Campbell v Brown

October 17th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

I agree with this column by Trans-tasman:

Whatever one feels about the particulars of the show – and we’ll get to this shortly – let us be grateful for one thing: it has been a long time since regular interviews with senior politicians had an impact on political discourse. Certainly Campbell’s 7pm opposition on the state owned television channel is so fluffy and light it makes the Beatrix Potter stories look like Dostoyevsky.

But Campbell did rather let him- self down. Advocacy journalism has its place but when you invite the other side on to put their side, they need to be given space to do so. Campbell’s questions all started from the premise oil exploration is intrinsically the devil’s work and will always produce a Gulf of Mexico spill. He also let it get very personal – but then so did Bridges – even more so.

Unfortunately Campbell followed it up the next night with a cringingly sympathetic interview with disgraced Auckland Mayor Len Brown. While Bridges, who was there to defend a policy decision, was treated like a Mr Big of drug dealing; Brown, whose moral choices have caused huge hurt to people who love him, was treated like an innocent victim of some unfortunate accident.

Advocacy journalism can be done in a professional and dis- passionate way: indeed, to work, it has to be. When it becomes personal, it loses not only integrity but effectiveness.

I think this piece is fair. did let it get personal and got too heated, but so did . And Campbell was incredibly unbalanced who as says treats oil companies as evil criminal syndicates. I have no problems with advocacy journalism, but don’t be surprised if people won’t go on their show if they think you’re not interested a balanced debate – just pilloring one side of the issue.

And the Len brown interview was disgracefully light. He avoided anything resembling a hard question, such as did Len Brown know who sent the threatening text to Chuang. It was like a NZ version of Oprah.

In a similar vein, Russell Brown has devoted an entire column to the Len Brown issue. Except in his 1,32 words on the issue he spends 1,181 words on the the so called centre-right people involved and just 51 words on the role of Len Brown. That is almost hysterically comical. The most Russell could muster was to say it was poor judgement to bonk at work and he can no longer play the family-man card!

 

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107 Responses to “Campbell v Brown”

  1. Redbaiter (7,605 comments) says:

    Lefrt wing control of the mainstream media is a terrible problem in NZ and a serious brake on the effective operation of our democracy.

    Kudos to Simon Bridges for showing some fight for once. He did a good job.

    That said, the National Party overall needs to be much more vocal in their support of Bridges.

    They need to stop pandering and cowering to media and realise it is their supporters in the streets they should be concerned about.

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  2. iMP (2,236 comments) says:

    There is a common perception in Canterbury, that “The Press” openly supports Lianne Dalziel and Peoples Choice Labour, is even told what to say/do (Not saying that is fact; just that its a common perception with some repeating anecdotal evidence to support that claim, and the coverage of selective candidates this last election in Chch to the point of hagiography, while others were ignored completely, does seem to support that).

    So, we have a rather partisan (hard on Nats, soft on Len) mainstream TV show supporting the Liberal/Labour spectrum in Auckl/nationwide. We also have a mainstream Mainland newspaper doing the same.

    Let’s own up, and admit, that the media are now a factor, and perhaps a considerable factor, in NZ politics and elections on a par with Unionism.

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  3. Redbaiter (7,605 comments) says:

    Be interesting to know how many NZ Herald “reporters” vote Labour/ Greens as opposed to National.

    Probably about 50/1 ratio.

    The Herald is just an uprated daily version of Green Left Weekly.

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  4. Manolo (13,357 comments) says:

    John Campbell is an unworthy journalist, who deserves no audience.

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  5. nickb (3,659 comments) says:

    Well then this story is interesting – NBR reporter fired for pro-Brown article

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9295668/NBR-journalist-fired-over-Brown-article

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  6. kowtow (7,614 comments) says:

    John Campbell is a self confessed avowedly leftist activist.

    What more needs to be said?

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  7. doggone7 (694 comments) says:

    A hard question such as “did Len Brown know who sent the threatening text to Chuang.” Had Campbell done that he probably would got some waffly answer like, “I have my suspicions.” Which probably would have been true. Brown would have been accused of obfuscating and trying to hint that he knew who it was, they had nothing to do with him and they had sinister motives. Had he suggested Cameron Slater or some contact of his he would have been condemned and likely been facing legal proceedings.

    Did the question need to be asked? Would there have been a cogent answer, could there have been? And since the question wasn’t asked has there appeared a likely source of threatening texts? Yes.

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  8. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  9. nickb (3,659 comments) says:

    That would be why the Council has just launched an inquiry into his behaviour Milt?

    – Conflict of interest in appointments to boards
    – Inappropriate sexual behaviour all over the workplace during work hours
    – Conflict of interest in giving references
    – Sending threatening messages to all and sundry

    Nice moral equivocation though.

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  10. Manolo (13,357 comments) says:

    The aptly named Psycho is a defender of all things left, who would excuse even Stalin and Mao crimes citing minor technicalities. Call him a troll.

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  11. greenjacket (416 comments) says:

    Questions I’d like journalist to ask Len Brown:
    1. Who sent the threatening texts to Bevan Chuang?
    2. Have any Council employees been sacked or disciplined for sexual activities at work? Given that you have had sex/masturbated in your office and other Council rooms, is that appropriate?
    3. Has he provided any assistance (financial, references, assistance with employment) to Bevan Chuang?
    4. He has paraded his family at numerous political occassions – given that he has used his family in his political campaign to create an impression as a family man, then doesn’t this mean that the affair is not a strictly private matter but goes to his credibility and trustworthiness?

    Instead we have John Campbell ask “You are a father, a son…?”

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  12. Inky_the_Red (735 comments) says:

    iMP (1,617) Says:
    October 17th, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    “There is a common perception in Canterbury, that “The Press” openly supports Lianne Dalziel and Peoples Choice Labour…”

    John, there was no alternative candidate in election. There were some decent people standing however none that was really was competing with Dalziel. Can you name a true alternative. The better ones were Lonsdale, Tindall (who is far to the left of Dalziel) (possibly McCarthy and Maxwell). The other are a mixture of well meaning, conspiracy theorists, fraudsters , nutters with an unpleasant racist thrown in.

    If she does what she stated the city will be in better hands. already had a “successful” meeting with Brownlee
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/local-elections-2013/9294528/First-Brownlee-council-meeting-very-positive

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  13. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    Maybe they’ll find something, in which case there’ll be a bit more to write about than Russell Brown did.

    – Sending threatening messages to all and sundry

    Nice libel, though.

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  14. nickb (3,659 comments) says:

    Truth and honest opinion are defences to defamation.

    Nice legal fail, though.

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  15. peterwn (3,157 comments) says:

    Even if the Mayor has breached the code of conduct, I fail to see what the Council can do about it apart from a vote of censure.

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  16. Scott (1,707 comments) says:

    I was ok with the John Campbell interview with Len Brown. Brown was a pretty broken man and sure it was a light and sympathetic interview. But I thought that was the decent thing to do by Campbell. Why boot the man when he is down? He admitted it and that was the point of the interview,a little charity does not go amiss at times.

    Regarding Simon Bridges I thought Simon was overly aggressive and pumped up at the start himself. Then Campbell got into him and as usual there was more heat than light. Campbell needs to let others bring their point of view and discuss the issues calmly. He seems to think oil companies are evil which I guess reflects his political views which are to the left of Labour and with a massive sympathy for the Greens.

    But his interviews over time have sometimes been disgraceful- his haranguing of Ken Ring stands out in my memory. Also his vendetta against Brian Tamaki. Campbell could use a big swallow of objectivity and grace when dealing with people methinks.

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  17. wiseowl (760 comments) says:

    I thought the Bridges interview was the best performance from a National Party MP for a long time.He appeared to be ready for the Campbell approach and wasn’t prepared to be talked over and attacked by Campbell.
    A great and surprising performance from Bridges.

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  18. Jimbob (640 comments) says:

    In these fence jumping cases, there is seldom just one mistress. The pressure is building and greasy Len’s façade is crumbing around him.
    Will he be gone by lunch time?

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  19. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    We had our reps driving Mazdas, since they put Campbell in one, we now use Toyotas. We have pulled any purchases that are supportive of his programme, and like anything advertised in Fairfax, blacklist them. If this little creep is retained, Tv3 should be avoided, he is a damn disgrace to media, and anyone supporting him is as bad as he.

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  20. unaha-closp (1,112 comments) says:

    Len Brown committed sexual harassment of an underling, abusing his position of power over her employment. He managed to cultivate a relationship where she was required to attend to his beck and call. He used her for sex for a couple of years, then cut her off when she started forming relationships outside of his control/got too old.

    If this were not a political farce, most of the writers at Public Address would be abhorred by the behaviour of Len Brown.

    However it is a political farce so team Public Address must portray Bevan Chuang as having been victimised by a vast array of people, but not by the man who abused his position over her.

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  21. itstricky (1,558 comments) says:

    Lefrt wing control of the mainstream media is a terrible problem in NZ and a serious brake on the effective operation of our democracy.

    Quite right, let’s correct it by randomly firing journalists that say the “wrong” thing. That’s far more fair & unbaised approach for the effective operation of democracy:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11141779

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  22. AG (1,776 comments) says:

    Except in his 1,32 words on the issue he spends 1,181 words on the the so called centre-right people involved and just 51 words on the role of Len Brown. That is almost hysterically comical.

    Kind of like the comparison between your coverage of John Banks and Len Brown, you mean?

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  23. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    It’s indisputable that John Campbell is basically New Zealand’s Sean Hannity.

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  24. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    Russell Brown got quite tetchy when someone asked him on twitter if he was related to Len :)

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  25. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    Truth and honest opinion are defences to defamation.

    Quite so. Good luck making any kind of case for truth, and “honest opinion” doesn’t extend to “my opinion is that Len Brown sent threatening text messages.”

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  26. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    The fallout continues to rain down on Auckland, if we’re allowed to use that metaphor for a sex scandal. Or should we adapt the old saying to: it never rains but it whores.

    Veteran reporter Jock Anderson has been axed from the NBR for a piece on Mayor Brown. The NBR boss didn’t like Jock’s piece, apparently (if we can use “”piece” for “report” in the midst of a sex scandal).

    Jock scotched! Or is it, Jock strapped!

    And the MSM. looking for a leftist response on the Brown scandal, repeatedly trots out Dunedin political science lecturer Bryce Edwards, once a Parliamentary staffer for the leftist Alliance party. What a forlorn task.

    Jock scotched on the front page at:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/

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  27. kiwi in america (2,436 comments) says:

    Campbell is a shameless bleeding heart liberal whose only definition of balance is New Zealand’s 14th Prime Minister! The show that Bridges was responding to was cherry-picked scaremongering advocacy journalism at its most blatantly partisan. Its no wonder Bridges came out firing. He did get a little bit heated but in doing so he put the blow torch right back onto Campbell exposing his partisan hackery for what it was and goaded him into some of the same nastiness that had Helen Clark walking out in 2002. People like Campbell would oppose oil drilling everywhere and anywhere in NZ in one of the more spectacular displays of NIMBYism and yet happily drive a car, use plastic and fly on planes all courtesy of evil big oil. More National Cabinet Ministers need to come on that show live and give that smart alec lefty another verbal owning like the one John Key gave him a few months ago over the GCSB.

    Campbell’s pathetically soft treatment of Brown was a stark contrast. Imagine if it was say Mayor John Banks caught doing all the same stuff – Campbell would’ve gone for the jugular.

