Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Rodney's Folly

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  • Don Christie,

    They're a hard-right party with an urban rather than a rural base.

    See, now that's where I tune out.

    I lived through Thatcher, still visit the UK lots. The two regimes are not the same and nor have the outcomes for the UK been the same.

    But hey, you guys keep doing the Daily Mail's job for them, you're not alone in that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Don, as happy as I would normally be to discuss this in depth, I don't have time at the moment, but please don't take my quote, put it next to someone else's and then suggest that we said the same thing.

    You're putting words in my mouth that I never said.

    I wouldn't give a shit if Brown, or Blair for that matter 'didn't believe in something'. I never said that, so don't suggest I did.

    I care about results. In the UK, to achive, or even go some way towards starting to achive those results would, in my opinion, have taken massively more effort than NuLab put in. Hence, what I actually did say, which was:

    Too little, too late

    So

    Maybe you could do some research before trotting out those platittudes.

    And maybe you could actually read what I said and respond to that, rather than what you think I said, mmmkay?

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

  • Rich of Observationz,

    See, now that's where I tune out.

    So you're not interested in my specific points as to why.

    I lived through Thatcher, still visit the UK lots. The two regimes are not the same and nor have the outcomes for the UK been the same.

    Same.

    Brown/Blair are *worse* that Thatcher. She wouldn't try half the things Labour have, because they would have led to riots and the withdrawal of support from some of the more small-l liberals in the then Tory party.

    Brown has just got more cops and a system that effectively fireproofs the leadership from internal dissent.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Don:

    Do you think twenty years is long enough for "well, at least I'm not Milk-snatcher Thatcher" to stop being a rhetorical get out of jail free card?

    While its not a perfect analogy, its been depressing to watch the Republican Party establishment in the US excommunicate anyone who doesn't toe the party line with sufficient rigour -- there's sure been a lot of people who would be considered firmly on the center-right anywhere else on the planet who've walked away.

    Any why should they -- when a political party turns into a quasi-religious cult (where the only thing worse than an infidel is a heretic) it deserves to fail.

    And I'd sure like to think that if Simon Power even talked about introducing ASBOs here (despite the evidence they're not only horribly illiberal but DON'T WORK), we'd both be extremely pissed off. I'm a National supporter, but I've got limits where pragmatism (and acknowledging you're not going to agree with every line of party policy) just turns into whorish hackery.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Bloody phantom edit button... :)

    And why shouldn't they -- when a political party turns into a quasi-religious cult (where the only thing worse than an infidel is a heretic) it deserves to fail. If the GOP is doomed to electoral irrelevance for a generation -- which isn't liberal wistful thinking IMO -- its alleged leadership has nobody but themselves to blame.

    And Rich wrote:

    She wouldn't try half the things Labour have, because they would have led to riots and the withdrawal of support from some of the more small-l liberals in the then Tory party.

    Well, in 1997 there sure seemed to be plenty of Tory supporters who stayed home because, fairly or not, they were seen as a pack of moralistic hypocrites imploding over issues they just didn't care about. As a friend put it to me at the time, Euroscepticism sounded like a particularly nasty bladder infection, not something that was relevant to her life. And she doesn't read The Mail or the red top tabs, Don.

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

  • Keir Leslie,

    <i>Well, the Holocaust denier who thinks darkies only get Victoria Crosses due to political correctness gone mad who leads the BNP is an MEP-elect for the North West England constituency. Not exactly deep navy blue, electorally speaking.</i>

    Yeah, but the Tories haven't been squeaky clean anti-racists have they, let's be honest.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Edit button!

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Yeah, but the Tories haven't been squeaky clean anti-racists have they, let's be honest.

    Since I didn't claim they were, I'm kind of missing your point here. But do you really want to claim that UKIP and the BNP didn't benefit from disaffected Labour voters -- or a pretty FUBAR protest vote? I'm quite happy to be proved wrong on a point of fact, but I'm not seeing how you can sheet any responsibility for this to the Tories. (And yes, fair point that we're not going to see a fascist government any time soon. But there's no room for complacency either.)

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

  • Keir Leslie,

    Because you seem to blaming Brown for it, which is pretty wtf-ish.

    Whereas Hague talking about Britain becoming a `foreign land' and so-on? that's directly legitimising xenophobia and racism.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    attacking a woman's appearance rather than her work

    To go further: women, whether we disagree with them or not, should not have to put up with people on either side of the political spectrum making constant judgements on how fuckable they are.

    She's vile, but we don't have to be sexist when we discuss *why* she's vile.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Because you seem to blaming Brown for it, which is pretty wtf-ish.

    Yeah, the leader of the Labour Party bears no responsibility for the worse electoral result in a century. Which brings me back to the original question: How badly does this man have to fuck up before he gets shown the door? Obviously worse than that.

    Meanwhile, think the Prime Minister is going to think twice the next time he's tempted to dog-whsitle about "British jobs for British workers"? Looking forward to hearing how that's the Tories fault.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    To go further: women, whether we disagree with them or not, should not have to put up with people on either side of the political spectrum making constant judgements on how fuckable they are.

    Fair snap, just as Rush Limbaugh's weight (or Gerry Brownlee's) should be equally irrelevant. N'est-ce pas? He's fat, she's thin -- I'd rather focus on how they're both toxic and have issues with basic matters of fact. Which was the point I was trying to make, and obviously didn't do very well.

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

  • Keir Leslie,

    Yeah, the leader of the Labour Party bears no responsibility for the worse electoral result in a century.

    He certainly bears no blame for the BNP getting in compared to a party willing, over the long term, to encourage racism and xenophobia in order to win elections.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    And I'd sure like to think that if Simon Power even talked about introducing ASBOs here (despite the evidence they're not only horribly illiberal but DON'T WORK), we'd both be extremely pissed off. I'm a National supporter, but I've got limits where pragmatism (and acknowledging you're not going to agree with every line of party policy) just turns into whorish hackery.

    He already has, in the form of enabling legislation for anti-boy racer bylaws. That legislation is now in select committee.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Craig. I think some context might be in order:

    "As we set out on the next stage of our journey, this is our vision: Britain leading the global economy – by our skills and creativity, by our enterprise and flexibility, by our investment in transport and infrastructure – a world leader in science, a world leader in financial and business services, a world leader in energy and the environment, from nuclear to renewables, a world leader in the creative industries, and, yes, modern manufacturing, too – drawing on the talents of all to create British jobs for British workers."

    Who do you think said this:

    The National led Government is ambitious for New Zealand. We want New Zealanders to realise their aspirations through better opportunities in a prosperous, competitive and open economy.

    What, only NZers? racist pig.

    Brown is down, no doubt about it and as much a victim of his own hubris as other issues.

    But the kicking that is taking place is way too broad and totally ignores the successes and progress due to Labour in the UK. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater won't help come to reasonable conclusions or policies during the upcoming period of reflection.

    What is Gordon Brown supposed to have done wrong (Letters, 8 June)?

    Answer: he saved the world from economic catastrophe ... and nobody likes a Clever Dick.

    There is an element of truth in that joke. Brown has achieved a lot in his career on a national and global scale. I will be sorry when he does, inevitably, go.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    He certainly bears no blame for the BNP getting in compared to a party willing, over the long term, to encourage racism and xenophobia in order to win elections.

    Keir: Yeah, keep saying "British jobs for British workers' until you feel better. Brown is totally unrepentant about trotting out a soundbite that should have been left to rot here, so why should anyone else give a damn?

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

  • Stewart,

    FWIW, Craig, it is bad, worse, worst .

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    As a friend put it to me at the time, Euroscepticism sounded like a particularly nasty bladder infection

    It took your friend until 1997 to notice?

    Anyway, the bladder thing continues.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jun/08/conservative-alliance-european-union

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    What, only NZers? racist pig.

    Don: Cute. But in the context of wildcat strikes around the hiring of foreign workers, can we just grant that it was a stupid and inflammatory soundbite for Brown to come up with. And nobody should have been surprised that it raised the hackles of immigrant communities who have plenty of "context" for that kind of crap?

    If it had been David Cameron, he would have been crucified and deservedly so.

    Meanwhile, if John Key fronts up to a union rally and starts chuntering on about "Kiwi jobs for Kiwi workers" (and, intentionally or not, dog-whsitling about legal migrants 'stealing' jobs) I'll happily volunteer to apply the rubber mallet of loving correction to the back of his head. The voters, in their wisdom, just threw out Winston First and his squalid brand of populist foreigner-bashing. Don't see any need to tolerate the corpse stinking up the place.

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

  • Keir Leslie,

    , so why should anyone else give a damn?

    Look, I'm not saying Brown's perfect, but he's a damn sight better than the party of `rather swamped' and `foreign land' and so-on. One party has actively nurtured a sense of racist grievance, and it hasn't been the Labour Party.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    We want New Zealanders...

    Rather unfortunately, people in this country (like Australians and Americans) use "New Zealanders" or "Kiwis" as a folksier synonym for "people".

    UK politicians haven't, until recently. There isn't even a commonly accepted collective term for British people: "Brits" is semi-derogatory, "Britons" sounds like one's covered in woad, "Britishers" indicates you may be about to be impaled on a German bayonet.

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

  • Don Christie,

    Without denying the tendency of nasty political forces in the UK to use "Britishness" type terms to further their creed, I hardly think the use of British etc. is recent. Did you never hear about the British Empire upon which the Sun never set :-)

    Scottish politicians, like Brown, tend to use it more than their English counterparts, mainly because the latter often use the term English to refer to the entire population of the UK.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Especially unionist Scottish politicians like Brown.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Keir, yep, Brown is certainly a strong representative of the Whig side of the fence.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    On a related note, I can't see this idea taking off if Rodney has his way. I can't really see it gaining much traction even if we don't get councils sticking to their "core functions", but it'll definitely be a dead duck if this nonsense gets enacted.

    Scary thought, really. I lived in Manurewa as a youngster, and took it for granted that public swimming pools were free. It wasn't until we moved to Hamilton that I realised that they're ordinarily not, something that I find rather sad.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

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