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Open mike 23/05/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 23rd, 2012 - 84 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…

84 comments on “Open mike 23/05/2012”

  1. Bored 1

    The decision to discontinue plans to dam the Mokihinui River for hydro power demonstrates the complete paucity of economic thinking that we are festooned with in this country. Lamentations and wails spring loud from the West Coast where they had expected cheaper power and jobs to be created. When examined more closely what we see is what is really a cargo cult mentality of the quick fix for short term gain, rather than a deeper analysis of what is sustainable and what is possible.

    For example the big gripe, “Coasters pay more for power”. If we had not split up the national power generation and created an artificial market that has proven more costly might we not have been better able to provide Coasters with the same price as the rest of the country? Or perhaps, “This has cost us jobs”. How many of the construction workers would necessarily be local, when it was built how many would have stayed? And what cost would have to be sunk into this temporary arrangement.

    All I am hearing is a lot of hot air. Not to mention a failure to note that the Stockton scheme is approved and will supply power and work. I think they complain tooo much.

    • Carol 1.1

      Bored, I’m not clear whether you approve of axing of the dam plan or not. Is the Stockton scheme the same as the Mokihinui River hydro power scheme?

      • Bored 1.1.1

        Very much opposed, it is an economic liability on a natural resource that is worth far more. It is an environmental catastrophe and vandalism of the highest order. It is a disaster waiting to happen (there is a major fault line nearby). But most of all it represents bankrupt economic and social thinking, the howls of indignation being the audible demonstration of the symptom.

    • tc 1.2

      Your power bill is loaded with compliance costs and 4 layers (generator, transpower, lines company, retailer) of profit taking each with their own agenda.
      Planning is done on a piecemeal basis not holistically as each layer protects its own self interests and brownlee made it worse with retailers cutting each others throats and genesis in the mix on South island hydro meridian used to look after.
      the regulator is full of bean counters and lawyers with little understanding of the types of hard core engineering issues that need to be faced and dealt with so were in a bit if a pickle on the whole.
      If ever an industry screamed out for nationalisation power is it, a failure from both sides of the political spectrum since NZEC days and too vital to be left run its course.

      • Bored 1.2.1

        Energy policy will be the worlds key economic issue as the oil gets rare. Consequently for a small polity such as NZ ownership is a key issue: we would be very stupid to export the profit of what should be a strategic advantage. This is the primary reason the assets should not be sold.

        As far a Labour goes it is about time they showed some backbone and announced as a primary policy the renationalisation of electricity supply and a total review of generation capacity and supply methodology. The Mokihinui fiasco clearly outlines the failure of the (“created artificial”) market to address the power security and pricing for regions such as the West Coast.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1

          The left leaning parties should be coming to an agreement to nationalise all natural monopolies, i.e, banking (creation and control of the currency, the private sector can keep the speculative side), telecommunications, power, ports, airports etc. A definition spelling out what makes a natural monopoly would be good.

          • aerobubble 1.2.1.1.1

            We can easily print money (or take that power away from the bankers).

            • AAMC 1.2.1.1.1.1

              “Govt can spend by keystroke. It has a Treasury & the Reserve Bank as it’s intermediary with private banking…”

              “Printing is misleading. Money of account is debt, accounted for using keystrokes that enter numbers into accounts. Govt spends money into existence. Private banks are licensed to lend money into existence. Currency may be printed..”

              “NZ Govt doesn’t need really need to issue bonds in order to spend. NZ Govt doesn’t need to borrow money into existence, all that bond issuing is a free lunch for banking.

              MMT via @economicsNZ on twitter..

              http://neweconomicperspectives.org/p/modern-monetary-theory-primer.html

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.1.2

              In theory, yes we can but are any of the parties going to?

              • AAMC

                Not unless we start to properly question neoclassical economics and the right of private banks to lend money into existence.

                So without total collapse, probably not.

                The current irony of coarse being all this phobia around debt, yet a system that requires endlessly increasing debt to grow, given the last 30 years has been a ponzi scheme.

