The media double standard

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, November 9th, 2016 - 126 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, john key, journalism, labour, making shit up, Media, phil twyford, spin, Steven Joyce, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: ,

Media distraction

Recent media coverage of Labour’s Ready for Work policy brought back memories of the beginning of 2014 where Labour’s Fresh Start policy was attacked mercilessly but National’s education policy which ultimately failed was lauded.  Remember the $300 million policy to incentivise teachers?

The last couple of days have involved Andrea Vance claiming Labour’s costings for its ready to work policy do not add up, and Phil Twyford responding by questioning her professional standards.

Basically the policy is for six months job training being given to ten thousand participants each year.  The estimate is that the policy will cost $60 million.  The assumption is that each participant would on average receive 4 months training and then because of various factors, such as them getting a job or a change in personal circumstances, they will no longer continue with the course and that the average time they spend on the course will be four months.

This is not an illogical assumption.  Only a fool would assume that every participant would spend the full six months on the course.

Labour could have assumed that everyone would spend the full time on the course and that the policy would cost $90 million a year.  No one would have blinked except then National would have attacked Labour for being reckless with taxpayer money and claim that the scheme will be too expensive.  And the media would have joined in.

So Labour went for the more fiscally conservative assumption cost of the programme.  Surely they could not be criticised for doing this.

But Andrea Vance and the country’s broadcaster, the employer of Mike Hosking, claimed that Labour’s figures do not add up and are short by $35 million a year.  She clearly had been talking to Steven Joyce and repeated unquestioningly his analysis.  North Korea would be proud of this sort of control of the media by the Governing Party.

The Herald chimed in by allowing John Key comment on the situation to be reported uncritically.  Clare Trevett’s name is on the article which contains this particular passage:

Labour’s campaign chairman Twyford has accused 1 News’ Andrea Vance of “unprofessional” and “biased'” reporting around the costing of Labour’s new jobs scheme policy.

Vance had said Labour’s numbers did not add up after Labour admitted the $60 million costing for its proposed six month job scheme was based on the assumption people would take part for an average of four months.

Key said it was not the first time Labour had presented incorrect costings.

“The Labour Party are clearly in a bit of a meltdown. They turn up, yet again, with a policy that is incorrect. I’ve got their policy and it says ‘six months.’ It is not funded that way and they can attack the media all they want as a distraction but the truth is, yet again, they got it wrong.”

Asked how National would cost such a policy he said “if we are funding something for effectively four months, we say it.”

So in every future policy there should be no analysis of uptake just an assumption of the worst possible scenario?

Compare this with the media’s handling of National’s urgent announcement to address the housing crisis that apparently does not exist.  With no analysis whatsoever National’s figure of a $300 million spend was continuously repeated, even though a third of it is a loan, $20 million is for some undefined slush fund, $71 million is to be paid to social agencies that would then pay the money back to the Housing Corp, $10 million is for public servants so that the job was done and it is all spread over five years so it is not as impressive as it may have first appeared.

But where was the reporting of this sort of analysis?  National’s spin was reported without analysis or criticism but Labour’s was not only misanalysed but misrepresented.

Morgan Godfrey expresses my frustration very well.

126 comments on “The media double standard”

  1. shorts 1

    i’m no party strategist nor media expert… but how well has Labour complaining about how the media portrait them gone in the past – justified or not its not going to work any different than the last times

    The party is repeating these own goals – has Labour HQ learnt nothing?

    I appreciate this must be very frustrating for Little & co but suck it up and employ better strategies or we will face another term of Key and his gang of arseholes because they’re simply better than this and the media aren’t going to get any better

    • Richard Rawshark 1.1

      This all started with the media when Labour went dirt digging on Key in Australia? from memory pre PM.

      It was all over the paper, and from then it’s been pretty full on hate labour.

      That’s my perception of the media.

      As for what to do.

      When someone bullies you, do you keep being nice to them or do you smash them right on the kisser?

      PS Labour need to though, do what the Nats do, hold a bloody recorder of their own at every meeting with the press from now on. For legal reasons, and to make them damn sure they(media) are operating and telling the truth.

    • Sigh 1.2

      To repeat from a previous thread:

      Actually the policy was costed along orthodox lines. The offer is for six months’ work. Not everyone will complete that work as a number will go off and find alternative work or training, which is as the policy is intended. That’s why you cost on an average length of time people are expected to be in the course. Based on existing Jobseeker numbers, the average time would be four months.

