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Open mike 20/12/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 20th, 2011 - 90 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…

90 comments on “Open mike 20/12/2011”

  1. To avoid confusion the National Government has announced that the disaster in the Nelson/Tasman district is to be described as State of the Nation….while tomorrow’s Speech from the Throne is to be known as a State of Emergency.

    (Apologies and sympathies to the people of the N/T District)

    • Jim Nald 1.1

      Whoa! What may seem like jest might turn out to be closer to what could eventuate.

      One of the Feng Shui Masters with whom I am in contact confirms that Key coming back in power remains strongly inauspicious for the country and Nelson is the pre-Christmas bad news that was seen in the casting done last month:
      http://thestandard.org.nz/labour-up-in-fairfax-poll/#comment-394178

      Another lot of casting just provided shows Key’s jinx giving rise to NZ “taking a hit”, quite a significant one, in the first half of 2012. Should, within 20 months, Key continue to be in the “Emperor’s seat” (ie be in power), his jinx will overshadow not just the country but affect himself in connection with a private matter.

      Casting for Stephen Joyce shows a “dagger behind the throne”. The casting done for Bill English is showing a “servant boy” and Hekia Parata’s is a “waxing moon in its first quarter”.

      The casting for Shearer is yielding neutral reading.

      • Vicky32 1.1.1

        One of the Feng Shui Masters with whom I am in contact confirms that Key coming back in power remains strongly inauspicious for the country and Nelson is the pre-Christmas bad news that was seen in the casting done last month:

        OK, that’s just weird… but it seems all too likely! 😀

    • Jim Nald 1.2

      test

      [lprent: The anti-spam engine (the external one) decided you are spam for some reason. If you don’t have a static IP, then it may pay to turn off the router to get a new IP. ]

      • Jim Nald 1.2.1

        Cheers, lprent. Either one of the two similar posts eg the 9:19am can be removed.

        [lprent: already done. That one went through without intervention. ]

    • Jim Nald 1.3

      Whoa! What may seem like jest might turn out to be closer to what could eventuate.

      One of the Feng Shui Masters with whom I am in contact confirms that Key coming back in power remains bleakly inauspicious for the country and Nelson is the pre-Christmas bad news that was seen in the casting done last month:
      http://thestandard.org.nz/labour-up-in-fairfax-poll/#comment-394178

      Another lot of casting just provided shows Key’s jinx giving rise to NZ “taking a hit”, quite a significant one, in the first half of 2012. Should, within 20 months, Key continue to be in the “Emperor’s seat” (ie be in power), his jinx will overshadow not just the country but take root in himself in connection with a private matter.

      Casting for Stephen Joyce shows a “dagger behind the throne”. The casting done for Bill English is showing a “servant boy” and Hekia Parata’s is a “waxing moon in its first quarter”.

      The casting for Shearer is yielding neutral reading.

  2. Colonial Viper 3

    How is it that Audrey Young can state as fact who voted for who in the Labour caucus. That was supposed to be a secret caucus vote.

    This is really shite and shows that the dirty tricks leaks are continuing.

    Only two of Labour’s eight front benchers supported Cunliffe – the man himself and his deputy running mate, Nanaia Mahuta. Only five in the shadow cabinet voted for Cunliffe – Cunliffe himself, Mahuta, Lianne Dalziel, Charles Chauvel and Su’a William Sio.

    The decision to shut out Cunliffe’s people from the shadow cabinet says either that Shearer is punishing Cunliffe’s supporters, or that Cunliffe’s supporters aren’t as clever as his, or that he had no supporters.

    • Carol 3.1

      Also, John Hartevelt seems to know who supported Cunliffe: e.g. Sue Moroney, who lost her portfolio (a sad loss, IMO), and Charles Chauvel.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6164303/Cunliffe-has-front-bench-spot-as-consolation

    • I had hoped that we were entering a new age for Labour and there are still people in caucus who can’t keep their efing mouths shut.
      It astounds me the level of self-promotion(?), vindictiveness(?), bad faith(?), petty tribalism or whatever, that would motivate someone to betray the confidentiality of caucus, the greater good.
       
      Their identity should be exposed and they should be dumped, dumped, dumped!
      I haven’t given up hope but I wont sit through another term of Labour shooting themselves in the foot.

