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Open mike 14/11/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 14th, 2012 - 139 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…

139 comments on “Open mike 14/11/2012”

  1. Bomber Bradbury has posted on the stupidity of certain Labour MPs’ attack on the Standard and I must admit I side with Bomber.  The MPs, including Shearer, would be better off seeking a guest post and hanging around to answer questions and join in the debate rather than slag off their critics.  After all many of us are the pamphlet deliverers, billboard erectors and activists whose effect you just can’t buy unless you have very deep pockets. 

    • Uturn 1.1

      They already know. Add it up.

      When the collective voices who use The Standard (that I’m told is full of “meaningless opinion”), entered a high stakes game where it was known that the tendency of one of the participants – the MSM – was to pick up and control group identities for their own ends, they crossed a line that can’t be re-crossed just because the heat is on and it’s bit uncomfortable. The targets chosen, formally allies, aren’t going to pat you on the head and forget. The reality is that in the real world, when you challenge the hierarchy, you carry through or you get squashed beyond all recognition.

      Whichever side of the line you sit, you are now identified as from “The Standard”. No amount of rationalisation or links to the “About” section from lprent will convince the MSM of anything that they’d rather make up to help their stories. We don’t control the MSM.

      Fight for whatever constructive ends within the broader labour movement you represent.

      Meaningless opinion, from a “rag-tag bunch of intellectual lightwieghts” has some pretty powerful meaning now, doesn’t it? Owning our words, in the spirit of responsible free speech, isn’t just an abstract context. Was the “revolution” really as far away as believed?

      • prism 1.1.1

        Uturn
        Do you mean that we shouldn’t put forward our concerns and ideas freely because the MSM picks them up and screws them round before publishing something that is written to provide a good story rather than the truth? This would be require us to bow to self-censorship and truly result in a whispering campaign. And I don’t know how Labour Party matters can be discussed widely as well as they are in this blog as it is run at present.

        If dissatisfaction and wish for change for better outcomes must be kept quiet because the lurkers from the sometimes mendacious media are listening then our present political system will continue towards theatre of no substantive value to we citizens, and probably develop into a true circus such as we see in the USA.

        • Uturn 1.1.1.1

          Prism, a person should say what they need to say, what needs to said, to suit the occasion. Question everything, even your own ideas. Doing so will attract consequences.

          • prism 1.1.1.1.1

            Uturn
            I find your meaning obscure. Are you saying that we have meaningless opinion and just throw them like custard pies, into pollies faces? And where was a “rag-tag bunch of intellectual lightwieghts” referred to?

            Meaningless opinion, from a “rag-tag bunch of intellectual lightwieghts” has some pretty powerful meaning now, doesn’t it? Owning our words, in the spirit of responsible free speech, isn’t just an abstract context. Was the “revolution” really as far away as believed?

            • Uturn 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Ragtag bunch etc was a quote from a popular unsympathetic visitor to The Standard a few days ago.

              Meaningless opinion etc was paraphrased from a comment from a regular sympathetic visitor to The Standard, last week, regarding an earlier consensus of value on this site.

      • lprent 1.1.2

        One thing I have always noted with individuals from the MSM is that most are susceptible to reasoned directed criticism of whatever they wrote – even if it is written with passion. They tend not to be particularly stupid.

        We have drawn some blood over the years from some of them when they have in the view of one or more of our authors walked over the line. Most of the time it is stated as being rejected or ignored. But if there is an argument in there that is valid (and with our authors there usually is), then you frequently see shifts in their writing to deal with it over time. Why? Because if someone thinks it and there are other opinions that bolster it with their observations, then many amongst their audience will as well.

        In other words we are outside observers and critics of media, a role that is largely filled in NZ with just MediaWatch, throng, the BSA and the like and a few awards ceremonies.

        For all of their irritation and moaning about the upstarts on the blogs, I get the feeling that they rather welcome blogs. We can and do say things that stir up the environment. They sure as hell read us. The IP’s show that quite clearly.

    • Blue 1.2

      Those attacks show a Labour caucus that is so out of touch it shouldn’t even exist in the modern world.

      It really didn’t help my growing conviction that the majority of the Labour caucus are absolute wankers and I’m getting heartily sick of all of them.

      • Jackal 1.2.1

        Sheesh! The Labour caucus can include it’s membership, so you’re insulting a large group of people there Blue. Perhaps the Labour bashing hord might like to take a deep breath and come back down to earth with some reasoned debate. Because with comments like that, it’s no wonder you’re being ignored.

        Bloggers are voters too

        In my opinion, the Labour party needs to embrace social media en masse. Look at the respect gained for Labour politicians who have actually made the effort to engage with the public on forums such as The Standard. Look at how effective the Obama campaign was through its use of social media. Look at how well the Greens utilize social media to reach people with similar beliefs. They clearly work with their activists, not against them, and that’s political strength money usually can’t buy…

      • mickysavage 1.2.2

        Shearer’s office ought to have someone in charge of Social Media.  This would not only involve monitoring of blogs or posting in twitter or facebook but actually maintaining contact with the blogs and doing such things as offering guest posts and responding to criticism.  If it is good enough for Shearer, for instance, to appear in the Women’s Weekly why shouldn’t he appear occasionally in the Standard.  I am certain that Cunliffe would do it better.

        From the various MPs comments they do not seem to realise how the left wing works.  It prefers robust debate and people being brave and fronting up and saying what they think.  A clash of ideas is a good thing.

        Two years ago at Congress the party had a session on social media in particular Red Alert led by Mallard which was actually quite good.  The Parliamentary Party seems to have forgotten what it knew then even though blogs are far more important now than then.

        And I agree with other comments made that Labour ought to be bringing the Standard into the loop quick fast.  This us and them mentality is weird.

        • King Kong 1.2.2.1

          Quite right. As a regular commenter on the Standard I demand that the Labour caucus consults with me on a regular basis. As well as always being correct, my opinions matter, God damn it!

          The only issue will be finding time for this meeting between Dungeons and Dragons club and masturbating furiously to specialist online porn.

          [lprent: Sorry. That gave me an image of a big black haired monkey wanking at the sight of a orc and elf orgy. Is that you had in mind? What are you trying to say? puzzled ]

          • King Kong 1.2.2.1.1

            My point, lprent, is that who is “the Standard” when calls are made for Labour to consult with it.

            Are we talking about the authors? are we tallking about you? or are we talking about the commenters, alot of whom are retarded onanists (I was using myself as an example). What the hell good does this do Labour, Surely if you want to “consult” you do it with your own members through traditional avenues rather than engage some stinky hippy who has a passing interest because they are “of the left”.

            • lprent 1.2.2.1.1.1

              Actually I’d agree. I really don’t want to “be consulted”. I don’t have the time or really the interest in doing a politicians job. After all knowing the constituency and party is one of their basic duties.

              Like you, I suspect that the simplest solution would be to open up clogged arteries of debate inside the NZLP and get it so that the likes of myself and Bill (at very different ends of the political spectrum) could do something constructive there.

              But both of us in our varied ways have given up on that. Bill long ago because of the clamping down on ideological debate and me more recently because the caucus have about as much hope of organising an winning election campaign as any other flock of chickens. One of them will always try self-immolation by guillotine in an attempt to encourage a short-cut.

              BTW: that last sentence was put in exclusively for your amusement.

