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The Standard

Open mike 13/11/2012

Written By: - Date published: 2:45 am, November 13th, 2012 - 119 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…

119 comments on “Open mike 13/11/2012”

  1. lprent 1

    You will note the new RSS feeds on the right. These are:-

    1. Experimental.
    2. Subject to further layout changes – like authors, times and icons.
    3. Subject to removal if I see system problems from them.
    4. Generally subject to change until we’re happy with it.
    5. The sites in the list are mostly from the last 30 days of outward links less a few sites that have too many posts1.
    6. Plus some small sites that I put in because I like reading them.
    7. Authors can suggest more.
    8. After that, we’ll take commentator suggestions.
    9. The preference will be for smallish sites in terms of posts. Local sites. Leftish sites or sites that our readership click through to.
    10. Slots are limited to 100 in a scrolling div (about 20 visible) subject to performance.
    11. Sites will get dropped from the list if I see a rise in their posts that start to crowd out the smaller sites (which is what this area is for).
    12. Being banned means your site won’t make it or won’t stay on to the list2.
    13. Constructive criticism and suggestions are welcome.
    14. But as usual telling us how we should run the site may suffer the usual fate.
    15. And we will make the decision about the line. It is a fine line – have fun balancing :twisted:
    16. If anyone knows where the parliamentary debates have a RSS/Atom feed – please tell me.

    1This is known as the Whaledreck rule as described here.
    2This is known as the PG 5000 rule. Described in here.

  2. Excellent column in the NY Times on the election that Mitt Romney won.  He set out to win the votes of heterosexual white males and succeeded resoundingly.  The only problem was that he forgot about women, latinos, gays and the black community.

    The article also suggests there is hope.  Maureen Dowd suggests that while Obama lifted progressive America last time, this time progressive America lifted Obama to victory.  And there is an expectation, that climate change, minority rights and secularism are now given a chance.

  3. David H 3

    How far out of touch is this guy??? I mean FFS all we are is “Nonsense” . Well Fuck you too Shearer
    That’s a real good way to keep your voters, all though I cannot for the life of me see that many staying around if you are left in charge of this bunch of children, your caucus, it’s completely out of touch with reality, and running to individual agenda’s, IE: Shane Bloody Jones, he should have been slapped down hard for going into someone Else’s portfolio, instead of that it’s just ignored. You have had a year to ‘get your shit together’ but you have done little to improve the problems you have with speech, and over interpreting every thing, you have obviously ignored any tips from your media tutors, as it seems you have ignored everyone else. So here’s my prediction if you are in charge in 2014. The Green, Mana, & Labour Government led by Dr Norman, and his deputies, Minister of Maori Affairs Metria Turei And associate Hone Hawaria, and Minister of Finance, the Labour leader David Cunliffe. One of only a handful of MP’s to have retained his seat, in the biggest bloodletting in history, as the traditional Labour voters deserted the party in droves, to the Greens and Mana parties.

    [lprent: Fixed links – watch out for the trailing ‘ on links. ]

    • Olwyn 3.1

      Here is a thought, following on what you say, David H, and the many posts questioning Shearer’s leadership. Someone, I’ve forgotten who, said in one of those posts, that Helen’s favoured successor’s were in turn Steve Maharey and David Cunliffe, but Phil ended up with the job. And it seems to me that this left/right battle for control of the LP has been going on for some time, and has become a public issue since the right had to turn to an inexperienced man to retain their slender hold. It is said that Shearer has no position. I think that his position is to try to be loyal to the right wingers who want him there, to keep the left at bay.

      No doubt these people have their reasons for thinking as they do: that there is no going back, that lefties do not attract business donations, etc, etc. What they need to face is that most people who want to see a LP “modernised” to fit the right wing agenda actually want the poor, the low paid, etc. to have no voice, despite their being mercilessly screwed. This is not a moral position for a LP to be in, and it would also be a dangerous one if Australia stopped serving as a safety valve.

      • Socialist Paddy 3.1.1

        Stuff have a poll on the Labour Leadership issue if anyone is interested.

      • Vicky32 3.1.2

        No doubt these people have their reasons for thinking as they do: that there is no going back, that lefties do not attract business donations, etc, etc. What they need to face is that most people who want to see a LP “modernised” to fit the right wing agenda actually want the poor, the low paid, etc. to have no voice, despite their being mercilessly screwed. This is not a moral position for a LP to be in, and it would also be a dangerous one if Australia stopped serving as a safety valve

        Oh, see how evil Shearer is! What nonsense.
        Don’t you people who hate Shearer see how delighted Matthew Hooton and Duncan Garner are with you? If I were you, that would worry me – if the actual right want Shearer to go, and they very very obviously do, then ask oyurself why they want him gone? Maybe you’ve been had?

        • Olwyn 3.1.2.1

          Vicky: I have yet to see evidence that Shearer is of the left, and that is what worries me. The Labour Party has been hijacked before. And Matthew Hooton has largely showed approval of Shearer’s leadership.

          • Vicky32 3.1.2.1.1

            And Matthew Hooton has largely showed approval of Shearer’s leadership.

            I suppose you didn’t hear him on Radio NZ yesterday, then! :D
            He was rubbing his hands with glee at the prospect of the leadership challenge that he just knows (an insider told him, he said when challenged) is coming.
            Ask yourself, why does Hooton cream his jeans at the ;idea of a leadership challenge?
            Standatdistas has been campaigning against Shearer for most of this year, and I have never been able to understand why. Someone months ago, even pointed out that an anti-Shearer post deliberately misquoted DS, and yet no one gave a monkeys (except, it would seem for me, and for Labour people out there in the real world.)

            • lprent 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Standatdistas has been campaigning against Shearer for most of this year, and I have never been able to understand why.

              Ah no. If you have a look at the authors, some are for him for one reason or another and some are against for some reason or another. Ditto with the commentators. I suspect you’re mistaking “volume” for reasoning and failing to read what people are actually saying. Hell I wrote a post explaining it.

              In my case I questioned the competence of someone with only a couple of years in parliament to run the parliamentary caucus. He was a neophyte in a area that I have never seen people get competent at in less than 5-6 years as a simple MP. So far he hasn’t shown any signs of exceeding that speed. Quite simply he is at about 3 years now and starting to look like a MP rather than a PM. It is pretty good progress – just not useful to the party who might have to win an early election (if I was a Nat, I’d be calculating when to give John Banks to the police and lose a confidence motion).

              Sure John Key became leader after three and a half years. But he was lucky enough to come in just after the Nat’s had repaired most of the party and parliamentary damage from the 1999 and 2002 elections and had nearly won the 2005 and they had a clear campaign strategy underway. There was a pretty experienced and supportive team who helped him a lot. Watching him in 2006 and even 2007 was like watching a fledging try to fly.

              With David Shearer this year it has been more like watching him learning how to break the egg.

              I question is why the loons in caucus stuck David Shearer in that position with what looks like very limited experienced support. But it has been on a par with some of the other wierdo decisions from caucus over the past few years. I’m annoyed with it.

              • Anne

                I question is why the loons in caucus stuck David Shearer in that position with what looks like very limited experienced support.

                They saw the icing on the cake (his back-story) and forgot to take into account… whether the ingredients underneath had reached a sufficient mix of knowledge and experience for the job.

                My quarrel is not with David Shearer. Its with those in caucus who, in my view, were not thinking of him but rather themselves.

                • Colonial Viper

                  My quarrel is not with David Shearer. Its with those in caucus who, in my view, were not thinking of him but rather themselves.

                  Exactly.

                  And Shearer himself should have said, thanks but no thanks, I’ll take my turn when I’ve time under my belt and it’s right to do so.

                  • Herodotus

                    The same is the lack of discipline within the caucus, given the experience of many of those who have self inflicted harm on the party. Mallard, Jones and those who with experience that have been a no show Horomia, Prasad, King. With 34 MP’s there is a dearth of “Team” and it appears to be a few solo efforts holding the party together. Labours issue is not all Shearers but lack of commitment from the dead wood.

        • fatty 3.1.2.2

          I never knew Hooten wants Shearer gone…do you have a link for that (I actually thought he was scared of having Cunliffe as the leader)…Garner I’m not surprised, he’s a political journalist, so he naturally wants political action (I’m not of the opinion that Garner is really that much into National, I’ve always thought of him as being quite fair between Labour and National, despite what some claim here)

          • Vicky32 3.1.2.2.1

            I never knew Hooten wants Shearer gone…do you have a link for that (I actually thought he was scared of having Cunliffe as the leader)…

            No, I don’t have a link. But he said as much on Radio NZ yesterday.
            What craziness. Garner is not too bad, David Shearer is a rightist. Honestly, what has become of the Standard?

            • fatty 3.1.2.2.1.1

              most of these blog posts from Garner are anti-National, the fewer times he focuses on Labour he is just as critical of them. I dunno where this idea of a National-bias from Garner comes from. Especially considering he works for media works…and he quit their weekend morning politics bore-fest because it sucks big time. Most of the time he’s pointing out that there is little difference between National and Labour.
              I can’t be bothered listening to Hooten…here is an article from him backing Shearer. Hooten wants a lame duck running Labour

              • karol

                Those are his more recent ones – at least at first.  Garner often spins in the government, or right wing favour: e.g. when analysing TV3 polls.  He favours Shearer over Cunliffe, and tends to repeat the smears against Cunliffe.

                Also, something else I had been thinking about incorporating in a blog post on the MSM, and never got to it.  Mediaworks repaid its loan to the government back at the beginning of October. 

                How much has that coincided with the likes of Campbell regaining his critical edge?

                • fatty

                  true…I remember that half-story about Cunliffe that came across as a school yard rumour. That was some b-grade journalism there.
                  The mediaworks loan relating to channel 3’s critique of the Government would be interesting. I remember years ago when Clark was boosting funding to TVNZ (TVNZ7, Heartland, NZ on air etc) it appeared that she was getting preferential coverage from them – obviously this ended with the nanny-state nonsense around 07-08…not sure if the funding dried up then?
                  I dunno if what I’ve just written is accurate, just a hunch. Not sure how TVNZ has changed much since TVNZ7 got cut…but I guess if the wages of those in power at TVNZ has increased then who cares if the only channel worth watching gets cut…fat cats and all that.

                • David H

                  To say nothing of Rachael Smalley she got real smarts there. As proved when she interviewed Hone.

        • gobsmacked 3.1.2.3

          Vicky

          Sometimes the easiest explanation is the one right in front of you.

          A few may “hate Shearer”, but I certainly don’t, and I reckon that goes for most of his critics. We just don’t think he should be leader of the Labour party.

          We don’t reach this conclusion by worrying about what Matthew Hooten wants us to think. We get there by observing David Shearer.

          I don’t think he should be a ballet dancer or All Black either. Doesn’t mean I hate him. Just exercising the brain. Evidence in, conclusion out.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.3.1

            Shearer would make an excellent Crown Minister in his 2nd or 3rd full term as an MP.

            • PlanetOrphan 3.1.2.3.1.1

              We’ll see what kind of a director he is in the new year ….
              (Which is where everyone’s fear really lives)

    • Smith 3.2

      Trundling along on Planet Shearer as usual…

    • karol 3.3

      DH:  Are you referring to this article: ‘Shearer plays down leadership row‘, by Claire Trevett.?  Your links go to the NZH main page.  

      They are also running a poll on whether he should stand down, beside the article – no rrecorded votes as yet.

      Labour leader David Shearer is brushing off a crescendo of calls for him to step down by left-leaning bloggers and commentators, saying it is “nonsense” and should be ignored….

