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Open mike 01/01/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:21 am, January 1st, 2014 - 212 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step right up to the mike …

212 comments on “Open mike 01/01/2014”

  1. LynWiper 1

    I live in hope that 2014 will be the year of action and change to improve life for those most in need and thus enrich us all. Wishing a Happy New Year for everyone.

  2. Foreign Waka 2

    Happy New Year everybody, I hope the new year will bring some progress on the social justice front. It would be great to see more humor and positivity too.

  3. Rosie 3

    +1 to both LynWpier and Foreign Waka!

    Happy New Year and good health and happiness to all.

    This is the year we can boot the National government out! May our energies and efforts come together like never before to make this happen. We can do it!

  4. amirite 4

    Happy New Year everyone!

    Sadly so far, nothing has changed for the better in the MSM. If anything, it looks like they are now more than ever, just a PR mouthpiece for the PM. Warning: this latest (f)article may make you have to throw up in your mouth a little:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11179945

    • karol 4.1

      I just went to the main page the headline article image made we groan and want to shut down the site.

      For the record, this “page 3″ type nonsense shows how much the MSM plays on the exploitation and commodification of (usually young conforming to particular kinds of looks) women. And this time to spin the “good news” for 2014.

      The image – in case they have 2nd thoughts (doubtful) and change it.

      the headline article “Welcome 2014.

      “You’re more likely to get a pay rise? Who is “you”‘re?

      Elections – not a bad comment:

      Everyone in Parliament wants your vote. So vote for the changes you want to see in New Zealand and the politicians you want to lead us into the future. Whether you think National needs to pack its bags or the Greens should have more clout, it’ll be up to you. The hottest issues tipped to divide polling booths this year are: child poverty and the wage gap; housing affordability; the price of electricity; Maori affairs; and watching party leaders battle it out.

      Most of the rest is fluff…. spinning the “good news”.

      • ScottGN 4.1.1

        Was interesting to notice that at the end of her column Fran O’Sullivan seems to suggest that Key will go early this year.

      • Murray Olsen 4.1.2

        Speaking of the commodification of women, the picture of Paul Henry and the journalist who thinks he’s smart and funny is vomit inducing. He’s holding onto her and giving a sleazy smile at the camera as if he’s showing off the latest of his acquisitions. Why the hell did TV3 bring him back?

    • Rosie 4.2

      The lamestream, in their efforts to keep the tories in power will keep on a spinnin’ this year but that can’t hold back those who want to “Bring Change”.

      Here’s a positivity boost, although it may be a little early in the morning for some for Shapeshifter, it’s never to early to feel fired up. I feel an anthem coming on……..

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hPcqbeqL5E

  5. karol 5

    Another day: the calendar flips over to a new number – 2014

    Nothing else has changed in my part of the country

    overcast, warm, quiet.

    Have a good day everyone. Rest, party, spend time socialising…. whatever – recharge the batteries, some important months coming up.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Good wishes to all, as karol says, its time for a moments rest, then its time to make a difference, both big and small. Happy 2014.

  7. joe90 7

    Happy New Year and here’s to a healthy and positive 2014 with an election to be won.

  8. David H 8

    Happy New Year to all. And here’s hoping the Black Caps remember how to play Cricket today.

  9. Morrissey 9

    Good point, weka. That is the problem, I guess. You know what the answer is, however, and I share your lack of enthusiasm. It’s Labour, supported by the Greens.

    But as this country learned so painfully thirty years ago, you have to be very careful about Labour. Hopefully, though, it won’t be full of loons like these….

    http://www.teara.govt.nz/files/34938-atl.jpg
    http://www.listener.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Richard-Prebble-Diary.jpg
    http://static2.stuff.co.nz/1342987512/814/7328814.jpg
    http://img.scoop.co.nz/stories/images/0806/70b4a18cfb09b32e564c.jpeg
    http://lh4.ggpht.com/-tmXsHteAAK8/Tyhi428QY9I/AAAAAAAARlY/-0O5FJDWDlE/image_thumb%25255B4%25255D.png?imgmax=800

  10. KJT 10

    Happy New Year.

    May it be a better year for everyone than last year.

    The year of a living wage and welfare that is enough to be part of society?

    The beginning of an end to the destruction of community, and elevation of selfishness and meanness, that is destroying so many peoples lives.

  11. joe90 11

    Charming.

    Just one week after Al Jazeera discovered that regulatory responsibility for Alberta, Canada’s controversial tar sands would be handed over to a fossil-fuel funded corporation, federal scientists have found that the area’s viscous petroleum deposits are surrounded by a nearly 7,500-square-mile ring of mercury.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/30/3107761/tar-sands-mercury/

    edit: Mordor.

  12. tinfoilhat 12

    Not sure why you think the ‘Len Brown drivel’ is a right wing beat up ?

    There seem to be plenty of people from all walks of life in Auckland who are pretty disappointed and disgusted by his behaviour and also think he’s been a fairly pathetic mayor.

    [RL: Been thoroughly thrashed out on other threads. Off topic.]

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    As QoT has again banned me from a post of hers, this was my reply to karol’s comment

    karol:

    Front foot media/right beat-ups, RL?

    You mean like not buying into, and pandering to their “manban” type beat-ups?

    CV:

    Not walking directly into the buzzsaw would also be politically helpful [as deleted by QoT]

    RL also then replied to karol:

    Yes – a great example. The Labour caucus mis-handled (like so many other things) that very poorly.

    All it needed was a simple plain statement from the leader to say that it was a perfectly legitimate conference remit. That it was Labour Party democracy in action. And that while the Party had yet to decide if it was the best way to achieve the goal – the goal of gender balance itself was not in question. It is a goal we are proud of and one that we will always be exploring new ways of living up to and honouring.

    Instead we got this piss-weak equivocation that bought into the attackers meme and burned everyone off.

    RL – yeah it was pretty stupid and inflammatory, my quip about the five minutes. Sorry about that. But the age of consequences is about to come down very hard on the young all around us. And above, my QoT deleted comment said, I feel, pretty exactly much what you said.

    • just saying 13.1

      Your comment would be much more convincing if you yourself stuck to your self-defined tier one issues. But you don’t. You are actually very selective about which non-tier one issues should be excluded. Personally I found the endless Len Brown stuff trivial in the extreme, and, more importantly to me, utterly boring.

      But I didn’t hear you trying to silence all that trivia in favour of The Important (Tier One) Issues, except where a few of us mentioned some sexist language was being used. Apparently that was too trivial to mention, but all the other acres of minutae discussed seemed to be a perfectly acceptable diversion from tackling imminent geo-socio-political catatastrophe and the potential end of humanity, and one that you were only too happy to participate in ‘boots and all’.

      • RedLogix 13.1.1

        I held off getting into that Len Brown trivia/distraction until quite late in the piece.

        I wanted to show how to front-foot the defence and not pander to the bullshit.

      • weka 13.1.2

        Spot on js.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.3

        I’m not trying to silence you from pursuing the politics you find important, js. I don’t have the power to do that (although in her post, QoT does). Of course many things big and small still need to be looked after politically locally, and centrally.

        Nor am I asking anyone not to discuss whatever political flotsam and jetsam trivia comes along in a day. But have pushed back against claims that boutique identity politics is utterly central to matters on the bridge of the Titanic just as the vessel is listing uncontrollably. However, if any peaceful political or civic approach is going to broadly help the bottom 50% of society, and I am all for it.

        Also this is a standpoint that I’ve mainly developed in the last few months, as I’ve researched into far greater detail what different likely scenarios over the next few decades are. (These are scenarios that major governments around the world have been studying too, no doubt). So I’m a new dog with a new bone and to an extent, I’m over zealous with it, which I will certainly admit to.

        A distinct possibility of 5 deg C warming by 2100. Frak.

        • weka 13.1.3.1

          The problem isn’t your overzealousness, it’s that you are not listening to your peers. That’s dangerous, esp if you get any kind of power.

          “claims that boutique identity politics is utterly central to matters on the bridge of the Titanic just as the vessel is listing uncontrollably”

          [citation needed]

          “Also this is a standpoint that I’ve mainly developed in the last few months, as I’ve researched into far greater detail what different likely scenarios over the next few decades are.”

          How’s the strategy working out for you so far?

        • just saying 13.1.3.2

          You mean “boutique” as in self-indulgent and fashionably upper-middle-class, I presume?

          Are you the same person who was concerned that ministers of parliament not be paid a cent less than the six-figures + they receive now? Their middle-class comfort seemed pretty important to you in that discussion. And are you the same person who believes that beneficiaries in long-term poverty should get just $30 per week more, and that the minimum wage should be $15 per hour?

          • weka 13.1.3.2.1

            Wow, I missed all that js. Are you saying that CV has commented on those things specifically like that?

            • just saying 13.1.3.2.1.1

              Not in this thread, but CV has relatively recently expressed the belief that it would be unfair if politicians were paid less than they are now;
              That beneficiary poverty should be redressed by a Labour-led government paying them $30 per week more;
              And that Labour should raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

          • Colonial Viper 13.1.3.2.2

            The steps I suggested would essentially eliminate the worst poverty in NZ within 18 months. There was also the full youth employment policy.

            I suggested a halfway transition to a living wage of $18/hr, which would be approx $16/hr. The move to the full living wage would be time buffered so that SMEs could rebudget and cope with the significantly increased payroll costs.

            Increasing main benefits by $30/week would cost approx $0.5B and be equivalent to groceries for a couple for one day a week. Because I am an advocate of governments crediting their own debt free money, if you thought that this figure needed to be higher it could easily go higher.

            These are all steps at least as advanced as what any political party has advocated for. The across the board increase in benefits is IIRC something that no one is currently advocating for and needs to happen.

            You mean “boutique” as in self-indulgent and fashionably upper-middle-class, I presume?

            Possibly. But mainly it’s ” boutique” because it changes lives for no more than a few percent of the population even under optimistic scenarios, it does not challenge the current political economic status quo or power structures, and generally leaves the bottom 50% of income earners with next to no additional sense of economic justice having been delivered for them.

            Are you the same person who was concerned that ministers of parliament not be paid a cent less than the six-figures + they receive now? Their middle-class comfort seemed pretty important to you in that discussion.

            Parliamentarians are by definition the 1% and part of the establishment. They are also typically away from home 60-80 hours per week, and under continuous media scrutiny. Your call as to what that is worth.

    • Ennui 13.2

      CV, the main issues are definitely those you pointed out, anything else seems mere deck chairs on the Titanic.

      PS With regards to QoT cant help thinking her agenda is akin to ethnic cleansing of hetero males particularly of the older white type. Its very hard to take somebody with such visceral intolerance seriously.

  14. Colonial Viper 14

    I see now that QoT has entirely deleted a reply of mine to her, not just overwritten it.

    QoT:

    And this comment is why you can fuck off, CV. Laying down the law about what you consider to be “tier one issues” is kind of the entire problem.

    CV (comment totally removed by QoT):

    These Tier One issues are not an exclusive list. Feel free to add your own. I’ve provided justifications for the ones I have chosen (survivability and livability on this Earth to 2100); I’m open to hearing your own justifications for the Tier One issues you add.

    • BM 14.1

      Way to work together as one cohesive unit, LOL.

      • fender 14.1.1

        Quite different to your RWNJ method where Key or some other irrelevant clown utters some rubbish and the followers run around parroting it mindlessly, blind faith disguised as cohesion.

    • weka 14.2

      “I’m open to hearing your own justifications for the Tier One issues you add.”

      I don’t believe you. Because you have consistently said in the past month that my voice as a woman and as a disabled person is not a priority. You now allow Maori to be part of the A team, but presumably queers, old people, religious minorities, etc etc are still not allowed in the club.

      • Colonial Viper 14.2.1

        Don’t forget anyone under 20, people from non-English speaking countries, the illiterate and innumerate, people who don’t drive, can’t cook vegetarian or who have a really bad dress sense. It’s a really exclusive club of privileged white dudery going on here.

        • weka 14.2.1.1

          For someone claiming to have the political answers to our desperate times, you really do have a completely retarded understanding of power dynamics.

    • Sacha 14.3

      “Feel free to add your own.”

      How magnanimous. Who do you think you are?

      • Colonial Viper 14.3.1

        Someone who sees the three mega-trends which are going to make the Earth highly unlivable by 2100, and potentially devastating for anyone now under 20 years of age within their lifetime.

        Who do you think you are?

        • weka 14.3.1.1

          I’m also someone who sees those things, but unlike you I can also see that there are many useful responses to the great crisis, and that many different kinds of people are needed for us to have any chance of anything.

  15. greywarbler 15

    A new look at modern education styles. MoE might do their magic on it.
    http://vimeo.com/54162829

  16. greywarbler 16

    Weka is interested in rape culture isn’t he/she? And is the expert in it and dedicated to eradicating it wherever it shows its head. So what’s new.

    • weka 16.1

      What is that a reply to?

      • greywarbler 16.1.1

        Weka
        Aren’t I allowed to put a comment without your approval, even when it is about you? Please practice letting somethings go without your input. Please do not dominate the site.

        • weka 16.1.1.1

          I was just curious who you were replying to, nothing to do with approval or not. Your comment didn’t make sense to me out of context (and it’s natural to wonder what people mean when they are talking about you, esp in front of you).

          Yeah I am commenting alot, will try and slow it down a bit.

          • fender 16.1.1.1.1

            Please don’t. You make too much sense on relevant issues and deserve to be heard. Embroidery would be very boring without your comments to read in between stiches :grin:

            • weka 16.1.1.1.1.1

              lolz, thanks fender. Don’t worry I’m not disappearing, but I got sick of seeing my name in the comments list so much.

  17. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 17

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU TO THE NZ LABOUR PARTY

    Stopping the opportunity of study is, for me, up there with the worse things you can do to a people.

    Yep we can still read books, and do our own study, yet disallowing large sectors of the community from formal study is extremely WRONG and very bad for a functioning democracy.

    Well done Labour – brilliant way to start the year. :)

    [Hmm link is not showing up : http://www.labour.org.nz/media/new-years-headache-students ]

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      “We will review all of National’s changes to student loans and allowances to give as many people as possible help to retrain and contribute to New Zealand,” Grant Robertson says.

      Translation: Labour will give a few more people access to training than National.

      Still stuck in the neo-liberal world of un-affordability.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 17.1.1

        You may well be correct DTB, yet I think it is very important to give positive feedback to politicians where one can.
        No one functions well when only picked up for what one is doing wrong. (Well this is the case for most people anyway….I guess there are always exceptions….)

        To speak out on this issue on the first day of the year is a good way to start the year.

        This issue (any issue) requires people to know about it and this action from the Labour party is a very good way to raise awareness, a very good matter to raise awareness on and a great way to start the new year.

