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Open mike 27/07/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 27th, 2012 - 271 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…

271 comments on “Open mike 27/07/2012”

  1. Around the world Pension funds are being exposed as underfunded and unable to cope with demand. In 2002 a Merrill Lynch investment and wealth management banker named Ira Bing took place on the first board of Guardians of a new founded Sovereign Wealth fund we now call “the Cullen fund”. he stayed on the board of the Cullen fund until 2005. According to Der Spiegel it was in 2002 especially that several investment banks started to sell their crap to sovereign wealth funds all over the world and make no mistake Merrill Lynch was one of the biggest players in that market:

    Around 2002 in particular, various investment banks offered complex financial products with which governments could push part of their liabilities into the future

    Merrill Lynch ended up putting $ 75 trillion of faulty and fraudulent Derivatives on the taxpayers of America’s shoulders. In September 2008 just before his election as New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key visited his former bosses who told him the extend of the losses.

    The last couple of weeks the news of wide spread manipulation of the LIBOR rates has appeared in the mainstream news. It appears the have been held artificially low since 2008 starving sovereign wealth funds from the interest and return on their investments.

    Our Prime Minister knows how important the LIBOR is (Our own currency is pegged at the LIBOR rate) for Pension funds and other financial institutions and we have yet to hear a single comment on the issue.

    I think its time the serious fraud squad takes a look at what is easily the most heinous financial crime against humanity ever and what role our Prime Minister is playing in the New Zealand connection.

    You think that is far fetched? The Icelandic Prime Minister who was in no way involved in any banking adventures was convicted of gross negligence in the aftermath of the Icelandic banking collapse and there is a posse out to retrieve and arrest bankers involved in the collapse and this week three Irish bankers involved in Financial scandals has been arrested.

    One banker who was once heralded as a hero for enabling the greatest bubble in Ireland, a bubble John Key has been very involved in when he moved the bonds and Derivatives department of Merrill Lynch from London to Ireland.

    I’m not joking here!
     

    • mike e 1.1

      Trav you are correct O’neill is the man every body is after formerly Irelands richest man.
      Another Merrill lynch mobster.ML conned the Irish government after the Irish govt approached
      the Merrill Lynch Mob to check their banks liquidity.
      ML shonkeys company wrote a 7 page report to the govt saying everything was fine when they knew that the major Irish banks including Anglo Irish were fucked .
      That 7 page report cost $2miilion per page and was all lies.
      ML profited by trading futures on this insider news.
      remember Shonkey used to skite about how he helped set up ML in Ireland. and it would be good if NZ did the same.
      More like how they set up Ireland and gouged their economy.
      Same Stunt he’s pulling on NZ!
      Merrill lynch heirachy should all be lynched including Con man Key!
      Merrill Lynch the most corrupt company ever!
      Now they are bankrupting the BofA!After the tax payer has bailed them out.
      Google merrill lynch scandals their are so many its hard to believe not one of them has gone to jail!

  2. Carol 2

    One banker who was once heralded as a hero for enabling the greatest bubble in Ireland, a bubble John Key has been very involved in when he moved the bonds and Derivatives department of Merrill Lynch from London to Ireland.

    eh?

  3. andy (the other one) 3

    breakfast fun, the Poms getting into Romney for his gaffs:

    #romneyshambles

  4. MrSmith 4

    Gerry Brownlee after doing nearly nothing for the people of Canterbury since the earthquakes has woken from his slumber, after the loss of a resent court case.

    So the first thing he does, is start blaming everyone else for his own incompetence, namely the insurance companies, all I can say is if EQC had been run like an insurance company, which it effectively is, then Brownlee would have been replaced over a year ago, can we have Brownlee publicly flogged every day till he starts doing his job as earthquake minister.

    • vto 4.1

      EQC have put my wife in tears over the last week, as our repair moves slowly up the list into action mode.

      EQC (and its govt owners) are a bunch of c#@!s.

      • Rosie 4.1.1

        So sorry to hear of the troubles you’ve suffered with EQC, vto and family. I often wonder how the people of CHCH get through their days sometimes. From here it looks like you’ve all been completely shafted, abandoned and left in limbo. All the spinoff effects (crime, homelessness, unemployment, viral outbreaks due to cramped cold and broken housing) of inaction must place a real burden on individuals and households. Our government should be deeply ashamed but for some reason it just feels like business as usual for them.
        I hope good things come your way soon.

        • vto 4.1.1.1

          Thanks Rosie. Yes it is a difficult place to live in but we find ways to locate the good out there. It is a volatile place with huge amounts of uncertainty. And when the financial storm finally blows across the planet I imagine we will all be kissing goodbye to any insurance monies and happenings ever finding their way here as it will all stop dead.

          The worst affected are those with the green/blue land as they have complete and utter uncertainty with nowhere to go.

          Where things get really out of hand though is when EQC and insurers start bullshitting to try and escape their clear obligations. That stuff is dishonest and appalling and loads the stress levels to overflow. If these orgnisations simply acted in a good and decent manner then we can handle most the other stuff. As always, it is deceit and dishonesty that destroys.

          • grumpy 4.1.1.1.1

            With you there vto. I was talking to a honcho at Fletchers EQR the other day who told me that 90% of information in their computers is either wrong or incomplete…….

            You, like me, will have first hand experience of that….

          • Fortran 4.1.1.1.2

            vto

            I heard the EQC publically said that they will have settled all its claims by March 2013.

    • andy (the other one) 4.2

      He is waiting for the varnish to dry on his pencil case project, then when he has a bit of time..

      Gerry’s to do List:

      Morning Tea
      Sand Pencil case
      Lunch
      Varnish Pencil case
      Ring Banksie, congrats
      Afternoon Tea
      Second Coat of Varnish on case
      Ring Bellamy’s check what is soup of the day
      Fix Christchurch

    • Murray Olsen 4.3

      I’d keep flogging him for a few months after he starts doing his job as well, just to provide extra incentive. I have the feeling that Crusher Collins might have beaten us to it, though.

  5. Carol 5

    Hmmmm… so a report says that, in NZ’s ski fields there may not be enough snow for ski-ing…. but, good news artifical snow making will be possible to compensate!

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/7358221/Snow-making-to-increase-as-climate-changes

    While economic constraints of snow making had not been assessed, discussions with the ski industry indicated the costs would not be prohibitive for the reduced snow making potential, and inferred increase in snow guns, calculated for the 2090s. That was particularly the case given the time available to adapt.

    In many cases, snow making infrastructure was considered under-utilised now as it was only needed in the first few weeks of the season, the study said.

    The authors cautioned that their snow making analysis may be overly optimistic, they had not assessed the economic or hydrological reality of making snow in the future, and the change scenario methodology they used did not make allowance for changes in extreme events.

    Aside from the economic reality, which has not been assessed, doesn’t snow-making use energy resources that might contribute to climate change, and/or may be scarce by the mid-to-late 21st century?

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      “doesn’t snow-making use energy resources that might contribute to climate change, and/or may be scarce by the mid-to-late 21st century?”

      That is true of everything industrialised society does. I would suggest that any emissions from the snow machines will be dwarfed by those from the private transport that takes people from the cities to the tops of these mountains, let alone international flights from tourists.

    • weka 5.2

      The authors cautioned that their snow making analysis may be overly optimistic, they had not assessed the economic or hydrological reality of making snow in the future, and the change scenario methodology they used did not make allowance for changes in extreme events.
       

      Good grief. I guess they mean when the Alpine Fault shifts and all the SI skifields end up falling off the mountains. Nevertheless, why didn’t they take into account peak oil? Or what will happen if CC reaches the point of catastrophic feedback loops. I can’t believe that at this point in time we are spending money researching the theoretical potential for making snow in the 2090s, when we should be researching how to transition off fossil fuels.
       
      Snow making, international travel, trips to and up the mountain, all those hotels and other infrastructure to accommodate people flying into a cold climate in a time of energy crisis. Smart.

  6. From the top of a tower of cards a man could be heard shouting, “I’m the Prime Minister, they call me John Key! For I am the Ruler of all that I see !” http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/07/john-keys-house-of-cards.html

  7. vto 7

    Wouldn’t mind throwing some 2c into the gay marriage bill debate. My own opinion is that marriage as an institution should be left as between male and female.

    This is not to deny equality. Provide absolute and equal equality. They stand beside everybody else in our lands. But the intitution of marriage as it is known in NZ is part of our heritage, part of our culture, it is highly important to society’s structure and recognised as such for its myriad features.

    Those who want to get married outside these existing bounds can form their own institution. May want to call it something like garriage, so they can get garried… (he he, just jokes), or civil union, or something else.

    Feelings out there also support this view. Leave marriage alone. Many other groups and sectors in society get their own institutions and places separate from the others in our society (surely they don’t need listing…) and it is entirely appropriate that heterosexual marriage gets / keeps its own one too.

    • I’m totally for marriage equality, I think it’s time has come. Marriage is about a commitment between two people, gays should not be excluded from that.

      And I’m pleased to see there are good prospects for this bill succeeding. It should at least pass the first reading comfortably, to be dealt with by select committee as it should be.

      Here’s a compilation of MP’s positions on marriage equality.

      • vto 7.1.1

        Any thoughts on my particular angle of the dangle there Pete? You don’t think there is a case for heterosexual marriage to have its own separate place in society, like so many others do with things important to them?

        edit: you will note that my position allows for that equality

        • Tigger 7.1.1.1

          Vto, you could have made the same arguments to keep slavery, deny women the vote or keep hitting children. ‘It’s what we’ve always done’ isn’t an argument, it’s a rationalisation.

          Can you explain how giving me and my partner the right to choose marriage will change anything?

          • Pete George 7.1.1.1.1

            Some are claiming that it would be the end of the world as we know it.

            It won’t changing anything for me at all – it will make no difference to my marital status. It simply gives an equal right and status to some who are currently exluded.

            • McFlock 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Wow.
              Pete takes a clear position, makes a coherent and relevant point with logical reasoning behind it, and doesn’t linkwhore. Me like.
                             
              And, might I add, I agree with him (but not his reasoning).
              I think it does affect me, even though I’m straight. No man is an island, and all that.

              • muzza

                Pete has taken a position on what he believes might be a popular policy, nothing more than that.

                As I said before this in a non event, smoke and mirrors bill that will add nothing of overall value to how the country is currently being run.

                Its one of those false economies which attemtps to get people to think that society is progressive, moving forward and other nice fluffy stuff, the opposite in fact true, society is regressing badly, and little will stop the decline, as people concern themselves more, with shi*t that simply does not matter in real terms.

                Again, smoke and mirrors for stupid people, which is why PG has taken a position on something for a change!

                • McFlock

                  It might be smoke and mirrors to you.
                  But to the person is on their deathbed it might mean a lot that their spouse of 30 years is allowed to make their funeral and burial arrangements (not to mention treatment decisions when they can no longer do so themselves) without being overruled by the bigoted brother who hasn’t spoken to them for 10 years.
                         
                  Or that their spouse is not escorted out of the treatment room because they don’t count as “immediate family” simply because they’re on holiday in a country that has no idea what a “civil union” is.
                           
                  But then arguing the theoretical physics of something that happened 13 years ago is much more productive than addressing the inequalities of today. /sarc

                  • Pete has taken a position on what he believes might be a popular policy, nothing more than that.

                    Again, smoke and mirrors for stupid people, which is why PG has taken a position on something for a change!

                    Bullshit allegations based on nothing but joining populist blog bitching.

                    I’ve commented and blogged on it for months. I promote discussion on the topic because I think it’s an important minority rights issue. I’ve communicated with a number of MPs on it. I’ve been compiling a register of MP opinions that has been quoted and linked to from other blogs:
                    http://yournz.org/2012/05/10/mps-on-same-sex-marriage/

                    muzza, you’ve simply joined the populist bitch brigade, you don’t agree with my position but instead of offering a decent counter argument you take the lazy option, attack the messenger.

