Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Gushing for Auckland

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  • linger,

    Well, in Bank's case, the electorate has quite a lot of previous experience of him, too.
    ... You'd think they'd learn from that.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1943 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    So no matter how vile, as long as they have previous experience . . .

    Is Len Brown vile now? Wow.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    You want someone there who understands what democracy is (too many do not)

    You mean like John Key and his Mr Hide?

    and who has worked through those processes and understands they aren't there to dictate.....they are there to lead, listen and facilitate.

    One big problem with democracy at present (and it's not just with the leaders). There's a lot of people who vote in an uninformed way, and sometimes people will - to use a euphemism - cut off their nose to spite their face.

    And yeah but what if the leaders are leading us up the proverbial path (or maybe that's major arterial rush hour carriageways) to nowhere. Listening is harder than you make it sound, also its not a one way interaction, and facilitate...does that involve money? And aren't there lots of checks and balances on that.

    Mid-wives to good outcomes.
    You wouldn't let an untrained inexperienced person oversee the birth of your children.....and just as certainly you don't want them trying to run a large, complex structure with many diverse and conflicting interests with no previous expereience.

    Bad analogy Mid wives (trained or otherwise) don't oversee - I thought they did the actual, ya know, birthing. And I hear stories about people giving birth in taxis with just a pair of scissors and a doctor on the phone.

    Large complex structures with diverse and conflicting interests. So what..... like.... the drainage dept wanting to dig up the road and the tar sealing dept want to use their mates new road sealing machine?
    If my example seems facetious explain what you mean.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    national and local government, he seemed confused about the responsibilities of each

    Sounds like a perfect fit with fellow traveller Hide

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Prast said some sensible things in the tv clip I caught and he has certainly got some governance and ops experience. However, I think he'd get eaten alive in the stoush over control we'll see after 1 November. Remember Hubbard?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Being an ex-actor might be a big plus, though. Worked for Reagan. I could see Simon eating Banks up in head to head confrontation. For that reason, I doubt we'll get to see that scrap.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The scrap that counts is the one after the election - and the Mayor is but a part of it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    Is Len Brown vile now? Wow.

    You're just teasing me now Giovanni. Both you and Steve Withers are implying that the only options are the devils you know. Perhaps I have a fundamentally naive idea of council workings whereby I envisage someone with a bit of imagination and flair being able to express that in their mayoralty. Perhaps all that optimism just gets buried in the first week. However, being new to the SPECIFIC world of council workings shouldn't immediately mean someone is incapable of being a good leader.
    BTW, computer seems to be choking on Public Address constantly today. Is it just me?

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    @amdin: John Key was at least an MP for most of two terms prior to becoming the annointed one for National. I don't consider that to be enough experience. But look at what happened with Don Brash - a newbie too far for the Nats.

    I agree absolutely that ignorant voters often cast their ballot directly in opposition to their own interests. I call it "noses all over the floor"....they do it in such large numbers.

    Then they wonder why their wages are cut, their hours are longer, their jobs went overseas, they face more and rising user charges for things they already pay for in the first place.... and their kids can't afford to go to Uni or can't get a place...and if they don't go, they can't get more than $12.75/hour in some shit job for an employer who demands they arrive 20 minutes early and leave 45 minutes late and not be paid for it.

    D'oh. "He's a nice man."

    As for mid-wives...the mothers give birth last time I checked. The mid-wives oversee. :-)

    The conflicting interests are more usually commerical interests versus residential interests versus environmental/aesthetic considerations versus cash available and so on around the circle/ring of peoples' collective primary focii.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    You're just teasing me now Giovanni. Both you and Steve Withers are implying that the only options are the devils you know.

    I'm saying that I don't particularly appreciate people trying to sell inexperience as "freshness". As if being a public servant, elected or otherwise, was somehow disqualifying. So, if you ask us if this bloke should get less of a look because he's inexperienced, my answer would be yes. Which is not to say that he won't or shouldn't win, just that experience in local government is actually an asset.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    I thought that the role of this new Mayor was not the same as other Mayors. Isn't this one an Executive Mayor with many powers where before he was the Chairman of the Council expressing their decisions? Different skills?

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    I'm saying that I don't particularly appreciate people trying to sell inexperience as "freshness". As if being a public servant, elected or otherwise, was somehow disqualifying. So, if you ask us if this bloke should get less of a look because he's inexperienced, my answer would be yes. Which is not to say that he won't or shouldn't win, just that experience in local government is actually an asset.

    Yip, agreed that experience is a good thing. I guess I just see John Banks and, to some degree, Len Brown as having a bit too much experience, i.e. the darker side of envy, greed, power, etc. that comes with being in politics too long.
    In a sense, the whole Supercity package is being sold to us on "freshness". "Hey, let's all try the new model cos the old one was crap!"
    If we're going to have a fresh new city (and, yes, I know it's just the same old one with all its joys and downfalls), why not have a fresh new mayor?
    I'm not going to vote for John based on his previous experience - his prior works are why I'm NOT going to vote for him.
    Len I'm still in two minds about.
    Apologies for use of CAPS - don't know how to do italics.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    <quote > "Banks is a
    cunt. I'm not Banks.</quote >
    Worked for Hubbard.

    Vote for the dick, not the cunt.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    This just in from Bill Ralston:

    1. I still give John advice when he wants it (for free) and I'm still part of his mentor group because I like the guy and think he'll do a great job.

    2. There is no negative media strategy against Len from me or Banks. Len did it all to himself and you'll note Banks has said surprisingly little about Len's spending or his odd reaction (crying, face slapping and comparing himself to Jesus etc). John's been concentrating on pushing constructive messages about what he can do for the city.

    3. I know of no other derogatory material about Len or his family and to the best of my knowledge nor does anyone else on John's team.

    To be frank I think it's unfortunate for Len's family that you choose to publish what is obviously a nasty and untrue rumour.

    Fair enough. But I didn't just pluck it out of the air. The belief that there is a media strategy and Ralston's behind it is quite widely held. Three different people have indicated to me that was the case, in the past week.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    However, being new to the SPECIFIC world of council workings shouldn't immediately mean someone is incapable of being a good leader.

    I agree there - it doesn't. It does mean that they will be incapable of being a good leader of a Council.

    For something complex and byzantine as Council where relationships for the most part make or break policy, and daily life consists of a mix of guile, outright double think, executive decision making, and plain old fashioned talking, experience trumps political naivety and simplistic thinking that sees Council as merely needing to be 'lead' somewhere.

    The only person I know who has managed thus far to combine simplistic thinking and solipsisms and political experience is Hide. And yet even he had to start somewhere, just not at the position of Minister of Local Government.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    ...ignorant voters often cast their ballot directly in opposition to their own interests. I call it "noses all over the floor"...

    Or, to put it more briefly: Oh Noses!

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1943 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    Conspiracy, Russell, conspiracy...

    [CUE MY THEME MUSIC.]

    Actually, this sounds more like a rumour and the question is whether it's a case of rumouring (the trusting transmission of plausible propositions, which means hearing the rumour gives you grounds to form a warranted belief in the rumoured proposition) or whether its a case of rumour-mongering (in which case the rumour is being spread maliciously and thus the trusting transmission of it breaks down). I realise it's a bit tricky to answer this on a public forum, but do you trust Bill Ralston enough to accept his denial (I'm not passing judgement over Ralston's character here, I might add) or do you trust your three (independent?) sources?

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I realise it's a bit tricky to answer this on a public forum, but do you trust Bill Ralston enough to accept his denial (I'm not passing judgement over Ralston's character here, I might add) or do you trust your three (independent?) sources?

    I don't think Bill's lying about his own involvement, so it may well be just a rumour, but it's a very popular one. One source was a (non-political) Auckland City one, so I'd guess it's pretty rife around there.

    To be honest, I'd forgtten about Bill's involvement with the Banks campaign at all until people started mentioning it last week.

    Bill also says his advice to Banks on the Len Brown stuff has been to "avoid talking about it".

    Just emailed this to Bill, may as well post it here too:

    -----

    Updated in the post and in the discussion.

