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Nothing to Hide? + more moaning

Written By: - Date published: 3:50 pm, September 15th, 2008 - 45 comments
Categories: act, election 2008, election funding, Media - Tags:

Prime is running a series of interviews every Sunday until the election with the leader of each party in Parliament, starting with Rodney Hide last night. It was surprisingly good. Hosted by Bill Ralston with a panel of Barry Soper, Audrey Young, and Colin Espiner, some good questions were asked and Hide himself was good in that he was perfectly willing to lay out his thoughts and views. Even if it did make him look awfully naive at least he doesn’t try to hide his true views to win more votes (unlike one party we could mention).

But I was a bit frustrated to see that the panel and the host were the same old crowd. Is there really no-one else than the dozen or so political commentators that seem to show up in every newspaper, radio show, professional blog and, TV programme? When did this tiny group get into the position where they could decide who would ask questions to our political leaders and decided that it should be only themselves?

Why can’t we have actual experts asking the questions? Couldn’t we have a panel of the great economic minds in this country that could take the leaders to task over their economic plans, instead we get hacks like whathisname the editor of NBR representing ‘business interests’. Couldn’t we have unflinching, well-informed, deep questions on political issues from the likes of Margaret Clark or the cutting queries of Kim Hill, instead of vapid questions on morning television?

The problem is, and its no criticism of these individuals who have a lot on their plates, the people we get asking the questions are simply not experts on all the issues they are trying to grill the politicians on. Politicians constantly get off easy as a result. Key is expert at this, fobbing off a question with a nonsensical answer safe in the knowledge that the questioner will not know enough to follow-up. Let’s get some real experts asking the questions and giving analysis. I don’t mean the Therese Arseneaus of this world who see politics as a values-free game, I mean real experts who genuinely care about their area of expertise and will make sure they get the answers the New Zealand public deserves to hear.

[But getting back to the Prime interview. I noticed that Hide says ACT used secret trusts to funnel donations to the Party but I’ve just had a look at their donations returns and there is no record of donations from any trusts.. now, that looks dodgy.

45 comments on “Nothing to Hide? + more moaning”

  1. the sprout 1

    hmm, inconsistencies in ACT’s financial returns.
    very interesting. sounds like the basis of a fruitful investigation.

  2. Jeeves 2

    Not necessarily dodgy, there are plenty of anonymous donations and a donation from the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers, which is able to receieve money on trust for the ACT political party. A trust doesn’t need to call itself “Trust” in its name. A company can hold money on trust for Act and so can a single natural person trustee, thereby obscuring the identity of the donor. Just to be a legal wanker.

  3. Jeeves – quite right, just as several high-profile legal firms held and paid money to the Labour Party on behalf of anonymous donors over the last couple of years. The donations were properly declared, as were National’s donations from entities such as the Waitemata and Ruahine Trusts. New Zealand First’s donations from the Spencer Trust have, of course, not been declared.

  4. Crank 4

    We could get get inteligent people asking inteligent questions Steve, but thanks to the damage your mob have done to the countries education standards there is not enough people in New Zealand that would understand them.

  5. Rocket Boy 5

    Wouldn’t it be better if all political donations via trusts were banned and if the maximum donation from an individual (or company) was limited to say $5000 per year? With anything over $100 having to be declared?

    I’d also count any unpaid services (i.e. having a ‘free’ lawyer) as a donation that had to meet the same criteria, otherwise you had to pay for it out of the party or your own funds.

  6. “get get”??? “inteligent”??? “countries”??? “there is not”???

    I really really want to believe you’re employing irony here but I’m pretty sure you ain’t…

  7. Crank 7

    ‘I really really want to believe you’re employing irony here but I’m pretty sure you ain’t ”

    Quite right Robinsod. I am usually reasonably thick but if you add to that a cold then the writings of a retard result.

  8. burt 8

    Steve P.

    That kite you just tried to fly about ACT’s party returns has failed to fly. I think if there was a story there Winston would have been all over it like a rash…

    Assuming of course his own house was in order… Doooh!

  9. the sprout 9

    burt, Peters is very patient when it comes to making the most of a counter-strike.
    you’d really have to be foolish to think Hide will get out of this unscathed.

