Yesterday, the Greens illustrated the size of the gambling concessions in the SkyCity deal with a to-scale cardboard display in Aotea Square. The visually striking move got extensive coverage on Breakfast yesterday and a rather, odd, story in the Herald, which chose to focus on the cost of the protest. What was that, presumably, outrageous cost? $3,000.
I have a few questions for the Herald about its article (and some best-guess answers)
Wait, so it was funded out of the pre-set annual Parliamentary Services budget that political parties get based on their size and which can be used for the likes of staff costs, polling, and promoting party positions, and this doesn’t add a cent to what the Greens will spend in the year? Thieves!
How are opposition parties meant to do their job if they can’t legitimately spend their budgets on legitimate activities without the Herald getting its panties in a twist? Opposition parties should be not seen and not heard, now let me get back to staring loving at this 2007 portrait of John Key… oh, John what have they done to you, my sweet, sweet love?
What did the Government spend on negotiating the SkyCity deal? Who cares, they’re not an opposition party doing its job of bringing attention to government policies that it opposes; once elected, the government is a dictatorship that shall not be questioned.
How does the cost of the protest compare to the cost of the social harm of the SkyCity deal? Fuck you, that’s how it compares.
Why would a newspaper choose to focus on the minute cost of a protest against a major corporate in its home-town, and a major advertiser in said newspaper? Because journalism.
PS. to young Isaac Davison’s credit, there’s a few clues in the article that he was pressured into taking this line by the paper’s bosses and he didn’t want to – the cost angle is mentioned in the opening sentence but doesn’t get elaborated on until the second-to-last paragraph, and he slips a lot of info on the content of the protest in between. Still it’s clear that the article has been written with the purpose of trying to de-legitimise valid political opposition by spurious arguments on (tiny) costs. AAnd that’s just par for the course from the Herald, which has run whole articles whining about the $9 million asset sales referendum but barely mentioned the $124 million spent on the sales so far