        Knowledge should never be withheld and this seems to be something this Nat government specialize in:

        Media degeneration – Four informative TV channels abolished. (In my area perhaps more in other areas)
        Adult learning funds cancelled (including help for people who are learning to read properly)
        Formal Education limited for those over 40 – fairly much cancelled for those who have studied previously and absolutely cancelled for older people.

        “Nice”

      • QoT 17.1.2

        If there was one word I could strike from the Labour Party’s vocabulary, it would be “review”.

        Yes, obviously we can’t promise the moon, and God knows National are going to leave the books in a terrible state, but for fuck’s sake if every single policy area is defined by “reviewing” the policies of the previous government I don’t know if even I could be fucked getting out of bed to vote on election day.

    • Francis 17.2

      I’d be interested to see how much it would cost to abolish the draconian student loan scheme and go back to fully-funded tertiary education, as everyone had up until the 1980s (or was it the 1990s? Hard to tell, since there really wasn’t much difference between the two governments).

      Surely it can’t cost that much more than it does to remove interest from student loans. Not only would it be much fairer on those who don’t have rich parents, it’d also attract a huge amount of votes too.

      • weka 17.2.1

        1989, no fees. By 1992 there were fees. Can’t remember the exact year, but am guessing it was the incoming National govt that did it.

        I’d also like to see the costings. And the figures on how many people study now compared to then, and some depth to that eg what happened with the apprenticeship schemes were dismantled.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 17.2.1.1

          To both Francis & Weka,

          + 1 Yeah, it would be interesting to know those things.

        • Naturesong 17.2.1.2

          My first year at university in 1988 – $1200 approx in fees for the year.

          It had started during the second term of the 4th labour government, and when National won the next election, they ran with it.

          • Colonial Viper 17.2.1.2.1

            Yep. Steve Maharey IIRC.

          • weka 17.2.1.2.2

            Hmm, you are right. I was at Polytech in 88 and now that I think about it the fees were so low we just paid them. No student loan for me until early 90s.

            • Francis 17.2.1.2.2.1

              Now, fees are closer to $5000-$10,000 per year (and that’s provided you’re lucky enough to have accommodation). Great way to start off your working life with a debt of tens of thousands of dollars…

              • weka

                but hey, if you can’t pay off debt then you shouldn’t take it on /sarc

                A big chunk of my outstanding student loan is interest from before they stopped that.

            • KJT 17.2.1.2.2.2

              In 78 the company i worked for paid my fees.

              So much that was once paid for by employers has been loaded onto employees, since, either directly or in our taxes.

      • KJT 17.2.2

        I suspect it would not cost too much. If we moved to the limited entry we also had at that time.

        Of course there would be much less people at Uni.

        Possibly not a bad thing when we need more tradespeople and technicians.

        The 60% top tax rate which paid for it would not be too popular I expect.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 17.2.2.1

          KJT,

          I don’t understand your comment very well here.

          What was the limited entry? Was there a quota on how many people could get into Uni? I was thinking you were meaning a restriction based on one’s marks . One is still required to present one’s learning ability prior to entering Uni, I presume one could be turned down on that basis. Was there some other restriction in place?

          Learning a trade is still an education – ( I’m unclear why people keep tending to refer solely to Uni when I have been referring to education issues?)

          I strongly disagree about it being a good thing if less people go to Uni. The more people that learn the better.

          The more people that know the ‘conventional learning’ the more will realise how information, historical facts and philosophy are being completely mulched by popular journalism, politicians and big money.

          Additionally, (and somewhat related to the above point) some of the most precious learning in Uni is one of removing the ‘mystique’ (or mystery) as to what is being taught! A lot of it isn’t rocket science – it is learning to reason and be systematic and respect information. (I guess I am talking about Uni specifically here, yet any formal learning supplies this at some level) Again, the more people who are exposed to this standard of learning – the more people will realise the severe level of bullshit that is being dished out to us on a regular basis.

          This is actually very important in order to address the severe attack on democracy, freedom (in the real meaning of the word – not the mulched meaning) and rights going on in the Western world at present. It ain’t going to get any better by less people gaining the skills and [sadly] credibility in order to supply a reasoned argument against what is going on. The more people doing this the better – I can’t help suspecting this is why information and learning are being restricted.

          • Colonial Viper 17.2.2.1.1

            You could make the case that trades people and labourers in the 50’s and 60’s understood more about the reality of political economics than almost all the uni grads of today. Also – there are more degree holders than ever today. In some ways they can be more easily fooled by bullshit (convinced of their own intelligence), not less easily.

            The other problem is a simple one – what happens when you come out of uni with $25,000 of student debt and a minimum wage job to go to, if you are lucky?

            • swordfish 17.2.2.1.1.1

              Yeah, I have little time for Boomer historians (usually from Upper-Middle backgrounds) who systematically characterise pre-Boomers (particularly the pre-Boomer working class) as uneducated simpletons, unable to think for themselves. All part of the Boomer-centric orthodoxy that anyone born before 1946 was ultra-conservative and ultra-conformist, while the Boomer generation is portrayed as this wonderfully liberal and enlightened entity with unusually refined sensibilities – so young and yet so wise beyond its years.

              The reality is older generations of the working-class (particularly those of a socialist bent) were involved in a good deal of highly impressive self-education (and through WEAs). The Wharfies, for instance, use to have political debating clubs where their speakers would robustly debate the major issues of the day with guest-speakers from the Right in front of quite large audiences. Internationalism and other forms of progressive politics were NOT invented by Middle-Class ex-boarding school Boomers.

              • karol

                State school educated boomer here, who in my later years has got into social history. I am very much in support on WEAs and have done a couple of their courses myself while in London. My grandmother was involved in giving talks at some WEAs, as well as campaigning for some women’s rights. She and my grandfather were from working class (tradesmen fathers) backgrounds.

                Actually many of us leftie boomers were very supportive of and interested in learning about and/or researching working class history. And some were well into researching, writing, talking about and debating the history of working class women within left wing organisations/networks.

                I can’t really think of any fellow boomers I have known who thought of pre 1946 working class people as simpletons – in fact, some such working class people were my ancestors.

                You have a very reductive idea of what us boomers were like. Doesn’t really describe leftie boomers at all, many of whom also came from working class backgrounds. It may describe more right wing boomers.

                • swordfish

                  No, I’m thinking more of leading Boomer historians and their marked tendency to massively downplay pre-Boomer progressive politics (not to mention vastly exaggerate the liberalism of their own generation). The pre-1968 anti-Vietnam marches, for instance, are either downplayed (as involving some tiny marginal Far-Left extreme) or are completely ignored / glossed over. New Zealanders in the 50s are wrongly portrayed as being, for example, utterly ignorant of South African Apartheid. The highly vigorous PSA Equal Pay Campaign of the 40s and 50s is regularly ignored in favour of the broader Equal Pay Campaign of the late 60s / early 70s (associated more with elite Boomers like Sue Kedgley). You’ll find that a key underlying theme that runs through quite a bit of Boomer-centric historiography produced over the last 30 years is the notion of an uneducated pre-Boomer society, culturally-crude, easily manipulated by the media and unable to think for themselves.

                  • karol

                    Are you really sure that is the history written by largely boomers? And the only history that any boomers were writing? I mean, it doesn’t meet with my experience. Though I was more into sociology and sociological writings. Do you have some names of such NZ “boomer” historians?

                    Mind you, I also pissed off to the UK in the early-mid 70s, and read more UK social history.

                    • swordfish

                      Yeah, I studied history and politics through to Honours level, with a particular focus on NZ back in the mid-late 90s (as a mature student – early 30s).

                      For starters, I’d suggest (above all) Jock Phillips, also the late Michael King, Matthew Wright, Phillippa Mein-Smith, Tom Brooking, to a somewhat lesser extent Charlotte MacDonald and Miles Fairburn, various activists-turned-historians like Trevor Richards and Geoff Chapple, along with a whole swathe of Boomer journalists and media commentators from Chris Trotter on the Left to Karl Du Fresne on the Right. (The media have made quite a contribution to the telling of post-war social history in this Country. Probably inevitable given our comparatively small number of academic historians). That’s just off the top of my head. I could come up with a more definitive list given a little time.

                      Not accusing Boomers as a whole, though.

                    • karol

                      Thanks, swordfish. I know some of those names – not all. I did know Trevor Richards in passing at a period in my youth. Hadn’t read any of his history. It doesn’t surprise me so much re-Trotter and Phillips.

                      But in the late 70s -80s, the kind of NZ stuff I read were things like “Maori Sovereignty” (Donna Awatere was also a boomer) – and then she sold out. Anne Salmond (boomer also) – Between Two Worlds” & ‘Almiria”. Plus I was familiar with stuff about earlier times like The Sugar Bag Years”

                      I also read quite a bit of UK stuff, like “Learning to labour” – feminist history like – Sheila Rowbotham’s hidden from history” & “Women, Resistance and Revolution”. Then EP Thompson, etc.

                      Also I had read stuff on the history of anarchism, Emma Goldman, etc.

                  • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                    @Swordfish – The type of misinformation you cite @ 8.58 pm can only be believed by those who are not made aware of what really went on. You provide good reason for why education is important.

                    Creating obstacles to people getting education – only increases the ability for this type of misinformation to become commonly held ‘beliefs’.

                • Grumpy

                  Also state school educated boomer. Went to varsity in 1968 for the first time. In those days there were no loans and you needed to pass University Entrance exam. If you stayed on another year and gained Bursary or Scholarship you got a small annual allowance (about $80 a YEAR. Took a break and went to work for NZ Railways (needed the money). Became Union breach secretary.
                  I have been following this fascinating discussion. I disagree with CV on many things but his more recent posts (with the exception of AGW), I am in total agreement.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 17.2.2.1.1.2

              Hi C.V.

              This is one of these difficult subjects to have objectivity on. The people I know with University degrees are the ones most likely to speak out on the unfairness going on.

              Have you a University degree C.V? Because I am including you in this group.

              There are also people who don’t have degrees who I know who are very up with the play on the inequities occurring all around us – (i.e. I am not of the belief it is impossible to see through things if one doesn’t have a formal education!). Their background generally, however, is usually that of educated parents. (Not always)

              I conclude that most people I know who have the ability to critique have learned that skill – from someone – and I can’t help deducing it is not instinctive. (Although formal education is not the only way – it is an opportunity to learn and develop this skill).

              I mention objectivity because it may be that I happen to be surrounded by people where this correlation is apparent and yet this correlation may not be reflected in general population and I could be quite mistaken. I could be quite correct too.

              I tend to think that your criticism of academics, (from previous comments as well as this one) if looked at in more depth, may reveal ulterior motives and not their learning at the root of the ‘easily influenced’ problem.

              “The other problem is a simple one – what happens when you come out of uni with $25,000 of student debt and a minimum wage job to go to, if you are lucky?”

              If increasing numbers of people in NZ get degrees and are owing vast sums of money – as in the picture you paint – don’t you think this is going to create increasing pressure on the government to start pursuing policies that allow these people to pay back their debt?

              Conversely, perhaps in response to this wee problem government will start obstructing education opportunities and create a society where we are all either unemployed, desperate for jobs and thus compliant regarding low wages or any other policy for that matter?

              Everyone has their strengths, some may be perfectly suited to and happy with physical work – others’ strengths are more intellectual – isn’t there a place for all of us? Yet, what is occurring just now for those with intellectual strengths yet without financial backing? (Suggested answer for you- dole or sickness benefit)

              i.e. Turning your scenario on its head: What happens if you don’t agree to a debt, due to fear of the scenario you suggest, yet are not in the category of being well suited to physical jobs?
              (Suggested answer for you – dole or sickness benefit)

              What are you told when you are in this position?

              Get further training

              Getting further training is becoming ‘not-an-option’ with recent changes to education support.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yep, I am well educated. But almost all my politics I have learnt on TS.

                This is one of these difficult subjects to have objectivity on. The people I know with University degrees are the ones most likely to speak out on the unfairness going on.

                True, but they’re not the ones who can force the government to change course because they also tend to have the most to lose and the most to gain by not rocking the establishment boat too much. And in the highly effective mass movements which led up to the first Labour Govt – almost no one had university degrees. They had plenty of practical gumption and not much to lose, however.

                What are you told when you are in this position?

                Get further training

                Getting further training is becoming ‘not-an-option’ with recent changes to education support.

                Well, at this stage getting further training only makes sense if there are good paying jobs at the end of the process, not just student debt. Which is why I think that a full employment scheme for 25s and under is a must. Otherwise studying at university is just a way for the government to make the unemployment numbers look better for a few years and build up the Crown balance sheet (with student debt).

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  @ C.V

                  but they’re not the ones who can force the government to change course because they also tend to have the most to lose and the most to gain by not rocking the establishment boat too much.

                  I agree re this not wanting to rock the boat comment – this is a problem – high debt – have to keep one’s job to pay it back = extra-compliant.

                  However the picture you paint in another comment you made in this thread re the origins of labour – people used to have jobs that cover their costs and some – they had access to more affordable houses too. I think people are under a hell of a lot more pressure now. I think you will strike a problem now with the casualization of jobs and lack of them and what effect this is having on peoples’ level of gumption.

                  [I suspect that people actually were better educated at school too back then. Certainly there was less propaganda being forced into peoples’ minds everywhere back then]

                  Therefore the problems regarding ‘not wanting to rock the boat’ hold whether educated or not – i.e. not wanting to rock the boat is a likely result from all levels of socioeconomic positions due to the pressures facing people currently. I don’t think that less education opportunities are going to lessen this phenomena – I think its going to make it worse.

                  You’ve learned almost all your politics on TS?? Blow me down with a feather! I would have fallen over had I not been sitting down! Yes, lots to learn from TS comments (thanks everyone :) ) but come now C.V, what isn’t part of the ‘almost all’ was probably from books by people who have learned certain well established principles from formal education :| …and how many people commenting have also started gaining their political knowledge from Uni too….?!

          • KJT 17.2.2.1.2

            “What was the limited entry? ”

            It was based on numbers for courses and scholarship marks.
            And, despite what some claim, it was almost all upper middle class children.
            Paid for by working peoples taxes.
            Used to see the infestation of them on the ski-fields every holiday.

            ‘Learning a trade is still an education – ( I’m unclear why people keep tending to refer solely to Uni when I have been referring to education issues?)”

            Something I have a problem with also.. Also the lesser status Anglo Saxon countries give to those who do real productive work with their hands. Often stuff which takes a lot more skill, thought and knowledge than a Uni trained bean counter or MBA.

            “I strongly disagree about it being a good thing if less people go to Uni. The more people that learn the better”

            See above about trades..

            “The more people that know the ‘conventional learning’ the more will realise how information, historical facts and philosophy are being completely mulched by popular journalism, politicians and big money”.

