Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Masters of Reality

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  • Alfie, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    So it boils down to a couple of common threads: “PC wankers” and “anti-business Communists”. Or to compress it into one common thread, “cultural Marxism”. Did any of them relate from actual experiences, or is it a reflection of what they get from media?

    As a greenie at heart I'd have to say that much of that nonsense eminated from the National Party PR machine. As Green support grew pre-election, so the Nats proportionally stepped up their "looney" accusations. Enough of middle NZ blindly accepted the line and decided to stick with Jonkey and his increasingly corrupt cronies -- because they're the "safe" option.

    I'd recommend Dita De Boni's Now who will watch the spies? in today's Harold.

    For those looking for answers, clues provided by Glen Greenwald and Edward Snowden would have to suffice, threaded together with the knowledge that New Zealand seems to lose its sovereignty in matters of intelligence, trade and security by the day.

    The fact the Greens still bothered to ask the questions suggests they take their role as defender of the public good seriously. That might be all a bit of an unnecessary nuisance for the National Party, but why should the Labour Party, supposedly invigorated with the thought of holding the Government's feet to the fire, see fit to shaft them so publicly this week?

    Pundits have it right: they've brought the National Party line that the Greens are too "scary" for "middle New Zealand" and are looking to place themselves at a safe, bland distance.

    But Labour should wake up. Like many social democratic movements around the world, the corporate, comfortable left is losing support to insurgent left-wing parties with heart and a defining vision.

    Look at the UK, where the Greens are now the fourth-largest political party. Look at the anti-austerity movements in Greece and Spain - and possibly Ireland and Portugal yet to come.

    In New Zealand we've been too comfortable to seriously look for alternatives so far, but the time will undoubtedly come - and the danger to Labour is there may well be genuine alternatives sought.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    This was discussed earlier in the thread so it's worth noting that a certain person is back in court -- the NZH headline reads, Prominent New Zealander charged with indecent assault loses name suppression. But that's not quite true as the judge concealed his identity for another month to allow him to lodge an appeal. The Herald story details the charges for the first time.

    The charges faced by the man, who elected trial by jury, can now be revealed.

    He is facing 12 charges of indecent assault against two people including two representative charges.

    The charges, which include allegations of touching the complainants on the breast, buttocks, groin and thigh, are punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment.

    Name suppression for the man expires on March 19 or until the appeal is heard.

    The complainants' ages are also suppressed... you can draw your own conclusions from that.

    Why does this case remind me of former prominent person, Graham Caphill?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Alfie,

    I have a feeling that's a different case, given that what the Speaker blurted was past tense.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    a genuine worry that Green policy was anti-business

    A line the Nats pushed ruthlessly for several years, yes. Helpfully relayed by our feeble media.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Sacha,

    A line the Nats pushed ruthlessly for several years, yes. Helpfully relayed by our feeble media.

    And there in itself is the problem. That rubs both ways if the media push the buttons.No matter the direction, it isn't helpful if it causes bickering. And people here buy into it. They just pen it in another way against the Greens with Labour which is exactly what is intended by Nactionals PR machine and which is so effective if the Green labour support parrots it.Analyse it all you like, Find fault, blame somebody, anybody, make it known, cause strife, job done.
    Call for perfection ,call them stupid, slack, dumb, incompetant, pick a noun, they all work to undermine opposition. Go for it.
    If you are aware of what the scene is ,why do you play their stupid game? I know what Nactional get away with. I know the media finds it acceptable. None of the opposition pisses me off compared to what Nactional is getting away with. Perspective should be everything with a media friendly, Speaker biased, nit picking public. Who would you prefer, bearing in mind no body is perfect? Seriously, I know.

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

  • BenWilson, in reply to Alfie,

    If he wasn't who he is, Slater would have outed him last year.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    One Master of Reality - MR Key - has just slapped every National Party electorate committee member and volunteer in the face and spat on their contribution to democracy

    Gilmore was elected to the National party's Christchurch East electorate committee on Monday, apparently because there were not enough people at the meeting to run against him.
    Gilmore denied he wanted to run for selection in the seat in 2017.
    At a media stand-up today, Key said he understood Gilmore's new role was "small".
    For Gilmore to return to politics would be a matter for the local National Party members in Christchurch East, but Key doubted Gilmore intended to return to central Government.
    "I think the probability of you seeing him back in Wellington is zero," Key said.
    Gilmore now lives in Petone, Lower Hutt.

    That'll help the grassroots morale...

    Key does not live in a world of possible atonement or return to grace - that's only for the select few - he never had to spend years volunteering or contributing - but was happy to use the process for his own ends - after being head-hunted by Cameron Slater's dad...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I thought those last two quoted sentences were comedy gold ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Sacha,

    a genuine worry that Green policy was anti-business

    A line the Nats pushed ruthlessly for several years, yes. Helpfully relayed by our feeble media.

    Yup exactly. Again I don't believe the line myself but it is clear that a lot of people were genuinely worried. That Labour might chose to respond to that FUD by distancing themselves somewhat from the Greens is an understandable if irrational response.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    From the article you linked to...

    Milich remains impressed by Key. "Any guy who has come from a state house, has educated himself and made money has got to have a brain. John is a very clever man and has the memory of an elephant."

    So, the "brain fades" really are bullshit. He is a trader and traders are shady characters. You don't make trades on guesswork and gut feelings, you make them on knowledge, even if it is pattern recognition you still have to have knowledge of the elements of that pattern. You could say all trades contain an element of inside knowledge and that, must be kept secret, insider trading is a big no no.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Why can’t they just make the committee bigger and have wider representation? It’s MMP after all.

    Because the law says it's five members, being the PM, the Leader of the Opposition, two nominated by the PM, and one nominated by the LotO. It's not just a matter of casually re-drafting standing orders to expand the membership, it's a change in statute; and one that would be hard to do, because you need odd numbers on a committee to avoid deadlock and thus couldn't just make forward assumptions about how many parties would be in any future Parliament.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Deborah,

    It’s a little hard to know what underlay the comments from voters about the Greens being scary

    It's not hard at all. That's exactly the narrative that National has been selling in the media and through it's puppets for the last 6 years. The only way around it would be to openly accept the Greens and campaign jointly as a government in waiting.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2934 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    you need odd numbers on a committee to avoid deadlock and thus couldn’t just make forward assumptions about how many parties would be in any future Parliament.

    The way the law’s written does seem in some ways to be much more of an FPP-style, though. I get why Andrew Little wants to bring in David Shrearer as the only nomination he’s allowed, and who’s probably better suited than himself. But if Labour can already push Shearer as its trusted representative, does Andrew Little himself really need to be there for adequate oversight if another party can provide someone better?

    The only reason I can see for doing this, besides some kind of vacuous political statement about Labour Party importance over alternatives is that legal requirement which states the Leader of he Opposition must be there (so of course he has to be!).

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • stever@cs.waikato.ac.nz, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    has educated himself

    ...from Milich

    ha ha ha! Not

    John Key never went to school or Uni then I take it.

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2006 • 73 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to stever@cs.waikato.ac.nz,

    John Key never went to school or Uni then I take it

    Well he never paid for the privilege - so it doesn't really count - money makes everything real, didn't you get the memo?
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    two nominated by the PM, and one nominated by the LotO.

    Its spelt Lotto.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    the LotO
    Its spelt Lotto

    Not short for the 'Lord of the Ring (O)' then?
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    That’ll help the grassroots morale…

    Actually, I think it will help National activist's morale. National is run like a business, with a hierarchical structure and a central cabal directing what happens. Signing up to National means doing what you are told by the hierarchy. They set the policy, the members toe the line and implement it. So when Key says that Aaron Gilmore - who is probably widely, if not universally, despised - has zero chance of getting back into parliament, then this is Key showing leadership against an unpopular person.

    As for the perception of the Greens as being flaky and loony, Labour, National, NZ First, ACT and United Future have ALL knowingly maintained this false narrative because it suits them (Labour because they see us as rivals for "their" rightful votes), the others because we generally oppose their policy platforms.

    Since Labour can not govern without the Green's assistance, I really hope that Labour sort themselves out over the next couple of years so the 2017 campaign can be conducted with a government-in-waiting approach.

    The poor handling of the Cohen issue and the doctrinaire cosying-up with National over the ISC, however, have reinforced my opinion that Labour are trying for the National-style top-down autocracy, but are hindered by deep-seated chronic incompetence.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    doing what you are told by the hierarchy.

    And that includes the rest of us, right? Kin g k e y !

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    The poor handling of the Cohen issue and the doctrinaire cosying-up with National over the ISC, however, have reinforced my opinion that Labour are trying for the National-style top-down autocracy, but are hindered by deep-seated chronic incompetence.

    Could it also be a symptom of Labour attempting to pander to "Waitakere Man" by keeping distance from the Greens? I've said it before, but such a strategy didn't work out so well for US Democrat primary candidate Howard Dean in 2004.

    "Howard Dean had it wrong when he tried to woo the "Pickup Truck with Confederate Flag" vote. In fact, while Kerry won urban areas by a whopping 60 percent--that actually represents a 15 percent drop in urban support from 2000 when Gore won the election. The lesson? Democrats have got to tend to their urban base and grow it."

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    the Cohen issue

    Heh...
    a case of The Scottish Ploy?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Slangs and arrows...
    ...watch as language changes, as words are subducted and diminished or diverted.
    one wonders what tongues of earth
    will lap against alien ears and shores
    pan-galactic gabble & gobbledegook
    a meat slanguage,...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    Labour because they see us as rivals for "their" rightful votes

    [citation needed] I reckon. This is the sort of attitude does no-one any good. If the sniping continues we have little hope of ridding the country of the most corrupt Government we have seen in the history of NZ.
    We have to work with each other, not against.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    [citation needed] I reckon.

    Direct quotes from Clare Curran about 'white-anting' for example. Not going to trot out a list for you.

    We have to work with each other, not against.

    Quite. You'll recall one of the two parties in question suggested that before the election. It's the other one that needs to improve its attitude.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    the doctrinaire cosying-up with National over the ISC

    Fran O'Sullivan approves. Only the two largest parties are "grown-ups" and questioning authority is just not OK on Planet Key.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

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