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NZ vs Ecuador

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, August 19th, 2012 - 183 comments
Categories: International, police - Tags: , ,

One of the most depressing aspects of the whole Kim Dotcom fiasco (so far) has been the way NZ has operated as a pawn of America. Under guidance from the FBI we merrily launched an illegal and allegedly unnecessarily violent raid on Dotcom and his family. Due process and common sense seem to have been thrown completely out the window in our eagerness to please our American masters.

Consider the stark contrast with Ecuador, which is currently standing up to considerable pressure on the world stage to offer asylum to the man who seems to be America’s public enemy No. 1, Julian Assange. (I don’t want to start yet another thread on the rights or wrongs of Assange’s actions here, I’m just noting the bravery of Ecuador).

I remember a time when NZ wasn’t afraid to stand up for itself on the world stage, and do what it thought was right. I miss those days.

183 comments on “NZ vs Ecuador”

  1. AmaKiwi 1

    Damn right!

    America is becoming the next Nazi Germany. Paula Bennett’s defiance of our right to privacy echoes the USA’s Homeland Security except she doesn’t even pretend her victims are a threat to anyone except her inflated ego.

    The Teleban in Afghanistan are far less of a threat to my well-being than my own government is!

    • Polish Pride 1.1

      +1

    • Populuxe1 1.2

      The US in not becoming the next Nazi Germany – that’s just stupid hyperbole, lest we forget the horrific things Nazi Germany actually did, and the Taliban was never a threat to your well being.. Unless of course mutilating women offends you like it does me.

      • fatty 1.2.1

        “The US in not becoming the next Nazi Germany – that’s just stupid hyperbole”

        If you look at the economic violence perpetrated by the US, then its a fair comment

        • Populuxe1 1.2.1.1

          No it isn’t. Wake me up when the US invades Canada and Mexico, and openly and systematically murders six million of it’s Jewish citizens – then we’ll talk. Otherwise “GODWIN” and “STUPID HYPERBOLE”.

          • fatty 1.2.1.1.1

            I agree, USA will not invade Mexico or Canada and kill 6 million Jews.
            Hard power is so 20th Century. Hard power today can only be justified to US citizens for a brief moment if there is a physical threat (real or imaginary). http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2600916?uid=3738776&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21101161663027

            Soft power is the weapon of choice, free trade agreements can have intense, wide-ranging and hidden effects. Even just one trade agreement can create millions to suffer in Mexico
            http://www.fpif.org/articles/nafta_is_starving_mexico

            • Populuxe1 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes. Nazi Germany invented soft power but still preferred to do things as sadistically and bloodily as possible, and millions suffering in Mexico because of a trade deal (and any suffering is more likely a result of the systemic corruption than anything else) doesn’t even compare to having your entire culture virtually erased (talk to some Poles or Czechs) – so really you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

              • fatty

                “Nazi Germany invented soft power”

                Really? Can you elaborate on that please…cause that’s news to me, and probably everyone else.

                “and millions suffering in Mexico because of a trade deal (and any suffering is more likely a result of the systemic corruption than anything else) doesn’t even compare to having your entire culture virtually erased”

                That’s true, one trade deal does not equal the holocaust…good point. However, that was provided as one of many examples of US soft power (not the Nazi soft power that you are about to teach me about).
                And yes, the suffering is caused by systemic corruption. NAFTA is a good example of centralised systemic corruption. Soft power is systemic corruption (again, not your Nazi soft power).
                Another good example of US soft power is how they use Israel.
                I’ve been to Auschwitz and talked to the Poles. I know exactly what I am talking about. I am not underestimating the holocaust. You should be careful of accusing people of not understanding the holocaust, when you don’t know that person’s history, or understand the basics of their argument.

                • Populuxe1

                  Really? Can you elaborate on that please…cause that’s news to me, and probably everyone else.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_propaganda
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_of_Public_Enlightenment_and_Propaganda
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Goebbels

                  I’ve been to Auschwitz and talked to the Poles. I know exactly what I am talking about. I am not underestimating the holocaust. You should be careful of accusing people of not understanding the holocaust, when you don’t know that person’s history, or understand the basics of their argument.

                  So fucking what? I’ve been to Bergen-Belsen and I still wouldn’t claim to understand that nightmare. Not sure what good talking to the Poles would do – a lot of them were complicit in the fun and games. You might try talking to some Jews. Or indeed reading some first person history from Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic etc. No one really “understands” the Holocaust – it defies description, so don’t talk nonsense.

                  • Polish Pride

                    “No one really understands the Holocaust”!?!

                    I must tell tell my partners Grandparents that the next time I see them…..They of course can pass this onto the Holocaust survivors that they know.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Don’t be obtuse. 
                      Does that “Polish Pride” extend to the szmalcowniks? As I said, it’s a very complex event.

                  • fatty

                    Sorry, it doesn’t say where Nazi’s Germany invented soft power. Those links talk of propaganda and how it was used, but it doesn’t specify when and where it was invented. Can you please clear that up? Cheers.

                    “Not sure what good talking to the Poles would do – a lot of them were complicit in the fun and games.”

                    I agree, I have no idea how talking to poles will help anything…I wrote that in response to your suggestion that I should “talk to some poles” http://thestandard.org.nz/nz-vs-ecuador/comment-page-1/#comment-511811

                    “You might try talking to some Jews.”

                    Oh no…I’m not falling for that one again.

                    “No one really “understands” the Holocaust – it defies description, so don’t talk nonsense.”

                    Actually, I do understand it, and wiki managed to provide a description, its what they do. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust

                    Should we get back to the discussion on soft power, or are you off to get that bump on your head sorted?

                    • Populuxe1

                      When I suggested you talk to some Poles, that was in reference to German occupation, not the Holocaust per se.
                      As for the rest, you are knowingly being obtuse and therefore are of little interest.

            • Populuxe1 1.2.1.1.2.1

              Ethiopia’s problems are less to do with global capitalism than they are to do with their government’s lack of double-entry book keeping and shite agricultural practices.

              • fatty

                “Ethiopia’s problems are less to do with global capitalism than they are to do with their government’s lack of double-entry book keeping and shite agricultural practices.”

                Where did you get that idea from?

                This Susan George article puts it in perspective
                http://www.palgrave-journals.com/development/journal/v50/n2/full/1100356a.html

                “In 1980, the South was already seriously indebted; its debt stocks amounted to $540 billion. Twenty-five years later, in 2004, the stock had increased to $2,600 billion, almost five times as much. Meanwhile, over the same 25-year period, these countries had reimbursed $5,300 billion, nearly 10 times what they owed in 1980.”

                “In 2004, Latin America had $770 billion worth of debts and paid out $121 billion in debt service, almost 16 percent (about the same percentage of service paid by Southeast Asia and the countries of the former Soviet bloc). Even sub-Saharan Africa paid $15 billion on debts of $220 billion, or 6.8 percent. How much money is this in understandable human terms? For Latin America, it meant a drain of $331 million a day, $13.8 million an hour; $230,000 a minute. Sub-Saharan Africa, despite all the promises of the G-8 and the IFIs, provided its creditors (mostly public institutions) with $41 million a day, $1.7 million an hour, $28,000 a minute in debt service. One could doubtless feed many hungry people or build many schools and clinics with $230,000 or even $28,000 a minute.”

                • Populuxe1

                  Given that Ethiopia was never under European colonial rule except for a handful of years under Mussolini’s Italy, prey tell who’s fault is it that they’re in hock to the WB in the first place?
                  Why do they have a soil erosion problem?
                  If South East Asia can service it’s debts and not starve, why can’t Africa? (hint – it involves numbered bank accounts in the Caymans). Are the WB payments even relevant to discusing Ethiopia’s economic health?
                  Why are they not exploiting their mineral and natural gas wealth more (or at all, in the case of gas)?
                   
                  http://www.worldpress.org/Africa/1839.cfm

                  • fatty

                    “Given that Ethiopia was never under European colonial rule except for a handful of years under Mussolini’s Italy, prey tell who’s fault is it that they’re in hock to the WB in the first place?”

