Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Breaking up the Band

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  • Russell Brown,

    Just getting this on to System, seeing as how it's a bit late.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    I was living overseas for the Lange years, but I have to say that apart from not being Muldoon, (hooray !) I find it hard to see why so many people idolise him.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 230 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I was living overseas for the Lange years, but I have to say that apart from not being Muldoon, (hooray !) I find it hard to see why so many people idolise him.

    I don't think you have to idolise Lange -- he certainly had his flaws -- to find Bassett's account of events, with its Lady Macbeth angle, somewhat objectionable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    yup i am amazing at how stupid some American voters are, I saw an interview with one where he said he'd vote for Mcain over Obama.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Regarding the US presidential elections, can we see a *tiny bit* of discussion of policy in the media? I've spoken to several well-educated Americans and they couldn't explain the policy differences between Obama and Clinton - were these a state secret.

    Does Obama want to invade Iran? Will he keep troops in Iraq and Afghanistan? (Actually, I know he's said he'll pull US forces out of Iraq in 16 months, but is that unconditional?)

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

  • Emma Hart,

    I was living overseas for the Lange years, but I have to say that apart from not being Muldoon, (hooray !) I find it hard to see why so many people idolise him.

    I never idolised him, but I certainly got his appeal. I'd start by listening to the Oxford Union speech - for greatest effect, after listening to that cackle of Muldoon's for about thirty seconds.

    Despite his own ambivalence about it, he'll always be associated with the nuclear ships ban, which for many people I think is the first thing 'we' did as a proper grown-up country.

    The feminist in some of us... actually trumps any views we may have on Roe v. Wade or Iraq.

    Srsly, WTF?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    yup i am amazing at how stupid some American voters are, I saw an interview with one where he said he'd vote for Mcain over Obama.

    In 2004, I spoke to a few Republican soccer-mom types who were so pissed about Iraq they swore blind they'd vote Green before they voted for Bush.

    They voted for Bush. All of them. I'd be very surprised if, when it comes down to time to push the button and send their vote off to Diebold to do whatever it does with it, those people can actually bring themselves to vote McCain.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    bassett really is an odious little man, innit?

    the guy really does need to drink a big cup of wake the fuck up to yourself.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    What is with these Labour Men of Yesteryear (John Terris is another one), when they turn into raging neanderthals, full of bitterness and imagined slights.

    Another book to shelve under 'Fiction--Fantasy', along with Ian Wishart's latest?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2558 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Chris Rattue is the Robert Fisk of NZ rugby journalism.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    How is Chris Rattue going to write his column if he doesn't watch the All Blacks? Wait, this may be a blessing in disguise.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Sat next to an American on a plane yesterday..some guy in Coal Futures, who told me that America would never be ready for a woman or a 'damned' black man. He was from Idaho.

    When asked about McCain he said 'better the devil you know'.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • cindy baxter,

    In my recollection ( I was working in the Beehive at the time), there was a war going on between Margaret Pope and Roger Douglas's chief political advisor, whose name I can't even remember - Bevan someone.

    The war between these two certainly did nothing to help David and Roger meet and sort out their differences - their memos and advice to their bosses only exacerbated the situation.

    So while Pope did play a role, she was by no means the only one involved.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 99 posts Report Reply

  • davidamstalden,

    Has there been any serious polling done yet on how McCain and Obama would actually stack up head to head?

    Also, regarding Bassett, I hate to generalise, (ha! not really), but are there actually any non-bitter baby boomers in the New Zealand media? Sometimes I wonder.

    New Plymouth • Since Mar 2008 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    I could write a bit about the hilarity of watching a bunch of predominantly white, middle-class women carp about how hard done by their white, upper class candidate is compared to a black American; or one, could suggest Clinton supporters contemplate the fact that Clinton was pro-Iraq war, pro-Iran war, sucked from the same big-money teats that people don't like, and how this contrasted with Obama's small-money stratgey and forthright anti-war positions; but instead, I keep getting diverted by this fact:

    For all the harping on sexism, not once did the Obama campaign resort to using sexism to get elected.

    Clinton, on the other hand, was happy to resort to racism. She waded into that cesspit to get votes. So fFuck Hilary Clinton, and fuck those of her supporters who can get excited about sexism, but don't seem to give a shit about her blatant attempts to use racism to get votes.

    And if her supporters would rather have McCain that a black guy, well, that's up to them. No doubt they'll blame the black guy for any of the ill effects of that, too.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    Back in 2004, I worked with an ex-pat American Democrat who claimed that she would actually vote for Bush in the November presidential election so that Hillary Clinton would get the Democratic nomination in 2008. As far as I know, she did, too. Since then, I haven't had that high an opinion of HRC supporters.

    This isn't to say that Obama is all sweetness and light from a progressive perspective either. He's basically a Chicago-school neoliberal and as truly 'left-wing' as Michael Bassett is these days. I really can't understand why self-identifying 'progressive' Americans are getting so excited about him. They seem to view the fact that he's been able to raise so much money and has got Rupert Murdoch's support as a good thing, rather than a giant, flashing warning sign of where his real interests and sympathies lie.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    yup i am amazing at how stupid some American voters are, I saw an interview with one where he said he'd vote for Mcain over Obama.

    And the Guardian sent their man down into the hollers of West Virginia and found plenty of like-minded souls.

    Sean Wilentz, professor of History at Princeton and official historian
    to Bob Dylan (and therefore infallible in my eyes) lays out the case
    that Obama can't win.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    In my recollection ( I was working in the Beehive at the time), there was a war going on between Margaret Pope and Roger Douglas's chief political advisor, whose name I can't even remember - Bevan someone.

    Bevan Burgess. God I wish there was footage of that guy on youtube; the Monty Python 'Upper class twit of the year' skit doesn't even come close.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Calder,

    In his autobiography, Lange recalls replacing Bassett as Minister of Health with David Caygill. "[Bassett] told me at one point that he would never speak to me again unless he had to, so the news was not all bad."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And we have Bassett to thank for his part in creating our messy local govt structure in Auckland. Did he actually do anything useful?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    "[Bassett] told me at one point that he would never speak to me again unless he had to, so the news was not all bad."

    A good example of why he was idolised.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    And we have Bassett to thank for his part in creating our messy local govt structure in Auckland. Did he actually do anything useful?

    That's a bit harsh, he fucked up local government in lots of other places too, not just lovely Auckland.

    Doesn't Lange muse about his father dropping Bassett on his head when he was born?

    Lange's not perfect, but when you judge him by his immediate successors in PM & Labour Party Leader, Muldoon & Rowling, and his successors - Palmer, Moore & Bolger, he's a freakin' giant. And he had to deal with Douglas & Prebble too.

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    Doesn't Lange muse about his father dropping Bassett on his head when he was born?

    In his book, I mean. clearly.

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • James Francis,

    I've always found Michael Bassett to be something of a pinch-faced zealot. What profoundly irritates me is that he wears the cloak of an historian. A good historian is detached and objective. Bassett is neither.

    It's interesting that his book is coming out in this election year with Roger Douglas standing again for ACT.

    St John's, Newfoundland • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    A bit like calling David Irving a 'historian', when he and Bassett and Wishart are writers of fantasy (not that history is all 'just the facts. m'am'!)

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2558 posts Report Reply

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