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The Standard

Open mike 06/11/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 6th, 2012 - 133 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…

133 comments on “Open mike 06/11/2012”

  1. AsleepWhileWalking 1

    Kudos to whomever made the $50K donation to Wellington Rape Crisis : )

    You’re a star!

    • karol 1.1

      Excellent!

      • Dr Terry 1.1.1

        Excellent indeed! At the same time we note that private donations are compensating for government negligence and the government counts on this.

        • AsleepWhileWalking 1.1.1.1

          Sadly this is the way it will remain. Still…tax deductable (Wellington Rape Crisis is a registered charity and they run a tight ship so books in order). Vote with your wallet, I say! Do you prefer a faceless government servant deciding which organisations get funding …… OR….. do you prefer to allocate funds yourself? Easy choice for me 😛

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1

            I prefer that the government provides these essential services rather than relying on the good will of the rich which always results in there not being enough of the essential services.

            • karol 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, I do agree with Dr T and DTB that these services should be paid for and provided by the government.

  2. Logie97 2

    Since around 2000, from being in opposition to being in government, the members of the current administration have gone up and down the country and chanted, from every which and where, the same meme, “Cut red tape this, cut red tape that! OSH this, OSH that. They are preventing progress! Let’s remove the obstacles to progress …! Get government out of the way! Reduce costs here, reduce costs there! The market must be given a chance to self regulate!”

    Sadly, it would appear, it has needed a tragedy to stop Key and his cohorts in their tracks… and now they appear to be ducking for cover. Shame on them.

    • KhandallaMan 2.1

      +1.
      Slagging OSH went hand-in-hand with slagging Labour for being PC.  Saying the term OSH in a sneering manner was a call-sign for tories.    Many radio jocks and many business leaders contributed to a toxic attitude towards doing tasks/projects in a careful and considered way. 

    • +1 yes well said Logi97 & KhandallaMan,
      They frame their approach so that people are fooled into going along with them, “Oh that sounds good” and the purposes of any “red tape” go by the way-side. Good to make the connection. We can add “streamlining” to the list of words they use for that purpose too.

      • Jim Nald 2.2.1

        It would be nice to see some commentators reclaim the argument about the necessity and prudence of having ‘red tape’ for the benefit, protection and security of life and limb. This now is the time to start voicing this.

        It would be just as good to see some commentators front-foot and strongly dismiss and damn accusations that ‘red tape’ is about being PC, nanny state, bureaucratic, costly, bad for business, bla bla bla neobla-ism.

        It would be even better to see legally, morally and socially responsible business people and corporations – on the same side with workers, looking out for the interests of workers – speak out in defence of, and argue for, the need to have ‘red tape’.

        The best standards and practices for workers are also best for employers, markets and businesses.

        • KhandallaMan 2.2.1.1

          +1 Jim Nald

          “It would be just as good to see some commentators front-foot and strongly dismiss and damn accusations that ‘red tape’ is about being PC, nanny state, bureaucratic, costly, bad for business, bla bla bla neobla-ism.”
           
          Yes, that is a role for Labour.  Unfortunately Labour abdicated that responsibility when the inner few decided that we should appeal to the light blues.  When Phil Goff (ably advised by Shearer’s current advisors) apologied for Labour being perceived as “politically correct”‘  he ceded the high ground to those who knocked OSH.  

          Labour has to get back to sticking it’s neck above the parapet on issues that effect workers, women, children, minorities and the defenceless.  When it resorts to mimicking the themes of the powerful and the yob-mob it has lost its way. That happened when Labour apologised at the confence in Rotorua in Sept ’09. 

           http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/2859508/Phil-Goff-apologises-for-Labours-mistakes
           
        • blue leopard 2.2.1.2

          ++1 Jim Nald, thoroughly agree

      • Rodel 2.2.2

        KM and BL
        Could we also replace the words ‘radio jocks’ with ‘radio dicks’? Its seems more accurate.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      That reminds me of this post:

      But right wing political parties rarely (actually, never) take responsibility for their own actions.

      It is fairly clear to everyone by now that the de-regulation of the mines inspectorates in the early ’90s was a grave mistake. 29 graves, to be precise.

      So for Heather Roy to try to shift the blame onto OSH, when legislative “reforms” specifically stated that mines safety had devolved to individual companies, and was no longer the “prescriptive” responsibility of the State is more than a little disingenous – it’s downright dishonest and insulting to all New Zealanders.

  3. Te Reo Putake 3

    Dunnokeyo reckons the word gay means weird. Leaving aside for a moment how insulting that definition is, lets look at the other definition he used to defend his homophobic outburst; the Oxford dictionary. Obviously Key never actually looked it up, because there’s no way he would agree with the example they give for the word’s use!
     