            • Rogue Trooper 1.2.2.1.1.2

              well, I still chuckle at the employment of “Shoplifters of The World Unite”
              i think that The Standard is bloody good humour and satire amidst some serious issues

            • weka 1.2.2.1.1.3

              My point, lprent, is that who is “the Standard” when calls are made for Labour to consult with it.
               

              Let the MPs guest post here and then engage with the punters. Authors can then write their own posts in response (kind of like what has happened this week). TS mods might be kind enough to mod a bit harder, and Labour (or the Greens or whoever) would need to skill themselves in internet debate and familiarise themselves with the culture of TS (and select which MPs posted here very carefully).
               
               

              • lprent

                That could happen but we’d have to be careful about the timings. Such posts would obviously be a pretty high target for trolls and they do require higher moderation levels to act as troll intimidation.

                We did that for the leadership posts and it was a considerable strain on my time and probably the other moderators. The posts would turn up whenever. Posting them as soon as possible and in a timely fashion meant that it cut significantly into our time.

                I’d go for weekends when it is easier for at least me to allocate time to moderate.

                The other problem with MP’s posting is that almost without exception, they write pretty boring posts.

                • weka

                  Fair enough. Labour would need to be pretty committed to doing it well from their end too, and to be honest I can’t imagine that at the moment.
                   
                  Maybe you could trial it with with the Greens 😛

                  • lprent

                    Have you read the posts at frogblog recently? Try the feed. Interesting material done dully.

                    • weka

                      Yeah, have to admit I don’t read over there anymore since they changed the format. I guess that is the problem with using a blog to promote policy. It’s not the kind of blogging I was thinking of.
                       

        • Vicky32 1.2.2.2

           It prefers robust debate and people being brave and fronting up and saying what they think.

          Well, not really! Some things are considered unsayable, and that must be admitted. 
          There are little boxes, and ‘The Left’ is defined by the loudest, and may I say (QoT) the most aggressive people.. and those of us who disagree on some points, are ceremonially expelled from the ‘Left Box’, when those others don’t really have the right.

          • fatty 1.2.2.2.1

            There’s plenty of scope here for argument and the ‘left box’ is very big. However, some statements get shot down by almost everyone

          • PlanetOrphan 1.2.2.2.2

            Which is why I dislike the whole “Left” / “Right” paradigm Vicky.

            All it ever does is stump conversation.

            “Good Civilised” , “Evil Civilised” and “Not Civilised” says it all much better.
            There is science behind the word Civilised whereas there is only heartfelt ideology in the political alignments of “Left” and “Right”.

    • Herodotus 1.3

      Labour could better utilise their blog site, pity that those causing all the self inflicted injuries are also the same that administer the site !!
      It is extremely sad that the same comments being made in 07/08 regarding the lack of connectivity with the electorate is still evident. Given the need for a political party to be seen as being connected and have policies that benefit day to day living. especially as many of today’s pressing issues have been around for quite some time. House affordability, current account, NZ indebtness etc
      http://www.interest.co.nz/property/home-loan-affordability
      At least someone in officialdom within Labour is reading posts on this site- perhaps they have been for quite some time.

    • prism 2.2

      I thought that these Tumeke quotes were interesting and especially that of Little, the union bloke. I would have thought with his background he might be interested in hearing and thinking what ‘the people’ have to say.

      Little’s reply to a journalist about the blogs, “The blogs dont get to vote in the labour party, so we dont pay much consideration to it”. Clayton Cosgrove’s, “Blogs,who cares about blogs” and Shearer’s “I don’t read blogs” and that they are “nonsense” are about as close to a modern day political suicide note as one can get.

      But the idea expressed in Tumeke that The Standard commenters would be happy if there was an effort ‘to bring them into the loop’ by Labour is strange when the main tenor of the discourse is that Labour’s loop is too exclusive and is strangling the healthy progression of the Party.

      Criticisms are not brainless bloggers random farts but come from those with deep dissatisfaction about the Labour Party leaders’ lack of vitality and lack of desire to return to Labour values and concerns of the past. These need to be relevant to the present and future, which requires thought research and discussion, then action, not just flaccid promises about looking after the popularly vulnerable, like old people and children.

      The unpopularly vulnerable need help and real opportunities too, and the country itself is on this side. NZ itself is vulnerable and being made more so. Plugging the gaps then building a robust country with human values is a bigger job than the present Labour bunch will be able to make an impression on. The damn Party has been hijacked by the comfortably off. If they won’t kick themselves into awareness then action to produce good policies to govern the country intelligently and ably, someone will keep putting drawing pins on their padded armchairs.

      • muzza 2.2.1

        Hi Prism,

        Having met and spoken with Andrew Little more than once around the topic of NZ’s monetary supply, and so forth, he struck me as somewhat “flakey” , in that while he was knowledgeable on the topic, and indicated keeness to speak out against about it, and bring it into the “mainstream” consciousness, he was not being honest when he said it.

        Appreciate that Little is not a finance spoksman, but his comments of which have been mentioned on the blog, and by yourself above, indicate there is hypocracy there, and to expect much more from Little (in any sense), would be to expect David Parker to speak against the neo-liberal capitalist scam!

        No no, these people are as “arm up back” as anyone who has come before them!

      • lprent 2.2.2

        But the idea expressed in Tumeke that The Standard commenters would be happy if there was an effort ‘to bring them into the loop’ by Labour is strange when the main tenor of the discourse is that Labour’s loop is too exclusive and is strangling the healthy progression of the Party.

        I can’t recall anyone really arguing for that. Maybe CV when he has floated an idea that we should start a party (urrgh – I got interested in politics to ensure that I didn’t have to enter politics) which sank rapidly.

        Many of the people who author and comment here are actively involved in either Labour of the Greens or elsewhere or have actively decided to not be active in those or other organisations at some stage.

        What you hear with the people actively involved in Labour are screams of frustration about how damn hard it is to get anything changed, or an almost complete (and rather telling) silence, or what amount to demands for unthinking loyalty. For the ones who stopped being members or activists for Labour you mostly hear that they consider that the party left them.

        If I get time today, I’ll finish off the 3 posts I currently have part written on this. But in the meantime try this from Jordan Carter..

        http://jtc.blogs.com/just_left/2012/11/changing-labour-this-weekend.html

        Labour’s annual conference meets in Auckland this weekend. It’s the most important conference in a generation. Changes are on the table that will fundamentally change Labour, bringing it closer to the public and making it fit to lead New Zealand again.

        Stepping back from the day to day rush (and the chitter chatter about leadership issues, which is wildly overblown), Labour has taken the past few months to consider its structure and the way it organises. It hasn’t been an internally focused review, though the outcomes being debated this weekend are focused on what Labour does.

        New Zealanders have no patience these days for political parties or governments that claim to know it all. People no longer accept that Wellington Knows Best (if ever they did). Pushing decisions downwards and outwards to communities and to local democracy has been an important part of politics now for years.

        That’s why we brought in elected DHBs. That’s why we extended the remit of local government. That’s why an earlier Labour government brought in Tomorrow’s Schools. People know what they need and what they want, and the central State doesn’t always have to make those calls for them.

        Labour’s internal structures have not kept up, and nor has its culture. We can all cite examples in the 2000s and before when Labour left an impression of knowing best. The whole “Nanny State” thing could never have emerged without some substance behind it, after all.

        What you are seeing on the blogs is a direct reflection of that impatience with dadda knows best inside the party. Activists elect MP’s and then they damn well expect the MP’s to perform. It may not be what individual activists want, but it should be in the line laid out by the party as a whole. Currently caucus essentially can and largely does ignore anything outside of their internal incestuous wellington fuckfest (I’m nowhere near as nice as Jordan) and actively avoids being responsible to anyone. That has to change.

