Corruption or Idiocy?

December 7th, 2010 at 6:28 pm by David Farrar

has breathlessly labeled as corruption the Government’s announcement of the first ultra-fast contracts.

Why? He blogged:

So, what does this look like by electorates? UFB will be rolled out to:

  • Whangarei, held by National’s Phil Heatley, with a majority of 14,663;
  • Hamilton East, held by National’s David Bennett with a majority of 8,820;
  • Hamilton West, held by National’s Tim Macindoe, with a majority of 1,618;
  • Taupo, held by National’s Louise Upston, with a majority of 6,445;
  • Taranaki-King Country, held by National’s Shane Ardern, with a majority of 15,618;
  • Tauranga, held by National’s Simon Bridges, with a majority of 11,742;
  • New Plymouth, held by National’s Jonathan Young, with a majority of 105;
  • Whanganui, held by National’s Chester Borrows, with a majority of 6,333.

So, the first thing to note is that only National-held electorates get broadband; those with Labour MPs need not apply (sorry, you voted for the wrong person and so must be punished). The second thing to note is the targeting of marginal seats New Plymouth and Hamilton West. It’d be interesting if someone who knew about IT policy used the OIA to delve into National’s rollout decision, but from here it looks like pure pork-barrel politics. And I don’t like it one bit.

Idiot/Savant is like the boy who cries wolf. He slanders so many people as corrupt, that it becomes a meaningless label. Basically it just all comes over as hysterical rants.

His idiocy was picked up and blogged by Clare Curran, but even Clare worked out what weak ground he and she were on, and later did updates backing away “before David Farrar at Kiwiblog has a go”.

I will indeed have a go at such gross stupidity, and even worse effectively slander. Where do I start.

  1. National holds every single seat outside the four main cities (which due to their size are more complex decisions) except for Palmerston North. So I guess the first contracts should have gone to Tasmania, to stop them including National held seats.
  2. Six of the eight seats listed are very safe seats with majorities over 5,000
  3. This is not a case of some areas getting funding, and some not getting funding. All medium to large urban areas will be getting to the home. This is purely an announcement of the first two contracts. Other contracts will be announced in the near future – the difference between being announced first and second is absolutely minimal.
  4. Ever heard of MMP?

Clare initially blogged:

is a crafty fellow. But even he will overplay his hand one of these days.

Then later as she realised every non metro seat bar Palmie is national held:

Oh and before David Farrar at Kiwiblog has a go and points out that Labour holds only Palmerston North of the general electorates outside the metropolitan centres, that’s true. But it would have been smart for the government to think about this. Instead it doesn’t look so good.

So Steven in the one blog post goes from the too crafty manipulator of funding to National seats to being not very smart for not thinking about the look. He can’t win can he!

Frankly I am sure Steven didn’t spend one second thinking about electorate boundaries with the contracts, and am personally very pleased with that.

Oh and here’s one for the conspiracy nutters. 25% of NZers will not be covered by the UFB initiative. And pretty much 100% of them live in National held seats. So 100% of people in Labour seats will get UFB and only around 65% of people in National sears. Yes, obviously pork barrel politics.

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33 Responses to “Corruption or Idiocy?”

  1. gingercrush (153 comments) says:

    And for some reason Clare Curran doesn’t believe Maori should have broadband considering Hamilton and Cambridge are both part of the Labour-held Tainui electorate.

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  2. TimG_Oz (862 comments) says:

    Seriously, what would Palmerston North do with fast broadband. I mean, there’s already so much fun stuff to do there to keep you occupied.

    And I’m not sure if you could plug your Fiber cable into boy racer bogan cars anyway.

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  3. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    “So I guess the first contracts should have gone to Tasmania, to stop them including National held seats.”

    That’s not a bad idea but we would have to teach the Tassie’s to read first so they could sign the contract. :)

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  4. RRM (9,917 comments) says:

    Almost worth moving to Wanganui for.

    This leftie has done his bit on Red Alert to suggest the “All Nats are corrupt big business scum” personal attacks aren’t smart, FWIW…

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  5. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Idiot/Savant once again seems to have forgotten to turn comments on for this thread. Such a pity because this one would stand up to scrutiny about 100 x better than most of the “two scared to debate” crap he writes these days.

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  6. Doug (410 comments) says:

    Clare Curran blogs on Red Alert as though she is a telecommunications expert with no peer in New Zealand, Oh how wrong she has proved to be.

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  7. ben (2,379 comments) says:

    Here’s my question: why wouldn’t the incumbent government put the investment into marginal seats? Does anybody really think competitive majoritarian politics lets such apparent charity, by not targeting marginal electorates, get rewarded? Absolutely no way. Other things being equal, you’d expect a democratic government not willing to look after the marginal voter to be thrown out faster.

    But then this is MMP, and of course marginal electorates don’t matter: the median voter does. So spread the candy far and wide, and ideally in three year cycles. I imagine the first fibre will be going live right around third quarter next year…

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  8. Doug (410 comments) says:

    Clare must be trying to compete with her Boss Phil with the silliest media release of all time.

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  9. ben (2,379 comments) says:

    So 100% of people in Labour seats will get UFB and only around 65% of people in National sears. Yes, obviously pork barrel politics.

    Ok that doesn’t make sense if your definition of pork barrel is to reward your voters at the last election.

    But if the goal is to pull voters off your opponent and on to you, then this sort of thing makes perfect sense.

    What surprises me is the suggestion that pork barrel isn’t explaining this. What is the purpose of public policy if it is not to buy votes for the sitting government at the next election? Anything else is altruism, which, while nice, is going to get you unelected sooner rather than later. So why should we expect altruism to persist in politics? I mean it would be nice if it did, but you can’t expect much of it in election winners. Their task in winning the election is to work out the efficient combination of voters to buy off.

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  10. Michael (909 comments) says:

    Here in the Hutt Valley I already have a fibre cable running past the house in a residential area that will be delivering UFB speeds next year. So do friends on the Kapiti Coast.

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  11. Rodders (1,755 comments) says:

    What puzzles me is why anyone would take NRT seriously any more. As well as not allowing comments, he continues to keep his identity secret. He is entitled to write what he likes, but how many worthwhile blogs have a mystery author?

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

    Malcolm Harbrow is one of the 20% of nutters every country has. You know the type, “central planning works,” “you can’t hug your children with nuclear arms,” etc. Almost all of them are in academia, the media, parliamentary politics or run blogs. They can be safely ignored. Containment is a necessity, however, just in case they flex their muscles too hard.

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  13. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    Move on, conspiracy theorists – nothing sinister here. Mark Gatland in Northpower and Julian Elder in WEL are streets ahead of their lines company peers when it comes to broadband. They deserve this win, thoroughly.

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  14. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @Hurf Durf 8:13 pm

    And the loathsome Hurf Durf enters the ring.

    Has it ever occurred to you, HD, that the anti-intellectualist ideology you espouse is responsible for millions of deaths under Pol Pot and Adolf Hitler?

    We need to respect academics, while being still being critical of their work, because they are the people who have actually done the analysis.

    If you want to rubbish academics like Malcolm Harbrow, at least challenge them academically, with reasoned arguments.

    Your 8:13 pm comment, however, firmly consigns you HD to the category of “bigot”, for who the evidence doesn’t matter.

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  15. dad4justice (8,214 comments) says:

    Is a “bigot” another slimy creature from the fetid green swamp Ms toad? Hi bigotfly.How’s greenfly these days?

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

    Right, my distrust of and non-attention to academics is directly and explicitly linked to the Killing Fields and the Holocaust.

    Derp.

    Cancun is going to be a massive failure, just like Copenhagen. How does that make you feel? Maybe Harbrow can wipe the tears away.

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  17. MT_Tinman (3,184 comments) says:

    I can’t see the point.

    Punishing anyone stupid enough to vote Labour seems perfectly sensible to me.

    Punishing anyone who voted Green etc. should, of course, include physical chastisement.

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  18. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    Pity that the Cancun ‘hotfest’ isn’t being held in Scotland.

    The wheels have come off all the Infrastructure there. Loads of snow.

    All due to that pesky Global Warming.

    All over Continental Europe and in the States. that AGW is causing sea levels to rise, and despite the Met Offices best efforts to

    predict another seasonally abnormal warm Winter, once gain the pesky weather has interrupted their best laid plans to tax everyone to death and seize more control over our lives.

    We will be having our shower pressures regulated by statute next. Oh wait…………………. Mad Scientists here are advocating that already.

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  19. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    How is Curran related to that Setchell girl who was mobbed by Labour when they were in power again?
    Is Claire Curran a plank?
    Surely she as comms advisor/expert knows that the web is forever?
    Duh!

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  20. Jim (398 comments) says:

    @Toad

    Not all intelligent people are academics, and not all academics are intelligent. Those are two independent attributes.

    When I started University I thought that academics knew their stuff and that everyone else were bumbling idiots. By the time I left 5 years later I had almost reversed that opinion.

    Some in academia are worthy of respect but most live in another world, or have worldviews that diverge significantly from how things really work in practice. Malcolm Harbrow / Idiot Savant is one of those.

    Challenge them academically? “Never argue with an idiot…”

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  21. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    As for academics.

    I have 12 o-levels, 5 a-levels, and a spirit level.

    I don’t use that either!

    The scary bit is that so may post grads with Masters, and even good Phd’s don’t have a basic clue on the realities of life in the real world.

    They have never actually left the hallowed towers of lofty academia.

    Qualifications on commenting on the lives of others. Precisely NIL.

    So clever, mmmmmmm. Don’t think so. They have shown a remarkable ability to never get a real job with an employer that has

    to balance the books, and ensure the survival of the organisation on a daily basis.

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  22. ben (2,379 comments) says:

    Toad

    Has it ever occurred to you, HD, that the anti-intellectualist ideology you espouse is responsible for millions of deaths under Pol Pot and Adolf Hitler?

    You know it’s funny Toad, I was just reading Thomas Sowell’s Intellectuals and Society who made the exact opposite point. Pol Pot had eight core leaders, and the split was something like: 5 academics, 2 teachers and a trade unionist.

    Sowell also pointed out that the batallion recruited to run the death camps in Germany was disproportionately made up of intellectuals. Sowell’s explanation: it is because academics are so insulated from validation of their ideas against reality that makes extremism possible.

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  23. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Doug said…
    Clare Curran blogs on Red Alert as though she is a telecommunications expert with no peer in New Zealand, Oh how wrong she has proved to be.

    Correct. She is talking or acting like she is IT or Telecommunication expert. The woman has no background in engineering or IT. She is a ponce, trying to talk her way into the IT community & attending conferences as if she understands of what it is. Hasn’t Labour got someone who’s very proficient in IT/Telecommunication to be a spokesperson? I remember a discussion on RedAlert in one of her blog post on telecommunication issues (when I used to post messages there b4 being censored), someone asked what the heck is ultra-fast broadband? She had no clue of what it is. Labour should give her a portfolio as a spokesperson in PR (if there’s such one) because that’s where her expertise is.

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  24. Robinson 666 (25 comments) says:

    Amazing correlation there pointed out by No Right Turn….. it must be some kind of coincidence…. surely….. Lol!

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  25. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Toad said…
    Has it ever occurred to you, HD, that the anti-intellectualist ideology you espouse is responsible for millions of deaths under Pol Pot and Adolf Hitler?
    Nope, wrong. They were anti-freedom where anti-academic is a subset. Anti-academic is a consequent of anti-freedom.
    Toad said…
    We need to respect academics, while being still being critical of their work, because they are the people who have actually done the analysis.
    I always do.
    Toad said…

    If you want to rubbish academics like Malcolm Harbrow, at least challenge them academically, with reasoned arguments.
    There are bullshit academics and real academics. Is Malcolm Harbrow an academic in sociology? What about gender studies? Or may be he’s an education expert? Sorry Toad, don’t try to glorify or put all academics as if they’re in par or the same. You can’t be serious if you regard an academic who studies paranormal as the same as one who studies/builds/develops ultra-fast optical telecommunication network? I suspect that Malcolm Harbrow is an academic in paranormal studies? That really makes him as an intellectual? I bet that the people in my village are more experienced in (supposedly) communicating with the dead than Malcolm Harbrow, because lots villagers believe in these sorts of mystics bullsh*t practice.
    If you’re going to defend academics here Toad, then defend the real ones and not bullsh*t. You know what I’m talking about here. I don’t have to list them down here for you.

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  26. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    As I said yesterday, he’s the only blogger I know of who wants the government to use it’s power to persecute people who’ve disagreed with it on political issues.

    Taking children is a favorite tactic of totalitarian regimes. It’s a strong incentive without the poor look of having people in prison.

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  27. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    We need to respect academics, while being still being critical of their work, because they are the people who have actually done the analysis.

    The problem with academics is that for most discplines, the analysis is *all* they’ve done. Is the analysis right or wrong? That’s often hard to tell. A builder on the other hand knows when he’s failed – his building falls down. But there is one avenue – open dialog – that can be used to test theoritical analysis, and Harbrow has shut that down after he didn’t like the results (i.e. he was clearly wrong).

    If you want to rubbish academics like Malcolm Harbrow, at least challenge them academically, with reasoned arguments.

    Partially, I agree. There are people in this thread who are just mouthing off. But often Harbrow’s just mouthing off himself.

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  28. SHG (316 comments) says:

    Doug said:

    Clare Curran blogs on Red Alert as though she is a telecommunications expert with no peer in New Zealand, Oh how wrong she has proved to be.

    Clare Curran blogs on Red Alert as though she is a 14-year-old girl who has just discovered Bebo. I applaud the Labour MPs for saying their 2c online, but Clare’s posts are cringingly awful.

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  29. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Rodders said of Idiot/Savant;

    He is entitled to write what he likes, but how many worthwhile blogs have a mystery author?

    How many worthwhile blogs don’t allow comments?

    It’s not a blog – it’s MSM via blogger.

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  30. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    SHG

    I don’t really have any issues that Idiot/Savant isn’t public with his identity. That’s his (or her) choice. Well reasoned and well articulated arguments stand or fall on their own merit and the person debating them is ultimately irrelevant in a blog setting.

    I regularly take a bath over my opinions and my positions. However the very process of debating them informs me as well as others how wrong [xyz] position was or how valid [abc] position is. This is what blogs are all about, interaction, cross pollination and diversity of opinions.

    I still hold that Idiot/Savant produces some very well thought out and very well articulated posts. But he/she also writes complete tripe that deserves a serve. I just don’t bother going there now, the good stuff gets echoed in places where it can be debated and crap stuff gets laughed at elsewhere as well.

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  31. SHG (316 comments) says:

    burt

    I should have said “some of Clare’s posts are cringingly awful”. To label them all as such is unfair. However it does not fill me with hope for Labour telecommunications policy when the Opposition spokesperson for telecommunications makes posts like this:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/2607632/Labour-floats-copyright-levy

    A charge on all Internet accounts should be considered to recompense copyright holders for downloaded material. GENIOUS.

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2010/05/27/lets-all-admit-it-our-internet-speeds-are-rubbish/

    Apparently there is a site on the interwebs called “speedtest.net” and it has revealed that NZ is actually geographically remote and its “bandwidth data” or something is, um, less good than that of someone somewhere else.

    THIS IS A CRISIS. IT IS UNACCEPTABLE THAT THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT HAS ALLOWED THIS SITUATION TO ARISE IN THE TWENTY FOUR MONTHS IT HAS BEEN IN POWER.

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2010/05/28/advertised-vs-actual-broadband-speed-there-is-a-difference/

    THE INTERTUBES ARE FAST IN JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA BUT SLOW HERE. LABOUR DEMANDS AN EXPLANATION.

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2010/07/03/beyond-lol

    TYPING LOL IS SILLY LOL

    And who could forget this poll on the front page of Red Alert:

    “Internet speeds: are they fast enough?”

    [ ] YES
    [ ] NO

    Two words: facepalm.

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  32. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    SHG

    A charge on all Internet accounts should be considered to recompense copyright holders for downloaded material.

    Is perfect Labour party policy. You see you could collect a big pot of money indiscriminately from everyone and then choose how and who you give it to. Brilliant.

    The woman has Labour PM written all over with guaranteed to create gold mine stealth tax machines that implement the glorious utopia vision of one size fits all.

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  33. KevinH (1,227 comments) says:

    Clare Curran obviously overlooked the fact that Labour supporters in those areas will also benefit from the early rollout and should feel privileged that they are the lucky ones.
    My own electorate Helensville isn’t even on the list yet and it is the P.M.’s electorate, so there is no favouritism there. Actually it can be a real bummer living in the P.M.’s electorate because to avoid claims of nepotism etc you find yourself last on the list for any new services.

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