The praiseworthy and the pitiful

Written By: - Date published: 1:58 pm, January 30th, 2009 - 21 comments
Categories: the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

Last year, we had The Standard Week as a regular feature on a Friday. We might resurrect that if there is popular demand but, first, I’ve been talking with some of the others and we want to try out a new Friday feature . Every week there are little comments from politicians, media, bloggers, and commenters that are awesome or really awful that deserve some recognition but don’t warrant a whole post. Enter ‘The Praiseworthy and the Pitiful’. Every Friday, we’ll grade some comments that caught our attention with some brief responses. Now, we can’t be everywhere and we’re all about democratising the ‘sphere, so if you see anything you think is praiseworthy or pitiful, send it through to

Garth George: “John Key, take note: It’s past time for you and your team to show us convincingly that your Government can govern.” A+ don’t expect to see George making the good half of this list too often but he hits the nail on the head here. He was the only political commentator this week who seems to think it’s the job of the government to govern well and the media’s job to expose it when it is not.

Phil Goff: ‘Kiwis would not blame the Government for the recession’ B+ In politics, it’s hard not to take the easy jab, and I’m glad to see Goff has risen above trying to blame the Government for the recession.

Pita Sharples: “A tradition as explorers and entrepreneurs enables Maori to develop their growing asset base in innovative ways,” C The man’s got good rhetoric but does it mean anything? When push comes to shove, the Maori Party has sold out the interests of the Maori working class, despite their fine words.

Colin Espiner: “I know something like 80,000 people around the world lost their jobs in one 24-hour period. (How many didn’t lose their jobs though? Several billion?)” D-The threat is not everyone becoming unemployed, its a large number of people becoming unemployed. The UN is projecting 50 million people to lose their jobs this year. 50 million is about 2.5% of people employed worldwide who now won’t be producing wealth and will need support from others.

John Armstrong: “Having slammed the door shut to working with National a mere three months ago, the Greens now want to reopen it.” E Green policy never changed, they were always open to working with anyone to advance their polices and still are (see here).

Colin Espiner: “people were still making stuff and others were still buying stuff” F- The problem is that economic activity is decreasing, not that it has stopped all together.

21 comments on “The praiseworthy and the pitiful”

  1. Daveski 1

    DPF will be flattered by the imitation, SP. He might be able to get you a cheap flight 😉

    Even you would struggle to believe that the Greens didn’t make it clear they would only work with Labour. Even Tandor has acknowledged that the Greens had made a tactical mistake. It’s ironic how you will use semantics when it suits you but attack it when it suits your case “Key wants to cut your wages”.

    See that’s the problem with good journalism. It’s only good when it agrees with your perspective.

  2. Tane 2

    Daveski, I think you’ve misunderstood the Greens’ position.

    Yes, before the election the Greens said they’d go into Government with Labour, but it’s always been their policy to work with whatever parties they need to on a case-by-case basis in order to advance their policy programme. John Armstrong’s column was simply misinformed.

  3. funny Daveski because when one googles ‘greens work with national’ one gets articles like the Herald one from election day called “Greens pledge to work with National ” and one from the NBR before election entitled: ‘Greens prefer Labour but could work with National’

    and if your income falls in real terms, it has dropped. Nominal values are meaningless. I know I have to explain things like that to Brett but you’re smarter than that.

    what does DPF do?

  4. samiam 4

    I like the idea of the praiseworthy and pitiful, but can you please drop the A F grading stuff. Farrar spent last year doing that in his silly dispatch from helengrad collums in the NBR and looked like a real git. While it’s the type of infantile analysis I’ve come to expect from him, it makes a collum really hard to read and take seriously.
    I guess it was actually further compounded when the National party made a screw up he would give it a b- scandal and when Labour did it, a f+. And also what was with his EFA breech of the week stuff err sorry who gives a fuck.

  5. toad 5

    Yep, I have to say I was surprised to see Garth George being so forthright – good on him.

    It was also interesting to see David Farrar state that one of National’s weaknesses was that “Some new Ministers may prove to be easy targets for the Opposition.’ in his NBR column today.

    I wonder to what extent Murray McCully’s performance (or lack thereof) over the past month has inspired both of them to the conlusions they have reached.

  6. Felix 6

    Does Espiner think anything through before he types?

    I like the feature, sounds like a good name for a bad daytime soap. One thing though – it would make for a more uplifting Friday afternoon if the grades were read out from lowest to highest.


  7. Matthew Pilott 7

    Is that ‘Tandor’ Nachos, Daveski?

  8. Good idea Felix.

    Toad. I love that post, funny I just saw similiar langauge to the title somewhere else, on scoop? ah, public address.

