Outdated Views? Andrea Vance On Sean Plunket

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IT’S ONE OF THOSE throwaway lines which, precisely because so little conscious thought was given to it, tells us so much. The author, Andrea Vance, is an experienced political journalist working for Stuff. The subject of Vance’s throwaway line, Sean Plunket, is an equally experienced journalist. It was in her recent story about Plunket’s soon-to-be-launched online media product “The Platform”, that Vance wrote: “Plunket’s dalliances with controversy make it easy to paint him as a two-dimensional character: a right-wing, shock-jock with outdated views on privilege and race.”

It’s hard to get past those first four words. The picture Vance is painting is of a dilletante: someone who flits from one inconsequential pursuit to another, taking nothing seriously. And, of course, the use of the word “dalliances” only compounds this impression. To “dally” with somebody it to treat them casually, offhandedly – almost as a plaything. Accordingly, a “dalliance” should be seen as the very opposite of a genuine commitment. It smacks of self-indulgence. A cure, perhaps, for boredom?

To dally with controversy, therefore, is to betray a thoroughly feckless character. Controversies are all about passion and commitment. Controversies are taken seriously. Indeed, a controversy is usefully defined as a dispute taken seriously by all sides. And yet, according to Vance, Plunket has only been playing with controversy: trifling with it, as a seducer trifles with the affections of an innocent maid.

In Vance’s eyes, this indifference to matters of genuine and serious concern distinguishes Plunket as a “two-dimensional character”. It reduces him to a cardboard cut-out, a promotional poster, a thing of printer’s ink and pixels – insubstantial. Or, which clearly amounts to the same thing as far as Vance is concerned: “a right-wing, shock-jock with outdated views on privilege and race.” Dear me! The scorn dripping from those words could fill a large spittoon!

As if the holding of right-wing views somehow renders a person less than three-dimensional. As if conservative thinkers from Aristotle to Thomas Hobbes, Edmund Burke to Carl Schmidt haven’t contributed enormously to Western political thought. As if Keith Holyoake, Jim Bolger and Bill English aren’t respected by New Zealanders of all political persuasions for their rough-hewn dignity and love of country. To hold right-wing views isn’t a sickness, It doesn’t make you a bad person. It merely denotes a preference for the familiar; a wariness of the new; and a deep-seated fear of sudden and unmandated change.

As for “shock-jocks”: well, that is the sort of broadcasting talent commercial radio producers are constantly searching for. People of energy and enthusiasm, with a way of communicating both qualities to the radio station’s listeners. And if they also have a talent for decoding the zeitgeist on air: for tapping into the audience’s anger and frustration; and giving voice to their hopes and their fears? Why, then they are worth their weight in gold – and usually get it. The more people a “shock-jock” glues to the station’s frequency, the more the advertisers will be prepared to pay. That’s the business.

Perhaps Vance should have a word with the people who pay her salary: perhaps they could explain where all that money comes from.

The most important words, however, Vance saves for last. What really confirms Plunket’s lack of three dimensions are his “outdated views on privilege and race”. It is with these six words that Vance betrays both herself and her newspaper.

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Who says Plunket’s views on privilege and race are “outdated”? According to whose measure? After all, his views on privilege and race correspond closely with those of Dr Martin Luther King. Is Vance asserting that Dr King’s view that people should not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character, is outdated? Is she suggesting that a poor white man has more in the way of privilege than Oprah Winfrey? Or that the privileges which flow from superior economic power and social status count for less than those attached to race, gender and sexuality?

The answer is Yes. Those who declare such views to be “outdated” are, indeed, making all of the claims listed above. This locates them among a relatively narrow section of the population: highly educated; paid well above the average; more than adequately housed; and enjoying all the “privileges” accruing to those who manage the bodies and shape the minds of their fellow citizens.

Andrea Vance is a member of this truly privileged group, and so, at one time, was Sean Plunket. So, why the sneering condescension? Why the scorn? The answer is to be found in the new priorities of the truly privileged; the people who actually run this society. They have determined that their interests are better served by fostering the division and bitterness that is born of identity politics. Rather than see people promote a view of human-beings that unites them in a common quest for justice and equality, they would rather Blacks assailed Whites, women assailed men, gays assailed straights, and trans assailed TERFS. In short, the “One Percent” have decided that their interests are better protected by corporations, universities and the mainstream news media all promoting the ideology of identity politics.

By setting his face against this new “Woke” establishment, Sean Plunket the conservative poses as large a threat to the status quo as Martyn Bradbury the radical. On the one hand stand those who question the necessity and morality of changes now deemed essential by persons no one elected. On the other, those who insist that such divisive policies will produce results diametrically opposed to their promoters’ intentions. Right and Left, joined in an “outdated” search for the common ground that makes rational politics possible. The place where both sides are willing to acknowledge and agree that, in the words of John F. Kennedy:

“[I]n the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

 

80 COMMENTS

  1. Well said Chris. Too many on both the left and right seem to view their political adversaries as inherently morally flawed, too ready to “strawman” the arguments of the other.

