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A small mistake but telling in what it reveals

July 18, 2014

Labour, like most parties, is making use of social media this election. David Cunliffe, the current Labour Party leader, has a fairly strong Facebook presence and when he posts there is a coterie of fans who lap up his comments.

It was perhaps a little unfortunate that the proof reading gremlin struck this post:-

David Cunliffe - The technological revolution will open up opportunities for our kids that we can't even imagine today. Every kid should have those opportunities. Under a Labour Government I lead, ever kid will.

David Cunliffe – The technological revolution will open up opportunities for our kids that we can’t even imagine today. Every kid should have those opportunities. Under a Labour Government I lead, ever kid will.


It was unfortunate in the extreme that a post concerned with education highlighted either an inability to spell, or a lack of vocabulary, or a lack of comprehension or a lack of proof reading by anybody who understood the use of language. Was the error noticed? Did someone just assume the audience would never notice? Perhaps the author assumed nobody would read the graphic closely!

Then of course the folksy use of the descriptor kids for children, when the graphic used the word child.  Finally the blanket promise that every child will have unimaginable opportunities. That is a promise which is just not capable of fulfillment. A moment of reflection will convey that to the reader. The statement fails on so many levels, it is just not credible.

Oh and by the way simply giving children a computer or tablet or whatever, will not of itself solve issues of opportunity, attitude or ability.

This leads me to ponder the question as to whether Cunliffe and his team assume that the electorate are fools to be bought off with the modern equivalent of brad and circuses?

The fresh face for Hutt South

July 18, 2014

National recently selected Chris Bishop as their Hutt South candidate. Chris, a Senior Adviser in Steven Joyce’s office, is up against the old Labour warhorse that is Trevor Mallard.

This week he has been out early in the mornings leafleting at various Hutt Valley railway stations, the photo shows him at Woburn early this morning.

CB_Woburn_18JulyBy all accounts Chris is getting a strongly positive reaction.

If you want to see Mr Mallard pass into the pages of history, just like the warhorse has, then support Chris in Hutt South.

900+ kilometres and counting

June 30, 2014

Adam made another milestone in his fitness and lifestyle programme at the weekend; he passed the 900 km mark in terms of distance walked since 1 January 2014.

In the past he had walked regularly, but in the last few years had lost the habit. At the turn of the year he decided to try and get back into the walking rut so to speak. The initial target was to walk 600 kms in the year, this was achieved by 7 May. Since then, in just under 2 months, a further 300 kms have been walked. So Adam’s present target is to have walked 1800 kms by year end.

This exercise has had excellent cardio-vascular impact and overall morale boosting sense of achievement.

Ship of Fools

June 30, 2014

Listening to Chris Finlayson at the weekend describing the many headed hydra of the left and to Steven Joyce pondering what is the question if the hydra is the answer caused Adam to remember this morning the old allegory of the Ship of Fools. The picture is from the Bosch painting


The Ship of Fools is an allegory drawn from Plato

The allegory depicts a vessel populated by human inhabitants who are deranged, frivolous, or oblivious passengers aboard a ship without a pilot, and seemingly ignorant of their own direction. This concept makes up the framework of the 15th century book Ship of Fools (1494) by Sebastian Brant, which served as the inspiration for Bosch’s famous painting, Ship of Fools: a ship—an entire fleet at first—sets off from Basel to the paradise of fools. In literary and artistic compositions of the 15th and 16th centuries, the cultural motif of the ship of fools also served to parody the ‘ark of salvation’ as the Catholic Church was styled.

In our current world we can visualise the hydra as being, with their hangers on, the passengers on the Ship of Fools. The allegory being especially apt in that the ship is pilotless and nobody on boards knows the direction they are moving in. Then of course we can liken the Labour Party to the Catholic Church, which in past times, was parodied as the ark of salvation, whilst tyrannising the populace with the Inquisition and the relentless pursuit of the Cathars, rather like the present Labour Party pursuit of those members who preofess free trade and/or pro business sentiment.

