The Nation and q&a
Fascinating news that Sean Plunket will be the new host. Drinnan makes the very interesting point...
The question will be how they attract guests to be faced by Plunket and Garner instead of the comparatively gentle Paul Holmes and Guyon Espiner on TV One's Q & A.
...the ratings last week were 182, 800 for q+a, the ratings for The Nation were 91, 160. As a politician you are going to choose the smoother road with the bigger audience, but the entry of Plunket could be a real ratings boost so those numbers are by no way going to remain static.
The panel is their brilliant combo of Noelle McCarthy from Radio NZ and Chris Trotter.
The Scoop was a brilliant broadside on how the Minister for the weakest link, Kate Wilkenson, was hidden from announcing any of the u-turns spun by National this week.
First up is Don Brash and raising the age of superannuation from 65 to 67.
I don't wish to sound cynical - but news that those gravy train baby boomers who have squandered the fruits of being the first youth generation are now going to stay in the job market for another 2 bloody years isn't music to the ears of Generation X. Great, another two years of explaining what twitter is and avoiding their facebook friend requests. Can't the Baby Boomers retire EARLIER so that Gen Xers can try and work off the impact of their student loans? Baby Boomers are living longer and holding on for dear life in the employment market refusing to hand over the reigns of power to the next Generation. RETIRE THEM ALL! Of course the problem is how do we pay for it.
Garner brings up a troubling point about the Australian banks shutting down lending, Don notes he's on the Board of the ANZ (surprise, surprise) and he defends his Australian banking masters. Brash goes onto argue the Nats haven't been 'bold' enough and have wasted the global crises, it's the gleam in his eye as he says that which makes me glad he was never the PM.
Chris brings up the point that we need to raise tax to pay for super, Don grimaces (he looks fearful being made to sit so close to Trotter), and says no, let's just raise the age of retirement. Chris points out 40 years from now is near impossible to plan this radically for and so it has to be about tax to truly fund this. Don counters it could get worse, so best to limit the franchise of the social contract altogether.
Next is a brilliant story on ethnic media in Auckland. Most fascinating was how subservient most of the Chinese newspapers were to the Chinese Government, with each editor interviewed admitting they would not print critical stories about the Chinese Government and that they were approached by the Chinese Government to represent news in a certain way. That's troubling because we have 250 000 mandarin only speaking people in NZ who are reading what amounts to a propaganda arm of the Peoples Republic. The most hilarious example was United Press which is owned by a Subsidiary of Natural Dairy, the Chinese company who want to buy the Crafer farms. Not surprisingly the paper champions any business relationships between NZ and China and was able to make a 5 sentence press release on Natural Dairy into a front page 'story'.
Terrifying stats from the credit sector of a huge jump in the number of people who were now going to use credit to pay for the weeks bills. This is the real crises, the coming second dip.
Very good show, am really looking forward to see what Sean does with it.
LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE! Excellent show line up, we've got Crusher Collins on to get challenged for her raw meat law and order regime, we've got Council of Trade Unions General Secretary Helen Kelly and Employers & Manufacturers’ boss Alasdair Thompson fighting over the right to sack powers and the panel is Dr Therese Arseneau, ACT leader and cabinet minister Richard Prebble and Unite Union head Matt McCarten. Lot's to fight over this morning with well armed and vocal proponents. This is as good as Sunday morning current affairs gets.
The monologue is up and running - the National U-Turn is brilliantly questioned and asked. Paul's stream of consciousness performance during the monologue is almost high art now, it's as deliciously lucid as William Shatner.
Preb's is pointing out that the globe is talking about Sovereign Debt yet here in NZ we aren't talking about it. Matt says the U-Turn by National is the first fight back, make enough protest and Key will back down. Therese was surprised how quick how quick Don Brash got slapped down. Matt and Preb's descend into an argument about what would have happened if Don Brash had been leader of the country. Preb's says it would be a glorious future, Matt says that Preb's would have been Finance Minister. Everyone bursts out laughing.
Guyon is interviewing Crusher Collins. National have built the nanny state myth up to such a bogeyman that they are too terrified to ever create social policy that may accuse them of being 'NANNY STATE'. Crusher keeps making the point her gun regulations are very minor, certainly not Nanny State, blah, blah, blah. Bring back the Thorp Report and look at a gun buy back so we can clean up the country. This interview isn't going anywhere fast, Crusher won't enact any serious social policy change because she's terrified of the Nanny State tag.
Okay it's cops and guns. She's talking about 'fast access', but she is surprisingly staunch about not wanting the Police to be armed with guns on their hips. I'm impressed.
Prison population rising, she argues that Corrections isn't influencing the crime rate, so it isn't Corrections fault. Guyon makes the point however that we lock people up more than almost anyone else, Crusher the astoundingly says the reason why we have such a high lock up rate is because of MAORI???????????? WTF IS SHE SAYING? She says the Maori population is the reason why we have such a high incarceration level when compared to the rest of the world?????? She is claiming it's not the raw law and order meat policy she is implementing that is locking more and more NZers up, she is saying our high incarceration levels are because of Maori???
Crusher counters every argument with the claim that locking more and more NZers up is the best thing to do, she point blank refuses to see the opposite side of the argument, so in love with punishment and prison is she. Guyon argues that not everyone should be sent to jail, she shrugs. It costs 3 times the amount to put someone in prison than to put someone through Kings (v funny analogy), she says if you don't want to do the time don't do the crime. It's all the same old conservative law and order crap spun by a Minister in the grip of the Politics of Hate that crime and order activists like the Sensible Sentencing Lynch Mob promote.
It's ugly, and terribly vacant. The Panel jump in, Matt points out the social factors, Therese points out that the media are to blame for their ratings driven 'if it bleeds it leads' crap (in March 2006, the 6pm One Network News had 22% of it's content as crime, while the crime stories appeared in the headlines 29% of the time. By March 2010, the 6pm One Network News had 14% of its content as crime news, yet the crime stories appeared 35% of the time in the headlines). Preb's - God Bless him, points out that marijuana needs to be decriminalized. BLESS YOU PREBS!
Okay, it's Unions Vs the Bossman - let's get it on (Kate Wilkenson backs down and avoids the issue again). Paul gives Helen a run for her money and challenges her on the numbers, but Helen can throw stats back with the best of them and points out there is no evidence that this probation period can work. Paul then turns on Bossman, let's Bossman off the hook because he's not very good at explaining his side of the debate other than shallow 'we are seeing an anti business movement' (as a spokesperson, shouldn't Alasdair Thompson be able to string a sentence together?). He claims the only reason the Union are making a point is because they've had nothing to complain about.
It's a joy to see Helen on fire, Thompson is getting horribly beaten. Someone call the Police, we are seeing an on screen assault. Alasdair Thompson admits he has had a sick day, Helen snaps he won't need to get a sick note.
Helen comes out and says the John Key relationship is now off - she claims he has broken the trust between the Unions and the Government. That was a punchy move, I think I may love Helen.
Matt points out that Unions have to fight, Therese says it's for the hard core National Voter, Preb's says it doesn't go nearly far enough.