Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A. B. B.

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  • Emma Hart,

    John Banks is a nasty little homophobe. Dick Hubbard is a self proclaimed moral conservative who goes to the Big Gay Out because he's discovered that gay people have votes. Even though he doesn't want them raising children.

    The only advantage you could give Hubbard over Banks in this area is that one of them has learned to keep his mouth shut.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Sylvia Park - a destination shopping centre that is the envy of other Southern Hemisphere nations.

    Best lulz of the morning! I like the idea that there are government officials in Paraguay and Botswana who are dead impressed with Sylvia Park.

    I had a little read of the candidate booklet that came with my voting papers. It was interesting that Steve Crow's profile managed to completely avoid mention of any of the pornographic enterprises he's been involved with. Is he ashamed?

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The only advantage you could give Hubbard over Banks in this area is that one of them has learned to keep his mouth shut.

    Actually, Hubbard delievered a mea culpa at the GABA meeting, and essentially said he was ignorant and didn't really know any gay people when he signed that silly letter about gay parents. I'm more inclined to believe him than I am Banks, and it sounds like the crowd at the meeting was too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    North of the bridge - I'll come out of the closet and admit that ten minutes with the candidate information booklet brought me to the conclusion that the most responsible act was to rip my ballot paper into very, very small pieces and burn it.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    I thought Steve Crow's profile was very well written. But then Banks' profile looks utterly reasonable too, if you were unaware of his ability to talk utter bullshit.

    I am definitely in the "Anyone but Banks" camp, and have decided to back Hubbard. At least there will be a bit of continuity if he was to get in. Another new mayor will take longer to get to grips with the role, and at least we know that Hubbard is diplomatic. Let's face it, probably the most important role of the Mayor is greeting foreign dignities - the Mayor only has a single vote on council, just like every other councillor.

    I too cannot bring myself to vote for CitRats. After the total mess they made of Auckland's finances in the 90's, they have zero credibility with me. What astounded me was that the Western Bays community board only has 8 candidates for 5 positions - 3 CitRats, and 5 City Vision - what sort of choice is that ? (I wonder if Hobson's choice is any better ;-).

    Cheers,
    Brent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Gah. John Banks for mayor again? What is it with conservative Christian fundys and local government? They've had the better part of a decade in charge of Auckland's mayoralty and they've done a great job of stuffing the place up. As a group they represents but a fraction of the population, and their cheerless legacy is the city has lost its mojo.Auckland needs a mayor who actually understands what most people look for in their urban environment.

    The fundy's for mayor thing is a symbol of everything wrong with Aucklands governance - poor candidates, apathetic voters, and an overall sense of hopelessness. Frankly, the candidates this time around leave me in a slough of dispair, and short of central government intervention to force reform, I can't see any solution.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    North of the bridge - I'll come out of the closet and admit that ten minutes with the candidate information booklet brought me to the conclusion that the most responsible act was to rip my ballot paper into very, very small pieces and burn it.

    LOL. By the time I was asked to not only FIND seven Health Board candidates I could bring myself to vote for, but then rank them in order of preference, I gave up. Someone might have thrown the booklet.

    Actually, Hubbard delievered a mea culpa at the GABA meeting, and essentially said he was ignorant and didn't really know any gay people when he signed that silly letter about gay parents. I'm more inclined to believe him than I am Banks, and it sounds like the crowd at the meeting was too.

    And that's why Auckland has the Hero parade back, right?

    I would like to believe him, but I'd need something like him publicly saying he was in favour of gay people being allowed to adopt. I'm terribly, terribly cynical about Road to Damascus Conversions.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Actually, Hubbard delievered a mea culpa at the GABA meeting, and essentially said he was ignorant and didn't really know any gay people when he signed that silly letter about gay parents. I'm more inclined to believe him than I am Banks, and it sounds like the crowd at the meeting was too.

    Jesus-fucking-Christ, with friends like this who needs enemies? Sorry, Russell, you can believe Hubbard if you like, but I wonder if you'd be quite so forgiving if he signed a "silly letter" endorsing the notion that you and Fiona were unfit to raise your own sons? And then three years later all the prick has to say is 'whoopsie'?

    Perhaps it's his responsibility to be informed on issues - and that doesn't involve "really knowing" gay people (whatever that means) - and showing the basic decency to be genuinely accountable for his actions. There's nothing wrong with changing your mind, but trying to worm your way out of getting it wrong in the first place?

