The Dim-Post

October 28, 2015

Adventures in political iconography

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 9:09 am

key

I’ve been looking at the photographs of Key with the All-Blacks that’ve been all over social and mainstream media and wondering if any other ‘iconic’ New Zealanders have ever been co-opted for a political party’s propaganda to the degree that Richie McCaw has? There were strong links between Peter Jackson and the Labour government during the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but Jackson won fairly staggering commercial gains out of that relationship. Did Edmund Hilary get turned into a political commodity back in the 1950s and 60s?

75 Comments »

  1. Sir Edmund joined Citizens for Rowling in 1975.

    Comment by robhosking — October 28, 2015 @ 9:18 am

  2. I think most of it is explained by the fact that both McCaw and Key have been at the peak of their success and powers at the same time. Do you think a Labour leader would not have angled for some variation on the same shots? There’s plenty of evidence Helen Clark wasn’t shy around sports people either. Key is certainly a compulsive socialiser but everyone gets the same treatment, even when the cameras aren’t there. I think McCaw also understands that it goes with the job and from his demeanour I have no sense whether he likes Key or not. Perhaps he is adhering to Michael Jordan’s principle on this matter. When asked why he did not show public support for left of centre causes his reply was, “Republicans buy sneakers too”

    Comment by Tinakori — October 28, 2015 @ 9:41 am

  3. “Sir Edmund joined Citizens for Rowling in 1975.”

    And look how that turned out for them.

    Comment by izogi — October 28, 2015 @ 9:43 am

  4. “I think McCaw also understands that it goes with the job and from his demeanour I have no sense whether he likes Key or not.”

    Nevertheless by letting the photo opportunities happen he’s giving people reasons to dislike him. It’s up to him, I guess. Personally I’m more disappointed in the NZRU for actively letting the game become so tangled with politics (surely it must have been obvious that allowing a magazine cover with the PM at the front would be interpreted as a political message) than I am with individual players saying stuff, or being in the same room with people.

    Comment by izogi — October 28, 2015 @ 9:47 am

  5. Do you think McCaw would “fit” within a Green framed PR message/phot shoot?

    Comment by Richard Williams — October 28, 2015 @ 9:47 am

  6. Irritates the hell out of me to see that shiftless little socialist wanker Key trying to win himself some integrity by posing with Richie McCaw.

    However, when the Government puts money into sport, of course it becomes politicised.

    Just like some guy who got lucky in radio running around picking winners and doling out taxpayer money and making out he’s some kind of saviour to NZ business.

    Utterly farcical, but goes down well with a gormless public.

    Especially the half educated state dependent millennials who pose as businessmen today.

    Comment by Redbaiter — October 28, 2015 @ 10:22 am

  7. Do you think McCaw would “fit” within a Green framed PR message/phot shoot?

    Anton Oliver tied himself publicly to the non-partisan environmental group ‘Wise Response’. Outside rugby, the rower Rob Hamill stood as a candidate with the Greens

    But on the other side of the ledger, National tried very hard to put David Kirk into Parliament, and really like Michael Jones but haven’t found a friendly enough seat for him yet.

    Comment by George D — October 28, 2015 @ 10:25 am

  8. I have a dreadful feeling that McCaw will end up as National’s replacement for Key.

    Comment by RJL — October 28, 2015 @ 10:36 am

  9. “…Anton Oliver tied himself publicly to the non-partisan environmental group ‘Wise Response’. Outside rugby, the rower Rob Hamill stood as a candidate with the Greens

    But on the other side of the ledger, National tried very hard to put David Kirk into Parliament, and really like Michael Jones but haven’t found a friendly enough seat for him yet…”

    The difference is all these players political activity post-dated their sporting careers. I have no problem with that. What I have a problem with is the constant association of one political faction with a team that cultivates the myth that it represents the entire country. It is very bad PR for the NZRFU marketing myth makers.

    Of course a cursory examination of the sorts of people on the supporters tours and the crowds at All Black tests vs those at a Warriors game tells a different tale – rugby may be played by Polynesians, but in reality it is increasingly just the sport of a reactionary white middle class. To that extent, Key hob-nobbing with McCaw is just another acknowledgment of wealth inequality, the elites hanging out with each other, and the invisibility of a huge chunk of our society with a media dominated by that elite class.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 28, 2015 @ 10:44 am

  10. Hillary was a Citizen for Rowling. He was also a vice-president (?) of ALRANZ, so he wasn’t simply a popular person who stood next to Rowling, he was willing to take on difficult causes. (And he did end up ambassador to India under Lange.) I think he was also personally quite sympathetic with Clark.

