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Sunday, August 08, 2010

The Nation and Q+A review

Ratings for last week q+a - 148 800, The Nation - 62 760

The Nation
That awful John Roughan from the Herald is on the panel (who can forget his appalling 'why don't the Muslims like us' editorial?) with that lovely Noelle McCarthy from RNZ, it's nice to see the make up budget from Jane Clifton's former spot has now been spent on Noelle I think she was due for a pantomime performance after The Nation.

This is Sean's first show and he does a bloody good job, Cunliffe is on, Maggie Thatcher's cheerleader is on and an autopsy of why no one loves the Business Roundtable - and I'm on at the end reviewing the show.

Cunliffe is good isn't he? Despite Duncan's best attempts, he isn't interested in discussing the media generated destabilization of Goff's leadership, he get's straight into the issues of why most of the tax went to the rich when so many NZers are hurting - THIS is where Labour need to go. The 6.8% spike in Unemployment which the Government horribly mis-predicted shows NZers that the vacant aspiration of Key is hollow and medicated. Cunliffe lands some huge blows on National, it's impressive to watch.

Tim Watkin, the producer of q+a gave The Nation a broadside on his Pundit blog for not being able to 'get' what Cunliffe was saying...

The Nation misses the hint: Labour's new-old big idea
It was all hints and mirrors, but the Labour Party seems set to embrace one of the big ideas from its own past, one that our grandkids would thank us for

Labour's finance spokesman David Cunliffe was the picture of political discipline on The Nation this morning. He said not a thing that he didn't want to say, but in his own words he was dropping some pretty big hints. Sadly, the interviewers and panel missed those hints.

I know, I'm biased, and I'm failing to resist the temptation of making a dig. I should be a better person! But I also can't resist having an educated guess at exactly what Cunliffe was hinting at.

...and hint Cunliffe did, compulsory savings is bread and roses stuff and shows Labour are building their policy platforms to appeal to NZers sense of insecurity from the current global economic situation.

Cunliffe keeps coming back to the list of failures from National, and this is something that is important to note because that list of National Party Policy fuck ups keeps growing and starts to remove the shine off wave and smile John Key. He starts looking like a boy in a bubble with his misplaced positivity - something which John Armstrong touches on in yesterdays column...

Nats caught with guard down
Shame on National. That party's behaviour in Parliament over the past couple of weeks has on occasion veered close to being a disgrace both to itself and the institution.

...these much wider political currents of what is really going on out there in NZ are missed completely by The Nation panel who seem hell bent on simply whipping up some leadership speculation.

Maggie Thatchers Lord David Howell is on, he looks worried. He should be, the UK is a basket case, 20% of their GDP is the financial economy, and that has just gone pop, he argues we need to give war a chance.

Great piece on the Business Roundtable exploring why they are so evil and no one is listening to their bullshit neoliberal agenda any longer. In the wake of the global crash caused by the neoliberal agenda (and greedy merchant bankers in America), it's hard to convince people that the Milton Friedman free market dogma is anything more positive than cancer. The spin these days for the right is to rename their privatization agenda as something more palatable and 'pragmatic' instead of the naked venal capitalism it really is, it's like trying to make a peadophile look like a romantic.

The panel all say Labour will lose and they don't seem to grasp that things are about to change for the worse economically. That economic downgrade when put alongside Key's promise that people would be better off under his GST tax rise used to fund tax cuts for the rich, means voters will be willing to listen to what Labour have to say for the first time since they voted for 'change' under Key.

The challenge for Labour is to have the answers ready.

Monologue up and running, Paul is sinking his teeth into Credit Card records by the State Service mandarins and it turns out to be TVNZ who is one of the biggest spenders at a time when TVNZ is sacking people left, right and center!

The panel is political commentator Jon Johansson, hard right winger Charles Finny from Saunders Unsworth and that nice Ron Mark.

Richard Hall from the Army is on pointing out how bloody hard this war really is. I always get queasy when I walk through the Auckland War Museum and I look at those cheesy 'Fight for King and Country' propaganda posters that were used so effectively to con people into the mincer of war minus any real questions and they mirror the same lack of scrutiny that we are displaying now towards this war in Afghanistan.

Wayne Mapp is on explaining that we are in Afghanistan because of the 'terrorist threat' to NZ - really? Guyon brilliantly points out that there are only 50-100 Al Queda in bloody Afghanistan, why are we fighting again? Mapp claims that the Taliban want to threaten us??? Why? Because we are in their bloody country Wayne! Guyon asks again, if we are supposedly fighting the threat of Terrorism, are we actually safer after a 9 year open ended war? Wayne can't say that we are.

The argument that we are at war to protect us from weapons of imagined destruction is just bullshit, WE ARE THE ONES OCCUPYING THEIR COUNTRY! How can we justify 10 000-30 000 civilian deaths based on a 'threat' to us when we are the ones doing all the threatening???

Wayne Mapp doesn't believe the Afghan Government is corrupt?????????????? WTF is he smoking?

