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Fran O’Shillivan strikes again

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 am, May 6th, 2008 - 84 comments
Categories: Media, spin - Tags: , , ,

Here’s the first par of National’s release on the rail deal:

National Party Leader John Key says at a time when householders are struggling to pay the weekly bills, Helen Clark’s decision to spend the thick end of a billion dollars to buy back the rail rolling stock does not make any sense.

Here’s Fran O’Sullivan’s first par in her column about the rail deal:

Finance Minister Michael Cullen has now spent the thick end of a billion dollars of taxpayers’ cash to renationalise a flagging railway system he could have picked up for a song much earlier if he had played a more aggressive hand.

H-A-C-K spells “Hack”.

I wonder how much the Herald pays her for her outstanding cut and paste talent?

84 comments on “Fran O’Shillivan strikes again ”

  1. Patrick 1

    *shakes head*
    The traditional media of this country are really a disgrace.

  2. Matthew Pilott 2

    Her last comment in the piece was actually worse – it makes no sense whatsoever:

    But taxpayers will hope yesterday’s acquisition is the final move in the Labour Government’s disastrous history of paying over the odds to acquire assets back from owners that can’t make enough to expand the network themselves to optimal capacity.

    Yep – she thinks that taxpayers won’t want the government to buy back infrastructure that is being underutilised and underinvested by asset-stripping capitalists. These assets Labour has a disasterous history of buying back – they are only buying them back because the private sector is abysmal at managing such infrastructure, and can’t do anything unless there’s a direct profit involved.

    Does this woman not think before she types (or was that comment also cut & pasted from the Nationsl party press release)?

  3. big bruv 3

    Good on Fran, it is good to see that we have at least one Journo who is not controlled or bullied by Clark.

    She tells it like it is.

  4. This is a surprise, usually it is David Farrar’s blog posts that she repeats verbatim. But at the end of the day who cares? She is just one journalist with a particular affinity to National’s views. Get over it. Time to move on and stop blaming the media.

  5. Tane 5

    Tony, no one is ‘blaming the media’ here – a Tory shill will always be a Tory shill – but there’s nothing wrong with pointing it out and exposing their shoddy cut-and-paste journalism.

    I’m actually surprised about this one. Usually Fran uses Tory messages but mixes up the phrasing a bit. This was just clumsy.

  6. Labour could have given the middle class taxpayers [who largely haven’t benefited from the income transfers (e.g. WFF) of the last 8 years] the $655 million back. If these middle class taxpayers then used this $655 million to settle their Kiwibank 9.29% 20 year home loans they would then save themselves $560 million in interest. http://www.interest.co.nz/calculator/

  7. IrishBill 7

    I’m not blaming the media, Tony. Oddly I don’t consider Fran to be “the media”. I put this up because I thought it was bloody funny.

    By the way Tony “move on” is so Blairite 90’s. What next? “Let’s just draw a line under it and move on”?

  8. Alan Papprill 8

    Check out analysis of the pol speak of National press releases on the blog: theirasciblecurmudgeon and one can see how such journalism evolves and becomes acceptable.

  9. insider 9

    SO are you saying no other columnist uses lines fed by government ministers? Get real.

    Matthew

    There is an alternative view that under govt ownership assets tend to be overinvested in, and capacity is underutilised because consumers aren;t willing to pay for the true costs. The railways are probably a good example where large portions of the network just aren’t able to make money.

    Do you really think Contact and Telecom are abysmal at managing their infrastructure or just that you don;t like the decisions they make?

    If it were your money would you keep investing in a loss making business that no one wants to buy. Sounds more like a gambling addiction if you did.

  10. Tane 10

    SO are you saying no other columnist uses lines fed by government ministers? Get real.

    A lot of them do, but the Tories seem much better at it. And, well, if it weren’t for David Farrar and the National Party’s press unit I don’t know what Fran O’Sullivan would do with herself.

  11. Steve Pierson 11

    mawgxxxiv. Are you actually Hickey or just using his analysis? because the man really is a moron.

