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Open mike 16/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 16th, 2012 - 247 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…

247 comments on “Open mike 16/08/2012”

  1. Morrissey 1

    DESPERATE BUSINESS
    The wife of the New York Times editor tries to be funny

    As we’ve seen from some of our ostensibly liberal but credulous friends on this forum, although there is no case to make against Assange—unless you accept the bizarre, fantastic, byzantine sexual allegations concocted by his pursuers—there is always “humour”.

    And the unfunnier it is, the better. Have a gander at this mirthful classic: it’s almost as funny as Jerry Seinfeld’s sneering at homeless people….

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/us-news-blog/2012/aug/15/advice-julian-assange-ecuador

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1345047833.html

    • Te Reo Putake 1.1

      Interesting how sexist that headline is, Mozza. Says a lot about how shallow your thinking is on this matter.

      • Professor Longhair 1.1.1

        I think the point of Morrissey’s headline was that the writer of that dire Guardian piece has no particular talent, other than being married to the editor of the N.Y. Times. A quick peruse of her humorless attempt to make light of the persecution of Assange can only strengthen that suspicion.

        • Te Reo Putake 1.1.1.1

          Yep, that’s what I was pointing out, Prof.

          • Professor Longhair 1.1.1.1.1

            No, you were doing no such thing. You were trying to divert from Morrissey’s point, which was that the writer of that snidely denigrating piece is someone who enjoys considerable status and privilege, which she abuses, because of her connections, not because of any talent she might—or might not—possess.

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1.1

              So because she writes one bung article, she is talentless and only there because of marriage connections? Your bias is showing…
                  
                 
              Everybody has off days. The misfortune here is that an off day collided with the fan club of a dude evading investigation for two [alleged] sexual assaults. 

              • Professor Longhair

                1.) “So because she writes one bung article, she is talentless and only there because of marriage connections?”

                All right, let’s cut her a break. Let’s just say her failed attempt to pour scorn on the U.S. government’s most reviled target was a foolish mistake. She was out of her depth.

                2.) “Your bias is showing…”

                Wrong; what is showing is her lack of talent and her plethora of connections.

                3.) “Everybody has off days.”

                True enough.

                4.) “The misfortune here is that an off day collided with the fan club of a dude evading investigation for two [alleged] sexual assaults.”

                “Fan club”? “Dude”? Are we talking about some pop star here, or are you just trying to make light of the situation?

                I see that you at least have the integrity to note that the sexual assaults are alleged. That’s encouraging.

                • McFlock

                  Assange has significant celebrity status. I see that many of his supporters are not prepared to countenance the possibility that he committed sexual assault. And they’re prepared to grasp as very slender straws of conspiracy theories to justify their position.
                     
                  I have never been convinced that he was certainly, without a shadow of a doubt, guilty. But I’m prepared to consider the possibility. This seems to be a major divergence from  the position of many of his supporters.
                       
                     
                  By the way, your points 1 and 2 are contradictory. You can’t cut her a break on the basis that she is a competent columnist who had an off day while also claiming that she’s talentless and only has the job because she’s married to a rich man. You kind of have to choose whether she is competent in her own right, or that she is purely there as a result of being married.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Assange has significant celebrity status. I see that many of his supporters are not prepared to countenance the possibility that he committed sexual assault.

                    Whatever.

                    1) Guarantee that he won’t end up in Guantanamo Bay via Stockholm

                    2) Assange should immediately face the allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden.

                    • McFlock

                      1) who, me? Hell, maybe the Ecuadorians will send him there if they switch geopolitical allegiance. Like Sanchez in the Sudan.
                         
                      2) yes.

                  • Morrissey

                    I have never been convinced that he was certainly, without a shadow of a doubt, guilty.

                    There is no evidence at all that Assange is guilty of anything. Except exposing massive state crimes, which is the motivation for this massive campaign of state vengeance.

                    But I’m prepared to consider the possibility.

                    It’s also possible he’s an Illuminati conspirator. No doubt you’re on that case, too.

                    This seems to be a major divergence from the position of many of his supporters.

                    No, it’s a major divergence from the position of anyone who looks at the case with an honest, skeptical and inquiring attitude.

                    • McFlock

                      A: bullshit.
                         
                      B: It’s not reasonably likely he’s with the Illuminati, if indeed they exist. After all, it’s not like two women went to the police with stories of him having being in the Illuminati.
                      Two women did speak to the cops about his separate behaviours  with them in bed. Hence A being bullshit.
                         
                      C: Ah, irregular language again. I have an “honest, skeptical and inquiring attitude”, you are “a flaming nutbar”, they are “naively gullible about what they believe”. 

    • rosy 1.2

      Agree it’s unfunny. But to link that to people’s comments on this blog is taking it a bit far. I can’t remember anyone saying this situation is a joke.

      • Professor Longhair 1.2.1

        The whole case against Julian Assange is a joke—a particularly brutal and cynical joke. Are you trying to suggest that those who have (unwittingly) joined in the persecution of Assange are serious and sober scholars?

        • Bored 1.2.1.1

          There is also a brutal and cynical persecution of a very brave young man who blew the whistle on the US military going on. The USA, a land where corporate gamblers can short the price of commodities driving grain prices through the roof, causing starvation, and call it business. Where if you leak (because the authorities and MSM wont take notice) that your side just shot a group of innocents you get tried for treason. The NY Times is a joke.

          • prism 1.2.1.1.1

            Bored I guess its Bradley Manning you are referring to?
            http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/06/leak/

            PFC Bradley Manning, 22, of Potomac, Maryland, was stationed at Forward Operating Base Hammer, 40 miles east of Baghdad, where he was arrested nearly two weeks ago by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division. A family member says he’s being held in custody in Kuwait, and has not been formally charged.

            Manning was turned in late last month by a former computer hacker with whom he spoke online. In the course of their chats, Manning took credit for leaking a headline-making video of a helicopter attack that Wikileaks posted online in April. The video showed a deadly 2007 U.S. helicopter air strike in Baghdad that claimed the lives of several innocent civilians.

            Strange if he was turned in by a ‘former computer hacker’. These born again goodies who eschew all their previous misdemeanours are odd.

        • rosy 1.2.1.2

          I’m saying I don’t think people on this blog have made fun of this situation a la Ms Keller.

          • Professor Longhair 1.2.1.2.1

            If you think that, then I refer you to comments 1.1 and 1.1.1.1 on this thread, in which one “Te Reo Putake” does exactly that.

            • McFlock 1.2.1.2.1.1

              That’s the analysis of a “serious and sober scholar”, is it? Pointing out gender bias in somebody commenting on an issue that revolves around how we treat sexual assault complainants vs accused is making fun?
                     
              Far from it.
                   

              • Te Reo Putake

                Cheers, McFlock, you’re on to it.

              • Professor Longhair

                Your blithering confusion is obvious to all, and is only compounded by the endorsement by the unfortunate “Te Reo Putake.”

                • McFlock

                  So pointing out sexism is your way of having fun at parties, professor? Tell me, do you do it sarcastically, or merely out of smug self-satisfaction?

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Prof, perhaps people might consider you a ‘fan’ of Assange because you launch into boring ad hom attacks on everyone who suggests he might have some failings?

                  Perhaps you don’t do that as a matter of course, but the evidence from this thread suggests as much.

            • rosy 1.2.1.2.1.2

              Ohh, I see…. TRP pointing out a unfunny, sexist, headline by Morrissey equates to an unfunny comment piece that makes jokes about Assange’s possible life in Ecuador.

              • Morrissey

                TRP pointing out a unfunny, sexist, headline by Morrissey…

                You don’t seem to have noticed but, unlike the dire Ms. Keller, I was not trying to be funny. My pointing out that she is the wife of the New York Times editor is sexist, how, exactly? If anything, it’s mediocritist, surely.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  To be fair, it’s not actually your headline, Mozza, you’ve just cut and pasted it here without spotting the problem.
                   
                  The headline defines her as being her husband’s appendage. Actually, her marital status is completely irrelevent to her own work, which should be judged on its own merits. 
                   
                  There’s been a similar problem with many comments round here in recent days where the opinions of Josie Pagani are assumed to be also the thoughts of another human being named John Pagani. They’re seperate people, folks.
                   
                   

                • rosy

                  That headline is clearly a play on words referencing Desperate Housewives. How amusing. Even if you’ve never heard of that programme my criticism stands – that headline was sexist in that it defines the writer by her marital status and her husband’s job.

                  • Morrissey

                    …that headline was sexist in that it defines the writer by her marital status and her husband’s job.

                    Rubbish. I pointed out that she is the wife of a powerful man to show that she has got to where she has got through her connections.

                    Clearly her talent is minimal.

  2. Carol 2

    How much does an MP earn again?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7486644/Parliaments-cleaners-seek-pay-rise

    The cleaners, backed by the Service and Food Workers Union, recently met representatives from Labour, the Greens and NZ First.

    All three parties have committed to support their bid for a wage increase and other political parties are also being approached.

    Union advocate Jill Ovens said the MPs had agreed to approach Parliamentary Service for the cleaners, agreeing that $13.85 was not enough to live on.

    Jaine Ikurere has cleaned the prime minister’s office for more than 19 years. As a supervisor for Spotless she earns $14.60 an hour.

    To help make ends meet, the 63-year-old has a second job, working a total of 50 hours a week. “I’m getting too old to work lots of hours a night,” she says.

    A pay rise would help her buy better food, pay for visits to the doctor, heat her Titahi Bay home and allow her to buy birthday presents for her 13 grandchildren.

    “I’ve been working all my life with a low wage and I can’t afford anything.”

    She cleans all the Beehive offices nightly. “It’s hard work but at the end of the day we are satisfied because we do a good job.”

    MPs should not just be quietly supporting this. They should be taking strong lead. How can than accept their offices being cleaned nightly for such minimal wages, while swanning around with their relatively comfortable life-style?

    • DH 2.1

      Isn’t Spotless an Aussie company?

      This bit here shows how bizarre the labour market has gotten;

      “However, the cleaners’ contract – obtained by Fairfax Media – says workers’ wages will increase when the “employee’s customer agrees to, and sufficiently funds, an increase to the commercial contract for the express purpose of enabling an increase to that employee’s hourly earnings”.

      Presumably Spotless won the contract on the basis of being the cheapest tender. Would be interesting to know how much Spotless are charging their workers out at.

      $14.60 an hour after 19yrs service. Disgusting.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        And that’s as a supervisor.

        Right now, new cleaners should be getting what she is on, and as supervisor she should be earning a good $3/hr more.

    • wyndham 2.2

      ‘earn’ was an unfortunate choice of word Carol !

    • millsy 2.3

      PS should really take the work back in-house.

      • Fortran 2.3.1

        millsy

        You are right there are many MP’s who have little to do so they can take over cleaning as required. – They may actually learn something.

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.2

        Yeah screw this contracting out bullshit. Time for the Government to regain its own oeprational capabilities. Including building the country’s roads, bridges and power infrastructure itself.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.3

        There are many things that the government should do itself that it has contracted out. The result of which is low wages and costing more.

        • Vicky32 2.3.3.1

          There are many things that the government should do itself that it has contracted out.

          Absolutely right!

  3. tc 3

    I see the ever faithful nat lapdog Trevitt whipping up more froth about DC in today’s herald…..their fear of him is becoming quite obsessive.

    • HalfCrown Millionare 3.1

      You are so right TC That’s why that slimy right wing stooge called Garner wrote his article, which was full of bullshit and wishful thinking. It is nothing but a beat up by the right. The reason, they know there are serious concerns on the left about Shearers performance and Cunliffe stands a chance of becoming the next leader. This is causing the right to shit themselves as they know Cunliffe will take it to them and will chew Key and anybody else on the right up in to little pieces and spit them out. The nice cosy don’t rock the boat attitude by Shearer as favoured by right wing commentators like Farrar and O Sullivan and others who were in favour of Shearer becoming leader of the labour party will be at an end. Life would start to become very uncomfortable for the likes of Dung, Key, English, Joyce, Jerry Brownarse, Dole Bludger Bennett and the rest of the shit of the right.
      I think Shearers handling of this was pathetic.

      • tc 3.1.1

        Put the fear the ones in power and their media muppets have aside as it’s the one’s within labour who put Softy Shearer as leader who are the real enemy of the poeple.

        We know the nat’s well, they never change so it’s no surprises there but to see Duck and cohorts getting their way because a few spineless MP’s feared not to go against the Mallarfia is exactly why DC needed to become leader.

        A big clean out of the front bench etc is required, and an overhaul of the upper echelons of the labour party itself for folk true to the ideals, who don’t turn voters off (King, Mallard etc) rather then true to their comfy undeserving positions.

        DS has shown he hasn’t got the bollocks or experience and that’s just what the hollowmen ordered and the Mallarfia duely obliged.

        I don’y buy the softly approach for one minute as DS just looks smug and dopey sometimes. Delivering with passion, committment and a media savvy persona is what’s needed to shake the lethargy out of folk and wake them up to the swindle and corrupt stench of this gov’t.

      • Anne 3.1.2

        …that slimy right wing stooge called Garner wrote his article, which was full of bullshit and wishful thinking. It is nothing but a beat up by the right.

        My theory since I first read the article goes as follows:
        About six weeks ago Garner announced he was leaving TV3 later this year and he intimated he was off to greener pastures. My impression was that it was something other than journalism. In other words he’s planning a career change.

        My bet is that the ‘bullshit’ was mainly stuff he picked up on earlier this year at a time when there was still residual resentment between the pro-Shearer and pro-Cunliffe camps. (As an activist I can say with certainty that within the Party membership most of that resentment had long since evaporated). He sat on the stuff, then when he thought the time was right he wrote the blog. A kind of parting shot to Labour while he still had the power and influence to do it?

        I am hoping that in the end the fallout from all this will be the opposite from what was intended. Indeed, if Labour’s performance at Question Time today is any indication, then it looks to me like the recent criticism of Labour on this site (and maybe elsewhere) has been taken on board – not that any of them would admit to it of course. Even so, the performer of the day or maybe the week has to go to Russell Norman. His persistent questioning of Gerry Brownlee was a joy to behold. I almost – repeat almost – felt sorry for Gerry. :)

  4. I wonder if bene basher Bennett and Crusher Collins appreciate the irony.  They both feature in articles on Stuff this morning.

    Crusher wants ACC to start sacking staff who breach a new “zero tolerance” policy on privacy breaches.

    “A furious Ms Collins has revealed her astonishment at the failure of ACC to include privacy among nine of its “top priorities”.

    “I’m not going to sit back and let one of the most important government entities [that] we have let people down time and time again around things such as privacy. ”

    Meanwhile Bennett is not ruling out revealing private details of beneficiaries in the future.  And she refuses to accept she breached Fuller’s rights to privacy even though it is clear she did.

    I think that Cabinet should have a zero tolerance of privacy breaches.  And Bennett should go.

    • felix 4.1

      Absolutely she should.

      Is it naive of me to hope she’ll be questioned in parliament today?

      • Carol 4.1.1

        Will she even turn up to the House today, or send a proxy to answer the questions the opposition will inevitably ask? – of course, that’s what the PM will do.

        Does the PM have confidence in all his ministers?

        Does the Minister for Social Development agree with the Minister for ACC that there should be zero tolerance for privacy breaches?

    • Carol 4.2

      Well said, Micky.

      Bennett is only defending her breaches, because to admit she was wrong, means she should go. Of course, continuing to defend her breaches compounds the original wrong act and provides more reasons why she is not fit to be a minister.

      • aerobubble 4.2.1

        Its like winning Gold, then found to be cheating, and then claiming in order to keep her
        medal, that the previous winner of a Gold medal wss a cheat too, despite all evidence to
        the contrary. Privacy commissionaire said Bennett had breach privacy, Bennett either does
        not understand what that means, or cant understand it, she should not be signing documents
        as a Minister if she does not understand them, or can’t. Like Banks, whose memory challenged
        compliance with electoral law should have him gone by lunch time, on a cabbage boat.

    • tc 4.3

      Come on Mickey you know it’s rules for everyone but them, Double Dipton being the most obvious.
      They’ve mastered the whole facade of caring about ‘issues’ when they don’t give a F as their good mates in the MSM never hold them to account.

      A recent visit from a mate who works in Oz media had him gobsmacked at our MSM’s performance given all the juicy cock ups, corrupt behaviour and blatant arrogance to due process

    • ad 4.4

      Yes Mickey I was struck by the sheer gall of this total double standard between Ministers.
      That kind of instance under a Helen Clark administration would have been brought up short and hard, because she would see how it looks.

      Just makes me think that Bennett’s own personal privacy could do with a puncturing.

      • tc 4.4.1

        Woah there steady on, the rules are for everyone but them.
        Embarrass a nat MInister and they’ll throw the machinery that we pay for at you.
        It’s the way they roll it seems to turn them on.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.5

      Bennett should go, in fact, has to go. If she doesn’t then she’s just confirming this government’s inherent corruption.

      • tc 4.5.1

        Joyce’s sly deal with Mediawonks (and the UFB farce) followed by DJ Shonkey’s electoral act breaching show I reckon proved beyond all doubt the corrupt factor.

    • Treetop 4.6

      Bad judgement and bad decision making does not instill confidence in any government system, it is up to the minister to have proper checks and balances so that there actions can be held to account. When they overstep the mark, to carry on as if nothing has happened is not the way to behave as it shows immaturity/ignorance.

      • Carol 4.6.1

        When they overstep the mark, to carry on as if nothing has happened is not the way to behave as it shows immaturity/ignorance.

        Or, as Norman pointed out in the House today, disregard for democracy:

        http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/a/f/b/50HansQ_20120816_00000005-5-Beneficiaries-Release-of-Personal-Information.htm

        Dr Russel Norman: Does the Prime Minister accept that having a Government that releases the private information of people who oppose Government policy—information that is available only to the State—is an approach that silences dissent, chills dissent in a democratic society, and is not acceptable in a democratic and free country?

        Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: Well, quite clearly by the long list of examples the member has given this afternoon, that is not the case.

  5. Bored 5

    Paganis, Salmonds, Shearer et al are heading for the “centre”. Perhaps Gordon McLauchlan sums up where the votes are better in his new book “The Passionless People Revisited”.

    p71. “Right now, influence within our society is factionalised, compacted into pressure groups which exert their power almost exclusively for selfish needs without any sense of total community. This is wholly divisive. But the worst effect is that people who don’t qualify for a place in a pressure group, or dont choose to join one are excluded. There are in Auckland growing sections of the population which are excluded from power or influence”

    And the power factions running Labour are? Who could be voting Labour and why are’nt they?

    • Carol 5.1

      Yes. It is becoming very clear to me this week that the current Labour Party management has its sights firmly set on the centre. It is canvasing for strategic advice in order to be more effective in achieving their centrist aims.

      They should be generating discussion on their broad and in-depth manifesto. They should be looking for a complete do-over of their position, values and policies, and not for some superficial re-tooling of the old neoliberal-apologist agenda.

      • rosy 5.1.1

        Salmond sums up the logic on Pundit with his response to Mike’s post

        More recently, and to the dismay of some, Labour has made an apparent pitch for some of the people who voted Labour in 2005 but have voted National since. There are over 100,000 such people, and winning their votes back in a sense counts double, because it increases the left bloc and also decreases the right bloc. Convincing 100,000 centrists is as valuable in terms of seats in parliament as mobilizing 200,000 previous non-voters.

        I sum that up as they’re not too worried about losing my vote when they can get 2 back…

        • Bored 5.1.1.1

          Rosy, its all a bit to trite is’nt it. Your summing up is exactly their thinking. My answer to Labours “stratgegy department” is:

          * dont be bothered winning back the National swing voters because they represent an interest group only interested in themselves, ergo policy set to attract them detracts from everybody else.
          * the above self interested represent a lot less people than the newly “poor”, Pasifika and similar groups over represented in the “poor” stats, the young who feel cheated of a future and disenfranchised etc. Thats enough votes to beat BOTH Labour and National combined.

          There is a failure of vision, all too wrapped up in the pandering to interest groups, personality politics , and in the case of the Paganis and Salmonds to “professional expertise”.

          • Jackal 5.1.1.1.1

            It’s harder to persuade a non-voter to start voting than get some of those who are already engaged to change allegiance. This is because the people who already vote realise that the government has an effect on their lives, whereas non-voters generally don’t. There would need to be a huge change in how the country operates to get more people to vote, when ensuring more swing voters just needs a change in rhetoric.

            The current system is designed to keep people in the dark, especially the poor and disaffected. This is how National creates a false support regime, by disenfranchising people and making their lives harder, they ensure that less people vote. It just so happens that the people the neoliberal agenda most effects would vote for the left if they realised it was in their best interests.

            It’s not an either or scenario, and if Labour is smart it can gain the support of more swing voters and non-voters. Meanwhile the Greens have more room to breath… How terrible! /sarc.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1.1

              In the days that Labour stood for something, it was the unemployed and those in poverty who voted Savage in, and in a frakking landslide. That’s when Labour represented something that people truly recognised and cared about.

              I’m so over this shit now.

              Stay sharp peeps. Mobilisation orders will be issued at the appropriate time.

              • King Kong

                I can hear the gravel throated, movie voice over guy in my head.

                “And from a motley bunch of internet no-marks a leader arose. A champion of his kind. He called and they came. His army of revolution…the panty waists, dope addled conservationists, soap dodging bludgers, spotty political science students and social retards. Together they would hand out leaflets, collect signatures for petitions, engage in political street theatre and rage on political blogs untill the establishment had been brought to its knees”

                • Bored

                  Ah humour KK!!!! Such fun.

                  Perhaps you need to talk to Pagani and Salmond about tactics, you could not be worse.

            • Bored 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Jackal, “ National creates a false support regime, by disenfranchising people and making their lives harder, they ensure that less people vote.

              Precisely, and it is why the “centre” are the Labours soft target. The centre looks like an easy win for the wrong reasons, winning the wrong sectoral interest group will not help the disenfranchised voters lifes one iota. It will also give the wrong result and prolong the false legitimacy of the current facade.

              • tc

                Yup the middle is where you get marginalised from both sides and run over by a strong force travelling in either direction.

                Way to go Mallarfia you can rebrand it after you’ve decimated it, gosh maybe get Prebble back to talk about the good old days.

        • prism 5.1.1.2

          rosy
          I wonder what the cost-benefit quotient is for Labour for bothering about your vote. That’s the new way of thinking. Really a new way of pork barrel politics – who are reliable that are bribable. And building a lovely image of all the good things that will happen if ‘they’ are elected and the wicked (unemployed, sick etc) shall be Punished. PR spin, not policies for the nation’s benefit – now that’s an emotionally charged word.

          Investopedia source
          Definition of ‘Pork-Barrel Politics’
          A slang term used when politicians or governments “unofficially” undertake projects that benefit a group of citizens in return for that group’s support or campaign donations. This spending mostly benefits the needs of a small select group despite the fact that the entire community’s funds are being used.

          And while thinking about PR – there are fine minds working on a new image for us. A change from 100% Pure to The NZ Story. We’re good at stories. Do we have quiddity in our minds, or understand liquidity in all its ramifications?

          • rosy 5.1.1.2.1

            The only way the ‘left’ would be of concern to them is if we voted for National – then it’s a vote lost and Nat gets a vote (2 lost votes). If we vote another left party they win, if we don’t vote at all it’s not good but is only one lost vote.

            Left-leaning policy? integrity? vision? nah – it’s the +2 centrist votes.

            I think they’re doing pork-barrel on the cheap by denigrating people rather than buying them off… for now. Must be the austerity ;-)

  6. rosy 6

    Meanwhile, Russia’s Pussy Riot face up to seven years in jail for singing ‘holy shit’ in a church as they urged the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Putin (a political, not blasphemous statement, they contend). The verdict is due Friday.

    Prosecutor Alexander Nikiforov called Pussy Riot’s church performance blasphemous, adding that blasphemy is one of the gravest sins in the Russian Orthodox Church. Nikiforov claimed that political lyrics were only added to the song later to mask the band’s hate and sacrilege toward the Christian Orthodox faith.

    But Pussy Riot’s members strongly disputed this allegation. “We sang part of the refrain ‘Holy shit,'” Tolokonnikova said in court today. “I am sorry if I offended anyone with this. It is an idiomatic expression, related to the previous verse – about the fusion of Moscow patriarchy and the government. ‘Holy shit’ is our evaluation of the situation in the country. This opinion is not blasphemy.”

    Hopefully Putin will make the necessary phone-call instead of upholding the fiction of an independent legal system and ensure the sentence is time served.

    … How the orders for this seem to have come right from the very top of the Russian government. And how their trial… seems certain to become a defining moment in Putin’s political career.

    It is, many people say (practically everybody, in fact), a moment when Russia’s future is, in some as yet undetermined way, being decided.

  7. aerobubble 7

    Australian decides to ban publication of branding on
    tobacco products. Smoking lawyers claim property rights
    are being stolen. Do I have a right to publish information
    that is shown to harms others, when does that happen???
    Are we now to allow all international firms unfettered free
    speech? Australian government isn’t banning cigarettes.
    Why is it illegal to stop speech on products, despite
    government demanding all sorts of information being
    used on packaging, despite discussions about individuals
    text bullying. Governments can protect its citizens, and do.
    How is forcing packaging to declare sugar content legal,
    but forcing packaging to tone down suggestiveness of
    sugariness illegal? Sorry, I don’t see the difference.
    does a brand have a right to deceive when it causes
    citizens real harm, and huge taxpayer costs in health outcomes?

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      So the brands are being defended by big tobacco as “property rights”. Now, what if someone owns property or materials which has been implicated in causing significant harm to others?

      Well, property can be confiscated. It can be impounded. It can be seized and resold at auction to parties we think will be more responsible. Hell, in NZ, we’ve even shown that property can be crushed.

      So let’s go down this propety rights route Mr Big Tobacco, and see where it goes eh.

      • bad12 7.1.1

        Next you will tell us that you are in favor of the proposed euthanasia Legislation, supposedly giving citizens the right to choose when they die???

        Spot the Hypocrisy in the anti-smoking brigade supporting the right for someone to choose to die???…

        • prism 7.1.1.1

          bad12
          Euthanasia/the right to choose when to die, is too important an issue for thought and discussion to get it mixed with and compared to anti-smoking and pro-health legislation.
          Mixing the two just makes a smokescreen and neither situation can be seen clearly.

