Author Archive

Making a pig of it. Jordan Williams has been tardy with his financial reporting obligations

It appears the PR attack machine operated by New Zealand’s most defamed man Jordan Williams (the value of whose reputation has been under review) and his ‘co-founder’, long time National Party political activist David Farrar, has been delinquent in its financial reporting obligations since the end of January this year. The ‘NZ Taxpayers Union Inc’ incorporated society […]

Farewell Stephen Hawking

What can you say about this hero? Boom! By his beliefs he has stopped existing now that he is dead. Fair enough. But few people make the impact he did – those that do, live on in our memory. Their insights ‘live’, recorded in books or other media. What a shadow he cast. – P […]

In the news, 1984. Some photographs.

My (endless?) decluttering continues, and with it, blasts from the past rise to the surface. During 1984, before I trained as a journalist, I set out to create a portfolio of photos of people who interested me – who were ‘In the news’ at the time. As a starting point, I approached figures I’d heard interviewed […]

Jordan Williams and Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance – Putting the ass back into astroturf

Follow this twisted tale … start with Peter WM … I did a quick Google image search on one of the "People like you" from the rate payer association's website. He lives in the USA. I contacted him and he's never heard of the association, let alone been a member. pic.twitter.com/bLO22VdzJE — Peter WM (@pwmxx) […]

Stages of grief after an electoral loss

Don’t let anyone tell you this stuff isn’t real. It’s absolutely natural to cast around for blame, and then a fresh-faced leader after a not-exactly-unexpected-but-oh-boy-we-got-our-hopes-up election loss/disappointment. How long before Dr Jonathan Coleman is persuaded to throw his hat in the ring again? He’ll be getting sweet-talked by now, I reckon. – P

Ask not for whom the bell tolls. (Betteridge’s law of headlines.)

Almost never a good sign: Anyone familiar with Betteridge’s law of headlines knows how that works … But Bill English says calm down, it’s OK. Well, for him, anyway. (That’s too bad about Paula Bennett, then, eh?) Personally, I don’t think Bill English did enough ‘wrong’ in the last New Zealand General Election to deserve […]

Simplify

I wish you well this holiday season. Go well. If you can, refresh & simplify. That second aspect, simplifying, is a path I have been on for a little while now. I’m not finding it easy, but I do feel lighter for every bit of baggage I shed. Also: cycles, seasons & timing are real, […]

Tintin in The Matrix – cool

Wouldn’t this be cool?! h/t to @becs and @CamilleStein

Alec and Sierra ‘Animals’

I loved this couple when they won X-Factor USA. This is from their 2016 album ‘As Seen On TV’. Cool. Sadly for fans like me, they announced in September this year that they’ve decided to stop being a group, after ending their romantic relationship some time earlier. Too bad, but one has to respect their […]

John Key’s flying pig falls to earth

David Fisher took literally years to shed even a little light on how Teflon John Key misled New Zealanders about a mass surveillance system on our internet his government was commissioning for the Americans. The whole very carefully, diplomatically written article is worth reading: John Key, mass surveillance and what really happened when Edward Snowden […]

Murky PR update: ‘The Bloggers Club’

Alex Casey at The Spinoff had some emails leaked to her which revealed a behind-the-scenes attempt at opinion manipulation via news media. See ‘Mum’s the word’: The online influencers secretly paid to go on 1News Two prominent online “influencers” appeared in a 1News story about Kmart without having disclosed payments from a PR company acting […]

Facebook is not the devil

Hey, don’t get me wrong, I have been terribly troubled by Facebook’s ‘surveillance economy’ model: the way it tracks and analyses its users’ social graph and extrapolates a map of their ‘interests’ and demographic information before delivering them (the users) and their privacy up like lambs to the slaughter on the altar of commerce and, […]

Styling Dr Who

The character Dr Who has always displayed a wide palette when it comes to styling. The idiosyncratic Time Lord’s sartorial ‘look’ has allowed viewers to enjoy projecting or interpreting the asynchronous and anachronistic elements. Capes, long coats, quirky hats and long scarves, steampunk gizmos etc. With the upcoming first regeneration as a woman, the gates […]

“Let’s put aside the obviously cynical nature of [Simon] Bridges’ faux-outrage …”

Best line I’ve read all week. From a delightful column by Andrew Geddis at Pundit: ‘Simon Bridges thinks that Simon Bridges is eroding parliamentary democracy‘. Seriously, it’s a lovely column. Go and read it if this stuff appeals to you. With bonus Edglering in the comments. Bravo to all concerned. Even my Tory mates think […]

Robert Mercer’s gag reflex is alive!

Robert Mercer is a ‘hedge fund billionaire’ who has used his money to enable hate speech, white nationalism and islamophobia – mainly through funding the toxic ‘new media’ organ Breitbart News, and his financial backing for Donald Trump’s election campaign. Mercer family interests have also, it seems, until very recently, backed the rise of provocateur […]