what Mana said, before the election, is a huge sum of money and people got dumped on the wider region two days out from the polls, busses and signs and radio and newspaper adds, after Mana had spent theirs and couldn’t respond. That it came from all of New Zealand First, National, and Labour. Every single bit of it focused on killing the Mana party with bullshit attack slogans that they had no chance to respond to.
What is interesting to me - bigger picture person here, not that interested in the internecine in-the-trenches- caucus stuff - is where Cunliffe was coming from. I don't buy that he simply doesn't like minority far left parties very much. National were whooping and punching the air when Hone lost: you would think Cunliffe would enjoy having people beside him who can discomfit Key in a way he himself has signally failed to do. I also don't buy that he did the clever thing and dissociated himself from a party which he knew the voters would reject - unless he was in on the media hate campaign before it happened, unlikely.
Cunliffe is as frightened of Dotcom as John Key. Last week talking to Katherine Ryan he failed to correct her time and again when she insisted that Key had exonerated himself with his cortex revelations: Cunliffe's either inconceivably dim and did not pay attention at the moment of truth, or he was perfectly happy to let that disinformation slide into the public consciousness. I suspect the latter. The only reason I can think of for the pure antipathy he has consistently shown here, is that he knows that if he does get in, he will be the one at the top with full knowledge that mass surveillance is going on (if he doesn't know already), and he has no intention of taking on America over five eyes. Similarly it will be him handing Dotcom over to America, and that's awkward to do to a former ally.
Or - last explanation and least likely, but kind of funny - he knows Dotcom is a whole lot smarter than him (Key certainly does) and they both find that scary.
But in one way that backfired for Dotcom. One and a half hours of solid well-argued cogently presented convincing evidence is too much for the soundbite generation, or maybe even the average person. What they heard were the 3news headlines next day, 'Dotcom bellyflop etc.' All you had to do was listen people....
I’m not convinced the foreignness is a *huge* part of it… I think the bigger part is his questionable moral/criminal history (and present) and how conspicuously he was trying to influence the election
I think the point would be, not that Dotcom would not have been targeted in any case, but that xenophobia is recognized as an effective and acceptable way to do that.
As for his criminal present - it depends on your definition of criminality. Laws are only ever as good as the people who make them, and national have already started changing ours (GCSB) to fit with the American agenda.
Dotcom is simply competition to American media interests, which are global media interests. My understanding is he hasn't even broken copyright law, but that others can use Upload to do so. Corporates don't want to chase hundreds of millions of individual (poor) downloaders around the globe. It's all about the money: John Key is afraid not to give America what it wants. There is no real moral disapprobation here. The blacker he can paint Dotcom now, the less pusillanimous it will seem when he hands America his head on a plate.
I agree, except about Dotcom's promise to prove Key knew him well before the mansion raid. I think he probably did exactly that, with the email from the Hollywood mogul, but time will tell.
I will say this: Paul Henry calling Dotcom 'the fat German criminal' on mainstream TV on election night, shows a comfort with contemptuous and near hate-filled xenophobia which can only come from a culture embedded deep within his organisation.
Xenophobia is close kin to racism, pure and simple. I find it deeply disturbing that TV3 apparently finds this acceptable. It is frightening that this orchestrated hate campaign exists at all, and then that it is focused on Dotcom's being foreign as a key element of untrustworthiness/unlikeability.
The alternative green economy in the US last year was worth a trillion dollars. The majority of California's energy is already provided for by solar power stations; solar cars race across Australia each year. Oil, coal and gas fuel archaic technologies and will eventually run out if we don't have the common sense to stop using them first, but the alternative is not poverty and decline. A progressive government would see the change that is coming as an opportunity. This should be our chance to be at the cutting edge of innovation, but instead National are focused on an age which is already nearly past.
I agree you can simplify, and three main planks isn't bad at all, but that's not the fundamental problem. There's little point in breast-beating about policy because their policies were relatively clear and far better than National's. National didn't even push policy: working for New Zealand is all they needed - because of John Key. It's a personality cult pure and simple. The vast majority of people wanted him as Prime Minister, while Cunliffe who was down in the nine percents or whatever. Cunliffe's only chance was to break down that perception of Key as the Kiwi bloke next door, and expose him as the cynical media manipulator he in reality is. Cunliffe was handed the opportunity on a plate, through dirty politics and even the GCSB revelations - but funked it. He has been afraid to tackle Key when it counted and go in hard; he never even properly stuck it to him over policy failures, like education, national debt and asset sales, which should have been easy. And he backed National against Internet Mana - so minimizing the relevance of the Moment of Truth. What is he afraid of? Too late now.
I'd agree. Still doesn't change the fact that the IES is not backed by any credible evidence that it works, though. $359 million dollars thrown away on brown-nosers (if they're out there) who'll back National Standards.
National have been a catastrophe for education. They fail to engage with professionals, have introduced National Standards which have resulted in a plummet in our OECD outcomes, and as you say push a business model which fails to recognise that the strength of our education system has always stemmed from collegiality and collaboration. I estimate that I now spend a minimum of 20% of my classroom time assessing or collecting data to meet the various reporting demands. That is lost face to face teaching and learning time. Their rhetoric sounds good, but the truth is that nothing National have done has been supported by sound evidence of improved learning outcomes, and the children are lost somewhere along the way.