Threats are wrong but beware exagerrations

October 29th, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Actresses and unionists have received threats, including some against their lives, during the heated row over The Hobbit movie.

Police have been called and private security arranged for some of those targeted.

Anyone making death threats should receive a visit from the Police – at a minimum. But I am sceptical of believing that death threats have been made, just because says so – they have a record of lying and exaggeration.

Remember Helen Kelly’s lynch mob – led by gentle Richard Taylor.

Remember the Matterhorn incident which was described as needing a Police escort, and turned out to simply be a guy with a video camera politely asking Whipp why he targeted the Hobbit.

Nowhere in the story do they quote an actual threat – just the MEAA saying they had received them. Why do journalists not ask for details to back up claims?

Finally I recall the words of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who could be called an expert on death threats – she has to live 24/7 with Police protection. She said that “I am coming to kill you” is a death threat while “I hope you die” is constitutionally protected speech. Now I certainly do not endorse the latter sentiments against any New Zealander, but even if people have said them – that is not a death threat.

Of course we can’t judge in this case, as we have no details – just MEAA claims.

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89 Responses to “Threats are wrong but beware exagerrations”

  1. Murray (8,842 comments) says:

    Its the way of the left that when what they are doing isn;t working do it HARDER.

    Attack John Key, play the victim card, neither seem to ahve worked out well but its still the go to option.

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  2. labrator (1,849 comments) says:

    Well, they are playing the role of their lives…

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  3. Inventory2 (10,185 comments) says:

    I’ve just blogged about this as well (link on the other MEAA thread). If the threats are genuine, they should rightly be condemned. However I am very cynical about this apparent chain of events. As you say DPF, we only have Simon Whipp’s word for it, which probably says all one needs to know.

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  4. Murray (8,842 comments) says:

    This would be the Simon Whipp who has nothing to do with it according to Robyn Malcom?

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  5. YesWeDid (1,044 comments) says:

    DPF, why is it so hard to believe that threats have been made, after the hysteria that has been whipped up in the media and certain right-wing blogs?

    There are plenty of less than mentally stable people out there, some who even comment on this blog.

    [DPF: because they have a history of lying, so rather than give them the benefit of the doubt, I want to see the actual words used]

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  6. Murray (8,842 comments) says:

    Evidence fuckwit.

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  7. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    “There are plenty of less than mentally stable people out there, some who even comment on this blog.”

    Yes they did?

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  8. reid (16,112 comments) says:

    Attack John Key, play the victim card, neither seem to have worked out well but it’s still the go to option.

    and then…

    DPF, why is it so hard to believe that threats have been made, after the hysteria that has been whipped up in the media and certain right-wing blogs?

    YesWeDid why does the left play the victim card so very often? Do you really believe that because in your hallucination you fight for human rights, you’re entitled to do whatever the fuck you want, tactics-wise and there is absolutely no come-back on you, for you’re fighting for a true and just cause and that makes everything OK?

    Do you really believe that? It’s just, all of you seem to and that’s just so mental it’s hard to know where to start.

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  9. YesWeDid (1,044 comments) says:

    Sorry Murray are you addressing me? My names not ‘Fuckwit’. I’ll only respond to you if you don’t abuse me.

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  10. Monty (966 comments) says:

    These pricks have proven themselves to be liars over the past few weeks. The exaggerate, fabricate and try to re-write history. The unions and their lapdog political party are now public enemy #1. And deservedly so.
    These “death threats” are nothing more than an addition to the lies they have already participated in. It is nothing more than a plea for sympathy for the fallen scum they really are.

    As far as I am concerned the unions and those associated with this treason can rot in hell.

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  11. Murray (8,842 comments) says:

    Then why did you respond fuckwit.

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  12. jaba (2,097 comments) says:

    yeswedid .. I did a scientific poll and then a research paper on the sort of person who votes left compared with those who vote right.
    My extensive findings showed that those who vote left are 99% more likely to indulge in pathetic actions including threatening behaviour, rallies/protests and personal abuse.
    I therefore conclude that these so called threats are a/ bullshit to distract the masses from the unions serious mistake, backed by the Labour Party lead by the Goff-Father or b/ fellow left leaner’s finally realising that they have back the wrong horse and have turned on their own.
    Sorry, I can’t share full findings as they are subject to an upcoming book called “How the Labour Party and their Union mates imploded”.

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  13. BeaB (2,085 comments) says:

    Let’s see some proof. Sounds like crap to me, from a gaggle of drama queens.

