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Note for Moderators and DPF.
Could off thread comments be MOVED from topic threads to the previous days general debate.
Seems to be a gentler way to keep threads on topic and flame wars to yesterdays news
I am hoping that someone much more knowledgable than me will tell us who Robbie Deans pissed off in such a manner that Deans got rubbished.
I thought Deans was a certainty.
Deans knows as much about winning as Mallard knows about Thuggery.
Alternatively, the Board was completely involved in the “Henry method “of WC preparation and this is the old Kiwi weakness raising its ugly head……
They don’t mind being wrong just as long as they are not seen to be wrong.
This is their way of saying” we were just unlucky”.
Yes vto, here here. Down with the haters, particularly (to quote you) the ‘fags’.
Cullen was understandably frustrated about Key’s bringing his wife into the debate. National has complained pretty loudly when Labour has done this. The past couple of weeks are actually making me think Labour could get more seats than National at the election. I haven’t thought that for quite a while.
Note for Moderators and DPF.
Could off thread comments be MOVED from topic threads to the previous days general debate.
Seems to be a gentler way to keep threads on topic and flame wars to yesterdays news
i) It’s not your blog
ii) You’re asking for a flame war by posting this shit
iii) fuck off
Bellshakey – Cullens wife asks for all she gets by writing politically biased letters to newspapers under her maiden name – without disclosure.
So anyone with any ties to the Labour party should be required to disclose that? I’d be interested in knowing how her views are politically biased given they are her views. And of course, to the best of my knowledge she uses her maiden name because it is her name. You may not be aware but woman aren’t required to change it when they get married. Makes it hard to know who owns them though doesn’t it?
The change to a 2 year contract has yet to receive the analysis I believe it deserves.
Of course there is a danger that the “vacancy” will come up when all other potential contenders are mid-contract and thus not available. We shall see what we shall see about the application of the law of unintended consequences.
Cullen was understandably frustrated about Key’s bringing his wife into the debate.
Really? More like Cullen gets very frustrated when the rest of us won’t just accept he knows everything and just STFU.
Sorry, but was the passing reference to his wife factually inaccurate? A slur on her personal qualities as a wife or mother? An insinuation that she was exploiting her relationship with a Minister of the Crown for personal or professional advantage – an allegation Cullen had no problem with Mallard making against Mary English and Rosemary Bradford?
Hey, Cullen could have been a grown-up (and the Leader of the House) and calmly raised a point of order if he was genuinely offended. Instead, he went off like a potty-mouth toddler, and (ironically enough) threatened ‘retaliation’ when it turned out a (very mild) dose of his own medicine wasn’t to his taste.
Perhaps he can chalk it all up to karmic debt repayment, ask Trev if there’s a spare chair at his anger management group and calm down. His own conduct, and stronger leadership, would do more to lower the temperate in the House than making vague threats of utu.
And a sidebar: Let’s do a flip-test here. During a heated debate, Gerry Brownlee takes exception to something Helen Clark says, and calls her a ‘commie cunt’ and a ‘twatrag, twatrag, twatrag’. Don’t think any sane person would even try to find any mitigating factor in an outburst like that. What’s the difference?
Be wobbly, If she jumps between names according to the circumstances thenit does make her vulnerable. But in reality the exchange was about who was backing candidates nominations in the electorate. For 2005 Cullen’s wife nominated one while Cullen himself has nominated someone who is challenging the incumbent.
If that is not a circumstance where some political mileage is available I don’t know what is. The left have been frothing at the mouth over much less significant things recently!
“I’m proud of the fact that my secondary education was not paid for by the taxpayers of New Zealand but by the farmers of Canterbury and Hawkes Bay [Cullen was given a scholarship place at Christ’s College]. I ripped them off for five years then, and I shall get stuck into them again in the next few years.”
The chip goes a long way back, the ungrateful little tosser.
Whoop whoop! I’d urge everyone to scroll back up to the top of this thread and click the links Inventory 2 has provided.
