Monday 6 February 2023

A Sorry State Of Affairs.

Apology Accepted? “I dropped the ball on Friday, I was too slow to be seen …The communications weren’t fast enough – including mine. I’m sorry for that.” Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown.

HOW OFTEN do politicians apologise? Sincerely apologise? Not offer voters the weasel words: “If my actions have offended anyone, then I apologise.” That’s the apology politicians offer when they don’t believe they’ve done anything to apologise for. The question is: how often does a politician offer voters an apology like this?

I dropped the ball on Friday, I was too slow to be seen …The communications weren’t fast enough – including mine. I’m sorry for that.

The politician speaking those words is Wayne Brown, the Mayor of New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. Justifiably criticised for his inadequate initial response to the torrential rainstorms that deluged his city on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 January 2023 (since described by meteorologists as a one-in-200-year weather event) Brown has publicly owned-up to his personal failings and said “I’m sorry.”

Not that Brown will receive the slightest positive acknowledgement from his many media critics for stepping-up and accepting his share of responsibility for the multiple failings of public agencies that occurred on the night of Auckland’s devastating rainstorm. The reasons for this are relatively straightforward: Brown is male. Brown is white. Brown is over the age of 65. Brown is also known to be openly contemptuous of journalists. And, most importantly, Brown defeated Efeso Collins, the mayoral candidate many (most?) Auckland journalists wanted to win.

Before examining Brown’s relationship with the news media in more depth, a word or two is needed concerning the shocking level of ageism to which he has been subjected from the very beginning of his campaign to become Auckland’s mayor.

It is remarkable how adept – and shameless – young and supposedly well-educated New Zealanders have proved to be at discriminating against their fellow citizens on the grounds of age. Journalists who would lavish barrels of ink on any person writing disparagingly about the personal appearance of a female politician, nevertheless feel free to dwell upon the ravages time has wrought upon the features of a “grumpy old man”.

That discrimination on the basis of age is outlawed in New Zealand cuts almost no ice with the sort of journalists who glibly describe Brown as “The Boomer King”. It is almost as if the journalists responsible for such ageist slurs are unable to recognise in themselves the same, deeply-ingrained, discriminatory impulses that they condemn so bitterly when manifested by racists, sexists and homophobes.

One can hardly avoid the conclusion that these ageists’ hatred for older human-beings is every bit as visceral as the racists’ hatred for people of colour, and the misogynists’ hatred of women. That they nevertheless feel free to express their prejudices openly is as worrying as it is shameful. Where is the Human Rights Commission when the “hate speech” it condemns so vigorously – and promptly – when directed at Māori, women, Muslims and the LGBTQI community is aimed, instead, at older New Zealanders?

The oddest thing of all about ageism is that every single person who indulges in it will one day (absent the worst sort of bad luck) grow old. How much racism would there be if every White person slowly became a Black person? How much misogyny, if every man turned gradually into a woman? When old age is humankind’s common destiny, ageism makes no sense at all.

The propensity of old age and guile to defeat youth and idealism, is also a common feature of human experience – especially in the field of politics. That Wayne Brown proved the accuracy of the aphorism, by soundly defeating his younger opponent, Efeso Collins, in the mayoralty race of 2022, did little to improve his already poor relationship with “progressive” Auckland journalists, many of them a whole generation younger than himself.

Jacinda Ardern’s “Politics of Kindness”, and her Government’s strong support for Māori and Pasifika, encouraged the Prime Minister’s generation to look forward to Collins becoming the Auckland super-city’s first Pasifika mayor. If Auckland voters had been willing to elect Labour-endorsed has-beens like Len Brown and Phil Goff, then surely, Efeso would be a shoe-in? That Aucklanders might elect a “grumpy old man” like Wayne Brown struck Ardern’s generation of activists as preposterous. They were confident that their assumptions about the nature of contemporary politics and the shape of Aotearoa’s political future were unassailable.

That Brown won the mayoral race easily – principally by applying basic electoral principles to the structuring of his campaign – threw into sharp relief the organisational deficiencies of a generation encouraged to accord bold declarations and positive intentions the same ontological status as actual achievements. As an engineer, Brown is only interested in what works. So instructed, his advisers told him to target only those Aucklanders with a proven track-record of participating in local government elections. These tended to be older, and considerably less tolerant of political dreams and visions, than the younger, typically non-voting, Aucklander.

