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Bob Jones: The end is nigh

Professional mourners outside Achilles House, NBR’s premises

Here’s a laugh. As some of you may know, Glasgow has lots of wide pedestrianised avenues in the heart of the CBD.

In the busiest lies an Apple computer store outside of which, all day, stands a bloke holding a large sign. It reads “Don’t come in here for your Apple repairs. 50 yards that way”, this followed by an arrow “is X store and we are cheaper”.

Imagine that here. It’s trickier because unlike the rest of the world, our cities have not embraced pedestrianisation, thus our CBD pavements are terribly crowded.

I particularly fancy the thought of someone outside a restaurant with a sign telling customers, “The food inside is rubbish. Eat at X’s restaurant across the road. It’s better and cheaper”.

Or holding a sign outside a law firm’s offices, pointing potential clients to a rival’s location for superior and cheaper service. That would certainly give the Law Society joyous opportunity for their specialty, namely full pomposity exhibiting, in dealing with the inevitable outraged complaints.    Read more »

Sir Robert ‘Bob’ Jones — now New Zealand’s largest private office building owner in Wellington and Auckland, and with substantial holdings in Sydney, totalling in excess of a billion dollars — is a property investor, author and former politician, who has written fiction as well as books on property investment, selections of his newspaper and magazine columns, and reminiscences of former prime minister Robert Muldoon.

While at Victoria University of Wellington, he earned a ‘blue’ in boxing and contributed to a boxing column in the university’s newspaper Salient. A multi-millionaire, Jones earned his wealth through investments in commercial property via his company Robt. Jones Holdings Ltd. He founded and led the New Zealand Party in 1983. In 1989 he was made a Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in received the New Zealand 1990 Commemorative Medal.

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Bob Jones: Journalistic sloth and incompetence, Stuff stuff ups and dopey politicians

Journalistic sloth

A momentous event occurred in New Zealand a fortnight back, so much so when the history of this nation is written it will doubtless be listed with Rutherford and Ed Hillary in the annals of world-shaking Kiwi initiatives and occurrences.

That it was me who discovered this is further testimony of journalist sloth for it comprised a large two-column advertisement in the Herald and its journos should have spotted it first.

What happened was this. Nearing the end of reading the paper my attention was drawn to an excessively wordy large advertisement offering the position of Office Manager. I read it and nearly had a heart-attack for – steel yourself – listed at the bottom under the bold type sub-heading “The ideal candidate will have the following skills and attributes” – brace yourself again – “Diploma in Business or Management”. That was mind-boggingly unbelievable.   Read more »

Sir Robert ‘Bob’ Jones — now New Zealand’s largest private office building owner in Wellington and Auckland, and with substantial holdings in Sydney, totalling in excess of a billion dollars — is a property investor, author and former politician, who has written fiction as well as books on property investment, selections of his newspaper and magazine columns, and reminiscences of former prime minister Robert Muldoon.

While at Victoria University of Wellington, he earned a ‘blue’ in boxing and contributed to a boxing column in the university’s newspaper Salient. A multi-millionaire, Jones earned his wealth through investments in commercial property via his company Robt. Jones Holdings Ltd. He founded and led the New Zealand Party in 1983. In 1989 he was made a Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in received the New Zealand 1990 Commemorative Medal.

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Bob Jones: Desperation and insanity

How long does NBR have?

Rumours are swirling about National Business Review’s financial plight but it’s hard to feel sympathy for its owner Todd Scott. He’s behaved abominably to too many people and being under a strain is no excuse. It’s reputedly payment up front now by his printers while renewals for the new cost-cutting driven, heavily reduced pages version are said to be in free-fall. That’s unsurprising as many subscribers wrote to me after his appalling failure to go to bat for my innocuous column this year, saying they would not be renewing.