    Comment by Keir Leslie — October 28, 2015 @ 11:00 am

  11. There really aren’t a shortage of famous people, including sportspeople, who’ve made poltiical statements and/or gotten involved in politics, and many of those will be from rugby or other sports just because that’s what makes people famous to NZ. People like Anton Oliver, David Kirk, Rob Hamill, Michael Jones, Ed Hillary, Lucy Lawless, and many others are just examples in politics, but they’re people with opinions just like everyone else, and most have held off until they’re relatively disassociated.

    But what’s happening with the PM and rugby, and maybe previous PMs (?), is a much more immersive endorsement by the corporate levels which operate rugby in New Zealand. @Redbaiter might be right about it being tied to the government dumping money into rugby, or maybe it’s just the political views of people at the top, but whatever it is it’s the NZRU making a statement through the extent of what it lets happen. It’s more than just the PM trying to get photo ops.

    Comment by izogi — October 28, 2015 @ 11:06 am

  12. Did Edmund Hilary get turned into a political commodity back in the 1950s and 60s?

    I can see John Key standing atop Mount Everest, helicoptered in of course, waiting for Hilary and then, when he finally arrives, saying something profound like “What the hell took you so long!”

    Comment by Ross — October 28, 2015 @ 11:30 am

  13. Adventures in political iconography

    Iconoclasm is a trait of the most fervent “true” believers.

    Comment by unaha-closp — October 28, 2015 @ 11:31 am

  14. “…maybe it’s just the political views of people at the top…” The closer relationship between Key and the All Blacks post-dates the appoint of National party stooge, friend of Joyce and Key and ex-media works boss Brent Impey to role of chairman of the NZRFU.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 28, 2015 @ 11:37 am

  15. The difference is all these players political activity post-dated their sporting careers. I have no problem with that. What I have a problem with is the constant association of one political faction with a team that cultivates the myth that it represents the entire country. It is very bad PR for the NZRFU marketing myth makers.

    I suspect Key likes to be associated with winners. The problem is that if the All Blacks lose in the final, he’ll be associated with a bunch of losers.

    Comment by Ross — October 28, 2015 @ 11:38 am

  16. they’re people with opinions just like everyone else, and most have held off until they’re relatively disassociated.

    True, but some haven’t been so discreet. Rower Eric Murray tweeted on election day 2014: “Get out & vote NZ! Plenty of time left #decision14 Don’t worry @johnkeypm you got my vote! #sportfunding”. Israel Dagg tweeted “Just voted for @johnkeypm and the National party all the best for tonight #blueallday #National”.

    Comment by Ross — October 28, 2015 @ 11:45 am

  17. Insofar as it means or meant anything, Hillary was certainly associated with Labour as Rob noted. Muldoon punished him for this. Lange rewarded him with India. Balance was restored by Bolger. Clark took a very prominent role in his funeral, as was absolutely right and proper.

    The thing with Key and McCaw that drives me – and obviously others – up the wall (I wrote about it in the NBR here http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/leave-richie-mccaw-alone) is that it never seems obvious whether Key is hosting the parliamentary reception / visiting the dressing room as prime minister (as Clark always did too) but as leader of the National Party. Same with the Prince Williams thing.

    But the fixation with Key and McCaw by some on the left is also getting boring and obsessive.

    Comment by Matthew Hooton — October 28, 2015 @ 11:53 am

  18. … associated with a bunch of losers

    Meh, doesn’t seem to bother Andrew Little. *shrugs*

    Comment by Phil — October 28, 2015 @ 12:26 pm

  19. But the fixation with Key and McCaw by some on the left is also getting boring and obsessive
    I suspect for many it’s because it taints the enjoyment they get from supporting and watching the All Blacks
    And the sheer volume and frequency of it looks more like stalking, something John Key has a history of.

    It just looks really creepy.

    I personally don’t like it much because acting like a love-struck teenager on the world stage is not behaviour I expect from my PM.

