Disinformation a disservice.

Getting the supposed “ten facts” flier in the mailbox today, I thought it only prudent that I now continue this crusade against the StS (which this unwittingly has become).

Readers of this blog will know well that I believe that the StS is running on hyperbole and loose interpretation of so called “facts”. This is well illustrated in an opinion piece on the StS web site by Ian Smith, in which (along with his prejudices) “facts” are painted with a big fat liberal brush known as disinformation.

The tone of the piece seems to be summarised in one of the opening sentences “We have never been there and never intend to do so, but of course are paying for it“. Later it follows “Ultimately, whether we have a Stadium or not, is down to us. Civil disobedience in the form of subtracting from our rates payment that part of them, which is due to the Stadium, is one solution, but it’s ‘dated’, with a ring of the ‘sixties’ (when people still had the gumption to stand and be counted on matters of principle)“.

So if you don’t like something the council spends it’s money on, one should resort to civil disobedience. Fantastic, I never liked that road work done down my street, I’ll take $10 off my rates for that. I certainly didn’t like the new light pollution in the form of street lights in my area take another $15 off. I never voted for a guy at Moana Pool -$5. At this rate, instead of paying rates, the DCC will owe me money for the things I don’t necessarily agree with, or certainly won’t be using.

Part of living in a democracy, with a social democratic and egalitarian dividend, is that councils will from time to time spend money on things you may not use or agree with. The author had the gumption (I’d called it old fashioned prejudice) to criticise the younger generation for being “rather pathetic, wimpy“, whom are “too busy with their iPods, ‘Bebo’ or putting on ‘YouTube’ their latest handiwork; like-as-not, belting some poor little bugger into insensibility behind the school bike-sheds“. Wow, no don’t hold back there, what do you really think of the youth of today. Of course this is baseless stereotyping. If I was to be so disingenuous with my praise of the “zimmer frame wielding author”, we could get into a right old ding dong of name calling. How the youth of today, spend their time and engage in social activities has no relevance to the stadium debate, other than to be the subject of a spineless attack from a very misinformed author.

But apart from displaying spectacular tendencies for prejudice and that of a NIMBY, the author then decides to mislead the readers with nothing short of lies and half truths. Aside for his nostalgia (no pesky computers in his day) for the good old days of rugby and how it is seemingly ruined forever, and how professionalism will ruin the game, I fail to see how this has little to do with a debate about a stadium.

His assertions that PE students will be shunted off the running track by the Highlanders, is nothing if not hysterical. Firstly, the Highlanders will be but one tenant or user. They will most probably not train on the surface. There are very few modern stadiums in the world, where teams train on the hallowed surface of their main stadium, and certainly not if they aren’t the owners of said stadium. But that line of argument quickly dissolved into something about Irish and Chinese folk and how the stadium will host horse racing?

His obvious dislike, indeed objection to the use of the stadium for those loud pesky ‘rock concerts’, only demonstrates once again his prejudices. Firstly, this isn’t a residential area, the noise will undoubtedly spill from the building, but only to the surrounding rock quarry and oil storage tanks. However if the old Carisbrook was ever to host a concert (as it does from time to time – see it actually happens), I’d love to know what the residents of that very residential street think of it. Possibly don’t care. Perhaps “Myrtle” might even tap her foot along to that modern music. – Bizarre.

He again repeats the lies that the stadium will in fact only seat 20,000 people. This is simply not true, and to repeat it so instantly discredits the author. The maximum capacity for rugby tests will be 35,000. This included temporary seating configurations. Please, although I know it’s an opinion piece, it’s still a lie.

I care not one bit if “Foo-Yong Fisheries” have the naming rights for the stadium, even if the author doesn’t think it hasn’t “got the ring of ‘Carisbrook’ about it“. Is this another prejudice or just arrogance. I’d argue that AMI stadium isn’t very Lancaster Park, but welcome to the modern world.

The rest of the article including ‘crew cuts’ and other reminiscences of how rugby used to mean something to the community, and don’t forget the “spot and aucklander, they’re the brand wearing ones” comments, sadly have more to do with the plight of modern society than any meaningful objections to a proposed stadium development. Unfortunately the author also’s opinion of himself is too inflated, as his “calmness, reason and persistence” will win the day over “bluster, bull and doubtful statistics” (like yours for instance).

I am all for opinion. I too like nostalgia, Henry Huggins and Secret Seven any day over the Famous Five or Nancy Drew, but keep the lies and the so called ‘facts’ out of the argument, and if you want your opinion to carry any weight, leave the prejudices at home.

Link to Article: http://stopthestadium.org.nz/index.php/2008/07/30/part-7-are-you-a-walter/


Filed under Hot air

4 responses to “Disinformation a disservice.

  1. Peter

    Paul, having manfully struggled through all seven parts of Ian opinion piece I can only agree. I read elsewhere that it is supposed to be lighthearted but its little more than bitter sarcasm and prejudice.

  2. Peter Entwisle

    I’m glad you noticed Ian Smith’s articles on the StS website are clearly marked as opinion – distinguishing them from the StS’s own pronouncements. It’s a pity you can’t draw the obvious conclusion.

    And you persist in calling other people’s statements lies without even attempting to prove they were made with an intention to mislead.

    When it comes to hyperbole and misrepresentation here are two notable examples from you, Paul.

  3. Peter,

    Outlined by a so called expert the assertion that the stadium will hold 20,000 people in a Public meeting in a way as to consolidate support against the stadium, in such a manner, with pre thought and planning (it included graphs), must and should be considered a deliberate lie.

    With respect to the ‘opinion’ pieces by Ian Smith, which are without a doubt some of the most sentimentalist revisionist rubbish printed in a long time. Irrespective of the so called label of ‘opinion’ they are published on your site, again with the intention of creating an impression that what he says is so compelling it must be based on some fact, when in actual fact the ‘village green preservation society’ would gladly bestow life membership on such rubbish.

    Which part of the following isn’t true;

    “because when it all emerged into the cold light of public scrutiny, it was for 16,000 ‘permanent’ seats, with 3500 ‘temporary’”

    Apart from all of it. To repeat a lie is still a lie.

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