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Open mike 03/03/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 3rd, 2012 - 80 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

80 comments on “Open mike 03/03/2012”

  1. http://whoar.co.nz/2012/scientists-shocked-to-find-antibiotics-alleviate-symptoms-of-schizophrenia/

    “…Chance discovery of link between acne drug and psychosis may unlock secrets of mental illness..”

    phil-at-whoar.

  2. Today’s ODT editorial looks at ‘Tackling the costs of welfare’.

    …it would be a pleasant surprise for many New Zealanders were the parties to get round the table and form a consensus approach on how to tackle a severe and escalating problem.

    The starting point for just such an approach could be a simple and overriding position: welfare should be a safety net, not a way of life. This is a philosophical rallying point around which most reasonable people could assemble.

    Is this a reasonable starting point for a cross-party approach for a Universal Welfare Philosophy?

    • RedLogix 2.1

      The starting point for just such an approach could be a simple and overriding position: welfare should be a safety net, not a way of life.

      Why is work the only acceptable ‘way of life’?

      • Pete George 2.1.1

        I don’t think it suggests that, it’s referring to welfare as not a way of life. There’s other options to work, and variations to what ‘work’ is.

        • Uturn 2.1.1.1

          If welfare exists to sustain life, then isn’t welfare an option as way of life? Once you move past the small perspectives of NZ, is there a rule that says humans cannot attempt to stay alive in any way possible? Is a human obliged to starve themselves for a moral position they are either unaware of or do not accept? Who has the right, by universal law, to enforce a moral postion on another person? Yes, man can create laws and enforce them with guns, but that is legal, not moral. They have no moral superiority to enforce their choices on another person.

          It is all a question of control: those who wish to control others for their own gain; and those who don’t care, or control themselves, try to survive and let others be.

        • RedLogix 2.1.1.2

          The problem I have is that your simple ‘working definition’ excludes the most powerful solution to the entire welfare/tax system problem … the UBI or GMI.

          A Guaranteed Minimum Income recognises that all people are entitled to a certain basic income to allow them to feed, clothe and shelter themselves. In pre-industrial times most people had some access to the resources (land, crops, stock, wild foods, etc) that enabled them to achieve this for themselves.

          But the modern world locks up most of these resources into private hands, or makes access expensive and limited. In this world the principle means of survival is a paid job (some people survive ok outside the system, but it’s not an accessible option for most.) This fundamentally alienates people from the means to survive, the right to survive, in the absence of a job.

          The GMI idea restores that fundamental right; it says that in return for privatising the means of basic survival into the hands of a few, then society pays with a universal basic income to recompense for this.

          • Olwyn 2.1.1.2.1

            @RedLogix, in response to your initial post about UBI or GMI: I love these ideas, and agree with your points in support of them. The difficulty though is in making them sacrosanct.

            “In pre-industrial times most people had some access to the resources (land, crops, stock, wild foods, etc) that enabled them to achieve this for themselves.”

            Yes, but since pre-industrial times, and occasionally even before then, capitalists and industrialists etc, have sought to undermine these conditions. The land clearances, for example, which robbed people of the subsistence farming option and left them with a choice between the factory and the poor house. This continues in various ways in the present day. I have read of people opening a mine in a subsistence farming area, and lobbying governments to impose the relevant taxes, so that the farmers will need to work in the mine to pay them. In another case, introducing booze to an area, so that the subsistence farmers would work on their project to buy it.

            Our own neo-liberal revolution is a version of the same kind of thinking: close off other options (like the public service, etc), so that people are forced to work under whatever conditions are imposed, at whatever price is imposed. There is a minimum wage, sure, but it is far from being a living wage.

            The hard bit with the UBI would be maintaining its value under pressure, so that it was not reduced to nothing at the behest of the capitalist minotaur.

        • muzza 2.1.1.3

          I have respect for most people, but very few of them seek power over others, or pretend they care about the greater good to try disguise their power cravings. Generally speaking I have zero respect for the politicians who run our cities and country, there are a few minor exceptions, sure/

          Lower than politicians, but still at base level, are those who hang off them, and aspire to be them, they are fluffers of the political world!

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.4

          Petey you neglect to mention the group of beneficiaries who present by far the biggest threat to the affordability of social welfare.  This is a group whose number has increased dramatically and their numbers will continue to increase for many decades to come.  

          And yet this particular class has an expectation that the benefit will be available for them.

          They truly see it as a lifestyle choice but this Government, the coiffured one included, have refused to so anything about the problem.  In fact some of the decisions made last term will make the situation far worse.  And the PM has refused to do anything about eligibility.

