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Open mike 18/12/2013

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, December 18th, 2013 - 217 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step right up to the mike …

217 comments on “Open mike 18/12/2013”

  1. Adrian 1

    Whats wrong with new NZ house pricing? I got a price yesterday from Placemakers ( still owned by Fletchers) for a couple of bags of Pink Batts, they worked out at about $16 a sq metre. Out of curiosity I just checked out similiar cost in Australia ( Canberra ) advertised as made by Fletchers and guess what…. 5 bucks a sqm, about $5.50 nz.
    How the fuck do they get away with it?

    • Tim 1.1

      It’s across the board! Go check out timber as well – or most other stuff and make the same comparison. And we grow all those pines here ffs (currently being chopped down at the rate of knots for dairy conversions and shitty rivers).

      • bad12 1.1.1

        It’s probably time for the Commerce Commission to examine Fletcher’s to identify exactly where they have attained Monopoly Status vis a vis building materials while making a comparison of prices across the ditch and begin to either pull apart the Monopoly or easier simply begin a price setting regime…

        • Tim 1.1.1.1

          +1 Agree completely. Trouble is the Commerce Commission needs a complete overhaul, or at the very least – to be given some guidelines to change that ‘culture within’ that suggests private monopoly/duopolies/cartels and the ‘super-vertically integrated’ are somehow ok for the consumer.

          • tracey 1.1.1.1.1

            Really? It seems to me the CC does a pretty good job on behalf of consumers

            • Tim 1.1.1.1.1.1

              ….except that they’ve been around for quite some time and you only have to ask:

              - how it ever came to pass that 2 major chains control supermarkets and close to the entire supply chain (such that they try to dictate to small providers how much they must produce before they’ll carry their products).

              - how it ever came to pass that a similar situation exists in the building supply industry

              - why they allowed Sky TV to effectively become a monopoly in pay TV; takeover Prime TV and drive up content prices ….

              3 example just off the top of my head.

              ….maybe even allowing the Voda takeover of the failing TelstraClear – instead of perhaps encouraging a consortium of others – maybe the likes of slingshot/xtreme/and others

              Admittedly they seem to be improving (I guess that comes down to who gets appointed), but we should NEVER have gotten into this situation in the first place!

          • greywarbler 1.1.1.1.2

            I seem to remember that Fletchers had to allocate timber for the NZ market as there wasn’t enough being offered to meet demand. Too much was being exported. Or NZ had to tender to get timber they needed, and the price was too high or it had to meet global prices or something.

            We do tend to get left with our hands out because of the need to export and get more money as well than we can afford. We are the developed world’s poor relations. That’s if they acknowledge us at all. Still we might get a card at Christmas with a voucher for a small gift, or a note that they gave to some more worthy related country.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.3

            +1

            The Commerce Commission seems to think it’s there to help the capitalists to be come monopolists rather than there to prevent that from happening. Personally, I think it should just come down to a simple law:

            No person or legal entity may own shares in competing or complimentary businesses.

            Basically, if you’re a construction firm you won’t be able to own the supply line as well and nor will you be able to buy up other construction firms.

            • Tim 1.1.1.1.3.1

              +1
              The simple solutions are often the best – even though they do keep a lot of consultants and report writers (and their $2k per hour template rental fees) out of bizzz zzzz zzzz zzzz

      • Paul 1.1.2

        Well we sold our forests in the 80s. This is what happens when you don’t look after your assets.

    • Not a PS Staffer 1.2

      You can easily become a Trade Customer of PlaceMakers: tell them you spend 5k pm.
      I did and have a cash account. I buy irregularly but get up to a 40% discount on Timber at election time!
      That is not a solution to the generic problem: it eases the pain a bit!

    • vto 1.3

      Don’t even think about buying any building materials in rip-off town Chch these days….

      Let alone contemplate getting the building sector to do a decent job of building……

      … the wild wild west……..

      • grumpy 1.3.1

        …you forgot, totally corrupt. The amount of kickbacks going right to the top is unbelievable. EQC and the insurance companies have few checks on their staff and contractors. I have more than a few horror stories.

    • Murray Olsen 1.4

      Fletchers used to donate heavily to both National and Labour, supposedly in the interests of democracy. They probably still do, and having a captive market delivered to them would be part of their democratic reward. For a company that began on the public purse, they sure don’t seem interested in returning any favours. They would be a significant contributor to the cost of housing in Aotearoa, to the extent that a friend of mine found it far cheaper to mount his own sawmill and cut his own timber to build his house. This wouldn’t work for everyone, because he lives far from prying council eyes.

  2. bad12 2

    News today from the Herald on-line says Slippery the Prime Minister has agreed to an offer by the Auckland DHB to under-go a Bowel Cancer test,

    Apparently the offer from the Auckland DHB was not as a result of me yesterday in ‘Open Mike’ making reference to the PM’s painful rectal muscle movements causing Him bouts of acidic whining in the language of the Clown and was made befor-hand,

    Citing His age and the need to ‘highlight’ the ongoing threat to males of His age group from bowel cancer the PM might well have let Himself in for something many of us might see a need for Him to suffer on a weekly basis,

    A double contrast barium enema is said to be part of the Bowel Cancer testing regime, involving having a liquid mixture including Barium delivered ‘you know where’ by hose which might just relieve the PM of His propensity to talk a load of s**t,(although Labour’s Shane Jones is rumored to have been subjected to a number of such ‘tests’ which have as yet failed to produce from Jones much in the way of speech that isn’t peppered with the stuff),

    The down-side to having Slippery undergo an injection via garden hose of the double Barium Enema could be said to be the expense,(the bloke is obviously one big a***-hole),and having been doused in Barium you might say that this particular a***-hole might stick around for a bit longer than forever as Barium has a half-life that exceeds the age of the universe by at least 1000 times…

    • amirite 2.1

      Preliminary results have shown he has Patrick Gower stuck up in there.

      • bad12 2.1.1

        John Armstrong and Duncan Garner are also rumored to have an ongoing ‘booking’…

        • just saying 2.1.1.1

          I understand the entire press gallery is operating a “timeshare”.

          • Tim 2.1.1.1.1

            I bet they are! They probably even have an MC welcoming the gin-soaked participants into their fold.
            Do they have a ‘timeshare’ awards ceremony as well? You know – the sort of thing where a recipient can get up and talk about their sacrifices, thank their dearly beloved, and shed a tear as a symbol of their thanks!
            They could even broadcast it (with NZoA funding) perhaps …
            This year – the MC would have to be ‘an up and commer’; man-to-watch: Paddy Gower perhaps!
            It could be moderated by the presence of a ‘work-life-balanced regular Gal, and a dedicated nicest-man-on-Earth – just so they they can claim journalistic integrity/fairness and balance.

            For my money, MOST of them are utterly irrelevant!

      • tracey 2.1.2

        very clever

      • just saying 2.1.3

        First LOL of the day. Cheers.

        edit: this is in reply to amirite at 2.1

    • Rosie 2.2

      Please bad12, I’ve just had peanut butter on toast!

      BTW, alwyn, if you are reading this, there is a response to you over on yesterday’s open mike. You attributed a quote to me when I was actually quoting bad12 here. Hint, it relates to paragraph two above.

      • bad12 2.2.1

        My apologies to your breakfast Rosie, lolz, quoting me might get you into trouble…

        • Rosie 2.2.1.1

          lol, alwyn took exception to what you said yesterday………………

          • bad12 2.2.1.1.1

            yeah i just had a re-read of yesterdays ‘Open Mike’, alwyn is just another ‘Wing-nut’ who should have as little energy spent on ‘it’ as possible,

            i noticed after Karol provided the ‘link’ asked for by alwyn yesterday ‘it’ wasn’t forthcoming with the proof of the assertion that ‘it’ had made, instead attempting to side-step the issue with the usual ‘Wing-nut’ tactic of changing the subject,

            Perhaps i am a little remiss in accusing Slippery of whining in the language of the Clown because of a painful rectal muscle, after all i have no direct knowledge that painful rectal muscles provoke Clownish behavior, or if the whole truth is to be exhibited whether or not He actually has pain in the afor-mentioned muscle,

            Possibly a statement of more veracity would have been to simply state that the PM has taken to communicating in the language of the Clown because He is one…

            • srylands 2.2.1.1.1.1

              “i noticed after Karol provided the ‘link’ asked for by alwyn yesterday ‘it’ wasn’t forthcoming with the proof of the assertion that ‘it’ had made…”

              I see you have not changed.