  10. randal 10

    How about some experts indeed. the meedia in New Zealand is a closed shop and its about time there was a change. dont you remember how judy bailley became the “MOTHR” of the nation. bushwah. she was never my mother. this country has become completely infantilised and locked into a dreadful system of codependency that only recognises the idiotes that manage to get themselves onto the telly in the first place. I think there are about seven universities in new zealand all with a political science faculty but the media are only interested in themselves and jealously guard their priviliges. If they contracted someone with any intelligence then the restof the country would see how vain and stupid they are. TV1 needs a good cleanout and so does radionz national nights. they appeal to the group one level above radio snakeoil and radio spud and are little more than an advertisment for inanity and mob rule.

  11. Careful randal. Robinsod is in the house, and has already taken Crank to task for his spelling and grammar!

  12. Chris 12

    Crank, it certainly wasn’t our mob who were responsible for the dumbing down of the university system via bums on seats and forcing universities to admit all and sundry just so they could get funding. That was plainly your mob. Oh and remember, national started development of NCEA before clark et al. gained office.

  13. burt 13

    the sprout

    I hope Rodney gets all he deserves.

    Allerting us to the fact that one of NZ’s most vocal campaigners about secret trusts and big business influence in politics has been using secret trusts and accepting donations from big business – without declaring them…

    What do you think he should get for his troubles – Winston’s knighthood ?

  14. John Dalley 14

    $100.000.00 from Allan Gibbs recently, i wonder what Rodney had to promisefor that cheque.

  15. gobsmacked 15

    Last night’s programme was quite good, certainly better than the main networks’ weekday 7pm shows which are usually more lightweight than Shortland St.

    What came across very clearly is that both Rodney Hide and the media (Audrey Young leading, others agreeing) do not believe John Key when he says he won’t have Roger Douglas in cabinet. So watch this space: the better ACT do in the polls, the more Key will slip and slide.

    And if he backtracks on one “rule-out”, why not two?

  16. randal 16

    mind your own business inv2. Oh i forgot. you are a tory and you are always looking to tell other people what to do. Its part of the dispostion to being a rightwhinger.

  17. burt 17

    gobsmacked

    Roger Douglas might be minister outside of cabinet – I hear it the way to organise a govt without backing down of misleading claims that are made before elections.

    Oh, I’m not saying it’s OK for National to be this tricky because Labour has, but likewise it will be an uphill battle for labour supporters to complain about such arrangements.

  18. randal 18

    and furthermore inv2 why dont you stay on topic and contribute to the debate? Are you another apologist for the pissweak grovellers who call themselves journalists?

  19. Chris 19

    “this country has become completely infantilised and locked into a dreadful system of codependency that only recognises the idiotes”

    You’ve hit on something here. The amount of business-brained idiots with little to no understanding or care of anything outside the simplistic world of business is staggering. Anti-intellectualism in this country is immense and in some ways insurmountable, driving our brightest away. As much as the right try and paint this as a dollars issue I think they miss the point. They leave because the tall poppy system is alive and well, however if you’re some hick who managed to win on a few houses you’re treated as the pinnacle of society because you’ve built a small fortune and can like, drink at bars with like classy mirrors and shit. Now, not that I’m saying wealth and success are bad, but the amount of attention and encouragement given to sleazy property developers at the expense of genuinely innovative entrepreneurs is just shocking over here. No wonder we all leave, I think it’s hard to blame the left for this thought. Then again, maybe with national’s tax cuts they can attract back even more opportunist scum to counteract the genuinely intelligent and innovative people who leave.

  20. gobsmacked 20

    Burt

    Fair comment, but I don’t think it’s the Labour supporters that National are worried about. It’s Bill English’s “Labour-plus punters”, voting for more of the same but from nice Mr Key instead of tired old Helen.

    Douglas as a minister would be a dream gift for the left. A very un-secret agenda.

  21. Mike Collins 21

    Chris,

    But isn’t a property developer (particularly a rich one) just another form of entrepreneur? They have seen an opportunity and taken it. Properties don’t just develop themselves. In that sense they contribute to society.

