Posts by Ben Austin

  • Hard News: The Scientology front…,

    Scientology front groups seem to be how they operate everywhere. Apparently the best approach is to be relentless in exposing them to the public or decision maker (if not the public).

    So hopefully public knowledge of connection will become widespread

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1022 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Rage and change: RNZ's music problem, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    I could sort of see it making sense if RNZ, like TVNZ/whatever 3 is now called were all in the same city/area AND there was quite a bit of new money coming in, so it could be plausibly argued that the newsrooms could cohabit and the new money keep the public service brief. But it isn't that way.

    It seems like a defensive measure, like TVNZ/3 merging. That almost makes more sense really. Two Auckland based newsrooms who both run commercial operations.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1022 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Rage and change: RNZ's music problem, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    I am still a bit unclear on what the benefit is to RNZ or the RNZ audience by the merger.

    Surely after several decades of financial neglect there isn't really much in the way of savings that could be made by merging it into another organisation to save money and even if there were non trivial savings, would that not in effect gut the current organisation (given that it is quite small).

    Does merging the two somehow give RNZ / radio more money to be spent? If so, how? Or is it just diversion of commercial advertising revenue towards bolstering or enhancing the radio offering?

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1022 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Digital persuasion and the…,

    Very interesting to see the NZ connection, young Kiwis bored and in need of a challenge beating a path to London and all that.

    The campaign to make No Deal/Crash Out/WTO Brexit a popular option has been interesting to watch - loads of people are now convinced that they specifically voted for WTO Brexit, despite it not being a thing in 16 or even 17. The marketers / consultants hired by whomever have been very good at finding new slogans to reinforce that.

    I went canvassing over the weekend out in the Home Counties, to help a mate and it was very interesting to see how the strong Conservative voters (as identified by our systems) we spoke to are very angry if Leave leaning, at the party, leadership and everything. Whilst they're gagging for a No Deal, they're also seemingly, like many people Leave or Remain also desperating seeking someone who will take control and march us to a defined direction, even if that happens to be Remain. Anything to escape the current mess.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1022 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cannabis reform is a serious…, in reply to Joe Boden,

    A two stage referendum maybe? First stage - Choose Which Option; Second stage: Status Quo vs Chosen Alternative

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1022 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cannabis reform is a serious…, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    Interesting!

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1022 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cannabis reform is a serious…,

    Has anyone started any formal campaign groups for either side yet?

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1022 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Voting disqualifications (updated),

    I will need to look into this!

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1022 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Voting disqualifications (updated),

    Hi Hilary,

    Very interesting! Do you have any recommended readings on that topic?

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1022 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Abroad and Home,

    Greece came up on the campaign trail all the time by Leavers and the Brexiteers. Still does - to this day I get lectured about youth unemployment in Greece by earnest middle aged or retired men who are fanatical Brexit supporters. So I agree with Tom that it was and is a big issue for the campaign either way. My answer is always the same - I care more about dealing with UK issues I can resolve - like youth employment here. Or help provide a welcoming place for Greeks who want to move to UK for work, whether temporarily or for the long term.

    However I disagree about Greece for other reasons. It seems accepted by all outside of Greece and probably a lot of Greeks would agree, that the successive governments were the authors of their own misfortune regarding spending, tax taking, good governance and record keeping. Any international bailout would have had to deal with these issues as a core part of the settlement. Otherwise it is an implicit endorsement of the bad behaviour that in part led to the crash. Could have the EU dealt with it better? Certainly. Could have the successive Greek governments dealt with the crash and then negotiations better? Certainly. What bearing did this have on the political position of the large, prosperous G7 member state of the UK & NI, home of one of the world's premier financial centres? Little to none. Our problems were not Greece's problems and they still are not, excepting any solidarity we owe them as fellow EU members and neighbours in trouble.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1022 posts Report Reply

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