      To have costed at six months would have been absurd, and it’s not how costings are modelled. Have a look at Paid Parental Leave, which does not assume all parents taking it take the full 18 weeks. Have a look at student numbers, where universities do not assume all students finish their course. Have a look at Superannuation, which does not assume all citizens live to 65. This is utterly orthodox, and all that has been shown is that the press gallery do not understand how to do costings.

      To blame this on Labour’s comms is a cop out. What we have is a press gallery that takes the Nats’ spin on face value and refuses to admit when it’s wrong.

      • shorts 1.2.1

        Actually to defend the policy on its merit (explain) rather than change the comms is a fundamental mistake – no one cares about the policy details outside of the gotchas … given the reaction to the line of questioning everyone (in the media & govt benches) cares about how labour reacts – in this case typically badly

        If the party and its supporters continue to explain things in well measured tones and complain when no one listens then the outcome will be more time in opposition – the media landscape has changed… the publics reaction to that has changed (tabloid shite) the media don’t do what people would like – so you either get better at playing the game or continue to lose

        and don’t expect the media to get better – its going to get worse, so much worse

        Do we want to see a repeat of the last two elections – or do we want some actual change?

        • mickysavage 1.2.1.1

          But the analysis and the comms were conventional. What wasnt conventional was the criticism.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2

          Actually to defend the policy on its merit (explain) rather than change the comms is a fundamental mistake

          Fucken moron.

          so you either get better at playing the game or continue to lose

          We’re not playing a game. This really does affect and cost peoples lives.

          • shorts 1.2.1.2.1

            yes it does effect people – hence my comments – I want change, we won’t get change if Labour continue to make the fundamental mistake of lossing

            Throwing silly insults my way won’t change the dynamic at play here -we’re on the same fucking side… so well done you.

            I appreciate it seems National get an easier ride but they’re also much better versed in controlling the narrative, something labour have got so much better at since Little took leadership – which is great. Now no one is talking policy, Labour or at least The Standard is on the defensive – doesn’t this remind you of the previous 3 elections?

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2.1.1

              yes it does effect people – hence my comments – I want change, we won’t get change if Labour continue to make the fundamental mistake of lossing

              Did they make a fundamental mistake?

              Sounds to me like they did everything they could to get the information out accurately and then it was purposefully twisted by the reporter for the sake of National.

              I appreciate it seems National get an easier ride but they’re also much better versed in controlling the narrative

              National or their donors own the narrative. It’s how capitalism destroys societies.

      • Invisible Axe 1.2.2

        Thank you Sigh.

    • Peter Swift 1.3

      “how well has Labour complaining about how the media portrait them gone in the past”

      I don’t think they do it enough. They should always challenge the impartial bias.
      Sure there are those who no doubt think that it makes the complainer look whiny, but then if you let the agenda be set by a dodgy media, you only have yourself to blame and deserve what you get.
      If there’s framing to be done, and it seems there always is, then let it be of the oppositions making and put that thought right up front in the viewers mind. No more easy rides, no more lost causes.

  2. indiana 2

    “Only a fool would assume that every participant would spend the full six months on the course.”

    And here lies the problem – this is a welfare policy and that only introduces a “What am I entitled?” mentality.

    Labour policy strategists are fools for thinking that people will not milk a welfare program for all its worth. Its a bit like rich people hiring accountants to minimise their tax burden.

    • pat 2.1

      so how does one milk a minimum wage work scheme?…except for the providers of course

      • indiana 2.1.1

        Not declaring cash jobs, for a start and still claiming to be on a minimum wage scheme.

        • Richard Rawshark 2.1.1.1

          Shhh, GOD almighty, next you’ll be telling ladies, secretly in our minds we are all just like Paul Henry, except he blew the bloody secret we kept since Adam saw Eve.

        • pat 2.1.1.2

          lmao…that is so weak

  3. Lanthanide 3

    Did Labour announce the headline $60M funding cost, and accompany it with a short list of facts that said “$60M assumes average 4 month participation of enrollees; cost is $97M if all enrollees take entire 6 month term”?.

    If not, then I can understand the response of the journalists – they weren’t *presented* with very basic and and simple information about the costings of this policy. If the journalist has to ask for the information, then Labour has done it wrong.

    And Phil says that “you only needed to ask”. Sorry, that’s not good enough. How are the media supposed to know that they *need* to ask to clarify this? Does Labour want all media asking questions every time they announce costings for a policy, because they’ve trained the media not to take anything they say at face value? Labour can’t have it both ways – they should present the salient points to the media, not expect them to ask then be upset when they run stories saying “we had to ask Labour to clarify their spending costs – again”.

