Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Let the big lies flow

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  • bob daktari,

    shine away Rob - however here you talk to those who can see through spin, Labour's continuing problem is to get to those who believe the media regurgitation of what they're told and press released

    Now the flag is done I'm growingly bitter that for all that transpired we are no closer to knowing if NZ wanted a new flag... and angry that Key couldn't just start the process and claim victory at the end regardless of result... potentially a victory with the oppositions help, instead we've a bloody stupid waste of time for all

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell,

    Re the UBI - I'm sorry, but exactly what did you expect? It's not National's job to help Labour develop good policy, or to provide constructive feedback. They want to ensure Labour stays in opposition, and they stay in Government. So they try to find and exploit flaws in your policies. That is not dirty politics. That is a democracy at work.

    None of what has happened here should come as even mildly surprising. Doing hit jobs on Labour policies is basically what Kiwiblog and the Taxpayers Union do - and they have every right to do that. It might be a good idea to anticipate the attacks and pre-empt them when releasing a policy, or even announcing that you are thinking about it, rather than giving the other side free hits.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Nick Russell,

    That is not dirty politics. That is a democracy at work.

    No, it’s adults being dicks – so much for the greater good of the country or healthy and reasoned debate, it’s not the system I want dictating, nay scrub that, deciding our future…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy2,

    "They want to ensure Labour stays in opposition, and they stay in Government. So they try to find and exploit flaws in your policies" there was a time when governments were about more than the 3 year cycle, they were about ensuring that their citizens were feed and looked after to a minimum standard. That was how we got state houses, pensions, state schools etc. Admittedly almost exclusively brought in by Labour Governments. Now they are looking at what happens when large populations are frozen out of the work force for life. We have 2 choices allow the corporations to run mad and have Victorian conditions or have a sane society were provision is made for citizens to have a life where they are feed and have shelter. Seems to me if everyone is part of society they need to do their part to make society function.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2016 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Nick Russell,

    It might be a good idea to anticipate the attacks and pre-empt them when releasing a policy, or even announcing that you are thinking about it, rather than giving the other side free hits.

    Still waiting for anyone to explain how Labour continues to be unable to perform this most basic political function, year after year.

    Where's their problem? Who can fix it? Why aren't they?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Nick Russell,

    Doing hit jobs on Labour policies is basically what Kiwiblog and the Taxpayers Union do

    To be fair, though, unless DPF is no longer on the self-appointed Board of the Taxpayers' Union (which is not actually a registered union for very good reason -- nice set of rules in the societies' register), Kiwiblog and the Taxpayers' Union are really just parallel mouthpieces for the same tiny handful of lobbyists, designed to multiply the volume of the message and feign credibility for the same statement in different domains. Sure, you can join the TU but the Board is largely immune to being dumped or instructed to represent certain views, and you're not allowed to vote on anything at an AGM except what the Board chooses to put before the membership.

    That's not to suggest that it really helps to complain about this, because it's just how those guys do things, and various media isn't helping by eating it up and re-publishing press releases verbatim, often with little journalistic analysis. But it seems misleading to suggest that they're really separate entities with independently derived opinions on things.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Salmond, in reply to Nick Russell,

    Re the UBI - I'm sorry, but exactly what did you expect? It's not National's job to help Labour develop good policy, or to provide constructive feedback.

    Fair question. Certainly I agree It's National's job to put up arguments against the idea if they disagree. But it's the media's job as well as Labour's to call out arguments that are poorly conceived, as the $38billion / 82% tax rate clearly was. It doesn't take much journalistic nous to ask "how'd you get that figure?" before deciding whether it's newsworthy or not.

    My assessment is that people like David Farrar have been emboldened to make ever more absurd claims about Labour policies, because they've had pretty good success at having their previous absurd claims treated as fact. It's the "death panels" technique coming to New Zealand.

    To be clear, I also think it's the media's job to probe and question numbers when Labour produces them, too. I think they do that already. But ask yourself this: when was the last time you saw multiple media outlets reprint a Labour estimate that some National idea would cost many billions of dollars, and do the reprints without asking how the figure came about or seeking balancing comment from National? Interested to see what people come up with...

    Wellington • Since Jun 2015 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Mark,

    A Yes/No Option

    Audrey Young thinks that "it should be easy for John Key to defend himself against inevitable criticism" on the flag process, clearly implying that most voters will accept his responses.

    For example, she tells us: "To those who say people should have been asked first if they wanted change" Key's reasonable response would be "it was a question biased toward no change"

    But is Young right when she suggests that most of the public would cheerfully accept that argument from Key ?

    Given that:
    - an April 2015 Herald-DigiPoll (ie The Herald's very own Pollster) found that almost 80% believed that the first referendum should ask if the public wants a flag change in the first place
    - 66% of voters in the February 2016 UMR Poll (including 47% of Nats) agreed that the flag referendum has been a distraction and a waste of money
    - that all recent polls suggested large-to-overwhelming majorities opposed a flag change
    and
    - a February 2014 Colmar Brunton found only 2% thought changing the flag was an important issue
    ... I suspect Audrey may be barking up the wrong tree.... Bless her.
    -

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell, in reply to Rob Salmond,

    The likes of David Farrar and Jordan Williams know how to get the media's attention. Labour should have had their own narrative on cost and tax rates ready to go when they announced this, so they could pre-empt the inevitable attack, but it seems they didn't and so the Government got free hits. Don't blame the media for that. They don't have the resources to do independent analysis a lot of the time, so they will regurgitate anything that sounds plausible. You can use that to your advantage, you know.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    A big part of the problem we have here is this unquestioning repetition of statements by the media without any checking whatsoever. Truthiness results when people have seen/read/heard the same lie so many times without it ever being challenged that they accept it as truth. It’s a terrible way to ru(i)n a country. Perhaps the repetitive sound bite aspect of this method will eventually be remembered as John Key’s legacy.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Nick Russell,

    narrative

    ?

    You usually only need one of those when the lies require stitching together ;-|

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    I realize that Rob can't control the media narrative, and so he's doing his bit:

    when National infects our public conversation with lies and excuses, I’ll be here on Public Address providing a little ray of sun.

    That's fine. But obviously there are two different issues at play here.

    1) Pointing out the unfair and false - check. 2) Anticipating and combating the unfair and false. No check here.

    Saying "But Stuff / Paul Henry / Hosking / Herald etc have got this wrong' is howling at the wind. It's what they do. It's what they want to do.

    I would expect Labour to have - at the very least - prepared lines for the entirely predictable (they can't possibly say it wasn't predicted, that's absurd).

    "John Key says Clinton's Treasury Secretary is barking mad - will he repeat that on his trip to Washington?" etc. etc.

    If you have global giants in your corner, and you can't invoke them to counter ants like Farrar and Williams, then your communications set-up needs an overhaul.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Mr Mark,

    I suspect Audrey may be barking up the wrong tree

    ... or ring barking the whole forest - just in case!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Nick Russell,

    Don’t blame the media for that. They don’t have the resources to do independent analysis a lot of the time, so they will regurgitate anything that sounds plausible.

    Sorry but I have to take issue with that comment Nick. I've worked with a lot of journos over the years and most of them have inquiring minds. If I could calculate in a few seconds that Farrar's inflated $38b cost relied on every working age New Zealander quitting their jobs, it must surely have occurred to some journalists as well. It's hardly brain surgery.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Nick Russell,

    Don't blame the media for that. They don't have the resources to do independent analysis a lot of the time, so they will regurgitate anything that sounds plausible.

    In other words, there's a serious problem with New Zealand's current state of democracy?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    So if David Farrar is lying, how about telling us just how Labour is going to pay for UBI, higher GST, higher taxes on all the bands, what?
    And is $200 a week going to be enough
    Let's wait and see how Finland manage it first before climbing on the band wagon, or is going to end up like that other great Labour policy, "flag change"

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    And is $200 a week going to be enough

    No, it's not. It's a ridiculous amount. Yes, a Jobseeker Allowance is $210/week, but almost everyone also receives an Accommodation Supplement, because you cannot live on that. In Christchurch, it's up to $65/week, and in Auckland it's higher. I support a UBI - because of artists, the disabled and chronically ill, people leaving abusive relationships - but it MUST be enough to live on, or it's pointless.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    beggar's belief...

    ...or is going to end up like that other great Labour policy, “flag change”

    National's policies seem to be heading towards - 'spare change?'

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Just been to hear Guy Standing who gave examples of pilots of UBI - some in India. Says it can be small and incremental to start with. Just the idea that everyone is getting the same means that people start working and acting in a more community minded way. It is all about social justice. People need a bit of security to start with, then they can make decisions about their lives and communities. It also has to go to everyone at the same rate including children.

    He also said easy to pay for by getting rid of subsidies by which he means tax credits, and things like state payments to landlords to rent out their properties. Also building up funds through returns from investments in public assets (eg Norway has huge funds from years of state owned oil exploration). Also NZ needs to tax capital on death, which we removed several years ago.

    Start small and top up by need (not means testing). That would help current beneficiaries.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    end up like that other great Labour policy, “flag change”

    i.e. appropriated by National, who then attempt to impose it in an unrealistic timeframe without sufficient public discussion or expert input?

    Labour have called for a UBI to be discussed, not for one to be introduced tomorrow. Given that a UBI would need to operate stably over the long term, there needs to be cross-party agreement on the details. Some “wait and see” is already built in here.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1930 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Johnson,

    The economy promises of the last 30 years have demonstrably not been achieved . They have failed in their target performances and thus any ceo would seek an active programme of new policy. ....but no, coz national dont blink ever baby

    hamilton • Since Mar 2016 • 99 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Also building up funds through returns from investments in public assets (eg Norway has huge funds from years of state owned oil exploration).

    Whereas our govt stopped investing into the Cullen fund and keeps shifting the date when they will resume.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    It also has to go to everyone at the same rate including children.

    Did he say why? Most discussions I've seen lately propose a lower rate for children.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    National’s policies seem to be heading towards – ‘spare change?’

    Oh Ian, you sound disappointed but never mind, that seems to be Nationals plan...
    In parliament yesterday the inimitable Bill English informed us that...

    Part of the key to this Government’s success is relentless dissatisfaction

    So, it is no surprise that we are dissatisfied with their fumbling flip floppy ways.

    Well, it worked for Toyota...
    Not even their soundbites are original...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    relentless dissatisfaction

    Aha!
    So that's the R & D they are backing...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

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