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The Standard

Open mike 25/02/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 25th, 2010 - 18 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

18 comments on “Open mike 25/02/2010”

  1. Jenny 1

    “Right now there’s a revolution in local government, arguably the biggest development since the big bang of 1989.”
    Don Nicolson, president of Federated Farmers, to the Local Government New Zealand Rural and Provincial Group, 18 February 2010

    With the rise in GST to 15% tied to income tax cuts, the wealthy are succeeding, with the help of their right wing friends in parliament, to transfer the central tax burden away from themselves and onto the rest of the community.

    After this ongoing success at central government level, the battle ground for neo liberal restructuring and deregulation of the economy, is now set to move on to the local government level.

    Hoping to take the advantage of Rodney Hide’s enforced amalgamation and centralisation, of councils. Right wing business lobby group, Federated Farmers are lobbying government and the new “Super” councils themselves to be able to impose a Maggie Thatcher type poll tax, which they call a “Residents Tax”, coupled with a complete, yes complete, abolishment of property rates.

    The Fed President calls this reorganisation, part of the change in the three Fs for councils.

    “Form, Function, Funding.”

    Now that the Form and Function of councils is well under way.
    And considering the domination of new Super Councils by the Right, a fore gone conclusion, Don Nicolson says, “I do look forward to taking this third ‘F’ out of the shadows and into the light
    of day.”


    If they are successful the Feds and other right wing political lobbyists, seek to to transfer the cost of this huge rates cut for themselves and their rich business mates, by imposing a poll tax on every single adult, including pensioners and the disabled. Quoting from a speech by Federation’s President, Don Nicolson, they want a Residents Tax, “That includes beneficiaries too.”

    From Nicolson’s speech:

    “We want local government to get its tax income from every resident and not just
    those who are considered to be ‘landed’.

    The ‘landed’ should not be expected to subsidise the rest of the community as a
    result of a theoretical value placed on their property.

    Our future must be one where everyone pays for activities where everyone
    benefits equally – perhaps through a fixed charge on every adult resident.

    I believe if it looks like a tax, feels like a tax and impacts your wallet like
    a tax, then let’s stop calling it rates. Let’s call a spade a spade.

    A Residents’ Tax is our preferred outcome as it impacts 100 percent not just 64
    percent. Our starting point is that every adult should pay a Residents’ Tax.
    Handing over your hard-earned money to a local council changes the
    psychological stake you have in a community. That includes beneficiaries too.
    Building community wellbeing starts with having an investment in a place. That
    place being your community.”

    As well as a poll tax the Feds are demanding much more user pays for council services.

    The not quite overt message from Federated Farmers, is that the bulk of the urban and rural working poor are bludgers on the farm and business owners.

    As race and class are often very much intertwined you can detect the silent dog whistle behind these statements.

    Further from the Feds statement.

    “While local government has been modernised in many ways – it continues to rely
    for a large part of its income on rates based on property value. A Victorian
    notion of the landed class.

    Although councils have tools to reduce their reliance on these rates, such as
    user charges and uniform per property charges, the value of property remains
    key to allocating the cost of a council onto its community.

    Despite a growing use of targeted rates and the continued use of differentials
    by some councils, any funding system that is reliant upon property values
    places a disproportionate burden on those who either have valuable land or land
    intensive businesses.”

    • prism 1.1

      It seems that there is a desire to undermine and circumvent the established democratic processes by right wingers. Particularly came to my notice from the time of right wing Labour such as Douglas et al. Every time right wingers are elected they find a new way to strip process away from the people, and give it to this small elite band of mostly, men.
      Their accumulation of wealth, certainty that its acquisition gives them superior vision, and constant focus on gaining control over public assets to advance that vision, makes them less active citizens than crafty thieves in a position to change the laws to turn their crimes into appearing as creating public good.

      The latest ‘crime’ is calling urgency all the time on bills which mean that the policy is not properly scrutinised and analysed.
      This is really serious attack on our style of government and shows the need for some body to stop such behaviour.

      • gitmo 1.1.1

        Um China, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela………… gotta love em right wingers circumventing the democratic processes.

        Get real we haven’t had anything apart for social democrat type govts in NZ for a very very long time.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      To be honest, I don’t have a problem with everyone paying a tax (rates). Just set it at ~3% of income for every address you live at and house you own and it should be good. Prevents people who are temporarily in the doldrums from losing their homes and is likely to return more to the councils who actually need it. Council services should be free and land taxes should still exist. The deed to owning a property should become a lease.

      I’m pretty sure that the Fed Farmers will be screaming blue murder if you tried that though.

  2. Jenny 2

    Oops posted twice.

  3. prism 3

    TVs Rick Ellis says that NZs have an “almost unique appetite for local content” .
    WTF Do the USA like to watch their programs, Brits and Canadians seem to have an active film/tv business. The lack of appetite for supporting the making of our own television is a dumbing down of our country by those who only know about using the goods to make a profit. That’s not encouraging to the minority bright lights thinking and showing interesting things about us to us.
    When I was overseas in the 70s I noticed that only Switzerland mainly relied on overseas material but I think they were unique in that as in other things.

  4. prism 4

    Quote from Jenny’s blog – The ‘landed’ should not be expected to subsidise the rest of the community as a result of a theoretical value placed on their property.

    It is a fact that the value is adjusted regularly and can be questioned, and revalued, and is a fair assessment of the asset value, it isn’t some airy fairy amount not connected with reality. When you buy a property, the valuation forms the basis for the amount paid. You buy the property that is within your income level. Everybody contributes to the rating system through their habitation. Renters pay in their rent to the landlord, and the landlord pays the rates. The idea that some people are having a rates holiday is faulty and a convenient myth to gripe about. Possibly the truth is only those sleeping rough are not contributing.

