Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Vision and dumbassery

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  • Angela Hart, in reply to mark taslov,

    Mark, I think you've nailed it. Back in the days of landlines we had a reasonable expectation that a telephone call was a private communication (unless it was a party line ;-) ). Perhaps we no longer have that with mobile calls, certainly for the meta data aspect, if not for the content. We've been told for a while now not to consider e-mails private, so what is considered private communication is arguably more limited than most of us realise. At the very least there is a substantial argument that in the legal sense private communication excludes e-mail, non encrypted internet services and meta data.
    This sits strangely with the cup of tea affair, arranged as PR, in a public place, surrounded by journos but with an angrily claimed expectation of privacy from the PM himself.
    It seems to me that Angela Merkel, John Key, the supposed watchdogs and others in positions of power may in fact have little idea what their intelligence agencies are actually doing or how they do it. Who then, really holds the reins of power?

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    Given the amount [or is that the thread] of Key-knocking, Key-criticism, Key-reviling, Key-patronising, Key-negativity, Key-accusations etc that permeate nearly each and every post on this site, either directly or indirectly, could somebody please tell me what would make a man who currently leads a party that rates at about 25% in most polls, a man who had approximately half the Labour caucus disapproving of his choice as leader, fit to lead this country?

    I’m not sure how many people I speak for, but I think that even for those who don’t put blind faith in David Cunliffe, they’re more than happy to look beyond him to the composition of the governrment and the people in it. A government, what it does and how it acts, goes far beyond the Prime Minister. For me, right now, I have much more trust in a Labour-led government, including the partners it’s likely to work with (even where I disagree with them) to actually pay attention to the rules when it governs.

    The National Party has chosen to brand itself almost entirely on John Key. It wants people to only speak about Key and how likeable he is or isn’t, because that simplifies the entire campaign into either ‘like’ or ‘dislike’. Virtually everything about it, and discussion about it, is him, when he’s really only the figurehead. People complain about missing out policy debate, but I can’t imagine the National Party really wants to talk about policy – most of its campaign barely goes beyond a broadcast of “trust us, we’re great economic managers and we know what we’re doing”.

    Really, though, can I ask you which particular part of the National Party you support?

    Do you support the old guard, with the likes of Bill English and Nick Smith? Maybe they’ve had the odd controversy over their careers, dealt with it and been embarassed by it, but generally they’re good followers of rules like the Cabinet manual and the laws which require integrity in how they do stuff.

    Do you support the Crusher Collins faction? Barging through red tape. Who needs processes and laws when you’re at the top? Just get it done!

    Do you support the faction where Simon Lusk and friends decided that banking on a separate extreme-right party (like ACT) is hopeless because people never vote for it, so instead they’re sliding their own hand-picked far-right candidates onto the National List and into safe seats? eg. Probably Todd Barclay and Chris Bishop, both tobacco lobbyists being virtually guaranteed places in the next parliament.

    Or do you support John Key? Not a faction, just a single “trustworthy” guy at the top, supposedly holding it all together (or keeping it apart), and with plans to retire to his holiday home in Hawaii some day soon?


    Really though, this election has become hugely polarised, compared with nearly anything in living memory, and people wonder why.

    If you ignore the factions within National which are all fighting to do it their own way, a major reason New Zealand’s population has become so divided over the past six years is that this government has been ultra-exclusive of everyone who doesn’t agree with it.

    This government has made record use of Urgency and Supplementary Order Papers for completely inappropraite reasons, to step around expert input, community involvement, and overall avoiding good and robust lawmaking in the name of “getting things done”.

    It’s also ignored repeated warnings from the Attorney General about breaches of the Bill of Rights in pending legislation, and passed those laws anyway. This is a horrible thing: The BORA is meant to define the most fundamental rights which government should never revoke from people of NZ, yet the current government has ignored it as an inconvenience.

    Tread on people like this instead of including them and they’ll do more than just disagree with you. They’ll start to hate you. National's making sure that everything National is actually about John Key. And people who somehow haven’t been affected can’t understand why others “hate John Key” so much.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz, in reply to Dean Wallis,

    “Is the GCSB, and/or other Government departments, monitoring New Zealand’s electronic data? ...”

    I would add "or analysing metadata of New Zealanders" and "what is the source of that data?"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Angela Hart,

    I guess the NSA? Whatever that is? Answerable to? Greenwald said it’s largely independent of the political machine, and that interview I pasted on my first interview with former NSA Chief Michael Hadyn is one of the most bizarre elements in all of this. Also written by the author Ryan Gallagher who coauthored Greenwald’s most recent piece on New Zealand.

    What really stuck out for me was that waiting until July 2013 for the law to pass *before* implementing SPEARGUN. That sounds so incredibly sensitive and ethical. With that much power why would Fyes wait for anything (and waiting is merely one spin of the events here – based on Snowden’s anecdotes) but it seems that the end game was to change the climate, an internet/e-comm land grab in plain sight, and with considerable assistance from local personalities. I see they’ve begun the process in Australia too this morning.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Dean Wallis, in reply to mark taslov,

    You are a consenting provider

    OK, thanks for that, got you now. So, I can reasonably expect my communication to be intercepted, interpreted and forwarded to the relevant authorities? Then, here I go:

    Fuck off John Key, take your smug, weasily and morally bankrupt bunch of mates and Just. Fuck. Off. This is my country, where I was born, where I choose to live, where I will die. I'm proud to be a New Zealander: fair, friendly, open, inclusive and caring. I'm proud that as a nation, we can stand up to anyone for what we believe to be correct, be it nuclear weapons or sport. I don't want us to be mini-America, sub-Britain or China-lite. I don't want gated communities to keep the desperate poor at bay. I want a real job, making real stuff for real people who need it. I won't be voting for you or any of your frankly weird mates this Saturday.

    Quite a good system this Speargun really.

    Point Chevalier • Since Jan 2013 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Dean Wallis,

    Hehe, authorities, not really, unless John Key is in the habit of Xkeyscoring himself

    Also, even if you edit and delete that now, even if you never even saved it, it’s all being keylogged.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to izogi,

    Really though, this election has become hugely polarised, compared with nearly anything in living memory, and people wonder why.

    It feels to me a lot like 1981. Lots of people really angry about the government, and lots of people scared of the angry people. Slightly less of them, but slightly better distributed under FPP to deliver Muldoon one last chance to fuck shit up, which he then did, royally.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to BenWilson,

    It feels to me a lot like 1981.

    Yeah it could be. I was 2 years old for most of 1981 so didn't really appreciate what was happening at the time and couldn't comment. :)

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Oh no people were much angrier in '81, we'd been out having our heads beaten by the cops all winter, just for trying to point out that what rugby was doing in our name: supporting a racist murderous regime

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    A letter home…
    …from Bizarro Earth

    I think things are adrift, slipping, slipping, slipping…

    Just recently I seem to have passed through some tenebrous brane into unfathomable dimensions – by some rabbithole topsy turvy tumble.

    Why, in my febrile state I could have sworn a page back someone was here extolling Sarah Palin as a visionary leader for either remote Alaska or the USA Empire itself!!

    Lately our village is besieged by itinerant proselytisers for the failing death cult, persistent in their self-denial, beyond the point of rational reasoning, their brazen form of interlocution is chilling in its disassociation and dissonance – hellbent as they are on saving our sorry souls from the madness ahead, only they, the illuminated, the anointed, can see.

    Bless them for their good intentions, but clearly they are ‘tinkers’ not ‘thinkers’ – pushing tired barrows of tawdry goods with which they hope to win us over.

    All brighteyed and assertive, if not bellicose, they strike out for the democratic right of small self-invited children to wave their dead cat repeatedly at the dinner table, after being told, repeatedly, “we saw the cat, we appreciate it is dead, its interest and novelty has passed, please now keep your cat to yourself and remove it from the table” …

    One such spleen vendor has recently processed about the village like some Cerberus, each head proclaiming a vision at odds with perceived reality, dexterously sinister-shaming the left with a faux even-handedness.

    Semi-settled now, one, nominally ‘a straw joker’ and cornish patsy by the cut of the cloth and accent, has stuck around to this end.
    To persuade us of their bonafides they have nailed their ‘theses’ to the site’s ‘door’ for all to embrace.

    As with all proclamations it is what is left out or between the lines that is most telling. Once winnowed, blowing out the subjective and conjecture, the following grains remain to be examined:

    he was head-hunted to become a member of the parliamentary political party. he was head-hunted to become a member of the parliamentary political party, Key had no strong ties to the National Party.

    Indeed, Whale Oil’s father began grooming him in the dying years of the 20th century

    In 1998, on learning of his interest in pursuing a political career, the National Party president John Slater began working actively to recruit him.

    Key has promoted a winning empathy with a public weary of hidden or partly-hidden agendas.

    The tiny benighted village of Epsom springs to mind, and the insertion of a tame beadle. Plus the surprise chartering of Church and Guild schools from uncharted waters.

    His task is to get things done.

    But who for, and in whose interests – see this (make a cuppa tea)

    Along the way he has shown the common touch which comes from his state-house background.

    Two unquantifiable statements, echoing hollowly…

    He has demonstrated the ability to compromise…

    see above re Epsom and bad ACTors…
    and Comalco and Warners have benefitted
    from his pliability and largesse
    (with a stroke down thru it
    - akshully those were our $s)

    No other Prime Minister in our recent history has so effortlessly imparted this sense of trustworthy pragmatism to the same extent as John Key has.

    This is where I must worry about ergot poisoning from the rough grains and breads the populace must survive on. don’t talk to me about the teeth!

    John Key has yet to be proved to be anywhere near as culpable of the duplicity and dark dealings that they would have us believe.

    Even the disciple can not bring themselves to say King John is not culpable of some dark-dealings and duplicity, the biographies all show him capable…

    People closer to Key than I ever will be report how angry and let down he feels over the dirty politics play-out and he won’t allow Collins for example anywhere near any position of authority again.

    With friends like that who needs enemas?
    Loose-lipped gossips, big-noting braggadocio…

    … the positive impact he has had on foreign shores

    Yes his stance on ’prosecution by drone and hellfire missile’ is well known.

    I’m a true swinging voter.

    Your Key’s in the bowl…
    we’re all adults here,
    please flush.

    I’m greatly influenced by the qualities and integrity, or not, of the party leaders. I voted for both David Lange and Helen Clark. My judgement was proven accurate as it has been with John Key.

    Please show the working on this equation, otherwise I must again lament the presence of lead and other synaptic-dulling poisons into the learned environments.

    Summary: Acolyte-lite
    And ya do know that acolyte is just another name for henchman, right?

    At times it almost leads me to doubt the logic of the workings of the Grand Unified Field upon the chemystery of life, that such plagues are visited upon us, perchance the adversity strengthens us and our resolve…

    Truth be told, I have fought hard for my
    tenuous grip on the Village Idiot role.
    I see no need for a new clown in town…
    Will no one rid me of this vexing tinker?

    Mustn’t grumble, though.
    Chores to do.

    I’ll leave this to be discovered in better times.

    Zane Illiad,
    Epic Adventurer in the Westlands
    through the veil

    ————————-

    Thanks for the work out Jake…
    I may still have time to panel-beat this into a SST short story entry.
    Hope M. Night Shyamalan’s lawyers aren’t watching…
    (apologies to Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E Howard too)

    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Dean Wallis, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Oh no people were much angrier in ’81, we’d been out having our heads beaten by the cops all winter, just for trying to point out that what rugby was doing in our name was supporting a racist murderous regime

    The difference between '81 and now? Back In The Old Days the media actually did their jobs and reported what was going on and what the issues were. Both sides of the argument. I don't think Mike Hoskings was there to understand the rather large responsibility that comes with stage makeup and a news desk.

    Point Chevalier • Since Jan 2013 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    The fucking Flow Ian. More!

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    having our heads beaten by the cops all winter

    And that violence was something that further polarised opinions probably more toward the anti-tour movement. Even though I was too young to take part in the protests during the games, I did join the street marches and distinctly remember feeling very fearful of the police.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Key convinced me last week that likely the best thing I can do for my country on Sat is vote for for IM, and I’ll likely vote for them or the Greens, either way that’s a vote against John and his continual eroding of my personal privacy

    I have similar reasoning. Between Greens and IM I'm undecided. In my feeling that I'd rather have Cunliffe than Key, I'm not at all undecided. I don't have to vote for Cunliffe to get Cunliffe though, courtesy of MMP. I get to signal more than that. For me, Cunliffe being the leader is the clear lesser of evils, even though I will not vote Labour (well, maybe I'll vote for Sepuloni...not sure, she seems pretty secure, and the Green candidate here happens to be an old friend).

    My dilemma is between choosing to go with good solid Greens or the more speculative IM. Greens are a party with a lot of policy, which could certainly work with Labour, is likely to be the third biggest party, but is also a party whose primary focus is not my own. I don't disagree with environmentalism, it's just not the most important thing to me at this time. I do agree with most of their secondary policy, that is why I voted for them in the past, but my worry is that in coalition negotiations the only lollies they'll get will be their true bottom line, the environment.

    IM, on the other hand, is a party whose apparent policy focus is much more like my own opinions on what the government should do. In the person of Hone Harawira, not so much, but as greater Mana, much more so. I get what Harawira is about, and even respect it, but he is still very much focused on how things affect Maori in the north. Which is righteous, but I'm not a northern Maori. The Internet Party is so new it's hard to tell what it's about for sure, particularly considering what its name implies, and how much that contrasted with its choice of leader. But such policy as they have come up with is stuff I generally agree with. I'm not particularly concerned that they probably couldn't work with Labour directly, because they could still represent without being in government, and they will probably vote with the Government on choices that I mostly agree with.

    However, I am very concerned that Harawira might not hold his seat. If he doesn't, it's likely the vote for them will be wasted. This seems like a big tactical blunder by Labour, to strongly contest him at a time when their majority is likely to be wafer thin. If they win there, they lose not only all of the IM vote, most of which will get redistributed to National, but they will also reduce the overhang too, and most of that redistribution will also go to National. This at a time when National is still suggesting that Epsom voters go for ACT and we could end up getting Whyte in on the coat-tails.

    I'll be closely watching any information coming in over the next few days to choose. If Hone looks like losing Te Tai Tokerau, I'll vote Green, otherwise, IM. In doing so, I feel that I'm voting for Labour too, and in case that's not clear, I'm SAYING it RIGHT HERE. Because our ability to signal is not limited to our vote.

    I support a left wing coalition, under Cunliffe, but I would like them to have a strong incentive to go through with the more "radical" elements of left wing policy that they have and so I vote to the left of them to signal this. I want my vote to stand counter to the NZ First voter who also wants a left wing coalition. I would accept working with them, but I want it clear that they're not the most important group in such a coalition.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Dean Wallis, in reply to Dismal Soyanz,

    And that violence was something that further polarised opinions probably more toward the anti-tour movement.

    People's moral compasses swung away from N and towards L

    Point Chevalier • Since Jan 2013 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Oh no people were much angrier in ’81

    Yes, I remember, but I think the anger was much more specific. The anti-tour movement had a quite clear goal.

    I don't think that kind of thing will be seen here again. People had quite a different sense of tolerance towards violence and fighting then. Now even a whiff of it scares the hell out of people. It has to be a cause with a really clear and present threat to elicit such a strong reaction.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to BenWilson,

    I’m SAYING it RIGHT HERE. Because our ability to signal is not limited to our vote.

    Cool line Ben, It’s really difficult for me to gauge if a vote for IM would be well spent from here, I came into this election Green, I was a bit disappointed IM dropped decriminalisation, but saw that Te Ururoa is down with that, but that alone isn’t enough to hang a vote on. Mainly for me with the Greens it comes down to their science, but if I’m also able to vote in an electorate (checking today), based on polling and if there’s nothing too windy going on, I’ll vote Grant Robertson. But still, keeping my ear: to the ground right up to the clock.

    I’m damn excited (in case it isn’t obvious) about having the chance to vote in a democratic election again. It’s a truly special thing. I’ve never been half as engaged in an election as this one. I can’t even remember who or if I voted ’99

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • CJM, in reply to izogi,

    Excellent post. Clear and true!

    Really though, this election has become hugely polarised, compared with nearly anything in living memory, and people wonder why.

    If you ignore the factions within National which are all fighting to do it their own way, a major reason New Zealand’s population has become so divided over the past six years is that this government has been ultra-exclusive of everyone who doesn’t agree with it.

    This government has made record use of Urgency and Supplementary Order Papers for completely inappropraite reasons, to step around expert input, community involvement, and overall avoiding good and robust lawmaking in the name of “getting things done”.

    It’s also ignored repeated warnings from the Attorney General about breaches of the Bill of Rights in pending legislation, and passed those laws anyway. This is a horrible thing: The BORA is meant to define the most fundamental rights which government should never revoke from people of NZ, yet the current government has ignored it as an inconvenience.

    Tread on people like this instead of including them and they’ll do more than just disagree with you. They’ll start to hate you. National’s making sure that everything National is actually about John Key. And people who somehow haven’t been affected can’t understand why others “hate John Key” so much.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    In some sense it was a little bit of a golden age (at least in context) - it was only a few years before under National's Holyoake Radio NZ was forbidden from reporting on the anti-Vietnam war demonstrations passing by their studios

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Ben: yes that exactly - I've long thought that to move the centre a little you need a long lever at the extremes, I don't mind being really radical even if my ultimate goals re more modest


    (Though I do really want to live in Ian's NZ, or maybe next door)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • blindjackdog, in reply to BenWilson,

    Between Greens and IM I’m undecided.

    Pretty much with you on all that Ben.

    However, listening to Peters' hilarious encounter with that gormless twit Espiner this morning, it did occur to me that votes for IM are pretty much going to push WP towards the Nats when it comes to King-maker time; ie, he'd be much more likely to settle ultimately for something that only includes him, Labour and Green than with Hone et al thrown in as well.

    It's a bugger, because from the get-go the IM thing has entertained me greatly; I respect the two leaders, and the thrust of their policies; and I'd love to watch the absurd and inevitable disintegration as the realities of power set in.

    So I'm undecided like you. And the Greens just come across as such wet tossers these days, to be frank. Never recovered from "Give me my flag back" as far as I'm concerned.

    But something that was really weird: One of Laila's emails-to-the-faithful recently said something along the lines of, "Well, we're on 4% and we're really hoping to get as high as 4.5%, and we're just sure as heck that Hone's going to keep his seat." WTF? Way to drive away voters like you and me by telling us that not even the leaders expect to get 5%. Weird.

    (And yeah, Labour attitudes to potential partners has been and continues to be naive, arrogant, counter-productive and just plain stupid. One thing you can say for Key -- he understands the power of political expediency, and a little pragmatism in a leader isn't an all-bad quality.)

    Since Nov 2007 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Starrow, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I'd be surprised if anybody would dare challenge you as Supreme Village Idiot.
    How could they?

    Since Sep 2014 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • CJM, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    They’d just impersonate you.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    Are you going to answer the points he made?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 487 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F, in reply to John Farrell,

    Are you going to answer the points he made?

    +1. Jake, aside from Ian’s inimitable way of posting (which others appreciate though you may not) he’s taken a good shot at fisking your “statement of position” post from the other thread. Will you respond to the substance, or simply cry foul at the style, again?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

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