As it became increasingly obvious that Brown’s pragmatic, non-ideological, “Mr Fix-It” pitch to the active Auckland electorate was going to overwhelm Collins, the active dislike of “progressives” – most particularly those located in the younger generations – grew. Among the least successful at hiding their animosity towards Brown were the city’s journalists – a failure that convinced the newly-elected Mayor that he would be better off not engaging with them.

Brown was right. The reaction of the New Zealand news media – especially those elements of it based in Auckland – was depressingly similar to the United States’ news media’s reaction to Donald Trump’s “impossible” presidential victory of 2016. Unable to accept that it was the political incompetence of “their” candidate that made a Trump victory possible, the American media instead abandoned completely its cherished principles of fairness and balance. Henceforth Trump was the enemy to whom no quarter should be given. Brown, who had also won on the votes of “deplorables” and, like Trump, held most journalists in contempt, would be treated as a reactionary interloper.

It should not be thought, however, that journalists were alone in their animosity towards Brown. Across the entire Auckland City bureaucracy similar misgivings were growing at the prospect of Mr Fix-It telling the Council’s highly-paid managers and professionals how to do their jobs. It would certainly explain why, when the deluge struck, and many of the Supercity’s bureaucrats failed to respond effectively to the emergency, their first instinct was to make the Mayor the scapegoat for what was clearly a system-wide failure. And why the first instinct of the city’s “progressive” journalists was to help them.

Hence Brown’s all-too-public frustration and anger at his inexplicable early exclusion from a number of crucial informational loops. That exclusion in no way excuses Brown’s failure to be seen and heard by Aucklanders as the floodwaters rose and the crisis deepened, but it most certainly does explain them.

And Brown, at least, has had the decency to say he’s sorry. It would be most unwise, however, to hold one’s breath in anticipation of Auckland’s anti-Brown journalists and bureaucrats doing the same.

This essay was originally posted on the website on Monday, 6 February 2023.


Don Franks said...

Thanks Chris.
As a white, straight, male - ok if you must, cis male - heterosexual, middle class, lapsed Anglican human being I could not wait until, finally, at 70 plus, I finally found myself mildly but legitimately oppressed for being just what I am - a bit older than some other people. Not the worst hand to draw in the scheme of things but still not much fun. Being a candidate for Wellington central in this year's coming election will be interesting. To the extent my campaign gets any coverage at all I'm guessing it will focus on my age. Beating my walking frame into a bayonet as we speak.

LittleKeith said...

Yes, I too have not missed the Trump link to Brown but for the most ironic of reasons.

Collins was supposed to win. Progressives are those from the leafy Grey Lynn's and the Pt Chev's who fight for victims, know climate change is to blame, those who have noble causes, those who think they know what the poor think and do, who see racism/sexism/misogyny and inequity everywhere. Simon Wilson firmly nailed his progressive brand flag to Collins mast awaiting the day of rejoicement when Aucklands first Polynesian mayor would be anointed. And that was it, that was why we should vote for him. It mattered not that Collins had sweet bugger all to offer otherwise, apart from being some ex uni president, coming from South Auckland and free bus rides for all. No concept that this councillor who'd been in the machine for years had a grain of insight into what was eating Aucklanders or any demonstration he could fix anything. Any differences of opinion were chalked up to racism.

And when Collins got utterly trounced, it was not gracious surrender by his media mentor, like Boris did losing the Prime Ministership, rather it's been the Trump camp that has appealed to our progressive journo's the most. Collins was cheated from his destiny by an old white coots better funded campaign, hardly anyone voted, voters are idiots, you're ALL wrong. The oozing vitriol in daily/weekly articles against Brown has been horrendous. The parallels between Trump supporters and Collins media supporters are very similar, less the gratuitous violence and shamans!

Brown won I think because progressives made it that way. Their pet CCO,AT, had pissed so many of us off with their progressiveism that a dam of resentment had built up that would break the moment a mayoral candidate with common sense listened. Through his campaign team, they picked up on that rich vein of votes and Brown became the man.

The more abuse he cops from our progressives the more people feel for him and the more vindicated we feel. Keep on keeping on Wayne!

Tom Hunter said...

