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Open mike 17/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 17th, 2012 - 205 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…

205 comments on “Open mike 17/08/2012”

  1. Morrissey 1

    BBC: official mouthpiece for state vengeance
    Just imagine if China threatened to invade the US embassy to arrest a Chinese dissident

    As you read this shabby little item from the British state broadcaster, note the tone inviting us to laugh at little Ecuador and its president….

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-19259623

    • locus 1.1

      Having read the BBC link you’ve provided I can’t help thinking that you’re interpreting the report in an angry and biased way. Of course it may be that I’m biased in reading the reportand detecting no opinion one way or the other.

      • Carol 1.1.1

        http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2012/08/americas-vassal-acts-decisively-and-illegally/

        This will be, beyond any argument, a blatant breach of the Vienna Convention of 1961, to which the UK is one of the original parties and which encodes the centuries – arguably millennia – of practice which have enabled diplomatic relations to function. The Vienna Convention is the most subscribed single international treaty in the world.

        The provisions of the Vienna Convention on the status of diplomatic premises are expressed in deliberately absolute terms. There is no modification or qualification elsewhere in the treaty.

        Article 22

        1.The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.

        2.The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.

        3.The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.

        Not even the Chinese government tried to enter the US Embassy to arrest the Chinese dissident Chen Guangchen. Even during the decades of the Cold War, defectors or dissidents were never seized from each other’s embassies. Murder in Samarkand relates in detail my attempts in the British Embassy to help Uzbek dissidents. This terrible breach of international law will result in British Embassies being subject to raids and harassment worldwide.

        My view is that Assange should stand trial for the Swedish allegations or rape etc. There should be a guarantee from Sweden that they will not co-operate in, or agree to, extraditing Assange to the US.

        • rosy 1.1.1.1

          I’ve had various UK news channels on all day and the government has backed away from the threat to enter the embassy – their ‘right’ to do so comes from a piece of legislation written after the killing of the British policewoman, Yvonne Fletcher, in 1984 from the Libyan Embassy – lots of advice and warnings from QCs and diplomats about the safety of British embassies if they do this. It appears William Hague is now preparing for a very long stand-off. The UK won’t give free passage for Assange to leave the UK.

          The author Tariq Ali, an Assange supporter, has proposed the idea of Ecuador giving Assange an Cultural Attache post, or the like. That way he gets diplomatic immunity. I wonder how that will fly. Apparently the Swedes are fuming and have called in the Ambassador to express this.

        • locus 1.1.1.2

          I agree.

          However Assange has done his reputation a lot of harm by not fronting up to the allegations and disproving them immediately. Excusing his cowardice in this regard by saying he’s scared of extradition from Sweden to the US is – given his status as a hero for honesty – spineless.

          Very stupid (for so many reasons) for the British to say they might invoke legislation created to prevent murderous acts as an excuse to break in to an Embassy to arrest someone who they have a legal obligation to extradite to Sweden.

          Interestingly,extradition laws in Sweden and the UK are absolutely clear on the fact that someone cannot be extradited if the reason is to answer allegations which if proven might result in the death penalty in that country. I suppose that the US could find a way around this, but wouldn’t it have been awesome if Assange had disproven the allegations in Sweden and then as a worldwide hero stood up to the bullying arrogance of the US.

          • William Joyce 1.1.1.2.1

            The problem is that it’s not about proving himself innocent.
            My guess is that he probably did what he has been accused of. However, his actions are not a crime in the UK and almost all other places in the world including NZ. It would not even constitute common assault let alone a sexual offence.
            It would be like being extradited to a country because you drank coffee on a Sunday. I would allow my to be extradited – would you?

            • McFlock 1.1.1.2.1.1

              That’s outright wrong. At least one allegation conforms to rape  in NZ (an unconscious person cannot consent) and the restraint bit might be common assault or something more serious (don’t recall offhand).

              • I didn’t know that one count constituted rape by our standards. Do you have a source?

                • Colonial Viper

                  If you are lying in bed next to your sleeping sexual partner, I suggest to take care not to touch her, or to lie close enough to touch her, because she will be unable to consent to being touched in any way, and you may inadvertently leave yourself open to an assault charge or worse.

                  • McFlock

                    Particularly if you [allegedly] touch her in a way she has refused to be touched when conscious.

                    • Okay, McFlock, in the article you cite above, the language that is used seems to be from the statute of Sweden. If that is what he did then he’s an A-hole and deserves the appropriate sanctions under the law.
                      Someone who acted in such a way has committed a crime under Swedish law.
                       
                      But before you can equate what the laws say with what happened – you have the process of interpretation.
                      What do the participants say happened?
                      Who can I believe?
                      The [jury/judge/prosecutor] then create a narrative of what they believe to be the truth.
                      They then interpret the “truth” to determine if they align with and interpretation of the law that say it is a crime.
                      Obviously, the first prosecutor said no crime had been committed. The second said there had.
                       
                      Does that indicate room for doubt? Is so, does the problem lie with being able to interpret what happened. Could his actions have been misinterpreted? It happens.
                       
                      The charges are written to be unambiguous and they sound damning. But human behaviour and the narrative of events are not so clear.
                       
                      I am not defending Assange just calling for the possibility that we need to wait to see if his actions have been misinterpreted. He may be a serious sad fuck and I will be the first to suggest he gets what he deserves (contrary to Weka’s predetermined view of me)

                    • McFlock

                      I fully and comprehensively agree with you.
                               
                      But I think the only place to determine the truth of the matter is in a court of law. Which is what the Swedes are stepping towards with their investigation.
                                   
                      The question becomes whether the fear of rendition to the US if he goes to Sweden is reasonable (i.e. disproportionate punishment even if he’s guilty of the allegation). Interestingly enough, the risk of rendition was not one of the grounds he used to appeal the extradition from the UK. 

                    • weka

                      But before you can equate what the laws say with what happened – you have the process of interpretation.
                      What do the participants say happened?
                      Who can I believe?
                       

                      There is a certain amount of information in the public domain, but my own personal opinion is that it is not possible for people to judge the guilt/innocence of the women or Assange at this distance. All I am arguing for is that people who support Assange in the general wikileaks drama don’t assume the women are lying, and don’t use accusations of them lying to support one’s political agenda because that damages all women.

                      Edit: what McFlock said.

                       
                      He may be a serious sad fuck and I will be the first to suggest he gets what he deserves (contrary to Weka’s predetermined view of me)
                       

                      I don’t have any predetermined view of you William. I don’t know what you think about rape in general, nor much about your views on Assange. All I did was call you out on one comment today (and one yesterday). It’s pretty simple. If I am wrong, you can just clarify.

                  • weka

                    If you are lying in bed next to your sleeping sexual partner, I suggest to take care not to touch her, or to lie close enough to touch her, because she will be unable to consent to being touched in any way, and you may inadvertently leave yourself open to an assault charge or worse.
                     

                    I’ve said this to you before CV. If your understanding of consent is that fucked up, you really shouldn’t be around women. Nor commenting on sex.
                     
                    But of course, your understanding isn’t that fucked up. You are just misusing rape issues to make a point. It’s sick.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You are not permitted by law to touch someone without their consent, regardless of whether it is physical contact of a sexual nature or non-sexual nature. That is my understanding. And as McFlock has stressed, no consent can be given by someone who is asleep.

                    • McFlock

                      Don’t be full of shit, CV.
                         
                      Sticking your penis inside someone is not a simple “touch”.
                           
                      For example, the NZ Crimes Act s128A (3): A person does not consent to sexual activity if the activity occurs while he or she is asleep or unconscious.
                          
                      You’ve just given us another example of an Assange fan making shit up to minimise the accusations.

                      EDIT: I’ll shift this down to Weka’s new thread. Reply there if you want.

            • weka 1.1.1.2.1.2

              Remember what I said yesterday about women’s sexuality being expendable to the left when the fate of the Hero is at stake?
               

              It would be like being extradited to a country because you drank coffee on a Sunday.
               

              Irrespective of whether what Assange (allegedly) did meets the criteria for charging him with crimes, if you consider his actions to be like drinking a cup of coffee, you are supporting rape culture.
               
              Have you read the complainants’ descriptions? You really think it is ok to treat women like that?

              • Jackal

                Although I get your point, William Joyce’s opinion isn’t expressed by the majority of commentators here… So no generalizing about supporting rape culture please.

                • Nor do I hold the opinion weka has imputed to me. Weka tried this strategy with me last night and I was too tired to correct it and though weka was just another practitioner of eisegesis.

                • weka

                  Jackal, my generalisation, such as it is, is that anyone who thinks being arrested for something neutral like coffee drinking is similar to being arrested for sexual assault, supports rape culture. Do you really have a problem with that generalisation?

                  • Jackal

                    I have a problem with this generalization:

                    Here on TS, where women are deemed expendable?

                    and;

                    [If] you aren’t naming the problem and arguing against it, then you are supporting the expendability of women.

                    I’ve already made my thoughts clear on the coffee drinking analogy. Even if I hadn’t, it wouldn’t be an indication that I supported rape culture.

              • You really have a psychological need to take what I say, equate it with something I didn’t say, and label me a rape-supporting misogynist of the left – all to support some pet theory you have about “women’s sexuality being expendable to the left”

                Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses.

                 
                If you want to use me as confirmation of your pet theory then you are barking up the wrong tree and need to get more objective and at least ask me for my opinion rather than pulling it out of your arse.
                 
                I have not read the charges since the months after this whole thing blew up. If it is as bad as you say then I may to do a rethink.
                 
                But that wont satisfy you – you have already made a determination of my attitude -seesh!

                • weka

                  Nice avoidance William. If I got it wrong, please explain your cup of coffee analogy. I’m open to the possibility that we miscommunicate rather than you not understanding what rape culture is. Please prove me wrong.

                  btw, you would have to read the complainants’ statements to understand what I am talking about.

