Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: #GE2015: Proper Mad

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jen Ferguson,

    Is Russell Brand *still* talking? Frankly, after all his idiotic “don’t vote” BS, doing a U turn at the last minute after it was too late for anyone to register, he should take himself back to the rock from under which he crept

    Unbelievably, he now appears to be doing a u-turn on his u-turn.

    What a prat.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Unbelievably, he now appears to be doing a u-turn on his u-turn.

    What a prat.

    As long as he owns his own excursions into asshattery I don't see the problem. As a funnyman playing at being a public intellectual I haven't noticed him coming out with anything nearly as risible as this.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Unbelievably, he now appears to be doing a u-turn on his u-turn.

    Good God, what a prime plonker. At least Ed Miliband (and Nick Clegg) managed to leave the stage with some dignity, while Brand is living his ex-wife’s lyrics…

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    While it may offend the sensibilities of everyone around here, the Conservatives were constantly pushing a very simple message of “don’t put what you’ve got at risk” to people in marginals who might not have loved everything the government had done over the last five years but weren’t being given a clear, coherent alternative. And that doesn’t actually make the British electorate a pack of idiot sheeple.

    Nonetheless, the use of the SNP as a wedge issue was classic Crosby-Textor. I think what was unusual – even by the standards of the partisan British press – was the extent to which most of the national papers faithfully ran the fear-uncertainty-and-doubt line. In the week before the election, the Telegraph literally let the Conservative Party campaign office write its front-page story.

    To make it worse, many of the “5000 small businesses” said to have signed the letter in support of Cameron and Osborne (on the basis that “A change now would be far too risky”) didn’t even exist.

    It was a thoroughly disgraceful episode, but hardly isolated. I think Labour’s apparent failure to present a positive alternative to the electorate does need to be seen in the context of a press that overwhelmingly targeted it for negative coverage.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    First riots breaking out in London. Maybe this is an indication of what is ahead.

    I see Cameron has already announced council tenancies will no longer be for life but only short term. Sounds familiar. What's the bet the next step is selling them off to private providers.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    . What's the bet the next step is selling them off to private providers.

    You mean NZ is actually leading the way????

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    In the contest between "people who are total shits" and "people who don't know how to counteract the people who are total shits", the share of blame is not equal.

    For UK Labour, see NZ Labour, USA Democrats, etc. It's a perennial problem, even a growing problem, but I don't think the answer is to emulate the shits - or to vote for them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Attachment

    First riots breaking out in London. Maybe this is an indication of what is ahead.

    And guess what one complete idiot has pretty much guaranteed will be leading every newspaper and television report of the protests in Whitehall: Obscene graffiti on the memorial to "The Women of World War II" almost literally hours after the 75th anniversary of V-E Day. With enemies like that, who the hell needs friends?

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

  • william blake,

    Between Chris Trotters' exhorting the NZ Labour Party to take back the socialist rhetoric from the National who are using it as a smokescreen for the capitalists and Tony Blair urging the BLP, to reform as an aspirational party and to become capitalists, yes we are proper mad.

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    After this year's Budget, George Osborne refused to explain how where a Conservative government would find the additional £12bn he is promising to cut from the welfare budget.

    But it looks like this is going to be a terrible result for people with disabilities, and their carers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    http://blogs.channel4.com/paul-mason-blog/labour-failed-win-worse/3671

    Labour today is waking up to something much worse than failure to win. It has failed to account for its defeat in 2010, failed to recognise the deep sources of its failure in Scotland, and failed to produce any kind of intellectual diversity and resilience from which answers might arise.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Easy targets. Attack the most vulnerable and use clever language to blame the victims. No wonder disability hate crime is rising in the UK.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Labour just got the basics wrong and have been for a very long time.

    ...and continue to get the basics wrong in the post-wipeout blame game by immediately shouting that the solution is MOAR BLAIR.

    There's some truth in that, but absolutely not for the reasons thay think.

    New Labour won comprehensively in 1997 for two reasons, the first of which was Tory sleaze - the reason Martin Bell, running on a single-issue ticket, was able to thrash Neil Hamilton in the 'safe' tory seat of Tatton, and the reason Stephen Twigg was able to thrash Portillo in the 'safe' Tory seat of Enfield Southgate.

    The second of which, interwoven with the first, was Blair. But crucially, not his policies. He was young, fresh, energetic and most importantly of all, charismatic. A direct contrast to the tired, venal, exhausted Major government.

    I'd be delighted if politics suddenly turned into a cold, sober debate over the merits of various policies, but it ain't gonna happen.

