Picture of the day

A couple of comments from yesterday:

Missy:

Hey PP, next time I take the riverbus home I will get some pictures and send to Pete and ask him to post them for you.

patupaiarehe :

Perhaps we could have a ‘picture of the day’ here? Whatcha reckon Pete?

Contributions are welcome. Email me, or pictures posted in comments may be worth a post of their own.

I’ll kick things off with this:

rowingsunrise

Rowing on Otago Harbour

 

 

Hide right and wrong about left wing social media

In his latest column Rodney Hide writes about an ailing left that lacks puff and policy, and also blasts the political left on social media.

He is right that the left can be appalling in social media, but he is wrong that it is only the left.

Herald: Left lacks puff and policy

The left now suffer from closed minds and moral smugness. They are moribund and backward-looking.

They run from ideas. Opposing philosophies distress them.

They pillory dissenters as stupid or immoral and often both. There’s no debating or explaining, just abuse for those who step outside received wisdom.

The left have taken to social media with gusto. It only takes 140 characters to abuse and attack.

They fill Twitter and blogs with their righteousness and smugness, puffed up by their own perceived moral and intellectual superiority.

There’s no allowance that a person with a differing view might offer an opportunity to learn and to strengthen your ideas and perhaps, just perhaps, to change them.

That’s never allowed as a possibility.

Their minds are closed and they gasp and take offence at any idea or opinion different to their own.

Indeed, ganging up against dissenters on social media is what binds them. Their attacks on others proves to them their correctness and superiority.

The left are puzzled about why they’re politically marginalised but never trouble themselves to listen to those who have turned away from them. They look down on them and despise them.

The left view their political failure as the fault of voters who must be hoodwinked, stupid, selfish, or suffering some other ethical or intellectual shortcoming. Why else would they not be supporting the left when they are so good and true?

The problem is never with the left or their doctrine.

They are a self-reinforcing sect who in their wretchedness and anger are becoming ever smaller. Their narrow and insular outlook prevents them reaching out. Little wonder it’s not attractive to new recruits.

Labour is the narrow party that has shut itself off from the great bulk of New Zealanders.

I’ve seen a lot of all of this on Twitter, Facebook and on left wing blogs. And also on right wing blogs.

But I think that Hide is right, this is a real problem for Labour in particular.

Even Andrew Little has turned bitterly on ex Labour supporters, dissing them calling them right wing for having the gall to criticise Labour or stand against an anointed Labour candidate.

And there is no sign that this burning off of potential support is going to be dampened.

If the left want to attract more support they need to look more attractive.

UPDATE: I have also quoted what Rodney has said at The Standard and they are already  proving his point. That’s both funny and quite sad.

UPDATE 2: Greg Presland has had a crack back in a post – Dear Herald you can do better than Rodney Hide

Greg questions some of Hide’s claims, like the left is moribun and backward looking – only some of the left fits that description, and so does some of the right – and “National is now the vibrant party looking to the future and open to diverse views” is certainly questionable.

But Greg ignores the toxic nature of left wing social media, which is often on show at The Standard.

Are we a country of casual racists?

Apparently claims have been made that we are a country of casual racists because of something one person said on a ‘reality’ TV show. Mass blaming because of one comment seems ridiculous, but Heather du Plessis-Allen has written a column about it.

NZH: Give the prejudice test a go

Now seems an opportune time to test your bigotry, given claims that The Real Housewives of Auckland proves we’re a country of casual racists.

I don’t think a comment by one attention seeking housewife from Auckland has got anything to do with me.

In the latest – and most dramatic – episode, housewife Julia Sloane – who is white – refers to another housewife – who is not white – as a boat n*****.

Things go understandably awry.

There is crying, yelling and a champagne glass used as a projectile.

Call me cynical, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the term, that I would have thought was rarely used in New Zealand, was staged to stir up publicity. Isn’t that how those programs work? Yeah, I’m prejudiced against programs like that.