    • Invisible Axe 3.1

      Agree with you Lanthanide, I just wish the media would be as stringent on the Nats policies, so I can understand why Labour feel put out. But, the media hate Labour & love National; didn’t NZrs once root for the underdog? Now they like to give the underdog a good kicking.

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        Did Labour announce the headline $60M funding cost, and accompany it with a short list of facts that said “$60M assumes average 4 month participation of enrollees; cost is $97M if all enrollees take entire 6 month term”?.

        No but then Labour would have been criticised for giving too much detail.

        The point of this post is that Labour is again being attacked because of a perfectly valid assumption but National never is.

        • Richard Rawshark 3.1.1.1

          Thank god your back Micky, I’ve been doing my best, along with others, but god damn there’s been some repeat ad nauseum stuff going on..

          In an, I can’t explain it like you guys kind of way..

    • Richard Rawshark 3.2

      But Lant, labour went to her pre announcement and went over everything with her explained costing etc, then she did that..

      They were so concerned for that exact attitude from the media and HER, this time they met and went through it with her before the announcement..

      They never go into Nationals costings, ever.. not even in opposition..

      So I respectfully have to disagree with you, in a respectful debating the topic way.

      • Chuck 3.2.1

        “But Lant, labour went to her pre announcement and went over everything with her explained costing etc, then she did that..”

        Ok Richard, so you are saying Labour handpicked one journalist and privately gave her the inside info on a policy before the announcement?

        If so, then according to the left that is Dirty Politics!

    • Anne 3.3

      Did Labour announce the headline $60M funding cost, and accompany it with a short list of facts that said “$60M assumes average 4 month participation of enrollees; cost is $97M if all enrollees take entire 6 month term”?.

      No Lanthanide – not during the formal announcement process. The moment they went into the detail they would have laid themselves bare to accusations of making it “too complicated” and that would have opened them up to even more dishonest misinterpretations.

      Phil Twyford supplied the details to Andrea Vance which would have included the 4 month average participation clause and she ignored it in her item. That is why Twyford was so angry. Other journos claim they were not given the details. That is because they didn’t ask for them.

      In a situation like a large party conference with people milling around and trying to grab key politicians’ attention at every turn, it was the journos job to seek out the detail. Labour no doubt intend to supply the data to the media at a more appropriate time and place. Eg. the parliamentary press gallery.

      • Lanthanide 3.3.1

        “No Lanthanide – not during the formal announcement process. The moment they went into the detail they would have laid themselves bare to accusations of making it “too complicated” and that would have opened them up to even more dishonest misinterpretations.”

        I didn’t say to do it “during the formal announcement process” did I?

        It goes like this:
        1. Announce the policy in a speech
        2. Immediately after the speech, hand out fact cards to the media that list the salient points of the policy and its costing

        Now, maybe they already did that. I don’t know. But if they did, it seems that they didn’t include the salient point that the costing of $60M assumed people were in the programme for only 4 months.

        “Phil Twyford supplied the details to Andrea Vance which would have included the 4 month average participation clause and she ignored it in her item. That is why Twyford was so angry. Other journos claim they were not given the details. That is because they didn’t ask for them.”

        1. Why didn’t Phil give that information to all journalists?
        2. How are the journalists supposed to know they’re supposed to ask Labour what their costings really are? Are Labour so bad at presenting this information that they expect the media to always ask “what are the costings really?”.
        3. Perhaps Vance didn’t report Phil’s information, precisely because it was given to her in isolation of other reporters.

        “Labour no doubt intend to supply the data to the media at a more appropriate time and place. Eg. the parliamentary press gallery.”

        Well then they’re doing a very shit job of communicating their policies to the media if they hold a conference where they invite journalists to come and cover the proceedings (because they want the free media attention), and then fail to give the journalists the information they need because ‘they’re too busy”.

        • Sigh 3.3.1.1

          Lanth.

          1. Because only Andrea Vance asked for the details behind the policy costings.
          2. No fact sheet goes into all policy detail – that would take 30 pages. Detailed costing assumptions are virtually never put in public-facing material. It is entirely common practice for journalists to go back if they have further questions.
          3. That is bizarre.

          I don’t understand why you think this is Labour’s fault. I repeat, the government, the opposition, plenty of other organisations release policies all the time based on assumptions they don’t put in public-facing documents. The government does not put in detailed assumptions of how many people will use paid parental leave for how long when advertising their PPL policy. They don’t put in their detailed modelling on how many students will complete their courses and how long the average student will be in each course when costing their tertiary policies. This has never happened.

