The Dim-Post

July 11, 2013

Two things. No – wait! Four things [Updated]

Filed under: books,Politics — danylmc @ 1:52 pm
  1. Wouldn’t it be weird if Shearer’s MPs weren’t plotting to replace him?
  2. Toby Manhire’s Listener profile of me is up, and currently not paywalled. (A day since this profile came out and I still don’t top the google search results for ‘lesbian threesome’. And now HR and the IT Director want to talk to me about something!)
  3. You can buy the ebook here.
  4. No one’s found the hidden book yet, so:

Helena’s her name but not her title

Search a small street famous for unsavory idylls

About these ads

54 Comments »

  1. Wouldn’t it be weird if Shearer’s MPs weren’t plotting to replace him?

    Yes. It would also be a sure sign of incompetence. But given what a bunch of muppets the labour party is at the moment, I don’t think we can rule that out.

    Comment by Idiot/Savant (@norightturnnz) — July 11, 2013 @ 1:56 pm

  2. @ #1 – Heh heh heh…

    Comment by Frank Macskasy — July 11, 2013 @ 7:03 pm

  3. @I/S: Remind me, who would you replace him with, and how would that solve Labour’s problems?

    Comment by Hugh — July 11, 2013 @ 7:15 pm

  4. “The Dim-Post, one of a handful of New Zealand political blogs that will not send you into a spiral of despair, began five years ago focused on satire, although he has since branched out to include smart political commentary alongside the parody.”

    Smart political commentary, eh?

    Comment by Hugh — July 11, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

  5. Well, the reflected flattery is working for me.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 11, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

  6. umm.. kind of obvious you are into lesbian 3 ways. Just sayin.

    Comment by Grant — July 11, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

  7. Hugh asks “who would you replace him with, and how would that solve Labour’s problems?”

    I would replace him with a leadership contest, in which contenders would debate the issues, their own values, vision and qualities, and then a democratic decision would be made. This might actually produce not only a leader, but a sense of purpose.

    The essence of Labour’s problem is not simply Shearer’s manifest failings, but the way (and the why) he was given the job. As long as the caucus see the “next Prime Minister” as a prize to be bestowed by the barons of the royal court, the public will think as little of them as they do of us.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — July 11, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

  8. “I would replace him with a leadership contest, in which contenders would debate the issues, their own values, vision and qualities, and then a democratic decision would be made. ”

    That’s what they did last time, and it produced Shearer.

    Comment by Hugh — July 12, 2013 @ 5:44 am

  9. trying to work out if the non-italicisation of the last two letters of idylls is part of the clue…

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — July 12, 2013 @ 9:58 am

  10. Hugh, you’re being deliberately contrary, right? Did you not bother reading the next paragraph?

    Shearer wasn’t elected, he was installed, to do others’ bidding. He has had no authority from the start, and it shows.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — July 12, 2013 @ 10:16 am

  11. “…trying to work out if the non-italicisation of the last two letters of idylls is part of the clue…”

    ls -a

    Nothing has happened so far.

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 12, 2013 @ 10:54 am

  12. Oh man! The day after I buy the book (signed copy from Unity; Vicbooks ‘lost’ my order so they officially suck) you expand the riddle to something I now might have a chance of solving…

    For those still playing, Helena was Russian and basically co-founded her belief. The temple is in town.

    Comment by Auto_immune — July 12, 2013 @ 11:51 am

  13. The new clue just reinforces (for me at least) someones idea in the last thread that it is the Theosophical Society building on Marion Street.

    Comment by Vanilla Eis — July 12, 2013 @ 11:56 am

  14. Well Sammy, I remember following the process at the time and it seemed to follow the Labour party’s procedures. They held a vote, and Shearer won it.

    Can you explain what they could have done differently?

    Comment by Hugh — July 12, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

  15. @Hugh,

    Yes. They followed the process. But it was a poor process. And it produced a poor result.

    Now there is a different process. And it is a better one. Hence, using it could reasonably be expected to lead to a better result.

    Although, this vale of tears being what it is, it may not. And Labour being Labour, it probably won’t.

    Comment by Flashing Light — July 12, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

  16. Woot – just bought the ebook.

    Glad the mebooks has upped it’s game and does instant downloads now.

    Comment by Rick Rowling — July 12, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

  17. Hugh: no, they had a coronation.

    And in response to your invocation of TINA, if Shearer is Labour’s only option, then the party deserves to die. If a party can’t produce credible leaders to compete for the public’s attention, it has no business in politics.

    Comment by Idiot/Savant (@norightturnnz) — July 12, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

  18. I believe I am not far from the book’s location. If I am on the right track I will update son

    Comment by Antoine — July 12, 2013 @ 4:29 pm

  19. I’ve had a lesbian threesome so I think you’re talking shit. Just sayin.

    Comment by Monique Angel (@Orcs2Elves) — July 12, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

  20. @Flashing: Oh, right. I suppose so, although I’m not sure the new process would yield a different result. I don’t think Shearer’s popularity differential between caucus, members and unions is that great.

    @I/S: This isn’t the USA. We vote for parties, not Prime Ministers. There is more to a political party than the person sitting on top of it. Your idea that the quality of a party can be reduced to the personal virtue of its leader is the kind of personalised, over-simplified thinking that you are ruthlessly quick to castigate when you even suspect the political right are indulging it.

    Comment by Hugh — July 12, 2013 @ 6:16 pm

  21. Hugh: We’re not the US. And yet a party which wishes to govern needs a credible candidate for Prime Minister. There’s a lot of different governing styles, and a lot of different ways to be a PM, but Shearer simply doesn’t give the impression he can be one in any form. And until that changes, Labour will simply not be able to win government.

    Comment by Idiot/Savant (@norightturnnz) — July 12, 2013 @ 9:18 pm

  22. Is she the painted lady propping up a corner on Vivian Street ?

    Comment by Sue — July 12, 2013 @ 10:01 pm

  23. So in the meantime we have to suffer a dollar rapist, a bent cock, a schoolboy bully.

    Comment by frank_db — July 12, 2013 @ 10:30 pm

  24. It’s at Hill Haven, where Michael weeps for the wearer of his shoes as the mob bays and the high priests smile.

    Comment by ak — July 13, 2013 @ 12:19 am

  25. Cripes! don’t we have better things to discuss than riddles about hidden books, its probably in your cupboard.

    Comment by Phil — July 13, 2013 @ 1:02 am

  26. IS: Yes, I know we’re not the US. That’s what I said to you.

    But, even assuming your hyperbole has some truth to it, who in Labour’s caucus does give the impression of competent PM-ship?

    I don’t think there are no credible alternatives to Shearer in the Labour caucus, but I think the problems Labour is having don’t stem from the fact Shearer is leader. They’re basically the same problems they had with Goff and they’d probably continue with another leader. Labour’s problems are really innate to the management skills of the government, Labour’s position on the political spectrum, and the mood of the populace. That’s not to say it’s impossible for a leader to rise above any of those, but firing Shearer is not going to change any of those things.

    None of the potential alternatives to Shearer really show any signs that they would manage things in a fundamentally or better way than he does. Shearer isn’t great, but he isn’t so terrible that literally anybody would be an improvement. I’m pretty sure that if Shearer was toppled tomorrow and any of the usual suspects replaced him, people would be saying roughly the same things about them.

    Basically, I have yet to hear anything along the lines of “[Person] would be a better leader than Shearer because zhe would do [thing]”. It’s just ‘Shearer’s so awful, get rid of him.’ It doesn’t seem especially unfair to ask who he should be replaced with. Most people just seem to have a conviction that if nobody could possibly be worse than Shearer, but I think that’s just personalising a problem that is bigger than one person.

    Comment by Hugh — July 13, 2013 @ 1:28 am

  27. Bute St. I ain’t coming down. But I can see the book on a table in Streetview :-)

    Comment by Ben Wilson — July 13, 2013 @ 11:46 am

  28. Should we be worried that there hasn’t been any further word from Antoine in the last 24 hours (see above at 18)?

    You didn’t put any lethal traps around your precious hidden book, did you Danyl?

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — July 13, 2013 @ 4:54 pm

  29. He was waylaid at an epic lesbian threesome.

    Comment by petey — July 13, 2013 @ 7:19 pm

  30. Hugh #26: “Labour’s position on the political spectrum, and the mood of the populace.”

    Is that the same kind of mood that voted in Dubya in the States and John Howard in Aussie? I’d say that getting out the non-vote would be more important for Labour now, rather than attempts to pander to the overblown ‘Waitakere Man’ – I’m of the view that Blairism pandering to ‘Essex Man’ has passed its use-by date.

    It still rings true that “oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them”, but a big part of that involves oppositions setting traps for the Govt and properly holding them to account, as well as having a coherent PR strategy. Regardless of what one thinks of Russel Norman’s politics, he actually does have a strong grasp of political communications, compared with the Red Team. Shearer and Norman largely got it right with NZ Power – a rare example of the Left finding a political wedge issue – but the momentum has barely been kept up. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if the position vacated by Mike Munro – a major factor in Helen Clark’s PR success – is still empty.

    Of the current Labour caucus, David Cunliffe would easily be the best of a bad lot.

    Comment by deepred — July 13, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

  31. OK it wasn’t where I thought it was

    Or it was but someone else already found it?

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — July 14, 2013 @ 12:47 am

  32. @deepred: I think you’re right that that’s the task at hand for Labour. But can we say, based on Cunliffe’s performance, that he would be better at that than Shearer? He hasn’t been a notably strong performer in the House, and during his time as Minister he didn’t establish an especially strong media presence or have any notable successes at publicly presenting policy. It seems just another case of ‘Anyone but Shearer’. And given that Shearer was elected on an ‘Anyone but Goff’ mandate, well, you see what I’m getting at.

    Ultimately, problems of presentation are not necessarily best solved by changing the leader, especially when you consider that leadership changes can create presentation problems in and of themselves. ‘Change the leader’ has the virtue of being a nice, clear solution, that doesn’t require us to get down into the dirty details of political marketing minutiae. But often the simple solutions are the wrong ones. A combination of an exaggerated sense of Labour’s ability to improve its position and an exaggerated sense of the role the person of the leader plays in that ability is what’s driving this Idiot/Savant style “SHEARER MUST GO OR LABOUR WILL DIE” hyperbole.

    For the record, I actually preferred Cunliffe to Shearer during the leadership contest, but that was more to do with Cunliffe seeming to be less centrist on policy issues. In terms of marketing, there’s not much difference between them.

    (And honestly, I think Russel Norman’s political communication skills are overrated. He benefits from his party having never governed, so he’s held to a lower standard. But all of the praise for him comes from people who are already Green supporters. The phrase “I don’t like the Greens, but I thought Russell Norman did well on [policy issue]” has never graced my ears.)

    Comment by Hugh — July 15, 2013 @ 6:14 am

  33. And when I say Cunliffe is to Shearer’s left, that’s only relatively speaking, even in an internal Labour context. Cunliffe’s no social democrat.

    Comment by Hugh — July 15, 2013 @ 6:15 am

  34. So I’m staring at the online version of what you’d think would be the right discussions – even the one on the day in question – but I’m not unravelling anything.

    Comment by Lyndon — July 15, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

  35. Well, has someone found it?

    Comment by Leopold — July 16, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

  36. most of the talk about lesbian threesomes on the internet seems to come from men. Is this just another example of the ‘those who are talking about it aren’t doing it’ cliche?

    Comment by kahikatea — July 17, 2013 @ 11:31 am

  37. @kahikatea: I think the lesbians who actually have them aren’t tacky enough to brag about it.

    Comment by Hugh — July 17, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

  38. They tend to be more ‘sticky’ than ‘tacky’…

    Comment by Phil — July 17, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

  39. @kahikatea:
    or channeling Chauncey Gardener, “I like to watch”…

    Comment by Grant — July 17, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

  40. A synagogue on Webb Street and the Theological Institute on Marion Street get mentioned on p.117 of Unspeakable Secrets if that helps any.

    Comment by Mackey — July 18, 2013 @ 10:55 pm

  41. Someone go and have a look to see if anything has been shaken from it’s hiding place!

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 22, 2013 @ 9:31 am

  42. X Factor’s over Man, you can do a new post now.

    Comment by MeToo — July 22, 2013 @ 9:37 pm

  43. Danyl McLaughlan (sp), noted first-time author and self-proclaimed “dick on the internet” was killed at 4:45PM Sunday afternoon when the force of the earthquake dislodged his ego and sent it tumbling down upon him. He was crushed instantly. He is survived by hundreds of self-regarding blog posts and a failed attempt at a lesbian three-way meme. He was 13 years old.

    Comment by Hugh — July 23, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

  44. “It is still too soon to make jokes in New Zealand about people being crushed to death in an earthquake.”

    Discuss.

    Comment by Flashing Light — July 23, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

  45. The burden of crushed-to-death-in-an-earthquake humour weighs heavily on us all.

    Comment by Phil — July 23, 2013 @ 6:45 pm

  46. “was killed at 4:45PM Sunday ” …actually I heard he took friendly fire from the 21 gun salute.

    Comment by Grant — July 23, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

  47. If we’re still hunting: The Theosophical Society has a noticeboard on the front door with, most prominently, an A3 printout of their schedule of DISCUSSIONS (more or less as seen in the PDF downloads on their website). If I said more than that I’d probably be putting you wrong (if I’m not already) because I haven’t been able to get anything more than half sensible out of it.

    Comment by lyndon — July 23, 2013 @ 8:52 pm

  48. No, he’s just finishing his second book.

    He’s a slow reader.

    *boom boom*

    Comment by MeToo — July 24, 2013 @ 7:53 am

  49. If we’re still hunting: The Theosophical Society has a noticeboard on the front door with, most prominently, an A3 printout of their schedule of DISCUSSIONS (more or less as seen in the PDF downloads on their website). If I said more than that I’d probably be putting you wrong (if I’m not already) because I haven’t been able to get anything more than half sensible out of it.

    IS anyone still looking? Has anyone found it yet?

    Yeah I don’t know what to make of those discussions either. But I figured the book was in the Theosophical Society library ‘where you’d find it only higher and deeper’. When I checked a couple of weeks back someone had already been there a week before and apparently spent an hour very thoroughly searching the place, but he didn’t find it. I only had 10 minutes so that rather put me off trying, so I just had a cursory look.

    Comment by steve — August 8, 2013 @ 10:57 am

  50. “…someone had already been there a week before and apparently spent an hour very thoroughly searching the place, but he didn’t find it…”

    You don’t say! Some sneaky beggar sleuthing about, eh? Wonder who? Wouldn’t have been an ACToid, they abhor libraries as theft. If it had been Pete George he’d still be there writing long corrections in all the margins. James/toby can’t read. Lefties are all wage slaves, so they don’t have the time. Bet it was one of those very angry old men from nominister using their gold card (oh, the self loathing!) to advantage.

    Hmmm, Higher – is there another floor on this building? Does this higher floor have a room set somewhat back from the others? Haven’t been to windy village for ages.

    Comment by Sanctuary — August 8, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

  51. You shouldn’t drink during the day sandy it makes you sound like a tool (more).

    Comment by toby — August 8, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

  52. ” – is there another floor…?”

    Hmm, maybe an attic? IIRC the chap I was speaking to said the person had looked upstairs as well.

    I’m assuming the book is in the Theosophical Society library given Danyl’s reply to comment 26 in the original riddle thread.

    Comment by steve — August 8, 2013 @ 8:14 pm

  53. “… IIRC the chap I was speaking to said the person had looked upstairs as well…”

    I smell the GCSB.

    Comment by Sanctuary — August 8, 2013 @ 9:48 pm

  54. Sorry I am wrong, I misread it. Only 5 had warrants.

    Comment by Swan — August 8, 2013 @ 9:58 pm


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