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Open mike 25/11/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 25th, 2012 - 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 25/11/2012”

  1. Jenny 1

    Is this justice?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7994187/AMI-bailout-cost-doubles

    After decades of collecting home owners earthquake levies, when the Christchurch quake struck it was found that AMI had frittered away all the money. Yet rather than being charged with fraud and all their assets seized, not only were those responsible not charged, they were left in their positions to continue collecting their hugely generous corporate salaries at the taxpayers expense while the taxpayer paid out their liabilities.

    So $Billions more for corporate welfare are paid out, incompetence and fraud are excused. Not a single director or manager appears in court, or is even charged for this massive act of fraud. They even get to keep their jobs.

    But a vulnerable sole mother who is an otherwise good and caring parent who has a useless non-contributing unemployed boyfriend move in on her and sponge off her for a few weeks, faces prison for fraud and her young children cruelly taken off her.

    In New Zealand be a rich person who has never experienced hardship – corporate crime is excused. Every mistake and act of incompetence you make is papered over and ignored or forgiven. You are left in the lap of luxury. While those facing real hardship suffer more.

    Is this justice?

    Is it fair?

    Is it even necessary?

    • tc 1.1

      Jail is where the big criminals send the little criminals and those in control make the rules to suit themselves, or don’t enforce/ mis interpret the inconvenient rules.

      Look at the recent collapse of Ross over 4 years after the GFC commenced, what oversight existed to uncover what appears to be another Ponzi scheme. Our regulators are a transparent bunch of pussies.

      Isn’t this govt meant to be fostering savings and investments by encouraging share market etc etc, what a Joke this is and it’s on you poor sucker investors.

      • LynW 1.1.1

        I agree whole heartedly Jenny. As a society we are allowing this to happen. It is very ‘sick’ indeed.

        And tc here is a repeat of post 18th Nov

        Here it is in black and white, stark evidence of NZ’s hypocritcal injustice.

        “They have the same victim – the government and society – yet one is punished much more harshly than the other,” said tax lecturer Dr Lisa Marriott of Victoria University. “The study does indicate there is a fairly serious problem there.”

        “The sentences are intended to reflect society’s views. And it seems we take a dimmer view of people on welfare – even the language is more punitive,” she said.

        Marriott found that attitudes towards tax evasion were indulgent, even occasionally admiring, while beneficiaries were considered “scroungers or cheats”.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/7965045/Courts-softer-on-criminals-wearing-suits

    • Fortran 1.2

      AMI was a Mutual – owned by the policyholders, not shareholders.
      It was not fraudulent, but suffered from what is now nicely called incompetant management, by not purchasing enough wholesale cover (reinsurance). The top executives were all “retired” as soon as the Aussies (State and NZI) took over all the non Christchurch earthquake claims policies. Cars and other houses etc throughout New Zealand – not earthquake damaged.
      AMI did not insure any businesses, only domestic policies.
      The Taxpayers have bailed out the balance of earthquake claims, above AMI’s international wholesale policies, as the financial suffering to policyholder claimants in Christchurch would have been horrendous.

      • Jenny 1.2.1

        That’s all right then. Meanwhile $billions are sucked out of government accounts, that if spent on social programs could have prevented a lot of human misery. Because of this incompetence and buck passing. Money that should go into rebuilding Christchurch on top of the insurance pay outs. Meanwhile the overpaid incompetent managers responsible for this multi $billion rip off remain – protected, untouchable.

        Maybe Fortran you might like to explain why?

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    Ouch. The truth hurts.
    Uncomfortable to watch at first b/c I hate conflict….but it turns out so does this guy.

    http://maxkeiser.com/2012/11/23/dr-norman-finkelstein-is-the-steve-jobs-of-social-justice-epic/

    .

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      :shock:

      Posted this link yesterday too, about how tenuous Israel’s existence currently is, particularly in relation to its reliance on massive imperial support from the USA.

      http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.nz/2012/11/in-twilight-of-empires.html

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        And that’s just more reason to become as self-sufficient as possible. We simply won’t have a choice in a few years as the p[resent global empire collapses.

    • Bill 2.2

      I’m sure I saw the same clip about a year back, but without the…what do you call that shit?…that fucking backing music that aspires to elicit an ‘appropriate’ emotional response from the viewer. Is it just me who gets really offended by that crap? I notice it’s used fairly extensively these days.

      This is in no way aimed at you AWW, but I wish people (those who compile these clips) would just convey the fcking imformation or show the fcking footage without attempting to layer their own ‘correct’ emotional fingerprint/filter onto it. It’s a fucking manipulative distraction – an insult that only really serves to detract from whatever is being shown/said.

      off for an angry coffee now

      • AwakeWhileWalking 2.2.1

        Yeah, totally agree. Very manipulative and pervasive.

        I dislike the music thing, but I REALLY dislike the audience approval/disapproval affecting the presentation which happens when an intelligent guest is socially isolated by the host and the audience follows, and most of all I hate laugh tracks. So much that if I catch myself watching something with a laugh track I turn it off.

        Critical thinking isn’t well catered to in the medium of film.

  3. David H 3

    Watching Shearer on the Nation, and a line got me when asked by Rachael again he denies he reads the blogs (I do wish he would make up his mind) and he says he does not know who the bloggers are. Well numbnuts I’ll tell you who the bloggers are.. They are Wait for it Yes it’s nearly here … They are the VOTERS YOU FUCKING IDIOT! And alienating them is NOT a good way to get re elected.

  4. gobsmacked 4

    Q & A has interviews with both Key and Shearer, 9 am today.

    Yesterday Shearer was on “The Nation” (TV3). Asked about shifting right/left, he replied:

    “Look, I don’t buy that left/right debate, I think it’s a phoney debate”. (verbatim quote)

    We’re told by some to stop questioning Shearer and just “rally behind” … but what are we meant to rally behind? United Future?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Blairite 3rd Way. We’ve seen this before.

    • Socialist Paddy 4.2

      This is what Shearer should have said, just replace “liberal” with “lefty”.

    • David H 4.3

      Oh that I have to watch if it’s a head to head it will be a bloodbath so I figure the Shearer ‘minders’ will veto that one. For once I think Key could relish this chance to put Shearer away, but he won’t because he is Shit Scared of Cunliffe.

      • Te Reo Putake 4.3.1

        National have a long standing strategy of not going head to head with Labour spokespeople in the media, David.

      • Chalupa Batman 4.3.2

        Yeah because he was so scared of Clark and Goff he wouldn’t face them either…oh wait hang on he did face them

        • Te Reo Putake 4.3.2.1

          You’re a bit slow on the uptake this morning, CB! Big night last night? To repeat: National have a policy of not going head to head with opposition spokespeople.

    • Dr Terry 4.4

      Blind obedience much suits many a leader, whether religious or political. Real questions are seldom invited or welcome.

  5. Draco T Bastard 6

    Can a “Dracula Strategy” Bring Trans-Pacific Partnership into the Sunlight?

    Negotiations have been cloaked in unprecedented secrecy and its proponents have mislabeled the TPP as a “free trade” agreement. In reality, the TPP is about much more than trade. It threatens a stealthy, slow-motion corporate coup d’etat, formalizing and locking in corporate rule over most aspects of our lives.

    And that is what the TPPA and all other FTAs are for. Taking our democracy and sovereignty and giving it to the corporates. So far, the politicians have been quite successful at achieving this take over for the business community but, IMO, people are starting to wake up to the fact that they’re being shafted. A few people are getting richer (the business types) and everyone else is getting poorer.

