Open mike 31/08/2013

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, August 31st, 2013 - 96 comments
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openmikeSomeone must have slept in …

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

 

 

96 comments on “Open mike 31/08/2013”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Reading Armstrong, Small and Clifton this morning you can almost see the terror coming off the page. The idea of people outside the cosy, predictable political class clustered around parliament making important decision has them, to be blunt, shitting themselves. It is to much unknown for people of such *ahem* advanced middle age to cope with. Vernon Small’s pieces in particular have all the characteristics of someone well outside his comfy zone guessing wildly about attitudes and views he actually has not got th faintest idea about. Still, living in Wellington and spending your whole time brown nosing the politicians isn’t the best preparation to knowing what the SFWU delegates or Auckland Labour Party R&F are actually thinking. No wonder he wants Robertson – it’ll be back to business as usual for the political class.

    Clifton is a the ultimate Thorndon bubble political cynic, whose words of support for Robertson must, I am sad to say, be read with who she shares her pillow talk with.

    Armstrong, at least nominally coming from Auckland, has a bit more of a clue although today he was also flailing about trying to make the pieces fit a pre-conceived elite game-of-thrones world view.

    And Bryce Edwards? A guy who used to be a hard left marxist who may or may not still hold those opinions. But one opinion he clearly still holds is his dislike of Labour trumps his desire to see the right lose. His pieces have to be read as that of a very clever man with a hidden agenda to hurt Labour as much as possible.

    All in all, at the moment you’ve got to read our political columnists in the same way a Moscovite would have understood a long pieces on the unity of the Kremlin meant someone had already been secretly shot.

    • Greywarbler 1.1

      I remember someone commenting on Bryce Edwards trying to put a racist spin on something that the writer thought didn’t justify it. Bryce’s utterances will need to be monitored to see his direction.

    • veutoviper 1.2

      Well thankfully, Vernon Small will be ‘out of the picture’ for the next few weeks.

      Yesterday, there was a quick exchange between him and a certain UF MP on Twitter to the effect that Small was leaving for a holiday for a few weeks on a beach on the other side of the world.

      I cannot give a quote as the MP’s Twitter account won’t come up for me this morning – funny, as I have not had problems before with that account …….

    • Murray Olsen 1.3

      Whenever I read anything by Bryce Edwards about Labour, I get the feeling that I’m reading disinformation by a secret Tory. Hard to put my finger on it, but I take everything he writes with several grains of salt. Maybe it’s the fact that he always promotes that fat gun porn sleaze merchant Slater as a serious political commentator.

  2. LynWiper 2

    Wow just watching The Nation and David Cunliffe is doing very very well. He just handled a tricky situation where Shane Jones nearly lost it. Grant Robertson is also quite good but looks a bit ‘possum in the headlights’ at times.

    • NZFemme 2.1

      The immigration question – yes! I thought Shane was going to explode too.

    • bad12 2.2

      Yeah Grant Robertson seems to run hot and cold as far as TV appearances goes, on Maori Televisions Native Affairs earlier in the week i rated His performance as particularly poor, and i happen to like the bloke,

      On BackBencher’s later in the week Robertson seemed to be more in His element and came across well seeming to have a bit of fun in the ‘pub’ type atmosphere,

      The question asked of all the MP’s there about moves to ‘ban’ begging on the streets of both Auckland and Wellington was enlightening in a couple of ways,

      A truthful Grant Robertson said, no He doesn’t give money to those begging on the streets, He usually stops and talks with them about their situation and gives them advice about where to access the City Mission, the Night Shelter and Beneficiary advocates, all of which i know is true,

      On the subject of BackBencher’s i have to ask where the f**k do National find these ugly screeching Harridans, Jackie Dean another non-entity of an MP on the question of Homeless people in the one breath,”They all have some form of psychiatric issues” in the next the usual abhorrence from the right,”they choose to live on the street”, as if anyone with a major psychiatric issue ‘chooses’ anything, by definition, such major psychiatric issues do the ‘choosing’ for them,

      The big laugh of the last BackBencher’s in the current series was the abysmal competition where the MP’s are supposed to answer inane questions for an equally inane bauble of no consequence as the prize,( you would think that those who produce the series would have put up 100 bucks as the prize to go to the winning MP’s charity of choice),

