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The definition of irony

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 am, June 20th, 2008 - 45 comments
Categories: john key - Tags: , ,

When a band who sued after their work was famously plagiarised by a certain leader of the National Party is themselves sued for plagiarism. All it needs now is for National to sue the guy suing Coldplay and they’ll have completed the circle.

[Creaky Boards’ song vs Coldplay’s] [John Key DVD soundtrack vs ‘Clocks’]

45 comments on “The definition of irony ”

  1. The Herald seems to have missed the irony, though. Funny that.

  2. vto 2

    Completely off topic but dunno where to post it…

    Two items in the media today and yesterday caught my attention as subjects I rant about on here sometimes.

    Firstly, Winston Peters comments re “lazy peacock-strutting” pacific island men. A common subject of mine relates to this – will he get away with it or will he be labelled racist? And how would the answer to that question alter if the same utterances had come from, say, Gerry Brownlee or, um, John Key?

    It will help to illustrate the issue of what races are allowed to comment on other races. In this racist world. Touchy subject eh, but gotta be brave and stand up for what you believe is right.

    Secondly, Cullen comes out saying ‘it appears the economy shrunk earlier this year’. This illustrates a matter I have thought for years – namely that those in Wgtn are always a few months behind the 8-ball as to what is going on in the rest of NZ. It was crystal clear to those in business in the first few months of this year that the economy had effectively simply stopped. (not a dig at wgtn, just an observation)

    Which is unfortunate, because so many people get harmed financially when times like this strike. And this downturn imo is one of the best examples of ‘perception becoming reality’ that I have ever seen. Or, put another common way, one of the best self-fulfilling prophecies ever.

    2c

  3. A thought on the completing the circle of plaguiarism… would this constitute a ‘menage de twits’?

    On vto’s attempt to debate other issues, have the standardistas thought about open debate threads?

    That said, I’m not sure that you have represented Peters’ remarks accurately, vto

    The captcha suffered Mayor reminds me that I would like to express my best wishes to Len Brown for his recovery.

  4. lprent 4

    vto: lagging – the problem is the lag in reporting of statistics and taxes. When the minister of finance or reserve bank or stats department report they are working off consolidated data from businesses. It is always months late.

    Businesses have sales people with feelers out into their customer base. They can look at their accounts receivable – the usual key indicator is slower payments. They have much faster notifications about what is happening in their business and their customers. But it is a limited viewpoint.

    I’m afraid I’d hate the government policy to work off rumor. Different business sectors have different cycles. For instance where I’m working it is pretty good at present, but our next door business is having problems.

    I’m happy for policy to be made on consolidated stats, even if they are late. Economies do not turn fast. Also I hate chicken little thinking – panic always causes lousy results.

  5. r0b 5

    Completely off topic but dunno where to post it

    Interesting comment from you vto – good stuff.

    Two items in the media today and yesterday caught my attention as subjects I rant about on here sometimes.

    Two items caught my attention too – both cyclists getting killed. Be careful out there people. But on to your comments vto.

    Firstly, Winston Peters comments re “lazy peacock-strutting’ pacific island men. A common subject of mine relates to this – will he get away with it or will he be labelled racist?

    Winston Peters is a racist who makes racist comments. This is one of them in a mild way I guess, though the factual content of the claim that women to almost all of the domestic work in the PI community is arguably true.

    Secondly, Cullen comes out saying ‘it appears the economy shrunk earlier this year’. This illustrates a matter I have thought for years – namely that those in Wgtn are always a few months behind the 8-ball as to what is going on in the rest of NZ. It was crystal clear to those in business in the first few months of this year that the economy had effectively simply stopped. (not a dig at wgtn, just an observation)

    Not so sure about this one though. Everyone in business has a finger on the pulse of their business and related, but not necessarily an overview of the big picture – how other parts of the economy are performing. Wellington does get that. But it’s not an exact science! Treasury forecasts are ludicrously wrong some times. This stuff is hard.