    But as you say, in the present political climate we are constantly bombarded with identity politics propaganda, presented as “news”. Corin Dann (or was it Suzie Ferguson) has just informed us this morning that 85% of NZ judges are pakeha, and that “over half” are male, as if these stats are incompatible with justice. Assuming these figures are accurate (a rash assumption when we’re dealing with NZ media), they indicate that pakeha are slightly overrepresented on the bench, but not as overrepresented as say Maori and Pasifika in the All Blacks. And what are we to make of “over half” being male? (evasive wording, is it not?).

    If I’m charged with a crime – or if I’m a victim of crime – I’m not interested in the ethnicity or gender of the judge presiding over the case. What’s important is that the judge has Marcus Aurelius’s cardinal virtues. Is that an “outdated view”?

    • Pope Punctilious II: “….85% of NZ judges are pakeha, and that 85% of NZ judges are pakeha, and that “over half” are male, as if these stats are incompatible with justice.“over half” are male, as if these stats are incompatible with justice.”

      Bearing in mind what recently happened with the family court judge Callinicos, I doubt that ethnicity has any bearing on justice.

      “What’s important is that the judge has Marcus Aurelius’s cardinal virtues. Is that an “outdated view”?”

      Exactly. And no: it’s not at all an outdated view.

  2. Very fair of you Christmas!
    I looked at said article by Andrea Vance. It was headed ‘Putting the unfashionable back on air’. Well that is all that’s needed to tune into Plunket. So according to Vance, only the fashionable has value. Andrea, you enjoy the Kardashians and Oprah. They are right at your level. We’ll enjoy Plunket.

    • I am so heartened by this.

      I think that once people tune into Mr Plunkett and hear what has been going on by stealth, all hell will break loose.

      Talk about the media (Vance et al) telling us how to think…..

      Can’t wait to tune in.

      Thanks Chris for calling out what is really happening in Aotearoa……………….I really appreciated your article on No Debate

  3. Frank Zappa once said “Modern Americans behave as if intelligence were some sort of hideous deformity”.
    These days social media, right wing channels like Fox and ZB, and authoritarian populists give poor white folks some hope perhaps that they are not totally at the bottom of the social pile; there are always blacks, gays, trans, indigenous, migrants, and women to still put the slipper into! The Plunkets and Hoskings are well aware of what they are doing by offering retrograde ideas to their often information poor audiences. These grumpy, middle aged, white media men ultimately serve their employing class masters well.

    Let them go for it I say. It is a contest of ideas. While human development and progress is uneven, not linear and tidy, I still like to think we do evolve over time. Huge Pubs and drinking clubs, driving pissed, clogged ash trays and blue palls of smoke hanging in the ceiling, eating piles of dripping red meat, rape in marriage–all relics of a bygone era now for most.

    The boomer replacement generations are here, and will even potentially outnumber boomers at the 2023 General Election. Generations student loan and life time renter do not fear the same things many boomers do, they are more concerned with Climate Disaster than stopping justice for Māori. Plunket and his ilk will go the way of RSAs and walk shorts soon enough.

    • Agree with you Tiger Mountain – I don’t understand the overblown fear ascribed to being ‘Woke’ as if this in itself is the cause of great social injustice rather than a cultural shift in attitudes and behavior – as you point out. I’m old enough to remember ‘PC gone mad’ being raised to oppose any change that threatened the status quo in favor of more progressive and respectful attitudes.

    • Nice one Tiger, My father was badly shot up by Nazi bullets and uncle was killed by the huns in Crete. They fought for free speech and the right for those shock jocks and other NZers in Aotearoa to openly express their views. But they would not have expected those same shock jocks and other to express and promote offensive anti-Maori comments. The demographics are changing – the old boomers (like me) and traditional tory views are dying out and the new younger progressive generations are taking over.

      • Am a boomer myself. Fam member blown to bits at Monte Casino in ‘44, his name is on the wall at Auck War Memorial Museum.

        Was always taught to use my freedom of speech.

    • You quote Frank Zappa – how much do you know about the guy? He was ardently pro free speech, and if he were alive I’d say he would take a dim view of this government and of our MSM’s group think.

      • I know enough about Mr Zappa to value his wry observation that I quoted.

        Owned some of his work, incl “Weasels Ripped my Flesh”, “Hot Rats”, “Baby Snakes” and “Joes Garage 1”. Attended his concert in Auckland Town Hall, Jan ’76, with full band.

        Frank Zappa was a one off very talented musician with a world view of his own also.

        • I’ve got Hot Rats, Weasels, Burnt Weeny Sandwich, Uncle Meat, Chungas Revenge. I think that’s it. Might have had “Freak Out” and “We’re only in it for the Money” too way back when.