        • prism 2.2.2.1

          Ok lprent. It seems to me that if Labour elite does not loosen up and ensures it includes its own people in the loop eg decision making, say for leader and electorate MP candidates, then there is going to be a lesser Labour Party around the next election which will make it harder to get the home run they ought to enoy.

          • lprent 2.2.2.1.1

            Hell – I’d settle for almost any kind of change inside the party and the relationship between the parliamentary team and the party good or bad. It at least means that the system can change

            The current systems for almost anything you want to look at inside Labour are fossilized in mid-70’s rust. It has been held together and given a appearance of life by a few gifted politicians from the 70’s (Clark, Cullen, and a few others) for decades as a result of the ruptures in the party from the 80’s. They knew how a political party should operate and acted accordingly on an individual basis.

            Problem is that the current group don’t understand the difference between a live party and a zombie one. Which is pretty clear when you see their comments related to any criticism.

            Strategically getting the process of change working again is the most important thing that can happen right now. The second most important is to make sure it doesn’t stall in a feel-good and meaningless fuzziness sense of achievement.Which is what I expect that many in the ‘elite’ would like

            • Colonial Viper 2.2.2.1.1.1

              Nice comments by Jordan, but Jordan likes the status quo a bit too much and hence will not back anything more than mild incremental change. Certainly much less than today’s dire circumstances require.

              I can’t recall anyone really arguing for that. Maybe CV when he has floated an idea that we should start a party (urrgh – I got interested in politics to ensure that I didn’t have to enter politics) which sank rapidly.

              I’ve been convinced over time that cleaning up, clearing out and and rebuilding an existing one is a much better idea.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I’ve been convinced over time that cleaning up, clearing out and and rebuilding an existing one is a much better idea.

                I did consider a new party but, yeah, modernising an existing party with an existing network would be much easier.

  2. prism 3

    Another example of deep misanthropy from Anne Tolley. Speaking in a clipped tone ‘We are not in the business of (prisoner’s) storage’. WTF the prisoners themselves are actually in storage. And they are people taken temporarily out of society as the main means of dealing with antisocial and criminal behaviour, which does not put rehabilitation and some restitution and atonement first. But they are people and we hope for them to be rehabilitated somewhat after the prison experience so how can they be helped by refusing to hold their reasonable possessions which should include their physical items of work while in prison, like carvings and paintings. Also their clothes and family items. Some of these people will not have any other reliable and safe place where they can be stored. Losing their memorials of their own history and past is bad for them.

    • felix 3.1

      Typical fucking tory. You’re not supposed to be in the business of anything Tolley you fool, you’re in government.

      Getting a bit sick of hearing these right wing dicks referring to countries as companies.

      • muzza 3.1.1

        Getting a bit sick of hearing these right wing dicks referring to countries as companies.

        Agreed, but they’re being honest Felix, why do people still not get that!

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1

          +1

          Everything the Tories do is business and as a business it’s all about cutting costs and boosting profit. It’s not about the people or doing things in such a way so that those people actually have a good living standard.

    • Vicky32 3.2

      Another example of deep misanthropy from Anne Tolley.

      How refreshing to see some criticism of someone/something other than Labour! I was beginning to think I’d stumbled on to a Right wing/libertarian site (as they’re the ones who promote cannabis/abortion/LGBLT lifestyles and yet hate Labour)…

  3. prism 4

    felix
    Yes. I think that their responses are mined from a not-overlarge book of politically suitable cliches.

  4. Rogue Trooper 5

    Elitism
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elitism

    error rests ultimately on ignorance, not on the willful rejection of manifest truth;
    see Plato, Gorgias, and, Protagoras

    Propaganda
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda:_The_Formation_of_Men%27s_Attitudes

    Determined? or not?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_determinism

    or maybe, sleepwalking?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_somnambulism

    or just a member of the mob!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_determinism

    • prism 6.1

      I pit my nanny state against your Granny. So there.

    • Anne 6.2

      He appears to be a moderate, responsible decision-maker and a personality the country would like when Labour’s time comes. That cannot be said for some of his possible replacements. All he may need is time.

      Final quote from Herald editorial.

      Suffice to say, what arrogance, ignorance and slanderous clap-trap coming from supposedly educated and informed individuals. In a bygone era they could be shot at dawn.

      There are only three people who are currently qualified (to one degree or another) for the position of Labour Party leader – David Cunliffe, David Parker and Grant Robertson.

      So the Herald believes all three are extreme, irresponsible individuals with serious personality defects?

      What a bunch of silly wankers!!!

      Don’t read Fran O’S any more and can’t be bothered with the Pagani eulogy, but:

      surprise, surprise! They all appear on the same day. Now wouldn’t it be interesting to know who organised it!

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        Now wouldn’t it be interesting to know who organised it!

        That’s what I was thinking especially after Key brought up Fran O’S column in parliament at QT.

  5. bomber 7

    But the idea expressed in Tumeke that The Standard commenters would be happy if there was an effort ‘to bring them into the loop’ by Labour is strange when the main tenor of the discourse is that Labour’s loop is too exclusive and is strangling the healthy progression of the Party.

    Let me clear up my comments here. If Shearer is still leader after February – for better or for worse, (and I’m sure you all know my opinion on that issue), then the first thing Shearer’s office needs to do is reach out to the left wing blogs and start bringing them into the loop starting with The Standard.

    The Standard is the largest left wing blog in the NZ Blogosphere, it is bordering on outright insanity if the Labour Party leadership want to start a civil war with their own bloggers. In America, twitter has overtaken bloggers as the opinion shaping social media, but in NZ, because of our lack of ideological diversity amongst our newspapers, blogging will still be the main influencer…

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/7750693/Politicians-bow-to-the-power-of-140-characters

    …Labour need to play smart and work with the left wing blogs, not attack them and part of that must be an opening up and communicating with the left blogs.

    You would never see the National Party attack farrar or slater like this and it would be unthinkable for anyone in the Obama camp to attack huffington post – Labour Party strategists don’t seem to understand how important the blogs will be this election.

    My comments in the post referred to was a peace offering to the leadership about finding a way out of this current stand off because if Shearer remains as leader and continues to stab at the blogs, it’s a war he’ll lose.

    What we all have in common is a deep desire to see the end of this hateful National Government and the criticism that has been thrown Labour’s way is driven by that desire to see a leader who can beat Key.

    • Bill 7.1

      A little bit of engagement would do them good. Let’s face it, they do read ts…or their advisors or whoever do. And it does seem a bit fcked up to me that on the one hand DS keeps banging on about he is ‘listening to people’ in the provinces and so on, on the one hand, and then being utterly dismissive of those able and willing to speak on the other.

      As for ‘in the loop’…if I’m understanding you correctly. Nah. Neither the Labour Party nor any of the other parties that claim to represent the left in parliament define the left. And that’s as it should be.

      • felix 7.1.1

        Yep, when a politician says they’re “listening to the people” it means they’re “talking at the people”.

        Especially worrying if they refer to “the people OUT THERE”. Any public figure who uses that phrase is not to be trusted. They’re not part of the people, they’re something else.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1

          Yep, when a politician says they’re “listening to the people” it means they’re “talking at the people”.