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  14. adze (2,009 comments) says:

    Whipp has made a complaint with the Australian police, so presumably if they are satisfied an offence was committed that would be a good indicator.

    But it wouldn’t surprise me that Whipp got them; only that Helen “Ned” Kelley (rather than Malcolm et al) hasn’t.

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  15. RightNow (6,844 comments) says:

    I have no real reason to disbelieve them. They endangered the livelihoods of several thousand people, it would only take one to make a threat.

    On the other hand they’re known to distort the truth, and playing the victim is one of the most common tactics of people who screw something up big time but don’t have the guts to stand up and admit they were wrong.

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  16. reid (16,112 comments) says:

    YesWeDid, I didn’t abuse you and you haven’t responded to me.

    Unless of course you count as a form of abuse calling everyone who believes what you appear to believe completely mental, but why would anyone think that unless they actually thought they were a victim?

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  17. YesWeDid (1,044 comments) says:

    Reid – I’m not ‘the left’ and don’t speak for ‘the left’ and I’m not fighting for any ’cause’ and I doubt that what I ‘believe’ is ‘completely mental’ and I’m the last person to play ‘the victim’.

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  18. reid (16,112 comments) says:

    OK YesWeDid, so why do you see The Hobbit reaction as being hysteria whipped up by the media?

    It’s just I personally see the reaction as a spontaneous grassroots thing that’s just happened, it hasn’t been engineered to happen nor encouraged in anyway by anyone, it’s just happened. It’s got depth because there are literally thousands of people all around NZ provinces who stood to lose heaps. That to me is where it’s coming from but you see it differently, where.

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  19. orewa1 (428 comments) says:

    “Why do journalists not ask for details to back up claims?” In this instance because the Herald, some time ago, switched from being a serious source of news and information, to a sensationalist tabloid focused only on appealing to the chatterers. RIP, quality journalism.

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  20. Scumsucker (59 comments) says:

    ‘Evidence fuckwit’

    The sooner Murray is BANNED from Kiwiblog, the better.

    Back on topic…So actors have suddenly been inducted into the real world that us ‘ordinary’ folk live (and don’t they love that expression!). And they don’t like it.

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  21. Mr Nobody NZ (397 comments) says:

    I would be very surprised if the Unions and their tame dogs didn’t get death threats considering the amount of anger their actions generated. However I equally am aware of 3 people over the past 10 years who have during the course of industrial action involving various unions who have received death threats from them or their supporters.

    While the death threats are in no way acceptable it just seems they’re part of the course when unions are involved.

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  22. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    Yes I agree with you David.

    It seems highly ‘convinient’ that the death threats occur at the same time as Labour’s declared ‘opposition’ to the government’s appeasement of Warner Brothers. The media has swallowed it rather abruptly but I am certainly skeptical.

    It all seems like a tactical “I am the victim” card, and if this is true it reveals the shallow lengths that these ‘unionists’ would steep to in order to push a cause.

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  23. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    Not condoning this in the slightest but:

    Interested that threats of violence and intimidation when they come from unionists aren’t considered newsworthy, but when directed at them its front page news.

    Hell I’m sure that Trotter even praised that sort of behavior in one of his previous articles, talking about the good old days when unionists would give someone the bash.

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  24. YesWeDid (1,044 comments) says:

    OK YesWeDid, so why do you see The Hobbit reaction as being hysteria whipped up by the media?

    Leading the night news for over a week, protest marches, DPF’s ‘nuclear bombs’, the Prime Minister having meetings with Warner Bros execs, Peter Jackson’s press releases, special legislation rushed through parliament and now death threats, I think ‘hysteria’ is the best way to describe it.

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  25. reid (16,112 comments) says:

    “It all seems like a tactical “I am the victim” card, and if this is true”

    It is exactly that Fale. Put yourself in their place. Guilty of a mind-boggling fuck-up from start to finish, what would you do?

    Personally I’d take a bit of a break and think about things for awhile but no.

    Attack is the best form of defence. I love the way the unions have never addressed the lack of grassroots membership support which never existed amongst actors let alone everyone else involved in the production. They never had it. That to me puts the lie to everything and no-one from the union has ever said anything about it.

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  26. Bed Rater (239 comments) says:

    “Of course we can’t judge in this case, as we have no details ”

    Yeah, that’ll stop the comment thread in its tracks.

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  27. RightNow (6,844 comments) says:

    I think there were about 2500 people who were hysterical that they might not get to work on these films. Can’t blame them for that.

