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Counter-protester slaps down right-wing nutjobs

Written By: - Date published: 12:27 pm, November 26th, 2007 - 90 comments
Categories: activism, election funding - Tags: ,

Just came across this video on YouTube from last week’s rally in Wellington against the Electoral Finance Bill. This clip has one of the counter-protesters giving an impressive off-the-cuff speech on why the Bill is needed.

Given the anti-EFB crowd’s only line of attack was “you’re from Young Labour” and “reveal your identity” they were kind of on the back foot from the first sentence. The squirming Tory MPs in the background are also good for a laugh. Anyone else thinking ‘ramshackle PR fiasco‘?

Links to other speeches from the rally are available over here.

90 comments on “Counter-protester slaps down right-wing nutjobs”

  1. Daveo 1

    Shit that’s a smack down all right, and it was interesting to hear how many of the crowd weren’t willing to practice what they preach on freedom of speech.

    It’s really pretty weak if the best they can come up with is to accuse him of being from young Labour and tell him to remove his mask. I sure wouldn’t show my face to that bunch of extremist creeps.

  2. It’s certainly a good statement of why an Electoral Finance Bill along the lines of the one being touted in Labour spin is needed. Unfortunately the spin version bears little relation to the actual Bill before Parliament. If they chuck that piece of shit and create one that actually does what their publicity says they want, perhaps they wouldn’t look so much like twats. Just a thought.

  3. Nih 3

    “Young Labour” is about all the right online can come up with as well. Check out burt’s comments from last night on the PR Fiasco thread, a while after his racist comments regarding black slaves and just after he claims to not be racist.

  4. God gwad this appears worse than student politics. Good on the bloke for sticking to his guns – it’s very easy to just get the shits and tell people to go to the proverbial but he kept his cool.

    Who’s that shrieking at him from the collection of MPs? MPs, if they’re going to attend rallies, should be very careful how they behave – all to often the situation gets the better of them.

  5. MikeE 5

    The important thing to note was that the protesters voluntarily gave him the microphone.

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”

    I wonder if Labour supporters would be so forthcoming and willing to give their opponents a voice.

    The irony is that the protestors believed in freedom of speech, enough to give someone the microphone, who wished to argue that they did not deserve this freedom.

  6. Tane 6

    MikeE – who exactly is arguing that anti-EFB protesters should not have freedom of speech? You know as well as I do that the bill does not restrict speech – it restricts spending.

  7. Robinsod 7

    I don’t want to rain on your parade Mike but I would imagine that given the media presence and the focus on “free speech” the EFB loonies were painted into a PR corner as far as providing a voice to their oposition goes.

    That said, the whole time the joker spoke Steven Franks was deliberately standing on his toes (he even kicked his bag!) What a vindictive, uncivilised and childish little tosser. Though I guess if you couple that display of impotent rage with his generally nasty nerdiness then he’s the perfect mascot for the Kiwiblog right really…

  8. Eddie 8

    What a very together guy. Maybe Labour should grab him as a candidate.

  9. the sprout 9

    exactly, the EFB is about ensuring free and roughly equal rights to speak after all.

    good on him for speaking in the face of so many loonies.

    btw yesterday’s Santa Parade in Auckland attracted 350,000. how many were at that tragic impersonation of a rally – 150? i guess DPF’s imaginary threat to democracy is a little less believable than Santa.

  10. r0b 10

    MikeE – “The important thing to note was that the protesters voluntarily gave him the microphone.”

    It’s possible the “protesters” were voluntarily offering him a chance to speak. It’s also possible that they expected that no one would front up and they could ridicule the counter protest.

    All we know for sure is that they had no interest at all in listening to what he had to say. The noise and harassment was incessant. Is that the kind of free speech that they are advocating?

    A pity they didn’t listen, because that guy gave a good speech under difficult circumstances, and kept his cool. All credit to him.

  11. Thomas 11


    i guess DPF’s imaginary threat to democracy is a little less believable than Santa.

