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Key’s Venezuelan snub

Written By: - Date published: 8:07 am, March 8th, 2013 - 277 comments
Categories: International, john key, Minister for International Embarrassment, Minister for Overseas Holidays - Tags:

John Key’s decision to not attend Hugo Chavez’s funeral is a snub of a major trade partner at a crucial time. Remember, this junket’s justification is that, for some reason, Key’s presence in these countries will improve trade. But, in snubbing Venezuela, he is insulting our largest export destination in South America – our second largest export destination for milk powder. Venezuela matters more than all the countries Key is visiting combined.

And it is a snub that will be noticed. It’s not like Key is in Wellington doing his job. While the funeral is on, Key will be kicking his heels in a hotel somewhere while the people he is there to meet are at the funeral. Isn’t that weird?

Key will arrive to visit the Chilean President but he’s off to Venezuela that day and says to Key ‘why don’t you come to – they’re a much more import trade partner for you and, as a more centralised economy, staying the good books of their government matters?’ and Key’s like ‘nah, I’ll just wait in your country until you get back’.

The only reason Key wouldn’t go is because Chavez was a successful Left leader and Key can’t see beyond their ideological differences.

And, as for the claims that Chavez was some kind of dictator. He’s more a democratic than Key – who’s imposed dictatorship in Canterbury. The Independent notes:

Over the coming days, you will be repeatedly told that Hugo Chavez was a dictator. A funny sort of dictator: there have been 17 elections and referenda since 1998. Perhaps you think they were rigged. When he won by a huge margin in 2006, former US President Jimmy Carter was among those declaring he had won “fairly and squarely”.

At the last election in October 2012, Carter declared that, “of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored, I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.” I was there: perhaps you think I was like those hopelessly naïve Western leftists who visited Potemkin villages in Stalinist Russia.

I was with a genuinely independent election commission, staffed with both pro-Chavez and anti-Chavez sympathisers, who had previously been invited by the opposition to run their own internal elections. We met with senior opposition figures who railed against Chavez, but acknowledged that they lived in a democracy. When they lost the election, they accepted it.

Indeed, Chavez himself has had to accept defeat before: back in 2007, he lost a referendum campaign, and did not quibble with the results. Until he came to power, millions of poor Venezuelans were not even registered to vote: but dramatic registration drives have nearly doubled the electorate. There are 6,000 more polling stations than there were in the pre-Chavez era.

On the other hand, the democratic credentials of many of his opponents can certainly be questioned. In 2002, a Pinochet-style coup was launched against Chavez, and was only reversed by a popular uprising. Much of the privately owned media openly incited and supported the coup: imagine Cameron was kicked out of No 10 by British generals, with the support and incitement of rolling 24-hour news stations. But Venezuela’s media is dominated by private broadcasters, some of whom make Fox News look like cuddly lefties. State television could rightly be accused of bias towards the government, which is perhaps why it has a measly 5.4 per cent audience share. Of seven major national newspapers, five support the opposition, and only one is sympathetic to the government.

The truth is that Chavez won democratic election after democratic election, despite the often vicious hostility of the media

Or maybe Key just doesn’t want to be reminded what a real leader can do:

his policies transformed the lives of millions of previously ignored Venezuelans. Poverty has fallen from nearly half to 27.8 per cent, while absolute poverty has been more than halved. Six million children receive free meals a day; near-universal free health care has been established; and education spending has doubled as a proportion of GDP. A housing programme launched in 2011 built over 350,000 homes, bringing hundreds of thousands of families out of sub-standard housing in thebarrios. Some of his smug foreign critics suggest Chavez effectively bought the votes of the poor – as though winning elections by delivering social justice is somehow bribery.

Speaking of smug critics, you would think this next passage was satire, but it actually shows the mindset of the elite:

Chavez invested Venezuela’s oil wealth into social programs including state-run food markets, cash benefits for poor families, free health clinics and education programs. But those gains were meager compared with the spectacular construction projects that oil riches spurred in glittering Middle Eastern cities, including the world’s tallest building in Dubai and plans for branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums in Abu Dhabi.

Here’s the response to that nonsense from Jim Naureckus of fair.org:

That’s right: Chavez squandered his nation’s oil money on healthcare, education and nutrition when he could have been building the world’s tallest building or his own branch of the Louvre. What kind of monster has priorities like that?

Venezuelan Poverty Rate

In case you’re curious about what kind of results this kooky agenda had, here’s a chart (NACLA, 10/8/12) based on World Bank poverty stats–showing the proportion of Venezuelans living on less than $2 a day falling from 35 percent to 13 percent over three years. (For comparison purposes, there’s a similar stat for Brazil, which made substantial but less dramatic progress against poverty over the same time period.)

Of course, during this time, the number of Venezuelans living in the world’s tallest building went from 0 percent to 0 percent, while the number of copies of the Mona Lisa remained flat, at none. So you have to say that Chavez’s presidency was overall pretty disappointing–at least by AP‘s standards.

 

Make no mistake, Chavez wasn’t perfect. In a country like Venezuela, where the monied elite are willing to resort to armed coups to get rid of anyone who stands up for the poor, you can’t be angel if you’re going to survive (remember Allende). But he did more good for more people in a month than Key will do in a lifetime.

Maybe its ideological opposition or maybe its shame that’s keeping Key away. Maybe he doesn’t want to be forced to see that a leader can be more than a clown in a silly hat, much, much more.

277 comments on “Key’s Venezuelan snub”

  1. Of course Key was going to snub Chavez’s funeral. After all Chavez showed what a leader with backbone and determination and the desire to help all the people he ruled can achieve.

    The PR onslaught on Chavez that he was “undemocratic” was because he insisted that the proceeds from his country’s resources be shared equitably.

    Key as a former merchant banker is at the opposite end of the spectrum to Chavez. He and his ilk have much to fear from the example that Chavez has made.

    • prism 1.1

      ms
      Exactly. Chavez was not One of Us of the Movers and Shakers In-Group playing Big Numbers at the top of the Sky Tower or any other building distant from ‘ordinary’ people with the buckets of money extracted from the system. So why should Jokey Hen bother about his funeral. There was probably a better photo op already organised.

      And last night I listened to a story from Kenya – people being evicted from their humble homes and bits of land by police and young male helpers (were called thugs) on the authority of a Court order from a different jurisdiction, four months old, over another piece of land. The people’s democratic representatives are enriching themselves by all means now at their disposal while they remain in power. And though it was said that it is usually Coast people being ejected, one also said that it’s not simply Outsiders ousting the Coast people ‘It’s the rich against the poor’.

      Humans everywhere seem to share this problem – that they can’t share their prosperity and want to aggregate it from others with less. Chavez made the effort to break through this process. He would have had feet of clay probably, that’s human. But the people believed him to be the sort of person who could deliver fair treatment and opportunities for a life. So he would not be a person King John of Charmalot would want to be involved with. He wouldn’t have good deals that would enrich his contacts. Better look at Mexico and Colombia Johnboy.

      Perhaps we will follow Colombia’s path under the rule of the NACT oligarchy. If we could get an illegal drug culture established that needed police state methods to control it, and it was in the interests of the USA to facilitate this control, it would help to keep the NACTs in power for practically ever.
      (From the USA State Department)
      Colombia is a middle-income country and one of the oldest democracies in Latin America. It has seen nearly half a century of intense armed conflict with insurgent and paramilitary groups perpetuated by their involvement in widespread illegal drug production and trafficking, along with criminal and narcotics trafficking organizations.

      Peace talks between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) began in Oslo, Norway on October 18, 2012 and negotiations will move to Havana, Cuba in November 2012. Long-term U.S. interests in the region include promoting security, stability, and prosperity in Colombia, and Colombia has made progress in addressing its security, development, and governance challenges.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Key is short sighted. He has proven that he is not a leader with NZ’s interests at heart. Just his own. A weak leader more concerned with how he would look to his American mates than ensuring our status amongst a dozen Latin American nations.

    • felixviper 2.1

      Exactly.

      My first reaction to this was “Key is a fucking idiot” but that’s wrong, he’s not doing this out of blind stupidity, he made a deliberate decision. He calculated that his own selfish interests are more important than ours.

      Once again he shows that in negotiations, he’s not really sitting on our side of the table.

      • geoff 2.1.1

        Yup, John Key doesn’t appear to have ideology beyond self-interest.

        • John 2.1.1.1

          Come on guys. No free press in Venezuela, economic meltdown due to Chavez’s economic illiteracy. You are hypocrites, you wouldn’t stand for his authoritarian excess if it was John Key doing it.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            Given that Chavez reduced outright poverty in Venezuela by roughly 70% in 10 years, and reduced unemployment by approx 50% in the same time, I’ll just conclude that you don’t understand what is coming out of your mouth.

            Success, by not following the advice of USA economists.

          • IrishBill 2.1.1.1.2

            On the matter of the free press I suggest you watch the film in the “recommended viewing” post.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    The Revolution will not be Televised

    I’ve posted this before but I think it’s suitable again: an irish doco crew were doing a “fly on the wall” special on Chavez in 2002 when the foreign supported coup against him and the Venezuelan people unfolded.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etbEQcA7jUA

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      There’s a marvellous scene where the coup leaders and their wealthy elite supporters cheer the dissolution of the peoples assembly, the dissolution of the supreme court, the firing of the Attourney General.

      • woodpecker 3.1.1

        Watched every minute of it…Brilliant. Worth every mg!

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          Yep haha. Great counter-revolutionary event. The shooting of civilians to create a pretext to depose Chavez was chilling.

    • RedLogix 3.2

      That’s the point when you realise that it really is a class war in the most visceral sense.

  4. Ennui in Requiem 4

    Had to laugh, Key probably turned down the opportunity afforded to make NZ visible at an event all of Latin America will be represented at….probably because he thought his buddies in the USA would be offended. Now the United States say they are going to be in attendance. Smacked by his “friends”, lovely.

    • Toby Manhire tweeted well about the need for NZ to have someone at the funeral …

      “If only NZ had some senior statesman in the area …”

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      The USA wants influence in the next Venezuelan government – and note – they are still coming immediately after Venezuela expelled a number of top US diplomatic officers.

      Key is a fuckwit and I bet members of MFAT are apoplectic.

    • Joe Bloggs 4.3

      Dollars to donuts it won’t be Obama attending though – probably some minor diplomatic presence. As McCully is currently planning attendance at a similar level, I don’t see any smack-down here.

      • prism 4.3.1

        So you consider Obama of the USA and John Key (who) of NZ to be of the same importance and standing! Obama might choose to send a worthy proxy, Jokey Hen sending McCully is sending a minor official from our minor country. Let’s Limbo – how low can you go! Do they do that in Venezuela or was that the Carribean or Jamaica? Down here at the bottom of the world we don’t know too much and get a strange, perverted view of the world, like looking up women’s skirts.

        • Populuxe1 4.3.1.1

          Um, how exactly is the Minister for Foreign Affairs a “minor official”? Oh wait, you’re a nutter.

          • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.1.1

            Given that Key is in the immediate region, it’s a snub to a major trading partner, plain and simple.

            • Populuxe1 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Or a diplomatic dance to allow two significant strategic partners to save face. Just because you hate America, ignoring the fact that it’s a major trade partner and the world’s apex superpower would be an act of courageous stupidity.

              • Colonial Viper

                Seems like the heads of Brazil, Mexico and Argentina are all courageously stupid then, more so than our little US pocket politician John Key.

                • Populuxe1

                  Possibly that might have a little bit to do with regional posturing – that and they’re geographical neighbours, so it makes more sense for them to be there.

                • Murray Olsen

                  That would make Lange and our nuclear free policy courageously stupid as well. Since when is anything except slavish bootlicking of State Department officials regional posturing?
                  About the only question I have now is what pseudonym Pop uses on WhaleSpew. I suspect Joe Bloggs above has dropped in from there as well. One of sleaze boy’s favourite sayings is “dollars to a knob of goat poo”, which only needs a slight change to get “dollars to donuts”, which actually makes no sense because a dollar and a donut have similar values.

            • Shaz 4.3.1.1.1.2

              Perhaps there is a concern that Foreign Affairs no longer has the capacity pull together a briefing on all the people the PM might have met at the funeral what with the back office having been decimated and the remaining diplomats under pressure to rebuild the knowledge base that has so recently walked out the door. ;-)

      • North 4.3.2

        NZ to be represented by Sir Les McCully Patterson ?

    • felixviper 4.4

      “Smacked by his “friends”, lovely.”

      Nah, his friends are Goldman Sachs and BoA. They won’t be there.

      • Puddleglum 4.4.1

        But they will be doing more than watching passively from the sidelines, I imagine.