I spent half my working life in media and have seen all sorts of suppression tactics used – from a simple “thou shalt not broadcast that or else” in the Muldoon years to a concerted campaign to economically damage a media outlet broadcasting embarrassing disclosures in the 90s.
The good, unbised journos (yes, there are some) are already outnumbered by the press secretaries, communications managers and other lackeys of politicians, government departments and business.
This government has honed to a fine art the tradition started by Muldoon of favouring those journos who agree with you and isolating those who don’t (including those who simply try to be fair), making it impossible for them to do their jobs.
And from the other direction they’re facing proprietors who won’t invest in investigative journalism because they can get just as good a return by sending Michael Laws to an island to catch hives with a model, filming the result, and calling it reality.
Not quite as bad as an EFB but right up there with it as a threat to open and accountable government.
So please, scroll back, click, and return. Or perhaps DPF might think it worthy of a stand-alone post?
“This government has honed to a fine art the tradition started by Muldoon of favouring those journos who agree with you and isolating those who don’t (including those who simply try to be fair), making it impossible for them to do their jobs.”
Hey Rex – I tutored a media and politics paper not long ago. Suffice to say this practice has been noted in many countries. And I agree, it’s totally undemocratic, but how to mitigate it?
Craig Sadly whilst you and I and the other grown up people understand your point regarding reversing the situation the Socialists and their supporters cant get it. Like all morons they can dish it out but they cant take it.
DPF – I don’t completely disagree with your description of the convention. My attempt (admittedly just off the top of my head) is that the family (so including, for instance, Bill English’s son) of MPs shouldn’t be brought into debate if they are acting independently of the MP, and the matter wouldn’t have been brough into the debate if it wasn’t for that relationship.
To apply that, Bill English’s son was presumably acting independently of English, and if it wasn’t for the relationship no one would have mentioned it. Ditto Anne Collins (and hell spouses disagreeing about a relatively minor political point shouldn’t be a point of attack for the opposition). And ditto Peter Davis. Of course, Davis was politically naive to send the letter, and you can see why it could easily be used by the opposition.
I’d also think it would be a good idea to err on the side of not mentioning family, particularly if you are a member of a party that had shown particular sensitivity on the issue (which I think was justified).
[DPF: Bill's son is out of bounds because he is 14!!! If an MP's adult spouse said what he said, that would be different]
“An insinuation that she was exploiting her relationship with a Minister of the Crown for personal or professional advantage – an allegation Cullen had no problem with Mallard making against Mary English and Rosemary Bradford?”
See above, the fact that they were partners of the MPs shouldn’t exclude them from criticism. I don’t recall the details, but would expect that any other person exploiting a relationship with a Minister for gain would be subject to scrutiny.
“…calls her a ‘commie cunt’ and a ‘twatrag, twatrag, twatrag’”
For a start, I don’t think many people would think the actual comments made by Cullen were offensive. Putting that aside, I’m sure calling Gerry an obese paedophile could be justification for an outburst. The point would be that, although not endorsing what was said, the debate is about the acceptability of the actions that provoked the response. If someone made that comment about Gerry (a politician I dislike) and he punched them, I would be justified in saying that his actions were wrong, but that wouldn’t also stop me from being able to say the person making the accusations was also wrong.
It’s a tricky one I agree roger. But time was when the Gallery was composed of seasoned old sods who’d done rounds where similar tactics were tried – the police round being one that springs immediately to mind.
So they were at least awake to the tricks, and had (unless they’d succumbed to the dubious charms of free access to the (unlicensed) police bar) been forced to work out ways around it. Things like finding disgruntled and ambitious juniors and carefully cultivating them as sources; setting one source against another to wheedle info out of both, and so on.
And they had some principles and, dare I say it, testicles (even – in fact most particularly – the women). So if one of their number was picked on or excluded the very least they would do is report it. If it was particularly bad they might even contrive to do as much as they could to blackball the offending pollie, though the media owners and even sometimes the editors would never permit a complete news blackout just in case an opposing publication broke ranks and thus got a scoop.
