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Open mike 07/11/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 7th, 2012 - 143 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…

143 comments on “Open mike 07/11/2012”

  1. Jenny 1

    Election Polls open across America. Voting starts

    What will the new president do about Climate Change?

    For good or ill, America has a tradition of global leadership. When it comes to climate change America needs to lead more actively in the world – not from behind, but from the front.

    It’s all about leadership

    Ultimately, at some time, whoever becomes US president he or she will have to take on the historic task to build the necessary public support for the fight to save our world. As the commander in chief of the most developed and richest and powerful nation on earth, the President of the United States has a historical obligation to lead public opinion against Climate Change– and that starts with explaining to the American people that the US and the world needs to take drastic action to avert further catastrophe, and that America needs to be in the lead in taking that action.

    Will Obama be that president?

    Will Romney?

    Or will we have to wait another four more terrible years of rudderless inaction and silence from the President of the United States in the face of this impending global holocaust?

  2. millsy 2

    Suprised that Obama has lasted this long.

    I would have thought that some Alabama redneck was going to assassinate him, or the GOP would find some excuse to push him out of office, via impeachment, etc.

    Obama has proved to be dissapointing, in that he caved into the Tea Party on issues such as healthcare, but Mitt Romney is probably the most right wing GOP candidate ever, with Ryan even more right wing than he is.

    Anyway, by the end of the day, we will know if the US people are going to stick with him….

    Ive taken a day of A/L just to watch the election coverage 😉

    • karol 2.1

      I’m not disappointed in Obama – I never had high hopes for him.  I won’t be watching the coverage.  The amount of coverage given to the US presidential race outside the US is just another part of the Americanisation of the world – a mix of cultural and political colonisation.
      Al Jazeera has been giving it too much coverage this morning too. Of course the outcome will have some impact on the world.  But the election campaigns of tweedledum or tweedledee are just a political circus; a diversion from the important political issues, IMO.

      • AwakeWhileSleeping 2.1.1

        Yep, I think we should be much more concerned with Asia. We need less America influences in our media, not better coverage of muppet vs muppet.

    • muzza 2.2

      Millsy, how do you suppose that some redneck would manage that?

      Hopefully you were joking about the day off to watch it, as it actually make no difference at all, if not suggestion would be that you stop watching reading MSM so much, and understand that what you see in the USA, like NZ, is really just theatre, which is covering for horrific crimes, domestically and internationally.

      Poor Jenny above is waiting, hoping that the POTUS will stop the climate “holocaust” (I really wish people would stop using that as a comparison), and that is simply not going to happen, the reasons have become obvious, but many still believe in the fantasy of democracy and freedom, despite the world we have in front of us!

      GITMO, WARS, NDAA, Dones, polygamy, theocracy, prophecies, oaths etc….America fcuk yeah!

      • millsy 2.2.1

        Yeah, actually I was joking about taking the day off. I actually took the week off for unrelated reasons. That the election fell on during that week was a co-incidence.

        Still going to watch the coverage — nothing better to do…

        • AwakeWhileSleeping

          That’s awful. Poor you. Try tv-links.eu

          I enjoy Person of Interest, Burn Notice, Perception, Elementary….or for something British and comedy search the site for A Touch of Cloth : )

        • muzza


          • Draco T Bastard

            I don’t see a problem with it. If multiple people choose to be in a relationship that’s their choice.

            Now, if it was a forced relationship then I would have issues with it but that doesn’t have anything to do with polygamy.

            • muzza

              Reading too much into stuff B.

              Point was, you get a warmonger, who likes to pass exec orders which allow people to be killed, detained or disposed of without charges etc, and who lies about it, and who is a puppet


              You get a warmonger, who lies and covers up what his religious beliefs represents, who lies about tax returns and so on, and is a puppet.

              Both represent the same gang!

    • I am disappointed with Obama for not striking out further to left however he did have a obstinate Republican opposition with Mitch McConnell even saying that the number one goal was was denying Obama reelection. Not helping the country, not moving forward, but making sure nothing is done. Which is pretty fucking backward.

      I have also taken the day off to play election day drinking games with my friends at The Egonomist.

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.1

        There were a few good things done.

        Massive broadening of warrantless wiretaps and communications interception, increase in the foreign drone assassination programme, passing laws to detain indefinitely/execute US citizens without charge or due process, bailing the banks out to the tune of a trillion dollars or more while letting millions of US homes get foreclosed on, increasing the number of people on food stamps to 46M etc.

  3. Under the cover provided by the release of the Pike River report and the US elections the Government is advancing the gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme.

    The Sustainability Council is claiming that the Government is trying to play down a big deficit in the carbon accounts by removing the cost of credits given to polluters from the Government Accounts.  There will still be a cost.  The Government wants to hide this cost.

    “Climate Change Minister Tim Groser declined to comment because he has not been fully briefed on the documents.”

    So a Minister can decline to answer questions by keeping his eyes firmly closed? 

    • Jim Nald 3.1

      Well, John Key did encourage a trend for his cabinet colleagues with his higher standards of “can’t recall”, “didn’t read”, “dunno” and such like.

      So we are now hearing Tim Groser overtaking John Key’s standards with “not been fully briefed”.

      • mike e 3.1.1

        Now I get the picture Grosser has been sharing some of his wacky backy with the PM short term memory loss!

    • KhandallaMan 3.2

      Tim Groser is above accountability to ordinary people and parliament.  He is an extraordinary giant of the world scene, who we should be honoured to have on our payroll.  He has never and will never be elected to anything: why should he answer piffling questions? 

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Following John Key’s example of not reading reports that tell him stuff he doesn’t want to know.

      • Jim Nald 3.3.1

        There are also more ‘good’ lines coming out of this lot in government.

        A chocolate fish for guessing who said this just yesterday (and mangled up the year anyway):

        “I got my warrant in December 2008. I cannot recall anything of December 2008”

        • Jim Nald

          And this one today:

          “I do not have all of that detail to hand”

          (but that was not a real response to what the question was asking)

  4. LynW 4

    A refreshing opinion on Stuff.


    ‘The word “thick” is a vile term used to belittle children, many of who find their only outlet in sport.

    All Black Victor Vito is supportive of children with learning difficulties and he wants to write a book to improve their grasp of language.

    Some of these kids will make something of their lives, just as Beckham did coming out of the east end of London, and perhaps some will become All Blacks. Will it still be all right to snigger at them then for being thick? ‘

    Perhaps someone will open an apology to Beckham Facebook page so those of us embarrassed by Key’s gaffe can apologise for him!

    • Jim Nald 4.1

      Yup. I will sign up.
      There should be an option as well on that Facebook page that announces NZ disowning John Key.

    • vto 4.2

      Yes Lynw, that is a well written piece that succinctly places John Key in his correct position – that of an ignorant pig (apologies to pigs).

      Two other things. First, whenever you deal with someone, especially in money stuff like business or politics etc, and that someone has one eye more open than the other then watch out. Key has this.

      Second, how is Key saying “Beckham is smart, he has made more money than me”…. ffs, talk about being in a hole and continuing to dig.

    • weka 4.3

      That is such an excellent opinion piece.
      One of the things that concerned me was how Key’s comments reinforce the entrenched cultural belief that only one kind of intelligence* is valuable (or it’s the most valuable). Putting some worth on emotional and social intelligence wouldn’t go too far astray at this point. Not to mention the intelligences that go into making one a world class sportsperson.
      *Of course Key is trying to overturn that and make out that financial trading intelligence is the pinnacle of human worth.

  5. vto 5

    Here is a sobering current happening…….

    Neoliberal failures at Pike River, leaky homes and finance companies. All are results of the small government, less regulation, more asset sales, free market for everything, private is best approach to the world. This approach has now been evidenced to have failed with the loss of 29 lives, countless life savings, and dank damp housing. Especially recall Brownlee’s approach to mine safety review i.e. dismissing it as unnecessary, with an arrogant snigger.

    Now, take Brownlee and his approach and the entire neoliberal approach to everything and dump that on the city of Christchurch…… my god, the mind boggles at what the resultant mess will be. We can already see one of the effects of Brownlee and the neoliberal approach in the wanton destruction of heritage buildings. Smsahed down without due process. Demolished prior to consent and consultation……….

    Sound familiar? Pike River / finance companies / leaky homes on a city-wide scale? You betcha.

    • Jim Nald 5.1

      Yes it is time to own up to neoliberal regulatory failures – of small government, of free (fall) market, government’s hands-off regulation, privatising profits and socialising losses, ……

      Don’t forget Rena and CTV.
      Someone should maintain a web/facebook page to keep a roll call of disgrace and shame.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      And still, Christchurch voted Brownlee back in with a majority of 13,000. So the elite of that city don’t give a fuck.

      • vto 5.2.1

        Brownlee rode the wave of disaster politics – nothing more. In the same way Chch re-elected Bob Parker when he was about to be completely flushed down the dunny, so too did the people vote for the incumbent in government.

        • weka

          That makes me completely despair about democracy in this country.

          • Jim Nald

            Keep your hope up.
            There is an alternative.
            Greens have been working on it and Labour … um aahh err … soon, soon.

            • weka

              Hi Jim, my despair is about the stupidity of voters. Vto’s comment made it obvious in a way I haven’t seen for a while. Not sure that the Greens can do much about that, but yes I do have some hope of attempts to head in the right direction.

      • David H 5.2.2

        I reckon he will get a real nasty shock next time.

    • BM 5.3

      You may want big government, I certainly don’t.
      Less government the better.

      • mike e 5.3.1

        Well your getting it Blind Monetarist look at the number of Con-sultants the government is hiring
        Hundreds of millions the govt is spending on high price public troughing consultants!

      • Colonial Viper 5.3.2

        Less government the better for private corporate and capitalist interests.


      • Draco T Bastard 5.3.3

        The Rena, CTV, and now Pike river all show the effects of less government. Basically, it’s less government comes with an increase in death and destruction.

        You, and every other RWNJ, may want that but the rest of us don’t.

      • Uturn 5.3.4

        I’d like less government too, but somehow I think you mean a smaller centralised government doing as they please, clumsily effecting everyone; whereas I mean many smaller independant governments relating directly to their States, Communities or whatever useful arrangement occurs.

        • Bill

          Is that like zero central or remote governmence and much more in the way of immediate and empowerng governance?

          • Uturn

            If you like to call it that. Not the silver bullet, but at least not as damaging as urban dwellers defining a rural reality or one culture dictating another. Separate, but together. Does it not seem strange that a man from the North could come down South and say, “We’re taking your forestry and giving you an unsafe mine to work” or “You can’t fish here, we want something nice to visit later” or “No you can’t teach your kids as you like, your school must start at 9am with English first language – and by the way, we’re closing your school” or “Send us your young men to die for our interests overseas”.

            Transfer the consequences for unsafe and unsustainable practices directly to the people doing those things, instead of bailing them out from a distance, with money and rules. No more passing of the NIMBY buck. Encourage people to talk to one another, across States, to get things done diplomatically, instead of assuming power to do as one small group interests are concerned. A Confederation of States. In reality, people will still seek to make money and, with some notable exceptions, share similar values. However, power will be redistributed so people must be more diplomatic and communities can choose with whom they do business.

