Promotion of Jones a pox on democracy

Shane Jones is expected to announce he will stand for NZ First in the Whangarei electorate today. Media have been predicting and promoting this month, but they seem to have gone into a frenzy.

If Jones fails to win the electorate it won’t be for lack of a huge amount of free publicity.

This picking and promoting of preferred candidates by media is a pox on democracy.

Top pox at the moment is Patrick Gower: 12 reasons why Shane Jones can win Whangarei

He left of reason 13: Paddy power. Or that should be Paddy’s abuse of the power of the media.

The media have a dirty habit of picking winners in elections based on who they think will make good stories. Jones had a lacklustre reputation as an MP when he was in the Labour party, but media seem to think he makes good headlines, and that seems to be their priority.

This selective promotion is a pox on a fair democratic system.

There are actually other candidates who have been announced to contest Whangarei, not that most people would know based on media coverage (next to none).

  • Shane Reti (National) – current MP
  • Tony Savage (Labour)
  • Ash Howell (Greens)
  • Chris Leitch (Democrats)

In 2014 Reti had a majority of 13,169 votes, getting 20,111 votes.

The NZ First candidate Pita Paraone got 2,944 votes. Did anyone know he is a current MP? He is actually in his 9th year as a NZ First MP, getting in on the list from 2002-2008 and returning in 2014.

Paraone seems to attract about zero media interest. Try doing a Google news search on him. The ring in Jones looks like bumping him further to the sideline, if that’s possible.

The media will give Jones every chance of getting elected in Whangarei, far more than most candidates. And if he loses he is likely to get in easily on the NZ First list anyway.

He will have successfully attracted a disproportionate amount of media attention. He already has. Such is the lack of balance in election coverage.

It’s an abuse of media power and a pox on our democracy.

65 Comments

  1. There is at least one exception though – Felix Marwick:

    But ask yourself this? How appropriate will Shane Jones be as a New Zealand First candidate given his past history? He was after all the minister that controversially approved citizenship for businessman Bill Liu, a man convicted in May of money laundering. How does that fit with New Zealand First’s immigration and law and order stances?

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/opinion/felix-marwick-politicians-so-often-too-cute-with-the-truth/

  2. I think he’s a perfect mix for the Peters Party. Vain, self absorbed and places kneejerk populism and self-interest before common sense and good governance.

    How is Mr Marks going to take the elevation of a Swiss Guard to Cardinal?

    • Corky

       /  June 30, 2017

      Not well. The pretender to the SAS legacy will pale into insignificance. I used to like the guy. But his behaviour of late shows he is a shallow individual hidden behind political gravitas.

    • Conspiratoor

       /  June 30, 2017

      What is wrong with a little populism trav? You say it like it’s a bad thing. If he reflects the views of the ordinary bloke he could do quite well I reckon. I think you might find folks have had a gutsful of the current lot and this mood will be reflected in the election result …just as it has overseas

      • Gezza

         /  June 30, 2017

        A little bit of populism in politicians is not always going to be a bad thing.

        • Gezza

           /  June 30, 2017

          Sorry, that should’ve said botulism.

  3. Gezza

     /  June 30, 2017

    I wonder if I might be permitted the liberty of simply just essentially repeating my view – expressed somewhat forcefully, I hoped – to Mr Kane last night, on the Jones Resurrection & Epiphany? :

    “He likes free stuff paid for by somebody else, especially taxpayers, does The Joneser. Free-to-view included. The racy stuff.

    Winnie was Minister of Racing wasn’t he? If I was Winston, I’d be very careful about promising to let The Joneser have access to his baubles.”

    • Free to view? If you mean free as in “taxpayer” funded extras then – yes. Like Peters it’s the extras, the actual salary they’re not spending that’s important. Peters is our longest-serving MP by far – to me he’s nothing but an elderly, over paid, past his sell by public servant. That he manages to somehow present as a cavalier underdog hell-bent on change is bizarre. His lack of meaningful achievement in nearly thirty years is what is remarkable.

