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Public support for the Iraq deployment (In which the insightful and knowledgable Mike Hosking springs to the defence of the embattled PM!)

Written By: - Date published: 7:11 am, February 27th, 2015 - 89 comments
Categories: iraq, john key, spin, war - Tags: , , ,

Poor John Key. Unable to get support in Parliament for his military misadventure. Assailed on all sides by politicians and critics who prefer an independent foreign policy to slavishly following America into another ill defined war. Damned by his own words, we’re going so as to pay the cost of New Zealand’s junior membership of “The Club”. From Bryce Edward’s media roundup:

The backlash against war

There’s been widespread sceptism and outrage in response to the Government’s announcement that New Zealand troops will be sent to Iraq.

Public support is not with the National Government on this issue, according to John Armstrong, who concludes that ‘the Prime Minister is not really winning the debate.

What is interesting about these [poll] results is that although support for deployment was higher than opposition, it was still relatively low. In previous major military deployments, public support has started out higher.

The backlash against deployment is coming from a wide variety of people. Dissenting voices include some surprising figures. …

Still, at least Key has one loyal friend and ally. That friend would be (and I know that this will surprise you!) Mike Hosking. Mike Hosking is an insightful and knowledgable chap. I know this because of the bio at the bottom of his article:

Mike’s insightfulness and knowledge makes him one of New Zealand’s most successful broadcasters.

Modest too – he should add that to the bio. Here’s what modest Mike had to say:

John Armstrong was … wrong to … suggest that … the Prime Minister was losing the argument.

The poll numbers tell us that he isn’t. Forty eight per cent in favour, 42 per cent against according to a One News Colmar Brunton poll out on Monday night. … So with a comfortable majority supporting the move, I’d be feeling pretty bullish that I’d done the right thing.

Mike may be insightful, knowledgeable and modest, but he clearly doesn’t know anything about numbers. Forty eight percent is not a “comfortable majority”. Forty eight percent is not in fact a majority at all, although it is on this occasion a plurality. Forty two percent were opposed, ten percent didn’t know. I haven’t been able to find information on the sample size and margin of error, 48% to 42% may well be a statistically significant difference, but it isn’t a practically significant one. The country is split.

For a much better summary see Tracy Watkins:

John Key could have put the deployment to a vote but didn’t because he knew he would lose it. Unlike in 2003, when Helen Clark sent the SAS to Afghanistan with the blessing of an overwhelming majority in Parliament, Key is facing a divided Parliament – and a divided public.

Key has struggled to make the case for a deployment in the face of scepticism that, after more than a decade of fighting, any contribution by New Zealand can or will make a difference.

…Opposition parties have washed their hands of the decision. In Parliament today they lined up in condemnation of the decision to go to Iraq. In doing so, they have made it clear that any blood will be on Key’s hands alone should today’s decisions end in tragedy.

Despite the best efforts of Hosking, the facts are we’re going in to this war zone without the support of Parliament, without the support of the majority of the people, without clearly defined goals or an exit plan, without proper planning, and without a hope of making a practical difference. It’s the worst kind of “leadership”. And the poll numbers tell us that Kiwis have lost their historical appetite for this kind of misadventure.

89 comments on “Public support for the Iraq deployment (In which the insightful and knowledgable Mike Hosking springs to the defence of the embattled PM!) ”

  1. vto 1

    ha ha classic. Mike Hosking epitomises our shallow-headed brainless celebrity culture perfectly. Dip is as dip does.

    • lprent 1.1

      Mike Hosking is one of the most idiotic of the media commertariat around. Whenever he departs from simply asking questions and getting others to explain themselves, his unbelievable self-absorbed ignorance comes to the fore.

      It isn’t a enviable sight as he appears to only read Whaleoil and the words of his sponsors like skycity or National.

      I guess for his questioning he has some decent researchers because he appears to be less of ignorant dickhead in those. It is a lot easier questioning others than creatively constructing a clear and cogent argument.

      Mike Hoskings is not a bad actor and plays acting intelligent well, but it does appear to be just a role that he plays at rather than lives. He really does appear to be pretty damn stupid and incoherent when he doesn’t have his lines.

    • Tiger Mountain 1.2

      “Maserati Mike” Hosking; never met a mirror he didn’t like

  2. Well, I guess you just lack the requisite “insightfulness” to recognise 48% as a comfortable majority. Does Hosking not have a spellchecker in use on his computer or something?

    • mary_a 2.1

      @ Psycho Milt

      Not sure about Hosking requiring a spellchecker, but he sure could do with an abacus to help him calculate!

