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Now with a little perspective

Written By: - Date published: 4:04 pm, February 11th, 2009 - 87 comments
Categories: election 2008 - Tags:

I was going through some of my 2008 files yesterday and got a sudden reminder of just how nuts the right was getting toward the end:

hitler

It got me thinking about all the other crazy shit that was going on last year and prior to it. the truck “strike”, the insane advertising the EMA did with a red-eyed demonic Trevor Mallard, the absurd breakthrough of pubescent toryboyism into the mainstream that came with outfits like the Free Speech Coalition and the Sensible Sentencing Trust (heard anything from them lately? Or from Family First? Or the Asian Anti-crime group?), the New Zealand Sucks campaign that National ran hard. Rodney’s yellow jacket. Rodney.

At the time I wasn’t aware of how batshit crazy the right and the political discourse had become because it had slowly built up over the three years from the 2005 election campaign and we just kind of acclimatised to it.

I think the media might have suffered the same boiled frog effect. Having said that we’ve got some perspective now and I challenge anybody to look back over 2008 and claim it wasn’t insane.

87 comments on “Now with a little perspective”

  1. Pat 1

    Wash out that one eye, Irish.

    Helen Clark clinging to Winston and her treatment of Owen Glenn personified insane IMO.

  2. IrishBill 2

    And some people just can’t put the craziness behind them. The right’s obsession with Winston (who was proven by two investigations to be in the clear) is just another crazy 2008 thing.

  3. gobsmacked 3

    Pat

    Was New Zealand heading towards fascism? Was democracy under attack? Was Helen Clark as bad as Mugabe?

    Those were not the views of the fruitcake fringe, but the public statements of National and ACT politicians, and the Herald.

    Were they right or wrong?

    • waynewhoever 3.1

      ,New Zealand was heading toward fascism and democracy was under attack.The people of New Zealand were very lucky that the Evil Labour led Coalition mob were not voted back to power,heaven only knows what A mess NZ would have been in if they got the power back and continued the path they were on.The path of destruction,the path to Communism,the path to total state control,the path to ruination.Yes they National, ACT politicians, and the Herald were correct, very correct indeed. — God Save The Queen.

  4. DeeDub 4

    Pat… actually , if anyone personifies insane it’s possibly the bizarre, lonely millionaire himself. Him and his hired ‘lady friends’….

    Nice post, Irish. The pic speaks fairly loudly of a rabid, unbalanced, and poorly informed right movement as well… “Helen Clark is A***f H****r.”

    ROFL

  5. Quoth the Raven 5

    A lot of quotation here, so I apologise, but I think it pretty well summarizes conservatives. From brainpolice:

    The economic views of contemporary conservatism are also very warped. For the modern conservative does not support laissez-faire, but some form of a mixed economy or corporate state. Sure, the conservative’s rhetoric is often devoted to laissez-faire, but their support for “capitalism” is more often than not merely a knee-jerk apologia for current economic conditions, corporations and the rich, irrespective of wether or not it has anything to do with laissez-faire. In short, the contemporary conservative often ends up using the term “free market” to describe and legitimize what we currently have. But we do not currently have a free market. The average conservative has not read Ludwig Von Mises or Frederic Bastiat. Their support for “capitalism” is more or less merely cultural, not an informed and substantive position. All they know is that they oppose “socialism” and “communism”, and “capitalism” is the opposite of those things, therefore they must support whatever “capitalism” is. But their “capitalism” happens to be either the status quo (or elements of it at least) or some romantisized past utopia.

    Since the conservative tends to conflate laissez-faire with corporatism or the effects of a mixed corporatist economy with “the free market”, actual consistant proponents of laissez-faire may actually be demonized and brushed aside as being “socialists”, since a consistant adherance to laissez-faire would naturally lead one to oppose corporatism. The conservative loves to see red where it does not really exist, therefore going on red-baiting witch hunts. The conservative may see red in positions that don’t necessarily have anything to do with being a communist, such as opposition to political borders and support for multiculturalism. They accept an absurd false dichotomy: either you support the conservative agenda or you are a “far leftist”. A “far leftist” is defined quite simply as anyone who disagrees with the conservative to any significant extent.

