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The Nation: On Paddy Gower being impatient

Written By: - Date published: 3:36 pm, September 19th, 2015 - 59 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, labour - Tags: ,

The Nation has been putting highlights up on Youtube. They emailed us with them.

The one that caught my attention was Paddy Gower not listening, and redefining his question partway through from ‘Labour’s big idea’ to ‘Andrew Littles’s big idea’. You will see what I mean when you watch this. Eventually Andrew Little had to force the ever interrupting Paddy Gower to stop and listen to the answer.

The Nation: Sat 9.30am/Sun 10am TV3 & Sat 7pm RadioLive. Or see us online at thenation.co.nz

The excerpt in the email was correct for the answer to redefined question once Paddy stopped trying to re-re-redefining it and manage to control himself enough to listen.

Labour leader Andrew Little says 2015 is not a year for finalising the 2017 election manifesto, “this was a year for getting out and about and listening to New Zealanders”.

But I find it curious that Paddy Gower seems to think that politics is about individuals contesting the political debate, rather than how it actually operates – between parties.

Who cares if KiwiBuild was a policy thought up by the Labour party when David Shearer was it’s leader. It was a good idea and even more relevant now than then. After all we have now had years of National dithering with useless policies, and effectively residing over a growing housing shortage, especially in Auckland.

59 comments on “The Nation: On Paddy Gower being impatient ”

  1. les 1

    I think it was Lisa Owen who asked Bill English what the Natz policy plans were for this term.His eventual reply…there is no silver bullet solution to tackle economic challenges.

  2. weka 2

    Is that from the Nation this week?

  3. David Scott 3

    Hmmm, I am not sure that Andrew Little actually listens to anyone. If he did, he’d discover that lots of their ex-voters are still deeply unhappy with them. We need our own Corbyn.

    • weston 3.1

      prob wont happen for a while gotta feel some sympathy for andrew little by the time hes been arround the country listening to what the people want hes gonna be feeling like a lump of pizza dough pushed and pulled in all dirrections !! My 5cs wth ? get some genuinely contrvecial policies that national wont want to steal like setting up a commision of inquiry to investigate wheather nz should decriminalize some drugs after all theres now quite a few places arround the world including states on prison planet that have !!In tandem with that break open the whole debate ( if there was any ) on the potential of a hemp industry because theres absolutely no logical reason why we dont have one .Bring back a form of the ohu scheme because colectivization is the only way a growing number of poor people can ever have anything like a place to call home .Decomercialize whitebait .Give all prisoners the right to vote and allow smoking in prisons again on humanitarian grounds .theres no shortage of usefull things to do !

    • Jenny Kirk 3.2

      To David Scott – if YOU listened carefully to Andrew Little’s answers, you’d find that he does listen, and that he IS doing what he said he’d do – and that is, spend the first year of his leadership sorting out the caucus, getting them working together, and also finding out from NZers what their real concerns are. This is what he has been doing.

      And I agree with you Lprent – its very very odd of Patrick Gower – who knows darn well that political party policy is decided as a collective (well, maybe not the Nats ! or ACT !) and if a policy is good for one election its rolled forward to another. He’s now obviously trying a different tactic to unsettle Andrew Little. And he didn’t succeed !

      • Karen 3.2.1

        Gower knows full well policy is not made by leaders but by parties. He wanted Andrew to show irritation so he could then create a negative story. I think Andrew has Gower’s measure now and handled the badgering reasonably well.

      • mike 3.2.2

        ‘We need our own Corbyn’.
        No, you have your own Corbyn David, most of us are more than happy with Andrew Little.

        • weka

          I’m not. He’s good for what he is intending (slow rebuild of Labour), but he’s not a Corbyn.

          • Jenny Kirk

            Weka – he will be – eventually, and he’s a quick learner. After all, Corbyn has had 20-odd years in Parliament. Andrew is doing well.

            • weka

              I think Little is more of a mediator rather than someone who will make a big shift. I don’t see either the left wing grounding or intention to move left that Corbyn has. Little might bring in some left wing policy, all power to him, but it will be in a way that appeases the centrists.

              I’m happy to be wrong about this, but until he starts being open about forming govt with the GP I can only assume BAU.

