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The Standard Week: August 29 – September 5

Written By: - Date published: 2:15 pm, September 7th, 2008 - 10 comments
Categories: standard week - Tags:

As always at The Standard, we’re interested in the issues that affect people’s lives. So, rather than endless posts on who said what over donations made three years ago, we looked at some interesting stories on wages, living standards, and protections against loan sharks. National’s awful billboards provided a lot of fun, readers sent in some great parodies, while the Greens’ efforts are much better. Meanwhile, the polls continue to improve for the Left, while National seems almost hell-bent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Here are our favourite posts of the week:

Not good enough
So Labour put up legislation regulating loan shark parasites and see who opposes it. At the very least it will let your ‘people’ know who still stands for them….[more]

Causes and effects
Full employment and raising incomes for the poor are the best ways to keep our society healthy and reduce such tragic events. Worth keeping in mind when we come to vote….[more]

National bleats about wages, still has no solutions
The National Party are once again trying to make political capital over the Trans-Tasman wage gap, even though they created it in the first place and have no policy to fix it…[more]

Roy Morgan shows Left ahead
John Key’s impatience to get the election over and done with makes a lot more sense in light of today’s Roy Morgan poll. The poll has Labour up 4 to 38%, the Greens up to 8% and National down 3.5 to 44.5% …[more]

Why didn’t NZF use Nats’ donations playbook?
It seems beyond belief that no-one in the party would have seen the donation declaration at some point and said ‘hey, what about that $50K from the Spencer Trust?’…[more]

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10 comments on “The Standard Week: August 29 – September 5 ”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    SP writes:

    As always at The Standard, we’re interested in the issues that affect people’s lives. So, rather than endless posts on who said what over donations made three years ago, we looked at some interesting stories on wages, living standards, and protections against loan sharks.

    I think you’re stretching credibility SP. I agree that the Standard Week here is about substantial issues, and you’ve done a good job of picking the substantial ones in your weekly round-up. But I don’t think it’s credible for you to say that as always, you’re interested in the substantial issues.

    By no measure at all does a meeting between Lord Ashcroft, which has received so much attention from you, consist of a substantial issue. By no measure does John Key’s personal wealth, which also attracts so much interest in your writing, constitute a substantial issue. By no measure did the coldplay stuff constitute a substantial issue. Nor whether there was a leak of National’s conservation and environment policy, the spin of which, from Trevor Mallard, you repeated without questioning over and over again. The issue of who advises National leader John Key, are hardly issues affecting everyday New Zealanders, yet this has been a theme repeated by you over and over again.

    If the issue of donations from three years ago are not a substantial issue, then I expect you to never again use the expressions “Nicky Hager”, “Hollow Men”, “Crosby Textor”, or “Exclusive Brethren”. I would love to see that happen, and if you are being genuine in your attempt to debate the real issues, then I would expect you to do just that.

    I agree that the substantial issues, rather than some of the vitriolic stuff on blogs of both left and right, are not around things like how much money John Key has, or how much Helen Clark has, or whether John Key is a nasty corporate or whether Helen Clark is pursuing a secret lesbian agenda. It’s about which party is going to increase living standards. Which country is going to make families feel safe in their homes and confident about their own prosperity. It’s about which party is going to do the most to improve the environment, and the economy, and health services, and education standards. It’s about which party is going to improve our reputation internationally and make us feel more proud about our place in the world.

    There are probably a few more issues there, off the top of my head. You do a good job, SP, in making this Standard Week about real issues, even if you failed pretty miserably in the past to stick to the substantial issues. I don’t agree with you about the solutions to the issues, or the respective weights you put on different things, but we can have an honest, open and mature debate about them without resorting to the mind-numbing “Helen Clark is a witch/John Key is a rich prick” sideshow.

  2. Pascal's bookie 2

    You are so very helpful Tim, and free with the advice.

    If I may offer you some of the same, I’d suggest that you hold back and not mention in almost every comment how concerned you are that the Standard and it’s posters might be perceived as something or other. It comes across as insincere and ulterior motive-ish.

