Dita De Boni’s last column for the Herald?

Written By: - Date published: 2:37 pm, August 27th, 2015 - 42 comments
Categories: national, newspapers, same old national - Tags:

If it is this column is a cracker.  Titled “Government contempt too overwhelming to ignore” it deserves to be read.  A more brutal put down of this Government is hard to imagine.

It starts like this:

Shortly after the explosions at Pike River in November 2010, John Key stood “in solidarity” with those who had lost loved ones in the disaster – 29 men; fathers, brothers and sons.

The speech he gave at the remembrance service was moving. In it, he talked about the pain of a close-knit community losing so many lives far too young; about the burden of growing up without a father, and about the beauty of the Paparoa Ranges where the men lie. He spoke of their retrieval, and of efforts to get to the bottom of that terrible disaster.

Not four years later, and at a meeting to hear from the Pike River families about the special, personal importance to them of strong health and safety laws in New Zealand workplaces, not one National Party MP was present.

Not only that, but strong workplace safety laws look to have been watered down by the unholy influence of the party’s friends in business, in my opinion spurred on by the particular disdain the Nats hold for anyone – be they public health advocates, unions, civil servants, scientists or anyone else – with views that discomfit their friends.

People have asked me over the years why my columns have become more strident in tone; more “biased against” the Government. The answer’s that the examples of contempt for the public, hypocrisy, and flat-out bulls***tery have become too overwhelming to ignore.

Don’t hold back Dita!

She believes the Government’s biggest failure is in housing.

I think of all the failures of governance we witness; one of the worst has to be in housing – from extracting an absurdly high dividend from Housing New Zealand, to the demonisation of state house tenants and beneficiaries, to zero effort given to get house price inflation under control, to the active incentivising of huge investment property portfolios, many of those held by National Party ministers, it is completely misguided.

It is sad that the largest paper in the country no longer has the need for her talents.  Hopefully her passion will appear somewhere else.

42 comments on “Dita De Boni’s last column for the Herald?”

  1. Ad 1

    Would be great to see her here and on Scoop

  2. save NZ 2

    Go Dita. +100

    Although I think that the TPP is the most contemptuous, dangerous and dishonest decisions that the government is making at present. There lack of understanding of the agreement and the lies and ‘rent a crowd’ contempt for protest against what some are saying 90% of the public are against it.

    Wishing you well and on to much better avenues than propaganda rag, herald, which increasingly, intelligent people seldom read. Increasingly the herald even can’t give their papers away.

  3. save NZ 3

    And better for Dita to leave with her head held high and integrity intact, than languish in the cess pool of misinformation and trivia that has become the herald.

    When white blonde and unable to get a job in London, leads rather than a global share market crash for a formerly business focused newspaper, well maybe Winston should be adding the herald into his list of electioneering expenses for National.

  4. SPC 4

    I once accused a Herald columnist (CB) of lacking solidarity with the underclass – this in 1999.

    I also asked another columnist to take a wide brief in her role, rather than just be a token Polynesian (after all how many Maori columnists are there in MSM). She delivered.

    Thus Dita had big shoes to fill when Tapu left.

  5. Reddelusion 5

    Cry me a river

    One minute government are useless, can’t run any thing, next minute they should be running every thing

    Likewise no one stopping here liquidating her unearned gain in regard to her house and putting her money where her mouth is

    • RJL 5.1

      @Reddelusion
      One minute government are useless, can’t run any thing, next minute they should be running every thing

      This apparent paradox is easily resolved by the realisations that the current government is run by incompetent muppets and the belief that this need not be the case.

      Likewise no one stopping here liquidating her unearned gain in regard to her house and putting her money where her mouth is

      In the real world, contrary to the example of Jesus, systemic problems are not resolved by individuals martyring themselves.

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        it’s not actually a paradox cos it is a call for a government that runs thing sbetter, not, not at all.

    • Reddelusion 5.2

      In the real world, contrary to the example of Jesus, systemic problems are not resolved by individuals martyring themselves.

      Or posdibly the lefts love of wasting every bodies else’s money to there is nothing left

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1

        “wasting”

        Higher per capita GDP, lower unemployment, genuine wage increases, lower government debt.

        That’s your reality check, since you’re so keen on drawing attention to “delusions”. Are you so crap you can’t even remember what that incompetent trougher Double Dipton said about “the rainy day”? Do I have to rub your face in it? Again?

  6. Gabby 6

    This government is useless on purpose.

    • RJL 6.1

      Yes and no.

      They do seem to be deliberately useless at things which it suits their funders for the government to be useless at. However, they also seem to be accidentally useless at various other things.

      And, there are plenty of grey areas where it is a bit hard to tell if NACT incompetency is accidental or deliberate. Hanlon’s razor suggests that such incompetencies should usually be accidents rather than conspiracies.

      • JanM 6.1.1

        Low cunning is a form of intelligence, I guess, but it’s not on the same plane as emotional intelligence. The former is entirely self serving; the latter requires empathy, compassion and ‘the big picture’

      • Charles 6.1.2

        The Nats only become stupid when their endless urge for malice becomes obstructed. They are otherwise quite malicious, and quite purposeful, because they are politicians with a history, with interconnected policies, not casual gentry co-incidentally killing a peasent with a stray round during a pigeon shoot.

  7. Ovid 7

    I mentioned it in Open Mike, but I’ll repeat it here, Murray Kirkness has been appointed as the weekday editor of the Herald. He used to be editor of the ODT and did a reasonable job of it, so there may yet be a re-balancing of the Herald still.