              • greywarshark

                That’s the uneasy feeling. While we wait impatiently for Labour to get its slippers off and into its working boots, even gumboots, the world goes into a greater spin and I fear we will be trapped in the centrifuge. Sounds a wide analogy but I daily become more anxious with the ‘happenings’ on the news now, and waiting for Labour to get stuck in to winning the election and hoping that they will use all their resources, and then waiting to see if they have new adaptive, human-based policies, not Treasury-approved stringencies is a wait too far.

                This morning on Radionz here is a German sounding man talking about how cheap solar power has become. In Australia simple home generation is cheaper than the bought electricity. The batteries need to come down further in price but that will happen.

                Driverless cars that drop you off at work, and then go on to further service, so they don’t have to be parked, and become thoroughly productive and efficient are next. I don’t know if taxi drivers can find ways to utilise themselves better and more cheaply now. But this new system plus uber-system will be great changes we need to prepare for.

                There is so much to do. It gives me the s..ts that Labour didn’t throw everything at trying for the government benches last time so that we could get started on methods of renewal, change and future plans and preparations. Instead we have this sleek Mafia bunch stealing the country or squandering, wasting it, and sucking it dry of its last resources while the present dodgy financial system still enables such plunder and ruinous behaviour.

                • weka

                  “getting its slippers off” is a great descriptor, although it is still possible that Little has taken this time to get the house in order and hasn’t need to put the boots on yet. Maybe he’ll be hanging up the pinny any day now.

                  (that’s not as sarcastic as it sounds, I’m happy if that is what Litlle has been doing, but it’s just as likely we’re holding our breath for not good reason other than hope).

  4. Clemgeopin 4

    Gower’s style of questioning is more like repeatedly ‘badgering’ and labouring a point again and again. He needs to understand that that Labour or Andrew Little can not at this early stage give him or reveal the details all the policies. There are still two years to go. If the policies are exposed now, the public will forget them by election time or at that time they will say there aren’t any ‘new’ policies! Besides, National as usual while publicly criticising the policies as ‘bad’ but in reality will simply copy them nevertheless as they have done with the social policies of the last Labour government. The time now for Labour is to listen, discuss, think and formulate the best programmes and policies that are good for all the people and the country and to reveal them prior to the election in 2017.

    The time now is to hold the present government to account and expose their bad policies and their dodgy behaviour.

    It is astonishing that a so called ‘political’ commentator like Gower does not seem to understand this. He does not badger Key in the same manner!

    • The Chairman 4.1

      Clearly Paddy was seeking a headline, Clemgeopin. However, he only wanted Little to name one – not all as you incorrectly claimed.

      Moreover, a good policy is rarely forgotten and usually becomes a public discussion point, drawing in further interest. So your argument doesn’t really wash.

      Additionally, giving away one policy leaves plenty of scope for the Party to release more in the future. Robbing you of your other claim. Which, interestingly enough, were both put forward by the panel on the show.

      Another argument put forward by the panel was National would adopt it (if given away now) and I see you’ve also put forward this as well.

      The fact is, National can still easily adopt it even if it’s released running up to the election.

      • Clemgeopin 4.1.1

        Gower asked for a policy and Andrew Little answered him and with his reasons. It is not Gower’s place or prerogative to demand the answer he wants.

        A policy revealed this early may, as you say, draw ‘further attention’, but could also be counter productive in many ways. No political party in any western democracy, especially being in a potential position to form the next government, will reveal its policies this early in the election cycle and nor should they, apart from holding the incumbent government to task, and through that, indirectly indicate the likely direction it’s governance will take when in power.

        I have expressed my views and reasons in several of my comments from over two years. If the panel expressed similar views today, that does not mean I can not repeat my views again.

        I am not sure what you are really trying to say or prove by your comment. Perhaps you are implying I can not think independently? Did it cross your mind that these so called political ‘experts’ on the panel may be influenced/educated by the points made by ordinary people on blogs/social media?

        • The Chairman

          Gower is a journalist, thus securing a headline is part of his job. Even little accepted it was a good question.

          Pushing and probing for an answer is what journalist. Hence, a number of people don’t like talking to them.

          I sense if it was Key he was probing, you’d be more accepting of this.

          Generating discussion and creating further widespread interest is exactly what Labour needs right now. It will help lift their profile and (if it’s a good policy that is widely like) boost their support.

          It would only be counter productive if the policy was flawed or widely disliked. Hence, selecting one that resonates is vital.

