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Open mike 29/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 29th, 2012 - 200 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…

200 comments on “Open mike 29/08/2012”

  1. Bored 1

    When is Paula going to announce drug testing for corporate execs or the rest of us?

  2. Tigger 2

    Someone is having his cake and eating it…

    ‘Another Labour MP, Damien O’Connor, broke ranks with most of his caucus colleagues yesterday, suggesting Parliament should be focused on “far bigger issues” – and ACT leader John Banks made a U-turn on historical anti-gay comments to back the bill.

    Other MPs ducked for cover, refusing any comment on how they would vote.

    “We need to uphold marriage as a structure, as a construct around family life as a best intent,” Mr O’Connor said.’

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7566858/Lobbyists-gather-before-marriage-vote

    Facetious remark about how we should be worried about ‘bigger stuff’. Check. Remark that straight people should be the only ones who can marry. Check.

    Gay people have families too and we’re just as affected by life. Possibly more affected since, you know, we don’t have equal rights. And will you run that ‘bigger issues’ test over everything you want to do? Thought not.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 2.1

      I wonder when the West Coast is gong to decide they don’t want to be represented by an asshole.

      • Nick 2.1.1

        You might want to look at OConnors electorate and its people: they are those old socially conservative working Kiwis, he represents them well. The arrogance of the rest of the liberal left is that they tell these people how to think (as opposed to persuading them). And they are more interested in jobs than gay marriage, they call it priorities.

        • Carol 2.1.1.1

          Arrogance? Does that include Damien O’Connor’s daughter, too?

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/7454234/MP-and-daughter-split-over-gay-marriage

          The daughter of one of the bill’s opponents, West Coast Tasman MP Damien O’Connor, has taken to Facebook to urge him to change his mind and back Labour MP Louisa Wall’s member’s bill with his conscience vote.

          In a post on her father’s Facebook page, Bridgette O’Connor said people did not choose to be gay.

          “I hope he does vote for gay marriage as society needs to wake up and realise these are normal people who deserve the same treatment and rights as everyone else,” she said.

          “It is who they are. They cannot change this and are people like you and I. Why should they be denied the same human right everyone else is entitled to just because they love someone the same sex?”

          Mr O’Connor posted in reply that he was proud of his daughter “who thinks for herself and has a strong sense of social justice”.

          And, this is indicative of the shift towards support of marriage and sexual equality by younger generations. And here we see a glimmer of evidence that this shift is occurring even amongst young people born and bred on the West Coast.

          • Bored 2.1.1.1.1

            Lets just hope that the gay marriage bill gets passed, then we can have the rainbow faction of the Labour party get on and represent people with “musts” (such as jobs, food, housing) as opposed to “nice to haves”. I fekkin sick of factional interest groups who have “identities” hijacking the agenda away from those in real need.

            • Carol 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Really? I am a lesbian who will continue to speak out for sexual inequalities, and gender inequalities whenever there is a need.

              Do you see me spending more time on these issues than those of income/wealth inequalities, racial/ethnic inequalities etc?

              When I see comments like yours, Bored, it just feels like a continuation of the prejudices I’ve been dealing with most of my life – telling us to shut up and not mention damaging discrimination. Others (especially white males) are always more important.

              Fortunately such prejudices have eased in recent years. Unfortunately they haven’t totally disappeared.

              • Bored

                You may feel however you feel about what I said: my life experience has been one of long support for all persuasions, I have many times been arrested protesting for minority positions. Personally I don’t care if you are lesbian, martian, straight, what fekkin ever, I will come out in favour of your right to do anything which has no impact on another person. So don’t sit high and mighty just because you happen to declare you are a lesbian.

                My entire point is that I am hopping mad at factional interests groups placing priority on themselves first as opposed to those in real need. We can pass gay marriage etc in the background (and we should), children coming to school hungry is far more top of my priority.

                • Lanthanide

                  “We can pass gay marriage etc in the background (and we should), children coming to school hungry is far more top of my priority.”

                  Well Labour has had several member’s bills drawn that would help with children coming to school hungry that were voted down by the government. I’m not really sure what more you can expect them to achieve from opposition.

                • Carol

                  You can claim your egalitarian principles and activism all you want, Bored. But your final paragraph exposes an underlying belief/distortion. I am just sick of this BS line:

                  My entire point is that I am hopping mad at factional interests groups placing priority on themselves first as opposed to those in real need. We can pass gay marriage etc in the background (and we should), children coming to school hungry is far more top of my priority.

                  I’ve tried to argue it carefully many times and still people keep peddling it. If you want it to pass, why protest about it and take a slam at those of us in “identity” categories? It’s a very grudging way of saying “you can have your marriage bill.”

                  I see NO evidence that we are prioritising marriage equality over poverty, hunger, etc.

                  We can do more than one thing at once. And I do spend more time on issues of poverty, education etc.

                  And I don’t even see marriage equality getting more attention in the MSM at the moment than asset sales, poverty etc.

                  The biggest distractions in the MSM are celebrity “news”, crime stories, PM dance videos, etc. And if marriage equality was such a distraction, why did Paula Benefit and her boss feel such a need to re-hash the drug testing of beneficiaries story, to distract from the Children’s Commissioner report?

                  • Bored

                    Carol, as I said I hope to hell the bill passes (because in my “simple” world view this should not be a sectoral political issue per se, to me its basic rights of a citizen, which is why I am very much pro). I also get hopping mad when I get accused of being “against” interest groups because I happen to propose that we have bigger and more immediate fish to fry. Perhaps I am a grumpy white middle aged male who gets a little sick of being wrong to have any opinion because I am not female / gay / ethnic etc etc. At a gut level it feels to me like a lot of take and no give.

                    Coming back to OConnor at the start of the thread. There is a delicious historic irony in this for Labour: the party was born on the West Coast in the mining community, and their current MP seems to reflect the blue collar social conservatism of the area. A century later the party has morphed into a middle class dominated group of sectoral interests, whilst the socio – economic reasons for the birth of the party are returning rapidly. My original grumpy position was, “Are these conditions top priority for Labour?”

                    • Carol

                      Bored, agree on the middle-class focus of the current Labour Party, not on the “sectoral interests” bit:

                      Get used to the fact that the left is no longer dominated by heterosexual white men…. fortunately, and hopefully won’t ever return to that. For too long they were above criticism by the rest of us. It was a long struggle for women, Maori, Pasifika, Asians and LGBT people to gain acceptance and a voice in the left.

                      So now white heterosexual men come in for some criticism. Get used to it. Those of us who don’t fit into that, still-dominant, demographic also still get constantly attacked, sneered at, smeared and undermined. And I think blaming Labour’s ills on so-called “sectoral interests” is part of that. Where is the evidence for this? Their leader is a white heterosexual male. The most dominant people in the senior ranks are Robertson (yes gay, but also white and middleclass – he promotes middleclass values more than LGBT interests), Parker, Mallard. The main contender to oust Shearer is Cunliffe (white, heterosexual, middleclass, male).

                      http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6162182/Labours-new-energised-party-line-up

                      It is good to see more diversity in Labour’s ranks than used to be. The Labour problem, to me, is that they have assimilated too much middleclass-oriented, neoliberal claptrap. And in the line-up, if anything, the main problem is the dominance of white middleclass people pandering to the MSM support of the middle-classes. There is far less pandering to “identity groups”, which are being scapegoated for Labour Party failings to engage more of the lower-socio-economic strugglers.

                    • Bored

                      I think what we have established Carol is that white middle aged males are used to criticism, and that we should get used to more of it for past and current sins: so going forward what would you suggest? Do I sit back and take it, have no opinion because I am what I am?

                    • Carol

                      Bored @12.08pm

                      We are all not just totally some generalised demographic, and not answerable for everything done by others in that demographic.

                      I also am white and middle-class, and just try to listen to criticisms of those demographics and try to learn from them.

                      None of us are perfect.

                      I was mostly responding to a common line that has been perpetuated blaming identity politics (especially LGBT and Māori people, and sometimes women/feminists) for the rightward moves of the Labour Party – that doesn’t match with the evidence I have seen, and undermines the struggles of those groups.

                    • weka

                      +1

                      Best solution is to recognise white men as a sectional interest.

                • Uturn

                  Bored, you’re welcome to your view.

                  The question is though, is the ability to consider oneself a part of society a must?

                  You say basic need is purely food in mouths, shelter from rain etc, and then include jobs, which in NZ means a positive social identity as a “tax payer”. Those of an orientation other than heterosexual will always have a stumbling block (Gee, that’s too nice a way of saying it)… will always be oppressed at a point where others can naturally see no hurdles. If we use Maslow’s Hierachy of Need, a simple format, we see that equality and social belonging is 2nd or 3rd tier, barely halfway, while everyone else is franticly pushing for self actualisation – frequently percieved as a right in many circles.

                  The Labour Party once stood for everyone starting from the same point of having the basics. The emotional, physical and spiritual stress of knowing you are barely tolerated or sometimes actively despised, is not a starting place of equality for open participation in any system. I would not be so hasty to accept the idea that Labour or anyone else can supply a future anywhere near to egalitarian principles while they refuse to examine the importance of foundational issues. Sure, they can grudgingly give assent; justifying it as an irritation that distracts from more important concerns; but in doing so they demonstrate a mindset without understanding the why, that will stumble and turn at the soonest convenience.

                  • Bored

                    Uturn, my welcome view seems unwelcome: yours however I am very much in alignment with. Perhaps the heart of my discontent is that my intuition tells me that Labour don’t have the priorities they once stood for. And maybe I have not groomed a sacred cow.

            • QoT 2.1.1.1.1.2

              factional interest groups who have “identities”

              Yeah, fuck them. If they just chose to be heterosexual able-bodies white cis men they wouldn’t be suffering any discrimination in the first place!

            • fnjckg 2.1.1.1.1.3

              Amen

            • Vicky32 2.1.1.1.1.4

              I’m fekkin sick of factional interest groups who have “identities” hijacking the agenda away from those in real need.

              Seconded, thirded and fourthed! :)

               

        • fatty 2.1.1.2

          “You might want to look at OConnors electorate and its people: they are those old socially conservative working Kiwis, he represents them well.”

          Are they really? Has there been any polling on their thoughts?
          The only poll that I have seen on gay marriage gives some interesting stats…South Islanders are more in favour of gay marriage than the lower/central North Island, or upper North Island. This is different from what we are often told about rural/S.I. conservatives. I always felt that the West Coast leans more towards libertarian values, rather than conservative ones.

          http://www.researchnz.com/pdf/Media%20Releases/RNZ%20Media%20Release%20-%202011-07-12%20Same%20sex%20marriages.pdf

        • Murray Olsen 2.1.1.3

          I wonder if Damien O’Connor has bothered to find out how his electorate think, or is just pandering to the prejudice held among many liberals that working class people are homophobic? My own experiences have been that in working class and remote communities, people are accepted or not for reasons other than their sexual orientation.

        • millsy 2.1.1.4

          Good to know that people still think the State should kick down the bedroom doors of consenting adults..

    • tc 2.2

      Yes where the hell is the constant barrage over asset sales, privacy breaches and the openly corrupt 2 fingered salute this gov’t is giving to everyone but the wealthy and corporate mates.

      Labour is headed toward minor party status under the mallarfia and the chats I have with folk show an unwillingness to persist with them in 2014.

      They haven’t cleaned out, they haven’t learned from their mistakes. It’s like watching a badly run business with a bunch of old farts driving it into the dust.

      • Tigger 2.2.1

        Gay marriage will create jobs through increased tourism and stimulus to the wedding industry. Convinced yet?

        • muzza 2.2.1.1

          Maybe thats Key’s plan to ressurect the tourism industry, you know to replace all those cycle way jobs!

          I think your bias might be getting in the way of rational thinking Tigger!

        • Vicky32 2.2.1.2

          Gay marriage will create jobs through increased tourism and stimulus to the wedding industry. Convinced yet?
          :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
          (Sorry, you are having a laugh aren’t you? That’s the silliest argument I’ve seen yet…)

      • Carol 2.2.2

        Yes where the hell is the constant barrage over asset sales, privacy breaches and the openly corrupt 2 fingered salute this gov’t is giving to everyone but the wealthy and corporate mates.

        Have you been paying attention?

        Labour (and other opposition parties) HAVE kept up a constant barrage – especially on poverty issues in the last few days. They don’t necessarily get cut-through to the MSM on this, but that is either the fault of the MSM or of Labour for poor strategies.

        Look at the list of recent Labour Party press releases. See any focus on marriage equality over issues of poverty, education, employment, etc?

        http://www.labour.org.nz/news

        John Key in denial over Kiwis in hardship
        David Shearer | 28 Aug 2012

        Child poverty affects kids’ learning
        Nanaia Mahuta | 28 Aug 2012

        Storm brewing for dairy sector?
        Damien O’Connor | 28 Aug 2012

        Parliament’s chance to help working poor
        David Clark | 28 Aug 2012

        No justification for mass detention Bill
        Darien Fenton | 28 Aug 2012

        Time for action on child poverty is now
        Jacinda Ardern | 28 Aug 2012

        Mighty River’s profits plunge another reason to stop sales
        Clayton Cosgrove | 28 Aug 2012

        Special School cuts short-change students
        Chris Hipkins | 27 Aug 2012

        Future of Hillside must be secured
        David ShearerClare Curran | 27 Aug 2012

        And look at the questions raised in the House. There’s been quite a few primaries and supplementaries questioning the truth of slippery John’s statements:

        http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/2/f/3/00HOH_OralQuestions-List-of-questions-for-oral-answer.htm

        http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/

        Labour can improve its strategies, and could be putting out a more consistent and more left wing narrative, in my opinion. But I see no evidence that marriage equality is the main topic of their focus.

        • tc 2.2.2.1

          I use the MSM, and talk to folk who don’t use this or the labour party, parliamentary and other purely political sources as that’s where the elections are won and lost.

          Thanks for the references but no-one out there that needs to be convinced to vote or change their vote is taking notice of those releases.

          It’s that thinking that will consign Labour to becoming a minor party.

          If a tree falls in the woods and no-one’s listening etc etc play the MSM game or perish.

          • Carol 2.2.2.1.1

            I agree that opposition parties needs to find ways to engage with more voters, or potential voters.

            However, I have some misgivings about a “play the MSM game” approach. This is what Labour/Labor parties have done in English-language countries throughout the “neoliberal”. period since the 80s This has resulted in Blairite 3rd ways and the parties moving to the right.

            The left needs strategies that change the game and set a new agenda. It’s a hard task.

            But, also, credit where it’s due. People here have been asking for quicker responses from the Labour Party & Shearer, and to counter the Key/NAct spin and damaging policies. Labour & Shearer looks to have taken this on board and are more on the ball.

            They still need to improve their strategies, but the state of our MSM does make it a hard task.

          • fatty 2.2.2.1.2

            “I use the MSM, and talk to folk who don’t use this or the labour party, parliamentary and other purely political sources as that’s where the elections are won and lost.”

            TC is right and makes a good point…votes are won and lost in a 10 second sound-bite on the 6pm news. National have been owning Labour since Key came in.
            Firstly Labour needs a leader that doesn’t say ‘um’ 4 times in every sentence, then they need to keep hammering their strategy. (maybe get a strategy first)

            “The left needs strategies that change the game and set a new agenda. It’s a hard task.”

            True, but that (and owning the 10 sec MSM sound-bite) can be done by having Cunliffe as leader…I know its been said a thousand times here, but it looks like it needs to be said another thousand times.

            • Carol 2.2.2.1.2.1

              True, but that (and owning the 10 sec MSM sound-bite) can be done by having Cunliffe as leader…I know its been said a thousand times here, but it looks like it needs to be said another thousand times.

              I am more for Cunliffe than Shearer as leader for his media performances, but also his policy direction. However, I’m not sure he will provide a complete game-changer: more a change of direction away from neoliberal/neocon dominance. I very much welcome this as a start but not a destination.

        • David H 2.2.2.2

          A real nice list Carol. Sorry but there is NO MSM outlets there at all, so in fact yiu could say there has been very little coverage. because most people don’t see sites like these listed as they are not main stream sites.

          It’s like Key calling Metiria Turei Dopey even gets very little coverage as if it had happened the other way the papers would be screaming it from the roof tops. The Herald never mentions the word dopey and stuff hides it at the bottom of the page

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10830148
          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7566913/Key-rejects-report-as-working-poor-struggle

          Piss poor reporting if you ask me…

          • Carol 2.2.2.2.1

            David H, I listed them from the Labour Party site because it’s easier to get them from there as a list.

            I have noticed lately that such articles on the Labour Party site are also simultaneously posted as press releases on Scoop, as can be seen with this search:

            http://search.scoop.co.nz/search?q=Labour%20Party&sort_by=date

            The MSM tends to pull some quotes out of these press releases, and I also often hear some sound clips related to them on RNZ.

            I’m not sure how else a party can get comments into the media, other than from Press Releases, or some fairly elaborate appearance/stunt?

            Of course, the quality of the press release is important too.

          • deuto 2.2.2.2.2

            David H, perhaps the Herald article you provided the link to has been updated, but the very first sentence now reads

            Prime Minister John Key has dismissed as “dopey” a recommendation from a panel of experts that a universal child payment should be reintroduced as a way of reducing child poverty.

            RNZ National also covered Key’s dopey remarks in full this morning including replaying the exchanges between Key and Turei in Question Time in Parliament yesterday.

            http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2529572/opposition-parties-accuse-mp-of-flippancy-over-poverty.asx

            So there has been some coverage of Key’s flippant remarks etc.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2.2.3

            Piss poor reporting if you ask me…

            That depends upon how you look at it and who you think the MSM is working for.

    • Lanthanide 2.3

      My boyfriend observed that the most likely reason for Bank’s changing his position on this is because of the vocal support from the ACToids on campus, who unlike him actually believe in all of that personal choice liberty stuff. Banks is supporting the bill to keep them happy, because they were his only real base of volunteers and supporters on his election campaign.

      • McFlock 2.3.1

        I love the way he’s prepared to sell his soul to preserve his political sinecure. Repeatedly.
                 
        It doesn’t matter if he makes the right choice about marriage equality, or the wrong choice about giving minute instructions to “anonymous” donors on how they can pay him – the fool will sell out each and every time. Worse than Winston. 

  3. So Key thinks that doing something about child poverty is dopey in that wealthy families will also enjoy the benefit of child payments.

    Well I have a simple solution for him.  Increase income tax rates for the wealthy.  If they have children then they will get some of this back.  But it also means that something can be done about poverty.

    The only thing dopey is being Prime Minister and that intellectually and morally bankrupt that you cannot do something, anything, about child poverty. Apart from drug testing beneficiaries.

    • tc 3.1

      So where’s the stinging attacks from the opposition, if Labour want that uninterested third to get out and vote in 2014 they’ve got to put some venom into responding to such an arrogant and stupid comment.

      Key’s just loving this pathetic opposition, a third term is beckoning if they can’t skewer him over such comments.

      • Carol 3.1.1

        There’s quite a good humanised article on it up on Stuff right now. The Greens and Shearer have been quoted rejecting Key’s remarks. I do think Cunliffe could produce more “stinging” criticisms of Key. Shearer just doesn’t have much ooomph in that way.

        But also I think the MSM are selective in how much of the opposition comments they report. The article begins with a report on a couple in limited and insecure employment struggling on low income:

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7566913/Key-rejects-report-as-working-poor-struggle

        They are an example of the new “working poor” – Kiwis working themselves to the bone and living from pay cheque to pay cheque.

        They’re not claiming a benefit, they live in private rental accommodation and are struggling.


        The Greens are hoping to use the report’s strong stance on the need to improve housing to argue the case for extending its insulation scheme when they meet Housing Minister Phil Heatley later this week.

        “Too many kids grow up in cold, damp homes,” Greens co-leader Metiria Turei said.

        Mr Key agreed much of the housing stock was of poor quality.

        “There’s probably some limits to what Government can do but we may be able to encourage landlords to increase the quality of their property.”

        Following a fiery debate in Parliament, Labour leader David Shearer criticised Mr Key’s “mocking attitude” and “flippant response”.

        “This Government doesn’t have solutions for these problems. It just has excuses.”

        • tc 3.1.1.1

          ‘ But also I think the MSM are selective in how much of the opposition comments they report.’ yes and have been since the run up to the 08 election.

          So opposition need a strategy that counters this with short incisive catchy quotes (rhymes work well) repeated adnauseum by every single one of them so the MSM can’t cut it up.