    Sorry I know I shouldn’t but…
    I thought dpf was Santa 🙂

    [rakaunui: 20 demerit points for questioning my… I mean DPF’s…. integrity. Sorry I disappeared the moment Robinsod was banned from Kiwiblog, I had some thing with, um, my kids. Yeah, that’s it… kids…]

  12. r0b 12

    “I thought dpf was Santa”

    I don’t believe that DPF is Santa / TDS or whatever. But isn’t it interesting to note that the only time DPF pops up here is to deny such rumours, and defend his “good” name.

    He’s a lot happier dishing out misinformation, innuendo and bile than he is dealing with it himself. I wonder if that ever gives him pause to think about how some of his victims feel.

    Probably not.

  13. Tane 13

    Who’s that shrieking at him from the collection of MPs?

    Looks like Jackie Blue to me.
    http://national.org.nz/MP.aspx?Id=110

  14. Billy 14

    Sorry. What was so impressive about that speech? Hardly, “I have a dream”, or “Mr Gorbachov, tear down this wall”.

    And the Bill doesn’t do what he claims it will. Anonymous donations can still be made within the threshhold that suits the Labour party.

    And Nih, it’s poor form for a homophone to call out a racist. You guys should try to get along.

  15. The Double Standard 15

    As opposed to the treatment you get at a Labour event?

  16. Billy 16

    DS, you’ve got that all wrong. It never happened.

  17. Daveo 17

    Double Standard:

    As opposed to the treatment you get at a Labour event?

    …except that Len Richards was one guy, whereas your entire crowd went feral because they couldn’t handle free speech.

    Billy:

    For an impromptu speech delivered in an extremely hostile environment I reckon he did a bloody good job. Could you deliver something so coherent and measured under that kind of pressure? I doubt it.

  18. Robert Owen 18

    Nih
    YES

  19. Robinsod 19

    Hey DPFClawsDblSTD – that’s really funny ‘cos like it’s ironical… Don’t be a dick, boy. That labour delegate had some pretty unsoud stuff said to him and he lost his rag. Your kids had a few well dressed folk make a humourous point that was contrary to their views and they went nuts. As far as I could see the counter-protestors were polite but noisy and tehy were met with violence. Oh and in temrs of Rob’s point – I think they really were betting no-one would step up to teh mike when DPF offered it and they got their bluff called. Kinda like national and their proclaimed objections to the EFB really…

  20. Billy 20

    Daveo, I suggest you stick with Len’s defence: I didn’t hit anyone. It is much better than: OK so I hit you, but at least there weren’t more of me to hit you.

    Robert Owen, you old sociopath. What convinced you to post under your own name again. Your sense of honour sated? Or have you just decided that, compared to you fellow travellers you are not as much of an embarrassment as you had assumed?

  21. r0b 21

    “As opposed to the treatment you get at a Labour event?”

    Treatment at a Labour event: about 100 people stood outside (the Labour Conference), meters from the door shouting, abusing individuals, generating incredible noise and using sirens, and so on. Labour response: no one disturbed them, no one questioned their right to be there, no one shouted them down. (One lone idiot lashed out with a megaphone).

    Treatment at a National event: One single person got up to address the group. National response: a torrent of noise and verbal abuse, 150 attacking 1.

  22. MikeE 22

    The difference being of course, that while he was free to state his views, others were free to criticise and heckle said views.

    Under the EFB, one would simply have their ability to state their views reduced.

    Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism.

    Would I be free to speak on the stage of a Labour conference, and say what I disagree with (and agree with, as there is labour policy I support) … I seriously doubt it.

  23. Robinsod 23

    Billy – “you old sociopath” shucks you’ve been studying my style…

  24. r0b 24

    MikeE – “The difference being of course”

    What difference?

    “that while he was free to state his views, others were free to criticise and heckle said views.”

    So he can have all the free speech he likes as long as he doesn’t actually get any?

    “Under the EFB, one would simply have their ability to state their views reduced.”

    You’ve lost me – which one?

  25. Sam Dixon 25

    Billy – I’m sure he’ld agree its not a speech for the ages, but its off the cuff and it points out why National is really against the EFB.

  26. Billy 26

    Always liked your style ‘sod. It’s just your politics I can’t abide.

