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Psychopaths make the best capitalists

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, November 26th, 2010 - 217 comments
Categories: capitalism, Economy - Tags:

It’s a special breed of people who can deny workers a cost of living pay increase while pocketing a hundred thousand dollar a week pay cheque. It’s a special breed who can take people’s livelihoods or risk their health and safety to add a few cents to the share price. Research names that breed: psychopaths. Capitalism is built by and for them.

Here’s part of an article from Stuff on the subject and there’s plenty of other info out there, most notably the documentary The Corporation (isn’t it amazing how ‘hey, our economic system is controlled by psychopaths isn’t considered major news yet we do nothing about it):

The question is whether being a psychopath comes with the territory of being a boss. Not that all bosses are psychopaths, most are decent.

But do the traits of a workplace psychopath, the charm and the ruthlessness, make it easier to become a boss? Research in the past suggests that most psychopaths are of normal intelligence. More like Tony Soprano than Hannibal Lecter.

According to research cited, managers scored higher on measures of psychopathy than the overall population. Some who had very high scores were candidates for, or held, senior positions.
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“The very skills that make the psychopath so unpleasant (and sometimes abusive) in society can facilitate a career in business even in the face of negative performance ratings,” the researchers said.

Another study When Executives Rake in Millions: Meanness in Organizations found that bosses who make big bucks are much meaner to their employees compared to executives who aren’t earning massive salaries

What are the danger signals? Jo Owen at BNET identifies six traits to watch out for: they are highly egocentric and the world revolves around them; they have superficial charm and will say anything to get their way; they feel no guilt or shame about their actions; they take excessive risks; they blame others or completely deny there are problems and they are highly manipulative.

And of course, they will will back stab anyone they think is in their way or anyone deemed to be unnecessary.

All these traits helped them climb the greasy corporate ladder. Still, one of the problems in identifying the corporate psychopath is that it’s a world in which some of the defining characteristics are commonplace. Many successful managers and executives can be grandiose and narcissistic.

Let’s face it, there has to be something wrong with your mental wiring if you’re a Rob Fyfe or a Paul Reynolds or one of that other rarefied breed who call themselves ‘wealth creators’. These guys pocket millions of dollars a year, more than anyone can possible need to live even a lavish lifestyle (Reynolds gets an extra quarter of a million a year for flights home to Scotland). At the same time, they’ll rip of cabin crew and lines engineers to the point where the only option the workers have to protect their livelihoods is to go on strike. What kind of human being is willing to impose such suffering on others for a personal gain that they don’t actually need? The answer is simple.

If anything, these people seem to reveal in industrial action – they love putting the boot into the people who actually make the organisation function. The cult of personality at Air NZ and the way it was turned against the Zeal workers was scary (although, ultimately, Fyfe lost so badly that the Zeal brand had to be replaced). It’s so bad in the case of Telecom that they’ve lost a large chunk of their engineering workforce, who have left the industry altogether. But that ultimately self-destructive mindset is a key feature of psychopathology and capitalism. The value of Telecom has plummeted under Reynolds while he has kept on taking the pay cheques.

The capitalist edifice is a parasite on the economy and society. Sitting between those who do the work and the work they produce, it siphons off most of the wealth for an elite whose true economic contribution is conspicuously un-examined and just assumed to be vital.

Much as the psychopath doesn’t contribute to society but exploits its weakness, the capitalist has created a niche that is said to be crucial, in fact said to be the fount of wealth, but, in reality, the capitalist creates neither the capital he owns or the wealth that is produced with it. That is all done by someone else, the capitalist just owns everything.

217 comments on “Psychopaths make the best capitalists”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

    One word sums up the motivation for the behaviour talked of in this post GREED

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Actually mate its not just greed, these senior positions are a chance for people to fuel an inadequate personality which needs to express streaks of control, cruelty and vindictiveness.

      You know the type.

  2. MikeE 2

    I was actually going to suggest “ENVY”

    • felix 2.1

      I think it’s disgraceful that as a society we allow Rob Fyfe to be paid such a huge sum that a quarter of a million dollars – more than most people could ever imagine earning as a salary – is just his travel bonus.

      And this for overseeing an organisation (poorly by most accounts) which was built, bought and paid for by ordinary kiwis’ taxes.

      Meanwhile other people can’t afford food, clothes, and shelter. I think that’s inherently wrong.

      Is that envious? Can you point me to a definition of “envy” which covers what I’ve written?

      • Alwyn 2.1.1

        For God’s sake. At least quote the right person’s name in your moan.
        I think Eddie has gone a bit over the top but at least he was talking about Paul Reynolds.
        Incidentally when I read these descriptions on personality characteristics it seemed to be a very good description of almost eevery politician in Parliament.

        • Akldnut 2.1.1.1

          “highly egocentric and the world revolves around them; they have superficial charm and will say anything to get their way; they feel no guilt or shame about their actions; they take excessive risks; they blame others or completely deny there are problems and they are highly manipulative.”

          An apt description of Smile & Wave and his bunch of b/shitting thieves

        • felix 2.1.1.2

          Oops my bad, thanks Alwyn.

          Since MikeE isn’t likely to come back, and you’ve apparently taken an interest in the question I’ve asked him, perhaps you’d care to address it.

          • Alwyn 2.1.1.2.1

            I’m not going to answer on behalf of MikeE.
            However. (What a lovely word. It’s used by politicians whenever they want to sound as if the agree with you but they don’t.)
            MikeE contributed his comment about ENVY before you made yours. You cannot possibly expect him to have to justify his remarks about ENVY to you because he was commenting on Marty G’s post. (unless Felix is also Marty G of course). He can’t be said to be talking about you at all.
            I’m impressed that you said you had used the wrong name. Very, very, very few people (including me) will ever concede to the slightest mistake. I only brought it up because I hate to see people quoted incorrectly.
            Actually I think the salaries they receive are ridiculous. These particular people aren’t really very special. I do however think that Fyfe’s predecessor, now head of CBA, was worth his money at Air NZ.
            Incidentally I believe that Reynolds took a very large salary CUT this year, certainly well over two million dollars. I can’t be bothered checking it out so I may be wrong as to the amount.

        • Ari 2.1.1.3

          How exactly does a general post about corporate managers and the psychology thereof NOT relate to Rob Fyfe?

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Ah, the Right playing the Politics of Envy and Greed as per usual.

  3. Olwyn 3

    Chesterton said something along the lines of, even when the rules of a club favour the poor, the drift is toward the rich. When you attempt to form a status quo in which that drift is valourised, you are preparing the ground that breeds and nourishes psychopaths.

    While the left has often been accused of social engineering, one has to look at the raft of lobby groups, “working” groups, and so on, where people are included on the grounds of their commitment to the psychopathic model, to see how right wing social engineering works.

    Even some of the RWNJs that feature on this site seem to me to be trying to show in the opinions that they express that they are people of standing in terms of this distorted status quo.

  4. Green Tea 4

    “It’s a special breed of people who can deny workers a cost of living pay increase while pocketing a hundred thousand dollar a week pay cheque.”

    Sounds a lot like Parliament.

  5. randal 5

    as the great adam smith opined in his theory of moral sentiments the thing that most humans desire is command over labour.
    i.e. they want to be the boss.
    in other words they have a psychological desire to cover their own inadequacies by dumping on others.
    nasty but true and the recored in New Zealand bears it out.
    remember the person who thought they could beat up their staff when the ECA came in?

  6. Bill 6

    I simply don’t agree that psychopaths who are successful in business are exploiting weaknesses in society.

    It’s the market, not society that rewards the actions that flow naturally from -and as such promotes and nurtures the character flaws of – those who exhibit degrees of psychopathy.

    To quote an oft misquoted passage and offer a translation more focussed on our modern context :”For the love of money is the root of all evil…” becomes it is the pursuit of money before all else that is the root of all evil.

    • Gosman 6.1

      What errant nonsense you spout Bill.

      Socialist countries have just as many venal, arrogant, power hungry people working in them as any free market country.

      You just need to look at Stalinist Russia to see see this.

      • KJT 6.1.1

        Russia was not socialist.

        • Gosman 6.1.1.1

          LOL!

          Oh you are too funny KJT.

          Kind of like arguing Nazi Germany wasn’t fascist.

          • KJT 6.1.1.1.1

            Russia’s was a lot closer to Nazi Germany than it was to socialism.
            Both were extreme totalitarian dictatorships.

            The Nazi’s called themselves National socialists also.

            • Gosman 6.1.1.1.1.1

              So you are now saying both were socialist?

            • Gosman 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Let me ask you a couple of questions KJT.

              Was private ownership of the means of production in the Soviet Union severly restricted, (essentially outlawed in fact)?

              How is this not consistent with one of the central tennants of Socialism where the means of production is socialised?

              • Colonial Viper

                Gosman, Leninism is not socialism. Learn some political philosophy before spouting.

              • Ari

                The soviet union was an authoritarian parasite that grew up within an initially revolutionary communist host, and eventually killed it outright. Personally I think this is likely to happen in any resource-constrained communist society, (as Marx assumed a surfeit of resources with an ability to exploit them relatively easily- a set of circumstances that haven’t really existed in the past)

                The key facet of the soviet union’s actual governmental structure after the revolution was authoritarianism, in which KJT is perfectly correct to say it would be similar to the fascist regimes of Nazi Germany, Italy under Mussolini, or perhaps even Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Authoritarianism is the cancer of governmental systems, and it tends to eat the most corrupt or extremely right-wing* governments up from the inside. Communism is essentially a leaderless system and thus trying to implement it by revolution was always going to leave it vulnerable to capture by a charismatic or simply ruthless leader. The problems with revolutionary communism were practical and not ideological in nature.

                In contrast, the type of corporatism that runs the developed world today has problems of ideological nature inherent in the system that cannot be solved without fundamentally changing its nature. If we’re to have a truly productive society that enriches all facets of human life, at the very least dramatic reform is necessary. And you’re sitting here saying “Oh, but psychopaths exist without capitalism!” To which my reply would be: “Yes, but now we’ve put them in charge of guarding the proverbial henhouse.”

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The soviet union was an authoritarian parasite that grew up within an initially revolutionary communist host, and eventually killed it outright.

                  It wasn’t eventually, it was pretty much immediately. Academics hold that commun1sm in the USSR lasted approximately 50 days after the revolution.

                  For a society to be commun1st it must be a participatory democracy. Marx considered the Paris commune of 1871 to be close to being commun1st and that was technically anarchist (there’s not a lot of difference between the two). None of the communi1st countries (except possibly Cuba after the 1990 collapse of the USSR) has even had a representative democracy.

                  • Ari

                    I meant the “killed” comment as an analogy with the collapse of the union. The parasite had probably rendered its host unconscious much faster than that. ;)

                    And yeah, multi-party democracy is essential for a truly socialist society, whether it’s communist or not- I think one thing we can agree on left or right is that authoritarian shams are bad.

        • Gosman 6.1.1.2

          I think we have also established that you aren’t a very good judge of what is and isn’t socialist with the whole Muldoon episode yesterday. It took you a good number of posts to finally acknowledge that one.

          • KJT 6.1.1.2.1

            Bullshit. I was consistent throughout my posts. You were being a RWNJ as usual and arguing with something I did not even say.

            • Gosman 6.1.1.2.1.1

              You initially stated Muldoon wasn’t a Socialist. You then finally acknowledged that he practiced socialist economic policy. Face it you were well and truly pwned on that one. Don’t be embarrassed to admit it, I won’t hold it against you.

              • KJT

                Show me where i said anything of the sort.

                In fact i started by talking about think big which had socialist aims. And is why I have some sympathy for Muldoon despite his social welfare to farmers and cronies.

                You are delusional if you think I got pwned.

                • Gosman

                  Since you asked for it

                  “burt 7.1.1.2.1.2
                  25 November 2010 at 2:56 pm
                  rOb

                  Perhaps you could add some more detail of how Muldoon was significantly less than honest about the state of the economy at that time and how dire the situation we were in really was as a result of Muldoon’s leadership which although under a “National” banner was probably significantly more left wing than any left wing party we have today.

                  Reply

                  KJT …
                  25 November 2010 at 3:03 pm
                  Since when was Muldoon a socialist?
                  Didn’t have much time for him either. Just one of a long line of incompetent politicians, but he was at least more honest than the current crew.

                  The situation is much more dire now after right wing neo-lib policies since then.

                  NACT borrowing for election bribes and welfare to the rich is eerily similar to Muldoon’s policies.”

                  • KJT

                    Muldoon was for business and farmers like most Nat’s. Just because he had socialist policies in some areas does not make him a socialist. Any more than keeping the pension makes Key a socialist. Or the Nazi’s calling themselves national socialists make them socialist.

                    • Gosman

                      He practiced socialist economic policies. He didn’t just perpetuate existing socialist economic policies but massively expanded them. You yourself admit that many of his economic policies were socialist in nature. That is why he was a Socialist dressed in conservative clothing and is not well regarded by people from the right of the political spectrum generally.

                • Gosman

                  So first you ask the question, “Since when was Muldoon a socialist?”, as if it was crazy to suggest he was (although burt actually never made the point that he was socialist, just that he was probably more left wing than any political party we have now).

                  You then finally admit that his economic policy was quite Socialist in nature. Do you want me to grab that post as well?

                  • KJT

                    I said right from the start that some of his policies were socialist. You are inventing an argument which did not exist. In cloud coocooo land like most RWNJ’s.

                    • Gosman

                      No you didn’t. Right from the start would have been when you replied to burt. Instead you asked how he was a Socialist.

                      You only admitted to it when you were confronted with evidence of how his policies were consistent with socialist economic policies.

                      Why do you keep making up stuff when I can just go to the thread and provide evidence you are wrong?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You only admitted to it when you were confronted with evidence of how his policies were consistent with socialist economic policies.

                      Except that they weren’t socialist – they were Keynesian and Keynes was trying, very desperately, to save capitalism from itself.

                • Gosman

                  BTW you didn’t introduce Think Big in to the discussion. It was myself to highlight how Socialist Muldoons policies were. You just agreed with me.

                  Your ability to rewrite history is quite amazing. Perhaps you could get a job in propaganda for the North Korean or Cuban governments. North Korea needs someone to spin some good BS at the moment.

                  • KJT

                    LOL. I will leave it to others to read and judge.

                    • Gosman

                      You mean judge your rather pathetic attempts to spin your way out of your little embarrassment over claiming Muldoon wasn’t a socialist and then agreeing that he introduced socialist economic policies?

                      I don’t think it is very hard for people to judge that.

                  • Bored

                    I would have to say Gos your definition of socilaism is slightly off skew. Muldoon was a proponent of private enterprise, an adherent to Keynesian economics and a conservative who understood the threat posed to capitalism by a lack of welfare in the system. None of these make him a socialist.

                    There are far too many tosspots RWNJs out there who posit that anybody using a variation of Keynesian economics is a \”socialist\”. Please explain to me how a Keynesian approach that endeavours to prime private sector performance through demand generation and coexists in a private sector economy can be in the slightest bit socialist? If you RWNJs had half a brain you might realise a socialist would only see Keynes as an ameliorating factor in capitalism designed entirely to prevent it self destructing.

                    • Gosman

                      He practiced classic socialist economic policies. Increased the size of the state involvement in the economy massively, subsidised the productive sectors of the economy, attempted to control basic market forces via legislation, and introduced policy to centralise economic decision making. He also increased welfare to a large section of society with his superannuation policy amongst others.

                      I’d say he was a classic Socialist and there wouldn’t be many right leaning people who would disagree with this. If you disagree then find me a right winger who thinks Muldoon’s policies are consistent with Right wing socio-economic thinking .

                    • Gosman

                      BTW, where did Keynes ever advocate Wage and Price freezes?

                      I must have missed that part of his work.

                    • RedLogix

                      Gosman is recycling an old strategy of misapplying labels. Big and broad notions like ‘socialist’ or ‘fascist’ are easily abused in this way.

                      If you were able to ask the ghost of Robert Muldoon if he considered himself a ‘socialist’… in the sense that Gosman is characterising the word… you’d get a wry chuckle at best.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      If you disagree then find me a right winger who thinks Muldoon’s policies are consistent with Right wing socio-economic thinking

                      All the right wingers that kept voting him to power, and the national party caucus that selected him as leader.

                      And to say that he didn’t run with what right wingers now believe, does not make him socialist. Ya big numpty.

                      Nationalisation of the means of production and exchange. That’s classic socialism.

                      Muldoon was many things, he got keynes wrong, or rather used keynesian language to promote his own views, which were mostly mercantilist producerism with a smattering of corporatism. Nne of which is classic socialism.

                    • Gosman

                      National party supporters voted for him because there was no viable alternative. That is why when Labour in the 1980’s started implementing a right leaning economic programme many right leaning people swapped allegience in 1987. These people have now changed back to National or ACT.

                    • Gosman

                      Muldoon never followed traditional Keynesian economic thinking. Wage and Price freezes aren’t part of Keynesian economics. Neither is increasing the size of the State in the economy.

                      I’m sure Muldoon thought he wasn’t a socialist. That doesn’t detract from the fact that he followed traditional socialist policy proscriptions.

                      As the old maxim goes, if it looks like a dog, and barks like a dog, chances are it is a dog.

                    • Bored

                      Gos, you have answered as a true RWNJ, all labelling and no understanding , so a little deconstruct:

                      *He practiced classic socialist economic policies. So he privatised property and abolished private ownership of production did he?

                      * Increased the size of the state involvement in the economy massively, So he did some “pump priming” for the private sector by contracting out to them major capital works such as large chunks of “Think Big”? That sounds very “socialist” (not).

                      * Subsidised the productive sectors of the economy. ..So as a good socialist he subsidised the private owners of production, very “socialist” I must say, from the workers taxes to the owners pockets.

                    • Vicky32

                      Bored, sadly you are wasting your time with Gosman… He doesn’t *want* to know what anyone else has to say, he’ll just continue to claim he is right, and that people agreed with him, because he interviews his own head! :D
                      Deb

      • Bill 6.1.2

        Gosman. Both market economies and command economies embrace and promote the use of hierarchical structures of organisation and power.

        The mechanisms whereby individuals attain higher positions in the hierarchies and secure more power might differ. But the end result is, as you say, more or less the same

        Fortunately, ( and this is something you don’t seem to have grasped) the dichotomy of market economy versus command economy is a false one. There are economic possibilities that reject both traditions.

        The other detail you appear to be wilfully blind to is that the internal structures of corporations are very much structures of command and control; exactly like the bureaucracies in those command economies you continually throw up as bad examples to justify or excuse the continuance of market relations.

        • KJT 6.1.2.1

          Successful socialist economies are mixed. Neither totally capitalist or totally command. There are several examples in Europe.
          They are also heavily regulated and taxed to address market failures. All the things that are anathema to the RWNJ greedies.

        • Gosman 6.1.2.2

          Show me a single large scale practical example of the “economic possibilities that reject both traditions”.

          • KJT 6.1.2.2.1

            Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Lechteinstien, Tahiti, etc etc. all have viable mixed economies which look after their own people.

            • Gosman 6.1.2.2.1.1

              Ummmm…. everyone of those places also have a managerial class where Psychopathic tendancies could flourish. Do you actually think Swedish or Swiss multinational corporations are run on different lines to multinational corporations in other countries? If so your naiivity knows no bounds.

              • Gosman

                Switzerland is home to Nestle. Are you implying that Nestle is a paragon of corporate responsibility and virtue?

                • Bright Red

                  Gosman. It might help for you to pay attention and realise Bill is an anarchist, so attacking the Soviet statist model isn’t going to ruffle his feathers.

                  • Gosman

                    Excellent. I’m a libertiarian so we have something in common then

                    We both believe in a political philosophy that is a pipe dream and doesn’t reflect the reality of the human condition ;).

                  • Bill

                    “Bill is an anarchist.”

                    Erm. Democrat, actually. But yes, I do have anarchist sympathies, if that’s the correct expression.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Gosman, Switzerland was also once used by the Nazis to store Hitler’s treasures, are you implying that the Swiss are all Nazis :roll:

            • Bill 6.1.2.2.1.2

              KJT

              None of those economies reject the market, which is what Gosman wanted an example of.

              • KJT

                They reject the ideas of both Laissez faire free market capitalism and a command economy.
                Wasn’t that what you were saying?

                • Gosman

                  Technically that doesn’t make them Socialist either.

                  Regardless of that none of them are missing the hierarchical organisational structure where people with psychopathic tendencies can flourish, (in either the Public or Private sectors).

                  You have essentially failed to make your case convincingly.

                  • KJT

                    They are the closest countries to the dictionary definition of a socialist country.
                    Also the closest to the democratic ideal of rule by the people for the people.

                    Psychopathic tendencies are limited by democratic rule.

                    No accident they are the most successful societies ever.

                • Bill

                  No. Although those economies seek a middle ground, I was alluding to a participatory economic model, ie an economic model that rejects any and all variants of economies that are based on markets; that rejects any and all variants of economies run by command and so…it should go without saying… rejects any economies run on some mixture of market and command mechanisms.

          • Bill 6.1.2.2.2

            Venezuela is arguably moving in such a direction. The Bolivarian Revolution is actively rejecting both markets and state control through encouraging genuine worker control of workplaces and genuine citizen control of communities.

            Progress is uneven and is sometimes reversed for a whole host of reasons. Broadly speaking, it is exhibiting the expected examples of progress and set back that accompanies attempts to ‘plant he seeds of the future in the present’.

            For comprehensive discussion, debate and in-depth analysis of an economic model that is neither market based nor a command economy go here. And read. You will also find smaller scale examples of it being applied in the same web site.

            • Gosman 6.1.2.2.2.1

              You should read a recent Economist article about Venezuela. Charvez is doing his best to stuff that country up with his expropriations of private property. Funnily enough production in nationalised companies is falling generally. I wonder why?

              • KJT

                Production in private companies in the US is falling generally while the same companies production in China is rising. Funnily enough.

                Venezuala has had foreign capital pulled as punishment for not toeing the line as well as US sponsored invasion from that shining example of free market capitalism, Columbia. Probably too soon to decide on cause and effect yet.

                • Gosman

                  “Venezuala has had foreign capital pulled as punishment for not toeing the line”

                  Oh man you make some funny statements KJT!

                  Hmmmm…. let’s see I’m an overseas investor who want to invest in some overseas nations to get a return on my investment.

                  I could invest in a place where the government will protect my investment or I could invest in Venezuala where the government might decide to just take my money without compensation.

                  Why do you think foreign capital is leaving Venezuala again?

                  • KJT

                    Or you could negotiate a win/win investment with the Government that it is not in their interests to change.
                    As most foreign investment are looking for a win/lose they do not take kindly to a fair trade.

                    I thought you free market types did not believe in Government regulation anyway?
                    Why is Government regulation to protect your investments OK, when it is anathema to you to protect a nations people.
                    Your ideal State is Somalia where there is no Government interference in the market at all. Or Columbia where police protection is only given to those who can pay for it.

            • cardassian 6.1.2.2.2.2

              Awesome link, cheers.

              Have been looking for more information on parecon for a while now.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2.3

          The other detail you appear to be wilfully blind to is that the internal structures of corporations are very much structures of command and control;

          Which is why I’ve decided to call capitalism a command economy.

    • Bright Red 6.2

      I’d suggest youre making a slightly artifical distinction between socity and the economy, which is only a sub-set of society – ie one aspect of human group behaviour.
      There’s a positive feedback loop between the capitalist market system and the psychopathic mindset. The system encourages the mindset, which reinforces the system.

  7. Gosman 7

    Capitalism has got very little to do with the point of that article.

    It was mainly about personality traits of managers. Even Socialist countries have the same sort of roles. In fact I would suggets you tend to get more of them in State bureaucracies than in the Private sector as they are somewhat protected from being turfed out.

    If the article made out that a Psychopathic tendancy was more prevalent in entrepreneurs then you would have more of an argument that Capitalism supports them rising to the top.

    • Bright Red 7.1

      but capitalism is a socio-economic system centred around the interests of the management/capitalist class

      • Gosman 7.1.1

        I’d argue that a managerial class develops under any system. Show me a political economic system, (reality not theory), where there isn’t one.

        • Bored 7.1.1.1

          Hey Gos, you beat me to it: we finally agree. For the record my many years of experience in the organisational structures indicates to me that every human endeavour attracts psychopathology. And they reside at all levels.

          One the subject of whether they make the best capitalists they probably do, I have enough experience of examples, however I would qualify this with the fact that very few are “capitalists” themselves. They are organisational creatures, employees who have “psychpathed” their way to the top. Had Stalin been born in New York in the 50s he would now be Bernanke or some other corporate swindler.

        • felix 7.1.1.2

          Ding ding ding after 3 years of non-stop trolling Gosman makes his first cogent point.

          Nice one Gos, I’ll have a drink for you later.

        • Bill 7.1.1.3

          Differentials of power and influence exist only in systems that utilise hierarchical structures in order to govern or manage: not any system.

          • Gosman 7.1.1.3.1

            So show me a practical large scale example of a system where they don’t occur

            • Bill 7.1.1.3.1.1

              Nah Gosman. You’re being an arse today.

              You’re basic line is one whereby if we were in 1967 and somebody was proposing that it was possible for us to set a person on the face of the moon and laying out all the theoretical thinking that supported such a proposition, you’d be on auto repeat dismissing the proposition because no previous an examples of a person being set on the face of a moon could be brought to bear on the matter.

    • bbfloyd 7.2

      agreed G.. a darwinian hypothesis could be put forward here, as in, every species will attempt to create the environment required for the the next generation to be able to succeed and develop further down their evolutionary path.. the capitalist structure we are currently trapped in could be viewed as no more than the natural environment required for the continued success of the species..

    • KJT 7.3

      You may get some in State Bureaucracies, but it is the version of shareholder capitalism that we have which really rewards that sort of behavior.
      State bureaucracies may be more prone to the Peter principle though.

      Capitalism is a barrier to individual entrepreneurs as the owners of money capital are very reluctant to lend on new ventures. They would rather gamble on derivatives. Especially as they do not have to pay for their loses.

      • Gosman 7.3.1

        Show me a system which is better for entrepeneurs to develop their ideas (reality not theory).

        • KJT 7.3.1.1

          Control of banking and lending by a real democracy.

          • Gosman 7.3.1.1.1

            Example please?

            • KJT 7.3.1.1.1.1

              Switzerland.

              • Gosman

                I have worked for a Swiss bank. It didn’t seem to be any different to other big multinational banks from other countries. Why do you think it is different? Please provide examples of how the Swiss banking industry is somehow controlled better than other nations.

                • KJT

                  Unlike us, Switzerland is a democracy. They have the banking system they chose. Banking laws in Switzerland ensure banks are controlled so they pay taxes and provide opportunity in Switzerland.

                  If we chose our own banking system I doubt it would be private or regulated as lightly as it is now.

                  • Gosman

                    Do you realise that the big Swiss banks like Credit Suisse have a diverse shareholder base across a multitude of different countries and are not dissimilar to American owned banks, or indeed any major multinational bank? I have yet to see you provide any evidence of how they are different.

                  • Gosman

                    Do New Zealand banks not pay taxes then?

                    • KJT

                      Aussie banks do not if they can avoid it.

                      As usual, Gosman, you are not reading what I am saying.

                      Swiss banking laws are considered the most draconian in the world.

                    • Gosman

                      I’m sorry but that is a load of nonsense. All the banks in this country pay a huge amount of Tax. Stop making up stuff when you have no evidence to back you up on it.

                      I asked you to give me an example of how a large Swiss bank acts in any way different from say any other large bank in another country. I’m still waiting for some actual evidence rather than you just spout off your opinion on the Swiss banking regulartorial regime.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      All basic banking functions should be treated as a utility and made non profit.

                      Our banking systems needs to be restructured so that Australian banks are not effectively taxing our population with their fees and high interest on every financial transaction and then repatriating billions of NZ dollars out of the country to support the lifestyles of Australian shareholders.

                      The NZ Govt should disallow any bank from creating debt based bank cash and should go to a system of issuing sovereign debt free, interest free currency into the monetary system.

                      By the way Gosman Australian banks pay a huge amount of tx to the NZ Govt when they are made to, and they can do that because of the huge amount of capital they are ripping out of our productive economy.

                    • Gosman

                      “All basic banking functions should be treated as a utility and made non profit. ”

                      Oh you are too funny C.V.!

                      So let me get this straight. All banks should be made non-profit utilities?

                      I can’t wait for some serious political party on the left to suggest this as a policy idea. Then again they won’t be a serious political party anymore one they do so.

