It might not excuse the method of Williams' approach, and I am not usually one for agreeing with Jim Anderton, but there are some valid observations in his release today....:
Mayor gets unfair drubbing by Key’s cheer squad
Mayor Andrew Williams is being given an unfair drubbing by the John Key’s media cheer squad, Jim Anderton said today.
“The media are showing their bias and are not listening to what Mayor Williams is saying. They are mindlessly repeating the lines given to them by John Key on timing of text messages and that Mayor Williams has been ‘aggressive’ in his communications to North Shore MPs, including John Key, MP for Helensville. For example, they are ignoring William’s criticisms of the National-ACT legislation for Auckland’s new Super City,” Jim Anderton said.
“Where are the hard questions to the North Shore MPs, including John Key, on the issues that Andrew Williams wants answers to, and is entitled to receive, as Mayor of the North Shore. Unfortunately, that seems all too hard for the National friendly media.
“Andrew Williams has produced his phone records but it makes no difference. John Key is not being asked for his to prove his allegations about Williams. No wonder the PM is so relaxed knowing he can say what he likes to discredit his opposition – and get away with it.
I reckon the "bleeding obvious" advice to Key would be something along the following lines:
"John, you're doing brilliantly. The George Bush imitation has been a masterstroke - the gaffes, the memory lapses, the shallow policy, the close management, the focus group sound-bites, the shadowy advisors, the secret agendas, the manufactured crises, etc. Christ, Bush won two elections using this strategy!!
Let's just make sure that we leave the complicated stuff for Bill to manage. You stick to free associating in public rather than talking about policy, that is if you condone... oh, sorry...difficult word...., if that's OK with you."
I agree with your views on Key - certainly a political and intellectual lightweight.
However, I disagree with you about no leadership on the horizon.
Re-Introducing - Mr Bill English... The Nats were perhaps a bit too quick to replace a seasoned politician like English with a superficial and politically naive Brash, who was subsequently replaced by the superficial and politically naive Key. English has kept his head down and performed well running attacks on the EFA, landing significant blows by simply sticking to the facts rather than relying on 'spin'.
Although Key might get them over the line, I won't be at all surprised if English ends up taking the reigns soon after.
FletcherB - I should have clarified that I was referring to a monopoly in Sport. Apologies.
I think Stanley has raised an interesting point.
If you buy a FreeView HD box you pay a one off cost and receive improved picture quality. Yet with Sky you pay to get the box, then each month to receive the picture. While I appreciate that Sky is a business, the fact that they are a monopoly provider should surely place some additional constraint on them. We're being spun that this is a great deal, but $120 per year, ongoing...
This leads to another question - when will we ever get 'a la carte' programming? I don't see why we cannot have a greater say in relation to the channels we want to pay to watch. Why do I have to receive a whole host of other rubbish if I just want the sports and news channels. Sure, I want to watch the sport in hi-def, but maybe I don't want to see what they have on the "Box-Vibe" channels in HD.
I can't disagree with you in relation to TVNZ's shoehorning of complete crap - I'll add the appalling 'Stars in Their Eyes" (more like "Tears in My Eyes") to your "Dancing with the Stars"...
Mind you, Sky does serve up some quality too - Anyone for 'Dogg the Bounty Hunter"...?
You post makes it sound as though Sky has actually performed a public service. I may be wrong, but I reckon the residents in the households who cannot receive Sky would beg to differ; about half the population.
Furthermore, Sky recently reported 40 per cent increase in half year net profit...I wonder if they will use this money to launch more re-run channels. They might get in some quality progamming from Canada for you.
But I do agree with you that the Commerce Commission is ill-equipped to deal with media ownership issues. Perhaps the idea of a dedicated regulator has merit.
I know that it is somwhat aside from the current topic, but I wanted to raise the broadcasting issue that you covered on Media7 yesterday - ie: the tension between TVNZ and Sky over sports boradcasting.
I thought more could have been made of the fact that there are largely no rules around television broadcasting ownership, whereas in overseas jurisdications there are seemingly very tight rules.
Sky TV - with its Rupert Murdoch backng - is the elephant in the room. From what I have read, Sky uses Prime to ratchet up the bidding for overseas sourced programming, effectively draining the financial resources of its competitors, taking away their ability to make credible bids for major sports events.
For what it's worth, I agreed with the views of Phil Smith - television sports in New Zealand is becoming increasingly elitist. Unless you can afford $80 per month for Sky, you are locked out of a big part of Kiwi culture. No wonder the government throws millions of dollars at SPARC (useless as they are) to encourage physical activity...
Unbundling the sports packages so that we can all see major sporting events sounds like a great idea to me.
Where do you stand on this?