Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Morning in Auckland

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  • Ian Dalziel,

    Bazza's original strip in Private Eye was written by renowned cross-dresser Barry Humphries and illustrated by almost-New Zaalander Nicholas Garland (OBE).
    Interestingly Garland's upbringing is the inverse of Henry's - his strongly Socialist family moved to NZ when he was 11 and he returned to the UK when he was 19...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    I'm going to be completely cynical, and suggest that Andi's "resignation" and "leaked email" are carefully designed to take some heat off Paul. I bet it's all done with a wink, wink, nudge, nudge, "good girl, here have some more money" from the higher ups. She's the faux fall girl that they hope will shift and abate the debate.

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I'm also starting to feel slightly sorry for Paul Henry, who is looking a pathetic figure at the moment.

    He will have a Tony Veitch moment But he could sort his shit out and continue with his job. It really isn his court now . At least he has that.

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

  • Sacha,

    Am I to gather that some manager decided all those previous times Mr Henry got pinged by the BSA not to carry out a formal employment warning so that by now he could be fired on the spot? Not one of the same cabal that covered up Veitch, by any chance?

    If anyone's ripe for an accountability moment it's that manager - not the PR person.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    If anyone's ripe for an accountability moment it's that manager - not the PR person.

    Can't we get rid of the monkey and the organ grinder?

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

  • Sacha,

    Rather than the woman handing out flyers, yes

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Bazza's original strip in Private Eye was written by renowned cross-dresser Barry Humphries . . .

    That got me thinking about Bazza's early career -

    The Dadaist pranks and performances he mounted in Melbourne were experiments in anarchy and visual satire which have become part of Australian folklore. One famous exhibit entitled "Pus In Boots" consisted of a pair of Wellington boots filled with custard.

    - which immediately had me thinking of Paul Henry.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    "Most people think I'm British but the truth is much worse than that. Like the Governor-General I was born in New Zealand. However, I'm at least half what they colloquially call in Europe a Gypo.

    Arguably more offensive (certainly more specific) than the original comment for which he was apologizing. The man's thought processes disgust and yet for a window into this cretin's mind: If Dikshit when pronounced /dɪkʃɪt/ is an 'appropriate' name for an indian, and if being a gypsy is 'much worse' than being British (which is obviously still not highly regarded given the comparative) then what race, nationality or ethnicity would feature at the top of Henry's schema?

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Thought for the day
    spotted in The Press on October 5:

    "The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding"
    Justice Louis D'Brandeis (1856-1940)

    ...also Paul Henry may be the unwitting victim of working in a toxic electromagnetic environment
    - as this report points out:

    Scientists have shown they can change people's moral judgements by disrupting a specific area of the brain with magnetic pulses.

    Paul, move away from the bulk eraser
    and get an outdoor job...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    I'm going to be completely cynical, and suggest that Andi's "resignation" and "leaked email" are carefully designed to take some heat off Paul. I bet it's all done with a wink, wink, nudge, nudge, "good girl, here have some more money" from the higher ups. She's the faux fall girl that they hope will shift and abate the debate.

    I suspect that that probably out-cynics the vast majority of the professional cynics who people these boards. There actually are some honourable people out there, and Andi Brotherston appears to be one of them.
    If one wanted to take the heat off Henry, that email won't come close to doing it. If anything it'll crank up the heat, because the principal offender will now be expected to at least offer to fall on his sword; if it's good enough for a senior PR Manager who didn't commit the original offence, it ought to be good enough for PH.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    So, John Key sacks Paul Henry.

    No, there isn't a memo in triplicate. Guns aren't smoking. But the Prime Minister has spoken ...

    Steven Joyce on Newstalk ZB: "if I was him [Henry] I'd use this two weeks very carefully to think about exactly where this is going." (Herald)

    If you've ever read 'Essential Phrases For Politiicians', you know exactly where this is going.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    There actually are some honourable people out there, and Andi Brotherston appears to be one of them.

    snort.

    She's a PR hack! Now I accept it is possible that she could be a decent an honourable person. However, she did release a statement that essentially described all New Zealanders and all employees of TVNZ as racist bigots who are too scared to say it out loud. And her job is to "make things look good" no matter what it takes to do that.

    Until I know better from personal experience or from someone I trust I am going to assume anything from her is a cynical attempt to manipulate the public for corporate goals.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    What Bart said. And isn't it marvellous that the noble internal email happened to be leaked to the media? What a happy turn of events!

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    She's just the PR representative. The executives should have known to take control of this issue themselves, IMO.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I was unimpressed by Brotherston's contribution but figured it was mandated by her higher-ups. The "he's edgy but lovable" line had worked previously. And, like Giovanni and Bart, I can't help but wonder if her disquiet over her role only overwhelmed her when management changed tack - perhaps they didn't tell her first?

    Sadly, the only genuine commentator throughout this is Henry himself, everyone else has been angling.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Back on the census ethnicity question:
    A response of "Pakeha" or "New Zealander" is still a response that can be used to tell us something about ourselves as a nation. The problem is, it is a potentially ambiguous response, and an analyst can't tell exactly what you meant by it.
    So the census question's list should include some explicit statements of some of the meanings that might be included by such a choice, e.g. and perhaps most usefully given the "identification" basis used for ethnicity,
    "I do not consider any ethnic label to be an important part of my identity".

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1942 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    everyone else has been angling

    Probably true of TVNZ and the politicians. But the NZ Indian community sound pretty genuine.

    http://www.indianweekender.co.nz/Pages/ArticleDetails/7/1562/New-Zealand/Community-leaders-deeply-disappointed

    One of the (many) sad aspects of this whole story is that the MSM are evidently far more interested in what this all means for Paul Henry, than what it means for the people he casually deleted from 'New Zealand'.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    If Brotherston's email and subsequent leaking thereof were meant to be a PR gloss-over, she or whoever wrote it needs to find a new line of work. Offering to fall on one's metaphorical sword when the principal offender has made no such offer doesn't deflect attention, or turn down the heat.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    It turned down the heat on her.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Gio, of course it did. But that's not why the cynics are cynical about it.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    But the NZ Indian community sound pretty genuine.

    Point well made Simon. All the more reason why the PM's initial reaction was very poor. Henry mightn't give a toss about race relations or our international standing, but the PM should have both constantly in mind.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Paul, we must presume that no-one's commissioned a poll on it yet, so he doesn't know what to appear to think.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    There actually are some honourable people out there, and Andi Brotherston appears to be one of them.

    Here is a quote of Brotherston's which was made after the e-mail was released and she was (subsequently) contacted for comment. Taken from this morning's Herald:

    ""Ms Brotherston said last night that Henry had made it very clear he was sorry for what he had said.

    "I know Paul Henry very well and I absolutely, categorically know he never set out to offend anyone or to upset anyone and neither did I, neither of us meant to do that," she said."

    Firstly, she thinks Henry is sorry. Seriously?

    Secondly, she thinks he didn't mean to offend anyone. Again, seriously?

    For me, that takes quite a lot of the shine off her resignation offer.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    For me, that takes quite a lot of the shine off her resignation offer.

    It is possible that both individuals are as stupid as these comments suggest. Henry clearly so.

    If you don't mean to offend people, best to avoid making blatantly racist comments for a laff or justifying them as "what everyone really thinks". No they don't.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    Paul, we must presume that no-one's commissioned a poll on it yet, so he doesn't know what to appear to think.

    I caught one on Campbell Live last night. "Was PH being racist?" (or words to that effect) and the "no" vote outnumbered the "yeses". It made me depressed.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

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