Key’s shameful attack on journalist

Written By: - Date published: 10:01 am, February 26th, 2008 - 76 comments
Categories: john key, national, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

One of the more unsavoury aspects of Key’s “we would love wages to drop” saga is the unwarranted attacks by Key and his allies on the journalist who quoted him, Greg Robertson.

Key referred to Robertson as some “young guy who was taking notes“. Key said Robertson’s quote was wrong, or that he was joking, or that he was talking about Australia. All of Key’s excuses attack Robertson’s credibility as a journalist. For reasons known only to themselves, the senior political journalists seem happy to believe Key’s contradictory tales, rather than their colleague.

So, is Robertson just “some young guy”, an inexperienced country reporter? I did some digging:

Greg Robertson is 35 years old. He has been a journalist for 10 years, 5 years as editor of The New Zealand Hardware Journal. He has been published in the NZ Herald, Northern Advocate, as well as trade magazines in New Zealand and abroad.

“Some young guy”, indeed. This is an experienced journalist who knows how to transcribe a quote. No wonder both the Northern Advocate and the Bay Report are standing behind their man on this issue. One has to wonder why others haven’t.

Key needs to apologise for his shameful attack on an experienced journalist and come clean on his wages policy.

76 comments on “Key’s shameful attack on journalist”

  1. Sheesh Steve – thus far you guys have been scraping tha barrel on this story – but today you are scraping the scrapings!! Imagine your outrage (faux or genuine lol) if Key had called him a “little creep”!

  2. milo 2

    Calling somebody “some young guy” is hardly a shameless attack. No, I would think a shameless attack would be calling them “haters and wreckers” or “cancerous and corrosive” or “chinless scarf wearers” or actually punching them.

    That’s why the phone is off the hook

  3. Santi 3

    Steve Pierso, are such a delicate person? “Young guy” can hardly be considered an attack, as you call it.

    Time to find something of substance, or is panic settling in?

  4. the sprout 4

    sounds like Robertson is a much more experienced journalist than Key is a politician.

    so that’s Audrey Young and Greg Robertson. who’ll be next?

  5. Which would be a pity, don’t you think, if the message turned out to be important?

    Well Rob, 13 posts on a topic at Teh Standard obviously doesn’t rate as ‘important’ to anyone but the authors here.

  6. Tane 6

    milo it wasn’t the ‘young guy’ comment in isolation, that was merely indicative of Key’s attitude to the reporter. The issue here was in Key’s attack on the journalist’s professionalism.

  7. mike 7

    I only hope JK openly apologises for the “young guy” diatribe before it brings him down.

  8. westmere 8

    To be fair, if you’re under 55 you’re eligible for the Young Nats.

  9. Glenn 9

    “Shameful attack’? c’mon guys! I trust you’ll also be calling on Helen Clark to apologize for today’s “shameful attack’ on the media? Accusing them of a “herd mentality’ strikes at a journalist’s tools of trade: independence and integrity.

  10. Murray 10

    I wonder if the “young guy” is a “rich prick”

  11. Murray 11

    Hey where the fuck has my last post gone

  12. Murray 12

    I repeat, I wonder if the “young guy” is a “rich prick”

  13. Steve Pierson 13

    Murray. It can take time for a post to appear. sometimes you need to push refresh. we don’t remove posts without notice, and we only do it then when the commentator makes the kind of statements one associates with the Kiwiblog Right. Cheers.

  14. the sprout 14

    Murray, you’re both boring and stupid

  15. Steve Pierson 15

    The attack is in saying that this experienced reporter is some young guy who can’t even take a quote properly.

  16. Matthew Pilott 16

    Well Murray, you’re clearly not a “young guy” based on your interbeb skills :p

    Why did you repeat that comment, it was inane enough the first time around?

    Key and his camp apparently put a lot of pressure on the reporter to retract the story and apologise, but trust the toadies from the Right to focus on a sound-bite as if that was the main issue – good on you guys, you’re following Key’s handbook to a tee.

  17. Billy 17

    “”we would love wages to drop’ saga”.

    So it’s a “saga” now? It’s a a medieval Icelandic or Norse prose narrative of achievements and events in the history of a personage, family?

    I doubt that.

  18. Monty 18

    An obvious case of KDS – in your case I think it will be fatal – with death expected sometime in October 2008.