      The series of those calling for Shearer to step down included three bloggers on the Standard blog, although another Standard blogger, former Labour secretary Mike Smith, counselled against a change. Other critics included Brian Edwards, who has consistently been critical of Shearer, and Herald columnist Tapu Misa.

      Yesterday the three MPs regarded as having leadership goals – Grant Robertson, David Cunliffe and Andrew Little – all ruled out any immediate challenge and rejected suggestions they were involved in any attempt to undermine Mr Shearer. 

      • Bill 3.3.1

        It crossed my mind this morning that Labour may well have gifted itself an ‘enfant terrible’. I don’t know if that’s quite the right expression, but bashing on…How democratically inclined is a person, simply used to being ensconced in a bureaucracy, likely to be? How likely is years of working in unaccountable bureaucracies likely to foster a mentality along the lines of – “Those ‘poor underlings’ know nothing about how I know what’s good for them. But for them and their better interests, I will persevere”

    • David H 3.4

      ARRRRRGG The links did’nt work. Thats what you get for trying to be tidy.
      Nonsense should be http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10846967
      SBJ should be http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10846365
      Can some one please fix.

      • weka 3.4.1

        I’ve been noticing a few broken links lately on TS – they all have an errant apostrophe at the end. Is that a cut and paste issue?

        • karol 3.4.1.1

          I’ve been having a problem with the WYSIWYG buttons.  The blockquote button puts the command around the whole comment, not just the highlighted text.  I have to go to the html view to sort it out.

          • weka 3.4.1.1.1

            WYSIWYG doesn’t work propery in Safari. I find it’s fine in Firefox (mac)

          • lprent 3.4.1.1.2

            It is on my fix list. But the Feed panel was requested by Irish in 2010 according to my notes…..

            Nearly through the bugs and features at work – ETA is about 2 weeks for the release of product 2 code.

            What I want to do is to drop the tinymce/wysiwg approach and use something a lot simpler more like the the comment editor in the backend. But I have been accumulating holidays while Lyn has been using her’s for festivals and the like. I’ll have to use some of them up shortly and do a site refresh.

        • lprent 3.4.1.2

          Yes. From the incoming side. Just comment to call them to our attention and someone will fix them eventually.

    • Rhinocrates 3.5

      How could he know if the blogs were nonsense if he doesn’t read them? :twisted:

      • Uturn 3.5.1

        He also says the authors here are “feeding off each other” – a similar claim as Farrar’s “co-ordinated strategy to de-stabilise”. Is Shearer running Farrar’s attack lines?

        Unless he can prove inside knowledge, perhaps using the footage from a secret camera, the precendent set by The Standard moderation could ban Shearer for implying a hive-mind to a machine. Who’s to say he is not already among us? :shock:

        The past three days have given us two further definitions of the word, discussion:

        1) co-ordinated strategy to destabilise
        2) feeding off each other.

        • Jackal 3.5.1.1

          Is Shearer running Farrar’s attack lines? C’mon Uturn, that’s about as silly as Pete George claiming that I’m Shearer’s advisor. RFLMAO Oh how the lines are becoming seriously blurred on this issue. Warning! I just linked to Whaleoil again… Let the cleansing begin.

          • Te Reo Putake 3.5.1.1.1

            Ooooh, somebody doesn’t like you, Jackal. You must doing good work! I note that PG is still fixated with my contribution to his downfall, namechecking me in his (sort of) humorous response to the PG5000 joke on Imperator Fish. I think you can take the hatred displayed against you on Whale oil in the same way; proof that you are hitting them where it hurts.

          • Uturn 3.5.1.1.2

            It’s true, there’s no way Shearer is part of a Nat conspiracy…

            …or is he?

            :shock:

            I suggest an immediate purge of commenters who like to throw mangoes.

        • McFlock 3.5.1.2

          As an aside, “feeding off each other” is completely different to a coordinated campaign.
               
          The difference is like between an angry mob that happens to clock off and a gang of bank robbers. The mob mills around, pushes against itself, and basically herds in the direction of least resistance. Robbers move on an objective according to a plan, use targeted force against obstacles, and have a clear endpoint in mind. 

        • Vicky32 3.5.1.3

          Is Shearer running Farrar’s attack lines?

          Paranoia much? Honestly, this place has gone insane.
          Who did Shearer offend? The identity politics crowd is my guess.

    • Rosie 3.6

      Hi David. Yes, our discussion IS nonsense apparently. Check out this story in the Dom Post:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/7941813/Shearer-confident-knives-won-t-come-out

      Comments posted by Eddie on The Standard are quoted. Shearers response is “thats basically people sitting in front of their computers giving their opinions and continuing to drive the discussion of it (his leadership) up”. I found that quite offensive, arrogant and pretty rude given that he is referring to potential Labour supporters and voters. I’ve left a comment on that article but my comments on fairfax only get posted about 50% of the time. I’d encourage others to post on this story. How else are we going to ge them to listen?

      • karol 3.6.1

        Rosie, looks like your comment is the first up this time.  Well said. And this “whispering” meme is nasty and wrong.

        • Rosie 3.6.1.1

          Karol, the choice of the word ‘whispering’ got me. Shades of “innoculation” ala crobsy textor/Nat stylez?

          • weka 3.6.1.1.1

            We know how to SHOUT online. Not sure about whispering. Is this a whisper? {or this?}


            When I read Shearer’s words, ‘whispering’ to me sounds like something that happens at parliament when people want to talk about something but don’t want to be overheard. It’s a strange choice of word to apply to the internet, where in this case authors and commenters at TS are being quite loud and open. Maybe it’s just a case of Shearer not understanding how the internets work. Or having advisors who don’t quite get it either.

        • David H 3.6.1.2

          I can’t post I get an error every time, and NO matter how much I E-Mail them, they won’t fix it.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.6.2

        How else are we going to ge them to listen?

        Don’t bother trying – Shearer just proved that, no matter what you do, he isn’t listening.

        • Rosie 3.6.2.1

          Sigh. Yeah, I know DTB, or rather, I give up. I think he is in head in sand territory. Privately he might be in head in hands territory but can’t find the way to front up and face it.