    • David H 6.1

      Yeah but as usual the secrecy has been very tight so not too many leaks (apart from the ones they want?) How can you have a free trade agreement held in secrecy? Only in the American mind can this be right. It’s like the Americans are transforming into a me culture, where like in the movies the world is run by corporations. And maybe like in the movies it will end badly.

  6. gobsmacked 7

    Watching Shearer and Key interviewed back-to-back is quite revealing. It’s no contest.

    Key bullshits fluently. Shearer doesn’t.

    Key has dozens of prepared lines, and can remember them. Shearer has about three prepared lines, and falls apart if he has to expand on them, so he just keeps repeating them (he said “move on” x 5, “making a difference” several times, etc).

    Shane Taurima is doing a good job challenging Key – but Key persists, talks over Taurima.

    In a battle of bullshit, Key will tear Shearer apart. Confident crap beats hesitant crap. All Labour can hope for is that National are so loathed by 2014 that the voters won’t care.

    Any chance Shane Taurima could be parachuted into Parliament?

    (ha ha – Key says he wants to “make a difference” too. And he’s licked his lips, just like Shearer. It’s like watching Key and sub-Key).

    Helen Kelly is fighting the good fight on the panel. Another brave soldier going into battle for a hopeless general.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Thanks for the updates gs. I see Goff has a big spread in the Herald On Sunday. Glowing references to Shearer’s ability and background story.

    • Chris 7.2

      Thank goodness! I would be very disappointed in Shearer if he WON? a crap talking contest with key.

      • Craig Glen Eden 7.2.1

        Shearer still is still talking crap Chris just not well!

        Shearer “I guarantee I will be leader in 2014″. Lol what ever.

    • Herodotus 7.3

      The holes in housing policy are starting to appear. How are we to build affordable houses? Through the ability of the govt to borrow at lower rates (5% vs 7%) and the building industry to eek savings by buying in bulk. How many pollys invest in Fletchers- this coy seems to win big time every time Lab is voted in? The more we hear of this policy the more that Labour undermines a credible policy thru lack of thought into detail – At least Key/Nats doe not suffer from this deficiency
      Every day that this property boom exists the less that there is for a CGT to collect. Think about it people.
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10849753

      • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1

        How are we to build affordable houses?

        Oh, that’s easy.

        Through the ability of the govt to borrow at lower rates (5% vs 7%) and the building industry to eek savings by buying in bulk.

        Nope, that just makes the houses more expensive as the banksters take their undeserved cut.

        The more we hear of this policy the more that Labour undermines a credible policy thru lack of thought into detail…

        True but I think Labour have very carefully thought it out. As I’ve said, the entire policy isn’t about affordable homes but getting more people borrowing and thus give an illusion of growth – an illusions that will only benefit the banksters.

        At least Key/Nats doe not suffer from this deficiency

        Actually, they do but they manage to paste over it as the MSM never ask just how Nationals policies get paid for. They just seem to accept that what National says is true – despite the evidence.

        • Herodotus 7.3.1.1

          The key/hat comment was to contain some irony, perhaps this was missed ;-)
          Perhaps all those schools mallard and parata have closed, the land could be used for HNZ developments?

    • gobsmacked 8.1

      I’m afraid my face is all palmed out.

      One week ago Shearer announced “the biggest public building programme in 50 years.”

      http://thestandard.org.nz/kiwibuild/

      Today, Shearer said … it actually isn’t.

      Is this policy anything more than a headline to save his job?

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        I don’t understand any of this. It would be cheaper for the country to borrow money on the international markets than from NZ “ma and pa” investors who would be looking for returns of around 4%-5% pa.

        Oh, unless this was a policy designed to buy the votes of ma and pa investors looking for a strong safe government guaranteed return of course…

        • Herotodus 8.1.1.1

          I wonder who was the initiator of the policy, the details tome appear to having to be thought out as we go !!!
          As Charlie Brown so famously replies ” good griefs he WOF for rentals was good , pity there is nothing for those who are unable to save a deposit and service a small mortgage of say $250 k or increase HNZ stock IMO labour is still a party buying the middle class vote at the expense I those in real need

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2

          Kiwibuild is a policy designed to get people borrowing again and to give rich pricks a government guaranteed place to put their money with a high return (in other words, protecting the rich from risk).

