OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Sunlight Resistance

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  • Rex Widerstrom, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    I think you're right, Andrew.

    Which is why I've always taken a very Reithian view of the media's role as being to "inform, educate and entertain". Unfortunately, to suggest that the public need educating is seen as elitist / snobbish / "beltway" (where did that come from, anyway? It's being bandied about now as if it provides irrefutable evidence of the fact that the manufacturing of sausages doesn't matter, only how good they taste and what they look like in the butcher's window).

    Whether our politicians are misusing the immense weight of state power to crush individuals is something everyone should be concerned about, because it's been shown that all one needs to do to warrant it is to question whether one's receiving the correct benefit entitlement, or being treated fairly by ACC, or even simply doing the job of a public servant. Those are circumstances in which thousands of people find themselves every day, and so are potentially victims.

    It's probably not a popular view, but I think the Gallery's major failing was in giving it's audience too much credit. "It can't happen to me / my family / anyone I care a fig about" is the first hurdle I encounter when trying to change minds on justice policy and redressing wrongful accusations or convictions.

    Often, pointing out it happened to me is enough to prompt a rethink. At other times I have to join the dots. "Do you have a son? Does he go out on the town with his mates? Well what if..."

    The Gallery did an excellent job of covering the facts, a good job of communicating the outrage of educated observers, but a poor job in driving home how that might affect the voter, or someone close to them. As I said, I don't think they saw that as their job, and for very good reason. But it can be done, apolitically, even by referring back to the blots on the record of the "other lot" if necessary. And it needs to be done.

    We can't cede the realm of decency and integrity in political life simply because too many of our fellow citizens have lost sight of why it matters.

    Perth, Western Australia • Since Nov 2006 • 157 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    ""And please can people stop saying half of New Zealand voted for National … sigh.""

    "Can we say half of them didn’t?
    I think, statisticaly, that is more accurate."

    No it isn't. Roughly a million voted for National and another million didn't vote at all. The remainder voted for someone else.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 258 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover, in reply to Rex Widerstrom,

    “beltway” (where did that come from, anyway?

    Washington DC (wiki)

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Creon Upton,

    You know, for the last twenty years or so we’ve had outraged puritans, from, I don’t know, Kim Hill to John Banks, reviling this “postmodernism” thing that’s been taught in the universities

    It’s more like twenty years since anyone’s prattled about the horrors of ‘postmodernism’. The real assault on academic privilege, or perhaps more importantly the vital role of qualified academic public opinion, has long since been ramped up into something vastly more dangerous.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment

    “beltway” (where did that come from, anyway?

    New Zealand’s capital, Wellington , is of course Sansabelt

    There, I believe the ‘sphere of influence’ is known as The Thorndon Bubble!
    (despite NBR's push for the American descriptor ahead of The Thorndon Bubble, and 'Bowen Triangle' - which just sounds like Sherwood's Merry Men forming a small percussion section...)

    …perhaps it's to do with the active Film making industry in the region?
    or the soft soaping we get from those inside it?

    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to krothville,

    Not picking up on false equivalences, and subsequently falling for misdirection.

    Fran's not falling for anything. She's part of the misdirection.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac, in reply to nzlemming,

    Fran O'Sullivan's column today is very, very -ummmm nasty. Similar to what Slater writes but with bigger words.

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • krothville, in reply to nzlemming,

    Well, you could say that too. But then as well, there are the people critiquing her column apparently accepting her assertion that the two sets of information are equivalent, and governed by the same laws and norms. But they're not. And I see this happen all the time, not just Fran's comment in this discussion, but in the newspapers and TV 'journalism' in this country.

    Since Sep 2014 • 73 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Ianmac,

    Yes, I wonder if my comment will make it in . She deserved a whack for that one. It is nasty.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Euan Mason,

    Roughly a million voted for National and another million didn't vote at all. The remainder voted for someone else.

    So like I later said, More than Half Didn't Vote for National.
    Some people just can't count, exactly half only helps if you want to emulate Dennis Skinner, British MP, otherwise, more than half is a majority. Geddit?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Ianmac,

    I do wish The Herald would retire the old girl. How could anyone think Fran O’Sullivan at her age had any idea about what the future will/should look like. She reminds me of a vindictive grandma – why, is anyone’s guess. A relic of times well and truly past.