      • higherstandard 3.2.1

        “It astounds me the level of self-promotion, vindictiveness, bad faith, petty tribalism or whatever, that would motivate someone to betray the confidentiality of caucus, the greater good.”

        Really, I’m never surprised to see any of these traits displayed in politicians.

      • Lanthanide 3.2.2

        Honestly, why does this ‘leaking’ matter? This only titillates the beltway and some blog commentators. It has absolutely no impact on the public at large.

        So Labour have some internal factions right after a leadership battle – big surprise!

        Now if this sort of thing is going on in 6-9 months time, that’s another issue.

      • drongo 3.2.3

        Was surprising the leadership battle was done so publicly full-stop, as if the public were making the decision. Allowing the public to see and experience factions within a party makes it all the difficult for the party to re-group and get on with the job. Was a dumb strategy.

    • just saying 3.3

      The “leaking” has been noticeable for some time, in particular cases (in amongst the usual RW spin slurs, and bullshit), eerily accurate. Sometimes I guess it just happens when people are impassioned and talking a lot amongst themselves. But the leaks from the shadow cabinet and caucus itself – it’s hard not to see the possibility of something underhand and deliberate.

      • Anne 3.3.1

        But the leaks from the shadow cabinet and caucus itself – it’s hard not to see the possibility of something underhand and deliberate.

        It was underhand and deliberate. In a way it reflects on David Shearer but I’m inclined to believe he didn’t know what was going on. It’s to be hoped he’s since given the tiny group responsible one hell of a bollocking, and there will be no more of it occurring.

        Yeah… well, one can live in hope. 🙁

    • Blue 3.4

      The same way the entire front bench line up was known by the Herald a week ago. The Labour Party leaks like a fucking sieve.

      And yes, it is obvious that Cunliffe’s supporters were in the main penalised, while Shearer supporters got a boost.

      This article confirms that Shane Jones and Clare Curran joined the Shearer camp.

      Final list of who voted who:

      Shearer:

      David Shearer, Grant Robertson, David Parker, Annette King, Maryan Street, Damien O’Connor, Phil Goff, Phil Twyford, Kris Faafoi, Darien Fenton, Clayton Cosgrove, Trevor Mallard, Jacinda Ardern, Chris Hipkins, Clare Curran and Shane Jones.

      Cunliffe:

      David Cunliffe, Nanaia Mahuta, Moana Mackey, Charles Chauvel, Lianne Dalziel, Parekura Horomia, Louisa Wall, Rino Tirikatene, Su’a William Sio.

      Unknown:

      David Clark, Iain Lees-Galloway, Andrew Little, Rajen Prasad, Sue Moroney, Ross Robertson, Ruth Dyson, Megan Woods, Raymond Huo.

      The fall of Ruth Dyson and Sue Moroney makes it seem likely they voted Cunliffe, and the refusal to elevate Little means he probably did too.

      • Anne 3.4.1

        The fall of Ruth Dyson and Sue Moroney makes it seem likely they voted Cunliffe, and the refusal to elevate Little means he probably did too.

        I believe Dyson and Moroney(possibly) voted for Cunliffe. I understand Andrew Little went Shearer’s way. I read somewhere that Carmel Sepolini, Rajen Prasad and Megan Woods voted Cunliffe. Based on my knowledge concerning some of the shenanigans beyond the caucus room, I suspect they may have been given a hard time of it these past few weeks. So, good on them for having the fortitude to stick to their guns.

    • vto 3.5

      Don’t worry fullas and fullesses nobody out here is even remotely interested in it, so keep it internal and your voters won’t notice.

  3. logie97 4

    So Professor Anne-Delorus-Umbridge-Tolley, having wreaked havoc at Hogwarts has now been withdrawn and gone back to the Ministry of Magic in shame. Oh, the parallels with the Order of the Phoenix. Now all we needs is for a Harry Potter to overcome the Dark Lord and his sycophantic crew and peace will be restored.

  4. prism 5

    North Korea is a secretive country that covers up the truth about conditions and bad practices and enforces controls with its might. In NZ there is talk about controlling teachers and bringing them under the cloak of secrecy that the government imposes on public servants so it is illegal to reveal unpleasant truths.

