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Open mike 03/02/2014

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

openmike

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

 

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

  1. North 1

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

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

    • Tiger Mountain 1.1

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

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

    • amirite 1.2

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

  2. amirite 2

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

    • A.Ziffel 2.1

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

  3. libertarian-coup @ act..?

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

    i.e…legalising pot..

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

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

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

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

    ..as a leech/loser..

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

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

    ..do they know that..?

    phillip ure..

    • tricledrown 3.1

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

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

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

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

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

    ..and would also do social-good..

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

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

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

    ..easy-as to do..

    phillip ure..

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

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

  5. karol 5

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

    • ScottGN 5.1

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

      • Bill 5.1.1

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

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

    • Will@Welly 5.2

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

      • Ed 5.2.1

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

        • Will@Welly 5.2.1.1

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

  6. tricledrown 6

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

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

    phillip ure..

    • Chooky 7.1

      did you know him?

      seems like a silly thing to do

      • phillip ure 7.1.1

        @ chooky..

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

        ..and overestimate their tolerance-level..

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

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

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

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

        phillip ure..

    • MaxFletcher 7.2

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

      • phillip ure 7.2.1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        ..using narcotics..?..

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

        ..prohibitionist-idiots obviously choose the former..

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

        once that child is born..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        phillip ure..

    • McFlock 7.3

      a great loss, regardless of circumstance

      • phillip ure 7.3.1

        @ mcflock..aye..

        ..all accidental heroin deaths are..

        ..i lost a cousin that way..

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

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

        ..he should still be alive..

        ..vale..stephen..

        ..phillip ure..

  8. North 8

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

    What a bad bunch !

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

    • miravox 8.1

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

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

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

      • phillip ure 8.1.1

        @ miravox..

        ..heh..!

        phillip ure..

      • Ennui 8.1.2

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

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

      • greywarbler 8.1.3

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

    • Chooky 8.2

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

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

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

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

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

      ….come in all NZ philosophers

      • miravox 8.2.1

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

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

        • Chooky 8.2.1.1

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

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

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

      • Ennui 8.2.2

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

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

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

        • Chooky 8.2.2.1

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

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

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

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

          • David H 8.2.2.1.1

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

            • Chooky 8.2.2.1.1.1

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

            • Chooky 8.2.2.1.1.2

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

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

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

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

  9. Rosie 9

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

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

    • bad12 9.1

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

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

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

      • srylands 9.1.1

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

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

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

        • McFlock 9.1.1.1

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

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

        • bad12 9.1.1.2

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

  10. greywarbler 10

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

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

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

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

      • Ennui 10.1.1

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

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

    • Will@Welly 10.2

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

    • cricklewood 10.3

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

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

      • greywarbler 10.3.1

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

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

        • cricklewood 10.3.1.1

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

          • greywarbler 10.3.1.1.1

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

    • freedom 10.4

      has anyone raised the bloody obvious?

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

      • srylands 10.4.1

        Dude, seriously? That is your argument?

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

        • freedom 10.4.1.1

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

          • greywarbler 10.4.1.1.1

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

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

      • cricklewood 10.4.2

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

  11. ScottGN 11

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

    • @scott..

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

      ..phillip ure..

      • amirite 11.1.1

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

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

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

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

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

  12. greywarbler 12

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

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

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

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

    • Bearded Git 12.1

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

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

      • phillip ure 12.1.1

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

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

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

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

        ..on the roads..

        ..phillip ure..

      • greywarbler 12.1.2

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

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.3

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

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

      • emergency mike 12.1.4

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

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

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

        • McFlock 12.1.4.1

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

          • emergency mike 12.1.4.1.1

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

    • McFlock 12.2

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

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

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

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

      • greywarbler 12.2.1

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

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

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

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

        • McFlock 12.2.1.1

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

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

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

          • greywarbler 12.2.1.1.1

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

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

            • McFlock 12.2.1.1.1.1

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

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

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

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

            • Bearded Git 12.2.1.1.1.2

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

  13. JK 13

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

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

    • Tracey 13.1

      This is the truth that wayne mapp finds offensive

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

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

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 13.2

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

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

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

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

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

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

  14. North 14

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

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

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

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

  16. North 16

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

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

    • freedom 16.1

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

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

    • North 16.2

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

      • greywarbler 16.2.1

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

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

      • Rodel 16.2.2

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

  17. freedom 17

    want a giggle with your coffee?

  18. Crunchtime 18

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

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

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

    Totally recommend this, great reading:

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

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

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

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

      ..i hope so..

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

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

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

      ..phillip ure..

    • karol 18.2

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

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

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

      • phillip ure 18.2.1

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

        phillip ure..

      • Bill 18.2.2

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

        • Colonial Viper 18.2.2.1

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

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

      • Crunchtime 18.2.3

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

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

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

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

        • karol 18.2.3.1

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

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

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

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

          • Crunchtime 18.2.3.1.1

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

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

            Some sort of sea-change is needed.

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

          • Crunchtime 18.2.3.1.2

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

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

          • phillip ure 18.2.3.1.3

            @ karol..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            ..and so don’t do it..?

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

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

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

            ..that just isn’t so..

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

            …but this is no longer the case..

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

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

            ..in the upcoming election-campaign..

            phillip ure..

          • Colonial Viper 18.2.3.1.4

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

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

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

            • karol 18.2.3.1.4.1

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

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

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

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

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

              • Colonial Viper

                Emotive and moral arguments are not the same thing.

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

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

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

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

                • karol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Bill 18.3

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

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

      • phillip ure 18.3.1

        @ bill..

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

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

        ..eh..?..

        ..phillip ure..

        • Crunchtime 18.3.1.1

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

          Cunliffe gets it right sometimes, but not consistently.

          • phillip ure 18.3.1.1.1

            @ ct..

            ..the greens are guilty of it too..

            ..and so is mana..

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

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

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

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

            ..but aside from that..?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            ..the ‘vision’..

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

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

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

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

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

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

            ..and while he is there..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            ..phillip ure..