    Let’s have a look at this claim ‘we should have had the money in tax cuts, rather than buying back the rail stock’:

    There’s a crucial difference between a tax cut (or an increase in operating expenditure) and a one-off captial purchase. And that’s that you only pay once for Toll but the tax cut remains forever. So, a tax cut worth as much today as the cost of buying the railways won’t be $655 million a year. In fact a tax cut with a present cost of $655 million is worth only $65 million a year http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/guidance/costbenefitanalysis/16.htm (assuming standard 10% discount rate)

    So. You/Hickey are saying we should have a $65 million a year tax cut instead of buying back the railways. $65 million a year split among 3 million taxpayers is $22 each a year, 30 cents a week.

    And with that people are meant to pay of their mortgages?

    Like I say, Hickey is a moron.

  12. insider 12

    Tane

    I seem to recall a few of your collective lines being picked up…

  13. Tane 13

    I think that’s a post Steve.

  14. insider 14

    Steve

    Do you really think that is a one off cost when it comes to railways. History seems to show there are significant ongoing costs that we may not have to bear if the business was private. Liberty Scott says

    “- In 1982 the government wiped what was then $100 million worth of debt from the Railways Department to restructure it. In today’s dollars that would now be roughly $250 million.
    – In 1988, the government wiped another $350 million worth of debt from the Railways Corporation to pay for the Think Big rail electrification which was a sunk cost and unprofitable project;
    – In 1990, the government wiped $1 billion worth of debt from the Railways so it could start with a clean slate, the second time in eight years.”

    Plus there’s all the Auckland electrification – which seems a bit pointless as there may not be electricity…

  15. Fran O'Sullivan 15

    Irish Bill you are clearly missing the limelight since you got pushed back by the PM! Pity though you don’t use your own name when you resort to cat-calling Irish – or don’t you have the cojones?
    Maybe you should read down my column a bit further – $665+$81+$200 – it the thick end of a billion dollars already spent on buying back the rail in three separate transactions.
    National is claiming $665m plus cash to come on rolling stock is the thick end of a billion dollars – a quite different construct to mine.
    In fact Irish it will be much larger as you know from your own privileged insider position – why don’t you enlighten Standard readers?
    Fran

  16. big bruv 16

    Well well…Come on Irish, tell us who you really are?

  17. Tane 17

    I’m gobsmacked. Fran O’Sullivan thinks Irish Bill is Mike Williams? Wtf???

  18. Fran O'Sullivan 18

    Tane – Are you saying Irish doesn’t have close Beehive connections -and isn’t connected with Labour – and doesn’t have the inside drill on the Government’s plans? Come to think of it – are you a taxpayer funded Government shrill or do you spend all day pumping out anonymous drivel for sheer love?
    Get over yourself – get a job – declare your name – enter the real world.
    Fran

    [lprent: it isn’t – read the About and Policy pages again. Do it very soon.]

  19. Tane 19

    Um, you’ve obviously got the wrong dude Fran. I’m sorry, you’re just not that much of an insider after all.

    And the word is ‘shill’, not ‘shrill’.

  20. Hoolian 20

    …or don’t you have the cojones?

    Um, this is the Standard – an all-girls primary school has more bollocks than most contributors here.

    IrishBill –

    Just because O’Sullivan has used “spend the thick end of a billion dollars” in her article does not make her a National Party hack. You’re stupid, and insulting. More so, I think you’re outrageously jealous of O’Sullivan because she is able to produce smart, accurate and interesting articles in a national newspaper, whereas you can only excrete rubbish on a nameless, verminous blog – of which the readership only extends to your narrow group of high school friends who should know better than to hang out with you.

    Your political perspicacity is vituperative, at the most; tiresome in the least.

  21. IrishBill 21

    Fran (if this really is Fran) you seem to have mistaken me for someone else. The fact that you have a different set of calculations is not the point of my post (in fact as an experienced business journalist I’d expect you to have done some calculations of your own). The point of my post is that you have used an line straight out of a National Party press release and that line was chosen for its particular emotive impact – an impact you are attempting to echo. Personally I don’t think it’s a particularly catchy line but your use of it shows which influence you are trying to pump.

  22. Fran O'Sullivan 22

    Tane – In your case both spellings apply – Fran

  23. insider 23

    “Your political perspicacity is vituperative, at the most; tiresome in the least”

    I’m going to have to look this bit up.

    capcha army arguing

  24. big bruv 24

    How delicious, Irish Bill has been exposed as a high ranking Labour party member.

