Gower’s immigration beat-up

Written By: - Date published: 2:14 pm, May 28th, 2014 - 16 comments
Categories: making shit up, Media - Tags:

Good to hear David Cunliffe on Firstline this morning clearing up the nonsense about Labour’s immigration policy.

There’s been a lot of heat on Labour from the usual beat-up suspects and not a lot of light until now.

Immigration is always a hot-button issue, you’ve only got to see how hard National and their mouthpieces have dogwhistled it when it comes to boat-people and Muslims.

Which is why Labour could have approached it with more care, but what’s been forgotten by a lot of people is that this started with a response to Paddy Gower’s question on The Nation about immigration in which Cunliffe made it clear that managing migration is just what government does along with every other economic lever. And as one commenter on that story put it, it’s not a great policy to invite people into your country only to leave them with no chance of a job or a decent home.

Of course Gower being Gower wasn’t going to take a rationale response for an answer. By last Monday night he was claiming it was all a massive dog-whistle on Labour’s part.

He’d even commissioned polling on immigration by then and in his online blog Gower was making it clear he wanted to set immigration up as an issue:

But it is still time for Labour to hit the panic button.
It may need to look at going harder on the immigration issue – there is no time to be nuanced when you are on 29.5 percent.
Labour should get a major policy out there, even something it has saved for the campaign trail.

He’s making that call because despite all the coverage on the issue Labour hasn’t announced any new immigration policy. What they have done in the last week is go into bat for Pacific Islanders who are getting a raw deal from the government’s economic policies, for the family of Sanil Kuma who died of an illness related to his kidney failure after he was deported to Fiji by the National government despite having most of the money he needed for treatment in New Zealand, and for the creation of a Chinese Language week.

But you won’t hear about that from Paddy Gower because it doesn’t fit 3News’ expensive polling questions and Gower’s gonzo agenda. Instead it’s all about racist Labour. We expect that from Gower, the real shame is how many Labour supporters bought into his bullshit, and the unnecessary hurt it’s caused migrant communities.

16 comments on “Gower’s immigration beat-up”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

    Gower’s behavoiur has gone beyound any realm of Journalistic license the guy just makes up shit constantly. How does the prick sleep at night, Im looking forward to seing the little creep on election night if not before.

    • Ant 1.1

      And then Labour has to waste its limited game time clarifying.

      • blue leopard 1.1.1

        Or a ‘glass half full view’ could frame it as Gower focussing attention on Labour and providing Labour with an opportunity to repeat their message so that the voters are very clear about where Labour stands on this issue.

        Thanks Gower, unintended consequence perhaps, but thanks just the same.

    • Macro 1.2

      +1 Craig

  2. blue leopard 2

    I found a more concise definition of ‘dogwhistle’ :

    Dog whistle politics usually refers to the use of certain code words or phrases that are designed to be understood by only a small section of the populace. Generally speaking, these are phrases that have special meaning to that subsection entirely independent of its meaning to others, and represent a particularly insidious use of loaded language.

    From: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Dog_whistle_politics

    Mr Cunliffe was pretty damn direct in what he said; that issues can arise with having large increases in immigration and keeping immigration numbers ‘even’ in a ‘sweet spot’ obviates these issues. There is nothing coded in what he said. It was not a dogwhistle – simply a politician responding with clarity to a question as to whether there was any issue with large increases in immigration and how he would address it.

    I agree with DTB’s response to my comment on the last post about this, that the jonolists are changing the definitions of words and phrases. Do these jonolists simply not understand the concepts? Or do they want to fudge concepts so that they become meaningless so that we can’t discuss anything intelligently anymore? Are the jonolists confused, or is it that they simply enjoy confusing people?

  3. Once was Tim 3

    “But you won’t hear about that from Paddy Gower because it doesn’t fit 3News’ expensive polling questions and Gower’s gonzo agenda.”
    And nor will you hear from Mad Magazine Paddy about the boat people/economic ummigrunt/queue jumpers we should all be weary of, who’re supposedly about to deluge us ….. apparently ….. maybe ….. probably ……. possibly ….. according to ‘intelligence’

    Back in the 70’s, I once met a ‘boat people’ – at the time I thought he was ‘a gay’. He looked like ‘a gay’ poncing about as he did – he even had the hand movements.

    He’d arrived in Wellington on one of those boats – it was either the Achille Lauro, or the Angelina Lauro in search of a better life than the prospects he faced in Northern Iti country. I don’t think he was able to afford ‘a plane’.
    He went on to run a a pizza joint in Manners St in Wellington, and my parents generation generally poured scorn on it and, of course there were all those bloody spik Iti types coming in here and taking all our jobs.
    He freely admitted to me that he was what we would NOW term an ‘economic migrant’

    Now I see his children pop up on reality TV programmes as God’s gifts to high cuisine.
    Worse still, I see my contemporaries who once were ‘progressive/protester/beneficiaries of a once-was-superior welfare state’ now railing against progressive politic/protest/beneficiaries.

    It wasn’t just having kuds that did it to them and some sudden realisation that they had dependents and responsibilities – I suspect they were superficial cnuts to begin with.