    • greywarshark 2.2

      Hosking is like many other NZ journalists – they are under a different ‘spell’ than the normal, and syntax is to them, received phonetically as two words.

      • Naturesong 2.2.1

        Hosking is not a journalist.

        Labelling him as such opens the false equivalence argument you often see National Party supporters use.

        By calling him a journalist, you elevate him to the same position as actual journalists whose actions (are supposed to) follow a specific set of ethical guidelines

        • greywarshark 2.2.1.1

          @ Naturesong
          You are right but what would a good name for him and his type. Celebrity hack?

          • Naturesong 2.2.1.1.1

            Yeah, that’s the direction.

            He garners celebrity in a couple of ways – he seeks a broad constituency by appealing to the baser nature of humans, and is extremely active in self-promotion.
            He also has the commnication skills to pull it off.

            I view this type of celebrity very differently to people who are famous because they do amazing things – Lydia Ko, Ella Yelich etc.

            As a business model, Mikes poison works.
            That he is allowed this platform at prime time on state television is both abominable and a symptom of a greater malaise within New Zealand.

            Humans do collectively and individually need to confront their baser natures.
            The misogyny, racism and violence that lurks just beneath New Zealand society must be called out wherever it seeks legitimacy.

            Whenever I hear Mike Hoskings speak, the following question immediately pops into my mind.

            When did ignorance become a valid point of view concerning the governance of a country?

            • Naturesong 2.2.1.1.1.1

              As an aside, just remembered something from my days working in casinos.

              We used to refer to our chosen profession as the “last bastion of the ignorant man”.
              Mainly because it was clear that you could get promoted and achieve success solely on your networking ability irrespective of competence (different places had different degrees of rot).

              As a result you often had to put up with complete numpties dotted about in positions of responsibility.

              I have no doubt that Mike fits in well at Skycity.

  3. idlegus 3

    could be using john keys same calculator/spell checker when he said nz was 100% pure compared to other countries.

  4. mary_a 4

    Hosking, Sky City ambassador and MC, is a complete airhead. Full of his own arrogant BS. Any wonder he and Key are such good buddies. Both egotistical gutless wonders!

  5. PhilDC 5

    My comment to mr Hoskings in the herald
    It was trimmed by NZH – I hope you wont trim it too…

    Does JK cuddle well on a cold night? Seems you would know.
    Few things you missed.
    Thousands killed in West Papua – not interested? No oil perhaps?
    Second group of professionals into Afghanistan – Geologists – why? – mineral resources?
    Be-headings in UAE ? – who financed 911 Terrorists? – Saudi Arabia.
    USA collateral murders of women and children interest you?
    How about Israel bombing the s**t out of Gaza and its people.
    Boko Haram kidnappings and bombing to name a few things you super smart people in the media gloss over, marginalise or ignore.
    So… get out of bed with JK and stop beating the drums for war.
    Perhaps you can join up with Max Key seeing you think fighting a long battle based on invisible WMD claims is such a good idea.
    Not brave, not honorable – sir, JK is not even truthful.
    We can have a referendum on a flag – but not for this?
    Shame on our leaders and us for repeatedly not learning from the the folly of past conflagrations.
    Those who beat the drums of war the loudest are the least likely to make the “sacrifice” of one of their own.

    Personally I have had it with these warhead idiots… all of them!

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    Its now come out that the Australian troops will all have to be issued diplomatic passports because their is no status of forces agreement and they could be arrested over any incidents.

    This is the same situation as NZ troops. Apparently the Iraqis dont really really want us
    ( they must have had their arm twisted by US)

    In the meantime the Iran Revolutionary Guard troops are active on the ground fighting ISIS. Perhaps we should be training the Iranian Pasdaran!

    • Sable 6.1

      The Iranian’s have a military deal with Russia. They have no need of the US or its vassal states.

      The Iraq parliament is in disarray after assassinations along tribal lines as per normal. No one is going to get a status of forces agreement. We will in effect be there illegally.

      • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1

        And we will be supporting one faction in sectarian tribal civil war. How could this go wrong?

    • Colonial Rawshark 6.2

      In the meantime the Iran Revolutionary Guard troops are active on the ground fighting ISIS. Perhaps we should be training the Iranian Pasdaran!

      I have no doubt that some classes of ‘Iraqi raw recruits’ that the Kiwis will be training will have Iranian agents attending as students, just to see what our skill level and perspective is.

  7. Sable 7

    Just an opinion in search of a (missing) rationale…. I wonder if anyone takes old climate change denying Maserati Mike seriously?

  8. fisiani 8

    The majority of those with an opinion agree with John Key. Hosking was correct. How hard is that to understand. I despair at the pathetic attempts here to discredit John Key.

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.1

      N.B. Hosking hasn’t been correct on fuck all since the day he said the sun was coming up tomorrow.

    • miravox 8.2

      Don’t take it so personally Fisiani.

      Strangely, 🙄 it’s not discrediting Key …. it’s discrediting the decision to deploy troops instead of humanitarian resources.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2.1

        Hosking agrees totally with Key, because largely his article was written by Keys staff

        Hosking has been like Whaleoil, on retainer for the national government. They send the outlines of storys , scandals, police briefs for him to use as he chooses.

        Hosking had the same deal with Skysore. Free hospitality thrown in for good measure.

        We have seen in Australia , proof that these talkback hosts are on retainer for powerful interests. Thats the business model they work with which is on top of hosting their radio show. They have side deals on ‘native advertising’ which isnt disclosed as such

    • Pasupial 8.3

      fisiani

      If the “majority of those with an opinion agree with John Key”, why will he not allow their parliamentary representatives to vote on the deployment? Key, Hosking & their media managers discredit themselves, we “here” are merely documenting the evidence for future historians.

  9. ianmac 9

    Toby Manhire strikes again:
    “So if we’re not going to train a few Iraqi forces behind the wire, then our next option is do nothing.”(Key.) But what about spending the $65 million cost of the deployment instead to multiply our aid contribution 66-fold?

    Yes. How about that? Better than troops and better than nothing.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11408585

    • Bill 9.1

      I guess I might wind up saying this ad nauseum…but how about that aid (or large swathes of it) go to promoting the very things our governments said we were invading/occupying various countries for?

      They banged on endlessly about democracy and women’s rights.

      Rojava (N. Syria) is developing deeply democratic systems and promoting women’s rights to a level beyond ours. But they are being subjected to an economic and political embargo because the formally Leninist PKK are one of the groupings within Rojava.

      They (Rojavans) have no territorial claims (they reject the notion of forming a nation state). They reject military or religious bases for organising society. They recognise the territorial legitimacy of Syria and Syrian law unless it contradicts their own constitution. And so on.

      They have fought back Al Nusra. They have fought back ISIL. They embody everything our governments promote to us as ‘good and right and proper’.

      Now, the cynic in me is well aware that the nascent democracy in Rojava may degenerate into a form of democratic centralism. But for now, we ought to call our governments on their previously lofty rhetoric and ‘encourage’ them, through support for Rojava, to uphold and promote the very ideals they sold us war and occupation on in the first place.

      Lift the terrorist designation on the PKK.
      Lift the economic and political embargo on Rojava.
      Lift the travel bans currently in place.
      In short, help them.

      Info on Rojava http://www.biehlonbookchin.com/

    • greywarshark 9.2

      @ ianmac
      Good idea. Why not, why not, why not? Repetition might go through brain putty.

  10. Colonial Rawshark 10

    Kiwi troops are going to be based less than 60km from ISIS held towns and cities. That’s closer than Porirua to Waikanae.

    Our soldiers aren’t going to be “well back from the front lines.”

  11. Rodel 11

    Mike Hosking is close to being New Zealand’s Glenn Beck.

    • Anne 11.1

      Hosking has played roles all of his adult life. First there was the establishment figure (white shirt, grey trousers and tie) in his RNZ days. He was physically quite solid in those days. He left RNZ because he couldn’t get his own way about something and he went to the other extreme – the modern day hippie complete with tight black trousers (lost weight for that), kaftan-type tops and a scraggly beard. Now he’s the dapper man about town married to another celebrity and with cash coming out of his ears. In other words, it’s all to do with appearance and who you know with him… rather than what you know which we know is bugger-all.

      • tc 11.1.1

        Let’s not forget the BS legal proceedings against the evil paparazzi over photos of his twin girls to first wife/partner.

        A case he was never going to win as you can’t turn the celebrity off when you like. Ego the big winner over logic there but the lawyers loved the billings ka ching.

        That awkward QT with Boulgaris phase then back to the spotlight, a rant slot replacing Holmesy and new celebrity Mrs H.

        He looks quite at home now jaunting around remers with the golden lab and flouro running shoes no doubt checking the pulse of real NZilders up at the Remuera Butcher

  12. Skinny 12

    Westfield mall explosion in Auckland is being reported. Not a good sign is it.

    • Bill 12.1

      A van on fire. Big deal. Not that the banality will prevent the squawking excitement of media flapping up a pitch or three.

    • Bastables 12.2

      Perhaps you can add the byline to every story now examples:

      Jimmy Savile given free rein to sexually abuse 60 people, report finds, was he secretly Muslim?

      Nurse jailed for life after killing patients for thrill of resuscitation, was she following sharia law?

      Winston Peters to stand in Northland by-election, Islamic terror to follow?

      Brazilian jet gets caught in a jehadi hailstorm?

      Nervous scientists wary of giant craters in Siberia as fatwas maybe declared by shia clerics.

      Got to really ramp up that paranoia and fear.

      • greywarshark 12.2.1

        @ Bastables
        That’s just silly. But if you get a frisson of superiority enjoy!

        • Bastables 12.2.1.1

          It’s as silly as rushing off crying “terrorism terrorism see John Key was right to go full guts so we could get attacked.” Every incident one must suspect ISIS, NZ greatest enemy . . .
          Guy fawks fires, ISIS plot? Rally to the flag ladies and gentlemen rally.

          Less superiority and more a increasing level of disgust at how easy it is to press the jingo patriot button. Fill our country full of fear give them a one minute hate. The darkies are coming, if not keep on taunting them till they do.

  13. greywarshark 13

    While we are thinking about Iraq, if we widen out to the Middle East and Egypt, the interview with one of the journalists clapped into jail informed, this morning.
    Kathryn Ryan spoke to him, one of three from Al Jazeera. A fine man who is trying to remain rational and strong in the middle of this muddle.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/20168938

    Bailed Al Jazeera journalist Mohammed Fahmy speaks ( 20′ 23″ )
    09:08 Mohammed Fahmy is one of the three Al Jazeera journalists who were jailed for more than a year in Egypt, accused of supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood and “spreading false news”. All three men, respected and veteran journalists, say the charges were completely fabricated. Mohammed was initially sentenced to seven years in prison and is now out on bail, but can’t leave Cairo and faces a fresh trial in the same system that convicted him. He’s frustrated with the Canadian government – he’s a Canadian citizen – for not making the same effort to have him deported as Australia made for his colleague Peter Greste. And he also says his employer, Al Jazeera, failed to protect him.

    • Naturesong 13.1

      “he also says his employer, Al Jazeera, failed to protect him.”

      I’m not sure that’s from want of trying – Al Jazeera appears to have been very active in advocating for its journalists (including funding and procuring lawyers for legal challenges, lobbying each journalists govts, providing a platform for local and international support to coalesce around etc.), so without further proof, my default position is that they tried and failed, rather than abandoned their journalists.

    • alwyn 13.2

      We could go even further and start complaining that the nasty French have apparently arrested three more journalists from Al Jazeera.
      Frankly I think it serves them right.
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/66673252/aljazeera-journalists-arrested-in-paris-for-flying-drone

  14. Penny Bright 14

    OK folks – who is able to get away from their computers and stand up to be counted TODAY on this matter?

    MEDIA ALERT!! “Not in OUR name!”

    PROTEST against NZ Prime Minister John Key at wreath-laying ceremony TODAY from 4pm

    27 February 2015

    PROTEST! “Not in OUR name!”

    WHY: NZ Prime Minister John Key and Australian PM Tony Abbott will be laying a wreath at the Auckland Cenotaph TODAY (4.30pm)

    WHEN: Be outside entrance gates to the Domain before 4pm to catch the entourage going in (and coming out!)

    WHERE: Auckland Domain entrance Park Rd Grafton (around from Auckland Hospital )

    This is being organised as a strong but peaceful protest against New Zealand’s involvement in a war without mandate from citizens or Parliament.

    NOT IN OUR NAME!

    (Message passed on from the wilds of Upper Hutt – from Penny Bright who puts in her apologies – but has done what she can from the other end of the North Island. There WILL be a crowd!

    Please help by SHARING this message NOW!!

    Thanks!

    Her Warship 🙂
    __________________________________________________________________________________

    I can’t be there – I’m in Upper Hutt.

    Please be there if you can to help my good friend Jax (the other ‘banner grrl’ so that John Key (and Tony Abbott) can see the public opposition to this ‘war’ (without end?) that is NOT in OUR name!

    It’s called ‘SEIZE THE MOMENT!’

    Thanks!

    Penny Bright

  15. swordfish 15

    “I haven’t been able to find information on the sample size and margin of error”

    Sample Size = 1000 eligible voters

    Maximum Sampling Error = +/- 3.1 percentage points (for a result around 50%)

    Here’s a table on my blog with a few demographic breakdowns from the Colmar Brunton……..http://sub-z-p.blogspot.co.nz/

  16. Dorothy 16

    I like that Tiger Mountain ! IT IS WORTH REPEATING
    ‘ Mike Hosking has never met a mirror he did not like’
    that sums up what I always think if I happen to see him on TV, which is not often now sadly,
    TVOne has become very trivial during that time slot.

