The Greens’ attack ad

Written By: - Date published: 8:58 am, July 25th, 2019 - 87 comments
Categories: boris johnson, Donald Trump, greens, internet, Media, national, Simon Bridges, twitter - Tags:

There has been some recent discussion about the Greens satirical ad about Simon Bridges from various sources including from Green members.  Radio New Zealand has the details:

I can understand the motivation of the ad creators.  Bridges is becoming something of a caricature.  Maybe it is intentional.  Maybe the right think that if it works for Donald Trump and Boris Johnson then a local variation may be the approach most likely to succeed.  And the best counter response may be ridicule, although Trump and Johnson have been targets for ridicule for years, seemingly without lasting damage caused.

I would hardly describe the ad as an attack ad.  And I would certainly not call it a sneer ad as Bryce Edwards has.  In fact he buys into right wing attack lines in a way that is really disturbing.  He says this:

The ad is an example of the global phenomenon of “sneer politics”, in which it’s fashionable for liberal elites to admonish and ridicule the ordinariness and ‘uncouth’ elements of political opponents.

It’s very fashionable in metropolitan and liberal circles to sneer at political leaders considered to be déclassé. The likes of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are ridiculed not just for their reactionary politics, but also for their rather vulgar or even “common” styles and personalities. We call them “clowns”.

Yet these political figures are often very successful for the very reason that they are sneered at. Condescension from liberal elites actually makes them more popular. Famously, when Hillary Clinton labelled Trump’s supporters “deplorables” it actually pushed many voters towards supporting the populist candidate for president.

Everywhere, such sneering has helped to widen the gap between liberal elites and the masses who feel belittled and patronised. In Britain, where Brexit voters have been painted as reactionaries and ignorant, the polarisation has simply become further entrenched.

For many ordinary voters, these “outsider” politicians are appreciated because they come across as down-to-earth. Certainly, such politicians attempt to accentuate or cultivate their ordinariness and “play the clown” on purpose. But regardless of the authenticity of these personas, it resonates widely with many voters who are increasingly distrustful of elites and traditional politicians.

He finishes off by saying this:

For the political left to take on their opponents more successfully, they need to get away from the current urge to denigrate their opponents – this has proved to be a dead-end everywhere. Instead the focus has to be on defeating their actual ideas, and on fostering a focus on progressive solutions to the issues of the day. Hence, in the US at the moment, the Democrat Party has mostly learned this lesson, with the likes of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez putting forward some big ideas rather than concentrating on criticising Trump. Such successful leaders are learning to be bold, rather than petty.

His framing is straight out of Crosby Textor land.  “Liberal elites” sneering at “ordinary people” is a neat inflection of what is actually happening, resource powerful elites fooling ordinary people into thinking that they will look after ordinary people’s interests and that progressives are the real enemies.

Edwards’ complete lack of class analysis is disturbing.  The real dividing line is not cultural, it is economic.

And guess what?  The Green Party has spent all of its life being principled and advancing ideas.  This ad is the only ad that I can ever think of where it “attacked” an opponent.  And the attack was pretty lame.

National’s continuous insidious distortions of the Government’s climate change policies deserved a robust response.  Their analysis is disingenuous in the extreme and one step short of misrepresentation.  Sometimes a rational response does not feel sufficient to counter cynical manipulation of people’s fears and prejudices.

By all means lets get to a debate of ideas.  But characterising the Greens as the bad guys and National as the innocent victims after dirty politics, Crosby Textor, Dancing Cossacks  among a whole lot of other things seems to be making a rather large mountain out of a particularly small mole hill.

87 comments on “The Greens’ attack ad”

  1. vto 1

    my 2c says good on the Greens…

    Any news headline is good for promotion, and I think the Greens should do it again. Get down in the gutter and exchange a couple of slugs with the Nats. Get a couple of headlines, get some Green names better known.