    Now who was it that said the standard was not run by the Labour party?

    [lprent: it isn’t – read the About and Policy pages again. Do it very soon.]

  25. Fran O'Sullivan 25

    Frankly Irish Bill if you think I waste time reading politician’s press releases you know very little about me.
    The ‘thick end of a billion” is the phrase I chose to use when I redid my numbers and decided not to go with “more than a billion dollars” – my original intro – as in fact the known expenditure came up just shy of that amount.
    It clearly will be more in the longer term but my commentary focuses on actuals – not guesswork.
    So come on Irish – who are you????

  26. insider 26

    omigod the Spindard is getting its own spin doctor. This is getting more bizarre by the minute

    [lprent: Don’t really need one – Bill English usually gives us all of attention we can handle]

  27. Hoolian 27

    The point of my post is that you have used an line straight out of a National Party press release and that line was chosen for its particular emotive impact – an impact you are attempting to echo.

    Dude, it’s 8 words out of about 200. Get over it. Admit it, you’ve got nothing else on O’Sullivan (whom I don’t always agree with) or on the points she made in her article, so in good Labour fashion you’re attempting to discredit her. It works for some, but not you – you’re cunning, but not clever.

    Don’t give up your day job – what is that again?

    Lonely internet geek, obnoxious and overflated political bystander, applicant for the Darwin awards, or Labour hack?

  28. Steve Pierson 28

    Fran, you’re just upset that we’ve called you on running National press releases as your own ‘objective’ work. We’re not going to stop calling out such behaviour. So if you don’t like it, my advice is to stop acting like a hack and start acting like a journalist.

    I can tell you now, Fran, we are not taxpayer-funded and Irish does not have the ‘inside drill’ (whatever that is). Of course, like you, we have our connections into the political world – we couldn’t write what we do without them, just as you couldn’t.

    Our only funding is the $170 a month Lynn pays out for the server. We do write for the love of it and as a reaction to the imbalance we see elsewhere. *cough*

    [lprent: $70/month at present]

    We are creating a media policy, in response to requests for interviews. We never planned on getting so much attention that we would need to do it, after all most blogs are happily anonymous. So don’t worry, there will be a public spokesperson for the Standard in due course.

    The idea that Irish is Mike Williams is one of those jokes that has gone around the blogosphere. If Irish is Mike then he looks a lot different in real life than he does on the telly.

  29. Matthew Pilott 29

    hoolian, your last post does beg one obvious question – no-one really needs to ask it though!

    insider, back to your first post. You’re taking everything from a purely economic and profit-motivated perspective which is exactly what I was arguing against. When infrastructure is run to these standards and not to maximise their benefit to users/the public we get a whole lot of problems.

    Interesting you’d use telecom as an example, given the oft-repreated criticisms of our broadband network. Is a profit-motivated agenda working there? And how about deregulated power networks – same again.

  30. IrishBill 30

    “thick end of a billion” is an unusual phrase that appeared nowhere else but your column and John’s release. Most people would have used a phrase like “nearly a billion” or “close to a billion” it could be a coincidence but given your previous work I suspect not.

    Who am I? I’m Irish Bill.

  31. big bruv 31

    Steve

    What on earth would you have liked Fran to have said?, do you really think it is the job of the media to endlessly praise this corrupt govt?

  32. Fran O'Sullivan 32

    Bollocks “Irish” – but then anything to avoid serious scrutiny of the acquistion. So who are you???
    Fran

  33. Matthew Pilott 33

    bruv – how about something original, instead of a phrase from an NP press release? It doesn’t have to be pro-Labour as your cacophony of bleats suggests, but something original would be a start – not that you’d know what that’s about. How is repeating those KB lines working for you?

  34. Steve: how is a tax cut “an increase in operating expenditure” ? Is that how Labour sees taxpayers, as an expense to be discounted ? Surely this a question of a) how $655 million in capital is best invested and b) who is the better judge of where to invest it ?