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  28. reid (16,112 comments) says:

    “…I think ‘hysteria’ is the best way to describe it.”

    Hysteria implies an emotive state and it isn’t and wasn’t emotive but it was passionate simply because it mattered a great deal. It got traction because it mattered to a great many throughout the land. Including even people like me for I benefit from the long-term tourism and I can’t believe how clever Key’s move to insert the tourism ad into 50 million plus DVDs which is how many LOTR’s were purchased, let alone rented.

    That’s great, for everyone.

    That’s why it was passionate, but it wasn’t hysteria and it wasn’t exaggerated and it wasn’t an ill-founded concern based on a false premise.

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  29. YesWeDid (1,044 comments) says:

    ‘and it wasn’t an ill-founded concern based on a false premise.’

    We will never know how serious Warner Bros were about moving the Hobbit to another country so we can’t really say if it was a ‘false premise’ or not.

    I have no issue with people being passionate about these movies or wanting to protect their jobs, I just wonder why we don’t see the same level of interest from the media/government when Firestone closes a tyre plant or Feltex lays off 100′s of workers.

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  30. jaba (2,097 comments) says:

    when did Feltex lay off workers??

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  31. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Evidence fuckwit.

    Best reply EVER!!!!

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  32. david (2,557 comments) says:

    So a security guard has been employed (not as a contractor I hope) to protect the union office in Auckland. Robyn Malcom has decided not to continue with high profile marketing of her home which is for sale.

    What can we conclude:
    1.

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  33. david (2,557 comments) says:

    Ooops don’t know what happened there

    So a security guard has been employed (not as a contractor I hope) to protect the union office in Auckland. Robyn Malcom has decided not to continue with high profile marketing of her home which is for sale. Death threats have been received against several persons.

    What can we conclude:
    1. Property is more important than people?
    2. Robyn Malcolm always planned to move (out of town?) (out of the country?) (we can but hope)
    3. The odius Mr Whipp has complained to Australian Police – was the threat issued or received in Australia?

    A lot of noise but little substance or fact so we are left with a rather unpleasant smell of bullshit lingering in the still spring air.

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  34. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Let’s see some proof. Sounds like crap to me, from a gaggle of drama queens.

    And the problem with that is, would you still trust the proof on face value? I mean these are actors and their union reps we are talking about and these ones in particular have shown that they are extremely economical with the truth and cannot be trusted in the slightest.

    Whats to stop one of them ‘getting into character’ and leaving a fake death threat on the MEAA answer phone, all nice and tidy for the media to report on, but lets see if the MEAA will let the Police access their phone system to help trace the call…..

    Unfortunately, the CTU/MEAA/NZAE now have a credibility problem – and I’ll need to see a prosecution before I’ll believe these threats are real.

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  35. Fisiani (997 comments) says:

    The Left believe that the end justifies the means. They will lie cheat and stoop to any lengths.
    Why do reporters simply become repeaters. Why do they not ask for proof.
    Aleady the claims of a lynch mob are LIES
    Already the claims of needing a poice escort from a mob are LIES
    Why believe this unsubstantiated claim?

    Currently in Porirua there are dozens of pristine Kris Faafoi signs. If a Hekia Parata sign goes up it gets ripped down or defaced overnight. Typical actions of the Left.

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  36. reid (16,112 comments) says:

    “We will never know how serious Warner Bros were about moving the Hobbit to another country so we can’t really say if it was a ‘false premise’ or not.”

    YesWeDid it stretches credulity to imagine this could have been engineered by anyone. Warners had a perfectly reasonable and understandable point in terms of needing stability. Everything fitted, no fact was forced together in this entire episode.

    Normally if it were being engineered one would have seen cracks in the facade but there are none and as the forensic examination of the episode continues, nothing has so far appeared that has done anything but corroborate everything that happened in the timeline and everything else.

    Putting an angle on it without evidence is not warranted. So what if Warners took advantage of an opportunity that was offered to screw out a few extra $m. So what? That doesn’t mean they created the opportunity, that was done for them by the union so how could they have engineered it. Quite frankly if Warners hadn’t taken advantage of it since the USD was somewhat more parlous than their most pessimistic forecasts, they’d be rather thick, wouldn’t they. I repeat, that doesn’t mean they engineered it in any way.

