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Hooton’s bizarro world strikes again

Written By: - Date published: 4:16 pm, June 15th, 2009 - 52 comments
Categories: mt albert, national, spin - Tags: , , , ,

goffshearer200I think it’s fair to say that David Shearer’s thumping victory in Mt Albert has been widely viewed as securing Phil Goff’s leadership over the Labour Party.

Any sane observer will recognise that Goff’s position has been strengthened by the victory, that the party has gained a huge boost in confidence and that Shearer will be a close ally of Goff in caucus.

But in the strange bizarro world inhabited by Matthew Hooton, the Mt Albert victory is actually a sign that Goff’s leadership is under threat and that this new bloke Shearer will roll him at the next election.

You have to admit, it’s hard to believe that Hooton has arrived at this view through any honest analysis of the facts. Because he clearly doesn’t hold this view at all. It’s a line designed to undermine Goff’s leadership, and it’s as transparent as it is ridiculous.

Transparent, because the line is designed to make Goff appear weak and his party divided just as he’s passed his first test and secured his position as leader. Ridiculous, because Shearer is clearly Goff’s man. He used to work for Goff, he’s Goff’s mate, and Goff chose him for Mt Albert.

The idea that Shearer, elected for all of five minutes and yet to prove himself as an MP, would want to roll Goff at the next election is unworthy even of Hooton. It’s certainly unworthy of a paid political commentator for TV3’s Sunrise programme.

As with most of Hooton’s lines this one’s already been picked up by Farrar etc. No doubt it’ll pop up on the other right-wing blogs shortly, and in the comments section here, and chances are we’ll see at least one of the Nats’ tame columnists (Ralston, Armstrong, Long etc) give it a run in the mainstream media over the next week or two.

It’s a funny old world when your commentariat is claiming being forced to ditch a minister and getting humiliated on the hustings makes you a strong leader, but thumping the government in a by-election is a sign of weakness.

52 comments on “Hooton’s bizarro world strikes again”

  1. Anita 1

    To be fair to Hooton he has been involved in a couple of new boys rolling old boys :)

  2. bill brown 2

    Guy’s a loop ‘o fruit but bites well to “BBQ at Bill’s”

  3. Hooton is like the rest of the wingnuts. He says whatever he thinks may destabilise the left. It is a shame, they (wingnuts) have no scruples and are only interested in gaining an advantage.

    I wish they discuss things critically like Harre and McCarten.

    David Shearer must be viewed as a threat. They are still trying the “he is a right winger” line.

  4. I’d find this criticism of Hooten’s shameless spinning solely for the purpose of making trouble a bit more compelling if one of your co-bloggers wasn’t engaged in an identical exercise in the previous post.

    • Eddie 4.1

      Dude, if you’ve got a critique of Z’s style then take it up with him.

      The Standard doesn’t have a single editorial line and we frequently disagree with each other. In fact, one of our authors is on that same post you’re criticising telling Z that she finds it bad taste. These are sentiments I share.

      When you disagree with a post (like with the guest poster on expenses the other day) please address your criticism to the author you disagree with, not to the other authors, who may well share your view. It’s like attacking Brian Rudman because you disagree with something Matt McCarten wrote in the Herald on Sunday.

      • jarbury 4.1.1

        It is an interesting issue though… as to what extent The Standard should speak with one voice.

        I guess there are advantages and disadvantages both ways.

        • gobsmacked

          I think that Standard writers disagreeing with each other on issues is not a problem at all. Plenty of room for debate on the broad left.

          Behaving like a dick, on the other hand …

          Even the Herald on Sunday has an editor.

          • lprent

            Yeah, but who’d be willing to be the EDITOR. No-one has any time. With the exception of rocky we all currently hold down jobs. She has exams and assignments.

            Personally I just find it amusing that people think we actually speak with ‘one voice’. But I guess that the right still have these fixations rooted in the cold war (redbaiter comes to mind).

            Besides it is more fun this way

      • Anita 4.1.2

        IMHO there are two issues each individual poster has to balance up when thinking about the work of other posters:

        1) Do I want to be associated with them? For all that they are all, in theory, separate individuals the bad behaviour (or shoddy fact checking etc) of one will taint the reputation of the others, OTOH diversity is good.

        2) Will their behaviour drive people away from the forum?