    4 informal, often offensive foolish, stupid, or unimpressive: he thinks the obsession with celebrity is totally gay

    • felix 3.1

      I think you’ll find what he’s doing there is lying, TRP.

      Rhino pointed out this other lie last night too:
      Asked at his post-Cabinet press conference whether he was homophobic, Mr Key said: “No, I’m voting for gay marriage, I’m hardly homophobic – I led the charge on it.”

      It seems Key wants to take credit for having “led the charge on” marriage equality, in spite of the whole country knowing that he’s not Louisa Wall.

      Not only does this blatant lie come hot on the heels of lying about which way he voted on the liquor purchase age, it’s also a disgraceful attempt at the traditional bigot’s fallback “but some of my best friends are (x)” defense.

      • Te Reo Putake 3.1.1

        Hopefully ‘traditional bigots’ will decide they don’t want to vote for the man who ‘led the charge’ on ‘weird’ marriage. Good news for the Conservative Party?

        • Jim Nald 3.1.1.1

          Batshit Key, the media whore and shameless, lying self-publicist, squeeked out about gay marriage, wanting to quickly gatecrash into the halo effect generated by Obama’s socially enlightened prior announcement.

          Louisa Wall did the correct thing with the opportunity of a private member’s bill to follow through on the socially just thing to do.

          Batshit Key now needs to be held account for what he said.
          And as leader of a party of many Nasties, this is an opportunity for him to demonstrate true leadership by persuading each one of his party MPs* to exercise their individual conscience votes with their conscience for discriminated individuals.

          *MPs – whether they are gay, stray or sway (or whether they are out or not)

      • Dr Terry 3.1.2

        As best I can recall, in the first instance Key did not support gay marriage.

    • muzza 3.2

      The irony of course is that those who Key “represents”, are in fact far beyond “weird”, so perhaps this is JK being somewhat lucid.

      Why are you bothering yourself over use of the word, when you can’t get your head around the real problems!

      Yes its inappropriate, however its par for the course, its a non-event!

    • McFlock 3.3

      Dunnokeyo denial plan (translated into coherent English):

      I don’t think anything was said;
      Something might have been said but I wasn’t responsible for it;
      You can’t prove I said it;
      I didn’t use those exact words;
      Somebody overheard/secretly recorded the private conversation I had with 300 attendees over a PA system;
      I was using the words according to the hitherto unknown definition I just made up now;
      It was Opposite Day when I said that. 

  4. andy (the other one) 4

    Just listening to Melbourne Cup pre race reportage on commercial radio, could have sworn it was Paddy Gower talking (bollocks) about the US elections.

    Its going to go down to the wire…
    Close race…
    Favourite to win…
    The race that stops a Nation….

  5. North 5

    On TV 3 this morning more Planet Key Speak re Beckham.

    Dunnokeyo notes a “hearsay” report of something he said in private (???).

    “But did you say it ?” presses the TV 3 person in response to this hint of denial.

    “I’m not going to ‘characterise’ that…….” replies Dunnokeyo.

    Planet Key for “Truth…truth…truth…what the fuck is that ?”

    Never mind…yet a further example of prime minister as a devious, cynical bullshitter. Public consciousness of shit mountain continues to build.

  6. just saying 6

    http://bat-bean-beam.blogspot.co.nz/

    Okay I’m a groupie. GT on ‘Bat Bean Beam’ draws the connection between tools for managing blogs, news groups, and other social media, and drone warfare.

    …The CIA will never run out of high-level targets. The internet will never run out of trolls. This is simply because should either of those categories be emptied, the database would fill them again with the people previously defined as mid-level targets, or a nuisance. The danger of terrorism or insurgency will never disappear in the same way that online social interactions will never become perfectly smooth. This is why the kill list and the kill file are not to be understood as temporary solutions but rather as permanent features, a way not just of dealing with concrete problems but of imagining and seeing the world…

    I am really glad that The Standard makes minimal use of banning and the other more insidious silencing technologies such as like-dislike scales. I find it worrying that more and more in these kinds of these media, it is possible to almost never hear alternative views. Even whole subjects can disappear entirely, fresh perspectives, any uncomfortable voices, memories or thoughts, all are smoothed away before they can even impinge on anyone’s consciousness.

    This at the same time as whanau and social groups are increasingly batoning down the hatchets against out-group members, and our communities are slipping into survival mode.

  7. vto 7

    .
    Cut the “red tape” meme has led to, among others, these deaths at Pike River and tens of thousands of leaking homes.

    The recent proposal to do similar regulation-cutting to the heavy trucking industry ……….. would anyone like to predict the outcome of such a proposal?

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      And note how even National had to institute a bunch of “red tape” in order to help secure the finance company sector and protect investors after SCF, Hanover, etc.