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  37. YesWeDid (1,044 comments) says:

    Further to the hysteria around the Hobbit, from the Herald Editorial today ‘Price to keep Hobbit in NZ is extortionate’

    ‘The hyperbole and hysteria of recent weeks might have led to the assumption that it was a matter of vital importance. Significant enough for Government ministers to be talking to executives of Warner Bros, the project’s financial backer.

    And important enough for New Zealand to jettison part of its workplace law and compromise its economic principles. The hyperbole was misplaced. These were places the Government should not have gone in order to secure two films whose benefits are more in the realm of the imponderable than the imposing.’

    I guess that is one editorial that DPF won’t be linking to.

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  38. adze (2,009 comments) says:

    @YesWeDid

    I just wonder why we don’t see the same level of interest from the media/government when Firestone closes a tyre plant or Feltex lays off 100′s of workers.

    Such closures usually occur because the operations are no longer profitable. There’s no point trying to save an industry that isn’t profitable unless it has such a large intangible benefit that it could be justifiably be put into public hands (controversial examples included KiwiRail and KiwiBank, although I still support the latter).

    Large movie projects generally are, if risky, very profitable, both to the country and to their financiers.

    I think the best way to protect the livelihoods of those contractors is to create conditions favourable for “another Peter Jackson”-sized employer, to get some critical mass going to what is still currently a cottage industry.

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  39. RightNow (6,844 comments) says:

    YesWeDid – you’re trying to whip up some hysteria for some reason. Move on, the matter is settled. The unions wear the blame (yay), John Key saves the NZ Film industry (yay) and thousands of people get a huge boost from having these movies filmed here (yay).

    Go and try destroying livelihoods in some other part of the world you hateful wrecker.

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  40. ben (2,414 comments) says:

    Exaggeration? Mainstream media? Surely you jest.

    Bwuhahahahaha….

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  41. big bruv (13,573 comments) says:

    And still the lie continues…..

    That moronic idiot Locke has just repeated this bullshit in the house, he (Locke) praised the “brave” Robyn Malcom and Ward-Leyland.

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  42. snowy (107 comments) says:

    Hang on.

    So Robyn Malcom has her Auckland house on the market and is now living in Sydney?

    Meanwhile, her Australian union rep cobber tries to ruin the chances of the Hobbit being made in NZ, thus endangering the entire NZ film industry (which the Aussies are deeply envious of). Such action would swing the odds in favour of Hollywood studios choosing Australia over NZ as a filming location.

    THERE’S your conspiracy.

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  43. YesWeDid (1,044 comments) says:

    ‘Go and try destroying livelihoods in some other part of the world you hateful wrecker.’

    You seem to think I’m some part of the union movement, I’m not, I’m an employer and a business owner.

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  44. RightNow (6,844 comments) says:

    So what is your complaint? That the affair of The Hobbit is still in the news? Get used to it. Production is likely to be over the next 3-4 years.

    P.S – are there any other blogs where you also voice this desire for the hysteria to end? I’m thinking The Standard might be worth a try, they’re foaming at the mouth over there.

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  45. Rich Prick (1,635 comments) says:

    “Whipp has made a complaint with the Australian police, so presumably if they are satisfied an offence was committed that would be a good indicator.”

    Now I know Australian unions seem to think they have jurisdiction in NZ, but the Australian police? Unless the threat was made in Australia against an Australian, in which case who cares?

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  46. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    “‘Go and try destroying livelihoods in some other part of the world you hateful wrecker.’

    You seem to think I’m some part of the union movement, I’m not, I’m an employer and a business owner.”

    And we are all Hobbits really! I mean really we are, and have met the REAL Gollum.

    YesWeDid, you must have a shit business to have time to be on here talking utter crap. Commie Prat. Go and get your degree, and come back when you need to shave.

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  47. DJP6-25 (1,315 comments) says:

    Probably just the leftists playing the victim card.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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

    The union scum should be breathing a sigh of relief. If the shit had hit the fan and the hobbit had been lost then I suspect the death threats would be very real. And to be honest I for one wouldn’t give a fat rats arse, it’s such a great shame treason isn’t upheld by the courts.

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  49. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    John Key has a history of lying – I wonder if Farrar would believe him if he claimed to have received a death threat?

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  50. Pascal (2,015 comments) says:

    You’ve been spreading the Union lies Maggie. Should anybody believe you?

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  51. david (2,557 comments) says:

    Bet you a pint of ale to a thimble full of flat lemonade Maggie that he has received death threats. If the fact was made public he would be expected to prove it was true. But he is not a whinger and the public trust him. I know that must rankle and make you froth around the gills but you should learn to suck it up my dear.

