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Open mike 13/03/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 13th, 2013 - 145 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…

145 comments on “Open mike 13/03/2013”

  1. felixviper 1

    Cards on the table please.

    Which parties will support renationalising the assets National sells?

    Details can come later re how to best go about it, but we need to know now. Today.

    • Ennui 1.1

      It occurred to me as I asked who was going to register share interests around the office that the float had a lot of support. I questioned how they would feel about buy back / nationalization? Universal answer was they thought it could not happen.

      After puzzling for a while I decided that what I was looking at was entrenched attitudes toward private property rights. These buggers thought them sacrosanct and would fight for them. I suspect their view of democracy does not include “democratic” methods of recovering assets. The next part of the fight has the potential to be very explosive, and I wonder how far the “left” will go to recover the assets? Or will they wimp out?

      • felixviper 1.1.1

        “I questioned how they would feel about buy back / nationalization? Universal answer was they thought it could not happen.”

        That’s exactly why it needs to be on the table now.

        Once kiwis get it into their heads that they have a god-given right to buy a piece of their neighbours power bill we’re fucked. An announcement, right now, that it has all been a stupid John Key money-trader fantasy that the next govt will put a stop to is the only reality check that will break the spell.

        Nothing else Labour says or does has a shit’s show of cutting through. Nothing. And Labour don’t have anything else anyway.

        If they aren’t going to announce this now, they may as well forget about opposing asset sales altogether. After all what’s the point of saying you’re against and doing absolutely nothing at all to try to stop them?

        • felixviper 1.1.1.1

          (Oh and if it seems like I’m singling out Labour that’s because without the largest party making a clear stand one way or the other the who question is effectively moot)

          • clashman 1.1.1.1.1

            “Mr Shearer said, “We won’t rule it out but we won’t rule it in either.” Labour would not be able to make any commitment on it before an election.”
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10870867
            So I’d say thats a big NO then.
            If by some fluke Labour manages to form a Govt. around them after the next election they will simply say “we are not going to do something we didn’t campaign on blah blah fucking mumble blah blah”
            Shearer needs to grow a fucking spine

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I see, thanks for the quote.

              So Labour has stated it will make no firm commitments one way or another on post 2014 anti-asset sale action as part of its election year manifesto.

              I read this as Shearer taking asset sales completely off the 2014 campaign table as a campaign issue. This is a frakking disaster. A buy back is now not even an issue for election debate.

              And if you won’t commit one way or another on a buy back, you also can’t hold any useful debate around heavier regulation of the new privatised corporations. Because whats the use of talking about that when you apparently still might buy the assets back? Or not.

              What a fucking lost compass-less political leader.

              • Draco T Bastard

                That’s been true of Labour for some time. They drunk the neo-liberal kool-aid and that was it – an end to any standing on principles.

                • prism

                  today’s principles are as showy and fake and wobbly as those impossibly high-heeled shoes that are in fashion for women who have been known to break a bone as they attempt to function in the normal way.

              • Foreign Waka

                The mistake that everybody seems to make is the belief that there are different parties. There are not, only being taken to the cleaners less or more. One needs to understand that most politicians have too much to loose if they ever have to go back to the “real” labour party in the early eighties.
                We need to take a different tack here, embrace commerce for some good stuff. Get solar panels on every roof, small windmills added and batteries to convert and store power. Heck, you could sell power to the companies this government want’s to sell. Wouldn’t that be a hoot. Technically it can be done.

            • Populuxe1 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Their hacks have all been pretty adamant that it doesn’t make economic sense to do so.

              • gobsmacked

                You said that yesterday and I asked for a link.

                Seriously, I do not know where Labour stands on this. That may be because I haven’t heard what they’ve said, or because … they haven’t said it.

                Can anybody clarify? The leader can’t.

                • felixviper

                  As clashman posted above: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10870867

                  Shearer says no decision until after the election. Which means “no” for our purposes.

                  • gobsmacked

                    Sure, I know what Shearer said (or didn’t say), but that’s not the point.

                    There seems to be a general assumption that Labour won’t buy them back. But Labour won’t say so.

                    Meanwhile, there’s going to be a referendum, and Labour will campaign for a good turnout and good result, and raise hopes and then … dash them. The media questions about future intentions are inevitable, and Labour need to have answers.

                    This is stupid politics, as No Right Turn eloquently posted today.

                    • felixviper

                      Yep. It’s fucked.

                      But what I mean is that for our purposes the question is whether they’ll take a positive stand or not.

                      “Won’t say” = “not”.

                    • gobsmacked

                      On the other thread Populuxe linked (thanks) to a Herald article last year, Cosgrove saying it would be “fiscally irresponsible” to commit to a buy-back. Ditto Norman for the Greens.

                      Today Shearer has muddied the waters (as usual). FFS, can’t he see that he’s giving National a free gift … Key: “We said BEFORE the election – manadate blah blah – but Labour won’t say until AFTER”.

                      Take a position we like or don’t like but take a fucking position, Shearer. Don’t go hardout on the referendum and then say “The people have Spoken … Key must listen! Will we listen? Whatever, maybe”.

                      Idiocy cubed.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Take a position? But that means that you might be held to account for delivering on it!

                • Populuxe1

                  And especially not power and broadcasting apparently
                  http://www.labour.org.nz/news/robert-walters-finance-breakfast-speech

        • Ennui 1.1.1.2

          Once kiwis get it into their heads that they have a god-given right to buy a piece of their neighbours power bill we’re fucked

          How true which is why I referred to the people and their attitude toward property and their “perceived” rights. This transcends party politics as we know them (although they are a reflection). It is about the common good, its about the predatory nature of our individual psyches, its about the health of our society on a micro scale.

          In short I don’t expect much of the politicians of the Left, less of the Right, they are “us”, and we are a deeply flawed bunch.

