Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Mayor's marginal enemies

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    Does it move on, or continue to contrive petty stories like today’s lead?

    As I've said to you on Twitter, The Herald (and Bernard Orsman in particular) are little more than obsessive trolls where Brown is concerned. I'm really sorry they didn't manage to drive an elected Mayor out of office, but it's long past time to build a bridge and get the fuck over it.

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

  • Ben Ross,

    It was the most important story for the print edition of the Herald as it panders to the ultra conservative group that most likely prop up the ailing print edition (who's readership is still declining)

    As for the marginalised five they are slowly signing their own warrants in the next election especially if good contenders run against them and the Council gets on with its job as it has been doing since the elections last year.


    In any case the main safeguard towards wayward Councils is there and has not been used - that is installing Commissioners. If the Government was that concerned over Len we would have had commissioners put in by now.


    But no the Council and Government continue its awkward relationship. The Unitary Plan is about to go through the hearings process and we have the Special Housing Areas. The Government and Mayor are lined up with a transport package although that needs a bit of reworking. Businesses seem to be chugging along well enough and have no concerns towards the Council that are out of the ordinary.

    And true and actual people power is working with the Council as well.
    Twice AT have backed down and sought compromise with the communities over the East-West Link. For myself personally after three years of advocacy attention from Council has turned to getting Manukau out of its auto dominated past into something more vibrant and worthy in representing its South Auckland base.

    So yes there are some pitfalls with the Council and the Mayor but there are positives as well worth mentioning.

    This perennially marginalised group and to some extents the marginalised five Councillors are starting to disrupt the legitimate business of Council and the legitimate business of citizens and businesses trying to participate without having to fear constant disruption by a very small few

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Ross, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Agreed with you there Craig

    Auckland • Since Jan 2014 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Wilson,

    Well said Russell. More on Brown in my editorial, in Metro on sale today - and, for good measure, David Slack's very good Obituary for the man. Yes, we do like to stay ahead of the game.

    Since Mar 2007 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Well said Russell.

    An entire post criticising the opponents of a politician without basically once addressing their arguments? Isn’t this textbook ad hominem?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Seriously New Zealand Herald, WTF?

    Between this obsession with trying to be a political party themselves and the constant cheerleading of the real estate market I can't figure out what the hell The Herald thinks is the role of a newspaper in society.

    It must be a strange place to work for those folks who actually wanted to be journalists.

    Maybe when they ring me up next time asking if I want their paper for free they might think to ask why I don't want it filling up my recycling bin?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    To quote from one of the all time classics:

    There is much made by people who long for the days of their fourth form debating society about the fallacy of "argumentum ad hominem". There is, as I have mentioned in the past, no fancy Latin term for the fallacy of "giving known liars the benefit of the doubt", but it is in my view a much greater source of avoidable error in the world.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    once addressing their arguments

    Let me help. Like about a third of kiwis, Brown had an extra marital affair, this involved him telling some lies to some people. Unlike his opponents and The Herald I do not believe this constitutes a reason depose a democratically elected mayor. Nor do I believe accepting room upgrades at a hotel constitutes corruption.

    The tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets setting fire to cars and throwing Molotov cocktails at police and dying for their cause clearly indicate my view is a minority one ... oh wait.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    An entire post criticising the opponents of a politician without basically once addressing their arguments? Isn’t this textbook ad hominem?

    No, it isn’t. We’ve been through the actual arguments at considerable length on this site.

    The point here is that the protest lobby is very small and very marginal and not the popular movement implied in some news reports. One of the speakers is the subject of an order forbidding him to contact Auckland councillors. This seems relevant.

    I have also been critical of the structure of the the Herald’s story and its presentation on the front page. In particular, have “organisers” told Brown not to attend a community event with his family, or is this a case of a councillor who has completely lost her case with her colleagues abusing her position with an independent event? This seems a relevant question too.

    On the whole, I believe the story as such doesn’t warrant its treatment, and that the news report itself is deficient in key respects.

    I trust that this addresses your concerns, Graeme.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    An entire post criticising the opponents of a politician without basically once addressing their arguments? Isn’t this textbook ad hominem?

    Not quite, Graeme. Their arguments, such as they are, really have been kicked around here in exhaustive, and exhausting, detail. Do we all really have to hit the reset button and start from scratch every damn time Len Brown and his borderline stalkers come up?

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

  • Kumara Republic,

    It’s a somewhat similar story in Wellington with the Dom and Mayor Celia Wade-Brown. The Dom seems to imply that Mayor Celia – a bicycle commuter – is some kind of anti-car Luddite who’s responsible for the city’s economic slump, conveniently forgetting about the public sector austerity of the last few years.

    The ongoing controversy over how the Basin Reserve Flyover should be built is just the latest reflection of the Dom’s tacit partisanism.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5442 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Graeme: I have to say that went through my mind, too.

    ETA. Just read Russell’s reply. Fair enough, but it still might look a bit ad hominoid to newcomers.

    Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And, of course, if Brown isn't at the Howick Military Tattoo, I'm sure Orsman would just cut and paste The Herald's last "AWOL Mayor proves he's out of touch with the community, and must go" screed after getting a quote from Stewart weeping crocodile tears about the Mayor's snub to the whole community.

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    It’s a somewhat similar story in Wellington with the Dom and Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

    It's a little different here. The Herald has done some great city coverage. Although I'm obviously not alone in thinking that Bernard Orsman's reporting seems unduly influenced by his own beliefs and that his coverage of the Unitary Plan has sometimes simply been inaccurate as a consequence.

    But newspapers sometimes take editorial stances or embark on campaigns as a matter of branding and that's what the Herald did here. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked out as a populist pitch and they've basically cornered themselves. Hence, awkward contrivances like today's lead story.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    What do you expect? the Herald is the mouthpiece of an Auckland, white, good old boy plutocracy that is so bereft of moral compass and balance that one of it’s members – prime minister John Key – thinks nothing of regularly phoning another – sociopath Cameron Slater – for cosy chit chats about politics.

    Seen in that context, the Herald’s toxic editors are simply indulging in business as usual in their elite echo chamber.

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

  • TracyMac, in reply to Marcus Turner,

    As far as I can tell, the so-called "ad hominem" remarks are describing the publicly-stated political views of these people. (Ok, with a side gloss on their crackpottery.) Frankly, if someone is participating in a political arena, their own views are fair game.

    If someone said "Penny Bright is stupid and fat and picks her nose in public, therefore she shouldn't comment", that would be more of an issue.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    And, of course, if Brown isn’t at the Howick Military Tattoo, I’m sure Orsman would just cut and paste The Herald’s last “AWOL Mayor proves he’s out of touch with the community, and must go” screed after getting a quote from Stewart weeping crocodile tears about the Mayor’s snub to the whole community.

    That's something that has great annoyed me. Brown is routinely blamed for being protested at if he fronts up or running for cover if he doesn't.

    Case in point: the story about the security around Brown at the opening of the new Panmure railway station. His opponents were quoted at some length depicting it as a squandering of ratepayers' money -- the implication being that Brown is so reviled he can barely go out in public with being surrounded by heavies.

    I've been able to confirm with someone with direct knowledge of the event that the security was simply a standard hire for such an event. Understandably, I think, I'm becoming weary of these apparent non-stories.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    economic slump

    Has Wellington had any more of a slump that the rest of the country? Sure, the governments been doing its level best to destroy quality public service, and that's had a bit of an impact, but we have a lot of growth industries as well (most of them under the radar of the council and media). I'm personally a lot better off with a nice house in walking distance of the CBD for the sort of money that in Auckland would buy you a shack in the ghetto.

    I think for the Dom Post slump == their property developer friends aren't making enough rent on their buildings.

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

  • Simon Wilson,

    OK, so for my non ad-hominem response, try
    this.

    Since Mar 2007 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Understandably, I think, I'm becoming weary of these apparent non-stories.

    Beat-ups.

    Good gawd to the Herald's lead. To the rest of New Zealand it's a WTF issue.

    A right-leaning editorial team wouldn't be distracting from the real issues in an election year when there was an inconvenient doco on prime-time TV last night would they?

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I’ve been able to confirm with someone with direct knowledge of the event that the security was simply a standard hire for such an event.

    Yup – David (who has been working in the rail industry for fifty years, and is now a planning officer with Transdev Auckland so what does he know?) nailed that beat-up with one word:

    Bullshit.

    Utterly bog-standard planning, and cheap-as-chips compared to the additional staff laid on this past weekend around the Nines (and the Lantern Festival and the Odd Future-free Eminem gig) to ensure public transport ran as smoothly as humanly possible. Profligate monsters! :)

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

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out as a populist pitch and they’ve basically cornered themselves. Hence, awkward contrivances like today’s lead story.

    The Daily Mail, much?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5442 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    And don't forget that when Brown opened the Panmure transport interchange:

    Questions were also raised about the level of security shadowing the mayor

    Questions were indeed raised, by one Bernard Orsman, and promptly discredited by Auckland Transport. But we can't forget that the questions were raised, and never mind the explanation.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But newspapers sometimes take editorial stances or embark on campaigns as a matter of branding and that’s what the Herald did here. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out as a populist pitch and they’ve basically cornered themselves. Hence, awkward contrivances like today’s lead story.

    That’s a good call, Russell, but I think there’s also a side of good old fashioned ego. The Herald went all in on this, and came up snake eyes. It’s a hard, ego-scarifying thing to own (been there, done that – and not always gracefully or promptly) but genuinely owning your fuck ups without a lawyer or court order forcing your hand? That is a sign of strength NOT weakness, in my book.

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

  • Steve Curtis,

    Was this the same NZ Herald which put a graphic on its front page on Waitangi Day proclaiming it was "protest free".

    One day you are rabble rousers who dont deserve the time of day from from a news paper that isnt about the news.

    Next week there is the tabloid front page on what 'might' happen if someone turns up and "take the shine off the promotion"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

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