        There have been a (small number) of cases where if the other Standardistas had not addressed particularly aberrant behaviour I would’ve judged the others negatively for allowing themselves to be associated with it, and stopped reading the whole damned lot of them.

        The recent spate of poor fact checking, bad quoting and dodgy stats has been an interesting example (from the outside) on the one hand mistakes happen. On the other, I’ve given up trusting facts in posts here without serious double checking even with the authors who haven’t srcewed up (it’s hard to remember the names of all of the guilty :) ). Hopefully the accuracy of the posts will improve and I’ll stop feeling so dubious about everything.

        I know the same is true for us at KiwiPolitico. Even tho Lew, Pablo and I are really different people with really different opinions and very different voices, we are affected by each others’ posts. We need to feel comfortable with that association (and the flak than ensues).

      • mike 4.1.3

        ‘please address your criticism to the author you disagree with, not to the other authors’

        ha – Yes we can’t have lefties with scruples attacking the troll lefties now can we.

        Hell what hope has Goff got left when the unofficial attack blog can’t even present a united front.

      • Redbaiter 4.1.4

        Deleted by author

      • Redbaiter 4.1.5

        “It’s like attacking Brian Rudman because you disagree with something Matt McCarten wrote in the Herald on Sunday.”

        Not the examples I would have chosen to make the point.

        McCarten and Rudman are peas from the same pod.

        The kind of extreme left bullshit artists that the pathetic NYT style liberals that edit the Herald think they have to run to curry favour with the extreme left, without understanding that the collateral damage is what is sending them broke.

        Who the hell cares tho?.

        Let the bastards go broke.

        Given almost every Herald writer of opinion or news or comment is a left winger, what the hell have the right got to lose from such an outcome??

        At least the Standard doesn’t try to fake objectivity

  5. IrishBill 5

    I figure we can cover everything from Bill’s recent anarcho-syndicalist guest post right through to some of the more, er, enthusiastic pro-Labour posters.

  6. Pat 6

    Maybe Z should be treated like an errant teenager, and you should take the car keys off him for a while.

    • felix 6.1

      Why should anyone care what you think about what Z writes? You’re never going to like it anyway.

      • Pat 6.1.1

        Maybe true. But I guess the bigger question is whether you want the Standard to be just the unabashed cheerleader for the Left, or instead a place where undecided voters might be attracted to.

        If the former, then make Z editor in chief I say.

        • felix

          Why not make you editor in chief? Then you could make sure the site was run primarily for the pleasure of all the other right-wing cockholes.

  7. Matthew Hooton 7

    I thought I was very careful to point out that Mt Albert was a huge triumph for Phil Goff and has secured his leadership for the time being at least. Obviously if he fails to become Prime Minister in 2011 he will be replaced and Labour could do a lot worse that David Shearer. I am not sure what is so bizarre about that. You should have watched the clip before commenting on it.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 7.1

      I thought you would be thinking of someone a bit younger. I assume you feel it is eight years before Labour will have chance- both Goff and Shearer will be well into their fifties by then.
      I’d be asking Laila when she is entering parliament.

    • Why raise Shearer as a possibility? He is the newest MP.

      It really looks to me like you are running a line designed to attempt to damage Labour and that there is no substance to the line.

      And you keep on running the line that Shearer is a right winger based on a 12 year old paper where he was extolling the virtues of anything that would stop the genocide of women and children.

      I would treat your comments more seriously if it did not sound like you had a Crosby Textor generated list of lines to say every time you are interviewed publicly.

      • sweetd 7.2.1

        well really micky, who prey tell are these possible leadership contemders? The current lot, excluding the 2008 intake have either shot their load, been found guilty of some crime, or have served time and are never going to make it. The leadership pool is only puddle deap. Of this, Shearer stands out head, shoulders and knees above this crowd.

        • Pascal's bookie

          Nice try sweet. Have you had a look at National Lately?

          You’ve got a PM that is making things up as he goes along;

          a deputy that failed as leader;

          Gerry Brownlee, another former deputy that won’t be back,

          Nick Smith, ditto;

          Murray McCully, say no more;

          Seven Joyce, Hollow man;

          and ‘rising stars’ like Lee.

          At least Worth is gone, run out of parliament by a PM who is refusing to say why.

          And this is after nine bloody years in opposition. National hasn’t exactly developed a lot of strategic depth.