  27. Gruela 27

    I think some of you guys have confused Freedom of Speech with Freedom of Ideas. The two are not always compatible, and this is in fact the central premise behind the EFB. It all comes down to one thing:

    Money! (Yay! We love it, although it is a wanton hussy who always demands more than it is willing to give.)

    I don’t think I’d be stirring up too much controversy by saying that those people with more money get more freedom of speech. It’s pretty simple, really: ads cost money. megaphone rental costs money. taking time off work to go on a protest march costs money. publishing newspapers, and therefore having control of editorial slant, costs money. (You see where I’m going with this?)

    Ideas don’t cost money, but sharing them does. So allowing an unfettered free market on free speech actually becomes a hindrance to the free exchange of ideas, and is ultimately undemocratic.

    Why should those with the means to shout the loudest always get to dictate the progression of our political debates? Indeed, why does it so often seem that these are the only voices we get to hear?

    Hence, EFB= good thing.

    P.S. To paraphrase countless generations of hobos:

    I am willing to argue for food.

  28. burt 28

    Nih

    I think you need to do one of two things.

    a) Provide a link to where I was being racist (other then where I quoted a comment of yours where you were being a racist pig)

    OR

    b) Seek professional help. It’s OK to ask for help.

    Out of interest, is this obsession you have with me likely to pass soon or is it something that is likely to stick around. Do you check under your bed every night before you go to sleep to check for the racist bogyman that only you can see?

    It’s understandable that if you were one of the counter protestors that my assertion that the counter protestors should be ashamed of themselves might upset you, it’s OK Nih – I can understand how I could upset you so much by taking a position that your mother wouldn’t. Slaging me off as a racist for no reason says a lot more about you than me.

  29. Phil 29

    The Anti-EFB protest-movement is at serious risk of losing it’s credibility, as it panders more and more to the ‘fringe’ of what may have originally been a sound and logical protest.

    I think very soon we will see it consigned to the historical dust bin, much the same as elements of the anti-war, anti-globalisation and anti-GE campaigns.

  30. Leftie 30

    Gruela
    You sure know how to tell it like it is.

  31. “You know as well as I do that the bill does not restrict speech – it restricts spending.”

    You continue to assert that, Tane, but we certainly don’t “know” it. Annette King says yes the EFB will criminalise me for expressing an anonymous political opinion on my blog, but “common sense will prevail.” I don’t see this pathetic figleaf as warranting the phrase “does not restrict speech.” Why aren’t you guys telling them to take their sorry arses back to the drawing board?

  32. Gruela 32

    Leftie

    Thank you.

    Interestingly, those same arguments are the prime reason I’m not a big fan of Citizen Initiated Referenda. If you exchange ‘money’ for ‘votes’ , by the same reasoning you get: ‘the tyranny of the majority’.

    (For further evidence watch “12 Angry Men”. Sometimes [often] that one lonely voice being drowned out by the roar of the crowd is actually the one we should be listening to.)

  33. burt 33

    Gruela

    (For further evidence watch “12 Angry Men”. Sometimes [often] that one lonely voice being drowned out by the roar of the crowd is actually the one we should be listening to.)

    Not on this blog Gruela, the one lone voice in the echo chamber is always denigrated with great vigor.

  34. Nih 34

    Oh burt, look how hard you’re working to defend yourself and hide your racism now you’ve been caught. If you’re so innocent, why such a strong response?

    As you well know I explained how you were being racist in my very first post addressing it. As if you needed the explanation. You then continued with the same behaviour indicating you knew what you were doing. You almost seemed proud of it until you started trying to bury it with dozens of posts.

    Continue to shriek and accuse others of homophobia, racism and insanity, it just makes people read back and find out why you’re making such a fuss.

    Sickening, burt. If you’re going to be racist, at least don’t be a coward about it when a digital record of your filth exists. You must have spent all your big boy points on standing by your sad attempt to distract other commenters with faux conversation.

  35. Nih 35

    Not on this blog Gruela, the one lone voice in the echo chamber is always denigrated with great vigor.

    Poor burt. He’s the only person making any sense. The rest of us should just fuck off, eh burt?

