Brian Edwards Media

Bouquets and Brickbats (An Occasional Series)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Don Brash who took the only rational position possible when he said that cannabis use should be decriminalised. Not politically smart (possibly) but better than the politically expedient and unthinking position of both Labour and National.

Rodney Hide who, in a ‘valedictory’ interview with Sean Plunkett on last week’s The Nation, offered a fine demonstration of the seemingly impossible political art of giving straight answers to straight questions. To my own astonishment, I found him impressive.

Annette King for refusing to back down after she (and Trevor Mallard) called John Key a ‘scumbag’. Key had implied that Labour had some responsibility for an incident in which 54-year-old man tried to hurl himself from the first-floor public gallery into the debating chamber. The implication was outrageous and King’s and Mallard’s epithet entirely justified.

Roger Douglas and Jim Anderton who, in conversation with Paul Holmes on Q and A, looked back on their political careers and on the personal and philosophical animosity which was at the heart of their relationship during the ‘Rogernomics’ years. Though both stuck to their political guns, there was no sense of current bitterness. Indeed the exchange was positively warm.

John Armstrong, the Herald’s chief political commentator, whose no-frills analysis of parliament and its cast of players is invariably right on the nose and whose slip rarely, if ever, shows.

Maori TV for its superb coverage of the Rugby World Cup.

TV1 and SPP for Nothing Trivial. Better than Outrageous Fortune, I reckon.

The Silver Ferns just for being wonderful. 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Lockwood Smith, the Speaker of the House, whose draconian punishment of The Herald for breaching ‘the House rules’ by publishing a photograph of the fracas in the public gallery on its website, was totally unacceptable in a society which prizes freedom of information.

SFO Chief Executive Adam Feely, who appears to think that being sheriff allows him to play fast and loose with the very laws the local  townsfolk brought him in to enforce, to whoop and holler when he thinks he’s got his man, and to shoot first and ask questions afterwards. Might it just be time to get another sheriff?

Bill English for the  Government’s mismanagement of the economy which has led to our credit rating being downgraded from AA+ to AA by two major agencies. You and I are already paying the price for that mismanagement and will now pay even more.

John Key whose photo-op, ‘smile and wave’ recipe for political popularity now appears to have become apparent even to our largely conservative fourth estate. A reading of the political and financial columnists over the last month reveals almost universal support for Labour’s announced economic policies. Yet the gap between Labour and National continues to increase. Are we mesmerised by the Rugby World Cup or just plain gullible?

Prime TV which repeatedly runs episodes or Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?  out of sequence so you often don’t know how far contestant X actually got. How disdainful of your viewers is that?

Comedy Central which appears not to understand that the humour in an excellent programme like The Chaser’s War on Everything is heavily dependent on current events in Australia and that those events aren’t current (or funny) five years later.

Owen Glenn  Having failed to buy the election for National for ‘at least $100 million’, Mr Glenn has been gifted a series of columns in the Business Herald ‘leading up to the election’. If his first efforts are anything to go by, he intends to explain to us Kiwis just where we are going wrong politically. This will essentially involve praising National and John Key and attacking Labour. No doubt he thinks his enormous personal wealth or his philanthropy entitles him to do this, but he might have more credibility if he chose to live here. Time to get over the slight you received from Helen, Owen?

Radio Live: Giving a politician an hour to do what he/she likes on your radio station is giving that politician a free hour’s advertising. Dubious at any time but indefensible 5 weeks before an election. And absolutely outrageous if you deny the same opportunity to other party leaders. Might as well have a cart with ‘Vote National’ ready to play in ad-breaks.

26 Comments:

  1. I suspect the majority of the electorate are both gullible and stupid if the poll results are to be believed.

  2. Amen in particular to your Don Brash and Annette King bouquets, and Lockwood Smith brickbat.

  3. Nice piece Brian.

    As a side note, I may have to send Annette King an actual bouquet – her call on John Key’s behaviour was spot on.

  4. The following day the Herald ran a piece where Annette King was asked if she would resile from her ‘scumbag’ comment. She made it clear she would not of course. No mention of John
    Key’s despicable conduct. The impression left was that Annette committed the more serious sin. Incredible!