                      Why don’t you think this is current Labour party policy C.V?

                    • felix

                      I can’t wait for some serious political party on the left to suggest this as a policy idea. Then again they won’t be a serious political party anymore one they do so.

                      That’s beautiful circular logic Gos.

                      What do you see the role of a bank as being?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Gosman duh, I said basic banking functions, I didn’t say banks themselves :roll:

                    • Gosman

                      What the heck is “basic banking functions” anyway?

                      A banks role is to act as an intermediary between those with capital and those requiring capital. It is essentially a clearing house for money.

                      Anything on top of this is just bells and whistles.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      great question Gosman – if the big international banks had kept to the basic functions of managing savings accounts, creating loans and collecting money back, issuing credit cards, clearing cheques and the like (as per Glass Stiegal) they would not need to have been bailed out to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.

            • joe90 7.3.1.1.1.2

              http://www.nbs.co.nz/

              We are still a non-profit Mutual Society. The people of this region are still our shareholders and all our activities are still centred on providing for our customers and our local communities.

    • Vicky32 7.4

      “If the article made out that a Psychopathic tendancy was more prevalent in entrepreneurs then you would have more of an argument that Capitalism supports them rising to the top.”
      The article may not say that, but from my personal observation of entrepreneurs, I do! I knew a man fairly intimately about 4 years back, who came from Italy to work for his cousins in their business. He undermined them as much as possible, got fired and started his own company. He’s a psychopath within the meaning of the article – he ticks every box!
      Right now, he’s tremendously successful – but he’s already showing the traits mentioned, to judge by the way he’s treated his (ex) employees!

  8. The Baron 8

    This posting is a bit like saying: Some people who called themselves Socialists killed millions of people – ergo, all socialists are mass murderers. Thats why I hate socialism.

    I’ve got little time for this, but don’t stop playing to your increasingly nutty crowd, Marty. This is the reason why you guys are slipping down the blog rankings.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Socialism places ordinary people and societal needs ahead of capital wealth holders greed to get a return on investment.

      Sure that seems nutty to you, but it seems pretty sensible to me.

    • Shamy 8.2

      Lol good point Baron

      Maybe marty can write a post using the following tag line

      “Socialists make the best dictators”

    • Jeremy Harris 8.3

      Seconded… Comparing Capitalists to Tony Soprano, Hannibal Lecter and saying they are all physcopaths is too funny…

      I’d love to know where these Capitalists are..? What country has sound money, free currencies, the rule of law, individual rights and small government..? Capitalism is more than solely an economic system…

      • Colonial Viper 8.3.1

        I’d love to know where these Capitalists are..?

        Are you blind? They are the ones who have given hundreds of billions of pounds to bankers while planning to add 500,000 ordinary working men and women to the unemployment queues.

        Capitalism is more than solely an economic system…

        Yeah I agree its taken over the political system too.

        What was a system of rule designed to represent the many is now a system of rule designed to protect capital wealth and the few who hold most of it.

      • Jeremy Harris 8.3.2

        Need to brush up on your Capitalism CV…

        Capitalism is to let those banks that will fail – fail, and those that survive pick up the solvent assets…

        Capitalism is a system of law, i.e. economically: no fraud, enforcement of contracts, no government support for business, i.e. no forcing me or you to pay for a business to produce…

        It is also a monetary system, i.e. the money supply only increases when savings are invested in productive activities…

        Bailouts, subsidies, tariffs, monopoly reserve banks injecting interest bearing money into the financial system, these are all currently prevalent and not Capitalist ideas – the antithesis actually…

        I see you’re referring to Britain there, the public service is bigger in Britain now than the private sector – hardly a Capitalist society…

        • Colonial Viper 8.3.2.1

          the public service is bigger in Britain now than the private sector – hardly a Capitalist society…

          How did you measure this? I do not think its true. Public sector spending is less than 45% of UK GDP and shrinking rapidly.

          Need to brush up on your Capitalism CV…

          Capitalism is to let those banks that will fail – fail, and those that survive pick up the solvent assets…

          I think this is the same old chestnut we fight around Jeremy. All I will say here is that the powerful holders of mega capital wealth will fight against any fair system of truly free capitalism as you outlined it. In fact they will do everything that they can to slant the playing field in their favour (which they have done quite successfully), because that is the economically rational thing to do to maximise the return on their wealth.

          Put more simply, the wealthy simply do not want an even playing field.

        • Jeremy Harris 8.3.2.2

          The latest stats I saw referenced was from the UK’s National Statistic Bureau (whatever it’s actual name is) and was 53% for the whole of the UK…

          I think someone said it best when they said, “most entreprenuers are for competition, free trade and Capitalism – for the other guy”…

          • Puddleglum 8.3.2.2.1

            So there are no capitalist societies? Therefore, how do we know that capitalism is a ‘good’ or ‘the best’ system?

            Gosman wouldn’t be impressed with your defence of capitalism since it does not reference reality. Then again, Gosman talks favourably about capitalism too (seems to think that the existence of entrepreneurs means the existence of capitalism, or something …).

            ‘Capitalism’, in your sense, is just a piece of rhetoric in the guise of theory to keep people like you and Gosman supporting a real, existing pseudo-capitalist system that is primarily designed by those with wealth to ensure that they maintain and expand their dominance over others – i.e., to support their psychopathology.

            What was the phrase? ‘Useful idiots’, I think.

            On a related point. Ever wondered why capitalism has never been tried in its raw form? A couple or three words as hints – absolute, inhuman, disaster. Creative destruction raised to daily occurrence and the inevitable constant social tumult that would result.

            Even very wealthy people realise that ‘pure capitalism’ would be their death knell so they opt for fudging, facades, band aids for the masses and various versions of opium for the people.

            • KJT 8.3.2.2.1.1

              Somalia is capitalism in its raw form. If you do not have the money to buy guns you are stuffed.

              Funny how all the “free market” types still want the State to protect them and their property through tax funded laws, bureaucracies, police and military. They don’t say no to a bit of infrastructure and educated workers thrown in so long as they personally do not have to pay the taxes. A bit inconsistent I would have thought.

              Then, when they choose places to live they go to countries, which are pleasant to live in, because they have a high degree of equality and tax funded amenities.

              • Jeremy Harris

                You bring up Somalia all the time and it’s a nonsense, you cannot have a free market without the rule of law, contracts, property rights, freedom from theft, force and damage to property…

                Capitalism must have the rule of law to function so to say Somalia is Capitalism in it’s raw form is complete and utter crap…

                • Colonial Viper

                  I think you are making KJT’s point: that so-called free market capitalism ironically relies on an iron clad system of Government, Government provided (and tax funded) amenities and judicial intervention.

                • Jeremy Harris

                  Whoever said anything different..?

                  Free markets are about the seperation of economy and state, not the absence of the state or the lack of the rule of law…

                  • KJT

                    Then they are no longer “free”.

                    The fact is “free market” types want to be free to take our wealth and then they want us to pay taxes to protect “their’ wealth.

          • Jeremy Harris 8.3.2.2.2

            Who is Gosman..?

            That’s your opinion and I disagree, no need to call me a “useful idiot” on our first interaction…

            I think there have been societies close enough in the past to Capitalism and when large parts of the ideas of Smith have been put into place it gives us a strong idea of how well a fully Capitalist system would work…

            • lprent 8.3.2.2.2.1

              Who is Gosman..?

              Who he is is in real life is pretty much his own problem. But pseudonyms are just there to allow people to identify their writing on the net. You can find him on google, but it is probably easier with some pointers about how to use the resources of this site.

              You’ll find his post writing over at No Minister – the blog roll is on the right. Filed under right blogs.

              If you want to read his writing here – try this link. You can do that manually from the search on the right by typing “@author Gosman” without the quotes, select Advanced, select Comments, select Freshness, and turn everything else off.

              That’s your opinion and I disagree, no need to call me a “useful idiot” on our first interaction…

              So long as the insult or characterization isn’t pointless, the moderators don’t care. In this case puddlegum was clearly not making a pointless insult. That the clarity was an opinion is irrelevant, we take action if there wasn’t a point or it seems to us to be too gratuitous.

              Incidently, both comments framed as questions about people on site and comments about behavior draw moderators eyes. We regard them as requests for moderation. Don’t overuse them

            • Jeremy Harris 8.3.2.2.2.2

              I’m sorry what are you trying to say I’ve done wrong now..?

              When someone states X isn’t impressed with what I’ve done, and I don’t know who X is I’m not allowed to ask the person who X is..? Have I got that right..?

              I was referring to Puddlegum’s opinion on Capitalism when I said I disagree, I don’t care that puddlegum inferred that I was a useful idiot and haven’t asked for him to be moderated, so apart from telling me I’m not allowed to ask who other people are and to tell me I can’t politely point out to someone else there is no need to insult to get a point across I’m not sure what your point is…

              • lprent

                Nothing. I was just informing you who Gosman is, what the general policy is about name calling, and because you’re new here – why I responded. If you don’t want me to do so, then don’t frame comments that I will construe as relating to the operation of the site or asking a question related to policies like pseudonyms or behavior. You will notice that others don’t unless they want my attention.

                It is common for me to turn up in different modes depending on what needs to be done. That was the helpful mode

              • Jeremy Harris

                Well thank you…

            • KJT 8.3.2.2.2.3

              The ideas of Smith. Like “those who to whom much is given should also contribute more to society”., “land and capital should be taxed, not wages”, “the worker is worth a fair wage”, Business has to earn its right to exist from its usefulness to society”. (The Wealth of Nations) These ideas of Adam Smith.

              Yes they have worked quite well!

              • Jeremy Harris

                “those who to whom much is given should also contribute more to society”

                Of course wealthy people should contribute, but your mistake is you think government force is the only or best option…

                “land and capital should be taxed, not wages”

                We’ve got to pay for the Police, Armed Forces and Courts somehow, taxing wages discourages labour, I disagree with land taxes…

                “the worker is worth a fair wage”

                If there is competition for labour as the economy grows wages go up…

                “Business has to earn its right to exist from its usefulness to society”.

                They do everyday, if people buy their products and services… I’m against government support of business I don’t want the government to take taxes to support a business…

                • Colonial Viper

                  If there is competition for labour as the economy grows wages go up…

                  You will note that’s why when they are in charge the Right Wing

                  1) Act to crush trade unions.
                  2) Act to crush workers rights and standards.
                  3) Act to institute structural unemployment.
                  4) Act to dump excess labour into the workforce (e.g. sickness beneficiaries)

                  i.e. to ensure a situation where there is no competition for labour, the market is flooded with excess powerless labour and labour is weakened.

                  They they say “hey we can’t afford to give you more than a 0.9% pay increase this coming year, what are you going to do about it? *chortle*”

                  Of course wealthy people should contribute, but your mistake is you think government force is the only or best option…

                  Yeah, and if not through the taxation system how do you think you are going to convince every one on $200K p.a. in this country to voluntarily donate $75K of that money to good causes every year, year after year?

                  A street appeal?

                  I’m against government support of business I don’t want the government to take taxes to support a business…

                  Do you actually think what you are saying through?

                  Would you like Government to provide roads so that courier businesses can operate?

                  Would you like Government to provide universities so that law firms and accounting firms have graduates so taht they can operate?

                  Would you like Government to provide banks with a deposit guarantee so that the public can have confidence and banks can operate?

                  What the hell are you talking about, you don’t want Govt to support business? The Govt is a crucial underlying supporter of business because the economy is a lynchpin of our larger society!

                  And all these activities takes money to do and the Govt needs its tax take to carry them out.

                  • Jeremy Harris

                    I don’t support any attempts to crush trade unions, people have the right (or should) to organise freely…

                    Would you like Government to provide roads so that courier businesses can operate?

                    No…

                    Would you like Government to provide universities so that law firms and accounting firms have graduates so taht they can operate?

                    No…

                    Would you like Government to provide banks with a deposit guarantee so that the public can have confidence and banks can operate?

                    No…

                    Yeah, and if not through the taxation system how do you think you are going to convince every one on $200K p.a. in this country to voluntarily donate $75K of that money to good causes every year, year after year?

                    I don’t think they’re going to… Look at HK, learn the lesson…

  9. Anne 9

    Psychopaths can be found in all walks of life, not just in the corporate world. They are most prevalent in occupations where they are able to command control over people eg. health and education sectors of society. They can do a huge amount of damage over a long period of time because they are so clever at covering their tracks. One of their favourite strategies is to drive deep wedges between people which enables them to maintain total control over them. If a past experience of mine is any indication, they can also be found in some Public Service agencies too.

    • Bored 9.1

      I think that corporations (and corporatised government departments) by dint of their organisational structures make happy hunting grounds for psychopaths. The thing that makes them so dangerous in corporations is that they are in power positions in organsations whose basic pathology is also psychopathic.

      In short power at the moment is concentrated in psychopathic organisational constructs that are regularly run by psychopaths.

  10. ianmac 10

    My son just sent me this after my noting that DeLay (USA ex House Leader) had been found guilty.
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93253890
    It describes how Conservatives in USA denigrate bureaucracy and privatise. To take the 19 minute interview is depressing but echoes of the intent and action with our State Services and the Health Ministry and Education and…..

  11. joe90 11

    And I always thought Fyfe was following Issendai’s Superhero Training Journal.

    Rule 3: Keep them emotionally involved. Make them love you if you can, or if you’re a company, foster a company culture of extreme loyalty. Otherwise, tie their success to yours, so if you do well, they do well, and if you fail, they fail….

  12. A 12

    I’m not sure this argument is a good one. Yes, there are more people who have some form of ASPD (the clinical name for psychopathy) in business, but there still aren’t that many of them. It would probably be ridiculous to label Paul Reynolds a psychopath, and it would be plainly ridiculous to label someone like Warren Buffet as one.

    Capitalism has more to do with this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_dominance_orientation

  13. Jenny 13

    And so it starts:

    With the country still reeling from the Pike River tragedy, behind the scenes, conscienceless spinmeisters are already revving up their campaign, to increase and expand the coal mining industry.

    Rankling from the defeat served up to them by the huge protests against mining on schedule 4 land. Powerful and determined mining advocates see this tragedy as an opportunity, too good to miss, and are and are already trying to spin it to their advantage. To prepare the ground, letters to the editor, from influential individuals, will start appearing in the media.
    The following leading letter in Thursday’s Herald is a typical example of the sort of orchestrated campaign by prominent pro-mining lobbyists, that we can expect, as Auckland University Associate Professor Ken Palmer advocates for open cast mining on schedule 4 land shamelessly using the Pike River Tradedy to push his barrow.

