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Advice

Written By: - Date published: 10:35 pm, October 14th, 2008 - 63 comments
Categories: helen clark - Tags:

Labour has made two serious mistakes in their campaign today. One was specifically rejecting a policy to take the minimum wage to $15 an hour and the other was tonight’s debate.

The first was an easy policy supported by every party other than National and Act that would have ensured a large chunk of people who needed a pay rise got one and would also have ensured a strong turn-out in low income pro-Labour areas like South Auckland. The feeling I got from that decision was that it was one that had been made by Cullen and was likely to have involved little consultation. If this was the case I would hope his colleagues take him to task on it because it was poor politics and they will know that.

The second was more complicated. Essentially the problem tonight was Helen. She is a very smart politician and very good on policy but she is not someone who is good at taking PR advice and over the last few years she has lost some very sharp advisers. Advisers that were willing to tell her when she was wrong.

Watching the debate I came to the conclusion that she approached it without realising how it would play out. No doubt her confidence in her own judgment would have been bolstered by her resounding success with her launch speech which was very much her own work and showed strong statesman-like vision. Exactly what was needed. On Sunday.

The problem was that come Tuesday she tried to play the same role and that was clearly the wrong horse for that course. Again as I have said in comments it was a youtube debate, with real Kiwis asking their real, jumbled, charmingly odd and downhome questions. This was never going to be the time to be statesman-like. In fact that juxtaposition clearly risked enforcing the “out of touch” image National has spent so much time and money developing for Clark.

By comparison Key was on-message, kept it downhome and used all the focus-tested lines and fabricated statistics (fabrications which may yet bite him on the arse). It wasn’t a great performance and Clark could have done better if she’d realised the rules of the game she was playing. But she didn’t.

So my advice? Helen, get yourself some good people and listen to them. They may not be as clever as you when it comes to intricate policy detail but if they’re good at what they do they’ll know how things like this will play and they’ll make sure you’re prepared. You can’t be the best at everything all at once.

63 comments on “Advice”

  1. Andy 1

    Excellent points, I think you are right. At certain points Clark was launching into parts of her stump speech instead of addressing the questions. Key did try to address the questions. (despite his dodgy stats, it will be interesting if the panel later tonight pick up on it: Matt McCarten, Michelle Boag and someone from catnerbury uni?)
    Helen’s performance was a little bit disappointing after the excellent launch and her speech on monday at Otago University.
    Key seemed extremely nervous in the beginning but once he got into it he did ok, Helen needed to get him on the backfoot before he got going. She needs to take things away from this.

  2. don’t expect much from arseneau (the canty academic), she thinks politics is just a game

  3. randal 3

    yes..I cant think what she is doing here in lil ole new zealand. perhaps just another trust fund boobie that no one takes seriously back in the USA

  4. IrishBill 4

    Unfortunately Steve, debates like this one are a game. They are set up as a game by people who view politics as a game and the sad reality is they need to be approached as a game if any political gain is to be made from them.

  5. yup.

    sigh.

    guess the nats won’t be refusing to pay their C/T invoice after all.

  6. Lew 6

    Steve, you keep raising this false dichotomy between `the game’ and `real politics’. They’re not exclusive – they’re part of the wider picture. Neither can succeed without the other.

    L

  7. I just want us to be playing a smarter game, not awarding points for simple or dishonest tricks

  8. Felix 8

    And I want the media in general to stop focusing almost exclusively on the “game” side of politics. Not too much to ask is it?

  9. Daveo 9

    Therese Arsenau is dreadful. Can’t they find someone better? Someone who understands politics is about real people with real lives?

  10. Lew 10

    SP: You recognise there’s a game to be played, you just don’t like the one which is being played right now.

    Felix: Yes, I think it is too much to ask. I agree that in an ideal world there would be a Tim Sebastian in every studio, but things aren’t so. For one thing, taking a strong stance on matters of fact is dangerous territory for the media, which must of necessity remain reasonably impartial (and does, despite whining to the contrary from both camps). Matters of fact are complicated by interpretation, context and perspective to an extent that matters of delivery or ideology aren’t, and yet these latter have as much or more impact on an electorate – so why wouldn’t people focus on them?

    The fundamental distinction is between seeing politics as a rational, dispassionate process, or seeing it as a largely irrational, subjective process. I think, and the great focus on the `game’ as you call it bears this out, that there’s at least as much of the latter as the former. Arguing that everything should be policy policy policy when people make their political decisions on the basis of gut feeling and vague impressions is noble and all, but it’s actually missing the point.