          What has happened is Andrea Vance has failed to understand how policy costing works, even after it was personally explained to her, as is common practice. She laughed at Labour and mocked them for “mucking up” their costings when they hadn’t. She bought Joyce’s disingenuous line, was embarrassed by it, and is now lashing out with her colleagues supporting her.

          If your demand is that Labour and Labour alone now release 30-page policy documents down to the smallest detail for the gallery to pick apart and do 20 questions on then you’re welcome to, but it’s a standard demanded of no other political party and comes with huge dangers of its own (see: Cunliffe on CGT).

          • Richard Rawshark 3.3.1.1.1

            #1, she was the only! hmmmm set up from the start. headline was already printed and editor approved.

          • Lanthanide 3.3.1.1.2

            “2. No fact sheet goes into all policy detail – that would take 30 pages. Detailed costing assumptions are virtually never put in public-facing material. It is entirely common practice for journalists to go back if they have further questions.”

            2. I have never said a fact sheet needs to go into detail. It just needs to simply say, the $60M costing is on the assumption that people stay for 4 months, not 6. If it was 6, it would cost $97M.

            Did that take 30 pages? No, it didn’t.

            • Hanswurst 3.3.1.1.2.1

              Good idea Lanth. Excellent idea. I can just imagine the conversation now:

              Andrew Little: You know that detail that the media are going to pounce on when we release our policy?

              Fact-Sheet-Person: No, how could I? You haven’t even announced…

              Andrew Little: Yeah, whatever. Just put it on the fact-sheet, then they’ll have to find something else. Come to think of it, can you put that something else on the fact-sheet, too? And while you’re at it, keep the fact sheet short and sweet, there’s a dear.

      • Grantoc 3.3.2

        To your last point Anne; given that the policy was announced at the same time that the conference was in play, the challenge for the LP was to ensure that they communicated it so effectively that they reduced the risk of it being misunderstood.

        The LP Comms strategy ought to have taken this context into account. When key facts concerning the policy are ambiguous (as they were around the costings in this case) and where the LP is expecting journalists to ask questions in an effort to clarify the ambiguity, then the party is asking for trouble.

        Labour theoretically controlled the message, but they lost control causing the media to come to its own conclusions. Twyford needs to look at the LP’s management of the comms strategy first and to learn from this outcome.

        By pursuing journalists, because of their own poor management of the comms strategy, Labour scored an own goal. And so the discussion is now on this spat; not on the policy itself.

        • lprent 3.3.2.1

          So what you are saying is that journos are too lazy?

          Journos repeatably complain that the detail from Labour is too complex for comms. So this time the leave out the detail in the simple version more the Journos. So “someone” does an analysis and then blasts them for not providing the details.

          But wait… Vance was provided with the detail – and either ignored it or didn’t understand it?

          Bullshit. She is too smart for that.

          Basically it was a complete lapse by Vance. Probably for a headline…

    • Sigh 3.4

      No one has ever laid out these detailed assumptions in a one page fact sheet. The government does not do so for Paid Parental Leave, for university enrolments, for Superannuation, for benefit payments, for anything to be honest. And the media never demand it. It was available when requested and given to Andrea Vance and she decided to attack Labour anyway because she didn’t understand the costings.

      The press gallery are now furiously attacking Labour for their own mistake. It’s a new low for New Zealand journalism. Up there with Donghua Liu.

      • Anne 3.4.1

        Spot on Sigh. I’m also picking Vance didn’t understand the costings she was given which is the reason details are not supplied at the time of an announcement. Labour always makes them available afterwards, so Vance could/should have delayed her ‘opinion’ until she had fully comprehended all the facts. But TV1 and TV3 journos in particular DON’T WANT ALL THE FACTS. They get in the way of a good story at Labour’s expense.

      • Lanthanide 3.4.2

        Sorry, but there’s nothing detailed about “this assumes the average length of enrollment is 4 months”.

        • Sigh 3.4.2.1

          There’s nothing detailed about 18 weeks paid parental leave assumes the average parent takes 14 weeks of leave, but that doesn’t go in a fact sheet either. It’s actually extraneous detail.

          • Lanthanide 3.4.2.1.1

            That wasn’t an election policy, it was something National passed into law ahead of the 2014 election.

            Not the same.

        • Chuck 3.4.2.2

          “this assumes the average length of enrollment is 4 months”.

          That one extra sentence would have saved all this pain for Labour, if Andrew Little included it in his speech.

          • Lanthanide 3.4.2.2.1

            I don’t think having it in the speech is appropriate/necessary, but having it in their 1/2 page fact sheet is.