                  • I did not know that one charge is the equivalent of rape. McFlock kindly gave me a link. Something you could have done before leaping to conclusions about my support for “rape culture”.
                    You are assuming that what he did was rape. That has yet to be determined by a court. If he is a rapist then he’s toast and quite rightly so. You are looking at the charges, written in unambiguous, emphatic language and interpreting what happened in that light.
                    So of course you think it is rape.
                    But we are not there yet. Before we get there we have to go through a process (which I have written in response to McFlock) to develop the best narrative we can about what happened.
                     
                    I am not trivialising the enormity of rape. The validity of my coffee analogy hangs on the way Swedish law defines rape. It is my understanding is that the Swedish law defines certain action as rape when would not. They venture into areas of what constitutes consent that we do not. The venture into areas that can constitute a misunderstanding between the participants.
                    Now that doesn’t seem that way when you read the charges because charges are, by nature, emphatic and damning. But before you get to that you have a shit load in interpreting.

                  • Jackal

                    The coffee analogy was wrong because it somewhat trivialized the issue, but it’s a huge leap to say that William Joyce is supportive of rape culture because he reiterated a statement that has been extensively promoted by the media.

                    Peoples indifference to things like sexism, abuse, porn, media normalization and victims remaining silent are some of the things that generally support rape culture… Pointing out that different countries have different laws doesn’t.

              • Colonial Viper

                Remember what I said yesterday about women’s sexuality being expendable to the left when the fate of the Hero is at stake?

                The hotel worker who accused the IMF’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn was fully victimised and character assassinated before you could even start your computer up. All sides of the political economic spectrum do it because it is all too easy to stop women from having an equal voice in the proceedings.

                I personally think Assange should be forced to front up in Sweden asap and Sweden should facilitate this by assuring Assange that they will not co-operate with requests to extradite him to the US on any charges relating to espionage/Wikileaks/national security.

                • McFlock

                  Just because everyone else does it doesn’t mean that you or any other Assange supporter should do it.
                             
                  Oh, and negotiation =/= “forced”. 

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You don’t think there should be any negotiation. Something about Sweden’s sovereign rights to not question Assange even if he is available for questioning.

                    Their position is likely because they have no real interest in questioning him re: the allegations, they are just mainly interested in taking him into custody.

                    • McFlock

                      I think you’re almost correct :  

                      the prosecutor said that, in accordance with the Swedish legal system, formal charges will be laid only after extradition and a second round of questioning.   

                      I think that he will most likely be formally charged with sexual assault and/or rape after interview number 2. Not for rendition to the US.

                • weka

                  I think there are two things there CV. There is the attempt to silence the women who have been assaulted. And then there is the attempt in conversations like this to make women’s issue less important than men’s. The second one is shown whenever we have discussions about Assange that can’t include the possibility of his guilt, AND that his possibly guilt might be the more important issue.

                  The most obvious example on TS is Morrisey who already KNOWS that Assange is innocent and that the women are lying (god forbid that he is ever on a rape trial jury). What I would be interested to know is if any of the people who think Assange should be given asylum have challenged Morrisey on his assertion that the women are lying? See? Why can we not have a conversation that supports Assange (or not), but at the same time doesn’t reinforce the rights of men to call women who report rape liars?

                  On another matter, does the Swedish govt have enough information to make the call you want them to?

                  • Professor Longhair

                    “…Morrisey who already KNOWS that Assange is innocent and that the women are lying….”

                    I have carefully followed Morrissey’s contributions to this debate, and he has not said or implied those things. His concern is with the state apparatus of disinformation and defamation, and its (often unwitting) accomplices in the media. You have either chosen to deliberately misrepresent his views, or you are hopelessly confused.

                    You are ill-intentioned or ill-informed; whichever it is, you have not done the background reading to be able to comment with any authority on this topic.

                  • Vicky32

                    What I would be interested to know is if any of the people who think Assange should be given asylum have challenged Morrisey on his assertion that the women are lying?

                    Personally, I think they’re lying – which is not the same thing as thinking that all women who allege rape are lying! These women actually have harmed the cause of women who actually have been assaulted.

              • Professor Longhair

                A loon called “weka” writes, in apparent high seriousness, that “if you consider his actions to be like drinking a cup of coffee, you are supporting rape culture.”

                Do others agree that our feathered friend’s effort is the funniest post of the week?

                • McFlock

                  Only if they think Assange should not be investigated for sexual assault, even if it’s possible that he did it.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Personally I don’t find any of this particulalry funny Prof.

                  But if I had to choose I’d say the funniest part over the last two days has been your comments. Firstly you took umbrage about ‘fan’ comments, and since then all you’ve done is insult anyone who questions your narrative, in which Assange is playing the lead part in airport thriller.

                  Quite amusing.

                • Morrissey

                  Do others agree that our feathered friend’s effort is the funniest post of the week?

                  I’m not sure whether it’s (a) unintentionally funny, (b) an exercise in fraudulent political correctness, or (c) just sad.

                  Possibly a bit of all three.

        • Bored 1.1.1.3

          Carol, respectfully we will disagree on My view is that Assange should stand trial for the Swedish allegations or rape etc. You have put the horse before the cart.

          As I understand it Assange is accused BUT not charged. The Swedes want to interview him before they decide whether there is case to answer. If there is then I agree, he stands trial.

          The problem with this is that there appear to be strings being pulled by “puppies” of the US empire so that they might lay their hands on Assange for what is officially an “unrelated” issue. For example the British position which is contrary to international law which they signed. Who pulled that chain?

          Imagine that you as a woman are wanted by the Swedish investigators responding to unproven accusations of assaulting your husbands lover. You know that it is bollocks but you are prepared to go and clear your name. You have in your job done some whistle blowing on some dirty political deeds in the US which has issued a warrant for your arrest with a possible death penalty. Sweden will allow the US to extradite you. Are you going?

          I would suggest given the seriousness of the accusations that the “facts” are made public by the Swedes. If they have veracity let’s get Assange into the dock. Maybe another scenario is a public guarantee from the US that they will not pursue Assange.

          • Carol 1.1.1.3.1

            Carol, respectfully we will disagree on My view is that Assange should stand trial for the Swedish allegations or rape etc. You have put the horse before the cart.

            As I understand it Assange is accused BUT not charged. The Swedes want to interview him before they decide whether there is case to answer. If there is then I agree, he stands trial.

            Bored, I stand corrected on that point, and agree on the last sentence

            PS: I’ve never had and am never likely to have a husband.

            • Bored 1.1.1.3.1.1

              Thanks Carol, on the PS we mere males are happily content with your company “en-blog”.

      • Professor Longhair 1.1.2

        1.) “Having read the BBC link you’ve provided I can’t help thinking that you’re interpreting the report in an angry and biased way.”

        Morrissey’s construing of the BBC piece seems to me to be an astute reading of a typically mendacious effort by that organization.

        2.) “Of course it may be that I’m biased in reading the reportand detecting no opinion one way or the other.”

        You are not so much biased as willfully naïve.

  2. Morrissey 2

    The liberal mouthpiece for state vengeance

    If you thought Bernard Manning was funny, if you were rolling in the aisles as Sacha Baron Cohen snarled invective at a Christian Palestinian shopkeeper, if you were amused by Paul Holmes as he uncorked an obscenity-laced rant against the U.N. Secretary General for having the temerity to be black, then you will appreciate the sly humor of one Lizzy Davies in the “liberal” Grauniad, as she finds a way to render comical a grave announcement by the Ecuadorian foreign minister by choosing just the right verb to convey the hilariously emotional way that these Central American paisanos express themselves: “In Quito yesterday, Ricardo Patiño fumes…”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/aug/16/julian-assange-ecuador-embassy-asylum-live?newsfeed=true

    • locus 2.1

      The word ‘fumes’ to me means that someone is expressing righteous frustration or anger. It doesn’t suggest to me that the Guardian is trying to belittle the person who they say (correctly) is fuming.

      I can only assume that you think it’s an attempt to be comical because you are fuming about the Foreign Office threat to get Assange.

      If you’re going to fume, then pick on the idiocy of the FO threat rather than having a go at at the Guardian writers Jo Adetunji and Lizzy Davies. And don’t ever mention that racist f*ckw*t Holmes in the same breath as half-decent journalists.

      • Morrissey 2.1.1

        And don’t ever mention that racist f*ckw*t Holmes in the same breath as half-decent journalists.

        I didn’t mention him in the same breath as half-decent journalists, I mentioned him in the same breath as Bernard Manning and Sacha Baron Cohen, two other notorious racists who, like Holmes, are thought to be funny by some.

  3. Te Reo Putake 3

    You really shouldn’t post before taking your pills, mozza. But then, there’s no cure for misogyny, is there?

    • bad12 4.1

      From the other side of the spectrum, The Greens must be congratulated for having legislation pulled from the Members Ballot that would see the children of beneficiaries receive the Working for Families Tax Credit,

      The proposed Legislation from The Greens will change the focus of the Tax Credit to one of Household Income rather than some narrow and dense definition of ‘work’,

      The previous legislation, in my view, fails on 2 counts, the first, it is discriminatory against the children of beneficiaries and those who work less than 20 hours per week,

      The second is simply that IF the children of those who have work and are earning up to 50,000 a year NEED the Tax Credit, and i cannot mount an argument against that, then it is F**king obvious to anyone,(except that bloke with the brain leak, Farrer), that the children of beneficiaries need it one hell of a lot more,

      Labour have a position on extending the Tax Credit to benefit dependent children which appears to flick on and off changing color like a traffic light,going into the 2011 election promising to extend the tax credit to benefit dependent children and then half way through the election appearing to back pedal with qualifications about how soon that could be implemented,

      Saying they will support the Legislation through to it’s first reading in the House is all well and good, but, Labour had better decide,and decide soon, whether they see ‘the poor’ as part of their constituency,

      To be open, i have washed my hands of Labour and my vote this far out from the 2014 election will be going to the Greens…

    • North 4.2

      Bennett is a pig, licensed and encouraged by John Key to be such.

