INCITE: Politics Summer Edition released

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Our latest edition of INCITE: Politics has been released. It will be in subscribers’ inboxes as you read this.

In this month’s edition we have contributions from Chris Trotter, Don Brash, David Farrar and Jock Anderson, as well as the usual contributions from Simon Lusk and myself.

  • Chris Trotter asks a very hard question
  • David Farrar provides some long-term predictions
  • Don Brash investigates Auckland’s affordable housing issue
  • Jock Anderson discusses a very interesting case before the courts

Read more »

The new McCarthyism of the left

Senator Joe McCarthy caused fear and loathing with his commie witch-hunts. It seems a new McCarthyism has manifested itself, this time led by the left-wing.

They seek to ban and block any person or group who dares to voice their opinions. We saw an example of that yesterday at The Standard where a university academic, who also blogs at The Standard, essentially called for the censorship of the media from ideas that he doesn’t agree with.

Footnote (I’m an academic, I love footnotes!) on a suggestion to the media. Almost everything you publish is a piece in isolation. There is a better way.

Take The Herald for example. You publish Marvelly’s piece on poverty today, just a week after (re)publishing Whyte’s excerable nonsense. If you had any kind of overview / foundation of established fact / ongoing context on the topic of poverty you wouldn’t be publishing such wildly inconsistent pieces (the Whyte article would have been rejected as the nonsense that it was).

Take climate change as another example, no responsible media should be publishing denier nonsense these days.

Now you (the responsible media) might say that you’re offering a range of opinions. But when some opinions are clearly and provably nonsense that excuse is just an abdication of responsibility. It’s laziness, clickbait, and harmful.

I guess I’m asking for context and sanity checking in the media. Fact-based narrative instead of isolated and inconsistent snippets. Harder work, but much better for everyone.

If that isn’t a call for politically motivated censorship then I don’t know what is. He doesn’t want debate and opinions, he’s already decided and we shouldn’t be seeing anything he disagrees with in print anywhere.

This is the new McCarthyism at work.   Read more »

NBR’s best & worst politicians

NBR has a list of the best and worst for 2015:

The Best candidates:

Bill English: National’s safe pair of hands finally got a (tiny) surplus in his crosshairs and is at risk of losing his unsung hero status with Stuff and Granny Herald naming him politician of the year. NBR’s Rob Hosking paid tribute to the finance minister’s droll wit, including the recent quip “Oh, it’s not disappointing: it’s just another Treasury forecast.”

Judith Collins: It was a textbook rehabilitation campaign as Kindler, Gentler Crusher kept her loose cannon instincts at bay for a year of measured, contrite and sensible media appearances and commentaries.

Tim Groser: A free trade deal with South Korea and the conclusion of the TPP – with NZ, defying expectations in some quarters, refusing to give much ground on issues like copyright and big pharma (on the flipside, there was little in the agreement for Fonterra).

John Key: Yet another year when National has cruised along at the top of the polls and the opposition has failed to land any major blows amid a stream of mini-scandals – a feat that’s more remarkable with each passing year and unprecedented deep into a third term. As a bonus, Malcolm Turnbull and the Aussie media fell in love with him. Key is already headed for the history books as one of our most successful politicians ever, but how will his policy impact be remembered? So far his government has followed the usual NZ pattern of a National government carefully managing and tweaking the reforms of the proceeding Labour government. His pet legacy project faces problems getting over the line in 2016 as pro-current flag voters ally with those disappointed with the winning alternative design.   Read more »


INCITE: Politics launches today


Today is the day and shortly the first editions of INCITE: Politics will begin landing in people’s inboxes.

Little in trouble – David Farrar writes about the fundamental problem for Andrew Little, his negative approval rating, and contrasts it with the very popular John Key.

The Route to Victory – Simon Lusk considers the potential routes to victory and the relative institutional strengths of both the Labour and the National parties in the 2017 election.

Ten Questions – Winston Peters takes the time to give some thoughtful answers to some important political questions.

Politician of the Year – Review our choice for the inaugural INCITE: Politics Politician of the year.

The Advent of the Media Party – Cam Slater writes about why the media have moved from neutral, dispassionate observers to players in the political game, and why the public no longer trusts them.

Pundits & Media –  Cam Slater’s view on the New Zealand media, with a counter view from Simon Lusk.    Read more »

One day to go, INCITE: Politics Monthly arrives tomorrow


There has been some comment around the political circles as to why I would launch a new report in the lead up to Christmas when the political world has shut down for their extended Christmas break.

Well, there are a number of reasons for that.

