Brian Edwards Media

Archive for May, 2011

I devise a failsafe recipe for full employment – lower the Minimum Wage! (with thanks to John Key)

I see that left-wing liberal bleeding-heart, Tapu Misa, doesn’t believe the PM when he says that raising the minimum wage from $12.50 an hour to $15 an hour will put thousands more Kiwis  out of work. 

After quoting a whole lot of economists  (whom none of us have heard of) to support her argument, Ms Misa conveniently ends her column in this morning’s Herald  by admitting that, ‘There isn’t the space here for an exhaustive discussion of the research’. Very convenient!

This doesn’t stop her claiming that, ‘recent evidence is forcing a rethink about what was once accepted economic wisdom.’

Well, I’ve been having a bit of a rethink about this myself and it’s blindingly obvious to me, as it must be to any other reasonable person, that what the PM is saying just has to be right.

It’s just common sense that if an employer has a choice of employing someone on $12.50 an hour and someone else to do the same job for $15 an hour, he’s going to employ the first bloke. And if he can’t afford $12.50 an hour, he’s not going to employ either of them. That’s simple economics. We could call it ‘John’s Law’: The higher the hourly rate, the higher the number of unemployed.

The corollary of John’s Law – let’s call it ‘Bill’s Law’ – must then logically be: The lower the hourly rate, the lower the number of unemployed.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Of Politicians and Porkies – Are our elected representatives by nature incorrigible liars?

Tony Blair giving evidence at the Iraq War Inquiry

Made an appearance on Russell Brown’s Media 7 programme last night with fellow commentators David Slack and Sean Plunket. We were there to discuss whether politicians are by nature incorrigible liars.

The public seem to think so. Polls asking people which occupations they trust, and which they don’t,  have our elected representatives languishing near the bottom of the rankings with those other devious and dissembling rogues – journalists and used-car dealers.  

But the media consultant, the speech writer and the interviewer last night tended to the view that, in New Zealand at least, Members of Parliament were not generally given to telling porkies.

That is certainly my experience. In almost half a century of living in this country I can count on two hands (and with a finger or two to spare) the number of MPs found guilty of lying to Parliament. And if we’re talking about  premeditated, shamefaced lying to us, the voters, the number probably isn’t  much higher.   Read the rest of this entry »

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A little message for the owner of a 2006 silver Aston Martin V8 Vantage, registration V8VNTG

Sunday. I had just parked my little Smart Car, value now around $15,000 in the angle parking in Wanganui Avenue, Herne Bay, just round the corner from Andiamo, when you roared up in your 2006 silver Aston Martin V8 Vantage, registration V8VNTG, value now around $110,000, slewed your pride and joy into the angle park next to mine, well over the line between us, got out, banged your door into the Smart Car, looked me up and down, then strode off without a by-your-leave or apology. You arrogant prick, you are the sort of asshole who gives rich bastards with expensive tastes and no class the bad name they deserve. Maybe you’d like to ring me to ask whether you did any damage to my little car. But I doubt that you will. It’s not the sort of thing that lords of the universe and other assorted riffraff like you consider necessary.

Meanwhile:

Re: The Official SPOTTED thread…
« Reply #1562 on: October 01, 2008, 09:42:15 AM »
saw an absolute cock driving a V8 Vantage today, plate V8VNTG.
almost mowed down a pedestrian while shooting a red light off Gillies Ave and then weaved between all the cars to get to the front of the next set of lights.
what a cock jockey
(Thanks to The Official Spotted Thread)

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I argue that Campbell Live’s ‘Stone Wall’ and ‘Caravan of Complaint’ serve democracy well.

Campbell Live has introduced a new feature on the programme. They’re calling it ‘The Stone Wall’ and it will display the names and photographs of Cabinet Ministers, from the PM down, who decline invitations to appear on the programme.

The idea isn’t entirely new. For a long time Fair Go had a ‘Wall of Shame’ which served much the same purpose. Malefactors who refused to front in the studio had their  name and photograph displayed on the wall, until they learnt the error of their ways and made an appearance.

I objected to the Fair Go version because people and companies who had sorted things out to the complainant’s satisfaction still had their name and photograph posted on the ‘Wall of Shame’ where it remained till they relented and turned up. This had absolutely nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with television’s requirement for pictures and conflict.

Paul Holmes used to have what you might call the ‘Empty Chair of Shame’. The chair was reserved for evildoers who had been invited to appear on Holmes but had declined. The conceit behind the empty chair was that hope springs eternal and that the invited guest might just change their mind and turn up. The camera (and Paul) returned frequently to the empty chair to indicate that hope was fading fast (and to further humiliate the no-show).   Read the rest of this entry »

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Why are the police dragging their heels in the Darren Hughes case?

It is now almost three months since Darren Hughes returned  to his  Wellington lodgings in the early hours of March 2,  accompanied by an 18-year-old man who is said to have later run naked from the house in a state of considerable distress. The 18-year-old subsequently laid a complaint ‘of a sexual nature’ against  Hughes, the precise nature of which has  yet to be revealed. Hughes later resigned from Parliament.