          Goff and Shearer are like those boring monotone uncles you avoid at family gatherings

          • Carol 3.1.1.1.1

            Goff and Shearer are like those boring monotone uncles you avoid at family gatherings

            On this, I tend to agree, tc. I can’t see me giving my party vote to a Shearer-led Labour Party. I could even overlook his lack of media presence if I thought he wasn’t so far to the right of Labour. Even Goff has more presence and is more articulate than him.

            But I am pleased Labour have upped their game somewhat. Any improvement will be of benefit for a potentially “left”-coalition/support government.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.2

            So opposition need a strategy that counters this…

            The simplest and probably most effective is to simply bypass the MSM. Deliver newsletters direct to mailboxes every week with web links on them.

    • David H 3.2

      They changed that headline overnight..

  4. muzza 4

    This article is from the source ‘nytimes’ and was first published or seen on August 27, 2012 15:54 (UTC). The next check for changes will be August 28, 2012 20:40

    News Sniffer – Keeping track of changing propaganda!

    We believe that the USA is the major player against Syria and the rest are its instruments’

    A year ago, I told Muallem, I lunched with the Emir of Qatar, and he was enraged at what he called Bashar al-Assad’s lies, claiming that the Syrian President had reneged on a deal to allow Muslim Brotherhood members to return home.

    Muallem nodded. “If you met the same Emir two years ago, he was praising Assad, and considered him a dear friend. They used to have family relations, spending family holidays in Damascus and sometimes in Doha. There is an important question: what happened? I met the Emir in Doha in, I think, November 2011, when the Arab League started their initiative [resulting in the sending of League observers to Syria] and we reached agreement … The Emir told me: ‘If you agree to this initiative, I will change the attitude of Al Jazeera and I will tell [Sheikh] Qaradawi [a popular prelate with a regular slot on the television chain] to support Syria and reconciliation, and I have put down some billions of dollars to rebuild Syria…’ .

    “At the same time, when I was waiting to enter a meeting, there was the head of the Tunisian party Ennahda and the Emir issued orders to pay Ennahda $150m to help his party in the elections. Anyway, this was their business. But I asked the Emir: ‘You were having very close relations with Muammar Gaddafi and you were the only leader in his palace when Gaddafi hosted you during the summit – so why are you sending your aircraft to attack Libya and be part of Nato?’ The Emir said simply: ‘Because we don’t want to lose our momentum in Tunis and Egypt – and Gaddafi was responsible for dividing Sudan’.”

  5. Haven’t been around for a while upsetting people but with spring approaching the sun coming out and so did my mischievousness. Here is my video of the day: <a href="You can't change the weather right? Well, they did in Vietnam!

  6. Uturn 6

    I have a question/request for any feminists out there:

    I’ve just been reading about the release of Stewart Murray Wilson. The story says he was convicted of various crimes against women over a 21 year period. I’ve also been reading feminist blogs, some of which outline various basics from a feminist perspective. These have been very helpful in clearing up some of the ideas my brain has stumbled over. One such idea that I now accept is that women cannot protect themselves against rape/assault from men – it is completely the man’s choice to commit these acts and his responsibility.

    The problem the story about S. Wilson raises for me though, is if there is a man who “cannot be reached”, rehabilitated, educated or reasoned with, then how will that man ever choose anything other than what he already does? If he never changes, and we accept women cannot protect themselves, then women will never be safe. Does this suggest that there is a strictly feminist view of correction, rehabilitation and justice. Does it necessarily include things like the death penalty and prevetative detention i.e. never letting people out of prison?

    So my question is, from a feminist perspective, is there a certain ideology or system of justice or corrections that a feminist must adhere – theoretically speaking – in order to remain true to the idea women can’t protect themselves from sexual assault? Or is feminism a far more pragmatic process that deals with issues case by case, rather than setting up institutional systems based on the fear of what might or could happen?

    • Carol 6.1

      I don’t think there is one feminist line on most things – much like the left, really.

      • lprent 6.1.1

        I don’t think there is one feminist line on most things – much like the left, really.

        Yeah. That is one of the reasons that I thought this site would be worth expending effort on. I’d noticed that the ‘left’ was getting a bit too silo’ed into their own talking groups and not listening enough to differing opinions within the very broad left or even the right.

        I figured that having a on-line forum with a quite loose format* would help. Thus far I think it has. I think we have managed to irritate damn near everyone many times… Which rather means we’re doing what we intended.

        * Essentially that boils down to “don’t bore the moderators too much”, “don’t do anything that will cause the site legal issues or overstep the moderators sense of justice” and “we aren’t giving out anyone’s information”.

    • just saying 6.2

      Agreed.
      If you are interested Uturn, I can dig out some links to feminism 101 sites which answer basic questions about feminism itself.

      • Uturn 6.2.1

        Any help appreciated.

        I’ve been all over the finallyfeminism101 blog and associated links (thanks QOT for your helpful links), but haven’t found anything yet on how the basics connect to a wider picture, if there is such a picture.

        Failing such a picture existing, I’m interested to hear how any feminist sees the question of justice.

        • QoT 6.2.1.1

          For me personally, in the circumstances of our current society, I’m in favour of preventive detention for people who it’s established simply can’t be rehabilitated.

          But I do know that there’s also arguments made by feminists (usually anarcho-feminists I think, if you want a handy label to google) against our entire current system of judicial punishment, including prisons. You could also debate to what extent the “urges” felt by some offenders to hurt women/children are affected by the society they’re living in.

          Certainly I would say that one thing increasing the risk towards women and other people from some rapists/abusers/murderers is the prejudices and assumptions we make about different offenders – if they’re a clean-cut pillar of the community like the BTK killer (white, church deacon) then people assume they can’t be involved in horrific acts, or consider how one of Dahmer’s victims was returned to his house by police because of bigoted beliefs about gay men.

          In the case of Wilson, it was better put by LudditeJourno – the people of Whanganui need to understand that there are already rapists in their community, they’re just well-hidden, and our assumptions about what kind of people do those kinds of things are helping to hide them.

          TLDR: is big question!

    • prism 6.3

      Uturn 6
      I have always been interested in feminism. And women have been leaders in raising the issues of respect and justice to more than just women., to society.

      Wilson should have been in preventative detention, and that is in prison grounds definitely. Past governments have been too right-wing, more concerned about theft and property than protection of the person and the rights to a safe and peaceful life by society, especially women and children who form the greatest numbers of victims of violence.

      Also non-bullying systems in schools and educating parents on what to watch for, to prevent children starting on coercive habits that grows in a few to the skewed personality beyond redemption. The society should pick up feminist ideas and consider society being damaged and act early. At present the jail sentence is the useless and expensive punishment, which when served finishes the matter and the unrehabilitated man, the largest proportion of the genders, leaves to continue his damaging behaviour usually on a woman or women, children, animals, and anyone needy and vulnerable..

      I think there will always be a warped few, but we can improve the influences when young
      That few should be kept away from ordinary society, like lepers used to be. Lepers can be cured but I don’t believe Wilson and his ilk never will.

    • Carol 6.4

      I think some feminists see it as the all-pervasive rape culture that is the problem, as argued here. As I understand it, the argument is that rapists can control their behaviour, that most rape goes un-reported because they are shielded from view by the rape culture. Rape is a crime of exercising power and control, not one of uncontrollable sexual urges. So the answer is to change the culture (and the power dynamics?).

      http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2011/11/01/charlotte-allen-missed-the-memo/

      Leaving aside all the other evidence, this ignores the recent research into who the rapists are: they are not out of control. They are very much in control.

      Well, in the first instance, the rapists are the problem. They need to stop raping people. But they’re not doing it by accident, so no program of education will make them stop. Instead, we as a culture need to clear the underbrush they hide in: the tangle of sexist crap and conventional wisdom that results in a practical inability to enforce laws against rape except in cases that fit a very narrow paradigm. Make no mistake, the culture is the problem.

      And in your possible ways of constraining convicted rapists, Uturn, you left out chemical castration, which is used in one or two countries.

      • Bored 6.4.1

        I think some feminists see it as the all-pervasive rape culture that is the problem. As a male I find the concept of there being such an “all-pervasive” culture deeply disturbing. Having said that there is in my mind a pervasive culture of brutalisation of the individual in society in all sorts of everyday life events.

        On constraining rapists, I am with Prism with regard to preventative detention to prevent their brutal actions: punishments such as imprisonment or castration appear to me to be more brutalisation, (the domain of Garth McVicars mob).

        • Carol 6.4.1.1

          As a male I find the concept of there being such an “all-pervasive” culture deeply disturbing. Having said that there is in my mind a pervasive culture of brutalisation of the individual in society in all sorts of everyday life events.

          I do think there is a lot of brutalisation within our culture. And that fits with the notion that rape is an act of power and control rather than a sexual act.

        • QoT 6.4.1.2

          As a male I find the concept of there being such an “all-pervasive” culture deeply disturbing.

          If you think it’s disturbing, imagining being in the 50% of the population actually targeted by it!

          Rape Culture 101 for those with genuine interest.

          • Bored 6.4.1.2.1

            Good read QOT, theres nothing there I disagree with. Context however to “all pervasive” is another issue again. As a male I am extremely aware of the violence and brutality that society inflicts on all members, male and female, by male and female. Rape is one extremely loathsome nasty form. Others abound, one wonders at our inhumanity.

    • weka 6.5

      Uturn, I’ve appreciated your thoughtful questions and comments today. Don’t have much to add re Wilson, except that I agree people who cannot change should be prevented physically from harming others. Beyond that I believe in concepts of restorative justice, but sadly we are a very long way from being able to consider that.

      btw, some women can and do protect themselves from sexual assault. It’s just that not all women can all of the time. But even if they could, they deserve to be protected from having to.

  7. prism 7

    Save me from news from the USA. Nothing but wars and circuses. All using lots of money that is not available to the employing part of the economy and people that the politicians and their puppet masters have impoverished. Mitt Romney for President from the Republicans. They should be called Replumbicans, get their u-beds cleaned.

    And don’t call this guy Mittens give him Gloves and tell him to punch himself in the nose. In the meantime I have to turn off the news all the time. It seems that we are being suffocated as the USA presses us to its ‘kindly’ bosom.

  8. Jackal 8

    Dopey PM is a disgrace!

    With inequality increasing the fastest of all OECD countries, New Zealand now has 270,000 children living in poverty… That’s a quarter of all Kiwi kids growing up impoverished and in need. In a developed country with ample resources, this is a complete and utter disgrace!

    • prism 8.1

      General response to child poverty amongst sizable part of population, majority? – Orr who cares, that’s SEP. They are hopeless anyway, can’t do it properly (parents). Lazy sods. Waste of time trying to help them.

      • Bored 8.1.1

        Drug test them too!

        • prism 8.1.1.1

          Bored
          For sure. And cancel Family First at Waipereira arbitrarily – that will save money and it’s useless, anyway it was. One of the reports said so. I don’t know what it was trying to do actually as I haven’t read the report, that’s not my bag, but I’ve got Paula for that and why bark when you own a dog?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      Poverty keeps wages low and profits high which is why capitalism requires poverty and is why no government has ever tried to eliminate it.

  9. prism 9

    The ERO have scanned their reports on schools and summarised the three main findings.
    1 Is the need to give more attention to individuals. Ha just when more demanding children are
    being added to the mix and not enough help to integrate and support them. Also bigger classes.
    2 To have a ‘rich’ curriculum. That’s rich. The findings from overseas that I’ve heard of indicate that with the rigidity of demands about satisfying the ‘Standards’ the main teacher attention goes on those subjects and teaching them in a way that allows perfect understanding of the points likely to be tested on.

    I can’t remember the third point. The report sounds like a lot of specious drivel from highly-paid education specialists waffling on about things they can’t do themselves (possibly consultants). Their workplace involves sitting on chairs and working out tests for teachers out in the field who will be likely to fail the tests and demands because they are so unreasonable and impractical.

    • prism 9.1

      Further on the ERO report by –
      Dr Graham Stoop is ERO’s chief executive and the Chief Review Officer
      I listened again and he was berating teachers like a finger-pointing School Principal to pupils.
      He said something like “I am sick and tired of saying this (whatever) and very few schools are following our advice”. What a lack of respect for dedicated trained workers and professionals.
      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/middayreport

      I think that attitude flows from the generic managerial approach to everything and anything that is current. A manager doesn’t need to have in-depth understanding and experience of the field he is entering and his interest is in meeting targets and budgetary considerations. Even School Principals I think may not have been teachers or they may not have have actual relevant teaching experience.

      • Dv 9.1.1

        Interesting that stoop has a background of university and teachers college admin.

        He was (in part) responsible for the education of the teacher he thinks are poor.
        Does he take any responsibility for the so called poor position?

  10. Morrissey 10

    The humorless humor of “Sir” Robert Jones
    Wednesday 29 August 2012

    If you have ever wasted a few hours and struggled through one of his dire self-published “satirical” novellas, you will be aware that the thuggish property speculator “Sir” Robert Jones fancies himself as a humorist. Perhaps his favorite humorous remark over the last few years is this drily delivered comment on gay rights: “Now you can go off and marry your horse if you want!”

    No, I don’t think it’s funny either. But when Jones delivers that piece of comedy gold in front of a servile and intimidated host like Richard Griffin or Radio Sport’s Graham Hill, it always elicits a guffaw. Whether the guffaw is sincere or simply dutiful is a moot point.

    Jones’s humour might not be for everyone, certainly not anyone with a sense of humour, but he still has his admirers in the media. For example, if you were sad enough to listen to yesterday’s edition of “The Huddle” on NewstalkZB, you will have heard this….

    LARRY WILLIAMS: This government report wants school breakfasts to be provided at low decile schools. Ha ha ha! I see they reckon it would be for 850 schools! Ha ha ha!

    DEBORAH CODDINGTON: Why can’t the local community just get together at the church hall and provide these breakfasts? Why does it always have to be the government?

    LARRY WILLIAMS: Exactly. All right, gay marriage.

    JOCK ANDERSON: I’m against it. It’s just politicians cozying up to gays, many of whom happen to be my friends I might add!

    LARRY WILLIAMS: Ha ha ha!

    JOCK ANDERSON: But I’m against it.

    LARRY WILLIAMS: Deborah, what do you think?

    DEBORAH CODDINGTON: I disagree with Jock. They can marry their CAT for all I care!

    JOCK ANDERSON: Haw haw haw haw haw!

    LARRY WILLIAMS: Ha ha ha ha ha! That’s what Bob Jones says, isn’t it! Ha ha ha ha ha!

    DEBORAH CODDINGTON: Yes I think it is! Ha ha ha ha ha!

    JOCK ANDERSON: Haw haw haw haw haw!

    LARRY WILLIAMS: Thanks, Deborah and Jock. Up next: Murray Deaker!

    • Morrissey 10.1

      UPDATE!

      I’ve just heard that noted wit the Rt. Hon. Maurice Williamson quip to reporters, with the division bells ringing in the background, that he had “heard someone say that now you can marry your dog”.

      Evidently the Rt. Hon. member finds that to be a particularly clever comment.

      • Anne 10.1.1

        How in God’s name can you bear to listen to 1ZB Morrissey? It’s worse than Radio Live. Once in a blue moon I stop and listen to Leighton Smith while passing through the ether. I have never had to wait more than five minutes for the inevitable tirade of abuse towards all believers of Climate Change. I really believe this man has a serious mental disorder where the subject of Climate Change is concerned.

        • Morrissey 10.1.1.1

          How in God’s name can you bear to listen to 1ZB Morrissey?

          I listen to it so you don’t have to, Anne.

          It’s worse than Radio Live.

          While Radio Live has some excellent hosts, such as Keith Stewart, Karen and Andrew, and some of the Sunday people, there are also some pretty braindead people there. Here are a few of their most egregious bottom-trawlers: Michael Laws, Mitch Harris, Martin Devlin, John Matheson, Hamish McKay.

          And the godawful Maggie Barry had a slot there until raised to the level of her incompetence last November.

          • Anne 10.1.1.1.1

            I listen to it so you don’t have to, Anne.

            Thanks (grin).

            That godawful Maggie Barry is my MP. I note she’s after Jacinda Ardern’s blood.

            Jealousy will get you nowhere Maggie dear!

  11. Tony Molloy QC has made some very interesting comments published in the NBR ‘subscriber-only’ section, regarding the need for specialist NZ Judges.

    (Would you want brain surgery performed by a heart surgeon?
    Same argument applies to Judges (and lawyers?)

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    “New Zealanders shafted by fraudulent justice system, says top QC”

    My comment (we’ll see how long it stays up :)

    “Combine the lack of legally qualified ‘horses for courses’ (including the lack of specialised Judges) with the FACT that our NZ judiciary is effectively ‘out of control’ – with NO enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for NZ Judges, no Register of Pecuniary Interests for NZ Judges and Court proceedings regularly not being recorded – then ask yourself – how on EARTH is New Zealand ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  12. Dan1 12

    I can’t find any reference to Kelvin Smythe’s recent commentary on the NACT Party’s education policy and Minister.
    Well worth a read!

    http://www.networkonnet.co.nz/index.php?section=latest&id=402

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    Well, it appears that this government have caved in on software patents:

    A clause stipulating that “a computer program is not an invention for the purposes of this act” will be qualified by another that prevents anything from being an invention for the purposes of the act “only to the extent that a patent or an application relates to a computer program as such”.

    The New Zealand Open Source Society reacted angrily to the bill’s new wording in a blog post. “With the removal of the explicit software patent exclusion, and the addition of two tiny words, ‘as such’, Foss has more or less thrown Kiwi software developers under a bus,” it said.

    This government has just made it much harder and expensive for our software firms to be innovative.

  14. prism 14

    I hope that this blog isn’t going to be the in-place for conducting inquests on rape and the disgraceful behaviour of men. There seems to be a group who comment here putting women’s rights above everything else. Aren’t there other blogs who specialise in supporting women who want to complain and talk about victimisation? But who can’t self-examine themselves or their sisters and perhaps their own provocative behaviour, or even agree that women can act provocatively and unreasonably. And can’t agree that the world can be unsafe and individuals should be cognisant and take some responsibility for themselves.

    I fear that if the present trend continues The Standard will become dominated by one issue which will never finish because it is such a fertile field for criticisms. These will always be renewed as there are many attacks and discriminatory behaviours that would outrage any person. But they cannot be discussed in any rational manner looking right around the problem, trying to find a way to limit and then stop assaults.

    If this happens the commenters with wider interests looking for real discussions on them will go elsewhere.

    • Uturn 14.1

      Whao, dude, where did this come from? I haven’t been around for a while, but the last couple of Open Mikes I’ve read haven’t been overrun with what you describe. Are you refering to the perspectives in the link posted by Carol a #6.4? If so, you have to understand that they are fully supported by logical reasoning and statistics and that any attitude you may detect in necessarily abbreviating some of the concepts is completely allowable and valid. They are talking to the converted, to some degree.

      If there is a specific idea or concept in mind, offer it up. Do you want to discuss the arbitrary limitations of personal responsibility? Would you like to investigate the myths around self-protection in a prejudiced and priviledged world? How about the hidden dangers of using analogy to assist logic? That’s how the Standard Open Mike works isn’t it?

      • prism 14.1.1

        Uturn
        I actually don’t want to discuss any of your suggestions. And I find it just as irritating to come across gender politics regularly as I found Pete George’s too frequent comments. And he made reasonable comments also, but with a slant towards his favourite argument. With gender politics there is a team that comes out of a huddle and envelops the discussion.

        There are a lot of things I am concerned about and I think that I can leave you to worry at the female angle on anything.

        • weka 14.1.1.1

          I have to say I find your comment quite bizarre prism. As far as I can tell the recent upsurge in discussions from ‘female angles’ has happened for two reasons:

          1. Morrissey spammed TS with posts about the Assange case, and eventually some of us got sick of the rape apologies going on, so we started talking about that aspect of the case. Flowing on from that has been wider discussion about rape and rape culture.

          2. There are more women commenting here now. It’s natural that intelligent, politicised women will want to talk about issues what interests them.

          Ghettoising women in the blogosphere is akin to saying that women shouldn’t take their interests anywhere where men have dominated (eg parliament). Women aren’t going to take their little interests back to the kitchen. Sorry mate, you’re just going to have to suck it up.

          I’m also guessing that you mean that talking about rape makes you uncomfortable. This is understandable, but I don’t think it is reasonable to expect women not to talk about rape in mixed company, given that the problem is with men. I wouldn’t worry about it too much though, it will come and go as a topic like other ones do.

          btw, I’ve been meaning to say this for some time. I’ve been really enjoying how many women are commenting here now. TS is a fairly blokey place, which is fine, and I think it adds to the place to have strong women’s voices here too. This isn’t just in obvious feminist discussion, I’ve been noticing the different views that women often bring into the debates. A few men have commented on this too.