      • Gezza

         /  June 30, 2017

        Well, it’s still some little way off yet – but I am looking forward to eventually receiving the generous gift of his Gold Card 👍, & letter of congratulations from His Majesty. 👑

        Do you like what Missy has done with her hair? I think it looks very smart. 🙆🏽

      • Blazer

         /  June 30, 2017

        I told you…Dep P.M,Treasurer,Min of Foreign Affairs and the Gold Card,are reasons enough to destroy your…’His lack of meaningful achievement in nearly thirty years is what is remarkable.’.

  4. sorethumb

     /  June 30, 2017

    He may have faults, but he has one important quality: he’s a regular person. I can’t see him standing up and saying: “in New Zealand we celebrate diversity” (as Woodhouse did). That puts him outside the two other two tribes: the self interested real-estate developer and the neo-Marxists championed by The Spinoff, RNZ and Jesse Mulligan and Co.

  5. Anna

     /  June 30, 2017

    If this unethical creep is the face of NZ First’s future, then it’s a betrayal of what I understood the party to stand for. Goodbye to my voting for NZ First again.

  6. duperez

     /  June 30, 2017

    Not supporting Peters, Jones or NZ First but this comes across as a little hysterical.

    “It’s an abuse of media power…”? Absolutely totally nothing new there. The norms we accepted in the past are well and truly gone. There are a few peripheral controls but by and large it is a free for all. Peters and his lot are merely riding that big sled down the hill, the sled they did not start, the slope they did not create.

    A “pox on democracy”? Surely it’s democratic to be able to visit one’s own special disease on democracy. Peters’ lot are entitled to their particular strain.

    Lack of balance in election coverage? Why should there be some sort of artificial balance? Don’t we forever seek to get ahead, to get one up, to get more, to not be equal, and do whatever we can to get there? Whims and ways, reading the conditions and getting in the best position are what it’s all about. A bit like being in a yacht race.

    Bill English as leader and it’s election year is available to talk on Monday morning on RNZ. (The biggest radio audience in the country?) How strange the “unavailable for comment at this time” has gone way. Abuse of media power? Only fronting up in that forum when he wanted to use it a pox on democracy?

    The one Whangarei candidate listed on here I know is, Ashley Holwell, who is a fine person, has fine perspectives for the country and would be a fine MP. Thing is he is operating in a pool of sharks and the world wants sharks devouring, ruling by fair means or foul. Some of the maelstrom is above the water and easy to see but most of it is under the waves, deep down, like down in Clutha-Southland.

    Pita Paraone will be happy for the smidgeon of attention but the lament about his lack of exposure is as much one about the world. A 15 year NZ kid will do something bad, terrible or nasty today and the media will be all over it. The thousands of 15 year kids doing great things will be like Pita, just getting on doing what needs to be done and contributing positively.

    Peters and Co. will be loving all this attention. It will help Jones get in on the list, it will make Reti’s team really get into gear and it will see Ash Holwell get even less votes. Is that a pox on democracy, a pox on the people, or a pox on the people by the people?

    • Gezza

       /  June 30, 2017

    • sorethumb

       /  June 30, 2017

      1. Peters and his lot are merely riding that big sled down the hill, the sled they did not start, the slope they did not create.

      Well put
      2. Lack of balance in election coverage? Why should there be some sort of artificial balance? Don’t we forever seek to get ahead, to get one up, to get more, to not be equal, and do whatever we can to get there? Whims and ways, reading the conditions and getting in the best position are what it’s all about. A bit like being in a yacht race.

      ….
      I think we need a system for balance. No longer does representative democracy serve a group of people as in the old days when Peter took of from area A to represent the interests of Joe and Bill and Harry. We now have something quite different. Area no longer matters so much. I’m thinking back to the days before mass media and mass education when everything was conveyed either through the local newspaper or at a local hall.
      One thing that has changed is that we have a sophisticated media that relies on intellect and that cuts half the population out.
      We have a democracy but before any election the titans fight for control of the public attention by way of media and blogs. Notice how “RNZ” stopped comments (much applauded by the Green Party) and the Spinoff (funded by rate payers or tax payers). David Farrar claims he is open to free speech and has a list of people on probation but no list of those who are permanently banned and why. The same goes for Cameron Slater. Just what and who is being banned? The nativist [patriot] is being banned.
      *Parr (2000) writes “[T]he views of New Zealanders are not conducive to the population of New Zealanders becoming more diversified globally.”
      From localism to globalism? New Zealand Sociology, 15(2), 304-. 335
      *”Notwithstanding this ambivalence, there seems to be clear recognition and acceptance that New Zealand society is going to become more diverse in terms of ethnic and cultural groups over the next 20 years. Immigration will play a major part in this diversification of communities, especially immigration from countries in Asia. Fortunately, there seems to be a broad consensus among the main political parties as well as many of the minor ones that this is not something to be feared or resisted at all costs. In this regard, there appears to be some consensus of party view (excluding the position adopted by New Zealand First) that continued immigration at or above present levels will produce positive outcomes for the country’s economy and society.”
      *Position on immigration became a litmus test for social status. One half “others” the other half but compensates by loving the (distant) migrant.