So in answer to your question as to how to mitigate it: first, stop putting people into the Gallery fresh out of journalism school, or almost that green. To get some perspective on a government that’s been in office for nine years you need to have been reporting for at least 12; and expose the favouritism that goes on amongst pollies and certain of your peers.
And we, as readers / viewers / listeners need to become much more discerning consumers of media. This can be (partly) achieved by engaging consumers with producers in a public forum but to be effective it’d need to be linked to a robust media column / program in traditional media.
Russell Brown does an excellent job but his show is too broad-ranging and a little too highbrow to work the way I envisage. I’m thinking more “Crossfire” or at the very least “Media Watch” (ABC Australia) but with some element of debate. It needs to be the media critique equivalent of “Celebrity Treasure Island” (*shudder*) so as to engage the greatest number of people and slowly teach them to become educated consumers of media.
Perhaps we could pitch something? Call it “Roger and Me”?
The media are getting sick of attempts by government to undemocratically influence them, and are now biting back, remember how much of the media turned on Muldoon when they realised he was going down? and Helen’s not as scary as Muldoon.
Uh yes GWW, since leaving journalism I’ve seen the stuff I’ve written – even down to the analysis – as a paid political flak republished verbatim. The only time it even slightly surprises me is when some lazy shit puts their own byline on it without even the phone call.
But do you think they only do it with National’s? Government press releases may not be as “sexy” but some journalists get all damp and breathless about being rung up by the high and mighty for a friendly chat. I well remember one then-TV, went-on-to-radio journo saying “we” were doing this and that, meaning Labour – a result of a very cosy relationship cleverly developed by the PM with this particular individual.
Not blaming the PM in the least – I encourage all my political clients to try the same tactics. But a part of me breathes a sigh of relief when when it doesn’t work. It’s just the sighs are becoming less and less frequent.
But getting back to Inventory 2’s point, it’s going OTT to create a goverment “cultural” bureau designed to stick its snout into our supposedly free media.
“How about legislating the questioning of politicians so that they have no control over who can ask them questions? Or something along those lines.”
You mean, for instance, regular press conferences (say once a week) where as many media outlets as is practical are represented? Still doesn’t stop pollies giving fob-off answers to “little creeps”, and juicy bones to pet jurnos.
For a start, I don’t think many people would think the actual comments made by Cullen were offensive. Putting that aside, I’m sure calling Gerry an obese paedophile could be justification for an outburst.
OK… I kinda get your rather convoluted point, but I can think of a few people who’d disagree strongly enough to give Cullen a good Mallard in the parking lot of he carried on like that down the local.
And I don’t really fall for the counterargument either – if Helen Clark called Brownlee a fat kiddie-fucker, that is clearly unparliamentary and if the Speaker is too deaf and dozy to immediately rule it out of order then it should be addressed through a point of order. Not getting into a XXX-rated throwdown across the chamber. And if he did, I sure hope he would no longer be in a senior leadership role in the Parliamentary National Party.
Sorry, but surely there’s got to be some lines drawn without having the Speaker slap you over the wrist first – and screeching vulgar obscenities across the House should be one of them, no matter how stressed out or upset you are?
I’d also make one final point – I don’t think we’re talking about an isolated outburst, but just the latest example of a pattern of behaviour that (IMO) is not only damaging to the reputation of Parliament. I don’t think its OTT, to say that this is the kind of crap that is makes folks disengaged from, and cynical about politicians and the political process.
Recently, I read a fascinating book about the rivalry between Disraeli and Gladstone. They didn’t like each other on any level – and it showed in the House. But at least their verbal jousting contained the sharpness inside a layer of adult intellect, wit and civility.
Rex – thanks for stimulating a bit of discussion about my post. Like you, I hope that DPF might devote a stand-alone thread to it, as the implications of what the government is proposing are frightening.
