Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Need to Know

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  • Steve Parks,

    oops, trying to be too clever: attempting to encourage such a civil society, I mean.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    Paul Buchanan has an article up on Scoop placing police surveillance operations in context.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    <quote>Before someone stands up and starts sqealing "false moral equivalence", let me retort with a statement of what should be the bleeding obvious. We can't have a civil society without confidence that our legislators, civil servants, judiciary and law enforcement are as virtuous as Caesar's wife. And those who fail to be scrupulous in their observance of the rule of law cannot be tolerated.<quote>

    I can't see how the last four lines of this disprove any claims of false moral equivalence.

    I thought Oliver did the interview pretty well. If it had been me I would have asked him "who pays you money to be this stupid?", which probably wouldn't endear me to the guest.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    National on Corrections is going to be endlessly entertaining. Having called for the CEOs head a couple of years ago, they're now touring prisons with him and complimenting corrections staff.

    Like this wee quote from the Minister:

    “The Corrections sector was sadly neglected by the Labour government. It is clear that prisons are under pressure as a result, and that more beds are required around the country.

    Sadly neglected by building four large new prisons? And committing to finally get rid of Mount Eden?

    We've gone from complaining about the cost of building prisons, to having to now soften up the public for building more because of changes to bail laws will mean... more prisoners!

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    An 'I'm-so-above-this-shit' attitude.

    More of an 'Are-you-for-real' attitude, I'd say.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    And so it appeared this morning in the Dompost alongside a report of Judith and Pita's trip to Rimutaka prison with Pita Sharples proclaiming it was better than you would get in many restaurants

    Others have noticed this too.

    Speech by Dr Pita Sharples, 22 April 2008:

    "Every Christmas, there is a standard feature that grabs space in every local paper.

    It’s the prison Christmas menu. Last year, incidentally, it consisted of a portion of chicken, a serving of vegetables and luxury of luxuries, a Christmas mince pie. Hardly something to get excited about one would think, but the four dollar a day diet in our penal institutions falls into the same category as a series of other items that appear to fascinate readers.

    You know the stories – those that ask WHY are prisoners playing petanque, watching flat-screen telly, getting access to Playstations, Xboxes, internet and benefiting from the luxury of underfloor heating?

    Yet without fail, every Christmas, there are also articles missing from the paper which tell a different story than the lavish dinner in the School of Hard Knocks.

    The stories about families living in shame or despair. Families who have become socially ostracized due to the crime of their loved one inside. Families with children who may have been bullied or teased or worse yet, treated with silence as society ignores the impact of their parent being in prison. Families who are desperately seeking understanding, who want to share what is happening to them, who are struggling with their own survival.

    The way our society responds to the challenge of incarceration depends entirely on whose stories are told, whose experiences are shared."

    etc

    But that was before Pita had his mana enhanced. Now he thinks the prisoners' Christmas dinner is "awesome" (Dom-Post, today).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • James W,

    I'll take Oliver Driver over Paul "This is a dream come true for you, isn't it, Mr. Key?" Henry over on One any day of the week.

    Since Jul 2008 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    Paul Buchanan has an article up on Scoop placing police surveillance operations in context.

    Somehow, I'm not seeing an equivalence between gangs running drugs and a political party or a protest group (especially a protest group being encouraged by the informer to commit crimes so he can report on them. We call that an agent provocateur, BTW).

    Have you been taking morning tea with Craig, Bob?

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    And so it appeared this morning in the Dompost alongside a report of Judith and Pita's trip to Rimutaka prison with Pita Sharples proclaiming it was better than you would get in many restaurants.

    Is it Correction's fault that Pita eats lunch in crap restaurants and so has no comparison? Jeez, he's really bought into the collective baubles thing, hasn't he?

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    Have you been taking morning tea with Craig, Bob?

    Perhaps metaphorically I have :)

    There's a long history of protest groups being infiltrated by officialdom. It was taken as read in the HART group I was part of in the seventies. I certainly agree that there is false equivalence between civil disobedience within a protest group and the regular criminal activities of a gang - still state paranoia is a wonderful thing to mock when it gets exposed, so maybe we should be thankful for these small mercies on a Friday afternoon? :)

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    Jeez, that performance from Nevil Gibson was truly spectacular. His logic was so circular and he seemed to think that if he repeated the same statement over and over again ("they're from the same worldview") it would somehow make sense.


    Re: taping and "moral equivalence"

    Well, I recall specifically saying that things like wire taps, bugging a person's home etc (ya know, the illegal stuff) would be wrong. But what the Nat secret taper did was not illegal, in terms of recording a conversation you're involved in. How ethically dubious it is to do so is another question, but that depends on the circumstances.

    I can't help but agree with that and argue that in Gordon Campbell got it (mostly) right in his piece in Scoop on the issue earlier this year. And yes, I have thought about this issue in detail- well enough to write a 4,000 word feature/research essay on, anyway....and I don't feel like dragging it out just yet, but might be tempted. Y'know, if you all wanted to be bored...sorry, enthralled to sleep. (I will say though, that both Hager and the Privacy Comissioner were both very, very useful in providing info and context for separate arguments.)

    As an aside, I'm disappointed to hear that bafflingly bizarre John Key tourism video has been taken off Youtube. How did the people in charge let it through in the first place? It's not just the production that is spectacularly amatuerish, but John Key doesn't even pronounce "Maori" and "culture" correctly! And it sounds like he's making shit up on the spot, especially the stuff about Queenstown, which then leads him to free-associating about golf and whales or some such nonsense.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 449 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    “The Corrections sector was sadly neglected by the Labour government. It is clear that prisons are under pressure as a result, and that more beds are required around the country.

    It's especially transparent because in the PR this comment arises when the minister visits the building works.

    Somehow, I'm not seeing an equivalence between gangs running drugs and a political party or a protest group (especially a protest group being encouraged by the informer to commit crimes so he can report on them. We call that an agent provocateur BTW).

    Well, Buchanan calls it 'entrapment', so I'm forced to ask if you looked at the article.

    Others have noticed this too.

    Well spotted. link to that speech

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Craig

    I never said I took Oliver seriously. He's a breakfast TV host FFS! Of course as an actor and director he's seems pretty talented, but what do I know.

    What I did say is that he did a great job of interviewing a total loony.

    I also opined that said loony probably ought to be out of a job as an editor. And I'm sure some would disagree.

    Just to reiterate, breakfast TV provides pretty pictures and entertainment for me as I wait for the caffeine to take full effect. The hosts are not expected to display talent and in the main they live up to that expectation. I do not for a second pretend that Oliver Driver is the next Walter Cronkite. But I did enjoy his effort that day.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I would only support an inquiry if it also looked into the Te Quaeda raids. Spying on groups is spying on groups whether they are Greenpeace or Maori activists.

    I'd like a Te Qaeda inquiry too, but I certainly wouldn't equate the two.

    The Rama lot were putting the frighteners on locals long before the police moved in. (I suspect that had the police not gone so over the top in the Ruatoki raids the local reaction might have been quite different). And urban "peace activists" who buy guns with silencers do give me the shits.

    The Gilchrist spying was on conventional, public organisations undertaking no covert or illegal activities. It's of a different order, to my mind.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    @Craig:

    Hey, if you can take Oliver ("__Naked News__ is a post-modern meta-parody of the vacuity of modern media NOT a tawdry attempt to get attention") Driver seriously, anything is possible. And someone should tell Oliver that he's doing breakfast television, and adopting a 'I'm so above this shit' attitude while exchanging lame banter with a pack of telebimbos just makes him a whore in denial.

    His rationale for Naked Newsflash was utterly unconvincing and the segment is simply rubbish. His past petty feuds with theatre reviewers were extremely lame too. But I fail to see how that invalidates everything else he does or makes him a "whore", FFS.

    @Bart:

    Craig

    I never said I took Oliver seriously. He's a breakfast TV host FFS! Of course as an actor and director he's seems pretty talented, but what do I know.

    I think Oliver Driver is very talented, if maddening at times, and that he's making a good fist of the Sunrise gig when not many people thought he would.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Jarrod Wright,

    Re: the NBR editor on Sunrise...

    The front page banner ad for Greenpeace on their website has me somewhat perplexed...

    I smell financial links to these "extremist" groups with "one world view".

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I think Oliver Driver is very talented

    That's what I'd heard but as I said, I really have not got the experience to know.

    I enjoy him at times on Sunrise. I like his dog. And as I said it's a good light way to let the first coffee work it's morning magic.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    I think Oliver Driver is very talented, if maddening at times, and that he's making a good fist of the Sunrise gig when not many people thought he would.

    Seconded.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The Gilchrist spying was on conventional, public organisations undertaking no covert or illegal activities. It's of a different order, to my mind.

    To me it feels very different, but I'm trying not to trust my feelings on the matter, because they could just be my prejudices. You can't know that a group you are thinking of spying on is doing illegal stuff until you look into it deeply.

    A number of times as a student I met radicals from various legitimate protest groups talking up armed insurrection. From the way they talked, the police would have been very interested. Personally I was not, because I thought their solutions were stupid and their plans feeble even for such a stupid solution. That is also how I feel about Te Quaeda.

    Of course they are not exactly the same, but to me it would be highly politic that inquiries into spying on political groups treat Maori and Pakeha groups the same.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    You can't know that a group you are thinking of spying on is doing illegal stuff until you look into it deeply.

    We can only hope that the police plant informers in such groups as those opposed to the Electoral Finance Act and the repeal of Section 59. You never know, they might be doing illegal stuff. The police should also look at the ACT party, many members of which advocate the right to take illegal drugs and tax evasion.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    You can't know that a group you are thinking of spying on is doing illegal stuff until you look into it deeply.

    Presumably you'd have no objection to having a police webcam in your bedroom then.

    After all, they don't know you're not doing anything illegal until they check...

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Paul and I/S, don't get me wrong, I support an inquiry. I just think it shouldn't exclude Te Quaeda because they are 'obviously different'. If they are different, then why they are different, and how that came to be known should be open to scrutiny.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Ryan Sproull,

    Ben Wilson,

    What is "Te Quaeda"?

    State Highway One • Since Jan 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I also opined that said loony probably ought to be out of a job as an editor. And I'm sure some would disagree.

    If you want to talk about "loonies" who shouldn't be editing a newspaper, I'd rank the editor of the Herald on Sunday (who apparently saw nothing ethically sus about Paul Holmes giving Tony Veitch a hand-job interview after giving him PR advice), or Cate Brett -- who, in my view, should have been fired after the Operation Leaf fiction, not allowed to resign years afterwards. And with all due disrespect, she's working for the the Law Commission on privacy and media ethics? It would be funny if the Law Commission didn't have real influence over legislation...

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    BTW, flase moral equivalence. But you knew that.

    Load of siht, Mark.

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

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