              • bad12

                As i have not been ‘moderated’ for quite some time i have seen no need to change the style of my comments nor the ‘vein’ in which they are written, should i tho as a result of your most recent of snivels receive such a moderating note i will be sure to raise or lower the acidity of my comments as per the stated requirement,

                In other words SSLands, fuck off Noddy…

                • Rosie

                  oh dear, and now you have another one to contend with bad12 – looks like SS is back in town…………………

                  • bad12

                    Yes Rosie, some of us have a never ending chore, they seem to come and go with a monotony comparable with the intent and content of their comments here at the Standard,

                    i doubt SSLands will hang about too long having ‘its’ ego scorched,(if my memory serves me correctly that one tucked tail and slunk off at about ‘link 12′ of a series of comments i posted in an effort to educate ‘it’ on the lack of negative effects there is in raising the minimum wage),

                    Typical ‘Wing-nut’ behavior that, either change the subject or cut the gap at speed leaving a large yellow stain in their wake…

                  • North

                    SS-lands back in “episode” as well as in town.

      • alwyn 2.2.2

        Rosie
        I do apologise for overlooking the quotation marks around the phrase, and attributing views to you that you apparently do not hold. The “Convention” referred to of course only applies to statements made in the house. It is just like the one that one MP cannot say, in the House, that another member is a liar. They can say whatever they like outside the House of course, which is what John Key did.
        The convention also has no importance whatsoever for non-MPs commenting on this blog. If it did we would all be in trouble. Is there any MP who has not been called a liar on some blog or other?

        I responded to you rather than bad12 as I have learned that it is a complete waste of time trying to have any rational discussion with him(or her). The total amount of response you will get is simply a random spray of faecal matter, without rational thought behind it. It is like the actions of a two year old who has learnt that uttering obsceities upsets their mother, particularly if done in public. Most people grow out of it, fortunately.

        Karol did find an example of Key saying that Hone had not been in Parliament much. Where he did it of course takes it right outside the scope of the Speaker so the Speaker’s intervention that bad12 was calling for was not possible.

        • bad12 2.2.2.1

          alwyn, i strongly take issue with your latest comment, my comments as you insinuate are not ‘random sprays of fecal matter as i can attest to the fact that happily and with great mirth i ‘always’ carefully spray said fecal matter at the likes of you and your ilk,

          You do tho sound a little upset Mummy…

    • greywarbler 2.3

      Resign Key – this free medical service undermines your creative value and innovative thinking for the country – even more than previously. Now your behaviour is insupportable. (Use a water bed., it will be softer while you heal. And you’ll like the gently undulating movements as you constantly change your position to find a more satisfactory one that you are ‘comfortable’with.)

    • McFlock 2.4

      If I were feeling particularly uncharitable I’d suggest that the initial stages of the test would involve the first known instance of a medical professional examining a cancer in the hope of locating an arsehole.

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 2.5

      lol cancer screening is so funny

  3. “..How the fuck do they get away with it?..”

    monopolies..duopolies..complicit/lazy/uncaring/unquestioning govts/regulators/media..?

    ..how’s that for starters..?

    ..and yes..i can see/understand the rightwing moans about the eyewatering costs/timespans required for building consents/w.h.y….

    ..and can see/understand the case for reform in that area..

    ..but with that must come ‘reforms’ to that corporate-gouging..at all levels..

    ..of/in the building industry..

    ..(and don’t get me started on the supermarket-duopoly..and how they are fucking us over every which way..every day..eh..?..)

    ..corruption/exploitation has many hues..eh..?

    ..and this screwing over of every new zealander by these greedy bastard corporates is the/a unique nz version of that ‘corruption’..

    ..and things need to be done to make them stop..

    ..and reasonably urgently..

    (of course..a circuit-breaker would be the adoption of the variation on nationals’ partial-privatisation program..

    ..namely..my partial-nationalisation plan..(where the state takes 51% of ..say..the supermarket chains..

    ..and easy to sell to the right..that partial-nationalisation..

    ..we can point at key..and his claims of..’it’s not really privatisation’..eh..?..)

    phillip ure..

    • KJT 3.1

      The building consent system we had from around the 60′s to the 90′s worked fine.

      Until National “fixed” it!

      • tracey 3.1.1

        and labour left it in place…

        remember the famous “mountain out of a molehill” comment?

    • tracey 3.2

      until developers have the same ten year personal liability of builders and designers i will NOT support the weakening of the consent process in their favour. They take the profits, wind up the company, (avoiding future liability) and start a new project with a new company and do it all again. We need to cull the developers of the cowboys and leave those with ethics afloat. THEN with a ten year personal liability in place we loosen the requirements on them. BUT in my opinion, not before.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      ..namely..my partial-nationalisation plan..(where the state takes 51% of ..say..the supermarket chains..

      Well, that’s one option. In the case of the supermarkets though I think the government should just straight to a state monopoly bypassing the added expense of competition.

  4. tricledrown 4

    The Banks and Insurance companies.

  5. bad12 5

    Also from the Herald online, just what the f**k is going on here then, another 350,000 votes have been ‘added’ to the anti-asset sales referendum,

    Where the 350,000 have been hiding,(or hidden), up to this point no-body is saying, but they sure as hell should be,

    What the f**k is going on with the Electoral Commission where 350,000 votes suddenly appear after the ‘official count’, it’s not a good look for our democracy and immediately makes me wonder if the ‘missing’ 800,000 voters at General Elections are truly ‘missing’ when such shoddy custody of votes in this referendum shows us all how easily the 800,000 could simply be ‘disappeared’…

  6. and in breaking news..a new benchmark in lite-weight is to be set in the new year…

    ..the female co-compere of the tvone breakast show is moving to ..brace yrslves..!..seven sharp..

    ..i am almost speechless..but not quite..

    http://whoar.co.nz/2013/seven-sharp-to-become-even-more-lite-weight-ed-whoar-they-will-need-to-attach-lead-weights-to-the-presenters-feet-wont-they/

    phillip ure

    • Bearded Git 6.1

      Toni Street gave Key a bit of a hard time on the “why can’t you remember your position on the tour” issue the other day on Breakfast. Just hoping she will continue in this vein.

  7. lurgee 7

    Apropos of nothing, I’m gob-smacked by the variation in vote share between elections. My first NZ election was 2002, when National got less that 21% of the votes cast. Fast forward to 2011 and they get over 47%. ANd both elections had about 75% turnout. What, if anything, is the lower limit of support for the different parties? How do you get these massive swings? I can imagine not voting for Labour – I’m not sure I ever have in New Zealand – but I can’t imagine not voting for a party broadly aligned with the left – previously Alliance, Greens or Mana. How can 25% of the population simply switch sides? Is this not a compelling argument for centralism? Or is their fickleness an argument against centralism? Are we talking about the same people, or is it just the National vote staying home and the Labour / Left vote coming out in 2002, and the reverse in 2011? What’s it all about? Where am I?

    • tracey 7.1

      Interesting question. Does it mean 25% are more influenced by the bullshit and spin that is put out as political education? is it a sign of people believing what they were told only to find out it’s bollocks so they try again?

    • karol 7.2

      It’s not all the same people on the electoral role: some people left the country, immigrants arrived, some died, some came of age.

      • swordfish 7.2.1

        Yeah, should never underestimate the complexities and dynamism driving electoral change.

        But, probably like you lurgee, I’d really like to intellectually get-on-top of the vote-movement that’s occurred over the last decade or so and truly understand it in its full complexity. Including swings in and out of non-voting. Going through the detailed Election Results at both the national level and down to seat-by-seat level (including turnout change) would be a good start (although it would greatly help if the brilliant New Zealand Election Study associated with Jack Vowles and Peter Aimer wasn’t so friggin difficult to obtain these days – Restricted, it seems, to people with SPSS, or perhaps ESP).

        At the moment, when it comes to demographic breakdowns in party support, most of us mere mortals are forced to rely on the occasional scraps given to us in on-line / newspaper reports of Opinion Polls (although there’s been enough detail over recent years to suggest an on-going age-split: Under 35s (Young) = Strongest Left / 35-55 (Broad Middle Age) = Strongest Right / Over 55s (Old) = Close to the nationwide average. And, of course, an on-going Gender split).

        I’m a little over half-way through a long-term project calculating party-vote support (and movement) for every urban suburb in NZ for the 2005, 08 and 11 general elections (for both the individual parties, large and small, and for the Left and Right Blocs as a whole). Cities ranging in size from Whanganui up to Auckland.

        But I’ve come to feel that I’m putting the cart before the horse and I should be focussing on the broader national swings first.

        Here’s a blog I set-up in late 2010 with suburb-by-suburb stats for some of the Wellington Seats. Never got round to finishing it unfortunately. Here …….http://www.swordfish-politics.blogspot.co.nz/………. (my long-term project is entirely pen-on-paper at the moment).

        • Tim 7.2.1.1

          ….. just a nasty aside swordfish – much as I agree with you:

          “But, probably like you lurgee, I’d really like to intellectually get-on-top of the vote-movement that’s occurred over the last decade or so and truly understand it in its full complexity.”

          Why don’t you just want to understand the movement in votes over the past decade?
          Is there some reason you’d like to get “on top of it”?

          … going forward of course

          • swordfish 7.2.1.1.1

            I want some sort of ‘Closure’ on this, Tim.

            But thanks for sharing this wonderful, wonderful ‘Journey’ with me. Believe me, I truly, truly Cherish the deep emotional bonds we’ve forged over the last few hours on this topic. But sadly all journeys have to end some time. Thanks for sharing.

            Or, as some might say, “speak to the hand, cos the face aint listening”.

          • swordfish 7.2.1.1.2

            And, in fact, re-reading my first comment, I have to say I’ve got no problem at all with using the term “get on top of”, it’s the “intellectually” bit that, in retrospect, is a mite embarrassing to me. Just the slight whiff of pomposity on my part, there.

            • Tim 7.2.1.1.2.1

              :) smiley things.
              Thank Christ I gave up tutoring 101s and marking their essays. (There was a word count involved). I’m not usually in nittynitpicking mode – just thoroughly sick of quarter of a century of spin and bullshit – ‘first you hijack the work, then the meaning’ – kind of thaang.
              And of course the Mora was underway.

              • lurgee

                We need some Blue Skies thinking here, people! I need something that can be Progressed at the next Round Table with the senior Excellence Facilitators!

    • Anne 7.3

      … is it just the National vote staying home and the Labour / Left vote coming out in 2002, and the reverse in 2011? What’s it all about? Where am I?

      Pretty much what happens lurgee. Add to that the ‘blancmange set’ – wobbling jellylike around the centre of the spectrum – who tend to go with whichever side is winning the popularity contest.

  8. tracey 8

    I emailed Mr Cunnliffe in September about TPPA after he said this;

    “THAT in light of the Labour Party’s strong commitment to both the benefits of international trade and New Zealand’s national sovereignty, and recognising the far-reaching implications for domestic policy of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, in which trade is only a small part, Labour will support signing such an agreement which: …

    (g) Had been negotiated with full public consultation including regular public releases of drafts of the text of the agreement, and ratification being conditional on a full social, environmental and economic impact assessment including public submissions.”

    From: Tracey
    Sent: Wednesday, 25 September 2013 1:41 p.m.
    To: Hon. David Cunliffe
    Subject: TPPA

    Can you confirm that the appointment of Goff to Trade wont see you water down
    your promise on the TPPA draft to be made public before it would be signed?

    Congrats on your recent election.

    I used to vote labour but moved away in recent times despite being a fan of Clark.

    I want a caring society where we help the vulnerable and dont turn them into punching bags. I will vote Green unless Mr Cunliffe can show me a turn away from cow towing to a few small big businesses

    David Cunliffe Sep 27
    Thank you for your email, Tracey. I will pass your comments on to David Cunliffe.

    Yesterday afternoon I got this reply. Please note, and please correct me if I missed it, but he does not confirm that the agreement would be made public before being signed

    Hon. Phil Goff

    4:31 PM (15 hours ago)

    to me

    Thank you for your email to Hon David Cunliffe concerning the Trans Pacific Partnership trade negotiations. Apologies for the delay in my reply.

    There is genuine concern about what might be included in the final outcome of the negotiations, which the Government has not adequately addressed by making clear where it stands on important issues in the negotiation.

    Labour demands more openness and transparency from the Government. As Minister of Trade negotiating the China and Asean Free Trade Agreements in 2008, I involved a cross-section of groups in the process including the Council of Trade Unions and Greenpeace as well as businesses and exporters. That helped ensure we got good input and it also won trust and confidence in what we were doing.

    Those trade agreements hugely helped economic growth and jobs in New Zealand with New Zealand exports to China increasing from $2 billion to over $7 billion dollars in five years and closing the trade deficit with that country. It helped save us from suffering as badly as the US and Europe from the Global Financial Crisis.

    Labour has also set bottom lines for support for a TPP agreement. It must result in a clear and significant net benefit to our country. It must be a high quality agreement allowing New Zealand to gain access for our major exports to countries like the US, Japan, Canada and Mexico, removing barriers like the current exorbitant tariff rates on dairy (200-300 per cent), tight quotas and behind the borders barriers. For our services and manufacturing industries we would also want access to government procurement contracts, a market in the US alone worth $334 billion from which we are currently excluded.

    Labour recognises that the TPP is not just a trade agreement but deals with behind the borders issues and could impact on domestic policy settings. New Zealand must not sacrifice Pharmac or give up our sovereign right to regulate and legislate such areas as health, the environment and economic policy or in areas like gambling, tobacco and alcohol. The policy protections must be tight enough to prevent multinational companies from winning law suits against us when we regulate in these areas to their commercial disadvantage. We support intellectual property protection but not where it goes to extremes which would hinder innovation and create excess profits at the expense of the consumer. The Government needs to heed the concerns of smaller companies in New Zealand including those in the IT sector.

    Labour supports trade deals which genuinely benefit our country. We need growth in exports so we can close the gap between the value of what we export and import. A trade deficit which has persisted over 40 years has meant New Zealand having to borrow to pay the difference. Growing debt has resulted in us increasingly losing ownership of our own country.

    We need growth for jobs and higher incomes. We need growth to increase government revenue to pay for higher quality services in areas like health and education.

    The Petri study from Brandeis University shows that a TPP would likely lead to export growth to New Zealand of over $5 billion a year. The Parliamentary Library, based on the Brandeis study, states that could lead to job growth of up to 22,000 jobs.

    Half of our trade goes to the TPP countries. If we did not participate in a successful agreement our exporters would be disadvantaged by facing barriers in the key TPP markets that our competitors do not.

    We continue to insist that the Government better inform parliament and civil society as to its negotiating objectives and its position on issues of concern. Only then can the public be involved in an informed and mature debate. Labour will support a deal only if it is genuinely in the interests of New Zealand.

    Yours sincerely

    Phil Goff

    Hon Phil Goff

    MP for Mt Roskill

    Labour Spokesman on Defence

    Trade, Ethnic Affairs, Veterans’ Affairs

    Associate Foreign Affairs
    Private Bag 18 888, Parliament Buildings
    Wellington 6160, New Zealand
    T: + 64 4 817 6775 | F: + 64 4 817 6461

    • KJT 8.1

      Forgetting to mention of course, that to sell 7.7 billion to China we had to buy 8.2 billion worth of junk, trash local industry and employment, support near slave labour conditions in China and borrow huge amounts of money, a lot of it from China, to do so.

      We have simply shifted from supplying commodities to the UK, (In return for junk, manufactured for the colonies), to China.

      When will we learn that shifting from being a commodity supplying colony of the UK, then the USA and now, China, is not working for the long term sustainability and welfare of New Zealand.

      If we had not abandoned all our local industry in a fit of ideological madness, hoping that trade partners will be stupid enough to follow suit, we would have something to bargain with.

      The whole idea that the road to prosperity is out exporting every one of our trade partners is an obvious nonsense. It is the big players that will win thius game, as the UK and later the US did for decades.

      No country has ever succeeded long term without a healthy internal economy.

      http://www.paecon.net/PAEtexts/Chang1.htm
      “Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the historical fact is that the rich countries did not develop on the basis of the policies and the institutions that they now recommend to, and often force upon, the developing countries. Unfortunately, this fact is little known these days because the “official historians” of capitalism have been very successful in re-writing its history.
      Almost all of today’s rich countries used tariff protection and subsidies to develop their industries. Interestingly, Britain and the USA, the two countries that are supposed to have reached the summit of the world economy through their free-market, free-trade policy, are actually the ones that had most aggressively used protection and subsidies.”

      • tracey 8.1.1

        I am not at all convinced by Goff’s response, but not surprised. Cunliffe made the undertaking to make drafts public but he left it to Goff to answer whether Goff’s appointment meant a watering down.

        • KJT 8.1.1.1

          “It must be a high quality agreement allowing New Zealand to gain access for our major exports to countries like the US, Japan, Canada and Mexico, ”

          This is well into delusional territory.

          The concessions expected, from us, to get even a proportion of that will kill Fonterra, for a kickoff.

          • tracey 8.1.1.1.1

            It’s his I LOVE THE TPP” answer…

            • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.2.1

              NAFTA was the Democratic Party’s betrayal of the US working class, enabling corporations to abandon the US workforce and increase shareholder profits by hiring far cheaper Mexican workers.

              Who were eventually in turn abandoned for even cheaper Chinese workers.

              Transnational corporates have no interest in the health of local communities, just in maximising financial yield for far away shareholders who know nothing – and care to know nothing – about local communities.

              • Draco T Bastard

                +1

              • Tim

                +1
                I have what they call an ‘ear worm’ – CNN’s old Crossfire programme of the late 80′s/early 90s? – Pat Buchanan and what’hisname talking about the ‘great sucking sound’ of jobs being transferred across the border – often the large corporates such as IBM having their peripherals manufactured there, then even R&D. Of course we know what happened to their PC bizz.
                As you say – they CARE TO NO NOTHING until they’re embarrassed – which of course is often the way right wing gubbamints and administrative departments work as well.
                It takes a Pike River, or a Rena or an unacceptable number of forestry deaths before arse gets kicked, and even then it’s too slow coming. It’s only when the spin starts to look a bit stale.