    Indeed, being as aware of the internet traditions as I am, when I read your thoughtful and advice riddled comments the phrase ‘concern troll’ often springs to mind. Which is unfortunate, because I’m sure you only have the Standard’s best interests at heart and it detracts from the thoughtful content you also provide.

  3. Tim Ellis 3

    I call it as I see it PB. I don’t go around slagging people and do engage in proper debate. I’ve had many very interesting debates with people here at the Standard, from people who take the time to consider the other person’s point of view and respond accordingly. There are some people here who really do take the time to debate: rob and Matthew Pilott and lynn prentice can be pretty acerbic with trolls, but I’ve pretty much always found them genuine in their views.

    I do think that the level of debate here in the Standard’s commentary is generally very good. I’d like to think that since I’ve been here, not very long, I admit, in the areas I’ve contributed that I have helped raise the level of debate. I don’t generally read Kiwiblog’s comments; perhaps it’s the nature of not very pithy one-liners, or the lack of moderation, or the sheer volume of the comments, or a mix of all of those things, but there isn’t a whole lot of active on-topic debate there. Public address does pretty well on that count.

    I understand that SP is really very partisan and he enjoys winding people up. I don’t criticise him for that. Matthew Hooton on the right uses similar tactics, and he’s very entertaining in the use of his hyperbole also. But that’s the problem. Hooton’s stuff is really nothing more than over-hyped right-wing, partisan propaganda. It’s good colour, and funny, but like Hooton I think SP risks being treated like a sideshow if all of his posts are only partisan hyperbole.

    I’m quite happy to say that and risk being called precious or long-winded or sanctimonious or whatever. They’re all fair criticisms of me, too. But as long as SP acts as a mouthpiece for the partisan hyperbole that he pushes out, he lacks credibility when he says it’s time to look at the important issues.

    It raises some interesting issues about what the Standard is here for. I’m not really sure what the answer is to that.

  4. Rob 4

    I think it could be an interesting commentary at the end of next week from the Standard.

    Especially after reading the Newspaper reports on what Trevor Mallard said about Owen Glenn no wonder he wouldn’t give Labour anymore money. Telling people to look for the marks on the front of Owen Glenn forehead indicating he has had Electric Convulsive Therapy.

    Apparently Glenn is aware of what the dirty duck has been saying and is less than impressed.

    Will be really interesting to see what he brings to the table as the rumours are he has gone off Labour in a big way after the way he has been treated.

    Think he will be having a meeting with John Key to discuss donating to the National Party.

  5. bill brown 5

    Where’d you pull these disparate comments from Rob?

    How about you do some spell and grammar checking on the way through, that way you’d at least be adding some value.

  6. Rob 6

    Its quite easy Bill just read the Sunday Times.

    Sorry about the rushed grammar but I’m sure most got the message to simplify.

    Labour has cooked its goose well and truly with Owe Glenn, and he could make a very dangerous enemy.

    I cnt believe how badly he has treated by both Clark and the Dirty Duck.

  7. Anita 7


    Especially after reading the Newspaper reports on what Trevor Mallard said about Owen Glenn …


    I think some of what you’re paraphrasing (badly) is something Matthew Hooten said someone said that someone else said. But it’s hard to know …

    If you really are quoting Hooten saying someone said that someone else said something, you might find that people point out that

    1) Matthew Hooten is employment specifically for his bias.

    2) “I read something this guy said about something he’d heard someone else say about another conversation none of us were part of” is not exactly reliable.

    3) This would be much easier if you provided references.

  8. bill brown 8


    Just reading Hooten’s column in the SST and then relaying it as fact is not the same as forming an informed opinion. It’s probably the opposite.

  9. lprent 9

    bill: Rob is now banned for a few months.

    Got foolish enough in another thread to claim that the NZLP pays money for this blog site. He’d obviously not looked up the detail as per usual, but was just relaying (badly) something that he’d heard somewhere.

    I’d just paid for this month and I was looking at the hole in my bank account. So he found out exactly how unamused this sysop can be about that kind of thing.

    I think of it as evolution in action.

  10. bill brown 10

    Yeah I know, but I’m sure he’s still lurking around and I couldn’t let it go.

    Just waiting for someone imaginatively using the name Bob to show up.

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