          • sweetd

            pascal, poor deflect, quick, look over there at the other team. I am sure there is a thread on national party leadership, this however, is not it. Answer the question if you care, Who else is there besides Shearer?

          • Pascal's bookie

            This thread is about what a hack Hooten is actually sweet.

            You jumped in asking micky, apropos of nada:

            “who prey tell are these possible leadership contemders? “

            as if that was something micky was discussing, which he wasn’t.

            The simple fact is that there is no leadership challenge on the horizon for Labour, there is plenty of new talent, some of which will get promotions this turn no doubt, and a bunch of former ministers like Hughes, Cunliffe, Carter etc that will be around for a while yet. Labour is in opposition and will be building their team for government. National is still retreads and neophytes and they are a brand new government.

            Your (and Hooten’s) whole argument here is a deflection. That was my point, which you kind of saw, but also missed.

        • Anita

          Melissa Lee looked that good 6 months ago too.

    • Ianmac 7.3

      Where did I read today that PM Holyoake would describe a newcomer as future PM – in order to undermine him? Surely Matthew would not try that line. Too obvious?

    • Mr Magoo 7.4

      I actually agree with Matthew on this one to a point. (it is irrelevant what motivation him to say it)

      Before Helen’s replacement was named there was a huge amount of talk about the vacuum left behind and a look around at the labour talent and how it appeared to be somewhat lacking – with Goff being the only sensible choice and too much of an old hand to be a fresh face.

      This guy is something else. His record is amazing. He seems to hold himself well and certainly has the related experience.
      He IS new…but is that such a disadvantage? Wasn’t the whole problem for labour its 9 years of inevitable baggage? Wasn’t Key’s main strength that he did not have National’s – regardless of who was backing him up?

      Time will tell of course, but it looks at the moment they could do a hell of a lot worse!

      It is a question of timing. Feels like unless he has his profiled raised by labour very quickly (highly unlikely) he would not be in for 2011, but after that? Who knows?

      It will depend on how desperate they are I guess.

      • Duncan 7.4.1

        That Shearer is obviously a very talented man with a bright future in the party is not in question. Thing is, the line they’re running is that Shearer will play the role of Brutus to Goff’s Caesar. That’s laughable.

      • Anita 7.4.2

        Mr Magoo,

        Until it became useful for the right to talk about Shearer as PM material they were talking about Cunliffe. If it wasn’t Cunliffe it would be someone else.

        The fact that the right can simultaneously paint Labour as a talent-free zone and awash with leaders-in-waiting planning their coup is impressive, the fact that they get people to buy it is stunning.

        • Mr Magoo

          They use the word and concept “rolling” which I would not use – as I said I agree to “a point”. I don’t think that is what would happen for a whole host of reasons.
          I imagine that in their collective fantasies a leader stepping down so another can take up the mantle for the good of the party is “rolling” and will never be seen any other way.

          I am not buying anything, so please don’t patronise me. I would argue that you cannot seem to see past the personality to see the argument. At least as ludicrous and incorrect as the original scaremongering.

          Cunliffe was not a sensible option IMO and I would never have agreed with that.

          At any rate, you are confusing intent with truth.

          They are not the same thing and it is rather a common and obvious fallacy.

          It does not matter one iota why they say it. That does not make the statement any more true or false in of themselves.
          I am speaking to the concept of shearer as the next leader, not some sort of cloak and dagger overthrowing.

    • Irascible 7.5

      Why source your hot tip of this rumour to the little oil boiler whose credibility is suspect at the best of times?

  8. gobsmacked 8

    How to find out what Matthew Hooton really thinks:

    1. Read Hollow Men book.
    2. Watch Hollow Men play.
    3. See Hollow Men film.

    How not to find out what Matthew Hooton really thinks:

    1. Listen to Matthew Hooton.

  9. Cactus Kate 9

    Marvellous Matthew Hooton has done a fabulous job if he is upsetting you all like this.

    He’s got my nomination now for VRWC performance of the month and after Whale Oil’s outing of the truth surrounding your honey trapper “victim”, this was going to be a tall order.

    Hooton’s radio show on Sunday’s Radio Live was one of his best ever, particularly the slap down of Sonny Thomas. And his performance this morning on television was first rate.

    • mike 9.1

      Isn’t Sony Thomas that strikingly beautiful young labour activist?

    • Maynard J 9.2

      Saying he’s as nutty as a squirrel’s cheeks is hardly an indication ‘upsetting’ us lefties. Hootonism is clearly an infectious trait among you lot, cactus.

    • poptart 9.3

      Whale? That fat guy with the perm? We all know he doesn’t do his own research.

    • IrishBill 9.4

      Oh no! Cactus Kate is using reverse psychology! How will the left cope?

      • Anita 9.4.1

        Right, that’s done it, Key has his second term already. Now we have to hope Hooton doesn’t come up with a tactic to sow the seeds of distrust amongst the Labour caucus and give 2014 to National-Act.

  10. GSK 10

    commenting to the blog’s pic above.. specifically the colors..

    Back in the days of yore (prior to popular democratic elections) and speaking of the military model, it was the regimental colors that really mattered in battles.. holding them aloft.. proudly etc.. for Napoleon twas the staffed eagle.. loss of which was deemed some terrible defeat regardless other casualties..

    Brought forward and our modern peaceful equivalent we could say, could we not, how Labour not only held its colors aloft for the ‘foot soldiers’ (participants) but unfurled them better, bigger, at Electorate 26.

    The one that mattered. Lest those who earlier sought take them and now seek diminish their significance, attempt to forget.

    ps: Mr. Hooton has by his own admission above, signed out of the latter in a celebratory note.. it’s how they remember that counts.

  11. Cactus Kate 11


    As I’ve told the right-wing lads many times, lay off Sonny. His greatest affliction in my view is clearly his long-time membership of the Labour Party. We treat him with equal and not more disdain as we would any other Labour Party member with a loud mouth and a plummy accent.

    • Maynard J 11.1

      Sorry Kate, but your team reckons that kind of personal abuse is OK. Good on you for trying, but you are pissing against the wind.

  12. jarbury 12

    I think some of the TV3 commentators were pointing out that Shearer may have potential future leadership credentials, so clearly Hooten didn’t pluck the idea out of thin air.

    Obviously the question of `’who after Goff” is an interesting one, and Shearer might end up being in the mix – along with Cunliffe and perhaps a few others. But I suspect it is a while away before we have to worry about that question – as Goff will make it to 2011. Whether he makes it past 2011 is totally dependent upon Labour’s performance in 2011.

  13. Cactus Kate 13

    Irish Bill

    Quick smart, engage the collective uselessness from 30 years of studying for the lofty heights of Bachelor of Arts degrees.

    • IrishBill 13.1

      Now you’ve stopped making sense altogether. Is this gibberish some kind of strategy?

  14. Weather Eye Of The North 14

    What really strikes me is that the so-called “commentariat” are a bunch of scrappy wee voyeurfish in a couple of very tiny ponds – in Aux they live in heavily mortgaged bungalows on the wrong slope in Remuera or Herne Bay, in Wgtn I guess it’d be a damp hollow somewhere in Thorndon.

    Stupid, wannabe, grandiose wee people on the telly, to a man (woman) almost. An intelligent 7th former could do as well really. Hooton distinguishes himself by being grimacingly partisan but he’s equally ridiculous. Who cares what games the idiot plays……..?

  15. QoT 15

    The man was on television this morning telling the nation that David Shearer brings something new to the Labour Party – he’s white, he’s heterosexual, he’s a father, he’s got foreign affairs experience (when called on this, he repeated the foreign affairs line a bit more loudly, which only made things funnier).

    For a moment there, I think he honestly forgot that the old Helen Clark-bashing lines are a tad out of date.

  16. I see the green eyed Standard monster again striking again over Hooton as it did last week with Whale Oil’s television appearance. And frequently when David Farrar hits the screens.

    So when have any of you appeared on television talking even unintelligibly with a political view?

    • felix 16.1

      “So when have any of you appeared on television…”

      Is that your measure of worthiness, Kate?

  17. serpico 17

    Standard bloggers are to ugly to appear on TV Kate. They all suffer from cracked screen syndrome.

  18. infused 18

    Just stop Z posting and it’s all good.

  19. randal 19

    back on topic.
    why doesn’t hooton appear on teevee?
    the answer is that is eyebrows are too close to his forehead and the voters would suss him out immediately.
    as to his analysis off the shearer win it is obviously just another smoke screen .
    what I want to know is who gets the contract to flog off the 300 copcars.
    that should be anice little earner for someones cronies.

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