Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The flagging referendum

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  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to izogi,

    beyond the pale…

    That’s not a fair comment until you’ve compared it against the certified Fairfax list of celebrities against change

    Agreed, I should have said anaemic on both sides – it’s more the nonsense that they seriously put either list up as ‘game changers’ of any sort – just filling in lines of news they might otherwise have to devote to something constructive (or even more vapid, more likely).
    Though they did relegate renowned NZ poet Sonya Yelich to being merely ‘Lorde’s mum’ and changed her name needlessly… (reporters, ptui!)

    It may come down to ‘Beach towels at dawn, Sir!’
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    It may come down to ‘Beach towels at dawn, Sir!’

    Which segues nicely into New Zealand: One Nation Under a Beach Towel? wherein our very own Steve Braunias pens an op-ed piece for the venerable New York Times.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1381 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Alfie,

    Which segues nicely into New Zealand: One Nation Under a Beach Towel?

    Link fail!
    Try this:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/11/opinion/new-zealand-one-nation-under-a-beach-towel.html?_r=0

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Alfie,

    This is the guy whose biggest scandal came after a waitress told the world about his strange, compulsive habit of pulling her by the ponytail every time he visited her cafe.

    Granted that was a scandal, but trying to define it as his biggest scandal seems to be completely ignoring the happenings of the 2014 election, IMHO.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to izogi,

    I think the point is valid in that ponytailgate got more traction among the public, and was less ambiguously down to Key alone. (And yes, it may seem a strange set of priorities: but ultimately, being some sort of shadowy wheeler-dealer doesn’t harm Key’s media image in the way being an arrogant jerk and bully does.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    True. Plus with an American audience of the NYT it possibly sounds like more of an exotic weirdness for a politician than some of the other allegations and scandals that have followed him around through the years.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Pretty good piece by Steve, bearing in mind the readership's likely background knowledge (nil).

    Although it is another case of the OCR (Overseas Coverage Rebound), where a mention in the international media gets picked up by us (because nobody else cares) after it's been written by us in the first place (because nobody else cares).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1320 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to linger,

    being an arrogant jerk and bully

    think that was more about being a weirdo/pervert

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Sacha,

    You're probably right at that, because having unusual personal predilections is obviously so much worse than treating people abominably. *headdesk*

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Winnie's at it again. This time it's the Russian translation of the referendum question. Instead of "should be the New Zealand flag" it reads...

    "Put a tick next to the flag that in your opinion should become the New Zealand flag"

    Technically he's correct. One is our existing flag and only the teatowel can become the NZ flag.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1381 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Alfie,

    Russian usually omits the copula verb (except in past tense), so that may well be the closest possible idiomatic translation.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to linger,

    Russian usually omits the copula verb (except in past tense), so that may well be the closest possible idiomatic translation.

    Ran it past a Russian colleague, who said that Winnie’s claimed translation is correct and “a tidier translation is definitely available”.

    ETA: hopefully voters who are relying on the translation have enough sense to know the intended meaning. I think Winston is being rather disingenuous on this matter.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    How many Russian-only speaking New Zealand citizens are there I wonder?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    About 10,000 people speak Russian, no idea how many are reasonably fluent/literate in English?

    (I have often wondered how the Electoral Commission pick their languages to translate. German and Dutch are absent from their translations).

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

  • linger, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    NZ speakers of Dutch and German are overwhelmingly bilingual in English, so there isn't a strong need to provide support. Otherwise the general rule seems to be that languages spoken by more than 0.25% of the population are included. There are also a few languages on the list that don't meet that criterion; probably, in those cases, community members have offered to provide translations.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

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