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  52. Inventory2 (10,185 comments) says:

    Oh Maggie; I shouldn’t rub salt into the wound, but did you see the latest Roy Morgan poll? The one where National was up 3.5 points, and Labour was down 3? Or the TVNZ one where Phil Goff is at 7% compared to Key’s 52%?

    I guess you must have, otherwise you wouldn’t be so desperate to smear New Zealand’s most popular PM :-)

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  53. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    I have little doubt that members of Equity and MEAA received death threats.

    I also have little doubt that senior National Party and government officials and Warner Bros executives have also received death threats. They don’t feel the need to cry about it to the media though.

    Anyone involved in contentious, greatly divisive issues like this can expect to receive death threats, 99% of which will not be acted upon. That’s the risk you take when you do get involved in them. If you can’t handle the fire, stay out of the kitchen. Simples.

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  54. Viking2 (11,286 comments) says:

    Hobbit cast receives death threats
    stuff.co.nz
    October 29, 2010 – 4:53PM

    http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/hobbit-cast-receives-death-threats-20101029-1774c.html?autostart=1

    Now this was reported from Stuff.co in the SMH.
    As far as I can see none of the hobbitt cast was threatened at all. Only the bullying Aussie and his hangers on and mothers little helpers who wanted to rule the world.

    More fine reporting and mistruths from the erstwhile journo’s at whichever rag they belong to.

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  55. wat dabney (3,724 comments) says:

    Enforced collective negotiation is these people’s meal-ticket. The only “threat” to the wealthy rabble-rousers who run these labour cartels is that if membership declines they might have to find a real job and work for a living like normal people. At all costs this cannot be allowed to happen!

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  56. adze (2,009 comments) says:

    “Now I know Australian unions seem to think they have jurisdiction in NZ, but the Australian police? Unless the threat was made in Australia against an Australian, in which case who cares?”

    The Aussie police will pass the evidence to their NZ counterparts if they find the offence was committed from here.

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  57. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    I note no-one here tries to deny Key is a liar. Interesting.

    Inventory2′s view is that its okay to lie, so long as you are popular. Also interesting. Goebbels had a similar opinion.

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  58. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Obviously the Bryson case struck a nerve with Jackson, so was it Warners, jackson or Key that wanted the law passed in parliament today? If it was Warners- want benefit do they get from it? If Jackson why has he said nothing since 2005? If Key- why confine it to one industry if it such a good idea?
    BTW- What is there to stop another world-wide ban being slapped on them (apart from the Helen Kelly deal of course)? Wasn’t that the rationale for Warners moving the project. Apart from having more of our money-I don’t see how Warners are any more secure than they were previously

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  59. F E Smith (3,316 comments) says:

    Maggie: when we ignore you it does not mean you are right.

    However, for what it is worth: Key is not a liar.

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  60. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    bchapman.

    You are either a complete ignoramus or deliberately stirring up complete ‘bovine scattology.’ (I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt for a moment.)

    The additional money helps to offset the risk to WB of continuing the production in NZ – that includes, and is mainly in this instance, industrial action. Coupled with the employment law change, the risk profile to WB has been reduced, although not completely mitigated -> lower risk than 1 week ago, plus some money to balance/mitigate the (still) somewhat heightened risk.

    Simple business 001 (not even advanced enought to be 101). But then you knew that. If you’re going to try and rake up some muck, at least give it a decent go

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  61. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Maggie,

    I also deny Key is a liar.

    But so it’s not a total denial – I believe you are

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  62. RightNow (6,844 comments) says:

    Interesting that the news tonight reported two more avatar films have now been announced and are likely to be produced here.
    It makes this deal look more and more pivotal to our film industry. On Nightline they had Gerry Brownlee pointing out that if the films moved, a significant number of skilled workers would go with it, and we’d struggle to get them back.
    That was after Mallard was in the house waving his flag with WB instead of the Union Jack. I guess he’s making the best of a bad situation, must suck hard. I would guess the union faction in Labour will be somewhat psychotic right now. Might be a bit of a blow to Little’s ascension. Trev might just be thinking he has a look in while Goff is off walkabout.

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  63. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    RightNow,

    I think Trev is Cunliffe’s running interference. Carter made reference to teachers in the small group ‘discussion’ on the leadership in his office.

    Expect Cunliffe to make a move soon after McCarten has split the left vote in Mana (probably not enough to lose the seat, but enough to question Goff’s choice and position.)

