Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: From soundbite to policy

401 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 17 Newer→ Last

  • Nat Torkington,

    Being a National supporter, his stock response to any question about motivations/reasons etc was 'They've got the mandate, the country voted for them'.

    That's what George W Bush said when he was re-elected. "I have a mandate, I was given political capital and I intend to spend it." With about 53% of the vote, heh. And look how well that ended ....

    Ti Point • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    If there's anything more depressing than a National supporter, it's a stupid National supporter...

    About as depressing as stupid people running the line that you're not a "real" Government because your support isn't over some arbitrary -- and remarkably mobile -- line. Sorry, Rogan, but you want to get your bitch on, I'm quite happy to repay the discourtesy.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    That's what George W Bush said when he was re-elected. "I have a mandate, I was given political capital and I intend to spend it." With about 53% of the vote, heh.

    Oh, someone remind me what Obama's share of the popular vote was again -- and, thanks to the nature of the American electoral system, the rather disproportionate share of the Electoral College he's won?

    52-46 might be a pretty slim majority, but saying Obama doesn't have a mandate to govern is delusional.

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

  • Tom Semmens,

    Craig, its only been a month and already you have been reduced to posting lame intellectual sophistry?

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Tom:

    You never stopped being a rancid little fool, so full marks for consistency and 'not achieved' on every other count. But I'm still utterly disinterested in listening to you trying to play Emily Post -- or Socrates -- around here.

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

  • giovanni tiso,

    Craig, its only been a month and already you have been reduced to posting lame intellectual sophistry?

    This is as good an opportunity as I'll ever get to ask a large audience this question: am I the only person who, whenever he hears of reads the word "sophistry", conjures up the image of an upholstery shop?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    yes

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Torkington,

    Pharmac & Herceptin ... well, it WAS a campaign promise. Surely the time to say "but we have a process for deciding what gets funded, if you don't like it change the process" was then. They ran on a promise to throw candy to their constituents, now they're elected they're throwing the candy. The huffing and puffing seems unfruitful.

    Education: again this reminds me of the US. George Lakoff's book "Don't Think of an Elephant" was fascinating reading. He said the two parties have a mindset that selects the language they use. In general, Republicans are father knows best: central authority, success and virtue strongly intertwined, we're in a dangerous world so do as you're told or bad things will happent o us all. Democrats are it takes a village: support, nurture, focus on collective good rather than individual opportunity. "No Child Left Behind" is a phrase that perfectly matches Democrat ideals while the policy itself perfectly matches Republican ideals. This is no accident, of course.

    Played into National-Labour, you see National playing the stern parent and saying "don't wag, you naughty boy!" and implementing stern consequences for failure to obey Daddy John. The ideal Labour truancy consequence, I suspect, would be Community Hug Therapy. I am exaggerating both sides, but I think there's some truth in Lakoff's views and that they do apply here in NZ.

    Ti Point • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Gio:

    When I see the word "sophistry", it conjures up the image of someone who has no idea what it means, but suspects it's a really fancy-pants synonym for "stupid".

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

  • Lyndon Hood,

    So when they say "irony", do you think of a clothes-presser or a blacksmith?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    With about 53% of the vote, heh. And look how well that ended ....

    I think Nat's point, Craig, is that people who get elected by a relatively small margin may want to be careful about acting arrogantly, as if they have a whole lot of "political capital". I haven't noticed Obama acting particularly obnoxiously so far (and there's a comfortable majority of his fellow Dems in congress, too).

    The National coalition is a real government. And they're making real mistakes, and acting really arrogant. At least Labour developed its arrogance over a long period in charge.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Thanks for highlighting this issue, Russell. What I can't understand is why the urgency to change something as fundamental as our education system? This just risks alienating all those groups who usually expect to make sunmissions and be heard on education bills, such as all the principals' groups, the School Trustees' Association, parents and others - more than just those pesky teacher unions. And the week before Xmas is not the time when they want to be doing this either.

    I listened to my local MP Grant Robertson's maiden speech last night and was pleased to hear him referencing the 1989 Education Act with its guaranteed right of every child to attend their local school . He also quoted those significant and still incredibly important words from Peter Fraser and Dr Beeby in 1939 (overlook the gendered language):

    'every person, whatever his level of academic ability, whether he be rich or poor, whether he live in town or country, has a right, as a citizen, to a free education of the kind for which he is best fitted, and to the fullest extent of his powers'.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3227 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    So when they say "irony", do you think of a clothes-presser or a blacksmith?

