Brian Edwards

My good friend Brian Edwards is right on the money

It is not often that I agree with my good friend Brian Edwards, but he has another post I agree with.

He’s finding lots of reasons not to have stopped blogging of late.

His ten ways to lose a by-election without even trying is short, sharp and to the point.

  1. Assume, as you have always assumed, that voters who have tribally supported you in the past will automatically do so again now.
  2. On that assumption shamefully neglect the infrastructure and social needs of the electorate for years.
  3. Choose an uncharismatic, overweight candidate whom no-one has ever heard of on the basis that he or she can expect no real opposition from anyone else.    Read more »

Now this is why Brian Edwards and I are good friends

My good friend Brian Edwards has looked at the terrorism/armed forces/war thing, and it is no surprise he’s come to the same conclusion I have.

…in today’s Herald on Sunday, I read that “… The Defence Force has confirmed soldiers will be given the chance to withdraw from the controversial deployment.”

This is apparently part of being “a good employer”. Personal or family circumstances or “ethical grounds” qualified as the principal justifications for not wanting to be deployed in Iraq. Apparently this has always been the case provided the serviceman or woman “had legitimate reasons”. “Otherwise,” said the Former Chief of Army, Major General Lou Gardiner, “your mates would always see you as a person who opted out. It’s human nature.”

It is indeed. But I would have thought that “legitimate reasons” for not being sent to a war zone would include not wanting to be injured or killed. That too is “human nature”. And, as a Defence Force spokesman reminded us, “military personnel are people who have lives and families and individual circumstances that mean they are less appropriate for a particular deployment”. Read more »

The Eleanor Catton Saturday Series: Part I

My good friend Brian Edwards has stuck his oar in on the Catton debacle.  And he thinks that low ranked talkback hosts like Plunket should be ignored.

Eleanor Catton will have learnt [a] lesson the hard way. The Man Booker Prize winner, only the second New Zealand writer to claim that prize, had, it seemed, committed the unforgivable sin of biting the hand that had fed her. She was, according to her most vitriolic critic, broadcaster Sean Plunkett [sic], “an ungrateful hua”, a term he later translated as “ungrateful scoundrel”. She was also, he said, “a traitor” to New Zealand.

Catton was evidently piqued at The Luminaries not being awarded the main prize at this year’s New Zealand Post Awards though her novel did win the Fiction category of the awards. “We have,” she said, “this strange cultural phenomenon called ‘tall poppy syndrome’; if you stand out you will be cut down.”

A couple of things particularly interested me about this episode. The first was Plunkett’s emphasis on Catton’s ‘indebtedness’ to New Zealand society, her ‘ingratitude’ for everything her country had done for her. Read more »

Who is Andrew Little? Ctd – Can Andrew Little win the Media Battle?

This is what Andrew Little looks like

Labour and the liberal elite have great hopes for Andrew Little.

They seem to think that he will have a broader appeal to middle New Zealand than Phil Goff, David Shearer or David Cunliffe ever did.

The problem with this the camera is unkind to Andrew Little.

Brian Edwards, the left’s master media trainer, called Little “Grim Faced”.

The word is that Edwards reckons that the dour, grim faced little is not going to be able to be media trained.    Read more »

My good friend Brian Edwards and I agree again

It's all about quality not Sex appeal says unattractive Blogger Giovanni Tiso

Giovanni Tiso

That’s what happens when you’re friends.

Media commentator Brian Edwards says the content of Ms Collins’ column – “defending the working man” struck him as interesting, but doesn’t understand the outrage against it.

“Why should she not write a column? She’s on gardening leave at the moment or in rehab, however you want to put it. She needs something to do. I don’t have a problem with it.”

But some are calling for a boycott of the paper. Read more »

Braunias has a new book, and I’m in it, but the cheap bastard never sent me one

Steve Braunias is a good bastard, for a pinko scumbag I really like the guy.

I’ve probably ruined his lefty credentials now, but hey…who cares.

The other night he launched his book called Madmen: Inside the weirdest election campaign ever.

I had to laugh at the name of his publisher, Steve obviously got his inspiration for the name from my good friend Brian Edwards.

God knows where you can buy the book, but if you track it down enjoy the read…the cheap bastard didn’t even send me one despite the fact I’m in it!

I emailed Braunias too…which he loosely outlined in a blog post.Madmen

Following last night’s wildly successful book launch at the Auckland Central Library for Madmen: Inside the Weirdest Election Campaign Ever – 100 people in attendance, including Cactus Kate, Guyon Espiner, a homeless man in a top hat, Ant Timpson, Shayne Carter, two elderly people in advanced stages of dementia, Deborah Hill-Cone, Karl Puschmann, a man who displayed a dozen pieces of paper which he had thrown coffee onto, waited til the stains dried, and presented them as art, Gary Steel, Shayne Currie, Toby Manhire, Miriamo Kamo and her adorable three-year-old daughter, etc  – I came home to find an email from Whale Oil.