      [lprent: That comment is getting to the pointless stage. Think somewhat more please. ]

      • bad12 4.2.1

        Pigani is a pig, free-range porcine, Bennett is simply the Oink emanating from the porcines anus…

  4. BillODrees 5

    Most of us do not want to be measured.  That way there is no target against which we can me judged.  Thus we will never be failures.  We will therefore always be winners.  
    It is a great aspiration for a political party to want to make everyone winners.
    And Bennett is leading by example.   

    (Carmel Seuloni, please keep up your electorate and party work.  You have a duty to the people of New Zealand to win back Waitakere in 2014) 

  5. Rosie 6

    Striking mine workers in South Africa are being shot and killed by the police.

    If you follow international Union news you hear about Union organisers and Delegates being detained and beaten in Turkey, Iran, India and you hear about people being fired for joining a Union. (Most recently read article was about cleaners in America being fired by their hotel employer for joining the Union). You read about all sorts of things including the deaths of those leaders who have been murdered in cold blood.

    This is a new low, for these times and a new State shame for South Africa.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/africa/7495749/Many-dead-as-police-open-fire-on-South-African-miners.

  6. KJT 7

    To those who think that Sweden’s interest in Assuange has anything to do with a crime in Sweden.

    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/op-eds-&-columns/op-eds-&-columns/ecuador-grants-asylum-respecting-human-rights-despite-threats-from-uk?utm_source=CEPR+feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+cepr+%28CEPR%29

    “”We can infer that the Swedish government has no legitimate reason for the extradition, since they were repeatedly offered the opportunity to question him in the U.K., but rejected it, and have also refused to even put forth a reason for this refusal. A few weeks ago the Ecuadorian government offered to allow Assange to be questioned in their London embassy, where Assange has been residing since June 19, but the Swedish government refused – again without offering a reason. This was an act of bad faith in the negotiating process that has taken place between governments to resolve the situation.

    Former Stockholm chief district prosecutor Sven-Erik Alhem also made it clear that the Swedish government had no legitimate reason to seek Assange’s extradition when he testified that the decision of the Swedish government to extradite Assange is “unreasonable and unprofessional, as well as unfair and disproportionate”, because he could be easily questioned in the U.K..

    But most importantly, the government of Ecuador agreed with Assange that he had a reasonable fear of a second extradition to the United States, and persecution here for his activities as a journalist. The evidence for this was strong .””

    • Bored 7.1

      The Romans pursued Hannibal for years until the assassination squad succeeded: Stalin pursued Trotsky….Kissinger arranged for Allendes demise. Who can trust imperialists?

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      They should question Assange in person or by videolink. Lay charges if it is warranted (which gives Assange a chance to see all the evidence and prepare his defence); if charges are laid Assange should defend them in Sweden. With suitable assurances from the Swedes of course.

      If after questioning however it is found that there are no grounds for charges against Assange, the whole matter should be dropped and Assange allowed to go free. I’m guessing this is exactly what Sweden/UK/US don’t want so they are stone walling.

      • Even if they want to lay charges I’m not sure he should go. It’s a bit murky and I’m working from memory – the possible charges are for a crime that does not exist in the UK, NZ and a whole host of other countries.
        Would you allow yourself to be extradited for breaking a law that says you can’t drink coffee on a Sunday?
         

        • McFlock 7.2.1.1

          “Sex by surprise”?
          nah – that was just something his lawyer said to the media. It was one of the earliest outright lies and slurs that Assange’s supporters made regarding the case.

        • Jackal 7.2.1.2

          Hm! I don’t think comparing rape charges with drinking coffee is very enlightened. The alleged offense happened in a country that has specific laws. The fact that other countries have differing laws is irrelevant!

          Somebody who is accused of rape, and will receive a fair trial without further extradition to the US to be persecuted for crimes most people agree are false, should stand trial. I don’t think anyone could argue that the Swedish judicial system is so corrupt that Assange wouldn’t get a fair trial, especially because the eyes of the worlds media would be watching.

          Until the US Attorney-General issues a diplomatic assurance that they would not be seeking the extradition of Assange from Sweden to the US, I think Assange should fight extradition to Sweden, even though his not fronting gives the appearance of guilt.

          • William Joyce 7.2.1.2.1

            “I don’t think comparing rape charges with drinking coffee is very enlightened”

            It is my understanding is that what constitutes rape in Sweden includes actions that would not be considered rape here. Just as some Muslims consider a woman talking to a man who is not family is considered adultery. We wouldn’t.
            By that definition we are all adulters.

            • McFlock 7.2.1.2.1.1

              Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t speak Swedish.
                     
              But the UK judiciary thought  that the Swedish proceedings were: “[...] self evidently not a case relating to a trivial offence, but to serious sexual offences.”
               

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.3

          …the possible charges are for a crime that does not exist in the UK, NZ and a whole host of other countries.

          But they do exist in Sweden where the alleged incidents happened.

    • McFlock 7.3

      Option B: is that the Swedish prosecutors see no reason to negotiate with persons of interest in sexual assault investigations when the person of interest has already fled the investigation. Nor do they see any need to explain themselves to Ecuador. 
            
      Actually, the lack of comment from Sweden is a good sign for Assange, should he end up there: the prosecutors are doing their best to keep out of the political situation while still doing their jobs, and the politicians are reluctant to make public comments that would interfere with the criminal investigation – unlike the Anwar Ibrahim trials that were raised yesterday.

      • Jim in Tokyo 7.3.1

        I’m not sure where you are getting your facts from McFLock but that’s the second time you’ve asserted that Assange ‘fled’ or ‘skipped’ the investigation.

        According to the BBC, the alleged crime took place August 17th 2010. The prosecutor decided to investigate and a warrant was issued August 20th, but the case was dropped by the Swedish prosecutor August 21st. The investigation was re-opened by a different prosecutor 1st September and Assange presented himself at that time and was questioned for one hour.

        Assange claims to have stayed in Sweden for a total of five weeks to aid the investigation and process his residency application before finally leaving the country 15th September 2010 with the full permission of the Swedes. It was not until November that the Swedes decided to put out a warrant to bring him back, and at the time Assange offered to present himself to either the Swedish Embassy or Scotland Yard for questioning but the offer was declined.

        If those points are true, then I’m not sure you can accurately say that he ‘fled’ or ‘skipped’ the investigation.
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11949341

        • McFlock 7.3.1.1

          Your dates are off.
                 
          He was told on the 15th that he wasn’t under arrest and could leave. The investigation was still ongoing.
                
          His lawyer arranged to have a second interview. And claims that he couldn’t tell Assange about an imminent arrest – but A flew out of Sweden on the same day his lawyer got the news.

                 
           

          • Colonial Viper 7.3.1.1.1

            He was told on the 15th that he wasn’t under arrest and could leave. The investigation was still ongoing.

            So the Swedish authorities told Assange he was free to leave the country, and Assange did so? You keep stating that Assange “skipped” out of the country to escape the Swedish authorities. In future, please say that Assange sought and left with the permission of the Swedish authorities.

            Its pretty clear that Assange stayed in Sweden for two full weeks after the investigation was reopened on Sept 1.

            http://www.news.com.au/world/as-it-happened-julian-assanges-fight-with-sweden/story-fndir2ev-1226451815504

            • McFlock 7.3.1.1.1.1

              Yeah. But he wasn’t under arrest because the investigation was still in progress.
                 
              It would look bad if the prosecutors hadn’t subsequently arranged another interview with his lawyer, and apparently told the lawyer that an arrest was likely, so Assange didn’t attend the second interview and left the country on the same say his lawyer was told about the arrest.
                        
              As it is it looks like an amazing coincidence that he left the country just as an arrest was imminent. 

              • Colonial Viper

                Sure it looks like an “amazing coincidence”.

                But he left with the full permission of the Swedish authorities right? He didn’t cross the border in a car boot or something like that?

                • Jim in Tokyo

                  Thanks for the WSJ link, a bit more detail in that one. So it seems Assange left Sweden on Sept. 27, while he was still free to do so, and it is alleged that he based his decision to leave after receiving a tipoff that a warrant for detention was forthcoming. So it suddenly doesn’t look so good for Assange. Although according to the BBC timeline the Swedish warrant was not actually granted until 18th November, so his arrest was hardly ‘imminent’?

                  • McFlock

                    To me, it looks like nobody is particularly rushed in the prosecutions office (there are procedures to go through, i’s to dot, and so on). So they arrange an interview, tell the lawyer that it’s not looking good for Assange, Assange coincidentally leaves the country that same day, they see if he comes back, make a few attempts to reschedule, spend a few days in court on other cases, official notice goes upstairs that it looks like they’ll have to open a shitstorm with an EAW…
                       
                    Weeks could go by depending on any of those factors causing delays. I’d be more suspicious if the arranged interrogation was at 1700hrs and they wait until 1701, then issue a europe-wide dragnet.

                • McFlock

                  Funnily enough, in free societies with a fair justice system, you are not restrained from leaving the country until you are actually arrested for something. Heck, you can leave your home, leave town, leave the police station, even just walk away when the cops are mid-sentence talking to you.
                           
                  Of course, doing so when they really want to have a chat with you will probably result in detention or, in this case, an arrest warrant.
                         
                   

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Then please stop suggesting that Assange “skipped” out on an interview with authorities in Sweden, and say instead that he left Sweden with the full knowledge and permission of those authorities.

                    • McFlock

                      So the authorities arranged to have an interview with him when they knew he wouldn’t be in the country? 
                         