    But, Key is a politician, and I expect politicians to look for photo ops and try to associate themselves with popular figures so to some extent his behaviour is understandable.
    I also think it’s proper for the PM (irrespective of party) to represent NZ at major world sporting events (various world Cups, Olympics etc.)

    What I can’t understand is why the NZRFU would be so keen to bind themselves to someone who’s values (represented by his actions and those of his ministers) are diametrically opposed to the All Blacks culture (personal humility, ownership, accountability, trust, no dickheads policy etc.).

    Comment by Naturesong — October 28, 2015 @ 12:44 pm

  20. “What I can’t understand is why the NZRFU would be so keen to bind themselves to someone who’s values (represented by his actions and those of his ministers) are diametrically opposed to the All Blacks culture (personal humility, ownership, accountability, trust, no dickheads policy etc.).”

    I think you’d find that a significant part of the populace don’t associate those values with the PM, despite whatever evidence might exist. Thing is, as evidenced by your own comment, other parts of the populace certainly do associate this with the PM — or associate similar values with nearly any political party or politician, rightly or wrongly.

    By applying their own political views to a game they’re in control of, if that’s what’s actually happening, the leaders at the NZRU are taking quite a risk with the future of the game because they’re giving a large number of people a reason to dislike, hate or simply avoid rugby as a sport. I don’t know much about the current NZRU leadership (apart from @Sanctuary’s note above) but it has a history of recruiting leaders who aren’t necessarily the sharpest thinkers. The farce of the 2003 joint bid (“we’re so important for the game that the IRB will have no choice but to bow to our demands”) was a great example.

    Comment by izogi — October 28, 2015 @ 1:16 pm

  21. What I can’t understand is why the NZRFU would be so keen to bind themselves to someone who’s values are diametrically opposed to the All Blacks culture

    Maybe it’s being driven by the PM and his department. The NZRFU might not enjoy seeing the PM fawn all over the All Blacks, but nevertheless probably enjoys the handouts it gets from the Government.

    Comment by Ross — October 28, 2015 @ 1:19 pm

  22. Might be worth noting, too, that the response to ‘Citizens for Rowling’ – which had less to say about the virtues of Rowling and more to say about how horrible Muldoon was – was a ‘Rugby Men for Rob’ campaign. Included, from memory, Colin Meads.

    I think Citizens for Rowling was the first ‘celebrity’ endorsement campaign in NZ politics – I can’t recall an earlier one. It was mostly media types (not sure but I think Brian Edwards may have been one) judges and academics and went over like a cup of cold proverbial but according to political legend it spooked Muldoon until the backlash happened. Muldoon’s belief in his connection with the ‘ordinary Kiwi bloke’ may have started there.

    As someone said, it didn’t end well.

    Comment by robhosking — October 28, 2015 @ 1:34 pm

  23. True, but some haven’t been so discreet. Rower Eric Murray tweeted on election day 2014: “Get out & vote NZ! Plenty of time left #decision14 Don’t worry @johnkeypm you got my vote! #sportfunding”.
    This is a bit of an issue for me.

    I fully support all sportspeople right to engage in politics during their careers. What I don’t like is the tribalism you have described.

    As a for instance, instead of supporting the National Party (and thus turning away those who do not like the National Party), it would be much better to advocate for policies.

    So instead of saying “vote for National”, a sportsperson could say “I fully support New Zealand intercepting all internet traffic in the pacific region and forwarding it to the NSA”, or
    “In a time where using more than 1/3 of the worlds current oil reserves will ensure the extinction of the human race, it is imperative that we drill for more oil on the west coast”.

    Advocate for things you actually believe in.

    Comment by Naturesong — October 28, 2015 @ 1:34 pm

  24. This can be a risky political proposition. Just imagine if the Prime Minister of the day snuggled up to, say, Chris Cairns.

    Comment by Bill Bennett — October 28, 2015 @ 1:36 pm

  25. “But the fixation with Key and McCaw by some on the left is also getting boring and obsessive.”

    I’m not of the left, and Key’s attempt to garner publicity/ respect/ integrity from mixing with the All Blacks and Richie MCaw pisses me off.

    I don’t think its right to say that like or dislike of Key is dependent upon being left or right. Key is a leftist, and he’s only disliked by some on the left because he’s not left enough. Proof of this is in the fact that so many who once voted Helen Clark now vote for Key, while people unhappy with Key’s leftism are desperately seeking somewhere else to put their vote.

    I think politics should be left out of sport entirely. Even that Aussie prog Pocock pisses me off with his whining about AGW, and he dobbed in the South African guy for using the word “faggot”. What a sanctimonious PC prick.

    Furthermore all sport should stand on its own financial feet. Its either a spectator event, or a personal event. Not anything govt should have its damn interfering political favour inducing fingers into.

    Its political whether its Little of Key. There should be a firm line between sport and politics and neither man should be encouraged to show up.

    Comment by Redbaiter — October 28, 2015 @ 1:57 pm

  26. “…all sport should stand on its own financial feet.” Particularly stadiums, for some reason all governments, whatever the political stripe are willing to pour millions of taxpayer dollars into them so the plebs can watch millionaires play.

    Comment by Bill Bennett — October 28, 2015 @ 2:17 pm

  27. Key is a leftist, and he’s only disliked by some on the left because he’s not left enough

    Pretty sure Key doesn’t see things as left or right.
    His policies are about entrenching existing power, strengthening incumbent corporations, and the relentless harassment and reputational destruction of those that might threaten his agenda.

    It’s all about power and the wielding of it for personal gain – in his case the gain is not money but reputation, power and connections with other powerful people.
    That he appears left to you is because he is working in a country with a history of social democracy, and because you yourself are pretty extreme in your views (extreme is variation from norm, not any other connotation).

    Given his governments distain for democracy and accountability and that he is “comfortable” with the stench of corruption now emanating from the ninth floor, authoritarian is a probably closer ideological fit for Key.

    Comment by Naturesong — October 28, 2015 @ 2:28 pm

  28. I didn’t know that Hilary was involved with Labour. That’s interesting. But McCaw doesn’t seem to be involved with National. Like, he’s never stood up and endorsed Key or his policies, the way various other heroes/celebrities mentioned in this thread have. He doesn’t have an agenda here. He’s just been co-opted by the PM’s marketing team and used as a celebrity endorsement which is unusual, I think.

    Comment by danylmc — October 28, 2015 @ 2:39 pm

  29. “… But McCaw doesn’t seem to be involved with National…”

    Before departing for the UK McCaw foolishly allowed himself to be co-opted into tweeting in favour of the silver fern flag option, and he got roundly criticised for it. The following day or two later at a training camp in, I think, Southland, all questions on the matter were shut down by the All Black management and it has not been spoken of since.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 28, 2015 @ 2:48 pm

  30. Exactly. The other examples on this thread are of sportspeople/celebrities making political statements. The whole point of Key’s MO (God, have people really not got this yet?) is that he’s non-political. He’s not like them, he’s like us.

    McCaw doesn’t have to say anything. Key doesn’t want him to. Key has deniability (“Politics, me? Of course not!”). It’s Glucina Politics – “and that’s why we love him” (she tells us). Pretending to be above the fray is the most political tactic of all.

    Meanwhile, the government does stuff. Political stuff. Debatable stuff. But only a wowser wants to talk about that and only haters blame Key for his government’s actions.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — October 28, 2015 @ 2:55 pm

  31. (“Exactly” to Danyl @28)

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — October 28, 2015 @ 2:56 pm

  32. @ Danyl …Like, [McCaw]’s never stood up and endorsed Key or his policies…

    John Key’s barely stood up and endorsed (and certainly hasn’t been accountable for) Key’s policies.

    As Sammy 3.0 says that’s Key’s MO.

    Comment by RJL — October 28, 2015 @ 3:54 pm

  33. Ed Hillary wrote a brief message for the Citizens for Rowling campaign.

    “Being a Prime Minister is a tough job – especially being a good Prime Minister…I believe that Bill Rowling has a good chance to keep us together as New Zealanders – to disperse much of the bitterness and hatred that has sprung up in our society over the few years.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10486858

    Comment by Ross — October 28, 2015 @ 3:54 pm

  34. If anybody thinks Key’s professed love is anything other than opportunism, ask him where this love has gone …

    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/41192/ricki-herbert-and-john-key-2010

    They lose, he leaves.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — October 28, 2015 @ 4:51 pm

  35. It’s just our PM supporting our world champion rugby team, Key like Clark are just supportive leaders of their country. The Greens are not above cuddling up to their hero,s in the anti spy movement.

    Comment by David — October 28, 2015 @ 5:40 pm

  36. “rugby may be played by Polynesians, but in reality it is increasingly just the sport of a reactionary white middle class.”

    I know it’s tempting to believe that because you dislike it, the only people who would like it are right wing wankers. But,while rugby might not be as universally popular as All Black marketing claims, According to a recent survey (http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/73431486/silent-majority-of-kiwis-are-not-into-rugby) 67% of NZers make no effort to follow the World Cup. That’s a lot but it leaves a substantial 33%, and there just aren’t enough right wing white middle class men for that.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 28, 2015 @ 5:46 pm

  37. It seems to have escaped the notice of you all that there is nothing to stop Andrew Little or Material Turei from going down to the changing room for a quick stubby after the game.

    Comment by Adolf Fiinkensein — October 28, 2015 @ 6:01 pm

  38. “They lose, he leaves.”

    Re the photo of Key and Ricki Herbert at the 2010 World Cup. Just a polite query. Has there been a soccer event involving NZ worth attending since 2010?

    Comment by Tinakori — October 28, 2015 @ 6:10 pm

  39. Kalvarnsen

    It’s no wonder the left is stuffed if you take any notice of a poll sampling only 232 people.

    You know, if you went out onto the main street of Te Awamutu and asked 232 people who Andrew Little was youd be lucky to get twenty correct replies.

    See? Its real easy!

    Comment by Adolf Fiinkensein — October 28, 2015 @ 6:13 pm

  40. @kalverson. The survey was of a couple of hundred arts grads at Auckland university which I would hazard is probably not representative and maybe too small a sample to extrapolate…self selecting too.

    Comment by David — October 28, 2015 @ 6:24 pm

  41. While not co-opting of an individual, the Labour Party got some great mileage out of the local music industry during their last term in office [much to the annoyance of Neil Finn at the time http://tinyurl.com/pzkze64%5D.
    If I recall correctly there were music folk even trotting out Labour’s tag line on loving NZ music word for word.

    Also great to see the Redbaiter bot has rebooted – an amusing artifact from Usenet days and as relevant as the a 3.5″ floppy drive is now.

    Comment by Richard — October 28, 2015 @ 6:39 pm

  42. Has there been a soccer event involving NZ worth attending since 2010?

    Not only involving, but hosted by. The FIFA U-20 World Cup was the biggest soccer event the country has ever had, and well attended too. The PM did the obligatory formalities, but that was all. (We didn’t win it, obviously).

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — October 28, 2015 @ 6:55 pm

  43. “Sir Edmund joined Citizens for Rowling in 1975.” And look how that turned out for them.
    It turned out badly for everyone. The country was nearly bankrupted by a megalomaniac Muldoon, and cynically ripped apart during the ’81 Tour. Hillary’s support was more a stand against Muldoon’s leadership style than support for Rowling’s policies.
    Strange how so few people these days are willing to own up to being a member of “Rob’s Mob”

    Comment by McNulty — October 28, 2015 @ 6:58 pm

  44. Strange how so few people these days are willing to own up to being a member of “Rob’s Mob”

    Nothing too strange about an entire demographic karking it from old age.

    Comment by Joe W — October 28, 2015 @ 7:39 pm

  45. I agree with McNulty at #43. Hillary was less pro-labour than anti-Muldoon..Resembled my Nat voting father who switched his vote to Values and then Labour so long as Muldoon was in power. Then went back to Nat after 1984

    Comment by Leopold — October 28, 2015 @ 7:40 pm

  46. “……rugby may be played by Polynesians, but in reality it is increasingly just the sport of a reactionary white middle class.”

    Ya think? Not based on the attendees at the last two rugby matches I went to, the Bledisloe Cup test in Auckland and the Super Rugby Final in Wellington. To many different ethnicities for your stereotype to be true. You are also missing the one football that is definitely class based and politically aligned – rugby league. It’s hardly surprising given the traditional strongholds of the game were in the mining communities of the West Coast and Huntly, with the latter having three full clubs in a town of around 4000 people.

