Sunday, April 27, 2008

Accidental Policy

Here's an interesting theory for you; what if the immigration rant from New Zealand First last month was a balls up in a way you would never expect?

What if Peter Brown's position on future Asian population figures was never supposed to happen?

It requires one hell of a suspension of belief but the weird thing is the theory might just have some legs.

Let me explain. It involves a convergence of different events occurring within the party.

The thing is in recent months NZ First has seen some pretty significant changes within its Leader's Office. The main one being the departure of Winston Peters SPS Graham Harding and the retirement of Ernie Davis. That left a pretty large hole that needed to be filled quick smart. Because the party needed someone with campaign experience it saw the return of one Frank Perry. Now Frank was a stalwart press secretary for New Zealand First during the 1990's and earlier this decade and we all know what that period was famous for as far as immigration and Asians are concerned?

Don't we?

So here's the scenario as it's been explained to me by someone who is in a position to know. Frank Perry saw the figures in the Department of Statistics release and automatically treated them the way he always had. He saw the immigration angle, pumped it for all it was worth, and sent out the release with Peter Brown's name on it. We all know what happened next.

Ok, that's one part of the theory. Part two is the contradictory statements made by New Zealand First MP Dail Jones who pretty much immediately defended Asian immigrants and the role they have in New Zealand. He made a speech to that effect in the house and then went around the Press Gallery the next day handing out copies of it. If New Zealand First had deliberately chosen to play the race card why was one of its MPs (and a former Party President) challenging it?

To me it suggests they had no policy whatsoever, or even a tacit strategy not to use immigration as an issue this election. Or at least not yet.

Here comes the next part of my theory - The China Free Trade Deal.

New Zealand First opposed the deal on the basis it wasn't good enough. If you look at the arguments put forward by Peters they were based on economics, trade, timing of tariff reductions, and dealing with a low wage economy. You'll note immigration and the labour clause, while mentioned, was pretty much skipped over. It'd be fair to assess New Zealand First as choosing to oppose the FTA on dollars, not race. At least that was the position Peters seemed to take.

Now if we take this at face value (and given the Party had predetermined its stand on the FTA some time in advance we almost have to) wouldn't deliberately embarking on an Asian immigration bashing crusade just a week or so previously seriously undercut the arguments they'd later make against the FTA?

Consistency might not be Winston's strongest point but he's not a political idiot.

The immigration statements from Peter Brown got the party labelled as racist, and that perception carried over to its stand on the FTA. Winston Peters is savvy enough a political operator that you can bet your life he would have moved heaven and earth to avoid such a situation.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Still Taking the Piss (literally)

This time a look at the debate last year on raising the legal purchase age for alcohol.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Actually ....

While I'm on this audio tangent here's a little blast from the past. A taste of New Zealand politics in late 2006.

What Goes Around Comes Around.

Well I guess if you get in the business of using musical ditties to take the piss out of others it's kind of inevitable someone will return the favour.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hypocrites and Whining Bitches.

First the hypocrites.

Take a bow Labour you win this award over the so called parody song aimed at National Party Leader John Key. For the moment let us set aside the relative merits (or lack of) in the song itself. Suffice it to say the tonal quality was somewhat reminiscent of hearing a feral cat having its entrails extracted via its nasal passage.

We should be truly thankful backbencher Jill Pettis wasn't part of the group.

Anyway, to get to the point, what annoys me so much about the whole thing is the pious line senior Labour politicians took when politicians tried last year to impose new rules on the way the media were allowed to cover proceedings in the debating chamber.
"Parliament," declaimed Finance Minister Michael Cullen, "is a place for debate, not theatre".

Oh I see.

It's bad when we the media do it, but somehow it's OK when members of your own Cabinet are having a swipe.

A word of advice. Leave the parody and satire to us. We're much better at it.

Now on to the whining bitches section of this post. Naturally I'm giving this tag to National and its leader John Key.

So you got picked on. So what, It's life, it happens, build a bridge and get over it. Or even better - learn from the words of Aussie icon Mark "Chopper" Reid.
"Harden the fuck up John!"

John, trust me the general public didn't need to be told that the song was an insipid piece of shit and those behind it talentless gits. They can actually figure that out for themselves and it's sort of condescending (and patronizing) that you and your caucus colleagues feel the need to jump up and down about it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Question of Sport.

What happens when a bunch of media and communication types, along with other assorted malcontents, decide to give an account of their sporting efforts?

Here's the answer.

(Disclaimer: the author of this blog may be involved with aforementioned malcontents.)

Oh and if you're feeling a little frustrated with your job/career/immediate supervisor then I heartily recommend that you go here to vent.