A 4th term Clark Government and the media

September 8th, 2008 at 2:30 pm by David Farrar

Matthew Hooton asks if a re-elected Clark Government will abolish the free press. Now of course they will not abolish it, but as we have seen with the EFA one can generate a “chilling effect. And the Government is already consulting on whether the press council’s functions should be tranferred over to the Government appointed Broadcasting Standards Authority. Hooton make the following points:

  • , of course, viciously attacked the in her speech to the Journalism Education Association last year.
  • She accused the New Zealand Herald of running a “full-blooded attack” on her Government and lamented that complaining to the Press Council “just doesn’t get you anywhere”, suggesting she wants other remedies available to her.
  • Earlier, in 2006, Clark attacked the Sunday Star-Times for daring to run my fortnightly column, and Radio New Zealand National for my half hour a week politics slot with Laila Harre.
  • Frighteningly, as part of her attack, she used a Maoist-sounding description – “the peoples’ radio” – to describe Radio New Zealand National, suggesting what she thinks the role of the public broadcaster should be and that providing a range of contestable opinions for listeners to consider is not part of it.
  • Finance Minister Michael Cullen has threatened the New Zealand Herald with changes to its tax status if it didn’t change its position on taxation, and accused press gallery journalists of self interest in asking him questions about tax relief.
  • Former Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey broke the law in trying to influence Radio New Zealand’s editorial content but, when challenged, said he would do it again.
  • If it hadn’t been for the “chilling” Electoral Finance Act, it would be possible to dismiss speculation about a secret agenda to control the press. But they did it for paid media. Why wouldn’t they extend that principle to unpaid media?

As I said above, there is already a consultation document on replacing the industry self-regulating Press Council with the Government appointed Broadcasting Standards Authority which could be given legislative control over broadcasters, print media and Internet media. I attended one of the meetings held to discuss this (I volunteered to be on the body of this new media overlord!).

And as Matthew says, who would have thought in 2005 that Labour would pass a law making it illegal for the EMA to run newspaper advertisements against changes to KiwiSaver by Trevor Mallard!

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29 Responses to “A 4th term Clark Government and the media”

  1. Bryce Edwards (248 comments) says:

    Don’t forget also: the 2007 ban on the satirical use of parliamentary images. Although in this case, I seem to remember that National also supported this shameful law.

    As I’ve commented on Matthew Hooton’s blog, there is indeed some (horrible) logic in the idea that if you’re going heavily regulate political parties and “third parties” to supposedly “level the playing field”, then you also have to heavily regulate the media. Therefore if EFA-style state intervention in the democratic process is allowed to continue, then the type of fears that Matthew Hooton has might be the logical conclusion.

    Watch out also for regulation of “political lobbying” – another logical (but probably silly) consequence of the state intervening so heavily in the democratic process.

    Bryce
    http://www.liberation.org.nz

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  2. big bruv (13,923 comments) says:

    And watch out for HUGE change if Labour does manage to cling onto power after this election, given that any govt she does head will be in full coalition with the Greens she will be free to implement all the policies she has always wanted to bring in.

    Along with full state control of the media we will see

    * 24 hour state funded child care
    * Gay adoption
    * One social worker per child
    * Late term abortion
    * Changes to rape laws that put the onus on the accused to prove his innocence
    * Hate speech legislation
    * Mandatory race, gender and sexuality quotas in senior business appointments
    * Massive increases in DPB and unemployment benefits for single mothers

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  3. chfr (126 comments) says:

    I can’t believe any sane person believes that living in an echo chamber is a good thing…Is Helen sane??

    Did anyone else see the documentary on The History channel over the weekend on the first emperor of China?? The parallels of his descent into madness and the rantings coming from Helen and Winston are quite frightening.

