- Date published:
9:55 am, July 26th, 2022 - 60 comments
Categories: blogs, Chlöe Swarbrick, David Farrar, greens, jacinda ardern, james shaw, Media, social media lolz, uncategorized - Tags:
One of the features of social media is that opinions are easy to form and easy to spread and are occasionally used as weapons. And recently there has been some spectacularly bad takes on the Green’s leadership challenge the motivation behind which you have to wonder about.
The background to the leadership challenge is covered in this excellent post by Weka.
Recent takes on Green party leadership issues are classic examples how commentary can be thinly disguised attacks.
David Farrar was formenting mischief when he tweeted this:
Has Jacinda doomed James Shaw? By stating he remains Climate Change Minister regardless of co-leadership, this allows Chloe to campaign on how Greens can get a co-leader solely focused on promoting Greens messages, rather than running a portfolio.
Matthew Hooton chimed in and claimed that the clock is ticking and no one thinks that Shaw has any chance of surviving much beyond the election.
Then these opinions were augmented by academic Bryce Edwards who stated that there was a good chance James Shaw would not be reappointed as leader. Edwards stated this:
[Shaw] will be hoping that his rival Chloe Swarbrick announces that she won’t stand against him and, ideally, gives him her full support.
But don’t be surprised if none of that happens. Wiser heads might even persuade Shaw to withdraw his nomination before the end of the week. Shaw and his backers are likely to realise that the tide has turned against him among party activists and Green voters.
There’s now an appetite for leadership renewal, and if Shaw is smart he will end up championing that rather than fighting against it. He still has the chance to look magnanimous in handing the reins over willingly to Swarbrick. And if she gets anointed by him as the next leader, Swarbrick will win the contest next month hands down.
It was a close thing about what was published first. Bryce’s hot take or Chloe Swarbrick announcing that she was not going to stand thereby completely repudiating every single paragraph of Bryce’s analysis.
He attempted to do a retake this morning on RNZ suggesting that Chloe may change her mind. He said we should not take what she said at face value. After singing her praises yesterday to accuse her of being deceptive is somewhat strange.
I don’t know why RNZ uses Edwards so often. You would think that getting things right occasionally and understanding party policy should be a requirement for a political commentator.
Some of the twitter takes were brutal.
The strongest sign yet that James Shaw is likely safe. https://t.co/yu7OZJuwRD
— Neale Jones (@nealejones) July 25, 2022
it's very 'Bryce Edwards: VUW Political Analyst' to publish a whole oped on how Chloe is set to take the Greens co-leadership minutes before she says she's not contesting for it. https://t.co/ZSq4RtGElZ
— Clint Smith (@ClintVSmith) July 25, 2022
Bomber Bradbury went all tropo on it with a five dimensional chess explanation that I am still trying to understand. One minute when we criticise Edwards for misrepresenting Labour policy he claims that it is a case of a petty editorial win on technical language. The next minute he thinks that Matthew Hooton somehow suckered in a minority of Green members.
That is the problem with so much political discourse. Too much hyperbole and not enough analysis.
Whatever happens I trust the good people of the Green party do not listen to these spectacularly bad and at least in part disingenuous takes. And it is interesting that at a time where Christopher Luxon has disappeared elements of the right are hyping up issues which the Green Party in its own careful way is working through.