    • John72 1.3

      Do you have a positive solution to the power supply problems?
      It is so easy to critisize.

      • tc 1.3.1

        Renationalise it and get back to planning as a whole system that benefits the country in terms of reliable power where it’s required for rural, industry and residential use.

        Removes the profit taking and unecessary emphasis on regulatory compliance shedding billions off the bottom line overall annually.

        The model’s a failure it needs to be thrown away and return to what worked. A single SOE….FIFY.

        • Bored 1.3.1.1

          John72’s reply demonstrates lucidly my whole contention: a total lack of imagination. Positive solutions such as you have noted are multitudinous so long as we don’t get hidebound in “conventional wisdom”.

          Good example on the West Coast is that there is a plan to increase the Arnold hydro which could help them secure more power locally…it is not economically viable for the current energy “company” (nor would it be for a nationalised entity). It could be mandated as part of a regional supply security issue paid for across all users nationwide however. Lets face it we lose 25% of the power shipped from the Waitaki to Auckland yet we still disperse that cost….the issue is that we need a single large a scale of electricity supply entity in order to achieve this (as opposed to smaller units that have to make shareholders short term interests happen). Its planning as opposed to competition, it worked for most of our history, it can work again.

          Another methodology is to enable and allow micro scale generators to feed into the grid, there is plenty of cheaply harnessed water and wind power available with very low environmental impact. The major issue here is that over production is easy, under production a problem (i.e micro producers need to use the grid as a battery when their wind does not blow or their water flow).

          Driving down the Buller and the Grey a few years ago I noticed the huge flow of water that was being “wasted”. Has anybody thought about in-stream hydro (its what the first US electricity came from: waterwheels etc)? There are so many options, and we need to do this whilst we have time, before oil makes its exit.

          • John72 1.3.1.1.1

            Bored, may I point out that your posts today, (1, 1.1.1, 1.1.2 ) are devoted to criticism. No positive comment is of any value. Your lasr sentence in post “1” applies to you and many others.
            Post 1 :- “I think they complain too much.”

    • OneTrack 1.4

      No problem, we can just run Huntly harder. It has higher marginal costs so that will push the power prices up. Excellent.

  2. Carol 2

    Campaigns for a living wage should also be accompanied by campaigns for other related changes. Looking at the case studies with the article below, part of the problem is the cost of housing and rents.

    Housing shouldn’t be a speculative market that those at the top use to get rich.

    Furthermore, businesses shouldn’t be aiming for exorbitant profits in an economy focused on “growth”. And there should be a focus on supporting businesses that contribute to a steady-state economy, not on ones producing useless status-symbols and too many unnecessary luxuries.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10807741

    A campaign has been launched for a “living wage” in New Zealand, inspired by policies in United States cities and London.

    The Living Wage Aotearoa NZ campaign is drawing support from unions, churches, Pacific, women’s and community groups.

    Organiser Annie Newman of the Service and Food Workers Union said it was inspired by “living wage” policies governing council contracts in more than 140 US cities and in London, where the rate of £8.30 ($17.35) an hour is 37 per cent above the £6.08 ($12.71) legal minimum wage.
    […]
    A campaign has been launched for a “living wage” in New Zealand, inspired by policies in United States cities and London.

    The Living Wage Aotearoa NZ campaign is drawing support from unions, churches, Pacific, women’s and community groups.

    Organiser Annie Newman of the Service and Food Workers Union said it was inspired by “living wage” policies governing council contracts in more than 140 US cities and in London, where the rate of £8.30 ($17.35) an hour is 37 per cent above the £6.08 ($12.71) legal minimum wage.
    […]
    Low wages for the Kaufisis mean the children don’t go to school when there is no money for lunch.

    Leo Kaufisi, of New Lynn, earns $14 an hour as a dispatcher for Pacific Inks in Avondale. His wife Lopaini earns the legal minimum of $13.50 an hour as a cleaner.