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  4. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Agree, big bruv. It is sickening enough that around 40% of Kiwis extended a “mandate” to the Heleban AGAIN at the LAST election. There is no hardcore supporter of politics that just will not learn, like a “soft” socialist hardcore supporter. Somewhere along the years, it goes from “soft” to “hard” socialism, and there are all these brain-dead people still voting Labour “just because my parents always voted Labour” and my great-great grandparents from the North of England voted Labour and the stooges of “big business” (cue spooky music) must NEVER be allowed near the levers of political control, class warfare never ends, dribble, dribble……..

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  5. Buggerlugs (1,592 comments) says:

    Fabulous…just when the world had stopped laughing at us over Winston and our Government’s hypocrisy, something else to make us the standing joke in the Western world.

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  6. GMDI (70 comments) says:

    Why oh why am i not surprised. it’s ok for the media to do whatever they like, as long as it’s anti anyone but this despicable bunch of people we have to call our government. The minute the media notices it’s not all smelling like roses in the laboured camp, Helen and her acolytes clamp down viciously. I do wonder however how they got too Duncan Garner? he used to be brave.

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  7. big bruv (13,923 comments) says:

    Have a look at what one of the comrades over at the EPMU and tax payer funded Standard wants out of a fourth term.

    “Within the current social democratic framework….

    Raising benefits to pre 1991 levels.
    Reverse their scrapping of special benefits.
    Scrap the ERA
    Promote meaningful expressions of democracy in the workplace.
    Free health care and education.
    Get back control of the reserve bank.
    An unequivocal abandonment of neo-liberal economic policies.
    Take important industry and infra-structure out of private hands

    Going beyond the current social democratic framework….

    1) Developing substantive dialogue and exchange (trade and cultural)with Venezuela. Learning from and implementing variations of processes successfully developed through the Bolivarian Revolution.

    2)Standing up on the world stage as supporters of a multi polar world.

    3)Devolving power and decision making to the local level.

    Guess I better not be holding my breath then?”

    VENEZUELA!…FFS, we are well and truly fucked as a nation if Klark managed to steal the next election.

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  8. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    If the worst was to happen and the mad cow gets a 4th term all hell will break lose. I believe many voters are staying put till after the election, to see what happens. If the bastards get a 4th term Air New Zealand should do well in early 2009 as tens of thousands will be gone. As for abolishing the free press, they might try but how will they enforce it?. Already the police force, court systems and jails are at breaking point and the arm forces would be tested to the limit given the amount of firepower held in private hands.

    With the EFS to kick in and a growing bludger class how will the Dear Leader and her collection of socialist leeches fund their utopia? Given that many of our best and brightest have had enough and will be gone and the advancement of socialism will kill off further gains in the GDP. In short many would be voting for their own demise, if they are stupid enough.

    Let them muzzle the press, it would be their last act in government.!!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. NeillR (351 comments) says:

    Unfortunately New Zealanders are too easy going. We give up our freedoms with barely a passing mention. Clark has done little else than be a politician all her life – her Machiavellian traits have allowed her to corrupt and destroy that which many Kiwis hold dear. Even this morning she almost gloated as she stated on TV that “kiwis don’t want to give up everything that we’ve given them”. She’s attached us to the teat and is making damn sure that we won’t wean.

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  10. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Yep, NeillR;

    “We didn’t love freedom enough……we purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward”
    -Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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  11. stayathomemum (140 comments) says:

    Your are right DPF – I would never have imagined NZ would have the EFA in 2005. So much can change in 3 years. If Helena gets a 4th term, she knows it will be her last chance to make these changes she has always dreamed about. She has almost everything obstructing her goal cast aside for her final mission to begin. Lets hope election day is not a national disaster.

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  12. stayathomemum (140 comments) says:

    Another thing that makes me sick are all those Kiwis in London who are going to vote Green – because they are stuck in a cold grey dungeon (sorry London!) and dream of cute little green NZ. They have no idea the Greens are a bunch of communists and have more to do Mao than mulch.
    Sorry – going to go outside and kick the ball up against the wall a few times.

