Ben Uffendell op ed in the Herald

August 31st, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Ben Uffendell from Party writes in the NZ Herald:

How you perceive this election really depends on your political allegiance.

If you’re a big National supporter, you’ve got nothing to worry about, and subsequently nothing to invest in.

If you hate National, there’s a high chance you think this is the most important election of our generation, that this is the most right-wing government in New Zealand history, and there’s a vague chance your house is bugged.

I envy you in your fantasy world, Martyn Bradbury, because if you’re absolutely anyone else, it’s boring.

Heh.

And it’s not just boring because it isn’t truly competitive; it’s boring because the issues I heard discussed on Thursday night were the same four or five issues I’ve heard discussed for the entirety of my life, and the changes being proposed in those areas – while significant in the context of the status quo – are actually very minor in the scale of possible change. Sometimes I just wish John Key would come out and say: “We’re selling it. We’re selling it all. Everything. To Burger King.”

McDonalds surely!

Perhaps I just wish our elections were more ambitious, less safe, bold, with no pale pastels.

There was a time when we had the courage and lack of foresight to completely overhaul our social and economic structures.

Whatever happened to that? We once had a Prime Minister who called an election while drunk. How have we fallen so far since then?

If it takes six years to balance a budget, and another six years to build some houses, then I’ll be long dead before anything exciting or significant happens.

Oh might not be that long. Think if there is a Government propped up by the Internet Mana Party and a Judge rules that Kim Dotcom can be extradited, meaning the decision then goes to the Minister of Justice.  Then you’ll have fireworks!

And if National or Labour don’t want to commit to actually changing anything, they could at least make us look interesting. Rebrand.

Get rid of the kiwi and replace it with a tiger or something. When we look at ourselves, do we really see a bird that can’t fly? Actually, maybe.

Or how about replacing the national anthem with something that has a smooth, hip-hop beat?

No one listens to the old one in their spare time, and half of it I don’t even understand what the words mean.

Hell, I don’t understand the Maori version, either.

Vote Civilian for a new national anthem!

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36 Responses to “Ben Uffendell op ed in the Herald”

  1. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    For me, the most striking thing about the election campaigns has been its demonstration of how pliable we humans are.

    On the one hand we had Canterbury students rallied by the indomitable Sam into the Student Army, helping clean up Christchurch suburbs after the quake.

    On the other hand, in recent days we had similar-looking young people whipped up in the Herman Youth Movement chanting f*** John Key as though they were at some 1930s European rally.

    The difference between civilisation and chaos is frail.

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  2. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    “Oh might not be that long. Think if there is a Government propped up by the Internet Mana Party and a Judge rules that Kim Dotcom can be extradited, meaning the decision then goes to the Minister of Justice. Then you’ll have fireworks!”

    … except that you have actually unintentionally wound it up in a nutshell. The example you cite is exactly what the electoral game has become- scandal and personalities, the circus on centre stage that the media gleefully splashes on the front page with colour photos.

    The last major policy shift that I can recall as being bold was ‘Working for Families’ – multi-billion dollar policy that fundamentally changed how a large chunk of our population lives. Tinkering with tax policy, arguing as to how to subsidise housing at the fringes, government department restructures, selling down some SOE’s, they have all been quite modest and sensible rather than bold and ground breaking.

    Bring on the llamas and free icecream!

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  3. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    The other revelation for me is how unashamedly leftist the MSM has become. It no longer tries to disguise any bias towards the Left.

    This is reinforced as I write this, by Dann on Q and A letting Parker interrupt Bill English as he answers Dann’s questioning.

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  4. Redbaiter (8,932 comments) says:

    Thirty six thousand dollars of taxpayer money has been granted to this prog idiot and I am no longer amused.

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  5. Black with a Vengeance (1,865 comments) says:

    Aint sayin nuthin slick to an oilcan.

    A lunatic coalition that represents the views of an increasingly lunatic society is just the tonic.

    Who doesn’t love fireworks ?

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  6. Black with a Vengeance (1,865 comments) says:

    Babyboomer issues still dominating in a world that’s passing them by.

    Oh so fucking irrelevant, but still holding the purse strings and i’m afarid its gonna be case of prying them out of their cold dead hands.

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  7. trout (939 comments) says:

    What unadulterated claptrap. This piece would be no different if it had been written 4 elections ago (perhaps it was). Another effort to fill space when there is nothing to say. What is missed is that this election is exactly what is demanded by the ‘now’ generation; personalities, excitement, lies, deception, subterfuge, protests, and even vandalism. Just like the movies. And the MSM lap it all up because it fills space (unfortunately the ‘now’ generation do not read papers but they do take news online). And they probably will not vote. The older generation are, of course, getting tired of the ‘circus’ because they believe it obscures the ‘real’ stuff. But for them it is also a game of opposing sides with a winner and a loser – they want their side to win of course. They are reluctant to give up on the idea of an election campaign being a contest of ideas rather than a version of reality TV.

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  8. Yoza (1,879 comments) says:

    The election was a tired retread of previous efforts until Hager lobbed Dirty Politics into the mix, John Key doesn’t look anywhere as slick as he did before the release of Slater’s email collection.

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  9. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    trout

    ‘This piece would be no different if it had been written 4 elections ago’ ….

    That’s kinda the whole point. If it takes six years to balance a budget, and another 6 years to build some houses…. There’s 4 elections right there !

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  10. Black with a Vengeance (1,865 comments) says:

    And you can lob any national party post election horsetrading with winnie as lunatic in the extreme also.

    Oh so irrelevant winnie. If he were a horse the impotent gelding would have been put down years ago.

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  11. Simon (725 comments) says:

    “a Government propped up by the Internet Mana Party”

    At least internet mana will have gone through an election process. As opposed to the National govt propped by Whail Oil.

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  12. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Yoza talks of “tired retread” (9.43 post) as he pumps up Hager the Horrible, dealer in stolen information.

    Hager is a “tired retread”, Yoza. He did the same thing to Don Brash, and got away with it because National insiders swallowed Hager’s lies that the information then was from an inside leak rather than a hack.

    This time, regardless of the election, there’s got to be a hunt for the criminal behind the hacks, and my money is on it being a Leftist in, or formerly in the GCSB.

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  13. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Whichever way you look at it the public have an interesting dilemma. Much like a legal case, evidence has been produced here that has been illegally obtained. Context is missing, do we accept it in our judgement or reject it ?

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  14. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Simon

    Look um, it may come as a shock to you but both the National party and WhaleOil blog have been around since before the last election.

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  15. Black with a Vengeance (1,865 comments) says:

    Sometimes the end does justify the means. In the greater public good, of course.

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  16. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Black with a Vengeance posted at 10.02:

    Sometimes the end does justify the means.

    From the moral philosophy of the Bolsheviks, the Stalinists, Hitler’s National Socialists , the Maoists, of ISIS, of Tojo and the Japanese Militarists, of Pol Pot .. all of whom believed they were acting in the public interest.

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  17. Black with a Vengeance (1,865 comments) says:

    Oh, despite the rhetoric, i don’t think they were acting in anbody’s interest other than their own Jack.

    Do you believe your own hype or just like the sound of your own voice echoing the party line?

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  18. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Black with a Vengeance posted at 10.34:

    Do you believe your own hype…

    When you’ve got no argument to put up, you turn ad hominem, BwaV.

    You’ve got no premises, no logic, no grasp of moral philosophy, really nothing at all to put up.

    Try the Standard. The debating standard there’s easier for political toddlers.

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  19. Keeping Stock (10,342 comments) says:

    @ Redbaiter (9.25am) – agreed. The joke is on us poor, long-suffering taxpayers again, and it’s not remotely funny.

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  20. Black with a Vengeance (1,865 comments) says:

    Ah so you just like the sound of your own voice echoing the party line then Jack.

    Thanks for clearing that one up.

    As you were, on your bike, gets to stepping and all that. Theres a good lad.

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  21. CharlieBrown (1,012 comments) says:

    “that this is the most right-wing government in New Zealand history”

    This is signs that John Key has moved NZ permanently to the left until it really hits the fan and austerity measures are required. His legacy is a whole generation of people living under socialism without knowing of an actual alternative, they think that as labour are now further to the left that this makes the current government right wing. His achievements are nothing but personal.

    If you doubt me, look at the wiki page on the Helen Clark led government, and look at the governments changes. Then look at the John Key led national/labour governments wiki page, look at the policy changes…. there are very very very few, the policies of Clark remain largely unchanged ie, only tinkered with. Even the tax take. The current government literally are lazy seat warmers doing nothing until a more left wing government comes in.

    John Key was the best thing for socialism in NZ. Such a crying shame.

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  22. Mr_Blobby (174 comments) says:

    Does have a feeling of something.

    How did we drop so low that all we hear from politicians, bureaucrats, councils and assorted over educated over paid idiots is some sort or Orwellian double speak and word games.

    What happened to the honorable people who could get up and speak the truth.

    Regardless of the consequences.

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  23. Yoza (1,879 comments) says:

    Jack5 (4,851 comments) says:
    August 31st, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Yoza talks of “tired retread” (9.43 post) as he pumps up Hager the Horrible, dealer in stolen information.

    Hager is a “tired retread”, Yoza.

    From the inside cover of Dirty Politics:

    Secrets and Lies, the anatomy of an anti-environmental PR campaign (with Bob Burton), Craig Potton Publishing, 1999. ‘An invaluable study of how PR is used by corporations to manipulate public opinion and subvert democracy.’
    -Edward S. Herman, co-author of Manufacturing Consent

    Other People’s wars, New Zealand in Afghanistan, Iraq and the war on terror, Craig Potton Publishing, 2011. ‘Nicky Hager has more knowledge and understanding of the American intelligence world in Afghanistan – both its good and its very bad points – than any reporter I know’
    -Seymore Hersh, investigative journalist.

    Like many who write on the state/corporate propaganda nexus Hager is consistent and unrelenting. The need to comprehend how people are manipulated through highly resourced and widespread PR campaigns is intrinsic to understanding why our ‘free and democratic’ process is less about providing an avenue for public discourse and more of a tool to ensure mass submission.

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  24. Black with a Vengeance (1,865 comments) says:

    What happened to the honorable people who could get up and speak the truth.

    They dont get funded for their campaigns and consequently don’t get enough votes.

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  25. Yoza (1,879 comments) says:

    Jack5 (4,852 comments) says:
    August 31st, 2014 at 9:49 am

    This time, regardless of the election, there’s got to be a hunt for the criminal behind the hacks, and my money is on it being a Leftist in, or formerly in the GCSB.

    The GCSB is an instrument of US imperialism, you don’t get to work for the GCSB if you have the merest taint of dissenting ideas, the people inside the GGSB who do talk to Hager do so from a nationalistic bent rather than being motivated by any socially conscious dilemmas. The Hollow Men ‘hacks’ were obviously sources within the National party and the Dirty Politics email hack appears more and more likely to be the work of friends of the young man who, after being killed in a car crash, Slater described as a ‘West Coast feral’.

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  26. Longknives (4,753 comments) says:

    “Or how about replacing the national anthem with something that has a smooth, hip-hop beat?”

    I read an article on Stuff a while back proposing that Lordy’s rather dull One-Hit-Wonder ‘Royals’ be made the new National Anthem.
    Frighteningly they weren’t trying to be funny….

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  27. CharlieBrown (1,012 comments) says:

    “The Hollow Men ‘hacks’ were obviously sources within the National party” I wonder if John Key had something to do with those “sources”

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  28. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    I’ve got to hand one thing to Colin Craig –

    The other day we received a big, glossy, 8-page A4 flyer explaining the Conservative Party’s view that there are too many immigrants and too much foreign investment, and setting out their policy for what they will so about it if elected.

    It’s not a policy I agree with, but 10/10 for making the effort to explain themselves and court my vote like an adult, no-one else has made that effort.

    Meanwhile…

    I’ve just witnessed a rosette-wearing, blue suited c-list foot soldier of the NATIONAL PARTY shamble up our street in Featherston stuffing pamphlets in letterboxes. With his big shambling yellow dog on a long rope, pissing on our letterbox, chasing our chickens, pissing on our neighbour’s tea rose, chasing HER chickens, pissing on HER letterbox…

    Not the flashest look, National…

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  29. Gulag1917 (923 comments) says:

    The Civilian another advocate for change, change and change without any long term benefit.

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  30. Mr_Blobby (174 comments) says:

    Black with a Vengeance

    Whaleoil used to be a good blog. Then it became a mercenary for hire and taken over by attack dogs.

    Nothing wrong with that in itself, but come out and declare yourself don’t sulk around in the shadows.

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  31. Gulag1917 (923 comments) says:

    Most generations were grown up by the age of thirteen, some of the latest generations are still living with mum at the age of 35 and it shows.

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  32. OneTrack (3,109 comments) says:

    “Sometimes the end does justify the means. In the greater public good, of course.”

    Says the avowed lefty. Condition normal then.

    Oops, I see Jack5 has already covered this off.

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  33. IC5000 (113 comments) says:

    “Redbaiter (8,009 comments) says:
    August 31st, 2014 at 9:25 am
    Thirty six thousand dollars of taxpayer money has been granted to this prog idiot and I am no longer amused.”

    Bu you are rather amusing.

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  34. Slipster (171 comments) says:

    burt (8,023 comments) says:
    August 31st, 2014 at 9:55 am
    ” Much like a legal case, evidence has been produced here that has been illegally obtained.”
    —-
    Huh?!? In a legal case, NO illegally obtained evidence is ever admitted. In fact, it isn’t considered evidence at all.

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  35. Tauhei Notts (1,715 comments) says:

    Slipster,
    What you write is common knowledge amongst anybody who has done first year law.
    BUT, with our politicised judiciary they will find ways to make that illegally gained evidence admissable.
    That is shameful. But that is New Zealand circa 2014.
    Illegally obtained evidence would never ever be admissable if that evidence impugned “the Left”.

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  36. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Cretinous McSlowSwimmingSalmon(8,009 comments) says:
    August 31st, 2014 at 9:25 am
    Thirty six thousand dollars of taxpayer money has been granted to this prog idiot and I am no longer amused

    Two things about that:

    1/
    Further proof (as if any were needed) that “prog” in your lexicon is merely meaningless insult du jour…

    2/
    It’s $36k that would otherwise have been given to the Labour party you purple shiny knob end. Not new spending. Or would you rather Labour got that money, huh? Comrade?

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