OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Don't put words in our mouths, Rob

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  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Steve (Curtis), I’ve blocked you from commenting. Your behaviour is in bad faith, hostile and not acceptable.

    Thanks, Russell

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2925 posts Report Reply

  • LI_politico,

    My favorite part was-

    Having said that, one group I think did not overreact – despite their strongly critical stance - was the New Zealand Chinese community

    That's one way to reject the fact that many other minorities took exception to the way this information was presented.
    Aaron Lim in yesterday's Herald said

    But the Muslim, Indian, Pacific Islander, Arab and Persian communities should also beware. Xenophobes are usually equal opportunity racists. Labour just hasn't found a social problem to blame on your communities yet.

    Not only is the data analysis unconvincing, the policy solution is also inadequate, lacking in proper impact analysis. This whole episode is making me wonder if the left (major parties) courts the minority vote because they think it's low hanging fruit or they are actually committed to equality in a multicultural society. I won't be the only person thinking that and trying to de-legitimize views by pitting minorities against each other is fairly unsavory.

    Since Dec 2014 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to LI_politico,

    trying to de-legitimize views by pitting minorities against each other is fairly unsavory.

    Yes, can't wait to see how they wedge solo mums and disabled people to scrounge a few more votes. Great to see you here, too.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19633 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Salmond,

    I have reflected overnight about the various reactions to my SST opinion piece, especially from those I named in that article.

    First, and less important, Phil Quin protests that he never made any comparisons with the Rwandan genocide. I disagree with him, and I’m perfectly happy to point people to Phil’s original letter and let them make up their own minds about who’s playing cute word games and who isn’t. Here’s the link

    More important were the reactions from Keith Ng and Tze Ming Mok. I made three references to Keith and Tze Ming in my piece (along with Chuan-Zheng Lee). In order:

    First, I said:

    After I published Labour’s method online, Keith Ng, Tze Ming Mok, and Chuan-Zheng Lee – all skilled analysts, all otherwise critical on this topic – all agreed the name-based ethnicity analysis was statistically sound, robust, and accurate.

    On twitter yesterday, I pointed Keith to posts and tweets from each of them individually expressing support for the *method,* which was all I was discussing at that point in my article. (Link also to Storify stream I reference in my tweet

    I understand Keith’s concerns with the *data*, although I don’t agree with him on that issue. But data and method are not the same thing, and I was discussing method alone. I think that is clear and unambiguous in the article. So I stand by this comment.

    Second, I said:

    Of course, they and others retained other criticisms of our work, relating to the steps after the main data analysis. I’ve engaged with them online through the last week, addressing their concerns and presenting additional data to support Labour’s conclusions.

    Tze Ming’s criticism of this was that she, and others, did not accept the arguments I made last week when I was engaging with her and other critics. I agree with her on that, but never said that she had accepted anything. So I stand by this comment, too.

    Third, I said:

    Having said that, one group I think did not overreact – despite their strongly critical stance – was the New Zealand Chinese community, including Keith, Tze Ming, and Chuan-Zheng. Their criticism was less about Labour’s intentions, and more about the impact of these revelations on ethnically Chinese New Zealanders.

    Here, I think I made a mistake. When I said “…less about Labour’s intentions, and more about the impact…” I was trying to compare this group’s reaction to the reaction of Phil Quin and others I had been discussing in the immediately preceding paragraphs. In my reading of the various reaction over the course of the week, that comparison is accurate.

    Having said that, I accept in retrospect that my sentence can be construed in another way, to imply that members of the New Zealand Chinese community had few concerns about Labour’s intentions. That is untrue, as Keith and Tze Ming have pointed out.

    I regret writing this sentence in an ambiguous manner.

    (Posted on PA threads for both my piece and Keith’s, and notified to all four named parties via twitter.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2015 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Rob Salmond,

    But data and method are not the same thing, and I was discussing method alone.

    So despite the fact that several experts (Dr Black et. al., are experts) have called your data rubbish* you are still happy that you applied the analytical method correctly.

    We have a bunch students here learning how to do science. None of them would be so utterly stupid as to persist with your line of reasoning. If any did we would consider it a failure of our teaching.

    Honestly I understand your reluctance to admit you were wrong. It is entirely human and normal. But by continuing to insist that what you did was just fine you are convincing me (and I'm guessing others) that you should have no role in managing this country. That opinion carries over those for whom you work, The Labour Party.

