The Dim-Post

December 19, 2009

Truth to power and all that

Filed under: media — danylmc @ 7:09 am

Possibly the quintessential John Armstrong column.

(Tracy Watkins has a really good year-ender in the Dom-Post, frustratingly not online.)


  1. He cruelly denies himself the chance to name Key politician of the year so he can talk about how amazing all the other cabinet ministers are. I see how that works!

    Comment by Kate — December 19, 2009 @ 7:26 am

  2. I like Rudmans column where he complains that Google Maps has mislabelled the Herald offices as a Chinese restaurant.
    I’m not so sure they’ve got it wrong

    Comment by garethw — December 19, 2009 @ 7:51 am

  3. John Armstrong lives up to your byline penned oh, how many years ago? “It is difficult not to write satire” Juvenal I

    Comment by Chris — December 19, 2009 @ 8:17 am

  4. See, that’s the problem with N.Z. To little talent means we have to hang on to journalists when they are well past their prime. John Armstrong should be writing Garth George’s column and Garth George should be left in peace to happily contemplate his roses after church on a sunny Sunday. And someone on the up should be ensconsed as the Herald’s premier political commentator.

    More generally, I was lisening to nine to noon the other day and Kathryn Ryan’s Aussie correspondent said he was going to spend his Christmas break reading a weighty report on the Aussie ETS and learning more about global warming.

    I gaped at the wireless with childlike wonderment; One simply cannot imagine the Espiner brothers or Duncan Garner or John Armstrong sitting under a Pohutukawa in their jandals grappling with the intricies of climate science, or gaining an understanding of our ETS. I just assume the Espiner’s and co. spend their summer break doing nothing, telling anyone who will listen how hard they work and dreaming up ways to try and get themselves invited to John Key’s Hawaiian mansion for a Xmas BBQ in 2010.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 19, 2009 @ 8:37 am

  5. From Armstrong’s piece:

    “Something else which will take little swallowing will be the bottles of “JK”-labelled premium Central Otago Prime Minister’s pinot noir that landed on office desks around the parliamentary complex this week. Without even opening a bottle, we figure this ain’t cheap plonk. A rough estimate would suggest that the 20 cases Key ordered would have set him back $5000.”

    This is not the first time journalists have been brib- sorry, generously rewarded by John Key for their hard work. At a time when their resources are stretched and their jobs under threat, I’m sure they must be grateful.

    It’s a sign of our strange times that any use of public money is jumped on by the media, but handouts from the Prime Minister’s private wealth are not questioned. At least, not by the journalists receiving them.

    Comment by sammy — December 19, 2009 @ 12:05 pm

  6. It’s not the quintessential Armstrong column. It contains mild criticism of Key and doesn’t have any instances of “Most New Zealanders think [insert Armstrong’s opinion here]”. Most atypical.

    Comment by Sara — December 19, 2009 @ 2:07 pm

  7. Oh, Jesus. So we get the question nobody asked (“Which is the real John Key – a poll-driven Prime Minister or a truly reforming one?”) and a bad case of lemon-lips because the answer is not the one he wants to hear.

    Oh, and could the last sub-editor left at The Herald please put a line through Armstrong or anyone else writing in the majestic plural — if you don’t have a dissociative identity disorder it’s a wee bit pretentious.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — December 20, 2009 @ 9:06 pm

  8. (Tracy Watkins has a really good year-ender in the Dom-Post, frustratingly not online.)

    But the Weekend DomPost did share with its readers the really important political news that Helen Clark is going to be spending her holidays in New Zealand. Wow…

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — December 20, 2009 @ 9:08 pm

  9. @Craig: Or as the tirelessly verbose Anonymous puts it: “Only presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial We.”

    Comment by Ataahua — December 21, 2009 @ 9:15 am

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