Worst Vernon Small column ever?



The media scream that Labour hasn’t talking about policy and that’s why they are failing the deeply flawed landline opinion polls. The media scream that Dirty Politics hasn’t hurt their mate John Key and Cunliffe isn’t focusing on what is important. The media scream Cunliffe hasn’t articulated housing policy properly.

Blah blah blah. The media are also claiming Hone Harawira is missing, Matt McCarten is Cameron Slater’s new mate and that Key is more popular than ever.

Surely however this column by Vernon Small is his worst ever – Vernon claims that because Cunliffe is not having many selfies on his walk about, then that suggests the end is near.

When so called political experts have been lowered to counting selfies and use that as a political evaluation, it’s final proof that the Press Gallery are now so far out of the loop we may as well start referring to them as Pluto.

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Rather than asking questions about bribing MPs, trawling brothels, hacking into Labour’s computer and downloading their database, organising hits on the SFO, getting SIS briefings and rigging candidate selections – it’s minutia of a Capital Gains Tax and the lack of selfies.

If Labour had done any of the things alleged in Dirty Politics, Vernon bloody Small would be the first demanding an outright revolution, but National do it and the analysis is how many selfies David Cunliffe is getting???



  1. What you say points to the whole stupidity of the MSM’s approach to the election and politics in general. The MSM is only interested in personalities, like what they eat for dinner, what wine they drink and what time they go to bed, etc. Of course Mr Photo Ops realized this a long time ago. He performs like a circus clown for the MSM because their silly notion of politics is that politics is a circus for clowns and performing seals, so he gives them what they want. If the Nats and NZ think this means he is a good PM then it is no wonder why this country is in such a mess. Do you notice that when Key actually has to start talking policies that he is usually on the defensive. I wonder what the rest of the National Party think. In public they will back him 120% (of course) but there are small signs that the rank and file are getting a bit tired of having Homer Simpson as their leader and would prefer someone who showed a bit more dignity and backbone when under pressure. Of course while the Nats appear to be in control they will say and do nothing (no-one wants to rock the boat) but if things go wrong the backlash will be swift and severe. Even if National wins, I still think Key’s days will be numbered, some sections of the MSM are tiring of his buffoonery and are looking for the next performing seal to lavish attention on.

  2. Nah: Pluto’s still in the loop, mate, however distant. So for that matter is the Oort Cloud, though it is indeed very remote from the centre of things. Call it Narnia – a whole other world altogether.

    Vernon Small is (or was) a very fine chess player – an International Master, withal – but as a journalist… forget it. In any case, I have found that chess players tend for some strange reason towards Conservatism. I’ve no idea why, as the blue end of the political spectrum is usually where the stupid people hang out.

    Apparently he addressed a ‘Journalism Matters’ conference back in 2007. Now, he’s a thing: why do you suppose journalists have to persuade themselves that their profession (still) matters? Could it be that deep down in their inner hearts they know that they have been these many years sidelining themselves out of the ball park of real news? Journalism ought to matter, and as such ought to be the assumption so ingrained that its not mattering is unthinkable.

    It’s a case of mind over matter. Absent a thinking mind, journalism don’t matter.

    • interesting comments on conservatism and chess players….maybe some chess players are fearful of the existential world they inhabit and the strict parameters of rules and logic chess game is a refuge from facing up to life’s chaos and their existential thinking selves ( mind you I know someone who was in the NZ Chess team and he wasnt conservative…more a Lefty)

      there was a recent programme on RT or BBC or Al Jazeera ?…where psychologists have studied Election campaign strategies ( eg utilising the fear factor or not ) voting patterns, and psychological profiles of those who vote conservative or not …and it would seem that those who vote conservative are innately more fearful than those who are more liberal and Left voters

  3. Again Martyn;

    In this section of the Indian elections this year we can see the MSM has been caught skewing the public prior to elections by manufacturing negative and positive sides to political opponents bad enough to have a Government call for inquiries into press collusion in the election cycle there!

    So why not here? are we not as fond of our democracy here as India is?