    I'm guessing you (and/or your employers) believe that any damage you do now will be forgotten by the next election and that the votes you lose are balanced by votes you gain. If that is true, again it convinces me that you should have no role in managing this country.

    You have hurt a large group of New Zealanders and continue to do so and you don't seem to care.


    *My word, they simply highlighted the multiple flaws in your data collection

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4445 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    If that is true, again it convinces me that you should have no role in managing this country.

    I think the most important criteria when judging a particular ‘elite’ in relation to its suitability to rule is respect for the rule of law.

    The controversy over the use of this data for this purpose is (to my mind) fundamentally a human rights issue. Such issues underpin the very fabric of our society. For this reason, this is the criteria on which I judge any incumbent or contender – i.e., on their actions in either upholding the rule of law with respect to human rights, or their actions in challenging breaches of the rule of law by other ‘elites’.

    The Law Society reports to a UN Committee on this very matter – that is, the incumbent governments actions in upholding or breaching human rights in New Zealand. Their 2014 report is here;

    https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/68541/United-Nations,-Universal-Periodic-Review-17-6-13.pdf

    But of even more import/interest is their comment on the Government’s treatment of their report/concerns regards human rights breaches in its final report to the UN;

    Disappointingly, the Law Society’s concerns were not addressed in the final report. For example, no reference was made to the enactment of Bill of Rights-inconsistent legislation, to the issues with the reporting mechanism, nor to any of the Law Society’s rule of law concerns.

    https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/lawtalk/lawtalk-archives/issue-834/new-zealands-human-rights-performance-under-the-spotlight

    To my mind, there are much bigger fish to fry in terms of intentional, unlawful breaches of our human rights protections in New Zealand – we have a Government who refuses to acknowledge such breaches, who hides them from international attention/scrutiny and who continues to commit them with little to no regard for the rule of law.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    unlawful breaches of our human rights protections in New Zealand – we have a Government who refuses to acknowledge such breaches

    Yes, but the choice is not purely between "vote National" and "vote Labour", so it's entirely possible (and reasonable under MMP) to write them both off as hopeless.

    I'm still hoping that we can get from "the only data available is racist" to "here's good data", but I don't think that's likely. I think Labour tried to do something very difficult in one of the few ways they could, and it had an entirely predictable outcome. National, OTOH, are trying to do something fundamentally evil and succeeding very well, aided by people like Tze Ming Mok and Keith Ng. Their path is not easy either, but I think they're getting away with pretending they're not actively helping National. Which is pretty poor, given the usually wide-awake PA audience.

    It is very, very John Key: start a commotion then stand back looking calm and measured while other people get all worked up about it. In this case it doesn't look as though they had to do more than agree that the data from Labour is racist.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1169 posts Report Reply

  • llew40,

    National, OTOH, are trying to do something fundamentally evil and succeeding very well, aided by people like Tze Ming Mok and Keith Ng.

    Eh?

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Racial profiling is evil. I don't think there's ever a context that makes it not evil.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3886 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    So despite the fact that several experts (Dr Black et. al., are experts) have called your data rubbish* you are still happy that you applied the analytical method correctly.

    We have a bunch students here learning how to do science. None of them would be so utterly stupid as to persist with your line of reasoning. If any did we would consider it a failure of our teaching.

    Honestly I understand your reluctance to admit you were wrong. It is entirely human and normal. But by continuing to insist that what you did was just fine you are convincing me (and I’m guessing others) that you should have no role in managing this country. That opinion carries over those for whom you work, the Labour Party.

    I’m guessing you (and/or your employers) believe that any damage you do now will be forgotten by the next election and that the votes you lose are balanced by votes you gain. If that is true, again it convinces me that you should have no role in managing this country.

    You have hurt a large group of New Zealanders and continue to do so and you don’t seem to care.

    This is it.

    There are several issues at play here. One is the problem of strong inference from weak data. The second is the political use of that inference. The third is how that inference was perceived.

    The first is problematic, but not wickedly so. The second is highly problematic, and through persistence of use has continued to compound the issues inherent with the first. From the first day, foreign money became supplanted by foreign/'foreign' people. That could have been foreseen, but once it became obvious it was your responsibility to deal with and not promote. You failed.

    This has in turn created a third problem: perceptions by those affected (Asian New Zealanders) of the use of that data. You *don't* get to claim independence of these perceptions, whether or not they are proportionate to your intentions or your actions. Not in politics (which isn't fair) and not in real life (which is an interplay of people and minds). You especially don't get to claim independence when you have maintained a position despite these reactions.