                    They liberalised their economy during the 1990s thanks to Meles Zenawi with some privatisation and foreign investment. Standard structural adjustment policies that spread through Africa were introduced so they could get loans from the WB.

                    “If South East Asia can service it’s debts and not starve, why can’t Africa?”

                    A number of reasons, including: colonial influences, location, resources, investments, culture, the world economy, regional treaties.
                    Comparing SE Asia with Africa is like comparing Ireland with Cuba, they are incomparable.

                    “Are the WB payments even relevant to discusing Ethiopia’s economic health?”

                    Yes, it is a relevant issue regarding Ethiopia’s economy. I would say the most relevant by a long way, others would say not to that extent, but I doubt anyone could seriously claim that WB repayments are not relevant. The structural adjustment policies stunted real growth (4.5% under the military, down to 1% in the 1990s under pro-West leaders) which was propped up by foreign ‘investment’. The SAPs required reduced taxes, and prohibited borrowing from domestic financial institutions to finance its deficits, and allow for private sector investment.
                    Inequality increased to crazy levels, war broke out, development funding from the West stopped and it turned real bad.

                    “Why are they not exploiting their mineral and natural gas wealth more”

                    Too much foreign ‘investment’ helping them to ‘utilise’ their resources…it is Africa!

  2. insider 2

    Oh, I thought this was going to be the half time score

  3. Pete 3

    I wouldn’t go that far. The courts have distinguished themselves in demonstrating their independence.

    • Jackal 3.1

      It’s a pity they’re having to be called upon to correct the flagrant ignorance of the law and abuse of due process on so many occasions. Dotcom should be looking to sue the asses of the NZ government to teach them a lesson. The contrast between Ecuador (spelt with a c btw) and New Zealand couldn’t be greater.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        The courts and the judiciary will be the next targetted by the Nats. Just you wait.

      • Polish Pride 3.1.2

        “Dotcom should be looking to sue the asses of the NZ government to teach them a lesson.”

        problem is two fold
        1. when he wins we are the ones that pay for it not the politicians.
        2. You run the risk of them introducing legislation to put them on the right sidwe of the law again possibly at ev en greater cost to our already eroding civil liberties.

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    Well the Prime Minister’s kiss-assing of all things American (Letterman, Warners, Hobbit enabling Act, kids baseball, supporting TPP, desperate photo ops with Barrack etc. etc.) has set a tone for this government that is way different from the more independent course that the previous two Labour administrations followed.

    Equador is from a continent that has had the yankee boot (and by consequence the corrupt local comprador capitalist regimes) on its throat for way too long. Will Equador be able to outsmart the pasty poms and sneak Assange out? Who knows but good on them for trying. The poms went to considerable lengths remember to prevent the extradition of one Augusto Pinochet. The Wikileaks revelations showed a number of Latin American countries in what low regard Washington holds them.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Well the Prime Minister’s kiss-assing of all things American

      Don’t forget that Key is one of the international bankster cartel’s very own. He’s worked more years for the international money men than he has for anyone else.

      • Pete Sime 4.1.1

        What’s his immigration status with respect to the US? I know he worked there and has a house in Hawaii. Does he have permanent residency, or even dual citizenship?

  5. Richard Christie 5

    I would point out that Equator is part of America.
    If you mean USA, say USA, not America.
    Cheers.

    • Tiger Mountain 5.1

      Amerika/America is the USA to me, and Latin America is below Central America. The three zones together constitute the “Americas”.

      Pedantry aside Richard, what do you think about Anthony’s post?

      • Richard Christie 5.1.1

        I’m fully in support of America’s granting of asylum to Assange and agree with the sentiment that if we behaved more like America and stood up to covert interference by the USA then we would stand taller in our shoes.

    • Bill 5.2

      I would point out that Equator is part of America

      Certainly dissects it…along with two of the other four continents. Don’t know about it being a part of America though.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    The National Government assisting Hollywood moguls to wreck our employment protections. Another low point.

    • Polish Pride 6.1

      Swings both ways CV – How much has the NZ population grown throughout the Labour years as a result of immigration policy that ultimately do to an increase in the amount of workers ends up putting downward pressure on wages.

  7. Jenny 7

    “If you are not with us you are against us.”

    The same kowtowing to the American super power was also on display in the so called “Terror Raids” which closely followed a narrative for an international terrorist conspiracy written in the US.
    And swallowed wholesale by gullible senior police commanders, who at the time were doing their best to impress Washington and in a case of insecure colonial forelock tugging ensure the Us that, “yes we are with you.” Howard Broad for instance spent a lot of the previous year being wined and dined in Washington DC, where no doubt, as well as all the wine and good food he imbibed, he also credulously swallowed a lot of American ‘War On Terror’ hysteria.

    It was disappointing to me that this Keystone Kops style embarrassment still continues beyond Howard Broad’s tenure. (After the debacle of the Terror Raids, Howard Broad suddenly stood down to go into retirement even though he had just publicly announced that he fully intended to continue on for a second term as police commissioner.)

    • muzza 7.1

      Jenny, you clearly understand where the USA fits in terms of the “terror raids” and the manufacturing of “terror”, so can I ask why you are not able to apply the thought process you articulate above, to the “Arab Spring”?

      U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings

      “We didn’t fund them to start protests, but we did help support their development of skills and networking,” said Stephen McInerney, executive director of the Project on Middle East Democracy, a Washington-based advocacy and research group. “That training did play a role in what ultimately happened, but it was their revolution. We didn’t start it.”

      Sure you didn’t Stephen, sure you didn’t!

      • Jenny 7.1.1

        The conspiracy of all conspiracies.

        The mother of all plots.

        The scheme of all schemes.

        Breaking news: Bashar Assad has been the innocent victim of a huge Western conspiracy.

        How could I have been so stupid not to see it. As the following link from scoop.co.nz explains, it was all a big ol’ Anglo/American plot.

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1208/S00052/anglo-american-1957-plan-to-assassinate-the-syrian-president.htm

        Who knew?

        The plot to overthrow the gentle and kind ruler of Syria, Bashar Assad, the greatest humanitarian since Mother Teresa. And the first secular saint to be cannonised by Western leftists, who don’t mind overlooking a tiny bit of torture, or mass murder, in a good cause.

        This plot must be the biggest, the most audacious, the most far sighted, the most expensive covert mission ever undertaken in the history of our superior Western civilisation.
        The plan was initiated in 1957 and had as its completion date the year 2012, when the cold war was expected to be over. (our side having won).

        The first stage of the plan was completed in 1969 with a fake landing on the moon. Staged in a Hollywood back lot at minimal cost and with failed Hollywood bit part actor Neil Armstrong in the leading role who even managed to miff his lines stepping out of his cardboard spaceship. The multi $billions extracted from Congress and budgeted for the fake moon shot, instead being funnelled into ‘The Plan’.

        Having secured the required unlimited budget for ‘The Plan”, tens of thousands of sleeper agents were secretly infiltrated into Arab communities and societies across the Middle East without anyone noticing, there to patiently and stoically await the invention of the internet which would be used deliver the secret signal from Washington.

        With the same attention to detail as the fake moon landing, the faked Arab Spring required the CIA to requisition industrial loads of Hollywood special effects, thunder flashes, whiz bangs, fake tear gas and hundreds of barrels of fake blood made from red dyed corn syrup and required the hiring of thousands of paid extras equipped with plastic rifles and rubber truncheons, to pose as police and army killers, to the plan made in 1957 the mock atrocities by these extras were filmed and edited before being placed on utube. As per ‘The Plan’ the faked mass uprising against Western backed tyrannies across the whole Arab world was only a cover for the main act, the planned Western invasion of Syria.