    ‘perception becoming reality’ that I have ever seen. Or, put another common way, one of the best self-fulfilling prophecies ever.

    Yes, interesting effect that. Which is why some people get concerned about the distribution of the ownership of mass media in this country. When you can create your own perception you can create your own reality. I think there’s a fair bit of this going about just now…

  6. Phil 6

    Adding to Lynn’s comments; GDP data is not, in and of itself, “collected” through Stats NZ. It’s actually another aggregation of other data collections from enterprise surveys, administrative databases, prices, employment data, merchandise trade data, investment data, so on and so forth.

    The National Accountant boffins have to wait for everything else to be finalised before they can bring it all together. It’s a long and time consuming process that is totally underrated by the eventual users of the finished product.

  7. vto 7

    Iprent and Phil, of course. By its very nature reporting of stats and trends must follow the events themselves. And it would be foolish of Cullen to comment before being certain of these measurements and stats -imagine if he passed comment based on what I or others ‘see’ in business, and then it turned out to be not quite right or not the full story. Wouldn’t be a good look for him. It’s just an observation of mine.

    But an observation that seems to hold true for politics as well. Clark seems to have missed the lay of the land a few times over the last year or so. That may be due to other things too tho.

    But the one that truly interests me is the Peters “lazy peacock-strutting” pacific island men. rOb, you see it as a mildly racist comment. How is that?

    It seems today that generalisations are banned. Nobody is allowed to generalise about any group of people. I struggle with that, as generalisations (which are by their nature not the entire picture) have been a coping mechanism of life on planet earth since day dot – example, an antelope will generalise about a lion. A group of women and children will generalise about an approaching group of young men.

    Generalising can be dangerous and lead to racism etc. Or rather, be a convenient excuse to act in a racist or other abusive manner. It is a fine line, but I don’t see the problem in what Peters said, if he believes it to be true. What gets to me is the automatic accusation that he is racist merely because of the race of the subject matter. Like the academic who recently got pilloried for similar statements about pacific islanders.

    Just feeling things out and testing my brain waves…

  8. T-rex 8

    What gets to me is the automatic accusation that he is racist merely because of the race of the subject matter.

    The problem is that it IS racist vto. Being factually correct doesn’t change it.

    “Racist” tends to get thrown around as a generic label equivalent to “bad person”, people forget what it means, and why it’s bad.

    Peters is probably right, but not useful. It is racist, and is bad, despite being technically correct. All it does is tar any pacific island men who AREN’T strutting around like peacocks with the brush of prejudice. It is divisive.

    All targeted policy comes out of generalisations about a particular demographic. The issue is how you present it.

    You’ll notice the Maori party doesn’t generally get up in arms when someone says “Whanau is important to Maori, and provides mutual care and support within the wider family”. That is a completely racist statement. However it’s not particularly racially discriminatory, which is the issue people should actually be worrying about when it appears.

    I’m waffling a bit here because I haven’t bothered to structure this.

    I think the general rule should be:

    “If you identify an underperforming (in whatever way) sector of society, then deliver targeted support in a way that doesn’t devalue their perceived contribution. Otherwise you’re just kicking people who are already (on average) down”.

    I dunno actually.

    How do you modify behaviour without making people feel harassed? You don’t. Cost of life.
    You don’t have to be a name-calling asshole about it though, which is what Peters is doing. I’ve got no problem with the approach when dealing with specific cases, but it pisses me right off when used on generalisations.

  9. Man… only you could pass this off as news. Slow day huh?

    And seriously screw cyclists. They act like they want to be killed. Riding over bridges right on the road, always on the road. I will hit one some day. Not on purpose either. They seem to be idiots. Big generalisation here, but I drive 700km a week so I get my fair share close calls.

    Speaking of which, I’ve crashed 3 times. All caused by other people

  10. Lew 10

    infused: Frivolous Friday.

    L

  11. higherstandard 12

    r0b

    I don’t think Winston is really a racist – he merely says things that are or may be viewed as racist for political gain, with his asian bashing not gaining any great support he’s now off on another tangent to see if it attracts any attention. Let’s face facts the man has no shame and will try to hold onto power by whatever means necessary.

    Re Cyclists – agree completely – I seem to recall when I was riding in Europe that many of the countries there have very strict laws regarding the respect motor vehicles have to show to cyclists – perhaps we need something similar in NZ ?

    Infused …… Damn your eyes Sir !!

  12. r0b 13

    vto: But the one that truly interests me is the Peters “lazy peacock-strutting’ pacific island men. rOb, you see it as a mildly racist comment. How is that? It seems today that generalisations are banned. Nobody is allowed to generalise about any group of people.

    I don’t have time for a properly considered reply vto. Short form; yes we all do and must generalise. Generalisations are not in and of themselves racist (I stated one above). Extreme racism is overt attacks (and it often gets the facts wrong). Mild racism is harder to recognise, it states generalisations of varying truthiness, but like humour it is all in the delivery, and like pornography most of us know it when we see it.

    but I don’t see the problem in what Peters said, if he believes it to be true. What gets to me is the automatic accusation that he is racist merely because of the race of the subject matter.

    Context, history, delivery. Sorry I’m in a rush.

    Just feeling things out and testing my brain waves

    Good on ya.

  13. r0b 14

    And seriously screw cyclists. They act like they want to be killed.

    Up yours.

    (I’m a much more militant cyclist than socialist!)

  14. Of course Peters is being racist. The comments disparage Polynesian culture. They are designed to provoke rather than contribute to measured and informed discussion, as is blindingly obvious from the language used and the forum in which the comments were made.

    Nor does being Maori himself let him off the hook on that score.

  15. T-rex 16

    Hot question – Is it racist (or unreasonable) to say “Traditional polynesian culture, if applied in the NZ social and economic environment, involves an unfair division of responsibility and effort between Men and Women. This unfair division is inappropriate in NZ culture, and should not be endorsed or even tolerated.”.

    I’d argue no. It is not racist as it discriminates against a social philosophy (and hence only those who hold said philosophy are labelled), NOT a race in general.

  16. vto 17

    T-rex, that is what I am getting at. I dont think his comment is racist, just as the exact example statement you use was not at the time considered racist when it was applied to euro/nz culture in breaking down similarly ‘unfair divisions’ here in the past.

    As you say, it is a statement about a culture, or a particular social philosophy. Which just happens to be in a different race. There would be no problem with Peters’ statement if it concerned one segment of euro/nz culture today (eg lazy preening males within euro/nz).

    Where it gets confused imo is that such statements can be used as an excuse to download some racist beliefs. As I said before it is a fine and diffult line to draw.

    And this confusion point allows people to also accuse people of racism when in fact they are not.

    It all stifles debate and the ability for any culture to adapt, grow and change if people are too scared to point out flaws in another culture for fear of being incorrectly labelled a racist.

  17. vto 18

    Hey, nobody has offered an answer to my question – how different would the reaction to Peters’ statement have been if it had been made by Brownlee or Key instead?

  18. Phil 19

    “(I’m a much more militant cyclist than socialist!)”

    Note to self – if you’re going to try and kill r0b, make sure you do it properly first time…

    Keep looking over your shoulder dude. Once we automoblists rid the world of mopeds (which in sanskrit translates as “too shit to go on the motorway”) cycles are next

    =P

  19. J Mex 20

    The Creaky Boards song is better!

  20. mondograss 21

    To talk to vto’s other point about Cullens comment. Wasn’t he derided by Key for earlier this year saying a technical recession was possible? And yet what are we seeing….?

  21. Tane 22

    vto, I expect Peters is ignored because it’s expected from him – we all know he uses race to drum up support from racists, and we’ve all condemned him for it. There’s nothing new to add.

    If Key or Brownlee said it they’d be completely off-message and harming the brand they’re trying to sell the public, not to mention in more of a position to cause harm. That would be worth commenting on.

  22. vto 23

    true tane true

  23. Matthew Pilott 24

    Phil, once we militant cyclists / oil speculators make petrol too expensive we will rule the streets!

    vto, intersting thoughts. I interpret the Cullen one differently, and part of it is based upon what you said.

    You mentioned a self-fulfilling prophesy. I imagine Cullen, for economic reasons, and no doubt a dash of political expediency, didn’t wish to say that there would be a recession several months.

    I think you’ve mistaken that for not knowing there was going to be a recession. The way to clear this up would be to look at the man’s actions – has he acted as a Finance Minister of a buoyant economy, or one that is trending downwards. I’d say it’s the latter.

    So I disagree that moments like this hurt people, as you suggested, words and actions being very different things.

  24. vto 25

    true mr pilott re Cullens commenting.

    Re hurting people I was referring to the downturn, not any actions or words of Cullens.

  25. r0b 26

    Note to self – if you’re going to try and kill r0b, make sure you do it properly first time

    Well I’m flattered!

    Keep looking over your shoulder dude. Once we automoblists rid the world of mopeds (which in sanskrit translates as “too shit to go on the motorway’) cycles are next

    Here’s a prediction for you Phil. In about 30 years time the only fossil fuel powered vehicles in NZ will be in museums. But cycles will be everywhere.

  26. T-rex 27

    re: future of cycling – I want one of these with a crash cage and a beefed up engine. http://www.aerorider.com

  27. vto 28

    rOb, here’s a prediction for 30 years. Fossil fuel cars will certainly be in the museum. But cars powered by something else will be exponentially greater in number than today. And smaller and lighter and ridiculously efficient. (I like silver linings). And cyclists will still be shaking their fists at carz.

  28. T-rex 29

    vto – check out my link. Best of both worlds.

  29. vto 30

    mm interesting. They will need power to carry me and my mates at least 300km with boards and gear for a day at the beach. Good start though.

  30. Matthew Pilott 31

    vto – read Paul Roberts’ The End of Oil. I implore you. I’ll even lend it to you!

    Hydrogen Fuel Cells are it.

    My Happy Little World has centralised renewables (I.e. NZ’s hydro/geo/wind/Tidal Stream) generating electricity purely for electrolysis. The resulting hydrogen is distributed throughout the land and fed to community-based fuel cells which generate electricity, thus eliminating the national grid and transmission losses. Hydrogen is also sent to fuel stations to power cars’ fuel cells (sorry r0b).

    It could happen in this lifetime, but certain companies have a vested interest in wringing the most out of the fossil fuel industry – Roberts’ said the investment in said industry topped a trillion easily. Maybe several trillion, can’t quite remember. Big number, that. $1,000,000,000,000. So they’re not really looking Beyond Petroleum (there’s a sick f’n joke if ever), I’m afraid.

  31. zANavAShi 32

    Lew: Frivolous Friday.

    Hehehe my thoughts exactly (you sodding thought thief you) 😛

    If only I had three brains to keep up with the three threads here today that are keeping me in hysterics 😀

    Z

  32. T-rex 33

    Matt – I’m replenished enough to respond now.

    Hydrogen fuel cells aren’t really it. Maybe a good solution for portable power, and possibly a not-so-good solution for load levelling (they’re expensive and not amazingly efficient), but a terrible solution for base load power from base load sources.

    Why would you convert electricity to hydrogen, then ship the hydrogen, then put the hydrogen into storage, then convert it back to electricity? It’s infrastructurally intensive and grossly inefficient and horrible expensive.

    Transmission losses aren’t bad at all, and modern transmission systems make them even less. Even with existing tech, they’re still far less than even a single stage of the hydrogen power cycle you describe.

    My money is still on batteries (or ultra caps) for cars.