    Fuk all learned from history by many it seems!

  4. Freekpower 4

    “But you won’t hear about that from Paddy Gower because it doesn’t fit 3News’ expensive polling questions and Gower’s gonzo agenda.”

    I hope this is in no way trying to join a relationship between Gower and the fantastic political journalism of one Hunter S Thompson…

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      Can’t be. Thomspson’s schtick relied on strange and terrible hallucinations whereas Paddy’s are just predictable and tiresome.

    • Once was Tim 4.2

      Absolutely in NO way.
      (You draw a Judith Collins’ ‘long bow’ if that’s what ever crossed your mind – or perhaps even a Chris Finlayson type eqivalent

  5. captain hook 5

    gower is a sad little righty being paid off to be a nuisance.
    he wont last long.

  6. Rodel 6

    Interesting how Cunliffe and Hone manage to be firmly dismissive of Espiner’s futile attempts to put words in their mouths.
    The calmer Cunliffe is the higher and louder Espiner’s voice becomes. And he has no counter to Hone’s, “Hang on. Guyon .let me finish……..”

    On the other hand Gower seems to have given up and just fabricates his own questions and answers.

  7. Mike 7

    Badly used statistics and confusing articles from journalists who have not bothered to research the subject are confusing the hell out of the population.

    Politicians like Cunliffe are also responsible:
    – in the article mentioned he implies the current system is different from the one under labour. No its not.

    he implies that the points system has been scaled down, no it hasn’t it has been ratcheted up to be higher than it ever was before. This has lead to a drop in migration numbers of skilled workers while other residence applications and quotas (family members and humanitarian) have not changed.

    Immigration IS moderate, steady and positive – the number of visas being issued dropped like a stone through the recession and have not yet risen to pre-recession levels.

    NZ IS taking the people with highest skills first and the points system is still there. Actually there have been significant skill shortages since Jonathan Coleman cut immigration through the skilled migrant category in Jan 2010 by about 30%.

    The stats being used are misleading as they show anyone arriving for a year or more such as international students rather than people likely to buy a house here. As some in the media have confirmed, immigration has remained steady while most of the difference is due to the movement of NZ citizens:

    16,151 less NZ citizens leaving the country;
    3,267 more NZ citizens arriving in NZ; and
    9,954 non NZ citizens arriving.

    So roughly 66% of the change was the movement of NZ citizens, 18% was an increase in the number of Australians coming to NZ and 15% was ‘everyone else’, many staying for one year before leaving again.

    So why is Cunliffe talking a problem up where there is none?

  8. poem 8

    Where did you get all that rubbish from Mike?

    • Mike 8.1

      Hi poem,

      That’s an interesting and disrespectful way to phrase a question.

      Going through the points I made:

      1) Details used of immigration processes and requirements (such as the points system, selections etc.) are taken from the Immigration department’s Operational Manual (i.e. NZ law) which you can find here:
      http://www.immigration.govt.nz/opsmanual/47059.htm

      2) Details of the number of visas being issued have been extracted from statistics issued by Immigration New Zealand, you can find these here:
      http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/general/generalinformation/statistics/

      These show the following visas (i.e. all visas) being issued over the last few years:
      – – – – – – – Temporary – – -Residence
      2008/09 – – 177,353 – – – – 46097
      2009/10 – – 166,857 – – – – 45719
      2010/11 – – 161,081 – – – – 40737
      2011/12 – – 151,537 – – – – 40448
      2012/13 – – 158,542 – – – – 38961
      2013/14 – – 168,454 – – – – 37865 (to May 04 2014)

      3) Details of skill shortage has been collected by talking to employers through NZ and are widely reported in media. For example just today:

      Herald: NZ struggles to recruit skilled staff:
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/small-business/news/article.cfm?c_id=85&objectid=11264242
      Press: Life is sweet for in-demand workers:
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/10101374/Life-is-sweet-for-in-demand-workers

      4) The statistics Mr Cunliffe and media have been using for their comments are the Permanent and Long Term Migration figures presented by Statistics NZ in April 2014, the most recent. My statistics (for example showing 66% of the increase in migration is related to the movement of NZ citizens) are from those very same spreadsheets which you can find here:
      http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/population/Migration/international-travel-and-migration-info-releases.aspx

      For example these show that over last year there was a rise of only 16 people from the UK and 5,391 from Australia. While all other immigration is very strictly controlled Australians have the right to enter NZ any time and are provided with Permanent Residence visas at the border, no questions asked.

      Where do you get your information from poem?

  9. poem 9

    Notice how Frontline disrespectfully put up poll results between john key and David Cunliffe while Cunliffe was talking. Not surprised that TV3’s propagandist bias towards john key and his national party is having an opposite effect, and are off putting as to the glut and overkill of polls that are fickle and easily manipulated. More and more people are questioning their validity, there’s little doubt that national use polls as electioneering tools to hoodwink. Geoff, if some labour supporters bought into what is obviously another media beat up, then I have to wonder if they are real labour supporters at all.

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