Posts by Ben Austin

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  • Speaker: The Brexlection, in reply to linger,

    The smacking one would be closest in my experience yes, although for different reasons and no one is going to call someone a traitor to NZ for being pro or anti smacking.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 989 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection,

    The media culture of the country also makes a huge difference too, comparing NZ to the UK. Whilst Tom may rail against the Guardian's Comment Is Free pieces and the like post referendum as being evidence of anti democraticsour grapes, he should also draw his attention to the pieces being put on the front page of newspapers like the Mail, Express or the like. Remainers have literally been called Saboteurs within the last week on the Mail's front page. It should go without saying that the Mail/Express/Telegraph sell a hell of a lot more newspapers than the Guardian.

    It's almost made me pine for the gentle moderation of Mike Hosking

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 989 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection, in reply to linger,

    There has been idle chatter here and there of doing that, but think the closest they ever came was in the North East. But that was incredibly unlikely to happen for all sorts of reasons. That being said, the North East is basically more closely linked to Edinburgh than to the SE of England

    There really isn't any point them doing anything as the FPTP system would consign it to stunt politics. Perhaps at best they could run in London in the next Assembly, in 2020, as there is a List component, which they could make a tilt at.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 989 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    With respect, I think you're guilty of the same problems you've identified with the left. Coming out with "get over themselves" and "take a course in democracy 101" is exactly the same kind of sneering that you're accusing the Remain groups.

    Now having lived through the referendum campaign I really don't feel like taking lectures from people who haven't. It was the most divisive campaign I've ever experienced (not that I'm particularly old or experienced) and it's left fissures in English society (let alone the wider UK) that will not easily go away. I literally had friends assaulted by Leave voters, whilst campaigning in the most Remain parts of London. That's not the kind of thing that one gets over very quickly. It poisons everything.

    In many ways, the EU Ref was for England and Wales like the Scottish Indy Ref was for Scotland. I can't think of a recent New Zealand example, even though we are much more well versed with referendum campaigns than most.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 989 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection,

    Scotland is going to be very interesting as well, if just for different reasons.

    The SNP is polling well still, as it has for a few years at this point, so it is certainly possible that they take the last 3 seats held by other parties. It is also possible that the three parties actually take seats from the SNP. Some of the former Liberal Democrat seats are, comparatively, lightly held by the SNP and thus at least theoretically vulnerable. The Conservatives are also in with a shout for one or two other seats, then if their Scottish polling actually translated into seats, up to 5.
    Labour still hasn't recovered from their long decline, even while the Scottish leader, Dugdale grows into the role.

    So I think a bad night for the SNP sees them about 50-52. A good night sees them with all 59

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 989 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection,

    Now speaking as someone who spent Saturday canvassing in the very safe Labour seat of Vauxhall for the LDs, it is winnable. But that doesn’t mean to say it is going to be won, as the snap election means that there hasn’t been time to plan a campaign. All I can really say right now is that the local MP, Kate Hoey, is very vulnerable due to her being the Labour face of Leave and a close associate of Farage after the Ref, which plays incredibly badly across the constituency, which was if not the most Remain voting area then in the top 3 across the whole UK.

    Too early to tell what will happen there, but it was quite something meeting angry Labour members who were planning to defect to us. Corbyn/Hoey is a particularly awkward squeeze in a place like Vauxhall. What makes it even worse is that a lot of Corbyn’s strongest supporters were also strong Remainers and they can’t bring themselves to support Hoey either.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 989 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection,

    It is going to be an insane election, is basically my view so far. The polling is so badly against Labour in England and Wales that, if applied on a seat by seat basis, results could be as back to the 1930s, let alone the days of Foot. Now it is almost certain that the results won't be evenly applied as Labour is extremely well embedded in many of those seats, with useful local organisations and the like. However it does give the Conservative Party a vast menu of targets with which to play around with and that must extremely exciting yet challenging.

    Personally I think the PM has been very smart, from a party perspective. She's called it early enough that the Lib Dem resurgence probably won't be good enough on the ground, to regain some of the seats lost. She'll be able to squeeze a lot of Labour marginals everywhere, but especially in the latter's heartlands. She'll take a lot of the right leaning Kipper vote and activists. It's basically all win for her. What she does with that however is anyone's guess. All we know for a fact is that it won't help her a jot in negotiating with the EU27

    The Lib Dems are in an awkward place really. They've got a couple of very weakly held seats they need to defend and a long list of very good targets (that they've held till 2015) and other targets which they could, if things go well, take. Which could mean that they'll fail on all fronts as they try to attack on all fronts. What we do know is that they'll have the money to campaign - they raised somewhere between £1.5-£2m since the election was called and today they estimate they'll have reached 100,000 members, which is back to the level they were in the early 1990s. So that's big. It's just whether or not they can do enough with those people and get them out working the campaign.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 989 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Mike Moore: A pretty ordinary…, in reply to Hugh Wilson,

    I used to love Frontline! I hope it gets a showing on Netflix or the like at some point.

    Back to Mike Moore, I remember hearing in the late 90s from journos that he had retained a high profile if just because he was always ready and able to supply a reaction piece for radio or the like at a moment's notice, enhanced by his possession of some form of reasonable home studio in suburban CHCH. Which must have been rarer in those pre Skype/podcasting days.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 989 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…,

    The FT ran a story today based around an apparent increase in Uber executives seeking new employment.


    _ "For employees at Uber, quitting the company often means walking away from restricted stock units or stock options worth hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in Silicon Valley’s most highly valued private company. With Uber currently worth about $70bn, a typical middle manager position comes with RSUs worth hundreds of thousands of dollars that vest over a four-year period.

    “Historically, it has been incredibly difficult to recruit from Uber, which partly has to do with people being unwilling to leave their stock options on the table,” says Guillaume Champagne, president at SCGC Executive Search. “From a purely financial perspective, Uber would need to become an awful place for them to leave.”

    Nevertheless, in the past few weeks, Mr Champagne has seen an increase of about 5-10 per cent in the number of people interested in leaving, particularly those who are “a bit less of a culture fit”, he says. “To be fair, people typically know what they are getting into when they join Uber. They know it is a very male-dominated, high-octane, investment banking type of culture,” he adds." _

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 989 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Mt Albert: Cooperating,…,

    Assuming Labour holds Rongotai, doesn't this make Little's life a little easier? He's now got more wriggle room on his List

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 989 posts Report Reply

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