    Ann Tolley apparently dissed the complaint of an informed School Principal about the Ed Dept making a placement as Advisor to experienced schools, who was known to have an unsatisfactory record. Tolley noted that the Principal was affiliated to Labour, chose to regard it as a political ploy and then that excused her from actually doing some work and checking the facts to ensure that the education system was operating to a high standard. Disgraceful. And another example of the arrogance of some politicians who consider they are superior to teachers, who they treat as semi-skilled workers on an education factory line.

    • seeker 5.1

      @Prism

      “And another example of the arrogance of some politicians who consider they are superior to teachers, who they treat as semi-skilled workers on an education factory line.”

      Have noticed the extreme disrespect given to teachers in NZ (by adults). I am afraid I have felt it necessary to warn friends in Britain who are thinking of coming here to teach about this situation. Am surprised that this country has any teachers left.

      Have found my teaching colleagues here to be of the highest standard, and horrified that they are treated with such ignorance and near contempt at times- especially by the Nact party. Disgusting.

      • prism 5.1.1

        @seeker
        And the worst of it is that teachers can be deprecated and harrassed by their own management after they have worked really hard and got improvement in learning and tests but not high enough to meet arbitrary goals set at Principal level.

        Very demoralising, and many will end up just going through the motions if they gave this sort of treatment, just concentrating on meeting the national standards. No use putting heart and soul into it, you wear yourself out, work long hours and then get abuse from the senior level.

  5. rosy 6

    A leader worth noting the passing of… Vaclav Havel architect of the velvet revolution.

    Havel became the first first post-communist Czechoslovakian president on 29 December 1989; initially reluctant to take up the post, the playwright turned president guided his country to greater freedoms.

  6. Olwyn 7

    One might optimistically hope that these leaks are old news, from the period between the leader selection and seat allocation, as people jockeyed for influence. And that this kind of carry-on has by now been put to one side to a large degree, so as to reunify the party. After all, those who have tried to pull the party to the right (if that is indeed what they were up to) must surely by now be cognisant of the fact that they have given their opponent a moral victory and have exposed their machinations to the party membership and the unions. So while they have won in a sense, the onus is on them to re-establish the trust you need to foster if you are to prove electable. Hence they have very good reason to knuckle down, shut up and get on with it.

  7. tsmithfield 8

    It looks like Labour is aiming to be National-Lite.

    If things keep going in this direction, we’ll be back to the good old days reminiscent of Douglas, Prebble, et al. 🙂

  8. Carol 9

    So Key wants to forge a long term relationship with The Greens by making a deal with them for this term to abstain on confidence and Supply. This is NOT why I gave my party vote to the Greens this election, and I will see it as a betrayal of my vote. If the Greens abstain on Confidence and Supply, that’s my support for them totally gone… never again!

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6166315/National-kicks-off-talks-with-Greens

    And if Labour looks like becoming National lite, then that just leaves Mana for me, or… for the first time in my life, a non-vote. Will a REAL left wing party please stand up!!!?

    • There’s not enough REAL left wingers to support a REAL left wing party – especially when REAL left wingers have a variety of perceptions of what is REAL.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        26% of the population didn’t vote. Chances are, the majority of them are the real left-wingers. The people who no longer have a party to represent them.

        • higherstandard 9.1.1.1

          No chances are, the majority of them couldn’t be fagged..

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1

            hs – you stated the symptom, DTB stated the cause.

            • hs 9.1.1.1.1.1

              If you think that’s the cause for 27% of the voting population not bothering you’re as delusional as wee draco.

              • Bored

                I suspect that if the 27% had good reason they would have voted. They might have believed in “aspiration” in which case Shonkey would have got their vote. Quite obviously they did not feel motivated to vote for whatever Nact were putting up. Equally they could not see anything in Labour or the Greens that was going to motivate them either. Personally I suspect that the 27% represent an increasing alienation from the current democratic process, they did not vote because they think it will make no difference.

                • vto

                  Yes well it is this 27% that the Vote Them Out party hopes to capture. If someone can’t be bothered with any of the noobs on offer and would rather they weren’t there at all then that person can actively vote them out.

                  We would instantly be more popular than the greens.

          • In Vino Veritas 9.1.1.1.2

            No KFC or McDonalds on offer this year……….