            Agree.

            “Additionally, (and somewhat related to the above point) some of the most precious learning in Uni is one of removing the ‘mystique’ (or mystery) as to what is being taught! A lot of it isn’t rocket science – it is learning to reason and be systematic and respect information. (I guess I am talking about Uni specifically here, yet any formal learning supplies this at some level) Again, the more people who are exposed to this standard of learning – the more people will realise the severe level of bullshit that is being dished out to us on a regular basis”

            Actually I think young people learn as much or more of that in a trades apprenticeship, than Uni.
            Having done the Uni thing as an adult student, I saw many who were simply there so they could hold off making a decision about their future. And way too many who were too immature to really gain from the experience.
            The worst repeaters of RW neo-liberal bullshit have been Uni trained..

            “This is actually very important in order to address the severe attack on democracy, freedom (in the real meaning of the word – not the mulched meaning) and rights going on in the Western world at present. It ain’t going to get any better by less people gaining the skills and [sadly] credibility in order to supply a reasoned argument against what is going on. The more people doing this the better – I can’t help suspecting this is why information and learning are being restricted”.

            True. But how is the conformist, mostly employment based training, currently undertaken at University meeting the ideal?
            In fact, I think this sort of awareness is better taught at primary and secondary.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 17.2.2.1.2.1

              Thanks for the clarification KJT

              It may well have been that it was largely middle-class people who were going to Uni under the previous system – is this any reason to make this more the case now?

              The thing is, regardless of any argument there is regarding the benefits of a learning a trade versus a Uni degree, severe obstacles are being placed in the way of pursuing either option for a large number of people and I strongly object to this.

              It is particularly obnoxious that this is occurring when both the left and right wing politicians are speaking of our needing to move toward a knowledge economy. And right-wing memes speak of ‘choices’ – of which they are increasingly removing.

          • karol 17.2.2.1.3

            Maybe KJT is referring to the fact that only a very small percentage of the population went to Uni, prior to the 70s/80s. Not so much that it was deliberately limited. The limiting factors were the ability to support oneself while doing a course, parental contributions or lack of, amount entry level jobs paid part time or in holidays, whether one continued to the upper sixth form to sit scholarship or bursary exams… etc.

            I’m all for any kind of learning throughout life, whether from enrollment in a tertiary educational course or by other means.

            • KJT 17.2.2.1.3.1

              I don’t know if it was deliberate policy at the time, but the fact your parents had to be able to support you at High school until UE in the 6th Form, limited entry, and academic requirements, for many courses. especially medicine, law and dentistry, the ability to support yourself through holiday jobs or parental income and the lack of extra help outside of scholarships, also based on academic marks at high school, restricted entry.

              It is often overlooked that student loans enabled us to greatly increase the number of students at University, without much extra cost.

              It wasn’t really, “free”. We all, including those who didn’t go to Uni, paid for it with high tax rates. Half my income was tax in the late 70’s.

              And that many more lower income people have been able to undertake a University education since student allowances and student loans for living costs were introduced.

              Unfortunately, many practical “apprenticeships” have now been captured by tertiary institutions looking for “bums on seats” to get more funding to the detriment of both the trades and the tertiary institutions.

              In my opinion one of the most destructive things National has done was removing “community education”.

          • Draco T Bastard 17.2.2.1.4

            Again, the more people who are exposed to this standard of learning – the more people will realise the severe level of bullshit that is being dished out to us on a regular basis.

            Are you sure? The economists taught at uni don’t seem to realise it as they keep believing the BS that they’re taught. In fact, they’re quite specifically taught against what’s happening in the real world.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 17.2.2.1.4.1

              Not all students are studying economics, DTB – this is a bit of a strawman

              Additionally, as I mentioned to C.V above – are the economists expounding bullshit due to their learning or is it due to ulterior motives on their part?

              Or then again, are all economists expounding bullshit – or are the ones expounding bullshit the ones being given the most influential platforms? Is this due to the education system or is it due to the power and influence that big money has in this society?

              • Draco T Bastard

                this is a bit of a strawman

                Not really. Just pointing out that it’s not as rosy as you think it is. People taught the wrong thing will continue to believe it.

                are the economists expounding bullshit due to their learning or is it due to ulterior motives on their part?

                The former – mostly. Some start off as ideological and get more so as they get more economic learning.

                Or then again, are all economists expounding bullshit – or are the ones expounding bullshit the ones being given the most influential platforms?

                Not all but there’s very few heterodox economists.

                Is this due to the education system or is it due to the power and influence that big money has in this society?

                I think both. Firstly the economics that is taught was highly influenced by the well off centuries ago with the education system now maintaining that theory that was decided centuries ago and is still influenced by the rich.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  I disagree with you here DTB

                  I haven’t studied economics, yet recently studied other subjects, one being statistics. When some of the census stats came out I noted that the way stats are being presented by the herald, for example, is completely counter to what is being taught at University – the little figures they use and the queer categories employed were taught as no-no’s for presenting information clearly and referred to as ‘junk graphs’ in Uni.

                  This had been a consistent experience for me when comparing what is being conveyed in the world to what is being taught in subjects I have studied in Uni.

                  I can only guess that the same is going on in economics. That plenty of up-to-date and accurate knowledge is being learned, yet it is being skewed by those wishing to push an agenda.

                  I am open to the possibility that faulty theories may be being taught in economics or other subjects, yet this is really not my experience when comparing what has been presented to me in University to what is presented by the media or by politicians or others in power – in my experience there are plenty of faulty concepts conveyed to the general public that simply don’t align with things I have learned in Uni – I put forward that information is being presented to the general public in a thoroughly mulched form by vested interests. So despite being open to the possibility that Uni’s are teaching corrupted information – yeah, nah – not in my experience – those in power are mulching the information and had I not done some papers in Uni, then I may simply view that information as authoritative.

                  Many of the books contesting the way our society is going are taught by people who have an education – this also indicates that what you are suggesting is not accurate.

                  As mentioned before if faulty theories are being taught in economics – there are plenty of other subjects where solid, accurate information is still available – for those who can afford it.

                  • McFlock

                    It depends on the economics school, even the lecturer. I dabbled a bit (even passed a paper or two :)), and felt that at the lower levels of “education” there was a certain amount of indoctrination by a couple of lecturers (the same can be said for political philosophy, though).

                    My impression was that the economics I was taught was hand in hand with the concept that pure self interest was a social norm and a social ideal. An example was a 1st year class exercise around a question aong the lines of “you need someone else’s permission to get $100. How much should you pay them for their permission?”: we were told that the “most efficient” answer was $1, not $50. If they didn’t take it, they’d be worse off, so you’re doing them a favour by offering the minimum.

                    Basically, plugging a number of those sorts of scenarios to 18 year olds essentially sets them up to have a warped view of “optimum”, even if they personally didn’t become sociopaths. The theories might be consistent and work if humanity is exclusively selfish, but even if it’s not then the economists taught by that lecturer have been told that their own selfishness is a sign of their superiority.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      Good to know McFlock, thanks

                      I suspect that an economic degree does require some papers in the arts, unsure about this, yet this conversation is making me see that possibly the Arts are more prone to providing the critical thinking aspect of education that I most like. I am aware that medicine can be pretty crappy for that. In fact they appear to be actively taught cynicism to wholistic approaches – a friend who was a trained doctor provided an example of this – however he was trained many years ago and things may have changed (I write with much doubt!)

                      I have written up a list of highly educated people (below) whose articles I have read who are pretty critical of aspects of our system, however, and conclude that education has not prevented them from intelligent critique of our system contradicting the suspicion being put forward above.

                    • McFlock

                      only two of them were economists, though ;)

                      most 3 year majors at otago require something like up to a third in other subjects, but that includes other commerce papers.

                      Medicine’s an interesting one – they’ve learned some tough lessons about the value of learning about things other than patient physiology. Mostly at the expense of patients. But I have a suspicion that medical training has changed dramatically over the last 30 years, with the introduction of required communication papers, increased emphasis on ethics, and live patient simulations (they get actors in to be patients in mock consultations so students learn how to deal with people).

                      edit: although med students can still be difficult to date, what with workloads and schedules ;)

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I haven’t studied economics, yet recently studied other subjects, one being statistics.

                    One of the complaints that Steve Keen has is that economists aren’t taught better maths because the maths that they actually use is out of date.

                    I used economics as an example to show that not everything taught at uni will suddenly cause people to see the truth. Take McGrath as an example. Thing is, the economic lecturers I had at uni were actually worse and I’d say that most of the political lecturers had the same economic beliefs as the economists (probably because when they wanted economic advise they went to the economics department).

              • Colonial Viper

                Steve Keen, whom I think deserves a high level of respect, said that most academic economists are genuine altruists who do believe that the work they do is of benefit to all mankind.

                I think he is somewhat less sure about the banking, brokerage and corporate economists who get paid by the financial elite to make useful cases to the public and the media.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  Steve Keen : A former professor in economics and finance

                  Bruce Jesson: Bachelor’s degree in Law

                  Joseph Stiglitz: Phd in Economics

                  Chris Hedges: Bachelor of Arts and Master of Divinity

                  Nicky Hagar: Degrees in Physics and Philosophy

                  Five people whose education doesn’t appear to have stopped them speaking out on matters of systemic failure.

                  [All information gathered from Wikipedia]

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Five out of how many millions?

                    We’re not seeing a great deal of people questioning the system despite the fact that a hell of a lot of people actually do have advanced educations.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Its actually worse than that. The financial tools, corporate systems and banking products being used to consume and destroy both people and the environment have been designed and run by the smartest and most highly qualified people in the world. Derivative products and high speed trading systems built by math and physics PhDs from Stanford, Caltech and MIT.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      DTB & CV

                      This list was off the top of my head and I wouldn’t consider myself well-read on the systemic failure going on – I have read some books, yet specifically on economics not many at all. I still came up with 2 trained economists and I think it unfair to count these out of the millions trained in economics. How about count them out of all the economists who have the ‘loudest’ platform?

                      I have accepted elsewhere in this thread (above, I think) that there may be some issue with economics theory taught in University, however this does not change my views regarding the advantages of education – am quite flabbergasted that I would be spending so much time justifying the point on The Standard, where it is clear that many, many commenters here have had the privilege of a formal education!! (including yourselves by the sounds of it!).

                      I do, however, see you both committing the error of seeing a correlation and calling it a cause. This was a matter taught repetitively in the 1st year Statistics paper I recently completed (i.e. an example of useful knowledge learned at Uni!).

                      The many people with educations, as has been established earlier on in this conversation also appear to have largely come from middle-upper class families. There are, therefore, other potential ’causes’ to this failure, other than the education they received.

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    Our History is Under Attack

    Second, Thompson showed how fundamental social and political change came from movements of the “common people”. He had little time for political parties and their bureaucratised processes, still less for the belief that history was predetermined: he believed in the human agency of ordinary people making their own history. As he put it, “The working class did not rise like the sun at an appointed time. It was present at its own making.”

    The consequences of forgetting these lessons would be profound. If the next generation of schoolchildren and university students are, in effect, indoctrinated into believing that there is no alternative to a politics that privileges the rich and powerful then political disillusionment and alienation will increase. A vacuum in democratic politics is likely to lead to the rise of the populist, xenophobic right, as can be seen in the current politics of both the UK and other European societies.

    As we’ve seen, time and time again on these pages, the RWNJs are always trying to re-write history to have it conform with their own delusions.

    • karol 18.1

      Ah, thank you – i would like to revisit that classic. On my reading list.

      EP Thompson ! Yep so important for people’s history.

  19. tricledrown 19

    CV we need to be team players
    To win this election.
    OK we have many differing opinions.
    But as BigMouth says unified lol
    We on the left are very open to be divided and conquered.
    Politics is a dirty business fact.
    Let’s keep it together till november the next 3 month are the most important time to put in the hard yards and get every one onboard.

  20. tricledrown 20

    DTB
    That’s just gone labour MP s quote.
    No Doubt the greens have a policy which will push labour into real action.
    Its time not to dump on each other the Tories are masters of the divide and conquer let’s not make it easy for them.
    Help get the Green and Mana vote out their policy on education is more aligned with yours and my Ideas on efucation.
    The more Mps we have in parliament the more influence we can have at the cabinet table.
    The 800,000 who didn’t vote last time don,t believe govt can make difference the greens and Mana have the policies to get these nonvoters out.
    Once again let’s focus on a strategy here putting down labour ain’t going to win any election.
    Remember the Rollingstones song you can’t always get what you want but getting someting is better than nothing.
    Peter Sharples got a change in the National govt,s attitude to crime and punishment by increasing prisoner rehab funding and its working!
    Mana and the Maori party have made huge gains in tobacco consumption .
    How many seats do they have in parliament 4.
    The greens mana could have up to 20 MPs
    DTB I have studied political science we don’t need to fight each other.
    Let’s maximise our vote .
    This is MMP that’s what’s needed let’s not get caught up in FPP type politic’s

  21. greywarbler 21

    Some links of interest. Guy McPherson on climate change. Rory Sutherland on economics and lif.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF83kgZ-gWA
    Guy McPherson, Climate Collapse talk at Age of Limits 2013
    and
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEGlYXumguI
    Guy McPherson—”How Do We Act in the Face of Climate Chaos?”
    and
    Rory Sutherland – The Flawed Dominance of Economics (CUSPE)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSm1RwvLmsI
    and ironic, amusing
    The Lost Genius of Irrationality: Rory Sutherland at TEDxOxford
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VuYiEbGQ9Q

  22. Jim Nald 22

    It is good to hear from Cunliffe today:

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbpol/1229933059-a-year-of-wins-for-labour—cunliffe

    Like rust, the Natz machinery does not stop scheming and while the opposition parties should take time to recharge, they should also maintain their media presence.

    edit – I am not sure why my comment is here at 21. I posted something and then noticed the other comments below that bear no relation to, and indeed were posted way before, my comment! (oh, back to normal now .. the comments that were below are no longer there.)

    • lprent 22.1

      I am not sure why my comment is here at 21

      Sorry. Probably my fault. I was testing a new “move comment” routine earlier.

      • Jim Nald 22.1.1

        No probs.

        I’ve just noticed that “the other comments” just get pushed further down. For instance, they are now appended to karol’s comment at 23. They followed after joe90 at 21, before karol posted hers.

        By “the other comments”, I mean the ones that are in the cluster including tinfoilhat – QOT – kenny – weka – QOT.

      • KJT 22.1.2

        Iprent. The Greens have closed forums for discussion and policy making. However any member can join.

  23. karol 24

    Tonight on TV One, 8.30pm Made in Dagenham

    A dramatization of the 1968 strike at the Ford Dagenham car plant, where female workers walked out in protest against sexual discrimination.