  7. Corky

     /  June 30, 2017

    Labour have a problem with Jonesy. They consider him a traitor. Especially as he left them in the lurch during an election year. I was attacked mercilessly by a pack of Marxist trolls for making fun of the situation. One Leftie, whom I had cordial relations with, completely lost his rag and called me a ‘concern troll,’ then posted a picture of the Brady Bunch as representative of the National Party at the time. I’m still trying to figure that out.

    As ST states, he’s a regular guy with a penchant towards being a pompous pontificator. People love his ‘favourite uncle persona.’

    Welcome back , Jonesy.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9966660/Shane-Jones-to-quit-Labour

    • Gezza

       /  June 30, 2017

      He’s a wanker. Everbody knows that. He obviously still wants us to pay for that.

  8. Gower has made one significant error:

    Money

    Shane Jones can get the moolah for a good campaign. He has plenty of rich mates who will put up the dosh for every pamphlet and sign he needs.

    The regulated election period started last Friday, 3 months from Election Day. Jones is in exactly the same position as every electoral candidate in New Zealand. He has $25,000 to spend, and must account for every cent of that. If he overspends, he could lose the seat, in the unlikely event he beat Dr Reti.

    But electorate campaigns aren’t won and lost on the basis of how much you have to spend. They are won by hard work, and by putting together a strong team of volunteers who must be prepared to give up vast chunks of time from well before the three month electorate period. Can you really imagine Jones going out door-knocking every weekend from now to September, whatever the weather? Can you imagine him turning up at every public event?

    Late last year Winston Peters was boasting the NZ First would take both Whangarei and Whanganui from National. To date, they haven’t even found a candidate here, and the first public election forum took place last night with the three female candidates, Harete Hipango (National), Nicola Patrick (Greens) and Steph Lewis (Labour) all giving a good account of themselves.

    Shane Jones will almost certainly get into Parliament via the NZF list, so why would the people of Whangarei vote for him? If they vote for Reti, they end up with two MP’s. I think his “coronation” in Whangarei is just a stunt to get publicity for Peters, and I doubt Jones’ capacity or desire to do the hard yards to win the seat.

  9. PDB

     /  June 30, 2017

    I didn’t see many people complaining when Winston went for Northland with all the MSM willing him on whilst the National candidate got close to zero coverage………and if he did some of it negative.

    Even with a MSM push I can’t see Jones taking Whangarei.

  10. PDB

     /  June 30, 2017

    Northland 2008: Carter – 17703, Jones – 8573
    Northland 2005: Carter – 14182, Jones – 9384

    They love Jones up there apparently, even if since these elections (where he was easily defeated) he dumped Labour and took up a cushy job with the National govt. People have long memories.

  11. Blazer

     /  June 30, 2017

    the $200,000 question…who will take over his ambassadorial position of swanning around the South Pacific, courtesy of sound economic managers’ National and the NZ taxpayer?Will Barclay throw his hat in the ring…or Reti,or Mitchell,or Ngaro?

  12. Conspiratoor

     /  June 30, 2017

    Winston understands the power of publicity, and will take a few risks to get it. I recall many years ago a young larakin called deadbolt plucked out of an enforced retirement to inject a bit of fun into a Christchurch electorate

  13. Corky

     /  June 30, 2017

    Jonsey dishing it out to Labour on the news. “Too PC…urban and liberal.” Yep, that’s why most don’t vote for these perennial losers.

    • Gezza

       /  June 30, 2017

      1ewes, or the other lot of no hopers?