          Yes Petey these people are the retired.  Everyone would be best if they focussed their efforts in dealing with this particular group. 

          • Pete George 2.1.1.4.1

            I didn’t mention a lot of things. I was quoting an editorial and looking for reaction to that.

            I agree (and have often said) that National are dragging the chain on Super. But I don’t think Labour had the right approach last election either, especially for their supposed working class consrtituency, and I think they knew that, they didn’t push their ‘just raise the age’ policy very hard.

            UF had a quite different approach to any other party on Super and some form of graduated option giving people choice is worth a better look from the other parties.

            • mickysavage 2.1.1.4.1.1

              But Petey these people are “aging for a business” if you apply Jrationales thought processes on beneficiaries.

              Labour was the only party that had a coherent policy in the area.  This government, add ons included, clearly does not.  It is walking blindfolded over a cliff and taking us with it.

              UF’s “grand plan” only further confused things by totally ignoring the issue.  It’s “solution” did not solve a thing.
               

            • mickysavage 2.1.1.4.1.2

              But Petey these people are “ageing for a business” if you apply John Key’s thought processes on beneficiaries.
              Labour was the only party that had a coherent policy in the area.  This government, add ons included, clearly does not.  It is walking blindfolded over a cliff and taking us with it.
              UF’s “grand plan” only further confused things by totally ignoring the issue.  It’s “solution” did not solve a thing.

              • Greg, the UF proposal addressed up front a major deficiencyin Labour’s half hearted attempt.

                When Labour got a bollocking for clobbering those like the weak (after a life of hard physical labour) and sick in their policy they quickly included addons that crudely moved it towards a similarity to the UF proposal.

                • Petey this has been addressed a number of times.  Workers who are unable to work would be entitled to other benefits and would not miss out.  You have been told that repeatedly.  You have also been asked repeatedly about how future generations are going to afford to continue superannuation in its current form but you have never addressed this properly.

                  Given the coiffured one’s support for this Government I can understand why. 

                  • ” You have also been asked repeatedly about how future generations are going to afford to continue superannuation in its current form but you have never addressed this properly.”

                    No one has addressed this properly. To do so would require serious cross party discussion looking for a consensus long term plan. Especially with Super the nit picky politicking approach is failed practice.

                    I know you weren’t a fan of Shearer for leader but if you want to genuinely want to help Labour rebuild you should try to follow his lead.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No one has addressed this properly. To do so would require serious cross party discussion looking for a consensus long term plan.

                      1) Labour did address the affordability of retirement issues in the 2011 election campaign. National and UF ran from them.

                      2) Are you saying that UF will hold talks with Labour over a long term consensus over NZ Super?

                    • Petey you are still avoiding the question and trying to change the subject.

                      There is this meteor hurtling towards us and it is called the retirement crisis.  Our current leaders, the haired one included, have got their heads in the sand and are ignoring it.  Whenever you are asked about it you talk about something else.

                      In the interests of the country’s future don’t you think that politics as usual is not acceptable?

                    • In the interests of the country’s future don’t you think that politics as usual is not acceptable?

                      I’ve been saying that for quite a while now.

                      I’m not avoiding the question, I just don’t have the answer to how we should make Super more affordable and remain fair. Neither does anyone else have an overall answer, just partial possible solutions.

                      I’m only speaking for myself here, but I think all parties should agree to work together on this – and find a consensus solution. That John Key doesn’t appear willing to do this has been one of my strongest criticisms of him for some time (since before I connected with UF).

                      Any consensus solution will have to involve compromises.

    • just saying 2.2

      The fact is, with structural unemployment and no sign of that changing, it has to be “a way of life” for many. There are also those with significant disabilities including many elderly people.

      So, welfare is necessarily a “way of life”. The alternatives are crime and starvation.
      What we have a choice about is whether we poinlessly harrass and torment those who are forced into the position. I know what choice you’ve made, Pete.

      • Bill 2.2.1

        A simple and quick cure to structural unemployment is to put the bill for welfare squarely on the shoulders of business through a progressive levy or tax.

        I appreciate that some working people feel aggrieved paying tax to support people without jobs while they themselves are compelled to get up every day for the sake of a shit job. I don’t think that’s right.

        And it’s only a slight variation of ‘user pays’ to hold that those who benefit from current economic configurations ( ie business) should be the ones who pay for the welfare of those who they exclude.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          put the bill for welfare squarely on the shoulders of business through a progressive levy or tax.

          1) I feel that it is important to distinguish between small businesses, many of whom are at marginal viability because of the continuing economic circumstances and the large corporates who are making a killing ticket clipping on our core economic infrastructure.