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  13. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    Every Freedom Fighter must get out and ensure the uninformed are aware of what awaits them if they are dumb enough to re elect the Commies Socialists.

    It is frightening to hear the masses actually wanting more of the same and even worse. On the one hand they moan yet they dont connect up the dots to see where the problems are.

    A vote for the Commies Socialists is a vote to reduce NZ to 3rd world status. We are already on the brink There are fromer Soviet countries who will overtake our standards of living in a few short years. think the former Baltic States.

    As NZ adopts more and more of the old style Soviet policies these countries are moving to low tax high incomes less STATE interfernence.

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  14. rolla_fxgt (311 comments) says:

    If and I state if, because I don’t believe that A) Labour will win a 4th term, and B) if they do, I don’t think they’ll be able to get enough support to pass any legislation around this area, they do pass this sort of legislation, they better hope they pass a law banning residents leaving NZ & taking their money with them first , otherwise I imagine there would be a mass exodus of NZ, and it would quickly fall into huge debts, as the only ones still here would all be on benefits.

    And anyway its a moot point, as I’m sure the GG would dissolve parliament before such laws could be passed, because they would be so unjust that anything less would be dereliction of duty on his part. Plus such laws would generate stories in overseas papers, which presumably someone close to the Queen would read & tell her & if the GG wasn’t dissolving parliament of his own accord I’m sure she would suggest that he do so. Assuming that can be done?

    Sometimes this sort of thinking about what HC might do, is a bit far fetched, I mean I know she’s lost the plot sometimes, and is sneaky and manipulative. But this sort of thinking about what they might do is so far fetched, that it is normally what I’d expect from the Standard etc.

    I mean comments like those of Michael Cullen, are things we all say in the heat of the moment when we’re trapped in a corner and have no other comeback. Its all school yard stuff

    Yes we should be wary of it happening, but in reality its unlikely to happen, because the majority of NZ’ers & indeed our neighbouring nations won’t let it happen

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  15. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    “Yes we should be wary of it happening, but in reality its unlikely to happen, because the majority of NZ’ers & indeed our neighbouring nations won’t let it happen”

    I’d like to think so. I hope you’re right.

    But I worry that you might be wrong.

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  16. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    rolla_fxgt –

    >80% of kiwis didn’t want a light smack to be a criminal offence.

    the Human Rights Commission didn’t want the bollocks that was/is the EFB[A].

    the GG is a puppet. and we’re muppets.

    a 4th term of this gestatory communism will see me, my family, my business and my tax payments someplace else.

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  17. sauce of knowledge (9 comments) says:

    But where is everyone going to go? Australia, UK, USA….. The former Balkan States?

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  18. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    The fact is that if Labour win the next election under Helen Clark the rolling agenda will continue. Like I said last week, it is a weak and comprimised opposition that will facilitate this – so what is it and what are we going to do about it?

    If everyone in this blog were to email a link to kiwiblog to one person and ask them to do the same, for example?

    If every one of us were to make a basic poster and put it somewhere visible ie outside a Labour Party Office.

    The National campaign betrays not an inkling of the massive changes that are happening, the general public are apparently oblivious. I want to gag every time I get told how ‘fair-minded’ kiwis are. If that is the case, why is there not a campign by the opposition designed to nail this election and Helen to the wall? perhaps we are not fair-minded at all, perhaps we are just lazy.

    Do you know what is missing?

    Leadership. It is the one advantage Labour have, and boy, doesn’t it make a difference?

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  19. rolla_fxgt (311 comments) says:

    getstaffed (2137) Vote: Add rating 2 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    September 8th, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    rolla_fxgt –

    >80% of kiwis didn’t want a light smack to be a criminal offence.

