Monday, May 4, 2009

Hey hey hey, it's Mt Albert!

There are, as far as I can see, three main groups of disappointed people after any election: disgruntled supporters of the losing party, defeated MPs and newspaper publishers. The buzz around election time sells papers as, for some unknown and sadly misguided reason, people turn to the mainstream media to tell them which colour - red, blue, green, Act - wants what and who will give them the biggest bribe. So what's the next-best thing to an election? A byelection!

Of all the pumped-up pseudo-scandals that the Herald has talked about, the only one that seems to have any merit - the principle of people running for election, their party losing, and them deciding they are going to take their ball and go home - has barely been mentioned. Instead, the Herald has been full of scandalous tales of rampant political skullduggery:

  • the nefarious Greens' plans to - shock - run a candidate in a byelection
  • Labour's nefarious (alleged) plans to ask them not to
  • the 'Tizard effect', whereby Labour supposedly had to choose someone who was not a sitting MP so that Judith Tizard wouldn't get back into parliament
  • the nefarious academic paper that Labour favourite David Shearer wrote years ago calling for the UN to regulate mercenary groups in failed states, and how this allegedly conflicted with Phil Goff's views, and how no two politicians in the same party have ever disagreed on an issue before, never ever
  • now, today's article alleges a massive rift on the 'left' with the headline "Greens attack Labour's 'grey' man:
The gloves are off between the parties of the left in the Mt Albert byelection, with Greens co-leader and candidate Russel Norman dismissing Labour's flag-bearer, David Shearer, as a "grey machine man" and "National-lite."
Holy crap! The gloves are off! Rivers will turn red with blood! Just look at these quotes:
Norman: "I'm sure he's a very nice guy, but it means we've got National versus National-lite versus the Greens."

Shearer: "It would be a long bow to draw to say that. My actions stand for themselves in where I sit on any political spectrum. Dr Norman is really looking at trying to increase his profile, so I guess we can expect this sort of thing from him over the next few weeks."
Ouch! That's hard-hitting.

For the second half of the article, Claire Trevett, who has starred on these hallowed pages before (EtH, that is), simply plagiarised her previous articles on the topic, reusing the same old lazy slander about Tizard and the "controversial battle for the candidacy" - controversial because, as far as I can tell, the Herald made it so.

To finish up, Claire mentions the obviously less-controversial battles for the nominations of the parties on the 'right'. The fact that National head office seems to favour Melissa Lee, while the local organisation allegedly favours one Ravi Musuku, does not register on the Herald controversy-o-meter. Hang on, when it was the Labour central party allegedly meddling in the selections, it was news, but if it's National... oh, never mind.

Finally, on Act:

Act will stand John Boscawen, also a list MP, who became well known for his opposition to the Electoral Finance Act last year.

He has a "take no prisoners" approach to campaigning and could take votes from National.

I guess that's the only area where Act have a "take no prisoners" approach. Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week.


  1. This is why there's no story about National - there's no controversy at all!

  2. So there must now be no more reporting of politics as decreed by the incisive, cutting wit of this blog.

    No politics
    No murder reporting
    No crime reporting
    No opinion (if it's not your own)
    No leader comment

    Do you like pretty pictures, James? Perhaps the Herald should just run lots of pretty. Do they sooth your anger? Is it easier on the brain than words?

  3. (Different anonymous)

    Surely, any reporting should be unbiased and give a balanced view of both sides of the issue that is being reported however.

  4. I think you missed the point Anon1. The Herald editors thought processes seem to go like this:

    Ed1 to Ed2: There is a by election soon.

    Ed2 to Ed1: We should report on the by election. After all if there is anything going on that may swing votes, the readers should know about it.

    Ed1 to Ed2: I cant find anything interesting/news worthy on any of the party websites at the moment to do with the byelection.

    Ed2 to Ed1: But we have to report something so lets talk shit for 4 paragraphs.

    Ed1 to Ed2: Good idea, then there will be less space to fill up with stories that actually matter.

    Ed2 to Ed1: Yes, and we dont have to go out and do any work.

    ..See, both of the editors in my play are *lazy*. I think that is the point.

    * not much later

  5. to Anon1.
    This is a newsrage blog. What the fuck? If you dont like it, fuck off.


  6. Anon1:
    Are you the same Anonymous who tried to justify the Herald's sensationalism by saying that it needs to sell newspapers?
    You seem to be very good at oversimplifying. Much like the reporters who work for the Herald. Hmmm...
    The writer of the blog, and most of the readers, would like the newspaper to contain some news. This is what the blog is about.

  7. Anon1, your argument seems to be something like - bloggers should not criticise the Herald, unless they are reporting on the news themselves.

    By that logic, commenters should not criticise this blog, unless they're writing a blog themselves.

    Where's your blog Anon1? You're just being negative, how would *you* do it better?

  8. No proof but I think Anon #1 is the same hacked off anon who posted sarcastically here not too long ago. Odds on they're a disgruntled APN staffer...