      • mauī 3.4.3

        Agree, if this is the expected standard from now on, all parties stating policy costs would have to speak in terms like $60-90 million. So any doubts about a policy cost you would have to defer to a cost range to cover yourself. That would make people doubt the costings even more so, is it $60 or is it $90?

        • Sigh 3.4.3.1

          Also, if you’re going to assume (bizarrely and contrary to any reasonable evidence) that everyone does the whole six months, then why not assume everyone drops out after two weeks? Then the cost could be $10m – $90m, which is meaningless. The point is you have to look at the evidence and cost a policy based on averages. That’s what Labour has done, and it is utterly orthodox and already done by the government without this kind of press gallery campaign.

          I repeat: Andrea Vance didn’t understand the costings, she said Labour mucked up the numbers, she was proved wrong, and is now changing her story and playing the victim, with the press gallery joining in like they did with Donghua Liu.

    • Doogs 3.5

      The word is ‘wrongly’ . . .

      . . . and journalists, unless they are self-taught, should know to ask the pertinent questions. It’s like saying a teacher should tell every student everything they need to know – no – there is something called personal research. Journalists who don’t ask proper questions are lazy bastards.

      Stop trying to skew the narrative.

  4. fisiani 4

    Explaining is losing. Pointing to the “conditions may apply” section and trying to pull a fast one really annoys journalists. Very poor communications. Must try harder.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Actually, not demanding an explanation is moronic as it means that you’re working with insufficient information.

      Of course, that happens to be the natural state for RWNJs.

    • mickysavage 4.2

      Explain National’s promised $300 mil spend on housing then fisi.

      • Leftie 4.2.1

        Oh look… Fisi didn’t answer, no surprises there.

      • Chuck 4.2.2

        “Explain National’s promised $300 mil spend on housing then fisi.”

        Is there an issue with the numbers MS?

        I have not seen any Labour / Green MP saying the numbers don’t add up…other than bagging the Government for acting too slow etc.

        • Leftie 4.2.2.1

          Clearly, you have missed the point Chuck.

        • Richard Rawshark 4.2.2.2

          Dear Chuck up

          YEs you fucking did! You just commented on clares article, in the same fucking article she tells you about Bennets bullshit, grow up and fuck off you little shit.

          • Chuck 4.2.2.2.1

            Calm down Richard, its not the same.

            You are confusing numbers with policy…as far as I can see the numbers add up on the Nat one. And further the detail was supplied that underpins the numbers…which MS has in his intro.

            I know what MS was getting at, that he wanted a detailed analysis of the Nat announcement (example how the $300m was made up). Well neither has there been a detailed analysis of the Labour one. It was like shooting fish in a barrel when the numbers did not add up (as presented by Little at the time).

            I imagine Labour in future will make sure they don’t repeat the same mistake again.

    • Gabby 4.3

      Explaining is losing?

      What do you mean?

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1

        He means that people should simply accept what they’re told.

        Of course, he only applies that standard to what National tells people and never to what anyone else says.

        • Nessalt 4.3.1.1

          and when they don’t accept and question what they’re told they should be attacked?

          This pointless attack on the media for asking for clarification and questioning the detail just gives the media credit for doing their job.

    • Doogs 4.4

      Appears to annoy you too fisiani.

      Journalists by definition are seekers of truth and information. Oh, how do you do that? Ask some fucking questions!!

  5. Good comparisons with National’s coverage there micky. Some very good examples. Loans seem to be their new “funding” technique (how is Housing NZ meant to pay the $100 million back in the midst of a housing crisis?)

    For some reason opposition (esp Labour) are expected to have much more rigorous costing than National, and this has been going on for years.

    Over and over again National’s dodgy numbers are parroted in their most pleasing spin headline, “$1 billion for housing!” (loan for infrastructure, no actual money…), while Labour they dig deep in to find any possible incorrect number in the details.

    My suspicion is overworked journos being handed analysis of Labour stuff from Nats; and under-resourced Labour can’t get the same detail on the Nats’ policies.

    • Richard Rawshark 5.1

      +1 Bunji especially this bit

      “My suspicion is overworked journos being handed analysis of Labour stuff from Nats; and under-resourced Labour can’t get the same detail on the Nats’ policies.”

      • Red 5.1.1

        Journalist are lazy all labour need to do is get the sound bite analysis right, ie 6 month program with costing predicated on an average of 4month participation ,… it’s not that difficult, the excuses going on here are pretty limp

        • Leftie 5.1.1.1

          You don’t get it Blue, it doesn’t matter what Labour say or do, msm are going to crucify Labour and run Nat attack lines anyway.

