Political journalist of the year

Written By: - Date published: 7:23 pm, January 23rd, 2011 - 8 comments
Categories: Economy, leadership, Media - Tags:

It’s a bit late, but this post is in response partly to John Armstrong’s bouquet piece at the end of 2010 headlined “Forget the economy, watch the lemmings”, and partly to Fran O’Sullivan’s latest piece in yesterday’s Herald about Hone Harawira.

Fran O’Sullivan was my political journalist of 2010, for one simple reason. She’s a pro, and she’d never forget the economy. I don’t agree with a lot of her analysis or all her answers, but at least she gets the problem. The New Zealand economy has big problems, and the Government’s got no answers.

Armstrong showed he  too knew the problem:

The scandals involving these minor players certainly fed the media’s increasing appetite for personality-based politics at the expense of more serious discussion about policy.

It meant the real story of 2010 – an under-performing economy and what on earth to do about it – was obscured by politics akin to soap-opera story-lines.

But then he proceeded to run the soap-opera lines; “foot-in-mouth award” and “stunned mullet award” and so on.

Fran’s challenge is as much as to her colleagues and her bosses as it is about Hone Harawira.

But there has also been a sea change, which I put down to the journalistic tendency to quickly put any backbench MP on to the “must be dumped from caucus’ slipway” when they call their own party to account.

Instead of greasing the ramp, why don’t journalists simply challenge the leadership to respond to the valid points Harawira has made?

The Herald’s editorial yesterday ran the corporatist line – Hone doesn’t fit the Parliamentary club so should go. Fran, by contrast, spoke truth to her own power. That takes courage.

The under-performing economy and what to do about it will be the story of 2011 as well as 2010. Bill Clinton’s famous  line summed it up “It’s the economy, stupid”. John Armstrong certainly got that right.

David Lange famously characterised gallery journalists as “reef fish”. While not as self-destructive, reef fish have the same follow-the-leader characteristic as lemmings. Instead of “greasing the ramp”, which they are already doing for everybody but the National party, it would be good if  Armstrong and the gallery challenged the leadership – all of them – to tell us what they will do to improve the economy’s performance.

8 comments on “Political journalist of the year”

  1. vto 1

    The ‘economy’ is simply what everyone does every day. To increase it we simply need to do more every day.

    Hup to it.

    • VTO – We already do plenty of ‘it’. We need to be doing the right ‘it’.

      The lack of plan is the big story. Labour, capital and ‘productivity’ are the three factors that affect an economy’s performance.

      We’ve got people working long hours and some unemployed people who’d like to be working. We’ve used our capital effectively in the past.

      But the Nats don’t seem to be able to tell us how we’re going to apply our labour and capital to get the ‘productivity’ that drives an economy. They don’t have a plan.

      There’s a reason NZ has been placed on negative credit watch.

      • vto 1.1.1

        No not convinced. I stand by my original statements.

        • Rosy 1.1.1.1

          we need to do it better every day and sometimes that means more capital and better plant for the same hours of labour everyday

        • ZeeBop 1.1.1.2

          Its quality and quantity. National are a party of the agrain and international sectors, they either do quantity or quality, never both across the economy – its either vertically or horitzonal, never mixed economy. And the difficult stuff is always the networked, positive and negative feedback systems, that are NOT easily locked down by some simpliest market fundamentalist ideology modeling.

          We will always be assessing value in some way, counting plastic containers on the local rubbish dump!
          But we won’t always be able to! And that’s where the quality+quantity factor is missing. We need to have
          consumers with market buying power, certainty of supply of energy and predictable legislation, and National
          worry only about farmers (dig up up) and finance.

          Yet National gives us dithering and uncertainty over a whole range of issues from food spikes, to climate change, to oil price rises, never having to explain the effects on the dirty economy that breeds the huge windfall profits like Nokia for Finland. In fact National politics shutdown the dirty economy, what was leaky homes but National lowing the standards and letting rip a huge billion dollar cost on the economy!

    • Cnr Joe 1.2

      goodoh vto, lets get our shovels out and build a cycleway!
      lets get our shovels out and build a broadband network!
      lets get our shovels out and build a nationwide horsetrail , a cesspit for MACTional stimulus ideas, a slipway to stick these governing mutts on to sail their asses closer to Australia, lets build a vain bonfire to dance around whilst the poor burn and the rich yearn for greenback pastures.

