Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: All John's Friends

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  • Stewart, in reply to Hebe,

    No worries. I thought it was a good enough piece of writing to want to push it out to like-minded friends. I felt as though there was a decent cadre of people out there who see things more as I do than is generally acknowledged in teh good old kiwi media.

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

  • Chris Waugh,

    Meanwhile:

    Dr Sharples said some of the process of building closer links with Labour had begun, and he believed it was time to consider Labour as an alternative.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    If Winston is going after Maori, rather than refugees or Asians, he must think he’s got a better shot with National than Labour.

    When did going after the Maori Party stop being a fashionable blood sport in the Labour Party, and has anyone c.c.’d Shane Jones in on that memo? If anything, Cunliffe should be the one whose ears are perking up – it’s politically useful, but at enough of a distance that he won’t be splattered with any blowback.

    On the other hand, it makes it harder to see NZ First working with Labour, because even if the Labour caucus isn’t particularly Maori-friendly, Labour voters tend to be much more in favour of policies like Whanau Ora than National voters.

    Yet, weirdly enough, it's hard to find any evidence "policies like Whanau Ora" have negatively affected National's polling -- which may well suggest National voters aren't actually the pack of drooling racists some people assume.

    As I've said repeatedly, both National and Labour are fucking fools if they get back into bed with Peters. Not least because a very large part of their respective supporters quite rightly view the man with utter contempt. But, as you say, I guess we have to wait until the results of the only poll this year that really counts.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    If we have to have a centre-right government, better that the Maori Party hold the balance of power than the alternative...which is Colin Craig and the sectarian, camoflagued, issue-driven populist fruitcakes of the Conservative Party.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 573 posts Report Reply

  • Ethan Tucker,

    In the discussion about Peter Dunne's reinstatement to ministerial status I've been disappointed (but not particularly surprised) that no-one in the media seems to have noticed or care that Internal Affairs was made available for Peter Dunne by sacking Chris Tremain from Cabinet. Tremain had only been in Cabinet since April 2012 and was low-profile, but seemed to have done a reasonable job in the position - no scandals. His mistake was announcing on 30 September that he was leaving Parliament at the next election. Three and a half months later he's out of a job and back on the backbenches.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2008 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • martinb,

    @Bart and Craig

    Not what I said- I said their political instincts were far-right. Really would expect better of Public Address. ( edit- actually I said they were far right, but having to temper their ambitions to what they thought would retain them power.)

    In their own terms- they are having to swallow dead rats. Take asset sales for example- I’m sure many would be keen to sell off all the assets, not just 49%. Many in the party would be happy to be even more regressive on worker rights and on taxation. They believe that poverty is the fault of the poor and that their wealth is the result of their own endeavours solely.

    We can’t compare NZ to Texas where a large percentage of the right believe it is their role to try and bring the End of Days faster and who perhaps still think back nostalgically about lynchings and ‘bombing ’em back to the stone age’.

    Compared to past NZ their instincts are about as far right as Don Brash, Ruth Richardson, etc etc..just that they are better at swallowing their dead rats and moving incrementally.

    As I said before a short while ago any asset sales would have been political suicide, and even now it is immensely unpopular with the older generation of New Zealanders, even some of those voting National, especially in the provincial and rural seats.

    Now it has become the governments main economic policy and it still is the largest party in the opinion polls.

    What is considered the political centre by the media has been dragged right and the views of many in the government is further right still from where they have been able to go so far. It’s just that they are able to present a cuddlier face than Brash, Richardson, Douglas, Prebble et al with less of a past to pop up at inconvenient times.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    In his time as PM, Michael Joseph Savage actively shared intelligence with the KGB, ran a wildly unpopular program of collectivisation with the help of Soviet advisors, pushed for a trade pact with Stalin that would have undermined NZ’s sovereignty, and regularly holidayed at his Black Sea dacha. Assuming any of that was true, would it have made him an extremist lefty? Given the degree of slack extended to Key, probably not.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    and regularly holidayed at his Black Sea dacha.

    Now, had Michael Joseph Savage managed to squeeze in a game of golf on said holiday, would that be a holiday? ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Now, had Michael Joseph Savage managed to squeeze in a game of golf on said holiday, would that be a holiday? ;)

    Only if he'd been invited by Stalin.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to ,

    I am still having trouble understanding my left from my right in politics. Is the mass murdering psychopath Stalin a lefty ?

    The Political Compass answers many of those questions:

    On the standard left-right scale, how do you distinguish leftists like Stalin and Gandhi? It's not sufficient to say that Stalin was simply more left than Gandhi. There are fundamental political differences between them that the old categories on their own can't explain. Similarly, we generally describe social reactionaries as 'right-wingers', yet that leaves left-wing reactionaries like Robert Mugabe and Pol Pot off the hook.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to ,

    Seeing more or less every western leader clustered tightly up towards the top right corner in stark black and white was....informative.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Mark,

    Personally, I'm hoping against hope that both NZ First and the Cons each receive 3-4 % of the Party-Vote, but no Electorate seat.

    This Election will, of course, be very tight indeed and there are a number of scenarios (like the one above) where Right Bloc support slightly eclipses the Left Bloc's vote, but where the Left win a 1-3 seat majority in Parliament. Undemocratic ? Maybe. Upsetting to Craig Ranapia ? Absolutely. But for me - Lovely-Jubbly.

