Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A message from The Fabians

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  • Russell Brown,

    So even though I'm currently of the view that the obsessing about the predicament of the Labour Party is greatly outrunning the supply of actual news about same, I've agreed to do this gig. In part that's because the only other thing I've done with the Fabians struck me as offering the basis of a coherent and credible economic strategy that got us beyond the short-term window of much current policy. It seems a place where it's possible to have a sensible discussion.

    Feel free to offer your constructive thoughts on the matter.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    So even though I’m currently of the view that the obsessing about the predicament of the Labour Party is greatly outrunning the supply of actual news about same

    I’d totally disagree with you there, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth thinking about. Not least because, in my view, everyone should want to see a healthy opposition acting as a check and balance to the government of whatever day. I may be a Tory, but it serves my interests as a citizen much better if Labour isn't stuck playing out some political version of the Oresteia.

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

  • Steve Barnes,

    The predicament of the Labour Party is simply that National's scumsucking propaganda has left New Zealanders believing that, somehow, Labour had done something so wrong that it is big news. The fact of the matter is that it is National that needs to be looked at. We have been, as a Nation, railroaded into accepting three more years of decisive governance by a group that thinks nothing of destroying our country for the sake of increased profits for a small group of corporations.
    We need an inquiry into how National manipulated public opinion to the point of irrationality and we need it soon before they do ireperable harm.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I may be a Tory, but it serves my interests as a citizen much better if Labour isn’t stuck playing out some political version of the Oresteia.

    Of course. But the beltway frenzy is outrunning the number of things to actually report, and resulting in Patrick Gower's ridiculous series of tweets about Chris Hipkins this morning. Then there's the "Left" microparsing every sentence uttered by whatever guy they don't like and writing splenetic tweets about it. I'm feeling unfulfilled.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I’d totally disagree with you there

    Oh, bum. I’d totally disagree with that, because I agree with Russell’s original sentiment.

    But the beltway frenzy is outrunning the number of things to actually report, and resulting in Patrick Gower’s ridiculous series of tweets about Chris Hipkins this morning.

    Exactly -- there's about as much news value here as various commentators drawing up fantasy Cabinets a week before the return of the writ.

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

  • simon g,

    Big Issue: Future direction of the democratic left (or centre-left, social democrats, democratic socialists, pinkoes, choose your preferred label). As discussed around the world, with regard to parties calling themselves Labour or SPD or Democrats or ... you get the picture. It's a grown-up thing.

    Small Issue: who gets to lead the NZ branch. Not looking like a grown-up thing - yet.

    It would be nice to think that there is more to Labour's leadership contest than whether Trevor likes David or Grant likes Jacinda or another David likes some other David. Is there?

    Or to put it another way, what are the philosophical differences between the candidates? That's a genuine question, because I have no idea. In fact, I'm not sure if they know either.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1329 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to simon g,

    It would be nice to think that there is more to Labour’s leadership contest than whether Trevor likes David or Grant likes Jacinda or another David likes some other David. Is there?

    One would hope so.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to simon g,

    It would be nice to think that there is more to Labour’s leadership contest than whether Trevor likes David or Grant likes Jacinda or another David likes some other David. Is there?

    Well, yes... especially when there's plenty of precedent for perfectly functional political entities being lead by people who very publicly didn't like each other very much at all. Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln is well worth a look for a masterclass in that art.

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

  • Stephen Judd,

    Abraham Lincoln didn't have to deal with Paddy Gower demanding he account for every piss splatter in the urinal.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln is well worth a look for a masterclass in that art.

    Sounds like just the kind of bodice burster Paula Bennett will have been cramming in preparation for her elevation.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R, in reply to Russell Brown,

    In part that's because the only other thing I've done with the Fabians struck me as offering the basis of a coherent and credible economic strategy that got us beyond the short-term window of much current policy

    I very much enjoyed attending the voyage of a lifetime discussion in Wellington. Any idea if this is likely to travel south this time?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Abraham Lincoln didn't have to deal with Paddy Gower demanding he account for every piss splatter in the urinal.

    Eloquently put, Stephen.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2932 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Wallington,

    “ economic secu
    rity” is a cu
    rious excu
    se…
    for pu
    tting the arse
    before the torse.

    e.e. cummings

    Waikawa Beach • Since Sep 2013 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Abraham Lincoln didn’t have to deal with Paddy Gower demanding he account for every piss splatter in the urinal.