            • Crunchtime 18.3.1.1.1.1

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

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

              • greywarbler

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

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

                • Crunchtime

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

                  Otherwise…

                  It becomes labourious…

                  To read all of it and digest…

                  The information.

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

                  • Chooky

                    i found that easy to read thanks

                    ….i like phillip’s style

                    ….it is unique

                  • i take that on board..

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

                    ..chrs 4 the feedback..

                    ..you make sense..

                    ..i will lift my game another notch..

                    ..phillip ure..

              • Bearded Git

                +1 Crunchie.

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

      • Draco T Bastard 18.3.2

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

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

      • Colonial Viper 18.3.3

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

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

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

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

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

        • Crunchtime 18.3.3.1

          exactly, +1.

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

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

          • Colonial Viper 18.3.3.1.1

            Thanks for that…

          • karol 18.3.3.1.2

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

            • Puddleglum 18.3.3.1.2.1

              Hi karol,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              • karol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                • Colonial Viper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                  • karol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                    • Colonial Viper

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

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

                • just saying

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

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

                  • karol

                    Thank-you js.

                  • Bill

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

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

                    is something that George Lakoff said.

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

                    is something Zoe Williams wrote.

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

                    • Bill

                      Tried to edit, but ran outta time.

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

                    • karol

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

                      On political vs religious beliefs.

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

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

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

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

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

                    • Bill

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

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

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

                  • Hi just saying,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                    • RedLogix

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

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

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

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

                    • karol

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

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

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.3.3.2

          Yes good observation Colonial Viper,

          Yes, “Houston, we have a problem”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          [my emphasis added]

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

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

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

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

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

          • Colonial Viper 18.3.3.2.1

            And that’s darn nice, BL.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.3.3.2.1.1

              Thanks CV

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

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

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

              This is what I was quoting:

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

              • karol

                Ah “smile me a smile”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

                • Colonial Viper

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

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

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

                  • karol

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

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

          • karol 18.3.3.2.2

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

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

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.3.3.2.2.1

              @ Karol

              +1 [Response to your comment above 7.41pm]

            • gem 18.3.3.2.2.2

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

            • Colonial Viper 18.3.3.2.2.3

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

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

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

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

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

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

              • karol

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

            • Crunchtime 18.3.3.2.2.4

              I don’t see it that way.

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

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

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

              This MUST change.

              • karol

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • karol 18.3.3.3

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

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

          • Colonial Viper 18.3.3.3.1

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

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

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

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

            • karol 18.3.3.3.1.1

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

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

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

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

              Really – and where am I saying that?

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

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

        • karol 18.3.3.4

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

          • McFlock 18.3.3.4.1

            amazing, the powers of confirmation bias…

          • Colonial Viper 18.3.3.4.2

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

            • karol 18.3.3.4.2.1

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

              • Crunchtime

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

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

                • McFlock

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

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

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

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

                  • Crunchtime

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

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

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

                    • McFlock

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

                    • karol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • Chooky 18.3.3.5

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

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

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

          • Colonial Viper 18.3.3.5.1

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

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

            • McFlock 18.3.3.5.1.1

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

        • Flip 18.3.3.6

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

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

  19. AsleepWhileWalking 20

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Unfortunately it’s even worse than that.

    • Crunchtime 20.1

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

    • Tracey 20.2

      Thanks for this.

    • greywarbler 20.3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Colonial Viper 20.3.1

        So why is no one in prison?

        • greywarbler 20.3.1.1

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

      • Draco T Bastard 20.3.2

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

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

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

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

  20. greywarbler 22

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

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

  21. Scott 23

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

  22. Curtis 24

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

  23. captain hook 25

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

  24. PJ 26

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

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

    • Draco T Bastard 26.1

      That was an interesting article.

      • North 26.1.1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • KJT 26.1.2

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

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

        Knew I had read that somewhere. Thanks for Google.

    • greywarbler 26.2

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

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

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

      Here is some everyday poetry to follow yours PJ

    • Flip 26.3

      @PJ

      A really insightful article. I nearly wrote inciteful.

  25. greywarbler 27

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

  26. Craig Y 28

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

    • Richard McGrath 28.1

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

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

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

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

  27. North 29

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

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

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

    Who exactly would that be John ?

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

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 30.1

      This article is odd, Chris73

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

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

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

      • Colonial Viper 30.1.1

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

        • Richard McGrath 30.1.1.1

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

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

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

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

          • McFlock 30.1.1.1.1

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

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

          • RedLogix 30.1.1.1.2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • Draco T Bastard 30.1.1.1.3

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

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

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

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

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

          • Macro 30.1.1.1.4

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

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

            • miravox 30.1.1.1.4.1

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

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

              • Richard McGrath

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

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 30.1.1.1.5

            @ Richard McGrath

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

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

            Where does CV say that?

            He doesn’t

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            • Flip 30.1.1.1.5.1

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

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

              Greater equality must be obtained for the sake of civilisation.

            • Richard McGrath 30.1.1.1.5.2

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

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

              Where does CV say that?

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

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

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

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

          • KJT 30.1.1.1.6

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

            Correct. The whole thing is, as someone said.

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

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

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

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

    • McFlock 30.2

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

      • chris73 30.2.1

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

  28. Penny Bright 31

    Will new ACT leader Jamie Whyte answer THIS question?

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

    If not – why not? :)

    _____________________________________________________________________________

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

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

    If not – why not?

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation campaigner’

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

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

    • Richard McGrath 31.1

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

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

  29. floyd 32

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

    • RedBaronCV 32.1

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

  30. North 34

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

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

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

    • bad12 34.1

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

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

      • karol 34.1.1

        Hmmm… and Gower has tweeted that

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

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

    • RedRobin 34.2

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

      • North 34.2.1

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

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

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

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

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

        • RedRobin 34.2.1.1

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

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

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

          • North 34.2.1.1.1

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

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

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

    • Ad 34.3

      Aye she did good.

