Posts by Rob Stowell

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance,

    Melanie Reid on RNZ – good rundown on the details and more on the state of journalism. Go newsroom!

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2006 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    A centre-left government led by Andrew Little and James Shaw is likely to be a repeat of Helen Clark’s policies of saying the right thing and being a good manager of capitalism. That doesn’t address the fundamental issues of declining living standards and increasingly precarious career prospects.

    With respect to something else I was reading, I’m still sort of gob-smacked that the Corbyn and Sanders ‘platforms’ are continually described as ‘hard left’ and ‘radical’; by pundits and analysts and career politicians.
    ‘Radical’ and ‘hard-left’ are not so much ways of describing the policies; they are meant, I think, to exclude them from the conversation. Yet on key issues like rates of tax, student fees, and public ownership of assets, the policies would have been considered mainstream – indeed, in many cases, to the right of mainstream, in the UK and US (and NZ) as recently as the 1950s, 60s and 70s. People who describe them as radical seem to be relying on a sort of collective amnesia – or maybe they are just ignorant. Because who looks back and says – oooh! the radical hard left 1950s! More than that – and almost more absurd – often such policies are popular with a majority of voters.
    I guess we have some sense how the conversation came to be so tilted over the last 40 years – right-wing think-tanks, policy capture, the collapse of the soviet union, the economic stagnation of the 70s among other factors all play into it.
    But it’s simply crazy-stupid for avowed parties of the left to accept the way things are and not challenge, at every opportunity, language that insists any hint of socialism is beyond the pale.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2006 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Barclay and arrogance, in reply to Sacha,

    Yeah – the entire defence is a load of waffling bs.
    ‘only the electorate selection committee’ – what a thin, pathetic joke. i bet none of them were present when barclay was told he had to go.
    ‘in the hands of the police’ – indeed, it was. and barclay, probably on legal advice, refused to cooperate. bill, after legal advice, gave a statement when police came to him. and meanwhile, out of sight, dickson was offered big money – and possibly some threats – to take her out of the police equation. in other words, every effort was made by national to ensure the police case was weak.
    the govt forked out big money, accompanied by a confidentiality clause that can only have been to cover this up for the benefit of the party; which clause is endlessly trotted out as if it’s somehow a sacred bond they are duty bound to obey.
    and again and again it's an 'employment dispute' - not an illegal breach of privacy.
    it looks weak AND dishonest. wotever you think of jk, i reckon he’d have wriggled through this with a lot more finesse.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2006 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Interesting Britain!, in reply to BenWilson,

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2006 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Interesting Britain!, in reply to BenWilson,

    I do not understand what Labour hopes to achieve in Brexit other than point scoring over the Tories.

    I'm not well-versed on brexit issues. But my understanding is Labour campaigned on a 'soft brexit' which in practical terms meant trying to negotiate a way to stay inside the common market, and the customs union. To do so, they were willing to also allow 'freedom of movement' - eg staying n the EU common labour (and travel) market. AFAICS in most senses, this is not leaving at all - but maybe getting a corridor pass to slip out for a slash/tizzy/private meltdown.
    It runs into two immediate problems: it clearly won't be accepted by many of the 'brexit means brexit' crowd. And it's far from clear the rest - or any - of the EU would go along with it.
    But it is a position :) and possibly now the best hope.
    [ets - lots here http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/soft-brexit-soft-landing-interpreting-labours-brexit-strategy/ but I haven't time to read it ... ]

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2006 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Interesting Britain!, in reply to BenWilson,

    ....

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2006 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Proper Lorde,

    I count myself a member of the Cult of Bill and I will certainly be there.

    a recent rumour of someone uncovering a 40 minute tape studio recording of the vacuum. that would be a great addition to the legend.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2006 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Interesting Britain!,

    Yeah the press – apart from a late rally at the independent, there was universal distain for Corbyn. Even as he and his close team produced a manifesto that was popular. I just don’t get the uk press.
    What struck me most when I looked last was Labour, Lib Dems and SNP together had about 52% of the vote to the Tories 42%. Yet they had fewer seats.
    It felt like a fairly clear majority rejecting the conservative agenda, so mandate shmandate. But it also leaves a mess – DUP look like strong and unstable partners.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2006 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Asking the…, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    oops. wrong thread. sorry. big fingers, small screen, tiny brain. we'll wake up in the morning and Britain will have voted. at the least, it's been fascinating.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2006 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Asking the…,

    Gary Younge in the Guardian -
    "Even as parties anchor themselves to basic principles, they have to adapt their promises to the times they are in. Blairites and Clintonites did not only once understand this, it was their credo. But having crafted a neoliberal agenda that made their parties electable in the 90s and beyond, they apparently believed their work was done: that the shift to the right was both unidirectional – you could never shift left – and unique – they would never have to shift again.

    The economic crash and the austerity that followed caused a tectonic shift in our political culture; what people wanted from a centre-left party changed. But the received wisdom about electability did not. Its high priests kept insisting elections are won in the centre, without any apparent understanding that the centre can move and, in times of extreme polarisation, disappear. ....

    But the principal problem with the notion of electability is that it is promoted on the premise that what has not been tried cannot possibly succeed. It suggests the way people see the world at any given moment cannot be changed through argument and activism and instead erects borders for what is permissible discussion and polices them determinedly. Those who dream outside those borders are utopian; those who speak outside them are fools.

    The trouble is that in times of crisis, like this, the cost of thinking outside those borders becomes lower for many than the price of living within them. While received wisdom comes with no receipt, it’s always the same people who pick up the tab. A candidate who has connected domestic terrorism and foreign wars and argued for the redistribution of wealth to shore up public services has been surging. This, we were told, was not possible. It’s why, for the first time in a long time, a significant number of people are excited about an election."
    tldr - wake up NZ Labour. It's not the 90s - or 2008 - any more.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2006 posts Report Reply

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