Brian Edwards Media

On Shane Jones – Cock of the Walk

 

odt.co.nz

odt.co.nz

 

Shane Jones is one of only two people I have ever hung up on. Trevor Mallard is the other. I don’t take well to being bullied or abused.

I do Mallard an injustice by mentioning him in the same context as Jones. I have considerable respect for Trevor and nothing but contempt for Jones.

If I ever had doubts that such contempt was deserved, they would have vanished over the past couple of weeks in the face of his numerous appearances on television. This is not a man the Labour Party can ever afford to have as its Leader. This is not a man the country can ever afford to have as its Prime Minister. He would almost certainly bring shame to both offices.

When the story of Jones using his ministerial credit card to pay to watch porn in his hotel rooms first came to light, my primary reaction was that it was evidence of extremely poor judgement. The morality of watching porn concerned me less. Tens of thousands of New Zealand men watch pornography on the Internet every day. Porn-watchers form the Internet’s largest audience.

But I was impressed by the way Jones fronted up to the unacceptable nature of what he had done and, without overdoing it, apologised to his colleagues and the nation.

Jones is no longer apologetic.  He is in fact now making capital out of his sleazy reputation.  

This was most evident in Guyon Espiner’s 3rd Degree item on Jones, variously described by commentators as an ‘ode to Jones’, a ‘homage to Jones’, and a further example of ‘the political snowjob he is currently orchestrating during his extended bromance with TV3 political editor Patrick Gower and 3rd Degree’s Guyon Espiner and Duncan Garner.’ (Fran O’Sullivan).

Espiner’s piece certainly had little journalistic merit. It was a shameless promotion of a politician currently involved in a contest for the leadership of a political party who, if he wins that contest, will next year be involved in a contest for the leadership of the country. Yet Espiner asks not one remotely probing question. He is too busy tending the barbecue for his host and laughing at the sexual innuendo that peppers Jones’ answers.

It’s been argued that, had they agreed to take part in the programme, David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson would have received similar ‘soft piece’ treatment. Their reasons for not taking part were apparently that they did not want to subject their partners or families to the media spotlight.

Jones had no such reservations. He had himself photographed with his ‘beauty- queen girlfriend’ Dot Pumipi sitting on his knee;  he’d appointed her his campaign manager; and she was centre-stage in the Espiner piece, content to answer the interviewer’s only uncomfortable question: what was her reaction to  the porn-watching story?  (I’m not entirely sure from her answer how she felt. I think it boiled down to ‘Boys will be boys’.)

Dot Pumipi is a very beautiful woman with a charming and engaging personality, a prize, you might say, for any man, incontrovertible evidence of his sexual appeal and prowess.

Cunliffe and Robertson’s refusal to parade their families on television has been seen as an error of judgement on their part. But in leaving the limelight to Jones, they inadvertently did themselves and the nation a favour.

I regularly quote the doyen of British television interviewers, the late Sir Robin Day, on this site. And in particular these lines:

‘In a TV interview…the politician’s own brain is seen to operate. His or her real personality tends to burst out. Truth is liable to raise its lovely head.’

So what did we see of the operations of Shane Jones’ brain in the Espiner piece? What was the real personality that burst out? What was the truth that raised its lovely head about the candidate for the Labour Party Leadership?

Here’s Jones on his Dalmatian forefathers: ‘I tell you what, a lot of them were fairly lusty individuals, because they didn’t always marry those Maori wahines they applied their biological gum-spears to.’ (Penis reference. Espiner laughs.)

Jones again, following his call to David Cunliffe: ‘What the hell is a soft piece. Doing things in a soft fashion has never really been a failing of mine’ (Penis reference presumably boasting his ability to sustain an erection. Espiner finds this very funny.)

And here’s Jones, in a speech referring to what he intended to do to John Key:  ‘I’m going to tie a bungy cord around a sensitive spot and then I’m going to get those callipers and cut them, and then the mercenary of capitalism can suffer what he deserves – a dead cat bounce.” (Reference to castrating John Key)

And Jones on Labour’s proposed ‘man ban’: ‘… the overwhelming response [in his electorate] is the public doesn’t want the country run by geldings.’ (Reference to women as castrated male horses.)

Try putting each of these statements, the very tip of the Jones personality iceberg,  in the context of ‘Shane Jones, Leader of the Opposition’  or ‘Shane Jones, Prime Minister of New Zealand’. It does not compute!

As Fran O’Sullivan so astutely observed in her Weekend Herald column this morning: ‘Why doesn’t earthy Shane Jones just come out and say, “I’m not just another Labour soft cock?”’

Why indeed? There must be thousands of ‘good Kiwi blokes’, which is what Jones’ mate Guyon tells us Shane is, just hanging out for a warrior hero with a stiffy.

Me, I’m more of the effete intellectual type. Crass, sexist vulgarians like Jones just aren’t my cup of chai latte.

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115 Comments:

  1. Well written. If Jones becomes leader then I will not be voting for Labour. If Jones becomes leader we can expect three more years of Key and his government.

  2. Well said Brian, but I have to disagree, but that is perhaps because I am a rare and dying breed of labour supporter. I am a heterosexual man with working class roots. And I find him a breath of fresh air, yes he is a little raw, but he is intellectual, charismatic and funny. I like the guy and I would be happy to have him as leader, or at least in contention for a top three job. It will keep the working class and disenfranchised labour supporters interested in the party again. Additionally, he does not like Key and wants him out, sounds like someone I could like!

  3. I like Jones, he’s added a bit of colour (literally and figuratively) to the Labour leadership race. But god help us all if he wins (and he’ll only win in a similar fashion to Shearer, the ABC crowd scared Robertson’s sexuality is a vote killer will rally for Jones to win).

  4. Dunno about cock of the walk, he was dick of the week for sure. Had an attack of the Tamiheres!

  5. Is it possible that Espiner deliberately took a soft approach to give Jones a chance to make a dick of himself?

    On the matter of sexual innuendo is to not true that men who make the most reference to sexual matters are the ones most like to suffer from sexual inadequacy or performance anxiety? Perhaps this aspect could be subject of a future interview.

    Finally regardless of Luke’s views I doubt if Labour Party members are stupid enough to elect the NZ clone of Tony Abbot.

    • Ben what? The Mighty Totara not so mighty? Mr Mouse not always keen to come out to play? Surely not, but what a blow to the ego if so. I’m sure Shane’s mentor Mr Tamihere has no such issue, and wouldn’t tell us if he did!

  6. Funny too, in the pic above, he’s obviously holding his head back to minimise those massive chins. Parekura Horomia went the same way buddy, time to start walking to work…

  7. In SJ I see some elements of David Lange. A large man with a first-rate brain, huge oratorical skill, and significant appeal to the average punter. However, that package flawed by a tendency to coast, and limited ability to apply oneself, and therefore in both cases the early promise is never quite fulfilled.

    And yes, as BE says, in the case of SJ the crassness is a major turn-off especially when presented in a somewhat slovenly package.

    • “In SJ I see some elements of David Lange”. Clearly you have gone blind.
      One was a great orator and statesman. The other is a dick.

    • To Old Tony – You do David Lange a major disservice in comparing Jones to him. Lange had a first-class brain and oratorical skills which he used to good effect in assisting people in his lawyer years – often for little recompense – and when he belatedly realised how devasting the Douglas economic “reforms” would be, he used those same skills to try and overturn them. I recall Lange once as referring to political life as being a “service to others”.

      Jones – on the other hand – thinks only about himself. In his time as a politician he hasn’t done a think to lift the lives of his own people, and he USED his own people to make a prat of himself when he answered the powhiri from Ngati Hau at the hui held at the Whakapara Marae the Friday after the leadership contest started, swanned around during morning tea, and then LEFT with his 3rd Degree TV entourage BEFORE the real business of the hui – presentation of alternative economic development ideas to produce sustainable jobs for his people. And there he was – so-called regional development spokesperson for Labour – not at all interested in what his people had to tell him.

      This was a very poor showing on his part, and coming on top of all his sleazy comments I can only hope that Labour Party members who are voting can see through the puff pieces from the media, and will vote for a person who will really lead the Party into victory in 2014. Like Bruce Hucker my preference is David Cunliffe.

      • @ Jenny Kirk: actually, in the reportage on Jones, I’ve also been reminded of that on David Lange when he was elected to the leadership of Labour. I agree with you, though, that Lange was a very different proposition: he was witty, never sleazy or crass as Jones is. Nor was he misogynist.

        But unfortunately Lange’s oratorical skills and wit weren’t enough to make up for the fact that he was a pretty ineffectual prime minister. And if I remember rightly,it wasn’t until his government’s second term that he attempted to halt the Rogernomics juggernaut. By that time, there had been catastrophic effects on the job market, from which we’ve never really recovered.

        I suspect that Jones would be an equally ineffectual prime minister, but without Lange’s redeeming features.

    • 7.3

      I struggle hugely to reconcile a Harvard graduate with the crass buffoon I see out there on the hustings. A certain stereotype springs to mind when thinking of the “average punter” to whom Jones might appeal, but any thinking punter will surely recoil in horror at the thought of this shameless and injudicious man in charge of anything, and that includes a ministerial credit card.

    • I don’t know how it is possible to mention the names of Lange and Jones in the same sentence. Insulting to the memory and achievements of one and totally over-praising the very small stature of the other. I also can’t understand words like “orator” and “intellectual” being applied to Jones. I have yet to notice that he possesses either quality. Mind you, in my view Robertson falls equally short of the mark – just in different ways.

      • what acheivements ? neo liberalsm via rogernomics, mmm great achievement, or do you mean the anti nuclear stance, well that would be wrong as well because he was totally against a nuclear ban but was outvoted by caucus the social liberals doing a deal with the neoliberals you can have monetary reforms if we get social reforms deal so he ended up the reluctant mouthpiece for anti-nuclear, his oratory skills have never been questioned because that was his forte

  8. I am just so sick of the magazine style political reporting (if you could call it that) of the likes of Espiner, Gower, Garner etc. They are treating every single issue by playing the man, never the ball. In fact the ball (policy) seems no longer important.

    Apparently they think all we need is regular beehive infotainment and reported ‘inside’ gossip: and now we need to see inside their homes and private lives which are then called ‘profiles’. What complete TOSH!

    They knew Jones would say yes to any TV profiling. In fact it’s a bit obvious now that Jones is in all likelyhood their inside informant in Caucus. How terribly matey.

    The cheek of that poll too. How many people did they poll and where? Good post.

    • 8.1

      Far from simply acting as a channel for the issues and facilitating discussion, Gower, Espiner, Garner et al all compete to place themselves in the centre of the frame. These days the presenter is promoted at the expense of the issue. Frankly, I’m sick of the strange postures and faux-sincerity of Espiner and don’t-forget-to-listen-to-Me-on-Radio-Live Duncan Garner, and I wish Paddy Gower would stop shouting at me.