    Four adults and eight children live in the three-bedroom house which they rent for $350 a week – Mr and Mrs Kaufisi, their six children aged between four and 12 , Mrs Kaufisi’s unemployed mother, her mother’s partner, her 12-year-old sister and 10-year-old brother.

    Six children sleep in one cramped bedroom.- The other children sleep with their parents.

    It’s good that this campaign is highlighting the struggle to survive by families living on low wages.

    I think it’s a problem the overseas campaign focused on council contracts, which are limited by funding from taxes/rates. There should be more focus on private businesses that earn big profits while paying low wages.

    • Carol 2.1

      There is also an accompanying article which looks at Auckland Council’s plan to reduce the city’s inequalities, and the causes for the growth in the extent of inequalities:

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10784783

      The causes are explained thusly:

      Similar increases in inequality have occurred across many developed countries.

      The driving forces have been both technological changes, which have strengthened the power of the skilled at the expense of the unskilled; and policy changes, which have weakened unions, opened markets to free trade, cut taxes on the rich and imposed new taxes on spending that bear most heavily on the poor.

      Some good points in there, but some things could be elaborated eg the “free trade” ethos, and the shift of unskilled jobs to low wage countries.

      The article resorts to a bit of potted history with a focus on biblical times, in arguing that the tendency for small groups to accumulate wealth has always been countered by morality-based moves to limit such accumulation:

      There is an inbuilt tension in any large-scale economic system. Natural variations in human capabilities and ambitions tend to accumulate according to what has been called the “Matthew effect” after the Bible verse: “For the one who has will be given more … But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”

      But, as the rest of the Bible demonstrates, human societies have also struggled for thousands of years to set limits to accumulation for the kinds of reasons expressed in the draft Auckland Plan, as above.

      Morally, we are programmed to care for others in need. And practically, we are stronger as a group if all members of the group contribute to their full potential, rather than being alienated and disaffected.

      The article argues that the Auckland plan supports this moral programming by aiming to balance freedom with compassion, through balancing a competitive economy with “caring community”. So it aims to maintain free market capitalism by incorporating elements of a “caring community”. Of course, this falls short of a plan that will fix a broken system. But what would you expect from NZ’s MSM?

      The article also correctly argues that the Auckland Council cannot fix the problems of extreme inequality without help from the central government.

      • Sam Hall 2.1.1

        Read the critique of this Third Way, or softening of the social impacts of the NeoLib agenda, in Growth Fetish by Clive Hamilton. After a post by U-Turn, the second best prose that I have read this month

      • DH 2.1.2

        Agree entirely Carol, been researching that myself lately. I’m not in disagreement with the principle of a living wage but I think wage rises is the wrong way to approach it. You never catch up. The wealthy are getting rich from asset inflation and the ever increasing rents that flow from it. Lifting the lowest wages tends to push asset values up and within a very short time it’s back to the same problem again, if not worse off.

        Look at this chart for an example of where IMO the real problem lies;

        http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/keygraphs/Fig4.html

        The value of housing stock in NZ has gone from$236bn in 2001 to $605bn in 2011, that’s an increase of 290% in a decade. Some is due to building new houses but most of the increase is just asset inflation.

        Now rents haven’t increased by the same amount as house prices but they will eventually and the poor will keep getting squeezed. It’s a transfer of wealth. Govt spends over $1bn on accommodation supplements already, and it will get worse.

        It’s the union’s job to chase better wages & conditions for it’s workers but I really can’t see the living wage concept working without addressing asset inflation and that’s a Govt role.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1

          Govt spends over $1bn on accommodation supplements already, and it will get worse.

          And it would be better if the dropped the Accommodation Supplement and spent the $1b/year on building (high rise, high density) houses which could then be rented out for cost of maintenance.

          • DH 2.1.2.1.1

            Aye, think what the cash spent on roads could have achieved. Accommodation supplement is only a part of it too. Look at all the welfare the state pays out and there’s probably at least $4-5bn of it going straight into rents. And each year it gets worse as rents keep going up, we get further & further behind. Even our taxes are making the rich richer.

