Stephen Franks on the ‘100 Prominent Numpties’

Stephen Franks has even more disdain for what he calls the ‘100 Prominent Numpties‘ than I did the other day:

I’ve had feedback on my radio scepticism (Jim Mora’s Panel Thursday last) about the “Appeal to Parliament” group promoted by Sir Alan Mark. I said they were wasting their time, that I’d have to be paid to listen to their list of concerns because it sounded like Moaning Report concentrated, and that they were likely to generate the same reaction as ‘Citizens for Rowling” – that is anti-elitist resentment. 

The are wasting their time because they share the common conceit of intellectuals (left and right) and business people and others who pay lip-service to democracy but essentially despise it. They are sure that politicians and other decision-makers who are not following their advice must be stupid, ignorant or consciously evil and motivated by sinister forces. They believe that for those who are not evil, all that is needed is careful loud and repeated explanation until the decision-makers grasp the wisdom of their advisers. To them the rest is obvious.

They rarely think it is worth debating with those who disagree with their diagnosis, or, to the extent they bother with them, their prescriptions. They are dismissive of cost benefit study, on the basis that their purposes are so pure it is improper to weigh them against grubby matters like cost. Whether or not they are of the left, they become Lenin’s useful idiots for the left, because they supply the need of their media kin for events with which to bludgeon the rest of us ‘people’ who are suspicious of their balance and their clerical zeal.


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  • JeffDaRef

    Both Stephen Frank and Rodney Hide, sadly, have tended to make a better fist of being columnists/commentators than they did as MPs – all the pity because they both make tremendous sense in nearly every commentary they write.

    • Mr_Blobby

      Very true, But Rodney s Supercity legacy is going to have a negative impact on us for many years to come

      • JeffDaRef

        I disagree on that one – the concept itself had (still has) merit, its the morons trying to implement it that are turning things to custard!
        Rodney’s biggest fault was not foreseeing the tired old bunch of recycled politicans that would be elected into what was an ok model.

        • Patrick

          Jeff, try & see it from the point of view of citizens in one of the many sattellite towns where their taxes are sucked out of the local community “for the greater good” of Auckland. They see little for the rates they pay & are now loaded with more bureauracy & stupid decision making from the overlords in Auckland. Hide stuffed it up like he stuffed up his political career & he now pontificates about all & sundry in the newspaper. Reminds me of the saying “those that can, do. Those that cannot, teach” Or in Hides case “those that cannot, write”. Hide the perkbuster was the poacher turned gamekeeper – unfortunately he couldn’t help himself & he buried his snout in the taxpayer funded trough as soon as he could.

          • johnbronkhorst

            Then vote for someone who WILL do the job properly, not just be mouth piece for labour party policy. After all Auckland is a city of ONLY 1000000.

          • Patrick

            Review the likely candidates John, it is a roll call of incompetence.

            On top of that the extremely well resourced left through their union mates & policies to favour those that do not pay taxes via Brown’s patronage leaves little hope for those that actually pay the taxes in the region.

            “No taxation without representation” seems to apply in Auckland, the decks are stacked & they do not favour those paying the taxes.

          • Mr_Blobby

            You are absolutely right, but are being a bit rough on Rodney, he does have his good points. The vision of Auckland becoming the worlds most livable city is marketing hype and bullshit we are fast becoming the worlds most expensive city IE: most unlivable. The only place you see it is in the Councils own propaganda.

          • JeffDaRef

            So you’re validating two of my points:
            – Rodney ballsed up his career as an MP, but makes for a good columnist..and what columnists doesnt pontificate? At least his columns are thought provoking and rational unlike the likes of Rudman
            – And nothing you’ve said is a case against the Supercity MODEL, we’re all victims of the lefty largesse that has been elected into it – in your own words “a rollcall of incompetence” – better operators within it would have achieved the efficiencies it set out to achieve! Rodney Hide didnt appoint the mad mayor, the tired old council, or the staff…

          • Tom

            “Don’t elect a mayor who is nuts for a start….”

          • Patrick

            Jeff I disagree, I am failing to see any benefits of amalgamating the various councils & boards. Has the decision making become more streamlined? No. Have costs come down? No. With all the duplication of services now gone has the number of employees decreased? I suspect not. All we have is another level of Labour socialist policies, Cullens “rich pricks” are being taxed to create Helen Clarkes “fairer society” at local & central government levels. No wonder Len’s voters love him. Hide was the architect of this, he was too gutless to take on the Maori demanding preferential treatment in terms of their demands for voting rights, he could have set the legislation in place in terms of what council could spend rates on (core services only) & how much above the official inflation rate they could raise rates by. He did not have the intellectual horsepower to do this, despite how he portrays himself in his columns for the NZ Herald these days. Talk about an “extreme makeover” Hide is bullshit personified.

        • Mr_Blobby

          Honestly what else did you really expect would happen.

  • Mr_Blobby

    They may be a bunch of self appointed prominent nobody’s and numpties. But I do agree with their sentiment about the advisability of continuing to borrow to fund consumption.

  • JeffDaRef

    Apologies – I commented before reading the full article – check out this response from “Brendan” which gives a very effective summary:

    For the record, New Zealand’s contribution to global green house gas emissions, according to the Government website, is 0.2%. Now I’m not an expert in the area of statistics gathering, but given the dynamic global variables involved in measuring emissions, I would have thought this figure to be well down into the margin of error.
    In fact publishing it, gives it a credibility that it hardly deserves.
    In short, our ‘two tenths of nothing’ should confirm to anyone, with or without an Emeritus education, that we are statistically not part of the problem. Assuming of course there is one, and then assuming again if there is a problem, that we can do anything practical to reverse it without invoking a world of unintended consequences.
    You were right to call this self indulgent moralising for what it is. I’m only sorry I missed the broadcast.

  • tarkwin

    I thought they were the cast of Shortland Street, then I realised they weren’t that famous.

  • Captain Crab

    Rodney should run for Mayor

    • Mr_Blobby

      Normally I would say that was a good idea. But is he capable of cleaning up the mess he has created.

      • Hazards001

        No….he’s not! I actually read an article he wrote a few months ago where he said he was happy with the direction the super city was going and that loony Len was doing a good job. It was one of his first in the horrid. I gave up on him there and then!

  • Chris

    I enjoy listening to Jordan Williams make a complete twat of himself on Jim Mora’s programme. He does it every time but the best ones are when he tries to talk like an adult criticising paeople for having ideologically driven opinions but says it in a way that exposes his own as more ideologically than anyone else you can imagine. He’s so transparent. Genuine humour.