      • felix 9.1.2

        Here we go again, Mr 0.6% decrying the lack of support for anyone else’s point of view.

      • mik e 9.1.3

        Pompous git and you have no perception of what is real.
        because you can’t make up your mind who you are.
        Unbalanced
        Folliesculls
        0.6% and going down

      • newsense 9.1.4

        Pete George- the second man in UF

        • fender 9.1.4.1

          PG’s statement above is just dribble.
          “especially when REAL left wingers have a variety of perceptions of what is REAL.”

          Do only left wingers have this variation in perception of REAL?
          Can right wingers suffer the same condition?
          Or are all right wingers exactly the same in their perception of REALity?
          Is there not a huge variety in humans and their personal perception of REALity?

          Maybe PG and his right wing buddies have been programmed or cloned since they are united in their perception of REAL.
          Merry Xmas anyways Pete…you been getting stuck into the turkey early with your gobbledygook.

    • prism 9.2

      Carol
      +1

      • Carol 9.2.1

        And have made a similar comment about this on the Frog Blog General Debate for today. Also will be watching the swearing in starting now, to see how Hone deals with it. Swearing an oath of allegiance to the Queen is just wrong for 21st century NZ.

        • happynz 9.2.1.1

          As someone who made a similar pledge for the grant of New Zealand citizenship earlier this year, I found it a bit odd saying that I would affirm my allegiance to a grandma in a country I have never been to. Of course I read the card (I likely would have affirmed allegiance to the noodley tentacles of the flying spaghetti monster if that what was written on the card), but the whole royal thingie seems weird to me.

    • Jim Nald 9.3

      My brother who is a staunch Nat voter would like to see the Greens bolstering National’s majority to protect the government in the event of a Richard Worth and Pansy Wong being uncovered this electoral term..

      • Carol 9.3.1

        Of course the Nat supporters would. A poster on Frog Blog says the Green Party leaders can’t decide on a Confidence and Supply abstention – it has to go to the membership for approval.

    • Fotran 9.4

      Remember, the Greens, – “Power Corrupts, and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely”
      Today’s politics in New Zealand. Whilst the Greens should not do it – expediency says they will do a deal. Labour should keep note for 2014. These are the partners to form the next Government. Neither Labour nor Greens individually can win but together they will, but the tail will wag the dog.

    • Vicky32 9.5

      This is NOT why I gave my party vote to the Greens this election, and I will see it as a betrayal of my vote

      This is why I didn’t give my party vote to the Greens this year, for the first time. They are not what they were… 🙁

    • seeker 9.6

      @ Carol 10.35am

      “And if Labour looks like becoming National lite ……..”

      Think Labour might be more than ‘national lite’ which is the way I initially viewed David Shearer et al.

      Now I think the front bench ‘mirrors’ the govt. quite well and generation mirrors generation quite well too.My son brought home to me how this may be important; for generations each have their own perceptions and viewpoints and ‘language’ gleaned from their experiences and these can effect their communications and knowledge of .’where they are coming from’. Even body language may be different. Thus thinking about this factor I had a look at generation ‘mirroring’ as well as suitability.

      Shearer and Key- similar age,very good at what they did previously -but one of them more ‘life’ worthy than the other.One far less cowardly than the other and one with much better diction than the other!
      Robinson and Parker versus Brownlee and English- similar, but Robinson and Parker(I glean from witnesssing their previous actions and articulated thinking skills)would appear to have higher intelligence and integrity and I believe have better qualifications. Let us hope this intelligence works to Labour’s advantage in this arena.

      Likewise Jacinda Ardern who comes to her important portfolio new, as a ‘bright young thing” as did Paula Bennett three years ago.Both fresh from Breakfast TV. Jacinda has also done much work for our youth which is really important for this portfolio. Both are young generation x so will ‘know’each other , and I’m hoping Jacinda will out ‘know’ Bennett. Again she certainly has more integrity and I believe intelligence, but Bennett’s apparent ‘streetwise’ mongrel type intelligence may be a help or hinderance.

      I am just very glad David Cunliffe is there to take on Stephen ‘head of the hydra’ Joyce.
      I hope that it is one of David Cs destinies to decapitate (metaphorically speaking) that ‘hydra’, before we are all turned into Joyce’s ‘hard as stone’ image, or in the case of the vulnerable, ‘starved ‘or ‘petrified’ into submission by his and his collegial craftiness. My security is restored.

