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Open mike 03/02/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:59 am, February 3rd, 2014 - 250 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

 

250 comments on “Open mike 03/02/2014”

  1. North 1

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11195720

    But, but, Granny………you’ve always told me, and I believed you, ShonKey Python’s shit doesn’t stink. What’s the hap’s Gran’ ???

    • Tiger Mountain 1.1

      Herald editorials are generally written by the invisible man so it is hard to tell where they are actually coming from when they very occasionally remove their tongues from the boss class rear end.

      Belated slap back for ShonKey’s Police raids on media offices during the ‘teapot tapes’ affair?

    • amirite 1.2

      Yet they omitted the tiny fact that over the same period John Key was absent for 81 days – wouldn’t want to miss his Thursday golf, would he? Yet he was quick to berate another MP for justified absences. Stinks of desperation, Mr Key does.

  2. amirite 2

    Monday, John Key wakes up with Winston having him by his short and curlies.

    • A.Ziffel 2.1

      I suspect Winston has no interest in dealing with Key and would prefer to recreate the 2005-2008 arrangement with Labour.
      1. He recovers the Foreign Affairs & Racing portfolios.
      2. The Greens are kept out of the coalition.

  3. libertarian-coup @ act..?

    (and the only one of their (mainly) nutjob/randite/self-interest/greed-driven/fuck-the-poor ‘libertarian’ policies that i wd support..

    i.e…legalising pot..

    ..the new party president ran away from so fast..

    ..that i swear he dropped his stash..)

    ..and i wonder if these two libertarians know that their heroine..the (ever-grim/miserablist) ayn rand..

    ..who (in)famously railed against anyone who took financial-support/welfare from a govt..

    ..as a leech/loser..

    ..that..despite her personal wealth.. she took years worth of welfare..

    ..but just under a different name..(her husbands..)

    ..do they know that..?

    phillip ure..

    • tricledrown 3.1

      ..phil… I thought you would have reefered to Rush Limbaugh ‘s admission he uses Medical marajuana.
      Maybe our right wing nut job commentaters could take a leaf out his book.
      So to speak.

  4. Coming to a Post Office Near You: Loans You Can Trust?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-warren/coming-to-a-post-office-n_b_4709485.html?ref=topbar

    .the post office here in new zealand should do the same..

    ..this would both breath new life/income (charging a fair interest-rate)into an increasingly stagnating/shrinking business-model..

    ..and would also do social-good..

    ..in wrenching the poorest out of the clutches of the blood-sucking loan-sharks/money-lenders/foreign-banks..

    ..what’s not to love about all that..?

    ..the infrastructure/skill-base is all there..

    ..easy-as to do..

    phillip ure..

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Our Post Office already does that – or it was supposed to anyway – through Kiwibank. What’s needed is legislation that cuts out the loan sharks.

  5. karol 5

    Genesis probably going on the block sooner rather than later. I despair at this government – continuing to betray its people.

    • ScottGN 5.1

      Yet another sign that the waters are closing in over Key’s head Karol. If they are going to proceed with this sale (and they are come hell or high water) then their options have become very limited. They can’t schedule the sale too close to the election (a tacit admission that the programme has been a failure) and it’s clear that even if National wins the election there will not be a majority in the next parliament for further asset sales. It’s bloody depressing though to read in the article that Bill English will practically have to give Genesis away in order to get any investor interest.

      • Bill 5.1.1

        How else they going to raise money to fund post election spending promises?

        Thinking here of a thief stealing my wallet and then offering me coin for bus fare.

    • Will@Welly 5.2

      Desperation karol, pure and simple. They want to prove the have a “real” surplus. ‘Yesterday’s announcement regarding the confiscation of driver’s licences for outstanding fines smacks of a growing desperation by this Government to find revenue. $48 mill., the size of John Key’s/Bill English’s ego. Commentators elsewhere suggest that those buying Genesis shares will get them at bargain basement prices. The loser, the New Zealand economy, and the New Zealand taxpayer.

      • Ed 5.2.1

        I do not recall the legislation to allow the confiscation of driver licenses – has that gone through or is it to be rushed through under urgency? Perhaps it was an authoritarian previous bill that merely expanded the power to regulate nearly anything the authoritarian Nats want to do . . .

        • Will@Welly 5.2.1.1

          It was announced yesterday, and comes into place in two weeks time. Go figure.
          We live in a “dictatorship”.

  6. tricledrown 6

    The ACT pary have sacked their latest leader how long is the next leader going to last.

  7. phillip seymour hoffman died with a syringe in his arm..

    phillip ure..

    • Chooky 7.1

      did you know him?

      seems like a silly thing to do

      • phillip ure 7.1.1

        @ chooky..

        ..od’s often happens when people haven’t used for awhile..

        ..and overestimate their tolerance-level..

        ..(which of course just confirms the need for legal shooting-galleries..

        ..where users can get clean syringes/medical-supervision..(in case of misadventure/overdose..)

        ..unless suicide..all deaths from heroin overdoses are preventable-accidents..

        ..and this is reason number 53 why all drugs must be moved out of justice..and into health..)

        phillip ure..

    • MaxFletcher 7.2

      Are you sure it was a syringe Philip? Not a can of sugary and caffeinated soda which you insist is worse for you than a speedball?

      • phillip ure 7.2.1

        @sugary/caffeine drinks..from the look of him..i think he had a few too many of those too..

        ..heroin and sugar addictions often go hand in hand..

        ..and c’mon! m. fletcher..are you seriously defending a lifetime use of sugar/caffeine drinks..?

        ..diabetes..?..anyone..?

        ..heroin doesn’t give you diabetes..eh..?..

        ..it gets you addicted to heroin..but it don’t give ya diabetes/high blood pressure etc..

        and the attendant problems with that heroin..are often social..

        ..problems mainly brought about by the blackmarket status of the drug..

        ..and just on that for a mo’..

        ..how do those moralists who advocate illegality/blackmarket continuation..

        ..how do they reconcile women/men forced into prostitution by that blackmarket status..?

        ..when if handled as a medical/health issue..those men/women wouldn’t be forced into prostitution..their addiction would be managed..tapered off..when that time/decision comes..

        ..which is the bigger sin..?..luvvies…?

        ..using narcotics..?..

        or being forced into prostitution/life-of-crime by the illegality of the substances..?

        ..prohibitionist-idiots obviously choose the former..

        ..it’s much like those rightwing anti-abortionists who also advocate the ripping away of state support..

        once that child is born..

        ..and are ‘relaxed’ about child-poverty..and certainly object to any of their taxes going to alleviate that child-poverty..

        ..how the fuck do these foam-flecked-lips fuckwits reconcile those two..?

        ..in their heads/twisted little brains..?

        ..and on heroin vs sugar/caffeine/shit-drinks..

        ..i can only cite doctors who become addicted to ..say..morphine..

        ..they use for however long..(using ‘clean’ substances..not blackmarket crap cut with w.t.f..?..)

        ..then stop..and have no after-effects..

        ..whereas heavy longterm use of sugar/caffeine/shit-drinks..?

        ..diabetes etc..?..anyone..?

        phillip ure..

    • McFlock 7.3

      a great loss, regardless of circumstance

      • phillip ure 7.3.1

        @ mcflock..aye..

        ..all accidental heroin deaths are..

        ..i lost a cousin that way..

        ..someone more full of life you would walk a long way to find..

        ..but he was also a careless drug-pig..

        ..he should still be alive..

        ..vale..stephen..

        ..phillip ure..

  8. North 8

    My, how the crazy right wing is burdened by a common thread of amorality and hypocrisy – scabbing on those who gave you power (Douglas, Prebble, Bassett), perkbusting turned love perking (Hide), grave robbing (Garrett), shady funding perverting democracy (Brash, Banks).

    What a bad bunch !

    Poor Flossifa Whyte. He has a hellish job ahead of him cleaning out the cesspit of ACT. I suspect the specious vocational tag “philosopher” ain’t gonna be any help at all.

    • miravox 8.1

      But Dr Whyte is a bit of a Libertarian purist so should manage to rise above it all

      I have a great contempt for pragmatism…..about
      doing what gets [you] elected rather than doing what is right. Doing what keeps [you] in power. It is only because I care about truth and reason that I expose [this] nonsense and get riled about it.

      The man is obviously not for turning, so don’t expect any special treatment for the Epsom seat :roll:

      • phillip ure 8.1.1

        @ miravox..

        ..heh..!

        phillip ure..

      • Ennui 8.1.2

        Always be fearful of somebody (Left or Right) who cares about “truth and reason”. Both claim purity but are wildly interpretative, and reflect the starting viewpoint of whoever makes the construct pertaining to reason and truth.

        By pragmatism I assume Dr Whyte (please no, not another academic trying to tell us how economies and societies work!!!!!) means “somebody elses view of truth and reason” that cuts over his own self interest.

      • greywarbler 8.1.3

        That wood is too hard for any kind of shaping by a wood-turner for a useful purpose, ie a table or chair leg.

    • Chooky 8.2

      he gives academic philosophers a bad name….i thought they were supposed to be paragons of rationality , ethics and politically astute….eg. .John Rawls ‘ Justice as Fairness’…. and all that

      ….dont tell me all my struggles with academic Anglo Saxon philosophy have come down to the (Thatcherite , Ayn Rand) NZ Act Party ?!!!…quelle horreur…philosophers of the world unite!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Theory_of_Justice

      …..also he has been imported from Britain….weird ….what is British philosophy coming to? ….i hope he wasnt educated at Oxford or Cambridge

      we need some NZ philosophers to stand up and be counted here…where do they stand on their fellow academic …..Dr Whyte?

      ….come in all NZ philosophers

      • miravox 8.2.1

        According to a 2006 ‘free radical’ interview http://www.freeradical.co.nz/pdf/issue72/freeradical72.pdf he hadn’t read Ayn Rand. I guess he has now, otherwise he’d struggle to talk with many other libertarian zealots.

        More into Robert Nozick – critiqued here… http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/the_dilettante/2011/06/the_liberty_scam.html

        • Chooky 8.2.1.1

          miravox…you may have to summarise what those philosopers are up to( they make my head hurt )…i was more interested in Continental philosophy myself …existentialism, postmodernism etc…made much more sense to me ( I did get some papers at stage 3 level , even an honours paper…..but my chooky brain found the way some philosophers think slightly off the planet …maybe their DNA has been contaminated by aliens…as an experiment)

          but seriously …..if the Left is to counter Dr Whyte someone needs to take him on and summarise and counter his arguments in a way everyone can understand ( maybe a post here)

          ….seems like Act is trying to go upmarket and blind the NZ voter with ‘brilliance’….it needs to be shown to be still the inegalitarian bullshit that it is…more monetarism and Neoliberal economics

      • Ennui 8.2.2

        Actually Chooky there have been and are lots of academic philosophers from the Left who claim to be paragons of rationality ethics as well…think Marx.

        Be warned, as with their Right wing equivalents academic philosophers spread virulent ideas that sound really good. Not long after the ideas of these academic rationalists become “mainstream” people start to suffer, they get harassed, imprisoned and killed by the state. They get thrown on the scrapheap of a “rational” economy. They get marginalised, ignored, they become non people.

        Universally it is these victims own fault, they did not fit the ideas that inflicted their demise, they were impure.

        • Chooky 8.2.2.1

          Yes agree Ennui….maybe I am a bit naive about the role of academic philosophy….i thought it was the pure pursuit of truth and understanding in the albeit rarified air of university academia…and in Anglo Saxon countries wedded to the ideas of logical positivism and empirical science…. falsifiability etc

          ..imo……all the more reason why Dr Whyte from Cambridge University has his ideas summarised , itemised, atomised and dissected…by Left wing philosophers or just the Left wing in general…..

          …and why he himself undergoes psychological profiling ie what is his background , what makes and made him think the way he does ?…was he a young Thatcherite?….why is he attracted to the ideas of the right wing?…how long has he lived in Britain?….why has he come to New Zealand?…why has he come to lead the Act Party?…who is paying him?….does he have affiliations with the USA?….if so what affiliations?…who did he vote for in the UK?…what political Party affiliations did he have there?…what groups did he belong to?

          ….as the postmodernists say….philosophical and political ideas do not occur in a vacuum ….they are personally and environmentally sited and they are about power

          • David H 8.2.2.1.1

            Hey Chooky. Has Phillip ure taken control of your fullstop key?

            • Chooky 8.2.2.1.1.1

              nope still seems to be working…still waiting for the phillip ure Vegan Sausage though

            • Chooky 8.2.2.1.1.2

              David H…you weren’t casting aspersions on my writing style were you?….i thought i was quite clear but i did go on a bit…you know you dont have to read everything everyone says….in fact i would suggest you dont…you just skim read

              ….also bear in mind you made be trawling through a pile of chicken shit…in which case get out of there fast…and do something useful

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      Well, John Armstrong thinks he’s the right man for the job.

  9. Rosie 9

    Hey bad12, that person you talked about on karol’s “how are you all doing?” campaign article from Friday, what a bastard! Excellent come back on your behalf though……

    I’m off, have a good day – it’s a good ‘un!

    • bad12 9.1

      Lolz Rosie, that and a bit more, my first thought when i discovered just ‘who’ was postering over mine was to take a little physical action, but, a quick equation of the situation told me that such a course of action was unwise to say the least,

      Gutter politics, He was easy meat for a deviant like me to dish out a little punishment to, His little support crew that kept Him in the organizations top job had mostly wandered off through lack of any real commitment to the kaupapa and the same crew that later helped me leaflet the letterboxes of the Hairdo’s Ohairu helped me at the organizations AGM to cast a vote against Him,

      A good learning curve tho that taught me that a small loose organization of a handful of people having no specific structure can have a certain amount of success in taking political action outside of any specific political structure,(and a lotta laughs while your at it)…

      • srylands 9.1.1

        I had to check to ensure I wasn’t missing something.

        Personal pronouns are not normally capitalized, except in particular cases. In English the first-person subject pronoun I is always capitalized, and in some Christian texts the personal pronouns referring to Jesus or God are capitalized (He, Thou, etc.).

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_pronoun#Case

        • McFlock 9.1.1.1

          I love watching tory robots trying to understand hu-man concepts.

          They get so worked up over prescribed definitions and encyclopaedic extracts, yet consistently miss the “metamessage”, the vibe.

        • bad12 9.1.1.2

          Yawn!!!, SSLands, boring and irrelevant, i thought you would have noticed that i couldn’t give a s**t what it is your attempting to push at the moment…

  10. greywarbler 10

    An item of the news – licences to be confiscated of those with large unpaid fines, likely to be young men. Making it harder for them to get work, to get to work etc. Very stupid but fits the punitive blind style of intellectually challenged TINA-style RWNJs.