          • bad12 7.1.1.1.1

            Gosh is that right,well it aint my view, there is very little difference in me as a,(hell i just about said mature), adult choosing to get one in the neck from some mad doctor OR knowingly face a 50/50 that the product, tobacco, will bump me off while shaving a few years off of my END OF LIFE expectancy,

            During the intervening years i will have paid through the nose, approx: triple, what it might cost the taxpayer in medical expenses if i should linger to long, plus i will also for that time have paid PAYE as well essentially paying four times,

            The only difference in between myself and one who would have the doctor dispatch them from this mortal coil is that it is likely but not an absolute that i wont get to be exact about my death, so, no difference whatsoever actually and i wish to take the time now to thank all those idiots who dont use tobacco products but insist upon telling me and 600,000 others how we should live and die and would further like to ask how you have the mettle to advocate against child poverty when your whole attitude deliberately avoiding the Fism word is to have the food removed from the tables of the poor to pay for stupid taxation upon tobacco…

            • prism 7.1.1.1.1.1

              bad12
              Good rant. I think the nicotine has got your brain in hyperdrive. Can you manage to keep as healthy as is normal for someone not addicted to the usual suspects? Emphysema is a burden that doesn’t go away even if you give up tob. I don’t care how you die, just don’t stink out my surroundings.

              Personally I think it is stupid to go all Tariana and go for prohibition. There are plenty of ways to die early and forbidden fruit has attraction – if tob would just turn out an expensive control obssession like marijuana.

        • aerobubble 7.1.1.2

          People already have a choice, its hard to put someone six feet under in jail.

          Should Penthouse be allowed to display its magazines where kids can see them? Do already force publications to keep glib descriptions of their content hidden.

          The government is not banning the product, its just limiting the branding to… …the internet??.

          Public retail areas are very highly regulated, why would big tobacco have any expectation of a unregulated bliss.

          • McFlock 7.1.1.2.1

            I went to a liquor store to buy tobacco. An r18 environment. The till operator is apparently forbidden to tell me what they have in stock. I can’t see what they have in stock. I’m trying to remember a brand name – any brand. She can’t even offer me a menu – she had to wait for me to remember that this is the new routine.  But the hooplah guaranteed the sale – even though their selection was shit, after all that I would have felt guilty just walking out without buying anything. 

            This happened last week.
                  
            Fucking pathetic. 
                

  8. Jackal 8

    Suicide linked to economic conditions

    Clearly there is a socioeconomic model of suicide… Therefore responsibility for New Zealand’s increasing rate of suicide is the governments. Political policy and fiscal flexibility in particular can cause or mitigate the effects of economic cycles on suicide, that’s why the suicide rate is a good indicator of how well a government is performing…

    • McFlock 8.1

      Yeah, National policies kill people. But our local tories get pissy whe you say it, for some reason.
           
      FWIW, the suicide rate is a shitty indicator because the numbers are so small compared to the wider population. There are also issues around distinguishing between accidental and intentional self-harm: someone is found at the base of a bridge with large amounts of alcohol in their bloodstream and a history of depression, the investigation might take a few twists and turns before arriving at a conclusion that’s as solid as possible.   

    • muzza 8.2

      You can include genocide too, which is what we see as a result of the policies which target certain groups of , young, poor, old, vulnerable in general, which lead to death.

      Genocide!

      • McFlock 8.2.1

        um – possibly a bit much…

        • muzza 8.2.1.1

          Yeah, National policies kill people

          Why would you then go on to say its, “possibly a bit much” ?

          Targeted policies which kill, lead to death…

          • McFlock 8.2.1.1.1

            The threshhold from “killing” to “genocide” is the one I don’t think is anywhere near being reasonable.

            • muzza 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Numbers involved not high enough for you?

              • McFlock

                It’s not just the numbers thing – the distinction between genocide and mass-killing is home to some fairly active legal, political and philosophical debates.
                         
                But it generally involves an intent to kill a significant proportion of population X with the concomitant intent of eradication in whole of from geographic areas. 
                   
                Tories don’t want to eradicate the poor. They need the poor. They just want the poor kept poor, and in servitude. And if a few more poor die as a result of being poor, that’s just the cost of doing business. But it’s not the ultimate objective in itself.

                • muzza

                  But it’s not the ultimate objective in itself

                  Perhaps not at face value from the average “tory”, but whose to really say for sure its not the “ultimate objective” somewhere back there!

                  If, as you say, collatoral is “just the cost of doing business”, then its up for debate that they “need the poor”, or want them for that matter!

                  • McFlock

                    But given the massive nature of the word, I’d suggest it needs clear and compelling evidence to be used as a descriptor.
                          
                    It’s not like “genocide” has multiple definitions based on context. It means one thing, and one thing only: “the deliberate and systematic extermination of an ethnic or national group”. 

                    • muzza

                      Its what I’m referring to it as, because I have yet to come up with a word whch I think better fits policies which kill!

                    • McFlock

                      “lethal”, “heartless”, “morally bankrupt”, “evil”, “psychopathic” – but not “genocide”.

  9. prism 9

    Our economy is in a recession. A financial expert has just commented that much of the country’s manufacturers are supplying materials to builders. As Christchurch has been slow to get started there is unfortunately a lag in business – and unemployment follows.

    I remember hearing that peasants in one mediterranean country started fires to burn down forests so they could get development investment in their area. We’re getting into the really poor zone monetarily and in intelligent legitimate ideas from our top strutters and chest beaters. Pity that
    it wouldn’t work to destroy property ourselves, such as a sacrificial destruction of an area that we would have to rebuild to create business activity. We would be found out and no insurance from the private sector would come. Who knows what desperation might lead to?

    • muzza 9.1

      Assange – Nothing is what it appears to be, why are you (all) still debating what is a sideshow!

      And, open your eyes!

  10. prism 10

    Britain has written a declaration and demand to the Ecuadorean embassy to hand over Assange. It can be seen that Britain is a lapdog for the USA. Would they act like this if it was Sweden wanting him to answer to rape?

    • Te Reo Putake 10.1

      It is Sweden that wants to have a chat with Assange, prism. Nothing to do with the yanks at all. Assange is defying the judicial systems of both the UK and Sweden and refusing to co-operate in a pretty straightforward investigation, which I’m assured by his many supporters will not stand up in court anyway. Weid, huh?

      • Professor Longhair 10.1.1

        “Nothing to do with the yanks at all. …. pretty straightforward investigation….”

        Credulity, thy name is “Te Reo Putake.”

      • prism 10.1.2

        Weird? That’s normal for politics and world events. I do not believe the matter is as straightforward as you present it. But that seems to be your forte.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.3

        Strange, I thought that Sweden had the opportunity to clear up this mess by talking with Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

        • Te Reo Putake 10.1.3.1

          Nope, that’s never been an option. At least while Sweden is a sovereign nation, anyway.

          • Pascal's bookie 10.1.3.1.1

            Lew’s got a breakdown of the ascending order of rights here:

            http://www.kiwipolitico.com/2012/08/rudimentary-rights-based-analysis-of-the-assange-affair/

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.3.1.2

            TRP – just for you mate

            Ecuador’s foreign minister says he has been told unofficially that Swedish officials have not accepted his country’s offer to let them question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at Ecuador’s embassy in London.

            Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino says in a statement released Wednesday that Sweden declined the offer to question Assange in person or via video conference.

            http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/ecuador-sweden-spurned-offer-question-assange-16909381

            • Te Reo Putake 10.1.3.1.2.1

              Yep, confirmation that Sweden is still a sovereign nation. Cheers, ; )

              • Draco T Bastard

                Doesn’t prove that at all. What it proves is that the Swedish extradition is for purposes other than questioning Assange.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Yeah, ‘course it does. Sigh.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The Swedish authorities had the chance to question Assange about the alleged abuse, they chose not to. They must have reasons for choosing so but neither threats to their sovereignty or their ability to question Assange applies.

            • McFlock 10.1.3.1.2.2

              Because that’s how investigations are run – at the convenience of bail-jumpers. :roll:

              • Colonial Viper

                Trying to blindly pretend that this is just another run of the mill case huh :roll:

                • Te Reo Putake

                  There’s nothing run of the mill about sexual assault, CV.

                  • Morrissey

                    There’s nothing run of the mill about sexual assault, CV.

                    There is no evidence that Assange sexually assaulted anyone. You know that, of course.

                • Colonial Viper

                  My point exactly.

                  Especially when its a case of alleged (with no charges laid) sexual assault, which happens to involve a potential extradition to the US on grounds of espionage, simply for pissing the US Government and the Pentagon off.

                  Nothing run of the mill there is there?

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Kewl, the fantasy defence. I also heard aliens intend to abduct him, and that Elvis is going to do a benefit gig on his behalf. But, seriously, I agree tha tif there is any chance that Assange that might have face justice of any kind, Swedish or otherwise, then extradition would be grossfully unfair on the internationally recognised basis that you like him.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Kewl, the fantasy defence. I also heard aliens intend to abduct him, and that Elvis is going to do a benefit gig on his behalf.

                      Meh. Read the following and tell me whether this sounds like “fantasy” or more likely, harsh reality.

                      THE head of the US Senate’s powerful intelligence oversight committee has renewed calls for Julian Assange to be prosecuted for espionage.

