Brian Edwards

Who is paying Brian Edwards to push this idea so hard?

Some time back my good friend Brian Edwards cried off blogging, but it seems he has found a new source of luncheon sausage because he is back in the saddle so to speak and blogging up a storm.

His latest post suggests that Shane Jones’ time has come to lead the Labour party.

From the tone of his post it seems he has given up on the Cunliffe experiment.

If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you’ll know that I have in the past written some pretty scathing posts on Labour’s Shane Jones. Not to put too fine a point on it, I’ve dismissed him not only as a future leader of the Party, but as a worthwhile Member Of Parliament and a decent human being.

Then, yesterday, I came across this video on the Herald’s website. And I had no choice but to radically change my previous opinion and to do so with a degree of regret that it had ever been expressed. I’d had a preview of Shane Jones’ debating skill and facility with words a week or two back when he was interviewed on The Nation by Paddy Gower. But this was something different. It was an extraordinary display not only of oratory and the art of persuasive communication but of subtlety of thought and intellectual depth, leavened with humour. It was theatre.

One need not go far to look for a reason. Jones is equally fluent in Maori and English. But his impact when he combines the two is nothing less than extraordinary.

Well, he is also a man who provokes strong feelings of approval and disapproval, a high-risk candidate for the highest office in the land. But as I watched and re-watched this speech, I thought I could perhaps see a Leader of the Opposition there and a Prime Minister to boot.

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Brian Edwards scolds Cunliffe

My good friend Brian Edwards really has taken a break from his break in blogging and offered up some advice to David Cunliffe regarding cuddling the Green party.

This is essentially a rerun of the arguments against too close an association between Labour and the Alliance in 1999. But Labour won that election in a landslide.

And there’s a major difference between the Alliance then and the Greens today.  The Alliance would  survive for only three years in Parliament. The Greens are today a major political force, currently with 14 seats in Parliament. And, under the Norman/Turei leadership, they have largely lost their image as environmental flakes.

In my submission, far from weakening Labour’s electoral chances, a formal pre-election coalition agreement with the Greens would have created a strong centre-left force, a blend of pragmatism and idealism, clearly differentiated from National  and with wide electoral appeal. And strength in numbers.

Cunliffe’s rejection of the Greens’ pre-election engagement proposal has merely served to bolster the public view of a divided left, incapable of getting its act together, let alone running the country.   Read more »

Another perspective on Dotcom’s nazi fetish

Carrie Stoddart-Smith  at Ellipsister blogs on her thoughts about Kim Dotcom, the Interet party and his nazi fetish.

On its own, purchasing the copy of Mein Kampf and other WW2 memorabilia isn’t in my view sufficient evidence for claiming that KDC is a Nazi sympathiser. It might raise questions about his character, however, collectors do in fact purchase these kinds of items and we cannot ignore the news coverage of the raid on KDC’s mansion that referred to him as a collector of sorts.

But I think Giovanni Tiso is right about social norms in Germany and the improbability of German’s finding pleasure in collecting Nazi artefacts or posing for photo’s wearing Nazi memorabilia.  Tiso writes from his experience and understanding as an Italian, the difference between how neo-Nazism is approached in Italy versus Germany.

I blogged yesterday on Giovanni Tiso’s position.

I do have my reservations as to whether there would have been as much public interest or even outcry if only a single event tarnished KDC’s name. I’m sure there would still have been questions that lingered and general suspicions. Interestingly or even perhaps unsurprisingly, many bloggers who support KDC have limited their focus to a single factor attempting to minimise the weight attributed to the claims against KDC, including a post promoted by Vikram Kumar entitled The power of an open mind that hinges only on the fact that KDC owned Mein Kampf.

To my knowledge, KDC has not even made a decent attempt to apologise for his offensive behaviour or comments. Instead he dismisses the claims or events as unremarkable, or offers up excuses and weak justifications for his actions.  Read more »

Brian Edwards has his panties in a bunch

My good friend and luncheon sausage aficionado Brian Edwards has got his panties in a bunch over TV3′s media bias.

The following report by TV3 political editor Paddy Gower appeared on the channel’s 6pm bulletin last night. Setting aside as best you can your political prejudices, please answer the following question: Is this journalism or a party political broadcast on behalf of the National Party?

