Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The epitome of reason

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  • Alfie, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    ...all politicians are liars...

    It's a world-wide problem. The Guardian analyses why politicians lie in the context of the LibDem MP Alistair Carmichael blatantly lying his arse off to damage the SNP during the recent election.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report

  • nzlemming,

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2937 posts Report

  • Amanda Wreckonwith, in reply to nzlemming,

    “….with a penchant for thumbing his nose at authority and any and all manifestations of the “nanny state”

    Even when a right wing toss pot gets caught behaving badly, the Herald still manages to get a dig in at the expense of the left.

    When will we get to see the phrase “dead beat Dad state” make an appearance in our media?

    Since Sep 2012 • 171 posts Report

  • Hilary Stace,

    I have hope that the generation born since about 1990 looks like it is starting to do politics in a new activist and global way. After all if dramatic and collaborative political intervention doesn't happen on slowing climate change they are the generation which could experience the extinction of the human race in their lifetime. That's quite a motivating challenge. The current way of doing politics will soon be history.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    cool to have a meme named in your honour though, right?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Amanda Wreckonwith,

    When will we get to see the phrase “dead beat Dad state” make an appearance in our media?

    I think it was Russell Brown who came up with the "wait till your father gets home" state as the possible successor to the nanny state a few years back.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I have hope that the generation born since about 1990 looks like it is starting to do politics in a new activist and global way.

    They impress me too, and Generation Zero is but one manifestation of their better grasp of securing change. I see a prospect of a genuine parallel social change system while current politics dies.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    I respect the work yourself, Jordan Carter and others did on updating Labour's policy platform. If only you hadn't been let down repeatedly by other crucial party functions like strategic communications and fundraising.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Mick Rose, in reply to Dave Hansford,

    Are those of us staring at the microcosm – trying to make sense of two disappointing election results – looking the wrong way, while some irreversible social tide goes out?

    Yes, very much this. The contempt I feel for Key and National is nothing against the despair I feel that so many of my compatriots choose to vote for them.

    And I think you forgot one: What if the steady stream of migrants to NZ are much more likely to be National/ACT/Conservative voters than not? And what if our current immigration policy settings (and policy on refugees) is deliberately structured to make this so?

    And while I'm sure it's not irreversible I'm finding it hard to see a good ending to this social tide's retreat ...

    Since Oct 2010 • 7 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The Future of Work thing

    is that a thing? sounds interesting.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    It's like "Epsom Dick"

    a classic of English cuisine.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Deborah,

    I have no belief that Little has any motivation other than power and hence would shift policies on a whim

    Andrew has a long and consistent history of working on behalf of workers, and looking for practical ways to achieve gains for workers, without at the same time demonising businesses.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report

  • Deborah, in reply to Sacha,

    The Future of Work thing

    is that a thing? sounds interesting.

    It is indeed a thing, and a large one at that. It's the Party's major focus at present, with a whole lot of work going on within caucus, and outside of caucus, with MPs getting out and consulting and talking and putting together discussion papers which will turn into focused policy.

    Here's the speech launching it: The Future of Work

    An extract from that speech:

    A major theme of my work as Leader will be developing a long-term economic plan that’s about making the most of the changing nature of work, that’s about increasing productive investment, and building an education system that’s fit for the challenges of the 21st century.

    To do this, Labour will establish a Future of Work Commission to work with New Zealanders over the next two years to develop policies for creating more jobs, creating better jobs, and getting New Zealand ready for the economic challenges of the next twenty years.

    The purpose of the Commission will be to look at how we adapt to the rapidly approaching changes ahead; how we make sure ours is a society and an economy that generates work and incomes for a stable and prosperous community, and how we prepare for the likelihood of multiple changes in jobs over a working life, including having periods of no paid work.

    Here's a recent article from the Sunday Star Times about it: Labour rolls up its sleeves to tackle the future of work

    Here's Grant Robertson on the main themes of the project: Five themes for Labour Party's Future of Work Commission

    So it's very much a thing, and very much focused on getting something done. I've seen some of the early work that's coming out of this project, and it's looking good.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Deborah,


    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Rob Hosking, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I think one of the most significant differences between Labour and the Greens is that the Greens are currently having a leadership battle, and the media is completely ignoring it. Labour should be so lucky.

    It's had coverage. It hasn't had as much coverage, perhaps, because the candidates have not gone all Rats in the Ranks on each other (which is not to say there aren't a few tensions).

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report

  • George Darroch, in reply to Rob Hosking,

    Rob's right. There's been a bit more attention this week, and will be next, but because this has been a collegial contest it's lacked spark.

    Isaac Davidson has done an excellent job of capturing the state of the contest in its final week. What you see below is as close as there has been to open criticism.

    Mr Shaw has spent much of his energy in the leadership meetings trying to dispel two criticisms - that he is a National MP in disguise, and that he lacks experience. The first issue partly stems from his slick, business-friendly reputation, which comes from his past work in making mega-brands such as BP and Coca-Cola more sustainable and green. But it can mostly be blamed on National MPs and commentators who have goaded him, describing him as National-lite. It annoys him, he says, because it suggests that National "has a lock on every single business person".

    He feels economic credibility is a key barrier to voting Green, and wants his party to develop an economic front bench of four or five MPs.

    Mr Hague is sceptical of Mr Shaw's leadership credentials. He says the MP was only one part of the Greens' popularity in Wellington, and his recipe for success does not translate to South Auckland, suburban areas and provincial centres. Would he be at home speaking on a marae, to farmers or to trade unionists, Mr Hague asked, and could the wider population relate to a Wellington-based, metrosexual MP who doesn't drive?

    One thing that has come from this is greater unity and strength. Having four men hold around 50 meetings to talk about ideas and vision has connected them with their membership, and tested their stamina.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report

  • Deborah, in reply to George Darroch,

    Having four men hold around 50 meetings to talk about ideas and vision has connected them with their membership, and tested their stamina.

    Which is very much what happened during the last Labour leadership process too. These are good processes, and highly democratic ones. I recommend them.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report

  • Barnaby Nicholls,

    It's good to be wary about comparisons between UK and NZ Labor, but the biggest thing in common is how many people were caught by surprise by the nature of the most recent elections. There's a lesson against being caught in your comfortable bubble of online leftwing activism - I like it, but it ultimately doesn't grow support. Owen Jones has written a good piece on connecting with voters, undoubtedly the key challenge but one that Podemos in Spain has confronted with success:


    "Outside the political world, most think in terms of issues to be addressed in a way that is convincing, coherent, and communicated in a language that people understand. Statistics and facts won’t win the support of millions; we’re human beings, we think in terms of empathy. Stories are more persuasive, because they speak to us emotionally."

    This for me was the most attractive part of the Greens 2011 campaign - their focus wasn't on how policies would affect GDP or some other bloodless measure, but on what it meant to have a richer NZ. There was a coherent story describing a lifestyle people could support. This is the kind of thing you need to do to have any hope of popular support. Being in opposition isn't enough, you have to tell a coherent and engaging story.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2013 • 19 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Alfie,

    …all politicians are liars…

    It’s a world-wide problem.

    As far as I can tell the way we select MPs dictates they must be liars. Consider that an MP must be able to stand in front of the local RSA and win their votes and next morning show up at the local Plunket mtg and win their votes and then do lunch with some business wonks and win their votes and do an hour on some campus and win the students votes ...

    It simply is not possible for a normal person who naturally tells the truth to please all those audiences.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Deborah,

    Andrew has a long and consistent history of working on behalf of workers, and looking for practical ways to achieve gains for workers, without at the same time demonising businesses.

    And I trust your judgement on that. And yet I don't feel like he stands for anything other than gaining power. Somewhere there is a disconnect and I accept it may just be me.

    Also note that I do trust your judgement on that because you've been here a while and been consistent and honest.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Deborah,

    : The Future of Work

    That doesn't sound like it will be easy to translate into specific policy.

