OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Dear Labour Caucus

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  • WH,

    I stand to be corrected by someone who knows what they're talking about, but I'm a uneasy fan of Muldoon's hydroelectric dams. I saw this big red crane here in London recently and it was awesome - it made me think about building stuff. It's like I'm always telling complete strangers at the pub, you've got to Think Big. I'm not a big fan of coal though. F*ck that shit.

    I met someone on the Electricorp board once. They told the Government not to sell. But no - there'll be cheaper power this way, Max Bradford said. What a dick he was.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The full phrase is "don't be a dick" and I always thought it meant what I said above.

    Some guy once said, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Whether you share the mythology that has grown up around him, that sentiment is something to live by.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to nzlemming,

    "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

    a popular maxim.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Okay - this is my last post - I have work in the morning - but if I had Max and Maurice alone in a room I'd do something unspeakable involving scatological references and freezing pensioners from Invercargill. Haps Craig!

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Nats signalling Greens arrangement now may be conditional on support past 2014. Hopefully they're not that silly given where the power balance seems likely to be by then.

    Prime Minister John Key has signalled he is interested in a long term relationship with the Green Party that would see them potentially propping up a future National government by abstaining on confidence and supply.

    Key is holding talks today with Green Party co-leaders Russel Norman and Metiria Turei, and says he will be exploring with them whether such a relationship is possible.

    But in a sign that National intends playing hard ball, Key hinted that any deal during this term of Parliament involving policy concessions might hinge on their response.

    If the Greens were unable to see themselves supporting a National government in the future there may be little point in trying to forge a Memorandum of Understanding, as the two parties did last term.

    Guess Labour had best be getting on with talks too.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to WH,

    Going Busch...

    if I had Max and Maurice alone in a room I'd do something unspeakable

    makes me think of those other bad boys Max and Moritz


    House...
    I've been swearing in the MPs myself today:
    That Bast**d John Key
    F**kin' Bill English
    Bl**dy Nicky Wagner
    etc...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sacha,

    Nats signalling Greens arrangement now may be conditional on support past 2014.

    Phew

    But Turei this afternoon said the idea of abstention had been canvassed "hypothetically" but dismissed.

    "We discussed abstention in a hypothetical circumstance. But the fact is that Government has been formed, they have a sufficient majority to be Government over the next term," Turei said.

    "We've both agreed that we'll be looking at our policy, they'll be looking at theirs and seeing where we can find that common ground."

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    At least the discussion about "left" etc here didn't get derailed by silly neolibs. Though that James chap must be older than a spotty 15 if his dad was really at school in the 1920s.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    Some people have far too much free time. Also, I don't believe that Farrar is that far right, but only because I don't think he actually has any political principles beyond gaining power.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Lara,

    The self-censoring I do in matching the tone of this community is totally swamped by the self-censoring I do because I know the internet is public medium which never forgets.

    This. Also, while I'll do myself the courtesy of saying that while I'm probably as clever as ya'll, I am far less articulate, and far more conflict (or even criticism) averse. Should you wish to talk about the politics of Antarctica, however.... no, even there the collective knowledge of PAS would walk all over mine. That's why I like this place.

    Russell: I think you really do do an absolutely fantastic job here. I love this space (I mean it!), and there aren't many places on the 'net that I'd say that about. Thank you for all the effort you put in here. Merry Christmas!

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2009 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to rjal,

    Steve, I think you’re being a bit unfair to Damian there. My take on that comment was that it was about the Left and Right in the parliamentary and electoral context, as framed by the blog post and following discussion. It’s possible to have a discussion about media bias within that context without question begging,

    The conversation around media bias grew out of the discussion following the blog post, sure. But Gio specifically noted the bias as the favouring of “the right-wing approach to politics”, not just favouring the National Party. And he explained it as a wider systemic issue, rather than the collection of individual journo’s biases. The person who brought up the issue of media bias, Andrew E, agreed. So there’s that context as well. One of Damian’s counters was that Labour had been reasonably treated by the same media. In that context, it’s not goal-post shifting to raise the issue of how left Labour really is, because that’s obviously relevant to the matter of whether the media (yes, here in NZ) are favourably disposed to the right-wing approach to politics. If you respond to that point by claiming that Labour are 'left' in an NZ context, it becomes question begging. You’re defending against the accusation that media are biased against the left by defining them as having favourably covered a ‘left’ party.

    I think Russell was refering to Giovanni’s comments to Damian later on in the disscussion when referring to baiting.

    Possibly. A number of similar comments were made. I think I was getting the term ‘fight baiting’ from the ‘fight chasing arsehole’ comment Emma Hart made.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    There were only 29,710 deaths registered in New Zealand for the year ending 30 September 2011, so maybe we need to link this up with a CGT. I think the major problem with my proposal is going to be family farms. I propose that instead of selling land to realise estate tax upon transmission, the Fund should, on the making of an appopriate application, instead place a charge on then land so that the estate contribution can be paid when the land is next sold, or after 10 years. I don't want to blow my own horn or anything, but this could be the best policy idea I've ever posted. I tell you the truth, a prophet is never accepted in his hometown.

    Not to interrupt other conversations to which I am not a party, but whenever this site gets meta I'm reminded that some of us started calling Michael Laws a c*nt. Now this is just one man's opinion, but I never looked at rule one quite the same after that. There are lots of techniques one can use to diminish others that fall short of explicit rudeness, but at least the obvious ones have the virtue of being straightforward.

