Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: 2014: The Meth Election

227 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 4 5 6 7 8 10 Newer→ Last

  • SteveH, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    That said, Steve, I really don’t think anyone who was terribly keen to retrospectively amend under extreme urgency the Electoral Act to avoid a by-election nobody really wanted (or could afford to contest) could be characterized as “outsiders”.

    By "outsider" I just meant that Key was not a career politician and therefore may not have the same respect for the process that someone who has focused on how the government works for a longer period might have. I see the use of urgency as a symptom of that.

    Some of it was for election promises; they'd told us what they were going to do so there was some justification for just doing it, but the devil is often in the details and I believe following the process would have been wiser.

    Of course there are legitimate reasons to use urgency, and some of this government's use of it probably is justified. Personally I think the test should be "is there bipartisan support for this?" If the answer is no then there would need to be pretty extreme extenuating circumstances to justify urgency.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to SteveH,

    That and his good looks do much for his popularity.

    Erm, which good looks would those be? I don't see it, but maybe he’s attractive to men. I mean, I’ve read that apparently he’s considered attractive to some voters, but I think they’ve confused familiarity with good looks, a common mistake.
    It’s not my political persuasion that makes Key not attractive. Simon Bridges, for example, is very good looking, despite being a National MP.
    And I wouldn’t even go so far as to say Key’s unattractive, he’s just… there. If he was in a room full of people, I wouldn’t notice him.
    ’Course, I haven’t met him. Maybe in person he has charisma. I met Bolger once and was quite shocked to discover he had charisma, because I wouldn’t have guessed it from his photos or appearances on television. But charisma’s a funny beast.
    Anyway, I think it’s the vanilla-ness of Key’s looks that work in his favour. People can project onto him whatever they want.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    With Key, what you see is mostly what you get….a Prime Minister whose narrative is as clear-minded and open as it was when he was a highly-successful businessman. His task is to get things done.

    Funny you should say that. One part of my view of John Key is that he’s leading a Cabinet which is more interested in operating government as if it’s a business whose sole purpose is to get done what it decides needs doing, instead of a government which is meant to do those things on behalf of the people it represents – not just those who voted for it. Only it’s not constrained by the inability to change rules and laws which typically govern corporations.

    Often when one of those inconvenient laws or processes gets in the way of what this Cabinet wants to do, we’re seeing Cabinet do everything practical to sweep that inconvenience out of the way, regardless of the reason those constriants were placed there to begin with.

    eg. Changing the law to let government do things it couldn’t previously do, like usurp democracy in Canterbury in the name of “getting stuff done”.

    eg. Pushing changes through Parliament under urgency because they can be pushed under urgency instead of because it’s really needed, even when it’s inappropriate and treads on all those protocols that let the public get involved, consult and provide feedback and discussion.

    eg. Separation of Cabinet responsibilities from political affiliations? Much of what Nicky Hager’s written about lately, and direct from Cameron Slater’s mailbox, demonstrates that several of our Ministers and their staff have little or no respect for that separation and responsibility, if it wasn’t already clearly evident. John Key is meant to be responsible for oversight of his Ministers, but it’s silly to believe he can be effective in this, without conflicts of interest, when his own office is tangled in the middle of the controversy and when his political future is tightly connected with the outcome of any real investigation.

    This is the type of control and lack of accountability that some of our less ethical company directors would dream of. There’s no effective accountability to the law and so no accountability to anyone. Being able to set the law to suit themselves, and being able to simply ignore it when the only realistic accountability is to themselves. To me it seems that this is the type of operation which John Key is in charge of right now.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1141 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    I think his biggest mistake was trusting too much, even naively. But that's no hanging offence.

    It *is* when you're the sole oversight mechanism for an extremely powerful and intrusive state agency. Doing your job is not too much to expect.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to izogi,

    Funny you should say that. One part of my view of John Key is that he’s leading a Cabinet which is more interested in operating government as if it’s a business whose sole purpose is to get done what it decides needs doing, instead of a government which is meant to do those things on behalf of the people it represents – not just those who voted for it. Only it’s not constrained by the inability to change rules and laws which typically govern corporations.

    Precisely this!

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to nzlemming,

    Is it my imagination or have we seen an influx of bad faith fanbois derailing conversations on PAS since Dirty Politics was released? It’s almost like there was a deliberate campaign…

    They were all over the Dimpost for a while there. They start out expecting to gorge on the imagined low-hanging fruit Slater's assured them was out there, before squealing foul and retiring in high victim mode. And yeah, they're all hes.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Anyway, I think it’s the vanilla-ness of Key’s looks that work in his favour. People can project onto him whatever they want

    Key denies that, with extra refutingness.
    I wonder if he did, in fact, consult a doctor or vet, or is it just another of his "refutable "facts"

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    DM

    The what now?

    Yeh, good ol fashioned direct postal mail.

    I can no longer see, read or hear of John Key without feeling that the analysts of Crosby Textor are there in the room/car/office with me.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    perating government as if it’s a business whose sole purpose is to get done what it decides needs doing, instead of a government which is meant to do those things on behalf of the people it represents – not just those who voted for it

    As I said, not since ever has one government given so much to so few at the expense of so many.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to izogi,

    This is the type of control and lack of accountability that some of our less ethical company directors would dream of. There’s no effective accountability to the law and so no accountability to anyone.

    Hence the character of these Ministers and their staff becomes all the more important. A moral compass is not an optional extra.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    gets under your skins and drives you mad to the extent that resorting to vacuous abuse

    See thats a cheap shot, you are ascribing motives, thoughts and actions which you can know nothing about. It just suits you to see it that way. Getit!

    mull over a job well done and ring his mate Barrack

    Which job is that? screwing over a country?
    His mates in the barracks? OH MY...

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    Yeh, good ol fashioned direct postal mail.

    I get mail "from" John Key (he is, unfortunately, also my electorate MP since they redrew the boundaries of Helensville) while my husband, the lucky bugger, gets mail from the Green Party. Don't assume you can sway THIS middle-class mother with all your "family"-oriented keywords, John Key. I'm not as green as I am cabbage-looking.

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

  • nzlemming, in reply to Danielle,

    I’m not as green as I am cabbage-looking

    Watch out for boats, you don't want to bump into the banks...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    They were all over the Dimpost for a while there. They start out expecting to gorge on the imagined low-hanging fruit Slater’s assured them was out there, before squealing foul and retiring in high victim mode. And yeah, they’re all hes.

    Russell, might be worth comparing IP addresses with Danyl.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart, in reply to izogi,

    Nice post, sir.

    The one of yours above this one.

    One thousand recommends.

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Key denies that, with extra refutingness.

    la la la not listening ew! He talked about the length of his tongue! I can't unread that you know.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Starrow, in reply to izogi,

    Your counsel of perfection needs challenging somewhat Izogi. To postulate that a government must govern in the interests of all is based on a flawed perception. First and foremost, any government's primary responsibility is execute the promises it put forth and was elected upon.
    To try and also placate the wishes of those who were opposed to these promises is nigh on impossible.
    For example, If Key is re-elected and honours his pledge of no capital gains tax, he can't govern for all in that respect.
    Stating the obvious I know but this "governing for all" concept just ain't possible in so many aspects.

    Since Sep 2014 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    Stating the obvious I know but this "governing for all" concept just ain't possible in so many aspects.

    So you're a revolutionary now?

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 325 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    To postulate that a government must govern in the interests of all is based on a flawed perception.

    Bugger! There goes democracy as we'd hoped it might be.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1438 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    First and foremost, any government’s primary responsibility is execute the promises it put forth and was elected upon.

    NO that’s how corporations work. Oh hang on a minute…

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Starrow, in reply to andin,

    A Company, A Corporate, An Electorate ....all take the same inspired guidance in all aspects of human endeavour.

    Since Sep 2014 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Wrong again, Jack Sparrow. Your not too clever are you.
    Inspiration is not your forte is it!
    Just another exploiter of humanity

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    all take the same inspired guidance

    incredible, now you're channelling "ugly truth"

    I'm fairly confident that only people on the far right of the political spectrum regard government, corporate management and company ownership as three versions of the same thing.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 325 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    For example, If Key is re-elected and honours his pledge of no capital gains tax, he can’t govern for all in that respect. Stating the obvious I know but this “governing for all” concept just ain’t possible in so many aspects.

    That’s a silly interpretation of only a very slight amount of what I said, and you ignored the rest.

    I said the government does what it does on behalf of the people it represents, which is the population of New Zealand. Obviously that doesn’t mean it will always do things that everyone agrees with, but it should actually respect people’s rights and continue to let them be part of the process on equal terms, even when they didn’t vote for it. Children don’t vote for the winning team any more than those who voted for the opposition, but that doesn’t mean children don’t deserve a government that will respect their rights. The same goes for adults.

    Once again (if you didn’t read it the first time), the problem I have with John Key’s Cabinet is that it’s dismissive of the governing process when it does stuff. In the name of “getting things done”, John Key’s Cabinet takes advantage of its position at the top of the line of accountability and lawmaking to barge through rules, laws and processes which are meant to be in place so that there are checks and balances and reasonable and meaningful consultation on what happens, both so we can actually trust them and so we can get well designed laws.

    All this process stuff with government is there to ensure that governing happens above board, transparently and accountably to the people of New Zealand. Lately, however, much of it has been pushed aside or otherwise ignored. Several times now, we’ve seen our government push through laws which the Attorney-General had to inform parliament were in breach of New Zealand’s Bill of Rights (just one example), after which the government ignored those warnings and done it anyway.

    Think about that. The Bill of Rights is the next best thing New Zealand has to a dedicated, legally enforceable constitution. It’s meant to define the fundamental and constitution-style rights of everyone in New Zealand, irrespective of who’s in government, yet John Key’s government is casually brushing away formal warnings of breaches of these rights, with rapid and lazily designed lawmaking, because it’s not legally bound to take notice of those warnings.

    Businesses have rules written into law about how they must be run so that shareholders and other stakeholders can have at least some confidence of the boundaries when dealing with them, and (as I said) some of our less ethical directors would love to be rid of those restrictions. Government has its rules too, but they’re only meaningful when those doing the governing actually respect them. Presently we have a bunch of people in Cabinet, including the guy at the top, who are thinking more in a business mindset than a government mindset. They’ve chosen to take unprecedented power for themselves through a combination of changing the law for dubious reasons or ignoring it entirely, and ignoring all the inconvenient rules (like the Cabinet Manual) which until now have been strongly enforced on precedent, largely because nobody had yet thought it necessary to write into law.

    This is why I have a problem with John Key and his current government.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1141 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Jake Starrow,

    A Company, A Corporate, An Electorate ….all take the same inspired guidance in all aspects of human endeavour

    Profit before people, you know it makes cents.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 4 5 6 7 8 10 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.