  5. It was my impression when watching the actual event in Parliament that, when Key implied Labour had some responsibilty for the inciden he was referring to the long years of Labour’s welfare policy being part of the cause for this unfortunate man’s outburst in the House….as he was sqwawking about Work and Income as he tried to jump.

    Maryann Street had snarled some similar bile at Key the week before and now Mallard and King were back to the old Labour childish name-calling of ” scumbag” which is hardly adult in behaviour.

    Labour are virtually fading into historical irrelevance in their present form and can’t stand that but until they move into the modern world and change their approach to bi-partisan politics, they will remain there and become an irrelevance in NZ politics.

    Around 60% of the country poll their like for John Key and they don’t like to be told by ageing Labour losers that they’re being conned etc.

    National won, you lost …get over it…hmm, that sounds familiar but wasn’t it the other way around ?:-)

  6. On the subject of the Fourth Estate and watchdog journalism, Bob Gibson, Executive Director of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, recently said: “If we don’t have a watchdog function, then we have a lapdog function, and that doesn’t serve the voter very well. We need journalism that goes out and challenges what is being given reporters as the facts. We need to look behind the facts and find out where they’re coming from, and what the interests are of the people who are giving us those facts. Local government and state government and the federal government today are even more than ever in the news business themselves. They are putting out news as if it was the entire package and expecting people to buy it and I think Americans have to be a little bit skeptical and have to look behind where those governments are putting out facts.” (Gibson appeared on the Charlottesville, VA, politics interview program Politics Matters with host and producer Jan Madeleine Paynter discussing journalism http://bit.ly/pm-gibson)

  7. BE: “Nothing Trivial. Better than Outrageous Fortune, I reckon.”

    Well, that wouldn’t be difficult.

  8. Incredible to me that this government poll above 10%….i had suspected that perhaps the tories were handing out stupid pills……its the only answer to anyone with at least half a brain cell voting for key and his mob…sorry Rob…i think you need to stop taking the pills!!!

  9. Brickbat to Radio NZ for banning Bomber Bradbury from future participation on the Jim Moira Panel for his crime of stating his opinion on the behavior of John Key. Shame on them.

  10. Your choice to whom you grant your awards, Brian. However, I thought Darien Fenton sure deserved a brickbat for her comments regarding the Mad Butcher – who is about the most non-political political endorser around. (yes, I know it’s an oxymoron, but it describes Sir Peter Leich well).

    At least Key said what he did in the heat of the moment, and it was directed at his political opponents who had previously politicised the issue of the size of Diplomatic Protection Squad assigned to Key.

    Fenton, in contrast, had time to consider, reflect, and still took aim at a non-partisan who only aims to do good for New Zealand.

    Then again, Key is Prime Minister, and Fenton a bitter class-warfare light weight, so he probably deserves to be judged by higher standard. He certainly came up short in the incident. Not sure if King is much better. However, they are your awards, so fair enough…

  11. Owen Glenn has good reason to be upset by his treatment at the hands of the Labour hierachy.

  12. @ Kerry

    “Incredible to me that this government poll above 10%….i had suspected that perhaps the tories were handing out stupid pills……its the only answer to anyone with at least half a brain cell voting for key and his mob…sorry Rob…i think you need to stop taking the pills!!!”

    Truly, you are the man, and wisdom will die with you.

  13. Kimbo “At least Key said what he did in the heat of the moment, and it was directed at his political opponents who had previously politicised the issue of the size of Diplomatic Protection Squad assigned to Key.”
    After the heat had passed Kimbo. Note Key has never claimed the DP story.. Some anonymous fellow in his office did that for him. And the throat cutting gesture? As shown on TV3 News?
    Gullible are we Kimbo?

  14. “Gullible are we Kimbo?”

    Guess I must be, ianmac. Seemed a plausible explanation to me. Key mentioned it to Brownlee seated right next to him at the time. And the explanation came from his office, so what is “anonymous” about it?

    Then again, the overwhelming majority of the elctorate think Key’s doing a good job. Which I guess just makes them dumb, and some of the commentators here very astute. And that’s plausible?!

