Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Gushing for Auckland

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  • Russell Brown,

    Oddly enough, I was looking back on that stuff today.

    Bright and the Water Pressure Group permanently lost my sympathy with their disgusting, disgraceful, callous behaviour towards Phil Raffills and his family.

    Harassing a councillor at his family home is shitty, unwarranted behaviour. Harrassing a dying man at his family home is about as low as it gets.

    They claimed later they didn't know he was dying of cancer (which I find hard to believe) -- but if so, surely an apology to his family would be the decent thing to do. They didn't. Instead, they regarded themselves as the victims and made a police complaint against him. It just lacked basic human decency.

    Bright is also an anti-vaccine nutter who keeps company with Jonathan Eisen.

    I'm with Rudman on these people:

    Regular readers will know that this lunacy began more than three years ago when the Water Pressure Group activist erected a forest of signs on his front yard, calling the councillors liars, making other abusive comments in a variety of languages, and calling on people not to vote for them.

    The Water Pressure Group is a bunch of left-wing obsessives who continue their campaign against the privatisation of water long after any threat of it coming to pass disappeared from the political agenda.

    Dr Hucker and Mrs Sefuiva committed the ultimate left-wing sin of pragmatism, and ever since have been the WPG whipping boys. Indeed, lashing the two councillors seems to have become Mr Finau and WPG leader Penny Bright's main pastime. That's when they're not dragging me before the Press Council for criticising them - and losing.

    Anyway, Ike Finau's abusive signs are still up, although not so many of them, and they still clearly breach the city's environmental bylaws. The Green Party aren't championing him any more. They're corrupt liars now too, apparently.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Not really related, but The Aucklander has a lengthy, useful and non-campaigning story about the practical impact of amalgamation on the Auckland region's library operations.

    we finally see a reference to their political allegiances

    Happened already a couple o weeks ago, but nice to see the trend continue.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Fran O'Sullivan is at least clear about where she gets her ideas from:

    My sense is that public confidence in Banks and Brown is now sliding. That's already apparent in the business sector

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Danyl is somewhat less enamoured with our champions of the boardroom.

    It goes without saying that the reason Ireland is in this dire situation is because they optimised their national economy for business and productivity growth and that Australia – the envy of almost every other country in the world in terms of economic performance during the recession – did the exact opposite of everything that the Randian superheroes of the New Zealand Business world advised.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Predictably enough, they want what Act stands for. Kiwibog also notes surveyed CEOs' assessments of Brown vs Banks:

    They also ranked the two leading candidate for Mayor on several attributes on a 1 to 5 scale

    * Leadership skills – Banks 3.47 v Brown 3.06
    * Puts interest of Auckland over political alignment – Banks 3.33 v Brown 2.74
    * Vision and strategy – Banks 3.33 v Brown 2.99
    * Management – Banks 3.27 v Brown 2.63
    * Experience – Banks 4.11 v brown 2.84
    * Judgement – Banks 3.26 v Brown 2.51
    * Trustworthiness – Banks 3.37 v Brown 2.86
    * Ability to form support within Council – Banks 2.98 v Brown 3.15
    * Economic management – Banks 3.65 v Brown 2.56
    * Courage – Banks 4.30 v Brown 3.46

    But 50% of CEOs want a new candidate to also enter the race.

    Those views seem rather different from published polls of the general public. When reading the Herald's local election coverage, the results may clarify which voices the paper thinks it is their job to represent.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Having said that, Geoff Cumming has a reasonably even-handed summary about where it all leaves Brown (other than claims that the unfavourable publicity is all just coincidental).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • JLM,

    I thought that piece was terrible, Sacha. Highlighting and directing reader's reactions in a concern trollish sort of way, making a big thing of supporters who were having doubts - wonder how many he talked to who were still staunch? It seems a nasty knife job designed to keep these trivial aspects forefront of people's minds to me

    Judy Martin's southern sl… • Since Apr 2007 • 241 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Maybe my standards of what's reasonable have been eroded? #heraldsucceeds

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Fran O'Sullivan is at least clear about where she gets her ideas from:

    Can't be bothered deconstructing it right now, but there's some terribly flimsy reasoning in Fran's column.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Wouldn't bother. It's the same crazed magical thinking that has pervaded official business dogma for the last few decades.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Having said that, Geoff Cumming has a reasonably even-handed summary about where it all leaves Brown (other than claims that the unfavourable publicity is all just coincidental).

    Meh... well I'm going to say this again, since The Herald doesn't seem to give a shit, but my entirely parochial and unscientific read is that the turrn out on the Shore is going to be the worse ever unless both Brown and Banks get a clue. As things stand, there's over a quarter million people who can reasonably come to the conclusion that their next Mayor knows nothing, and cares even less, about anything happening north of the Harbour Bridge.

    Those views seem rather different from published polls of the general public.

    Well, yes. Just as I'm sure if The Herald polled Maori/PI or Asian voters, the results wouldn't necessarily be the same as "the general public". To be honest, I'm not really in the mood to do a fisk on the methodology, or the quality or otherwise of commentary on those results, but it's not necessarily a worthless argument. To be honest, I think Banks has a lot more to worry about than Brown.

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

  • Sacha,

    if The Herald polled Maori/PI or Asian voters, the results wouldn't necessarily be the same as "the general public"

    But they don't run that biased sample as their editorial angle, do they? That's the point.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Just as I'm sure if The Herald polled Maori/PI or Asian voters

    The Herald consistantly reports issues affecting these copmmunities as though they are located somewhere in sub-Saharan Africa,only reporting their very existence when crime/famine/pestilence emanates outwards to such an extent they are forced to. Further, I doubt they sell many copies of the Herald in the far-off places where the serving classes reside.

    Ergo, why would you bother surveying their views when you can just get Fran to give a blowjob to "the Mood of Business," safe in the knowledge these mighty opinion setters will be seen by the aspirational perusing the pages of the Herald as they are aspirationally chaffeured in their limousines to their next lunch with Mr. Murphy?

    You are probably on safer ground though complaining about the lack of knowledge of the Shore. The trouble is the hatchet men of the right wing smear machine (you know, Slater-Marshall-Farrar) have managed to stick enough mud to Andrew Williams that he probably won't make it back - so perhaps you ought to have a chat to your friends on the right about that particular own goal.

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

  • Tom Semmens,

    Wouldn't bother. It's the same crazed magical thinking that has pervaded official business dogma for the last few decades.

    The quote for the win though has to be

    "the democratic structure does not allow for selection on skill matched to job requirements"

    teasingly reported as "Among comments were..." - i.e. the prick who said it didn't have the guts to be named on the record and Fran is to much of a sycophantic fellow traveller to call him (it'll be a him, I betcha) and shame him for it.

    When a Maori sovereignty radical holds forth on the need to reduce democracy to honour the treaty they are rightly excoriated in the media. Imagine the hullabaloo if a trade union boss were to say that democracy did not allow for rule of the proletariat, so should be done away with in favour of a central committee run by him and his comrades. That is how extremist these sorts of comments are. Yet these men are at the very heart of our democracy in terms of their influence and power.

    The ideological extremism of our business elites is the elephant in the room of public policy debate in this country. These sorts of anti-democratic and authoritarian views are only held by a vanishingly small fraction of our over all society, yet it would seem that in the rarified circles of the board room elites they are so commonly held that they can be safely published in the newspaper as representative of their thinking.

    We need to find out why they think this way, how it came to pass they think this way, and then start working out what reforms are required to create a business class that is more in touch with their fellow conuntrymen and more committed to democracy.

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

  • 3410,

    "the democratic structure does not allow for selection on skill matched to job requirements"

    The Herald's 'Attack on Democracy' series seems so long ago, doesn't it?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Money doesn't just talk, it shouts, it harangues, it's used to having its way.

    What's mentioned in the article comes across as Pinochetism minus the guns and death squads.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    The quote for the win though has to be

    "the democratic structure does not allow for selection on skill matched to job requirements"

    That's how you might choose a CEO. But people vote for the post of mayor. That's how it works.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    City Vision is a formal coalition between Labour, Greens and alliance (who?) to contest local body elections (In Auckland, at least).

    The CitRats do not make this formal disclosure, but if someone has stood for or held office on the ticket of a national party, it's reasonable to assume that they remain a supporter of that party (in the absence of some sort of public change of views).

    In Wellington, we have STV, and hence the Greens are able to run as a party and get candidates elected. I believe the other parties in the city all hide behind pseudo-independents - Kerry, for instance, is a former National candidate.

    We should have MMP council elections, mayors or leaders elected by council, and overt political parties. That would be way more democratic.

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

  • Sacha,

    That's how you might choose a CEO. But people vote for the post of mayor. That's how it works.

    Mouthy employers and fellow travellers like Rodney Hide have consistently failed to understand the difference between operational services and civic democracy when it comes to the public sector.

    Perhaps their fundamental ignorance might help explain this country's poor record of corporate governance, weak leadership and low productivity?

    Rather than that workers are stupid and overpaid or there's too much red tape and tax stifling profits.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    That's how it works.

    To which, it seems, our business leaders would snort "says who?"

    What's mentioned in the article comes across as Pinochetism minus the guns and death squads.

    I'd love to see a business journalist probe the links between right-wing South American ideas in places like Chile and New Zealand, and whether or not New Zealand business leaders have become contaminated by extremist Pinochetism.

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

  • Rich of Observationz,

    On the basis that people reading this might be keen to vote in the actual election, something you should know:

    The last day to register in order to get a vote in local elections is tomorrow. To enrol, go to Elections NZ and fill out the form. Do it now!

    (If you think this is a bit of a rort and disenfranchises younger, mobile, voters, you'd be right).

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

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Ok, seems that this is wrong, and the real deadline is August 20th. But Stuff got it as wrong as me, and registering now won't do any harm.

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

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