                      Damned fiendish swedes… 

  7. Jackal 8

    On the back of Paula Bennett’s eye-watering contempt for the Human Rights Commission comes another case of unacceptable ignorance of privacy laws by a National Minister:

    Education Minister Hekia Parata is denying claims by a union that her office accessed teachers’ personal information to expose their political opinions to their employers.

    The Post Primary Teachers Association says several teachers who wrote to Ms Parata about student/teacher ratios got a response that was copied to their school board and principal.

    The union says the teachers sent letters from personal email addresses and did not say where they work.

    PPTA president Robin Duff says he knows of three cases and this suggests Ms Parata’s office accessed their teacher records or matched their names with publicly available information.

    When are these arrogant tory’s going to be held to account?

    • Does anyone have any dirt on Paula that she would not like out in the public domain? What’s good for the goose…..
      What is her real weight? What does she spend her money on? How many sexual partners has she had? What does she keep in the wardrobe of the third room on the left?
      So her bank can release her account details? The IRD can tell us what her tax details are? Her doctor can tell us all her medical issues? The chemist can tell us what birth control she is on?

    • McFlock 8.2

      Oh, with any luck one of them might go completely overboard, at which time their former colleagues will believe that their own ability to get away with similar acts depends on how viciously they can attack and devour the scapegoat.
           
      But most of them will get gongs and titles for their strong history of public service. :roll:
             
       

  8. ad 9

    Hey LPrent, great to see that your site is the talk of the town this week.

    Whaleoil.
    Paganis.
    Bomber.
    Herald.

    Feels like a good breakthrough. Keep it up.

    But could we have entertaining video clips like Whaleoil, just to lighten things up a bit?

    • lprent 9.1

      Yep and I have just the post for them underway (disrupted by my moving and work). We have been running for five years now as of the 15th.

      If you want video’s then find them and quirt them to thestandardnz@gmail.com. One of the editors may :twisted: decide that they are worth putting up. I don’t know about any of the other authors but I’m so busy that I barely get to read anything apart from this site these days.

      • DH 9.1.1

        lprent. I see the odd commentary by Bryce Edwards in the Herald & was curious if it’s increased yr site views, he usually links to at least one post from the Standard. He’s anonymising his links with bitly, will visits from his links show up as linked from there or do they just show the source IP? Thanks.

        • lprent 9.1.1.1

          We get some traffic from them. But typically the referral links from the Herald max out at between 100 and 150 per day. So over the last 7 days with a number of links from Bryce’s articles we have got approx 100k page views [make that 145k comments - busy week], of which the following were referred.

          Search Engines 6,183
          Facebook 1,012
          whaleoil.co.nz* 793
          Twitter 454
          nzherald.co.nz 406
          tumeke.blogspot.co.nz 290
          bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz 203
          robertwinter.blogspot.co.nz 196
          google.co.nz 184
          nominister.blogspot.co.nz 184
          norightturn.blogspot.co.nz 171
          kiwiblog.co.nz 168
          static.ak.facebook.com/connect/xd_arbiter.php?version=9 163
          Google Reader 163
          keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz 163
          dimpost.wordpress.com 118

          After that it drops below 100. Basically you can see that while it probably gets us some coverage it is not a major contributor to page views. It probably helps more in sending new readers to the site over time. Links from search engines and facebook are by far the biggest contributors to both page views and new readers.

          * Whaleoil’s includes 700 from a single dog-whistle post today. The moderators have been dropping moron level first time comments into the spam. This type of mobbing happens within a few minutes of whenever he does a dog-whistle on us. Since it always involves the same group of a few hundred people, you’d think that they’d learn the basic lesson that you have to write at least one comment that gets beyond troll grunting before you can comment here freely. But they never learn and get caught by the first time comment troll trap every time. I suspect that many are incapable of writing a coherent and interesting comment. *sigh*

          • DH 9.1.1.1.1

            Thanks Lynne. I’d hoped for a bit more from the Herald, thinking they’d be more general public type readers rather than blog followers or political activists. It’s the Joe Bloggs we need more of on sites like this IMO.

            Interesting how close the numbers are from other blogs. Same people all the time perhaps?

  9. Fortran 10

    Asange would probably renditioned from Sweden to Guantanamo eventually via other countries.

  10. McFlock 11

    including Ecuador.

  11. weka 12

    You are not permitted by law to touch someone without their consent, regardless of whether it is physical contact of a sexual nature or non-sexual nature. That is my understanding. And as McFlock has stressed, no consent can be given by someone who is asleep.
     

    CV from upthread, moving down here so the formatting works..
     
    CV, you’re not stupid, so I am at a loss to know whether you are being disingenuous or just shit stirring. Obviously there is a difference between a couple who have been happily married for 20 years and say a one night stand. In the former it’s likely that either party can initiate sex with the other while the other is asleep and that not be a problem. To say that in that situation consent hasn’t been given is stupid. Equally obviously, if you don’t know someone, then you can’t tell what they are ok with, so you do have to ask.
     
    The point here is that consent happens within the context of a relationship. Where the line is drawn between initiating and something that requires actual explicit consent will vary. I personally wouldn’t give carte blanche consent to a male partner putting his penis in my vagina while I was asleep any time he felt like it. And here is the crucial bit – the only way my partner would know, would be to ask me. They could ask me at another time, so this idea that there is a big problem with gaining consent is just complete crap. What that ideas suggests is that men’s (and Assange’s) ideas about their entitlement to sex trump consensuality. Which is exactly the problem.
     
    Honestly, it’s really hard for me to understand why some people don’t get this. If you don’t know if someone is ok with something, then don’t do it until you do. If you do decide to do it, in a sexual situation, then yes I’m afraid you run the risk of traumatising your partner. Man up and take some responsibility for your side of things.
     

     
    You are not permitted by law to touch someone without their consent
     

    Citation please. You are misusing concepts of consent and it’s getting tedious.

    • McFlock 12.1

      In response to the same comment:

      Don’t be full of shit, CV.   Sticking your penis inside someone is not a simple “touch”.     For example, the NZ Crimes Act s128A (3)A person does not consent to sexual activity if the activity occurs while he or she is asleep or unconscious.    You’ve just given us another example of an Assange fan making shit up to minimise the accusations. 

      • weka 12.1.1

        The thing that strikes me is the thread that runs through these conversations: some men seem more concerned with whether certain acts would lead to a rape charge, not whether those certain actions would traumatise their partner.
         

        • prism 12.1.1.1

          On this thread I have the feeling that other commenters have no more idea of what actually happened in this highly charged sexual encounter than I do. I have just been proceeding along the lines of refusing to find it a crime on the basis that only unusually naive virgins don’t know enough about the ways of men and women should be given hand-wringing hearing.

          My thoughts are that sex is not new, that sex with celebrities is not new, that women getting drunk and having sex is not new, that the women’s magazines are full of stories of those who had sex and with whom, that Mills and Boons are full of heavy breathing, and that having sex with well-known men is a great way for a woman to get notoriety, and from interviews with women who count having lots of drinks so they lose their sense of purpose and place, as having a good time.

          If sex was had while the woman was asleep, was it a continuation of a sexual encounter by Assange and these two innocents? Where is the link for a good summary of the encounter?
          And is there money involved, or some advantage offered? That is apart from the publicity.

          • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1

            All those questions prism would be way more like the real life ‘shades of grey’ world that I understand that we live in. That and the presumption of innocence.

            McFlock:

            Don’t be full of shit, CV. Sticking your penis inside someone is not a simple “touch”. For example, the NZ Crimes Act s128A (3): A person does not consent to sexual activity if the activity occurs while he or she is asleep or unconscious. You’ve just given us another example of an Assange fan making shit up to minimise the accusations.

            Thanks but no thanks McFlock. What I wrote was very carefully wordered to cover the generic case of unwanted touch either sexual in nature or non-sexual in nature. In fact, I explicitly stated that and you cannot disagree with a single sentence of those facts. Unwanted touch of any nature can result of a charge of assault and the scale escalates from there all the way to the sky. I know that. Don’t try and straw man me mate.

            Especially when I have on multiple occasions stated that I believe that Assange should indeed face the justice system in Sweden ASAP so that we can get to the bottom of the matter, and so the complainants can be properly heard.

            YOU AND I AGREE ON THIS.

            A simple reassurance from Sweden that he won’t be shipped to a distant land on some completely unrelated matter (i.e. charges of espionage, as suggested by the US Senate Intelligence Committee) is also what I think should happen.

            THAT’S WHAT WE DISAGREE ON (it seems to me) as you are quite willing to let this drag out without such a reassurance.

            • McFlock 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Unwanted touch of any nature can result of a charge of assault and the scale escalates from there all the way to the sky. I know that. Don’t try and straw man me mate.

              then citation, please.

              A simple reassurance from Sweden that he won’t be shipped to a distant land on somecompletely unrelated matter (i.e. charges of espionage, as suggested by the US Senate Intelligence Committee) is also what I think should happen.

              re: two-step vs three-step comment from last night. 
              No “reassurance” will be enough to overcome the paranoia of Assange and his supporters. 
               
               

              • Colonial Viper

                then citation, please.

                In fact, just the threat of the unwanted application of physical contact can constitute “assault”. (Crimes Act 1961).

                No “reassurance” will be enough to overcome the paranoia of Assange and his supporters.

                You use the term paranoia as if Sweden has never co-operated with the US in extra judicial renditions before. Oh wait, it has.

                For me, a Press Release by the Swedish Ministry of Justice (equivalent) guaranteeing Assange’s safety and security in Sweden, and that he will not be handed over to any third party for reasons associated with Wikileaks activities, would be sufficient.

                • OneTrack

                  Why is it more likely that he would be renditioned from Sweden as opposed to the UK? If it was going to happen it would have happened already. It looks like he is just trying to avoid facing the allegations against him.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Oh sheeezus.

                    IMO Assange is safer in the UK than in Sweden.

                    • McFlock

                      based on…?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Cite, CV? And complicity in a single rendition years ago doesn’t suggest a trend, so some verifiable facts would be good!
                       
                      My understanding is that Sweden is pro-asylum, supportive of political fugitives and not as completely up the US’s arse as the UK has been for decades. On the other hand, they clearly don’t like sexual assault and take it seriously. Silly Swedes!
                       
                      And one further question. Why shouldn’t Assange be extradited to the US anyway? OK, at the moment, they can’t be arsed charging him with anything, but why should Assange be immune from American justice if he has knowingly broken their laws?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Heard a euro lawyer today saying that if he is extradited from the UK to Sweden for one reason, and if he is to be then extradited from sweden to the US for some other reason, then the US has to get UK permission as well as Swedish.

                • McFlock

                  You mean the definition in section 2? Is the word “contact”? And does your understanding include the term “mens rea”?
                        
                  As to rendition thing, it did it once, 3 months after 9/11, and got its arse whacked by swedish courts and the European courts. 
                        
                  The UK, on the other hand, was apparently complicit in the torture of one of its residents. And yeah, that mean Assange had less chance of going to guantanamo from sweden than he did from the UK.

                         

                        

                  • Colonial Viper

                    And yeah, that mean Assange had less chance of going to guantanamo from sweden than he did from the UK.

                    ‘Coin flip one’ predicts ‘coin flip two’ territory again mate?

                    And does your understanding include the term “mens rea”?

                    Yeah because there clear objective tests for looking inside peoples heads, going back in time and establishing intention.

                    As to rendition thing, it did it once, 3 months after 9/11, and got its arse whacked by swedish courts and the European courts.

                    Oh they did it just once (that we know of, to two people), and now they’ve learnt their lesson! Promise!

                    Bottom line is that Assange should face the music in Sweden. ASAP. And Sweden should give reassurances that they are not going to transfer him into the custody of any third party on any grounds not relevant to the womens’ complaints.

                    (Feel free to go into your whirl about Swedish sovereignty now).

                    • McFlock

                      Not coin tosses.
                      Clear probabilities based on international relations, past behaviours, and their contexts. Rather than bumper stickers.
                               
                          
                      Determining intent is a keystone of many legal systems, including our own. Glad to hear that you know better than a thousand years of legal development.
                             
                           
                       Yes. As opposed to Britain, who are probably doing it to this day. Being “close allies” and all.
                               
                           
                      Sovreignty wasn’t my line. Keep up. My line is that legal systems shouldn’t work at the convenience of persons of interest in sexual assault investigations. And they sure as shit shouldn’t provide blanket immunity for crimes committed in other countries.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      My line is that legal systems shouldn’t work at the convenience of persons of interest in sexual assault investigations.

                      OK then. My line is that investigators should consistently work to progress any criminal investigation that they are involved in. Using any standard means necessary. Like using a telephone or a videolink or an in-person interview.

                      Swedish criminal investigators could do that by questioning Assange, today. But those front line investigators have been prevented from doing so by politically motivated orders from above.

                      IMO Sweden should question Assange today. And based on that lay formal criminal charges, greatly strengthening the extradition case against him.

                    • McFlock

                      lol
                         
                      The extradition case doesn’t need strengthening. It succeeded. And the Ecuadorians have come in to piss of the yanks.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Questioning Assange, laying formal charges and strengthening the extradition case against him would be significant progress for Swedish investigators.

                      I’m surprised you don’t find any of the above that important since you seemed all for bringing Assange to justice a moment ago :roll:

                      Come on McFlock, I’m really on your side, I want to see Assange answer to the authorities.just like you do.

                    • McFlock

                      CV,
                      There are no more extradition proceedings. Assange lost, that’s why he’s in the Ecuadorean bedsit. There is no purpose to interviewing him. because nothing can result from the interviews.  No “progress”, because there is nothing to progress. Either Ecuador sticks with protecting him from sexual assault proceedings, or he goes back to Sweden.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The extradition case doesn’t need strengthening. It succeeded. And the Ecuadorians have come in to piss of the yanks.

                      By the way. Is this what you genuinely believe?

                      edited:

                      There is no purpose to interviewing him. because nothing can result from the interviews. No “progress”, because there is nothing to progress.

                      uh…grounds for formal charges can be determined, and from there formal charges can be laid. Wouldn’t you call that a big step forwards for the women complainants?

                    • McFlock

                      It’s more likely than suddenly getting a concern for human rights. 

          • weka 12.1.1.1.2

            Prism, none of those things are relevant to rape. Doesn’t matter how many times the women had previously had sex with Assange or the reasons why they did so. Drinking alcohol likewise.
             
            What matters was whether they agreed to specific sexual activity or not. 
             
            My suggestion is that you go read the actual statements made by the complainants. Then come back here and tell me if you think that that is acceptable way for a man to treat a woman. I’m not asking you to decide if the women are telling the truth, I’m asking you to say whether that behaviour, were it true, would be ok.
             
            If you don’t want to read the statements, that’s fine, but please refrain from making comments about rape sexual assault when you don’t know what the women are actually saying.
             

            • marty mars 12.1.1.1.2.1

              What matters was whether they agreed to specific sexual activity or not.

              Yes weka you are onto it as usual. I cannot understand why this point is seemingly so hard for some people to accept. It is 101, the minimum. I’ve read the various bullshit by some posters regarding their interpretation of when it is acceptable or not to have sex with someone who doesn’t consent. I’ve actually lost quite a lot of respect for those posters over their attitudes to women and rape.

              so Thank you for putting out good arguments that I can read and learn from.

              • weka

                Thanks marty, appreciated. I’ve lost respect too :-( And it’s disheartening to see this is still such an issue on the left. I do take heart from the people here who obviously get it though, that’s a relief.

            • prism 12.1.1.1.2.2

              weka
              All right if you want to do something useful to advance the truth about this, then you could give me the link I asked about and you have referred to when you said “My suggestion is that you go read the actual statements made by the complainants.”

              When I think of the woman who get raped in war, the thousands who suffered en masse on the Indian continent, the women who have gone mad after forced multiple sex every day, the families who have seen their mother raped before them by enemy soldiers, then I hear about two women who have had social intercourse that developed into sex, it doesn’t add up to the same level of horror. I am sorry that you are so sensitive about rape, when there are so many females and males brutalised around the world each day in this and other ways.

              • McFlock

                So you have no idea what the charges are, you haven’t googled them yourself (court documents and prosecutor’s office), but you still know enough to reckon that it doesn’t compare to rape in wartime and so therefore… what? The criminal justice system shouldn’t look at it?
                 
                ffs 

                • Colonial Viper

                  So you have no idea what the charges are, you haven’t googled them yourself (court documents and prosecutor’s office)

                  There are no frakking “charges” McFlock. Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning.

                  And try to remember the “presumption of innocence” for a minute will you.

                  Assange should answer to the investigation in Sweden. And Swedish authorities should reassure him that this is not a trip to Gitmo via Stockholm.

                • Morrissey

                  So you have no idea what the charges are

                  There are no charges against Assange. Now, you either know that and are simply repeating a falsehood with malicious intent, or you are unbelievably naïve and ignorant.

                  Then again, judging by your posts this week, both options could be equally valid.

                • McFlock

                  Quite correct, both of you.
                     
                  He skipped the country before an arrest could be made. 

                  Although the UK court of appeal did say “[…considering the question of whether the prosecution had commenced, we would not find it difficult to hold that looking at what has taken place in Sweden that the prosecution had commenced. Although it is clear a decision has not been taken to charge him, that is because, under Swedish procedure, that decision is taken at a late stage with the trial following quickly thereafter. In England and Wales, a decision to charge is taken at a very early stage; there can be no doubt that if what Mr Assange had done had been done in England and Wales, he would have been charged and thus criminal proceedings would have been commenced.”
                        
                  So it’s semantically fortunate that the allegations were madee in Sweden, no? 

                   
                   
                   
                   
                   

                   

                  • Colonial Viper

                    He skipped the country before an arrest could be made.

                    In fact, Assange left the country with the full knowledge and permission of the Swedish authorities. And given that there was no way of telling how many weeks or months it would take Sweden to press charges (if ever), leaving the country was completely reasonable.

                    And now, if Sweden wants to continue questioning Assange, they can. Today.

                    • McFlock

                      He just left coincidentally on the same day his lawyer was told an arrest was imminent…

              • weka

                Prism, re the complainant statements, please do your own homework.
                 
                What you have just said is that rape by obvious extreme force is unacceptable, but other than that women should accept whatever sexual behaviour the man they are with wants. For instance, the man can have sex with her while she is asleep, even if she wouldn’t consent were she asked (that fits a clear legal definition of rape btw). He can have sex with her without a condom even though she has made that a condition of sex. It’s ok for him to hold her down and try and make her have sex with him even though she is resisting. Is that ok so long as he doesn’t actually put his penis inside her? You seem to be saying yes, and that any woman who feels traumatised by that is being too delicate a wee flower.
                 
                You also seem to be saying that if a woman has sex with a man once, then she can’t complain if he forces her to have sex again, esp if she is in bed with him. Basically that’s saying that once consent is given once, it’s given for … what? the rest of the night? the rest of the week? forever? (there is a reason why rape within marriage law was repealed, see if you can figure it out. Or do you think that once a woman marries someone she consents to sex whenever?)
                 
                You also seem to be saying that any woman who makes a mistake in her choice of sexual partners is out of luck, because hey, if you choose to screw a celebrity, then he’s allowed to do what he wants after that. 
                 
                You seem to be under the impression that rape is defined by certain acts (physically violent ones are rape but anything less than that is decreasingly rape until it’s just a woman’s poor judgement). But actually rape is defined by whether a woman has sovereignty over her body or not. You are clearly saying that sovereignty has nothing to do with it. Fuck you.
                 