Actually, just to correct Steve and look for Nicky Hager, Cactus Kate went along.  Braunias confronted her at the entrance and said he didn’t invite her to which she replied “we often get what we don’t ask for” and proceed to sashay in the door to find the bar.  Nicky was nowhere in sight.

That is when all hell broke loose.    Read more »

Is this idiot reading my emails?

Scott Yorke at Imperator Fish seems to have hacked my emails.

He has a post about talking points for dealing with Andrew Little.

Time is of the essence now that Andrew Little has been confirmed as Labour’s new leader. You can’t afford to let him settle in, to be effective, to unite the various party factions. He needs to be sabotaged, and there’s no time to waste. It’s your job to run him down at every opportunity.

I have compiled a list of talking points for you to use on your blogs and other forms of media. This should save you from having to trawl through various other sites for mud to throw.

Gallery journalists and dime-a-dozen talking-head pundits: feel free to use as required for your columns and opinion pieces, in place of actual analysis.

Andrew Little talking points:

Beholden to union interests, no real public profile, couldn’t even win his electorate, a return to the bad old days of 1970s industrial relations, alarming hard-left agenda, unionist mates will be expecting payoff now, wonder what deals he’s made, anti-democratic, most members and caucus members wanted someone else as leader, unelectable, John Key will be relieved, dour and unlikeable, will further divide the party.

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Andrew Little a bit miffed by my good friend Brian Edwards

andrew_little_labour_simonwong1200

My good friend Brian Edwards (MGFBE) made this comment about Andrew Little the other day.

Of the remaining three I’m going to discount Andrew Little first. I simply don’t believe that the country is ready for a grim-faced former union leader to be Prime Minister or to be this country’s envoy overseas.

And boy has that annoyed Andrew Little, who spoke with Radio New Zealand’s  Focus on Politics show.    Read more »

My Good Friend Brian Edwards passed judgment on the NZ Herald

My Good Friend Brian Edwards seems a bit curmudgeonly these days. Perhaps the butcher has run out of good luncheon sausage?

Anyway MGFBE has passed judgement on the NZ Herald and found them…ermmm…wanting.

Under the editorship of Shayne Currie the New Zealand Herald has been transformed from a quality newspaper into little better than a trash tabloid.

I need to be a little more precise here. Mr Currie has responsibility primarily for the Monday-to-Friday Herald and it is to those editions that my remarks apply.   Read more »

Brian Edwards on the Labour leadership prospects, such as they are

My good friend Brian Edwards (MGFBE) is not happy.

He has written another erudite column about the dearth of talent that besets Labour.

He begins with a focus on euthanasia:

In the past I’ve written several posts and articles about voluntary euthanasia. The ‘voluntary’ bit is crucial, since no-one who wants to go on living, however great their pain or however inconvenient their continuing existence to others, should be cajoled or browbeaten into changing their mind.

But it is hard to come to terms with the overweening arrogance of someone who believes they have the right to deny another human being, whose ongoing suffering has deprived them of all joy in living and who wishes to end that suffering, the right to do so.

The laws that govern these decisions and procedures will of necessity be complex and they must be watertight. But they are not beyond our ability to design and implement. Other countries have done so.

I don’t want to restart this debate. That is not the purpose of this post. This post is about the significance of comments on euthanasia cited in this morning’s Herald by the four contenders for the Labour Party leadership.

Iain Lees-Galloway has taken over responsibility for the ‘End of Life Choice Bill’  after its sponsor, Maryan Street, failed to get elected in September. Lees-Galloway is apparently gauging support before deciding whether to put the Bill back on the private members’ bill ballot. It was removed last year under pressure from the Labour leadership who, according to the Herald, “were concerned it could be an election-year distraction or that it could deter conservative voters”. The new Labour leader, whoever that is, could apparently have the deciding voice on the voluntary euthanasia question.

So what did the contenders for that position have to say?

Well, Nanaia Manuta was in favour of reintroducing the bill  because it would show “that Labour would stand up for those difficult conversations that need to be had”.

I thought that was a pretty principled position to take.

David Parker, who voted against legalising voluntary euthanasia in 2003, didn’t want to comment till he’d talked to Lees-Galloway.

Non-committal and therefore less satisfactory perhaps.

Grant Robertson and Andrew Little both support voluntary euthanasia, but neither considered it a priority at the moment. The fairly clear subtext of their replies was that it was a vote-loser and that a party that had polled 25% in September couldn’t afford to be seen supporting unpopular policies.

I’d call that unprincipled.

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