Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Secret Code

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  • Russell Brown,

    Nice point from Gordon Campbell on Scoop:

    Whenever the media whines in future about politicians refusing to answer their questions, Phil Goff’s interview on Alt TV is a perfect example of what can happen when they do : a beat-up of monumental proportions, not even remotely supported by what was said.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison,

    A question: Given Cullen will leave irrespective of the election outcome, would it be seen as a disaster/panic or a good move if he relinquished the deputy PM/Fin. Minister before? After all, he has delivered tax cuts, and more besides, but I think he is not well regarded by the public.

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls,

    Heh. I like my typo: "nedia". They can be needy for stories...

    I guess that makes MSN the mainstream nedia.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    "There is no question about leadership at the moment," he said yesterday when questioned about his pre-recorded television interview.

    A seasoned politician who wanted to end discussion about leadership would usually give such an answer unconditionally, without qualifications such as "at the moment".

    It really is a stupid game the media and the politicians play around this.

    If we take this argument to its logical conclusion, Goff should have left it at "no question about leadership", and the Labour Party should wait around for Helen to die before it becomes a question "of the moment'.

    Don't these reporters have useful things to do with their time?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    "Don't these reporters have useful things to do with their time?"

    Couldn't they all go mountain climbing or boy-racing or something?

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Thanks Kyle, I feel we're on to something here:

    1/ Media frantic at revelation election might not return sitting government

    2/ Media frantic at suggestion that one day HC might step down and someone else will have to lead Labour Party

    Therefore, to reduce media anxiety, do away with free elections and make Helen Clark leader for life. One can only presume this is what they want.

    Plus it would be kind of fun to see Ralston, O'Sullivan, Darth and friends go apoplectic, while Guyon and Duncan gleefully(?) report that "Labour has won the game and we can retire happy".

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

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Another scenario is that Key proves to be hopelessly underdone, the media narrative turns to speculation about conflict between him and English and the public reacts poorly to spending cuts and remembers that it never like Tony Ryall in the first place.

    The other doomsday scenario for National is that they decide to implement the 'the Grand Plan' adopt an ACT policy platform and plunge the country another few rungs down the OECD, get annihilated in the subsequent election and spend another decade in the cold.

    I suspect that Key's assets as a leader will be his grasp of strategy and team management. While his poor performance in the media make him a lousy campaigner he could pan out into a pretty good PM - although to get snobby for a second I don't think he has the intellectual depth to be a great one.

    I do think that if Labour doesn't gold-plate the list prospects of the likes of Grant Robertson, Phil Twyford, Moana Mackey etc, this year they're nuts.

    I'm picking that the list will once again be about rewarding Clark's mates for their years of loyalty but maybe she'll surprise us.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The other doomsday scenario for National is that they decide to implement the 'the Grand Plan' adopt an ACT policy platform and plunge the country another few rungs down the OECD, get annihilated in the subsequent election and spend another decade in the cold.

    Which is why The Founder -- aka Roger Douglas -- was unceremoniously told to fuck off? Far be it from me to give Labour any free campaign advice, but they're really going to have to do a little better than Irradiated Rogergnomes Under The Bed. I really think that's going to work as well as the GOP's latest strategic brainfart -- let's paint Obama as Neville Chamberlain with added melanin.

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

  • Danielle,

    do a little better than Irradiated Rogergnomes Under The Bed

    But... if they don't stand for economic reform a la Roger Douglas, with the privatising and the freemarketeering and the tax cuts yadda yadda yadda, what exactly do they stand for then? I am confused.

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

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Irradiated Rogergnomes Under The Bed

    Now that would give me nightmares. Sitting there all night muttering about flat tax and asset sales.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    But... if they don't stand for economic reform a la Roger Douglas, with the privatising and the freemarketeering and the tax cuts yadda yadda yadda, what exactly do they stand for then? I am confused.

    To be honest, you could say the same for Labour and their traditional base.

    I think both parties stand for 1. winning the election, followed by 2. everything else.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    But... if they don't stand for economic reform a la Roger Douglas, with the privatising and the freemarketeering and the tax cuts yadda yadda yadda, what exactly do they stand for then? I am confused.

    As am I. National appear to be pursuing the same election strategy adopted by Rudd; we'll do everything the current mob are but just that little bit better... that's a great approach if you think you can win 50% of the vote, but if you know you can't and need coalition partners, surely you have to give some sop to ACT? For example, I think Key was being entirely honest when he said no asset sales in the first term.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    To be honest, you could say the same for Labour and their traditional base.