    Not sure about the description as “comedy drama”, and the YT trailer looks like it has a bit of the Hollywood sell – but I will give it a look.

  24. KJT 25

    Posts that were censored off the other thread.

    Submitted on 2014/01/01 at 12:22 pm | In reply to QoT.
    Yes. Because to do something about it means that they have to pay taxes and support their community, instead of running off with “the money”.
    I was one of the people who supported and worked for LBGT rights. But I am well aware that the only reason the right wing supported it is because it didn’t change anything they considered important.

    Submitted on 2014/01/01 at 12:29 pm | In reply to weka.
    I’ve found that working in groups that allowing everyone a voice makes for much better decisions and much more effective outcomes.
    It is often difficult, messy and complicated, but in the end everyone can buy into the outcome, because they have all had a voice, and chance to have a say in the decision.
    And it is often the silent ones who are not good talkers who come out of left field, when encouraged, who come up with the best ideas.
    It is common for people who actually agree to end up in rather pointless arguments about semantic details. Which is what I have seen happening between QOT and CV.
    It is also useful when both think about it later.

    • weka 25.1

      Thanks for replying KJT.

      Ok, so let’s practice that then. I’m not feeling heard by you, and you appear to be dictating other people’s realities.

      eg “It is common for people who actually agree to end up in rather pointless arguments about semantic details. Which is what I have seen happening between QOT and CV.”

      This is not a pointless argument about semantic details. There are number of seasoned activists and long term ts commenters and authors who are all pointing to a problem with what CV has been doing. That *you* don’t perceive it as a problem is your business, but please don’t start telling us how we should be perceiving it, as if we don’t have the nous to have our own understanding of what is going on.

      Back with the everyone being heard thing, I take it that you have no experience then of groups having their focus and work undermined by individuals co-opting space for their own agenda. Have I got that right? So in this situation on ts, where a number of us see that happening, and where you don’t, how do you propose we proceed?

      • Colonial Viper 25.1.1

        There are number of seasoned activists and long term ts commenters and authors who are all pointing to a problem with what CV has been doing.

        I take it that you have no experience then of groups having their focus and work undermined by individuals co-opting space for their own agenda. Have I got that right? So in this situation on ts, where a number of us see that happening

        Trying to frame me as “the other” so quickly, weka? Bit of a cheap trick for you to claim that you are part of a broad consensus against a lone radical, isn’t it?

        Shall I point out that a “number of seasoned activists and long term ts commenters and authors” also do see what I am pointing out? Perhaps I have been too blunt or too shrill in my advocacy. Nevertheless the schism represented by focussing on boutique identity politics affecting just a few % of the population at most, while simultaneously the young, the working class and the under class in this country have been smashed, industries closed down, manufacturing decimated, exporters hamstrung is there for all to see. And particularly harmed are those under 20, male/female/LGBT/straight who today will likely see the Earth become nearly unlivable within their life time, if 4 deg C or 5 deg C predictions come true?

        Further I do not doubt any of your assertions that disadvantaged groups, minorities, women, disabled, etc. will experience these negative trends and be worse off than the groups who hold power in the patriarchy, and that that is totally inequitable.

        • weka 25.1.1.1

          “Shall I point out that a “number of seasoned activists and long term ts commenters and authors” also do see what I am pointing out?”

          By all means CV, I have no problem with that. It in no way negates what I said. See this is where you simply don’t get it. That I have made a statement of fact about something doesn’t prevent you from doing the same. Why would I think that?

          KJT thinks that you and QoT have semantic disagreement going on. Let’s see if QoT agrees with that, eh?

          Perhaps I have been too blunt or too shrill in my advocacy. Nevertheless the schism represented by focussing on boutique identity politics affecting just a few % of the population at most, while simultaneously the young, the working class and the under class in this country have been smashed, industries closed down, manufacturing decimated, exporters hamstrung is there for all to see. And particularly harmed are those under 20, male/female/LGBT/straight who today will likely see the Earth become nearly unlivable within their life time, if 4 deg C or 5 deg C predictions come true?

          Further I do not doubt any of your assertions that disadvantaged groups, minorities, women, disabled, etc. will experience these negative trends and be worse off than the groups who hold power in the patriarchy, and that that is totally inequitable.

          Whatever. You can trot out all the right sounding politics you like now CV. But for weeks now I’ve listened to your marginalising of whole swathes of voices at the same time as running a specific line here that IMO has been agin many creative and successful strategies on the left. I’m still willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, that you got so caught up in whatever revelation you’ve had that you lost sight of the actual people involved, but until I see you stopping and listening to what is being said here and trying to engage in a meaningful way then I can’t see any point in meeting you half way.

          The big irony here is that I too have been naming AGW/PO/GFC as the priorities, it’s just that my strategies differ from yours. The big difference in approach is that I’m not telling you to stop focussing on economic politics (if that’s where your passion and skill are, then go for it). What I’m doing is standing up and saying don’t tell me to STFU, when you haven’t even had the decency to listen and understand where I and others are coming from, or why we are now so fucked off by what you have been doing. To this very minute I still don’t believe that you have a good or useful understanding of why I and others believe what we do. That mate is down to you and the arrogant fucking approach you’ve taken in the past month. Nothing to do with being too shrill or blunt (I don’t have a problem with say QoT or Lprent), everything to do with you wanting to rule the world. I’m sure you don’t see it like that, but consider that even if it’s not your intention, it is how you are coming across. That’s your responsibility.

          • Colonial Viper 25.1.1.1.1

            I’ve never told you to STFU. I haven’t told you to stop pursuing the politics you want. Neither do I have any power to do so. I’m the one who has been banned from a post and had my comments overwritten and deleted, not you. So stop making out that you’re the one being attacked and silenced.

            Patriarchy? Privilege? Intersectionality? Something you’ve been muttering about “white dudery”? I never asked you to stop using any language or concepts you choose, racist and sexist as “white dudery” clearly is. (Oh cry, the misandry!!!). Then you call me “arrogant” for standing my ground on the framework that I’m currently using, yet I would never dream of calling you names for standing your ground on the frameworks that you use.

            You see, after being banned, and then accused by you of being ‘the other’, having secret agendas etc, what I find most interesting is how different people on the Left handle power, when they have just a tiny little bit, and also how they respond to being challenged on their ideas. Pretty average in some cases, truth be told.

            As for your claims that I’m “marginalising whole swathes of voices.” That’s a bucketful of fetid tripe. Hundreds of thousands of good blue collar and working class jobs vanished into smoke. Beneficiaries and the poor cut down at every turn by Governments of all coloured flags. Nearly a million NZers moved overseas for the long term. Who listened to their voices more than just passingly as the Left trundled on with it’s identity politics wins? Don’t you think that whole swathes of ordinary NZers amongst the 800,000 who did not vote, didn’t vote because they long realised that no one is listening to their voices? I’m simply pointing that out.

            Anyways I know that your recognition and my recognition of AGW/PO/GFC is very similar. Understand though, that me not placing the same priority on your strategies, however irksome you might find that, is not the same as me telling you to “STFU”.

            Nothing to do with being too shrill or blunt (I don’t have a problem with say QoT or Lprent), everything to do with you wanting to rule the world.

            Thanks for your parting accusation of being a meglomaniac or narcissist. Classy. Any other psychiatric or psychological disorders you want to accuse me of?

            • weka 25.1.1.1.1.1

              “Anyways I know that your recognition and my recognition of AGW/PO/GFC is very similar. Understand though, that me not placing the same priority on your strategies, however irksome you might find that, is not the same as me telling you to “STFU”.”

              Oh, good. I won’t hear you saying that we (the left) need to stop with the identity politics then. Right? And when you criticise things like the man ban, you will in future criticise Labour’s internal and PR handling of the issue, rather than blaming the politics of women. Right?

              “As for your claims that I’m “marginalising whole swathes of voices.” That’s a bucketful of fetid tripe. Hundreds of thousands of good blue collar and working class jobs vanished into smoke. Beneficiaries and the poor cut down at every turn by Governments of all coloured flags. Nearly a million NZers moved overseas for the long term. Who listened to their voices more than just passingly as the Left trundled on with it’s identity politics wins? Don’t you think that whole swathes of ordinary NZers amongst the 800,000 who did not vote, didn’t vote because they long realised that no one is listening to their voices? I’m simply pointing that out.”

              Pretty illogical there CV. That classes x, y, z have been marginalised doesn’t equate to classes a, b, c not being marginalised. I think this is probably core to what you don’t get about what I am saying. Why would you need to point that all that out to me, as if I somehow don’t understand what’s happened to the working and underclasses in NZ?

              “Patriarchy? Privilege? Intersectionality? Something you’ve been muttering about “white dudery”? I never asked you to stop using any language or concepts you choose, racist and sexist as “white dudery” clearly is. (Oh cry, the misandry!!!). Then you call me “arrogant” for standing my ground on the framework that I’m currently using, yet I would never dream of calling you names for standing your ground on the frameworks that you use.”

              Two things: ‘white-dudery’ isn’t racist or sexist. It’s a descriptive term for a class of people. Like neoliberal. Or RWNJ. It’s not polite, but it is accurate. We classify people by groups all the time and then use names for them. That’s not sexist and racist. It’s what we do with those classifications that determines prejudice and bigotry. If you think how I use the term is bigoted by all means point out how (beyond the fact that I refer to ethnicity and gender).

              The other thing is this: maybe we’re all wrong here. Maybe you really did just want to share with us your own personal framework and not impose it on the rest of it. If that is so, why has it taken you so long to point this out?

              “yet I would never dream of calling you names for standing your ground on the frameworks that you use.”

              You have consistently used the demeaning and marginalising term ‘identity politics’ to refer to my politics for the past month or two. I now believe you have done that deliberately, although the larger part of your strategy is still a mystery to me.

              • karol

                Who listened to their voices more than just passingly as the Left trundled on with it’s identity politics wins?

                And what wins were they? And how much were they the lead policies or legislation of Labour? Or the Greens?

                Working for Families? Interest free student loans? Apprenticeship schemes? ECE funding? Kiwibank? Super, Kiwisaver? Nationalising Air NZ? Public transport initiatives? Increased minimum wage?

                yes there’s a lack of support for those on the lowest incomes – for which they deserve every bit of criticism they get. But they busied their time with a lot more than gender/sexuality issues.

                And it wasn’t the “identity issues” that stopped them from improving the lot of those on the lowest incomes.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I was simply responding to a point about “marginalised voices.” And there’s been none more marginalised over the last 30 years as the voices of the working class, the underclass and blue collar workers (whether they be men, women, LGBT, straight, white or coloured). All disposable, hundreds of thousands of jobs gone overseas, and many of those Kiwis gone too.

                  And it wasn’t the “identity issues” that stopped them from improving the lot of those on the lowest incomes.

                  Agreed. But it was a decent salve which was also acceptable to the capitalists.

              • Colonial Viper

                I’ve already explained my position on what boutique identity politics is about. Yes it is a prejudicial term. Like ‘white dudery.’ It is essentially politics which is focussed on concrete changes for a very small (sometimes vanishingly small) % of society while almost completely avoiding issues of economic justice for the bottom 50% of society.

                And I find it amusing that you think the term ‘identity politics’ is “demeaning and marginalising” while ‘white dudery’ is simply factual and neither racist or sexist. Ah well. Each to their own prejudices.

                Oh, good. I won’t hear you saying that we (the left) need to stop with the identity politics then. Right? And when you criticise things like the man ban, you will in future criticise Labour’s internal and PR handling of the issue, rather than blaming the politics of women. Right?

                I reckon that you don’t get to declare what points I get and don’t get to make on TS, just as I do not get to declare what points you get and don’t get to make on TS. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

                As for your (and karol’s) ongoing claims of “STFU” pressure. Only men have been banned from commenting on posts today, and only men have been had their comments overwritten and deleted. So as far as I am concerned, only men have suffered from actual “STFU” on TS today. Another ironic lol.

                • Matthew Hooton

                  This has been an interesting discussion and, after reflection, I find myself siding with Colonial Viper. No doubt this will be seen as simply because I think we share gender and ethnicity. Nevertheless, it seems to me the use of “white-dudery” is exactly the sort of language that people on both the more traditional left and so-called “identity politics” advocates have been trying to get rid of.

                  I note in particular the paragraph from weka above: “‘[W]hite-dudery’ isn’t racist or sexist. It’s a descriptive term for a class of people. Like neoliberal. Or RWNJ. It’s not polite, but it is accurate. We classify people by groups all the time and then use names for them. That’s not sexist and racist. It’s what we do with those classifications that determines prejudice and bigotry. If you think how I use the term is bigoted by all means point out how (beyond the fact that I refer to ethnicity and gender).”

                  It seems to me that the way this term is being used is to say “there is a set of ideas that I disagree with and which I believe are negative and harmful” and that “I believe (anecdotally or more concretely) that many white males share these ideas” and that therefore I will use the term “white-dudery” to describe those ideas – with the proviso that this is mere shorthand and there is no claim that all white males share these ideas.

                  In other words, weka etc are using a race- and gender-based term to describe things they believe are negative and harmful – even though they themselves acknowledge that there are many people of that ethnicity and gender to whom applying the term would be inaccurate (and therefore demeaning to them).

                  Instead of saying these apparently negative and harmful ideas are “white-dudery” wouldn’t it be more accurate for weka etc to say “too many white males still hold racist, sexist, imperialist (or whatever) views and we need to encourage them to see the error of their ways”? That is, describe the ideas as wrong but don’t attribute them (or risk appearing to attribute them) to ethnicity and gender.

                  An (imperfect) comparison may be something like this:

                  According to the recent PISA study, (see http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/144872/1015_PISA-Summary_2012.pdf ), on average girls do worse than boys in mathematics (see figure 5.1) while Pasifika students do worse than Pakeha or Maori students (see the tables on pages 30 to 35).

                  Now, I think doing badly at maths is a negative and harmful thing but “Pacific-chickery” does not seem to me to be the right shorthand to describe poor performance in maths. This is not only because some Pacific girls do well at maths and some Pakeha boys do badly, but also because even when it applies to Pacific girls who do badly at maths it is demeaning to attribute this to their gender and ethnicity, and there is more to who they are than just being bad at maths.

                  A better response would be to say “too many Pasifika girls are doing badly at maths and we need to find ways to help them do better”.

                  An obvious rejoinder is that, with the concept of “white-dudery”, white males are being described as perpetrators of injustice whereas, with “Pacific-chickery”, Pasifika girls are being described as victims, so that “Pacific-chickery” would be racist and sexist in a way that “white-dudery” never could be. (As I said, it is an imperfect comparison).

                  However, weka etc surely do not believe that white men who hold the views they believe are negative and harmful do so because of their gender and skin colour but because of social forces of which most of them do not even recognise. They are therefore surely in a sense victims of those social forces, because the social forces blind them to a better way of being and behaving. Similarly, the Pasifika girls who (on average) do badly at maths do not do so because of their gender and skin colour but because of social forces of which they may well be unaware.

                  Over the last 100 or so years, with acceleration over the last 40 years, gender and ethnicity-based terms of abuse have fallen out of favour because they are demeaning to those they might (at an aggregate level) apply to; demeaning to those who share the gender and ethnicity of the stereotype but not the negative or harmful things apparently associated with it; and ultimately demeaning of people who still use such terms.

                  PS. No doubt someone will try to find examples of me using collective terms in a demeaning way, but I bet I could argue my way out of any such accusations. But the point is, when we use collective terms in a demeaning way and someone objects it is better to accept the criticism and try to avoid the term in future. That is all.

                  • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                    I fairly well agree with you Hooton (who would have ever thunk I would ever say that!) and perhaps this is the learning that can come out of this discussion for those defending ‘identity politics’ (for want of a better term).

                    There is another term that can be used to refer to this ‘white male’ concept, yet I can’t remember it at present! ‘Dominant paradigm’ might be one.

                    It would be great to see those dismissing ‘identity politics’ (for want of a better term) learning the advantages of not alienating 10%, 20% of the population at a time too, however. This is an important matter for the left-wing, which contains much diversity, and I sincerely hope that this point is taken on board.

                    And I am sure that Mathew Hooton would agree – if it wasn’t part of his job to get the right-wing into power – it makes it ever so much easier for National to get into power when this point is not fully taken on board by the Left.

                  • greywarbler

                    Matthew H
                    That was a sincere thought piece. And true, labelling and denigration together ends up a blot on the whole target group. Yet white males have been top dog for a long time, and within that group – the classes often acquire more dominance on the way to the upper one. The women in the upper one then have been able to acquire a portion of that dominance and apply downward pressure on men. That is often how women got status, being married to an upper class or professional man.

                    For the rest, patronising was the attitude of males to women. I remember a Punch cartoon of a board room meeting which showed an example. The secretary finishes submitting an idea. Her boss is approving. ‘That was a good idea Miss Smith. Would any of you gentlemen like to table that as a motion’, (or whatever the terms are). At that time it was the attitude of ‘Girls can do nothing’ which got changed to ‘Anything’ after the 1970’s outbreak of feminism, but the attitude lingers on, and so does the resentment.

                    White dudery may be annoying and unpleasant for white men to accept but it is effective in description of the acceptance of advantage – in the USA it used to be WASPs. White Anglo-Saxon Protestants I think.

                    Unfortunately in stony ground the plant wishing to grow must be assertive and strong, even acquire thorns as protection against browsing animals! It’s not the term (gun) that is so bad, it’s the way that people blast off willy-nillly at any likely target.

                    • weka

                      “White dudery may be annoying and unpleasant for white men to accept but it is effective in description of the acceptance of advantage – in the USA it used to be WASPs. White Anglo-Saxon Protestants I think.”

                      Thanks greywarbler. That’s a much better example than the ones I gave.

                    • greywarbler

                      Just a small extra on why resentment exists in the bosoms of some ladies Matthew.
                      This link details how the guys went nuts in 1897 when women were to be allowed to sit for degrees or papers at Cambridge. They hung an effigy of a women on a bike from a building. (The new independent woman symbol probably.) Later they tore it to pieces or something. Not nice.
                      http://www.sheilahanlon.com/?p=292

                  • weka

                    Hey Matthew, thanks for an actual thoughtful attempt at analysing why ‘white-dudery’ might or might not be racist/sexist! I don’t think anyone else attempted that.

                    It seems to me that the way this term is being used is to say “there is a set of ideas that I disagree with and which I believe are negative and harmful” and that “I believe (anecdotally or more concretely) that many white males share these ideas” and that therefore I will use the term “white-dudery” to describe those ideas – with the proviso that this is mere shorthand and there is no claim that all white males share these ideas.

                    That’s not bad, but it’s not just about a set of ideas that I happen to disagree with (I would hold the same analysis of power even were I to agree with the ideas). It’s not just the ideas, it’s the power structures that enable privilege to left wing men within left wing communities.


                    In other words, weka etc are using a race- and gender-based term to describe things they believe are negative and harmful – even though they themselves acknowledge that there are many people of that ethnicity and gender to whom applying the term would be inaccurate (and therefore demeaning to them).

                    Not quite. I’m talking about a class of people (I don’t mean economic class). Even for the men in that class that I don’t consider to be holding certain views, they still have privilege from being part of that class and there are incentives for them to stay silent and retain the status quo. However I do encourage any men who are part of that class but who don’t feel that they fit within my general criticism (eg ‘left wing men are still sidelining women’s issues’), those men I encourage to not be offended by the term ‘white dudery’ because it’s really not aimed at them.

                    Instead of saying these apparently negative and harmful ideas are “white-dudery” wouldn’t it be more accurate for weka etc to say “too many white males still hold racist, sexist, imperialist (or whatever) views and we need to encourage them to see the error of their ways”? That is, describe the ideas as wrong but don’t attribute them (or risk appearing to attribute them) to ethnicity and gender.

                    Quite, but that is in fact exactly what I said. I didn’t say ‘white dudes’. I said ‘white-dudery’ which is shorthand for a specific phenomenon.

                    Having said all that, I’m not sure I have a problem with using a term that talks about men collectively instead of their actions.

                    The irony here is that I’ve just been accused of being all touchy feely and upset because CV doesn’t love me enough to be inclusive of my politics. All I can say is that if some men are upset by the term ‘white-dudery’ they need to man the fuck up (or woman up if they prefer) ;-) They could also try engaging with me directly to see what that term is actually about instead of just writing it off or being offended by the wrong thing.

                    One thing that is obviously missing from your analysis is that I’m white, so on one level there really isn’t anything racist about me calling white people white – unless, I guess, I thought there was something wrong with being white, which I don’t, but even then it would a fairly low level kind of personal bigotry given that there are no power differentials and there is no institutional power backing or underpinning what I say. Likewise, even though I am not of the gender that I am critiquing, there is no instutional power advantage here. So although I’m sure some men find it triggering to be thus labelled, and I can understand how they might confuse that with say a man in this situation calling feminists a bunch of bitches, it’s not really the same is it? Because white men generally don’t get oppressed by the culture on a gender basis, so ‘white-dudery’ doesn’t carry anything like the same weight as ‘feminist bitch’ (caveat as always, I think men get fucked over by the patriarchy too, but in different ways. That difference is important).

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    …white men who hold the views they believe are negative and harmful do so [not] because of their gender and skin colour but because of social forces of which most of them do not even recognise. They are therefore surely in a sense victims of those social forces, because the social forces blind them to a better way of being and behaving.

                    Matthew Hooton.

                    …lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups … Our results suggest that cognitive abilities play a critical, albeit underappreciated, role in prejudice. Consequently, we recommend a heightened focus on cognitive ability in research on prejudice and a better integration of cognitive ability into prejudice models.

                    Gordon Hodson.

                    Careful Matthew, you might start making sense.

            • weka 25.1.1.1.1.2

              “Nothing to do with being too shrill or blunt (I don’t have a problem with say QoT or Lprent), everything to do with you wanting to rule the world.”

              Thanks for your parting accusation of being a meglomaniac or narcissist. Classy. Any other psychiatric or psychological disorders you want to accuse me of?

              Let me rephrase then. I don’t find you too shrill or blunt (QoT and Lynn yes, and I don’t have a problem with that here). I do find your approach to be one of “I’m right and I want everyone else to take that on board”. Others have made a similar observation. You may not be intending that, but that is how you have come across.

              You obviously have had some change in your political approach in the past few months, and I think you acknowledged that somewhere here today. My view is that that approach is creating antagonism and possible divisions that will be hard to heal. The only thing that has come close to that that I’ve seen on ts is discussions about rape. In some ways that is undertandable because conversations about rape are uber difficult and we don’t have a good history yet of being able to do so. So to see an increasing level of acrimony, to the point of serious harm, over how the left should be organising strikes me as bizarre.

              I’m sure you will see this as me blaming you and will react accordingly. But given how many ways that quite a few of us have tried to approach this and have been met with a consistency from you rather than a willingness to engage and meet each other, it’s pretty hard to know where to go from here.

              • Colonial Viper

                I want to see dominating the political prime time those policies and ideas which help huge numbers of people. 250K to 300K children in poverty. A million and a half NZers trying to survive on $29K pa or less a year. Youth unemployment at 25% to 30%.

                I don’t want to see dominating the political prime time those policies which are going to create concrete changes for only a few percent of the population: sometimes a vanishingly small percentage. Should those narrow target policies still be enacted and supported in smart ways? Yes. Definitely.

                But my view is that there are far more important things to get on with at the same time.

                • McFlock

                  I think there are more women (and possibly more LGBT) than unemployed youths. Concentrating on youth unemloyment over gender inequality sounds awfully like “politics which is focussed on concrete changes for a very small (sometimes vanishingly small) % of society while almost completely avoiding issues of economic justice for the bottom 50% of society.”

      • KJT 25.1.2

        Well. From my viewpoint, I see QOT doing most of the things over the years that she has been so quick to jump on others for. Pot Kettle.

        QOT invited replies with the dig about heterosexual males. I find stereotyping objectionable no matter who does it. She would, rightly, object to lumping all heterosexual women in the same box, for example.

        I am sorry if it appears I am dictating to you. It is the last thing I want to do. I am looking for solutions to our current polity, just like you. I have a lot of respect for you as a commentator. .
        I have learn’t a lot from QOT, and others. Even though I find the constant trying to find enemies where they don’t exist, rather wearing.

        The quality of thought on this blog leaves the MSM for dead.

        Attacking someone, especially when the agree, mostly, with you, then taking away their ability to reply on the same thread seems to me an abuse of a moderators power. Not something I would agree with.

        I think you are seeing things in CV’s comments that I have not seen.

        I have never read him suggesting we abandon “identity politics” ( Not a wording I like. I think it marginalises what I think are axiomatic basic human rights).

        I am probably not saying anything you don’t know in that power, in our current world, lies with wealth.

        As for groups. One of the first Captains I sailed with said to me “always listen to the deck boy, he may have only been here 5 minutes, but he may still know something, you don’t!”.

        I agree people with different agendas can cause problems. There are effective techniques to deal with it, other than shouting them down, though. However, here, we have much the same goals.

        • Colonial Viper 25.1.2.1

          ( Not a wording I like. I think it marginalises what I think are axiomatic basic human rights).

          Now we are coming to the crux of it. Axiomatic and inalienable human and civil rights. There could be a very powerful, electorally powerful, framework for the Left from developing this approach.

          A framework of principal and universality.

          • marty mars 25.1.2.1.1

            Don’t you mean a ’boutique’ framework of principal and universality :) The principal is equality and it is universal, and each individual and group is entitled to that equality – thus we fight for them.

        • RedLogix 25.1.2.2

          That was more or less where I finished up back here:

          If instead of arguing for specific identity rights, we had argued for the fundamental, pure freedom to be who we were – whatever identity we claimed – that argument alone would have won the battle on all fronts simultaneously

          http://thestandard.org.nz/forty-christmases/

          But they crucial pivot on which this rests is refraining from being judgmental, it is essential to be respectful of who other people are.

          • karol 25.1.2.2.1

            Hmmm freedom to be who you are – sounds helpful, but is very much individualistic liberalism.

            It also doesn’t acknowledge social forces and institutionalised racism, sexism, etc – or the way racism, sexist, heterosexism, masculine & cis privilege etc permeate contemporary communications and institutions – over and over reinforcing deep assumptions about the kind of people who are more valued and thus more likely to be promoted and advantaged in various areas of life.

            • RedLogix 25.1.2.2.1.1

              Perhaps if we applied the principle of universality seriously, then it would invalidate all those ‘_isms’ you list?

              • weka

                Red, the whole point is that universality isn’t applied seriously, not even on the left (esp not on the left). You are asking us to be blind to specific oppressions, colourblind, genderblind etc, when the world patently isn’t (myself, I will never be blind to those things even if we lived in a perfect world. I like diversity and difference). I really don’t understand the value in that.

                I also don’t accept that people from one class get to define what needs to be done for others. So when you have a number of feminists here saying this is what we are wanting, please don’t try and get use to redefine our politics to suit your current framework. Interestingly feminism has gone through this many times and still goes through it, as mainstream feminists get called out on ethnicity, sexuality, gender etc and told to stop trying to make feminism in a white, het, cis girls image.

                • RedLogix

                  You are asking us to be blind to specific oppressions, colourblind, genderblind etc, when the world patently isn’t

                  Emphatically no. I think we are saying the same thing, but getting lost in translation somewhere.

                  Universality doesn’t mean everyone is the same – that’s the authoritarian grey goo culture we’ve seen too many failed variations of.

                  I’m trying to imagine something that is the exact opposite.

                  • weka

                    Ok, so there is no problem with me talking about feminism or disability politics. Or speaking from being a politicised woman?

                    I guess I don’t understand. All the -isms are about universality. Why would you want to replace those politics?

                    To go back to this

                    If instead of arguing for specific identity rights, we had argued for the fundamental, pure freedom to be who we were – whatever identity we claimed – that argument alone would have won the battle on all fronts simultaneously

                    I don’t claim an identity. This is why the term identity politics gives me the shits. I am a woman, and I am disabled. Those are physical realities. It’s also a physical reality that I get certain privilges and certain disadvantages because of that.

                    If you look at the time period of when universal rights were being advanced, you will see that they weren’t actually universal. Never had been. That’s why we need the people affected by the -isms to have their voices and their politics. To suggest that we might have all been working towards a universal freedom instead of identity rights denies the fact that we’ve never been free to do that. Left wing men were most definitely not granting universal rights, and didn’t even recognise them. Feminism has done somewhat better in that it quickly realised that it wasn’t enough to have emancipation for women, that we needed emancipation for everyone (it’s had various failures around how to put that into practice).

                  • RedLogix

                    I don’t claim an identity. This is why the term identity politics gives me the shits.

                    Oh fair enough – I was just using it as a short-hand jargon.

                    If you look at the time period of when universal rights were being advanced, you will see that they weren’t actually universal. Never had been.

                    So what, we abandon the goal then? Like Marxism didn’t work in the Soviet Union therefore Marx has nothing to say?

                    The reasonably fair point that CV has made is that the mass of voters get quite itchy and ambiguous when they see the left being vocal on these ‘identity issues’ (Feel free to hate on the term, I think we’re all sick of it now.)

