The Labour Party does not want Mike Hosking to chair the live television debates between David Cunliffe and John Key - just because Hosking is a vocal supporter of the National-led government. How unreasonable.
Last year Mike Hosking MCed John Key's 'State of the Nation' speech.
While introducing Key, Hosking endorsed the Prime Minister and his government:
"I've done my own state of the nation. As I see it, all things considered we are doing pretty bloody well. We box above our weight. We have bright prospects for the future, so long as you keep them in Government.'
Given an endorsement like this and his constant attacks on David Cunliffe, it is hardly surprising that the Labour Party are not happy that TVNZ have decided that it will be Mike Hosking who will chair the live televised debates.
What is also not surprising is that TVNZ are determined to stick with Hosking - after all, they have allowed him to use Seven Sharp as a vehicle to promote National and attack Labour.
Hosking's protestations that he is accused of being biased from all quarters, implying that he isn't, doesn't hold water when we reflect that John Key has never been the subject of Hosking 'witticisms ' like these: ''Is David Cunliffe incompetent or mad? Is he out to lunch or out of touch?' and 'Is David Cunliffe deluded or living in a parallel universe?
In fact the Labour Party has produced a dossier of Hosking attacks on David Cunliffe and the Labour Party.. They would not of been short of material.
JOHN PILGER made the film Palestine Is Still The Issue in 2002. It recounts how almost a million Palestinians had been forced off their land in
1948, and again in 1967.
Twenty five years later, John Pilger returns
to the West Bank of Jordan and Gaza, and to Israel, to ask why the
Palestinians, whose right of return was affirmed by the United Nations
more than half a century ago, are still caught in a terrible limbo -
refugees in their own land, controlled by Israel in the longest military
occupation in modern times.
"If we are to speak of the great
injustice here, nothing has changed," says Pilger at the start of the
film, "What has changed is that the Palestinians have fought back.
Stateless and humiliated for so long, they have risen up against
Israel's huge military regime, although they themselves have no army, no
tanks, no American planes and gunships or missiles. Some have committed
desperate acts of terror, like suicide bombing. But, for Palestinians,
the overriding, routine terror, day after day, has been the ruthless
control of almost every aspect of their lives, as if they live in an
open prison. This film is about the Palestinians and a group of
courageous Israelis united in the oldest human struggle, to be free."
It was a Cameron Slater love-fest on TVNZ's Seven Sharp last night.
JUST RECENTLY Cameron Slater, the man behind the Whaleoil blog, launched a savage and nasty attack on Tania Billingsley. She is , of course, the young woman who has alleged that she was the victim of a sexual assault by a Malaysian diplomat. Thanks largely to the incompetence and ineptitude of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully, he managed to flee back to Malaysia.
Billingsley showed remarkable courage and determination not only by going to the media but also by aiming some well-honed criticisms at the Government for its spectacular failure to act.
This though earned her the ire of Cameron Slater. In what will no doubt rank has one of the most vile blog posts this year, Slater accused Billingsley of being a political pawn in a Green Party plot to embarrass the Government. Slater basically said that she had 'cried rape'.
Slater's allegation though was nothing more than a mixture of lies, smear, innuendo and disinformation. In other words, his usual stock in trade.
But this was not the first time that Slater's 'journalism' has indulged in lies and sleaze - which has included breaking several name suppression orders and which he has been convicted.
Slater has in the past also sold his journalistic services. He has acknowledged that he has demanded payment from companies and individuals when he wrote posts that were unfavourable to their opponents and favourable to them.
Despite all this Slater was astoundingly named 'Blogger of the Year' at the recent Canon Media Awards. The judge was Deborah Hill-Cone and not known for her liberal sympathies.
Slater's award was not met with universal appreciation and he was the subject of heckling at the award ceremony itself.
Another journalist though who appreciates the 'finer things' about Cameron Slater is Seven Sharp's Heather du Plessis-Allan.
Last night she 'treated' us to a profile of Slater that could of been scripted by a public relations firm.
Slater's behaviour and his role as an attack dog for the National Party were casually swept under the carpet with a clearly Slater-besotted du Plessis Allan anxious to tell us that her man had turned from his evil ways, was really 'a good guy' and hey, he had a sense of humour as well. I'm sure the family of a young man killed in a car crash appreciated Slater's 'humour'. He described the unfortunate young man as 'feral'.
Du Plessis-Allan uncritically swallowed Slater's claim that he is now a 'Christian', This apparently absolves him of everything. He is a changed man! Such puerile nonsense. If anything Slater's supposed 'conversion' only will only serve to confirm his intolerance, bigotry and ignorance. This is often the case with converts to organised religion.
As no less than the Dalai Lama has said: “Religious belief is not a precondition either of ethical conduct or of happiness.”
But someone else who is impressed by Cameron Slater is another National party cheerleader, Mike Hosking. At the end of last night's Seven Sharp he informed us that Slater often quoted from his NewstalkZB opinion pieces. Hosking thinks that the fact that he and Slater agree on so many things is something to be proud of - like, for instance, their hatred of the Labour Party and why selling comment for cash is a good thing.
Having promoted David Cunliffe as Labour's left wing saviour, Chris Trotter has now rejected him as well.
ONE AFTERNOON last week I tuned into talkback station Radio Live and stumbled, by chance, into a discussion between commentator Chris Trotter, ex-ACT leader Rodney Hide and host Ali Mau.
The discussion was about David Cunliffe and the Labour Party.
While I, like many others, have become accustomed to Trotter's political gymnastics, it was still a remarkable performance by 'New Zealand's leading left wing commentator' (Paul Henry).
Trotter and Hide just about agreed on everything about David Cunliffe and none of it was complimentary.
Indeed Trotter could be heard agreeing with Hide - or was it the other way round? - that Cunliffe wasn't the genuine article. What does he stand for? asked Trotter. Who is the real David Cunliffe?
The consensus between Trotter and Hide was that the leader of the Labour Party was, well, a bit 'fake'.
This led to Trotter comparing Cunliffe to failed US presidential candidates John Kerry and Michael Dukakis.
How times change. It wasn't so long ago that Trotter was hailing his man David Cunliffe as Labour's left wing saviour. You can find his blog full of complimentary posts about Dave. He seemed to know who David Cunliffe was then and liked what he saw.
But David Cunliffe is going the same way as David Shearer - who Trotter also initially backed and defended only to dump on him just two months after his appointment as Labour leader.
I wrote a post asking how long Trotter would remain loyal to Cunliffe. Not long, seems to be the answer.
But it gets worse. Having constantly argued for a vote for Labour this election, Trotter could be heard speculating that Labour could fragment if it was heavily defeated in the September election. 'I fear for Labour' said Trotter. I'm sure Rodney Hide was loving every minute of it.
Talk about putting the boot in when the opinion polls are down.
Ali Mau then asked whether Labour and National could ever go into coalition to form a government. If he was being consistent Trotter would have dismissed the idea out of hand but Trotter's politics are anything but consistent. He agreed that it was a possibility and said that he had written about the subject on his blog.
Trotter basically told Mau that there ain't whole lot of difference between Labour and National these days.
Readers might like to reflect that this is the position that I have been arguing for years - and it is one that Trotter has dismissed every time. Indeed this blog contains many comments from Trotter criticising my views on the Labour Party.
I don't pretend to have any special insight about Labour because Trotter has also taken to task other people who have had the temerity to say that the Labour Party is politically bankrupt.
Chris Trotter is all over the mainstream media these days. He writes a copious amount on his own blog as well as on The Daily Blog and he pops up on various radio and television shows. Last week he was not only on Radio Live but also on 'The Panel' on National Radio. He might have popped up elsewhere as well. He's the 'go to' guy when the corporate media want some 'left wing comment' that doesn't frighten the horses.
It seems to me though that as Trotter's politics have become increasingly 'flexible' and more conservative, he has become increasingly favoured by a conservative mainstream media.
Trotter thinks he is a playing a positive role in the media but I've also noticed that he often feels obliged to describe himself as 'left wing' - as if he thinks people might not notice.
But come September you just know Trotter wiIl be calling for a vote for Labour - because having rejected socialist politics he has nowhere else to go. He might not like David Cunliffe but he is stuck with him, in some macabre embrace to the death.
The Israeli regime continues its relentless bombing campaign in Gaza while the international community stands idly by.
THE CORPORATE MEDIA, as it is want to do, is portraying Israel's current military assault on the Palestinian people as a 'conflict' between two intransigent opponents. In one corner we have the Israeli regime and in the opposite corner, Hamas. But in this so-called 'conflict' Israel is armed with a big cannon while Hamas has a peashooter
Of course it is only a 'conflict' if you uncritically swallow the propaganda of the Israeli regime. It wants the world to believe that it is only defending its people against the rockets of the 'terrorist organisation' Hamas. That these tiny rockets have inflicted minimal damage on Israel is deemed entirely irrelevant.
But this is the 'impartial' view you are being given every night on the six o'clock news.
It is one that has been strongly objected to in the UK. In a open letter to the BBC, over 40,000 people have called on the broadcaster to reflect the reality of Gaza's occupation.The letter. which includes the signatures of John Pilger, Noam Chomsky and Ken Loach, reminds the BBC that Israel is bombing a refugee population which is being held under occupation and siege.
