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Open mike 18/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 18th, 2012 - 178 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…

178 comments on “Open mike 18/08/2012”

  1. Jenny 1

    Yesterday Carol commenting on open mike posted a link to an article exposing the shameful exploitation of the parliamentary cleaners.

    Here is the link she supplied:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7486644/Parliaments-cleaners-seek-pay-rise

    Anyone who has ever been to parliament cannot help noticing what a amazing job these low paid workers do. The place glows like a polished jewel. The respect these workers have for this institution and the dedication they put into their work, shows.
    It is morally shocking at how low paid they are.

    For MPs to walk through these polished halls everyday and ignore the exploitation of these low paid workers right under their noses and in their very midst, is in my opinion, dangerously corrosive to their moral compass. (And I am talking about all MPs here). Blatantly turning a blind eye to the injustice of this extreme inequality every day in your own workplace, day in day out, makes it easier for these men and women to ignore child poverty or other extremes of inequality in the rest of the country.

    Draco T Bastard and Vicky 32 both wrote;

    There are many things that the government should do…….

    To which I would like to add that there is also a lot the opposition MPs should/could do, as well.

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

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

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

    If the opposition MPs were serious about helping low paid workers out. Of whom the parliamentary cleaners are a representative of.

    And these opposition MPs approach to the Parliamentary Service in support of the clerners demand for $15 is not met, in full, then I would like to challenge the parliamentary opposition parties, Labour, Greens, NZF, Mana to go on strike for one week. During which time they will donate their wages to the Spotless workers to stay at home as well.

    Will they do it?

    Or, is all the expressed concern for the low paid by these opposition MPs just hot air?

    By their actions you shall know them

    • Carol 1.1

      Thanks for this Jenny. Yes, I hope that the opposition parties do take some protest action on this issue.

      However, isn’t it now against the law to go out on strike in support of workers in a different occupation? Or does the law relate to those in a different workplace, and it is within the law to protest for other workers in your workplace?

      • Jenny 1.1.1

        However, isn’t it now against the law to go out on strike in support of workers in a different occupation?

        Carol

        In answer to your question Carol. Yes it is. But I don’t think this prohibition applies to parliamentarians. And even if it did, I don’t think it is likely we would see the police and the courts try to enforce it. They would look like even bigger wallies than when they raided Kim Dotcom, or Tama Iti.

        On a more serious note. Parliamentarians rather than being regarded as workers, (albeit in another occupation), could be more accurately called their own boss and so are free to do as they please. If they called their stay-away a protest and not a strike, then quite likely it would not be illegal.

    • Grumpy 1.2

      Of course they are worth $15/hr, everyone is.

      The question is why the “workers champion”, when they were in power for 9 whole years didn’t do anything about it.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1

        That’s easy Grumpy, they were following the neo-liberal play book that they introduced to NZ three decades ago.

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1

          Labour did push up the minimum wage enormously when they were in power. But in our current political economy, that minimum wage quickly falls behind, and is also irrelevant for those who become unemployed.

          A UI and policies of 100% employment are crucial.

          • burt 1.2.1.1.1

            A tax system that rewards work rather than breeding would also help.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.1.1

              and burt wanders in spouting his usual ignorance.

              It’s not the tax system that rewards work but the wage system and our wage system is designed to keep wages low and profits high.

            • burt 1.2.1.1.1.2

              Oh, that’s right… we only pretend that WFF is part of the tax system when we want to talk about tax credits to argue tax isn’t high on low earners when Labour are in power… It’s part of the welfare system when National are in power… sorry Draco – I didn’t keep up with the fantasy world of pretending we can tax our way to a fair society.

              • millsy

                Its not fantasy, and it seems to work OK. Not like other countries that have no welfare system and vast expansive slums.

              • Draco T Bastard

                WfF is there due to low wages, not high taxes.

                • burt

                  Oh, of course… it rebates the tax burden because …. low wage earners are taxed too heavily… yeah – slice and dice the BS any way you want Draco – it’s a tax adjustment/it’s welfare… – it’s a breeders tax reduction whichever way you look at it.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    If they weren’t paid so little to begin with then we wouldn’t have to cut the taxes that they pay so that they could afford to raise their families. That is the heart of capitalism – paying many SFA to work hard so that the few can live in luxury and not have to work at all.

                    • burt

                      Right, so your glorious socialist party that identified people were paid too little played with the tax system to be popular enough to win another election so that it could …. play some more with the tax system.

    • blue leopard 1.3

      @ Jenny (& Carol)

      Yes, this would be excellent!
      Would speak volumes if opposition party members took this approach.
      “Walking their talk in pictures” (which speak a thousand words).

      • Jenny 1.3.1

        Thanks for that Blue. Here are two stories from Common Dreams that could have just as easily been written about how our scandalously low paid parliamentary cleaners are treated.

        Here’s to the Houston Janitors

        Dead Woman Working

        Will our opposition MPs act or will they keep walking through their polished halls refusing to acknowledge those who do their work?

        • Jenny 1.3.1.1

          Houston is “Millionaire City,” after all, having added more millionaires to its population than any other city in the US for two years running. These janitors sanitize the bathrooms and workspaces, empty the trash, and vacuum the floors of some of the largest and most powerful corporations in the world: JPMorganChase, Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Wells Fargo, KBR and Marathon Oil to name a few. They do their work in the best-performing commercial real estate market in the US in terms of demand. Many in this predominantly female workforce literally have to run to cleanmore than 100 toilets in five hours each night…..

          Here’s to the Houston Janitors Common Dreams

          …..“It’s clear that our country still doesn’t value the work of service workers. We have to fight harder to make sure that the people who are cleaning the buildings, taking care of the elderly, teaching our kids—all the different kinds of service work—that those folks are coming to the forefront and that people understand and hear their stories,” she said. “And we need to be up front about income inequality. I don’t think people want to accept that people earn $9,000 a year cleaning the offices of billionaires.”

          Here’s to the Houston Janitors Common Dreams

          It was a slow and torturous death, my American dream. And for millions of others, I am guessing it is the same. Nothing this current round of politicos is planning to do can restore it……

          …….No matter whether a Republican like Nixon, Ford, Reagan or Bush — either one — or Democrats like Carter, Clinton, or Obama, the real chances were always next to none that I would actually “make it” and also live a life of purpose I so desperately wanted.

          Dead Woman Working Common Dreams

          My dreams weren’t outrageous and of great wealth. No, my dreams were of a comfortable home, food on the table, children, a meaningful job, and perhaps the “freedom from want” signaled by not being terrified that I wouldn’t make it to my next paycheck. I wanted to pay the bills without fretting. I wanted an occasional vacation from work. And I looked forward to a little time in retirement with enough health left to spend with my husband, kids and grandkids before leaving this earth. Now I am so tired in my late 50s of the struggle and the futility of trying to be heard, that I am angry beyond belief.

          Nothing in my dream was tied to massive wealth or domination over other people. But that killer instinct certainly is present in many people I know. That’s the instinct I apparently lack – the need to be rich and control others even if it means allowing those many others to suffer and die for my personal achievement.

          My real situation is like millions of other people in America. I’ve worked hard – very hard. Vacations were almost non-existent as I either needed to use that time for sick leave when I needed to for children, my husband, or myself or I “banked” the time knowing the next financial storm would come. Retirement security? Come on.

          Dead Woman Working Common Dreams

        • blue leopard 1.3.1.2

          @ Jenny

          Cheers

          I particularly liked the “Dead Woman Working” article:

          “Nothing in my dream was tied to massive wealth or domination over other people. But that killer instinct certainly is present in many people I know. That’s the instinct I apparently lack – the need to be rich and control others even if it means allowing those many others to suffer and die for my personal achievement.”

  2. just saying 2

    Fran Osullivan is interesting today:
    Cloth Cap Cunliffe Pursues Hidden Agenda

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10827742

    I didn’t think it was possible to cram so many neo-godwin’s law (comparisons to totalitarian communist states) infringements into such a small space.

    However, her final comment is relevant, and who here hasn’t thunk it?

    As with Bo in China, Cunliffe has launched a serious challenge to the prevailing ideology of his party’s political wing. Does he seriously believe the nostrums in his three speeches or has he cynically “gone red” to build votes within the party at large. And will his colleagues succeed in burying him? The ABC club can’t place Cunliffe under house arrest. They might just have to engage instead.

    • Carol 2.1

      Ewww…. so unsubtle, Ms O’Sullivan…. The right must truly fear Cunliffe, meanwhile trying to keep Labour in-fighting front-and-centre.

      However, I did smirk a little at the sideswipe at Nikki Kaye:

      The general rule of politics is to “breathe through your nose” when beginning a parliamentary career; pay endless obeisance to the leader (this is usually achieved by repeating the leader’s name at every opportunity as, for instance, does Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye in her Facebook announcements detailing the latest event where she has been the PM’s handbag in New Zealand’s commercial capital) but not complacent to the point of being brain dead by the time you are considered for a senior role.

      And that speaks more of politboro politics than Cunliffe’s alleged independence of thought.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        That sounds remarkably like how to succeed in large private firms as well.

      • muzza 2.1.2

        not complacent to the point of being brain dead by the time you are considered for a senior role

        Perhaps FOS understands what the “parliamentarians on ‘exchange’ is designed for..

        “It’s a very full schedule we’ll be having a range of meetings with various speakers and senators. We’re meeting with a thinktank, we’re meeting with Mike Moore who is our ambassador over there.

        It is possible that FOS is astute to enough to subtley indicate that the “Think Tanks” which are blatantly not what most simpletons want to believe, are in fact little more than brain (dead)washing?

    • Jenny 2.2

      Would Cunliffe be the one to lead a parliamentary opposition walk out in a solidarity action with the parliamentary cleaners?

  3. Morrissey 3

    LEST WE FORGET

    Here’s the real reason they want to destroy Julian Assange….

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

    • Grumpy 3.1

      I thought the only person wanting to destroy Assange was Assange…..
      Talk about a self destruct personality, ot uncommon on the left

      • Morrissey 3.1.1

        I thought the only person wanting to destroy Assange was Assange…..

        You “thought”? Here’s what you need to do, pronto…

        1.) WATCH the video.

        2.) READ something about the case. (Something serious, that is. Paul Thomas in the Herald is not serious. The Grauniad and the BBC, from which you draw your opinions, are about as serious and independent as Pravda and Tass.

        3.) THINK.

        4.) READ some more.

        5.) READ, read, read, and think….

        Off you go now.

        • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.1

          Link to something serious M.