          QFT

          Couldn’t have said it better myself. It seems that such is endemic to hierarchical governance systems and the longer the hierarchical system is around the more the hierarchy is disconnected from the people/society that they’re governing. At one point, Labour was a party of the people but they haven’t been since the 1980s at the least.

    • prism 7.2

      What many feel is a deep desire to be sure that if we overturn the NACTs, that the leftie side then is seen majorly in Labour, plus the Greens, reflecting each Party’s electoral grunt, and not a Labour with a rhetoric of restraint doing the minimum for the people and country, and leaving the Greens to present the needed forward-looking policy and legislation.

    • weka 7.3

      What they also don’t seem to grasp is that for every author writing about Labour, there many more commenters. And for every commenter there are many more readers. And for every author, commenter, reader, there are many more people in the real world, and elsewhere online, who they engage in political discussions. Networking is not new concept, so I’m beginning to suspect this has nothing to do with ignorance of social media, and everything to do with bloody mindedness at having their authority challenged. Stupid either way.

      • gobsmacked 7.3.1

        What do Labour MPs think of blogs? Let’s ask Clare Curran …

        “We are a credible and established force in the New Zealand political blogosphere.

        Most Labour MPs blog . Most of us are active on facebook. Many of us are on Twitter. These are our real voices. We don’t always agree with each other, but we do share common values.

        We’re focussed, we’re pretty tough and we have hearts. We also have ideas.

        Most importantly we say what we think so we can talk to you; our readers, commenters, critics and supporters. Tell us what you’re thinking about us and don’t hold back (within reason).”

        http://blog.labour.org.nz/2011/05/05/the-terrible-twos/

        Most Labour MPs blog – but nobody reads them, and they don’t have a vote?

        Caucus confusion delivers Labour’s mixed message number 473, and counting …

        • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1.1

          Most Labour MPs blog – but nobody reads them, and they don’t have a vote?

          Perhaps the problem is that no one reads Labours’ blog and when they do they tell Labour that they’re wrong.

          Quoting ‏@clarecurranmp

          It’s time I admitted that I’ve stopped blogging. Not sure if forever. Would blog about why, but it seems disingenous #notkidding

          #Courtesy A reason I no longer blog. Which is one of those old fashioned values, and something I worry I may have been lacking at times

          • Jackal 7.3.1.1.1

            You guys are generalising again… Nobody reads Red Alert but all the comments are negative is a contradiction in terms. Please try not to do this. We don’t know how many people read Red Alert do we? It’s likely to be more than Nationals website.

            Not all the comments on Red Alert are critical of Labour, in fact I would say they’re generally more critical of National. In my opinion, speaking in gross generalisations just weakens your arguments and makes you look foolish! It’s for your own benefit that I’m telling you this of course.

    • The problem as I see it is that will MP’s want to be actively involved with a group of commentators that actively use insults, accusations about other people intelligence etc etc.
      Politically that can be problematic.

      You need to clear up your own house before expecting others to clear theirs.

      • One Tāne Huna 7.4.1

        Politics without heightened emotions from time to time? Is that what you have on Planet Contrarian?

        Pollyanna wanna cracker?

        • TheContrarian 7.4.1.1

          “Politics without heightened emotions from time to time? ”

          No, not at all. But there is heightened debate and baseless invective wrought on one commentator by another because they didn’t like what they said.

          • One Tāne Huna 7.4.1.1.1

            Symptomatic of heightened emotions. Baby steps…

            • TheContrarian 7.4.1.1.1.1

              Indeed, but adults can usually control themselves.

              As stated, if you think you can attract politicians to take The Standard seriously while you have moderators running around calling people names in the first instance – not as a result of ‘heightened emotion’ then by all means keep going.

              • One Tāne Huna

                Yes, you’re right, because politicians are paragons of all that is measured and under control when they debate things. On Planet Contrarian.

                  • Enough is Enough

                    I love this blog for the way it crushes the lies and daily coruption of the government.

                    What side does Labour want to go with. The people and workers that express their views here, or th Establishment (which just happens to be the most corrupt and morally bankrupt government in New Zealand’s, and arguably the western world’s history)

              • Jackal

                I hate to agree with you TC (don’t do that too often eh!), but you have a point. If commentary is generally negative it will not be listened to, especially by those who it’s directed at. That’s why there’s a big difference between constructive and negative criticism.

                However I don’t think Labours response towards The Standard was justified because of this dynamic, simply because politicians should know better. The onus is on politicians to change their ways in order to reduce negative criticism that is valid. Unless properly undertaken, the only response should be to change the system or themselves to fix the problems people highlight.

                There’s currently lots of problems out there, and good commentary is about identifying them. In this way the blogosphere can be highly beneficial to a government, if only they bothered to listen.

      • Descendant Of Smith 7.4.2

        The only abuse I’ve got on this site is from righties not lefties e.g.

        http://thestandard.org.nz/the-many-bail-out-the-few/comment-page-1/#comment-244952

        • Vicky32 7.4.2.1

          The only abuse I’ve got on this site is from righties not lefties

          Hilarious! The only abuse I have got is from those who call themselves Lefties (you prominent among them!) 😀
          I have been told I am a rightist, which is simply absurd. Oh I am also a Creationist (wrong!), a climate change denier (wrong), and a hater of women (bizarrely wrong) oh, and I almost forgot, a racist. (Deeply, evilly offensive, but then attacking the Asians I have defended, is okay with the left.)

          • Descendant Of Smith 7.4.2.1.1

            I’ve never abused you.

            I’ve only disagreed with religious beliefs and responded to your defence of them at times.

            That disagreement is not even particular to you.

            • Vicky32 7.4.2.1.1.1

              I’ve only disagreed with religious beliefs

              That’s not entirely true, though, is it? Be honest…
              I would not have thought that the Standard was the appropriate place to express your foibles! 😀
              (I recommend Dawkins.net, or similar, or for New Zealanders, as they’re more at home in the USA, American Atheists… ).

    • Uturn 8.1

      I’ve been there. The depressive content was immediately fixed by inadvertently (or was it subconscious rebalancing?) getting myself into what my brain percieved as a live or die situation, accepting the hopelessness but going through the motions anyway, then something else emerged, shorting out whatever circuits were stuck in the loop.

      Clearly this event was consciously unintentional and drastic therapy that I cannot recommend to others to simulate. It’s just interesting how the brain works and that the article says the dog trials don’t or can’t account for human variation.

      The “therapy” also began a wider and more extensive series of psychological domino effects that had to be dealt with inside the same kind of environment that the intial problem began under, so yes, no easy answers/silver bullet. Initial review of what made it work was being in an environment that could not be controlled, but was not inherently hostile, in which the participant was competently familiar with certain laws of likelihood, cause and effect, making the brain as comfortable as possible – doing, reacting, planning, without conscious thinking to (perhaps) maximise the potential for subconscious rebalance to begin. However, we don’t know how long “it” had been planning this strategic intervention.

      • Rogue Trooper 8.1.1

        -Rouge Reynard the Hedgehog 🙂

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2

        Yep, been there, done that. Still get it sometimes and a lot of it I can put down to growing up in a dysfunctional family with an abusive father.

  6. Pete 9

    Fran O’Sullivan gives David Shearer the kiss of death.

  7. redfred 10

    More bad economic news retail down 0.8 per cent….wonder what that means in lost jobs?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10847318

  8. prism 11

    redfed
    No worries mate. There are some jobs going in a hardware store in some NZ town and they want meat workers somewhere down the country. Poorer Benefit says so.