    While there certainly are conservative intellectuals, the average conservative does not derive their position from any serious study of philosophy, economics or history. They derive their position from the media, their parents and cultural cliches. They are brought up to believe that whatever the conservative establishment happens to be supporting equates to small government, free markets and individualism – and that everyone and everything else is more or less a representation of big bad communism and “big government”. In contemporary politics, conservatism has more to do with one’s cultural preferances than any half-seriously thought out political philosophy. Dimwitted talkings heads such as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter determines the conservative’s views rather than anything remotely resembling a rational thought process.

  6. r0b 6

    It was shameful stuff.

    But it worked. That’s the sad thing.

    So:
    (a) the Right will keep doing it
    (b) it’s a dilemma for the Left, do we stoop to that level too?

  7. Alex 7

    Godwins Law… not exclusively found on the right.

  8. lukas 8

    IB, should we also find all the photos of the “left wing” groups with nazi symbols to paint a picture of how “all” you on the “left” are?

  9. Lew 9

    Yes, 2008 was crazy, and after the fact DPF quoted someone (I forget who and CBA searching) as saying the Nat supporters had gone from being insane to being smug, which seems mostly right. Not that the extremists on the other side weren’t insane as well – but they had had nine years of smugness to temper it.

    r0b: Good question. If they don’t, will they find themselves in perpetual opposition? I think there are ways of employing the same principles without the same nasty lack of perspective. Obama did it, Rudd did it.

    L

  10. Julie 10

    The whole Helen Clark is Adolf Hitler/Robert Mugabe/Frank Banimarama thing was completely bizarre. She was a democractically elected leader who didn’t execute anyone in her nine year reign. She accepted defeat when she was beaten. To compare her to them, like those Free Speech coalition billboards did, was just so out there it seemed to mad to need refutation. I mean how do you argue with someone who says the sky is green?

  11. vto 11

    Get some perspective?

    Why on earth do you think that crazy shit arose? Because people had quite simply and overwhelmingly had enough of Clark’s own perverse and crazy shit. That is why.

  12. IrishBill 12

    r0b, my hope is it was a one off confluence of capital under threat (after all what would a 4th term Labour govt do?), a lunatic fringe and an appalingly complacent/complicit media. I think it will be a while until we see such madness again.

    lukas, could you point me to evidence of the left calling John Key “Hitler” or directly comparing him to a dictator? Don’t take offense, I’m certainly not saying everyone on the right was so insane but enough were and were vocal about it for me to consider it justifiable generality.

    Julie, it certainly seems so now but I don’t recall a single MSM pundit even making a passing comment on the absurdity of it at the time.

    vto, what “crazy shit”? The current government voted for the Section 59 repeal, has kept the transparent donation element of the EFA in place and is now trying to extend the state’s ability to intrude into the very basis of our lives with the DNA database. Show me the “crazy shit” and I’ll show you crazed over-reaction and a failure of the media to provide perspective.

  13. gobsmacked 13

    Debate on Electoral Finance Bill, July 26, 2007 (Hansard):

    Bill English: This is straight out of Zimbabwe. In fact, if members read the rules of the former Soviet Union about election campaigning, they will see that those rules were less restrictive than these ones.

    John Carter: Mugabe wrote them.

    Bill English: Mugabe would be proud of this. He cuts out the middle man; he just locks them up.

    ( etc …)

    No sane observer with any knowledge of historical and contemporary repression would make any comparison between the debatable failings of the previous New Zealand government, and true tyranny. And yet this kind of stupidity was repeated constantly, by fools who believed it, and (worse) cynical politicians who did not.

    If Helen Clark was so “perverse and crazy”, why is the government supporting her bid for a top UN post? Why aren’t the heroic National/ACT anti-fascists marching to stop this dictator? John Boscawen, speak up and save the world from wicked Helen!

    But of course it was all bollocks. Sadly, as Rob says, there’s a very tempting lesson to draw from it all … and if the media prefer hysteria to intelligent criticism, how long can the temptation be resisted?

  14. Yes it was insane, most of it from the greens telling us we were doomed along with the planet if we didn’t vote for them, well like the republicans in the states, they now know the politics of fear doesn’t work.

  15. pbmcbeth 15

    Hey Irish,
    Just have to pull you up on wondering where the Sensible Sentencing Trust and Family First lobbies have been… the press releases are continuing to come thick and fast (hell, SST even has an MP in the House), and why shouldn’t they?
    Those two lobbies were pretty successful in getting their voices picked up in opposition to the guvmint, so they should be eager (and we should be scared) about their potential to enact change in the coming term.
    McCroskie’s already started his advertising campaign on the referendum… I’d comment on it, but this says it better
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0902/S00191.htm
    (yeah, sorry about that bit of shameless promotion…)
    PB.

