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Swarbrick 2 Bennett 0

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, May 14th, 2019 - 56 comments
Categories: drugs, greens, national, paula bennett, twitter - Tags:

Fresh from being owned on twitter Paula Bennett has raised questions about whether her tough westie persona is actually deserved.  Because she has refused to debate cannabis reform with Chloe Swarbrick on TV.

Jack Tame has the details:

https://twitter.com/jacktame/status/1127839186466160640

The interview proceeded without Bennett’s presence.  And Swarbrick handled the interview very well.  She is clearly on top of the details.  No wonder Paula decided not to attend.

Swarbrick ruled out the possibility of cannabis infused gummy bears or slushies.  What will National talk about now?

56 comments on “Swarbrick 2 Bennett 0”

  1. ianmac 1

    Yes. Chloe impressive. Another Helen or Jacinda in the making?

  2. roy cartland 2

    Wow it's refreshing to see a politician who is so articulate and really knows their stuff. Paula just isn't in the same league.

    • NZJester 2.1

      Of course, she is not. Who in the current National Party has ever known their stuff?

      Every time National Party people have quoted what they call “Facts” it has tuned out to be figures with no real basis or cherry-picked figures that do not stand up when you look at all the figures from the documents they were plucked from.

  3. AB 3

    "The gangs are offering our kids a better opportunity than we are".

    Crumbs! This is what you sound like when you actually want to make things better for everyone – rather than (like Paula) emotionally manipulate issues to garner the political support you need to gain power and protect your private economic interests.

  4. michelle 4

    but pulla doesnt care she thinks she is too young and doesn't want to give Chloe the respect she deserves. Based on what i have seen she (Chloe) and has been working hard on this issue but we have clowns like pulla benefit making a mockery of everything especially when they ( gnats ) don't get their way

  5. Stuart Munro. 5

    Chloe would've crushed her effortlessly – Paula shows once again that she is much smarter than she looks. Unhappily, that is not a high bar, nor is it the path to Gnat leadership, which is more a matter of ingratiating potential funders.

  6. marty mars 6

    The gnats must be worried about the lack of argument from them and offering a free floor for Chloe to talk into. That is poor politics and basic errors of judgment. That is not leadership material and the gnat (relative to other righties) bigbrains will have noted it with their crayons.

  7. Sacha 7

    Bennett was just protecting us viewers from an ugly fight, apparently:

    • Robert Guyton 7.1

      Bennett is using the language of war (taking shots).

      A debate doesn't have to be a battle. The best debates are not between warring factions but between people all seeking the best possible solution to an issue.

      • Sacha 7.1.1

        Yeah I doubt she knows what that even looks like.

        • Robert Guyton 7.1.1.1

          It's a tragedy really. Debating well is something we should model here on The Standard; our behaviour might rub off onto the elected representatives who covertly read this blogsmiley

          • Wensleydale 7.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, but we don't debate well here on TS a lot of the time. It's more competitive slanging matches until a moderator slaps both participants and tells them to sort themselves out or bog off.

    • Incognito 7.2

      Nice framing by PB. First and foremost, they would appear on the show representing their respective parties, explaining (repeating) the party lines, as the parties’ spokespersons. This is not personal at all. In fact, their personal opinions should not even come into it!

  8. One Two 8

    Leaving aside the banality of keeping scores…

    PB would be out flanked comfortably by most commentators on this site in a debate…

    • Robert Guyton 8.1

      I don't agree, One Two; Paula's pretty smart and quick in the moment. She's playing a role that requires her to behave as if she's less astute. Don't underestimate her, I reckon. She's going to be stepping into the leadership shoes sooner or latersmiley

      • One Two 8.1.1

        Fair enough, Robert. No question PB is devious and shows cunning…

        I wouldn’t view such traits as resembling any genuine intelligence…emotional or otherwise…

        Not to be trusted, that is without doubt…proven over the duration…

        Of interest to me is what drives such types to plunder on…she has backers that much I am aware of…

        What the backers have over her which is keeping the relentless drive going is up for debate…

        If PB does become a party leader…it would expose her in ways that will likely do her more harm…

        Perhaps the Simon experiment is about setting the bar so low that even PB wouldn't appear out of place as leader..

      • Psycho Milt 8.1.2

        She's playing a role that requires her to behave as if she's less astute.

        Yes. She'll be well aware of what a weak hand she's been dealt by her party to play with, and a debate with Swarbrick would soon make everyone else aware of it. The pitch she has to make to National's conservative supporters is too irrational to stand up to debate – best to let discretion be the better part of valour and stick to releasing carefully-crafted sound bites.

      • patricia bremner 8.1.3

        Robert, PB was and is very friendly with Bill English and his wife. She must have known what was going on with the taping story. Hence I view her as devious.

  9. That_guy 9

    I've got a lot of respect for Ms Swarbrick, and I am just so pleased that she's the one dealing with this issue.

    That said, I really hope that people don't push the idea that she's winning all these debates because she's some kind of silver-tongued savant who can turn bullshit into chocolate. I mean, she is an excellent debater, but she's winning mostly because she does her homework and because she has the facts and evidence on her side.

  10. Paula Bennett…"Don’t think at this stage it needs politicians taking shots at each other" that right there say's it all about Bennett, of course she wouldn't understand that debating is about out performing your opponent with better constructed arguments and information, not 'taking shots at them'…what a dummy.

    • Sacha 10.1

      She is deliberately trying to position Swarbrick as an aggressor for the sake of it rather than a reasoned advocate.

      • Robert Guyton 10.1.1

        Yes.

      • marty mars 10.1.2

        she'll be the victim soon…

        • Sacha 10.1.2.1

          The coiffed matrons of the party will see that vile upstart challenging her mana, and they will donate handsomely.

      • That_guy 10.1.3

        Definitely that's part of it. I'd go further and say that she's doing absolutely everything she can in all areas except debating the facts, because she's well aware that won't work. Personalising the debate, constantly claiming that there's uncertainty where none exists, citing debunked studies, pulling at heart-strings by talking about kids, playing the fear card. It's all there. Comments like this:

        "It scares me and it should. I've got kids I don't want people dating people who are addicted."

        It's not a coincidence that the words "scares" and "kids" and "addiction" are being dropped. She's going for the parents of kids with the "we just don't know, so why take the risk" argument, and she can't do that with Chloe constantly in her face pointing out the evidence.

        • Incognito 10.1.3.1

          "It scares me and it should. I've got kids I don't want people dating people who are addicted."

          Again, nice framing by PB. Not all addictions are equal and not all drugs are equally addictive. Of course, PB is trying to conjure horrible mental images of the worst-case scenario, e.g. of emaciated mothers who not only neglect themselves but also their children.

      • National and reasoned debate is a oxymoron.

  11. That_guy 11

    I have to wonder if there's anyone in the National Party thinking "maybe we should cut our losses here and support the legislation, because we're going to lose from the outside so we may as well try to influence from the inside".

    If such a person exists, it's not PB though.

  12. Gabby 12

    Pulla doesn't want anyone taking 'pot' shots at her. The past is the past, she's moved on, she's full of morals n shit now.

  13. ianmac 13

    We used to believe that Politics attracted just B class intellectuals. The arrival and rise of A class brains like Jacinda and Chloe make those other Bs just look clumsy.

  14. gsays 14

    How did PB become the voice for opposing reform of the laws?

    I wasn't aware of that position.

    Or is it just framed that way for a few clicks on this post?

    I also didn't think the Nats were stridently opposed to reform. The whole 'my rights', personal freedom thing.

    Surely it is only a small part of the Nats constituency that is agin the electric puha (a constituency shared with NZ 1st).

    • That_guy 14.1

      The problem is that in the very first appearance as spokesperson on this issue, the very first thing she did was to play the fear card by quoting a debunked study, while simultaneously choosing to not reference all the other non-debunked studies.

      A reasonable person would conclude that PB is prepared to ignore glaring errors in studies that suit her needs. This does not inspire confidence in her claims to be a good-faith participant in the process.

      At this point it seems like almost reflexive muscle-memory opposition to change. There just does not seem to be a lot of thought behind it.

      I don't agree that it's only a small part of the Nats constituency that is opposed to legal weed. It's the people who've been raised on reefer madness hysteria for most of their lives. I think it's the majority of Nat supporters. Maybe not an overwhelming majority.

      • woodart 14.1.1

        you may be surprised at the number of old white nat voters who like a good cone. they are usually the quiet ones at the back……

        • That_guy 14.1.1.1

          You might be right. Doesn't mean they'll vote for drug law reform. They might be of the "ok for me, but not for thee" crowd. Humans are mental gymnasts like that.

    • Sacha 14.2

      "How did PB become the voice"

      An interesting question for the Nat party decision-makers indeed.

      • Graeme 14.2.1

        "How did PB become the voice"

        Hospital pass form another leadership aspirant?

    • Kevin 14.3

      How did PB become the voice for opposing reform of the laws?

      Quick game of Ink Pink You Stink?

  15. woodart 15

    bennets ship has sailed. . westie solo mother is so 1990s. didnt they do a tv series about her way back last century?.she is desperately trying to reinvent herself, but madonna she aint!

  16. coge 16

    There isn't any need to debate this. The Greens themselves won't get it over the line.

