Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Spring Timing

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  • Tinakori, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    A distraction it may be but it is also part of reasonably long National tradition of getting out in front of some issues so they can't be boxed into a right/left or young/old debate on an issue. Jim Bolger did this with his musings on the inevitably of NZ becoming a republic. If they would only realise it, these things also give the Left some freedom to debate matters that don't have to fit into the standard political template. One other might be providing proper protection to the street prostitutes of Christchurch who appear to be at the mercy of predators like the Mongrel Mob while carrying out their business.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Wallington,

    Labour and Green are not natural or even comfortable bedfellows.
    If one looks across the Tasman to Tasmania the smouldering wreck of Lara Giddings Labor/Green administration is about to be replaced by the true, blue of Will Hodgman's Liberals. Tasmania has a similar electoral system (Hare/Clark) to our MMP. Tasmania voted the first ever Green MP into an Australasian Parliament and also the first Green Senator into the Australian Federal upper house. Premier Giddings is the latest Labor casualty of an unworkable alliance with the Greens. Several Tasmanian coalitions have ended in disaster as Labor and Green squabble over policies and the baubles of office. Lara Giddings actually made the point by sacking all her Green ministerial colleagues when she called the election. She belatedly ditched them in a futile attempt to present Labor as a realistic voting option. Sadly, Labor in Tasmania is doomed and tainted by its association with the Green Party.
    .

    Waikawa Beach • Since Sep 2013 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I suspect we will see lots of this sort of distraction

    Which nobody is obliged to pay the slightest bit of attention to over the next six months. (The reverse of that coin, of course, is not matter how much you try you can't actually force people to give a shit about your "real issues" if they don't.)

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

  • Craig Young, in reply to Phil Wallington,

    Uh, what about Germany's Social Democrat/Green governments?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 573 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Phil Wallington,

    Labour and Greens in Australia are always destined for strong conflict, due to the importance of mining in the Australian economy and labour market. This is much less so in agragrian NZ.

    ETA: Also it's worth pointing out that the Tasmanian parliament is not a sovereign government, but one step further down. From memory, Australians put as much thought into electing the individual state governments as we do into electing city councilors. So they get the Australian version of Dick Quax holding very high office, and it's small wonder that highly dysfunctional coalitions form.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    How to get the kids voting? Here is One Direction showing how to at least get them thinking.


    it is the sort of innovative approach to political engagement completely absent in this country.

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

  • Phil Wallington, in reply to BenWilson,

    Like too many kiwis you have little understanding of the role of
    State governments in a Federal system. The states make their own laws, run the police and emergency services, are responsible for the education system, welfare housing, public health, hospitals and a host of other important functions. Voters take keen interest in the politics of their own state... and as voting is compulsory... they pretty well all vote

    Waikawa Beach • Since Sep 2013 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Shane Jones should give it up and go and be CEO of his slave-fishing operation again

    To quote Lincoln when told by US Grant’s enemies that Grant was a boozer, “…I cannot spare this man, he fights!”

    And a bit more fighting mongrel from the rest of Labour's useless and lazy frontbench deadwood a bit earlier in the piece and Labour wouldn’t be in the polling pickle they currently find themselves.

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

  • Andrew C, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The problem may be that less engaged voters still don't seem to like him

    I'm finding it hard to like him when I hear him effectively telling bald face lies, like "I have a harvard degree".

    Some may argue its not a lie but a technicality, but to me it makes him a bullshitter. And they're often hard to like (and that's ignoring the trust issue). So he's not doing himself any favours.

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 169 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    And a bit more fighting mongrel from the rest of Labour’s useless and lazy frontbench deadwood a bit earlier in the piece and Labour wouldn’t be in the polling pickle they currently find themselves.

    If your idea of "fighting mongrel" is going up to Auckland University and trolling overseas students, we're going to have to agree to disagree. But, I guess, whatevs, if Labour's own leader can't - or won't - do more than vaguely wave a moist bus ticket in his general direction.

    But if Cunliffe would like to grow a spine where Jones is concerned, Gordon Campbell writes a pretty solid reality check on why Shane isn't helping anyone but himself.

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

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Phil Wallington,

    The states make their own laws, run the police and emergency services, are responsible for the education system, welfare housing, public health, hospitals and a host of other important functions.

    But when it comes to the crunch, Tasmania doesn't have an air force.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Some may argue its not a lie but a technicality, but to me it makes him a bullshitter.

    Which isn't that far off the lesson Judith Collins is learning the hard way. Functionally, telling a flat out lie and "technically" telling the truth, just not quite all of it, is a hair you can't assume people are willing to split.

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

  • BenWilson, in reply to Phil Wallington,

    Voters take keen interest in the politics of their own state… and as voting is compulsory… they pretty well all vote

    Sure didn't seem that way when I lived there. State politics were a very distant second in political discussions to national politics. Overall political engagement did seem higher, so OK, perhaps more interest in the Premier than the Mayor of Auckland. But not much more.

    The states make their own laws, run the police and emergency services, are responsible for the education system, welfare housing, public health, hospitals and a host of other important functions.