Guyon notes the 90 000 wikileaks documents highlighting massacres of civilians by the West, Mapp claims that's why 'things are changing'??? What does that even mean, 'things are changing' we are leaving - bullshit, no we are not, the first U-Turn of a 2011 Key Government will be keeping the troops there past September 2011.

Guyon is grilling Mapp on his optimism and points out there is no evidence for it, Mapp then has the audacity to claim the 'surge' is working - just like the 'surge' in Vietnam worked right?

The NZ media have done a shit job holding the Government to account over this war, this was the best interview to date that really forced answers from Mapp that shows how utterly bankrupt National's justifications really are.

Well done Guyon!

To the panel, Charles Finny loves the war in Afghanistan, it seems 10 000-30 000 dead Afghan civilians doesn't bother him, I can't wait to see his social policy advice from Saunders Unsworth. Ron Mark rightfully stands up for hard job the Army is being asked to do and Jon points out that we don't have a mission in Afghanistan and that there is simply no reason to be optimistic.

The unemployment rate and the fact that the economy now faces a Depression is a welcome dose of reality from a media who have in the past sang the 'accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative' game (note not one of them DARE mentions 'green shoots of recovery' now do they?).

The NZIER economist is on trying to keep that song going (yawn - wake up mate, we face a crises of capitalism in the EXACT SAME SAME WAY the 1929 stock market collapse was a crises of capitalism.) Wayne Brown looks depressed, he is having to accept that the recession is real and the Mainfreight boss looks perplexed as well. None of them have any answers, because none of them want to admit how bad it is or how bad it's going to get, free market unregulated capitalism needs reforming, none of them want to get into that discussion. The SUV, plasma TV, cosmetic surgery on the credit card consumer culture IS OVER! Wake up. For a bunch of capitalists they seem to have no idea what Adam Smith was preaching.

As things get worse, NZers are going to demand more answers and this 'we are stabilizing' crap won't mean anything. Milton Friedman's free market dogma has built a bubble since the 1970s, then the real economy and financial economy were pretty even, 40 years later the real economy is worth $8 Trillion where as the financial economy is worth $330 Trillion, that bubble just went pop in 2008 and it wasn't until 1934 that the full social impact of the 1929 collapse was felt.

We have ignored managed Keynesian capitalism at our peril, that reality is totally absent in this debate.

Great show.


At 8/8/10 10:36 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So cutting a girls nose off who had a bit of a barney with the inlaws is acceptable to you? Bloody hell...

At 8/8/10 12:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The challenge for Labour is to have the answers ready."

It's easy to have an answer but pretty hard to have the right answer.

Votors know that labours answer is to simply hire more public servants and hence they are languishing in the polls.

You bellicose rhetoric won't fill the void bomber.

At 8/8/10 1:03 pm, Anonymous AAMC said...

Wayne Mapp made it very evident he knows almost nothing about the situation in Afghanistan, he should be embarrassed and as the interview concluded he looked it. He recited mantra after mantra of 10 year old spin. Major General Michael Flynn (the top US military intelligence officer in Afghanistan)said in January that foreign newspaper articles about Afghanistan were more useful than the information collected by his own soldiers in the field. He gave his men a 7500 word article in Harper's in preference to his own intelligence. He referred to the intelligence apparatus in Afghanistan as "only marginally relevant" and stated "We're no more than fingernail-deep in our understanding of the environment". Mapp didn't convince me his understanding even made it to the tip of his fingers!
And no Anon, thinking our decisions should be better founded on better understanding does not condone cutting girls noses off, the simplicity of your argument is an embarrassment to you also.

At 8/8/10 4:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And no Anon, thinking our decisions should be better founded on better understanding does not condone cutting girls noses off, the simplicity of your argument is an embarrassment to you also."

How is it simplistic to be against the cutting off of a girls nose?

People (and I won't use the word liberal to describe you since its a misnomer) are quick to condemn any 'evil' perpetrated by certain parties - Andy Haden or the US - since they're pretty easy to hate being on the wrong sidde of your ideological narrative.
But then the Taliban cut off a girls nose for some imagined crime then somehow the situation becomes more 'complex' and we need to be more 'understanding'. Can you understand this or do you need for cultural nuance?


At 8/8/10 5:20 pm, Anonymous AAMC said...

No, it's not simplistic to believe girls shouldn't have their noses cut off but to believe we are helping their cause or went there with that intention. I suggest your broaden your reading from the Herald. Creating more Taliban creates more potential atrocities, and we're breading Taliban at break neck pace. But I've just had this argument all week on another post, it gets tiresome conversing with people who have done so little reading on the subject. Read some of the links there and see if you still consider your drone war viable.
P.S.we didn't go there for the Taliban or the women, we went there for Al-Qaeda, who have left for Yemen and Somalia. We fighting an insurgent war because they picked up guns to fight the occupiers.

At 8/8/10 5:56 pm, Anonymous AAMC said...

'a bleak reminder of the lethal savagery spreading across the country.'
from the first paragraph of your link. It's a tragic story but if the savagery is spreading and what we are doing there is fueling that, could we be doing things in a way that will achieve our aim rather than sabotage it?

At 8/8/10 6:17 pm, Anonymous Armchair Warrior said...

'Mapp claims that the Taliban want to threaten us??? Why? Because we are in their bloody country Wayne!'

No itis not the TALIBAN'S country Bomber it is the Afghanistan peoples and the Taliban is no more the Afghanitan people than the ACT party is the NZ people. Yes we are 'occupying ' their country but only in order to do terrible things like build schools. I know you will call it simplistic but when you have one side who are the nose cutters and the school for girls bombers (over a dozen such schools bombed by the taliban)then I am bloddy proud we are on the other side. Unfortunately the average Afghan (and I dont mean the cookie) is stuck in the middle...

At 8/8/10 9:23 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bomber, you were great! you sure do have a way with words! I was impressed with your ability to be so articulate , to the point, and entertaining at the same time!

At 8/8/10 11:02 pm, Anonymous Simon said...

Yep, got to be worth killing tens of thousands of civilians on the basis of one poor girls nose. Bet you'll find their bayoneting babies and raping nuns too! Better start handing out white feathers and chanting jingoistic mantras, how about the fall of Afghanistan will lead to the Taliban spreading their evil all the way to the south pacific just the way dominoes fall. Agh idiots never change!

At 9/8/10 9:55 am, Anonymous AAMC said...

'US special forces soldiers dug bullets out of their victims’ bodies in the bloody aftermath of a botched night raid, then washed the wounds with alcohol before lying to their superiors about what happened'


Your argument doesn't get any stronger Armchair Warrior, still, somebody who claims to be a "Warrior" is unlikely to see alternative solutions to violence!

At 9/8/10 1:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is like one of those "screw in a light bulb" jokes except no-ones fucking laughing.

How many kiwi lives does it take to save an Afghan womans nose?

Time to bring our boys home.
Let Afghan law enforcement sort their shit out.

At 9/8/10 2:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well ok bomber what do you stand for?

And what strategy would you think is viable for bringing it about.

All you posts have been against what the US has been doing but considering you have no better ideas then I'd rather go with the US.

At 9/8/10 6:53 pm, Anonymous AAMC said...

Perhaps the US could consider foreign policy which doesn't create so much instability in our world.

This makes a very interesting read..

As does this from a retired US Colonel..

Perhaps if some serious R&D - comparable to the estimated $3 trillion dollars the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are projected to cost - was done into alternative energy, America may be able to play a more benevolent role in our world and we may have fewer extreem elements fighting against their influence in their countries. Every Presedent since Nixon has proclaimed the importance of not having to rely on foreign oil for energy, here's Carter - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tPePpMxJaA). Time to sort it out and progress beyond the 200yr old idea of the combustion engine so we don't have to continue to travel down this insane trajectory. Energy security and the disfunction left in the path of the Cold War dictate the current situation in the Middle East, including the rise of Fundamental Islam - a recent phenomonen!
American Government needs to confront the notion of the Washington Consensus and the Pentagons military industrial complex and we need to move toward a more ballanced multi-polar world. There was some hope Obama may have had the desire to do this but his foreign policy record only goes to confirm what influence the President really has.

Because Anon, the status quo surely isn't acceptable?

At 9/8/10 9:48 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Perhaps the US could consider foreign policy which doesn't create so much instability in our world."

Oh right and the world was so much more peaceful before 1945 when the US took a dominant role in the world.

STFD clown

At 10/8/10 7:47 am, Anonymous AAMC said...

Right, so you vote for status quo, good one! I guess we've got a decent distance to watch the fire show from.
"My guns bigger than yours!" Simplistic thinking for a simplistic species bend on it's own destruction. Your the clown, History didn't end at the Second World War!
'admission by Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and America’s highest ranking officer, that the U.S. has plans to attack Iran'

Yeah, they're creating stability, your not only a clown, your a fantasist!

At 10/8/10 8:38 am, Anonymous AAMC said...

I challenge you to read this editorial Anon. From.. Dr Farhang Jahanpour... a former professor and dean of the Faculty of Languages at the University of Isfahan, Iran, and a former Senior Fulbright Research Scholar at Harvard. He is Associate Fellow at the Faculty of Oriental Studies and tutor in Middle Eastern Studies at the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Oxford


My expectation is that you won't rise to this challenge, as evidenced by your response only to the first statement in my post, I gather you prefer propaganda and headlines to analysis. I also challenge you to read the material linked in my previous post.

Perhaps the World was a safer place between 1945 and 1953 when Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh was toppled in Iran. Then bases in Saudi Arabia, the support of the Iran-Iraq war and Bush seniors sojourn in Iraq amongst other events have been anything but benign governance and have not created stability, it's created terrorists! It truly is a pity, because if America could re calibrate itself to it's initial ideas and to it's own constitution it could provide a viable solution, alas, propaganda feeders like you make this difficult to achieve.

So take the challenge Anon, or it is you who should stand down! Simplistic inflammatory statements lacking any reference or a single idea are not helpful.


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