    • redfred 11.1

      You’ve struck gold…. Social Development Minister announces “free cattle car transport” to any beneficiary willing to relocate their family to some NZ town where a job might be going.

      Own packed lunch and seating required, one way only.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        Own packed lunch and seating required, one way only.

        No doubt you also get herded into and locked in the container car.

  9. prism 12

    There is always something interesting happening in the world. As commenters were talking about the naughty generals I heard that adultery is a misdemeanour under USA military law. I find it hard to understand the precious idea that the USA holds about what should be a private matter. It is a pity that states transfer their attention to controlling the personal, rather than the use of power and money dealings.

    There is an interesting thing happening in the UK with Starbucks. They appear to be doing something that is common with international franchises, extracting inflated royalties to maximise what they can withdraw from the country. Returns go into a trust or something happens,. then to somewhere in the Netherlands, then to the Bahamas or one of those tax havens, and it can’t be brought into the USA because they would at last have to pay tax on it – I think 30%. If you want more than this garbled info it was on radionz this morning sometime. The amount being looked at is in the billions of tax otherwise due.

  10. FYI

    Anyone available to come to this protest for judicial accountability outside the Supreme Court in Wellington tomorrow?

    14 November 2012

    PRESS RELEASE: ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’ Penny Bright

    “It’s time for NZ Judges to be held accountable to the LAW – starting with Chief High Court Judge Winkelmann.

    Unbelievably, in New Zealand, ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt country in the world’, (according to Transparency International’s 2011 Corruption Perception Index http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2011/results/ ) our Judges are effectively ‘out of control’, and operate in ways that are neither transparent, nor accountable”, says ‘anti-corruption campaigner’ Penny Bright.

    “There is no enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for NZ Judges; no ‘Register of Pecuniary Interests’ for NZ Judges and Court proceedings are often not recorded. How can a ‘court of record’ – not keep a record? How can ‘justice be done and be seen to be done’ – when there is no record in Court of WHAT was done?”

    Tomorrow, Thursday 15 November 2012, will be a protest outside the Supreme Court in Wellington, from 9am – 10am and 1pm – 2pm.

    (85 Lambton Quay) http://www.wellingtonnz.com/school_trips/supreme_court_and_old_high_court_building#TB_window

    Here, an unprecedented and historic Court case is being held.

    For the first time in the history of the world – a ‘third party’ publisher is facing six weeks jail for ‘contempt of Court’ for publishing a suppressed judicial decision.

    This third party’ publisher, is arguably NZ’s foremost judicial ‘Public Watchdog / ‘whistle-blower’ Vince Siemer, who exposes the lack of judicial transparency and accountability through his website – http://www.kiwisfirst.co.nz

    Vince Siemer is facing six weeks jail for ‘contempt of court’ for publishing Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann’s decision, that the Urewera defendants were not entitled to trial by jury – a decision which she then suppressed – so that the public were not allowed to know.

    “On what lawful basis can a NZ Judge suppress a decision or the reasons for that decision?” asks Ms Bright.

    “This is the basis of the Appeal which will be heard in the NZ Supreme Court, Thursday 15 November 2012. (SC 37 – 2012). ”

    Vince Siemer is being defended by prominent human rights lawyer Tony Ellis.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    In a New Zealand Herald article by David Fisher, dated 27 October 2012 – “Judges respond to critics”

    – Chief High Court Judge, Justice Helen Winkelmann had this to say:

    “The requirements that judges work in public and that they provide reasons for their decisions provides the best means of accountability. Their decisions can be, and are, the subject of public comment and criticism. Their decisions can be reviewed or appealed. These are the primary means by which judges are held accountable for their decisions.”

    Judges, she says, “are not subject to personal direction; not from politicians, the Ministry or the public, and nor from other judges, such as the head of bench”. It leaves “judges … able to decide a case according to law, free from improper pressure or influence”.

    ……………………………

    Justice Winkelmann warns against any public impulse to make judges’ decisions more “consistent” against a set of predetermined guidelines.

    “Predictability is achieved through the application of the law. It is not possible or appropriate to measure predictability beyond that.

    “If judges do make mistakes these can be corrected on appeal. That is a safeguard against error.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10843198

    “Spot the glaring hypocrisy!” says Ms Bright.

    “Can a Judge ‘just make it up’ and make a Court Order, which is not itself based upon the ‘Rule of Law,’ for the suppression of a Judgment?

    We shall see…………….”

    Signatures will also be collected for the following petition – which :

    “Respectfully requests:

    That the House urgently legislate to adopt an enforceable Code of Conduct for the New Zealand
    Judiciary based upon the ‘Bangalore Principles for Judicial Conduct’ which are intended to establish
    standards for the ethical conduct of judges, and include the following underpinning judicial values and
    principles: independence; impartiality; integrity; propriety; equality; competency and diligence.”

    (The ‘Bangalore Principles for Judicial Conduct’, are a ‘Code of Conduct’ made by Judges – for Judges, and are effectively a ‘best practice’ model that could be used here in New Zealand. http://www.ajs.org/ethics/pdfs/Bangalore_principles.pdf )

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/PETITION-Code-of-Conduct-for-NZ-Judges-.pdf

    • muzza 13.1

      Well the head criminal defender is actually Sian Elias, so be sure aim some attention there too!

      The judiciary is a rotten entity protecting themselves from the public knowing what is actually happening, that has been proven continually, and it goes on!

  11. Rogue Trooper 14

    now it’s Key referencing The Standard in Parliament.Wow!

    • Really, in what capacity?

      • gobsmacked 14.1.1

        Shearer quoted Fran O’Sullivan at Key.

        Key quoted the Standard referencing O’Sullivan.

        (As soon as Shearer mentioned Fran in his question, I winced. It was obvious Key was going to quote today’s Herald column back at him. Shearer’s inability to “see where it’s going” is remarkable – and constant. He’s got no antennae at all).

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          It’s not just Shearer’s problem. It’s his staff and advisors who are being well PAID to cover this shit off.

          Basically the PM has better staffwork than Shearer does.

          • gobsmacked 14.1.1.1.1

            Here it is … (from http://www.parliament.nz)

            David Shearer: Is not Fran O’Sullivan right on the unemployment statistics when she says “For Key to simply shrug his shoulders on this score doesn’t cut it. … We owe it to the young people who are yet to even get on the employment ladder to be less ostrich-like as a nation.”; when will he change track to grow jobs?

            Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Three things. Firstly, when it comes to young people, the Government is engaged in a number of activities to support young people, and that includes things like the 90-day probation period and the youth minimum wage, which certainly help make them more attractive in the workforce. Secondly, making sure their educational skills are better is critically important, and we know that that was something that the Labour Government did not care about. Making sure that we have a number of programmes for them is critically important. We have been doing that, whether it is through the Youth Guarantee or whatever it might be. Thirdly, we know the Labour Party is not to be believed when it comes to youth unemployment, because in the weekend Megan Woods was out there telling people that a quarter of all young people were unemployed. That is factually incorrect. And the fourth thing I would say is that I do not know whether the member saw—because he wants to quote Fran O’Sullivan—The Standard yesterday afternoon, but on The Standard yesterday afternoon it said that if Fran O’Sullivan comes out and endorses David Shearer, it will be the kiss of death. Well, guess what was in the New Zealand Herald this morning!

    • Gawd, Bennett just called herself “bouncy” /shudder/.

      • karol 14.2.1

        Bomber: Bouncy Bennett or Cruel Paula: you choose.  Unbelievable metaphor:

        In Parliament today, Paula Bennett described unemployment numbers to be ‘Bouncy. Like me.’ 