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.2.1

            Why borrow the money from the rich pricks though…the obvious alternative is to just tax it…cheaper and simpler.

            • halfcrown 8.1.1.2.1.1

              As usual a snippet of wisdom again, well said CV

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2.1.2

              Why borrow the money from the rich pricks though…

              There’s several parts to that:
              1.) There’s the belief that the money has to return into the economy to keep the economy moving
              2.) Because the rich pricks want a return on the money that they’ve already accumulated and don’t want to take risks like loaning it out to pretty much anyone
              3.) There’s the belief that if the government just created the money then there would be huge amounts of inflation despite the facts that the banks create huge amounts of money all the time
              4.) The belief that taxes are a dead weight loss

              Suffice to say, it’s these beliefs that are preventing the government from doing the rational thing and a) printing money as needed and b) taxing the bejeesus out of the people who accumulate money.

      • Olwyn 8.1.2

        @ Gobsmacked: Shearer’s housing talk reflects his approach to the original leadership road show. When he saw that Cunliffe was gaining more traction he spoke as if he thought much the same things as Cunliffe. Then when he won, he at once reverted to the “left and right are not meaningful terms” position.

        Cunliffe is a committed social democrat, but understands that the conditions with which he must contend are neo-liberal conditions. Shearer and the cabal who support him are committed neo-liberals who, under the Labour brand, must aim at least an occasional appeal to the left, if only to shut out other contenders. This makes a difference as to what their policies will translate into in practical terms, since neo-liberalism and social democracy present different criteria for the success or failure of a program.

        The cabal behind Shearer have shown contempt for the members’ real involvement in leadership votes by trying to ensure that there is no one to vote for that does not meet their approval. They are exactly like bosses engaged in bad faith bargaining, and have gained Matt McCarten’s approval mainly because he hopes that the alienated left will flock to Mana.

  7. Dr Terry 9

    For long I read the Sunday Herald mainly for the columns from Matt McCarten and Bernard Hickey. In recent weeks, and today in particular, my hero (Matt) has toppled. He is more totally pro-Shearer than anyone I have heard from yet (with the snide remarks about Cunliffe). I know that Matt has an illness and I hope it is not worsening; I have been hoping desperately that he would have a total remission. I am not quite clear on what he sees Shearer doing for the unions. Is Matt truly for the left, or is he just playing around with neo-liberalism. Hard to believe!

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Opening up space on the Left.

    • Rhinocrates 9.2

      I was surprised by his stance, but I wouldn’t write him off for disagreeing on one issue, even a major one. Even Isaac Newton had his foibles – all that time spent on alchemy and so – but he did invent the cat flap and deserves credit for that.

    • just saying 9.3

      With the greatest of respect Dr Terry,
      I don’t know about McCarten, but I know and have known others with serious illnesses who resent/ed others attributing any opposing opinions from them to their somehow no longer being in command of their faculties due to illness. ( It can become a very convenient tactic within families)

      I completely disagree with McCarten. It seems to me that the intensity of his animus toward Cunliffe has coloured his interpretation of of the events and emergent gossip.

      • Dr Terry 9.3.1

        Just saying. You make a fair point. I did not mean to imply that Matt’s faculties are weakened by illness and apologise for giving that impression. I am deeply concerned for him as a good man, and I did state that I long for remission.

        It is just that I am so surprised at what, on the surface, looks like such a change in stance. However, it is so true that we human beings are complex creatures! I know that I often contradict myself!!

    • Bill 9.4

      Matt is first and foremost for Matt. Always has been and always will be. Why would he want an articulate and left leaning Labour caucus when that would potentially take votes away from Mana? And you ain’t allowed to propose the bloody obvious argument that a more left leaning parliamentary bloc would ease the passage of left leaning policies. Anything that would diminish Matt’s profile and/or Mana’s platform is bad.

      • just saying 9.4.1

        Harsh.

        • Anne 9.4.1.1

          But probably true.

          • Jim Nald 9.4.1.1.1

            Harsh but true is correct.

            Matt’s record, if people can recall, going back to the McCarten-Harre-Willie Jackson walk-out while their party was in power and coalition, is not great and is better remembered not by success but by contention and implosion.

            • McFlock 9.4.1.1.1.1

              When was that? 
              When the caucus leader arbitrarily overwrote a firm pacifist/anti-imperialist policy to jump on the post-911 bandwagon? And I seem to recall they stayed in the party, and Laila H made a solid effort to gain Waitakere and thereby keep the Alliance in parliament (a bit difficult to keep 5% when your leader has spent a year or so shitting on his current party before splitting to form his own little fan club).
                   
              There was a lot of friction between membership and Anderton, as I recall, and supporting the Clark military deployment to Afghanistan was the last straw. McCarten & co might have much to answer for, but the Alliance split certainly isn’t in that basket – that was squarely Anderton.
                     
              I suppose that’s one reason I don’t really understand why people get so worked up about Shearer: he might not be brilliant, but he’s nowhere near a so-called “leader” who’s intent on burning his own party down as close to the waterline as possible before he jumps in the only lifeboat. That was Anderton, and he fucked us good. You want to know why we don’t have a decent socialist party in NZ? Kick him in the nuts.

      • NickS 9.4.2

        Hasn’t he bothered learning his history? That sort of stupid bloody petty, personality based infighting on the left has caused constant issues. Criticism of policy or political positions? Go for it, but fucking over a fellow party just to increase your own profile usually results in shooting ones self in the foot. Repeatedly.

        • just saying 9.4.2.1

          Agreed.

          Unfortunately, from my patheticly small sample of real-world left opinion, Cunliffe’s career is indeed fucked. He’s been done like a dog’s dinner, and it’s hard to see how he can be sufficiently rehabilitated in time to be leader in 2014 (although I think the election will come before that). People who used to have time for his postition have only the msm lining up to say that he’s scum, to judge by. Leftist party members inclusive.

          Sooooo I’m expecting It’ll be Robertson, unless someone can think of another contender with a hope in hell. Anyone?

          • Bill 9.4.2.1.1

            I dunno js. It’s the Labour Party membership that would have to be convinced that Cunliffe’s prospects are dead in the water. And if the caucus doesn’t contain anyone who could be a substitute for Cunliffe, then how can it be said he’s dog tucker? Everyone (okay, that’s an assumption – but hey) knows that Robertson is part of the ABC cabal and that he was meant to shoulder tap David Shearer a few months back.

            Do you really think the membership will accept him, thereby endorsing all this garbage and bullshit the ABCer’s have inflicted on the Labour Party this past….well, since Goff’s leadership – whenever that began? I’m not sure they will.

            • just saying 9.4.2.1.1.1

              The problem is for the ABC clique is how to get rid of Shearer without things becoming dangerously obvious. I’m picking they will wait until Shearer’s leadership becomes completely, publicly untenable (again). They wont have to intervene for this to come to pass. Meantime, Robertson works on being seen as a bridge between the two warring factions. I’m expecting him to lob a few (bare) bones in our direction between now and then, knowing we are pretty hungry, and don’t know where our next meal is coming from…

              • Bill

                The problem is for the ABC clique is how to get rid of Shearer without things becoming dangerously obvious.

                So…they block a Feb vote. Allow a Shearer led Labour to lose at the Gen Elec and look at putting Robertson in post election (having ‘done’ the numbers of course). ‘Big’ fish. Small pond.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  ‘cept ‘they’ want to win the next election. Minister’s way cooler than opposition spokesperson for all sorts of ego gratifying reasons.