It’s a surprise anyone still uses the n-word this side of the millennium. It’s the second-most offensive word in New Zealand and has been for at least 17 years, according to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

But, it’s a little hysterical to claim this is proof New Zealand is populated by a horde of casual racists who treat other ethnicities with the kind of cavalier disregard suggested by a phrase like casual racism.

I don’t know whether the mass blaming was done hysterically or not but it’s both stupid and it’s offensive to me.

Still, the event has given us a good chance to have a hunt around the attic of our attitudes and toss out a few we don’t need anymore. This is, after all, week two of a debate about racism in New Zealand.

Last week we questioned whether Nikolas Delegat – the son of winemaker Jim Delegat – received a seemingly light sentence for assaulting a policewoman because he was white. We also asked why white first-time offenders are twice as likely as Maori offenders to be let off with only a pre-charge warning.

In the same week, I met a woman in a regional city who twice referred to Maori men as “boy”, in one case in the presence of the man in question, who looked like he’d seen about 40 more summers than your average boy.

Terms like “boy” are at worst loaded with connotations of slavery and oppression and at best patronising.

There is certainly quite a bit of racism and racist attitudes in New Zealand, but there is also quite a bit of blaming everyone for the sins of some.

So, perhaps now is the time to spring clean ourselves of our racist attitudes.

Give the prejudice test a go.

She is referring to what is claimed to be a simple test, but I don’t know how well it applies to New Zealand.

But you can try it and see if you are a casual racist or not.

It looks like you are supposed to read the disclaimer, click on agree and then then choose the Race option.

 

Corbyn re-elected

I don’t think this is much of a surprise, but Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected leader of the UK Labour Party.

Guardian: Jeremy Corbyn sweeps to victory increasing his mandate as Labour leader

Jeremy Corbyn has won a decisive victory in his second leadership contest, beating Owen Smith by a bigger margin than he had when he saw off three opponents in 2015 and thereby strengthening his grip on the party. Unlike a year ago, he won easily amongst party members (as well as among registered supporters and affiliated supporters), confirming that the nature of the party membership has shifted quite considerably since the 2015 general election. In a speech which conveyed notably more confidence and authority than the one he delivered after his victory last year, he appealed for unity, saying it was time to wipe the slate clean. He also used a phrase, “more in common”, coined by Jo Cox, the Labour MP killed in the summer who had been one of his critics. He said:

Elections are passionate and partisan affairs things are often said in the heat of the debate on all sides that we later regret.

But always remember in our party, we have much more in common than that which divides us.

As far as I’m concerned the slate is wiped clean from today.

We are proud as a party that we’re not afraid to discuss openly, to debate and disagree that is essential for a party that wants to change people’s lives for the better that isn’t prepared to accept things as they are

Corbyn has said that “lots of MPs” are now willing to support him ahead of compromise talks which may thrash out a deal that could lead to shadow ministers who resigned because they had lost confidence in Corbyn agreeing to work for him again. Around 60 shadow ministers resigned over the summer; a few have indicated publicly that they would be willing to return to the front bench, but many are still resisting. The party’s national executive committee is meeting this evening to discuss the impasse. Corbyn wants the dissidents to return to the front bench so he can run an effective opposition in parliament. His critics want him to agree to shadow cabinet elections. As the Herald’s Kate Devlin reports, MPs are under pressure not to go back until Corbyn has compromised.

The Labour caucus has got Corbyn whether they like it or not. They either have to do the best with him as leader as they can, or really they should resign or split and form another party.

What next for Jeremy Corbyn?

Shadow cabinet elections

Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, has proposed to the party’s governing body, the national executive committee, that MPs elect colleagues to positions in the shadow cabinet, as they did until 2011. The issue is top of the agenda for an NEC meeting that will take place in the hours after Saturday’s leadership result.

Watson has said such a system would allow former frontbenchers to return alongside Jeremy Corbyn with dignity. Corbyn, however, fears it would mean the shadow cabinet does not reflect his political views. He is also concerned that critics would fill the three shadow cabinet positions on the NEC.