    I think the only remedy is a snap election to put you out of your misery.

    You obsession with Key cannot be healthy – you need to go out for a walk and get some fresh air. Hell even my socialist cousin was asking me this morning if there is any hope for Labour. I advised that in politics nothing stinks as much as a desperate yet decaying corpse – and that is exactly what Labour has turned into.

  19. r0b 19

    That’s why the phone is off the hook

    Which would be a pity, don’t you think, if the message turned out to be important?

  20. the sprout 20

    this is interesting, a Herald readers’ poll on “Who’s to blame for Labour’s fall in the polls?”

    Labour 82%
    National 4%
    The Media 14%

    more than 3 times as many consider the media, rather than National, have brought Labour down

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/index.cfm?c_id=280

  21. slightlyrighty 21

    So what is worse, Key calling into question one journalist’s comment or Clark attacking journalism in NZ just 2 months ago?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominionpost/4319092a6479.html

    Raise you game guys, our memory is just a little bit better than you give us credit for!

  22. r0b 22

    Well Rob, 13 posts on a topic at Teh Standard obviously doesn’t rate as ‘important’ to anyone but the authors here.

    You miss the point TDS. It could turn out to be important for the entire working population, if it happens that National wins the next election, and goes on to implement this policy.

  23. Good find slighltyrighty. Let’s just reflect on the PM’s words:

    “Prime Minister Helen Clark has criticised the media, accusing journalists of lacking general knowledge and being too young to remember seminal events in New Zealand’s history.

    Speaking at the opening of a two-day journalism conference at Wellington’s Massey University yesterday, Miss Clark also criticised a newspaper campaign against the Electoral Finance Act. She said the Government had put up with weeks and months of full-blooded attacks from the New Zealand Herald.

    Journalism was a profession that carried with it a duty to act professionally and to adhere to an ethical base. The rights of the press carried responsibilities – truth, fairness and balance.

    “Fairness and balance is in the eye of the beholder and … we put up with quite a lot, especially when newspapers are in full campaign mode as the New Zealand Herald is at the moment.

    “There have been weeks, if not months, with full-blooded attacks, front-page headlines, editorials, attack stories, cartoons, you name it.”

    Miss Clark said that, in her experience, complaining to the Press Council “just doesn’t get you anywhere … but that’s life”.

  24. My goodness! The Prime Minster accused journalists of “lacking general knowledge and being too young to remember seminal events in New Zealand’s history”

    What a shameful attack!!

  25. Tane 25

    SR- please, there’s a difference between criticism and analysis of the entire media (See Mediawatch, 9.06am every Sunday on RNZ), and a party leader using his position to smear the professionalism of an individual journalist when he doesn’t like what’s reported.

  26. Phil 26

    Yeah Sprout, and the 82% who say Labour have ballsed it up all by themselves are irrelevant…

  27. r0b 27

    Yes Monty, someone here needs to take a walk in the fresh air, that’s for sure.

  28. Tane said “SR- please, there’s a difference between criticism and analysis of the entire media (See Mediawatch, 9.06am every Sunday on RNZ), and a party leader using his position to smear the professionalism of an individual journalist when he doesn’t like what’s reported.”

    Hey Tane, have you forgotten about the party leader who used her position to smear a journalist by calling him a “lille creep”?

  29. Phil 29

    Seriously Steve, you are becoming a bit of a laughing stock with this crusade.

    Will we soon see a post from you demanding apology from the PM for her comments that the media have a “herd mentality’? or a post questioning the appropriateness of claiming that journalists are “lacking general knowledge’?

  30. whoops – make that “little creep”

  31. Only the sufferers of KDS would fail to note that the fault of Labour’s decline isn’t the Media from the online survey but the fault of Labour running at 82%.

    Wake up, people aren’t listening any more to either Clark or to Labour and certainly not to you guys.

  32. Tane 32

    KDS? This whole ‘Key Derangement Syndrome’ meme Whale’s peddling is rather humorous considering it comes from a man who has photoshopped dozens of nasty and frequently sexual images of Helen Clark for his website.

    What’s that latest one Whale? Helen Clark shopped onto a pair of naked breasts and suckling Winston Peters and Peter Dunne, if I recall correctly. Isn’t that slightly, um, deranged behaviour?