        In its execution the plan worked perfectly.
        At the anointed time the CIA sleeper agents fluent in Arabic and having successfully posed as Moslems for almost four decades, on getting the signal over the internet on their secret 1950’s style internet enabled receivers rose up on mass across the Arab world.

        At the same time Arab fundamentalists with the unlikely code name of Al Kaider, who as part of the plot had been pretending for more than a decade to be enemies of the West, threw off their Anti Western guise and joined with the CIA in the invasion of Syria.

  8. Wayne 8

    What is it with the left (or least the edgier part of it) that you keep raising the Hobbit of all things. You can hardly say you are in favour of more jobs and then turn your back on literally thousands of quality jobs. It is less about Hollywood moguls and more about Weta, Peter Jackson and keeping a key high tech industry in New Zealand. You keep wondering why National stays above 40 percent; well New Zealanders get the idea you can’t keep saying no to everything that is actually being proposed or done to actually create or retain jobs.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Peter Jackson is a member of at least 3 unions himself.

      The fact that he, as a half billionaire, fought against his own workers having union protection themselves, and fought against NZers having the same working conditions as the foreign actors he hired (who were protected by the Screen Actors Guild union) SUCKED.

    • Tiger Mountain 8.2

      “quality jobs” I don’t think so Wayne. The Hobbit enabling Act has condemned film industry workers to precarious independent contractor status until we get shot of this ShonKey National administration.

      The shameful labour day protest organised out of Richard Talyor’s enclave was the last straw for me. I know a number of people in the industry and the line is often “we are a special case, we don’t need a union, we look after each other” bullshit, even caterers have to toe the line and suck up. There are small techies “guilds” and such forth but it is generally an exploitative scenario.

      It is a notorious industry for face fitting, backstabbing and subservience. Except for Lord Jackson as CV points out.

      Anyway more importantly what is your view on Anthony’s post re the Assange extradition?

      • ropata 8.2.1

        Agreed it’s a case of trickle up. Was offered a job at Weta Digital a few years back but the salary was a joke. Ahh no thanks mate I earn 3 times that amount

        • Tom 8.2.1.1

          You are not the only one to turn them down.

          As Michael Cullen put it when he was Treasurer, you can’t base the economy on a dream.

    • weka 8.3

      You keep wondering why National stays above 40 percent; well New Zealanders get the idea you can’t keep saying no to everything that is actually being proposed or done to actually create or retain jobs.
       

      Anyone got the stats on jobs created by Labour vs National handy?

  9. prism 9

    There was an interesting connection between Sweden and the United States that was discussed yesterday. A Swedish doco maker had his finished film injuncted; on the possible effects of USA food giant Dole using pesticides on its bananas causing mutations and sterilisation in workers. But he made another about his difficulties with corporate battles, real David and Goliath stuff.

    The USA goverment will have been lobbied by Dole and also the Swedish government will be involved. Julian Assange’s situation was mentioned.

    Radionz 8.15 Sat 18/8 Fredrik Gertten: bananas
    Swedish film maker and journalist whose documentary Bananas led to him being sued for defamation by Dole, a story he tells in his new film, Big Boys Gone Bananas. (35′16″)

  10. QoT 10

    I’m just noting the bravery of Ecuador

    r0b, I don’t want to start on the whole Assange/rape culture thing either, but the fact is he’s not sheltering in the Ecuadoran embassy because of anything other than the UK has agreed he should be extradited to Sweden to answer questions about alleged sexual assault.

    If you’re going to characterize that as “brave” then you’re accepting at least one side’s spin on the matter.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      I reckon r0b is saying that it’s the Ecuadorian government who is being brave, flying in the face of the wishes of the far more powerful US/UK.

      And Assange can be seen as a coward, if you want.

      • QoT 10.1.1

        I wasn’t saying Assange is being brave, I was saying that it’s silly to characterize Ecuador’s actions as “brave” as though what they are doing is anything to do with opposing “considerable pressure” from the United States on “America’s public enemy No. 1″. Swedish prosecutors, UK legal decision, clear statements from the US that they have no interest in extraditing him.

        At this point the “bravery” is in sheltering a dude apparently because his fanbase are convinced he’s Neo, when the actual reality is … two nations want him to answer some questions about rape allegations.

        • Populuxe1 10.1.1.1

          Exactly. Ecuador is frustrating an investigation for the lesser charge of molestation. Meanwhile the Assange fan boys are trivialising what is actually very serious. It is repugnant that a possible victim be accused of lying about it – it’s actually one of the most hateful things that can be done to a woman, and a big chunk of the left seem to have forgotten that..

      • r0b 10.1.2

        CV is correct in what I meant. This link (posted by Vicky32 in Open mike) is worth reading:
        http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32216.htm

    • Polish Pride 10.2

      “the fact is he’s not sheltering in the Ecuadoran embassy because of anything other than the UK has agreed he should be extradited to Sweden to answer questions about alleged sexual assault.”

      No you left off a key point to why he is there. He is sheltering there because Sweden will not give a gaurantee that they will not send him onto a third party (i.e. the United States). If he is extradited to face the rape charges. It has been made quite clear that he is more than happy to go if this assurance can be given.

      Sweden will not give this assurance and have already been in conversations with the US who want him extradited. The problem is that if this were to happen. He would likely not receive a fair trial and may even be subject to the death penalty.

      • The Baron 10.2.1

        I have a very, very dim view of Assange avoiding facing his sexual assault charges, but I am not aware of this dynamic thanks PP.

        It would seem to me that the Swedes should indeed decouple the two matters to allow their crime to be tested, without the USA’s concerns getting in the way.

  11. McFlock 11

    Both countries have had terror raids.
       
    And don’t get Human Rights Watch started on Ecuador. 
         
    Is one really so much better than the other? 

    • Bill 11.1

      (sigh) HRW and AI. Y’know, if Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch ever deserved a reputation for being reasonably independent, then that reputation is, quite rightly, in utter fucking tatters these days. And has been for several years.

      And no. I can’t be bothered entering into pointless debate about the matter. Just do yourself a favour and do some reading.

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        Oh ffs.
              
        “Do some reading” isn’t even an appeal to authority. It seems to be the latest refrain from idealogues who can’t explain their position clearly or support it with actual evidence. And by “actual evidence”, I don’t mean opinion pieces and unsourced rants from other idealogues.
               
        You know what? Take a community class in basic logic. That might help you support your blanket assertions. It might help you understand the concept that because A does a good thing X, it does not mean that A did not do bad thing Y. It doesn’t matter if X is granting asylum to people you believe are being persecuted, or exposing the secrets of oppressive regimes.

        • Bill 11.1.1.1

          Your sources. The ones you linked to, are disreputable. Sadly imo, because they have done some good stuff in years gone past. And they used to be fairly reliable sources of information. But not any more. And it’s that I’m suggesting you read up on; the background to and current politics of your sources.

          As for logic or charges of being an ideologue…I guess it skipped your notice, but I’m not one for tying my colours to someone elses mast. Just as it obviously skipped your notice that I made absolutely no mention of Ecuador or Assange in my comment.

          • McFlock 11.1.1.1.1

            yeah, whatever dude. Take it or leave it – that’s one reason linking to sources is a good idea. It means if the source looks kooky or biased, then the assertion needs to be double checked. Maybe you should read up on the situation in Ecuador? 
                     
            At least my assertions have a demonstrable basis, rather than simply being a declamation followed by . . . nothing.
             

            • Bill 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Try this. Maybe you’d like to sign it? Seriously.

              And have a good look at the history and comments of Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director, Amnesty International USA while you’re at it.

              Here’s a head’s up from another internal petition

              And I’ll throw in this piece of good advice from Joe Emersberger. (And no. I don’t know who he is. But his advice is sound.)

