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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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    Redline | 24-10
  • De-industrialisation and the prospects for socialism
    Is the world really de-industrialising? by Michael Roberts Last week I spoke on a panel that debated De-industrialisation and socialism.  The panel was organised by Spring, a Manchester-based group in England that has become a forum for the discussion of...
    Redline | 24-10
  • Looking back with pride – Maryan Street
    Maryan Street joined the Labour Party in 1984, was President from 1995-1997 and became an MP in 2005. She talked to Labour Voices about her Labour journey and the people, events and achievements she recalls with the greatest pride....
    Labour campaign | 24-10
  • Strong and comprehensive
    DEVELOPING “a very strong and comprehensive” Women’s Affairs policy going into the 2014 election is one of the achievements Carol Beaumont is most proud of. And being unable to implement it one of her regrets....
    Labour campaign | 24-10
  • Christchurch’s rebuild should be decided by Christchurch, not Welling...
    Radio New Zealand has an appalling story this morning about the government's interference in the Christchurch rebuild over the new District Plan. Normally district plans are decided by elected local councils accountable to the voters who will live under them....
    No Right Turn | 24-10
  • Turning a blind eye to corruption
    As we are constantly reminded, New Zealand consistently leads the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index as the "least corrupt country in the world". And as we are increasingly becoming aware, that reputation may be undeserved. Today there's another nail in...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Police Association off target with call to arm Police
    Arming our Police will lead to more crime, more violence, and more killings – by criminals, and potentially even by police. The Police Commissioner is correct in pointing out that the Police Association’s recent call to arm all officers is...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • Political interference at Maori Television
    A government-owned television channel arranges an interview with a former opposition MP, but the government-appointed CEO spikes it. Something from Russia or Cuba maybe? No - according to Hone Harawira its happening right here in New Zealand:“[Maori TV CEO Paora]...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • September 14 Patronage
    Auckland’s Transport’s patronage results for September are now out and they show that the city is experiencing spectacular PT growth, growth which is also setting a number of records. The big news was earlier in the week was that when it was announced...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • Maiden speech – Jenny Salesa
    Jenny Salesa, Labour MP for Manukau East, has given her Maiden Speech in Parliament....
    Labour campaign | 23-10
  • Maiden speech – Adrian Rurawhe
    Adrian Rurawhe, Labour MP for Te Tai Hauāuru, has given his Maiden Speech in Parliament....
    Labour campaign | 23-10
  • Roastbusters, one year on (almost)
    March in Wellington against rape culture, from Stuff.co.nz Content warning: contains discussion of rape and sexual assault You can literally get away with rape in this country. You can be a serial rapist, with photographic and video evidence you willingly...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Labour Needs To Stop Saying What People DON”T want to hear.
    A Freight Train called Key: On election night 1975 Bill Rowling said Muldoon's landslide victory felt like being hit by a bus. Oh what David Cunliffe would have given for that bus on 20 September 2014!THE ANGUISH of Labour supporters...
    Bowalley Road | 23-10
  • And if you have to carry a gun to keep your fragile seat at number one R...
    What happened at Canada's war memorial and parliamentary buildings is a pretty bad thing. It should, however, be kept in some sort of perspective. ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Beware the sucker ploy.
    A few years back I wrote about the strategic utility of terrorism. One thing I did not mention in that post was the use of a tried and true guerrilla tactic as part of the terrorist arsenal: the sucker ploy....
    Kiwipolitico | 23-10
  • Hard News: Friday Music: An accompanied korero
    I'm chairing the LATE at the Museum event next month, under the title The Age of Slacktivism. We've picked a strong lineup -- Nicky Hager, Matthew Hooton, Marianne Elliot, Laura O'Connell Rapira -- and it should be a rousing hour's...
    Public Address | 23-10
  • 6 amazing renewable energy projects that we love
    Here's a few renewable energy projects from around the world -- ones that we totally love.1. Germany has invested big in solar and wind. And in the first six months of 2012, the amount of electricity produced using renewables jumped from...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • China’s coal use actually falling now (for the first time this centur...
    Coal use in China is falling this year - according to official data reported in the Chinese press.It is the first time this century that China has seen year on year quarterly falls in coal use. The Chinese economy continues to grow...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Can new roads pay for themselves?
    It’s common to hear people say that because roads are paid for by their users (fn 1), we should build more roads. After all, the new roads will fund themselves! At first glance, this seems convincing. But a closer look...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies, sons & daughters were sent to d...
      As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies Sons & daughters were sent to die Meanwhile at home democracy cried But his government crowed Everything’s fine.   Other peoples’ children signed up for his war While at home in comfort...
    Politically Corrected | 23-10
  • Why I am on the left
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Post by Jem I am left first and...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Minister to attend TPP Ministers’ Meeting
    Press Release – New Zealand Government Trade Minister Tim Groser will depart today for Sydney to join Ministers from countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for the next round of negotiations.Hon Tim Groser Minister of Trade 24 October 2014...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    Press Release – The Nation This weekend on The Nation with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP
    Press Release – Federated Farmers International Agricultural and Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP At the round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations taking place this week in Australia, agri-food producer and processor groups from Canada, Australia …International...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Grant Robertson is not as much like Joseph Stalin as some would have you th...
    It’s not often you see a New Zealand political figure compared favourably to Stalin, but this is what Chris Trotter has done to that decidedly non-genocidal non-lunatic Grant Robertson.  ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance
    It is depressingly apparent that powerful forces in the global economy are set to carry on with the exploration for and use of fossil fuels ass a primary source of energy for decades to come. Oxfam has produced a report...
    Hot Topic | 23-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health about Katherine Rich’s c...
    KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health : Is he satisfied that there is no conflict of interest in the head of the Food and Grocery Council, Katherine Rich, being a board member of the Health Promotion Agency; if so,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister on the Deployment of New Zealand Speci...
    Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be "no greater than I think the...
    Greens | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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