    Take a leaf out of Winston Bjeikle-Peters book… look at all the bull and crap headlines and scraps he has had over the years. Nowadays nobody will recall that bull, crap, or scraps, but they will know his name. The marketing from that bull crap and scraps has been invaluable,

    So to the Greens, get out there and into it again. And soon. Just stay away from the sneering or anything seen as arrogant.

    Get into them I say. Go for it. Do it again. Soon. Don’t wait.  

  2. Booker 2

    Yeah I just saw Bryce Edwards column too, and was left wondering why we have to endure such superficial “political commentators” in NZ. Completely agree with the assessment here that his language of liberal elites etc is pure Crosby Textor; seems more like an imported analysis from the US rather than any real home grown content.

    I’m a Greens voter and haven’t seen the ad (sadly, looks quite funny). Seems that the media are up to their usual behavior and trying to make a scandal out of anything to do with politics (and particularly the Green Party). The unspoken consensus seems to be that the Greens are the moral, high ground party, so can’t engage in attack ads, even when it’s taking the micky out of the opposition’s response to current policy being developed. If National do it on the other hand, we’ll it just politics and if you can’t handle it politics isn’t for you.

    Would be good to get some media commentary or reflection on why that is the accepted norm, but commentators like Bryce seem to be unable to engage in that kind of critical thinking.

  3. The great aggregator Bryce Edwards is a bit of a worry at times. Pot calling kettle black much? : 

    "…..in which it’s fashionable for liberal elites to admonish and ridicule the ordinariness and ‘uncouth’ elements of political opponents."

    Bryce Bryce Dear Boy….. it's not just the way people lampoon or ridicule linguistically or by way of comedy, but more importantly, also the way they behave towards one another.

    I suppose it keeps him on various MSM rent-a-voice goto lists though

    • woodart 3.1

      your last sentence nails it. anything that keeps a talking head in demand is fair play nowdays. 

  4. vto 4

    Gotta say too, the ad is very funny, made me laugh out loud…

  5. Stuart Munro. 5

    I think the best reason to pull the Bridges ad was that it wasn't particularly funny. It shouldn't have made it past drafting. There are many Gnats ripe for caricature, or overripe come to that, but such critiques need to be fresh and incisive if they are to have broad appeal.

    Disraeli once described the manner of Bishop Wilberforce as “unctuous, oleaginous, saponaceous.” And the good prelate was ever afterward known as Soapy Sam. For every man there is something in the vocabulary that would stick to him like a second skin. His enemies have only to find it. ~ Ambrose Bierce

  6. Robert Guyton 6

    Have you seen the Labour ad that highlights Bridges "principles" around climate change?

    That's elegantly done, using his own words and claims.

  7. Gosman 7

    Ummm… The Greens themselves pulled the ad so they must have thought the criticisim was justified.

    • Pete 7.1

      Or means the kerfuffle wasn't worth it. After all, anything someone might have wanted to gain from it might have been reached by the fuss.

      The big mistake the Greens made was putting up an effort which was easily derided as childish and petty. We expect, National supporters expect, strategies to be far more subtle, sophisticated and dirty than that. 

      Funny how the dirtmeisters and their flunkey supporters turn to cry babies so easily.

      • Gosman 7.1.1

        Who in the National party was complaining about the ad?

        • Enough is Enough 7.1.1.1

          Bridges himself laughed at it – making the comment that his attacks must be having an effect if the left is attacking him personally for his accent.

          • Psycho Milt 7.1.1.1.1

            I guess pretending the ad was about Bridges' accent allows right-wingers to ignore what it was actually about.

          • Gosman 7.1.1.1.2

            So he wasn't complaining about the ad at all. He was quite okay with it because it highlights the effectiveness of his attacks in his view.

            • Psycho Milt 7.1.1.1.2.1

              I expect he was about to go on-camera to say the ad made him very angry because it exposed National's disingenous approach to environmental policy, but a spin doctor collared him at the last moment. 

        • Peter 7.1.1.2

          Oh okay,  none of the those who got grizzly about it were in the National party. They were simply casual supporters, astute observers who have a sense of what is right and dignified for use in the political war.  People actually in the National party were busily chuckling about it all.  And my mum's playing first five for the All Blacks on Saturday.

