Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gareth jumps the shark

Gareth Hughes proudly boasts on Twitter that he is the "Greens' youngest MP". But sometimes youthful exuberance gets the better of him.

Yesterday was one of those days; mid afternoon, he tweeted:

Gareth Hughes
Just heard the has split. Unconfirmed at this point. Bad news. Hope nobody has been injured.

Shortly afterwards, he added this:

Gareth Hughes
So broken in two. Rear end precarious and could slide off the reef.

Unfortunately for Mr Hughes, the Rena was at that point still in one piece, which is how it remains this morning. But unsurprisingly, his tweet prompted a mini avalanche on Twitter and people passed his message on; after all, he's a Honourable Member, so anything he says MUST be factual; mustn't it?

And it's not the first time that Mr Hughes has let his political instincts get in the way of the truth with regard to the Rena. Just last week he was running the line via social media that oil should have been being pumped from the Rena from Day One. Patently, given the statements made by expert salvors, that was not possible due to the damage sustained by the Rena on her grounding. It didn't stop Gareth Hughes trying to make political capital though.

And Hughes' political gymnastics did not go unnoticed; John Armstrong commented thus on Saturday:

National found itself charged in the court of public opinion with failing to respond quickly to something which was obvious to everyone else - that the ill-fated ship was going to break up and cause New Zealand's worst marine environmental catastrophe. Obvious in hindsight, that is.

The exception was Gareth Hughes, the Greens' marine spokesman, who agreed earlier than most with Joyce the ship could break up.

Hughes was quick to put Joyce on notice for the supposed slow reaction of Maritime New Zealand.

But not as quick as the Greens would like people to believe.

The fate of the Rena was such a pressing priority for the Greens that they did not see fit to set down a parliamentary question to Joyce on the Thursday before last even though the Rena had struck the Astrolabe reef some 36 hours earlier.

Hughes was instead on the case of another navigation-challenged wanderer of the high seas, quizzing Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley as to whether the penguin Happy Feet had come to an unhappy end as by-catch in the net of a sub-Antarctic trawler.

While Hughes was otherwise engaged, the preliminary stages of what will be an intensely complex salvage operation were already well under way in part because Joyce had given the ship's owners the hurry up.

The following day saw Hughes switch his attention to the Rena, starting a political circus which continued unabated this week.

We have no doubt that Gareth Hughes is a sincere young man, who wants to make the world a better place. And he probably has a good future in politics, especially given the manner in which the Greens are taking votes from Labour, to Clare Curran's disgust. So perhaps he would be wise to follow Sir Robert Muldoon's famous advice to newbie MP's; that for their first term, they should breathe through their noses.

Youthful enthusiasm is one thing; spreading misinformation for political advantage is another thing altogether, and not one of which Gareth Hughes should, as a principled Green MP should be proud.


Jacqueline said...

Gareth Hughes - i remember him from when he did an amazing speech on the copyrite file share sharing bill that made National's Katrina Shanks look like a stupid dinasauer.

I put both speeches on my blog at the time and had a laugh at the comparison.

Check them out - it is hilarious. He is an awesome young man who i am sure will go far.


Inventory2 said...

I'm sure that he will too Jacqui, but he needs to make sure that he has all the facts right before sending out alarmist tweets. On that basis, he's failed twice in the last week.

Whafe said...

Gareth Hughes may well have a handsome looking future in politics however, I beg to differ.

To be using social media to make claims such as he did yesterday, or if in fact he was following another and adding to it, is not something an MP should be doing...

A watermelon can break down really quickly once it is infected with Erwinia.

Inventory2 said...

I bow to your horticultural knowledge Whafe.

robertguyton said...

Any politician who makes claims based on tenuous information received by twitter or, say, email, should expect to be exposed for doing so. Bad when an MP does it, disgraceful when the Prime Minister John Key does it, eh Inv2!
Claiming that Standard and Poors said something, when in fact they didn't, was a disgrace coming from Key. Sticking to his claim when it was patently false, put him in a different category altogether from Hughes. It will be interesting to hear what Gareth Hughes has to say about this and compare his response to the deceitful behaviour from Key when he was busted by the media. His drawn out, evasive, shifty-eyed interview in front of the camera did him a power of harm and his 'credibility' evaporated in front of our eyes.

Inventory2 said...

What a suprise; Robert tries to change the subject.

I read these words the other day:

I find Inv2's constant eroding of Goff, boring and transparent...

Those were the words of Robert Guyton; pot; meet kettle!

Jacqueline said...

Maybe he is looking up to more experienced Ministers and following their lead - you know - ministers like 'The Minister of Twitter" - Tau Henare?

Whafe said...

BobG, Why not try even harder to get off topic re the PM hey ;)

fredinthegrass said...

Gareth Hughes has unbridled enthusiasm.
He needs leading through this formative time in his career.
But then his "leader" is probably more concerned about his own umbrella.

robertguyton said...

Both Hughes and Key spread unsubstantiated information based on electronic media they received (at least Key says he received an email from his 'un-named source' which has lead to discussion on blogs. Key however, used his 'information' in the House and was called out over it. he lost a great deal of credibility as a result, especially in the way he tried over and over to weasel out of telling the truth. Gareth Hughes, by comparison, has passed on his information received, by twitter. The difference is significant. I'm just trying to remember if Inv2 posted on Key's mis-use of unsubstantiated electronic information, given that it's far, far more significant that Hughes ... no..I can't seem to recall that post at all. Inv2, you must have covered it - or did you instead, cover it UP?

robertguyton said...

By the way, Inv2 - I owned up to being 'boring and transparent' in my regular criticism of Key, then asked if you would own to the same with regard your constant criticism of Goff. I don't think you did, but now's a good time. Pot/kettle and all that. Come on, man up!

Inventory2 said...

Robert; as you and I well know, I was going to blog about this last week, but your bullying, hectoring and demanding behaviour caused me to reconsider. You do not control this blog; I do.

But even Labour has backed away from the "Key lied" line now; last Wednesday Annette King referred to it as "political hyperbole" in her weekly session with Steven Joyce on Newstalk ZB. That's probably the most realistic assessment.

Quintin Hogg said...

I'd love to see Gareth at the pointy end with the salvors.

I think that the hyerbole would diminish if he had to work out there, even on the Awanuia.

robertguyton said...

"Robert; as you and I well know, I was going to blog about this last week, but your bullying, hectoring and demanding behaviour caused me to.." awwwwwwww! Poor wee mouse! Bullied into not putting up a negative post about John Key! The inhumanity of that rough boy from Riverton and may I join your supporters in saying how completely justified you were, Inv2, to bin that Key-negative post! We don't need to look at that stuff, we know he's unstained by politics, why, he's practically and All Black!
Gareth Hughes' tweet pales into insignificance beside Key's sneaky 'Standard and Poors' claims, but we MUST talk about the Green MP, NOT our Lord/Leader John.
And you're still not going to admit your own 'potty-ness' I see?

Inventory2 said...

And how often do you condemn the Green Party Robert?

We blog according to our worldview. I an NOT going to have you or anyone else dictate my agenda, just as I would not presume to dictate yours.

ZenTiger said...

Robert, you *trust* S&P???

Or only when convenient?

I certainly don't, and they contributed in no small part to the financial mess in America.

I don't often support Key, but I think he was not lying. S&P have an official line of company approved statements, but it doesn't stop their staff implying other things in general conversation.

ZenTiger said...

And irrespective of what Key said at a BBQ 6 years ago, and other irrelevant things, looks like Gareth's tweets are best called twits.

jabba said...

when you look at the Greens MP list then Hughes is a star.
bobby G, I will say again, get out more .. go visit brother Ali as you are very similar.

Inventory2 said...

Thanks a bloody bunch Jabba - I now have a mental picture of Robert G in a Borat-like Mankini, and I feel ill!

Sthn.Jeff said...

The Mankini would be made of hemp though Inv2, none of that nasty Lycra!

robertguyton said...

I have photos. Will send.

Word verification 'swinali'

smttc said...

I believe it was Keith Holyoake, rather than Rob Muldoon, who coined that rather famous phrase.

Jacqueline said...

lol i love this blog and the comments.

Thanks INV2.

gravedodger said...

smttc is on to it.
Keith J Holyoake was the origin of that sage advise as I recall

Inventory2 said...

Gentlemen; I bow to your combined wisdon re Sir Kiwi Keith.

Jacqui - thanks heaps!

robertguyton said...

Zen Tiger:
"it doesn't stop their staff implying other things in general conversation"

No, nor does it stop 'someone' believeing they overheard such imiplication in general conversation', emailing it to John Key and having him declare in the House that this was Standard and Poors stated position. What pish! If that's the level of quality you are happy to have the Prime Minister operate at, aside from his pathetic, 'I don't reveal my sources' crap, then you've little to contribute to any real debate around Key's credibility.
Inv2 - ". I an (sic) NOT going to have you or anyone else dictate my agenda.."
I love it when you stamp your little foot, stampy, stampy It makes you look authoritative and quite like Piri Weepu.
jabba - dimūqrāṭiyyah - I'm sure you're with me on that one!

jabba said...

booby G, I struggle to understand anything that you say .. it's all bullshit and spin. I say again, you need to get out of town for a break

robertguyton said...

Sorry about the confusion, jabba. Here, in your own language, is what I was meaning.

לקוח נכבד,

And further to that, jabba, a statement that you will be very familiar with,

הדף המבוקש איננו קיים, אתכם הסל
צוות הנהלת האתר

jabba said...

Robert .. breath in hard, it will do you good.

robertguyton said...

jabba...get off the 'hard' and breath in fresh, clean air, it will do you good.

robertguyton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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