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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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    Public Address | 31-08
  • My own take on Dirty Politics
    Now that Judith Collins is gone, what now? First, of course, the search for answers carries on. What did John Key or Wayne Eagleson know about the dirty tricks campaign in their midst? Which other Ministers might be rotting the...
    Polity | 31-08
  • What is the CFN? Transport Debate Summary
    At the 2014 Election Transport Debate organised by the Campaign for Better Transport I was charged with summarising our Congestion Free Network as an introduction to the candidate’s speeches. Here is that short speech: What is the CFN? The CFN is...
    Transport Blog | 31-08
  • Gordon Campbell on John Key’s ‘blame it on Judith’ strategy
    Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious...
    Gordon Campbell | 31-08
  • On eve of major conference, UN chief spurs green investment
    Press Release – UN News 31 August 2014 Encouraging partnerships between the private sector and small developing island nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday urged corporate leaders to invest in renewable energy and make historic strides in sustainability.SAMOA: On eve...
    Its our future | 31-08
  • The Greens Are Deep In Dirty Politics
    I have a confession, as a Green candidate I too have been involved in some dirty politics and it has been filthier than many would expect.I had someone contact me recently because of his concern about poor service from an...
    Local Bodies | 31-08
  • Pop-up Tea Shop
    Rose and vanilla tea, complete with cosy, and accompanied by old-fashioned carrot cake, Pop-up Tea Shop, August 31 2014This post is part of the 100 Days ProjectDay 52Some enterprising people ran a pop up tea shop in the Grey Lynn...
    Notes from the edge | 31-08
  • Collins gets a cheer
    This post is part of the 100 Days Project Day 51I was in my hairdresser's making an appointment today and the owner was on reception, so we got to shooting the sh*t a little, as you do.  Things turned political and...
    Notes from the edge | 31-08
  • When someone you care about goes left
    This post is part of the 100 Days ProjectDay 46I wrote earlier about how you get the chance to become a better person when someone you care about has a different political perspective, because this forces you to you listen...
    Notes from the edge | 31-08
  • John Key’s Top 69 Lies: Today no. 20 – The All Blacks would take do...
     John Key news conference 18 August 2014 Election 2014 Fact or Fiction?    Prime Minister John Key has made the  claim in relation to Dirty Politics. Asked about allegations that the National Party had been involved in gaining access to the Labour...
    Arch Rival | 31-08
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #35
    SkS Highlights Nichael J.I. Brown's guest post, What I learned from debating science with trolls attracted the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Many commenters provided their own example of lessons learned. The post...
    Skeptical Science | 31-08
  • Poll of Polls update – 31 August 2014
    The latest One News Colmar Brunton poll has just been released, and there’s some interesting results there. National drop 2%, down to 48%. That’s on top of the 2% they dropped in the mid-August Colmar Brunton poll. On the left,...
    Occasionally erudite | 31-08
  • UKIP set to hammer Tories
    Douglas Carsewell stunned the British political establishment last week.Not by defecting to the UKIP - who cares how right wing fruitcakes arrange themselves? - but by doing the honourable thing and resigning his seat so he can legitimately continue to...
    Left hand palm | 31-08
  • Carbon
    CARBON is the first film in the Green World Rising Series.“Carbon” is narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, presented by Thom Hartmann and directed by Leila Conners. Executive Producers are George DiCaprio, Earl Katz and Roee Sharon Peled. Carbon is produced by...
    The Jackal | 31-08
  • The National Party, Integrity and John Phillip Key
    There have been a few things floating around in my head over the last week. I’ve started this post several times and deleted it as I tried to gather those thoughts together into some kind of coherent narrative. Following the...
    My Thinks | 31-08
  • A Wicked Web Is Uncovered
    Following image is from the good work of some of the folks on the Facebook Page – ‘John Key Has Let NZ Down’ – you can request membership HERE...
    An average kiwi | 31-08
  • Matthew Hooton’s assertions re the Prime Minister’s Office
    ‘Explosive’ is one of those words that gets kicked around in politics and political reporting to the point where it’s almost lost its meaning. But it’s not an exaggeration to describe right wing spin doctor and self-declared National Party loyalist...
    The Paepae | 31-08
  • Jerome Mika: Labour’s candidate in Papakura
    Jerome Mika was just dashing home on Friday for a quick change prior to the launch of Labour’s Pasifika policy at Auckland’s oldest bilingual pre-school, A'oga Fa’a Samoa at Richmond Road Primary School.  He likes the choice of venue: all levels of...
