Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A thing that rarely ends well

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  • John,

    Auckland • Since Dec 2007 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I concur with John.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • DaveC,

    As Cactus Kate points out, Glenn is rarely in Monaco so he's rather unsuited for the position of "local on the ground".

    Since Nov 2007 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • KevinHicks,

    When the government tries to slip so much under the radar screen to shaft the us, I would have thought only taking 6 weeks to catch up with this fiasco is pretty darn good for the public.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2007 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    This whipped-up "story" demonstrates exactly why political bloggers who do their research and patiently earn a reputation for astute analysis are outclassing trad media journalists.

    Take a bow, RB!

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    In an eerie coincidence of two hitherto unrelated stories, the new Owen G Glen building at the University of Auckland was tagged over the weekend. Two large and very prominent, though facile, tags on the Grafton St side. At least one of them is still visible.

    I believe the structure is being officially opened today by the Prime Minister, with Mr Big himself in attendance. I bet they'll have a great old chat.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Smith,

    I think you will find that, legally, a loan is classed as a donation, not just the interest part. However, it's all abit of a beat-up anyway!

    Since Jan 2007 • 150 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Kennedy,

    Mike Williams, a major liability for the Labour party - Discuss
    Just a perception thing on my part

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 224 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Russell
    It is not clear to me what point you are making here
    "Swanky restaurant" is a bar, so
    And surely any job in Monarco that could get you on "a " list could be considered glamrous, if you like that sort of thing

    Personally I think the whole thing puts New Zealand in a poor light and gives the impression that honours can be bought by "rich pricks" if they stump up!!

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    "... and gives the impression that honours can be bought by "rich pricks" if they stump up!!"


    I always thought that WAS a reason why we have a honours system - a vapourware way of rewarding people who stump up with real $$$.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Michael Fay, anyone?

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    dc_red:

    You mean SIR Michael Fay.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Mike Williams, a major liability for the Labour party - Discuss
    Just a perception thing on my part

    I get the impression that he adds a lot of energy and rallies the troops well. His problem is when he opens his mouth in public : cf the "surprise" he promised before one of Cullen's budgets that raised expectations in a particularly unhelpful way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Jose Barbosa,

    I think the whole saga (more of a pamphlet, really) shows how easy it is to rattle Labour's cage, regardless of how slim the charges are.

    I couldn't believe Mike Williams response when asked if he'd got in contact with Glenn to sort out what he did or didn't say : "No."

    Will he get in touch with Glenn? "In the fullness of time."

    Or try Helen Clark's response when asked if she'd offered Glenn a post: "It never happened" and then soon after: "I don't recall." It doesn't get more Don Brash than that.

    Clark and Williams had the weekend to sort out what was going on. If Clark had said on Monday morning something along the lines of: "we talked to Owen, he said he'd been misquoted and was having a laugh." Pretty much end of story.

    However, I agree William's explanation of why Glenn's loan was not a donation was diverting away from the point.

    Labour just makes it way too easy for opposition parties ride this sort of stuff to the headlines. Can someone please get the PM's office a Graeme Prowse? ( a no-prize to anyone who gets the reference) :)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I guess Labour are hoist by their own petard for making campaign financing such a big issue. Where National tended to get more private $ to play with, that is being traded for political mileage over all and any breaches/irregularities around financing.

    Interesting reversal. In the past Labour could always nebulously claim a high ground of having less money to play with. Now that high ground is gone. It will be interesting to see whether any actual leveling of campaign financing outweighs the loss of that particular high ground.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Adam Smith,

    Well what do you expect from TVNZ. Why they had to have the reporter in the Viaduct. Must be to justify investment in new equipment.

    More seriously, I do not think Glenn is at fault, Labour are simply reaping the whirlwind from their confrontational approach to election finance reform.

    This is coupled with the error Cullen made in calling Key a <quote> rich pr*** <quote>, whilst all the while the party was courting Glenn. Glenn is reputedly a very rich pr***. So there is a perception of double standards.

    Further, he spends much of his time travelling so he is effectively non tax resident anywhere, so perception is not a good one.

    Williams then compounds the issue by changing his story.

    Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Graeme Prowse

    Ha, I recently had my birthday party in Sydney WITH that guy (well, Steve Bisley). Ended up on water taxi on Sydney Harbour and all I could think of was "Woh, I'm in a f#*^ing episode of Water Rats!"

    /pointless-australian-actors-diversion

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Adam Smith,

    Sorry about the bold, got the typing wrong

    Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I think the whole saga (more of a pamphlet, really) shows how easy it is to rattle Labour's cage, regardless of how slim the charges are.

    Which is what made me think the Shipley-Roberts comparison was apt. Shipley could have handled that one quite easily, but she wound up misleading the House.

    (Oddly enough, there was a genuine scandal around Tourism, but it was Murray McCully's appaling behaviour around the Tourism Board.)

    However, I agree William's explanation of why Glenn's loan was not a donation was diverting away from the point.

    Yep. If he'd just said that Glenn's last contribution was a loan to set up a more robust fund-raising system, it wouldn't really have been a problem.

    I suspect he thought "loan" conjured images of cash-for-peerages a la Blair, but -- duh! -- those loans were chiefly a problem because they were hidden.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I'm hoping all this will blow up in Nationals collective face and I'm sure it will, (People who live in glass houses etc.) National has done nothing than badmouth the Govt. at every given opportunity since they lost the last election and have given us little in the way of policy. I know it's "par for the course" when in opposition, to keep the incumbent "honest" but the way they have behaved in the last three years would be regarded a treason in a lot of countries. Greed is a greater driver than generosity so self interest will always be the winner in an uncivilised society, that's just human nature, which is why "The Right" have always been divisive ,dishonest and downright mean. I would like to think that those that believe that they should be running the country would rise above such base instincts. I am not holding my breath on that one.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Interesting reversal. In the past Labour could always nebulously claim a high ground of having less money to play with.

    I suspect they will still have a lot less money. The high ground was in being completely transparent about what they did have.

    John Key said he didn't know who National's donors were on Morning Report today. My arse he doesn't. There would have been something to play with there if Williams hadn't done what he did.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • graeme muir,

    Are you warming up for your new programme Russell? "Ideally, in tv bulletins, adjectives should be used sparingly.."

    put many of them together have you?

    i'm lucky if i can afford a dinner up at me local cafe, so Soul would qualify as swanky in my world (although it's not an adjective I'd use without tongue firmly in cheek, admittedly).

    auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Yep. If he'd just said that Glenn's last contribution was a loan to set up a more robust fund-raising system, it wouldn't really have been a problem.

    I suspect he thought "loan" conjured images of cash-for-peerages a la Blair, but -- duh! -- those loans were chiefly a problem because they were hidden.

    To be fair. A loan is not a gift/donation, it has to be paid back. The $7000? lost interest is a donation and it was "under the radar" as far as declaration went at the time. Labour could have declared the $7000 at the time but it would have to have seen this mudslinging coming to think it necessary. Let's face it, when you're in Govt. you're supposed to be working for the good of the country, not playing petty politics.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    i'm lucky if i can afford a dinner up at me local cafe, so Soul would qualify as swanky in my world (although it's not an adjective I'd use without tongue firmly in cheek, admittedly).

    It was just a pointless adjective, aimed at trying to puff up an angle that didn't have much in it -- man has birthday party. Just say "at an Auckland restaurant". I think we can probably guess it wasn't Food Alley.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The high ground was in being completely transparent about what they did have.

    I don't think so. That is a high ground, sure, but it's not the big one, IMHO. I think a large proportion of people are much less concerned with how the money came to the party than the simple fact that they have it to spend.

    In fact, I'd say the dividing line of concern is roughly aligned with the whole left-right boundary. The left is generally more concerned that existing structural inequities are 'unfair'. I'd make a complete stab in the dark in suggesting that the right are more concerned about the strict legality of the process. That could be because the law is almost always on their side, or maybe that's just what 'rightists' are like.

    We won't really know until the end of the year just how much effect the EFA is going to have in leveling the playing field. If it is substantially leveled, then all those people in the middle, who are concerned about both factors (the process by which the money was obtained AND the actual amounts of money each side gets) will start to rate the process as a much higher factor. So Labour better stop relying on residual belief in the other factor. Because the process factor is playing into National's hands totally at the moment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

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