    Spider Robinson's God is an Iron.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    am I the only person who, whenever he hears of reads the word "sophistry", conjures up the image of an upholstery shop?

    I always think of lesbians.


    Then I realise that would be something like "sapphistry".

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    am I the only person who, whenever he hears of reads the word "sophistry", conjures up the image of an upholstery shop?

    Not until you mentioned it.
    Then again, I'd never associated Judas Iscariot with carrots until someone mentioned that they'd always made that connection. Since then I've thought of him as a bit of a ginga.

    What a wonderful thing it is to have one's language enriched through discourse eh?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I always just think of Baldrick's definition: "it's like goldy or bronzy only made of iron"

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Yeah, the actual programme is their campaign with variations, so complaining about the intent may be reasonable but it's not as if they're doing anything pernicious.

    And I'm thinking Rodney is setting up to be John's Winston, perhaps with the added bonus that one suspects outside the terms of his agreement Rodney is still mentally in opposition (unlike the Maori Party?).

    But without the select comittees, the laws will be bad in new, unexpected ways. Perhaps not in ways the people who voted for the Govt will mind, tho.

    There was back and forth about the education standard thing which basically had National insisting the national standards wasn't national standardised testing and their opponent were foolish for misunderstanding. Thoughts?

    And is this going to come in next year and is that why it's urgent? That would still be alarming.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Played into National-Labour, you see National playing the stern parent and saying "don't wag, you naughty boy!" and implementing stern consequences for failure to obey Daddy John. The ideal Labour truancy consequence, I suspect, would be Community Hug Therapy. I am exaggerating both sides, but I think there's some truth in Lakoff's views and that they do apply here in NZ.

    Nat, there's a side to this that's really not amenable to philosophical metaphor. A very practical side.

    1. I think most people who know us would say that we've been devoted to our children's education in difficult circumstances. But even so, we've run close to these kind of breaches, simply because there haven't been good options available to us. Jacking up penalties to merely appear to be doing something is bad, m'kay? Especially from the same people who sermonised about the passing of law without consultation.

    2. I can't find a quote from anyone actually involved on the ground with these issues who thinks it's a good idea. Truancy officers, school principals -- they all seem to think it's poor policy that won't actually work.

    3. Even if National has a mandate for its policy, it doesn't have a mandate to rush it through without scrutiny. It's an abuse of urgency, and one that was not signalled before the election. The actual text of the bill is a joke, and National doesn't seem to know what it means either.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I always think of lesbians.

    We have a pill for that.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    At the risk of stating the obvious - surely the key issue (sorry about that pun) the differcnes between

    1. Support (voting) for National party policy

    (is NOT the same as) support for

    2. Disregard for parlimentary & other democratic processes

    I suspect that Mr Key is genuine wants to do his best but there are many in the National grouping who have less altruistic motives.

    The ongoing competition between those wanting to make up for lost time as they see it and the those wanting to do the right thing is the crunch point.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    It is not like one can expect politicians on other side of the house to act with any form of moral purpose other than prostituted self-interest.

    The present National Coalition Government may prove to be just as legislatively deficient as previous Labour Coalition Government. In it’s grim under urgency final days the Labour Coalition removed from a bill which was in its third reading (the Breast Feeding and Rest Breaks Bill) the provision for Drivers (Bus and Truck Drivers) to be provided with rest breaks.

    Drivers were the only industry/occupational class excluded – it is likely this amendment was sponsored/paid for by industry-interested parties.

    Hmm who owns the biggest bus company?

    In politics there is no moral high ground - it is all about what one can get away with.

    IMHO they all suck.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Tom:

    You never stopped being a rancid little fool, so full marks for consistency and 'not achieved' on every other count.

    Try and debate the topic rather than calling names, Craig.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The present National Coalition Government may prove to be just as legislatively deficient as previous Labour Coalition Government.

    But as someone pointed out above, it took Labour years to get that shabby. National's doing it in its first week.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    precedent is a dangerous thing

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    So when they say "irony", do you think of a clothes-presser or a blacksmith?

    The former, but I think I owe that to I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 17 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.