    If TV3 was really interested in balance they’d alternate Campbell every other night with someone like Paul Henry. I’ve felt the same about Kim Hill – she tilts so far left she’s horizontal and her show is nothing more than a parade of guests who will support every left leaning cause (and oppose right leaning polices and guests) known to man. I wrote to the new Radio Pinko CEO suggesting she be balanced by someone like Bob Jones. Right leaning guests on either show need to forcibly call them out on their blatant bias because both Campbell and Hill pretend like they are just reasonable centrists speaking truth to power. Like all lefties, if you press them hard enough and long enough they will grudgingly admit they are closet socialists and their Fabianism colours their world view. If more guests would do this it would assist in pegging their comments, guest choice, subject matter and interview posture as the pure partisan advocacy ‘journalism’ that it is.

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  28. Richard Hurst (755 comments) says:

    itstricky (571) Says:
    October 17th, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    “This is the second time Mr Anderson has lost his job at the business paper.

    He was made redundant in April 2006, which led to a legal battle, before returning to the NBR in 2009″.

    I think this matter is less about supporting Mr Brown than about Mr Anderson and his ongoing personal conflict with his employer for many years.

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  29. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    NBR scotches Jock (further to my 5.48 post):

    Jock is now off the Hooerald web site front page and is at:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11141779

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  30. nickb (3,659 comments) says:

    Well lucky we have Milt QC here to clarify the law of defamation for us. I withdraw and apologise, if you’ll pardon the Len pun

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  31. SW (215 comments) says:

    Too right AG.

    Unless I’m mistaken, DPF has dedicated approxiamtely 5 blog posts containing 3,668 words on the John Banks/Kim Dotcom issue (spanning well over a year)

    I’m not sure if anyone can find a statement of DPF’s more critical of Banks than these:

    “I also don’t like John Banks lobbying for Kim DotCom to get a ministerial decision in his favour, when at a minimum he has good grounds to suspect that DotCom had donated to his campaign”.

    “It is worth noting that while John Banks broke no laws, I don’t regard it as a good thing that he signed a donation return saying he did not know who his donors were, when he was involved in personally receiving two of the donations. It was legal, yes, but it is not a good look.”

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  32. Yoza (1,536 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  33. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    SW (5.59 post)

    Trying to divert attention from the Auckland sex super-scandal to Banks and Herr Dotcom is as hopeless as ordering the incoming tide to reverse.

    Brown is a star!

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  34. lilman (890 comments) says:

    The whole saga stinks.
    The man is a liar and tonight on the radio he assured that there was no misuse of funds with regard to his conquest.
    OK,so Len is now telling the truth?
    Once a lair,always a lair.
    The person is reprehensible.
    Leave my family out of it,he asks for privacy.So what do we get today ,his daughter standing by her Dad.The fact that Lens council paid spin bitches see fit to involve his family to garner sympathy show how disgusting and perverted this sycophant really is.
    His wife should kick his arse to the curve,if he’s lucky he will land on a unmown burm and not get to badly damaged,well anymore than he currently is.

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  35. SW (215 comments) says:

    Adding to what I say above, I think in every post DPF mentions the actions of Banks alongside either Len Brown, Winston Peters or someone else. There is never much focus on the details of what Banks did. I’m not sure there is a post on Banks forgetting the helicopter ride for instance?

    In contrast, DPF has dedicated approximately 5 blog posts containing 4,535 words on Brown in a matter of days.

    There is also much that could be said about what DPF has left out (like yesterday claiming no politcal motivation and not correcting that today!).

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  36. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    If there is a conflict of interest in giving a reference to someone you later have sex with, who will give references to younger females in the future?

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  37. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    nickb, there was no conflict of interest in the board appointment as

    1. it occurred before they met
    2. it was made by someone else.

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  38. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    As to the sex at work angle, for most employees that means sex during work hours, mayors don’t really have set work hours -most work on and off throughout the day. They have engagements/events to attend, evening committee meetings etc.

    For some that means time out in the office, or out and about on a bike on a run at a gym etc or just social meetings during the usual work hours of most of us.

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  39. David Garrett (6,400 comments) says:

    Pscyho: Are you familiar with the concept of “conflict of interest”? How about ” imbalance of power”? Or “improper use of influence”?

    If you ask “AG” a.k.a Andrew Geddis (see his post above at 5.28) I am sure the professor will explain them to you.

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  40. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    Given the regret Bevan Chuang now has over this going public, can one wonder if the texts she received were really threatening, – she was advised that the matter going public would not be in her best interest and she now realises that this was the case.

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  41. RandySavage (196 comments) says:

    hey DPF how many Len Brown threads have you put up compared to John Banks threads? take a hard look at your self before throwing someone else on the fire
    Objectivity and impartiality are hardly your strong suits

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  42. duggledog (1,352 comments) says:

    Well if 3 News’ revelation that the government has already planned what to say in the event Brown resigns is anything to go on, I’d say he’s gonna go. This story is too good and has too many tasty avenues for the media to let go of it in the near future. His position is untenable now.

    Campbell’s interview with Brown was indeed tragic coming after the Bridges interview. I’ve never seen anything like it. No, actually, I have. On Campbell Live. He patently hates National or anyone laughably described as ‘right wing’ (National are not ‘right wing’)

    Campbell taints 3 News’ whole bulletin I reckon. So long as he’s there TV1 news has nothing to worry about, even the absurd Seven Sharp rates reasonably well in opposition, and I think it’s because creepy Campbell is so out of step with middle NZ. He’s the classic champagne socialist and Mediaworks is full of them. Kiwis don’t relate to people like him. No wonder they are in financial shit. How do you f*** up what is essentially yet another NZ duopoly?

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  43. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    Pscyho: Are you familiar with the concept of “conflict of interest”? How about ” imbalance of power”? Or “improper use of influence”?