    They administer those things, but they don't set the bulk of the budgets for them, as they don't collect the majority of the taxation to be spent on them. So if you want more spent on, say, housing, then there's much more that the Federal government can do about it than the State can. Conversely, they have a a far greater power to screw things down to. So people pay a lot more attention to it, from what I've seen. The number one issue, how much tax people pay, is something the states have only a very small influence over.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    But if Cunliffe would like to grow a spine where Jones is concerned, Gordon Campbell writes a pretty solid reality check on why Shane isn’t helping anyone but himself.

    Thanks for that link. GC is reliably good, but infrequent and I forget to check.

    But, I guess, whatevs, if Labour’s own leader can’t – or won’t – do more than vaguely wave a moist bus ticket in his general direction.

    I wish I'd been able to go to that event to judge the extent of the trolling. It's not like there isn't a serious point to be made about the transformation of tertiary education into a business rather than a basic right and an important social institution, custodian of national intellectual values. But it's ridiculous to sum it up as "too many foreign students", as if that in itself drives the transformation of the way the University operates. Auckland University was considerably higher ranked a few decades ago, making it a much more attractive destination for foreign students. The ideas of it being an important social taonga AND a highly attractive and lucrative thing to export are not incompatible at all. I hope that people in Labour can grasp this.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to Andrew C,

    I’m finding it hard to like him when I hear him effectively telling bald face lies, like “I have a harvard degree”.

    You mean the degree he has from the Harvard Kennedy School? The one that is described this way on Wikipedia:

    he John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (also known as Harvard Kennedy School and HKS)[1] is a public policy and public administration school, and one of Harvard's graduate and professional schools.

    He has a degree from Harvard.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Deborah,

    He has a degree from Harvard.

    That would have made him one of those foreign students then, squeezing out the locals?

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

  • Hebe,

    Three things this morning that will resonate for the election:
    1. No oil off Otago; probably none off Canterbury That helps shred National's long-term economic plans for NZ.
    2. Steven Joyce will be happy. Hurling a very unpopular and now overcooked Minister overboard must be on the menu for the PM: win-win for Joyce.
    3. Sixty to 90mm of rain forecast for 36 hours in Christchurch Sunday-Monday. The Heathcote is still high (in every sense). Empathy levels will rise.

    Prediction: this will be one of the twistiest and turniest campaigns I have ever seen.
    Six months is a long time; and no-one is pretending that the campaign won't start until winter.

    Personally, I'm buying earplugs because my teenagers won't stop: they're tracking iPredict, watching Parliament TV and endlessly quizzing beloved and I about NZ political history. Not to mention old-fashioned sit-down protesting.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew C, in reply to Deborah,

    With respect Deborah, that’s willful blindness.

    It would be assumed to be from Harvard Business School, and one would make the distinction if it wasn’t (and he didn’t).

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 169 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Andrew C,

    It would be assumed to be from Harvard Business School, and you would make the distinction if it wasn’t (and he didn’t).

    I don’t think so. Harvard Business School isn’t the only prestigious part of Harvard.

    ETA: If someone didn't specify the school they're from, you'd assume it's the school that pertains to their work. A lawyer who said Harvard would mean Harvard Law School. A mathematician would obviously be referring to the Arts and Science school. A politician could be from anything, but the Government school is a pretty likely choice. If Ban Ki Moon can say he went to Harvard, Jones can too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew C, in reply to BenWilson,

    OK, fair enough Ben/Deborah.

    Perhaps i'm showing some ignorance/bias here, I had assumed that was what he meant.

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 169 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to BenWilson,

    They also do undergrad degrees, I understand.

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

  • linger, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    And they have a summer school with an English language programme – hence some of my former students can legitimately claim to have “studied at Harvard” on the basis of a semester spent there at some time during their MA studies at my own university.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1943 posts Report Reply

  • Myles Thomas, in reply to andin,

    Please refer to the research by Jack Vowles mentioned earlier about voters not bothering if they think the election is a foregone conclusion. And keep your pessimism to yourselves.

    Last time EVERYONE said National would romp home, there was a massively low voter turnout and lo behold, National squeaked in. Don't trust the polls, they are proven to over estimate Nat numbers.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    If anything, what James Dann has revealed today (with the assistance of Keith Ng) is actually bigger than Judith Collins' present trouble.

    As both a backbencher and Minister of the Environment, Amy Adams may have derived substantial benefit from the eCan takeover and what followed.

    If that's the case and she didn't comprehensively declare any conflicts of interest, she must resign, reckons Rob Salmond.

    No Right Turn says she declared no interests as an MP and it's unclear whether her declarations as a minister were sufficient.

    I'm kind of amazed at how vague her ministerial declarations were allowed to be.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Myles Thomas,

    Please refer to the research by Jack Vowles mentioned earlier about voters not bothering if they think the election is a foregone conclusion. And keep your pessimism to yourselves.

    Last time EVERYONE said National would romp home, there was a massively low voter turnout and lo behold, National squeaked in. Don’t trust the polls, they are proven to over estimate Nat numbers.

    Thanks Myles. Polls are not a neutral observer they are part of the process, especially in how the media headline them.
    In fact if I was a spin doctor for the Nats ( I am not) I'd be commissioning regular polls showing the Nats ahead , Labour behind and the rest in disarray.

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

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