    • Ennui 1.2

      It occurred to me as I asked who was going to register share interests around the office that the float had a lot of support. I questioned how they would feel about buy back / nationalization? Universal answer was they thought it could not happen.

      After puzzling for a while I decided that what I was looking at was entrenched attitudes toward private property rights. These buggers thought them sacrosanct and would fight for them. I suspect their view of democracy does not include “democratic” methods of recovering assets. The next part of the fight has the potential to be very explosive, and I wonder how far the “left” will go to recover the assets? Or will they wimp out?

    • just saying 1.3

      Hear hear, Felixviper.

    • muzza 1.4

      Felix, the question you’re asking amounts to…

      Who is working for NZ, and who is working against NZ!

      Labour will not say any such thing about buy back, as it just might win them then next election if they did, and when they inevitably renege on their words, it would be even more obvious whose interests the LP are working for/against.

      Better to shut up, say nothing, appears to be the policy.

      • Foreign Waka 1.4.1

        Think about all the election campaign money…. who knows, maybe some might not find the account when a clear statement is being given….. just thinking aloud….

    • Colonial Viper 1.5

      FV you are on a roll my man.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.6

      The only one I’ve seen with a commitment to renationalise the assets, including some others sold previously, are the Alliance. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if Mana hadn’t also said so and I missed it.

    • Purple Scottie 1.7

      Why aren’t we calling it Infrastructure?
      Infrastructure is necessary for the functioning of society.
      Assets are something that can be flogged off.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.7.1

        Good point and infrastructure is a natural monopoly which everyone understands.

  2. Ed 2

    Winston Peters has announced that NZ First would push for re-purchase. It won’t however be enough to encourage me to vote for them.

    • felixviper 2.1

      It’s good that they’ve taken a position, but ultimately it’s only the Labour position that matters. No minor party’s “push” will mean squat on such a big issue without the full support of the largest governing party.

      • DH 2.1.1

        It’s not as simple as it might all sound Felix. Using the authority of the state to renationalise the power companies isn’t really an option available to Labour. An action like that has repercussions and the NZ economy is in such a fragile state that no-one knows where it would lead. We’re not Venezuela, we don’t have oil to keep the economy running.

        Labour could promise to buy back the shares at market prices but that could just push the share prices up further, with people knowing their share trades were underwritten by the next Labour govt.

        They may be better playing the capitalists at their own game & asset strip the new private companies. As majority shareholder they could for example sell the silver (the dams etc) to a new SOE and lease them back, ostensibly with a view to raising more capital of course. The new SOE could quietly end up owning all the good generation plants.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Nah there are plenty of ways to get the assets 100% back under government control.

          An outright nationalisation will of course spook the free market animal spirits. But over a 5-10 year period, easy.

          You start with adding a workers committee member to the Board of Directors, as well as one which is a Cabinet representative. Both with full voting rights.

          • felixviper 2.1.1.1.1

            All moot without a statement of intent. We’re discussing it in the shadows because Shearer is afraid to turn the lights on.

          • Populuxe1 2.1.1.1.2

            Also the threat of renationalisation would certainly make the shares less palatable to overseas buyers

        • mikesh 2.1.1.2

          But if they announced in advance that they intended buying them back they could claim a “mandate”.

        • felixviper 2.1.1.3

          I know it’s not necessarily simple and that’s precisely why I said details can come later.

          What’s needed now is a just bold plain language statement that the assets will be returned to the public. Then we argue about how to do it until the election and steal the narrative, marginalising National from the public discourse as they have no way to join that conversation.

          But anyway, we now have Shearer’s statement and it’s not good news. For anyone who isn’t fluent in bullshit, he’s saying no.

        • Ennui 2.1.1.4

          We’re not Venezuela. It s not about oil in Venezuela, it is about courage and vision to reject one model and build another. Venezuela are attempting this, our “leaders” wont because they represent todays model.

          There is a lot of gas and hot air over here blaming Shearer and Labour for not “leading”. Its a total waste, these buggers belong to a broken paradigm. You can argue over the corpse for as long you like, it wont stop festering or do a Lazarus and miraculously lead you to Utopia.

          • DH 2.1.1.4.1

            “It s not about oil in Venezuela,…”

            My comment about Venezuela referred to the fact they had an oil industry that effectively permitted them to thumb their noses at the international markets. The US didn’t like what happened there but they still kept buying Venezuelan oil. Capitalists are at least pragmatists.

            We don’t have that kind of luxury so renationalisation is a risky prospect that we may not be able to afford and I don’t think Labour should make promises they may not be able to keep. It’s politically risky as well making unequivocal promises this far out from an election.

            I agree with Felix that Labour should at least make a stand on asset ownership & state control of strategic assets, IMO they don’t need to promise to buy back but they do need to give us some kind of solid position there.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.4.1.1

              Let’s be clear on why re-nationalisation strategies carry a significant risk. It’s the underlying consistent, ever-present threat of a capital and financial market strike against NZ.

              Just so we’re clear that these powers are not our friends.

              • vto

                Really? A capital strike? I think the implications would run much further than just that. But lets be clear about one other thing – such a strike is entirely able to be dealt with by us. There would be some serious squishing and squashing but it is achievable.

                We should also be clear about the damage “international capital” actually does in terms of sapping sovereignty and also in terms of dead weight cost of today’s “international capital”. It keeps our prosperity at a level consistently lower than what we can provide.

                One other thing to be clear about is that an alternative to “international capital” is better (for reasons outlined before) and it is merely the transition to the new position, not the new position itself, that is the problem.

                • Colonial Viper

                  A capital strike is a fairly big deal and would involve things like collapsing the NZD and tripling the price of petrol, pharmaceuticals, imported parts, foods and other goods. NZD property prices would skyrocket as internationals found that they could buy a nice Auckland house for USD$200K.

                  Thousands of businesses would fall over as credit and lines of credit were withdrawn.