                    And it makes it far too easy (eg man-ban saga) for right-wing propagandists to smear these efforts as a special interest takeoever, that the left is nothing but a pack of radical dykes, ‘front bums’ and queer academics pushing an agenda that the ordinary people were never asked about and strongly suspect they wouldn’t like if they were. That just plays into ordinary people’s fears that once again they’ve been forgotten about.

                    Package up the exact same reform as a one component of a wider, universal drive towards social and/or economic justice; as something that is in the ordinary best interests of everyone – the smears are defanged at the outset.

                    This is why, despite some highly organised and vociferous opposition, the S59 Reform was passed – because we ALL universally experience childhood. Even National knew they could not vote to perpetuate a legal defense that allowed for assaulting children as discipline.

                    When National campaigned with “Towards a Brighter Future” posters, they did not add … “for me and my rich mates”. Quite sensibly they left that bit ambiguous, implying that it was going to be a brighter future for well ‘everyone’. ..nod nod wink wink. They understood that at a minimum they needed to make their message at least pretend to be universal.

                    When the left pointed out this slogan was of course nothing but a lie by omission – all Key had to do was grin and shrug and look innocent.

                    • karol

                      And it makes it far too easy (eg man-ban saga) for right-wing propagandists to smear these efforts as a special interest takeoever, that the left is nothing but a pack of radical dykes, ‘front bums’ and queer academics pushing an agenda that the ordinary people were never asked about and strongly suspect they wouldn’t like if they were.

                      Are these “ordinary people” mainly men? – eg these are the terms of the likes of Tamihere, who seem less concerned about the plight of working class women than that of men. Also, it’s generally been shown that women end to be more accepting of LGBTI people than men.

                      Some fairly ordinary women at work, tend to be more focused on the way politics is male dominated – it puts a lot of women – at all levels of society, off politics.

                    • RedLogix

                      Are these “ordinary people” mainly men? – eg these are the terms of the likes of Tamihere, who seem less concerned about the plight of working class women than that of men.

                      I’ve no evidence to suggest otherwise. Perhaps the private pollsters would have some clues?

                      And I agree wholeheartedly that the habitual confrontational mode of politics is a major turn-off for women.

                      When this site started back in 2007? it was almost a 100% male space and intensely confrontational. It took a lot of moderation and time before that balance changed.

                  • Bill

                    Empowered people are empowered people and the identifications that arise due to power differentials become historical footnotes at that point…well, before that point. If they didn’t, then people can’t be said to be empowered…

                    That a fair stab at what you’re getting at?

                    • RedLogix

                      Very concise Bill.

                      It seems to me that underlying all these ‘identities’ that arise is because we are so prone to making judgements about each other based on a lot of superficial, outward characteristics.

                      Gender, colour, ethnicity, disability and on and on.

                      Back on my Forty Christmases post I was faffing about exploring how we had gotten so judgemental and authoritarian about each other’s personal lives – while at the same we completely abdicated our collective right to organise our collective life to ‘free markets’ and corporate feudalism.

                      It occurs to me that this inversion is at the root of all prejudice and disempowerment.

              • karol

                Well, I guess, ultimately it’s about trying to develop an inclusive fair and just world for all – one where one group doesn’t exert power over others, and for their own benefit. Which is a universal type aim.

        • weka 25.1.2.3

          Well. From my viewpoint, I see QOT doing most of the things over the years that she has been so quick to jump on others for. Pot Kettle.

          QOT invited replies with the dig about heterosexual males. I find stereotyping objectionable no matter who does it. She would, rightly, object to lumping all heterosexual women in the same box, for example.

          I disagree with your view on that (you can’t just reverse sexism as if there is no power dynamic involved, and actually she does lump het women in the same box where they are being oppressive), but all I can say today is why would you go into a thread that QoT started and try and take the discussion in a direction that she clearly didn’t want it to go. You are familiar with the ground rules here right?

          I don’t completely agree with QoT’s approach in the blogosphere. I tend to try and build bridges more than she does. But I also recognise the valuable role she plays in how she approaches things. I was raised feminist, so I’ve been practicising and theorising around this stuff for nearly 5 decades. So please understand how refreshing it is to see younger generations of feminists who understand that they don’t have to put up with this shit for decades, they have nothing left to lose and may as well just say it as it is. Righteous and strident feminists in the past got all sorts of nasty shit done to them, so I completely understand the need for aggression now. Kind of like what CV is saying, there is no time left to lose now.

          I am sorry if it appears I am dictating to you. It is the last thing I want to do. I am looking for solutions to our current polity, just like you. I have a lot of respect for you as a commentator. .
          I have learn’t a lot from QOT, and others. Even though I find the constant trying to find enemies where they don’t exist, rather wearing.

          ok, thanks. The main one was your comment where you said that

          The quality of thought on this blog leaves the MSM for dead.

          Attacking someone, especially when the agree, mostly, with you, then taking away their ability to reply on the same thread seems to me an abuse of a moderators power. Not something I would agree with.

          Take it up with admin then. But in the meantime, expect to be related to under the ground rules for this site. And please, please get that this whole thing is as much about CV’s actions as his politics.

          I think you are seeing things in CV’s comments that I have not seen.

          I agree. Do you want to understand what it is that some of us are seeing?

          I have never read him suggesting we abandon “identity politics” ( Not a wording I like. I think it marginalises what I think are axiomatic basic human rights).

          I am probably not saying anything you don’t know in that power, in our current world, lies with wealth.

          I have a somewhat different analysis of power, so it’s not that I don’t understand the role wealth plays in the world, it’s that I don’t agree with the absoluteness of how CV and perhaps you present it. I also don’t accept your right to get to define it.

          And get this, as far as I can tell, CV has deliberately used the term ‘identity politics’ as part of his strategy in the past month. Of course it marginalises, that’s the point of it. It’s a manipulation to get people to accept that economic politics of a certain kind is king. I also believe that CV uses the term intentionally to wind people up. I can’t prove this, but he’s not an idiot and must have seen the escalation of anger in the past weeks and yet made no attempt to treat well with his natural allies who were reacting to what he said.

          As for groups. One of the first Captains I sailed with said to me “always listen to the deck boy, he may have only been here 5 minutes, but he may still know something, you don’t!”.

          I agree people with different agendas can cause problems. There are effective techniques to deal with it, other than shouting them down, though. However, here, we have much the same goals.

          My point was that in some situations it’s better to just shout the person down. We can argue the toss about whether it was right here (and if that’s even what happened), but here’s how I see it. If someone comes into a meeting and says something that is painful to other people in the room, but asks that they be heard anyway, they can be heard. If they come in again, and demand that they be heard even though it will cause people pain, they can be heard again. If they come in a third time, want to do the same thing, with the same attitude that their right to speak takes precedence over other people, then they can go fet fucked. There is nothing in good group process that says that anyone can do what the hell they like. Group process is about the mauri of the whole, not some kind of individualistic “I have the right to whatever” thing. I also no longer believe that process has to inherently take precendent over content.

          In this sense CV is getting a slap down by his peers who have had enough of his shitty behaviour.

          • KJT 25.1.2.3.1

            “QoT started and try and take the discussion in a direction that she clearly didn’t want it to go”.

            QOT didn’t need to start it in, that direction. If I have a “dig”, I expect an argument.
            Complaining about the expected reaction is being a bit precious.

            “In this sense CV is getting a slap down by his peers who have had enough of his shitty behaviour”.

            Some of us, “peers” did not see the “shitty behavior” that you see. Not from CV, anyway.

            “I was raised feminist, so I’ve been practicising and theorising around this stuff for nearly 5 decades”.

            So was I. In fact my Mother and Grandmother ‘s names would be familiar to NZ feminists.
            This is not really about feminism, as far as I am aware.

            • weka 25.1.2.3.1.1

              “QoT started and try and take the discussion in a direction that she clearly didn’t want it to go”.

              QOT didn’t need to start it in, that direction. If I have a “dig”, I expect an argument.
              Complaining about the expected reaction is being a bit precious.

              I don’t see it as a dig. It’s a QoT-style shorthand for the fact that left wing men had a long history of organising things to suit themselves at the expense of others. If you are included in that history, then by all means try and defend it. If you are not included in that history then why take it personally. If a Maori woman said to me that feminists in NZ had been pretty shit at understanding Maori reality, I’d stop and listen (because she would be right). I might want to say, yes that is true of feminism in NZ in general, and yet there have also been some feminists who have tried to not make it all about white women. But if I did say that, I’d run the risk of making it all about me again.

              Are left wing men really so unsecure? Or are they still not willing to accept that they’ve fucked up quite alot with regards to gender relations within the left? By ‘left wing men’ I don’t mean ‘every, single left wing man’. I mean ‘left wing men as class with power’.

              “In this sense CV is getting a slap down by his peers who have had enough of his shitty behaviour”.

              Some of us, “peers” did not see the “shitty behavior” that you see. Not from CV, anyway.

              Yes, we’ve established that. What we don’t know is who is correct. If you don’t think the slap down is warranted, feel free to express that. Just don’t tell me how to I am experiencing the world. And it’s not as if it’s just me. I trust other people who have commented on this. Did you see Rhinocrates’ comment the other day? AFAIK he hasn’t been involved in this before, and then he said something.

              “I was raised feminist, so I’ve been practicising and theorising around this stuff for nearly 5 decades”.

              So was I. In fact my Mother and Grandmother ‘s names would be familiar to NZ feminists.
              This is not really about feminism, as far as I am aware.”

              So are you familiar with the history I briefly outlined? What’s your take on it?

              • karol

                yeah, weka. As I see it CV has been antagonistic towards feminism and gender politics for a long time – there’s been long discussions, which as I recall, involved rape culture – back before all the roastbusters’ stuff.

                I don’t spend a lot of time here on gender politics, but when I have said something, eg like criticising use of sexist language, CV is most often there pretty quick to give me a slap down.

                Lately it’s escalated with his insertion of the “boutique identity politics” line (dog whistle for feminism/gender politics – especially since he said it didn’t include Maori & pasifika people) in comments on unrelated topics. CV’s main focus is on economic issues (mainly doesn’t include a feminist economics). He’s very good and well informed on that – but he has little time for feminism/gender politics, and can be very antagonistic towards any mention of them.

                • Colonial Viper

                  What really made me stop was the caucus gender quota/gender target stuff. Labour votes above the margin of error lost from both men AND women. Undecided men running at speed for National, again well above the margin of error. Resulting massive M/F skew in support. The fact that gender equity in caucus could and should be achieved – but could have been done so without this kind of electoral blowback.

                  And then the basic fact that the changes in the current Labour caucus equate to all of 1-2 women MPs. The ultimate in costly sliver wide gender politics which affects literally 0.000% of NZ women.

                • weka

                  Thanks karol, good to have those observations.

              • KJT

                I see this as someone in a blog misusing their power as a moderator to shut down someone they disagree with. Not someone derailing the discussion. Someone who has a, slightly, different viewpoint.
                Something QOT does rather a lot.
                Not a gender issue at all. QOT could be male and CV female, for all I really know.

                QOT’s posts tend to become somewhat of an echo chamber because most people are not masochistic enough to want to be slapped down QOT style.

                I agree about some left wing males, and a great many others.
                I don’t think I need to be defensive at all about my own part in the history.

                However that is not the point.

              • rhinocrates

                Did you see Rhinocrates’ comment the other day? AFAIK he hasn’t been involved in this before, and then he said something.

                I’ve generally stayed out because there’s a time to listen/read – and you, Weka, karol, QoT speak/write so well.

                As a white, cisgendered straight male, I’m privileged alright, and my job affords me another privilege: the opportunity to hear. Academia – my vocation – is no ivory tower business, in fact it’s a very insecure place to be these days.

                Anyway, a paper I teach is basic writing skills for university, meaning that I get to meet a lot of people from outside the “mainstream” trying to improve their lives. In order to learn how to write, they have to be able to tell me about themselves through multiple drafts and workshops that can get quite intense. The range of students and experiences I see is enlightening, to say the least.

                The middle aged women, recently divorced who now want to have the education they sacrificed to raise their children, the pasifika solo mother ex-prostitute and addict, the former heroin dealer with the GBH conviction who said that A Clockwork Orange was his youth and is now a great coach and social worker, the Somali refugees and their children who confront racism and Islamophobia daily and tell me about the slaughter of their families, the “female circumcision”, the desperate flights, my partner who spent over a decade doing charity work in Ethiopia and came back with PTSD and went into hospital, the female student who was nearly raped because a certain Massey Uni Pro Vice Chancellor decided to cut corners on security (fortunately she could run fast… but other friends of mine couldn’t…)… she tells me that her anxiety disorder is better these days and doesn’t require so much medication – but then she lives in Amsterdam now…

                and so on.

                Their lives are real. Their experiences are real, their needs are not “boutique” accessories like Gucci handbags or “first world problems”.

                Sorry CV, I’ve stood by you before, but this marginalisation and trivialisation of real people’s lives and needs is an insult to them.

                Labour in my experience has been a fairweather friend, ready to throw anyone under the bus if the Penguin or Whalecum or Hooton make scary noises. This patronising, ignorant, “lalalala I can’t hear you” attitude does not fill me with confidence (to put it mildly).

                You really need to step back and listen. Representative democracy requires representatives – people who listen.

                For more than five minutes.

                • karol

                  Well said, rhino.

                  I also have taught on similar courses – in Aussie, and the UK, and other courses here – I have heard lots of similar stories from students – ex-married women, political refugees…. etc, etc. AAnd here i’ve heard stories of many women on benefits, abandoned by the fathers of their children, left with little to live on…..

                  Also stories in my years amongts lesbians and gays, and in the UK women’s movement … of the things some women have experienced – being thrown out of their family homes, raped, sexually abused, beaten by family members and spouses. Gay men & women beaten up in the streets, men sent to prison, insecure at work,…. on and on.

                  Indeed. The ignorance of some het leftie males who say it’s all about the money and “identity politics” is some nice to have “boutique” issue have no idea how some of the other half live.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Thanks for the misrepresentation of my definition of boutique identity politics.

                    Which are to do with policies – albeit sometimes necessary ones – which will never provide concrete benefits to more than a very small % of the population, and sometimes a vanishingly small % of the population. Hence the term “boutique.” While leaving issues of economic justice for the bottom 50% of the population largely or wholly untouched.

                    • karol

                      Really, CV? But you seem to fail to understand that other oppression can be just as pressing as “economic ones”.

                    • rhinocrates

                      misrepresentation of my definition of boutique identity politics

                      We paint in broad strokes here, and some of us aren’t subtle and some have hair triggers. “Boutique” is a choice of word that looks very sexist and demeaning even if that is not your intention. If you’re going to be blunt, go full Harlan Ellison, but if you have political aspirations, try being more sensitive.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well, it would help me if you got specific, in that case karol.