    The hydrocarbon industry is going to fade away despite the money tied up in it.

    Though I just bought a couple of thousand bucks worth of Babcock Brown Power shares, so hopefully its twilight years last a wee while. Lights have to stay on in the meantime 🙂

  33. zANavAShi 34

    Matthew (deviating from my Friday frivolity for a moment to add a serious contribution) I don’t think it is well known, but there has actually been a lot of research on cheap hydrogen generation by oil companies but their interest is not for fuel purposes but to enrich crappy-grade oils (same theory as saturating crappy-grade cooking oil with hydrogen atoms to make faux-butter) and extend their monopoly over world energy as far as possible beyond the natural conclusion of peak oil.

    Personally, I think we should be looking way beyond the technology of the combustion engine cos it’s ’19th century technology which hit the peak of it’s evolution about the same time as the peak oil was predicted. But if we must persist, then am only in favour of decentralised generation of hydrogen for fuel purposes – smaller scale closer production to the source of use.

    (reverting to frivolity again)Centralised hydrogen generation… Hindenburg flashbacks anyone? (((eeeeeeeeek!)))

    Cheers
    Z

    PS: Screw cycles I wanna pony! 😛

  34. Lew 35

    r0b: “Here’s a prediction for you Phil. In about 30 years time the only fossil fuel powered vehicles in NZ will be in museums. But cycles will be everywhere.”

    Ok, in the grand tradition of booze wagers*, I reckon this is a call big enough for me to bet a case of the customary beverage of 2038 on. R0b, I’ll buy if so, you buy if not – and the onus is on the loser to track the winner down, out of a sense of civic honour.

    * (I already have a case of beer against Monty on the 2008 election, but as yet he’s not had the balls to agree to it.)

    L

  35. r0b 36

    Sure thing Lew, I like a wager as much as the next punter. Though my odds of being here in 30 years to resolve the wager are not that flash, especially if I keep cycling.

  36. T-rex 37

    I’d missed that rant you linked to Lew. I agree. Labour couldn’t market itself out of a wet paper bag – I think your points are pretty consistent with what ‘Sod was saying the other day on Brand Key?

    Probably people like us should spend less time here, and more time coming up with clever publicity. Did you see that “budget 2008” thing? Could it have been any more crap?

    I agree that so long as democracy is one-person-one-vote rather than one-dollar-one-vote the left has no excuse for losing an election. They are just so godawful at conveying their message. To be fair they’re trying to manage the country, while National isn’t even coming up with decent plans for how they would hypothetically manage it, but still…

    To clarify re: the EFA… if I do volunteer activism in support of labour, do they have to count it as a funded activity at some equivalent rate?

    Ha! Steve! Captcha was “reject Notion” – Right on captcha!

  37. Lew 38

    T-rex: Yes, the rant was along much the same sort of lines as Brand Key, but was before and more off-the-cuff than Sod’s uncharacteristically excellent post.

    Yes, the opposition always has the advantage of not having to actually run the country, allowing it to focus on a campaign, but that’s not as strong as the incumbent advantage of actually having your policy make real differences to the lives of voters.

    Another rant I did a couple of days ago centred on how the government (and Labour in particular) seems to think that it (rather than the media) has the ability to promulgate messages to the electorate, which has resulted in a degree of media hostility which doesn’t come down to the structural biases most people complain about, but simple business practice on the part of commercial media operators. In a nutshell, I think the government should be taking a more symbolic, branded approach to their policy and image; they should be making their messages much, much more media-friendly; and they should start to take back some of the terminology which has been turned against them, re-legitimising the business of government which has been successfully been cast as waste or nanny-statism or crony socialism.

    But I’m already too busy to be volunteering my time for this, and I’m also not labouring under any delusions that I’m a greater expert than, say, Simon Pleasants or any of the folk whose actual careers are based in working this stuff through.

    L

  38. Sod’s uncharacteristically excellent post.

    Could you have made that praise any more faint?