    • A teacher –

      I could not agree more. We have “crap” media (sorry Brian, sadly too much are now in that category), focusing on superficial, headline hitting news and mostly just on “personality”, “shock” value and scandals.

      As much as I disliked Shearer as leader, he could make a good minister in a portfolio, yet the media always only reported on his poor speech, his mumbling and so forth.

      They are now dismantling Cunliffe and Robertson before they even have been voted on as potential leader, citing promises that cost and will not be paid for, claiming they are “right”, “left” or whatever, and blaming them for not fronting up with their “partners”.

      On the other hand they elevate a shock value “blokey” guy with a clearly over sexualised mindset, to surprise contenter and near front runner for party leadership. Polls are presented, based on whatever short, unqualified questions, posed to ill-informed people, who will change their vote as quickly as the media switches from one favourite to another, or from one soundbite to another.

      The mainstream media have too much influence though, while not informing, sometimes misinforming and being pre-occupied with “infotainment” style news and reports.

      It is their presence in every living room, the radios in cars and homes, the access via smart phones and home computers, that give them power that will make or break elections. We should be very worried about what the media do and do not do!

  9. During the height of the Clark govt I heard a comment referring to Labour as the labia Party. It seems something may be swinging the other way.

  10. What is it with you lot? I don’t have a problem with a jowly sleazeball being leader of the Labour Party. Especially, a late night movie-watcher who “plays” solitaire without a deck of cards.

  11. Brian, this analysis of Shane’s campaign for the leadership is perceptive. I am a supporter of David Cunliffe and I have never posted on your blog. I should say that for political reasons I have voted David number one, Shane number two and Grant number three.

    Grant is at least a decent human being who treats people properly.He is also an able Labour Politician.

    David is a special person who displays love and respect for others and is caring in his relationships.I am no longer sure the same is true of Shane. His violent language in relation to John Key is distasteful and unacceptable. Even if he were to suggest it is simply metaphorical, violent language tends to beget violence.

    I have known David for years. He is a good person, intellectually able, with an ability to translate his moral commitments into practice and good policy.

  12. Ah, the socialists do self immolation so well.

    For disaster movie fans such compelling viewing.

    • 12.1

      And for porn movie fans?

    • Yes, I’ve got my bucket of popcorn!

      But, Alan, they wanted someone who would “take it to John Key so we don’t have to put up with another three years of this National government”, and now they wring their hands when someone isn’t playing by Marquis of Queensbury rules! Beware what you wish for…

      I had the pleasure yesterday of spending some time with some “genuine South Auckland folks” in a social setting, some of whom are displaced Ngapuhi, who have a lot of time for Shane Jones. The earthy humour and banter that took place at that occasion shows whom Jones is appealing to, and why. They know it is hyperbole, and theater – working-class Polynesians are a highly sophisticated group able to discern and understand oratory, as it is one of their primary means of communication. And, as a btw: the social occasion in question wasn’t a misogynist convention- women and children were full participants.

      At least people now know what they are getting with Jones, in comparison to the evasion and puff pieces Robertson and Cunliffe have been peddling. Anyone see the nonsense of a 45 minute “fishing trip” (who the hell goes fishing for 45 minutes?!) with David Cunliffe?

      • “take it to John Key so we don’t have to put up with another three years of this National government”

        And after Brash it was John Key leader of the opposition who could: “take it to Helen Clark so we don’t have to put up with another three years of this Labour government”.

        David Cunliffe will certainly ‘take it to John Key’ but may or may not be a great Prime Minister. Key may have been popular, but never was, nor will be, great. But then again Cunliffe, we are led to believe, is unpopular but then may very well make a great Prime Minister.

        Shane Jones will most likely continue flicking rubber bands and throwing darts at his mate Henare.

        • 12.2.1.1

          How do you define a great Prime Minister? I think all have their strengths and weaknesses. I’d settle for a merely good one. I really think they can only be as good as their party and the electorate allow.

          • True.

            Part of me would argue “greatness” is primarily rated by dramatic influence beyond ones tenure, which usually favours the reformers (who are generally Labour since 1935) such as Seddon, Savage, Fraser, and (with reservations, as Jenny Kirk mentions elsewhere) Lange rather than the cautious conservatives such as Massey, Holland, Holyoake, Muldoon…and possibly Helen Clark. So in that respect, even though I doubt it is what Kat means, John Key will not be classed as “great”, although his steering of the ship of state during the GFC and Canterbury earthquakes may see that revised once we have a fuller perspective in years to come. And I still expect Rob Muldoon’s legacy to be given a much-deserved favourable revision in the years ahead, much to your chagrin, Alan!

            However, the most influential politician of the last 29 years, and likely at least the next 20 isn’t a PM. It was Roger Douglas.

            With an honourable mention for Big Norm Kirk, who, after faltering attempts by Peter Fraser, turned out in his brief 21 month tenure to be our first genuine Minister of Foreign Affairs.

            But when Kat tries to shift the narrative to Key’s supposed lack of greatness, you suspect in her heart of hearts the 2014 election will go to the leader who wins the “competency” contest.

            So which of the three Labour hopefuls is most likely to do that?

      • 12.2.2

        The earthy humour and banter that took place at that occasion shows whom Jones is appealing to, and why. They know it is hyperbole, and theater…

        The problem would be that that seems to be the only audience Jones is capable of appealing to consistently. I say “would be” because Jones presumably knows he isn’t going to win this leadership bid anyway. It’s surely a repositioning exercise.

        At least people now know what they are getting with Jones, in comparison to the evasion and puff pieces Robertson and Cunliffe have been peddling.