        After all, there’s a lot of petro-money in this game and they have a duty to their shareholders …

        • felixviper 4.4.1.1

          I imagine you’re right.

          Perhaps I should’ve said they won’t be there to pay their respect

          • Draco T Bastard 4.4.1.1.1

            They don’t have any respect for people who help others, only respect for those like themselves.

    • Dr Terry 4.5

      Key’s enormous grandiosity causes him to think he is leader of a massive and mighty nation on par with the U.S. He is a politically piddling little nothing and keeps causing this country’s image to deteriorate in front of the world.

      I trust Shearer has grabbed this opportunity to attend the funeral? Am waiting to hear.

      • felixviper 4.5.1

        Shearer wouldn’t be seen dead at the funeral of a high profile left-winger.

  5. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5

    And if he’d gone, you’d be all “try hard wanna be trying to muscle in on the limelight”.

    • higherstandard 5.1

      Keith Locke thinks Key should’ve gone….nuff said.

    • freedom 5.2

      there is a little thing called protocol, it tends to be associated with heads of state,
      if you are a leader, and are ‘there’ when a tragedy befalls a nation, you attend
      there is no discussion

      perhaps he was worried they would turn him away at the door

      • Populuxe1 5.2.1

        Yeah, because no one in Ireland is still slightly embarrassed that Éamon de Valera and Douglas Hyde offered condolences to Nazi Germany’s representative in Dublin over the death of Hitler…

        • felixviper 5.2.1.1

          Oh, he’s a H1tler now.

          Cool.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.2.1.1.1

            ..and we are Irish.

            • felixviper 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Well yeah, that’s how the analogy works. Or doesn’t as it happens.

              • Populuxe1

                If the point hadn’t gotten across, you wouldn’t be rustling your jimmies now.

                • felixviper

                  Err, you realise it’s possible to understand the intention of a particular analogy without agreeing that it succeeded, don’t you?

                  Actually no, going by your usual displays of lolgic you probably don’t.

          • Populuxe1 5.2.1.1.2

            No, but it;s an answer to what I think of the protocol argument

    • Colonial Viper 5.3

      We’ll never know, will we? All we can see now is that he’s snubbed a major trading partner, seemingly to curry favour with his US bankster mates.

      My bet: a report will come out that Key was feeling ill and couldn’t travel.

      • Dr Terry 5.3.1

        What, another dread “fainting” fit?

      • felixviper 5.3.2

        Maybe he was tired and emotional…

      • Don't worry be happy 5.3.3

        Key came down with a virulent attack of amnesia from which he has been increasingly affected…clean forgot who he was, what he was doing in South America and if he had a mistress…that sort of thing, No fit state to go to a funeral.

        By the way, Hugo, not sure if it matters to you now but “What you do for these the least of my brothers you do for me” Jesus.

  6. quartz 6

    So the same guy who changes laws and throws public money at a few hobbit contract jobs won’t take a one hour plane ride and attend a funeral to protect nearly half a billion dollars worth of trade???

    What a munter.

  7. johnm 7

    John Key represents: The 1% and antidemocratic Corporate control of our lives.
    “Neoliberal governments are blind to the emerging world of degrowth and continue apace facilitating the 1% to impoverish and cannibalize widening segments of the 99%, in essence producing more and more socioeconomically and politically superfluous people in the process. Neoliberalism can only operate in a social world where as the economy contracts -for thermodynamic reasons- wealth and other economic benefits continue to flow upwards, while the costs and burdens fall upon those outside the tiny elite.” Key represents the United Banana States of America. Where wealth inequality of the most extreme forms is the norm. See following short video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM

    While Chavez represented the complete opposite of sharing all of Venezuela’s wealth with especially the poor. To acknowledge such a leader and his socialist policies would probably have caused severe physical symptoms of rejection, perhaps another black out and visit to a hospital, his wife Bronwyn holding him as he falls to the Church floor and he’s stretchered out to an ambulance. :-)

    • higherstandard 7.1

      By all accounts Chavez certainly shared a lot of Venezuela’s wealth with himself and his family.

      • Sweetd 7.1.1

        According the ZB yesterday, he stole about $2 billion

        • quartz 7.1.1.1

          That’s a discredited claim from a front group. Tell me, did you hear it on the newes or on LArry Williams’ right-wing talking points show?

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1

            Remember, only theft from the country by Exxon Mobil, Bechtel and Goldman Sachs is acceptable.

        • prism 7.1.1.2

          What’s this ZB. Is it an echo of what comes out of the Beehive? Who said what, and what was their knowledge level and base? What a dopey reference Sweetd, can’t you keep your mind open for long enough to catch some facts as they come sparsely in on our media? And then think about those facts and why those ones get featured over others.

      • Puddleglum 7.1.2

        By all accounts …

        I think you’ll find it’s by one account.

        Specifically, it’s by one Jerry E. Brewer Snr, CEO of ‘Criminal Justice International Associates, USA’.

        They are a ‘Global Threat Mitigation’ firm, whatever that means, and Brewer, ‘by his own account’, is a “U.S. Government- trained COUNTERTERRORISM EXPERT and practitioner, with extensive service to Latin America and the Middle East as an intelligence community operative.

        You should try reading his ‘blurb’ about what the firm does. Pretty impenetrable gobbledygook.

        It’s amazing what wacky outfits you can find on the internet. Still, he certainly gets himself on lots of radio and tv shows.

        He must know the right people.

        Perhaps not so odd then that, suddenly, Brewer’s ‘estimates’ make global headlines the day after Chavez dies.

      • Murray Olsen 7.1.3

        By all accounts? Not even close. By the accounts of Fox News, the opposition thieves who’ve had their hands slapped, and a few right wing wank tanks. Maybe all the accounts you listen to, but far from all accounts, HS.

    • johnm 7.2

      He’d never have been able to hold his head up again with his Merrill Lynch mates.(Who would enquire; “You haven’t gone soft on commie bastards, have you John? Don’t forget your masters who made you rich and it wasn’t useless poor people Bud?! Hilary will give you a good talking to!”) This is traumatic stuff! :-(

  8. RedLogix 8

    Yes I can see that’s a valid point hs. All political leaders should live as ordinary people on the median income.

    • higherstandard 8.1

      Yep nothing wrong with that.

      • felixviper 8.1.1

        lol, you’re such a c0mmie at heart hs.

        In seriousness though, do you have any ideas about how we could structure things so the PM and Cabinet, in their private lives, actually have to deal with a few of the day to day hassles that they rule on for the rest of us?

        • TightyRighty 8.1.1.1

          like lightbulbs and shower pressure? 5 star hotels don’t stay 5 star for long with piss poor shower pressure. The last labour government of course would not have realised till to late.

  9. Blue 9

    Key’s first reaction was ‘Ugh, he was a dirty leftie and the US never liked him. Not worth my time.’

    Born diplomat, he is. Then came the really funny part – that NZ would ‘send someone’ but of course, that person would be way below PM level, because you know, Venezuela wouldn’t expect the PM to come in person.

    They usually wouldn’t – if Key had been here in NZ. But he was in the area and his schedule had been cleared. Now they know that he’s avoiding them, any prospects he had in South America are down the gurgler.

    And the media continue to babble about sombreros and hot Presidential wives and ‘behind the scenes’ stories where they are the story. Key blundering his way through international relations with no fucking idea what he’s doing just passes them by.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Key is going to get to meet with mid-level aides for the rest of his latin american trip.

    • Rosie 9.2

      Oh dear God. Hot Presidential wives. It was yet another head in hands moment watching their (Shonkey and Nathan Guy) boyish giggley red faced expressions in response to a reporters comments about how “attractive” the wife of the Mexican President is. Nathan Guy had a particularly predatory smug look on his face. Pass the vomit bucket!!!

      As for Key’s rude non attendance at Chavez’s funeral, you’re right, it wasn’t worth his time in his mind. It was an ideological snub. He is way too scared of catching Socialist germs. He might come home with some silly ideas about developing an equitable society or some other nonsense.

  10. Smith 10

    - Homicide rate tripled in 14 years, only 11% lead to a conviction

    – 30 radio and television stations shut down for being anti-government. Our Bomber has carte blanche.

    – Leopoldo Lopez banned from running for office. Was never condemned by the courts but he used money from the wrong allocation to pay firefighters and teacher’s salaries. Why? Because government had withheld the appropriate funds

    – Oil profits that flowed to the U.S. now line Chinese pockets, not Venezuelan ones!

    John Key has nothing on this guy. You’re acting as if Chavez walked on water – he’s not a hero for chrissakes! Just another tinpot el jefe in a long line of them, and yet accolades are heaped upon him because his allegiance to this side of the spectrum means his crimes can be selectively overlooked.

    I don’t contest he got results when it came to literacy or poverty but come on, this slavish worship of his populism is utterly demeaning.

    • Lightly 10.1

      i don’t think anyone is arguing Chavez met the standards of a leader in a liberal democracy. But look at the reality he was facing. What he did do was halve poverty while under constant threat of an armed coup from the elite backed by the media and the USA.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        When you look at the coup documentary above, you can see that all the private TV stations in the country co-operated with the coup ring leaders in an attempt to misinform and misdirect the Venezuelan public.

        It’s no surprise that a lot of them were shut down afterwards.

        Hey Smithy

        - Homicide rate tripled in 14 years, only 11% lead to a conviction

        Link please!!!

        Or are you talking about killings of international banksters?

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.2.1

            Sorry mate, those TV stations and their owners were key elements of a coup to take down a democratically elected government.

            It was THEY who were on the side of Bainimarama. Funny that you are defending them.

            As for the violent crime rate – it appears it is a real problem with no one understanding the causes.

            • Populuxe1 10.1.1.2.1.1

              Riiiiiight, so those TV stations armed themselves and marched on the Presidential Palace? Or did they blow up all the pro-Chavez broadcasters? Did they do anything illegal or unconstitutional? Hmmmmmm.

              • felixviper

                No that’s not quite how it worked, but they were working on the same side as (owned by) the people who did all of those things. You’re closer than you think, especially with regard to the taking out of the only reliable sources of information during the coup.

                The film mentioned earlier documents all of this quite well.

                • Populuxe1

                  So they were still shut down not because they committed any crime, but because they were owned by people and broadcasted things Chavez didn’t like.

                  • Morrissey

                    So they were still shut down not because they committed any crime, but because they were owned by people and broadcasted things Chavez didn’t like.

                    No, they were shut down because they advocated, repeatedly and systematically, the assassination of the democratically elected president.

                    Now, either you know that and are simply playing silly games, or you are utterly ignorant. Either way, you have really disqualified yourself from being taken seriously by anyone on this forum.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Sigh. I only wish the same justification could be used to shut people like Michael Laws and Ann Coulter up. But unless the law is broken…

                    • TheContrarian

                      “they were shut down because they advocated, repeatedly and systematically, the assassination of the democratically elected president. ”

                      Got a link for that?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    So they were still shut down not because they committed any crime, but because they were owned by people and broadcasted things Chavez didn’t like.

                    No, they were complicit and co-operative in the execution of a military coup d’état overthrowing a popular democratically elected government, and replacing it with a self-appointed regime.

                    Chavez was taken prisoner by rebel military forces for 2 days, and held at a secret location where he was kept out of touch with the outside world and from his family.

                    This was a little bit more than simply broadcasting things that “Chavez didn’t like”.

                  • North

                    Under New Zealand law complicity in the unlawful overthrow of a duly elected government would be treason, if not as a principal then ceratinly as a party. Have a look at s 66 of the Crimes Act.

                    So there’s your crime, idiot.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      damn there’s some smart people in this country (that’s you mate)

                    • Populuxe1

                      There are quite specific conditions as to what constitutes being an active complicit party to treason.

              • Daveo

                Which TV stations were shut down? Name them.

                • TheContrarian

                  Here is a handy link for you Daveo.

                  http://www.rsf.org/34-broadcast-media-shut-down-at.html

                  • Daveo

                    There are no TV stations listed there.

                    What is listed is 32 radio stations (out of the country’s 870) being pulled off air because they couldn’t demonstrate a right to the publicly owned frequencies they were broadcasting on. Many of these stations were critical of Chavez, but then nearly all private media are critical of Chavez.

                    Have you been to Venezuela? The vast majority of the media is stridently critical of the Government. For you to claim that it’s some kind of caribbean gulag where there’s no free speech just shows your ignorance. If anything it’s quite the opposite – most media outlets in Venezuela make Fox News look reasonable.

                    Of course, it’s not the smartest strategic move for the Government of Venezuela to pull any station off air when there’s such a clear global campaign to tar Chavez as a dictator, but the fact remains it’s a country with a vibrant democracy despite its corrupt moneyed elite and staunchly partisan private media.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Well let’s start with Radio Caracas TV (RCTV). They “couldn’t demonstrate a right to the publicly owned frequencies” because Chavez withdrew their broadcasting licence.