  16. vto 16

    Whether the things she did were cazy shit is a whole huge debate which has been had many times. The point is that she was perceived as incredibly dictatorial, (which combined with her rather stern appearance at times unfortunately led to the Hitler aspect), too intrusive into people’s personal affairs (anti-smacking), absolutely power hungry (EFA, holding onto Winston for dear life compromising her integrity) and etc. People genuinely hated these aspects. The left should try and understand that.

    Whether the perception was a reality is immaterial for the purposes of this thread. Have you not heard of the 1st/2nd(?) law of physics – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? Those normally placid people going on like that were the reaction that FOLLOWED Clark’s governing which was the action. Simple.

    It is nothing to do with the types of people who inhabit the ‘right’. ffs there is plenty more extreme stuff carried out by those on the ‘left’ at times.

    It surprises me this is even a question. Perhaps it shows how ingrained either end of the political spectrum gets. Neither can see the wood for the trees.

  17. IrishBill 17

    gobsmacked, I agree. I wonder if some of the KBR who voted for National now feel cheated about a lack of show trials and treason charges.

    pbm, You got me there. I’m aware SST have been putting releases out but there has been little about recent crimes and for some strange reason the media is no longer interested. I’ve also noticed McVicar is stepping back and letting a number of low profile spokespeople front.

    I’m not particularly concerned about Garrett as he is a buffoon with a shady history and as such will do well to keephis head down and happily taking his paycheck.

    IMHO these rabid oppositional groups have served their purpose and will be of absolutely no value to the current government. I expect them to now find the professional advice and contacts they were getting through backchannels to evaporate and for them to find themselves relegated back into the bigoted oblivion they came from.

  18. higherstandard 18

    “Lukas, could you point me to evidence of the left calling John Key “Hitler’ or directly comparing him to a dictator? ”

    No I believe it was “scumbag scumbag scumbag you rich prick” as per Michael Cullen…. and of course the delightful “footsoldier for the international banksters” murmurings from the likes of your friend and mine Travelleve and then we had the absurdity of the President of the Labour party in Australia attempting to dig up smears in the eleventh hour on Clarks orders.

    Really IB you’ve been around long enough to know their all as bad and mad as each other they just become a little more odd an in the public eye more during election year, most of the country luckily treat the lot of them with the suspicion they deserve.

  19. vto 19

    Moderation? aarrrrgh! which word got me in there? I suspect A…f H….r.

  20. Kelsey 20

    The national front are pretty left leaning economically (check out this interview with Colin Ansell), the money quote is right at the end when he indicates who he’d vote for. They’re not exactly your rational moderates.

    Note sure what you’re trying to prove – left and right both have their loony fringes.

  21. IrishBill 21

    Kelsey, read gobsmacked’s quotes from Hansard. It wasn’t the loony fringe making these comments it was Bill English, it was ex National parliamentary staffer and prominent National Party Activist David Farrar it was the head of the Employers and Manufacturers Association. If you can find me a single example of a senior Labour or Green MP, or a well known labour or green activist or a trade union representative repeatedly associating John Key with a ruthless dictator then you might have a point. But you can’t and you don’t.

  22. vto 22

    IB Kelsey wont be able to find one such probably, because there is no such comparison. But there is such a comparison (in these people’s eyes) for Clark. Get the difference?

    Muldoon suffered similarly. For reason.

    Rowling didn’t. For reason.

    It has happenned for a reason.

    The fact you guys can’t see that is a story in itself.

  23. Kelsey 23

    Well, perhaps that’s because John Key’s doing a better Job than Aunty Helen, eh? Not quite the same level of irresponsible law making.

    IrishBill: National have put nearly as much legislation through all readings under urgency now as Labour did throughout nine years. And from what I understand they are concerned some of that legislation will need fixing. Sounds pretty irresponsible to me.

  24. mike 24

    “(who was proven by two investigations to be in the clear)”

    Wtf. So the left still insist WRP is innocent. After he nobbled your election chances with his lies why do you still back him?