                      The US Justice Department has also confirmed WikiLeaks remains the target of an ongoing criminal investigation, calling into question Australian government claims that the US has no interest in extraditing Mr Assange.

                      Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/us-senator-calls-to-prosecute-assange-20120701-21b3n.html#ixzz23hGzLV5G

                  • McFlock

                    CV, let’s look at it rationally. 

                    Tell me which of these two countries is more likely to hand someone over to the yanks:
                       
                    U.S.-X RELATIONSFriendship and cooperation between the United States and X is strong and close.   

                    U.S.-Y  RELATIONSThe Y is one of the United States’ closest allies, and Y foreign policy emphasizes close coordination with the United States.   

                     

                    • Colonial Viper

                      FFS you still trying to act as if the first coin toss is predictive of the second coin toss?

                      Turn on your stats 101 for a second mate.

                      At least Sweden has never previously co-operated in an extraordinary extra-judicial rendition at US request where the subjects ended up being tortured for information.

                      Oh wait.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, if it’s that big a coin toss, why did he go to each country willingly in the first place?
                         
                      Oh, and if you need to stop tossing a two-sided coin in order to roll a six-sided die, your odds against crapping out improve.     

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Asking me to mind meld with Assange to determine his intentions? No thanks. And not relevant here either.

                      :roll:

                    • McFlock

                      WTF? You asked me to guarantee his safety in Swedish custody!
                         
                      And it’s extremely relevant if both the UK and Sweden were safe enough to visit, but suddenly provide imminent peril of a trip to Cuba after two women approach police about sexual assault allegations. Coincidence, much?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No no no, I didn’t ask you to guarantee Assange’s safety in Swedish custody, I just wanted you to guarantee Assange staying in Swedish custody.

                    • McFlock

                      Only if you tell me exactly why Assange thought sweden was safe enough to travel to and party in a couple of years ago.

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.3.1.2.3

              Ecuador is a sovereign country, I trust you will respect its rights to extend asylum under international law.

              • McFlock

                Indeed. With special reference to UDHR Article 14(2)

                This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yep. And I’m fine with all of that. I leave it up to the Ecuadorean authorities to judge those matters and am happy with whatever decision they make.

                  You, I’m guessing you just want to see that dirty scumbag Assange put down for all the bad things he’s done regardless of what the Ecuadorean authorities finally decide.

                  • McFlock

                    Again, you don’t trust the brits or the swedes, but ecuador will make a perfect legal decision. Based on…?
                              
                    Oh that’s right. They are helping Assange avoid a sexual assault investigation.
                         
                    Bad guess, by the way.
                    I’d just prefer it if he faced a justice system, not a friendly politician. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’d totally support your call for him to face the Swedish justice system to see these sexual assault allegations out. If Sweden can guarantee that its not a trip to Guantanamo via Stockholm, that is.

                    • McFlock

                      Or to guantanamo via stockholm and NYNY, or via stockholm and london, or via stockholm and berin, or via stockholm and rome and madrid, etc etc etc.
                               
                      All depending on your approval, of course.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Who gives a shit about the detail McFlock, Assange is a dirty woman manipulating pervert, and if he gets buried at Guantanamo (or wherever) its simply his just desserts, no more, no less.

                    • McFlock

                      :roll:
                                 
                      The point being that your demand that Assange has immunity from extradition to the US necessitates immunity from extradition anywhere, for anything

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Bullshit. Sweden doesn’t need to be policeman of the world. And apart from the US, there aren’t any other charges threatened against Assange.

                    • McFlock

                      Let’s see: Your position is that the UK’s extradition of Assange to Sweden might be part of a conspiracy to send Assange to the US.
                           
                      So any extradition from Sweden to another nation just means that the conspiracy is a three-step, not a two step.
                             
                      So to avoid the three-step, Sweden needs to promise not to extradite him anywhere else. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So any extradition from Sweden to another nation just means that the conspiracy is a three-step, not a two step.

                      So to avoid the three-step, Sweden needs to promise not to extradite him anywhere else.

                      well McFlock, shall we dance :D

                    • McFlock

                      lol
                           
                      It’s late – if I’m not in bed by 2 I’ll turn into a pumpkin. 

    • McFlock 10.2

      Then why is Sweden more likely to send Assange to Guantanamo than Britain, in your opinion?

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        Meh, they are both as likely to send Assange to Guantanamo.

        The fact you are OK with that is pretty poor since you admit that this thing could very well be a set up to get Assange to Guantanamo via a short stopover in Stockholm.

        Two other points
        1) Sweden could easily reassure all concerned that it will not extradite Assange on any charges related to Wikileaks.

        2) Sweden could easily agree to question Assange in person or via videolink, in London.

        Now is the time for McFlock to complain that those simple steps are all bridges too far to cross in the interests of the two women complainants.

        • rosy 10.2.1.1

          Meh, they are both as likely to send Assange to Guantanamo.

          Which takes the whole discussion back to the beginning – Assange should have gone back to Sweden to face the allegations.

          For the record – I don’t support Britain’s threat to revoke the Ecuadorean embassy’s consular status to arrest Assange. Lew’s post that Pb linked to is a pretty clear position on the list of rights, in my view.

          I believe the correct position from a rights perspective is for the British government to concede Assange’s right to claim asylum, and Ecuador’s to grant it if it chooses, despite its misgivings. As terrible as the acts that may or may not have been committed by Julian Assange, it seems evident that he retains the right to seek asylum, that the Ecuadoreans retain the right to grant it, and that the UK is on, at best, shaky ground attempting to arrest Assange once succour has been granted by the Ecuadoreans. While respecting some of what Wikileaks has done, I do not much like Assange, nor do I have much tolerance for the legions of his supporters who have sought to absolve him of responsibility for his alleged sexual assault by recourse to character assassination, intimindation and vilification of his alleged victim.

        • McFlock 10.2.1.2

          And yet the British didn’t send him to Guantanamo. They decided to send him to Sweden to face a sexual assault investigation.
             
          1) oh, now it’s “any charge relating to wikileaks”? So all the horrible US need to do is suggest he committed a sex crime in the States, and the assurance is worthless. But of course, that would involve haggling with “persons of interest” to negotiate “justice”. What’s your opinion on that principle with Finance Company directors, CV? “Come back to NZ mate, we won’t charge you with fraud, maybe just a bit of negligence in the paperwork”.  
             
          2) and that would be worthless. Because if the interview brought forward new information that results in charges, it’s flagged to Assange that he’ll be formally charged. And the dude is a double-flight risk, and counting.
                    
          And if you know what’s going to happen, maybe you should  figure out new ways criminal investigations should be run at the convenience of the person of interest. Maybe they should promise to close their eyes and count to ten after every question?

          • Colonial Viper 10.2.1.2.1

            How does guaranteeing that Assange will not be extradited to Guantanamo Bay pander to Assange? It doesn’t of course. This is where you have to pull out a bullshit argument about “sovereignty”. Which to me demonstrates that you have no interest whatsoever in progressing the investigation for the two women.

            Such a guarantee would have NO NEGATIVE IMPACT on any similar Swedish sexual assault investigations in future, either. Yet you consistently dismiss it as an option.

            And yet the British didn’t send him to Guantanamo. They decided to send him to Sweden to face a sexual assault investigation.

            Guantanamo via Stockholm is still final destination Guantanamo, is it not?

            Plus you know your statistics. The UK toin coss isn’t predictive of the Swedish coin toss. Yet you consistently imply that it is, in this case.

            • McFlock 10.2.1.2.1.1

              We’ve been through this before:
                  
              Extradition to Guantanamo is out?
              So extradition to the US is out, because the US will send him to Guantanamo.
              Not just on wikileaks, but on any charge.
              Oh, and extradition to any country Assange fears might send him to the US is out. Which will be any country that investigates him for sexual assault.
                
              A guarantee not to send him to Guantanamo because of wikileaks is a guarantee not to send him anywhere, to anyone, for anything.
                     
              And besides, justice systems shouldn’t haggle with persons of interest. 

              • Colonial Viper

                A guarantee not to send him to Guantanamo because of wikileaks is a guarantee not to send him anywhere, to anyone, for anything.

                OK, but I’d suggest that the scope of the brief could be narrowed just a little.

                • McFlock

                  So if the US tries to extradite him for any other charge, you’d be cool with that and not assume he’d be sent to guantanamo?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee talked espionage. Those are the only charges that I’ve heard of. Guantanamo Bay or some other military facility is where he’d end up.

          • Morrissey 10.2.1.2.2

            They decided to send him to Sweden to face a sexual assault investigation.

            There is no sexual assault investigation. There are vague and fantastical allegations, which no one of integrity thinks hold water.

            • McFlock 10.2.1.2.2.1

              The Swedish Prosecution Authority begs to differ.

              • QoT

                My only (I swear) comment on this matter: Silly McFlock, you’ve forgotten Morrissey’s Law: if supports Assange = credible; if not = uninformed / evil / probably a CIA plant.

                • you are woefully misunderuninformed my friend :)

                • Morrissey

                  My only (I swear) comment on this matter…Morrissey’s Law….

