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No details, please, we’re gallery hacks

Written By: - Date published: 1:17 pm, January 31st, 2014 - 174 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, john key, labour, making shit up, Media, Politics - Tags:

The situation David Cunliffe has found himself in this week over Labour’s new early childhood policies neatly demonstrates one of big problems with Labour’s communications strategy – information overload.

Perhaps it is something of a hangover from the days of Helen Clark, who was on top of every little detail at any given moment, but Labour seems to think that producing screeds of information on their policies is both necessary and desirable. They think people will be impressed by how clever they are.

In fact, all they are doing is giving the media more rope to fashion a noose for Labour’s neck.

Political journalists do not require any special qualifications. They go to journalism school to learn how to structure an article and avoid being sued. There is no test you must pass to become a Gallery hack proving that you understand policy, economics or statistics.

Gallery hacks don’t know any of this stuff because they don’t need to. Their job is write ‘colour’ pieces about the ‘cut and thrust’ of politics. Long, boring wordy stuff with charts and numbers is both too much for their brains to handle and not what they are looking to write about anyway.

Put simply, a political reporter is only interested in one thing – who is winning or losing. The way they decide who is winning is based on what they decide public opinion on an issue is. Their opinion is not shaped by facts or charts or graphs, but on behaviour. They watch for every little stumble, every umm or aah, every nervous tic or slight change in the tone of a voice. They don’t really care who is right or wrong, only who looks and sounds convincing. When they smell uncertainty they start circling like sharks who’ve spotted a bleeding surfer.

Contrast National’s media strategy on their recent education announcement. John Key rocks up, announces something out of the blue, gives a bare minimum of detail and saunters away. The media spend their time frantically ringing around getting opinions from people and typing furiously about how National’s policy will be received. Hardly anything is known about how this policy will actually work in practice, but no one cares. The media pronounces it a winner because the people they have rung for comment by and large support it.

No journalist spends much time dogging Key with questions about the detail, because they have gotten what they wanted and moved on.

Labour, on the other hand, puts out a great deal of detail, leaves itself open to an easy attack by John Key, the journos smell blood and start ripping chunks off Cunliffe and he starts playing their game, apologising and promising to be more careful in future. Then he gets defensive and starts complaining about their bias.

Reactions like these get you nowhere with the media. Being meek marks you out as a victim for the slaughter and being defensive leaves you looking like a sore loser. The John Key playbook – acting like you’ve done nothing wrong even if you have committed a howling error – is a much better move here. Confidence marks a person as a winner, no matter what the facts are.

If Labour is going to win the election this year then they need to smarten up their game. No details, please, we’re New Zealanders.

Blue

174 comments on “No details, please, we’re gallery hacks”

  1. Paul 1

    A corrupted corporate media

  2. lprent 2

    Looking at the front page today, we seem to be having a media morning. No, it isn’t some vast conspiracy – just happens to be what turns up.

    In this case the reaction of the media to Labour this week was somewhat marked when compared to their credulous awe they displayed in the previous week at Nationals completely vague announcement about paying star teachers more.

    Somehow I never saw ANY journalists asking the obvious question. With all of these 5000 or so teachers partially removed from the schools that they are working at. Then where the schools are going to get the money to pay for reliefs whilst the stars are off elsewhere. That didn’t appear to have been part of Nationals announcement?

    It is hard enough for schools to get teachers already without pulling a pile of them off into some kind of mentoring/training role. Are we going to train more teachers to fill this gap?

    But then I guess few journalists have had to actually run an organisation with all of the basic management involved with missing staff eh?

    They really do appear to be just as shallow in their depth of understanding of the real world as Blue suggests. I suspect that his prescription is correct. Feed them less information and count on them being too over-worked or just damn lazy to dig for anything more.

    • Hayden 2.1

      Then where the schools are going to get the money to pay for reliefs whilst the stars are off elsewhere. That didn’t appear to have been part of Nationals announcement?

      I vaguely recall seeing something about schools being funded for replacements, both for teachers and principals. It didn’t address where all this relieving capacity was coming from, or how parents might feel about their “best” teachers being taken away.

      • PapaMike 2.1.1

        Am unsure how many of the “top” teachers actually now take classes.
        Our local Primary Head is more an Administrator, so am unsure how good he will be visiting/working in another school, as he is out of practice.
        I understand that there are many recently qualified teachers who cannot get a job at present, so more opportunities present themselves to get integrated into the system.

        • alwyn 2.1.1.1

          If that is the case then he won’t be one of the teachers chosen will he?
          As I understand the scheme they are going to be the ones who display great results in the classroom. If he isn’t doing that he won’t be an appropriate choice for an “Expert Teacher” or “Leader Teacher” roles.
          He could, on the other hand be eligible for an “Executive Principal” or “Change Principal” if he is good enough. They will be expected to be Administrators.

      • lprent 2.1.2

        I think that it was that they were going to talk about it. But if there are no funds allocated for it, then it can be considered to not exist. What is the bet that the schools will *eventually* be told after the election that they will have to take it from their own budgets.

        In which case, think of the economic reasons to keep a overpaid part-time teacher compared to firing them and getting a cheaper fulltime teacher.

    • Matthew Hooton 2.2

      I think the details of the government’s education announcement are to be worked out in consultation with trustees, principals and teacher unions. That is why there wasn’t much detail – although some in the education sector argued that not even the broad outline of the policy should have been announced without prior consultation with the unions and other groups.

      When it came to the opposition announcement, I don’t think it was the provision of detail that was the problem but that the speech misrepresented the detail. The guest poster is surely not arguing that the policy details should have been kept secret and the erroneous speech been given and not corrected?

      • lprent 2.2.1

        …surely not arguing that the policy details should have been kept secret…

        You mean like National did? There is no difference between keeping implementation and budget as secret and “…to be worked out in consultation with…” when what was announced has less than half of the required costs attached to the aspiration.

        Labours policy could have been expressed as being aspirational with a similar (near criminal?) lack of detail. I think that is what Blue is suggesting should have happened…

        • Matthew Hooton 2.2.1.1

          Yes there is. It seems that decisions have not been made how to implement the government’s policy – that will be worked out in good faith in consultation with the profession. So there is nothing to keep secret. The prime minister announced all there was to announce at this stage.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2.2.1.1.1

            Be better that National don’t bother wasting money on fleshing out that dreg of a policy – National’s own spin will be used against them on this one – creating greater bureaucracy and more ‘middlemen’ is not the answer to the problems with our education system.

            • Matthew Hooton 2.2.1.1.1.1

              I agree with you on the substance of the policy, which I oppose and criticised in the media. But the point is, it wasn’t that they held back detail – they are promising to develop the detail in consultation with the teaching profession – so that the detail does not yet exist. That is very different from the Cunliffe issue where he misrepresented the detail.

              • Tracey

                You are right. They didnt hold back detail. Tbey had none. But which news channels radios and newspapers Pressed that with the pm or concluded it was empty and Redundant cos it is Nothing more than an idea. Thats right. None.

              • Draco T Bastard

                So what you and the other political journos should have been doing in relation to Key’s education announcement is demanding where’s the money rather than giving them a free-ride.

          • Tracey 2.2.1.1.2

            So key should have said… we have an idea but dont know anymore than that yet. He made it sound concrete.

          • KJT 2.2.1.1.3

            Translation. “It will be worked out with some in the profession, who can be bought to go along with their policy.

            • TightyRighty 2.2.1.1.3.1

              yes, the teacher unions will be sure to be silent on that one. given the outcry over national standards from that quarter i don’t think it likely that the patsies will be given an easy run.

              How about this. maybe it could actually work?

              as far as performance pay goes, it is a model that would work very well for the private sector. i like the fact nothing is entrenched. it’s all about making sure that performance is sustained and consistent. if the unions are cautiously agreeing, having them at the table with input will surely benefit the entire sector.

              Coaching programs could be offered by the union to struggling members to help them achieve the pay bonuses?

              it’s all a bit to much effort for the old work shy KJT though

              • KJT

                Try and keep up, TR.

                If you kept up with the management literature, you would know that top performing companies have long abandoned individual performance pay. Because it doesn’t work in the private sector, either.

                The companies with the highest paid executives are the worst performers overall.

                A glaring example of the effects of performance pay, in the form of share options, was ENRON.

                Solid Energy, is, of course, a local example.

                • TightyRighty

                  Oh yeah, I forgot that only company wide bonuses reward those who perform the strongest.

                  ENRON? are we even in the same century. if i wasn’t a touch over thirty i would have no idea what the hell you are talking about.

                  please explain how google, vying with apple for most valuable company in the world, best place to work pretty much since it was founded only reward all staff when the achievements of a few really create the wins?

                  Oh that is right, they don’t. GMAIL team? BSD’s. innovative, forward thinking, killing it on the bonus front. Google+? yeah, nuff said.

                  Those who can are managing and earning bonuses. those who can’t are writing books telling those others who can’t why bonus’ suck and don’t work. no surprise you are quoting them.

                  ENRON! LOL. you all right there old timer? bet your still reading your “latest” management literature in a book.

                  I find it weird you’d do that? that would involve actually showing enough initiative to go the book store or wherever the fuck you purchase dead trees from

          • emergency mike 2.2.1.1.4

            “It seems that decisions have not been made how to implement the government’s policy – that will be worked out in good faith in consultation with the profession.”

            Translation – no one’s got a clue how this is going to work.

          • Tautoko Viper 2.2.1.1.5

            Since when have National negotiated in good faith with teachers?

          • lprent 2.2.1.1.6

            Matthew: So if I understand you correctly, you are agreeing with Blue?

            Key didn’t have to release details because work was required to finalize those details.

            Because following that same logic, Cunliffe should have not have released any details because it would have (as they said) required working out in the basis of the budget at the time.

            Or you could simply be saying that you apply a double standard – which would be somewhat hypocritical eh?

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2.2.2

        “When it came to the opposition announcement, I don’t think it was the provision of detail that was the problem but that the speech misrepresented the detail.”

        ….And nothing to do whatsoever with the fact that the right-wing went into overdrive to condemn the only thing that they could with regard to a good policy that will be popular…./sarc

        “The guest poster is surely not arguing that the policy details should have been kept secret and the erroneous speech been given and not corrected?”

        Logical fallacy alert: Strawman

        • Matthew Hooton 2.2.2.1

          There is no fallacy or straw man. If Labour’s policy was that people on PPL would only get 26 weeks of the $60/week payment then that is what the speech should have said. The poster seems to be saying the speech was ok as written and the problem was that the details of the policy were released – i.e., the erroneous speech should have been released but not the correct fact sheet (or at least its second version).

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2.2.2.1.1

            You questioned and implied that the guest poster was arguing that the policy details should have been kept secret and the erroneous speech been given and not corrected.

            This is nonsense that Blue would be doing this.

            Perhaps you don’t understand what the strawman fallacy entails – I did supply a link for you to follow:

            “By exaggerating, misrepresenting, or just completely fabricating someone’s argument, it’s much easier to present your own position as being reasonable, but this kind of dishonesty serves to undermine honest rational debate.”

            • Matthew Hooton 2.2.2.1.1.1

              No, the poster, Blue, said the political mistake was that Labour issued the details. S/he says they should not have. But that was not the problem. The problem was that the speech doubled the value of the handout compared with what the detailed policy statement did. So, really, Blue’s post should have been “Labour must not exaggerate value of policies in summary speeches” rather than attacking the media for reading through the material provided and finding that the speech was inaccurate. It is like the Budget. Vast amounts of detail are provided and the Minister of Finance’s speech must accurately summarise that. If, say, a National government was cutting tax and the minister said the tax cut was worth $2000 a year to a family when the true amount was $1000, that would be appalling. It would be no good to say that the problem was that the media bothered to read the detail and discover the misrepresentation or lie.

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                Ah! I see where you are coming from – yes you have a point – you are taking what is offered by Blue and following through on what might have occurred had Labour taken Blue’s approach and on rereading Blue’s post I would agree, that certainly can be read into what Blue is saying.

                This doesn’t explain the angle of the error being promoted as a ‘deliberate lie’ nor the requirement that the media has for Labour to cross all its ‘i’s’ and dot all its ‘t’s’ while JK gets to lie wholesale to us on a regular basis.

                Nor does it acknowledge that the people missing out may not need or care about missing out on $60

                However you have a point – my apologies for the accusation.

                • Matthew Hooton

                  If the people who might miss out on the $60 may neither need it or care about it, why on earth would you tax other people to pay it to them in the first place?

                  • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                    People on paid parental leave may not need it and they are not being paid it – that is the error that was ‘discovered’ by the media – isn’t it??

                    • Matthew Hooton

                      My point is that if $60 a week is going to solve or significantly reduce child poverty then getting it for 26 weeks or 52 weeks must matter. If it is argued that it really doesn’t matter that the people concerned won’t be getting it for the first six months, then how can it matter whether or not they get it for the second six months? And of course it gets cancelled just as soon as the baby gets old enough to start costing series money.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      Because those on paid parental leave are receiving another greater payment therefore don’t qualify for it in the first six months. They then lose that greater payment and therefore require it for the next 6 months – [perhaps encouraging a parent to stay at home for longer - which has proven advantages for the child.]

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So you would speak in favour of it being a full 52 weeks for struggling parents then Matthew?

                      Or would you prefer it to be zero weeks? Please be honest.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ CV

                      It is interesting how even the most deceptive people have difficulty telling direct lies.

                    • bad12

                      Dance wee Matty dance, careful tho lest you slip off of the head of the pin upon which you spin…

      • Anne 2.2.3

        You’re ‘misrepresenting’ again Matthew Hooton. He didn’t misrepresent the policy.

        Were you there? Doubt it. I was. His explanation of the detail was clear enough for me . I knew what he meant and I bet the vast majority of the audience did too. Sure, there was room for improvement, but I suspect at least some of those gallery hacks also knew what he meant but it suited them to turn dirty on Cunliffe on the ‘implied instruction’ of lover-boy, J Key. And my God, listen to who is talking. Key can hardly string two sentences together without committing every grammatical and diction error in the book.

        … Labour seems to think that producing screeds of information on their policies is both necessary and desirable. They think people will be impressed by how clever they are.

        There’s certainly an element of truth in that Blue but it goes back further than Helen Clark. I can remember LP people making the same accusation back in the 1970s. Helen Clark was on top of every detail, but by and large she simplified her explanations for public consumption. Cunliffe has the same ability to be on top of detail, but maybe he needs to learn to be more simplistic in his public utterances. Sounds insulting I know, but for many of the punters out there they only seem to understand simplistic language.

      • QoT 2.2.4

        “We don’t have the solutions, we don’t know how it’s going to work or how we’ll implement it, but we definitely know it will cost $359 million.”

        That’s National Party “governance” for you.

    • greywarbler 2.3

      lprent
      It must be annoying for knowledgable people to hear their topic bandied around in a misinformed or misleading manner. Perhaps some of the progressive academics could be asked if they would like to put a paragraph opinion piece that would give some hard base to discussion. Either to lead some, or to add to some already under way. Have you had that in mind Lynn? I envisage it would go up with the body of the post under their name perhaps with a disclaimer if they felt that was best. Or even a thinkpiece by anonymous who had some years experience and a point that was illuminating.

  3. McFlock 3

    Perhaps it is something of a hangover from the days of Helen Clark, who was on top of every little detail at any given moment, but Labour seems to think that producing screeds of information on their policies is both necessary and desirable. They think people will be impressed by how clever they are.

    to be fair, if labour don’t produce screeds of information on each policy, they get shit for being too vague and allegations that any gap in the policy description is incompetently handled and an indication that some people will be neglected.

    I suspect the main issue at the moment is that one particular hack has his knickers in a twist about not being sucked up to. But he’ll either get over himself or get reduced to being as useful as a soggy teabag left over from the 2011 Cup of Tea

  4. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 4

    I think your article has relevance, Blue, however I think you are being too charitable toward what has recently occurred in the media.

    The issue over Mr Cunliffe ‘lying’ came straight out of John Key’s mouth and the media continued to repeat it. This is more than simply looking for the winner – this is an attempt to create the winner.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    If a journalist insists on “reporting” a story as if he works for News of the World, sanction them. As I mentioned yesterday, cut their access back and give their competitors exclusives and information first.

    • This should be trialled on Gower.

    • weka 5.2

      Years ago Tariana Turia started to refuse to speak to the MSM because they were so completely shit at reporting on Maori issues. She instead talked to Maori media. This seems to have worked. As the mP gained power the MSM had to take Maori issues more seriously and get to grips with how to report them. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re doing well with that, but I do think her actions forced change.

    • alwyn 5.3

      I hope that you don’t work for the CIA.
      If you do that talk of “sanction them” may really get people scared.
      Wasn’t that the polite way of saying “poison the bastards” in JFK’s time?

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5.4

      @ CV

      I suggest that Labour, the Greens & any other decent party that understands the importance of accurate information for democracy to function to use some of their resources to go behind the scenes and investigate the connections as to why our media are choosing to act in this way.

      There is very little doubt in my mind that there is major corruption going on with this current government and our media

  6. Skinny 6

    As you rightly point out some of them couldn’t really give 2 hoots and it’s all about the ratings and their own ego. I stay friendly with a number of the ones that are useful to hang one on National like a sloppy Minister, provided the oil you have will be of interest to the public and boost the jurno’s esteem. If you line up a few opposition party MP’s in on the act your away laughing. The beauty is a good journalist never reveals their sources.

  7. Murray Olsen 7

    I think I agree with this. The detail can be given in supporting documents. Of course, one problem is that while our cringing Tory hack journalists will accept this from their side, they’ll push against it when it comes from the left. In any case, I think we can and need to do better.

    • weka 7.1

      The irony there Murray is that apparently the press gallery were given an edited, shorter version.

      btw, is that version in the public domain yet?

  8. Tracey 8

    Little repeated fact about the building consent rjse which national attribute to its policies. Did national orchestrate the earthquakes? Thats the only way their misleading statements today make sense. Twyford spoke well but didnt say smith is being deliberately misleading.

    ” Westpac Banking Corp senior economist Michael Gordon said in a note. “The Canterbury rebuild continues to dominate the totals, but the re-emergence of the Auckland apartment market is a notable recent trend.” “

  9. greywarbler 9

    The ‘cut and thrust’ of politics.
    Stream of consciousness. Sort of amusing, strangely.
    (I just had an inkling about this strangeness, and it’s that most of us have a bit of neanderthal in us, our past people before they found out what a past participle was, interbred so they could get some cool jeans, I mean genes, so they could cope in cooler climes after having come out of Africa. True, this was an interesting piece quoted from magazine Nature I think)

    What does cut and thrust bring to mind :
    The pen is mightier than the sword.
    Ultimate fighting.
    He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.
    Sounds like a job working in a butcher’s shop or an abbatoir.
    A job for those interested in blood sports, and not smart or quick enough to take on the sport of fencing, rather than putting up enclosures on farms.
    It’s for people who need people, they’re the loveliest people in the world.
    Entitlement, one feels the need to try and show the lower classes where they are going wrong.
    It’s passing that course in business law and defamation, most important to get good marks there.
    Need to be able to drink, and take a p..sss together, that’s important for getting the best scuttlebutt.
    That’s for men usually, but women aren’t precluded, no sirree. Did I tell you the one about the femme who could drink everyone under the table, and when she got you under there….well!
    Have to be able to read and write, type, and use all manner of technological devices, some more vice than deee. Know what I mean, nudge, nudge.

    Cripes mate. There is hardly any room in this CV for being able to understand political ethics, policy fashions and foibles, the various shapes of organisations for running countries, hegemony, anything about money and where it comes from, (and where it goes nudge, nudge again), and the needs of the modern society, trading patterns, medical and nutrition effects on longevity and fertility and morbidity, and population growth, and the population drift through war and climate disruption and………….

  10. weka 10

    The satire tag is missing.

    Fuck the gallery hacks, and fuck letting them choose the next govt because they’re too lazy to do a good job. I and many others here are old enough to remember when journalists served the common good. We should be fighting for that.

    “Hardly anything is known about how this policy will actually work in practice, but no one cares”

    I care. I do agree that Labour need to sharpen their act up, but they’re getting better. That the policy detail was online pretty much as soon as Cunliffe’s speech was finished was good and improvement on pre-DC Labour.

    Yes, they fucked up re the PPL thing, but that we all know what the policy is this week, in detail, is a good thing.

    Maybe the real problem this week was that the MSM was thrown by a Labour party being an actual labour party. Yeah Labout made a mistake, but they also produced something bloody interesting. The gallery reaction to the mistake allowed everyone to see what a complete tosser Gower is. The more that kind of shit is made visible the better. Time to stand up to that kind of sloppy, self-serving, egotistical jonolism.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 10.1

      +1 I agree with all you say here apart from ” and fuck letting them choose the next govt because they’re too lazy to do a good job.”

      As I said above – I think this is far too charitable with what is going on in our media. It has got beyond the point of ‘laziness’ – it appears to be a very ‘energetic’ push to promote the right-wing parties’ policies and keep them in power; of encouraging right-wing interests (i.e. the very small group of very wealthy peoples’ interests) to keep their self-absorbed, narrow-minded, mean and greedy hold on this country.

      Someone should be tailing Gower and his ilk and finding out the connections between him and the National party. What has occurred in the last week and since Nat have been in power reeks of right-wing government influence of our information sources and we need to know how this is occurring.

      The media wasn’t excellent prior to this government coming into power – it has degenerated severely since it has been in power, though. Recall all the informative channels we have lost TV7, SBS One & Two, Stratos – all these channels had good informative programmes and we have lost all but a very few of those programmes.

      Here is a starting point for making the connections: TV3 got a big handout from this government and it is the worst TV channel for right wing bias.

      • weka 10.1.1

        The lazy bit was simply that the information they wanted was already online and none of them bothered to check.

        TV3 also have Campbell Live.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 10.1.1.1

          My point being:

          It is not laziness that lead them to promote this angle on Cunliffe and Labour – this was right-wing spin- and they were very energetic in promoting such.

          • weka 10.1.1.1.1

            I suppose I’m not willing to assume that all political journalists are as you describe, despite some being so.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 10.1.1.1.1.1

              I would agree with that – TV3 is the worst and appears to be where most of the trouble is originating. As for newspapers – don’t read a lot out of them – because I can’t stand the bias, opinionated unsigned articles and inaccuracies I always find in them when I do.

          • fisiani 10.1.1.1.2

            The problem for The Cunliffe is that now the year has begun with him saying one thing and then admitting he was wrong not once but now three times, PPL, tax credits and antenatal care. The Cunliffe has lost any last vestige of credibility with the media and the public. Watch for The Cunliffe fake Polynesian accent video clip of 2011 to be replayed over and over. The only question is what digit will follow the 2 in the next poll. Not even I can expect that it will be what digit follows the 1.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 10.1.1.1.2.1

              Sometimes it is interesting to read the thoughts of someone lost in their own fantasies, Fisiani, thanks for that.

    • Matthew Hooton 10.2

      But the gallery, particularly TV3, wasn’t lazy and did do a good job. They read all the background material and found that Cunliffe had misrepresented his own policy, deliberately or otherwise.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        Of course. Its merely investigating John Key’s policy spending claims where they get lazy.

      • Hayden 10.2.2

        …deliberately…

        If you believe that you probably also believe that he’d falsify his CV in a way that could be easily checked, perhaps by asking his old employer, examining time-sheets, that sort of thing.