    Labour campaign | 31-08
  • Is the NZ National Gov’t, One of the Most Corrupt in the World?
    There are two main types of corruption.  Whether it be  economic or moral, they are as bad as each other in regards to the consequences they can wreak. As we have seen over the last two weeks or so, as...
    An average kiwi | 31-08
  • Sad news – Victor Stenger has died
    I was sad to read that Victor Stenger died during the week at the age of 79. Victor was a prolific author, writing on science, religion and philosophy. He often dealt with difficult issues coming out of the religion-science debates...
    Open Parachute | 31-08
  • Enemies without and enemies within
    Yesterday, when the news of Judith Collins’ resignation broke, I asked where the Cameron Slater email had come from. It hadn’t been released by Whaledump, and it hadn’t featured in Dirty Politics. Instead, it had been sent to the Prime Minister’s...
    Occasionally erudite | 31-08
  • The Red, the Green and the Blue:….Left Bloc / Right Bloc Monthly Pol...
    Following on from the previous post, here are the Monthly Poll Averages (since April) for both (1) The Four Largest Parties and (2) The Left and Right Blocs.You can see from Table (1) that Labour's monthly average has been falling...
    Sub zero politics | 31-08
  • Airplane fares reveal the value of time… and the importance of choice
    High airplane fares are in the media this week, as Air New Zealand is about to pay a special dividend after a 45% increase in profits. Some people have suggested that the airline should cut fares on regional routes instead....
    Transport Blog | 31-08
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Speech to Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
    Today I'm going to talk about our policy package to upgrade and grow our economy and how we turn that growth into a foundation for a decent and fair society. But first I want to address the issue of our...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Commission of Inquiry must have bipartisan support
    The Labour Party is drafting terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says. “It is abundantly clear there is a need for an independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, into...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Rapid Transit to unclog Christchurch
    Labour will build a 21st century Rapid Transit system for Christchurch, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The long delayed recovery of Christchurch hinges on a modern commuter system for the city. “We will invest $100 million in a modern rail plan...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s commitment to public broadcasting
    A Labour Government will set up a working group to re-establish a public service television station as part of our commitment to ensuring New Zealand has high quality free-to-air local content. “We will set up a working group to report...
    Labour | 31-08
  • A new deal for the conservation estate
    The health of our economy depends on New Zealand preserving and restoring our land, air, water and indigenous wildlife, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. Announcing Labours Conservation policy, she said that there will be a comprehensive plan to restore...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s plan to end homelessness
    Labour has a comprehensive approach to end homelessness starting with the provision of emergency housing for 1000 people each year and putting an end to slum conditions in boarding houses, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes that homelessness is not...
    Labour | 30-08
  • Labour: A smarter approach to justice
    A Labour Government will improve the justice system to ensure it achieves real public safety, provides equal access to justice and protects human rights, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. “Our approach is about tackling the root causes of crime, recognising...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Labour to foster Kiwi love of sport and the great outdoors
    A Labour Government will promote physical activity, back our top athletes and help foster Kiwis’ love of the great outdoors by upgrading tramping and camping facilities. Trevor Mallard today released Labour’s sports and recreation policy which will bring back a...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Pacific languages recognised under Labour
    Labour will act to recognise the five main Pacific languages in New Zealand including through the education system, said Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. Announcing Labour’s Pacific Island policy he said that there must be a strong commitment to...
    Labour | 29-08
  • No healthy economy without a healthy environment
    Labour recognises that we cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy environment, says Environment spokesperson Moana Mackey announcing Labour’s environment policy. “New Zealand’s economy has been built on the back of the enormous environmental wealth we collectively enjoy as...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Better protection, fairer deal for Kiwi consumers
    Tackling excessive prices, ensuring consumers have enough information to make ethical choices and giving the Commerce Commission more teeth are highlights of Labour’s Consumer Rights policy. “The rising cost of living is a concern for thousands of Kiwi families. A...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki Annette Sykes, Waia...
    Media are advised that this coming weekend, the MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes, will be on the Internet MANA Road Trip within the electorate of Waiariki. Speakers confirmed are Annette Sykes, Hone Harawira, John Minto, Laila Harre and Kim...