        Yeah, as opposed to the third degree Jones got on 3rd Degree, which wasn’t AT ALL a puff piece.

        • You are right on the “re-positioning” as it seems obvious Jones wont and can’t win, and he knows it.

          However, you may under-estimate his cross-party appeal. Put it this way: it would take a lot to persuade me not to vote for Key and National again in 2014. However, if I had to seriously consider pitching my vote to Labour, Jones, because of his economically moderate and pragmatic views, and IN SPITE of the issues catalogued in this thread, could sway it for me. And I’d consider myself a swinging voter. My voting efforts in the last 7 elections tells me I am! And last time I looked, we decide elections, not the party faithfuls like Kat.

          Didn’t see the 3rd Degree piece, but whatever, we now KNOW who Jones is, and what he is about. Which means Labour party members can make an informed choice on the man.

          Can anyone, other than those close to them, say the same of Robertson and Cunliffe?

          • 12.2.2.1.1

            Last time I looked, Labour’s main problem was people swinging from voting Labour to not voting. Although obviously they’ve also lost some voters to National, the Greens and other parties.

            I don’t think I’ve underestimated Jones’ cross-party appeal, because my assessment of that appeal is pretty much as you’ve outlined. You’re a swing voter currently voting National. If Jones won, you would consider voting Labour, but then probably wouldn’t anyway.

            I’d expect a lot of that if Jones won; Nat voters granting begrudging appreciation to the new Labour leader, then going ahead and voting National anyway. I can’t see many people broadly happy with Key’s National Government changing their vote to Labour just for Shane Jones. Choosing Jones as leader won’t win over a significant portion of the soft National vote, and would lose more.

            And that’s the *best* argument for Jones – he might win over a handful of soft National voters. Ironic, considering Jones doesn’t do soft.

  13. I am an old woman. I’ve seen 16 prime ministers come and go (17 if you count Hugh Watt)and I’ve seen countless wannabes appear and disappear, but know this: never before have I seen such a stupid, crass, vulgar, obnoxious, vainglorious lump of lard as Shane Jones. No woman with a skerrick of self respect would vote for Jones. No man who has daughters would vote for Jones. He makes Aaron Gilmore look like a class act.

    • Agreed, Linz. Another old woman here, who has seen politicians come and go over the years. Like every other woman I know there is no way in hell I could ever vote for the arrogant sleazy windbag that is Shane Jones.

    • @ Linz: agreed. I, too, have seen many leadership candidates come and go. Jones makes my skin crawl. If Labour values the female vote, it’ll elect either Cunliffe or Robertson. And if it’s so stupid as to elect Jones, it’s lost my vote – and, I don’t doubt, many if not most other female votes – for the duration.

    • Linz HEAR HEAR!

  14. Our boy Shaney boasts many talents, however, first-rate brain and huge oratorical skill are not amongst them. But do include ambidextrous when it comes to watching movies in a hotel room.

  15. You “don’t take well to being bullied or abused”. That will come as news to anyone who has heard Michelle Boag boss you around on Radio NZ National’s “The Panel”.

    • Oh for goodness sake. It’s obvious Brian and Michelle have a great friendship and a huge respect for each other.

    • Michelle Boag is by nature a bully, but I don’t think she really gets the better of BE on “The Panel” very often. She lacks the intellectual horsepower to do that, and she constantly makes that very common mistake of confusing bluster with authority. I was pleased to hear BE recently putting the dreaded Earl Grey tea in its place. But then mortified at his cringe-worthy assertion on the same show that all men are “babies” and “pathetic”. Little wonder that there are those in Labour who seriously think that there should be a mandate for more women and fewer men in Parliament (or anywhere except the dirty, dangerous, back-breaking jobs that women don’t clamour for) …

  16. 16

    Question for you Brian, who know one has ever classed as less than clever?
    But does Shane have a 1st class mind. He has always appeared to have a huge self regard for his own cleverness and the ability to use several complicated words where one would do

    • ” He has always appeared to have a huge self regard for his own cleverness and the ability to use several complicated words where one would do”.

      Agree. The only people who think Shane Jones is “clever” and is a “great orator” are those who aren’t all that well-educated and who probably suffer from a speech impediment.

      He’s inclined to use fancy words — where he’s guessing his audience doesn’t understand the meaning — to impress to the point of showing off. It wasn’t that long ago, he slotted in the word “apocryphal”, showing he didn’t grasp the true definition of the word.(Word of advice: Don’t use a dollar-word when a ten-cent one will do).

      There is an mistakable grandiosity to Shane Jones, and he’s not shy in letting people know. The above pic is a good representation of him, you know, the Benito Mussolini-esque posturing.

  17. Despite my hesitance to endorse Shane Jones habits and attitude ,it does resonate with a proportion of the population. Is this proportion large enough to give labour a win in the next election?

  18. I guess with Shane Jones and Grant Robertson…what you see is what you get. Cunliffe however….having seen a youtube clip of him electioneering in South Auckland before the last election and referring to the Prime Minister as ” that greasy little man in the blue suit” What an absolute disgrace and he tries to present himself as a statesman! Know someone who is a Labour supporter through and through and who worked for Cunliffe…that person would not vote Labour if he was leading the party. Says it all.

  19. Brian, this is one of the most perceptive articles on New Zealand politics a long while. Something about Jones had been bothering me and you have nailed it. A sexist sleaze. I found is comment about John Key particularly offensive but I can now see it is part of a pattern of behaviour. I thought New Zealand may have moved on from the notion of a ‘red-blooded male’ but clearly not.

    Worse Jones is obviously intelligent, at least in a formal sense, and has a brain so knows exactly what he is doing. But what bothers most is the unsaid homophobia that underlies much of what he has said recently. He is clearly delineating himself from “that other one”, you know who I mean, nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Despicable. That he is talked about as a potential leader of a party with such rich traditions of working for a better society is appalling.

    Thank you for so eloquently unmasking the real Shane Jones.

  20. Two questions for Labour supporters who are so repulsed by Shane Jones, such that you insist you will not vote for Labour if he becomes leader:

    1. Who would you vote for instead

    2. If enough of you do that, what is the likely election result?

  21. Oh, yes, and further to your comment, Brian,

    “Try putting each of these statements, the very tip of the Jones personality iceberg, in the context of ‘Shane Jones, Leader of the Opposition’ or ‘Shane Jones, Prime Minister of New Zealand’. It does not compute!”

    I’d suggest the same thing was said about Bob Hawke before 1983. But then maybe that is where Australia and NZ are different…

  22. BE: “Try putting each of these statements, the very tip of the Jones personality iceberg, in the context of ‘Shane Jones, Leader of the Opposition’ or ‘Shane Jones, Prime Minister of New Zealand’. It does not compute!”

    Could be a lot worse. Be thankful, he wasn’t named ‘Wayne King’.

  23. “This is not a man the Labour Party can ever afford to have as its Leader. This is not a man the country can ever afford to have as its Prime Minister. He would almost certainly bring shame to both offices.”

    I could not agree more to what Brian wrote there!

    Shane Jones is ALL about HIMSELF and nothing else. He uses the contest for leadership AND his party for achieving his own goals.

    I do remember him saying during an interview on “The Nation” a week ago, that he is wanting to become leader, and nothing else. At least in such words (close to it), he responded on a question re his candidature.

    That sounds to me that he may consider his options and leave Labour if he does not win the contest, which is highly unlikely. I am sure he has already had many chats with Winston Peters, and he will be keen on having a man like Jones on board, just to boost the NZF profile.

    It is respectful conduct by Cunliffe and Robertson to not comment on Shane Jones’ escapades and over-boisterous to even rude and discriminatory comments.

    The very sad fact is that he appeals to so many “ordinary Kiwis”, who will mostly be male, bigoted, self serving ones, who are the same clientele who fell for John Key. It is a disappointing reflection of too large a part of the population of this country, which really has more intelligent and cultivated people than Shane Jones to offer.

    Today I saw on Q+A that he did not just use 3rd Degree to self promote, but has a write up in the Women’s Weekly.

    Shame on you, Shane Jones, you have surely disqualified yourself now!

  24. Kimbo “I’d suggest the same thing was said about Bob Hawke before 1983. But then maybe that is where Australia and NZ are different…”

    Back in that day, Naida Glavis was demoted for using the greeting “Kia ora”, laws to specifically address domestic violence and only just been enacted, every dairy freely displayed adult magazines, and men could go to prison for practising their sexual orientation. Many things that were acceptable in Bob Hawke’s day are no longer so. I for one are glad about that.

  25. In the comments above, “Ben” refers to Jones as the “NZ clone of Tony Abbot”.

    This is far from accurate.

    Tony “My daughters are hot” Abbot is far too classy.

  26. Good boy Brian, did Shane Jones go to Harvard under some sort of ‘cultural exchange’ programme – he couldn’t possibly have got there on any kind of merit. But having said that I guess electing this primordial to leadership of the ‘Labour’ party (or for that matter, Grant Robertson) will ensure us of another 6 years (at least) of a national govt

    • 26.1

      I did wonder about that myself. The “intellect” I see doesn’t seem like one that’d make it to Harvard under its own steam. More puffery? The man’s an abomination who would bring shame upon this country were he ever to represent us on the world stage.

  27. The whole Jones/Espiner interview was pretty disgraceful, but what appalled me most was watching Espiner grovel and fawn. He looked as though he couldn’t believe his luck, being allowed to play cook the sausage with the big boys.

  28. Shane Jones and “Harvard” in the same breath? What a hoot!
    Unless, there is a marai up in the Far North, we haven’t heard about.

  29. This blog has certainly shown yet again what socialists do best: character assassination.

    Shane, with friends like yours who needs enemies?

    • The blog relies entirely on Jones’ own words. A case of character hara kiri rather than assassination, I would have thought.

      • 29.1.1

        My observation was sparked more by the stream of comments here than your original post, Brian. I don’t know the man. I met him only once and as a cabinet minister at a public meeting concerning his portfolio he performed competently and with adequate sensitivity.

        I’m pretty sure he is capable of tailoring his style to his audience and probably at present aiming it squarely at the rather large niche for which Cunliffe and Robertson have no appeal.

        As for the rest of his character I am equally in the dark regarding all three contenders. Accordingly I am content to leave the faithful to hack each other to death. So far I have heard nothing of policy from any to suggest they are worthy of a vote.

        • 29.1.1.1

          I take your point, Alan, but if the man can provoke the almost universal response seen here, then perhaps he needs to revise the way in which he projects? Meanwhile I’ve seen nothing to indicate that humility is a word in the Jones dictionary, and egotism is not the same thing as self-confidence.

          • 29.1.1.1.1

            I’m pretty sure a critique of John Key here would produce an equally universal stream of vitriol. As did the same for Paula Bennett. So I incline to the view that the commentary is more definitive of the commentators than the subjects.

            • 29.1.1.1.1.1

              I’ve been sitting here chewing over your answer and I have to admit that you’re almost certainly right. However, I’m sticking by my view of Shane Jones, regardless of who it defines better, him or me. I sincerely hope that should I ever wake up to Shane Jones PM that Mrs Loveridge, alarmed by all the screaming, will whack me solidly in the ribs and put an end to the nightmare.

      • Well you would say that, wouldn’t you, Brian. Perhaps purging all those who fail to agree with your world view is the way to go? It worked for Mao.

      • Well said.

    • 29.2

      In that case we needn’t trouble ourselves over them, Alan. They will soon kill each other off.

    • You wanna see character assassination?
      Go here: http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/

      • True, but WO doesn’t view his site as necessarily being a place for calm, measured, and respectable comment – which many of us more pretentious types around here do.

      • 29.3.2

        Not one I normally read but having gone for a look based on the most most recent dozen or so posts they were comparatively innocuous. Since you ask I think this blog is an easy winner in the vitriol stakes both on density and intensity.

        • 29.3.2.1

          I think this blog is an easy winner in the vitriol stakes both on density and intensity.”

          Yes. Things are much more temperate over at Whale Oil.

          “I bet that when at school and they were picking teams she was always picked last. She’s like a handicapped person playing football…”

          That from the actual blog post on ‘Cunliffe sacks Michie…’. In the comments…

          “If they split off into the tradition Labour (for the working man, lead by Shane) and a union party (cuntlips) and the gaggle (lead by Grant), then Shane’s team can go into coalition with National and finally NZ could be free of the bullshit Green bastards and self serving unionists and feminists/activists.”

          “If Robertson had anything to offer his “Race” then this wouldn’t be an issue. He’s never going to be a Prime Minister if the only thing he has to stand on is the fact he’s gay.”

          “Fuck, Labia are stupid.”

          “God what a bunch of fucktards”

          “Man she’s dumb! I’ve met some dumb people in my life, but she’s gotta take the prize!”

          Clearly, much less vitriol.

          • 29.3.2.1.1

            I note you didn’t complete Whale’s quote: “She’s like a handicapped person playing football…close to the action but never likely to threaten the net.”

            Actually quite a perceptive and striking simile.

            As for the others, the language is more bawdy bar-room than this blog but the personal vitriol is far more sparse. The opposition is to the policies rather than the individuals.

            • 29.3.2.1.1.1

              Ah, I notice you shift the goal posts (so to speak). It’s now about personal vitriol. Well Whale’s comment seems pretty personal, in the sentence prior to the one you quoted.

              the personal vitriol is far more sparse. The opposition is to the policies rather than the individuals.

              “cuntlips”

              “God what a bunch of fucktards”

              “Man she’s dumb! I’ve met some dumb people in my life, but she’s gotta take the prize!”

              Yes, I can see that.

              • 29.3.2.1.1.1.1

                You found 3 phrases amongst several hundred comments. That is sparse. In a single thread, this is not:

                “The guy’s an ego with no substance, testosterone in a rubber sack”
                “an arrogant and swaggering buffoon”
                “he was dick of the week for sure”
                “most like to suffer from sexual inadequacy or performance anxiety’
                “The other is a dick”
                “the crass buffoon”
                “a jowly sleazeball”
                “a stupid, crass, vulgar, obnoxious, vainglorious lump of lard”
                “the arrogant sleazy windbag”
                “the Benito Mussolini-esque posturing”
                “A sexist sleaze”
                “this primordial”
                “The man’s an abomination”
                “this absurd prima donna”
                “this self-obsessed, blowhard legend-in-his-own-lunchtime”
                “a bully-type with fewer credentials and less credibility”

                Etc, etc, ad nauseum.

                • 29.3.2.1.1.1.1.1

                  “You found 3 phrases amongst several hundred comments.”

                  Nope. I was requoting 3 to illustrate the point, not being exhaustive. And that thread had 28 comments.

                • 29.3.2.1.1.1.1.2

                  Yep, you found one thread with three phrases amongst many threads with none. Be exhaustive if you wish – there is no comparison with the amount of personal vitriol here.

                • 29.3.2.1.1.1.1.3

                  Yep, you found one thread with 15 phrases amongst many threads with none.

                  “Be exhaustive if you wish“

                  Okay, if we’re comparing my thread example to your thread example, at least 8 out of 28 which is less dense than your 15 out of 111. That doesn’t support your claim this blog is the “easy” winner in terms of vitriol.

  30. 30

    Did anybody hear Jones on Morning Report today? Whenever he spoke there was very little about policy or strategy, and an awful lot about Shane Jones. Never mind the occasional use of “fluorescent” language, and take a look at the cover of the Women’s Weekly – you don’t get on there if women hate you. The guy is a gigantic waddling ego.

  31. I think “geldings” refers to the male caucus/party members who agree/acquiesce to the “man ban”. No less odious, mind you.

  32. The test for the OC brigade – only Cunliffe – will be when they have won and installed their messiah and secured all the spots that matter and have the party and unions in locked step, will they manage to turn to face the Tory, or will the old habits be too tough to break, and the purge continue until the last class traitor is removed? The later, I fear. Fancy another term, John?

  33. Nice to see that Labour is getting excellent mileage out of the various husting meetings. Unity, positive policies, and sound preparations at the grassroot level should give Labour a great opportunity to win the next election. Lovely, to note that Shane Jones have ruffled a few feathers, especially from those of the right.

    BE: After watching The Nation (Front Page Ltd.) last sunday, I noted that you didn’t seem your usual sharp self. I hope that all is well.

    • “Nice to see that Labour is getting excellent mileage out of the various husting meetings. Unity, positive policies, and sound preparations at the grassroot level should give Labour a great opportunity to win the next election.”

      I know I’m a Kiwi, and we are almost as bad as Americans on the non-detection-of-irony thing, but I’m almost absolutely sure you are serious…and deluded.

    • …and sorry, johan, if I was a bit harsh and rude in my previous comments.

      I think the faults of Labour’s new leadership selection method are starting to unravel, and will continue to do so no matter to whom the poisoned chalice is handed.

      A “presidential primaries” campaign style works for the Americans because the winner has no obligation to take those he or she has defeated into power, and in the American system, cabinet has nowhere near the power of that in the Westminster system. Plus the caucus is in an entirely separate branch of the government. Also, the President still retains full executive powers, including the right of veto.

      However, whoever becomes a party leader in our system is “first amongst equals”, and still shares power with those who were beaten – and they still retain the power to stage a coup at a later stage.

      Madness.

      Then again, you may subscribe to some dialectic theory of the clash of the bourgeois leadership of the Labour Party and the proletariat membership that will spark off the wider revolution for people’s democracy. Good luck with that…

  34. As you rightly say, Brian, this absurd prima donna can only bring shame on New Zealand. Even as leader of the opposition, he would almost certainly make us a global laughing stock.

    Once, long ago, I declared that the only thing that could possibly make me vote National would be Jones as leader of the Labour Party. But I would never in a thousand years have imagined this was a serious prospect. I’m sure what seems to be going on now is just a bad dream and I’ll wake up soon!

    How can anyone possibly be taken in by this self-obsessed, blowhard legend-in-his-own-lunchtime?

    And we’re meant to believe that Cunliffe is the conceited one?

    Ye Merry Gods!

  35. Post election – If Jones should find himself in second position he will make mischief. This man has an ego to rival the best, and is treating us like fools.

    There will be no resurgence of the Labour Party under his leadership. Not now, not at any time.

  36. Next time you think of sneering at the Yanks for having Sarah Palin as a Vice Presidential candidate, just remember there are lots of Kiwis who, according to the lads at Radio Live/TV3, think Shane Jones should be our Prime Minsiter

  37. Christine

    I’ll vote Labour if Cunliffe (my first choice) gets the job and Green if Robertson gets it.

    But what’s the point of voting Green (or NZ First or whatever Dot.Com comes up with) if it ends up injecting Jones into the driving seat?

  38. Thank you for calling a spade a spade. I’ve lived away from NZ for over ten years, but I have been following this leadership contest. I was a bit shocked by Jones’ castration of Key comment. He strikes me as a bully-type with fewer credentials and less credibility for a top job than Sarah Palin.

    I think Robertson would make the best Labour leader – he has both the instinct and the intellect for it. My concern is that all three seem to be pitching a message too far to the left of centre to win the broader electorate’s vote. I am always bugged too when I see the more ‘comfortable’ New Zealand being lambasted for being so, as if it had never been earned. The politics of envy is very unattractive.

    But there is a good social tradition in New Zealand, and the conscience of a critical portion of that comfortable New Zealand can be brought out in support of a Labour leader when higher ideals are appealed to, and they don’t feel they will be unfairly penalised for doing it. Robertson has the best chance of doing that – provided he has a strong economic team in support; Cunliffe less so; and Jones absolutely not at all.

  39. I’m not joking: Shane Jones, in comparison, would makes a strutting, full-feathered peacock look like a giggling Geisha girl. He’s so cocksure of himself, especially, after he’s primed himself in the privacy of a hotel room, watching his favourite movies.

  40. I will put it bluntly, Jone is doing my head in.

  41. I find your contempt of Shane Jones quite over the top, old chap. You don’t take well to being bullied or abused by Shane Jones. Care to elaborate on how and when this happened? If you’re going to criticise someone publicly, at least provide evidence to support that. Informed readers such as myself would like to examine the merits of your position.

    How and why is Jones not fit to run the country? As the man said, he’s running to be the leader of the Labour party, not pope. Remember the art work that Helen Clark (who I respect and admire) signed but did not draw? Someone of your generation would remember Winston Churchill, the great leader who lead the free world against the tyranny of Nazism during World War 2. Yeah, the same guy who opposed India’s independence and who, as head of the British navy in World War 1 grossly underestimated Turkish resolve, leading to the nation-defining disaster we know as the Gallipoli Campaign. I could go on. The point is, show me a great political leader, who hasn’t committed any wrong and…

    So you think Jones is no longer unapologetic and has, by your estimations, the audacity to make capital out of his sleazy reputation. What did you expect? The guy is gunning to be labour leader and is on a hiding to nothing. Of course he’s going to use whatever ‘capital’ he has to make the best show of it. It’s not his fault that Guyon Espiner, Duncan Garner and TV 3 etc decided to take the ‘softly softly’ approach that they did. Jones saw an opportunity and went for it.

    That David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson chose not to subject their partners or families to the media spotlight is naivety of the highest order. As politicians, they live in glass houses and therefore will always be under the microscopic scrutiny of the media and the masses. Anything that looks interesting will be brought to light by the media. Seriously, what were they thinking?

    So you’re the effete intellectual type. Is that the same type that bleeds for the poor and oppressed over crystal glasses of Chardonnay, but God forbid they move into the neighbourhood? I thought so.

    • I’m no fan of Shane Jones, but finally a comment on this blog that I can actually resonate with. Especially:

      ‘If you’re going to criticise someone publicly, at least provide evidence to support that. Informed readers such as myself would like to examine the merits of your position.’

      and:

      ‘So you’re the effete intellectual type. Is that the same type that bleeds for the poor and oppressed over crystal glasses of Chardonnay, but God forbid they move into the neighbourhood? I thought so.’.

      I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  42. The world porn industry is enormous. I am glad to see our MP’s are supporting such a major industry. NZ has been found to be the world’s least corrupt country which makes you wonder what all those MP’s in other countries are up to! I look forward to the disclosures. Are there any in most of them?

  43. I see Bob Jones in the Herald recommends Robertson. He’s probably right but I am sure the unions will get their man instead.

    My prediction: if Robertson is not made deputy there will be open internal warfare and if he is there will be hidden internal warfare. The farce continues.

  44. Either Cunliffe or Robertson would be good at the job of opposition leader. But Robertson’s personal preferences would almost certainly prevent him leading Labour to victory next year. Moreover, he lacks government experience.

    However, he’s still a young man and, who knows, in eight to ten years time, those preferences of his might matter less to the good folk in South Auckland.

    In the meantime, he should have the opportunity to gain some experience of government, enhance his reputation as a formidable parliamentarian and win the thanks of us centre-leftists outside the beltway by helping deliver a loyal caucus to Cunliffe.

  45. Shane Jones must be doing a fantastic job, since the TAB* has risen to a new high for the year of 7.2.

    * TAB – Tory Angst Barometer

    • …judging by the response to the idiotic comments by Clare Curran, I think you are misjudging what side of the spectrum is experiencing angst, johan.

      Like I said to Alan Wilkinson, I’m sitting here with my jumbo-bucket of pop-corn, enjoying the unfolding train-wreck. If Cunliffe wins, as seems likely, the caucus back-stabbing is just beginning.

      Tell me again, how much more caring your lot are of people and relationships compared to the cold heartless tories? Reminds me of the comment about Walter Nash, about how he loved humanity, but couldn’t stand people.

      Frauds and posers, especially when someone who actually appeals to working-class Maori actually dares to speak in a way they can relate to. Oh, yes, Labour will take their vote, and expect it as a matter of right (McGeohan Close, anyone?), but that they should actually have a candidate in the running like them?! Hah!

  46. @ Richard

    You just don’t get it, do you, Richard? We don’t want a crude genitalia-obsessed oaf with too much self-regard and too little self-awareness, to be leader of the Labour Party; yet alone, be a PM.

  47. Shane has performed beyond expectations and he has a real sense of the absurd.

    I don’t anything is gained by personal attacks, he should be respected for putting his hand up, I think he would make an interesting foil to Cunliffe, as deputy, and even more interesting one with Robertson.

    He is the only candidate who doesn’t take himself too seriously.

    The fact that the three amigos have gone so far without a falling out shows what a broad church NZLP is.

    • You’re Kidd-ing us, aren’t you?
      If Shane Jones “has a real sense of the absurd”, it is transcendent. This guy is absurdity personified. Totally.

    • 47.2

      I think the opposite: Shane Jones takes himself extremely seriously.

  48. “Steady as she goes!” Wonderful to experience the unity in our three candidates. It is the DIVERSITY among the members that we need to draw our strength from, with one common goal, and that is to defeat the Tories. Grant, Sean and David you are doing the country proud.

    TAB – 7.3

  49. Brian, please stand up and address your questioners 41 and 41.1.

    Credibility requires this.

  50. Yes Shane Jones has a great sense of the absurd and this is probably
    the the reason I have often not taken some of his theatrics too seriously.
    I had stopped reading the vengeful and sometimes vile comments on this site.
    I recommend you pop over to mauistreet.blogspot.co.nz
    ps I have lived in the North
    Shane is a boy from Awanui who I think cares for
    his people.

  51. I totally agree, although I refused to watch that TV3 programme. I was hopeful that 3rd degree might be good news magazine show, but it has turned out to be some sort of vehicle for various political agendas, with some drivel added to make up the time.

    If Shane Jones ends up as leader of the Labour Party, I will vote Green. The Greens are a little bit left of where I am, but they have some really good people, and that counts for a lot in my book.

  52. Going by the numerous comments on here and my own feelings on Jones it would seem that Jones not Cunliffe is really the divisive character out of the three. And Espiner really lost respect from that piece, it was beneath him. I wonder if his association with Garner has sullied his perceived integrity. Garners just become a shock jock IMO.

  53. Brian ,
    you of all people (a good labour person) should be able to read the leaves at the bottom of the cup a lot more clearly than your observation of Espiners piece on Jones .

    This is the antithasis as to why the Key is still enthroned in Wellington ,because labour supporters(such as yourself) ( can never reconcile that there party has such a wide demographic base. The “other” half of labour supporters can barely drag themselves of the couch to the polling booth let alone extoll the policy of the party.

    Jones is there man? Cunliff is yours

    But you already vote and I dare say half of labour supporters such as yourself are out the door polling day and vote before they clean there teeth
    Espiner I though (yes it was a bit tacky )just seconded labour half those people on the couch >your blog, just sat them back down <thankfully they would never read a blog any way
    Jones would have sheeted home a labour an assured victory ,but as usual Labour have gone for another headmaster from the labour cookie cut leaders draw.
    Still guess its better to have Key than Jones ruining the things …not

  54. When the story of Jones using his ministerial credit card to pay to watch porn in his hotel rooms first came to light, my primary reaction was that it was evidence of extremely poor judgement. The morality of watching porn concerned me less. Tens of thousands of New Zealand men watch pornography on the Internet every day. Porn-watchers form the Internet’s largest audience.