          2) Your proposal needs to be modified IMO to capture those who have structured their affairs to hold large amounts of asset and property wealth but recognise very little earnings from that wealth.

          • Bill 2.2.1.1.1

            I agree that small businesses shouldn’t be hammered. That’s why I used the term ‘progressive’. Far greater minds than mine could work out the details of a fair system, but in basic terms…

            Divy up the relevent facets of the welfare bill (allowing for exemptions) by the number of businesses in NZ (470 000 as at Feb 2010). In each year, the tax levied on business would be to cover the cost of the previous year….so a simple floating %age working on a retrospective basis.

            And make it a progressive regime based on, for example gross or net profit or number of employees or some combination of those factors.

            And whatever the finer details of the final structure, the government would know the exact amount it was seeking to recover from business…the previous year’s welfare bill….and therefore be able to set a precise tax without too much difficulty.

            If it inadvertantly took too much, that could be off set in the following year. If it took too little, that too could be taken into consideration in the following year.

            Point is, it would suddenly become cost effective for business to ‘soak up’ any reservoir of ‘jobless.

    • mikesh 2.3

      Perhaps we should adopt Gareth Morgan’s suggestion (in his book The Big Kahuna) and pay every adult person $11,000 pa., giving them the choice of either living on that, or supplementing it with earnings from employment. That would be fair and equitable since the $11,000 would be paid to everybody.

      • rosy 2.3.1

        Agreed… Link for Pete, because some very smart people have been thinking about this for a long time The Big Kahuna The Big Kahuna is just one iteration of the idea of a Guaranteed Minimum Income, but is significant because it’s a New Zealand solution.

        All people should be provided with the means for survival, and these days, that means money… RL (2.1.1.2) says it well.

      • RedLogix 2.3.2

        More importantly the GMI idea treats everyone exactly the same and gets rid of all the stupid distortions that are inherent in the existing system.

        What people forget is that everytime the system targets a benefit or tax in some way; it automatically creates high marginal effective tax rates everytime you migrate out of the target group. The GMI system gets rid of this distortion.

        It also amounts to an effective job creation incentive. At the moment there is not a huge difference between for a family being on a benefit and working in a below median wage jobs, and along with the ‘stand-down’ periods, it creates distortions of another kind.

        With a GMI and a flat PAYE tax rate, for every dollar earned the same fixed 65% after tax is always kept. This means that regardless of how part-time or low paid the job is… you are always better off working. This has to be the very best ‘incentive’ for both employers and workers.

        I’m totally past fiddling with the existing system. It’s obsolete and no longer meets our needs as a society. Time to ditch our preconceptions and make the changes that Gareth Morgan and Susan Guthrie have described.

        • Colonial Viper 2.3.2.1

          Yeah pretty much. You’d think that a simpler system with much less overhead to administer which encouraged people to work and not stay on a benefit would be exactly what National would want to implement. Except for the fact that it would kill a whole lot of the tax rorts their mates are relying on presently.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2.1.1

            IMO, Another reason why NAct don’t like it is that they wouldn’t be able to force people to work for shit bosses in atrocious conditions. People would have the choice of going to work or telling the boss to fuck off.

            • the pink postman 2.3.2.1.1.1

              Unemployment is the best way the Tories and their friends are able to keep wages down .Plus its the weapon they are able to use to make sure unions are short of members. The political Right are also masters at manipulating language, note how they have changed Social Security to the insulting word of welfare , We people of the Left should revert to using social security instead of the degrading word of welfare.

              • Colonial Viper

                Agreed. We cannot let the Right control the use of terminology as they have been. And people must understand that NZ’s social security system comprises a far more comprehensive system than just benefit payments.

              • Vicky32

                The political Right are also masters at manipulating language, note how they have changed Social Security to the insulting word of welfare , We people of the Left should revert to using social security instead of the degrading word of welfare.

                Absolutely right! I said that some time ago, the use of the word ‘welfare’ is recent – the last 8-12 years? Since then, state houses have been defined as ‘welfare’ (they never were before about 2000) and then there’s the coinage ‘workfare’, which has existed in the USA for some time, the UK for maybe the last 3 months, and is apparently coming here…

                • felix

                  Yes, the insertion of the word “welfare” into NZ usage has been a very obvious and deliberate campaign by the right.

                  I’ve even heard that the Nasty Nats have gone as far as changing the bank statement references for benefit payments, so where a payment from winz used to appear as “Work and Income Benefit” it now appears as “Welfare”.

                  Perhaps someone could confirm if this is true.

                  • Vicky32

                    so where a payment from winz used to appear as “Work and Income Benefit” it now appears as “Welfare”

                    Mine still says W&I benefit, but someone who has been on a benefit for a shorter time, may find that theirs is different…
                     

            • the pink postman 2.3.2.1.1.2

              Unemployment is the weapon the political Right use to keep,wages low and to lower work conditions. It also reduces Union membership and power. They are also master at manipulating language , Note how they have changed Social Security to welfare. Its time people of the political Left refered to the Social Security system instead of the degrading word welfare when refereing to the needs of people who are in unfortunate circumstances. Oh for compusory unionism .

        • KJT 2.3.2.2

          A GMI makes total sense.
          1. Simplifies welfare. A lot of the present costs of determining eligibility and entitlements is removed.
          2. Gives effect to the principle, @ Redlogix  above, that everyone has the right to food and housing. Once we all had access to commons to grow basic necessities. That common right has been grabbed to make a few wealthy.
          3. Encourages entrepreneurship. Can have a go at a business without worrying about your family doing without if it fails or takes a long time to succeed.
          4. You are always better off working. As employers need to pay a wage above the GMI to get workers and 120% abatement rates are removed.
           
           
          Though I think the rate should be about the equivalent to NZ super.
           
          So no one in NZ is in poverty.
           
          Paid for by progressive taxes on very high incomes and wealth.
           
          Very high incomes and accumulations of wealth are socioeconomically dysfunctional, as we know.

          • Fortran 2.3.2.2.1

            Have you tried living on Govt Super, with particularly local government taxes continually rising, along with seasonal food prices ?

            • RedLogix 2.3.2.2.1.1

              Kiwisaver should bridge the gap between the GMI and the current National Super.

              In addition the Gold card system can be extended to a wider range of essential services to ensure those costs are held.

            • KJT 2.3.2.2.1.2

              What I am trying to say is that, like super, a GMI should be enough to live on.
              Equal to the present super would be a good starting point.
               
              And, unlike the UB, super is enough if you have paid off your mortgage.
               
              Anyway, since national super, poverty amongst the elderly is about 3% compared to over 20% amongst children.
              http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/search/label/super
               
              Got to get the principle established first.

              • RedLogix

                Agreed.. there are a number of forms it could take. Personally I’d prefer to start with a system that set the UBI at around the current Unemployment Benefit, a flat PAYE tax rate of 30%, a GST of 15% and a moderate Capital Gains tax of around 15%.

                Often overlooked in this discussion is the aproximate $1b of costs around the administration of WINZ and IRD that would be eliminated as well.

                1.Treating all taxpayers exactly the same eliminates all the distortions and resentments that undermine and derail the current system. It prevents special interest groups from exploiting them for their own political purposes.

                2. A progressive tax recognises that the wealthy are the ones who have most benefited from society, therefore owe the most in return.

                3. A flat marginal tax eliminates all the high marginal tax rates, fiscal drag and poverty traps that the current system is riddled with.

                Remarkably the UBI/GMI system combines all three features at the same time! I first became aware of this idea over a decade ago (and it is of course much older than that).. and there really is not a single problem with the existing system that is not solvable if we made the change. It isn’t of course immune to the politics of the day.

                From a right wing perspective they might want to lower the UBI and lower the PAYE rate, while a left wing perspective might push in the opposite direction. But these are very plain and open changes… it would not be hard to write legislation which required the system to be self-funding /revenue-neutral and for political parties to clearly signal and commit to their tax plan before each election.

                If a government/central bank needed to do a spot of ‘quantative easing’ (like the USA does) then all that would be required is a small increase in the UBI; and the opposite if the economy was overheating. Far more direct and efficient than mucking about with interest rates. Again any such changes would be a plain and totally transparent transaction to the entire electorate; as it would effect everyone in exactly the same way. No government could afford to anger all voters simultaneously by either reducing the UBI too much or increasing the PAYE/GST rates too much. It’s more or less self-balancing politically.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  1.Treating all taxpayers exactly the same eliminates all the distortions and resentments that undermine and derail the current system.

                  So, would you get rid of all tax deductions or, considering that going to work is a business, extend them to everybody?

                  Personally, I’m leaning towards the former for two reasons:-
                  1.) Tax deductions are where tax avoidance loopholes originate and
                  2.) If extended to everyone then determining what is a legitimate business expense (breakfast, lunch and dinner with $200/bottle wine etc) and enforcing them becomes far too complicated and thus expensive.

                • Vicky32

                  Agreed.. there are a number of forms it could take. Personally I’d prefer to start with a system that set the UBI at around the current Unemployment Benefit,

                  IMO it would have to be much higher than UB! I am surviving on UB only because I have savings from when I last worked 3 and a half months ago, they’ll run out soon – and can use them to pay phone, power etc. My nett UB is $190.90 -50.00 rent, $140.00 a week for food, cleaning products, and anything else that comes up – bus fares for job interviews, mobile phone etc… $140.00 a week.