      • QoT 3.6.3

        thats basically people sitting in front of their computers

        I think he’s going for some kind of riff on “interviewing their keyboards”. However the problem for Shearer – or whoever came up with that line – is that a hell of a lot of people spend quite a bit of their day “sitting in front of their computers”. We’ve got Stuff Nation, for fuck’s sake. That’s a lot of “ordinary New Zealanders” with their fingers typing away, it’s hardly nerds-only territory …

        • gobsmacked 3.6.3.1

          It also runs counter to his statement last week: “Now we’ve all got Skype”.

          That would be news to a lot of Labour voters.

      • Vicky32 3.6.4

        I found that quite offensive, arrogant and pretty rude given that he is referring to potential Labour supporters and voters

        It is to laugh, as Bugs Bunny says. When I first questioned the anti-Shearer hate campaign when it got started at the beginning of the year, I was informed that the anti-Shearer people are all Greenies, therefore generally more honest, decent, etc, than Labour people…
        (Richer too, and that’s not to be sneezed at, he?)
        All the crocodile tears for beneficiaries from the anti-Shearer people make me projectile vomit.

        • Rosie 3.6.4.1

          Hi Vicky at post # 3.6.4. You’ve quoted me and in the same sentence you’ve referred to the “anti Shearer hate campaign”. Just because I and many others can’t support Shearer as the leader of the opposition doesn’t mean I/we/whoever hate him. It’s not personal, its practical. I’m not into hating up on folks. I save hate (as a form of disempowerment, frustration and anger) for very special occasions, such as our current govt, not for those I would normally stand beside.

          Also, please don’t assume that all Green supporters are rich. You might be heading into stereotype territory there. I support the Greens, always have, and respect their work but I’m as broken arse as they come. No, I’m not a beneficiary but at the same time its not crocodile tears I’ve shed, as you’ve pointed out that the “anti Shearer campaign” have done. It is genuine despair that I feel that at the way that mostly Key, Bennett, retards of NZ inc and Co, but also Shearer have belittled and attacked their fellow NZers. It really sucks. Labour have left their roots Vicky and I’m only about the gazillionth person to say it. I wish that wasn’t the case and I’d still love to vote for them but with Shearer in charge I can’t. Its feels crappy and a bit sad.

          Don’t know if you saw 3news tonight but Clayton Cosgrove dismissed journalists questions about the validity of the Labour Party leadership as “its just the blogosphere”. If thats how they respond to their potential and actual voter base can you really trust them to respect you as a voter?

          • Vicky32 3.6.4.1.1

            No, I’m not a beneficiary but at the same time its not crocodile tears I’ve shed, as you’ve pointed out that the “anti Shearer campaign” have done

            Well, I am a beneficiary, and not one of the ‘good’ ones (I am not brown, I am not a solo mother (any more) or under 25.) When the rubber meets the road, to use a cliche, Shearer has helped me and others, with issues we have had with Housing NZ and with WINZ, and that matters more to me than his being perfectly politically correct.
            As for what Cosgrove said, no, I didn’t hear it (I don’t watch 3 News, I listen to it) but from what I see around me, and what I hear, he was correct. Afaik, it is the blogosphere.
            Oddly, I find myself wishing very much that I did come into one of the favoured categories – if I were under 25 I’d have a much better chance of getting a job. The new owner of the language school, that I wrote about on Friday, fired all the previous staff, and everyone he hired to replace them is under 25, and everyone fired, was over 40. I was in there today, with one of those fired staff, she was collecting her property, and I was providing moral support. We spoke to one of the students, and her whispered comment (as the new owner was ear-wigging) about her  new teacher was “She’s very young, isn’t she?” Keith seems not to have realised that international students have no faith in teachers who are younger than they are, and that hiring 18-23 year olds because you can pay them in washers is not such a crash-hot idea.

      • David H 3.6.5

        Well as I wrote earlier A Green / Mana / Labour decimated and all the deadwood gone Hmm Not such a bad outcome after all.

    • Stephen Doyle 3.7

      From memory, Labours polling after Clark had been leader for about a year were hovering just below 20%. Should the paryt have dumped her then?

      • gobsmacked 3.7.1

        No, they shouldn’t have dumped a former deputy PM and experienced politician with a strong base in the party, a formidable intellect, an impressive grasp of the issues and a total commitment to self-discipline, and the authority to discipline others.

        But they should dump David Shearer, because he isn’t any of those things.

        • muzza 3.7.1.1

          formidable intellect, an impressive grasp of the issues and a total commitment to self-discipline, and the authority to discipline others.

          Except when she was interviewing and things did not go as Herr Helen liked, then the tears and blathering would come out.

          Wonder where she leant such discipline anyway, and wonder if she really thought the faux marriage to the dodgy pervert actually fooled anyone that it was not about hiding both their sexuality from the public. Media sure did a cracking job sitting on that for so many years, and still now it doesnt get much mention. Nah its not about Helens preferences, thats fine, and her business, its about the lies!

          Helen Clarke, got as high up at the UN because she is a “great politician & human being”, and contributed so much to humanity! /sarc

          Argh, the lies people accept!

          PS – Cunliffe has got far too much inside knowledge, having been a member of the Clarke governement, there will be little he is not aware of….How effective can he be given he is part of the establishment, therefore accomplice to the corruption which rules our parliamentary system!

      • Rhinocrates 3.7.2

        That was two decades ago. There are voters alive today who weren’t even born then and they’ve grown up on twitter and blogs. I may not like it, but it’s a fact. Even assuming that Shearer’s a nice guy (and so what?… and I don’t think that a bene-basher is, BTW), he’s simply not effective in this age. Obama won by knowing who the voters are, not what they “should” be.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.8

      [lprent: Fixed links – watch out for the trailing ‘ on links. ]

      Actually, you just broke them in a different way – the NZH doesn’t use trailing / on their URLs.