    Labour needs a Rock Star, A Personality, A Red Bull who is going to give the electorate wings with their 'wow' factor. Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage have it, more than enough to keep them high in the game despite being vile people. Winston Peters has it. John Key, David Cameron and Tony Abbott (and Helen Clarke) have enough of it (or are able to fake a bare minimum of it) that they can combine with their policies to sell them to the electorate.

    Ed Miliband didn't. He's a central-casting politics spod.
    Gordon Brown? Yeah, Nah....

    So, yes, Labour needs another Blair. But not his policies.

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

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    To make it worse, many of the “5000 small businesses” said to have signed the letter in support of Cameron and Osborne (on the basis that “A change now would be far too risky”) didn’t even exist.

    It has parallels with the infamous Generation Lost newspaper ad here in NZ, where quite a few of the names were used without authorisation.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    I think Labour’s apparent failure to present a positive alternative to the electorate does need to be seen in the context of a press that overwhelmingly targeted it for negative coverage.

    This is being totally ignored by the "New Labour" crowd. There was hardly any policy being put in front of the UK electorate. The mass mobilisation of the media and establishment against Labour mirrored that which swayed the Scottish electorate during the independence referendum. These were massive and vicious campaigns.

    Interesting that it suited the same crowd to support the SNP during the GE...

    Labour also needs to recognise that for the last 20 years it has effectively abandoned the poorer working classes who defected to UKIP.

    But it is the media that it needs to work out or work around before it starts trying to sort out what kind of party it is. Supporting electoral reform would be a start, but Labour blew that one as well 5 years ago so I'm not holding my breath.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Don Christie,

    But it is the media that it needs to work out or work around

    Riddle me this: If 'The Media' is the problem, how has Labour, or any other left-leaning party, ever managed to win an election, ever?

    I'm not an expert on 20th-Century newpapers and other media outlets, but I'm having a bit of difficulty imagining that the mainstream wasn't generally mostly extremely hostile to Ramsay MacDonald, Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson, and James Callaghan.

    There's been some post-election analysis of the shonky pre-election polls. The smart money seems to be suggesting that the tory footsoldiers on the ground were quietly getting on with what needed to be done, outside the traditional media/polls bubble.

    If, 15 years into the 21st Century (when we are continually told traditional media is in steep near-terminal decline), the Labour Party cannot work out how to at least neutralise bad press, then they're not exactly inspiring confidence that they'll be able to govern, are they?

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

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Clement Attlee was elected immediately after WW2. During the war, the British media was primarily concerned with reporting the war and was generally somewhat leftist due to the way Britain was at war with a right-wing state and in alliance with a nominally left wing-one. They couldn't really attack Labour politicians in the government coalition, or the policies of central planning that won the war.

    Harold Wilson was elected (the second time) as the result of a miners strike that led to the Heath Government being unable to maintain electricity supplies.

    And Callaghan didn't win a (general) election at all, he succeeded Wilson as Labour leader.

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

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Riddle me this: If ‘The Media’ is the problem, how has Labour, or any other left-leaning party, ever managed to win an election, ever?

    In New South Wales, where Rupert Murdoch’s power is such that State Governments effectively govern via the Daily Telegraph, State Labor last attained power by making a pre-election deal to transfer a greater slab of public assets to the Dirty Digger than the Liberal incumbents of the time were willing to do.

    Paul Keating hoped that his efforts to expedite the sleazy deal might ensure him a further Federal term, but Murdoch as always drove a hard bargain.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Riddle me this: If ‘The Media’ is the problem, how has Labour, or any other left-leaning party, ever managed to win an election, ever?

    In the last couple of decades, Newspapers and Newdesks appear to have transformed from journalism (with ethics), to entertainment (business oriented). Hence, the somewhat leftish "media" has become rather right.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 620 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Rich Lock,

    ...and I repeat:

    If, 15 years into the 21st Century (when we are continually told traditional media is in steep near-terminal decline), the Labour Party cannot work out how to at least neutralise bad press, then they're not exactly inspiring confidence that they'll be able to govern, are they?

    The SNP victory has effectively made Scotland a single-party state. How did they do thay in the teeth of a hostile press? I suspect that might be a far better question for Labour to be asking, rather than wondering how far right they need to travel before they'll start snapping up that coveted Dail Mail endorsement.

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

  • David Hood,

    I thought this was an interesting postmortem, while I don’t necessarily agree with every conclusion.

    http://www.littleatoms.com/society/britain-we-thought-we-knew-does-not-exist

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

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