            • Vicky32 2.3.2.2.1.3

              Have you tried living on Govt Super, with particularly local government taxes continually rising, along with seasonal food prices ?

              Hey, I’d love to live on Govt Super! It’s considerably higher than Unemployment Benefit. I am getting $190.90 a week, (because of a debt that ought to have been paid off a year ago, and possibly was, I am just scared to ask). Seriously. They seem to have forgotten I exist, but if I remind them, heaven only knows what they might decide to do to me…
               

    • Kevin 2.4

      Getting around the table for another chat about welfare is pointless. Invariably these discussions are inittiated by people who are basically petty and vindictive.
      The solution to welfare is to get the economy moving, breaking into new markets with our primary products, and by attracting investment.

      • Bill 2.4.1

        Don’t you understand what the term systemic or structural levels of unemployment is referring to?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.4.2

        Can’t possibly work:-

        1.) Every country is capable of massively over producing which means that there aren’t enough “markets”
        1a) We need to cut down on the production of primary products so that our rivers and lakes recover from the pollution that is presently killing them
        2.) Peak Oil means that we won’t be able to cost effectively export
        3.) Foreign investment is a delusion as all we do when we get it is work from the resources we have here already

    • lefty 2.5

      Welfare is not a way of life desired by anybody. It is a way of surviving for people who have no other choice.

      There should never be agreement around the sort of nasty and untrue assumptions and stereotypes about people on benefits Peter George is putting forward.

      His undisguised hatred of beneficiaries absolutely disgust me and every other hard working,fair minded, taxpaying New Zealander.

      I have a counter proposition though.

      It would be a pleasant surprise for many New Zealanders if the parties were to get round the table and form a consensus approach to how to tackle a fast growing and escalating problem.

      The starting point around which every fair minded person could rally would be a simple proposition that we can no longer afford to let thieving capitalist bastards and the various other types of pricks in suits steal the fruits of the labour of decent Kiwis while others go without.

    • millsy 2.6

      Despite what the right might think, I doubt that it would be possible to lead any sort of ‘way of life’ on $200-300/wk.

      It wasn’t for me when I was a WINZ client, years ago (a period in my life I would rather forget, for reasons far greater than my unemployment).

      And forcing those on benefits into low wage insecure jobs (and lets face it, they will be) while providing dodgy looking baby farms (laudanum is complementary) for them to put their kids in isnt going to fix anything, probably just create a lot more misery.

      • Colonial Viper 2.6.1

        Despite what the right might think, I doubt that it would be possible to lead any sort of ‘way of life’ on $200-300/wk.

        $300 pw yes possible for an individual but tough – but probably not in AKL. Ideally you would want to be in a situation where you were not paying rent, or sharing rent with others. If you have children – $300 is no way.

    • Foreign Waka 2.7

      Tackling to cost of welfare…..for me this means that many people who, for the first time, apply to enter the workforce and/or trying to get a job after being made redundant will loose their pride, their will and dignity to became cynical, disengaged and demotivated to change their dependency. The true cost of welfare is therefore the human cost that has been bought with commercial profit. Regardless whether anyone is on the political right, left in the middle or in the sky for all that I care, it is a RIGHT to sustain oneself, be it through growing crops or holding down a job. Any other option would imply that some people are not worth a dime and ultimately should be just put on the scrapheap.

    • QoT 2.8

      No it’s not, and if you were intellectually honest you’d acknowledge it. Clue: the framing is bullshit.

      Kinda like if someone said “Here’s a reasonable starting point to discuss the future of United Future: the party should have actual principles, and not be a home for failed candidates wanting to push conservative, classist bullshit under the guise of “common sense”.”

    • Vicky32 2.9

      welfare should be a safety net, not a way of life.

      Begging the question! It has never been established either that ‘welfare is a way of life’ or that there are people who think it is or should be! :(

      • Pete George 2.9.1

        Sue Bradford was on Breakfast (TV1) recently saying people should have a choice and shouoldn’t be “harrassed” into looking for work.

        I know people who have turned down jobs because they didn’t like the job, and I know someone recently say they would stay on the benefit until a Polytechnic course because they didn’t think it was worth working for just few months. And a woman who’d been separated for 8 years but didn’t think she was yet ready to go to work.

        Many people know of beneficiaries by choice.

        As there are many reluctant beneficiaries who would take any half decent job offered them.

        • McFlock 2.9.1.1

          Well pete, two of your cases were using the dole short term for possibly very good reasons, even if they didn’t choose to communicate those reasons to you. The last case suggests that maybe you know less about her situation, and particularly mental health, than you think you do.
               
          But feel free to judge, anyway.

  3. Uturn 3

    Here are a couple of questions for those who are interested in discussing art. The question isn’t posed as a the “truth”, so calm yourself. Calm? Good.

    Let’s say a person listens to some music. They enjoy/like the tune, they hear the sounds of the musical instruments themselves; they hear the lyrics, and include them in the definition of a musical instrument of sorts. The listener does not understand the lyrics because they are written by a person who has a particular style of speaking, or they are a form of obscure poetry. They hear the words, but the meaning is different to the literal meaning of the phrases in the lyrics. This is not unusual in modern/pop music. For example, a person sings about licking an ice cream and what they really mean is they enjoy oral sex. Or they sing about malted milk, and really they’re singing about getting drunk on whiskey. The lyrical codings get more complex from there.

    If the listener does not understand the meaning of the song/art work, but is attracted to it anyway, why is that? If the artist, on investigation, is the kind of person that moves in circles that the listener would never enter or would be excluded from by the artist should they meet, how is it the listener can be attracted to the artist’s work? For example, let’s say the artist is a NY hipster, moving in circles of designers, musicians and avant guard thinkers and the listener is a middle class chino and light blue shirt wearing IT professional with dreams of owing his own house, who also enjoys listening to the Eagles, Phil Collins and growing tomatoes in the summer. Is there any relevance at all between the conscious, real life of the artist, and the artwork?

    Let’s say the music now is not some higher definition of art. Let’s say it’s is a manufactured boy band, singing by-the-recipe, bordering on gibberish pop songs, or a youngster who’s father owns a recording company singing things such as they like Friday afternoon. Apply the same contradiction of realities between singer/manufacturer and listener. Now a NY hipster is listening to it, and “likes it”. How could they enjoy the music? What are they really listening to? How is it that a person can hear something completely at odds with the intended message in a lyric or tune? Is there any rule that says an artist will create a tune, that matches the lyrics, that matches some aspect of who they are in real life. Will a dark tune always attract dark lyrics, from the mind of a artist with a tendency to express dark things – no matter what they might try to do.

    If we remove the idea of post-modern “anything means anything you want it to”, “you can like anything for any reason” , what answer do we get? This may be the question, does art have any structure, at all? Which is probably as widely scoped as asking what is the point of life on earth. But I’d like to hear some ideas.

    When a musician creates a tune and sells it to a recording company and they send it down the marketing chain and it ends up on commercial radio as filler between advertising, would a percentage of listeners who cannot hear the intended message actually be eavesdropping on private communication between the artist and the artist’s intended audience? Is it necessary to know the intended true message of music to honestly – on all levels – tell yourself you “like it”.

    What do you think?

    • Descendant Of Smith 3.1

      Whether art or music or sculpture or a speech etc the first consideration is I either like it or I don’t.

      If there is some substantial meaning and intent behind the work I might likely  appreciate it and if the two come together I have a much stronger emotional involvement with it.

      Like may come before I know meaning and intent and meaning and intent may come before like. Either way I might seek out the other.

      It’s one of the reasons I enjoy “making of” programs. To see what was intended.

      It’s also one of the reasons I might hunt out artists I have not heard of – cause the story is compelling.

      It will still ultimately get back to I like it or I won’t though and a good story won’t make me like something I don’t – though I might appreciate the effort.
       
       

    • fender 3.2

      “If the listener does not understand the meaning of the song/art work, but is attracted to it anyway, why is that?”
      Music/art work can affect the central nervous system and even if you don’t want to like it on a conscious level it can get to you anyway.
      Some people choose to like a certain music if they feel it fits in with the image of themselves they wish to portray to the wider world.

      “How is it that a person can hear something completely at odds with the intended message in a lyric or tune?
      Universal meanings/interpretations is natural as everybody is different and the artwork is seen/heard through their filter of feelings and life experiences.
      A great work will often have that universal meaning in abundance (even though the artist didn’t intend it that way)

      “If we remove the idea of post-modern “anything means anything you want it to”, “you can like anything for any reason” , what answer do we get?
      There doesn’t have to be a reason, its attraction can be as primal as an attractive scent.

      “This may be the question, does art have any structure, at all?”
      Like you say, very wide scoping!
      Good artwork is well structured in its ability to touch/reach ones/our sensibilities by the artist.
      Art in its totality has no structure other than it’s like a multi-streamed flow of creations that come together like a braided river.