          • Morrissey 3.1.1.1.1

            Link to something serious M.

            I’ve done that virtually every time I have started a thread on this topic. But here’s another one just for you, my friend….

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9ExSqnuwyk

            • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Ooh, a 2 year old msnbc report and an interview with Ellsberg.

              Ellsberg is a serious historic figure. His leaks of the Pentagon papers went all the way to the Supreme Court and resulted in rulings that clarified that journalists who hace recieved classified material are protected by the first amendment when they publish them, you’ll note in that report that officials were saying that charges were not imminent. Guess why that is? Hint, I’ve already told you in this paragraph.

              Also relevant is that WL has never published anything as secret as what Ellsberg leaked, or what the NYT or the WaPo have published.

              Two years on, and the investigation Holder mentions in that report has still not laid any charges. No charges = no grounds for extradition.

              And to forestall any bleating about the UK–> Sweden extradition; Sweden lays charges much later in the investigation the the UK or the US does. If Assange was accused of rape and sexual offences in either the uS or the iK, or here, he would already be charged.

              Now you dismissed the gaurdian Edit I linked to yesterday in a laughable manner, simply asserting that it could have been written by the Foreign Office.

              Yet two wrongs do not make a right. Just as Ecuador is wrong to pretend that Mr Assange is a refugee, so Britain is wrong to threaten to enter Ecuador’s London embassy. The Foreign Office may have been factually entitled to remind Ecuador this week that a 1987 act allows it, if permissible under international law, to enter the premises. But the reminder is more trouble than it is worth, and risks being massively counterproductive to this country’s interests in places where fewer scruples apply. The threat was a mistake, allowing Ecuador to shift the argument away from the Swedish criminal charges. Our diplomats in hostile or failing states would be put at unacceptable risk if this threat were carried out.

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

              I’m sure the foreign office would write that. Yup, aha. I don’t think you even read the editorial.

              I trust you can either argue against the editorials content yourself, or link to someone serious who can do so. It raises some inteesting points that are relevant today, rather than 2 years ago.

              Particularly, the point that if Assange goes to Sweden, international law gives him more protection than he has if he stays in the UK. this is because “both Sweden and the UK would have to sign off on any extradition application” from the US. An application that hasn’t been made yet because no charges have been laid in the US.

              So have at it, be serious. Address these points.

              Or wriggle around and launch ad homs like a fan boy. Your choice.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Here ya Morrisey, jump on this one and address the actual content of the editorial.

                Have at it, should be a piece of cake, seeing you’ve read so much and all.

                List the errors and explain their significance.

                • Morrissey

                  Have at it, should be a piece of cake, seeing you’ve read so much and all.

                  I’ve posted a lot on this topic already, and I’ve linked to many reputable articles and talks by people who know what they’re talking about, rather than poorly informed hacks and out and out propagandists like David Aaronovitch. And now, hilariously, someone who says Daniel Ellsberg and Noam Chomsky engage in rhetoric, wants me to engage in stupid trench warfare with him.

                  Sorry, my friend, your approach is frivolous—rather than argue your case, you’ve tried to belittle me by calling me a “fan boy” on at least two occasions today, but then you’ve also virtually dismissed Ellsberg and Chomsky, so I’m in good company.

                  Not that you would care, but for anyone who does give a damn, the inadequacy of that craven Grauniad editorial has been astutely analyzed here….
                  http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1345182455.html

                  • Chris

                    At some point can everyone stop these threads. They say the same thing everyday and noone gets any further but they fill up Open Mike so noone can talk about anything else without scrolling down for ages.

                    I get it Morrissey Assange is a saint – I get it pretty much everyone else he should front the investigation without danger of being extradited to the US.

                    • Morrissey

                      I get it Morrissey Assange is a saint…

                      No, I have never claimed that. He is a man, albeit a very brave man who has dared to tell the truth at a time when that is an extremely dangerous choice.

                      And he is also a man who obviously is not above temptation. There is no evidence whatsoever that he is a rapist, of course.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Morrissey, saying “No it isn’t” isn’t analysis.

      • rosy 3.1.2

        Grumpy, what makes you think Assange is on the left? I thought he was more an anarchist / individualist.

  4. Morrissey 4

    The John Banks Trophy for…
    DUM QUOTE OF THE WEEK

    Award No. 1: for week ending 17/08/2012

    This week’s winner—and the inaugural holder of the John Banks Trophy—is the awesome Te Reo Putake. In a field crowded with the uninformed, the cynical, the craven, and the plain stupid, our friend nudged ahead of close rivals Weka, Pascal’s Bookie, and the indefatigable yet ill-informed McFlock with this effort for the ages, posted late at night, quite possibly under the influence of a mind=bending substance…

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

    Te Reo Putake, Open Mike, 17/08/2012

    His inanity was, of course, almost immediately seized on and corrected by the superior RedLogix and Colonial Viper; their contributions serve to highlight and immortalize our friend’s achievement.

    • Grumpy 4.1

      Bloody good quote actually and one that most people would be proud to have made……..

      • Morrissey 4.1.1

        Bloody good quote actually and one that most people would be proud to have made……..

        LOL. Classic! You couldn’t make this stuff up!

        Still, good on you, Grumpy. I’ll bet you’re a great friend in a crisis.

        • Grumpy 4.1.1.1

          Assange HAD great friends in a crisis too, until he skipped bail………

          • Morrissey 4.1.1.1.1

            Vaughan Smith is a very nice man, but his brand of timidity is not what you want on your case in a crisis….

            http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1345167751.html

            • Grumpy 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Well, I agree with you there…..looks like Assange just took money where he could and “weak”idiots like Smith and Jemima Khan were soft touches.

              For a guy who didn’t think twice about putting a bullet into the back of some poor bastards head, Assange is sure a whiner……..

              • Morrissey

                looks like Assange just took money where he could and “weak”idiots like Smith and Jemima Khan were soft touches.

                Once again, whether deliberately or not, you’ve missed the point spectacularly. Smith is weak not because he has paid money to help a dissenter, but because he lacks the toughness of character, the fortitude, to confront an ignorant bully like David Aaronovitch.

                For a guy who didn’t think twice about putting a bullet into the back of some poor bastards head, Assange is sure a whiner……..

                What on earth are you talking about? Is this another government-sponsored fantasy now?

                • Vicky32

                  What on earth are you talking about? Is this another government-sponsored fantasy now?

                  Interestingly enough, I just this afternoon, was reading a discussion about Assange/Ecuador on an American site, and someone came and answered the (reasonable) question ‘why don’t Sweden say they are not going to extradite Assange to the USA’?
                  This person’s answer “Well, if he’s found to have murdered someone in the US, they may have to”…
                  First, the person did not say “found to be suspected of having murdered’ – which I find interesting in itself, but second and more important – is there such an allegation coming up?

                • Pascal's bookie

                  I wouldn’t read too much into that V, it sounds like a hypothetical to explain why the demands that Sweden promise he won’t be extradited to the US won’t fly.

                  The problem is that they have an extradition treaty with the US. Given that fact, they can’t make that promise. If the US charge him with something, (and given the passing of time it looks like they ahving problems doing so), then Sweden will be legally obligated to consider an extradition request.

                  The demand to ‘promise not to extradite’, is a demand that Sweden abandon it’s treaty with the US.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    If the US charge him with something, (and given the passing of time it looks like they ahving problems doing so)

                    This conclusion is complicated by the fact that a Grand Jury may have been formed to consider charges against Assange, but due to secrecy rules we would never know about their deliberations, or even that a Grand Jury has been called.

                    Further, rule 6e, 4) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure allows for a criminal indictment to be sealed until a suspect was in direct custody. In other words, the US may have already charged Assange – but are keeping the indictment secret.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      But can they extradite him from Sweden without an indictment CV, or with a secret one?

                      They will need to convince Sweden and the UK to extradite him. That means they will need to say what they want him for.

                      And if they do say what they want him for, Sweden will be legally obliged to consider the request.

                      That’s why Sweden can’t offer him a blanket promise. To do so would be to throw the extradition treaty in the trash bin.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yes the US would have to make the details available to the Swedish authorities at a future time.

                      So the key is that those US indictments may already exist. If they do exist, they have been formalised with the intent of seeking Assange’s extradition. But because they are secret, Assange has no way of using their existence, in his defence against extradition to Sweden.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      That makes no sense at all.

                      If the indictments exist, then it doesn’t matter if he is Sweden or the UK. If he is in the UK, the US will ask the Brits, if he is in Sweden, they will ask the Swede’s. the fact that the US hasn’t asked anyone suggests that they haven’t been able to come up with an indictment. Unless you have another explanation?

                      The only relevant point is that if he is in Seden via extradition from the UK, then both the UK and Sweden would have to agree to a US extradition.

        • Grumpy 4.1.1.2

          …oh, yes……..he had other “great friends” too, until he slipped one into them while they were asleep……….

          • Morrissey 4.1.1.2.1

            until he slipped one into them while they were asleep…

            What have you got to say about the murder video? Or do you spend all your time on state-sanctioned diversions?

            • Grumpy 4.1.1.2.1.1

              The video is shocking, I agree. But, we are talking about Assange the person, he gave up the mantle of “freedom fighter” when his warped personality got the better of him.

              Not worth wasting your time to defend……….

              • Morrissey

                we are talking about Assange the person, he gave up the mantle of “freedom fighter” when his warped personality got the better of him.

                No doubt you now condemn Martin Luther King, who was a tireless womanizer. There is evidence that he was a rapist too—as much as there is against Assange.

                • LOL – a minor morrie? don’t forget to chuck in some miners – your stew is tiresome – much like you.

                  • Morrissey

                    …your stew is tiresome – much like you.

                    Personal attacks now? That’s getting a bit desperate, surely?

                    But in the light of your lack of any other weapons, such as facts or arguments, it will have to do for you, I guess.

                    By the way, you might like to check out my advice to Grumpy, above. Hope it proves to be of some help to you.

                    • thank you my friend, but I hardly imagine you really find “tiresome” too insulting and it’s a pretty mellow “personal attack” if it can even be called that. I admit I did try to be funny – :( my bad

                    • Morrissey

                      I admit I did try to be funny – my bad

                      No need to apologize, my friend. You’ve done nothing wrong. I can take a putdown. You don’t think I’m a delicate creature like Judith Collins, do you?

              • RedLogix

                Lot of people just envious that Assange was getting laid.

                The man has done a thousand times more for the world than any of us will ever do .. and these small minds sneer at him because he had sex.

                • you are a projectionist mate – and that comment is contemptible but not surprising coming from you.