      Finally, my other huge relief is Nanaia getting education. Someone of her intelligence, integrity and stature is needed to take on an intelligent ‘chancer’ like Parata. I feel that Nanaia has the ability and the wit to take on this less than principled (judging by my intuition and a little of her history)
      female johnkey clone, who’s main aim is social climbing, celebrity and power, albeit educated unlike Tolley. At least our school children have someone to fight for their eduction and future now, in both Maori and English.Yay.
      However, i appreciate that Sue Moroney has done a fantastic job in such a short time and I hope this is recognised soon.

      Think the other choices will be fine and mirror their counterparts well. Clayton Cosgrove, will,I imagine, be hungry to win after his electorate defeat when he had worked so hard and Maryan Street,who is already ‘streets ‘ ahead because she is experienced and knowledgeable,like Ryall,only without his terrible taste in shirts and ties.

      Jones will do because he has good oratory skills ( so I’ve read), but I don’t like his attitude over assets. Know he’s intelligent and bi-lingual though which is all good.

      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

      Feel like I’m back on boardish with Labour. For three reasons:

      1. What they are trying to do I think is more clear now that we see this fresh plan of the ‘mirroring’ of the National frontbench (unless I have it wrong.). Seems like ‘marking’ a team in sport.

      2. David C’s portfolio and his brilliant and inspiring (to me anyway) answer to aTV3 reporter. When asked if he was happy with his position and what deal had he done to get position 5 (something like that any hoo).
      He looked at the reporter and said, “Look we are adults and you know as well as I do the dynamics of the situation”.
      Sensible and respectful answer to usual silly and disrespectful question, which put a firm end to such baiting and cynical questioning.from a lazy journalist. Wonderful.
      With David C. on the front bench with an attitude and answers like that, I feel there is still hope.(Am trying to be ‘adult’ like him and ‘understand the dynamics of the situation’. It’s working,I think.)
      (Note:- David C. pronounced ‘dynamic’ correctly, and used it in the more direct and less ‘convoluted’ context.)

      3. Shearer’s ‘clean,green,clever’ meme and his asking all of us for ideas for the future, which made me fell that I could be included in ‘making the meme come true’.

      *And in spite of Lew.

      • Carol 9.6.1

        Well, the front bench for Labour isn’t as bad as I expected. But I still am not certain where Shearer is at policy-wise and in terms of an underlying political philosophy. At the moment his approach doesn’t seem much different from the neoliberal managerial approach that has infected Labour in recent decades – an approach that ultimately favours the middleclasses, and aims to compromise with, or placate, the largely right-leaning/neoliberal dominated MSM.

        I’ve never really warmed to Parker so far – another managerial type. But I’m glad Mahuta and Cunliffe are there. It will be interesting to watch Ardern’s development. Street is a solid, down-to-earth MP with committment to social inequalities. Robertson is a very smart and able MP, but I’m also not sure what his current political approach and philosophy are.

        Shane Jones is a worry. Today he’s been talking about mining in rural areas.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6165525/Jones-back-and-planning-to-shake-things-up

        I’m sorry some good MPs who supported Cunliffe have been demoted – eg Sue Moroney.
        I’m really in wait-and-see mode.

        • Anne 9.6.1.1

          Agree with your synopsis Carol.

        • the sprout 9.6.1.2

          Agree with all of that, except the idea that neo-liberalism benefits the middle classes

          • Carol 9.6.1.2.1

            Sprout, in terms of politics, and Labour parties in places like NZ & the UK trying to placate the neoliberal-dominated MSM, IMO the result is that such parties cater more to the interests of middleclasses than they do for people on the lower incomes. So it’s kind of like a knock-on effect that influences the policies of centre-left parties.

            • the sprout 9.6.1.2.1.1

              Sure that’s true, but in the end the middle classes get screwed by neo-liberalism too. In real terms and over time only the very wealthy benefit from neo-liberal policies

      • Anne 9.6.2

        You make some good points seeker. Too busy to read it properly before…

        Feel like I’m back on boardish with Labour.