    • Robert Guyton 7.2

      The Greens were supportive of the ad and it's purpose, until it was pointed out to them that it could be construed to be mocking Bridges' accent, something they hadn't intended.  Consequently, they pulled it. Responsible behaviour, that. 

      • gsays 7.2.1

        While I agree with you and applaud the pulling of the ad, I question that it needed to be pointed out that it had a mocking tone.

  8. Fireblade 8

    I thought it was an accurate representation of Simon and a good suggestion for his new career after politics.

  9. greywarshark 9

    Chris Trotter has a look at how meritocracy takes to itself the right to demean others on the basis of class.   https://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-accents-of-power.html

    Twenty-first century New Zealanders are constantly reassuring themselves that their society is a meritocracy. If they apply themselves and acquire the right skills, then there is nothing to prevent them from rising to the very top of the social totem pole. By the same token: if they refuse to work hard and improve themselves, then they cannot expect to rise very high at all. Indeed, laziness and a lack of self-discipline can cause a person to fall deeper and deeper into material and moral poverty. The logic of meritocracy is unforgiving. If you have risen high in society, it’s because you have merit. If you have failed to rise, or, worse still, fallen, it’s because you lack merit. In a meritocracy, success and failure are both self-inflicted conditions.

    So he thinks that while racism is verboten, those who feel they have achieved a higher class and conform to the accompanying standards, then feel superior and scorn those below them, including those who don't speak 'roit'.  

    (I am not symspathetic to Simon, but see this example of making play with his accent an example of dissociation with his real faults, which are many.  I deplored ReesMogg's high-class tones yesterday, but because he wittered on about Brit standards of fairness and care that all know have been absent for some time.)

    I feel the attitudes of aristocracy have entered those of meritocracy.    We are not all equal, oh no, and the complacency that flows from that has rotted the country's moral standard of caring about each other, and respect for the individual, though having to look for the good that remains.    Life now is a test, and if an individual can follow the right path they are approved, and those who fall by the wayside might be lucky to find a sympathetic Samaritan*

    The parable of the Good Samaritan is a parable told by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. It is about a traveller who is stripped of clothing, beaten, and left half dead alongside the road. First a priest and then a Levite comes by, but both avoid the man. Finally, a Samaritan happens upon the traveller. Wikipedia

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+10%3A25-37&version=NIV

    I think that our present attitudes prevent humanity in the 20th century from progressing through Maslow's lower levels to social belonging and wellbeing which builds community, but trying to jump past to self-centredness and individualism; intellectualising their life in the name of self-actualisation through materialism and consumption.   'Have a nice life!'

    • Stuart Munro. 9.1

      There is some question of how much Bridges accent is real. Feigning linguistic solidarity with the working poor he means to exploit is no more innocent or admirable than Key's use of talkback radio. The fake All Black fandom vanished as soon as Key's political aspirations did, and given the chance Bridges would be no more faithful – he certainly turned on JLR quick enough.

      • alwyn 9.1.1

        What did you think about that former Labour Party leader, Cunliffe, with his mock Pacific Island accent when he was campaigning in Auckland?

        You surely aren't going to say that he was just putting it on are you? A true son of the left wouldn't have done any such thing I suppose.

        I think that the best description of this ad was given by John Ansell on RNZ. I suggest you listen to exactly what he said. They planned to immediately withdraw the ad. That gives them a claim, quite false of course, that they would never intentionally poke fun of his accent. They also don't have to pay to run the ad after the first couple of times, which saves them a lot of money and the MSM, including Red Radio will publicize the ad for them. Win all round for them.

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018705478/greens-video-controversy-deliberate-expert

        To bad about the fools who accept the self serving rubbish from the Water Melons MPs.