  6. Michelle 6

    Vance needs to pull her finger out of the gnats bum I haven’t heard her critique or do any costings on the gnats polices maybe she is just looking after herself and her job

    • rod 6.1

      Vance is only doing what her bosses tell her, that’s how she keeps her job. nothing to see here folks.

      • Leftie 6.1.1

        So Vance runs Nat attack lines to keep her job, but what about purposely misleading the public in order to damage Labour, which is only doing it’s job? So how is that right? How is dismissing that fair or just?

  7. Ray 8

    I understand the anger
    But it is not news that the media are going to go over new policies from the left with tooth combs with a help from the right wing bloggers.
    So how about being proactive and make sure the policies are close to watertight, run them past some groups who can see the gaps, if there are any. And take onboard any criticism.

    Like I say not brain surgery , just staying a jump ahead of the wreckers, politics 101
    Something Miss Clark and her inner circle did oh so well, so not something Labour should need to relearn!

    And even if people don’t historically finish these programs surely there are others who will sign on making them full all year and costing the full amount.

    • Sigh 8.1

      Again, this is not something that has ever been demanded. In the past, Labour used to produce 12-page policy documents. The journalists attacked Labour for being wonky and overly detailed, and then they and the Nats picked Labour apart over the detail. Now Labour has adopted a similar style to the Nats – simple one-page policy documents with further information available on request. Suddenly because the media don’t understand costings and bought the Nats’ line this is now Labour’s fault.

      Let’s be clear: Andrea Vance had the costings personally explained to her before her broadcast. She chose to run with the Nats’ attack lines. She started with “Labour mucked up the costings”. It’s only now that she’s trying to claim it was never about Labour’s costings but about Labour not providing every last piece of background policy detail in its public-facing comms documents.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      But it is not news that the media are going to go over new policies from the left with tooth combs with a help from the right wing bloggers.

      It really sounds like they had help from the National Party’s spinmiesters.

    • lprent 8.3

      It appears to make no difference. If a lazy arsehole is going to look only for a possible problem, then they will find it.

      Far better to provide no detail past the headline. It is what the Nats do and it appears to work… right.

      • Red 8.3.1

        Spot on but just get the sound bite headline right re the maths

        • Draco T Bastard 8.3.1.1

          When the reporter is purposefully looking for any way to make the policy look bad it doesn’t matter. They’ll still lie and twist it.

  8. Richard Rawshark 9

    The right have trouble identifying stuff that’s not fair, like their treatment of the vulnerable.

    Not one of them could defend that statement with any real conviction either.

  9. Steve 10

    Paula Bennett’s press secretary called a colleague of Tom Hunt asking her to change his story to make it more Gov-friendly. @tomdom76 Colleague told her – politely – to f… off
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/86091620/depressed-wellington-mans-impossible-search-for-a-suitable-home

  10. Well Fed Weta 11

    “So in every future policy there should be no analysis of uptake just an assumption of the worst possible scenario?”

    You make some very good points MS, but here’s the problem. Labour and it’s supporters have complained for some considerable time about media bias towards the government. That being the case, the current media criticism, whether accurate or not, could have easily been avoided with the release of a media policy supplement that detailed the costings. Instead, they are caught on the back foot, and once again they have given National a great sound bite with which to attack them.

    Then…they make the frankly amateurish mistake of attacking the media. Helen Clark would never have made this mistake; Helen Clark’s Labour would never have found themselves in this position. Politics requires sound policy communication and media management. Unfortunately today’s Labour have neither.

    Finally this…I am yet to see a calculation from Labour that actually squares with the $60m. I may have missed it, but if I haven’t that is very poor indeed, becasue releasing a set of calculations would have put Vance in her place.

    • Richard Rawshark 11.1

      The only thing to say..

      “Finally this…”

      after 4 days repeat lies ad nauseum finally this it won’t be.

    • lprent 11.2

      Clearly you can’t read. Try the post above.

      • Well Fed Weta 11.2.1

        That’s a silly response. The post’s author makes good points about bias, I acknowledged that. My point is Labour need to take that bias out of play. They don’t seem able to, and that’s a genuine shame.

        • lprent 11.2.1.1

          Clearly you haven’t read the point about how the calculations were done, and that the information about how the calculations were done was provided to Vance.

          That was the primary point of the post. The secondary point was about the apparent bias.

          If you aren’t willing to read the post (and so far I have seen no evidence that you managed to read past the excerpt or the tweets to the third paragraph of the post.

          If you are illiterate, then how are you capable of understanding the basis of the calculations.