Sure, both the government and opposition are adept at getting their “spin” on given issues. However for the government to create a ministry “to more effectively serve the interests of public broadcasting and New Zealand’s transition to digital broadcasting” leaves the door open for the government to cement the advantage it has voted itself in terms of taxpayer-funded advertising with a far more compliant state-funded media.
The other aspect I blogged about also troubled me – a leak of confidential information from either the Environment Ministry or the SSC (or from within the Beehive) to TVNZ, to enable them to do a puff-piece for Mallard – and who’s the Minister of Broadcasting now? Mallard! ‘Nuff said?
Time was when the “Minister’s Press Secretary” was a merry band of 1 or 2. Now we have whole rugby teams of communicators clogging up the corridors of power. my point?
Firstly, it is a hell of a lot easier to arrange a deniable leak when the culprit can hide in the crowd. (a bit like swimming in shark infested waters – never do it alone, the bigger the crowd the safer you are purely from a statistical standpoint.)
But also it is frightening that what were reactive spokespersons and drafters of media releases are now strategy teams giving the whole media relations thing a total proactive life of its own. I don’t see the media applying the same level of intellectual or financial horsepower to their side of the exchange so the media have (by default) abrogated their ability to be analytical or informed commentators.
a pattern of behaviour that (IMO) is not only damaging to the reputation of Parliament… makes folks disengaged from, and cynical about politicians and the political process.
Not just your opinion Craig but I suspect mine and many other people’s. I know I sound curmudgeonly when I say it never used to be this bad even 10 years ago but a look at Hansard will show that it didn’t. Cullen was one whose debating style I used to admire, but lately it’s nothing but bile and hatred. And don’t try and tell me, as some tried to spin on another thread, that he’s doing it to get a rise… that’s what he used to do, with some wit and considerable style. But not any more.
Recently, I read a fascinating book about the rivalry between Disraeli and Gladstone…
Ahh, now there’s Parliamentary debate as it should and could be – topical, witty without resorting to abuse, and meaningful in the sense that sufficiently powerful oratory could actually change people’s minds rather than going right over their heads till they bob up to say “seven in favour”.
I’ve read a book or two on Disraeli (it was actually Winston who put me onto him – he’s an admirer of the former’s style of repartee) but not one specifically on the rivalry between the two. Title, author, ISBN please
Inventory 2: Thank you for the heads up. Typically, the media seem not to see the implications of this as I can barely find it reported anywhere. And it’s actually got me thinking about some TV show ideas… watch this space.
You are right Rex. Winston is an admirer of Disraeli’s style. Unfortunately he doesn’t seem to be able to duplicate it either in the House or out (i.e. his regular personal attacks to defend the current goverment – the source and supply of his baubles – or his vituperative ragings at the media).
Craig: I don’t think we disagree as much as it may seem. I agree that Cullen’s comments were wrong (I actually meant to say they weren’t as offiensive as those in your example, not that they weren’t offensive at all), or that the issue could have been handled through a point of order. My point was that this outburst was provoked, and some of the criticism should be directed at John Key for bringing an MPs wife into the debate.
And I disagree with the idea that anyone with a tie to an MP or party should have to declare it anytime they say anything. I don’t think they should hide it but just that they shouldn’t be required to preface every comment with a disclaimer (and unlike some here that applies equally to people who are expressing views I disagree with). I suspect that the people with an issue simply disagree with her view.
Bellshaey said – `I disagree that anyone with a tie to an MP or party should have to declare anytime they say anything.’
I agree with that.
But when they take a position on a current matter eg as Peter Davis recently did, then they should do so.
In fairness to Anne Collins I haven’t seen much from her lately but she used to regularly have letters published in the DomPost and HB Today which took a strong position on current political issues which should have had disclosure.
I suggest electoral reform desigend to create a level playing field, after the initial setting up of a ROyal Commission.
Not the EFB, which is hardly a reform, more a legal entrenching of one kind of rorting at the expense of another, so I agree; two worngs do not make a right.