  33. Occasional Observer 33

    Steve, I haven’t seen Helen Clark ever apologise for calling John Campbell a “little creep”. Referring to a journalist as a “young guy” is extremely mild, given that the Standard is parroting the PM’s talking points that the professionalism of the press gallery is compromised because the media is responsible for Labour’s drop in the polls.

  34. AncientGeek 34

    Hey Tane, have you forgotten about the party leader who used her position to smear a journalist by calling him a “lille creep’?

    From memory – wasn’t that Campbell organizing a on-screen interview about a specified topic, advertising the interview as being on that topic, and then questioning Helen:-

    1. on a completely different topic to that advertised and organized.
    2. on a topic that wasn’t in one of her portfolios

    In other words it was ambush journalism, questioning someone on something they weren’t briefed for, or directly responsible for.

    Sort of a wimpish version of the Ian Wishart style of journalism – way down in the gutter.

    I’d have called the arsehole something more severe than being a little creep.

    Would you describe that as ‘responsible’ journalism?

  35. Tane 35

    I don’t recall any of The Standard’s authors, or The Standard collectively, saying the media is responsible for Labour’s drop in the polls.

    Personally, I think it’s fair to say the media are going a lot easier on Key and his crowd than they are on the government. That by itself doesn’t explain the gap in the polls though.

  36. Daveo 36

    I’d add r0b that the power relationship between Clark and Campbell is nothing like that between a journalist for a provincial paper and (on current polling) the future Prime Minister of New Zealadn.

  37. Matthew Pilott 37

    Isn’t Key into tough love (the Iti hongi incident excepted)? Maybe this is his way of helping out the little guy – a bit of a Harden The Fuck Up kind of message.

    So what’s KDS, Key Derangement Syndrome apparently? That’s a bit harsh Whale, don’t be such a wanker. He may have ulterior motives, may even be disingenuous and dishonest, but even here at The Standard people don’t say he’s deranged. Save those comments for your cesspit thanks 😉

  38. Ray 38

    The New Zealand Hardware Journal
    Cutting edge journalism there
    A “youg guy taking notes” is “shameful attack on an experienced journalist”
    Get a life boys, you are way out of your depth if you feel that is an attack

  39. r0b 39

    OO and others, yes, Helen called Campbell a “little creep”, and it was a seriously silly thing to do (even though Campbell was, at the time, behaving like one).

    The point is, she got called on it, and has been chastised for it ever since. Should Key not be held to the same standards?

  40. Steve Pierson 40

    Ray. santi. etc. read the post “All of Key’s excuses attack Robertson’s credibility as a journalist”

  41. Phil 41

    “All of Key’s excuses attack Robertson’s credibility as a journalist’

    Erm, no, they don’t… unless you believe that journalists are divine in the infallibility. Poloitico’s make mistakes, you and I make mistakes, and so do journalists.

  42. higherstandard 42

    Don’t you find it somewhat duplicitious to on one hand slag off the media for not being nicer to Labour and on the other get stuck into Key for saying the reporter got the quote.

    Take off the blinkers boys and girls this is a dead story Key has put the record straight move on and find a real smoking gun.

  43. insider 43

    Didn’t the PM attack Duncan Garner personally last year and didn’t Cullen claim the gallery were motivated by personal gain in their coverage of tax cuts?

    WHere has Key actually attacked this reporter by name or called into question his professionalism, apart from saying he made a mistake, which is hardly a professional attack.

    If he wanted to attack him he could have said the reporter was incompetant because he did not accurately transcribe the what his own paper says is an accurate transcript (go and compare the two) and did not accurately or consistently report the names of the two people quoted.

  44. Tane 45

    You people just don’t get it do you?

  45. Billy 46

    …and neither, apparently Tane, does anyone else.

    Captcha: abandoned them. I am not making this up.

  46. I don’t recall Cullen apologising for this little idealogical burp.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/488120/737759

  47. Occasional Observer 48

    Funny this. The Standard defames and smear John Key from anonymous sources which we know to actually be the labour party, and ping sJohn Key for referring to a 35 year old reporter in a minor provincial newspaper as “some young guy”. But when Helen Clark claims that the New Zealand Herald, and its journalists, have suffered from professional bias–about as large a professional smear you can launch at a journalist (Key only said Robertson was mistaken, rather than motivated by bias), the Standard remains silent.

    One standard for the Labour Party, and one standard for everybody else. Hypocrites.