                • Grumpy

                  I have some symathy for that view BUT as the sex seems to have been obtained under, at least, dubious circumstances, that sympathy is pretty limited.

                  Reminds me of the defence for Clinton, “at least we have a President who f*cks”.

                  • Morrissey

                    Reminds me of the defence for Clinton

                    Please don’t mention Julian Assange, who is a champion of democracy, in the same sentence as that disgusting, corrupt champion of dictatorships and mass bombing.

                    Actually, the fact that you have done so tells a lot about just how ignorant and non-serious you are.

                • locus

                  if i were to assume the very best possible interpretation of your comment RL I’d say it was spawned by such awe of Assange’s professional ‘achievements’ that you have misplaced your sense of right and wrong

                  if i were to assume the worst – that you have not only prejudged the rape accusation as a fabrication but also that Assange should be admired for his treatment of women – then I’d have to say you you have no sense of right and wrong

                  • RedLogix

                    that you have not only prejudged the rape accusation as a fabrication but also that Assange should be admired for his treatment of women

                    Ah … only it’s not a ‘rape’ accusation. It’s something else. The women involved invited Assange into their beds.

                    At the same time the Swedes have these relatively laws around regulating what adults can and cannot do in their beds …. and they’ve already had one significant 5 week period where Assange stayed in the country, was interviewed and the proceedings apparently dropped. He was then given permission to leave the country.

                    Subsequent events however cast a great deal of doubt on whether the real motives involved in re-opening and pursuing the case. Given that reality all that is required is for the Swedes to get on a plane to the UK, interview their man, decide whether to lay a charge or not, and make a simple, cost-free, declaration that if he returns to Sweden to face a Court (in a timely fashion) … that he will not be subject to other unrelated actions.

                    Then the desired legal process can proceed in the normal fashion.

                    • weka

                      Ah … only it’s not a ‘rape’ accusation. It’s something else. The women involved invited Assange into their beds.”
                       
                      Rape myth: if you have sex once with someone you cannot then be raped by them.
                       
                      Rape myth: if you invite someone into your bed, you consent to all sexual activity that that person wants.
                       

                    • locus

                      So you think it’s a trumped up allegation to get him back to Sweden so that he can be tried and subsequently extradited to the US?

                      Does your conviction also mean that you have decided the women making the allegations are both liars, and that a Swedish court won’t give him a fair trial?

                      Does your view also give you the right to call the people who are asking for him to face up to those allegations “small minded, sneering and envious” ?

                    • Jackal

                      Although I’m rather bored with this debate, the question is whether the consent to have sex ended? When exactly did one of them or both fall asleep and how long was that for? “You better not have aids,” isn’t exactly a statement that clarifies the situation.

                      In Assange’s mind, he would have thought; ‘I don’t have aids, this feels good, everything is OK’. In the complainants mind, it could have been translated as; ‘He’s not wearing a condom and probably has aids, get the fuck off me you pervert’.

                      She didn’t say stop or get off me though, so the question as to whether the consent to have further sex is not answered, and the speculation on blogs about such things is rather pointless. Only a court of law can answer the question to an adequate degree.

                      I don’t think Assange should risk extradition to the US where he possibly faces the death penalty for the alleged crimes surrounding Wikileaks. I do think he should stand trial for the alleged crimes in Sweden. Unfortunately these are not mutually distinguishable and until they are, which depends mainly on a decision by the US, we’re at an impasse.

                  • Morrissey

                    you have misplaced your sense of right and wrong

                    RedLogix pointed out what you and some others choose to turn a blind eye to: that an enraged U.S. government is conspiring to destroy a whistle-blower by using two women to file a wild and ludicrous sexual allegation. You wouldn’t know, of course, but that’s an old KGB procedure. In your mind, to point that out is “misplacing a sense of right and wrong”, apparently.

                    Could I ask you to have a look at this and then see who has misplaced a sense of right and wrong?….

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

                • weka

                  “and these small minds sneer at him because he had sex.”
                   
                  Look, now we have our own painter on the roof story! Because as we all know, it’s completely possible to tell whether something was rape from the other side of the globe :roll:
                   
                  Also, that’s two clear examples in this thread where the wellbeing of women is expendable according to leftwing men.
                   

                  • RedLogix

                    I’m fairly sure the women involved in these accusations are ok. I stand to be corrected.

                    • weka

                      Red you have no way of knowing whether those women are ok or not.
                       
                      At the very least, stop calling rape sex.

                    • Jackal

                      It’s not proven to be rape yet… There is no question that they had sex. You are guilty of your own accusation that it’s not possible to tell if it’s rape or not from the other side of the world.

                      Please stop inferring that all people who defend Assange are supporting rape culture weka, and that isolated opinion defines what all men who comment here think. It’s insulting!

                    • weka

                      It’s not proven to be rape yet… There is no question that they had sex. You are guilty of your own accusation that it’s not possible to tell if it’s rape or not from the other side of the world.

                      I have no idea what happened Jackal, that is the point. I’m not saying that Assange raped those women. I’m saying that the complainants’ account fits the definition of rape. Other people are saying it doesn’t. We’re not arguing about whether Assange is a rapist, we’re arguing about what rape is, and who gets to define it.
                       
                      Anyone who says that rape didn’t happen is pre-empting the justice system, which is meant to afford justice to victims. 
                       
                      Now, just to be clear, because apparently this is a bit subtle for some people, my last sentence does not read “Assange is a rapist”. Please read it carefully and think about what I have just said.

                       
                      Please stop inferring that all people who defend Assange are supporting rape culture weka, and that isolated opinion defines what all men who comment here think. It’s insulting!
                       

                      Well the difficulty for me Jackal is that there are a number of regular commenters in the ongoing conversations about Assange on TS who DO use  mis-arguments about rape  and promote rape myths to support their politic agenda. Nowhere have I said that all people who support Assange support rape culture. In fact the opposite. If you can’t see that then you really are not understanding my argument at all. This surprises me, because you seem an intelligent person otherwise.
                       
                      Honestly, I think you are reading many things into my comments that simply aren’t there. I’ve been very specific about what I think supports rape culture in this debate. Morrissey’s insistance that rape didn’t happen. RedLogix calling rape sex. The rape myths eg that once a woman has sex with someone once she consents to all other sexual activity. CV’s misusing concepts of consent. Prism’s ideas that rape is only extreme physical sexual violence. Those are all the things that support rape culture, NOT the fact that they side with Assange. Do you get what I am saying now?
                       
                      I’m really happy to keep discussing this with you but would appreciate if you could be more specific about my points and check things out rather than making statements about what I am implying.

                    • muzza

                      “At the very least, stop calling rape sex”

                      Um, unless I managed to miss something Weka, that’s you pretending to know what actually went on.

                      Edit: Just read your reponse above Weka, and would can’t say I read the quote any other way, perhaps I missed a reference or comment in another post?

                      The Assange situation is most likely nothing what anyone who has posted or read on either side of anything to do with WL’s, or other events surrounding Assange, and taking a position on either side of it categorically, means that people are easily fooled, because they think in absolutes!

                      Did he do it , did he not, was he really in charge of WL’s, was it a front etc….

                      See the energy the internet sucks out of people…put that into something physical, and those on this site might actually make a real difference..

                      Whose in….thought not!

                    • weka

                      Hmmm, let me try again Muzza.
                       
                      One of the complainants says that Assange had sex with her while she was asleep (ie he put his penis inside her vagina while she was unconscious). That is an illegal act of rape (unless she gave him permission beforehand). I’m not saying that Assange did that. I’m saying that IF he did that, then that’s rape.
                       
                      When someone describes that act as sex, they’re wrong. The law states that it is rape.
                       
                      As far as I can tell, RL thinks the act of a man putting his penis inside a woman while she is unconscious is sex. He’s wrong. 
                       

                      A person does not consent to sexual activity if the activity occurs while he or she is asleep or unconscious.
                       


                    • Jackal

                      weka

                      We’re not arguing about whether Assange is a rapist, we’re arguing about what rape is, and who gets to define it.

                      ? Much of the debate has revolved around whether Assange is guilty of rape or not. In fact labeling it rape at this stage shows you have already made up your mind. I think most people have a fair understanding of what rape is, which is defined by various laws in different countries.

                      Nowhere have I said that all people who support Assange support rape culture. In fact the opposite.

                      I must have misunderstood this then:

                      Here on TS, where women are deemed expendable.

                      and

                      That’s two clear examples in this thread where the wellbeing of women is expendable according to leftwing men.

                      This could be interpreted as: “People who defend Assange think it’s OK to rape women, and because some people are defending Assange on the Standard, all leftwing men support rape culture”. Can you not see why I object to such generalizations?

                      This is an important point because you run the risk of alienating people and turning them against your cause, even though your cause is justified. Reducing rape culture (which some people have argued doesn’t exist) is a fundamental step in creating a more equal and safe society… Especially for woman.

                      Rape culture is pretty well defined, and although some of the comments here are borderline, categorically saying they support rape culture would to some degree depend on your opinion about what happened between Assange and the complainants.

                      Honestly, I think you are reading many things into my comments that simply aren’t there. I’ve been very specific about what I think supports rape culture in this debate.

                      I understand your points of view, but very much doubt that any of the people you’ve named because you disagree with their comments support rape culture. Your accusations that they do is somewhat detrimental to your cause, and therefore I think you’ve not been as careful as you believe in choosing what comments to rally against.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    weka, Assange should certainly face up to Swedish criminal investigators IMO. I presume he is innocent, but a criminal investigation has been started and he needs to participate in that to either clear his name or be found guilty once and for all. But I also back RL’s statement:

                    Given that reality all that is required is for the Swedes to get on a plane to the UK, interview their man, decide whether to lay a charge or not, and make a simple, cost-free, declaration that if he returns to Sweden to face a Court (in a timely fashion) … that he will not be subject to other unrelated actions.

                    Assange has also offered to do the interview by videolink – completely standard procedure in the modern day – and from there Swedish investigators can either charge him, or follow up with him in person. All that could be done TODAY.

                    IMO the women complainants are being used as pawns by the major governments and their complaints unnecesarily held in limbo by the authorities – you should be angry at that. The criminal investigators have had multiple opportunities to progress their complaints by questioning Assange, but they haven’t – I suppose on the orders of their superiors/political sponsors.

                    • weka

                      Sure CV. But in my world it’s conceivable that Assange sexually assaulted those women AND those women are being used by political powers.
                       
                      Further, I don’t consider Assange’s personal wellbeing more important than the women in the case, no matter how big a hero he is to the left. 
                       
                      And, I don’t consider wikileaks to be a more important issue for humanity than rape culture.
                       
                      Whenever the left puts Assange and/or wikileaks and/or the issue of political interference ahead of the complainants, women’s experience of rape, or the politics of rape*, I sigh and think here we go again. As I’ve said, this is not new to women on the left. It happens alot and until men on the left understand this enough to change culturally there is always a severe limit in their solidarity with women.
                       
                      * let me put that another way: whenever the left undermines the complainants, women’s experience of rape, or the politics of rape, and they do so for another political purpose eg saving the butt of a famous well-off white man, or resisting US imperialism, or whatever, they engage in the very same behaviour they are fighting against, and so we all lose.
                       
                      There is nothing wrong with you wanting to save Assange, or wanting to fight US imperialism. I’m saying you don’t have to do it at the expense of women. I think some men on the left struggle to even understand what I am talking about, but others are well aware of the dynamic and just don’t give a shit (women are expendable after all).
                       
                      I’m not sure where you sit in all that, you seem to understand, but still be playing the game albeit much more lightly than Morrissey or RL.
                       
                      “you should be angry at that.”
                       
                      What makes you think that I’m not?

                • prism

                  Red Logix
                  It is so pleasant for people to cut others down, I don’t see it as being tall poppy syndrome but just a desire to carp and pass judgment. Think Bill Clinton, think Helen Clark’s signed auction item – any way to chip away from them.

                  Look at the covers of women’s magazines in supermarkets. They are quite expensive but stay in circulation as they reveal all, and often just about do in their sneak photos on the covers. The people who become celebrities have searchlights and moral potshots lobbed at them, no overlooking any fault, despite what noble or ground-breaking improvement they are trying to achieve. I’m not including Strauss Kahen? in this as he seems to just have been a well paid jerk.

    • Te Reo Putake 4.2

      “What is so special about Assange that Sweden should change its laws for him?”
       
      Apparently the law should change because international misogyny’s Morrissey and a little light raping’s Red Logix say so. I’m so impressed.
       
      Is it diificult to type with your penises lads? Or are they small enough to hit the keys first time every time?
       

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        No law change would be required mate. Just an assurance that Swedish authorities aren’t going to extradite Assange on completely unrelated and unannounced matters.

        • Te Reo Putake 4.2.1.1

          Such an assurance might satisfy you, CV, but clearly it won’t satisfy Assange. We already know that Sweden won’t extradite if the death penalty is a possibility, so we are left with a cowardly criminal* hiding for no good reason. 
           
          *Criminal in the sense that he has broken UK law by skipping out on his bail. And ripping off his mates in the process. Like you, I believe he should answer and defend the Swedish charges, so I make no assumptions about the criminality there. Though his sexual behaviour is obviously appalling anyway.

        • rosy 4.2.1.2

          “Just an assurance that Swedish authorities aren’t going to extradite Assange on completely unrelated and unannounced matters.”
          Ecuador has said it’s willing to co-operate on that basis.

          Ecuador was willing to co-operate with the British and Swedish authorities over the matter of Assange’s extradition to Sweden. “In the negotiations with the FCO, Ecuador has been proposing that we would be prepared to accept an undertaking from the UK and Sweden that, once Julian Assange has faced the Swedish investigation, he will not be extradited to a third country: specifically the US. That might be a way out of it and Ecuador has always said it does not want to interfere with the Swedish judicial process; we could facilitate it.”

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/aug/17/julian-assange-extradition-ecuador-embassy

          Assange has probably realised he’s a bit trapped with this move. I agree it’s time for diplomats to do the diplomatic thing and if that’s what it takes to end the stand-off, Sweden should give an explicit, rather than implied assurance and get this sorted.

      • Morrissey 4.2.2

        The John Banks Trophy holder writes wittily: “Is it diificult to type with your penises lads? Or are they small enough to hit the keys first time every time?”

        Considering he’s a Banksy winner, that was a really, really good one.

        But I feel sure others will agree with me that he’s funnier when he’s pretending to be serious.

        • Pascal's bookie 4.2.2.1

          Might start calling you Overhead, on account of how you project so well.

          Or you can get serious any time you like.

          • Morrissey 4.2.2.1.1

            “Overhead”?

            Say… I LIKE it!

            • McFlock 4.2.2.1.1.1

              Or “rear projector”, because you’re talking out of your arse.

              • Morrissey

                Or “rear projector”, because you’re talking out of your arse.

                Not such a good one. That could set you up for a Martin Devlin Unfunny Line award, however.

                I’ll nominate you. Can I get a seconder?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      You know, I’d probably know more, and possibly even care more, about the Assange case if these threads didn’t keep degenerating into what amounts to little more than flame wars.

      • Morrissey 4.3.1

        I’d probably know more, and possibly even care more, about the Assange case if these threads didn’t keep degenerating into what amounts to little more than flame wars.

        No, you’d know more and—unless you’re a moral imbecile—you’ll care more about the Assange case if you do some serious and sustained reading about it.

        Here’s a starter for you….

        http://www.countercurrents.org/todhunter240612.htm

        If you’re serious, though, you’ll read much, much, much more.

        • Pascal's bookie 4.3.1.1

          Lol.

          Serioulsy, that’s serious? Rhetoric. Marginally effective rhetoric I suppose, if what you are after is something to stir the blood of that already convinced, but the analysis is non existent, and the description of Wikileaks is so shallow I’d expect ot see it in a broadsheet article ‘From the Left’.

          that’s Trotter level stuff.

          try again.

          • Morrissey 4.3.1.1.1

            Okay. You’re here and you’re serious. That’s encouraging.

            Is Daniel Ellsberg serious enough for you?….

            http://www.ellsberg.net/archive/public-accuracy-press-release

            Noam Chomsky?….

            http://www.democracynow.org/2010/11/30/noam_chomsky_wikileaks_cables_reveal_profound

            • Pascal's bookie 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Neither of those pieces, which I’ve seen before, really add much to the actual issues of the moment.

              What I’m looking for is analysis and reporting. Not rhetoric, arguments.

              Thinngs that just outline how bad the US is, or what Wikileaks was doing, and to whom, and whether or not we should support wikileaks, don’t add much to a debate about the actual state of play today.

              Just because an individual has cred, that doesn’t make everything they say ‘serious’.

              • Morrissey

                What I’m looking for is analysis and reporting. Not rhetoric, arguments.

                Daniel Ellsberg and Noam Chomsky are not analytical? That’s rich coming from someone who’s just recycled some windy Grauniad propaganda and even praised it as “good”.

                …don’t add much to a debate about the actual state of play today.

                Nonsense. Their analyses touch on the very heart of what we’ve seen in London over the last two days. The fact you choose to participate in the black propaganda campaign waged by the likes of William Hague means your protestations that you are “looking for analysis” are not serious.

                Just because an individual has cred, that doesn’t make everything they [sic] say ‘serious’.

                On the other hand, you are prepared to accept as “serious” the allegations of individuals and organizations with NO “cred”, such as the inveterate liars and governments that are trying to destroy Assange.

                I don’t believe you’ve read those pieces before, either.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Daniel Ellsberg and Noam Chomsky are not analytical? That’s rich coming from someone who’s just recycled some windy Grauniad propaganda and even praised it as “good”.

                  they are sometimes. those pieces didn’t have any analysis of the recent events that I could see. Why don’t you tell me how the Ellsberg piece sheds light on the extradition issues.

                  And it seems to me that your basis for judging the seriuosness of who is saying it is based on two things. Whether they support your position, and whether you like the author. Prove me wrong, talk about content, discuss the issue.

                  Nonsense. Their analyses touch on the very heart of what we’ve seen in London over the last two days. The fact you choose to participate in the black propaganda campaign waged by the likes of William Hague means your protestations that you are “looking for analysis” are not serious.

                  More tiresome nonsense. Explain to me how those pieces touch on the very heart of what we’ve seen. And what black propaganda campaign am I engaged in? Honestly, because I disagree with you I’m a lackey of Hague/ Grow up Morrisey, cut the bluster and start on the actual issues. Address the content of the gaurdian edit, instead of just rolling our eyes at the mention of the word Gaurdian.

                  On the other hand, you are prepared to accept as “serious” the allegations of individuals and organizations with NO “cred”, such as the inveterate liars and governments that are trying to destroy Assange.

                  More baseless smearing. What allegations have I accepted? Again, show me that your views are driven by more than Assange good, everyone who doesn’t saint Assange, utterly evil and not worthy of listening to.

                  Address some of the actual arguments. All you’ve done so far is attack the sources. Weak overhead is failing.

                  • Morrissey

                    1.) And what black propaganda campaign am I engaged in?

                    Classic! We have an early contender for the next John Banks Trophy.

                    • McFlock

                      Don’t forget to put yourself down for a regional daytime Emmy.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      So to recap:

                      Your response to the arguments in the editorial I linked to is:

                      Neena neena, The Gaurdian, MSM

                      Your explantion of how your links are relevant to what’s going on now is:

                      It’s Ellsberg!! and Chompsky!! Therefore it must be relevant.

                      And your evidence for me being a part of, or repeating, black propaganda is :

                      You’re like John Banks!

                      That’s some powerful argumentation in support of your positions there Morrisey.

                    • yes Pb. I read both the links supplied by morrissey at least twice because I was searching for something to do with what was being discussed – they almost seemed irrelevant, in that the background issues they raised aren’t even in contention as far as I can tell on this forum.

                      the prof might mark that effort down a bit I think.

      • weka 4.3.2

        Me too Draco.

  5. Carol 5

    This looks like a shambles waiting to happen…. and a load more questions likely to be put to that 3yr old masquerading as Minister:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10827772

    The YPP, and a similar Youth Payment for teens aged 16 and 17 without children, will still add up to the same as the current benefits, ranging from $136 a week for a young parent living with their own parents up to $293 for sole parents aged 18 and over.

    But under the new system only $50 will be paid in cash.

    Rent or board will be paid directly to landlords or parents, and the rest will be loaded onto a payment card to buy “food and groceries at approved stores”.

    Unfortunately no one has yet told any of the teenage mums at Mt Eden’s Eden Campus teen parent unit what the approved stores are or what exactly they can spend their cards on.

    They have also yet to receive their cards.

    It seems that things, necessary to some teens like tranpsort, will need to come out of the cash payment. There also is supposed to be a local community-based youth service provider that will replace case managers. But many of these “providers” won’t be in place for a few months, leaving many teens with no-one to turn to when there are problems.