      Grant Robertson, obviously not wanting show Himself being treated like a dog begging for a bone didn’t bother to answer any of the questions,(i can well imagine the comments from the more uncharitable that will follow this),

      Hone Harawira also a guest on the last episode of this BackBenchers, sounded good with His Mana message being delivered concisely and precisely going down well with a receptive audience also didn’t participate in attempting to ‘win’ the bauble on offer and the look on His face while the others barked along like good little puppies pursuing a bone said that He would rather beat His testicles with a ball peen hammer than have politics demeaned to the level of a mere game show…

    • fender 2.3

      I’ve often noticed this “possum in the headlights”, wide-eyed appearance that looks like it could be either chemically induced or caused by fear of the unexpected or something. It appears that he never blinks either, which is quite unusual. He will imo though make a good minister in a Cunliffe lead Labour Govt. after the next election.

      • QoT 2.3.1

        My theory is that the media advisors have noted that a problem for both Goff and Shearer was that when they wanted to look serious, they scrunched their eyebrows and came off looking grumpy.

        So the advice to Grant has obviously been the opposite, and it just makes him look either terrified or like an unimpressed teacher.

        • vto 2.3.1.1

          He needs to sit differently and tuck his shirt in.

        • Alanz 2.3.1.2

          Grant is not ready to be PM yet. He had a stint being a messenger office-boy for Helen Clark and Heather Simpson and he can next have a trial run at being an associate minister for a portfolio or two.

      • Lanthanide 2.3.2

        “It appears that he never blinks either, which is quite unusual”

        Turns out people who use computers a lot blink significantly less often than average. Learned that from my optometrist.

  3. cunnliffe just owned the debate on the nation..

    ..and surprisingly..i ranked jones as coming second..

    http://whoar.co.nz/2013/the-nation-a-review-5/

    ..key/the nats/farrar will all be filling their pants..

    ..the next election campaign has already started..

    phillip ure..

    • NZFemme 3.1

      I thought it was quite telling that of the three, only Shane didn’t answer the question regarding post leadership contest and the future of GR and DC. Both GR and DC stated there would be a place at the senior table for the losing contenders.

      Shane’s answer: “I want to win. That’s all I’m focusing on…”

    • Saarbo 3.2

      Thanks Phillip, I missed The Nation but enjoyed your summary. Hopefully will get to Otahuhu tomorrow. Clearly the msm are supporting Robertson as they did with Shearer, and if they manage to succeed and Robertson is made Leader, the msn’ers will then happily go back to supporting John Key…leaving us with another Leader with zero chance of winning in 2014.

      • woodpecker 3.2.1

        Which raises an interesting question Saarbo. If Cunliffe wins, will they come out against him ( MSM )? I don’t think they will want to give him any oxygen , at least till it gets closer to the election. Then come out both guns blazing.

        • McFlock 3.2.1.1

          they’ll do the long term “instability – leadership in the works – robertson” whisper trick from the start.

  4. tracey 4

    Joyce has become a man of the people

    Remember how national say its too tough for businesses in nz. How theres too much red tape and tax is too high.But Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said he wouldn’t be losing any sleep over Mr Davidson’s investment opinions.The World Bank ranked New Zealand as the third-easiest country in which to do business, and other wealthy Americans, such as Hollywood director James Cameron, had invested in Wairarapa and elsewhere quite happily, he said.”But we are old-fashioned – we like people to pay their mortgages.”

  5. tracey 5

    I enjoy jane cliftons writing… is she still or was she mccullys partner

    • Sanctuary 5.1

      I heard she’d shacked up with Mallard now.

      • bad12 5.1.1

        Yeah that’s true, out of the fire into the frying pan so to speak, the thing with Clifton’s writing tho is the underlying vein of it, you are first hooked by the gentle cynical humor which Jane uses to open up your mind and into such an opening the underlying message is dropped,

        i consider Her like i consider Hooten and Farrer, they all sound so ‘reasonable’ and these people are long practiced in the art, Hooten in particular is so practiced at it that He can have a 10 minute conversation with ex-Labour Prez Mike Williams befor they go on air and have Williams sit there for the whole show mouthing ”i agree” like a f**king glove puppet,

        Long ago i assigned to Clifton the title PPP, and no it doesn’t stand for public private partnership……

    • Anne 5.2

      She was McCully’s partner for years and her Listener articles were National sympathetic although heavily disguised as ‘neutral’. I’ve been told McCully is now shacked up with the former TV sports presenter, April Ieremia.

