Island Life by David Slack

Read Post

Island Life: I have aspirations going forward

69 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

  • David Slack,

    You must have written your share of quacking speeches DS?

    Guilty as charged.

    Who the hell really listens to them anyway...although I'll never forget that Mike Moore election night speech.

    And that's the point: the remarkable ones really are memorable, and enable you to form a strong impression about the speaker and about the ideas they're conveying. (Flattering or not.)

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Bryan Dods,

    ...we are moving into a post-ideological era. We have seen what strong ideologies like communism and national socialism can do and of course the Muslims are held back by their ideology.

    Kent, capitalism is a strong ideological concept also. Is that included in your hindrance list?

    Perhaps it is causing us to be 'held back' from our full potential as well.

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Such malevolence and smallness from Slack. Blogs are so revealing.

    So are comments. Enough of that please Stephen.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cresswell,

    Commenters here have been pointing out (correctly) that on day two you'd hardly expect Key's speech to be chock-full of policy.

    True. But the complaint here about Key's speech isn't about its lack of policy, it's about a lack of John Key.

    What Key promised wasn't a policy speech but a "values" speech -- a speech telling us "who is John Key and what drives him" -- a speech laying out for us his core values. If that's what he delivered, then he's even emptier than he looks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Kent:

    Well, that's an argument but I don't think it's a good idea to reduce complex and highly contentious matters of political philosophy to bumper stickers. Just ask Francis Fukuyama whose rather dense 1989 essay The End of History?, and the 1992 book based on it, ended up in some very strange places in pop political discourse. (And much the same thing has happened to Samuel P. Huntington's equally complex and contentious theory of 'The Clash of Civilizations' has been all to easily reduced, and I'd argue distorted, into politically useful soundbites.)

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

  • simon g,

    Peter Cresswell has nailed it, much more succintly than I did.

    If you are looking for a guide to my political philosophy then I suggest you look no further than the core values and principles of the National Party.

    I'd like to look a little further, John, if you don't mind. Like ... why did you join, leave and re-join? Did your values change, or did theirs?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Kent Parker,

    Bryan, who wrote Das Kapital? Was it Carl Marx. He belongs to a different era. The complex ideas in it have, as Craig has rightly pointed out about other books, been diluted into 10 second soundbites too.

    When I talk of post-ideological, I do not mean no ideas at all, I simply mean no one leading idea. No single belief in one idea such as capitalism, or free market, or nanny state, but a whole conglomeration of ideas or ideas being picked out of the basket intelligently and as required. That is something I can see in Key's approach. The ideas, the experts, the books are all out there. It's a matter of using them wisely and not being slave to any single one (like Brash tended to be).

    Hawkes Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    David's observation that the speech did nothing to distinguish Key from the Prime Minister, and failed to offer any insight into what he believes/stands for, is an accurate one. No one expects a full policy portfolio in the first 48 hours, but surely a new leader must articulate at least one central objective and point of differentiation. Y'know, something along the lines of "Under my leadership, National will ensure/prioritize/relentlessly promote ... [something]". Even if that something is expressed in somewhat general terms.

    Now we know Mr Key and friends will be promoting lower taxes, but Labour/UF are clearly positioning themselves to do the same (unless Cullen really wants to ensure that Labour loses next time by continuing in his moronic ways).

    If Labour really shifts the tax brackets in a significant way, and lowers the business and middle income tax rate to 30c, what's National got left?

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • kerry w,

    I, too, am a child of the 60s, raised in a state house by a single mother.... and it is quite a different experience from state house/single parent in this millenium. As others have pointed out, you must have resources to enable opportunities and these days single parents have become the dumping ground for all social evils,
    whilst they are are given the barest resources to make decent lives for their families. It was nice to hear Key acknowledge his background, and say that civilised society is measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members, but i fear it was a populist ploy.

    Just like the uninformed rant about the Clark sisterhood being anti-male - I can't think of one thing that the sisterhood have said or done to specifically make life better for the peasant women and children in NZ. WFF was catch-up for all the equity we lost in the 90s and functioned as cynical vote-catching. They have been so careful to be populist that they let the peasants sink. Does no-one acknowledge that raising children successfully IS a job? That it is social investment of the most crucial kind?

