Bryce Edwards

Bryce Edwards writes an obituary for the New Zealand Mainstream media


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Effwit of the Week

I was going to use Idiot, but somehow it just isn’t enough.

James Dann tweeted this yesterday, and the independent political commentator used by NZ Herald, Bryce Edwards re-tweeted it.

effwit-of-the-week Read more »

Police Commissioner Mike Bush slaps “politically neutral” Bryce Edwards up the head

Bryce Edwards tore a strip off New Zealand Police last week.  Mike Bush gets his sledges in early.

I challenge Dr Bryce Edwards to get out from behind his desk and see first-hand the outstanding work 12,000 New Zealand Police staff do every day.

I have no doubt this would give him a better-informed picture of modern policing, rather than re-visiting a selective handful of high-profile issues dating back over the past 50 years

Academics, journalists and bloggers that don’t get out from behind their desks are constantly being embarrassed by the facts.   But you’d expect academics, especially the “politically neutral” variety to take specific effort to go and get real data rather than form an opinion based on media reports.   Read more »

Guest Post: Bryce Edwards has an agenda


via ODT


I’m not usually one to call out political commentators, but the disingenuous line run over the weekend by Otago University Political Professor Bryce Edwards regarding electoral finance is disgraceful and should be corrected.

On the front page of Saturday’s Weekend Herald, under a story headlined “Loophole: Nat Donors Stay Secret” Mr Edwards uses the term “laundering” to describe the process of the National Party giving large donations from the central party coffers to particular candidates just before the election.   Read more »

NZ Herald Crowdsourcing: We found nothing, but let’s smear National anyway

The NZ Herald launched a “crowdsourcing” initiative to go digging into political donations after the returns were released by they Electoral Commission.

It is the sort of panty sniffing behaviour we’ve come to expect from the Herald.

Basically they are trying to find  donors and then single them out for this donation or that donation and try to pass some sort of moral judgment on that.

Little wonder then that donors try to remain as anonymous as they can.

Essentially though the Herald has found nothing, but after touting their great initiative with much fanfare they had to write something. David Fisher was obviously busy making up something else so they pulled in Matt Nippert to write the hit job.

An analysis of electoral finance declarations shows more than 80 per cent of donations to National Party candidates were channelled through party headquarters in a loophole described as akin to legal “laundering”.

National’s heavy reliance on funding candidates with donations from the party – shown in a Herald study to account for more than $1m out of $1.2m raised by their candidates for the 2014 general election – was a “striking use of electoral law that appears to be laundering the money”, said Otago University political science lecturer Bryce Edwards.

Electoral law requires candidates to reveal the identity of donors who contribute $1,500 or more, but political parties can keep donors secret even if they give up to $15,000.

Dr Edwards said the channelling of candidate donations through parties had “become a way around” having to disclose more information about the source of campaign funds.

“It’s not illegal and it’s up to different interpretations whether it’s ethical or not, but there should now be heat on politicians to explain what’s going on and to tighten up this loophole,” he said.

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“Independent” political commentator Bryce Edwards has no clue

Labour leader Andrew Little and Prime Minister John Key are both due to give their State of the Nation speeches tomorrow.

So, after last year’s lively election campaign and the ensuing Labour leadership race, what can we expect from this year in politics? And why are both of them giving their speeches on the same day?

Otago University politics lecturer Bryce Edwards says Mr Key is probably trying to “stamp out” Mr Little by giving him as little oxygen as possible.

But Dr Edwards says that might be difficult, with much of the media’s attention likely to be on his attempt to rebuild the Labour Party following the disastrous election result last year.

“John Key will be trying to snooker him at every turn, and stop him from getting publicity.”

Nice try framing this Bryce, but as you well know, the opposite is happening.  There is going to be relentless attention on Andrew Little from National to balance up the “independent” fluffery that you and your good leftie media mates are planning. Read more »

I’ve got bad news for Bryce Edwards

Bryce Edwards must have hit the crack pipe before writing his last woeful column of the year.

Apparently National had a horror year…or so the headline screams.

Yes, John Key’s National Government won a spectacular third term victory. And yesterday the Herald gave the reasons that National can be positive about its achievements – see the editorial, Govt comes out on top in colourful year.

And nearly every political journalist has awarded John Key the title of Politician of the Year – see, for example, Patrick Gower’s Politician of the Year.

But, it was still an incredibly torrid year for National, and even the PM pointed to the election campaign as one of his low moments of the year – see TV3’s Key found campaign ‘a low-light’ for 2014.

Tracy Watkins also stresses that it’s been a terrible year for the National Government: ‘His government was assaulted on every front with scandal, trouble and controversy. Ministers resigned, his coalition allies ended the year diminished, and he ended the year looking evasive and tarnished by his links to dirty tricks and shock jock blogger WhaleOil’ – see: One clear winner, plenty of dashed hopes.