        • greywarbler 8.1.1.2

          And don’t let us forget our tariffs. When we were doing well for a while, after WW2, we had strong tariffs. There wasn’t the selection, oversupply, of clothing that we have now. If nice babywear by, was it Ladybird in UK was wanted, vouchers for overseas exchange could be bought for an amount equivalent to $2 a day. These were saved up and went with the mail order letter. And we were selling commodities to the UK true, but we were buying well made, long lasting, well designed stuff in return.
          It wasn’t junk, not breakable plastic toys, not metal hardware with no strength, weak, breakable, junk that we get now from you know who.

          So you couldn’t have any consumer item you liked and could afford, but the country was buzzing and hopeful and forging ahead. Now it’s all the hamburgers you can eat until you end up like Mr Creosote. (Warning – gross out stuff.)
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXH_12QWWg8

      • aerobubble 8.1.2

        It should be noted, once massively wealthy, a country will be able to buy bulk. The US’s ability to buy cheap oil and so subsidize its economy has kept it the largest economy in the world. The whole debat ein the Urkaine right now spins on the fact that the EU block is larger.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.1

          Actually, the US’s ability to buy cheap oil was due to its currency being the Reserve Currency. A fact which it unilaterally forsook when it dropped the Gold Standard. It just so happens to be a fact that the rest of the world has ignored in part because the USA persuaded the oil producing countries to price their oil in US$.

          This is also why an oil bourse that used other currencies to trade oil is such a threat to US hegemony.

          • Tim 8.1.2.1.1

            “This is also why an oil bourse that used other currencies to trade oil is such a threat to US hegemony”
            Here’s hoping! It could come sooner than we think and it’d be good if NZ wasn’t so tied to uncle sammy’s apron strings that it could benefit from it.
            Better still though if we weren’t so bloody reliant on it in the first place.

          • aerobubble 8.1.2.1.2

            Which came first the policy or the reality, the policy of sell in US$ or the reality that the biggest buyer has market power. Its debatable. But given that, say the industrial revolution occured in Britian and its hegemony, its not farfetched to say that the US coming out of the II world war unscathed setup the US for its hegemony. Now we’ve hit peak oil…

            There is a very real economic weight from being the largest buyer of petrol, peroid.

        • greywarbler 8.1.2.2

          I think a big part of the Ukraine debate is that they don’t have enough energy resource within the country and have to import it. They are I think getting gas from the Russian Republic or whatever, and they have had concessionary prices for it but the Russians want to up that and the Ukrainians don’t like the cost, and the Russians say well they won’t supply them then etc…
          And all will be solved if they form a nice union with the Russians but they want to look towards the EU. So interesting times.

    • just saying 8.2

      He does not.
      I’m no longer disappointed in Labour-since-Cunliffe. Abandon all hope and expect shit is the best policy imo.

      And it’s this very kind of obfuscating and prevaricating that will keep Labour in the doldurms. If Labour is continuing along the path of neoliberalism (and I think they are), being out and proud, and answering the fucking question will win more votes than their current communication style, as (always) exemplified by Goff.

      • tracey 8.2.1

        Agree 100%.

        My question was quite clearly for Cunliffe NOT Goff.

      • Olwyn 8.2.2

        I think, JS, that we have to maintain the sort of pressure that got us Cunliffe in the first place. The Labour Caucus seem to know what is required by the membership and voters – note how quick Grant Robertson was to trot out his left wing credentials during that contest. But what we are asking of them is hard to achieve, and at best can probably only be somewhat achieved, and cannot be achieved at all by the path of least resistance.

        As CV succinctly said above, “Transnational corporates have no interest in the health of local communities, just in maximising financial yield for far away shareholders who know nothing.” The members of this group exert huge pressure on politicians, and we need to exert whatever counter-pressure we can muster. We have managed to get the leader we wanted against the wishes of the caucus, and we cannot let up now. Good on you Tracey for writing that email.

        • David H 8.2.2.1

          Here’s hoping that Labour has the balls to say to the dinosaurs that the meteor has fallen on their careers, and they are now, extinct.

        • Anne 8.2.2.2

          I sometimes wonder of there is some quid pro quo operating inside the Labour caucus. My impression is that the so-called senior members of that caucus never fully swung in behind David Cunliffe and are possibly demanding autonomy in their respective portfolios in return for their support – a kind of you let us do the running on certain issues and we won’t rock your boat.

          Even so, it is normal practice for a leader to pass on requests for information to the appropriate minister/shadow minister which in this case was Phil Goff.

          • Tracey 8.2.2.2.1

            except the request for information was only answerable by Mr Cunliffe. I wasnt asking about the TPPA per se… they chose to dodge the answer, which ought to have been very simple.

            “Can you confirm that the appointment of Goff to Trade wont see you water down
            your promise on the TPPA draft to be made public before it would be signed?”

            In any event Goff’s answer means the answer to my question must be an emphatic NO.

            • Draco T Bastard 8.2.2.2.1.1

              /agreed

              But I’m not surprised by that. Labour is keeping to the same neo-liberal path no matter who’s leader and, apparently, no matter what the members want.

        • s y d 8.2.2.3

          Olwyn, we may have got the leader we wanted, but my short experience of labour party membership indicates that rank and file members are still not given a fair say in other areas.

          From my experience of the selection of electorate candidates, it appears to be heavily weighted to those chosen by the party hierarchy – so many parachutes it’s like Maleme airfield. I’d also state that it seems the ‘chosen’ will follow and parrot the requisite line no matter what – an example being support for Parkers inane proposal for super.

          If caucus is ever going to reflect the wishes of the wider membership, then the wider membership has to be represented by those who get to stand as electorate candidates.

          Think local.

          • Anne 8.2.2.3.1

            You can be rest assured Labour gives its members far more say than is the case with right wing parties s y d. Suffice to say, the Labour leadership contest we’ve just seen is unthinkable in the National Party. By and large Labour members get a good innings, but caucus will always have the final say. That is the nature of the Westminster system under which we operate.

            If you want to have a say in the composition of Labour’s list, then get yourself a delegate-ship to your local regional list conference. They usually take place between April and June.

          • Olwyn 8.2.2.3.2

            I agree s y d, but as I have said, what we are asking of them is hard. We have an economic system that permeates every facet of life, under which the majority of potential Labour voters register as a cost to be cut if possible. Not just the beneficiaries the low paid, but those with small businesses, teachers, university staff and so on as well. It is clear that they know that the membership want them to challenge this state of affairs, since the leadership contest ran on just those lines, with candidates competing to show who was most eager to challenge it. The forces against them doing that, however, are very strong. We need to maintain pressure on them, since it is so much easier for them to retreat into management mode.

            • s y d 8.2.2.3.2.1

              anne, olwyn, great replies. I guess it has to be – get involved and keep talking!

              • Anne

                And express your views here as strongly as you dare. The MPs take more notice than they will ever admit to… :)

          • Draco T Bastard 8.2.2.3.3

            If caucus is ever going to reflect the wishes of the wider membership, then the wider membership has to be represented by those who get to stand as electorate candidates.

            Nope, if caucus is ever going to represent the wishes of the membership then it has to be the membership setting the policies and not caucus. I’d suggest Loomio or similar.

        • Tracey 8.2.2.4

          Thanks Olwyn.

          Disappointed and underwhelmed with the answer though.

          • weka 8.2.2.4.1

            That was good work Tracey. I agree with Olwyn above, keep the pressure on. Maybe you could email DC again, explain that your original question didn’t get answered, and ask him to answer directly in one paragraph or less. Restate the question simply (and maybe take out the reference to Goff because it’s unlikely that DC will put anything in writing that jeopardises his relationship with Goff, or criticises him). You could also say that you’ve discussed the question and Goff’s answer with other left wing voters including Labour party members who are all interested in a straight answer to the question.

            And send DC a copy of the reply from Goff if he hasn’t already been cc-ed in.

    • thatguynz 8.3

      And that right there shows why the public will still see a paler shade of Blue.. Looks like my vote will continue to go elsewhere.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.4

      We need growth in exports so we can close the gap between the value of what we export and import.

      The other option, one which the political parties seem to miss, is to produce a more diverse range of goods here so that we can import less.

      We need growth for jobs and higher incomes. We need growth to increase government revenue to pay for higher quality services in areas like health and education.

      Which is also a load of BS.

      We need growth like a hole in the head – quite literally. Of course, we do need development but that is more along the lines that, once we produce enough of something then, as productivity in the product increases, freed up resources and people get diverted to producing something else.
      We can afford all the resources in NZ because we already own them. As such, it is always cheaper to use NZ produce rather than to import. The fact that this appears to not be true is just another failure of the market.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.4.1

        Damn, broke the blockquoting again :oops:

      • Naturesong 8.4.2

        For Imports / Exports we’re actually pretty good, during most quarters we’re exporting more than we’re importing.