                  Could it be managed? Yes. But it would be a pretty sticky time.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    NZD property prices would skyrocket as internationals found that they could buy a nice Auckland house for USD$200K.

                    Except that they wouldn’t. One of the things that needs to be done is to ban foreign ownership of NZ land.

                  • alwyn

                    Bloody Hell!
                    Now I see where the Green Party get their policy from.
                    Collapsing the NZD? Yes that’s policy.
                    Tripling the price of petrol? Yes that’s policy
                    Increasing the cost of imported parts, food and other goods. Sounds pretty familiar to me and fits in with making everything in New Zealand which they advocate.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Well, if all we do is continue to make cheap shit farm in NZ then what will happen is that poverty in NZ will continue to increase. So, that’s what National want as an increase in poverty means wages are going down.

                      BTW, by the end of this decade petrol will double or more anyway and so will pretty much all other imported goods along with it. Trying to stop that from happening by maintaining a high dollar is actually going to make it worse because we would start the shift to what is needed late.

              • SpaceMonkey

                Such as the attack on the NZ dollar in 1987 by Andrew Krieger, and (allegedly) aided and abbetted by John Key?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Basically yes, and also experienced previously by other countries as the actions of “bond vigilantes” and CDS speculation.

              • DH

                I don’t think it that likely we’d suffer a retaliatory strike as such, we would after all be only be renationalising what we’d just sold so It’s not that big a deal in the scheme of things.

                It’s our international investment position that would likely be of most concern. Whether we like it or not we presently need foreign investment and until we can get rid of that need we’re not really in a position to get too bolshie on the economic front.

                This is the problem, from latest stats;

                Exports of goods & services $62,232 billion
                Imports of goods & services $60,448 billion

                Dividends from foreign investments $5,419 billion
                Dividends paid to foreign investors $15,906 billion

                Current account deficit $9,032 billion

                Currently we have to fund that deficit with more foreign investment be it borrowing or selling assets. If we didn’t fund it our currency wouldn’t just fall it would crash, we can’t carry a $9billion deficit.

                • just saying

                  This puzzles me. Purely from an economic point of view, all other repercussions aside, how could renationalising at cost possibly put NZ in a worse financial position than not selling? Either way, some essential services need to be funded from other sources.

                  We have this adaptable mechanism called taxation…

                  • DH

                    “This puzzles me. Purely from an economic point of view, all other repercussions aside, how could renationalising at cost possibly put NZ in a worse financial position than not selling? Either way, some essential services need to be funded from other sources.”

                    renationalising <—— that word there

                    Over the years both Labour & the Nats have put this country more and more at the mercy of international investors. I don't like it any more than anyone else here but it's a fact we can't ignore. We don't have the control over our country that we used to have.

                    We've all seen how easy these investment wankers panic and stampede and the mention of 'nationalising' will get a reaction. You can count on that.

                    What would nationalising mean? Who knows, could get away with it scot-free but the most likely scenario is we'd see a flight of capital out of the country leading to a lowered credit rating, higher interest on Govt debt, higher mortages & all sorts of pleasant things we don't need at the moment.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If you want to return some balance of sovereignty, you’re going to have to give the capitalists and financiers some push back.

                      What do you suggest?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      We don’t have the control over our country that we used to have.

                      Yes we do but some people would like us to believe that we don’t.

                      higher interest on Govt debt

                      As the government can print money there shouldn’t be any interest on it or, in fact, any government debt. That’s the thing about being a sovereign nation that owns all the resources within it’s borders – you don’t need to borrow money from overseas to use those resources.

                    • DH

                      “If you want to return some balance of sovereignty, you’re going to have to give the capitalists and financiers some push back.

                      What do you suggest?”

                      What I think we need is to first get some reasonable control back, and then we can start getting rid of the weeds. You can bluff with a pair of twos but it’s much safer sitting on a few aces. To be honest I’m not sure NZ Inc even has a pair of twos, we aren’t in good shape.

                      Expanding Kiwibank is a good place to start pushing back. It needs more capital, can’t start squeezing the Aussie banks out without it. I’d even support share issues to Kiwi investors to raise the capital, wouldn’t be selling it would be increasing the capital base.

                      The TPPA worries me, giving away much more control there. I’d rather see Labour state that they’d pull out of that, might be able to prevent a signing by the Nats then.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      …can’t start squeezing the Aussie banks out without it.

                      Yes we can. Once we make it illegal for private banks to create money as they do ATM then they will start losing money and so the shareholders will be looking to sell and the government can buy them up for pennies on the dollar. Once we do that we add them to Kiwibank.

                      The TPPA worries me, giving away much more control there.

                      Yep. Again, we need the parties of the left to say that they will withdraw from it.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  So, the currency crashes. Not really an issue – just means that there would be more demand for NZ produced goods both internal and external.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Wait. More foreign investment is what is killing us.

                  Dividends paid every year to those foreign investors on things that they’ve bought from us is what is screwing us.

                  Stopping that is priority no 1 if you want the current account and balance of payments to sorted in the long term.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    By “things” I mean Contact, Telecom, F&P, BNZ, etc

                    The list goes on, billions of dollars a year extracted out from us.

                • Rogue Trooper

                  Yep!

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.4.2

            +1

            Bloody well said.

          • Populuxe1 2.1.1.4.3

            Except they didn’t really, they just moved the authoritarianism and corruption from column A to column B.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.5

          We’re not Venezuela, we don’t have oil to keep the economy running.

          We have enough resources to keep the economy running. If we didn’t, the economy wouldn’t keep running. We really don’t need the capitalists no matter how much they think, and would like us to think, we do.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        It’s good that they’ve taken a position, but ultimately it’s only the Labour position that matters.

        That’s only true if Labour remains a major party. It may not. If fact, I think it’s heading for a dive as it becomes obvious that they won’t oppose NACT and are, in fact, partially on NACTs side.

