Media Watch Week 2: The Gulf News

<img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-552" title="emperorpenguin" src="" alt="Emperor Penguin" w

idth=”240″ height=”299″ />What is it they say about teaching old dogs new tricks? Well they are right. It’s a devilishly tricky business.

I refer of course to my bemusement at suddenly, in comfortable middle age, finding myself as a Lefty. It’s all rather new and strange. I’ve never been one before you see. I’ve been a student, an actor, a writer, a brewer, a folk singer, a son, a brother, a husband, an annoying menace, a beer sodden fool, and once, during the Sussex magic mushroom harvest of 1979, an emperor penguin called Betty.

But a proper Leftist/Marxist/Trotskyite/Wobbly/Red-under-The-Bed? Never. But there you go. Seems my involvement with the rest of you tiny minority agitator types over the last week or so has forced this amazing metamorphosis upon me and now I have to get used to it. Our new leaders have spoken from their Olympian heights upon the subject and they seem to know about this stuff. They are real politicians you see, and their word is law.

One glimpse at the editorial page of the Gulf News will make the change irreversible apparently. The far left propaganda of ‘Red Liz’ and her Bolshevik cohorts at April Arcade will turn you from a decent citizen into a bomb heaving anarchist before you even get to the letters page. What fascinating times we live in eh?

So bear with me ‘Comrades’ as I try and assimilate all this. I’ve been trying to remember how the lefties of my student days went about their daily business. There’s the open toed sandals and duffel coat to be worn of course. Always start with the simple stuff. Crap dress sense I can manage. But what about actually BUYING the paper? I can’t go to Woolworths obviously. That’s a huge faceless multinational that grinds the faces of the workers or some such. So it will have to be the corner store. Maybe I could even walk there and reduce my carbon footprint? Maybe not, one thing at a time. What if they bid me a good morning? Normally I’d agree but as a Lefty I might have to add that the nice weather is due to climate change and that fifteen and a half polar bears have asphyxiated in the time it took me to buy the paper. This is proving harder than I thought.

So, back home and time to read. Get a coffee on the go and…Oh hell, is it Fair Trade coffee? It doesn’t say on the packet. Back to the shop, remembering to get roll your own tobacco for that authentic ‘Solidarity with the workers’ look. No tailor mades for this lefty thank you very much. Light one of those up and you might as well vote ACT and be done with it.

With the refreshments dealt with we turn to the Gulf News. What biased reportage can we expect? Very little as it turns out. There’s a small headline at the bottom of the front page that mentions ‘dismay’ in certain quarters and a story on the new Mayor promised for page 16.the editorial is gentle and surprisingly upbeat. Not actually ‘BALANCED’ of course. They still mention that there are some people still not happy with the state of things. To be ‘BALANCED’ means ignoring that stuff apparently. But twenty three letters take us all the way to page 12 with only one NOT relating to politics and one not actually relating to Faye-Gate. Several are ones we’ve already read in the ‘Fairfax’ so no surprises there, I do wish these people would add their thoughts on One Waiheke as well.

Once again we’ll set aside the letters from board members and see how the public divides. This time it’s eleven to Denise and four to Faye. Obviously the huge majority of pro Faye letters were omitted thus proving the intolerable bias of the Gulf News. Right?

The pro-Faye letters rehash the whole Chair debate and focus entirely on the assumption that this is all her detractors care about. Hey ho, here we go again.

And so we reach page 19 and once again are urged not to get disorderly on Saturday. The article has no quotes from the G of F so once again we are in Biasville, but does manage to give some good information concerning how Saturday’s activities will develop. The story ends with a quote from the Council’s press release saying that the meeting will include ‘local entertainment’.
I rather think it will.

As for me I just want to be a Libertarian again! Is there any way I can go back to that and still think Faye Storer is well out of order?

12 thoughts on “Media Watch Week 2: The Gulf News”

  1. “As for me I just want to be a Libertarian again! Is there any way I can go back to that and still think Faye Storer is well out of order?”

    I’d start by killing a few polar bears, concealing some of your own income from the tape worms at Inland Revenue, and saying something about the financial and emotional crime that is professional sport. Then just let nature take its course, and soon you’ll be cultivating a healthy disrespect for counter-productive authority, belittling the stupidity of pointless ritual, and generally upsetting the status quo with fits of verbal and written barbarity.

    And don’t expect me to come to your aid. I’m a conformist, and unrepentant individualism scares the crap out of me…

  2. Alan I recommend you take the Political Compass test here:
    You’ll be able to discover whether you really have moved – or as a famous vermont senator said (and I’m paraphrasing here) I used to be a Republican, now they call me a socialist. But I’ve stayed the same – the world has moved under me.
    You’ll be able to see whether you still rub shoulders with Blair, Bush, Stalin or the Dali Lama.

    I dare you to publish the result 🙂

    The political compass was invented to get around the old liberal/conservative left/right thing and recognise that authoritarian/ libertarian was a separate dimension. And thereby casting some light on why US Liberals carry guns while UK Liberals carry manbags.

    Oh but now we need a third dimension – business as usual vs times they are a changing. So they’ll need to add a bunch of questions on whether you think climate change is submerging small pacific islands, oil is rising in price and whether the bubble is in credit, houses, gold or all three. They’ll have to plot the results on a cube of course, which has the advantage of giving a bit of extra elbow room (or clear blue water to use a tory phrase) between the true patriots and the teabaggers.

    Anyway perhaps you can tell most about someone by what they are prepared to write on a banner. My favourite from John Stewart’s Rally 4 Sanity was “What do we want? Evidence based decision making. When do we want it? After peer review.

  3. I see there is a letter from that non political organisation Vision Waiheke. I’d like to join can anyone give me their contact details? I’d like to understand their vision a bit better. Alternatively if they would like to write about their institution here that would be interesting.

  4. No, Alan. Please don’t go back to being a libertarian. We like you much more like this.

  5. This long-haired, beer drinking biker redneck landed on the same spot as Ghandi. Having always felt an affinity with Trelawny I can live in a square with Trelawny, Ghandi; and with Mandela and the Dalai Lama as neighbours. That said I do not believe the 0-0 reference point for Waiheke 2010, as a whole, would be 0-0 on the x – y axis as referenced in that test so I can still (possibly) claim Waiheke redneck status.

  6. Sorry Alan – yes; go anywhere you like thinking Faye Storer is out of order. You as a Libertarian and me as a redneck will stand in the same space with a number of confederates.
    Two years, nine months and counting …..

  7. But the bit that said it all was Faye Storer’s threat – loosely translated – that anyone critisizing or offending her or her mermidons in the social media or via email would be subject to legal investigation and action from THE SUPERCITY. Any mandate from Waiheke or THE SUPERCITY for that? Just more of the same I hoped we were rid of three years ago.

  8. The Auckland Council’s press release predicting ‘local entertainment’ made me chuckle. Ideally I’d love a cream bun fight provided by Baked on Waiheke or a pavlova cook off between Faye and Denise. If I were more in a bloodthirsty mood, I’d long for a rooster fight between Mr Storer and Mr Roche to defend the honour of their ladies.
    My political compass result is ,a href=””>here.

  9. So Alan, is it an Ann Raynd book burning instead of guy fawkes. Thank you for your wonderful prose it has had me in fits (in a nice way)

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