The best of The Spinoff this week

Bringing you the best weekly reading from your friendly local website. 

Linda Clark: How the legal profession has excused and minimised the Russell McVeagh scandal

“This shouldn’t need to be said, but young women drinking free alcohol is not the problem here. Yet that view has some powerful supporters.

On Wednesday, the former solicitor general Mike Heron QC was quoted in the NBR. ‘It’s a problem with drinking, working late, high pressure and the nature of the work [lawyers] do. There are some firms that deal with quite difficult cases and they only have their teammates or colleagues to confide in. This doesn’t excuse the conduct but the environment contributes.’

Wrong. There are plenty of times I have worked late, drank wine, been under pressure and managed tricky and complex issues and never once have I groped a colleague.”

Alex Casey: Bargain: cancelled TVNZ drama Filthy Rich has joined Trademe to sell some very fancy stuff

“In a discovery more intriguing than when Gloriavale was flogging bulk Geisha wigs and a haunted goat named Hector, the people behind Filthy Rich have started a Trademe account to sell off their opulent wares. The account filthy-rich, registered under the Filthy character surname Truebridge, was started in February 2018. In a challenging Jim & Andy-style blend of fact and fiction, Truebridge’s occupation is listed as ‘Producers of the TVNZ2 show FILTHY RICH.'”

But where will the money go?

Toby Morris: The Side Eye: Renting in NZ means always moving out and never moving up

Alex Braae: Who the hell is new National leader Simon Bridges?

Simon Bridges was the architect of the parliamentary swifty National pulled on Labour at the very start of the current term, when he talked them into raising the number of select committee seats (which favoured National as the biggest party) in exchange for voting for Trevor Mallard as speaker (which Labour should have been able to force through anyway.)

Bridges also earned notoriety for taking on John Campbell in defence of offshore drilling exploration near Kaikoura. The slugfest left Campbell blinking in shock at the end of it, complaining that Bridges had just wanted to turn up and have a shout. It probably did him a lot of good politically – those who were unlikely to vote for National anyway would’ve come away disliking him intensely, and those in favour of resource extraction would’ve loved that he actually stood up for them.”

Madeleine Chapman: Was that gross 60 Minutes interview with Jacinda Ardern actually a rom-com?

“Charles Wooley just wanted to ask Jacinda Ardern out for a date. It’s not that complicated. Except it is, because he did so via a 13 minute creep fest of an interview for 60 Minutes. The segment was heavily edited and covered at least a full day with the prime minister and partner Clarke Gayford. The fact that the finished product was that bad is worrying. What other weird things had he cut from his original love letter to the prime minister? Did he challenge Gayford to a duel for Ardern’s hand in marriage? Because that’s exactly where the segment was heading.”

Simon Day: Splore 2018: the best weekend ever

“I made lifelong friends with people I will probably never meet again (except maybe at the front row of the Living Lounge next year). I shared an intimate moment with people whose favourite song is also Chaka Khan’s ‘Ain’t Nobody’. Much later, lost and alone, I pushed my way to the front of one stage and was welcomed by a young woman who crossed her arms in X and greeted me with ‘Wakanda Forever!’. I returned the greeting and we hung out for the next hour before our friendship vanished into the night.”

Madeleine Chapman: How to tell if your child has fallen victim to a liberal meme hate group

If, while snooping through your teen’s phone that you confiscated earlier, you find yourself trying to decipher messages that seemingly aren’t written in English, I’m sorry to say that you’ve lost your child. They’ve now fully adopted the language of Leftbook and will soon be unreachable, off retweeting memes about rich, white people and voting Labour. All you can do is learn as much of the language as possible before your leftie meme teen disappears forever. Here’s what little I’ve been able to decipher through extensive undercover work.

LOL – Love Of Liberalism

DTF – Death To Fascism

TFW – Tonight, Fight Whites!

MFW – Memes Forever Woke

BRB – Brokers R Bad

OMFG – Only Memes For Golriz

Anonymous: I lived in a van for two years

“I ran out of student allowance in the last three months of my degree, and things got tight. I had to budget everything right out. I finished university and started a job at an engineering firm, still living in the van. We get paid fortnightly, and the day before payday was my birthday. I had spent the last of my $2000 overdraft. My credit card was maxed out. And then I got paid for the first time.

I kept my living situation a secret for the 90-day trial, brushing off questions about where I lived, saying “oh, over by uni”.

But eventually my university access ran out and I had to find somewhere else to shower. There were facilities at work but I didn’t want to get into an awkward situation if I got found out, so I came clean to my business manager and asked if I could use the work shower.”

Danyl Mclauchlan: Russell McVeagh and the limits of the law

“Many first-year law lecturers tell their students a story from Plutarch’s Life of Solon. Solon was an Athenian statesman who introduced a written legal code to the city. A visitor to Athens mocked him and told him that his laws were like spiders’ webs: ‘they would hold the weak and delicate who might be caught in their meshes, but would be torn in pieces by the rich and powerful.’ Discuss in tutorial.

Over the last six months we’ve seen the #MeToo movement emerge from the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Dozens of high profile men, primarily in entertainment, politics and journalism, have been exposed as serial workplace predators. Critics of the movement point out that its targets are subjected to trial by media – accusations are made, jobs are lost and reputations are destroyed, all with no due process. Which is true but ignores the point: that the targets of #MeToo are primarily figures that tear through traditional forms of legal accountability, something that’s especially easy to do in cases of workplace harassment because the webs are so flimsy.”

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