  4. This is a very specious piece, with one purpose – to justify a view of the world that continues to privilege a white male dominated view of the world.

    • You’re right and I don’t get it from a writer as intelligent as Chris. Martyn also disappears into this pointless rabbit hole from time to time as well. It’s the world of wedge issues and paranoia when what we need is sharp, class based economic analysis and solutions.

    • ye, way to represent the youth. Big fan ma’am and, its a good sign that I’m here where with you it seems the real discussions are here. As a student doing L2 NCEA I love the use of “specious” definite gonna use it some time soon.

      RNZ is epic.

      • Clay: “…I love the use of “specious”…”

        Check out the meaning before you do. Specious this article certainly ain’t: that word has just been used as part of a commenter’s opinion.

      • XstraightXedgeX: “do homeless unemployed white men have any privilege?”

        Nope. Except for the “privilege” of being white, a characteristic over which your friend has no control, of course.

        It’s difficult to escape the conclusion that at least some people who aren’t white have what my late mother used to call a massive inferiority complex about their skin colour. And no matter what the rest of us do, we’re excoriated for being white. As if it were our fault….

    • Liz has it occurred to you that the reason the majority of judges are white men is that there are more Pakeha male lawyers than there are Maori, Chinese, Samoan, Tongan etc? In fact the majority of men in this country
      happen to be white anyway. What’s more they don’t make the law, Parliament does, and Parliament may have a bigger assortment of ethnicity and gender mixes than any old-fashioned lolly shop.

    • That’s not right Liz, the essay is about the right to present an alternative POV not it’s justification.
      The thought occurs: If your assumption is correct, that everything is about power (it’s not), why would people not try and claim (or cling to) said power – by whatever means necessary. Perhaps genuine dialogue is a better option. No?

    • Dr Gordon, you cannot have not taken much notice of what Chris is actually saying. Nowhere does he argue for or defend white male privilege. On the contrary he is a strong advocate for womens’ rights and racial equality.
      The problem, from my point of view, is that he sees imperialism and colonialism as the best or only guarantors of human rights. So the invasion of Afghanistan by “the men of the west” is justified by the liberation of Afghan women. British rule over Aotearoa is justified so long as Maori have “equal rights”. This view of the world, even if sincerely held, is deeply flawed. The good that we may do cannot be used to exculpate us from our sins. Imperialism and colonialism have bloodied hands. Ultimately they are not concerned with democracy, morality, or human rights but with the exercise of naked power over others.
      Chris does not discriminate between men and women, Maori or Pakeha, Muslim or Christian. He stands for an old style Anglophile imperial system which exercises power equally over all.
      But in doing so he leans towards fascism, citing Cicero “the public safety is the highest law” and lauds “the peoples dictatorship” of, believe it or not, Jacinda Ardern. He is an advocate of political chicanery (urging the left to not reveal its true political agenda when going into an election) and expediency (counseling the left to moderate its stand to appeal to a imagined bloc of European voters who are old school colonialists and indeed racists). He is Machiavellian and that is where I find myself unable to engage with him any longer. Not because he is a colonialist, or an imperialist, but because despite all his erudition and eloquence, he is politically amoral and therefore not someone that I can trust.

  5. Yes agree with you Liz our judiciary system according to the recent breakdown of New Zealand judges shows our legal system continues to privilege a white male dominated view of the world.

    • PS Apologies for getting slightly off-topic. But RNZ’s treatment of judiciary issues seems to go to an insistence that we judge anything and everything by peoples’ immutable characteristics.

    • I does indeed Covid is pa. And it needs to be questioned and analyzed. Anyone know the percentage of males vs females in NZ ?
      The Judiciary is overpaid, over privileged, and overly pakeha and male. This is not an accurate representation of our population and reflects the promotion of men in a profession dominated by men to it’s own detriment. It is a toxic cartel without any real checks on it’s greed and over zealous sense of entitlement.
      Male centered viewpoints are a primary reason for the insistence of our judicial system on brutal inappropriate punishments, lack of rehabilitation, and ludicrous drug laws.
      Slow to change and grossly out of touch many could be described as stupid old farts!

      • Shona would you ever use hateful words like “toxic”, “entitlement” and “stupid” to describe professions that currently have higher female representation than male? Would you ever use this kind of language to describe any other broad race or category of people? Also can you please explain for me what’s wrong with being old?

        Isn’t there a word that applies when someone judges the character of people they don’t know based on broad, physical characteristics that they have no control over?

        • Martin: “…would you ever use hateful words like “toxic”, “entitlement” and “stupid” to describe professions that currently have higher female representation than male?”

          I agree with this, and with the rest of your comment. Such characterisations are unfortunate and contribute nothing to the debate, except further divisiveness and resentment.

