Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Hunting Squirrels

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  • andrew llewellyn,

    Has anyone mentioned happier hookers yet?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    One of the unique things about New Zealand is that we are not a country that's come about through civil war or a lot of fighting internally.

    I just knew that chump James Belich was a fraud, thanks Mr Key. Bring on Sinclair, King and all those other faux-historians too!

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I reckon one effective ad for Labour could be to show a pair of boys, one white one brown, whistfully watching a rugby match from the sidelines. When an adult asks them why they don't on and play, have one of the kids say "My parents can't afford the insurance."

    *blink* YES PLEASE -- let's not piss around and get the kids and racially charged dog whistle in one grotesque package.

    Far be it from to actually give Labour any campaign advice, but here goes:

    1) John Key does not fuck goats, eat babies and worship Satan. You don't really believe it, and neither done anyone else except the rabid ding-dongs who are voting for you any way. AVOID THE PERSONAL ATTACKS AT ALL COSTS.

    2) And it might well be time to dress up the next person who lets the words SECRET AGENDA cross their lips as a squirrel, and send them on vacation with Mr Mudflap.

    3) People who disagree with you aren't stupid, evil or part of some vast right-wing conspiracy. Disrespect and outright contempt gets repaid in kind.

    In short, if you're the incumbent government and you actually have a positive story to tell, why don't you do it?

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I just knew that chump James Belich was a fraud, thanks Mr Key. Bring on Sinclair, King and all those other faux-historians too!

    Yes, Paul, and perhaps you should try reading them occasionally yourself. Then again, I shouldn't be surprised that politicians who are quite happy to bullshit about violent holocausts today when it suits their political ends, are quite happy to do the same to our history. One thing I admired about King was his scepticism about history being used and abused for contemporary political ends wherever he found it.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    In short, if you're the incumbent government and you actually have a positive story to tell, why don't you do it?

    Because people will say (cf: the Star Times on Sunday): "Thanks. Pretty good job. Next please!"

    That's their real problem.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Has anyone mentioned happier hookers yet?

    oh - I don't know - they have to pay tax now ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I just knew that chump James Belich was a fraud, thanks Mr Key. Bring on Sinclair, King and all those other faux-historians too!

    I keep coming back to this. Key repeatedly gets away with brainfarts because he's the leader of an opposition facing a government the public and (probably more importantly) journalists are tired of.

    Given that he's odds-on to lead the next government, he's going to have to solve his brainfart problem, or face a bit more strife after November.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Because people will say (cf: the Star Times on Sunday): "Thanks. Pretty good job. Next please!"

    That's their real problem.

    Let me put it this way: Why isn't the person who ran the now infamous "it's 3am" ad (which in my opinion was dishonest and patronising scaremongering straight out of the Gospel According to Karl Rove) now the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. And why isn't the same kind of b.s. working for John McCain?

    One definition of insanity is doing the same old shit and expecting a different result. Well, here's a cranky idea but it seems to me that the wrong strategic call is doing 2005 redux -- with a substantive and sustained poll deficit -- and hoping it will work again. (Or to be fair, running the same third term fear-mongering campaign that sure didn't work for National in 1999 either.) It might -- who the hell knows -- but I don't really know if a campaign of utter toxicity will be a winner for anyone in the long term.

    In the end, if the voter decide to do a Heidi Klum, and decide to tell to leave the runway and clear out your workspace. Well, that's democracy so such it up. But what is absolutely in your control is the kind of campaign you choose to run. And I come back to my original point: I don't see why Labour decided in 2005 to run a near textbook opposition campaign. Got a positive story to tell -- just tell it, and don't treat voters like they're gullible scum who only deserve to be either terrified or spat on.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I keep coming back to this. Key repeatedly gets away with brainfarts because he's the leader of an opposition facing a government the public and (probably more importantly) journalists are tired of.

