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Open mike 02/01/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:12 am, January 2nd, 2014 - 254 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 …

254 comments on “Open mike 02/01/2014”

  1. BEATINGTHEBOKS 1

    A few years back when contraception was still a new invention, Helen my lovely sister had the misfortune to get seduced and knocked up by the local sports jock, son of the famous B Williams. Who then moved and got a job as a scaffolder from his uncle Hemi on the GC. However he left behind two sprightly lads Paul and Sebastian who were the apple of their mothers eye but also very hungry.

    Now Helen had the fortune to be very close with the local winz officer and in fact lived next door. Paula was her name and a more fair and honest lady has never since been made. One Friday night before the big warriors grand final Helen ran out of rice, which was the only thing she could afford to feed her strapping boys . Oi Paula have you got a cup of rice I can borrow?

    Sorry Helen we run out, the sickness beneficiaries have been into the rice again this week, all we got are these carbon credits. Ok said Helen, who was a fortress in a crisis. Helen took the cup hoping for salvation, what the fuck? Nothing but thin air in this cup. Yeah I know said Paula but you might be able to trade them with either Uncle Sam down the road, Chairman Mao who’s also very keen on dairy, or the Nitwit straight across the street the Abbot.

    Actually sorry Helen those pricks aren’t as stupid as they look, and they won’t take them, you’ll have to look around a bit, maybe you can swap them for a bit of whale oil from the Japs. Yeah already tried, and that didn’t work, said Hells. Who is responsible for all this crap? Actually you are Helen remember that deal you and those green pricks made? Now Helen was a good feminist and rarely used this word, leaned back and howled, that lying green c____t. He never said my kids would starve.

    Well the money has to come from somewhere said Paula. Helen thought to herself, well when this one in a trillion years drought ends and the cows come back on, those rich Fonterra pricks might have some milk for those free Sanitarium kiwi kids weet bix at school. Ah fuck that lets drill for oil instead.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Why not just tax the banks 5% more?

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      Yes, it’s a real pity The Greens were adamant against a sensible carbon tax as had originally been proposed by Labour.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      Actually, you’ll find that the entire problem lies with National taking from the poor (GST rise) and giving to the rich (tax cuts for them).

      Oh, and your story is also one of market failure.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    No NZer should ever suffer the way Jacqui Scott has. Got a little spare change for a New Year blessing?

    http://www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/jacqui

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X38dZaXLz5E&feature=share

  3. this is the most inspiring vid i have seen in a long while..

    http://www.earthsave.org/mfh_gift_2013.htm

    ..these peoples’ surprise/delight at being ‘cured’..

    ..moved me to tears..

    ..it is about an experiment conducted with the (mainly african-american) congregation of a baptist church in california usa..

    ..who went from very sick..to well…in 30 days..

    ..the vid is 11 mins long..

    ..and the content is so so relevant to one of the biggest/costliest issues we face here in new zealand..

    ..it should really be compulsory-viewing..

    ..phillip ure..

    • Ennui 3.1

      Excellent Phil. After last nights “unity” fiasco (brought to us in glorious crimson technicolour by somebody with an aristocratic title…which tells you something) I took a diversion as suggested by Greywarbler who posted excellent links (thanks greatly). Between the two of you I feel far more informed and inspired. Thank you.

  4. heh..!..al jazeera are reporting that despite the snow/freezing conditions..

    ..long queues have formed for colorados’ first day of fully-legalised/regulated/taxed marijuana..

    ..the economic benefits/windfall from legalisation are also examined..

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2014/01/colorado-recreational-cannabis-sales-start-20141122454408774.html

    and for the small colorado town featured in the story..

    ..think kaitaia/east cape..

    phillip ure..

    • greywarbler 4.1

      phillip u
      I remember a teacher from Kaitaia saying that when there was a good marijuana season the effects were noted on the children – better clothing, food, resources etc. Getting sensible legislation through our parliament that affects people directly, our social living, our society takes too long.

      I think there should be a sub-parliament which we can petition for something new that may correct a problem and be beneficial to people, and have it tried out for a few years and monitored closely for value and be discussed in select committee type then passed into regular law. That would have got us out of this marijuana obssession long ago. We managed to get needle exchanges in so we could do other worthwhile changes that are obvious to anyone who uses more than half their brain.

      • Murray Olsen 4.1.1

        District councils could play the role of a sub parliament in some instances. In Kaitaia the best thing they could do would be to demolish the local police station and use the RMA to prevent another one from being built. The freed up resources could then be used for community medical centres, cultural centres, and gardens.

  5. Ron 5

    Back on Espiner subject. Does it not seem strange that Geoff only announced his going in December and an appointment is announced already. It seems awful fast recruitment.
    Allowing for Geoff signalling a few weeks before announcement it seems improbable that they could have announced it to rest of staff asking for expressions of interest and also call for external applicants and make an appointment all in the space of 2-3 weeks.
    As a state employer RNZ are required to deal with staff vacancies fairly but to appoint an external applicant so quickly does not indicate such fairness.

    • Tim 5.1

      “It seems awful fast recruitment”
      You wouldn’t be the first to make this observation.

      • Anne 5.1.1

        Scenario:

        Key to Joyce. “what are we going to do about RNZ? It’s election year coming up and I gotta spend more time there. Morning Report’s got the biggest audience. But I can’t handle those bloody inquisitive reporters. They’re almost as bad as that bastard, Campbell. I need someone I can trust to give me the breaks.

        Joyce to Key. “Well we could get rid of Geoff Robinson. He’s pretty ancient… been there for years… time he moved on and gave his spot to someone younger. I’ll have a talk to Richard and get back to you.

        Week later:

        Joyce to Key. “RNZ sorted. Geoff’s going March/April. Guyon has been thinking about getting back to radio. Told Richard to up the salary. It worked.

        Key to Joyce. ” Good one Stephen. I’ll return the favour…

        • logie97 5.1.1.1

          … whilst would agree that there is probably a political hand in the appointments, to consider Geoff Robinson as an astute interviewer on Morning Report is stretching it. Geoff seemed to thrive on bad-luck-personal-stories /disasters/royal visits/ et cetera. It has been many years since Morning Report has had a broadcaster who asked curly questions of our politicians.

          • Anne 5.1.1.1.1

            …to consider Geoff Robinson as an astute interviewer on Morning Report is stretching it.

            Agreed. But occasionally there were fill ins who did give Key a run for his money. Eg. Kim Hill. My comment was really a compilation of all the current affairs/political programmes hence the use of the word reporters plural.

          • phillip ure 5.1.1.1.2

            in a hold yr horses..!..on the slagging of espiner..

            ..he does have skills as a broadcaster..

            ..(and the establishment will find it harder to say no to invites to appear from him..especially in an election year..)

            ..and in those play-adversary roles he has done on that (lamentable) the vote..when given the ‘left’-role..he argued it well..

            ..and isn’t that what the job requires..?

            ..and he has complained of the restrictions inherent in tv..

            ..so i reckon he deserves a ‘jury’s out’ until he shows us what role he will be playing..

            (and at least with radio..we won’t have to put up with that incessant twitching/jerking that seemed to plague both presenters..was that directorial in nature..?..were they urged to ‘twitch’..

            ..was it a hideously mis-judged attempt at being ‘edgy’..?

            ..whoar..!

            ..phillip ure..

            • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1.2.1

              I agree. I’m not sure whether he’s the best choice or not, but I’m willing to give him a chance to prove himself before writing him off.

              • Anne

                Me too. My ‘scenario’ was tongue in cheek. I’m willing to withhold judgement on him for a while. He was playing to a different tune on TV1 – the most Nat. partisan TV station we have – so we just might be going to hear a different Guyon Espinor.

                The general picture still holds true imo. Lining up the station for sale and getting more corporate friendly staff from outside of radio involved – to help ease the way?

            • Tim 5.1.1.1.2.2

              Well this jury member is ‘out’ too … however it was an appointment that happened rather quickly. RNZ does have some good & capable people within its 4 walls that actually understand what PSB is all about. Needless to say though that they’re not necessarily those that the junta are pleased with. (Pretty obvious really when they refuse to front up).
              Will wait and see what the effect of the loss of the Wgtn/Akl split means too but easier to ‘front up’ over a telephone line at times than it is to be face-to-face with some damned impertinent little pipsqueak of an interviewer (some might even say cowardly at times)

          • swordfish 5.1.1.1.3

            Royal Visits as a Bad-Luck-Personal-Story ?

            Who for ? The Royals or Us ?

        • Bearded Git 5.1.1.2

          Yes Anne I think we should be told what Espiner is being paid-these are taxpayer dollars. Maybe an OI request because this is a matter of public interest?

          • greywarbler 5.1.1.2.1

            The budget for RNZ is apparently frozen so there had bettter not be a rise in salary. Radio couldn’t pay at a John Hawkeswood level, but they might have been affected by celebrity rates.

    • greywarbler 5.2

      Geoff said he wasn’t going till April I thought.

      Chris Laidlaw announced he would be away on Dec 22 so a fast decision on that spot was called for. But why a 2013 decision on Geoff’s replacement? And why no-one from within the organisation.
      We seem to be fixed in this mode that internal promotion should not happen I feel. Outsiders, foreigners even, get head or shoulder pats.

      • Anne 5.2.1

        Geoff said he wasn’t going till April I thought.

        Well, the ‘fictitious’ conversation would have taken place well before the announcements – before dates etc. were set in concrete. Oh, and a correction: Guyon had been thinking about getting into radio…

        I bet that is pretty much what happened. Key rarely accepted invitations on RNZ because he was scared of being shown up. I don’t think I’ve heard him interviewed by Mary Wilson on Checkpoint since the last election at the least. I suspect he’s also getting RNZ lined up for sale if he wins the election – something Labour/Greens/NZ First should publicise at every opportunity.

        • Will@Welly 5.2.1.1

          If you’re a betting woman Anne, I’d be putting a $1.00 on RNZ being lined up for sale. Moving RNZ to Auckland will make it more marketable. Notice how the recent appointments are all based there.
          There was no urgency in replacing any of the hosts at RNZ, as they have a stable of hosts who can more than adequately fill in when the need arises. More cronyisms, although I think Wallace Chapman’s appointment could be fun.

          • Ron 5.2.1.1.1

            Before they line up for a sale they need to make it profitable. Stand by for a lot of sport being placed on Concert Radio. Also there will be back door advertising such as Brought to you by XYZ company.
            Before long Concert will sound like ZB. Then its time to sell it.
            National Radio cannot be sold as far as I know because it is required under all sorts of acts like civil defence etc. I guess they could try and get private radio to do that but unlikely.
            Much more likely is the sale of TV2 leaving TV ONE to exist as non commercial on a handout from government. How convenient that for the next few years TVNZ is going to have a large portion of its staff down in Telecom building. Telecom urgently need something like a TV channel to put out over its fibre network. They would be a strong contender to purchase TV2.
            Come to think of it if TV2 was to depart TVNZ stable they would hardly need that monolith of a building and could move TVONE to a smaller building elsewhere. Of course that would leave a large prestigious space that could be sold off. Now I wonder who would be interested in the Hobson/Victoria/Nelson street site. Must be somebody in that area that would like to buy it?

  6. Stever 6

    This is from the UK, but could be New Zealand (I guess we’re on the same trajectory, design by Crosby/Textor these days, so that makes—nasty—sense)

    “We live in a country where you can run, but only pointlessly dream of catching up”

    John Key’s “aspiration” has got us here and keeps us here :(

    http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/jan/01/money-corrupted-us-understand-worth

  7. philj 7

    and Wallace Chapman for Laidlaw on Sunday, RNZ?

  8. Morrissey 8

    Josie Pagani, leading Labour thinker
    Monday 14 March 2011 (three days after the Fukushima catastrophe)
    Jim Mora, Jonathan Krebs, Josie Pagani

    Just as the pre-show segment is ending, Susan Baldacci tells the Panelists how much she enjoys reading the New York Times. That’s a signal for host Jim Mora to launch into a fruity rapture about the American equivalents of Stephen Franks and Fran O’Sullivan….