  31. just saying 35

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

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

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

    my bold

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

    • karol 35.1

      Thanks, js – and the conclusion:

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

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

  32. Skinny 36

    Hurry, offer ends 10 February 2014!

    Dear Mr Sucker

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

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

    Dear Mr Sucker

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

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

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

    Variable Controlled Rate Electricity – cents/kWh 19.91.
    21.10

    19.91 21.10

    Fixed Prices Exceptions

    We reserve the right to change prices if;

    A) It discovers an error in prices.

      

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    Pundit | 31-08
  • New Fisk
    Isis isn’t the first group to use the butcher’s knife as an instrument of policy. Nor will it be the last...
    No Right Turn | 31-08
  • More OIA skullduggery from National
    Another day, and more evidence the National government is manipulating the OIA process:Judith Collins' office processed an Official Information Act request in just two days to release an email embarrassing then Serious Fraud Office head Adam Feeley in 2011....
    No Right Turn | 31-08
  • Speaker: A Slight Diversion from Election Fever: A Brief Essay on the Lost ...
    About forty-three years ago, when I was a mere 55-year-old lad, I was fishing off Red Mercury Island in a cabin motorcruiser that I’d built. A fairly large yacht came slipping past quite close to us, very peaceful and quiet,...
    Public Address | 31-08
  • Time Decent Kiwis Demanded Key Resigns Immediately, Or Postpone The Electio...
    The dodgy, immoral, probably illegal activities that the National Party, and by default the Gov’t has been up to that are just starting to come to light, are simply totally unacceptable! The National Supporters who are more worried about who...
    An average kiwi | 31-08
  • Key must be summoned
    It beggars belief that the Minister in charge of the SIS, John Key, is still claiming to know nothing about his official's attacking public servants through a third rate blog site, Whale Oil Beef Hooked.If we were to believe the...
    The Jackal | 31-08
  • New shit has come to light
    Via Stuff (sorry about quoting so much of your story, guys):  Judith Collins’ office processed an Official Information Act request in just two days to release an email embarrassing then Serious Fraud Office head Adam Feeley in 2011. The revelation...
    DimPost | 31-08
  • Brownlee’s contempt for the OIA
    Minister’s office has delayed responding to my OIA request about possible cronyism involving up to $284 million of taxpayer's funds until after the election. This is a disgrace. As readers may recall, Gerry Brownlee recently announced the winners of $284...
    Polity | 31-08
  • Capture: The Colour Of Spring
    Here she comes Silent in her sound Here she comes Fresh upon the groundCome, gentle spring Come at winter's end Gone is the pallow From a promise that's nature's giftWaiting for the colour of spring* In as much as we...
    Public Address | 31-08
  • My own take on Dirty Politics
    Now that Judith Collins is gone, what now? First, of course, the search for answers carries on. What did John Key or Wayne Eagleson know about the dirty tricks campaign in their midst? Which other Ministers might be rotting the...
    Polity | 31-08
  • What is the CFN? Transport Debate Summary
    At the 2014 Election Transport Debate organised by the Campaign for Better Transport I was charged with summarising our Congestion Free Network as an introduction to the candidate’s speeches. Here is that short speech: What is the CFN? The CFN is...
    Transport Blog | 31-08
  • Gordon Campbell on John Key’s ‘blame it on Judith’ strategy
    Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious...
    Gordon Campbell | 31-08
  • On eve of major conference, UN chief spurs green investment
    Press Release – UN News 31 August 2014 Encouraging partnerships between the private sector and small developing island nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday urged corporate leaders to invest in renewable energy and make historic strides in sustainability.SAMOA: On eve...
    Its our future | 31-08
  • The Greens Are Deep In Dirty Politics
    I have a confession, as a Green candidate I too have been involved in some dirty politics and it has been filthier than many would expect.I had someone contact me recently because of his concern about poor service from an...
    Local Bodies | 31-08
  • Pop-up Tea Shop
    Rose and vanilla tea, complete with cosy, and accompanied by old-fashioned carrot cake, Pop-up Tea Shop, August 31 2014This post is part of the 100 Days ProjectDay 52Some enterprising people ran a pop up tea shop in the Grey Lynn...
    Notes from the edge | 31-08
  • Collins gets a cheer
    This post is part of the 100 Days Project Day 51I was in my hairdresser's making an appointment today and the owner was on reception, so we got to shooting the sh*t a little, as you do.  Things turned political and...
    Notes from the edge | 31-08
  • When someone you care about goes left
    This post is part of the 100 Days ProjectDay 46I wrote earlier about how you get the chance to become a better person when someone you care about has a different political perspective, because this forces you to you listen...
    Notes from the edge | 31-08
  • John Key’s Top 69 Lies: Today no. 20 – The All Blacks would take do...
     John Key news conference 18 August 2014 Election 2014 Fact or Fiction?    Prime Minister John Key has made the  claim in relation to Dirty Politics. Asked about allegations that the National Party had been involved in gaining access to the Labour...
    Arch Rival | 31-08
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #35
    SkS Highlights Nichael J.I. Brown's guest post, What I learned from debating science with trolls attracted the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Many commenters provided their own example of lessons learned. The post...
    Skeptical Science | 31-08
  • Poll of Polls update – 31 August 2014
    The latest One News Colmar Brunton poll has just been released, and there’s some interesting results there. National drop 2%, down to 48%. That’s on top of the 2% they dropped in the mid-August Colmar Brunton poll. On the left,...
    Occasionally erudite | 31-08
  • UKIP set to hammer Tories
    Douglas Carsewell stunned the British political establishment last week.Not by defecting to the UKIP - who cares how right wing fruitcakes arrange themselves? - but by doing the honourable thing and resigning his seat so he can legitimately continue to...
    Left hand palm | 31-08
  • Carbon
    CARBON is the first film in the Green World Rising Series.“Carbon” is narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, presented by Thom Hartmann and directed by Leila Conners. Executive Producers are George DiCaprio, Earl Katz and Roee Sharon Peled. Carbon is produced by...
    The Jackal | 31-08
  • The National Party, Integrity and John Phillip Key
    There have been a few things floating around in my head over the last week. I’ve started this post several times and deleted it as I tried to gather those thoughts together into some kind of coherent narrative. Following the...
    My Thinks | 31-08
  • A Wicked Web Is Uncovered
    Following image is from the good work of some of the folks on the Facebook Page – ‘John Key Has Let NZ Down’ – you can request membership HERE...
    An average kiwi | 31-08
  • Matthew Hooton’s assertions re the Prime Minister’s Office
    ‘Explosive’ is one of those words that gets kicked around in politics and political reporting to the point where it’s almost lost its meaning. But it’s not an exaggeration to describe right wing spin doctor and self-declared National Party loyalist...
    The Paepae | 31-08
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Speech to Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
    Today I'm going to talk about our policy package to upgrade and grow our economy and how we turn that growth into a foundation for a decent and fair society. But first I want to address the issue of our...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Commission of Inquiry must have bipartisan support
    The Labour Party is drafting terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says. “It is abundantly clear there is a need for an independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, into...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Rapid Transit to unclog Christchurch
    Labour will build a 21st century Rapid Transit system for Christchurch, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The long delayed recovery of Christchurch hinges on a modern commuter system for the city. “We will invest $100 million in a modern rail plan...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s commitment to public broadcasting
    A Labour Government will set up a working group to re-establish a public service television station as part of our commitment to ensuring New Zealand has high quality free-to-air local content. “We will set up a working group to report...
    Labour | 31-08
  • A new deal for the conservation estate
    The health of our economy depends on New Zealand preserving and restoring our land, air, water and indigenous wildlife, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. Announcing Labours Conservation policy, she said that there will be a comprehensive plan to restore...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s plan to end homelessness
    Labour has a comprehensive approach to end homelessness starting with the provision of emergency housing for 1000 people each year and putting an end to slum conditions in boarding houses, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes that homelessness is not...
    Labour | 30-08
  • Labour: A smarter approach to justice
    A Labour Government will improve the justice system to ensure it achieves real public safety, provides equal access to justice and protects human rights, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. “Our approach is about tackling the root causes of crime, recognising...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Labour to foster Kiwi love of sport and the great outdoors
    A Labour Government will promote physical activity, back our top athletes and help foster Kiwis’ love of the great outdoors by upgrading tramping and camping facilities. Trevor Mallard today released Labour’s sports and recreation policy which will bring back a...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Pacific languages recognised under Labour
    Labour will act to recognise the five main Pacific languages in New Zealand including through the education system, said Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. Announcing Labour’s Pacific Island policy he said that there must be a strong commitment to...
    Labour | 29-08
  • No healthy economy without a healthy environment
    Labour recognises that we cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy environment, says Environment spokesperson Moana Mackey announcing Labour’s environment policy. “New Zealand’s economy has been built on the back of the enormous environmental wealth we collectively enjoy as...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Better protection, fairer deal for Kiwi consumers
    Tackling excessive prices, ensuring consumers have enough information to make ethical choices and giving the Commerce Commission more teeth are highlights of Labour’s Consumer Rights policy. “The rising cost of living is a concern for thousands of Kiwi families. A...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki Annette Sykes, Waia...
    Media are advised that this coming weekend, the MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes, will be on the Internet MANA Road Trip within the electorate of Waiariki. Speakers confirmed are Annette Sykes, Hone Harawira, John Minto, Laila Harre and Kim...
    Mana | 27-08
  • Internet MANA – Waiariki Road Trip: 29, 30, 31 Aug 2014
    The Internet MANA Road Trip hits Waiariki this weekend. It would be great if all MANA members in Waiariki could especially attend the public meetings and show their support for our Waiariki candidate Annette Sykes. Confirmed speakers Hone Harawira (except Taupo), Annette...
    Mana | 27-08
  • First home buyers $200 a week better off with Labour
    A couple earning around $75,000 a year would be $200 a week better off buying a two bedroom terraced Labour KiwiBuild home instead of an equivalent new build under National’s housing policy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.  “National’s policy to...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Another Day – Another big power profit
    The latest profit announcement from Genesis Energy shows that the power company was sold for a song to the detriment of the country’s power consumers, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “A net profit of $ 49.2 million follows hard...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour embraces the rainbow
    Labour will work hard to ensure all New Zealanders enjoy the freedom to grow up and live their lives in dignity and security. Labour’s Rainbow policy, released tonight in Wellington, focuses on International Relations, Human Rights and Education....
    Labour | 26-08
  • National gets fast and loose with the facts
    In their desperation to make it look as though they are doing something about the housing crisis, National is playing fast and loose with the facts, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour will drop power prices for Kiwi families
    New Zealanders will get cheaper power prices under NZ Power, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The electricity market is clearly broken. With falling demand for electricity, prices should be going down. Instead prices are going up and companies are extracting...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour: Promoting sustainable tourism
    Ensuring New Zealand’s clean, green status continues to be an international tourism benchmark and reviewing MBIE’s oversight of the tourism sector will be on the radar under a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Tourism policy today, spokesperson Darien Fenton said tourism...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Skills shortage a result of National’s complacency
    The fact that there is still a severe shortage of skilled tradespeople, despite a growth in the number of apprentices, is a result of National’s failure to plan and develop the workforce, Grant Robertson, Labour Employment, Skills and TrainingSpokesperson says."The...
    Labour | 26-08
  • How much tax does John Key pay compared to a minimum wage worker?? – Mint...
    MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is calling for a radical overhaul of New Zealand’s taxation system with calculations showing that a minimum wage worker pays a ten times higher tax rate than the Prime Minister. o Minimum wage...
    Mana | 25-08
  • Labour’s culture of science and innovation
    Labour will create a culture of science and innovation in New Zealand that will be the envy of the world, says Labour’s Innovation, Research and Development spokesperson Megan Woods. “Labour believes that good science lies at the heart of a...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Improving life for our new New Zealanders
    New Zealand’s international standing as a community that encourages and fosters all cultures will be bolstered under a Labour Government with an upgrade of the present Office of Ethnic Affairs to a Ministry. Releasing Labour’s Ethnic Affairs policy, spokesperson Phil...
    Labour | 25-08
  • South Auckland housing crisis
    National’s HomeStart package is nothing more than a political stunt designed to beguile South Auckland voters, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Few working Pasifika and Maori workers in South Auckland will be able to buy their own...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Home buyer subsidy discredited in Oz
    Treasury advised against National’s policy of ramping up home buyer subsidies after it was discredited in Australia because it pushed house prices even higher, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Documents released under the OIA (attached) show Treasury advised the...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Nursing hours explain turnover and high-stress culture
    A staff survey supports concerns nursing staff at Dunedin Hospital are under increasing pressure and that the emergency department is in a critical state, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson David Clark.  “An ED nursing survey at Dunedin found that 80...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Underhand tactics prove case for axing donations
    Revelations that schools are using underhand tactics to coerce donations from cash-strapped parents further highlights the need for Labour's plan to increase funding so they aren't dependent on contributions from parents, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “By law New...
    Labour | 24-08
  • National applies band-aid to housing crisis
    The Government’s flagship housing announcement is a band-aid approach that will push up prices rather than solve the housing crisis, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “House sales to first home buyers have collapsed as a direct result of the Government’s...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Climate change focus on the now for the future
    A Labour Governmentwill put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on bothmitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission andimplement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson MoanaMackey."This is about future-proofing our economy. Making the transition to alow-carbon...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Labour’s 21st century transport pledge
    The next Labour-led Government will create a 21st century transport system for New Zealand that promotes the most efficient and sustainable combination of transport options, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour will rebalance the Government's transport spending away from...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Petition for Governor General of New Zealand to Investigate all the allegat...
      Now we see the inquiry will be a whitewash, that is secret, won’t be consulted with the Opposition, will have limited scope and will ignore Nicky Hager’s book, we must demand the Governor General step in and demand an...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Ashburton, 1 September 2014
    I NEVER WENT BACK to Aramoana after the killing. I had been a frequent visitor to the tiny seaside village back in the late 1970s and throughout the 80s. Its tall cliffs and broad beaches providing a colourful backdrop to...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Checkmate in 1 move – how could Slater have known what was in OIA request...
    And now we get down to the final few moves before checkmate. If the following investigation is right, how could Slater and Collins have known what was in the Secret Intelligence Service Official Information Act request that hadn’t been released...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Of Jennifer Lawrence Without Consent
    Today the Edge website – owned by Media Works – published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent. It is not OK to publish naked media of any woman without her consent, full stop. It is absolutely disgusting...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate ...
    Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, how good was I i...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Maggie Barry slags Laila Harre & blogger, audience erupt
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting held their public meeting in Auckland last night and it became a fiery shouting match when Maggie Barry decided to slag Laila Harre and me off. 250 people packed into the Pioneer Hall off High...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • It has to be a full independent public inquiry and Key MUST front
      You know things are bad when images like this start appearing in the media.  It isn’t a ‘left wing conspiracy’ to point out the over whelming evidence of what is clearly a right wing conspiracy! If it looks like a conspiracy, sounds like a conspiracy...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Political Party social media stats – National playing Dirty Politics on s...
    Interesting data from friend of the blog, Marty Stewart, on social media likes and it shows an interesting question that post Dirty Politics should probably get asked…   …it’s interesting that Key has so many personal followers.  One wonders if...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • The depth of the National rot and the compliance of our news media
    I’m so tired. Aren’t you? I don’t want to read the news anymore. It’s awful and I feel ashamed of it. We live in a country that people all over the world would give an arm, a leg; their life...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Conservative Party candidate links smacking ban with suicide, sexually tran...
    If Chemtrails, faked moon landings and climate change denial weren’t enough, welcome to your new Minister for Spanking,  Edward Saafi... The anti-smacking law is to blame for youth suicide, youth prostitution and even sexually-transmitted infections, a leading Conservative party candidate...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on the canonisation of Matthew Hooton
    Before we all start the canonisation of Matthew Hooton, let’s consider some home truths here shall we? While the Wellington Ruminator Blog, the blog who was previously mates with Judith Collins, now seems to have a crush on Matthew Hooton… …I...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on undercover cops in bars
    Dunedin police booze operation labelled ‘creepy’ Undercover police officers drank in Dunedin bars as part of an operation targeting liquor licensing offences. While police said the inaugural operation was a success — with most bars found compliant — the Hospitality...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Judith Collins press conference
    Judith Collins press conference...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Angry Lawyer – Collins, Odgers, Williams and legal ethics
    We deserve better lawyers than Judith Collins Three of the worst offenders exposed in Dirty Politics are lawyers: Judith Collins, Cathy Odgers, and Jordan Williams. What Nicky Hager exposed them doing would be out of line for anyone, but from...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Necessary Defence
    Increasingly climate change is becoming the main fracture line between political parties. Where political parties stand on climate change defines political parties and movements like no other issue. The Mana Movement like the Maori Party it sprang from, came out...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Why it is all over for John Key
    Image: Melanie D I’ve been confident that National will lose this election and that our focus should be on what a progressive Government needs to establish as its agenda in the first 100 days. Past that point, the establishment pushes back...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word to everyone who voted National in 2011
    I received this interesting email from a National Party supporter today… …let me say this to anyone who voted National last election – you should be ashamed by what has been revealed and what your vote ended up enabling but...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Déjà Vu All Over Again: John Ansell confirms his participation...
      THE MAN BEHIND the Iwi-Kiwi billboards that very nearly won the 2005 election for Don Brash and the National Party has confirmed his involvement in businessman John Third’s and former Act MP Owen Jennings’ campaign to drive down the...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Public Broadcasting Auckland debate 6.30pm tonight now with Colin Craig &am...
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting debate on public broadcasting happens tonight at 6.30pm in Auckland at the Pioneer Women’s Hall, High Street, Auckland City.  In the light of Dirty Politics and the manipulation of the media, public broadcasting is more important for...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Winners & Losers in Collins sacking plus what’s the latest on Slater...