    The Dog and Lemon Guide Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson made intelligent response. He didn’t see it as a useful measure.
    http://www.dogandlemon.com/media
    I wondered if the AA would agree once again in their usual ‘common sense’ approach that unthinkingly follows accepted norms, whether consistently unsuccessful or not, and they did.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      But will a Left govt commit to reversing such punitive measures?

      • Ennui 10.1.1

        I dont think they will. Having spent a lot of time debating crime and punishment with assorted people of all viewpoints I came to this conclusion: a large proportion of the population display traits that are punitive to their fellow person(s).

        Watch how people interact in the workplace: some encourage, accept, support, some have the prime modus operandi of demand and cajole. A lack of forgiveness and acceptance seems to go hand in hand with those who demand and want to punish non compliance. These characters seem to me to be a large section of the workforce, and I bet they would split 50/50 into Left and Right. In summary I think that NZ has a very large slice of the population who are at heart authoritarian and punitive.

    • Will@Welly 10.2

      Those speaking on behalf of the A.A. don’t represent the “average” member. Their polling is selective. Tends to be very, very P.C. and middle – upper class.
      Clive Matthew-Wilson makes more sense than those running the A.A.

    • cricklewood 10.3

      As far as I heard once a payment program was up and running they would be able to retain a licence.
      Having worked with some guys with eye watering amounts of fines ($10000+) most had lost their licences on de merit points,dangerous driving, pink stickers for cut springs or DIC. All were paying back a token $20 a week or so, others had gone back to court and swapped it for community service of some description.
      Quite how we deal with the accrual of such fines is fraught either way most I knew preferred paying there $20 than getting 200 or so hours of community service that meant losing Saturdays for half the year. The financials of getting effectively $50 an hour written off at community service rather than actually paying the full amount didn’t come into it.
      All the guys I have met considered it a bit of joke initially before growing up a tad and realising it was a millstone around their neck and regretting the clowning about of there late teenage years.

      Need to address the car culture somehow so the fines don’t accrue….

      • greywarbler 10.3.1

        Need to address the automatic fine culture too. Plus turn the ‘lads’ to some useful work in their spare time. What was the point of imposing a fine, the authorities should ask themselves. Why it was a deterrent and to change behaviour. Find a way to do that. When they are changing, review the fine and decrease it to one that pays for the costs of adminstration. Not hang it round the miscreants neck like a millstone. Pillocks in charge.

        I remember picking up some broken bottle one had just dropped out a car, as I wanted it done well and get all the little sharp bits. I pointed it out, said you should be doing this, and set about it myself. They need to be trained, even if it’s a strain. Most of the youfs haven’t got anything in their brain besides this moment, and the next 30 seconds. Have a look at DeeDee on Limmy’s Show and he can give you a laugh at the type.

        • cricklewood 10.3.1.1

          Guess you could have some kind of suspended fine, keep your nose clean the total owed decreases by x per year. Perhaps double what you pay if on an arrangement?
          I think fines for moderate speeding no wof or rego should be treated differently to say pink sticker fines for cutting springs, DIC or dangerous driving where the actions have directly put other road users in danger.

          • greywarbler 10.3.1.1.1

            Yes let’s have some purpose to the laws and check for effectiveness. Don’t keep taking the pills if they are having side effects. Check the diagnosis and the prescription or you end up sicker. Dr Citizen said that!

    • freedom 10.4

      has anyone raised the bloody obvious?

      A driver’s licence is the primary form of ID for most people,
      and for many the only form of photo ID they have.

      • srylands 10.4.1

        Dude, seriously? That is your argument?

        http://www.nzpost.co.nz/realme-id-apply/hanz-18-card

        • freedom 10.4.1.1

          Thanks srylands,
          good to know our local Australian commuter has such an intimate knowledge of the NZ ID infrastructure.
          All I can say is, to my knowledge, I do not know a single adult person who has one. But you have piqued my interest and I think I will start making inquiries of friends et al about their use.

          • greywarbler 10.4.1.1.1

            I think srylands is basing his approach on the guru that Ahmed and Homer struggled up the mountain to see. He gave Homer the right to ask three questions which would lead to enlightenment. Homer asked three times if he was really the guru! And then, reassured, he wanted to ask the questions but no time was up (you dozy blighter).

            Srylands too sits on high and gazes down at us with either amusement or disdain and ideas, that change constantly from A to B and back, and has no truck with this business of thinking past B, even venturing to Z.

      • cricklewood 10.4.2

        Guys I knew had been out to get 18+ cards. Not sure what they cost…

  11. ScottGN 11

    Apparently that Whyte guy, giddy with excitement, believes he can raise Act’s vote to, wait for it, 3%! I remember the salad days for Act, Brash and Hide et al telling anyone stupid enough to listen that they were going to get 15%.

    • @scott..

      ..act..the party of the margin of error..

      ..phillip ure..

      • amirite 11.1.1

        The guy is a weirdo, must be a right wing thing:

        ‘Once a columnist for The Times and the Wall St Journal, his writing is spiky, provocative and based on the premise that the state intrudes too much on our lives and liberty – in tax, religion, prison sentences, drinking laws, almost everything.

        One column criticised the Australian Advertising Standards Authority for banning an advert where a toddler drove a car (in case it might cause even a single copycat incident).

        “The AASB should have let the child die,” he wrote mockingly. “It is worth it for the fun of watching an amusing advert. Some will find the idea of sacrificing a child for the sake of a little entertainment objectionable. But it is not a little entertainment. When millions of people are entertained a little, that is a lot of entertainment – easily worth the life of a child.”

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9625583/ACT-hopefuls-jostle-for-party-leadership

  12. greywarbler 12

    CV
    I am suspicious that governments of either colour are using fines for revenue collection, so not bothering to actually attempt to educate and change behaviours, or the law (so that it provides a reasonable template for behaviour that doesn’t impose unnecessary controls).

    And also using punitive laws to divert attention away from the real problems that their self-serving policies are causing (oh those dreadful criminals who haven’t paid their fines, arrest them at the airport, take away their driving licences, they shouldn’t be able to get away with that, and I always pay my fines or if they didn’t break laws they wouldn’t get fined – smugly).

    My wife is having a baby and I’ve got to get to hospital, or I’m speeding to get away from a huge fire, or any other matter of importance personal or nationwide (draw gun, no sir, step away from that car and spread your legs, USA style).

    And you ask me what the Left will do CV? That’s what I feel in my gut, but I hope with at least one hundred of my synapses.

    • Bearded Git 12.1

      Grey-if you don’t speed you don’t get a fine.

      Those that call speeding fines “revenue raising” are talking complete and utter bollocks.

      • phillip ure 12.1.1

        do you have/wear a cheescutter cap..there..b.g..?

        ..y’know..!..to compliment the beard..?

        ..and..full untrammeled growth..?..un-trimmed..?

        ..if so..i think i have seen you about..

        ..on the roads..

        ..phillip ure..

      • greywarbler 12.1.2

        Bearded Git
        I have caught you making sensible comments and suggestions on here. I will keep looking out for others.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.3

        Grey-if you don’t speed you don’t get a fine.

        Yes but at 50km/h if your wife bleeds to death en route to hospital, you won’t get a speeding fine either.

      • emergency mike 12.1.4

        “Grey-if you don’t speed you don’t get a fine.

        Those that call speeding fines “revenue raising” are talking complete and utter bollocks.”

        So, let me see if I’m grasping this, you’re saying that if I don’t go over the speed limit I won’t get a fine. I’m with you so far. Then you reckon that this fact is evidence that raising revenue plays no part in the issuance of said fines. You’ve lost me there.

        • McFlock 12.1.4.1

          $50mil, while it might be nice to have personally, does not strike me as being here nor there in the govt coffers. Compared with dept, for example.

          • emergency mike 12.1.4.1.1

            My comment was directed at the apparent logic of Git’s argument rather than the content. Though I guess it’s possible he might not have even intended his second statement to be implied from the first. In which case there’s no kind of argument at all.

    • McFlock 12.2

      there are actually exemptions for emergency situations, but you need to appeal the ticket (if you’re ticketed).

      I’m not sure that the revenue amounts to a hill of beans in the government coffers compared to even a modest policy announcement.

      That having been said, it seems that for some people the “bigger the mess” ads and all the road signage is insufficient education, and fines aren’t a deterrent (especially for the people who pay them on time). I’ve never had a traffic ticket or a parking ticket.

      It’s not that difficult – you match the speedo to the conditions or to the legal limit of the road you are on, whichever is lower.

      • greywarbler 12.2.1

        Well the people that probably amass the most debt in tickets, are the young men, and some young women, and the drunks, and the delicensed?. Many of these are multiple offenders, and incorrigibles. But some of the young ones will grow out of their extreme testosterone, and settle down to being regular ba….ds that don’t signal, and park over two spaces etc.

        I think that education may help those and no amount of chest thumping or hymn singing by law-abiding saints, I’m thinking of Bearded Git here, never having a go at you McFlock, is useful for actually achieving effective improvement in behaviour. I have heard that recidivist drivers with cancelled licences just get some punishment, no concerted, determined attempt at re-education, and are turned loose into the community.

        The government is more concerned about thumping education around the heads of the unemployed trying to fit their awkward human shapes into tiny, round holes, than do something useful for the driving and walking citizens’ safety. It might mean less police chases too. As someone put it in a Brit crime story ‘the ancient sport of police car chasing’.

        It’s a blood sport that is another blot on our country’s heraldic banner, a corrosion on the silver cup for Best Improvement in the 21st Century (so far). Perhaps we could use a red blot on a white and black background as our new flag, the blots to form a Rorschach stain, so that people could decide for themselves what meaning it has. And they would come up with some doozies for sure.

        • McFlock 12.2.1.1

          Basically, the tickets are too indirect to really connect with a psychologically immature offender, and too easy for someone with a job to pay.

          But more to the point, enforcement of all driving rules are too scarce – red lights for example. Statistically, it’s likely you can blow through a hundred red lights before a cop car happens to be at the same intersection and pulls you up for it. Same with stop signs. Same with speed (there is one section of road I can think of that’s 50km, but the traffic flows at 60km, incl cop cars. The trick there is to not stand out from the rest).

          Really, though, the license confiscation is another dogwhistle on law and order, without really having much of an impact.

          • greywarbler 12.2.1.1.1

            The speedlimit is another talking point. A 100 lmh cap on so much that shouldn’t be travelled over 90km and then on a straight stretch – rare enough and without houses, cross roads, you can’t do 120 km/h. If the traffic is flowing at 60 kmh it may be that that could be the appropriate speed in the place you referred to.

            What I would like to see is more driver concentration and courtesy. A mandatory change down or 10 kmh decrease at roundabouts. And at lights, a ready driver making an immediate start when its green and the road is clear. It’s not good enough to potter through at your own pace after wool-gathering.

            • McFlock 12.2.1.1.1.1

              The 120kph thing is valid right up until something strays onto the road or a truck loses its load, in which case you’re upped the velocity (the v in e=mv^2) by 20%.

              60kph? Just because everyone does it that way doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for driving in a high-pedestrian area.

              and the “change down or drop 10kph” is an enforcement nightmare.

              But you really lost me at people not jumping off greens quick enough, when running reds is a problem. That just means you want people to drive in a way that suits you, rather than any deep policy considerations.

            • Bearded Git 12.2.1.1.1.2

              I’ve just been driving in Spain (singing hyms in my hair shirt at the same time of course) and there they have 90 k limits for many roads that are sealed and of excellent quality. On the other hand motorways have a 120k limit.

  13. JK 13

    Following up on Mickey S’s thread yesterday re Metiria and her castle/clothes, the Herald has a story this morning which shows exactly how much of a castle Metiria lives in – a recycled “cheapy” “do-up” , and she also buys clothes from the Warry Whare and other cheaper places ! ! This is a brilliant riposte to those Nat bitches !

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11195535

    • Tracey 13.1

      This is the truth that wayne mapp finds offensive

      “I have absolutely no regrets for naming that elitism and that sexism and that racism,” she retorted. “I have no regrets for calling them out.

      “I don’t care what they look like. I don’t care what they wear. I just really wish they were genuinely compassionate for the people who need them.”

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 13.2

      I just read Metiria’s speech – which was what ‘Tolley’ was responding to

      Methinks Metiria hit KEY’s sore spot
      Methinks what Tolley said was at The Dear Leader’s request.
      It was John Key getting his female parliamentary members to do his dirty work – as he is wont to do.

      From Metiria’s speech in parliament [The debate on Prime Minister's Speech]

      Tēnā koe, Mr Assistant Speaker. Where was the inspiration and the hope for our kids in the Prime Minister’s speech? Where was the compassion and the humanity for our kids in the Prime Minister’s speech? It said nothing about making life better for our children; nothing about them deserving a good life or having a fair future. Children just existed in that speech as outcomes and outputs and, even more horrifyingly, as targets. Children just do not exist for John Key and for the National Party. And if we would like another example of that, after that miserable speech from John Key, I think we can see it in the answers that he gave to questions in the House today.

      I note that John Key talked about how he was a child who grew up in poverty and how he was able to escape that poverty because of the support that he got from the State and the great, free public education that he received. When I asked him whether he will guarantee that all of today’s children will have access to exactly those same services, to secure State housing, to a universal benefit—remember the family benefit—and to a free public education, he said no. He said no and he sat down, because he will deliberately deny today’s children the same opportunities that he had as a child to escape poverty and to do well. – Metiria Turei

      Did our media anywhere relay any part of this speech that ‘Tolley’ was responding to?

  14. North 14

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11195130

    From comments yesterday, query as to why baggage Tolley looked so hoha in the pic with Metiria.

    Answer – she’d just spied a poor person. Hands on hips, bossy a la Judge Judy – “Hey, you, poor person over there – what the fuck are you doing raining on my (fashion) parade ? Get outa here !”

  15. For those of you curious about more information about Fluoride and mass medication here is your chance to attend a presentation of Dr. Paul Connett who is one of the most informed people with regards to the above issues.

  16. North 16

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11195477

    Another howler from that thick scribbler McIvor nee Woodham. So thick she is she doesn’t even realise that coupled with the chatty crap style and content of the article, its very title “…….how to flag down the boss” comes across entirely as “……..how to lick the arse of the boss”. What an embarrassing ingratiating idiot !

    • freedom 16.1

      and does anyone believe that Key casually strolls around Auckland, taking the evening air?

      love this bit though! “I picked they were tourists”
      Kerre got something right at least

    • North 16.2

      Quick postscript – in a fairly short article in which McIvor nee Woodham claims to “take the pulse of the nation” on her squawkback show (lol) the shameless ShonKey Python schmoozer/acolyte utilises the “I” or the “I’m” words no less than 23 times. For Christ’s Sake Kerre. Do you bash this shit out on the dunny or something ? Lift your game !

      • greywarbler 16.2.1

        Kerre has kindly given us a sneak peek over part of her house.
        First that contentious dunny.
        ‘Don’t be so coarse’ she protests.
        I have a toilet furnished in the best possible taste, very modern of course, done in light pastel cream, walls and ceiling not white that’s so passe, and with friezes imported from Rome and so risque, showing some of those Roman orgies you know, and on the floor I have ceramic tiles, heated of course, with gold flecks in them very understated but smart, and the toilet itself well I had that imported from Italy, done in Merano glass with a special treatment that makes it like arcoroc mugs, you know unbreakable, and I wanted a marble seat but they said it would be too heavy for the glass and also very cold for the rear end you know. So I had to settle for titanium, even would cope with Bennett and Brownlee if they come visiting on barbecue days!

        What was that you were saying about my game? Well I just know that everybody in NZ likes my toilet, which did I mention has a bidet beside it, and it has a special cistern in which I can put champagne, so you get just the best quality hospitality from top to bottom at my place,
        when you visit my tinkle palace! How do I know about all NZs? Well all the people I know just love it, and we are the trendsetters in Auckland you know (or wherever she haunts) and it’s automatic the rest will follow on isn’t it.

      • Rodel 16.2.2

        Don’t we love columnists & their kind who can only write about themselves instead of real issues?
        There’s a word for that beginning with ‘e…’.

  17. freedom 17

    want a giggle with your coffee?

  18. Crunchtime 18

    I just found a really interesting article that explains pretty clearly what progressives need to start doing. Desperately need to start doing.

    “George Lakoff, professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Berkeley, has been working on moral frames for 50 years.

    “There’s a difference between progressive morality, which is great, and the progressive mindset, which is half OK and half awful.”

    Totally recommend this, great reading:

    http://www.alternet.org/culture/george-lakoff-communication-liberals-do-everything-wrong?page=0%2C1

    • yeah it’s a good one..crunchtime..

      ..i posted it here yesterday…(with attendant local-context comment..)

      ..maybe those with a whoar-allergy might follow yr link..

      ..i hope so..

      ..as i said yesterday..it really is a must-read..

      ..and the cunnliffe baby-bonus is a clear example of the problems with progressives..

      ..as highlighted/defined in lakoffs’ piece..

      ..phillip ure..

    • karol 18.2

      And there Lakoff goes framing gender equality, racism, homophobia – issues that are to do with institutionalised, and socially-embedded discrimination against whole sections of society as “individual” issues…..

      Very US- *sigh*. Just keep beating up on the left. That’ll help.

      We have been going on about unions, poverty, anti-worker employment legislation and the immorality of it….. it’s the medium/media as much as the message.

      • phillip ure 18.2.1

        so..karol..his whole thesis is crap..?

        phillip ure..

      • Bill 18.2.2

        hmm. I just read him as bemoaning the fact that the parliamentary or congressional left got all piecemeal in its shit after having lost sight of the bigger picture.

        • Colonial Viper 18.2.2.1

          And particularly, that the Left is now afraid to make a moral argument, afraid to claim universal ideas, and afraid to take a stand purely on principle.

          While thinking that resorting to screeds of intellectualisation and research papers will do the trick.

      • Crunchtime 18.2.3

        “We have been going on about unions, poverty, anti-worker employment legislation and the immorality of it….. it’s the medium/media as much as the message.”

        This is exactly the problem that Lakoff is describing: a piecemeal, facts-based approach lacking in imagination-capturing vision.

        Lakoff’s own politics and viewpoint aren’t the issue. It’s this:

        “Progressives want to follow the polls … Conservatives don’t follow the polls; they want to change them. Political ground is gained not when you successfully inhabit the middle ground, but when you successfully impose your framing as the ‘common-sense’ position.”

        • karol 18.2.3.1

          I find Lakoff is following the whole neoliberal market-based approach to politics – focusing on the messaging, etc. I don’t follow polls either. It’s the MSM that does a lot of the framing.Lakoff misses the whole issue of political power, and how the right uses the power of the wealthy corporates.

          The strength of the left is its grass roots – direct engagement with the grass roots, sidelining a lot of the PR-focused MSM.

          Actually, in NZ I don’t think there is that much of a piecemeal approach – maybe by parliamentary parties at times.

          But look at how the corporate MSM and National have tried to undermine the power of the communications of the Green Party: consistent repetition by the Greens (and lately labour) about poverty and inequalities and the power-imbalances etc.

          • Crunchtime 18.2.3.1.1

            I agree the MSM does much of the framing… So why are the MSM so anti-Labour, anti-Green? The way I see it they will actually be better off in a lot of ways if some decent progressive legislation were passed, giving low and middle-income folk some more disposable income… More money gets spent into the economy, more money for corporates to hoover up one way or another.

            Does the MSM have a vested interest in keeping the poor ground into the dirt?

            Some sort of sea-change is needed.

            What is better for the poor is better for all of us.

          • Crunchtime 18.2.3.1.2

            just to add to that, I still think a lot of the discussion on this site and many other progressive sites and elsewhere is falling into the very trap Lakoff describes: repeating the opposition point of view, arguing against the opposition point of view, talking about how it’s bad and wrong… Another quote from the article:

            “there was a horrible governor there, and the Democrats were so stupid that they put up billboards all over the state with a picture of him smiling. They had his name in large letters next to the picture, and it says, ‘Why is this man smiling?’ And then in smaller type, it has a list of his positions, all from his point of view? As if everybody will recognise that this is a horrible man. Instead, it is a billboard in his favour. It’s about time progressives got out there and said what’s true about themselves, as well as what’s true of the other side. If you have a strong position, let’s hear it.”

          • phillip ure 18.2.3.1.3

            @ karol..

            “..It’s the MSM that does a lot of the framing.Lakoff misses the whole issue of political power, and how the right uses the power of the wealthy corporates…”

            ..yes they undoubtedly do..use that power..

            but the just-ignore-them! admonition from you just reeks of helplessness/victimhood..

            ..and to totally blame the media..is just wrong..

            ..however flawed they/that model may be..

            ..they can only work with what they are given..

            ..and to claim that media would ignore any such (coherent) vision-mongering..

            ..and so don’t do it..?

            ..once again..just reeks of helplessness/victimhood..

            ..and of ‘scared’ political parties on the left..

            ..and yr claims that poverty/inequality are being ignored..

            ..that just isn’t so..

            ..yes..for far too long they have been ignored-issues..

            …but this is no longer the case..

            ..even key is runnng around making (laughable) claims how he/the tory-toads are ‘helping the poor’..

            ..and poverty/inequality will be major issues for all parties..

            ..in the upcoming election-campaign..

            phillip ure..

          • Colonial Viper 18.2.3.1.4

            The strength of the left is its grass roots – direct engagement with the grass roots, sidelining a lot of the PR-focused MSM.

            Is that the strength of “direct engagement” which saw 800,000 voters stay at home in 2011?

            Frankly its obvious that the Left is poorly connecting; Left policies would clearly help 80% or more of the population even from just a narrow economic standpoint…but it can barely claim 45% of the vote. That’s a massive disconnect right there.

            • karol 18.2.3.1.4.1

              Firstly there seems to be some confusion in this discussion between the board left and the parliamentary left.

              The electoral disconnection comes from the Labour Party’s failure to draw as much as in the past on the strength oft the left – the collective flax roots. In contrast, parliamentary parties, Labour especially, have adopted a top down managerialist approach. Lakoff is saying the left should continue with such an approach, but do it better.

              Lakoff accuses the (US) left of fearing to make emotive, moral arguments, while the right present far more of said moral arguments. But those emotive moral arguments of the right are pretty superficial: they are focus grouped, marketing style, emotive and moralistic appeals – “brighter future”, individual responsibility, etc.

              There are plenty of lefties on the ground making activist statements that are emotional and have a moral underpinning: that of egalitarianism, collective values, and humanism.

              But once the parliamentary left gets too much into that, they get slammed by the right and many of it’s jonolistic cheer team: see the Greens being told off for being “preachy” and “sanctimonious.

              • Colonial Viper

                Emotive and moral arguments are not the same thing.

                Of course the Right use the knowledge of mass psychology in a manipulative way – that’s what they have been doing successfully for 100 years now in a deliberate and systematised way. No one is making the argument that the Right is actually making the moral argument as much as they are using the moral argument.

                The fact that the Left can’t seem to do it is what is of concern – shouldn’t the moral argument come more naturally to the Left? Well, it doesn’t seem to.

                I still don’t understand why you appear to recommend that the Greens communicate within the boundaries of what the MSM and the Right will approve of.

                Re: split between the Parliamentary Left and the grassroots activist Left. Parliamentary Labour is centrist. The Greens are mildly Left. It’s not that much to choose from, I agree.

                • karol

                  CV…. I despair…. You really are mis-interpreting my arguments. I KNOW moral and emotional arguments are not the same.

                  I am not arguing that the Greens communicate within the boundaries of what the MSM and Right will approve of – just the opposite.

                  I am partly arguing about what the parliamentary left have been doing – not saying that’s what they SHOULD be doing.

                  From the Lakoff article re morals and emotion being strongly connected:

                  The reason is that conservatives speak from an authentic moral position, and appeal to voters’ values. Liberals try to argue against them using evidence; they are embarrassed by emotionality. They think that if you can just demonstrate to voters how their self-interest is served by a socially egalitarian position, that will work, and everyone will vote for them and the debate will be over.

                  The article then argues for not watering down the left’s moral beleifs, then concludes:

                  It is, plainly, the longstanding failure to protect nature that powers Lakoff’s exasperation with liberals. “They don’t understand their own moral system or the other guy’s, they don’t know what’s at stake, they don’t know about framing, they don’t know about metaphors, they don’t understand the extent to which emotion is rational, they don’t understand how vital emotion is, they try to hide their emotion.

                  I’m all for conviction poltics. I’m for a reasonable balance between emotion & conviction in political values as well as with evidence based arguments. – not necessarily in each political statement or piece of action. There are times when one or other is more appropriate.

                  BL quoted in a TS thread this evening what Turei actually said to piss off Tolley , resulting in the personal attack on Turei, her clothes and castle. That bit of Turei’s speech this week was a pretty good statement of poltiical convictions and values. Of course, the MSM seem to have ignored it. So those kind of values, as well as being articulated over and over again for the benefit of the MSM, need to be stated more driectly to the flax roots – the general population – so the message gets through clearly.

    • Bill 18.3

      That was a fuck of a long piece to be stating some quite simple and obvious stuff.

      Doesn’t everybody know that the parliamentary left has allowed the ‘centre’ to be placed way off over there on the right? Or that the parliamentary left tends to not argue from any morally grounded position any more (not on big issues anyway, such as the future overall shape of society – not since the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent ‘cleansing’ of the parliamentary left that saw the baby thrown out with the bath water)? Do people really not already understand that, with the abandonment of a ‘left’ moral compass, arguments are, by default, contained by right wing framing? Are there still people who fail to understand that it’s high time the left stopped being so apologetic, rediscovered its roots and went ‘on a roll’?

      • phillip ure 18.3.1

        @ bill..

        ..most of the labour party..many in the green party..

        …aren’t amongst yr ‘everybody’ who already ‘knows’..

        ..eh..?..

        ..phillip ure..

        • Crunchtime 18.3.1.1

          Exactly. Seems every so-called “Left” political party has no clue how they should be framing their arguments.

          Cunliffe gets it right sometimes, but not consistently.

          • phillip ure 18.3.1.1.1

            @ ct..

            ..the greens are guilty of it too..

            ..and so is mana..

            ..neither have really done anything between elections to clarify/define their ‘vision’..

            (a much-maligned word..by cynics..and/but i defend the word..as essential..)

            ..i don’t really know what either party really stands for

            ..the greens are anti-poverty..(and that’s good..)..and so are mana..

            ..but aside from that..?

            ..a ‘green’-vision for the future of nz..?..

            ..i haven’t heard one..has anyone else..?

            ..the greens still nod and wink to the major polluters..the dairy industry..

            ..and some mining/drilling ‘is ok’..(?)

            ..what are we to make of all that..?

            ..w.t.f.is their ‘vision’..?..where is their difference..?

            ..and tho’ i can understand harawiras’ other imperatives as reasons for his no-shows at parliament..

            ..(and for never-on-a-thursday-and-often-not-on-a-wednesday key to sneer..is a total whopper on his part..)

            .i think that sidelining of parliament was a mistake on harawiras’ part..

            ..as ..(with questiontime..)..we are only talking about 5 1/2 hrs per sitting week..?

            ..and that is one of the few places harawira would be..

            ..where there is the full attention of the media..

            ..and the platform for points of order/pushing mana ideas/policies etc..

            ..the ‘vision’..

            ..and this is an asset to hand that harawira has largely ignored..

            ..and surely the polls wd confirm for him/mana..

            ..that continuing to do the same thing..and expecting a different result..(in those polls)..

            ..would be a sign of madness..eh..?

            ..harawira needs to front up this election year..

            ..and ‘work’ that q-time..and attendant media-scrum..

            ..and while he is there..

            ..how about some ‘vision’..eh..?

            ..(not just focusing on symptoms..however worthy of attention they in their own right might be..)

            ..’cos without it..we are pretty much flying blind..eh..?

            ..and..how about selling that extremely rational financial transaction tax..eh..?

            ..that should be common currency come election time..

            (disclaimer:..my voting-arc has been labour..green..mana..)

            ..and as a p.s..the nearest i have seen any of them come to it was the speech cunnliffe gave in parliament the day after his baby-bonus speech..

            ..at the time i recommended you feature it on this site..as it was a real thub-thumper..

            ..the best speech i have seen cunnliffe give..

            ..as he spoke of a different new zealand to the one we have now..

            ..a subject the defining of i have heard from neither the greens..nor mana..

            ..phillip ure..

            • Crunchtime 18.3.1.1.1.1

              Mr Ure, your single-line formatting and incomplete sentences make for painful, slow reading. But I agree with pretty much every word.

              You can’t just blame the MSM. The MSM need to be fed some real “meat” to chew on.

              • greywarbler

                phillip ure
                You have a unique style but it is counter-productive when it is long. What about single lines for one point making a paragraph then double line break.

                Could have the lines for each point one after the other and open ended thought-provoking as now, which would still be like a modern-day prose poem or what it’s called?

                • Crunchtime

                  Agree – single line fragmented phrasing works well for short replies. But larger chunks of information need to be in larger chunks…

                  Otherwise…

                  It becomes labourious…

                  To read all of it and digest…

                  The information.

                  Sorry to satirise, I don’t know if this illustrated my point very well :)

                  • Chooky

                    i found that easy to read thanks

                    ….i like phillip’s style

                    ….it is unique

                  • i take that on board..

                    ..and will subject/paragraph-break longer comments..

                    ..chrs 4 the feedback..

                    ..you make sense..

                    ..i will lift my game another notch..

                    ..phillip ure..

              • Bearded Git

                +1 Crunchie.

                But p.ure often makes sense when I can be bothered to read him.

      • Draco T Bastard 18.3.2

        Are there still people who fail to understand that it’s high time the left stopped being so apologetic, rediscovered its roots and went ‘on a roll’?

        Well, there’s probably a large number of the Labour Party that haven’t – especially in the caucus.

      • Colonial Viper 18.3.3

        That was a fuck of a long piece to be stating some quite simple and obvious stuff…Are there still people who fail to understand that it’s high time the left stopped being so apologetic, rediscovered its roots and went ‘on a roll’?

        well, karol just dismissed Lakoff as promoting a neoliberal way of looking at politics (which is a non sequitor as far as I am concerned), so apparently its not that simple or that obvious.

        To me, Lakoff hit the nail on the head, in addition I would have added one more point – progressives fail to directly acknowledge and respond to the anger, anxiety, resentment and uncertainty that the common person is feeling out there. The Right, especially in the US, are excellent at doing so.

        The Left in contrast think that their intellectualised and bloodless focus on “evidence”, “policies” and “issues” will win the day over.

        Hows that been going for progressives over the last 30-40 years? In terms of economic justice, I think the answer is very obvious.

        • Crunchtime 18.3.3.1

          exactly, +1.

          I might add to properly understand this article I think you need to have some inkling of what sociolinguistics is.

          Framing, metacommunication, emotional language, etc: I highly recommend Deborah Tannen’s book “That’s Not What I Meant!”

          • Colonial Viper 18.3.3.1.1

            Thanks for that…

          • karol 18.3.3.1.2

            I know a lot about sociolinguistics – that is why I am critical of the article. He is talking about framing, while also talking about being more moral and emotive. This is a marketing approach to the whole thing.

            • Puddleglum 18.3.3.1.2.1

              Hi karol,

              You should perhaps have a look at his work on cognition. He wrote a book back in the 1990s called ‘;Philosophy in the Flesh’ with Mark Johnson. Here’s an extract from the NYT.

              His view of mind is embodied and evolutionary. Importantly, that means he sees emotion as inextricably linked to reason. That is, appeals to morality and emotion do not ‘lack reason’ and can’t be characterised purely as cynical, neoliberal marketing-based attempts at manipulation.

              His approach has links to work on ‘embodied cognition’ and ‘social neuroscience’ – here’s a good starting point for the former.

              It is very far from an individualistic, reductionist psychology but is part of an attempt to embed the mind in the social world and the evolved body.

              The point he is making is deeper than ‘they do it so we should do it too’. He is pointing out that what the right ‘get’ (intentionally or not) is that a convincing argument is founded on the ‘natural logic’ of moral and emotional responses to the world – i.e., to a ‘frame’ that ‘makes sense’ at a deep level. The supposedly rational arguments then follow.

              Beginning with evidence, logic and the like is ‘bloodless’, as CV puts it, just because it doesn’t have that thoroughly embodied, moral and emotional basis. What people sense when that is the tactic is a lack of conviction about the rightness of what is being promoted.

              I have my criticisms of Lakoff’s work, but it’s important not to dismiss his commentary on the relative effectiveness of progressive and conservative movements – at least electorally.

              The point to remember is that just about every progressive movement that has succeeded has done so because of the moral and emotional force of the position – slavery, universal suffrage, etc.. … Justice, compassion, etc.

              That’s what he’s talking about when he refers to ‘frames’ – not some cynical set of buzz-words or deliberate efforts to dog whistle or press ‘emotional hot buttons’. I agree that the latter are the last resort of the soulless.

              • karol

                I can’t disagree with much of what you have written, Puddleglum re the integration of reason and emotion in human cognition.

                Yet I don’t see how the right can be held up as being great at using “moral” arguments, nor the left of not using such approaches.

                To me the right do use “cynical, neoliberal marketing-based attempts at manipulation.” rather than deep seated moral convictions.

                And many on the left use a mix of emotion and reason – but we get less of that from mainstream parliamentary politicians – afraid to step outside the careful managerialist approaches.

                I am one who has been saying we need more conviction politics from our left wing politicians.

                But I also think just focusing on the cognitive style as articulated in left wing politics, misses out on issues of power and inequalities.

                When left wingers use more emotive arguments, the right, and many in the MSM, find ways to undermine that (see the treatment of Metiria Turei this week. Or see how Hone is disparaged by the right and the MSM.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yet I don’t see how the right can be held up as being great at using “moral” arguments, nor the left of not using such approaches. (1)

                  To me the right do use “cynical, neoliberal marketing-based attempts at manipulation.” rather than deep seated moral convictions. (2)

                  Why do you put “moral” in quotation marks? Is there a question mark over what makes a moral argument and what does not?

                  Of course your (2) is wholly correct with the proviso that the Right do indeed have deep seated moral convictions – its just that they go against the interests of the 90%.

                  When left wingers use more emotive arguments, the right, and many in the MSM, find ways to undermine that (see the treatment of Metiria Turei this week. Or see how Hone is disparaged by the right and the MSM.

                  Sorry, but moral arguments and “more emotive arguments” are not the same thing. Further, do you seriously believe that there is some category of argument that the Left could use which would not be undermined and disparaged by the Right and the MSM?

                  Why do you feel that the Left needs to play within the rhetorical rules set by the Right and by the MSM?

                  And how is that working out for the Left so far?

                  • karol

                    CV. I put “moral” in quote marks because it was used in the article as part of politics as expressed by the US right – and I do question whether their stated moral arguments are the same as their more deep seated ones. The article tended to use by moral and emotion as something the right used in their public politics and the left don’t – the article pretty much includes them in the same frame.

                    Further, do you seriously believe that there is some category of argument that the Left could use which would not be undermined and disparaged by the Right and the MSM?

                    Why do you feel that the Left needs to play within the rhetorical rules set by the Right and by the MSM?

                    And how is that working out for the Left so far?

                    *sigh* That’s exactly my criticism of the article: the article that started this discussion. That is exactly the line I HAVE been arguing.

                    Someone this evening, somewhere said that the left uses evidence-based arguments but they are too easily countered by the right. My response to that is – so are moral or emotion-based ones (things which the Lakoff article is saying the left should do more of) .

                    But also, I am arguing that focus on the way of putting the left’s messages across, ignores issues of power, and the medium/a through which the messages gets cycled.

                    Hence my saying in one of my first comments, that the left needs to aim for much more direct communication with the flax roots, somewhat sidelining the MSM – or as well a communicating with the MSM.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well of course the Left needs alternative communication channels to the public – that’s why your radio idea is excellent.

                      But the left has been piss poor at making moral or principled arguments. (Not so much in the realm of identity politics, where it seems to have that comfortably in hand, see the discussions around the marriage equality debate which positioned the matter as that of universality and human rights).

                • just saying

                  As long as the intuitive moral frame is inclusive of the whole picture, and those using it aren’t prepared to sacrifice non-class oppressions as a kind of sacrificial offering, as Lakoff appeared to do in such an offhand way….

                  But that’s how it always seems to go with this kind of approach – principles, but not too many principles, and some can be traded. Very market-model to my mind. In some ways he kind of contradicts his own position. It’s as if the moral appeal cant be too difficult and complicated – like advertising

                  • karol

                    Thank-you js.

                  • Bill

                    Reading the comments on this, is it worth noting that –

                    Framing is not primarily about politics or political messaging or communication. It is far more fundamental than that…

                    is something that George Lakoff said.

                    Since then (1996), the left has cleaved moderately well to established principles around the politics of the individual – women are equal, racism is wrong, homophobia is wrong. But everything else…

                    is something Zoe Williams wrote.

                    On what Zoe Williams wrote (her opinion or interpretation of Lakoff) – wouldn’t she have been better…even more accurate… to have written on the fragmented approach taken by the left/liberals/progressives or whatever, rather than couched her opinion in the oppositional term ‘politics of the individual’?

                    • Bill

                      Tried to edit, but ran outta time.

                      Wondering about the difference between religious belief and political belief and Lakoff’s ‘framing’. Would anyone, in a debate that was contained within a positive framework of religion (by ‘positive’, I mean within a frame where it’s a given that there is religious truth) base their argument only on logic? If the answer is ‘no’ then a question arises as to why anyone would approach political belief differently…ie, on a logical basis that didn’t stem from an emotional appeal?

                    • karol

                      Bill. Zoe Williams may not have done Lakoff very many favours.

                      On political vs religious beliefs.

                      I think there are underlying values for every political position – and also re-religion.

                      Broadly I see left wing values as being more for the collective good of all, more inclusive and more egalitarian than the right. Many on the right values individual responsibility within a very hierarchical and competitive society.

                      There are evidence-based arguments, like that in the Spirit level, as to why more egalitarian societies are better for all.

                      Most evidence based arguments are about the best way to put those political values into practice.

                      Religious values can be more socially or individually based, depending on the values of the devotee. The evidence tends to be of a specific kind – not empirically verifiable, re practically implementing the values.

                    • Bill

                      There are evidence-based arguments, like that in the Spirit level, as to why more egalitarian societies are better for all.

                      I’m finding it a bit odd that you separate such politically based arguments from religious ones. I dare say, there are similar and just as empirically verifiable religious arguments for egalitarianism….not that I see either politics or religion as in any way scientific. Your last sentence has to apply to both religion and politics in a social sphere unless you believe politics or sociology or whatever to be scientific.

                      The evidence tends to be of a specific kind – not empirically verifiable, re practically implementing the values.

                  • Hi just saying,

                    I think Lakoff’s comment about gender issues, racism and homophobia as being ‘individual’ issues was wrong. As karol said, I imagine that has a lot to do with how they are ‘framed’ in American political debate (that they are mainly about individuals’ ‘attitudes’ and about individual human rights).

                    He should have realised that those issues are structural/institutional as much as, if not more than, being individual. And they have not been ‘won’ or ‘settled’.

                    More relevantly to his own analysis, he should have seen that the movements that addressed them did (and still do) appeal to fundamental moral and emotional aspects of our humanity. (BTW, I see ‘emotional’ and ‘moral’ as very closely connected – we are most deeply moved by moral matters (justice, betrayal, respect, loyalty, sacrifice, etc.), both socially and interpersonally, as you’d expect from such an inherently social way of being.)

                    I think you are right to fear a ‘trading’ view of ‘principles’ but I think what you describe is actually a trade-off of ’causes’ (and, therefore, the people involved) rather than of principles. That is clearly an unprincipled, ‘pragmatic’ trade-off.

                    One of the good things about a principle is that it transcends particular causes and therefore forces consistency. If it is unjust to deny a man the vote because he doesn’t own land it is also unjust – on the basis of human equality – to deny a woman the vote because she is a woman (even in the unlikely event that she owns land), a Chinese person because they are Chinese (as happened in NZ, IIRC), etc..

                    Also, I think moral appeals are always simple and direct. The moral world is definitely complicated, ambiguous and extremely difficult to navigate at times. But despite that complicated reality, we (any politically involved and active person) need to know where we stand. Otherwise, we will have no idea what should be done, politically, about various issues.

                    Imagine the situation of being concerned about poverty. A typical response from the right might be to see the ‘solution’ in moral terms and that it involves creating greater levels of ‘aspiration’ or ‘industriousness’ in people (that would be the moral ‘appeal’ made to voters, at any rate).

                    There are two possible responses to that suggestion: The first is to buy into that moral framing (with or without explicitly endorsing it) but claim that you have a ‘better’ way of instilling aspiration and industriousness and that you understand better how it can be done without creating too much collateral damage.

                    The second way is to reject the basis of that moral argument – that is, the issue is not a lack of industriousness or aspiration – and assert, as skilfully as possible, the moral argument that people are only in poverty because we have all been derelict in maintaining a society that includes and provides for all. All your arguments then come from that view of the moral/emotional status of the situation – e.g., we need to change our ‘economic settings’ to create more material stability for people and in this way partly correct for our dereliction (during the 1980s).

                    Too often, I think, the modern (party political) left has opted for the first response (in policy terms) and then tacked on a bit of rhetoric associated with the second response during policy announcements (e.g., ‘It’s a terrible indictment on us all that so many people are in poverty’).

                    That isn’t a strong and consistent moral basis to convince people of the rightness of what you want to do.

                    It doesn’t work – it isn’t convincing – and it just concedes more and more of the structure of our society to the right.

                    Edit: Just saw Bill’s point about Zoe Williams being responsible for the ‘individual’ bit.

                    • RedLogix

                      Also, I think moral appeals are always simple and direct. The moral world is definitely complicated, ambiguous and extremely difficult to navigate at times. But despite that complicated reality, we (any politically involved and active person) need to know where we stand. Otherwise, we will have no idea what should be done, politically, about various issues.

                      umm – yes. But which ‘moral appeal’? I’m struck by the fact that the above paragraph could be readily claimed by fundamentalist zealots, bigots or extremists of any shade.

                      That’s the fatal moment when we start reflecting too deeply on the process of thinking itself. Suddenly it all dissapears up it’s own fundament in a nihilist puff of smoke so to speak.

                      This has traditionally always been the great strength and value of religion; it short-circuited this trap by placing the source and legitimacy of the value system beyond reflection and above question. Without that legitimacy the left has drifted, always uncertain of exactly how to justify it’s values. By contrast the conservative has never had to examine his moral compass- the twin virtues of greed and entitlement are self-evident to him.

                    • karol

                      rl. I tend to agree. I notice you end talking values rather than morals. I do think “moral” arguments have religious overtones. Values is my preference when talking about politics. And that is what the Greens have put front and centre of their approach to this year’s elections.

                      Being clear about what those of us on the left value seems an important focus.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.3.3.2

          Yes good observation Colonial Viper,

          Yes, “Houston, we have a problem”

          The definition of Demogogue from Wikipedia here … this definition needs to be adjusted – it no longer is aimed at the lower classes ….such tactics ‘exploiting a fundamental weakness in democracy’ are appealing to the lower natures in all of us – regardless of class.

          And this following quote is from The Thinker’s Guide to Fallacies: The Art of Mental Trickery and Manipulation

          [n.b It is a pdf file from critical.thinking.org]

          Skilled Manipulators
          (weak-sense critical thinkers)
          There is a much smaller group of people who are skilled in the art of
          manipulation and control. These people are shrewdly focused on pursuing their own interest without respect to how that pursuit affects others.

          Though they share many of the characteristics of uncritical thinkers, they have qualities that separate them from uncritical persons. They have greater command of the rhetoric of persuasion. They are more sophisticated, more verbal, and generally have greater status. On average, they have more schooling and achieve more success than uncritical persons. They typically acquire more power and occupy positions of authority. They are accustomed to playing the dominant role in relationships. They know how to use the established structure of power to advance their interests.