                      “The vast majority of the media is stridently critical of the Government.” Shit, that’s very different to here isn’t it. Here you all bitch and moan that the media isn’t CRITICAL ENOUGH of the government. You are such a bunch of hypocrites sometimes. The mental gymnastics you must go through just to get out of bed in the morning.

                    • TheContrarian

                      There are several TV stations listed. Look again.

                    • Daveo

                      There are several TV stations listed. Look again.

                      Ah, two small regional TV stations that couldn’t demonstrate ownership of the publicly owned airwaves they were operating on. You still haven’t shown how this represents a clampdown on dissenting voices. The 34 stations were not all anti-Chavez, and there are 30 times as many still in operation, most of them stridently anti-Chavez. I know, I’ve spent time in Venezuela and I’ve heard them myself.

                      I’m happy to be corrected, but this smells like the usual bullsh*t.

                    • TheContrarian

                      As Colonial Viper says below:

                      “He curtailed judicial and press freedoms. Opposition groups and parties were frequently harrassed. Institutions were weakened, and law and order issues and corruption became increasingly disruptive.”

                      That isn’t bullshit. I am not anti-Chavez by any means…I don’t think he had dictator status but I don’t pretend he wasn’t an autocrat who centered power around himself.

                    • Daveo

                      Well let’s start with Radio Caracas TV (RCTV). They “couldn’t demonstrate a right to the publicly owned frequencies” because Chavez withdrew their broadcasting licence.

                      Yes, he did that quite openly. RCTV helped organise a violent coup, which involved the massacre of civilians, then continued to lie repeatedly in order to keep the dictatorship that replaced Chavez’s government in power. This is all on record. Rather than shut them down, he allowed them to continue to operate a cable channel (nearly half of Venezuelans have cable TV, and it’s available in most public places). What he did was remove their right to publicly owned airwaves. Personally, I don’t think he went far enough. He should have shut them down and put them in prison. How do you think CNN would fare if it participated in a violent coup against the US government that involved the massacre of civilians and then helped install a dictatorship?

                      “The vast majority of the media is stridently critical of the Government.” Sht, that’s very different to here isn’t it. Here you all btch and moan that the media isn’t CRITICAL ENOUGH of the government. You are such a bunch of hypocrites sometimes. The mental gymnastics you must go through just to get out of bed in the morning.

                      An independent and critical media is a crucial part of any democracy. That’s not what Venezuela has – it has a a corporate-owned propaganda service that opposes democracy and routinely uses lies and slander to advance the political and economic agenda of its owners. It’s in desperate need of reform. Having spent time in Venezuela and seen the reality I think Chavez is a saint for the restraint he has shown.

                    • Daveo

                      I am not anti-Chavez by any means…I don’t think he had dictator status but I don’t pretend he wasn’t an autocrat who centered power around himself.

                      There was certainly a lot of Chavez in Chavismo, and we’d be naive to deny he has a complex legacy, but it’s a strange sort of autocrat who introduces a new law that allows a minority of citizens to demand a presidential recall election provided they can gather enough signatures. Chavez in fact faced one of these recall elections under the law he introduced and won handsomely.

                      Sure, he ain’t perfect, but he’s trying to run a country brutalised by 500 years of slavery, feudalism and oppression, with a legacy of being an economic colony of the US, a moneyed elite that doesn’t respect democracy, a history of violence and human rights abuses (google ‘Caracazo’ for an example – 3000 civilians massacred, it’s Venezuela’s Tienanmen Square) and a media that refuses to accept basic journalistic norms. I’d say given all that he’s done bloody well.

                    • felixviper

                      “Here you all bitch and moan that the media isn’t CRITICAL ENOUGH of the government. You are such a bunch of hypocrites sometimes. The mental gymnastics you must go through just to get out of bed in the morning.”

                      Yeah, but even a brisk walk looks like gymnastics to a man with no legs.

                      You’ll note that no-one was complaining that the media was too critical of his govt. It’s just being pointed out that they are very critical, which is a fact, and it makes a mockery of any claims that he shut down all dissenting voices.

                      Really, it’s not that complicated to follow, Pop. No gymnastics required.

                  • Daveo

                    This might provide some context. Sounds like it’s part of a general law to limit concentration of media ownership. No surprise this wasn’t reported in the western press:

                    Nelson Belfort, the president of the Chamber of Radio Broadcasters and the Caracas-based Circuito Nacional Belfort, which owns five of the closed radio stations, described the move as a government “attack” that aims to limit freedom of expression. He said the CNB would appeal the decision.

                    However, Cabello explained that the measure is fully within the framework of the law and that the licenses are being revoked for violating regulations.

                    “I challenge those who operate the Circuito Nacional Belfort to provide a document showing that CONATEL has authorized them to operate the 102.3 frequency. They are saying that the station is theirs and it’s not true,” Cabello declared.

                    “They have started to say that we are revoking concessions and that is not true. The state is simply recovering the concessions that were being used illegally for more than 30 years. It is an act of justice that has to do with giving power to people,” he said.

                    The minister denied the government is trying to limit freedom of expression, saying those affected can continue transmitting their programs through the internet as the measure only applies to the use of the state-owned airwaves.

                    Cabello said that powerful families in Venezuela, who had “swindled” the people, had acquired many of the radio stations illegally and constituted “media latifundios” (a reference to large, privately-owned estates), whereby 27 families controlled more than 32% of the radio and television waves. Many of those affected own ten to twenty or stations, the minister added.

                    Telecommunications Law

                    New reforms to the Telecommunications Law aim to break up the “media latifundios” by limiting ownership of radio or television stations to three per private owner, according to Cabello. Under the reforms broadcasting concessions are designated as un-inheritable property, and are therefore non-transferable to family or colleagues in the event of the death of a concession holder.

                    The minister warned that those who continue to operate illegally without permits will be subject to sanctions under the Telecommunications Law. “There are various penalties, including confiscation of equipment and secondly they will be subject to suspension, for five years, of activity in telecommunications and can go to jail if they repeat these actions. We will apply the law regardless of their surname, regardless of who their families are”, he said.

                    http://venezuelanalysis.com/print/4683

                • quartz

                  The leaders of the 202 right-wing coup shut down channel 8 (the only public TV station).

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yep…all the private corporate media kept broadcasting just fine, cheering on the self appointed coup leaders.

                    • Murray Olsen

                      I think Chavez was too lenient with the right wing coupist media that continually called for the “death of the monkey in the President’s palace”. Meanwhile, in Aotearoa we throw people in prison for joking about catapulting a cow at George Bush.

        • TheContrarian 10.1.1.3

          And this one specifically address the tripling claim:

          http://www.insightcrime.org/news-briefs/venezuelan-government-recognizes-record-murder-rate

        • Dr Terry 10.1.1.4

          Our PM is not only worse than was the constantly wanted and loved Chavez, he is not even equal to Chavez’ little toe nail (even if it is painted!) How dare anyone speak disparagingly of the Chavez wealth when our miserable little leader is himself so hugely wealthy (but cares not for the poor).

          Chavez had faults? So he was a member of the human race – stand up all you perfect people!
          In the meantime look up some of the incredible sayings of Chavez, such as “No part of the human community can live entirely on its own planet, with its own laws of motion and cut off from the rest of humanity.” (Something for Key to ponder while he sits out the funeral). Also: “We must confront the privileged elite who have destroyed a large part of the world.”

          Even America will be represented at this funeral and probably well represented at that. But Key is above it all.

  11. Nicolas 11

    This was a billionaire, a guy whose fortune was similar to what was amassed by the Castro brothers in Cuba.
    This was Venezuela for those who don’t know, a country amongst the 10 MOST corrupt countries in the planet. What do you suppose being a billionaire in one of the most corrupt countries in the world means? Hard work? Championing for the poor?
    New Zealand is ranked first alongside Denmark and Finland, according to Transparency International. Not saying I approve of Key (I won’t vote for the prick), but saying our prime ministers is actually WORSE than Chávez was?

    Wake up, people…

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    The only reason Key wouldn’t go is because Chavez was a successful Left leader and Key can’t see beyond their ideological differences.

    Actually, there’s one other reason why JK won’t go – he’s trying to butter up the US.

    • felixviper 13.1

      Key prolly wouldn’t be standing in the middle of the crowd in the street though dontchareckon?

      Oh also it’s his fricking job, not a question of where he wants to go for his holidays.

      • freedom 13.1.1

        “Oh also it’s his fricking job,” that’s what sticks in my craw, he has no choice, who ever thought he did is a fool, is strategically ignorant bordering on treasonous and quite possibly unstable, ah so it could have been any number of his current advisors then :(

  13. Nick 14

    Let’s see how Venezuela is actually doing today

    http://www.transparency.org/country#VEN

    Rule of law: Lowest 1% of all the worlds nations, -1.64 out of possible scores between 2.5 and -2.5. Probably something to do with having one of the highest murder rates and Chavez systematically ignoring the Constitution

    Judicial Independence: The lowest score out of 142 countries ranked. Again, probably something to do with Chavez firing all the judges who disagreed with him

    Press Freedom: 117/179 countries ranked: Probably something to do with Chavez systematic attacks on independent media: http://cpj.org/reports/2012/08/after-years-of-assault-venezuelas-independent-pres.php

    Global Competitiveness: 126/142 Countries ranked

    Open Budget Index: Ranked as having ‘minimal’ budget openness

    What about corruption? Transparency International has a Global Corruption Index

    Corruption Perception Index: 165 out of 176 Nations measured

    • quartz 14.1

      You’re citing the work of a neo-liberal think tank.

    • rosy 14.2

      On the other hand

      Of course, the most important source of Chávez’s continued electoral success has been the improvements in living standards that the majority of Venezuelans have experienced over the past decade: poverty reduced by half, extreme poverty by more than 70%, unemployment cut by half, a tripling of people eligible for public pensions and vastly increased access to healthcare and education.

      A man of contrasts. Looking for a villian or hero in Chavez doesn’t really make a lot of sense. Could the lives of the poor be improved without his autocratic bias? Is the economy on it’s knees? Obviously the people thought he was doing a good job, compared to whoever else was on offer. As the Nact supporters in NZ have said many times – an electoral win equals a mandate.

      I also reckon it’d help to be a poor South or Central American to fully understand the anti-imperialist and anti-US line that he played so loudly.

      • Murray Olsen 14.2.1

        The really poor in those countries often don’t think much about the US, Rosy. They’re too busy thinking about their next meal or drink of water. It’s often when they can take the necessities of life a little bit for granted and have the time, energy and literacy to look around that they begin to see it. As far as I’m concerned, this is the real reason why the imperialists and their apologists hate people like Chavez. They don’t give a stuff about his autocratic rule, or about any corruption that went on with him in charge, or even the increasing lawlessness in Caracas. They care about having a subservient and illiterate population under the thumb of a vicious ruling elite that sends its army officers to Fort Benning, its children to Harvard and Yale, and spends its holidays in Miami.

    • Colonial Viper 14.3

      Shame the commoners really like him and his policies though. It’s unacceptable to spend oil wealth on your own citizens eh?

      • Monique Angel 14.3.1

        Except he didn’t. He spent it on his re-election campaigns

      • Nick 14.3.2

        Yes, clearly when looking at a bunch of human rights measures what I really meant was that the real problem I have with Hugo Chavez was that he cared too much about poor people.

        Seriously though, I thought that the left believed that things like press freedom, judicial independence and ending corruption were important?

        • rosy 14.3.2.1

          ” I thought that the left believed that things like press freedom, judicial independence and ending corruption were important?”

          I agree they’re incredibly important. But it’s hard for me to damn the man’s legacy by ignoring the poverty reduction, health improvements, educational improvements and increased democratic participation. I also feel it’s wrong to praise him absolutely because he was unable to string together the democratic institutions that we take for granted.

        • Populuxe1 14.3.2.2

          Yeah, funny how Hitler or Peron did much the same to secure populist support.
          Panem et circenses, people. Get the mob behind you with sops and then eliminate all constitutional restraints on your powers as the first step to being President For Life….

          • Colonial Viper 14.3.2.2.1

            Yes, disadvantaged people in poverty = the mob

            Good on you P1. Only well educated banksters should be in charge, not leaders who pander to the unwashed filth.

            • Populuxe1 14.3.2.2.1.1

              Here everybody, have some bread and circuses while I give myself sweeping authority to do what I like…. No you sad fool, the Banksters should not be in charge, nor should leaders who centralise power on themselves and favour specific demographics over the country as a whole, because that’s not governance, it’s the road to dictatorship.