  48. Tane 49

    The criticism was of the editorial line of the paper, not denigration of any individual journalists. There is no comparison.

    Do you understand how a newspaper works?

  49. insider 50

    The funny thing is every time they lock onto an issue it turns around to bite them in the bum when the govt they are in the main defending is found to be doing the same thing they are criticising. Iraq, wealthy donations and now attacks on the media.

    There also seems to be a relationship with how hard the Standard go on an issue the more likely it is that the govt is not only doing it too, but even more aggressively.

    Case in point the above issue. How many posts have we seen on this John Key “attack” on the media? Yet how does that attack compare in intensity and directness to those of the PM’s reported today (is there a connection)?

    Instead of being Murphy’s law perhaps it should be Standard’s Law or Tane’s Law (a good NZ feel to that one)? It could go along the lines of:

    “the number of Standard posts on a National Party ‘scandal’ is directly proportional to the likelihood that an even bigger but similar ‘scandal’ is about to break around Labour”

  50. insider 51

    SO Tane you don’t consider an attack on the editoiral line of a paper the equivalent of a direct attack on the editor of said paper?

  51. Tane 52

    Insider – it’s a matter of balance of power. An editor of a newspaper is fair game and has the means to defend him- or herself. Criticism of the entire media is called a structural analysis and is not an attack on any individual.

    Repeatedly denigrating the professionalism of a provincial reporter to cover for your own mistakes is just slimy.

  52. slightlyrighty 53

    So Accusing a major newspaper of 91 years of bias after a poor showing in the polls is what if not slimy?

  53. Tane 54

    It’s an analysis, and a fair one if you look at the history of New Zealand’s print media. Whether it was politically wise is up for debate.

    Criticising the Herald for its traditional hostility towards the Labour Party and the wider labour movement is not comparable to beating up on a provincial journalist to cover for your own mistakes.

  54. Steve Pierson 55

    Slightyrighty etc. You need to learn more sophisicated argument. I am not arguing that journalists are always above criticism. I am arguing that Key has groundlessly attacked the professional competence of a journalist in inventing excuses for his “we would love to see wages drop” quote, and that is not on.

    If he had manned up, accepted he said what he said and, say, criticised the angle the article took, that would be something else

  55. Matthew Pilott 56

    It’s not so much a sophisticated argument, Steve, as a tacit acceptance that Key was wrong in his actions – that’s all it can mean when someone takes the ‘they started it’ or ‘s/he did it too’ approach…

  56. insider 57

    MAtthew

    What you miss is that the criticism being levelled here is not of the journalist or of Clark, but of the selectivity of the Standard which has been baying like wolves and labelled an entirely innocuous phrase – a mild criticism at worst – as an attack on someone’s professional integrity/competance, yet justifies Clark’s open attack on the Herald and its complete history/integrity as just “an analysis”, and then claims Key’s is worse because of a supposed “power imbalance” when no power has been exerted as demonstrated by the fact that no-one but the Standard has inferred any imprecation on mr Robertson’s character.

    The arguments you are using are becoming almost Williamsian in their pretzel-like logic.

  57. burt 58

    Steve

    On the subject of attacking Journalists.

    Clark and Davis attack NZ Herald

    Do you think Helen & Peter were trying to go one better and attack Journalists & Editors for the last 91 years – rather than just one botched incident.

    It’s not a good look, I’m sure in the spirit of being even handed and credible you will blog about this and I’ll save my opinions for that thread.

    captcha Mrs Dyck

  58. Tane 59

    Burt, you’re a bit late on that one. We’ve already discussed it and dismissed your argument.

  59. bit quicker next time please burt. good lad.

  60. burt 61

    Oh, I must have skipped over the bit where it said “It was a Labour person doing what we are beating a National party person up for so it’s fine”.

    Sorry. Must try harder to understand partisan twats. Achieved.

  61. burt 62

    TDS

    Great link.

    It’s not the public that want tax cuts, just the Journalists.

    $8.5b Surplus and still no tax custs – So – wots the connection between the two – none. Right! There’s no connection… I’m quite angry about this” “I absolutely believe it’s a person issue for some members of the press gallery”…

    Cullen will prove there is no connection between a surplus and tax cuts this year when he delivers tax cuts come hell or high water. His only saving grace will be that he can say “Helen made me do it – waaaa waaaa”.

