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Open mike 01/05/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:50 am, May 1st, 2014 - 193 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 up to the mike …

193 comments on “Open mike 01/05/2014”

  1. Stuff report that Dunne was forced to backflip on the legal high (interim) ban after pressure from National MPs.

    It was widely assumed Dunne wanted to gazump Labour, which was set to announce its support for a ban.

    But it is understood he was strong-armed into a compromise by increasing pressure from the National Party caucus, who wanted to dump the Psychoactive Substances Act and implement blanket prohibition.

    Sources say Prime Minister John Key was put under pressure at weekly caucus meetings as MPs were relentlessly lobbied by local mayors and community action groups.

    A source said Key feared “a revolt” after a push by Cabinet ministers Paula Bennett, Nikki Kaye and Todd McClay, who wanted the legal highs off the streets in their electorates.

    Discipline within the National Party ranks is so tight that open dissent is rare. But it was a case of “to hell with the act” regardless of embarrassment about a flip-flop.

    A public backlash, an outcry from local councils, and intense media scrutiny saw discord within the party grow, and threaten to boil over into the public arena.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9994857/Legal-highs-move-forced-by-Nat-MPs

    Labour jumped on the same ‘bugger the consequences’ banwagon.

    The effective shutting down of all legal high sales may make shop precincts look a bit better for mayors and MPs in the short term but if this turns into an openly ugly under-supported addicts’ angst there could be a backlash for MPs who jumped on the banwagon.

    If a ban doesn’t work (as Dunne, the Drug Foundation, Ireland’s health minister and many others keep claiming) what then? Hope that the mess doesn’t become apparent until after the election?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      :roll:

      That’s what fact checkers do: assume John Key is telling the truth at all times.

      • Pete George 1.1.1

        That may be what you do but I don’t assume any politician is telling the truth, especially not the full truth. The announcements and reactions by Dunne, Key and Cunliffe all seemed to be unusually odd.

        • miravox 1.1.1.1

          :roll: as previous comments here, and the wide variety of ‘facts checked’ on the ‘fact checker’ website indicate.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.2

          Refuted by your own dishonest bad faith drivel:

          Labour jumped on the same ‘bugger the consequences’ banwagon.

          Remember what Felix just told you: it isn’t your views (the only personal opinions you ever reveal are the occasional bits of racism), it’s your behaviour. This is an example.

      • Sanctuary 1.1.2

        You just owned Pete George.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2.1

          I will take that as constructive criticism: a low benchmark at best. Not really worth the candle.

      • phillip ure 1.1.3

        re pete george..

        i just watched this..and i laughed like a drain..

        ..and i saw myself (or many of you) as the guy with the mo’..

        ..and pete george as the cleanshaven guy…

        ..being questioned/cross-examined..

        http://boingboing.net/2014/04/30/ny-times-verbatim-what-is-a-p.html

        [lprent: classic. ]

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.3.1

          Pete, do you have any twins?

        • vto 1.1.3.2

          ha ha ha ha ha laugh my socks off.

          PG Tips, if you are around, this is EXACTLY what it is like debating with you. That is not meant in a mean or nasty way or any such other abuse, simply that this is what it is like.

          Perfectly summed up there mr ure, perfect.

          “Do you have a photocopier in your office?”

          ha ha ha ha ha

    • felix 1.2

      Gonna have to stop calling them “”legal highs” soon Petey.

      I look forward to seeing you try to maintain your ludicrous legal drugs / illegal drugs double-standard.

      • Pete George 1.2.1

        You’re making things up again. Standard practice for you.

        Total drug bans have never worked and can cause more problems than they try to solve. So we need restricted legal use of the entrenched safer drugs like alcohol and cannabis, and possibly some synthetics and others if they are relatively low harm for most people.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1.1

          In today’s trivia section, marijuana campaigner and blog editor Pete George took his first actual position on something today, and while his statement contains numerous caveats and equivocations, this author would just like to take a moment to praise Mr. George for coming down off the fence for once in his life.

          Pot George, congratulations!

        • felix 1.2.1.2

          Not making anything up. Many times on this site while adults were trying to have serious discussions about drugs and drug use, you’ve attempted to introduce the meaningless (in the context) distinction between legal and illegal drugs.

          You even went as far as to reject my observation that we have a culture that glorifies the ritual of the weekly wrecking.

          I see you’re backing away from that position already.

          • Pete George 1.2.1.2.1

            “Not making anything up. Many times on this site while adults were trying…”

            Very funny felix. You might sound like a bitter old bugger but your efforts so far today are closer to infantile.

            The small ‘divert and attack’ gang look petty and pathetic (to me).

            • bad12 1.2.1.2.1.1

              Petty??? is that you in the mirror, :roll: :roll: :roll:

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1.2.1.2

              :roll:

              Pot George, did you really think your passive aggressive attacks would go unanswered? It isn’t your opinions it’s your behaviour.

              This is what makes you unelectable.

              • You’re not one who should lecture others on behaviour hypocrite. Even lefties get pissed off with you.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Shoot the messenger, Pete.

                  • anker

                    @PG “Even lefties get pissed off with you (oab)”

                    Factually this one doesn’t Lol 1000+ One Anon Bloke

                  • One sentence from OAB is worth more that your total body of work pete and you’ll never understand why. Why not blame it on Māori solo mums that’s seems to be what you enjoy.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      :oops:

                      Thanks Marty and Anker.

                    • fender

                      “One sentence from OAB is worth more that your total body of work pete and you’ll never understand why.”

                      +1

      • Pete George 1.2.2

        Ok felix, you could contribute something positive for a change and explain what your grand single standard preference is on dealing with drugs and laws.

        • felix 1.2.2.1

          Not until the baby is asleep. This thread is textbook:

          1) Petey posts NACT propaganda.

          2) Contradictions with his previous statements are pointed out.

          3) Petey spends the rest of the morning claiming he’s being picked on, without ever addressing the contradictions raised.

          By 11am after painting himself into a dunce’s corner he will claim that he neither agreed nor disagreed with the propaganda in the first place, then he’ll disappear for the rest of the day, his work having been done.

          Tomorrow, repeat.

          • Pete George 1.2.2.1.1

            This thread is textbook.

            Mass attack any comments by target.
            Claim target is disrupting threads.
            Plead with moderators to bow to pressure.

            Tomorrow, repeat. Seen it all before with various targets. No wonder the left is struggling. If they concentrated on actually doing something positive…yeah, nah. Not until the baby is asleep. But it never will be for the perpetually frustrated.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.2.1.1.1

              :roll:

              If “attacks” are so disruptive, why do you initiate them?

              Today’s attacks by you can be summarised by the one word “banwagon”.

            • mickysavage 1.2.2.1.1.2

              Well you did say “Labour jumped on the same ‘bugger the consequences’ bandwagon”. It is like even when you criticise National you have to attack Labour at the same time.

              • Both are at fault over this so I don’t see why both shouldn’t be criticised. Addressing the synthetic and natural cannabis issues doesn’t look hopeful when both major parties seem intent on ban and ignore the obvious.

                But here’s one for National on it’s own – Maurice Williamson looks very compromised and if the story so far stacks up I think he has to resign as minister at least.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Parroting John Key’s unsubstantiated “assertions” ≠ criticism.

            • marty mars 1.2.2.1.1.3

              is that a whinge or a whine there pete – another ‘poor me’, blame everyone else comment from the mr nobody. I suppose you are frustrated in missing the big chance to get your name up there – oh dear, how sad, what a pity.