Not only did the election campaign take its toll, but as I pointed out recently in another column, The downfall of John Key, the challenges and allegations of Dirty Politics were really starting to bite after the election. See also, A year of (neverending) Dirty Politics.

Even Matthew Hooton thinks the Government has suffered, especially since their election victory, and he details National’s incredibly arrogant behaviour since the election, pointing to the main offenders: John Key, Christopher Finlayson, and Gerry Brownlee – see: For John Key: summer of reflection please (paywalled).

Likewise, Duncan Garner says that although Key deserves to be the ‘politician of the year’, ‘The first few months of the new regime have been largely underwhelming. Not telling the truth about his contact with attack blogger WhaleOil hurt the prime minister. It was a royal stuff-up and he admits this privately’ – see: Key my politician of the year, but now for the third-term blues. Garner believes the Key’s reputation is on the decline: ‘It’s happening for Key, slowly. His jokes don’t seem as funny. He looks more haunted and hunted these days’.

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Bryce Edwards (and Bryan Gould) are wrong…Again

Being an academic is a big step down from being a journalist.

Neither actually participate in the game.

Journalists are basically the kind of seedy people who go to dirty movies in a trench coat, while academics are the even seedier people who go to watch the voyeurs in the trench coats.

The problem both groups have is that if they were any good they would be in the game participating and participating hard, rather than pontificating from the sidelines.

So when Bryce Edwards rabbits on about a lot of bullshit it is hard to take him seriously.

If he was any good at politics he would give up his sinecure as a political science lecturer and actually start running campaigns or promoting policy.

When the voyeur of political onanism quotes one of the world’s biggest political failures in Bryan Gould:

“We have a Prime Minister who is not only careless with the truth but who is obliged, for fear of being exposed, to do the bidding of the nastiest and least principled person in New Zealand politics’ – see: Supping with the Devil.”    Read more »

Gracinda? Someone needs to tell them they’re dreamin’

Ok so the name that they’ve come up with for a gay man and childless single woman to lead Labour is…”Gracinda”.

I mean seriously?

These people with single page CVs of nothing jobs and a lifetime in the trough are wanting to lead a party called “Labour”…I doubt either of them have ever had a callous on their hands from using a shovel or doing some other sort of “Labour”.

Bryce Edwards is drinking the Koolaid.

The dynamic duo of Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern – now termed ‘Gracinda’ on social media – could well be the Labour Party’s best bet for recovering from its 2014 electoral nadir. The two are probably the most dynamic of the leadership candidates on offer, and have real talent. There will be a strong temptation among the membership to choose their ‘new generation’ message. But there are also some major problems with putting ‘Camp Robertson’ in charge of Labour. While they might have more style than their counterparts, some commentators are pointing to their lack of substance as being a worry for the party’s future.

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All they need now is Goff to stand

Labour's leadership contest has become a Carnival of CLowns

Labour’s leadership contest has become a Carnival of CLowns

Labour’s leadership spill is fast becoming a farce, like the whole party really.

Labour talks boldly of their membership, but outside of the unions fake membership numbers there are actually precious few members. Certainly nowhere near the numbers the National party has.

Those members though are the hard core, and seriously deluded activists. They drank all the koolaid and everytime there is a new leader they enthusiastically tell everyone that this guy is the “game-changer” that will rid the nation of John Key.

Phil Goff was smarter than Key, better in debates…and choked on “Show me the Money”. David Shearer apparently saved 50 million people while John Key made $50 million, and had a fabulous back story, but was wholly unprepared for back-stabbing inside his own caucus. David Cunliffe of course was the new messiah for Labour, the man to take them back left, the Slayer of Key, the Man, the Chosen One, anointed by the party membership and ultimately a vainglorious idiot who got his beans at the election.

So far David Cunliffe has decided to have one last sally forth to lead Labour. Grant Robertson who has destabilised three leaders now wants his crack at the job. Andrew Little, a man so unelectable he keeps losing in his home town also wants a crack.

To add misery to the leadership spill the man who got his leg over with the wife of a Labour icon and recent stroke victim is now putting his hand up for the leadership despite being the architect of all the failed policies that voters rejected. No doubt we will be told he is a nice guy (as if we can believe that given his personal background), a man with a big brain, but not as big as a planet because David Cunliffe has got that one covered. The problem is for David Parker, quite part from his personal life, is that the narrative just doesn’t work. In politics, nice guys finish last.

Which now leads onto the joke that David Shearer is now trying to resurrect his leadership aspirations, bringing the number of leadership aspirants to five.    Read more »