  17. McFlock 17

    Hosking is a shallow, insecure, vain, stupid man-child whose vacuities are a disgrace to the nation.

    So he’ll be a nat list MP when he paul-henry’s his way out of his current cushy gig.

  18. Rolf 18

    In 1940 a Mr. Vidkun Qusling and then prime minister of Norway aligned his nation with the military power Nazi Germany for cooperation. He has gone to history as a fascist politician and Norway’s biggest ever traitor. His party was called the National Party (Nasjonal Samling). He was prime minister until 1945, and then put on trial and accused of, and found guilty of, charges including embezzlement, murder and high treason. He was executed by firing squad at Akershus Fortress, Oslo, on 24 October 1945. Today the Prime Minster of New Zealand has aligned our country with another military power of today, also against the wish of his people.

    • les 18.1

      for that he will no doubt be knighted and offered a job at J.P Morgan when he has completed his mission in NZ.

  19. Maui 19

    Its still scary though that a large percentage of kiwis want to go to war to “eliminate evil”. They’ve been brainwashed by the constant ISIS videos put out by the media. I’m putting a lot of blame on this on them.

  20. Red delusion 20

    Your government has made a decision get over it and stop whining like a bunch of spoilt brats who did not get their way. The deployment won’t change the past, it won’t correct a 1000 years of hatred, it will however help push these fringe Islamic lunatics into a corner, to sit back and do nothing is like saying get rid of the police because they cant eradicate crime. Many nz agree this is a worthwhile mission to simply contain Isis not re right the history of the Middle East, you don’t agree tough chicken shit as colon rawsardine would say

    • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1

      The Iraqi “army” is the perfect vehicle for your ambitions: they’re corrupt, incompetent, cowardly and partisan, and your “plan” is to send our boys into their midst.

      I spit on your grave.

    • Colonial Rawshark 20.2

      What’s the “Mission” exactly? “Training”? Do you really believe that?

      Why get NZ involved in someone elses civil war?

  21. Red delusion 21

    Not my plan, our plan as determined by our government who are probably a little more across situation on the ground than far left loon critics

    • McFlock 21.1

      Can McCully string together a coherent sentence? Because you can’t, and Key has difficulty (although that might be by design).

    • Colonial Rawshark 21.2

      Not my plan, our plan as determined by our government who are probably a little more across situation on the ground than far left loon critics

      You’re probably the type who thinks that like last time around, the USA has a good handle on the situation in Iraq.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.3

      Economics, the wingnut says the private sector knows best.
      Education, the wingnut says the private sector knows best.
      Prisons – the wingnut says the private sector knows best.
      Social housing, electricity generation, hospitals, the private sector knows best.

      But the wingnut assures us that the public sector is all over this situation.

      It would be funny if it weren’t for the killing.

  22. MrV 22

    Ukraine next?

    • Colonial Rawshark 22.1

      The west has enough trouble facing up to rag tag bands of Afghani, Syrian or Iraqi religious militia with light arms from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, no air support and no intelligence satellite capabilities.

      • MrV 22.1.1

        Bingo.

        But I can’t help think that all this focus on ISIS/ISIL is distracting the public from what is going on over there. NATO has gone looking for something to do after all.

        • Colonial Rawshark 22.1.1.1

          The best description I have read is that NATO, having encroached on to Russia’s borders, breaking the verbal agreement between James Baker and Gorbachev that it would “not move an inch east” after the break up of the Soviet Union, has effectively created a concrete role defending its member states from the instability and provocation that it has produced itself.

          • Rolf 22.1.1.1.1

            Russia have reacted to US threats. We have seen an intensive propaganda campaign in New Zealand to snuggle up to the US, to become yet another US satellite and Quisling state, and at the same time, unbeknown to Kiwis, the US has driven an equally intensive propaganda campaign for more countries to join them to threaten Russia into submission. The US actions reminds me just too much of Hitlers campaigns before opening up his Blitzkrieg.

  23. Ecosse_Maidy 23

    All well and good shouting that the polls reflect John Keys actions………….How about some proof,with an actual vote in the parliament?

    Perhaps it will be proven right..and if so then at least they can say it is a majority.

    Till then it’s nothing but a man bordering on being a dictator.Followed by the calls and cackles of a sycophant.

  24. “…Mike Hosking is an insightful and knowledgable chap…”

    Hosking’s acquaintance with knowledge is best put this way: “Mike Hosking is so lacking in knowledge that he has no idea at all that he lacks any meaningful knowledge.”

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