          • Murray Olsen 14.3.2.2.2

            “poverty reduction, health improvements, educational improvements and increased democratic participation”

            Which of these did Hitler provide for the German people? I’m beginning to think you’re a badly written bot.

              • Colonial Viper

                Leaders have to serve their people P1, otherwise they tend not to hang around very long.

              • Murray Olsen

                Poverty reduction – runaway inflation was stopped and there was more manufacturing as they prepared for war. However, workers had less rights and unionists were imprisoned.
                Autobahns – built for the military. Most Germans didn’t have cars.
                Bread and circuses – German bakers have always been good, but the circuses would have been a lot better with you as clown.

                I hope that if you ever get hungry and poor enough to not know when you’ll eat next, you’ll insist that any food comes from some organisation that meets your high standards.

                • Populuxe1

                  I have been hungry and poor enough, you patronisng fool, that’s why constitutional law and transparent democracy should be sacrosanct, not a privilege or a bribe.

                  By the way, Chomsky has some interesting things to say about Saint Hugo

                  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/03/noam-chomsky-hugo-chavez-democracy

                  • Murray Olsen

                    Chomsky is another idealist, just like yourself. At best he’s an anarchist who thinks people should just start being nice to each other. Criticism is easy; actually improving the lives of millions can be a little more difficult and people can get their hands dirty.
                    You’re sounding more and more like a tool of the US State Department. I’ve never seen you so upset as you are with Chavez, a guy who made the thieving elite and foreign oilmen take a bit of a back seat in his country. You refuse to consider the conditions that Chavez worked under, with the owners of the media constantly fomenting coups and assassination attempts. They closed down the Supreme Court, they tried to install an American puppet in an unsuccessful coup, and all you can worry about are their bourgeois democratic rights. They’re bloody lucky they weren’t used as lamp post decorations.

    • Dr Terry 14.4

      The whole point is that Venezuela has improved VASTLY when compared to what it was prior Chavez. Can as much be said for New Zealand since coming under the sway of Key?

    • ordinary_bloke 14.5

      .. apologies for double-posting, but the point has to be made.

      Transparency International uses a Corruption Perception Index (CPI) to compare levels of economic crime in different countries and has consistently ranked New Zealand as one of the least corrupt countries in the world. However the rankings are primarily based on opinion surveys rather than empirical evidence – and Transparency acknowledges that corruption is “to a great extent a hidden activity that is difficult to measure”.[3] Notwithstanding the subjectivity of its corruption scale, it has ranked New Zealand as one of the least corrupt out of 183 countries since 2003.[4]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_New_Zealand#cite_note-51

  14. One Tāne Huna 15

    That our Prime Minister has declined to attend Hugo Chavez’s funeral is simply shameful. Not to mention stupid and gratuitous.

    Goodness knows what the motivation is for the snub. It’s a monumental blunder in foreign policy terms – not to mention trade policy. I hope the next government can mend the damage Key has done in South America.

  15. fenderviper 16

    Truth be known Key is probably in S.America to secure the cocaine required by the high-flying bankers and hangers-on to give them the drive to rob the nation of its wealth and keep the smile and wave roadshow operating.

  16. Bill 17

    Thankyou Eddie and Karol for penning these posts.

    On the topic of this one – (but putting the economics aside): Has there been a more important political leader on the American continent? Maybe. But Hugo Chavez was certainly one of its most important political leaders. And NZ, through JK has snubbed any recognition of that fact. And that’s both stupid and shameful.

    I’m no uncritical sychophant, but on what I regard as the idiotic vilification and damning faint praise being meted out to Chavez (and by extention the Bolivarian Revolution) by the usual suspects on this blog and by the msm ( the reporting by the Guardian’s Rory Carroll being just one example of many) I really only have a simple observation to make – and then I’ll leave the discussion because I can’t be bothered with the ill informed and infantile bullshit that is bound to keep flying around.

    For years our (il)liberal media have propagated a negative stereotype of Chavez as a dictator and a clown. Well, the proof or otherwise of that line will become evident in the near future. If he was as most of ‘our’ western media have consistently claimed, then affairs in Venezuela will naturally and quickly default back to pre-Chavez ways. But if there have been genuine seeds of revolution planted deeply enough and dispersed widely enough then, barring the very real possibility of interference or deliberate disruptions designed to roll back any gains, all the years of reporting by ‘our’ media is going to be exposed as utter bullshit and Chavez’s legacy will be a progressive deepening of a revolution informed by democratic ideals and values.

    It really is that simple.

    • That’s because by most civilized measures he was a dictator and a clown. Traits that some commentators here seem to appreciate but don;t expect the rest of the general populace to fall prey to the religion of socialism.

      • Dr Terry 17.1.1

        Monique – may I suggest that you drop the title “Angel” from your pseudonym, instead think about a man who is somewhat close to being a “Saint”. Read Bill – he is rational and he has got it right.

      • Murray Olsen 17.1.2

        Try to keep up, Monique. This thread isn’t about Brownlee or Key, nor is it about Brash or Banks.

    • johnm 17.2

      Hi Bill
      Here’s an article on Chavez by another man who knows and tells the truth instead of lies and spin, Steven Lendman:

      “Media Scoundrels Pillory Chavez Before He’s Buried”
      http://sjlendman.blogspot.co.nz/

      ” Chavez used Venezuela’s oil wealth responsibly. Everyone benefitted. Populism replaced neoliberal harshness.
      Bolivarianism prioritizes vital needs. Living standards improved remarkably. Disadvantaged Venezuelans benefitted most.
      Child mortality fell from 20 per 1,000 to 13. Unemployment dropped from 14.5% to 6.4%.
      Income inequality is Latin America’s lowest. Poverty was cut in half. Extreme poverty fell over 70%. Economic growth in 2011 was 4.8%. In 2012, it was 5.6%. Forecasts estimate 6% in 2013.
      Hundreds of thousands of new homes were built. Commerce grew 9.2%. Communications advanced 7.2%. Manufacturing increased 2.1%. Oil sector production increased.
      Growth created jobs. Millions got free healthcare and education. They did so for the first time. Pension eligibility tripled.
      Pre-Chavez years were disastrous.” From 1980 – 1998, per capita income fell. Chavez turned disaster into success. Venezuela’s future looks promising. Give Chavez the credit he deserves.”

    • Murray Olsen 17.3

      Bill,
      ” barring the very real possibility of interference or deliberate disruptions designed to roll back any gains”
      It is a 100% certainty that there will be interference and deliberate disruptions. There already is, so why would they stop now? There is too much oil for the Empire to leave alone, even if they were willing to take the chance of having a significant population that had some idea that they should have a few human rights and a bit of self determination.

      My fear is that the “Bolivaran revolution” may have been too much of a one man band, relying on the charismatic leadership of Chavez, and may not endure. I hope I’m wrong, but I think the last thing the situation is there is simple.

    • mario 17.4

      Lucid as ever Bill, I believe changes were deep enough to have a lasting impact and continue. Disruptions were always there and will surely continue, but I don’t see despair in millions of supporters (great sadness is naturally there) and they seem radicalised enough to continue strongly. Maduro should win and stay on Chavez course. Regarding the governing leadership overall, although there are reasons for legitimate criticism importantly there seems to be much genuine action arising from self criticism.

      Take for example those last elections for governors where in spite of the huge victory the strongest criticism from grassroot organisations was that their voices were mostly ignored with candidates being handpicked and imposed by the party line. Well for upcoming mayoral elections it seems there will be much better cooperation with the grassroots to address this. I picked up on it from several articles on venezuelanalysis.com and remains to be seen to what extent they will go with it, but to me it seems like a huge progress in thinking and a crucial piece of any revolution. It reminded me of something Chomsky said in some interview long ago – that in a normal functioning democracy you would have communities organising to decide on the platform (priority of issues) and selecting best candidates to represent it, instead of having platforms and candidates imposed on the public from the top like is usually the case.

  17. Believe whatever you want to believe cultists. The truth is Chavez was barking mad and presided over the ruination of his country.

    And Key won’t attend the funeral because of the socialist taint. Why would you? Chavez trampled out most trade – and lack of trade is what keeps the poor, poor. His time was much better spent on relations where the trade outcomes could be improved.

    Venezuela is the only member of OPEC that suffers from shortages of staples such as flour, milk, and sugar. Crime and violence skyrocketed during Chávez’s years. On an average weekend, more people are killed in Caracas than in Baghdad and Kabul combined. (In 2009, there were 19,133 murders in Venezuela, more than four times the number of a decade earlier.) When the grisly statistics failed to improve, the Venezuelan government simply stopped publishing the figures.

    Socialist dictatorships are generally not nice places to live. And if any of you Chavez supporters were over the age of 30 you’d know that. That’s why, the older you get, the more right wing you get. Don;t fight it luvs. A need for collectivism (aka Jacinda Ardern) is a sign of immaturity. Aka Jacinda Ardern

    • felixviper 18.1

      Oh grow up, you’re an embarrassing little upstart trying to teach your grandparents to suck eggs.

      • Dr Terry 18.1.1

        Well Monique it is true that “it takes all kinds (and perspectives) to make a world.” Regrettably, we must reconcile ourselves to residing with the likes of you with your horrendous views.

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.2

        Interestingly, it’s Monique who is the (neo-liberal) cultist.

    • johnm 18.2

      Hi Monique
      If you want the truth about Chavez you should read the following link:
      http://sjlendman.blogspot.co.nz/
      The countries facing ruin now are the U$ and the U$K there people are being mercilessly being impoverished with austerity to bail out banksters and the wealthy elite.

      “He achieved impressive economic growth and prosperity. Britain’s government pales by comparison. It’s lawless, corrupt, dysfunctional, and hugely unequal. BBC’s its propaganda mouthpiece. Don’t expect it to explain.
      Chavez used Venezuela’s oil wealth responsibly. Everyone benefitted. Populism replaced neoliberal harshness.

      Bolivarianism prioritizes vital needs. Living standards improved remarkably. Disadvantaged Venezuelans benefited most.
      Child mortality fell from 20 per 1,000 to 13. Unemployment dropped from 14.5% to 6.4%.
      Income inequality is Latin America’s lowest. Poverty was cut in half. Extreme poverty fell over 70%. Economic growth in 2011 was 4.8%. In 2012, it was 5.6%. Forecasts estimate 6% in 2013.
      Hundreds of thousands of new homes were built. Commerce grew 9.2%. Communications advanced 7.2%. Manufacturing increased 2.1%. Oil sector production increased.

      Growth created jobs. Millions got free healthcare and education. They did so for the first time. Pension eligibility tripled.
      Pre-Chavez years were disastrous.” From 1980 – 1998, per capita income fell. Chavez turned disaster into success. Venezuela’s future looks promising. Give Chavez the credit he deserves.

      Carter Center representatives monitor Venezuelan elections. Jimmy Carter calls its process “the best in the world.” He does for good reason. It’s open, free and fair.
      It shames America’s sham process. Duopoly power runs things. Republicans and Democrats replicate each other. They’re two sides of the same coin.
      They’re beholden to monied interests. They sold their souls for power.

      People have no say. Voters get the best democracy money can buy. Neoliberal harshness, permanent wars, and police state repression follow.

      Venezuelan democracy is genuine. Voters need no persuasion. Chavez instituted the real thing. Venezuelans want it no other way.

      Expect what he began to continue. It’s hardwired to stay. It’s part of Venezuelan culture. It won’t fade and die.”

    • johnm 18.3

      Hi Monique
      “The truth is Chavez was barking mad and presided over the ruination of his country. ”

      unadulterated garbage! :-)

    • scotty 18.4

      Thanks for being so open as regards your bigotry, no wonder you are so bitter.

    • freedom 18.5

      if ideas were people then your ignorance would no doubt be surpassed by your loneliness

    • halfcrown 18.6

      Try not seeing Fox News too much, Try reading and seeing other sources of information, you may learn something.

  18. Dr Terry 19

    Has anybody heard yet from Shearer, not words, I am talking about deeds!

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      I can’t see any press release from Labour re: Hugh Chavez’ passing away. Maybe I missed it?

  19. johnm 20

    Hi Monique :-)

    The artist taxi driver talks on Chavez:
    “Viva Hugo Chavez: respect his ideals not Western Oil Pigs”
    Have a look at this Monique:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mJCkHM7L9A&list=UUGThM-ZZBba1Zl9rU-XeR-A&index=4

    “Long live the spirit of Hugo Chavez. Anyone that tells the US government to fuck off is alright with me.”