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  64. RightNow (6,844 comments) says:

    well I hope he does it before the end of the year, I’ve got shares in that :)

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  65. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    bhudson
    Fair enough, we’re giving money to WB because MEAA tried to blackmail them (they also tried it will Outrageous Fortune and This Is Not My Life- the actors refused to participate) it pissed them off-that I can get.

    What I don’t get is-
    1. How the industrial law changes help WB? The Bryson case had a high level of proof, whilst it may protect Jackson against such action in a few cases, WB gets nothing from it. And it does nothing to stop the actors from putting on another blacklist if they want to delay the film.

    2. Why Key said it was about industrial stability an not money. They seemed to get a lot more of the latter than the former.

    3. Why unionism is a bad thing in this case. Surely negotiating with a responsible legitimate union ( as WB does in other countries) with a stake in the outcome is better than negotiating with a rag tag bunch of attention seekers?

    I’m not against the financial sweeteners (Clark did it for LOTR), but I just don’t get the nexus between the blacklist and the employment law changes.

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  66. Richard Whiteside (7 comments) says:

    Hobbit death threats? Really? If true,TOTALLY out of line. Even abusive language not acceptable. But I personally don’t like spinners either. Evidence on One news was hardly a smoking gun. I freeze framed & copied one of the emails that flashed up. It was supposedly so bad they felt they needed to hide the man’s identity. I’ve transcribed it below – you decide.

    Sent: Thursday, 21 October 2010 9:33am
    To: Helen Kelly
    Subject: Well done and Congratulations
    Importance: High
    Hi Helen,
    Well done and congratulations for killing the NZ film industry.
    I know of a firm that was going to hire 14 new staff 8 of which really needed a job directly
    related to supporting the hobbit project.
    5 of the 8 were union members who I believe are in the process of burning their
    memberships.
    You are not living in the real world.
    You stupid cow.
    Regards

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  67. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    bchapman,

    OK. In turn:

    1. The changes help WB in two ways:

    i. It designates as contractors those actors who choose to be (or who are contracted as such) – it removes any court interpretation. Just as Real Estate agents are deemed to be contractors, so now are the actors. By removing the court interpretation risk, the unions are now unable to force contract terms and conditions onto those people. What is more, WB have certainty of that.

    ii. By virtue of that, there is reduced risk to WB as any future action will not affect the contractors on the production.

    2. The law change reduces risk on WB’s investment. It is the greatest mitigation because, as you point out, there is nothing stopping further industrial action – this limits it’s impact. That is why Key listed it as the major concern – it was the thing that was unpredictable, repeatable and most potentially damaging (imagine for a moment, a global boycott instituted 2/3 through the move and lasting for some time – no turning back for WB at that point – just plenty of money bleeding away.)

    3. I wouldn’t claim that unionism is a bad thing as a concept. Certainly in this sense it was far more deleterious to the public good than it was beneficial for the affected members (around 80 actually on the film.) The negotiation tactic was also worse than stupid – firing off a boycott before actually starting the negotiation. Really dumb thing to do and showed real naivety against the ‘big boys’

    The rationale here is shown in 2. above – after having shown the boycott/strike risk as real, the only way the govt could guarantee stability to WB (and therefore keep the production) was to either remove the possibility of industrial action (not really possible) or mitigate the impact to the extent where there would be no real impact (that is what the legal designation as contractors achieve – the union can do now more than make a little noise, it can no longer halt the production.)

    The ‘sad’ part about that for the unions is that it would never have had enough public support (or indifference) to have been passed if the unions had not acted so poorly

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  68. Clint Heine (1,569 comments) says:

    A very good point was made before. Why is it ok for unions to threaten workers?

    Why is this front page news because of claims made by a union that is well known for stretching the truth?

    We all know our trade unions do this sort of stuff on almost a daily basis!

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  69. CharlieBrown (927 comments) says:

    I don’t hope Simon Whipp dies but I certainly hope he gets physically injured to the point he can’t ruin other peoples lives.

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  70. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Press conference 2008: Key is caught on video stating: “National will not raise GST. National is about cutting taxes not raising them.”

    LIE

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  71. Nookin (3,195 comments) says:

    Maggie
    It would be a lie if, at the time he said it, he had intentions of raising GST. Do you have proof, any evidence — even a smidgeon?