            • blue leopard 1.2.2.1.1.4

              Mass attack any comments by target.
              Claim target is disrupting threads.
              Plead with moderators to bow to pressure.

              I am afraid I have to agree with you here Pete George.

              If people don’t like your comments the best thing to do is ignore, or if your comment is that bad a few rolleyes or short-sharp statements saying so, but I have noticed rather a few time now that you have raised a point which can be debated and if people did so, things can be learned, thus it becomes a crying shame when the thread is filled up with ad-hominem style comments and no one actually addresses the content of your comment. (some have here but the majority haven’t).

              What is occurring, in my view, is it is starting to make the commenters who aren’t Pete George look pettier than Mr Pete (sorry Pete but, yep, sometimes this is the way you come across, especially those articles you have printed in that fact-checking site).

              Pete George, is clearly attempt to rark up people here, and is managing it very successfully, well done Pete.

              To those attempting to discourage Pete George – I think you are achieving quite the opposite. Not well done yous.

              Hint: Some people really like attention no matter whether it is good or bad and giving attention to people like that – simply encourages them. You are better off turning the comment around than ad-hominems if you really don’t like what a person like that is saying.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Can you point to an “ad hominem” attack on Pete George (as distinct from Pete George’s statements and behaviour) on this page?

                Perhaps you can also point to where he “raised a point which can be debated” that doesn’t contain some passive-aggressive falsehood or spin, or “bait” as Karol calls it.

                Thanks.

                • blue leopard

                  Hi OAB,

                  Not ad hominem per se – that is why I wrote ‘ad-hominem-style comments’

                  Actually your first comment I found quite astute – pointing out the bias of Mr George – yet if you look at the whole the line of responses they simply take up time discussing Mr Georges bias and making references to his sorry role in creating a ‘factless checking site’ (which I am angry about too) rather than turning into a constructive debate addressing the actual points he raised (see my comment at 1.6 for what points I think he raised).

                  Time and again these threads are turning into an endless attack on his bias. Such comments may be quite correct – yet what I am suggesting is that these threads would not be ‘filled with Pete George’s comments and responses’ if people focus on debating the points. He soon seems to appear to shut up if you do that. (see my comment, again, at 1.6).

                  Can you see my point? Focussing on things that Mr George is simply never going to stop defending (his bias and inaccuracy) is leading to fruitless debates which require a lot of scrolling (very exhausting activity (!)) – whereas, as I just mentioned, he appears to quieten down if one responds with a genuine argument to what he says.

                  Clearly, this is simply my opinion; to me it is appearing quite bizarre how much focus is going toward PG and yet the same people who are focussing on him are complaining at the same time about how much focus he gets. ??

                  If you don’t want the focus on PG – simply focus on something else – he will soon go away if he is ignored. The other option, as I have said, is debate the points with him – this also appears to quieten him down, and when it doesn’t, there is much to learn from those discussions.

                  There are plenty of trollish commenters on this site. Why is PG getting so much attention? He is simply one of many and I really think that you are delighting him with your attention rather than putting him off.

                  • lprent

                    I’d tend to agree. That is why I spiked a guest post from earlier this week (you know who you are – sorry) about how to handle an unnamed commenter with PG’s characteristics.

                    I or another moderator will deal to people doing trolling or who are deliberately starting flames. We (especially me and previously Irish) are rather well known for our abrupt methods of terminating those behaviours and our increasing irritation at repetition (basically we escalate on a random walk logarithmic scale). PG found that out each time he strayed over the bounds in 2002.

                    But generally google is your friend when dealing with people who just appear to be simply ignorant of what you know or understand. If you have a good counter and some links then state them and add a bit of chilli for spice. Then respond only to the points that actually counter your points. If the avoidance syndrome starts to happen and people start diverting to something else – then let them. I have some severe responses to claims of owning, pwning, and other such tactics for a reason.

                    You seldom “win” on the net in anything less than a few years. Usually the best you can do is make another person think more deeply. Concentrate on the wars rather than the battles.

                    • blue leopard

                      thanks lprent,

                      Although, that comment of mine that you are responding to is still in moderation (according to my browser anyway)…

                  • weka

                    Focussing on things that Mr George is simply never going to stop defending (his bias and inaccuracy) is leading to fruitless debates which require a lot of scrolling (very exhausting activity (!)) – whereas, as I just mentioned, he appears to quieten down if one responds with a genuine argument to what he says.

                    blue, how is that any different than people responding to anyone else’s bias and inaccuracy. It’s part of the culture here to not let people get away with posting shit that is inaccurate or right wing spin.

                    “whereas, as I just mentioned, he appears to quieten down if one responds with a genuine argument to what he says”

                    My problem with that is that it gives legitimacy to his ‘reasonabler than thou’ centrist persona that is a front for some pretty shitty stuff eg his racism, and what he does (as opposed to what he says). If he was just inane I would have less of a problem. But IMO he actively undermines the left. Why should he get special treatment?

                    and no one actually addresses the content of your comment.

                    That would be because the purpose of most of his comments is to distract and dissemble. You can ignore the long termers here, and just look at the people that have started commenting here since PG’s return and the shift in their perception of him. Mostly they engage genuinely with him and after a few rounds of clusterfuck communication they eventually get to the point that the rest of us have.

                    • “The left” actively undermines itself. For example with it’s excessive intolerance of anyone deemed to be “posting shit that is inaccurate or right wing spin” which is labeled “bias and inaccuracy”. That’s when National or ACT aren’t being accused of that. Or the media. Or anyone else who can be blamed for whatever isn’t going well.

                      That would be because the purpose of most of his comments is to distract and dissemble.

                      That’s not my purpose at all. The distracting and dissembling is what happens in response.

                      Some people simply object to me commenting no matter what I say. It’s tribal politics at it’s most petty. I don’t know what it’s intended to achieve but I haven’t noticed much success from the bitter and twisted approach.

                      I had a meeting with an MP today and we have very similar views on political behaviour. You rarely achieve anything significant in democratic politics by alienating and attacking – the success rate is very low and the negatives usually far outweigh any positives.

                      You have to build relationships and look for common ground to achieve things. Especially when you’re in opposition, opportunities don’t come often and you have to be ready to strike when you can. If you have burnt off any possible alliances you don’t have any chance. Even if you disagree with someone strongly on something you may need to work with them on the next issue, if you’re still on speaking terms.

                      Certainly I provoke reactions sometimes, deliberately, but what are political forums for? I haven’t seen a list of banned topics here. Do you expect any issues to be approved of a central committee to ensure they are left enough, ‘unbiased’ enough?

                      I’m relatively new to politics but I’m amazed at how old school activists keep repeating failed tactics. It’s common here, it’s common at Kiwiblog and other forums. Maybe that’s why they’re old school activists, they haven’t worked out how to succeed or they are past their prime and haven’t moved on with the times.

                      Divide and rule doesn’t work well in a decent democracy. You have to allow people and ideas to come together, look for opportunities and common ground, rather than look for differences and push apart on anything you disagree with.

                      ‘Centrist’ is quite a loose term. To me it mostly means keeping your options open on any issue until you can decide what the sensible approach is, rather than painting yourself into an ideological corner from the start. I’m as likely to agree with a Green policy as an Act policy.

                      blue leopard is right, I’ll comment much less if comments are ignored or issues addressed and pissy personal attack politics is parked. I ignore most attacks but if you keep doing it I’ll keep picking my battles, as long as the blog authorities allow.

                      Some of you seem obsessed with defeating perceived enemies, but you’re defeating your own interests more than anything. Just imagine if all that time and mental energy went into doing something positive.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Weka’s point stands.

                      Look at the way Mr. George takes ten paragraphs to articulate easily refuted boasts.

                    • BM

                      Pete, until most of these hard core old lefty,righty activists cark it, you’ll never see an improvement in the way politics are discussed.

                      They’re completely out of touch with how things work and how things get done these days, they’re dinosaurs stuck in a 70’s cold war mentality where those that don’t faithfully toe the party line should be smashed down and destroyed.

                      Sooner they exit the scene the better.

                    • weka

                      Nice try BM, but I was only just in primary school at the start of the 70s and came out of a family that valued debate but had no particular party line to follow.

                    • blue leopard

                      Hi Weka,

                      You appear to have missed my point completely. All I am saying is what is occurring, in my view, is it is starting to make the commenters who aren’t Pete George look pettier than Mr Pete.

                      There are far worse things said than what PG said at the start of the thread. Pete’s comment fully contained points that gave the option to respond and debate – there are plenty of right-wing comments that don’t offer that at all…like the one that just said ‘cuckoo’ yesterday on one of the threads (say wha?)

                      You are not even one of the ones doing this behaviour, yet those that are, are utterly entitled to carry on with their behaviour (in keeping with the rules of the site of course!). I was hoping that they might read my comment and see sense in it, if not. I shall remain content by simply scrolling on by.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      @Pete George
                      The way you come across with your posts is that you are here to put down Labour and the left, and take the side of the right wing. That is irritating and mostly time wasting rather than genuine debate or discussion.

                      If your intention is to push the agenda of the right, your natural place to hang would be the well known right wing blogs, of Slater and Farrar. You will get a lot of support for your views that are critical of the left.

                      I have not read any of your posts where you show clear support for any of the policies of Labour or those of the other left parties.

                      Which of the following policies/programmes/statements do you agree with and which you do not? Without going into discussions or debate, can you just state, as your conclusion, YES or NO for each of these please:

                      [1] The National tax cuts of billions of dollars helped the wealthy the most and affected the poor the most due to reduction in services.

                      [2] The broken promise of raising the GST impacted harder on the poor, as they generally spend all their limited income/wages for living expenses.

                      [3] National have slashed social services and put the screws on beneficiaries.

                      [4] National has put people out of Housing NZ homes so they can sell the property to their developer buddies.

                      [5] Overseas investors find NZ a great place to speculate in the very profitable housing market.

                      [6] Housing is becoming more and more out of the reach for ordinary New Zealanders.

                      [7] Labour has better ideas and policies than National to tackle the housing problem.

                      [8] Increased mortgage rates get passed on by landlords through the rent they charge.

                      [9] Keeping interest rates down should keep rents lower than if the Official Cash Rate was raised.

                      [10] The newly announced Labour’s VSR will make it easier for the lower income households to build up a deposit reserve through their Kiwisaver contributions and pay lower interest rates for their mortgage.

                      [11] Increasing the minimum wage to $15 immediately is a good policy.

                      [12] Supporting or encouraging the living wage is a good policy.

                      [13] The Labour-Green announced NZ Power is a good initiative for helping to bring down the electricity prices.

                      [14] Labour has always been the more sophisticated economic thinker, and is the natural party of innovative ideas and reform.

                      [15] By their very nature, conservative parties are managers rather than visionaries – and they only manage the economy to the primary advantage of the top few percent.

                      [16] Interest on student loans should be reintroduced.

                      [17] Kiwi Bank should be sold.

                      [18] Paid parental leave should not be increased to six months as proposed by Labour in its Best Start policy.

                      [19] Bring in a Capital Gains Tax as proposed by Labour.

                      [20] The spy laws related to GCSB, SIS etc should be thoroughly reviewed as proposed by Labour.

                      [21] Adult Community Education Night Classes should not have been cancelled by National.

                      [22] The power company asset sales was a good idea.

                      [23] Public funding for private Charter schools is a good idea.

                      [24] There will be a Labour-led Coaltion government after this election.

                      [25] Dunne will lose his seat.

                    • Yes I criticise Labour and that gets up some peoples noses but I do also praise Labour when I see fit. Same with Greens. Same with National.

                      And I do initiate discussion including confronting and challenging righties at Kiwiblog and Whale Oil, they don’t like it there either. Curiously they can be as over the top, irrational and angry at Kiwiblog as some are here, I’ve also experienced mass attacks (especially on rape, violence, smacking and climate change). But Whale Oil has not been anywhere near as bad – although I have had some full on debates with Slater et al.

                      That’s a long list and Yes or No is inadequate. For example I’ll address the first and last.

                      [1] The National tax cuts of billions of dollars helped the wealthy the most and affected the poor the most due to reduction in services.
                      Yes the tax cuts helped the wealthy the most on pure dollar terms. They pay by far the most tax and even small changes in tax rates can make a big difference in dollars. And low income and no income earners effectively pay no income tax so you can’t give them tax cuts, they have to be helped through other means. And it could be argued that $20 per week helps a beneficiary far more than $200 per week helps someone earning $200k.

                      “Reduction in services” is an almost completely different issue.

                      [25] Dunne will lose his seat.
                      I have no way of knowing that. He’s had a very difficult term, he’s looking jaded and dated, that will make it harder, but National, Labour and Greens are all standing new low profile candidates so that could help him. It’s nearly five months until the election. anything could happen yet. I don’t know and I don’t care apart from an overall interest in all parties and seats.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      @Pete George:

                      Oh dear! I specifically requested you not to debate/discuss as usual but to give your FINAL conclusion/best guess. Sadly you seem to be unable to do that.

                      Going by your explanation,
                      for both [1} and [2],
                      Your best response should have been NO (or Disagree)

                      As you are a prolific writer with wide views on various issues and quite controversial, It would be good to know where you generally stand politically, socially, economically, philosophically and morally.
                      Can you have another go?

                      One more question:

                      [26] Judith Collins has misused her ministerial position in the Oravida scandal and she should resign or be sacked.

                    • weka

                      Hi Weka,

                      You appear to have missed my point completely. All I am saying is what is occurring, in my view, is it is starting to make the commenters who aren’t Pete George look pettier than Mr Pete.

                      There are far worse things said than what PG said at the start of the thread. Pete’s comment fully contained points that gave the option to respond and debate – there are plenty of right-wing comments that don’t offer that at all…like the one that just said ‘cuckoo’ yesterday on one of the threads (say wha?)

                      You are not even one of the ones doing this behaviour, yet those that are, are utterly entitled to carry on with their behaviour (in keeping with the rules of the site of course!). I was hoping that they might read my comment and see sense in it, if not. I shall remain content by simply scrolling on by.

                      Hi blue,

                      I did get the point, but I happen to disagree with it (about who is looking more petty).

                      “There are far worse things said than what PG said at the start of the thread.”

                      Probably, and if it was just PG at the start of the thread there wouldn’t be a problem. I think this is the crucial difference – perhaps you think PG should be related to comment by comment. Myself, and I assume others, are well past that point where PG’s comments can stand each on their own. There is a pattern of behaviour that many here find disrupts the place, and some people are responding to that (the pattern of behaviour).

                • blue leopard

                  I have responded but I mentioned the ‘T’ word so my response has gone into moderation…

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    As Weka says below “This is pretty well-known internet forum dynamics.”