                Marty kindly pointed out that this is all 101 stuff. I suggest that before you google the complainants’ statements that you first search for rape myths and educate yourself.
                 

              • Vicky32

                When I think of the woman who get raped in war, the thousands who suffered en masse on the Indian continent, the women who have gone mad after forced multiple sex every day, the families who have seen their mother raped before them by enemy soldiers, then I hear about two women who have had social intercourse that developed into sex, it doesn’t add up to the same level of horror.

                Seconded!

                • rosy

                  Yeah, I mean it’s sorta like pick-pocketing isn’t real theft, now being forced to the ground, kicked in the ribs and having your handbag ripped off your arm – now that’s theft.

                  • prism

                    rosy
                    Yes. It’s a matter of how serious, such as there is a general offence of assault and another serious one of grievous bodily harm.

                    • McFlock

                      Funnily enough, the UK courts seemed to think it was pretty serious. And they, like, read the alleged facts of the investigation so they’d know what they were talking about, and everything.

                    • rosy

                      So in relative harm terms, assange’s behavour should be excused? I don’t go along with that at all. This is why there are a range of sentencing options available to judges- to account for relativities in similar type of crime (if allegations are found to be true).

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So in relative harm terms, assange’s behavour should be excused?

                      I don’t believe that prism suggested that at all. FYI The charges Assange faces, if finally laid, come with a sentencing range of 0-4 years.

                      A sexual violation charge in the NZ system comes with a sentence of up to 20 years, where 6-10 is a typical range.

                    • McFlock

                      cite, pls.
                       

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Up to 4 years, Sweden. “Minor rape”. (Now plz don’t harangue me for this. The Telegraph uses the term. Apparently in Sweden there are various grades).

                      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8308877/Julian-Assange-extradition-hearing-Swedish-prosecutor-is-biased-against-men.html

                      Sexual violation NZ up to 20 years, typical around 8 years

                      http://www.netlaw.co.nz/crime.cfm?PageID=130

                    • McFlock

                      cheers.
                             
                      So after all the hooplah about the allegations not amounting to “real” rape, it turns out they’ll probably charge him with the crime that proportionately fits the allegations?
                              
                         
                      I’m shocked, shocked I tells ya. 

                • prism

                  Vicky 32
                  Thanks, I think we all have to keep the horrendous of sexual abuse in mind when the focus goes strongly on to individual cases.

            • prism 12.1.1.1.2.3

              Weka
              If you have a point to make referring to the Assange women’s statements then why don’t you give the link to it. It would be a good idea. But you seem to prefer to write long comments attacking me because I don’t hold the same views as yourself. Who is right. Women are always right in what they think aren’t they.

              • weka

                Prism, please reread my post. I know it’s a hard read, but I am not attacking you, I am having a go at what you said. Which is valid IMO. If I am wrong about what you are saying, then please challenge that.
                 
                “Women are always right in what they think aren’t they.”
                 
                You will never have seen me ever say that. So please acknowledge that you are reacting and made that up, rather than that being my own views.
                 
                 
                “If you have a point to make referring to the Assange women’s statements then why don’t you give the link to it.”
                 
                That complainant statements are available online if you want them. And no, I’m not going to do that work for you, sorry. Try googling ‘assange +complainant +statement’ or similar.

                • prism

                  weka
                  Of course I made that sentence up. I made up all the comment. If I wanted to quote you I would have put quotes around it. And I give up on this anyway. I haven’t the time to seek out the truth of what happened and what I think doesn’t count for anything anyway. The whole matter will roll on whatever and I don’t want to argue with and upset fractious sensitives like you.

                  • weka

                    Of course you made the sentence up prism, I know you weren’t quoting me. I thought you were suggesting that  I was the one that thought women are always right. Obviously that’s not what I think, so why did you write the sentence?
                     
                    “I haven’t the time to seek out the truth of what happened”
                     
                    And that is absolutely fine. But if you insist on commenting when you don’t know the details, you can expect to be called on it.
                     
                     
                    “I don’t want to argue with and upset fractious sensitives like you.”
                     
                    Hmm, not sure you are being genuine with the second part of the sentence. I don’t think the issue is that I’m sensitive, although there is nothing wrong with that. It’s that I’m pointing out a glaring failure in our culture, in the culture of the left in particular. You can look the other way if you like, but given that you and I can usually talk about things here, I would suggest you have your own levels of sensitivity too.
                     
                    The issue you bring up – that some rape is worse than others  – is important, and needs to be discussed if we are ever to move past a culture that sanctions rape. But minimising the experiences of some women is not the way to do that.

      • Blackwood 12.1.2

        “You are not permitted by law to touch someone without their consent.”

        If you saw a woman lying unconscious in a ditch filling with water does the law not permit you to touch her without her consent when the alternative is to watch her drown?

        Do you break the law every time crowd movements in a packed stadium press you against your neighbours?

        Consent can be expressed or presumed. If a woman falls onto a bed with you in your arms it is not necessary to ask her express consent to remove her blouse, or clothes in general,or her consent to touch her here, there or any where. In certain situations consent can be assumed until it is expressly denied or revoked – in short no means no, but the absence of no can legitimately be taken to be yes.

        The Crimes Act creates a presumption that sexual activity cannot be consented to by someone who is asleep or unconscious at the time, for obvious reasons. However it is a presumption capable of being refuted by circumstances. Is it against the law to wake your wife in bed with a cuddle on the Sunday morning? If the woman isn’t your wife but still went to bed with you the night before should it be any more against the law? If she was drunk or (self-) drugged at the time the presumption is harder to refute, but she wasn’t drunk or drugged when she went to bed with you it’s at least arguable that she consented to ‘reasonable’ sexual activity.

        I don’t know the facts of the Assange case but as Dominique Strauss-Kahn discovered accusations of a sexual nature are VERY hard to rebut, and are very damaging even if untrue.

        • locus 12.1.2.1

          if you were accused -incorrectly- by someone that you had sex with them while they were asleep after they refused consent just before they went to sleep, wouldn’t you do your level best to fight the accusation?

          And if someone else had been proven in a court of law to be guilty of this crime would you support the victim or the perpetrator?

          It’s a pity that Assange didn’t fight this accusation in a court of law rather than allowing the internet to run a trial.

        • McFlock 12.1.2.2

          A lot of the alleged facts of the Assange case were discussed at the extradition hearings in the UK.
             
          Maybe you should know what you’re talking about before you come up with hypotheticals where something might, in the letter of the law, be “rape” but is ethically okay. 

  12. Pascal's bookie 13

    All this talk about Gitmo.

    I assume that’s because none of the talkers can say what he’d be charged with (espionage is what’s being touted, but if he’s guilty of espionage then so is just about every newspaper editor in the developed world).

    If it’s espionage though, he won’t be going to gitmo

    And the problem with the gitmo fear, is that if they could put him in gitmo, then rendition is on the table, as is drone strike.

    Gitmo is a sucky institution. But it’s not a magic word. If he’s eligible for gitmo, then all the talk about ‘promises he won’t be sent to gitmo’ or extradition, or anything else, are beside the point.

    Gitmo is for enemy combatants. That’s who they can put there. If the President declares him an EC, he can take him out with a drone strike.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Gitmo is for enemy combatants. That’s who they can put there. If the President declares him an EC, he can take him out with a drone strike.

      Anyone can be held at Gitmo, even Pakistani taxi drivers who have, after the fact, been shown to have nothing to do with anything. Did the President declare each Pakistani taxi driver caught up in this an EC beforehand? I dunno. By the way, the US uses drone strikes against targets which have no more worthwhile intelligence value.

      I suggest in Assange’s case, that they would want to very carefully debrief him, in person.

      And only the National Security Committee and a handful of other senior US personnel would have clearance to know whether or not Assange has been declared an EC, unless the information was deemed suitable for public release.

      Same with whether or not a Grand Jury has been convened to study the possibility of laying charges against Assange and the details of those charges. Such a Grand Jury may already have recommended that charges be laid against Assange. None of us would know, at this stage.

      Gitmo is a sucky institution. But it’s not a magic word. If he’s eligible for gitmo, then all the talk about ‘promises he won’t be sent to gitmo’ or extradition, or anything else, are beside the point.

      Gitmo is a physical reality, but it is also a meme that the USA doesn’t care much for due process and humane treatment if it believes that its national security is at stake. The treatment of Bradley Manning clearly attests to that.

      My bottom line is that Assange should face the authorities in Sweden ASAP, without the risk that this is some ploy to then send him on to Gitmo (or wherever) on completely unrelated matters.

      • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1

        Fuck memes bro.

        Do some bloody homework.

        Find out what the actual situation is.

        It’s not like there isn’t enough in the actual facts to get pissed off about.

        Here’s some starter for you:

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

        Pay particular attention to Rasul v. Bush. Hunt down the Supreme Court decision penned by Justice Stevens in that case.

        Your whole argument here is that the US might have declared assange an EC. But if that’s the case* then there are no promises from anyone that would be worth a damn. If that’s what he is worried about, why would a promise from Sweden be worth anything? A promise from a host country won’t protect you if you are a EC and the US decides to get you. Ask all the dead people scattered around the globe. Whoops you can’t, they’re fucking dead.

        As for debriefing assange. To what end? He’s not James fucking Bond.

        * I’d fucking love to hear the reasoning that would justify such a finding, because it would make pretty much make every editor of the NYT for the last 50 years, for example, an EC.

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1

          As for debriefing assange. To what end? He’s not James fucking Bond.

          Assange was directly involved in the largest compromise and public distribution of classified US military and State Dept information in the world’s history.

          It’s not “James Bond”, but its not exactly parking fine conduct either.

          PS you do know that Feinstein, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said that Assange should be prosecuted for causing serious harm to the national security of the USA, right? Again, not parking fine conduct is it. They might want to talk (debrief) Assange over this, no?

          • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1.1.1

            Assange was directly involved in the largest compromise and public distribution of classified US military and State Dept information in the world’s history.

            And? What intel do you think he has that they might want? You’ve suggested that they might want to put him in gitmo to interrogate him. To what end? What secrets do you think he has, that they do not know?

            Wikileaks security stuff. If WL is so fucking incompetent that Assange has anything useful on that score at this stage then they are not worthy of support. He is compromised and not safe to know things.

            And only in terms of volume this was the biggest leak. It was all pretty little league shit in terms of its level of classification.

            There have been heaps of worse leaks. They had nuclear bomb plans stolen at one stage. They’ve had lists of undercover assets handed to the russians. That led to actual deaths of those assets. Nothing WL got came close to any of the stuff the NYT published about the black sites in terms of classification.

            PS you do know that Feinstein, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said that Assange should be prosecuted for causing serious harm to the national security of the USA, right?

            You do know that Feinstein is a politician right? She’s not a prosecutor. She could say the Committee should hold a hearing, and they’d be able to call people in to testify, but she passed the buck and said ‘nah, someone should prosecute him’.

            Looks tough; isn’t though. But it sucked a few rubes in I guess. Politicians eh?

            She said he should be charged under the Espionage act. Good fucking luck. There a number of wingnut sites running arguments that it would be possible, if you squint, and broaden a few definitions, and hope a few Supreme Court rulings on first ammendment rights get overturned.

            But in any case, if he was charged under the espionage act that still wouldn’t mean Gitmo, and it wouldn’t mean onimous ‘debriefings’.

            • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Hey thanks PB if you could just email that to Assange’s legal team, it’ll sort out a whole lot of unnecessary concerns that they hold.

              Facetiousness aside, so perhaps they won’t hold him in Gitmo. Maybe just some run of the mill military prison. Maybe the same facility Bradley Manning is in.

              • Pascal's bookie

                :roll:

                Worse than Pete George.

                Want to know why Manning is in a military prison?

                But you already know.

                You just don’t care about this stuff enough to bother being honest about it.

                • Colonial Viper

                  You do realise I am not an expert on the US judicial or courts martial system right? That I’ve never been admitted to the bar. That I only know the vaguest outlines of how the US Grand Jury system works? I mean FFS, what do you expect of people here?

                  My belief is that Assange should face the Swedish justice system. My belief is that Sweden should give assurances that they are not about to place Assange under the control of some other third party interested in Assange for other matters. Its not fucking rocket science. And I don’t think it’s that unreasonable either.

  13. just saying 14

    Highly recommended from Luddite Journo at ‘the Hand Mirror':

    http://thehandmirror.blogspot.co.nz/

    So now we have Rape Crisis, brought to you by Hell’s Pizza. Fantastic. What next? McDonald’s Women’s Refuge? Coca Cola Save the Children?

    Hell, why stop there? Why not invite companies that make fast food in to fund our state agencies too? KFC could come to mean Keystone Fcuking Cops if we only open our minds to the beauty of public-private partnerships….

  14. bad12 15

    Is that Slippery little Shyster back in the country yet, you know the one s’posed to be running the place,

    I feel a real big Hoick coming on, i would make a deposit at Shearer-bufoon-spitoon-dot-conned but someone beat me to it, spit…

  15. Morrissey 16

    Jim Mora’s guests chuckling at the persecution of Julian Assange
    Friday 17 August 2012

    Listening to another featherweight discussion on National Radio’s ever-worsening “The Panel” a few minutes ago, I felt obliged to send the following email to the host, Jim Mora….

    Dear Jim,

    So, according to Michelle Boag, Ecuador granting asylum to a political dissident is “posturing”.

    Imagine if Australia or the United Kingdom had shown the courage to grant him asylum. Would that have been posturing, in Ms. Boag’s view? Last month the United States granted asylum to a Chinese dissident. Was that posturing?

    I am sure I was not the only listener disturbed to hear Ms. Boag and Brian Edwards chuckling in apparent amusement at the prospect of Julian Assange spending years trapped in an embassy.

    Yours in concern at steadily falling standards of commentary,

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

  16. freedom 17

    A heads up for Capital Connection users. This little story was buried deep in the bowels of Stuff almost immediately after being posted this morning and i suspect we will not be seeing any coverage over the coming days.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/northern-suburbs/7496734/Capital-Connection-may-close-within-weeks

  17. Morrissey 18

    Recommended weekend viewing

    Censor’s Warning: The viewing of this short film may trigger homicidal anger against the whistle-blowers by those who support state terror….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0

    Check out the immortal dialogue….

    “Hahaha. I hit ‘em!” …. “Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards.” …. “Look at that. Right through the windshield!” …. Laughter…. “Well it’s their fault for bringing kids in to a battle!”… “That’s right.” …Laughter….

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      ^^ political, please move to Open Mike.

      • Morrissey 18.1.1

        political, please move to Open Mike.

        What? You’ve decreed that weekends are thought-free? I urge you to use this weekend to actually do a bit of reading on this topic. I’ve looked at some of the things you’ve written recently and they have been alarmingly naïve and smug.

        Weekends free of reading and thinking? Whatever next?

  18. Pascal's bookie 19

    This Guardian editorial is very good, and it confirms that it would be easier to be extradited form the UK to the Us than from Sweden:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/16/julian-assange-wikileaks-refugee-protection?CMP=twt_gu

    No one should be naïve about the US, but this is a fallacious chain of reasoning. The US has not said whether it wants to detain Mr Assange, though it has had plenty of time to do so. If it wanted his extradition, the US might logically be more likely to make use of Britain’s excessively generous extradition treaty with the US – which has not happened – rather than wait until he was in Sweden, when both Sweden and the UK would have to sign off on any extradition application. And neither Sweden nor the UK would in any case deport someone who might face torture or the death penalty. Ecuador’s own human rights record is also far from exemplary, as Human Rights Watch has made clear.

    It also talks about how Assange may be damaging the diplomatic norms around refugee status and asylum, by claiming them when he is facing criminal, rather than polical, threats.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      This Guardian editorial is very good, and it confirms that it would be easier to be extradited form the UK to the Us than from Sweden:

      There’s a simple plausible explanation. Assange has more influential/connected supporters in the UK than in Sweden. So while it would be legally easier to extradite Assange to the US from the UK…the political will is not present to do so directly.

      In addition, it is impossible to confirm or deny whether or not the US has already convened a Grand Jury against Assange, and what the outcomes of that Grand Jury has been/will be.

      • McFlock 19.1.1

        Got evidence for that explanation?

        • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1

          No hard evidence, except Assange was given safe haven and considerable monies by well known supporters in the UK.

          • McFlock 19.1.1.1.1

            He seemed to be popular in Sweden. 

            • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1.1.1

              Not that it did him any good in the long run.

              • McFlock

                It could just be that influential supporters don’t interfere in criminal proceedings – like how the UK extradition thing didn’t go his way. 
                     
                Much better for him to have a friend in a president who can make it a political decision. 

                • Colonial Viper

                  hey I think Assange should answer to Swedish authorities asap. No argument there.

                  • McFlock

                    Provided they agree to his conditions.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The single condition not to be placed into the hands of a third party unrelated to the women complainants? Seems not unreasonable to me. And it would significantly progress the criminal investigation against Assange while protecting judicial outcomes for the Swedish women complainants.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Why should Sweden do this? What is so special about Assange that Sweden should change its laws for him?

                    • RedLogix

                      What is so special about Assange that Sweden should change its laws for him?

                      Because of his services to democracy in exposing damning secrets and lies he has made powerful enemies. Unquestionably he is a special case.

                      What is interesting is your wilful inability to acknowledge the obvious.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Why should Sweden do this?

                      To progress to the stage of laying (or abandoning) criminal charges against Assange. That’s worth something good.

                    • McFlock

                      I missed the bit where Assange gave the promise to leave the embassy and face proceedings if Sweden made promises to change its laws and extradition treaties to his convenience. Got a link?

                    • RedLogix

                      Yet the bizzare thing is CV is that all of us who have the brains god gave geese know that if it was anyone other than Assange the whole investigation and extradition would never have seen the faintest glimmer of daylight.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      RL – Yep. I’m sure the Swedish and the UK govts go to the same amount of trouble on a monthly basis for the UK football yahoos who visit Sweden.

                    • McFlock

                      RL, is that a complaint that Sweden is actually doing what they should be doing all along? I.e. actively pursuing sexual assault investigations?
                                  
                      Do you want them to do more of it, or stop doing it altogether?
                       

                    • Colonial Viper

                      BS McFlock. If Sweden were in fact “actively pursuing” the allegations against Assange why haven’t they taken every opportunity to question him?

                      Formal charges would be right up.

                    • McFlock

                      Because there’s no point interviewing him if charges won’t be laid. And charges won’t be laid if he goes to Ecuador. So why bother?
                                     
                       But if he gets sent back to Sweden, then charges can be laid after the interview. So there is a need for the interview. So charges can be laid.

                    • RedLogix

                      So why bother with the extradition? How about just getting on a plane to the UK and interviewing him there? I mean if the crime was all so serious and all….

                      Nah … none of this makes any sense whatsoever.

                    • McFlock

                      Jesus RL,
                      why would they interview him if the interview might result in formal charges, but formal charges couldn’t be laid?
                           
                      What more would that do? They already had a European arrest warrant, extradition proceedings and successful defenses of appeals to those proceedings? An interview without the possibility of arrest and charges is a pointless exercise.

                    • RedLogix

                      Police routinely fly to other countries to interview suspects before instigating extradition. Once they have done that then charges may or may not follow.

                      (Which to my understanding have still not been formally made…)

                    • McFlock

                      Indeed. Before extradition. Extradition succeeded, remember? And no extradition from Ecuador, because of their presidents’ new-found respect for human rights.   
                         
