The Nation and Q+A review
RATINGS: Well TV3 will be thanking their lucky stars that they have Sean now, the ratings for The Nation were making the ratings for Sunrise look reasonable (that joke will never die). Last weeks ratings don't do the weeks previous ratings justice which had The Nation at a massive 80 000 viewers. This weeks however are still dramatically higher than under poor old Stephen's reign (nice guy btw I'm sure). Last week The Nation had 54, 220 but q+a had a jump as well to 147,150. Short story is that more people are watching current affairs.
It's a two hour special on the Christchurch Earthquake, this is TV at it's most immediate and powerful (despite being a repeat - but live on Saturday - UPDATE: Actually the show was live - they needed to have made that a little more clear). Duncan is talking to Key, Key has done a good job so far, he has kept NZ as up to date as fast as possible on information, he is calm and stable and is very much what the country needs to hear. The real test will be the Government response, if the people of our second largest city are looked after in a well co-ordinated response, then he will be judged by that.
The damage seems immense and the generosity of spirit amongst all those volunteering to help is that reminder of how the best comes out in people at moments like these, Garner gets to the real nub and asks about those who are not insured and suddenly you see the cold steel in Key, his comment without blinking is that if the Government paid out then it wouldn't be fair to the insured - WHAT??? He just breathes it without even a flicker across his face, he couldn't move fast enough to bailout Mr Magoo, 10 000 people in Christchurch aren't insured and Key says he'll only help those who are in real hardship - but Mr Key, you've seen the city, it's had the crap kicked out of it - they are in real hardship!
I'm staggered that he just cut those 10 000 Christchurch residents off but couldn't bend over far enough to include SCF under the guarantee scheme that has cost us all $1.6Billion? Come on - are you kidding me? He only sees the 'moral hazard' now???
Duncan points out that this could create a mini-boom, which is the silver lining - a very thin, almost wafer wisp bordering on the slightly distasteful to mention it silver lining.
Sean asks if the quake has damaged SCF assets, the PM is actually pimping these assets now. Oh. My. God. It must be real bad for him to be on TV pimping for SCF, what's next? Zumba dance tapes.
We are being promised John Campbell after the break with the human face of the earthquake, I haven't had breakfast yet so I can do this.
The beard from the Science place is explaining why land go move move so that folk aren't spooked into sacrificing geese to appease the great angry earth God. The serious bit is the possible aftershock of 6 which makes the reason for the calm words a little more obvious.
The beard admits that as a scientist, he is terribly excited by this earthquake. Bless him, I love the brilliant ungroomed Government academics these disasters always dump into the unblinking glare of the national media.
Live cross to the area and you get to see the raw impact of the quake, it's ugly and just a glimpse. Poor Christchurch.
The Civil Defence Bunker sounds much more exciting than it looks. It's so 'Murray from the NZ Embassy look', not inspiring, he's saying up to a billion in private damages. That mini-boom silver lining is looking more wafer thin by the minute.
Duncan and Sean talked about those 10 000 without insurance - Sean pointed out that National bailed out SCF without any problem.
They both nod to Bob Parker and they give Key a nod for turning up and wandering about.
This is serious time now, the country is waking up to watch q+a be the public broadcasting record of fact to help explain the scale of what has happened. Therese, Bob Harvey and Don Brash is on the panel, it needs to be noted that q+a regular panelist and a man I have an enormous amount of respect for, Matt McCarten, has announced in his HOS column that he has cancer. My best wishes to him and his whanau.
The glaring outrage of bailing out SCF is roasted and Simon Pound's 'we'll all be driving dungas' joke gets used (invoice Damien).
The pointless attack on John Banks and his son is given the respect it deserves (attack Banks on his policy not what happens between him and his son)
Holmes is talking with John Key - is there enough in the kitty to pay this all out I wonder? They are talking the cost of $2 Billion, Holmes gets to the issue of all the money going into Canterbury, Key pimps the SCF assets again, is he getting a commission? He is trying to claim it won't hurt and then in the next breath admits the official budget is $900 million. He is now seeing the 'moral hazard' in paying out the 10 000 uninsured in Christchurch - how is this able to occur? Holmes is pulling his punches, it's solidarity time, not asking questions time.
The panel give Bob Parker the nods he deserves - Jim Anderton may just have lost the election - Theresa was impacted and personalizes the story. Paul clunks the debate to an embarrassing end with a 'we have to move on before we have another earthquake' - what? Let's cut to some facts and figures.
500 buildings destroyed, water supply back on for 80% of people, 90% of power is back on.
They move onto the air crash that has sadly hit the South Island on the same day.
Guyon is grilling Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard over the SCF bailout and why we did it. Bollard has just put out a book, Crisis: One Central Bank Governor & the Global Financial Collapse the first such book from a serving Bank Governor during the crises - sounds fascinating. Guyon points out that Bollard's words turned out to be self prophecy in terms of SCF, Bollard admits he had a death watch league table over finance companies that were going to collapse - Guyon presses Bollard on whether or not SCF was on that death watch league table, Bollard refuses to answer.
Guyon has Bollard on the back foot, he is not being upfront about whether or not SCF was at risk, yet wasn't able to tell anyone. Why was SCF allowed to go into the scheme in April? Bollard won't comment, he keeps claiming it was for the broader good. Guyon presses Bollard on the lack of regulation in this sector, he shrugs and accepts corporates have the money to tie the Government up in Court.
Bollard writes the Job summit off as not important and stands by his comments, those words are pretty explosive and will be heard in Parliament this week.
He points out that the Global Economy won't recover any time soon.
Brash backs up Bollard, Bob has a go about a book writing Bank Governor, Therese attacks Holmes, Paul seems to need a sugar drink or something.
Bob Parker interview cut short by a technical problem with Paul's ear piece - mad scramble - Panel kick the ball between them, ear piece changed, back to Bob. He's been pretty calm and solid during this and has done a great job so far, he's shown real leadership. The blessing he notes is that no one is dead, as a country we really dodged a bullet on that front. He's using the word devastation now, it isn't looking good for large areas of Christchurch.
Therese brings it home with some real passion about what has happened in Christchurch, Bob Harvey reminds us of the rallying power of these situations, before Don can comment they throw awkwardly throw to an advert break (someone needs to put Paul to bed). Simon is thrown on screen, he's covering the 9 deaths from the air crash. Back to Paul with feedback.
Bob Parker gets the respects in the feedback and leading Climate Change advocate Nicholas Stern will be on the show next week, that will be very interesting.