      ” Is it necessary to know the intended true message of music to honestly – on all levels – tell yourself you “like it”.”
      No.
      Art works best when the conscious mind is not giving instructions to the viewer/listener. Let the subconscious and central nervious system decide what you like and leave it to them to tell the conscious mind it’s liked. Although in the case of lyrics the conscious mind is needed to decide if there’s validity in the words being used (from your point of view of course).

      Well those are my thoughts for what they are worth Uturn.

  4. ianmac 4

    An artist paints according to his view of things. It means something in particular to him. But the moment he puts it out for others to see, it is open for any interpretation the viewer wants, and the artist loses “ownership” of his view. Art, Music, writing. Some creators get cross if you don’t “get it” but that is the nature letting others see it.

    • fender 4.1

      The artist might lose his/her exclusive interpretation, but he doesn’t lose ownership of it.
      Everyone who sees/hears etc it becomes the owner of another interpretation.

  5. Te Reo Putake 5

    Reasons to love Morrisey, No94: The Islands Formerly Known as the Falklands.
     
    And, in case youse guys missed it, Heaven Knows John Key is Miserable Now. How good is David Shearer, eh? Despite the whingers, he’s getting the job done.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      How good is David Shearer, eh? Despite the whingers, he’s getting the job done.

      In any future Left leaning coalition, the contribution of NZ First and the Greens to the outcomes our country needs cannot be safely ignored by Labour supporters.

      • Te Reo Putake 5.1.1

        You’re not wrong, CV. The good news is that Labour have good experience at stitching together coalitions, and even though Winston has previously baulked at going with the Greens, I suspect he’ll be on board this time round. I also think there will be less talk of ‘junior partners’ from Labour in the next Government and it will be a more inclusive cabinet.

    • Morrissey 5.2

      Reasons to love Morrisey, No94…

      I see you’re a Private Eye fan, Te Reo.

      • Te Reo Putake 5.2.1

        Too right! My writing style (and politics) owes a lot to both PE and the punk era NME. Got the latest airmailed issue of the Eye here. Perfect day for reading on the couch, while my personal assistant and occasional masseuse, Rita Chevrolet, stokes the fire …

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      NATIONAL (45.5%) MAINTAIN BIG LEAD, BUT LABOUR (31.5%)
      IMPROVES FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT MORGAN POLL

      That headline is rather interesting as previously they’ve consistently referred to the government and not the main party in the government.

      If a National Election were held today the National Party would be returned to Government.

      Looking at the numbers, that doesn’t appear to be true.

      Labour 31.5
      Greens 13
      NZ1st 5
      Mana 1
      Total 50.5

      National 45.5
      Act 0.5
      UF 0.5
      Maori 1.5
      Total 48

      That’s just the percentages, if an election was held today I would be surprised if Act and UF got back in at all. So, why is Morgan Polls saying that National would be returned to government when that, according to their own numbers, would be unlikely?

      • McFlock 5.3.1

        NZ1 abstaining is my guess.
          
        But it’s early days yet

        • Jackal 5.3.1.1

          Isn’t the Roy Morgan on average 7% out in favour of the right? But that’s OK because polls don’t win elections.

          • McFlock 5.3.1.1.1

            yeah, but remember that it’s still two and a bit years until the next election campaign…

  6. Morrissey 6

    Malvinas Islands belong to you, Morrissey tells Argentinian fans
    British singer is latest artist to support Argentinian sovereignty of south Atlantic islands as diplomatic tensions rise

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/mar/02/falkland-islands-belong-argentina-morrissey

    The singer Morrissey has become the latest celebrity to endorse Argentina’s claims over the Malvinas Islands, telling a crowd in the Argentinian city of Córdoba, “we know the islands belong to you”.

    Diplomatic tensions between Argentina and the UK have been mounting ahead of the 30th anniversary of the invasion of the islands by Argentina on 2 April 1982. Last month British diplomats accused Argentina of trying to isolate the Malvinas by putting pressure on Chile to end flights there. On Monday, two British cruise ships were prevented from docking at an Argentinian port.

    Morrissey’s comments follow similar endorsements by the US actor Sean Penn and the Pink Floyd bass player Roger Waters. “The Malvinas Islands, everybody knows they belong to Argentina,” Morrissey said from the stage of the Orfeo stadium in Córdoba. “So please don’t blame
    the British people, we know the islands belong to you.” The comments brought enthusiastic cheers from the crowd before he launched into the 1984 Smiths track “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want.”

    Morrissey’s support for Argentina’s claim, contested by Britain and the 3,000 British inhabitants of the islands, follows an interview broadcast on Friday on Argentine and Chilean television in which
    Waters said the Malvinas “should be Argentine”. The musician, who is playing nine sold-out stadium concerts in Buenos Aires starting next week, said Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron had used the Falklands question “for narrow political ends”.