He needn’t worry, TVNZ is pulling their weight as Labour’s sleeper agents.    Read more »

If Hone has bolted then who is the mystery MP or is Kim Dotcom just making it all up?

It look like Hone Harawira has realised the problem inherent in bending over for Kim Dotcom and declared the deal is off.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has said they would not look to work with Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party any time soon.

In a statement released tonight, Mr Harawira said liaising with Mr Dotcom’s party – to be launched on Thursday – would not be in Mana’s best interests.

With the Herald editorial and the Dompost editorial out right hostile, perhaps he has done something smart for once in his life.

Small parties need friends, and so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised at Mana’s flirtation with the Internet party. MP Hone Harawira has tried to broaden his appeal since he split with the Maori Party. He came up with Mana, a collection of brown and white radicals that got a little more than 1 per cent of the vote in the 2011 election. That was roughly what ACT got.

In other words, the Mana experiment is not working and something else is required. But Kim Dotcom can’t be the answer to Mana’s problem. Politics makes strange bedfellows, but this couple would be grotesque. The party of the poor and the dispossessed hooks up with a German tycoon? The party of justice and redistribution beds down with the man from Megabucks Corp?

[...]  Read more »

Tricky or Shifty don’t matter, it comes down to trust

My good friend Brian Edwards has gone back to blogging, despite swearing off it.

He explains just why it is that John Key is going to win this election…and it isn’t because of being called tricky or shifty…it comes down to trust….and no one trusts David Cunliffe.

Intelligence, articulacy, skill in argument – these are all measurable, objective criteria. But it’s when you get to matters of character, of how each man comes across, that the picture is less distinct. Cunliffe calls Key ‘shifty’; Key calls Cunliffe ‘tricky’. Both are probably right – they’re politicians after all.

But it’s not the full story. In the world of ‘Who would you most like to have dinner with, go fishing with, share a bach with, play golf with, go on holiday with’ journalism, Key has it over Cunliffe. People think Key is ‘nice’; ‘nice’ is not a word commonly applied to Cunliffe.

‘Nice’ may not cut it in politics, of course. Ask David Shearer. But it’s not a liability either. Not being trusted is an entirely different matter. On our daily Ponsonby/Herne Bay strolls, Judy and I receive both solicited and unsolicited opinions on politics and politicians. One theme is dislike of ‘rich prick’ Key, another is distrust of Cunliffe. When you ask for evidence to justify this distrust, you get: ‘Don’t really know exactly… can’t quite put my finger on it… just something… something about his face maybe.’  Read more »

Back on the payroll, or a last throw of the dice?

My good friend Brian Edwards has had a conniption.

Just months after declaring he was over the blogging lark he sallies forth for another go.

Poor old Brian, sad when you reach the stage in life when things get a bit confused. No doubt the elation of David Cunliffe’s lurch to the far left and all the promise that held for him has been dashed by the reality of the train wreck that it has turned out to be.

Even his largely sycophantic lefty audience are a bit shocked by his rapid decline.

Critics of Labour leader David Cunliffe regularly accuse him of acting, implying lack of sincerity. I rarely hear the same criticism of John Key. So is John Key more sincere than David Cunliffe? No. John Key is a better actor than David Cunliffe. With endless repetition, the role he is playing – amiable, easy-going, in charge but still just one of us – has become second-nature to him and, in the process, less recognisable for what it is. Actor and real person have merged.

I suspect that Key may in reality be the most focused and ruthless Prime Minister New Zealand has seen, the total pragmatist. When principle and pragmatism collide, principle invariably gives way. By comparison the oft-derided Rob Muldoon was a naive idealist, his bullying manner obscuring a genuine man of the people, genuinely concerned for the ordinary person. You might not like Muldoon’s principles, but he stuck to them.

As for Key, I ceased to believe in him as a man of integrity when he negotiated the ‘pokies for payola’ arrangement with Sky City, the shonkiest and most socially  irresponsible political deal I can remember in my half century living in this country.   Read more »

TVNZ as Labour’s candidate kindy, promoting another candidate

TVNZ really is becoming the candidate kindy for the Labour party.

There was Brian Edwards, Chris Laidlaw who once used to comment on rugby games, one failed to become an MP despite trying and other failed as an MP and went on to embed himself at Red Radio.

