Woe betide the Uber City for Wellington, promoted by proven liars

Anyone who thinks the so-called “Uber City” for the Wellington region is going to deliver anything like that which it is hyped to needs a good crack across the bonce with a length of 4×2.

Same goes got he Hawkes Bay.

The name Uber City is a joke too…even if you combined them all they still won’t have the population of South Auckland.

Stephen Franks highlights a problem with the promotors of the Uber City…they are proven liars?.

According to Ms Wilde her Council not being allowed to lie in official advertising ?could drastically restrict how local bodies operate?. She believes it ?poses a real risk to robust political debate?. Putting aside the inconvenient fact that?Council?advertising should be informative, not political propaganda, it is incredible that there is no media furore over her further defence that seeking the Advertising Standards Authority ruling was ?legal nitpicking?.

The DomPost has reported the matter under the heading ?Advertising Standards Authority calls GWRC super-city ad ?misleading??. Note the implied warnings to ignore ? ?calls? instead of ?finds? and the word ?misleading? in quotes to distance the DomPost from the dreadfully unwelcome judgmentalism implicit in ?misleading?.

Take a look at the ASA report, ( 15/004) which attaches my firm?s letter setting out the facts. Someone in the GWRC was either too stupid or too reckless to merit staying employed, or set out to deceive. See also the submission on behalf of the GWRC which says essentially that councils should be free from ASA supervision of their advertising, because being constrained to the truth would be problematic.

How do the honest members of the Council feel about this? Will they seek an inquiry into it. Will anyone be held accountable?

Businesses, remember that indifference to honesty, when you next want to shade the truth to GWRC. Its leader thinks that ?misleading advertising? which was ?not prepared with a due sense of social responsibility? is just robust debate.

In 2008 I blogged on journalistic blind eyes to lies by politicians, compared to their frothing pursuit of easily made mistaken business claims.

?As a commercial lawyer I?m sickened by the left?s sanctimony toward business. Labour love passing laws they could never satisfy in their own conduct. They lie happily, yet business people (properly) face prison or huge fines for faulty prospectus statements.?

I?ve had some journalists and politicians claim that it is because business can lose people so much money. We saw that?claim in full lynch mob glory in the media?s repeated whipping of two former Ministers of Justice. They were found by a court to have been honest though mistaken. They?d failed to add enough emphasis to their written warnings of the risks facing Lombard Finance.

The company?s failure (like most mezzanine development finance lenders) had nothing to do with the misleadingly mild warnings. Many commentators wanted them in jail for years, nonetheless.

There are demands for jail for private sector mistakes, but how come politicians seem to be impervious, and the?fourth estate lets them get away with it.

But in matters like the proposed amalgamation of a region to put it under provincial government the amounts at stake are enormous. If Wellington ratepayers end up funding the executive pay increases and rate increases experienced in Auckland the per household costs will dwarf anything a Fair Trading Act prosecution for misleading statements would usually deal with.

Why the double standard? Why are Ms Wilde and her fellow councillors not facing calls that they go before the courts and risk?imprisonment for false statements, the way company directors do?

Because there will be no media call for a similar morality.

As an MP I ran into it constantly ? deep suspicion from politicians and journalists that business people are inveterate liars. Few of the former had the faintest idea how much everyday business effort goes into protecting a reputation for being honest. Standard due diligence for published statements was inconceivable. I found it impossible to shift their pre-conceptions. They simply applied to everyone their own absence of morality ? they lie freely if they think they can get away with it, so to them everyone else will be worse.

But what about the days of boredom we?ve endured as?the Gallery?pursued John Key over when he knew something, compared with when he said he knew it? Surely that shows they still think lying matters?

Lying does matter. Not a single one of the promises made for the Auckland Super City have been delivered.

Likewise we are now seeing a trail of obfuscation and dare I say it lies from politicians over the SkyCity deal with Steve Joyce looking increasingly shabby and sneaky.

Franks last few sentences are prescient.

It does ? but just for their enemies. To them lying is OK when it is for their causes, and by people they want to win. It remains wrong, but only worth beating up for the mugs who don?t lie when it is suspected in their opponents.

Thank God we now have specialist and social media to bypass mainstream political journalists and their editors.

Thank God indeed.

 

– Stephen Franks

 

 

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