              I would add that left writers need to get out of the habit of uncritcally citing Amnesty’s (or HRW’s) work when it backs up a position they are arguing. If you cite the US state dept on something most readers will factor in the bias of the source on their own – without the writer calling attention to it. It’s a no brainer. However, in the case of Amnesty (or HRW), readers may not be aware of the bias (though thankfully I believe that is changing) and it shoud therefore be mentioned.

              And for reading up on the situation in Ecuador? Do you mean pieces like this one by Federico Fuentes

              And should you want to know the angle Fuentes comes from, then there’s a slew of articles by him here. (Y’know. That way you can work out his bias, check his sources and read what he says accordingly)

              .

              • McFlock

                See, those were interesting links, and there seems to be quite a few good policies pursued by the Ecuadorian government.
                     
                It’s a pity that those links didn’t seem to address the point about arresting environmentalists on trumped up charges, or limiting press freedom. Maybe I missed it?
                   
                Now if you could provide  relevant links to the assertions at hand…

                • Bill

                  The assetions come from the sources linked in your original comment, yes? And as some of the links show, your sources aren’t reliable.

                  Protesters arrested on trumped up charges is not a good thing. (But it is unfortunately a very common thing – even here in NZ.) Anyway. Just as well then, that the courts agree. They’ve dismissed most of the charges and now only 8 of those 24 are under investigation and none are being held in jail. (And I’m thinking of parallels in NZ again)

                  Anyway, do you think it’s possible Tamaryn Nelson got her info retrospectively from the courts’ findings and is then attempting to present things to appear ‘in a certain light’?

                  Nah. Surely not. All those relaxed people laughing and looking to be enjoying themselves at a protest in March of this year with no over bearing police presence doesn’t jar with her text at all! I mean it looks obvious that “authorities are “using any tool in the box” to discourage people from voicing their disapproval” – just as she claims.

                  Wonder where she’s based? This researcher. Well, here’s her pedigree. Used to work for AS/COA. And as their web site declares:

                  Americas Society (AS) is the premier forum dedicated to education, debate, and dialogue in the Americas. Council of the Americas (COA) is the premier international business organization whose members share a common commitment to economic and social development, open markets, the rule of law, and democracy throughout the Western Hemisphere.

                  And :

                  Council of the Americas members form a collaborative network that supports efforts to conduct business successfully in Latin America.

                  So Tamaryn Nelson worked for an outfit that unabashedly promotes neo-liberalism. And now she works for AI that is headed by the wonderful Suzanne Nossel who is busy dovetailing AI with US foreign policy. And she (Tamaryn Nelson) is writing critical and supposedly contemporary pieces about Ecuador (a country not following the neo-liberal agenda) based on reports that were compiled between 2009 and 2011.

                  Hmm.

                  • McFlock

                    Rather than fixating on AIUSA, maybe you should have another look at my original comment
                             
                    I wasn’t saying Ecuador is as bad as Syria or China. Just that they’re not all that much better than NZ. Maybe worse in some ways. Better in others.
                           

                    • Bill

                      Just working my way through the sources you supplied. Finding stuff out, you know?

                      But sure. Equador is comparable to NZ. We agree. Though I’d wager NZ doesn’t get the same negative coverage from AI or HRW as Equador does. Which would indicate (since we agree that NZ and Equador are ‘much of a muchness’) a political bias to AI and HRW reports, no?

                    • McFlock

                      aye, true.
                         
                      No mention of extrajudicial killings, for example. 

                  • UrbanRascal

                    This thread is certainly entertaining.
                    A real schooling if you like.

                • Bill

                  Press freedoms in Equador

                  One of the most controversial parts of the law is the creation of a regulating body to decide and control the broadcast of “discriminatory, racist, violent, and sexual content.”

                  http://www.as-coa.org/articles/new-legislation-bolsters-challenges-press-freedom-latin-america

                  See. That sounds like NZ and could probably equate to the broadcasting standards here. The other bit was about the press being unable to promote or decry individual politicians during election campaigns. Now see. That sounds like a good thing to me. Broadcast and report the issues. And if you start on character assassinations or promoting certain personalities…or if a news corporation attempts to set the agenda (its own) , then hey. Pay the consequences for undermining or belittling the democratic process.

                  • McFlock

                    The bits about giving more power for citizens to sue journalists and give ministers more power to “demand” air time, colour me not so hot on.

                    • Bill

                      Well. If Labour had been able to demand the air time that was so freely given to John Key….

        • Morrissey 11.1.1.2

          “Do some reading” isn’t even an appeal to authority.

          Actually, it kind of is. It’s an appeal to people like you to actually do some reading. (And here’s a friendly hint: by “reading”, we mean SERIOUS reading, by people with integrity—not the jocular hacks on the Grauniad or the sad state servants at the BBC.

          It seems to be the latest refrain from idealogues who can’t explain their position clearly or support it with actual evidence.

          No, it’s an expression of frustration with people like you who are full of bluster but light on, well, authority.

          • McFlock 11.1.1.2.1

            That’s why I use things like relevant links.
                   
            By the way, an appeal to do reading is not an appeal to authority. And when the links you ask me to read are either nonexistent, irrelevant or demonstrably wrong – well, it’s not very appealing

            • Morrissey 11.1.1.2.1.1

              That’s why I use things like relevant links.

              Over the last week or so, I’ve linked to two of the world’s most respected dissenters—Daniel Ellsberg and Noam Chomsky. I’ve linked to the outstanding British analytical site Media Lens. I’ve also linked to Women Against Rape, which expressed its grave concern at the political nature of these wild allegations.

              But YOU say that these are not “relevant links”. That says nothing about those people and organizations, whose credentials and integrity are unimpeachable; it says a great deal about you.

              By the way, an appeal to do reading is not an appeal to authority.

              Oh yes it is. I have directed you to serious, principled, independent, non-partisan critics and scholars who speak with real authority.

              And when the links you ask me to read are either nonexistent, irrelevant or demonstrably wrong

              Which parts of Chomsky’s or Ellsberg’s arguments were irrelevant or wrong? What is it you don’t like about Women Against Rape? Or Media Lens? And most intriguing of all, please tell us just what exactly is “nonexistent” about any of those people or organizations?

              – well, it’s not very appealing

              I don’t imagine it is very appealing to be shown up as fraudulent or poorly read. Then again, I don’t argue about things I don’t know about. You won’t find me arguing about yacht design, for example, because I don’t have enough knowledge to do so with any authority.

              • McFlock

                You missed the word “relevant”. 
                Chomsky is not a legal expert by training or profession. Nor is he intimately acquainted with the facts of the case. Reread my link of fallacious appeals to authority – you had a comprehension fail the first time.
                     
                That’s why I linked to things like the UK extradition hearing judgements, which outlined the alleged facts, contemporary timelines/reports, and of course the Swedish prosecutors office. 
                     
                And note the use of “or”. Ever made any assertions with no links whatsoever? You? Surely not. 
                     
                And are you saying you know more about:
                     the legal facts of the case in the UK;     
                     the legal facts of the case in Sweden; 
                     the actual circumstances of what happened;
                     the state of human rights in Ecuador;
                     and the secret plans of both the USA and Sweden    
                          
                than you do about yacht design? Or just that you know more than enough about each and every topic to patronise people who actually use relevant links?

                • Morrissey

                  You missed the word “relevant”. Chomsky is not a legal expert by training or profession. Nor is he intimately acquainted with the facts of the case.

                  Chomsky, like anyone else, can research and understand the facts and issues, legal or otherwise, in this case. So can, and does, Daniel Ellsberg. The law is not an advanced mathematical formula; it’s supposed to be understandable, and it is. What part do you think intellectual giants can’t quite understand as opposed to “legal experts” like…. oh, William Hague and Barack Obama?

                  Reread my link of fallacious appeals to authority – you had a comprehension fail the first time.

                  “Appeal to authority”? I have my own thoughts and ideas, and I back them up with authoritative sources. If I skipped the first part of that sentence, then your claim would make sense.

                  That’s why I linked to things like the UK extradition hearing judgements, which outlined the alleged facts, contemporary timelines/reports, and of course the Swedish prosecutors office.

                  Good. That’s why I linked to non-partisan and independent thinkers of proven integrity who share my concern that these wild allegations are nothing more than a pretext to exact state vengeance against a dangerous truth-teller.

                  And note the use of “or”. Ever made any assertions with no links whatsoever? You? Surely not.

                  I state my own opinions on many occasions. Usually, but not always, I back them up—but never with such insultingly lightweight, shamelessly partisan sources as David Aaronovitch or any of the other doctrinal warriors you evidently listen to.

                  And are you saying you know more about:
                  the legal facts of the case in the UK;
                  the legal facts of the case in Sweden;
                  the actual circumstances of what happened;
                  the state of human rights in Ecuador;
                  and the secret plans of both the USA and Sweden

                  than you do about yacht design?

                  Yes.

                  Or just that you know more than enough about each and every topic to patronise people who actually use relevant links?

                  I’m not “patronising” you, I’m challenging you.

                  • McFlock

                    1: Chomsky and Obama probably have a similar working knowledge of the law. Maybe one can research slightly better than the other.
                    But Chomsky vs just one of several career jurists who have spent a lifetime studying law and examining cases? Nope.
                        
                    2: Um, no. Backing up with “authoritative sources” (see 1) is still an appeal to authority. “He says X, therefore X is true”. But it’s not as reliable as “Here he says he saw X, and you can actually go to here where he first said he saw X, and you can even check X yourself here” is what we call “verifiable evidence”. And whether you “own” your thoughts or not is irrelevant to whether your verifiable evidence supports your ideas.
                        
                    3: The only thing you are “challenging” is my ability to explain the basic differences between “verifiable and true statement” and “unsupported assumption”. And the assumption that you are “challenging” me in any other way is patronising, and delusional.
                          

                     

                    • Morrissey

                      1: Chomsky and Obama probably have a similar working knowledge of the law. Maybe one can research slightly better than the other.

                      Obama, unlike Chomsky, has shown contempt for international law, from his refusal to condemn Israel’s murderous “twenty-two days of madness” in 2008-9, his refusal to condemn Israel’s murders of Palestinian politicians and peace activists, or to do anything about its continual depredations in the Occupied Territories, right through to his endorsement of the extra-judicial killing of Osama Bin Laden. There are enormous differences between Chomsky and Obama, in terms of learning, intellect and, above all, integrity.

                      But Chomsky vs just one of several career jurists who have spent a lifetime studying law and examining cases? Nope.

                      And you have just been lecturing ME for appealing to authority!

                      2: Um, no. Backing up with “authoritative sources” (see 1) is still an appeal to authority. “He says X, therefore X is true”. But it’s not as reliable as “Here he says he saw X, and you can actually go to here where he first said he saw X, and you can even check X yourself here” is what we call “verifiable evidence”. And whether you “own” your thoughts or not is irrelevant to whether your verifiable evidence supports your ideas.

                      Fair enough.

                      3: The only thing you are “challenging” is my ability to explain the basic differences between “verifiable and true statement” and “unsupported assumption”. And the assumption that you are “challenging” me in any other way is patronising, and delusional.

                      I was not patronising you. I challenged the integrity of the sources you cited.

                    • McFlock

                      There are enormous differences between Chomsky and Obama, in terms of learning, intellect and, above all, integrity.

                      Maybe. But that is irrelevant as to whether either of them know more about the law or sexual assault investigations than career jurists who have risen to some of the highest courts in their respective countries, both in Sweden and the UK. So reread the link I gave you about fallacious appeals to authority. You obviously didn’t understand it the previous two times you read it. In fact, read the entire article. Can you think why I might think that a career jurist is more reliable than a non-jurist (no matter how intelligent) in matters of law? Take your time.
                           
                       I was not patronising you. I challenged the integrity of the sources you cited.”   

                        Actually, it kind of is. It’s an appeal to people like you to actually do some reading. (And here’s a friendly hint: by “reading”, we mean SERIOUS reading, by people with integrity—not the jocular hacks on the Grauniad or the sad state servants at the BBC.>

                      Yeah, that’s patronising, especially when I have repeatedly cited the actual court judgements or their summaries. Those were a bit more serious than even an opinion piece by Chomsky or Ellsberg. 

    • Morrissey 11.2

      You clearly haven’t kept up with Human Rights Watch, and its tattered reputation.

      Something else you need to read up on, my friend.

      • McFlock 11.2.1

        Thankyou, sensei.
        I will give that (in no particular order) vague, unsourced, arrogant and delusional comment all the deep contemplation it deserves.
             
        And I think you’ve single-handedly invented “flake propaganda”. 

        • Morrissey 11.2.1.1

          …vague, unsourced, arrogant and delusional comment

          I have directed you, and anyone else who wants to learn something, to several scholarly, analytical sites. Your labeling my comments as “vague” and “unsourced” is nothing other than the most desperate kind of mud-slinging.

          The “arrogant and delusional” charge is interesting; could you explain exactly why you chose those descriptors? There seems to be no basis for them, other than your frustration and your evident dislike of me.

          And I think you’ve single-handedly invented “flake propaganda”.

          Really? By quoting and citing heavyweights like Chomsky and Ellsberg? Should I go for intellectual and moral giants like William Hague, like you do?

          • McFlock 11.2.1.1.1

             vague: not even a subject area as a hint, just an implication that HRW are in some way imperfect (isn’t every organisation?)
               
            unsourced: Self expanatory. Had you addressed the shortcomings of HRW before? Sorry I missed it.
                
            arrogant: The concept that you speak from a position of knowledge, rather than realising that “agreeing with something” does not necessarily mean “supporting evidence on a mildly tangential topic”
               
            delusional: where to start? delusions of adequacy, as well as delusions of friendship and delusions of knowing basic english 

          • McFlock 11.2.1.1.2

            by the way, did I quote Hague or link to him? Where?

            • Morrissey 11.2.1.1.2.1

              did I quote Hague or link to him?

              Every time you repeat the wild allegations against Assange, you are amplifying and repeating William Hague’s talking points. Whether you take them straight from the Grauniad or British state media, or through one of their mirror sites (NewstalkZB, National Radio, grim-faced Rachel Smalley on TV3) you are repeating his lies.

              Where?

              Circumspice.

              • McFlock

                So the Swedish prosecutor’s office is a front for Hague? Good to know.
                         
                Frankly, that’s your problem right there: you assume that because A is adjacent to B, then because B is  adjacent to C, A must also be  adjacent to C. And because C is adjacent to D, A, is also adjacent to D, and so on through to Z.
                       
                That’s why you think a Chomsky piece on the US hate Assange and would love to torture him = Assange did not commit rape that night = relevant to whether defending Wikileaks means continuing rape culture and denial by immediately assuming that complainants lie.      
                     
                Most of your immediate connections aren’t to bad, but your extrapolations suck shit.

                • Morrissey

                  So the Swedish prosecutor’s office is a front for Hague? Good to know.

                  No, William Hague is far too stupid to manage such an operation. But, almost certainly, someone in the Swedish government —not “the Swedish prosecutor’s office”—is certainly a major player in this bizarre, Soviet-style attack on Assange. As we saw in the equally bizarre case against Peter Ellis, all that’s needed is for a few key figures to believe, or pretend to believe, the charges and the others in the hierarchy will simply fall into line and do their jobs, no matter how unsavoury and dishonest those jobs might be.

                  Frankly, that’s your problem right there: you assume that because A is adjacent to B, then because B is adjacent to C, A must also be adjacent to C. And because C is adjacent to D, A, is also adjacent to D, and so on through to Z.

                  I assume none of those things. I can SEE and HEAR people repeating the fantastical and brutally cynical allegations of those who seek the destruction of this truth-teller. Having “liberal” fora like The Standard clogged up by people repeating this black propaganda is perhaps just as important as having the Grauniad‘s management on board with the campaign.

                  That’s why you think a Chomsky piece on the US hate Assange and would love to torture him = Assange did not commit rape that night = relevant to whether defending Wikileaks means continuing rape culture and denial by immediately assuming that complainants lie.

                  Chomsky is only one of many concerned citizens who recognize the real reason the U.S.. and U.K. (along with their meek Scandinavian accomplice) are pursuing these fantastical charges with such indefatigable zeal. I think you recognize it, too; one of these days you’ll come round to what reasonable people think: that if the Swedish prosecutors genuinely want to speak to Assange, but their notoriously weak government refuses to assure his safety, then they can talk to him in the Ecuadorian embassy.

                  Most of your immediate connections aren’t too bad, but your extrapolations suck shit.

                  I have not made those extrapolations.

                  • McFlock

                    Option B is that Assange actually has a case to answer regarding rape and sexual assault, and Chomsky is projecting his experience in outlining and uncovering hegemonistic conspiracies  onto a routine investigation.

                    • Morrissey

                      Option B is that Assange actually has a case to answer regarding rape and sexual assault,

                      The allegations are bizarre, and appear to be a pretext for rendering him to face the vengeance of the U.S. regime, which is notorious for its contempt for the law.

                      …and Chomsky is projecting his experience in outlining and uncovering hegemonistic conspiracies onto a routine investigation.

                      Chomsky does not “project”; he looks at the evidence thoroughly and analyzes it compellingly—in other words, he does the job of, and infuriates, second-rate journalists such as the duds on the Grauniad.

                    • McFlock

                      The allegations are bizarre, and appear to be a pretext for rendering him to face the vengeance of the U.S. regime, which is notorious for its contempt for the law.
                       
                      Two points. The first is that the allegations are by no means bizarre for sexual assault allegations and crimes. The second is actually what I was talking about earlier: you assume that “the allegations are bizarre”, which is close to (but not the same as) “the allegations are not credible”. I don’t have a problem with your apparent logic that “if the allegations are not credible, then the investigation might be a pretext for the US”. I just think that here you are conflating “bizarre” (outside your experience) with “not credible” and its concomitant conspiracy.
                       

                • Morrissey

                  Yeah, that’s patronising, especially when I have repeatedly cited the actual court judgements or their summaries.

                  Actually, looking back on what I wrote, it is a bit condescending and patronising. Please accept my apologies for that.

  12. xtasy 12

    There is a major difference between the history of Latin America and NZ. They had their type of fight for independence and revolution of the former Spanish settlers and bourgeoisie under Bolivar and another leader centuries ago, a bit like the US had their one under George Washington and his mates.

    The dependence on the US corporate power and US and some other leading economies has also created a strong sense of independence in a political sense.

    NZ never had such developments. It was a colony, then a dominion and even after independence was clinging to the Motherland closely, untile the UK decided to join the EU and focus on trading with closer neighbouring countries.

    Although NZ has become more diversified economically, in legal, political, social and “cultural” terms the mindset still nowadays remains quite focused on the UK, also Australia and thus anglo saxon links.

    It will take time to change. So in reality NZ is very far away from anything like what the government of Ecuador had dared to do.

  13. infused 13

    Only reason Ecuador is standing up is because the Prime Minister has an election to win. Also, it’s sweden that wants him.

    I agree about .com though. Although, I can see him winning this one.

    “(I don’t want to start yet another thread on the rights or wrongs of Assange’s actions here, I’m just noting the bravery of Ecuador)”

    Yet you’re asking for one.

    • Morrissey 13.1

      Only reason Ecuador is standing up is because the Prime Minister has an election to win.

      You know, I don’t go on to car sites and start sounding off about carburetor idle speeds and valvetrain adjustments because I know next to nothing about cars.

      So why are you posting up opinions on something about which you clearly know nothing?

      Also, it’s sweden that wants him.

      Are you really THAT ignorant? Or simply dishonest?

    • Populuxe1 13.2

      Also you will recall that Ecuador’s mineral exploration, oil sales and loan servicing are increasingly dominated by China, and Assange is a bit of a darling in China – you will recall the official Beijing Daily touted him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, mostly because it gets up the nose of the Americans. So it wouldn’t hurt Ecuador all that much.

  14. Morrissey 14

    I don’t want to start yet another thread on the rights or wrongs of Assange’s actions here,

    Well, you just have started another one. What was WRONG, exactly, about Assange choosing to publish the evidence of U.S. war crimes?

    I’m just noting the bravery of Ecuador.

    And what about the bravery of Julian Assange?

    • Polish Pride 14.1

      +1…

    • Daveosaurus 14.2

      What was RIGHT, exactly, about Assange choosing to rape those women in Sweden?

      • Morrissey 14.2.1

        What was RIGHT, exactly, about Assange choosing to rape those women in Sweden?

        Unlike the overwhelming evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq that Assange released to the public, there is no evidence to support your sleazy allegation.

        • Populuxe1 14.2.1.1

          Are you saying those two women lied about what happened to them?

          • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.1.1

            That’s for a court to decide. And before a court can decide charges have to be laid. And before charges can be laid, Assange needs to be questioned again. Which Swedish authorities could do today, they also could have done yesterday, a week ago, a month ago, 3 months ago, 6 months ago, 12 months ago,…

            • McFlock 14.2.1.1.1.1

              Or a couple of years ago if he hadn’t skipped the country.

              • Colonial Viper

                Wow, back to using the pejorative “skipped”?

                The Swedes knew he was going. Swedish airport security and immigration OK’d him to leave the country. They stamped his passport authorising his departure. They didn’t even bother to ask him to stay, as a favour, on a voluntary basis.

                • McFlock

                  ooo sorry. You’re right.
                  He coincidentally left the country shortly after his lawyer, who was not in contact with him at all, was told by the prosecutors that charges were likely going to be filed after the second interview.
                           
                  On a separate note, the Eiffel Tower is unsafe due to rust and is going to be sold for scrap. Interested in buying it cheap? 

                  • Colonial Viper

                    who was not in contact with him at all, was told by the prosecutors that charges were likely going to be filed after the second interview.

                    So have the second interview and file the charges. Do it today. The ball is in the Swedish prosecutor’s court. Don’t know why they are delaying the process of justice for the two women complainants.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh bullshit. They had arranged to do it two years ago but he skipped left the country. And then fought extradition all the way. Then decided to couch surf in an embassy.

            • Populuxe1 14.2.1.1.1.2

              Then it is wrong and offensive not to believe them in the first instance

              • Colonial Viper

                Complainants and their complaints get treated seriously and they are afforded every courtesy during investigations; suspects (and even charged accused) get the presumption of innocence and other legal rights.

                Alternatively just summarily try and convict Assange in absentia and be done with due process.

                • Populuxe1

                  The point being that the revictimisation of victims it a cheap and low thing to do, but Assange’s hootin’ and hollerin’ supporters seem to have no compunction about doing exactly that. It is fair to say that the Assange fanboys don’t care whether he has a fair trial or not – they don’t want him to go to trial at all and will continue to call these women liars and worse.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    As has been said on The Standard previously..by weka perhaps (although in different words)…that it is quite possible that Assange is guilty as sin, and that the women are being used as international political pawns, all at the same time.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Well that would be business as usual, but I could never stand to see shits being made over as martyrs.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      True, true. IMO Assange can’t make himself a martyr. Only Sweden and the USA can accomplish that. And they’ve gone a long way down that road already.

                    • McFlock

                      So if he did do it, how many women should he be allowed to rape before you decide he should take the risk of facing a court of law?    
                               
                      How many women are expendable because he chose to be the face of Wikileaks? 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      A hypothetical? As in how many rapes Assange might get away with while he is holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy for the foreseeable future?

                      I would’ve thought none, but perhaps your opinion differs.

                      As I’ve said to you before, I think Assange needs to be questioned by Swedish investigators asap. And IF he is charged, he should front up to a Swedish court asap. At the same time, Sweden and the US should give reassurances that they will not begin extradition proceedings against him on wholly unrelated matters.

                      The women complainants get their full measure of justice without Assange getting whisked off to gawds knows where, Gitmo or wherever.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, so no hypotheticals then?
                            
                      It’s okay when you said “that it is quite possible that Assange is guilty as sin, and that the women are being used as international political pawns, all at the same time”.
                           
                      Do the ramifications of that hypothetical theory disturb you? 
                         
                      Maybe you’re beginning to get the point. 

                • McFlock

                  As a human being, give the complainants the respect of not assuming they’re making it up.  Just as you (like me) have avoided the assumption that he definitely did it.
                               
                  As you say, the courts are the correct place to decide between the two parties, if applicable. 
                             
                  A pity he’s avoiding due process.
                   

                  • Colonial Viper

                    As a human being, give the complainants the respect of not assuming they’re making it up.

                    Assuming that they are making up their complaints is neither treating them seriously or with courtesy.

                    And as I said, the justice system should treat their complaints seriously and with courtesy. Whether or not they are making up the complaints is up for a judge/jury to decide.

                    Just as you (like me) have avoided the assumption that he definitely did it.

                    Sure. But in your heart you know that Assange is a devious lying prick.

                    • McFlock

                      Nah.
                           
                      I just know that he’s avoiding a rape investigation.
                               

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Investigators are welcome to see him today. He can’t avoid that.

                    • McFlock

                      He avoided it before.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Given that Assange is holed up in a small building completely surrounded by armed UK police, he ain’t avoiding the investigators this time.

                      In fact, it appears to me that it is the Swedish investigators who are assiduously avoiding him.

                    • McFlock

                      Nah.
                           
                      My guess is that they don’t see any point to continuing the process when they can’t do anything about it. Given what they apparently told his lawyer (on the day he coincidentally left the country), and the UK courts’ comments about the case against him.
                             
                      Nice accident of jurisdiction that they lay formal charges and detention so late in the process, eh. That boy just has oodles of luck when it comes to sexual assault investigations, don’t he?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      My guess is that they don’t see any point to continuing the process when they can’t do anything about it.

                      In international negotiations, formal charges would be significant leverage to effect pressure on the parties involved. That, along with removing doubt that no practical charges can be laid, would bring advantage to the Swedish side.

                      Your argument comes short in merit in comparison.

                      The Swedish investigators are avoiding Assange; there is no other obvious reason why they would forego those political advantages.

                      Nice accident of jurisdiction that they lay formal charges and detention so late in the process, eh. That boy just has oodles of luck when it comes to sexual assault investigations, don’t he?

                      Continue with the tabloid quality innuendo by all means. But happenchance is not admissable as evidence.

                    • McFlock

                      You’ve already said that if charge were laid you don’t think Assange would surrender himself.
                           
                      Are you now suggesting that if charges were laid Ecuador would hand him over? 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m suggesting that Sweden could remove doubt and gain leverage by questioning, then charging Assange. Who knows what change in the diplomatic and judicial landscape might result from that.

                      IMO the US is certainly preparing (or has already finalised) charges against Assange, on unrelated matters.

                    • McFlock

                      So the best reason you can come up for a complete waste of time is “who knows”?
                         
                      I have another prediction: even if the Swedes did interview him and subsequently charge him:
                      not only would he not voluntarily come out,
                      not only would Ecuador not kick him out,
                      you’d still be defending justifying why he was evading sexual assault charges.
                                     
                      And the US is irrelevant to extradition to Sweden on non-political matters. From the UK.
                         

                    • weka

                      And as I said, the justice system should treat their complaints seriously and with courtesy. Whether or not they are making up the complaints is up for a judge/jury to decide.
                       

                      CV, I’m pretty sure that in NZ at least (and I assume in Sweden) both the Police and Crown Prosecutor have to be believe the complainants in order for the case to be progressed. This belief is based on assessment of the evidence and knowledge of the law. This of course isn’t proof of guilt on the accused’s part, but we’re not talking about that.
                       
                      The way you have framed your statement neatly encapsulates the problem with trying rape cases – that complainants get put on trial too. Most complainants in rape trials have in fact been raped, and being being put on de facto trial is often further trauma. It’s why so few women lay complaints. This makes rape trials somewhat unique.

                    • Murray Olsen

                      I found this interesting on the Swedish justice system. It’s not exactly what I’d expected:
                      http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/08/20/a-tale-of-two-swedens/

                    • McFlock

                      Interesting, although I do wonder whether Assange fits the demographic of immigrants who are targeted. He seemed to have a bit of a fan club when he was there.
                            
                      And none of the issues raised are particularly relevant to the case at hand as parallel evidence that he’d get an unfair hearing.

    • Populuxe1 14.3

      It was wrong not to filter that information is nuch a way that it didn’t immediately put the lives of a whole bunch of US personell in jeopardy. That was thoughtless, reckless, and tantamount to murder. DO NO HARM.

  15. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 15

    Yes.

    Let’s make ourselves a haven for accused rapists. We could send them all to Whanganui. That will help our international reputation.

    • Morrissey 15.1

      Let’s make ourselves a haven for accused rapists.

      What an unfunny halfwit you are.

  16. With John Key as our leader we have become a lapdog for America.

    Wall Street is the home of the financial terriorists and it is John Keys working environment, being one of the financial terriorists who have caused the greatest crisis since the great depression he is of course eager to protect his mates in the American system.

    Who could ever think John Key is working in the interests of New Zealand

  17. Fortran 17

    If Assange gets to Sweden, for whatever reason, he will be “renditioned” to Guantanamo by the USA in the dead of night, on a US military flight.

    • McFlock 17.1

      If Assange goes to Ecuador, for whatever reason, Wikileaks won’t be leaking anything about extrajudicial killings or punitive slander cases by government officials against journalists in that country.

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        If the US becomes a strong free democracy again, US based journalists will do it.

        Currently though, the recently passed National Defence Authorisation Act allows the US to lock up journalists without charge, indefinitely.

        Their actions in condemning Julian Assange and wikileaks is also inexcusable. Assange leaked nothing. He was a publisher of information provided to him. Just like any newspaper or media outlet.

        So much for the First Amendment.

        • McFlock 17.1.1.1

          No argument that “land of the free and home of the brave” is a sick joke.
                   
          My point was the conflict of interest that means we won’t be seeing any wikileaks that show Ecuador in a bad light. Unless he has a tick sheet of embassies he can jump into and is planning to work through.

          • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1.1

            Perhaps if we assume Wikileaks = Assange you could be right.

            • McFlock 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Or if Wikileaks admins want to keep Assange safe. 

              • Colonial Viper

                At the end of the day an element of quid pro quo is going to be involved. You want to stay working for your employer, don’t go spreading shit around town about your boss and their spouse.

                • McFlock

                  Lucky Ecuador’s a paradise with no institutional abuses then, eh. 

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yeah. I guess you got to write off about 170 of the world’s 208 sovereign countries.

                    • McFlock

                      Yep.
                      It’s difficult to dodge a rape investigation when you’re a human rights activist.
                      edit: without appearing hypocritical, of course.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey the Swedish want to delay giving the women justice, its their perogative. Or they could question Assange today if they wanted to and go on to pressing charges by tomorrow.

                    • McFlock

                      So your assertion is that if they interviewed him and filed charges on that basis, he’d say “fair cop, I’m coming out”?
                               
                      Based on his actions so far?
                              
                      Much laughter. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Oh no, I expect Assange won’t. What it will rule out is the possibility that no charges will be laid because there is nothing to answer for in a court of law.

                      And the judicial process moves another step forwards.

                    • McFlock

                      The odds of that seem rather slim. Given the facts as outlined in the extradition process, and what the prosecutors told his lawyer on the same day he purely coincidentally left the country. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Happenchance isn’t admissable as evidence mate. Tabloid speculation yes, criminal courts no.

                    • McFlock

                      So we’re just left with the UK courts.
                             
                      Although with luck like that he should have paid his own bail out of his lottery winnings. 

      • Morrissey 17.1.2

        Wikileaks won’t be leaking anything about extrajudicial killings or punitive slander cases by government officials against journalists in that country.

        Maybe you’re thinking of Ecuador when it was still a dictatorship, backed by the U.S.

        It’s a democracy now, which seems to upset you no end.

  18. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 18

    Let’s demonstrate our independence by giving Charles Manson asylum.

  19. xtasy 20

    Culture de Ecuador –

    As much as I was horrified, but this rates amongst the first shots on Google and You Tube, I am afraid.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs1ILU1CHSo

    A small, neglected, traditionally foreign corp controlled (banana fruit co’s from US anyone?) andean country, small and relatively over-populated, but with a fair amount of history, cultura and exotic fauna and flora.

    Fair enough, so human rights are now supposed to be on the agenda, while they were a bit neglected before. An election is looming too, so do not forget that.

    For the interest of Polynesians, this country is where the fabled Con Tiki Huiracotcha sailed off from to “discover” Eastern Polynesia and to establish some trade and population movements between ancient Latin America and the islands in the South Pacific. Some scientists like Thor Heyerdahl made important discoveries, but in NZ it is all about “Lapita” culture, the settlement from west to east, which is only part of the whole story.

    Enlightenment is no strength in most of Aotearoa, I am afraid. I am still waiting for a positive change though.

  20. xtasy 21

    The nicer side of the story (for tourists and sweet talked visitors) –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM-o1eesn4M&feature=related

    I have no doubt Ecuador is a very exciting and beautiful place, but we also have an expectation of the whole truth about the country and its people. So the authorities of Ecuador will be most welcomed to deliver.

    Meanwhile Julian appears to be safe, at least.

  21. xtasy 22

    Latin America is a cultural planet of its own, much to discover, beyond “equador” so to say:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb4RauhteFA

  22. xtasy 23

    Musica de Equador –

    the real stuff, from Europe or Canada –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yta3iqbUlGc&feature=fvsr

    strange not much comes here.

    Top quality and authentic.

    Viva el pueblo de Ecuador Y America Latina!

  23. xtasy 24

    Musica Latina America de Bolivia

    A bit unusaul an d bizarre perhaps for Kiwis, but worth exploring:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UhSQwsqSIw

    From Lake Titicaca and the Tihuanaco culture comes part of true Polynesian culture too, look and study the statues and symbols from there and compare with Eastern Polynesia, another cultural lie, that all of Polynesia comes from Melanesia, South East Asia and so forth, there is much more to Polynesian culture and history, partly originating in SOUTH AMERICA!

  24. captain hook 25

    113th on the list for freedom of the press.

    • McFlock 25.1

      NZ’s at 13.
      Just behind Sweden.
              
      The US is at 47. 

    • Bill 25.2

      Who compiles the list, who are their backers and or funders and what are their criteria for determining those things that are to be considered press freedoms?

      • McFlock 25.2.1

        Failure to Google?

        Reporters Without Borders do the Press Freedom Index.
               
        I’m sure they’re just lackeys of US imperialists. 

        • Bill 25.2.1.1

          No, I googled the list and saw it was Reporters Without Borders. And although I have just a sneaky suspicion you are being facetious with you “I’m sure they’re just lackeys…” comment, the fact is that they recieve funding from, among others, the International Republican Institute which is an arm of the Republican Party that specialises in meddling in elections in foreign countries They also have close ties to the “Center for a Free Cuba” and are generally regarded as being particularly biased and scathing towards any developing country or state that is left leaning and not ‘a friend’ of Washington.

          But by all means take ‘Reporters Without Borders’ at face value if you want.

          • McFlock 25.2.1.1.1

            Yeah I had a bit of a laugh when I saw that – but then of course they changed direction after that director left several years ago. Any criticism of their ranking based on current events? None of the other rankings that I know more about the relevant countries seem to be particularly out of whack.

            Nice to know you’re smart enough to use google, and disingeuous enough to ask a question you think you already know the answer to.

            • Bill 25.2.1.1.1.1

              You say they’ve ‘changed direction’. Maybe. Maybe not.

              You ask if I’ve any criticism of their rankings. Well one that jumps out straight away is Mexico where, as an example of press freedoms in Mexico, (was it twenty- odd?) journalists’ bodies were ‘displayed’ from a bridge – as a warning to other journalists. (I believe The Guardian carried the story if your unfamiliar with it)

              And Mexico is ranked 149.

              Meanwhile Cuba is ranked at 167. (Below Saudi Arabia and other such bastions of press (and general) freedoms)

              Now, I don’t know too much about how the press is structured in Cuba. But I very much doubt journalists are in any peril whatsoever. And state run does not de facto mean that it is more given to censoring news than any large corporate press entity.

              So maybe, given that RWB has ‘changed direction’ as you claim, you’d be able to offer a feasible explanation as to why a country that systematically murders journalists and where heads of drug cartels dictate to newspapers what stories they can and cannot cover and then dictates how a story will be covered if it is to be covered is so much more free than Cuba? ‘Cause I just can’t figure it.

              Unless,of course, there really hasn’t been any change of culture worth mentioning at RWB afterall?

              • McFlock

                So you have an issue with the ranking of one country in 200, and that lets you believe that Ecuador is a wonderful paradise.

                There’s a bit of desperation there.

                • Bill

                  Couldn’t reply last night. But.

                  So you have an issue with the ranking of one country in 200…

                  No.

                  and that lets you believe that Ecuador is a wonderful paradise.

                  No.

                  And there’s no desperation. More a resignation to the fact you are incapable of engaging in a worthwhile level of discussion. And I’m resigned to the likelihood that you haven’t much ability with regards critical thought, reading and evaluation. Which would all help explain your apparent general lack of comprehension.

                  Of course, it also crosses my mind (having looked at the nature of your responses through-out this entire thread) that rather than suffering from the simple need to be spoon fed your opinions, the problem is one of simple trolling. And that I should keep an open mind and one eye out for that possibility in future posts.

                  • McFlock

                    Whatever, dude. I’m sure Ecuador’s a free paradise. Shame I only have your word for it.

                    [Bill] – Your on my troll watch as of now. Well done son. I’ll be giving you a single reminder/warning when I (yup, it’s arbitrary)consider you’ve crossed the line and then you’ll be gone on a wee holiday.

        • Matt 25.2.1.2

          By the way, how does Google (Mountain View, CA. with data centers everywhere) manage to index all this subversive truth stuff under the oppressive US regime? 

          • Bill 25.2.1.2.1

            Who said there was any clampdown on information being made available? I don’t think anyone made that claim, did they? There’s a lot of info out there and most has an inbuilt bias. You want to evaluate stuff and arrive at a reasonable understanding or level of comprehension? Then get to know where the info you are reading, or that you’re relying on to evaluate other info, is coming from and what it’s likely bias is.

            I mean, shit. Don’t they teach that basic kind of stuff at school any more? Seriously.

            • Matt 25.2.1.2.1.1

              Hm, America is becoming the new Nazi Germany, Assange is being set up for extradition and possible execution for not having done much of anything, in the US journalists can now be snapped up on a whim, yet somehow the vast majority of what fuels the paranoia brigade comes from behind the star spangled curtain.. Classic. 

              Jesus, if this is what passes for an evil empire these days, sign me up. 

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    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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