        The difference, and we’re really starting to see it cut deeply, is exporting profits overseas.
        It’s going to get progressively worse.

        Tenants in our own country and all that.
        I seem to remember a politician saying that he was going to address that. Hmm, probably that same guy that said say goodbye to your taxes (and then raised them – GST, Petrol etc) and not your relatives (lots of NZers moving)

  9. Saarbo 9

    It surprised me at our BOT meeting on Monday, we had to ratify the contract for our Teacher Aide (Small school, only one teacher aide). The Principal suggested that we ratify her contract for 6 months, I suggested that we make it 12 months to provide her with a little more certainty. The rest of the BOT including the teacher representative stated that we should stick with 6 months because it was “prudent”. This surprised me, I expected that I may have some support in providing the TA with a little more certainty…I think more people have become increasingly hard edged towards workers in New Zealand, and this also perhaps explain why the National Party still manages to pull in 46% voter support with their hard policies towards workers. (Our school is financially strong because of a very successful fund raising committee, so this was not a fair reason to not provide our TA with a 12 month contract)

    • tracey 9.1

      Interesting too that contrary to what some spew on this site the Union did not hold everyone to ransom to get her/him a 20 year contract.

    • KJT 9.2

      Contract? After 3 months work it should automatically be a permanent job.

      Contracts should be for those, who wish it, with a high level of marketable skills who are paid accordingly

      That people think they should have the right to piss around with someones life like this, is part of the disgusting mean spirited society we are becoming.

      • tracey 9.2.1

        what if there is no longer a child in need of an aide at he school? This is why they should be on a much higher hourly rate the shorter the term of the contract.

        • KJT 9.2.1.1

          Agree. if they have precarious working conditions then the pay should reflect it.

          Employers are way to often, now, allowed to pass on the costs of having “standby” workers on to the workers and our welfare system.

          It is what MUNZ were opposing at POAL.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.1.1

            Employers are always saying that they need a flexible labour market but they never seem willing to pay for it. Precarious work should be paid at several times the rate of a permanent employee simply because the employee is taking the risk that next week they won’t have a job. Instead, employers are using contracting to lower wages and then lobbying government to lower taxes.

        • grumpy 9.2.1.2

          logical

      • Anon 9.2.2

        “Should” and “the law” are often two different things.

    • millsy 9.3

      Probably more the fault of the Tomorrrow’s Schools reforms than anything else. TA’s should be employed by a central agency and allocated to each school as and when needed. Then when schools were cut adrift and made responsible for everything, the support structure that underpinned our education system (incl. TA’s) dissepeared. BOT’s are burdened with functions that were perfectly OK being taken care of the the Education Boards/Education Dept.

      Even the Picot taskforce acknowledged the pitfalls of decentralistion, and to mitigate these, suggested the establisement of education service centres, which would have a similar function to education boards, but they kinda fell by the wayside.

      Rolling back the Picot reforms is a third rail issue now, even though there needs be at least some tewaking…

  10. this is worth a listen to/laff at..

    http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/the-internaut/colin-craig-the-opera/

    (who can forget craigs’ pronouncement on key..?..’he’s too gay!’..

    ..and yes..!..that is in this mini-opera..

    ..and yes..!..the chem-trails are there too..!.

    .but wait..!..there’s more..!..)

    ..phillip ure..

    • ianmac 10.1

      Oh dear. As John Key says, Colin is just capturing Media attention. But goodness me. Colin is a bit weird phillip?

      • bad12 10.1.1

        A bit???, Lolz Colin shines weird like a Moon pregnant with it’s fullness, and the best bit is yet to come with the surface of the weirdness having barely been scratched…

        • phillip ure 10.1.1.1

          i just love those saucer/mad-eyes..

          ..with those pupils looking/quivering like those spinning-plates in that stage-trick of yore..

          ..and his aww!-shuck!’ 50′s sunshine-man/gomer pyle routine..

          (‘just spread it on your toast..!’.)

          ..he really is quite the package..that colon..

          ..and you are right about ‘the surface just being scratched’..of his moonbatedness..

          ..and i love it (as someone pointed out)..that having colon tucked in his pocket ad chirping at will..

          ..leaves key unable to make looney-tunes allegations about the greens..

          ..’cos even the most dedicated key-supporter – can see that compared to barking-colon..

          ..the greens look/sound like the local branch of rotary..

          ..and those two nasties from the world of beneficiary-persecution..

          ..bennett and what’shername..

          ..trying to out-nasty each other in an electoral-contest..is just brilliant..

          ..(bennett:..’i will flog beneficiaries..!’

          ..what’shername:..”..i’ll flog beneficiaries..and put salt in their wounds..’

          ..bennett:..”..i will flog beneficiaries ..make them rub the salt into their own wounds..” )

          ..colon and the conservatives are more fun than a barrel of monkeys…

          ..and i look forward to the upcoming election-year antics from them..

          ..phillip ure..

  11. Bearded Git 11

    Labour should take a look at Germany’s Social Democrat party plan where they have forced Merkel (as part of a coalition deal) to make it easier to retire at 63 rather than the 67 Merkel would have preferred. 67 is a potential vote loser-there are other ways to skin this cat.

    • @ bearded-git..+1..

      phillip ure..

    • bad12 11.2

      Yep, make it 60 for retirement age and i will have to seriously consider voting for Labour, add to that an abatement regime for those who choose to carry on working after 60 and i would definitely be voting for Labour,

      Unaffordable as a descriptive for the NZ Superannuation scheme is simply another ‘weasel word’, our economy is awash with money it simply requires the ‘will’ of the political class to point such money in the right direction…

      • bad12 11.2.1

        As an after-thought, the whole ‘Superannuation is unaffordable’ line being pushed by Goff in particular is a piece of ‘work’ from the Neo-Liberal Treasury giving ‘advice’ to a more than happily ‘Neo-Liberal’ faction of the Labour Caucus who then pushed it through the Party Conference,

        The ‘real’ intent of Treasury in line with it’s hell-bent adherence to the Ism is to have ‘more’ tax cuts, thus the pushing out of the ‘age of retirement to 67′ has now had attached to it by Labour the ‘compulsion’ of all workers to belong to a private superannuation scheme,

        A grand policy for those, like Treasury employees,of the upper middle class but anethema to those third of the people who are and always will be the struggler’s in the bottom of the economy,

        Naked Neo-Liberalism at it’s ugliest, ”there will be winners and losers”, hardly anywhere near the ‘truth’ of the intent where the ‘winners’ had already been pre-selected and the ‘losers’ were deliberately cemented into that position by an ongoing series of Government policies,

        It’s shameful to see a supposed Party of the working class ‘pushing’ such an anti-worker policy and the fact that they continue to do so is an obvious explanation as to why the poll numbers continue to wither…

        • s y d 11.2.1.1

          Bad…how many working class MP’s are there in Labour? SFA to my knowledge.
          Labour needs voices from all of society, it needs to allow those who have been silenced to be put in a position to be heard.

        • srylands 11.2.1.2

          You sound mad. Treasury is an organisation of expert impartial public servants providing well founded economic advice. Of course universal super at 65 is unaffordable. Inevitably, it will be raised to 70, along with a compulsory savings scheme.

          That poilicy should be coule with real interest on student loans. We can then get net debt down to 20% of GDP and acheive an aligned company and top marginal tax rate of 28%. Then go for growth.

          • Naturesong 11.2.1.2.1

            You are having a laugh

          • Naturesong 11.2.1.2.2

            You are having a laugh.

            Treasury is an organisation of expert impartial public servants providing well founded economic advice.

            Have you read some of the documents they produce?
            They read like love letters to Roger Douglas.
            When they stick to straight number crunching, and their assumptions are not too far removed from reality, the produce some useful stuff, but other than that, they are a waste of space.

          • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1.2.3

            Treasury is an organisation of expert impartial public servants providing well founded economic advice.

            hahahahaha

            That’s funny…

            Oh, wait, you were being serious.

            • phillip ure 11.2.1.2.3.1

              i still reckon treasury haven’t surpassed themselves in spouting complete and utter bullshit..

              ..than from their ’08 pre-election prediction..(this as the g.f.c. was in full flight..unfolding as predicted by many…)

              ..that what became the g.f.c..would ‘be all over’ in the new year..(of ’09..)..

              ..and then happy days would be here again..

              ..i challenge anyone to produce an example of a screaming treasury howler..

              ..to top that one..

              ..i haven’t really taken them all that seriously since then..

              ..i mean..how could you..?

              ..phillip ure..

          • bad12 11.2.1.2.4

            SSLands, yep a perfect outline of why the Treasury and the acolytes of Neo-Liberalism like Goff want to continue to raise the age of retirement to the point whereby it becomes unattainable for most in the low income brackets who will not survive to the age of entitlement as the Neo-Lib’s continue to move the ‘goal-posts’,

            By the time anyone has been stupid enough to elect a Government proposing to raise that age of entitlement a ‘need’ will be found to also raise the rate of GST with the incitement of ‘fairness’ as the reasoning when in reality ALL advice from the Treasury, a supposed unbiased Government institution long known to be entirely captive to the Neo-Liberal Ism, simply leads to a situation of those with the most income paying a lesser amount of tax than those with the least,(beneficiaries paying an effective 30%+ taxation on their income at present),

            The ‘Fact’ is that when top personal and company taxes are cut the desired effect of ‘growth’ fails to occur simply because Retards of your nature fail to understand that ‘growth’ is not spurred by the 20% at the top of the economy, ‘growth’ is spurred by the 40% at the bottom of the economy having more disposable income and shifting the ‘tax burden’ downward to the 40% at the bottom of the economy simply stifles demand,

            A further ‘fact’ is that which surrounds the ability and desire of the rich to be so, when taxed at a higher percentage of income such people find it necessary to strive harder to maintain or attain the desired wealth which they crave, in satisfying this craving for wealth in the face of a raised tax tariff such people must either except a lesser standard of wealth or employ more of those they use to produce their wealth for them and it is from this and this alone that higher sustainable growth can and is produced…

  12. Fair Observer 12

    [deleted]

    [lprent: Already banned. Another IP for autospam. ]

  13. captain hook 13

    I hear RNZ reporting that the herald has given Len the front page today.
    Making all sorts of allegations.
    Is auckland super city council full of super city capons who never had a decent r**t in their lives?
    can someone tell me what is really going ON?
    have they al lbeen super neutered and sucking on the blubberguts super t*t.

    • Fair Observer 13.1

      [deleted]

      [lprent: Already banned. Another IP for autospam. ]

      • Paul 13.1.1

        Yup obsessed.

      • KJT 13.1.2

        I hope you are saying the same thing about Bill English. and a great many other politicians.

        Not to mention those who go on to work for the corporates they gave lucrative Government contracts and/or support to.

        I am no supporter of Brown, after the POAL lockout, but the condemnation appears to be rather partisan, to say the least.

        • Olwyn 13.1.2.1

          This seems to me to be the key sentence: “The real risk now is that some kind of oversight committee to control the mayor would drag Auckland back into partisan and parochial standoffs…” Such constraints would eventually inhibit a mayor from the right as well. They are being rather cheeky in shoving their oar in before tomorrow’s council meeting.

          • KJT 13.1.2.1.1

            “Yech”. “The people of Auckland may yet get back democratic control of their city”.

            “Can’t have that. They may get to like it, and demand Democratic control of their own country”.

        • karol 13.1.2.2

          Yes, partisan indeed. Russell Brown puts the other Brown in perspective.

          Do ordinary people get discounts on the rack rate? Almost invariably — see the prices on Lastminute, HoteClub or a dozen other websites. And upgrades? Sometimes, yes. A friend of mine once booked a room at the Quadrant and wound up with the penthouse for a night. But the mayor certainly seems to have had a better hit rate than most of us.

          Do other VIPs — Members of Parliament — get check-in upgrades and flights and accommodation? You bet. Do they declare them in the register of pecuniary interests? No, and they’re not obliged to if it’s assumed they fall under the benchmark of $500, or $300 for ministers.

          Some of them might be shifting uncomfortably in their seats as they look at those rack rate valuations, but it’s unlikely they’ll subject themselves to the degree of scrutiny the mayor has endured. And in most cases, there’s probably no reason they should.
          [...]
          Brown won’t resign and the only way he could be made to is if he was convicted of a criminal office, which has not even been alleged. Were he a Minister of the Crown, serving at the pleasure of the Prime Minister, he would probably by now have put his hand up for some temporary time in the ministerial sin-bin, if only to make the story go away. That happens frequently enough in Parliamentary politics, but it can’t happen in this instance.
          [...]
          Auckland is facing both opportnities and challenges in the next few years, and — in three years from a standing start — Brown and his council have constructed plans to address both. The city is growing and changing in positive ways. But Brown has deeply harmed his own ability to continue to credibly fill that role. Can anybody look at him now and be confident there’s no more to come?

          It’s not in Auckland’s interests for Brown to step down now. But we do need a new left mayoral candidate for the future. More importantly, the whole super city structure needs to be made more democratic and accountable to the public, especially at the highest levels.

          • Colonial Viper 13.1.2.2.1

            Left mayoral candidates able to raise $500K for an election campaign…which means they’ll never be that Left…

            • karol 13.1.2.2.1.1

              Yes. It’s the structure that needs to change. Playing mayoral musical chairs is not going to help the majority of Aucklanders that much.

              BTW, CV. How do you arrive at the $500k figure?

              • Colonial Viper

                Most of Len Brown’s $581,900 in Mayoral campaign funds were shielded by a trust.

                The only people you would shield are well off people donating large sums, not ordinary people donating $10-$100.

                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10693580

                Spending caps have to be put in place as this situation is ridiculous and allows the AKL mayoralty to be bought and sold, and only the top 1% will ever have any prospects of running.

                • tinfoilhat

                  “Spending caps have to be put in place as this situation is ridiculous and allows the AKL mayoralty to be bought and sold, and only the top 1% will ever have any prospects of running.”

                  +1

                  …and not just the mayoralty.

                • greywarbler

                  CV
                  I agree with spending caps on campaign funds. The situation is getting USA-ish.

                  And the idea of the May-or being able to operate as a separate entity to aid his or her personal projects, whims or absurdities is again something similar to the plots played out in USA tv. It’s almost a Presidential role now and I will never look again with favour on that position and its duties since the election of Ronald Reagan. It seemed to me, he was favoured mainly because he was a well-known figure in film roles, cowboy capers, and romantic roles and also could bring a chuckle with a well-turned joke.

                  Let Mayor Brown have a committee that keeps an eye on his expenditure. They may possibly get a bit compromised but at least there will then be a tight 3 or so with the possibility of a whistleblower there. And they will be watching to see that Auckland doesn’t become a side issue to the Mayor’s fond fantasies.

                  Just let him get on with it now. And the Herald can consider whether it is doing the best job that a newspaper can do in the 21st century instead of going back to a partisan 19th century kingmaker model.

  14. greywarbler 16

    What a playful little blog. Hide and seek. Pinch my comment and run away and throw it out.
    Not carry my login forward so I submit comment and it disappears. Or the comment seems submitted okay but never shows up on the right-hand list. So I press Home and up it comes. Then I click it and it disappears. Wait till I catch you, you little imp. I’ll…. Wait a minute it’s no-smacking-allowed time. Kicking? Is that forbidden? Just joking folks I’m cool, I’m gentle counting – 1, 2, 3…

  15. greywarbler 17

    My comments came through eventually. Very playful.

  16. rhinocrates 18

    Apologies for repetition, but The Herald has gone to far and it needs to be repeated and formally complained about – keep the pressure on them – they care more about profits than human lives:

    This is outrageous. If you have a subscription to The Herald, you should cancel it immediately. A family member of mine committed suicide. Here is the text of a post I have made to a well-known blog. Please pass it on.

    Boycott The Herald!

    Queen of Thorns has helpfully exposed just how vile and mercenary Granny can be – see

    http://ideologicallyimpure.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/now-the-nz-herald-is-paying-bob-jones-to-break-the-law/

    The Herald published a column by “Sir” Bob Jones in which he boasted of driving a man to suicide and only lately admitted that they might have made a boo-boo.

    There is this address:

    http://www.presscouncil.org.nz/complain.php

    Here’s my letter to the editor. Feel free to make use of any elements you like in telling the editors just how you feel. Do not let them get away with their crime!

    I know that this won’t be printed because I use the word \\”fucking\\” in the header, though you’re happy to profit from someone boasting of the crime of successfully exhorting someone to commit suicide.

    You permitted Bob Jones, who’s already excused rape, to confess to – no, boast of – a crime resulting in someone’s death in order to make a profit and then issued the limp apology \\”We apologise that the original column caused offence to some readers.\\” because anything honest would have you facing prosecution.

    Someone with authority saw that column and decided that it was going to be a money-earner. Are they still being rewarded for their judgement, are they still on the payroll?

    You must be so proud of yourselves. Just imagine how many page views you gained – the shareholders will be delighted, I’m sure!

    You have to be the most revolting publication in New Zealand if you want to profit from this.

    Do you know why I don’t pay money to buy the Herald? It doesn’t absorb well, it isn’t neatly perforated in small sections, it has all of this pointless ink on it and it doesn’t come in rolls.

    Are you proud of yourself, are you really?

  17. rhinocrates 19

    My apologies if this appears to be double or triple posted, but stuff keeps vanishing.

    The Herald has reached a new low. Bob Jones thinks that suicide is funny and The Herald thinks that making jokes about it is profitable.

    here’s a post I’ve tried to make that has disappeared:

    This is outrageous. If you have a subscription to The Herald, you should cancel it immediately. A family member of mine committed suicide. Here is the text of a post I have made to a well-known blog. Please pass it on.

    Boycott The Herald!

    Queen of Thorns has helpfully exposed just how vile and mercenary Granny can be – see

    http://ideologicallyimpure.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/now-the-nz-herald-is-paying-bob-jones-to-break-the-law/

    The Herald published a column by “Sir” Bob Jones in which he boasted of driving a man to suicide and only lately admitted that they might have made a boo-boo.

    There is this address:

    http://www.presscouncil.org.nz/complain.php

    Here’s my letter to the editor. Feel free to make use of any elements you like in telling the editors just how you feel. Do not let them get away with their crime!

    I know that this won’t be printed because I use the word \\”fucking\\” in the header, though you’re happy to profit from someone boasting of the crime of successfully exhorting someone to commit suicide.

    You permitted Bob Jones, who’s already excused rape, to confess to – no, boast of – a crime resulting in someone’s death in order to make a profit and then issued the limp apology \\”We apologise that the original column caused offence to some readers.\\” because anything honest would have you facing prosecution.

    Someone with authority saw that column and decided that it was going to be a money-earner. Are they still being rewarded for their judgement, are they still on the payroll?

    You must be so proud of yourselves. Just imagine how many page views you gained – the shareholders will be delighted, I’m sure!

    You have to be the most revolting publication in New Zealand if you want to profit from this.

    Do you know why I don’t pay money to buy the Herald? It doesn’t absorb well, it isn’t neatly perforated in small sections, it has all of this pointless ink on it and it doesn’t come in rolls.

    Are you proud of yourself, are you really?
    Now the NZ Herald is paying Bob Jones to break the law
    ideologicallyimpure.wordpress.com
    If you go to Bob Jones’ latest article on The Herald, it might look a little different than it did this morning. That’s because they’ve removed the section where he patted himself on the back for t…

  18. Pascal's bookie 20

    I’ll just leave this here then:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA0RNvZivwc

  19. rhinocrates 21

    FIFTH attempt.

    Oh fucking Hell.

    Trying again, again and again… please lprent, I’ve tried repeatedly to get comments through, only to see them disappear, and then I try to tell you that your server is not working well only to see those comments disappear as well. There’s a problem here.

    I have no idea if this will make it…

    [edit] So it did eventually, after six attempts as it turned out and then a previous post appeared twice, though somewhat garbled. Could you look into that please? Sorry about the inconvenience.

  20. greywarbler 22

    Hi rhino
    You’re well named with the ability to keep pushing at something in a hard-nosed way till it gives! I’ve had some problems this a.m. and have also noted these to lprent.

    I blame the GCSB. Why wouldn’t they read us and throw a spanner in our works? To their minds, affected by something that probably looks like one of my garden viruses, with fuzzy growths and slightly rotting, they would find the stuff we write terrifically nitrogenous. Though it would have to be read indoors in sealed rooms, where the atmosphere is anaerobic. Open the door and let air and free oxygen in, and the whole caboodle, spooks and spoodle would be all cocked up.

  21. Morrissey 23

    “The young cow who was driving the car instructed me where to go.”
    Clearly, not everybody appreciates the charm and grace of Leighton Smith

    NewstalkZB, Wednesday 18 December 2013

    If you are stupid enough or bored enough or unfortunate enough to have been listening to NewstalkZB shortly before 11 o’clock this morning, you will have heard the following….

    LEIGHTON SMITH: Ummmmm, ahhhhhhhh. What is the most important human right? Ummmmmmmm. Tell me what you think. I’ll tell you what I think later. Ummmmmmm, ahhhhhhh…. Joan is on the line.
    CALLER “JOAN”: It’s clear what the most important human right is, Leighton.
    LEIGHTON SMITH: Ummmmmmmmmmmmmm, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Okay, what is it?
    CALLER “JOAN”: It’s quite clear what it is! The most important human right is the right to choose. I’m worried that these smart meters will let the government monitor my brain waves. It’s what the Bible says—
    LEIGHTON SMITH: Ummmm, ahhhhhhhh, funnily enough, I’ve just been watching some stuff from America about that very thing. Ummmmmm, ahhhhhhh….. After the break, I’ll tell you what I believe the most important human right is.

    …..[Advertising break]…..

    LEIGHTON SMITH: Okay we’re back. Ummmmmmm, ahhhhhhhhh, the most important, ummmmmm, ahhhhhh, human right is the right to free speech. All the other human rights depend on it. Ummmmm, ahhhhhh….

    Smith droned on for several minutes, reading from an article in the scurrilous Newscorp rag The Australian. The item purported to be a defense of free speech, but was in fact just another attack against namby-pamby liberal panty-waists, and a demand for the right of people like Leighton Smith to call Muhammad Ali a “n*gger” on air, Tony Veitch to sneer at black tennis players as “monkeys” and for the likes of Paul Holmes to engage in foul-mouthed rants against “darkies”.

    Forlorn hope I know, but I decided to at least try to get Leighton Smith thinking by sending him the following email. Perhaps it will send him into an angry live-on-air denunciation of this writer, i.e. moi, as has occurred several times in the past….

    Free speech is good, but you are defending criminals like the Murdochs
    Dear Leighton,

    You seem to be a little confused between the right to free speech and open reporting and the felonious and immoral practices of some media organizations—of which the Murdoch one is by far the worst but not the only one.

    And it is not at all helpful for your credibility that you have been repeatedly quoting from the Australian, which is perhaps the most extreme and ideologically rabid of all Murdoch’s papers.

    Yours sincerely,
    Morrissey Breen, Northcote Point

    So far—it’s now 11:36 a.m.—he hasn’t had a go at me, but he has taken the opportunity to have a blast at a young woman with whom he was engaged in an unpleasant contretemps in an Auckland car park yesterday. It was apparently a traumatic experience for the great broadcaster…..

    LEIGHTON SMITH: The young cow who was driving the car instructed me where to go. This is the kind of aggression you’re getting! Mind you, that particular failure of a human being is like that 365 days of the year, no doubt!”

    Whatever happened to Christmas cheer?

    • Paul 23.1

      Listening to Smith is beyond the call of duty.

      • Morrissey 23.1.1

        Listening to Smith is beyond the call of duty.

        Somebody has to do it, Paul.

        By the way, he’s just signed off from today’s show with these words: “Fair and balanced—that’s me!”

        • Paul 23.1.1.1

          On a related topic.
          Neoliberal clique of the Labour Party show worrying support for right wing extremist Hosking on his new appointment to 7 Sharp.
          Ms King pitched in, saying: “I’ll tell you what, it will improve it.”
          Hosking replied: “Well, let us hope so, Annette. That is the aim.”

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11174464

          Now he can bad mouth all opponents of the Great Leader in the morning on ZB and in the evening on TVNZ. And he’s being paid a million to get the results for his good mates at Sky City.

          • the pigman 23.1.1.1.1

            No big fan of Annette King, but did you really expect her to sit there and listen to Steven Joyce “making all the jokes”?

            *shudders*

        • Tracey 23.1.1.2

          hopefully those who follow faux news will recognised that tag line for what it is… sarcasm.

        • rhinocrates 23.1.1.3

          I salute your for your fortitude Morrissey. I try to lose weight by eating less, not throwing up. I hope that it doesn’t have that effect on you.

      • phillip ure 23.1.2

        re ‘listening to smith’..

        ..i mean..i do commentaries on questiontime..and watch breakast television..

        ..’cos someone has to’..

        ..but there is no fucken way i would go within a bulls’-roar of the likes of smith..or..or..

        ..and why bother..?..you may have some effect/influence from sniping at the likes of mora..

        ..but smith is rabid..

        ..he is over there in the colon craig corner..

        ..table-leg chewing his way thru life/the media..

        ..and i can’t see any point/positive-outcome in listening to his rancid-gnawing..

        ..phillip ure..

    • the pigman 23.2

      My girlfriend (now wife) used to drive a Japanese import with a radio that only picked up FM frequencies between 70.0 and 90.0, so NewstalkZB was as far as it would go. I have traumatic (but strangely fond) memory of dropping her off at work listening to that failure of a human being‘s bluster.

      Interesting that he’s now a staunch defender of the right to free speech. I have a vivid memory of him cutting off a left-wing caller who dared to mention the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. That said, Leighton certainly exercised his right to free speech by continuing to abuse her and “pshaw” after he had cut her off.

  22. rhinocrates 24

    Bob Jones is not just an arsehole, he’s a lawbreaker:

    He’s not “ever so slightly” in breach of the law, and neither is The Herald:

    In both publishing Bob Jones’ confession of a criminal act and then deleting it, they are are an accessory to a crime by attempting to cover up evidence/a confession:

    http://ideologicallyimpure.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/now-the-nz-herald-is-paying-bob-jones-to-break-the-law/

    See

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/DLM329347.html

    The Herald has aided him in his commission of his crime.

    • Draco T Bastard 24.1

      We don’t have a statute of limitations either.

      • rhinocrates 24.1.1

        He’s rich, so he’ll get away with it. The Herald will keep publishing his verbal poison because it’s clickbait.

        If anyone pays money for The Herald, ask yourself what you’re paying for. If you are, you’re paying for scum who support rapists and delight in driving people to suicide. That is what you’re paying for, that is what you support. Look at their advertisers – do you support their sponsoring of rape apologists and people who drive others to kill themselves?

        • Draco T Bastard 24.1.1.1

          He’s rich, so he’ll get away with it.

          Probably but that doesn’t stop a complaint being made and when he gets off everyone will know that the rules just don’t apply to the rich.

    • Colonial Viper 24.2

      Front page of the Herald (The Onion Edition) tomorrow morning: demanding that their own editors resign

  23. ianmac 25

    After reading the Herald Editorial on Brown it occurred to me that it might have the opposite effect from what they intend. When the 20 Councillors read it they have been given plenty of reasons why they must back off or they risk closing down effective management and damaging their own credibility in future elections.

    • veutoviper 25.1

      Although I have resisted expressing an opinion on Brown, not being an Aucklander, I also think that the Herald editorial may have the opposite effect.

      While a quick look at the over 200 comments (and likes) on the editorial suggest a lot of people in agreement with it, the Herald also have had a poll going since about Saturday with over 17,000 response to date. The results currently are 27% in favour of Brown resigning; and 73% against.

      Sorry, I cannot seem to pick up a link, but here is a cut and past of the current results. The Poll is on the Herald’s main page.

      “Have your say

      Herald poll
      17200–17250 votes

      Should Len Brown remain mayor of Auckland?
      Len Brown: I’m staying

      Yes 27%
      No 73%”

  24. Tracey 26

    This made me think of some folk who post here…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s2ti2n-vQY

    The whole episode is worth a watch

  25. joe90 27

    Income inequality holding back the US economy.

    It’s hurting the U.S. economy.

    So says a majority of more than three dozen economists surveyed last week by The Associated Press. Their concerns tap into a debate that’s intensified as middle-class pay has stagnated while wealthier households have thrived.

    A key source of the economists’ concern: Higher pay and outsize stock market gains are flowing mainly to affluent Americans. Yet these households spend less of their money than do low- and middle-income consumers who make up most of the population but whose pay is barely rising.

    “What you want is a broader spending base,” says Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James, a financial advisory firm. “You want more people spending money.

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_AP_ECONOMY_SURVEY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-12-17-17-13-54

  26. Colonial Viper 28

    Gen Lenhert (ret.), first commander of Guantanamo Bay detention facility calls for it to be shut down

    Says that the terrorists have successfully changed America, for the worse. Also says that he was given the ability to apply the Geneva Convention throughout his command there, regardless of what his civilian superiors may have said, and he did so.

    http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/17/first-guantanamo-commander-calls-for-prison-to-be-closed/

    • yeah..that’s an interesting one..i had it back on the 14th..

      and this is part of the excerpt i went with..

      “..Lehnert – now retired from the military and living in Michigan – was the first commander of the task force that opened the detention camp in January 2002 at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba.

      He said the United States opened it “because we were legitimately angry and frightened” by the Sept. 11 hijacked plane attacks in 2001 -

      - and thought the captives sent there would provide “a treasure trove of information and intelligence.”

      He quickly became convinced that most of them never should have been sent there -

      - because they had little intelligence value -

      - and there was insufficient evidence linking them to war crimes – he wrote..”

      phillip ure..

  27. Colonial Viper 30

    India retaliates with punitive measures after US detains and cavity searches female Indian diplomat

    Not sure what is going on, but it sure ain’t warming up intercontinental relations.

    http://rt.com/news/india-retaliates-us-diplomats-401/

    • greywarbler 30.2

      The country of freedom and justice!

      A US court has released the diplomat on a $250,000 bail. The next hearing has been set for January 13. On Friday, New Dehli called in the US ambassador to protest against such treatment.
      Khobragade is accused of falsifying a visa application for an Indian national who was employed by her from November 2012 to June 2013 allegedly for less than four dollars an hour, an offence which carries maximum sentences of 10 years in prison.

      In some states you can be held in prison overnight for not wearing a seat belt.
      Compare how concerned they are about wage rates – when the USA are shutting down businesses all over the country with cities going bankrupt and their people can’t get a job and are lucky to get food stamps.
      How do they know that this person getting $4 an hour wasn’t a friend or relation getting some overseas experience on an internship?
      What’s the matter with the USA? It is rivalling other countries long been held up as as examples of oppressive and prison-like?

      • Murray Olsen 30.2.1

        The US always has rivalled those other countries but they have the most proficient brainwashing and propaganda apparatus in the world, in the form of CBS, CNN, Fox News, Hollywood……..Have you had a look at the Zinn Education Project? It’s well worthwhile.

  28. idlegus 31

    trailer for an upcoming movie about john key http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA0RNvZivwc

    • Bill 31.1

      That really is rather good :-)

    • a ‘relaxed’ key-character would work in a political take on the anchorman-genre..

      also starring ‘gezza’ ‘who ate all the pies?’ brownlee..

      ..and ‘count’ joyce’..who along with ‘vamperella’ collins has to be given fresh transfusions of blood every 24 hrs..(usually at their chosen/favoured time of midnight..)

      ..and bill ‘im from dipton/give me the allowance!’ english..providing undertaker-humour..(‘the recession is over..!..happy days are here again..!’..)

      ..further hilarity is provided by the garbling/mangling of the english language/basic-comprehension from hekia ‘i will never fore-swear..helmet-hair’ parata..

      ..and of course there is her ever-bumbling/mumbling off-sider..craig ‘the hapless one’ foss..(there to sweat and blush and stammer on cue..)

      ..the oily-smarm of the ever-oleaginous tony ‘don’t look at me..!..look at my tie!’ ryall..is there for lubrication..

      ..and of course the evil oil-man is played by simon ‘you can smell the oil on his breath’ bridges..

      ..the nasty vaudeville-booed uber-villain spots are taken by pauls ‘ladder-puller’ bennet and chris ‘i know i’m a bitch..but what are you?’ finlayson..

      ..and retro-cartoon fans are rewarded by the uncanny/spooky cartoon-character mannerisms/ imitations of nathan ‘clutch cargo’ guy..(how does he get his lips to move..while the rest of his face remains rigid..?..whoar..!..eh..?..it’s almost zen-like..)

      ..and of course wild-life doco-fans are also rewarded with/by chris i’m just a scared meerkat!’ tremain..

      (but wait..!..there’s more..!..)

      phillip ure..

    • ianmac 31.3

      Yep very clever.

  29. Bob 32

    Can I just get some peoples opinions here?
    There was just a txt poll on Campbell Live saying 68% of people think Len Brown should resign (an overwhelming majority by Labour/Greens standards), he doesn’t even have a mandate to make any changes as Mayor as he only received 47.7% of the vote, this is the perfect time to spend $9M on a referendum isn’t it?

    • Colonial Viper 32.1

      Hey Bob, the Referendum had 1.3M votes. How many votes did the txt poll tonight have, and how many of your dickhead mates voted five times or more?

      • Bob 32.1.1

        How many votes did the Stuff and NZ Herald polls have that said up to 80% of people were against partial privitisation of assets? How many of your dickhead mates voted multiple times on those? How many times were those polls used by commentators on the standard to say an ‘overwhelming majority’ of people were against the sell downs? Isn’t this about the time that Auckland City Councellors should be using their funding to hire staff to collect votes for a ‘Citizens Initiated’ referendum? How many questions do I need to ask before you realise the blatant hypocracy of so much that is written by commentators on this site?

        FYI – I didn’t vote at all

    • Draco T Bastard 32.2

      Actually, that “poll” doesn’t even come close to the standards demanded by the left. Has to do with it being self-selected and non-scientific making its result meaningless.

      • Bob 32.2.1

        Really? So the “self-selected and non-scientific” Stuff and NZ Herald polls were never used by the left to push their anti-partial privatisation message?
        I don’t put much faith in Polls at all, but I do love the poetic irony that the numbers fall almost identically to the partial privatisation / National governance numbers and yet there is nowhere near the outrage here. Is that because he is a Labour Party candidate by chance?

    • Paul 32.3

      My opinion is that you’re trolling and that this is very dull.
      zzzzzz

  30. Colonial Viper 33

    “Why we must humiliate the Americans”

    Seems like the Indians are increasingly unhappy at the arrest and strip search/cavity search of their Deputy Consul General in the USA.

    http://www.firstpost.com/world/devyani-khobragade-case-why-we-must-humiliate-the-americans-1293367.html

  31. tricledrown 34

    Cv the Democrats had very little to do with NAFTA Clinton was over a Barrel the Senate and House of Representatives were controlled by the Republicans.
    Clinton got some changes to Labour and pollution standdards.
    George H Bush was the Man behind the Nafta agreement.

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