                    Trying to dismiss this as ‘smoke and mirrors’ is an insult to those who are affected by the issue.

                    This is exactly the sort of issue that should be dealt with by MPs while in opposition. If more opposition MPs worked on things like this rather than perpetual hissy fitting and attempts at undermining then more would be achieved – and you never know, there might be less bitching on blogs.

                  • Vicky32

                    But to the person is on their deathbed it might mean a lot that their spouse of 30 years is allowed to make their funeral and burial arrangements (not to mention treatment decisions when they can no longer do so themselves) without being overruled by the bigoted brother who hasn’t spoken to them for 10 years.

                    Don’t all these things apply to civil unions already?
                    Health professionals are not idiots (I say that despite what I’ve been going through all year! :) ) and would not shuffle you out in favour of estranged family members…
                    I am with vto on this. I quote one of the lesbians who ‘married’ on the medical soap Greys Anatomy on TV last year “We’re just a couple of girls playing dress-up” – and yet she went ahead and did it anyway!
                    Why aren’t civil unions enough?

                    • marsman

                      Vicky32. Quoting lesbians on the soap Grey’s Anatomy seems a bit far fetched to back up any argument. For anyone to say ‘I can do this but I don’t want you to have that right’ sounds very suspiciously like discrimination to me.

        • Pete George 7.1.1.2

          But the intitution of marriage as it is known in NZ is part of our heritage, part of our culture

          Except that it keeps evolving and changing. The first time I got married I’d “lived together” prior even though it wasn’t the done thing then. Now it’s the norm.

          And marriage already means different things to different couples in other ways. Some see it as a religious union. Some don’t. Some have children withing a marriage. Some don’t. There are different degrees of commitment.

          I’ve chosen marriage for myself, and I think it’s proper to allow other couples who happen to be gay have that same choice.

          I think those who claim some exclusive right to their perception of marriage are being precious – and many (of a minority) are simply trying to justify being anti gay, any way.

          • weka 7.1.1.2.1

            :roll:

          • thatguynz 7.1.1.2.2

            You know Pete, like many others here I am also prone to repeated eye-rolling and teeth gnashing after reading your posts and the subsequent thread degeneration however I am also quite happy to give credit where credit is due.

            I think you did a great job of explaining your viewpoint in a largely non-inflammatory way and I applaud you.

      • James N 7.1.2

        “Its” when used as a possessive does not have an apostrophe. Neither do other possessives such as his, her, their, etc.

        “It’s” is a contraction for “it is”, the apostrophe indicates an elided letter, in this case “i”.

        “I think it’s time has come” = “I think it is time has come” (which is gibberish).

        Sorry to be a pedantic old fart, but I’ve been meaning to point this out to Pete for months.

        • Vicky32 7.1.2.1

          “Its” when used as a possessive does not have an apostrophe. Neither do other possessives such as his, her, their, etc.
          “It’s” is a contraction for “it is”, the apostrophe indicates an elided letter, in this case “i”.
          “I think it’s time has come” = “I think it is time has come” (which is gibberish).
           

          Seconded, James! (I skim his posts, I don’t read them, so I hadn’t noticed he does that, though he’s not the only one.) I am delighted to meet another pedant…

      • Murray Olsen 7.1.3

        Good on you for taking a position Pete. It’s also one I agree wholeheartedly with.

    • framu 7.2

      ” an institution should be left as between male and female.”

      why?

      religious reasons? – any religion doesnt own marriage
      cornerstone of a family? – then what about hetero couples that cant or dont want to have kids?
      culture and tradition? – sexism, racism, slavery, female circumcision, male dominance of the family etc etc? Culture and tradition, is (and should always be) a flexible thing – much like language never is static and unchanging.

      “Leave marriage alone. Many other groups and sectors in society get their own institutions and places separate from the others in our society (surely they don’t need listing…) and it is entirely appropriate that heterosexual marriage gets / keeps its own one too.”

      OK – can anyone list an institution that equates to marriage (the public and legally recognised decleration of love and commitment) that other sectors of society enjoy?

      • vto 7.2.1

        framu, and tigger above, my arguments etc for this are not well developed. I think I have explained it above. Why not let heterosexual couples have their very own form of commitment i.e. marriage.

        There are plenty of similar examples e.g. from the particular place of Maori in NZ and rights of participation in that, right down to the inability to call bubbles champagne. There is/was a Ministry of Women’s Affairs. There is a family commision thingy. There should be a children’s office of a type too.

        All I am suggesting is that we heterosexual couples have a place of our own. What is so wrong with that? Every other small sector of society cries out for recognition and position in society today, and rightly so. Let’s apply it to heterosexual marriage as well.

        Perhaps tigger and framu you could explain why it is so important to join the heterosexual marriage thing and not set up an equal but separate one of your own?

        – and regarding a comparison to slavery and child abuse, sheesh that’s a bit out there.

        • framu 7.2.1.1

          so – set up an equivilant to marriage where you have a public and legally recognised decleration of love and commitment, but call it something different?

          whats the point? – its marriage – it already exists, why reinvent the wheel because one group of society feel the own marriage?

          Why should hetero couples get to decide what defines marriage?
          Is there one good argument for why one group of society gets to write the rules for marriage and claim it as theirs and theirs alone?

          simple majority doesnt really cut it
          religion doesnt either
          nor tradition

          because they all loop back round to –

          “why should one group of society get to write the rules for marriage and claim it as theirs and theirs alone?”

          all you examples of other groups getting something special are all examples that have nothing to do with marriage – so what have they got to do with the concept of equality for all in terms of marriage?

          “- and regarding a comparison to slavery and child abuse, sheesh that’s a bit out there.”

          sorry – not out there at all – they are all examples of things that were considered culturally acceptable at some point in time – IE: culture and tradition evolve

          • vto 7.2.1.1.1

            framu, and draco below, you lot may well be right. It just sits where it sits with me at the moment. I don’t have any more arguments in support, it is kind of an instinctual gutteral thing, and those are often bent and changed over time.

            Bill below perhaps supplies a solution. There is marriage by the state and maybe that is where this situation sits. Then there could be marriage by churches and religions and other cultures and they could each have their own form, all equal of course. That way those cultures that allow more than wife (husband too?) could do their thing. Hetero churches could do their thing. The state can do its thing. And those who want nothing to do with any of it can do their thing. All equal. After all, who are we to judge if anothers ways are right or wrong (subject to some humanity basics)?

            gotta fly …

            • framu 7.2.1.1.1.1

              agree with your 2nd paragraph vto (see my reply to bill)

              which i think is all the bill will seek to do. Its about equality – not forcing churches to perform marriage services they dont want to do (as far as i can see anyway)

              please dont take my responses to you as “written in anger” – they arent. Just the main questions to those opposed as i see it :-)

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.2

          Perhaps tigger and framu you could explain why it is so important to join the heterosexual marriage thing and not set up an equal but separate one of your own?

          The funny thing is that you actually supplied that yourself:

          But the intitution of marriage as it is known in NZ is part of our heritage, part of our culture, it is highly important to society’s structure and recognised as such for its myriad features.

          You just tried to use it as exclusionary rather than having it being inclusive as it should be.

    • weka 7.3

      vto, there is a bit of a general consensus at the moment to completely ignore Pete George. Some of us are just not replying, others are posting a smiley in response to his posts. We’re hoping to curtail the disruption he causes esp in Open Mike. Feel free to join.
       
      There are lots of other people here to reply to thoughtful debate, if given the chance.

      • Bill 7.3.1

        Hmm. I’d have thought..well, this is my approach anyway…that in the case of irksome comments, then a silence or a smiley ensues. But where the comments are deemed (and this is obviously subjective) to be of a constructive, relevant, useful or neutral nature, then a reply is warrented.

        I’ve no interest in a ‘ganging up’ that would result in a self expulsion. But where a ‘community of his peers’ use mechanisms at their desposal (smileys and silence) to inform his comments so that the irksome, self obsessed or irrelevant ones become a thing of the past…well, that’s a worthwhile goal imo.

        • weka 7.3.1.1

          I know what you mean, but I don’t think it is that black and white. We’re all going to differ on what’s annoying personally. Worse, it’s the way that threads become all about Pete that is often the most disruptive, and I can see that happening before people are aware that it’s happening, and then we are back to square one. It’s not just the content of individual posts that is a problem, it’s also behaviour. Once people engage with that, it’s easy to react and for people to start in again with the Pete focus. Vicious circle. I just think it’s easier to ignore him completely for a while.
           
          Personally I can’t be bothered reading his posts and having to decide if they meet some loosely determined standard or if that particular post is likely to become the centre of thread disruption. It ruins the pleasure of the place. Maybe in a month, if we’ve had a good run of the place not being disrupted I will feel more generous. 
           
          I’m also not suggesting ganging up or self expulsion. Pete is obviously free to keep posting here. It’s not like he would be the only person posting who gets no replies, even with interesting posts.  And in time I’m sure that people would start to respond to him again, hopefully without him doing all the shit that’s been annoying people.

          • Bill 7.3.1.1.1

            And so. On other matters….. :-)

          • Kotahi Tāne Huna 7.3.1.1.2

            In the end it just makes threads a little bit more difficult to negotiate – having to scroll through the endless tedium and meaningless drivel, but I think ignoring it is the best policy too.

    • Bill 7.4

      The gay marriage debate is strange on a number of levels. I’d have thought it was up to the religion in question to decide which of their ceremonies could/would apply to any given person(s). I’m not sure why the state should have any say in such matters…ie, deciding on the legal standing of (in this case) any marriage ceremony orchestrated by a religion.

      Having said that, I’m fully aware that in the highly centralised structures of authority as we have, the authority that sees itself as the principle authority – and that is generally perceived to be the principle authority – will have any number of reasons for interjecting. (The legal implications of deciding this way or that on legitimacy being the most obvious.)

      Moving on…the fact that progressive elements in society fought and suffered for the right to determine the nature of their own relationships free from any requirements to have the relationship sanctioned by either the church or the state (the original impetus behind the term ‘free love’ before the late 60’s proclamation of ‘free love’ that might more accurately have been termed ‘free sex’) adds a peculiar contextural twist to current attempts by gays to have their marrages recognised by the church and the state.

      As a footnote, I read yesterday that Scotland has decided to recognise gay marriage against opposition from the church. The link is to one of the ‘broadsheet’s’ editorial on the matter today http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/herald-view/saying-i-do-to-gay-marriage.18244177

      • Carol 7.4.1

        Agree, Bill. I think the whole notion of marriage is a normative one that I would prefer to do without.

        However, I accept that it’s not going away any time soon, and, therefore, it should be applied to same-sex relationships as well. This gives equal standing with heterosexual ones. It’s not possible, as vto is suggesting, to have a separate but equal relationship-confirmation for same-sex couples. The heterosexual form will remain dominant and normative.

        I dislike the way marital status is used as to give married couples social standing superior to that of unmarried individuals.

        I also dislike the legacy of male dominance in marital relations, which has somewhat diminished in recent times, but still remains. (e.g. Mr, Mrs and Ms, all have different connotations with Mr still having higher status in public affairs). Actually, same-sex marriage should work in some way to further diminish male dominance in the marriage relationship.

        • Vicky32 7.4.1.1

          I dislike the way marital status is used as to give married couples social standing superior to that of unmarried individuals.

          Hey, try being a ‘spinster’, or a divorced person! 

          (e.g. Mr, Mrs and Ms, all have different connotations with Mr still having higher status in public affairs).
           

          That hasn’t been true for a very long time…

           
           
          Actually, same-sex marriage should work in some way to further diminish male dominance in the marriage relationship.
           

          I don’t see why! There’s no logic in that at all.

        • Murray Olsen 7.4.1.2

          My wife and I have the formal titles Dr and Dr. Two lesbians friends who want to marry would have the same titles. I married for purely pragmatic reasons, although love is heavily involved. My friends want to marry purely for love and can’t. Marriage as an insitution is more important to them, but they are denied it. Something is very wrong, but should be very easy to fix.

          • Carol 7.4.1.2.1

            Vicky, the gendered titles still have significant status differences, even though that has weakened somewhat in recent years. Why highlight women’s marital status and not mens?

            Why is it that people who don’t know me, insist of calling me Mrs? Not a title I like being applied to myself. When I was in hospital they put Mrs in front of my name above my bed. To me Ms has the least demeaning connotations.

            MO, I also can use the title Dr, but I only tend to use it when I think it’s relevant – e.g. for job interviews or publications related to my area of expertise. Otherwise it just isn’t relevant or, at worst, can sound somewhat pretentious to me. When in hospital there was another person in my room who could use that title. We agreed it would just confuse everyone in that medical context.

            I’m not happy with any of the available titles and prefer just to use my first name (including at work), and if pushed, in most situations continue to use Ms.

            • Murray Olsen 7.4.1.2.1.1

              The four people I mention, including myself, also only use the titles very sparingly, if ever. I’m not even sure it’s even written on my office door. As far as I can remember, I might use it for writing academic references, never for professional publications, and it gets used for/against me in promotion interviews. Otherwise, I always use my first name and last week in hospital it was written at the end of my bed. Even the 86 year old lady in the next bed used her first name.
              I suppose I wrote what I did to highlight what I see as the idiocy of any titles at all. The important part was my views on marriage.

            • Vicky32 7.4.1.2.1.2

              When I was in hospital they put Mrs in front of my name above my bed. To me Ms has the least demeaning connotations.

              It’s probably a default! When I worked for ANZ Bankcard, I’d always put Ms on the records of women who didn’t state anything, and was told off for it – and made to use Mrs as the default… When I was younger, I always used to insist on Ms, and I would end up being called Miss. Now I am old, I insist on Mrs, as I hate being first-named by strangers.. It’s business-faux-friendly, and the fakery of it gets right up my nose! It’s also a class/power thing – when my father was arrested in 1968 (firearms charges, long story) he was first-named by the filth, as a power thing. We all cringed to hear it, Dad’s humiliation was well evident – and as a working class man, he was usually first-named by everyone anyway, but this was an order of magnitude worse. He propbably had not been called Mr H., since he arrived in New Zealand, and got his first job!)
              So, when a 20-something bureaucrat says “Hello, D., who are you today?” I draw myself up to my full 1.5 metres and say “That’s Mrs K. to you, until I give you permission to first name me”. It’s not because I think that a Mrs is more important than a Miss or a Ms, it’s that first name status ought to be earned!
              In other languages and cultures, particularly French and Italian, Madame/Mademoiselle, and Signora/Signorina are titles given purely on an age basis. Although my marriage was so (thankfully) brief, if you’d have blinked you’d have missed it, I use Mrs because I am er.. mature, no, I am old!

      • framu 7.4.2

        ” I’d have thought it was up to the religion in question to decide which of their ceremonies could/would apply to any given person(s)”

        agree with that – im not big on the marriage thing myself – me and my “common law wife” just dont feel the need for it

        as far as what each church or group chooses to do – i see it very much as a “your club – your rules” scenario.

        i just dont think that any one group gets to claim the idea of marriage (and the attached legal and social implications) as their property. The performance of the service however is a different matter and as such should be left to individuals/groups to choose the parameters.

        • RedBlooded 7.4.2.1

          I agree no Church should have to perform marriages to someone they don’t want to, but from the time they refuse the first legally entitled to be married couple, they should lose tax free status and stand up for their convictions without our tax dollars.

          • Olwyn 7.4.2.1.1

            Churches already refuse legally entitled to be married people. The Catholic Church does not marry civilly divorced people for instance, or people of whom neither are Catholics. Most churches have a number of laws that do not exactly reflect civil law, but they are not in a position to punish people as civil law can. They can chuck out members, but they cannot fine or imprison them. Tennis clubs, etc, also have rules of their own, and can chuck you out if you disobey their rules, even if the disputed action was broadly legal. Or take The Standard for instance: moderators have the authority to put you in moderation if you have a go at the moderators, or try to guess people’s identities, but neither action is illegal by civil law. You are conflating different modes of authority.

          • Vicky32 7.4.2.1.2

            I agree no Church should have to perform marriages to someone they don’t want to, but from the time they refuse the first legally entitled to be married couple, they should lose tax free status and stand up for their convictions without our tax dollars.

            Vicious! Would you apply the same standards to a rugby club that refused to give a place on their team to someone too small to play?

    • Treetop 7.5

      Traditionally marriage has been between a man and a woman, I cannot see why marriage has to remain being just between a man and a woman because of always being that way.

      • Bill 7.5.1

        Has it always been that way?

        What was the legal and religious status of relationships in Greece or Rome where homo-sexuality was encouraged and to some degree venerated? What about other past cultures…one’s we like to think ‘western’ culture developed from?

        There are very definate reasons why christianity adopted the heterosexual stance given that it is based on jewish religion that was practiced by small populations…ie, not dense populations subject to over exploitation of the environment etc and therefore populations that were determined to grow/breed.

        Anyway. If the problem lies with attitudes of the medical profession and laws surrounding property rights, then shouldn’t the focus be on the medical profession and property rights?

        • McFlock 7.5.1.1

          and, of course, what about monogamy vs polygamy?
                 
          Marriage has by no means “always” been between one man and one woman. 

  8. Carol 8

    Good on Helen Kelly being immediately on to the suggestion of developing unnecessarily punitive measures to totally control and cower the work force punishing “unruly” employee behaviour. The Prof says such punishments are used in the US, implying that makes it a great thing to do:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7358937/Professor-calls-for-job-law-revamp

    Prof Harcourt, of the management school, has been comparing New Zealand’s legislation with that of the United States, and says there should be more opportunity for unpaid suspensions – of varying duration.
    [...]
    Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly, denounced his comments as “absolutely absurd” and “very destructive”.

    “It’s some sort of crime and punishment regime,” Ms Kelly said.

    She said the measures would result in a supplicant “master and servant” situation, instead of the parties involved discussing the issues maturely.

    “It’s not a school setting, they’re not children, they’re working adults.

    “Have you ever been late for work?

    “Can you imagine being labelled a criminal for it?”

    Ms Kelly said the new punishments would be misused and they were unjustified as the current system worked well.

    • North 8.1

      In Section 3 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 it states that the object of the Act is to promote good faith in employment relationships.

      At s.3(a)(ii) the Act cites “acknowledging and addressing the inherent inequality of power in employment relationships……..” as a step in achieving the good faith object.

      This is not some left wing screech. It is the law of New Zealand. The law statutorily deems that which is blindingly obvious………there is inherent inequality in power.

      Does the learned professor wish to heighten this inequality ? If he does not he should recant his blather at once. However, if his concern is to save employers some bucks he should go hard. And present as a clever idiot.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      She said the measures would result in a supplicant “master and servant” situation, instead of the parties involved discussing the issues maturely.

      Which is what some business people actually want. The Exclusive Brethren tried it a few years ago.

  9. millsy 9

    Today marks 10 years since the 2002 election in which:

    The Alliance was tipped out of Parliament (by just a handful of votes) after their stupid split (both McCarten and Anderton’s lot wanted their own way, and because of that, the only credible left-of- Labour force was destroyed – with Anderton subsuming himself into the establishment). The Alliance still exists, but is left with less than 1% of the vote. The Progressives meanwhile, disseperard with Anderton last election.

    United Future gained about 5 or 6 seats, and the balance of power. Labour’s ‘arrangement’ with them more or less shifted this country in increments to the right, with the rail buyback and WFF being really the only left wing progressive policies between 02 and 08 (interest free student loans are essentially a right wing supply side policy. It did nothing to address the issue of rising fees and the tendency for providers to offer junk courses).

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      The Alliance still exists, but is left with less than 1% of the vote.

      I’ve wondered if it would be possible to jump start the Alliance but, as I’ve failed to join them twice now because they failed to respond, I don’t think it’s possible.

      • McFlock 9.1.1

        I dunno. A few hundred thousand to get fulltime organisers for a few years would do it, I reckon. 
               
        I just don’t have the readies to do it myself. 

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1

          Even as limited as they are they should still be able to respond to someone making enquiries. Lack of response indicates that the local chapter, which is advertised on their website, doesn’t actually exist.

          • McFlock 9.1.1.1.1

            Yeah.
            or the person who the email goes to is on holiday, or no longer checks that address as often as they used to, or failed to hand it on to the next person properly, or the website it quietly bust, and so on.
                   
            ’tis a bad look, I grant you. 

          • Kay 9.1.1.1.2

            We in the Alliance are very sorry you had such trouble contacting us. Now that we are aware of the problem we are trying to get it sorted.

            We have no paid workers. It takes us a bit longer to do things than other political parties and sometimes things get missed and systems break down if people get busy at work or have other commitments.

            Our branches in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin still meet regularly. If you would like to have another go at getting in touch email me at kaysimmondsmurray@alliance.org.nz

        • Peter 9.1.1.2

          It doesn’t actually. Paying activists actually reduces their effectiveness, because they just get comfortable and complacent, and also lose creativity. It also builds a divide, making them feel to be part of the priviliged elite few in the party who are paid. Thus, they cease to identify with the members they are supposed to serve, and start to identify with their party bosses, and maybe the MPs. That’s where the rot sets in. I’ve seen it first hand in Labour.

          The trick is to reward your activists in other ways – pay them for fuel, accommodation, and give them admin support for some of their tasks. But keep their activities as voluntary.

          That strategy also means that the little money you will have will go further.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.2.1

            He didn’t say activists, he said organisers. There’s a difference.

            Thus, they cease to identify with the members they are supposed to serve, and start to identify with their party bosses,

            The party shouldn’t have “bosses” but be democratic. The members decide what to do, the organisers then organise it.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.2.1.1

              Frankly the Alliance hasn’t shown any ability to raise those kinds of funds since being kicked out of Parliament, so its just all nice theories until someone does.

    • weka 9.2

      Was really pleased to see Laila Harre joining the Greens (as staff). I hope she becomes an MP again at some point.
       
      I don’t see much point in resurrecting the Alliance when it was an alliance of parties that have moved on or disappeared. We now have the Greens and Mana, who have many good people and policies between them.

      • McFlock 9.2.1

        It started as an alliance, but then had a significant proportion of members who weren’t members of constituent parties.
               
        I was NLP, but I liked the way the Alliance was a left wing party first, narrower interests second. I believed in most of the narrow interests (possible exception being social credit :) ), but the priority was on a general left advance. 

        • weka 9.2.1.1

          Do you think there is reason to increase support for the Alliance at the expense of the Greens and Mana?
           
          I always thought that Anderton should have stuck to his guns when he retired for family reasons. He had a lot of integrity at that time. His coming back was a big mistake. If he’d stayed out of it, we would have others coming through and into their own instead of the Heroic Jim.
           

          • McFlock 9.2.1.1.1

            Neither the Greens nor Mana are broad enough in their focus to get my support, is all I know. So I’m a member of neither – hell, I’m not even a voter of either. If you regard that as “at the expense of”, rather than “complimentary to”, well – that’s the constant problem of the left. Mana doesn’t seem to have affected the Green vote too much – why would a broad-focus left wing party?
                            
                
            Tend to agree about JA, and his shafting of the Alliance for several months before the 02 election was just spiteful.
                  

            • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.1.1.1

              It’s not about taking support from other parties but getting support from those of the left who presently aren’t voting because none of the existing parties suit them.

              • + 1

                I think also it is still very early days for Mana but so far they have delivered on their promise of focusing on inequality and the suffering of those disadvantaged in our society.

              • bad12

                Don’t suit??? Don’t trust them anymore would be more like it, i can only just bring myself to vote for the Green Party after the Emissions Trading Scam,

                Look at asset sales and the recent announcement from both Shearer and Norman,after people having for months taken to the streets in protest and such protest vocally urged on by similar protest in the Parliament by both Labour and Greens we all get a kick in the nuts from both of them saying that there’s no plans to get those assets back,

                Just look at how beneficiaries are treated left and right, Mouldoon added income tax, Labour kept the income tax on the bene, Richardson/Shiply cut benefits, Labour left those cuts in place, Labour bring in working for families,the new family benefit, beneficiaries don’t qualify coz according to Labour they aint working, but according to the tax they pay they is,

                The lefts big problem is that the day after they get elected,if they wasn’t already, they suddenly get all fiscally right wing,

                When the Party’s of the Left get real and go into Government with the sole intention of taxing the National Party core vote, (top 40% of earners), for their sins, then and only then will the 1 million of registered but don’t voters show those Party’s of the left some respect,

                As it is now, the Party’s of the right KNOW that they can kick those who HAVE NOT in the guts anytime they have whim to without such financial kicking’s being reversed and until the Party’s of the Left respond in kind to those at the other end of the financial spectrum they are hardly an alternative to the present shower of you know what as far as the HAVE NOTS are concerned…

                • weka

                  As it is now, the Party’s of the right KNOW that they can kick those who HAVE NOT in the guts anytime they have whim to
                   

                  Yes, so all the more reason to vote for Labour, the Greens or Mana. I’ve never quite understood this thing of not voting for a party because they don’t do what you want. Isn’t it obvious that at this time in history we’re making the best of a bad situation? Despite all the rhetoric about Labour (and Greens) not being Left, we are still soooo much better off with them than NACT.
                   
                  The Greens have moved towards the centre from my personal politics alot, but I think this is good. If they did what I want, they wouldn’t be in parliament, let alone close to being part of a govt. It’s not THEIR responsibility to make the rest of NZ move left, it’s the responsibility of those not in the Greens. Let them move centre where they can do something, and something else will step up and hold the radical edge.
                   
                  The thing that really gets me is that NZ was gutless when it counted. We’ve had a couple of opportunities to have the Greens in govt and we wimped out. I know people who didn’t bother voting at all, or who voted Labour because they got scared of the left losing the election. We would be in a much better position now if we’d had the Greens in govt already. In that sense I can’t blame the Greens for what they are doing. They NEED votes to be able to do anything useful and if this is how they get them good on them.
                   
                   

                  • bad12

                    You only need study how Labour and National treat beneficiaries to see why there is a growing ‘registered but not voting cohort’,

                    When the best thing a beneficiary can expect from Labour is not to have their finances attacked that’s hardly motivation to vote for them is it,

                    National are the party of direct attack, Labour the party of status quo thus setting beneficiaries up for the next direct attack by National,

                    Who suffers most from National’s tax cuts for the rich by % of income, beneficiaries do,

                    Who suffers the most from National’s rack raising of excise tax on tobacco products as a % of income and as a % of users of the product in an income group, beneficiaries do,

                    Do Labour have a plan to turn National’s tax cuts round and apply them the other way,

                    If they have it’s one hell of a well kept secret…

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The Greens have moved towards the centre from my personal politics alot, but I think this is good. If they did what I want, they wouldn’t be in parliament, let alone close to being part of a govt. It’s not THEIR responsibility to make the rest of NZ move left, it’s the responsibility of those not in the Greens. Let them move centre where they can do something, and something else will step up and hold the radical edge.

                    All you’re doing there is advocating that all parties move to the right and thus ignore the growing number of people not voting because they don’t have a party of the left to vote for.

                    • weka

                      No that’s not what I’m advocating, and I don’t see the Greens positioning themselves to be part of the govt (as opposed to staying radical and out of government) as a move to the right. It’s simply being pragmatic to get some actual power to make changes. And as they do that, a space is left, on the more radical edge, for something else to appear to keep the govt and the country from going to the right more than it already is.
                       
                      What would you alternative to that be?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s simply being pragmatic to get some actual power to make changes.

                      And that is exactly how the rot sets in, and how most of our Left wing parties end up totally centrist with tendencies to pander to right leaning voters.

                    • weka

                      What would your alternative to that be?

                    • McFlock

                      Acting as an anchor that has the parliamentary support to pull labour left. Rather than moving right and hoping someone else takes your place.

                    • weka

                      Acting as an anchor that has the parliamentary support to pull labour left. Rather than moving right and hoping someone else takes your place.
                       

                      What do you mean ‘has the parliamentary support’. Do you mean having MPs but outside of govt? Because unless the Greens do what they are doing I can’t see them being part of the govt.

                    • McFlock

                      Insisting on being “part of the government” really is FPP thinking. Let 10 or 14% speak for itself, and vote on issues on a bill by bill basis, in accordance with your policy.
                           
                       

                • Murray Olsen

                  My memory is that Roger Douglas, finance minister of the first ACT government, applied income tax to benefits. Am I wrong?

                  • Vicky32

                    finance minister of the first ACT government, applied income tax to benefits. Am I wrong?

                    Someone did around then, so it was probably him. I worked for WINZ then, and it was a right pain calculating it, especially as numbers are not my strong suit!

                    • Murray Olsen

                      I remember protesting against it at the time, partially on the basis that retaxing money that came from general taxation anyway was a complete waste of time and bound to be more expensive. It may have been at the end of the Muldoon era, but I’m pretty sure it was after ACT sent around their Save the Rail campaign and a Task Force, including bright faced treasury BComs, to listen to people about benefit and pension issues. I also protested against GST at the same time, so I’m pretty sure that it was ACT that introduced it.

            • weka 9.2.1.1.1.2

              Neither the Greens nor Mana are broad enough in their focus to get my support, is all I know.
               

              Isn’t that FPP thinking McFlock? Should one party meet our political needs? Would you object to a Labour/Greens/Mana coalition govt? If not, then why not support that?
               
              Both the Greens and Mana need to grow. For the Alliance to get big enough to have any meaning, and do anything other than waste votes, they would have to take some of the support needed by those other two parties. I would rather see the Alliance join with the Greens or Mana and make the changes within those parties to broaden out their policies.

              • McFlock

                no. I’m not saying that there should be a single party that suits all people. Just that there’s no party other than the Alliance that suits me. I.e. one that doesn’t elevate a single issue above others.
                     
                We need a party that prioritises inequaity and leftist economic policies  above green/maori/religious/whatever issues. Not to replace the other parties, but to complement their skillsets and to keep asking thse questions, just as the greens point out environmental problems.
                     
                Most left parties cover most of the bases, but it’s a question of emphasis. The Maori party is a good example of why other issue parties are at risk of sacrificing the broader picture for their key interest. And nandor’s speech on why the Greens were not a left wing party and should reach out to bluegreens (a fewyears ago now, but the risk was there).
                 

                • weka

                  ” I’m not saying that there should be a single party that suits all people.”
                   
                  That’s not what I meant. I mean a single party that suits you (or any individual). I vote Green but don’t expect the Greens to do everything I want them to. That’s why I’m glad Mana are around. And that if the Greens become part of the govt, there are people outside who will try and keep them honest.
                   
                  The Greens aren’t a single issue party, and never have been. If you think they’re only about the environment you haven’t been paying attention. Likewise Mana aren’t solely about Maori. 
                   
                  The problem isn’t that the Greens aren’t radical or left enough. It’s that the voting public aren’t.

                  • McFlock

                    Name me a party that gives the same emphasis to child poverty, inequality and leftist economic policy as the Greens give to the environment.
                       
                    Lab4 went kaput partly because the rest of the party lacked the economic background and skills to say “this is shit, here’s why”. We need that skillset today.
                       
                    I never said the Greens or anyone were a one-issue party. Just that their focus of action is on, surprise surprise, green issues. We don’t have a leftwing party that gives the same focus to economic issues. I want to vote for that party . 

  10. urban rascal 10

    New Zealand’s richest:
    1 Alexander Abramov: $7b
    2 Graeme Hart: $6b
    3 Richard Chandler: $5b
    4 Julian Robertson: $3b
    5 Todd Family: $2.7b
    6= Christopher Chandler: $1.5b
    6= William (Bill) Foley: $1.5b
    8 Eamon Cleary: $1.2b
    9 Dowager Duchess Henrietta Bedford: $1b
    10 Goodman Family : $950m

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/7355530/Foreigners-invade-Rich-List

    Surely these ten could solve that little issue of 270,00 children below the poverty line…

    • Bill 10.1

      Can’t see a mere several hundred kilo’s of meat going very far among 27 000.

      On a more serious note, private charity would tend to ‘serve’ those who the donors consider to be ‘deserving’. I believe in the US there are highly competitive ‘charity dinners’ where these leaches can wave their dicks at one another. And with their conciences salved they carry on with activities that generate horrendous inequalities.

      Want to ammeliorate poverty in a capitalist context? Tax, tax and tax again.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        Want to ammeliorate poverty in a capitalist context? Tax, tax and tax again.

        Taxes should, effectively, set the maximum income allowed.

        • TheContrarian 10.1.1.1

          Set a maximum income? Why? And who decides and how do they come to the conclusion?

          • felix 10.1.1.1.1

            Why not?

            • TheContrarian 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks, that answers nothing.

              • felix

                I’m contrary like that.

                But seriously, why not? If there are people who don’t have enough of a share of our resources to live even in basic health and dignity, why should others be simultaneously allowed to hoard many times more than they can ever use?

                • Who decides how much is allowed then? And what is it based on?

                  • weka

                    Parliament? Referendum? We have people that decide shit like this all the time. Who decided that Work and Income beneficiaries are only allowed a certain income and nothing above it? Why?

                    • I’ll never agree with a maximum income. I don’t mind high tax rates sufficiently high earners nor do I mind CGT but an 100% tax on any thing over a certain amount I’ll never agree with nor understand as a viable option and just sounds like you want to dictate someone not being able to buy a brand new Ferrari because you have decided they don’t need one. 

                      But I am fascist, commie, right winger, greenie, environmentalist, leftie Nazi so it doesn’t matter what I say. 
                       

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But I am fascist, commie, right winger, greenie, environmentalist, leftie Nazi so it doesn’t matter what I say.

                      That’s what you become when you believe in delusional economics.

                    • felix

                      Contrarian, I note that you haven’t yet said anything about why you object to the concept.

                    • It is difficult to articulate why – I have been thinking how best to explain myself (to myself, even) but it’s one of those things I need conjugate on.

                      Hold please… 

                    • bad12

                      Good point, If at times of high unemployment ie: above 2% we got smart and taxed the employer class at a higher rate then both situations are (a) unlikely to occur, and (b) it wouldnt take long for employers to catch on so such occurences would be rare and for short periods,

                      Having said that though, the reality going forwards is that we, as in the State, is going to have to take responsibility for (a), the provision of State housing to all that apply based upon rental of 25% of income, and (b), not only a maximum allowable income but a minimum allowable income as well with a wide discretionary band in between these two poles…

                  • McFlock

                    Gummint.
                         
                    How many poor people are in the country and their level of hardship.
                           
                     

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Who decides how much is allowed then? And what is it based on?

                    Government decides of course.

                    As for what it is based on, I suggest a 91% income tax on every dollar over 20x the NZ median income.

                    Having said that, a capital tax is more important than an income tax.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.2

            Why a maximum income? Because the economy is limited and thus giving lots to some results in a lot of others being in poverty (what we actually see). We can’t afford the rich and, as Peak Oil progresses, we may not actually be able to afford the “middle class”* either.

            * For that I’m using a specific measure that applies ATM: the average wage or more per working individual but less than what the top 1% earn on average. And that would still catch some who are actually rich.

          • Kotahi Tāne Huna 10.1.1.1.3

            “Set a maximum income? Why?”

            The social costs of too much inequality within a society are huge. Violence, mental illness, child mortality, social mobility, etc.

        • Bored 10.1.1.2

          If we set a maximum income (by way of 100% tax bracket) we might as well get rid of private property and go to a state owned economy, centrally planned as in the ex Communist states. Great in theory but what happens is that the ability of the individual to be motivated to achieve is circumscribed by the state. If the individuals ability to advance themselves is curtailed they wont perform, innovate etc. The whole community then suffers. It is a nasty paradox, we have to allow achievement to incentivise individuals to generate benefits for all.

          There are some answers to this however: progressive tax is only one. Defining the “commons” and its corollary “private property rights” is key. The Labour Party guiding principles spell this out rather well by saying where public interests are considered more important than private interests the public interest is preferred. If we have a real issue in NZ it is that we have allowed privatisation of the commons for the benefit of the few.

          • urban rascal 10.1.1.2.1

            Went on a wikipedia mission this morning starting from Abramov.
            Found that In Russia they started having so-called National champions, vertically integrated companies in strategic sectors that are expected not only to seek profit, but also to “advance the interests of the nation”.

          • Carol 10.1.1.2.2

            If the individuals ability to advance themselves is curtailed they wont perform, innovate etc.. Evidence for this?

            As I understand it, innovation is more likely when diverse groups of people collaborate and are motivated by the enterprise and what it can achieve (not monetary reward). A good example of this is the rise of the Internet and the open source movement. For instance, Tim Berners-Lee gave away the protocols for his web browser free.

            A society focused on monetary rewards and associated wealth status is likely to de-motivate large sections of the community, and potentially innovative people.

            • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.2.2.1

              +1

              People are motivated by purpose.

            • Bored 10.1.1.2.2.2

              You are correct in all you say Carol: to explain my view the individuals actions can be both individual or within a group of individuals. The key is that the individual can see the benefit of an action to themselves personally without the benefit being taken from them coercively by an economic system (such as capitalism where the workers value is not paid in full) or state (such as a communist state demanding labour).

              The evidence for non performance and non innovation is all around us. The Japanese car industry flourished when they stopped treating workers as command driven drones and instituted shop floor involvement in improvement: the Russian peasants agricultural output fell massively when collectivisation was forced upon them.

              The best analogy to the needs of the individual to me are not contained in any political theory: the Catholic codification of the Deadly Sins and their opposite Virtues seems more appropriate in recognising the whole and the balance in humans. PS I am not religious.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The key is that the individual can see the benefit of an action to themselves personally without the benefit being taken from them coercively by an economic system (such as capitalism where the workers value is not paid in full) or state (such as a communist state demanding labour).

                Yes but what is the definition of full?
                Remember, we’re talking about capping incomes due to the simple fact that the economy is limited and so over paying people will result in poverty. To put it another way, people will still be paid for their work but there would be no possibility that they would be over paid.

                • Bored

                  Cant do a definition in full Draco: in general as stated, where I have come to is a rejection of absolutist positions (I can get very close) but a shade of grey. A monopoly on the truth I have not: like yourself however I do see reality.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Bored you are so waaaaay wrong on this.

                    Great in theory but what happens is that the ability of the individual to be motivated to achieve is circumscribed by the state. If the individuals ability to advance themselves is curtailed they wont perform, innovate etc.

                    You need to read Bunji’s reading material from

                    Sunday.http://thestandard.org.nz/sunday-reading-8/

                    Here are a few of my own examples. There are millions.

                    Many of the All Blacks most respected and best remembered players came from its amatuer era.

                    No one paid Sir Ed to climb Everest, and if they had wanted to, he would have turned them down.

                    Einstein did some of his best physics as a lowly paid patent clerk.

                    Kalashnikov designed what became the most widely used, highly produced, fantastically reliable and effective assault rifle, with no expectation that he would ever be financially rewarded or recognised for it.

                    Beethoven and Mozart did some of their best work while totally stone broke.

                    In short mate, and with the great amount of respect that I accord you, you have what motivates real human beings (but perhaps not the bankster sociopaths) 100% dead wrong.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’ll add: in the 1950’s and 1960’s, during America’s greatest industrial, technological, scientific and economic expansion, including the most rapid growth of the middle class, the top income tax rate was above 75%, and for some of the time it was as high as 91%.

                      You are so frakking wrong mate, it hurts my head.

                    • Bored

                      CV, Draco, to hurt your heads further: if I am so wrong about individual motivations why the hell are we all railing against the rich, the banksters etc? What motivates them?

                      As I said motivations are many, you are right not just monetary BUT greed and avarice certainly work for all individuals to some degree (depends just what turns their motor). If you go back to my original point it was “how do we stop individual greed privatising the commons, whilst still allowing the individual to advance themselves through a personal desire to benefit from their own actions”? Being realistic looking at those who become or remain rich I would propose that a human desire to benefit themselves individually is self evident from the existence of the rich throughout recorded history.

                      Its real even if I dont like it.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, your point seemed to be that a 100% tax bracket – say at everything over $5milp.a. – would be in the same ballpark as getting rid of all private property.
                           
                      The uber-rich might be motivated by love of money, or the power it gives them. But there intellectual pursuits and innovation are directed at getting more money, nothing more.
                               
                      Remember, we’re talking personal income. If someone wants to do an Elan Musk and innovate using massive amounts of capital into changing the world, then they can create a company to do it and sell shares in their profit-making entities to that company, or make tax-deductible donations to the charities of their choice. But why does anyone want 50 or100 times the median income? $8k shower curtains? People are hungry.

                    • Bored

                      McFlock, perhaps I did start with that contention as a lead in to the concept that individuals also have a motivation to “self benefit”, which is to be human, for better or worse. I see that in an extreme form with the uber rich. As I said I dont like it but I suspect both you and I get motivated by greed on occasion. To follow Carol, CV and Draco I agree with their contentions except that I also see our fallible human nature, coexisting. At issue for me is the balance, how we take greed and make it useful, or counter it.

                      For the record (the 7 deadly sins and virtues)…
                      lust / chastity, gluttony/ temperance, greed / charity, sloth /diligence, wrath /patience, envy / kindness, pride / humility.
                      Seems to sum up for me human motivations / balance far more than any materialist argument by Friedman or Marx. Or whether we should have no private property or no commons.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      What motivates the banksters is simple greed but that seems to be a result of sociopathy.

                      “how do we stop individual greed privatising the commons, whilst still allowing the individual to advance themselves through a personal desire to benefit from their own actions”?

                      By ensuring that they actually are so benefited, that they can see what they’ve done, how it’s benefited society, how they’ve been paid and that they’re not allowed to drop into poverty. A cap on income doesn’t prevent that. People don’t need millions of dollars of income to see that.

                      IIRC, RedLogix put up a perfect example a few weeks ago: He did some small amount of work ($600 dollars worth) that saved the company he worked for some $50k/year. Now, if we follow your idea and the idea of the sociopaths he shouldn’t have done that work for anything less than about two or three hundred thousand because there’s no doubt that the company would save that much and thus the idea was worth that much.

                      That’s the difference that we’re talking about. Enough to live a good life or so much that the community can’t afford it.

                      Another example I read of a couple of years back was the person who developed the first process to produce industrial diamonds. He spent months of his own time working on it at the company lab and after the company duly took it off him (their equipment you know and thus by law the idea and work was, somehow, theirs) and made millions they gave him a $10 gift voucher. He was, unsurprisingly, rather pissed off and told them to go fuck themselves.

                      That’s an example of someone who wasn’t properly rewarded. He probably wasn’t expecting millions but he was certainly expecting and entitled to more than $10 and a pat on the head.

                      A capitalist doesn’t want a cap on income because they don’t actually earn their wealth – they take it from others and the more people they can take from the more they income they can get. Cap incomes and the number of people they’re taking from is capped but that’s Ok as well because there’s plenty of people around who can do their job (the biggest myth around in today’s society is that there isn’t). Now, as I’ve said, administration is important and the administrators do need an income but there’s no way that they’re worth hundreds or even tens of times more than the people who are actually innovating and doing the work. The people, interestingly enough, who are more than happy to work and innovate for a few tens of thousands per year.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.2.3

            If we set a maximum income (by way of 100% tax bracket) we might as well get rid of private property and go to a state owned economy, centrally planned as in the ex Communist states.

            Nope. Getting rid of private land ownership is certainly viable but central planning is out. We’d use a democratic system to decide what we did with the resources we have available.

            Great in theory but what happens is that the ability of the individual to be motivated to achieve is circumscribed by the state. If the individuals ability to advance themselves is curtailed they wont perform, innovate etc.

            You’ve bought into the delusion pedalled by the economists.

            People tend to have ideas and to advance themselves whether they’re paid or not. It’s this propensity that has capitalists at the top as they benefit from the actions of others while paying them as little as possible. The people who are so exploited are kept away from the information that would show that they are being exploited, i/e, they don’t realise that it’s not the capitalists that’s paying them.

            You’ll also note that in today’s world innovation is very carefully curtailed through the use of patents and other artificial limitations. Limitations that, IMO, effectively legislate thought crime.

            • Bored 10.1.1.2.3.1

              Draco, as above carol said pretty much what you said about motivations. I replied to her, I dont disagree with you overall. And land should certainly be nationalised (I would pay farmers based upon soil fertility over time: $ per microbes per meter cubed etc…..)

            • TheContrarian 10.1.1.2.3.2

              “You’ve bought into the delusion pedalled by the economists.”

              Indeed, we should buy into the delusions that Draco peddles instead.  Like how NZ is a dictatorship and how hiring staff is immoral.

    • Nice! Alexander Abramov. Russian Oligarch, gangster and owner of one of the biggest private yachts. He also owns a ridiculously big mansion and is allowed to dredge up 200sq m of seabed on the northern side Helen’s bay until 2015. Just the kind of guy you want to corrupt whatever is left of a semblance of decency in any country. 

    • Bored 10.3

      The Rich List can always be looked at as “cash” value, but that is a little misleading. I don’t know how the worth is constructed but it will no doubt be cash, shares, property, investments etc. Which means that it is not as portable or convertible as cash, it is at risk of asset deflation (stock crashes etc), defaults (if cash in bank, investments etc).

      The point I am trying to make is that the worth may be quite illusionary, and subject to high levels of variation. Having said that the levels of “wealth” confer a massive amount of “power” to influence the extraction of more “wealth” from you and me. We should perhaps rename the Rich list the “Extractive Plutocratic List”.

      • Chris 10.3.1

        There was a bit of discussion about this last year as well – the main point I have about it is that it ignores loans that a lot of the people on the list will have to get to that point.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.3.2

        The point I am trying to make is that the worth may be quite illusionary,

        Considering that our entire financial system is delusionary – I’d say that there’s no may involved.

        • Bored 10.3.2.1

          No still illusionary…the Emperor is still dressed if a little threadbare…the tatters will fall to the floor as he loses weight fro internal haemoraging and they fall off…then the deluded will scream in denial.

    • felix 10.4

      “New Zealand’s richest:”

      Or as John Key calls them, “Mum and Dad investors”

    • rosy 10.5

      Funny. Overseas investors cut New Zealanders out of land and business ownership and now they’ve cut them out of the rich list.

  11. millsy 11

    Further to my post above, I wonder if McCarten will acknowledge this milestone in is HoS column this Sunday?

    • Anne 11.1

      Yes, millsy. It would be good to hear Matt’s perspective on that unfortunate split 10 years on. I would like to hear what those on the other side think now too.

      I can’t help wondering if there were some ‘outside’ destabilising elements operating around that time. Let’s face it, Labour was denied what should have been it’s natural coalition partner, the Alliance Party. A Labour/Alliance coalition (with a possible supply arrangement with the Greens) would have resulted in a very different govt. from the one one we ended up getting. Labour’s hands were effectively tied behind their backs for most of the nine years they were in power.

      I look forward to an eventual Helen Clark auto-biography. I think there could be some very surprising revelations come out of it.

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        My take at the time was that it was Anderton dictating to the party, rather than the other way around. The final straw was a party mostly of pacifists seeing its caucus rubberstamp sending combat troops to Afghanistan, but there had been some issues before that.
               
        Looking back on it, although I still hold with the tactical summary it seems to me that the Alliance was a casualty of MMP teething troubles – I think that now coalition minority parties are more comfortable expressing themselves without fear that the government will collapse. 