                  • Bill

                    I’m sure they want to win the election. But I’m not sure they want to win the election. I reckon they are far more focussed on ruling over their fiefdom. And if it’s a diminished fiefdom, so be it. They want to rule something. Like I already commented – wee fish can get to feel like big fish in a small pond. And that, if you want to look at it all in terms of ego, really is ego at work

  8. Craig Glen Eden 10

    Shearer cant beat Key and we all know it thats why theres problems with his Leadership, it has nothing to do with Cunliffe mounting some challenge its just that Cunliffe could beat Key and Shearer can’t.

  9. PlanetOrphan 11

    Our curse “Paradox of thrift”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_thrift

  10. Rogue Trooper 12

    The Nanny slipped an implicit concession to the next Left government when A to Q; slipping Maxwell

    -Niles (not unemployable)

  11. I was surprised by Helen Kelley and Matt McCarten’s public support of Shearer,solidly
    backing him,it seems that there is a concerted effort to try and dampen down any resistance
    against Shearer.
    Shearer won the leadership by default,through the ABC’s,so far Shearer has not proved
    that he is the credible leader to win in 2014, if Helen or Matt have a reason why or know
    something we dont, then they need to let us in on the reason.
    When Clark turned her back on the people,i wrote to her and told her that she would
    have a huge defeat in 2008 if she did not listen to the people, i also let her know the people
    i am in contact with are angry that the party doesn’t care about them anymore,of course her minders would have controlled her mail,but my prediction was correct and she got dumped properly,Her tears at loosing the election annoyed me, this was the result of how the people
    felt at being ignored by her govt.
    Roll on to today with the current issues over Shearer’s leadership,the caucus is ignoring the
    wishes of the people that voted for Cunliffe in the meetings for the leadership and what those
    voters got was a two fingered salute and the caucus trampled over democracy and put in
    their own man,what a waste of time it was for those who voted and did the ground work
    to set up the meetings.
    As much as i want labour to win the next election,for the sake of the people and the country,
    I honestly can’t see Shearer leading us there,regardless of the latest media support,labour should
    by flying in the polls now, they are not, which reflects the feeling of the people,there may
    be 2-3% rise and fall in the polls ahead ,but that is not good enough and not enough to win
    in 2014.

    • Anne 13.1

      I was surprised by Helen Kelley and Matt McCarten’s public support of Shearer,solidly
      backing him,it seems that there is a concerted effort to try and dampen down any resistance
      against Shearer.

      Helen Kelly is looking to be parachuted-in to the Labour caucus at the next election? You watch the way the game is being played, then you make your choice…

      It’s already been discussed what Matt McCarten’s intentions were probably all about.

  12. Logie97 14

    Once again, the mighty All Blacks turn it on with some brilliant rugby.
    However we are already beginning to hear the apologists for Hore’s thuggery on the rugby pitch this morning …

    http://www.3news.co.nz/VIDEO-Andrew-Hore-king-hit-on-Davies-All-Blacks-V-Wales-2012/tabid/317/articleID/277987/Default.aspx

  13. Dr Terry 15

    I want to repeat that, particularly in this country, strong and justifiable self-belief is NOT weakness, it is strength (as opposed to personal popularity stakes). Merely for standing his ground and declining to be a “yes-man”, Cunliffe has been damned even by his own colleagues.

    • Crimson Nile 15.1

      An old friend in Southland made the following casual observation today: the Labour caucus has treated David Cunliffe far harsher than it’s ever treated John Key.

  14. lprent 16

    Don’t be silly. Almost every LEC already has such positions and typically also the executive committee that was in the actual resolution

  15. Tracey 17

    “It speaks of a party that is out of touch with mainstream New Zealand.” whereas a journalist for th herald is immersed in the reality of “mainstream” new zealand whatever the heck illlusion THAT is.

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