    Imbalance of power? I admit, she’s experiencing a world of pain at the hands of people with the power to inflict it and a callous willingness to do so, but the people involved are messrs Slater, Cook and Wewege. She must regret her relationship with those gentlemen to a far greater extent than her relationship with the embarrassing Mr Brown, who, let’s face it, had far less power to harm her they turned out to have.

    The others are mere allegations until demonstrated otherwise. So far no-one’s demonstrated otherwise, but if your legal training and experience has led you to the professional opinion that trial by tabloid journos should be good enough for anyone, far be it from me, a layman, to question it.

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  44. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    Well if 3 News’ revelation that the government has already planned what to say in the event Brown resigns is anything to go on, I’d say he’s gonna go.

    I saw that 3News piece. The doc was headed something like “Lines for Len Brown’s resignation” and the first sentence began “If he stands down…” In other words, contingency planning – much like newspapers having obituaries at hand for famous people who are alive.

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  45. RandySavage (196 comments) says:

    any of you muppets out there that think John was rough on Bridges need to harden up
    Simon dug his own grave

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  46. kiwi in america (2,436 comments) says:

    RandySavage
    What’s the John Banks v Len Brown ratio at The Standard? Not wishing to shower twice today I haven’t been over there but I’ll venture to say its 5:1 and the Len Brown stuff all in support of 2 Minute Len and excoriating the right and Whale in particular.

    David Farrar a centre right blogger, long time National Party member and previous advisor to National Cabinet Ministers and writes from a centre-right point of view. Shock horror! Its not like he’s Red Radio NZ paid for by all taxpayers and yet still blatantly tilts left.

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  47. David Garrett (6,400 comments) says:

    Psycho: the professor is obviously busy over at the Standard, and I am a generous sort of chap, so I’ll do my imperfect best to fill in for him..

    A “conflict of interest” occurs when – as one example – Party A does a favour for Party B when Party A is ostensibily disinterested (means “impartial” not uninterested) in the transaction or matter, but in fact has something to gain from it himself…like oh, I dont know, the gratitude of a much younger woman

    an “imbalance of power” is when – say – the head of a large organization with the power to influence someone’s career – or even end it – uses his position to impress, overawe, or even frighten a subordinate into doing something for him

    “Improper use of influence”…pretty self explanatory…but that might include giving a glowing reference to someone which might or might not be accurate, knowing that that person will be hugely grateful, and do something for you in return..

    I am sure the professor could do much better, but I hope that helps…

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  48. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    So, you are going with trial by tabloid journo as a legal standard? Because those allegations you’re peddling are still just that.

    Also: given that Chuang wasn’t by any definition a “subordinate” of Len Brown, if your definition of ‘imbalance of power’ includes him it effectively means that NZ’s ruling class has a depressingly tiny pool of potential sex partners legitimately available to them. (No doubt they’re such Galtian pillars of integrity they stick with that pool and endure the resulting inbreeding.)

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  49. David Garrett (6,400 comments) says:

    Oh dear…fish, barrels…Len has ADMITTED sex with the woman (if you cant see she was a subordinate to the Mayor of the city I am wasting my time); and providing a reference for a job in a CCO at a time when he was having sex with her…Where are the “allegations” ??

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  50. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (786 comments) says:

    Unfortunately DPF, the people have fallen for Labour/Greens’ empty policies and pork barrel politics. The Roy-Morgan poll out today shows clear majority for a Labour/Green government. I don’t think John Key and National will be back for another term despite their hard work to steer NZ out of economic trouble during tough times.

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  51. Redbaiter (7,605 comments) says:

    “If you ask “AG” a.k.a Andrew Geddis ”

    You are such a silly spiteful little man Garret.

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  52. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    David Garrett undue use of influence and conflict of interest – and the CEO of Sky City providing testimony and John Banks voting in parliament?

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  53. David Garrett (6,400 comments) says:

    SPC: Yes, I think you have given an example of a conflict of interest!

    Russell:…You are so hurtful…Dont you find it more than a tad amusing that the good Prof is happy to use his real name at the Standard, but choses initials here so his commenting at “the sewer” as his comrades call KB dont show up?

    (Dont take my word for it; he once said here that that is why he comments thus)

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  54. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    Has it been determined in any past case that providing a reference to someone you had sex with is a conflict of interest.

    Has there been any determination in the past that a Mayor cannot recommend anyone for employment at the council or anyone at a council funded organisation – such as the Art Gallery – because it would be a conflict of interest/undue influence because of their status as Mayor If not, why is it in this case?

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  55. doggone7 (694 comments) says:

    Scott : “But his interviews over time have sometimes been disgraceful- his haranguing of Ken Ring stands out in my memory. Also his vendetta against Brian Tamaki. Campbell could use a big swallow of objectivity and grace when dealing with people methinks.”

    One of the problems in NZ is so many want blood on the floor when anyone is interviewed about something contentious. If the interviewer quietly lets some lying or conniving person paint a picture of themselves that shows what they are like but the jugular is intact, the criticism is that they should have asked the hard questions and been more demanding. If they get assertive they are called rude.
    When an interviewee starts talking over questions because they have their own agenda the feedback is the interviewer “got owned.”
    People are not prepared to see that the message might be more in the way the interviewee responds than what they actually say.

    So we get what some want by way of tv interviewing. Politicians don’t appear unless they are secure in the knowledge that they will come out of it on their own terms or they need the appearance more than they need a non-appearance. Campbell is caught up in that reality as is his tv company. Mitigating against him or them being trend-breakers or pioneers towards intelligent productive television is a massive lowest common denominator environment.

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  56. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,811 comments) says:

    Didn’t TV3 go bust again just recently? Not surprising when John Campbell is the best they’ve got and Russell Brown is a fully state funded “pretend journalist” used to fill the dead air.

