Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: We need to talk about Len

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  • Russell Brown,

    This morning's story opens with the words "Auckland Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse is refusing to back her boss" before eventually acknowledging that she'll vote today to allow him to carry after a motion of censure. And that most councillors are, like Hulse, declining to share their position in advance of today's meeting. And that the five councillors proposing the motion of no confidence won't have any luck.

    But before that we find out:

    The overwhelming majority of hundreds of responses to the editorial have backed the Herald, which is believed to be the first time the newspaper has called on a city mayor to resign.

    There's even actually a count of how many commenters on the Herald site and Facebook page thought Brown should. That must have been a fun job for the junior.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Who were those anti-Brown protestors from yesterday?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 564 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Several pro-Brown comments read out on Morning Report just now. Segue from Russell's announcement of Word of the Year before which was the previous item.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    “Auckland Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse is refusing to back her boss”

    At what point does The Herald step over the line into deliberately trying to deceive it's readers and are there any consequences for doing that?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Young,

    Who were those anti-Brown protestors from yesterday?

    No idea. About a dozen older folk, by all accounts..

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Is it true that in China at some time families of people who were executed were sent a bill for the bullet?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Several pro-Brown comments read out on Morning Report just now. Segue from Russell’s announcement of Word of the Year before which was the previous item.

    And then Christine Fletcher came on Nine to Noon and appeared to countenance an eCan-style government takeover of Auckland Council. I think we're through the looking glass on this thing now. Completely nuts.

    Somewhat inevitably, last year's register includes no declaration from Fletcher either.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And then Christine Fletcher came on Nine to Noon and appeared to countenance an eCan-style government takeover of Auckland Council.

    Folks wondering why, despite serious reservations, I committed ideological treason :) and voted for Brown? This is your answer: I actually used to have a lot of time and respect for Christine back when she was an MP, but she’s pretty much wiped her arse on the last shreds of that. And she’s a downright heavyweight compared to Cameron Brewer and Pallino.

    The overwhelming majority of hundreds of responses to the editorial have backed the Herald, which is believed to be the first time the newspaper has called on a city mayor to resign.

    Sorry for sounding like a cracked record, but could someone remind me who the fuck elected Shayne Currie, Bernard Orsman, Brian Rudman and Fran O'Sullivan to appoint the Mayor of Auckland?

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

  • Stephen R,

    I'm wondering how well it would go down if Len decided to kick off an EY investigation into all the things undeclared by the 5 councillors who called for a vote of no-confidence in Len, and then sheeted the bill home to those 5 councillors at the end of it.

    My guess is that it would be considered a bit rude.

    So, without being a Len supporter (not living in Auckland, as it were) I'm still seeing it as pretty rude for the Herald and co to be trying to ping Len with the bill.

    And it pisses me off when people try to tip over the board when they're losing the game; and that's what Christine Fletcher and the Herald seem to be trying (and indeed, the whole smear from the get-go looks that way).

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Sorry for sounding like a cracked record, but could someone remind me who the fuck elected Shayne Currie, Bernard Orsman, Brian Rudman and Fran O’Sullivan to appoint the Mayor of Auckland?

    You forgot John Roughan, though in fairness he doesn't always put his name to it.

    I do get the impression that the Granny's pontificating comes across as bare-faced axe-grinding, rather than being a genuine beacon of morality and rationalism. In the capital, the Dom has been tacitly anti-Celia from day one - the Basin Reserve flyover hubbub and today's article on making Welly more cycle-friendly is a case in point.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Stephen R,

    I’m wondering how well it would go down if Len decided to kick off an EY investigation into all the things undeclared by the 5 councillors who called for a vote of no-confidence in Len, and then sheeted the bill home to those 5 councillors at the end of it.

    Then maybe one of us, like Keith Ng or Giovanni, could do the groundwork instead?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    1863. None.

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

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to BenWilson,

    Is it true that in China at some time families of people who were executed were sent a bill for the bullet?

    Apparently, yes. At least, that's what I heard. And I also seem to recall hearing only a few years ago that they were going to stop doing that. Still, it's a huge improvement over feudal times when the family of somebody executed could also be executed.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    I do get the impression that the Granny’s pontificating comes across as bare-faced axe-grinding, rather than being a genuine beacon of morality and rationalism.