      • vto 7.1.1

        Yep, methinks the right wing religion of smaller regulation, freer markets, more private enterprise involvement etc etc has without doubt passed its time now.

        The tide is now no longer drifting at the pleasant sandy high tide beach, it is now well on the way out exposing the mud flats and the detritus that had previously been covered by the tide.

        What’s that saying about geting exposed by an outgoing tide? Well, that entire political philosophy is lying stinked up on the mud flats with no togs. Think Brownlee Key and English. End.

        • muzza 7.1.1.1

          What’s that saying about geting exposed by an outgoing tide? Well, that entire political philosophy is lying stinked up on the mud flats with no togs. Think Brownlee Key and English. End.

          What it shows is that the people who are actually directing NZs “sovereign parliament”, have managed, over decades to completely corrupt the systems that are needed for societies, and communities to function well.

          What we are currently seeing is the latest outputs of that corruption!

    • umm… profits unfettered by beastly considerations such as health and safety for a few
      and higher likelihood of injury and death for many more….

      • vto 7.2.1

        Or it could be described like this …… 45 tonne unregistered truck crushes elderly lady.

        • blue leopard 7.2.1.1

          yes, I think your description has more impact
          :(

        • Uturn 7.2.1.2

          Does the elderly lady have any connection to the successive governments she voted in during her life that created an environment that allowed her to fill her house full of things transported by trucks and feed herself with food transported by trucks? Did she vote for people who destroyed the railways, with the smugness of an armchair ideologue? Did the woman, at some point in her life, know she ran the risk or did it come as a complete surprise when she bought a retirement home on a busy highway route?

          Are the public responsible for the actions of the masters they vote for and the ideas they arrange their lives around, or can they cast off their actions entirely onto any number of random ministers?

          • blue leopard 7.2.1.2.1

            You raise a good point of debate – in that voters need to be engaged in what they are really voting for however your point omits the role of trust and the role of someone in government, with which that trust is reasonably based on also the role of “authority” and how people relate to that, in fact the very role of government in the first place.

            A political party proposes a way forward, people trust that the consequences of such have been soundly thought out. If everyone has to double guess and think deeply on each proposal, then half the point of having representatives has been lost. i.e. not everyone wants to be thinking about these things in depth; that is why we elect people to do that for us.

            Sadly, the time for relying on these people to be taking their role conscientiously is over and we can no longer afford to have such beliefs. This is the message that needs to get out to the general public, once more people start pressuring government to take their role seriously again, they might start doing their jobs properly and then perhaps we can start to trust them again.

            • prism 7.2.1.2.1.1

              blue leopard
              I don’t notice much attempt at political discussion by others. There are some comments that come from deeply held prejudices and all events that are received and remembered in their minds are then shaped to fit those prejudices and reinforce them. I don’t think most people engage in the democratic process of critical thinking about means and ends which is our responsibility if we want to live in a democracy. I was just the same when I was younger, there was no role model of active thinker on politics in my life to follow. I think its the same for most. What to do about this?

              • Colonial Viper

                I was just the same when I was younger, there was no role model of active thinker on politics in my life to follow. I think its the same for most. What to do about this?

                The aim would be to engage just 100K new people to Left Wing politics. Aged 16 and up.

                In such a scenario the Right would almost never win again (oohhh McFlock!).

                • McFlock

                  lol
                       
                  The old “if more people supported us, we’d be more popular” tautology.
                         
                  The number of meetings I’ve been in where plans have been hatched to “engage with [segment or donor XXX]” is large. The number of successful socialist revolutions in NZ in that time period: 0.00000
                         
                  The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And remember that only one dude could walk on water (ninja lore notwithstanding). 

                  • Colonial Viper

                    The number of meetings I’ve been in where plans have been hatched to “engage with [segment or donor XXX]” is large. The number of successful socialist revolutions in NZ in that time period: 0.00000

                    In that case perhaps the common factor for failure is you McFlock. With your outlook it’s not a surprise.

                    • McFlock

                      lol
                             
                      Well, let me know how your 100k-strong youth organisation goes. I’ll be looking out for them leafleting at the next election…

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re mad McFlock. Why would you consider voting for the Alliance for instance if not to help them build a 100,000 strong voting base???

                      By the way, I said nothing about a “youth” organisation. Better keep your imagination in check mate. It seems you are reading a lot into what I write which is not there.

                      Leafletting lol your strategies really would be a failure.

                    • McFlock

                      You’re mad McFlock. Why would you consider voting for the Alliance for instance if not to help them build a 100,000 strong voting base???

                      Because I agree with their policies. Which is an entirely separate issue to how successful they are, or I think they’ll be. Maybe if the Alliance get 1% lab/greens would recognise the demand and take a step to the left. Who knows?
                              
