Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Moving right along?

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  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to DexterX,

    Brown is as credible as Banks – they are both victims of their own stupidity.

    I'm sorry if this is beginning to resemble a pile-on, Dexter, but that's nonsense. Banks is facing charges of knowingly making a false election return, which happens to be a statutory declaration hundreds of individuals make every electoral cycle without undue trauma. YMMV, but if Banks is convicted that's a damn sight beyond common or garden "stupid," and in no way equivalent to adultery.

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

  • DexterX,

    I have always maintained that the power of stupidity is the most powerful force in society and that it should not be underestimated.

    After some reflection I must correct myself Banks and Brown are equally and triumphantly stupid.

    Stupidity is not inherent, for Brown and Banks their stupidity is an active choice, they each chose to act in their own worst interest and to the detriment of those around them and at a no gain themselves and at some considerable loss to themselves. This is basically the third law of stupidity. The behaviours are different but they are stupid

    The second law of stupidity is that a person may be stupid independent of any other characteristic or advantage they possess. The stupidity of Banks and Brown reveals their true character.

    Generally when people muse about stupidity they consider it one end of scale with intelligence at the other – this confusion is based on the consideration of IQ ratings – which are tests originally designed by the US military to measure mental retardation in recruits.

    Intelligence itself is the ability of someone to profit from his or her experience. I wiould say they both lack intelligence.

    http://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/apr/09/improbable-research-human-stupidity

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to DexterX,

    Brown and Banks their stupidity is an active choice, they each chose to act in their own worst interest and to the detriment of those around them and at a no gain themselves and at some considerable loss to themselves.

    Yeah, neither had anything to gain but money or sex. Who would want those?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    What Banks had to gain, with respect, Lilith, wasn't just money. It was an ability to mislead his fellow citizens about who was funding his political career. It was a direct attack on important principles of our democracy.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    What Banks had to gain, with respect, Lilith, wasn’t just money. It was an ability to mislead his fellow citizens about who was funding his political career. It was a direct attack on important principles of our democracy.

    Banks has his day in court before we can say he did anything.

    It's a very serious charge, and as I've also said several times in this thread, yes it would be a crime against our political system.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Too stupid.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    He has his day in court of course, but we have already heard his claims about and around the anonymised payments, and they do not ring true. Those statements about not remembering his helicoptered meeting with Kim Dotcom, and so on. I don't believe a reasonable person could find them plausible. He is either lying in a very stereotypical "bad politician with something to hide" way, or he has a problem with his brain which should preclude him from being in parliament.

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Morgan Nichol,

    Yegads, for once we're in perfect agreement. Don't do it again. :)

    But seriously, if you can't fill in an accurate and complete election return (which hundreds of people do every electoral cycle) you should be trusted to run a country? And, yeah, it's a shame Banks couldn't benefit from the Police's "know nothing, care less" approach to prosecuting breeches of electoral laws -- as Labour and National have in the past -- but to paraphrase Chris Rock obeying the law is shit normal people should just do. Don't expect a frigging medal, or much sympathy when you're the one who finally gets caught out.

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

  • SteveH, in reply to DexterX,

    The generally accepted definition of stupidity is “lacking in intelligence”. This is what most people understand the term to mean. You’ve redefined it to be something different which is probably why some people here are disagreeing with you.

    Stupidity is not inherent, for Brown and Banks their stupidity is an active choice, they each chose to act in their own worst interest and to the detriment of those around them and at a no gain themselves and at some considerable loss to themselves. This is basically the third law of stupidity. The behaviours are different but they are stupid

    If you’re saying that stupidity is a conscious decision to do something self-damaging then I don’t agree. In both cases they thought they were gaining something (sexual gratification, or possibly love in one case, and campaign finance without possible negative publicity in the other), and in both cases they thought there would be no negative consequences. In Brown’s case I think most people would recognise that the risk of negative consequences was very high and therefore his behaviour can be described as stupid. In Bank’s case I believe the risk was very low and it therefore can’t be described as stupid.

    The second law of stupidity is that a person may be stupid independent of any other characteristic or advantage they possess. The stupidity of Banks and Brown reveals their true character.

    Those two sentences seem contradictory to me. First you’re saying that stupidity is unrelated to a person’s other characteristics and then you’re saying the opposite: that it is evidence of a person’s other characteristics.

    Intelligence itself is the ability of someone to profit from his or her experience. I wiould say they both lack intelligence.

    Intelligence has many facets, I think your definition is way too narrow. It also makes your conclusion questionable: Brown made a comment that implied he had committed infidelity in his first marriage so his experience may have been that an affair was personally profitable in some sense. Banks either has not committed electoral fraud before or he has not been caught. So neither case shows a lack of intelligence by your definition.