  17. Mark 17

    Actually I was about the slag off Swarbrick and defend Bennett.

    Drugs are friggin evil.

    However I decided to watch the vid, hahahaha, and I'm impressed!

    This Swarbrick is 10 x smarter than Princess J

    A grasp on the details that Princess J lacks. Also the same earnestness as Princess J, but with real sincerity.

    Great she acknowledges the harm of cannabis.

  18. Ken 18

    Bennett is a disgrace.

  19. Hanswurst 19

    It was a good showing by Swarbrick, with two significant issues:

    1. The answers she gave around impairment and safety were probably more likely to increase rather than decrease any concerns sceptics of the reform in the electorate might have on those fronts.

    2. She said "exasturbate".

    • Yes, "exasturbate" was pretty funny. I think it describes the situation where your actions are making your porn addiction worse. To be fair, that was a high pressure situation and I'd be pushed not to look like a possum in the headlights if it had been me in the chair, let alone get all my words straight.

      I don't believe there is any answer to the questions of driving/workplace impairment that would satisfy critics. We don't have a test for cannabis impairment now, and we won't have after legalisation either. I don't see how that's an argument against legalisation, but some people seem to see it as a compelling one.

      • Hanswurst 19.1.1

        I don't believe there is any answer to the questions of driving/workplace impairment that would satisfy critics.

        Certainly not all of them. Instinctively, I would probably have gone with the same method as she did (especially in an interview situation where one doesn't know exactly what questions might come when), beginning by front-footing the points like impairment testing where criticism might be most obvious, in order to show that all issues had been considered. Listening to it, however, I felt that that didn't come across so well, and that she might have been better off concentrating almost solely on the argument that harm is better minimised by regulating a legal market than by chasing down a constantly evolving black market, while perhaps acknowledging the testing issue as a footnote.

        I don't really have a good argument, either, but I would hope that Swarbrick is working hard at trying to formulate one. The issue is, I think, that there may be a certain number of conservatively leaning people who could be persuaded to support reform if they felt it would be safe, but who, being conservatives, naturally react to any uncertainties, even if significantly outweighed by the advantages, by voting to keep things as they are. The conservatively minded are, I think, also more likely to have their views coloured by what they perceive as being mainstream opinion, so I think that, win or lose, it is important to get as many people on board as possible, to enhance the perception across the political spectrum that reform around the availability of drugs is an idea that the electorate takes seriously.

  20. mosa 20

    Considering we are paying her enormous salary and perks i would expect her to front any debate and relish the opportunity to do so.
    The people of the Upper Harbour electorate would expect their MP to debate i am sure.
    The fact is that unless a Nat MP can appear in the safety of a National propaganda forum ( that is just about all of them ) where they aren’t really pushed that hard or don’t agree with the questions being asked then you won’t see them appear.
    Sound bites are where she performs at her best.
    Considering we are paying her enormous salary and perks i would expect her to front any debate and relish the opportunity to do so.
    The people of the Upper Harbour electorate would expect their MP to debate i am sure.
    The fact is that unless a Nat MP can appear in the safety of a National propaganda forum ( that is just about all of them ) where they aren’t really pushed that hard or don’t agree with the questions being asked then you won’t see them appear.
    Sound bites are where she performs at her best.

  21. Sacha 21

    Recall that Bennett said she would only serve on the cross-party cannabis law committee if it's headed by a senior MP, not that youngster Chlöe Swarbrick: https://thestandard.org.nz/swarbrick-1-bennett-0/

    But now her refusal to debate the govt's lead person on this policy is nothing to do with status, honest:

    I have to agree she would have added no useful information to the show in question.

  22. Dennis Frank 22

    I gather Ben Thomas is some kind of rightist. Unusual to see him publish a critique of her then. "Q+A was the second time Bennett has refused a debate on her portfolio in as many weeks (she also declined to appear on The Project opposite Swarbrick). In total, that’s an audience of around 180,000 potential voters that National’s spokesperson and deputy leader failed to turn up for."

  23. infused 23

    Chloe makes Golriz look like an idiot.

    Seriously, if you watch twitter, you will see Golriz praise Chole constantly and Chole never responds. It's funny af.

    • Muttonbird 23.1

      It's lovely how you trivialise these women by using their first names, and their first names only (and you can’t even get that right).

      Perhaps it's because you can't spell Ghahraman. Perhaps you don't rate brown people. Like Paula Bennett, perhaps you think young women shouldn't be making decisions for us.

      I'm picking all of the above and more!

      • infused 23.1.1

        because im on a phone you dipshit.

        • Muttonbird 23.1.1.1

          Only a bad tradesman blames his tools.

          You look like an idiot on a phone by the way. Just look at your last two comments, ffs.

          I'd stop if I were you.

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