    Sting operation reveals massive manipulation by opinion poll agencies
    ET Bureau Feb 26, 2014, 04.43AM IST

    (A TV news channel today claimed…)
    NEW DELHI: A number of opinion polling agencies approached by undercover reporters agreed to manipulate poll data, a television news channel has claimed, sparking a fresh controversy in a heated election season as senior ministers and political parties called for an investigation.

    Clips from the sting operation aired by the channel showed many pollsters agreeing to produce favourable numbers by leveraging the so-called margin of error, a statistical concept meant to indicate the quality of sampling and the accuracy to be expected from survey results.

    “For a price, the prediction of seats tally can be changed to suit the interests of political parties.

    The agencies have no qualms accepting even black money for this purpose,” the channel, News Express, said in a statement. Polling agencies approached by the channel include QRS, CVoter, Ipsos India, MMR and DRS, apart from a clutch of littleknown ones. Representatives from these agencies are seen responding variously to the undercover reporters, who posed as consultants for political parties.

    India Today magazine and Times NOW have said they were suspending opinion polls conducted by C-Voter, pending an explanation from the agency.

    Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party called for an investigation. Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal urged the Election Commission to urgently take up the matter.

    “This (the expose) is a very serious development. It shows these agencies are trying to manipulate public opinion. It is nothing but paidnews, manufactured to serve vested interests.

    This is an extremely serious offense that warrants a full-fledged inquiry… I also call upon the Election Commission to take all effective steps to ensure such shady operators are not allowed to manipulate the public opinion in the run up to the elections.”

    In November last year, the Election Commission had written to the government asking that a law be passed to restrict release of opinion poll results after the notification of elections. Fourteen out of fifteen national parties had agreed to the proposal.

    BJP opposed the proposal, saying such a move would impinge on freedom of expression. “We got the idea for the sting operation from the Election Commission letter.

    And then the fact that there seemed to be a new opinion poll almost every day now. Everybody is a pollster and a psephologist it seems,” said Vinod Kapri, editor in chief of News Express.

    He added that he was not calling into question any surveys aired or published so far. C-Voter CEO Yashwant Deshmukh said the conversations have been selectively edited.

    “The very first thing I said is that C-Voter won’t do this, Yashwant Deshmukh is not available to do this.

    Why are they not showing that? I’m explaining the concept of margin of error and talking about the limitations of the poll. Am I anywhere saying that I’m ready to fudge the figures?”

    A spokesperson for DRS said the executive who spoke with the undercover reporters is no longer with the company. “Manipulation is a term which is being used incorrectly here,” Ipsos said in a statement explaining the concept of margin of error.

    “We have no say in the data collection or analysis by any pollster.
    But we will ask C Voter for a clarification and till the time we are satisfied with their response, we have decided to suspend all opinion polls done by them in our channel,” Times Now editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami said


    • i have long thought the polls were subject to rigging ….and the tail was trying to wag the dog

      The polls and pollsters must be put in their place …banned or denigrated …because they are being used as right wing PR propaganda and manipulation of voters…with the help of the msm

      We must ALL VOTE!

  4. Ahhh … the wriggling , writhing worm that is The Great New Zealand Institutionalised Lie .
    When there are more anomalies , weirdnesses and strange goings on that warrant closer investigation ? T.G.N.Z.I.L is getting closer to busting out !

    4 million people . Huge lands , enviously rich in essential resources . Well educated , highly motivated populace , excellent public infrastructures , world class Universities , world leading health and technologies .

    versus ;

    250 thousand hungry kids , globally embarrassing social statistics , outrageous incarceration rates , debilitating per capita debt , vast oceans , no fish . Fantastic power generation resources / crippling cost of electricity , food a-plenty , who can afford to eat well ? $550,000 medium price for a shitty house in an over crowded myth of a city ???

    I mean , really ? WTF ?

    No matter how clever vernon small thinks he may be , he’s not that clever all of the time .
    There are questions that will be asked and if vern won’t do it then vern can just fuck right off .

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