    The Pike River mine, if it is to continue, must become as far as practicable an open-cast mine.
    The protection of the miners from risks should be paramount. The protection of the conservation landscape must not take priority. Green advocates must accept this reality. We must all learn from this disaster.

    Associate Proffessor Ken Palmer, University of Auckland Law School

    The above, is an example of the crass opportunism from a mining advocate, as we are likely to see.
    Unfortunately, I think we can expect to see a lot more of this sort of thing in the coming weeks and months.

    In the same vein we can see other pro-mining lobbyists making extraordinary bullish claims in the wake of this disaster, like the following by industry leader, Cam Wylie:

    it is a really, really great industry. All companies operating in mining in New Zealand operate at a high level, a leading edge level of safety, of environmental standards

    capcha – “environments”

    • Bored 13.1

      I think that Associate Proffessor Ken Palmer is a very good example of why we should not listen to lawyers, he is obviously a pillock. When dealing with non negotiable issue you cannot compromise, when lawyers get involved their natural inclination is to look for some “out clause”, to delegitimise whatever they are up against. From the altered postion they then try to set new rules. That is what Palmer is doing.

      Interestingly lawyers often get strung up from their own petard. Think Robespierre who altered any revolutionary checks and balances to executive terror…and got chopped by the whole apparatus he initiated. Another example of why not to listen to lawyers.

    • jimmy 13.2

      I too have noticed the anti-green argument coming out.

      Some guy named Paul in the comments of a yahoo news article that I cant find had a good counter-argument that went along the lines of:

      ‘the coal seam is underneath a mountain, to open-cast mine that would require moving the mountain and then the crushed rock left over from the aforementioned mountain turns the rain that washes over it acidic from the newly exposed pyrite’

      • Roger 13.2.1

        And also a point that works in any site, if it is the fault of Labour/Greens/Conservationists for preventing open cast mining in Schedule 4 land making extraction of coal so dangerous, then the companies (eg. Pike River) knew that their practices were overly dangerous. They decided that they were willing to extract coal from that particular place even if it meant playing russian roulette with the lives of the mine workers. Knowing the fact that there was extra danger, the health and safety monitoring was clearly inadequate.

        The assumption that this was the fault of Labour/Greens/Conservationists suggests that the psychopathic behavior of risking lives for profit and the decision to extract that particular seam knowing the dangers is inherently natural and expected, and therefore okay in the eyes of these finger pointers.

      • Mac1 13.2.2

        “Then the coal company came with the world’s largest shovel,
        They stripped all the timber and tortured the land.
        They dug for their coal till the land was forsaken
        And wrote it all down to the progress of man.”

        “Paradise” by John Prine.

        The town of Paradise in Western Kentucky was strip-mined and no longer exists. Paradise has been lost.

  14. smhead 14

    The same characteristics could be labelled at Union leaders. And Marty’s beloved labour party. Pity for him that the drive to establish a personality cult around Phil Goff hasn’t gone so well. Hope Eddie does better trying to make Len Brown the focus of another cult of personality, but he might have to find a personality for him first.

    • felix 14.1

      The same characteristics could be labelled at Union leaders

      Bit of a Keyism, but anyway go ahead. Make your case.

    • Bright Red 14.2

      so you’re criticising Len Brown both for building a cult of personality and manifestly not doing that – in that same sentence. Nice.

  15. So capitalism is a personality disorder is it? Well lets find teh right medication then?
    Capitalism should be able to do that, big Pharma has the answer. Lets get the bosses to pop a ‘nice’ pill so they behave better.
    In fact capitalism does not depend on abormality, as it defines what is normality. It creates a character type or entreprenuer as historic hero who grabs others wealth and then ‘normalises’ it as profit. Private property as theft become teh reward for intelligence (George Bush jn) hard work (John Key) and risk taking (George Soros). Believing this to be true many aspire to such rewards.
    Capitalism is independent of personality. There are good, bad and and indifferent capitalists, but to be capitalists they have to exploit workers. Does Peter Wittall behave like an exploiter?
    You would be better to judge capitalism itself as psychopathic since its profit motive clearly contradicts even the most basic ‘normal’ natural needs of the vast majority of us – miners right to life for example. The longer capitalism survives the more danger that it will destroy us and itself.

  16. RedLogix 16

    Lots of folk missing the point here.

    Psychopathy and it’s closely related behaviours are a common feature of all human populations. Normally we get to identify and isolate them, minimising the terrible harm they cause.

    The problem is that authoritarian power structures provide an ideal happy hunting ground for them. In particular the nature of the power structures in badly run bureaucracies and corporates makes it extremely difficult for their victims to defend themselves. Once a psychopath gains power there is very little that can be done to stop them, unless their senior managers/leaders are on the lookout for them and are willing to stop them.

    Unfortunately the corporate capitalist model, with it’s total focus on short-term profits, and dependency on authoritarian power, is either completely blind to these people… or is quite happy to exploit their peculiar talents in middle-managment to ensure workers are kept suitably cowed and divided.

    • Gosman 16.1

      How is this different to authoritarian power structures in a Socialist country?

      • RedLogix 16.1.1

        How is this different to authoritarian power structures in a Socialist country?

        Well at least you are now understanding that the common feauture here. The capitalist corporate, and the totalitarian state both exploit human vulnerabilities around social dominance/submission to protect entrenched privilege. And there is no doubt that psychopaths thrive within those kinds of stagnant, oppressive environments.

        But clearly it’s escaped your notice that no-one here advocates anything that looks like either a totalitarian or corporatist state. You persist in pointing to historic examples like such as Russia and China, neither of whom had any democratic tradition or experience, who precipitously swung almost overnight from almost medieval monarchies/regimes to an opposite extreme…while retaining the essential authoratarian character of what they thought they were overthrowing.

        Without any cultural memory or experience of democracy, both Russia and China took decades to evolve beyond highly hierarchical centralised structures, yet in recent times are some of the fastest growing economies in the world.

        • Gosman 16.1.1.1

          And everyone here consistently fails to show any real world examples of a Socialist state WITHOUT authoritarian power structures of varying degrees.

          • felix 16.1.1.1.1

            The key word there is “State”, not “Socialist”.

            Show me a real world example of ANY kind of state without authoritarian power structures and I’ll play your silly game.

          • RedLogix 16.1.1.1.2

            So…show us any example of a capitalist one WITHOUT authoritarian power structures of varying degrees.

            The point is that socialism at it’s heart is about the dignity and welfare of all. I find it easier to imagine a socialist society that suceeds in maximising democratic participation and accountabilty for all, than a capitalist one whose only apparent goal is the maximisation of wealth into the pockets of the fewest.

            • Gosman 16.1.1.1.2.1

              Yeah, yeah, yeah.

              I could equally quote you the views of people claiming libertarianism is the only real moral philopsophy as it is the only one without coersion of the individual.

              Just because you think your political view is all about “dignity and welfare for all” doesn’t mean it is in reality.

              • Bill

                “… libertarianism is the only real moral philopsophy as it is the only one without coersion of the individual.”

