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Beat-up

Written By: - Date published: 6:17 pm, May 20th, 2008 - 92 comments
Categories: labour, Media - Tags: , ,

Well, I’ve seen the video of Goff on Alt TV and I really can’t see what all the fuss is about. Phil Goff’s stated the obvious by saying there’s a chance Labour could lose the next election, he’s reaffirmed his support for Helen Clark and hinted that if the leadership were open after the election he’d consider it.

As No Right Turn observes, only in the warped worldview of the Wellington political elite would the idea of Goff making an honest appraisal of his party’s future and his own be a considered a sign of weakness, or a “gaffe.”

To them, it’s all about “the game”. And as a result, they not only ignore the substance of politics – you know, the policies the parties are offering and the public is choosing between – but also create a place where ethics are the complete inversion of the real world: where deceit is a virtue, having no policies is inconsequential, honesty is a weakness, and acknowledging reality is a sin.

The whole thing strikes me as a beat-up.

UPDATE: Over at TVNZ Guyon Espiner is outraged that Phil Goff isn’t “on-message” and demands he gets his lines in order. Because that’s, like, what our media is for isn’t it?

92 comments on “Beat-up”

  1. r0b 1

    The whole thing strikes me as a beat-up

    Tane, as usual you are far too generous. On the basis of that clip it’s a beat-up of ostentatiously huge proportions. Compare that clip with Brownlee’s breathless media release:

    Gerry Brownlee MP
    National Party Shadow Leader of the House
    20 May 2008

    Warfare breaks out in Labour ranks

    Take a bow Brownlee – this kind of nonsense is why so many people hold politicians in such poor regard. That’s the most self-serving empty nonsense I’ve seen since the advance publicity for “Absolute Power”. Mildly amusing!

  2. Is that title a description of What Harry is likely to do to her mate Goff?
    You can’t blame him for starting to position himself now, the panic in the ranks is probably reaching pant wetting proportions now. Despite his adolescent love for the VietCong and his middle age dabble with man-man love in the form of cuddling up to the arch criminal and terrorist Arafat he would be just the shift away from the lunatic left that currently has the labour party by it’s collective plums.
    He is seen as moderate by the public and it will be a significant step towards restoring the labour party of the type that generations of my family voted for.
    Good luck to him, with Goff at the helm and a wholesale clean out of the loonys I would give labour an even chance in 2011.

  3. higherstandard 3

    Sadly a politician making a remark that states the bleeding obvious passes for news these days – I mean really is the nothing else more newsworthy ?

    Mind you I s’pose it beats see some American bimbo going to jail which we had to put up with last year.

  4. pinetree 4

    True, to all of the above…but an interesting little sideline, beat-up or not, it aint helpful to Labour…..the mere talk in itself fomenting more talk…

    Unfortunately for the skim reader/viewer in this day and age, and given the paucity of depth in NZ broadcast news (viz the endless and meaningless live “cross”, sheesh) this sort of stuff tends to have a degree of stickyness…

    Aside from the beat up angle – I’d be suprised if he proved to be the go-ahead guy for Labour….if it does all go t*ts up, wouldn’t they rather go somewhat leftfield, fresh face etc etc ?

  5. gobsmacked 5

    How ironic that it’s a blog (and a leftie one at that) which gives you the interview on which the entire story is based. So you can actually make up your own mind.

    The MSM would rather just tell you what you will think about it (“a bad look”, “politics is perception” etc), because if you decide for yourself then their sacred status as interpreters and commentators is undermined.

  6. mike 6

    On One News Espiner even floated the possibility of Goff saying what he did to destabilise Helens leadership. He disagreed.

    But Labour are in a mess and surely do not need this in budget week. What chance of a snap election to stop the bleeding?

  7. Lew 7

    Pinetree: I’m not sure Labour can come out badly from this unless Helen Clark responds with hostility to Goff, and she’s much too wise for that.

    Taking three current anti-Labour memes for example:

    * If people truly despise Helen Clark so much, wouldn’t the revelation that a successor is waiting and ready to take over make them happy?
    * If people expect nothing but spin and empty politicking from the government, isn’t a frank and genuine assessment of his party’s position a good thing for a senior minister?
    * If people expect Helen Clark to be autocratic and domineering and smack Goff down for failing to hold the party line, won’t this be an opportunity for her to defend him and disprove them?

    I think National would have done better to let the media take hold of and run with this one; I feel they’ve gone off too early. In addition, they’ve helped raise the profile of one of Labour’s most capable MPs, whose achievements this term are already quite exceptional, and who fights National on their own turf: the economy, foreign relations, defence, trade.

