Posts Tagged ‘Fran O’Sullivan’

It’s the little differences

September 6, 2008

Fran O’Sullivan’s piece in this morning’s Herald begins:

What’s the difference between Sarah Palin and Barack Obama?

One is a well-turned-out babe, a spunk and, let’s be frank, a pretty sexy piece of eye candy.

The other kills her own food.

(Note that this is not an original joke, but is a favourite on the neocon blogs that Fran loves so much.)

We could have a lot of fun doing this ourselves…

One of them will talk to the press, the other won’t.

And so on.

Anyway, Fran’s neocon frothing — I guess dubya would call her the “angry right” — continues:

“After all the sanctimonious, highly chauvinistic and patronising columns slating the qualifications of the Alaskan Governor to be the Republican’s vice-presidential nominee candidate…”

Yeah sure Fran, a few years running a three stop-light town and two years running a state with half the population of Auckland. Oh, and the PTA, mustn’t forget that. Gee, it’s hard not to be patronising.

Speaking of Palin’s “qualifications” to be commander-in-chief of the world’s most powerful country, and to stare down Vladimir Putin — which is what we’re actually talking about Fran, nota bene — there is now a transcript available of Palin’s vetting by McCain.

Also, for a more balanced right-wing perspective in today’s Herald, try John Roughan.

Update: Russell Brown dissects Fran’s column in more depth. Quit while you’re ahead, Fran.

Sunday paps

August 10, 2008

Matt McCarten‘s no syncophant as he sums up why Labour’ week was so good in the HOS:

“Since John Key was elected leader, National has had a dream run. Helen Clark must have been despairing over the endless own goals her colleagues have been providing to their political opponents… I can’t think of many weeks that there hasn’t been bad news for Labour.”

National’s conference was supposed to be “the unofficial launch of its coronation to victory… Apart from Key and Bill English looking a bit dorky, New Zealanders would have the subliminal message that the Nats are ready to govern.”

While views on the fallout from cocktail-gate vary, Matt opines that, “the revelations by the three senior Nats have put its campaign strategy at risk.” Add this to the tax cuts plus borrowing package, with its shades of Muldoonism, and Labour has more ammunition for the election than anybody thought possible just a short while ago.

Lastly, Matt suggests that the Peters saga favours Labour. “National’s unwillingness to nail Peters has meant the muck is not sticking to Clark.” And, come time for post-election horse-trading, Peters “will remember National was trying to shaft him. If NZ First is returned, I’d put money on him going with Clark.”

It won’t take too many good weeks for Labour for this to be a real possibility.

Deborah Coddington offers the insight that:

“In my experience it’s the well-off, in general, who have the most disgusting behaviour. The rich are different not just because they have more money but because many of them have less grace.”

Sadly, she doesn’t make the link to the attributes that the capitalist system rewards. It’s not exactly a revelation… didn’t someone once say something about the rich and eyes of needles? In the same vein, Fran O’Salivatin’ also writes about Rod Petricevic, who features in Coddington’s column. Petricevic is portrayed as a dubious character, but sui generis. Crap, ethical behaviour in capitalist commerce is a continuum, not bipolar.

In the SST, Rod Oram assesses the Nat’s announced economic policy. He finds it “troubling” :

“… the men who are potentially the next prime minister and deputy made scant reference to the fast-changing world and New Zealand’s role in it.”

Some of us have been noting for some time that there’s been plenty of talk from the Nats about closing wage — now after tax income — gaps and the like, but precious little announced that would materially assist improve NZ’s productivity levels.

Spending a little more on infrastructure won’t do it, note. As Oram says:

“An extra $500 million a year of spending will be only a small improvement on the already very large increase the current government has made in infrastructure investment; and National is promising to spend $1.5 billion on fibre optic cable, which could be wasteful or crowd out private sector investment, according to some telecommunications players.”

The impact here of the current global financial crisis should be at the forefront of out minds right now, says Oram, along with “the opportunities for us to earn a much bigger living in global markets.”

Oram outlines responses to recent recessions in order weigh National’s apparent insouciance, and explores some of the contradictions in National’s policies. My pick of the weekend’s reading.

[Update: Lynn Prentice at The Standard writes at greater length on Oram’s piece.]

Fran(k) assessment of the damage to Nats

August 9, 2008

Amazingly, a fairly balanced assessment of the fallout from National’s week from hell from Fran O’Salivatin’ in this morning’s Granny: “Loose words sparking talk of hidden agenda.”

National’s been stung, but not by Bill “Loose Lips” English, writes Fran. Nonetheless:

“There will be more chatter during the election campaign as National’s opponents try to draw a link between him and the publication of emails that ended Don Brash’s reign.

“But the vexed relationship on show is between Key and English.”

And that’s the fascinating part. Fran then retails the “story that emerged after two journalistic confidantes, who went with Key on a social spree in the Capital earlier this year, let loose that Key expected English to attempt a coup some day, perhaps to wrestle the prime ministership away (assuming he gets there).”

This was first reported on The Standard in June. (In respect of the previous post here but one, that the blog “reported” the story, now the journos are picking it up.)

Fran also opines that the affair has given:

“Labour an opening to spin into proof positive that National has a hidden agenda which will result in cutbacks to the tax credits programme and the sale of Kiwibank if it takes office.”

But she goes on to note that “Key and English had already helped create perceptions of a hidden agenda.” Too true. Good one Fran.

She’s certainly right about National’s opponents using this opportunity to shed light on National’s internal fracturing. They are already on the case… see the video below (hat-tip: The Standard.) Just imagine what would happen if National lose the election. Pure Tarantino.

A flip-flop too far for Far-Right Fran

July 30, 2008

Fran O’Sullivan froths at National’s flip-flops in Granny this morning, wailing, “… it’s tempting to wonder if John Key is auditioning to be Helen Clark in drag.” In doing so she adds her voice to the chorus of far-right dismay at National’s “Labour-lite” cross-dressing.

She points to the essential problem that “all Labour’s flagship economic policies” (embraced by National), bigger tax cuts than Labour, no privatisations and no big borrowing won’t fit falling government revenue in a declining economy. Many others have also pointed to this problem.

But, thanks to her close links with the big business donors to the National Party, she is able to provide some insights into how National might conjur this fiscal trick:

“It would appear obvious – to those within the business elite who are privy to National’s plans – that Key and his finance spokesman Bill English plan to re-engineer the Government’s balance sheet so that a number of directly funded infrastructure programmes are shifted off-balance sheet to be funded through public-private partnerships and/or infrastructure bonds.”

The problem is, as she quickly admits, that there are serious time lags. It would take years for the fiscal benefits to flow through (never mind the quality of service issues which she ignores, of course). This might be a long term solution, but what about the short-term?

So the question remains, what — or who — is going to give?

O’Sullivan finishes with a general whinge about the lack of policy on offer. She says:

“As of right now there are few National policies on display that demonstrate the party that looks odds-on to claim the Government benches this year is thinking deeply about the economic environment it will inherit.”

We can only concur.