      Make no mistake, there was no way this was a resignation, it’s a face saving way out for Collins, she was sacked.  My understanding is that National internal polls are haemorrhaging and that the powers that be within National...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Third party propaganda attacks incoming Labour-led government
    . . Further to a report by Daily Blogger, Chris Trotter, on receiving information regarding planned attack-billboards, the following billboard is highly visible to traffic on the southbound lane of the Wellington motorway, just prior to the Murphy St turn-off....
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Labour wins the Internet
    I’m sure I’m not the only one who tried to vote online for the leaders debate and couldn’t because the website was down. The next option was the txt vote, 75c a pop of course. So I’m not surprised that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Rotherham and the need to challenge willful bl...
    I haven’t been following the events in Rotterham too closely.  I’ve read about the basic issues and the culture of silence that stopped action been taken even after complaints were made.  That culture of silence is incredibly familiar, and described...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Review: Hairspray
      Oh Hairspray! What fun! Somehow I managed to miss the movie when it came out, I had no idea really what it was about though I felt it had a vague relation to High School Musical. In retrospect, that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Mounting global pressure against Timor-Leste’s ‘death sentence’ media...
    East Timor’s José Belo … courageous fight against ‘unconstitutional’ media law.Image: © Ted McDonnell 2014 CAFÉ PACIFIC and the Pacific Media Centre Online posted challenges to the controversial ‘press law’ nine months ago when it emerged how dangerous this draft...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Spies, Lies and When Campaigns Are Fried
    Like most of the rest of the nation’s political classes, I was eagerly affixed to TV One from 12:30 on Saturday afternoon to witness the downfall of Judith Collins.Whenever we witness the crumbling of a titan of the political landscape...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Whaleoil crushes Crusher
    Judith ends up shooting herself A new email has been released suggesting that Collins was attempting to undermine the head of Serious Fraud Office with the help of far right hate speech merchant Cameron Slater. Unbelievable!   She has been forced...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Rumours Judith Collins gone at lunchtime
    Brook Sabin first of the mark with rumours Judith Collins is about to resign – PM announcing a statement at 12.30pm… …Paddy follows… …Vance confirms..   …if Collins is gone by lunchtime, it will be because the PM understands the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • BREAKING: UPDATE on DIRT ALERT!
    Thanks to the information passed to Chris Trotter by “Idiot/Savant” from No Right Turn it is now possible to identify at least some of the persons involved in this latest example of attack politics. What follows is Chris’s response to Idiot/Savant’s timely assistance: Well done...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Comparing burning puppets, hip hop lyrics and drunk student chants to black...
    Watching the mainstream media try and obscure Cunliffe’s surprise win in the leaders debate  is a reminder the Press Gallery is in depressed shock. The current spin line from the Wellington bubble media in the wake of Dirty Politics is that...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Why has it all gone quiet on Charter Schools?
    They’re one of ACT’s flagship policies and the National Party have been gung ho in supporting them. So how come we’re not hearing Hekia Parata, Jamie Whyte, Catherine Isaac, et al singing from the rafters about what a resounding success charter...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall
    Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Dirt Alert! Are the Greens and Labour about to become the target...
    WE’VE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE. In 2005 pamphlets began appearing all over New Zealand attacking Labour and the Greens. For a couple of days both the parties targeted and the news media were flummoxed. Who was behind such an obviously...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: the Press Council’s decision
    . . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The difference between Cunliffe & Key in the debate
    It was with much interest that I watched the leaders debate on Thursday night.  I watched with an open mind, always happy to have my opinion changed.  Maybe John Key is all the wonderful things that many say about him,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – When Did We Agree To Our Data Being Shared with ...
    New shocking evidence has emerged from Edward Snowden’s trove of documents about a program called ICREACH under which data collected by the GCSB is shared with 23 US spy agencies. Under new sharing agreements which appear to have commenced immediately after...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Why Internet MANA are the best political friends the Greens could ever get
    Metiria at last nights #GreenRoomNZ: standing on the shoulders and camera cases of giants  NZers, regardless of political spectrum or apathy level, have a wonderful beach cricket egalitarianism about us. If we can objectively conclude a winner, then that person...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Sick of the Sleaze? Protest against National’s dirty politics THIS SATURD...
    Sick of the Sleaze? Protest now dammit! Three weeks before the election, action is being taken across the country voicing a rejection of the National Government’s track record and direction. Rallies are being held in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Sir Edmund Thomas – Address at Nicky Hager public meeting
    I regard it as privilege to chair this public meeting. I have long had the greatest admiration for Nicky Hager’s work, and nothing I have read or heard in the media over the past week or so has caused me...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Labour and New Zealand Superannuation
    The kerfuffle in the wake of Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics has had a detrimental impact on our discussion of economic policies. Signs are that the main beneficiaries of the dirty politics revelations will be Winston Peters and Colin Craig; certainly National suffered...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Mike Hosking and the Leader’s Debat...
    A few weeks ago I blogged that Mike Hosking was a terrible choice as moderator for the TV One Party Leader’s Debate, because he is so embarrassingly biased in favour of John Key. So I watched the show with curiosity,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Democracy and Cancer: A critical analysis of Dirty Politics
    Twenty years ago, England’s renowned television playwright Denis Potter died of pancreatic cancer.  Readers may recall his two masterpieces ‘Pennies from Heaven’ and ‘The Singing Detective’.  During a final television interview with Melvyn Bragg, Potter declared that he had named...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Cunliffe beats Key in First Leaders debate
    I watched the First Leaders debate at the Green Party #GreenRoomNZ, they were very kind to include me and the atmosphere was great. The debate was a resounding victory to Cunliffe. He won Round 1, Round 2, Round 3 and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • LIVE STREAM: The Green Room Leader’s Debate from 6:30pm
    The Green Room will be hosted by media commentator Russel Brown, and will feature Green Co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman responding to the debate live, along with comment from thought leaders and commentators. ‘The Green Room’ 6pm – 8.30pm...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • How many taxpayer funded staff does John Key need to prepare for a Leaders ...