    L

  8. Tane 8

    Some good points made on this thread. However, I’ve gotta say the line that Goff is somehow trying to position himself via Alt TV is laughable. Surely if that we the case he’d have chosen a channel with a slightly bigger audience?

  9. pinetree 9

    Lew – not a bad little assessment there….that sort of analysis beyond my ken…

    As an aside, and to pick up a point made in an earlier post, I do yearn for a bit more substance to the debate leading into this election….

    ….simple fact for average punters like myself is that there’s not enough time in the day to be nearly as learned on such important matters as I should be…

    ….forest for the trees stuff, work so hard running a business/family that you get a bit narrow sighted or restricted in assessment…..however, matters workforce, minimum wage, bargaining, exporting and the like I am well and truly up with !

    Sorry for the diversion in topic…

  10. I’m sorry but I’ve just watched this three times in a row and I can’t see anything that is even that “honest” or out of the ordinary. All that fuss over this? I’ve gotta say when there are so many things that deserve the attention of the media and the opposition to be spending so much time on this lame shit is an insult to the public. How about national and tory hacks like Audrey Young start thinking about something a bit more important than a highly qualified phrase or ballons with logos on them. I mean really have some dignity and start producing and addressing some serious policy because pretty soon it’s going to get out that this is our political discourse and other folk will start laughing at us.

    Honestly, I think this fu*kin country is going insane…

  11. jon 11

    “If people truly despise Helen Clark so much, wouldn’t the revelation that a successor is waiting and ready to take over make them happy”

    No, it’s the social engineering people hate, Its Cullen they despise, Its Helen they dislike, but it’s the leso quartet that made labour look stupid

    Hope that clears it up,…. choke choke goff goff, sorry I’ve got an overthow in the throat

  12. randal 12

    Jon only some people despise the prime minister and from my take they are the sort of people that despise everyone to make up for their small dicks, massive egos and neurotic insecurities.

  13. dave 13

    Yeah who owns Gaspiner, O’Reilly or Murdoch?
    Bottomfeeders are bottomliners.
    They treat their viewers like morons, one lie after another. Maybe they think that viewers are morons, borons.

  14. gobsmacked 14

    “but it’s the leso quartet that made labour look stupid”

    You’re doing a pretty good job on yourself.

  15. Billy 15

    Well done, randal. A comment entirely without ellipses. But then you spoilt it by talking total ballocks. I recommend you put the ellipses back in. In this way, people will just think you are illiterate, focus on this and not notice that you also have nothing intelligent to say.

  16. randal 16

    i got plenty for you billy boy…you just a misanthropic manque who wants to be mates with semi fascist bullies and hooton…he needs a friend

  17. Billy 17

    i got plenty for you billy boy

    But no capital letter to start a sentence, apparently.

    you just a misanthropic manque

    Nice use of ellipsis, following my advice. Good use of two semi-obscure words, but you kind of failed to capitalise on that when you forgot to include a verb. I would have gone with “are” (you work out exactly where). Unless you were going for a black ’70s thing, in which case all power to you, but I do not think that combines well with “misanthropic manque”. Do you?

    and hooton he needs a friend

    Again with the ellipsis. Well done. “Hooton” probably could have stood starting with a capital letter, but maybe you were trying to display your contempt for him, so I’ll let it slide. If you were going for the black thing, maybe you should have gone with “he need a friend”, but I accept this is a matter of style. I have noticed a somewhat unhealthy obsession with Matthew. This is a fine example: he is not really relevant to anything being discussed. Forgive me for saying, it makes you look just bit unhinged.

    Sometimes, I worry at the slightly deranged-sounding right wingers who comment here, and worry whether I am at the wrong end of the spectrum. Then you say something really dumb and I am reminded that there are lunatics at both ends. Keep it up.

    xx

  18. Tane: I watched the AltTV video and came to the same conclusion. My blog post is essentially the same as yours….and I used the words “beat up”, too. The interesting thing is, I came across the AltTV clip on YouTube before seeing ANY media coverage about it. So I formed a view independent of anything else and only later found out that some people (the usual suspects – the NBR) had taken an answer to a hypothetical question and tried to make it real. This sort of nonsense is exactly WHY politicians usually point blank refuse to answer hypothetical questions. All credit to Goff for calling a spade a spade. Boo Hiss to the folks in the media who crap in their own nests by distorting answers or placing them into a context that does not apply. The clip speaks for itself to any reasonable person. It certainly is not evidence of a Cabinet falling apart. Gerry Brownlee must be wearing his “Stupid” sign again. Or maybe “Party Hack” would be more appropriate.

  19. Billy, What’s wrong with ellipses then? Especially on a blog where a measure of informality is de rigueur. Can’t understand why anyone would aspire to be misanthropic, but wouldn’t it be manque misanthrope, anyway?

    I have long suspected that randal is a right-wing stooge, as most lefties would have something substantive to contribute from time to time.

    Oh, the thread. Definitely a beat-up.

    [Edit] I also blogged on this to the effect that it is a beat-up, but I think that the discussion of leadership ambitions is of a different order than the acknowledgement of the possibility of losing come November (or whenever). Even discussing this stuff on fringe TV would not prevent speculation… So, the only question is whether Goff was just being more candid than most politicians, or whether he is positioning himself for a post-election contest (not challenge, note). If the latter, why now? Bit early isn’t it?

  20. As an aside, can we note that the most appalling party hacks are elected in LOCAL seats? Gerry Brownlee is the MP for Ilam. With or without MMP, we will still have these party hacks. Person for person, there are arguably fewer party hacks among the list MPs than among the local ones….yet some people don’t like list MPs.

  21. Sceptic 21

    It’s a beat up.

    But there’s nothing particularly different about the beat up – it’s fairly common for the media and opposing parties to seize upon words and take them out of context or twist them.

    The thing is that given the production of such a beat up can be seen from a mile away that’s why it’s so surprising that someone as experienced as Goff would give the media the rope to try and hang him by making these comments.

    I don’t buy the colin espiner line that it was a deliberate attempt to position himself. I think it was a clear gaffe.

    That’s what makes it so unfortunate for the Government – an experienced operator providing the media with rope in a week when the Government wants to be on form and on top leading into the Budget.

  22. r0b 22

    I think it was a clear gaffe

    For goodness sake why?

    Are we so bent on spin now that we can’t even speak the truth?

    Hello – as a member of the Labour Party – We Could Loose The Next Election. We really really could. Blindingly obvious, innnit? Of course I don’t think we will, because I think when the heat goes on National’s policy that dare not speak its name will be seen for what it is. But maybe not too. Of course we could loose.

    And if we loose, I imagine that Clark would step down, and take a well earned rest. In that case the Party will need a new leader.

    We hold these things to be self evident. Hence – what gaffe?

  23. ak 23

    Billy: Sometimes, I worry …whether I am at the wrong end of the spectrum.

    Fear no further kid – your constant vapidity and stilted amateur philologian fumbles (it’s “bollocks” and you’re still starting sentences with conjunctions) mark you indubitably as just another carping rightie ranter – right in tight with Barnsley and his delightful “Harrys” (just brilliant Barns, where do you get such scintillating wit?) and just several shades more boring than the more senior Feminazi Lickspittle Fascistoids.

    Honestly, guys, “lesbo quartet?” Where has the old spark gone? Ah for the good old days of my youth, when men were men and such colour as “tongue and groove brigade” and “chutney ferret” littered the bigot’s lexicon. If you’re going to stick with retro politics from the 1950s, you could at least get properly in character.

  24. Phil 24

    But there’s nothing particularly different about the beat up – it’s fairly common for the media and opposing parties politicians of all shapes and sizes to seize upon words and take them out of context or twist them.

    Much Better
    🙂

  25. alex 25

    Beat up or not, Phil Goff should have known better.

    While its ridiculous that one can’t state the obvious without it getting warped completely out of context, that’s almost irrelevent.

    Its election year and Labour need to be on top of their game.

  26. RedLogix 26

    This is pure propaganda game play. A hypothetical question is asked:

    If the question is answered, the ‘hypothetical’ is stripped off and it’s beaten up as if it were an answer to a real question.

    If the question is NOT answered, the politician is portrayed as shifty and evasive.

    It’s not journalism. It’s propaganda.

  27. RedLogix 27

    ak,

    Hehe…”chutney ferret”, hell I had to google that.

  28. Billy 28

    ak,

    I have always preferred “ballocks”. Has more of a northern cloth cap and whippet racing authenticity to it, I have always felt. I thought you would have preferred that too. And everyone starts sentences with conjunctions these days. See.

    RL,

    I am a big fan of the ellipsis, but randal does not exercise any restraint.