    PS I don’t normally do ‘ad hominem’ but given her love for it – I’m sure she’ll appreciate my being so un-polite. Sorry Fran, but it’s just the way it is – you do remind me of a vindictive grandma. Not that I know any other vindictive grandmas – all the grandmas I know (me being one) are loving, caring sorts.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Anyone considering that, maybe, Labour needs young blood to rejuvenate itself should reflect on the words of Harry Smith of Barnsley at the British Labour Party conference This is why the Labour Party exists. Harry Smith is 91.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    I do wish The Herald would retire the old girl. How could anyone think Fran O’Sullivan at her age had any idea about what the future will/should look like. She reminds me of a vindictive grandma – why, is anyone’s guess. A relic of times well and truly past.

    It won't happen anytime soon. She's too valuable to the Auckland country club set for it to happen.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5415 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    And her NZ US Council.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Geriatric or treat?

    Not that I know any other vindictive grandmas – all the grandmas I know (me being one) are loving, caring sorts.

    Welcome to Bolton...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    It won’t happen anytime soon. She’s too valuable to the Auckland country club set for it to happen.

    Indeed. I do find it quite off-putting when I return to Kapiti (a place we used to live) as it is just so noticeable how folks with grey hair outnumber the rest of the population. When you live in a more balanced demographic (as we do now), a return to a more dominant aging population does focus your attention.

    My experience of young people is that they all love their grandparents and have a lot of compassion for the elderly, but they don't see the elderly as those with the ideas (or even an understanding or a vision) for the future. Folks of Dotcom's age (i.e., non baby boomers) are the ones they seek out and pay more attention to. The IMP roadshows were chocker full of people who wanted to hear more from KDC than Laila and Hone. What KDCs "pull" gave to Laila and Hone was an opportunity to put forward their message/vision. What the Laila, Hone, Annette and John's need to do is bring the youth of their respective movements to the fore. That's the future.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    I think it's very ironic that the Herald's commenting guideline says:

    We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others

    Why don't they apply that to their columnists? Although it's significant that the Herald notes that O'Sullivan is "A columnist for the NZ Herald" rather than a journalist.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Drinnan reminds us how Collins thwarted implementation of the Law Commission's proposals for regulating blogs while busy playing dirty politics through a couple of them.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to nzlemming,

    Why don’t they apply that to their columnists? Although it’s significant that the Herald notes that O’Sullivan is “A columnist for the NZ Herald” rather than a journalist.

    I also find it ironic that The Herald's online community by a wide majority, don't see it Fran's way either. See the results of this online opinion poll on a the very straight-forward question:

    Who do you believe - John Key or Kim Dotcom?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11325032

    And Fran's corresponding column on the same subject;

    Fran O'Sullivan: Key wins - now let's focus on real issues
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/fran-osullivan/news/article.cfm?a_id=13&objectid=11325841

    She could not have been more wrong .. in accordance with Herald readers, that is.

    I assume they keep her on for the newsprint buyers (i.e. her generation).

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Folks of Dotcom’s age (i.e., non baby boomers) are the ones they seek out and pay more attention to.

    I like to think of us as "X Generation", although the term seems to almost have vanished. Maybe we won't get our whole 20 years of power, but I think we're going to be getting at least 10 from natural attrition, beginning pretty much now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • CJM, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Roll on with the paywall for the Herald. I think they're going to find that the online readership will drastically fall away. True, the comments will revert to the true-blue-believers stroking each others egos but the advertisers will be seriously worried. Armstrong and O'Sullivan et al preaching to the converted doesn't strike me as much of a sustainable business model...

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac, in reply to CJM,

    Wonder how the columnists are gearing up to condemn the man Mr Cunliffe who they seem to fear so much? David Cunliffe is going to put himself forward for due process for re-election and good luck for that David.

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to nzlemming,

    Holy shit (can we say that here?). Why am I not surprised.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • CJM, in reply to nzlemming,

    Holy moly!
    Can we have a NZ Guardian please?

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

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