  39. T-rex 40

    “and I’m also not labouring under any delusions that I’m a greater expert than”

    Maybe that’s the difference. I’m HELL arrogant, I’m sure I could do better than what’s being done now. But the other half of me thinks that the strategists on the left are simply biding their time, and National is going to get king hit in about 6 weeks. That’s what I’d do.

    I might put some effort into it though. Viral marketing through humour has hugely empowered the loner+computer. Generally I’d rather go mountainbiking, but I don’t want some pro-big-industry-polluter-social-destruction-morons f*cking up my mountainbiking in 20 years time so some investment is possibly justified.

    Cheer up Sod, I thought it was great.

  40. zANavAShi 41

    T-rex says June 21, 2008 at 8:15 am: “…I agree. Labour couldn’t market itself out of a wet paper bag…”

    Actually, I disagree. And I have historically been a very strong supporter of Helen and Co’s branded image.

    Going on the impressions I get from overseas friends who frequently gush comments like “OMG your prime minister is amazing, I saw her canoeing in a documentary on our travel network last week” and “Wow you guys are so lucky to have a leader who’s setting an example to the world about global warming” and “How cool that you guys have a woman leader with the balls to not blindly follow the US/UK into war” I dare to suggest that Helen has done an impeccably fine job of stamping her “brand”…. on the global political landscape.

    If only her image consultant peeps would put the same sodding effort into giving a shit about how the NZ people she is supposed to be accountable to – peeps who are not entranced by the glamorous tourist shots of her walking the Milford track, or oblivious to the way she is backing down to big business in an election year over what really needs to be done to achieve a serious global warming action plan – perceive her.

    I remember feeling really pissed off when I saw her interview on BBC HardTalk earlier this year. It was a great interview and Helen presented herself well, which I initially gave full credit for to the top class BBC interviewer (as I muttered my usual mantra about how bad the NZ media sucks – which it does, to be sure) and it wasn’t till later that the underlying cause of my annoyance became apparent…

    Helen (or her marketing peeps, or both) seem to care more about cultivating the way she looks on the international stage than she does to those of us who elected her. And if their strategists think they can pull a rabbit out of the hat closer to the election on this I think they are sadly mistaken.

    My (uneducated) guess is that they are banking on getting a boost in the same way they did with Brash at the last elections… that Key is gonna make a really REALLY big tory fuk’up.

    Just my 2 cents (and I wouldn’t wager any more than that either hehe) 😉

    Cheers,
    Z

  41. T-rex 42

    So to summarise – Helen/Labour to a good job of representing NZ to the world (which is part of their job as a govt), but a lousy job of representing themselves to NZ (which is part of their job if they want to stay a govt).

    Overseas friends don’t vote in our elections.

    Labour need to work on how they sell themselves here. Most of the people I know (who aren’t unkind or selfish people) are pissed off about paying tax to dole bludgers, the increase in perceived crime, the power crisis and (most of all) that Clark/Labour are so unapologetic about all of the above.

    Now, those who do some research realise that ALL of the above are complete non-issues. Tax to bludgers is trivial, I imagine we could cut the entire benefits scheme and get f*ck all in the hand from it… ignoring the fact that bludgers is more a fantasy than a reality and no one really denies the necessity for a safety net (unless they’re really stupid, like Bryan). Crime is being addressed in the best ways we know how. The ‘power crisis’ is a myth, and in as much as it’s real it’s certainly no fault of the govts!

    People dislike Labour because they’ve been tricked, and they’ve been tricked because (to date) Labour have been trying to fight back in the wrong way.

    I doubt anyone who went and saw Cullen at drinking liberally the other week could criticise either their ethics or their successes. Why don’t they find a way to get that image into the public eye? As far as I can tell, they’re not. I know a huge number of people who are on seriously low incomes and think they’ll be better off under National!!! AS IF!!!