    I've been given access to a coffee machine that used to belong to Lehman Brothers. It makes a cappacino that's as amazing as it sounds: I've spent most of the last two weeks feeling overcaffeinated and derivative. (I'm here all week.)

    Okay: that is my burst of creativity for the next twelve months. I am changing my password back to something I can't remember.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to BenWilson,

    You happened to pick that moment when the subject was also a very topical matter.

    Yes, that’s usually the time I try to pick.

    That's the spirit!

    I’m curious what you think is brave about my writing? Is it brave because I take personal risks that are just foolish on the internet, or because I fight quite hard against peer pressure and write about controversial things, risking to seem a fool in this forum? Or something else?

    The second, more or less. You seem relaxed about stating your opinion even when it will obviously go against the grain somewhat.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to George Darroch,

    Labour’s leftness seems to be one of those working assumptions. It’s easy to find evidence that they are. Yet it’s also easy to find evidence against,

    Just look at one of the more 'Left' policies they came out with in their fairly desperate race to get some electoral traction prior to the election: Capital Gains Tax. A 15% CGT is squarely centrist.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • rjal, in reply to Steve Parks,

    Thanks for your reply Steve, I think it's time for me to fess up and admit that on my first reading of the Damian vs Gio conversation, Gio looked to be acting in a way that was hopelessly contrarian, and had me grinding my teeth and feeling a strong urge to scream "That's not what Damian means!". Some of Gio comments do have a strange effect on me -- he had me licking utensils in my kitchen not all that long ago.

    Your first comment on this issue -- a sort of idiots guide to the conversation -- helped enormously. I saw a consistency in Gio's comments that I had somehow previously missed. Looking back I now wonder how I missed what now seems obvious (sorry Gio) and has given me pause for thought. I really should have mentioned that in my first comment.

    I will probably post something more substantive on the areas on which we disagree -- which I think are small -- in the next couple of days. I think I will also say something to Gio -- seems weird talking about him in the third person.

    Thank you everyone for your words of welcome. I think I will stick around for a while.

    Since Dec 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Steve Parks,

    I think I was getting the term ‘fight baiting’ from the ‘fight chasing arsehole’ comment Emma Hart made.

    I can't remember the exact term I used, and I'm not going back and finding it because I have to catch a plane in three hours, but you did notice that I wasn't talking about Giovanni, right? I can totally see how in context people would take it that way, but I wasn't.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I can totally see how in context people would take it that way, but I wasn't.

    You didn't? ARGH!

    Some of Gio comments do have a strange effect on me -- he had me licking utensils in my kitchen not all that long ago.

    I'm sure it's wrong of me to love this sentence, but I do.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Pretty happy about how things have turned out, and Emma I did wonder, clear now. Onya y'all. I'm in Dunedin, right on the beach, broadband but no cellphone signal. There are waves out front, I am not looking, my board and more vitally my wetsuits are in Auckland.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I think I heard it right.
    Yesterday, in The Big House, johnkey said.
    "I would like to thank the Rugby World Cup for winning us the election"
    Not his exact words but I'm pretty sure that's what he meant.

    Had to have a juvenile giggle at Phillip Stoner Twyford as well.
    Oh yeah,
    John Banks...
    Caucus.
    lol
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to rjal,

    Your first comment on this issue – a sort of idiots guide to the conversation – helped enormously. I saw a consistency in Gio’s comments that I had somehow previously missed. Looking back I now wonder how I missed what now seems obvious (sorry Gio) and has given me pause for thought. I really should have mentioned that in my first comment

    I understood that Giovanni was pursuing a line of argument, one he’d introduced. I was disappointed that he seemed unwilling or unable to modulate his style when it was evident that someone else was upset, and that, rather, he seemed to express some pride in it.

    Then, when I’d indicated that I was in some distress over all this – I was, I was feeling really bad – and specifically asked everyone to “show good grace to each other”, his immediate response was to flip me the bird and have yet another macho dig at Damian. I thought that was just nasty and hurtful. It was hurtful to me.

    And then, when he finally answered Sacha’s question:

    Practical request: can you please link to a forum that you reckon does a good job with that.

    Not a current generalist forum, no, not in English at least. One can find excellent and highly accessible writing outside of socialist discussion forums (Scott Hamilton at Reading the Maps and Dougal McNeill at Neu Hauf-Way Hoose are foremost in New Zealand in my books) but no model of what I’m thinking of. Of course there aren’t very many open communities a-la PAS to begin with, which is rather the problem. However Usenet had some class-literate politically focussed groups back in the day, and it really shouldn’t be an impossible thing to countenance. So long as the lack of that dimension on PAS is even perceived as a problem, and I’m not at all sure that it is.

    Clearly, I’m an ideological failure, although it’s some comfort that I apparently have every other mainstream forum in the English language for company. I like to think I’m doing a bit better on the basic humanity index.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to nzlemming,

    Also, I don't believe that Farrar is that far right, but only because I don't think he actually has any political principles beyond gaining power.

    I don't think that's entirely fair. I can't see him walking away from National any time soon, but he's also publicly criticised them on various matters.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Paul Williams,

    I don’t think that’s entirely fair. I can’t see him walking away from National any time soon, but he’s also publicly criticised them on various matters.

    I suspect he'll level out again, but he was terribly partisan during the election campaign.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Clearly, I’m an ideological failure

    Chardonnay is meant to be the consolation, I gather :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Chardonnay is meant to be the consolation, I gather :)

    I shall bear that in mind after our show this evening :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

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