      Clifton, in keeping with her new found beau, has become a National-lite sympathiser still heavily disguised as neutral.

      These Beltway pollies and beltway broadcasting/journo types socialise in more ways than one…

      • fender 5.2.1

        ” I’ve been told McCully is now shacked up with the former TV sports presenter, April Ieremia.”

        OMG, he would have to be nearly twice her age, she could do much better than that, surely.

  6. Pasupial 6

    You want bad journalism? I got bad journalism right here!

    ODT article on possible fracking down south: http://www.odt.co.nz/news/business/271128/fracking-consenting-done-not-notified

    Fristly; “Aquifers crossed through at a depth of 300m-500m, while vertical drilling goes beyond to depths of 1000m”.

    And; “There have been 20 resource consents for hydraulic fracturing issued since 2011, but none was publicly notified”.

    Then; “…waste fracking fluids which return to the surface.” (ie through the aquifers; which is why the water in parts of USA is now flammable).

    Conclusion: ” …the work is 3km underground, and therefore has no affected party. ”

    Hmmm; what could possibly have influenced the journalist to reach this conclusion?

    “Reporter Simon Hartley was hosted to Taranaki by Pepanz, whose members include Todd Energy and Tap Oil.”

    Ah.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Willing buyer, willing seller.

    • Chooky 6.2

      IN France fracking is banned…..they value their environment

      • Greywarbler 6.2.1

        Here, we have looser attitudes to good language than the French so misunderstandings occur often. When someone discussed fracking the listening group thought it was a new polite way of saying fucking.

        • Chooky 6.2.1.1

          @ Greywarbler …I take it that that must have been a NZer to make that mistake ….because the French i have met understand very clearly what fracking is.

          • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1.1

            Doesn’t help that Battlestar Galactica popularised the use of the term “frak” on TV, partly in order to get around censors not liking the word “fuck”.

          • Greywarbler 6.2.1.1.2

            I should have put sarc/ when I made tha t comment Chooky. Sorry.

    • Greywarbler 6.3

      Is that Oil that can be Tapped, Oil on Tap or Oil out of your Tap?

  7. As a thought for the day I thought I’d link to the 10 easy steps to fascism from Naomi Wolf

  8. captain hook 8

    “your conuntry run by idiots”; James Davidson.
    He isn’t wrong. Once elected every idiot who has tapped into the public tit thinks that they can read any position paper and know everything. Nup. They still idiots.

  9. captain hook 9

    furthermore nobody can take it on the chin.
    if you say anything then they just want to get even.
    you know.
    LIke teach you a lesson.
    none of them have any guts.

  10. yeshe 10

    WTF is the Police Commissioner doing ? Not enough to eulogise corrupt cops at their funerals … can there be anything more despicable than this ? Police demand alibi from Arthur Allan Thomas and his family … WTF ??

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11117289

    • fender 10.1

      “WTF”…..exactly, stupid cops, why have they waited for the crooked cop responsible for planting evidence (for which there was no punishment?) to die before revisiting this. I read most of that and it became apparent the cops have the same tunnel vision displayed in the past, it’s sick. It’s as if Tolley and Collins have instructed them on how to “progress”.

      • yeshe 10.1.1

        I did wonder if this is another “oh, look over there’ moment to grab the front pages ….

    • Murray Olsen 10.2

      That absolutely stinks. They’ve ruined the Thomas family and just won’t stop. None of them have ever been held accountable for anything. The police hold the role in our society that the military hold in 3rd world dictatorships, and are just as interested in acting in a civilised manner. One day we might have a government that insists they follow the law. Both National and Labour have generally bent over backwards to give them what they want.

  11. Morrissey 11

    Ralph Nader’s open letter to a Rogue President

    August 30, 2013
    Dear President Obama:

    Before you decide to attack Syria, yet another Arab or Islamic country that does not threaten U.S. security, there are certain constitutional “niceties” that you should observe. Chronically violating the Constitution overturns the rule of law and can produce costly blowbacks.