                    That and the moderation of certain words. I tried to get around them once by typing tr*ll then editing the o in afterwards. They’d thought of that :)

                    [lprent: Besides if the variants get too ubiquitous of over-used misused words (which is what I am looking for) there are always regular expressions to use. I have never had to do that. But the capability is sitting in the plugin I wrote for the task back in 2009. ]

          • Bearded Git 1.2.2.1.2

            +1 Felix. Too much of Standard now being devoted to Pete George drivel.

          • weka 1.2.2.1.3

            “3) Petey spends the rest of the morning claiming he’s being picked on, without ever addressing the contradictions raised.”

            Yes, and he’s moving into chapter 2 of the tr8ll handbook – claim that he’s being picked on by a specific group. In PG’s case he calls it “The small ‘divert and attack’ gang”. He will build that narrative for a while and then the people that still feel sorry for him will start telling off the ‘gang’ for picking on him (even though there isn’t actually a gang). It’s never fair to gang up on someone so irrespective of what he does the narrative will be that anyone that calls him on his tr8ll bullshit is part of orchestrated bullying.

            • Murray Olsen 1.2.2.1.3.1

              When I first started reading this blog, I did get the impression that PG was being bullied. Now I understand why he gets treated as he does, and it’s possibly better than he deserves. However, there will often be new readers who won’t know the history. He’s a huge diversion, as are the RWNJs.

    • Ad 1.3

      Clearly Dunne should retire from politics if he can’t even decide who he’s going to capitulate to from one week to the next. He’s so out of his depth on even such a small political issue that he makes Hekia Parata look competent. Dunne should step down.

      • Pete George 1.3.1

        He’s struggled to handle this for sure, but I think just about anyone would, especially when it seems both the two major parties don’t want to have anything to do with addressing cannabis alongside the synthetics problem.

        If Dunne retired it would leave someone else to be impotent – or keener on banning drugs and creating more problems.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1

          The big problem Dunne had was his refusal to legalise marijuana and ban the synthetics. Do that and we’d have rational drug policy.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.2

        You’re right Ad, but Dunne should have resigned when he leaked the Kitteridge Report.

      • Rosie 1.3.3

        Well Ad, apparently there is a “Sack Peter Dunne” facebook group. I’m not on FB, but others may want to participate.

        https://www.facebook.com/sackpeterdunne?notif_t=fbpage_fan_invite

        Also last week on Scoop NZ First had called for Dunne’s resignation. Sorry no link, had a quick look but can’t find it and have to dash

        • Pete George 1.3.3.1

          Here it goes – http://pacificguardians.org/2014/04/07/step-down-national-united-future-mps-for-failed-legal-high-law/.html

          In that she said:

          “These drugs could have been banned or a much stronger law put in place to eradicate these drugs. It is why Todd McClay and Peter Dunne should do the right thing and stand down.

          “And for this Government need to listen to the people for once, and prioritise the move for an outright ban of legal highs,” she told Pacific Guardians.

          A ban is very unlikely to eradicate them.

          On Twitter I asked her to back up a claim “”… and families, communities, police and hospitals must now deal with a new stream of addicted users.” – evidence of this? Her response…

          Jesse story on Campbell live, Four deaths in the last six months, & huge number of addicts, causing family & domestic violence

          felix will be on to her double standards for sure. And her lack of actual evidence.

          And other tweets about the same time:

          NZ should ban all the legal highs, and increase law enforcement officers to monitor any under ground issues.

          Those a comments from those who are afraid to do the right thing. Intimidating rubbish for the weak.

          NZ should ban all the legal highs, and increase law enforcement officers to monitor any under ground issues.

          How come Lisa Owen and the Nation TV never ask me about Legal Highs? Same goes to John Campbell programme. Just ban them.

          And then what?

    • Clemgeopin 1.4

      So, Dunne does not have the courage of his own convictions, guts and honesty to stick to his position, but just shamelessly does what is politically expedient?

      • Pete George 1.4.1

        Weight of numbers, 59 versus 1 is difficult to argue with. Stuff claims he had to negotiate a compromise, the 59 wanted to scrap the Act.

        • Clemgeopin 1.4.1.1

          No guts or honesty or integrity.
          He could have stuck to his position or resigned instead, if he had the courage of his conviction re this important issue, rather than blaming others!

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.4.2

        It’s easy to have principles until people challenge them.

    • Rosie 1.5

      In full swing this morning

      :roll:
      :roll:
      :roll:

    • blue leopard 1.6

      Hi Pete George,

      I think you raise an interesting point.

      My first response is to view this response from National and Labour as democracy in action and that it is good to see National responding to public pressure (I feel certain that the stance Labour took on it was part of National’s decision also though).

      I think it would be good if politicians weren’t referred to as ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ or ‘flip-flopping’ when they are responding to public pressure because really, isn’t that what representatives are supposed to do? If public awareness is raised over a certain matter and therefore shifts, then the politicians need to be responsive to that.

      In response to your ‘bugger the consequences’ view: This needn’t be the case if the government are prepared to act very fast to support social services and health organisations that will be helping the people in difficulty. It may be necessary to have a public awareness campaign to ensure those around such people, also, know what the signs are and are told what they can do to help.

      I think that such a response would be fair, especially considering we allowed these drugs to be sold for a fair few years now, and therefore people took them believing they were harmless, when they were not.

      If the government took the consequences seriously, they might be able to avert a lot of the problems you are referring to, after-all, leaving the things on the shelves is only going to make matters worse, not better; that would simply enable more people to get addicted.

      • Pete George 1.6.1

        This needn’t be the case if the government are prepared to act very fast to support social services and health organisations that will be helping the people in difficulty. It may be necessary to have a public awareness campaign to ensure those around such people, also, know what the signs are and are told what they can do to help.

        You’re right, but I don’t see any sign of this happening, and no opposition pressure for it to happen. It’s as if they think that forcing product from retail shelves will suddenly solve the whole problem.

        The Drug Foundation and others have pointed out the probable need for support services to be ramped up but I don’t know if anything is being done about it.

        • blue leopard 1.6.1.1

          You may well be correct about it not looking like they will do anything, it wouldn’t surprise me with this government – who usually only seem to act for the wealth issues of a small group.

          Yet if they don’t act it will reflect very badly on the government – and they are more likely than not in an election year to take that into account prior to deciding to do nothing.

          And also, if they don’t act fast to provide support to these people, then one can hardly say it is due to ‘taking the products off the shelved’ has caused the problem – like I said – leaving the products on the shelves will only be making the issue worse.

          • Molly 1.6.1.1.1

            “And also, if they don’t act fast to provide support to these people, then one can hardly say it is due to ‘taking the products off the shelved’ has caused the problem – like I said – leaving the products on the shelves will only be making the issue worse.

            There is an assumption that the people who require support are included in those National care about. It is probably likely that they are not. After all, they have shown no compassion in their policies over the last five years for those they would consider “Non-National voters”.

            Taking the legal-highs off the shelves is a response to their own demographic that has indicated that it is a good idea politically. Many of those will be satisfied with this step, and more than a few will probably consider it is all that is needed.

  2. karol 2

    UK spies given access to a wide range of NSA data/metadata during the 2012 Olympics, including Prism. GCHQ begged for access to NSA data.

    The data sharing between the agencies during the Olympics, though, was not isolated to PRISM. It also encompassed large volumes of metadata – such as the “to” and “from” details from an email but not the content of the message itself – as part of a more expansive Olympics surveillance effort. The NSA was funneling troves of intercepted data to GCHQ from a system called GHOSTMACHINE, a massive cloud database used by the NSA to analyze metadata and store, according to one document in the Snowden archive, “100s of billions of entries.”

