Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Punk'd?

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    No, the but the Labour Party Research unit is isn't it ? According the Holmes this morning they were sent to Oz to search thru the 13,000 documents with Williams

    Reason # Infinity and Beyond Why My Political Career Will Never Happen. I could take my razor of fiscal righteousness to those Parliamentary research units with few qualms. Party hacks and campaign staffers should be paid for by political parties, not the taxpayer. Only as difficult as you really want to make it.

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

  • Leopold,

    You do wonder if Mike Williams is a sleeper for the Nats....

    Since Jan 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    People do realise that the opposition has a Research Unit as well, that performs essentially the same function, right?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The bulk of the running has been John Key and the Herald.

    And Mike Williams went to Melbourne to catch a matinee of Wicked and do some shopping?

    All that Helen has said is that there is every right for questions to be asked of our leaders.

    And I'd call bullshit on that. I've constantly said there are certain questions that should never have been asked of Clark -- her marriage, her sexual orientation, her decision not to have children.

    And I'm pretty sure Helen Clark would be seriously fucked off, if I went trolling for academic gossip and scandals during her tenure in the Auckland Univeristy Politics Department and launched some clumsy smear implying she was, at best, unethical or guilty of outright academic misconduct.

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

  • Stephen Judd,

    untrue. a nzl academic recently published(? was heard on na.trad) something demonstrating that up to 90% of "promises" made by "politicans" are kept.

    the remaining promises were things like "everyone gets a pony".

    How different things would be if 10 year old girls could vote.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    People do realise that the opposition has a Research Unit as well, that performs essentially the same function, right?

    If that "function" includes "dustbusting" Helen Clark, as part of the National Party's election campaign, I'll say that's out of order too. Can't say fairer than that, can I?

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

  • Julie Fairey,

    So Ben, if I may be so bold, how do you decide who to vote for if you have no expectations about policy whatsoever?

    I don't think National has a secret, un-published, agenda. Not as a party. But I do think that there are National MPs, and lobby groups such as the BRT, who will be more than ready to leap into the policy vacuum should they have sufficient power after Nov 8th. And of course Act, as I've already mentioned. John Key and the National Party may not have more than 4 areas of employment law (to use but one eg) that they intend to change, but I suspect Wayne Mapp and the EMA have a longer wish list. And without policy to the contrary, and with an Act-minded coalition partner who wants to repeal all minimum employment rights and let common law prevail (that's what their policy says), they may get just such an opportunity.

    I'm also wondering about how ordinary National party members feel about their internal policy process, and where those remits are going. I realise there is a difference between caucus and party policy, having seen the dissonance between parliamentary and membership wings of Labour (not to mention the Alliance), but surely National's membership must be expecting more detailed policy than what they are getting, based at least in part on the stuff they vote on and debate at their internal conferences?

    Puketapapa Mt Roskill, AK… • Since Dec 2007 • 234 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    if you have an example of election policy not being implemented, i'd love to hear them.

    Does Jim Bolger's "I'm sorry" ring any bells? Or are you looking for more recent history?

    And you can't write off 'implementation details'. Where in any of Labour's manifesto in 1984 were the details of their biggest moves - the massive sale of state assets?

    I'm sure the academic you refer to had a different idea of what a promise means. To even make statistics it needs to be the kind of concrete statements that politicians don't tend to make, even in their policy documents.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Rogan Polkinghorne,

    Thanks Graeme, wasn't a question with any point, had just been wondering because I knew it would be a difficult threshold to establish...

    A-town • Since Nov 2006 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    I'm sure the academic you refer to had a different idea of what a promise means.

    not at all. he explicitly stated that the statistical low ebb for "promise-keeping" was the 4th labour government...

    i just wanted to disagree that policy manifestos were unnecessary. they are provided, and they are adhered to, in general. there is some... "mobility" in their application by governments, but this doesn't mean that they shoud be neglected during campaigning in lieu of trusting newly appointed ministers to do the right thing.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    So Ben, if I may be so bold, how do you decide who to vote for if you have no expectations about policy whatsoever?

    Oh I have expectations all right, they just don't form a 1:1 relationship with party policy documents. This is MMP after all, no party will rule outright.