    On August 28, you stated that bombing Syria “is not about war, it’s about accountability,” obviously referring to the brutal gassing of neighborhoods outside of Damascus. What about your accountability to receive authorization from Congress which, under Article 1, Section 8, has the sole and exclusive power to declare war? Spare Americans the casuistry of your lawyers who “legalized” your war on Libya, with no declaration, authorization or appropriation of funds from Congress, and pushed the envelope of the “unitary presidency” beyond the unlawful and brazen extremes advocated by George W. Bush and his lawyers.

    Nearly 200 members of both parties of Congress – now on its August recess – demanded there be no attack on Syria without Congressional authorization. These signers have so far included 72 Democrats. Merely secretly consulting with some lawmakers on the Intelligence Committees does not substitute for formal Congressional authorization. The framers of our Constitution – whatever their other differences – were unanimous in writing Article 1, Section 8, so that no president could go to war on his own. To do so, as you have already done in the past, would be a major impeachable offense. ….

    Read more….
    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1377899519.html

    • fender 11.1

      And how about returning the Nobel Peace Prize too Obama!

      • Morrissey 11.1.1

        Actually, if the Nobel Prize Committee had any credibility, it would formally strip the award from Obama. But of course, if it did have credibility, Obama would never have been given the award in the first place.

  12. Diane Percy 12

    I’ve just read the leaflets from the three leadership candidates, and I’m back in my children’s early years, reading them one of their favourite books. Child has a number of teddy bears and agonises over which is the favourite. To paraphrase the punchline, ” I love you all my honeys, I love you all the best.” I used the line with them often. Now I feel heartened, and would like to say the same to our candidates. Any one of them could do us proud. I trust, whatever the result, they will lead a co-operative party caucus and bring out the best of all of them. Time for some sanity.

  13. captain hook 13

    No its yours and you got it fair and square.
    Just because a certain geopolitical country wants to use you know where for a staging post for its warships in the med and fosters the propaganda that everything the US does is wrong does not mean to say that you are personally responsible for any of it.
    Some people just need a thrashing and it looks like you are going to have to bring out the big stick and give em one.

  14. Plan B 14

    Make voting compulsory in New Zealand. Why not, we have to be on the roll- so they can check up on us, but strangely enough there is no requirement to vote. If voting was framed in the same way as jury service. That is it is an obligation of being an adult citizen and one required of all custodians of the commonwealth of New Zealand. Then clearly we should all be required to vote.
    Not voting suits elites. Elites like it when we do not like politicians, don’t believe what they say etc as it disenfranchises more of us.
    Australia does it, We should give it a go. Anyway it would be interesting to see those on the right with their squirmy answers as to why we should not have to vote.
    Would be good to also bring people in prison into the voting as well.
    To the right voting is seen as a privilege that can be lost but what if it was viewed more as an obligation of adult citizenship that cannot be lost and must be carried out.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      If voting was framed in the same way as jury service. That is it is an obligation of being an adult citizen and one required of all custodians of the commonwealth of New Zealand.

      That’s exactly how voting should be viewed. It’s an obligation that comes with being part of society. Part of that personal responsibility that the right go on about.

      • Ugly Truth 14.1.1

        “It’s an obligation that comes with being part of society.”

        No it isn’t. Democracy is not an essential part of society.

        “Part of that personal responsibility that the right go on about.”

        Personal responsibility applies to persons, not to society in general.

        • Plan B 14.1.1.1

          Not sure where you are going with this, are you going for a “there is no society” sort of thing or maybe a “there is no such thing as cheese?” fibe. Anyway, the society being referred to is THIS particular society, that does have a form of democracy.

          • Ugly Truth 14.1.1.1.1

            Where I’m going with this, Plan B, is to illustrate the difference between society in general and civil society. Society is about people, while civil society is about the a relationship between people which involves a civil system of control. That relationship can be called a personal relationship because it involves people who have the legal status of persons.

        • Muzza 14.1.1.2

          Nicely put, UT.

          Society and democracy, two myths being perpetrated against humanity on a daily basis, ensuring the status quo remains, and locking in the destruction of the majority of the planets inhabitants!

          • Ugly Truth 14.1.1.2.1

            The relationship between society and humanity can be misunderstood because of the tendency of humans to think of themselves as the be-all and end-all of mankind. The human condition is unavoidably tied to the civil state because both have a common origin, namely Rome. Humans as a class of people were distinguished from “barbarians”, but humans could be every bit as barbaric, and the “barbarians” could at time have a better society in terms of quality of life.