    • there are no barriers stopping anyone who wants to become a judge doing just that.

      90% of pre school teachers are female. Is that a problem for you? if not why not?

      • no barriers other than economic advantage , access to education,adequate affordable shelter, home/social environment and plain old class advantage .so yeah nah xstraightxedgex that’s an utter crock! Most of our judges come from the prosecution not the defence although Andrew Little did balance that a bit when he was Justice Minister appointing more judges from the defence ranks.The sex crimes court creation was a definite step in the right direction much kudos to Judge Sharp for her work there.
        Crown Prosecutors are generally contemptible arseholes who should never be allowed anywhere near the bench without an apprenticeship in Northland or South Auckland of about 10 years hard yakka.

        • going to have to disagree with you on that very simplistic outlook.

          I have seen plenty of people achieve all sorts of things regardless of their skin colour, bank balance or societal standing, my mother being one of them.

          She went from being a financially struggling solo mum with two kids to becoming a very successful and respected CEO of a tertiary college.How? hard work, determination and a clear vision of where she wanted to be heading with her life.

          My mums life story makes a mockery of the woke “white privilege” mantra. Where was my Mum’s privilege?

          Anyhow Perhaps being a judge only appeals to a certain demographic in the same way rugby and league teams are dominated by certain demographics?

          Maybe come cultures don’t focus on or see the importance in education hence them finding it difficult to get better pad jobs in the work force

          etc

          • “Maybe come cultures don’t focus on or see the importance in education hence them finding it difficult to get better paid jobs in the work force.”

            Honestly, xstraightxedgex, that’s a bit of a stab in the dark. MOE has funded a truckload of research that examines why some cultural groups in AO/NZ, two in particular, under-achieve in education. Its certainly not because they “don’t see the importance”. Some studies go beyond statistical measurement and interview parents, what they hope for their children. No different to anyone else.

            Despite the aspirations why don’t they do as well, at all levels of education? Well, its complex, but the explantions I’m attracted to are lingusitic and cultural, especially in formative education – which then impacts on school-leaving achievement and beyond. Many brown children learn their own language at home and arrive at school behind the 8 ball, since education in NZ is in English (other than too few bilingual initiatives). Feel good your own language, value your own culture, transition to the language of education, learn to walk in both worlds.

            Language is of course part of culture, but another reason why many brown people don’t do as well is that they don’t see their cultural values reflected in the curriculum – although this is changing a bit I think.

            This is what some of the research concludes. Contested? For sure. But its not because they don’t value education.

            • Bozo: “…but the explantions I’m attracted to are lingusitic and cultural…”

              Before the Rogernomics neoliberal revolution, I’d likely have agreed with you that these factors explained the failure of Maori in particular to do well in education. However: that explanation was comprehensively undermined by the arrival from the late 1980s of large numbers of Asian migrants, whose children went on to do very well in our education system. I remember adherents to that view above tying themselves in knots trying to explain the success of the immigrants, compared with Maori children.

              “Many brown children learn their own language at home and arrive at school behind the 8 ball….”

              Actually, that’s not so. Children competent in their native language at 5 can – and in the case of migrants, do – go on to perform very well in education. They acquire native-like English very speedily. I’ve watched this happen: I live with somebody who did just that. I went to school with many migrant children, all of whom were speakers of English as a second language. And they sounded just like the rest of us, were as competent in English as the rest of us.

              “…another reason why many brown people don’t do as well is that they don’t see their cultural values reflected in the curriculum…”

              That’s also true of all those migrant children who’ve done so well in our education system.

              The more plausible explanatory factor is class. Many (but not all) working class or lower SEC people tend to place less value on education. Maori are disproportionately in this class. Migrants here tend to be middle class and to place great value on education.

              Middle class Maori perform in school just like middle class children anywhere. I know this: I went to school and university with them.

              • Fair points D’Esterre. As you put it the socio-economics of the family is a big factor. As is social capital, what kids bring in terms of a head start in the dominant education system. The Australians found that the common factor of kids who did best in early schooling (based on standardized tests after 3 or 4years) was prior education of the parents. As an example, kids of Chinese and Korean parents (whether both in Australian or not) outperformed many others, including some 2nd or 3rd generation Australians. So yes not mother –tongue per se, or curriculum content, that can put some at a disadvantage.

                I wasn’t really referring to spoken language however, although it may have seemed so. Kids especially pick up another spoken language easily –it’s the type of literacy needed in academic contexts – even in schools – that hold many back. That’s much harder evidently.

    • Is there a white male view of the world or is this just a rhetorical device to make an ad hominem look like sophisticated rebuttal?

      If a woman or non-white male agrees with Chris, is this ‘internalised sexism’, ‘internalised racism’, ‘false consciousness’ not an ‘authentic voice’ or is it just a way to paper over the cracks in an identitarian narrative?