    Penn was the first major artist to come out in favour of the Argentinian position, after a meeting with President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in Buenos Aires two weeks ago. He criticised Britain’s “ludicrous and archaic commitment to colonialist ideology” and the deployment of Prince William to the islands on a tour of duty as a search and rescue helicopter pilot.

    “There are many places to deploy the prince,” Penn said. “It’s not necessary, when the deployment of a prince is generally accompanied by warships, to send them into the seas of such shared blood.”

    The pro-Argentina statements have come as Kirchner has increased pressure on the islands. She announced on Friday that she wants to start direct flights between Buenos Aires and the Malvinas, to replace the current flight linking the islands with the mainland via the
    “neutral” Chilean port of Punta Arenas.

    “Our main concern is that we keep our link to Chile,” said Nigel Haywood, British governor of the islands. “We’re in the middle of a current Argentine policy which seems to be to isolate the islands and to dictate to them what they should be doing – from harassing fishing vessels to closing ports to cruise ships. At a time when every act that Argentina takes towards us seems to be a hostile one, I’m not too sure why we should view this with any degree of enthusiasm.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/mar/02/falkland-islands-belong-argentina-morrissey

    • millsy 6.1

      There seems to be a lot of speculation recently about another conflict in the Falklands, usually by journalists looking for attention grabbing headlines.

      Neither side would be willing or able to bear the huge financial and political burden that a Falklands War II would require, especially not for some barren islands, even if they were sitting on shitloads of oil.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Reading the history would indicate that they don’t belong to Argentina.

      Sovereignty over the islands became an issue in the second half of the 20th century, when Argentina saw the creation of the UN as an opportunity to pursue its claim. Talks between British and Argentine foreign missions took place in the 1960s but failed to come to any meaningful conclusion. A major sticking point in all the negotiations was that the inhabitants preferred that the islands remain British territory.

      If the people who live there want to be British then that’s their choice. Of course, governments aren’t noted for listening to the voice of the people they’re looking at conquering.

      • Vicky32 6.2.1

        If the people who live there want to be British then that’s their choice. Of course, governments aren’t noted for listening to the voice of the people they’re looking at conquering.

        Seconded!

  7. marsman 7

    More of Bill English’s bullshit ides exposed as just that, bullshit.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6516437/2500-jobs-gone-but-state-service-saves-only-20m

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Annual savings should easily surpass $100M. The fact that the savings are so low is very suspicious – where have the predicted savings in salaries and overhead gone to?

      • Campbell Larsen 7.1.1

        Paying ‘downsizing’ consultants? Redundancy payouts? Just another exercise in trickle up.

      • mik e 7.1.2

        When you look at the increase in spending on consultants[Nationals mates] of over a $100 million
        .Another broken promise conjob

    • seeker 7.2

      @marsman@11.37am

      Could this be the reason that Bill English resorts to BS so often. I read this comment in the Herald today:

      “…..Is he (Key) pandering to his goldman sachs bosses? You can betcha. The events since he has hi-jacked the political landscape is evident, he installed english as the stooge finance minister the real finance minister is Philip Borkin an economist with goldman sachs ltd in auckland, this would explain english’s vauge knowledge of policies, his confusing statements, because simply he hasn’t been informed on the facts of what is afoot financially.”
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz-government/news/article.cfm?c_id=144&objectid=10789575

      Is this Philip Borkin the reason New Zealand is being kneecapped by National??

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Good dissection of NActs kick in the goolies welfare reforms for those on the DPB.

    When are we going to start investing in our families? Really investing. Not just Working for Families schemes, not just minimal paid parental leave, not “flexible, family-friendly workplaces” in principle, but tangible support for people who don’t happen to have investment accounts. Support that doesn’t come with a close-your-legs-clause, or a time’s up countdown, or an allowance for only one parent to take time out of work. Support that says hey if we’re going to suddenly get really worried about this country’s children we should probably invest in them and their families, huh?

  9. Kotahi Tane Huna 9

    Stuff reports:

    “FARMS OFFERED FOR SALE INDIVIDUALLY IN ASIA

    Potential New Zealand buyers were told the 16 Crafar farms could only be sold profitably by bundling them together but the Star-Times has now learned the farms were advertised for sale individually in China and Singapore.

    The advertisements, in the South China Morning Post and Singapore’s Straits Times, emerged in documents released to the Sunday Star-Times by the Overseas Investment Office under the Official Information Act.”

    Nail, meet coffin.

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    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
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    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
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    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
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    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
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