    L

  11. gobsmacked 11

    Some perspective on tonight:

    Sarah Palin had to face Her Big Test (copyright global media punditry inc.) in her debate with Biden. She exceeded those low expectations (again, according to the punditry consensus) and so, sighs of relief all round for her party. Back in the “game”.

    That was just 12 days ago. Feels like a lifetime. Look at her now.

    All Key has done is raise those expectations. Now he has to deliver, and keep delivering, every day. Rehearsed slogans won’t cut it – not any more.

    (insert the Harold Wilson quote here)

  12. burt 12

    I have never seen Clark that rattled in a leaders debate before. Nor have I ever seen somebody else rattle her like that before.

    captcha: “at Eucational” NCEA has infected this blog.

  13. John 13

    Excellent point gobsmacked. Too bad the silly Standard team has gone over to John Key. I thought they were left leaning, but clearly they prefer Key. Guess it is time to find a new blog to read.

  14. NX 14

    So my advice? Helen, get yourself some good people and listen to them.

    Oh the irony. This blog has attacked National time and time again for who they get to advice them. And the next thing you know you’re criticising Labour for not having better advisors.

    [lprent: corrected your lousy tags]

  15. lprent 15

    John: Not really. JK just didn’t fuck up too badly. That keeps him and his party in contention. From here on out it just keeps getting harder.

    Helen and labour are extremely adaptive as she and they have proved over and over again. There are a *lot* of opportunities for Key and the Nat’s to screw up in the next 4 weeks. When they do, it will be ruthlessly exploited.

  16. Rex Widerstrom 16

    gobsmacked suggests:

    (insert the Harold Wilson quote here)

    “One man’s wage increase is another man’s price increase”?

    /troll mode off 😀

  17. Aj 17

    I feel another cocktail party moment coming on

  18. Who can afford a “cocktail party” on $12 an hour? Talk about a bloody insult !!

  19. Steve, re your comment at 10.56;
    “guess the nats won?t be refusing to pay their C/T invoice after all.”

    But will labour be happy paying the invoice from Blue State Digital?

  20. Nick 20

    “I just want us to be playing a smarter game, not awarding points for simple or dishonest tricks”.

    Fair point Steve.

    So the dishonest trick of taping National party cocktail functions or Helensville public meetings is justified because…………..?

  21. randal 21

    its not a game when you are lying in the gutter with a bursting gall bladder because the health system is in the middle of being privatised and you cannot get attention

  22. Good, honest post IB. I think that Clark made a mistake in talking Key into a one-on-one debate thinking she would wipe the floor with him. Clearly, you agree that she didn’t.

    I do disagree with you though when you say that Clark didn’t know the rules of the game. Wrong! Helen Clark ALWAYS knows the rules of the game – because they’re her rules.

  23. lprent 23

    Nick: Politicians shouldn’t say in private what they don’t wish to say in public. That is the type of thing that brings the political system into disrepute with talk of private agendas.

    Similarly funding for political parties should be clear and transparent so we know where the money is coming from to fund campaigns and who is influencing the politicians.

  24. Tim Ellis 24

    I can also see the irony of people calling for better advisers for Helen, and not just because a lot of people from the Left have criticised National for paying for advice. The PM’s office is stacked with more press secretaries than at any time in New Zealand political history.

    IrishBill: Time that’s an absurd strawman argument. Nobody has ever claimed National shouldn’t pay for advice. They’ve pointed out that the advice they’ve paid for has come from some unsavory sources.

  25. lprent 25

    TE: I think that it is more the type and quality of advice that Key is paying for that is more of an issue. I can’t remember anyone actually saying that Key doesn’t need advice.

    Key uses Crosby-Textor. Crosby and Textor between them have an awful reputation for getting the politicians to lie explicitly or implicitly through their teeth.

    The Tampa Bay “throwing children overboard” incident in Australia is the classic example of their type of work. It was subsequently found to be a total lie not only by C & T, but almost certainly by Howard as well. It probably allowed Howard to win the election, essentially allowing him to win by lying to the aussie public.

  26. rave 26

    I think the two politicians style reflects their approach to class politics.