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  72. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Maggie,

    You should also consider the context of when it was said and the full intent. While GST has risen, income tax was reduced by a greater amount (there were kickers for low income earners and beneficiaries to ensure they were not worse off.) The reason they are able to claim it is fiscally neutral is they also changed the depreciation rules on investment property which reduces the amount of tax that can be legally avoided (hence the govt gets to take more.)

    So overall the statement is true – National has cut taxes. Had they not acted with respect to income tax at the same time then you would have a point Maggie.

    [ETS is Labour's tax - National had to follow through on that otherwise there were some hefty consequences - they haven't received much in the way of press coverage - I guess they don't make for 'interesting' news.]

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  73. RightNow (6,844 comments) says:

    Technically this is called a broken promise. Politicians seem to do that a lot, and there’s not much you can do about it. Basically we hope that the ones we elected are better than the others, and also that if they do break promises that it works out for the greater good.

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  74. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    bhudson
    Agree with points 1 and 3 but not 2.

    The law changes will affect the legal status of a few (but not that many) of Jacksons (not WBs) employees which practically relates to entitlements to sick leave, holiday pay, kiwi saver. Most of his employees would not be able to do what Bryson did. It won’t affect the ability of the contractors to organise or place bans or strike.

    Now given Key said it wasn’t about money and Brownlee said that Warner Bros did not ask for changes to contractors the question I would have is- Why bother?

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  75. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    bchapman,

    I’m not sure on the overall worker mix. The actors were definitely to be brought on as independent contractors, so the law change definitely addresses the problem for them. The threat was that they (as a minority group within) and/or a union might try further industrial action to try to force a collective agreement. The law change will mitigate that risk – there could still be action, but the risk is lower and WB would be able to get alternative independent contractors on board.

    I think the negotiated outcome shows that my item #2 was in fact the greater issue for WB. The evidence I use there is that the additional tax breaks they are getting are not huge and significantly less than they might have got elsewhere (in the order of $30m-$35m less.) If the labour issue had been less of a problem, or a red herring, I believe they would have demanded much greater rebate concessions.

    I haven’t reviewed the wording of the change, but from the sort of language being bandied about it sounds like it is something of a general classification across the film industry, rather than solely actors. In which case the union action did enable them to broaden the scope a little to include some other workers. The argument the Nats would use I’m sure is that the labour stability had to be guaranteed across the production (which has more than a grain or two of truth to it). The opposition would likely argue they went further than needed for their own purposes.

    EDIT: I missed the Gerry B part. I recall that his statement was that they didn’t directly ask for the law change. It was the negotiating team that understood that it was the only way they would be able to deliver the stability assurances that were demanded – so it could be argued that WB did, in fact, demand it, but in a carefully worded, indirect manner.

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  76. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Nookin, spin any faster you’ll nail yourself to the floor.

    If Key had said: “We currently have no intention of raising GST” and they DID NOT have any intention at that time, then you would have a point.

    But what he said was: “National will not raise GST”.

    They then raised GST.

    Lie.

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  77. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Maggie,

    You ignored by comments – what they did was cut taxes overall – just as they said they would. It just so happens that the right mix they worked out in the end was to reduce income tax and increase GST.

    No lie, just a convenient change in the mix for you to try and fixate on

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  78. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Good spin, but to no avail, Mr. Hudson. Playing with semantics as an aspiring politician, maybe?

    In reality, Key opposed a GST increase while in opposition, just to change his mind to raise it to the current 15%.
    The “non-traditional” Key has used the same old trick of seasoned liars, like his predecessors Bolger and Clark.

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  79. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    bhudson-
    We could argue until the cows come home whether this legislation will create more certainty for WB or less. My arguement would be that we have taken a court definition, which has been accepted since 2005 (no legal challenges) and created new wording and uncertainty. Given this act was drafted in 24 hours and did not not even get Select Committee to iron out its deficiences, my guess is that sooner or later we will be heaing back to court to argue the new definitions. In any case the Bryson ruling still stands, some will still be able to claim employment conditions.

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  80. Nookin (3,195 comments) says:

    Maggie
    You use the humpty dumpty dictionary and cant even get congruency in your metaphors . A lie is a statement made with the knowledge, at the time of making, of its falsity. A broken promise is a statement of future action from which the promissor resiles. Key will be judged on the circumstances at the time of raising GST (including the contemporaneous tax cuts.) You will be judged on your bigotry.

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  81. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    My metaphors are totally congruous. My verbs are conjugated. and my adverbs sensational.

    You, on the other hand, are now nailed to the floor. Want another go?