  29. AK, the harry tag is more to do with him having a face like a dropped pie than any comment about sexual preference. I thought that debate was settled.
    An earlier commenter called Goff’s comments a gaffe and another opined that he should know better. I would suggest he new exactly what he was saying and he does know better.
    A less repugnant leader now might make the seemingly unstoppable defeat smaller.

  30. This is problematic for the right, neither first nor last name starting with C or K, how ever will the right paint him as a communist

  31. Oh my fu*kn god. Have you all gone mad??? The whole grammer/punctuation/syntax/style thing is my shtick. Find your own hobby horses! And Billy? It’s bollocks. At every possible level of interpretation…

  32. Billy 32

    “The whole grammer…”

    You mean, “grammar”.

  33. Don’t worry KITNO – as I understand it his confirmation name is Joesph.

  34. No Billy – I was talking about your grandmother.

    [lprent: this is twice in one day. Neither was over the edge – just too close to it. California justice time?]

  35. Billy 36

    And even better, it appears Joyce preferred my spelling:

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Citations:ballocks

  36. RedLogix 37

    Billy,

    Yes I’ve long harboured fantasies of launching a nicely pitched “Bollocks!” from the mid-back row of a meeting where some high functioning psychopath in a suit has been dishing out the usual evasive sharp business talk crap, dressed up with rubbish PC phrases like “looking forward”.

    As you say it has a flinty clothcap ring about it, and properly timed would let the air out of even the most overinflated prat.

  37. Billy 38

    And Ak, did you notice ‘sod started a sentence with a conjunction? Told ya.

  38. Billy – bollocks.

  39. Oh and Joyce is perhaps the most overrated hack in the history of literature. I mean “ineluctable modality of being”, “the cracked looking-glass of a maid” as a metaphor for Ireland, the whole of the Ithaca chapter??? Puh-lease.

  40. Billy 42

    Too far, ‘sod. Too far. You’re dead to me.

  41. milo 43

    Well done r0b. I don’t know if you are right or wrong, but at least your assessment is honest.

    Again, there is a smell of desperation here. Over 50% of NZer’s are against labour, but apparently they are all misguided. A cabinet minster puts the leadership in play, but apparently it’s a media beat up. The refusal to acknowledge the genuine concerns of New Zealanders (not Labour party voters but New Zealanders), is at the core of Labour’s current problems

    Back to the house boys! The Zulus are coming. But the thin red line will see them off!

    (Talk about a siege mentality … and who wins elections with a siege mentality?)

  42. RedLogix 44

    mmm thinks>

    Blog Bingo!

    Has potential but perhaps our dear sysop might not be pleased at the sight of his nice tidy logs peppered all over with “Ballocks!!”.

  43. RedLogix 45

    Over 50% of NZer’s are against labour, but apparently they are all misguided.

    But what are they FOR? Tax cuts and the right to hit their children in private apparently. Just today a colleague was crowing about the $50pw tax cut he fully expects to get…oblivious to the fact that on his income he’d be lucky to see a $15pw reduction. I didn’t have the heart to disillusion him…

    captcha “briefings Hereford”

    Ha.. reminds me of a very famous cartoon from the Muldoon era (probably Tom Scott), that had the punchline “Romney or Perendale?”.

  44. Razorlight 46

    rOb

    The gaffe is obvious. He knows the media is always looking for the next mini scandal. Why would you provide them with one.

    The only thing coming out of Labours mouth should be positive news. They should only be talking about winning and their 4th term under Clark.

    Any hypotheticals about loosing should be ignored as it turns into this media circus in budget week.

    This was a major gaffe from a senior MP.

  45. RedLogix 47

    They should only be talking about winning and their 4th term under Clark.

    And if they only ever do that, then you label them arrogant and “out of touch”. It’s a game.

    Gaffe? Nah… you’ve been suckered by the most basic propaganda trick.

  46. r0b 48

    Again, there is a smell of desperation here.

    Yes there is, it’s emanating from those desperately trying to whip up a gallon of leadership challenge from a teaspoon of speculation.

    Over 50% of NZer’s are against labour, but apparently they are all misguided.

    Ah – sez who?

    A cabinet minster puts the leadership in play, but apparently it’s a media beat up.

    A cabinet minister answers a question in an interview, and it’s a National Party beat up. The media beat up (bless them – you know who you are!) will come tomorrow.

    The refusal to acknowledge the genuine concerns of New Zealanders (not Labour party voters but New Zealanders), is at the core of Labour’s current problems

    So Working for Families, planned tax cuts, delays in emissions trading, moves on housing afforability, all refusal to acknowledge the concerns of Kiwis? Milo, every word that comes out of your mouth in this post is spin. Did you get dizzy writing it?

