Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Hunting Squirrels

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    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?

    Which, given the rather antique cast of Labour's front bench and the current economic climate, would give an opening to start reminding folks about the halcyon days of the Fourth Labour Government. Don't actually think retro tit for tat is actually useful -- let alone strategically smart or even that effective among anyone but the hardcore partisans you're never going to shift anyway --, but you want to go there that particular shit-sling doesn't just fire in one direction.

    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.

    Which, of course, doesn't include the enlightened folks like us, right John? Just those thick as pig-shit sheeple who don't think as we do. Seriously, anyone campaign strategist who said anything even remotely like that to me would be told to get lost, and not bother submitting an invoice. lThe Frankfurt School has a lot to answer for.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    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.

    Shep: Fair point, but I think I'm making a fair point about the connotations it carries to your average person. Otherwise, I could be really debate club, my dick-tionary is bigger than yours pedantic, and point out that a small-H holocaust is a fire causing extensive destruction and loss of life. But I think that would lead to the international sign for 'you are a compulsive masturbator' and some unappealing suggestions where to go, and what to do upon arrival.

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

  • John Morrison,

    Which, of course, doesn't include the enlightened folks like us, right John? Just those thick as pig-shit sheeple who don't think as we do.

    I don't want to sound snobby or enlightened, but if you are fed a constant diet of political crap - brainfarts etc, from the MSM you would find it difficult to have any sense of worth of the political process. Having access to these blogs only widens the range of available opinion and generally go beyond this daily diet.

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Bennett,

    The Frankfurt School has a lot to answer for.

    Really?

    Seems to me that you don't have to read Horkheimer or Adorno to make the observation that our media feeds us soundbites and slogans (not to mention editorial pronouncements from on high) that help to shape the way we see our world, and that the media will naturally have its own interests and biases.

    Isn't that observation a staple of leftist thought, and in much more digestible form in the work of others, eg Chomsky?

    Seems to me the Chicago school has a lot more to answer for...

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    If gratitude is important to you, don't go into politics.

    Politics and elections are mostly about what people want today or tomorrow, what they got yesterday is quickly forgotten. The greatest example of that is Churchill in 1945. He led Britain brilliantly in its greatest hour of need, yet got unceremoniously booted out because Atlee offered a bunch of handouts.

    Human nature yearns for variety and something new and I think the modern communication environment we live in exacerbates this desire even more. We see or read about politics and politicians 24/7 on TV, cable satellite & the internet, no wonder we get sick of them faster!!

    At the end of the day, having one party for too long is a not necessarily a good; they get stale and complacent over time. A change over and some new blood is not a bad thing. Besides, there isn't a huge difference these days between Labor and the Nats in NZ, Labor and the Libs in Aussie and Labor and the Conservatives in the UK (if only that were true in the US as well). I have read David Cameron described as Tony Blair with a blue tie. I correspond with a political journalist in NZ who wrote to me recently that the only difference for NZ with Key as PM is that tax rates will trend lower over time. Nothing else will change much.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    A bit OTT, but never mind, it is a slow day at work ...

    Tom Semmons wrote:

    ... from the fallout from the money printing of the economic lunatics in the White House, then I would say the polls would reverse as well.

    The Fed prints money or not, not the White House, so blame Greenspan and Bernake for the continuing fallout out from printing money. Greenie held the Fed funds rate way too low for way too long and pumped up a real estate bubble. The decline in the dollar and all the many and varied problems is causes (main factor in the increase in the price of oil and food etc) it is absolutely their fault. And the fuckers still haven't figured it out, gold is off $30 today and the market is way down after yesterdays do nothing Fed meeting, a solid real time market based rebuke if ever there was one. Their do nothingism means that inflation will get significantly worse.

    Certainly the White House could have and should have been much more aggressive in stating a strong or stable dollar as a policy over the years, but at the end of the day all the WH can do is jaw bone, it is the Fed that has all the actual levers.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    While I am at it, it is interesting to note how many posters have cited the free trade agreement with China as one of the Clark government's major achievements.

    So Chicago school style free trade has gotten a thumbs up from the posters on NZ's preeminent leftie blog!! How times change!! Never would have been the case 20 or even 10 years ago, but this would seem to be evidence that the laws of economics prevail over time. Cause for optimism indeed!!

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Atlee offered a bunch of handouts

    And Venice is a bunch of puddles.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Really?

    Seems to me that you don't have to read Horkheimer or Adorno to make the observation that our media feeds us soundbites and slogans (not to mention editorial pronouncements from on high) that help to shape the way we see our world, and that the media will naturally have its own interests and biases.

    Certainly don't, but I don't actually buy that people are quite that passive and easily manipulated. Mandarin sniffing at vulgar pop culture and the idiotic masses is no more attractive when it's tarted up with a neo-Marxist makeover.

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

  • Danielle,

    History, schmistory (says the woman with the MA in history. Heh). The key point is this:

    if the voter decide to do a Heidi Klum, and decide to tell to leave the runway and clear out your workspace

    Craig, it's *Tim Gunn* who tells people to clear out their workspaces. All of your arguments are therefore invalidated!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    "So Chicago school style free trade has gotten a thumbs up from the posters on NZ's preeminent leftie blog!! "

    Just goes to prove how 'Right' yous are ;)

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Craig, it's *Tim Gunn* who tells people to clear out their workspaces. All of your arguments are therefore invalidated!