    But having the Labour Party focused on ... well ... labour, doesn't seem like a bad fit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Russell Brown,

    the Democrats didn’t have to contend with a centre-right party claiming the centre.

    That'd be because the Democrats are the "centre-right" party in US politics. There is no left, just "right" and "much, much further right".

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report

  • dcrobertson01, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Steffan Browning is the reason I, for the first time since 1990, won't be voting Green next time. I had my doubts last time, and did consider Mana. Labour - well, they haven't filled me with confidence - but Andrew Little seems to be doing a good job.

    I ranked Browning last on the list before the last election, but he must have enough support in the Green Party to get back up near the top. Since then he has supported the use of Homoeopathy to cure Ebola, he's tried to get Seralini invited to address parliament and in the last Te Awa has said we have to get away from the mantra of evidence based medicine.

    I don't know if the Greens know how damaging Browning and his ilk are to the Green Party. I am pretty sure Kevin Hague and the other leadership contenders, most of the MPs in fact, don't agree with him, but they are too gutless to do anything about it. They say - quietly - he doesn't represent party policy. A bit like the French National Front disowning Jean-Marie Le Pen. Of course the FNP aren't racist. Anymore.

    They keep going on about reaching out to women, Maori and Pasifica people - they still seem to think these people can't do science or something. Obviously reaching out to people with science backgrounds won't work. Imagine going to a meeting with a bunch of people who think you are involved in conspiracies to give kids autism, poison them with fluoride, mutate them with GMO's, keep them sick with dangerous drugs - and then tell you to trust the science on climate change, and to embrace smart technologies. Think you'd want to join? Obviously Pharmacists wouldn't have a problem - they already deal in quack medicines.

    In economics, politics, sociology and so on, you can always find an example to support your case. You can't go back and say 'lets run that experiment again, but with a different interest rate' or whatever.

    But with science, you have to argue that for decades, scientists have been engaged in a conspiracy to hide the truth. You know, that's what's wrong with the CIA and the SIS. Not enough scientists. Those scientists really know how to keep a secret. No leaked memos, no hacked emails, no insiders blowing the whistle. Only the Wakefeilds and Seralinis and Monktons, the Dr Ozs, Food Babes and the Health Rangers.

    I didn't do a lot for the Greens in the last election - but maybe it was enough to get Browning back in. Sorry. Thing is - if they get another 10%, who else is there on the list? Will we get aromatherapy and iridology covered in the health budget? If ACT could get 'charter' schools, why not? Or bans on WiFi in Schools?

    Who knows what they'll want to do. We didn't know what Labour wanted to do in 84, either. Once bitten ....

    Since Feb 2014 • 5 posts Report

  • Roger Lacey,

    What I don't get is how Labour treats the 9 years of Clark government like it never happened. They seem to think that the Clark government was toxic and that any mention of it will set them further back in the polls. Why do they never refer to their track record of sound economic management, budget surpluses, Kiwisaver, the Cullen Fund etc.? They seem content to sit around saying "we wouldn't do that" until everyone gets fed up with the incumbents and are given their turn again.
    I have no real idea whether they are going to be National Light or the new Communist Party and I do try to keep an eye on what's going on. My guess is that the general public didn't know either and were spooked by the messages that a Labour/Green government would mean more taxes so decided to stick with the devil they knew. Meanwhile the devil was running up record deficits to pay for their tax cuts while profiting from record dairy prices, huge insurance payouts for Chch and selling state assets.

    Whatakataka Bay Surf Club… • Since Apr 2008 • 148 posts Report

  • Matthew Hooton, in reply to Roger Lacey,

    I don't think there is an example (perhaps Muldoon in 1975???) where a party gets elected into government from opposition from saying "didn't we do a good job last time". Talking to a 25 year old voter in 2017 about the Cullen Fund is to talk about a policy that was implemented when they were about 7. (Cullen Fund was soon after 1999 election I think).

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 195 posts Report

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