The praiseworthy and the pitiful

Written By: - Date published: 1:04 pm, February 20th, 2009 - 23 comments
Categories: the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: , , , , ,

The praiseworthy and the pitiful is our weekly post on the little things that caught our eye but didn’t lead to a full post. This week:

Tracy Watkins’ new blog A best of the political journos’ blogs I reckon. Watkins has been responding to comments, showing a bit of a sassy side, and her pieces aren’t too long. Funny (and sad) thing is that the best writing we se from the political journos is often on their blogs.

Vernon Small pieces on the Dom and Independent on global recession B+ First political journo I’ve seen trying to get to grips with the geo-political ramifications of the global recession. He correctly points out that the outlook for the Anglo hegemony is not good, he doesn’t look at the other side – the economic and political power that China will gain, right now they’re the only ones with lots of money and they’re using it to buy up major firms and resources in the rest of the world. Points off for writing “double plus bad”, correct Newspeak is ‘doubleplus ungood”‘.

National: “taking the sharpest edges off the recession” C All the Nat MPs are saying as often as possible that their policies are doing this. It’s one of those brilliant spin lines. It sounds good but what does it mean? What are these ‘sharpest edges’, are the policies really going to take them off, why not all the edges? No-one asks, of course. Wait for this to be picked up like ‘rolling maul’.

Hide attacking Auckland Regional Council for losing money on Beckham. C Higher points because its good, if petty, politics but ultimately a bad mark because, if you’re one of the few who still cares about our constitution, you won’t like seeing a Minister looking over a council’s shoulder and criticising their individual and minor spending decisions.

Bill ‘eyes on the ball’ English: “this Government is not preoccupied with all the details” F He goes on to explain that he doesn’t need information because he is too busy making decisions. Any idiot can make a decision, good decisions require good, detailed understanding of the situation.

Key and English when asked about conditions for bailing out firms “there would be a very high benchmark”, “there would be a high hurdle for any assistance” F-. Um, those.. those aren’t answers and we deserve to have them.

Tony Ryall justifying canceling pay-equality inquires because they will “generate an additional form of remuneration pressure that is unaffordable in the current economic and fiscal environmentMega-fail Arguing sexism is necessary to save money. That’s a new low, almost a sacking offence I would have thought.

23 comments on “The praiseworthy and the pitiful”

  1. Mike 1

    “taking the sharpest edges off the recession” sounds like the excuse of an alcoholic having a liquid breakfast to “take the edge off the day”.

  2. Pascal's bookie 2

    “he doesn’t need information because he is too busy making decisions.”

    ’cause he’s the decider.

  3. So let me guess the great blogs are the left wing ones, they get As and Bs and the right wing blogs are bad they get, Fs.

    At least over at kiwiblog, they give credit to labour mp’s when they do something right.

  4. Tane 4

    Tracy Watkins is a journo Brett, and a National-leaning one at that. She’s no leftie blogger. Vernon Small is a political journo for the Dom Post.

  5. Occams Razor 5

    Does Vernon have a blog or RSS feed ?

  6. Felix 6

    Brett isn’t even trying anymore. F.

  7. Rex Widerstrom 7

    The Hide vs ARC thing is a conundrum for me. Certainly from a constitutional perspective we don’t want Ministers sticking their noses in to what ought to be the preserve of local government (though I seem to remember something about a certain Trevor Mallard and a certain stadium… but I’m sure you’ll find a way of telling me that’s different, Steve 😛 )

    OTOH local governments don’t have oppositions. There’s no one there to challenge and criticise and promote alternatives and in those rare instances there’s a few dissenting councillors their views are rarely reported – certainly not till after they’ve voted against a proposal (and lost).

    And if the community dare challenge some of these modern-day Caligulas, well, they’re just “single issue nutters” who can be vilified and made to feel so out of place that many of them leave.

    Keeping watch on, and challenging, Mayors and councils – especially some mayors and councils – is necessary part of democracy. It’s just that it’s usually left to poorly oganised, unfunded, minority membership ratepayers’ groups if it’s done at all.

    While the Minister isn’t the ideal watchdog, we do need some sort of monitoring / critiquing going on, and who else has the resources or public platform to do it?

  8. Felix:

    How is my post not trying?

    Tracy, a National leading Journo??

  9. Tane 9

    ‘leaning’, not ‘leading’, brett.

  10. Tane:

    Cool, thanks for the pick up.

  11. DeeDub 11

    Rex “, well, they’re just “single issue nutters’ who can be vilified and made to feel so out of place that many of them leave.”

    Yeah, and don’t we ALL wish the SST and their insane, retribution-seeking head nutter would be treated like that by certain polys and the media – but they’re the good kind of “single issue nutters’ I guess?

  12. ak 12

    On th…I mean OTOH Rex, the community has a lovely opportunity for expression every three years, and local body operations and consultative processes are vastly superior to the (almost non-existent in practical terms) central govt equivalent – open forum before every session of Parliament or its committees is there?

    Not to mention the audit requirements or comparative political realities: e.g. no councillor gaining the equivalent vote-share of the Yellow Gibbon (less than Winnie, despite the media gang-bang of the latter) would even get a foot under the table, let alone a Ministerial power equivalence.

    (and I’m sure Rodders will also be insisting on Govt expenditure staying under inflation too…..funny how “necessary stimulus” only applies to central govt….but I’m sure he’ll find a way of telling us how that’s different Rex 😉

  13. Pat 13

    SP – You forgot to give Labour a rating for their unanimous support for the repealing of the EFA this week. Must have slipped your mind.

  14. gobsmacked 14

    Let’s add an F for Judith Collins, who is starting to look very silly indeed.

    “Mr Matthews has told Radio New Zealand he never intended to resign and is committed to working with Ms Collins and the National-led government.

    He says Ms Collins told him on Friday morning she was pleased that he was staying on in the role.” (Radio NZ, emphasis added).

    That’s not just a flip-flop, that’s an acrobat without a safety net. And I’ll bet John Key will just love having to publicly back up his Minister’s latest twist and turn.

  15. BLiP 15

    Hey – at least Ryall is consistent – his actions have also seen the disabled further marginalised.

  16. Rex Widerstrom 16

    DeeDub… now there’s an interesting mind game. Call up a certain particularly rampant (and I use the term advisedly) schlock jock, get him going on “single issue nutters” (should be easy… I think there’s a button you push on his lycra outfit) and then ask him how that differs from his hero McVicar. Go on… I’d do it, but I suspect he’d recognise my voice and meltdown instantly (poor DPF once made the mistake of mentioning my name to him in the Koru lounge, and almost got a bill for cleaning the phlegm off the ceiling).

    ak… Please don’t imply Winston should be back in Parliament, I’m already on pills to control my blood pressure 😛 I’m sure if we resurrected Ned Kelly most Australians would vote for him, but he’d still be a bloody thief.

    You’re right, most councils hold open forums before their monthly meetings. Have you ever been to one?! Crazy (always) old (usually) men (usually) ranting on about their neighbour’s noisy parties while councillors read their agendas. People with something important to say told there isn’t time… or argued with by councillors even though they’re supposed to sit and listen, and maybe ask a question… or in worst cases, evicted by security.

    Actually that’s pretty much what it’d be like if Parliament did the same thing…

    And having the chance to rein in Rodney and co once every three years isn’t enough for me (I’m one of these participatory democracy single issue nutters 😉 ) so I’m certainly not happy about entirely leaving councils to it for three years.

    But I agree that, aside from public vilification, Rodney doesn’t seem to have a plan for dealing with it. I’m hoping that encouraging him to look at the issue might lead to a constructive plan for improving local democracy.

    Yes, I do do most of my dreaming on Fridays…

    gobsmacked: I can’t think of an expletive that’s sturdy enough for the job. F for Collins, FU for Matthews, perhaps. I’d say C for chutzpah but that’s too high a score.

    captcha: deter him. Well, I’ve done my best 😀

  17. Pat. good point. But I think I should do a full post on the topic sometime. Stay tuned, y’ll

  18. @ work 18

    Rex Widerstrom:
    schlock jock

    ?? is that slang for a schlong jockey?

  19. ak 19

    Pat: of course Labour voted to repeal. You forgot that it’s the most evil thing this side of Hades and ensures that an incumbent govt can never be voted out. Must have slipped your mind.

    (and Rex: those pills are impotent against the effects of kiwibleugh visits. Just say no. 😉

  20. Rex Widerstrom 20

    @work: Considering to whom it is I am obliquely referring, thanks for that mental image 😛 And no… schlock is Yiddish meaning “something cheap, shoddy, or inferior”. Thus inferior shock jock = schlock jock.

    Hmmm I just realised I’ve used two Yiddish phrases in comments on one post (the other being chutzpah). Oy vey!!

  21. RedLogix 21

    Of course it is real easy for Snodders to attack the ARC for taking a punt on Beckham and loosing some cash. We haven’t heard the tiniest peep from the little troll about how many uncounted trillions a fraudulent and grossly irresponsible finance industry is in the process of destroying world-wide… but let a public body come out somewhat on the wrong side of an otherwise perfectly legal and reasonable commercial risk… and it’s all ‘truly appalling’.

    A similar Beckham event in Wellington was very successful; so it was not wholly unfounded to think that it might work in Auckland as well…. sadly it did not and probably there are some lessons to be learnt from it. But this was a loss of less than $1.6m… I mean can Snodney not bring himself to say ANYTHING about the real gorrilla in the living room?

    As for Mr Tony Ryall. One word and one word only. Odious.

  22. Pascal's bookie 22

    RL, I’m guessing he’ll be returning the funds from the Nat/ACT coalition agreement as well. ACT gets given funding for ‘research’ outside of any portfolio areas they hold. Sounds like wastage to me.

    No-one seems to know what budget that will come out of either. Or why the taxpayer should be subsidising the ACT party. But I’m sure everyone knows exactly what any ‘research’ commissioned by ACT will say before they bother beginning to ponder on a subject.

    So yep, I guess Rodney will razor that little boondoggle right smartish.

  23. ryallsghost 23

    I smell a derivative format here.

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  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • US imperialism, Huawei, racism and imperial anxiety
    by Tony Norfield US political opinion against China has two solid bases. The first is the longstanding racist and protectionist sentiment in the white working class; the second is a more recent anxiety about China’s economic prowess in America’s ruling elite. This article notes some historical aspects of anti-Chinese racism ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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