    I don't know what's more disturbing - Hubbard utter political and moral vacuity, or the prospect of this arse getting a pass again.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    LOL. By the time I was asked to not only FIND seven Health Board candidates I could bring myself to vote for, but then rank them in order of preference, I gave up.

    In all seriousness, Emma, I felt like shit about it. This is the first time in my life I've declined to exercise my right (and my responsibility as a citizen, IMO) to vote, but really... I just couldn't bring myself to vote for the least of far too many evils. The incumbents rarely reach the dizzying heights of competence, and the challengers... oh God, I've wiped my butt on 1-ply toilet paper with more substance.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I thought Steve Crow's profile was very well written.

    Yeah, I was reading it thinking, "Oh, this guy sounds like a really well-rounded candidate." I got a bit of a surprise when I saw his name.

    I originally thought his bid for the mayoralty was some sort of publicity stunt, but it seems like he's running as a serious candidate.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    In all seriousness, Emma, I felt like shit about it.

    I'll sit down later and finish the job, but it does get me down. Because if I've got vote fatigue over it, how do less politically-obsessive people feel?

    And I'm more than a bit pissed that Bob Parker's going to win the mayoralty because people have heard his name before.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Graham,

    Fuck! Is it a symptom of lack of interest in local body politics that I'm the first one to make comment?

    FGS - have we forgotten already what a divisive, confrontational bully Banks is (was and IS still)?

    He has consistently misrepresented things and combined with the possibility of another round of CitRats we're just back to where we were three years ago when we tossed the tossers out!

    Thank you Russell for reminding us of Banks' and CitRats woeful record.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 217 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Graham,

    Oops - guess I wasn't the first (but in my defence the System system DID say I was starting the debate)

    And that's why Auckland has the Hero parade back, right?

    Actually, Emma, the Hero Parade isn't running because of lack of support from Council. It's running because of general incompetence on the financials of Hero Festivals in past years.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 217 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rose,

    God help us all, if we get Banks back with David Hay as his deputy!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Jesus-fucking-Christ, with friends like this who needs enemies? Sorry, Russell, you can believe Hubbard if you like, but I wonder if you'd be quite so forgiving if he signed a "silly letter" endorsing the notion that you and Fiona were unfit to raise your own sons? And then three years later all the prick has to say is 'whoopsie'?

    I'm inclined to credit him because he said sorry shortly after signing that silly letter (it was the one that Ralph Norris signed too, based -- like most of the "evidence" put up against the Civil Union Bill that year -- on bogus research about families with same-sex parents) and because he's walked the walk since. He hosted a celebration of 20 years of homosexual law reform, among other things.

    Unlike Banks, who claims to have reformed himself every three years and then proceeds to spew hatred as soon as he doesn't need the votes any more. Banks actually denied denied using any anti-gay rhetoric since the last election, only to have GayNZ bust him. He's either a liar, delusional or both.

    That said, Alex Swney would be my pick for mayor, all things being equal. But it looks like he can't do any more than make it easier for Banks right now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville,

    Absolutely Craig, wtf is up with the North Shore election? You'd be forgiven for not knowing there even was an election here, there's been so little coverage of it.

    I do love mayoral candidate Bob Pope's photo in the little book... he appears to be about 120 years old and is in full military uniform with a row of medals extending off the left of his chest!

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    FGS - have we forgotten already what a divisive, confrontational bully Banks is (was and IS still)?

    Mark: If that's the basis you want to cast your vote on, that's entirely your affair. (And I suspect I've seen just want a prick Banks can be at closer range than most PA readers, so don't think I'm a fan of the guy.) But, to be blunt, I'm still gob-smacked at how Hubbard managed to squander what I don't think it's OTT to call a remarkable amount of good-will from across the political spectrum so quickly. There might not be a malicious bone in the man's body, but you've got to wonder if he's just politically naive and never really got his head around the difference between local body politics and being CEO of a closely held private company, or whether he's a dangerous flake who makes policy on the hoof, and whose values are determined by the last person he talked to.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • daleaway,

    Last week I went to a mayoral candidates' meeting in my (non-Auckland) neighbourhood - the hall was crammed, they had to put in extra rows of seats. In this area at least, people care strongly about the local issues. The questioning was very sharp, and candidates had really boned up on their local statistics. Quite impressive.