        Bouncy is a fun word isn’t it folks? It conjures up bouncy castles, bouncy trampolines, bouncy balls. 

        I would suggest however that Bennett is as far away from the fun sense of bouncy as humanly possible. Instead of answering the hard questions about her draconian beneficiary bashing crucifixion of the poor, Paula has constantly used infantile answers to try and push aside any real scrutiny of her policies. 

        What an insult to those who are unemployed, to refer to their plight as “bouncy”!

        • David H 14.2.1.1

          Sorry Karol, but I just got this Image of a certain fat ass bouncing around parliament. Not good first thing in the Ante Meridian. My Imagination is sabotaging me.

  12. Draco T Bastard 15

    Sooner or later this must result death:

    CPAG has received figures from Work and Income NZ under the Official Information Act which give a snapshot of the situation as at the end of August 2012. The figures show at that time 377 people with dependent children had had benefits reduced by 50%. The majority of those (234) were sole-parents receiving the DPB. In 84 cases, the youngest child in the family was younger than five. In 63 cases, the reduction had lasted over four weeks.

    Will this government then be booked for manslaughter as it should be?

    • Bill 15.1

      Aw fuck. Can’t really articulate at the moment to be honest.

      • McFlock 15.1.1

        aye.
        And the fuckers knew this would happen when they brought it in. 

        • Rogue Trooper 15.1.1.1

          yes muzza and The Jackal; once “power” feels threatened, up goes the ante.
          on a sunnier note,
          many people in China still desire to become one of the more than 82M Communist Party members, through good grades, attitudes and not smoking cigarettes according to one recent successful admission, however, there are more Christians in China than there are Communist Party members; as an aside, in one “successful” town / city stood a 1 Tonne solid gold cow statue ( I will always remember the Chinese art dealer in Hong Kong saying “no limit” to how much a price a “something” might attract under mercantile / market conditions).

        • mickysavage 15.1.1.2

          Yeah but throwing out on the street or starving 84 kids under the age of 5 years is less important than retaining support amongst the belligerent stupid part of the electorate.

    • prism 15.2

      Even skilled workers are being dumped on by this government. A bright women spoke up this morning about how she has not been paid as a part-time school office worker since August I think. Also another in the office. Novopay can’t cope.

      She has had to borrow at a rate of 20% to pay the bills. She eats sometimes at friends’ houses. Family and friends give her handouts to keep her going.

      This is the clever society that a ‘wise, knowledgable, super-effective, efficient’ NACT bunch always portrayed themselves as. Hah! Bet the wealthy old b.stards and b..ches still think that NACT is the tops, if they haven’t lost their money in the various financial crashes and leaky homes savings wipeouts. And even then if they did suffer, they might never bring themselves to vote Labour, ‘that’s so lower class, we don’t feel we can support them’.

      Our country is being ruined while the professional classes, top management and well-organised tradesmen treat themselves and try to avoid tax.

      • McFlock 15.2.1

        The funny thing about Novopay is that it’s almost an exact repeat of the balls-up in the early 1990s when I believe it was the Wellington Board of Education computerised their pay system. Poor systems design resulted in a costly kerfuffle where people waited months on end to get their pay.

        It’s funny, because the WBE case is literally a case study covered in 100-level IT courses. An 18y.o. fresher knows that mashing a system onto the client (rather than designing a system around the needs of the client) is a fast track to an all-round cockup.

        The fact that there was nobody in MinEd who remembered that debacle is another reason why culling “back room boorowkrats” is a dumb idea – you lose the institutional memory of the person in the corner who quietly does their job, but more importantly has faced the same pitfalls before. “Central computerisation of pay” should have rung alarm bells as to what went wrong last time.

  13. muzza 16

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/7948159/UAE-tightens-laws-on-political-activism-on-web

    The United Arab Emirates set stricter Internet monitoring and enforcement codes on Tuesday that include giving authorities wider leeway to crack down on Web activists for offences such as mocking the country’s rulers or calling for demonstrations.

    The measures are another sign of tougher cyber-policing efforts by Western-backed leaders across the Gulf amid growing concerns over perceived political or security threats since the Arab Spring uprisings.

    Across the Gulf, other authorities have stepped up prosecutions against online activists and others. Earlier this month, a Bahraini man was sentenced to six months in prison on charges of insulting the Gulf nation’s king in Twitter posts. In September, a journalist-blogger in Oman received a one-year prison term for alleged anti-government writings.

    Oh look, this is what you get when you try to “fight for your freedoms”, and even when you don’t – Yeah lets lock it down before they get rowdy, which is great for that bastian of freedom, Bahrain! Coming to NZ sometime soon, I would expect!

    The Arab Spring – Working out great for ……the ruling classes and war mongers!

  14. Jackal 17

    David Farrar hates Home Brew

    Music has always been the voice of the people and Home Brew Crew, like many artists before them, are simply expressing what many young New Zealanders believe.

    […]

    There is no question that funding allocation should be made in an unbiased way to ensure growth in productive areas. Inhibiting potential growth just because of political opinion is quite frankly nuts!

  15. ianmac 18

    Radio National News at 4:30 says Collins V Mallard + Little problem resolved behind Court closed doors today. Wonder what???

    • Stuff is saying that Mallard and Little apologized for implying Collins leaked the information and it sounds like no money exchanged hands.  A good time was had by the lawyers!

      • gobsmacked 18.1.1

        So, what did Little and Mallard achieve?

        It sums up the incompetence and self-inflicted wounds of the Labour caucus – especially the Master Strategist that is Trevor “28%” Mallard.

        Here are three good options for politicians –

        1) Don’t stuff up.

        2) Stuff up (we all do), but immediately close it down. An apology or whatever. Problem goes away on day one. Forgotten.

        3) Fight to the bitter end. Embarrass your opponents. Win – or at least, spin it as a win, by causing enough damage to the other side.

        Here is the Mallard option –

        Stuff up, say you won’t back down, act tough for ages, talk about how you’re going to embarrass the government in court, and then … back down.

        It’s a repeated pattern of behaviour from Mallard. He lacks basic judgement, and so does anyone who takes his advice. Like the Labour leader.

      • Pascal's bookie 18.1.2

        Nah, there was no apology.

        they said they would have regret if someone inferred what they implied.

        Settlement makes no claim about whether what they said was defamatory, and there is no apology.

        Those were Collin’s stated bottom lines as of this morning.

        • gobsmacked 18.1.2.1

          Hard to explain away the word “regret”.

          More to the point, 2 senior Labour MPs were in Auckland today, in court for no good reason. It’s not the biggest story around, but it’s all part of the drip-drip opportunity cost. Wasting time and being irrelevant to the rest of us.

          If they were in court on our behalf … that would be very different. But then they’d be different people.

          • Pascal's bookie 18.1.2.1.1

            She sued them gs.

            • gobsmacked 18.1.2.1.1.1

              Yes, Collins is power-crazy and writ-happy and worse. Agreed.

              But the question is: what should the Labour MPs have done?

              Answer – get summoned to the leader’s office, and be told:

              “Is this about you, or the party?”

              If it’s for the party, and you can win, then go for it – and win.

              If it’s for you, make it go away. Because YOU – Trevor and Andrew – don’t matter. Only victory matters.”

              Focus, focus, focus. Labour haven’t got it. I’m sure no such conversation took place, and I’m equally sure it happened often under Helen and Heather.