  15. @ Rob Pharazyn. Spot on, Rob.
    Labour is a bunch of Yesterday’s People with yesterday’s ideas, living in yesterday’s world; still, clinging to the cuffs of Aunty’s pant suit. If you want an idea how miserably abject — and desperate — they’ve become, then check out that Herald pic of Phil Goff and The Mad Butcher, following Darien Fenton’s astonishing pout. If that wasn’t a case of a Try-Hard Wannabe trying to curry favour, then, I don’t know what is.
    Labour is not so much fading into “historical irrelevance” as they are just plain Irredeemably Hopeless. No one can save them because they can’t save themselves.

    Come Election Night, the Labour Party is going to resemble the inside of an abbatoir at peak season.

  16. “Dr Lockwood Smith, the Speaker of the House, whose draconian punishment of The Herald for breaching ‘the House rules’ by publishing a photograph of the fracas in the public gallery on its website, was totally unacceptable in a society which prizes freedom of information.”

    Indeed.

    And now Radio NZ has banned Bomber Bradbury (of “Tumeke Blog”) for criticising John Kdey for his reprehensible behaviour;

    “State Media Bans Dissident!”
    http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/

    “Banned for criticising Key”
    http://thestandard.org.nz/banned-for-criticising-key/#comment-383518

    (Not intended as spamming, Brian. Hope this is ok to share these two links.)

    I hope folk let RNZ Peter Cavanaugh what they feel about crushing political dissent.

    I campaigned on behalf of Soviet dissidents in the late 1970s (remember Sakharov, etc?). I never though I’d be doing the same here, in my own beloved country.

  17. “@ Rob Pharazyn. Spot on, Rob.
    Labour is a bunch of Yesterday’s People with yesterday’s ideas, living in yesterday’s world; still, clinging to the cuffs of Aunty’s pant suit.”

    Really? Well, Merv, with the Capital Gains Tax, that policy seems to have the support of prctically everyone in NZ – aside from National and property speculators/landlords.

  18. Frank, you have placed your November order for mutton and hogget? Not only will it be cheap but there’s plenty of it.

  19. I agree with Ianmac’s brickbat to Radio New Zealand for banning Bradbury. Even if he needs to calm down a bit, he’s no more feral than some of their afternoon contributors of the other persuasion.

    I agree with BE’s serve to Sky for running mouldy old comedy programmes. Classic comedy is ageless (eg Yes Minister, Open All Hours) but current affairs satire has a use by date and of its nature can never join the ranks of classic comedy. Besides, we get enough gratuitous Australian content on Sky, without it being antique as well.

  20. Banning Bomber deserves more than a brickbat.

  21. I can’t believe Bomber was banned from Radio New Zealand. What an infringement on our right to freedom of speech. Definitely brickbat to Radio New Zealand. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this Brian.

  22. Certainly a bouquet to MTV if only for being the one channel not to have adverts immediately after the national anthems.

    Disagree totally regarding Brash. First I believe his statement was one of political expediency as was his Orewa speech. He is so desperate he will even try and get the pothead vote.

    Secondly as has been argued, we have enough legal drugs available destroying people’s lives without adding to them.

    Thirdly I have a son whose life was nearly destroyed by cannabis use. My wife works in the mental health service and sees the end result of cannabis use. Her comment was, “fine; as long as the number of mental health workers is increased”.

    Just because the use of cannabis is widespread it is no reason to give up. Far from decriminalising the drug, enforcement, especially on those who grow and deal, should be stepped up.

    The trouble with woolly minded old buffers like Brash is that they have no experience of the real world from their cloistered homes in Remuera. they want to get out and see the damage that this drug causes. Speak to those like my wife who have to deal with the wreckage.

  23. Exactly, what kind of journalstic standards are you applying to your bolg, when you applaud the craven Annette King for calling our PM a “scumbag”?

    If this were Iran, both you and King would be flayed alive.

    BE: Obviously the sort of society you approve of. I know Annette very well. Only the most extreme disgust would have led her to describe any fellow parliamentarian in those terms. My position was/is that the opprobrium was deserved. And, by the way, Annette has never been ‘craven’.

  24. …just as well we are not in iran then.

  25. John Key’s political style puts me in mind of a line from Jane Austins Pride and Prejudice. ” He is as fine a fellow as I ever saw. He simpers and smirks, and makes love to us all”. It also seems to win votes but must soon start to wear thin even with our supine media.

  26. Brian, a second series of Nothing Trivial has been granted funding, and is officially in the works!