    • Murray Olsen 3.9

      David, your prediction for 2014 is the best argument I have seen for having Shearer as Labour leader.

    • David H 3.10

      Thank you. I will.

  4. karol 4

    Excellent report by Eugenie Sage: The Green Party Minority Report – Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill.  It incorporates responses from some public submissions on the Bill.  

    Particularly of concern are the cutting back of the kinds of activities local councils are involved in (focus on “core” services) , increased government intervention, increasing the power of mayors

    The main things the Green Party opposes: 

    – The changes to the purpose of local government and the deletion of the “four well-beings” (social, economic, environmental and cultural);

    – The increased mayoral powers;

    – The loss of democracy represented by the increased powers of Ministerial intervention and the processes for how and when this will be used;

    – The content of the fiscal benchmarks and

    – The undemocratic procedures and criteria for council re-organisation

    Also, important is the fact that the proposed changes are not supported by relevant evidence:

    The lack of sound data and information or any robust analysis to support the changes in the Bill risks it being ineffective, having unintended consequences, and putting additional costs on councils and ratepayers, such as to amend long term plans.

    And, Lynn, I got to this document (and other significant web pages/articles/posts) from the new RSS feeds on the right – very useful, thank-you.

  5. karol 5

    Gaynz editorial: open letter to John Key [on gay red shirt issue].

    It explains why the use of such language is an important political issue, and slams the Nats on their anti-gay record.

    I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: your party seems to be the natural political home for homophobia, whether you like it, or understand it, or want it, or not. From the lowliest newbie MPs right up to yourself your party continues to be steeped in the subtle homophobia of the street, the bar and the schoolyard.

     

    • Nearly half their party are homophobic if we take the recent gay marriage vote as evidence.

      • muzza 5.1.1

        I’d re-examine that if I were you..

        The systems are full of people who are being arm twisted into the decisions that are making, and you can apply this to other sectors which “govern, direct and dicate” our lives.

        The question is, what are they being “arm twisted” about!

    • weka 5.2

      Very good editorial. Maybe we should start a trend of using the word Key to mean fuckwit. “Do you have to be such a Key?”

  6. Jackal 6

    Blood in the water

    It has been rather disconcerting to read some of the commentary about all round nice guy David Shearer recently, not least because it takes the focus off more important issues. Of particular concern is the amount of articles that completely write him off without a second chance, and as far as I can tell, without really giving any valid reasons for doing so…

    • weka 6.1

      I don’t know which articles you are talking about because the ones I’ve read acknowledge Shearer has had plenty of chances, and give logical, valid reasons for him stepping down. Your paragraph above reads like opinion dressed up as fact. By all means support Shearer, but please don’t make out that people who want him gone don’t have any valid reasons and haven’t given him a chance.

    • Uturn 6.2

      From your blog:

      “Then there’s the claim that Shearer doesn’t hold true to Labours principles, as apparently exhibited by the painter on the roof comments. Despite the various misrepresentation of what Shearer said, I think it’s safe to say that he does believe in a fair and equal society, as exhibited by the brevity and contents of his speeches and press releases. Claims that he’s somehow anti-welfare are quite obviously incorrect, and only promoted by the ignorant or those with a vested interest in seeing his political demise.”

      I remember the intellectual tools you used to pull apart Paul Holmes utterances. Use those same tools on Shearers speeches and you’ll see what his detractors have been seeing since his first speech. If Shearer cannot understand basic political rhetoric, he has limited use as a spokesperson for anything. You may think this doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be a leader – a silent leader perhaps? Why not, any policy should be able to stand on it’s own regardles of who presents it.

      If someone spends all their time saying something that seems hostile, something that can’t conclusively be proven to be so – since no one can ever truly know the contents and intent of another man’s mind and because words and logic can be pretty, but limited – the only thing left to do is wait and see what happens.

      The problem many people have, is that they’ve spent their lives observing people they would prefer to be good – despite the indicators. They want and desperately need other people to be good, and choose it as default judgement. It’s called good faith and the world would be a much worse place if some people did not fight to uphold that concept. The line between good faith, naivety and romanticism becomes blurred when logic is dismissed entirely. People will hold out years, decades, to find the good they see in others and instead one day they find that it isn’t coming. They review the years of action and words and they have to face the fact it all adds up to a picture they wish didn’t exist. They’re then faced with a tough choice.

      Experience and logic blind us to possibility, tie us to the known, strangle the life out of the new. Hope and naivety can make us creative visionaries, laying the foundation for advancements or just suckers for punishment. But reality is reality. When the moment comes that each person makes their own decision, there is no right or wrong, just a bet on a roll of the dice.

      • Jackal 6.2.1

        Fair enough Uturn, you make a compelling argument. Just a few things though… My pulling apart of Holmes’ rhetoric was mainly about his racism, and I see nothing similar in Shearer. I’m also aware that he does need to step up to the plate so to speak, but its policy in my opinion that Labour should focus on, not personality politics.

        You’re entirely correct that what people want can cloud their vision of reality. However I don’t believe that’s the case with my observations on David Shearer, and I’m open to the possibility that he’s not right for the job. The main question remains largely unanswered though… Is there anybody better placed to achieve Labours victory at the next election, especially considering the instability caused by changing leaders now?

        I wonder if they care about who we advocate for anyway, and after reading today’s Herald article “Shearer plays down leadership row”, it would appear that they don’t. Not much has changed in that respect since Helen Clark was in charge then. Pity!

        In my opinion, throwing the dice on such things as leadership is not advisable… But I’ve more than chafed my bit on this issue. Let’s hope it all works out in the end.

        • Uturn 6.2.1.1

          I’m sure it will work out in the end.