          Of course you could just be another stupid parrot troll aping Farrar, in which case I suspect I will (in my other persona) be kicking you off shortly.

          • Well Fed Weta 11.2.1.1.1

            You would make a far point if I had criticised the calculations. I didn’t, and so your response fails to rise above ad-hominem. My point is the communication of the policy, and how presenting a policy that speaks of 6 months but is costed for 4 months is asking for trouble, particularly if you believe the MSM to be hostile. As to trolling, if this is a safe zone, where no constructive criticism of Labour (or any other party for that matter) is permitted, let me know. I would want no part in it.

    • Anne 11.3

      How about you check the facts before bursting into print. You have just made wrong assumptions. Please start by reading the post plus explanatory comments by people who were present at the conference and who know what happened. Or are such individual witnesses to be disbelieved because it doesn’t suit your preconceived perceptions?

      • Well Fed Weta 11.3.1

        I’m happy to stand corrected, Anne, but you haven’t addressed anything I wrote with specifics. What assumptions have I got wrong?

  11. Crashcart 12

    What gets me is surely Labour new this is where the reporting would go. After all they tried to head it of with a brief to a single reporter. As to how Vance handled it, that was clearly shitty. However if all reporters had the full information then anyone could have picked her up on it.

    I mean surely by now Labour know that when they follow the standard model for costing the media and National are going to come along and apply a model that comes up with max costing. Labour would do the same thing to them. \

    Head that shit off. Make costing assumptions clear to all media, not just one reporter. Talk about setting your self up to be at the whim of someone who saw a way to put her name in the spot light.

    • Sigh 12.1

      There are 30 pages of detail behind each policy. The standard practice is you give a precis in one page and then provide detail as requested. The government does not include all assumptions in its policy releases as it would run to 30 pages, and nor does anyone else. There are any number of details they could demand, and it is endless. You rely on a certain amount of good faith, and in this case the gallery are just covering their arse for getting it wrong.

      • Leftie 12.1.1

        Thanks for ALL of your excellent well written and reasoned comments Sigh. You have explained the facts really well. Appreciate your efforts very much.

  12. rsbandit 13

    Don’t blame the media.

    It is up to Labour to communicate well. They can publish their policy details independent of the press – on the internet and in their own releases. If they fail to communicate something so simple, it is their own fault.

    Own it. And make changes. This is truly pathetic heading into election year.

    • Richard Rawshark 13.1

      will you own JOHN KEY snubbing the Saudi FTA signing?

      • rsbandit 13.1.1

        Unless I’m mistaken, this thread is not about a Saudi FTA signing. Who cares what Key does? Not I.

        So, back on topic – are Labour saying this is the way to release policy in future, and no changes in their comms methodology are necessary?

        That would be a mistake.

        Own it. Change it. It was crap.

        • Richard Rawshark 13.1.1.1

          you asked us too own it, I gave you examples where you need to reflect on that yourself.

          Your opinion is noted, however your support base is consisting of RW trolls, so really meh.

          • Well Fed Weta 13.1.1.1.1

            You really are missing the point. The criticisms many of us are voicing are not about the policy but about how easily Labour allowed the media to frame the narrative around that policy.

            • Leftie 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Labour didn’t allow it, Vance took it upon herself.

              • Well Fed Weta

                No, Labour allowed it. Allow = ‘give the necessary time or opportunity for’.

                • Leftie

                  No, and Vance took it upon herself.

                  • Well Fed Weta

                    Look up the definition of ‘allow’. Vance simply took advantage of Labour’s poor management of the issue.

                    • Leftie

                      Nope. Vance was fully briefed, she purposely mislead the public.

                    • Well Fed Weta

                      Leftie, Vance was not ‘fully briefed’. When did the 4 months timing come out? Only after the numbers were brought into question. Sorry, but that’s amateur hour by Labour. A simple costing handout would have resolved this, and the policy would be getting the attention.

            • Richard Rawshark 13.1.1.1.1.2

              Your like a rash, you just keep itching.

    • Jo 13.2

      Well said. Plus they need to stop digging the hole. This should have been shut down immediately. A quick i am sorry if that information didn’t get through. We have used best practice to cost the programme……… If you can’t shut down a bad story like this on the day of the American election then you have no political skills.

      Anyway why is Phil fronting this, where is Grant? He has spent two years on this and there should be a clear fact sheet on all these new policy ideas:

      Costs
      Benefits
      Similar schemes (real examples)
      A simple outline of who and how it would be run.