            But what constitutes man’s humanity?” Marxian humanism finds it in the identity between natural man and social man, Christian humanism in humanitas as opposed to deitas, Roman humanism in the contrast between homo humanus and homo barbarus (319f.).
            http://www.pum.umontreal.ca/revues/surfaces/vol4/birus.html

    • fender 14.2

      I’m inclined to agree, but when looking for Australian voter turnout figures I see it says:”Australia has around 10% of eligible voters who are not registered to vote and around 6% of invalid votes, which are included in the 95% figure. Actual voter turnouts in Australia are closer to 81%.”

      NZ turnout is 88% on average, with a poor 74% in 2011.

      • Plan B 14.2.1

        Yes this is the sort of argument that the right will use against the idea. Thank you for bringing it up. In essence I think you are saying that we get to 88% at a general election without a legal requirement to vote. I guess I am thinking that we will get those extra 800,000 voters that are being mentioned at he moment – those that did not vote in the last election.

        • fender 14.2.1.1

          It appears that the punishment for not voting is what makes the difference in a compulsory situation.
          From the link above: ” When enforced, compulsion has a dramatic effect on turnout.” But a wet bus ticket penalty has little impact on turnout.
          We could do what Bolivia does: ” If a voter fails to participate in an election, the citizen may be denied withdrawal of their salary from the bank for three months.”

          • Plan B 14.2.1.1.1

            Interesting idea, would certainly do something for the turnout. My main contention is the elites use of disenfranchisement as a weapon. If the left really went out for a compulsion regarding voting – in a very positive sort of way – then there are real voters out there to be contested for.

            • Greywarbler 14.2.1.1.1.1

              I think good idea to get compulsory voting with a fine that was enough to sting but not too much. For too long many NZs have regarded politics as a hobby which was an optional interest. This complacency allowed the 1984-7 takeover of the country. We still have an opportunity to prevent the Genghis Khan party from getting in if we stop taking the feelgood pills.

              • weka

                How can you have such a fine with such a huge variation in financial circumstances as is in NZ?

                “We could do what Bolivia does: ” If a voter fails to participate in an election, the citizen may be denied withdrawal of their salary from the bank for three months.””

                We should try it out on beneficiaries.

                • fender

                  Yeah that’s extreme and I’m no fan of that idea. Hope you didn’t get the wrong idea, I was pointing out to Plan B how they achieve high turnout….punitively.

                  Not many have 3 months worth of cash in the drawer for when they don’t vote!

                  • Greywarbler

                    fender
                    Where did 3 months of cash come from? Who charges that fine? I must have missed that bit. Is it reference to Bolivia. It isn’t useful to quote extremes when trying to think out a possible new policy. I would suggest $30, light but sizable to low income.

                    There is a saying that you get what you pay for that could work in reverse. If you have to pay you may as well take an interest and vote. But it is essential that low income people don’t get apathetic then their conditions will never improve. A light sting and effort made will help to get better conditions for the children and mother sleeping in pup tents in a backyard in Christchurch as I saw recently. Only complacent governments can get away with what is happening to NZ citizens now.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Fining poor people for “not doing their duty” is a tack that the Right Wing would love Labour to pioneer and open up for them.

                      Not reporting on a family member who is cheating on a benefit? Buying alcohol or ciggies with the dole? Breaking any arbitrarily set workplace rule? Instant $30 fine. Comes straight off your benefit or wage.

                      For gawds sakes people please think this stuff through. It’s fraking facepalm material.

                    • fender

                      Seems you may have got the wrong end of the stick Viper & Greywarbler. “Plan B” suggested making it compulsory to vote. I pointed out that it seems compulsion only has an effect on turnout when the penalty for not voting is punitive (as per Bolivia). The wiki link above in 14.2 has some info. worth looking at.

                      At no point did I suggest compulsion was the way to go, or that this was part of some policy think tank. But I guess a re-evaluation would be required by some if DC were to support such a move.