            • Bill

              No disageement with the first paragraph. Not convinced by the second, although I agree with the sentiments.

              • Uturn

                Yep, it’s just my impossible dream that will not please anyone entirely and upset people I haven’t set out to upset. So, in the abscence of The Great Revolution, what I intend to do is support anything on offer that goes in that general direction. The main point being that although I generally support left-leaners, my comprehension of what NZders would go for doesn’t match big parental style government or small centralised.

                • weka

                  Interesting ideas Uturn. Would you also devolve things like welfare or human rights? How about conservation where there are issues of national significance?

                  • Bill

                    Not being entirely flippant. But abolish the market and the need for welfare to ameliorate the effects of a rapacious ‘dog eat dog’ market diminish….maybe even vanish. Abolish the market in conjunction with developing meaningful democratic institutions and human rights take a massive stride forwards.

                    And conservation alongside other ‘big’ issues are accommodated, not just by market abolition meanig that decsions aren’t determined by the single measure of potential profit, but by democratic systems that work on the principle whereby measures of input to decisions are roughly in balance with the effects decisions would likely have.

                  • Uturn

                    Weka and vto:

                    Yeah it is complex, that’s why I call it the impossible dream and use it as a guide to what I would support, or do not.

                    Auckland once organised themselves into Boroughs, or perhaps, evolved into Boroughs from smaller units. Where I live I can walk across three of the old lines in an hour or so. Pretty small areas, smaller than I propose above. More recently, everything became a Supercity, smaller and more centralised, with less local distribution of power. This is clearly too big for the amount of people involved.

                    Is the idea a direct reversal of a natural evolutionary process or a realisation that people want to be, at some level, seperate to their neighbours across the harbor or in another Island? How separate can they responsibly be?

                    I would not like to tell Coasters what was good for them or Southerners how to organise themselves. Even less so in areas that have strong maori influence. Do they not know what’s good for them and their environment? If an area pollutes their water supply, they can deal with it, drink it themselves, clean up the mess or find new ways to get what they want. The kind of people who would front these States and community organisation wouldn’t be too sympathetic with reckless exploitation. That’s the whole point.

                    It is communism? Possibly, because communities have direct decision making independence and the concept of property would change, but also not, because there is no larger state coming to bail you out of your self interested greedy messes. Is it Socialism? Not really, because there is no end game other than cause and effect, acts and consequence, but also yes it is because it is constant transition toward community and relationship. Is it Anarchy? Possibly, because Auckland has little interest, or say, in the squablings of Canterbury or Kaitaia, but also not, because we’ll do business with you or support your interests if they happen to be mutual undertakings – within the laws of our new Confederation.

                    Unless there was a way to retain Commonwealth status, Treaty of Waitangi and a Confederation Document, the first two would have to go in favour of the last. Confederation Document would not seek to rob Maori of what is theirs, and would reaffirm their special status, but also it would acknowledge that pakeha cannot disappear and are now inextricably linked. Overall, the idea acknowledges Maori have less power than pakeha now and will have more as a result of a new agreement. It’s going to piss off those who don’t want anything to do with Europeans at all, I don’t know how to get round that. To make this document work, it would have to be developed in good faith by people intent on principles, not specific culture. It would deal with how States may interact, not individuals.

                    Is it Capitalism? Since we live in a modern global world, money and profit will be around for a while, but there is no encouragement to go Neo-Liberal. Is it Fascism? Well that’s up to each community to decide how far they enforce their own values. Is it chaos? No, because we all have to get along and certain infrastructure may well be in all our best interests. Some areas will have resources other people want to buy, bringing a certain kind of order. The taste for war and disruption will soon lose it’s attraction. Not many people want to voluntarily starve or die.

                    Is it destructive or constructive? Neither, intentionally. People can look out for each other in any way they please through mutual good faith agreement. It encourages people to consider how they relate to and use the resources they have, instead of stockpiling property and saying no one may work because I want to be top of the heap. Will the weak be trampled by the powerful? That’s the way it’s always been, but imagine trying to sell the idea to a community at a local hall, openly, not by sneaky cowardly cuts to benefits and hiding in ivory towers saying you can’t be held responsible. If your leaders want to kill you, go hang them behind the town hall and elect new ones, for all I care. It’s up to the laws and culture of your State. Nothing can make nice for humans that which the universe has ordered will always be nasty.

                    Does it defuse the celebrity trend in Politics? To some degree. Politics gets up close and personal, not just candidates on TV all highly polished, but people you’re likely to meet at the supermarket any day. You’ll know why things are the way things are, instead of having a newspaper tell you and if you get a bad feeling about someone you meet in person, listen to it. The effect of hero worship will dealt with at the correct distance, instead of with the help of Theatre.

                    These are some of the things I’ve heard people complaining about or opposing and the above is my interpretation of the structure I think would begin to form if we all got more say. It’s anathema to the power hungry, which is the biggest complaint we all seem to have.

                • Bill

                  Yep, it’s just my impossible dream…

                  meh. So was walking on the moon until it became a demand.

            • vto

              uturn, your base premise is stated approximately thus …. ” Does it not seem strange that a man from the North could come down South and say, “We’re taking your forestry and giving you an unsafe mine to work” ”

              How would you go about drawing that, in this instance, geographical line? Using this west coast example – should Aucklanders have less say, and what about people from Canterbury, and what about people from Haast having a say in Greymouth?

              That is a very difficult line to draw, however it is noted that this line has been arbitrarily drawn in two completely different ways by the last two governments. Helen Clark’s lot came down from the North and did actually take that forestry of course. But then this current lot separate the people of east Canterbury (Christchurch) from those of west Canterbury (farmers) and are actually taking the water and environment.

              So one lot drew that line around NZ’s coastline while the other has drawn a line right through a single province.

              ’tis a complex matter the one you raise and personally I don’t see that too many such lines could or should be drawn in a populace and set of islands as small as ours.

              • weka

                Good questions. I think going with the landbase makes sense – you look at the watershed and resources and how they flow or are contained (take our cues from nature). The West Coast is fairly obvious – there is a big range of mountains in between it and everything else. If you want to go smaller, take the Waitaki Valley or the Clutha Valley and their watersheds/origins.

              • Bill

                Why have set geographic areas? The effects of any particular decision will vary enormously. And as said above, a democratic body can be determined through a rough guage of input being in line with potential consequences or impact.

                • Colonial Viper

                  And its important to remember that NZ came from a sytem of Provincial Government. My feeling is that a lot of authority (and capital) needs to be devolved to a local and community level, but that we are a small country and a unified central government will remain important for issues of national importance, going forwards.

    • muzza 5.4

      VTO – I think a question to ask is, how important is NZ to those who want their dirty hands all over the Antartic regions resources, and using NZ as a bigger base than is currently. Oh and those resources known to be around/off the bottom of NZ, and you can include all the farm land also, and water….really just all of it, its not ours, NZ will not be allowed to benefit from any of it!

      The ChCh situation , is again the result of background corruption, and Gerry simply the idiot “messenger”.

    • lulu 5.5

      Shame on you vto. Pike River is a tragedy not an event to list in a sound bite. It wasn’t so much a neoliberal failure as a victory for DOC and the Greens: “DOC discharged its statutory function to protect the conservation value of the land”. Besides former Ministers Wilkinson, Mallard, Dyson and Carter all had a hand in the events that culminated in the loss of lives.

      • McFlock 5.5.1

        It is evident from the Commission report that the Pike River tragedy was the result of 20 years of neglect by successive governments. 
        The report said training of contractors was insufficient – almost half the people in the mine were contractors. This goes to relaxed employment law.
        The report said regulators failed to do their job. This goes to lax regulation and public service cuts.
        The report said a number of design features made the mine unsafe (e.g. the ventilation fan at the bottom of the shaft). That this was permitted goes to lax regulation.
        But you want to blame DoC, about the only organisation involved that vaguely did their job to spec.

      • weka 5.5.2

        “a victory for DOC and the Greens:”
        How? Because DOC put conditions on land use that it oversees? And that made it harder to build a safe mine, so the company went ahead and built an unsafe one? And that is DOC’s fault?

      • Draco T Bastard 5.5.3

        Gordon Campbell’s On the Pike River Report http://is.gd/esPCQu “…will take [time] to repair the damage done by our neo-liberal experiment in workplace safety”

        The Pike River tragedy is the culmination of small government, lax regulation and the pursuit of profit at all costs.

  6. Zorr 6

    For those watching the US elections today, *this* is how you win an election (edited to clarify this is a video proving electronic voting fraud)

  7. karol 8

    Damn!  So much happening today – hard to keep track of them all.  Darien Fenton’s Free Public Libraries Bill is due to its first reading, and Metiria Turei’s Income Tax (Universalisation of In-work Tax Credit) Amendment Bill, needs one more vote today -Peter Dunne? Turei says the Bill:

    would transform the In-work Tax Credit into a child payment for all children who need it, the Green Party said today.”
    My Bill would help to ensure that all children in New Zealand get what they need to have a good life and a fair future,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.
    “Peter Dunne’s single vote could send my Bill to the Select Committee where a real discussion on how to end child poverty could be held.


  8. The growing attacks on the Green Party is just part of the journey towards Government and is actually a sign of success.


  9. Jackal 11

    Passing the buck over Pike River

    It’s little wonder that the Commission of Inquiry found both a lack of governmental oversight and the company is to blame for the Pike River disaster. How exactly the government deals with this will be an interesting development, because I think most agree that Kate Wilkinson’s largely meaningless resignation as Minister of Labour isn’t enough…

    • Jim Nald 11.1

      Wilkinson’s resignation is convenient, calculated and cynical.

      • karol 11.1.1

        Kevin Hague agrees and says it was only a symbolic resignation.

        • Jim Nald

          Thanks for the link.

          Parker said and did the honourable thing as referred to in the Kevin Hague’s piece (“So following the Westminster tradition that I believe in, I resigned my other portfolios this morning”).

          As compared with that, maybe Wilkinson can say something like:

          “So following my Prime Mincer’s tradition of obfuscation, distraction, troughing and theatrics that I believe in, I kept my other portfolios this morning” :-)

  10. muzza 12

    Oh look, yet more falling tax take

    Finance Minister Bill English says there will need to be restraint “for some years to come” to meet the Government’s aims, after Treasury released figures today showing the Budget deficit is running $449m worse than forecast.

    Too much to pick apart in this article, so will leave it at that!

    • Jim Nald 12.1

      Well done, Bill English. Strategic deficit going according to plan.

      • muzza 12.1.1

        Yup, and as I have illustrated previously in comments, NZ can’t even export our way out of it!

        Meanwhile the majority have NFI what is actually going on around them, and therefore, to them!

    • Rogue Trooper 12.2

      just had a quick overview of the “world economy” debacle as the NActs continue to lie about it to Parliament;
      -Merkel-European financial crisis at least another Five years to go
      -Europe desperately courting Asian economies to open up and import more
      -NZ government revenues down first quarter, subdued economy
      -still have this US “fiscal cliff” to come, despite the short-term efficacy of QE
      -Been following the political, philosophical background to the upcoming leadership change in PRC
      particularly the United Empire / Regional Division tension and the ever present legacy of Mao (despite the tragic losses of life during The Cultural Revolution and The Great Leap Forward)
      Mao is often compared favourably, even superlatively, with the original uniting Emperor.

      Hearing first person recent experiences of Ireland and Greece economies from fellow parishoners ( much work to be done on equity in the AC), the lived realities for many of the working, and former middle classes in these countries are not pleasant; redundant new businesses and homes to match the growing employment redundancies.

      • karol 12.2.1

        Good on Parker for getting English to admit the reality behind the apparent increase in the proportion of people in work.  English admitted in Qu time that full time jobs are down, parrt time ones are up.  English rates that as a success for Bennett’s welfare changes, scaring people back into (no doubt low-paying) part time work.

        • Colonial Viper

          English admitted in Qu time that full time jobs are down, parrt time ones are up.

          Same pattern as USA. And the way they measure their unemployment stats is a real scam – if you have had one hour of paid OR unpaid work in the last week, you are considered to be employed.

          Shadowstats suggests that the true unemployment rate in the USA is over 20%.

  11. karol 13

    I love Turei’s prounciation in the House today to the Minister of Revenue. She keeps referring to the Key-Dung Government.

  12. In the House Peters asks Key if he used the term ‘batshit’ key’s reply said he did not.
    brain fade again, or what?

    • karol 14.1

      Key is now saying that “categorically” that he did not use the words “David Beckham is as thick as bats**t“.  It sounds like he said something like that, but not with those words.

      • RedLogix 14.1.1

        He’s weaselling.

        He’s denying using any term with the word “bat….”. in it, while at the same time he’s refusing to confirm what he did say. As few people have already stated, it’s a lot more plausible he used the kiwi idiom “thick as pigshit”.

        This sort of behaviour wouldn’t be tolerated in a four-year old.

      • blue leopard 14.1.2

        My guess is that he has read all the twitter comments (“its ‘pig-shit’, numpty”) and wants to make out it was “pig-shit” he said.

  13. English’s fearce defence of Shearer in the house is telling, at least for those of us
    that consider shearer has a more right leaning belief than what labour voters are
    comfortable with, most of us that question shearer’s direction are on the right track.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Sheeezus :(

    • karol 15.2

      English didn’t really defend Shearer in the genreal debate today.  He laid into Shearer, saying he’s about to be rolled.  He claims that David Parker, Robertson, Cunliffe were not in the House yesterday, because they were meeting to decide who to replace Shearer: ditto the unions in the Koru lounge.
      Though he’s laying into Cunliffe more.

      • gobsmacked 15.2.1

        There’s a set pattern now at Question Time.

        Shearer asks his questions, nothing happens, then the fireworks start, with Peters, Turei and Norman getting stuck in.

        Peters got Key to deny, on the record, that he said “batshit” etc. But then he had no more questions available. It happens every week – the effective opposition are hampered by Parliament’s rules, while the “official’ opposition have far more chances, for less result.

        An innovative move would be for Shearer to ask one question, then sit down, and let others do a lot of supplementaries. But we have to pretend he’s in charge, so the charade continues.

    • re Starlight’s comment
      I felt heartened by English’s speech, it gave me the message that Nats are more worried than I had thought. It is one thing for an Opposition party to launch into the Government; another for the Government to launch into the Opposition. They sounded threatened and quite pathetic. Good!

  14. Morrissey 16

    Impressions of Gaza
    chomsky.info, November 4, 2012

    Even a single night in jail is enough to give a taste of what it means to be under the total control of some external force. And it hardly takes more than a day in Gaza to begin to appreciate what it must be like to try to survive in the world’s largest open-air prison, where a million and a half people, in the most densely populated area of the world, are constantly subject to random and often savage terror and arbitrary punishment, with no purpose other than to humiliate and degrade, and with the further goal of ensuring that Palestinian hopes for a decent future will be crushed and that the overwhelming global support for a diplomatic settlement that will grant these rights will be nullified.

    The intensity of this commitment on the part of the Israeli political leadership has been dramatically illustrated just in the past few days, as they warn that they will “go crazy” if Palestinian rights are given limited recognition at the UN. That is not a new departure. The threat to “go crazy” (“nishtagea”) is deeply rooted, back to the Labor governments of the 1950s, along with the related “Samson Complex”: we will bring down the Temple walls if crossed. It was an idle threat then; not today.

    The purposeful humiliation is also not new, though it constantly takes new forms. Thirty years ago political leaders, including some of the most noted hawks, submitted to Prime Minister Begin a shocking and detailed account of how settlers regularly abuse Palestinians in the most depraved manner and with total impunity. The prominent military-political analyst Yoram Peri wrote with disgust that the army’s task is not to defend the state, but “to demolish the rights of innocent people just because they are Araboushim (“niggers,” “kikes”) living in territories that God promised to us.”

    Gazans have been selected for particularly cruel punishment. It is almost miraculous that people can sustain such an existence. How they do so was described thirty years ago in an eloquent memoir….

    Read more….

  15. weka 17

    How long can Dunnokeyo’s nose grow before he trips over it?

    • Morrissey 17.1

      How long can Dunnokeyo’s nose grow before he trips over it?

      He’s tripped over it repeatedly for more than year.. The problem is that Labour has a “leader” who is utterly incapable of taking advantage of this.