    In the marketplace of ideas TV3 is a fail.

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  57. AG (1,776 comments) says:

    @kia,

    David Farrar a centre right blogger, long time National Party member and previous advisor to National Cabinet Ministers and writes from a centre-right point of view.

    Right. And more power to him for holding those views, which inevitably colour his perspective of this little storm (and other issues).

    But for him to then find it “hilarious” that a centre left blogger, long time pro-Labour supporter and generally Brown fanboi downplays Brown’s actions and focuses on those of Auckland’s centre right oddballs is itself … hilarious.

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  58. AG (1,776 comments) says:

    @David Garrett,

    I am sure the professor could do much better, but I hope that helps…

    Not at all, David. Great definitions. Probably don’t really help much, but, because now everyone will just argue if they apply to Brown and Chaung’s situation. For instance, did Brown have “the power to influence [Chaung’s] career – or even end it …”, given that she was a member of the opposition C&R ticket?

    So half the work’s done. The harder bit remains.

    Yours,
    Andrew Geddis,
    Professor of Law,
    University of Otago

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  59. Redbaiter (7,605 comments) says:

    “Dont you find it more than a tad amusing that the good Prof is happy to use his real name at the Standard, but choses initials here”

    I don’t give a fuck what he calls himself as long as he is consistent. Most people who read Kiwiblog have known who AG was for years. Only you you pathetic spiteful little man see fit to make an issue of it. This is the blogosphere, not letters to the editor, something navel gazing internet troglodytes like you always seem to have trouble with.

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  60. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    , not letters to the editor,

    Red , go on ,tell us again how your last letter writing exercise to Gordon McLauchlan went.

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  61. BigFish (132 comments) says:

    People on the extreme right will wrongly claim that moderately right wing media is left wing.
    People on the extreme left will wrongly claim that moderately left wing media is right wing.

    And both sides will claim neutral media is biased against them.

    One thing that is important is that media stick to the facts, do their homework and present all information so that people can make up their own minds about the issues.
    We don’t need to be told what our opinions should be.

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  62. David Garrett (6,400 comments) says:

    Andrew: touche Sir….

    I think he had the power to influence – if not end – her career at the Council owned Art Gallery didnt he? I wasn’t referring to her – sadly now stillborn – political career….

    “navel gazing internet troglodyte”…whew!

    but you make an interesting point….30 years ago newspapers – at least in the provinces – also published letters from “Ratepayer” and “Mother of Waitara” they don’t any more…I believe in time the ‘net will evolve the same way…but everyone knows who you are Russell, so it’s all a bit moot in your case…

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  63. wiseowl (760 comments) says:

    K in A .
    You forgot Laidlaw. On par with Hill.

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  64. AG (1,776 comments) says:

    @David Garrett

    “Dont you find it more than a tad amusing that the good Prof is happy to use his real name at the Standard, but choses initials here”

    (Sighs and rolls eyes at being the subject of a playground squabble between two rather lonely old men)

    Kiwiblog was the first site I started commenting on (a tribute to its status in NZ’s blogosphere, no?). This was when my first child was born, I was sitting up late at nights doing feeds, and found a new way to amuse myself by being rude to people who were rude back. As I was a newbie, I used my initials because I was initially cautious about the internet trail that might be left. Having now graduated to being an inveterate commentator at lots of different places (read, an outright pest on multiple threads), as well as a blog author myself, I no longer really care. So now I use my full name (instead of the very hard to crack code I use here).

    I guess I could take the time and effort to open up a new Kiwiblog account under my own name, but as no-one but David Garrett seems to care what I call myself, I don’t think I’ll bother.

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  65. David Garrett (6,400 comments) says:

    Wiseowl: I actually think Laidlaw is way worse than Hill…she has had her moments of glory….Pissing John Pilger right off was one…but the worst of the lot is Lyn Freeman who sometimes fills in for Kathryn Ryan…

    As I said the other day, watch this space for a spanking the BSA is about to give her and RNZ on a programme on the effects of 3S they did in May…

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  66. David Garrett (6,400 comments) says:

    Now now Andrew…you are being a little economical with the truth…but then you are a leftie, so I guess it comes naturally…you DID used to comment here as Andrew Geddis, but then mysteriously changed to “AG”….in an unguarded moment – perhaps during one of those late night feeds when tiredness affected you? you explained it was because you did not wish your name to show up on google searches…Funnily enough, you have no such worries about the Standard…

    but you are right; it’s a silly little point really…I guess I am guilty of “said all there is to say-itis” about Lascivious Len and the unenviable position he has got himself into…

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  67. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    said all there is to say-itis” about Lascivious Len and the unenviable position he has got himself into…,

    Na, several days left on this one yet, lots of unravelling yet. Was I the only person who heard Shane Jones defending Len on the radio this morning- very nearly drove off the motorway laughing.

    The real winner in this is Silent T everyone seems to have forgotten about his being an advisor to Ghandi and formulating the Marshall Plan

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  68. AG (1,776 comments) says:

    @David,

    … you DID used to comment here as Andrew Geddis, but then mysteriously changed to “AG”….in an unguarded moment – perhaps during one of those late night feeds when tiredness affected you? you explained it was because you did not wish your name to show up on google searches…Funnily enough, you have no such worries about the Standard.

    This really is ridiculous.

    1. I have only ever had one Kiwiblog account, and it’s always been AG.

    2. Yes – when I very first started commenting on this blog, I worried about google searches. So I chose “AG” as my handle. Then I stopped caring as I began to comment more widely. As I said in my last comment.

    So you appear to be calling me a liar for saying that I did exactly what you accuse me of doing. Which is a bit weird.

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  69. RandySavage (196 comments) says:

    garretts on the cheap wine again
    Pilger wiped the floor repeatedly with Hill and made her look like the overrated hack she is

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  70. David Garrett (6,400 comments) says:

    Randy: Actually I only ever used to drink the ones with a cork! But I very rarely touch the stuff now…even one or two “to be social” knocks me around a bit…sadly I am not Peter Pan, and age has wearied me….

    PEB: I didn’t say the story didnt still have legs! Just that I have said anything very useful I could say on the subject…

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  71. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    DG

    Don’t sell yourself short, theres lots more you can add. Len is gold.

    Its got it all. Sex, perhaps some financial irregularity, political irregularity, dollops of the great malaise of modern life-selfishness to the nth degree.

    This may open “the dinner” on the credit card. The shit got away with that last time, perhaps some enterprising young hack will start asking a few hard questions about that.

    Not that I want him to resign, I want him there, the poster boy of the left-weak ,stupid and totally ineffectual
    Theres Len and daylight-Bankseys not even on the home straight as a story .

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  72. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    And Campbell was incredibly unbalanced who as Trans-tasman says treats oil companies as evil criminal syndicates.

    Oil companies are, imo.

    Just look at petrol pricing. When one raises its price, the others all follow suit. It is just a fucking cartel – no genuine competition at all.

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  73. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    (if you cant see she was a subordinate to the Mayor of the city I am wasting my time)

    I can’t see it, no. As AG has pointed out, she was a member of the opposing C&R ticket – none of whom likely considered themselves “subordinates” of the Mayor. As an employee of the art gallery, she was employed by the council, not the Mayor. Any subordination she felt to him was of an imaginary nature.

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  74. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Psycho

    Please , she stood in this latest election after he’s finished nailing her.

    You can be as disingenuous as you like but if the mayor give you a reference it sort of pressures the interviewer a tad don’t cha think?

    So she’s employed by the council not the mayor big fucking deal. The chicks a unit no two ways about that , which make len look even worse because if he’ didn’t pick up she was a bunny boiler he’s way too dumb to be mayor.

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  75. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    This is opportune. The musical geniuses behind Rebecca Black have released their next cult hit and it’s almost a tribute to Len Brown and his involvement with Auckland’s Chinese community. It even has Chinese geishas, just like Brown’s world.

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  76. AG (1,776 comments) says:

    As an employee of the art gallery, she was employed by the council, not the Mayor.

    Not even. As an employee of the art gallery, she was employed by the art gallery … a Council Controlled Organisation (CCO). In turn, CCOs are governed by their boards of directors or trustees, and operate at arm’s length to the council.

    It’s pretty much the same as if someone the PM was sleeping with applied for a job at NZ Post and he gave her a reference for that role. Yes, the Government “owns” NZ Post, and yes, the board of NZ Post are (in the final analysis) answerable to the Government. But she wouldn’t be working “for the Government”.

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  77. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Ag

    You may teach semantics and good on you but

    http://www.aucklandartgallery.com/about-us/history-of-the-gallery/auckland-council

    Auckland Council has been continuously responsible for the Gallery’s operation and development of its heritage listed building ever since, including a number of incremental modernisations, a major extension to the original building in 1971 and the advent of the NEW Gallery in 1995.

    While others have generously met the capital cost of these more recent expansions – the P.A. Edmiston Trust, and a coalition of supporters led by Jenny Gibbs and Alan Gibbs, respectively – the council has remained principal funder and manager for more than 115 years.

    Auckland Council also provides a recurrent annual grant to develop the Gallery’s collection – ensuring the currency and growth of its major asset and acting as a catalyst to the support of others – as well as undertaking its other capital works and renewal programmes.The Gallery is governed by Regional Facilities Auckland Limited (CCO Auckland Council). It employs a full time equivalent staff of 68 and has a total staff of about 100. While the council provides operational and capital works funding the Gallery earns 33% of its net operating cost annually.

    The Council directly funds 67% of the Gallery every year so Len has a big fucking say. I hope your lectures are a bit sharper than your comments.

    A wee bit bit different than your NZ Post scenario and rather tragic attempt to mention the Prime Minister

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  78. swan (659 comments) says:

    Surely he will resign after this though, or is he really going to hang on and hope it all blows over?

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  79. thePeoplesFlag (172 comments) says:

    “…Except in his 1,32 words on the issue he spends 1,181 words on the the so called centre-right people involved and just 51 words on the role of Len Brown…”

    Russell Brown can right whatever he likes on his blogsite, just like you. Secondly, it astonishes me that your one comment on the morals of Cameron Slater – no stranger to infidelity and clearly telling a pack of lies over whole aspects of this “story” – is limited to your musing on his heroic levels of evidence. The right thought it had a slam dunk, but this story is blowing up in it’s face big time. So here comes David Farrar, the man with a vacuum where the rest of us kepp our morality, to attack journalists. And note I said journalists – unlike the owner of this blog, a mere pollster and hired hack of the National party.

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  80. swan (659 comments) says:

    PeoplesFlag,

    As much as lefties like you try to spin it, Brown is seriously damaged for the rest of his tenure. Lame duck. The jobs done. He would actually be better off to resign and try to get a fresh mandate.

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  81. RightNow (6,657 comments) says:

    I won’t be home for dinner, I’m having some asian at the office.

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  82. unaha-closp (1,112 comments) says:

    I can’t see it, no. As AG has pointed out, she was a member of the opposing C&R ticket – none of whom likely considered themselves “subordinates” of the Mayor. As an employee of the art gallery, she was employed by the council, not the Mayor. Any subordination she felt to him was of an imaginary nature.

    And a member of the Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel appointed by the mayor of Auckland. Nice, reasonably good profile gig for community activists, $235.00 per meeting attended, providing strategic guidance to the mayor. Directly subordinate to the mayor.

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  83. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Wait – what?

    How is it correct to compare the total number of words written by DPF about John Banks v Len Brown to the imbalance in a single article by Russell Brown? The point is that the latter was solely focussed on the Len Brown issue and (somehow) mostly paints the mayor as the victim in all this. Not somebody who, by his own admission, had an inappropriate relationship with a woman many years his junior who was an employee of an organisation he has governance over – on the time and in the property of that organisation.

    In the same way, it’s not valid to compare DPF’s coverage of both issues (in toto) to John Campbell’s pathetic more-in-sorrow-than-anger interview with L. Brown the other night.

    It is faulty analogical reasoning.

    R. Brown’s article calls to mind the joke about the question put to Mary Todd Lincoln, ” “Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?”

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  84. thePeoplesFlag (172 comments) says:

    “…As much as lefties like you try to spin it…”

    We aint spinning it –

    “…The latest Roy Morgan poll has Labour 37%, Green 12.5%, and National down to 41.5%. As Roy Morgan says, this is the closest Labour has been since 2008. Morgan’s comment:

    ” If a National Election were held now the latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows that a Labour/ Greens alliance would win easily….”

    Hence the hysterical breakdown of Simon Bridges, Hooton going nuts on Radio NZ, and the frantic scrabbling in the sewer by Slater and David Farrar, and the fact that Key clearly doesn’t give a fuck anymore – look to see him clocking up the free airmiles while can, a sure sign of impending political defeat.

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  85. AG (1,776 comments) says:

    Calm down, PauleastBay … you’re overreacting and being a bit of an egg.

    PsychoMilt referred to Chaung being “a council employee”. I simply pointed out she isn’t, because Auckland Art Gallery is run by an entity other than Council. And that is all – I didn’t say it made Brown’s actions OK.

    The Council directly funds 67% of the Gallery every year so Len has a big fucking say. I hope your lectures are a bit sharper than your comments.

    Fine. We’ll swap NZ Post for Solid Energy or KiwiRail. Does the fact that these SOEs are heavily reliant on Government funding make the analogy more palatable to you?

    A wee bit bit different than your NZ Post scenario and rather tragic attempt to mention the Prime Minister

    You’re being oversensitive. I applied an analogy, and referred to “the PM” generically. I did not mean to imply our current PM is in any way, shape or form anything other than the good husband and Dad that he is (and I mean that honestly – I know folk who work with him).

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  86. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    the closest Labour has been since 2008.

    who won in 2008?

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  87. Richard Hurst (755 comments) says:

    Mayor Brown: Bringing new meaning to the term- ” Just spray and walk away!”

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  88. Nostalgia-NZ (4,909 comments) says:

    Paul’s on a roll today.

    In the meantime I’m beginning to think that Len’s life is going to unfold rather more dramatically than it has to this point. It seems he has duped many, himself included.

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  89. swan (659 comments) says:

    Nice changing of the topic PF.

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  90. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Ag

    No I’m not, you have made statements that are clearly incorrect -the Art Gallery has been managed by the council for 115 years, the council is and has been the principal funder for 115 years. Thats the council AG not a board whose job it is to buy and arrange display of collections.

    The Auckland Art Gallery is a council entity and as such any reference given by the mayor puts enormous pressure on the Art gallery person hiring because AG the council is the PRINCIPAL FUNDER so it would be best not to piss off your Principal Funder don’t you think.

    You do not or should not be giving references to anyone for a job when the position is in a council job reliant on funding directly from a council vote and thats without the fact you’re shagging the person you have given the reference to.

    Its all about perception, thats why the Police do not give references when you leave. Serioulsy if you cannot see that there is clearly a massive conflict here I despair and thats without the sex angle. It is desperately unfair on the person doing the hiring let alone an outstanding candidate for a job who does not have the reference on the Mayors letter head. Its the real world AG

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  91. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    I think we have to face the fact that it’s more likely than not that there will be a Labour government after next year. The thought distresses me. Not Cunliffe so much – the man simply can’t be trusted but that has it’s upsides. He will do what it takes to be elected and the realities of NZ politics would ordinarily be counted on to encourage him to betray his base and embark on relatively modest reforms in terms of the overall structure of the NZ economy. That will hold the country back but it won’t destroy it.

    What worries me – and esp. if the Greens and Hone Mugabe are in the mix, is that he will offset that betrayal by turning on the spigot of low quality public spending, turning Wellington into a boomtown again and hiring a whole lot of unproductive workers to spend money on wasteful, low calibre public programs.

    What seems to be letting National down – IMHO – is a failure to be able to convey any big ideas for governing that attract broad support. It’s not on the right side of many 60% issues. For example, if it were to go into the election promising a referendum on race preferences and the Maori seats, I think it would probably receive a surge in support. But that’s not where the National Party is at and it’s alliance with the Maori Party doesn’t allow for that.

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  92. unaha-closp (1,112 comments) says:

    If you want to witness a bit of irony, there is a delightfully descriptive post on Public Address written by Emma Hart called “The Creeper and The Excuser” – 2 September 2013 – get it quick before it is purged.

    Emma Hart describes the Creeper as a man who uses Len Browns pick up moves. Emma Hart explains how society keeps this quiet and thus allows the Creeper to form unequitable relationships with his victims. Emma Hart advocates strongly that the behaviour of Creepers should be exposed at every opportunity.

    But Emma Hart then goes on to describe the other villian of the piece – the Excuser. The Excuser slut shames the victim, makes light of the abuse of power society affords the Creeper.

    Bevan Chuang has come out and made a public statement that she felt used by Mayor Len Brown, who induced a one sided relationship exploiting his position of power. Exactly what Emma Hart was advocating just a month ago.

    Russell Brown has written a marvellous example of slut shaming portraying Bevan Chuang as weak willed, easily manipulated fool – in fact hardly worth listening to.

    Len “The Creeper” Brown is being Excused in the most delightful way.