    JIM MORA: The columnists are ESSENTIAL! I mean, David Brooks! And Maureen Dowd!
    JONATHAN KREBS: [dubiously] N-n-n-n-nyeeesss….

    Sadly though, before Krebs can say anything disparaging about the utterly despicable David Brooks, the time pips sound for the news.

    After the news, it’s time for the introductions. Actually, it’s almost always re-introductions, given that the “talent” on this show is recycled so regularly. This is always a teeth-grindingly mortifying, cringe-inducing exercise: the guests have rarely done anything remotely interesting, do not seem to have read any books, and almost always talk about whatever home renovation work has been done around their house in the last two years or so. Josie Pagani honours this dull tradition by informing the listeners that she recently flooded her bathroom. But, given the news of the last couple of days, and given her status as a leading thinker in the Labour Party, she takes the opportunity to wax philosophical. Well, sort of….

    JOSIE PAGANI: It prompted me to think: How would I behave in a crisis like in Japan?

    ……[Awkward silence]…..

    JONATHAN KREBS: [mockingly ruminative] Hmmmmmm….
    JIM MORA: Josie Pagani and Jonathan Krebs on the Panel! Okay, let’s get started….

    After the 4:30 news, it’s time for the “Soapbox” segment, when the Panelists share what they have been thinking about lately…

    JONATHAN KREBS: Jim, I must say I’ve been struggling to change my professional email address, which is jk@shakespearechambers.co.nz. I just find that to be an incredibly IRRITATING email address!
    MORA: Ha ha ha ha ha! Suggestions for Jonathan please!
    JOSIE PAGANI: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    KREBS: Ha ha ha ha ha!

    MORA: Ha ha ha! Josie, what have you been thinking about lately?
    JOSIE PAGANI: I’ve been watching a YouTube video of Rachel Black. It’s possibly the worst song ever. It kind of got me thinking: why is it our kids want to be famous? There’s a great quote from Glee: “Being anonymous is worse than being poor.” Ha ha ha ha!
    MORA: Oh that’s a GREAT quote! Ha ha ha ha!
    KREBS: Ha ha ha ha!
    MORA: That’s Josie Pagani and Jonathan Krebs there! Nii-ha ha ha ha!-hi-hi-ine minutes to five! Ha ha ha ha ha!
    KREBS: Ha ha ha ha ha!
    PAGANI: Ha ha ha ha ha!

    ….continues…

    • Martin 8.1

      what low IQ crap! This is why I don’t listen to Afternoons unless it is Matinee Idol

      time to pull the plug.

    • Rodel 8.2

      What is the point you are trying to make? Writing down every word or imagined nuance of Jim Mora’s and associates’ verbal conversations seems an easy but pointless exercise in distortion and is somewhat tedious. A concise evaluation of the concepts and issues involved would be of more value.

      • Morrissey 8.2.1

        What is the point you are trying to make?
        Look at the title of the post, my friend. It’s a timely reminder of the calibre of public commentary offered up by someone who sprang unpleasantly into the limelight last week by launching a slavering attack on both this forum and Martyn Bradbury.

        Writing down every word or imagined nuance of Jim Mora’s and associates’ verbal conversations seems an easy but pointless exercise

        …in distortion and is somewhat tedious.
        “Distortion”? I distorted nothing. The vacuous laughter DID fill every moment when they weren’t speaking, and the chat WAS that vacuous. I didn’t make it up. Sure it can be tedious, I guess, but I try to present it with zing and panache. My transcripts—or, as our friends Te Reo and Felix call them, my bullshit impressions—are as carefully scripted as an episode of the Sopranos, minus the boring bits with the therapist.

        A concise evaluation of the concepts and issues involved would be of more value.
        Read the bits between the snatches of conversation: that’s exactly what I do. It annoys some of my fans, who want me to simply provide an unadorned transcript. But, hey, that’s not the way I roll….

  9. Lanthanide 9

    @ Lyn: idea for the new comments feed on the right. It says “[Foo] to [Bar] on” and has Foo’s gravatar. It would be nice if Bar’s gravatar could also be shown, although not sure how to do that it a way that isn’t visually distracting – perhaps at the far right side of the box, perhaps in 1/2 size? Then for posts that are top-level replies to a thread, don’t show any avatar in that case. That would make it much quicker to follow people who may have replied to you, as well as make it easy to find new top-level comments on an article.

  10. tricledrown 10

    RNZ Now a subsidiary of Mafiaworks.
    We on the left need to text and email these new hosts fact checking and holding them to account.

  11. greywarbler 11

    Australian climate researcher – more unpleasant news 5 degrees up not 2 as stated till now. I wish these people would go away and stop spreading these stories it makes me uncomfortable. I’m just going to sit and watch parliament and when it’s off, some tv show. There is another Guy Macpherson saying we might have only 17 years till meltdown, sort of, would you believe these people!!!

    • Grumpy 11.1

      Look n the good side. The research was from the University of NSW. The professor of Climate Change is currently on a ship in the Antarctic……..

      • greywarbler 11.1.1

        Grumpy
        Mmmm Interesting that. There is nothing like personal experience for gaining insight. That Professor will be able to profess at first hand about aspects of climate change.

        I thought – this business of taking tourists down to Experience the World – when we have had wraparound 3d and videos and documentaries by intrepid photographers available to look at.
        And Antarctica in Chch. Why have to go there and put this important part of the earth at risk of some pollution, and cost so much extracting tourists for their safety? Idle rich folks who have time on their hands and a memory byte to fill.

        Perhaps affluence is not a good thing in a country or the world. I remember reading about brick making in India where children do a lot of the work. I think there were underground kilns and the heat would burn through the soles of the childrens sandals. Now that would be a great experience to contrast with the cold inhuman wastes of Antarctica. No proud Emperor penguins though. But probably there will soon be less of those as their feeding grounds are raped by Russians and…NZ’s?

        • Grumpy 11.1.1.1

          I have seen hundreds of children and women in India lined up breaking large rocks for roadworks with hammers, now that would be worthwhile. We could send all those who claim “poverty” just to get more experience. A bit like hitting yourself over the head with a lump of wood -it feels good when you stop.
          They would come back feeling like millionaires…..
          Back to the ship of fools, widely touted before hand as a “scientific expedition” to study global warming, complete with journals from the Guardian and Fairfax no less. Now they have just become “tourists”. Suppose that is the reward for poor performance…..

          • greywarbler 11.1.1.1.1

            Grumpy
            Not sure how many tourists but one woman was saying they were finding things to do while they waited to be picked up. I think it might have been too cold for deck quoits. Such an interesting trip to discuss with friends.

            I understand there is a disaster tourism business and even a poverty one where I think you go to where the Bollywood hero may have come from. You walk down the middle of the path and try not to fall into the puddles etc. So authentic.

            • Grumpy 11.1.1.1.1.1

              These entrepreneurs eh? I understand there are people with so little to do, they read political blogs and discuss esoteric issues with other poor sad bastards.
              How about THAT???

  12. Saarbo 12

    I thought this was interesting, I had these to articles come into my twitter feed together.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11180329

    From the hopeless Herald re low crime stats.

    then this from Huff Post.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/01/la-crime-rate-2013_n_4526296.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

    Re low crime stats in LA.

    What is happening in society for crime to be reducing…its a good thing but I wonder what is causing this?

    • @saarbo..

      ..the answer to that question has experts internationally..puzzled..

      ..but it is happening in most western countries..

      ..that is why it is so galling to have these tory-creeps/mcvicars claiming credit for what is an as yet unexplained/unexplainable international phenomenon..

      ..and arguing from that false-platform/premise for even more hand-em-high! policies..

      ..’cos they know of those international trends..

      ..that it is happening everywhere..

      ,.and this is what makes them such cynical-scum…

      ..galling number two is the govt (financially-responsible for shortfalls) guaranteeing of an annual fixed quota of heads/prisoners for the american private prison company to to lock up..

      ..utter fucken madness..

      ..and screaming-incompetence of an eye-watering degree..

      phillip ure..

      • Saarbo 12.1.1

        Yes, thanks Phillip…I do also remember once reading an article that mobile phones have played a part. National will try and take some credit for the drop off in crime stats but clearly a world wide phenomenon, yet unexplained.

    • cricklewood 12.2

      There is some research floating about which showed a very strong correlation between a lowering crime rate and the removal of lead from petrol… basically in almost every country that has removed lead the crime rate has fallen about 20 yrs later from memory. Im on mobile so beyond me to sort the links but its interesting to read and imo entirely likely there is a direct relationship between the two

  13. weka 13

    My internet access is pretty limited since last night (probably a good thing all things considered), so I haven’t kept up with how the great bun fight is going.

    However I am recognising that I am at the point of having little else to say other than “go fuck yourself” everytime I see CV running his line again. I can take a step back and then maybe later come back with some more reasoned comments, although I am unsure of the value of that either. However, I’m also wondering why I and others should be having to put so much effort (massive amounts it turns out) into even just holding a line here. I’d love the opportunity to discuss this with anyone that understands where I am coming from (don’t have to agree with everything I say of course), and see if we can gain some clarity and perhaps even some strategies.

    I’m thinking of organising a space off ts for doing this. Would anyone be interested?

    • re space:..you could call it ‘fulminators’-corner’..?

      ..(just saying..!..y’know..!..if you were looking for a working-title..?..feel free..!)

      ..phillip ure..

    • karol 13.2

      I can understand how you feel weka. I have been more in two minds. I’d have always thought that, as TS tends to be pretty male dominated, and is a strong left wing presence, then it’s important for women to maintain diverse voices here.

      I also am pretty supportive of Lynn’s approach in working for a space for open debate.

      I have also been considering taking some time out. Am pondering. But I have been remembering why women organised separately from the male-dominated left back in the 60s and 70s.

      • weka 13.2.1

        Karol, I’m not suggesting that anyone stops posting on ts, quite the opposite. I just want a space to explore what the issues are that are important to us without having a bunch of people coming along and telling us that there are no issues, or that we’ve got it all wrong, and then that yet again derailing things. The comments below illustrate my point completely.

        • marty mars 13.2.1.1

          my 2c worth. No point going anywhere because there isn’t anywhere to go – better to stay and fight the lies and distortions from the so-called lefties on here – the fight is as it aways is and has been – the choice I see is to engage or not and each option has consequences – to engage means to battle the bullshit and make statements that others less entrenched can understand and that takes energy – to not engage means to get fucked off pretty constantly as barrows get pushed and pushed. For me, I accept that what I see on here was what I was meant to see and that is where I fight the rubbish – if I don’t see it I don’t worry about it – it has gone and a solid leftie has fought that one (hopefully).

          • weka 13.2.1.1.1

            Hi marty, I’m not suggesting leaving the fight. I’m suggesting that those that want to can ALSO have another space to discuss things in where there isn’t this constant ‘you’re wrong’ derailment going on. I think this could be productive, wouldn’t have to take a lot of time, and certainly wouldn’t detract from the fight here (might enhance it in fact).

            ” For me, I accept that what I see on here was what I was meant to see and that is where I fight the rubbish – if I don’t see it I don’t worry about it – it has gone and a solid leftie has fought that one (hopefully).”

            Didn’t follow that sorry.

            • marty mars 13.2.1.1.1.1

              I suppose I think that this site is the pointy end and that deeper discussions/deliberations have already occurred elsewhere – at least that is what happens with me and my particular bug-bears.

              The paragraph simply means, with limited time and resources, that battles (on this site) that come to my attention are the ones I fight.

              • weka

                Unfortunately for me, no-one in my RL presently is that interested in this level of politics.

                The suggestion of using another space for a bit was about discussing what is happening on ts btw.

                • Well it would be great to have that space – sometimes, like others, for a while I just give up on ts – the arguments come full circle, the same points rammed by the same people, the mind-numbingly idiotic and pretend-sensible, the blinkered and the ego-monsters – and that is just from the lefties lol.

                  kia kaha weka

          • karol 13.2.1.1.2

            I did say I was in 2 minds, marty – not really that close to a decision to leave. Though I need to got on with some other things in my life right now.