    Yeah, and I said here about Orsman’s more bizarre anti-Unitary Plan rips, The Herald is perfectly entitled to take an editorial line on whatever it pleases, no matter how fatuous (and downright dishonest) I think it is. But they’re not entitled to disregard what should be a hard-and-bright line between editorial opinion and news reportage. I wish there was a nicer way to say this, but The Herald’s determination to remove an elected Mayor from office has IMO passed vulgar prurience and reached the level of flat out deception, both by commission and omission of relevant context.

    And not for the first time, I think the Herald needs a reality check. The media is neither a judicial nor a legislative body. Sorry if this sounds a tad hyperbolic, but when it comes to an existential threat to democracy in Auckland Len Brown's cellphone bill is pretty small beer compared to an unelected, unaccountable and effectively monopolistic newspaper that has appointed itself judge, jury and executioner.

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

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    reached the level of flat out deception, both by commission and omission of relevant context

    That’s the way I see it as well. And honestly isn’t there some kind of press council or something that can (pointlessly I guess) censure them?

    The news media has legal and social privileges extended to them because they act in the public good, providing an important service to society. They are an important part of our social structures. If a media outlet, especially a large one such as The Herald starts to deliberately deceive in order to create or shape a story, surely at that point there should be some consequence.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Wallington,

    "About a dozen, older folk" at first I thought them friends of Madame Defarge... but it turns out they were simply protesting the lack of room up-grades and other freebies which are so liberally doled out to politicians and some media wankers... er, personalities, in return for favourable treatment.

    As one former Australian PM famously remarked, "There's no such thing as a free lunch."

    Waikawa Beach • Since Sep 2013 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    The news media have legal and social privileges extended to them because they are supposed to act in the public good,...

    There, fixed.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The whole meeting is being streamed live here:

    http://www.allaboutauckland.com/

    Turning into a bit of a circus with noise from the gallery + Dick Quax being Dick Quax. People need to respect the process.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Crickey. Rob Hosking just tweeted this:

    If anything will save @mayorlenbrown, it’ll be his opponents behaving like malignant guttersnipe. Learn from Ken Starr’s mistakes, folks.

    Also, Penny Bright's in the room. Sigh.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Snowdon,

    I finally snapped. No more Herald in my letterbox, after decades of loyal subscribing. I even managed to hold onto my principles and decline the offer of six weeks free Woman's Weekly. (Actually that bit wasn't hard...) I was tempted by an offer for the Saturday only Herald though - apparently John Roughan does not edit that. Still, I held out. Anyone else making a stand and going cold turkey on the cryptic crossword?

    Since Mar 2008 • 110 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    This morning’s story opens with the words “Auckland Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse is refusing to back her boss”

    It's all journalists have for politicians who refuse to answer the questions put. They should do this more often.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Dick Quax being Dick Quax

    Quacking like Donald Dick, presumably?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Susan Snowdon,

    Anyone else making a stand and going cold turkey on the cryptic crossword?

    There's only a million other ones online, so cold-turkey is hardly necessary.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • david kinniburgh, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Dick Quax being Dick Quax

    He's my councillor, and I really wish he wasn't. Likewise Sharon Stewart. Maybe its something in the water in Howick, but there seem to be an army of moralistic self righteous folks out here ( including the malevolent blubberous one who fired the first salvo ) All of whom have an extraordinary capacity for judgement/condemnation and no understanding of the place forgiveness has in this sorry world.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2012 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • david kinniburgh, in reply to Susan Snowdon,

    . No more Herald in my letterbox, after decades of loyal subscribing

    Amen to that.. I found the Herald front page resignation call partisan in the extreme, and certainly well below the standards I would expect of a wise observer of human nature. But then, a previous editorial was supporting Cameron Slaters status as an impartial journalist and hence able to keep his sources of "information" secret. So it came as no surprise. And where was the Herald when Jo Karam sued Kent Parker for defamation and the Counterspin website , which contained much valuable information, was shut down?? Asleep at the wheel I fear. ( update Counterspin has since returned)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2012 • 29 posts Report Reply

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