        • felixviper 2.1.2.1

          True that.

          Still, right now they’re the largest opposition party so they’re the ones the public has to look to for cues and clues.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.1

            My suggestion: Stop looking to Labour to lead as it’s obvious that they won’t. The only solution is to look for another party.

            • felixviper 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Yes I agree. But the tipping point is a wee way off yet.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The faster people start looking for a party that actually sticks to the principles that they believe in rather than hoping that the Old Party which used to believe in them will get back to its roots the better.

            • Ugly Truth 2.1.2.1.1.2

              That’s assuming that a solution can be found within the existing civil system.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Well, we can always wait round for a bloody revolution but I’m more inclined to peaceful options.

  3. bad12 3

    Labour leader David Shearer is quoted in today’s online Herald as saying He wont rule out buying the shares back…

    • felixviper 3.1

      And I might try not to run over any old ladies today but it’s not exactly a comforting level of commitment, innit?

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      It’s actually a good start that this was even mentioned by Shearer, but such a low key politically non-committal statement should have been made made earlier on. Hmmm like the day Iwi lost their Supreme Court appeal. That would have got coverage.

      Now that the ship has almost sailed it’s not likely to make a significant difference to the discourse.

      Now, after the baby is named and almost due to be delivered, you’re finally deciding that you won’t rule out giving it away for adoption? A bit too little, a bit too late.

  4. Dv 4

    Novopay chases teacher for $22

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10870896

    Bizzare
    She was overpaid a net $1840 and she paid that back
    The $22 was paid to the union.

    Does this also mean that Novapay will claim back from the teacher any money paid to the IRD, Kiwisaver etc?

    • cardassian 4.1

      When I was overpaid by Novapay the letter they sent me stated that if they couldn’t get the money back from Kiwisaver and the IRD I would be expected to pay it back to them.

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        i.e. they go after the party least likely to have lawyers on call.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.2

        I’m glad they sent you that letter. Hope you’ve framed it.

        It means they’ve fucked themselves when it comes to court. Another class action may be brewing if they continue to be dumb about it.

      • Dv 4.1.3

        Have you passed that info on?

  5. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    Re: David Shearer + Norman + Merteria reported as buying shares.

    Actually this does seem to be a direct breach of privacy. What else happens to the details left on the site? Are they sold to private buyers so they can marketed to?

    Since my details have been entered, I’d like to follow the trail of how John Key himself “discovered” that leaders of opposition parties were signed up.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 5.1

      What is it with National party members? Do they have NO RESPECT AT ALL for Privacy laws?

      Now it’s sinking in….our own PM appears to have gleefully broken the law and breached the privacy of David Shearer for political gain.

      • idlegus 5.1.1

        on rnz this morning key said he got the information from an article where shearer was misquoted sometime ago saying that he would consider buying shares just to keep them in nz. so key knows shearer was misquoted, yet still used that as evidence for his scoop.

        i said to a workmate “john key just cant help but lie can he?”,
        & he said “i guess thats how he got to the top”

        • bad12 5.1.1.1

          In polite circles it’s called ‘truth modification’, Slippery the Prime Minister is an expert at it…

  6. Bearded Git 6

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9Fqp_BTusw.

    This video of Ahoribuzz slagging Key et al to the tune of Hey Joe well worth a look. Good to share on Facebook too.

  7. karol 7

    Excellent post by Sue Bradford on the Daily Blog – calling the left out for not severing the links with the “free market” ethos.

    I agree with her comment about Russel Norman’s interview on DTB 9I said as much in the comment below that interview. But I also think he is more neolib than some other Green MPs, eg Turei.

    Bradford said:

    Labour under Shearer shows few signs of throwing off its legacy of capitulation to a free trade, free enterprise, mow-down-beneficiaries-on-the-way-through agenda, despite its sterling work in some of the socially liberal zones.

    The Green Party, while retaining many great policies from its radical heritage – for how long I’m not sure – is equally committed to a ‘traditionally mixed market approach’ as Russel Norman makes clear in a recent interview here on The Daily Blog.

    Neither Labour nor the Greens offer alternatives that take us beyond either a return to Keynesian regulation as a prop for stressed local capital or a National-lite neoliberal agenda. …

    Whichever of these parties we may or may not support and whatever our activist priorities on the front line of various struggles, I reckon the time has come when we on the left in Aotearoa need to start seriously engaging with each other across old sectarian and other lines on some of the big questions.

    • just saying 7.1

      A must-read.
      Thank you Sue.*

      I suspect we live in far more dangerous times than many of us on the left realise.

      I think it would be better for my health if I wasn’t aware of this. Especially in this impotent hiatus that Sue speaks of so eloquently.

      Will we ever be able to pull it together?

      In the various “activist” things I’m involved in I’m always wondering if we are achieving anything meaningful, and if the activity itself might be being coopted into being a part of the problem, if there isn’t something more effective I could do.

      Sue has beautifully encapsualted the problem, but the how-to is still very hazy, There is an abudance of ability in the left, and an awful lot of common ground. And yet…

      *I’m responding here because I’m not sure about commenting at TDB. I’ve seen the operation (and complaints about it) and read the relevant ‘about’ information but it hasn’t inspired confidence so far. Apart from that, The Standard is the natural discussion forum and I like it here.

  8. xtasy 8

    @ felixviper and others above:

    This is exactly the dilemma of “the left”, as society is now almost exclusively made up of private, independent-minded “individuals”, and they are driven by individualistically motivated, self focused, self-serving and not sufficiently “collectively” minded thinking and actions.

    Only when it comes to some perceived undeniable needs, like health care, minimum guaranteed retirement income and emergency services by police, ambulances and fire services, do they see a need to stand up and fight for this.

    Society has been smartly divided, collective spirit is not shown during usual day to day activities, and every person follows her and his agendas, forgetting that the sum of them all make up society, and that in reality we all need each other, in some ways or other ways.

