Posts by Nick Russell

  • Hard News: What we learned yesterday…,

    Hmm. I'm not sure this is a positive development at all and I worry that it might be set up to fail just like Winston's retirement savings referendum back in the 90s. A lot of people seem to regard referendums as an imposition or even an insult. They certainly do not provoke rational political debates. Ask John Key. It wouldn't take much for this to backfire and put the cause of drug law reform back by years.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 100 posts Report Reply

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

    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?

    How is she getting away with it? Every news outlet I can think of has reported that Labour is doing this. Labour has decided that they will plough ahead regardless and that's fair enough. People can vote for them, or not. It seems on the whole voters are less troubled by this than the media or the Government think they ought to be. Labour won't appreciate the comparison, but there are shades of Trump's tax returns here. He decided to thumb his nose at political convention and was successful. Labour is doing the same thing. That isn't the fault of the people reporting the election campaign.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Where are all the polls at?, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yeah, there is an enduring myth that polls in NZ are inaccurate but very little evidence. Sooner or later someone will trot out the cellphone line which is a complete red herring as far as I can see. And the discussions around margins of error are always depressing.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A thundering clash of, in reply to Euan Mason,

    Yeah, I still don't get why Metiria has been hung out to dry over this but Bill English gets a free pass.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Metiria's Problem,

    Labour must be fuming. Right now, this looks like the greatest act of Green sabotage on Labour since the Seeds of Distrust fiasco in 2002. Just when National was pondering how on earth they were going to attack Jacinda Ardern without looking like bullies, Metiria has given them a nice big stick and invited them to go for it.

    Go read Kiwiblog if you don't believe me. They think Christmas just arrived.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    Yeah. One reason the Government has become so utterly tone deaf and arrogant (cf Alfred Ngaro and Nicky Wagner) is because the Opposition is letting them get away with it. It wasn't always like this. Ask Aaron Gilmore.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    Now if only Labour could stop throwing themselves under the bus

    Not bloody likely. They'll find a way of letting National off the hook, one way or another.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance, in reply to simon g,

    Nope. Looks like he is going to try to tough it out.

    Pass the popcorn...

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance,

    If you are counting up the indictments on the arrogance in Government charge sheet, don't forget that Alfred Ngaro was caught accidentally saying what he really thinks about NGOs who dare to criticise the Government.

    The point is not that all of these things happened. Rather, it is that the Government is not sufficiently bothered to do anything much about of any of them. And that is the real evidence of a Government that has been in office too long, I reckon.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Being Inconvenient, in reply to izogi,

    I don't know, I think the "sorry if you were offended" type apology, or non-apology, can actually be quite useful sometimes. First, it allows the person who originally made the comment, or their supporter, to say that they have apologised and want to move on. Then, when they are called out for the non-apology they can claim victim status ("it's a pile on! I'm being demonised!"). And overall, the half-heartedness of it conveys very accurately how little the person cares.

    Underpinning all this is the assumption that the person who gives offence should care about giving offence. And often they don't very much. It's a particular problem for politicians who will always be skeptical of whether other people's offence is genuine or manufactured for some short term political advantage. If they don't believe the offence is genuine, the apology won't be genuine. And offence over things people say on Twitter etc is a very plentiful commodity. No real risk of a shortage there.

    None of which is any help at all to someone who is in fact genuinely outraged by something somebody says. But at least in this case they know that the Minister is sorry enough to bother making a cursory apology but probably not sorry enough to mean it, and that that is good enough for the Government. That's valuable information with an election coming up.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 100 posts Report Reply

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