              Individuals, not a team. So – at best a draw and a waste of time and money.

              Votes won: zero.

              • Jackal

                That’s a nice theory there gobsmacked.

                The more likely scenario is that information painting Collins in a bad light would have been divulged during legal proceedings. To determine if there was a case to answer, the judge would need to determine if what Mallard and Little said was true or false by looking into the validity of their claims. That would likely mean yet another investigation into a National MP, because without it a determination of defamation couldn’t be given.

                Under the law, any evidence unearthed would have to be shared with Mallard and Little, who would likely make it public knowledge to ensure their comments were vindicated, and Collins was publicly humiliated. She would likely need to resign, which in my opinion is the right thing to do in cases of Ministers leaking the private information of New Zealand citizens.

                If there was any truth to what they said, then clearly Collins would want it to go away. It appears to me that all her initial bluster and threats of court action was an attempt to take the focus off the fact that the leaked information could only have come from a limited number of sources, and most of the evidence pointed directly at her.

                It’s a classic political play to create a diversion and then let the initial controversy slowly fade from the publics awareness, and as usual nobody will be held to account for the initial wrongdoing. This pisses me off, because whoever actually leaked the confidential information in an attempt to discredit and defame a whistle blower, will not be held to account.

                It’s not about what the Labour MPs should have done (because they weren’t the ones bringing the court action), it’s about what they will do now to ensure justice and accountability. It was Collins who was making the legal claim, and it was her decision to not pursue that claim because of potential ramifications on the National party, and her position within it.

                • gobsmacked

                  If Collins leaked (I have no idea who did, nor do you) then it’s actually the duty of Mallard and Little to stand by their claim. They should have the courage to expose a liar. They could have repeated it at any time, under Parliamentary privilege.

                  They haven’t.

                  Nevertheless, Ministers should not be suing political opponents for defamation, and “qualified privilege” would be the likely defence. Nobody comes out of this well.

                  • Jackal

                    I have no idea who leaked the information? Don’t be an idiot gobsmacked.

                    We know that the leaked information could have only come from a limited number of people, one of these people is Judith Collins. A trial would have likely revealed exactly who had leaked the information, and only one person had control of whether it went ahead or not.

                    Claiming that Little and Mallard repeating their claims would have made them more valid or ensured the leaker was revealed is a bit silly. Of course they’re not vindicated, but this doesn’t mean their claims were incorrect.

                    Only an investigation into the matter can do that, and the decision as to whether there is one is Nationals. I’m picking they won’t bother, for reasons only a truly deluded right wing fool would fail to observe.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      there are still investigations ongoing I think, Auditor general, SCC, Privacy commissioner?

                    • Jackal

                      Thanks for that Pascal’s bookie… Let’s hope they’re not inhibited in those investigations.

                    • Jackal

                      Interestingly there were separate investigations undertaken by the auditor general and the privacy commissioner into circumstances surrounding the leaks, but neither looked specifically into who exactly leaked the Michelle Boag letter about Bronwyn Pullar to the media.

                      The questions remain: Who exactly was it that leaked Bronwyn Pullar’s information?

                      The report by Auditor General (PDF) Lyn Provost was mainly concerned with whether Ms Pullar gained any advantage in the way her claim was treated. Here’s the only reference to Judith Collins:

                      On 14 March 2012, ACC briefed its Minister (Hon Judith Collins) about the breach of privacy. On 16 March, ACC gave the Minister a written briefing on the privacy breach and on a meeting on 1 December 2011 at which the claimant had disclosed the breach to two ACC senior managers.

                      This doesn’t clear up the matter of whether Judith Collins was involved in leaking a New Zealand citizens private information though. I’m not sure about the Investigation by the Privacy Commissioner, as I cannot find a copy online.

                      I recall that there were complaints by opposition MPs that the investigations focus was too narrow. In other words they weren’t going to look into the specific leak we’re talking about.

              • Pascal's bookie

                You should be stoked gs, coz that’s pretty much what they did today.

                You seem to think that the timing would have been better when Collins was demanding apologies and acting all tough.

                I’m not sure that backing down at that point would have have looked very good at all (and it would have to have been a substantial back down rather than than the heavily parsed waffle the ‘regret’ language is).

                And I’m sure as shit that it wouldn’t have stopped the story; the story would have been that Mallard and Little had backed down in the face of threats of a law suit. the coverage would have made Shearer’s missing tape look like a love in, and Collins would have been on tape every night saying whatever the hell she liked.

                I’m as much an unfan of the Labour leadership as you are, but sit and think a spell, mkay?

  16. Draco T Bastard 19

    This obviously needs to be done to all parliamentary speeches and questions:

    The Gunning-Fog index is a commonly used algorithm to determine the readability of English writing. (Details on the wiki page here.) I wrote a perl script that reads in Hansard transcripts from Question Time and looks for sentences that score an 18 on Gunning-Fog, which ranks as incomprehensible, and then replaced that sentence with the word AAARRGGGGGH! Here’s how Hekia Parata’s most recent oral question plays out.

    Suffice to say, Hekia Parata failed to make any sense.

    • kiwicommie 19.1

      Put speeches and articles through this as well, and you can find out the reading age and other readability stats: http://www.read-able.com/

      I did this to my last blog post:
      “This page has an average grade level of about 14.

      It should be easily understood by 19 to 20 year olds.”

  17. ianmac 20

    Is Hekia Parata deliberately obtuse or is she genuinely unable to answer questions?
    Did you drive to work?
    The complexion of the classroom is being consulted and will in due course be parent understandings able to improve children who are failing and AAARRGGGGGGH!

    • kiwicommie 20.1

      Well she is on a search for the holy grail, maybe she can visit castle AAARRGGGGGGH along the way. 😉

    • David H 20.2

      WTF The complexion (what she going to hand out acne cream?) And how do you consult with acne, and will (Who wrote this ? (It looks like something that comes from an overseas scam.)) improve the children’s Acne?

      Ahhh I get it now. Extra Acne cream for the children who are failing, the overseas stuff is better, as it helps the parents understand why their children slip through the cracks so easily.

  18. Bob 21

    Has anyone read through the Labour Policy Remit for this years conference? https://www.labour.org.nz/sites/labour.org.nz/files/2012-Policy-Remits-Final.pdf

    A few points:
    Remit 1: The future of privatised state assets
    Looks like they are finally going to decide whether or not to put their money where their mouth is

    Remit 5: Gender quotas on company boards
    Agree in principle, but 50% by legislation!!! What if there is an uneven number of people on a board? What if there is a 50/50 split on a board and a male steps down, would it be descrimination to not accept a female application?

    Remit 10: Lowering the voting age, Civics
    Seriously? Why don’t we help kids learn the current curriculum before we start opening ourselves up to politically motivated teaching in schools!

    Remit 11: Gender quota for the House of Representatives
    What happened to democracy! So if 80% of elected representitives are males, we then have to say the public got it wrong and replace some (how is that decided) with females?

    Remit 12: A New Zealand republic
    Didn’t see this one coming, what happened to talk of a referendum? Bugger it, we’ll just campaign on it and if we can cobble together a government we’ll push it through, we have a mandate (remember those arguements?)

    Remit 26: Mining and extractive industries
    a)phasing out all coal mining – weren’t they just in Greytown protesting against coal mine closures?
    c)Labour apply the precautionary principle to the practice of hydraulic fracturing where there is potential for the contamination of groundwater and triggering local seismic events and ban fracking in New Zealand. – Lol, tinfoil hat much? Have they ever read a study into current hydraulic fracking methods? Is there any report EVER alluding to fracking causing local seismic events (peer reviewed obviously)?