    Work and Income head Debbie Power said young beneficiaries would not move onto the payment card until they met their new service providers “over the coming months”.

    She said the payment card could be spent only at food stores.

    • rosy 5.1

      She said the payment card could be spent only at food stores.
      Being the good business people most food store owners are, I’m sure the range of goods they stock will increase reasonably quickly.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Being the good business people most food store owners are, I’m sure the range of goods they stock will increase in price reasonably quickly.

        FIFY

        Normal procedure when a business has a customer base that can’t go anywhere else.

        • rosy 5.1.1.1

          I should have put a little /sarc tag on that one, but anyways, nearly there, how about….

          Being the good business people most food store owners are, I’m sure the range of goods they stock will increase reasonably quickly, and priced at a premium for these customers with restricted access to alternatives markets.

    • Bill 5.2

      So an adult is to cater for their and their child’s non-food needs on $50 a week? ffs!

      • rosy 5.2.1

        No, they simply can’t. It’s all designed to get them moving – out of school, out of motherhood and into the world of low wage employees.

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1

          And since there are no jobs out there at the low end, its actually designed to permanently suppress already low wages by ensuring a massive oversupply of labour.

    • prism 5.3

      Carol
      When I was doing my social policy papers I came across a strong distaste for a condition that welfare was supposed to encourage called ‘learned helplessness’. It seems to me that handing out pocket money to youthful parents is not helping them to learn mature financial handling if they need it. I have heard interviews with numbers of young mothers who have been very serious about their position and acquiring skills that would enable them to cope and live better.

      And this food thing reminds me of the diminishing situation for beneficiaries personal esteem where Shipleys National govt had it set up so that supermarket checkout staff vetted their choice of groceries.

  6. Carol 6

    Dame Anne Salmond’s Sir Paul Reeves Memorial lecture is worth reading and meditating on:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10827658

    Like Sir Paul, I am concerned about the current quality of our relations with each other, and fear that these have gone awry. As he remarked, ‘I happen not to believe in the trickle-down theory. I fear we are in the process of creating a stratified society.’

    Here, he was prescient. Over the past four years, according to a recent report, the median weekly income for European families increased to $580, while that for Maori families fell to $460, and for Pacific families to $390. Not just a stratified society, but one ranked by ethnic background.

    She outlines some European and Maori traditional cultural values and ideas, which are a mix of complementary and conflicting ideals (the hierarchic, fragmenting and marginalising order of things, and the more egalitarian and inclusive order of relations, following Foucault).

    Genuine differences do exist between Maori and Pakeha, men and women, Left and Right – but so do networks of interlocking relations, shared values and mutual dependency. Rather than excluding the middle ground, the challenge is to get the networks of relations across it working in ways that are mutually positive and creative, not hostile and destructive. This, I think, is the task that Sir Paul set himself, and why his life mattered so much to us all.
    ….

    Who knows how philosophical shifts occur? When Rogernomics was launched in the mid 1980s,…
    As selves were split from others and nature from culture, the idea of the autonomous individual pursuing his or her own rights and interests without constraint, was reframed as a virtue. Because New Zealand has few checks and balances, it was possible for a relatively small number of people to drive this idea beyond its reasonable limits, as Sir Paul argued at the time.

    As a result, over the past thirty years much of our collective life has been re-shaped in the image of the market, with citizens defined as cost-benefit calculating customers, required to buy and sell even the most basic of their needs – education, health, personal safety and security in old age, for example. As in the case of many finance companies, values such as truth, justice, integrity and generosity have been set aside.

    As a template for running for a small, intimate society, this kind of logic is remarkably ruthless. It is also non-adaptive, cutting across our key advantages as a species. As Homo sapiens, we are social animals, able to think and communicate through language, forge strategies and combine our efforts to achieve them. Our offspring have a long, vulnerable period while they learn these capacities, during which they have to be protected.

    Dame Anne argues, with reference to statistics and current issues in education and politics, that the way forward is to draw on some cooperative traditions from Europe (the order of relations) and Maori (and Asian) approaches to community in order to develop some innovative ways of responding to current problems.

    In this context, old, arrogant, unilateral habits of decision-making are bound to backfire – whether over charter schools or class sizes. Collaborative processes for forging strategies and policies, such as those used by the Land and Water Forum, for example, are much more likely to succeed. With so many lives and the future of the country at stake, surely such an experiment is worthwhile.

    To give another example, one dear to Sir Paul’s heart, inter-ethnic relations on the old hierarchical, bi-polar model are also changing. Rather than seeing Maori and Pakeha, or Maori and Pasifika, or for that matter, Kiwi and Asian as binary opposites with some kind of Berlin Wall between them, these are increasingly understood as linked across the middle ground – the pae.

    In a philosophy based on whakapapa, for example, there is no need to regard oneself as purely Maori, or Pakeha, or Pasifika, or Asian. Rather, an individual is made up of all the relationships in which they participate, with their different taha or ‘sides’ turning from one network to another. One can see how readily such a person can adapt to the diverse, rapidly changing world in which we dwell

    But it’s worth taking the time to read the whole lecture. But this idea of a network of relations and collaborative, non-hierarchical ways of working with diverse groups of people, is one close to my heart.

    • Bill 6.1

      …an individual is made up of all the relationships in which they participate, with their different taha or ‘sides’ turning from one network to another

      Rather than ‘network’, I tend to view this in terms of societies. What I mean by that is that it’s a nonsense to consider NZ as a society. No person belongs to a single society. We all are a part of numerous societies that often overlap and that are connected by various ‘degrees of separation’.

      Once that is understood, then it becomes clear why our current mode of governance – remote authority seeking to legislate or educate or whatever, on a simplistic and mistaken idea of society as some monolithic or homogenous whole – results in an ever growing, unsatisfying morass that’s forever in need of ‘refinement’.

      There is a dominant strain of values contained within the more powerful or dominant expression of culture in NZ (ie, once rooted in Christianity and now largely reduced to so called market values). And to the degree that your cultural identity departs from the mores that inform the governance of so-called ‘NZ society’, the greater the potential for that governance to be inimical, irrelevent or unjust (disempowering) from your cultural perspective.

      It’s not in any way controversial to hold that societies need to be able to govern themselves. But the radical situation we find ourselves in whereby societies are rendered invisible by a false overarching construct that simply labels itself ‘society’ makes that simple and basic need impossible.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      You create serfs by making people dependent upon the few and that’s exactly what’s happening in our society. The rich few are making everyone else dependent upon them – just as they did under feudalism. They’re just using laws instead of swords to enforce that dependency.

    • Bill 6.3

      Now that I’ve read Dame Anne Salmond piece, I’d just say it’s a shame she doesn’t ‘call it’. Seems to me she is almost advocating horizontal or non-heirarchical forms of governance or organising, but can’t take the final necessary step of politically challenging the legitimacy of current heirarchical and centrist approaches.

      And that leaves her trying to square a circle insofar as she’s advocating that current structures persist, but adopt different ways of functioning. I can’t see it myself. They are what they are, and have the influence they have, because of the way they function. And that way of functioning…that defines and maintains their existence… runs smack head-on into how she would rather things fuctioned.

      • Carol 6.3.1

        A very sharp and useful mini-analysis, Bill, pointing to where Salmond falls short.

        Yes, she falls short of taking the strong political position that her argument seems to be heading towards.

        But some good conceptual background to leap from to take a totally new direction in politics.

        Also, while she denounces binaries, there’s a bit of a catch-22 in that the polarities still function in society, relegating the least powerful terms to the bottom of the heap – Maori, low income etc. How do we get from here to a new relational position.

        And I like your use of “societies” over networks. Networks are pretty one-dimensional and linear, and don’t really bring to the fore the dense interaction of multiple relationships that exist in and between societies.

        • Bill 6.3.1.1

          How do we get from here to a new relational position?

          Well, for a start I don’t think NZ as an entity moves to anything. But we are already members of numerous societies. And some of them present open spaces where new forms of governance can be trialed and developed. I’m not talking ‘big cheese’.

          As an example, a ‘Coronation Hall’ near to me is in the throes of attracting community interest and establishing organisational structures for the community facilities it can make available. Traditionally the hall has been run by a typical old style committee and been fairly closed and distant from the community. But now there is an opportunity to introduce more participatory (non-heirarchical) modes of organising and managing. For the sake of argument, lets assume new ways are adopted and succesfully developed.

          In and of itself it’s a ‘nothing’ in the scheme of things. But people will have been introduced to different and more empowering ways of going about things. And if and when those new ways become as habitual and natural to them as the old authoritarian and exclusive ways, then they will naturally introduce some of the facets of the ‘new’ and better ways to other things they are involved in…whether that be the local Pony Club or whatever…and then, hopefully, in time apply it to new business set ups (worker co-ops/collectives) or housing scenarios (housing collectives) .

          In other words, over time and by osmosis, the ‘new’ ways could become the tradition. And the attraction or habit of appealing to or accepting the dictats of remote authority would wane and New Zealand become merely a name that designates a geographical area. And within that geographical area would exist a myriad of self governing, inter-related and highly democratic societies.

        • weka 6.3.1.2

          Also, while she denounces binaries, there’s a bit of a catch-22 in that the polarities still function in society, relegating the least powerful terms to the bottom of the heap – Maori, low income etc. How do we get from here to a new relational position.
           

          Low income… people on benefits for instance could form networks (sorry that word still works best for me) amongst themselves and solidarity with others (low income workers, Maori, Pacifica etc). It’s those relationships that change things. There is a still a need to challenge via the binary opposition IMO, but when that’s the dominant activity and the dominant story, it undermines the Order of Relations that Salmond is talking about. This is why challenging govt is important, but ultimately it’s what communities do within themselves that will generate meaningful and long term change.

          • weka 6.3.1.2.1

            Which is what Bill is saying I think.
             
            You get to the relational way of organising, by practicing being relational.

      • weka 6.3.2

        I’d hazard a guess she isn’t calling it because she doesn’t want to put her foot in her mouth, and because calling it immediately puts us into the binary opposition she is advocating against: old hierarchical model vs new non-hierarchical model.
         
        I think that people engaging in the relational models she talks about will change the structures themselves (assuming the absence of force from those wishing the status quo, which is a big assumption).
         
        It’s a superb piece of writing, one that bears rereading and time for thinking.

  7. Descendant Of Smith 7

    “In the past year, HNZ has sold 15 properties in the city worth more than $700,000, generating $12.8 million.