                      Hey, I’d love it if the Alliance had a half-million strong voting base. But anyone can say “we will engage x-hundred thousand people”. Actually getting more than thirty is the challenge, and only comes from hard work: entertaining and persuasive speakers on the hustings, doorknocking, social media, and indeed walking around in the rain delivering thousand of leaflets. And no, social media does not remove that work.
                             
                      Which takes us back to plaintive cries in meetings of a dozen folk, the mournful refrain “why don’t people vote for / support us?” 
                           
                      As for reading a lot into what you write, the problem is that in order to turn what you write into a coherent and realistic plan, lots and lots of holes need to be filled in. 

                  • Rogue Trooper

                    If you want to walk on water you got to get out of the boat.
                    spread that left wing thought
                    :)

              • Dr Terry

                I don’t think most people think, full stop. There is likely to be heard from many “When’s the next footy match”. In other words, so very much discussion centres upon trivia rather than upon the huge issues going on all around us.

              • @Prism,
                Yes, I agree with your comments, and I have in the past got rather annoyed about people not engaging with politics (!), yet I realise this is unfair, and I have to remind myself that not everyone has the same interests, most are very busy and people do things in a variety of ways to help improve “the way things are”.

                As to what to do about this. “ummm” is the first thing that comes to mind!

                Then the standard criticism that arises of our media; information sources.

                It is my experience (and from what I’ve read too) that when one meets up with a person with a real interest in political issues and critical thinking, this what sparks interest in another. This can be a real life person, and it can also be an article in a paper, or books and now, on the internet too. The issue being, the more people read banal propaganda, the more they switch off. This was my experience, a thought that politics was simply mediocre and compromised. Then coming across books that relayed intelligently presented “connected” arguments which made me realise that there really was a purpose behind all the banality that is presented to us.

                I guess the best thing that any one person can do is share a passion for critical thinking when one has the opportunity to (sometimes this involves speaking out when there is pressure to remain silent) and I think that an optimism that things can change positively when there are enough people involved is also a very important thing to impart to people. All of this requires going against some of our cultural attitudes, which I believe are pretty anti politics, keep your head down, don’t complain…etc.

                I really do think that there needs to be an information source in print or on TV that imparts information on this level and I am unclear as to why this hasn’t occurred yet. Perhaps a bit to do with what Nicky Hagar’s Bruce Jesson Speech touched on, left-wing people have been disempowered?

    • Colonial Viper 7.3

      Time to institute charges of corporate manslaughter and corporate grevious bodily harm which can be laid against directors and executive management.

      • blue leopard 7.3.1

        Think a lot of things would improve if we simply removed all protections from “legal persons” aka corporations and give them protections on a case by case basis depending upon how much of a public service they were providing, this would effectively remind people of the reasons the protections were devised for corporations in the first place.

      • lefty 7.3.2

        Time to institute charges of corporate manslaughter and corporate grevious bodily harm which can be laid against directors and executive management.

        And shareholders too.

        If you want to make money off other peoples labour you should at least make sure everything possible is done to ensure their safety.

        Shareholders should know how slack the governance and management of the companies they invest in is but deliberately decide to ignore it unless the dividends fall.

        It would be amazing how corporate behaviour would change if people through the whole ownership/governance/management chain were held accountable for their actions.

      • Reagan Cline 7.3.3

        CV, Why not the owners, the shareholders ?

        Because people with more cash than they need would only give it to enterprises where their liability was limited to the amount of cash they put in.

        Limited liability companies distance the owners from the consequences of their actions.

        If you could end up supporting the family of a man killed by poor safety measures in a mine you partly owned you would think very hard before investing and you would insist on good safety.

        • Colonial Viper 7.3.3.1

          CV, Why not the owners, the shareholders ?

          Because the Board of Directors have existing statutory responsibilities for governance and direction of executive management.

          Limited liability companies distance the owners from the consequences of their actions.

          You have to remember that for widely held firms, the “owners” may be a hundred thousand people with KiwiSaver accounts.

          Whereas the ten people in the Board Room have far more day to day and week to week power and influence over the company.

    • BM 7.4

      I read some where that the Miners union knew the mine wasn’t safe.
      How come they didn’t kick up more of a stink, isn’t that their job?

      • Jackal 7.4.1

        You read somewhere the turgid stench that flies out your own arse BM? Yeah! We already knew that.

      • Uturn 7.4.2

        Can’t comment on the specifics of blame you’d like to attribute, but bear in mind that Unions were designed to be transitional devices, not static everlasting organisations. If Unions in NZ crossed the line that they were theoretically designed to cross, we’d have our long awaited revolution. The reality is that they presently contribute to keeping our population well fed and protected, but to do that they need to be collaborating with the thing they supposedly must overthrow. National or Labour, more or less regulation? Deaths, or a series of occasional serious injury? Work, or poverty and revolution? Which is better and what is the question we’re all avoiding?