  20. johnm 21

    Another assessment of Chavez. he came to power after:
    “Chavez, who was 58, came to national prominence as the leader of an abortive military coup against the corrupt regime of Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez, the leader of Accion Democratica, a social democratic bourgeois party. Andrés Pérez was responsible for the bloody repression of the “Caracazo”—a popular uprising against IMF-dictated austerity measures in which up to 3,000 were killed.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/03/06/hugo-m06.html

    “a popular uprising against IMF-dictated austerity measures” Same stuff that’s impoverishing Greece and Ireland right now.

  21. johnm 22

    On the Legacy of Hugo Chávez by Greg Grandin
    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/03/06-2

    “Hugo Chavez was a brilliant man, a good man whose star shone for the poor and dispossessed of this world. That star still shines. RIP

    Exxon, Hugo kicked their scum sucking butts out of his country…

    Imagine the U$ with the Socialist leadership Chavez gave to Venezuela: Nationalized oil/gas; FREE health care; backing students for college; FREE schooling for most in poverty no matter their age; land for the landless; etc. etc.

    Until Greed Capitalism is run out of town, the unfairness, suffering, and depression-that-could-lead-to-violence will continue….”

  22. Te Reo Putake 23

    A list of heads of state and government from around the world who plan to attend Friday’s state funeral for Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and who won’t be networking with NZ PM and top business spruiker John Key over the sandwiches and cups of tea after the ceremony because he can’t get his head around why he should go:

    -Antigua and Barbuda: Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer

    -Aruba: Prime Minister Michiel Godfried Eman

    -Argentina: President Cristina Fernandez

    -Belarus: President Alexander Lukashenko

    -Bolivia: President Evo Morales

    -Brazil: President Dilma Rousseff

    -Chile: President Sebastian Pinera

    -Curacao: Prime Minister Daniel Hodge

    -Dominica: Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit

    -Dominican Republic: President Danilo Medina

    -Ecuador: President Rafael Correa

    -El Salvador: President Mauricio Funes

    -Guyana: President Donald Ramotar

    -Haiti: President Michel Martelly

    -Haiti: Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe

    -Honduras: President Porfirio Lobo

    -Iran: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

    -Jamaica: Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller

    -Mexico: President Enrique Pena Nieto

    -Nicaragua: President Daniel Ortega

    -Panama: President Ricardo Martinelli

    -Peru: President Ollanta Humala

    -St. Kitts and Nevis: Prime Minister Denzil Douglas

    -St. Lucia: Prime Minister Kenny Anthony

    -St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves

    -Suriname: President Desi Bouterse

    -Trinidad and Tobago: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar

    -Uruguay: President Jose Mujica

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      The US and European power block is avoiding the event like the plague. I would have thought that both Russia and China would have a significant presence.

      • Te Reo Putake 23.1.1

        Obviously, its strongly weighted toward South and Latin American countries, which is why Key should be there, but it also reflects modern imperialism’s desire to not give any credence to a leader who put his people first, ahead of the needs of international capital. I imagine most western countries will send 2nd or 3rd level delegations (ie no higher than Minister of Foreign Affairs and more likely Minister of Trade or just the local Ambassador and the trade consul).

        In terms of networking, we trade with just about every country on the list and have Commonwealth links with most of the rest. Why wouldn’t we want to be there?

    • Populuxe1 23.2

      Ah yes, all countries he liberally courted with petrobucks and with the possible charming exceptions of Iran and Brazil, no major regional powers, but plenty of third world basket cases and banana republics. I notice Russia and China aren’t going either, which sort of demolishes the whole Western boycott myth.

      • Colonial Viper 23.2.1

        Yes I thought similarly, although I believe China will be very well represented due to China’s interests in Venezuela’s energy reserves. And Russia – well their military ties through good times and bad are well documented so I think that’s secure too.

        • Populuxe1 23.2.1.1

          Well I should hope Venezuela and Russia’s ties should be tight, what with Chavez buying all those Russian weapons for FARC and all…

          • Colonial Viper 23.2.1.1.1

            Uh, no. Venezuela is one of Russia’s main military customers, buying armored vehicles, main battle tanks, MiGs as well as light arms and munitions.

            I do note however that Columbia was not on the list of heads of state visiting Venezuela – given that Columbia is heavily pro US that’s not a huge surprise.

            • Populuxe1 23.2.1.1.1.1

              Pity the Australians aren’t going

              “In addition, Chavez apparently provided thousands of Colombians, including many of the guerillas, with Venezuelan papers. Intelligence agencies fear that senior members of FARC have also traveled to Germany using Venezuelan passports — tourists from Chavez’s Venezuela are given more lax treatment when entering the country than Colombians.

              Chavez also apparently helped the FARC rebels obtain weapons by putting them in touch with two Australian arms dealers. His intelligence agents promised FARC that they would get them parts to build surface-to-air missiles. In an e-mail to Reyes on March 1, 2007, FARC commander Timochenko wrote that the Venezuelans would “guarantee travel for one of our men to the Middle East, so that he can take a course in the use of the missiles.” The purchase of complete weapons systems, Timochenko wrote, is “very complicated, because of the existing inspections.”

              http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-colombian-connection-how-hugo-chavez-courted-farc-a-557736.html

              • Colonial Viper

                Colombia appears to have deliberately flooded Venezuela with the cocaine trade. Perhaps some push back was in order.

      • Pascal's bookie 23.2.2

        “no major regional powers

        Who were you thinking of?

        Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Peru, who’s missing?

        • Populuxe1 23.2.2.1

          Brazil is the most powerful country in South America, Argentina in second place comes well behind. Regional power is defined by the amount of influence they can exert beyond their borders, which none in your lest bar certain exceptions in the case of Mexico and it’s shared border with the US can be said to have. Aside from the unsurprising absence of the Western Allies, there is no China, Russia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Japan, South Korea, Ukraine etc.

  23. joe90 24

    As an aside, years ago I read John Gunther’s Inside Latin America, written shortly before the US entered WW2, describing Venezuela fifteen years into the oil boom. Caracas had the highest cost of living in the world with food prices typically 20-30 times higher than in the US due largely to the mismanagement by the ruling classes of the huge cash influx.

    And because of the obstructionism and feudal social systems of the landed classes, the land-owners had refused to modernise production methods, cheap and plentiful labour, when the poor fled the countryside to work in and around the oil-fields, domestic production collapsed.

    When Gunther arrived in 1941 most food along with almost every other sort of goods was imported and heavily taxed with tariffs to support the non-existent local agricultural sector and although oil money had been coming in since the twenties there was no industrial base.

    .So despite what the RWNJ’s say it took nearly sixty years and the election of Chavez to elicit any sort of meaningful change for a majority of Venezuelans.

    .

  24. Interesting division in the comments for this post. The lefties wish to celebrate the good that Chavez did for the poor of his country and this is not denied.

    The righties then launch into attempted character assassinations of him but ignore the good that he achieved.

    This is a bit of smoke screen doncha think?

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      Hmmmm somehow I don’t think the Righties view Chavez sharing the elite’s rightful wealth with the unwashed heathen as “doing good”.

    • Populuxe1 25.2

      I am not right wing – I don’t give a flying fuck about petty ideological bickering. I have a vision of ideal governance being a liberal democracy with effective welfare, public institutions, free press, independent judiciary, and human rights and liberties to be universal and protected by constitutional law. Anything that diverges from this is only going to get my contempt and scorn, left wing OR right wing, and Hugo Chavez definitely qualifies. No why don’t you sing a rousing chorus of “Don’t Cry For Me, Venezuela” while they embalm his corpse as a tourist attraction.

      • Morrissey 25.2.1

        I am not right wing – I don’t give a flying fuck about petty ideological bickering.

        Oh yes, you go for the really big issues, of course. Like loudly repeating the black propaganda of the British establishment at its most vicious and corrupt.

        I have a vision of ideal governance being a liberal democracy with effective welfare, public institutions, free press,

        That’s even odder than the claim to not “give a flying fuck” about petty bickering; I seem to remember you joining in the British government-led character assassination campaign against Julian Assange. When did you change to supporting a free press as opposed to trying to shut it down and persecute journalists?

        …independent judiciary,…

        Like the outstandingly independent Swedish judiciary perhaps?

        … and human rights and liberties to be universal and protected by constitutional law.

        But not for dissenting journalists, of course. Gotta have limits, don’t we!

        As for your risible comments about Hugo Chavez: I don’t care how mean-spirited and callous you are, but your flagrant lying is something else entirely.

        • McFlock 25.2.1.1

          Intentional derail, or just your derailed thinking?

          Even if – and a big fucking if – you were correct on the Assange issue, disagreement on that single issue does not negate his statement about his own general belief system.

        • McFlock 25.2.1.2

          pop’s own statement about his belief system. Missing that edit function :)

        • Populuxe1 25.2.1.3

          Julian Assange is not a journalist – journalists may well avail themselves of Wikileaks in their research, but Assange exhibits very little editorial process or evidence of fact checking in his activities to constitute journalism. Also, as regards my emphasis on constitutional human rights, I happen to believe that if a person accuses someone of a violation of their person, they should have the right to an investigation and a trial. The rest of your frothing is just a rather sad attempt at deflection.

          • Colonial Viper 25.2.1.3.1

            You may not regard Julian Assange as a journalist but he is at a minimum, a publisher.

            I happen to believe that if a person accuses someone of a violation of their person, they should have the right to an investigation and a trial.

            So do I.

            Can someone guarantee that Assange will actually get to that trial, and if convicted of violating another person, gets to serve out his prescribed sentence? (As opposed to being whisked away on completely unrelated matters?)

            • McFlock 25.2.1.3.1.1

              Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.
              This is a derail.

              If you really want to rehash it, we should go to open mike. But promise me you actually have something new.

            • Populuxe1 25.2.1.3.1.2

              I can’t guarantee that Assange will actually get to trial because he’s doing his darnedest not to get there – in any case this belongs in Open Mike.

            • Colonial Viper 25.2.1.3.1.3

              yeah plus I think this one has been done to death.

              Having said that…its only a minor derail…will the next Venezuelan administration view Assange as favourably???

          • Morrissey 25.2.1.3.2

            Julian Assange is not a journalist – journalists may well avail themselves of Wikileaks in their research, but Assange exhibits very little editorial process or evidence of fact checking in his activities to constitute journalism.

            So does the New York Times. Unlike much of the output of that semi-official state outlet, nothing that Assange has released has been proven to be false. That’s the trouble with Assange of course, and that’s why he must be obliterated. (God damn those Ecuadorian paisanos!!!)

            Also, as regards my emphasis on constitutional human rights, I happen to believe that if a person accuses someone of a violation of their person, they should have the right to an investigation and a trial.

            A couple of young women were manipulated or forced to make a spurious allegation against him. They both retracted the ludicrous allegation, but the Swedish prosecutor ignored that fact.

            The rest of your frothing is just a rather sad attempt at deflection.

            I think anybody who reads this and other conflicts I have engaged in with you can see quite plainly who is lying.

            • McFlock 25.2.1.3.2.1

              trool.

            • Populuxe1 25.2.1.3.2.2

              The New York Times isn’t a semi-official state outlet, it’s a privately owned company.Take it to Open Mike, I’ll kick your arse there.

              • Morrissey

                The New York Times isn’t a semi-official state outlet, it’s a privately owned company.

                It’s privately owned, but it’s the conduit for government propaganda.

                Take it to Open Mike, I’ll kick your arse there.

                Suddenly you’ll become Superman?

          • Murray Olsen 25.2.1.3.3

            The Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles was denied the right to a fair trial in Venezuela after being accused of participating in several terrorist activities. Why? Because the Americans protected him and refused to extradite him to a country where they claimed he ran the risk of torture.

    • Funny how all these comments reinforce the diversionary nature of all of the anti comments in this post.

      The essence is that Key is being a tool in refusing to go to Chavez’s funeral. Whether or not people agree with Chavez’s world view or his actions he was a respected world leader and Key could do really well for our country’s interests to go to the funeral. It is just a couple of days in his life. Not going is so naif.

      • Murray Olsen 25.3.1

        I agree wholeheartedly. Many in Latin America will take this as a deliberate insult. Helen Clark did some good work there in raising our profile, while Key has worn a silly hat, ogled the Mexican first lady, and insulted Venezuela. I find it revealing that so many contributors, some of whom I have never seen before, use the discussion on this to attempt an unneeded assassination of Chavez.

    • geoff 25.4

      Too right, MickyS, I was just thinking that myself. They can’t argue the points so they attack the person.

  25. TheContrarian 26

    “The righties then launch into attempted character assassinations of him but ignore the good that he achieved.”

    Personally I am ambivalent towards Chavez – he did good but also did things not so good. You’re comment could just as easily read:

    “The lefties then launch into attempted character praise of him but ignore the bad that he did.”

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      He curtailed judicial and press freedoms. Opposition groups and parties were frequently harrassed. Institutions were weakened, and law and order issues and corruption became increasingly disruptive.

      • Populuxe1 26.1.1

        Thanks for being big about it, and yes he did a lot in terms of increasing the standard of living for the poor, but with all the weakening of those other institutions, what kind of a future has Chavez left them?

        • Colonial Viper 26.1.1.1

          It’s a big question. We’re going to see what internal and external pressures emergy on Venezuela over the next several years. As other people have noted, the true Chavez legacy may not be known for another decade.

          • Populuxe1 26.1.1.1.1

            My main problem with it is that by making those revisions to the constitution, should a right wing populist get into power there will be little to check them. My main difficulty with populist politics is it tends to reduce the electorate to a Pavlovian entity to be bribed, rather than equals to be reasoned with.

            • Jim Davis 26.1.1.1.1.1

              He didn’t ‘bribe’ the electorate, he empowered the poor and redistributed the proceeds of the country’s oil wealth to reducing poverty and inequality.

              • Populuxe1

                Um, for improving their lot he charged a fairly hefty price in politicising the electoral college and basically giving himself the constitutional power to be president for life – after all you can’t really vote for an alternative if there is no real alternative. That’s like saying National’s tax cuts or Labour’s tax free student loans weren’t bribes.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Oh bullshit. Venezuela’s last election had an over 80% turn out rate.

                  That leaves NZ’s “democracy” in the dust.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Well, no. And it dropped significantly when compulsory voting was rescinded.
                    http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?CountryCode=VE

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hmmm, try the recent 2012 presidential elections.

                      With 90% of the ballots counted Sunday night, Chavez has 54.42% of the vote compared with 44.97% for Capriles, according to Tibisay Lucena, president of the National Electoral Council.

                      Chavez had secured 7.4 million votes and Capriles 6.1 million votes, election officials said.

                      The country saw one of its highest participation rates in decades, with almost 81% of voters going to the polls, Lucena said.

                      In fact, some polls were kept open two hours after their scheduled closing because lines of voters were waiting for ballots.

                      http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/07/world/americas/venezuela-elections

      • TheContrarian 26.1.2

        Agree (though I wasn’t specifically referring to you CV)

    • geoff 26.2

      No. The lefties attempt to point out the success of Venezuela under Chavez and the righties attempt to smear Chavez.
      I couldn’t give a fuck about Chavez the person, I’m only interested in the undeniable success of his change to socialist policies. If scoailist policies managed to succeed even under the weight of a corrupt, dictator then imagine how successful they would be in a modern western democracy?
      Oh that’s right, we already know how successful they would be, it’s called Scandinavia.

      • Murray Olsen 26.2.1

        Remember that it’s the weight of a “corrupt dictator” plus all the destabilisation efforts of the US and the traitorous elite inside Venezuela. This makes the successes even more notable. In many ways, Venezuela has been going forwards while countries such as our own have been going backwards.

        • Colonial Viper 26.2.1.1

          We criticise Chavez now for highly executive, arbitrary and un-reviewed decision making. But he was a man who knew that things had to change, and not on geologic timescales. And I’m betting you that he relied a whole lot on his cabinet’s creativity and heavy lifting.

          Research shows that between 0 and 5 years of age, the prospects of a new person either brighten or dim considerably, in terms of both educational and social achievement. If Chavez had dicked around with white papers and blue papers and green papers, especially after 2 decades of dramatic declines in living standards for most Venezuelans (I mean, we are talking catastrophic poverty levels in 1998) he wouldn’t have got the results seen today. A 70% decrease in outright severe poverty. I mean, that is amazing.

          This is one thing which fucks me off about Labour. Every year you waste pussyfooting around with half and quarter measures, you are effectively and statistically condemning thousands of young people to poor whole-of-life outcomes.

          As an example, Labour is going to build 100,000 in 10 years. I mean WTF. It seems like a completely arbitrary round number not anchored in any operational detail (and I bet it is a number that someone thought was manageable but wouldn’t depress middle class investment asset prices).

          You’ve got 160,000 unemployed people FFS. Build that shit in 5 or 6 years.

  26. I’m pleased key isn’t going because he would embarrass us all with his fakery and I can’t stand him fawning around trying to be the big man. Key is not my leader and not someone I respect, in fact the sooner he fucks off the better.

    RIP Hugo and thank goodness you won’t have our slippery snake fake crying when your people say goodbye.

  27. Colonial Viper 28

    RT’s “Breaking the Set”.

    Special on Hugo Chavez from 15:00 in. Interesting point that Hugo Chavez opened the doors for indigenous/black heads of state in Latin America. Where before heads of state were almost invariably white.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/keys-venezuelan-snub/#comment-601359

    CEPR report on Venezuela after 10 years of Chavez rule:

    During the current economic expansion, the poverty rate has been cut by more than half, from 54 percent of households in the first half of 2003 to 26 percent at the end of 2008. Extreme poverty has fallen even more, by 72 percent. These poverty rates measure only cash income, and do not take into account increased access to health care or education.

    also

    Over the decade, the government’s total public debt has fallen from 30.7 to 14.3 percent of GDP. The foreign public debt has fallen even more, from 25.6 to 9.8 percent of GDP

    (largely due to Chavez’ nationalisation of oil assets)

    http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/venezuela-2009-02.pdf

  28. Murray Olsen 29

    Since Yoani Sanchez has been mentioned in relation to Chavez, Cuba, and Brazil, here’s an article about one of the Brazilian politicians who sponsored her trip to Brazil. Sorry that it’s in Portuguese (maybe use a translation tool), but basically he’s telling black militants they should just go back to the zoo.

    http://www.pragmatismopolitico.com.br/2013/03/jair-bolsonaro-agride-militantes-do-movimento-negro-voltem-para-o-zoologico.html

    PS. Everything I have written about Brazil and Chavez in these threads has been approved by and discussed with a Brazilian from Rio Grande do Norte, before posting. These are not just the idle thoughts of some gringo, but a commentary informed by several years working in Rio and São Paulo, in places ranging from the Paulista favela of Paraisópolis to the campus of the Universidade de São Paulo, and by stays of various lengths in places from Florianópolis in the south to Fortaleza in the northeast. If I’m wrong in what I post here, it’s not out of ignorance of the situation.

    • prism 29.1

      Murray Olsen
      Did you spend any time in Curitiba sough of Sao Paolo. I heard a very positive report on the city’s mayor on Radionz from previous Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment in 2002 Morgan Williams.

      • Murray Olsen 29.1.1

        Yep, I spent a little time in Curitiba. It’s one of the most European of Brazilian cities, and the ex Mayor, Jaime Lerner, did a lot for urban development and basic habitation. As governor of the State of Paraná, Lerner and one of his successors, Roberto Requião, did a lot to keep transgenic soy beans out of the state. Even though they were respecting Federal Law by doing this, when they checked all the soy beans being exported through the port of Paranaguá, it caused huge disruption on the roads. Lula’s federal government put huge pressure on them to let the Monsanto rubbish through to the ships.

        On the negative side, I did hear anecdotal stories of the Paraná police turning back migrants from the Northeast of the country at the Curitiba bus stations, but I have never seen this documented. Curitiba has a reputation as the most boring city in Brazil :-)

        • prism 29.1.1.1

          Murray O
          Boring Curitiba eh, if I was in Syria I would think that was heaven. There is so much pressure on leaders that someone who merely tries to strike a fair course and gets there sometimes is a hero.

          • Murray Olsen 29.1.1.1.1

            I didn’t find it boring, but it didn’t have the lovely chaotic qualities of other Brazilian cities. I have a sneaking suspicion that those who call it boring are a bit jealous.

  29. peterlepaysan 30

    Key is a Wall Street puppet performing as his Wall Street and Washington puppet masters and mistresses want him to.

    Some pull his strings.

    Some use him like a glove puppet.

    No wonder, as NZ tourism minister he spends his holidays in Hawaii.

  30. Roy 31

    I remember reading somewhere that Jim Bolger became personal mates with Bush Senior at the State Funeral of either Andropov or Chernenko. The fact that Bolger and Bush Senior were at the funeral of a leader of the USSR shows that the protocol is that if a head of state dies, you attend the funeral, no matter how much you oppose their ideology. Okay, the USSR was a bigger player on the world stage, but Key was already in South America. Sending someone else would only be excusable if Key was busy in New Zealand (as if he is ever busy anywhere). His failure to attend the funeral was a disgrace. He has shamed our nation.

  31. prism 32

    Trouble is he has strayed too far away from his focus groups who would have made up his mind for him.

  32. Te Reo Putake 33

    In news completely unrelated to Key’s no show at the funeral; this just in: http://en.apa.az/news_venezuela_bans_alcohol_for_period_of_cha_189098.html

  33. xtasy 34

    John Key planned to visit Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Brazil according to this link:

    http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/key-visit-south-america-trade-boost-5353218

    He apparently already had to cut short his visit to Chile, heading to meet President Pinera (son of a minister who served under the Pinochet era government!), just to get some photos and say some nice words for the media and protocol. Pinera is heading to the funeral, despite Chile’s rather conservative government not feeling all that warm towards Chavez and his party.

    Indeed almost all of Latin American and Caribbean LEADERS seem to be heading for the funeral:

    http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_22739590/leaders-attending-chavez-funeral-venezuela

    As Brazil is his next destiantion and President Roussef also supposed to travel to Venezuela, is Brazil going to be taken off the list, and will Key head home early then?

    In any case, it looks stupid to have Key make the decision he made. But does anyone really wonder, given his background and actual true agendas and priorities?

    At least he could have sent Nathan Guy off to represent NZ there in Caracas, given he is next highest NZ official there at present (in South America).

    But do not blame Key, at least he honestly shows his coulours and intentions for a change.

    • Murray Olsen 34.1

      Dilma should translate Key into Portuguese and call him Senhor Chave. When Condoleeza Rice said something stupid, they called her Condoleeza Arroz.

  34. geoff 35

    The real shame is that Key is missing out on seeing how a man who championed for the people gets celebrated. It might have had a positive effect on him.

  35. peterlepaysan 36

    Key epitomises Wall Street ethics.

  36. millsy 37

    So anyone know who represented NZ at Chavez’s funeral?

    To be honest, I doubt that the people of Venuzuela would have wanted Key at his funeral. He is completely against what HC stood for.

    Though Labour are no better. There seems to be no acknowledgement of his death on Red Alert or the LP website, given that he was probably more closer to Savage, Fraser, Nash and Kirk than Mallard, Curran and Shearer will ever be.

    Its a pity Helen didnt forge any links with the Bolivarian Republic when she was in power/office. An oil for milk powder deal seems to me to be a win/win, and Chavez would have our historical social security system to use as a template.

    • Murray Olsen 37.1

      Shearer wouldn’t have gone. Helen may have. If she’d proposed a milk for oil deal, I can imagine the righties screaming, but selling it for dollars somehow doesn’t cause a peep.

      Labour should be ashamed of their 1984 past. Why is it that the front bench seem far more ashamed of what they did before then? I can’t wait for the rest of the left to get big enough that they can be ignored. Or for them to change, but I think that’s the less likely option.

  37. Colonial Viper 38

    I can’t wait for the rest of the left to get big enough that they can be ignored.

    Agree with the sentiment, with the distinction that Labour is not a left wing party: it is a centrist political party sympathetic to the ongoing use of free markets and orthodox economic mechanisms and objectives.

    • ordinary_bloke 38.1

      +1

      Key hugely over-rates himself. A small-town boy from a small country living off fables from his Merrill days left the Presidents of Mexico and Chile looking distinctly bored, underwhelmed, and disengaged in his presence.

      They don’t need a NZ’er to tell them about Merrill.

      Key’s lack of empathy and understanding of America Latina was further demonstrated in his gauche response to Chavez’s funeral.

      Apart from reports of sales of LAV’s to Colombia, it is starting to look like a diplomatic disaster.

      Images of Colombian ceremonial guard in Prussian coal-scuttle helmets leads to questions of who exactly it is that we are dealing with over there.

      The trip would otherwise have had the effect of distancing him from the scandal of emails released on the Standard showing that, during the Hobbit “dispute” the Government and others lied to the people of New Zealand to maintain a perception of a crisis.

      This must have been the last thing Key’s PR agencies wanted.

      Has anyone noted the number of beneficiary-bashing advertisements around ?

      There is always Brasil, but don’t hold your breath.

    • Murray Olsen 38.2

      Yeah, that was sloppy of me. However, to the extent that many of the people in Aotearoa in need of left wing solutions still look to Labour, they are still a party of the left. I hope it becomes clearer that this is mainly illusion and wishful thinking, and that parties more deserving of the label become more influential.