Or perhaps we can think of the Ship of Fools as a modern day version of the concept written about by Foucault and Barchilion, viz:-

Michel Foucault, who wrote Madness and Civilization, saw in the ship of fools a symbol of the consciousness of sin and evil alive in the medieval mindset and imaginative landscapes of the Renaissance. Though this critical angle conflates myth, allegory and history, scholars such as Jose Barchilion have found Foucault’s words on the subject very insightful. In his introduction to Madness and Civilization, Barchilon writes of the Ship of Fools as if it were an example of actual societal practice:

“Renaissance men developed a delightful, yet horrible way of dealing with their mad denizens: they were put on a ship and entrusted to mariners because folly, water, and sea, as everyone then ‘knew’, had an affinity for each other. Thus, ‘Ship of Fools’ crisscrossed the sea and canals of Europe with their comic and pathetic cargo of souls. Some of them found pleasure and even a cure in the changing surroundings, in the isolation of being cast off, while others withdrew further, became worse, or died alone and away from their families. The cities and villages which had thus rid themselves of their crazed and crazy, could now take pleasure in watching the exciting sideshow when a ship full of foreign lunatics would dock at their harbors.”

In many ways Barchilion’s imagery is very appealing when you consider the likely passengers on our modern day NZ Ship of Fools.

Barefaced cheek

June 22, 2014

There is a good old fashioned phrase ‘barefaced cheek’ , defined as used to describe someone’s behaviour when you want to emphasize that they do not care that they are behaving wrongly; alternatives include shameless and brazen. This came to mind when watching David Cunliffe on both The Nation and Q & A this weekend.

Cunliffe who has been in full bore preachy mode for weeks if not months as he attacks the government on donations and related matters, aided and abetted by Grant Robertson, now when exposed along with his party as neck deep in the poo, is seeking to claim that New Zealanders are not interested in all this stuff and want to hear about the real issues. Given that it has been Cunliffe and his minions who have been raking the muck and claiming the muck is what New Zealanders want to hear about, this is hypocrisy and effrontery of the rankest kind.

Like many who seek to preach from the moral high ground of their virtues he and his have been found to have been vain glorious and are now brought down by their own hubris and over weening sense of self righteousness.

Yet still the media do not really push Cunliffe in interviews on this and still we see the talking head panels seek to defend him.



Knew it was an aberration

June 19, 2014

This morning Adam opined on his Facebook page:-

When TVNZ introduces an item with the words ‘David Cunliffe’s latest debacle’ and Radio NZ has Guyon and Susie running several little negative items re Cunliffe in a row, you know that it is game over for Cunliffe. This is reinforced by Campbell getting out a bunch of wet bus tickets last night and slapping Cunliffe around with them.

Then this afternoon whilst driving back from an appointment he heard part of Jim Mora’s Panel Show. The panellists were David Slack and Dita de Boni. Subject as you would expect was Cunliffe’s latest imbroglio; the comments and attitudes expressed were true to form as regards this show and Radio NZ normally, ie it was all down to the evil National Party, Cunliffe was hard done by etc, etc. If David Slack could have found more ways to give Cunliffe victim saint status ,no doubt he would have. Clearly Radio NZ had a brain fart on Morning Report and have spent the rest of the day making up for it.

Brian Edwards ‘blows the gaff’ on pretensions of the Fourth Estate

May 15, 2014

Brian Edwards, with whom I rarely see eye to eye, has an interesting article on the NBR website. He is writing about conflicts of interest in the media.

Adam’s eye was caught  by these paragraphs, Adam has taken the liberty of bolding some especially pertinent, to his mind, text:-

There is actually nothing new about all of this.

So Edwards is saying that the NZ media have essentially always been compromised in this regard.

Then a key group of sentences:-

The list of television and radio  broadcasters working in news and current affairs who are or have been simultaneously engaged in activities which conflict with their obligation to be and be seen to be utterly impartial in all matters relating to their jobs, is extremely long. They may well be in the majority. Conflicts of interest among such practitioners abound.

According to Edwards conflicts of interest in the news media are endemic and the majority of the media are essentially compromised in this regard. He highlights the area of media training.

The real trouble with the media training business is that some of its practitioners are still working journalists, reporters and interviewers. That makes them both gamekeepers and poachers, who can potentially end up reporting on or interviewing their own clients. Now that is as good a definition of ‘conflict of interest’ as you’ll find.

Edwards has ‘blown the gaff’ on the pretensions of the Fourth Estate. We have seen a lot of guff recently on how the duty of the press is to be impartial and objective and hold politicians to account. Yet myriad instances of ‘poor’ reporting or one sided articles come to mind. So the articles on perceived conflicts of interest in print and broadcast media, nearly always focused on National, are from the pens and mouths of ‘journalists’ who are in fact in many cases conflicted themselves. Now a number of words come to mind, but Adam will settle for two – sanctimonious hyprocrites.



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