          Since they are fundamentally concerned, not with advancing rational
          values, but with getting what they want, they are careful to present themselves as sharing the values of those they manipulate.

          Fair-Minded Critical Persons
          (strong-sense critical thinkers)
          Finally, there is an even smaller group of people who, though intellectually skilled, do not want to manipulate and control others.

          These are the people who combine critical thought, fair-mindedness, self-insight, and a genuine desire to serve the public good. They are sophisticated enough to recognize how self-serving people use their knowledge of human nature and command of rhetoric to pursue selfish ends. They are acutely aware of the phenomenon of mass society and of the machinery of mass persuasion and social control. Consequently, they are too insightful to be manipulated and too ethical to enjoy manipulating others.

          They have a vision of a better, more ethical, world, which includes a realistic knowledge of how far we are from that world. They are practical in their effort to encourage movement from “what is” to “what might be.” They gain this insight by struggling with their own egocentric nature and coming to see (in deeper and deeper ways) their own involvement in irrational processes.

          No one becomes a fair-minded thinker first and a selfish person later.

          [my emphasis added]

          The only way I can think for decent political people to counteract the spin is relayed in this article:

          “….But most of all we must clearly and unequivocally reject the culture of deceit, manipulation and bullying that threatens to engulf us – and those politicians and other people that promote it who try to claim legitimacy by stealth. “

          We need to take care not to flatter the behaviour of those manipulators who are undermining our democracy by calling them ‘clever’ or ‘good at it’ too many times – I suggest framing it in a way that doesn’t put them in a good light: it is really just plain nasty what they are doing.

          With regards to referring to these manipulators; I suggest being inspired by something like this:

          “There’s Klingons on the starboard bow, scrape ‘em off, Jim.”

          • Colonial Viper 18.3.3.2.1

            And that’s darn nice, BL.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.3.3.2.1.1

              Thanks CV

              +1 Karol – It is a capitulation to join in – I have to admit to thinking the left need to ‘join in’ (to beat ‘em at their own game) however now I am seeking other ways to counteract that crap they throw at us.

              This manipulation is relating to peoples’ ‘non-rational’ aspect of their nature (this is what I understood CV to be acknowledging) and this is the ‘strength’ of the manipulative approach – the non-rational is a large part of our experience – (also how it aims at the unconscious). The Left need to find some way to counteract the negative effects created by this manipulation.

              **I missed a link in my first comment – this is where I got that last large quote from ["....we must unequivocally reject the culture of deceit..."]

              This is what I was quoting:

              http://www.calresco.org/lucas/fighting.htm

              • karol

                Ah “smile me a smile”.

                Yes, that is the approach of advertising and propaganda – aiming totally at the irrational. And our image saturated world (often accompanied by music), makes that so much easier.

                I always think it’s important to acknowledge the “irrational” side of human consciousness – not necessarily a bad thing – it can be called intuition, empathy, caring, sensitive – all very positive words.

                Human consciousness is a mix of the irrational and rational. They need to be in some kind of balance.

                Advertising and propaganda aim to shut out the rational side and appeal to the irrational only. A good left wing politician or activist will show empathy, understanding and sensitivity to those in need, and to the concerns of diverse communities, while also having a sound evidenced based background.

                Actually I thought Metiria Turei exhibited both aspects of humanity on Campbell live. David Cunliffe can appeal to people’s emotions while also having a sound grasp of relevant facts.

                Hone Harawira, often speaks in direct down to earth language, while having some very good arguments, clearly explained.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Sorry karol, but making the moral case and creating a Left which is comfortable with the use of moral arguments extends somewhat further than a few left politicians who can speak with empathy and compassion.

                  Every time the Left does it, it wins. I can’t see why we would be reluctant to do it more.

                  Policy detail and evidence is important to maybe 20% of the electorate. That’s about how much emphasis it should have in an election campaign.

                  • karol

                    I can’t see why we would be reluctant to do it more.

                    Where have I said I’m reluctant to do it more on the wider left? Try reading what I’ve actually been saying.

          • karol 18.3.3.2.2

            Exactly – and yet Lakoff is praising this right wing manipulative approach as being superior to the more evidence based approach of the left.

            It’s basically a capitulation to the manipulative style of spin by the right, to say that the left should adopt their kind of approach.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.3.3.2.2.1

              @ Karol

              +1 [Response to your comment above 7.41pm]

            • gem 18.3.3.2.2.2

              ‘Evidence’ can be highly subjective and is prone to change (as new studies are released, for example), whereas emotional arguments appeal to universal fears, assumptions, and desires.
              By all means for a specific policy, draw on sources of evidence, but this is about the debate to define the parameters of an era’s ”common sense”, or as CV said recently, the ”narrative of the age”.
              It reminds me of British Labour politician Aneurin Bevan’s ‘democracy of facts’ argument.
              Bevan, a highly unusual politician even in his own time, criticised what he called the democracy of facts.
              Opposing politicians throw their own facts at the other side, and any fact can be countered with another (just look at what’s happening in NZ at the moment with the inequality debate).
              A former coal miner, Bevan was intimately aware of the day-to-day struggles of the poor and, a brilliant speaker, was relentless in drawing attention to their plight and the unfairness of the system. However, he didn’t win the argument (his achievements include setting up the NHS) on facts alone.

            • Colonial Viper 18.3.3.2.2.3

              Exactly – and yet Lakoff is praising this right wing manipulative approach as being superior to the more evidence based approach of the left.

              It’s basically a capitulation to the manipulative style of spin by the right, to say that the left should adopt their kind of approach.

              I’m sorry, but I think you are way off base here. Progressives have been making the moral and principled argument since the days of John Brown and the abolitionists, and certainly since Socrates and Cicero in antiquity.

              For you to frame doing so again as the Left giving in to the Right is faintly ridiculous, and completely ignores how Left wins like the abolition of slavery, the end of child labour, the 40 hour week, womens right to vote, etc came about.

              Let’s look at a local example, the establishment of the 40 hour week as led by Samuel Parnell. Was there any research on hand he had on hand which said that workers who only work 40 hours a week were more productive? Or that there were better health outcomes? Or that family life improved when the working parent only had to work 40 hours a week?

              Of course, the answer is no. The fight was won on the popularity of the principles, impassioned argument winning over labour, and via the resulting industrial might.

              • karol

                I have nothing against conviction, or impassioned politics, at all. That’s not what I have been arguing.

            • Crunchtime 18.3.3.2.2.4

              I don’t see it that way.

              It may be “manipulative” but it’s about framing of arguments properly.

              Lakoff isn’t “praising” the right wing approach, he’s cirticising the left for accepting the right wing’s moral framing – for allowing themselves to be manipulated – instead of imposing their own framing of what the situation actually is.

              This post illustrates exactly what the problem is with the left approach: that any attempt at reframing the argument, the slightest hint of “manipulation” is bad. But this means that the right dictates the terms of the argument from start to finish.

              This MUST change.

              • karol

                It’d be helpful if people actually gave examples of how this happens here in NZ. I’m seeing a lot of generalised arguments, but little actual examples. And every NZ examples I use are used to beat me with various nit-picky put downs, and very often mis-interpreting my arguments/.views – sometimes said back to me in ways that are totally unrecognisable to me.

                And, what I’m seeing right now in NZ, is the left framing the issues for the upcoming election – on values of a more anti-poverty, – a society where we work for each other etc. And the right, the Nats are in a bit of a tiz, throwing every bit of vitriol and distraction they can lay there hands on.

                The MSM are running some interference with this – but I reckon diverse lefties just need to keep repeating our/their values, stated clearly and directly – not some slickly thought out re-framing – just restating the values, with some examples, and where required, some supporting, and well selected evidence –

                How about also looking at where those on the NZ left get it right? – instead of trying to borrow some generalised, slightly shaky UK columnist’s interpretation of things said by US theorist, Lakoff. The US “left”/”liberal” is not really all that left, and not a neat fit with the NZ situation.

                I’d prefer to talk about various people on the left in NZ are actually doing.

                Interesting to see how the discussion under the original Guardian article has gone – many people applying the discussion points to issues, and politics in their own country – some for, some against Lakoff’s/Williamson’s approach.

        • karol 18.3.3.3

          There needs to be some evidence based intellectualism. And some direct engagement with people about their circumstances – “How are you all doing?”

          But this is also confusing the entire left with the parliamentary left. There has been too much focus on focused group managerialist approaches.

          • Colonial Viper 18.3.3.3.1

            And some direct engagement with people about their circumstances – “How are you all doing?”

            Ironically, given your points on this thread, this suggestion buys straight into the Right wing’s preferred pattern of individualistic self concern.

            It seems to me that you’re quite anxious about some kind of anti-intellectualism taking hold.

            Trust me, if the Left doesn’t get its shit together and understand how people are actually motivated, like the Right learnt from the likes of Freud, Bernays and others, you’ll see that trend you fear accelerating.

            • karol 18.3.3.3.1.1

              CV, please read my comments in this discussion in their entirety. You really do not understand where I have been coming from at all. You are entirely misrepresenting my arguments.

              There’s an “all” in “How are you all doing?” it addresses people individually and collectively, and frames it as part of a collective campaign, within specific issues.

              What a muddled counter to my arguments CV . You really are missing the mark:

              It seems to me that you’re quite anxious about some kind of anti-intellectualism taking hold.

              Really – and where am I saying that?

              Actually Freud as pretty individualistically focused. Not someone I’d want to learn from. Or what intellectuals do you think I need to learn from? :)

              Understanding and engaging directly with people in down-to-earth language is fine with me.

        • karol 18.3.3.4

          You criticise the left for over intellectualising, while praising a highly intellectualised article on it.

          • McFlock 18.3.3.4.1

            amazing, the powers of confirmation bias…

          • Colonial Viper 18.3.3.4.2

            Apologies if I don’t share your intellectual need to be pervasively logically consistent.

            • karol 18.3.3.4.2.1

              CV, you have made several comments to me about my alleged “intellectualism”. This is looking like an extended ad hominem, based on your misinterpretations of what I’ve been arguing.

              • Crunchtime

                Sorry karol, I’m reading your comments too and drawing the same conclusions as CV.

                Being “above manipulation” is how to let the right do all the manipulation they want, and win.

                • McFlock

                  The idea that the left need to manipulate people to win is the first step towards dictatorship.

                  It also shows a contempt for the very populace that our policies seek to serve – apparently they will never recognise the truth rather than believe lies.

                  Yes, the right manipulate. But they can’t win all the time. And if they can win all the time by lying, why even bother trying to win? Why bother trying to impose by manipulation a government that they don’t even want?

                  At the very best, the left manipulating as well as the right simply shifts the goalposts of normal and acceptable behaviour farther towards corruption and deception, which I suggest is the antithesis of what “the left” desires in the field of social change.

                  • Crunchtime

                    It’s NOT about corruption and deception. It’s actually not about manipulation either.

                    Just far too often I see the left trying to argue with the Right’s framing of the issues instead of re-framing it the way it actually is.

                    To karol: I agree things have improved of late. I don’t have time to go looking for examples but I’ll try to keep this in mind in the future when I see the left bloc’s actions in the public arena.

                    • McFlock

                      so we need to not be “above manipulation”, but not being above manipulation wouldn’t involve actually doing manipulation?

                    • karol

                      Well, Ct, it takes time for a new narrative to take hold. But I think the whole poverty and inequality gap focus has been gathering steam, and aligned with fair employment laws, etc.

                      There is a place for opposing and pointing out the problems of government policies, in conjunction with a focus on a different direction.

                      I also think it’s important to focus on really good left wing initiatives. The MSM, tries to marginalise them.

                      Auckland Action Against Poverty has been gradually building up a presence through diverse and imaginative positive actions.

                      The grass roots actions done with Mana Party support have been good: Glen Innes protests; feed the kids, etc.

                      CTU campaigns on forestry deaths; minimum/living wage camaigns, etc

                      But it’s also important to be aware of the powerful machinery of the corporate-backed elites, the MSM etc. Just trying to change the narrative or framing on its own, will be countered by them, in all kinds of tricky ways.

                      The left needs to be part of a multi-pronged intitative inside and outside parliamentary politics: on the ground, via the MSM, via blogs, via word-of-mouth, etc. – and in various kinds of ways.

        • Chooky 18.3.3.5

          +1CV…the Left could learn a lot from the advertisers and the ‘hidden persuaders’…metaphors , images, eliciting emotions etc…

          ….the message is not in question here …..it is how the message is put across effectively ….

          ……people think in different ways and respond in different ways…many respond to images rather than intellectual arguments

          • Colonial Viper 18.3.3.5.1

            The intellectual Left has grown increasingly afraid of tapping into the human themes found within religion, morality and enlightenment universality.

            The bloodless realm of evidence, policies and issues is safer and more appealing.

            • McFlock 18.3.3.5.1.1

              Calling bullshit on every single piece of that, with the exception that “evidence” is preferable to “lying”

        • Flip 18.3.3.6

          The commentary on the Lakoff article has missed the point about it being who provides the most security. Is it the left or right?

          The left must articulate a secure future for people better than the right. Not doing it yet. It’ll need to expose the right’s framework for security and its limitations. Then it must show the lefts framework and its strengths. It is a question of which gives an individual the sense of the most security. Many people do not see the threat to their security or how they are manipulated into the support of the right’s framework. The left has not exposed it and critiqued it well enough and often tries to adopt it. Until a threat is exposed people will support it.

  19. AsleepWhileWalking 20

    Did everyone/anyone see this article by Matt McCarten? If not it’s a must read.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11195559


    This Government manipulates statistics to show how well the economy is doing and most of us swallow it.

    The manufactured consent is the economy is booming and the number of unemployed is at record lows.

    Here’s my unease with the unemployment success story. There isn’t a week I don’t meet jobless people who are seeking work yet receive no support from the state.

    Many friends and extended family are hardworking people who tell me they don’t register with Work and Income NZ because they claim they are hounded by officious bureaucrats and made to feel like something icky on the aforementioned’s shoe.

    The stories are too numerous to convince me there isn’t a calculated policy to make it humiliating for workers down on their luck to apply for assistance.

    I expressed my doubts to my union’s director, Mike Treen, after another sunny economic report was published. Treen is one of those self-taught working-class economists who pores over business pages with the same intensity most Kiwis read sports pages. He told me he could prove statistically that due to deliberate hostile and punitive policies over the past decade by successive governments, more than 100,000 unemployed Kiwis wanting work are today denied unemployment assistance.

    I was a bit dubious about such a large figure but this week he was back with his research, courtesy of the Statistics NZ website. You’ll be tempted to let your eyes glaze over, but bear with me because it’s important not to let the Government pretend there is low employment when there isn’t.

    Unfortunately it’s even worse than that.

    • Crunchtime 20.1

      Just shared this. A rare Herald article about the truth of how poorly NZ is really doing.