    A spokeswoman said HNZ had sold the houses as part of its policy to look at getting rid of properties worth more than $700,000 so it could reinvest in cheaper housing.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10827509

    No space for state tenants in wealthy suburbs and last I knew John Key was stopping housing developments from going ahead – at least in his own electorate anyway.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      It’s just one more step along the path to gated communities for the rich.

    • bad12 7.2

      That wouldn’t be so bad, it’s pretty oppressive living among those with money, if there was any real evidence that the monies gained from the sales of these properties was actually being used to build more,

      As Glen Innes shows what ‘renewal’ is code word for in the Slippery National Government is to take 150 houses off of those most in need and only make provision to replace half of them,

      As with all of National’s changes in the delivery of social programs ALL of this is done under the auspices of ‘doing better for’, or, ‘helping’ the poor when the reality would give every appearance of being the usual State House sell off to those who are most likely to vote National…

  8. Morrissey 8

    Bizarre news item re U.S. policy about-turn
    National Radio news, Saturday 18 August 2012, 9 a.m.

    Just heard on the news that the U.S. government has condemned the Russian government for the jailing of Pussy Riot. Something about “free speech” and “democracy”. I missed the rest of it because of the gales of laughter and hoots of derision from a couple of my skeptically minded friends.

    Is what I heard correct? Has the United States started to support the cause of free speech and democracy?

    Or is it still, as usual, support for free speech and democracy in other countries?

    • muzza 8.1

      Morrissey, indeed the stories will continue to flow freely from international “news” relay stations here in NZ.

      The continued ramping up of rhetoric against Russia is painfully transparent

      What is stupid little nonsense country the dumbed down have allowed NZ to become.

      America Fcuk yeah!

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      My guess is that it’s solely free speech and democracy in other countries.

      Around 40 protesters stood outside New York’s Russian consulate, wearing brightly colored clothing and masks and holding banners that read: “We are all hooligans.”

      Six people were arrested. Among them was Rebekah Schiller, who was wearing a mask. In New York City, it is illegal for more than three people to wear masks without a permit.

  9. Grumpy 9

    Strangely, muzza and Morrissey, I agree with you on this.

    • Morrissey 9.1

      Morrissey, I agree with you on this.

      This is a great moment! (Hugs Grumpy).

    • muzza 9.2

      One dot at a time Grumps, they are interlinked, not the random acts/actions/events most want to believe.

      Slow and steady is the best way, perhaps you get there, perhaps not, just don’t pull a hammy in the process, its not a race eh!

      On ya

  10. bad12 10

    ”Lately one or two have fully paid their due, i’m not working for the clampdown”-The Clash,

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/…/accountants-jailed-for-fraud

    7 billion of it year in year out, money that is, gets ripped by the likes of the people in the stuff article, who, having businesses already have the ability to make millions, but, through greed rip the tax system off big-time,

    Its not just some Bene dipping a toe in the trough where that Bene should have had a finger in a different pool, this is systematic THEFT from us all, everyone who pays every week through PAYE is being ripped off by these monied thieves and although this particular little piece of organized theft against the State has been closed down there’s still 7 billion dollars of it going on out there right now,

    So m’bwana Shearer bossmun, in between marveling at how the really poor still have the energy to fight each other over the Mango skinned crumbs off of your table perhaps you might like to consider a little Accountant homily where you make it quite obvious that EVERYONE wearing a suit JUST MIGHT BE AN ACCOUNTANT ripping off the tax system to the tune of 7 billion dollars a year,

    Please m’bwana bossmun Shearer don’t beat me massah boss,i aint done nothing wrong…

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    It just gets worse and worse for cheap purchasing:

    “Once we get the bugs out of the new locomotives they will be as good as the ones which are nearly due for replacement.”

    And I’m sure that both this government and the management at Kiwirail won’t learn a damn thing.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      I’m reliably informed that 8 of the first 50 DL’s have been cannibalised (temporarily at least) for parts to keep the rest going.

      The Te Rapa workshop is swarming with Chinese techs trying to keep them going. There is no excuse for this whatsoever. There is nothing complicated about a diesel electric loco and they should have been delivered virtually perfect and reliable and a say a modern car from a top-end manufacturer.

  12. BillODrees 12

    A major change has occurred.

    Fran O’Sullivan’s piece is one of a many pieces of evidence that it is now a matter of “WHEN” rather than “IF” Cunliffe takes over the leadership.  

    The sheer stupidity of the briefing to Garner by the faction has shifted the frame in which Cunlffe is viewed. The trite personal shallow stuff that has been repeadly rolled out by most journalists has lost all of its currency.  No journalist will want to be seen to be blindly relaying drivel from the faction. 

    The debate has shifted to genuine policy positioning.  The re-assessment of the last 30 years of economic and social “conventional wisdom” was overdue. Thank you Cunliffe. 

    That the much younger Cunliffe is so much more grounded, skilled and experienced than Shearer has also been glaringly highlighted. Shearers’s gauche and weak handling of the recent issues contrasts dramatically with Cunliffe’s studied calmness and focus under heavy fire.   

    The “WHEN” for Cunliffe and the vast majority of the Labour Membership cannot be thwarted by the faction and the proposed rules.  The membership must make the Caucus respect it’s wishes.  Get your amendments to the proposed rules into HO now. 

  13. bad12 13

    Here was me sailing along in the bubble thinking all was well and i got transported,rudely i might add, by the link on a comment over on CV’s post giving Blubber-boy a tickle,

    I am not sure whether the Pigani comments on Blubber -boy’s blog where deliberately placed there by one of the J. Pigani’s or if Blubber-boy has simply co-opted Her onto it by dint of not having a original thought, other than those provoked by the meds,but, no matter, that particular J.Pigani seems to have found the perfect spiritual home to match Her particular intellect, enough said,

    Time for a bit of light hearted brevity lest you all read the Blubber-boy blog and become despondent, what do you achieve by genetically mixing the genes of a Whale and a Pig,

    The same old Bullshit of course what did you really expect, enlightenment???

    *Here’s the gospel according to J.Pigani, the welfare system is un-affordable, AND, this will not be addressed in any way by focusing our minds upon the 7 billion dollars a year lost to the Government revenue from Tax Fraud,

    Nor it would seem will this supposed unaffordibility of the welfare system be addressed by us focusing our minds upon the appox: 7 billion dollars further lost to the Governments revenue from ‘legal’ tax avoidance, so says J.Pagani in shades of trying to emulate Ruth Richardson,

    This could start getting a little looooong here as i am going to directly quote J.Pagani from Blubber-boys blog, bear with me tho there is a point,

    ”The reason for Labour getting into Government is not to defend welfare-or anything else-against reform”,

    ”It’s so reform can be done our way-fairly-,and, in a way that produces a decent outcome that provides a fulfilling future for everyone”, unquote.

    Now J.Pagani, one or both of them, claims that they won’t comment on The Standard because (a)the J.Pigani’s might receive some abusive replies, and (b), laughably claims that those who disagree with the Post authors get banned for life, (hey where the fucks my life ban),

    In reply i have to do just that, spit a little abuse, Bullshit, Bullshit,absolute f**king Bullshit, to presuppose as one of the J.Pigani’s does that ‘welfare’ is the problem is shortsighted rubbish put forward in my opinion with deliberation by this particular J.Pigani,

    There is in fact nothing wrong with the ‘welfare system’ it is the economic system adhered to by successive Governments both Labour and National which ensures that there WILL NOT be enough employment in the economy so as to employ all those available to work that is at fault,

    The ‘welfare system’ is not at fault one little iota, J.Pigani simply suggests without actually saying so that large numbers of beneficiaries are ‘hiding out’ on benefits thus avoiding work,

    The reality is that the UNAVAILABILITY of work is what makes the numbers of those dependent upon welfare and the number of those AVAILABLE to work has nothing whatsoever to do with the amount of work available,

    If the J.Pigani’s want to ‘reform’ the welfare system they should first ‘reform’ the economic system which fails to provide the required levels of employment, reforming the latter will negate the need to reform the former…

  14. Pascal's bookie 14

    Here’s some serious writing about Wikileaks, just for Overhead:

    http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/julian-assange-and-the-computer-conspiracy-%E2%80%9Cto-destroy-this-invisible-government%E2%80%9D/

    Desribes what Assange was actually up to. his strategy if you like. the leaks weren’t ends in and of themselves. It wasn’t about informing people as to what was going on, or at least, not just about that. The informing people was a welcome by-prosuct of the tactic od leaking secrets, and the leaking of secrets was a strategic move aimed at secrecy itself.

    • Pascal's bookie 14.1

      You should actually read this link Overhead. When the post first appeared Wikileaks linked to it repeatedly, saying that it nicely got some of what they were up to. the blogger followed up with more posts, all based on Assange’s essays, which I’m sure you’ve read.

  15. Jackal 15

    Dame Anne Salmond – Hero of the week

    Dame Anne Salmond’s article is a breath of fresh air of intelligent and professional writing that is all too often missing from our mainstream media…

    • LynW 15.1

      +1 Totally agree. Carol also commented above. Definitely an article to ponder over.

    • Carol 15.2

      A very good contrast Jackal

      – the well-reasoned academic piece from Salmond drawing on research, statistics and an in-depth examination of significant ideas and philosophical traditions.

      – then the superficial reasoning of O’Sullivan’s op ed piece that is more propaganda than analysis – arguing by analogy and association, using loaded adjectives in order to smear Cunliffe with ulterior motives and a red scare tactic.

  16. weka 16

    Thought this might be useful all things considered. Thanks McFlock for posting the link the other day.
     

    128AAllowing sexual activity does not amount to consent in some circumstances

    (1) A person does not consent to sexual activity just because he or she does not protest or offer physical resistance to the activity.
    (2) A person does not consent to sexual activity if he or she allows the activity because of—

    (a) force applied to him or her or some other person; or

    (b) the threat (express or implied) of the application of force to him or her or some other person; or

    (c) the fear of the application of force to him or her or some other person.

    (3) A person does not consent to sexual activity if the activity occurs while he or she is asleep or unconscious.
    (4) A person does not consent to sexual activity if the activity occurs while he or she is so affected by alcohol or some other drug that he or she cannot consent or refuse to consent to the activity.
    (5) A person does not consent to sexual activity if the activity occurs while he or she is affected by an intellectual, mental, or physical condition or impairment of such a nature and degree that he or she cannot consent or refuse to consent to the activity.
    (6) One person does not consent to sexual activity with another person if he or she allows the sexual activity because he or she is mistaken about who the other person is.
    (7) A person does not consent to an act of sexual activity if he or she allows the act because he or she is mistaken about its nature and quality.
    (8) This section does not limit the circumstances in which a person does not consent to sexual activity.
    (9) For the purposes of this section,—

    allows includes acquiesces in, submits to, participates in, and undertakes
    sexual activity, in relation to a person, means—

    (a) sexual connection with the person; or

    (b) the doing on the person of an indecent act that, without the person’s consent, would be an indecent assault of the person.

    Section 128A: substituted, on 20 May 2005, by section 7 of the Crimes Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 41).

     

     
     

    http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/DLM329057.html?search=ts_act%40bill%40regulation%40deemedreg_crimes+act+_resel_25_h&p=1
     

    • bad12 16.1

      Seeing as, should He ever be, wee Julian aint about to go on trial based upon that set of laws what relevance do they have to the debate….

      • McFlock 16.1.1

        Indeed.
                 
        But it is interesting that if the alleged facts are true, then by NZ standard it’s rape. Not “sex”. Not “not as bad as war so it’s not rape”. Not “oh but he did such nice things so it’s not rape”. Not “you’re black propagandists for the US hegemony so it’s not rape”. Not even “you’re just after feminist brownie points so it’s not rape”.
             
        If the alleged facts are true, it’s rape. And people here are being disingenuous when they minimise it.

      • weka 16.1.2

        I didn’t post that because of Assange, I posted it because there appear to be people here on TS who don’t understand what rape is. A legal definition is a good place to start, although of course it doesn’t define rape in and of itself.

        Plus what McFlock said.

  17. bad12 17

    You have to wonder don’t you at the intelligence,(lack of), inherent in the likes of Fran O’Sullivan who in today’s Herald tries to insult Labour’s David Cunliffe with the banner headline ”Cloth Cap Socialist”,

    Round here the cloth cap is worn with honor, the ‘cloth cap Socialist’ is simply one that see’s the solution to the problems of economy as being easily addressed mostly through the simplest of solutions,

    IF, Cunliffe is as O’Sullivan says a ‘cloth cap Socialist’ then He has my support,

    PS: Fran the only reason we doff em, the cloth caps that is, is to get them outta the cross-fire as we Hoick a big one at you….

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Interesting writing from O’Sullivan. She says that Shearer has had to stack his frontbench with lightweights unable to land hits on the Key Government, and she says that Cunliffe is damn capable – both professionally and in politics.

      • bad12 17.1.1

        Do you think that O’Sullivan is trying to ‘do balanced journalism’, at one point She seems to be insinuating that Cunliffe is attempting to inflict a cunning charade upon the electorate by appearing to be ‘more left’ than He actually is,

        Pity the Herald cannot find a truly ‘left’ journalist to provide ‘balance’ to the continuous stream of what gives every appearance of being produced from the mind of a schizophrenic that it presently fobs off on us all…

        • Carol 17.1.1.1

          Yes, it’s curious on FOS’s part, that as well as disparaging him by associating a “cloth cap” with a “hidden agenda” to deviously seize power, but she also smears Cunliffe by comparing him with the Chinese politburo, and the disgraced Bo . Yet FOS has a recent record of talking up China as a great place to do business with, and seems to quite like the infamous Bo:

          But as Kevin Lu wrote in a recent article in Foreign Policy magazine headlined “The Chongqing model worked”: “Bo Xilai might be a crook but he was actually pretty good at his job.”

          Just like Bo, Cunliffe is trying to recreate a new left agenda to attract those who have been disadvantaged by the wealth gap.

          Cunliffe has suggested big investment by the Government in industry, citing the NZ Steel plant of the Muldoon Government.

          As with Bo in China, Cunliffe has launched a serious challenge to the prevailing ideology of his party’s political wing.

          On Aug 11 2012, FOS wrote,

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/fran-osullivan/news/article.cfm?a_id=13&objectid=10826130

          But former Commerce Minister Bo Xilai – who kicked off free trade negotiations between China and New Zealand in 2004 – won’t be present. Bo was sacked from the Politburo this year and faces disciplinary charges. His wife, Gu Kailai, did not contest murder charges this week.

          But when Bo first talked up the FTA, China was still coming to grips with its entrance into the World Trade Organisation. Its growth has since rocketed. As the East Asia Forum recently emphasised, China is now the world’s largest exporter, largest importer, largest holder of foreign reserves and second-largest economy and is in a much more powerful position than was projected at the time of its WTO debut in 2001.

  18. Air New Zealand’s annual report is due out by the end of August and the signs do not look good. Air NZ is just one company dealing with the general malaise of the airline industry. Jet fuel now accounts for 35 percent of airline industry operating costs compared to 15 percent a decade ago. Jet fuel closely maps the price of crude. Petroleum deliveries are at their lowest point since September 2008, with the weakest July demand since 2005 and yet Brent crude prices are still sitting above $US116 per barrel. Oil prices would not have to raise much higher to create a US$5.3billion loss in 2012. The future of the global aviation industry is in big trouble.

    “Being the most innovative airline company does not necessarily make you the most profitable. Air New Zealand announced a 71 percent earning slump in February 2012. As part of it’s recovery plan the company announced it was cutting 441 jobs. The airline blamed a decrease in passenger numbers as well as as fuel costs NZ$173 million more than forecast. This is despite the airline enjoying “a solid performance from the domestic network including benefits from the Rugby World Cup and improved market share on the Tasman” according to Air New Zealand chairman, John Palmer.

    The outgoing chief executive Rob Fyfe says the price of jet fuel has doubled over the last three years and due to the weak global economy it has been difficult to pass on the higher costs to passengers.The inflation adjusted average price of jet fuel was US$3.04 per gallon for the six months to December 31st. Going off jet fuel prices alone it is unlikely the airline will see much of a turn around in profitability for 2012. In the first six months of 2012 the average price barely moved, up US$0.04 to $US3.08.”

    http://www.southernlimitsnz.com/2012/08/running-on-empty-big-airlines-in-big.html

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      And the slow grinding, energy depletion driven, end of globalisation continues.

  19. Jackal 19

    Paula Bennett should resign

    What a complete fail for a Minister to not even be aware of (or not want to acknowledge) the information provided by her own ministry…

  20. millsy 20

    “Your town does not owe you recreational facilites”

    Actually, yes it does. Its called a ‘social contract’. The provision of community assets such as parks, sportsfields and libaries are provided in return for payment of rates and various other charges by the community.

    Those who say ‘the world does not owe you a living’ completely disregard the social contract.

  21. Not wanting to draw more fire, as an FYI,  an exemplar of the complexity of dealing with laws in another country and language, and the complexity of dealing with human relationships…

    On 18 November 2010, prosecutor Marianne Ny asked the local district court for a warrant for the arrest of Assange in order for him to be interviewed by the prosecutor. As he was now living in England, the court ordered him detained (häktad) in absentia. On appeal, the Svea Court of Appeal upheld the warrant on suspicion of olaga tvång (duress/unlawful coercion), and two cases of sexuellt ofredande, which has been variously translated as “sexual molestation”, “sexual assault”, “sexual misconduct”, “sexual annoyance”, “sexual unfreedom”, “sexual misdemeanour”, and “sexual harassment”.
    Wikipedia : Assange v Swedish Prosecution Authority

     

    • McFlock 21.1

      Indeed. 
      But irrelevant, unless the translation from the Swedish for “asleep” could equally be “awake and willing”. 

      • William Joyce 21.1.1

        Again you argue from the charges back to the events. What Swedish laws say and means is more complex. You said yourself that you don’t speak Swedish. So here it is. For English speakers on the other side of the planet the actual charges have more nuance that the emphatic English language charges.
         
        It also ignores the complex nature of gender politics in Sweden in which  the sexual offence legislation being written. The prosecutor herself is of the opinion that a man/offender should be locked up first and questions asked later.
         
        Brita Sundberg-Weitman, a Swedish lawyer, professor, retired judge and distinguished jurist, spoke of Sweden’s gender politics and the Assange case…..

        “It is a fact that people like Marianne Ny and Claes Borgström have worked in cooperation on different issues in efforts to produce our new, more stringent sexual offence laws. It is a fact that Marianne Ny was one of the experts for the recent law reform committee which published a report in 2010 recommending even more harsh sexual offence legislation. It is a fact that Marianne Ny approved the contents of that report which concluded that, unlike the law of England and Wales, Swedish rape law is not based upon lack of consent and which specifically rejects any recommendation that Swedish law be amended to adopt the English law approach where rape is based on consent”
        “…Ms Ny .. is known to have said that when a woman says she has been assaulted by a man, the man ought to be detained because it is not until he is in prison that the woman may have the peace to consider whether or not she has been mistreated. Ms Ny has stated that she believes that imprisoning the man has a positive effect, “even in cases where the perpetrator is prosecuted but not convicted”. It is also informative, in regards to the presumption of innocence, that she uses the term ’perpetrator’ rather than ’defendant’ or ’suspect’ in discussing criminal investigation in rape cases.”
        Swedish Gender Politics and the Assange case

         

        • McFlock 21.1.1.1

          I’m happy to leave the interpretation of Swedish law up to the Swedish courts.
                 
          I’m also happy with the concept that if he returns to Sweden, Assange should be detained in custody until the trial is completed. He is after all a repeated flight risk.
             
          I’m also happy with the concept that the allegations against him are serious enough to be considered crimes here (as opposed to homosexuality, adultery, unprotected sex being illegal, etc).
                     
          So what’ your point? 

          • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.1.1

            He is after all a repeated flight risk.

            Sure. As long as you aren’t counting the time he left Sweden with the full knowledge and permission of the Swedish authorities.

            • McFlock 21.1.1.1.1.1

              “Permission”? Being told that they have no power to detain you is not the same as “permission”. 
                             
               

              • Colonial Viper

                If authorities replied “yes you may leave the country” then that’s permission. They certainly didn’t ask him to stay, did they. And, authorities were fully informed of Assange’s intentions to go. He didn’t leave the country hidden in a car boot did he?

                Which is why the event should not be included in any assessment of his flight risk.

                edit…man you should explain why you really have it in for this guy just so bad.

                • McFlock

                  You can only give “permission” if you have the power to prevent something happening.
                           
                  I don’t have it in for him. I just think he’s used every possible means to avoid a sexual assault investigation. 

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You can only give “permission” if you have the power to prevent something happening.

                    Assange was told by Swedish authorities that he was allowed to leave the country. If you like I can reword the sentence in the negative. Assange was told by Swedish authorities that there was no need for him to remain in Sweden.

                    Happier?