    I kind of disagree, in that even though Labour has some iffy thirdwayishness about them, there is a kind of vague 'hey, poor peeps, here's something that helps you not starve to death!' quality to their policies. So you can say they stand for *something*. I still don't have any idea what National's general brief actually is. 'We're not Labour! But we won't sell everything off (yet)! Or cut benefits! Or do anything that might conceivably be associated with the new right reforms! We'll just... be better!' Um, OK...

    Craig is going to splutter at me now. Three, two, one... :)

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

  • elsketcho,

    Exactly,
    this 'golden rule' is a media generated phenomenon riding on the back of some unwritten law that politicians are not allowed to speak honestly. Both factions need to get a grip, and get on with making and reporting policy in an election year. The politicians in this country need to grow up.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Craig is going to splutter at me now. Three, two, one... :)

    Can't be bothered wasting the saliva, really. I can't help but think certain right-wingnuts are going to go to their graves convinced compulsory Bilingual Lesbian Marixism is just around the corner - and taking its bloody time, need I add. More fools them, and I can understand the yearning for political fundamentalism among plenty of people (on both the right and the left), but I can sleep well without it.

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

  • Gareth Ward,

    Bilingual Lesbian Marixism is just around the corner

    Between this and cheap Treble Cone passes, SIT is looking all the more attractive really...

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

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I kind of disagree, in that even though Labour has some iffy thirdwayishness about them, there is a kind of vague 'hey, poor peeps, here's something that helps you not starve to death!' quality to their policies. So you can say they stand for *something*. I still don't have any idea what National's general brief actually is. 'We're not Labour! But we won't sell everything off (yet)! Or cut benefits! Or do anything that might conceivably be associated with the new right reforms! We'll just... be better!' Um, OK...

    Yeah, but if you're looking at Rogernomics/new right, neither party traditionally has stood for that, but both picked it up and ran with it, particularly Labour.

    If you were to compare mid-80s Labour with today Labour government, you'd have trouble believing they were the same party.

    National will find itself again, I just think that it hasn't needed to for this election. It's looking like it's going to win barring a disaster, they don't need to clearly define the party, leadership, or even policy so far. They've just been given a 27% lead. Not standing for much is rewarding them really well.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    OK, I'll bite.

    The thing which gets lost in all this is that National is basically a conservative party rather than being a particularly right wing one. And pre-Thatcher/Reagan/Richardson conservatives govts here and overseas tended to manage the status quo. They represent people who don't want more change than is absolutely necessary and tend, by instinct, to be mistrustful of ideology - any ideology. British Historian AJP Taylor, only slightly provocatively, wrote that conservative govts basically defend the radical achievements of the previous generation.

    Which is also why some people say Labour in NZ at the moment has a lot of characteristics of a conservative govt. They have, pretty much, defended most of the radical achievements of the previous generation, only those radicals were on the right - Douglas and Richardson. Labour even, according to that study which came out a week ago, kept benefit levels at the same level, if not lower in real terms, as when Ruth Richardson slashed them.

    That doesn't mean there aren't some pretty rigorous free marketeers in the National and Act parties. But they ain't running the show.

    Most people now see the '84 Labour govt as being an aberration: what many still fail to realise is that so was the 1990 National govt.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    The thing which gets lost in all this is that National is basically a conservative party rather than being a particularly right wing one.

    I really like this explanatory theory. And I hope you're right. I just have a sort of niggling suspicion about those lurking, rigorous freemarketeers...

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

  • Idiot Savant,

    I'd be there if I was in town.

    Ditto, if I wasn't also having to run a dinosaur hunt through death valley.

    Places to go, people to be...

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Ditto, if I wasn't also having to run a dinosaur hunt through death valley.

    That's not code for Peter Dunne & Ohariu is it?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    That's not code for Peter Dunne & Ohariu is it?

    I wish.

    No, just a way of saying that I have other hobbies that trump politics.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Well done Alt TV, in generating nationwide media interest in such a non-story. And in the process they’ve created the impression that they are at the leading edge of political news as well as big tits.

    But what was everyone else thinking by running with it?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    If I can just run a counter-factual here: If Bill English had gone on Alt TV and said that if National loses, he would be in the running for leadership, do people here think the media should have ignored it?

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Wammo,

    But what was everyone else thinking by running with it?

    What was "big tits" doing a promo on Campbell Live the other night? And 3 news wonders where the viewers are going...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 42 posts Report Reply

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