    • Tracey 20.2

      Thanks for this.

    • greywarbler 20.3

      AWW
      A well-written item that is very believable even without looking at the stats. This skating on thin ice gives me the shivers, the economy and the processes that keep the structure of the country going are being eaten away and I fear to find a CTV type situation exists for the country’s economy.

      Just a reminder -
      A new reinforced concrete standard emphasising ductility came into effect in New Zealand in 1982.[4] Stefano Pampanin, an Associate Professor at the University of Canterbury who teaches in structural and seismic design,[7] described the non-ductile philosophy as “an obsolete design based on the levels of knowledge and code provisions that existed before the mid-1980s”.[8]…
      The CTV Building was designed and constructed in about 1986.[1][4] Christchurch City Council gave building consent in September 1986.[5...

      The structural design engineer was Alan Reay Consultants and the architect was Alun Wilke Associates Architects, both of which are firms based in Christchurch.[2][9]
      In September 2012 it was discovered the man who supervised the building’s construction had faked his engineering degree. Gerald Shirtcliff had stolen the identity of a retired engineer based in the UK, William Fisher.[10] The pair had been friends in the 1960s, and Shirtcliff stole Fisher’s degree by adopting his name.[11] It was later discovered Shirtcliff’s father had done most of the work on his masters in highway engineering.[12]

      The points I make here are that there was a new approach to structure to emphasise ductility (allowing movement during earthquakes). There was pressure by central government to move bureaucracy away, and slowness was related to doddery old-style regulation-bound officials.
      Naturally no-one wanted to be so labelled. So careful consideration was out, business making its own evaluations was in. Business cannot be trusted to be objective, profitability and survival are its moral hazards. So believing in business acting in a saintly manner was cult-like.

      Then I believe the engineer was good at spare design and he could keep costs down by providing just over or to the minimum requirements. And they were fairweather standards,
      if anything extra and unforeseen cropped up, there were no reserves. He was correct, it was the standards that had been pared down excessively I understand. So no extra strength built in for difficult times.

      Then there was the sham of the employee supervising the job. An assumed name, his papers that earned his testimonials done by his father. Someone from overseas again, trumping our own people to get a job, with supposed better experience and references.

      The inquest on the building and the criminal results of its failure may echo those in the future for NZ.
      The commission’s findings were released on 10 December 2012. The report found the building’s design was deficient and should not have been approved. The building’s engineer, David Harding, of Alan Reay Consultants Ltd, was found to have no experience in designing multi-story buildings and was “working beyond his competence.” His supervisor, Alan Reay, left Harding unsupervised then pressured city officials to approve the building design even though several members had reservations about the design.[32]

      • Colonial Viper 20.3.1

        So why is no one in prison?

        • greywarbler 20.3.1.1

          That was a good question, CV. A very good question. I’m glad you asked that. Does anyone here know why no-one is in prison after killing more people through trickery and wilful neglect, and lax oversight and controls, than a home invasion, ten home invasions?

      • Draco T Bastard 20.3.2

        He was correct, it was the standards that had been pared down excessively I understand.

        And the defence of that is that builders can build as strong as they like – there’s nothing to stop them from exceeding minimum standards. The problem is that no one wants to pay more than they have to and so all buildings are built to the minimum standard and none are built on better quality.

        We really need to up the standards regime in NZ so that the minimum standards will produce quality output rather than hoping that people will prefer to pay more for the quality that they should be getting.

        And, yes, there’s a lot of people who should be in jail for the CTV building collapse.

  20. greywarbler 22

    lprent
    Strange, I have just put a comment to Polity. It didn’t show up, refreshed on F5 and again and both times it showed one comment from Craig. Refreshed with Home and it shows No comments, repeated, same. Something odd here.

    I am in moderation! And why – may be because I used the word t.ollop when referring to Collins. Be warned commenters sensitive language.

  21. Scott 23

    An important and courageous artist is fighting for freedom of expression and secularism in Tonga:
    http://readingthemaps.blogspot.co.nz/2014/01/burning-gods-letter-to-visesio-siasau.html

  22. Curtis 24

    So I only just found Labour’s list of candidates on its website last night but had to click ‘Get involved’ to find the tab. Thought some of you would be interested in looking at it. https://www.labourparty.org.nz/2014-candidates-updated-january-29-2014

  23. captain hook 25

    I missed a beat with the post on political activism but I hope I can make up for it here.
    Listening to alJazeera yesterday and the reader said that every afhgani farmer has a radio that they listen to all day. Labour needs a line of sight micropulse radio station in Auckland to dleiver the message.
    if tribesmen in Afghanistan can stump up for a radio station then the NZLP should be able to do the same!

  24. PJ 26

    Well, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail,
    And say there is no sin but to be rich;
    And being rich, my virtue then shall be
    To say there is no vice but beggary.

    http://tressiemc.com/2013/10/29/the-logic-of-stupid-poor-people/

    • Draco T Bastard 26.1

      That was an interesting article.

      • North 26.1.1

        Thanks for the link PJ, it is as you say DTB an interesting article.

        Puts me in mind of arriving at Manila Airport in 1977 en route to China six months after Mao died. Fortunate enough me to be included in a group of twenty “Young Workers” (as distinct from students) responding to an invitation issued to the National Youth Council by the Chinese government.

        Touchdown at Manila. Plane turns and there we see numerous television aerials protruding above the meanest shacks in the banana plantation not a hundred metres from the airport boundary. From several of my fellow “Young Workers” came this – “Ooh. Look…….they’re so poor and they’ve got televisions”. The pejorative tone was obvious.

        What was actually being said was “They’re so poor they SHOULDN’T have televisions.”

        No surprise that our group was later riven with conflict which reached some heights although fortunately not fisticuffs as occurred in at least one NZUSA delegation.

        This was an example of the arrogant dispossessing “morality” of the haves in application to the have nots, just as explored in the article.

        Oddly there is relevance, in a strange inverse sort of way, to the designer jacket/castle carry on from the National Party’s Twisted Sisters Mitford – Collins, Tolley, Bennett, Parata, Finlayson.

      • KJT 26.1.2

        “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread”.

        http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Anatole_France

        Knew I had read that somewhere. Thanks for Google.

    • greywarbler 26.2

      The pendulum of wanting
      it does in time swing wide
      First from poor, then to rich
      it goes from side to side.

      And at each extreme
      it pauses just a second
      Before plunging back again
      as if a hand did beckon.

      Yet ever we endeavour
      to catch this risky toy
      To settle, stay and tame it
      And find peace, life and joy.

      Here is some everyday poetry to follow yours PJ

    • Flip 26.3

      @PJ

      A really insightful article. I nearly wrote inciteful.

  25. greywarbler 27

    I am sure you WILL like this post-Christmas concoction from econstories for those who want to be given a nice healthy economy not one that will turn out to be a dog and run around barking mad.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uKnd6IEiO0

  26. Craig Y 28

    Libertarianz is dead. The former hypermarket neoliberal party, which believed that the United States is some sort of capitalist utopia, has asked the Electoral Commission to be deregistered. It wants its former members to join ACT, under its new Whyte/Seymour junta.

    • Richard McGrath 28.1

      You got one thing right, Craig: we asked to be deregistered, and that happened last week. Contrary to your impression, we believe the United States to be rapidly transforming into a full-blown police state – the last time it resembled a “capitalist utopia” was 1913 – before federal income tax, drug prohibition, the Federal Reserve, etc.

      Nowhere was it suggested that former members join ACT. We intend to continue as a ginger group, lobbying the bigger parties with policy suggestions.

      Under MMP, it is difficult for a party with limited financial resources and without a well-known figurehead to succeed. No doubt the Democrats for Social Credit and Alliance Parties know the feeling.

      Libertarianz felt the time and energy of its administrative officers were being disproportionately employed – wasted, if you like – in remaining eligible for the party vote for little result at election time (we had always done far better in the electorate vote), hence the decision to deregister.

  27. North 29

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11195807

    That dear olf duffer John Armstrong – this is what he has to say about the ranks of ACT and the ready advice which will be available to Flossifa Whyte as its new leader:

    “But much depends on whether he can get Act into the media spotlight and keep it there. On that score, he will not lack for advice, given the allegiance to the party of some of the country’s top political brains.”

    Who exactly would that be John ?

    This rambling idiocy from the dear old duffer ranks second only to “John Key has charisma”.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 30.1

      This article is odd, Chris73

      How is the link being made between people agreeing that a tax rate be brought in that does not bring in any revenue – and that of ‘punishing’ people?

      Surely if no one is in that bracket to be taxed, then no one is being ‘punished’?

      It is a very odd question to ask people from the outset – nebulous question resulting in nebulous results – it is unclear why people are saying they would want such?! Perhaps they are agreeing to it as a preventative measure – i.e. to stop a huge disparity in wealth – and this is not a punitive mind set at all – it is one that is aiming at avoiding the ‘punitive’ effects that occur when there is a huge discrepancy of income in a society.

      • Colonial Viper 30.1.1

        Well put. An important aspect of the tax system is that of *directing behaviour* not of raising revenue. (Anyhows, why would the Crown ever need to raise NZD through taxes when it can issue NZD at no cost if it ever requires it?)

        • Richard McGrath 30.1.1.1

          CV, you assume that governments should be able to “direct” the behaviour of its peaceful law-abiding citizens, regardless of the beliefs and values of those individuals.

          You further assume that printing fiat money has “no cost” – have you ever heard of a little thing called inflation?

          This whole angst about wealth disparity and the income gaps is just envy politics.

          Envy is the painful awareness of another’s good fortune, usually associated with the desire to bring an end that good fortune through some means. Thus is it worse than jealousy, which is wanting what another has. Envy seeks to take away what another has out of spite and hatred, and is driven by the desire to destroy.

          • McFlock 30.1.1.1.1

            Of course, if there were no fuckwits who’d do nothing while children starve, society wouldn’t need to direct the behaviour of its citizens.

            Oh, I’m sure you’d choose to help a kid or two, but leaving it to private charity kills kids. It’s that simple. There are too many fuckwits who think “someone else’s fault” means “I’m not going to help”.

          • RedLogix 30.1.1.1.2

            You further assume that printing fiat money has “no cost” – have you ever heard of a little thing called inflation?

            Exactly what do you think Mr Key’s ex-employer has been doing this last five years? Besides where do you think money comes from in the first place? It’s ALL fiat currency – these days M0 is a tiny, tiny fraction of M3.

            Envy is the painful awareness of another’s good fortune, usually associated with the desire to bring an end that good fortune through some means.

            Two thoughts. After a lifetime of hanging around left-wingers not once have I ever heard one of them express a hatred, or even so much as a faint resentment of anyone else’s honestly earned good fortune. Not once.

            But far too much of what passes for ‘good fortune’ these days has been amassed off the back of other peoples hard work, by those who exploit legal and economic privilege for their own purposes rather than greater good of the community which created that privilege in the first place. And usually accompanied by a noxious sense of arrogant entitlement around their own sense of personal self-worth as measured in dollar terms alone.

            Looked at from this perspective – that in a world in which some 85 people now have more wealth than the 3.5b bottom half of all humanity – there is every reason to be angry. That indeed it is right and proper to hold a hatred for a system in which such unearned extremes of wealth, undeserved and ill-gotten fortunes flourish.

            What you are actually acknowledging is that gross inequality is indeed corrosive upon the human soul. Just not quite in the way you imagined.

          • Draco T Bastard 30.1.1.1.3

            You further assume that printing fiat money has “no cost” – have you ever heard of a little thing called inflation?

            The private banks create money all the time. So much in fact that it’s been estimated that they’re responsible for between 50% and 80% of inflation. Unfortunately, I no longer have that link – read it about 10 years ago.

            What I think would happen if the government created money and spent it into the economy to produce real wealth and the banks didn’t create any at all is that inflation would pretty much disappear over night.

            This whole angst about wealth disparity and the income gaps is just envy politics.

            Nope. It’s got to do with the disgust of the greedy, selfish arseholes and the fact that such imbalances are taking us back to a feudal society. That’s what selling our state assets is about and more and more of the land being owned by corporations (mostly foreign).

          • Macro 30.1.1.1.4

            Envy is the painful awareness of another’s good fortune, usually associated with the desire to bring an end that good fortune through some means. Thus is it worse than jealousy, which is wanting what another has. Envy seeks to take away what another has out of spite and hatred, and is driven by the desire to destroy.

            What a load of self satisfied twaddle!
            You have no idea of what our personal circumstances may be – Hint my last neighbour is planning a new Party and gifted $50K to JB.
            Doesn’t mean I can’t see inequality and injustice..
            Doesn’t mean I can’t see through the inequality of our current neo-liberal selfish “economic ” stupidity.
            The economy if it means anything is there for the greatest good of the greatest number over the longest run – and right now its being run for the benefit of only a few.

            • miravox 30.1.1.1.4.1

              “You have no idea of what our personal circumstances may be “

              It seems McGrath is just another who thinks all lefties are broke no-hopers eaten up with wanting something for nothing. His individualist mindset can’t let him see that there are plenty of well-off people out there who would dearly love to see other, less well-off people, get more chances in life and a greater share of the economic spoils.

              • Richard McGrath

                Of course there’s nothing stopping those well-off people from doing what they love, helping the less well-off, without being coerced into doing so.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 30.1.1.1.5

            @ Richard McGrath

            “CV, you assume that governments should be able to “direct” the behaviour of its peaceful law-abiding citizens, regardless of the beliefs and values of those individuals.

            Pardon me? “Regardless of the beliefs and values of these individuals”

            Where does CV say that?

            He doesn’t

            “This whole angst about wealth disparity and the income gaps is just envy politics.”

            No it is not. How do you conclude such a thing?

            It really is very misguided to view this issue as arising from envy – there are heaps of people who don’t want or care for vast wealth – if this wasn’t the case don’t you think there would have been a massive revolution by now?

            There are very serious consequences for our society and system when wealth disparity gets too great. Large amounts of people start becoming beholden to a very few people’s whims when this occurs – the many start becoming unable to make their own way in life. Are you aware how many people are already being subsidised by this government despite having jobs due to this effect?

            Wealth, and thus influence, concentrating in too few hands is a problem for all but the very few who are accumulating it – I doubt McGrath that you fall into this elite few – so why are you arguing against your own interests? (If you do fall into this category why would anyone bother to listen to your arguments that are solely for your own benefit and work directly against the interests of the vast majority of us; who will be disadvantaged by such arguments)

            Wealth concentration is a well documented acknowledged problem and, for an example, is why monopolies are considered something to be avoided.

            Concern over huge wealth disparity has nothing to do with envy and everything to do with aiming for a society and system that functions healthily and provides for many.

            • Flip 30.1.1.1.5.1

              + Wealth of bottom half of humanity for all the comments responding to McGrath.

