Posts by simon g

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics,

    Stuff was providing a platform for Taxpayers' Union propaganda only yesterday. With no qualifications, no context - just a simple copy and paste.

    Don't expect that to change. They've been discredited so often and so comprehensively and editors still couldn't care less. The copy is free, and no other criteria are needed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1277 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cannabis reform is a serious…,

    I'm honestly baffled by it. Sure, I understand why politicians on the constant treadmill say and do dumb things; for eleven months of the year they barely have time to think. But when you have a long summer break, time to refresh and reflect, and after all that you then make a deliberate decision to start the political year with a press conference and announcement on ... this? They might as well shout "Jacinda eats dolphins". You could come up with dozens of better issues for National in five minutes.

    Where's the motivation coming from? What strategic genius has prompted this? Just ... baffled.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1277 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cannabis reform is a serious…,

    National's position on this is not smart politics. The usual response on such issues is to say "conscience vote" and let different MPs appeal to different constituencies. So on, for example, marriage equality, the MPs (like Bridges) who opposed it did not taint the whole party. The nods and winks said "We're conservative enough" to their base, while Key and co could legitimately say they voted for it, even spoke eloquently for it.

    Giving Paula Bennett a new job title, announcing it at a press conference today ... they're basically declaring that they want the party to be seen as obstructionist. And all the National MPs who differ from their leaders will be forced to waffle and backtrack. Nuances like "conscience vote" won't cut through into public perception. Even if they are allowed one.

    Backing a losing horse, and requiring the whole team to back it too - that won't end well.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1277 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cannabis reform is a serious…,

    It's yet another re-run with familiar lines ...

    People who take time to read, study, consider: "Ivory tower academics", "out of touch elites".

    People who don't bother: "Free speech, so there!'

    Media: "We provide balance: cite evidence on one side = got reckons on the other!"

    It's going to be a long 2 years.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1277 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    thoughts and prayers

    An early favourite, I think.

    Have we had Backstop yet?

    (Also, I vote against people's names being included, unless they've been turned into words, like Jacindamania).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1277 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Just quietly, this is a big deal,

    National's response: "“This is mickey-mouse policy made on the hoof."

    If they can't find good policies, could they at least find a good dictionary? Next they will be telling us there's an elephant in the room, a dog's breakfast with the cat among the pigeons.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1277 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    Leak

    Featured in the media all year, but especially in the second half. Not a new word of course, but for sheer prominence, must be a contender.

    Tape

    Nominated in the sub-category of "Misused/Outdated Word of the Year". Various recordings have been in the news, none of which are on tape, but we baby-boomers like to cling to our ancient vocabulary, and we run the media, so there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1277 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Behind those Herald…,

    And here we go again ...

    On Stuff today, another "woe is us" story about landlords' pain and suffering. The source? A thing calling itself "Stop the War on Tenancies", which pretends to be an organisation representing property investors, but is in fact nothing more than one guy with a blog who usually goes on about Treaty issues and assorted talkback fodder, somewhere to the right of ACT.

    Of course he is entitled to his rants, and if Stuff want to publish them as opinion pieces that's fine. But it's not fine to present this as "news", and by now surely media outfits should have developed a certain caution before publishing any old propaganda that lands in the inbox. At the very least, professional journalists should be asking about the source, and then disclosing it to their readers. It takes a matter of seconds to find out online that this is not what it seems - so why don't they bother?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1277 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Getting serious about the…,

    Thanks Russell & co, a good read.

    I suspect any affection for a 2019 date is more to do with the fact that a cannabis question on the ballot would dominate the general election campaign.

    I think that's the wrong way round. The election swamps all other issues in the media - in fact, sometimes the "horse race" commentary even swamps the election issues themselves. An election day referendum gets less coverage than one held during a term (the referendum on MMP in 2011 was a case in point, far more important than the flag, but far fewer column inches).

    On the other hand, turnout on election day is much higher. And I'd guess that the opposition to reform will focus on scaring a conservative base, and getting them to lick their envelopes in a smallish postal ballot. Whereas in a general election the less engaged majority, whose attitude is more pro-reform but not "to the barricades", will outweigh the antis.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1277 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Midterms,

    Some premature pessimism here. Stick around for Texas, California, etc.

    Projecting results while people still vote in the same state is a minefield.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1277 posts Report Reply

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