    Point taken, but I’m sure you’ll agree there’s a slight difference in a law that makes it illegal to smack your kid (something I think you should be able to do), and changing the law to outlaw dissenting opinions & strikes at the heart of democracy. The 2nd I think would have people taking action

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  20. big bruv (13,923 comments) says:

    Lee

    Yes Labour do have a strong leader however they also have an almost totally compliant media and a civil service and police force that act upon the instructions of the ninth floor without question.

    I also agree with you about the average Kiwi although I think you have been a bit polite in your description.

    The average Kiwi is an apathetic prick who does not give a toss about politics, as long as he is getting a bit of a hand out from the “government” (because thats how thick these pricks are they cannot work out that it is their own money they are getting back via WFF and the like) then he does not care about all that other “garbage” they get up to in Wellington.

    The only thing this average Kiwi gives a toss about is bloody rugby, ask him who should be ALL Black coach and he will give you a run down of all the strenghts and weaknesses of the coaching candidates.
    However if you asked him to name ONE Labour party policy or Minister outside of Clark or Cullen he would not have a fucking clue.

    In short the average Kiwi is think as a brick shit house and deserves everything he gets from this corrupt govt.

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  21. sauce of knowledge (9 comments) says:

    Big Bruv

    If that’s your definition of the average kiwi then you’ve already accepted defeat. Are your bags already packed?

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  22. Miritu (30 comments) says:

    I wonder how many similar comments were passed in countries that since lapsed into socialist dictatorships. “It could never happen here” etc. I remember much of the commentary on Zimbabwe from around 2000/2001 was along these lines – “it cannot get any worse”, “The West will not let it happen…”. Look at Zimbabwe now, 7 years later. I’m sure there are many more examples.

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  23. mickysavage (786 comments) says:

    I really wonder about Hooton. Wasn’t he the person described as an idiot by a hack in the National party as recorded in The Hollow Men?

    He could at least apologise for all the stuff that he gets wrong. If you analyse his historical statements most of what he says falls into this category.

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  24. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    rolla_fxgt – Agree on difference in scale. The problem is that too many kiwi’s have become disengaged and therefore don’t critique issues and proposed responses closely enough to understand their significance.

    I really fear for NZ if Clark gets her increasingly sharp socialist talons further in to our flesh.

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  25. stayathomemum (140 comments) says:

    Helen is quite happy for issues not to be critiqued, and the EFA sure aids greatly in that.
    We all better start covering our tracks – don’t want retrospective legislation being passed on this one!
    (note fear factor is already taking effect)

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  26. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..If the bastards get a 4th term Air New Zealand should do well in early 2009 as tens of thousands will be gone…

    as long as they are from your lot..

    ..what’s the loss..?

    and..

    “..Sorry – going to go outside and kick the ball up against the wall a few times..”

    you’re gonna have a bit of that over the next six weeks or so..

    eh..?

    climaxing for you on election night..

    (i’d get some extra balls in..eh..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  27. big bruv (13,923 comments) says:

    Oh dear…

    The DFW has not yet worked out that those “tens of thousands” who will leave are the very same ones he steals from on a weekly basis.

    Never mind Phul, best get that CV dusted off.

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  28. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..In short the average Kiwi is think as a brick shit house..”

    i don’t think so..

    ..they seem to be smart enough that 50%..(and growing) know/are convinced key/national are lying to them..

    ..and have secret agendas..to privatise/cut services/send us deeper into hock..

    ..and..what’s with all the (sobbed)..’i’m leaving if clark wins’..?

    (i mean..good riddance..!..and all that..can i suggest queensland..?

    ..you’ll find lots of ‘yours’ there..

    ..and will feel quite at home…)

    ..but what’s happened to that wild-eyed optimism that you would ‘rule alone’..?

    ..is it evaporating along with your poll ratings..?

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  29. big bruv (13,923 comments) says:

    Phul

    You must still be on a “p” high, it does not matter what happens you are going to have to get a job.

    If Clark does manage to steal another election then there will not be enough tax payers left in NZ to fund your lifestyle.

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