    The fabric of society has been destroyed, by the neo capitalist sell-out of everything not nailed firmly to the wall or ground, yes even what is “nailed” is now sold, and like rats on a sinking ship, every one is out there to save themselves, thinking if they buy into a few shares, then they have “their stake” in NZ society, and can by that ensure that assets and SOEs or now MOM companies are in NZ hands.

    But that is screwed up thinking, as it is doing exactly what the Nats want. Hence I can only accept people pre-registering for the share sale to sabotage the process, that is for left minded people. Those that buy into the MOM companies are doing exactly what Key and gang have served us up, they are by deed justifying the privatisation, which is just the beginning of more to come.

    So a truly left minded, national interest defending, collectively thinking person would bluntly refuse to buy the shares full stop. Anything is half hearted nonsense, and those buying into it are betraying their own cause!

  9. The photo on this article is difficult to look at for me. The culling has begun and will continue and these cows, kept unnaturally and perpetually in milk, will get a bullet between their eyes – if they are lucky. The abuse of these animals is constant so that this country can make money. We fuck up the environment, over stock and try to grow cows where cows aren’t meant to grow and then when they outlive their ‘useful’ life they become petfood. I find the whole business from whoa to go sickening.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10870888

    I’m not arguing that they shouldn’t be put out of their misery, I’m arguing that they should not be in misery in the first place.

    • yeshe 9.1

      100% with you Marty, on every single point. Thank you for posting your thoughts.

    • fender 9.2

      Agreed, and thats a bad taste photo for the Herald to display. I didn’t bother clicking on the ‘view more photos here’ link if the first was anything to go by. A simple description would be enough without the need for gratuitous style photos.

      • Te Reo Putake 9.2.1

        Disagree, fender. The photo will be for some what William Burroughs referred to as the “frozen moment when everyone sees what is at the end of the fork.” Burroughs wasn’t talking about food specifically, but the more consumers understand the reality of how meat gets to the supermarket, the better. Meat is murder and that photo illustrates the point perfectly.

        • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1

          I have to agree with you TRP. It’s understandable that some people may not want to understand how that steak actually gets on to their plate or how that sausage gets to Fido’s dog bowl. But ignorance and shielding people from moral discomfort is how bad situations propagate.

        • fender 9.2.1.2

          Yes it’s vital to display a photo of a guy pointing a rifle between the eyes of a cow just in case we forget where meat comes from, or in order to educate those who are unaware.

    • TheContrarian 9.3

      Yeah fuck – a bit visceral. My young niece and nephew would be somewhat disturbed by that.

      • Belladonna 9.3.1

        Horrible as that photo is, the poor creature is probably going through less suffering than it would if it ended up in an abattoir. I find it hypocritical that many get upset with this portrayal of an animal getting shot than the reality of the suffering they endure in their miserable lives. I also have little time for those bemoaning climate change when a huge cause of climate change is dairying. Give up your meat and dairy – better for you, the earth and the animals.

        • Rogue Trooper 9.3.1.1

          Cut the legs off a beef heifer that had gone down with mag deficiency once, while she was still warm, for the dogs; cut out the back-steaks as well…yet that was a wee while ago…and then there was the worrying dogs that were advocated to be released…

  10. ianmac 10

    Increased claims from Key that he tried very hard to save NZers from the terrible flawed actions of Solid Energy over the last 18months or 2 years. This increase of comments further adds to my belief that Key/English/Ryall have a lot to answer for and are pre-empting any negative comments about the Ministers that Don Elder will make tomorrow.
    Rather like the pre-empting around the Skytower report. Get your story out first and fixed in the public mind then watch what happens.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      They are very good political managers, the Nats.

    • North 10.2

      A new headline on the Herald website which wasn’t there this morning: Simon Power in correspondence to the Solid Energy board as recently as 2009 pressured the board to increase borrowing and dividend, seemingly with English’s knowledge ?

      To pay for tax cuts to the wealthy ?

  11. ropata 11

    Why are Auckland drivers such complete assholes?

    More traffic cops needed as a consequence of our motorway madness.

    • karol 11.1

      It’s those selfish a***holes that push their way into queues of traffic, thereby slowing down the patient ones further, that have contributed to me driving less. Also, various other reckless and selfish practices that involve pulling suddenly in front of me, rather than waiting a second or two, just make me feel driving is becoming an increasingly antisocial practice.

      I prefer public transport when it’s available & not to slow.

      And the way pedestrians are treated by a minority of drivers is pretty worrying too.

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        I do public transport or my wee scooter – it’s nippy enough to keep up with the cars so I don’t get them tailgating so much. The thing for me is to always remember that I’m usually the squishiest thing on the roads – even pedestrians and cyclists can do me harm at 50k. So a minority of all major groups get some free verbal advice on what they could do to improve their road survivability :)

        • Rogue Trooper 11.1.1.1

          I love the freedom of me cycle :) even more liberating than the Big “scooters” were (and no tickets, well…)

          • ropata 11.1.1.1.1

            Jealous! I must get my motorbike license. Commuting over the Harbour Bridge is a daily torture, but I’m too disorganised to catch an early bus :P

          • lprent 11.1.1.1.2

            All I have to say about cycling is – “Auckland drivers”. I prefer walking, it is safer.

            • McFlock 11.1.1.1.2.1

              yep – cyclists are too slow to be safe in Dunedin, or they ride on the footpath and endanger pedestrians. Scooter has free parking all day in the middle of town, and can keep up with the flow of traffic.

              • karol

                Um…. McF, it’s not the cyclists that are the problem, but the priority given to cars and the unsafe car drivers, and the lack of off-road cycleways. What stats/evidence do you have that cyclists riding on footpath cause dangers to pedestrians?