            Major problem is that rents and the price of rental housing are currently intertwined with the price of the family home. They need to be separated and that’s not an easy task. Can be done but would take some smart thinking, would never win an election if every home owner thought their house values would fall significantly.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Can be done but would take some smart thinking, would never win an election if every home owner thought their house values would fall significantly.

              What if their mortgage fell at the same time?

              • DH

                That could work although the freeholders still wouldn’t be happy.

                My thinking was along the lines of creating a brand new housing market. Govt owns the land & leases it, people own or rent the house on the land. That would create a separation between freehold and leasehold; distinctly different markets. Would need controls over people simply selling the leases & recreating the same asset inflation but that’s not unachievable.

                If Govt just provided the land it would cost the taxpayer a lot less and still enable people to buy their own homes, save money etc. And for renters, well lower rents are just as good as any pay rise, possibly better.

    • Rosie 2.2

      Hi Carol. Did you see the interview last night with John Campbell and John (John?) Ryall of the Service and Food Workers Union? Between them they made a strong case for the living wage campaign, and discussed the benefits an increased wage brings. Cleary obvious stuff but it did counter the argument of the right that increased wages means less job opportunities. There was also an accompanying article about the struggle for a mother on the minimum wage and her 3 children. The eldest had just turned 17 so he was working 25 hours an week also minimum wage to help the household costs, which was compromising his study.

      I have to hand it to the Campbell show that they have made an effort this year to highlight social injustice and also to illustrate how individuals and families are living in poverty purely as a result of the recession and govt policy that affects the poor, working poor and middle class the most. It is refreshing that they are talking this and less about the fad diet of the week or neurotic rich parents problems that seem so inconsequential to anyone just trying to scrap enough money together the day before pay day to get a bottle of milk and some more bread (an example taken from my life, today being Wednesday!)

      • Sam Hall 2.2.1

        In a State in either the US, or Canada, economists studied the legislated lift of the minimum wage and found, wait….., that more people became employed and the quality and productivity of their work improved. Those, who were threatened by these outcomes severly demonised the research, which was found to be valid.

        • Rosie 2.2.1.1

          Indeed Sam. In low wage economies like ours, when the impact of minimum wage vs. living or good wage is studied the results always demonstrate in purely economic terms, putting aside improved health and social outcomes for individuals and communities, that a living/good wage always benefits society as a whole, bringing in more tax and increasing retail spending. Its a pretty flimsy argument the right put up when they claim that higher wages put business at a disadvantage

      • Carol 2.2.2

        Yes. i saw CL last night and agree that it did a very good job in highlighting the problem and showing the unfairness. It was heart wrenching to see how hard that family is working just to stay afloat.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Such a Living Wage would ideally need to be defined as weekly income rather than an hourly wage. You’d then have it so that each hour worked increased the income. We could call it Universal Income.

    • Vicky32 2.4

      Campaigns for a living wage should also be accompanied by campaigns for other related changes. Looking at the case studies with the article below, part of the problem is the cost of housing and rents.

      Seconded, Carol!

  3. OneTrack 3

    Good to see Andrew Little and Trevor Mallard standing up to Crusher Collins. She’s just bluffing and it won’t get to court. Especially if she can’t get the papers served on them.

    • Chris 3.1

      Papers have already been served on Little – Will not take that long to get to Mallard I assume, Mallard himself has said it wouldn’t be that hard.

      • prism 3.1.1

        Her server will probably catch Mallard while on the toilet, a handy place of vulnerability – there doesn’t seem to be any protocol of respect for the private life of her detractors being shown in her approach.

        • Chris 3.1.1.1

          Probably – but it still makes no sense to me why even bother hiding and trying to dodge getting the papers served it doesn’t achieve anything if the claims are as without merit as they claim.

