Paul Thomas

Paul Thomas on left-wing intelligentsia

At times you wonder if we’re all alone in a world that’s gone mad.  At least Paul Thomas seems to see it our way.

Sections of the left-wing intelligentsia appear to believe the Eleanor Catton brouhaha says something disturbing about New Zealand. It doesn’t. It does, however, say something disturbing about sections of said intelligentsia: that they can look at a thing and see something else altogether.

This isn’t new. For much of the 20th century, some left-wing intellectuals had great difficulty acknowledging the obvious reality that the Soviet Union was a totalitarian monolith designed to crush the human spirit, a Nelsonian posture that led to the cul de sac of moral equivalence: insisting there wasn’t really much to choose between the West and the USSR.

We saw it during last year’s election campaign in the strenuous attempts to inflate the molehill of Dirty Politics into a mountain of corruption likened to Watergate. Some of the inflaters went on to portray the Internet Party as something it wasn’t: a legitimate political force operating in the national interest.

Ah yes.  Catton, Dirty Politcs and the Internet Party.  What a true left-wing triumvirate.   Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

The ‘moments of zen’ in the election

Paul Thomas analyses the election and the “moments of zen”.

The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart’s signature sign-off is “Your moment of Zen”: a clip of a public figure making a goose of themselves through tone deafness, crassness, vehement ignorance, random imbecility or unconscious irony.

If Stewart had taken notice of our election, he would’ve had more moments of Zen than you could shake a stick at. After a rigorous process of elimination, I’ve chosen a top three.

Third was Internet-Mana party co-leader Laila Harre commiserating with the people of Te Tai Tokerau over the loss of their sitting MP and her co-leader Hone Harawira. Before her next political incarnation Harre might care to familiarise herself with the workings of democracy: the people she was consoling for being deprived of Harawira were the very people who gave him the broom.

Second was Labour leader David Cunliffe’s concession speech in which he did a passable impersonation of a man who’d just won an election. If his year-long impersonation of a leader of the opposition had been half as convincing, neither he nor Labour would be in the dark place they are now.

His shout-out to his staff and Labour’s campaign team was a riot of superlatives – “amazing”, “incredible”, “fantastic” – which raised the question: how catastrophically badly would Cunliffe and Labour have done if he’d surrounded himself with mediocrities?

Number one was Harawira’s comment, early on in the evening, that the people of his electorate “don’t like being ganged up on”. The general reaction to interlopers trying to influence the outcome in Te Tai Tokerau, he said, was “why don’t you guys piss off and leave us to make our own decisions?”.

Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

Probably the best summary of Dirty Politics yet

House Of Cards TV Series HD Wallpaper

Paul Thomas writes int he NZ Herald about Dirty Politics.

Millions have been splashed out and a pigsty’s worth of mud slung but what have we actually learned from this election campaign?

• Nicky Hagar knows a thing or two about marketing.

• Cameron Slater isn’t as nice as he looks.

• You can judge a minister by the company she keeps.

• While the Whale Oil cabal give the impression they’ve watched too many episodes of House of Cards, their machinations owe more to Walter Mitty than Frank Underwood.

• Hillary Clinton got the wrong Kiwi politician when she added Helen Clark to the select group – Keith Richards and cockroaches – that would survive nuclear Armageddon. She should have nominated Winston Peters.

• Contrary to Tana Umaga’s famous complaint, some people seem to think we are playing tiddlywinks here.

Fair points. I also like the picture of Frank Underwood in the article, and since we are talking about House of Cards…who is going to play Zoe?

The campaign has also reinforced that just as truth is the first casualty of war, irony is the first casualty of politics.

There was Internet-Mana’s Laila Harre on the TV news complaining about the media manufacturing a news story out of a private email (Hone Harawira foaming at the mouth about the Internet Party’s preoccupation with legalising cannabis).

That was followed by David Cunliffe complaining about the timing of the release of a damning New Zealand Institute of Economic Research assessment of Labour’s capital gains tax arithmetic and accusing Federated Farmers, who commissioned the report, of “playing politics.”

A month ago Cunliffe was hailing Hagar’s carefully timed intervention in the election, predicting it would “shift hundreds of thousands of votes”. One man’s political stunt is another’s welcome contribution to the debate.

Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

The Disneyfication of NZ Politics

Paul Thomas writes at the Herald:

Meanwhile the Disneyfication of our electoral politics continued with the launch of the Internet Party or, as cynics call it, the Society for the Prevention of Kim Dotcom’s Extradition.

In what may be the ultimate test of the notion that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, Dotcom revealed that he’s the — presumably proud — owner of a signed copy of Adolf Hitler’s autobiographical Nazi blueprint, Mein Kampf.

A columnist in this paper thought Dotcom might be just the fellow to wrest the country from John Key’s evil clutches.  Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.