"Ruch, as well as thuck" -Jill Singer Article "New Zealand change as good as a holiday"

Sometimes I read stuff that just makes me want to say something. Well on my blog I can. We all have our days where we'll sit down and read the newspaper. In this case it was an online article on the home page of Melbourne's Herald Sun written by columnist Jill Singer. This lady is an award winning journalist, proudly Australian and well over to the left. That's fine. A well respected columnist though, writing utter baseless drivel is well below the line.

The opening line starts with this
"New Zealanders have voted for change - a leap from Left to Right - with all the enthusiasm and reasoning power of a doped slug".

Yes the majority did vote for change and for mostly perhaps the following reasons if not others. The New Zealand Herald put it nicely when they termed the now former government "The Nanny Government" .

We ended up living in an era of over-regulation and ridiculously stupid political correctness. The introduction of Green MP Sue Bradfords' Anti-smacking legislation, the debarkle over the Regulation of shower flow rates perhaps was the last straw that finally broke the Labour Party camel's back. People were sick and tired of being told what to do - so with that in mind and the economy into a second quarter of recession the bell soon tolled for Labour's end.

But for Jill Singer, well respected award winning journalist that she is, to sit down and write a piece of hard journalism on New Zealand politics. On this score she rates a big zero.

Her opening paragraph took a cynical perhaps narrow- viewed opinion of we who are New Zealanders. I'm wondering if Pharmac had extra funding for a nation of 'doped slugs' on election day. Could it be a secret National Party conspiracy perhaps. Back door deals made with the heads of Pharmac to drop strange substances onto the ballot papers? The answer to that is of course not.

The cynicism didn't stop with the opening paragraph she continues -

"As the rest of the world struggles with the excesses of capitalism and free-market worship, our dearly beloved neighbours suddenly think a former investment banker can make them ruch, as well as thuck."

Free-market worship sounds like the Roger Douglas era to me. Again I disagree. The US for instance, still has a protected market. While the previous administrations have preached the "Free Market Economy" philosophy to every one else on the global platform the protectionism for US producers has stoically remained. Fair enough. When it comes down to the base line taking care of one's own first before taking care of someone elses' pockets.

In 1984 New Zealand lost that protectionism our manufacturers and agricultural producers had so enjoyed, to then Finance Minister Roger Douglas' extreme Keynesian views. Fine in theory. Cold economic models to determine a countries' economic policy in a real world situation needs everyone else playing ball. Except it didn't happen. The major economies remained well protected we didn't.

In just one stroke of the pen - subsidies were removed as were the import tariffs. Suddenly our farmers and manufacturers were facing the cold realty that the NZ Government wasn't going to look after them any more. A lot of people lost their jobs during those hard years, farmers lost their incomes and farms, companies went into liquidation, factories shut doors. Rural towns went dead overnight. The Share Market Crash of 1987 and excessive interest rates helped the process along.

This continued during the recession of the 1990 era when, disheartened with the Labour government, the New Zealand public voted for change. The winner then -National led by Jim Bolger. Jim was later shuffled aside for Jenny Shipley. Cold Corporate Policies, further financial pain and advertisements such as the "Benefit Fraud it's a crime" campaign once again changed the public's attitude. Term of office for the National Government until the 1999 elections. Nine years. Term of the Labour government until 2008 - nine years. People had again asked for change. So much for the history lecture there.

And the point of all this perhaps over opinionated writing?

Two little words "ruch and thuck" Is this english or something made up in the Orion Sector of the Milky Way perhaps? No it was Jill having a go and in turn people had a serious go at her. I wasn't so nasty - just to the point in my email to her on the issue of New Zealand accents.

Jill Singer's reply was just as nice:

"Yes, I take the point re the accent thingo. I’ve had a lot of emails to the effect that Australians say Seeedny for Sydney and so forth, which doesn’t ring true to my ear.

I suppose that’s the thing about accents...my article was written for an Australian audience and we hear things differently. I think we’ve both got pretty harsh accents really...just heard an Australian reporter reporting on Remembrance Day and shuddered to imagine how the French would react to her pronunciation of France.

Anyway, I do now realise that my article would have been much better if I’d resisted my childish and inept attempt at mocking the Kiwi accent.

And thanks so much for being nice about my shortcomings."

Which I was.

Read the article and let me know what you think. I would be very very interested to know.
Thanks to Timespanner for putting me onto the article


  1. I read this article this morning and I was mortified - she's insulting really.

  2. That's why I added her reply to me at the end. It was straight out insulting - Jill admitted that in hindsight it was a bad idea. The reactions were enough said few positive a lot of angry people. I just took a different tact and got a reply. I tend to deal with things quietly but it still pissed me off where the 'Fush and Chups" crap was concerned.

  3. hmmm she is opinionated isnt she? I try to stay out of the "political arena" I'm not knowledgable enough about it if I was to tell the truth. I do know that Any man/woman can get up on stage and promise all kinds of "change" and the reality is this, they have no power to do so. Our president is only a figurehead, a pretty boy to stand up front and pretend to push the buttons, congress are the real 'rulers' so to speak. I'm mortified more over BO winning the election and the fact that so many americans voted on his empty promises that he cannot in his power as president do anything about. He has no military background and very little experience in politics. I'm very afraid that the book Revelation is coming true before our eyes...something about the whole thing is raising a red flag in Christians here in the US....and a fear has begun to run through them all now....read up....it's gonna happen eventually and the time is right. Now I'm not saying one way or the other, just what many others here are thinking. Just in case I'll not miss a sunday in church! The government here just sucks, its really socialism in another word....we are no longer democratic, and we no longer have God as the one we give credit to...basically the US is going to Hell in a handbasket! I'm dismayed...ooops I spoke my unpopular opinion...I try not to do that too often, dont want tomatos thrown at me! Interesting article.....I didn't like her tone, but I guess its a free world....bet she got lots of hate mail though! LOL

  4. I don't mind you having an opinion. I still haven't formed one at all on BO. I think it's one thing to be overseas and state an opinion about another countries elections and choice of leader but it's another when you are in that country and have a differing opinion and it affects you directly. I'm not happy about National and John key getting in at all. Jill Singer had a point in her article - but she made the silly mistake of trying to be funny and it back fired. You're not kidding. The comments on the website were mostly nasty and down right scathing. Fair enough. It got my back up as well which is why I emailed her and got somewhere because I was tactful about what I said. Generally I liked the base line of the article just not the unfounded rubbish that was added on top.

  5. Hanging around internet-wise with a selection of Aussies a few years back, one thing became clear -- they felt it was okay to tease and snark, and if a Kiwi gets up on hind claws to say their accent jokes tripe is just that -- T.R.I.P.E. -- they just laugh, and accuse Kiwis of being too serious, over-sensitive, "We always take the mickey out of ourselves over here, you should lighten up", etc., etc.

    Good on you, Mad Bush, for saying your piece.

  6. Ice the madness must have overtaken me. I just had to say SOMETHING! Been on the recieving end myself from an now former Aussie Borther in law. Not funny. Who talks like that anyway? Lynn of Tawa maybe but she was a stand up comic act and damned good at it. I like the reply Jill sent me. Good Journalist great writer but in this case the objectivity went right out the window along with the brain.


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