Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Barclay and arrogance

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  • andin, in reply to izogi,

    all politicians are untrustworthy.

    Most/all of humanity has that gene.
    That's why when it comes to governing others, we came up with them pesky checks and balances

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to andin,

    That's why when it comes to governing others, we came up with them pesky checks and balances

    Absolutely. What I'd really like to hear, but also really wanted to hear in 2014, is Labour's view on the current checks and balances, how they're failing (assuming it thinks they are) and what it intends to do to fix them.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to izogi,

    At the risk of bringing up a tired question (sorry!), how do people think Labour is doing with its response to this, given it’s the primary opposition party and the election’s approaching?

    It is interesting to read the press releases from Labour and NZ First to get a handle on the different styles in opposition;

    http://www.labour.org.nz/pm_s_leadership_in_question_over_barclay_affair

    http://www.nzfirst.org.nz/barclay_fiasco_exposes_national_s_low_standards

    As I mentioned earlier, Andrew Little did a really good job in my opinion during question time - given he had to walk over the broken glass that the Speaker had thrown in front of him on the issue. Not saying the Speaker acted wrong - he was right to bring up the relevant Speaker's rulings, and Andrew tailored his questions accordingly. Bill English's responses were weak and back footed.

    Little's style is neither a subtle/dirty politics player, nor an attack dog, nor a comedian in the House - all roles that JK could happily switch between. I think Little's style reflects having been involved in the role of mediator/negotiator for so many years. A principled sort of decision-maker - making judgments and taking actions based on objective criteria, which is the textbook approach to win-win conflict resolution.

    In the above two press releases, NZ First ends with a 'we feel sorry for you, Clutha-Southland' comment, whereas Labour ended with a 'time for change' comment. Very different psychologies at play there.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to izogi,

    Shouldn't parties be explaining to voters how they're going to make it so their MPs and Ministers can't get away with the kind of stuff that Barclay's being accused of?

    Thing is: If MPs and Ministers want to be shot of staffers, Parliamentary & Ministerial Services and the State Services Commission can explain the legitimate and lawful way to do it in excruciatingly granular detail to anyone who's interested. That's their job, and they do it well.

    "Don't go Full Nixon on staffers, stonewall Police investigations, monster complainants into going away and keeping quiet, then lie your arse off about all of it" shouldn't need explaining. Neither is the basic concept that MPs and Ministers are not exempt from the law. Any of it.

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

  • Dave Waugh,

    "Don't go Full Nixon on staffers, stonewall Police investigations, monster complainants into going away and keeping quiet, then lie your arse off about all of it"

    Sounds like standard tobacco company procedure TBH?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment

    I liked the photo accompanying this article:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/93908848/backbench-mps-stand-by-barclay-ministers-less-solid
    The caption should read:
    Soon to have more time on his hands, Todd Barclay and John Key consider getting their old band , The Village Idiots, back together again, pictured here with their new police compliance vehicle - great for riding roughshod over the great unwashed.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7885 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to izogi,

    let alone messages about how she has more integrity as an alternative to Todd Barclay.

    I don't think it's a particularly easy thing to go messaging about. "Never caught with hand in till". "Never illegally recorded constituents and colleagues", etc, are not really things you put on your CV. They're assumed.

    And if you did, you're taking all the focus off the misdeeds of your opponents and putting yourself under scrutiny. How can that possibly play into your favour? It gives endless opportunity for equivocation, the digging up of anyone with a beef with you (which is going to be thousands of people if you're a politician). That would be the very definition of not controlling the messaging.

    Of course they still like National in Clutha-Southland. It went National with a majority of over 14,886 votes, which creams the best effort by Labour, of 13,254 in Manukau. They could have stood a convicted murderer there and got in with a handy majority.

    The real effect worth worrying about is the overall party vote, as always. It will take some time to see if that's been affected. I find it a little hard to believe that being caught out lying so blatantly doesn't affect the perceptions of people wavering in their support.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to BenWilson,

    I'm less sure. National supporters (however wavering) will be all too ready to believe that, because their chosen party members have been caught lying, that means all politicians lie, therefore they may as well continue voting National.
    It's only the lukewarm Left supporters that might be influenced, and only towards a generic vote-the-bastards-out position; hence Labour's "time for a change" response is perhaps not so out of place.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Attachment

    It's worth looking at the various investigatory bodies around the world. One handy term is Independent Commission Against Corruption. NSW has one and it periodically makes findings that end up with politicians and their associates facing criminal charges. For that reason Australia doesn't have a federal one because the corruption is official and approved of (at least within parliament, which is what counts... although ... (damn, how do I get the image below the text?)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to linger,

    National supporters (however wavering) will be all too ready to believe that, because their chosen party members have been caught lying, that means all politicians lie, therefore they may as well continue voting National.

    Most will, yes. But some small number may feel that they don't like this National party, this time, with this leadership. You're always going for incremental gains in politics. Also, there may be people who would have possibly not voted that feel inclined to punish open dishonesty, particularly in the mouth of the actual PM.

