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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Q+A and The Nation

The Nation
Sweet Jesus a week is a long time in political panel shows isn't it? The Nation finally spluttered into life this weekend with a show that was one of their best to date.

Chris Trotter and Barry Soaper were the panelists, and they were the saving grace. The problem with The Nation has been an appallingly stale choice of bland conservative commentators, now The Nation can be biased (Parker is Brownlee's former press secretary and Duncan Garner seems to have a crush on John Key), and you can have right wing commentators but to date the right wing commentators they've had on are so dull it has been cringe worthy. Good Panelists and their good questions take the pressure off Stephen as the host and it works brilliantly when you have talent as good as Trotter and Soaper.

For some reason the makers of The Nation seem to have forgotten that you need talent, this weekends episode should make them sign Trotter up weekly.

Phil was passionate in the interview with Garner. I think as times get harder people will want to look to someone they feel will fight their corner, Goff's trying to build that level of emotional trust with the recession wounded voter with impassioned statements of vision.

I want to see an angry Phil Goff.

Discussion about the Fabian think tank (can I just suggest ideas for Fabian while I have Labour Party attention - no GST on fresh fruit and veges and how about chatting with Pacific Island Nations who are sinking beneath the waves to renegotiate the UN law of the seas so that their exclusive economic zones are not wiped out once their islands sink beneath the seas, allow those Islanders to move to NZ as citizens and get a cut from their exclusive economic zones while building up our Navy to patrol those new zones - what do ya think?)

Soaper and Trotter asked brilliant questions of Goff, but the real surprise was how good Parker was at interviewing Rodney Hide who was sweating out his criticism of the Government signing the UN declaration. Parker's question 'Was it a chance to rebrand ACT' had Rodney suddenly realize he wasn't on a friendly News set any longer.

Trotter's brilliantly timed and pitched question of whether Rodney would've resigned if he had known about Pita Sharples secret journey to sign the declaration perfectly demolished all of Rodney's bluster.

Trotter's follow up question about National jettisoning ACT in favour of the Maori Party in the future was a realization Rodney obviously hadn't even considered and Soaper followed up on Rodney's unease at the suggestion.

The other segment of the Nation is their pre-recorded news stories which as far as I'm concerned rank amongst the week's best actual journalism on TV, this week it was our military funding with the conclusion being we need more maritime patrols (which is great as it works with my 'NZ-granting-citizenship-for-sinking-Pacific-Islands-while-chaning-UN-exclusive-economic-zone-laws-for-a-percentage-of-the-resources-from-their-exclusive-economic-zones).

The idea seems to be to allow privatization of the military. So after the Guantanamo Bay detainment corporation tries to operate private prisons in NZ, we'll also have Haliburton wanting to contract out to our armed forces?

Great piece on art and science at the downstage theatre. Interesting to hear a scientist say he feels they have put out the evidence that man made pollution is changing the climate yet many don't seem to get the message so he thinks Art can help get that information out.

The Panel section has been The Nation's weakest point, this weeks focus on talent who can add to the information being discussed made the show 10 000 times better. Who ever is booking the panelists should take note or get the sack, (who the hell was responsible for last weeks yawn fest?).

ANZAC Day and it is an adult discussion, not flag blinded Nationalistic tripe, well done q+a.

Paul's monologue is becoming the sharpest satire on TVNZ, (but being TVNZ, that isn't too difficult at the moment with TV3 cornering the Political Comedy market with 7 Days).

BREAKING NEWS - No way, a military Helicopter crashed killing 3.

Panel time on Q+A - it's Loathsome Creech, Sandra Lee and Theresa. Theresa makes an interesting point about class politics, that Maori don't care about class they care about ethnicity and this spells bad news for Labour. Wyatt Creech defended his spitting on democracy by ripping away democratic use of water allocation by E.can and Sandra Lee laughs long and hard about the Governments U-turn on legalizing whaling.

Pretty standard interview with the top NZ General Mateparea re ANZAC Day, he's a nice bloke - its from Gallipoli via satellite - conversation gets interesting re Afghanistan and are we actually 'winning' yet. The qualified and very sober response suggests we are as close to 'victory' in Afghanistan as we were at Gallipoli and Holmes brilliantly compares the two wars. Mateparea side steps the comparison by claiming Gallipoli was a great war between great powers and here we are fighting a small group, Holmes asks why we are propping up a corrupt regime, all the General has is some vague assertion that 'we know it's the right thing to do' and that we have to go where our mates tell us because we are part of the team (which is what got us into Gallipoli in the first place).

Mateparea is a smart bugger and he's being diplomatic, he knows how screwed Afghanistan is, but like our boys pinned down on the beaches at Gallipoli all those years ago, he's doing the best he can of a shit sandwich he didn't make.


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