                • McFlock

                  Evidence of a number of injury reports around my local campus for a start. Enough to cause a nominal ban on cycling (although it’s only enforced if the cyclist is being a dick, in my experience). Mostly because of narrow paths between garden areas and blind corners around buildings, as far as I can see.

                  Elderly or otherwise vulnerable pedestrians + cyclists going too fast with not enough care = some bad injuries.

                  I certainly agree that things like environmental design and human factors in vehicle operators are the major issue with preventing harm to cyclists, and a cyclist vs a tonne of metal will always be worse off.

                  But 100kg of meat sack going at 20kph (or much faster) is still enough to cause serious harm to other people.

  12. Rogue Trooper 12

    OnKey-THE BIGGEST thing to come away from South America with? “support for a seat on the UN Security council (42% of the worlds’ Catholics live in S.A)

    from the “tube”; an elderly community up Northland way is now “terrified of Police” after they roughed up an elderly lady…sigh.

    From the wrappings; 20 Days of Water reserves remain for Wellington, Hutt and Porirua
    Drought-situated Dairy stock being dried off two months early-“big drop in gross income”.
    in HB, Agricultural Contractors cannot drill the ground as it is too hard.

    Dom; “Fears Eurozone tensions could flare into war”””'; Greek and Italian resentment towards Germany (can’t find link, crap browser :( )

    Die Weltgeschichte ist das Weltgericht -Friederich von Schiller

    (Are we being Rewired?)
    http://www.mpdailyfix.com/your-brain-on-technology-rewired-and-addicted/

  13. Rogue Trooper 13

    DEAR PRISM, have joined a Transitions Towns project via the local Environment Centre; they also support an Organic Project, Community gardens, Lobbying, education in secondary schools, workshops, and, AND, are considering standing for Local Body elections on a collective ticket.
    Permaculture Baybee, Permaculture!

  14. Dv 14

    Smoke scare on Prime Minister’s flight
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10870955

    SO it is true

    Liar Liar ……

  15. joe90 16

    A leaked clandestine recording of Bradley Manning explaining his reaction to the collateral murder video and how he leaked it to the world.

    https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/blog/2013/03/fpf-publishes-leaked-audio-of-bradley-mannings-statement

    http://youtu.be/6L79wWAFUqg

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/01/bradley-manning-wikileaks-statement-full-text

    (careful, links to disturbing images)

  16. Rogue Trooper 17

    “Multi-tasking” may not be your friend;
    The Shallows; What the Internet is doing to (your) brians. Nicholas Carr.
    http://books.google.co.nz/books/about/The_Shallows_What_the_Internet_Is_Doing.html?id=1KayoVl3OTMC&redir_esc=y

    back to Q.T.;
    Russell Norman; from NIWA (been a long time comin’) “droughts are expected to become more frequent and intense.”
    English concedes, yet “being CONDEMNED by conferences of NGOs of-shore is not going to influence govt policy.”

    Parker; essentially, p/ p / p wage -gap between NZ and OZ has almost doubled as the “gap” is “closed”. Yep!

    Go Annette!!!- HBDHB “modifications” (Ryall)= reduction to health care for the elderly. Go on Greypower, vote Nat again, go on, we dare ya…

    NZFirst are just p*ssin’ in the wind re foreign ownership of land ‘though right about one thing; “the country is being flogged off”

    ooh, N.Smith, (Dr Knot) is under pressure re the AK Unitary Plan (spinning around Carters’ original position, of all, oh wait, four months ago); essentially, no “greenfields relief likely before 2017.

    from RNZ; AUTOMATE THIS : How algorithms came to rule YOUR world ;Christopher Steiner

    e.g. “your call may be recorded to…” (to avoid lawsuits later?) not even! In fact, the recording “decides” what type of person you are by six categories; action, thoughtful, cheerful, dreamer, SLAVE,-and procede to connect you with the same type of “person as you appear to be = talking to “yourself”= “customer satisfaction”.
    In NZ you ask? Initial uptake of technology was by Vodophone. Ha! if i wasn’t a christian, i might say “F*$k You all nicely”.

  17. Morrissey 19

    “The News of the Day in a Different Way”
    Yet another episode of The Panel drowns in Laughter

    The Panel, Radio New Zealand National, Wednesday 13 March 2013
    Jim Mora, Susan Baldacci, May Chen, Gordon Brown

    JIM MORA: Okay, it’s 3;45 p.m. and Susan Baladacci is here with What the Woooooorrrld’s Talking About. What have you got for us today?

    SUSAN BALDACCI: Well, Iran is talking about suing the makers of Zero Dark Thirty.

    GORDON BROWN: [exploding with mirth] A ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    JIM MORA: Oh yes? Ha ha ha ha ha!

    GORDON BROWN: Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho!

    SUSAN BALDACCI:They say they were unfairly portrayed, and the movie was inaccurate.

    GORDON BROWN: Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    JIM MORA: Imagine all the countries that could sue the United States about not portrayed fairly in Hollywood movies!

    SUSAN BALDACCI: He he he he he!

    MORA: I mean, ha ha ha ha ha, New Zealanders could complain that Lord of the Rings did not exactly portray our modern amenities!

    BROWN: Ha ha ha ha ha!

    BALDACCI: And the film Avatar did not portray the Nandor people very well!

    BROWN: Ha ha ha ha ha!

    MORA: Okay, what else? The Mayor of New York is taking on Big Soda and Big Soda is winning!

    BALDACCI: Yes, but he’s going to come back at them again and he insists this is a serious health matter.

    BROWN: Ha ha ha ha ha!

    MORA: Are we happy about Big Government telling us how much sugar we can consume?

    BROWN: Ha ha ha ha ha! It reminds me of Carless Days! Ha ha ha ha ha!

    BALDACCI: It’s like excess speeding fines. I was ticketed recently for travelling at TWO kilometres per hour over the speed limit.

    MORA: [sarcastic tone] Two KPH over the limit can be VERY dangerous!

    BROWN: Ha ha ha ha ha!

    MORA: Ha ha ha ha ha! Okay, what else have you got for us?

    BALDACCI: This new Gwyneth Paltrow diet sounds completely crazy!

    BROWN: Ha ha ha ha ha!

    MORA: Our kids clamour for salad. Not!

    BALDACCI: He he he he he!

    BROWN: Ha ha ha ha ha!

    Et cetera, ad infinitum, ad absurdum, ad nauseam….

    A little later, during the formal introductions of his guests following the 4 o’clock news, Gordon Brown said that what he does now is write books—“when I’m not writing a column and getting myself into trouble. Ha ha ha ha ha!”

    Brown, like Mora, seems incapable of saying anything without sniggering. Evidently he finds himself very funny. To add to the unlikeability factor, Brown sounds unnervingly like the Rt. Hon. David Carter.

    In the “Soapbox” segment, Brown redeemed himself by actually saying something sensible about hospital visiting hours.

    • Murray Olsen 19.1

      They think a fine for 2 km/h over the limit is ridiculous. OK, let’s say that’s a 50 km/h area, so the excess velocity is 4%. Now imagine a beneficiary on $20,000 pa claiming 4% more – $800. Two years prison? Ha ha ha ha.
      The sense of entitlement that these guys feel to break the laws that they don’t think should apply to them is sickening. Ha ha ha ha.

      • Morrissey 19.1.1

        MURRAY OLSEN: The sense of entitlement that these guys feel to break the laws that they don’t think should apply to them is sickening. Ha ha ha ha.

        JIM MORA: Ha ha ha ha ha ha! That’s very good, Murray. Okay, what’s next?

        SUSAN BALDACCI: A survey of 7,500 people has found that people who buy more than three pairs of sneakers a year are 61 percent more likely to have the qualities of a modern leader.

        JIM MORA: Well this is from MIT, so it’s a reputable source.

        SUSAN BALDACCI: The Manukau Institute of Technology, yes.

        GORDON BROWN: Ho ho ho ho ho ho ho!

        • xtasy 19.1.1.1

          The panel panning out mentally, I suppose.

          Yes, as a regular RNZ listener I do occasionally listen to Mora and his “guests”, but indeed, I can only digest small dosages, otherwise I get brain pain and worse.

          But what is the alternative? Garner on Radio Live (after 3 pm). Garner is sooo over-rated, and the pseudo “current affairs” program 3rd degree shows it.

          NZ media turns me off so often, so it is back to BBC World, for some real info that matters in the wider world.

          • Morrissey 19.1.1.1.1

            As bad as Mora and co. often are, the BBC is not really much better. It pains me greatly to have to say that.

            Still, re-runs of Hancock and The Navy Lark are a good reason to keep loving it.

            • xtasy 19.1.1.1.1.1

              Morrissey: I mean BBC World by the way!

            • Te Reo Putake 19.1.1.1.1.2

              The lad himself! I’m starting to warm to you, Mozza. My pet hate on the beeb is World Have a Spray. A trully awful listening experience.

              • Morrissey

                Why do you hate World Have Your Say? Let me guess… Two words… rhymes with “table napkin”… I hear an irritating West Country accent… not it’s not Gareth from The Office… I see an R and an V…no, it’s an A… R.A. …. I hear that awful accent again… ROS ATKINS!!!!!

  18. Tim 20

    It’s probably already been covered (I haven’t trawled all of the above), but the first “journalist” to ask Him (i.e. He that is so confdint of ovawearmung success on the basis of a series of “mights and maybe’s”):
    Mr Key, how did you know that David Shearer had registered to bur shares in MRP, AND how did you know so quickly…..

    I won’t hold my breathe, but then (having tutored in MS) there were OH so MANY that hadn’t even heard of the 4th Estate, let alone enrolled for a purpose other than stardom.
    (Incidently – worse still, there was a lecturer that thought this was all OK). Never mind – I suspect the 20 days of water left might cause worry.

    • Rogue Trooper 20.1

      yes, the “stars” on the nooz and the morning shews interest me; Nadine’s from hearabouts. oh well, lamentatations and all that, “purty” figures and expensive underclothes, i’m sure .(never went for the “beautiful people” meself )still, some girls from the ‘right” side of the tracks were attracted to a rough diamond…wotta ya gonna do? gotta oblige :)

  19. bad12 21

    http://www.stuff.co.nz-ministers pressure solid energy

    Bill from Dipton appears to have been caught out for having put pressure on the States coal miner Solid Energy to take on loads more debt while knowing coal prices world-wide were tanking big-time…

  20. trickledrown 22

    Double dipstick also lauded the lignite brickette scheme and coal seam gas extraction in his own electorate now he has no knowledge of solid energies losses due to poor investments!
    Bullshitting Blinglish!

    • bad12 22.1

      I wouldn’t let that idiot run the corner diary and here He is running our country,(into the ground),

      It appears that despite coal prices having dropped by a third by May 2009 the Government wrote to Solid Energy’s board urging them to take on more debt,

      This Solid Energy did, moving from a debt loading of just 13 million dollars under the previous Labour Government to borrowing a massive 300 million dollars by 2011 despite the international price of coal having dropped by another third,

      Bill and Slippery having not been able to balance the budget because of the hole left in the Governments revenue from taxation with the ‘tax switch’ then effectively TOOK 100 million dollars of this borrowed money from Solid Energy as dividends over the period 2009-2011,

      That isn’t governance, it’s fucking borderline fraud on the part of this Slippery National Government which along with the knee-capping of Government rules around bio-fuels has nearly destroyed what was a well managed State owned company,

      i have to wonder just what the debt loading of other Government owned businesses has been foisted on the likes of NZPost et al by this Slippery bunch of Shyster’s while in the back-ground Bill from Dipton has His hand out to tax these borrowings by up to a third…

  21. North 23

    3 News tonight 10 minutes in: Gower (unseen) asking Judith Collins about Bain compensation; the glowing minister betraying not an ounce of her usual Thatcher finishes responses and starts to move away – “Thanks Paddy…..” How cosy !

