Quick thoughts

Written By: - Date published: 11:06 am, February 8th, 2010 - 33 comments
Categories: crime, election 2011, john key, labour, phil goff - Tags: , , ,

  • It’s obvious to anyone with a brain that a government that spends half its time on holiday and the rest on PR stunts is never going to get New Zealand to catch Australia by 2025 but having the Reserve Bank Governor say its impossible, that’s hugely embarrassing. Of course, Key is refusing to acknowledge the truth despite the fact that the gap has grown during his time in power.
  • Who’s going to have an op-ed on changing the flag in the Herald next? The typesetter? John Roughan’s cleaner? Give it up, Granny. There really are bigger things to worry about and there’s no public clamour for change.
  • Could Cameron Slater have come up with a better way to kill his ‘campaign’ against suppression orders than threatening to endanger judges and their families? Watch the rightwing establishment distance themselves from him. There’s no chance of reform of suppression now. National can’t be seen to be endorsing Slater’s actions.
  • I’m too hard on Colin Espiner. His print op-eds on Mondays are great, really well thought out and well written. It’s just he provides such easy pickings on his blog.
  • John Armstrong has labelled Key’s speech from the throne tomorrow as ‘Big Tuesday’. Seems like Armstong has been told to expect all sorts of concrete policy announcements. Well, Key’s going to have to come up with some good stuff that makes a real difference to working Kiwis. Unemployment is still rising, wages are stagnating, crime is up, and people are sick of the over-promise, under-deliver schtick. Nobody is going to buy it this time if he delivers more hype and no substance.
  • What ever happened to Key’s plan to end whaling? The one with no details and that he hadn’t discussed with the Japanese.
  • What a remarkable turn-around in the mood of the Left the last few weeks. People are seriously talking about 2011 as winnable. Key’s spark is gone, the media have said ‘enough grins, John, time to actually do something’, Phil Goff suddenly looks much more like a PM in waiting, and his speech, when you see it for what it actually is – the policy/strategy plan for the remainder of the term – has given Labour supporters something they can really get behind. I haven’t seen people this positive in years.
  • Looks like the Maori Party are going to have their expectations dashed again but this time it’s the big one. Will they settle for some shabby deal on the Foreshore and Seabed that pays-off the big iwi corporates? Or will they hold to their principles? A split is coming, if not from National then internally.

33 comments on “Quick thoughts”

  1. MikeG 1

    imho, Slater’s actions are part of his act to plead diminished mental responsibility in his court case.

  2. Fisiani 2

    “People are seriously talking about 2011 as winnable”
    Please stop it.
    My guffaw of laughter nearly brought up the coffee.

    Seriously is a word like obviously. Both have no meaning except wishful thinking.

    • felix 2.1

      Both of those words have quite clear meanings. Look them up.

    • Mr Magoo 2.2

      …sooo….pretty much like your whole post without the “wishful” and “thinking” part then??

      • Fisiani 2.2.1

        If I said ” Its obvious to anyone with a brain that National is seriously considering being in office for 25 years” the you can see how ridiculously self serving such words are. d
        Despite the fact that they are more realistic
        ie it’s obvious or obviously is just a verbal manipulation trick to allow a statement that is anything but obvious

        • BLiP


          • felix

            Seriously obvious.

            • Fisiani

              one nil to me

              [lprent: Attempting to ‘score’ is a very fast way to draw my moderating eye. To me it usually indicates a troll trying to induce a flame war. Flame wars may be interesting to the participants for a short time, but bore me intensely. I’ve had close to 25 years of reading them, and have yet to see anyone participating in them manage to amuse me for the last decade or so. I tend to relieve the suffering I feel, in having to read the trivia, by removing the source of infection. I’d suggest that you examine the policy. ]

              • felix

                Are you serious?

                (Oh look, minus one)

                [lprent: Be a good kitten – don’t play with your food. ]

  3. Tigger 3

    ‘Big Tuesday’ I suspect will later be known as Key’s ‘Black Tuesday’. If he announces big changes on the horizon, the honeymoon will be well and truly dead. If he doesn’t then the patience of the business elite will be dead. Either way, there is a lot of gunfire ahead and Key, while accomplished at dodging bullets, is not invulnerable.

  4. BLiP 4

    Yeah – I’ve been a unnecessarily harsh on individuals in the media also. There are a couple of journo-types in my extended whanau and catching up with them over Christmas has softened my mood. The poor buggers really are just like us, working in the machine doing what we need to in order to put food on the table – except their work is immediately exposed to public scrutiny. As one “cuz” asked, how would you like it if your day’s toil was made public every day? Fair nuff, mate, I wouldn’t.

    What was interesting was a suggestion based on observation that it is the least able and most bland journalists that progress upwards through media organisations. Subterranean connections, an almost craven willingness to “get along”, and apparently believing in nothing is far more important than actual ability. Luck also plays a part. Again, this seems a common enough an experience in organisations outside the media as well. Although formulated over 40 years ago, the The Peter Principle effect is more evident today than ever.

    My personal angst with the media arises in its “corporateness” and the resulting consolidation of ownership into fewer and fewer hands; and hands which have interests beyond just the provision of news. In fact, the provision of news has been largely usurped to benefit interests in which an educated public is the last thing they need.