  25. vto 25

    I’ll try my moderated post from up above again …

    Whether the things she did were cazy shit is a whole huge debate which has been had many times. The point is that she was perceived as incredibly dictatorial, (which combined with her rather stern appearance at times unfortunately led to the H….r aspect), too intrusive into people’s personal affairs (anti-smacking), absolutely power hungry (EFA, holding onto Winston for dear life compromising her integrity) and etc. People genuinely hated these aspects. The left should try and understand that.

    Whether the perception was a reality is immaterial for the purposes of this thread. Have you not heard of the 1st/2nd(?) law of physics – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? Those normally placid people going on like that were the reaction that FOLLOWED Clark’s governing which was the action. Simple.

    It is nothing to do with the types of people who inhabit the ‘right’. ffs there is plenty more extreme stuff carried out by those on the ‘left’ at times.

    It surprises me this is even a question. Perhaps it shows how ingrained either end of the political spectrum gets. Neither can see the wood for the trees.

    edit … a-ha so it was the H….r word

  26. Kelsey 26

    After he nobbled your election chances with his lies why do you still back him?

    Labour haven’t admitted this to be a mistake, so why would their official mouthpiece?

  27. QoT 27

    Seriously, people. I get that a lot of folks disagreed with Helen Clark, and her government’s policies, and her treatment of various issues, and sincerely take things like paintings and speeding really, really seriously. But the point at which, in the run-up to the election, people were writing letters to the DomPost seriously saying they’d emigrate to Aussie if Labour won again, because then it would clearly be THE END OF DEMOCRACY in New Zealand? Come on!

    Kelsey? One word: “urgency”.

  28. IrishBill 28

    Kelsey, I don’t back Winston but I happen to know that his morally ambiguous ways were no more morally ambiguous than those of many National, Act and United Future MPs. If he deserved to be hung out to dry so do they, and from what I hear some of them will be over the next three years.

  29. Ag 29

    The average conservative has not read Ludwig Von Mises or Frederic Bastiat.

    Thank god, or we’d be in real trouble. What is it with these crank theories? The internet seems to have been a vast enabler.

  30. higherstandard 30

    “But the point at which, in the run-up to the election, people were writing letters to the DomPost seriously saying they’d emigrate to Aussie if Labour won again, because then it would clearly be THE END OF DEMOCRACY in New Zealand? Come on!”

    Yes quite so ………..

    Less a kickstart than a wee nudge with a soft shoe

  31. QoT:

    It was the manner of which Cullen and Clark use to speak to the press and NewZealand people that made thought, democracy will end.

  32. Anybody else notice how all the people in the picture are all overwhelmingly white and old?

  33. burt 33

    Julie says of Helen Clark…

    She was a democractically elected leader

    Well almost, she was a democratically retrospectively validated leader.

  34. lukas 34

    IB, I imagine that the comparisons of JK to H*tler (to avoid moderation 😀 ) or any other dictator will come given time. We have already come close with people talking about the nats “ramming” through legislation being a “threat” to democracy. Off the top of my head Iprent made remarks of this nature about the length of the public submission process for some bill (that I actually thought was quite long).

    Add to that we are not even in to the first 100 days of the new Government… would beat my house on the comparison coming out eventually.

  35. Quoth the Raven 35

    Ag – For reference the writer is no fan of Mises, even though he’s writing at mises.org. He’s just making the point that your average conservative hasn’t thought out their views. Which are the crank theories?

  36. lukas 36

    IT, seriously what does that have to do with anything?

    If I have a look for some photos of the bus driver lock out I imagine that a majority of the people would be either of a Pacific Island background, overweight or both… meaning bugger all.

  37. burt 37

    QoT

    Kelsey? One word: “urgency’.

    Was that urgency as in the passing of untimely retrospective validations covering 14 years, the passing of the EFA, the passing of the ETS or has all that been forgotten and you are talking about more recent use of urgency by National.

    I think in all cases urgency was wrong, perhaps you could clarify if you think it’s OK when Labour do it or perhaps you think it’s OK when National do it?

    IrishBill: The third reading was passed under urgency but there was certainly a select committee process and plenty of time for feedback. Ironically enough, if Labour had passed the EFA the way National last sat then the anti-EFA campaign probably wouldn’t have got the traction it did. A done deal is a lot harder to get worked up about. If you are so concerned about National’s misuse of urgency Burt, I would expect you to be making hundreds of comments about it in bold. But you haven’t. Why is that, Burt? When you care so equally about National’s misuse of urgency?

