Life and Politics

Occasional comment on politics and the media in New Zealand

Tag: David Farrar

Farrar hits the nail on the head

by Jake Quinn

David Farrar nails it in this blog. The blog relates to comments by Labour activist, candidate and political commentator (and wife of David Shearer’s political advisor, John), Josie Pagani, made on Radio New Zealand and then online, in regards to the POAL dispute.

Pagani’s moderate, non-fundamentalist view, where she accepts a certain inevitability (that some industries need to be more flexible than others) but expresses concern about how to manage that process, is quite likely shared by millions of New Zealanders. Read the rest of this entry »


Conspiracies and race-cards

by Jake Quinn

Chris Trotter conjures up an interesting conspiracy theory.  His character plays the role of a fictional journalist asking the curly ones about HoneHarawira’s email leaker, Mr Buddy Mikaere.  The central question being, what, if anything, does Mr Mikaere have to gain from Hone departing the Maori Party (and how this might be related to his leaking of said email)?

Totter’s character asks: “Who is this man? What does he do? Who does he rub noses with? Did he have anything to gain by becoming involved in the Harawira controversy? Who, if anyone, did he talk to before releasing the offending e-mails?”

Trotter’s theory, as I read it, goes a little like; Maori Party supports Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) legislation and in return gets Foreshore & Seabed Act repeal plus ETS sweeteners for Maori (exclusive tree planting rights on DOC land etc), and Mikaere benefits in some way because of his role representing Iwi in such dealings and Hone is the only man who could possibly stand in his way… or something like that.

It could be totally off the mark.  But who would know.

David Farrar then draws our attention to the reasonably legitimate accusation from Colin Espiner that Phil Goff has played the race-card not once, but twice, in the last week.

Espiner writes: “Twice in the past week, Goff has played the race card, albeit carefully, by suggesting first that there was one rule for Harawira over his comments about white mo-fos and another rule for other MPs, and then raising the prospect that National’s proposed settlement with iwi over the ETS was based on ethnicity.”

It most certainly doesn’t resemble Brash’s despicable “birth-right to the upper hand” version of the tactic, but sounds like a mild dog whistle none the less. (That’s if it’s possible for a mild one to exist, I mean they either hear it or they don’t, right?)

Not many around here (based on this kind of logic), but plenty of folks are mightily peeved by Hone’s words, and his direct attack on Goff (saying he should be shot for his involvement in passing the Foreshore and Seabed Act) could be seen to have given the Labour leader legitimate cause to enter the fray. However, he should be very careful, as David suggests,with how he treads this line.  Going blue-collar on motorbikes is one thing, but let us not throw the baby out with the bath water.

Update: I just saw Patrick Gower’s bit in the Herald yesterday where he congratulates Goff for using Brash-like language (one law for all, bludged off the tax payer) and where he says Michael Law’s thinks Goff is “becoming relevant again”.

Sigh. Caucus next week should be interesting.

Oh, and the Standard likes it.  How odd (I’m not being sarcastic, I actually find it odd).

Greens foolish if they drop social justice focus

by Jake Quinn

Imma let you finish, but the Green’s strategy for where to take their party is probably better than the advice National would give them.

Over on Kiwiblog: Farrar“took the view that it [that Sue B was bowing out] was potentially beneficial to the Greens as replacing Bradford with Clendon strengthens their environmental brand and if they are smart they could get as much as 10% of the vote if they position themselves as “greening” the Government no matter if it is National or Labour.

Do you ever get the feeling that, if adopted, some of the advice coming out of the right wing politics blogs about what parties of the left ‘ought to be doing’ would see them become electorally irrelevant? I do.

Firstly, I don’t think the Greens have any intention of going enviro-only– they know that while it might help them cosy up to the current government, or perhaps nab a small niche of urban tory-green trendies, that it is not in their long term interests.

The scenario that Farrar et al paint goes a little like this:

The Greens should steer away from the defining social justice/left issues (just to remind you some of those are; lowering unemployment, improving conditions and wages for workers, strengthening unions, while decrease inequality through progressive taxation and using this revenue to increase benefits and funding for public services).

But that they should instead become some kind of trendy middle class eco-warrior party that latches onto the growing concern for the natural environment without getting weighed down by ‘boring’ stuff like poverty and causes of crime.

This way they can form a government with National next time around and be made the Minister for Environment and Climate Change. Then they have the privilege of ushering though National Party environment policies that fall far short of the policies that Labour proposed and they criticised in the first place for being too weak.

What a victory for the Greens that would be, Green Party supporters would be so proud! … or not.

Alternatively, just let Labour drift to the centre on social issues in an attempt to take votes from National, while the Greens stick to the principles of their core constituents (that is, left wing people who care about social justice and the environment) with the long term view of forming a left wing coalition government in the future.

So Labour are advertising on Kiwiblog now

by Jake Quinn

Heh, I really should be doing some work but I couldn’t let this one slide.  Care of Ads by Scoop, Labour MP Phil Twyford’s Not Yours To Sell campaign ad is now appearing on Kiwiblog, which could be described as ‘not really a Labour supporting website’.  It is made all the better care of the opening sentence from the post in picture titled Labour and unions “one of the reasons I am not a Labour fan…”.


Things that were neat, last few days edition

by Jake Quinn

So the New Zealand media are being accused of being both homophobic and anti-catholic – a condition once thought to be impossible owing to the presumed mutual exclusiveness of each characteristic.

This whole breaking his silence thing does not really seem to be working out for that nice Mr Carter does it, perhaps leaving it to “Trevor, Whips and the Leadership” had some merit.  Dr Brian Edwards gives his reasoned two cents worth here.

Meanwhile, while Mr Farrar cruizes around the Pacific, he’s left his Kiwiblog in the hands of a rather unconventional (by VRWC standards) bunch of solo mums.  This post titled ‘Middle Class Witches’ by Tare te Heke is actually quite moving.  The comments thread is also moving, but rather more bowel-moving than wow-moving.

Meany-pants James over at Editing Teh Herald gets stuck into my friend Jacqueline Smith for what, he admits, are probably her sub-editor’s naff headlines; “Rap classes make school cool” and “Students must do hard stuff: academic“.

Why you shouldn’t be Facebook friends with your boss is the latest lolgasm to be doing the rounds on twitter. Not a mistake she is likely to repeat.

The media highlight of the week continues to be Mediawatch over on Radio NZ.  This weekend’s programme explores, among other things, the weatherson-case-made-hot topic of voyeurism versus the public’s right to know (it’s towards the end of the interview) and is, as is normally the case, the best commentary/analysis on the media we are likely to get. Thank goodness for public service broadcasting.

Update: I feel sufficiently moved to add, not that it is ‘neat’ for it is indeed not, that Paul Holmes’ mother died today.

All Kiwis are probably aware of the very, very special bond Paul had with his mother Chrissy and we pass on our most sincere condolences to the entire Holmes family at this time,said TVNZ’s head of news and current affairs, Anthony Flannery (the emphasis is my own).