    I've had to deal with a perception problems of my own, where the difference between actual intent and perceived intent is real. In that case, the answer is simple; stop doing the thing causing a problem/offense, apologise, shut up.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to llew40,

    TL; DR: "wake up, sheeple".

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to LI_politico,

    This whole episode is making me wonder if the left (major parties) courts the minority vote because they think it’s low hanging fruit or they are actually committed to equality in a multicultural society. I won’t be the only person thinking that and trying to de-legitimize views by pitting minorities against each other is fairly unsavory.

    There are those, ranging from Fox News Republicans (trigger warning: NY Post) to Left commentators (trigger warning: Chris Trotter), who claim that Scandinavian-style social democracy is incompatible with multiculturalism. The Fabians sensibly describe combining the two as a modern-day challenge, but not impossible.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5410 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Would some caring soul please take away Mr Salmond's shovel? Y'know, before he actually gets to China?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2925 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Moz,

    Yes, but the choice is not purely between “vote National” and “vote Labour”, so it’s entirely possible (and reasonable under MMP) to write them both off as hopeless.

    As it stands right now, the least worst solution would probably be a boosted Greens vote in 2017, so that they're in a bigger position to 'keep Labour honest'.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5410 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Moz,

    pretending they’re not actively helping National.

    Labour are, yes.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19633 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Sacha,

    Labour are, yes.

    In what way do you think Labour are helping National gain increased support, I wonder?

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Labour are, yes.

    In what way do you think Labour are helping National gain increased support, I wonder?

    David Farrar has been gleefully depicting it all – and in particular the successive blog posts here – as a meltdown on the Left.

    Which could, of course, mean that he's a tiny bit worried.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Russell Brown,

    as a meltdown on the Left.

    Oh, I see. But that meltdown is likely confined (largely) to member/funders of the Labour Party.

    I’ve been reading a lot of the social media commentary on this (including that type of commentary on MSM sites). What the actual media are saying is pretty irrelevant to my interests (anyone writing a publicly available article or blog is part of an ‘elite’ grouping of some sort or another). What’s most interesting to me are the general public comments – and that might also be why DF is worried.

    PS. By media as an ‘elite’ I don’t mean elite in a negative sense – rather in the sociological sense.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Actively helping National avoid the issue by creating a focus on the presentation of it.

    The issue itself will be resonating strongly with Auckland voters, however, and as Russell says, Farrar will have delved into that by now.

    Still, which team would you put money on to spin their way out of this without shoving their feet in their mouths? Not a high bar, I know.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19633 posts Report Reply

  • DPF, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Not worried, just gleeful. Keep up the entertainment.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 78 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Sacha,

    Still, which team would you put money on to spin their way out of this without shoving their feet in their mouths?

    Spin their way out of what - the Auckland housing crisis, or foreign direct investment in our housing stock?

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Sacha,

    The issue itself will be resonating strongly with Auckland voters, however, and as Russell says, Farrar will have delved into that by now.

    I know one of these ‘Auckland voters’ personally, and I’ve previously posted about him. Miraculously, he doesn’t drag my ethnicity into it.

    Still, which team would you put money on to spin their way out of this without shoving their feet in their mouths? Not a high bar, I know.

    In any case the issue seems to have gotten too big to be spun out of by anyone regardless of political colours.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5410 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Aaaaaaand Willie Jackson weighs in ...

    What did people like former Helen Clark advisor Keith Ng and economist Shamubeel Eaqub say when Maori rights were breached during the Tuhoe raids by the police in 2007 or when Labour rolled out their shameful foreshore and seabed act in 2004? Nothing. Just like Nick Smith and Stephen Joyce who are citing the race card over Twyford’s allegations.

    Ironically, they are the same ministers who backed Don Brash’s racist 2004 campaign alleging “Maori special rights.” As one of the architects of the ‘'Iwi Kiwi’ campaign, Joyce loved the response that he received from ignorant kiwis who believed that Maori were getting special treatment.

    Labour won't be too uncomfortable about being accused of racism by a party that ran the most racist political campaign in the last couple of generations. They are on target with a chance now to atone for their past mistakes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • william blake, in reply to nzlemming,

    Would some caring soul please take away Mr Salmond’s shovel? Y’know, before he actually gets to China?

    ..and pass down a lamp and a canary as its getting pretty toxic down there.

    Since Mar 2010 • 377 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11483288

    ...or are we being "liberal bigots" by not tolerating the racists?

    Since Mar 2010 • 377 posts Report Reply

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