    • “How long can Dunnokeyo’s nose grow before he trips over it?”

      Has ipredict got bets on that one I wonder?

  16. Vicky32 18

    A server error prevented me putting this on the relevant thread, so here it is:

    BBC news running a very good live stream with updates

    My son was watching that, while talking on the phone to me, and I was keeping an ear on BBC WS radio at the same time!
    18.20, and it looks good, though not as good as it did, according to L., he says that Ohio now looks shaky…
    I have been afraid for a while that Romney would be ‘selected’.. I hope not but we’ll see.

  17. karol 19

    Very good speech from Metiria Turei on child poverty, concluding the first reading of her tax amendment Bill.  Something certainly needs to be don to fix the unfair Working for Families tax credit that excludes children of pow income unemployed parents.
    The Bill failed at its first reading by one vote – Banks and Dunne voted against it – shame on them!

  18. karol 20

    Nick Smith and other Nats say they won’t be supporting Darien Fenton’s bill to entrench free public library services because:

    – Libraries are SO 1930s, and National  be providing a better service through Ultra Fast Broadband

    – and anyway, Nats don’t agree with government telling local government what to do

    – and it’s just spending other people’s money

    – and now Maggie Barry is going on about Nanny state: and Maggie, how can you say the Bill is ridiculous, when you clearly have no idea how libraries operate these days.

    • millsy 20.1

      Anyone who opposes libraries in this country should be [no calls for violence please. r0b]

      • karol 20.1.1

        Well, it didn’t pass – 60-61.  Banks and Dunne against.  Phil Twyford was laughing with utter disbelief that Nick Smith, after what he did with ECAN, was saying the government shouldn’t tell local governments what to do.
        Fenton said Nicki Kaye will not be able to show her face anywhere near any of the Libraries around Auckland, and just lost a load of votes.  Ardern gave a very good speech in answer to Nick Smith.

    • Colonial Viper 20.2

      Maggie Barry is a self serving over privileged little wench. Perfect Tory, the next Social Welfare Minister no doubt.

      • Jackal 20.2.1

        Yeah! Nationals performance in the debate on the Local Government (Public Libraries) Amendment Bill (PDF) was pretty diabolical! National clearly showed that they want a user pays system for our public libraries, presumably because they think only rich people should be allowed access to books, digital information and the Internet.

        Nikkie Kaye started harping on about not needing free access to libraries because National had already started something called the Manaiakalani project. What she failed to say was that Manaiakalani requires a wireless-enabled net device and the ability to access internet services from home, which isn’t much help for students who cannot afford a portable computer and a home internet connection.

        Then Maggie Barry let rip with a rhetoric laden speech full of invective critisizm for the previous Labour government. Apparently it was really really bad that they wanted people to use power saving lightbulbs and water saving shower heads. Nanny state she decried while National want to regulate people’s lives like never before.

        At one stage Barry even said Labour wanted “compulsion in the shower,” which was amusing. She then said she doesn’t support funding free and equal access to information in public libraries because she doesn’t know who pays for public services? I mean how fucking dumb can you get.

        Basically National don’t like the amendments because knowledge is power, and the power to effect change is something they most definitely want to remove from the poor. God forbid poor people educating themselves for free at a public library. Oh the humanity!

    • Colonial Viper 20.3

      – and it’s just spending other people’s money

      Tell the fucking Tory MPs to hand back their Parliamentary salaries then as they don’t seem to have any problems when its them doing the spending.

    • prism 20.4

      How sickening if Maggie Barry is yodelling about Nanny State. She worked for Radionz for years and presumably liked her pay and position, but must have been in a turmoil all the time poor thing, meeting the people’s wish for a good intellectual and cultural source. Which is what the libraries are also.

      In early colonial days Lady Barker was delivering books to her isolated shepherds and people really knew the benefit and need for supply of the written word.

      Now the over-reliance and obssession with technology and cheaper government the NACTs have is an indication of their shallow understanding of society, the elements of a modern country, and a willingness to dumb-down society at a crucial time when we need to be absorbing and critically appraising reliable information .

  19. millsy 21

    Darien’s almost in tears delivering her speech…

  20. millsy 22

    Fuck you Peter Dunne. Voting it down.

  21. prism 23

    Didn’t Peter Dunne play his well-modulated voice-of-reason superbly when he explained his pathetic reasons for not voting to extend the Working for families Bill. It didn’t make logical sense but it sounded good to those who hate being part of a society that includes and helps all.

  22. xtasy 24

    I know, I am hammering my head against a brick wall again, as nobody seems to be interested in welfare, sick, disabled and so forth, it just is not “exciting stuff”, aye?!

    But I got more PROOF of what I have hammered home before, namely that MSD (Ministry of Social (Under) Development) have been using health advisors for internal assessments and recommentations, which are done by insufficiently qualified, non expert and questionable staff of their own.

    They have since 2007 created and staffed Principal Health Advisor, Principal Disability Advisor, Regional Health Advisor, Regional Disability Advisor and Health and Disability Co-Ordiantor positions.

    Dr David Bratt, a GP from Wellington, who has a stubbornly unscientific, unreasonable, unproved and indeed BIASED view, that sick and disabled need “work” for medical care, that this will solve all their problems, and that otherwise “benefit dependency” is the same as “drug dependency”, has released a range of bizarre PDF and PowerPoint presentations that are available on the net and via this website.

    It has just come to my attention, that the College of Nursing (of Aotearoa) did two or so years back publish an article by him. It is about the plans they had at MSD to get the staff they needed, and it goes a bit into details.