          In fact the only thing it does achieve is make it seem they are worried about the case.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            Actually, it also achieves keeping it in the spotlight and getting everybody to have a laugh at Crushers expense.

            • Chris 3.1.1.1.1.1

              But that’s my point I think by choosing to go this way it stops being so much about her and rather more about Little and Mallard and the fact they have a court case (easiest way to describe it rather than a case that will go to court for) they are trying to not get served for.

              Is that really where they want the spotlight? Is there really any other way they thought it would go?

              • Pascal's bookie

                Another way see it is that they are trying to not let her off the hook. Making the story as big as poss, means the end game is as big as poss.

                It’s the end game that will be remembered. Every story so far has been them laughing at her, and her not saying anything.

                Odd too, that she filed in Auckland where the waiting list is longest, rather than in Wellington where the comments were made.

                • Chris

                  Yes I agree completely it is the end game that will be remembered that’s why I don’t understand this at all. Every story up till now has been them laughing at her and her saying nothing.

                  Now because of the way it is being played just the simple act of her serving papers is being seen as some kind of victory and puts the joke on them. Yesterday’s headline on stuff was an example ‘Andrew Little told: You’re served, no fries’ That really got her?

                  • felix

                    Chris, it doesn’t matter what she does or says anymore.

                    She’s a Minister of The Crown spending all of her time (as far as the public knows) chasing a personal vendetta.

                    Out of her depth, out of control, and out of her office.

                    • Chris

                      I know and I agree. I think Collins has been ridiculous, but that is part of the problem, because of the way Little and Mallard have acted it has taken the spotlight from that.

                      Was terrible work and a huge missed opportunity from them.

  4. ianmac 4

    Joe Bennet’s column nails the Teacher Performance Pay issue. The first half is anecdotal but he highlights the impossibility that Parata has embarked upon.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/columnists/joe-bennett/6968947/Good-teaching-easy-to-recognise-hard-to-measure?comment_msg=posted#post_comment

    • mac1 4.1

      I visited your recommended site, ianmac. A great mind in the comments section complained that NZ education was in a crisis because half of the children’s marks fell below the median!

      • DH 4.1.1

        I think Bennett nails it well there, although I’m not so sure that the teacher everyone likes is necessarily the ‘best’ teacher. I got bored easy at school & it was the hard bastards who got the best results out of me. As he says, different teachers suit different people. I reckon any school could improve outputs quite a lot if the principal & deputies had better people management skills – matched students with the right teachers.

        I don’t think there are many ‘bad’ teachers, don’t recall having had any myself.

        • Vicky32 4.1.1.1

          I don’t think there are many ‘bad’ teachers, don’t recall having had any myself.

          Me neither! And as with you, the ones I remember were the hard ones, such as our very scary 5th form maths teacher – a German woman who saw right through my terminological inexactitudes (her phrase! :) )
          But all my teachers were awesome, including the Intermediate one who saved my brother’s life when he was a baby (rugby tackled him in the supermarket because he was about to drink a bottle of bleach he’d found when he wandered away from my Mum…)

  5. prism 5

    This morning Radionz interesting speaker.
    10-11am: Urban agriculture advocate Michael Ableman
    Canadian talking about initiatives they have done in food production. Touched on how they coped as the only farm left after subdvision for prissy townies. A common problem for all farmers.

    He thought population growth had to be tackled, feels that the earth’s resources will not be able to feed the burgeoning numbers. Thinks that farmers may have to concentrate on protein provision particularly while soft perishable items be grown at home. Lots of points to think about.

    I thought too that Canada could be a place to aspire to move to if there were jobs. They have been going through a right wing phase too I think but they are not stuck down here with a one idea government next to Australia with the same and far away from the rest of the world. On the other hand much of Canada is mighty cold and there is an energy shortage looming. Where to go??

    • Rosie 5.1

      Stay here and fight Prism! We have an awesome country beneath our feet. We are just blocked by idiots from being all that we can be. It would just take intelligent governance with a long term vision and an educated voter base to make this happen. Thats all! Too much to ask?