  9. Daveski 9

    MP … there’s a hole in my foot now 🙂

    Teach me for racing off to a meeting.

    The point I made (before shooting said foot) was that Nandor Tanczos believed the Greens had boxed themselves into a corner:

    But then National is not an environmental party. It is the Green Party’s job to influence governments on the issues that count and why would National listen to them? The Greens made it very clear in the election campaign that they were not interested in talking to National.

    I thought at the time that it was an extraordinarily stupid thing to do, to fasten your lifeboat to a sinking ship. Greens do best when there is an outgoing Labour Government, but this election the results were disappointing. The Green Party might well have won their biggest caucus yet, if they had been prepared to stop licking Labour’s hand.


    Again, I don’t have a view myself but I would expect Nandor to be better positioned than most to make the comment which is what Armstrong was also stating.

  10. lukas 10

    Toad, can you confirm that the NBR column you are referring to is the same one that Robinsod’s “sources” said had been axed?

  11. lukas. The ‘sod hits gold sometimes – like when he exposed steady eddie and jum – but not always.

  12. toad 12

    Lukas, I think it was just renamed – used to be “Dispatch from Helengrad”, and hasn’t appeared for a few weeks.

  13. Matthew Pilott 13

    Sorry daveski, I thought it was a great wee typo! (It didn’t detract from your point, don’t worry!) Nandor came out quite strongly but quite effectively, i thought.

    Steve – what’s this about ‘sod and Steady and jum?

    Not one to mention captcha often, but ‘vantage drinks’ at half three on a Friday… Indeed.

  14. Daveski 14

    Cheers MP – I did laugh as it’s a great way to shoot your argument to bits before it even gets off the ground.

    Enjoy that drink if you get it

  15. Matthew Pilott 15

    Carlsberg at hand, cheers 🙂 (doesn’t go well with the energy drink though, ugh.)

  16. ak 16

    Yes, sad to see our Quantas-award-winning “best political reporter” producing crap not worthy of a third-former. His incessant pro-tory dogwhistling prior to the election was bad enough (and I see the motley swarm of Helen-haters he attracted is still at it), but the hubris in this pollyanish puffery is simply nauseating. 80,000 on the scrapheap in one day? pfffffffftttt……. who gives a fat rat’s arse when you’re the legendary Colonspinner and the bosses luv ya.
    Another one emasculated by promotion and lobotomised by adulation. No wonder he’s mates with Key.

    Re Nandor: well aren’t we all so very wise with our “sinking ship” stuff after the event then. The Greens’ policy of picking sides prior to an election is the only principled stance for a smaller party to take: long-term, voters reward respect and honesty. The bob-each-way merchants, less so: unless the Maori Party delivers very big in the next three years (looking unlikelier by the GFC day, eg guess what’s going to leap into the sights of the health razor gang?), this lesson is going to hit home to them. Keyster-cuddling and brown-table gasbagging may be intoxicating, but if they don’t bring home the bacon-bones, the 2011 hangover will hurt bad.

  17. SBlount 17

    “what does DPF do?”

    have lots more readers than The Standard

  18. toad 18

    SBlount said: “what does DPF do?’ have lots more readers than The Standard

    Well, some more, but not lots more, according to Tumeke’s blogosphere ratings. They are respectively the No. 1 & No. 2 political blogs. And there are people like me who regularly read and post to Kiwiblog to try to convince the readers that economically right wing and environmentally unsustainable politics that might feather their own pockets will be disastrous for their great-grandchildren.

    Poor old me slaves away, along with several others, on, and still can’t get past 43 on the Tumeke rating, which is even below John Key’s blog.(41) and the ACT Party blog (40).

    Okay, shit happens, but at least the Greens’ parliamentary blog, frogblog comes in at No 7.

  19. ak 19

    SBlount said: “what does DPF do?’ have lots more readers than The Standard

    So does Playboy. Same reason. Boys sans imagination who need help to get hard. Try calling it toad – and flash your tongue a bit.

  20. Toad, I wouldn’t worry about the Tumeke ratings, much of that is flawed as some people are mucking about with their own ratings to mess the figures up. Follow your stats yourselff and you’ll see how many people read it each day.

  21. DeeDub 21

    Can I nominate ACT mouthpiece Lindsay Mitchell for an F please:

    “So as well as focussing on minimising job losses the government needs to be looking at ways to discourage uptake of other benefits. While some people end up on a benefit because of factors genuinely beyond their control, many others are there because they made bad choices. The easy availability of assistance plays a role in influencing those choices. ”

    Yeah, things are gonna get tougher for the poor over the next few years so let’s make it even harder for people to get assistance. Good idea . . . that’ll save heaps.

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