Firstly this report and the coming monthly reports are a bit different. All the contributors in the first issue and contributors in coming issues have signed up to deliver their thoughts in this report because it is going to be different. We are going to be forward looking not backwards looking. Have a look at all the political commentary since parliament rose for the break. It is all about what happened in the past year and nothing at all about what should happen. In due course Fairfax will do their annual prediction post but that is more about flippancy than about accuracy.

Politics for me has been a life long addiction/hobby/career. Just because lazy and inept politicians and the equally lazy media have gone on holiday doesn’t mean we should stop talking about politics. The issues that matter to voters don’t go away over Christmas.   Read more »

Five days to go, have you pre-ordered INCITE: Politics?

There are five days to go to the launch of INCITE: Politics, the rest of the media have gone on holiday but we are busily putting together the first edition.

The polling has been completed and provides some very interesting and exclusive “incites” into what is happening out there. One thing for sure is one politician in particular is not going to enjoy reading our polling numbers.

I am really pleased to be able to announce the launch of this new premium report called INCITE: Politics. We will grow this exclusive report with more and more contributors. January’s edition is already likely to be a ripper.

This is a monthly insider’s report on politics in New Zealand.

This is an exclusive report. None of the information contained in INCITE: Politics will be available either on this blog or in any other publication.   Read more »

Inside INCITE (and why you should subscribe)


INCITE: Politics is a brand new publication from the same people who brought you Dirty Politics.  The only difference is that this time we will actually cut out Rawshark and Nicky Hager, and perhaps we can get paid for all the insider information ourselves.

Love them or loath them, the team of Lusk, Slater and Graham are a formidable force in shaping politics in New Zealand.  You can either wait for them to have their emails stolen again, and for Hager to publish them in a book once they are stale, or you can get in on the ground floor and see what they are talking about every month.

The format is an electronic newsletter, and you can only read it by paying for it.  (Unless you manage to get Rawshark to hack you a copy.)  As part of its offerings, INCITE: Politics will commission a monthly poll, where we look at other aspects of our political ecosystem, that provides much more insight than the dumb “who votes for what party” and “Jacinda’s women’s magazine appearances have lifted her name recognition to 5% in preferred PM stakes”.

Instead of reactive polling to see what effect certain events had, we want to push it up to the next level by looking ahead and telling you what is most likely to happen next month.  But, only those who pay get to know.

We will observe and rate the performances of MPs, parties and proposed policies.  And, with the local body elections ahead, INCITE: Politics will tell you if the Mayor is having sex in the Ngati Whatua room before the elections this time.  Promise.   Read more »

Matching US Presidents

David Farrar has a post highlighting a USA Today survey to see which US presidential candidate matches your own core beliefs.

It is a bit wonky and you do need a little bit of understanding about Federal politics and their political system as well as some policy areas such as Obama Care.

When I say it is wonky I really can’t believe that he would have Chris Christie at number 2…or even Bobby Jindal as number 1.

I have created a table of the candidates with Pinko’s ratings beside mine. I’ve listed them alphabetically.    Read more »


Fools rush in where angels fear to tread: How low is the sexual abuse bar?


by Pete

Been giving this some thought.  Where is the bar set?   What do you define as sexual abuse?  Does it include verbal?  Leering?  Cat calls?

Let’s say it is physical.  Does it include a bum pinch?  An uncomfortable hug?

I’m not trying to trivialise it.  I can think of two occasions in my life I’ve had unwanted sexual attention.  Once physical, and once I was in a subordinate position and made to do something uncomfortable to me (not physical).

I can’t imagine ANY woman getting to the age of 40 who hasn’t been at the wrong end of someone at some stage.

But where do you draw the line?   How much is “just life” and what is really going too far? Read more »

Is it us versus them or are we more civilised than that?


According to research political debates can trigger the same parts of the brain as war. They claim that being affiliated to a political party is more like membership of a gang or clique.They also say that race is only noticed by our brains if it will help us predict which side of a political debate someone is on.

While I consider myself to belong to a group of people I would loosely call right wing I see it as a club rather than a gang and one that has very diverse beliefs and only a very general consensus within the ranks to use military terminology.On individual issues we are not all the same. One prime example that we have seen on this blog would be the Gay marriage debate.

My closest friend is a Green supporter and she and I can quite happily agree to disagree.When I read things in the Media or on other blogs that I believe to be ignorant or deliberately misleading I admit I do get a little upset but that I believe is not because of the alternative view but because I feel that it is not based on facts.

What do you think about the study? Does discussing politics or watching political debates make you angry?Do different opinions to yours here on WO make you angry? On other blogs? Do the researchers have a point?

Read more »