  38. Lew 39

    burt: Well almost, she was a democratically retrospectively validated leader.

    Oh, bollocks, burt. She was democratically elected, and legislation later passed to validate money spent in good faith by Labour and other parties changes nothing about that. Come on; if you’re going to argue the Clark government was illegitimate, you must out of consistency argue that the Bush administration was illegitimate, too – if you want to do that, be my guest.

    L

  39. vto 40

    Just a little more – the recent claim that she is one of our great PMs, which I refute, is undermined massively by this ‘crazy’ behaviour of her opponents. Her legacy will be defined to a great extent by how she was perceived. And that perception is reflected in that behaviour by her opponents – which is not good.

    Again, in the same sort of way Muldoon was ‘terrorised’ at the end of his reign due to his behaviour. And he is certainly not regarded as one of our great PMs, despite many of his supporters, at the time and after his defeat, thinking he was. Imo the comparison is appropriate.

  40. burt 41

    IrishBill

    This thread has a lot of the same debate you seem to want to be starting. Let me know if you would like me to find more links like the ones I have pasted in here.

    I’m still waiting for a single link where somebody from “the standard” has spoken out about Labour using urgency…. Link away IrishBill – if you can.

    I’ve already said in this thread that National using urgency was wrong (IMHO) and I made comments to that effect on Kiwiblog in the urgency thread.

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2008/12/urgency.html#comment-516815

    Lew

    Money spent in good faith – yes right… such good faith that the warnings given by the chief electoral officer were ignored. Good faith – either you are a comedian or you are yourself trying to re-write history.

  41. Kelsey 42

    Kelsey, I don’t back Winston but I happen to know that his morally ambiguous ways were no more morally ambiguous than those of many National, Act and United Future MPs. If he deserved to be hung out to dry so do they, and from what I hear some of them will be over the next three years.

    I do actually kinda agree with you (except for the fact that you somehow think Labour MPs are above such things… sure…). If others are similarly guilty – let the world know.

    What made the Winston saga so enticing was two things:

    1. He’d been campaigning as against all the corruption, and it turned out he was the most corrupt of the lot. Schadenfreude perhaps?
    2. Labour’s continued support of him. IrishBill – you’re actually trying to defend the indefensible here. Why can’t you just admit it was wrong?

  42. burt 43

    Irishbill

    This one is also worth reading.

    Incompetent or just undemocratic or both?

    lprent

    And on a different day under a different bunch of self serving leaders here you are justifying the use of urgency because there was a shortage of time . (Oh: You were also saying the HRC was wrong as well.)

    A change to what?

    So is it really as simple as defend Labour when they do it an slag off National when they do it – do you ever care what they actually do or are you only concerned with who is doing it.

    I’m pissed National are doing this under urgency. See it’s possible to disagree on principle rather than agree on partisan lines.

    It goes on in that thread as well, well worth reading to see lefties scrambling in circles trying to avoid saying that Labour should not have used urgency like they did.

    Like I have said before – it’s easy when your position is based on principles rather than partisan lines.

  43. Felix 44

    Kelsey,
    1. He’d been campaigning as against all the corruption, and it turned out he was the most corrupt of the lot.

    That’s exactly why the next 3 years are going to be so amusing.

    Schadenfreude perhaps?

    Not really, no.

  44. Relic 45

    What a revolting read the comments in this thread are, stuck record nasty tories. Awful blokes one and all. No history, no future, no finesse, no principles, fear and loathing ramped up when one might imagine perhaps some quiet satisfaction with the election result they wanted and gained, (albeit at a cost to our country).

    The fringe far right tendency in New Zealand that was exhibited in the infamous 1981 “Tania Harris’ march, where banners proclaimed “Kill all communist trade unionists’ lives on.

    I enjoy being a unionist and look forward to putting maximum pressure on any tin pot bosses caught using the “fire at will’ law in our neighbourhood. Pickets, customer boycotts, “branding’ anyone? Perhaps we will meet some of the lovely characters that post here as we go about our work.

  45. vto 46

    Relic it seems you are appropriately named

  46. Lew 47

    burt: Good faith – either you are a comedian or you are yourself trying to re-write history.