                    Regardless, given that Assange voluntarily stayed in Sweden for a full 2 weeks after investigations against him were reopened, then was told he was free to go, after which he left with the full knowledge of authorities, the event should not be counted against him as a flight risk.

                    Breaking his UK bail conditions certainly counts, but not that.

                    • McFlock

                      Assange was told by Swedish authorities that he was allowed to leave the country. If you like I can reword the sentence in the negative. Assange was told by Swedish authorities that there was no need for him to remain in Sweden.

                         
                      Option 3: We can’t stop you leaving. And of course the Swedish prosecutors were trying to arrange another interview via the same lawyer who had asked if they could stop him leaving the country.
                         
                      But the point is strictly whether he’s a “serial done it before flight from detention” or simply a “done it before flight from detention”. Either ay, if he goes back to Sweden I’m cool with him being detained while on trial, if only to stop him fleeing the justice system again.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You sure you don’t have it in for Assange?

                    • McFlock

                      never met the guy. 
                                  
                      But given his track record, I’m cool with him being held in custody until the end of the process. If he actually ends up in Sweden again.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      If you are trying to work out if he’s a flight risk, then whether or not he had ‘permission’ is a bit beside the point.

                      The fact remains that he was under investigation, knew he was under investigation, and left the country and refused to return.

                      It’s certainly reasonable to assume from the fact that he didn’t return, that he left in order to avoid the investigation. Do you have another theory as to why he left sweden? If he did leave Sweden because of the investigation, then that is evidence for him being a flight risk. ‘Permission’ or not.

          • William Joyce 21.1.1.1.2

            I agree with you all points except the last one. As the charges are written they do in fact constitute crimes here. No disagreement there. My point is that what is interpret as a sexual crime is harsher in Sweden and so a regular action that happens in the tumble of a sexual encounter can be written up in such damning terms that someone else would think “shit”.
             
            So I guess my point is that :
            Yes, as they are written the charges would also be a crime in NZ
            BUT even though the charges sound so damning, the actions that would warrant such a charge in Sweden, may not do so here.
            Of course, “sticking it in while she is asleep” sounds so serious (and it may well be if that is what happened) but given the state of the gender politics behind harsh Swedish laws its as Lord Cooke famously said, “In law, context is everything” Lord Cooke of Thorndon.
             
            The reason I am continuing to debate is the ridiculous assertions of Weka and the continued emphatic assertions that there is an equivalence between the Swedish charges and what we would be charged with here. There isn’t.

            • McFlock 21.1.1.1.2.1

              How are the “harsh” Swedish charges more severe than NZ or UK rape charges?
                    

              • Have you not been paying attention?

                • McFlock

                  “My point is that what is interpret as a sexual crime is harsher in Sweden and so a regular action that happens in the tumble of a sexual encounter can be written up in such damning terms that someone else would think “shit”.”
                         
                  I just thought that you must have mistyped, given that the allegations if true would constitute sexual assault and rape  here and in the UK. Sweden – that’s what the Svea is for.

        • William Joyce 21.1.1.2

          Also see Professor of English Law at the University of Oxford Andrew Ashworth making comparisons between Swedish law and English law.

          http://justice4assange.com/Allegations.html
           
          The charges in the EAW do not allow for discussion of whether Assange had mens rea (guilty intent) and whether he had a reasonable expectation that he had consent.
          The charges, which appear damning, also hinge on such things as a definition of what constitutes “force” – what actions are “force” and what degree of “force” needs to be applied. Next time be careful when you part you partner’s legs because in Sweden the laws are are more strict about what constitutes force.
          These are all things that will be discussed in court and not dealt with in the EAW.

          • McFlock 21.1.1.2.1

            So what’s your point? 
                 
             

            • William Joyce 21.1.1.2.1.1

              Well, if you haven’t got it by now…..

              *He withdraws from the battlefield to pour the first of what promises to be a number of glasses of wine*

              *Turns the TV up to drown out the screams in suburbia as his beloved country is driven into the abyss*

              • McFlock

                Yeah, whatever dude. You seem to be arguing that we wouldn’t necessarily regard the actions as rape, and that it’s persecution by feminist extremists.
                     
                Whereas Morrissey thinks it’s all the fault of the CIA.

                • Morrissey

                  Whereas Morrissey thinks it’s all the fault of the CIA.

                  No I don’t. That’s another dishonest statement from you.

                  • McFlock

                    ooo I must be a black propagandist…

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      You could always play the Chompsky card.

                      Just link to him mentioning propaganda in any context, and that’s it.

                      Link to Chompsky–> point proven.

                      Doesn’t matter what the point is at all. Just link–>win.

  22. Fisiani 22

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10827742

    So the only question is when will Cunliffe make his move or will he be beaten to the punch by the evem more arrogant and lazy Grant Robertson

  23. Vicky32 23

    Having briefly seen the beginnings of a discussion about Pussy Riot on Friday’s Open Mike, I when read this –
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32225.htm
     
    Very interesting!

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  • Our social betters
    by Michael Roberts In a great new book, Billionaires: reflections on the upper crust (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120092/billionaires-book-review-money-cant-buy-happiness), Darrel M West outlined various social surveys that show the richer a person is, the less likely they are to redistribute some of their wealth...
    Redline | 22-11
  • More details on the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr path
    Auckland Transport have released more details about the route for the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path that they and the NZTA are going to build over the next few years. The $30 million path will be built between 2015 and 2018 in four...
    Transport Blog | 22-11
  • Headline of the week
    Original. To quote our very own Lamia, “Maybe the Maori Party should have included a history lesson in their confidence and supply agreement.”...
    On the Left | 22-11
  • Who or What Was Onboard MH370, That Someone Doesn’t Want Found?
    239 people (including crew) were onboard MH370 when it mysteriously disappeared on March 8th this year.  Not one single piece of confirmed wreckage has ever been found, nor has a definite crash area been identified. I, like I am sure...
    An average kiwi | 22-11
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47B
    Acid maps reveal worst of climate change Buffalo mega snowstorm tied to climate change? China will place a limit on coal use in 2020 Climate change investment falls for second year in 2013 Fossil-fueled Republicanism  House Republicans just passed a...
    Skeptical Science | 22-11
  • For oil companies, our rights are just another obstacle
    Once upon a time fossil fuel exploration took place far away, out of sight and out of mind. But as oil and gas giants become ever more desperate for new reserves they’re prepared to drill in places that were previously...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-11
  • The Arctic Sunrise, her journey continues
    Last Saturday, the ecologically pristine area around the Canary Islands was the watery stage of the next chapter in the story of the Arctic Sunrise. Last year, she carried Greenpeace activists across icy waters North of Russia, where they protested...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-11
  • New Wynyard Hotel disappointing
    More details were released yesterday surrounding a new luxury hotel – to be known as Park Hyatt Auckland – that is going to be built on the waterfront, on the site that currently houses the Team New Zealand headquarters.   The...
    Transport Blog | 22-11
  • Guest post: what should Andrew Little learn from Ed Miliband?
    John tweets at @mrduttonpeabody. A Labour leader being elected on the back of an election loss, through a system of weighted bloc votes, is familiar to anyone who follows UK politics. The 2010 UK Labour leadership election saw Ed Miliband...
    On the Left | 22-11
  • October 14 Patronage
    October’s patronage results show Aucklanders are continuing to flock to buses and trains. It’s especially true for the rapid transit network which is seeing staggering growth, up over 20% compared to the same month last year. It’s showing that the public...
    Transport Blog | 21-11
  • Hurray for “Hurray For The Riff Raff”!
     FIRST RATE AMERICANA came to Auckland's Tuning Fork venue last night in the form of the Alt-Country, Indie-Folk roots band Hurray For The Riff Raff. Led by Alynda Lee Segarra, the 27-year-old Peurto Rican singer-songwriter out of New Orleans via New...
    Bowalley Road | 21-11
  • Capture: Movement
    It felt like we were overdue for a post, and when I took the time to look back at what had come before, I realised yesterday we turned three. So before we get into it, thanks once again for another...
    Public Address | 21-11
  • Saturday playlist: new Labour leader
    It was difficult, but we managed to restrain ourselves from only posting songs with “Little” in the title … Add your (nice) suggestions below!...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #57: Grow your own
    57: Grow your own What if supermarkets could grow their own? Supermarkets, like service stations, are in that category of activities that are of such necessity and ubiquity to our daily life that they cumulatively have a very large footprint...
    Transport Blog | 21-11
  • The best of Neetflux (so far)
    A selection of our favourite Neetflux posters to date. Here’s to more awesome political satire to come! (Click through for full-size on Neetflux’s Tumblr)...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Chipping away at police unaccountability
    Traditionally, our police have enjoyed a wide discretion over who to prosecute and how. Sometimes, this is a good thing - it means that the time of the courts is not wasted on minor crimes. In other cases, its use...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    frogblog | 21-11
  • CTU disappointed by poor government advice to workers on petrol station dri...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (‘MBIE’) regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 21-11
  • Charging petrol station workers for drive-offs
    So workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store have had their pay docked when criminals drive off without paying. From the flood of complaints coming from around the country, it’s not a practice that is confined only to Masterton, nor is it...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-11
  • Tearing up Westminster
    The central bargain of Westminster democracy is that the monarch stays out of politics, and in exchange they get to stay in the role, both legally and literally. Prince Charles - already famous for his undemocratic interventions in politics -...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Journalism is not terrorism
    What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • A century of changing transport spending
    Via Donal Curtin, I got wind of a fantastic Statistics NZ visualisation of changes to the Consumer Price Index over the last century. The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a tool that statistics agencies use to track inflation over...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Boycott thieving employers
    In the past few days, we've learned of a new employer horror: petrol-station workers, often on th eminimum wage, being forced to pay for the crimes of their customers. Its unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal. So what can we do...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • The week in politics vs. Gilmore Girls
    This week in politics: Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party. Julia Gillard spoke at the University of Auckland about gender and politics. Gerry Brownlee was fined for breaching airport security. Tony Abbott threw down with Vladimir Putin at APEC....
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Whither the class line?
    In 1995 I published a book that explored the interaction between the state, organised labor and capital in the transitions to democracy in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The book was theoretically rooted in neo-or post-Gramscian thought as well as the...
    Kiwipolitico | 19-11
  • This video shows the pain caused by NZ’s current benefit system
    Darryn bravely talks about the stigma that comes with being on the benefit, and how that has affected his life. This stigma is just one of the many problems our current benefit system creates. These problems would be removed if...
    Gareth’s World | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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