                      So why bother?

                    • RedLogix

                      An extradition which if it had been anyone other than Assange would never have happened …

                      http://notesonwikileaks.tumblr.com/post/15251907983/assange-extradition-fact-sheet

                      Get real.

                    • McFlock

                      So are you bitching that the swedes aren’t doing enough for all sexual assault investigations, or simply that they are unfairly taking this one seriously?
                          
                         
                      And you call that a source? You get real: on the “not charged, just wanted for questioning” point for a start it ignores the fact that the UK courts said that if the allegations had been made in the UK, he would have been charged already,  because the UK lays charges earlier in the process than Sweden does.
                           
                       Yet more “sex by surprise” from teamassange.

                    • RedLogix

                      So are you bitching that the swedes aren’t doing enough for all sexual assault investigations, or simply that they are unfairly taking this one seriously?

                      States generally only pursue extradition for serious crimes. This one is not. The Swedish charge involved is not ‘rape’ … it is relatively new and lessor offence that does not have an exact equivalent in the legal systems we are familiar with.

                      Clearly the Swedes are treating Assange as an exceptional case.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh well, the UK legal system must be in on the conspiracy, given that they said he was accused of serious offences. But you know better, right?

    • Morrissey 19.2

      This Guardian editorial is very good

      It could have been written by someone at the Foreign Office.

      Couple of questions for you:

      1.) Did you think the dodgy dossiers preparing the ground for the invasion of Iraq were “very good”?

      2.) How much serious reading have you done on this case? (Warning: trawling the Grauniad‘s government-approved website in no way constitutes serious reading.)

  19. rosy 20

    Well, unsurprisingly Pussy Riot have been found guilty - of ‘hatred and religious emnity’ rather than political protest. (sort of ironic in a post-soviet nation, with a leader who appears to want to weaken other power blocs).

    The Pussy Riot singers colluded under unestablished circumstances, for the purpose of offensively violating public peace in a sign of flagrant disrespect for citizens

    No word on the sentence yet. The leader of the opposition and Gary Kasparov have been arrested – not for protesting, but for trying to attend the judge’s summing up.

    • rosy 20.1

      Sentence: two years in prison, beginning from the day of their arrest. For singing an anti-Putin punk protest song in a church. The judge considers this lenient, especially because two of the women have children.
      Lyrics

      • Grumpy 20.1.1

        They are Russian – they knew the risks.

        • rosy 20.1.1.1

          I’m not saying they didn’t… well the risk of arrest was understood, but the hate crime, rather than protest charges might have thrown them. It’a a bit of an indicator about what Putin’s democracy means, is all (if one was needed). The arrest of the opposition leader and Kasparov shows a bit of concern about things getting out of control, I reckon.

          Edit: Oh, and I think they’re enormously brave going ahead with it all, knowing the risks.

          • muzza 20.1.1.1.1

            Falling for the framing around Russia, by the looks of the your comments Rosy..

            I’d have a wee look into who Kasparov , and for that matter Medvedev get around with..

            Enormously brave, very stupid or naively coerced/flat out used as a tool for what is going on around this “saga”

            • rosy 20.1.1.1.1.1

              Pretty aware that a pro-democracy anti-Putin party in Russia is similar in style and influence to similar parties in Georgia and Ukraine have been, Muzza. No wonder the govt wants to keep a lid on it, aye what?

              Never mentioned Medvedev.

              • locus

                :roll:
                yes rosy, you are so naive – sucked in by corrupt western media who are framing putin and the Russian authorites. Can’t you see that Pussy Riot are tools of western powers (as are the western media), not to mention those dastardly schemers kasparov and medvedev

              • muzza

                “Never mentioned Medvedev”

                –Correct, I did!

  20. Vicky32 21

    but why should Assange be immune from American justice if he has knowingly broken their laws?

    It is to laugh, as the Americans themselves say. American er… justice, when it comes to a charge of espionage? Ma dai! 
    You’re even stupider than I thought you to be.
     
     

  21. Vicky32 22

    Just dropping this in for what it’s worth – quite a lot, I think
     
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32216.htm

  22. Colonial Viper 23

    Julian Assange speaks from the Ecuador Embassy

    First public appearance in 2 months.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nqv1DSTVv4&feature=g-trend

    • Deborah Kean 23.1

      Julian Assange speaks from the Ecuador Embassy

      That’s good, as the TV3 reporter nattered over the top of what he was saying. Her interpretation I presume…

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  • 7 inspiring stories of communities taking action for climate
    Stories of communities taking action for the climate and refusing to accept the plans of polluting fossil fuel companies are happening more and more. Here are just a few inspiring climate acts of courage taken by doctors, villagers, students, farmers,...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Blowin’ in the wind
    Wind power has a pivotal role to play in the world's energy supply over the next few years. By providing huge amounts of clean, affordable power, it can buy us time in the fight against global warming while revolutions in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Wanted: more fertiliser and horse manure
    Equality enriches the soil, just like manure, but a lot less stinky (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the...
    On the Left | 22-10
  • PM gets it right about Auckland, mostly
    Prime Minister John Key is dead right when he said: First home buyers in Auckland might have to consider an apartment in order to get onto the property ladder, Prime Minister John Key says. After all, the locational efficiencies of...
    Transport Blog | 22-10
  • John Key’s Multiple Identities
    Question to the Prime MinisterRussel Norman: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he txted him?Prime Minister: None in my capacity as Prime Minister.John Key...
    Local Bodies | 22-10
  • Where is the Middle?
    When Labour decides who will be the next leader, it is of interest to all of us involved in politics. After all the person chosen could be New Zealand's next Prime Minister. So the debate on the nature of the...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • Labour Needs A Civil Union With The Greens
    Much has been written about where Labour needs to go from here. One issue which doesn’t seem to have generated much interest is what do they do with the Greens?...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Lau...
    The People's Flag Is ... Mint Green? Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern (whom Twitter immediately dubbed Gracinda) pose in Mint Green for one of the glossy women's magazines. In a non-revolutionary era, superficial is about as deep as it gets. BIKERS?...
    Bowalley Road | 22-10
  • Auckland’s disturbing panopticon
    Earlier in the month, we learned that Auckland was planning to install a creepy panopticon, complete with ANPR and facial recognition, for vague and undefinied purposes. This produced a flurry of OIA requests via FYI, and one of them (for...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • How to Sell a House: Free Advice from a couple of experts. (Self-Described!...
      In the 32 years that Judy and I have been together we have bought and sold quite a few houses. Six years is the longest we  lived in any one of those houses.  Our friends regard us as gypsies. The...
    Brian Edwards | 22-10
  • Judith Collins’ two-tier OIA service
    Back in August, we learned that sewerblogger Cameron Slater was receiving extraordinary OIA service from then-Minister of Justice Judith Collins, in one case receiving a response to a request within 37 minutes. But it wasn't just extraordinary for its speed;...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Fluoridation – a racist conspiracy?
    Political activists campaigning on health issues often resort to scaremongering. This can be dangerous – especially when their stories have no real basis but rely on selective and distorted information. Paul Connett’s Fluoride Action Network (FAN) often resorts to this sort of scaremongering. Now...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • Unbelieveable
    This week we've seen the Prime Minister desperately trying to cover up his war plans by pretending that Obama's war-planning meeting was just a "regular" meeting of defence partners which we just happened to be attending. Over on Kiwipolitico Pablo...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Are the police using ANPR to target the disabled?
    The media this morning is full of stories of the paralysed man caught driving using a walking stick to reach the pedals. Its good that he's off the road, but there's one point in the story which raises questions:The driver...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Like a cult…
    When a party loses badly, the public expects a bit of sorrowful wailing and beating of breasts. To say “This is what we did wrong, and this is how we’ll fix it” is an important part of restoring trust with...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-10
  • Does Money make Money?
    ‘Rock star economist’ or ‘inequality messiah’ French economist Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty First Century has outsold every other book on the planet this year. The book is so popular because it floats the idea that money makes...
    Gareth’s World | 21-10
  • Cycling: the benefits of complete networks
    A group of New Zealand researchers recently published an excellent paper on the costs and benefits of investing in a complete cycle network and safe street design. Their paper, which is available online, found that: the benefits of all the...
    Transport Blog | 21-10
  • Life isn’t fair. But it should be.
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) I was not an angelic child. My mother...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Up here on Planet Key
    ...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • TDB Today: Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    In my post at The Daily Blog this week I take inspiration from the great Ian Dury, and reflect on the disconnect between political ambition and the state of the climate system as it continues to warm. It will be...
    Hot Topic | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    frogblog | 21-10
  • Tracking the performance of the 1 hour Xero model
    DISCLOSURE: I hold Xero shares.  Last year I built a very quick and dirty spreadsheet to analyse Xero, and wrote Valuing Xero – in one hour. The article was cross-posted to the NBR, where it attracted far more comments. More on those...
    Lance Wiggs | 21-10
  • Hard News: Media Take: The creeping politicisation of the OIA
    Brent Edwards' story last week on official advice to ministers on child poverty was interesting not only for its substance, but its circumstance.Edwards explained on Morning Report that he originally requested the first of the documents (some of them now nearly...
    Public Address | 21-10
  • Emails from the candidates
    As part of the NZ Labour leadership election, the candidates are able to email the party membership and sell themselves. Knowing how messy Labour’s membership list can be, I thought I’d reproduce the emails in case anyone wants to use...
    Progress report | 21-10
  • Gordon Campbell on Pharmac, Gough Whitlam and Sleater-Kinney
    Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about yesterday’s leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. According to Groser, ‘extreme’ positions are common...
    Gordon Campbell | 21-10
  • @akltransport – Please fill in a form
    Social media has become an important tool for many organisations in how they engage with their customers. It’s become a tool for both marketing and customer service, and there are a number of examples organisations who do it right. Some...
    Transport Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
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