      I usually watch the plus one channel for news an hour later.

      • PDB

         /  June 30, 2017

        The facebook page called ‘Never Shane’ can now become ‘Shane again’.

        The was a bloke called Shane,
        Who wanted to be an MP again,
        He teamed up with NZ First,
        And then quite unrehearsed,
        Left in his motel a very large stain.

        • PDB

           /  June 30, 2017

          Sorry ‘there’ not ‘the’.

        • patupaiarehe

           /  June 30, 2017

          Nice Pants. However, I can’t let it go unanswered…

          There once was a fellow named Jones,
          And by bad reputation he’s known,
          Not for shits on the lawn,
          But ‘pay per view porn’.
          On a credit card, he didn’t own… 😀

          • PDB

             /  June 30, 2017

            Gave you an uptick though the last sentence could have done with an extra word I reckon to add rhythm…….rhyming ‘Jones’ and ‘known’ is a bit dodgy too 🙂

            • patupaiarehe

               /  June 30, 2017

              Yeah, I know. I’m crap at poetry. Ask me something about steel… 😉

            • PDB

               /  June 30, 2017

              Does steel really melt when a plane hits a steel building? (don’t answer)

            • patupaiarehe

               /  June 30, 2017

              Don’t get me started… 😀

      • I didn’t think he came across very well on that, a bit bumbling and big headed. But it led the news so NZF will be very pleased with all the free publicity.

        Bryce Edwards said he had a real chance of winning Whangarei. I don’t know what he based that promo on.

        • PDB

           /  June 30, 2017

          This is the first risky thing Winston has done and could go either way – either alienate some of his existing support base (especially ex-Labour supporters) or gain a few on the right. I suggest the former. Winning another electorate seat is basically not important.

          • It’s important as an attention seeking stunt. So far the media have delivered for them.

          • Gezza

             /  July 1, 2017

            Most folk who vote for NZFirst are voting for Winston. Anyone with a functioning brain who votes for Winston has got to know what he’s like. Ergo, they have got to be well aware he’ll do & say whatever likes & that that is & will always be the primary & overriding NZFirst policy until he karks it or decides to hand over to some unworthy successor who will never live up to his expectations.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  July 1, 2017

              TBH, G, I only vote for him, to keep him in ‘te whare’. I’m not sure that I would like him to be a part of any future govt. He provides real entertainment, while on the opposition benches tho’….

        • Corky

           /  June 30, 2017

          He came across as a freezing worker who’d been picked up at smoko time and told he’s now working for NZ First. He’s definitely out of practice, and his opponents need to rip his soft underbelly before he gains his feet.

        • “Bryce Edwards said he had a real chance of winning Whangarei. I don’t know what he based that promo on.”

          He based that on his own agenda.

          • Gezza

             /  July 1, 2017

            Yeah. I’ve only relatively recently realised that Bryce really doesn’t know shit. And that PG, on the other hand, politically speaking, is actually generally pretty good at not only recognising shit, but also quite adept at sorting it into various different categories of droppings, and identifying the source.

            • Gezza

               /  July 1, 2017

              Sacre blanquette! Some ghastly creature has downticked 👼🏼 me?? 😮

              If there is any justice in the Universe, theirs will be a terrible hell in the fullness of time! 👺

  14. He had trouble putting the cap on. A fumbled with something else as well.

    • Chuck Bird

       /  June 30, 2017

      He will obviously piss a few potential voters off. However, what some people consider arrogant others consider self-confident. His is highly intelligent and very quick with a reply. He will be an asset in the House.

      • Gezza

         /  July 1, 2017

        He will be an asset in the House

        He would be an ass in the House, imo, Chuck. Like he was last time. So I have removed those two redundant characters for you, & I hope the voters do too.

    • Copying MAGA

  15. patupaiarehe

     /  June 30, 2017

    “Pox on your house!”. Been a while since I’ve heard that one… 😀

    If Jones fails to win the electorate it won’t be for lack of a huge amount of free publicity.

    No publicity required. Whilst the rest of the country have short memories, those in the far north don’t. Here is a ‘little reminder’, for anyone living south of Whangarei…

  1. Promotion of Jones a pox on democracy — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition