web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

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.

      

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    Labour
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    Labour
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    Labour
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    Labour
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    Labour
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki… ...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It… ...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry. ...
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its… ...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review… ...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the… ...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says.… ...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience. ...
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson. ...
    Labour
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare… ...
    Labour
  • Tourist safety tags won’t lower toll, says safety campaigner
    Steering wheel tags with road safety tips for visiting drivers will do little or nothing to lower the tourist road toll, says a prominent road safety campaigner. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Tourist safety tags won’t lower toll, says safety campaigner
    Steering wheel tags with road safety tips for visiting drivers will do little or nothing to lower the tourist road toll, says a prominent road safety campaigner. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Public invited to have say on human rights record
    A draft report on New Zealand’s performance under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has been released for public comment by the Ministry of Justice. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Public invited to have say on human rights record
    A draft report on New Zealand’s performance under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has been released for public comment by the Ministry of Justice. ...
    Scoop politics
  • “Prominent Auckland businessman” a depraved predator
    The 15-year prison sentence imposed on a “prominent Auckland businessman” for shackling and sexually violating young drug-addicted girls in a dungeon, has been welcomed by sexual violence advocacy group, Stop Demand Foundation. ...
    Scoop politics
  • “Prominent Auckland businessman” a depraved predator
    The 15-year prison sentence imposed on a “prominent Auckland businessman” for shackling and sexually violating young drug-addicted girls in a dungeon, has been welcomed by sexual violence advocacy group, Stop Demand Foundation. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Proprietors of Wakatū v Attorney-General
    The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Wakatū Incorporation, Rore Pat Stafford and Te Kāhui Ngahuru Trust alleging breaches of trust and fiduciary duty against the Crown. The High Court had also dismissed the claims. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Proprietors of Wakatū v Attorney-General
    The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Wakatū Incorporation, Rore Pat Stafford and Te Kāhui Ngahuru Trust alleging breaches of trust and fiduciary duty against the Crown. The High Court had also dismissed the claims. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Smith investigation warrants executed
    Auckland City Police investigating prison absconder Phillip Smith's activities prior to his departure from New Zealand recently, are aware of allegations about a Department of Corrections staff member and today located and spoke with the person named in ...
    Scoop politics
  • Is Your Family Ok This Christmas?
    For many people Christmas is a time for gift giving and eating until you fall asleep on your Grandparent’s sofa. Unfortunately, in New Zealand, many families do not experience Christmas this way. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Government delivers realistic land transport investment plan
    Government delivers realistic land transport investment plan The AA has welcomed the Government Policy Statement (GPS) on land transport 2015/16 - 2024/25. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Korero Mai Kia Ahau: Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 December 2014
    Despite the cracking pace set by Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson, National fell short of its 2014 deadline for completing historic Treaty settlements and quietly extended it to 2017. In Kia Korero Mai, Eruera Morgan talks to Waitangi ...
    Scoop politics
  • Reminder of the value of council recreation investment
    High holiday season demand for city parks, aquatic centres, cycleways and other recreation infrastructure highlights the vital importance of continued council investment in new facilities, says New Zealand Recreation Association Chief Executive Andrew Leslie. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Judge Advises Circumventing Law on Fluoride
    Justice David Collins has taken it upon himself to advise the NZ Ministry of Health's legal team on how best to circumvent the Judicial Review before him, regarding fluoridation in New Zealand. It appears the Judge is well aware that… ...
    Scoop politics
  • Consultation on NZ report on the Rights of the Child
    Sacha O’Dea, General Manager, Ageing, Disability and International of the Ministry of Social Development, announced the opening of public consultation on the Fifth Periodic Report under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) ...
    Scoop politics
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere