Posts by Craig Ranapia

  • Hard News: Campaign 2017: Buy a…, in reply to simon g,

    I don't think the Financial Times is controlled by the NZ-LabourBot, but never mind.

    No - it isn't. It's owned by the Japanese Nikkei Group, for connoisseurs of media irony. Read into that what you will.

    And to be honest, I think it's perfectly legitimate to ask if there would be the conspiratorial hysterics over this if Jian Yang was a white immigrant and had taught at, say, Sandhurst or West Point. (Two military-linked institutions where you don't need to be a party member and high-ranking intelligence officer to hold a post.)

    I don't think so, and if that makes me "cynical" well I wish New Zealand, and its media, didn't have such a long and shabby history of Yellow Peril Journalism.

    Agree there. Certainly no fault on the part of the individual. What is unusual is that given the National Party had full knowledge of this background, that it did not exclude the individual from standing as a Member of Parliament. If they made that judgement, then that's just plain weird and unusual.

    No, it isn't Katherine. What's weird here is that you apparently think it's OK to exclude someone from public service because you suspect they're a spy by association -- no hard evidence let alone a conviction required. If Bill Sutch was still alive, I'm sure he'd have some thoughts on that.

    And I'm sorry, you can't say "no fault on the part of the individual" when you're attacking his integrity and saying he is unfit to be an MP in the first place. I've noticed the media is trying to spin this off into an allegation that Yang made a false declaration on his citizenship application. This is an incredibly serious charge, and I"m still waiting to see any receipts as opposed to a lot of nudge-nudge wink-wink innuendo.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12354 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Labour's RNZ+ plan: largely coherent,

    and frankly, the market for major media companies ain't that healthy right now.

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the irrefutable economic argument against putting TVNZ on the block if you're not a purist Randroid who thinks the government has no business being in the media game at all. It might be hyperbole to say putting TVNZ on the block wouldn't cover the redundancy bill, but not by that much.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12354 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Campaign 2017: Buy a…, in reply to BenWilson,

    Sure, but National has also had nine years of actually running the tax policy with all the resources of government at their disposal. It's not really the same thing at all.

    I take your point as far as it goes, and it's a fair one, but I'm not sure it really goes far enough. Yes, I know being in Opposition is not the same as being in Government - to be Captain Obvious for a moment. Incumbents have a record to stand (or fall on), but opposition parties aren't exactly locked in a basement broom closet with a calculator and a box of paper clips. They are well-resourced, both in and out-of Parliament (with taxpayers picking up a non-trivial chunk of the tab), so yeah... I expect everyone to develop, articulate and defend the policy. I expect the media to not just talk about "speaking truth to power" (and those who aspire to it) but get shit done.

    And. look, I'm not forgetting that the only poll that matters here is a secret ballot. If I walk into the polling place and decide to vote for whoever has the nicest bum? Well, nobody can stop me -- and they shouldn't be able to. I certainly don't want to get into condescending fap about "low information voters", but that doesn't mean I don't think pols and the media still need to lift their game about providing it.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12354 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Campaign 2017: Buy a…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It’s in every debate, every interview. The Herald on Sunday covered it in two opinion columns and an editorial on Sunday.

    Yeah, and every single time Ardern gets a pass on some variation of "I don't want to constrain the Tax Working Group". They're not going to be handed specific terms of reference? (And I sure have enough respect for Ardern and Grant Robinson that I don't believe for a second they don't know exactly what they will be.) We don't have any rights to have some idea of what they'll be before we vote?

    I suspect we're going to have to agree to disagree on this, but it's not just National that has nine years to come up with a lot better than "Oh, trust us and we'll show you the details at some point after the election." And to give the media credit where due, English and Joyce are getting eye-rolled when they try it on. Hard. Relentlessly. Day after day. As they bloody should.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12354 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Campaign 2017: Buy a…,

    On tonight's show, Te Karere reporter Ripeka Timutimu, who followed Ardern along a string of campaign stops, frankly admits that it's very difficult not to get caught up in Jacindamania when it's happening around you.

    Try harder - though I guess that ship has well and truly sailed, hit an iceberg and gone down with Kate Winslett clinging to the bow. Sorry, but I'm really out of patience with this because, in the great scheme of things, puff piece coverage of highly orchestrated photo ops? Not that important. When you're seeing someone who might actually be leading a government in two week getting away with vague waffle about major policy being determined by working groups long after the election? That matters.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12354 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: The Surprisingly Sincere Up…, in reply to izogi,

    Can anyone with the legal knowledge comment on the rules around photographing one's marked ballot paper and posting it to social media?

    This is really a thing? I know this comes across as pompous as hell, but I like the idea of polling places being secular sacred spaces and one of the things they're consecrated to is the secret ballot. If you want to tell everyone who you voted for, go to. That's your business, but that's where I draw the line.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12354 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to izogi,

    A narrative of Winston over-claiming some super then paying it back doesn't seem ethically worse than Bill over-claiming a housing allowance then paying it back....

    But it's somehow a complete nothingburger that Winston just had no idea he was getting the wrong rate of super for seven years, but Metiria Turei claiming a benefit she wasn't entitled to is an existential threat to civilization that required her (figurative) head on a pike?

    I know a week is a long time in politics, but this is absurd and more than a little dishonest.

    By the way, I have an honest to Blog pensioner in the house. He doesn't have any problem declaring his relationship status and every penny of income he's received every single time MSD asked -- which they've done more than once. He also knows what rate he should receive.

    If you think other beneficiaries -- who can't whip out the chequebook when they get caught out -- aren't routinely put through hell for a lot less, you're dreaming. (Funny how our media Winnie stans have never thought to ask MSD how many people they've investigated, slapped punitive sanctions or prosecuted for similar "trivial errors." Sure don't recall Peters ever voting against "cracking down on benefit fraud.")

    Still, I'm glad Winston is now all woke about privacy and "character assassination." Does this mean he'll stop doing it?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12354 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Metiria's Problem, in reply to warren mac,


    Ah, the fancy way of saying "there is no alternative" when you want to dodge responsibility for the alternative you've already chosen. YMMV, but I think we've got five weeks to not let Ardern and English slide on that one.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12354 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Metiria's Problem, in reply to warren mac,

    Even the Greens abstaining would get Labour/NZ First across the line. I doubt the Greens would vote against a change of government even though it would be painful to them to sit on the sidelines again.

    And so what? Let's write the reality check, Winston can stomp his little cloven hoof all he likes, but he's not the only game in town. I know there probably isn't enough political spine going spare these days, but Ardern and English could co-ordinate clear signals that if Winston wants to pout his way into a constitutional crisis that's his call. But he doesn't get to unilaterally dictate the shape of New Zealand's government from the back seat.

    If he doesn't take the hint, I'm sure voters would richly reward him for triggering a fresh election, or landing us with a minority government nobody's shown much stomach for before.

    Again, I know the punditocracy has gone all in on the "Winston King/Queenmaker" storyline. Doesn't mean anyone else has to play along.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12354 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Metiria's Problem, in reply to izogi,

    I wonder if the whole 5% thing in a poll must cause people to reconsider if they want to risk voting for a party that mightn't make it over.

    It's also equally plausible that enough people might look at a poll that leaves Labour every bit as beholden as National to a bigot and his personality cult with zero counter-balance and decide not to risk it.

    I know this is not the narrative Labour and the Greens Derangement Syndrome afflicted punditocracy are going all in on, but still...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12354 posts Report Reply

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