    If I understand you, you're saying that the lack of detail in policy is itself the cunning ploy by which to justify the hidden agenda? I think there's truth to that. But even with the most detailed policy, there is never "And we won't do anything else" added on. Most of what they will do is the "anything else", and it's often directly contrary to what they do say. So they not technically liars in the sense Che seems to interpret the word. They're just half-truthers to a massive degree which IMHO is much the same.

    Dunno about the party members. They're probably in the dark like the general population, but they're the kind of people who would back the team anyway.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    i just wanted to disagree that policy manifestos were unnecessary.

    That's cool Che, I agree. In fact if I were designing government there would be only documentation and no elected representatives at all, just propositions that would be voted on directly, with civil servants getting hired or fired on their implementation. My only point was that I'm not particularly alarmed by National being light-on. They always have been - it's just how they are. In fact, it's what a lot of people like about them. It's like the car salesman who talks a lot without saying anything, that most people seem to buy their car off for some reason I can't fathom. They don't tend to lie outright, but they will not tell you one thing wrong that you don't ask about, and they'll say a hell of a lot of nice fluff that sounds like promises.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    So they not technically liars in the sense Che seems to interpret the word. They're just half-truthers to a massive degree which IMHO is much the same.

    well... the *last* thing you want is a government who dogmatically follows something written during the course of a heated election campaign. the policies need to be mellowed down to practicalities, and applied sensibly, which all governments tend to do.

    if not only because risk-averse public servants have to implement them.

    the accusation of 'liars' is a little partisan.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    I don't think National has a secret, un-published, agenda. Not as a party. But I do think that there are National MPs, and lobby groups such as the BRT, who will be more than ready to leap into the policy vacuum should they have sufficient power after Nov 8th.

    Good point Julie. I thought for a while that National have an intentional policy vaccum so they can make it up as they go along.

    Take, for instance, Tim Grosser at a candidates panel in Titirangi last night. He was asked by a teacher, what is their plan for education once they have implemented their national assessment i.e. once you figure out who needs assistance, what's the next step, what's their plan for the future ?

    His answer boiled down to: "We're fighting this election, not the next one."

    National's decision to have thin policy is a strategic choice, and I don't like it one bit.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Doubt if Miis Clark has ver even done a small deal like this, well with such a big down side for her!

    One suspects that being Prime Minister for 9 years, is fairly good CV filler for... being Prime Minister for another 3 years.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    he explicitly stated that the statistical low ebb for "promise-keeping" was the 4th labour government...

    Some of my friends and I blame everything on the 4th Labour government. Eg.

    A: "This beer is warm."
    B: "Fucking 4th Labour Government!"

    It helps pass the cold Dunedin nights.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    This is a depressing spectre.

    No punking needed here, as Labour have been desperate to get the campaign away from talking about actual policies and visions, into a personality contest between the rock of ages and the flimsy newcomer. A negative campaign works well for an opposition party, for a 3 term party of government much less so.

    It has not made sense to me at any time in the last 6 months, when the Labour Party's policy is much more popular with the electorate. It is especially bad with 9 days left.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    In fact if I were designing government there would be only documentation and no elected representatives at all, just propositions that would be voted on directly, with civil servants getting hired or fired on their implementation.

    maybe we will all get ponies after all.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Hands up who knows what a "sham foreign exchange transaction" is.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    "Get me a pony, bureaucrat!"
    "Your pony has been ordered, sir, but we've hit a snag, the studs are all a bit gay"
    "You're FIRED! Get me someone who knows how to find a real stud"
    "You won't find that in the civil service, sir"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Mark,

    Or to put it another way:
    It is a little ironic that some of the people most up in arms over Ian Wishart's despicable book about Helen Clark's supposed secret life are this morning quite happy about the "smearing" of John Key.

    Since Dec 2006 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Hands up who knows what a "sham foreign exchange transaction" is.

    Mu understanding was that they paid this guy under the table and made it look like the money had gone into foreign exchange transactions which had never occurred?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Hands up who knows what a "sham foreign exchange transaction" is

    heh. trick question.

    it's a tautology, innit?

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    A: "This beer is warm."
    B: "Fucking 4th Labour Government!"

    Oh come on, that's a stretch. The current Labour Government is much more responsible for warm beer, stubbed toes, bad hair days, and the bad weather we've been having lately.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    You know what's cooler than ponies? Pwnies. That's what my eleven year old girl wants.

    Carry on.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

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