Q+A and The Nation review
Yesterday 11am on TV3 The Nation 'n Friends (TV3's attempt to do a better current affairs show than TVNZ) was all terribly chummy at times. It must be that all purpose table TV3 use for Sunrise and TV3 news, it's cursed with babble. For a show hosted by Gerry Browlnees former press secretary and featuring Miss Hill-Cone it's very clear which side of the fence its coming from politically with the Steven Joyce interview failing to land any blows other than an interesting admission of the dismantling of Polytechs by appointing 4 Government members onto every Polytech board.
Duncan Garner was good but pretty soft with Joyce, got the upper hand a couple of times over Internet costs under his broadband roll out and Regulation of mobile phone users. Joyce wouldn't confirm that Jim Bolger will be shot for treason and dumped from KiwiRail, but his non denial seems to have sealed Bolgers fate.
There was a very good piece on waterways that was solid, but the crackle and pace was missing, I was hoping for a better panel selection, but it's early days yet, as a first episode it was solid but dry.
Q+A on the other hand must be eyeing their NZ on Air funding carefully now The Nation will be wanting to suck the same straw, this could allow for Q+A to become a little more unabashedly liberal with The Nation clearly stacking out the very dark blue corner.
It was good seeing the former head of Greenpeace on the panel this week as the left wing commentator and Michael Barnett was a more human face of capitalism from the right. Paul's opening monologue was sharp and the main debate was the whaling issue.
Sir Geoff Palmer was on defending his desire to legalize whaling, his argument is that there are 3000 permits given out for 'scientific whaling' (they only kill 1600 whales because Sea Shepard protesters make it more difficult to catch their full quota). Palmers position is that if we can negotiate a lower kill rate then we can keep the whaling commission going to avoid a collapse.
I have sympathy for Palmers position in trying to find a viable way forward but having to kill the whales to save the whales seems to reward Japan rather than punish them for their ridiculous scientific scam and we should be focused on joining with Australia to threaten legal action (Palmer isn't convinced that will succeed). His bottom line is to back whatever will cause a lower kill rate.
The panel brought up some strong points, anti-whaling is cemented into the National psyche now (the irony that we used to kill whales with gay abandon in our country's creation is always missed out in these debates) and to agree to allow Japan to keep killing whales when they currently do it without regard was perceived as sending the wrong message on the values we hold dear as a country. The solution seemed much more educational within the whaling countries as shouting at them simply hasn't worked.
Next interview was with Trade Guru Tim Grosser who was ducking and diving another issue of immigration being added to a trade deal. Last time it was China wanting jobs here for their citizens and apparently we are about to let it happen with India. I'm not sure we really want to add immigration into trade deals when we have 7.3% unemployment. No matter how 'specialist' Grosser promises these jobs would be limited to, it seems odd we would be agreeing to taking more overseas workers when we have one of the highest unemployment rates in a decade.
Final debate was on NZs dirty little secret re how the dairy industry is filthying our water. Russell Norman was good, the corporate farmer spokesperson smiled nervously a lot. He just spent the entire interview saying how awful Russell was to attack the Dairy Industry all the time because every Farmer is a loving and kind kiwi battler who is doing the best they can do for NZ (rather than focus on the filth the Dairy Industry pump into our waterways).
Solid effort from both shows to discuss the issues of the week.