        • Stuart Munro. 9.1.1.1

          It is a natural thing for people to assume the accent of those they speak to some degree – it signals active engagement. I rarely heard David Cunliffe speak, so I cannot verify your assertion, but it is safe to say that his courting of Pacific Island votes would have been less cynical than Simon's. The accents of camaraderie in his case are necessarily less treacherous than those of a corrupt and venal Gnat trying to seduce a population away from policies that serve their interests for the benefit of an incompetent troupe of buffoons.

          • Red Blooded One 9.1.1.1.1

            I think you're right about slight changes in accent, SM. Wasn't it Bolger who was known for his on and off American accent. None of which will placate Alwyn of course who is enjoying wallowing in his outrage.

            • alwyn 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Bolger was notorious for drifting into the manner of speaking of whoever he was talking to. It wasn't just people from the States. It was anyone.

              I wonder what he would sound like if he was talking to Boris?

              And I really don't wallow you know. For the sake of New Zealand I wanted us to have a competent lot in the Beehive. Unfortunately I was right in my judgement of their abilities when I considered who to vote for in 2018. The CoL really are a mean-spirited incompetent lot.

          • alwyn 9.1.1.1.2

            I suggest you listen to this effort by Cunliffe.
            https://www.google.com/search?q=youtube+david+cunliffe+avondale+market+2011&rlz=1C1NHXL_enNZ818NZ818&oq=youtube+david+cunliffe+avondale+market+2011&aqs=chrome..69i57.25431j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

            He starts off in what was his normal voice. They he drifts off into what he obviously thought was a Pacific Island's way of speaking. Try listening at about 1 minute, 30 seconds.

            As far as your comment about Bridges go it is rubbish. Bridges always talks in that way. It is about as silly as complaining about Keith Holyoake's, or Jphn Key's accents. They always spoke in the manner they used in their speechs.

          • JohnSelway 9.1.1.1.3

            " It is a natural thing for people to assume the accent of those they speak to some degree – it signals active engagement "

            Also body language. You can tell when someone is actively listening as people mimic the actions of the speaker. It was a trick I used when I used to work in sales. Get people to mimic large, open actions and they become more open to whatever you're selling. If you use small, closed body language people will feel more closed off from whatever you're selling.

            • Stuart Munro. 9.1.1.1.3.1

              Accent borrowing is not always conscious. I believe it's a learned behavior, and that people with strongly different accents experience a degree of cognitive dissonance so that adopting an accent to some degree makes one more intelligible to listeners. Conscious accent borrowing can mean different things however.

      • JohnSelway 9.1.2

        " There is some question of how much Bridges accent is real. "

        Is there? Where would I find this being questioned?

        • Stuart Munro. 9.1.2.1

          Right here on the Standard John.

          • JohnSelway 9.1.2.1.1

            so you and…..?

            • Stuart Munro. 9.1.2.1.1.1

              Just me.

              • JohnSelway

                So by "There is some question of how much Bridges accent is real" you mean you question it is real.

                But anyway – he has spoken the same way since he first came on the scene. His accent is fucking awful but it is definitely his.

                • Stuart Munro.

                  Bridges has spent the greater part of his career in the company of educated people, graduates, transacting complex matter with other educated people. The linguistic norm for such professions lies in the direction of a moderate RP, as does most academic English. It is possible that, for the purposes of persuasion, he learned to broaden that accent to communicate 'downwards' to clients or juries. 

                  • JohnSelway

                    If that is the case, and it is pretty heavily speculative, he probably did it without thinking.

                    I used to work in sales and I would without thought match my lingo to whomever I was speaking with. As mentioned above Cunliffe did it that day when he was addressing the pacific island community. I don't think he did it on purpose.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      Bridges could be expected, in the normal course of events, to develop a less pronounced accent. It's true he spends a great deal of time in the company of the ignorant (and backward) National caucus, but several of them pretend to some level of education also – notwithstanding their performance in government. 

                    • JohnSelway

                      Yeah but he has reached an age where you pretty much have your accent and cadence pretty locked in for life. I mean, shit, look at the way Christopher Walken speaks.

