“Words without actions are the assassins of idealism.” ― said President Herbert Hoover nearly a century ago. It was if he was addressing his present day successor Donald Trump’s inadequate response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Category archive: Politics
At first they nodded and smiled as usual on our daily walks. Nothing unusual there, it’s our neighbourhood.
But then the pandemic arrived and didn’t leave. For a few days we were confused and offered the same greetings, though we all knew nothing would ever be the same.
A very long time ago when I was an NBR media commentator, a senior Treasury official asked me what I thought about the future of TVNZ. I told him that its hyper-commercialism was driving viewers away; that people were sick and tired of ads and much of the network’s ratings-driven programming.
He paused, stroked his chin and looked into the distance. “Hmm” he said. “Here, we would call that a long term strategic loss.”
Bushfires still burn in Oz; Brexit vexited the Brits, and in America a new King was crowned by Republican Senators. You could sense an uprising to the elevation of President Donald to King Donald. Tears flowed and jeers echoed on both sides of the Atlantic, courtesy of television. These were passionate issues and sometimes you had to pause to wonder who, or what, lay behind them.
But no worries, because Down Under the Aussies showed that their sense of humour couldn’t be extinguished….
High Noon, informally, is the when time the sun reaches its highest point in the sky. It is traditionally regarded as a time for high drama, as in the 1952 movie High Noon. At High Noon in New Zealand on Saturday, 1st February 2020, it will be 23:00 GMT. It will be the moment the UK inflicts upon itself, perhaps the greatest self-harm in its long history. It will break its 46 year membership of the EU.
In South Auckland’s Ihumatao, a peaceful group of Maori activists continues the campaign it began in 2015. Their aim? To stop Fletchers building 480 homes on what they believe is sacred land.
And a few miles away in the leafy suburb of Mt Albert early last month, middle-class Pakeha began their protest.
We do not have a housing crisis. The housing market works perfectly for those it was designed to serve. Landlords are now protesting because the precarious position of renters has (finally) been acknowledged.
But who knows how long it will it take before the talk ends and the watered down action begins? And even then if the result resembles the government’s affordable housing fiasco where do we go from there? But we are not alone.
The early television days were staffed by competent, experienced staff with mainly radio experience coping with second hand BBC equipment in small make shift studios with tape, lighting and telecine (film) operators in cramped uncomfortable cupboards/offices. Staff like Barry Warner, Colin Harrison, Geoff Eady, Robyn Petrie, Ian Hill, Stuart Murray and Russ Lambert and Bob Smith. We owe them so much.
First I must declare that I’m involved with Better Public Media, so it is very apparent what I want from television in New Zealand.
But I also want more for other sectors of the media, for I have drifted away from mainstream (linear, scheduled) television and have joined the Netflix generation. When I drift back to Television New Zealand or TV3, these channels seem like foreign places, where narratives are jarringly interrupted by extended breaks of increasingly banal adverts.