        • Colonial Viper 7.4.2.1

          Yeah basically. For the unions to truly succeed they would have to accept that their role would be much less needed.

      • blue leopard 7.4.3

        @BM

        “I read some where that the Miners union knew the mine wasn’t safe.”

        Yes, I heard of someone who chose not to work in that mine because of this knowledge

        “How come they didn’t kick up more of a stink, isn’t that their job?”

        This is the hidden “cost” of low employment, poor working conditions and low pay as well as a basic trust in employer’s concern over the welfare of their staff.

        Although people “knew” the mine was unsafe, or suspected as much, there would be a basic “trust” that it “would be alright”, a person might consider that they were being paranoid and that their boss ultimately wouldn’t risk their workers lives.

        This line of reasoning would be all the more likely when there are few jobs around and many poorly paid ones. i.e. the other option is to what? not work and not be able to keep your family in good health? Knowing the unemployment benefit is a trap, a person who quit their job wouldn’t be entitled to an unemployment benefit anyway and such an option isn’t even considered an option for a lot of people, due to both/either their value system &/or the fact that they have a family to support and welfare isn’t sufficient for that.

        • BM 7.4.3.1

          Isn’t that the advantage about Unions, strength in numbers, nobody would have to quit.
          Everyone downs tools for a week unless the safety concerns get sorted.

          • Jackal 7.4.3.1.1

            Many of the workers were contractors who the Commission said did not have the required training to carry out the tasks management gave them. Contractors are not usually associated with Unions, so it’s doubtful any strike would have been effective. The Union workers would have simply been replaced by contractors, with much applause from Brownlee and Wilkinson.

            It’s good that you’re advocating for more Union powers to ensure workplace safety BM… Perhaps Slater, Farrar and the rest of the Union bashing sycophants might like to hear about your ideas?

          • mike e 7.4.3.1.2

            Blind Monetarist some miners just up and left but in New Zealand the right wing have hobbled unions one of the first pieces of legislation by your shonkey led govt was to stop unions free access to the work place 2008 followed by Kate wilkinsons shelving of the recommendations of the labour parties report on mining safety 2009 preceded by Mad max bradfords sacking of mine inspectors 1998 preceeded by bill birchs gutting of mine safety rules 1992 that had been built up over the previous century.
            Not trying to shift the blame their Bob.
            The Labour party was born on the coast out of concern for mine safety and workers rights!

      • karol 7.4.4

        BM, the report I read was that miners, not the unions so much, new that it was unsafe. Kudos to ABC Aussie for comprehensive public service broadcasting coverage:
         

        The interesting thing we learnt during the Royal Commission was that miners were in fact complicit in this [ignoring methane level reports], in a certain way, because there were reports that they were putting plastic bags over the methane sensors.
         
        Now, it was given in evidence to the commission that this was because they felt under pressure, that management was wanting them to meet production targets.

        • Colonial Viper 7.4.4.1

          Wouldn’t surprise me if Pike River ran a blacklist. If you were an employee or contractor who caused too much trouble, you were never hired again.

        • Dv 7.4.4.2

          I thought the worker were being paid bonuses to meet targets?

      • prism 7.4.5

        BM
        You’re like those guys in the comedy routine acting out simple-minded types spotting cars on a motorway, ooh look there’s another one. You question, someone answers, and it just flows right past you without entering your brain, and you repeat the question later on with the same result. I think you are an example of the snowfall effect that I put forward in Open Mike I think on 6/11.

        The poor old miners got caught in a moral hazard that existed for miners in Emile Zola’s time. They want to make a living, have housing, and every time they delay production for safety reasons they hurt the company, it’s profitability and their jobs. In Zola’s time their safety was their own responsibility and I understand they had to shore up the passages and support the ceiling themselves.

        Read about it and learn – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germinal_(novel)

    • ianmac 7.5

      It seems strange to me vto, that the millions of dollars needed to fix leaky homes is not clearly sheeted home to the National deregulation in the 90s. You would think that along with Mining deregulation the people would be very angry. I am.

  8. karol 8

    Kate Chapman reports:

    Prime Minister John Key says he is serious when he needs to be but has to joke around sometimes.

    Is she part of the parliamentary gallery?  Does she not regularly see how Key does his stand-up routine in order to deflect serious questions in Question Time?  Why is she not reporting that, rather than just uncritically reporting what Key says?

    • muzza 8.1

      Karol – The question is:

      What is the selection criteria is to be “any reporter or editor”, responsible for the media balackouts which exist, to provide the cover stories and misdirection, to blatant lies that are sold via the MSM.

      When one starts to think about those who are “selected to report the news”, one can reasonably deduce that those people are as easily “swayed”, as those chosen to be the options NZ gets to vote for!