    Integrity is not a cloak you don for special occasions to impress people.

    Since Nov 2006 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    How are they going to afford tax cuts when us teachers are going to be marching through the streets next year demanding 20% pay increases, massive cuts to class sizes (meaning mo teachers needed = mo money), more non contact time for HODs (meaning more teachers needed = mo money), better facilities (meaning mo money needed), more PD (= mo money) and thats just for starters. ;)

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Yamis, rest assured that teachers will be among those lucky wage-and-salary earners allowed to take home more of their earnings each fortnight/month, once tax brackets are shifted and the middle rate cut. :)

    Of course this won't help you with the class size and non-contact time issues though, but it might help you feel a bit better nonetheless. ;)

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    DC_Red. More of an issue with how we get letters in the mail from the government saying that because we are low wage earners we are entitled to a community services card. This after several years at university working in a 'valued', and 'important' position where we are expected to act like professionals, guidance councellors, social welfare officers, cricket coaches, data entry drones before we even get to teaching. Relative to other wage earners teaching salaries have plummeted in the last 15+ years and the proposal is to have us moving with inflation. pffffft. Fun job though :)

    It's proposed that our negotiations are brought back into line with election year so look to see Labour and National either both pandering or playing hard ball in two years time.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Now we know Mr Key and friends will be promoting lower taxes, but Labour/UF are clearly positioning themselves to do the same (unless Cullen really wants to ensure that Labour loses next time by continuing in his moronic ways).

    just as an aside, a composer / producer friend of mine has been contracted by an agency to do a soundbed for next year for a tax related TV campaign. He knows more but won't or can't say.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Tell them you won't be their friend anymore.

    Shows though that somebody is aware of where they stand on something. Mind you, they could change their mind 19 times between now and then. Any hint on which party it MIGHT be?

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    More of an issue with how we get letters in the mail from the government saying that because we are low wage earners we are entitled to a community services card. This after several years at university working in a 'valued', and 'important' position where we are expected to act like professionals, guidance councellors, social welfare officers, cricket coaches, data entry drones before we even get to teaching.

    You forgot prison warden. :)

    More seriously, I'm surprised to hear that f/t teachers are considered low wage earners. I wonder what the cut off is for that? The average f/t salary in NZ pre-tax is (or was recently) $45,000. It's hard to see why any qualified teacher should start under that.

    Perhaps write to your local MP and ask him what he's going to do about it now he's so important! :)

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Stephen Walker said that, "a direct quotation doesn't have a "that" before it."

    Oh noez!

    But I get what you're saying.

    The trouble is, written English isn't quite capable of expressing all the nuances of spoken English.

    However, now that I've had a think about it, I probably wouldn't use quotes in the Key speech, but I also don't think he was necessarily talking about himself in the third person. It was more that he was paraphrasing what other people had said about him - a sort of fictional quote.

    or am i confusing basic grammatical rules here?

    Honey, there ain't no such thing.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Manakura,

    Facade:

    1. the face or front of a building
    2. an outward appearance, especially a deceitful one

    (From the OED)

    Unless you were comparing him to architecture, then I would suggest that yes Cushla you were accusing Key of being something, i.e. full of shit. It doesn't really matter what motivated the comment, it was an accustaion, especially if you consider what consummate means... but lets not get overly pedantic.

    However it seems we are agreeing more or less in that one should judge him on policy and more importantly actions assuming National gets a chance to govern under him. It would be nice to believe that the nature of his childhood has given him and understanding of government that is more compassionate and sophisticated than your average Nat.

    I have to agree with Peter C though, Key's speech failed to live up to its own objectives as an indication of his values and so on. So all we can say it was a bad speech... big deal?

    Whaingāroa • Since Nov 2006 • 134 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    If you are looking for a guide to my political philosophy then I suggest you look no further than the core values and principles of the National Party.

    Wow, I aced Mr Slack's Key test by answering how I'd expect a stereotypical national party member to vote, & now it sounds like Key's saying as much - that he's just a passenger.

    That's kinda reassuring; I'm a bit tired of personality-cult (or anti-cult) party leaders. I'm not a National voter & I doubt I ever will be, but it'd be nice if we began to hear about predictable ol' National in the news rather than one lunatic individual.