        I’m half way there, but won’t commit again until I’m certain the ABC club has been tossed on the fire and burned to a cinder. It’s all very well to say “time to move on etc.” but you still have to see that justice is done. Shearer has gone some way to righting the wrongs, but more needs to be done before I’m convinced it’s genuine. Someone on this site pointed out that a few of Cunliffe’s supporters were either demoted or at least passed over for promotion. I refer in particular to Charles Chauvel who, in my view, should be on the front bench.

  9. Ianupnorth 10

    So here’s an interesting article – especially good reading for those who
    1) Think the relationship between poverty and well-being doesn’t exist
    2) Are fans of the Sensible Sentencing Trust
    3) Think NZ is a crime ridden and violent society
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/dec/19/karyn-mccluskey-glasgow-gangs
     

  10. aerobubble 11

    Famine causes people to work together and build stores of food.
    Elites then privatise the stores of food and store lower quality food (a cost saving).
    After a while of ‘cost savings’ the taxes on the people for a store still exist yet the food has been virtualized into a world trading system.
    Then the private owner of the store wants a bail out for all their hard work in running growth past the ability of the people to produce growth.
    More taxes are seized, people lose their homes, and the wealth all runs into the hands of fewer and fewer.
    Then one day the famine comes. And the people eat the rich while they save crops for storage.
    The rich become the stores of food when they fail to keep food in the store.
    Eat the rich.

    • John D 11.1

      “Eat the rich”

      I am still getting these unpleasant images of Gerry Brownlie.

      Please desist folks

      • lprent 11.1.1

        Eat a pie. Should help.

      • fender 11.1.2

        Woodwork must be fun until you find out Brownlie is the woodwork teacher.
        Could just see him confiscating the lunch off the naughty kids.
        Had to laugh when Simon Power told how he and Brownlie went to fish & chip shop to order tea for the team (of plonkers) Gerry ordered 20 fish etc etc then turned to Power and said so what do you want?

  11. Ianupnorth 12

    Tolley getting told off? (Ooh, Key giving her a spanking – another awful picture)
     
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10774360

  12. Jackal 13

    Fukushima highlights industry failures

    It appears that the IAEA is biased and all too willing to help a corrupt industry that is more concerned with protecting their interests than the well being of people around the world…

  13. Occupy Dunedin is pulling up pegs in the Octagon. I hope they have a good break, and then maybe can look at how to continue next year. Unoccupied but issues remain.

    • fender 14.1

      Don’t think dear leader Dunne would approve of your lip-service-support for a group challenging the 1% whose alter he worships at.

  14. Draco T Bastard 15

    Debt: The First 5000 Years page 92.

    This is presumably also why in the immediate wake of great disasters – a flood, a blackout, or an economic collapse – people tend to behave the same way, reverting to a rough and ready communism, However briefly, hierarchies and markets and the like become luxuries taht no one can afford. Anyone who has lived through such a moment can speak to their peculiar qualities, the way that strangers become sisters and brothers and human society tends to be reborn. This is important, because it shows that we are not talking simply about cooperation. In fact, communism is the foundation of all human sociability.

    The paragraph before that actually explains just how inefficient capitalism and the inherent hierarchies is but the interesting point is his last sentence where he tells us that capitalism cannot exist without the bedrock of communism that is inherent within all societies.

    • vto 15.1

      It confounds me how some people can express a common idea in a way that makes it sound more important and somehow like they have stumbled, or through unique intellectual application fallen, onto one of life’s many secrets. And this is a perfect example … “In fact, communism is the foundation of all human sociability.”. All that says is that humans need to live together. Thaqt we are all interdependent. Whoop de doo – I would imagine even the most hardened libertarianal individualistic captialismist would agree and note that that is nothing new. In fact it is as old as the hills. Acshully, older than most NZ hills even.

      I don’t mean to be smart or cynical Mr Draco, it’s just a wee rant. I have a mate who does the same. And people like Brian Edwards and Chris Trotter have the same ability, or desire. I guess what they do is better explain a particularity in terms which elevate its importance to its rightful place in the Scheme of Thing.

      btw, he’s right too.

      • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1

        It’s a point that I realised some time ago – cooperation is far better and more efficient than competition. I was more sticking it to the RWNJs who keep trying to tell us that competition and greed are normal when all the real social sciences (ie, not economics) tell us that they aren’t.

    • mik e 15.2

      DTB Michael Cullen is the only MP to have a doctorate in economic history you can bet your bottom Dollar that Bills English hasn’t done past adam smith yet.

  15. billy fish 16

    Very good article by Mr Monbiot on corruption of language and ideals (well, one ideal)

    http://www.monbiot.com/2011/12/19/how-freedom-became-tyranny/

    • Carol 16.1

      Thanks. Another very good piece of analysis from Monbiot.

      The neoliberals co-opted the very popular notion of “freedom” from the youth and other related rebellions of the 60s and early 70s. For such protest movements, “freedom” meant freedom from the tyranny of the powerful, the dominant groups in society at the time.

  16. logie97 17

    Big call by the Prime Minister when endorsing Lockwood Smith as speaker for the new term. He likened the speaker to the outstanding referring of Joubert in the RWC final. Well Joky, this one is not one of your better calls. If you have time in your exceptionally busy schedule, you might like to watch the experts commenting on that referring job, along with the supporting video.

  17. Vicky32 18

    I want to know why I am in moderation? I see from an email notification that someone else is also, and his post is not here! What gives?

    • lprent 18.1

      Looks like akismet has problems. It does the external moderation. When it fails stuff winds up moderating. Doesn’t get clear until one of us gets away from the damn Xmas parties.

  18. Morrissey 19

    Let’s just hope God is merciful, Chris
    by GEORGE GALLOWAY on Dec 19, 11 08:21 AM

    http://blogs.dailyrecord.co.uk/georgegalloway/2011/12/lets-just-hope-god-is-merciful-chris.html

    WELL, he kens noo. I hope that the deceased, unbelieving English man of letters Christopher Hitchens has discovered that God is not only great but merciful too.

    I had taken a self-denying ordinance over his demise at the weekend from osophageal cancer on the grounds that one should not speak ill of the recently dead and there would be nothing good to say about him considering the circumstances.

    Two things forced me to shorten my purdah. The first was the way in which almost every one of the eulogies and profiles, in which I had declined to be represented on grounds of taste, nonetheless managed to attack me in the process of praising him.

    The second was the sight of his friend Tony Blair, his voice catching with emotion in the “death of Diana way”, telling us what a great man he was.

    This canonisation of the departed by some of the worst hypocrites operating in the English language must be halted before it slithers any further.

    Hitchens was the only-known case of a butterfly changing back into a slug.

    He wrote like an angel but placed himself in the service of the devils.

    He was a drink-soaked former Trotskyite popinjay, the Englishman in New York who discovered there were large bundles of right-wing dollars available for apostates like him. If they were prepared to betray their friends, their principles and sell the soul he didn’t believe he had in the first place.

    Easy. As Groucho Marx once put it: “These are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.”

    Thus, the man who once praised Saddam Hussein in adoration and opposed the first Gulf War when the Iraqi tyrant was still occupying Kuwait, was transformed into the main literary cheerleader for the second war.

    And he was still blowing the weapons of mass destruction trumpet long after its tinny notes were discredited.

    The man who once championed the Palestinian cause became a little echo for Benjamin Netanyahu, denouncing the 10 Turkish dead on the ship Mavi Marmara as “Hamas-sympathisers” who got what they asked for.

    Sure his ditties were witty, his parsing precise and, if you like your men drunk, slurred and slobbering, he could be charming no doubt.

    But when you’re slobbering in support of the re-election of George W Bush for his catastrophic second term, or backing Bush’s handling of the clean-up operation after Hurricane Katrina (where he was the only man in the country other than Bush who thought the Federal Emergency Agency was doing a “heck of a job”) and you have written the script for the most disastrous massacre since Vietnam, I’m afraid literary pretence must be put in its proper place. Down the lavatory.

    Hitchens and I shared the ring in an epic “Grapple in the Apple” back in 2005 in Manhattan.

    Thousands of people queued around the block for ringside seats paying top dollar for the privilege. You can watch it on YouTube or wait for the DVD, with commentary and my updates, which I will produce shortly.

    Ultimately, the real reason for the tear-stained eulogies from the British media commentariat for the late Mr Hitchens is that, by and large, the writers and editors are weeping for themselves.