    Comment by Tinakori — October 28, 2015 @ 8:13 pm

  47. “…You are also missing the one football that is definitely class based and politically aligned – rugby league…”

    You should learn to read.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 28, 2015 @ 8:18 pm

  48. Toby and Toby capture John Key’s lens-hunger nicely here

    Comment by McNulty — October 28, 2015 @ 9:38 pm

  49. It depends how you qualify a political commodity. When communications were more problematic, and New Zealand was seen as a giant-killing, plucky little nation of pioneers and adventurers, Hilary was vaunted as an international icon. The discourse was that the settler would triumph as a brave, rebellious spirit, which reflected well on the commonwealth spirit. His ascent and comments upon succeeding were breathlessly reported to Elizabeth on the eve of her Coronation, like a present to the queen from a grateful subject nation. He, and the All Blacks put NZ on the international stage and represented a kind of mythologised view of kiwi culture.

    But they were more innocent days, before visiting a national team in their dressing room was considered proof that a politician was little more than a venal opportunist, by those who wish to dissect whether enjoying sports and success is akin to being a class traitor.

    Which is perhaps why certain other politicians would never deign to sully their brand by being seen to enjoy a beer with any one branded by association, as a middle-class bigot, but why some conveniently forget that when another leader was caught speeding to a photo opp. at a rugby game, denied all knowledge of it, and threw her staff to the wolves. We just live in completely more cynical times, I guess.

    Comment by Lee Clark — October 28, 2015 @ 9:52 pm

  50. You can drip with condescension and reach for the dictionary, but it’s still drivel, Lee.

    Maybe nobody “conveniently forgets”. Maybe people see differences. Maybe the differences have been explained, at length. Maybe you should lecture us a bit less and try and work out what people are saying.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — October 28, 2015 @ 11:23 pm

  51. “His ascent and comments upon succeeding were breathlessly reported to Elizabeth on the eve of her Coronation, like a present to the queen from a grateful subject nation. He, and the All Blacks put NZ on the international stage and represented a kind of mythologised view of kiwi culture.”

    If you look at the British media on the day, they present Hilary as a British climber.

    “The survey was of a couple of hundred arts grads at Auckland university which I would hazard is probably not representative and maybe too small a sample to extrapolate…self selecting too.”

    Quite probably, but that only makes Sanc even more wrong.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 28, 2015 @ 11:57 pm

  52. Of course a cursory examination of the sorts of people on the supporters tours and the crowds at All Black tests vs those at a Warriors game tells…

    Eric Watson is a tax exile living in the UK, current owner of Bendon lingerie, he is perhaps most famous in NZ for his success with Hanover Finance. I haven’t been to a Warriors game in more than a decade,

    Comment by unaha-closp — October 29, 2015 @ 9:04 am

  53. rugby may be played by Polynesians, but in reality it is increasingly just the sport of a reactionary white middle class

    This is a considerable overstatement. Club rugby is still pretty diverse at all grades (in Wellington it is anyway).
    In my experience though there do seem to be a disproportionate number of Catholics involved in the game, even accounting for my proximity to MSP. Take from that what you will.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 29, 2015 @ 11:09 am

  54. Just going to leave this here

    Comment by @simonpnz — October 29, 2015 @ 11:41 am

  55. Didn’t Richie McCaw comment that he wouldn’t be interested in running for politics because he didn’t want to alienate half his fan base?

    http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/richie-mccaw-politics-would-cut-my-supporters-in-half-2015083113

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — October 29, 2015 @ 4:20 pm

  56. Just going to leave this here

    And this is why the left deserve to lose – sniveling Twitterati who get glee out of disdaining national game.

    Comment by Moses — October 29, 2015 @ 4:59 pm

  57. *the national game.

    Comment by Moses — October 29, 2015 @ 5:03 pm

  58. Stop picking on the Catholics Gregor…… deeply, deeply offensive….

    Comment by dave1924 — October 29, 2015 @ 5:11 pm

  59. ouch.

    Comment by Lee Clark — October 29, 2015 @ 6:53 pm

  60. @ Sammy, very cool. Cunningly supporting my suggestion by responding with breathtaking cynicism.

    You genius of satire.

    Comment by Lee Clark — October 29, 2015 @ 7:27 pm

  61. ouch.

    Fortunately, I know Dave doesn’t mean it (particularly as I didn’t say anything specifically offensive).