  38. Roy 40

    I’m not impressed by a pic in the Dom-Post this morning of Key strolling past a Chilean honour guard and not even wearing a necktie. He is an embarrassment to the office of Prime Minister. They are probably thinking ‘What a slob’.

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    No Right Turn | 20-09
  • The Final Election Result Is – 48% of Kiwis Are Arrogant Idiots!
    Though there is still about 18% of the vote to come in, it looks fairly certain the proven incompetent, dishonest and corrupt National Party are going to get at least 48% of the vote. Incredibly we had actual evidence National...
    An average kiwi | 20-09
  • 50 Canadian climate researchers speak out in support of the People’s ...
    The Canadian government is hell-bent on exploiting the Alberta tar sands to the fullest extent possible, even at the expense of the global climate. Canada simply cannot meet its carbon pollution reduction pledges if it continues to expand tar sands...
    Skeptical Science | 20-09
  • Election 2014!! The live, rolling, increasingly intoxicated Post From Hell
    7pm - Drinking red (naturally) wine.  A 2011 Mt hector Pinot Noir.  Very nice it is too - likely the last nice thing I may experience for the next couple of hours.  We're doomed, I tell you, doomed!  And if we're...
    Left hand palm | 20-09
  • Speaker: A live peek at your cray
    On Saturday morning London time, a rag-tag bunch of left-wing weirdos will descend on my flat to huddle around the glow of livestreams, making panic pikelets and schadenfreude pie, and wishing it was evening here so we could justify sinking...
    Public Address | 20-09
  • Election Day Post # 10
    The last of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • Election Day Post #9
    The ninth of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • The Big Man
    So, Alex Salmond has announced he will step down as First Minister of Scotland.  This is, of course, being presented as throwing his toys and peevish behaviour following the independence referendum and the defeat of the 'Yes' campaign.Which is an...
    Left hand palm | 20-09
  • Election Day Post #8
    The eighth of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
    . . NZ, Upper Hutt, 20 September –  Cold, wet weather in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington may be impacting on voter turn-out. A head-count of people visiting the Trentham School Voting Station in Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, indicated...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-09
  • Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
    . . NZ, Upper Hutt, 20 September –  Cold, wet weather in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington may be impacting on voter turn-out. A head-count of people visiting the Trentham School Voting Station in Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, indicated...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-09
  • Election Day Post #7
    The seventh of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • Election Day Post #6
    The sixth of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • Another Song For Election Day (As Requested By “Kat”)
     NOT DARK YET: Bob Dylan's haunting hymn to the failing day and advancing night.   I was born here and I'll die here against my will I know it looks like I'm movin' but I'm standin' still Every nerve in my body...
    Bowalley Road | 20-09
  • Man Steals Nun’s Blue and White Livery, Says Newspaper Made Him Do It
    Tapping into the Party Line: A prominent talkback radio listener detected a subtle right-wing tone at work in The New Zealand Herald‘s advertising.    By Hemi Iti, 20 September 2014 An Auckland man was charged with theft and impersonating a...
    Snoopman News | 20-09
  • Election Day Post #5
    The fifth of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • Looking through dirty windows into an empty room
    A colleague of mine once described how he'd felt when interviewing a particularly nasty person who'd been engaged in some very unpleasant behaviour at work. He said that looking into the man's eyes was like, 'looking through dirty windows into an empty...
    Te Whare Whero | 19-09
  • Hard News: Decision 2014: Where to watch and listen
    There were quite a few queries on the wires last night as to where a person who can't receive New Zealand broadcasts might stay abreast of today's election results. Short version: you're spoiled for choice. As I understand it, none...
    Public Address | 19-09
  • Election Day Post #4
    The fourth of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 19-09
  • Such A Parcel Of Rogues In A Nation (For All Those True Scots Who Voted ...
      SUCH A PARCEL OF ROGUES IN A NATION: British folk-rock group, Steeleye Span, captures the bleak bitterness of Burn's 1791 poem in their superb 1973 rendition of the traditional Scottish folk song. Farewell now to our Scottish fameFarewell our ancient glory;Farewell...
    Bowalley Road | 19-09
  • Election Day Post #3
    The third of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 19-09
  • Three Kings Quarry Development
    Fletcher Residential have lodged two plan changes with the council to develop the Three Kings Quarry. Fletcher Residential has lodged two private plan change applications with Auckland Council for the redevelopment of Three Kings Quarry. These applications outline two ways...
    Transport Blog | 19-09
  • Election Day Post #2
    The second of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 19-09
  • Election Day Post #1
    The first of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 19-09
  • NZ General Election 2014
    Midnight very soon and the election blackout begins. Please observe.  Good luck to our peeps.  Get out and vote!...
    Tumeke | 19-09
  • A Song For Election Day.
     THINGS HAVE CHANGED: One of Bob Dylan's more enigmatic expeditions, it captures to perfection the wayward impulses and bland excuses of twenty-first century life.People are crazy and times are strangeI'm locked in tight, I'm out of rangeI used to care,...
    Bowalley Road | 19-09
  • Remember ladies a woman’s place is in the revolution
    ...
    Politically Corrected | 19-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Why I voted Labour and why 2017 will be different
    As a 3nd and 5th generation Kiwi-Indian (depending on which side of the family we have to go with), my relationship with New Zealand is a special one. Like other New Zealanders who are not of the Caucasian variety, the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Humble Pie
    Oh. My. God. This was a heartbreaking nightmare. I was wrong, horribly, horribly, horribly wrong. I honestly believed that the resources, the media attention, the vile toxic politics exposed by Dirty Politics and the mass surveillance lies would have seen...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Election 2014; A Post-mortem; a Wake; and one helluva hang-over
    .   . It would be fair to say that the results for Election 2014 did not go as anticipated. The Left has had a drubbing – and some of it was of our own making. In other aspects, there...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
    . . NZ, Upper Hutt, 20 September –  Cold, wet weather in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington may be impacting on voter turn-out. A head-count of people visiting the Trentham School Voting Station in Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, indicated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Final total of advance voting
    And the final total for the advance voting was a staggering 717,579 advance votes against 334,558 in 2011       Tonight, I’ll be watching the TV3 election coverage because I could bare Paul Henry’s smugness one inch more than Mike Hosking’s...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Vice article on NZ election
    Here is my Vice article on the NZ election....
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • The attempt to kill off Internet MANA
    It’s the last day of campaigning today and the long list of those attacking Internet MANA got longer yesterday with Winston Peters backing Labour candidate Kelvin Davis against the MANA Movement’s Hone Harawira. Davis is now supported by Labour, National,...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • A final word on the election – it’s now all up to you
    Brothers & Sisters, the fate of Aotearoa is now all in your hands. We here at the Daily Blog have thrown everything we can at this bloody Government and have spent every waking hour of this campaign trying to highlight...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – ...
    I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – but then again, I never could...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why Nati...
    TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why National Party is great...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • REVIEW: Royals of Kihikihi
    What an absolutely stunning show.  I had to ask twice to check I’d heard right that this is the first staged production for Samuel Christopher, who also played a raw, real, but vulnerable, Wolf Royal, home from London for his...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • 800 Cops to detain 15 ‘terrorists’ – why Australia’s hysterical Isl...
    I’m sorry but I can’t take this current Australian terror threat seriously. 800 cops to detain 15 people and arrest one of them? A week after Abbot decides to send in Australian forces to the cluster fuck of Iraq, suddenly...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Unbelievable corruption inside Government to attack Kim Dotcom
    The corruption inside this Government just more and more filthy – we now have an ex-Customs Lawyer quitting  after being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government, specifically to do with Kim Dotcom… Curtis Gregorash said he was told...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Everyone Loves A Win-Win That Keeps G...
      Permit me to quote some figures at you… -68% of New Zealanders think political news on television focuses too much on politicians’ personalities and not enough on real issues. This is the key result of a recent UMR survey commissioned by...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of being the most in demand broadcaster in the country...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: Te Tai Tokerau independent poll (44% Hone-27% Kelvin) vs Maori T...
    The Te Tai Tokerau Maori TV poll on Monday this week painted a bleak picture for Internet MANA supporters, and it’s results have been seized upon by Labour, NZ First and even the Maori Party (who seem set once again...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The time for TPPA weasel words is over
    Almost every day of the election campaign there has been a policy announcement that would potentially run foul of what I understand is currently in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA):  more constraints on foreign investment or investors … regulation of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • MELTDOWN – Maori Party turns on their own Te Tai Tokerau candidate – ag...
    The tensions are building in Te Tai Tokerau with the Maori Party on the verge of meltdown. Days out from the election, the Maori Party Executive has tried to heavy their own Te Tai Tokerau Electoral Committee and their own candidate, Te Hira Paenga,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • We Can Change this Government
    We Can Change this Government – Mike Treen at the First Union stop work election meeting...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Election 2014: For and Against
    With the general election tomorrow, we have had a very noisy campaign but little sign that the electorate wishes for a fundamental change of governmental direction. This reflects in part the fact that the economic cycle is close to its decadal...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eye To Eye Uploaded: Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury
    This interview was filmed a couple of weeks ago between Willie Jackson and myself, I was a tad off with my prediction of NZ First....
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair – The Players Revealed
      . . – Special investigation by Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules‘ Speculation that the Beehive office of Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, was behind the release of a letter linking Labour leader, David Cunliffe, with controversial Chinese businessman, Donghua Liu, is...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold NZ d...
    It should read ‘never stop spying’. As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold us down the river to the US by allowing the Southern Cross cable to be tapped… The ability for US intelligence agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work
    The final days of the campaign are ticking down and Labour and NZ First are manoeuvring to kill off the Internet MANA Party by both backing Kelvin Davis for Te Tai Tokerau. It’s a risky gambit that they better pray to Christ...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Bill English’s latest insult to beneficiaries – apparently they are lik...
    National’s hatred towards the poor continues unabated as National desperately try to throw raw meat to their reactionary voter base in the hope to inspire enough hate and loathing to win back their redneck voters from the Conservative Party and from...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eminem ain’t happy with John Key
    Eminem ain’t happy with John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Key claims he did not inhale
    Key claims he did not inhale...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Final prediction on election result 2014
    What an election campaign. The character assassination of David Cunliffe kicked things off with the Herald on Sunday falsely claiming $100 00 bottles of wine, $15 000 books and $150 000 in donations  from a donor that turned out to be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Live blog: Bainamarama takes commanding lead in Fiji elections
      Interview with Repúblika editor Ricardo Morris and Pacific Scoop’s Mads Anneberg. PACIFIC SCOOP TEAM By Ricardo Morris, Mads Anneberg, Alistar Kata and Biutoka Kacimaiwai in Suva WHILE the results are provisional at this stage, it is clear today that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ Elections Two Days To Go! + Edward Snowden + Julian Assan...
    Recorded live on 18/09/14 – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/multimedia-investments-ltd 5AA Australia’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning deliver their weekly bulletin: Across The Ditch. This week, they discuss the latest news as New Zealanders go to the polls on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What has Colin Craig done for his Press Secretary to quit 2 days before ele...
    This is VERY strange.  Colin Craig’s Press Secretary Rachel McGregor, has quit 2 days before the election, allegedly telling ZB that Colin Craig was a “very manipulative man”. I’ve met Rachel many times in the past as Colin’s Press Secretary, she is...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” – A brief w...
    “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” said Key in the final leaders debate. Problem of course is that the 250 000 – 285 000 children living in poverty can not afford steak, milk, butter, eggs...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • National’s final bash of beneficiaries before the election
    On cue, whenever National feel threatened, they roll out a little bennie bash just to keep their redneck voter base happy. Nothing like a bit of raw meat policy to keep National voters focused on the evil threat solo parents...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • With All Of This In Mind, I Vote
    This is my last blog before the election and I really just want to speak from the heart. Right now in this country it seems to me that a lot of people consider the “essentials” in life to be simply...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Left has to vote strategically this election
    The dedication, loyalty, and tribalism of party politics means that sometimes the left lets itself down by not voting strategically. We all want our favoured party to get maximum votes, naturally, but the winner-takes-all approach doesn’t always suit multi-party left...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Dear NZ – as you enter the polling booth, stand up for your rights
    The last days before a NZ general election are a busy time as politicians make their pitch and party activists prepare to get out the vote. It is sort of weird watching from the distance of Europe the strangest election...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What is Waihopai, John, if it isn’t a facility for “mass surveillance...
    John Key assured us on RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme yesterday that “In terms of the Fives Eyes data bases… yes New Zealand will contribute some information but not mass wholesale surveillance.” How does this square with the operation of the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Mass Surveillance and the Banality of E...
    Renowned journalist and intellectual Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe the normalisation of genocide in Nazi Germany. I thought of her phrase when I was listening to Glenn Greenwald and other international whistle-blowers talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Election. Down. To. The. Wire
    Funny how last week it was John Key winning by 50%, now it’s neck and neck. I have always believed this election would be down to the wire and it is proving so. The flawed landline opinion polls the mainstream...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 3rd Degree uses Whaleoil for story ideas as if Dirty Politics never happene...