            Actually, in spite of all the energy gone on tangential arguments and apparent derails. the debate has reminded me of something basic to my fundamental approach to politics – it’s about the relationship between economics/monetary policy/political economy, and culture: and in the centre of that is the inter-twining of capitalism and patriarchy.

            In challenging and replacing the current system it’s necessary to attend to the intertwining of all these things.

            Actually – economics should include culture and society, but both neoliberals and (masculinist) marxists can define it in purely instrumental, finance-monetary centred terms.

            • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1.1.2.1

              Economics in it’s present capitalist form is too powerful to be left alone. It accumulates wealth into the hands of the few and with that ownership comes the power to dictate to the rest of society. This effect is also cultural as it brings about a class system of haves and have nots.

              What this means in practice, IMO, is that the economics needs to change to bring about the required cultural changes as well.

              • weka

                Chicken and egg.

                How about buddhist concepts of co-arising?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Chicken and egg.

                  No, not really. As David Graeber shows (although indirectly) in Debt: the first 5000 years patriarchy has arisen at the same time as capitalist forms of ownership and debt has.

                  How about buddhist concepts of co-arising?

                  Fine by me but, IMO, we’re not going to get the required cultural change without the economic change. Done properly each should reinforce the other.

                  • karol

                    How does the mutual arising of these two systems negate the “chicken and egg” characterisation?

                    You date capitalist forms of ownership back to 3000BC? But surely capitalism itself didn’t really arise til about the 17th century?

                    Why do you call them capitalist rather than patriarchal forms of ownership?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      How does the mutual arising of these two systems negate the “chicken and egg” characterisation?

                      Because they arose at the same time. One didn’t come before the other but, IMO, were dependent upon each other.

                      You date capitalist forms of ownership back to 3000BC?

                      No, written records from Sumer do that.

                      But surely capitalism itself didn’t really arise til about the 17th century?

                      It only came to be called capitalism in the 17th century but the forms have existed a lot longer.

                      Why do you call them capitalist rather than patriarchal forms of ownership?

                      Because the patriarchal systems around Africa, India and other parts of the globe didn’t always have the same ownership forms.

                  • weka

                    “Fine by me but, IMO, we’re not going to get the required cultural change without the economic change. Done properly each should reinforce the other.”

                    And vice versa to my mind (hence the co-arising bit). I am curious though, about this idea that economics comes first. Not sure if this is your question to answer, but how does economic reform being given priority work without also addressing cultural change at the same time?

                    • KJT

                      From my viewpoint, and I have seen it happen often over the years, those with economic power are able to use their political clout to reverse or take advantage of cultural change.

                      Watch National backtrack on gay marriage, if it becomes necessary to keep Colin Craigs support to make up the numbers for retaining power, for one.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Economics gets the ball rolling. As an example having the government create money and spend it into the economy will damn near instantly dispel the myth that we need foreign investment and that it’s the rich that pay for things. Into that vacuum we can then insert the new idea that we can do anything we want as we already have the resources.

                      Quote simply, changing the economics removes the block that the rich have become on our culture.

                    • weka

                      KJT, I appreciate the point, however the example you give is one of power (and perhaps policy) not economics.

                  • Martin

                    until you change the way money works you will change nothing.

                    • weka

                      how do you change the way money works without changing culture?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Through informing people of how it works now, what damage it’s doing in its present form and then suggesting a better way for money to work.

                    • weka

                      And how is that strategy working? Information won’t make (enough) people change, it takes more than that (you have to change culture). Esp those who are currently comfortable.

                    • felix

                      So you think you can change culture without informing people? How does that work?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I didn’t say it would be easy but, at the same time, all we have to do is look to our history and the economic changes that the 4th Labour government rammed through which brought about cultural changes to see that it can be done.

                    • weka

                      Er, I didn’t say that felix.

                      Draco, wasn’t it political power that enabled the 4th Labour govt to make cultural as well as economic changes?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Most of the cultural changes came about because of the economic changes. Sure, they made some social changes in legislation but they were minor compared to what the economic changes brought about.

                    • karol

                      My experience of working in education udner Thatcher was that there wasn’t one sudden economic change – there was a series of changes. And in the education system were wer conintual structural and cultural changes.

                      I do understand that things happened more quickly here. But I can’t believe the changes were totally structural, and weren’t accompanied by verbal explanations, and representations explaining the changes – basically an accompanying shift in culture.

                    • felix

                      Are you sure, weka?

                      I’d love to know how you think culture changes except as a result of people having access to new information.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But I can’t believe the changes were totally structural, and weren’t accompanied by verbal explanations, and representations explaining the changes – basically an accompanying shift in culture.

                      The structural changes took two terms to put in place, the cultural changes took decades and, sure, we’ve had the propaganda blasting from the TV and radio to reinforce those structural changes over those decades.

                      It wasn’t “an accompanying shift in culture” but a directed shift in culture based upon the structural changes.

                    • karol

                      Reply to DtB:

                      Actually, I don’t think it’s ever that simple. My experience of changes under Thatcher was that structural change (in education especially) required changes in administrative practices, and with that came new terms and new priorities, new classroom practices, new ways of assessing – all expressed in language, culture, etc: .

                      e.g more admin explained as being more efficient and accountable: more focus on “bums on seats” the “internal market” within an institution (rather than just sharing resources around a college, everything began to have a price tag and each department had their individual budget allocations. All that came with explanations, changes in the way the institution was marketed, etc. that to me adds up to a massive cultural change at the same time as an economic change – in fact the cultural changes enabled the structural changes, as part of wider economic changes within the UK.

                      I am reminded of Stuart Halls’ The Great Moving Right Show – about the shift right, particularly that happened under Thatcherism, but that actually started earlier. He is critical of “economisms” in which changes to the economic ‘front” are assumed to result in other changes automatically falling in to place.

                      Hall argues that, in fact, the rightward moves in the UK were the result of some already pre-existing conditions, and contradictions, on which the right played successfully. And that it involved shifts in popular rhetoric and winning a popular following, etc.

                    • weka

                      Let me rephrase then felix.

                      Information alone won’t make (enough) people change, it takes more than that (you have to change culture). Esp those who are currently comfortable.

                      If information on its own were enough, we wouldn’t be facing the problems of climate change right now, or at least not as severely.

                      My point was about Draco’s ideas on how to achieve economic change. He said information. The kinds of things I see him saying, make sense to me, but my liberal, middle class, very comfortable family won’t change in response to that information, even where they agree with it.

                      We’ve had nearly 20 years of the internet, we’re soaking in information.

                      “I’d love to know how you think culture changes except as a result of people having access to new information.”

                      As I said, I didn’t say that you can change culture without information. But I am curious how you think culture changes only as a result of information.

                      Lots of things change culture. War and other catastrophes (think colonisation). Climate will change our culture slowly. Protest (think the Tour, anti-nukes). Technology (eg the Pill, mobile phones). I think a big part of it is how humans relate with each other.

                      Then there is the whole tipping point thing, of which information is a big part but I still don’t think it’s the only crucial driver.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Actually, I don’t think it’s ever that simple.

                      Just because I described it simply doesn’t mean that it was simple.

                      All that came with explanations, changes in the way the institution was marketed, etc. that to me adds up to a massive cultural change at the same time as an economic change

                      We seem to have a different definition of culture. We got the explanations as to why it was happening but the actual acceptance of those changes across society (cultural change) took time. Hell, I don’t they’ve been accepted even now in a large proportion of the populace. In 1990 we voted Labour out in the hope that National would stop the changes which they didn’t do. The 5th Labour government was another attempt but even then all we got was more of the same. Also note that we wanted the 4th National government to stop in 1996 but Peters went with National rather than Labour.

                      Hall argues that, in fact, the rightward moves in the UK were the result of some already pre-existing conditions, and contradictions, on which the right played successfully. And that it involved shifts in popular rhetoric and winning a popular following, etc.

                      That may have been true in the UK but it wasn’t true here where the structural changes, including the economic ones (economics is part of the structure of society), came first with the cultural changes coming after.

                    • felix

                      Thanks weka, I think I understand better where you’re coming from now. I think I was using the word “information” in a far more broad sense than you.

              • karol

                What this means in practice, IMO, is that the economics needs to change to bring about the required cultural changes as well.

                yep. That’s pretty much a classic marxist line. But I disagree, Cultural practices are an integral part of the economic arrangements – institutional arrangements, and the construction of them are shot through with cultural practices, assumptions and rationales – it’s in the way the systems are set up by people, using verbally expressed rules, etc. And these are supported by various discourses, cultural constructions, communications, in politics, the media, etc, pretty much infiltrating every realm of life – in our homes, workplaces, schools…..

                Neoliberal rationales also express (a narrowed) economic rationale – deregulation, free markets etc – but in practice have used a multi-pronged approach, at least since the late 1970s/early 80s. This includes Thatcher maneuvering to get sympathetic people in key editorial positions in the media; infiltrating economics and business departments in unis; changing practices in schools to promote business-like practices in education, as part of a socialisation process….. etc, etc.

                Any counter-revolution needs also to develop a multi-pronged approach – culture, social practices, institutional arrangements, as well as politically led re-allocations of resources.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Cultural practices are an integral part of the economic arrangements

                  Pretty sure that’s exactly what I said.

                  Any counter-revolution needs also to develop a multi-pronged approach – culture, social practices, institutional arrangements, as well as politically led re-allocations of resources.

                  I agree but, IMO, the main change that needs to come about is the economic change. Without that then all other changes will be ineffective.

                  • karol

                    I think that you mean a narrow economic change in terms of the allocation of resources.

                    I actually say they are so integral, both need to happen at once, otherwise there will still be a drive by some to gain power over others. And by culture, I include the institutions, practices and processes of performing within such systems.

                    Some put the rise of patriarchy down to men’s discovery of their role in procreation – leading to a desire to dominate resources and control the (female) reproducers. the enticement to dominate would likely still remain once the resources have been reallocated.

                    • Tim

                      Just came in and not fully assimilated yours and DtB’s utterings – are you in agreement though that the term ‘ownership’ has come to have a meaning today that differs from the African and Indian understanding (with capitalism).
                      (I.e./e.g. it implies a degree of exclusivity of that ownership – whereas previously ownership was seen in a wider (community/perhaps tribal) context – not even ownership as we understand it – more stewardship
                      (Just curious – and btw I’m semi-compos mentis at the mo – even my spelling is liable to be skew wif – pooo1)

                    • karol

                      Well, Tim, – I suspect in it’s earliest forms, it was about control of essential resources, rather than property ownership as such.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I think that you mean a narrow economic change in terms of the allocation of resources.

                      Getting rid of the private banks ability to create money, having the government then create money directly while spending that money in such a way as to support the entire population of NZ including the re-nationalisation of essential services such as telecommunications, power and food, full funding for blue sky R&D and applied research, full funding of education, state housing to ensure that there is an over-supply of residences so that people always have the ability to move etc etc

                      Definitely not a narrow focus.

                      I actually say they are so integral, both need to happen at once, otherwise there will still be a drive by some to gain power over others.

                      Psychopathy seems to be an inherent part of of about 3% to 5% of the population and these people will always seek power over others no matter what. The idea is that we make it so that they can’t get power over others and a lot of that power is from the economic system. Being able to charge interest is a subtle way of getting that power but it will inevitably deliver as wealth accumulation is exponential for those allowed to accumulate while the rest of the population are kept poor by paying that interest and continuously having to work harder and longer.

                      Don’t change the economics and nothing else will change.

                    • karol

                      DtB, ah but you are changing the institutions and culture by renationalisting, and funding things like education. And to enable the government to make such changes, to carry the electorate with you, there needs to be a change in cultural values via media, education etc.

                  • felix

                    “And to enable the government to make such changes, to carry the electorate with you, there needs to be a change in cultural values via media, education etc.”

                    I’m not convinced that it runs that deep. My sense is that the great con job of neoliberalism was that it was sold as a better, fairer, more efficient method of rendering our existing cultural values, and that as a society we’ve been waiting 30 years for it to deliver as promised.

                    The underlying values are still there. What changed was the idea that we could achieve them by greed better than by co-operation.

                    • karol

                      Ah, but the con job was done via cultural means – propaganda basically. And what you describe is a change in mainstream cultural values.

                      And even if the underlying cultural values haven’t changed – propaganda is a cultural practice – and so I would put it in the realm of cultue rather than the realm of “economics” or structure.

                    • weka

                      “The underlying values are still there. What changed was the idea that we could achieve them by greed better than by co-operation.”

                      What are the underlying values?

                      I think some of them are still there, but at risk. We have generations of voters now who have no direct knowledge of life before the 80s.

                    • felix

                      At the essence, and in a word, fairness.

                    • Tim

                      “Ah, but the con job was done via cultural means……”
                      Ain’t that the truth – which is a point I’ve rather pathetically tried to express elsewhere on this site on occasion in the past.
                      And one such aspect of the cultural means is the use of what I can only think of as ‘anti-language’ – which is why the spin, the lies and bullshit NEEDS to be challenged at EVERY opportunity.
                      (part of my disllusionment with Labour – i.e those within its parly armint that are not still wedded to the neo-liberal religion and their own self-interest) is that they’re not doing a very good job of that. I realise they’re hampered by a limp media and non-existent 4th Estate – but there are ways they can slip the message in when they do get the chance).

                      …… and “control of resources….” – yes indeed – however that ‘control’ was once thought of more in terms of protection of those resources for wider benefit. Inclusivity rather than exclusivity.
                      I can give you an example of how this operates in Northern India amongst a Sikh community/sikh communitieS whereby ‘ownership’ of resources is purely on the basis of the westernised ‘legal’ requirements that require a NAME that forces supposedly exclusive rights, but actually only as a convenience.

                      Neo-liberalISM is one of the most evil. nasty, greedy, fallacy-based religions ever invented – if 30years of its failure to deliver isn’t enough -FCUK knows what is – and yet there are STILL Labour MPs are still bumbling along as disciples.

                      Anyway – I’m beginning to rave :p

        • QoT 13.2.1.2

          I’d be in like Flynn. But then I start daydreaming about a non-white-male-dominated leftwing NZ commentary site … and then I think how much fucking hard work it will be … and then I am sad.

      • Rosie 13.2.2

        Do what you need to do karol, but just to let you know, I would miss your contribution! I appreciate your articles and comments, in terms of content and your approach.

    • KJT 13.3

      How about just going back and re-reading.

      Then consider if it was really “anti women” as you and Karol are saying, at all.

      I find it a bit rich that QOT is the most confrontational and divisive commentator on here.
      Is it the males that make the space difficult?

      I for, one would be sorry to see you thinking you have to go elsewhere.

      • karol 13.3.1

        KJT, maybe you need to go back and read – and read back over a few months, too, to get the full picture.

        QoT is pretty confrontational, but it is not out of place on TS, where there is quite a lot of (mainly masculine) confrontational behaviour.

        On balance, I’d say this is quite a masculine space. My perception is that it attracts far more male commenters than female – but then, mainstream politics does tend to be pretty conventionally masculine in tone.

        • KJT 13.3.1.1

          I don’t mind QOT being confrontational at all. Just pointing out the hypocrisy.

          • QoT 13.3.1.1.1

            There’s no hypocrisy here, KJT, because karol and weka are both expressing their own opinions about what makes The Standard a difficult space for them.

            And there’s nothing hypocritical, nor particularly confrontational, in me telling you to go fuck yourself after you called me a liar, were proven wrong, and insisted on commenting six more times on a post a moderator had asked you to leave.

            Take a look at any of lprent or IrishBill’s moderator notes for comparison. It’s funny how males suddenly find this a difficult space when it’s a woman who has authority.

            • KJT 13.3.1.1.1.1

              Bullshit.

              It is hypocrisy when you are doing the very things you are complaining about in others.

              You made it to do with being a women, not me.

              If you think I have any problem with woman in authority you have never met my Grandmother.

              Go Fuck yourself. Yourself.

              • Will@Welly

                Would you really say that to a woman’s face? Jesus, most women would slap you if you treated them that disrespectfully in person.
                I love how so many of the “discussions” descend down a cul-de-sac into nothingness, all the while getting side-tracked by the need of one or another to abuse other commentators. Wonderful stuff. Here are, just months away from an election, and the claws are out, not for the those inflicting the pain and misery into the people of New Zealand, but for one another, because that appears to be the real cause of the conflict in New Zealand. Oh well, it looks like another 3 years of Key & Co.

            • weka 13.3.1.1.1.2

              “Take a look at any of lprent or IrishBill’s moderator notes for comparison. It’s funny how males suddenly find this a difficult space when it’s a woman who has authority.”

              What’s less funny is how that dynamic is invisible to so many people.

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                It can be tiring having major conflicts – yet don’t forget others are reading the debates and may be gaining understanding from them.

                I consider myself more focussed on the type of issue CV was focussing on – and less focussed on what was being referred to as ‘identity’ politics (specific issues perhaps a better word?). I definitely have sympathies with the specific issues – just tend to focus on the general – like wealth disparity for instance.

                However I was not in agreement with the line CV was taking – as it appeared he was dismissing the specific issues and reading the argument actually gave me more appreciation and deeper understanding of the importance of specific issues – not less.

                It really is a bummer because I simply don’t see these two ‘sides’ as being an either/or situation and yet that is how it was coming across from the ‘anti-identity-politics’ people.

                Suspect at least some of the either/or stance is coming from the divisive politics of the right – pushing people into that way of thinking.

                There seems to be no advantage in alienating 10% of the voting population here and 20% there and for that reason alone it is important to support specific issues rather than to express annoyance that the focus on the left isn’t narrow/focussed enough.

                • karol

                  Actually, I don’t see it as two sides re the policies and issues. I do think issues of wealth disparity are extremely important and pressing. I have posted about such things many times. But I object to the push to silence people on hender and sexuality issues. And QoT’s post, was about them all being part of the whole – something that CV continued to dispute.

                  • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                    “Actually, I don’t see it as two sides re the policies and issues.”

                    No, neither do I! Hence the ” around ‘sides’, yet there seemed to be an either/or argument – creating sides.

                    You are not creating them – someone/thing is. I think this originates from those who are against, say gender issues, and how it affects people and society. It then gets repeated by those with little understanding of the matter.

                    i.e. its spin

                • weka

                  bl, it’s not just about specific issues though. My politics have just as valid an overarching, ‘this is why we are all fucked if we don’t act’ analysis to them. And it’s not just my politics, many people take similar approaches. So when people insist on characterising my politics as identity politics, they are marginalising them as well as misrepresenting them. CV now claims that he doesn’t mean to do that, but I don’t believe him.

                  The other really big problem here is this: in CV’s world, we are allowed 5 minutes to talk about ‘special issues’. Say I went to a pan-left conference, organised this year (not after the glorious revolution), and I saw white men dominating the agenda and conversation, which meant that other voices were not being heard. And suppose that those other voices were crucial in finding solutions to the Big 3 crisis, so crucial in fact that I was despairing that if this wasn’t addressed then all hope would be lost. What do you think would happen if I stood up and said that in a room of people that believe I was talking about ‘identity politics’. And worse, were unable to see what I was doing as anything other than a distraction.

                  • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                    Have to be careful with words and the limits of them here.

                    When I said ‘specific’ – I had in mind something like, for example, sexism.* I call sexism, for example, specific because it ostensibly argues for a section of society – women, whereas wealth disparity focusses on all people – therefore I refer to that as general. I’m unclear how to separate the two different approaches and if you have better words please suggest them – I was merely attempting to move away from the loaded ‘identity politics’ term.

                    * When speaking of ‘specific’ I am not referring to ‘your politics’ because I do not read all posts and would not assume to know anywhere near your ‘entire stance’. My comments are based on the debate that occurred re ‘identity politics’ and CV’s ‘we have to focus on 3 main problems’.

                    Lets get more specific – on sexism – women tend to be paid less than men for the same jobs and those jobs that women in general are stronger at tend to be paid ALOT less i.e. female energy is valued less than male energy in this society.

                    The discussion a couple of days ago, allowed me to see that addressing that issue could shift certain paradigms or ways of thinking that are helping to continue the paradigm that large differences in wealth are o.k (it is not and is very damaging).

                    Would this last paragraph reflect at all what you were meaning by:
                    “…and I saw white men dominating the agenda and conversation, which meant that other voices were not being heard. And suppose that those other voices were crucial in finding solutions to the Big 3 crisis, so crucial in fact that I was despairing that if this wasn’t addressed then all hope would be lost.”

                    If not, would you explain what you meant? (By “I was despairing that if this wasn’t addressed then all hope would be lost.”)

                    • Matthew Hooton

                      This has been a fascinating discussion and I think I side with CV. Have done a lengthy post on the previous day’s Open Mike at http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-01012014/#comment-752446

                    • karol

                      bl, how is allocation of wealth resources, more general, than sexism, which privileges one half of society at the expense of the other half?

                    • karol

                      Matthew, I’m sure CV will be very appreciative of your support.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ Karol,

                      “bl, how is allocation of wealth resources, more general, than sexism, which privileges one half of society at the expense of the other half?”

                      Did you read my comment??

                      I call sexism specific because it ostensibly argues for a section of society – women, whereas wealth disparity focusses on all people – therefore I refer to that as general.

                      e.g. Mostly all people (apart from 1% or 0.01%) are adversely affected by wealth disparity.

                      [I included 'ostensibly' because I do see that addressing inequal pay between the sexes can improve things for everyone aswell - as also mentioned in my above comment]

                    • karol

                      “White dudery” is not actually a term I would use – but I still agree with the gist or weka and QoT’s argument. It involves values more than being specifically relating to biological sex and skin colour – it is about the values that are dominant in a society where white males are the prime beneficiaries, at the expense of most others in varying degrees.

                      The difference between that and the example of Pacific women is that white dudes largely benefit from the gendered values, attitudes etc – is that Pacific women are disadvantaged by the attitudes, while white males tend to be advantaged.

                      But that’s exactly the point of criticisms of sexism, racism, patriachy etc – we are not all equal within a system of overlapping and intersecting power relations.

                      Oh. i see, you’re quibbling about the amount of people impacted negatively from the divisions.

                      Actually, I would say far less than 99% are really negatively impacted by wealth disparities at the moment.

                      Also, under patriarchy, part of it is the hierarchical arrangements, whereby a minority of men benefit the most.

                      Ditto for wealth disparities – varying degrees of benefits and privileges within the hierarchy.

                    • Zorr

                      When Hoots is on your side, is that the point when you should know you’re on the wrong side? :P

                    • karol

                      bl – wealth disparity argues in favour of the poor in relation to the wealthy. Sexism argues in favour of largely women in relation to men – both relate to all people in society and the divisions within it.

                      I don’t see how you can’t see both relate to all people in the same way? it’s plainly obvious to me.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ Karol

                      ?? Compare how many people are poor in relation to the wealthy in the world with how many people are women in the world

                      Wealth disparity is arguing in the interests of more people.

                      I’m unclear how you can argue that someone attempting to make conditions better for women are addressing the problems of the same amount of people as someone attempting to make things better for people affected by the gap between rich and poor.

                      Please take care to read my comments clearly – I actually joined this conversation in support of Weka’s (& your stance) and that I consider both approaches – either for what has been being called ‘identity politics’ (I have been using the example of sexism) or for economic type politics (I have been using the example of wealth disparity) will help get us out of the mess that we are in.

                      I have acknowledged that one of my main focusses is wealth disparity – a personal preference if you may, however I am starting to feel that because I stated that, you are assuming I am taking CV’s stance re ‘identity politics’ – which I have clearly stated I disagreed with

                      You are welcome to explain how addressing sexism addresses problems for the same amount of people as does addressing the wealth gap – I really do not see how you can get there! However please do realise I am not arguing against the main point I thought you and others have been making and that has been the source of contention over this subject – I see both approaches as valid

                    • karol

                      bl, I also am very concerned about poverty as an urgent issue.