                      And there are very well educated people in National. Someone not following your own politics doesn't mean they are uneducated and backward (though some of the commentators at Kiwiblog…well, they ain’t too clever. But the same could be said about some of them here too)

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      It is not so much age as culture that locks in linguistic change.

                      There may have been some educated folk in National, but clearly not calling the shots. The history of failure and decline argues against it.

                      They were big frogs in a small pond, a pond so small that Muldoon's or English's negligible economic talents could be represented, like aether, as a fact in the absence of contrary evidence. The rest of the world had no such illusions, which is why Bill English has gone on to work for Woolies Australia rather than the IMF or the like.

                    • JohnSelway

                      " There may have been some educated folk in National, but clearly not calling the shots. "

                      On the contrary – the quiet ones are the ones you need watch for. Those are the ones with the machiavellian streak on their side.

                      As to English, he was a brilliant policy wonk. And don't assume just because he works at Wollies that it is the extent of his abilities. Maybe he didn't want to uproot his family to go work so far overseas which the IMF would have no doubt required. That's a little bit of class snobbery stating he works at Wollies because he wasn't clever or talented enough to do anything else. If I said the same thing about a tradie you'd rightly call me out

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      It's a reaction to the degree he was hyped John. The MSM and the Gnats tried to sell Bill as a fucking mastermind, but his results, consistently falling short of Treasury projections, showed him to be in fact very ordinary. The average tradie doesn't run his mouth off about what a fiscal genius he is, and if he did, and didn't deliver, his own mates would be the first to take him down a peg.

                      The Key Kleptocracy was a bonfire of National credibility, and their failings should be pointed out frequently, if only to encourage the incumbents not to underperform as egregiously.

                    • JohnSelway

                      I respectfully disagree.

                      But you know, not because I think you're an idiot or anything. I just don't quite agree.

                      It happens. One thing we can agree on is that Bridges accent is so kiwi that it sounds like a paraody of what a kiwi sounds like

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    The Gnats' only growth strategy was immigration, and not quality immigration, but low wage and speculator immigration. It failed to produce productivity growth (of course), and created other problems all over the place, notably in housing. As AGT begins to bite, immigration will steadily become even less tenable as a growth strategy. 

                    It takes prodigies of willing suspension of disbelief to interpret the Gnats as anything other than lazy, greedy, fools. They certainly produced no evidence to the contrary.

                    Those of us who expect, as is our democratic right, an enlightened government, are disappointed with the Coalition. The Gnats fell as far short of good governance as Nero.

  10. The likes of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are ridiculed not just for their reactionary politics, but also for their rather vulgar or even “common” styles and personalities.

    What a fuckwit. Trump and Johnson both come from privileged backgrounds featuring expensive private schools and lucrative careers courtesy of their fathers' connections, and yet it's supposedly me who's the "elite" here?  Awesome class analysis there, dude.  Yes, the "elite" are sneering at us schlubs who have to actually work for a living, but the "elite" consists of Trump, Johnson et al, not middle-class liberals. 

  11. Rapunzel 11

    I don't vote Green but am not sure why they pulled it, possibly realised they were "stooping" to take that tack but by comparison it is tame compared to what comes from that ¼ incl the person featured comments and accident liking and low-brow talk about his own MPs. Love to be a fly on the wall to hear the real opinions and/or see them out in the open they would likely make your hair curl.

  12. Ad 12

    Another "emotional staffer" will hit the street.

    Time for focus on the Green delivery in government. Its campaign time not crap attack time.

     FFS.

  13. bwaghorn 13

    Leave the petty shit and attack ads for the right. 

    Higher standards should be set by progressives.  

    • gsays 13.1

      Well said wags.

      Foolishly, I expect leadership from those in Wellington. Upon watching the 'ad', I was left with the feeling they were taking the piss out of Bridge's speaking, not his politics.

      Reeked of playing the man not the ball.
      Edit: I see Dennis has said the same thing centimetres below and hours earlier.