    Of course, I’m just spouting Noam Chomsky 101 – but – while I intend to do my bit to keep the machinations of the media machine overt, I’ve decided personal attacks are not helping my cause. Far better that, where possible, broken bridges are mended and new relationships structured. If we can’t talk about some things, then lets talk about what we can.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Phil Goff suddenly looks much more like a PM in waiting, and his speech, when you see it for what it actually is the policy/strategy plan for the remainder of the term has given Labour supporters something they can really get behind.

    Both his speeches showed that. Even, or especially, the one that most people on this blog labelled racist – which it wasn’t.

    • BLiP 5.1

      There was someone on National Radio yesterday (about 12.45 or thereabouts) pointing out that if one were to strip out the offending words in Hone’s statement, you are still left with the measly intent of using a far greater injustice in the past in an attempt to excuse one’s own current and deliberate malfeasance. The fact that there are white mofos running the system is neither here nor there. What annoyed me was that this plonker was saying no one else had pointed that out!!! Where has he been?

  6. People are seriously talking about 2011 as winnable.

    Yeah, but most of the people doing that are also screaming at walls about insects stealing their thoughts.

    • Bright Red 6.1

      Danyl, maybe you need to build some actual contacts. Then you would know the mood around the traps.

      • lukas 6.1.1

        Bright Red, maybe you need to build some actual contacts. Then you would know the mood around the traps.

        • Bright Red

          I know the mood because of my contacts and my activities with the Left.

          I’m not just a detached observer like you and Danyl.

          • lukas

            Do you even know what contacts Danyl has?

            I have no interest in the Left winning the next election. My contacts and activities in the community would tend to agree with the comments expressed by Danyl earlier though.

          • Lew

            I think the point is that it doesn’t matter how much the activist left thinks it’s winnable — hope springs eternal, plenty of them thought 2008 was winnable too, and many of these are the same people who still don’t really seem to get why labour lost (or who make excuses like “biased MSM” or “three-term-itis” or “the electorate wuz duped!”.


            • BLiP

              Ahhh – there you are. Been meaning to ask, when you said the meme that John Key was a “do nothing” Prime Minister would assist in his re-election, what did you mean? Is it a case of under estimating what really is going on or, perhaps, are you suggesting voters prefer that a Prime Minister do nothing (or at least appear so)?

              • Lew

                The thing is that this first term is about building a mandate. What you and I call “doing nothing” is easy to portray as “being calm and moderate”, especially for a PM who is personally likeable (and of whom the electorate, right or wrong, has a fairly high opinion). The “do nothing” meme on its own will lead people to underestimate him, as it did last election. You don’t want people to underestimate someone who is a threat; you want them to fear and suspect him. If he genuinely wasn’t a threat (if he and his government didn’t have a nasty surprise in store in 2011) then this line of reasoning would be ok — but I don’t believe that, and I don’t think anyone else around here thinks it, either.

                As far as Key personally goes, I suggest drawing attention to the long-term mandate-building goal and the second-term agenda, to reframe the current “relaxed” stance as as an ambush-in-waiting. As I said before the 2008 election, the emphasis needs to be on Key’s putative strengths: his pragmatism (~lack of principle/unpredictability/inscrutability); decisiveness and tendency to do nothing, do nothing, and then take executive action (~ruthlessness), his managerial style of politics (delegating the hard stuff while taking credit for the easy), and so on.

                These are all characteristics which are reasonably well-documented, but of which we’ve only seen glimpses in terms of a compelling counter-narrative about “that nice man Mr Key”. The Standard, to its credit has been doing some of this, but little as yet. That’s probably ok; there’s plenty of time to run yet, and it’ll get easier throughout this year as the cycle and economic conditions flush more out into the open.


              • BLiP

                Gotchya. Thanks.

            • Bright Red

              Lew. You always maintain a postive face but things do feel different now – better than last year, better than 2008 for sure. You should ask some of the activists you know.

              • Lew

                Nothing would make me happier than if you’re right, BR.


              • luva

                When weren’t the activists feeling positive?

                Look back at the standard in the months before Labour were turfed out of office.

                Steve Pierson wrote post after post about why National would lose and Labour would win. The general theme from the left has not changed in the past 18 months. The electorates rejection of Clark like arrogant politics hasn’t changed either.

                The activist will always be positive. It does not mean there has been a swing.

                That will not come until someone inspirational (Andrew Little) comes along to lead Labour back to power

  7. Scott 7

    “There’s no chance of reform of suppression now. National can’t be seen to be endorsing Slater’s actions.”

    I suspect Cameron Slater has little or no influence on National’s legislative agenda (or lack of it).

  8. Zaphod Beeblebrox 8

    You can tell you desparate they are by the frequency of popularist sound bite talking points. When they bought the three strikes (I guess we’ve all seen enough american culture to understand baseball) and then the attacks on teachers, pit bull owners and property owners you always wonder how sincere Key is.

  9. 350ppm 9

    @Zaphod I haven’t wondered how sincere John Key is since late 2006 when I first started to take any notice of him. It is plain to me that he is utterly and completely insincere.

  10. Rich 10

    But the flag is crap.

    It’s the kind of flag that the British used to dole out to yacht clubs and harbourmasters. That it’s used by a sovereign state is an accident of history.

    Changing it is a good way for Key to come across as a bit modern and liberal without doing anything too radical like ditching the monarchy.

    Do you think the Canadians would go back to their old flag?

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