              Envy is a very destructive emotion. This is one reason more equality is better. McGrath just made an argument for greater equality and a more just distribution of wealth though he may not have realised it.

              Greater equality must be obtained for the sake of civilisation.

            • Richard McGrath 30.1.1.1.5.2

              “CV, you assume that governments should be able to “direct” the behaviour of its peaceful law-abiding citizens, regardless of the beliefs and values of those individuals.

              Pardon me? “Regardless of the beliefs and values of these individuals”

              Where does CV say that?

              So you’re suggesting those philosophically opposed to government polices shouldn’t be “directed” toward a course of action at variance with their values?

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                There will never be 100% of the population agreeing with what the government is doing – I think that would be ridiculous to suggest that all people can be philosophically aligned to government policies at any one time.

                It is best to work toward the government acting for the interests of the greatest number of citizens – this is not occurring at present because there is a small number of members of this society that have a huge amount of clout and work hard to influence people to act (and vote) against their own interests – this small section of people are quite happy to have large amounts of people directed toward a course of action at variance to their well-being – for the government to act on the behalf of this small section of the community is proving to be very destructive to our society -and I truly hope this trend stops very soon.

          • KJT 30.1.1.1.6

            “This whole angst about wealth disparity and the income gaps is just envy politics”.

            Correct. The whole thing is, as someone said.

            “The rich are so envious of the poor that they are intent on taking what little they have left”.

            I have never noticed envy from the left, or even from those who were struggling.. Even when I was much more obviously, well off.

            All the jealousy and envy came from right wing wannabe climbers, like you. When they weren’t busy brown nosing, taking credit for others work, pissing on each other, and ensuring more competent people didn’t threaten their place on the ladder, that is.

            One thing my recent research has shown me is, in reality, how little, those of us who are lucky enough to be better off, would have to give up, to lift everyone out of poverty and give every child a chance.

    • McFlock 30.2

      do your employers regard the number of replies you get as a performance metric? Because derails don’t really apply to Open Mike.

      • chris73 30.2.1

        Its more to do with how many words I type as opposed to replies, within reason of course

  28. Penny Bright 31

    Will new ACT leader Jamie Whyte answer THIS question?

    (Will NBR allow this question ‘to be put’?

    If not – why not? :)

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/ask-jamie

    Jamie – given that ‘talk is cheap’ and proven track record is the best indicator of how truly principled are political parties, leaders and candidates, can you please provide any evidence to prove that YOU supported ACT’s purported principles of ‘one law for all’, and ‘personal responsibility’, by publicly agreeing that the (now) defendant John Archibald Banks should be committed to trial for alleged electoral fraud?

    If not – why not?

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation campaigner’

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz
    http://www.pennybright4epsom.org.nz
    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz

    • Richard McGrath 31.1

      Penny wasn’t that a judicial decision, and therefore wouldn’t it be inappropriate for a politician to pass comment on it? Certainly, Whyte would have been within his rights to comment on Banks’ actions but surely not on the decision of a judge.

      As an ‘anti-corruption campaigner’, I wonder what your thoughts are on the behaviour of Len Brown and his intervention on behalf of his mistress Bevan Chuang, providing a reference for her at the Auckland Art Gallery despite her earlier criminal conviction for illegally accessing a computer while employed by the Auckland Museum?

  29. floyd 32

    Feeling queasy. Just saw the cover of the Listener which has a photo of key holding a child on his hip. Not a baby, not a toddler, but a full grown boy, looked about eight. Had a very questionable look about it. I do hope that Cunliffe does not stoop to this level.

    • RedBaronCV 32.1

      I saw that too and yes it looked odd. Kid way past the size/age of being picked up, most kids don’t even want to be picked up at that size/age. Wondered what the context was.

  30. North 34

    Huh ! That ballsy Mitford Sister Collins. Declined to appear on Campbell Live tonight re designer jackets/castles. Declined to appear !!! But ain’t she ballsy and strong and proud ??? That’s what we’re told, interminably. Huh. What a nasty old fraud !

    Utter cheap bullshit from that thing and if she doesn’t understand that Metiria has trounced the fuck out of her over this, she’s not only a baggage but a profoundly stupid, profoundly conceited and profoundly hubristic, big trout sausage.

    Metiria = + + + thousands of votes I reckon. Collins = b***h with a capital B. That’ll piss you off SSLands. Tough !

    • bad12 34.1

      Indeed!!!, i commented the other day that while National might have bought it’self a weeks relief from the major Policy announcements of the last couple of weeks from Labour and the Green Party in the final analysis, when the truth is broadcast instead of the spin prepare by the Beehive’s 9th floor, National will be seen to be the loser where it really hurts, in the political polls,

      The orchestrated attack on Metiria Turei might have had the core ‘wing-nuts’ singing the praises of both Tolley and Collins, but to hold on to the 2-5% of swing voters National are currently enjoying the support of the ‘two Ronnies’ and Slippery the Prime Minister cannot afford to engage in personal attacks, especially those that later turn out to be based upon foolish lies…

      • karol 34.1.1

        Hmmm… and Gower has tweeted that

        Metiria Turei clear winner of Battle of the Blazers. Anne Tolley and Judith Collins ended up getting owned.

        Basically, Turei let Campbell Live into her my-house-is-my-castle and showed her wardrobe, meanwhile re-stating her political convictions re poverty etc,.in a very straightforward and down to earth kind of way.

    • RedRobin 34.2

      How is what you just said not as bad (or worse) than what you see as horrid comments from Collins et al?

      • North 34.2.1

        Are you an idiot RedRobin or what ? Or maybe a wee trout sausage ?

        Bad12 simply analyses. He simply warns (triumphantly I acknowledge) against the use of foolish and later exposed lies when implementing chapter whatever it is of the Crosby Textor “Hold On To Power At All Costs Manual”.

        Eminently justified he is when he invokes the Metiria attacks by the Mitford Sisters as stuff you do at the pain of getting your arse kicked. As happened on Campbell Live tonight. Thank you Metiria. Very much.

        Shrinking violets and those who can’t hack a bit of cussing here and there aren’t really much use given the dire position of the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders at the bottom of the neoliberal pyramid. That fate was never foisted on them by ShonKey Python and crew with the consummate politeness of the vicarage, was it ? No, they were, still are, blamed and scandalised. That’s the foul essence of neoliberal cruelty and the concealment thereof. Blame the victims.

        But to answer your question, wee aristocracy licking vicar of 30s English countryside you – no. What Bad12 just said pales against the filth of the ugly Mitford Sisters in their attacks on Metiria. If you object cease clutching your pearls and put the contrary argument, if you actually have one that is.

        • RedRobin 34.2.1.1

          I was talking about your comments North- settle down eh?

          “she’s not only a baggage but a profoundly stupid, profoundly conceited and profoundly hubristic, big trout sausage.”

          Again you show your hypocrisy with this ” the filth of the ugly Mitford Sister”.

          • North 34.2.1.1.1

            Check out the ugly old girls Vicar. Essentially elitist wastes of space. Riding high, possessed by entitlement. Just like “our” Mitford Sisters. Liars too.

            So no, my comment quite apposite. This hypocrisy number really buzzes you what, Vicar ? Ever thought of extending the mind to write your own lines, Vicar ?

            Or maybe just attempting to demonstrate that what acts like a baggage and talks like a baggage isn’t (miraculously) a baggage.

    • Ad 34.3

      Aye she did good.

  31. just saying 35

    Interesting piece on inequality and mental health by the writers of “The Spirit Level’

    One of the well-known costs of inequality is that people withdraw from community life and are less likely to feel that they can trust others. This is partly a reflection of the way status anxiety makes us all more worried about how we are valued by others. Now that we can compare robust data for different countries, we can see not only what we knew intuitively — that inequality is divisive and socially corrosive — but that it also damages the individual psyche.

    Our tendency to equate outward wealth with inner worth invokes deep psychological responses, feelings of dominance and subordination, superiority and inferiority. This affects the way we see and treat one another…….

    my bold

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/02/how-inequality-hollows-out-the-soul/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

    • karol 35.1

      Thanks, js – and the conclusion:

      It is hard to avoid the conclusion that we become less nice people in more unequal societies. But we are less nice and less happy: Greater inequality redoubles status anxiety, damaging our mental health and distorting our personalities — wherever we are on the social spectrum.

      And what is interesting, it’s not so much the money but the power and status that goes with it in societies where there is a high level of income inequality.

  32. Skinny 36

    Hurry, offer ends 10 February 2014!

    Dear Mr Sucker

    Here below is a email I got today, an hour later I hear on radio NZ the last of our power assets is soon to be sold. I havent worked out the increase as its tricky to break costs down. The terms and conditions allow them to opt out and charge more ‘if they find an error’ in prices.

    Either way my power bill is going up. Thousands of customers will be thanking Key-National by not giving them their vote.

    Dear Mr Sucker

    You’ve been asking for it, so we’ve been putting our energy
    into making it happen. Now here it is, the opportunity for
    you to fix your electricity prices for the next two years.

    That means certainty about your electricity prices, because your per unit price and daily fixed charge for your electricity
    will be locked away and won’t change for 24 months*. You’ll
    pay a little more than your current prices, but it’s a small
    increase to guarantee peace of mind. Plus you’ll still get a
    discount when you pay in full and on time.

    Your Current Price Plan (excl. GST)
    2 Year Fixed Price Plan (excl. GST)
    Daily Fixed Charge Electricity – cents/day 33.33
    33.33
    Variable AnytimeRate Electricity – cents/kWh 28.74
    30.46

    Variable Controlled Rate Electricity – cents/kWh 19.91.
    21.10

    19.91 21.10

    Fixed Prices Exceptions

    We reserve the right to change prices if;

    A) It discovers an error in prices.

      