    Clark is a manager believing it possible to maintain a social democratic legacy in NZ which is a Keynesian demand management of the economy. Clark genuinely believes that Labour can manage the economy in the interests of all NZ regardless of social class. That accounts for Clark’s appeal to her record and to her confidence about the measures being taken to deal with the crisis. I also think that it accounts for her reluctance to get into a slanging match beyond asserting her right to speak without barracking from Key.

    Key on the other hand represents the opportunism of the finance capitalist who can only win by demagoguery. His attitude to workers is cynical and lying. But to get the votes in a left leaning electorate he has to resort to outright lies and bully boy tactics, and try to be a ‘man of the people’.

    The TV debate format is inherently superficial so that Key had the advantage. The commentary that has followed is equally shallow. Much of it complains that neither party has any answers to the crisis. Rubbish. Labour has signalled what its approach will be and in the coming weeks it needs to follow through and make its intentions clear before the election. The crisis is the opportunity to do what the Standardistas want and adopt some emergency measures for the benefit of the people and not just big business as John Key would wish.

    The bringing forward of infrastructure, housing and other public works needs to be acted on right now. For a start the CH mill at Putaruru should be nationalised to supply timber for a crash state house building program. Here’s an opportunity to show again that in times of crisis the market has to be rescued. But rather than bail it out it needs to be socialised. It’s time that the key areas of the economy were nationalised and run by the workers to produce for need and not greed.

  27. rosa 27

    I thought before the debate that it was a mistake for Helen to refuse to allow the other parties to participate. She thought she would wipe the floor with Key but it didn’t happen- he turned out to be a very slick operator. If she had other parties there to defend the government record it would have been hard for Key to tell lie after lie and get away with it. The American democrats have found to their considerable cost that unless you rebutt a lie straight away it becomes the truth in the minds of voters. Helen didn’t rebutt enough and it was a bad mistake.

    Listening to Key last night it would be so easy to believe he was going to create utopia here in New Zealand. He was very convincing. Labour are going to need to attack repeatedly the “time for a fresh start” mantra that Key is chanting and remind people of the track record of the players in the shadows behind Key- make it clear there is no new start on offer from National but instead the failed policies of the 90’s and misery for most New Zealanders. Helen did get in a few comments about National’s front bench towards the end of the debate, but it was too late by then. If Labour don’t recognise the danger and respond forcefully then we will get Key and (god help us) probably Douglas.

  28. Aj 28

    Rosa – agree 100% with your first para {and most of your 2nd}

  29. Ianmac 29

    It might have been deliberate for Helen to avoid correcting John each time he “mis-spoke.” To do so could paint her as pedantic and/or picky, in spite of lies becoming true with repetition. Those lies could be used in a different forum to haunt him, just as the decision to exclude Winston might.

  30. Tara 30

    Oh, come off it guys .. neither side imploded and we have a contest. That’s good, right ? Both sides took their opponents measure in this forum and will improve ..

    I think Key exposed himself in unscripted comments when trying to talk over Helen. That won’t go down well in some quarters which still value manners and civility. A Westminster debate or a street brawl ? Key came across as an instinctive street fighter – which is what he needed at that point with headlines such as “National needs to score a Big Hit”. Whether it will suffice next time is another matter. Clarke scored a few points but came unstuck, I think, in suggesting that adult criminality can be forestalled at kindergarten level. She needs to show some youthful agility and connection with ordinary people (is populism a dirty word ?) and show that she is effective in a fast changing campaign.

    I’m surprised that no-one has challenged Key’s “economic management” credentials. Having worked in Elders Finance (now Hanover Finance) in his first job may have given him some exposure to finance companies, but it gives him no knowledge or experience of the risks of mortgage based securities which many considered astute investments until recently. Administrative roles at BT & Merril give him scant macroeconomic experience, and he was crying crocodile tears saying “I know how sacking people can disrupt an organisation”, having carried out mass sackings at Merrill.

    A few laps at the local pool before the next debate might be useful for Helen together with tactical media training with Edwards, Keynes, and Machiavelli.

    BTW, the site is looking great ! Kudos to the site owner.

    [lprent: Thank you.
    BTW: it is Clark not Clarke – it is a common troll misspell (that the system looks for automatically) which is why you got auto moderated.]

  31. gobsmacked 31

    Well said, Rosa. Especially on the ‘Utopia’.

    The nadir was Key’s reference to job losses at Carter Holt Harvey. Breathtaking. But Clark responded with some explanation about the state of the international timber industry, which got nowhere. So Key “scored”.