          On Shearer’s “racism” it could certainly be proven logically, but logic cannot prove if he intended to include a racist element, or whether it is a symptom of poor rhetoric i.e. the gaps in the message are so wide they could mean anything. The measure we normally use, “reasonable doubt”, would rest on a person’s perspective. It certainly isn’t at the same level of intent as Holmes openly saying maori – or anyone else – are this or that. Shearer’s constant promotion of Pakeha middle-class values and attitudes could be said to be racist. The environment he works in and the position he holds will encourage him to take that approach whether he wants to or not. This would be a difficult thing to escape for any politician in our system. Even Hone Harawira likes to play with the idea of Maori abandoning their roots for money and moving to Australia.

          On the question of who is better placed to lead Labour to victory next election, if we agree that Labour’s policy is all that matters, it doesn’t matter who leads. It only matters who can promote the policy effectively, interpret it for all scenarios, to make it sound like it’s always fresh. Shearer could do the simple memorise-the-script exercise, but for whatever reason, he can’t re-fit it for all scenarios and variations. Then we get those explanations about what he really meant that meanader in contradictions. If winning is all that matters to Labour, all they need do is enforce an internal environment where everyone sticks to their area of concern, find one salesperson among them to take on the “leader role” and set them loose in the media. Then after they win they can go back to whatever they were up to, safe in the knowledge they have three years to sort it out.

    • Colonial Viper 6.3

      It has been rather disconcerting to read some of the commentary about all round nice guy David Shearer recently

      I want an all round nice guy as a neighbour looking after my dogs for the weekend, and collecting my mail when I head on holiday for a week.

  7. I’m annoyed with shearers attitude to the bloggers that question his leadership,after all it is a democratic right to question the leader of a party if you are not happy with him/her.
    There are traditional labour supporters/voters/followers who comment on all sorts of blogs and
    media outlets, are they nonsense too ?
    Shearers next blog should be ignored as well.

  8. gobsmacked 8

    “basically people sitting in front of their computers giving their opinions”

    That says it all, really. A 14th century monarch could only agree.

    Future definitions by David Shearer

    “people coming along, giving their opinions” (= party conference)

    “people answering the phone, giving their opinions” (= opinion polls)

    “people with a piece of paper, giving their opinions” (= elections)

  9. lprent 9

    Damnit. The Recommend button for Facebook is dead again. No change to the code. I guess that they have changed something in the API yet again.

    Fix this evening.

  10. Rogue Trooper 10

    an interesting symbiosis between The Herald and The Standard today; all those links from the Shearer article: like magic

  11. FYI.

    Why have proven ‘anti-corruption’ civil society ‘whistleblowers not been invited to today’s launch of the NZ National Integrity System Assessment?

    http://www.victoria.ac.nz/home/viclife/events/conferences/new-zealand-national-integrity-system-assessment

    OPEN LETTER TO TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL NZ, THE OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR-GENERAL, VICTORIA UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE FOR GOVERNANCE AND POLICY STUDIES:

    Today, in Wellington, you are ‘launching the New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment.
    Leading us into the future’.

    Your graphic illustrating ‘National Integrity Foundations’, covering ‘Politics – Society – Economy – Culture’ – shows thirteen ‘pillars’ upon which this ‘National Integrity’ is supposedly based.

    These thirteen pillars include:

    Legislature
    Executive
    Judiciary
    Public Sector
    Law Enforcement
    Electoral Management Body
    Ombudsman
    Audit Institution
    Anti-Corruptiion Agencies
    Political Parties
    Media
    Civil Society
    Business

    Having studied your programme, and having checked the backgrounds of your speakers and facilitators, I fail to see one person who could be said to represent ‘Civil Society’?

    (Perhaps not all ‘pillars’ are equal? Perhaps some ‘pillars’ are more significant than others?)

    I say this an a recognised ‘Anti-corruption activist’ / ‘Whistleblower’ who has attended two significant Anti-Corruption Conferences – the Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference in Brisbane in 2009, and the Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference in Bangkok in 2010.

    My track record is proven in fighting for a genuinely ‘open, transparent and accountable’ NZ local and central government and judiciary.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/central-leader/21588/Hubbard-defends-big-water-bills

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10602660

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10655565

    Had I known about this event – I would have made the effort to attend.
    Not only was I not notified – it was only by chance that I even discovered that it was happening.

    However, given my previous treatment by Transparency International NZ – I am not surprised that myself, and other ‘civil society / anti-corruption Public Watchdogs/ Whistleblowers’ were not notified.

    In 2009, not only did Transparency International NZ refuse to accept me (and others) as a member (no reasons were given), but at the November 2009 AGM, after being denied access to the TINZ AGM address by the Attorney-General (which was open to non-members), again – with no reasons given, myself and judicial ‘Public Watchdog’ – Vince Siemer, were arrested for trespass.

    http://kiwisfirst.co.nz/index.asp?PageID=2145845357#transparency-international-new-zealand

    “TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL NEW ZEALAND ORDERS ARREST OF ANTI-CORRUPTION ADVOCATE

    11 December 2009

    In a stinging irony – on United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day no less – Chairman Gerald McGhie of Transparency International’s “autonomous” New Zealand chapter ordered Police to arrest public watchdog Penny Bright for trespassing at its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday. This was despite the government-funded group riding her coat-tails as a watchdog front ostensibly focused on increasing transparency and exposing corruption. Attendees were given pamphlets with the bold heading “CORRUPTION RUINS LIVES – FIGHT BACK”.
    ………………………….
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    The Police later dropped the charges – but what sort of purported ‘anti-corruption’ organisation treats genuine ‘anti-corruption activists’ like that?

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    It is with some concern that I note the prominent role being played in the establishment of this ‘National Integrity System’ by some of the major accountancy firms, such as Deloitte, KPMG, PwC – who arguably have a vested interest in New Zealand being ‘perceived’ as ‘the least corrupt country in the world’ – when the reality, in my considered opinion, is that New Zealand is actually a corrupt, polluted tax haven.

    For example – to whom is the money going in New Zealand in the establishment of ‘foreign trusts’?