      • prism 5.1.1

        oh rosie – i hope it’s not too much to ask but i’m beginning to despair

  6. aerobubble 6

    Just been kept up, on and off, all night but noisy cars, full beam car lights, and other reckless abandon of a few.

    Tired, returning to the drink, I awoke to the Elliot guilty verdit. And could not help making the connection…

    Do you ever get the feeling your living in a street of Elliots (Turners)? Invincible noisy cars driven by young (mostly) men who don’t, haven’t, can’t recognize where the self-training is taking them?

    Emily-ruined-my-life-mum!Lacking all remorse@# Dehumanizing others. Disrespectful. Obsessive.

    NZ needs to have more role models that show why destructive behavior harms growth, society and individuals who believe in themselves (and supported in their over inflated egos by family and friends).

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Unfortunately we’ve chosen as role model people like John Key whose actions have always harmed society but he’s rich and well off. It’s not just a change of role models but a change of values that changes how we measure success.

      • Bored 6.1.1

        After the Douglas years it was inevitable that the generation raised under those values would elect the likes of Key. He is their zeit geist in person, their alchemist who made a fortune trading digital nothings, making everything for himself and nothing for anybody else. A trader of ascribed values which cannot be made solid. A representative of a vapid generation who believe the nonsense that something can come from nothing, that they really can become wealthy without someone else becoming less so. A purveyor of lies representing a generation of greedy liars that would sell their own children’s future down the river if it meant they could buy another bigger SUV today. Rogers man, Rogers legacy.

        The bard might have been thinking of the likes of Key..a walking shadow, a poor player
        That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.

        • Rosie 6.1.1.1

          Narcism. Narcism is an attribute that is no longer discouraged and is increasingly visible in political leadership as in the JK example above but also within society. Elliot Turner has many markers of narcistic personality disorder and to a degree this was indulged by his parents. However the young ‘car enthusiast’s’ aerobubble refers to probably are not actively looking to JK as their role model, their awareness of them I should imagine may be fairly dim. Their behaviour is legitimised by a society whose boundaries around acceptable behaviour are becoming more blurred and where the good of the whole, the collective, in this a case a neighbourhood is no longer important.

          • Bored 6.1.1.1.1

            ..the good of the whole, the collective,… is no longer important. Exactly. JK does not have any inclination to be a role model either, he is too wrapped in his own narcissism to be anything other than egocentric. Interestingly I think the user pays principle is one of the drivers of this: where we used to pay collectively the expectation was that you were part of the collective. User pays makes you a stand alone “individual”, and you dont want to pay for anyone else, or be part of the herd. You become the island that nobody really can be.

    • prism 6.2

      aerobubble i used to think that self esteem would lead to more mature personalities but apparently you just get self centred smart alecs and alices. it seems that knowing where to stop is something to be learned just doesnt come with growing up. stat 80 per cent of crime is connected with intake of alcohol or drugs. controlling that would take us a good way forward to a happer society

      • aerobubble 6.2.1

        i think in part its due to young men and women in work who can’t afford to buy a home, so they spend it on drilling holes in their exhaust, which the Police stop them because of the obvious noise, and they have to pay a very smart exhaust engineer (smart not for his skill as a car repairer) to fix the car again, and again.

        Its an easy life urging kids to be reckless and taking their money for unnecessary work.

  7. Carol 7

    Just hearing from a friend in the area of Italy struck by the quake this week, that oil companies have been fracking in the area.

    • ianmac 7.1

      Just watched David Shearer in the House in full flow ridiculing the Budget predictions from previous National budgets and that of tomorrows. Pretty good delivery. Reassuring.

    • Vicky32 7.2

      Just hearing from a friend in the area of Italy struck by the quake this week, that oil companies have been fracking in the area.

      Oh dear, really? That’s horrific… I have two friends in the area, both of whom were truly freaked out.

  8. Bunji 8

    Do you fancy seeing The Spirit Level turned into a film?