    She should have said: “So John, how many people lost their jobs under National? How many people have new jobs under Labour? Will you give those CHH workers their jobs back? And how many people did you personally fire, at Merrill Lynch? Hundreds, was it?” etc, etc

    (edit: as Tara says)

  32. rave,
    okay let’s say I’ll go with the “demogoguery” you point up, but “Keynesian demand management” is riper than too rich. To be sure.

    Others,
    advice.. politics the game.. maths guys and gals term = covering. That is exactly what JK is doing.. assured by polling ‘confidence’ he knows he only has to move toward his opponent to sustain the bulk of that in regard to ‘political support’

    Surely the point about advice and advisors is not the who, but the what. And the what, here, I’d be very surprised indeed will not turn out unlearned in such matters.

    I seem to recall another blog – over the weekend(the standard) which pointed to the PM recentering the public debate.. VG advice. Given the external (and imposed) financial crises) with her active government opportunities.

    Therese Arseneau.? Canadian or US..? I ask because worth knowing in respect of her political views is whether she inputs to globalization as “americanization” or whether a surrogate version of it..

  33. lprent said “[lprent: Thank you.
    BTW: it is Clark not Clarke – it is a common troll misspell (that the system looks for automatically) which is why you got auto moderated.]”

    lprent – have you considered applying the same standard to John Key’s name, and catching trolls who repeatedly call him “keys”?

    [lprent: Ummm I hadn’t thought of that – but I didn’t really put it in for spelling, but for a more pragmatic reason. When I was doing major troll hunting, I had a little list of text next to my desk (part of the prep work for the “lets write a troll emulation” project). It appeared that the trolls have a trait towards bad spellings of common names. So I added a series of common phrases as a fast signature way to detect them.]

  34. rave 34

    Jo your so hip I can’t follow you.
    Key is richer than rich, he’s super rich. Keynesian demand management needs a primer for sure since most people are so dumbed down by the commentariat they can only understand “what’s in it for me?”

    Gobsmacked:
    Helen should have said to Key: The jobs of the timber workers are safe because they produce timber that we need urgently for houses like the one you lived in John. We won’t let it go bust because its fat cat owner Hart can’t make a profit from it despite all the millions of state subsidies that he has privatised. That’s why we’ll take it back without compensation.

    But of course she couldnt say it because Key would than have said: Ha Ha your deficit will blow out like George Bush’s. At which point she could have said, yeah bailing out your wide boy mates at Merrill Lynch. At least this bailout is for working families and not rich pricks.

    Could have/would have said blah blah: Time to walk the talk. Take back the trees. Nationalise CHH, build the state houses we need for the people. Fuck off ‘gateway’ privatised housing.

  35. Daveski 35

    Some interesting discussion here which reflects an excellent post to kick this off.

    There’s a lot to digest – i would argue that there was an holier-than-thou view of the Nats using CT which perhaps has bit Labour on the bum. I was genuinely surprised at Helen’s lock of confusion at times during the debate.

    One interesting point is the mantra about the failed policies on the 1990’s. Indeed, the excesses aren’t been repeated and I would expect most Nats realise the errors they made which is reflect in National’s me too policies. But of the underlying core policies that drive the economy, most of the 1990’s policies are still in place. The issues are more around around the periphery.

    In terms of myth busting, yes, the Nats have an experienced front row but Labour’s leading lights have been around as long and in many cases longer. I shan’t wait for SP to address this because I understand that the left never never lies 🙂

    On a final note, if Key can convince most that he’s not a liability and could even be an asset, then at least the fundamental discussion will be around the respective policies which has to be healthy for NZ as a whole.

  36. Tara 36

    Re. Clarke Vs Clark ..

    I spell-checked it by eye after hurriedly typing a first draft, but that one got through.

    BTW, as I write there is a red line under each word. Is that some kind of spellchecker ?

    On another matter, I understand that Therese Arsenau is Canadian, perhaps Quebecois. [Does she follow this blog ?]

    Not having grown up here she may not understand the effect it had on NZ at that time.

    I stumbled across it at a rugby match disrupted at half-time by people protesting against an “All Black” tour to South Africa excluding Maori which made me think seriously about the issues. But many who were upwardly mobile at the time were more concerned with cars, fishing, socialising, studying, and getting on.

    It’s sad that Key can’t at least address the issues, if he has any awareness of them. After all, contemporary Israeli policy of walling off Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank has been compared to apartheid, and Israel was one of South Africa’s closest allies at the time, helping overcome international arms boycotts.