          • Carol 14.1.1.1.1

            And I would add that the issue today that has given rise to some of the comments is the passage of the marriage equality bill. I’m not into marriage myself, but understand that for a large number of LGBT people, it’s a significant milestone – a measure of achieving full acceptance in the eyes of contemporary society. It’s not an issue that’s likely to dominate here once the bill is passed.

            I can remember the time when people, even friends, rarely talked about homosexuality, and when they did it was with a significant sneer and demonisation. The impact was debilitating for those so ostracised, in every sphere of their lives. I have known people who have committed suicide, been incarcerated in psychiatric institutions (and one old guy in the UK who had been imprisoned), deteriorated into alcohol or other addictions, and/or been rejected by their families.

            So, please can we (hopefully) celebrate an important landmark, without one or two (and it is a minority) of those whose sexuality has dominated exclusively for too long, giving us a bit of a slap and saying “But what about me?”

            Another stimulus to discussion of rape/sexual assault today came from Uturn’s question (I have the impression UTurn is a male).

            And then you will see, I for one, will be largely back to the pressing issues of income inequality, poverty, employment structure etc….. ones that won’t make one or two leftie guys feel the least bit uncomfortable.

          • lprent 14.1.1.1.2

            I’ve been really enjoying how many women are commenting here now. TS is a fairly blokey place, which is fine, and I think it adds to the place to have strong women’s voices here too.

            It is a steadily rising tide. Quite encouraging bearing in mind that we do have some rather pointed debates going on at various times.

            However, for the sheer volume of comments you can’t beat a man for their genetically enhanced obsessional devotion. And alas we don’t have nearly as many obsessionally persistent female authors as I’d like. Probably for the same reason I suspect.

            :twisted: cat/pigeons…

            BTW: I like obsessional devotion. I’m a programmer by choice mostly because I can’t get bored programming (as I did with every other profession I went into). The continuous massive and ongoing learning curve is great. Try to find another profession where the body of knowledge in a field requires me to still spend ~20% of my time learning new stuff after 20 years coding professionally. Programmers have obsessional devotion emblazoned as part of their job description. If you don’t have it then you descend and wind up as a manager…..

          • Morrissey 14.1.1.1.3

            Morrissey spammed TS with posts about the Assange case, and eventually some of us got sick of the rape apologies going on, so we started talking about that aspect of the case.

            What rape apologies have I ever engaged in? Perhaps you have some evidence to back up your self-rigteous posturing, but I strongly doubt it.

      • fnjckg 14.1.2

        much is determined
        may be all “analogy”

    • Carol 14.2

      And yet, a look at the last few posts/articles on TS shows they are about poverty (one written by me I might add), and one on asset sales.

      I have posted quite a bit on poverty and income inequality lately – are those comments invisible?

    • just saying 14.3

      FFS prism.

      The matters you don’t want others to talk about, even though you’ve brought them up yourself, seemingly out of the blue, are a very small proportion of the multitude of discussions on open mike, and also a small proportion of the many subjects that those who have offended you, have talked about on open-mike.

      Interesting that you have perceived them as dominating though.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.4

      It’s not about women but injustice and that needs to be talked about and addressed whether you like it or not.

      • Colonial Viper 14.4.1

        I agree DTB. But what quality discussion can be held when accusations of “rape apologist” and “supporter of rape culture” are quickly rolled out.

        Because that’s not about any kind of real discussion, that’s simply about shutting discussion down. i.e. your perspectives are wrong, my perspectives are right, there’s nothing whatsoever inbetween to be discussed, and if you bring it up again you must be a very bad person.

        • McFlock 14.4.1.1

          If a commenter does not wish to be accused of being a “rape apologist”, then that commenter should avoid making comments that appear to marginalise rape complainants and minimise the extent and effect of what acts have been complained about.
                 
          Avoiding the standard tropes of “he’s a nice guy”, “but they were in bed together”, “she obviously changed her mind the next day” and “golly gee, but what does ‘consent’ really mean?” would also help. 

          • Colonial Viper 14.4.1.1.1

            In other words, don’t bother to raise any discussion points if they don’t fall in line with what other people think is the correct interpretation.

            • Uturn 14.4.1.1.1.1

              No I think it means show your reasoning without skipping any of the process. That is what is called discussion. And if your reason is you just don’t like X or Y or some other whim, and intend never to learn or change, then admit it. Worst case, people should be able to reach impasses amicably and then just leave off.

              It’s also evidence of understandably unprepared people (nobody can know everything) attempting to discuss often emotionally charged topics.

              If everyone approached contentious issues in good faith, had intimate knowledge about the privilege society grants their skin, gender, physical size, ability and appearance, family history etc; could tell the difference between an animate and an inanimate object, making comparisons of like accurately; understood the literal and cultural implications of the English language; then the conceptual abbreviations that emerge as accusations such as rape apologist/supporter either wouldn’t happen or would be understood as attacks on the ignorance of privilege, not the individual.

              Someone who has spent a lifetime experiencing negative isms will see things a bit more angrily when it’s pushed once more in their face, than those who haven’t and who (sometimes unintentionally) say things that push emotional triggers in the oppressed party. Must a victim constantly walk each unknowing person through the basics forever and ever without showing the least bit of irritation? Could they be forgiven for thinking a certain train of thought or phrasing of words will lead the same place every time? Must they be asked to use words that upset them, so that their opponents don’t get upset? And do it all from a defensive position. It’s a big ask. Even Gandhi and Christ got mad.

              It doesn’t need to shut discussion down. If the oppressed person gets angry at unintentional errors and then says to the unaware privileged party, “You’re a bad person” then surely that too is understandable. Hurt occupies all spheres of the human psyche, emerging in all ways rational and irrational. So while we play with concepts, safely, on our PC screens and several degrees removed, with no consequences thanks to the distance of the internet; talking about rape as if it’s merely a four letter word and nothing more; someone else has and is living the reality. While the privileged party is unaware of their privilege, or maybe carrying their own emotional scars set off by conflict, they too will get hurt and then arguments starts, polarisation is reached and nothing good.

              The Standard is not a minority space as such. Anyone can join in without having to pass a test. lprent was just saying how a broader selection of views was the motivation to begin this place. However, there is no mystery that a certain attitude and perspective holds sway here. Nothing wrong with that, everything has to start somewhere. If you’re cis, as QoT put it earlier, allowing a bit more leeway, carrying a bit more of the load, taking a few hits without moaning its not fair, to allow voices not usually heard, isn’t going to end in the total silencing of the sacred privileged voice.

              A place like this has the potential to allow people with differences to meet, with a greater buffer for ignorant people to get less ignorant without the wounds they would get blundering into a minority space. That’s why I come here, as one of the ignorants. If that doesn’t happen, it’s because the dominant culture couldn’t make changes, not any particular hostility from a visitor.

              • fnjckg

                Wow! Srong Medicine!

                (couldnt even find the The Standard on the favourites)

                practice practice practice

              • Jackal

                +1

                Unfortunately it’s the jump to accusations of rape apologist that is often lacking reasoning and empathy with the opponents point of view. It is understandable that people are ignorant, and in the case of rape culture this is sometimes beneficial.

                Contentious I know, but the best way of not being a victim is to not let your resentment at the abuse you’ve received be perpetuated onto innocent (ignorant) people. In a way you’re simply making an excuse for the cycle of abuse to continue, albeit in a limited way. Ghandi and Christ certainly did not preach for the continuance of hurt in any of its manifestations and I think both sides of the discussion should think a bit harder about what they write as to not cause offense when it is not deserved.

                I’m glad there’s a group (both men and woman) who comment here that highly value women’s rights. This is in stark contrast to many other blogs where a feminine perspective is criticized, if its present at all. Men need to face the fact that women have been badly treated and repressed for a very long time and some of the negative comments directed in a generalized way are deserved. Some of course are not, but it’s a kind of rebalancing if you like that the blogosphere and western culture in general needs to see a lot more of.

                Prism has a valid point concerning the Assange debate which just went around in circles for days. That stagnation more than talking about rape per se makes me now skip through such comments. In my opinion, much of the discussion was doing more harm than good… I think we can all agree that’s not the desired outcome.

                • weka

                  “Unfortunately it’s the jump to accusations of rape apologist that is often lacking reasoning and empathy with the opponents point of view.”

                  I don’t  think that accusation has been made widely against specific people here. Mostly I’ve been talking about Assange, then later Pilger, and in a general sense of x attitude supports rape culture. I know you took some of my general comments personally, but IMO you were mistaken.  

                  “Prism has a valid point concerning the Assange debate which just went around in circles for days.”

                  Funny how people remember things differently. See I remember the general Assange debate going on for much longer than that. Ad nauseum. Very long threads and arguments that I’m sure lots of us weren’t even reading in the end. But when some of us started talking about the rape issues, all of a sudden this is a problem. It didn’t go round in circles for days. There were some interesting lines of conversation that arose periodically and that eventually morphed into discussion about things like consent.

            • McFlock 14.4.1.1.1.2

              If those “discussion points” follow the same form as tactics used to minimise rape for the last several hundred years, don’t bother to raise them.
              If those “discussion points” are verbatim, demonstrable lies from the “nice guy’s” legal team, don’t bother to raise them.
              And if you don’t understand the difference between “I want this” vs “No, don’t do that”, don’t bother commenting because you can add nothing to the debate.
                             
              If you have clear and demonstrable reasons for believing a complaint to be false then in that case, fair enough. But remember that western society has largely been built on minimising the impact of injustice and violence against (amongst others) women, and try to phrase your argument accordingly. You shouldn’t have to step back in time fifty or one hundred years simply to defend a genuinely “nice guy”.

              • Colonial Viper

                What irritates me is that while there are real injustices and inequalities happening in the world, there is also a brigade who appears to think that they are all of a comparable magnitude, that you can primarily resolve them by wordsmithing the vocabulary people use, by controlling the discussions they engage in, and by badgering them with indignant moral righteousness.

                I’m predicting that’s gonna be a fail, but I could be wrong.

                You shouldn’t have to step back in time fifty or one hundred years simply to defend a genuinely “nice guy”.

                Not sure if you are applying this to Assange, but by most accounts he’s a real prick.

                • McFlock

                  Trying to avoid the Assange thing while addressing the point. Even though he is very much the elephant in the room.
                               