    The reason nobody wants to talk education with you is you didn’t gain any wisdom from the first few posts on the topic. You still don’t understand primary testing and why it’s performed the way it is. You’d prefer to label a fifth of the children in NZ as losers. I bet you have something to say on what you think their race is as well, eh?

  36. The Double Standard 36

    Gruela

    Ideas don’t cost money, but sharing them does. So allowing an unfettered free market on free speech actually becomes a hindrance to the free exchange of ideas, and is ultimately undemocratic.

    Why should those with the means to shout the loudest always get to dictate the progression of our political debates? Indeed, why does it so often seem that these are the only voices we get to hear?

    Hence, EFB= good thing.

    So, why not apply the restrictions all the time then? In fact, why not ban newspapers and television advertising?

    And surely, those with the means to “shout the loudest” are those with the resources of government behind them?

    Do you not see that your argument supports the incumbent to the exclusion of all other?

  37. burt 37

    Nih

    So you are going to choose option “b” ?

    So far the only person playing the race card seems to be you – do you have any justification for being such a racist ?

  38. burt 38

    Nih

    You’d prefer to label a fifth of the children in NZ as losers.

    Perhaps your racists tendencies make something out of 1 in 5 that isn’t there? I don’t know what you are getting so uptight about ? Do you think I made these numbers up ?

  39. burt 39

    Nih

    Max Call stated the 1 in 5 discussion.

    See: According to Nih this is racist !

    What resources is National going to put in place to address “one in five Kiwi children – a staggering 150,000 – are not succeeding at school”
    You can test the children everyday if you like but it will not help those who aren’t succeeding!

    You lost it Nih – well and truly lost the plot. What next mate – call Max Call a racist and unload your own crap on him, continue digging yourself a credibility hole by attacking me or just be an adult and apologise for reading something into my comments that was simply not there ?

  40. Gruela 40

    Double:

    “And surely, those with the means to “shout the loudest” are those with the resources of government behind them?”

    Nope. I believe that would be Rupert Murdoch, actually. (And the Packer family. And Wal-Mart. And the U.S. Government. And OPEC. And Exxon Mobil. And the Catholic church. And the U.N. And Microsoft.) But I see your point. There should be a definite separation between the state and state-owned media, just as there should be between the legislature, judiciary, public service (I’m looking at YOU, David Parker), police force and defence forces.

    And you can’t ban newspapers and ads. I realise that. But you CAN take steps to ensure that more voices are heard through those mediums, and that the ‘reporting’ and ads that we are subjected are required to undergo rigorous testing as to balance, fairness and transparency. There are ways of doing this without democracy having to come to a sticky end.

    There used to be laws in this country (and many others) enforcing strict controls on media ownership, in order to prevent the very oligarchy of media control we now have in this country.

    I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll trade you one Electoral Finance Bill for one Complete Break-Up of the Media Conglomerates in New Zealand.

  41. The Double Standard 41

    I was mainly referring to the tens of millions that Teh Party spends on “government” communications, and how that amount is effectively unlimited. It can promote the policies and approach of the party in power. Should those who disagree not be able to respond? Or should we blindly accept anything that Teh Party says?

    But you CAN take steps to ensure that more voices are heard through those mediums, and that the ‘reporting’ and ads that we are subjected are required to undergo rigorous testing as to balance, fairness and transparency.

    Yeah – we should have only one published source of balance, fairness and transparency. Why don’t we call it Pravda?

    Are you really suggesting that state regulation of the media will result in a better world? I’m sure that the happy people of Nth Korea would agree.

  42. Gruela 42

    Double

    No, I’m suggesting that the state should regulate the media market, so that no one or two company(ies) could dominate the market, as they do now. There’s nothing especially radical in that, and in fact it’s pretty well accepted economic doctrine for small, open markets such as New Zealand.

    As to the “government” communications: well, the whole point of the public service is to implement new Govt. policy, (as well as managing the apparatus of state.)

    So let’s take Working for Families as an example. Surely the Ministry for Social Development should be allowed to spend x dollars promoting this, and informing the public how to go about collecting the extras dosh they’re entitled to. I find it difficult to envisage how they’re supposed to do this without “promot(ing) the policies and approach of the party in power.”