    As the NZRFU discovered when it tried to patent the name ‘All Black’, it was coined to describe a Welsh rugby team who were coal miners, arriving to play covered in coal dust, reminiscent of the Black and White minstrel shows of the time.

    Not a good look in the age of 60’s civil rights, or of Barack Obama today.

    [lprent: Yep the red underline will be a spell checker from your browser.]

  37. rosa 37

    Daveski, I would love to believe that the 80’s and 90’s will not be repeated but the signs do not look promising. I don’t think Roger Douglas is coming back into politics to do “labour-lite”. His only regrets about the 80’s are that he didn’t go far enough and he is coming back to attend to unfinished business. What will Act expect from National in return for their support?

    And the recorded comments from the National cocktail party- especially English’s “nice Mr Key” comment that suggest Key is just a pretty, safe face put up to soothe voters fears and lull them into voting National- make me very uneasy. And I don’t believe for one minute that even if Key is all that he appears he will have control over his party. The debacle with Williamson and the toll roads showed that.

    I see parallels with the 1990 New Zealand election. People voted for Bolger- they believed he was an honest, trustworthy man and he had the common touch. But he never had control of National once in power. National also used the poor state of the NZ economy after the 1987 crash to justify their lurch to the far right- remember TINA “there is no alternative”? We are still recovering from those policies and we lost ground against Australia at that time (they never took the hard right path and it paid off) that we will probably never make up.I fear National will use the current economic crisis to justify bringing in hard right policies again.

    I also see parallels with the American election of 2000. People had enjoyed 8 years of good government and they thought that it didn’t matter who they voted for. Why not vote for the fellow with the folksy touch? Big mistake!! The USA is now despised, close to bankrupt and it is threatening to take the rest of the world down with it.

  38. rave, not key the rich. No, maybe you’d know the expression a bit rich—that was what I was saying. About your term “Keynesian demand management”..

    Personally I doubt any cred in relation to that term exists in J.M.K’s written work. Whereas it is more than likely it comes from post-Keynes interpretation.

    The difficulty you would have, of course, is perhaps not knowing a brief or name or some other tag to which the term can be attributed. Likely not, at anyrate, with the status of JMK. So, yes, I understand such a predicament.. and thanking you for asking my clarification.

  39. lprent, any chance of you changing ‘my’ gravatar..? all those squares look awful and purple so much closer to my spirit than a pale red.. something open perhaps with a sense of the dynamic to it..

    if not, oh well, I’ll try not to look at the thing..

    rosa, care to click my name above for an interesting catchup beginning The Skinny..

    [lprent: put your own image against your e-mail. Instructions are here http://www.thestandard.org.nz/faq/gravatar/#GravatarSignup
    Thats why I have the dolphin on the net (dolphin nicked from a book cover of David Brin’s, the net is an old IE logo). Less bloated than some other gravatars around – they are just black and white….]

  40. pdm 40

    This is not a site I usually visit and I came here by following a link. Having stayed and browsed the comments as well as the main post it seems you have all overlooked one thing.

    In 2005 Key trounced Cullen every time they appeared on TV together. Last night he took the first step in doing the same to Clark..

  41. bill brown 41

    pdm,

    Yours is not an intellect I usually respond to but it seems you have overlooked one thing.

    In 2005 Cullen continued being the minister of finance.

  42. pdm 42

    bill brown – only because of a lot of skullduggery by Clark and her cohorts. Not something I would want to be associated with or acknowledging.

    By the way you have ignored the thrust of my comment – Key is a far better one on one debater than Cullen and probably Clark as well based on last evening.

  43. Alexandra 43

    pdm …Key has at last demonstrated that he is a better one on one debater than he is a one on one communicator with the media or anyone else who challenges his recollection of the facts…I dont think he has ever shown he is a better debater than either Cullen or Clark. In my books he would have to exibit some honesty to come anywhere close to being a better debater, and he failed to do that last night.

  44. pdm 44

    Alexandra – I have great difficulty when you hold up the corrupt Clark and Cullen as pillars of honesty. I would trust Key ahead of them any day.

  45. Pascal's bookie 45

    I would trust Key ahead of them any day.

    Which one?

  46. Akldnut 46

    pdm I would trust Key ahead of them any day.

    You cant be serious – just last night he lied 6-7 times in less than an hour.
    Anyone who can do that and smile while he’s deceiving the public is nothing more than a worm mate & you dont get much lower than that.

    Chances are in next few weeks he’ll be doing a fair bit of squirming to put in over on you again

  47. pdm 47

    I give up – now I know why I don’t bother with this place. I shall return to where the sane people, without blinkers are.

  48. Akldnut 48

    are the the ones you’re wearing made from a different manufacturer, perhaps one thats only going to pay 2% into kiwisaver….. mmmmmmm

  49. randal 49

    no one has ever bought anything made by John Keys and co Ltd. all he has ever done is sell down other peoples money at a profit.

  50. lprent,

    tks for that. I tried.. got the reset pass form and email for new, but clicking that took for forever.. don’t know why.. maybe overload the other end;-) .I gave up..
    tell you what tho, there seems nothing there to enable me swap one..and with that uncertainty added to waiting.. I gave it away..any ideas..?

  51. lprent 51

    Once you are there 🙂 you can associate different graphics with different e-mail addresses, or not have one at all.

    Guess they’re overloaded.

  52. rosa 52

    Jo Zinny- great blog 🙂

  53. Tara 53

    Key looked like the politically desperate man he was, during the debate.

    It is not yet clear that it worked, in terms of the polls, or in winning the broader debate.

    In these times, a lot can change in three weeks.

  54. higherstandard 54

    Tara

    “Key looked like the politically desperate man he was, during the debate.”

    I don’t believe he looked desperate at all and this blog which is openly partisan and anti Key and National had posters who scored it as a win to Key, perhaps you might be viewing his performance from a bit of an entrenched viewpoint ?

  55. lprent 55

    hs: I think that we had very low expectations of Key in the debate. He exceeded them by not managing to shoot parts of his anatomy (or policies) off. That is why we scored him as ‘winning’ – he didn’t self-destruct.

    Now we know that he can handle the debate, the standard goes up.

    What has been interesting is that was pretty much the same standard that other opinion commentators were using. Most noticeably by such varied people as Michelle Boag (in the later discussion on TV), Colin Espiner on his blog, here, in fact anywhere across the spectrum.

    I don’t think he ‘won’ apart from surviving. But that is good enough for the Nay’s.

    captcha: Alabama Thought
    Yeah right

  56. Ben R 56

    “Now we know that he can handle the debate, the standard goes up.”

    Did you watch him in 2005? I thought he debated pretty well then too against Cullen?

  57. lprent 57

    Yep. Relatively speaking he was did better than Brash did. Of course most people didn’t bother watching those. It is only the political junkies who tend to watch the finance spokes people arguing with each other.

    This was about the first time that most of the general public got to see Key speak for any length of time. He didn’t shoot himself. Now that is largely the personality parts out of the way. So the following debates will tend to be more on policy.

    Of course Sainsbury should have shot himself for being pathetic as a moderator. He has now established that he will let the shout overs to be the norm. So from here on out that is going to result in each side disrupting the other. John Key did most of it until Helen got annoyed and then she proceeded to prevent it happening by talking over Key’s whinging.

    But in any case it means that most policy level debate will not be audible. Hopefully the other TV stations do not follow the same level of stupidity.

  58. hs, are you the chronicle..? Not a personal question y’understand—just a straight one.

    So far as I read here the standard blog takes other viewpoints, and why I respect it. Bigots, I can understand, attract bans. Deservedly.

    others, I didna see the TV debate, but comments and observations made here would suggest that maybe the M did a ‘Brash’ on a supposed novice. After all, I’m sure Don wouldna wish be known monopolising political politeness. Whether others needed to see it or not.

    rosa, thank you — like to try for two in a row. All welcome..

  59. oops, that should read PM, not M, above

  60. higherstandard 60

    JZ

    I’ve got no idea what you’re on about.

  61. lprent, Once you are there – (smiley) – you can associate different graphics with different e-mail addresses, or not have one at all.

    How do I get a smiley up..? previously I’ve tried with keyboard keys but natcha! Ideas..

  62. HS, the higherstandard chronicle – once was a tertiary edu mag. Could still be so for all I know..

  63. lprent 63

    Assuming you can login..

    at top.
    My Account, add e-mail address, then activate via e-mail. That ensures that the e-mail is a valid one.

    My Account, add image, usually from disk, then drag the dotted box to show where to crop the image, then crop and finish. Then you can select a e-mail address to put the image on.

    Takes anywhere up to half an hour and this site will pick it up. It takes longer if you’re changing from an old image to a new one because of client side caching

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