I never had any confidence that Wayne Brown would make any difference to Auckland's management, but not just because he'd revealed his incapability as the Far North Mayor a decade ago, despite making lots of good points, but because it's not really the Mayors and Councillors who runs things anymore.

AFAIK he can't even fire the CEO, and that is where things have to start, moving down through the management ranks and getting rid of the useless deadwood that's been obvious for some years now in the city. All those 6-figure salaries (many with very substantial six-figures0, "managers" long on talk and short on ability who showed their and their systems incapability when it was most needed.

As always it was the coal-face staff and a public who could organise themselves using smart-phones and the Internet, who did the best.

Anonymous said...

Ignoring the tiny vote he received to win. Ignoring the money he used to win. Ignoring the 7 days it took to bring himself to apologise. Ignoring his very clear disinterest in the people of Auckland. Ignoring the level of distress/contempt/anger required to teach him the need for an apology. Ignoring the fact he possibly cant do the job without Hooten at his elbow (and it still took 6 more days). Ignoring that its not his age but his temperament/attitude/indifference/ineptitude that seems to be the problem. In fact, ignoring so much you leave me wondering more about you than Wayne.

Tom Hunter said...

Re the MSM, well you may be interested in a recent study of the Trump-MSM situation that has been carried out by a former NYT investigative journalist, Jeff Gerth, in none other than the Columbia Journalism Review. It's an exhaustive analysis, but I'll put up a couple of points from the NY Post's story on it:

His subject is not virgin territory, of course, and many of us have written extensively about the disgraceful media performance that started during the 2016 campaign and continues. We now know that rupture with tradition was not a one-off, and the freedom from facts and fairness that marked the first Trump campaign coverage unleashed an unquenchable thirst for ideological combat.

I always appreciated one NYT reporter who said in 2016 that since Trump was such an exception to Presidential standards the MSM would have to jettison their supposed standards too. As such Gerth's work should come as no surprise.
Gerth’s work stands out as the definitive account of the origin of this modern nightmare and is uniquely valuable because he builds a brick-by-brick case. Reading the 26,000-word, multi-part project requires a commitment, but the payoff is total clarity.

Thanks to his precision and the organizational skills needed to keep a steady focus through reams of articles, interviews, testimony, reports and transcripts, some of them separated by years, never again can the culprits credibly claim innocence. If this were a trial, they would all be found guilty beyond any possible doubt.
Some numbers Gerth produced bear repeating. The Times, addicted to anonymous sources, used variations of a “person familiar with” more than 1,000 times to shield its sources’ identity.

Showing how the wall-to-wall coverage consumed the nation, Gerth reports there were an astonishing 533,000 articles published about Russia and Trump or special counsel Robert Mueller in the 22 months of Mueller’s probe. The number comes from NewsWhip, a media analytics company, which said the articles led to 245 million interactions on social media.

None of which have been retracted, even as they've been proven false. The claim is that it was "best efforts" at the time. Bullshit. It was ideological and partisan bias cranked to 100%. Same here with Wayne Brown.

No worries though, the lecturers and professors from the same Columbia Journalism School are now arguing that objectivity is obsolete and a false goal. I can see the argument, but since the alternative - whatever sophistic language it's coated in - means more of the sort of MSM coverage received by Trump and Wayne Brown, I'd say the MSM are digging their own graves.

Tom Hunter said...

Also, since you've been decent to Karl du Fresne you might appreciate this link to his latest encounters with the NZ MSM when it comes to himself, Virulent bigotry at the highest levels of the media

The Barron said...

When in Bluff, I hope folks take time to ponder the statue of Sir Joseph Ward. As Minister of Finance, then Premier, in the Liberal Government his influence on the development of NZ is almost unrivaled. Indeed, he oversaw NZ gaining dominion status as a sovereign nation. He became Minister of Finance again in the coalition government during World War I. What to ponder is, why is he not as known today as his contribution demands? That would be because of his second premiership.

In poor health, the aging Sir Joseph was offered the leadership of he United Party. In the 1928 election, with failing eye-sight, he is thought to have misread his notes. He promised to borrow £70 million rather than the £7 million he had planned to tell the audience. He experience as our financial leader had the electorate vote him in as Prime minister, 22 years after his previous tenure. Although he reneged on the £70 million loan, the debt his government did accrue crippled the finances when the depression hit. His health worsened, and he rarely entered the debating chamber. He was did not wish to resign, but finally his health and failing premiership forced him out May 1930.

