Tens of journalists rally to save the Gobbit and Lord Porkpie snarls at Aussie filth

It is true.

New Zealand is Middle Earth, complete with archaic employment laws, ignorant tribes of Gobbits and a semi-rural, semi-feudal social system that honours caste by birth or by wealth.

Tens of journalists turned up today to absorb and repeat Lord Porkpie’s message of anti-Australian hatred and ultra-moral national heartiness.

Journalists swell the crowd at Lord Porkpie's Auckland witch hunt

Lord Porkpie is master of all he surveys and the Middle Earth news media knows it. Just look at this story from the Middle Earth Herald, there’s nothing in this story that Lord Porkpie could complain about.

Sir Peter Jackson has taken a shot at an Australian union for intervening in the New Zealand film industry and unsettling plans to film The Hobbit in this country.

In a statement read at “Keep The Hobbit in New Zealand” rallies around the country this afternoon, Sir Peter said that if there were problems with actors’ working conditions, New Zealand had guilds to work them out.

“We don’t open the doors to an Australian union… who destroy everything we have worked to build.”

He said the intervention by Australian-based union Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) risked tearing apart “the great big heart that beats inside all our films”.

“Turning us into another state of Australia under the sway of a destructive organisation carries the very real risk of destroying the great big heart that beats inside our films.

“As an industry we are perfectly well-equipped through our various guilds to provide excellent terms and conditions for our film workers. If there are problems, it is up to us to use our guilds to resolve them.”

Sir Peter also leant his support to local film industry workers.

“I have always seen the New Zealand film industry as a large, noisy, growing family. And I have always known the debt of gratitude that I owe to the people that make up that family.”

“All of our people care deeply about this industry – they love their work. That love shows up on screen and I believe it sets our films apart.

His statement leads the story and takes up more than a third of the copy. However, we have to note that Lord Porkpie does not appear in public, preferring to let his minions do his bidding and read his statement.

Very convenient having your glorious words read to the adoring crowd of Gobbits and repeaters. No one can then challenge you with a “But hang on, Lord Porkpie, what about this inconvenient bit of information?”

Convenient and clever when you want to take the moral high ground in a dispute that is murky and complex, but that needs to be simplified for the good Gobbits to comprehend, enjoy and take up as their battle cry.

And don’t you love the quaint Middle Earth language in Lord Porkpie’s comments “we have guilds to work them out”, not ‘orrible modern unions for real workers, not Gobbits.

Bullshit in spades. Take a look at this self-serving drivel:

“As an industry we are perfectly well-equipped through our various guilds to provide excellent terms and conditions for our film workers. If there are problems, it is up to us to use our guilds to resolve them.”

Isn’t this exactly what Actors’ Equity in New Zealand has been trying to do?

But as you know, Lord Porkpie has form in this area. He is no doubt still pissed, cursing and casting malicious spells on one James Bryson. Why?

Because Mr Bryson actually had a win against Lord Porkpie.

The Supreme Court’s Decision in Bryson v Three Foot Six Ltd

Three Foot Six Ltd is Lord Porkpie’s production company.

There’s more, as there always is. The incantation has details, which you can read for yourselves, but here’s the gist of it. The medieval employment laws of Middle Earth were challenged and defeated last time Lord Porkpie took a case to the Tribunal of Sauron for determination.

Let’s be clear here: the vassals have rights in the court of Lord Porkpie and he doesn’t like it:

The Employment Court  considered the operation of Mr Bryson and Three Foot Six’s relationship in practice, alongside their written contractual terms, when it analysed the real nature of the parties’ relationship under the common law tests.  The Supreme Court further noted that “all relevant matters” in s6(3)(a) of the ERA:16

…clearly requires the Court or the Authority to have regard to features of control and integration and to whether the contracted person has been effectively working on his or her own account (the fundamental test), which were clearly important determinants of the relationship at common law.  It is not until the Court or Authority has examined the terms and conditions of the contract and the way in which it actually operated in practice, that it will usually be possible to examine the relationship in light of the control, integration and fundamental tests.

The Supreme Court went on to say that the three common law tests were not to be used exclusively but in conjunction with other relevant matters.17 With those comments in mind, this editorial moves on to look at the common law tests as used in the Employment Court’s decision.

1   The Control Test

The control tests looks at the degree of control exercised by the “employer” (used in a generic sense) over the worker.  The more control the “employer” has, the more it indicates an employment relationship.  Conversely, the less control the “employer” has (and therefore the more control the worker has), the more it is indicative of an independent contract arrangement.

Shaw J noted the following aspects about the parties’ relationship:

  • Mr Bryson required six weeks’ training by Three Foot Six for his job as a set model technician.  He was not employed in his area of expertise (model making).
  • There was a daily routine on the set.  The crew watched the rushes of the previous day’s filming.  The head of department then assigned set model work based on directions from the director of photography.  Mr Bryson, and other technicians, prepared the models for the camera and then were on standby during filming.  Mr Bryson received specific instructions about how to dress a model for filming.
  • Mr Bryson said that there was no requirement to provide his own tools.  He used his own cordless drill, large craft knife, and scalpel.  Three Foot Six supplied all other tools such as saws and sanders, large machinery to lift and transport the miniatures, and other tools such as a cutting mat, paint brushes and a tape measure.  It was standard practice for the model shop to replace damaged or lost personal tools (contrary to the crew deal memo).

The Employment Court concluded that:18

This was not a situation where Three Foot Six called on Mr Bryson to perform work as and when it needed him.  Mr Bryson was required to be at work between specified hours each day of the week and to perform the duties as directed on a day to day basis.  This control was absolutely essential in an environment where the directors of the Lord of the Rings required constant and often urgent changes and adaptations to the models being filmed.

I conclude, therefore, that there was significant control imposed by the crew deal memo.  This control was exercised by Three Foot Six over his work and how and when he did it.  It was the sort of control which characterises a contract of service.

This is one of the problems that Lord Porkpie is seeking to overcome, but what he really wants and what his black heart is settled on is a Gobbit-free world.

Or, let me rephrase that, he wants free Gobbits…and he may well get them.

thousands? free? yeah right!

I want to end on a positive note, but Lord Porkpie won’t like it: disloyal inhabitants of Middle Earth – not from here, mind – are joining the Cassandra chorus to point out that low wages for locals and loads of precious for off-shore tyrants (including Lord Porkpie) is a recipe for Middle Earth to stagnate and fall to the Orcs some time soon.

An Otago University employment law specialist has criticised the Government’s suggestion law changes could be made to suit the producers of The Hobbit movies.

Prof Paul Roth said it was “business as usual” in terms of New Zealand law-making, showing what a Third-World country New Zealand was.

“If that’s what the Government wants to do, it can do it.”

It showed that rather than being a First-World country, New Zealand was “teetering” on Third-World status – prepared to “basically lie back and prostitute ourselves to get more employment into this country”.

New Zealand was a “small and poor country” trying to attract big business.

Prof Roth said a law change specific to the film industry could set a precedent so that any time an industry looked likely to be damaged by overseas competition, similar action might be required. In this instance, Sir Peter Jackson and money were driving any law change, not principle or justice.

[ODT 23 Oct 2010]

You Gobbits won’t want to hear this but Prof Roth is absolutely right.

One Response to Tens of journalists rally to save the Gobbit and Lord Porkpie snarls at Aussie filth

  1. […] be surprised however, that Holmes and his sickly ilk are in the pay of the lords and quislings. The whole Gobbit affair was badly reported and heavily biased in favour of Lord Porkpie and the Sauron mission to plunder and pillage the […]

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