                  Even if injustices and inequalities all each had their own place in a single objective continuum of “magnitude”, surely a person is able to advocate against one without supporting another?  
                     
                  Surely bringing up rape myths to try to discredit allegations against someone who opposes high-magnitude injustices cheapens us all? And surely it would also be unnecessary if the allegations were demonstrably false?

                   

                  • Bored

                    I just read Open Mike of 18/8 again, lots of vitriol, and I read Uturn on giving greater leaway to victims because I might be privleged.. ., and I perceive a lot of guilty before proven flying around, and some views being ascribed greater value because of who says them. All couched in complicated arguments. I am no better informed.

                • Carol

                  What irritates me is that while there are real injustices and inequalities happening in the world, there is also a brigade who appears to think that they are all of a comparable magnitude, that you can primarily resolve them by wordsmithing the vocabulary people use, by controlling the discussions they engage in, and by badgering them with indignant moral righteousness.

                  Mostly I agree with this and would rather argue my corner based on reference to relevant evidence and (what seems to me) a logical argument.

                  But there is also a place for expressing moral indignation or anger, so long as it doesn’t become a persistent MO.

                  This:

                  real injustices and inequalities happening in the world, there is also a brigade who appears to think that they are all of a comparable magnitude,

                  Some feminists these days refer to the “oppression olympics” (my oppression is worse than yours) as a fruitless endeavour,.

                  They (and I) prefer an approach labelled “intersectionality” i.e. taking each issue separately and being aware of how various injustices/inequalities can intersect, overlap, feed off each other, and at times conflict. So for instance, the division between class/socio-economic issues and “identity” issues is not that clear-cut. What about working class or unemployed LGBT people, or Māori, or women in any of those groups?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Well, I too have been known to express a note of moral indignation from time to time :)

                    They (and I) prefer an approach labelled “intersectionality” i.e. taking each issue separately and being aware of how various injustices/inequalities can intersect, overlap, feed off each other, and at times conflict.

                    This is fine for an academic or policy analyst. But outside of those circles, extremely few individuals conceptualise their lives or those of their communities in terms of “intersectionality”, or would be persuaded by such arguments.

                    • Carol

                      Actually, many might not use the word “intersectionality”, but many do, in practice see themselves in terms of more than one identity. It’s a fact of life in modern society. How else would an unemployed lesbian or disabled person see themselves?

                      And some feminists who use such terms are not particularly aademic.

                      I certainly don’t see it any more of an abstract academic concept than many you have used in discussions of economics, financial organisations and socio-economic structures.

                    • muzza

                      CV & Carol, you have both illustrated nicely where the downward spiral perpetuates from…Academia.

                      There are other factors, but by in large the overwhelming majority are ruled by the financial, and academic elite, while the sporting elite, and other skilled indivuduals, teams or groups, are simply the entertainment and distrations for the “unwashed”,

                      Until the the gap is bridged, more inequality in terms of poverty/wealth, educated and undereducated will drive humanity into the ground.

                      The human experiment is failing, unless youre at the top end of it, and until a connection can be found to the “unwashed”. there is no turning the ship around, not that I believe there is a desire to do so!

                      No amount of online posteuring will contribute, not in any meaningful way, and I would hope that the two of you are active not just in the virtual space, your posts would indicate potential!

              • prism

                But remember that western society has largely been built on minimising the impact of injustice and violence against (amongst others) women,

                How can we forget. It’s still happening amongst other awful things. Rachel Corrie was mentioned on Open Mike by William Joyce, that’s an awful thing that should be remembered. Though sex wasn’t involved. I think being run over by a bulldozer is worse than most things.

          • prism 14.4.1.1.2

            McFlock 14 4 1 1
            So you want to decide what people should say and think. That is despotic and prejudiced. You jump in and attack with words anyone with an opinion you don’t approve of with rape inflaming your mind. Perhaps it would be better to have a thread just for angry feminists that you can moderate for yourselves and let us have the rest of the blog to put our thoughts as ‘ordinary’ people.

            • McFlock 14.4.1.1.2.1

              So you want to decide what people should say and think
                  

              Nah, mate.
              But if people are allowed to minimise sexual assault because it makes their politics inconvenient, I’m allowed to call it what it is. If they don’t want to be called “rape apologists”, the best way is for them to avoid acting like “rape apologists”. 
                                

              • Colonial Viper

                So in the interests of their personal politics, who exactly is seeking to minimise rape and sexual assault? And who exactly is seeking to maximise rape and sexual assault?

                • McFlock

                  Nobody “maximises” rape as far as I’ve seen. Quite a few simply insist that it be called what it is.
                              
                  As for “who minimises” rape, for a start try the people who argue that any particular case of a person claiming to have been forced to have sex against their will was not “real” rape, or that they complained out of jealousy, or that they were in bed with the accused so anything is okay, or that nothing ever happened and they made it up for their own reasons. All based on very little knowledge of what actually happened.
                               
                  If you have a particular case in mind, look at the comments about the incident. See if any match. There’s your answer. 

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Nobody “maximises” rape as far as I’ve seen. Quite a few simply insist that it be called what it is.

                    You’re pretending that one word “rape” is a satisfactory descriptor while I believe it is not. That one word alone is not sufficient to cover the very wide range of situations and offending which can occur. This NZ law understands. And even the Swedes recognise that there are wide variations in culpability, as we also see in the wide range of sentences our courts hand out. So yes I agree with you fully, “rape” needs to be called exactly what it is, straight out.

                    But then you have to take it to the next step and differentiate between the severity of the crime, e.g. as Sweden does – ‘minor rape’, ‘moderate rape’ and ‘severe rape’. (Although I don’t know the exact Swedish translation is, they have 3 grades of severity enshrined in legislation as I understand it). I take it that you have no problem accepting this, from what I have read.

                    All based on very little knowledge of what actually happened.

                    Yeah which is why I’m sick of people assuming Assange is guilty based on circumstantial matters (“oh look he happened to leave Sweden at a very convenient time!”) instead of giving him the presumption of innocence which he is due.

                    • McFlock

                      “Rape” is perfectly adequate to describe “sex without consent”. Far more accurate than “sex by surprise”, for example.
                                
                       Where did anyone say that Assange is definitely guilty of rape?
                           
                      As opposed to people claiming that the women made up their allegations, or that there is not a shred of evidence against him (when courts in two jurisdictions have found otherwise), I mean.

                    • weka

                      Yeah, I’ve never said I thought Assange was guilty. Seriously, we’ve been through this before. Alot. 

                      btw, I am under no obligation to give Assange the presumption of innocence. Jurors are, as are media, judges, etc. But not me, nor you. I don’t happen to have an opinion about Assange’s guilt or innocence. My arguments have been based solely on the reports of the complainants and that if they are true, then it was rape.

                      ‘Rape’ is the word in common usage. We’re not in a court of law here. 

                      The problem with using terms like ‘minor rape’ is that outside a legal situation in Sweden, they’re meaningless. Want to tell a woman that’s been raped that her rape was minor? Think about that. 

                      I’ll use the terms sexual assault and sexual abuse as needed (although not strictly interchangeable), so it’s not like the term rape has to be used all the time. Shall we call a man putting his erect penis in a woman’s vagina while she is asleep and without her prior consent ‘sexual abuse’? Is that better? 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah its all a bit deja vu.

                    • weka

                      I’d be happy to stop talking about Assange for sure :-)

            • weka 14.4.1.1.2.2

              Looks to me like some of the men here are taking things personally, and in all honesty, things probably not even directed at them. Any chance you could take a step back and give some of us the benefit of the doubt, that we might actually know what we are talking about? I don’t mean accept whatever is said, I mean get to know the concepts and language and issues and then debate them meaningfully.
               
              I can’t see the difference between an angry feminist and an angry [insert politics of choice]. People get angry here all the time, so what is the problem when women/feminists do it? Although for the record, I don’t feel angry most of the time posting here on these issues. I do feel frustrated in a rolling eyes, here we go again, kind of way. And disappointed. The rape discussions haven’t really gotten past 101 level yet (actually that is me being kind, in some ways some of them are not even in high school yet). Can you imagine what it is like being here with so many intelligent passionate people and them struggling to get even basic concepts? (obviously I’m not talking about everyone here). Seeing people here with massive knowledge about certain areas of politics and then realising that they have so little knowledge of other issues that it’s hard to even have a coherent conversation?
               
              ‘Rape culture’ theory is a legitimate political analysis. ‘Rape apologist’ is a legitimate descriptor of how some people endorse rape culture. If you are not familiar with those terms, as feminists use them, then I suggest you take some time to learn about them. Then some of what is being discussed might start to make sense.
               
              btw it’s very strange to see TS regulars saying that it’s not ok to call people names :roll:. Or that suddenly we’re not allowed to critique use of language, or challenge people on what they are saying. Or that making strong arguments is somehow trying to control how people think or makes us despotic. Good grief, that’s what commenters here do all the time.
               
               

              • Carol

                I agree that many commenters use quite dismissive terminology, not just feminists. They can’t be the apt terms to use on occasions, but they don’t usually work for me, especially when used a lot.

                I consider myself a feminist, but tend not to use such terms like “xxxxx apologist” . I tend to feel it doesn’t help with communicating an argument, but just works as a debate-stopper. And they tend to sound like jargon that just works to interfere with the message.

                Just because many feminists use such terms, doesn’t mean it’s really that helpful to use them a lot in debates….. IMO.

      • prism 14.4.2

        Who’s you DTB be specific. And when people are thinking about injustice they can find it everywhere as you say.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.4.2.1

          Who’s you DTB be specific.

          As it was a reply to you I was being specific. Of course the structure of the sentence was also general enough that it could apply to anyone reading it.

          And when people are thinking about injustice they can find it everywhere as you say.

          The problem being was that you were whinging about people discussing a particular injustice, in your words, “putting women’s rights above everything else”. Hiding from that injustice isn’t going to make it go away.

          As has been pointed out before, we can discuss and act on more than one thing at a time.

          • prism 14.4.2.1.1

            DTB
            Yes that is what I was asking for, not to be dominated by one thing and told what to think about it. Hardly a rational discussion allowed.

            Also I was making a salient point that if women’s rights were going to dominate, it would be an irritant just like Pete G was and in the end people won’t want to use the site. But we can criticise Pete G who wasn’t always wrong, and freeze him off with faces, but I presume women’s rape and sexual assaults can’t be treated the same. It is not PC to honestly say enough. It is not allowed.

