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Werewolf Edition #46 : Labour Pains

Werewolf Edition #46 : Labour Pains

From Werewolf Editor Gordon Campbell

Enter the Wolf!

Hi and welcome to the 46th edition of Werewolf - and the first, somewhat belated issue of 2014. This is election year, which is one reason why this month’s cover story features an interview with Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe - the first of many similar party leader interviews in Werewolf, we hope. As early as March,is it too early to declare that one is having an annus horribilis ? Cunliffe may setting new records in that respect but...rather than focus only upon the misery that Labour has largely inflicted on itself, seemed worth inviting Cunliffe to share his wider perspective ...the vision thing . If only because as is pointed out in the intro to the story, the uncharismatic UK Labour leader Ed Milliband is proving that you can successfully (a) make a break with Labour’s immediate past (b) defy a Labour caucus more than willing to revert to the glory days of Tony Blair (c) launch some decidedly centre-left policies in the face of a Tory-led economic rebound, and (d) still look like an election winner in the polls. It can be done.

Elsewhere in this issue...we reveal a toxic example of management-speak that Te Papa has chosen to unleash on its hapless staff . Alison McCulloch discusses how the media’s use of stock photos can promote an editorial agenda more insidious at times, than the stories they illustrate. Also, we preview Divergent, this month’s blockbuster YA film adaptation , and the latest example of Hollywood’s post-Hunger Games enthusiasm for female action heroes. New Werewolf contributor Benjamin Neikrie ( an intern at Scoop from Connecticut) analyses how the Tea Party’s extremism may ultimately be of benefit to moderate Republicans . This month, Philip Matthews explores earlier works of director Spike Jonze , and suggests that these should have prepared us for the themes of Jonze’s terrific new film, Her. Given that Jonze was a thinly disguised character in Lost in Translation I like how Philip draws a connection between LIT and Her. (I also liked how New Yorker film critic Richard Brody described Her as being a feature-length kitten video.)

With the Crimean referendum barely behind us - today Crimea, tomorrow Donetsk ? - we draw the dots between the crime bosses in Crimea and the peninsula’s political figureheads . Unsurprisingly, the boss of bosses ( Simeon Mogilevich) lives in Moscow. As the war in Syria grinds into its fourth year, we also talk to Israeli commentator Ehud Ya’ari about Israel’s role in the southern region of Syria , and how Israel & Jordan and their local militia allies aim to cope with the influx of Islamic extremists from the north.

In his satirical column this week, Lyndon Hood draws the obvious dots between the Cabinet manual and the hellish realm of Cthulhu , and fearlessly goes where True Detective finally feared to tread. In the Complicatist music column this week, we celebrate the wild and wayward vocal talents of Angel Olsen, and the latest album by young guitarist William Tyler, a fitting heir to the mantle of John Fahey. Thanks once again to Lyndon H. and to Alastair Thompson for helping me post this online. And thanks to everyone who’s shown an interest in reading Werewolf and keeping it going. If you want to be involved and talk over some story ideas, contact me at

Gordon Campbell

The contents of this edition are:


Labour Pains"

An interview with Labour Party leader David Cunliffe
by Gordon Campbell

Airbrushing the News"

How the media is peddling an agenda, via stock photos
by Alison McCulloch

Te Papa : Treating Staff Like Children

Te Papa management revels in management-speak
by Gordon Campbell

Divergent Hits The Big Screen

Tris & Katniss : the Rise of the Female Action Hero
by Gordon Campbell

Israel, Palestine and Syria

Visiting Israeli analyst Ehud Ya’ari on the emerging “Southern Front” in the Syrian civil war
by Gordon Campbell

Lonely, In Love

Why Spike Jonze’s Her could be the most romantic film of the year.
by Philip Matthews

The Crime Bosses of Crimea

The links between crime and politics in Russia’s annexed enclave in the Ukraine
by Taras Kuzio

Bound for the Centre Ground

Has the Republican Party finally started to turn against its Tea Party faction?
by Benjamin Neikrie


From The Hood : Unofficial Cabinet Manuals

And so it was written, and so shall it ever be…
by Lyndon Hood

The Complicatist : Angel Olsen, William Tyler

Are you lonely too? Hi Five! So am I!
by Gordon Campbell

* * * * * WEREWOLF ISSUE 45, December 2014 * * * * *

The December 2013 Edition of Werewolf
By Werewolf


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