  42. zANavAShi 43

    And a very fine summary it was too T (can’t call you Rex anymore cos I notice there’s another Rex here hehe). Just wanna add two things from my own personal perspective:

    Firstly, I come from a family that has supported Labour for generations – since there was a Labour party – (my dear ole gramps was a personal friend of Big Norms since childhood even and those are the days we remember most fondly) so I dunno that I’ll ever get to the point where I will “dislike” them… but I have certainly become disillusioned.

    What I dislike is that I feel tricked that in voting for Labour (as a leftwing party) we got a centrist party – in the very same way which I dislike the Nats whom if we voted for them as a centrist party we know it’s gonna be way right of what we thought we were signing up for.

    I dislike that rightward creep that seems to have happened in worldwide politics since 911 (or maybe it was happening before then, but I’m no historian…) which reminds me of the way the fashion industry fudges dress sizes today – where what was on the rack in the 1960’s as a “size 16” now sits on the rack labelled as a “size 12” cos they don’t want the public to be horrified by them for providing an accurate measure of how fat the population at large has become.

    And secondly I wanted to add that I think Helen markets more than just NZ internationally, I have the distinct sense that she uses the global popularity of the NZ brand to boost her own personal profile – and in a way that reminds me of how Hillary Clinton has groomed her own personal brand since she decided to make a run for the US presidency. I heard somewhere Helen was looking at some high-ranking UN position when she finally retires from NZ politics, so this would make sense I guess.

    On the other hand tho (and to echo the comment you made about Cullen au naturelle as he appeared at drinking liberally) maybe the image we see of Helen on the international stage is closer to who she really is (in her own kinda au naturelle political ideals self). The small part of me that hasn’t succumbed to disillusionment yet hopes this is the case – cos I really miss that Helen. The Helen who would not bow down to pressure and apologise for a comment about the Iraq war not happening if Gore had won – how many of you can honestly say you weren’t thinking the exact same thing, yes?

    Yikes I just realised how off topic I’ve been aiding this thread to travel, so I think that means it’s time for me to STFU now hehehe 😀

    You are (mostly LOL) a damned good read tho T-Rex. Cheers!

  43. Lew 44

    Sod:

    No, I genuinely thought it was a worthy and insightful post, and quite different from your usual matter, hence `uncharacteristically’ 🙂

    Z/T:
    `the other half of me thinks that the strategists on the left are simply biding their time, and National is going to get king hit in about 6 weeks. That’s what I’d do.’

    It’s not what I’d do, but I do hope so.

    `Most of the people I know (who aren’t unkind or selfish people) are pissed off about paying tax to dole bludgers, the increase in perceived crime, the power crisis and (most of all) that Clark/Labour are so unapologetic about all of the above.’

    My italics above show the important bit for me – this is what my point about re-legitimising governance and social democratic ideals is about. The Nats and others have succeeded in changing `safety net’ in the minds of voters to `kiwis paying tax to dole bludgers’, and other issues are similarly maldefined. The government aren’t apologetic because they should not be apologetic, but until they are able to control those terminology heights people will always think they should be.

    `So to summarise – Helen/Labour to a good job of representing NZ to the world (which is part of their job as a govt), but a lousy job of representing themselves to NZ (which is part of their job if they want to stay a govt).’

    Quite right. Nobody ever built a better country from opposition.

    `I know a huge number of people who are on seriously low incomes and think they’ll be better off under National!!! AS IF!!!’

    Yeah, but if we presume at least some rationality, people hold this belief for one of two general reasons: 1. they’re right (which I reject); or 2. they haven’t been convinced otherwise. A would-be government’s job is in the first place to convince the electorate that its vision will improve things, and then to implement that vision and actually improve things. Clark’s government did the first very well in 1999 but has singularly failed to do it since; in my opinion they’ve done an exception job at the second all the way through, but it looks like they’ll not get the chance to continue it because of the failure to do the first consistently throughout.

    L

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