Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The big vision and the small problems

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  • Sacha,

    delighted that one or two of the more biddable commentators have taken the bait

    I wish some hacks would set up a public auction site for backhanders - to be transparent about their lack of professionalism or personal integrity.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19543 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    There is so much wrong with this tweet. Business owners are not the only taxpayers – far from it – and not the only New Zealanders with a claim on policy. Some of them also have children who do need more than the education system has been able to provide. I’m one of them.

    Michael Woodhouse's tweet is bordering on Trump-like. And the JLR debacle has flared up again.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5397 posts Report Reply

  • Francisco Blaha,

    "....PM says nothing about the risk takers, entrepreneurs and small business owners that fund her Government’s largesse..."
    There is a key issue that in my humble opinion National don't really get... let me explain: a couple of years ago as part of my work with fisheries administrations in the Pacific as a self-employed a contractor to international organizations and the NZ MFAT, I had the opportunity to have dinner with the former National gvt NZ minister of foreign affairs in Honiara, he was genuinely interested in my story from jumping a fishing boat without knowing anyone in NZ in 1994 to be an advisor to the NZ government and the UN . He was congratulatory on my "entrepreneurship" as an immigrant and assumed I was a National voter, and then turn to disappointment when I said, that I wasn't. How come?, he said, you are a self-made man and an entrepreneur, that took risks! how you support the opposite approach? I explained that actually, I took the risk to become a consultant and doing my 2nd MSc, leaving my salary job of 2 years, because there was "a safety net" (dole, support, WINZ, health, etc) under me at that time. Otherwise, I may have not taken such bold steps... That empowering a system of support (the safety net) in my opinion encourages risk-taking and being entrepreneurial! Of course, there would be always people who don't take risks and stay in comfort zone... but that is human nature and not something you can force. He seemed perplexed, and the conversation turned cold... as we obviously were things from different sides of the river. The statement in Woodhouse tweet you quoted reminded me of that conversation.
    Always great to read you, Russell.

    Since Dec 2006 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Nikki Kaye's response was reasonable opposition politics: welcome the government's move, while promising to hold to account. But Woodhouse's very different take was more typical of National's attitude lately: lash out at anything and everything, for no good reason, and on the evidence so far, for no good result.

    It's not my job to give advice to a party I don't for, but here it is anyway: remember what Labour got wrong after they lost in 2008 and then don't do it. The sense of deja-vu is striking: the opposition underestimating the political skills of the PM, getting excited about scalps that nobody remembers, listening to the online echo chamber, chasing a series of disconnected headlines, not grasping that the A team has gone (Clark, Cullen, Simpson vs Key, English, Joyce) and the B team over-rate themselves, etc.

    They really are remarkably inept.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1269 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Francisco Blaha,

    Absolutely. Freeing up time for creativity and innovation would be a fairly major (but currently largely neglected) positive of introducing a UBI.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1820 posts Report Reply

  • KathrynB,

    This tweet from political journalist Jason Walls suggests the claim that Lees-Galloway hid behind a pillar to avoid media was not as reported by some media:

    @Jasonwalls92
    I think it’s important to note that claims that Iain Lees-Galloway was ‘hiding behind pillars’ from media this week have been exaggerated.
    #nationnz

    Auckland • Since Nov 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to simon g,

    It’s not my job to give advice to a party I don’t for, but here it is anyway: remember what Labour got wrong after they lost in 2008 and then don’t do it. The sense of deja-vu is striking: the opposition underestimating the political skills of the PM, getting excited about scalps that nobody remembers, listening to the online echo chamber, chasing a series of disconnected headlines, not grasping that the A team has gone (Clark, Cullen, Simpson vs Key, English, Joyce) and the B team over-rate themselves, etc.

    They really are remarkably inept.

    Also, a wildcard has been thrown into the mix by world politics. Namely the implosion of the trickle-down status quo, and the resulting vacuum that the Populist International has only been too happy to fill. So far the red-green-black coalition has made the right noises about fixing the conditions that have given rise to populism to begin with, though there’s still a long way to go, and I’m keeping a close eye that they keep their word. By contrast, the blue-yellow team is still like pre-Brexit David Cameron taking the status quo for granted.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5397 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Francisco Blaha,

    I took the risk to become a consultant and doing my 2nd MSc, leaving my salary job of 2 years, because there was "a safety net"

    Which is how it actually works for most people. Isn't it interesting how some others prefer to ignore the safety nets they have benefited from their whole lives. Self-made, etc ..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19543 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    "....PM says nothing about the risk takers, entrepreneurs and small business owners that fund her Government’s largesse..."

    “This is a tough country to live in. If you’re not a competitive person, and I’m not, it’s not easy. ... All our lives, we’re given this false notion of ... superiority, that we’re supposed to be superhuman.”

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2083 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    An interesting aspect of this announcement of 600 dedicated Learning Support Coordinators (yay - not the exclusionary 'special needs') is its gestation. The last government carried out a select committee inquiry into support for kids with autism, dyslexia etc.

    The Opposition members of the Education select committee were lobbied by parents, families and the disability sector generally to have an inquiry as there had been numerous reviews over a couple of decades but nothing much improved. But without a majority on the committee there could be no agreement about an inquiry much as Green MP, Catherine Delahunty, particularly, tried.Then there was a moment when Judith Collins stopped being a minister and joined the committee. Very cleverly, Catherine built an alliance and got her support for an inquiry (she apparently has family experience) and the numbers were there. Then Judith went back to being a Minister and the committee lost its progressive majority.

    So the inquiry happened and heard hundreds of stories of educational injustice. Chris Hipkins, Tracey Martin and Catherine worked as a team and when the committee's very limited official report came out a couple of years ago they wrote a minority report with numerous recommendations. Now in government, Ministers Martin and Hipkins have a list to work through. Learning support coordinators is high on the list, and is also a major part of the NZEI's claim. So lots of people are happy about this announcement. Though it shows that you often have to play the long game in politics.
    I would also like to see Catherine appointed to something educational and important to recognise and utilise her effectiveness.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3151 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    Inevitably on a change of government the opposition loses the magic wand somewhere under the opposition benches before taking office.

    The out-going government, now opposition, happens across the magic wand but the price paid is it brings with it a two term curse of relentless negativity.

    Since Nov 2016 • 260 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    I've read plenty of Woodhouse down here and the man is exceptionally self-entitled so it's quite ironic.

    Ooh, look out everyone, people pay the same tax and things are getting better because the government changed. Mostly because a lot of small businessmen and risk takers got out and voted for a change of government.

    And good on them. Cheers everyone.

    Since Nov 2006 • 600 posts Report Reply

  • Roger M,

    ...misleading, callous and petty...

    Pretty much sums up the National Party of today.

    Hamilton • Since Jun 2018 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to tussock,

    I'm really keen on some major review of ACC to create one fair, equitable disability and income support system - as recently advocated by Sir Geoffrey Palmer. The original commission in the 1960s was headed by Sir Owen Woodhouse but has never been fully implemented. So there is a lot of talk about the 'Woodhouse" principles. I have just realised why people look puzzled when you talk about this in Dunedin.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3151 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Disappointing news of the day ...

    "National's Justice Spokesman Mark Mitchell has cancelled plans to embark on a fact-finding mission to the Czech Republic to get to the bottom of the Karel Sroubek saga." (NZ Herald).

    I feel the government missed a trick there. Should have paid for Mitchell's ticket. Plus a couple more for a TV crew to accompany him.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1269 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to simon g,

    Except that’d just play into National's “they’re too eager to spend your hard-earned money” rhetoric. (The perceived inconsistency is likely the reason Mitchell decided not to go.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1820 posts Report Reply

  • Northshoreguynz, in reply to Francisco Blaha,

    The perfect example of what a UBI could do.

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2014 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • dcnbwz,

    It looks to me like certain factions of the National party are moving into Trump like politics, one faction with a definite agenda of getting to be leader. It's going to be pretty awful to watch/listen and even worse to think what damage it could do to our democratic system. I guess the best way to combat this is to call out bad behaviour whereever possible.

    uk • Since Sep 2009 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to dcnbwz,

    It looks to me like certain factions of the National party are moving into Trump like politics

    The most Trump-like politician in parliament is the current Deputy Prime Minister.

    Since Nov 2016 • 260 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell, in reply to Neil,

    He isn't the one spreading lies on twitter.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 470 posts Report Reply

  • Roger M, in reply to dcnbwz,

    Trump like politics


    I think that there is good evidence all over the world, not just NZ, that this is increasingly seen as the new way to successfully win and hold office. God help us all.

    Hamilton • Since Jun 2018 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    trump like.

    The millionaire with the common touch, lowering taxes and dismantling legislation for rich buddies, talking crap when asked a straight question, attack politics, been there done that with John Key.

    Since Mar 2010 • 370 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to linger,

    (The perceived inconsistency is likely the reason Mitchell decided not to go.)

    Didn't stop Gerry Brownlee accompanying Trevor Mallard to Japan to watch the rugby!
    I guess what better place for ex-Ministers of Rugby World Cups and Earthquakes...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7743 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Francisco Blaha,

    Fascinating insight and a story that makes me proud that NZ proved to be a land of opportunity for you. It used to be the way I viewed the States when I grew up there. I also felt good when Jacinda Ardern stated to the UN that she wanted to inject more kindness into governance. It's a simple but poignant vision/intent.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Northshoreguynz,

    Yes, I agree. With financial security comes the confidence to take risks and pursue opportunities.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 797 posts Report Reply

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