But this takes the cake. Earlier this year the always readable Matthew Hooton wrote an article about Steven Joyce. As occasionally with Matthew’s contributions, it was crazily over the top. I don’t know Joyce but said at the time it’s my pick he will not turn the other cheek, and so it’s proved. For Steven pursued a libel action against both Hooton and NBR. To his credit, Matthew acknowledged his article was outrageous, openly apologised and forked out a large sum to Joyce.   Read more »

Sir Robert ‘Bob’ Jones — now New Zealand’s largest private office building owner in Wellington and Auckland, and with substantial holdings in Sydney, totalling in excess of a billion dollars — is a property investor, author and former politician, who has written fiction as well as books on property investment, selections of his newspaper and magazine columns, and reminiscences of former prime minister Robert Muldoon.

While at Victoria University of Wellington, he earned a ‘blue’ in boxing and contributed to a boxing column in the university’s newspaper Salient. A multi-millionaire, Jones earned his wealth through investments in commercial property via his company Robt. Jones Holdings Ltd. He founded and led the New Zealand Party in 1983. In 1989 he was made a Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in received the New Zealand 1990 Commemorative Medal.

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Bob Jones: World class stupidity, journalistic nonsense and blackface

There’s a widespread and accurate belief that local government politicians are sinecure-seeking no-hopers. That said we must temper criticism for if they didn’t put their hands up we’d have no democracy and spare the thought, Councils would be run solely by the bureaucrats.

But my God it’s bad now in the capital, so much so life-jackets have been issued for Council meetings so unbelievably cringingly wet is the mayor in particular, plus many councillors. And I’m not talking of passing showers degree of wetness, rather the mayor is tsunami level saturation who . . .

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Bob Jones: On media awards and the perils of letting women eat human flesh

The demise of newspapers gave me one upsetting thought, namely the end of the highly entertaining annual media awards ceremony. Silly me! For of course the newspapers existence don’t matter a whit, as this year’s awards showed.

And so the morning after the awards I opened the Dom’ Post to see among numerous other purported triumphs, they proudly proclaiming they’d won the news website award. A few hours later, I read the Herald, to behold their bragging of winning – wait for it – the best website award.

So, nothing has changed. As has been the convention for quarter . . .

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Bob Jones: Murder, suicide and seppuku in media

Wellingtonians have been left dumbstruck by the emergence of a zombie in their midst, specifically the new tabloid form Dominion Post. This is not merely a case of newspaper suicide but outright murder, so bad is it. Actual news has almost totally disappeared and in its place unmitigated guff, in its first week mainly of the all men are rapists tedium. This was a last ditch do-or-die effort by Fairfax (now Stuff) to see if they can hang on with a print news outlet and it’s a failure. So it will be solely a web-site with . . .

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Bob Jones: ‘Jonesy, come and have a coffee’

I unashamedly admit I read the Daily Mail website and not because of its pathetic obsession with women’s tits. Rather I like its no-punches-pulled political and other observations, doubtless a factor in it being the world’s most popular newspaper site.

A few weeks back Britain was hit with a big freeze. Temperatures plunged way below zero. With typical Mail enterprise they sent photographers into the streets that icy evening to photograph what the British tabloid press cruelly but accurately call fat slags. These are young, plain-faced women aged from 17 to 25, low of intellect . . .

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Bob Jones: ‘There’s no greater restraint destroyer than the third glass of red’

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Bob Jones: Media, news and fat slags

Wellington QC Hugh Rennie and I have been friends for half a century. We share a common passion, namely a great love of newspapers and mourn their relentless demise. That’s not their fault. How many folk under thirties read newspapers? The answer is none which partly explains their alarming ignorance.

A fortnight back Hugh sent me the latest newspaper audit figures. Only the Herald and Otago Daily Times are hanging on in there. The Fairfax papers are shot, Wellington’s Dominion Post continuing its annual loss of an eighth of its subscribers and is now down to a quarter . . .

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Thoughts from Bob: Dopey girls, fairies, Fletchers and screaming geese

I wrote a piece recently about media interference into politicians’ private lives. In that respect it’s one thing I hugely admire Winston for.

He’s been in parliament seemingly for ever but what do you know about his private life? Bugger all! The reason is because, learning the hard way, he’s followed two basic rules. First; never talk to the print media as invariably they’ll selectively mis-use ones’ comments. Any communications with them, if absolutely necessary, should be by written response.

Second; never do radio or TV interviews other than live for the same reason.

Learning . . .

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