                  That is not what I think at all. I’m interested in something: why on earth would you presume to comment on this matter when you obviously have no idea what you are talking about?

  11. Pete 11

    Brace yourself for a food price shock

    The Economist is reporting a 5.2% increase in US crude food prices in July – wheat, corn and soybeans – due to drought. This is sure to affect the global market.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      And its not the food price shock per se which is the problem, even though NZ households will have a tougher time of it, sure.

      The issue is overseas in poor countries. The higher food prices are going to cause social and political disintegration and lead to military conflict.

  12. alex 12

    Remember to make a submission on the MMP proposals. If you want tweaks to the electoral system, the time is now.

  13. prism 13

    alex
    You are good to remind us about the MMP review.. And there is limited time. These are dates below and the link from Why the Review on the site. http://www.mmpreview.org.nz/why-review

    Making the submission – the site says – It’s easy to make a submission. There is even an easy feedback form to help. You can do it online, by email, or post. All the information you’ll need to is on this website, or call 0800 36 76 56 for information to be sent to you.

    13 August 2012 – the proposal paper was released plus the call for submissions
    7 Sept 2012 – Submissions on proposals close
    24 Sept 2012 – Submissions received and a summary of them is available on line or through an 0800 number
    31 Oct 2012 – Final report is to be presented to the Minister of Justice

  14. ad 14

    If any leftie wants a bit of cheering up, have a listen to Aussie Treasurer Wayne Swan recently analysing the economy through the great theorist Bruce Springsteen.

    I really liked it.

    http://australianpolitics.com/2012/08/01/land-of-hope-and-dreams-swan-button-oration.html

    • Jackal 14.1

      Thanks for that ad… It’s very good. Swan’s essay is also good:

      Today, when a would-be US president, Mitt Romney, is wealthier than 99.9975% of his fellow Americans, and wealthier than the last eight presidents combined, there’s a global conversation raging about the rich, the poor, the gap between them, and the role of vested interests in the significant widening of that gap in advanced economies over the past three decades.

      This is a debate Australia too must be part of. We’ve always prided ourselves on being a nation that’s more equal than most – a place where, if you work hard, you can create a better life for yourself and your family. Our egalitarian spirit is the product of our history and our national character, as well as the institutions and safeguards built up over more than a century. This spirit informed our stimulus response to the global financial crisis, and meant we avoided the kinds of immense social dislocation that occurred elsewhere in the developed world.

      But Australia’s fair go is today under threat from a new source. To be blunt, the rising power of vested interests is undermining our equality and threatening our democracy. We see this most obviously in the ferocious and highly misleading campaigns waged in recent years against resource taxation reforms and the pricing of carbon pollution. The infamous billionaires’ protest against the mining tax would have been laughed out of town in the Australia I grew up in, and yet it received a wide and favourable reception two years ago. A handful of vested interests that have pocketed a disproportionate share of the nation’s economic success now feel they have a right to shape Australia’s future to satisfy their own self-interest.

      So I write this essay to make a simple point: if we don’t grow together economically, our community will grow apart.

      +1

    • millsy 14.2

      Wayne Swan — the guy who delivered a budget full of huge spending cuts for the public sector, and whose fellow cabinet ministers openly endorsed privatisation of electricity networks, and have warned unions against seeking pay rises?

      You thoughts our Labour Party had problems, look at what the poor Ozzies have to endure…

  15. joe90 15

    More to ignore.

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/08/arctic-coast-tipping-point/

    Along rocky coastlines of the Arctic Ocean, a radical change is taking place, perhaps as profound as vanishing sea ice but less evident to the eye. Ecological foundations are shifting, with existing algae replaced by warmth- and light-loving species. It might not seem like much, but algae form the base of ocean food chains, and the change is happening fast.

    “The abrupt character of these extensive changes, confirmed by our statistical analyses, provides a convincing case for tipping points being crossed,” wrote researchers led by marine biologist Susanne Kortsch of Norway’s University of Tromsø in an email to Wired.

  16. Jackal 16

    Bomber has a rave about Labours relationship with the leftwing blogosphere:

    I have a love-hate relationship with The Standard (but then again, who don’t I have a love-hate relationship with?), while their pro-Labour cheerleading is sometimes tiresome, they are still without a doubt one of the largest and most influential left wing blogs in NZ, which begs the question – what the fuck does John and Josie Pagani think they’re doing publicly burning The Standard?

    Would Obama’s top strategists attack the Huffington Post? Only if they were drunk and shooting up heroin into their eyeballs, watching the Labour Party top advisor attack the largest left wing blog in the country is like rolling up to the Colosseum to watch Christians fighting lions only to see the lions turn on each other.

    It is bewildering that Labour strategists are adopting this strategy.

    It does seem that a lack of leftwing cohesion and vision at times is the rightwings biggest asset.

    • ad 16.1

      Good on you Bomber, even if your politics are a ludicrous parody of hyperinflated unreasonable bombastic pinko froth, you still put it out there and defend TheStandard when you don’t have to. The comparison to Huffington or Whaleoil is apt and telling.

      Labour caucus and their strategists are just going to keep finding out the hard way at the November Conference. This town is big enough for the both of us.

    • muzza 16.2

      Pagani & co, have to attack The Standard, simply because they have to validate their own position and ideology, by rubbishing what the party once stood for. Also because they have been “directed”, hence the move to the middle, its rather transparent!

    • tc 16.3

      You don’t get cohesion with ego first types like ducky and colleagues, never have, never will.

      Yet Labour seem to keep doing what Einstein observed in that expecting a different result from the same process/people each time is stupidity.

      Muzza’s right and the stage is being set for a true left party at this rate if they want to diss their roots.

    • weka 16.4

      TS has a phone number?
       
      ;-)

  17. Colonial Viper 17

    Parasitic banking sector record profits: ASB

    Sucking ordinary NZ businesses, depositors and mortgage holders dry.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10827228

  18. bad12 18

    Dear J Pagani(s),
    thank you for your recent ‘the truck driver and the sickness beneficiary’ homily, perhaps here we could suggest that as a campaign advertisement you have Dave deliver the same as a fire-side chat,

    Forgive us lot for the mention of this as we all know how you Neo-libs hate taxation BUT there’s another societal anomaly that isn’t oft mentioned by the politicians in the corridors of power, and, less so by those that advise them,

    It;s come to our attention here at the Standard that when counted up ALL the naughty Bene’s who do fiddle the system of welfare do so to the tune of 0.1% of the total welfare budget annually,

    While that’s as Dave said not on, and, lest we all come to really believe that Pagani and Pagani is simply a synonym for ‘knee-jerk neo-lib reactionary’ we have a stunning revelation of wrong doing of an even greater magnitude when it comes to malfeasance concerning the tax payers dollars which we think you should prime your puppet to highlight somewhere between growing apples and getting really smart with them,

    It seems that in actual illegal evasion those that can, you know those who are not trapped by PAYE rip off the tax system to the tune of approx: 7 billion bucks annually, you can J and J see where this little chat is going right, as that 7 billion bucks annually doesn’t even scratch the surface of the immoral tax avoidance industry which manages to allow for another approx: 7 billion to be avoided annually,

    So J and J, you don’t mind the abbreviations i hope, just as i hope that your careers with the Labour Party are also suitably abbreviated, i hope you can encapsulate these concerns within the next speech you write for your puppet just to give the electorate a balanced picture of who the REAL thieves are,

    Yours,
    a sickness beneficiary…

  19. Vicky32 19

    I don’t believe what I’ve just heard on 3 News – there’ll be a row of undreamed of proportions at midnight NZ time, as the UK government wishes to take Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy.
    “Just like the Iran hostage crisis” said the reporter. lolwut? Nothing like that at all!

    • Te Reo Putake 19.1

      Ha, that’s a ridiculous comparison. More like when Noriega was holed up in an embassy in Panama. But that involved the USA and an actual military invasion. I gather the Equadorian government is going to make their decision known at around midnight our time, but that shouldn’t be much of a big deal, unless they chuck Assange out, of course!

      The UK government is threatening to invoke their rights to enter the embassy, but I imagine that won’t be acted on for a few days, whatever the decision. I suppose we could offer him asylum, I hear there’s a flatmate wanted at Kaitoke prison, Wanganui.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/aug/16/julian-assange-ecuador-embassy-asylum

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        The UK government is threatening to invoke their rights to enter the embassy

        What’s the basis of those rights to send armed UK officers onto Ecuadorean soil???

        • Te Reo Putake 19.1.1.1

          Who says they’d be armed, CV?

          • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1.1

            Uh, all the UK police outside the Ecuadorean Embassy are armed. Some with submachineguns. There are plenty of photos in the news channels.

            • Te Reo Putake 19.1.1.1.1.1

              Yep, the ones outside might be armed, but I asked how you know the ones going in will be. Citation, please?

              • Colonial Viper

                Oh frak off.

                allow me to clarify further – expecting me to be able to access information which would be operationally classified is BS.