                      Which oppressions in NZ are you referring to exactly?

                      The ones which you believe are “just as” pressing as the economic ones of 250K Kiwi children in poverty, hundreds of thousands living in substandard housing conditions or with energy poverty, and a youth unemployment rate of 25% to 30%.

                      Whatever you list, I would also anticipate that dealing with the economic side of the equation will alleviate the situation of oppression, to some degree.

                      RC point taken, thanks.

                    • rhinocrates

                      CV, have a look at what karol says of the people she knows- if you’re going to be a representative, your own pride and dignity are not the issue. If, as a would-be politician, you are “misrepresented”, then I’m afraid that you have to counter that, not complain about it.

                      albeit sometimes necessary ones –

                      Rather patronising.

                      which will never provide concrete benefits to more than a very small % of the population, and sometimes a vanishingly small % of the population. Hence the term “boutique.” While leaving issues of economic justice for the bottom 50% of the population largely or wholly untouched.

                      No, not a trivial fraction at all. You’ll be amazed to discover that the majority inhabit boutiques. You know about “divide and rule” of course; well, the capitalist system divides the people into lots of little boutiques as you call them. You’ve fallen prey to that narrative.

                      And a very small percentage? What percentage exactly constitutes an acceptable sacrifice for power?

                      From the lofty perspective of a Soviet-style technocrat, the people just look like a homogenous mass, but down among them, you see that they’re a mosaic. A collective of many special needs is not the same as a vague ideological abstraction. LGBT people aren’t discriminated against? Women aren’t discriminated against? Solo parents aren’t discriminated against? Refugees aren’t discriminated against? Rape survivors aren’t discriminated against?

                      I know that your answer will honestly be to the contrary, but the last thing they want to hear – and the last thing that will make them vote for you – is “Get to the back of the queue, we’ll deal with you in due course, once my issues have been dealt with.”

                      You can’t see the trees for the wood, and one day, all the trees will be cut down and there will be no wood left, save in your imagination.

                    • karol

                      Christ, CV (@ 10.24 pm. I’ve written about child poverty, poor housing, youth unemployment – way more than just about any other issue. But there are other issues that impact on it, that are intertwined, that also need to be addressed – now, not some undefinable time in the future – they are as much part of our dysfunctional system as the current occupational structure and financial system.

                      Issues of rape, sexual violence, etc and homophobia, damage people’s lives, as does racism, even though they don’t always directly impact on all such people’s income. Homophobia results in many young people committing suicide. It can impact on people’s study and work lives negatively. It can lead to addictions and all kinds of problems resulting in people dropping out of the workforce, or from higher to lower paid jobs.

                      Ditto for sexual and domestic violence. It may impact on people’s lives differently, according to their income and class level, but it can still be extremely negative and damaging to health, etc.

                      These are not some nice “boutique” issues, that can be shelved until the economic issues are sorted.

                      Ditto for domestic violence. You can’t so neatly say that some issues are purely economic, and others are just some nice to haves.

                      Also, minority issues are just that – I am staggered that you think life-damaging bigotry against any minority should be ignored because they are only a minority.

                      Your economic suffering ignores that economic inequalities impact differently on different groups – including men and women.

                      generally income security is strong for a lot of women – not just working class women. Many women can be a separation or divorce away from poverty. They maybe OK while their husbands are supporting them, or providing the most income (ditto for a few male partners). But women are employed far more in part time and casual work.

                      At the basis of this, underlying this, is a patriarchal system that generally puts different pressures on women from men and privileges one group over the other.

                      Your economics is very patriarchal – you measure all power and oppression in (masculine) economic terms – separate from various kinds of cultural and social pressures. You tend to focus on traditional masculine job demarcations – just pay everyone fairly within this system and everything will be OK. You present it in gender-blind terms, but your focus is a traditional masculine one on earning a wage within a system that privileges men, while women carry on other life supporting work both inside and outside the paid workforce: where women’s work is undervalued even with respect to traditionally working class occupations.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      RC you come from a very good place full of heart.

                      Yet in the end I cannot subscribe to the view that the ultimate purpose of Parliamentary representation in this particular age is that of meeting the many individual idiosyncratic needs and characteristics of each citizen.

                      If we believe that global warming of 4 deg C to 5 deg C is likely by 2100; if we believe that trans-national corporations are consuming both people and resources in a totalitarian and destructive way; if we believe that the energy sources our global civilisation runs on will be depleted in a very few decades – then systemic, concerted and unrelenting action is required to prevent utter catastrophe.

                      A collective of many special needs is not the same as a vague ideological abstraction. LGBT people aren’t discriminated against? Women aren’t discriminated against? Solo parents aren’t discriminated against? Refugees aren’t discriminated against? Rape survivors aren’t discriminated against?

                      I know that your answer will honestly be to the contrary, but the last thing they want to hear – and the last thing that will make them vote for you – is “Get to the back of the queue, we’ll deal with you in due course, once my issues have been dealt with.”

                      Being descriminated against when one has a comfortably full stomach is at least an improvement on being descriminated against while cold and hungry.

                      At a certain future time, and possibly one that is not too distant, shortages of fuel, food and civic freedoms will be the major and common issues that most every one has to deal with. If history is anything to go by, it’s around such times that governments fall and get replaced by very bad people. And sometimes by voters.

                      Good wishes, as always.

                    • McFlock

                      Being descriminated against when one has a comfortably full stomach is at least an improvement on being descriminated against while cold and hungry.

                      And yet throughout history there are people who chose dignity without food over food without dignity. Any slave who chose to escape, for a start.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      karol – I know what can be solved by parliamentary politics in relatively short time frames. Unemployment, poverty, and economic sovereignty is amongst them. Your issues around many women being a single step away from outright poverty can be ameliorated by initiatives like a UBI and policies of full or emergency employment, for instance.

                      As for issues of domestic violence, sexual violence, homophobia, etc. I have no confidence that parliamentary politics can tackle those issues with much more than glancing efficacy, at least in the short to medium term. You clearly have more faith than that however.

                      Also, minority issues are just that – I am staggered that you think life-damaging bigotry against any minority should be ignored because they are only a minority.

                      Seriously?

                      Where did I say that anything like this should be ignored. Get over yourself. What I am saying however is that issues of economic justice for the bottom 50% must take precedence over issues which affect a tiny % of the population, not the other way around.

                      Surely it is not too difficult for you to accept that more than one thing at a time can be focussed on.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And yet throughout history there are people who chose dignity without food over food without dignity. Any slave who chose to escape, for a start.

                      Oh, touché, well played indeed good sir.

                    • McFlock

                      “well played”?

                      Now you’re sounding like C73.

                      But please tell us more about what the unwashed masses would prefer.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      McFlock, I’m quite eager to hear more wisdom from the abolitionist days. Do carry on.

                    • McFlock

                      “Abolitionist days”? Sure about that?

                      Meh, obviously just an issue that affects a small % of minorities – an “identity politics” issue. The “academic liberals” might get their knickers in a twist about it, but the issue’s a vote-loser… /sarc

                    • Colonial Viper

                      A brilliant suggestion McFlock, let’s work up sex trafficking and sex slavery as a central point of the Left’s election campaign this year.

                    • McFlock

                      or maybe labour, the greens and mana could have policy manifestos that consist of more than one policy? And maybe activists, columnists and even blog commenters could similarly focus on more than just the solitary bee buzzing around in their bonnets?

                      And then voters could focus on the policies that they find important, rather than the policies that you think are important. And if the pro-slavery crowd are alienated, so be it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      O for Oarsome

                    • RedLogix

                      Put it this way McFlock. Make yourself a little scorecard around the performance of the left over the past forty years.

                      For purely rhetorical purposes put ‘wins for identity causes down one side’ and ‘wins against the economic feudalism of the neo-liberals’ on the other.

                      Now start another list of ‘things that could really bite all of humanity in the arse in our childrens’ lifetimes’ and let us know where you think the overlaps might be.

                    • McFlock

                      RL: ozone layer springs to mind.

                      But you’re falling into the CV fallacy that progress on, say, LGBT issues happened at the expense of progress on economic issues. I disagree.

                      Progress on LGBT issues incorporated academic factors (declassifying homosexuality as a disease, for example), clear tactical steps (legalisation, normalisation, civil unions, marriage), lobbying individual MPs throughout, protests and civil disobedience, benefits from other campaigns (removal of the provocation defence), coordinated campaigns (such as the LGBT community joining together for parades), theatrical/literary/popculture events and milestones, publicising incidents that show the effect on individuals (rather than just being an impersonal generalisation) and so on.

                      I don’t recall the same level of cooperation and coherence in the sphere of economic issues, however. No general strike in 1991, for example. And how often do individual union branches lobby their local MPs (no matter what flavour – “identity” groups found odd allies, so can the unions).

                      I do think that “the left”‘s ability to argue and win on the economics front is improving: the CTU forestry worker campaign is excellent and showing the individual costs, child poverty issues and debates have made progress from five or so years ago, and unemployment housing and living wage issues can be key campaigns leading up to the election. But again that requires lobbying of MPs to give them backbone.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Hey RC. You are kind.

                  Is anyone here on TS speaking for the workers whose mills and workshops which are closing down? How about the tens of thousands of unemployed youth drifting in and out of contact with the justice system? Or those many caught in various diabolical WINZ or ACC rigmaroles?

                  Of course, for the latter there is the valiant xtasy who makes his welcome and consistent points.

                  The others then? Listening is important, but who is speaking? And even more importantly, which masses out there are virtually forgotten about in silence? Certainly Labour has seemed reluctant to advocate with full throat for beneficiaries, lest they be accused by Hooton Pagani et al of helping bludgers. Fair weather friends, indeed.

                  As I said somewhere else, I want to see policy which changes the lives of hundreds of thousands, not just dozens, and although at the end of the day both are often necessary, I know which I will always push harder for.

                  • karol

                    Yes, parliamentary Labour has failed to advocate for beneficiaries. And I have said that often.

                    Is anyone here on TS speaking for the workers whose mills and workshops which are closing down? How about the tens of thousands of unemployed youth drifting in and out of contact with the justice system? Or those many caught in various diabolical WINZ or ACC rigmaroles?

                    Yes. I have posted lots about WINZ, some about ACC (been through some of the rigamaroles myself. Also youth unemployment, unemployment and poverty generally – far more than I have posted about gender issues. Others have posted about the mills and workshops closing down, layoffs, union activities.

                    All that has been covered far more than “identity issues”.

                    You really are misrepresenting your past arguments and what has or hasn’t been said here.

                  • rhinocrates

                    dozens

                    I think that there are more than a few dozen women in NZ. More than a few dozen LGBT people too… and so on.

                    However, the point I want to make is that you shouldn’t place the need for justice of minorities and women in opposition to some vague abstraction of … whatever. They are the same. Look closely, look at their lives and what they need. Be a good representative.

                    It’s not either/or, it’s “these are the people being left out of the phony “recovery” – most of us, not just the Wolves of Wall Street. We’re people, real people with real, individual, nonconforming lives. We’re not symbols, we’re not an abstraction, we’re not “consumers” – we’re people, in all our idiosyncracy, our compromises and our diversity.”

                    • karol

                      OK, reply buttons are running out in key places. But, what I see, is CV twisting and turning and slipping away from criticisms with denials of intent, while repeating some of the same ideas that he was originally criticised for – avoiding attending to the main substance of criticisms with slippery arguments and sheer volume of his comments.

                      It comes down to this: CV is telling everyone what the left should be focusing on – basically prioritising economics – something he knows a lot about, though it is a fairly masculinist version, even though he is critical of a lot of mainstream economics.

                      CV takes a lot of pot shots and sometimes more veiled dog whistles at/about feminist/gender/sexuality politics.

                      To me he shows less understanding of the dynamics of cultural practices, that incorporate institutional and everyday personal practices and everything in between.

                      Ultimately, I will decide what I post and comment about, and I find engaging with CV on issues related to feminism, gender, sexual politics, cultural practices etc, is a huge time waster. he dominates by sheer volume of comments.

                      His (and to some extent RL’s more considered and moderated) complaints about what should be prioritised by parliamentary politics, is a Labour Party insider thing: and particularly a matter of strategy. I am not in the Labour Party – and it does seem to me it’s a party still permeated with a pretty masculinist approach to politics. I get a sense that CV and RL hear, or take more notice of masculine criticisms within their political circles, than of more diverse voices in the wider community.

                      Bottom line – I will choose what I think are political priorities, and issues that I want to discuss, based on my perceptions of what’s happening in the wider society, and of the diverse viewpoints I come across. CV can be very informative and insightful on some things- to which I attend. But he is not the person I will attend to on gender issues, social practices, institutionalised behaviours, etc.

                  • Descendant Of Sssmith

                    Well there’s little evidence that Labour is pushing the needs of beneficiaries and workers. 2012 was the year of the manifesto. 2013 was supposed to be the year of the policy.

                    http://thestandard.org.nz/amidst-thencircling-gloom/#comment-566641

                    “Next year will be where the detail gets done.” Mike Smith

                    Here’s some posts of mine speaking for those people though.

                    http://thestandard.org.nz/on-david-shearers-leadership/#comment-546121

                    Take note of this in that comment in 2012:

                    “And no it’s not unrealistic to know this far out what they believe in and stand for – you build a brand and a connection with people over time – and that’s why I don’t particularly care who is leader.

                    And here’s the other thing if I as a voter can’t figure out what they stand for is it any wonder those within seem disconnected and rudderless and disloyal.

                    It seems to me they don’t know either – you can’t have a group of people consistently articulate a vision if the vision is a secret.”

                    http://thestandard.org.nz/labour-shoots-themselves-in-the-foot-again/#comment-740795

                    So anyway we have a (draft) Labour policy document that is, like their website strongly focused on past glories and like a National Party document focused strongly on non-specific aspirational shit.

                    https://www.labourparty.org.nz/sites/default/files/130803%20-%20Policy%20Platform%20-%20Version%201%206_0.pdf

                    When this document does get specific about an actual work or welfare policy guess what – it’s to lift the age of super to 67. This both shows that they can put specific policy in their policy documents when they want and where their actual priorities are.

                    I just love phrases like this in the document:

                    “Today and into the future, we stand for the hopes and aspirations of all New Zealanders to a life of security, dignity, and fulfilment.”

                    “Labour believes in the innovative and creative powers of New Zealanders.”

                    “Labour will govern in the spirit of the age, with a new focus on the state as an enabler of community action and citizen involvement.”

                    Given the prominence National have given to aspiration in their policies wtf is that word even doing in a Labour party document and overall this stuff isn’t visionary it’s corporate mission statement speak.

                    “For young and old, women and men, Labour’s social policy will ensure that adequate support is available when people have a genuine need.”