    On reflection, I'm still unconvinced, though. In 2004 Aaron Bhatnagar purported to lament Brian Nicolle's straying onto "the dark side" and whined "that we became increasingly associated with distasteful messages and thoughts. Much of this perception was unjustified … "

    And then I found the originals of all the attack material in a hidden directory on Bhatnagar's website:

    http://publicaddress.net/1569

    During the 2007 local body elections, Bhatnagar created and/or maliciously edited Wikipedia articles about his (and Banks') opponents, then tried to cover it up at 3am on election night. And *then* he tried to play the victim when Christine Caughey complained -- and never owned up to what he'd been doing until he was exposed (by me). I covered all that here:

    http://publicaddress.net/5299

    And then, of course, there's the Andrew Williams stuff, with Banks' text about "leaving it to Whaleoil".

    So I don't think it's unreasonable of me to be sceptical of claims of innocence from those people. They've lied about this stuff before.

    Cheers,
    RB

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    I think there can be no doubt the dirt raking on Len Brown was orchestrated, it came too close on the heals of the ministerial credit card revelations, the timing was perfect. Who were the two Manukau Councilors who raised the issue at council, whats their agenda?

    Banks of course is clean because he uses the same protection method as Winston Peters ie a staffer holds the credit card and makes all the payments - staffer cards can not be traced so transparently.

    That it has even got down to this level of muck raking is so shabby. The game has hardly started and someone is putting the boot in already.

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Who were the two Manukau Councilors who raised the issue at council, whats their agenda?

    Dick Quax and Jami-Lee Ross. They're standing for the Auckland Council, aligned with the Banks ticket.

    They also recently distributed false information about a council opponent's voting record in a way that would be hard to do by accident.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    The conflicting interests are more usually commerical interests versus residential interests versus environmental/aesthetic considerations versus cash available and so on around the circle/ring of peoples' collective primary focii.

    These are just all the considerations that need to be taken into account when running a city or any local body. Conflict seems to mainly stem from one aspect/ vested interest demanding absolute consideration at the expense of all others. And don't tell me that doesn't happen.
    Conflicting interests just doesn't seem the best way to describe it is all.

    So the mayor oversee's and we all have the birthing pains?
    What if we don't love the baby? Will we grow to love it?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    I remember when Brian Mulroney - political neophyte and corporate boss - became Prime Minister of Canada having never held any previous elected office. You'd think he'd been elected Dictator for Life the way he carried on.....just as corporate CEO's are used to behaving: giving orders, not consulting and listening only to their mates and backers....not the people are large.

    and

    One could argue that John Key is brand new in his job and he seems to be managing pretty well - whether or not you like his politics.

    You know, that first quote sounds remarkably like the guy mentioned in the second quote. Driving things through under urgency to avoid discussion and consultation - such as the whole Megatropolis fiasco; looking at the dollar value of things rather than the whole social value - mining national parks, ACC, ECE funding; seeking to maximise short-term returns (not that National are alone in this, but the current lot are being particularly egregious about it) ahead of long-term - Cullen Fund payments (how many hundreds-of-millions of dollars in capital gain have we foregone in the last year due to the suspended payments, I wonder?), education funding, Joyce's militant attitude against public transport, etc ad nauseum.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It seems that Len Brown's fateful Jesus comparison was an offhand comment at what he presumably thought was the end of the interview.

    Serious noob mistake there, especially given the way Meng-Yee works. She doesn't write her stories, just procures and conducts the interviews, and no matter how lightly Brown meant it, it was always going in the story once it was on the tape.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh, and it appears the the family stuff I alluded to in the original post is covered by Jock Anderson under the headline 'Brown ‘appalled’ by dirty tricks ‘head-wetting’ claim' in Friday's NBR.

    Anyone got a physical copy handy?

    I gather Jock says that someone has been shopping around a false rumour about a Len Brown family connection to the Volare dinner. This does seem pretty nasty stuff.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    How to keep your hands clean:

    John Key approved the release of the Credit cards. He said little but as expected the MSM really did the work for him.

    John Banks' team are willing and able to approve the move of seeding the smear against Brown leaving MSM to do the work for him.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

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