    The role of international accountancy firms has been highlighted by internationally acknowledged experts such as Professor Prem Sikka, with whom I am in regular contact.

    http://www.publishwhatyoupay.no/conference/speaker/prem-sikka
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    FYI – I have ‘blown the whistle’, nationally and internationally, and sent the following post around the world on 10 November 2012:

    To members of the international Tax Justice Network / separately to my latest Transparency International Secretariat and individual country ‘chapter’ list / to 70 World Bank folk whose addresses I found on the World Bank website / to all NZ MPs / to all Auckland Council elected reps (council + Local Boards) / NZ and some international media / NZ human rights groups …… etc….

    Transparency International were in the middle of their 15th International Anti-Corruption Conference, and should be announcing any time soon their 2012 ‘Corruption Perception Index’.

    (Which isn’t very transparent – given that it is based upon the subjective opinions of anonymous business people?)
    ……………………………………………….. ”

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  12. Fortran 12

    Shearer backed by Norman and Winston will lead the country after the next election.
    Shearer will make a good job of our Prime Minister as he grows with the role.
    The Nats simply cannot coddle enough MMP seats to retain a third term, so it is natural fall to Labour.

  13. Government ignores responsibility and demonstrates little concern for job losses:
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/11/defending-indefensible.html

  14. McFlock 14

    My goodness, I just realised I’m wondering where the next Roy Morgan poll is, nay even eagerly anticipating it! I must go and get some fresh air…

  15. Vicky32 15

    3 News is Little America again… sigh…
    In an item about the BBC, the reporter refers to someone walking out of an interview because he was behind ‘sked-yool’… :D
    Then, they make a point of referring to Mr McAfee, of anti-virus fame, being wanted for murder, as “Briddish Born”… perish the thought that a murderer could be American – even though Stuff  refers to him as a US citizen. It’s not a big deal, but it just struck me as bizarre. 
    Wikipedia thinks he is an American…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McAfee
    Now, Hil’ry Berry is banging on about the leadership challenge to Shearer. The Standard wants Shearer to go, says the reporter.
    Well, I for one, don’t want Shearer gone!
     

    • millsy 15.1

      I was a cautious supporter of Shearer, then I got a bit iffy about him, but I now think that he should stay. It’s all well and good to say, ‘let’s stick Cunliffe in’, but what if he turns out a dissapointment, do we ditch him and appoint someone else? Do we just go through Robertson, Ardern, Little, Curran? The ALP tends to do that, and look where that got them…

      Perhaps the likes of Mallard, Dyson, King, etc needs to go instead.

  16. millsy 16

    Anyone notice that Matt McCarten didnt have his column in the HoS Sunday?

  17. PlanetOrphan 17

    Nice work getting the TV promos guys, not a cent spent? …. sweet M8! O-:

    Whats next ? ….
    More links in the Herald/Truth/KiwiBlog etc etc etc ?
    A set “The Standard” as your homepage promo maybe ?

    “The Standard” Flyers at the Bank/Post Office/Pub/Cafe ?
    The Dreaded email campaign ? )-|

    H8 me yet anyone ? (-:

    4000 more hits this month, not bad Lads but we can do better!
    No More HypnoToad!!

    • PlanetOrphan 17.1

      Union tables in the Standard from a foggy memory 25 years ago …..

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        Yep, the Standard should be able to hit an order of magnitude above that. A little bit more marketing and self promotion and some interesting things will happen.

      • Jackal 17.1.2

        I wouldn’t mind reading some of the older The Standard publications from the 1930’s onwards. It would be interesting to compare what they were writing about then to today’s topics. Wonder if there are any old copies lying around the place?

        • r0b 17.1.2.1

          I have one borrowed copy, 1938 I think. I mean to scan it (so I can return it), then start posting articles from it. Must get on to that…

  18. RedBaron 19

    Chris Trotter is at it with his myopia again.

    “To appreciate fully the inhumanity of [unemployment] you have to see the hurt and despair in the eyes of a man suddenly told he is redundant without provision made for suitable alternative employment . . . Someone, somewhere has decided he is unwanted, unneeded, and is to be thrown on the industrial scrap heap. ”

    It isn’t only men who are made redundant Chris. What about the large number of single parent, working women, who are not only likely to be underpaid relative to men when they are working, but as the sole support if a family, both they and the children suffer from any redundancy. There simply isn’t the same number of single parent families headed by males, so when a male loses a job there is likely to be another potential income earning adult in the household.

    BTW I know that redundancy is dreadful for anybody, but it seems Chris limits his sympathy to only one group. His workers seem to consist of only adult males, nobody young, nobody female. Perhaps he’d like to reflect on the groups that returned Obama to power.

    • kiwicommie 19.1

      The problem about New Zealand RB is NZ’ers are cowards when it comes to protesting and standing up against the elites and the government, as a result our occupy movement only contained a few determined students and lecturers. Remember it was the left that opposed the Springbok tour, while the right such as John Key stood silent and only saw rugby balls in their eyes. Why is society so scared to come out on the streets, like in Spain, Greece or even the US?

      My guess is because New Zealand is conditioned to shut up and do what it is told, blindly follow and ignore social injustice. Most New Zealanders ignore politics and party away, ignoring the beggar on the street. But when they fall on hard times only then do they realize the truth, that most of the country have forgotten what compassion, empathy or community really is. National’s religion is selfishness, as is the religion of their supporters.

      • muzza 19.1.1

        KC – You are spot on…

        You can see the mentality here by those who think that blogging means anything, or makes a genuine differnce..

        What the internet does, is allows people into a false sense of contribution and involvement, when in fact the “elite” will be more than happy with people sitting on their arses typing shit which is not making a difference!

        Hell, just take a look at what the Greeks et al are getting from their real life protests, SFA other than another good hiding and some tear gas, rubber bullets and riot police!

        Yeah, typing words is really making the world of difference here!

    • Jim Nald 19.2

      Maybe Chris might like to consider writing from the perspective of Christine Trotter.