I take Chris' point as to ageism. I also follow political fortunes enough to know performance is often linked to experience, to health, energy and the ability to maintain crucial relationships. Some of those Mayor Brown has, others may be questioned.

J.G.Ward was a great figure in the development of our nation. He is also a lesson as to holding power for too long. He died months after resigning office. He was 74.

ZTS said...

Funnily enough, I was thinking a lot about the very same topic this week.

When I first heard politicians talking about people being too pale, stale and male and Chloe's Boomer comment, I was horrified. Thinking like you, I thought I am sure there are laws about this. Speed forward 2 + years and it is everywhere and the Wayne Brown saga exemplifies this.

And the age discriminators exemplify how utterly self serving the politics of identity are. Once you understand that age comes to us all, you have to also see that identity politics is purely about giving power to those who think they should have power and they want it right now.

Anyway, I digress. Made up my mind this week to dob in journalists and politicians (outside of parliament) to the HRC or Broadcasting standards etc when possible.

Jason Barrier said...

Ye Gods Chris - must you expose yourself to being hung drawn and quartered by our current crop of 'journalists' with such alacrity? We need you innards intact to cover this watershed year in NZ politics. But of course, you are correct. There is a disturbing 'cultural divide' developing in this country as Josie Pagani wrote on last year . If you are young brown female or gender ambivalent on a government salary then you are in Team A - all your ideas are good ones and you will be afforded every excuse for your problems (including Captain Cook's visits which seem to somehow to cause ramraids and child bashing). But if you are older male white working class or self employed then you are in Team B and all your ideas stink and you shall be publicly humiliated for your every misspeak. To be fair the insane vitriol flows both ways (the conflating of former PM with Naziism etc). We live in silos and shout insults - it's pathetic. People like yourself and Josie do a great job as being able to bridge the gap between left and right and actually get to the nub of issues and so show the rest of us how to play the ball rather then the man. We need more of it.

David George said...

Chris: "Trump was the enemy to whom no quarter should be given"

Something of an understatement? The vilification of Trump, the outright lies and daily denigration, duly parroted here was something to behold. I certainly don't envy anyone at the receiving end of that level of cultivated hate. The media hounding (and eventual breakdown) of Todd Muller here was at a lower level but there's a definite correlation - conservative politicians are considered fair game, even someone as innocuous as Muller. Perhaps the best strategy is to say what you have to say and never kowtow to the hyenas.

There are some even more disturbing revelations from the recent Twitter investigations by highly respected liberal journalists Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss and Michael Shellenberger. They've shown the direct and coordinated collusion of big tech, political parties, the legacy media and state actors (including the FBI and CIA) in the cultivation and propagation of "misinformation". The recently released Twitter files show, for example and among other things, that the hugely damaging Russian collusion was a complete hoax; one that our idiot media gleefully perpetuated. I don't believe a thing they say anymore.

"Taibbi’s latest report on internal Twitter documents included emails from former Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth proving the company knew the anti-Trump dashboard was spreading false information that wrongfully classified Americans as Russian bots. This allowed the data dashboard to fuel false media and Democrat claims that President Donald Trump had treasonously colluded with Russia, hamstringing Trump’s execution of his presidential duties.

Taibbi discovered that Twitter “reverse-engineered” Hamilton 68’s methodology to recreate its highly publicized list of alleged Russian bots. Publicly, though, Twitter was feigning ignorance."

David George said...

Everyone's a victim.
More race baiting BS in today's Herald; alongside a photo of a blond woman with European features there's the claim that "The majority of hate towards me is aimed at my being a Maori woman"

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"The reasons for this are relatively straightforward: Brown is male. Brown is white. Brown is over the age of 65. Brown is also known to be openly contemptuous of journalists. "

Seriously? You can't spend five minutes of googling to find journalistic criticism of young – ish brown, female politicians being put to the question by journalists? Or for that matter others who are contemptuous of the press? Like Winston? Although to be fair, Winston seems to be almost as old as Keef Richards. 😁

If Brown gets criticism more lack of credit, perhaps he should think about the fact that the press'job is to interrogate him on behalf of we the people. Because we sure don't get a chance to do it very often. So what's this now – the lugenpresse?