                    • Greywarbler

                      fender
                      I think both you and CV make good points. I still feel that we have come to such a pass in western democracies that we have to make a bigger effort than we have for a long time to maintain our democracy in a form that allows us to have a way of life rather than a struggle to maintain the basics. So I think that a small fine for non-voters is a small price for them to pay for ignoring their responsibility to have a say and maintain some sort of democratic system.

                      I don’t want to let the thought that peace is just a fallow period before the next war prove to be anything but a passing fancy.
                      edited

        • Mike S 14.2.1.2

          You can’t make it compulsory to vote unless you give an option to tick ‘none of the above’, which is the same as not voting anyway. Also, there would have to be no signatures required anywhere in the process as No-one can be forced to sign their name to something they do not wish to sign.

    • karol 14.3

      Make voting compulsory in New Zealand. Why not, we have to be on the roll- so they can check up on us,

      Eh? Since when has it been compulsory to be on the electoral roll in NZ?

    • joe90 14.4

      Eh? Since when has it been compulsory to be on the electoral roll in NZ?

      Quite some time I think.

      Citizens and permanent residents who are aged 18 years and over are required to enrol to vote.

      http://www.elections.org.nz/voting-system/new-zealands-system-government

    • QoT 14.5

      If voting was framed in the same way as jury service.

      What, you mean as a waste of time which doesn’t pay well enough to incentivise middle class professionals to do it? That thing which is super annoying and eats up lots of your time but as long as you’ve got a good excuse you can avoid it?

      (Note: does not reflect my own attitudes to jury service because I’m a screaming leftie, of course.)

      • Draco T Bastard 14.5.1

        Hmm, that could do it. If you vote, you get paid $1000 untaxed and does not affect benefits.

  15. Chooky 15

    @ Plan B….agreed!…..we should all be forced to vote , including prisoners , the insane , the mentally retarded and the gravely ill ….or given a whipping….if it is good enough for the Australians it is good enough for us

    …seriously ( if you are very unsocial in the box you can always cross everyone off the list) …but it is important that everyone is made to register a vote to elect their NZ government…it empowers and creates inclusiveness and responsibility …. People have fought long and hard for their right to vote.

    • Plan B 15.1

      You mentioned the insane. I did not refer to these groups as they are already counted in the ACT vote.

      • Chooky 15.1.1

        @ Plan B…smirk!….However ACT nuts they are in a special category…some insane are actually quite sane once you get to know them and very capable of voting wisely ….but ACT…. well?….. they are warped or deluded in a special way….never-the -less they should still be allowed to vote…and I am pleased you haven’t ruled them out

        • Greywarbler 15.1.1.1

          Trouble is that psychiatrists decide what the symptoms of being insane are – and who decides on their mental normality. I like the term trick-cyclists for them.

          • Chooky 15.1.1.1.1

            @ Greywarbler…we are all a bit crazy…it is a sliding scale…personally I know two previously certified at some stage ….and they are the nicest and most interesting of people….they extend ones horizons on what it is to be human…. and perception possibilities …. and other ways of knowing….of course they can be very uncomfortable, embarrassing ….. and well down right …..um….”crazy”!.

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    Why Metadata Matters

    Sorry, your phone records—oops, “so-called metadata”—can reveal a lot more about the content of your calls than the government is implying. Metadata provides enough context to know some of the most intimate details of your lives.

  17. Belladonna 17

    Was listening to Wallace Chapman on Radio Live last night from 10pm – 1am. He was asking whether New Zealand is ready for a gay prime minster. Nearly everyone who called in was saying we are not. I found that really surprising. Many seemed to be fundamentalists who are notoriously homophobic but as they have had a surge in popularity over the past few years I do not think they should be discounted completely. It seems to me that Grant Robertson has no show of leading Labour to an election victory contrary to what the main stream media like to portray.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Auckland in general and South Auckland specifically must turn out massively to ensure a Labour win.

      It seems to me that Grant Robertson has no show of leading Labour to an election victory contrary to what the main stream media like to portray.

      You can take it as the reason why they are portraying it. Do we all need to be reminded how the MSM was so confident that Shearer was the man who needed to be at the top of Labour?

    • fender 17.2

      That’s rather sad, but it is Radio Live after all.

      I want the best man for the job to be leader, not the least gay one.

      The little filler on 3News made it appear that Robertson got a better audience reaction in Levin.

      • Belladonna 17.2.1

        Only Radio Live indeed but they are still voters.