  62. Matthew Pilott 63

    insider, I guess you missed all the parts where John Key’s office put pressure on the journalist and the paper to retract the piece and apologise, when you speak of the power imbalance. I can try and find the link if you wish, but as has been pointed out, the media isn’t interested in holding Key to account for his actions, so I might take a while (if you did genuinely miss that point).

    You’re also running a typical attack-dog line, which has rightly been denigrated. Over and above calling the journalist some young guy, he siad it was hurried notes taken in a cafe and so on – the intent was to make the reporter seem incompetant.

    Later, the full transcript has shown the journalist to be correct, and yet you still focus on that one line. What about Key’s attack on the journalist’s professionalism – do you support what Key has done, given he’s been proved incorrect?

    Furthermore, I’ll be happy to admit that Clark is wrong about criticising the Herald’s editorial staff – prove to me that there is no pro-right bias. I can reference a plethora of anti-Labour articles, but I’d struggle to find two that criticised Key.

    The only flawed logic is yours – The Standard is correct in criticising Key, and justified in its approach to Clark’s comments. The only resemblance of anything to a pretzel is your contortions in trying to present The Standard’s posts as such…

  63. Matthew Pilott 64

    Cullen will prove there is no connection between a surplus and tax cuts this year when he delivers tax cuts come hell or high water.

    I love it – now that Cullen has said that he will deliver some for of tax cuts, the thoroughly neutral and impartisan bloggers who aren’t remotely from the right, such as burt, are suddenly howling that it’s the wrong time!

    Give me a break 😉

  64. cynthia 65

    What a pathetic and desperate post! Obviously signs of desperation and boredom.

    I can remember Helen Clark being downright abusive of people in her 9 year reign….

    “geriatric generals”
    “feral and inbred” referring to West Coasters

    Get a life

  65. slightlyrighty 66

    When Key alledgedly said we would love to see wages drop, in what context was he saying this?

    Was he saying he want’s to see NZ workers paid less? OF COURSE NOT!

    Key want’s NZ workers to get more by helping businesses become more productive, and to stop the tide of NZers going to Australia. Perhaps he would like to see the wage gap between NZ and Australia drop but because this remark appears to have not been reported in the proper context we won’t know.

    With regards to the “young guy who was taking notes” comment, Key never refferred to the journo by name, yet you assume that the individual key was talking about and the journo were one and the same.

    Armed with 2 sentences, you at the standard have filled in the gaps to suit your own beleifs and painted Key to sut your own picture of him. Whereas in the space of 2 days, we have Helen Clark lambasting Fiji for deporting the publisher of a newspaper and the next day lambasting the herald for a percieved 91 years of bias.

    I’m sorry but if Helen Clark can have a go at a whole newspaper because she doesn’t agree with how she is portrayed and can do so with impunity in your eyes, then Key should be able to speak out against being misreported by one journalist.

  66. Matthew Pilott 67

    Key should be able to speak out against being misreported by one journalist

    Yeah, if he was.

    As for your OF COURSE NOT diatribe, please recall this is a man who (unless he has sold out the ethos of National to be a popularist but useless centrist party, truly Labour Lite) then he does not support intervention in the market.

    If he sees wages as artificially inflated by minimum wages and collective bargaining and so on, then there’s every reason why he would want wages to drop. If you don’t understand this, either you don’t believe Key is right wing, or you shouldn’t be batting for him because you don’t understand what right wing policies are.

    Now, what a pathetic argument – ‘he wasn’t referring to the journalist by name’. You’re probably right, by ‘some young guy taking notes’ I bet he was talking about Neil Armstrong, or perhaps Lindsay Lohan.

  67. insider 68

    So Matthew, what you are saying is that calling someone young and taking notes (which I assume as a reporter he was) and saying he made an error is an attack on his professionalism.

    Well is this then an attack on his professionalism and integrity? – he inaccurately reported from his transcription and he inaccurately reported the names of those he was reporting on.

  68. slightlyrighty 69

    Matthew.

    What I am saying is that Key refers to what he saw around him, and you and your fellow posters fill in the gaps to suit your view of the world.

    For gods sake the initial article talks about how John Key wants to raise wages by raising productivity, and not by direct intervention. Surely the security of wage rises secured by real growth is superior to wage rises imposed on an industry that may not be able to cope with such rises, resulting in NO wages as the job losses start.