        Here, I’ll fix the speech:

        There is no year more critical than the first. That’s why today, I am announcing that for 59,000 families with new-born babies, they will all receive a Best Start payment of $60 per week, for the first year of their child’s life.

        becomes:

        There is no year more critical than the first. That’s why today, I am announcing that for 59,000 families with new-born babies, they will all receive a Best Start payment of $60 per week, for the first year of their child’s life, once Paid Parental Leave entitlements have ended.

        Seven words; bit of an oversight, hardly a sustained campaign of disinformation.

        • Matthew Hooton 10.2.2.1

          Quite an important seven words though. Your first par would be untrue and the second would be true. The first par doubles the true value of the handout, which is not trivial.

          • Hayden 10.2.2.1.1

            No-one said it was trivial, but it’s easy to miss seven words out of 2510 (as published) words, and it’s one point out of a whole lot of points that was missed.

            If you really want to play games with semantics, you could argue that it was left unsaid that the Best Start payment would have an abatement rate of 100% against Paid Parental Leave. An important omission, but not technically a lie.

            • Matthew Hooton 10.2.2.1.1.1

              Usually politicians are more careful or honest when it comes to the key paragraph in a speech announcing a policy. Finance ministers, for example, summarise dozens of policy and spending changes in their Budget speeches without making this sort of “error”.

              • KJT

                Like “we will not raise GST” Key?

                You are a joke, Hooton, Though rather a sick one.

                • fisiani

                  Want to find a citation for that. People tried and failed in 2011. I challenge you to find any evidence of him stating “we will not raise GST”. Note the closed quotation mark. Find a clip with his quotation finishing at that point . You are simply misquoting by selection of 5 words in sequence without allowing people to remember the rest of his answer. Typical Leftist attempted smear. Didn’t work in 2011 and will not work in 2014.

                    • fisiani

                      Epic Fail blue leopard. Want another try? Still not a shred of evidence of those 5 words in isolation and no acknowledgment that the response was to a different question.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      What is wrong with it? I am on dial-up so couldn’t check – although I tried.

                      The article quotes Mr Key

                      “In the video, taken during a press conference in 2008, Mr Key was asked to rule out a hike in GST after suggestions the next government would have no choice but to raise GST to 15 per cent, and raise taxes.

                      Mr Key’s response to the question was: “National is not going to be raising GST. National wants to cut taxes not raise taxes. We acknowledge the point [made], which is that there is a decade of deficits facing New Zealand. But that comes back to our core point …the fastest way to eliminate those deficits and get New Zealand back into surplus is to get New Zealand growing again.”

                      Are they misquoting the video?
                      Sounds reasonable to assume that National are not going to be raising GST from that quote.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      Gee…is that all you’ve got for your ‘he didn’t really say it’ theory??

              • Tracey

                Lololololol

                • fisiani

                  Blue Leopard again EPIC Fail. You have misquoted yet again.

                  • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                    I haven’t misquoted anything – that was a direct cut and paste from Stuff- if you have a problem with what they reported perhaps you might want to lodge a formal complaint to them.

                    Your argument is obscure Fisiani and if you don’t want to explain – it is going to stay that way.

                    That is one hell of a way to make a point you’ve got there; one where no one apart from yourself understands what you are wittering on about.

              • Hayden

                170,000 jobs?

              • McFlock

                surplus?
                cost of asset sales?
                income from asset sales?

              • Anne

                Unlike most Tories Matthew Hooton, David Cunliffe is able to make a full speech without notes in front of him. He made a mistake leaving out a handful of words, but what he subsequently said adequately explained what he had previously omitted in error. Just as well isn’t it, those hacks don’t apply the same blow torch to their beloved master, John Key. Phew, that must be a relief given the unforgivable lies Key frequently utters.

                You see, Cunliffe made it clear – and I paraphrase – that no-one was going to be allowed to rort the system, and only one ‘payment’ would be available to parents at any given time. That was my understanding anyway.

              • mickysavage

                Usually politicians are more careful or honest when it comes to the key paragraph in a speech

                Careful Matthew. Remember when you had to apologise for calling David a liar previously? Details are at http://thestandard.org.nz/matthew-hooton-apologises-sort-of/ if you forget.

                Do I sense a campaign of denigration attacking David’s honesty? After all the reality does not matter, all that is important is the creation of an illusion …

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 10.2.2.1.2

            Whilst clarifying information is good – I think compared to what people are receiving on paid parental leave it is a very trivial point for the mainstream media to be making a big song and dance over.

            Or do you think that those receiving paid parental leave are in such great need that an extra 60 bucks is substantial ‘loss’ for them?

            • Matthew Hooton 10.2.2.1.2.1

              For the 270,000 children Labour claims are living in “poverty”, I would have thought the difference between PPL+$3120 and PPL+$1560 – an average of $30 a week in that first year or life – would be material. It is odd for anyone in Team Cunliffe to be saying that it wasn’t an important enough issue for the media to be highlighting because $1560 a year is not all that much.

              • McFlock

                Wow, so suddenly a nat spin doctor cares about making a [positive] difference for the poor.

                labgrn are beginning to look like the harbingers of real [positive] change…

                • Matthew Hooton

                  I am neither claiming to care nor not care. It is just that if you announce a policy you claim will end poverty for 270,000 children it is material whether or not the handout is $3120 or $1560 – and if you say the former when the truth is that latter, you can hardly bleat about media bias when they point out your error.

                  • McFlock

                    I am neither claiming to care nor not care.

                    Hooten refuses to confirm or deny caring about the poor.
                    Got that.

                    It is just that if you announce a policy you claim will end poverty for 270,000 children

                    bold claim for a policy that only affects ~59k babies a year, I agree. Got a source?

                    Your real difficulty with this policy is (that regardless of whether it’s $1500 or $3000) poorer parents still know that it’s $1500 or $3000 more than you bastards will ever do for them.

                  • Hayden

                    policy you claim will end poverty for 270,000 children

                    Speaking of inaccuracy…

                    • Matthew Hooton

                      Ok, fair enough, if you claim it will materially address child poverty …

                    • McFlock

                      if you claim it will materially address child poverty

                      in that case, either $1.5k or $3k will “materially address child poverty”. So no problem, because it’s still more than nactoids would do.

                  • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                    @ Matthew Hooton

                    Do you think that those in the 270 000 children category are receiving paid parental leave?

                    I assumed paid parental leave comes with well paid jobs – not poorly paid ones

                  • emergency mike

                    “you can hardly bleat about media bias when they point out your error.”

                    If they had ‘pointed out an error’ that would be fine Matthew, it’s the anguished, outraged, over the top reaction from certain corners of the media that is objectionable.

                    Key announces an education policy which despite being apparently costed out to the nearest $10m is horribly vague and devoid of any meaningful details, and the media pack calls it a good un’.

                    Nah no media bias here.

          • Puddleglum 10.2.2.1.3

            Matthew, it’s actually less than seven words astray of your sudden and selective logical stringency over sentence formation and truth value.

            Simply change the word ‘will’ to ‘can’ and it’s true. (PPL is an entitlement that does not have to be taken).

            Did you fail to notice – despite your deep and genuine concern over truth value in relation to political speeches – that in John Key’s speech (and consistently repeated in Hekia Parata’s subsequent interviews) there were completely untrue statements to the effect that research overwhelmingly shows that teacher quality is the most important influence on student achievement?

            Do you agree that that statement fundamentally misled the New Zealand public? Also, given that it represented the rationale for the policy – rather than ‘merely’ a detail of the policy – don’t you think it represents a far more worrying misrepresentation?

            • Hayden 10.2.2.1.3.1

              Yes, it’s about #54 on the Hattie (PBUH) Index, isn’t it?

              • Hayden

                To answer my own question, it’s #56:

                http://visible-learning.org/hattie-ranking-influences-effect-sizes-learning-achievement/

                “Pre-term birth weight” is #38, and “Not labelling children” (goodbye National Standards!) is #20. I expect David Farrar to be on this any minute now…

              • Matthew Hooton

                Are you sure Hattie doesn’t say teachers are the most important influence on student achievement than students themselves? Read this: http://www.education.auckland.ac.nz/webdav/site/education/shared/hattie/docs/teachers-make-a-difference-ACER-(2003).pdf

                But it teacher quality doesn’t affect student achievement, then the Treasury will be delighted because they can all be sacked and replaced with minimum-wage baby-sitters and the students will be no worse off!

                • McFlock

                  Once again a tory shill thinks that “not the most important” means “completely unimportant”.

                  Either than, or once again a tory shill turns out to be a barefaced liar and unprincipled sophist.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  How about you read this article from Puddleglums – ‘The Political Scientist’ BlogSpot Mr Hooton and tell me why the media didn’t pick up on this error in Key’s State of the Nation speech:

                  “A mountain of evidence shows that the quality of teaching – inside the classroom – is the biggest influence on kids’ achievement.” [- From Key's SON speech]

                  [....There’s a slight problem with this statement...]

                  “A study published earlier this month by researchers at North Carolina State University, Brigham Young University and the University of California-Irvine, for example, finds that parental involvement — checking homework, attending school meetings and events, discussing school activities at home — has a more powerful influence on students’ academic performance than anything about the school the students attend. Another study, published in the Review of Economics and Statistics, reports that the effort put forth by parents (reading stories aloud, meeting with teachers) has a bigger impact on their children’s educational achievement than the effort expended by either teachers or the students themselves. And a third study concludes that schools would have to increase their spending by more than $1,000 per pupil in order to achieve the same results that are gained with parental involvement….”

                  “So parents matter — a point made clear by decades of research showing that a major part of the academic advantage held by children from affluent families comes from the “concerted cultivation of children” as compared to the more laissez-faire style of parenting common in working-class families….”

                  “In fact, the Prime Minister didn’t even have to read “decades of research” or go to sociology conferences to discover this point.”

                  Research on student learning consistently shows that the largest source of variation in student learning is attributable to differences in what students bring to school – their abilities and attitudes, and family and community background – factors that difficult for policy makers to influence, at least in the short-run.

                  Perhaps John Key just ‘mis-spoke’ on that claim that “[a] mountain of evidence shows that the quality of teaching – inside the classroom – is the biggest influence on kids’ achievement“. Perhaps he meant to say “[a] mountain of evidence shows that – inside the classroom – the quality of teaching is the biggest influence on kids’ achievement“.

                  Or maybe not.” – Puddleglum

                • Hayden

                  It’s just a little joke about DPF claiming that Metiria Turei was lying about the effect on poverty on the change in educational achievements, apparently arrived at by counting the items on the list. To be consistent he should be jumping on anyone who claims the most important factor in education is anything other than “Self-report grades”.

                  If you look at the graphic on the linked page it’s essentially meaningless in terms of comparing one influence to another, for example the list also contains “Drugs” and “Mathematics”.

                  By the way, from your link:

                  Students which account for about 50% of the variance of achievement. It is what students brings to the table that predicts achievement more than any other variable. The correlation between ability and achievement is high, so it is no surprise that bright students have steeper trajectories of learning than their less bright students. Our role in schools is to improve the trajectory of all these
                  students, and I note the recent PIRLS and TIMMS studies which have shown
                  that our trajectory for the not so bright students is one of the flattest in the
                  OECD worlds.

                  Home which accounts for about 5-10% of the variance – considering that the major effects of the home are already accounted for by the attributes of the student. The home effects are more related to the levels of expectation and
                  encouragement, and certainly not a function of the involvement of the parents
                  or caregivers in the management of schools.

                  Teachers who account for about 30% of the variance. It is what teachers know, do, and
                  care about which is very powerful in this learning equation.

                  (italics mine)

                  So the home and the student are largely inseparable, and together have nearly/exactly twice the influence of the teacher.

                • Matthew,

                  My point was that research shows that teachers are not the most important influence on student achievement.

                  As all researchers in the area know, the most important influences on achievement are outside the school. If National had $379m it wanted to spend on improving student achievement over the long-run it would have been far better to spend it on those external factors.

                  As for what Treasury knows, here’s an extract from their Advice on Lifting Student Achievement in 2012:

                  Research on student learning consistently shows that the largest source of variation in student learning is attributable to differences in what students bring to school – their abilities and attitudes, and family and community background – factors that difficult for policy makers to influence, at least in the short-run.

                  [BTW, it is highly debatable that such factors are "difficult for policy makers to influence" and, in any case, such a claim goes against most of the welfare reforms instituted by this government. Those reforms are based on the belief that you certainly can change the "family and community background" and, indeed, the "attitudes" of individuals to make them more 'responsible'. But that's another argument.]

                  Perhaps John Key just ‘mis-spoke’ in his claim that “[a] mountain of evidence shows that the quality of teaching – inside the classroom – is the biggest influence on kids’ achievement“. Perhaps he meant to say “[a] mountain of evidence shows that – inside the classroom – the quality of teaching is the biggest influence on kids’ achievement“.

                  But I know that you’re against people retrospectively adjusting the sentences in politicians’ speeches, so we have to conclude that Key misled New Zealand with his statement.

                  A very serious case of misrepresentation of the rationale for a policy, don’t you agree?

                  Edit: I see that extracts from my post on this have just been extracted by blue leopard.

                  • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                    @ Puddleglum

                    An excellent point that you make – yet more evidence our media are blatantly biased – it is very telling that Hooton doesn’t answer to your point.

                    Excellent article, by the way, Puddleglum, thanks.

                  • Tracey

                    Oh dear… johnny lied and matthew ran away from answering.

                    Ssdd

                • Tautoko Viper

                  reductio ad absurdum argument, Matthew.

                • KJT

                  Hattie himself said he was excluding outside school influences for the purpose of that study.

                  But you know that don’t you, Hooton?

                  I hear you are now part of the “party for individual responsibility” the one whose members never take individual responsibility for anything.
                  Including their own criminal ACT’s and, the disaster, their policies have inflicted on New Zealand, for 3 decades.

                • Tracey

                  Is one person a mountain of research or evidence

      • weka 10.2.3

        “But the gallery, particularly TV3, wasn’t lazy and did do a good job. They read all the background material and found that Cunliffe had misrepresented his own policy, deliberately or otherwise.”

        Yeah, nah. The version I read online was up soon after the speech. What happened on ts is that we read or listened to the speech, and then we started asking questions. Some of us went and found answers to those questions by looking at the Labour Party website. The thing about the $60/wk starting after PPL ends is on the front page of the main document. It wasn’t hard to find, and many of us had already read it before Gower started his little ego trip.

        If the Press Gallery had access to different material, and wanted to know about whether the child payment was on top of PPL, all they had to do was ask. Or go online. I’m sure some of them even have smart phones.

        Gower made it into a big fucking issue, and as per usual, made shit up. That’s not doing a good job. Do you really think that it serves NZ for the focus to be on a Labour Party communications mistake and for that mistake to be spun into lies, or on the actual policy?

        • Matthew Hooton 10.2.3.1

          So when a party leader stands up and announces in a major policy speech a policy that s/he says is worth $3120, and then the press gallery reads the background documents and finds out it is worth only $1560, then they should say “oh well, no big deal, at least it was correct in the fact sheet” and decide it is not news? Disagree with you sorry. That sounds like lead story material to me.

          • Tracey 10.2.3.1.1

            So you agree the media has failed to make alot of le
            ad stories about key’s misleading statements… given you think such things are not trivial.

          • weka 10.2.3.1.2

            I didn’t say that, so stop spinning that line.

            Gower spun that Cunliffe had deliberately misled the media and the public. But at the very same time he was doing that, the actual policy was online for anyone to see. If you really think that Cunliffe was trying to mislead everyone intentionally, please tell me how that planning session would have played out, I’d love to know.

            It was mistake. By all means point it out. But don’t tell lies.

          • emergency mike 10.2.3.1.3

            “they should say “oh well, no big deal, at least it was correct in the fact sheet” and decide it is not news? Disagree with you sorry. That sounds like lead story material to me.”

            No Matthew, they should point out that Labour has made a slightly embarrasing error in the presentation on their policy, ask for clarifiaction, and move on. Hysterical claims and attacks about Cunliffe ‘deliberately misleading’ at the same time as the correct information is freely and clearly available, not so much.

            • TightyRighty 10.2.3.1.3.1

              slightly embarrassing that he got caught out lying.

              • emergency mike

                Whatever works for you righty, I’m sure those parents who miss out on the $60 per week in the first 6 months are totally gutted to realize that they’re only getting paid parental leave. Oh that sneaky ol’ Cunliffe.

          • Skinny 10.2.3.1.4

            The problem for Labour is they don’t have many paid staffers around them to act quickly when a slip up is made. Of course on the other side of the fence there is countless paid spin merchants such as yourself Matthew to pick up any flaws. Bit average the caucus didn’t pick it up or did they?

          • BLiP 10.2.3.1.5

            So when the PRIME MINISTER stands up and announces in a major policy speech a policy that HE DOESN’T KNOW HOW WILL IT WORK OR HOW MUCH IT WILL COST, and then the press gallery reads the background documents and finds out JOHN KEY IS LYING THROUGH HIS TEETH ABOUT ALL SORTS OF THINGS THROUGHOUT THE SPEECH, then they should say nothin and decide it is not news? Disagree with you sorry. That sounds like lead story material to me.

            Yep, sure does.

          • RedLogix 10.2.3.1.6

            So when a party leader stands up and announces in a major policy speech a policy that s/he says is worth $3120, and then the press gallery reads the background documents and finds out it is worth only $1560,

            Only in the case they have already chosen to receive PPL. I went to the DoL web calculator: http://www.dol.govt.nz/paidparental/

            I entered the details for an employed mum who had been working for 3 years with the same employer on $45,000 pa. and the result was:

            You are entitled to (unpaid) statutory parental leave of:
            special leave (up to 10 days during your pregnancy e.g. for doctor visits)
            maternity leave (up to 14 weeks – up to 6 before the birth and the balance of the 14 weeks after the birth)
            extended leave (up to 52 weeks, including the 14 weeks maternity leave and including any extended leave taken by your partner – this entitlement may be shared with your partner).
            If you choose to take parental leave, you are entitled to the statutory parental leave payment. Your payment will be $488.17 per week before tax. This will be paid from the start of your parental leave until the earlier of the following:

            the end of 14 weeks; or

            the date you return to work; or

            if you resign, the date you resign.

            Whichever way you cut it, all new parents will be at least better off by $60 pw under either of these schemes. I repeat Mathew – why would anyone think it reasonable to doubled-dip Best Start and PPL?

    • Tim 10.3

      +1 !
      Ignore the hacks and simply deal with the genuine 4th Estate.
      (e.g. Maori Television and parts of RNZ – and occasionally TV3 where it is directed to specific programmes)

      Engage in ‘live’ debate with the likes of gower and other lazy, egotistical, Max Headroom, self-promoting hacks only – i.e. ‘live and direct/real time’ in a forum that doesn’t allow them the luxury of their applying lack-lustre interpretive skills (they have none).

      Live Morning Report, Live Checkpoint, Live crosses, Live Campbell Live, Maori Television, etc.
      Ignore Gower doorstops and so on – except to say …. “Paddy, I’ll speak with you live and direct”

      I mean if Key can do it – why not others (note …. Key is too gutless to front up on RNZ most times – especially with the likes of Kim Hill and others – he simply goes with the lazy and the ‘sympathetic/pathetic).

      ….. even issue a press release explaining the policy stating that certain in the media appear to be intent on misrepresentation, and the safest way to avoid that is to front up ‘live’.

  11. Jan 11

    Gosh, weka, you must be positively ancient if you can remember when journalists served the common good!
    In the early 1970s my then partner was a parliamentary journalist. My observation was (and I had plenty of opportunity to observe – the Nats, especially were only too ready to pour alcohol down their throats on the slightest of excuses) that they were a right wing bunch, some worse than others, who quite unashamedly wrote biased pieces almost as a matter of course and thought they were jolly clever fellows! The major difference between then and now seems to me to be a matter of degree – they were quite a lot more subtle about it back then. Just as now they weren’t terribly bright, really – I think journalism attracts a lot of dross.

    • weka 11.1

      I was speaking more generally Jan than just the parliamentary reporters. I remember when Gordon Campbell left the Listener, and the general shift that occured in the 80s. I’m not that old ;-) I’m also thinking about the shift to celebrity journalism and what happened with the coming of Paul Holmes.

      Do you think that even in the 70s where there was obvious bias that there was a different set of ethics. I actually don’t have a problem with bias so long as its explicit. What Gower did wasn’t political bias so much as turning political reporting into his own little high drama circus.

      What the post here seemed to be arguing is that this is the way jonolism is, so political parties should accept that, and adapt their strategy. I’m saying there is a limit to how much that should happen, and jonolism shouldn’t be left to set the agenda.

      • Jan 11.1.1

        In a way that 1970s bias was more harmful than what is happening now – it wasn’t explicit, it was quite subtle, at least as far as ‘man in the street’ was concerned. . Hopefully Gower’s ‘circus’ is so blatant as to be outrageously obvious, if not now , then eventually.
        The only difference in ethics that I can see is that back then they forbore to uncover the sexual indiscretions of members of both sides of the house (and they were many and varied!). A sort of gentleman’s agreement, if you like ????????????
        Celebrity journalism was another ball of wax – it was who they chose that was the insult to our intelligence. Ethics had very little to do with it, either personally or professionally.
        And don’t even get me started on the decline of the Listener!

  12. Matthew Hooton 12

    “Perhaps it is something of a hangover from the days of Helen Clark, who was on top of every little detail at any given moment.”

    Yes, that is probably right. Helen Clark was a hard worker who would have read through and understood all the details of the policy before approving and giving her speech. David Cunliffe does not appear to have her work ethic.

    • McFlock 12.1

      Well, he’d have to work fucking hard to be as lazy as U-key-lele.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 12.2

      How jolly, Cunliffe doesnt have her work ethic ?

      Meanwhile, you would wouldnt dare state what is common knowledge in Wellingtom, John Key has the attention span of a spider and has absolutely no interest in details.

      Rodney Hide famously described him as lazy in cabinet- and has paid the price by not getting a government job for the last couple of years.

      Does Key pay a price- well he avoids any sort of serious interview, and if trapped will offer up any old nonsense, but never be held to account.
      No doubt if any journalist tried to pin him down, they would be accused of “politicking” and using the “labour partys lines”

    • idlegus 12.3

      im pretty sure you said sometime last year that you worked with cunliffe on that car park tax thing & you found cunliffe to be hard working. that was during your “shit stirring with shearer vs cunliffe” phase.

  13. TightyRighty 13

    So, your saying the public believe national is winning and labour is losing?

  14. captain hook 14

    well hooton if $1500 is not that much then what is donkeyote and his gang of pennypinching high rollers going to do about it.
    Where are the jobs?

  15. Hayden 15

    This just in: the mountain in question is only 1192m* high. When will David Cunliffe stop lying?

    * I made that up

  16. Hami Shearlie 16

    Is it David Cunliffe’s fault that Patrick Gower is incapable of thoroughly reading Labour’s Policy notes online? Is it David Cunliffe’s fault that Patrick Gower is so ill-informed? Maybe Mr Gower should spend less time in the toilet providing crude sound effects for youtube, and more time actually reading and digesting Labour’s policy announcment! Time for Mr Gower to acknowledge HIS failings instead of attributing his mistakes to others – I’m not holding my breath though – Gower is as crazy as a rabid dog, but not as beautiful!!

  17. Matthew Hooton 17

    But Gower is capable of and did in fact read the detail which is how he was able to report that Cunliffe has misrepresented his own policy.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 17.1

      What I want to know is what reward does he receive from the small groups of wealthy businesspeople for the work he does for them? How much is it, Hooton? How much is it these days to betray the general public in the way he does?

    • Lanthanide 17.2

      And then Gower himself misrepresented Labour’s mistake as some sort of deliberate deception.