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      So how reliable are the assurances that our metadata has not been harvested?

      I rang the head of the agency and said, ‘Can you confirm for me that New Zealand didn’t collect wholesale metadata about ordinary New Zealanders?’ and the answer was, ‘We didn’t, and because we didn’t, we couldn’t have shared it’.

      Dec 2 2013.

      Ah, I see the problem: Key asked the wrong question. Funny that.

      Of course, by August last year he had to clarify his previous assurance:

      Prime Minister John Key has given some clarity to what “metadata” the Government Communications Security Bureau will be able to access…He says the GCSB will be able to look at some email metadata, but that will not include addresses, the times emails were sent or received, or their content.

      “Essentially it flows through a filter, and as it flows through that filter, it doesn’t record for anything other than a hundredth of a second,”

      My understanding of that is that their “filter” (and if so, well done Slippery for so cleverly implying it’s some sort of software) is the law, ie:

      The NSA collects everything. The GCSB are allowed to look at some of it if they can get a court order*.

      *or Ministerial warrant.

      • thatguynz 2.1.1

        The real question that needs to be asked is “Does GCSB capture OR HAVE ACCESS TO metadata on New Zealand citizens?”.

        Nicky Hager clearly elucidated the process that NZ intelligence agencies go through to achieve their goals whilst still maintaining plausible deniability. By providing NSA/GCHQ etc with a watchlist then THEY will be the ones doing the capture and analysis as opposed to the GCSB, ergo the GCSB can “legitimately” claim that they do not spy on NZ citizens.

        NB: This is from memory of reading Nicky Hager’s book a couple of years ago so I can’t quote verbatim but I’m sure anyone that has Secret Power at their fingertips can do so if they feel so inclined :)

        EDIT: In fact, re-reading OAB’s final paragraph I see he is effectively saying the same thing so I apologise for any duplication :)

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    Anyway, petty drivel aside, National are still desperately trying to spin their legal highs incompetence. I suppose it beats confronting Slippery’s awful performance at Christchurch airport.

  4. An interesting interview on cannabis (and synthetics and bans) on Campbell Live last night.

    Founder of the Drug Policy Alliance, Ethan Nadelmann discusses how the group has played a key part in a debate that has so far seen two US states legalise marijuana, with more set to follow.

    He discusses just what it was that ultimately convinced Washington and Colorado to legalise marijuana.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Should-NZ-legalise-and-tax-marijuana/tabid/817/articleID/342206/Default.aspx

    • i have linked to that vid/interview..

      ..and i have tagged it as a must-watch..!

      ..f.w.i.w..

      (this has been a public service announcement..designed to counter the automatic stigma accrued from being linked to by p.g..

      ..ignore that it came from him..

      ..and just watch it..

      ..you will be pleased you did..

      ..it is like a minor gale of sanity/commonsense..)

      • weka 4.1.1

        “..ignore that it came from him..”

        You see PG, your reputation here is so bad that even when you post something useful, other people feel bound to qualify it.

        • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1

          The problem is clearly with us, not him.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1.1

            We all just need to learn to tolerate open debate, and not notice, far less remark on patent absurdity presented as truth.

  5. Philj 5

    xox
    Great to hear Mary Wilson interviewing a civil engineer about the flooding in Christchurch. In summary, he said the flooding, along with the earthquakes, was exacerbated by 30 years of neglecting basic engineering principles. Drains first, not last as noted in council planning. I couldn’t help but think this could apply to most that has been foisted on the increasingly poor suffering public. Back to the basics, and less snake oil. Oh it’s election time!

    • vto 5.1

      It is absolutely astounding that nobody has got their own digger into that Dudley Creek and simply dug the thing out.

      Two days, two 12 tonne diggers, job done.

      It’s not as if the public would object or there are any fancy snails to protect.

      This is symptomatic of Christchurch today – nobody does anything except after countless reports, bureaucratic wrangling, political debate, ecan, eqc, cera, ccc, ccdu, the entire city has become so entwined and strangled in public sector ways that number 8 wire thinking and action have just simply vanished. Gone. The stuffing has been knocked out of us.

      Watch this – if there are no diggers in that Dudley Creek by Friday afternoon you watch the negative public comment and ridicule that will get piled onto the authorities and their useless authoritative ways.

      Two bloody diggers.

      That’s all it would take.

      Bloody useless

      • bad12 5.1.1

        i don’t think it quite works like that where the land in the city may have sunk because of the earthquakes Vto but the land out on the coast may not have,

        If the land sinkage is centric to the city area then digging the streams and rivers deeper is going to achieve little…

        • vto 5.1.1.1

          No that’s not right mr bad. Sure the land in that area has sunk up to 500mm, but the creek beds have risen, the creek sides have fallen inwards, and all the native plantings of the last dozen years has slowed the water movement.

          Digging the creek will certainly achieve more than enough to stop the next flood from reaching the floorboards of the houses concerned.

          As someone who has been flooded more than once by Council ineptitude in Chch since the earthquakes (another part of town) and watched the (toxic polluted by portaloos and broken sewer) water rise through our floorboards I know this. In our part of town, harassment of Council staff to clear the drains resulted in the drains being cleared and now no flooding during these recent events.

          It genuinely is as simple as lowering the creek bed and widening and clearing the creek banks.

          Job done.

          Bloody useless.

          Hopefully some local in the vicinity will thumb their nose at Council and get their own digger in there today.

          • bad12 5.1.1.1.1

            That depends Vto, are the creeks over-flowing and causing the flooding???, or, is the storm-water coming back up through the storm-water drains,

            If the water is coming back up through the storm-water drains then i would suggest such drains where they enter the creeks need high volume pumps attached to them…

            • vto 5.1.1.1.1.1

              you silly egg

              • bad12

                Now there’s an inflaming answer to what was a logical question full of the milk of human kindness today i will refrain…

                • vto

                  Yes apologies … the flooding in Chch is not a flowing flooding, nor a pressured flooding. It is simply a rise in water level, quiet and unmoving, lifting all logs, t-papers and e-colis with it. As such everything floods at once – stormwater drains and creeks, all at the same slow quiet pace.

                  • bad12

                    If it is the creeks that are flooding then it is the creeks that need the water pumps to move the water on,

                    If you just dig out the drains the nett result is that the flow of water might reverse in the creeks from downstream going toward the outflow of the creeks…

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        Well, IMO, the #8 wire thinking has gone across the country but it’s been strangled by private sector ‘efficiency’ and not the public sector. The public sector used to welcome new ideas about how to get things done.

        And, yeah, I’m with bad12 on the diggers probably being a bad idea.

        • vto 5.1.2.1

          I suppose. Might as well let these good houses get soaked in toxic grey water everytime there’s 30mm of rain… sheesh dtb, really …….

          My point, in clarification, is simply dig the creeks out enough to lower these flood levels by enough to stay under the floorboards. Soaked garden and driveway ok but not in the house. Toxic danger unhealthy extreme. This requires simple digger action.

          Why would there not be this action?

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.1.1

            Because just getting in there and digging up the stream bed may not actually do that. It’s going to depend upon what level the stream is at normally compared to what level the houses are at and what level the water is during heavy rains. The houses have sunk half a metre compared to that normal water level.

            • vto 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Yes I’m sure it is very complex, although every time I have looked water has tended to flow downhill.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Yep, it does. The downhill in this case seems to be toward the houses.

  6. felix 6

    Good on you, Nathan Guy. Good on you, National. Good on you, John Key.