      NZ inc – Rotten to the core!

  9. Mellani 9

    Did you know that you can make up to $1200 per week? [spam deleted – r0b]

  10. Chris 10

    ”I dare you to show me one example where I haven’t discharged my responsibility seriously, professionally and appropriately,” he told TV3’s Firstline. (Sorry,had to cut and paste) Guess who in DomPost?

  11. prism 11

    Yesterday I noted a discussion of interest rate and currency swaps that I heard on Jim Mora on Radionz. I put live links in my comment. It was new stuff to me, the financial instruments or derivatives (D) market is not my everyday experience and I would say not to the ordinary citizen.

    http://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/afternoons-with-jim-mora-the-panel-today-dcc-interest-rate-swaps/
    also
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/7903907/Banks-plundering-society-globally

    I just listened again and there are some points that we should know. First between them Auckland and Dunedin City Councils lost $200 million last year resulting from these Ds. Then we should know that the Ds are contingent liabilities which have floating rates and there is no knowing how the rates will change year to year. It may be $1 billion that they lose next year (and that is a debt on top of the principal still owing).

    I don’t know if they are the same as hedge funds, but the point was made as with hedge funds, that the seller of the D has a conflict of interest as it wants to win and you to lose, (so it will want to tip the scales against you). One thinks of the Melbourne Cup – the TAB have better rules and standards. Apparently our chief national earners, Fonterra and farming interests, are involved in these derivatives and that gives a cold feeling down the spine.

    There is something called a Dual currency interest rate swap. This involves two different currencies and when one is NZ, which is very volatile and may fall, then the repayments go up, a particularly risky tricky thing to be in.

    In Europe there has been legal proceedings brought against mis-selling by banks of derivatives (mis-selling another neo-lib euphemism) and a Milan bank had returned millions of dollars, might have been $1 billion not sure.

    It can be difficult to find what has been done with this public money because of the old excuse “It’s commercially sensitive”. We may think we have the right to know what our officials are doing in our name, but no, ‘It’s trust us we know more than you, and we know what we are doing”. That sounds dodgy, but how can we force the issue under the present regime??

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      So after the GFC, these City Councils and their investment banking mates decided to get in on the game themselves.

      STUPID

    • Colonial Viper 11.2

      First between them Auckland and Dunedin City Councils lost $200 million last year resulting from these Ds. Then we should know that the Ds are contingent liabilities

      technical note – a contingent liability is a potential sum owing, the size and nature of which depends on some future event or measure.

      With interest rate D’s, there is a vast amount of uncertainty and lack of control around what this might be, year to year. As prism notes, the investment banks on the other side of the trade often PROFIT when their clients LOSE.

      It’s a level of risk which no public organisation should involve itself in unless it really knows how to use D’s as tools to reduce risk and uncertainty.

      Many municipal authorities in the US have gone bankrupt due to these kinds of “investments”.

      • prism 11.2.1

        CV
        Thanks for putting right my understandings of contingencies et al. I don’t want to pass on my ignorance of these matters to others.

        • Colonial Viper 11.2.1.1

          No probs mate, you were very close to getting it right. Your monthly power bill could be considered a contingent liability which depends on how much power you use – will your next invoice be $300 or will it be $600?

          At least in that case you have significant influence over the end result. With an interest rate swap you are at the mercy of market fraud and banker fine print scams.

          • prism 11.2.1.1.1

            I was thinking of that general competence thing for councils. At one time they couldn’t get high-flown ideas of risk-taking in exotic financial transactions – they were too tightly controlled. It seems as a citizen who isn’t snuggling up for juicy tenders and projects to councils, that the general competence should be abandoned and a slightly more lenient than the previous control should be the new norm.

            Also, one of the skills that a CEO is now being paid for is no doubt the ability to handle a large budget and be able to do this financial horse-trading. So if councils had less money, which they had to parcel out in a rational way, there would be less need to do their double book-keeping. The Jim Mora Radionz item I listened to said that the borrowings and interest rate swaps were not always shown in the appropriate part of the balance sheet and there wasn’t a signal of their likely cost long-term.

            And I think that employing contractors is almost double-bookeeping. Government and businesses can fudge their expenditure on human resources. Contractors are paid out of one pot, and staff and wages out of another. Staff and wages will appear to be kept at a low rate yet the real need of the organisation is met by high-paid hourly contractors. A wasteful and often mendacious system.