                      The links between gender and poverty are not that straight forward, and quite intertwined – part of the same value system.

                      If you’re thinking globally, about 60% of the world’s poor are women (UN stats). That women suffer the strongest impact is due to the interweaving of capitalism and patriarchy.

                      Part of the way forward is to focus on the the role of women in the poorest communities – re – education, food production and distribution etc.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ Karol,

                      Yes, that is very much related to what I was saying re this argument having helped me have a deeper understanding of the beneficial effects of approaches being referred to as ‘identity politics’.

                      I noted with a great deal of anger the statistics of the latest NZ census how many more women were in the lower paid jobs – and a greater number of men in the higher categories. I did reason to myself that I guess some women may be married to some men in the higher categories of pay (therefore the stats may not be as bad as they seem) however I am well aware of how much easier it is for men to get jobs that are paid better than women and how imbalanced things are in this regard.

                      I really don’t fully understand why this argument is taking so long to resolve – because I really don’t see that either wealth disparity or sexism (for example) are in conflict.

                      As I stated a number of times on the American – Third World thread, I suspect this conflict is coming from divisive tactics being applied to the Left from the Right (or more specifically probably from textor-crosby style spin doctors). It would be good to see this conflict resolved, however in the meantime a lot of us are learning something.

                      I was really meaning to say to Weka don’t give up – we’ll get through this – and with deeper understanding to boot!

                    • karol

                      bl, I also think this debate has taken up too much time.

                      Actually, I think the debate is coming from within the Labour party – but maybe indirectly from them focusing on strategies in relation to the NACTS.

                      I actually don’t think it’s that useful to debate whether capitalism or patriarchy is the most oppressive system. They are intertwined. i think it’s more useful to look at the problems and their contributing or maintaining factors – sometimes it relates specifically to the operations of capitalism, sometimes to patriarchy, more often in relation to each other e.g. women and poverty.

                      And I also think the solutions involve a mixture of resource allocation and institutional and cultural arrangements and priorities.

                      The struggle between the old, white male dominated left, and the women’s/feministsexuality and ethnically-focused left are old and on-going.

                    • weka

                      “Matthew, I’m sure CV will be very appreciative of your support.”

                      rofl. Karol, hands down that takes the prize for best comment in the whole debate. Thanks for getting me to laugh out loud :-)

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ Karol,

                      I wasn’t exactly saying the debate is taking up too much time (may have implied it is irritating me that it is though!)
                      I am trying to see the positives here, and there are some.

                      It is like when right wing people come on the site and apparently ‘derail’ a thread – often it helps deeper understanding of the dynamics involved in an issue

                      What you say here:

                      The struggle between the old, white male dominated left, and the women’s/feminist sexuality and ethnically-focused left are old and on-going.

                      Is a good example of how this debate is useful – this point is becoming very apparent from reading the comments!

                      Re your “I don’t think its useful…& I also think….” paragraphs – Agree

                    • karol

                      bl – I feel irritated this debate has taken up too much of my time in the last 2 days – I got drawn in – comment then there is a response …. etc. I had plans to do things the last 2 days, and most haven’t been done.

                      I have learned some things along the way.

                      I suspect it also has to do with a lot more people not being at work at the moment – and maybe the variable weather. A lot of people (or some people) have something(a lot) to say at the moment.

                    • weka

                      bl, thanks for taking the time to clarify and check things out. Just had a sleep and nice to get up to the debate between you and karol, thanks both.

                      I’m going to reply to your first questions to me in a minute, but just wanted to pick this up…

                      “You are welcome to explain how addressing sexism addresses problems for the same amount of people as does addressing the wealth gap –”

                      There are many ways to answer that directly*, but for me the more pertinent question is why are the issues being framed in that way in the first place? I know it’s easy to go ‘the biggest group are more important’ (not saying that’s what you are saying), but I think about what marty says about how we get there is important, and that all people need to be respected in that process at the level of humanness. This is an ethical issue, and it’s why I resist the idea that people who aren’t poor don’t have valid, immediate needs, and worse, the assigning of those people to some ethical ghetto whereby they’re written off.

                      I’m not sure I can explain this very well today, but what I am trying to name here is a different paradigm to view this through.

                      * eg poor people are not more in number in NZ than the ‘identities’ combined.

                      I also don’t agree that everyone but the 1% are negatively affected by the wealth disparity. We can argue that one in detail if you like, but suffice to say even allowing for things like loss of investments via finance company collapses most of the middle class people I know are doing ok.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ Weka

                      Thanks :)

                      I know it’s easy to go ‘the biggest group are more important’ (not saying that’s what you are saying),

                      Yes you are right, I wasn’t saying that! – simply querying Karols comment which appeared to be saying that the same amounts of people are being addressed with the two different approaches – I couldn’t see it therefore wondering whether I was missing something.

                      I am getting tired too :( …. However that thing you said about the wealth disparity – yes, I agree, there are plenty of people still comfortable, however the way I’ve been looking at it – the problems such as pollution, carbon issues, energy issues, monopolistic behaviour, GFC ad infinitum…. I see as occurring because there are some people (including legal persons – such as corporations – who have legal rights like people do :( ) who have vastly more wealth than many and this wealth easily translates into political power and they are using this to get their interests met by overriding public interests on many issues – I view that this phenomenon is completely obstructing positive changes from occurring.

                    • rhinocrates

                      Looks like Hoots has been trying hard to rebrand himself over the last few weeks, downplaying the overt racism he’s used so cynically in the past – now he’s all warm, fuzzy, sticky, sweet and reasonable and Russell Brown loves him for it. He obviously has a parliamentary trough in his sights. How long until he starts describing himself as a “compassionate conservative” or some variant of that? Will it be a National list seat he’s aiming at or a position as a sock puppet to replace Banks in Act?

                    • rhinocrates

                      “Matthew, I’m sure CV will be very appreciative of your support.”

                      rofl. Karol, hands down that takes the prize for best comment in the whole debate. Thanks for getting me to laugh out loud :-)

                      Oh yeah!

                      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AbhorrentAdmirer

      • weka 13.3.2

        “I for, one would be sorry to see you thinking you have to go elsewhere.”

        Sorry perhaps, but not willing to acknowledge that validity of that choice, or do the things to make it unnecessary (not that I’m laying that all in your lap :-) )

        • KJT 13.3.2.1

          What do you expect me to do?

          Stop paying you the respect of being critical and arguing when I do not agree.

          Stop pointing out that some of the things we have concentrated on, myself included, have had unintended consequences which have simply played into the hands of the Neo-liberal destroyers.

          • weka 13.3.2.1.1

            I’ll take that as a rhetorical question KJT, and a confirmation of my comment at 12.15.

            • KJT 13.3.2.1.1.1

              Can’t find your comment at 12.15.

              The questions are not rhetorical. An honest answer would be appreciated.

              • weka

                12.15pm (four up from this one)

                “I for, one would be sorry to see you thinking you have to go elsewhere.”

                Sorry perhaps, but not willing to acknowledge that validity of that choice, or do the things to make it unnecessary (not that I’m laying that all in your lap :-) )

                “What do you expect me to do?”

                Stop arguing with me. Stop and listen, really listen. Take time to ask for clarification. Put as much effort into understanding where I am coming from as you are into debating before you respond. Respond to the actual issues I raise instead of just repeatedly saying different versions of “I disagree, I think x, y, z”.

    • Bill 13.4

      Can’t see why you have to be “wondering why I and others should be having to put so much effort (massive amounts it turns out) into even just holding a line here”.

      CV has a perspective informed by priorities. I’d reckon people are fairly aware of what those are and are capable of quietly assigning a degree of acceptance/unacceptance, appropriateness/ unappropraiteness to his comments/thoughts with regards surrounding context or the place they turn up…or even just skip over them if they want.

      QoT banned him from commenting on her post. Fine. He didn’t comment further on that post and took stuff to ‘Open Mike’…which is what it’s for.

      But this (what looks like) chasing and sniping over threads and what not is getting bloody tedious. There is no ‘line to hold’…it’s just a blog for christs sake. People already know where they stand on stuff and what priorities they have/don’t have, what views they find acceptable/unacceptable … and sometimes (not often mind), refreshingly, enter into genuine, non-banner waving discussion on topics.

      • swordfish 13.4.1

        “But this….chasing and sniping over threads and what not is getting bloody tedious.”

        Couldn’t agree more. Boring as hell. Seems to be a very contrived/concerted campaign against CV, imbued with the most extraordinary must-walk-on-egg-shells-whenever-you-converse-with-me Preciousness. What I’m hearing from a number of commentators (Weka, in particular) is: “If you really loved and cared for me, CV, you’d agree with virtually everything I’ve ever said. I just can’t handle anyone disagreeing with me, it’s a form of patriarchal violence.”

        Apparently, for Weka the simple act of disagreement equals (Gasp, Gulp, Gasp) a “bunch of people coming along and telling us…that we’ve got it all wrong” a “constant you’re wrong derailment”, no less.

        Meanwhile, karol seems to be upset that CV “continued to dispute” something that QoT wrote.

        I’m sorry, but it’s bordering on the touchy-feely pathetic. Can’t we have just a bit of robust political debate here without everyone having to go through a thousand caveats and niceties of etiquette ? Perhaps if CV started every reply with: “I hear and cherish what you’re saying, Weka, and believe me I will always cherish the emotional bonds forged between us, but…….”

        Or am I just being my normal misogynist patriarchal self ?

        • wtl 13.4.1.1

          Perhaps if CV started every reply with: “I hear and cherish what you’re saying, Weka, and believe me I will always cherish the emotional bonds forged between us, but…….”

          Even if CV did that, his comments would be considered “incredibly smarmy” and that he was only being polite so that people would think that he is just a “Good Guy Just Doing His Best, just so everyone knows who the real bitch is”.

          • weka 13.4.1.1.1

            wtl, by ‘people’ in that sentence you mean QoT and Lanth, right? Not myself, or anyone else so far.

        • weka 13.4.1.2

          swordfish, it’s patently obvious by my now several years here that I like a good argument. So your characterisation of me as reacting against people who disagree with me simply because they disagree with me is a crock of shit. You say “what I hear is…”, so I can only take it that you are tone deaf. By all means read into what I say in anyway you like, but if you would like to know what I actually mean, try having a conversation with me.

          If there is one thing that characterises this debate in the past week it is people talking past each other. On all sides (more than just the 2).

          “Seems to be a very contrived/concerted campaign against CV,”

          Been seeing this one about to appear. It’s one of the stupider arguments I’ve seen on the internet. It’s a specious form of marginalising to tell a group of people they are ganging up just because they all happen to agree. And particularly specious given that it happens here all the time. How exactly have we all contrived to campaign against CV? Honestly, I’ve love to know.

          • geoff 13.4.1.2.1

            I think he means contrived in the sense that it is false, it doesn’t hold water. In that sense I agree with him.

          • swordfish 13.4.1.2.2

            (1) “Been seeing this one about to appear”. Sorry, Weka, I’ve absolutely no idea what this sentence means.

            (2) “Contrived” because, as Geoff notes, your argument doesn’t ring true. I’d call it (for want of a better term) “passive-aggressive”. What you and one or two others are doing is wrapping-up an essentially aggressive strategy (closing down criticism, disagreements, alternative points of view, debate) in a defensive veneer (we the officially self-identified ‘marginalised’ are being viciously attacked and abused, through the cunning medium of people not always agreeing with us. We need constant validation and nurturing. Help !, Help ! we’re being oppressed ! Everyone come and see the oppression inherent in the patriarchal system ! Throw me on the fire ! I want to play ‘The Burning Martyr’ ! Nail me up !, Nail me up, I say !!!).