          Labour often take this stance (of holding off), and we all know how that’s been working out for them. Thus, perhaps it’s time for a different approach, opposed to continuing past mistakes.

          Releasing a good policy this early will aide them in showing up the incumbent, showing voters Labour has the answers (or better solutions) their opponents don’t.

          It gives Labour far stronger ground in holding the incumbent government to task.

          When holding the incumbent to account, the first thing voters (and the media) will ask is what would you do differently?

          When a party can’t answer that (or claim they’re not to sure yet, we’ll get back to you) it only makes them look bad. Turning voters off while giving the media a larger stick to bash them with.

          You may have expressed these points (in you initial post) before, but so have the media. It’s a line/position a number (including Labour) have expressed before.

          Whether you are regurgitating it or not is a moot point in this discussion, so don’t get to hung up about it. It was merely something I noticed.

          That fact the the position is flawed (for the reasons I explained above) is what you (and Labour) should be concerned about.

    • Mrs Brillo 4.2

      Well, it’s not “questioning” at all, is it? True questioning involves waiting for an answer.

      I’m getting truly fed up with the growing number of journalists that have a list of assertions or innuendoes that they use in place of questions, and they hurtle through them at top speed not waiting for answers, or providing the anwers they want all on their own. They are in effect seeking to become the star of the interview themselves.

      Paddy Gower is one of the worst for this, but he’s not the only one.

  5. The Chairman 5

    Little’s decision to highlight KiwiBuild was interesting.

    KiwiBuild was/is a hands on left wing style policy that was widely welcomed across the political spectrum.

    Could this be an indication Labour are planning to present more hands on left wing style policies?

    Or was it simply because he knew it was widely liked?


    • BM 5.1

      Who actually builds all the houses?

      • Clemgeopin 5.1.1

        Who built all the state schools, the universities, state hospitals, the electricity generating companies, the railways, the ports, the roads, the airlines, the police, the fire brigade etc?

        The workers and more importantly, we the PEOPLE is the answer to your question. Not the private rich pricks that you are hinting at. The rich pricks come later as the predators and scavengers.

        Have a good day.

        • BM

          So all the building companies are going to suddenly find all this extra capacity to build all these houses?

          Are they even interested?

          • weka

            Why wouldn’t they be interested? They’ve always responded to building booms in the past.

          • Clemgeopin

            Yes, BM. They will be. Don’t be a pessimist and don’t worry. Rest in peace.

          • b waghorn

            In the lead up to the last election the head of the master builders ass was on interviewed and he was of the opinion that labours targets could bed meet with in two years. .

        • weka

          The Ministry of Works got chopped up and sold a long time ago. I’m guessing that the people who will build the houses in Labour’s scheme are large private contractors (rich pricks in your vernacular).

          • weka

            We can’t do concrete on that scale in a low carbon world.

          • BM

            That’s the problem , kiwi build success is up to the market, can the market build the houses at the price the government wants?, does the market even have the capacity to build all these houses?, does the market even want to?, because lets be honest, the last thing building companies want to do is drive the price of houses down.

            This is where KiwiBuild falls a bit flat, There’s no MOW that can step in and build these houses, you’re relying heavily on factors outside the governments control to make the whole thing work.

            • The Chairman

              The Government can fill market voids if it so desires, BM. See my post at 5.1.2

            • weka

              Not sure what you mean by market there.

              I assume the industry has the capacity, given it upscales everytime there is a boom.

              “because lets be honest, the last thing building companies want to do is drive the price of houses down.”

              Maybe, but I’d guess secure contracts aren’t something to be sneezed at, and that there is enough excess in the industry for some companies to build housing more cheaply than they have been.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Maybe, but I’d guess secure contracts aren’t something to be sneezed at, and that there is enough excess in the industry for some companies to build housing more cheaply than they have been.

                Oh, I’m pretty sure that the workers who actually build the houses would love the secure contracts that would come with working for the government at the MoW. The bludgers such a Fletchers and others won’t.

                • weka

                  True, it would be a bold and brilliant move to recreate the MoW.

                  Maybe the mid level companies will be more interested in the contracts.

            • Clemgeopin

              Nothing is impossible for a principled government of values. It can put in any regulation or any controls it chooses in the greedy so called ‘free market’ as long as it has the support of the majority of the people for the common collective good. That IS the meaning of a democracy.

              As a matter of fact, you are even now not entirely free as a ‘free individual’ to do whatever you want. There is a balance between private freedom and collective responsibility. The present RW encroached economic and social system has eroded that important principle resulting in enormous injustices in society, be it the huge income gaps and poverty, or the privileges of the top 1% compared to the rest of the 99%. Things HAVE to change. Hopefully in a peaceful and sensible way soon.

          • Clemgeopin

            Nothing wrong in private individuals or companies taking a contract to do work. I am not against that as long as government still owns it and retains control. The rich pricks I am referring to are the ones who buy off government owned publicly BUILT enterprises like state houses, power companies, schools, hospitals, railways etc using them deprive governments of income and use them as cash cows for private profits.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.3

        Well, I would personally favour reinstating the Ministry of Works and get them to build them. Good apprenticeship schemes so we can get the builders and engineers that we need trained up.

        • The Chairman

          Do you think it’s wise training up builders for an industry that is largely on its way to becoming automated?

          • weka

            We can’t do concrete on that scale in a low carbon world.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Yes because after we no longer need builders it will be easy to retrain them as engineers and technicians to design the building machines and to keep them going.

            • The Chairman

              Shouldn’t we be training them up in that instead? Getting a head start on the coming change.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Er, no you fuken moron as we still need builders now. Also, the training in being a builder also gives a head start in training to become an engineer. Contrary to RWNJ thought it is actually possible for a person to learn more than one thing in their lives (although RWNJs do only learn one thing in their lives with that one thing being nothing).

                Now fuck off troll.

                • The Chairman

                  I wasn’t implying we totally stop training builders, potty mouth. We can do both.

                • weka

                  Er, no, as we still need builders now. Also, the training in being a builder also gives a head start in training to become an engineer. It is possible for a person to learn more than one thing in their lives.

                  fify, minus the aggro (which seemed way over the top tbh).

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Nope, not over the top. When stupid people go around asking stupid questions in an effort to troll, as The Chairman did, I’m going to bite their fucken heads off. Perhaps they’ll learn something – but I doubt it.

  6. Gabby 6

    He’d be a mug to highlight policies that weren’t widely liked.

    • The Chairman 6.1

      Indeed. And we all know Labour had a few of them.

    • The Chairman 6.2

      Additionally, Gabby, with you saying that, can we take you don’t think it was an indication that left wing approach will be expanded to other sectors?

      • Gabby 6.2.1

        Do you think it would be wise, or have any prospect of success, to expand an unpopular approach?

        • The Chairman

          KiwiBuild was/is a hands on left wing style policy that was widely welcomed across the political spectrum. Therefore, of course it would be wise to expand a widely liked approach.

  7. Ad 7

    Little’s big set piece coming up is the Labr Party conference in Palmerston North shortly.

    I would hope his team know that policy discussions don’t work any more. Little has to personalise it – get people to remember what It was like to capitalise the family benefit, what is was like to grow up in a state house (implying Key), what is will mean for a couple in their twenties, what it could mean to assure grandparents that their hard-saved equity will be passed on to their children for something real.

    The examples have to be concrete, not only for the media, but also because people need to see what $$ are in it for them.

    Plus, King needs to let Ardern out of the box.

  8. peterlepaysan 8

    Gower, like a lot of media predators, had already formulated the banner headline before the interview.

    He was clearly frustrated.

    It is an endemic disease amongst radio and tv “interviewers” (the interviewer is more important than the interviewee).

    With hard copy chatterers it is usually easy to spot when they have been interviewing thier keyboard or regurgitating PR flannel.

  9. Gruntie 9

    gower is a light weight biased bull shit purveyor

    • Stuart Munro 9.1

      Vaprous is the word that occurs to me – it astonishes me that anyone can be bothered to pay him.

  10. Neil 10

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I think Andrew Little actually did extremely well in this interview to the point where he actually owned Gower. If you noticed the only one getting his knickers in a knot was Gower because he couldn’t trip Little up.
    Little did amazingly well to not let Gower to try & trip him up or put words in his mouth. I totally agree that Gowers interviewing skills & tactics are all based around trying to intimidate & badgering people.

    • peterlepaysan 10.1

      Little handled gower very well. Being a lawyer and, an experienced union negotiator helps in dismissing headline hunters.

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