  14. Dennis Frank 14

    I saw James Shaw on the tv news explaining that it was negative feedback from Greens supporters on social media that resulted in the decision to pull the ad.  I have no problem with political satire – would like to see more, actually – but I suspect the perception that the Greens were playing the man rather than the ball prevailed.

    Satirising simple Simon's speech seems silly stereotyping, so sucks sufficiently, sadly.  The good news is that it indicates a split in the leftist Greens leadership cabal:  those intent on demonising opponents whenever possible versus those who did actually mature as adults.  But I hope the latter give the former some kind of media playpen in which to fool around – any propaganda with creative flair is worth the effort, and the more pertinent the better.  Design in plausible deniability to prevent contamination of the greater organism, of course…

    • Gabby 14.1

      What's wrong with Slick's speech franko?

      • Dennis Frank 14.1.1

        Nothing.  Dude has the right of free speech.  Up to him how he uses it.  Dunno where he gets the accent from.  Law school??  Media ought to sic some academic linguist sleuth onto it, track down the source..

        • greywarshark 14.1.1.1

          Perhaps the accent covers the fact that Simon comes from some exotic background.   Get Professor Higgins onto it.

        • Gabby 14.1.1.2

          You reckon it's distinctive do you franko?

    • gsays 14.2

      Lovely esses there Dennis.

  15. Red Blooded One 15

    I wonder how many that are now clutching their pearls over this ad used to lower the pitch of their voices while they referred to "Uncle Helen".

    Having said that I don't think this ad was mocking his accent, just representing it. Oh they were mocking him alright, and rightly so, but not the accent.

    I wonder when the next man-splaing barbeque ad will be rolled out. 

  16. Chris T 16

    Pretty humorous

    Left party try to do ad to show the right can get "triggered" as much as the left. Right just laugh and say it is funny. Heaps of left get "triggered" by it and demand Left party remove it.

    It is kind of self triggering

    • Rapunzel 16.1

      You reckon? Simon grins like a loon regardless if he's not barking at anything passing – less of a thick skin more just "thick", it certainly hurts he failed the "fan boy" test and atrracted no one he's just not letting on.

      Oh to be a fly on the wall at that particualr conference, how much room will there be for reality with the "elephant" filling the room. I feel a little for Bridges – and he will have the biggest smile painted on his face – gobble, gobble.

    • gsays 16.2

      Not a lot to argue with there Chris.

  17. One Two 17

    TG's attack ad…

    Indicates a severe lack of discernment…

    Edit: whomever(s) signed off on it…should be moved on. Swiftly.

    • Dennis Frank 17.1

      whomever(s) signed off on it…should be moved on. Swiftly.

      Not so easy.  The Greens preach transparency in governance.  That stance would carry weight if they practiced what they preach.  I bet they will take great care to evade transparency on who made the decision!!

      My guess is that it was authorised by the Executive, which is a sizable group, but I suspect approval of the caucus was deemed essential by them too.  Collective responsibility works well because everyone hides behind everyone else.  No visible target…

  18. CHCoff 18

    Why the F did the Greens give National their parliamentary questions then?

    Who the F do the Greens, think should be the National leader instead, do they want John Key back??

    talk about running around with your….oh well, never mind.

    Anyways, for the next stuff up, instead of the BS saloon explanations, it would be better to just say we got it wrong i'd say. Making up stuff on the hoof in the media environment doesn't really differentiate when media is not govt., & the Greens don't really need that much more of a fade to go into electoral oblivion, which would be a dis-service to the value their option provides in the process of democratic govt. to a relatively differentiated and engaged significant voting block of the NZ public.

    • Stuart Munro. 18.1

      It is in part a matter of enjoying a degree of cabinet collective responsibility, and also no doubt not fruitlessly antagonizing coalition partners. Unfortunately, as the inept Simon shows at every opportunity, the Gnats don't have the talent for rigorous questioning, and far from holding the Coalition to account they concentrate on a wankfest of gotcha nonsense.

      The public are the losers as the  Gnats couldn't run a bath, much less hold a more responsible (but nevertheless by no means irreproachable) government than themselves to account.