  47. milo 49

    r0b, they only acknowledge the concerns of New Zealanders if you accept that Labour knows best. They give what labour is willing to give, not what many New Zealanders’ actually want.

    Who knows, maybe the government does know best. Certainly, that’s what King Charles I thought, and King John, and Louis XVI.

    But “trust us … we know best” just isn’t a very good election slogan.

  48. RedLogix 50

    r0b, they only acknowledge the concerns of New Zealanders if you accept that Labour knows best.

    OK so the “media gaffe” balloon has gone flat. Quick… flick back to the arrogant Labour, “We know best” meme.

    Sighs.

  49. milo 51

    RedLogix: eh? I don’t understand your point.

  50. r0b 52

    r0b, they only acknowledge the concerns of New Zealanders if you accept that Labour knows best.

    So you have to sign a loyalty pledge to get your tax cut? I don’t think so Milo. You go so far as to accuse this government of being “extremely anti-intellectual”, so I think it’s pretty safe to say that you aren’t actually willing or able to think clearly about them.

    But “trust us we know best’ just isn’t a very good election slogan

    I quite agree, but given the absence of policies (other than Labour Lite) it does seem to be National’s stance.

  51. RedLogix 53

    Milo,

    It’s a media game. If the polly gives a straight answer, then it’s fodder to be twisted into a beatup. If they avoid it, then they get portrayed as evasive, arrogant and out of touch.

    The “we know best” meme that you used is straight out of that playbook.

  52. milo 54

    RedLogix, r0b, listen to yourselves. It sounds like you think everybody is the enemy. Or they’re all misguided. Or some combination of the two.

    WAKE UP !!!

    (Or alternatively, go to bed)

  53. Ari 55

    Phil Goff saying he’s not going to depose Helen being interpretted as a leadership challenge: The ultimate storm in the media’s teacup!

    Seriously, this is high-class comedy. We should splice together videos of the commentary with what Goff actually said and sell it. 😛

  54. AncientGeek 56

    I agree with the title of this post. It is a simple beatup. Do the media think we are idiots?

    Of course when Helen decides to step down, then Phil will throw his hat into the ring. But it will be when she decides to step down.

    Whats the bet that when the nats lose an election that there will be people throwing their hat into the ring to replace Key. It is a 100% based on past performance. Typically it will be prefaced with a lot of hidden circling to get behind peoples backs.

    Labour doesn’t have quite that same level of knife in the back stupidity. Helen lost the election in 1996 (well sort of – NZF picked the wrong partner), and wasn’t rolled. Bill Rowling lost a couple of elections before losing the leadership.

    When was the last time that a leader of the National Party managed to lose and election without getting knifed in the back.

    Whoever raised this should have a profile done on them – in category ‘fuckwits’.

  55. expat 57

    Oh come on, lets be real Hulun is dog tucker and Goff is the only credible politician of experience who isnt one of Huluns lapdogs – of course he’s going to roll the old trout.

    When does Hulun start talkback on 95-bfm? Her and fat boy Havok are a couple made in heaven.

    [lprent: expat – to me mangling names is the action of a schoolyard idiot. It is a key indicator of a troll. Especially when they spread it over threads. Use your brain otherwise if you continue to act like a troll then I’ll boot you.]

  56. RedLogix 58

    Milo,

    Take a long hard look at this agitprop from Stuff this morning:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4554949a10.html

    Headline:

    Goff drops leadership denials

    Intro Para:

    Helen Clark’s heir apparent, Phil Goff, appears to be positioning himself for a leadership tilt if Labour loses the election, dropping his previous denials that he had ambitions for the job.

    Actual Quote:

    “There is no question about leadership at the moment. There is 100 per cent support for Helen Clark and I have been 100 per cent in support of her right through this term of office … The question about leadership will take place at the point in the future when Helen Clark feels that she is going to move on to something else. That point has not yet arisen. We are not looking at losing the election, we are looking at fighting through to the election with a good chance of winning that election.”

    This is a classic example of propaganda. The headline is 180deg opposite to what Goff is actually saying. The real PURPOSE of this story is for the headline to create an entirely false, but seductive hook and premise that Goff is about to challenge Clark, and then subsequently to make Goff look untrustworthy by having his actual words say the exact opposite.

    The trick works because the mind tends to give most credibility to information received first and given the highest prominence. A reasonable, but naive person reading the story tends to accept the headline and intro (that were entirely made up by the sub-editors) as the truthful template for the story, and if they DO read further down to Goff’s actual quotes, the dissonance effectively sticks to what Goff has said. (There are other linguistic tricks at work here but I don’t have the time to draw them out right now.)