Corbyn has proposed that the shadow cabinet be selected on a tripartite basis: a third elected by members, a third by MPs and a third appointed by the leader.

Many MPs are dismayed at the prospect. They say it would be expensive to ballot members and impractical because shadow ministers would have differing mandates. They also say the policy does not represent a compromise with MPs, because Corbyn’s acolytes would dominate the shadow cabinet.

There were discussions on the subject during Tuesday’s NEC meeting, but a decision has been delayed and may well be kicked into the long grass given Corbyn’s new mandate.

Sounds very messy still.

 

Social chat -Sunday

A post for social chat. You can still chat socially on other posts if it happens in relation to other discussions but if you simply want a bit of social chat start here.

The usual guidelines apply as to respecting others, behaviour and avoiding legal exposure. An emphasis on ‘social’, not ‘anti-social’.

Media watch – Sunday

24 September 2016

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

As usual avoid anything that could cause any legal issues such as potential defamation or breaching suppression orders. Also remember that keeping things civil, legal and factual is more effective and harder to argue against or discredit.

Sometimes other blogs get irate if their material is highlighted elsewhere but the Internet is specifically designed to share and repeat information and anyone who comments or puts anything into a public forum should be aware that it could be republished elsewhere (but attribution is essential).

Open Forum – Sunday

25 September 2016

Facebook: NZ politics/media+

This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is for you to raise topics that interest you. 

If providing opinions on or summaries of other information also provide a link to that information. Bloggers are welcome to summarise and link to their posts.

Comments worth more exposure may be repeated as posts.

Your NZ is a mostly political and social issues blog but not limited to that, and views from anywhere on the political spectrum are welcome. Some ground rules:

  • If possible support arguments, news, points or opinions with links to sources and facts.
  • Please don’t post anything illegal, potentially defamatory or abusive.
  • Debate hard if you like but respect people’s right to have varying views and to not be personally be attacked.
  • Don’t say to a stranger online anything you wouldn’t say to their face.

Moderation will be minimal if these guidelines are followed. Should they ever be necessary any moderator edits, deletes or bans will be clearly and openly advised unless obviously malicious from anyone breaching site protocols, or spam.

Labour “all the more certain” to win

Party President Nigel Haworth has said that Labour are “all the more certain” to win next year’s election because of Andrew Little’s leadership.  He was speaking at an event in Dunedin celebrating the centenary of the party.

That’s rather optimistic given the current state of the party and polls.

ODT: Labour confident in its 100th year

The event was held at the Community Gallery to celebrate the party’s centenary exhibition.

It allowed Labour to look back on its achievements with pride.

“We have done the hard yards. The other side has picked up what we’ve done and sort of tinkered with it,” Prof Haworth said.

The party expected a September 2017 general election, and was six months ahead of what it had anticipated in its preparations, Prof Haworth said.

Hard to see how Labour is six months ahead of preparations, unless they mean with fund raising or candidate selection.

Clare Curran acknowledged the party had not always lived up to its ideals.

It had mostly, but not always, stuck to its values.

“Let’s be honest,” she said.

Asked about the comment, Ms Curran told the Otago Daily Times  there was no point  “glossing over” the economic upheaval of the 1980s, but people should remember it was one part of a significant history.

Labour in the 80s rescued the country from the dire economic situation left be Rob Muldoon, nut now some on the left seem to see Lange and Douglas as dirty words.

Mr Little was keen to look forward, rather than back, devoting much of his speaking time to a campaign-style speech that talked about the “Kiwi dream” and the “deep housing crisis”.

Littler has been using those themes for some time.

If elected,  Labour would not put up with further delay to the Dunedin Hospital redevelopment, and would start rebuilding immediately.

‘If’ elected? I thought politicians spoke more positively than that.

Labour would guarantee no loss of services, and would safeguard its status as a “fully fledged” teaching hospital, Mr Little said.

Dunedin hospital has battled against losses of services for decades under successive governments. With the city and coastal Otago falling behind other parts the country population-wise and the ongoing centralising of expensive health facilities it’s hard to see the level of services maintained.