    TV3s 3rd Degrees smear job on Kim Dotcom last night doesn’t bear much repeating. It was pretty pathetic journalism from a team who have brought us some great journalism in the past. It is sad to see 3rd Degree stooping...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Live blog: Bainimarama takes early lead in Fiji’s election
    Pacific Scoop’s Alistar Kata reports from yesterday’s voting. By Alistar Kata of Pacific Scoop in Suva Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama took an early lead in provisional results in the Fiji general election last night. With provisional results from 170 out...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Has The NSA Constructed The Perfect PPP?
    Former intelligence analyst and whistleblower, Edward Snowden – speaking live to those gathered at the Auckland Town Hall on Monday September 17, 2014. Investigation by Selwyn Manning. THE PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY’s admission on Wednesday that whistleblower Edward Snowden “may...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • No way – Key admits Snowden is right
    After claiming there was no middle ground. After claiming there was no mass surveillance. After calling Glenn Greenwald a henchman and a loser. After all the mainstream media pundits screamed at Kim’s decision to take his evidence to Parliamentary Privileges...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Bad luck National
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • The incredible changing John Key story on mass spying – why the Moment of...
    While the mainstream media continue to try and make the Moment of Truth about Kim’s last minute decision to prolong his battle against John Key past the election into the Privileges Committee, the reality is that the Moment of Truth...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Themes of the Campaign
    There’s one area of a political campaign that just about everyone, at some point, falls afoul of. The campaign song. I’m not sure quite why it is, but it seems to be almost impossible for political parties to come up...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Denis Tegg – The NSA slides that prove mass surveillance
    The evidence presented by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden on The Intercept of mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB is undeniable, and can stand on its own. But when you place this fresh evidence in the context of...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland
    The Ukrainian civil war discomforts me. It seems to me the most dangerous political crisis since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. And it’s because of our unwillingness to examine the issues in a holistic way. We innately prefer to...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man – the relationship intensifies
    John Key’s love affair with the straw man is now a fully-committed relationship. It’s now the first love of his life. Sorry Bronagh. Yesterday I pointed to Key’s constant assurances that there is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • A brief word on why Wendyl Nissen is a hero
    Wendyl Nissen is a hero. The sleazy black ops attack on her by Slater and Odgers on behalf of Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich is sick. All Nissen is doing in her column is point out the filth and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • National deal with New Zealand First unlikely
    The National party is unlikely to offer a confidence and supply agreement to New Zealand First according to Dr Ryan Malone, Director Training and Research at Civicsquare....
    Scoop politics | 20-09
  • Daily Election Update #12: NZ First to hold balance of power
    Winston Peters’ NZ First Party will hold the balance of power after tomorrow’s election, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Mr Peters is then expected to back a National-led...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies
    Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus on dirty politics and spying, and not a lot on policy. With election day looming, Gareth Morgan is calling for people to refocus on the issues....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • The Kiwi FM Alternative Election Commentary
    Saturday 20 September from 7pm on 102.2 Auckland, 102.1 Wellington, 102.5 Canterbury, or KiwiFM.co.nz...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Beneficiary Bashing unacceptable
    Kay Brereton of the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand says “ the comment made by Bill English yesterday comparing beneficiaries to crack addicts is shocking and incredibly poorly timed.”...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • UN Experience Beneficial
    Acclaim Otago representatives have just completed their participation at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability examination of the New Zealand government in Geneva, Switzerland. "It was an interesting two days which we believe has...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Changing face of NZ should be reflected in newsrooms
    With Fairfax Media’s Journalism Intern search closing on Sunday, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging aspiring journalists from Maori, Pacific and ethnic communities to apply. The deadline was recently extended to 10pm, Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • SPCA expresses concern over toxin in waterways
    Ric Odom CEO of Royal NZ SPCA has expressed concern over the toxic poison 1080 entering waterways, but DoC, Council’s and Ministry of Health have colluded to make it legal....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 13-18 September
    Below is iSentia’s final weekly Election Index, covering the period 13-18 September and showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. The methodology used...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Epsom Candidate (Adam Holland) More Liberal Than ACT
    For the past four years I, like 500,000 other New Zealanders, have been illegally smoking cannabis for medicinal purposes and/or even just for the occasional laugh with friends on the weekend. We don't hurt anybody, we don't cause nuisance, we...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Left Coalition Will Save Dolphins
    A left coalition would safeguard both Māui and Hector’s dolphins, as well as revive our inshore ecosystems. Labour, Internet Mana and the Green Party all have strong policies in place for dolphin protection. The Maori Party, and to a certain...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Waihoroi Shortland: Ngāti Hine is not standing alone
    The Chairman of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi, Sonny Tau is blowing smoke worthy of a Dotcom rally with claims that Ngati Hine is standing alone in its opposition to Tūhoronuku says the Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngati...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Oceania voices on environment loud and strong
    While money and energy continues to be spent on global talks about climate change, Pacific islanders are scrambling to build sea walls out of sticks, stones, shells and coral, to protect their lands and homes from erosion and rising sea...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunket – Tonight
    No MPs tonight --- the campaign will be over at 9 30. Instead we will look back --- and possibly forward on what we have learned and what might happen. Listener Political Columnist Jane Clifton Editor in Chief, NZ Herald,...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election fails to address youth financial wellbeing
    Young people don’t feel included in New Zealand’s financial success and believe inequality is a problem, according to a new survey conducted by Westpac’s Fin-Ed Centre at Massey University....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Winston’s Waffle doesn’t hide the facts
    The Conservative Party is celebrating the ASA's finding announced today that rejected all but one of the complaints raised against its controversial “Conservatives or Peters” pamphlet. “Despite pages of complaints from Peters legal team the only...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ Independent Coalition looking forward to tomorrow
    “Our team is looking forward to tomorrow. It is a real opportunity to reclaim politics for the people,” said NZ Independent Coalition leader Brendan Horan....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Insights Issue 35/2014 – 19 September 2014
    Insights Issue 35/2014 - 19 September 2014 In This Issue • RMA reform the golden unicorn of policy | Jenesa Jeram...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Special voting arrangements made for NIWA crew
    One of the most unusual polling stations for this year’s general election is in the middle of the ocean miles from land. NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa, has been doubling as a polling booth for crew and scientists at sea....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Tourism operators urged to vote strategically
    Tourism operators should make sure they know their local candidates’ view on tourism and use their vote to support the country’s second largest export industry, says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA)....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • WGTN: March for free education
    We are students, university staff, and members of the community. Whichever parties form a government after September 20th, we are demanding an end to corporatisation of education....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Evidence of Corruption a National Scandal
    Internet Party leader Laila Harré will take evidence of corruption to international forums if there is not a full Royal Commission to investigate the growing evidence of the systematic use and abuse of democratic institutions and processes for political...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt continues to throw money at charter school experiment
    Official documents reveal the three primary sector charter schools approved last week will cost $2 million to set up as well as divert another $1.5 million of potential taxpayer investment from local state schools next year....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ACT Final Election Rally
    Elections campaigns are an opportunity for political parties to put candidates and policy to enable voters to choose what sort of New Zealand we want. In this campaign there have been three tests by which you can assess the electoral...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Taxpayers on Hook Again for Solid Energy
    Responding to the Fairfax article that taxpayers are extending another $103 million to keep Solid Energy afloat, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Invermay Petition Tops 10,000 Signatures
    People across New Zealand continue to express their disgust at the downgrading of Invermay, says Dunedin North MP David Clark, as the Save Invermay petition he instigated earlier this year topped the 10,000 signature mark just days before the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • McVicar vows to continue fight for police
    Garth McVicar stated at a public meeting last week that he would fight to retain a 24/7 Police Station in Napier and no reduction in the number of police staff for the Hawkes Bay region, some said he was simply...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Party Vote Our Weapon in Fight Against Government Corruption
    Internet MANA urges New Zealanders to use their party vote to confront corruption in any new government....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Election day is tomorrow – make sure you’re a part of it!
    Tomorrow, Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Is the Shape of our Government out of the hands of Voters?
    In the last stuff.co.nz / Ipsos Political Poll before Saturdays election, National is down 5.1% to 47.7% and Labour up 3.7% to 26.15%. These results are remarkably similar to the 2011 election where National received 47.3% of the vote and...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Spirit of Suffrage a Call to Action for All Kiwi Women
    Internet MANA is drawing on the courage and integrity of New Zealand women on Suffrage Day – Friday, September, 19 – to encourage them to pay tribute to the spirit of their foremothers who gained women the vote....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Live Election Night Coverage on TV And Online
    Māori Television’s KOWHIRI 2014 – ELECTION SPECIAL kicks off at 7.00pm this Saturday with a five-hour broadcast focusing on the Māori electorates....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Judge’s Decision Disappoints Fish & Game
    Today’s decision to give a Temuka man 100 hours of community service for selling sports fish to the public has disappointed Fish & Game, which believes the sentence handed down was “too lenient and will not go far enough to...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Cutting-Edge Graphics Fire up TV3’s Election Night Coverage
    TV3’s Election Night coverage, hosted by John Campbell, will be enhanced by cutting-edge graphics that will showcase the night’s results....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt rushes to open charter schools in New Year
    The government’s decision to approve four new charter schools last week to open in January next year goes against the Minister of Education’s own advice that the schools ought to have at least a year’s preparation time....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • 7 Days And Jono And Ben at Ten Hijack Election Weekend
    The 7 Days and Jono and Ben at Ten (JABAT) comedians are running their own version of election coverage, with a schedule of entertainment and comedy across TV3, Kiwi FM, the web and social media this Friday and Saturday under...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Fewer Prisoners Equals Less Crime
    In its latest blog, ‘Abolishing Parole and other Crazy Stuff’,’ at http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/09/krill-and-womble-independent-policy.html , Rethinking Crime and Punishment urges government to rethink its approach to releasing prisoners. “The public expectation is that the excellent reductions in the crime...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • McVicar slams his political opponents
    I want a safe and prosperous society and that can only be achieved if we have strong and vi-brant families – McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Falling economic growth – wage rises overdue
    “The lower GDP growth in the three months to June is further evidence that growth has peaked. New Zealand’s economy is on the way down to mediocre growth rates,” says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “Yet wage rises are still weak...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Get Out and Vote campaign a success
    Tens of thousands of workers from all around New Zealand have embraced the Get Out and Vote campaign and have created their own personalised voting plan, the CTU said today. “With three days of voting left in the 2014 General...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Animal Research Failing – So Do More Animal Research?
    Victoria University of Wellington is about to host a lecture on why the success rates of pharmaceutical development is so low and what can be done about it. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) welcomes discussion on this important...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ALCP welcomes Prime Minister’s cannabis comments
    Mr Abbott's comments came on the same day as New South Wales and Victoria states announced they would be doing clinical trials of cannabis....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Conservative Party Press Secretary Resignation
    The Conservative Party is given to understand that this morning Press Secretary, Miss Rachel Macgregor resigned althought no formal advice of this has yet been received....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • By ACT’s logic, Epsom should vote for Conservative Candidate
    “Polling released late in the campaign shows that ACT is a busted flush and that by ACT’s own logic, centre-right Epsom voters should vote for the Conservative candidate”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • New online medical system
    Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is seeking registrations of interest for a new onshore panel physician network to support an online immigration health processing system....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Students, You Have a Choice, Vote!
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) is imploring students to ensure they make their voices heard this election, and join the many thousands who have already heeded the call....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Party vote ACT for three years of stability.
    Voters who are concerned that on the latest polls we may be heading for three years of instability have it in their hands to deliver a decisive result....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Women’s Suffrage Movement – Get Out and Vote!
    Tomorrow, Friday 19th September, MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes, will cast her vote at 12 noon at the Zen’s Building, Rotorua. This will follow a march through Rotorua that will assemble at 10am at City Focus, Rotorua. The...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • iPredict Daily Update
    David Cunliffe and Labour have made gains over the last 24 hours, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict, but John Key’s National is still strongly expected to lead the next...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Conservative’s Proposal to Abolish Parole Fatally Flawed
    The Conservative Party’s proposal to abolish parole doesn't stack up, however which way you look at it, concludes Kim Workman in Rethinking Crime and Punishment latest blog, ‘Abolishing Parole and Other Crazy Stuff’ at http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/09/krill-and-womble-independent-policy.html...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
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