    No, he went into a bear bit of a convention as a rank outsider, a bitterly divided party, and a nation lurching towards civil war and still managed to not only win the election but convinced his three rivals to join the Cabinet in critical posts. So, you know… I really think we all need to reduce Gower to his proper place in the scheme of things. One useful result of reading history is getting some perspective on contemporary bullshit.

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

  • Phil Wallington,

    “No more sleaze. No more cash for questions. No more lies. No more broken promises. I say to the Tories: enough is enough! Be done, be gone!”

    Tony Blair 1996.

    That's what Labour needs to say... and, of course, to live up to the rhetoric -- unlike Mr. Blair.

    Waikawa Beach • Since Sep 2013 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    The Fabians is a great organisation. It has kept the focus on important issues like inequality and redistributive economic policy for the last couple of years with regular free talks in Wellington. Serious, informed stuff. They had hundreds at Nicky Hagar's talk a few weeks ago. All run by a few dedicated people. Worth supporting.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    It may be a temporary glitch but the link from the post to access the Fabian Society doesn't work and their web page is also unreachable at the moment (3pm 29th September).

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Gower is of course a synecdoche for the media pack. In Lincoln's day the telegraph was barely a thing.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Gower is of course a synecdoche for the media pack. In Lincoln’s day the telegraph was barely a thing.

    Another useful thing history does for the attentive mind is to disabuse us of the delusion that we're doing anything for the first time -- and you might want to brush up on your history there, because while the mass media as we understand it certainly didn't exist "the media pack" (and radical new technologies like the telegraph and the railways) did have an influence on opinion of not only Lincoln but the conduct of the American Civil War.

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

  • Stephen Judd,

    Right, of course media scrutiny and turnaround and reach and immediacy then was exactly the same as it is now and it was foolish of me to pretend otherwise. I bow to your mastery of the history of technology.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison,

    A lot of people seem so concerned about Labour now. As if Labour is sick and needs to get well or die.

    Getting well involves media interviewing a wide range of labour wanna bes who seem to be massively concerned the party is not lead by a person like them.

    The media opinion on this is out of control, it will drive your mentality wild with its underlying theme of “corrupt labour.”

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    As I mentioned in another thread, we already know there are divisions in the Labour Caucus, but I'm pretty sure it's nowhere near like the Lange-Douglas split of 1989.

    So I have a right to ask: how much of what we hear right now is about the party's actual divisions, as opposed to the whole thing being used for selling schadenfreude-flavoured popcorn?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    underground zero…
    Mon, it’s so apt dat de ‘Election Debriefing’
    is to be held on de basement level…
    of The Owen Glen Edifice…


    Lost in the Bowen Triangle…

    Gower is of course a synecdoche for the media pack.

    Love that word…

    But the beltway frenzy….

    Is Beltway now a synecdoche for NZ’s Sphere of Political Influence…

    "Inside the Beltway” is an American idiom used to characterize matters that are, or seem to be, important primarily to officials of the U.S. federal government, to its contractors and lobbyists, and to the corporate media who cover them—as opposed to the interests and priorities of the general U.S. population.
    The Beltway refers to Interstate 495, the Capital Beltway, a circumferential highway (beltway) that has encircled Washington, D.C. (the capital of the United States) since 1964.

    People we can do better than tacking locally meaningless Americanisms on things, can’t we?
    Heck, The Beehive Buzz or Beat would even be better than Beltway…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    As I mentioned in another thread, we already know there are divisions in the Labour Caucus, but I'm pretty sure it's nowhere near like the Lange-Douglas split of 1989.

    This one isn't so much a split within caucus as a power struggle between caucus and the membership, though. Caucus has made it as clear as it possibly could that it won't work with the guy the members and the union chose. Trevor's refusal to be gagged follows the same kind of logic - caucus wants to assert itself. This could get patched over if Robertson decisively wins the contest this time (as I imagine he will), but the tension isn't going to go away. And if he's so confident of his numbers, why he had to attack Cunliffe for the man apology yesterday, and why so many of his colleagues continue to speak to the media, is really unclear to me.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Then there's the "Left" microparsing every sentence uttered by whatever guy they don't like and writing splenetic tweets about it. I'm feeling unfulfilled.

    LOL. Yup, we should give up this hair of the dog media feast. Labour have now got 3 years to get their shit together. It's not going to all be sorted out by us over the next few days.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

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