web analytics

Politics more than politicking

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, September 20th, 2009 - 8 comments
Categories: climate change, Media - Tags:

I get sick of hearing our illustrious fourth estate refer to some piece of politicking as ‘good politics’.  Who decides what’s ‘good politics’? The commentators, of course. And they define good politics as maneuvering to ones advantage, rather than getting good policies in place.

Take the ETS issue. If they wanted, the commentators could say ‘National has made a huge political mistake in weakening the already inadequate response to this most serious of issues’. Instead, it’s ‘National’s so clever for buying the Maori Party’s support’. They praise good politicking over good policy. No wonder politicians react to this and often put political maneuvering ahead of good policy results.

Imagine if, instead of criticising or praising National for the quality of its ‘politics’ on climate change they criticised or praised it on the quality of it’s policy. There’s no reason why they can’t; if it’s not a breach of the fiction of objectivity to judge a party’s political manoeuvring, it must also be OK to offer a judgement on the substance of its policy.

Take hack supremo John Armstrong:

“National could not care one jot about the cries of anguish from climate change experts and commentators. It is being unashamedly pragmatic”

John, call me crazy, but isn’t contributing our bit to save the climate and our economy the pragmatic thing to do?

What an indictment on political commentary in this country that, as every day the scientific evidence demands we do more to tackle climate change, our commentariat is befouled with the likes of Armstrong who praise a government for doing less.

Even Colin Espiner’s retraction of his original praise for National’s “astute politics” is because he now thinks it’s bad politics, not because he is worried it’s an inadequate response to the issue. He didn’t have “second thoughts on the ETS”, he may not even have had first thoughts on it. No, he had second thoughts on the politics of the ETS.

On this occasion, Vernon Small has been an honourable exception. In both Dompost and Independent articles he has ignored the politicking and instead written ‘hey, this policy sucks – it doesn’t do nearly enough to tackle the most important crisis we face by making the polluters pay’.

What a tragedy that a political commentator commenting in the substance of a political issue stands out as exceptional.

8 comments on “Politics more than politicking ”

  1. Zaphod Beeblebrox 1

    Small country, can’t see beyond the back yard. Nobody will take NZ seriously until it can engage in global issues beyond our narrow perspective

    • Agreed. If you think of the country’s leaders who did make a difference on the world stage there is this striking common feature that I am trying to work out. The leaders were Micky Savage and Peter Fraser for their contribution to the League of Nations and the United Nations, Norm Kirk and David Lange for their work on disarmament, Helen Clark for a multitude of things.

      Which Party do they belong to? I guess I can be accused of being biased …

      The only Nat I can think of who contributed to international issues was Simon Upton whose work on Climate Change was commendable. I used to go to campaign meetings and embarass the National Candidates criticising Kyoto by reminding them that he negotiated New Zealand’s endorsement of the treaty.

  2. Herbert 2

    Denying climate change is not only stupid politics but also bad economics, a fact that Lord Stern has pointed out. In his recent re-evaluation of his preditions in his own Review for the Bristish Government he said: “the cost of acting climate change, by stabilising emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, might be about 1% of annual global GDP by 2050. But the cost of doing nothing was found to be far greater – risking up to 20% of the world’s wealth.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/4979855/Climate-change-leading-the-world-into-catastrophe-claims-Lord-Stern.html

    And here is a wee taster that is worth a view. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxfPWFctRnI

    It amazes and saddens me that the very people who claim the economic credentials to save our economy continue to ignore the informed and considered voice of someone so main stream as Lord Stern.

  3. Jenny 3

    Yeah, it is like ACT supporters always banging on about there being too much politics in .

    What they really mean there is too much democracy in .

    Democracy being something these little right wing sh-ts detest instinctively. Act have this instinctive hatred for democracy because, they are the political representatives of the tiny minority of very wealthy plutocrats who expect their way in everything because they have the money, and find the whole business of having to listen to others views as being “to political”.

  4. Lew 4

    Marty, didn’t r0b already do this post in fewer words?

    L

  5. Macro 5

    Marty I couldn’t agree with you more – I just don’t listen to them any more. The so-called “political commentators” of radio and tv seem to think that politics is only a game. They completely overlook the fact that what it is really about is the lives and welfare of every person in the country. This latest fiasco where every ordinary NZer has just been shafted by National and the Maori Party is a case in point. A few perceptive souls have cottoned on – but they are whispers in the wind.
    What I find incredible though is just how naive the Maori Party must be to have ever agreed to this shame of an ETS. What were they thinking?? Do they really believe that this new ETS will reduce carbon emissions by as much as one molecule of CO2?
    And at what cost to their people? Did they really think that there would be another 2000 Maori homes insulated. And if they did, is it really worth $1.2+ billion per year to the taxpayer? I can see a reverse claim to the Waitangi Tribunal in the not to distant future – brought by the people of NZ against the National Party and the Maori Party of NZ who have sold NZ down the river for a few insulated homes.
    And where are these questions being asked in the Media? The silence is deafening.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago