The Daily Blog Watch Monday 25th March



Today’s Daily Blog Watch Round-Up of matters that have attracted the attention, assessments, and articulations of this country’s leading bloggers…

NZ Left Blogosphere
On The Standard – that favourite amongst Labour Party MPs, issues raised are many and as varied as the opinions they elicit,

– Karol writes about “Pacific Renewables”  – and analyses National’s position on the issues.Renewable energy is an interesting theme – considering  National’s condemnation of Solid Energy’s attempt to build up it’s own portfolio of renewable energy projects.

– James Henderson writes a short but insightful piece, “On the accuracy of online polls“, on pre-registration on Mighty River Power, and it’s comparison to the sale of Contact Energy in 1999.

– In “Benefit reforms trigger surge in DPB births?“, Anthony R0bins, analyses stats relating to women on thre DPB and the conflicting messages from Minister Paula Bennett. Good analytical stuff – but does any of it percolate down into the TV-addled brains of the masses?  After all, as she has said on at least two occassions, “there are not enough jobs for everyone“.

Or is Bennett simply pandering the the redneck element in our society? Oh perish the thought.

On Maui Street, Susan Devoy’s appointment is discussed in “Dame Susan Devoy: race relations “not complicated”  and raises points that other bloggers have missed. He concludes with a damning verdict on Devoy’s appointment.

TDB Recommends

This is echoed on Kiwipolitico,  where Lew writes that “Selections matter“. Lew doesn’t pull punches,


“This is a terrible appointment. Anyone who thinks Aotearoa’s race-relations culture isn’t complicated is by definition not equipped for the job of guiding and guarding it.

Not only is our new Race Relations Commissioner ashamed of our national day, but as far as she’s concerned it’s just another ism — revealing how little she must know about disability, employment or gender issues into the bargain.

So as far as that goes, she looks like the perfect post-ideological, post-identity selection for such a job: a common-sense managerialist who, to the limited extent that she understands the issues in play, finds them distasteful. “

On Tumeke, Tim Selwyn gives his views on Devoy’s appointment (see – Hunch), and suggests that the rationale for this strange event was  “Collins – and Key – wanted a symbol and representative of the Nat’s concept of “middle NZ” in the race relations role“. Which, when you think about it, makes perfect sense, in a screwy, right-wing way.

The Party of the White Middle Class appoints a Middle Class  White woman to appease the Middle Class Whites. Not even a finger-sniff of  “political correctness” to be had. (Have the Nats hired Dr Evil to do their strategising, I wonder?)

From the excellent Ideologically Impure

(Excellent, because  QoT speaks her mind in ways that even dumbed-down right whingers can cope with and if  they don’t like it, well, f**k them anyway.)

QoT’s latest blogposts, (going backwards in time, ‘cos, well, going back in time is cool – dunno about fezzes though)

Monday: Various links to other blogposts on the Steubenville case, “Random recommended reading: Steubenville roundup

Sunday: “Whinging about Earth Hour”  – an ascerbic look at Consumerism in our societies, and the demands we’re making on developing nations with “Earth Hour”.

Saturday: “Another day, another bullshit Family First/Curia poll” – A stinging critique on David Farrar’s Curia-polling for Family Fist (aka that busy-body “Christian” group that demands that a penis be inserted into a vagina and nowhere else, and will put a guard by your bed to ensure it’s done in precisely that manner. Missionary, of course).

QoT tears apart Farrar’s bullshit poll and shows us with crystal clarity why it’s unadulterated garbage.

How much did that piece of BS polling cost Family Fist, I wonder?

And how did Farrar feel, prostituting himself in such a manner?

As alway, QoT is must-read stuff. Clears the mind and nasal passages as you snort at the wacky-doodleness of the Right.

The Jackal: some excellent environmental commentary by The Jackal, including a very thoughful piece on natural gas production in New Zealand. See, “Wind power more viable than fossil fuels

From Chris Trotter on Bowalley Road, “Learning from Cyprus“…

“We are told as children that the safest place for our money is in the bank. More than that, the building up of personal savings is encouraged by politicians and bankers as the mature and responsible course that all good citizens should follow.”

Thus Chris Trotter analyses the EU bailout of Cyprus which, ‘oh by the way’, demands that Cypriots (and other residents of that Island State) part with some of their life savings to bail out the  banks.  Cypriots were in full revolt. The system was in crisis. Thus it begins…

And in case New Zealanders were content to be smug about it, he wipes away the collective smirk from our faces by pointing out that Bill English and the Reserve Bank were implementing a similar policy here in Godzone; the euphemistically-sounding ‘Open Bank Resolution’.

From Brian Edwards  on his Media blog…

Brian Edwards gives an over-view on the availability of current affairs shows on free-to-air TV, and offers a revisionist verdict on “Seven Sharp” (“hamburger”?).  He compares current affairs during the days of  ‘Gallery‘ and ‘Compass‘, where politicians would undergo ritualised interrogation and excoriation – to the multitude of shows broadcast these days.

Edwards forgets one thing though. Forty years ago, politicians reported-for-duty to be interviewed/water-boarded by the likes of him and his colleagues. These days, more often than not, politicians will either send their flunkeys (think: Lesley Longstone), or just refuse point blank to participate (think: Radio NZ and ‘Campbell Live’). Somewhere along the way, polis realised, “Hey, remind me why should I turn up and have my gonads shredded by John Campbell, Mary Wilson, or Kim Hill?”

But he makes a point that perhaps we aren’t as hard done-by for current affairs as we’ve thought. Now if only broadcasters would put “Q+A” and “The Nation” at prime time, we’d be happy little campers.

On DimPost,  Danyl Mclauchlan writes a micro, Twitter-style blogpost on Susan Devoy’s apointment as our new Race Relations Commissioner.

Ms Devoy is on record as being unafraid of banging heads together if that’s what it takes to make us sing ‘Kumbaya’ in unison, saying she is “pretty forthright and not afraid to have an opinion, but at the same time I have a very strong moral compass and I have a desire to do the right thing.”

Danyl’s prediction of Kiwis engaging in “a bloody orgy of ethnic cleansing” is possible – but not during Shortland Street. That would annoy too many people.

On Public Address – the blogsite that could be considered the precursor to The Daily Blog, recent posts focused on,

– Russell Brown’s review, ‘The Golden Weather on Wheels‘, of Andrew Moore’s 2006 documentary ‘No More Heroes’, and the story behind it’s funding and mass release to the public. An interesting glimpse into our recent history.

– Graeme Edgeler’s ‘A little known story of the Māori seats‘  crunches numbers and statics when analysing the history and current status of Maori seats in this country. Graeme asks some serious questions on how the numbers of Maori seats are calculated and the lack of oversight in the process. It’s a long read, but a substantial one.

Expect Graeme’s piece to be picked up by the msm sometime soon. (Unless another penguin lands on our shores. Sorry, Graeme.)

– In ‘Vivid, lively, unruly‘  Russell Brown criticises Auckland Council’s policy on destroying community wall art – even that which is painted on private property. Not quite “nanny state” stuff – more like Barbarians At The Gate (no, not Gerry Brownlee).

Gordon Campbell’s  ‘Gordon Campbell on Susan Devoy’s appointment, and the Gillard non-coup‘  writes on Devoy’s unlikely appointment and the latest challenge to Julia Gillard’s leadership. An interesting juxtaposition of two women in positions of authority, and both under attack in the media and commentariat.

Campbell refers to Devoy’s appointment as “political trolling” – a deliberate wind-up of the Liberal-Left establishment in this country. It’s as good as explanation as any. Like flying saucer sightings, there is no other rational explanation.

As for the leadership challenge, Campbell eviscerates Gillard and the Aussie Labor Party. We all know that Labor is Dead Man Walking, and like some horrible dream, they are unable to turn away from being drawn down their  path of doom.  It would be entertaining… except we had our own path of doom for our Labour party in 2011.

On The Pundit, in “No two-state solution = no democratic Jewish state“, Jane Clifton writes about Obama’s visit to the Middle East. She suggests that “the American President made it clear that no separation wall and no missile protection system offers long term solutions”.

The solutions are fairly well known, but with American backing, the Israeli government has is no real incentive to cease it’s repression of Palestinians. None whatsoever.

As Clifton pointed out, “Obama didn’t present a plan, but maybe he set a new tone“. Let us hope.

Post of the Week:

In The Hand Mirror, contributor Stargazer wrote in her piece,  “Hoping for the best”  about the Devoy appointment. She writes simply but with strong conviction,

“i need to depend on her being the voice standing up for people of colour.  i need to count her being willing to step in and stand up and fight when i can’t fight or when my voice isn’t loud enough or strong enough to be heard.”

Stargazer’s piece comes  poignantly from the heart. If Devoy can’t handle-the-jandle it’ll be folk like Stargazer who will be most affected.

Stargazer continues with,

“because her voice is strong enough to cut through – it carries the full weight of her office and the institution that stands behinds her.  it opens doors that aren’t accessible to me, in that she is much more likely to be granted entrance into organisations or given interviews with people than i am.  she has access to funding and support structures that i don’t have access to, at least not in the same way.  in fact, sometimes she gets to be a gatekeeper in regards to my ability to access that support.”

And this is where the “Devoy thing” moves from being the joke that some on the Left snigger about – to one of deadly seriousness that will affect a lot of people. Powerless people.

This is the Other Side of the debate that neither the Left nor the Right have addressed.

On The Daily Blog

The Liberal Agenda for the week.

-Frank Macskasy argues that the Right has a new media voice.

-Dr Wayne Hope explains why ‘Argo’ is a lie.

-Martyn Bradbury jokes about Peter Jackson wanting to film an episode of Dr Who and looks at the looming redundancies at the Human Rights Commission.

-Chris Trotter takes on Brian Edwards.

-Allan Alach explores the dirty truth of Charter Schools.

-and Phoebe Fletcher notes that the US military gives credence to Pacific climate change concerns.