Thursday, April 25, 2013

Digging in the Dirt

The past is a different country. They do things differently there. It can be an illuminating place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there. There be dragons.

It's ANZAC Day, and fresh from one blogger dodging one set of lawyer monkeys, it seems another is set up against some gorilla class action.

Russell Brown sought to revisit a controversial current affairs program from 1990 in this week's Media 3 program. A visibly frustrated Russell Brown explained during the show that several pieces were cut on legal advice, and Roger Douglas had thrown legal action at them to try and torpedo the entire program at the last moment. The blog post For the Public Good Revisited has been pulled, although nothing online is ever offline.

Which is a shame, because I was rather looking forward to a look at the events of that era. My dead old man was in the thick of it, and all I've got so far is his side of the story:
Without that guidance, Lange made a complete mess of the 1987 campaign. He offended some women dramatically on a television interview while he was on tour in the South Island. I think it was at Rangiora (It was in fact Geraldine - goNZo). In my own electorate, I had gone to considerable pains to prepare the way for Lange at the Palmerston North Teachers Training College in the morning, only to have him in the afternoon verbally abuse some student again on television over his shirt or some other trivial matter. These were two major television blues that forced the Labour Party to spend around half a million dollars on TV adverts in addition to what we expected to spend, in order to cover his misdemeanours in this regard.
What I did discover is why so many Lefties have bad blood towards my old man, and probably against me personally. The evidence is lacking but they want so hard to rage against the de Cleene.

How about we frame it thusly, in order to defuse the tensions? Just as the Tuhoe Terror defendants don't have to justify a goddamn thing to the police or the public, neither do the Dark Artists have to justify historic campaign financing now.

How much have things changed? Here's what being a minister outside of cabinet was like before reform (Book of Trev, same chapter as above):
I would rather in retrospect have been under-secretary of finance to Roger Douglas than I would have been Minister of Pies & Ice-cream in the cabinet. There were several reasons for this. The first was financial. Under the Higher Salaries Commission, Ministers and under-secretaries were paid one hundred odd dollars tax-free a day for the time they were not in Wellington. The idea was that they were doing their job elsewhere. I thought this was ridiculous but it rendered my under-secretaries' pay up with a cabinet minister. I didn't have to go down to Wellington on Monday and was paid this $100 for fishing and shooting. That later, on our own instigation, was altered and is not the position now. That was the ridiculous nature however of much of the way of fixing salaries for ministers and under-secretaries in those days.
How much has stayed the same? Well, the statute of limitations has expired on whatever corruption lies behind John Banks and his campaign financing. If you can keep the corpse buried for six months, you can never be guilty.

How about we work on current affairs like that instead of picking over really old bones? Unless someone has a bone to pick, that is.