            This Local Bodies explanation piece on council general competence and processes is very straightforward and a good example of providing clear information.
            http://insider.thomsonreuters.co.nz/2012/03/local-government-law-nz/
            2. Financial management strategies
            Commencing in 1996, with abolition of the former Local Authorities Loans Board, local authorities have had greater powers to undertake works and to fund the works through different fiscal policies and determinations. The ability of local authorities to borrow money, or to undertake rating, has been substantially liberalised. The introduction of differential rating, and annual charges, has been modernised, and the ability to impose targeted rates has been extended. Again, to provide direction and restraint, the law requires councils to develop strategies for funding and borrowing, and to provide for implementation through the long-term plan and annual plan, and to make an annual report. These obligations are subject to overview by the Auditor-General.

    • muzza 11.3

      Good work Prism..

      Does it say who is responsible for making the “investments” at either council, or who provided the advise to do so?

      Still, the quicker the councils can get themselves into debt the quicker the assets can be stolen.

      The new owners of the assets, will be the same gang who also will have swallowed up the “investments”.

      Like a win win for them, but a huge loss for everyone else.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    The Power of the Right-Wing Echo Chamber

    Everyone saw this news, and polling on October 5 showed a sharp increase in the number of people who knew that unemployment was down. But here’s the interesting thing: among liberals and independents, the number getting the answer right stayed higher over the next several days. Apparently the news sunk in. But among conservatives, the number getting the answer right started to decline immediately. Within three days, as the chart below shows, they were answering the question exactly the same as they had before the unemployment report came out.

    We see the same things here with the RWNJs continual re-writing of history when the facts conflict with what the RWNJs believe.

    • prism 12.1

      Yes how about calling it the snowfall effect? The brains of RWNJs get stirred up by new and unwelcome stats which register for a brief moment in time, but similar to the little globes with snow and bits of glitter in them which swirl around after a shaking, soon everything settles back to the same configuration as before.

      • ianmac 12.1.1

        Great imagery there Prism.
        I expect there are more RWNJ who believe in a god and in a heaven as they are more likely to exist in faith rather than science or factual evidence. It is god’s will you know.

        • prism 12.1.1.1

          ianmac
          Well when you’re on the top of the heap perhaps you feel closer to god. Then you could almost be convinced that he/she is on your side and it’s all the wonderful way that god willed it to be.

    • joe90 12.2

      More on RWNJ liars and their lies.

      http://www.thebaffler.com/past/the_long_con/print

      Each constituent lie is an instance pointing to a larger, elaborately constructed “truth,” the one central to the right-wing appeal for generations: that liberalism is a species of madness—an esoteric cult of out-of-touch, Europe-besotted ivory tower elites—and conservatism is the creed of regular Americans and vouchsafes the eternal prosperity, security, and moral excellence of God’s chosen nation, which was doing just fine before Bolsheviks started gumming up the works.

  13. Rogue Trooper 13

    briefly listened to RNZ last night; an interveiw with a co-author of a recent popular publication on the findings of “political science” research into the benefits the introduction of democracy had provided to newly democratic nation states in our life-times. The interviewer was very dry and sceptical of the authors conclusions (very american) and the author just dribbled a whole lot of waffle imo.

    It seemed, the advances in rule of law, social justice etc, in African countries for example, were comparitively short-lived.

    Some one commented recently concerning the population attritions we are likely to see in Africa in the coming decades.

    very sad.

  14. Fortran 14

    Like Columbia we should drop the voting age to 16.
    More representative balance.

  15. georgecom 15

    Just read that Rakon are taking sum jobs overseas due to the high dollar. As the Nat election billboard said:

    “wave goodbye to Kiwi jobs, as well as your loved ones”

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Its crucial that we enhance and strengthen workers organisations in NZ to offset the power of the media and of moneyed capitalists.

      • Chalupa Batman 16.1.1

        Not sure how that relates but thanks for your input

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1

          Oh I thought I’d just bat back the idea of ‘union corruption’ with the idea that yes, unions have to evolve and tighten up their organisations – at the same time as making them far stronger and more effective.

    • muzza 16.2

      NZ’s systemic corruption is on levels which people can’t even begin to fathom, so they blow it off as “poor politics”, or right/left or other ideology!

      Its not!

      Agreed Viper, thats one thing that is needed!

    • McFlock 16.3

      Given that the perceptions of many of those organisations are significantly affected by the media (which “won” hands down), much lolz.
               
      I’m surprised the Australian police are only at 16%, given their record. 
            

               
       

    • Draco T Bastard 16.4

      It seems like a fairly wishy washy poll with no possibility of drawing conclusions.

    • karol 16.5

      It’s a survey of people’s perceptions not the reality.  What a surpirse that a lot of people have a negative view of unions  Wonder how they got thatidea? 
       
      Yet the respondents views of individual politicians as not being corrupt, contradict the strong belief that poltiicians are corrupt. It’s all in the mind.
       
      And they’ve been doing those surveys for the last 30 years – roughly coincides with neoliberalism and the rise of tabloid and highly commercialised journalism.  This does support research that indicates such journalism leads to cynicism about politics.

