Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Breaking up the Band

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  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    And while I've got my problems with both Obama and McCain, can we all breath a sigh of relief that we're not facing the degrading prospect of Romney or Huckabee vs. Clinton?

    ahhhhh.!!(sigh of relief)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    While I take the point that there are significant differences between Obama and, say, Friedman, I still think Obama might be more of a market fundamentalist than people realise.

    Reading between the lines of this ra-ra bit of cheerleading in the Guardian, Obama and his economic adviser come off sounding a lot like Tony Blair, c.1997. If an Obama administration gets in in November, expect to see school vouchers, public-private partnerships, and lots of extra business for the insurance industry.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    His rhetoric on trade has been explicitly protectionist;

    He's a candidate for the American presidency, remember. They're the biggest bunch of protectionists out. Look at their history in front of the WTO.

    Between the blue-collar lobby on one side and the farm lobby on the other, no candidate can possibly get elected if they campaign on a platform of addressing America's awful trade policies. Obama just happens to be a little more honest about it.

    As for the whole left-wing, right-wing thing, take a look at the Political Compass analysis of where the various candidates fall. Obama is to the left of Hillary, and waaaaaaaaay to the left of many of the Republicans. It's all relative. As the analysis says, in any multi-party social democracy all the major players would be considered to be conservatives. But by the grace of America's two-party system with a conservative electorate they actually consider Obama to be hanging out with Karl and Iosef. Of course this is the same country where McCain, with the most conservative voting record in the Senate, isn't considered to be conservative enough by some Republicans.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Russell, the first twenty minutes of the AB test saw arguably the worst twenty minutes in AB first five history played out by one Dan Carter.

    Go back and check the tape if you think I'm being harsh.

    He had a kick out on the full, a kickoff out on the full, a couple of attacking kicks straight down opposing players throats, a grubber in behind the defence to the try line that was too deep and straight to the defender (who nearly managed to balls it up making the kick look better than it was), a bomb that went virtually straight up and down which he managed to collect, I'll at least give him that (but you don't put up mid field bombs when you are playing into a wind), a kick charged down that nearly led to a try, and I'm assuming he called for the ball when we had mauled it 20 metres to their try line and were on the verge of a terrific forward try, and threw an inside pass to Nonu who was running into heavy traffic who spilled it and the Irish broke up field and nearly scored.

    Literally every single touch turned to shite.

    After that he was adequate and one break where the Irish defence evaporated in front of him made his performance seem a lot better than it really was.

    First Half: F
    Second Half: B

    The ABs were generally pretty good but obviously had a few things that let them down witht he notable ones being
    a) that option to go wide when we were a metre away from scoring
    b) the terrible defence that allowed Ireland to score what was really a soft try
    and
    c) the cheating referee

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    I'm glad Hillary and Barack are friends again. The concession speech was good.

    Russell, the first twenty minutes of the AB test saw arguably the worst twenty minutes in AB first five history played out by one Dan Carter.

    I couldn't say whether it was the worst twenty of all time (it must have been up there), but Carter has not been at his Lions' series vintage for a couple of seasons now. Obviously he is very talented but something is not quite clicking. Maybe the guy needs to have the pressure of living up to his own reputation lifted off his shoulders. (By bringing back King Carlos...)

    Richie McCaw had another conspicuously brilliant game. He should get some sort of bonus payment just for being so awesome.

    The fact that Rattue spouts constant bullshit is clearly not lost on the many Herald readers who tore strips off him in the comments section (the Welsh are the village idiots of world rugby, France pose absolutely no threat to the All Blacks, I hate sport and my life etc.). I hate to think what he would say about our cricketers.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    Bassett's book will have to be viewed with a dose of scepticism because of his well-known allegiances, however, at least we know that in advance. The more interesting questions to me about the 4th labour government and , for that matter, the Muldoon years, are what did the other influential party members DO, or not do, about both situations? We snigger and roll our eyes about Muldoon, but he was allowed, or enabled, to continue.

    Funny thing about anti-nukes - it's remembered with pride rather than actively touted these days.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew C,

    The interesting thing will be how many people who worked in the Beehive during the Lange years will be brave enough to back Bassett up on the Pope thesis.

    I seem to recall a documentary on Lange (prob 5+ years old now?) where they interviewed ex politicians and media etc who all seemed to basically agree that Pope *did* have a significant influence on Lange. So Bassett is not alone in this claim here.

    If memory serves the opinion was that Lange became increasingly reliant on her policy views near the end of his term.

    Does anyone else recall the doco name?

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • larryq,

    I think Bassett is a bit of a dick head to, but I'll be reading his book because he was there, done the research and has written other interesting books. This is an insiders book so you have to bear that in mind. It should be much more interesting than any other insider book because of the notes he took.

    I know that he is a traitor to so many of you on the left, but don't you think an open mind would be a better position that just pathetic visceral
    hatred.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    Yeah Carter was awful in the first half.... but surely Carlos Spencer had worst periods than that (the most inconsistant All Black ever? ...don't kill me yee Aucklanders, you know he was arse).

    I was very pleased with the entire forward pack, and in the wet that is all one can judge a team on really.

    I never thought Nonu would make it back in the ABs. However he was pretty bloody good I thought. He seemed to make a lot of tackles and he slid 5 metres to score with 3 people trying to stop him. If your strong enough to out slide people, ummm... I don't have a point there.

    Pretty strange to end up with an all Hurricanes front row after twenty minutes. They did well but I certainly hope Woodcock is back in shape for the tri-nations.

    ...anyway much more interesting than yet more debate over the Lange govt.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I seem to recall a documentary on Lange (prob 5+ years old now?) where they interviewed ex politicians and media etc who all seemed to basically agree that Pope *did* have a significant influence on Lange. So Bassett is not alone in this claim here.

    I'm sure he took guidance from her, but I'm not sure that's the same thing as what Bassett alleges in the excerpt -- the woman who controlled a man too sick to form his own judgements, and in so doing brought down the glorious project.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    It makes me cringe, the number of Kiwis who are calling Obama a 'Left-wing candidate'.

    Did you see the letter in this week's Listener complaining about an article that was too soft on him, given that he is "far left"? That was based specifically on his pro-choice policies, and funnily enough the letter-writer was from Masterton.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    STRATEGY
    GENERAL ELECTION
    DECISION CENTER
    GOLF GEAR

    Dog Whistle! Dog Whistle!

    He's trying to let people know he's really an Eisenhower Republican.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • cindy baxter,

    I'm sure he took guidance from her, but I'm not sure that's the same thing as what Bassett alleges in the excerpt -- the woman who controlled a man too sick to form his own judgements, and in so doing brought down the glorious project.

    exactly Russell. It was a combination of a number of different factors, and while Pope didn't help, she wasn't the only contributor. As I said above, Bevan Burgess (thanks for the reminder Danyl) played an extremely dangerous role, thwarting attempts at conciliatory conversations between Lange/Douglas, for example.

    The widening - and almost inevitable gap between the Ministers like Lange with old-school labour social policy portfolios vs those with Rogernomics economic portfolios was hardly Pope's fault.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 99 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    The documentary was "Reluctant Revolutionary: David Lange" and screened on TV ONE in 2004. I have a copy if anyone is desperate to see it.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2557 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    exactly Russell. It was a combination of a number of different factors, and while Pope didn't help, she wasn't the only contributor.

    Sure, and I wonder if a large factor was a pathological fear of confrontation and a desperate need to be liked. One of the things I find perversely likeable about Helen Clark (or Margaret Thatcher for that matter) is that, at heart, I don't think she really gives a shit whether you like her or not -- that's not what she got into politics to achieve. The best way to resist conviction politicians is to have one or two of your own.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    Teh funny from No Right Turn:

    **Shorter Michael Bassett**

    David Lange was an empty vessel with no ideas of his own, so we gave him some and used him to sell Rogernomics to an unsuspecting people. Then someone else gave him some other ideas and stole our puppet. This was evil and wrong.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    I seem to recall a documentary on Lange (prob 5+ years old now?) where they interviewed ex politicians and media etc who all seemed to basically agree that Pope *did* have a significant influence on Lange.

    I've no doubt Heather Simpson has a significant influence on Helen Clark - that's the whole point of having political advisers and strategists. But Bassett's claim is that Pope was some kind of Sejanus or Lady MacBeth figure secretly controlling Lange to bring down the government.

    I'm also amused by the title of Bassett's book - 'Working with David'. Lange has gone out of his way to emphasise that he despised Bassett so we're already through the looking glass before we even get past the cover.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Teh funny from No Right Turn:

    Shorter Michael Bassett

    David Lange was an empty vessel with no ideas of his own, so we gave him some and used him to sell Rogernomics to an unsuspecting people. Then someone else gave him some other ideas and stole our puppet. This was evil and wrong.

    That's a piece of genius!

    I'll admit to be fond of Lange for personal and political reasons so that certainly colours my perspective, but why has Bassett been on at Lange for so long? I suspect he might have waited until Lange died to publish this, which shows a measure of regard, but he's nevertheless regularly sniped away at him since being dumped from Cabinet. Christ, even Douglas and Lange made-up. The personalities of the 4th Labour government all too often obscure the policies.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Meanwhile, back to the rugby, and Tracey Nelson's game stats are back:

    http://www.haka.co.nz/haka-column.php?story_id=384&locations=ab|general

    Fascinating as usual. Ali Williams paid tribute last week to the athleticism of Brad Thorn. Yup. He won the first-three-to-the-breakdown stats in both halves, and tackled like a bastard too. Hope yet for the Sonny Bill move to union?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I wonder where SBW would play if he converted - he'd have a lot to learn if he played in the loose forwards, perhaps at Centre?

    Didn't Tracey used to record tackles broken by ABs? That'd be interesting (I missed the match).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I wonder where SBW would play if he converted - he'd have a lot to learn if he played in the loose forwards, perhaps at Centre?

    Well, who'd have guessed that Thorn would get the hang of it so well? Perhaps in the Crusaders SBW would learn fast?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Thorn is one of the very few who has successfully made the transition and, I suspect, he's benefited a little from retirements and injuries (though those stats make fascinating reading). But you're right, SBW in the Crusaders would be the best possible pathway - I don't know that any other franchise could offer quite the same environment.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    But you're right, SBW in the Crusaders would be the best possible pathway - I don't know that any other franchise could offer quite the same environment.

    I'm not entirely confident the Crusaders offer that environment any more. Which is doubly disappointing having watched Ali Williams turn into 'not a munter'.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I'm not entirely confident the Crusaders offer that environment any more. Which is doubly disappointing having watched Ali Williams turn into 'not a munter'.

    A good point. The transition from Smith to Deans was clearly seamless, where too from here?

    The only other team that, I think, has a strong culture capable of managing someone like SBW is the Hurricanes... and as a former Wellingtonian, I'd love to see him play there.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

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