    And Emma Hart – she is talking a good deal of STFU to anyone who disagrees with Russell Brown. Good team player that she is.

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  93. Nostalgia-NZ (4,909 comments) says:

    It could be very simple Cato. If Key has indeed been ‘Labour Lite,’ then it appears an accidental or deliberate copy has taken place resulting in Cunliffe presenting as ‘National Lite.’ Smart move by any calculation.

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  94. itstricky (1,558 comments) says:

    For example, if it were to go into the election promising a referendum on race preferences and the Maori seats

    ’cause that worked so well the last time with the other adulterer. Ho ho ho, you crack me up.

    S*t we’re losing! Pull out the race card! (isn’t that what most commentators here think of the left?)

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  95. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Actually I don’t think they should do it. And I don’t they will do it – it’s not where they are at.

    However, I do think it’s an example of a policy that has broad support throughout the country. It worked very well in 2005 and required gazumping my the interest free student loan policy.

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  96. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    All I’m trying to point out is that, while the bien-pensants support their retention, the vast majority of New Zealanders (70%, I think) want those seats abolished. National needs to adopt policies with that scale of support if it wants to foot it. I don’t think it’s enough to simply point to the undesirability of Russell Norman.

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  97. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    unaha-closp>Russell Brown has written a marvellous example of slut shaming portraying Bevan Chuang as weak willed, easily manipulated fool – in fact hardly worth listening to.

    I followed DPF’s link to Russell Brown’s Public Address post and came away feeling a bit dirty after reading the post and the comments. It was like I’d popped out of a time warp in the 1950s and all the people around me were members of the Misogyny Club.

    Cheung may be naive and a bit eccentric. But Len Brown was the creepy old guy in a position of power who groomed and exploited her, initially using the pretext that he was interested in her work. He is entirely to blame for the situation, but the Public Address commenters think she is at fault, and she should feel shame for talking about what Brown has done rather than keeping his sleazy behaviour a secret. Several commenters remarked that her political career is over. But not his! He exploits a vulnerable council worker and has a few uncomfortable days and looks contrite for some weak questioning on Campbell Live. But she is the one who is apparently untouchable now, personally and professionally.

    The Public Address crowd don’t have double standards… they have negative standards regarding women.

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  98. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Well said.

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  99. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    I thought the Bridges interview was the best performance from a National Party MP for a long time.

    You need to get out more. He came across as completely lacking dignity and cool. Can you imagine Steven Joyce losing his rag like that? No, because Joyce is a competent politician. Note that when Key in most people’s opinion managed to get one over on Campbell, he wasn’t shouty or overbearing.

    He will do what it takes to be elected and the realities of NZ politics would ordinarily be counted on to encourage him to betray his base and embark on relatively modest reforms in terms of the overall structure of the NZ economy. That will hold the country back but it won’t destroy it.

    That’s unlikely to happen. For those with ears to hear, Cunliffe has signalled exactly what he’s going to do. He’s lost patience with neoliberal pieties and will govern accordingly. He’s already put the Reserve Bank on notice and told the power companies he’s going to fuck them up.

    Every few decades there is a paradigm change. We’re living through the early stages of one right now.

    What seems to be letting National down – IMHO – is a failure to be able to convey any big ideas for governing that attract broad support. It’s not on the right side of many 60% issues. For example, if it were to go into the election promising a referendum on race preferences and the Maori seats, I think it would probably receive a surge in support.

    Go ahead, make Dave’s day. I can’t think of anything that would cheer him up more than National committing suicide like that.

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  100. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    Surprisingly, John Key has been one of the most reasonable people about the whole Brown affair.

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  101. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    It was an example, not one I think National could pull off under the present leadership. But I think the peril for the Government is that it’s put itself into a position where it doesn’t have a lot of 60%+ issues on its side – it’s already spent a lot of its political capital.

    But listen, my friend, if you think David Cunliffe is really going to upend what you call the ‘neo-liberal pieties’ but what’s really just the now established economic reality then I prophesy that you are going to be sorely disappointed. We are simply far too small and dependant on outside trade to risk that kind of thing. I don’t trust the man but he’s not about to embark on a program of radical autarky – he’s not Merita Turei.

    Cunliffe’s government will be like Congressional Republicans – he talks a good game for the troops but when push comes to shove – he’ll blink.

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  102. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,563 comments) says:

    Oh come on. It’s Russell fucking Brown. Leftard and self named media pundit. Spends his life looking for whatever taxpay money he can to get himself on the air. Why bother with anything he says?

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  103. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    Kiwi in America at 5.54 posted:

    …Kim Hill – she tilts so far left she’s horizontal…

    What the hell is going on Saturday mornings at Radio NZ’s Labour Programme? Is someone putting vodka in the coffee?

    Gotta admit, it sometimes sounds like it.

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  104. itstricky (1,558 comments) says:

    It worked very well in 2005 and required gazumping my the interest free student loan policy.

    Disagree. Two distinct groups; one of whom would have voted for the party they did regardless (and also would be far more likely, on balance, to want to keep the seats anyway).

    The vast majority of New Zealanders (70%, I think) want those seats abolished

    Doubtful. Very doubtful. Happy to read your references.

    Have a merry weekend

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  105. Dean Papa (736 comments) says:

    I don’t like Russell Brown. He banned me from his website, the precious tosser.

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  106. dave_c_ (214 comments) says:

    So will the next interview between Campbell and Brown be:
    Campbell: “I thought you told us that it would be business as usual tomorrow”? “I’ve got a council to run”, “What happened”?
    Brown: “Oh did I”

    I somehow doubt it – no point in interviewing him anymore – cant believe a word he says

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  107. Paulus (2,500 comments) says:

    It must be many years since I watched TV3 or John Campbell so easy to ignore them both correspondingly.

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