Only two people, Hughes and the young man, know precisely what happened that night. They are the only first-hand witnesses.

This makes it both easier and more difficult for the police to decide whether to prosecute Hughes. Easier, because there are only two first hand witnesses; and more difficult because independent corroboration of either  of their stories seems virtually impossible.

Their creditability as witnesses will therefore lie at the core of the police’s decision whether to accept the young man’s complaint and charge Hughes or to conclude that there is insufficient evidence to undertake a prosecution.

Hughes’ resignation from Parliament cannot be taken as evidence of guilt. The very existence of a complaint of a sexual nature against him made his position as an electorate MP and front bench Labour spokesman untenable. He could not go on doing his job.

As for the 18-year-old, aspects of  his behaviour seem to require explanation:   Read the rest of this entry »

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The President’s Speech

The horrors of training George W. Bush to speak English.

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John Key on HardTalk

The interview mainly consisted of criticisms gleaned from NZ commentators, which were then put as propositions. This allowed the PM to counter them, which he did without difficulty. Stephen Sackur’s lack of knowledge of New Zealand and its politics meant he was unable to follow up Key’s answers and probe deeper. All we got was the next proposition. It sounds knowledgeable, but it’s surface stuff and easily batted back. More like practice in the nets than a real game. That aside John Key handled this HardTalk interview well and seemed relaxed and confident.

Major criticisms:

Someone had raced round and found a batch of model kiwi and waka and other Newzild stuff and scattered it round the set. Tacky, tacky.

And Key’s diction! The trick seems to be: Never use four syllables if you can get away with two. It may be OK for speeches at the United Nations – they have simultaneous translators – but the overseas audience would have needed subtitles to get the drift of his answers in this interview.

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The Hollow Men – free DVD of the documentary

Last night we watched Alister Barry’s documentary The Hollow Men.  An excellent film, based on Nicky Hager’s book of the same name.

If the details of the 2005 election have faded into the mists of time this is an eye-opener. It’s also well worth reminding ourselves about some of the shenanigans that went on, with Don Brash now leading the Act Party.

This is your chance to get a copy of the documentary. Trevor Mallard has copies to give away. If you email your name and address to me at: judy@brianedwardsmedia.co.nz, I’ll send it on to him. Trevor’s only request – pass it on when you’ve watched it!

And my own suggestion – read the book as well, for the extra details. Apart from being a brilliant piece of investigative journalism, it’s a real page-turner. The Hollow Men, by Nicky Hager, published by Craig Potton.

UPDATE Still a few DVDs available – Trevor has a secret store!

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“The PM’s Speech” – A dramatic account of John Key’s struggle with prunciation!

Thanks to Greg Goodyer.

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Why I have no qualms about the assassination of Osama Bin Laden

For anyone who believes in  the rule of law the assassination– for that is what it was –  of Osama Bin Laden by American navy SEALS in Pakistan, raises serious questions about the legal, ethical and strategic justification of the exercise. American troops on foreign soil execute an accused person without benefit of arrest, trial, legal defence or a legitimate verdict of guilt.  

As a committed opponent of the death penalty and someone horrified by Simon Power’s prolonged assault here at home on the rights of defendants in criminal trials, I  know this ought to bother me. But it doesn’t.

I’m with the cheering crowds of New Yorkers at Ground Zero. I rejoice with them at the removal from this earth of a purely evil creature who premeditatedly planned, directed, celebrated and boasted of the long-range slaughter of thousands of civilians – men, women and children. My response, and the response of those celebrating at Ground Zero and around the world, is the entirely  normal human response of the fellow citizens, families and friends of those thousands of civilians and of anyone who abhors the premeditated and careless taking of innocent lives.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Who won? A question by question, answer by answer, analysis of Sean Plunket’s ‘The Nation’ interview with Phil Goff. [Spoiler Alert: Definitely not the viewers!]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sean Plunket is an intelligent and informed interviewer but seems more preoccupied with confirming his reputation as a tough  interrogator than with asking questions  that are relevant to voters six months before a general election. It would be hard to imagine a week in which the political pendulum has moved so quickly or so far, yet in his interview with Phil Goff on Sunday’s The Nation, Plunket spent almost 90 percent of the time nitpicking his way through the Labour Leader’s past history.

Like all interviewers of this stripe – and we have more than our fair share of them in New Zealand – what Plunket was looking for was ‘the king hit’, the knockout question that leaves the interviewee floundering and defeated. As I indicated in a previous post, Goff is no great television performer, but his stubborn refusal to yield to any of Plunket’s propositions, combined with Plunket’s seeming inability to provide supporting evidence for those propositions, left the interviewer with only one avenue of attack – to keep repeating the  question in the hope, one presumes,  that Goff would eventually tire of denial and give way. He didn’t.

What follows is a transcript of the interview with my comments. I identify seven basic propositions which Plunket puts to Goff:  Read the rest of this entry »

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