    As for the Kim Dotcom Party, assuming its still on the cards, I have a feeling it'll snatch votes largely from the Left while (obviously) failing to make it over the threshold. Every Opinion Poll age-breakdown I've seen over the last decade suggests the under 35s are disproportionately supporters of the Left, the broad middle-age is always well to the Right, while the over 55s are close to the national average. In a knife-edge election, you just need the Internet Party to take, say, 2% of the vote, drawing two-thirds from erstwhile young Lefties and one-third from erstwhile young Righties - and it's all-over-rover for the Left.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Mr Mark,

    where the Left win a 1-3 seat majority in Parliament. Undemocratic ? Maybe. Upsetting to Craig Ranapia ? Absolutely.

    Don't count on that. Craig would rather campaign to limit a Labour/Green government to a single term than campaign for another term of a National/Winston government. I don't think he's too enamoured of the CCCP's stance on homosexuality, either.
    Remember, he party-voted Green in 2011; he's not a uni-dimensional National voter.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to BenWilson,

    Best bet would be for Labour and Greens to withdraw their nominations (at 11am on the morning they are due, leaving the National cndidate on the ballot paper). If they'd done that in 2011 it could have given the seat to Paul Goldsmith.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Would it have given the seat to Goldsmith? I think that's something that needs to be proven.

    Also, would it have caused an anti-Lab/Greens backlash that loses them a seat on the party vote? Because if so it's not a win.

    (And of course there's the ongoing damage to the parties reputations, the basic principle that Labour stands in every seat and offers to represent every New Zealander etc.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    (And of course there’s the ongoing damage to the parties reputations, the basic principle that Labour stands in every seat and offers to represent every New Zealander etc.)

    Plus the whole 2 wrongs don't make a right and why should the ugly gutter politics manipulation have to win .MMP doesn't stand for "Mostly Manipulated Party". At the time I tried thinking of counter actions but on reflection, dirty is not a nice game to play so I think I was wrong. Sadly I figure if NZers want more of the stench then so be it. More the fools them I say. I will still vote for what I feel is fair in our society. Sometimes that may not help me but if it's fair and not greedy or selfish, then I'm okay with that and I believe history shows National will never have any of those 3 principles I look for.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Mr Mark,

    This Election will, of course, be very tight indeed and there are a number of scenarios (like the one above) where Right Bloc support slightly eclipses the Left Bloc’s vote, but where the Left win a 1-3 seat majority in Parliament. Undemocratic ? Maybe. Upsetting to Craig Ranapia ? Absolutely.

    Wrong on so many fronts there, Mr. Mark.

    First and most importantly, New Zealand does have this tiresome habit of holding free, fair and credible general elections. I many not always like the outcome, but that’s just one bridge among many one just builds and gets the fuck over without dragging your feet.

    I do have a lot of sympathy for the argument that the 5% threshold (unless you’ve managed to ‘coat-tail’ on a successful electorate candidate) is “undemocratic” and “unfair” in a lot of ways, and should be either significantly reduced or abolished entirely. But that’s practically irrelevant as things stand – all a Government has to do is be guarantee confidence and supply. End of story.

    Don’t count on that. Craig would rather campaign to limit a Labour/Green government to a single term than campaign for another term of a National/Winston government.

    That’s much closer to the truth, Matthew. (Though who knows – said Labour/Green Government could turn out to be such a paragon of moderation and good sense I’d vote to return ’em on the downlow. I’ve done stranger things while sober.) I would work my arse off to defeat any party that lay down with Winston, again – and let’s not forget Labour’s been *cough* strategically vague about the prospect. I’ve held the man in utter and unyielding contempt for over twenty years, and see no grounds to change my mind. If he’s the price of power, then I’d respectfully that’s too much to pay for far too little.

    he’s not a uni-dimensional National voter.

    I'd prefer "not mindlessly tribal". Makes me sound much less like a high-end bicycle. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    That's a great read :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    What, beyond fashions and technologies, has changed?

    Just a few things off the top of my head, particular to America:

    -Women got the vote
    -Blacks got the vote
    -Homosexuality is allowed
    -Education is near universal
    -There is a welfare state

    These are pretty big things to the people who got them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to BenWilson,

    All excellent points, of course. Still, the fundamental structure of the system doesn't seem to have changed much at all - and one could say the same about many, if not most countries, China and NZ included.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Mark,

    Good God !!!! I've been away too long. Craig party-voted Green at the last Election ???? Last I remember he was proclaiming himself the very, very proudest of proud Tories. It's like the world's suddenly turned upside-down and now, much like Baldrick, I have no idea what my name is or what country I live in.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    The Nats' polling must be crap to go on this suicide mission so early in the year. Smacks of desperation if it's part of the grand plan. Or John Key losing his patience and the plot if it's unscripted.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11193679

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    I'll renege on the "polling must be crap". Beloved tells me National has risen. I am astounded by John Key's attack, even more so if they are popular. What does this guy not get about MMP: that it is a collaborative system designed to encourage co-operation rather than conflict?

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    So, Prime Minister…you’re talking coalition with the Conservative Party, along with their “bottom line,” binding citizens referenda. And yet, your government wants the rest of us to believe that the centre-right is the epitome of “fiscal responsibility” and limited government spending.

    Do I spot a contradiction here?
    “Blue Elephant: The Conservatives, Binding Referenda and Public Spending”
    http://www.gaynz.com/blogs/redqueen/?p=5310

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 573 posts Report Reply

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