      The man has hung Andrew out to dry. If Little has the backing of his caucus he should move Grant along in the NY, he will be a disaster in election year. Unbelievable that he was to lazy or incompetent not to have this information available for his leader. Actually he should have every detail ready for any questions Andrew might face, Grant is going to be a cluster F..k next year, maybe he is up to his old tricks! Can’t see Key putting up with this crap from English.

      • Richard Rawshark 13.2.1

        OH yes, ty for reminding me, where has Grant been..

      • Anne 13.2.2

        Read comment 11.3 Jo and suggest you do the same….

        • Jo 13.2.2.1

          Yeah that works for the 99.9% of the voting public who weren’t at the conference they just see the fall out and in the end that is what counts when people vote.

        • Richard Rawshark 13.2.2.2

          Think you guys are missing what I am saying, it’s said in a Where’s grant, the full lot of them as a team should be protesting the media together, Not for Grant to be defensive but standing alongside as the policy maker in union.

      • Leftie 13.2.3

        Jo. Why should Labour say they are sorry when they haven’t done anything wrong?

  13. Richard Rawshark 14

    and will you own any of these

    MPI’s camera fiasco, the criminal sentences himself fiasco..

    Serco and fight clubs

    Homelessness

    Housing crisis

    Highest suicide stats since 2007/8 when records began

    River water quality

    SFC so much taxpayer money

    Brownlee, and his..tuck shop raid

    Bridges for bridges, where are they? and crown limo’s for it!

    I’ll stop here or i’ll be all day.

    Anyone of them will do and then I will say, IMHO labour stuffed up on our presentation for you..

    • rsbandit 14.1

      They are all bad. National are terrible. Not sure what your point is.

      • Richard Rawshark 14.1.1

        Ownership..

        should honor my commitment

        IMHO, which is neither here nor there, labour could have presented better.

        Specifically Andrew needs a better suit.

        • rsbandit 14.1.1.1

          They can own it, if they want. I’ll own what the Greens do. Still not sure what your point is.

          You think that Labours handling was brilliant and that if it wasn’t for the press being against them, then it was flawless?

          It wasn’t. It left a hole wide open for just about anyone who can count to drive a bus through. If you can’t see that, then you are part of the problem.

          Not in Labour comms, are you?

          • Richard Rawshark 14.1.1.1.1

            Labour comms, lol, I don’t think there swear filter would cope!!

            Nah i took a different view, I did some sums myself, so I thought.., if I break it down to basics, they created a mountain out of a mole hill. It was so trivial.

          • Sigh 14.1.1.1.2

            Let’s be clear. The original claim from Vance was that Labour had ‘mucked up its numbers’. When it was clear that Labour’s numbers were robust she changed her story to they should have put all the detail of modelling and assumptions in the public-facing materials. This is a standard they have never held the government to, or the opposition. It is utterly unprecedented.

  14. Nessalt 15

    what is labours comms strategy? surely that must be the basis by which every policy is announced?

    • Richard Rawshark 15.1

      I am thinking it runs like this..

      Give them policy, then gather in boardroom to discuss how to deal with the media attack..

      • Nessalt 15.1.1

        hahahahahaha

        if that’s it then labour deserve to lose. that is absolutely pathetic

        • Richard Rawshark 15.1.1.1

          no what’s pathetic is me thinking they would even have a boardroom, gathered in the broom closets probably more accurate.

          /jk

  15. Wainwright 16

    Labour’s figures are never treated the same way at National’s. It’s been this way for nine years but apparently we never learn. Definition of insanity is …

  16. Rob 17

    Henry again picked the wrong result, but like him the insults will remain.

  17. Richard Rawshark 18

    Suddenly the standard feels like it’s under a DOS attack

  18. mike 19

    People are saying that Vance behaves like a playboy rabbit when she’s in the company of John Key.
    And that she wanted to grow a pony tail but felt it was hopeless to compete with thirteen year olds.

  19. Andrea Vance is typical of the young women the NZ media has fronting and reporting on politics and current affairs.
    Women like Ms Vance, Samantha Hayes, Heather someone, Nadia someone, Erin someone, Toni someone, Pippa someone, just a few of the cohort of women who giggle and bray like donkeys on our screens every night. Print journalists like Claire Trivet are no better.
    They all have a poor grasp of the fact that journalism should be a revered profession.
    That those practising it should be politically impartial, at the same time having enough knowledge of the essential issues under discussion to be able to present the relevant facts, so that the public can be intelligently informed.
    Women like Ms Vance and her ilk make cracking the glass ceiling even more difficult,
    because they are seen to be as dishonest and prejudiced as their male counterparts, and they bring what’s left of the grand tradition of the 3rd estate into disrepute.

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