    On the other hand, I think it would be entirely appropriate to have a complete ban on advertising by the public service during the run-up to an election. Should we say, for that year up until election day? It’s true that the party in power COULD use this to gain an unfair advantage, and we wouldn’t want anything like that happening, would we? Nope, it should be open and transparent all the way.

    P.S. Could you please explain the ‘Teh’ Party? I don’t get it.

  43. Tane 43

    P.S. Could you please explain the ‘Teh’ Party? I don’t get it.

    He’s trying to be witty, like his second-hand username.

  44. Gruela 44

    Yeah, but I think ‘The Double Standard’ is kinda funny. ‘Teh’ Party just goes right over my head.

  45. Tane 45

    Oh, it is. But he nicked it from Robinsod. There’s a great post over on Kiwiblog where they’re trying to come up with funny names but all they can work out is things like “the average”, “the sub standard” and “the very low standard”. Robinsod pops in and offers them “the double standard” as a gift for their stupidity. And it appears TDS took him up on the offer.

  46. Robinsod 46

    I’d just like to ask once more why DPFClawStdDBl decided to use my wee joke as his name. I think he thinks it’ll make him look smart (and he really wants to be my friend). Poor DFPClawsdblestd.

  47. Gruela 47

    Okay, I didn’t know that. I would have gone for Substandard myself.

  48. Tane 48

    I kind of liked “thestupid”.

  49. The Double Standard 49

    On the other hand, I think it would be entirely appropriate to have a complete ban on advertising by the public service during the run-up to an election. Should we say, for that year up until election day? It’s true that the party in power COULD use this to gain an unfair advantage, and we wouldn’t want anything like that happening, would we? Nope, it should be open and transparent all the way.

    And do you think Teh Party will do that? Not F’ing likely!
    Just look at what Mallard was up to in the house this week if you want an example of Teh Party playing “fair”.

    Since the corresponding suspension of govt propaganda is a non-starter, do you think it is fair that the EFB muzzles (both directly and indirectly) everyone else?

    Here’s the story on my nick.
    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=728#comment-5076

  50. r0b 50

    “I would have gone for Substandard myself.”

    The best ones are all taken, but also worth a mention: bogstandard, thestranded.

  51. Gruela 51

    Double:

    I’m not an Labour follower, so I’m not going to defend Mallard, (any more than I think Brownlee could be defended by National supporters. Or Ryall, for that matter)

    But I do think your use of the word muzzle is quite appropriate, because we all know what muzzles are used for. Big companies, and their big CEOs, are like big dogs. They’re very useful, but they have to be well trained and if they get out of control or if you let them think that they’re suddenly the dominant member of your pack, then, yeah, it’s time to muzzle them.

    My defence of Labour and the EFB is quite simple, really, and it just comes down to this:

    National have said that if they get into power after the next election they will REPEAL the EFB, not fix it. I’d rather vote for a partial solution to a problem than the denial that one exists.

  52. redbus 52

    Would I be free to speak on the stage of a Labour conference…
    – The short answer is no, because the stage at a Party Conference is usually reserved for the leader to speak. However, at other functions, should the occasion call for public debate, then you would certainly be allowed by Labour to sport your views. To think otherwise is delusional.

  53. r0b 53

    Ho redbus – welcome aboard!

  54. frank 54

    You’ve obviously never been to Trafalgar Square, where everyone gets a say and everyone gets to hoot the speaker down. Home of NZ’s peculiar version of democracy, England. Free speech there is a constitutional issue. If it were here, the EFB would be out the door. The right to say something certainly does not include any “right” not to be disparaged, sometimes at enormously tedious, witless length (witness this blog) for what you say.

  55. Lee C 55

    I like to call it ‘The Very Double Standard’ or ‘VDS’, but no one appears to find it even remotely funny.

    Which just makes me want to do it more.

    So I do.

  56. rOb:

    You seem to be rewriting history. Labour Party luminary Jill Ovens disagrees substantially with your version of the Labour Party protest: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0711/S00062.htm

    Her own press release reads: “Although my speech was supportive of the position of the protesters, they just would not let me speak. John Minto was leading chants. When he finally stopped and I had space to speak, the protesters were yelling at me, ‘Lies, lies’. The leadership of the protest made no attempt to stop the abuse,” Ms Ovens says.

    She tried for quite a while to deliver her speech, and finally she put the megaphone down and walked off.”

  57. Tane 57

    I like you Lee, even if you’re not a chick.

  58. Tane 58

    IP, was that the same Labour Party luminary Jill Ovens who nine months ago was on the Alliance’s executive and was referring to Labour MPs as ‘dogs’?

  59. r0b 59

    “You seem to be rewriting history. Labour Party luminary Jill Ovens disagrees substantially with your version of the Labour Party protest:”

    Sorry IP, I am a bear of very little brain. You’ll have to explain it to me. How is that account and my account different?

  60. redbus 60

    Is The Standard considering changing the name of this site?

    How about, ‘Not Farrah‘?

  61. redbus 61

    Opps!!

    I meant:

    Is The Standard condidering changing the name of this site?

    How abour, ‘Not Farrah‘?

  62. redbus 62

    Ahhh… bugger. I BLOODY WELL SPELT ‘about’ WRONG! Now I know how the ALP feels!

  63. r0b 63

    “condidering” wasn’t exactly correct either, but hey, don’t sweat the small stuff. 🙂

  64. r0b 64

    So IP, wassup? Are you going to exapand on your intriguing accusation, or are you just a big tease?

  65. r0b 65

    Anyway, redbus, re your question, no name change is being considered (don’t mess with a successful brand!). For the context to these “other names” see the post above From Tane Nov 26th, 2007 at 9:41 pm

  66. thomas 66

    What I want to Know David/ santa /double standard
    is why to you have a go at me when I call you by your three handles .But not Robinsod you’re not the same person are you

  67. lowering the standard of lowering the standard while lowering the standard 67

    The poor chap looks like an possum caught in the headlights. I don’t get the bit where he says he’s not Labour supporter then parrots Labour party lines. Is he doing some ‘double standard’ thing where he’ll say anything to get the crowds attention? The man could be a replacement for Winston!

  68. Gruela 68

    lowering the standard of lowering the standard while lowering the standard:
    Are you talking about me? Also, are you drunk?

  69. burt 69

    Gruela

    No I wasn’t talking about you. I was talking about this blog.

    Daveo wade’s in at the start with:

    “Shit that’s a smack down all right, and it was interesting to hear how many of the crowd weren’t willing to practice what they preach on freedom of speech.

    And it was interesting to see that a twat who was involved in a counter protest, with the sole purpose of drowning out and misrepresenting another groups message, then expected to be heard some more.

    He had the hypocrisy to ask for a chance to be heard, having been part of a group that was shouting down a legitimate protest and distorting it’s message to the public. Then the twit tries to say this bill is about a level playing field having just stomped over peoples democratic right to protest! The man must be a complete buffoon!

    His performance and your support of it is not helping your argument that the EFB is not all about shutting down dissent. Keep it up.

  70. redbus 70

    I realised I spelt ‘considering’ incorrectly, but I didn’t bother posting a fourth comment – three comments about idiotic trivialities seemed a bit much.

  71. burt 71

    Gruela

    Are you Winston?

  72. You really aren’t up with the play, Tane. Jill Ovens has joined the Labour Party. http://workersparty.org.nz/thespark/aug17-06/Alliance leader joins Labour.htm

    r0b: you claimed that right wing protesters in Wellington were rowdy and uncivilised, and wouldn’t let opponents speak. You also claimed that left wing protesters at the Labour Party conference were civilised and respectful. Jill Ovens’ press release clearly states the opposite.

  73. Gruela 73

    burt:

    Damn! you rumbled me.

    All kidding aside, I think I would probably be more likely to vote for the Man-Goat Love Association party than I would be to vote for NZ First.

    As to the EFB protest, I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened. I will say, however, that a general guideline that has seen me well over thirty years is: In any argument there are two sides and the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.

  74. redbus 74

    IP, when you say, “left-wing protesters at the Labour Party conference”, do you mean those who came to protest the anti-terror raids, or those members present at the Labour Conference? Because those anti-terror protesters were far more in numbers than those few members who decided to speak.

  75. burt 75

    Whaleoil has a great post which is on the same topic as this thread:

    In 35 Days this will be NZ

    Having just spent three hours tonight with my head down over the pieces it’s great to head something about such a master.

  76. r0b 76

    IP – “you claimed that right wing protesters in Wellington were rowdy and uncivilised, and wouldn’t let opponents speak.”

    What? Eh? There was a group of people protesting against the police raids. I don’t think it’s easy to characterise them politically, but “right wing” is a pretty unlikely label. Let’s just call them the protesters.

    IP – “You also claimed that left wing protesters at the Labour Party conference were civilised and respectful.”

    I said no such thing. I said that the Labour Party members / delegates were civilised and respectful (except for one idiot with a megaphone).

    “Jill Ovens’ press release clearly states the opposite.”

    Tell me how?

  77. redbus 77

    Man-Goat Love Association party
    – Have you been paying extra attention to Owen Newitt on the ‘Vicar of Dibley‘?

  78. Gruela 78

    I’ve never seen the Vicar of Dibley, but I’ll tell you, it gets cold in these parts some nights.

    Also, burt, I’m disappointed in you. Finding any relevance in a comparison between the Russian and New Zealand political situations doesn’t really expand on a reasonable debate about the benefits and drawbacks of the EFB.

    No-one’s claiming the legislation is perfect, but to claim that protesters will be dragged to the cells if the don’t put their names and addresses on their placards isn’t justified.

  79. r0b 79

    Gruela, if you’re newish to the local political blogs, here’s a simple guideline that will save you a lot of time. Whale runs a hate site, you won’t find anything of value there.

  80. Tane 80

    Prick – I didn’t say Jill hadn’t joined the Labour Party. My point is that she’s only a recent (and by all accounts reluctant) convert and hardly the big player you were making her out to be. But I guess that lack of background knowledge is to be expected from an insolent punter like yourself.

  81. r0b 81

    IP – I see that I got confused about what you said, just as you got confused about what I said. At this time of the morning I’m not going to unravel it all in detail. Whatever. Goodnight.

  82. redbus 82

    “…hardly the big player…”
    Yet she was allowed to host a conference on poverty with members (most of whom were top unionists) at the Labour Party Conference.

    She may not be as ‘big’, but she certainly isn’t ‘small’.

  83. Gruela 83

    rOb

    Thanks, I’ve just been there. He certainly has an interesting outlook on things, doesn’t he?

    It’s always struck me as a kind of sad marker of human nature that there seem to be such angry people in New Zealand. I think maybe we should all get out into the fresh air more often, and maybe have a bit of a sing and a dance.

  84. Tane 84

    redbus, her ‘conference’ was an impromptu meeting in a small room and wasn’t listed on the agenda. She’s got the influence one would expect from a regional secretary of an affiliate union, but her power extends no further than that and she’s by no means a power-broker in the party. She’s certainly no “Labour Party luminary” as Prick suggested.

  85. r0b 85

    “It’s always struck me as a kind of sad marker of human nature that there seem to be such angry people in New Zealand.”

    It’s far from an NZ problem of course. The anger in American politics scares the bejazus out of me.

    “I think maybe we should all get out into the fresh air more often, and maybe have a bit of a sing and a dance”

    Agreed on that one, though there are some who would say that my dancing does not contribute anything much to world peace…

  86. redbus 86

    Tane, I didn’t agree with the assertion that Jill is a “luminary” within the party. But the fact that she can call an impromptu meeting with the Labour faithful and actually draw a crowd speaks volumes to me. She isn’t a huge player, but she can not be talked down by saying, ‘she’s new, so don’t think she’s that important within Labour’.

  87. Max Call 87

    Hi there Burt and Nih,

    My stat of ‘one in five kiwi children…’ came from the National Partys ‘Policy Summary – National Education Standards’ that was delivered in my letterbox last week. Sorry if this was not made clear in my previous posts.