        • fender 17.2.1.1

          I agree, you can’t dismiss the existence of a strong conservative strain running through NZ. Would be nice to think a gay PM wouldn’t bother most NZers. I do think many kiwis pretend to have an open mind for appearances sake sometimes, but deep-down still harbour prejudices.

    • QoT 17.3

      Of course they were. People are much happier to admit that they think other people are judgey rabid homophobes. It lets them off the hook and allows them to make themselves look good and balanced and open-minded if they can blame the homophobia on other people who aren’t as good as they are.

      If he’d said “who’s going to call in and declare they won’t vote for a gay PM?” the response would probably have been quite different. There would still have been people calling in, of course, but they’d be obvious judgey rabid homophobes.

  18. Chooky 18

    @ Belladonna…agreed…it is a leap too far at this stage…..

    If the Labour Party seriously wants to WIN against Key and Nact they will pragmatically do what is necessary…and that is VOTE CUNLIFFE for leader

    … quite a apart from Cunliffe being the best person to be Leader of the Labour Party …..this is not the time to be making ideological stands for gay rights on the back of the Labour Party…despite what Marion Street says…… NZ is not ready….even the very personable and attractive Georgina Beyer warns this!.

    IMO the MSM is being mischievous in its promoting of Robertson and downplaying and undercutting Cunliffe at almost every opportunity….they are playing Labour into the hands of a National win.

    • Anne 18.1

      Well said Chooky. I’ve said it elsewhere on this site but the whole MSM scene is a repeat performance of what they did during the 2011 leadership contest. Shame people have such abysmal memories or, in the case of some in Caucus, are living in denial.

      Btw, it’s natural that Maryann Street supports Robertson because they are both gay, but they are deluding themselves if they think NZers are ready to accept a gay PM because most of them aren’t… Sad, but true.

      • fender 18.1.1

        “….. it’s natural that Maryann Street supports Robertson because they are both gay………”

        I don’t think that’s natural, and I’d expect more consideration than that from M. Street. What happens when they are all gay…..what will be the new criteria for support then.

        • Anne 18.1.1.1

          “….. it’s natural that Maryann Street supports Robertson because they are both gay and I understand they have known one another for a long time and are very good friends.”

          Does that sound better? I know a Labour MP who is a long term close friend and former colleague of David Shearer’s. He supported Shearer at the last leadership contest and I regard that as equally natural.

          @ NZFemme. Don’t ascribe connotations that are not there! Hive minds indeed. Don’t know any ‘hive minded’ gays but have known plenty who are independently minded and bloody nice people to boot.

          Btw you’re right. Expediency does have a lot to do with it but that is also linked to commonality and friendship.

      • NZFemme 18.1.2

        ‘…Btw, it’s natural that Maryann Street supports Robertson because they are both gay…”

        Wow. Just… Wow. WTF?

        Anne, for me, as a gay woman, your comment just pisses me off to the nth degree. We’re not some bloody hive mind as GLBTQ. I would have thought the existence of Chris Finlayson would have demonstrated that once and for all.

        I’m personally a Cunliffe cheerleader for the simple reason I think he’s the most qualified for the job. The fact that Grant is rainbow whanau is irrelevant to me, and to the overwhelming majority of my GLBTQ friends. I don’t believe Maryann Street is supporting GR because he’s gay; I think she’s supporting him because it’s politically expedient for her to do so right now.

    • Murray Olsen 19.1

      I didn’t know, but I’m not surprised that Pinochet had biological warfare agents. What does surprise me is that they were made in the Instituto Butantã, which has a good reputation for research into tropical diseases and the production of anti-venom for snake bite. Right wing dictatorships (or democracies) will pervert anything they can get their hands on.

  19. James 20

    It isn’t about sexuality. David Cunliffe is the man capable of taking Labour to victory in 2014. Grant Robertson is a very capable politician and a very good speaker, but he doesn’t have the same command of the facts, ability to put things plainly and concisely, and passionate delivery that Cunliffe does.

    I hope the person with the best ability -particularly oratory ability – will win the day.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      Grant’s an excellent orator. What he doesn’t have however is the economic, financial and private sector background which will enable him to credibly stand against Key. A Key “show me the money” moment, and that will be it for Labour.

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