Listening to Mr Little’s speech was Labour supporter Richard Thomson, deputy commissioner of the Southern District Health Board and a member of the hospital redevelopment partnership group.

He declined to comment when approached by the ODT.

Thomson will know the reality of the situation.

labourstan

Does anyone recognise this dude?

 

 

 

 

The weeping wound of inequality

A perceptive quote from a post about Donald Trump:

There is a deep underbelly of American society who feel as deeply resentful of the political and cultural elites as  those voters in Brexit did.

That weeping wound will require healing not mocking and is a reminder that if the fruits of democracy are not shared equitably, rot will set in.

I’ll attribute and link later, but for now I want it to be viewed without prejudice.

The Uk and the UK are certainly showing signs of deep and widespread resentment of the ruling elite, as shown by support of Trump and Sanders, and of Corbyn, Farage and Brexit.

The problems are less pronounced in New Zealand but there are growing signs of concerns about inequality, and the apparent lack of addressing problems suffered by those at the bottom of the financial, education and health ladders.

Parties that fail to recognise this may do so at their peril.

If the weeping wound of inequality remains inadequately addressed then political support is likely to bleed.

 

Hooton on need for Cabinet reshuffle

Matthew Hooton has written in NBR about the need for a Cabinet reshuffle, and he names a few names he thinks deserve promotion and demotion Cabinet reshuffle needed soon (paywalled).

Bryce Edwards has tweeted a few key points.

Matthew Hooton (NBR): “Cabinet reshuffle needed soon” – makes case for firing many ministers

  • Nick Smith – Minister of Building and Housing, Environment
    “An unattractive arrogance has emerged… The top candidate to be sacked is obviously Nick Smith”
  • Murray McCully – Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Hooton says to sack McCully over Saudi sheep scandal-“Key would be wise to get rid of his errant foreign minister sooner rather than later”
  • Michael Woodhouse – Minister of Immigration, Revenue,Workplace Relations and Safety
    “mere spokesmen for their officials”
  • Sam Lotu-Iiga – Minister for Ethnic Communities, Local Government, Pacific Peoples
    mere spokesmen for their officials”
  • Nathan Guy – Minister for Primary Industries, Racing
    Thinks “his job is reading out MPI talking points rather than… rooting out what looks increasingly like corruption within it”
  • Craig Foss – Minister for Small Business, Statistics, Veterans’ Affairs
  • Louise Upston – Minister for Land Information, Women

“For two years, the government has meandered… Their focus has turned to bureaucratic processes rather than policy outcomes”

“An unattractive arrogance has emerged… The top candidate to be sacked is obviously Nick Smith”.

Makes the case to give ministerial roles to

  • Paul Goldsmith – already Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Associate ACC
    Promotion “would send a message to business that Key is okay having at least one centre-right minister in his cabinet”
  • Nicky Wagner – already Minister of Customs, Disability Issues, Associate Conservation
  • Todd Muller – MP for Bay of Plenty
  • Dr Parmjeet Parmar – list MP based in Mt Roskill
  • Andrew Bayley – MP for Hunua
  • Barbara Kuriger  – MP for Taranaki-King Country
  • Sarah Dowie – MP for Invercargill
  • Chris Bishop – list MP based in Hutt South
    – rated a good chance of winning the electorate with Mallard resigning
  • Alfred Ngaro – list MP based in Te Atatu
    – lost last election to Twyford by about 2800 votes

Hooton wouldn’t have Seymour promoted – preferring him formalised as Leader of the Opposition (“the only effective critic of his govt”).

This was discussed briefly on The Nation this morning. There seems to be near universal agreement that Nick Smith is past his use-by date. Will he jump before he’s pushed?

Key’s Government could certainly do with a shake up and some revitalising, but I don’t know how vested Hooton’s interests are. He hasn’t been a fan of Key for a while either but no word on leadership changes.

I think key was always likely to do a reshuffle in preparation for next year’s election anyway.