Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


More Needed Than A Collection Of Good Tunes

Yesterday's launch of the election campaign's by Labour, National and NZ First leaders, looked like they all took lessons from their US colleagues. John Howard reports.

The speeches of Clark, Shipley and Peters were all imbued with emotion and an almost missionary zeal to the delegates, telling them their way was the new progressive force in New Zealand politics.

Their high ideals ranged from freedom and equality to personal glimpses of everday life - worries over children and sleepless nights over policy decisions.

Time and again I was struck by how American this all was. Folksy, direct, unreserved in their tug on the heartstrings. The trembling lip, the defiant cry, the confessional appeal, never flagged.

This was all pure Billy Graham and you either like it or you don't. They might have all begun "My fellow Americans."

The leaders already stand accused of running presidential-style campaigns and it seems that they have indeed looked to their "friend" Bill Clinton for pointers.

Some of the more traditional Kiwi's will have baulked at the method by which all this was expressed. The leaders used a combination of emotion and personal testimony which older observers seemed not to like, but once again it is the mark of these people.

When it came to substance, however, many commentators will be disappointed. All the leaders seemed to be offering a compilation album of their greatest hits, but real radicalism needs substance not just a collection of good tunes.

They are all practised speakers rather than natural orators checking off their achievements and trying to look beyond the horizon of the election. The effort was not a great success.

The leaders may have persuaded their own to embrace the mantra of modernisation and the cause of progressive rather than good old-fashioned Kiwi politics. They did less to explain to the nation how all this translates into hard-edged policies.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news