    I like to meet the candidates, because it allows me, as usual, to decide which one I would leave my wallet with at the beach when I went in swimming. That's the one who gets my vote.

    Years of trialling have proved this decision-making system infallible. Cross my heart.

    Since Jul 2007 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Graham,

    Well - as Russ said, Hubbard has apologised for it. And he only did it once, as opposed to numerous times by Banks.

    I know we're on the same side when it comes to Banks - the question is whether Hubbard is anti-gay or not. The fundy thing is a bit worrying but he does seem genuinely guileless and open. Unlike Banks.

    And while his personal opinion is not necessarily pro-gay because of his religious beliefs, at least he doesn't "spew hatred" on an ongoing basis.

    And then look at his record.

    I have new footpaths in my street. New works are happening around the city. Sewage and stormwater seperation are being addressed with more urgency, even if the funding is a bit controversial. There IS heritage protection taking place. Urban design IS being addressed.

    Banks talked about getting tough on boy racers. bollocks. Banks got sand on Kohi beach. That's pretty much it.

    Hubbard was on my show on George yesterday morning and admitted that the options given to Aucklanders left him vulnerable for Banks to come along and portray things from a rates-increase perspective only, without the resulting loss of infrastructural improvements being addressed. And lets face it, the rich Eastern Suburban wrinklies who vote don't care what the city will be like in 20 years time.

    you've got to wonder if he's just politically naive and never really got his head around the difference between local body politics and being CEO of a closely held private company

    Contrast Hubbard's dealing with his transition from CEO to Mayor with Banks' transition from National to Local government. Naive both of them may be, but one went down the bullyboy approach, the other seems to have built a consensus (Water protesters notwithstanding...)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 217 posts Report Reply

  • Jonty,

    <He's either a liar, delusional or both.

    I do believe Banks is mentally unstable. Mind you, if the stars were wobbling a bit more in their courses and he wasn't feeling slightly chastised, you could have had Holmes!

    Katikati • Since Mar 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I don't know if anyone else has had the same experience, but I've also been a little disturbed at how many Aucklanders who've said to me they're supporting both Banks and Hubbard throw in the qualifier:" I know they're terrible, but the other bastard is even worse."

    That can't be particularly healthy, no matter who eventually wins.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Smith,

    "Jesus-fucking-Christ". Um, Craig, could you perhaps not use this sort of language here? Ta.

    Since Jan 2007 • 150 posts Report Reply

  • Felix,

    what a divisive, confrontational bully Banks is (was and IS still)?

    If that's the basis you want to cast your vote on, that's entirely your affair

    I think that's a perfectly valid reason to rule a candidate out.
    I no longer live in Ak, but I lived there through the first reign of Banks and I remember well the air of deceit and corruption he bought to the office.
    I wouldn't trust him feeding my cat, let alone looking after my wallet at the beach.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    And that's why Auckland has the Hero parade back, right?

    it's back, but it's been re-named Boobs On Bikes.

    I was fascinated that Banks could be 'neutral' on B.O.B., given his strident opposition to the 'immoral Gay parade of sexual deviance' [my paraphrasing]. Hmmm, which parade was all about nudity (and sex) and marched down the middle of out Main Street; and which one ran at night time when the children were safely tucked in bed? Hero may have contained some nudity and sexual themes, but that was as part of a greater celebration of diversity.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    oh, yeah ... and as I've said so many times before here on PAS the angst over who will be Mayor is misplaced because the Mayor only has one vote. It's more important to vote in the Councillors/Ticket you want than one Mayor. Whichever ticket has the most votes will (largely) determine the way the council moves. Witness the last 3 years courtesy of a left leaning majority ...

    And if you don't believe me, then read Rudman
    who says it more eloquently than I:

    The flaw in the system is that it's designed to fail. We expect our mayoral candidates to promise the Earth, but give the mayor just one vote on the council, which makes decisions.

    Mayor Hubbard was delivered that lesson early in his mayoralty when his deputy, then City Vision leader Bruce Hucker, was quick to put him in his place of one.

    The only importance in selecting a Mayor is that s/he is the figurehead. What does it say about a city if it votes in a pornographer as Mayor? That we are an open and liberal society unphased by religious mores?

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

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