    The present rating system is a good one, but needs some extra levers. Farmers tend to complain about the rates they pay. It seems the bigger they are the more complaints.

    • gitmo 4.1

      The present rating system is a bogus load of cak – increases year on year on year for little or no increase in services.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        Yeah, because guess what, things get more expensive every year to run at the same level! It’s called inflation, as well as people wanting higher wages.

        If you want your rates to be frozen, expect to receive fewer and worse services as time goes on.


        • gitmo

          I do receive fewer and worse services each year but the rates continue to increase ….. duh de duh duh !

          • Draco T Bastard

            Ever consider that that might be because the rates aren’t increasing enough to cover increasing expenses?

      • Armchair Critic 4.1.2

        Once the services currently provided by local govt. are privatised the costs will do pretty much the same thing, increasing year on year, and individuals will have even less say about the practices of their monoploy service provider.

  5. BLiP 6

    Government PR printed as fact in the New Zealand Fox News Herald

    At the top of the Government’s agenda is the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment Bill, which cuts some ACC entitlements and raises levies, although by only half the amount that would have been enforced if the legislation had not been drafted.

    No mention of the fact that the figures are bullshit and no mention of the fact that the name of the legislation has been changed so as to eliminate the words “prevention” and “rehabilitation”. Fuckers.

  6. OK, I’ll say it, I’m pissed off. Why did the Standard mangle my blog name?

    At the moment I’m working on a new look of my blog and in my search for inspiration I decided to check the code behind blogs I like and one of those blogs is the Standard. To my surprise I found a link purporting to link to my blog but when I looked for my blog in the blog roll I could not find it. What I did find was a part of my name and sure enough when I clicked it I was linked through to my blog.

    Here is a combined screen dump of both the site and the source code:

    I was a tat befuddled about this and decided to check if this was a policy of the Standard in order to perhaps better manage the blogroll size but no, every other name with the exception of the CAFCA blog had their entire name mentioned.

    Now CAFCA or watchblog – the online tool for the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa as it is officially named is generally known by its acronym so that makes sense but no other blog had their name changed or mangled beyond recognisability. So no Curmudgeon for The Irascible Curmudgeon or Idle fellow for Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, Highway one for Born on state highway one, hell even Auckland Transport blog had their whole name mentioned. Every blog except mine had their whole name mentioned and was properly linked to their blog and that is how it should be.

    So why was the name of my blog mangled to the point of being unrecognisable? I can only come up with one thing but what a childish thing that would be.

    When I started commenting on the Standard I was almost without exception ridiculed for my opinions about the events of 911 and the international banking world to which I contented John Key belonged. In fact I was almost banned for doing so and only the opinions of a few of their steady readers kept them from banning me at that time.

    Times and some of the authors have changed and I no longer am the house nutter. In fact more and more readers of the Standards seem to openly doubt the official version of the 911 events and it seems to me that with linking to my blog even with the mangled name the Standard has made a kneefall and is acknowledging the validity of my blog and that can only be a good thing.

    After all I work hard to bring alternative information to my readers and I do so with the greatest integrity and dedication. You may not like the information I gather and in fact you may think I’m nuts but there you have it. Take it or leave it and it seems the Standard (and not the Dard or the Stand) or some of it’s authors have decided to take it.

    But… and that is a big but it seems that the Standardistas (as the Standard authors point out they are a collective) do not want to wholeheartedly admit to doing so and as far as I’m concerned they are breaking a rule that I take very seriously: Thou shall not mangle another blogs name in order to have your cake and eat it too.

    In other words if my blog is worth linking to it is worth linking to with its full name. Just like every other blog the site links too. If you can’t be bothered to do so then kindly take my mangled name of you blogroll.

    Although to do so now would be incredibly petty so come on guys, I work hard for my blog so why not give me the recognition the link suggests you think I deserve.

    [lprent: I was asked to reactivate the CAFCA blog (which has been sitting on private for a long time) last friday whilst at the pub. I still haven’t plugged in the other site that was requested at the same time. At some point in the last few years I’d have turned off the site because it was moribund. There is post that I wrote last night which was telling people that I was about to do a sweep… Send me a e-mail via the contact-us page with the correct details and I’ll fix it. ]

  7. Couldn’t you have just emailed the sysop politely asking for the full name to be used instead of cut and pasting your latest lengthy, rambling and paranoid blog entry? The real error seems to me that you are in the left blogs section. Surely there must be a seperate section for moon landing denialists, flat earthers and Elvis spotters you’d be more comfortable in?

    ‘Times and some of the authors have changed and I no longer am the house nutter.’

    Don’t sell yourself short, Trav.

  8. You are correct Jenny, Certainly lets be wary of the FF . Lets remember that they have always supported low wages for people who work for them .Have supported a low mininum wage for others .With their smart accountants they have for years dodged paying their fair share of tax. I well remember one FF member boasting that”:The day I pay tax is the day I sack my accountant.”
    Yet sent his sons to state schools and used the public health system .
    They were very welll organized in the last election and were bringing their families and employees in to the booths by the hundred, Although why farm workers would vote ACT /Nat beats me.

  9. George.com 10

    The speech John Key should have delivered as his maiden speech as PM.

    “Mr Speaker, I rise today as leader of the newly elected National Government to announce that during my term as Prime Minister I will maintain an unrelenting focus on dismissing cabinet ministers…”

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