Another interesting point though – the journalists wanted a Collins victory? I bet their bosses didn't. And I know who has more influence over what goes in the newsfeeds.

So in spite of the fact that he managed the crisis abysmally, in spite of the fact that he couldn't be bothered actually turning up to reassure people – which is part of his job whether he likes it or not – in spite of the fact that he was moaning about not being able to play tennis because he had to go and talk to the "drongos" we're supposed to give him a mulligan for a delayed apology, which I might say was certainly in a different form from John Banks' smarmy, self-serving non-apology:

“I also made some generic negative statements about Māori people and practices that could have been misconstrued as racist.”

But to be honest, not being psychic I cannot for the life of me give any opinion as to its sincerity. It could easily be that one of his minders told him to get it over with, make a "blunt and hearty/manly" apology, and then move on. Although I would have thought if he had minders some of them might have told him to get off his arse and start reassuring the people of Auckland. But then he doesn't strike me as someone who listens to anyone but himself.

Although the moving on seems to involve spending $100,000 on a report. Which seems to me a little hypocritical from someone who is supposed to want to curb spending, and instead contributes to the culture of "consultants" at huge expense. Let's face it, the man is a walking disaster at the moment although he may eventually, once he learns he isn't God, turn out to be a halfway decent Mayor of Auckland. But at the moment he comes across like an eejit.

David George said...

Things could be worse, the slurs and inuendo being cruelly but carelessly flung about here are relatively small beer. A little more on the election disinformation campaign (Psyops or psychological operation?) from retired US congressman Ron Paul:

"Thanks to the latest release of the “Twitter Files,” Matt Taibbi reveals that the Hamilton 68 project, which claimed to monitor 600 “Russian disinformation” Twitter accounts, was a total hoax. While they refused to reveal which accounts they monitored and would not reveal their methodology, Twitter was able to use reverse-engineering to determine the 600-odd “Russian-connected” accounts. Twitter found that despite Hamilton’s claims, the vast majority of these “Russian” accounts were English-speaking. Of the Russian registered accounts – numbering just 36 out of 644 – most were employees of the Russian news outlet RT.

It was all a lie and the latest Twitter Files release confirms that even the “woke” pre-Musk Twitter employees could smell a rat. But the hoax served an important purpose. Hiding behind anonymity, this neocon organization was able to generate hundreds of media stories slandering and libeling perfectly legitimate organizations and individuals as “Russian agents.” It provided a very convenient way to demonize anyone who did not go along with the approved neocon narrative.

Twitter’s new owner, who has given us a look behind the curtain, put it best in a Tweet over the weekend: “An American group made false claims about Russian election interference to interfere with American elections.”

Madame Blavatsky said...

They aren’t hypocrites, they are just dishonest about their true agenda. The defining characteristic of the "progressives" of today, the factor which binds them and gives them common cause, it visceral hatred of the people they oppose (or more accurately, the people they have been instructed to oppose – they didn't adopt their "progressivism" naturally and independently, it was presented to them, through media and academia, as the only possible morally upright set of ideas).

In the cover of "diversity, equity and inclusion" (DEI) (translation: hared of White males) they have and express a passionate hatred for anything White, male and heterosexual (and also anything broadly Christian). Their worldview hinges on what they hate, so it is completely negative in character. As long as person X has all of the requisites of being non-White, non-male, non-heterosexual etc., this qualifies person X as deserving of tolerance. It’s not about kindness and acceptance in itself and applied universally, but it is rather completely particularist: it’s about appearing kind towards and accepting only to those who aren’t on the ideological “hit list.” They hate White people, they don’t love non-Whites.

Quote: “One can hardly avoid the conclusion that these ageists’ hatred for older human-beings is every bit as visceral as the racists’ hatred for people of colour, and the misogynists’ hatred of women.” I think that their hatred is actually far worse and more intense than any feelings held by 99.99% of so-called “racists” and “misogynists.” What qualifies one as a “racist” or a “misogynist” in the eyes of the progressive accuser? It’s a very low bar: “racism” just means a belief that there are clear, observable and even objectively measurable differences between groups of people considered as members of different racial groups. The same applies to “misogynists” vis a vis differences between males and females. If you think everyone is completely interchangeable and homogenous entities, then you avoid being labelled racist or misogynist. It’s simply a recognition of differences that makes one a “racist” or a “misogynist”, NOT a hatred of different races or of women. However, this latter sounds all too reasonable (and was considered self-evident for millennia up until only the 20th century), so people must be wrongly painted as harbouring near-homicidal attitudes to different races and different sexes.