    John Key is currently at the Auckland Stamford Plaza with 40 staff, 4 undercover police cars and an entire floor booked out in preparation for tonights Leader’s debate. Isn’t 40 staff including coms, flown up to Auckland for a debate...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • A brief word on National Party Rodney MP, Mark Mitchell
    MP considers legal action against Nicky HagerThe National MP says he is considering taking a defamation case after the September 20 election.“Someone needs to be held accountable,” he said. Oh really champ? Brothers and sisters, there is a long way...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Greens advertise on Whaleoil – but not on The Daily Blog?
    PaknSave have shown ethical compass and blocked adverts on Whaleoil, yet the Greens are advertising on Whaleoil, and not The Daily Blog? I would imagine there are far more potential Green voters on The Daily Blog then ever are on...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • It’s about the stupid economy stupid
    In focus group meetings, the sleepy hobbits of NZ by a staggering amount all believe that National are better economic stewards of the country than Labour, that’s why, instead of answering questions about blackmailing MPs, trawling brothels for dirt on...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Labour Policy vs National Policy
    John Key’s favourite defence spin at the moment is people want to talk about policy and not hear answers on the ethics of trawling brothels, why Slater was given SIS information, blackmailing MPs into standing down, rigging candidate elections and hacking...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton
    Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton 1 September 2014 For Immediate Release “This morning I made comments on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon programme about an attempt by staff in the Prime Minister’s Office to interfere in the appointment...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Worm turns down for John Key
    John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s Reactor, the original Worm. John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Without Consent
    The Edge website, owned by Media Works have published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Statement from the Governor-General on Ashburton Shootings
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has expressed his deep shock following the shooting of three people in Ashburton today....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Update on IGIS inquiry into release of NZSIS information
    In recognition of the public interest, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, took the unusual step of providing an update during the course of an inquiry and confirmed today that she would be summoning a number of individuals...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • An Open Government Plan developed in secrecy
    The State Services Commission sent NZ’s Open Government Action Plan to the international Open Government Partnership (OGP) Secretariat on 31 July. The countries involved in the OGP since its inception - from the UK and US to Indonesia and Brazil...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • KiwiRail; another year older and deeper in debt
    That is a lot of money and there are lessons that need to be learnt before we pour in another $1 billion....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Fonterra China Deal Demands Safe Supply Chain
    The future success of Fonterra’s deal to sell infant formula in China [1] requires all milk it uses be safe and for Fonterra to secure its supply chain from contamination by GE DNA and pesticide residues. There is now significant...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • HRC praises Auckland mum for speaking out
    Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has praised an Auckland mother of four who went public after humiliating treatment by staff at The Warehouse....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Southern DHB refers disputed issue to Serious Fraud Office
    Following advice from forensic investigation firm Beattie Varley Limited, Southern District Health Board has referred the expenditure at the centre of its long running dispute with South Link Health to the Serious Fraud Office. The parties have been...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Letter 1 September 2014
    Last night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts the left and right 60 MPs each. United and the Maori Party say they will go with the side that gets to 61 MPs. ACT just needs just 1.3% or 28 thousand Party...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Shopping Giveaway Harmless Fun For Kids
    Family First NZ is rubbishing claims by critics including Gareth Morgan that the New World ‘Little Shop’ promotion is harmful for kids, and says that kids should be allowed to be kids. “Children love acting like their parents and pretending...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Red Cross launches employment service for former refugees
    New Zealand Red Cross is encouraging employers to give refugees a fresh startwith the launch of Pathways to Employment, a nationwide work assistance service....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • EDS welcomes Labour’s Conservation Policy
    The Environmental Defence Society has welcomed Labour’s Conservation Policy including the key objective of halting the current pattern of indigenous biodiversity decline within ten years....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Poverty is falling and income inequality is not rising
    “A Roy Morgan poll shows that the issue people are most concerned about is income inequality. This just goes to show how the persistent repetition of a lie bewilders the public. Income inequality is not in fact rising. And the...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Rotary NZ responding to Fiji water and sanitation issues
    Clean water and sanitation are vital to health. In Fiji Rotary New Zealand have been targeting 22 communities that are experiencing severe hardship mainly because they don’t have access to clean water for their drinking, cleaning and cooking needs....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Work & Income shooting a Tragedy
    Kay Brereton speaking on behalf of the National Beneficiary Advocacy Consultancy group says; “Two people shot and another wounded, this is a tragedy and our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and whanau of the victims, as well as...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • 1080 Poison Deer Repellent not Effective – Farmers
    Four deer have been found dead within a farmer's bush block, after an aerial 1080 poison drop applied with deer repellent. The drop was part of a 30,000 hectare drop across the Northern Pureora Forest Park....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Employment Charter will strengthen migrants’ rights
    Establishing an Employment Charter for construction companies is a critical step to strengthening the rights of migrant workers that are fast becoming the face of the Christchurch rebuild, according to an alliance of union groups. The charter has...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Global March For Elephants and Rhino
    It’s a trans-national business that funds terrorist organisations, fuels conflict in Africa, and poses environmental, development and security challenges. The illegal wildlife trade is also a lucrative business, generating an estimated USD$20 billion...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • New series of videos aimed at disengaged youth
    From the people who brought you 'NZ Idle' (NZ's favourite web series about an artist on the dole) comes a new series about election time: Choice Lolz....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Picket Of Leaders Christchurch Debate
    KEEP OUR ASSETS PICKET OF LEADERS CHRISTCHURCH DEBATE TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 2nd, 6 p.m. ST MARGARETS COLLEGE, SHREWSBURY STREET, MERIVALE...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Vega Auriga should be detained in NZ until problems fixed
    Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Joe Fleetwood says that the ship Vega Auriga should be detained in a New Zealand port until it is deemed seaworthy and crew issues have been fixed....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Minor Parties Added to Election ‘Bribe-O-Meter’
    The Taxpayers’ Union have added the Green, ACT, United Future and Conservative Parties to the ‘ Bribe-O-Meter ’ hosted at taxpayers.org.nz . Excluding ACT and New Zealand First, the total election ‘bribes’ - that is new spending not already...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Fiery Broadcasting Debate in Auckland
    Over 250 people turned out for the Auckland Broadcasting and Media Debate in Auckland City last night to hear politicians give their solutions to NZ’s media and broadcasting woes....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Independent Epsom Candidate: Adam Holland
    Today I am very proud to have been nominated to run as an independent candidate by the people of Epsom in order to work hard for the people of Epsom, Mount Eden, Newmarket and Remuera....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Voters favour parties with factory farming policies
    A Horizon Research poll shows that 64.7% of adults are more likely to vote for a political party with a policy against factory farming....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Collins And Dirty Politics Drive The #nzpol Wordcloud
    After Judith Collins' resignation as Minister from Cabinet on Saturday, the data insight organisation Qrious collected all tweets that used the hashtag #nzpol and for approximately the 24 hours since the announcement to produced this wordcloud....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Bill English: allegations against Judith Collins are serious
    Deputy Prime Minister Bill English told TV1’s Q+A programme that the allegations against Judith Collins are serious and that’s why an inquiry is needed....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Culture Change Required
    "There are serious issues raised in an Employment Relations Authority judgement released this week. The culture within the Whangarei District Council (WDC) organisation must change. The culture of any organisation is defined by its leadership starting...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Reducing Reoffending Statistic Challenged
    In Rethinking’s latest blog, http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/08/th-bps-reducing-crime-and-reoffending.html it closely examines the current claim that reoffending in New Zealand has reduced by 12.5% since June 2011, and reveals how that figure has been achieved. It argues...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • University economics team studying workers’ comparing wages
    A University of Canterbury economics research team is looking at fairness of the job assignments and whether workers are sensitive to the wages of their co-workers....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Statement by State Services Commissioner
    30 August 2014 "The State Services Commission was contacted by the Prime Minister's Office over the last 24 hours on this issue." “Any activity that undermines, or has the potential to undermine, the trust and confidence in the public service...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Christchurch Council Circus … Continued
    In 2010 the UK Daily Mail investigated the antics of a major bureaucratically bloated London Local Authority and reported with THE GREAT INERTIA SECTOR ....
    Scoop politics | 30-08
  • The Nation Housing Debate
    Patrick It's the great Kiwi dream, but is owning the roof over your head now just a pipe dream for many Kiwis? Homeownership is at the lowest level in half a century. National's answer is to double subsidies to first-home...
    Scoop politics | 30-08
  • Time to Shine Light on Shadowy Spies
    Internet MANA has promised to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into New Zealand’s intelligence agencies, with a view to transferring oversight of spying operations to a new, independent authority....
    Scoop politics | 30-08
  • New Zealand’s biggest problems are Economic Issues
    New Zealand’s biggest problems are Economic Issues (41%) while the World’s most important problems are War & Terrorism (35%) just three weeks before NZ Election...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • NZ 2014 Leaders Index – week ending 29 August
    Below is iSentia’s first weekly Leaders’ Index, showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. We will produce these reports for the next three...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Judgment in Paki v Attorney General
    Tamaiti Cairns said that today’s Supreme Court decision is complicated, but, in essence opens the door for Maori people to go forward with their essential claims to water. Further work is required and Pouakani Trust will continue to pursue its...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Supreme Court Decision on Maori Water Rights
    “ … the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead. The Appellants had argued that the Crown’s ownership of the River was as a fiduciary for...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Leaders Dinner with Campbell Live, Dessert with RadioLIVE
    John Campbell is hosting Colin Craig, Winston Peters, Laila Harre, Metiria Turei, Peter Dunne, Jamie Whyte and Te Ururoa Flavell LIVE from Auckland’s Grand Harbour Restaurant on Wednesday 3 September at 7pm....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Credit unions in the political spotlight
    Dirty politics was put aside last night as senior politicians outlined their universal support for growing the cooperatively owned credit union and mutual building society sector in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Maryan Street on issues of importance to older people
    Liam Butler interviews Hon Maryan Street MP on issues of importance to older New Zealanders...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • John Hanita Paki and others v The Attorney-General
    JOHN HANITA PAKI, TORIWAI ROTARANGI, TAUHOPA TE WANO HEPI, MATIU MAMAE PITIROI AND GEORGE MONGAMONGA RAWHITI v THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF NEW ZEALAND FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE CROWN (“THE CROWN”) (SC 7/2010)...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Last Nights Leaders Debate Drives The #nzpol Wordcloud
    Following last nights leaders debate on TV One between John Key and David Cunliffe, the data insight organisation Qrious collected all tweets that used the hashtag #nzpol from approximately the last 24 hours to produce this wordcloud....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Campaign suggests reason behind suicide gender statistics
    An online campaign about meaning and belonging has revealed an interesting connection with the difference in suicide rates between men and women....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Act Policy Vindicated by Sensible Sentencing Data
    ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte says the Sensible Sentencing Trust's just released analysis of 3 Strikes legislation "proves ACT was right to promote the policy and that it has made New Zealand a much safer country. The figures show beyond...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • “Robin Hood tax and other clever ways to help our kids”
    It’s time to talk about tax. Not just income tax but other kinds of tax too....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Cannabis Laws Breach Treaty – ALCP
    Cannabis prohibition is neo-colonial oppression resulting in the disproportionate imprisonment of Maori, the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party says....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • 2014 Variation Broadcasting Allocation Decision Released
    The Electoral Commission has released a variation decision on the amount of time and money allocated to political parties for the broadcasting of election programmes for the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
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