    • Te Reo Putake 16.6

      Roy Morgan says bugger off Chalupa, we like earning decent wages and having good working conditions. That’s why we like unions.

  16. lprent 17

    In the last week – has anyone been getting those server failure messages that were so common?

    I haven’t had one since the start of last week after I’d fixed a number of things that were locking up the database and a separate set that were preventing the full use of cloudflare.

  17. karol 18

    Cunliffe says it’s a dark day for hi-tech manufacturing – Fisher and Paykel sold, Rakon outsourcing jobs to Asia.  And a Labour government would do more to keep such businesses and work in NZ, he says.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      This is what you get when a relatively small number of shareholders and institutional investors, all of whom are already plenty wealthy, decide that maximising their return on capital is more important than anything else eg keeping jobs in NZ.

      Our economic system is broken.

      • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1

        Capitalism has been broken for 5000 years. We just don’t seem to be getting the message.

        • Colonial Viper 18.1.1.1

          Well, capitalism hasn’t been around for 5000 years…guess it depends how you define it. I see it as taking hold after the time of Adam Smith and Ricardo.

          • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1.1.1

            Debt based money with a top down hierarchical structure which resulted in a few people owning nearly everything and the collapse of the economy was recorded in Sumer 5000 years ago. Which brings up that old saying: If it looks like a duck and quacks like duck, chances are, it’s a duck.

            • Colonial Viper 18.1.1.1.1.1

              Feudalism.

              • Draco T Bastard

                There is, essentially, no difference.

                • jimgreen

                  Can I make a suggestion for your summer reading list DTB, Karl Polanyi – The Great transformation. If your into your history and political economy its makes for a great read, should be around in ebook form on Gutenberg or something.

                  “Not until 1834 was a competitive labor market established in England; hence, industrial capitalism as a social system cannot be said to have existed before that date. Yet almost immediately the self-protection of society set in: factory laws and social legislation, and a political and industrial working class movement sprang into being. It was in this attempt to stave off the entirely new dangers of the market mechanism that protective action conflicted fatally with the self-regulation of the system. It is no exaggeration to say that the social history of the nineteenth century was determined by the logic of the market system proper after it was released by the Poor Law Reform Act of 1834.”

                  http://www.uncharted.org/frownland/books/Polanyi/POLANYI%20KARL%20-%20The%20Great%20Transformation%20-%20v.1.0.html

    • Draco T Bastard 18.2

      We are also considering an accelerated depreciation allowance to support investment in new technology.

      State owned factories run by the workers as a cooperative with the production then done under contract/license. Run R&D through the universities to keep the factories up to date. Much better idea.

      • Colonial Viper 18.2.1

        You can’t have the state owning the factories, the workers or their local communities have to own the factories. With state owned enterprises, the first thing a Tory Govt will do is sell the bloody things off. Need to observe and learn their patterns of behaviour.

        • Draco T Bastard 18.2.1.1

          …the workers or their local communities have to own the factories.

          And what else do you think the state is?

          With state owned enterprises, the first thing a Tory Govt will do is sell the bloody things off.

          So we change government rules so that they can’t. It’s part and parcel of making them accountable to the people of NZ in such a way so that they do what the people of NZ want them to do and not what their major backers want.

          • Colonial Viper 18.2.1.1.1

            And what else do you think the state is?

            OK to clarify, when you say “the state”, do you mean the Crown?

            So we change government rules so that they can’t.

            The Tories will simply repeal or amend those rules and then sell off the assets. Like we see them doing now.

            • Draco T Bastard 18.2.1.1.1.1

              OK to clarify, when you say “the state”, do you mean the Crown?

              No, the community.

              The Tories will simply repeal or amend those rules and then sell off the assets. Like we see them doing now.

              Which is why we make it so that they can’t and if they try it we book them for treason and hang the bastards.

              Leaving the system as it is now with government having all power and no responsibility isn’t an option.

              • Colonial Viper

                Which is why we make it so that they can’t and if they try it we book them for treason and hang the bastards.

                How do you do this? You can’t charge someone for treason if they’ve legalised the process of selling publicly owned assets.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Well, I’m all for democracy and having it so that it must go to referendum. If they try to get rid of the referendum, as the arseholes did with Auckland, then they are immediately in breach of the law and are automatically found as treasonous.

                  Put in the right laws, make sure everyone knows what those laws are and what they’re there to do and we can limit the government which is what we really need to do.

  18. Logie97 20

    Does anyone recall the government saying that they were going to support KidsCan “feeding the lower decile” children?

    Just as we thought would happen, they have managed to get Campbell Live off their backs
    but can anyone report an improvement in the diets of the needy school children…? Nah, hasn’t happened, I bet. Or has it?

    Just wondering.

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