            But I think I’m wasting my time trying to explain this. I will probably just give up. And spend my time elsewhere trying to understand things that are available to be understood, noted, questioned, discussed, ameliorated, changed, and hopefully be solved or at least improved. That’s what interests me and what I thought I’d see on this blog.

            • marty mars 14.4.2.1.1.1

              prism, and bored too – the discussions are a chance for you to learn, to listen and think, not just about what is being said, but why it is being said. I have learned so much from those arguments and I don’t think they are a waste, or use up bandwidth, no – they are essential IMO.

              You guys are missing out on the best education out there – learning from others who are different to you, about their experiences and views – it is a gift, stop wasting it.

            • weka 14.4.2.1.1.2

              “Also I was making a salient point that if women’s rights were going to dominate, it would be an irritant just like Pete G was and in the end people won’t want to use the site. But we can criticise Pete G who wasn’t always wrong, and freeze him off with faces, but I presume women’s rape and sexual assaults can’t be treated the same. It is not PC to honestly say enough. It is not allowed.”

              I don’t see it. The rape issues aside, there isn’t that much discussion about women’s rights here and I don’t see much protest about talking about women’s rights on TS either. We’re not even close to dominating.

              I don’t see feminists grabbing the first post on Open Mike each morning. Nor using TS to link to their own blogs and up their traffic. Nor doing the rounds of other blogs slagging off TS. Nor posting massive amounts of inanities that have people pulling their hair our. Nor do I see long lines of people resorting to using :roll: instead of an answer to a comment.

              • QoT

                The rape issues aside, there isn’t that much discussion about women’s rights here and I don’t see much protest about talking about women’s rights on TS either. We’re not even close to dominating.

                The few explicitly-feminist posts there have been on TS (disclaimer: often written by me) tend to attract a huge number of comments, but yeah. It’s hardly like there’s even one definitively-feminist-issue-related post a week around here, unless we start assuming everything welfare/poverty/child abuse-related is only a feminist issue.

                What I personally love is how after Morrissey spent something like a week getting the first post on Open Mike every single day to put forward more defences of Assange, suddenly prism’s problem is that it’s the evil feminists who are trying to dominate the conversation.

                • NickS

                  That makes me glad I’ve been otherwise too busy/tired to bother with the open mike for the last couple of weeks…

                  What I personally love is how after Morrissey spent something like a week getting the first post on Open Mike every single day to put forward more defences of Assange, suddenly prism’s problem is that it’s the evil feminists who are trying to dominate the conversation.

                  Oh lordy…

    • NickS 14.5

      /snark on.

      But who can’t self-examine themselves or their sisters and perhaps their own provocative behaviour, or even agree that women can act provocatively and unreasonably. And can’t agree that the world can be unsafe and individuals should be cognisant and take some responsibility for themselves.

      It’s very simple, FUCK YOU.

      What you’re doing is here is blaming the victim for the behaviour of the attacker, who, under the law is solely responsible for their own actions (unless significant mental illness etc gets in the way…), and should know far fucking better. And you know what else victim blaming does? It makes victims lives even more of a struggle, it can lead to significant depressive episodes or worse, significant social isolation and overall reduces reportage of serious crimes to the police. Like rape.

      If you can’t or wont understand the above, fuck off to the sewer where this sort of bullshit is oft praised and you can totes pat yourself on the back for pushing “responsibility”.

      here seems to be a group who comment here putting women’s rights above everything else. Aren’t there other blogs who specialise in supporting women who want to complain and talk about victimisation?

      /facepalm

      The stupid, it burns.

      Aww, cupcake, is your privileged little white dude world getting all perturbed by the rather real human rights issues feminists bring up? Awww, poor snookums, you better go listen to the froth of shit that is talk-back radio then to try and hide the problems the part of the population that isn’t white dudes has to deal with daily. While the rest of us who don’t turn a blind eye get on with kicking the patriarchy firmly in the groin and the daily cluebatting of ignorant, privileged, twits like you.

      • Bored 14.5.1

        Two things NickS:
        * whilst the victim is never responsible for the behavior of the offender it is incumbent to be aware of the danger, and certain men are worth taking a very wide berth of. I think that was Prisms point, sort of like dont go to Compton and dance in the street without being aware that the Cryps might mug you, the world can be a bad place so be aware. Sad but true. Again no excuses for perpetrators.
        *Tagging Prism cupcake etc, I see him regularly kicking the patriarchy firmly in the groin and you go kicking him for being a priveleged white dude. How to win friends and influence people. Really clever, not.

        • NickS 14.5.1.1

          lolwut?

          If prism had meant to say that, he shouldn’t have said what he said, and even then, in the context of where and how rapes happen, the horror is that the predominately aren’t done by someone completely unknown to the victim. Often it’s a family, a friend, or someone within their social circle, and the warning signals aren’t always that straightforward to pick up, and more worryingly little is often done by those in a position to intervene, for a variety of crap reasons.

          As for attacking prism, guess what? Shitty victim blaming etc still makes you a douchebag no matter how much “good” you’ve done.

      • prism 14.5.2

        Nick S 14.5
        Yours is just the sweeping despotic prejudiced reaction that I am talking about. Cripes I have never done anything bad enough to earn this sort of shit. You are one smug superior know-all thinking you can abuse someone because by merely defending the victims you are earning brownie points and there are no holds barred. And I thought you were a scientific type, or perhaps that was another Nick.

        • NickS 14.5.2.1

          You are one smug superior know-all thinking you can abuse someone because by merely defending the victims you are earning brownie points and there are no holds barred.

          Or it could be, that after months of watching otherwise intelligent individuals in the atheist community completely fail at basic scepticism vs feminism and it’s aims, along with denying harassment is an issue or engage in victim blaming vis harassment and supporting the harassers I no longer have _any_ tolerance for such shit.

          From anyone.

          Irrespective of who the fuck they are.

          And the fact you assume that I’m doing it for “brownie points” is frankly fucking pathetic.

          I’m not doing this for “kudos”, I’m doing this to rip into your bullshit for the shear fucking self satisfaction of the act, for forcing you to confront the bitter truth that you’re putting forth pure bullshit.

          And amusingly I see you’re dodging.

          • muzza 14.5.2.1.1

            I’m doing this to rip into your bullshit for the shear fucking self satisfaction of the act

            Which is why Nick, life must be so very hard for you what with an attitude like that. I suspect a real life meeting with you would reveal a somewhat toned down arrogance, but arrogance none the less (hiding some other holes in the “armour”), which must really contribute heavily to your self professed depression!

            • Bored 14.5.2.1.1.1

              Thanks Muzza, said it for me. Seemed rather like listening to Comrade Prosecutor at a Soviet show trial, somewhat psychotic. Like the rest of the arguments it gave me some insight into what Orwell went through with his “allies” in Spain. Who needs enemies with friends like this?

              • NickS

                :rolleyes:

                Ye elder things…

                Of course, such a claim also allows you to marginalise and dismiss my anger :3

                How convenient for you.

                • weka

                  Yeah, I find Nick’s post pretty over the top in style, at the same time as agreeing largely with the substance.

                  So, if you have a problem with Nick’s anger, then be honest about that. This kind of attempt at pathologising someone’s argument is poor debate:

                  “Seemed rather like listening to Comrade Prosecutor at a Soviet show trial, somewhat psychotic. Like the rest of the arguments it gave me some insight into what Orwell went through with his “allies” in Spain.” 

                  There have been similar, lesser attempts throughout this whole discussion on rape. The subtle attempts to pathologise people talking about rape says more about the discomfit some people are feeling on the topic than anything.

                   “play the ball, not the man” ;-) 

                  • Carol

                    ”play the ball, not the man”

                    Yes. An approach I always agree with: a policy I aim for, even if imperfectly – not always easy.

                  • NickS

                    Thanks :3

                    And I’m glad I missed those discussions, they would have been seriously upsetting to read…

            • NickS 14.5.2.1.1.2

              And once more muzza proceeds to unintentionally be highly ironic.

              Simply by doing what they claim I’m doing. Oh and in case you haven’t learnt it yet, there’s a very big difference between anger and arrogance.

              And I so <3 totes your attempts at armchair psychology, which show you really don't gork depression (which is probably a good thing, since it requires training or actually having had it) and are attempting to arrogantly impose your own ignorant assumptions /smugface

              • muzza

                The assumption of ignorance, again serves only to emphasize that my contention of arrogance, was on the mark!

                • NickS

                  :rolleyes:

                  1) you made a claim about my depression which doesn’t match teh evidence*

                  2) for which the phrase “ignorant assumption” describes well

                  3) instead then of actually explaining why your assumption wasn’t ignorant, you then proceed to call me “arrogant”

                  [insert sarcastic clapping here]

                  ___________________________
                  * I know pretty much why I’m depressed (suicidal episodes do have their slight sliver linings…), and it sure as hell has nothing to do with arrogance.

  15. Bored 15

    Jeez you are brave: I’m going away now as I could not possibly comment validly (being a white middle aged male).

    • QoT 15.1

      Oh, poor Bored. It must be so terrible, not being able to fling around contemptuous comments about people with “identities” without other people criticising you. Life is fuckin’ tough, ain’t it?

  16. prism 16

    Jim Mora announcing his menu for today – ‘Do we need to send a delegation to Rio to find out about climate change?’ Not, I wonder what our delegation will tell us about the latest results on climate change.

    Does Sanitarium pay taxes or are they excused because they are a charitable organisation?
    Certainly they are using our legal system to assert copyright law and get an injunction against someone with a similar product. Is that what is called parallel importing?

  17. captain hook 17

    I supose sex is ok if you haven’t got good book or there is nothing on telly.

  18. captain hook 18

    how is it that kweewee can give to the rich but not those in need.
    poor people dont eat money.
    they use it to buy food.
    and not as a tool to fuck with the bank managers head when they haven’t got anything else to do.

  19. Draco T Bastard 19

    After keeping the excise duty on petrol down it now appears that NACT will be increasing it to help pay for their uneconomic RoNS.

    Petrol will cost more from next year when excise duty is increased to help pay for new roads, the Government has confirmed.

    The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) released its programme for 2012-2015 on Wednesday, with details of the government’s $12.3 billion investment.

    Transport Gerry Minister Brownlee says it’s the largest programme of its kind in New Zealand’s history.

    The money will be spent on new highways – the “roads of national significance” that have been previously announced, and on maintaining existing roads.