        • just saying 11.1.1.1

          Yes it would be good if Matt (or other insiders) would open-up about that period.

          I remember being horrified at an Alliance meeting not long after the election getting an official message from Anderton the party management saying that, in effect, Alliance policy was now government policy and we, as a party, were not allowed to publicly disagree with cabinet. There was even a snide comment that if we wanted more policy influence we’d have to get off our arses and get more votes in the next election.

          But I don’t believe Anderton ever cared about democracy. As far as he was concerned the membership were just his unwashed, unpaid, staff.

          I’ve been lukewarm about Te Mana because there have been signs of the same sort of socially conservative dictatorship in Harawira’s behaviour, and in the leadership of the website.

          edit: On second thoughts I think the memo have have been from Anderton himself.

          • bad12 11.1.1.1.1

            I genuinely like Hone and usually agree with His views and the way He expresses those views,

            But,

            Walking the talk and all that would have me NEVER considering voting for Him or Mana, Hone is another that when still in with the Maori Party fell all over Himself, saving His people so He said, to get the rack raising of the excise tax on tobacco products going on its upward spiral,

            As part of Government both Hone and the Maori Party must have been privy to the Treasury advice to the Government at the time that said very few people would be able to quit using tobacco so would be trapped paying the tax,

            As most of Hone’s people are those that figure significantly in the use of tobacco all’s Harawira achieved by supporting such rack-raising of the tax was to take the food off of the tables of His people…

          • Murray Olsen 11.1.1.1.2

            My impression was that Anderton was a populist who thought the Alliance existed for his own advancement. Anyone who didn’t toe the management line was expunged post haste. On the other hand, I see signs that Mana is opening up and certainly doesn’t exist as a propaganda vehicle for Hone Harawira. I support Mana/Greens because I think Mana would keep the Greens more Green and less blue, while the Greens would make voters who are uncomfortable about the Harawira family (understandable given Titewhai’s antics over the years) more feeling of stability.

        • bad12 11.1.1.2

          ”Looking back on it”, You may be right Mc, or, as those of us who vote left are constantly finding out, Anderton as appears does the present Labour Caucus to a great extent can see nothing wrong in ‘Roger-spit-nomics-spit…

          • McFlock 11.1.1.2.1

            Disagree about anderton and rogernomics. But it was his social conservatism that got in the way, by and large. And possibly the same sense of confidence in his own opinion that enabled him to leave labour and start afresh also meant that as far as he was concerned it was “his way or the highway”. 
                 
            Democracy is an annoyance to someone like that if suddenly people have quite strong objections to the things you choose to do. 

          • Anne 11.1.1.2.2

            Anderton as appears does the present Labour Caucus to a great extent can see nothing wrong in ‘Roger-spit-nomics-spit…

            That’s wrong bad12.

            Jim Anderton, Helen Clark and many other members of cabinet/caucus were spitting tacks over the Douglas/Prebble (and acolytes) neo-con policies but they were powerless to do anything so they shut up and waited for Lange to wake up and come to his senses. He eventually did with the famous “cup of tea”. A very senior cabinet minister of the time told me that the policy decisions and deals were done by a handful of cabinet minsters (no prizes for guessing which ones) behind closed doors and without the knowledge of the rest of cabinet. By the time they got to Monday morning cabinet meetings, they were already fait accompli. Nobody knew what the hell was going on, and anyone who dared to question the tactics pretty much was shouted down. It is to their credit though that they remained silent for the sake of the Party.

            • weka 11.1.1.2.2.1

              . It is to their credit though that they remained silent for the sake of the Party
               

              Why? What would have happened if they’d shouted back, and would that have been worse in the long term?

              • Anne

                Anticipated someone would come up with that weka.

                Its easy with the benefit of hindsight to say “Why?” But the power and influence lay in the hands of Douglas and co. at that point in time. I’m sure there would have been some ‘shouting and hollering’ going on at cabinet meetings, but that is where it had to stay. As you would know Anderton eventually walked. Helen Clark stayed and waited it out. Who won? Well, in my view Helen Clark did.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Helen Clark stayed and waited it out. Who won? Well, in my view Helen Clark did.

                  Nope, we still got the same bloody system causing the same problems.

                • weka

                  Anne, I suppose because I see that 80s Labour govt as the most damaging thing that has happened politically in this country (in my life time at least) I find it hard to see how anyone won.
                   
                  Isn’t what you described simply a short term gain of power? How did this help NZ in the long term?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    The first Labour Government did more for the people of New Zealand in 3 short years than Helen Clark’s government did in 3 full terms.

                  • Vicky32

                    Anne, I suppose because I see that 80s Labour govt as the most damaging thing that has happened politically in this country (in my life time at least)

                    Seriously? You have got to be kidding! It was the years of National afterwards that really did the damage, as my son will happily tell you. Despite his study and his qualifications, he spent most of his teens and 20s jobless, and his mother and little brother were on the bones of our ar$es trying to survive on a DPB.
                    Only when Helen Clark got back in in 1999 did we all have a prayer!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      V32: National would NEVER have been able to do those things if Labour had not OPENED THE DOOR to economic neoliberalism.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The 5th National government just continued on the path that the 4th Labour government had set. The 5th Labour government continued on the same path but with a little less radicalism involved.

            • bad12 11.1.1.2.2.2

              And when given the chance as Prime Minister to undo the damage created by Roger-spit-nomics-spit, although Clark managed to buy back the Train-set and an Airline for those on the bottom of the economic heap what did She do,

              Restore the benefits to levels pre-benefit cuts, well nah, Helen got down to creating a new family benefit and with deliberation disallowed beneficiaries the money for their kids thus intensifying their level of poverty…

            • Murray Olsen 11.1.1.2.2.3

              It is to their internal shame that they remained silent. I include Helen Clark and Phil Goff in this.

  12. Carol 12

    I support Louisa Wall’s marriage equality bill & and any campaigns supporting it. I think generally the public supports it.

    But I also think there should be more attention paid to some of the other bills drawn in the ballot. They draw attention to some important issues, and if they don’t become law, indicate a direction for future non-NAct governments:

    http://www.norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2012/07/its-all-on.html

    State-Owned Enterprises and Crown Entities (Protecting New Zealand’s Strategic Assets) Amendment Bill (Clayton Cosgrove)
    Resource Management (Restricted Duration of Certain Discharge and Coastal Permits) Amendment Bill (Catherine Delahunty)
    Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill
    Ombudsmen (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill (Shane Jones)
    Minimum Wage Amendment Bill (David Clark)

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/111693/key-will-back-early-stages-of-gay-marriage-bill

    A bill from the Labour MP David Clark, which was also drawn, would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

    The State-Owned Enterprises and Crown Entities Amendment Bill, in the name of Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove, is also heading for a vote.

    It proposes entrenching state-owned enterprises and would require a 75% majority in Parliament or a referendum in order to sell them.

    Will Dunne cop-out again and not support the SOE Bill?

  13. alex 13

    I need the help of the New Zealand blogosphere. Does anyone know of this image? It is a bust of Phil Goff, shaded in blue a la the Obama ‘Change’ image, with the text ‘I think I can’ underneath.

    I would like to use it for a university project but need permission.

  14. Colonial Viper 14

    Conditions in NZ’s major trading partners are looking much worse currently. Expect massive fall out in local financial and economic numbers around Christmas/new years time frame.

    Also my bet is that NZ migration to Oz has peaked and will now fall.

    • Enough is Enough 14.1

      Agreed

      Outside of mining Australia looks to be deep in shite. The Eastern states have been in recession for most of this year. The anti Kiwi sentiment is brewing.

      Unless you want to live in the desert driving trucks Australia is grim.

      Which isn’t good new for New Zealand. As our largest trading partner we rely on Sydney buying our shit. This storm is about to get very very very bad.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        The Eastern states have been in recession for most of this year. The anti Kiwi sentiment is brewing.

        Unless you want to live in the desert driving trucks Australia is grim.

        Perceptive of you to bring up the anti-Kiwi sentiment. Its happening in a whole lot of very subtle and not subtle ways, from what I hear. And its increasing, the tougher times get.

        As for the strength in Australian mining – that’s virtually all over. The reason being that Australian mining is a two product, two customer industry. Coal and iron ore. China and Japan. And those two countries are sliding backwards slowly but surely.

        Japan because their demographics are now irrecoverable. China because their real growth rate can no longer maintain social stability.

    • urban rascal 14.2

      Yea I think we are in for a very unstable 12 months.
      Our two biggest trading partners are losing growth. China pulls back, the aussi economy falls and we are hit by both in a double whammy.
      Worse, I can already hear the 2014 bleating from National, mandate to sell kiwirail and kiwibank.

      “we had to take far more drastic actions to divert the economy on the backs of Aussi and chinese crisises”.

      I don’t know about the migration, I almost think that leaving the country is close to ingrained in graduates after the environment of the last 5 years or so. Plus Australia might still weather the storm better than us and still have better opportunity.

      • Bored 14.2.1

        NZ is about to come off record commodity receipts because of what you mention above, not a collapse in need / want for our goods but a collapse in demand based upon their ability to pay. Our internal consumer economy is also a liability because the goods are generally imported as opposed to made here, as is the case for the support industries for our primary products. We cant afford to make them here due to cheap labour offshore, and our primary receipts wont allow us to buy as much.

        The whole scenario is not pretty because the tax take will diminish and costs go up with unemployment and diminishing profits, so we can expect to see pressure on state services and benefits: borrowing will become harder and more expensive for government.

        What it looks like to me is another cyclical market failure: we managed to fix the last failures with “growth” and came up with nice theories about “capital destruction” being really good. The reality is that the availability of cheap energy underpinned the growth of credit that built our economies on future debt.

        In future energy becomes less available, higher priced. Debt will be unsupportable and capital creation scarce. We cannot fix the whole thing in the old way, we need to transition very fast to a solid state economy that may grow and contract within known renewable resource availability and does not rely upon future growth. We need to leave the globalised “Empire” and the thinking that underpins it.

        • urban rascal 14.2.1.1

          You should be a Cunliffe Speech writer. This is a great explanation, the sooner we move away from the globalised thinking, the better

        • Fortran 14.2.1.2

          Bored

          The drought in USA is seriously critical for the world food programme as they are one of the world’s largest wheat producers, including to poorer nations via UN aid.

          It could have a positive impact on our ability to continue to supply our produce worldwide, which could be favourably priced, despite the high dollar.

        • prism 14.2.1.3

          Bored 14 2 1 I’ve just caught up with this – so well explained and with no twist and escape down a bolthole. Let’s keep thinking on this blog as little enough (except self preservation) seems to occur in that of the ones with power. And its a case of not being aware of history, and repeating it.

          I’ve just read a hopeful young adult Puffin book by Joan Lingard called Natasha’s Will which does so much for the reader, tells about the early days of Bolshevism, the conditions that fed it, the actions of the poor, how people escaped, how people died of hunger and disease, and lack of money, begging for food and help at the side of the road, and how people escaped from it who could access money and goods to sell, succeeding in getting to Paris as a family aiding each other. And it references the children’s literature of the time so very good for reading.

          Politicians and leaders looking at the world through distorted rose-coloured glasses are quite capable of leading us into this sort of mire.

          • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.3.1

            Let’s keep thinking on this blog as little enough (except self preservation) seems to occur in that of the ones with power. And its a case of not being aware of history, and repeating it.

            its not just that, its also because the ones with power in a capitalist economy are the ones with wealth. In NZ that’s people with a net worth of tens of millions, hundreds of millions and billions of dollars.

            At that level of wealth you are absolutely insulated from the economic austerity being borne by the 95%. The functions you go to, the first class flights, the six star hotels, the fine dining, never stops. When you look to invest and buy up new land and new businesses, recessions are great – you can get more for less.

            And so, the gap between perception and reality becomes larger and larger until something breaks down badly.

            • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1.3.1.1

              And once at that level of wealth in a capitalist society you effectively cannot lose. Sure, may lose a few dollars here and there but you will never, ever be subjected to the poverty and deprivation that is the norm for most of society.

              And so, the gap between perception and reality becomes larger and larger until something breaks down badly.

              As I pointed out a couple of weeks ago on the Archdruid. Once people get to that level, effectively aristocrats as Greer says, they actually start to believe that they are the structure of society. It is this belief, and it’s a delusional one, that has them telling us how the rich create jobs and wealth.

            • bad12 14.2.1.3.1.2

              And couple that with the newly installed title for the pinnacle of the ism of ‘being to big to fail’ and there is both the ability and the motive to create the recession which allows the accumulation of further assets on the cheap…

        • Bored 14.2.1.4

          Nice summary, thanks Prism.

    • lostinsuburbia 14.3

      As long as Paul Henry doesn’t come back.

      • Enough is Enough 14.3.1

        That cunt has the worst ratings in Australian tv history. he will limp back to no job in New Zealand before the Spring

        • Tiger Mountain 14.3.1.1

          watch your language dickhead

          • Enough is Enough 14.3.1.1.1

            Explain the difference between my profanity and yours other than the fact Paul Henry deserves anything and everything that is thrown at him?

            • McFlock 14.3.1.1.1.1

              It’s a level of offensiveness that goes beyond indicating extreme displeasure.
                 
              Indeed, it’s the worst word BSA could think of.
              Although the debate demands a referral to the supreme authority on the topic.
               

              • bad12

                Am on Enough’s side in this one, if the use of any of what we traditionally see as swear words is offensive then all of those words should be, are we attempting in our taking of offense here in ‘protecting the sensitivities of the fairer sex’,

                That in itself would indicate a level of sexism…

                • McFlock

                  It’s an interesting discussion, yon use of language.
                         
                  It could be that the objectification and control of women tends to revolve around things going into or coming out of their vaginas. Couple that with some good old Saxon coarse sounds, prudity about sex to ingrain the badness of the word over several hundred years, and the next thing you know the most insulting and denigrating word in the language turns out to be a key piece of anatomy that distinguishes men from women.
                       
                  Whereas “dick” is from the perspective of power, so it’s not as viscerally connected with extreme misandry as “cunt” is with misogyny. 

                  • bad12

                    Dick tho, in it’s common usage in the language is more intent upon describing stupidity of one form or another, whereas ‘prick’ another derivative of the male anatomical feature is more the descriptive of something or someone ‘underhanded’,

                    Cunt however, seems for whatever reason to have become the preserve of ‘major calamity’ whether used to describe an event or person,

                    I refuse to fall into the obvious verbal trap whereby a variation of the word usage is applied and thus another more cynical form of denigration is implied…

                    • McFlock

                      Apart from the fact that a calamity needs no prime mover – e.g. a tsunami is a calamity, tremendous bad but with no intent.
                           
                      Calling someone a c~ is very different – it is their bad intent that qualifies them as a c~, and it is by far the most extreme level of bad intent. Calling someone a prick is towards the most minor end of the scale.
                             
                      A bouncer who makes a snap judgement to order someone off-premises, not really caring who actually started it, is a bit of a “prick”.  But if he gets a mate to set you up in a fight, then claims that he didn’t see his mate hit you first, and makes sure to call the police and get you charged with assault, all just to prove to another mate that he could? In the patois of the street, he’d be a real c~.
                           
                      So why it it that a male sexual organ is a minor insult, but a female one is the most serious we have? Just coincidence? It’s my theory that laid above of the actual words, we have the context of the power issues as discussed above. The same reason that “n1gger” is at number 2 on the BSA list.

              • Enough is Enough

                Well I do fail to take into account how sensitive some people are.

                So I apologise Tiger Mountain for the offence and possible hurt I caused you when I was describing Paul Henry as something which obviously upset you. For that I am sorry.

                In my view there is no word too strong for Paul Henry.

                • McFlock

                  I agree there is no word too strong for paul henry. It was the  comparison in the opposite direction that was the problem :)

                • weka

                  Personally I’d prefer that a word for the part of the female body associated with pleasure and where most humans must travel through to enter the world, wasn’t associated with Paul Henry.
                   
                  I agree with McFlock. The use of the word cunt as an expletive is problematic because we live in a sexist and often overtly woman-hating society. It’s not a coincidence that one of the worst swear words we have is connected with women’s pleasure and abuse of women.
                   
                  There are women reclaiming the word cunt, in the same way that words like n1gger, queer and dyke have been reclaimed. To use ‘cunt’ in the way it was here undermines both that reclaiming and the general move to change cultural attitudes about women’s genitalia.
                   
                  I wasn’t offended (I like the word cunt, and please, call Paul Henry for what he is), I just found the use of the word in this context jarring.

                  • prism

                    Why not use the appropriate words for each gender? There would then be far more dicks cropping up for discussion and a lesser number of notable, cunts. I can think of a few just now. But saving the term for females beyond the pale would make sense.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, the best insult I ever heard was about Alan Bond – “unregenerate scoundrel”.
                                
                      I looked it up: something like “unredeemed by God”. The fucker is so bad that god would cover everyone else on the planet, but not him :)

                    • weka

                      I disagree prism. While Enough’s use of the word was jarring, someone saying something like Paula Bennett was a right cunt this week, while very tempting, crosses a line. As soon as you call a woman a cunt, you are deep in misogyny and there’s no easy way out.

  15. Fortran 15

    When was Abramov given permission to buy the land and build this monstrosity in Northland ?

    • Murray Olsen 15.1

      Possibly because the Regional Council up there can’t see past selling land to the obscenely rich. Maybe helicopter rides, soon to be forgotten about. Who knows? All I know is that Russian oligarchs do not tend to acquire their wealth cleanly, even less so than our own ones.

  16. Te Reo Putake 16

    It certainly pays to be in the union. Workers at 100 firms covered by the EPMU’s ‘Metals’ agreement will be getting a 2.8% wage rise this year, well above the current inflation rate, and more next year. National’s response? Remove the legislation that allows this to happen.

    From the press release:

    Workers at more than 100 engineering and manufacturing shops will have guaranteed pay rises for the next two years after EPMU members voted overwhelmingly to ratify the Metals & Manufacturing multi-employer collective agreement.
      
    The agreement provides for two pay rises of 2.8% and 2.1% over the next two years, as well as increased employment protections for casual and temp workers.
       
    “This settlement shows that despite the tough economic times, workers who belong to unions are still winning above-inflation pay increases”, says EPMU manufacturing industry organiser Louisa Jones.
       
    Ms Jones says multi-employer agreements like the Metals are a “win-win” for workers and employers, however, this is at risk from the government’s proposed employment law changes.
     
     “Multi-employer agreements like the Metals mean there are common conditions and wage increases across the industry. That means companies are free to compete on quality and productivity rather than who can pay the lowest wages.
       
    The right for workers to bargain across their industry is absolutely crucial if we’re going to build a productive, high-wage manufacturing sector in this country. Removing this right will only encourage a race to the bottom.
     
    That’s why the EPMU and other unions will be opposing the government’s plans to make it harder for workers to be part of multi-employer agreements.”
     

    • bad12 16.1

      Yeah, my point was exactly that to a neighbour of mine who just retired after 16 years with the same employer who never once deigned to pay Him above the minimum wage,

      I did get the strangest of looks when i suggested to Him that was His reward for having voted to remove compulsory union membership…

  17. Socialist Paddy 17

    What the?

    Did David Parker really say that Labour’s views on mining were close to National’s?

    Is he really in the Labour Party?

    The Greens must be grinning from ear to ear … 

    • McFlock 17.1

      That’s what happens when to tell everyone what they want to hear, instead of having policy. Other people hear what you said to keep a crowd of tory bastards happy.

    • felix 17.2

      Thing is, they’re not that close. He goes on to say

      There need to be appropriate environmental controls around risk minimisation.

      which is something National has explicitly stated is best left to the market to sort out. And also Labour rules out schedule 4 areas – that’s a fairly fucking substantial difference.

      So why is he framing it so? Just an attempt to be “business friendly”? Positioning for 2014 as “unthreatening, not that different, just a bit better”?

      • Socialist Paddy 17.2.1

        Aye Felix the framing is appalling.  He needs to realise that Labour needs to reach out to ordinary people, not the wealthy and powerful.

      • Pete George 17.2.2

        There need to be appropriate environmental controls around risk minimisation.

        which is something National has explicitly stated is best left to the market to sort out.

        Substantiate please. Otherwise I’ll assume you can’t.

        • felix 17.2.2.1

          :roll:

          • Pete George 17.2.2.1.1

            Obvious avoidance.

            National is committed to the RMA…

            Sensible management of our resources is critical to protect the environment and promote stronger economic growth, to create higher-paid jobs and build a more prosperous New Zealand.

            National is committed to the underlying principles of the Resource Management Act (RMA), including sustainable management, an effects-based approach, and community involvement in decisions on public resources.

            http://www.national.org.nz/PDF_General/Resource_Management_Policy.pdf

            … and has established the EPA….

            The Environmental Protection Authority is the government agency responsible for regulatory functions concerning New Zealand’s environmental management.

            http://www.epa.govt.nz/about-us/who-we-are/Pages/default.aspx

            Both explicitly contradict “is best left to the market to sort out”.

            • Socialist Paddy 17.2.2.1.1.1

              Yeah Pete and National want to enrich the lives of beneficiaries, improve wages and working conditions and make sure that ordinary  Kiwis no longer wish to emigrate to Australia because things in NZ are that decking good.

              Time to wake up and smell the coffee. 

              • lostinsuburbia

                Yep and I bet the Nats were stoked with the TAG report on watering down the RMA. Then there are their pro-sprawl and pro-roading policies. Hardly a party concerned about the environment or local democracy either

            • felix 17.2.2.1.1.2

              :roll: .

        • Te Reo Putake 17.2.2.2

          :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: (Just sussed the icon and I’m trying to catch up with the rest of you!)

      • weka 17.2.3

         

        “There need to be appropriate environmental controls around risk minimisation.”
         

        What does that even mean? It sounds to me like, go ahead, go after the hard to get fossil fuels, go ahead and frack, but be a bit careful. 
         
         

        • Te Reo Putake 17.2.3.1

          Yep, it’s jargon, but it does have meaning. Put simply, mining must done in a way that minimises risk. That’s pretty much how the Greens see it too, if I read Russel Norman’s comments correctly.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.3

      I’m supportive of mining – as long as it a) is environmentally sustainable and b) goes along with the developing the industry that needs that mining rather than just selling off the raw product as both National and Labour seem to want to do.

  18. weka 18

    Ok, so I’m curious. There is alot of criticism of the Labour party here, and it seems to have increased in recent times (justifiably so from what I can tell). Do any of you go the Labour party with those criticisms eg to the LP blog? What happens when you do?

    • KJT 18.1

      You get put into permanent moderation by Trevor Mallard.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.2

      Do any of you go the Labour party with those criticisms eg to the LP blog?

      Yes although not as often as I used to.

      What happens when you do?

      Hard to say. No reply doesn’t mean that I’m being ignored but their continued attempts to cater to the growth meme tends to indicate that they’re not listening.

      Labour is a party of the past along with National and Act.

  19. Vicky32 19

    At the risk of starting it all up again, I have to post this, which a friend sent me..
    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=32013
    Read it!

    • Te Reo Putake 19.1

      Makes no sense at all, that I can see. Seems to be saying that the anti-Assad forces are like the Nicaraguan contras and Assad is a closet Sandanista or some such ignorant tosh. I suspect the Centre for Research on Globalisation is just a clearing house for nutters, V.

      • Vicky32 19.1.1

        Seems to be saying that the anti-Assad forces are like the Nicaraguan contras and Assad is a closet Sandanista or some such ignorant tosh.

        Sigh. What it’s actually saying is that a real revolutionary movement would not be tolerated for one second by the USA.
        As for the second part of your assertion, well, you would say that wouldn’t you? I’ve always seen you as rather a rightist, and that comment confirms it.