    They share his guilt over the Iraq War and deep inside they know it.

    But all the salty tears in the world will not out that damned spot. The next reason is class.

    Hitchens was a toff, a Lord. And the English-speaking world, it seems, still likes to love a Lord.

    http://blogs.dailyrecord.co.uk/georgegalloway/2011/12/lets-just-hope-god-is-merciful-chris.html

  19. Draco T Bastard 20

    Keith Rankin: The Global Debt Crisis

    These charts show, for every year from 2001 to 2010, private sector surpluses matched by public sector deficits. This means the private sector (firms and households together) are net savers (ie net lenders), meaning they attempt fewer goods and services than their incomes entitle them to. (These private surpluses accumulate to create a “global savings glut”.) For the private sector to succeed in its attempts to run large surpluses, the public sector must comply by running large deficits. By definition, the combined surpluses of the private sector must equal the combined deficits of the world’s governments. The reality is that, in most years, households and businesses lend to governments because there are limited “investment opportunities” in the private sector.emphasis mine

    So, the reason why we have governments in deficit is because of the private sector not spending enough, specifically, a few people accumulating a huge amount of cash which then requires the governments to borrow it back so that it can be re-injected back into the economy. This leads to a single conclusion – the reason for the GFC is because a few people accumulated too much money. Best way to get that money back into circulation is actually taxes.

    • mik e 20.1

      Richard John Seddon was the first to break up large land holdings we need to do something similar today to spread some money and oportunity around

      • Colonial Viper 20.1.1

        Yep. Asset and land taxes, estate taxes. And the creation of debt free money by the sovereign power of the Crown.

    • Colonial Viper 20.2

      This leads to a single conclusion – the reason for the GFC is because a few people accumulated too much money.

      I’d disagree in part. IMO the reason for the GFC was

      1) A monetary system based on the creation of credit (money) through interest bearing and hence exponentially increasing debt.

      2) The use of highly excessive leverage by financial institutions.

      3) The use of large pools of capital to finance ponzi investment schemes which in turn generated massive amounts of toxic false assets.

      • Draco T Bastard 20.2.1

        The reason for those three is the accumulation of working capital into a few hands. Once that happens then you need a way to get money back into circulation. This is done by:-

        1.) Loans: The people with the money loan it back out at interest (usually to governments as loaning money to governments carries no risk (IMO, this is one reason why this government went so far into debt so fast – they were protecting their and their rich mates accumulated wealth))
        2.) Fractional Reserve Banking: As the people with the money aren’t about to release all the money they have then more money needs to be created hence the Fractional Reserve Banking system but, due to the fact that interest is charged on the printed money, this just accelerates the accumulation of money by the few
        3.) As more and more capital is accumulated with nowhere to go the finance system invents more and more exotic “investment” vehicles usually advertised as having little or no risk (sub-prime loans bundled with AAA loans and given AAA rating). As with the other two these carry interest charges which again accelerates accumulation of money by the few.

        Eventually you get to the point where the amount of debt cannot be carried by the economy at which point it should all fall down. Unfortunately, our governments decided that they needed to protect the wealth of the few and bailed the bastards out with our money. Not that it’ll make any difference in the medium term as the whole lot is going to collapse anyway – it’s the natural result of the selfish accumulation that is the heart of capitalism.

        • Colonial Viper 20.2.1.1

          The accumulation of working capital into fewer and fewer hands doesn’t fully explain quite a few of the negative effects however, IMO. The separation of investment banking and saving banking (as per Glass Stegal) would have prevented the GFC, even with high levels of wealth concentration.

          Another for instance: why is “more and more capital (is) accumulated with nowhere to go” The latest archdruid report is instructive.

          http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2011/12/future-cant-pay-its-bills.html

  20. Jackal 21

    Secret statistics

    WTF! $2500 a day for something Statistics NZ should be doing anyway… and for a website that’s a bloody disgrace!

    It does have a system for attaining information without going through the Official Information Act 1982 though… let’s see how that’s working…

    • fender 21.1

      This whole sack the staff then hire consultants has a bad smell.
      Be interesting to see if theres any network of cronys associated with the companies that rake in the cash from the governments decision to use consultants. I don’t like it at all, despite the fact we are always touted as being so corruption free.

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