      • jcuknz 1.2.1

        The thing is that somehow we have to work out a system which does not produce more, because producing more uses up scarce earth resources. It seems to me that both National and Labour are on this unwise bandwagon to ‘recovery’. I’m sure it is pragmatic but still it is foolish. Having more people in employment using resources is wrong so for the good of those unemployed we need to find apparently meaningful employment, perhaps a twenty hour or less working week, two ten hour days and five off, which doesn’t use resources and a way to fund their wages. But at the same time more money circulating in the economy will lead to greater demand It seems a contradiction to me … except it is obvious there are too many people on earth for our own good and that of the planet. It doesn’t unduely worry me but I wonder for my grand-daughter.

  2. Tracey 2

    sharks dont eat sharks, they look for fish.

    I too dont always agree with Ms O’Sullivan but I constantly read her. She writes with an air of authority as though if you asked her to back it up, she would pull out a notebook and there it would be.

Links to post

Leave a Comment

Show Tags

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Time to stamp out cold, mouldy rentals
    New figures show a small number of landlords are letting down the sector by renting cold, mouldy rentals. These houses need to be brought up to a decent standard for people to live in by Andrew Little’s Healthy Homes Bill, ...
    23 hours ago
  • Time for fresh approach on immigration
    Latest figures showing another record year for immigration underlines the need for an urgent rethink on how this country can continue to absorb so many people, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “New Zealand needs immigrants and is all the better ...
    1 day ago
  • Bring back the Mental Health Commission
    The People’s Mental Health Review is a much needed wake up call for the Government on mental health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “I applaud their proposal to restore a Mental Health Commission and their call for ...
    3 days ago
  • And the band played on…
    Making Amy Adams the Housing Minister five months out from the election is just the orchestra playing on as National’s Titanic housing crisis slips below the waves – along with the hopes and dreams of countless Kiwi families, says Labour’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Hotel no place for children in care
    ...
    6 days ago
  • Maybe not, Minister? Nick Smith’s housing measure suppressed
    Sir Humphrey: Minister, remember the Housing Affordability Measure work you asked us to prepare back in 2012? Well, it’s ready now.Minister Smith: Oh goodie, what does it say?Sir Humphrey: Nothing.Minister Smith: Nothing?Sir Humphrey: Well, sir, you asked us to prepare ...
    6 days ago
  • Inflation data shows many New Zealanders are worse off under National
    The latest inflation data from Statistics New Zealand shows that too many New Zealanders are now worse off under the National Government, said Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson “Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) is now running at 2.2 per cent, and ...
    7 days ago
  • Another emergency housing grant blow out
      Emergency housing grants data released today show another blow out in spending on putting homeless people up in motels, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.   ...
    7 days ago
  • Families struggle as hardship grants increase
    The considerable increase in hardship grants shows that more and more Kiwi families are struggling to put food on the table and pay for basic schooling, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    7 days ago
  • More tinkering, no leadership from Nats on immigration
    National’s latest tinkering with the immigration system is another attempt to create the appearance of action without actually doing anything meaningful, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Suicide figures make for grim reading
    The 506 suspected suicides of Kiwis who have been in the care of mental health services in the last four years show that these services are under severe stress, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   “If you do the ...
    1 week ago
  • Pay equity deal a victory for determination and unions
    The pay equity settlement revealed today for around 55,000 low-paid workers was hard-won by a determined Kristine Bartlett backed by her union, up against sheer Government resistance to paying Kiwis their fair share, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Labour welcomes ...
    1 week ago
  • DHB’s forced to make tough choices
    The Minister of Health today admitted that the country’s District Health Boards were having to spend more than their ring fenced expenditure on Mental Health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   “The situation is serious with Capital and Coast ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats break emergency housing pledge – deliver just five more places
    Despite National’s promises of 2,200 emergency housing beds, just 737 were provided in the March Quarter, an increase of only five from six months earlier, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Research underlines need for KiwiBuild
    New research showing the social and fiscal benefits of homeownership underlines the need for a massive government-backed building programme like KiwiBuild, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Social data security review too little, too late
    The independent review into the Ministry of Social Development’s individual client level data IT system is too little, too late, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The Minister of Social Development has finally seen some sense and called for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions raised on CERA conflicts