    Comment by Gregor W — October 30, 2015 @ 9:08 am

  62. is rugby our national game – or is it just because it gets prominence due to its previous prominence?

    serious question – does something have to be enshrined as “our national whatever” in order for that claim to be true – or is it just because a vocal group keep saying it for long enough? (yeah i know thats a bit of an opinion type thing – but interested in how people see it)

    but seriously moses – someone poking fun at the way the country loses its shit over the RWC means a political block of approx 50% desrves to lose?

    Comment by framu — October 30, 2015 @ 9:17 am

  63. well, framu, I think ‘our national whatever’ does appear to become true if it is repeated often enough. This is what i averred to in my remark about Hilary. One could argue that ‘the national whatever’ has a consequential list of implied meanings semiotically speaking. And any shrewd politician would know this. If the discourse renders any kind of language which seeks to challenge ‘the national this or that’ as ‘unpatriotic’, then the political dialogue which can successfully hijack the patriotic impulse is onto a winner.

    This is what I was clumsily implying when I suggested that Hilary, as a national icon has been used by various politicians for their own political ends as he supported a particular discourse or world view. In the name of balance, I’ll cite three examples which in my opinion, insert a patriotic impulse into their discourse: ‘Clean and Green NZ for the Green Party, ‘everyman appeal and Rugby and John Key, and “let’s keep the current flag” and Labour. The notion of discourse as I understand it, is that its power lies in part in its ability by repetition to disqualify views which challenge or seek to introduce ideas which may be aberrant to its orthodoxies. So a politician can piggy-back onto it, and by implication, by being seen to represent certain causes, a) capture the glory, and b) mute criticism of their actions.

    So in short, as any astute politician (or troll) knows, saying something over and over in the end, does appear to make it true. However, it is a common mistake that just because something appears to be true, or, because it has been repeated many times, it will make it so.

    So, tragically sometimes, certain groups and people end up repeating something which objective people can see is baloney, but which the speakers can’t, because they are locked into and intellectually hamstrung by their own discourse. This is true of us all, of course and is not restricted to subjects preceded by ‘the national this or that’.

    Comment by Lee Clark — October 30, 2015 @ 9:53 am

  64. “This is true of us all” – well, youll get no argument on that point from me🙂

    I think its healthy to always include yourself in any broad criticism of human bahaviour

    Comment by framu — October 30, 2015 @ 1:08 pm

  65. “a 3.5″ floppy”

    You have him pegged.🙂

    Comment by Sacha — October 31, 2015 @ 5:46 pm

  66. Any NZ PM will suck up to sporting leaders, sure. Never seen a team’s selection announced to the media from Parliament though.

    I suspect Sanc may be onto something with the Brent Impie connection, given how incestuous our elites are. Occam’s razor, etc.

    Comment by Sacha — October 31, 2015 @ 5:48 pm

  67. What I can’t understand is why the NZRFU would be so keen to bind themselves to someone who’s values (represented by his actions and those of his ministers) are diametrically opposed to the All Blacks culture (personal humility, ownership, accountability, trust, no dickheads policy etc.).

    Naturesong:

    I can think of millions of reasons why the NZRFU is never going to trespass any Prime Minister looking for a photo op — because any arts ogranization that rattled its begging bowl as energetically (and successfully) as the Rugby Union would be pilloried.

    Comment by cranapia — October 31, 2015 @ 6:37 pm

  68. I think this shows great generosity of the spirit by the PM after they forbade him to use their logo on his new flag thing..

    Comment by Lee Clark — November 1, 2015 @ 7:17 am

  69. If you’ve got a problem with Twitter why have you closed comments on your Blog post?

    I can see why but why bother posting in the first place?

    Most likely lots of people have been put off political engagement but the antics of self proclaimed liberals on the internet.

    The worst aspects of high school locker room bullying got write large by the internet in the name of Caring For Everything.

    Comment by NeilM — November 2, 2015 @ 9:31 pm

  70. The Left isn’t so much lost up its own arse as lost in a mental space constructed by weirdo tech billionaires.

    Meanwhile life and death goes on and just posting a photo of a dead child for a blog post somehow doesn’t correspond to the promise of liberal politics.

    Comment by NeilM — November 2, 2015 @ 9:50 pm

  71. Isn’t it interesting that the most intense and extended battles occur between factions of your own “side” while the likes of Slater carry on their merry way, never engaged or challenged? It’s almost as if your premises are entirely wrong.