Why is it a massive can of worms to estimate how much labour time went into an activity then count it against the election spend of the party it is in support of??
Union members don’t work at their jobs for free do they? they all have a hourly rate, it’s written down on thier pay packets in black and white. If I give one hour of my work time to electioneering while in work time, then It should be accounted for. Pure and simple.
If you are suggesting that the unions should be exempt from public scrutiny, while the activities of ‘big business’ should not. It would be as easy to argue the original EFB should not have happened on the basis it is too big a ‘can of worms’.
I’m self-employed for example. Every time I blog, I am robbing myself of my own labour time. I have to accept that. So if I were employed by a union, to write press releases, for example, and spent x hours a week blogging in favour of the Labour Party, how is this anything other than a rort of my employers’ cash and time,, my union members subs and trust, and of the electoral processes need for transparency?
The ‘free’ time given is not ‘free’ at all. It’s just a political version of tax evasion.
His public popularity is unquestioned. (no, I haven’t forgotten Buck. He questioned the Rugby Union and those faceless nobodies don’t tolerate that)
Which brings me to why Graham Henry was re-selected.
How is it going to look if the Union ditches everyone for a loss.
No ones going to want the job. They wouldn’t have any future security, the union would become dis trusted and a highly suspect organisation and completely lose face. In the end heads would roll.
The union had to give them-selves a reality check and come back down to earth. They can play with players lives, there are thousands of athletes to pick and choose from, but at the end of the day the spotlight odf the press turns on the suits. They hate being option free, but I would suggest, esp after the tardy way they treated Buck, they just could not afford the same kind of controversy.
There fore I applaud Henry’s reinstatement. I hope he takes the AB’s through another WC. To be fair to the union, he stands on his own merits, but unfortunately, politics is a reality here.
I would like to see ghim on the union himself one day. he would make the decision making process a lot more respected.
I think Cullen despises himself for being rich, and that causes him to be so vindictively bitter. With expenses he has been drawing the best part of half a million a year for the past eight years plus six under Lange, and he has an ingrained guilt complex which he can’t rationalise over it.
I’m hoping that the NZ situation will go the Australian way. Tired govt getting increasingly desperate, and passing laws that they should have the political nous to stay well clear of. New govt comes in, the old guard in the old party basically all resign. So I expect to see National come in, and most of the Labour front bench resign because they cannot face being in opposition, and knowing that they’ll probably be retired before they get back into power anyway.
Tone of parliament raises amazingly – the new govt busy learning the ropes and all excited at the potential, the new, young leaders of the opposition all excited because somebody suddenly cares what they think. Also, the new opposition will be busy distancing themselves from the past, so will be going out of their way to not be obstructive and doctrinaire.
Cullen must be using the Labour Party handbook on insults – I’m sure it is well thumbed through by now. I recall Helen Clark using the same invective, I think directed at Bill English some years ago, after (reasonable) comments about Peter Davis. But the joke of it was she referred to (English) as a ‘scumball’ and ‘sleazebag’. She couldn’t even get that right.
Cullen is a vicious and unremitting creep, who really nailed his colours to the mast this week. His hatred of economic freedom and prosperity makes him unfit to be finance minister. The cost to the country during his tenure has been enormous. Go
but looking back through the records of Westminster is not really a good guide to now – different world.
Well, Mike S., I’d like to think that no matter how much the world changes there’s always going to be a place for genuine wit, intelligence, basic maturity and the idea that politics doesn’t have to be a race to the lowest sewer you can find.
As I said, Disraeli and Gladstone hated each other with a vehemence and longevity that wasn’t entirely sane; and they certainly weren’t over-scrupulous about playing very hardball politics to achieve their agendas. But I’m still looking for an occasion where they were reduced to screeching obscenities across the floor of the Commons like meth-addled chimps.
Or an occasion where they were unable to read something aloud without phonetically spelling out half the words and slowly reading the others like a six year old reading a three line poem…like Sue Bradford/Dave Hereora/Lesley Soper every time she asks a QOA…