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/t31.0-8/10255146_10152770535638356_2730374015677352953_o.jpg

    F. F. S.

  7. miravox 7

    If this is what you call kids you’re meant to be helping, no wonder you don’t succeed.

    A. The bullied, B. The dummies, C. The brats, D. CYF kids

    I guess the ones that don’t fit these pejorative descriptions slip through the gaps too.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Those fetuses chosen to become members of the lower castes of “Gamma”, “Delta” or “Epsilon” are subjected to in situ chemical interference to cause arrested development in intelligence and physical growth.

      Wikipedia’s summary of Brave New World.

      First the labels, then the Ritalin.

    • I saw that and was disgusted

      Head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said a staff member had met Datacom and she had followed up with a letter outlining their disappointment.

      A Datacom spokeswoman told the Herald their truancy management team, which works with children aged 13 and 14 in Bay of Plenty, Manawatu, Southland and Whanganui, regrets the “ill-considered” wording and apologised.

      “In their letter of response they indicated they were echoing the terminology used by some schools, which was not a satisfactory explanation … they have said this was a lapse of judgment by the employee [responsible],” Ms Casey said.

      You want to know why this country has to change then the quotes above illustrate it well. The most vulnerable treated like shit, those most in need get degraded and abused (behind their backs and to their fronts) by the people paid and charged for trying to help them. Scum is too weak a word for the ‘team’ at Datacom and their ‘ill-considered’ words.

      • weka 7.2.1

        +1000

        Why hand over truancy management to a company like Datacom in the first place? What is wrong with the Ministry of Education having its own people, who are trained in how to deal with real live people?

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.1

          Why hand over truancy management to a company like Datacom in the first place?

          So that the capitalists can make an even bigger profit at our expense. There is no other reason.

        • Tracey 7.2.1.2

          did you think the idea was to stop truancy???

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.3

          Yeah as I understand it the Ministry of Education defunded some very experienced truancy teams around the country and then handed contracts over to people who had no idea and no experience.

      • miravox 7.2.2

        +1 marty, oab.

        Is it normal to categorise kids so negatively? Do they think it’s a bit of a joke to label them like this? It’s appalling that Datacom (and school staff, it seems) treat kids so dismissively.

        I can’t believe that people would tolerate this, that nobody said that it wasn’t right.

  8. bad12 8

    Take the demand out of Auckland’s housing market???, David Parker proposes to stop those with rental property from being able to write off ”losses” on the rental properties against ”taxes on other income”, and, (maybe) restrict immigration,

    Two things i do agree with from Mr Parker, landlords should not have a tax incentive to involve themselves in owning rental property,

    Immigration should be restricted to the number of houses able to be built to accommodate the number of immigrants in any given year…

  9. Red Rosa 9

    http://www.3news.co.nz/NZ-kauri-sent-to-China-in-black-gold-rush/tabid/1771/articleID/342199/Default.aspx

    Murky business in Northland.

    And Oravida pops up in the list of suspects.

    Worth further enquiry, for sure.

    • Murray Olsen 9.1

      Companies have been exporting swamp kauri for years now. I think I first visited the factory shop north of Kaitaia about 15 years ago and thought what a waste it was to send raw wood to China when there are so many potential carvers in the North. If Oravida are planning on processing the wood locally, they’re doing better than the rest of the cowboys up there. Much like the property developers around Kerikeri, they accept fines as part of the cost of doing business. Until a few of them lose their trousers and end up in prison, I can’t see anything changing.

      • Will@Welly 9.1.1

        Trying doing the same with pounamu. There would be a complete outrage if the similar were to happen.

        • Murray Olsen 9.1.1.1

          I’m against both. As far as pounamu is concerned, the difference might be explained as the difference between Tipene O’Regan and Shane Jones.

          I may have got the wrong impression about Oravida and any proposed processing. It seems that they are just stockpiling and waiting for the price to go up.

  10. tricledrown 10

    Politicaly Gelded
    You have just asumed you are a liar being a politician.
    We already knew.
    To many legal highs you are confusing yourself.
    Time for a fact check.
    Pete George your an idiot a no body .suffering attention deficit.

  11. bad12 11

    Is the silver spoon about to be ripped out of the mouth of long serving National Government Minister Maurice Williamson,

    It appears that Williamsons ”murky” dealings with businessmen Bill Liu also involved an ”intervention” with the police on Liu’s behalf by Williamson when Liu was about to be charged with domestic violence offences…

    • Hami Shearlie 11.1

      And the name “John Banks” popped up again in this, supporting this man when Banks was the Mayor of Auckland!! Shonkey will want this situation “done and dusted” before Parliament comes back next week, they won’t want TWO ministers in the gun at the same time!

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1

        At least when you bribe Maurice Williamson he returns your phonecall.

      • Skinny 11.1.2

        No surprise think donations, think Bent Bankie will be lurking not too far away.

        Bankie will be most annoyed now, I heard Williamson was going to put in a cameo appearance as a character witness at John’s peading court case. Well that plan has gone down the gurgler now, looks like Mangling Morrie may well be joining Bent Bankie down the old bailey in a lead role of his very own.

        I guess after Williamson’s brief Worldwide celebrity status last year he wanted the center stage all to himself. Good for him :)

  12. Skinny 12

    Oh dear more revelations that political donations buys a lot of favours in the National Party. A This ones tricky now awaiting John Key explaining this one away. You would think a longtime serving MP would know better.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      The Construction Minister managed to smooth Mr. Liu’s path so much people are now using it for ice-skating.

      • marty mars 12.1.1

        A National Party Minister contacted a top ranking police officer after a wealthy businessman with close ties to him was arrested on domestic violence charges.

        The Prime Minister’s office is understood to be considering Maurice Williamson’s future as a Minister, following Herald inquiries into the phone call that he made.

        His office is understood to have also questioned Mr Williamson over his involvement with Donghua Liu’s criminal case.

        Prime Minister John Key will make a statement later this morning.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11247424

        A rotten plank is about to break.

  13. bad12 13

    HUGE round of applause to Christchurch City Council Deputy Mayor for a brilliant display on this mornings RadioNZ Nine to Noon program,

    The ‘affordable housing plan’ espoused by Vicky includes Government including the Christchurch City Council in the ”full’ Government social housing subsidy as well as contracting a consortium currently building a specialized factory in Christchurch to produce low cost 5 star housing that can be erected on a prepared site in 5 days,

    i haven’t got a link to the full ”plan” as outlined by the deputy Mayor, but found little i disagree with as She outlined it on National radio,

    Hopefully Labour Housing spokesperson Phill Twyford watches this with due interest as it would seem applying the Christchurch City Council ”plan” to land the Government already owns is the way forward for housing affordability for those with little means both in the area of rental housing and affordable housing for low waged workers to purchase on variable mortgage payment schemes such as that which is proposed by the Green Party…

  14. greywarbler 14

    Cripes predictable. You have let Pete George take over the site again. Why can’t we give him the acknowledgement of say two comments and then leave it alone. Why should he be allowed to choose the subject of discussion each day?? Why hasn’t anyone else something interesting to discuss?? Are you a lot of monkeys who chatter every time someone pokes a banana through the bars and then pulls it away just to tease you? What are you!! Monkeys or meece.

    I’m thinking at present about the big deal that the news is making about Maurice Williamson in connection with a Chinese entrepreneur, I suppose, and whether Williamson used his position improperly in helping the Chinese chap get what he wanted. It’s all breathless breaking news.
    (See mickys post just up.)