    I do agree that innovation and property development aren’t necessarily the same thing. We do definitely need more of the former, if we’re to keep moving ahead as a nation. You’re right that we need to battle the tall poppy syndrome and actually start celebrating wealth and it’s creation. We could do with a little less intellectual elitism in my opinion too.

    Back to the original topic (how novel). Knowing Rodney, he is someone who I have never seen lie. More than that he is incredibly open with the truth and his opinions. Rather than obfuscate he is much more likely to come out and say it how it is. As he says, ACT doesn’t need fifty percent of the vote to achieve its goals. Why not be upfront?

  22. Phil 22

    Mike,

    In 2002, I could have thrown a dart at a map of NZ, bought the closest house for sale, and made a financial killing (and so could’ve you!). That doesn’t count as entrepreneurial talent to me.

    The best metric would have to be; who’s able to make a profit when the market is in downturn? They’re the entrepreneurs we should be celebrating!

  23. randal 23

    cue a million violins and the heavenly choir singing the praises of wodney. he is a little squib and a sneak and never done anything in his life except creep around rich people in case they might throw him a few crumbs. bah humbug.

  24. Better Dead Than Red 24

    “or the cutting queries of Kim Hill”

    C’mon people. That is an entirely subjective view. Its is my own opinion that Kim Hill is a vapid leftist whose reporting is so partisan she wouldn’t get a job if the media ever set real standards of objectivity for journalists. I’m no Winston fan, but I still remember her deliberate misquote in an interview with Peters a few years ago, and Winston catching her right out. Brainless and unprofessional. She’s yesterdays news.

    As for the show in question ( I didn’t see it) – I actually agree with the thrust of your argument. The panel was just the usual collection of tired old leftists. All Colmes. No Hannity.

    Time for some fresh blood. Barry (I vote Labour) Soper?? Bill (I haven’t made my mind up yet) Ralston??? Yawn… hopeless. How about Trotter and Hooten??

  25. burt 25

    randal

    We were just discussing how the tall poppy syndrome is not a good thing – did you miss that point? Hell keep up man, even Labour are “ambitious” now….

  26. randal 26

    stay on topic burt. pay attention! its about the media infantilising the population wuth anoouncers/autocue readers who are selected for their hair and teeth and their willingess to grovel to the advertisers or anybody else with money.
    we have become a nation who have to externally reference everything and are obsessed with the size of their purchases.

  27. Billy 27

    Has the nasty media infantalised you randal? Is that how it happened?

  28. Felix 28

    As for Hide, he is a slimy little bottom feeder but at least he stands by what he says. You won’t find him toning down his beliefs to appeal to anyone but the rich because he just doesn’t give a fuck.

    And good on him – he says what he means and the public can make a fair decision on whether they agree with him.

  29. randal 29

    grow up billy.

  30. Felix,

    Apt, mostly.

    Says what he means, you opine, but does he know what he is saying. For example taxcuts are the main component of supply-side economics. Prior to a recent Election he was asked for his take on this, yes using those words. His totally lame response was “I don’t know what you mean by that—” Point is he darn well should. Else outta there.

    Maybe of interest is how since then RH has gone decidedly american-style.. bringing on primaries for candidate selection — yeah I know it split his party up quite a lot and built resentments – the talented Franks, for example, shifting to National. But did it improve his political-economic knowledge? Not that I’m aware, though for boasting and stalking those he is willing ‘remove’ this guy takes the biscuit.

  31. Daveo 31

    Knowing Rodney, he is someone who I have never seen lie

    What about when he accused the EPMU of being racist?

  32. BDTR. Trotter and Hooten? c’mon, that’s ehat I’m talking about how shallow is the pool that we have to turn to bloody trotter and hooten for everything?

  33. Pascal's bookie 33

    I can’t see why we cant have QC’s interviewing the buggers. At least they could craft a follow up and won’t stand for that bland media training non responsive bleggidty blagg that we are so fncking bored with.

  34. randal 35

    hey the disnosaurs a re still filling their skite reels but by now it should parse as sh*te reel. ralston and all the rest have been around so long that even his pock marks have got pock marks.

  35. rave 36

    See Simon Power accusing Labour of doing a flip flop on gangs.
    Do undo others as you undo yourself.
    Goff is the new Winston outflaking the Nacts.
    Instead of keeping the Asians outside he wants to keep them inside.
    That only leaves the students and the poor.
    Wonder what Labour can do for them?

  36. gobsmacked 37

    A fascinating link from Robinsod there. That’s exactly the sort of thing that should be followed up by the media.

    As should a case before Hawera District Court tomorrow. Keep an eye out for media coverage of the Beehive “white powder” scare. Or not.

    Let’s see now: “Google”, or “fake anthrax in the mail” – which is more serious? Which one was a harmless prank? Which one was a crime?

    Rochelle’s background and political motivation has been investigated. How about Douglas Hancock’s?

    Let’s see what happens tomorrow.

  37. Johnty Rhodes 38

    Why should it be followed up gobby?
    BC RS said it’s true? It’s true, it’s from the 9th floor.
    What about revalations that HC knew about Winnie’s Las Vagas jaunt after denials. This too should be investigated by the media. This surely is much more serious. Trust & Helen Clark, thats an oxy-moron. More lies are coming from her vile mouth on a daily basis, along with that forked tongue pom Cullen. Linking Merill Lynch’s demise to JK is a load of stinky stuff.

    As for Hancock, if he say voted National in the past, so FU%$en what? I don’t think he was under instructions from JK to send baking powder to the beehive!!!!!!!

  38. mattyroo 39

    Pierson, I agree it would be great to see some real “industry experts” quiz the politicians. I can’t imagine your sponsors thinking it such a wonderful idea however…

    Imagine your horrible little twerp of a friend cullen being grilled on financials by a true economist. The stupid fuck even said the other day, that the worst was over with regard to the global credit crunch. I can’t believe that “stupid prick” has been allowed to fuck us all in recent times, without even the courtesy of a reach around.

    I would much rather a “rich prick” (Key) in control of the countries purse strings, than a “stupid prick” (Cullen.

  39. Better Dead Than Red 40

    “BDTR. Trotter and Hooten? c’mon, that’s ehat I’m talking about how shallow is the pool that we have to turn to bloody trotter and hooten for everything?”

    Well, I don’t see them that much, but then again I see virtually no mainstream media. I dunno. I give up. Really just wanted to register my negative on Kim Hill.

  40. BDTR – you’re mellowing bro.

    Johnty/mattyroo? You guys are so funny. How about you come over to my blog and post some of that sidesplitting stuff?

  41. Mike Collins 42

    Daveo,

    I was initially surprised when I saw that comment published. However having read Shawn’s statement of response I can understand why it was made. Fair enough too. You might not have had the chance to read Shawn’s statement yet but I suggest you do.

    Jo zinny,

    I’m not sure what you mean by that either. Simply asking someone to comment on your very broad and not necessarily correct statement doesn’t entitle you to label him negatively. He’s not a mind reader ffs. Tax cuts aren’t necessarily a core part of supply side economics, so that blows your whole premise apart.

  42. Ianmac 43

    Since this is largely about the quality of reporting/commentary/interviewing, there is a good piece by Gordon Campbell on http://election08.scoop.co.nz/ The horse-racing commentary is great. Perhaps Gordon could do some of the interviewing?
    I saw the Hide interview and Hide did answer quite well but the questioning was diffused rather than focussed.

  43. randal 44

    welll mattyroo…cullen is still going while merril lynch has bit the dust…house built on sand and all that. Keys is /was just a mechanic while cullen has the depth and experience to understand what is happening over the whole economy and not just the credit markets where hyped up ‘traders’ steal off central banks and anyone elses money they can get their hands on. however when I read what stupid pricks like you write I pray and hope you will give keys your money to mind.

  44. Greg 45

    “I don’t mean the Therese Arseneaus of this world who see politics as a values-free game, I mean real experts who genuinely care about their area of expertise and will make sure they get the answers the New Zealand public deserves to hear.”

    Having had Therese as a lecturer and having read a number of academic articles by her, I can assure you that she is very much an expert in New Zealand politics and knows how to ask the tough questions of politicians.

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