    Mana | 27-08
  • Internet MANA – Waiariki Road Trip: 29, 30, 31 Aug 2014
    The Internet MANA Road Trip hits Waiariki this weekend. It would be great if all MANA members in Waiariki could especially attend the public meetings and show their support for our Waiariki candidate Annette Sykes. Confirmed speakers Hone Harawira (except Taupo), Annette...
    Mana | 27-08
  • First home buyers $200 a week better off with Labour
    A couple earning around $75,000 a year would be $200 a week better off buying a two bedroom terraced Labour KiwiBuild home instead of an equivalent new build under National’s housing policy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.  “National’s policy to...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Another Day – Another big power profit
    The latest profit announcement from Genesis Energy shows that the power company was sold for a song to the detriment of the country’s power consumers, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “A net profit of $ 49.2 million follows hard...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour embraces the rainbow
    Labour will work hard to ensure all New Zealanders enjoy the freedom to grow up and live their lives in dignity and security. Labour’s Rainbow policy, released tonight in Wellington, focuses on International Relations, Human Rights and Education....
    Labour | 26-08
  • National gets fast and loose with the facts
    In their desperation to make it look as though they are doing something about the housing crisis, National is playing fast and loose with the facts, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour will drop power prices for Kiwi families
    New Zealanders will get cheaper power prices under NZ Power, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The electricity market is clearly broken. With falling demand for electricity, prices should be going down. Instead prices are going up and companies are extracting...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour: Promoting sustainable tourism
    Ensuring New Zealand’s clean, green status continues to be an international tourism benchmark and reviewing MBIE’s oversight of the tourism sector will be on the radar under a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Tourism policy today, spokesperson Darien Fenton said tourism...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Skills shortage a result of National’s complacency
    The fact that there is still a severe shortage of skilled tradespeople, despite a growth in the number of apprentices, is a result of National’s failure to plan and develop the workforce, Grant Robertson, Labour Employment, Skills and TrainingSpokesperson says."The...
    Labour | 26-08
  • How much tax does John Key pay compared to a minimum wage worker?? – Mint...
    MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is calling for a radical overhaul of New Zealand’s taxation system with calculations showing that a minimum wage worker pays a ten times higher tax rate than the Prime Minister. o Minimum wage...
    Mana | 25-08
  • Labour’s culture of science and innovation
    Labour will create a culture of science and innovation in New Zealand that will be the envy of the world, says Labour’s Innovation, Research and Development spokesperson Megan Woods. “Labour believes that good science lies at the heart of a...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Improving life for our new New Zealanders
    New Zealand’s international standing as a community that encourages and fosters all cultures will be bolstered under a Labour Government with an upgrade of the present Office of Ethnic Affairs to a Ministry. Releasing Labour’s Ethnic Affairs policy, spokesperson Phil...
    Labour | 25-08
  • South Auckland housing crisis
    National’s HomeStart package is nothing more than a political stunt designed to beguile South Auckland voters, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Few working Pasifika and Maori workers in South Auckland will be able to buy their own...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Home buyer subsidy discredited in Oz
    Treasury advised against National’s policy of ramping up home buyer subsidies after it was discredited in Australia because it pushed house prices even higher, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Documents released under the OIA (attached) show Treasury advised the...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Nursing hours explain turnover and high-stress culture
    A staff survey supports concerns nursing staff at Dunedin Hospital are under increasing pressure and that the emergency department is in a critical state, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson David Clark.  “An ED nursing survey at Dunedin found that 80...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Underhand tactics prove case for axing donations
    Revelations that schools are using underhand tactics to coerce donations from cash-strapped parents further highlights the need for Labour's plan to increase funding so they aren't dependent on contributions from parents, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “By law New...
    Labour | 24-08
  • National applies band-aid to housing crisis
    The Government’s flagship housing announcement is a band-aid approach that will push up prices rather than solve the housing crisis, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “House sales to first home buyers have collapsed as a direct result of the Government’s...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Climate change focus on the now for the future
    A Labour Governmentwill put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on bothmitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission andimplement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson MoanaMackey."This is about future-proofing our economy. Making the transition to alow-carbon...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Labour’s 21st century transport pledge
    The next Labour-led Government will create a 21st century transport system for New Zealand that promotes the most efficient and sustainable combination of transport options, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour will rebalance the Government's transport spending away from...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Petition for Governor General of New Zealand to Investigate all the allegat...
      Now we see the inquiry will be a whitewash, that is secret, won’t be consulted with the Opposition, will have limited scope and will ignore Nicky Hager’s book, we must demand the Governor General step in and demand an...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Ashburton, 1 September 2014
    I NEVER WENT BACK to Aramoana after the killing. I had been a frequent visitor to the tiny seaside village back in the late 1970s and throughout the 80s. Its tall cliffs and broad beaches providing a colourful backdrop to...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Checkmate in 1 move – how could Slater have known what was in OIA request...
    And now we get down to the final few moves before checkmate. If the following investigation is right, how could Slater and Collins have known what was in the Secret Intelligence Service Official Information Act request that hadn’t been released...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Of Jennifer Lawrence Without Consent
    Today the Edge website – owned by Media Works – published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent. It is not OK to publish naked media of any woman without her consent, full stop. It is absolutely disgusting...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate ...
    Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, how good was I i...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Maggie Barry slags Laila Harre & blogger, audience erupt
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting held their public meeting in Auckland last night and it became a fiery shouting match when Maggie Barry decided to slag Laila Harre and me off. 250 people packed into the Pioneer Hall off High...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • It has to be a full independent public inquiry and Key MUST front
      You know things are bad when images like this start appearing in the media.  It isn’t a ‘left wing conspiracy’ to point out the over whelming evidence of what is clearly a right wing conspiracy! If it looks like a conspiracy, sounds like a conspiracy...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Political Party social media stats – National playing Dirty Politics on s...
    Interesting data from friend of the blog, Marty Stewart, on social media likes and it shows an interesting question that post Dirty Politics should probably get asked…   …it’s interesting that Key has so many personal followers.  One wonders if...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • The depth of the National rot and the compliance of our news media
    I’m so tired. Aren’t you? I don’t want to read the news anymore. It’s awful and I feel ashamed of it. We live in a country that people all over the world would give an arm, a leg; their life...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Conservative Party candidate links smacking ban with suicide, sexually tran...
    If Chemtrails, faked moon landings and climate change denial weren’t enough, welcome to your new Minister for Spanking,  Edward Saafi... The anti-smacking law is to blame for youth suicide, youth prostitution and even sexually-transmitted infections, a leading Conservative party candidate...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on the canonisation of Matthew Hooton
    Before we all start the canonisation of Matthew Hooton, let’s consider some home truths here shall we? While the Wellington Ruminator Blog, the blog who was previously mates with Judith Collins, now seems to have a crush on Matthew Hooton… …I...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on undercover cops in bars
    Dunedin police booze operation labelled ‘creepy’ Undercover police officers drank in Dunedin bars as part of an operation targeting liquor licensing offences. While police said the inaugural operation was a success — with most bars found compliant — the Hospitality...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Judith Collins press conference
    Judith Collins press conference...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Angry Lawyer – Collins, Odgers, Williams and legal ethics
    We deserve better lawyers than Judith Collins Three of the worst offenders exposed in Dirty Politics are lawyers: Judith Collins, Cathy Odgers, and Jordan Williams. What Nicky Hager exposed them doing would be out of line for anyone, but from...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Necessary Defence
    Increasingly climate change is becoming the main fracture line between political parties. Where political parties stand on climate change defines political parties and movements like no other issue. The Mana Movement like the Maori Party it sprang from, came out...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Why it is all over for John Key
    Image: Melanie D I’ve been confident that National will lose this election and that our focus should be on what a progressive Government needs to establish as its agenda in the first 100 days. Past that point, the establishment pushes back...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word to everyone who voted National in 2011
    I received this interesting email from a National Party supporter today… …let me say this to anyone who voted National last election – you should be ashamed by what has been revealed and what your vote ended up enabling but...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Déjà Vu All Over Again: John Ansell confirms his participation...
      THE MAN BEHIND the Iwi-Kiwi billboards that very nearly won the 2005 election for Don Brash and the National Party has confirmed his involvement in businessman John Third’s and former Act MP Owen Jennings’ campaign to drive down the...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Public Broadcasting Auckland debate 6.30pm tonight now with Colin Craig &am...
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting debate on public broadcasting happens tonight at 6.30pm in Auckland at the Pioneer Women’s Hall, High Street, Auckland City.  In the light of Dirty Politics and the manipulation of the media, public broadcasting is more important for...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Winners & Losers in Collins sacking plus what’s the latest on Slater...
      Make no mistake, there was no way this was a resignation, it’s a face saving way out for Collins, she was sacked.  My understanding is that National internal polls are haemorrhaging and that the powers that be within National...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Third party propaganda attacks incoming Labour-led government
    . . Further to a report by Daily Blogger, Chris Trotter, on receiving information regarding planned attack-billboards, the following billboard is highly visible to traffic on the southbound lane of the Wellington motorway, just prior to the Murphy St turn-off....
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Labour wins the Internet
    I’m sure I’m not the only one who tried to vote online for the leaders debate and couldn’t because the website was down. The next option was the txt vote, 75c a pop of course. So I’m not surprised that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Rotherham and the need to challenge willful bl...
    I haven’t been following the events in Rotterham too closely.  I’ve read about the basic issues and the culture of silence that stopped action been taken even after complaints were made.  That culture of silence is incredibly familiar, and described...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Review: Hairspray
      Oh Hairspray! What fun! Somehow I managed to miss the movie when it came out, I had no idea really what it was about though I felt it had a vague relation to High School Musical. In retrospect, that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Mounting global pressure against Timor-Leste’s ‘death sentence’ media...
    East Timor’s José Belo … courageous fight against ‘unconstitutional’ media law.Image: © Ted McDonnell 2014 CAFÉ PACIFIC and the Pacific Media Centre Online posted challenges to the controversial ‘press law’ nine months ago when it emerged how dangerous this draft...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Spies, Lies and When Campaigns Are Fried
    Like most of the rest of the nation’s political classes, I was eagerly affixed to TV One from 12:30 on Saturday afternoon to witness the downfall of Judith Collins.Whenever we witness the crumbling of a titan of the political landscape...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Whaleoil crushes Crusher
    Judith ends up shooting herself A new email has been released suggesting that Collins was attempting to undermine the head of Serious Fraud Office with the help of far right hate speech merchant Cameron Slater. Unbelievable!   She has been forced...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Rumours Judith Collins gone at lunchtime
    Brook Sabin first of the mark with rumours Judith Collins is about to resign – PM announcing a statement at 12.30pm… …Paddy follows… …Vance confirms..   …if Collins is gone by lunchtime, it will be because the PM understands the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • BREAKING: UPDATE on DIRT ALERT!
    Thanks to the information passed to Chris Trotter by “Idiot/Savant” from No Right Turn it is now possible to identify at least some of the persons involved in this latest example of attack politics. What follows is Chris’s response to Idiot/Savant’s timely assistance: Well done...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Comparing burning puppets, hip hop lyrics and drunk student chants to black...
    Watching the mainstream media try and obscure Cunliffe’s surprise win in the leaders debate  is a reminder the Press Gallery is in depressed shock. The current spin line from the Wellington bubble media in the wake of Dirty Politics is that...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Why has it all gone quiet on Charter Schools?
    They’re one of ACT’s flagship policies and the National Party have been gung ho in supporting them. So how come we’re not hearing Hekia Parata, Jamie Whyte, Catherine Isaac, et al singing from the rafters about what a resounding success charter...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall
    Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Dirt Alert! Are the Greens and Labour about to become the target...
    WE’VE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE. In 2005 pamphlets began appearing all over New Zealand attacking Labour and the Greens. For a couple of days both the parties targeted and the news media were flummoxed. Who was behind such an obviously...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: the Press Council’s decision
    . . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The difference between Cunliffe & Key in the debate
    It was with much interest that I watched the leaders debate on Thursday night.  I watched with an open mind, always happy to have my opinion changed.  Maybe John Key is all the wonderful things that many say about him,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – When Did We Agree To Our Data Being Shared with ...
    New shocking evidence has emerged from Edward Snowden’s trove of documents about a program called ICREACH under which data collected by the GCSB is shared with 23 US spy agencies. Under new sharing agreements which appear to have commenced immediately after...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Why Internet MANA are the best political friends the Greens could ever get
    Metiria at last nights #GreenRoomNZ: standing on the shoulders and camera cases of giants  NZers, regardless of political spectrum or apathy level, have a wonderful beach cricket egalitarianism about us. If we can objectively conclude a winner, then that person...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Sick of the Sleaze? Protest against National’s dirty politics THIS SATURD...
    Sick of the Sleaze? Protest now dammit! Three weeks before the election, action is being taken across the country voicing a rejection of the National Government’s track record and direction. Rallies are being held in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Sir Edmund Thomas – Address at Nicky Hager public meeting
    I regard it as privilege to chair this public meeting. I have long had the greatest admiration for Nicky Hager’s work, and nothing I have read or heard in the media over the past week or so has caused me...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Labour and New Zealand Superannuation
    The kerfuffle in the wake of Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics has had a detrimental impact on our discussion of economic policies. Signs are that the main beneficiaries of the dirty politics revelations will be Winston Peters and Colin Craig; certainly National suffered...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Mike Hosking and the Leader’s Debat...
    A few weeks ago I blogged that Mike Hosking was a terrible choice as moderator for the TV One Party Leader’s Debate, because he is so embarrassingly biased in favour of John Key. So I watched the show with curiosity,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Democracy and Cancer: A critical analysis of Dirty Politics
    Twenty years ago, England’s renowned television playwright Denis Potter died of pancreatic cancer.  Readers may recall his two masterpieces ‘Pennies from Heaven’ and ‘The Singing Detective’.  During a final television interview with Melvyn Bragg, Potter declared that he had named...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Cunliffe beats Key in First Leaders debate
    I watched the First Leaders debate at the Green Party #GreenRoomNZ, they were very kind to include me and the atmosphere was great. The debate was a resounding victory to Cunliffe. He won Round 1, Round 2, Round 3 and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • LIVE STREAM: The Green Room Leader’s Debate from 6:30pm
    The Green Room will be hosted by media commentator Russel Brown, and will feature Green Co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman responding to the debate live, along with comment from thought leaders and commentators. ‘The Green Room’ 6pm – 8.30pm...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • How many taxpayer funded staff does John Key need to prepare for a Leaders ...
    John Key is currently at the Auckland Stamford Plaza with 40 staff, 4 undercover police cars and an entire floor booked out in preparation for tonights Leader’s debate. Isn’t 40 staff including coms, flown up to Auckland for a debate...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • A brief word on National Party Rodney MP, Mark Mitchell
    MP considers legal action against Nicky HagerThe National MP says he is considering taking a defamation case after the September 20 election.“Someone needs to be held accountable,” he said. Oh really champ? Brothers and sisters, there is a long way...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Greens advertise on Whaleoil – but not on The Daily Blog?
    PaknSave have shown ethical compass and blocked adverts on Whaleoil, yet the Greens are advertising on Whaleoil, and not The Daily Blog? I would imagine there are far more potential Green voters on The Daily Blog then ever are on...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • It’s about the stupid economy stupid
    In focus group meetings, the sleepy hobbits of NZ by a staggering amount all believe that National are better economic stewards of the country than Labour, that’s why, instead of answering questions about blackmailing MPs, trawling brothels for dirt on...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Labour Policy vs National Policy
    John Key’s favourite defence spin at the moment is people want to talk about policy and not hear answers on the ethics of trawling brothels, why Slater was given SIS information, blackmailing MPs into standing down, rigging candidate elections and hacking...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton
    Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton 1 September 2014 For Immediate Release “This morning I made comments on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon programme about an attempt by staff in the Prime Minister’s Office to interfere in the appointment...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Worm turns down for John Key
    John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s Reactor, the original Worm. John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Without Consent
    The Edge website, owned by Media Works have published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Statement from the Governor-General on Ashburton Shootings
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has expressed his deep shock following the shooting of three people in Ashburton today....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Update on IGIS inquiry into release of NZSIS information
    In recognition of the public interest, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, took the unusual step of providing an update during the course of an inquiry and confirmed today that she would be summoning a number of individuals...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • An Open Government Plan developed in secrecy
    The State Services Commission sent NZ’s Open Government Action Plan to the international Open Government Partnership (OGP) Secretariat on 31 July. The countries involved in the OGP since its inception - from the UK and US to Indonesia and Brazil...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • KiwiRail; another year older and deeper in debt
    That is a lot of money and there are lessons that need to be learnt before we pour in another $1 billion....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Fonterra China Deal Demands Safe Supply Chain
    The future success of Fonterra’s deal to sell infant formula in China [1] requires all milk it uses be safe and for Fonterra to secure its supply chain from contamination by GE DNA and pesticide residues. There is now significant...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • HRC praises Auckland mum for speaking out
    Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has praised an Auckland mother of four who went public after humiliating treatment by staff at The Warehouse....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Southern DHB refers disputed issue to Serious Fraud Office
    Following advice from forensic investigation firm Beattie Varley Limited, Southern District Health Board has referred the expenditure at the centre of its long running dispute with South Link Health to the Serious Fraud Office. The parties have been...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Letter 1 September 2014
    Last night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts the left and right 60 MPs each. United and the Maori Party say they will go with the side that gets to 61 MPs. ACT just needs just 1.3% or 28 thousand Party...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Shopping Giveaway Harmless Fun For Kids
    Family First NZ is rubbishing claims by critics including Gareth Morgan that the New World ‘Little Shop’ promotion is harmful for kids, and says that kids should be allowed to be kids. “Children love acting like their parents and pretending...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Red Cross launches employment service for former refugees
    New Zealand Red Cross is encouraging employers to give refugees a fresh startwith the launch of Pathways to Employment, a nationwide work assistance service....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • EDS welcomes Labour’s Conservation Policy
    The Environmental Defence Society has welcomed Labour’s Conservation Policy including the key objective of halting the current pattern of indigenous biodiversity decline within ten years....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Poverty is falling and income inequality is not rising
    “A Roy Morgan poll shows that the issue people are most concerned about is income inequality. This just goes to show how the persistent repetition of a lie bewilders the public. Income inequality is not in fact rising. And the...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Rotary NZ responding to Fiji water and sanitation issues
    Clean water and sanitation are vital to health. In Fiji Rotary New Zealand have been targeting 22 communities that are experiencing severe hardship mainly because they don’t have access to clean water for their drinking, cleaning and cooking needs....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Work & Income shooting a Tragedy
    Kay Brereton speaking on behalf of the National Beneficiary Advocacy Consultancy group says; “Two people shot and another wounded, this is a tragedy and our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and whanau of the victims, as well as...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • 1080 Poison Deer Repellent not Effective – Farmers
    Four deer have been found dead within a farmer's bush block, after an aerial 1080 poison drop applied with deer repellent. The drop was part of a 30,000 hectare drop across the Northern Pureora Forest Park....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Employment Charter will strengthen migrants’ rights
    Establishing an Employment Charter for construction companies is a critical step to strengthening the rights of migrant workers that are fast becoming the face of the Christchurch rebuild, according to an alliance of union groups. The charter has...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Global March For Elephants and Rhino
    It’s a trans-national business that funds terrorist organisations, fuels conflict in Africa, and poses environmental, development and security challenges. The illegal wildlife trade is also a lucrative business, generating an estimated USD$20 billion...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • New series of videos aimed at disengaged youth
    From the people who brought you 'NZ Idle' (NZ's favourite web series about an artist on the dole) comes a new series about election time: Choice Lolz....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Picket Of Leaders Christchurch Debate
    KEEP OUR ASSETS PICKET OF LEADERS CHRISTCHURCH DEBATE TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 2nd, 6 p.m. ST MARGARETS COLLEGE, SHREWSBURY STREET, MERIVALE...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Vega Auriga should be detained in NZ until problems fixed
    Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Joe Fleetwood says that the ship Vega Auriga should be detained in a New Zealand port until it is deemed seaworthy and crew issues have been fixed....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Minor Parties Added to Election ‘Bribe-O-Meter’
    The Taxpayers’ Union have added the Green, ACT, United Future and Conservative Parties to the ‘ Bribe-O-Meter ’ hosted at taxpayers.org.nz . Excluding ACT and New Zealand First, the total election ‘bribes’ - that is new spending not already...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Fiery Broadcasting Debate in Auckland
    Over 250 people turned out for the Auckland Broadcasting and Media Debate in Auckland City last night to hear politicians give their solutions to NZ’s media and broadcasting woes....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Independent Epsom Candidate: Adam Holland
    Today I am very proud to have been nominated to run as an independent candidate by the people of Epsom in order to work hard for the people of Epsom, Mount Eden, Newmarket and Remuera....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Voters favour parties with factory farming policies
    A Horizon Research poll shows that 64.7% of adults are more likely to vote for a political party with a policy against factory farming....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Collins And Dirty Politics Drive The #nzpol Wordcloud
    After Judith Collins' resignation as Minister from Cabinet on Saturday, the data insight organisation Qrious collected all tweets that used the hashtag #nzpol and for approximately the 24 hours since the announcement to produced this wordcloud....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Bill English: allegations against Judith Collins are serious
    Deputy Prime Minister Bill English told TV1’s Q+A programme that the allegations against Judith Collins are serious and that’s why an inquiry is needed....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Culture Change Required
    "There are serious issues raised in an Employment Relations Authority judgement released this week. The culture within the Whangarei District Council (WDC) organisation must change. The culture of any organisation is defined by its leadership starting...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Reducing Reoffending Statistic Challenged
    In Rethinking’s latest blog, http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/08/th-bps-reducing-crime-and-reoffending.html it closely examines the current claim that reoffending in New Zealand has reduced by 12.5% since June 2011, and reveals how that figure has been achieved. It argues...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • University economics team studying workers’ comparing wages
    A University of Canterbury economics research team is looking at fairness of the job assignments and whether workers are sensitive to the wages of their co-workers....
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Statement by State Services Commissioner
    30 August 2014 "The State Services Commission was contacted by the Prime Minister's Office over the last 24 hours on this issue." “Any activity that undermines, or has the potential to undermine, the trust and confidence in the public service...
    Scoop politics | 31-08
  • Christchurch Council Circus … Continued
    In 2010 the UK Daily Mail investigated the antics of a major bureaucratically bloated London Local Authority and reported with THE GREAT INERTIA SECTOR ....
    Scoop politics | 30-08
  • The Nation Housing Debate
    Patrick It's the great Kiwi dream, but is owning the roof over your head now just a pipe dream for many Kiwis? Homeownership is at the lowest level in half a century. National's answer is to double subsidies to first-home...
    Scoop politics | 30-08
  • Time to Shine Light on Shadowy Spies
    Internet MANA has promised to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into New Zealand’s intelligence agencies, with a view to transferring oversight of spying operations to a new, independent authority....
    Scoop politics | 30-08
  • New Zealand’s biggest problems are Economic Issues
    New Zealand’s biggest problems are Economic Issues (41%) while the World’s most important problems are War & Terrorism (35%) just three weeks before NZ Election...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • NZ 2014 Leaders Index – week ending 29 August
    Below is iSentia’s first weekly Leaders’ Index, showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. We will produce these reports for the next three...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Judgment in Paki v Attorney General
    Tamaiti Cairns said that today’s Supreme Court decision is complicated, but, in essence opens the door for Maori people to go forward with their essential claims to water. Further work is required and Pouakani Trust will continue to pursue its...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Supreme Court Decision on Maori Water Rights
    “ … the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead. The Appellants had argued that the Crown’s ownership of the River was as a fiduciary for...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Leaders Dinner with Campbell Live, Dessert with RadioLIVE
    John Campbell is hosting Colin Craig, Winston Peters, Laila Harre, Metiria Turei, Peter Dunne, Jamie Whyte and Te Ururoa Flavell LIVE from Auckland’s Grand Harbour Restaurant on Wednesday 3 September at 7pm....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Credit unions in the political spotlight
    Dirty politics was put aside last night as senior politicians outlined their universal support for growing the cooperatively owned credit union and mutual building society sector in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Maryan Street on issues of importance to older people
    Liam Butler interviews Hon Maryan Street MP on issues of importance to older New Zealanders...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • John Hanita Paki and others v The Attorney-General
    JOHN HANITA PAKI, TORIWAI ROTARANGI, TAUHOPA TE WANO HEPI, MATIU MAMAE PITIROI AND GEORGE MONGAMONGA RAWHITI v THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF NEW ZEALAND FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE CROWN (“THE CROWN”) (SC 7/2010)...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Last Nights Leaders Debate Drives The #nzpol Wordcloud
    Following last nights leaders debate on TV One between John Key and David Cunliffe, the data insight organisation Qrious collected all tweets that used the hashtag #nzpol from approximately the last 24 hours to produce this wordcloud....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Campaign suggests reason behind suicide gender statistics
    An online campaign about meaning and belonging has revealed an interesting connection with the difference in suicide rates between men and women....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Act Policy Vindicated by Sensible Sentencing Data
    ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte says the Sensible Sentencing Trust's just released analysis of 3 Strikes legislation "proves ACT was right to promote the policy and that it has made New Zealand a much safer country. The figures show beyond...
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • “Robin Hood tax and other clever ways to help our kids”
    It’s time to talk about tax. Not just income tax but other kinds of tax too....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • Cannabis Laws Breach Treaty – ALCP
    Cannabis prohibition is neo-colonial oppression resulting in the disproportionate imprisonment of Maori, the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party says....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
  • 2014 Variation Broadcasting Allocation Decision Released
    The Electoral Commission has released a variation decision on the amount of time and money allocated to political parties for the broadcasting of election programmes for the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 29-08
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