    Russell: Could it be that Key and Clark and Cullen and Winston "get away" with a lot more "brainfarts" than they really should, because the public are tired of the relentless diet of brain-dead 'gotcha!' non-stories disguised as political news? If PAS is in any way typical of likely voters, the only thing that's going to be 'gone by lunchtime' is the MSM. I'm certainly finding re-runs of The Nanny a more palatable viewing option at 6pm than either network news bulletin. And I'm on the fence about whether to let the Herald sub lapse when it comes up for renewal in mid-November. Sorry to disappoint Mr Semmens et. al., but the problem with the Herald isn't some imaginary National bias. It's just that it's stupid and superficial beyond belief or endurance.

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

  • Paul Williams,

    Yes, Paul, and perhaps you should try reading them occasionally yourself.

    Craig, I'm pretty familiar with all three historians' work and others' besides. His comment simply doesn't accord with any credible overview of the NZ Wars so let's not get distracted by which of the various distortions might be derigeur.

    Key's comment is silly. I don't expect him to be an historian, nor some NZ version of a Teddy Roosevelt but a working knowledge might be nice, no?

    I keep coming back to this. Key repeatedly gets away with brainfarts because he's the leader of an opposition facing a government the public and (probably more importantly) journalists are tired of.

    Given that he's odds-on to lead the next government, he's going to have to solve his brainfart problem, or face a bit more strife after November.

    Or perhaps he's seriously considering the GWB-approach - where apparent ignorance is reassuring to the public who don't give a shit themselves?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    because the public are tired of the relentless diet of brain-dead 'gotcha!' non-stories disguised as political news?

    Craig, I don't doubt your correct however, this surely isn't a brain-dead 'gotcha!' (a classic example of which is here); this is important historical information that has a direct bearing on the nation's development.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    John Key does not fuck goats, eat babies and worship Satan.

    aw, shucks, so he's even less interesting than he appears? :-)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1940 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Key's comment is silly. I don't expect him to be an historian, nor some NZ version of a Teddy Roosevelt but a working knowledge might be nice, no?

    Yes, and anyone who wants to talk about New Zealand's "bloody history" might want dial back the hyperbole generator and widen their vision a little. The other side of the Tasman would be a good place to start. Then various parts of the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans.

    But, hey, why not go absolutely crazy and consider that the 'Treelords' deal is one hell of an achievement (and one a long time in the making, come to that), and worth a little more attention that another fucking silly gotcha! directed at a politician you just don't happen to like very much. Hell, if I'm willing to lay down the partisan cudgel and give Cullen a little credit where credit is due, you could try.

    Or perhaps he's seriously considering the GWB-approach - where apparent ignorance is reassuring to the public who don't give a shit themselves?

    How's the view from the top of your nose, Paul? Perhaps we should just have politicians taking the "GWB approach" and never actually interacting with journalists at all, except in brief, strictly circumscribed circumstances where there's nothing to do but cling to the 'message of the day' like grim death? Personally, I'd find it infinitely preferable to having to pretend to take the likes of Paul Henry, Leighton Smith and Duncan Garner at all seriously.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    aw, shucks, so he's even less interesting than he appears? :-)

    Forget interesting -- babies are so expensive, at least ten kilos of cheese, and you never get a good feed off the damn things.

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

  • Paul Williams,

    Yes, and anyone who wants to talk about New Zealand's "bloody history" might want dial back the hyperbole generator and widen their vision a little.

    But Craig, there's been no corresponding hyperbole. You seem to be excusing Key's apparent ignorance by comparing it to others' non-existent hysteria. His comment was made entirely independently.

    How's the view from the top of your nose, Paul?

    Fine. I'll make no excuse for thinking that an aspiring PM should be well informed.

    That said, I agree that Key's willingmess to engage in more casual interviews is good and he's clearly not like Clark who's obsessive about detail (I know this first-hand); I don't, in fact, mind Key's approach at all (I suspect his colleague might however) but I do think he's got a pretty simplistic view on a lot of issues which, while not of every day relevance, are nonetheless important matters. We might not agree on each and every item in any "list", but I think some knowledge of the NZ Land Wars is essential.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Has anyone mentioned happier hookers yet?

    oh - I don't know - they have to pay tax now ....

    The IRD never miss a trick, so to speak. They set up ways of collecting income tax before it was decrimalised.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Craig - "that politicians who are quite happy to bullshit about violent holocausts "

    I always get the impression Tariana is speaking specifically of the experiences in Taranaki & Whanganui.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I always get the impression Tariana is speaking specifically of the experiences in Taranaki & Whanganui.

    I was thinking more of the Mean Streets of Manurewa. Though one might think Mrs Turia would have been a little more sensitive to the connotations 'Holocaust' carries to most people -- you know, the attempted genocide of European Jewry and (if you want to stretch it out of shape a bit) a network of slave labour/extermination camps across the Third Reich that swallowed millions more.

    I guess that's just one more reason why politicians really shouldn't open their mouths at all -- and if they have to say something, leave it to the spokeshacks and message masseuses.

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

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Yes, and anyone who wants to talk about New Zealand's "bloody history" might want dial back the hyperbole generator and widen their vision a little.

    I must have missed a turn signal. Key doesn't think we had a civil war or a lot of fighting internally, and now New Zealand hasn't had a bloody history?

    Did someone invalidate my years of studying history while I wasn't looking?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    Here's my two cents for Labour strategists during the lead-in.

    A three pronged approach:

    1. Acknowledge the momentum of "change for the sake of change" and find some pretty good international examples of where that turned ugly for the voting populace involved. Any good ones off the top of your head's readers? And then ask voters to judge both parties on their historical intentions - and outcomes (including questions on Key's political leadership capabilities).

    2. Talk up the accomplishments with passion and just a hint of exasperation (i.e., our intention is not to nanny but simply to protect the rights of all NZ'ers. We want the same things you do: safe communities, opportunities for all and encouragement and assistance where it's needed).

    3. Promise voters more information, consultation and voice on issues with moral/societal implications.

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    To return to David Slack's original question...

    Can I add: That we're not stuck in an illegal war in Iraq.

    I recall that (former pacifist) Don Brash and numerous current National candidates said that we should join the US invasion in order to support our "traditional allies" (and, hey, we might get a US free trade deal in exchange for some NZ corpses).

    Perhaps a "how NZ would look if National had been the government instead of Labour" advertisement. Anyone remember the unemployment, government debt, and disastrous economy under Bolger/Shipley?

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Because people will say (cf: the Star Times on Sunday): "Thanks. Pretty good job. Next please!"

    Ya, I've heard a lot of people say stuff to the effect that Labour's done a good job in government, but it's only fair that that they step aside and let National have their turn now.

    After all, sharing is good.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison,

    I agree up to a point with Craig: brainfarts and other trivia seem to be enough news for the MSM just now, but in the case of the Herald as Scoop recently implored:

    how about an outraged front page editorial upholding our democratic right to know what these contenders to government have in store for us

    We seem to be fed this constant diet of trivia and ill-informed interpretation, thus I believe the voter can only react in a similar dumb-arsed way to politics.

    David, I certainly remember

    the unemployment, government debt, and disastrous economy under Bolger/Shipley

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    An Egyptian/American workmate of mine completed her MA on how war grows NZs connection to the world.

    My cousin was in Somalia with the Army now we have a Somali community that we didn't have before.

    This is my fave battle of WWI, there's a bit more to it. British Red Caps keeping the boys with VD out, increasing prices, & (human) water in the wine.

    "His letter includes a detailed account of the events leading up to three days of riots in the 'Wozzer' district of Cairo, during which an estimated 5,000 Australian and New Zealand troops looted and ransacked shops and brothels."
    http://www.samemory.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=1002&startRow=13

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Whoops that read a bit random - tried to tie Egypt with NZ.

    Craig - I think it far better to side step that particular arguement and go for 'Shoah', from hebrew meaning catastrophe and be specific in meaning. Holocaust is an English word from the 14thC.It's particularly unfair on rob the memory of Poles & Roma etc and naming Holocaust only in relation to Jews, and so it should be free to be used (rightly or wrongly) by other peoples.

    No-one bats an eye at using 'Dispora' (a hebrew word with a specific biblical/historical meaning), for other nations (forced) migrations.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

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