            Just a bit too much of the Me, Me, Me. How about a little more focus on the bottom third of society and a little less on the interests of…….how can I put it, ahh yes…….the relatively small highly-privileged elites of social groups that have been historically marginalised ? (Elite Corporate Iwi, Elite Women, Elite LGBT) A little more concern, for instance, with the huge proportion of women on or near the minimum wage, and a little less obsession with the Corporate ‘Glass Ceiling’ or the fact that women “only” make up about 41% of Labour MPs (a figure within, incidently, the Greens’ 60/40 parameters). Sick to death of the lip-service constantly paid by Labour Party politicians (and one or two activists) to low-income and beneficiary New Zealanders, while relentlessly pursuing elite interests.

            • McFlock 13.4.1.2.2.1

              I don’t believe that that is an accurate or fair representation of any of the arguments anybody here has made.

              I have not seen authors try to shut down criticism or debate. I have seen some authors refuse to allow some commenters derail threads with categorical dictats that allow no contrary opinion, but only after several commenters and authors have spent months trying to move the derailers into actual discussion rather than entrenched declarations.

            • felix 13.4.1.2.2.2

              I can’t be bothered figuring out which bits of that are facetious/sarcastic and which bits are your actual thoughts, but it seems like you’re saying:

              1. There isn’t really any oppressive patriarchal system, and

              2. some commenters here pretend to be marginalised by it, but

              3. really they represent the elites of society.

              Hmm yeah I see why you didn’t just say it straight. Looks a bit silly.

              • swordfish

                Certainly not my best comment. Regretted it the moment I sent it.

                But……

                (1) “There isn’t really any oppressive patriarchal system”. No, never said that. Come from a long line of feminists. Pointing to the immediate recourse to official victimhood status the moment CV makes some obscure little one sentence comment about “boutique politics”. In other words, my frustration at what appears to be thin-skinned preciousness.

                (2) “Some commenters here pretend to be marginalised by it.” Women in general marginalised by patriarchy ? Absolutely. Weka and Karol and QoT marginalised and voiceless specifically on this site ? Wouldn’t have thought so. (Note: the “we the officially self-identified ‘marginalised'” bit wasn’t about patriarchy but, once again, the recourse to victimhood the moment someone commits the cardinal sin of taking issue with something they’ve argued).

                (3) “really they (some commenters) represent the elites of society.” No, just a general (and, yes, somewhat misdirected) moan at the way that pursuing the interests of elites from historically marginalised groups is so often portrayed as “left-wing”.

                But, as I say, regretted it the moment I sent it. A good deal of sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek, but definitely OTT and just a little bit daft. I’m a liberal Lefty who made himself sound like a conservative Tory. Must try harder.

                • felix

                  So that’s a no to 1 and a yes to 2 and 3, give or take a little wriggling.

                  Not bad.

                  • swordfish

                    No to (1)

                    Partial Yes to (2) (only partial, mind – pretend to be marginalised (or, at least, are a little too precious) SPECIFICALLY ON THIS SITE ? Yep. Do you seriously want to tell me that QoT is marginalised here ? She comes down on people like a ton of bricks if they so much as breath in the wrong direction. She, Karol and Weka are hardly shrinking violets, they get a pretty good say, sometimes dominating comments threads, often posting and are generally supported/validated by a range of others)

                    Largely No to (3) (they advocate the interests of demographics that include – but obviously are by no means confined to – elites. Neo-Liberal Corporate Iwi, Woodford House and Rangi Ruru Old Girls…….I have little time for the suggestion that, for instance, affluent Corporate Iwi and poor de-tribalised urban Maori share core interests of ethnic identity that completely override their clashing class interests).

                    But, that’ll be my last word because I do genuinely feel a bit of a dickhead for my OTT 12:51am comment. And can’t be bothered carrying on spats with people whose politics largely mirror my own. Should I therefore have kept the fuck out of the never-ending CV vs QoT/Weka/Karol debate ? Hell Yes !!!!!!! We live and we learn.

                    Feel free to deconstruct and demolish the present comment.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 13.4.1.3

          @ Swordfish

          “Seems to be a very contrived/concerted campaign against CV, ”

          Yeah, the thought flitted through my mind but nah.

          Take a look at this comment:

          http://thestandard.org.nz/america-is-becoming-a-third-world-nation/#comment-750517

          I consider the final sentence entirely unnecessary and do not see that it was CV’s main point which makes it bizarre that CV didn’t resolve this very quickly by apologising for dismissing rather a lot of people’s efforts and interests, He has acknowledged that it simply wasn’t his focus – yet hasn’t acknowledged that it is simply unhelpful to alienate sections of our politically active community purely on that basis – (that it didn’t interest him).

          That thread was about the destruction of living standards in America – this is a very important point for us all to know and acknowledge – considering we follow American policies like flies follow a bad smell – yet a large part of the thread was taken up over this matter of trying to get CV to see that it is unhelpful to dismiss political interests simply because they don’t interest him.

          In my opinion some acknowledgement that our main intentions and aims are very much aligned would have been more useful and in keeping with the aim of overturning this rancid system that is causing the types of effects as occurring in America and here, than continuing to argue a false point that the many different approaches on the Left are mutually exclusive.

          • weka 13.4.1.3.1

            That is such a good thread to link to. The ensuing discussion encapsulates much of this debate.

            “I consider the final sentence entirely unnecessary and do not see that it was CV’s main point which makes it bizarre that CV didn’t resolve this very quickly by apologising for dismissing rather a lot of people’s efforts and interests, He has acknowledged that it simply wasn’t his focus – yet hasn’t acknowledged that it is simply unhelpful to alienate sections of our politically active community purely on that basis – (that it didn’t interest him).”

            This.

            All he had to do was be specific about what he meant by identity politics. He already knew that a whole bunch of people found that term dismissive and patronising, and that there is general confusion about what it actually means, so why use it without qualification?

            • geoff 13.4.1.3.1.1

              He already knew that a whole bunch of people found that term dismissive and patronising

              A bit like ‘white-dudery’?

              • weka

                Not really. There have been many attempts by quite a few people over time to talk about the problems with the term ‘identity politics’ and how it is used. Of the few people that objected to the term ‘white-dudery’, CV mentioned it directly to me in the last couple of days. I asked him to clarify what he thought was racist and sexist about it. He didn’t.

                Matthew Hooten did respond, thoughtfully, and I’ve replied. If you have an issue with me using the term, how about you engage at that level? (that’s a serious offer btw).

                I don’t use the wd term alot, and for the most part it is restricted to replies to CV or conversations where we are arguing about the politics around identity politics. Were I to use it in a thread that had nothing to do with that, and to drop it as a wee flame bomb in a post like CV did, I would expect to have some consequences.

        • geoff 13.4.1.4

          Great comment, swordfish.
          And the tediousness of it will damage the effectiveness of The Standard in a crucial election year.
          But like you I can’t help shake the feeling that I may just be expressing the opinions of my inner misogynist patriarchal wanker.

          • McFlock 13.4.1.4.1

            so now it’s arguing about arguing about identity politics that will cost us the election, rather than an adamant refusal to consider that other people might not have the same experience and priviledge as us.

            • geoff 13.4.1.4.1.1

              Ah McFlock…The ABC’s err I mean David Shearer’s last loyal supporter.

              No wonder that you would be supporting this pointless infighting on TS, the last thing you’d want is for Labour to win under Cunliffe.

              • McFlock

                not at all, in fact I’m enjoying how labour is regularly on 40% now they have cunliffe as leader.

                • geoff

                  So then you’re too stupid too see how unproductive this months-long, gender shit fight has been?
                  That would explain why you supported Shearer for so long…

                  • McFlock

                    Be explicit, geoff – are you stating that this ongoing discussion on TS is responsible for labour’s current polling ?

                    Or are you still outraged that I dared to suggest that masybe there’s more to do with polling than whichever mp has the leadership? To the point that you’re just randomly including it in the current discussion – because resurrecting your hero-worship in completely unrelated discussions is just sooooooooo fucking productive.

                    • geoff

                      Ooo answering a question with a question, you tricky wee thing.

                      Hmm, so answer me this, will you answer my question?
                      Do you think this months-long, gender shit fight has been helpful?

                      Don’t be too explicit though, I might get a hard on.

                    • McFlock

                      oh sorry, I thought you were just being rhetorical, the way you framed it as “are you too stupid to see…”. But apparently you thought that such framing is what stands as a “question” desrving comment. I’ll try to bear that in mind in future.

                      I have found the ongoing debate immensely helpful, for two reasons:

                      firstly, it’s exposed the pustulent bigotry festering under the supposedly “left wing” veneer held by some commenters;

                      Secondly, because regardless of when the left do actually choose to confront the ~isms as well as the purely economic issues, all of this shit will be old hat, and people will know who and who does not give a shit about anything other than white male problems.

                    • geoff

                      Yep you’re an idiot alright…

                    • McFlock

                      I answered yours – now, seriously, do you blame the nasty wimmin feminists commenting on TS for labour’s current polling? Because Labour have your chosen leader, and he was supposed to make labour relevant again…

                    • Good stuff McFlock – I agree.

                      Edit – the one above the last one, that is, although the last one is good too.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      Hi Geoff,

                      If you find the argument unhelpful and boring – which I have too (although have realised it helps deepen understanding on important issues) I suggest that you tell CV to back-off and apologise if he ever starts dismissing others’ efforts again. Because he didn’t quit doing that is, by the sounds of it, why this argument has gone on so long.

                      CV has fairly well much explained himself (below) and that seemed somewhat like an apology – however if the bickering starts up again when CV gets back might I suggest the above course of action because expecting people who are defending the positive input they put in here or elsewhere from being entirely marginalized to stop the argument is unlikely to be successful. Yeah, so just encourage CV to stop dissing others’ efforts is my suggestion.

                      [lol re inner misogynist patriarchal wanker. - thats funny!]

  14. Colonial Viper 14

    I’m going to take some time off TS, for the last couple of days of my holidays, before I start back at work. I expressed some views which I think a fair number of people hold, and in classic CV style yes I did shotgun it a bit, which is unfair to do to friends. I do hold all of you in the highest regard as smart, compassionate human beings who know what they are on about. Sometimes with prickles haha. Enjoy the summer weather, assuming you are getting some where you are :)

    And cheers to you KJT.

    • karol 14.1

      Fair enough, CV. Have a good break.

      • fender 14.1.1

        +1

        I urge you CV to re-read the advice offered by Rhinocrates on open mike 01/01/2014

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 14.1.1.1

          +1 Have a good break, CV and chill out on the dismissing-others’-focus thing you have going on FFS! ( :) )

    • QoT 14.2

      I’m only saying this: this comment comes across as incredibly smarmy. You’re just the innocent victim, everyone agrees with you anyway, but honestly you totally respect everyone here, which is why you have taken consistent, off-topic potshots about identity politics and why you cannot actually respect my authority as a moderator on my own posts.

      But hey, take a break and sign off with a comment which makes you the Good Guy Just Doing His Best, just so everyone knows who the real bitch is. :roll:

      • karol 14.2.1

        I can see your point, QoT. I also think CV has done the best thing by standing down for a while – and hopefully reflect.
        Maybe had a word from a mate?

      • Lanthanide 14.2.2

        I agree QoT.

      • Anne 14.2.3

        in classic CV style yes I did shotgun it a bit, which is unfair to do to friends. I do hold all of you in the highest regard as smart, compassionate human beings who know what they are on about.

        How about taking it at face value QOT. I know Colonial Viper and he would have meant what he said. Re – the little dig at you…. just a bit of teasing I think you will find. Nothing vindictive. Have a Kit Kat.

        • felix 14.2.3.1

          Yep.

        • QoT 14.2.3.2

          Um, no. After the events of the past couple of days? A “little teasing” is pretty fucking inappropriate.

          But it happens all the time. There’s a whingy libertarian on Twitter who has called me everything under the sun (but never using swear words, because insults can’t hurt if they aren’t sweary) and repeatedly threatened to sue me for defamation. Then he turns around and says “Oh come on, I think it would be great to have a beer together some time.”

          There is privilege in being able to attack people and then try to play nice with them. It is a privilege which means the angry marginalized voices will continue to be blamed for being too angry, too sensitive, and too unreasonable.

      • phillip ure 14.2.4

        @ qot..

        “..respect my authority..”

        who else said/says that..?

        ..that’s right..!..cartman..eh..?..

        ..phillip ure..

      • KJT 14.2.5

        “Respect my authority”.

        Always did have a problem with that. :-)

    • xtasy 14.3

      CV – enjoy your break, and come back, as ‘the Standard’ without your comments would only “narrow” what is supposed to also be a “broad church” here, as I understand it.

      I share some of your views, on others I may differ, so do others, as it seems. We can potentially all learn from each other, and this year being a year of importance decisions (election year), we need every voice to raise valid concerns, issues and possible solutions, so that the messages can be read and heard by the wider public, same as members and candidates of parties.

      You have made some great contributions over all, and some disagreement here is natural, and we have to live with it. That is what freedom of speech and democracy is all about.

    • stargazer 14.4

      and absolutely no acknowledgement of the very shitty, nasty & unsubtantiated personal attacks you made about deborah russell. i expect much more than an apology for that kind of behaviour about a labour party colleague in a public forum. dude, you need a lot more than just time off. you need to seriously reassess your involvement in politics, because in the past couple of days you have shown yourself as someone seriously unsuited to representing others, at any level at all. not just because of the personal attack, but the dismissive attitude and the inability to relate to the lived experiences of others.

      had you been my local MP, there is no way i felt i could approach you to advocate on issues of domestic violence, sexual abuse, racial discrimination in employment and any number of others – both at an individual & a global level. you’ve shown you don’t care, quite clearly and aggressively. can you see how that would be an absolute turn-off to a constituent in desperate need?

      seriously, please, for the good of the labour party and the good of the country, don’t think about being a representative of the people until you have a respect for all of the issues that those people are facing in their various capacities, and are prepared to fight for them on all fronts.

      • miravox 14.4.1

        had you been my local MP, there is no way i felt i could approach you to advocate on issues of domestic violence, sexual abuse, racial discrimination in employment and any number of others – both at an individual & a global level. you’ve shown you don’t care, quite clearly and aggressively. can you see how that would be an absolute turn-off to a constituent in desperate need?

        seriously, please, for the good of the labour party and the good of the country, don’t think about being a representative of the people until you have a respect for all of the issues that those people are facing in their various capacities, and are prepared to fight for them on all fronts.

        This. I’ve not been commenting on TS lately due to these attitudes. I could care less about differing opinions, but wiping out the concerns of whole groups as insufficiently important compared to issue x when their financial, social and physical well-being are at stake leaves me totally shocked.

  15. xtasy 15

    The MSM in the form of the “New Zealand (National Party) Herald” online version have once again picked the “news topic of the day”:

    “Internet mogul beats politicians for pet position”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11179988

    “New Zealanders would rather have an internet tycoon feed their cat while they’re on holiday than an under-fire mayor and two former right-wing politicians, a poll shows.”

    Just in case the public misses the point and gets distracted too much, this is what REALLY matters, it seems.

    I see more and more of such “stories” and “polls” they publish, and no wonder the political “polls” bring us with all regularity the results we get!? The public are being “informed” as they are meant to be (by the MSM and their paymasters).

    • Lanthanide 16.1

      Washington state also legalised it but AFAIK don’t have a firm timeframe for when they’re going to start allowing people to sell it, one thing I read said “later this year”.

  16. Draco T Bastard 17

    American Psychosis: What happens to a society that cannot distinguish between reality and illusion?

    It is the cult of self that is killing the United States.
    This cult has within it the classic traits of psychopaths: superficial charm, grandiosity and self-importance; a need for constant stimulation; a penchant for lying, deception and manipulation; and the incapacity for remorse or guilt. Michael Jackson, from his phony marriages to the portraits of himself dressed as royalty to his insatiable hunger for new toys to his questionable relationships with young boys, had all these qualities. And this is also the ethic promoted by corporations. It is the ethic of unfettered capitalism. It is the misguided belief that personal style and personal advancement, mistaken for individualism, are the same as democratic equality. It is the nationwide celebration of image over substance, of illusion over truth. And it is why investment bankers blink in confusion when questioned about the morality of the billions in profits they made by selling worthless toxic assets to investors.

    And, yes, the same is happening in NZ seemingly at the behest of those same psychopaths.

    • karol 17.1

      Ah, yes. And right there, it shows why we need to change our US influenced culture at the same time as we change the institutional allocation of resources. One cannot occur without the other.

      And yet, even in the face of catastrophe, mass culture continues to assure us that if we close our eyes, if we visualize what we want, if we have faith in ourselves, if we tell God that we believe in miracles, if we tap into our inner strength, if we grasp that we are truly exceptional, if we focus on happiness, our lives will be harmonious and complete. This cultural retreat into illusion, whether peddled by positive psychologists, by Hollywood or by Christian preachers, is magical thinking. It turns worthless mortgages and debt into wealth. It turns the destruction of our manufacturing base into an opportunity for growth. It turns alienation and anxiety into a cheerful conformity. It turns a nation that wages illegal wars and administers offshore penal colonies where it openly practices torture into the greatest democracy on earth. And it keeps us from fighting back.

    • Anne 17.2

      And the other side of the coin -becoming so familiar in NZ under this current regime:

      We believe, after all, that because we have the capacity to wage war we have a right to wage war. Those who lose deserve to be erased. Those who fail, those who are deemed ugly, ignorant or poor, should be belittled and mocked. Human beings are used and discarded like Styrofoam boxes that held junk food. And the numbers of superfluous human beings are swelling the unemployment offices, the prisons and the soup kitchens.

  17. karol 18

    To blue leopard (from up thread – rut of reply buttons:

    simply querying Karols comment which appeared to be saying that the same amounts of people are being addressed with the two different approaches – I couldn’t see it therefore wondering whether I was missing something.

    [...]
    However that thing you said about the wealth disparity – yes, I agree, there are plenty of people still comfortable, however the way I’ve been looking at it – the problems such as pollution, carbon issues, energy issues, monopolistic behaviour, GFC ad infinitum…. I see as occurring because there are some people (including legal persons – such as corporations – who have legal rights like people do :( ) who have vastly more wealth than many and this wealth easily translates into political power and they are using this to get their interests met by overriding public interests on many issues – I view that this phenomenon is completely obstructing positive changes from occurring.

    We were both looking in different directions. But your questions and comments have provided food for thought.

    Actually the hierarchical system you refer to is also pretty much what happens in a society with a patriarchal order. Patriarchy and capitalism are two systems that have become entwined and influence each other. (see for instance, Heidi Hartmann). And both keep on changing in relation to each other and the challenges to the society and/or ruling elites.

    In a patriarchy there is a dominant patriarch, or within the current version of capitalism, a corporate plutocracy, which enlists others to support his/their power through a system of privileges. So the middle classes particularly have been drawn in to supporting the current order/s with a certain amount of privileges, shiny things and and distracting circuses. Generally within a patriarchal order, males will tend to be given more privileges and power than females.

    Within earlier versions of western capitalism, the patriarchal family was a way that males were given certain privileges, and their own dominance in their homes. This was the centre of socialisation and reproduction of the capitalist workforce, through heterosexual marriage and personal relationships, and with women having a subservient role in servicing and maintain male workers, and bringing up new workers.

    Some of these domestic privileges have been withdrawn from men and extended to many women (more or less) in exchange for the shiny things, some privileges etc. This is how the middle classes especially are kept in line. But if they challenge this system, they tend to get their privileges removed, and/or sanctions applied.

    So the 1% rely on the compliance of the middle classes, and to some extent the working class and precariat, to maintain their power and dominance – that and the widespread military-industrial complex that draws in many of the 99%.

    The people most likely to rebel are those with few privileges, but some resources to stage a rebellion, IMO.

    If capitalism is dismantled, and/or destroyed through resource depletion, climate change, etc., I would expect many men and some women, used to a certain amount of power and privilege, to try to exert their power one way or another – through violence and or interpersonal relationships, or trying to hoard whatever resources there are. I think some would try to extend the masculine privilege they have got used to, unless patriarchal and capitalist orders were dismantled at the same time.

    Consequently dismantling, or re-organising capitalism also needs changes to the culture, including the patriarchal aspects of it.

  18. greywarbler 19

    I heard Sandi Toksvig on Radionz this afternoon. What a nice woman, with a great sense of humour. She said that when she came out she received death threats and the children had to be taken out of school for a while. She thinks that sexism hasn’t improved in uk over long decades.

    It so happens I have just read Jill Paton Walsh’s book A Piece of JUstice and in that there is a woman character who went to Cambridge about 1938 and was refused her degress three years later. That did not happen until 1948.

    Sandi is coming here about May this year to auckland Wellington and christchurch.

  19. enjoy every sandwich 20

    I think the anti-white-male barrage that the likes of karol, QoT and weka etc have been delivering for the last few months has put a lot of people off. Given that those same few admit that the majority of people commenting here are white males it is unsurprising that constantly pushing the line that the root of all evil is white males is going to get a reaction.

    [Well speaking as a white male I have not been in the slightest upset or threatened by what karol QoT or weka have been saying. They have done nothing more than point out the bleeding obvious, that middle aged middle class white males like myself are in control and we are not doing a good job. The planet and our society is going to hell in a hand basket. Rather than attempting to marginalise them and denigrate them you should try to understand what they are saying. They are not saying that white males are evil, just that we could do much better - MS]

    • karol 20.1

      that the likes of karol, QoT and weka etc have been delivering for the last few months

      Citation needed – most of my posts and comments have been on other issues…. geeez, you just seem like another white guy trying to silence me the minority of times I talk about gender issues – CV has pushed the issue lately and I (an others) have responded. Don’t see you criticising him for causing discord.

      You are mighty complacscent about a left wing blog that is white male dominated. No wonder so many progressive women and people of colour get turned off politics.

      • enjoy every sandwich 20.1.1

        For fucks sake karol, you’re turning into a caricature. Everything has become a gender issue with you in the last few months and you are ignoring the practical realities of continuously pushing this on the majority of your audience. If you keep this up I can guarantee that TS readership will fall. In an election year. It is just so fucking stupid.

        • weka 20.1.1.1

          “Everything has become a gender issue with you in the last few months and you are ignoring the practical realities of continuously pushing this on the majority of your audience.”

          If that’s true, what’s the difference between that and

          “Everything has become an economic issue with you in the last few months and you are ignoring the practical realities of continuously pushing this on the majority of your audience.” ?

          • enjoy every sandwich 20.1.1.1.1

            the difference, weka, is that white males tend to love that economics shit. But the shit where they get told that they are the cause of all the problems? They don’t love that so much, no matter what MS says.

            • weka 20.1.1.1.1.1

              The difference between MS and the other men you are talking about is that micky knows we are not blaming men for everything. Why do you think that we are?

              It’s a good point about white men loving the economics shit. I’ll think about that (I don’t have a problem with the focus on economics of course, it’s the dismissal of other issues that is being objected to here).

              • enjoy every sandwich

                The difference between MS and the other men you are talking about is that micky knows we are not blaming men for everything. Why do you think that we are?

                I think you better get a new poster boy, weka, because MS isn’t on message.

                Did you read what he said? Here it is again: They are not saying that white males are evil, just that we could do much better – MS

                The poor chap’s got stockholm syndrome

            • karol 20.1.1.1.1.2

              Well, eev – how do you think it makes women/feminists/gays being told we are the cause of all the left’s problems?

              And, maybe the left isn’t just all about the guys, eh?

              • enjoy every sandwich

                Well, eev – how do you think it makes women/feminists/gays being told we are the cause of all the left’s problems?

                There you go again trying to make it a gender/LGBT issue. I’m not blaming women/feminists/gays for anything. I’m blaming you, you karol, the individual for helping to create a pointless tension on TS in the lead up to an election.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  You’re claiming that Karol does this by discussing gender issues. Usually, in repsonse to someone saying that those things shouldn’t be discussed.

                  So yeah, you do seem to be claiming that gender issues being discussed is a problem.

                • karol

                  Actually, ees. it was more CV that set of the debate, with his “boutique identity politics” comments and his priority lists – part of which was misdirecting blame for difficulties of the left, just like you are doing.

            • miravox 20.1.1.1.1.3

              “the difference, weka, is that white males tend to love that economics shit”

              A bit of a guess here, but I reckon that a reasonable proportion of left-leaning white males on this blog, as well as most other left-leaning people who you would categorise as something other than a white male, consider that fairness shit is at least as important as that economics shit too.

              • enjoy every sandwich

                What fairness shit?? Do you actually think that I am arguing against fairness?

                What I am pointing out is that for the last few months karol and co have passive-aggressively bashed readers around the head with ‘patriarchy’, ‘male-dominated’ etc, and whether they like it or not, all they have accomplished is the creation of their own little, irrelevant echo chamber.

                [karol: enough ees. I have already pointed out that you are totally wrong in what your claims about me in the last few months. Still you persist with this lie in order to attack me. Personal attacks on authors of this site is a banning offence. The Standard policy on banning is here. Consider this a warning. And martyrdom behaviour also isn't very much appreciated]

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Not sure what you think an echo chamber is, but this ain’t one. A clue is all the arguing going on.

                • miravox

                  “Do you actually think that I am arguing against fairness?”
                  Yes, it does appear to me that you are arguing against fairness.

                  Read stargazer’s comment at http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-03012014/#comment-752669 to show how relevant the inclusion of other than the stereotypical well-off white male is. We can’t all be him, and have identical issues.

                • enjoy every sandwich

                  Personal attacks on authors of this site is a banning offence. The Standard policy on banning is here.

                  Which is why this echo chamber is here to stay.

          • QoT 20.1.1.2.1

            And here are my last four posts – because I’ve pretty much made one post a month since October:

            It’s 2014 and we have a job to do (actually about identity politics!)

            What the Waitakere Myth says about pundits’ attitudes to the working class (a literal defence of working-class people against charges of redneckery)

            Fuck off, Bob Jones (oh my god, I’m picking on a rich old white man!)

            Why I will never be a paid political commentator (a criticism of the double standard applied between bloggers and mainstream commentators)

            Yep, it’s wall-to-wall me & karol trying to have men rounded up and thrown out the Gate to Women’s Country. :roll:

          • enjoy every sandwich 20.1.1.2.2

            That list (and QoTs) is irrelevant, it’s the comments not the posts.
            Search The Standard for karol patriarchy or karol male, it’s like a broken karol record stretching back for months.

            http://thestandard.org.nz/?s=karol+patriarchy&isopen=none&search_posts=true&search_comments=true&search_sortby=date

            http://thestandard.org.nz/?s=karol+male&isopen=none&search_posts=true&search_comments=true&search_sortby=date

            But feel free to keep ignoring the problem and keep ignoring your part in it. You’ve all badgered CV, one of the most popular and prolific commentators, until he’s buggered off.

            As I said before, if this pattern continues then people won’t bother reading the standard because you, QoT, weka and co will have turned into your own little circle-jerk.

            [karol: keep it up the misinformation and personal attacks, ees. Yes, I have talked about patriarchy among many other topics. And you can cherry pick a couple of examples when I talked about it, and blatantly ignore all the other stuff I' have written about - but it doesn't make for a very credible argument on your part. And, hey, that was the whole point of QoT's post. I have talked about other issues more. You don't get to decide what I comment on. You also seem to have a pretty good grasp of the broken record technique.

            Your presence here won't be missed should you decide not to come here any more. Your faux martyrdom ploy is pretty weak]

            • Zorr 20.1.1.2.2.1

              You should realize that you don’t speak for everyone Mr EES and that I, personally, find the written output by karol and QoT to be incredibly informative, sometimes challenging and always useful.

              I cannot actually say the same about CV. As you state, he is a prolific commenter but that does not turn every contribution he makes to gold and, in this instance, it has been a large part of the backlash against him. He chose to make an out-of-the-blue swipe at people with different priorities to him (http://thestandard.org.nz/america-is-becoming-a-third-world-nation/#comment-750517), picked up his spade and started working at digging a giant hole. I made my attempt at pointing out what was so wrong with what he had said but, as some have found out for the first time in the past few days, he doesn’t exactly listen to anyone other than himself. At any point he could have retracted his previous stance and said “hey, I made a dick move at the very start that was flame trolling but I’m going to put my spade down now and stop digging”.

              As a leftist, white, cis-, hetero male – I appreciate any opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and be confronted by the realities that others face that I never have because of my privileged position. It seems that too many of those who I should be brothers-in-arms with are unwilling to challenge themselves in the same way and therefore become obstacles for those of us wishing to embrace a truly progressive vision beyond just economics.

            • Molly 20.1.1.2.2.2

              I, on the other hand, will keep reading it because of the patience and reasoning shown by karol, QoT, weka et al.

              I haven’t joined in because their clarity of thought to me is obvious – and I mistakenly kept thinking CV would finally get it.

              One noticeable difference though.

              They all express “their opinion” – in their own style – but distinctly from their perspective.

              CV and yourself appoint yourselves as spokespeople for wider groups:
              “…last few months has put a lot of people off…”
              ” …If you keep this up I can guarantee that TS readership will fall…”
              “the difference, weka, is that white males tend to love that economics shit. But the shit where they get told that they are the cause of all the problems? They don’t love that so much, no matter what MS says.”
              “…if this pattern continues then people won’t bother reading the standard”

              You claim authority to speak for others as a given – and by doing so – demonstrate the point they patiently have tried to explain.

    • weka 20.2

      “Given that those same few admit that the majority of people commenting here are white males it is unsurprising that constantly pushing the line that the root of all evil is white males is going to get a reaction.”

      One of the things I love about ts is the relatively high number of left wing men here who have a sensibility about gender and other meta-capitalism issues. MS being one of them (thanks micky).

      I cannot express the relief I feel that NZ society has changed sufficiently over my lifetime that people like me and QoT and karol can even survive in a place like ts. But I take part of your point. I will do better at acknowledging the positive aspects of the male culture here. I wonder if it will make any difference to you though, seeing as how you can’t tell the difference between the politics of gender and ‘all men are evil’.

      • enjoy every sandwich 20.2.1

        how about you stop being so fucking melodramatic.

        • karol 20.2.1.1

          lol…. pot meet mr kettle.

          • weka 20.2.1.1.1

            lol. I’ve resisted so far pointing out the places where I feel people are projecting from their own shit, but must say I was sorely tempted on this one (not that I think a little melodrama is a bad thing).

            I don’t think I know you sandwich, but I hope you stick around.

        • fender 20.2.1.2

          Melodramatic: ” But the shit where they get told that they are the cause of all the problems? “

          • karol 20.2.1.2.1

            How about this for melodramatic (considering the topics of the vast majority of my posts, as inidcated above):

            Everything has become a gender issue with you in the last few months and you are ignoring the practical realities of continuously pushing this on the majority of your audience.

            You gotta laugh when someone is sooooo wide of the mark.

            • fender 20.2.1.2.1.1

              Yeah it’s complete bs. There’s a picnic one short out there somewhere..

              edit. This one takes the cake: ” Given that those same few admit that the majority of people commenting here are white males it is unsurprising that constantly pushing the line that the root of all evil is white males is going to get a reaction. “

    • infused 20.3

      I’ve stopped commenting on their posts because of this – not that anyone cares. But I’m rather sick of it. It seems to be a growing trend.

      • Pascal's bookie 20.3.1

        Maybe you could submit a guest post about the Korean war of 2013 or some shit.

        As for growing trends, there seem to be a metric shit tonne of comments from ever so offended dudedros saying they won;t comment on, or discuss gender issues, mostly because they don;t like it, or it hurts their feefees, or whatever.

        honestly, I hope they keep their word. Might allow for actual discussion about the issues, as opposed to the endless shitfight about dudebros feefees surrounding the issues being raised.

        • enjoy every sandwich 20.3.1.1

          As for growing trends, there seem to be a metric shit tonne of comments from ever so offended dudedros saying they won;t comment on, or discuss gender issues, mostly because they don;t like it, or it hurts their feefees, or whatever.

          Metric tonne, that’s a lot right? So that means lots of standardistas have been alienated. In the lead up to an election year. A great way for the left to shoot itself in the foot.
          It doesn’t matter a shit whether you are correct or not, if you alienate your audience then they wont bother commenting or reading and TS will lose its relevancy.

          • Pascal's bookie 20.3.1.1.1

            whoosh.

            At the moment it seems to be an issue that you want to discuss very much.

            Frankly, I can’t remember you ever commenting here before, and yet here you are, lecturing everyone about what we shoudl be not talking about.

            Maybe we should all be discussing the 9/11 truther theories that CV gets stuck into now and then. Perhaps long winded discussions about fiat money are the go. Obviiously women only make up slightly more than half the population, so talking about that stuff should always be interrupted with someone saying ‘shut up’.

            meh

          • miravox 20.3.1.1.2

            “So that means lots of standardistas have been alienated. In the lead up to an election year. A great way for the left to shoot itself in the foot.”

            I was just saying yesterday how alienated I felt by the backlash against women on this blog. I feel a bit rejuvenated after reading the efforts of QoT to set the scene beyond sector interests, Karol’s work on poverty, weka’s clear, insightful writing and stargazer’s recent contributions.

            I almost feel welcome again.

            • enjoy every sandwich 20.3.1.1.2.1

              That’s great for you, enjoy the echo chamber. Many others will gladly not bother with TS and put their energies into commenting on dimpost, thedailyblog, bow alley, stuff etc.

              • Bullshit – you wouldn’t have a clue what ‘others’ think. Anyone who thinks that those sites you quoted can make up or replace ts is delusional imo.

              • Te Reo Putake

                “Many others will gladly not bother with TS and put their energies into commenting on dimpost, thedailyblog, bow alley, stuff etc.”

                So says the 238th comment on Open Mike 02/01/2014. Yep, they’re staying away in droves, Sandwich, point well made.

                ps, happy new year, Standardistas, hope you’re all ready to rock and roll, because this is going to be a fun year. My predictions:

                Banks gets 2 years jail, to be served at home with a electronic bracelet attached to his chopper.

                Key calls a snap election while drunk. His wig leaves him to stand for ACT in Epsom.

                Tat Loo wins Otago in a landslide, despite refusing to have his name or face on the billboards because he “doesn’t think the public care about identity politics”.

                The Standard continues to be witty, challenging and fun, even on days when I’m not around. ;)

                • seeker

                  The Voice of Reason.Very well said, rofl at Key’s wig.

                  A Happy New Year to all at the always worthy Standard

                  May QoT’s excellent call to arms be heeded and the job be well and truly done and Key’s disingenuous spinning,grinning bald- pate -revealed head delivered on his self serving platter with plenty of side dishes of national cronies. Boom- liberated New Zealand and a breathtakingly Happy 2014 for 99% of us.

                • QoT

                  So says the 238th comment on Open Mike 02/01/2014. Yep, they’re staying away in droves, Sandwich, point well made.

                  Snap.

  20. Philj 21

    Xox
    All this tittle tattle, boring. We are witnessing ‘politics’ for the world with too many people and too few resources. The minutia, squabbling and all, is self abuse.. RWNJ ‘s love thus bickering. Keep your eye on the ball. It’s not easy. Good luck.

    • Sacha 21.1

      “too few resources. The minutia, squabbling and all”

      Fear of not having enough brings out our shriveled selves. Funny how people don’t respect those.

  21. enjoy every snadwich 22

    @MS – that’s great for you but from reading the comments it is clear that many people do not share your opinion. But go ahead, ignore the practical realities of shitting on your audience in an election year, see how well that works out for the left…

  22. joe90 23

    Contagion!.

    New Hampshire’s House votes early next month whether to legalize up to 1 ounce of marijuana for recreational use for anyone age 21 and older.

    Supporters propose taxing the drug when it is sold at retail at a rate of $30 per ounce and letting people grow up to six marijuana plants in a controlled environment.

    http://news.yahoo.com/nh-house-vote-legalizing-1-155327915.html

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    Pundit | 30-10
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    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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