Immutable differences cannot be countenanced by the “progressive” on ideological grounds: if people are innately different, then these differences sufficiently account for the disparate outcomes we see. It would be great if everyone had equal capacities, but nowhere in nature is any entity equivalent to any other – why should human beings be the exception? Sure, there may be instances of bias, but they are not systemic. In fact, in-group bias too is an innate human characteristic, so no amount of “diversity training” will get rid of it. Thus, if inequality between individuals and between groups of individuals is a hard fact of nature (which it is), then no amount of bureaucracy and resources will EVER solve the pseudo-problem. Therefore, on ideological as opposed to empirical grounds, all inequalities must be attributed to biased social structures, so that a lucrative industry can be created and maintained in the name of “fixing inequality.” They may as well attempt to “fix gravity” such is the impossibility of using coercion and discrimination to “fix” natural inequality.

Moreover, it is very instructive and exposes the unspoken malign motivations of the “DEI” project, that “fixing inequality” is strictly limited to White/Western societies: nobody is going to China or Nigeria to make their societies “more White” or to “eliminate Chinese-ness” or “African-ness.” It follows from this clear inconsistency that tolerance, diversity and equity are just buzzwords used to disguise and enact an anti-White agenda in majority White nations in the Western hemisphere.

g said...

Not all true.The oddest thing of all about ageism is that every single person who indulges in it will one day (absent the worst sort of bad luck) grow old. How much racism would there be if every White person slowly became a Black person? How much misogyny, if every man turned gradually into a woman? When old age is humankind’s common destiny, ageism makes no sense at all.

Some people, with luck, will be able to choose how long they want to live and die before they grow old - going out in their own chosen way from the worries and hypocrisies of the world. They may go out while they make good looking corpses, not creeping forward with limping steps or minds battered from too many years of technological, economic and climate changes that have usurped humanity's familiar pattern replaced by bold, foolish,and inhumane paths.

Looking at C.S.Lewis' vision:
In this clip there is mentioned being brave and kind.
(The Hobbit- Thorin's Funeral (With cut eulogy) and Thorin and Bilbo - Say It One More Time - seem a lot of beards in this, some grey.)

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers-Theodred's Funeral -

The young should not be left to repeat the old human mistakes, the oldies must teach them and enable them to practice leadership in a wise and informed way, not being trained in military colleges or snob schools. Let the young journalists on trend, Extinction Rebellion, whoever learn, experience, action before they prate; the young cannot just learn theory and by observation, they need some practical experience. So start them off when they are teens of 14 years, with education going from basic to more complex involving philosophy and psychological states till then, and then give them early adulthood and work experience and higher and technical education all together. People trained like this would if they die at 70ish, have lived a very full, satisfying, and fruitful life.

Shane McDowall said...

I have two words for you, Chris

Tim Shadbolt.

nicholastwig said...

TOTALLY WITH YOU - every word. Thank you. Although I am happy and grateful to subscribe to Bryce Edwards' daily Political Round-up, I skip over most articles from the daily press, because I know from having read them previously that they are of little value - PIJF notwithstanding. And I only watch selected TV on demand, and don't even listen to RNZ anymore - oh dear - on principle because of the ruddy government.

I am so happy to be old in this day and age, to have a lifetime of study, work and reading behind me - and now to read the wisdom of all humanity on the net - how amazing! Yes, some people do need a poke in the ribs for their ignorance and stupidity, but they'll learn - if they should live so long. This country still has so many wise and knowledgeable and assiduously scholarly people amongst whom I count you with gratitude every day. Hang in there Chris.

Johno said...

For some reason this excellent piece has not been republished on The Daily Blog. I can't imagine why not.

Mark Simpson said...

Hear, hear Chris. The New Zealand Herald has duplicated The New York Times and Washington Post's excoriation of Trump (who I likewise detest) on Wayne Brown, who is the antithesis of Trump in that he is honest and not ego driven. The Herald is shamelessly vindictive, infantile and belies its supposed mandate of balance and fairness.