                However it is a simple expectation that in the arrest of any fugitive that they have seen fit to surround by armed police that the arresting officers intruding into the property would also be armed.

                Fucking lefties. No wonder you guys keep gawdamn losing always.

        • Pascal's bookie 19.1.1.2

          IT’s weird CV, but read the bloody articles all over the web about it.

        • Jackal 19.1.1.3

          CV

          What’s the basis of those rights to send armed UK officers onto Ecuadorean soil?

          Basically they have non and Assange should be protected by the restrictive sovereign immunity rule because it’s a public and not governmental or corporate case. If the UK invades the Ecuadorian embassy to try and physically remove Assange they will be committing an act of war against Ecuador. They don’t need to be armed, they just need to act against the will of another foreign state and breach its laws. Of course the Brits won’t care about this because they hate Ecuador anyway.

          Although absolute sovereign immunity doesn’t really exist anymore, I would be highly surprised if a forcable removal of Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy has a legal leg to stand on. Of course the United States treatment of foreign sovereigns has long been inconsistent with international law, and that will be where the orders are coming from.

          • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.3.1

            Thanks for the clarification, Jackal.

          • Vicky32 19.1.1.3.2

            the United States treatment of foreign sovereigns has long been inconsistent with international law, and that will be where the orders are coming from.

            Pretty much confirmed by something I heard on Radio NZ news this morning – the Americans are very unhappy with Ecuador! (Predictably)

      • Morrissey 19.1.2

        I suppose we could offer him asylum, I hear there’s a flatmate wanted at Kaitoke prison, Wanganui.

        Gosh, you’re a funny guy.

        Not.

    • Vicky32 19.2

      Further, what was it that Hil’ry Berry said in her summary at the end of the bulletin? Repeating the item about Assange and the embassy, she seemed to say “Yay, go get him, brothers”…
      If I heard her rightly, then she’s crossed a line, and is editorialising.  Mind you, from what I know of her, I’m not surprised.

  20. This may have been covered above but just reading 4chan /b/ (The home of Anonymous) and someone has started this thread. (excuse the caps – it is a cut & paste)

    ATTENTION LONDON,

    IN EXACTLY 5 HOURS AND 50 MINUTES, AT 1200GMT, BRITISH POLICE INTEND TO STORM THE ECUADORIAN EMBASSY, LONDON,
    Flat 3B, 3 Hans Crescent
    London SW1X 0LS

    TO ARREST WIKILEAKS SPOKESPERSON JUILIAN ASSANGE.

    THIS MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN.

    WHAT YOU CAN DO:

    BUMP THIS THREAD.
    MAKE NEW THREADS ABOUT THIS TO SPREAD THE WORD.
    TWITTER THIS.
    ORGANISE A FLASH MOB TO PREVENT THIS ILLEGAL ACT.
    ATTEND THE EMBASSY, IMMEDIATELY AND STAND YOUR GROUND.

    https://boards.4chan.org/b/res/419135679

  21. just saying 22

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/Beaten-Down-Isolated-Ang-by-Phil-Rockstroh-120815-289.html

    The machinations of Power have entered a new phase: a full-spectrum counterfeiting of the images of the soul”that rise like a fever dream from the abysmal, group-mind of late stage capitalism.

    In this age, there is no need for thronging mobs, foisting banners and carrying blazing torches through the central squares of contemporary cities, as occurred in 1930s Germany and Italy, because every sofa has become a 24/7 Nuremberg Rally; every mass media device enables an instant immersion in the mob…

    • Morrissey 22.1

      What a moronic, yet pretentious, torrent of almost content-free verbiage THAT was.

  22. Sorry, for those who want to watch it live outside the embassy….
    http://www.livestream.com/globalrevolution
     
    RT is live blogging….
    http://www.rt.com/news/ecuador-decides-assange-fate-813/
     
    There is a live feed from from inside the embassy but it is down for now.
    They have a battery problem and what appears to be government(?) interference and will be up again 10:30 our time.

    The Bambuser livestreaming website is coming under ‘a robust and sustained’ DDoS attack, preventing users of that site from witnessing the events outside the Ecuadorian embassy.
     
     

  23. Reuters has a live feed
    http://reuters.livestation.com/demo
     
    Barricades have been erected and there is a police helicopter over head and the  protesters have been moved back.
     

  24. Global revolution tv is combining their own feed and Reuters
    http://www.livestream.com/globalrevolution

  25. Colonial Viper 26

    McFlock might get his wish real soon! That punk pervert Assange might get his face hauled out into the disinfecting sunlight and pushed down into the footpath where it deserves to be!

    • McFlock 26.1

      Take a chill pill, dude.

    • Morrissey 26.2

      McFlock might get his wish real soon….

      People like McFlock got their wish in October 1960 when Martin Luther King was busted for driving in Georgia with an Alabama registration. People like McFlock got their wish when the likes of Emmett Till were busted good and proper for committing the crime of whistling at a white woman. People like McFlock got their wish as agents of vengeance like Prosecutor General Vyshinsky went after other enemies of the state in the 1930s.

      • McFlock 26.2.1

        Yeah.
        Damned bloodthirsty fools like me, believing that silly women who accuse St Julian of sexual assault might just be telling the truth.

        • Colonial Viper 26.2.1.1

          And Julian should front up in Sweden so the Swedish authorities can get to the bottom of it all. Just as long as it doesn’t mean him fronting up in Guantanamo Bay soon thereafter, of course.

          • McFlock 26.2.1.1.1

            Damn – if only he’d turned up to the interview he’d agreed to attend, rather than skipping Sweden.

        • Morrissey 26.2.1.2

          Damned bloodthirsty fools like me, believing that silly women who accuse St Julian of sexual assault might just be telling the truth.

          No, your self-praise is delusional. The problem is damned credulous fools like you, believing that the massively discredited Pentagon/CIA disinformation machine, and its “liberal” mouthpieces at the BBC, the Guardian and the New York Times “might just be telling the truth” as they go after someone who has exposed them.

          Your affectation of concern for these women’s rights is as risible as it is baseless.

          • McFlock 26.2.1.2.1

            You forgot to mention Swedish prosecutors and the UK courts that decided on extradition in that list of conspirators.

  26. Morrissey 27

    “Why are you intimidating a sovereign nation?”

    “Why are you intimidating a sovereign nation? Ecuador is a sovereign nation, you have no right to be here, intimidating them.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-16/assange-supporters-protest-impending-arrest/4203888

  27. I see the protesters are moved on but the media get the prime spot directly in front of the embassy. 

  28. President of the Ecuadorian National Assembly Fernando Cordero has called a special meeting on the UK’s potential raid of the Ecuadorian Embassy. Although Parliament is in recess for 15 days, he called 124 legislators to attend the meeting. This session will not address the issue of Assange’s bid for asylum, Cordero said. – RT website

    • Colonial Viper 30.1

      Wow. What the hell has the UK threatened to do? I guess it should be expected as the allegations are serious enough to ignore the Geneva Convention and risk a full scale international incident: Assange is wanted for endangering national security, placing lives of military servicemen under threat and espionage allegations of sexual assault.

      • William Joyce 30.1.1

        Fascist Germany knew that smearing someone of a sexual crime was more effective at silencing disaffection than charges of political crimes.

        • Colonial Viper 30.1.1.1

          Yep. And more recently in Malaysia.

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

          • McFlock 30.1.1.1.1

            Funnily enough, Amnesty International had issues with the Ibrahim trials.
            Assange issue? Not so much.
               
            One or two things about Ecuador, though. 

            • Colonial Viper 30.1.1.1.1.1

              Funnily enough, Amnesty International had issues with the Ibrahim trials.
              Assange issue? Not so much.

              Oh you mean where Amnesty International say:

              Julian Assange must be accorded the presumption of innocence and given due process protections and a fair trial.

              You agree with that right, McFlock? Because you definitely presume that Assange is innocent, right? And things like not being taken into custody for one thing, only to find it is a pretense for something completely separate?

              And Amnesty have had plenty to say about Guantanamo Bay over the years, to minimal effect. Which won’t exactly reassure Assange.

              • McFlock

                I found that entire paragraph most interesting, yes:\

                As we have seen before, the desire to publicize information, if not balanced against individual rights, can lead to problems of its own. In August, two women filed criminal complaints against Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, under the Swedish sexual offences act. Hackers published the names and identities of the women who had been vilified in the media as stooges of the US and Swedish governments. This demonstrates that in the new virtual universe women continue to be treated as pawns – or even worse – as acceptable collateral damage. To be clear, the women deserve to have their complaints fully investigated and if there is sufficient evidence, to see the alleged perpetrator prosecuted. Julian Assange must be accorded the presumption of innocence and given due process protections and a fair trial 

                 

              • McFlock

                Oh, and lots to say about Guantanamo. Not so much about the investigation against him.

        • weka 30.1.1.2

          And women have long known that their sexual wellbeing is expendable when men play power games.
           
          In what way has disaffection been silenced?
           