    I notice he didn’t go on the rampage tonight about Power and English pressuring Solid Energy to hike borrowing to fund dividend, knowing coal returns decreasing. Like he did last night with the “gutless” talk re the Chinese immigrant approved by Jones.

    Instead he chose to frame the whole Solid Energy question as simply a matter of throwing and ducking blame. Blah blah blah business as usual……..

    What’s up with this prick Gower ? Backscratching with the powerful ?

  22. bad12 24

    3News=RadioWorks= 40 million dollar loan guarantee from this Slippery National Government= Gower,(the Alfred E. Nuemann of NZ television reporting), giving the National Government biased uncritical coverage while making up s**t about Labour and the Green Party’s to paint them in a bad light,

    “The left’ should do it’self a big favor and start a public boycott of 3News,(or the whole channel), until such time as they get rid of that lying little twat…

    • Paul 24.1

      And boycott ZB and hosts like Leighton Smith, Larry Williams and other jocks whose job it is to repeat the government’s line, while spewing hatred towards anyone who rejects the neo-liberal paradigm.
      They won’t get rid of these guys; the news is corporately owned.
      The solution is to find alternative ways to communicate with people, thereby bypassing the controlling filter of our corporate media. Winston Peters communicates directly to the elderly in halls and the young can be contacted through social media.
      Only Campbell Live is doing its job at the moment.

      • Arfamo 24.1.1

        At least there’s a balance to Gower on TV3. Campbell’s positioning himself and his team solidly as critics of the government. His clips of Paula Bennet over the last couple of nights saying how wonderful it is to see that 200 people who applied for 7 jobs at Carter Holt because it shows how keen people are to apply for jobs didn’t need any further comment. Viewers would’ve been shocked at how bizarrely out of touch and full of BS she is.

        • RedBaronCV 24.1.1.1

          Listening to 8 a.m news this morning. Announcer mentions that the young Acts, Nats, labour , greens etc had banded together to support gay marriage.
          So far so good, then on comes some young bloke J.A…….? who represents the young conservatives, Colin Craig’s mob I assume. Firstly he spends time whining that his young conservatives hadn’t been asked to join the discussion but they didn’t support it anyway and then goes on to say that the others are misrepresenting the views of all young New Zealanders. Rich coming from the flea on the back of the margin of error conservative dog.

          However, his rant took up, I estimate around a third of the total time of the news broadcast.
          How on earth did they get so much news time and a voice over prepared statement as well. Just who “influenced” that little lot and why.

        • North 24.1.1.2

          What “balance” do we see with Gower ?

          Quick smart dismissal of the obviously serious issue of ministerial pressuring of Solid Energy while ministers project responsibility elsewhere is not “balance”. Neither is going feral and angrily saying “in my opinion……..blah blah blah…….gutless etc” re the Jones/Chinese immigrant matter.

          That’s the arrogance of the little snot. The sending out as the true view of an “equilibrium” constructed according to his “opinion” or the random state of his guts of a day. “Patrick is not pleased…..” is juvenile.

          Wish Campbell would give wee Mr Bean a slap once in a while. Learn him that the variousness of his anger, menancing the camera, news-thug manner, dismissiveness, sucking up (“Thanks Paddy” from Collins), and a demeanour and delivery otherwise strange, ain’t the way to go.

      • Arfamo 24.1.2

        And even people who watch TV One are now switching over to TV3 for Campbell live rather than watch the Seven Sharp circus, so he’s nicely positioned to capture an audience looking for someone to dig into the murk surrounding this Government.

  23. All your worldy concerns above are entirely valid but I want to say how disgusted I am to hear, on “Radio Tauranga” today, that I live at the 100th worst beach in New Zealand.
    It cost a lot of money to get here from where I lived before and I wanted to beseech the New Zealand public to first visit the better ninety nine beaches before coming here to disturb me.

  24. ianmac 26

    Cute that Guyon and Duncan spent so much time fronting 3rd Degree tonight while holding hands. Perhaps they were reassuring each other.

    • karol 26.1

      I haven’t been able to get up the energy to watch 3rd Degree fronted by those two.

      • xtasy 26.1.1

        Karol – you have not missed much. Tonight there was one good story though, about a Maori chap, who was apparently convicted for murder with totally baseless, fabricated “evidence” over 20 years ago, so he seems to have spent 20 years in prison, while likely to have been innocent.

        It was in connection to a high level rape and murder case.

        Garner had to comment towards the end: “He was poor, brown and not that bright…”

        I suppose he was meaning to express the injustice that was dished out on the guy, but the way he said it, it sounded arrogant and full of prejudice, coming from a “white” over-rated journo.

        NZ 2013 means, there are stratospheres between certain social groups in this country now, which does not help to understand each other.

        • North 26.1.1.1

          Xtasy…….re the guy the subject of 3rd Degree have a look at 16 on “The right’s fear of democracy”. Mistaken posting to there rather than here.

          Garner’s clanger – “and not that bright……” – hit me too as you will see in the last paragraph.

  25. The Herald:

    “National MP Tim Macindoe was the first to speak against the bill, saying that he had “difficulty in believing that God wants this change to be made”.”

    Wonder what his god thinks about New Zealander’s having to rely on charity to feed themselves and their families?
    Sit up on the front pew, sing and pray the loudest and step over the beggar on the way out of the church.
    Tory nugget.

    • The Al1en 27.1

      The meek shall inherit the earth… But they’ll have to nationalise it first.

    • fender 27.2

      Wonder what God thinks of asset sales and all the other failing governance.

      Did he say who his God is….is it Key.

      Does this Wacindoe fella communicate with black and white smoke signals by any chance…

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