So now we all know that the crisis at The Hobbit was a manufactured one, who is going to apologize to the Union movement of NZ first? Will it be the Herald? TVNZ? ZB? The Dom Post? Will it be the Government? Will it be Q&A? Will it be The Nation?Will it be the NZers who got swept up in anti-Union hysteria?
Let’s not pretend that there weren’t voices immediately critical of this farce and called it for the manufactured crisis it always was. Tumeke called it on the day of the astro-turfed protest march in Wellington.
I noted how amazing it was for this petty Hobbit squabble to eclipse the first major Union protest against National’s labour laws. There were 1500 at the fake protest march in Wellington and 20 000 on the streets around the country protesting against the Government.
How convenient that all the news oxygen was sucked out of the Union protests by a Machiavellian Government who showed all the divisive brutality of Muldoon’s Springbok Tour tactics.
This was aided and abetted by a willing mainstream media and populace who whipped each other to frenzy.
Meanwhile the executives of Warner Bros must have been laughing all the way back to Hollywood on their private jet, popping champaign corks at the obscene corporate welfare they had managed to extract from the NZ taxpayer.
You just know at 45000 feet they toasted the ‘Shire Folk’ for being so easy to dupe. I imagine they followed that with a rendition of the ‘MonoRail’ song from the Simpsons before collapsing into fits of cocaine induced laughter.
So when we are looking at who should be awarded the best supporting actor in a corporate negotiation tactic, we must consider the nominees…
The Mainstream Media:
Not since the 1951 lockout have we seen union hysteria so whipped up by the media. The amazing thing is that for a media who were all so happy to breathlessly roar in such unison against the unions, they are universally quiet in the role of their own unquestioning complicity now the full details are out. If Helen Clark had been caught out lying to the public about Warner Brothers taking The Hobbit offshore & cutting smelly deals with Sky City, the NZ Herald would be publishing her home address alongside molotov cocktail recipes.
Remember the atrocious Paul Holmes interview? Remember calling Robyn Malcolm ‘damaged goods’ on TV? Remember countless letters to the editor, talkback calls and editorials all baying like a lynch mob?
Our media can be trusted to get it wrong and then quietly pretend that never happened. If the corrections column in the Herald was honest it would take up the entire Business and Sports sections. Who knew flag blinded patriotism over a movie could justify rewriting our Labour law for a foreign corporation with such ease?
The over acting Jackson portrayed from the very first TV interviews and his utter lack of ability to actually pin point what the hell the issue was should have warned seasoned broadcasters and journalists right from the start. The only one who came close to it was John Campbell who pushed Jackson on his real motives, and I remember Jackson’s eyes come alight like Gollum when he sees his precious, “I just want to make my movie”, he lisped.
Russell Brown at Public Address:
Russell is the seasons indie hit favorite for Best Supporting Actor in a corporate negotiation tactic. The great doyen of the aesthetic left let rip with a blindside king pin blog attack on the internal ruptures of Actors Equity and the MEAA. Once the Bishop of the Ponsonby Intelligentsia had sounded off against the Union, it was a greenlight for the msm to go feral. There would be no tsk tsking from Radio NZ Mediawatch types. It’s a pity Russell didn’t do an equally critical analysis at the time of Jackson and Key’s motives.
How good is John Key at spin? Even when presented with all the proof that the Government and Peter Jackson misled the public about Warner Brothers taking the film offshore because of the Unions, people are so emotionally invested in defending Key that they claim, ‘Well the Australian Union pushed too hard and got what they deserved’. Isn’t that extraordinary? The Australian Union, by pushing too hard for a collective agreement against a film industry that has near exploitation powers over its acting workforce deserved/brought about/were responsible for/to blame for/Australians-bowled-under-arm-against-us-once-upon-a-time/JetsStar-customer-services-complaint anti-Australian, anti-Union style logic that totally exempts Key and Jackson from willfully misleading the country. Surely Key has to be this years front runner. His acting made Daniel Day Lewis look like a Seven Sharp Host.
The Public of NZ:
Remember the death threats to Union bosses, the abuse Robyn Malcolm, Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Helen Kelly faced? Remember it got so bad they had to hire security? That was an enraged NZ public who were whipped up to foaming by a media who were onto a ratings winner. At no point was the voice of reason even asked to the table, the chance to have a go at the Unions was too mouth watering for some within the public.
More 100% Muddled Earth than Middle Earth.
And the winner for the Award for Best Supporting Actor in a corporate negotiation tactic goes to…
…the one, the only. John Key. His willingness to manipulate Warner Brothers negotiating threat of going offshore into bashing the Unions right after they had 20000 protesting his 90 day right to sack employment laws is deceivingly sadistic.
His willingness to turn one segment of society falsely against another is curiously Springbok Tour-eske for a Prime Minister who can’t remember what side of that debate he was on.
Instead of the monstrous vision of Muldoon’s General Woundwart from Watership Down, we have Key’s “I’m-khomfortable-with-that’ nonchalance, dorky Dad routine which makes the menace far less easy to detect.
He’s not a vicious, vacantly aspirational, multi-Millionaire money trader with Hawaiian Mansion who pimps for Casinos and has overseen the highest level of inequality recorded in NZ. Oh no, he’s a jokey, non political, Gangnam style dancing, big gay red shirt joking, David Letterman Top 10ing social media clip.
It’s difficult to engage the PM about 270 000 children in poverty when he’s lighting his farts with a match as stunt he’s filming for Max’s Facebook page.
So what the hell was this manufactured crisis all about? Put simply, the media were nudged by the Government into their natural inclination to hate on unions. The media in turn manipulated the NZ public who in turn were played for political effect by the Government who paid Warner Brothers a fee for the excuse they provided to commit broad daylight grievous bodily harm on the Union movement.
You just got chumped NZ.
Which is why I decided to launch The Daily Blog. After seeing the Hobbit spin and the manufactured leadership ‘coup’ by David Cunliffe at the Labour Party conference, I just believed there needed to be a counter weight to this fish bowel of a media landscape.
To paraphrase the ever inspiring Hunter S Thompson, ‘I put the bastards of this country on notice, that I do not have their interests at heart. I will try and speak on behalf of the underdog, that is my promise.
And it will be a voice made of blogs and sarcastic rage.’