Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Strange Southern Superman

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  • Geoff Lealand,

    I agree with Russell about the Herald's hostility to all things Labour. I have had (private) conversations with two Herald journos in recent occasions and in both cases, they didn't contradict me when I accused the Herald of having a pro-National agenda.

    Then, there is the bloody Listener. If I pick up another issue that has a cover story on the obsessions of baby boomers (real estate, investment, health, how to get your little darlings into Auckland Grammar), I may well puke. Makes PA all the more valuable, doesn't it!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Labour has had overwhelmingly hostile op-ed from the Herald in recent months (for sure, not all of it undeserved). And John Key is having a very long honeymoon. I actually can't recall a positive editorial in that time.

    And I still feel my stomach flip when I recall the treatment Bill English got at the hands of The Herald, not least the copious crocodile tears that flowed when he got rolled? I also hope in a few years, certain media outlets are going to look back on their post-Orewa predictions of race war in the streets if Don Brash ever became Prime Minister and just feel ashamed. In my book there are some places you just don't go, even for rhetorical effect.

    I'd also suggest Clark didn't exactly get a three day honeymoon in Hamilton during the rainy season either.

    In the end, the test for the media is whether this shared equity scheme is going to get the kind of in-depth, and healthily sceptical, analysis it deserves. I certainly agree with Jeanette Fitzsimmons (really) that the speech was a little light on specifics. Not encouraging to hear the Prime Minister blithely on Checkpoint blithely dismiss a reasonable question about what she meant by "moderate income", with "That's getting into definitions." OK...

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I have had (private) conversations with two Herald journos in recent occasions and in both cases, they didn't contradict me when I accused the Herald of having a pro-National agenda.

    And with all due (and perfectly sincere) respect, Geoff, why would they bother? I've recently gotten a predictable bile facial from the usual suspects over on Kiwiblog over agreeing to write for Media 7. You know, unprincipled heretic whore who will sleep with the enemy for money blah blah blah. My mistake thinking that kind of crap is worth engaging with.

    Then, there is the bloody Listener. If I pick up another issue that has a cover story on the obsessions of baby boomers (real estate, investment, health, how to get your little darlings into Auckland Grammar), I may well puke.

    And I'm bloody sick of Vogue which is full of endless bourgeoisie crap about designer clothes, makeup, fashionable people and ads for high-end consumer goods. Bores me rigid, though I guess Conde Nast isn't trying to appeal to the slobby near-middle age style-retarded male market. Yes, I don't really find your average Listener cover story that engaging, but I don't think its really pitched at me either. (Then again, I don't think there's much of a market for a magazine aimed at mildly right-wing sci-fi geeks.)

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, and before anyone thinks I've become a PR flack for APN...

    No, I'm over-impressed with the quality or depth of the O'Herald but think that has more to do with miserable under-resourcing than some nefarious political agenda (covert or overt).

    Discuss.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Meanwhile, you've got to love the blogisphere for lifting The Standard:

    I’ve just listened to Key’s reply to the PM’s speech. I’m underwhelmed.

    Stop the presses! The Standard thinks John Key sucks balls. Next you'll be telling me Cam Slater thinks Helen Clark's preferred mode of transportation is a broom stick.

    But I do have to thank 'all-your-base' for this distubing insight into what makes a lefty blogger squee his pants:

    In terms of replies, Peters stole the show. He laid into Key, taunted the media,** took a swipe at immigrants** and mocked Burka Bob.

    FFS... Sorry, folks, can we just come to a consensus that Winston Peters' immigrant-bating is just beyond the pale, no matter how slick the presentation?

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

  • BenWilson,

    I've recently gotten a predictable bile facial from the usual suspects over on Kiwiblog over agreeing to write for Media 7. You know, unprincipled heretic whore who will sleep with the enemy for money blah blah blah. My mistake thinking that kind of crap is worth engaging with.

    When will you ever learn? You comment on bilefacials.co.nz and think you'll get to star in a romantic comedy?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    When will you ever learn? You comment on bilefacials.co.nz and think you'll get to star in a romantic comedy?

    I was thinking more Alien: The Musical -- where in space, nobody knows any good tunes,but will reliably run into dark corners where they can die. Horribly.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    The PM's speech gets a good review from ... Family First?

    Although Bob McCoskrie's claiming all the credit ..

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    I confess to being amazed at how loony bile explosions get bigger. I always expect people to run out of hyperbolae(?) but they never do.

    As an aside here's a shameful lesson in how nimbyism and affordable housing can really get out of hand: Lets go back to the 20th century to one of England’s most educated cities for the Cutteslowe walls incident. Yep they built a wall across a thoroughfare in order to keep the poor people out. What really gets to me is that the wall stood for more than 20 years. I understand now that certain parts of the council estate are derelict and in the process of being sold to a private developer.......

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The PM's speech gets a good review from ... Family First?

    I wonder if McCoskrie's squee-ness is going to abate when he realises which NGO are likely to snaffle up all that lovely lolly? LOL... if they made a biopic about Bob McCoskrie, they'd have to cast Alicia Silverstone in the lead and call it Clueless.

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

  • dc_red,

    You certainly have quite the memory for alleged NIMBYism Craig - that story you linked to is 7 1/2 years old. It's halfway through primary school.

    And the proposed development seemed so poorly conceived that even Rudman was moved to comment: "I'm as wet and soft-centred as they come, but I would have objected too." Objections are not always based on socio-economic prejudice.

    You're right about one thing though: it would have been in the PM's backyard. Whereas Helensville is a long, long way from Key's backyard.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Re the Herald, I am still undecided as to whether or not they have a strong right-wing bias or simply a strong "it's-easier-to-bash-the-government" bias. I suppose given a 9 year Labour reign they could morph into a very similar thing...


    And re Key: did anyone else catch Oliver Driver interviewing him on Alt last night (not sure if it was live or not)? Actually rather intriguing interview - I like when the "small fish" get those interviews as they tend to be quite wide-ranging as opposed to daily event-focussed.
    For every time Mr Key built my respect (which was regularly), he'd stumble - his strange and inconsistent positioning on the war in Iraq is rather baffling (you think all politicos would have that topic down pat now) and when he calls Kyoto a hoax because it isn't solving global warming and doesn't have developing nations involved, he showed a lack of understanding of purpose that troubled me.
    As my wife said, he needs another year in the oven...

    And credit to Mr Driver for building up the "everyone's leaving the country" bit then asking him "isn't that exactly what you did, with quite some personal success?". An obvious question that I haven't seen asked before and that Mr Key didn't have a solid response to.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And the proposed development seemed so poorly conceived that even Rudman was moved to comment: "I'm as wet and soft-centred as they come, but I would have objected too." Objections are not always based on socio-economic prejudice.

    I think Clark would have been remiss in her role as a local MP if she hadn't voiced residents' objections to that one. It was a large private boarding house that wanted to triple it its capacity by sticking an apartment block in its front yard, in a suburban street. There was already a demonstrable problem with some of the itinerant residents -- my friend who lived across the road with his daughter would have people creeping around his house.

    Clark's choice of words was, as I recall, unfortunate, but the grievance was for real. It went ahead, but I think the owner (the former bass layer for the Commodores!) was forced to reign it in.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Re the Herald, I am still undecided as to whether or not they have a strong right-wing bias or simply a strong "it's-easier-to-bash-the-government" bias. I suppose given a 9 year Labour reign they could morph into a very similar thing...

    They'll be telling themselves it's the latter. And I think the Herald's reporting is still of a high standard -- Audrey Young is the best political reporter in the country, IMHO.

    It's the paper's editorial voice (including most of its senior columnists) that's bonkers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Clark's choice of words was, as I recall, unfortunate, but the grievance was for real.

    Yeah, but the same could be said about Key's comments. the context of 'economic vandalism' was that, given the value of the Hobsonville site, the govt could have sold it off and got enough money to build quite a lot more houses elsewhere, on cheaper land, than the numbers it is building on the Hobsonville site.

    As with Clark, it wasn't all that difficult for poltiical enemies to make it seem like a 'keep the plebs away from me' comment. In both cases that wasn't entirely fair.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    As with Clark, it wasn't all that difficult for poltiical enemies to make it seem like a 'keep the plebs away from me' comment. In both cases that wasn't entirely fair.

    Indeed, Rob. The better half and I were pretty relaxed about buying (literally) across the road from a giant building site, because the inconvenience was outweighed by the prospect of having a public transport hub and a Police station on our doorstep.

    Some residents felt otherwise, and exhausted every avenue open to them under resource management law. Sure, I think there was an element of tiresome NIMBY-osity involved, but there were also legitimate and reasonably expressed concerns about traffic and noise pollution.

    I don't think it's enitrely fair to characterise any problems with the Government's 'affordable housing' policies as nasty Tory toffs who don't want their neighbourhood polluted by dirty poor people.

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

  • BenWilson,

    And credit to Mr Driver for building up the "everyone's leaving the country" bit then asking him "isn't that exactly what you did, with quite some personal success?". An obvious question that I haven't seen asked before and that Mr Key didn't have a solid response to.

    Heh, it's a poser all right. On the one hand, Key could say that he also needed to leave to get ahead. On the other, why did he come back?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I think Clark would have been remiss in her role as a local MP if she hadn't voiced residents' objections to that one.

    Fair enough, and that's a perfectly legitimate role for a constituency MP. And as a local resident affected by a planning decision, it was also entirely appropriate for Helen Clark, as a private citizen, to lodge an opjection.

    But I think its also fair comment to note that constituency MPs are also very sensitive to any actual or perceived self-interest in the representations they make.

    Also not a very good look to me writing personal correspondence on Parliamentary letterhead. Just as Ian Revell could have saved himself a rather public caning by not using Parliamentary letterhead -- and his position as Deputy Speaker -- to try and bully his way out of a couple of parking tickets. (Even worse, it turned out he'd approached then Police Minister Clem Simitch, who politely but firmly suggested he bog off.)

    I know this sounds petty, but despite all efforts to the contrary MPs do enjoy a certain status and deference in the community. And the overwhelming majority of MPs and their staff respect that.

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

  • Gareth Ward,

    And credit to Mr Driver for building up the "everyone's leaving the country" bit then asking him "isn't that exactly what you did, with quite some personal success?". An obvious question that I haven't seen asked before and that Mr Key didn't have a solid response to.

    Heh, it's a poser all right. On the one hand, Key could say that he also needed to leave to get ahead. On the other, why did he come back?

    The beauty of it is that it forces people to think "if someone leaves for a few years then comes back, that ain't so bad" - which shifts the argument away from who's leaving to who's coming back. And positive net migration seems to show that it ain't so bad after all...

    Of course you could argue that if the NZ economy etc was performing at peak, then there would be no need to head offshore to develop those skills - but it's pretty much always the case as Oliver put it "people from Adelaide move to Melbourne for a while, from Dover to London" etc because you are always going to have those options in a bigger market.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Whoops,

    re: Affordable housing in the UK

    IIRC, there was some prioritising of assistance to 'essential service workers' - firemen, police, nurses, teachers etc.

    here • Since Apr 2007 • 105 posts Report Reply

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