    So what we’ll see is even more cars off the roads and those highways becoming even more uneconomic.

    • Carol 19.1

      Didn’t the same government reject a rise in petrol tax in the Auckland region, which was wanted to improve public transport?

      • mike e 19.1.1

        another broken election promise.
        Nick Smith and Stephen Joyce both criticised Labours policy of raising fuel taxes 2008.
        Saying it would damage the economy: yeah right!

        • Herodotus 19.1.1.1

          Far easier to tax everyone a little frequently, even if it is regressive by nature. So if we should revert back to 70’s Aussie muscle cars will the exercise tax be reduced?
          I hope that MRP IPO gets underway soon as there is just over 700 days to fulfill the Nats election platform.
          I hope that Lab will have a progressive and forward thinking platform instead of what normally happens with an election win by default.

  20. ak 20

    Best Asset Sales piece yet – from granny no less. And look at the comments. That rumble is sound of NATZy sphincters twitching.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/personal-finance/news/article.cfm?c_id=12&objectid=10829989

  21. fnjckg 22

    b4 i go

    “th-c and the boids” are Not for everyone

    Master-inhale
    inhale again
    inhale too often-slave

    take care

  22. felix 23

    Brownlee answering questions on behalf of the PM today. Guess one of Key’s nieces has a spelling bee or something.

    Still, at least he’s got his best man on the job. FFS.

    • Carol 23.1

      Yes, after all, why would Key want to waste his time fronting up to “dopey” questions about poverty, when He could be cheer-leading his niece’s educational niche skill?

      And much better to have Brownlee confirming Key’s contradictory beliefs. Whose gonna really challenge such a big man, and with Dunne immediatley providing cover following Shearer’s question?

      http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/3/d/b/50HansQ_20120829_00000001-1-Child-Poverty-and-Living-Standards-Reports.htm

      David Shearer: Which statement does he stand by: “we have a very targeted system through Working for Families.” or that Working for Families is “communism by stealth … It didn’t work very well for Eastern Europe and it won’t work very well for New Zealand.”?

      Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: Both are true statements.

      And the context of Key’s statement on WFF as targeted, was supporting WFF:
      http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/key-dismisses-payment-all-parents-dopey-5049753

      The Prime Minister is ruling out a universal child payment recommended in a Children’s Commission report on child poverty.

      John Key says New Zealand went away from that system some years ago and now has targeted assistance for families.

      “We have a very targeted system through Working for Families,” he said. The Prime Minister described the idea of giving a payment to all parents, including the well-off, as “dopey”.

      Though Shearer wasn’t quick enough on his feet to expose Key’s hypocrisy.

    • Carol 23.2

      Oh, no FFS: Key is getting ferried around and fêted in Rarotonga, and practicing his royal wave:

      http://www.3news.co.nz/Key-Gillard-get-heroes-welcome-to-forum/tabid/417/articleID/267282/Default.aspx

      Much more important than answering questions on NZ’s soaring child poverty.

  23. Vicky32 24

    I am fed up to the back teeth with the small town viciousnness of the reaction to Stewart Murray Wilson’s ‘freedom’ as 3 News calls it.
    This sort of sums up what I think.
    http://pundit.co.nz/content/a-sort-of-quite-limited-defence-of-stewart-murray-wilson
     

    • Carol 24.1

      I’m sick of the way he gets top spot in the news.

      • LynW 24.1.1

        +1 Just stated that very comment to my husband

        • Anne 24.1.1.1

          +1 from me too. Have had to give up watching the TV news. The Beast of Blenheim. It sounds like we’ve stepped back into the medieval ages when the strong women weka was talking about earlier were being burnt at the stake for being witches.

          Edit: no disrespect to his victims. I just find the on-going obsession with him symptomatic of a juvenile media.

      • Daveosaurus 24.1.2

        yeah, the news media should do like one of the suggestions coming out of Whanganui: just shun the evil little fucker. Don’t even acknowledge his existence.

    • Te Reo Putake 24.2

      With you on this one, Vicky32. Spent most of the day in the river city and to be fair, it wasn’t uppermost on the minds of the people I was talking to, they just wanted to know if they still had a job. Sadly for 3 dozen of them, the answer was no. Brighter future, anyone?
       
      However, Wilson did come up a couple of times. I was talking to a journo mate and she made me laugh when she referred to her shift waiting for Wilson to twitch the curtains this morning as being on ‘beast watch’. And Tariana Turia’s new nickname is 668 … the neighbour of the beast, ho ho.

      • Vicky32 24.2.1

        And Tariana Turia’s new nickname is 668 … the neighbour of the beast, ho ho

        Although that is somewhat clever… However, it’s juvenile nimbyism! What do they want him to do, kill himself? I’ve been listening to people commenting on Clive – redneck morons… (sorry, whoever hates that word – I can’t think of anything else right now – too tired! :) )

        • Te Reo Putake 24.2.1.1

          Yep, redneck alright, but nice to hear the farmer putting the boot into the Nats and Turia. And the gormless local MP, Chester Borrows. (I say local, but Wanganui votes Labour, it’s just that the rest of the seat is rural Taranaki, where Borrows lives).

        • Alice 24.2.1.2

          Vicky32, please look at beliefnet.

    • fatty 24.3

      reminds me of Brass Eye – Paedogeddon

  24. prism 25

    John Key talking down one of our major business partners and with whom we have a world first? trade agreement – China, which he said is ‘growing tentacles’ around the world. Sounds rude and hostile to me. Is he trying to suck up to Hillary Clinton who is making a jetstop visit to the Pacific Forum, so that country can continue spreading its hegemony and getting its tentacles into the Pacific?

    • felix 25.1

      Yeah but you gotta remember, to a sick slimy scaly fuck like Key, “growing tentacles around the world” doesn’t really have negative connotations.

      He would have said it with admiration, and he wouldn’t have had any inkling that it could be taken any other way until it was pointed out to him by his people.

      And even then he just has to take their word for it and file the info away for future reference because he still won’t really understand why that’s not a nice thing to say.

    • Poission 25.2

      John Key talking down one of our major business partners and with whom we have a world first? trade agreement – China, which he said is ‘growing tentacles’ around the world

      He is preparing for his future meeting with Russia,and the RNZFTA,

      The statements coming out of Russia is that the expansion of the PRC is destabilizing, both the pacific and Asia,and the unstable growth of the PRC has further destabilized the global trading patterns,

  25. Ianmac from Vietnam 26

    Just visited the “War Remnants Museum” in Ho Chi Minh City. It documents the awful cost to the civilian population and the unrelenting violent and cruel tactics exercised by the USA military machine. Couldn’t help thinking as I walked, that you could just replace the wordVietnam, with Iraq and now Afghanistan and get the same effect. Bigger and bigger weapons, stealth bombers, and civilians the losers whilst the politicians stay safely behind flags and rhetoric.
    Isn’t war a disaster especially when not in self defense? Very sad.

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    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    Labour
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    Labour
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    Labour
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    Labour
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    Labour
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki… ...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It… ...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry. ...
    Labour
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its… ...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review… ...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the… ...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says.… ...
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems… ...
    GreensBy James Shaw MP
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says.… ...
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional… ...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham… ...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on&hellip; ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
  • Tourist safety tags won’t lower toll, says safety campaigner
    Steering wheel tags with road safety tips for visiting drivers will do little or nothing to lower the tourist road toll, says a prominent road safety campaigner. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Tourist safety tags won’t lower toll, says safety campaigner
    Steering wheel tags with road safety tips for visiting drivers will do little or nothing to lower the tourist road toll, says a prominent road safety campaigner. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Public invited to have say on human rights record
    A draft report on New Zealand’s performance under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has been released for public comment by the Ministry of Justice. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Public invited to have say on human rights record
    A draft report on New Zealand’s performance under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has been released for public comment by the Ministry of Justice. ...
    Scoop politics
  • “Prominent Auckland businessman” a depraved predator
    The 15-year prison sentence imposed on a “prominent Auckland businessman” for shackling and sexually violating young drug-addicted girls in a dungeon, has been welcomed by sexual violence advocacy group, Stop Demand Foundation. ...
    Scoop politics
  • “Prominent Auckland businessman” a depraved predator
    The 15-year prison sentence imposed on a “prominent Auckland businessman” for shackling and sexually violating young drug-addicted girls in a dungeon, has been welcomed by sexual violence advocacy group, Stop Demand Foundation. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Proprietors of Wakatū v Attorney-General
    The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Wakatū Incorporation, Rore Pat Stafford and Te Kāhui Ngahuru Trust alleging breaches of trust and fiduciary duty against the Crown. The High Court had also dismissed the claims. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Proprietors of Wakatū v Attorney-General
    The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Wakatū Incorporation, Rore Pat Stafford and Te Kāhui Ngahuru Trust alleging breaches of trust and fiduciary duty against the Crown. The High Court had also dismissed the claims. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Smith investigation warrants executed
    Auckland City Police investigating prison absconder Phillip Smith's activities prior to his departure from New Zealand recently, are aware of allegations about a Department of Corrections staff member and today located and spoke with the person named in ...
    Scoop politics
  • Is Your Family Ok This Christmas?
    For many people Christmas is a time for gift giving and eating until you fall asleep on your Grandparent’s sofa. Unfortunately, in New Zealand, many families do not experience Christmas this way. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Government delivers realistic land transport investment plan
    Government delivers realistic land transport investment plan The AA has welcomed the Government Policy Statement (GPS) on land transport 2015/16 - 2024/25. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Follow the Kiwi way these holidays
    New Zealanders are encouraged to ‘follow the Kiwi way’ over the holidays by showing respect for neighbouring landholders when accessing the country’s beaches, forests, rivers and mountains. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Irresponsible to ignore Auckland’s funding requirements
    We raised the debate on possible futures for the AECT to focus Auckland's attention on the parlous state of our city's development, says the chief executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association Kim Campbell. ...
    Scoop politics
  • PARS celebrates first graduation
    The first five participants of PARS’ (People At Risk Solutions) Toe Feso’ota’I Mentoring Programme graduated on Wednesday the 17th of December, marking the beginning of an innovative and culturally responsive mentoring programme that’s already helped ...
    Scoop politics
  • Back off the bumper this summer
    Media Release: 19 December 2014 Back off the bumper this summer A few seconds is all it will take to make our roads safer these summer holidays, says the AA. “Nearly 1 in 10 injury crashes last year involved someone… ...
    Scoop politics
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