                    “Labour believes that people who can work, should.”

                    Yep still have their neo-liberal qualifiers in there.

                    “Labour will continue to improve the quality of the state housing stock”

                    No mention of quantity – actually building more houses.

                    No mention of 8 hour working days, 40 hour working weeks, some waffle about protecting workers and union rights but little mention of how. Some talk of regional development which is good. No mention of increasing benefit rates to help the poorest in our society.

                    Here in this post I try and help Labour be showing how a vision of something can be articulated.

                    http://thestandard.org.nz/why-charity-cannot-replace-the-state/#comment-583166

                    Tell me how Labour will once again make it a positive to be living in a state house, something to be proud of. They continue to see it as charity.

                    Finally

                    “Our history and our values mean nobody will be surprised when we fight for a fairer and more inclusive New Zealand, when we fight against inequality, and when we fight to preserve freedom and opportunity for all: this is what Labour believes in, and what drives the activity of our party and its
                    members.”

                    Yep I’ll be surprised – particularly since 84/85..

                    Back in 2012 I asked Mike Smith whether Labour actually believed in the 8 hour day, 40 hour week they claimed so proudly on their website. He chose not to answer that twice despite ostensibly being their to champion Labour’s new direction and it’s policy development.

                    The simple answer is that it doesn’t and as one of the basic fundamental principles historically to help workers have better lives, decent incomes, spread limited work around and to allow them to spend more time with their families that this policy is missing says they don’t really have workers interests at heart.

                • RedLogix

                  Now can I please ask the next logical question rhino?
                  Earlier today we had two links from joe90 and others.

                  The first confirming some very bad climate news:

                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11179924

                  The second very suggestive of what happens this shit hits the fan:

                  http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/12/2013/disease-and-trauma-within-collapsing-indus-civilisation

                  Without taking away one little jot from what you have just written, without minimising or distracting or just ‘not listening’ – surely an environmental and economic distopia of this probable nature will have traumatic consequences many magnitudes greater again.?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You probably meant rhinocrates…

                  • Colonial Viper

                    It’s my opinion – and purely conjecture – that the best way to secure universal civil and human rights is to ensure that we have a political economy that is very fair and equitable.

                    And with a failing political economy entering into crisis and collapse, all civil and human rights are threatened and eventually become thoroughly undermined. The example of the Balkans is a contemporary and fearful western one. Weimar Germany an older, but still relevant one.

                  • rhinocrates

                    Can you walk and chew gum at the same time?

                    Why is it – implicitly, I grant – either/or?

                    Maybe the people left at the bottom of the heap have solutions to not only their own problems, but everyone’s?

                    I’m sceptical of Soviet-style technocrats deciding that there are “first-tier” issues that must be exclusively dealt with first. A lot – billions – of people are tired of waiting. They have more to offer than obedience, patience and gratitude.

                    • RedLogix

                      Well because for the last forty years or so the left has been pretty much chewing gum.

                      Nothing wrong with chewing gum, but while we’ve been sitting on our collective arses – the elites raped the planet.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And the working class, the blue collar workers. While the middle class, for a while at least, enjoyed cheaper imports and ever higher levels of material and energy consumption.

                      Very many chickens seem to be coming back now, however.

                • rhinocrates

                  Actually, let me offer a little illustration or two.

                  Universities do not discriminate in their enrolments according to race, gender or faith, right? Of course they don’t. Anyone with academic ability can enrol.

                  However, suppose you’re a solo parent, how about childcare? The crèche at the uni where I work is so small that one has to book two years in advance.

                  That is what is called structural discrimination – there may be no rule prohibiting anyone from enrolling, but sure as Hell there are things that make access to higher education difficult if not impossible for certain classes of people.

                  Pasifika students have a particularly high dropout/fail rate and we’ve been able to identify the assumptions and structures that are practical impediments to them… but since the written rules are fair, anything else is at an individual co-ordinator’s/tutor’s discretion.

                  The ideal uni student is white, male, cisgendered, single, healthy, young, fully abled, childless, well-off so that they don’t have to work and are fully articulate in English.

                  Sure, there are some support agencies and the odd wheelchair ramp and there certainly aren’t any “No Irish” signs, but these all make up a series of hoops that people who don’t meet the ideal have to jump through every single day while those who do meet the ideal don’t even see those hoops.

                  Now apply that to society at large.

                  Me? Well does anyone remember Fred Dagg’s song, “We don’t know how lucky we are”?

                  Instead of hypocritically humming along to “The Red Flag” once a year, Labour members and candidates should bellow that at every meeting – and then STFU and listen.

                  • karol

                    Excellent comment, rhino. Yes, there’s far more to the way society operates than the economic arrangements – institutional practices are as much cultural as economic, and won’t be changed by merely changing economic priorities – it needs a multi-pronged approach.

                    Adding to/along side/within such institutional arrangements are daily routines and practices of language and communication that reinforce all kinds of priorities and marginalisations – resulting in real impacts on some people’s lives.

                  • Zorr

                    I have to say I have just finished reading all your comments Rhinocrates and am very appreciative of them as they so eloquently communicate my own feelings on the matter as well as coming from an obvious depth of experience that I have as yet to obtain.

    • karol 25.2

      I was one of the people who supported and worked for LBGT rights. But I am well aware that the only reason the right wing supported it is because it didn’t change anything they considered important.

      You could say much the same about much Labour Policy/legislation during the neoliberal period. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start pushing for more left wing policies in various areas. Class, anti-racists, gender and sexual politics have al been fractured in various ways by the neocons. Time to stop dancing to their tune and create our own narratives.

      BTW, if LGBT rights, and gender politics are so acceptable to the right (including the right wing corporate media), why are we lefties meant to shut up about it so Labour can get elected?

      The argument usually given is that many on low incomes feel gender and sexuality have been prioritised over economic issues. But it’s not gender and sexual politics, or the supporting of them that’s the problem, it’s the marginalisation of issues impacting on those on low incomes – who also include women, LGBT people etc.

      Although, I’d also add, not all on the right supported LGBT rights, only the more socially liberal of the neoliberals.

      • Colonial Viper 25.2.1

        BTW, if LGBT rights, and gender politics are so acceptable to the right (including the right wing corporate media), why are we lefties meant to shut up about it so Labour can get elected?

        Easy. You actually answered your own question here:

        Although, I’d also add, not all on the right supported LGBT rights, only the more socially liberal of the neoliberals.

        In other words, National’s conservatives (the majority in their caucus) held their positions credibly enough for the conservative wing of their party to be satisfied.

        The Right capably manoeuvre on issues so that it ends up that Labour and the left, but not them, who run straight into any resulting loss of political capital and resulting electoral cost.

        The NATs really are good at this. They’ve also done similar with the anti-smacking legislation, big Treaty claims and other issues.

        • greywarbler 25.2.1.1

          I have an awful feeling that some people will still be rearranging the deck chairs and the reserved slips right up till the election. And then find that no chairs needed to be reserved for Labour.

      • KJT 25.2.2

        “to stop dancing to their tune and create our own narratives”.

        Totally agree. Which is why I am disgusted about Labour’s response to the MSM over “quota’s”.

        We have had “quota’s” in the Greens for decades, including the co-leaders..

        And policy making by democratic consensus. Which can be very difficult, but means we have buy in by the membership. The party cannot be hijacked by a cabal in caucus.

        • karol 25.2.2.1

          Interesting observation on the Greens processes.

          I also think that, the LGBT legislation that has passed, may not have threatened the righties economically, but I also think it hasn’t threatened the heterosexual and masculine privilege in any deep way. This may in part be to do with how the likes of Louisa Wall framed the debate, and worked various networks.

          But there is still a very strong current of homophobia in NZ. Marriage equality, would not have been at the forefront of any LGBT campaign I would have initiated. I do understand that it moves things forward a step towards more general acceptance, but it does so through keeping the ideal of nuclear family structures in tact.

          LGBTI people are still reticent at coming out at work – and when they do, it can impact on how their co-workers respond to them – seen that in my current job in the last year or so. It still can have impacts on opportunites for work, and how LGBTI people are treated by their families and those closest to them . Dress codes are still pretty hetero/sexist/cis-gendered, in all kinds of places. All this can impact on how well people operate in various spheres of life.

          And many masculinist righties still use LGBTI slurs to undermine people.

  25. joe90 26

    When climate changes.

    Recent palaeoclimate reconstructions from the Beas River Valley demonstrates hydro-climatic stress due to a weakened monsoon system may have impacted urban centres like Harappa by the end of the third millennium BCE. However, the impact of environmental change was compounded by disruptions to the regional interaction sphere.

    […]

    This site is one of the largest urban centres of the Indus Civilisation and the study suggests that climate, economic and social changes contributed to the disintegration after 1900 BCE; the change being evident within the declining health of the population and the seeming rise of interpersonal violence towards those suffering from visible diseases.

    […]

    The results demonstrated that during this critical period there was no evidence for violence consistent with invasion or warfare, that would have supported the general belief of an Aryan Invasion. Rather, the majority of violent trauma seemed to have been directed against women and children of the local population; showing untreated cranial fractures associated with the presence of congenital and communicable diseases.

    http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/12/2013/disease-and-trauma-within-collapsing-indus-civilisation

  26. John 27

    The current government continues with policies that mainly exclude while making money for its buddies.

    I don’t see any change to this direction that will improve the situation or include to any great degree the growing numbers of kiwis on low wages or indeed without jobs.
    The low wage economy is now well entrenched and is working very well for this current government.

    When they say its going to be a good year then it almost sends a shiver down the spine.

    The rich will continue to get richer while inequality and poverty continue to increase.
    Just more of the same in 2014, tax cuts for the rich continue or may even be increased, corporate welfare, corny politics, selling New Zealand out to the highest bidder to balance a budget.

    When enough people become affected by Nationals success we will have a change in direction. Maybe it will be this year?

    If National is allowed to continue on then the closed gated communities of the rich and slums of the poor will become far more clearly visible as in other third world countries over the next few years.

    National Super annunciation and the public health services will clearly be lost to many kiwis.

    • Draco T Bastard 27.1

      When they say its going to be a good year then it almost sends a shiver down the spine.

      No “almost” about it. By the time the election comes we really will have a lot more people in poverty and a few people quite a bit richer all due to the policies of this government. On top of that, IMO, the economy will collapsing as well as it always does when you take from the poor to give to the rich.

      • Colonial Viper 27.1.1

        Top 20% of households would have got the lion’s share of the $5B increase in quarterly wealth that the Reserve Bank reported a few weeks ago.

        No wonder EFTPOS shopping receipts hit record highs – just as food banks were running empty in every major centre.

  27. millsy 28

    Happy New Year everyone.

    Going to be a big one. Not only do we have the election here, but the Scots decide if they want “Freeeeeedddddddddoooooommmmmmmm!!!!” in May, and Barack Obama has one last chance to gain back control of the House before he has to pack up and leave.

    David Cunliffe needs to take the initiative quickly this year, otherwise he will struggle against a fired up John Key, who will have oodles of figures to bamboozle the public (plus the added motivation of Judith’s (currently sheaved) knife if he fails).

    People are going to talk about a boom year, but as soon as workers both in unions and out of them, start talking about pay rises and sharing in the good times, those same people will start talking about “fragility”, and the need for “pay restraint to prevent inflation”, because those cleaners need to make sure they make every sacrifice for the middle class mortgage holders, and also it is the agenda of the business and employer community to hold down wages.

    2014’s election will probably be the last for Winston Peters, if he loses, he will retire from politics, if he wins, it will be his final term.

    But we should all be worried about the rise of Colin Craig’s Conservative Party. Their policies can be best summed up as forcing people into a nuclear family arrangement (2 kids, mum and dad) by either shaming (1950’s style gossip) or starving (benefit cuts) them there. And their attitudes to sexual freedom are very worrisome. Frankly I should be able to fuck whoever I goddamn well want to without worrying about some virgin waving a 2000 year old book calling it a “sin” and then petitioning the government to criminalise me.

    • swordfish 28.1

      “The Scots decide if they want Freeeeedddddooooommmmm !!!!”

      Well, yeah, but if they do it’ll be curtains for Labour in England. Never-ending Tory governments.

      • millsy 28.1.1

        I doubt that Scotland will vote for independence anyway. Proponents of independents remind me of teenagers who threaten to move out because they are not getting their own way. And its a big and dangerous world out there. A newly independent Scotland will find itself alone very quickly.

    • Will@Welly 28.2

      Key announced just before take-off, that in the New Year he was going to unveil National’s plans which see a continuance of their policies this year, and into the future. Social welfare reforms were in the mix. In the US, thousands are being dumped off unemployment benefits as their tenure on them runs out. What a “marvelous” idea to introduce here – a 6 month life span for the unemployment benefit. That would appease most National Party supporters.
      Bill English & Phil O’Reilly have both stated that workers will face restraint in the coming years over wage increases, even though the economy is expected to boom. Once again, those at the bottom are expected to subsidize those at the top.
      Pretty obvious too, that the debt that National is creating is going to force many cuts down the track in social spending – even increasing taxes will not see NZ Inc. haul back that deficit to a manageable basis without massive cuts elsewhere. The PPP schemes will create a further noose around our necks, God knows what any TPP would have done.
      It will be real interesting to see the % figures on the Christmas spending – what was “money” and what was “credit card”. That will really tell us about the true state of the economy.

  28. exkiwiforces 29

    Find this wee gem this this morning Australian paper while having a cuppa in Katherine NT.

    Republican senator Ted Cruz, a darling of the Tea Party, has hired lawyer to rid him of an embarrassing detail from past that could wreck his presidential ambitions: He is Canadian.

    The man many blame for single-handedly shutting down the US government during his first year in Washington is expected to make a run for the White House in 2016.
    However last year he was revealed by his local newspaper to have dual citizenship. He was born in
    Alberta, Canada, to in American mother and Cuban father who became a naturalised.
    The family moved to the US when he was four. Mr Cruz, 43, said this week his lawyers were “preparing paperwork to renounce the citizenship”. The US constitution allows only “natural-born” American to serve as president, but legal consensus is anyone born overseas to an American parent is eligible.

    “Watch this space folks as its good to be fun a ride for this right wing mupptard.”

  29. Draco T Bastard 30

    I’ve been saying this for years: People Specialise, Societies don’t.
    The Specialization Myth by Ricardo Hausmann

    What is true at the level of cities is even more applicable at the level of states and countries. The Netherlands, Chile, and Cameroon have a similar population size, but the Netherlands is twice as rich as Chile, which is 10 times richer than Cameroon. Looking at their exports shows that the Netherlands is three times more diversified than Chile, which is three times more diversified than Cameroon.

    A simple observation but one that means so much, one that is completely opposite to what the economists teach.

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