    • Colonial Viper 19.3

      FOR FRAKS SAKE

      Shall I attempt a rewrite to satisfy the Labour Party/Liberal Left’s minimum PC quotient requirement for fully inclusive language?

      “To appreciate fully the inhumanity of [unemployment] you have to see the hurt and despair in the eyes of a man, woman, or transgendered individual, whether single or attached, and if they have children, in the eyes of their children too, suddenly told he (or their partner, or parent, as is applicable) is redundant without provision made for suitable alternative employment . . . Someone, somewhere has decided he (she, they) is (are) unwanted, unneeded, to be thrown on the industrial scrap heap. ”

      Now that we’ve hit the minimum PC quotient for fully inclusive language, can we get on with the FRAKING POINT that Trotter was trying to make – that being made redundant with no alternatives hurts and causes despair to the person it happens to.

      No wonder Labour/the Left is nowhere and going fast.

      By the way. In his Sickness Bene Bashing speech did Shearer specify that the bene in question was male, female, transgendered? Because it’s very important that you don’t bash people in an inequitable way.

      • McFlock 19.3.1

        Thanks for that public broadcast from “Waitakere Man”. 

        • Colonial Viper 19.3.1.1

          And thanks for confirming my point.

          • McFlock 19.3.1.1.1

            Meh.
                     
            I just don’t see why you’d be outraged that people are pointing out the hypocrisy of complaining about social maltreatment in our society while reinforcing other forms of social maltreatment. 

            • Colonial Viper 19.3.1.1.1.1

              I think I made it pretty damn clear why I was “outraged” McFlock: but feel free to continue supporting the languaging police against social maltreatment .

              I suppose Labour doesn’t want the Waitakere Man vote anyways.

              Or the Waikato Man vote or the Taranaki Man vote or the Wairarapa Man vote or the Marlborough Man vote or the McKenzie Man vote or the Taupo Man vote, or the Otago Man Vote or the Southland Man vote or the Hawkes Bay Man vote or the King Country Man vote.

              Oh look! Labour hardly holds any seats in each of those areas, what a co-incidence!

              • McFlock

                Oh, well then. Shearer should probably amend the RMA so putting cowshit in our rivers isn’t a problem.

                Or are you suggesting that the only way to get any vote is to pretend other portions of the country don’t exist? I see Robert Moulden is of voting age. Maybe you want Shearer to buy some spray paint?

              • Uturn

                I agree with your anger at the counterproductive nature of mindless stereotypes. I’ve squealed about them before myself. The point is that a politically constructed derogatory term that simply uses a place name and a gender is the highest level of stupid. It will capture individuals who might ally themselves with a supportive point of view and instead isolates them. Doesn’t matter if the term is Urban Gays, Northland Maori, Taranaki Man, The Disabled or Housewives. It’s lazy and stupid. It could be argued that those isolated types should then just magically find the bridge to freedom themselves, detaching their identity from their past, but it takes time – longer than a three year term. It could be argued that no one can be allied with an ideology that can only end in the death or oppression of the ally. If that person defers to good faith, they can then see that a person can support the good in another’s ideas, without disabling their own self-preservation. This is the trouble created by politicians simulating enemies to push against, just so there is a point to illuminate or something to say. There is a faster, more direct, plain english way. For example:

                “To appreciate fully the inhumanity of [unemployment] you have to see the hurt and despair in the eyes of a person suddenly told they’re redundant without provision made for suitable alternative employment . . . Someone, somewhere has decided they’re unwanted, unneeded, and is to be thrown on the industrial scrap heap. ”

                The scope for understanding within the article is then widened considerably – especially for the author. It brings all people together for a shared the message, also tending to details of difference. In our current time of crisis, sharing the known effects of defunct beliefs is important. Yes, sections of society have it tougher than others. The article could deal with each in turn, or defer those who have a direct understanding; once again showing how not having a livelihood can effect anyone and illustrating beliefs that contribute to covert hurdles.

                The recent marriage amendmnet bill was an excellent example of this approach. It was about equality under law for all people to marry. It did not force those who did not want to marry some people to go against their wishes. By not forcing other people to do anything differently than they already did, it did not further divide an already divided people into smaller groups. By not forcing other people, did it suppress the voice of a minority? Not at all.

                Talking about things, at a higher political level, that collectively effect all people does not actively silence minority voices or make social prejudice go away. If a party or political faction wavering at 30% in the polls thinks dividing 30% by anything is going to help them win, they better think again.

      • Vicky32 19.3.2

        Now that we’ve hit the minimum PC quotient for fully inclusive language, can we get on with the FRAKING POINT that Trotter was trying to make – that being made redundant with no alternatives hurts and causes despair to the person it happens to.

        Well said, CV!

      • QoT 19.3.3

        Because of course it’s simply impossible to construct that paragraph using the all-inclusive word person. :roll:

  19. Jenny 20

    For the fourth straight day, Israeli airstrikes are pounding Gaza.

    Yesterday, Gaza’s main resistance factions, including the Big Two of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, offered a truce if Israel “stops its aggression”.

    The Israeli answer has been – more airstrikes.

    And there are indications that Tel Aviv is seriously calculating a major military offensive against the Palestinian enclave.

    Yesterday, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a meeting of Israel’s foreign ambassadors in what was widely seen as a mission to claim international sympathy for an onslaught against Gaza.

    Israel’s leading daily newspaper said Washington had already green-lighted such an Israeli operation.

    It remains to be seen how much is politicking and bluff by Netanyahu and his inner cabinet, and how much is a real escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv.

    Kia Ora Gaza’s website, kiaoragaza.net, has been carrying multiple daily reports on these potentially serious developments. Here’s a link to their latest story, courtesy of the Palestinian news agency Ma’an:

    http://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/israel-airstrikes-pound-gaza/

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      Don’t complain about Israel, they’ve now initiated artillery direct attacks on Assad positions in Syria, so they’re the good guys, right?

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