    With the admission that three more former CERA staff members are under suspicion of not appropriately managing conflicts of interest related to the Canterbury rebuild, it’s imperative that CERA’s successor organisation Ōtākaro fronts up to Parliamentary questions, says Labour’s Canterbury ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to tackle Hutt housing crisis
    Labour will build a mix of 400 state houses and affordable KiwiBuild homes in the Hutt Valley in its first term in government to tackle the housing crisis there, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Housing in the Hutt ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Farewell to John Clarke
    This wonderfully talented man has been claimed by Australia, but how I remember John Clarke is as a young Wellington actor who performed satirical pieces in a show called “Knickers” at Downstage Theatre. The show featured other future luminaries like ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Valedictory Speech
    Te papa pounamu Aotearoa NZ Karanga karanga karanga; Nga tupuna Haere haere haere; Te kahui ora te korowai o tenei whare; E tu e tu ... tutahi tonu Ki a koutou oku hoa mahi ki Te Kawanatanga; Noho mai noho ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Buck stops with Gerry Brownlee
    The fact that the State Services Commission has referred the CERA conflict of interest issue to the Serious Fraud Office is a positive move, but one that raises serious questions about the Government’s oversight of the rebuild, says Labour Canterbury ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Teachers deserve a democratic Education Council
    Teachers around New Zealand reeling from the news that their registration fees could more than double will be even angrier that the National Government has removed their ability to have any say about who sits on the Council that sets ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Free trade backers are simply out of touch
    Are the backers of free trade out of touch with public opinion? This was the question asked when the Chartered Accountants launched their Future of Trade study. I was astonished by the answer in a room of free trade enthusiasts ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • John Clarke aka Fred Dagg will be missed by all Kiwis
    The man who revolutionised comedy on both sides of the Tasman, John Clarke, will be sadly missed by Kiwis and Aussies alike, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “I grew up with Fred Dagg and I am ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s modern approach to monetary policy
    A commitment to full employment and a more transparent process to provide market certainty are the hallmarks of Labour’s proposals for a new approach to monetary policy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens back Labour’s plan for monetary policy reform
    Labour plans to change the way we do monetary policy in New Zealand and the Green Party supports them fully. We’re now of a single mind on this. Labour will move away from our reliance on a single, unelected person ...
    GreensBy robert.ashe
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens back Labour’s monetary policy reform
    Labour plans to change the way we do monetary policy in New Zealand and the Green Party supports them fully. We’re now of a single mind on this. Labour will move away from our reliance on a single, unelected person ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt drops ball on Masters Games housing squeeze
    Families currently living in emergency accommodation face being forced out onto the street as motel accommodation in Auckland is filled up by contestants and visitors of the World Masters Games in coming weeks, says Labours social development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • State inquiry for Nga Morehu – The Survivors of State Abuse
    The Prime Minister must show humanitarian leadership and launch an independent inquiry into historic claims of abuse of children who were in State care, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Coleman – ‘overwhelmed by disinterest’ and ‘conked out’
    Today’s trenchant criticism of the Government’s health policy by Ian Powell the executive director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists must trigger action by the Minister, says Labour’s spokesperson for Health David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Statement on Syria
    Like the rest of the world, I have been horrified at the chemical attack on innocent Syrians that led to the deaths of so many men, women and children,” says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “The deliberate attack on civilians as ...
    3 weeks ago
  • The hard truth about that soft drink ad
    I am relieved that Pepsi has pulled its ridiculous commercial that obscenely co-opted the #BlackLivesMatter movement. At the very least, it was an awkward failure that tried too hard to be something it could never be. At its worst, it ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 weeks ago
  • Journalism Matters: Interesting the public in the public interest
    Last week I launched two policies to support Kiwi journalism because as Bill Moyers put it, “the quality of democracy and the quality of journalism is deeply intertwined.” Journalism matters because it’s how we discover what’s happening in our world, ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 weeks ago
  • Homeownership rate hits new low; KiwiBuild needed now
    The homeownership rate has fallen to just 63.1 per cent, according to Statistics New Zealand’s newly released Dwelling and Household estimates. That’s down three per cent under National to the lowest level since 1951, confirming the need for Labour’s KiwiBuild ...
    3 weeks ago
  • OECD endorses Labour’s Future of Work approach
    An OECD report released today, highlighting the need for increased support for workers who are made redundant, is a strong endorsement of the direction of Labour’s Future of Work Commission, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “We welcome the OECD’s ...
    3 weeks ago