    HOWEVER, aside from the usual verbiage about mainstream values, I'm still not sure What National Is. Surely it's Key's job to tell us? He's just begging the question, really, isn't he?

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 533 posts Report Reply

  • Manakura,

    Now this would be slightly stronger reason for suggesting some of John Keys various pronouncements could perhaps be a facade:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0611/S00487.htm

    Whaingāroa • Since Nov 2006 • 134 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    From that Scoop link:

    "I firmly believe in climate change and always have," was new National Party Leader John Key's answer to nine-till-noon interviewer Kathryn Ryan earlier this week when asked whether the climate was being affected by Greenhouse gas emissions.

    Here's a good example of this "no past" problem I was rambling on about before. Now we can be pretty sceptical about Helen Clark's recent enthusiasm for the subject, because she's got a public record, and so we can compare rhetoric with reality.

    But when Key says "always", he means ... what? Not since primary school, obviously. But since when? Did he, somewhere along the line, do something about this belief he's "always" had? Anything?

    On closer inspection, his deep commitment appears to result from going to the movies.

    Perhaps that's why he entered politics. He's Peter Sellers, in "Being There".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Bryan Dods,

    My big hope is that in Key we have a powermonger who has a brain capable of memory, for a change.

    How many are there now who cannot 'remember' important events less than 6 months after they happened?

    Brash has recently placed himself on the list with regards to his email.

    Ever since the forgetful witnesses at the Winebox enquiry we have had these witless characters using this pathetic excuse.

    Perhaps a basic memory test before we elect them would sort out Members who can't remember.

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Might I suggest a personal hynotist, and lie detector machine for every politician in parliament. It will clean the place up noticeably I'm sure.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Glaister,

    My opening remarks were a throwaway observation about this growing tendency for politicians to speak of themselves in the third person.

    That's false... your opening remarks were not principally a general lament. Rather you tried specifically to do a sort of silly, pretend-whimsical undermining of Key's seriousness (the sort of thing people often do with ex's new lovers, e.g., "How's lawyer-stick-boy then?") thereby laying the predicate for all the oleaginous point-scoring that followed, culminating in your final, made-up-out-of-whole-cloth insinuation that Key might be just an empty suit "courting the job for its own sake". (Note the egregious goal-post shifting by Slack immediately after this: he invites us to think that Key's speech is a failure to the extent that it isn't as good as or lacks the visionary impact of MLK's "I have a dream" speech. Good God.)

    but if [a speech] is so broad and general that it fails to mark out your position in any clearly definable way (nor in any way that distinguishes your position from that of the Prime Minister you wish to replace), then the question: “what does John Key stand for” remains unanswered.

    This (i.e. the bit after the 'if') too is false. As many have noted, Key was busy mending fences, reassuring various constituencies, telling people what he's not, and so on. Boring but necessary centrist repositioning in other words. But beyond that we did get a bunch of stuff about Key's background... which chimed rather nicely with core Nat. stuff he cited: personal freedom, individual responsibility. Helen Clark's conference address notably never mentions either freedom or responsibility (just as well since she's completely incoherent on both topics, e.g., w.r.t. smoking bans in debate last year) and neither the word "individual" nor any strictly related concept appears in her address. So I say Key's speech is distinctive enough if one is prepared to be minimally charitable. Sadly, however, that's not Slack's metier.

    Since Nov 2006 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    That's false... your opening remarks were not principally a general lament. Rather you tried specifically to do a sort of silly, pretend-whimsical undermining of Key's seriousness

    eh? if you want to criticise David's tongue-in-cheek parsing of Key's oratorical style, be our guest. but the above criticism doesn't really cut it IMHO because you seem to have imgained something that is not there.

    i took David's main point to be that the speech we had all been waiting for for months was somewhat of a fizzer because it was rather thin on substance. seems like a valid opinion to me. but just an opinion. others will have herd it differently. fair enough.

    but i can't find any "goal-post shifting" in David's comments. so maybe i just lack vision going forward, eh?

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    So I say Key's speech is distinctive enough if one is prepared to be minimally charitable. Sadly, however, that's not Slack's metier.

    Oh, I've known him a few years now and always found him very charitable, especially in the matter of buying one lunch.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.