One aspect of Maori culture that I have always considered way superior to European culture is their ingrained respect for their elders. All speeches are prefaced with tribute to the deceased. I know I'm on dangerous ground here but I am speaking generally where historically old, white people were often put in "Old People's Homes" and considered as an impediment to their children's lives. Obviously this hasn't always been the case.

But the same respect accorded to Maori elders is not the same as white elders, particularly if they are male. Conversely, they are to be treated by the main stream media and many politicians with disrespect bordering on disdain.

Odysseus said...

What an excellent commentary. Ageism is such a widespread prejudice in New Zealand today. It is irrational, destructive and illegal, and yet it goes unremarked by the Far Left pooh-bahs in Wellington who purport to protect our Human Rights.

Anonymous said...

Well done, Chris. An excellent column - wish I’d written it myself. The petulance of one NZ Herald columnists, in particular, is getting pretty tiresome. He needs to pull his head in

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Something of an understatement? The vilification of Trump, the outright lies and daily denigration, duly parroted here was something to behold."
I thought this was satire, and then I saw who wrote it. Tell us some of the "out right lies" about Trump David. They can't be any worse than his, because apparently he averaged 21 a day. It seems to be something in the conservative psyche in the US at least. Hence George Santos. And of course "Cancun" Ted Cruz. Still, now that we have his tax returns we can see even more of his lies.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"The defining characteristic of the "progressives" of today, the factor which binds them and gives them common cause, it visceral hatred of the people they oppose (or more accurately, the people they have been instructed to oppose – they didn't adopt their "progressivism" naturally and independently, it was presented to them, through media and academia, as the only possible morally upright set of ideas)."

Given that the media in NZ are essentially centre-right, with some being extreme right I can't see how anyone can manage to get progressivismed through it, except perhaps the occasional opinion piece put in for "balance".

I just finished a degree in the social sciences the year before last, and I was taught no such thing. I was however taught to think for myself – albeit at 74 I pretty much knew how to do that anyway.

The defining characteristic of conservatives is visceral hatred of people they feel are beneath them, and the desire to metaphorically and sometimes literally wipe them off the face of the earth.

If you want visceral hatred, particularly of Maori go along to the MSN website and see the comments every time there's a story about Maori. I did go through and pick out a number of them for someone else – I can do it again if you wish. But probably better you go and see for yourself.

Another example of visceral hatred with the comments made about Ardern in the same space. But of course according to several commenters here, you can't be racist or sexist "if it's true". Hint – yes you can.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"not ego driven."

Oh dear. I laughed so hard at that I almost choked on my tea. Have you actually listened to the man? He's not as ego driven as Trump admittedly and almost certainly a damn sight more competent – but that's a very low bar let's face it.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Ageism is such a widespread prejudice in New Zealand today."

Not saying it doesn't exist, but I haven't come across it, and I'm 74. I remember in the second to last job I had one of my bosses saying that I had a great work ethic compared to the younger guys. Although to be fair, my son does roll his eyes whenever I ask him for help with my computer.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"I have two words for you, Chris

Tim Shadbolt."

What on earth does that mean? Perhaps you could try to be a little less enigmatic? I find myself wondering is it because Tim Chabad is old and seems to have lost the plot somewhat? It happens, the last time I saw a very old friend of mine they didn't recognise me.
Do you mean to say we should keep people in jobs that they're obviously not capable of doing any more? Or do you think we should just kick them out? God knows.

Shane McDowall said...

Tim Shadbolt has been filmed nodding off at a council meeting. I understand this was not an isolated incident.

Age has wearied him, and the years have condemned.

Like a Wild west gunslinger, politicians have to know when to hang up the six-shooters.

To be president of the USA, you have to be born in the USA, and at least 35.

There should be an upper age limit to prevent embarrassments like Reagan and Bush snr.

Scouser said...

While Trump was a liar, a cheat, nasty as s##t and a stain upon the world the obvious fabricated attacks on him were a problem. When the media hates someone so much and they expect no-one to question their statements they felt safe to just make stuff up.

Ironically, it was totally unnecessary and actually counter productive. To many these ludicrously overdone attacks proved he was right. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot.

The media anointed Collins was just one too many left wing council politicians who focussed on the peripheral matters of local government rather than the core issues and he also suffered association with the demise of Ardern who led one of the least capable NZ governments ever.