    • rod 7.1

      I woudn’t hold your breath there mate.

    • Keith 7.2

      You could be right but what happened to Dita De Boni then?

      • Tracey 7.2.1

        Nothing has happened to her yet, officially. It is surmising, I think based on how she signed off.

        • Sacha 7.2.1.1

          I believe she no longer has a contract with the Herald, officially. Which does not say anything about why, I agree.

        • veutoviper 7.2.1.2

          As Sacha has commented, Dita’s contract with the Herald was discontinued some weeks ago – apparently the reason given to Dita was “budget”.

          Dita tweeted this on August 9. Apparently she was given three weeks’ notice, so presumably this was her last column.

          There are other tweets in her timeline which also refer to her leaving the Herald – some of them quite ‘interesting’. This also comes on top of her husband (Ali Ikram) leaving TV3 with the demise of Campbell Live.

    • rhinocrates 7.3

      A bad barrel spoils all the apples in the end.

    • weka 7.4

      thanks Ovid.

  8. Keith 8

    When is the National Party’s most prominent publication the NZ Herald going to live up to it’s promises and vanish forever behind a paywall?

  9. Saarbo 9

    Yes, Dita De Boni is often on RNZ’s The Panel, excellent on there as well.

  10. whateva next? 10

    magnificent woman, doing what she can in dark times

  11. DH 11

    Interesting they closed Ditas comments off hours ago while Hoskings is still open, the taste of sour grapes must be bitter at the Herald editors desks

    The comments on Dita’s articles are always good for a chuckle, the trolls there plainly live in an irony-free zone. This character self-labelled as “economist” must have the hide of an elephant;

    “I am afraid you are the one who is uninformed. Still, don’t beat yourself up – given that the average IQ is 100, half of the population has to be below that level, and when you have people with an IQ as high as mine, it just makes it harder for you to break into that higher group.”

    I’d have thought someone with an IQ as high as they claim to have would know the difference between averages and medians, a real economist surely would.

    • Ovid 11.1

      Because there’s always an appropriate xkcd cartoon for everything.

    • Puddleglum 11.2

      IQ is scored (today) by standardising test scores on a 100 median score and normal distribution of scores around that median.

      In a normal distribution the median is also the arithmetic average as well as the modal score – i.e., all three scores of central tendency are 100.

      So, technically, it is correct to say that 100 is an ‘average’ score and also that (almost) half the population scores over (and under) 100 (some score exactly 100, of course).

      From the wording used by the commenter (‘economist’?), however, I suspect they do not realise this.

      The term “given that” suggests a deduction from the word ‘average’ to the claim that half the population will be above and below that score without necessarily realising – and certainly not making explicit – that the distribution is (fairly) normal.

      • DH 11.2.1

        “So, technically, it is correct to say that 100 is an ‘average’ score and also that (almost) half the population scores over (and under) 100 (some score exactly 100, of course).”

        Only if you’re talking about the world population Puddleglum….. and bozo the economist clown was trying to puff himself up against other Kiwis.

  12. ankerawshark 12

    Hugely admire Dita, and this column is an impressive way to go out. Very good point about attacking the opposition is a distraction, and it is the people with the power who need to be held to account.

    Wishing her all the best and hoping like anything she finds something which gives her a very high profile.

  13. NZJester 13

    Why is it that one guy that posts under the name Undecided Voter seams to be so pro National and anti Left wing parties in a lot of their comments if they are meant to be undecided?
    I guess it is just like the name Tax Payers Union who mostly represent a group who pay very little if any tax and are in no way a real union that any tax payer could join.
    Mike Hoskings in order to explain away his bias says “I am not a journalist” but then takes up the TV air time, paper space and job that should be the domain of an actual journalist.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      @NZJester
      The ‘doublespeak’ that I think Chris Trotter has been referring to?

    • Dougal 13.2

      I wouldn’t take that poster too seriously. I have no idea of the true nature of them or their posts – but wouldn’t you say there is something fishy there?!

      The other day they made a subtle dig at Little being rolled by Arden, couldn’t help but notice the Herald also ran an info graphic with Key on one side and Arden not Little on the other…

      • NZJester 13.2.1

        The Herald also seams to have decided not to clear my post on the Mike Hosking article.

  14. Dita De Boni 14

    Dear The Standard readers

    Thanks for your support and kind words. My contract with the Herald is ended; I was given four weeks notice four weeks ago so yes, that’s it.

    I believe, based on the reaction to my leaving the Herald, combined with much bigger events like the end of Campbell Live, that there is a large group of people who agree broadly with a questioning approach of the current (or any ) government.

    Albeit there are some amazing journalists operating, the Herald and such like risk completely turning these people off the MSM for good. It’s already happened, in large part.

    It is concerning that often times the Herald appears to be supporting the status quo and even looking to consolidate the current regime through its news priorities as well as its commentators and ‘special projects’. “The Mood of the Boardroom”, for example, seems overwhelmingly concerned with ensuring the National Government maintains its power; God Forbid the captains of industry should have to adapt themselves to any new ideas!

    Anyhow, I am not sure what the answer is but I suspect alternate news sources will gain even more prominence than ever before. That, to me, is both good and bad.

    Thanks again
    Dita

    • weka 14.1

      Thanks Dita, and kia kaha for the speaking out. Your voice is one of the handful that is giving us hope that all is not lost (no pressure there then). Best wishes for what you do next, and I hope that you find a good place to land where your talents and political intelligence will be well supported and used.

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