Then we had Kris Fa’afoi, who went from TVNZ gallery team to the leader’s office and then became an MP.

Shane Taurima wanted to be an MP, failed in one selection, was preparing for another selection battle and ran branch meetings and fundraising committees from TVNZ offices.

And yesterday Tamati Coffey pushing himself forward as potential candidate in Rotorua.

Now we have TVNZ using another Labour candidate on television.


Kieran McAnulty, bookie, and Labour candidate for Wairarapa

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Game changers

How many times have we heard ‘game changer’ for something to do with the Labour party?

Lots. And the game so far hasn’t changed.

GST off fresh fruit and vegetables:

“Labour’s plan is a bold one. It’s a game-changer. It’s about fairness,” said Mr Goff at the time.

Capital Gains Tax:

Leader Phil Goff yesterday unveiled the party’s “bold” CGT regime, saying its time had come, and it would be a game-changer for Labour, which is struggling to narrow National’s lead in the polls.

Raising the super age of eligibility:

Mr Goff hopes the announcement will be a game-changer. Raising the age of eligibility for National Superannuation would affect 2.4 million New Zealanders.


But the potential disclosure of the contents of that conversation – held only a metre away from the closest reporters – could yet throw a rocket into this election campaign. It is a game-changer.   Read more »

Fair Go founder Brian Edwards releases “how to (not) deal with Fair Go” media kit

My good friend Brian Edwards is fed up to the back teeth with Fair Go.  The current incarnation of it, anyway.

But is Fair Go today really any different to the programme which I devised, hosted and for a time produced in the late 70s and early 80s? In one major respect it is. Throughout that period the programme was broadcast live. Where possible the complainee was cross-examined live in the studio. As a viewer you got to see every question that was asked and every answer that was given. This ‘open justice’ constituted a significant protection for the complainee and served to keep the programme honest.

Nothing that you see on Fair Go today is live. Everything is pre-recorded. In many cases the original interview with the complainee will have been several times longer than the 2 or 3 minutes you see on the programme. As a viewer you have no idea how many or which questions or answers were cut out or whether the edited version fairly or honestly reflects the original. In our experience of dealing with Fair Go complainees who agreed to be interviewed for the programme, many claim to have been repeatedly asked essentially the same question, a method common in police interrogations. Most thought the broadcast edited version bore little resemblance to the original. Most regretted having agreed to be interviewed.

For some years now Fair Go has been a programme out of control. Its reporters, with the notable exceptions of Hannah Wallace and Kevin Milne,  about whom we have never received a single complaint, are power-drunk bullies, its journalism is suspect, its honesty open to question.

Well, that’s pretty clear.  You mean, Fair Go is like most other media where they just write/produce to a preconceived idea instead of following where the story actually goes?

But Brian lists a survival kit set of rules if you find yourself at the wrong end of “Fair” Go.

*Have nothing to do with them.

*If they send you an email, do not reply.

*If they phone you, hang up.

*If they come on to your property, ask them to leave. Repeat your request more than once. If they remain on the property, call the police.

*If they harass you in a public place, ask them politely to go away and leave you alone. Do not run, hide your face or say ‘No comment’.

*If the harassment continues, write a letter of complaint to the Chief Executive of TVNZ as soon as you return home or to your business. Send a copy of your letter to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, marked FYI.

*Talking to Fair Go is the worst thing you can do. Your replies will be taken out of context and used against you.

*Do not send the programme a written statement. Your statement will almost never be broadcast in full. It will be heavily edited, parts taken out of context and used against you.

*Engaging with Fair Go is almost certain to do you more harm than good. They have already made up their mind about you.

*If, despite all of this, the programme proceeds and is inaccurate or unfair, complain immediately in writing to The Chief Executive of TVNZ. If your complaint is rejected or not satisfactorily dealt with, complain in writing to the Broadcasting Standards Authority. You can obtain a brochure on the complaints process by emailing [email protected]

*And by the way: If you’re a company, Fair Go has now discovered a way of compelling you to reveal confidential business information to them on pain of prosecution. That is extremely concerning.

*Finally, if there is substance to a Fair Go complaint against you, put things right immediately. Our advice is not designed to help the guilty.

That’s pretty good advice in general.  Do not speak to media.  At all.  One thing you can be sure  of:  the final story, piece or article will bear little resemblance to what you expect it to be like.