The fact that he is being widely attacked by our predominantly left wing and youthful media will probably play to local voters who tend to be ratepayers and older. Trust in the media is quite rightly significantly low. They do not deserve our trust.

David George said...

Shane: "There should be an upper age limit to prevent embarrassments like Reagan and Bush snr'

To be fair, both those gentlemen deteriorated mentally whilst in office. The same cannot be said of the current incumbent; the rambling, incoherent and slurred speech and bizarre emotional reactions were a feature even during the selection process. Things have declined since. Surprisingly (?) this is largely kept swept under the carpet by our so called news media. It would appear that there is a deep pool of tolerance for incompetence, irrationality and outright stupidity, age related or not, if you're on the Left.

No quarter was given to Trump OTOH. Such was the determination to denigrate right from the get-go that the media made much of such absurdities as the insistence that his hands were too small. It really was something to behold. Yet our own narcissistic buffoon, Rawiri Waititi, rarely gets called out, even for the most egregious, insulting, arrogant and dishonest behaviour. Makes you wonder.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"The same cannot be said of the current incumbent; the rambling, incoherent and slurred speech and bizarre emotional reactions were a feature even during the selection process."

The man is in his 80s, and if you listened to the state of the nation speech, he makes a hell of a lot more sense than Trump ever did. Interesting that the right make such a huge fuss about Biden's occasional slips, but completely ignore the fact that Trump made absolutely no sense at all in most of his speeches, mispronounced words, behaved in an impulsive and ill considered way, particularly in foreign policy, couldn't hold a drinking glass properly, threw things at the wall, and has been diagnosed albeit at a distance by various health professionals as mentally incompetent to one degree or another.
The only controversy about this really is whether it is mental decline such as Alzheimer's or simply the result of stress and trying to do a job he was never qualified for. I find the second a little difficult to believe in some ways as he never really did the damn job anyway. Not to mention he and his family are corrupt in ways that we can only imagine here. Still, that will all come out in the court cases no doubt.

If you take the trouble to watch videos of Trump talking in his younger days, he was quite articulate. Not necessarily the brightest button on the blazer but not unintelligent either. I'm pretty sure that if he hadn't had his father buy his way into a top university he would have got a Prince Charles type gentleman's C- at any ordinary one.

Still, there are those who believe that Trump was a good president, just as there are those who believe that global warming isn't an issue, vaccinations don't work, and breaks it has been good for the British economy. And they all seem to be the same people (I hesitate to add flat earth to this but ...)

"No quarter was given to Trump"? By Jeez you only have to go onto Fox News to see that no quarter is being given to Biden by any of the drongos that do whatever it is they do there. Even his wife's doctorate has been denigrated by people who essentially haven't got the brains to get one. Right wingers are always asking the question something like "Where did his money come from?" Nobody ever thought to ask is about Trump, I guess because he got it all from his dad. But it's interesting – sometimes I hang around on Quora and there are dozens of questions about Democrats money and where it comes from. It's as if the left – well the centre-right in this case, but left in the US – isn't allowed to make money somehow. Even if they work hard for it rather than inheriting it.

Gary Peters said...

Come on GS, you're following ideology not logic.

Some of your comments are rather erudite but TDS is now a treatable condition.

Get treatmet, come back.

Just as a matter of interest for you, read the core principles of the Democratic party and compare them to the National party and see the similarity. Not the nutjob crazy four but the basic Democrats.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Get treatmet, come back."

TDS: total dissolved solids? Tower Defense Simulator? Tenancy deposit scheme? Oh – you mean Trump derangement syndrome, it's nice they named his derangement after him, but unfortunately bullshit and obscurity are not treatable, so I'm afraid you're doomed.

Another disease you seem to suffer from Gary, is absence from this blog because I have often said in comments here that the Democrats are very similar to the National party – perhaps slightly to the right. Obama certainly was.

By the nutjob crazy four, I assume you mean Boebert, Taylor Greene, DeSantis and Santos? You're coming off a bit short there because perhaps we should add 'Gym' Jordan, 'I must not be alone with a woman' Pence 'I love schoolgirls'Gaetz – God I could go on and on here. And you want to compare them with people like Katie Porter, or Ocasio - Cortez, who regularly rip Republicans a new arsehole? You are truly deluded. Watch out for the Jewish space lasers.

Chris going to slip back into the insult mode?

Guerilla Surgeon said...