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  • Tertiary funding plummets: independent economist
    Tertiary education funding has fallen dramatically in the last five years according to an independent report by BERL economist Ganesh Nana....
    Tertiary Education Union | 20-08
  • U35 group starts up at Otago University
    Younger workers at the University of Otago often don’t know what work rights they’re entitled to. That’s the message TEU’s new U35 group at the university received from those who attended its Midwinter Mixer last Friday night. Organised as part...
    Tertiary Education Union | 20-08
  • Reaction to our new ads
    Wow! What a reception! It’s been great to see people’s positive feedback on our new TV ads which started airing yesterday. Here are just some of the comments:  ...
    Labour campaign | 20-08
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #34A
    A ‘major challenge’ to South Asia’s economic development Cities’ air problems only get worse with climate change Climate change reflected in altered Missouri River flow Climate scientist calls on colleagues to speak up on global warming Defending forests is daily...
    Skeptical Science | 20-08
  • Scotland: Get out now while you still can
    Scotland goes to the polls in a month in a referendum on independence. The assumption throughout the campaign has been that if Scotland votes to stay in the UK, it will be rewarded with further devolved powers - an assumption...
    No Right Turn | 20-08
  • The SIS OIA
    Via Stuff: Labour MP Phil Goff says he has evidence the prime minister was briefed about a decision to release Security Intelligence Service documents to WhaleOil blogger Cameron Slater. John Key, who is also the minister responsible for the SIS,...
    DimPost | 20-08
  • The SIS OIA
    Via Stuff: Labour MP Phil Goff says he has evidence the prime minister was briefed about a decision to release Security Intelligence Service documents to WhaleOil blogger Cameron Slater. John Key, who is also the minister responsible for the SIS,...
    DimPost | 20-08
  • Slater works with senior Nats
    Yesterday, the source behind the Dirty Politics scandal, @whaledump, released a large amount of communications between right wing blogger Cameron Slater and National party insider Aaron Bhatnagar.This evidence confirms that there is in fact a close relationship between Cameron Slater...
    The Jackal | 20-08
  • New Fisk
    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are...
    No Right Turn | 20-08
  • John Key was briefed
    New information showing that the Prime Minister was in fact briefed about the SIS releasing information to right wing blogger Cameron Slater has come to light.It shows that the Director of Security at the time, Warren Tucker, had written directly...
    The Jackal | 20-08
  • Key lied
    Interview with John Key, Morning Report, 18 August 2014:ESPINER: Well let’s have a look at some of those specifics in the book. Cameron Slater gets an OIA request granted from the SIS which embarrasses Phil Goff. It’s approved in a...
    No Right Turn | 20-08
  • Life’s a Beach, Save New Chum!
    On Tuesday I presented a petition to the Mayor of the Thames Coromandel with Linda Smith from the “Save New Chum for Everyone” group. Linda and I have been working together for some years now on the campaign to protect...
    frogblog | 20-08
  • Who is a policy-free zone?
    Over at Cut Your Hair, there is a great analysis of John's Key's desperate spin about "who is running away from the policy debate?": The latest of John Key’s increasingly desperate defences against Dirty Politics and Whaledump is to say:...
    Polity | 20-08
  • ‘John Key, Stop Bullshitting Me’
    Enjoy, Share – and Think Before You Vote – Vote With Common Sense...
    An average kiwi | 20-08
  • Jobs After Coal: Full Report, Summary Report, and Presentation Now Availabl...
    Jobs After Coal is Coal Action Network Aotearoa’s report, released in May 2014, that shows how coal mining communities can move beyond dependence on coal jobs – and how we can provide a just transition for workers in the coal industry into other...
    Coal Action | 20-08
  • When Stupid meets Hypocrisy, the result is David Farrar – *Update*
    . . Further to National Party  blogger, pollster, and political apparatchik making this  public post on Facebook; . . To quote in cut-and-pastable text; “For reasons I’ll make clear tomorrow, but should not be hard to guess, I need to...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-08
  • When Stupid meets Hypocrisy, the result is David Farrar – *Update*
    . . Further to National Party  blogger, pollster, and political apparatchik making this  public post on Facebook; . . To quote in cut-and-pastable text; “For reasons I’ll make clear tomorrow, but should not be hard to guess, I need to...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-08
  • The terrifying genius of the Islamic State
    The horrific beheading of American journalist James Foley, at the hands of a so-called Islamic State (IS) militant with a British accent, has caused an earthquake on the mainstream and social media platforms.It was at once a video of a...
    Pundit | 20-08
  • Proof
    Here's a tweet from Felix Marwick this morning: What the PM said about his knowledge of Slater's SIS OIA http://t.co/u8AmXeX7jy What the SIS told me in 2011 pic.twitter.com/tPNvehTzJ0 — Felix Marwick (@felixmarwick) August 20, 2014 This is very serious. To...
    Polity | 20-08
  • Key’s ducking for cover – utterly unbelievable!!!
    .   . I don’t often re-print media stories verbatim – but this piece by Andrea Vance, for Fairfax Media,  deserves wider circulation. Please note the highlighted statements by Dear Leader as he ducks, weaves, obfuscates, and deflects any and...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-08
  • Key’s ducking for cover – utterly unbelievable!!!
    .   . I don’t often re-print media stories verbatim – but this piece by Andrea Vance, for Fairfax Media,  deserves wider circulation. Please note the highlighted statements by Dear Leader as he ducks, weaves, obfuscates, and deflects any and...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-08
  • Long Term Plan and Transport
    Yesterday I looked at the numbers behind council’s Long Term Plan, the first version of which is being worked on by the mayor for release next Thursday. As well as the all the numbers regarding the potential funding gap, there...
    Transport Blog | 20-08
  • Dirty Politics: One News Colmar-Brunton Snap Poll
     One News Colmar-Brunton         Snap Poll on Dirty Politics                   509 Respondents                            August 14-15                                                      Q 1:  "Have you heard of...
    Sub zero politics | 20-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Key must clarify who signed out SIS OIA
    Yet again John Key is proving incapable of answering a simple question on an extremely important issue – this time who signed off Cameron Slater’s fast-tracked SIS OIA request on Phil Goff, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “John Key’s claim...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
  • PRIME MINISTER’S DENIAL AT ODDS WITH NATIONAL PARTY STATEMENT
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Dear John, time to answer a few questions… – Harawira
    “When Cameron Slater says about Kim Dotcom ‘I have lots on him…death by a thousand cuts…wait till you see what comes out in coming weeks on that fat c***t’, you have to ask whether this is the same Cameron Slater...
    Mana | 14-08
  • MANA CANDIDATE FOR IKAROA RAWHITI OPENS UP ABOUT SUICIDE
    “This week suicide has claimed yet more lives in whanau and communities in Ikaroa Rawhiti, and my heart goes out to those who are dealing with such a tragic loss”, says MANA candidate for Te Ikaroa Rawhiti, Te Hamua Nikora....
    Mana | 14-08
  • Offshore betting in Labour’s sights
    A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour’s Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says. Releasing Labour’s racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Key has serious questions to answer on Dirty Politics
    John Key must answer the serious questions raised in Nicky Hager’s new book which reveal examples of dirty politics that New Zealanders will be deeply concerned about, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Many people will be disturbed by the evidence...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Creating an inclusive society for disabled people
    A Labour Government will provide free annual health checks for people with an intellectual disability, Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today in announcing Labour’s Disability Issues policy. “We will also employ another 100 additional special education teachers and...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA name change
    This is to advise all media that on the 24th of July the ‘Mana’ party name was officially changed to ‘MANA Movement’ under the Electoral Act 1993.  The inclusion of the word ‘Movement’ in our name shouldn’t come as a surprise...
    Mana | 13-08
  • New Zealand must help in the growing Iraq crisis
    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq looks certain to get worse before it gets better,” said David Shearer Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealand should urgently pledge increased humanitarian assistance to United Nations agencies and NGOs present on the ground....
    Labour | 13-08
  • Allegations of migrant worker rort should be investigated
    Labour is calling for an investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers at Hutt Railway workshops, hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives. Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard has written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment asking that...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Medical and dentistry students get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour Government will restore the right of medical and dentistry students to get student loans after seven years of study because it is the right thing to do, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Hard on the heels...
    Labour | 13-08
  • National must stop meddling with ACC before the election
    The redesign currently occurring at the Accident Claims Corporation (ACC) for sensitive claims needs to be put on hold immediately, said the Green Party today.The Green Party is concerned about work currently underway at ACC involving the sensitive claims service...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting
    First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Green Party celebrates MOU win on contaminated sites
    The Green Party is celebrating the announcement of a national register of contaminated sites today, and $2.5 million to start cleaning two sites up. The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Emergency staff at breaking point
    The Southern DHB is so cash-strapped it is failing to fill nursing rosters, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.  “Every day emergency department nurses arrive at work knowing they are likely to be carrying more than their recommended workload. ...
    Labour | 12-08
  • ACC minister fails in mission to change culture
    The latest damning report by the Auditor General shows that the ACC Minister has failed to fulfil her mission to fix the sick culture at ACC and real change will not come till a new Government is elected, the Green...
    Greens | 12-08
  • Labour’s regional development fund to support Palmerston North
    Labour will consider a proposal to develop an inland port at Palmerston North, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region which...
    Labour | 12-08
  • Green Party announces priorities for Christchurch
    The Green Party has today announced its plan for a fairer, smarter and more democratic Canterbury rebuild, with a focus on smart transport solutions, restoring local democracy, and keeping Christchurch's assets.The plan sits across all of the Green Party's priorities...
    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Accessible healthcare also affordable
      It is obvious from Tony Ryall’s hasty attack of Labour’s plans to extend free GP visits to older people that he hasn’t bothered to actually read the policy, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. "Mr Ryall’s response to Labour’s...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Full details of oil execs’ junket revealed
    Full details of a $237,000 taxpayer-funded oil executives' junket in 2011 have emerged.National paid the nearly quarter of a million dollars to wine and dine 11 oil executives in New Zealand during the World Cup.The trip included yachting, wine tasting,...
    Greens | 10-08
  • Nats sold 500 rugby fields of land a day offshore
    Under National over one million hectares of land has been approved for overseas sale – 16 times the size of Lake Taupō or the equivalent of five hundred rugby fields a day, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “According to...
    Labour | 10-08
  • Joyce’s dodgy sums fool no-one
    Steven Joyce's attempt to attack Labour's positive plan for affordable healthcare will fool no-one. "We knew that National would try to say that we can't afford free GP visits and prescriptions for the New Zealanders who need it. But, as...
    Labour | 10-08
  • Campaign Launch – Ready to Win
    Today I launched Labour's election campaign at the Viaduct Events Centre, Auckland. Here is the speech I gave....
    Labour | 10-08
  • Labour extends free GP visits, free prescriptions
    Nearly 40 per cent of Kiwis – or 1.7 million people – will be eligible for free doctors’ visits and free prescriptions under a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Last year more than half a million New Zealanders...
    Labour | 10-08
  • Labour promises a fairer ACC for all Kiwis
    Accident compensation for loss of potential earnings will rise under a Labour Government, while people not earning at the time of their accident will also be eligible for compensation, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Releasing Labour’s ACC policy today...
    Labour | 08-08
  • NZ Govt must push for fair play in Fiji elections
    The New Zealand Government needs to do more to push for human rights and media freedom in Fiji as it stages its first election since the 2006 coup, the Green Party said today.Amnesty International has released a report which documents...
    Greens | 07-08
  • Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS...
    Analysis by Selwyn Manning. INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Test Stream
    width="600" height="400"> archive="http://theora.org/cortado.jar [3]" width="600" height="401">...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • LIVE STREAM: You, Me and the GCSB ChCh Public Meetings
    LIVE STREAM EVENT here at 1pm & 7pm: The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. PLEASE NOTE: TDB recommends Chrome and Firefox...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today,
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • How @whaledump might destroy the popular vote for National
    Dirty Politics is now creating a meltdown and National are in danger of a total vote collapse. The real threat to for National was if Nicky had all the emails released via the anonymous hacker who took them. That danger is now a...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Open letter to Radio NZ – you need to make a retraction now
    I have just sent this off to Radio NZ right now Dear Radio NZ Firstly, what a great interview by Guyon Espiner this morning with the Prime Minister. Great to see such hard hitting journalism. Unfortunately I am not contacting...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Radio NZ are lying about me
    I am getting this all second hand at the moment as I don’t bother listening to Radio NZ (except for that wonderful Wallace Chapman in the weekends) but there is a claim that Suzie Ferguson just insinuated on Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Farrar’s fake claim of being invaded + Slater’s claims of death threats...
    The counter spin to avoid focus on the series allegations made in Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics continues. David Farrar’s ridiculous hysterics that he was invaded and his privacy has been blah blah blah has all been reduced from computer hacking to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • A shout out to the unsung heroes – our Public Service staff
    Government departments, particularly in the social welfare, education and health areas get a lot of shtick. And it’s not unjustified. We have problems in the way that our government departments treat those in need. And I do not intend to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Key’s ducking for cover – utterly unbelievable!!!
    .   . I don’t often re-print media stories verbatim – but this piece by Andrea Vance, for Fairfax Media,  deserves wider circulation. Please note the highlighted statements by Dear Leader as he ducks, weaves, obfuscates, and deflects any and...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics – Who is the source of Hager’s emails?
    Who is the source of Hager’s emails? Kim Dotcom has categorically denied he has anything to do with this and Nicky Hager has categorically denied that Kim was the source of the emails. Whatever you think about Kim (and he...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Dirty Politics – Audio+Text Why It Is Essential Raw Data Be Released Imme...
    MIL OSI – Source: RadioLive – Sunday Panel Analysis Headline: Dirty Politics – Audio Analysis by Selwyn Manning + Rodney Hide + Mark Sainsbury MIL Video: Selwyn Manning, Rodney Hide, and Mark Sainsbury discuss and debate the explosive details revealed...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • TV One and TV3 Political Polls – not such a landslide now
    Before the impact of Dirty Politics has been felt, the National Party high point in the Polls had been reached and their inevitable  drop begins. Despite the mainstream media telling NZers for almost 3 years that John Key would win...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics – You will not believe Key’s defence of hackin...
    He actually used a sporting analogy. Can you believe it? John Key, asked on the fact that his staff had entered into a Labour Party computer and downloaded their database, Key replied, “It’s a bit like the Wallabies positing up their...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • A brief word on 100 Top political Tweeters
    The NZ Herald has put together a very useful list of top 100 political twtter accounts, what is most interesting from the lists is that the right wing all work hand in glove with each other where as the Left...
    The Daily Blog | 16-08
  • Are Whaleoil’s traffic stats a bloated illusion?
    Dim Post has done a critical analysis of just how real Cameron Slater’s traffic stats are. TDB has only been around for a year with a fragment of the digital footprint of the older blogs, yet we have managed to become...
    The Daily Blog | 16-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics – Is Jordan Williams deceptive enough to blackma...
    There are so many issues raised by Nicky Hager’s book, that any one of them would be worthy of total focus on. Let’s chat about the claim in the book that Jordan Williams bragged to Slater and Lusk that he had...
    The Daily Blog | 16-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics – Why ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evi...
    This sign shows how National’s see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil denial isn’t working. National’s response to the book is that there is NOTHING in there that deserves anything more than the most briefest of eye motions. Key won’t...
    The Daily Blog | 16-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • “Bromance” Marriage Stunt Insulting Says LegaliseLove
    A promotional competition asking two best mates to get married in order to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup is insulting, marriage equality campaign LegaliseLove Aotearoa claims....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Cannabis Party first to register for 2014 General Election
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party became the first party to register for the 2014 General Election today, when it meet with the Electoral Commission in Wellington at Midday....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • PGA: Addresses NZ’s ratification of Arms Trade Treaty
    President of Parliamentarians for Global Action and New Zealand MP Ross Robertson today addressed a celebration to mark New Zealand’s imminent ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which is expected within the next few weeks....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Roy Morgan Poll August 20
    National (48%) holds its lead over Labour/ Greens (39%) as ‘Dirty Politics’ revelations provide a new challenge for PM John Key’s leadership. NZ First surge to 6.5% - highest support since September 2013....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • IGIS inquiry into release of NZSIS information
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced today that she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Glen Scanlon to Head Digital Media at Radio New Zealand
    Radio New Zealand has announced the appointment of Glen Scanlon to the recently created position of head of digital media....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Israel’s Gaza ceasefire violations go unreported
    It seems that it is only ceasefire violations that emanate from the Palestinian side that ever get publicised....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug courier sentenced for importing heroin
    South African drug courier, Laura Elizabeth Cilliers, was sentenced today in the Christchurch District Court to 7 years and 10 months in prison for importing approximately 1.2 kilograms of heroin....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Residential Property Speculators Days Numbered
    Rent heat cools as homes are replaced ... Liz McDonald ... The Press http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/your-property/10400851/Rent-heat-cools-as-homes-are-replaced Comment on thread (in moderation) … Christchurch is a “severely unaffordable” City as the Annual Demographia Survey ( www.demographia.com ) illustrates … thanks...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Academic’s study shows need for a Ministry of Public Input
    A book by Associate Professor Jennifer Lees-Marshment recommends the creation of a Ministry of Public Input to collect, process and communicate the publics’ ideas to government. The University of Auckland’s political marketing expert says the...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Government inaction killing innocent motorists
    Innocent people are dying due to long delays in installing centre lane barriers on high risk roads, says an outspoken road safety campaigner....
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Property revaluations for council rates must be reformed
    Opportunity to bring controls on rating value changes and more equitable level of annual rates increase...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Ron Mark Sets the Example
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the pledge by Mayor of Carterton and NZ First candidate Ron Mark who has announced he would relinquish his roles as Mayor and member of two District Health Boards if successfully elected to Parliament. Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Ban 1080 Candidates announced for 2014 General Election
    MEDIA RELEASE: Angry rural communities want issue of 1080 aerial drops taken to the polls, says party co-leader Ban 1080 Candidates announced for 2014 General Election...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Governor General Gives Direction to Conduct Election
    The Governor General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has given the green light for this year’s General Election....
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • New Zealand Animal Groups Unite to Help
    WELLINGTON (19 Aug 2014) – The Be Cruelty-Free campaign to ban animal testing of cosmetics in New Zealand just got bigger and stronger, as two leading animal protection groups come on board. Joining forces with Humane Society International which has...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Students Interrupt Steven Joyce at University Event
    A group of 30 students this evening interrupted an event about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce began to speak, students interrupted with a speech of their own....
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Caritas among first responders offering relief in Iraq
    As the plight of Iraqis fleeing persecution reaches tragic levels, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has pledged an initial $10,000 to support the work of Caritas in Iraq to provide humanitarian aid to thousands of families affected by the war and...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • iPredict 2014 Election Update #31: Nats take hit
    Election race narrows significantly · National party vote now below Labour/Greens · National’s probability of leading next government dips to 72% · Joyce expected to take over as National leader before end of 2015, as Collins’ prospects fall...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Call for applications – Fulbright scholar awards
    Fulbright New Zealand calls for applications to a range of scholar awards for New Zealand academics, artists and professionals to undertake academic and cultural exchanges to the United States of America. A Fulbright exchange provides life-changing opportunities...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • CWS launches appeal for Iraqis on World Humanitarian Day
    Christian World Service is appealing for help for tens of thousands of Iraqis caught up in one of the world’s horrifying conflicts....
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Promoting the Voice of the Rangatahi
    Young Māori voters are seen by the Māori Party to have a vital part to play in saving the Māori seats in Parliament says the Māori Party’s youngest candidate, Reverend Te Hira Paenga. “What we’re hearing on the ground is...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Nelson Election Candidates’ Community Forum
    Nelson’s community and volunteer sector has some serious questions to put to the local candidates in the run up to next month’s general election....
    Scoop politics | 19-08
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