Greetings and salutations to you all.
I’m broadcaster and National Party stalwart Mike Hosking and I just wanted to take a bit of time out of my busy Saturday eating Gruyère cheese and supping trim latte’s to speak on a few issues that have popped up this week.
There has been some concern expressed after the announcement that I would be hosting the TVNZ leader’s debate. The most worrying thing for me is because of my long-running association with John Key – introducing him at public function, heading around to his Remuera house for brie, laughing at the poor in Owairaka – people are worried I could be biased. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Everybody knows David Cunliffe is a terrible human being with a stupid red scarf and, I have detected, a slight lisp. Because everybody knows this, mainly due to the fact I spend 7 minutes out of each 22 in which Seven Sharp is broadcast derising him, it’s important to remember everybody knows this. Not having me host the leaders debate would lead to a break in continuity. The public would become worried. I would become worried. What would I do? Sit at home and watch a leader’s debate on television not hosted by me? That doesn’t make any sense at all.
You know, there’s only one thing I like better than watching myself on television, and that’s listening to myself while I appear on television as I ask pertinent and hard-hitting questions to a Labour leader while praising and fluffing up a National leader. The last thing National need this late in the election cycle is people like John Campbell asking John Key about Kim Dotcom or the poor or Hekia Parata’s abject failure in every way, shape and form.
Rest assured, I will give both leaders equal opportunity on my show. They will both have exactly the same chances and they will be in the studio for exactly the same length of time. What my producer does and how my vision mixer flips between the very handsome John Key and the incredibly shifty looking used-car salesman who leads the Labour Party is completely up to them. If it turns out that Cunliffe’s face ends up in that scowling grumpy freeze frame that the New Zealand Herald have been using for the last three months, then so be it. This is television baby, not knitting time at the CWI.
I’m looking forward to September 21st when we can put this whole sorry saga behind us and get back to the illegal whale sushi and 100-year-old sake that we’re all used to.
Mike Hosking – working for New Zealand.
There were a few interestingly fruitful statements of anguish following my explanation yesterday regarding our reporting on David Cunliffe’s recent holiday.
As I said yesterday, the fact that John Key was on holiday at the same time, and for much longer, and in a far warmer and far further away place has absolutely nothing to do with our reporting into the 2-day break of Mr Cunliffe.
It’s also important to point out a few things.
Firstly, when the Labour Party released their comprehensive and thoroughly well thought out education policy at their congress last week, people were still speaking about Mr Cunliffe apologising for being a man. We know this because several of those people have very well-read blog sites. Those sites were talking about it so that must mean than everybody was. Nowhere on those blog sites was reference made to Labour’s education policy. If there was, it was all very, very negative.
Secondly, I don’t feel the need I have to defend myself. We in the media have a great deal of responsibility in reporting the news as it happens. The fact that Mr Cunliffe’s important policy news is nowhere near as important as we in the media trying to dismantle his arguments in case people decide they actually hate John Key and want to start voting Labour or, god forbid, the Greens.
Thirdly, I have no other points to make. I feel my previous points succinctly sum up my position and the positions held my many of the people who own me.
Following the recent release of populist policies by Labour leader David Cunliffe, government minister and National Party strategist Steven Joyce has come up with a list of questions you stupid liberal pinky journey should be asking.
- How is Labour going to pay for all the policies it is currently releasing? With money?
- If Cunliffe thinks this policy is so great why doesn’t he go and live in Stalinist Russia or Australian or most of Europe who already have this type of thing?
- Why doesn’t Cunliffe put up or shut up. What other policies does he have? Why can’t we know them all immediately instead of being drip-fed over a number of weeks?
- Has he seen The Hobbit yet? If not, why not?
- When the lights went out at parliament the other night I lost my keys. Has he seen them? If not, why not?
- Is he aware that Lorde won some Grammys this week?
- I’ve also mislaid my wallet so I was wondering if he could spot me a deuce?
- Can he tell me the answer to 6 across (a letter in section, Theodore)?
- In what year did Red Rum win the Grand National?
- Which year did he arrive in New Zealand from outer space?
- Is he aware we live in a sovereign democratic nation and it could be argued that stealing votes off the ruling coalition is a treasonous offense?
- If a train leaves Grand Central Station travelling west at 70 km/hr and another leaves Chicago travelling east at 67 km/hr, how long will it take for you to admit your policy is rubbish?
- Did you know that I don’t like you very much?
- You are ridiculous.
I know that last question was a statement but I think it’s important that the media are far more probing against the Labour Party because everybody knows that when they spend money they are pulling it out of a rabbit’s bum, but when we spend it, it comes from wise spending decisions such as cutting taxes and giving millions to teachers. Paddy Gower is just not asking the right questions.
I think that should sort out a few things.
Insanely worded press release ends.
Yesterday Labour leader David Cunliffe delivered his first big policy announcement of the year – $60 a week for parents of new-borns. On Sunday the Greens announced their plans for “school hubs” where social services are coordinated through schools. Maybe Labour’s policy targets too many of those households earning over $100,000, but both policies are fresh and redefine the gap between a progressive left and the same-old same-old we’ve been swallowing since I was at high school.
What was very telling, however, was the overwhelmingly rabid reaction of the right-wingers I follow on twitter. The sputtering death gurgle of the neoliberal beast may very well be upon us.
Here’s just a sample of the quality dialogue we will be getting in the lead up to the election.
Steven Joyce (@stevenljoyce) tweeted at 2:21 PM on Mon, Jan 27, 2014:
Labour advises their spend-a-thon would resume immediately. Labour & Greens already an extra 3/4 a billion a year & it’s not even end of Jan
David Farrar (@dpfdpf) tweeted at 1:49 PM on Mon, Jan 27, 2014:
So this policy will pay $60 a week to any Labour MP (except Ldrs, Whips) who has a baby. That’s really targeting to those most in need.
Whaleoil (@Whaleoil) tweeted at 2:29 PM on Mon, Jan 27, 2014:
@CactusKate2 the feral underclass who already vote Labour will be ecstatic they get $60 extra a week for fags, booze and lotto
There are a number of things to consider. Firstly, these people are all successful, intelligent people. I don’t for on second think they actually believe New Zealanders are going to charge straight off to bed and start creating new humans on the promise of sixty bucks a week. Labelling the poor as useless, drug-dependent, booze-fueled baby factories suits their narrative just fine.
Secondly, the sheer repugnance of some of the bleating suggests those on the right are utterly terrified the narrative is changing from “me” back to “us.” Cunliffe and the left are offering New Zealanders something different to trickle up and they don’t like it one bit.
Thirdly, the reactions suggest there’s just a little bit of “this money’s mine. I made it. You can’t have it.” Which is just a little bit rich since they’ve been supporting policies that fleece low income earners for years.
Any way you look at it, this is now a battle of the mouths. Communication is paramount. If Labour and the Greens can project a positive vision onto the electorate they may send them packing.
Then we will hear some real whining.
PS: this looks a bit off formatting-wise because I wrote it on my phone.