    Personally after working in secondary schools in NZ (one decile 4 school and one decile 8 school) I have serious doubts over this stat myself and how they are measuring this…. but anyway my orginal posts were more about discussing how their policy summary was ‘hollow’

  88. Phil 88

    “Having just spent three hours tonight with my head down over the pieces it’s great to head something about such a master.”

    Burt!
    You never struck me as being the intellectual chess playing type…

  89. PhilBest 89

    This is pathetic. A contest of ideas? So why is the Left so jealous of its control over teaching institutions and journalism? A contest of IDEAS? In NEW ZEALAND? Bah.

    Furthermore, this guy spends most of his time mouthing on about “secret trusts” funding political parties. So why is this bill about EVERYTHING BUT transparency? Does Helen know she’s got a few million coming from George Soros, or Ted Turner, or Richard Branson or the like one day?

  90. slightlyrighty 90

    This is the speech by Dr Eric Crampton at todays rally in Christchurch.

    “It takes a lot to drag an academic economist out of his office to a political rally downtown. If this were simply a protest over bad legislation, I’d have stayed in Ilam: bad legislation, unfortunately, isn’t all that uncommon.

    And, this is very bad legislation – so bad that, even after amendment,the New Zealand Law Society wants it scrapped. This is amazing. When law is badly drafted, it’s the lawyers that profit by the resulting court battles. Lawyers from Chapman Tripp warn that the courts may well decide the next election – they expect court action. Legislation has to be shockingly bad before we’d expect lawyers to say it should be scrapped entirely, but that’s what they’ve done. Even the Electoral Commission, who has to give advice on compliance with the legislation, is reported to have thrown up its hands: it can’t make heads or tails of the legislation either, and so can’t provide advice.

    Even worse, the legislation seems pointless.

    The best social science evidence shows that donations to political parties don’t buy the donor a whole lot in terms of changes in policy. And, when sitting politicians spend money on election campaigns, the spending doesn’t have a very big effect on vote share. Spending can matter a lot for challengers, who have to work very hard to get their names known. But, spending doesn’t matter much for incumbent politicians.

    Further tightening up of campaign spending rules, and especially changes like the ones now proposed that allow political parties to use Parliamentary budgets for electioneering, protect sitting MPs against challenges by newcomers. It’s an incumbent protection racket plain and simple. New parties and new ideas will be frozen out, and the same old hacks are guaranteed job security.

    As bad as all of that is, it’s not the main reason I’m here.

    This isn’t just bad law. It’s a bad law that affects how we make laws, and threatens the legitimacy of government itself. Constitutional rules stand apart from other bits of legislation. They affect fundamental rights and freedoms, and they set out how all the other rules will be written. The Electoral Finance Bill directly affects our freedom of speech. Once it’s passed, we’ll only have freedom of speech 2 years in 3. And, it sets out the rules for how an election is conducted – how legislation for the subsequent three years will be formed. These have constitutional implications.

    Constitutional rules aren’t like other rules. They really require broad agreement across society. I studied under James Buchanan, who won the Nobel Prize in economics for his work in this area. He likened it to setting out the rules for a poker game: you get everybody to agree to the rules before you deal the cards. If everybody’s agreed to the rules before the cards are dealt, the outcome of the game is fair and legitimate. What Labour and its support parties here have done is dealt the cards, taken a peek at their hands, and then declared deuces wild. This violates constitutional justice and threatens the legitimacy of any government that is elected under the new rules.

    Electoral rules – constitutional rules – require broad agreement if the government that’s formed under them is to have legitimacy. We’re here today to say that we don’t give that assent. If Labour rams this bill through Parliament, shuts up anyone who opposes it during the 2008 election, then squeeks through a tight coalition win after a lot of litigation, will that government have any legitimacy?

    That’s why this Bill must be stopped and that’s why I’m here. The Bill violates the spirit of our constitutional foundations. It throws freedom of speech out the window. And it rigs the election to protect the politicians who pass it. Helen Clark, Annette King, throw out this Bill!”

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