    This has all been litigated before, and I won’t bother doing so again – there’s no more history to rewrite. That’s the point: it’s history. The time to take the government to court has passed. The government was legitimate because it was allowed to stand by those vested with the authority to do so. You can go on arguing that they were morally illegitimate until you’re blue (heh) in the face – but it carries as much relevance as those who wanted to claim that Labour would have had no right to form a government if National had gained more seats in the election. We don’t run our country on some nebulous idea of moral legitimacy – we run it by rule of law.

    L

  47. mike 48

    “Pickets, customer boycotts, “branding’ anyone?”
    That will work really well in the current climate – Employers have the upper hand and will have for a time to come.

    “Perhaps we will meet some of the lovely characters that post here as we go about our work.”
    One can only hope – we have developed an effective strategy to deal to militant union chumps like you

  48. Johnty Rhodes 49

    IT – white & old ah? Most of the protesters outside JKs house last year re the 90 day bill were young & black. Racist, ageist arsehole.

    IB – Winston used the still warm corpse of his mother to lie to the nation about when he knew about the OG donation. He is a peice of scum and it was scum like Cullen/Clark who defended him.

  49. Quoth the Raven 50

    mike, vto – Don’t like unions = don’t like free markets. Unions are part of the market. Here is an argument I have repeated before – a libertarians response to an anti-unionist.

    Negotiation of terms is part of the transaction process and, hence, the market.
    Are you implying that sellers ought only passively accept or decline deals and never assertively negotiate with a potential buyer, merely so long as more than one potential buyer exists?
    And…
    1) If so, do you apply that dictum universally, or just in the case of labor deals?
    2) If so, AND if you limit that view solely to the labor market, then I must ask what (in economic terms) is so special about labor?
    If so, AND if you apply it universally, then I must say you’re really doing yourself a disservice when it comes to selling a home or car.

  50. Lew 51

    QtR: We find ourselves in rare and wholehearted agreement!

    L

  51. Johnty Rhodes:

    Continue with that line and your time here is going to be very limited indeed.

    lukas:

    And you’ll find those same people out protesting over National’s stance on the minimum wage.

  52. burt 53

    Lew

    I never said that what the govt did was illegal. That would be wrong. However as you said.

    We don’t run our country on some nebulous idea of moral legitimacy – we run it by rule of law.

    This is my point exactly. I regard ‘good faith’ as synonymous with ‘moral legitimacy’, do you?

    If so – re-writing history or being a comedian? 🙂

  53. mike 54

    “mike, vto – Don’t like unions = don’t like free markets”

    Nothing at all wrong with unions Qtr – It’s just that some are full of shit stirring organisers that shaft their members and put jobs at risk.

  54. burt 55

    Quoth the Raven

    My dislike of unions is not their intention and their placement, it’s their implementation. I firmly believe that once a union aligns itself with a political party rather than a cause it’s sold out. The same way as some might say the BRT has sold out by it’s apparent unquestioned support of National.

  55. Lew 56

    burt: I regard ‘good faith’ as synonymous with ‘moral legitimacy’, do you?

    Only when one can rule out cock-ups – and misinterpretation and incompetence are both forms of cock-up.

    Essentially it comes down to whether or not you think there was intent, and since the fact of that matter was never decided in a formal setting (ie, court), the answer you get usually depends on the political allegiance of who you ask. For what it’s worth I think that it should have been decided in a court to obviate the whole stupid argument once and for all, but it wasn’t my call. The lack of prosecution means there remains sufficient doubt as to the question of intent or gross incompetence. Simple and, I hope, logically valid.

    So – neither comedian nor historian, I’m sorry to say : )

    L

  56. burt 57

    Quoth the Raven

    Perhaps we could have some balance to Unions and have BRT representatives being able to enter workplaces and demand certain standards of ‘BRT-ish’ practice.

    Perhaps something like suspending operations if meal allowances are offered for overtime without the employee requesting them in every time they work late . People in the workplace seeking immediate removal of the management employee who was upholding workers rights before shareholder value.

    How do you think that would go down?

  57. burt 58

    Lew

    The lack of prosecution means there remains sufficient doubt as to the question of intent or gross incompetence. Simple and, I hope, logically valid.

    Yes logically valid.

    Arguably the proof via court was derailed by the untimely passing ( under urgency rather than passed in the following budget as per convention) of the validations. Validations passed in time to obliterate Darnton vs Clark which was working against the clock you mentioned earlier for taking the govt to task. A prosecution in the civil matter would have made it more difficult for the police to not prosecute the criminal matter that was signaled by the AG, and which was still ‘live’ at that time.

  58. burt 59

    Lew

    My primary concern in all of this is that the message “you can’t take the PM to court” was strongly sent by the untimely passing of the RV legislation. Now that we have Key at the wheel, how comfortable would you (or any other defender of RV) be with National introducing a 14 year retrospective validation?

    Perhaps something like making the H-Fee transaction legal for NZ residents?

  59. Quoth the Raven 60

    burt – Your comment is ridiculous. The balance is already well in the other way. Heard of a contract before?

  60. Lew 61

    burt: Yes, Darnton v Clark ought to have been heard. But it wasn’t, and so … presumption of innocence.

    The question this raises is: what measures should we have to prevent this sort of thing from happening again? Should no law be able to be passed which concerned a matter before the courts? Too open to abuse. Should the G-G be given freer rein to withhold assent? Too colonialist. Need to think on this one.

    Edit: Scary, you read my mind. Usually only Pascal’s bookie can do that.
    L

  61. burt 62

    Lew

    That’s a good simple solution. Not allowing a law to be passed (under urgency) that effects a standing court case unless it’s approved by 75% of the house would be a start. Give that “special power” the same level of sanctity as changing “constitutional” level legislation.

    Simple change, hard to image such a motion would not receive the 75% support for it to be morally legitimated. I don’t think it’s valid to completely remove that ‘power’ of the legislature, but such power should never be used when it can be seen to be offering advantage to the government, particularly not when the opposition is wailing.

    Edit: The other option is an upper house. A filter to stop self serving legislation.

  62. “It got me thinking about all the other crazy shit that was going on last year and prior to it. ”

    The boil has been lanced and the fever has passed. There was ill in the body politic. You will dispute but the analogy is apt

  63. vto 64

    QtR, I never said I don’t like unions. Far from it. They most definitely have a place, and as you say, they are a market force too. All good.

  64. expat 65

    – it wasn’t insane.

    NZ voted out a government that was verging on being collectively insane.

    he he : recaptcha: District Yunan

    IrishBill: can you explain how the last government were being “insane”? They seemed like a standard social democratic government to me.

  65. lukas 66

    illuminatedtiger
    February 11, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Johnty Rhodes:

    Continue with that line and your time here is going to be very limited indeed.

    lukas:

    And you’ll find those same people out protesting over National’s stance on the minimum wage.

    IT three things

    1- JR’s comment was pretty much continuing along the same path that your comment was

    2- Which author at The Standard died and made you their replacement moderator to decide who will be “around” here?

    3- What does it matter/add to the conversation where those people will be protesting? And what does it add to the conversation making comments about the type of people protesting, their age, skin colour etc? Or are you, as the evidence would seem to suggest, just a racist bigot?

  66. infused 67

    IrishBill: can you explain how the last government were being “insane’? They seemed like a standard social democratic government to me.

    lol… you said it.

    standard social democratic government = insane

  67. expat 68

    Bill: I didn’t say the last government were insane, please lets not go down that path mate.

    As an example – the electoral finance act was a ‘collectively insane’ piece of legislation i.e. underwritten by the coalition government (a collective) and it helped sign the death warrant of the Labour government (an insane action as far as the Labour government supporters were concerned)

    …don’t shoot the messenger mate.

  68. I’m sorry – I should’ve said upper-class seniors instead. Is that PC enough for you?

    Nobody died and made me moderator but I do know that the writers of The Standard have a low tolerance when it comes to abuse of their commeters.

  69. lukas 70

    You are completely missing the point. What does it matter what demographic those who are protesting are in? About as much as the fact that a fair few of the bus driver protesters were over weight, i.e. bugger all. You seem to be lacking in maturity IT.

  70. Your problem is you’re lumping all the protesters in together whereas I’m referring to those who took part in the farcical EFA protests.

    My point is (and I’ll clarify for the slow) that those protesting in the mentioned protests were trying to pass themselves off as your everyday “Good Kiwi Joker” when in fact they were a splitting image (this was not a coincidence) of National’s core.

  71. @ work 72

    “lukas
    February 12, 2009 at 10:41 am
    You are completely missing the point. What does it matter what demographic those who are protesting are in? About as much as the fact that a fair few of the bus driver protesters were over weight, i.e. bugger all. You seem to be lacking in maturity IT.”

    Well apprently the age, length of hair, apprent smell, facial hair and choice of clothing matters when someone on the left protests, so who are you with? (or are you going for its ok when we do it but not ok when they do)

  72. burt 73

    illuminatedtiger

    I think that people not protesting about the EFB because they were Labour supporrters is the biggest issue rather than people supporting it “looking like” National supporters.

    See this highlights a big problem for Labour now that it appears that Labour will support the repeal of their own fatally flawed law. The people who supported it because it was Labour’s law must feel like idiots now eh. Still I bet they won’t have the balls to stand up and say “I was suckered in being partisan and supported something that was shite becuase I was a dim-bulb partisan hack committed to power at any price for Labour”.

  73. lukas 74

    @ work
    February 12, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Well apprently the age, length of hair, apprent smell, facial hair and choice of clothing matters when someone on the left protests, so who are you with? (or are you going for its ok when we do it but not ok when they do)

    Apparently you need a spell checker and some glasses, as I never said it mattered what people look like.

    IT

    Your problem is you’re lumping all the protesters in together whereas I’m referring to those who took part in the farcical EFA protests.

    My point is (and I’ll clarify for the slow) that those protesting in the mentioned protests were trying to pass themselves off as your everyday “Good Kiwi Joker’ when in fact they were a splitting image (this was not a coincidence) of National’s core.

    You are basing this off one photo. Should I find a photo of a Labour party core? Would it add anything to the debate?

    Do tell me, what is an “everyday Good Kiwi Joker”?

  74. HS,

    You think my scumbag lying bankster foot soldier description of John Key is bad? Think again. This is what only one Newspaper in the UK on only one day had to say about the banksters and their “cosy cartel of self-interested skimmers” (according to Jeremy Warner) :

    1 Failed bankers are the masters of the universe.
    2 Jeremy Warner: Bankers’ excesses require retribution, not reviews of pay
    3 Steve Richards: Politicians vilify the bankers but they don’t dare to act
    4 Leading article: These bankers must explain their disastrous decisions

    And that’s a polite UK newspaper. So it seems that contrary to the ridiculous comparisons of Helen Clark to Mugabe and Hitler (In Europe mentioning a respected politician in the same breath with Hitler would have cost a political party the election and rightfully so but than perhaps it helps having seen the devastation Hitler and his minions brought) I’m most definitely not alone in pointing the finger of blame to the international banksters elite and I predict it will only get worse for the scumbags.

  75. Moderation? Mmm, must be the H-word. My bad.

  76. lukas 77

    Heh, I would have though that H- would also be in moderation after the H-fee backfire!

    [lprent: Surprisingly the trolls never really mentioned it. I didn’t even have to put the name of the batman into auto-moderation. ]

  77. @ work 78

    “lukas

    Apparently you need a spell checker and some glasses, as I never said it mattered what people look like.”

    That would put you some what out of step with the rest of the right.

  78. burt 79

    @work

    Do you still have time to edit that last stupid petty bickering comment away?

  79. @ work 80

    No, maybe you could do it retrospectively for me?

  80. higherstandard 81

    Not so much a bad comment Eve just stupid and incorrect.

    The point that was being made up the thread a ways was that idiotic things are said just as frequently by loons on either side of the perceived political divide.

    Thanks for selflessly making that point once again.

  81. lukas 82

    @work, feel free to post an apology then.

  82. Daveski 83

    While I disagree often with the views on this site, the posts don’t normally descend into this type of trivial name calling.

    Stereotyping should be the last resort of any argument – sadly, there’s been some crazy examples of that above from both sides.

  83. higherstandard 84

    That’s right Daveski … God forbid that the behaviour on this blog became as asinine and partisan as question time in parliament ………. doh !

    Speaking of silly I’ve tracked down adolph.

    http://www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com/cgi-bin/seigmiaow.pl

    seigmiaow !

  84. Felix 85

    Heh.

    For some reason I never get tired of funny cat pictures.

    If you do though, try these instead.

  85. @ work 86

    “lukas
    @work, feel free to post an apology then.”

    I am sorry Lukas for assuming you were the kind of commentator who indulges in ad-hom attacks agaist protesters over substatial critiques of what they stand for.

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