  6. Having flagellated ourselves by listening to magic talk and mocking Shaun and Peter and their callers I can attest that Shaun at least is in the third dimension. He is ebullient and at times both endearing and surprising. But six weeks of boomer toxicity over the summer was enough dizzying toxicity mixed with the toxicity of the paint fumed we were exposed to.
    Your averment is that to hold right wing views is not a sickness nor does it make you a bad person. Views that obstruct the betterment of people who are poor, sick, disabled and downtrodden must be seen for what they truly are.
    As I sat on the hard wooden pews as a child I have never forgotten the stern presbyterian minister looking directly at me from his pulpit and proclaiming that “if a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered”.

    • RNZ’s recent work on the judiciary is unfortunate in the extreme, and its label as “in-depth” just as ironic.

      The analysis is in no way nuanced or deep enough to make out the headline claims – which seem apparently to be something simplistic like “the judiciary is racist”. The analysis shows an innumeracy at least, or a willful abuse of stats if not. An example of further nuance (in analysing discharge w/o conviction, as one of the pieces has) would be to at least to attempt to ‘control’ for the type of offending where discharge occurs, first offence dimensions, etc. In analysis the composition of the judiciary (as another piece has) one should probably also try to control for the time it takes for experience to wash through the profession and bench. We should all want to find what is at the bottom of serious analysis in this area, in order that we might do better by our fellow kiwis.

      On this, a hypothesis: Even if the analysis were appropriately nuanced, I think we’d the kind of point Chris makes often. That unfortunate disparities in the justice system are ultimately linked far more powerfully with poverty, and not ethnicity. The rich irony in reading RNZ’s pieces has been that every expert spoken to speaks basically about the effect of poverty. So even in the absence of serious analysis, the anecdote in their work doesn’t match the headlines.

      Then there’s the shortsightedness of the national broadcaster near-attacking the judiciary, publicly, in such obvious narrative-driven fashion. Does it really think a world with even less trust in a core institution is going to be a better one? It’s not like we can just do away a judiciary. This is matched only by the hubris of the apparent pretence that a 1000 year old institution can just be replaced at the click of a finger.

      RNZ find the socio-economic divisions in our country appalling and tragic. To that, here here. Which comes to the tragedy of it all: they’re just not smart (or willing) enough to cultivate a public conversation directed to the real root causes.

      • Brenty: “That unfortunate disparities in the justice system are ultimately linked far more powerfully with poverty, and not ethnicity.”

        That’s exactly right, and it’s what the evidence shows. It’s disingenuous in the extreme to attempt to characterise it as racism. Regrettably, the same thing is said over health and education disparities.

        Some years ago, I stopped listening to RNZ National, exactly for the above reasons. It comes as no surprise to hear that it’s still going on.

        “Then there’s the shortsightedness of the national broadcaster near-attacking the judiciary, publicly, in such obvious narrative-driven fashion.”

        It’s bizarre at best, verging on persecution of a sort, at worst. The national broadcaster ought not to be taking sides as it so obviously does. Being a social justice warrior isn’t any part of its remit.

        “Which comes to the tragedy of it all: they’re just not smart (or willing) enough to cultivate a public conversation directed to the real root causes.”

        And this is the heart of the issue, in my view. That’s exactly what a national broadcaster ought to be doing, not cheerleading for persecution of the judiciary (which cannot defend itself) and for ethno-nationalism, as it presently does.

        • Neil: “Perhaps you should write and say that to the author of the RNZ piece…”

          If that was intended for me, my response is that I would if I didn’t know that they’d either take no notice, or would respond with epithets. I know from prior experience what that lot is like, which is why I no longer listen to RNZ National. I still like Concert though: no politics there!