    What I was suggesting in my previous comment is that the taxpayer would make a better decision on how to invest what (it must be remembered) is their own capital than a government that has decided to invest (taxpayers capital) in a rail network, an investment that Helen Clark has explicitly said is not being done with the intention of making money ( http://www.stuff.co.nz/4512876a6160.html ) .

    No, I am not Bernard Hickey.This is me here : http://www.flickr.com/photos/mawgxxxxiv/

    [mawgxxxiv. That’s retarded. Discounting is what you do in economics to determine the present value of future cash. $655million today is worth roughly $65 million over an infinite timeframe. SP]

  35. Steve Pierson 35

    I’m just interested what Fran would do if Irish gave out his name. Would she scour the internet and other records trying to find a reference to him? Would finding out where he lived and what he looked like somehow invalidate or strengthen his arguments? No, of course not (but it would expose him to danger from the nutty members of the Kiwiblog Right and stalking from scum like Cameron Slater).

    Our arguments stand or fall on their own strengths, not on who says them. It’s time for people to realise that. Political blogging is about the arguments (and, in Farrar’s case, the ego).

  36. insider 36

    Matthew

    Finance provides an objective benchmark, otherwise decisions become inherently ‘political’ based on whether you think the infrastructure is needed/worthwhile/out of date etc, all of which are value judgements.

    You think rail is worth investing in, I don’t; you think there is an issue with lack of broadband, I don’t.

    You talk about maximising benefits to users, and I see socialised costs and private benefits. We already have multimillion dollar businesses arguing that we (small consumers) should wear the risks and costs for their businesses re electricity conservation, when they should really be managing their own risks. Power networks are not deregulated bTW, they are primarily govt owned and highly regulated – arguably one of the reasons suppressing investment.

  37. IrishBill 37

    “Fran”, I’m not going to engage in this any further. I don’t actually believe you are Fran O’Sullivan as I imagine she would have more nous than to damage her professional reputation by engaging in an online flame war in front of her peers (and there are a lot of journalists who read the standard).

    If this thread is brought to the attention of the real Fran O’Sullivan she should feel free to contact us at thestandardnz[]gmail[]com and we will delete the comments.

  38. big bruv 38

    Whereas you Steve see political blogging as a way of retaining power and distorting the message.

    You seem to believe that the role of the media in NZ should be similar to that of Singapore where every news item begins with “today our glorious govt…”

    I cannot wait to see how you react this time next year, once Key has been PM for six months you will be screaming that the media are not questioning his policies closely enough.

  39. big bruv 39

    Come on Irish/Mike, tell us who you really are?

  40. insider 40

    Fran

    Give up the inquisition. It’s their blog and their rules. I respect their right to do as they wish including their anonymity. I think you should do the same. I don’t think it serves you well to get into a personal scrap over an unknowable issue like someone’s name. You risk lowering your credibility.

    Irish

    You’ve lived a closeted life if you;ve you have never heard the phrase “the thick end of…” (cue Irish joke perhaps?)

  41. Matthew Pilott 41

    Insider,

    I don’t think there is an issue with broadband, but then there are always better options for those who know what they’re looking for. However many do claim this is a problem – Key reckons it’s a problem worth spending $150 million on!

    Surely you see the limitations of a financial-only measurement of an asset? Market failure due to externalities has never been addressed in the history of economics, so I’m understandably sceptical of the value of using profitability as the judgement of whether a service is deemed worthy.

    I’m rather confused by the statement about power companies – we do wear the risks, because if supply is restricted, prices go up and we face power shortages. As a business model this is what you want to happen – products aren’t supplied by the maret at a rate that everyone can easily access he product at a minimum rate.

    Equilibrium demands a restricted supply. If power companies wear their own risks, and are not regulated (my comment about regulation was referring to the orignal sell-off of power Co.s), then you’re saying they should be free to act as the free market would demand – restricting supply to find an equilibrium between supply and demand? Because electricity is rather inelastic and a bit of a natural monopoly – I don’t see what dereguation or privatisation would do to address this.

  42. Goodness, I never thought I’d find myself defending Fran, but 1) the phrase isn’t that uncommon and 2) is she incorrect in her statement?

    Putting aside the fact that in 2003 the environment still wasn’t favourable to state ownership, doesn’t Fran make a fair point about getting the rail back at a cheaper price if a more aggressive negotiating approach had been followed? I’ve made the same point on my own blog.