    They’re crowdsourcing funds here. You could even get your names in the credits… (or just buy your download of the film in advance)

  9. Interesting – seems National isn’t the only one enjoying a friendship with Sky City:

     http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6972710/Big-business-hosted-politicians-at-World-Cup

    • Carol 9.1

      Just shows how there’s too much of this kind of lobbying of politicians by big business.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        And too much of politicians listening to big business rather than the people resulting in policy that is good for big business but not for NZ.

        • Sam Hall 9.1.1.1

          excusee moi. Are you researching values to support the present distribution of commons? Do the “Aggressors” have a few more hands to play?

  10. Sam Hall 10

    “When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you.”

  11. andy (the other one) 11

    Jones has been stood down by Shearer, great timing in budget week. Another head desk moment from Labour….

  12. Sam Hall 12

    Howev “er…..If you are researching values to continue coveting the commons a little bit longer,heres 3 you could do a lot worse than
    Compassion Moderation and Humility.

    EVERYBODY KNOWS in this modern age that game theorists have run computer simulations of adaptive evolutionary cultural strategies that “cheating/aggression” survives over “co-operating” in the short-term before the majority of the poulation perish and the remaining “co-operaters are left to rebuild.

    EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT in the 21st century.

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    So, Key goes on a personal junket to Australia on our money:-

    Taxpayers paid for Prime Minister John Key to go to Australia to see the Warriors thrashed in last year’s NRL final.

    While Mr Key’s overseas travel costs are understandably larger than most MPs, the NRL trip is the only one of Mr Key’s which was not an “official visit”.

    But the really worrying thing is this bit:-

    Free Rugby World Cup tickets – at prices beyond the reach of many Kiwi families – were dished out to 50 MPs by a range of generous corporate hosts including Sky City, Fonterra and a bunch of banks.

    What, exactly, are the corporations hoping to buy with such largess?

    • Murray Olsen 13.1

      You think they’re only hoping to buy? I’d say they’re pretty sure of a return.

  14. Vicky32 14

    Oh I’ve heard it all! TV3 reporters swanning around London, running after Elliott Turner’s parents, yelling questions and self-righteous abuse…
    Correct me if I am wrong, but there’s some doubt as to whether she even was murdered, right? The coverage here has been very one-sided, and from what I have seen and heard on the BBC, it’s not the huge deal in the UK that TV3 girl just claimed…in fact I’ve not heard a word about it on the World Service.
    Now, 3 News strikes again, with Shonkey enjoying screaming about Labour MPs getting rugby tickets from SKY TV… John Key grinning ear to ear about it, even though twice as many National MPs took tickets.
     

    • rosy 14.1

      It is big news – it was front page yesterday. (Today it’s another young girl murdered by her parents on the front page). There doesn’t appear to be any doubt that Emily Longley was murdered by her classically narcissist boyfriend and the parents helped cover for him. Of course the coverage is OTT and sensationalist but girls need to know about men like this.

      • Vicky32 14.1.1

        It is big news – it was front page yesterday

        Oh, I didn’t know that (I rely on the World Service). I have just been put off by the TV coverage here – so one-eyed that it made me sceptical. I had also heard that there was some doubt that she had been murdered, that she might have died of natural causes as was originally thought…
        It’s rather like the coverage of Wacko Jacko’s trial years ago – the media insisted poor wee Michael Jackson was just a poor misunderstood gay boy who never hurt anyone – when we all know (I hope) that he was guilty… biased coverage always makes me sceptical. 
        To be honest, New Zealand girl from comfortable background, English boy, how else would the NZ media play it?

        • Carol 14.1.1.1

          He is a rich wealthy boy, with a nasty attitude, who has thought his wealth would mean his life wouldn’t take much of a knock if he was found guilty of murder. He’s stated, before and after the killing, that when he got out of jail he’d be rich and could have his pick of women…. along with the booze, posh cars etc. I have no sympathy for the likes of him, whatever their nationality.

          http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/elliot-turner-jailed-for-16-years-for-strangling-girlfriend-emily-longley-7778331.html?origin=internalSearch

          A judge told a young man who strangled his aspiring model
          girlfriend in a jealous rage to put away thoughts of “champagne,
          Bentleys and girls” as she sentenced him to at least 16 years in jail.