  7. I’ve just made an awful coffee. I don’t know what went wrong but it was bloody awful. It tasted of rusty nail with a feeble body and no matter how much sugar I front-end-loaded into it, it still tasted the same. Bloody awful. Mean, weak and bitter. Not unlike plunket. Without a cadre of swine to run defence for he’d be unemployed with no real world talents or skills to fall over his flat feet on to.
    I added danger to the disappointment of how awful my coffee was because I nearly chocked on it reading Chris Trotters gibberish above.
    @ CT? Have you bumped your head, poor lamb?
    “As if Keith Holyoake, Jim Bolger and Bill English aren’t respected by New Zealanders of all political persuasions for their rough-hewn dignity and love of country. ”
    What…? Are you serious? Surely, your words are tauntingly cynical? Please? Tell me you’re joking?
    “rough-hewn dignity” What…? “ Love of country” Are you fucking joking?
    Those three worthless arseholes have traitorously thrown their own country people ( And because country people also earn our foreign exchange, it’s the rest of us as well.) under foreign bankster buses ! Farmers? Thanks to holyoak, bolger and english you’re now whimpering little female dogs to foreign owned banks who take YOUR $6 Billion plus off-shore annually.
    Is that actually you @ CT? Has the real Chris Trotter been kidnapped and replaced by a Chinese made, American funded Robo Trotter programmed to do the bidding of the cadre of swine who exploit us daily while we can look at homeless people with all the compassion (Probably less) of visitors to a zoo? “Aw look…? Bless, he just pooped in that gutter?”
    Your opinion re Left and Right politics leaves me with an impending feeling of doom.
    Right wingers are capitalists and it is capitalism that’s burning down our only biosphere.
    The Left wing built our public infrastructure and the right wing sold them off as thought it all belonged to them.
    But you know that @ CT…? What the fuck’s going on?
    Right Wingers are greedy and dangerous. The game of deception to further their own agendas, which is always, always in their best interests and fuck the rest of us, has destroyed our agrarian systems of organic and sustainable land management and factoryised our food etc production solely to make money from farmers buried under carefully scripted debt. Rural slavery springs to mind and now we can’t drink the water in our creeks, rivers and lakes and our damned slaves did it! Not us rich fuckers.
    I must admit. I’ve been pulling back from The Daily Blog of late. Some of the stuff I’ve written hasn’t been published but I thought that was merely personal grievance stuff after I hit a nerve etc but am I correct in thinking that The Daily Blog has been a Covert Op’s Deep State right wing confederacy who’s mandate was to root out the dissenters and get a sense of the vector of any potential opposition to what’s about to happen?
    Is AO/NZ about to become a republic? Are we about to sever ties with the Crown? Are we about to become a servant class to billionaire yanks buying AO/NZ citizenship with their loose change?
    Help me out here @ CT? Please? Argue me down and give me assurances that it’s all just a figment of my silly old imagination?
    It’s just a theory to express my concerns for why we’re being conspired against.
    We met once at Galbraith’s Tavern. ( OK I admit it. I accosted you as you were speeding by with an arm full of beers.) You told me that you enjoyed my writing and said I was an anarchist. Well, I’m not an anarchist, I don’t think, but I’m definitely 100% Left Wing. And a farmer! How could that be? How could I be a farmer AND be Left Wing? It’s easy. I’ve never believed a word the scum right wing, gimme-all-your-money-now-work-harder! fuckers have ever said.
    I’m building a website and I’m bewildered by the seemingly mystical process of it. I have to go and line trim the lawn ( Never, ever lawnmower mow a lawn.) just to bring up my blood pressure to heave back into it. Building a website requires fresh cat entrails to be stretched over a rock at midnight under a full moon? Who knew that?
    Countryboy.co.nz.
    Here I come!

    • Heh, “Robo Trotter”!–classic…

      The Daily Blog has been loaded to the gunwales with right wing pillocks lately, not my idea of a good time.

      Chris as a professional columnist runs to a bit of cycle, and a certain, though not easily discernible ratio, of right to left posts. He has to get paid somehow like anyone. Not that TDB is a paying gig!

      There are intricate networks among media people that can lead to paying gigs and vital tip offs, so pundits generally leave some wriggle room or even write against type.

    • Somewhere in that hot mess of verbiage, Countryboy, there is, quite possibly, both a point and an argument, but I’m not going to look for it. If someone told me that there was $50 note somewhere in the slurry pit, I would try to find it either.

      Some cattle defecate in semi-solid dollops – and some just spray. I try to steer well clear of the latter. Not that the former are all that safe to follow, but at least you can dance your way around their deposits.

      Not a lot of opportunities for dancing in this latest comment of yours, Comrade.

        • ‘verbiage’. I had to look that up.
          I thought it was a kind of fermented Dutch cabbage dish heated in the microwave. God forbid.
          A $50 slurry pit? I’d a been happy with a $tenner thus I take that as a compliment.
          You forget. I’m trying to make a point against a well educated and erudite fellow. Of course I’m going to flounder. But where’s your compassion but more importantly, your truthful counter argument?
          Your spatter of verbal diarrhoea narrative has no weight to it. Try more bran?
          The reality is beautiful for its simplicity. Our farmers earn our money while you city fellers fucking spend it i.e waste it. But wait, there’s more. There are, within our farmer-thing, ie, other farmers, who sell farmers out like poverty stricken women in a right wing news paper’s personals column. That’s private enterprise for you.
          I used i.e. Too much, right? I dropped it there didn’t I?
          The truth is a fearsome and unstoppable thing. Once it’s let loose… It empowers itself, as if driven by some divine momentum.
          Too much?

  8. Excellent article, Chris!
    Vance’s article is hilarious for her choking on her cornflakes as she writes, loading her vocabulary at every turn:
    “Plunket is a strong proponent of the free speech panic”… (A neutral position would be: “Plunket is a strong proponent of free speech”)
    “Plunket buys into the theory popular among conservatives”… (She should just have come out and said “conspiracy theory”)
    But the doozy has to be: “He is particularly exercised that a new $55m public interest journalism fund incorporates a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. However, many outlets already include this in their charters or corporate values.”
    This is too funny. She is admitting that news organisations believe there is no further discussion allowed about the Treaty and they are already perfectly aligned with the govt’s prescribed view so bribing them is completely unnecessary.
    As one friend rewrote it: “Herr Plunket is particularly exercised that a new $55m deutschemark Public Interest Journalism Fund incorporates a commitment to the promotion of establishing a Juden-rein Deutschland. However, many outlets already include this in their charters or corporate values.”

  9. I see no issue with different journalists and media authors discussing each other’s style and maybe even critique each other’s work to a point. But where should they stop. Are these authors that precious that they find it hard to accept that there are other points of view out there. Are they insecure in that what another author writes, can’t be right if it doesn’t fit their thinking. I haven’t read Andrea Vance’s article and don’t intend to because I have the choice of whether I read an article or not. Hers will be one of many opinions out there. We, the readers don’t need the opinion of any Journalist or author to influence us on who we should read, and in what style or subject they choose to write about. For any author to do that, and at times thinking they are taking the moral high ground will in turn make them open for criticism. We don’t have to look far politically to see JC being caught without a mask after publicly criticising SW. It’s dangerous territory.

  10. Christopher hits the nail squarely on the head:

    A Woke establishment massively downplaying & obfuscating their own glaring economic privilege while systematically scapegoating low income ‘outgroups’ as their fall guys to do all the sacrificing & suffering.

  11. Thank you, Tiger Mountain. Your comment is one of the best deconstructions of a post I’ve ever read. I suspect Mr Trotter wrote the piece to elicit such an incisive rebuttal as yours.

  12. I started watching Russell Brand. Allow me to suggest you give it a go.
    Vanda Shiva’s opinions should be taken very seriously.
    Start here?
    Russell Brand talks with Vanda Shiva.
    https://youtu.be/j6rHN65dLTc
    “I spoke with Indian scholar, food sovereignty advocate and environmental activist Vandana Shiva on my podcast, Under The Skin. In this clip we discuss colonisation, how billionaires are the new Columbus and what needs to be done to take back power. She warns that if we don’t get it right, the human species will become extinct.
    You can listen to the full conversation from Under The Skin on Luminary, available on Apple Podcasts at http://apple.co/russell
    #VandanaShiva #Colonisation #WealthTransfer #Billionaires #RussellBrand
    Elites are taking over! Our only hope is to form our own. To learn more join my cartel here https://www.russellbrand.com/join and get weekly bulletins too incendiary for anything but your private inbox.”

  13. Yes those words are a way of signalling to the faithful that a someone is tainted or unclean.

    Under woke or *critical* social justice King is out and Kendi is in.

    OUT:
    Colourblind ideals and not judging by the colour of skin (or sex, gender, sexuality etc), but by the content of character.



    IN:
    
“The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination”

    This is one example of why *critical* social justice is a cuckoo in the nest of social justice.

    There is rationale to this which is to achieve equity or equal outcomes between identity groups. Indeed in the US the lack of equity between white and black is the diagnostic of structural racism. However it also means an assumption that class is always downstream of race, problematises the success of asian-americans and ignores the success of nigerian-americans. I’ve not yet seen a CSJ narrative explaining why russian-americans are far more successful that french-americans but if equity is the measure then there ought to be one.



    Reasons are many however is seems we much prefer totalising narratives around identity and the resulting moral clarity of what it takes to be a good person. Not to mention circular logic.
    https://youtu.be/Ey04EWAuBhA?t=337

    • “Indeed in the US the lack of equity between white and black is the diagnostic of structural racism. ”

      Tui I’m not sure if you’re saying you believe this, or if you’re just citing the logic of “social justice”. Equating inequality of outcome with structural racism (or racism of any kind) is unwarranted. Inequalities of outcome between different demographics are the norm, rather than the exception – irrespective of whatever kind of outcome you wish to measure. Think of the economic success of Jews, despite discrimination in America and outright persecution in Europe. And under the Ottoman empire, Christian Greeks were often economically successful despite being second class citizens: they paid more tax than Muslims, were barred from holding political office, and their word in court was worth only half that of a Muslim. Yet *on average* the Greeks were more literate, better educated, and wealthier than Muslim Turks – possibly because they inherited the Byzantine esteem for education and flair for business, whereas Muslim Turks had other cultural priorities.

      In your post you’ve also raised some good points that torpedo the structural racism narrative. According to the structural racism idea, we’d have to conclude the USA education system was set up to favour Asians – and maybe the NZ system too!

      • I’m citing the logic which I don’t agree with. As you say different outcomes between groups is the norm and genuinely oppressed groups can actually have better outcomes, which is an observation not a justification. Reasons are complicated and the intersectional model is easy to falsify yet it has become dominant in woke discourse.