    Now Matthew, can you answer one question. Why is it OK in your eyes for Helen Clark to lambast a whole newspaper while John Key cannot question one journalist? Take of your red coloured galsses for a minute and look at the two situations.

    And another thing, if a person of Clark’s position feels that the reportage of her is biased in a particular publication, is it a good thing to publically say so? I have always respected Clark’s political acumen but now that the pressure is one her greatest asset appears to be missing.

  69. Matthew Pilott 70

    For gods sake the initial article talks about how John Key wants to raise wages by raising productivity, and not by direct intervention.

    You seem to be deliberately ignoring everything I’m putting across, to thepoint that I don’t understand why you’re replying – it has nothing to do with what I’m saying!

    Check out what I said at 3:16. I’ve already explained how you can want wages to drop (for one reason, as he is from the Right, he will oppose Government intervention, which includes minimum wages and favouring collective bargaining) and have them rise by another method(productivity gains). The latter is not a bad thing (and this is where it would be nice to hear both parties state what they’ll do to help. Remember the wage gap opened under National, and has been steady under Labour, so National has a bit more to explain), but leaves vulnerable employees at the whims of their employers. The former is to correct for this problem.

    I can’t really simplify it any more.

    As has been expounded above – Clark is criticising the Herald’s editorial direction, and in a professional sense. Key is basically stomping on a single reporter. The Herald is in a position to fight back (and it probably will continue to do so, at Clark’s detriment – no disagreement with your last point but I can understand her frustration), our Bay reporter doesn’t write front page editorials to a disturbution of tens of thouands. How are those blue tints working out?

    Insider – Key’s office put pressure on the reporter to withdraw the story and apologise. There’s more to it that you are trying to make out. Read my post at 2:27 if you missed it earlier… You’re doing the same as sligtlyrighty and bypassing what I’m saying, so why bother to attempt to answer my posts if you say nothing that’s related to them?

  70. insider 71

    MAtthew

    All I’ve seen is our claim of that pressure. Got any verification? Given the standard is getting increasingly extreme in some of its claims you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t accept a blog post as evidence of such.

  71. Matthew Pilott 72

    Insider, I suppose this could be all made up…

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0802/S00390.htm

  72. insider 73

    MAtthew

    That is a press release from Shane Jones. You might not realise but he is a government minister who is politically opposed to John Key. I see no evidence in there that “Key’s office put pressure on the reporter to withdraw the story and apologise.”

    I saw this comment “numerous attempts by the National Party to force the journalist and the publication to retract the comments made by Mr Key, and having failed in that attempt, tried to discredit both the journalist and the publication.” but nothing to back the claim.

    Similarly this week I saw a claim from a person called Gerry Brownlee, who is apparantly the opposition energy spokesman, claiming that “Labour’s emergency stand-by power generator at Whirinaki is running flat out burning up to one million litres of diesel every 24 hours.” again there was no substantiation.

    So of these which am I to believe is true? DO you believe every media release that comes out of Parliament?

  73. Matthew Pilott 74

    As said – it could all be made up. With things like that you have to judge for yourself, but remember that such press releases are for the Press – and are thus liable to recieve a fair bit of scrutiny. Blatant lying wouldn’t be too bright.

    I didn’t realise those two press releases were mutually exclusive though 😉

    If I’ve got time I’ll dig around (saw a couple of other things a week or so back), but you gotta ask why the paper in question had to release a story backing up their reporter – that wouldn’t have happened without due cause, and I’m sure it wouldn’t have happened purely because Key said the reporter was young and a guy, don’t you think?

  74. insider 75

    MAtthew

    I listened to Key and Havoc on BfM. It appears National have been talking to the Northern Advocate. Unsurprising really if they were trying to find out what happened where and when. Moreso if they were concerned about what happened. One man’s complaint could be another’s political pressure.

    PS I can tell you Brownlee didn’t necessarily lie but he did put out a release two days later saying it was actually burning 1m litres a month! No hint of a “i was wrong’ though

  75. Matthew Pilott 76

    I thought that was a lot of diesel! Did he also mention that it wasn’t Labour’s plant? I know that Labour advocates State Ownership of infrastructure and all, but Party ownership – that’s a bit too USSR even for my liking 😉

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    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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