          • Vicky32 14.1.1.1.1

            I don’t have any particular sympathy for him (though I do for his parents, very much!) but the more I heard about her, the less I liked her. I have known girls like her – selfish, in love with their own beauty, driving boys to distraction playing one off against another, and another…
            This shows it wasn’t all that clear cut!
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/crime/news/article.cfm?c_id=30&objectid=10802879
            Meanwhile, I am fed up with 3 News, gloating testerically about 16 Labour MPs getting rugby tickets (even though 28 National MPs did too).

            • Carol 14.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t see anything in that article that suggests she’s that sort of selfish girl. Turner’s jealously seems to have largely been unfounded – she was at home studying when he thought she was off flirting with other guys.

              Turner also has a history of stalking earlier girlfriends. I’ve seen more measured descriptions of the evidence for this than the article linked below, but the evidence was cited in court.

              http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/elliot-turner-guilty–spoilt-843276

              The 20-year-old cocaine addict believed he would be cleared and released from jail to carry on treating women as sex objects who he would then subject to campaigns of terror when they dumped him.
              […]
              And it was revealed that it is not the first time Turner has shown a violent attitude to women.

              He stalked two former girlfriends after they dumped him, threatening to kill one of them.

              He would also offer girls free coke in exchange for sex.
              […]
              Liam told how obsessive and possessive Turner vowed to suffocate ex Laura Niven, 21, if he saw her again after she broke off their four-month relationship in 2009.

              He added: “He didn’t take it at all well when they split up. One night he said that he was going to get her back into bed and stick a pillow over her face while they were having sex.

              I have no sympathy for any MPs that take such corporate gifts. It’s a practice that should end.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    A social networking tool that will change the world.

  16. logie97 18

    Fiscally neutral tax changes.

    I have probably missed it on here and other places and it has probably been said before…

    The mantra of the Prime Minister and his henchmen, to the point of nausea.

    It was predicated on one factor though. That the GST take would increase accordingly. However, while the top earners have creamed it, the economy has contracted and therefore the GST take has reduced. Therefore, no longer fiscally neutral.

    Now as English said in the house today, the public purse is not bottomless and the public service has got to get used to retrenchment. Perhaps we might start with our elected members taking some major cuts (even redundancies) and stop their rorts on living allowances etc…

  17. John72 19

    Fear grows out of the things we think; it lives in our minds.
    Compassion grows out of the things that we are, and lives in our hearts.

  18. I just got a call from a friend who had left some comments on the NZ Tourist Safety facebook page created by the family of Bradley Coker. The aim of the page is to put international pressure on NZ regarding the safety in NZ tourism.
     
    He said that when the site was first mentioned in our news and Mr Coker was on ITV breakfast telling people not to send there loved ones to NZ, he went to the site where the banner proclaims that (I think he said) around 2000 tourism had died in NZ in the (I think he said) 10 years. Of course, he refuted that as being ridiculous. His comment has been removed.
    He goes back today and see that that statistic has been removed. He then made comments that they are in fact anti-NZ because they post links to articles that put NZ in an bad light but have nothing to do with tourism or aviation.
    E.g. a link to this article on NZ’s high rate of teen suicide – apparently our teen suicide rate is linked to aviation safety regulations.
     
    Well, he went back tonight and all his comments have been deleted.

  19. Jackal 21

    Peters on propaganda

    After all why spoil a good story with the facts?

  20. HSiu 23

    Anyone know what’s going on with Cam Slater (aka WhaleOil) and Debbie Brown?

  21. John72 24

    That best portion of a good man’s life.
    His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.
    ( q. Wordsworth.)

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