    • Tim 17.3

      Read above Mattieu – Gower is also intent on arse licking and misrepresentation – I mean ASIDE from the self-promotion and little dickery that he’s obviously afflicted with.

      When you think about it ‘in the long term’ – it’s not really a smart thing for them to be doing.
      NZ’s mainstream media as a 4th Estate is ekshly almost defunct. In the not too distant – it will be restored and various audiences will be able to see what they’ve been missing out on.

      30-40 years ago, I was appalled at the state of Australian media as a recent arrival (comparing it with NZ at the time).
      We’ve overtaken them in terms of brain-deadism. We’ve utterly outdone them.
      I suspect in a few years, there’ll be a Gower or two hawking their CVs around various Australian and other ‘FOX-style’ media organisations – an of course when he does he’ll be quite disappointed.

      Today …. EVEN right leaning MSM in OZ (such as Skoi News) don’t pretend as to their journalistic credentials. They may be right leaning, but at least they’re more open and honest about it. And at least there are forums such as “The Nation” and various other FTA programmes that are live and direct whereby an opposition can state their case without Max Headrooms monopolising the debate.
      (Ekshly to the extent that their gubbamint is running SO scared, they’re about to construct ‘an inquiry’ into PSB – and their loyalty to “The Australian People”).

      Christ!…. If Gower were a decade or so younger and fronted up to one of the most basic journalism courses at a former Wgtn Polytech – he’d achieve a D+ at best! – and even that’d be from a certain right-leaning ‘professor’ !).

      • Tim 17.3.1

        Ekshly Mattieu – I don’t expect a reply from you anytime soon. maybe when you’ve thought about it and come up with some smarmy smart-arse retort – one which, of course is considered, and bland enough so as not to be too offensive such that it jeopardises any cute little media slot where you appear as a sage for a ‘fee’.

    • mickysavage 17.4

      Matthew do you see the irony? In a previous comment in this post you said that David Cunliffe said the policy would solve child poverty when he clearly did not.

      So do we take it that you were blatantly misrepresenting his position or should we accept that you were mistaken?

    • Anne 17.5

      Crosby/Textor been on the phone Matthew?

      Keep using the word misrepresentation over and over again. Doesn’t matter that it isn’t true. Keep saying it…. misrepresentation misrepresentation misrepresentation misrepresentation misrepresentation. The more you say it the better. Eventually people will think it might be true.

      Is that what its all about Matthew? The old transference trick?

    • RedLogix 17.6

      I’m utterly baffled by this entire episode.

      In exactly what universe did anyone think that they would be able to double-dip on both PPL and Best Start?

      Like for more than 200 msec?

      • Lanthanide 17.6.1

        It doesn’t matter whether it’s “reasonable” or “correct” or whatever, in your or anyone else’s opinion.

        What matters is that Cunliffe’s speech was crucially wrong, to a very large degree, in how the policy was outlined.

        Basically what you are doing is excusing the error because “reasons”. Actually I’d rather point out that there was an error, and that it’s not good enough, not matter what party it comes from.

        • RedLogix 17.6.1.1

          The error could only arise in the mind of someone who imagined it was going to be possible to double-dip both provisions.

          I’ve listened to the speech twice and the second time through I listened to the pertinent paras with the PPL question in mind.

          If you want to make an unreasonable literal interpretation of DC’s words (in other words you are being an pedantic dickhead) then yes you can have a go like Gower did. But any reasonable person would understand exactly what DC meant.

          You’ve fallen for Gower’s dickhead framing. Never ever give their hatred of us any oxygen Lanth. Never.

          • Lanthanide 17.6.1.1.1

            “The error could only arise in the mind of someone who imagined it was going to be possible to double-dip both provisions.”

            There’s no “imagining” necessary there, because Cunliffe’s speech out-right states that you get $60/week payment and they are also lengthening PPL to 6 months.

            Actually I think it is you who is trying to re-interpret Cunliffe’s speech in the best possible light after the fact. He has in fact already admitted to the mistake and taken fair cop on it, so he believes it was wrong even if you don’t.

            “But any reasonable person would understand exactly what DC meant.”

            I mustn’t be be a “reasonable person” then, because when I read in the online FAQ sheet that you don’t get the $60 payment until after the PPL period ends I was surprised but that is not at all how I understood it from Cunliffe’s speech (which I read, not watched). That was before any of this was caught and blown up by the media.

            “You’ve fallen for Gower’s dickhead framing.”

            No, not at all. As above, I discovered this myself before Gower did. If you read my other comments on this matter, you’ll also see that I consider this to be a minor footnote of the policy and Gower has massively overplayed the issue. But it IS an issue.

      • gem 17.6.2

        But a person is entitled to Super, and still earn a wage or salary, so isn’t a similar assumption reasonable with PPL and Best Start? Yes the reaction has been histrionic, and there was clearly no intent to mislead, but it was a mistake to omit it.

        • RedLogix 17.6.2.1

          @gem & Lanth

          I think the clue is in the term “Universal Superannuation”.

          If Best Start had been designed and named as a “Universal Child Allowance” then you would have a fair point.

          Instead Best Start is intended to rather modestly fill in the gap for those people who cannot access PPL – in which case it’s rather obvious that there was no intention to allow double-dipping.

          Imagine if Best Start was universal in the sense you are thinking of – what then? Gower would have attacked it as ‘double-dipping’, ‘middle-class’ welfare. No winning with dickheads like him.

          Incidentally it’s this sort of political nonsense which always arises from targeted benefits/tax credits. Which is one of the reasons why I’m personally so very strong (ideological even) on the idea of a clean, non-targeted UBI across the board.

          • gem 17.6.2.1.1

            Best Start cannot be a universal entitlement, because that would highlight the huge amount of wealth locked at the very top.
            Labour is not going to target the financial elite apart from a modest tax increase. The 1% are not part of the community in any meaningful sense, so the ”near universal” Best Start is not about them.

            ”In 2013 the wealthiest 1% of New Zealand adults own three times more wealth than the
            poorest 50%.”
            (Source: Service and Food Workers Union Living Wage fact-sheet)

            • RedLogix 17.6.2.1.1.1

              Yes – we’re on the same page there. The 1% (or more realistically the top 0.01%) are not on the same planet as the rest of us.

              But in real terms if you did make Best Start truly universal who cares if a family with a net worth over $10m or more and an income in excess of $1m pa gets an extra $60 pw for a year or so? It’s of zero significance anyway you look at it, either in terms of the impact on that household or the total amount paid out.

              In the big picture it’s a tiny, insignificant ‘so fucking what’ moment. In the big picture that wealthy household should have paid a fair old whack of tax, therefore who cares if they get a tiny fraction of it back? It just does not matter. The only reason we can’t go there politically is because of unreasoning arseholes like Gower.

              The real point to get here is that tory pricks like Gower are the enemy. You can never, ever win with them. No matter how carefully you frame the policy, or word the speech. The only thing he understands or respects is a greater force – maximum deliverable smackdown.

              Everytime.

              • gem

                ”But in real terms if you did make Best Start truly universal who cares if a family with a net worth over $10m or more and an income in excess of $1m pa gets an extra $60 pw for a year or so?”
                Of course it makes little difference to the very wealthy, and it wouldn’t have cost the state much more to make it universal. That’s not the point.
                If universality was proposed, the political debate would encompass the very wealthy, which would have been very interesting. So, at the moment (putting aside the silly business of what was and wasn’t disclosed about the eligibility criteria) the political debate is focused on the rights and wrongs of whether households earning up to $150,000 should receive Best Start. So it neuters the debate because it exempts those at the top from scrutiny.
                An opportunity has been lost to start a discussion about inequality and citizenship.

                • RedLogix

                  Oh I see your point now.

                  Yes I agree totally. I would have indeed made Best Start universal for exactly the reasons you outline – albeit if I can see it in hindsight.

                  At the same time if Cunliffe had been going down the universal path I would have expected him to have clearly, loudly signaled that in the speech. Which of course he didn’t – so no-one had any reasonable basis to assume otherwise.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I’m still concerned that policy calls are being made from the perspective of the Thorndon Bubble.

                    i.e. what makes sense and seems clever from inside the Bubble, is actually at best deficient from the perspective of ‘real NZ’, or at worst, a complete clanger.

                    For instance, I am now hearing feedback from strong Labour supporters that they are peeved with the $150K pa threshold – far too high and untargeted they say.

                    In a way gem has a very good point the discussion which could have been had should universality have been used.

            • Anne 17.6.2.1.1.2

              Labour is not going to target the financial elite apart from a modest tax increase.

              I (partially) disagree there gem. I think Cunliffe is brave enough to stick it to them. Not as much as we might like, but it will be more than modest.

              Why do you think the Right are behaving the way they are? They’re in full panic mode and its not just because they see some power slipping from their fingers.

          • Lanthanide 17.6.2.1.2

            “Gower would have attacked it as ‘double-dipping’, ‘middle-class’ welfare. No winning with dickheads like him.”

            You keep focussing on Gower, as if it’s somehow Gower’s fault that Cunliffe didn’t get the details in his speech correct.

            Gower is irrelevant to whether the speech was correct.

            By all means, talk about Gower’s reaction to the details being wrong – he’s a dickhead and made a massive deal about this, including saying that it was a deliberate deception by Labour.

            But don’t use Gower’s response as a way to minimise what happened – Cunliffe made a mistake in his speech. Labour screwed up and gave reporters a cut-down version of the fact sheet that didn’t show that the $60 payment started after the PPL ended. Jacinda Ardern authorised printed material the likewise implies that everyone simultaneously receives $60/week payment and also PPL at the same time.

            • RedLogix 17.6.2.1.2.1

              But don’t use Gower’s response as a way to minimise what happened – Cunliffe made a mistake in his speech

              The mistake was not in the speech. It was in leaving a tiny loophole for a gumball like Gower to exploit.

              Gower would have found something to attack no matter how carefully worded the speech was. He would smeared Cunliffe no matter. You only have to go back to Gower’s treatment of Cunliffe at Labour’s 2011 Convention to see exactly the same pattern. That behaviour lies with Gower, not Cunliffe.

              Arguably the only mistake Labour made was in handing out a fact-sheet in the first place. As more than a few people have pointed out that when dealing with arseholes it’s better to keep your mouth shut and give them as little ammunition in the first place.

              The only way to respond to the likes of Gower is to take it back to them. Can you imagine Key ever, ever apologising? First rule of the corporate shark-pool – never admit to a mistake.

              • KJT

                I find it refreshing that a politician has the guts to say, “I fucked up”.

                An apology from those, in Labour, who participated in the great 1984 shafting, of New Zealanders, would be nice, though!

    • BLiP 17.7

      But Gower is capable of and did in fact read the detail which is how he was able to report that Cunliffe has misrepresented his own policy.

      Sure, Gower is capable. He displayed that when working for the New Zealand Fox News Herald. Trouble is, he’s become lazy and captured, and not God’s brightest little candle. The “media celebrity” ego doesn’t help much. Meanwhile, a journalist would, after having read the background material, sussed it wasn’t right and sought comment from the source to clarify. A journalist with contacts in the world of WINZ or ACC customers would know silly little loop holes like he imagined just do not exist. Instead, Gower, in an act of confirmation-bias, found his angle and went out full tit in repeating the line cunts like you have been whispering in his ear since last year when you called David Cunliffe a liar. Bit of meme, eh?

    • Hami Shearlie 17.8

      The pages he supposedly read seem to differ from what others have read! Maybe he was lost in a cloud of cannabis smoke that day – he does seem to be obsessed with it at the moment!

  18. Whatever next? 18

    Mathew Hooten, you remind me of Sarah Palin, so passionate and convinced by her own words, forgets to consider she is wrong, and therefore not worth the time of day( politically that is)

  19. RedBaronCV 19

    Look Matty, there is a vaste difference between the two policies:

    JKey has chucked some money on the table and is leaving it there until he figures out who can be bought to do the Nact dirty work for him, or something very like that.

    David Cunliffe has put a policy on the table that values children and those who bring them up – of course people want as much detail as possible and more than you would get in a speech, hence the desire to know more. That doesn’t make Cunliffe a liar, it makes him many times more principaled than the opposition and those who seek to denigrate the policy.

  20. Bill 20

    Journalists work for right wing institutions. That’s what the corporate msm are. Within those institutions there is a ‘natural’ self selecting censorship with regards what stories and angles are permissible or favoured. It’s not conspiracy. Along with the censorship, comes a flow on selection process for journalists. No thinking person with left wing political views who is a journalist working in a msm institution will be so for long.
    Put simply, they won’t get to cover the stories they think are important. Neither will they get the opportunity to do in depth pieces. Then there are the cut-backs in organisations on top of all that, and the need to ‘fill copy’ with fewer staff and resources. And so it goes.

    The good thing about all this, if it can be called a good thing, is that the media can become as out of touch with common sentiment, reality and feeling as most politicians already are. Most people don’t really ‘believe’ what the 6 O’Clock news or whatever is saying on a number of fronts at the moment. If the msm go negative on stuff that people are generally well disposed towards (perhaps Labour Green policies?) then what they may well achieve is a groundswell of extra support for the Labour/Green parties. Is it so far fetched to imagine a backlash against the msm and the Tories they identify with, and who identify with them, arising from a small but critical increase in the already widespread cynicism felt with regards the integrity of our so-called news sources?

    • Bill, I was agreeing until you said “Most people don’t really ‘believe’ what the 6 O’Clock news or whatever is saying …”

      Matthew Hooton is fun isn’t he. Such a nice conservative who takes the time to discuss but can’t see the wood for the trees, can’t see his own mistakes. Reminds me of earnest religionists knocking on the door.

      So Matthew, were you misrepresenting, as micksavage said? I’d love to hear an apology.

      • weka 20.1.1

        “So Matthew, were you misrepresenting, as micksavage said? I’d love to hear an apology.”

        What leads you to think you might get an apology when its his job to misrepresent? ;-)

    • Jan 20.2

      Thank you, Bill, for that superb piece of logical analysis – I would love to think that there will be a backlash, but where will it come from?

      • Bill 20.2.1

        It’s already under way. I think it’s fair to say that most people take the information coming from ‘the news’ with a pinch of salt where they have any knowledge on what is being said. Years back, people took the news as gospel.

        Next step along the route we’re on is where people grab a bag of salt for anything coming from the msm. I don’t think that point is too far away, and in NZ, with a small, fairly tightly packed population (small geography) that is more ‘in touch’ with itself (communication wise) due to our society being ‘shallower’ and therefore easier to penetrate, it should be a quicker process than will be for the say 60 odd million in the UK or the hundreds of millions in the US.

        Maybe. ;-)

    • gem 20.3

      There are some good points here, but it should be acknowledged that before all the buy-ups, cutbacks, and consolidation, the media largely bought the Rogernomics shock doctrine.
      This removed a potential hurdle for the Labour Party’s programme of a fire sale of assets, corporatising the public sector, introducing GST, slashing personal income tax for the wealthy, embedding structural employment in the name of monetarism, decimating rural NZ.
      An out of touch media is nothing new.

  21. newsense 21

    How much is Hooton getting paid to be here? At least he can’t shout over us here

    • rhinocrates 21.1

      At least we don’t have that fool Williams saying “Iagreewithmatthew” to his every post.

  22. freedom 22

    Reading the above comments, I count a half dozen framings of the same question to Hooton.
    Not one of them has he even attempted to answer.
    The question is [paraphrasing]:

    If it is good that journalists gather like emaciated hyena and pick apart policy announcements from Labour and the Green party, why do they not give the exact same attention to National party policy?

    • well I never 22.1

      “……..why do they not give the exact same attention to National party policy?”

      Exactly, that is what we are asking, but asking the guys that are doing it will not yield anything, is there anyone impartial left to raise the question with? Sky seems to be paying alot of retainers for questionable returns to people with a voice/sway with the electorate

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