    But then again, the price paid is a side issue, as is the fact that it was irresponsibly sold off in the first place. The key point is that a modern and efficient rail system will be as crucial to our future as fibre to the home broadband. Both of which the Government should be investing in. The cost of not purchasing the rail system would have been much greater.

    We need to move beyond side-shows, and actually debate how we better integrate and utilise rail in the future and what we need to do as a country to ensure that happens. That discussion should be led by the Government, but include discussion with local government and business – who are key partners in the future of rail, as well as the public.

    If National are committed to not selling the rail and trains, then they also need to contribute to that discussion – as should other political parties.

  43. insider 43

    MAtthew

    Firstly I’m no economist, so be gentle if I use the wrong terms.

    Externalities can be calculated and factored in – what is the ETS? Govt’s are forever claiming X benefit for Y investment in training etc. I note you use the term ‘worthy’ which implies a value judgement, and re-emphasises my point that if we don’t have common values, how can we agree on whether the investments are worth taxpayers’ money?

    in terms of power risks, my comments were about major users who are exposed to spot rates complaining that prices have gone up. Well duh, what did they expect?

    Most of us are on fixed price contracts. So we don’t wear the spot price risks directly. We may face some of it in one or two years when price contracts get reviewed. But the downside is you are paying a lot more in cheap times than you might otherwise do. The major users want us to pay twice by conserving power so they can get it more cheaply. They want us to minimise their risk exposure.

    Electricity supply is not a monopoly. The lines are. Two differnet things. Power companies are already restricting supply by hiking spot rates to ensure they can meet contracted demand and shedding load where they can. That’s the market at work.

  44. insider 44

    Tony

    Can you give a date as to when the rail system will be crucial to our future and how? If you can’t wouldn’t it be prudent to wait?

    PS how crucial is it to the people who don’t have rail lines near them or choose not to use them?(ie a large proportion of the population)

    captcha the insanity

  45. Steve: so are you claiming that tax cuts are not worth making because you believe their discounted value is trivial ? Is this the logic Michael Cullen is using to rationalise 8 years of over-taxation ?

  46. randal 46

    there has not been 8 years of over taxation.that is just national party propoganda. any excess is a reservefund but prudence has never been part of the tory scheme as their m.o. is to borrow and hope and let the consumer pay down the track for their excesses as we are doing now for the railroads.

  47. Insider – I guess the same date of National’s fibre to the home broadband policy!

    One could say that the future starts now. Now that the worst of all our privatisations has finally been undone by the Government it is time to build rail into our calculations for transport – and that discussion starts now.

    I’m not sure of the relevance of the second point. Reducing our Kyoto liability (currently $1 Billion), reducing vehicle emissions, reducing traffic congestion, getting big trucks off the roads (and thereby increasing the life of our roads), etc – are of benefit to all – regardless of whether an individual commuter uses rail.

    We’re not talking about some theoretical here – the Government now owns rail and the trains. The discussion needs to build from there.

  48. Steve Pierson 48

    magwww…

    No. I have said before there is a case for tax cuts and I have argued how I would like to see them made.

    But a 40 cent a week tax cut is a pittance compared to getting the rail stock back (which is what you are supporting, you just aren’t capable of the calculation, god knows why you’ve picked to focus on economic issues when you clearly have no subject knowledge)

  49. Bearhunter 49

    Hmm, my last post got lost it seems. Anyway, to recap: why no whingeing when Steve Maharey was gloating a few years back about having his press releases printed verbatim under a journo’s byline in the MSM? Sauce for the goose and all that after all, or is it only wrong when the tories are involved? As regards the phrase, I think it’s lovely and I’ll be stealing it to use as my own, like many, many other phrases I have nicked and then reused unattributed. Or was I party to some conspiracy?

    [we weren’t around a few years ago. Hence, no whingeing. SP]

  50. Bearhunter 50

    Oh right, ted. So when was Year Zero then?

  51. Tane 51

    BH, it’s common for journalists to run press releases almost verbatim. It’s an issue we’ve talked about here before and has more to do with under-resourcing of newsrooms than it does political bias.

    There’s no excuse for well paid senior journalists to do the same in their columns.

  52. Matthew Pilott 52

    bearhunter – this blog hasn’t been around since ‘a few years back’!!

    insider – I used the term worthy, I guess in the same context of something being ‘worth’ investing in. It’s just a matter of deciding how to judge said worthiness. ETS will indeed go a small way towards internalising one problem.

    However value judgenemts are necessary when deciding what to spend money on – this goes for Government spending, and everything we by privately. You don’t look at a product and buy it purely because it makes good financial sense (financial investments possibly being an exception). There are other criteria involved.

    And therein lies the rub – it’s hard to have this discussion, given the polarising nature of the debate. NZ almost neesd it set in stone – what will be public and what will be private, and what will come inbetween – there’s nothing to gain, and a lot to lose (as the railway example illustrates) if our political parties were to continue to buy and sell assets.

    I’d never thought about power contracts in that way – we conserve power when it’s expensive but don’t need to worry about it when it’s cheap – yet we pay the same price for it all the time. Interesting line of thought, I like it. However, without regulation or interference, we would all be prone to the vagaries of spot prices on the NZ power market – that would truly be the market at work, and it wouldn’t work for any of us!

  53. big bruv 53

    Tane

    So its OK to run a verbatim Labour press release but not a National party one?

    Get over yourself, Fran is an independent journo who is quite rightly holding this corrupt govt’s feet to the fire.

  54. Tane 54

    bigbruv – learn to read, then get back to me.

  55. big bruv 55

    Tane

    Learn to answer questions, then get back to me.

    You can start with this one, who is Irish?, is there any truth in the rumour that it is really Mike Williams?

  56. Matthew Pilott 56

    How can there be ‘any truth in the rumour’, bb? Either he is or he isn’t. He can’t be half of Mike Williams, but only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and after lunch every second Saturday, for example.

    Why would anyone get back to you when you can’t even ask a stupid question with a modicum of intelligence?

  57. Tane 57

    MP, you’ve hit the nail on the head. And besides, I’d rather leave big bruv wondering.

  58. Billy 58

    I am Mike Williams.

  59. higherstandard 59

    Billy if you’re Mike Williams can I be Richard Prebble ?

  60. Billy 60

    Sure. Why not?

  61. No, I am Mike Williams.

  62. Tane 62

    Just so you know, I’ve already baggsed Tony Ryall.

  63. big bruv 63

    Is Mike Williams gay?….now that would be a scoop for the standard!

  64. insider 64

    MAtthew

    “However, without regulation or interference, we would all be prone to the vagaries of spot prices on the NZ power market – that would truly be the market at work, and it wouldn’t work for any of us!”

    No – the fixed rate contracts are really a product of technology or lack of it, not regulation. Plenty of businesses work quite happily with the market. Most of the time it gives them low prices.

    Old household meters had no sense of time so could not link to spot markets. In fact the regulators want you to be exposed to the spot price and are promoting new electronic home meters because that will make the system more efficient. They don’t want you running the washing machine or dishwasher at 6pm on a cold Wednesday in July because it actually costs more to the system than you are paying. The smart meters will be able to signal that and encourage you to put it on at midnight when prices are half or less.

    It comes down to your risk appetite. Do you want price certainty and pay a bit more or are you willing to risk prices increasing for extended periods like this year for the benefit of lower prices the rest of the year? Most of us like certainty. If I were clever enough I’d profile my use and match it against average prices compared with current fixed rates, and then chuck in an extreme year like this one and see where I come out.

    Tony

    If building from where we are now, can I suggest “sell it quick before the real bills start arriving’?

  65. Billy 65

    You’ve got to get in quicker, Tony. I clearly called Mike Williams first. Can I suggest you go for someone like, I don’t know, Sue Moroney?

  66. Insider – regardless of who wins the election the Government is going to own it for at least the next 4 years. I like to deal in realities.

  67. Bearhunter 67

    Tane, I’m aware of running PRs, I’ve been a journalist long enough to know better. It’s not common practice to append a byline to them though. Still, political parties get their money’s worth form the press in particular and Labour has certainly had a pretty easy ride over the past nine years. The accusations of one journo being a Tory mouthpiece just sounds like sour grapes.

  68. Billy, clearly you have not seen Spartacus!

  69. Tane 69

    BH, I don’t buy the idea that the whole press is Tory but I do think certain high profile commentators are. Fran O’Sullivan is undoubtedly the worst and most blatant among them. She lost her credibility as a neutral commentator a long time ago.

  70. Bearhunter 70

    I wasn’t aware columnists were supposed to be neutral.

    [they’re not meant to be party shills either, and when they are it’s perfectly legit to call them on it. SP]

  71. Billy 71

    Damn. My comprehensive study of popular culture has a gap in it. Must..watch..more…TV…

  72. Bearhunter 72

    SP, I’m not sticking up for either left or right here. I’m more of a “curse on both your houses” type of person. I thought I’d mention it because your interjections are increasingly becoming shrill disapproval. I back people to make their own minds up about any bias in the media, whether real or perceived. Jumping up and down and crying foul is pretty pathetic.

  73. Phil 73

    Tane; “Just so you know, I’ve already baggsed Tony Ryall.”

    I’ve really got to stop reading comments here like they’re examples on urban dictionary…

  74. Matthew Pilott 74

    Phil – classic! I had much the same thought, and it wasn’t prtty.

  75. randal 75

    yeah chinese whispers but o’sullivan has been shilling for the nats since she first learnt to spell money…

  76. Oh man! I missed all the fun. I’d say that was Fran because if it wasn’t it was a hell of an operator who was well in character.

    Oh and I’m Mike Williams…

  77. lprent 77

    Finally stopped reading the comments backwards in time from the admin pages so I could see what you were all talking about. Turned out the recaptcha at the bottom of the page was highly appropiate. I couldn’t resist.

    reCaptcha: and DENOUNCE

    Sounds correct for the the tail of this thread. It was starting to look like parts of the cultural revolution, but that could be from 20-20 hindsight reading backwards.

  78. Paul Robeson 78

    If it is Fran O’Sullivan, I say good on her for coming on this thread. The use of a phrase off a National party release is poor. It is an unusual phrase- but that does not mean it was an necessarily intentional copy.

    She is a business journo so any Labour government has to work extra hard to get credit with her- and it has got progressively more difficult the longer they have stayed in office. Particularly since the heady days of Electoral Finance “Attack on Democracy” Herald.

    Unlike others she is never shy in arguing her case. Given that other bloggers ie David Farrar, Russel Brown etc, are happy to blog under their own names, it would be interesting to be given better reasons for Irish Bill’s anonymity.

    In other Breaking News objective journalism has broken out at the NZ Herald. Staff were today called to a meeting where they were told the paper has a new objective of changing the government…

  79. IrishBill 79

    it would be interesting to be given better reasons for Irish Bill’s anonymity

    You may not have noticed this but the standard is a very robust left-wing site. Unlike many other left wing sites we have refused to bow to the filth and threats of the Kiwiblog right and have kept our comments as open as possible. I see no reason why I should subject myself and my family to the sort of attacks we’ve seen leveled at people including John Minto and Kate Sutton simply because I want to take time out of my extremely busy schedule to state my political views on a blog. If I was being paid for my efforts as Fran is or had parlayed them into a political or media career as David and Russell have then I might see a reason for you to know who I am. But I’m not and I haven’t. If you don’t like what I write then don’t read it but do not think for one second I owe you anything or that you have some right to demand my details any more than I have a right to demand yours.

  80. AncientGeek 80

    Somehow I didn’t picture Irish as being a sort of pale lime. hs, Steve, ‘sod, and randal look ok.

    Lets see how this avatar thing works…. That should change my image – to something appropiate. Saint Jerome in his study, a woodcut by Albercht Durer

  81. r0b 81

    Test of gravitar.

    [lprent – it works]

  82. r0b 82

    Test again.

  83. r0b 83

    Hmmm – it takes a wee while to pick up a new image. Lynn, can I suggest a new thread just for testing this?

    Also, somehow gravitar signup already had me as a known user from my wordpress login on Kiwiblogblog? Instead of entering my email address for the first time i just had to select login.

  84. r0b 84

    Ahh OK, that will do. For various reasons, Rubin’s vase.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubin_vase

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