Monday, 18 April 2005

Never mind the truth, feel the quality

They used to call it being economical with the truth. It's now called spin. A short piece on the Newstalk ZB site offers the following half-truths:

1) Helen Clark says the Army has hid nothing from the Berrymans' lawyers. "The Army's report into its construction of the bridge has been suppressed by the courts but Helen Clark claims the Army gave a copy of the document to Keith and Margaret Berryman's lawyer."

But Clark knows that documents such as this as required to be produced to lawyers in the 'discovery' phase of a trial. Nothing was offered that wasn't legally required to be offered, and that reluctantly. That Rob Moodie chose to publicise the Butcher Report instead of helping to suppress it is evidence that he is one of the few honest men in his profession.

To suggest as Clark does that reluctant production of the document and a demand for its return is 'hiding nothing' is just deceptive.

2) "The Crown has no legal liability but has offered the Berrymans $150,000 which they have consistently refused."

But the implication of this is that $150,000 would have covered the Berrymans for the $450,000 of legal bills they sold their farm to pay, quite apart from the destruction of their lives by successive administrations. It's not just that their lives have been destroyed, but that farm they lost would now cost in the region of $2-2.5 million to buy; the Berrymans' consistent refusal to accept Clark's proffered food scraps is the only thing they can do in the circumstances. It is not alms they are after, it is justice. They want their lives back.

For Clark to intimate that the Berrymans' refusal is evidence of their unreasonableness is just obscene.

So as with all lies and half-truths then, the question always remains why does the perpetrator need to lie or spin in order to defend themselves or to make their point? There's two reasons they do so:

1) because the truth doesn't support their story; and

2) they take us for idiots.


  1. I'll pass on this note on behalf of Rob Moodie: "You can help by talking to friends etc and asking for their thoughts. Note (the) responses and send them to me in an email. Just the number you talk to preferably with a name and address. This will be kept confidential as the comments are what I need."

    I imagine this may be for a petition.

    Email to: teegee{at}

    Cheers ~ John

  2. 70 per cent of people involved in a Massey University department of marketing survey between September and November 2004 believed it was most unlikely that the Government would give serious attention to them if they tried to do something about a law they considered unjust or harmful.

    Why am I not surprised?


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