    Remit 42: Ports of Auckland
    Umm, they want a policy that an individual company will follow existing policy? Isn’t that already the law?

    Remit 47: Eliminating inequalities
    Racial profiling?

    And that is just from the first 50!

    • fatty 21.1

      Remit 10: Lowering the voting age, Civics
      Seriously? Why don’t we help kids learn the current curriculum before we start opening ourselves up to politically motivated teaching in schools!

      They already learn the current curriculum, they can do civics as well…it’d be a lot more useful than some of the stuff they get taught.

      Remit 11: Gender quota for the House of Representatives
      What happened to democracy!

      We’re finally coming to the conclusion that democracy is not fair and only favours those with power & status, so they’re trying to fix the myth of democracy…going for equity instead.

      Remit 47: Eliminating inequalities
      Racial profiling?

      Yeah, Labour have this mad idea of opposing the effects of racism. Kinda like the opposition to sexism in Remit 11. Think of it as opposing racism and sexism, not creating racism and sexism…or better yet, think of it as not being a fuckwit

      • Colonial Viper 21.1.1

        We’re finally coming to the conclusion that democracy is not fair and only favours those with power & status, so they’re trying to fix the myth of democracy…going for equity instead.

        This is a very very bad idea.

        • fatty 21.1.1.1

          true…I’m all for democracy when when we have a more equitable society, but until then I’m happy for a loss of democracy to address historical inequalities

          • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.1.1

            We open this door and we’ll fuck ourselves. One person, one vote, and the results of each contest are determined by the results of the vote. Maximum proportionality, no excuses.

        • Bob 21.1.1.2

          CV, I have written this day into my diary, I thought by now you would automatically dismiss anything I said out of hand. Good to see there is at least some common ground here!

      • Bob 21.1.2

        Opposing the effects of racism??? Read it again:

        Remit 47: Eliminating inequalities
        THAT Labour in Government takes action to eradicate the consequences of poverty to all children and specifically tamariki by:
        a) supporting funding for food in schools programmes in all decile 1-3 schools; and
        b) supporting the eradication of rheumatic fever and other preventable illnesses through funding for swabbing and primary health care intervention in all decile 1-3 schools.

        So by saying Decile 1-3 schools mainly consist of Maori children or “specifically tamariki” as they put it, that is opposing racism? Sounds like blatant racial profiling which is a form of racism to me.

        • Colonial Viper 21.1.2.1

          Sounds like a blatant over-active imagination to me.

        • fatty 21.1.2.2

          yeah, its opposing racism…why else are more Maori in lower decile schools? If its not the result of racism, what is it?

          • Bob 21.1.2.2.1

            “yeah, its opposing racism…why else are more Maori in lower decile schools? If its not the result of racism, what is it?”
            That is a generalisation that I find racist. There are children of many different ethnic backgrounds in lower decile schools, why single out just Maori children? If they are over represented in lower decile schools, then why not speak to the local Iwi and try to find out why, find common themes and work to remedy these, start working to help these families out of the situation they are in at a local level. I am sure that if you look at decile 1-3 South Island schools you will find a completely different mix of ethnicities than in Auckland decile 1-3 schools for example.
            My point is, this potential policy is a racially based, and while I agree on the premis, singling out a race like this isn’t helpful to public perception (and therefore race relations).

            • McFlock 21.1.2.2.1.1

              The remit is economically based.

              Maori are disproportionately represented in lower decile schools. Even schools in those areas that have different demographic proportions. It is simply a statement of fact to state that helping children in ower decile schools will help many Maori.

              However, targeting services at Maori is ethnically based by definition (e.g. Whanau Ora) – but then so is affirmative action. The question is whether this provides an advantage, or is a more effective way of providing the same services, or simply addresses inequalities that have lasted for generations. But that’s a seperate issue. The remit is economically based.

            • fatty 21.1.2.2.1.2

              “That is a generalisation that I find racist.”

              Why?…the numbers are there…too many Maori kids in lower decile. Why does this happen if not because of racism?..It has to be because of racism, doesn’t it

              “There are children of many different ethnic backgrounds in lower decile schools, why single out just Maori children?”

              Because of the historical injustices, Maori issues are different to other issues. Its biculturalism. If you mean Pacific Islanders – that already happens, there are a lot of programmes and policies for many groups of people.

              “I am sure that if you look at decile 1-3 South Island schools you will find a completely different mix of ethnicities than in Auckland decile 1-3 schools for example.”

              Yeah, because there’s vastly different ethnic difference between the North and South Islands.

              “My point is, this potential policy is a racially based, and while I agree on the premis, singling out a race like this isn’t helpful to public perception (and therefore race relations).”

              I’ve got no problem with it…if we’ve screwed over one cohort of the population then I am all for sorting it out. I think ‘perception’ only becomes a concern when the issue gets framed the way you are framing it. If we don’t accept the historical and institutional racism is still a very big problem in NZ, then yes, perception is a problem. But to be fair, if we don’t accept the historical and institutional racism is still a very big problem in NZ, then our race relations are a joke, and by taking the individual responsibility route (and claiming ‘we’re all Kiwi’s’) we are suggesting all sorts of racist things.

            • rosy 21.1.2.2.1.3

              It would be racist if it were targeting only Maori children in decile 1-3 schools. As it is worded it is policy aimed at all children in decile 1-3 schools, which by the way, happen to have a disproportionate number of Maori children.

              I’m trying hard to see your problem with that Bob. (except that it’s not a universal benefit)

        • Vicky32 21.1.2.3

          So by saying Decile 1-3 schools mainly consist of Maori children or “specifically tamariki” as they put it, that is opposing racism? Sounds like blatant racial profiling which is a form of racism to me.

          It’s also pretty absurd!
          Last night, listening to Clive, they had an item about school children making Camilla a carrot cake, and every child they interviewed was Maori (I didn’t hear the name of the school, or its decile level.) But it made me remember a bizarre incident that took place in 1992. My son attended Myers Kindy in Queen St, and I attended with him, as we’d only just come from Welly and he was settling in. For some reason that I don’t remember, an outside broadcast cast crew from TV3 had come to film at Myers Kindy. The producer or reporter, I don’t remember which now, spent literal hours (which upset the kids and the teachers) arranging them on the mat for mat time, so that all the ‘Maori’ kids were up the front. (She was rather upset that none of the brown kids were actually Maori, but two Islanders, an Indian and a middle eastern boy). 
          Then, when she had them all arranged to her satisfaction, and started her piece to camera, the Island girl got up, ran to the back where my blue-eyed son sat, and hauled him up the room to sit by her. As the patience of the teachers was exhausted, she had to go with that. We watched that night, and saw her claiming that Myers kindy was an ‘inner city kindergarten, attended by poor children’ (hilarious if you actually knew the place *) and saw the camera focused very tightly on the Island kids and my son who stuck out like a meerkat amongst dolphins! 
          Since then, I have been very sceptical indeed about TV news items showing the demographic of a particular school. 
          * Myers kindy is in upper Queen Street, and was attended by kids whose parents worked in the CBD, or who lived in the area, and was therefore extremely mixed as to ethnicity and SES. Numerically speaking, the dominant nationality was French, thanks to one New Zealand mother married to a Frenchman, who brought their friends along).
           

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