          • William Joyce 30.1.1.2.1

            Not sure what you are saying….The intention is to get the populace to acquiesce to state acts of unjust use of power and coercion by charging dissidents with sex related crimes rather than political crimes.
             
            So they are, in fact, playing upon an abhorrence of sexual crimes in the populace to demonise someone who has not committed a sexual crime – against a woman or a man.
             
            I know it’s late at night but no comment here has discussed a situation where a woman’s “sexual wellbeing is expendable”. Rather, a particular smearing of a reputation for political ends.
             
            Like saying John Banks cheated on his electoral finances when it wasn’t true. Or that Bill English lived in Wellington when he obviously lives in Otago. ;-)

            • McFlock 30.1.1.2.1.1

              I know it’s late at night but no comment here has discussed a situation where a woman’s “sexual wellbeing is expendable”. Rather, a particular smearing of a reputation for political ends.

              Which is just a bigger example of not believing a complainant because the guy she accuses is life of the party and all around good bloke.
                   
              That’s the entire point. Any allegation against Assange must be the US and its allies “smearing his reputation” because Wikileaks is such a nice thing, and the investigation must be a short feeder flight to Cuba because the prosecutors dared to treat the women seriously. 
                     
              Let me put it another way: if he did to what has been claimed, or even worse, how could any woman make a complaint in such a way that commenters here would go “fair call, Wikileaks is better off without him”?  It is impossible – internet warriors will always name them, slur them, and say they were forced to make it up.
                  
              That is expendability: politics trumps believing the guy might have commited a crime.

              • @ McFlock – I wasn’t responding to you – that’s another debate.

              • Colonial Viper

                Which is just a bigger example of not believing a complainant because the guy she accuses is life of the party and all around good bloke.

                Presumption of innocence McFlock. Remember that, if you can. Just like the Amnesty International link you quoted.

                But I have long taken it that you believe the complainants without reservation, and that you’ve already decided that Assange is guilty on all counts even before charges have been laid.

                • McFlock

                  A presumption of innocence that you believe doesn’t apply to the Swedish judicial system.

            • weka 30.1.1.2.1.2

              William, The Standard is littered with women’s expendability within the Assange case. It’s there every time someone puts up the false dichotomy of the charges laid against Assange vs the political forces attempting to silence Assange.
               
              If women weren’t expendable, then it would be possible to talk about rape and justice for women AND the forces wanting Assange punished for wikileaks, instead of them being opposing forces. It would be possible to talk about the possibility of Assange being a sexual predator AND having done good things via wikileaks AND that maybe he isn’t worth saving at the expense of women. It would be possible to talk about how the epidemic of sexual violence against women is at least as important as wikileaks, and how important it is to not lose sight of the wellbeing of women when one of the left’s liberal heroes is yet again playing out the hero’s drama.
               
              Women on the left are well used to this. Our sexual and other wellbeing has often been trumped by the agendas of men on the left. If you’re not aware of this dynamic within liberal politics then maybe you should ask yourself why.

              • weka

                Example:
                 
                http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-16082012/comment-page-1/#comment-508784
                 
                (sorry CV, but it’s tedious and exactly what I was meaning).

                • Colonial Viper

                  No probs weka.

                  As I’ve said to McFlock many times, Assange should present to Swedish authorities and the womens’ allegations fully investigated. And Swedish authorities should give reassurances that they will not use their control over Assange to ship him to Guantanamo Bay.

                  The women who made the allegations will not be “expendable” in any way in this scenario. Except of course its not acceptable to McFlock.

                  • weka

                    Yep, I’ve seen you make that pretty clear recently. So I don’t understand why you then engage in the false dichotomy, which just affirms the expendability of women.
                     
                    btw, there are the women who made the allegations, and then there are women as a class. Both are expendable according to some in this situation.

              • Thanks Weka. I understand the need not to dismiss the sexual predation upon women. The discussion was about strategy, whether the supposed victim is male or female.
                I did not think we were discussing whether Assange was guilty or not guilty. It was about the time honoured strategy of accusing anyone of a sexual crimes for political aims, often when there was no possibility of there having been a crime.
                Whether Assange is guilty is another debate.

                • weka

                  It actually has nothing to do with Assange’s guilt or innocence (which hasn’t yet been established). It’s about how the issue is being debate amongst the left.
                   
                  Are you avoiding the discussions today about Assange, here on TS, where women are deemed expendable? It’s a strategy also, and it’s in full play here on TS. If you are taking part in this debate, where that stategy is being used, and you aren’t naming the problem and arguing against it, then you are supporting the expendability of women.

                  • Jackal

                    That’s a gross generalization there weka. I think most people who comment here on the Standard don’t believe Women are expendable in any sense of the word.

                    If I support Assange’s political fight to not be deported to the US where he will likely end up tortured in Guantanamo, does that mean I think woman are expendable and there is no case to answer? Of course not!

                    It’s not helpful to conflate what are obviously separate issues and the absence of opinion does not affirm either side of the debate.

                    • weka

                      If I support Assange’s political fight to not be deported to the US where he will likely end up tortured in Guantanamo, does that mean I think woman are expendable and there is no case to answer? Of course not!
                       

                      That’s not what I said. At all.

      • weka 30.1.2

        The document raises British concern about the reports that the
        president is considering offering asylum. It says London’s preferred course, even if asylum is offered, is to continue discussions on a mutually acceptable outcome.

        However the note did point out that the foreign secretary had the power to go to court to seek the right for UK police to enter the Ecuadorean embassy to arrest Assange. He would have to prove that international law had been broken and that Ecuador was in contravention of its Vienna Convention obligations in harbouring Assange.

        The foreign office is confident these conditions would be met. It says the embassy would have a week’s notice of the action and the police would not look at or remove any embassy documents and the diplomatic immunity of Ecuadorean diplomats would not be affected.

        A foreign office spokesman said that the UK government realised this would be a serious step, but added ‘it is not as serious as ending diplomatic relations’. He said the UK saw its paramount obligation was the legal duty to extradite Assange.
         

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/aug/16/julian-assange-ecuador-embassy-asylum-live?CMP=NECNETTXT8187
         
        That does imply that the British do have some rights over foreign embassies, given certain situations.
         
         

        • rosy 30.1.2.1

          The Assange asylum decision is being read out on SkyUK now. As well as invoking the Vienna Convention the Ecuadorians did bring up the security council decision over the protection of the UK Embassy in Iran back in the 80s to highlight the international illegality of any move to walk into the embassy.

          Upshot is they’ve granted asylum. Live blog (as always) of this decision. Say he might be deported to the U.S. by the UK or Sweden. on The Guardian

          Also promising a big announcement at 4pm UK time.

  29. If the Brit government storm the Ecuadorian embassy does the mean we can storm theirs? Is this the start of Occupy British Embassies movement?

    • rosy 31.1

      Definitely threatening to do it:

      We are disappointed by the statement from Ecuador’s Foreign Minister that Ecuador has offered political asylum to Julian Assange.

      Under our law, with Mr Assange having exhausted all options of appeal, the British authorities are under a binding obligation to extradite him to Sweden. We shall carry out that obligation. The Ecuadorian Government’s decision this afternoon does not change that.

      We remain committed to a negotiated solution that allows us to carry out our obligations under the Extradition Act.

      That’s crazy talk. How does the UK hope to maintain its own embassies integrity in the world’s hot spots if they don’t maintain the integrity of Ecuador’s embassy in the UK?

      • weka 31.1.1

        Um, they have a bigger stick?
         
        What are the precedents for embassies granting asylum and states overriding that?

        • rosy 31.1.1.1

          That’s the question isn’t it? I think the legal beagles are scrambling for what is the most valid comparisons and points of law. I’ve heard the Vienna Convention, Security Council, UK in Iran, U.S. in Nicaragua… but nothing very coherent as yet. As it stands I don’t think Assange’s troubles have gone away. Going back to Sweden to answer allegations might prove to have been the easy way out.

        • McFlock 31.1.1.2

          Probably only the states from which asylum is actually needed :(
                     
          Funnily enough, while I don’t think asylum should have been granted and believe it is not consistent with what article 14 is there for, I’m not happy about taking a step back in international relations.
                    

          • Colonial Viper 31.1.1.2.1

            So much for your respect of international law. Extradition processes back to Sweden are OK; asylum processes going to Ecuador are not OK.

      • Vicky32 31.1.2

        That’s crazy talk. How does the UK hope to maintain its own embassies integrity in the world’s hot spots if they don’t maintain the integrity of Ecuador’s embassy in the UK?

        Exactly!

  30. National don’t to ethics, legalities are a struggle and fiscal prudence need only apply to beneficiaries…
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/15-ethical-fails-under-national.html

  31. xtasy 33

    VIVA y gracias por el pueblo de Equador por ensurar la libertad! Assange may have some questions to answer in Sweden, but on the balance of matters, he needs to be protected from the illegal persecution by the US and the UK, who have ulterior motives to have him extradited and persecuted for made up crimes he never committed.

    We have freedom at stake here, and the lies spread are unbelievable.

    Take a bloddy stand and defend freedom of opinon and press, please!

    HC

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    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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