

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

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I And that’s where the problem lies.

    ….For us in the main cities, but not so for those in the provinces. Much like we know Nactional enjoys most of the Farming communities all around the Country and Winston has picked up the disillusioned Nationalistic voter, who just want security for their families over migrants (so there in itself lies Winstons angle). Happily here at PAS we try to see a bigger picture but we are not the majority. Hell. Up North we are even lumbered with Wayne Brown as Mayor and Sabin in Government who believes all teenage girls just want to get pregnant and bludge the dpb. Not for long I hope.

    FWIW, I don't believe that each person's ignorance is something to close the book on them. I just long for the day when knowledge once again can reign supreme and media soundbites are not given any importance in the grand picture. I expect we are all lacking somewhere. Some I guess wear those on their sleeve. I see that often in Politics.Question Time shows this regularly.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Grant chaired the Policy Council that wrote the new Party Platform. I’m not super concerned about his policy chops.

    Chops are one thing. It's the meat that's important. Nats are saying Cunliffe and Robertson would both be a 'step to the left'. Good- but they are hardly disinterested commentators, and it's far from clear what that means.
    Cunliffe has already given some indication how he sees govt's role in the economy these speeches. Robertson will need to do something similar, if this is going to be an 'eye's wide open' selection process.
    FWIW the selection/election process is generating a lot of interest, and that's good. The new process already looks far better than last time round. Looking forward to some serious debate- and hoping it will reveal strong candidates who can work together towards common goals, whoever wins.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to BenWilson,

    They asked us a bit about policy, but far, far less about that than more pressing kinds of questions like what kind of things we think he’d wear and what kind of house he’d live in.

    Wow. Hope they have all lost their jobs. Stupid, stupid stuff.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Unless he was misquoted (and given that the quote was long, I doubt it), there’s no excuse.

    Not to exactly defend Jones (and given that this story is a bit difficult to follow since I’m not in NZ at the moment), but I suspect that he was actually misquoted.

    Isn’t the gelding bit a reference to Grover Cleveland’s illegitimate child scandal:

    [Defending himself against the charge that he had fathered an illegitimate child:] I don’t believe the American people want a Gelding in the White House.

    Perhaps Jones was saying that he doesn’t believe the New Zealand people want a someone who doesn’t watch porn and charge it to their ministerial credit card in the Beehive.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    They asked us a bit about policy, but far, far less about that than more pressing kinds of questions like what kind of things we think he’d wear and what kind of house he’d live in.

    Wow. Hope they have all lost their jobs. Stupid, stupid stuff.

    Fair dos, I was asked those exact same questions about two power companies in a focus group. What would they wear, where would they live, etc.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Might be worth saying that the Labour Party doesn’t use focus groups for policy generation (for the obvious and legitimate reason that we have a democratic internal process) so it’s not really a surprise that the focus was on presentational issues, rather than on policy.

    Also yeah they have now lost their jobs if they worked in the Leader’s Office.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    does anyone know if candidates for Maori seats have to be on the Maori roll and vice versa?

    Section 47, in the absence of anything else (which I haven't found), suggests that there's no requirement to be on a particular roll in order to stand as a candidate under elections against that roll. That you couldn't vote for yourself would be a bit of an own-goal, though. Graeme might know definitively.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

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