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  82. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Manolo,

    Thanks for confirming it was prior to the election. I had been too lazy today to confirm the timing. So what you are saying is that Key made a pledge before he was able to know the true state of the country’s finances and before the bite of the Global Financial Crisis – which also demanded smart management to negotiate our way through.

    So circumstances the Nats were unaware of (the nth level of degree) led to a conclusion that changing the mix and focus of overall taxation – income vs consumption – was a better option. While that necessitated a change to GST which was not favoured PRIOR to the access to detail & changed circumstances, it did lead to an outcome which was a net tax reduction for all income earners. (Not so great for those with investment properties, but also not as bad as it could have been for them.)

    I don’t consider that a lie. I consider it effective management reacting to circumstances outside of their control while attempting to plan and reshape for the future, which can be forecast but is not totally predictable.

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  83. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Translated the above piece of pompous verbosity means:

    “It isn’t a lie because John Key said it. If the other lot said it, it would be a lie”

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  84. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Maggie,

    No it doesn’t say that at all. It might be that you are ignorant of the reality, so let me remind you that all NZ govts (of any colour) are not obliged to, and do not, release the intimate details of the books and financial state of the nation until immediately before polling day – a time when it is too late for the Opposition to change their policies & promises prior to the election.

    This is one reason, not the only reason, but it is one, why new govts of either colour often change their programmes immediately on taking office – they simply find that the state of the nation doesn’t lend itself to doing everything they wanted and promised they would. Sometimes they break their promises for other reasons – with some of those people interet the initial promise as a lie. I think it is important to be able to tell the difference.

    “It isn’t a lie because John Key said it. If the other lot said it, it would be a lie”

    The reverse might be the case in the your general outlook on politics Maggie. Neither are mine

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  85. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    “.. the Nats were unaware of (the nth level of degree) led to a conclusion that changing the mix and focus of overall taxation – income vs consumption – was a better option. ‘

    A fallacious argument, indeed.

    Yes, Key opined against a GST increase before the election. Then, after being elected and learning about the precarious situation of the NZ economy, Key changed his mind on taxes, e.g., he chose to give us higher ACC levies, an ETS tax, and 15% GST and decided to reward the very person responsible for squandering the country’s wealth during a period of economic bonanza, the infamous Michael Cullen, with a directorship at NZ Post and KiwiRail.

    Also, his government support of Helen Clark on her candidacy to the U.N. is insulting and beyond contempt.

    Does it sound logical or consistent with National Party principles to you?

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  86. Nookin (3,195 comments) says:

    Increase in ACC levies — now wasn’t that something to do with the deliberate and illegal with-holding of information by the previous government in order to deceive everyone about the precarious state of ACC?

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  87. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Yes, it was. But also an excellent opportunity to start dismantling a bloated organisation.
    Instead, National decided to maintain the status-quo (the “do-not-rock-the-boat, we-might-lose-some-votes” attitude prevailed.)

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  88. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Manolo,

    In the catalogue of tax changes don’t forget the income tax reductions…

    Both ACC and ETS were hangovers from the previous administration. I recall Nick Smith (not a man you are overly fond of admittedly) decrying the state of the ACC books and precarious position re: future liabilities. He signalled very clearly at the time that fairly drastic action would be required – hence the change in rates and also some services.

    ETS was an agreement Labour had entered us into. The MSM is fairly quiet on this, but it has been reported that we would have been left with some hefty liabilities if we had not introduced a system Labour had pledged behalf of us all. National also changed that ETS to be less onerous than the orignal Labour plan. Not a perfect outcome by any stretch, but, like any management, the Nats had to deal with the cards they had been dealt by the previous administration. (Train sets are another example of that.)

    I have no knowledge as to why Michael Cullen was appointed. Given NZ Post’s letter business was declining for years under a Labour govt and he is responsible for the train set purchase, perhaps it was a bit of payback – he is now responsible for sorting out the mess he created.

    I have no problem with the support given to Clark for her current position. Whether or not you agree with her positions and tactics, whether or not you support her politics, whether or not you would decry some of her actions while in govt, the fact remains that she is an incredibly intelligent and capable individual. It is also a fillip to NZ to have one of our people – irrespective of party affiliations – in a position such as that.

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  89. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    “In the catalogue of tax changes don’t forget the income tax reductions…”

    No, I do not forget that and give credit to this government for carrying out its election promise (at least partially).
    That does not deny the fact National has done an about face regarding taxes. Key and English have been timid at best, coward at worst, to confront the issue.

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