        • Te Reo Putake 19.1.1.1

          So? Who says it’s a ‘real’ revolution? It’s whatever the Syrian people want it to be. At its worst, it’s hardly likely to be as bas as Assad on his best day. Just did a quick google on the CRG and yep, a Canadian right wing conspiracy theory site. Quality work, V.

          • Vicky32 19.1.1.1.1

            ust did a quick google on the CRG and yep, a Canadian right wing conspiracy theory site. Quality work, V.

            Oh that’s right, you’re the right wing nutmeg who defines anyone who criticise Saint George Bush, Lord Obama or the American heroes, as right wing, which is just bizarre.
            Grow a brain.

          • bad12 19.1.1.1.2

            the Syrian revolution is also what the House of Saud wants it to be as that wonderful model of democratic rule has been inserting fighters en masse into Syria and recently announced plans to pay wages to those fighting the Assad regime…

          • Bill 19.1.1.1.3

            “It’s whatever the Syrian people want it to be.”

            So they have bastards with guns to the right of them. Bastards with guns to the left of them. In front of them and behind them they have, em…oh that’s right. Bastards with guns. And then there’s the bastards who plant bombs beneath their feet and the bastards who rain shells and mortars on their heads. But if the Syrian people decide they would really rather have a jolly picnic in the sun then hey, a jolly picnic in the sun it will be?!

            Call me unrealistic, but it seems to me that last people in a position to determine what is going on are the Syrian people. One (or more) of those factions of bastards in cahoots with whichever backers they have are the ones in the position to say what is and will be.

  20. seeker 20

    Save the Arctic -Save the planet Alert

    SHELL is about to drill in the Artic, heaven help us!

    “The biggest company in the world is days away from drilling for oil in the Arctic, a breeding ground for whales and polar bears. The US Environmental Protection Agency can stop them, but it’s up to us to demand they do and save the Arctic now.

    
 Head of the Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Jackson, can right now withdraw Shell’s Arctic permit.”

    Please use the link and add your voice to a global plea –

    http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_arctic/?bfpzidb&v=16586

  21. prism 21

    Listening to David Carter saying firmly and confidently that he respects farmers ability to understand the Fonterra TAF implications (Trading Amongst Farmers) is laughable to anyone who follows the perfidious politician. When pollies start praising the wisdom of some group, they’re applying soft soap so they can ease their way into some policy deal that’s open to question.

    The mere fact that farmers have $millions in assets and earnings makes them worthy captures, and men who have studied how to get money out of people soon work out some instrument to do it. If you are poor it is a simple straightforward dream machine – the pokie bringing the noise of spilling coins and buying power. If you are a wealthy the instruments are legal ones, such as derivatives etc.

    Just as doors can be opened by crooks using the thickness of a credit card, the barriers to getting into a good, worthwhile co-operative business like Fonterra making good profits, will be broached by the initially small entry of the voyeur financial predators. The modern Ron Brierleys etc.

    • bad12 21.1

      Well Slippery the Prime Minister did say that He would hate to see farmers as tenants on their own land,

      which means to the dairy farmers exactly the same as the Slippery one saying prior to the 2008 election ”National won’t be raising GST”…

      • Murray Olsen 21.1.1

        How can you be a tenant on your own land, unless you rent it off a blind trust or something? Does he mean he’d rather see them as tenants on his land? I could believe that.

  22. Morrissey 22

    Classic Coronation Street lines
    Friday, July 27, 2012

    KEVIN WEBSTER: Look, it’s like… Nick Tilsley made one small mistake—

    HIS WIFE SALLY: Nick Tilsley??!!?? I hope you’re not going to compare you not being able to keep your pants on to a GAS EXPLOSION!!

  23. Colonial Viper 23

    Two or three thousand Al-Qaeda associated fighters now in Syria; est. 10,000-20,000 foreign fighters in total now operating in Syria, possibility of covert Western (German) involvement on the ground supporting these fighters

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMLlSYb2HGE&feature=g-u-u

    Some here still advocate on behalf of the Syrian “freedom fighters”; let me just say that things don’t seem all that clean cut.

  24. ak 24

    Progressive Progress PLAY OF THE WEEK!!!!!!

    Findlayson, Ryall and Key “can’t remember” own opinions on gay marriage!! Key “otherwise engaged”, Findlayson “too busy on treaty settlements”!!!

    Pix to follow.

  25. Pascal's bookie 25

    Sniff. Sniff. What is that?

    Shitfight. Incoming.

    http://m.nbr.co.nz/article/government-prepares-take-swathes-private-land-ch-p-124628

    Compensation is payable at the post-earthquake value of the land, not at the pre-earthquake value.

    • Compensation is only available for “actual loss”; CERA is not required to pay for any loss, which is insured or ought to have been insured.

    • Compensation is also not available for consequential loss from regulatory changes arising under the CER Act, loss from cancellation of resource consents, loss from cancellation of existing use rights, economic loss or loss from business interruption or any other loss that the Minister reasonably considers is unwarranted and unjustified.

  26. Pascal's bookie 26

    Colin Craig chooses not to be gay at this time. Just so as we are all clear on that particular point. I’m not saying he will choose otherwise at a later point, just that he reserves the option.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Colin-Craig-Gay-parents-not-good-role-models/tabid/1607/articleID/262919/Default.aspx#ixzz21oDeJrLh

  27. bad12 27

    Slippery little Hypocrite, the Prime Minister has said He will vote for the euthanasia legislation which proposes to give people the right to choose the point at which their life ends,

    Seems tho from the ”we are saving your life” tobacco tax rack raising that we won’t be allowed to expire in peace with a puff…

  28. lostinsuburbia 28

    Here is what poor housing policy gets you (while spending billions on sporting venues)

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-25/east-end-has-thousands-in-illegal-squalor-near-olympics.html

  29. RedBaron 29

    Could we not make the legislative definition interchangeable? Everywhere we see the word “marriage” the word “civil union” is also attached. That way couples of any persuasion can choose. Might be plenty of hetero couples who would rather have the ability to be in civil union. If you are lucky enought have a special person does it matter what it is called?

    • Vicky32 29.1

      Might be plenty of hetero couples who would rather have the ability to be in civil union

      AFAIK, most people who enter into civil unions already, are straight people! That’s what I had read anyway…

  30. RedBaron 30

    Hi V32
    Confess I may be a little muddled on all this. I’m an either/or type person and I’d be happy for all legislation to have both terms so everyone can choose. Sort of like having a drinks cabinet where you get to choose your own tipple.

    • felix 30.1

      At present, straight people can choose either marriage or civil union, whereas gay people can only opt for civil union.

      That’s kind of the point.

  31. xtasy 31

    May I just remind of a posted story a couple of days ago:
    http://thestandard.org.nz/rorts/

    Have another look, there is something very, very nasty and dirty going on within the NZ Herald!

    Misinformation and censorship, critical comments and even emails and phone calls to the editor and a well known journalist NOT followed up, replied to and NO accountability held for wrong information spread by Paula Bennett.

    That is mainstream media par excellance in this country. I suggest to all: Dig into this one, and contact your local MP or Labour or other opposition canditate to sort this lying crap out!

    Thx

  32. xtasy 32

    Liven up Nova Zelandia:

    Cannot get any more depressing and boring:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=5NNi4JIwsCo&NR=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogD8UDiMe1g&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogD8UDiMe1g&feature=related

    Wake up and create your own lives and futura for a country with prospects, rather than let yourselves be dumbed down and emotionally, psychologically, even physically get castrated by a dictatorship of kinds.

    Good Luck!

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    DimPost | 30-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • I feel sorry for Labour Party members and supporters
    I feel really sorry for the members and supporters of the Labour Party as they watch their caucus tear itself to shreds. And no matter what the outcome of the coming leadership race Labour members and supporters will be the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Ummmm, why is Auckland Transport spying on Aucklanders?
    Ummm. What? Sophisticated surveillance coming to Auckland Surveillance technology that uses high definition cameras and software that can put names to faces and owners to cars is coming to Auckland. The surveillance has the capability to also scan social media...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • It. Is. About. The. Economy. Stupid.
    Liam Dann does a good job of explaining the positive and negative issues looming for the NZ economy and as dairy prices plunge again overnight alongside a large Wall st sell off  and China Bank rumours begin, his case for the negative...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Don’t think of it as reinvading Iraq, think of it as redecorating Iraq
    I think some NZers view Iraq like an episode of The Block. Yes Iraq is the worst country on the street, but with a bit of elbow grease by our SAS and some great deals down at Bunnings, hey presto we...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Mana Maori alliance
    Most Maori you speak to on the street can’t understand why Mana movement and  Maori Party don’t combine it confuses them why Maori are divided cross benches in Parliament instead of a unified political power that represents 15% of the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Speaker leads delegation to CPA Conference
    Strengthening New Zealand’s ties with parliaments from across the world will be the focus of the upcoming delegation to the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 4-10 October and the 131st Inter-Parliamentary...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Response to Russell Brown and Tertiary Education Union
    The allegation that I have worked with others to discredit public health efforts is wrong. My public comments in relation to public health researchers have been where academics have mislead the public about official support or endorsement, and where...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • 17 jobs lost as Bridon/Cookes reaches the end of its rope
    Seventeen workers at the iconic Bridon/Cookes wire rope company in Auckland are to be made redundant as the company ceases production in New Zealand. The company has blamed the high New Zealand dollar for making it uncompetitive to keep the...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Slip in University Rankings – Funding Not the Problem
    Responding to the slippage of New Zealand universities' rankings , Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Time to rethink police chases, says safety campaigner
    Police chases are dangerous and generally unnecessary, says the American Federal Bureau of Investigation....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Robertson now expected to be Labour leader by Xmas
    Grant Robertson is now overwhelmingly picked to become the next leader of the Labour Party by the end of the year, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Another potential Labour...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Documenting historic Māori land law cases for the first time
    A new book from Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law will continue to put the spotlight on Māori Land Law judgments which have never before been published....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • ‘Oily’ people greet Petroleum Summit diners
    Greenpeace activists smeared in fake oil have greeted guests arriving at the part-Statoil sponsored Petroleum Summit dinner this evening....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Key Decisions Made About Labour’s Leadership Election
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has made the key decisions about the timetable and process around the election of Labour’s Party Leader. The result will be announced on Tuesday 18th November, following a comprehensive and extensive process unique...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Suspected $6 Million Dollar Wananga Fraud Alarming
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on on the Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi to front up over claims the Wananga has pocketed government overpayments amounting to $6 million of taxpayers' money. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Submissions sought on herbicide for weed control in maize
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a herbicide to improve broadleaf weed control in maize. The substance CADET contains 100g fluthiacet-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate and would contain a new active ingredient...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line
    Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line TV personality Jesse Mulligan will live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line this October in order to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Mulligan will survive on $2.25 for his food from October...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn?
    Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn? - Sue Bradford, Russell Brown & Kirk Serpes discuss....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change
    Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change at launch of Pacific environment report...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages
    The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Police remove banner at Statoil Offices in Wellington
    Oil Free Wellington hung a banner at 9:30 this morning at the Statoil office headquarters in Wellington as the Petroleum Summit opened in Auckland. The banner, which read 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil', has now been removed...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Mixed massages raise concerns
    Mixed massages raise concerns for Te Taumata Kaumatua Ngapuhi nui tonu, and Te Wakaminenga O nga Hapu Ngapuhi....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • An open letter to the Prime Minister
    in which Transparency International New Zealand asks the Prime Minister to ensure integrity underpins all work he leads "in the best interests of all New Zealanders"...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Paula Bennett ‘great work’ acknowledged – McVicar
    “Paula Bennett, as Minister of Social Development, has contributed significantly in lowering our crime rate and preventing further victims.” - McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Key’s Restraint in Propping up ACT Welcomed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the announcement that ACT MP David Seymour will not be appointed as a Minister....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
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