    Comment by Shelley W — November 2, 2015 @ 11:28 pm

  72. why have you closed comments on your Blog post?

    Because people were posting defamatory statements in there and I went to sleep and couldn’t monitor it.

    Isn’t it interesting that the most intense and extended battles occur between factions of your own “side” while the likes of Slater carry on their merry way, never engaged or challenged? It’s almost as if your premises are entirely wrong.

    I was critical of Slater back when he was at the height of his power and no one else wanted to talk about him. Now that he’s irrelevant and the rest of the left does nothing but talk about him I don’t feel the need to do so.

    Comment by danylmc — November 3, 2015 @ 5:51 am

  73. I understood this, Neil. Personally I dont; think it It is difficult to see that a post aimed at cyber bullies would end up with cyber bullies rounding on the accuser. You could see the tone starting to get ugly already. I think Danyl was not only right, but showed a sense of leadership about this, by shutting down the access by people who are not so much interested in debate, but who are heck-bent on abusing others from a position of safe anonymity, he sends a clear message that to abusing people isn’t a ‘right’ even if people pretend it is for ‘the greater good’. IMO, anyway…

    Of course the abusers will get on a high horse and claim ‘censorship’ but that is like claiming they were deprived, because daddy didn’t get them a pony.

    Comment by Lee Clark — November 5, 2015 @ 8:12 am

  74. You could see the tone starting to get ugly already.

    See the final comment there as an example, from one ‘Pete, with “You could fucking start by not ignoring the voices of every single minority person who spoke up this weekend.”

    Pity as I was going to post a couple of links I thought appropriate, even if they repeat Danyl’s theme. Oh well, I shall bastardise this thread and hope Dim doesn’t get too pissed off.

    First, How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life – this is basically just an adaptation from a book by Jon Ronson that was published earlier in 2015: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. Sounds like the journalist in Dany’s story needs to read it.

    Second is a link to a US right-winger, talking about Jonathan Chait’s piece in New York Magazine, Not a Very PC Thing to Say:

    Mobs do not “argue.” They intimidate or humiliate (or both). Mobs do not engage in an enlightened, reasonable dialogue. They shout ritualized chants. Mobs are not interested in persuading someone of their wrongness of their claims; they only care about shutting the speaker up, whether he’s changed his mind or not.

    An argument from a single author (or group acting together to write a single paper) is an instrument of reason; a mob which selects a target and then attacks that target with wolf-pack like tactics is an instrument of emotion.

    Human beings are in fact hard-wired, as an evolutionary matter, to cringe before the baying mob; and they are further hard-wired to feel empowered by being part of an angry, screaming mob.

    So it’s not quite true that joining up with a mob is “speech” just like any other speech. The “speech” of a mob is emotionally abusive and personally intimidating — and it is hardwired into our brains to find it such, when directed at we ourselves.

    On the other hand, we’re also hard-wired to really enjoy leading a mob against someone. It feels good. There is no denying that; I’ve felt damned good everytime I’ve joined up with a mob.

    And it is precisely because it Feels So Good to engage in coordinated mob cruelty that thoughtful people must resist the lure and call out mobs where they see them.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — November 5, 2015 @ 10:18 am

  75. The twitterati take on Jon Ronson is that he’s a privileged white man trying to control the narrative and prevent minorities from speaking out when they’re offended.

    And I can sort of see their point. If someone says something racist shouldn’t people be able to speak out against it? Isn’t that more powerful when it’s a large group of people? And why should only those being directly discriminated against be aloud to speak out? Shouldn’t their allies stand by them? Why do people like Ronson or me complain about the pile-ons but not the racism that provokes them?

    But, like I said in my post, it’s really easy to get self-righteous and carried away with this stuff. Like, with Labour’s asian surname thing I challenged it when it came out, along with seemingly everyone else on twitter, and then chinese New Zealanders engaged with the labour analyst and the MP and I pretty much felt I didn’t need to be involved any more. Those guys were all over it. It wasn’t about me. The twitterati didn’t feel like that though. They kept piling onto the analyst for days, then weeks afterwards, long after pretty much all of the chinese NZers had moved onto something else, not engaging or debating, just mocking and abusing. And what was the point of that?

    Comment by danylmc — November 5, 2015 @ 4:13 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: