Thursday, 28 January 2016

Letters to Editor...

Wheeler’s Corner
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  29th January 2016

This week: 1. Are letters to the Editor a thing of the past?

Does your local newspaper become more than useless when it selectively decides not to publish letters to the editor on a topic of currant and topical interest?
I would suggest when it fails to publish in an attempt to keep the public uninformed because of politically contrived reasons.
The 1st letter below was sent over eight days [plus] ago, and has not been published. That could be called an error. But when combined with the second letter which has not yet been published one could be forgiven for thinking that the Fairfax owned Manawatu Standard is following a nationwide pattern of downplaying the opposition to the TPPA, which according to the latest online polls is supported by around 60 to 80%. 

Unpublished letter one: Is this letter so shocking that it deserves being ignored or censored?

Our government seems hell-bent on giving away our functions as a free and independent nation in international trading – without consulting the citizenry – as it proceeds to host the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal (TTPA) early next month. The process also seems to encompass plans to ensure that NZ voters have no power: thousands of informed citizens - concerned that 'the deal' will allow foreign corporations to dictate disadvantageous trading policies to us and put our economy at risk – have lodged protests and found themselves ignored, essentially disenfranchised!

Do these circumstances point to some plan designed to obtain enhanced status for its MPs seeking benefits from foreign interests ( – think Hawaii!) by nullifying NZ debates? Our former PN mayor (now PN National list MP) has been quoted by Manawatu Standard reporter Georgia Forrester, January 16, as stating that debate about the TTPA was “unfounded protest.” “Some of it is just politically motivated.” Does he see a great political future for himself, now that he wants to dictate policy from Wellington?

The TTPA - Free protests will be in evidence everywhere in the next few weeks. One gets the impression that our National representatives don't give a damn. If “Politically Motivated” protests are ineffectual, what will we have to do to get our so-called representatives to take notice?

Name, address etc. was supplied.
[I’ve kept the name and address secret so as to ensure that the police don’t visit the writer as appears to happening elsewhere around the counntry]

Letter Two:

Editor MS

 According to Fairfax NZ [Manawatu Standard] report Monday 25th January 2016:
“Prime Minister John Key has defended his Government's support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement in a fiery speech to Ratana followers.
I found it hard to accept that stupid statement especially since I can find nothing that would support the word ‘Fiery’.

Key's speech came after others at the annual Ratana Church celebrations expressed misgivings about the free trade deal and urged the Government to delay its signing, set down for February 4 in Auckland, until it is discussed more thoroughly with Kiwis.
Fears of a sizeable protest from anti-TPPA protesters at the event did not materialise, but several speeches made reference to the deal and how it could affect New Zealanders.

Here yet again the reporter created an illusion by stating:
After fielding criticism, Key responded with an impassioned address about his support for Maori which drew heckles from some in the crowd.

The word ‘impassioned’ simply creates a so-called sincere feeling or emotion by Key…yet the report does no such thing.
Key said his Government had improved the condition of Housing New Zealand homes in Ratana, and had improved the living conditions of both Maori and New Zealand as a whole.

This as is well understood by those who take an active interest in housing was simply crap of the highest order. Key went on to push the PR line that:
"This is a country that has the third-highest employment rate in the OECD; this is a country where wages are rising [Really], where the crime rate is falling [Really], where health outcomes are getting better [Says who].

Key defended the secrecy around TPPA negotiations, saying "every single free trade agreement negotiated by any government, with Labour or National", had been negotiated in confidence.

This of course is the big lie…in fact if you tell this massive fib enough times some people might actually believe it to be true…The PM then had the audacity to state:

Maori needed to "stand up for your young people" by supporting the deal and the economic benefits it would bring to New Zealand.

"Stand up for your young people; because your young people deserve a chance to get a job, your economy deserves a chance to succeed.

The TPPA text was "absolutely crystal clear" about the economic benefits for Kiwis and the clauses that were in place to protect New Zealand, Key said.

The only problem was nothing in the news item related to the text that describes the benefits that Key considers so obvious. So we could ask what benefits are obvious. Perhaps Jono Naylor could tell us about the benefits on Friday the 29th January 2016 at 11am when people are assembling at his electorate office at 45 King St.

Peter Wheeler
29d West Street PN

[I’m happy to reveal my contact details so that the police can visit me at any time to discuss my action plans regarding the TPPA, as I understand it NZ has no laws that ban protests etc. 

Peter J Wheeler

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1 comment:

Wheeler's Corner NZ said...

This from the Editor MS newspaper


For someone who so vehemently demands the truth from politicians and the media, you appear to have no problem in twisting it for your own purposes.

I think if you'd actually taken the time to do a true and fair analysis of the Manawatu Standard's coverage of the TPPA, you would see that we have presented a balanced view of the issue from the beginning. Our coverage has included multiple stories that have featured comment from both sides of the issue.

In fact we have rarely missed a public meeting, discussion or debate on the TPPA - the protest at Jono Naylor's office today being no exception.

The reason your letter has not been printed in the Standard yet is because we don't run letters in every edition, preferring instead to bank them up and run them when the best opportunity arises. I will also note that, at 460 words in length, your letter is more than double the preferred 200 word length. Exceptions can, of course, be made.

We have run a number of your letters in the past, many of which have not always been complimentary of our coverage. I can assure you that your salvos against content produced by the Standard or the Fairfax stable are not determining factors in whether or not we would run such a letter.

Of course you might have been able to clear this up with a phone call or a follow up email to me, but instead you chose to perpetuate a conspiracy theory that has absolutely zero grounding in reality.

All the best,

Jonathon Howe
Manawatu editor