The Nation and Q+A review
Ratings for last week q+a - 148 800, The Nation - 62 760
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.