    • Bearded Git 14.1

      +100 Grey. Just don’t debate with him

      • weka 14.1.1

        That only works if everyone does it. So if regular standardistas (the one reading this today) agree to stop talking to him, what’s going to happen when newer people come along and start engaging with him?

        “Why hasn’t anyone else something interesting to discuss?? Are you a lot of monkeys who chatter every time someone pokes a banana through the bars and then pulls it away just to tease you?”

        There are other conversations going on, so you could focus on them :-)

        The reason why so many people are now engaging with PG negatively is because PG is causing so much distruption. You have cause and effect round the wrong way. People are so fucked off with the problems he is causing that they’ve moved into counter-offensive mode, because nothing else works. In other words, people that care about this place are unwilling to sit around and let a git like PG ruin it.

        This is pretty well-known internet forum dynamics. Until PG gets his eventual ban, or decides to change, then best get used to it.

        • greywarbler 14.1.1.1

          Weka
          I think you have got dressed with your jersey and perhaps your trousers inside out. This has skewed your view of things. Try again tomorrow and you might get a different outlook.

        • miravox 14.1.1.2

          Agree weka.

          The trouble with not engaging at all is that he then comes out with more comments to “provoke a reaction”. If these comments are not addressed it appears there is agreement with what he says, when there isn’t. I’m thinking at least an eyeroll is needed to show that pete’s comments are not considered true.

      • greywarbler 14.1.2

        BG I rarely do. But I have to search for something being discussed that he isn’t dominating. Discussed or disgust. It ends up that it’s better to stay away and leave everyone stirring the same old stew. I like a change of diet and I might have to find a better menu.

        • karol 14.1.2.1

          My way of dealing with a virus in a public place – keep well clear of it.

    • McFlock 14.2

      lol
      I just read openmike in about 5 minutes – as soon as a thread hits pgtips, I skipped to the next thread :)

      Each to their own, but there’s something about that tool that makes me feel like I have ants crawling under my skin. Some days I want to scratch it, other days I avoid it completely…

    • cricklewood 14.3

      The worst part is he manages to clutter the whole thing up with numerous comments that never quite manage to say anything, the mans a master troll he manages to tie commenters up in knots and destroys site readability…

      Then he generally skips over to Kiwiblog for a grizzle then proceeds to have a moan on his own blog about how unfair it is…

      What I am unsure of is he if actually realises what he is doing, so the real question is, troll by accident or troll by design?

      Dimpost has the right idea…

  15. Ad 15

    Any budding or armchair economic historians want to do a New Zealand version of this?

    http://www.salon.com/2013/09/20/rip_the_middle_class_1946_2013/

  16. veutoviper 16

    This morning on Morning Report there was an item on the move of the Te Papa CEO to the Ministry of Culture etc into a special advisory role for military heritage ahead of next year’s ANZAC commemorations. The item had the feel of having more to it than meets the eye.

    TV3 had a short item on their website last night by Tova O’Brien that gives a bit more information.

    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Te-Papa-looking-into-finances-as-CEO-departs/tabid/423/articleID/342225/Default.aspx#ixzz30Q3dJRfn

    However, Patrick Gower’s Twitter feed also provides a little more of interest if you read his exchanges with Jacinda Arden and Grant Robertson.
    https://twitter.com/patrickgowernz

    It appears that Finlayson and his office have been telling ‘porkies’ according to Gower about this move and the state of Te Papa’s financial affairs.

    Although totally overshadowed by the Williamson situation and ‘resignation’, I am hoping that TV3 will follow through on this situation as well.

  17. Philj 17

    xox
    pete who? I
    press fast forward.

  18. Philj 18

    xox
    Vicki Buck ,ex Christchurch mayor and Lianne Dalziel could be a formidible tag team to counter This National disgrace. It’s a tough job, here’s hoping this council is up to it.

  19. vto 19

    Yahoo, the bank has made a record profit !

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9996899/ANZ-banks-increased-profit

    Let’s all rejoice..

    praise be the name of commerce
    praise be the name of the freeeeee market
    praaaiise to the dollar

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      See, Piketty was right.

    • blue leopard 19.2

      +1, yep ‘hell-and-lies-louse-ridden-jar’ to that (er this is a strained play on ‘hallelujah’….by the way…)

    • Colonial Viper 19.3

      I don’t see why you guys are so envious of the success and wealth of Australian based banking shareholders, they are merely supporting the standard of living back home :twisted:

      • Draco T Bastard 19.3.1

        :twisted: :P

      • srylands 19.3.2

        I think you are not being serious, but your statement is correct. We have the luxury of a stable banking system underpinned by Australian ownership. So yes you in particular should be very grateful.

        • Draco T Bastard 19.3.2.1

          I see that you’re still denying reality. I’ll put it in easy terms for you:

          Capitalism results in the collapse of society as all the wealth ends up in the control of a few psychopaths.

        • thatguynz 19.3.2.2

          Your idiocy knows no bounds sslands… I’ll give you fucking grateful.

        • vto 19.3.2.3

          australian confirmation bias

          no wonder your views are so undeveloped

        • phillip ure 19.3.2.4

          “..So yes you in particular should be very grateful…”

          every evening..

          ..i kneel to face australia..

          ..and i tug my forelock in gratitude..

        • Colonial Viper 19.3.2.5

          We have the luxury of a stable banking system underpinned by Australian ownership. So yes you in particular should be very grateful.

          Nothing quite like the display of a subservient kowtowing capitalist serf. How does that boot polish taste, Shitlands?

  20. joe90 20

    A lie that really did make it halfway around the world.

    Last week, Craig Rucker, a climate-change skeptic and the executive director of a nonprofit organization called the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), tweeted a quotation supposedly taken from a 1922 edition of the Washington Post: “Within a few years it is predicted due to ice melt the sea will rise & make most coastal cities uninhabitable.” The intent, of course, was to poke fun at current headlines about climate change.

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2014/04/climate-change-skeptics-newspaper-telephone.html?

  21. lprent 21

    Partial amnesty: I’ve arbitrarily released the bans on

    Puckish Rogue
    grumpy
    infused
    SHG
    The Fan Club
    Intrinsicvalue
    chris73
    natwest
    Dumrse
    Balanced View
    TheContrarian
    insider
    BarnsleyBill
    Mark (he will know which one it is)

    These are the ones who aren’t marked as being “idiots” and who offer some effective commentary most or even some of the time – which is why Santi isn’t there for instance.

    It has been just over a year since the last amnesty, so it seemed like being about the time to do it again.

    I’d suggest that they refresh themselves on the policy and that they remember that I’m still the moderator that dealt with them last time. In particular about half of these were for trying to do a diversion troll in posts written by an author or syndicated in. If you want to raise a topic, then do it in OpenMike and do it intelligently.

    If I detect concerted astroturfing of lines as often happens in an election year, then I’m likely to do some concerted banning of anyone who running anything like that line. I’m also likely to reward such stupidity with a ban until after the election so as to reduce my workload..

    • TheContrarian 21.1

      How kind.

      As far astroturfing goes you’ll get none from me. I haven’t the fainest idea who to vote for and support no party at present.

    • geoff 21.2

      This is just like that scene from Ghostbusters when they switch off the containment unit…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vxEimC3HME

      • blue leopard 21.2.1

        lol, yes I had a chuckle about it too -I was wondering perhaps too many complaints about PG combined with a certain sadistic streak that I sometimes suspect lprent has….caused the decision? Perhaps?

        • lprent 21.2.1.1

          Moi? sadistic?

          Mind you I just watched a The Good Wife episode which made the Game of Thrones look like children doing a game of patty cake. I was having problems figuring out the plot in advance. In fact I was having problems figuring it out from behind.

          Followed by a episode of the House of Cards. Perhaps covering up her career moves by confessing a adolescent rape and aborted child on National TV would help some of our politicians. Just made me feel uncomfortable.

          Finished with an episode of Foyles war. Sane by comparison. Just spivs, bombs, and mysteries

          Now those were somewhat sadistic .

          • blue leopard 21.2.1.1.1

            A night of light entertainment for one such as yourself… perhaps? :D

            • lprent 21.2.1.1.1.1

              Nah. The light entertainment is when I get forced to watch 2 broke girls (and oh so reluctantly have to laugh) and eagerly await big bang theory

          • karol 21.2.1.1.2

            The Good Wife is about my favourite TV drama these days. It probably helps in following the plot to have watched all the previous episodes.

            Previously Kalinda has been mysterious and intriguing. Now they are filling in some of her back story via the abusive husband. Her relationship with the FBI agent has been on and off for a while. Ditto, it helps to have been following all the plots and sub-plots around Alicia, her politician husband, lawyer Will Gardner, etc.

            • lprent 21.2.1.1.2.1

              I’m watching season five at present. It is now starting to get really complicated towards the end of the season.

      • McFlock 21.2.2

        lol

      • TheContrarian 21.2.3

        We must prepare for the coming of Goza

  22. Rosie 22

    Well, it’s not just a facebook group (see above at 1.3.3.)and NZ First requesting that Peter Dunne resign, even the editor of the fairfax owned Wellingtonian, who usually writes a predictable right slanted editorial every week states:

    “Dunne needs to consider his position. It might be a good time for him to bow out gracefully. If not, perhaps the voters of Ohariu could help him on his way”

    The article provides a history of Dunne’s failures and botch up’s culminating in his sudden u turn on legal highs. Interesting editorial for a paper that has been so pro Key government, and locally so opposed to our Green ticket mayor and flourish of new Green counsellors after the last local body elections.

    http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx

    Somehow, like Collins he probably won’t be joining Williamson any time soon

    • remember how early results last election had dung losing..?

      ..and how he spat the dummy..?

      ..and then his numbers rose..

      ..so he went away and oiled up again..

      ..and came out to thank/oil-all-over everyone..?

      ..he will not be a gracious loser…

      ..years of repressed-insults/fixed-smiles will burst out of him like an exploding carbuncle..

      ..i just hope i’m there to see it..

      • Rosie 22.1.1

        “.years of repressed-insults/fixed-smiles will burst out of him like an exploding carbuncle..”

        Unpleasant. I’m thinking he does have years of simmering anger under the surface and a sense of righteous indignation ready to explode. “Why is everybody always picking on me?!?!” sort of anguish.

        No I don’t recall his 2011 brush with doom and subsequent response to the threat. Prior to the 2011 I was going through a severe bout of depression (apologies for the TMI) and I couldn’t cope with following the campaign on top of everything else, so missed that one. Now that I’m better than I was and after moving into his electorate I am watching his every move (He’s currently in the Chathams lol) and am happy to assist local activist efforts where I can in an effort to hold him to account and raise awareness of his deeds in the community.

        No he won’t be a gracious loser. 30 years in the one seat. He will be one grumpy cat

  23. given the proposed alliance of the mana party/internet party..

    ..this is kinda interesting..

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38371.htm

    “..Ralph Nader:.Left-Right Alliances Can Make Major Changes for the People..”

    “..Called crony capitalism by the right –

    • and corporate welfare by the left -
    • there is a rising tide of revulsion against the rich and powerful

    • freeloading on the backs of ordinary taxpayers..”

    (cont..)

    • ianmac 23.1

      Wouldn’t be great if Left and Right united to deal with the excesses of corporate welfare? Keep in mind that about 70% of the population were against Asset Sales. Maybe they might unite on corporates. And maybe the obscene salaries paid to CEO of big business?

  24. chris73 24

    Well hasn’t politics gotten interesting all of a sudden

    • fender 24.1

      The corruption in National isn’t sudden… :grin:

      • chris73 24.1.1

        Good thing I can’t recall any labour MPs that’ve been done for corruption however I’d say its bad form that Williamson got caught, really basic mistake really

        • One Anonymous Bloke 24.1.1.1

          Good thing I can’t recall the last time “he did it too” was a valid excuse for anything, and always nice to see an advocate of personal responsibility show their true colours.

          • chris73 24.1.1.1.1

            Well corruption is a charged word and should only be used when proven beyond reasonable doubt but for the major crime of being dumb and getting caught Williamson deserved to get canned…maybe he should retire which would open up another seat for someone else

            • One Anonymous Bloke 24.1.1.1.1.1

              Far as I’m concerned mate, when a donor to the Oravida party gets arrested, and that arrest comes to the attention of the Minister in charge of the department that oversees the donor’s interests, that’s enough to create the perception of a conflict of interest.

              Your opinion that it’s ok to cleave to the letter of the law is duly noted.

              • chris73

                If a slide rule was run over all the parties then the charges of corruption could be laid at everyones feet

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  And sometimes it would stick. Like on this occasion.

                  • chris73

                    Sometimes it does indeed, well done to whoever broke the story

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You’re a lot better at this than Pot George.

                      Better wingnuts :)

                    • chris73

                      Someone did a good job on Williamson so its only fair to acknowledge it

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I figure he’s going to make Key look strong to the feeble minded, and that it won’t significantly affect his lucrative business career, because that’s how corruption works.

  25. Colonial Viper 25

    Ukraine: Ukrainian forces in east defecting to join pro-Russian rebels

    It seems like the locals in the east of the country prefer not to go with the right wing extremist government in Kiev which is run by oligarchs and sponsored from the west.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/30/ukraine-government-lost-control-east-acting-president

    • tinfoilhat 25.1

      “It seems like the locals in the east of the country prefer not to go with the right wing extremist government in Kiev which is run by oligarchs and sponsored from the west.”

      Poor Ukranians ousted one nut job crooked president replaced by another and Russia, NATO and the US all sabre rattling over them – as usual it’s the ordinary man and woman who’s held to ransom by the swines fighting over power.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 25.1.1

        +1

        People who’d pick Putin over Obama are delusional, but neither option is any good.

        • RedLogix 25.1.1.1

          Putin is no angel OAB. Absolutely not.

          Yet in the context of several hundred years of leaders and monarchs – he’s by far the best the Russians have ever had. At least he can be though of as a strong nationalist and for that he’s still after nearly 15 years is still remarkably popular at home.

          That counts for something.

  26. Philj 26

    xox
    Ah the sweet scent of a pg free zone…

  27. Rodel 27

    Interesting to see on TV3 Gower’s attempt to change Williamson’s corruption into a slur on Cunliffe.
    Honestly Gower is the epitome of journalistic corruption.
    I really think he doesn’t know it.

  28. geoff 28

    Hey look we’re going to give half a billion dollars to weapons manufacterer, Lockheed Martin.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11247799

    Is this a good use of public money?

    • chris73 28.1

      Why wouldn’t it be?

      • felix 28.1.1

        Yeah, fuck it. Why shouldn’t we do business with the merchants of death?

        Let’s give them an electorate seat while we’re at it, like we did for the tobacco companies.

  29. Ian 29

    Watching Campbell Live and seeing the people they showed who take the legal highs….is that future of our country? I sincerely hope not

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