  19. Rapunzel 19

    The fact is that the government and therefore every NZer is having to deal with a very duplicitous party who continues to to try to extract every minute perception through the use of weasel words and lying by omission in exactly the same way they did for nine years. Is it any wonder fewer and fewer people trust them, let alone to run the country?

    Read: "National plays politics while accusing Transport Minister Phil Twyford of 'playing politics'

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12252783

  20. R.P Mcmurphy 20

    Bryce Edwards if probably right but that does not alter the fact. that he is a national party suckup.

    The picture he sponnsored of Jacinda as an old person verges on reprehensible.

    • Rapunzel 20.1

      If he did he's not fit to be considered an "independent" political commentator then in a paid position in MSM. Surely, possibly he did it as an example? Did he? I used to read his columns but did feel the tone had gone a bit odd, it seems that that was the case.

  21. AB 21

    By making so much of  Bridges' way of speaking, the ad just muddies the water. Basically, the Nats are opposed to any action on CC that might cost their supporters, members or donors any money. And in aggregate, this group of people are already the wealthiest sector of society. Why not just say this out loud? Are we really so afraid of talking about social/economic class?

    The Nat's method in this, as with CGT, is to focus on what software developers call 'edge cases' – rare scenarios at the margins that require lots of additional development time and add to the complexity of the software architecture if they are to be handled well. But legislators can't use that approach to edge cases – more complex legislation just spawns even more edge cases, not to mention loopholes for lawyers to drive buses through. The middle class media (MCM not MSM) happily goes to town on these marginal scenarios, undermining the whole initiative. It seems to be causing a weird form of legislative paralysis right now.

  22. Motuboy 22

    “Basically, the Nats are opposed to any action on CC that might cost their supporters, members or donors any money.”

    More correctly, the Nats (and their supporters) are against ineffective (and pure virtue signalling) actions like the exploration permit ban which will actually raise global emissions. The tax that will keep poorer people driving old dungas will probably raise NZ emissions, too, so there is plenty of fodder for Opposition.

    When these regressive actions penalise everyone with no Envinonmental benefit, only fools will support them.

    Green, Red  & Woke Fools…

    • …the exploration permit ban which will actually raise global emissions.

      One can only ponder the level of cognitive dissonance it must take to hold the view that the best approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is to discover and exploit new fossil fuel supplies.  I had assumed that National's approach to climate change was a disingenuous one in which they fake concern about it because they're aware AGW-denial is voter repellent, but comments like this make me wonder whether might be something genuinely delusional going on. 

      The tax that will keep poorer people driving old dungas…

      Then again, you read stuff like that and reconsider, because surely they're just taking the piss.

      • Incognito 22.1.1

        That commenter is new here and I have a feeling they will nail their colours to the mast in no time. In fact, they already have. As the saying goes: it will be just a matter of time …

  23. peterlepaysan 23

    When the Greens stop  behaving like children and act like adults they will attract a lot more electorate respect.

    So Simon Bridges has a distinctive accent!

    We all have distinctive accents.  We can all be satirised via accents or mannerisms.

    Politicians are always fair game.  If the childish Green philosophy was to be truly adhered to the cartoonists would be banished, caricatures are hurtful.  Diddums.

    There have been countless "send ups" over centuries using mannerisms to identify people.

    A lot of comedians must wonder what the Green Curia think about their behaviour.

    The Greens have just satirised themselves, very well.

    They should be congratulated.

    Self humiliation is pure martyrdom for a cause.  Rapidly becoming obscure.

    The natz PR people would be loving it.  Simon is in the news again without having to do anything.

  24. esoteric pineapples 24

    People in New Zealand, especially reporters, don’t understand what an “attack” ad is. It is an advert made and paid for, by third person or organisation attacking a political party.

  25. peterlepaysan 25

    The media, as usual. have to over egg the sponge.

      Attack ad it was not. Satire, yes.

    Hey it makes the media hacks look/ sound so important.

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