    Short story is: They mostly empoy unregistered NURSES to decide about WINZ client’s disabilities and health conditions, and whether they may impact on their ability to do some forms of work. So that is it. It is decisions by supposed “medical” or “health experts”, that never are sufficiently experieinced to diagnose, assess and judge upon most health conditions, as their qualifications are not at all sufficient to do so.


    Maybe draw your own conclusions, or do more research, but if you ever face a medical examination by a WINZ doctor and further recommendation by an RHA or RDA, think again, are you being treated “fairly”. You will NOT be, as they are all “trained” by Dr Bratt to decide what MSD and WINZ want them to decide. Remember ACC, for that sake, what MSD does is quite similar!

    • Mary 24.1

      You’re dead right, but MSD has been doing this for while now. The biggest problem is the “advisers” contacting medical professionals who have initially assessed the person as entitled to the medical related benefit (whether it’s sickness, invalid’s, child disability allowance or whatever) to convince them to change their “opinion” saying the person is not sick “according to the new rules”. Of course the rules have not been changed but doctors and others aren’t to know that so they give MSD the “opinion” they want and the benefit’s refused or stopped – easy. And the only reason they’re getting away with it is because nobody cares about the poor, the sick and the disabled, who just don’t count anymore. Labour hates the poor as they’ve shown over the previous decade, and even the unions don’t care because they’re only interested in people who’ve got jobs which is kind of surprising because workers need the poorest of the poor to be looked after so as to keep wages and conditions from dropping – but try telling that to a unionist in 2012 – the filthy tory scum have done a real job on them, and the result is that those who cannot participate in the fictitious wage labour economy don’t count anymore. We cannot rely on Labour or the unions to “look after those who can’t quite cut it”. Oh how times have changed.

      • xtasy 24.1.1

        Mary: Thank you so much!

        The reason they get away with it is: Nobody challenges them under the law – i.e. provisions under the Act (agreement to be sought before MSD or CE can “determine” a designated or chosen doctor of their type), or under natural justice, which requires fairness, to be heard, to be allowed to have ALL records of your own doctors and specialists presented, read, heard and given credit to. This is NOT what they do! They tell people to take a “pick” of a list of doctors that they see as “independent” (which they are NOT), or even tell you, see “doctor so and so”, as it happened to a mate of mine.

        They are breaking the law all the time. YOU have a right to suggest an “independent” doctor, and only if “agreement” fails (which can be questioned re “why”, if all reasonable steps to negotiate that were taken were ignored), then can they “determine” a doctor of their kind.

        But believe you me: I have ALL the evidence that they have been training and influencing the doctors they select and use!

        There will be some submissions heard re the new reform bill, and some of this will be raised! MSD are lying, dishonest and covering up, that they went further than ACC, and even “trained” the supposedly “independent” doctors they used to make “recommendations” on health and disability issues affecting sick and invalids, needing welfare support from MSD.

        Take a resolute stand, and do an Official Information Act request to get the bloody truth ouf of a commonly lying minister and her staff!!!

        • Mary

          I agree that few are challenging MSD on the law, but sometimes the law itself is bad or unfair. I agree that more challenging needs to happen, but we also need to inject compassion back into the law. How we do this I don’t know, but it’s about getting the wider public to re-adopt a caring attitude towards the vulnerable – the same attitude that all governments since the late 1980s (and particularly during the 1990s) have worked very hard and have succeeded at destroying. About using the OIA (and all other appropriate means, of course) to help expose all of this, aren’t there advocacy groups out there doing this already? I can understand why very few social security cases are challenged in the courts which I’d imagine would largely be because beneficiaries cannot afford lawyers, but surely there must be others around working on the wider issues?

    • prism 24.2

      I have been involved with ME unwellness problems the treatment of which has been influenced by British medical luminaries who pass judgments and prescriptions on sufferers and their rehabilitation that have no validity because it is a syndrome of ailments and nobody knows what causes it. The answer to that is a group of medicals who deny there is a real condition, and often classify sufferers as mentally unwell, malingerers, etc.

      There are good paying positions for ‘specialists’ who take this view and they make life more difficult and miserable for people whose real problems are not taken seriously. This sounds like the pattern that MSD has been following and also ACC. There only has to be one proved malingerer and that becomes the default position for for all with a prejudice to each from the first interaction between medicals and the unwell person.

  23. xtasy 25

    I feel I am wasting my time again on this website. It is regrettable, but the focus is not where it should be, maybe that is why the “left” in NZ is where it is, it is failing an falling apart, I am sorry. Good night!

    • weka 25.1

      I appreciate the information you share xtasy. I’m not sure what you are wanting from people at the Standard.

      • xtasy 25.1.1

        An associate sent heaps of emails and info to the address of the STandard, NOTHING has been followed up. So either some “research” is going on behind the scenes, or the email address is obsolete, or nobody seems to bother, perhaps to cover also failings of the last Labour led government. But it is all very, very disappointing!

        • lprent

          The way it operates is that there are a number of editors who have access to the email thestandardnz@gmail.com. We each eye up whatever arrives there and each do with it what they will.

          Personally, I usually just look for reports of problems and occasionally I will put up a guest post. Mostly people send problems to my email. I forward guest posts to the Standard’s email.

          Others will follow up on information provided if they find it interesting and feel like they are not wasting their time. If you are lucky they might forward it to a author who may be interested.

          We put up something like three quarters of guest posts – so that is always the best route. Most background information will get read but typically not used, mostly because to confirm it enough to write an opinion on it would require more time and effort than our people have available.

          This is a coop, we are volunteers, and most of us have our time sucked up by jobs, friends, family and other conditions. We aren’t the archetypal single blogger hiding in their families back room desperately seeking attention and notoriety as an recent episode of The Good Wife put it. We are either busy or occupied with activities outside the blog. It means that there are no researchers unless one of us is interested and feels like pulling our personal time from somewhere else.

          We like to write opinions about current affairs as a small part of our busy daily lives. We have banded together because an existing editor or author thought that someone else was good, no one objected, and they got given a login. We are steadily accreting authors. That spreads the load.

          The only formal structure is the trust we set up to handle the server cost and any other issues. Everything else is done by whoever can spare the time and feels the urge to do something.

          • xtasy

            Lprent AND Prism below: This is all appreciated, but I have more or less given up. If what someone did, whom I also assisted, puts hours of work into something, sends it out to advocates AND the Standard by 5 emails, and nobody bothers to read and study it, plus absolutely convincing, sensitive attached documents of total authenticity, then this is a total waste of time in my view, to get anything across in this country.

            Ignorance is the choice of most, complacency the next best choice, do not bother me, get off my back, I have my agenda is exactly, what I get everyday. No wonder the media in this country is so full of crap and incompetence! IT IS THE PUPULACE that are the problem, lazy, complacent, brain-washed, self serving and not interested in REAL stuff. As long as the lifestyle is somehow manegeable, why bother risking anything. That is what is happening, so maybe you all just need to be thrown off the cliff, to wake up, I am sorry, but that is how I feel the state of affairs in NZ are.

            NZ will never become an advanced, developed and progressive country like this, it is a daydream of unrealistic romanticists, that is what I see, no substance, no decisiveness, no real goals, just talk, talk, talk and more cheap talk. A WASTE!

        • prism

          xstasy 25.1.1
          Did this associate write a guest post? You are given that option to offer one for publication and if you feel there is a tale to be told why don’t you do this using all the information you have and co-ordinating with like-minded people?

          Open Mike gives people a chance to discuss positive things or problems and bad behaviour by authority. This makes others aware, but a knight on a white charger is unlikely to appear to start a crusade. The Standard is valuable in keeping people informed about the state of our state and its functions and how it’s treating its citizens. This is a central place where thoughtful people can converse with each other.

          Someone could initiate a campaign to improve government services if people could be found who have time to get behind it. Also there are groups who do watchdog work and interact with or confront the government to get things changed. Sue Bradford did this for years and is no doubt continuing. It is hard when people are unwell to find people who have strength and fortitude to champion a cause. It is demanding and doesn’t pay much. But there are some out there who will.

    • Mary 25.2

      Just keep saying it, Xtasy. Don’t ever stop. That’s all you can do. Just keep going.
      keeping going is good.

      • xtasy 25.2.1

        Mary – I just picked up (again) what you wrote above. Yes, and if that is the case, that they ring doctors, to get them to change their assessments, that is A SOLID CASE FOR BREACH OF PRIVACY AND NATURAL JUSTICE!

        I have two cases before the Health and Disability Commissioner now, I have had another case before DAPAANZ, a totally useless, biased and incompetent ‘Professional Standards Committee” decision there, while the boss up top is the same boss also of the agency employing staff that was complained about.

        Naturally, the committee tried to white wash and off-load. That is now also before the H+D Commissioner. There is a separate case about a “designated doctor” of highest popularity and prominence with MSD in the Auckland region before the H+D Commissioner, also is another case before the Ombudsman, dealing with breaches of certain kinds, as well as a partly related, but yet also independent complaints before the Privacy Commissioner now.

        You must think I am MAD. I am NOT mad, I have come across totally disgusting, despiccable and worse cases of breaches of patient’s rights in this country, you would only get this otherwise in 3rd world countries.

        Remember the justice department staff from Holland that left their jobs years ago, believing in corruption by fellow corrections staff, have you heard about other health staff, even the prospective new hot shot welfare CEO Grossman, all leaving the shores of this country?

        It is because this is run like a CORRUPT, OLD BOY’S NETWORK society and sytem here. NZ IS CORRUPT to the core. The problem is professionals and politicians and business people covering each other’s back-sides!

        I am just waiting to sort all those legal cases out, and I may also leave this DAMNED PLACE for good. It is ROTTEN to the core, what goes on here, believe you me.

        I am sorry to offend, I am telling the bloody truth. I had people in danger of suicide I tried to help, but neve rely on mental health in this damned country, it is SHITE! NZ is a LOST COUNTRY, and I totally understand every person who chose to leave the shores of this place.

        What a waste this country is – so much natural potential wasted by bad leadership!

        • Mary

          I know what goes on, Xtasy, and you’re not mad. It’s just that nobody cares about the poorest of the poor anymore – it’s that simple. All we can do is keep going, how ever doing that might unfold.

          • xtasy

            Thank youMary –

            Your comment means so much to me, I cannot express it, but I see my need for refuges too, so I am off to YouTube now, to seek a bit if musical relief.

            Take care, all the best, I will contribute, where I can.

  24. xtasy 26

    What is the actual “value” of this “media”? How many clicks a day or an hours does this generate? I know there are some figures, and fair enough. I am not so much interested in the “commercial interest” of it, it is about integrity, validation and so on.

    We have so much crap media in NZ, it is disgusting. I would love to prove there is some record that shows you guys do so much better. Once they see your potential, you will be up for sale, I am sure.

    Sadly MY experience with AnY NZ media is totally BAD and DISASTROUS, so I TRUST NO ONE ANYMORE!

    Hence at least I dare to speak “some” of my mind here.

    It would be a pity if this is also becoming a zombie no brain strom trooper zone.



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