    And people say history degrees don't get you anywhere in life ;)

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Gilks,

    Nice suggestions Kyle Matthews. I wouldn't say it was risky to not depict front bench robots.

    How would it all look and sound? Remember the soft, slow 'Good morning America' thing Reagan used? Whatever it is, might as well experiment, try something radical. And change that terrible logo, quickly.

    top 5 (shooting from the hip; in no particular order; and thinking in terms of re-election messages supported by facts)

    economic development: how many cool resources there are for new businesses; consultation with big business

    • **not fighting in that war**

    • **health message**: how about nurses getting a payrise? And good bog-standard (but always heartening) stories of clever dedicated doctors fixing people

    • **human rights at home**

    • **working for families** being (somehow) intrinsically linked to health of society. Big swing votes here. Images of mums and dads. Suggestion that it is global (not domestic) pressures that make it a financial challenge for families in the first place

    »» bundled in a calm message about the complexity of these times, because god knows, there are so many voters who are hysterical about moral and economic thingies

    Upper Vauxhall, Dunedin • Since Apr 2007 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Craig, it's *Tim Gunn* who tells people to clear out their workspaces. All of your arguments are therefore invalidated!

    Snaps! Please don't tell the gay Mafia, because I'm this close to getting that damn toaster oven. :) But Gunn's wonderfully laconic mantra is "make it work" -- and baby, you're going to get far in fashion (or politics) by assuming people are just going to swallow the same old same old all the time. As the late Jean Muir famously remarked "Fashion is not Art, it is Commerce" -- which is true. Mass appeal is not a dirty word.

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

  • Jan Farr,

    Hi James - you said:

    Besides, there isn't a huge difference these days between Labor and the Nats in NZ, Labor and the Libs in Aussie...

    Tell that to the workers (and a few other vulnerable groups.)

    Your view of NZ (and Aussie) politics seems to be approaching the heights of John Key's view of NZ history.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    For me the last nine years has represented:

    1. Stable economy
    2. Low unemployment (real jobs)
    3. Stable economy

    1 and 3 might seem straight forward but the genious Brash and his economic fundy pals were never able to produce it, anywhere. Nor were socialist governments of the past.

    I see we "only" had 3% growth for the year ending March 2008. The current "crisis" is likely to reduce that to just between 1% and 2% this year. This stability takes so much stress out of business and society that many more good things are able to flow, as others have pointed out.

    If Key & English do get in after the election I really hope they learn the lessons Cullen has taught them.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Your view of NZ (and Aussie) politics seems to be approaching the heights of John Key's view of NZ history.

    Interestingly, there's not so much differentiating Labour and National on that score either.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    Interestingly, there's not so much differentiating Labour and National on that score either.

    How fortunate for John Keys that he has an apologist like the NZ Herald.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    On other occasions I would agree with you entirely, but this time I think it's fair cop.

    The conclusion I drew is that both parties are willing to pick holes in each other over almost nothing for the sake of 'brand' differentiation. Which is why my vote is largely wide open this time around, and almost certainly not going to either major party.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    Yes - I suppose you're right - picking holes almost inevitably backfires.

    As for a wide open vote and avoiding major parties, well, that's what MMP is for - and I think it's working rather well.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    How fortunate for John Keys that he has an apologist like the NZ Herald.

    Excuse me, verbwrangle? So it's now dirty pool to actually quote what Key said (which hardly makes him any kind of domestic David Irving), and compare and contrast Cullen's studied outrage yesterday with what he said on Waitangi Day, 2005 (which, again, I find utterly unexceptional)?

    If you want to read nothing but raw press releases, then Scoop does a damn fine job of that. But for all the Herald's many sins, I don't think it's really fair to shit on Claire Trevett for (gasp!) apparently doing some real, live reporting.

    Buy, hey, how about the freaking Treelords deal. Cher, bros - and big up to Mikey C. -- because you managed to settle that without a stone club, or honky fire stick to be seen!

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And apologies for getting back on topic, but I've thought of something Clark really does deserve credit for:

    1) The Trans-Tasman Relationship Perhaps not the most obvious 'squirrel' out there, but I don't think I'm the only PAS reader who has a lot of family and friends on the other side of the ditch. Clark and Howard deserve a lot of credit for keeping that relationship on an even keel -- despite their blindingly obvious political differences and, I suspect, not being the kind of people who'd instinctively be BFF at first sight -- even when it wasn't necessarily to their domestic advantage. You don't have to look back very far to see when the opposite was the case.

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

  • Don Christie,

    I don't think it's really fair to shit on Claire Trevett for (gasp!) apparently doing some real, live reporting.

    Quite so. Nice to see how a real journalist works, apparently.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Craig said:

    1) The Trans-Tasman Relationship

    I agree. There's a few agreements in the pipe-line that will benefit citizens on both sides of the ditch including superannuation portability.

    I intensely disliked Howard however, somewhat oddly, he had a genuine affection for kiwis. Possibly because we increasingly fill all the top roles... and no, I'm not talking about what I do, but I am thinking about the 3-4 kiwis at the top, including CEO, of the Sydney Opera House.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Quite so. Nice to see how a real journalist works, apparently.

    Brownlee's an increasingly smart operator and this is a damn good reply by National.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

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