        I’m also pointing out that there is a difference between Social Justice (MLK, 2nd wave feminism, 80/90s gay rights etc) which comes out of a liberal tradition and woke or *Critical* Social Justice which comes out various schools of Critical Theory. Superficially they seem related but they are divergent even fundamentally opposed.

        (Critical Theory schools such as Critical Race Theory, Queer Theory etc which have little to do with critical thinking and are a philosophy not a scientific theory).

  14. Some sensible thoughts and similar to what I read from Vance’s piece. The Liz Gordon’s and Andrea Vance’s of the world want us to believe not subscribing to identity politics or their type of “progessivism” means we simply want to uphold the patriarchal etc and are morally repugnant. They hold if you call something “with the times” it must be both correct and good.

    It’s a philosophical and conceptual crap-piece of laziness, arrogance, rhetorical trickery, and poor thought. The world has developed immensely in the last 30 years and on many social issues, including gay marriage, most have come round.

    But what has happened in the last 5 years in particular is an ideology, not progress or equality, but puritanical authoritarianism of the ever-more radical Left. “Woke” is often a lazy word for this, but it’s not the rabid Right who started it. People are just realising it’s horrendous consequences and starting to speak up.

  15. Chris, as always you write brilliantly, carefully and aptly.

    And then you have another bloke who chucks around words like C**t. How boorish and base.

    • Ben: “And then you have another bloke who chucks around words like C**t. How boorish and base.”

      Yes indeed: I noticed this too. It’s just particularly egregious name-calling, presumably because the commenter is fresh out of countervailing arguments.

    • The C bomb exemplifies the genesis of NZ’s cultural revolutionaries!!??

      However offensive you may find a pakeha word. M Davidson is ok with it, so much so, as, she believes it captures woman(hood). Mainstream tv from parliament not so long ago.
      So don’t be so ‘judgemental’ and get a grip. Don’t let your own culture imprison you.

  16. Someone wrote ” When the belly’s full, all else is art.” Who wrote that?
    I know who produced the food. It was farmers, but who wrote that?

  17. Frank McCourt did.
    “McCourt was a mediocre poet who managed to snag a Pulitzer Prize for a book of memoirs, Angela’s Ashes”
    As usual, a critic without talent has the freedom of expression to rail against an artist. Thank God for that. Long may that continue. And vise versa.

  18. Andrea Vance works for Stuff. They will be decimated when Sean Plunket gets his venture off the ground. Forget buying it for a dollar. You wont be able to give Stuff away

  19. Chris, as always I agree with you. As for your detractors, I applaud their right to their views but as someone who has been reading the daily blog for the last year or so I have to say, that it seems to have become a recent target of the Woke. Its almost as if they cant let any dissenting views exist anywhere on the net. Same names, same views and dont try and speak against them.

    Keep on, keeping on and dont let them drive you away. Your point is more necessary now than ever. I am not a supporter of Sean at all but you are quite right in calling out the hypocrisy in Vance’s diatribe.

  20. Plunket is a climate science denying dinosaur. I have heard, from his own mouth, that he would rather let the planet ‘go’ than have the capitalist lifestyle altered.
    I have also heard him say that man is the supreme species and we can do whatever the hell we like to others (justifying cruelty to animals) and denies that we have and are sending others species to extinction.
    Those reasons alone are enough to fight him tooth and nail. He is despicable

    • FoldArt: “Plunket is a climate science denying dinosaur.”

      So what? The rest of us don’t have to agree with him. Or he with us, come to that.

      “Those reasons alone are enough to fight him tooth and nail.”

      There’s no reason at all to fight him. What would be the point? Unless, of course, you have a sneaking suspicion that he’s correct.

      • Well if he can get his new right wing radio station up and running, Plunkett will be able to talk himself into a lather. With special guests, Mike Hosking, Donald Trump, John Key and Kim Jong-un.

      • I am absolutely certain he is dead wrong, especially on those most existential points I mentioned. The planet has no space for denier like him to spread his bullshit anymore.

        • FoldArt: “I am absolutely certain he is dead wrong…”

          All the more reason to ignore him. The world will turn, regardless of what he thinks. It isn’t your concern.

  21. No wonder Plunket, Garner, Williams were sacked – they failed to increase Natz percentage in the polls over the last 5 years despite mass political party broadcasting for the right-wing. Hosking, Duplessis, Soper, Hawkesby, Russell, Woodham, Richardson, Beveridge, Bridge, Panapa have also been big failures and losers in STILL helping the Tories in the polls. The radio station managers should be embarrassed by the 20% result and their work performances/KPI’s. That 20-34% demographics of angry old hate-Cindy men are slowly dying out.
    Bomber I thought you were an Act MP on the platform today. You and Chris should be rooting for the Social Democrats with the media opportunities you get.

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