    It’s a close cousin of the dogwhistle, ie the article is defendable on a rational level, but it’s real purpose is a smear coded up in the structure and use of language. It’s not news, it’s not journalism… it’s an agenda dressed up as such.

  57. expat 59

    Oh come on Red- be a grown up; Goff is signalling a transition process is in place. Its done to give some hope to the plebs who will otherwise abandon labour for family first or the greens. Its meant to signal hope to the faithful.

  58. RedLogix 60

    Oh come on Red- be a grown up

    This from someone who still cannot spell Helen Clark’s name correctly?

    Its done to give some hope to the plebs who will otherwise abandon labour for family first of the greens

    Then why Alt-TV, where it lay almost ignored for several days until the jackals swooped on it? If it was an intentional signal, why use such an obscure channel to do so? Not convincing.

  59. expat 61

    Its a word play on Huluns gutatural vowles Red.

    By leaking the play into the press Goff can deny any intention to offend. Its called realpolitik.

    Goffs signalling that Hulun has no support and the most senior member of the party is walking her out the door.

  60. SweeetD 62

    hmmmm, you guys can defend this till you are blue in the face, but, its is now out in the real world, not played nicely in the blogs or in the beltway, the perception that Goff thinks Labour will loose and HC will be rolled by Goff. The geenie is out of the bottle and you can’t put it back inside. While in may be a media beat up, people, yup, real people will now begin talking about the last days of HC, labour loosing and being replaced by Goff.

  61. AncientGeek 63

    SD: I realize that you’re probably young and can’t remember last week. But on average this kind of speculation arises at least once per year.

    I remember this happening for national every other week. The only real problem is that the national party has kind of run out of potential leaders. Their talent pool is shallow, and they’ve used up most of the potential in failed elections already.

    Helen will leave when she feels like it.

  62. AncientGeek 64

    red: He is an obvious illiterate – they can’t even spell ‘vowels’.

  63. RedLogix 65

    Word plays on people’s names is something you are supposed to grow out of in the fifth form.

    Their talent pool is shallow

    Looking at their front two benches, I reckon it could do with a spot of clhorine.

  64. IrishBill 66

    SD, a few days ago I put up a thread asking why people would vote for National. There were very few solid answers. Now this pathetic beat up. I would suggest that if you don’t know why you want a National government and the best you can do is gleefully celebrate the fact a beat-up will harm perception (exclusive of fact) then you should probably ask yourself what the point of democracy is at all.

  65. SweeetD 67

    AncientGeek, I realize you are probably old and have trouble remembering yesterday, but this is an actual challenge on HC, and as she said in the house yesterday, has been the labour party leader for over coming on 15 years. To have someone mounting a challenge on her, and to have that taken up in the wider press is big news, when, in all reality, labour have very few if any other credible leadership contenders. HC/Labour have lost the support of the people, the media and now senior labour party members are making public noises.

    Like I said, the geenie is out on the bottle on this one, correct perception or not. People are talking, and perception has a way of becoming reality.

    PS, you have no idea how old I am.

  66. expat 68

    W. E. M. L is the correct response to you AG.

    [lprent: whatever that means. Since expat obviously hasn’t read my previous warnings. I’ll put expat into moderation]

  67. expat 69

    Hey guys – lets keep to the topic – Goff rolling Clark because she IS an electoral liability now.

    Face up to the facts and stop the character assasinations. This site is supposed to be about debate not abuse yes? And try to focus on the issues not the spullin and grama yeah?

  68. SweeetD 70

    Okay, IrishBill, I don’t think I was being gleeful, just pointing out this is the first cedible challenge to HC is a very very very long time. That is what makes it big news. Second, this is more than some inner Wellington talk, but front page news. That is what makes it the more important and puts the question of HC’s leadership in everyday conversation amongst the peeps.

    As I said, beatup or not, it is now out there.

    If you want to go back to your thread on why people vote for national we can talk about that there, I thought this tread was on the Goff story?

  69. AncientGeek 71

    SD: why hasn’t helen gotten rolled the last 10 or so times this topic has been raised by the media?

    Because it doesn’t reflect what the labour party members think. Phil was simply saying exactly what everyone in the party thinks. When Helen decides to step down, then he is likely to put his hand up.

    In the end it is the labour party members that will decide this, not the public, not the media. The caucus makes the actual decision, but they won’t do it without party support.

    Your naivety makes it likely that you are young and stup… Ooops mustn’t make assumptions.

  70. expat 72

    SD: why hasn’t helen gotten rolled the last 10 or so times this topic has been raised by the media?
    >> every instance stands on its own merits AG. This time is very different.

    Because it doesn’t reflect what the labour party members think. Phil was simply saying exactly what everyone thinks. When Helen decides to step down, then he is likely to put his hand up.
    >> Goff is flagging to the electorate (or those who may still be labour supporters – remember that poll 😉 ) – that change is afoot

    In the end it is the labour party members that will decide this, not the public, not the media. The caucus makes the actual decision, but they won’t do it without party support.
    >> too slow loses the election.

    Your naivety makes it likely that you are young and stup Ooops mustn’t make assumptions.
    >> facts please, not abuse big boy.

    ha ha – my code phrase was landlord davis…..

  71. IrishBill 73

    SD, I’m a moderator here. I can talk about what I want on whatever thread I want and I don’t take kindly to commenters telling me what to do on my own blog. Nice attempt as misdirection though.

    If you think this is a credible challange then I would suggest you are a little credulous. I suspect you are being disingenuous though.

    That said the more I see of National’s lack of direction and the more I see beat-ups like this as being all they have the more I look forward to the leaders’ debates and open campaigning.

  72. give me fifty 74

    Hopefully there will be a massive “Key can’t be trusted on $50 tax cuts” media beat up after his furious backpedalling on Breakfast this morning.

  73. expat 75

    Irish – your blog lives or dies on the traffic you get through which in turn relies on open debate to get the traffic…

    This thread is (or was) set as a discussion on Goff attempts/signals to roll Clark.

    Get with the program buddy. Debate the facts or retire. Resorting to cliches like ‘beatup’ encourages air punching & victory whoops.

    [lprent: We’ve found that traffic goes up when we remove trolls. It is too much hassle dealing with this flood of inane comments.
    You’re banned for a week. If you prefer to argue, I can make it permanent.

    Definitely tiresome. Moving to autozap. My e-mail is in contacts, but I’m not prepared to have thoughtless trolling here. It just drives out the good comment.]

  74. AncientGeek 77

    >> too slow loses the election.

    Now I really know that you are ignorant as well as being illiterate.

    Tell me – when was the last time that a party in NZ won an election after rolling their leader in election year?

    If you manage to answer that then I’ll withdraw the ignorant remark.

  75. AncientGeek 78

    gmf: So Key has flip-flopped again. How unexpected.

    I wondered how long that would take him to do that. There simply isn’t the money to do it unless he guts the spending or goes into debt. Based on past experience with the Nat’s, they’d probably do both.

    The Nat’s haven’t been knowing for thinking ahead into the future. Conservatives look to the mythic past rather than towards their children’s future

  76. darryl p 82

    I don’t think this is a bad thing at all. If Labour go down in the polls come election time then building the party back up around someone seen as being a moderate can only be a good thing. Clark has obviously fallen out of favour with the electorate and Goff is one of the few senior ministers who is not seen as being ideologically tied to her. It’s too late to have a change of leader before the election, that would be the last nail in the coffin, but if Clark/Cullen can’t get above their current 30% rating I think Goff would be the strongest option for Labour going forward.

  77. Craig Ranapia 83

    The whole thing strikes me as a beat-up.

    I don’t think it’s a terribly significant story, but if we’re talking about “beat ups” then I guess we’ve got to ask whether (as far as I can tell) accurately and fairly reporting Goff’s rather dopey and indiscreet interview on AltTV is unfair or unethical. And if this is, how many speculative stores have we seen about National’s leadership?

    Somehow, I suspect if Bill English was openly speculating about standing for leader if National doesn’t win the next election (or Key got run over by a bus today), the reaction might be a little different.

  78. Craig. Why should it be the mark of a good politican to pretend that realities don’t exist?

  79. ak 85

    Craig: And if this is, how many speculative stores have we seen about National’s leadership?

    Very few, if any. 5 new leaders? – pshwaah, hardly newsworthy.

    I suspect if Bill English was openly speculating about standing for leader… the reaction might be a little different.

    Doubt it – on past performance more likely non-existent as far as the press goes. Just like the several instances of English contradicting Key and the endless litany of tory flip-flops (latest this morning) over the past couple of years.

    Fortunately, Joe Public is well aware of the fact that a leadership change now would be fatal and will see this beat-up clearly for what it is: merely a press-assisted beat-up by National and a continuation of the empty “they’ll never last the term, corrupt! corrupt!” campaign since 2005. Just another spadeful out of the press credibility’s self-dug grave.

  80. Benodic 86

    I’ve got to say the only gallery journalist I’ve seen handle this with any credibility is Brent Edwards on Morning Report this morning. The rest are a bloody write-off.

  81. r0b 87

    I suspect if Bill English was openly speculating about standing for leader if National doesn’t win the next election

    Which was not what Goff was speculating about. He speculated about “when Helen stands down voluntarily” (or words to that effect), which is rather different.

    And both are about a million miles from the Nat press release “Warfare breaks out in Labour ranks” (first comment in this thread), which is why this thread is called “beat up”.

  82. AncientGeek 88

    Craig: Phil was asked a set of direct questions about what happens when helen decides to step down. It wasn’t dopey or indiscrete. If he hadn’t answered, then he’d have had the same stories from the same useless journo’s – but the spin would have been about being ‘evasive’ and rumours of a coup.

    So he answered the question directly, empasising that it would be after Helen decided to step down.

    The subsequent ‘journalism’ with a few exceptions, was probably some of the most piss poor stuff I’ve ever seen. It just shows how unworthy a lot of the journo’s are of the label. They should rename themselves to sensationalists.

    But just have a look at the interview. It is in the post above.

  83. Felix 89

    Steve

    It may well be one quality of a successful politician to be able to deny reality. Probably not of an effective one though.

    And certainly not the mark of a good leader imho.

  84. Craig Ranapia 90

    Very few, if any. 5 new leaders? – pshwaah, hardly newsworthy.

    ak: You and my point might like to get in the same room at some point. Change of leadership: News. Speculative (and usually unsourced) story: Not. I’m hardly shocked by the notion that Clark doesn’t intend to die in office, and Goff fancies himself as potential leadership material.

    As I’ve said, it’s hardly substantive news. But a ‘beat up’ — stupid answer to a stupid question that drew an entirely predictable reaction. Sorry, folks, but I can’t wind myself up to the required level of outrage either the left or the right seem to require.

    I guess the one thing we should be thankful for is that Oliver Driver remained fully clothed throughout. That would have been nasty.

  85. SweeetD 91

    IrishBill, I didn’t know you were a god here, I will get down on my knees and kiss you hand accordingly. 😉

    AncientGeek, what other ten times this topic has been raised by the media. One part of HC reign, is the absence of leadership whispers, she has, in that regard, run a very tight ship. Play the ball, not the man. My age, young or old is no concern of yours. Your seemingly to denigrate the man speaks much on your account.

    Iprent, inane comments/trolls depends on your point of view. If you get rid of everyone that disagrees with you, you end up mirroring many of the reasons why labour is at 20 odd percent in the polls, not listening to anyone.

    [lprent: I don’t get rid of people that disagree. I get rid of people because of bad behaviour (loosely defined as boorish behaviour). Have a look at Policy, and look around at the relatively polite dissent level here.

    The comments area is for discussion and debate. That requires an ability to listen, to think, to consider, and then write. Expat did not display those attributes this morning, ignored warnings, and found out that I dispense summary justice.

    You are right that it depends on your point of view. But on this site – that is my point of view. I prefer to read reasonably intelligent (or at the very least amusing) comments, and I don’t care too much about from what political viewpoint. I hate spam, and the first 4 comments I saw from expat this morning could have been written by a machine.]

  86. ramsey 92

    Iprent – I do belive you have been:

    a) retrospectively placing comments/warnings into posts on this thread in a way that places you in a slightly more favourable light.

    b) disengeneous about your motives as your recollection of events is quite different from mine, as events occured.

    You seem to have spent a great deal of time trying to patch up your unbiaised moderation credibility. Whys that?

    [lprent: Don’t be daft. I just see the messages differently to you – in a similar order to the right-side bar. I scan comments every couple of hours while I’m working (usually during a compile). I read the comments from most recent to oldest across all threads, back to the time I last left off. I can see a page of messages at a time, and can select to see any particular user. If you figure out the implications of that it means that
    a: I see people dropping comments across threads and can see when they do it.
    b: Can see what is effectively the same comment appearing in different threads.
    c: Because I’m reading backwards and across threads, I don’t see comment threads. That means I concentrate on each message individually to judge it on its own merits.
    d: It effectively makes it really hard to troll on this system because I see what individual users or IP’s are doing.
    e. Also I can update my comments as I get more info, and do so.
    Also I don’t know who you are? expat? If so you’re still banned for a week]

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