    I doubt many people change their votes on something like this, to a diametrically opposed option. More likely is that those firmly supporting move to wavering. Those wavering opt not to vote. Those who opted not to vote against National last time (and just didn't bother) move to voting against. People who are strident fans of National in conversations around the nation will find it a little harder to wax lyrical when this incident is raised, will feel they need to apologize or equivocate, and will fall silent quicker. That's what a "swing" in numbers really means (IMHO). It's much more gradual, and via intermediate positions. But we can only capture detail like that from longitudinal studies and we don't get anywhere near as many of those in politics as we do simple polls.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • maxy,

    But this story does also demonstrate the limitations of relying on Gallery staff for political reporting. It was the Otago Daily Times reporter Eileen Goodwin (working in cooperation with the Herald's David Fisher) who broke the story of Barclay's refusal to cooperate with police more than a year ago, and Goodwin who revealed that the "employment matter" involved a clandestine recording.

    I agree and know for a fact that many gallery journo's are very embedded with MPs to the point of going to BBQ's at their house and going for regular nights out. I know this might be "just how it is", but how can you hold these people to account if something like this happens?

    Since Apr 2017 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Privacy Commissioner may become involved.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to maxy,

    how can you hold these people to account if something like this happens?

    It's very difficult and that's the point. With professional socialites like MPs it's superficially easier because they're either practicing being effortlessly interested and nice, or they already do so out of habit. One effect of that is of course that you feel obliged to reciprocate, by for example not making them look like an arsehole in public.

    With other political creatures it can be easier - at one stage I used to see David Farrar socially, but it was difficult to maintain the pretence of civility in the presence of his forthright political assumptions. Viz, less that he was a craven National lackey, more that he overtly assumed that everyone in the group was an amoral sociopath primarily interested in power and money (and that not being such was a character defect). It made discussing even the weather difficult. Watching his behaviour now it appears that he may have got slightly better at concealing that beneath a veneer of civility, but on the other hand maybe not...

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Moz,

    At one stage I used to see David Farrar socially, but it was difficult to maintain the pretence of civility in the presence of his forthright political assumptions. Viz, less that he was a craven National lackey, more that he overtly assumed that everyone in the group was an amoral sociopath primarily interested in power and money (and that noting being such was a character defect). It made discussing even the weather difficult. Watching his behaviour now it appears that he may have got slightly better at concealing that beneath a veneer of civility, but on the other hand maybe not...

    I used to communicate with him when we were both involved in InternetNZ and for that reason I followed him on Twitter and FB. But, like you, it was harder and harder to be civil and, after Dirty Politics came out, I removed him completely from my life. I feel much better for it ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to BenWilson,

    Sounds like there may also be video recordings, according to Barry Soper. Professionally installed CCTV, no less.

    Where did you get that from, Ben?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The thing is, it's currently unlikely that we'll get a non-National government that doesn't have NZ First in it, who I abhor more than National.

    And currently, we have a constrained, fairly liberal right-wing government, by global (or any) standards.

    A centre-left government led by Andrew Little and James Shaw is likely to be a repeat of Helen Clark's policies of saying the right thing and being a good manager of capitalism. That doesn't address the fundamental issues of declining living standards and increasingly precarious career prospects. Which in turn is liable to lead (as happened with Obama and Blair) to a disgruntled section of society looking for populist solutions - and enabling a hard-right idiot to spring up in the National Party (or an isotope thereof).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to nzlemming,

    Where did you get that from

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11879788
    A Soper piece which ends with:

    Perhaps they'd like to have a look at the case again, given information that the recordings didn't come from a dictaphone left lying around, as had been claimed, it 's said to have come from CCTV camera surreptitiously planted in the MP's office by a security firm to spy on his staff, which would be an offence under the Crimes Act.

    ...and I notice that the Herald's new site annoyingly now has autoplay on videos, thanks for nothing NZME.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7885 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    If you don't want videos at all, Adblock Plus will sort them out.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And … Todd’s gone.

    That is, he will stay on till the election but will not content Clutha-Southland for the National Party.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22744 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    The smokescreen of "I can't comment - it's an employment matter" as a reason for National MPs to duck questions seems to assume that, while Dickson is the employee, Barclay is the employer, or stands as the employer-surrogate. He really doesn't. Parliamentary Services is the employer of electorate staff, apart from special individuals who may be paid by the party for special work (Lusk comes to mind). Also, the issue appears to have nothing to do with her employment and everything to do with his paranoia.

    Barclay has implicated Parliamentary Services as party to an illegal dismissal (perhaps even a fraud) by stating that he had received complaints from the public about "a staff member" and he had passed them on to Parliamentary Services who had undertaken disciplinary action. Parliamentary Services have told Dickson that no complaints were ever received and they had never investigated her or initiated disciplinary action. I don't expect any action from the dishrag we have for a Speaker, but I also know that PS are not an entity you can impugn like that without some comeback.

    Apparently the PM is making a statement around 2pm

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    ...and I notice that the Herald's new site annoyingly now has autoplay on videos, thanks for nothing NZME.

    Thankfully I haven't been back to the Herald since they launched their mobile-only, Women's Weekly clone of a redesign.

    Bill English to make an announcement on Barclay's future at 2pm.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1377 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    So basically the PM *can* effectively "sack a National MP who's become a liability", even if they get to work out their notice for the next few months?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    A Soper piece

    Thanks, Ian

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And … Todd’s gone.
    That is, he will stay on till the election but will not contend Clutha-Southland for the National Party.

    So it's the soft-exit, then...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7885 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    If you don’t want videos at all, Adblock Plus will sort them out.

    I'd rather have the choice of deciding whether I want to watch it or not, rather than having to physically opt out every time.
    Though I might look into the Adblock option if I get to breaking point.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7885 posts Report Reply

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