How can this be in any way be described as a 'conflict' in which both sides are to blame?
It is indictment on the BBC and the mainstream media generally that it still has to be reminded that the Palestinian people have no army, navy or air force with which to defend itself against one of the strongest military powers in the world. A military power that also possesses nuclear weapons.
That the media routinely describe Hamas as a 'terrorist organisation' is a victory for the Israeli regime. What is ignored is that Hamas is the political party that was democratically elected in 2006 to govern the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
But, by arbitrary defining Hamas as a 'terrorist organisation' Israel has given itself the right to wage a brutal military campaign against all the people of Gaza. No one is safe from the Israeli war machine. The United Nations says that 77 percent of the Palestinians killed in Gaza have been civilians, including children.
But, appallingly, Israel says it can't be held responsible for these deaths and blames Hamas militants for using the civilian population to hide behind as 'human shields'.
Moshe Ya’alon, Israel’s so-called defence minister revealed his government's true intention when he told the Israeli media : “We are destroying arms, terror infrastructures, command systems, Hamas institutions, regime buildings, terrorists’ houses, and killing terrorists of various ranks of command.”
The bombing of family homes of suspected militants has resulted in entire families being killed.
What we are witnessing on our television screens are war crimes being committed by a brutal Israeli regime that is funded and supported by the United States government. That it is acting with impunity while the international community, once again, stands idly by is reprehensible.
The barbarians gathered on the border, wrecking balls at the ready. Led by their leader Gerry 'Scorched Earth Policy' Brownlee, the hordes of CERA swept mercilessly through the city, laying waste to all that lay before them. Chief Warwick Issacs of the elite Christchurch Central Development Unit, ruthlessly carried out the orders of his leader. This became known as the Carnage of Warwick.
AS OF February this year 43 percent of Christchurch's historic buildings listed with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust had been pulled down. A total 243 buildings had been wiped off the face of the earth. That figure has climbed since then.
The latest building to be destroyed has been the CPIT War Memorial Hall. It was knocked down last week. Labour Party Ilam candidate James Dann has observed:
This building was of no immediate risk. It had been there since the quakes, not causing any harm. There was no need for the Section 38 powers to be invoked to demolish it. It is well beyond the time for these powers to be used. That the demolition was done overnight shows that the people responsible knew that this was something to be ashamed, hence doing their dirty work under the cover of darkness. It’s a disgrace.
What's also a disgrace are the buildings that are going up to replace them. They are ugly and characterless boxes of concrete and steel, monuments to the bottom line of the property developers and that disregard the needs and aspirations of the city and its people.
Adding insult to injury, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) thinks we should actually be proud of these architectural atrocities. The cover of the latest issue of its Greater Christchurch Recovery Update features a photo montage of some of these crappy new buildings. According to CERA chief Roger Sutton 'This is our city today - positively progressing with commercial rebuilds, big and small'.
A more honest and accurate assessment comes from someone who actually knows what he's talking about.
University of Auckland Professor of Fine Arts Jonathan Mane-Wheoki has slammed the indiscriminate destruction of Christchurch's historical heritage.
He has told The Press that with so much of Christchurch's architectural heritage having been demolished, there's a bland uniformity to the buildings that are replacing Christchurch's former diverse architectural landscape.
Mane-Wheoki told the newspaper: ''What is happening now is that a whole lot of glass, concrete and steel boxes are being built that will be gleaming new for about 5-10 years but will stat to look shabby at the same time.
He rightly concludes that Christchurch will 'have the largest collection of glass and concrete boxes in the world'
This is what Roger Sutton and CERA are describing as 'positive progress'.
The Labour Party should be congratulated for being consistent. It is staying true to the principles of 'True Labour'.
THE LABOUR PARTY deserves credit for keeping its promises and being consistent. Time and time again it has said it has no intention of upsetting the neoliberal applecart and that the market has nothing to fear from its policies.
David Cunliffe and his team have certainly stayed true to this commitment. Cunliffe has ensured that his party has followed his exemplary example and boldly stated that socialism is not a word it uses. This is indeed the face of True Labour'.
Being 'True Labour' means outlining a sensible plan for managing the economy that is business friendly and that's what Labour has done. While business had a few grumbles with Labour's plan to raise the top tax bracket to 36% on those earning over $150,000, the business suits are delighted that this represents a retreat from Labour's 2011 position when it said it would raise it to a whopping 39 percent.
BusinessNZ Chief Executive, Phil O’Reilly has congratulated Labour on its steadfast commitment to continue with austerity policies. He likes the cut of Labour's jib.
And business interests with an eye to the main chance will appreciate Labour's outstanding plan to introduce more users pays into education with already financially hard-pressed families having to pay for most of the kids' computer laptop or tablet.
And good on finance spokesperson David Parker for staying true to the principles of 'True Labour' Labour isn't interested in transforming the economy for the betterment of ordinary people. Not for it silly utopian ideas about fundamental structural change and a vision of a society organised on completely different principles from those which govern capitalism. That certainly isn't the 'True Labour' of 2014.
Finance spokesperson David Parker doesn't want to run an economy that is organised on behalf of the people. Taking a leaf out of the notebook of British Prime Minister David Cameron, he wants to 'grow' the free market economy and he says that he will be better at it than his counterpart, Bill English. Well done Mr Parker, with your whiteboard and marker pen always ready for action. You make accountancy fun!
And that's what Mike Smith thinks as well.
According to Mike, Parker has 'egalitarian passion'! That's why he wants to raise the retirement age and make the working poor toil for even longer!
You remember Mike Smith, don't you? As a former general secretary of the Labour Party he loyally supported the neoliberal policies of the Helen Clark government.
I'm sure that Internet Mana is excited about the prospect of being a part of a True Labour' - led government, even if Dave Cunliffe won't let them into the cabinet room. Clearly those of us who think Internet Mana are on the road to nowhere are gravely mistaken.
Christchurch Central MP Nicky Wagner says that "...It is a basic right that people should feel safe and secure and free of fear, which is too often taken away from people through sexual violence." But her government is allowing the Christchurch Rape Crisis Centre to close down because of a lack of funding.
LAST WEEK National MP Maggie Barry alleged that she had been a victim of jailed sex offender Rolf Harris and she urged other women to come forward if they too had been victims of Harris.
Her story got wide coverage in the media - unlike her government's treatment of the Christchurch Rape Crisis Centre.
The centre's 24-hour phone service, SafeCare, needs $30,000 to keep running but it won't be getting any of the $10 million announced in this year's Budget for sexual violence services because it is insolvent.
The government has made no effort to help despite the fact that Christchurch police have recorded a 40 percent rise in the number of sexual assaults since 2010.
Meanwhile Central Christchurch MP Nicky Wagner has had nothing to say - despite complaints about the closure having been made to her office.
Yet on her website Nicky Wagner declares that her government is "committed to providing the right support for those working with both victims and perpetrators of sexual violence, so that when someone comes to them for help they can provide it."
Says Wagner: "It is a basic right that people should feel safe and secure and free of fear, which is too often taken away from people through sexual violence."
Seven Sharp promotes a visiting US presidential hopeful who has compared gay people to paedophiles and people who engage in bestiality.
NOT CONTENT in just allowing Mike Hosking to promote the National Party and take potshots at the Labour Party in his end-of-show monologues, Seven Sharp is now promoting right wing politicos from other countries.
On Wednesday it affectionately profiled visiting American right wing politician and neurosurgeon Ben Carson. From 'bad student to brain surgeon' declared Seven Sharp.
Carson was described as 'inspirational' who just 'wants the kids to read.' Cue to pictures of the nice Dr Carson walking through a playground.
Missing in any of this cloyingly sycophantic profile was any examination of his extraordinary right wing views.The item mentioned that 'people' want Carson to stand for President of the United States but didn't think there was any need to go into any details into what he actually stands for.
Carson has said he will seek the 2016 Republican nomination for the Presidency.
He is a right winger of the Tea Party variety, who has described America as a 'shambles' - and he's not talking abut the fact that it is now estimated that more than 50 million Americans now live below the poverty line. According to 'inspirational' Dr Carson, America is a 'shambles' because a 'long line of progressive-minded policies that have seeped into national culture and politics.'
“Get a book called ‘The Naked Communist,’ written in 1958, a long time ago, that lays out the whole secular progressive agenda, a large part of which is to kick our Judeo-Christian values to the side,” Carson said during one interview
“And what we have today,” he said, “are those who say, ‘well, there is no such thing as the ideal family, [and that] every family situation is of equal value and this whole traditional family thing — this is what people who are bigots and religious fanatics talk about,’
He then proceeded to blame the education system , particularly the universities, for helping fuel such an atmosphere by shutting down commencement speeches from conservative leaders and encouraging students to rebel against those with traditional views.
Last week Carson was in the headlines again when he said that abortion was' a heathen human sacrifice'.
He has also described Obamacare 'as the worst thing to have happened in the United States since slavery'.
A regular guest on the right wing Fox News, last year he told host Sean Hannity that gay people were like paedophiles and people who engage in bestiality.
Said Carson: “My thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a well-established, fundamental pillar of society, and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn't’ matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition.”
Seven Sharp neglected to tell its audience any of this. What a disgrace.