    I don’t know either of them personally so I can’t really judge their intelligence, though they are both successful people and are unlikely to lack intelligence IMO. I don’t think it’s reasonable to say someone is stupid or unintelligent based on a couple of poor decisions.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Lilith __,

    Worth saying that even if Banks didn't break the law, he certainly abused the law, and is certainly unfit to be a politician.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to SteveH,

    The generally accepted definition of stupidity is “lacking in intelligence”.

    Intelligent people are perfectly capable of behaving irrationally. Sexual desire is somewhat famous for clouding the brain.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Lilith __,

    And conversely, people considered to have a low IQ can be very wise. Just look at the great achievements of the disabled people's organisation, People First.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Worth saying that even if Banks didn’t break the law, he certainly abused the law, and is certainly unfit to be a politician.

    My understanding is Banks DID break the law, in (by his own account, he didn't read it) negligently signing the (false) document. But doing so negligently had a 6-month statute of limitations, and the KDC blow-out wasn't in that time-frame, so he couldn't be charged.
    They keep playing his statement 'I didn't do anything wrong, I would NEVER do anything wrong..." on the radio, and I wish someone would door-stop him with : 'signing a document negligently IS wrong'.
    And that's the MOST favourable interpretation.
    IIRC he actually said something like "No, I didn't read it- why would you?'
    From a minister, whose signature ends up on public documents, it's way beyond not good enough. If he did get back to ministerial status, the ragging would be incessant.
    No credibility indeed.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2109 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Lilith __,

    Sexual desire is somewhat famous for clouding the brain.

    One could argue that if it doesn't cloud the brain, you're doing it wrong.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    And conversely, people considered to have a low IQ can be very wise.

    Yes IQ is a flawed measure of general intelligence. Generally reducing anything even slightly complex to a single number is questionable IMO.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Lilith __,

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Thank you Joe.....

    Am now having to swab snorted tea from between keys on my desktop.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Ignorantia legis neminem excusat – even you, Mister Banks. (It certainly is a principle the IRD have applied with unfailing rigour on occasions I’ve unwittingly miscalculated my taxes and underpaid them. And if they had cause to suspect I was engaged in tax evasion, they have considerable powers to investigate and prosecute.)

    BTW, if you happen to be a clueless political candidate who just signs anything your equally incompetent campaign chair puts before you, I understand the Electoral Commission is ready and waiting to offer you confidential, impartial and comprehensive advice on everything you need to do to comply with electoral law. Because that's their bloody job and they do it damn well.

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

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to david kinniburgh,

    Billboard Baggings...

    Slater nails his colours to the mast

    Et Tui, Brute?
    Yeah, Nah, I'll have
    the Hot Sec Sorbet,
    ta very much...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    I'm not giving the links (can't afford the lawyers), but this afternoon Radio Live provided a platform for Slater to chuck more dirt at Brown. No affidavits or any evidence or details whatsoever, just - Slater has a blokey yarn with Jackson and Tamihere, having a laugh, make stuff up, no harm done eh lads?

    So naturally Radio Live decides this is worth a headline.

    News: no longer "man bites dog", just "man says stuff".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I haven't subscribed to much of the criticism of the Herald over this story, but this is bizarre. Here's the headline and intro:

    Len Brown still honorary president of family values organisation

    Auckland Mayor Len Brown will retain his position as honorary president of a family values organisation despite his extra-marital affair with a woman 25 years his junior.

    The position at Home and Family Counselling has been filled by an Auckland mayor for the last 120 years, and the organisation has decided not to part from tradition despite Mr Brown last week admitting to a two-year relationship with local government hopeful Bevan Chuang, 32.

    Except it's not a "family values organisation" by any common understanding of that phrase. It's a counselling service that happily helps people who've messed up in any number of ways.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Russell Brown,

    it’s not a “family values organisation” by any common understanding of that phrase. It’s a counselling service that happily helps people who’ve messed up in any number of ways.

    Imagine a world in which "family values" were compassion, love, and inclusiveness. Instead of judgment, prudishness, and hypocrisy.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Lilith __,

    Imagine a world in which “family values” were compassion, love, and inclusiveness. Instead of judgment, prudishness, and hypocrisy.

    What a strange idea.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young, in reply to Lilith __,

    "Family" and "Christian" used to be such nice words until they were hijacked by the raving right. Now "Family Values" conjures up bizarre images of cane-toting, salivating, inanely-grinning men wearing hornrims, cardigans and wanting to ban everything.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 569 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Brown, in reply to SteveH,

    So that makes Banks' "problem" all the more insidious. Calculated. He realised what he was doing was illegal, but thought he would get away with it, therefore, he did it. We'll see him in court.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2013 • 137 posts Report Reply

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