                I’m assuming you are referring to right wing libertarianism and not left wing libertarianism? And conveniently overlooking the asymmetry of power inherent to the market, including but not limited to the differential of power that arises from market competition to secure private ownership and the concomitant control over land and resources and means of production and methods of distribution which in turn leads to an ability to control the lives of those who by necessity need access to those resources or systems but who own or control less of them or none of them.

                • Gosman

                  Right wing libertarian political thought doesn’t acknowledge the ‘asymmetry of power’ just as Socialism doesn’t seem to acknowledge to possibility of greed and freeloaders in a Socialist society. All people in a right wing libertarian system enter into economic interactions as free and rational individuals. Whether this is what actually happens in reality is a completely different argument.

                  • Bill

                    So the theory doesn’t account for the likely reality that would flow from any attempt to re-ify the theory? Fine. And the same is true for many variants of socialist theory.

                    But it’s not true of all socialist theories.

          • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.1.3

            Just because they may never have existed doesn’t mean that they can’t.

            • Gosman 16.1.1.1.3.1

              Yeah it does pretty much.

              Just because Psychic ability hasn’t been proven to exist doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t a load of bollocks. But it is a pretty damn good indicator.

              • Bill

                Give me a theory that that stands up to scrutiny that claims a possibility for psychic abilities.

                • Gosman

                  And you actually think Socialist theory holds up to scrutiny?

                  Excuse me while I die laughing.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    There is an economic surplus from production, and society must consciously decide how that surplus is used and distributed within itself.

                    Nothing funny or unimportant about that.

                  • Bill

                    Depends on which theory of socialism you are referring to, dunnit? I’d be the first to agree that those theories which fail to take into account authoritarianism and so employ structures that promote authoritarianism are a crock of shit.

    • Jeremy Harris 16.2

      @RedLogix, I recently read a book about dictators over the last 500 or so years, it made the point that a reoccuring feature of their rules was a “secret police” to whom the rule of law was not applicable, not suprisingly it attracted the pyschopaths in the respective societies and was one of the worst features of many of the dictatorships, i.e. being killed without cause, without the prospect of justice is worse (obviously) than losing the right to criticise one’s leader(s)… I also seem to remember reading that pyscopaths are attracted to being prison guards for some reason (not sure how reliable my memory on that is)…

      The point is pyschopaths (or those with tendencies) make up a few percent of the population and are attracted to positions of power… It doesn’t matter what the system, or what the position of power…

      • Colonial Viper 16.2.1

        Jeremy, interesting problem in the US where certain personalities are attracted to the power of a gun and a badge. Some of these personalities fail the police entrance exams so they become loosed on society as private security guards instead. And in the US those private security guards often also get to carry a gun and a badge: mission accomplished.

      • RedLogix 16.2.2

        make up a few percent of the population and are attracted to positions of power…

        While true, is besides the point. The authoritarian corporate is the dominant power structure in our society and guess what… we find these people do very well at it … while causing a great deal of harm and damage along the way.

        That’s not any kind of vindication is it?

      • Jeremy Harris 16.2.3

        I guess the point is what’s the difference between a pyschopath in a government position of power or a corporate one..?

        Government stuff ups and abuses are harder to prosecute (governments tend to like to legislate protections from the law for themselves, think OIA)…

        In the corporate world there are still laws to send you to prison if you commit fraud or reneg on a contract or steal… I’d suggest the problem is extentuated by having Police Officers writing tickets and filling up the prisons with the perpetrators of victimless crimes instead of dedicating resources to white collar crime…

        • Colonial Viper 16.2.3.1

          For a long time people chose a respected career in public service to, uh, ummm, serve the public. Those were the days.

          In the corporate world there are still laws to send you to prison if you commit fraud or reneg on a contract or steal…

          Yes, you are right, in theory there are. They apply to those in public service too. You can’t just flog stuff which isn’t yours. So how many former US investment banking heads are behind bars right now?

        • Jeremy Harris 16.2.3.2

          So how many former US investment banking heads are behind bars right now?

          There is a case in NY at the moment involving JP Morgan…

          JP Morgan has asked for the case to be supressed as it contains proprietary information… I.e. they are being investigated for fraud but want the case details hidden, so if they are found innocent they can continue to use the same methods…

          If the US government was to disband the DEA and DoHS and put more resources into the SEC to investigate cases of fraud, theft and breach of contract, you’d hear me clapping long and loud…

          But the actions of some NY corporate welfare receipiants, acting in a bubble factory monetary system, utilising government force has little to do with whether pyschopaths are more dangerous in the public sector or private sector… Sovereign imunity plays a part in my thinking that it is riskier to be a crook in the private sector…

          By the way did you see DPF did a post on you..?

          • Colonial Viper 16.2.3.2.1

            Well so maybe there is a case, maybe it will go somewhere, all I know is that guys like Fuld destroyed organisations like Lehman Bros, created the GFC, and he is still sitting pretty on his $484M in accumulated salary and bonuses.

            If the US government was to disband the DEA and DoHS and put more resources into the SEC to investigate cases of fraud, theft and breach of contract, you’d hear me clapping long and loud…

            is a lack of resources really why the SEC has been so shit? In my view it is a malaise far deeper than that. I take it you are aware of the analyst who wrote to the SEC several times, providing direct and indirect financial evidence on a silver platter time and time again over a number of years, pointing to the fact that Madoff and his multi billion dollar hedge fund was a total fraud?

            And the SEC swung into action when – when he turned himself in.

            By the way did you see DPF did a post on you..?

            Cheers will check it out

          • Jeremy Harris 16.2.3.2.2

            Well it is a government department.. ;)

            Could be a lack of leadership, resources, procedure… I haven’t read much about the SEC (might do that, Wikipedia here I come)…

            I disagree these guys are the main drivers of the GFC, they’re actions in a small part caused it but they are hardly responsible for creating the Fed in 1913 or the other various problems – it is a monetary problem, it’s a governmental problem (driving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase home ownership), it is a problem of a lack of savings, it is a problem of people taking on too much debt… Don’t forget the effect oil spiking up to $170 a barrell had…

            While they’re easy targets and they’ll get no praise from me, the Bankers are/were part of the problem but not the sole (or even largest cause)…

            As a planet we’ve been taking good steps towards free trade, we need to move to a monetary system that supports that IMHO…

            • Colonial Viper 16.2.3.2.2.1

              Private banks created the Federal Reserve and since its inception 100% own the Federal Reserve.

              It is not an entity owned or controlled by the US Government.

              NB without a shadow banking system placing bad bets in the tens and hundreds of billions of dollars, we would not have had a GFC.

            • Jeremy Harris 16.2.3.2.2.2

              I do realise, it was created under the most dubious of circumstances and the Congress has little power over it… The Fed chair is probably the second most powerful person in the US – unelected…

              IMO it has to go…

              • Colonial Viper

                The private banks who own the Federal Reserve (and the individual state Federal Banks) will never ever allow its dis-establishment as it gives them a huge lever of power in the US economy and in the US Government.

              • Jeremy Harris

                It’s not a question of allow or not allow, it’s a question of electing a majority in Congress of a party willing to do so…

        • Vicky32 16.2.3.3

          Jeremy, did you actually mean ‘extenuate’ there? I ask because I can’t make sense of your sentence… (Possibly you meant exacerbated, or worsened, in which case, I’d agree with you if you mean that perpetrators of white collar crime should be prosecuted with force!)

          • Jeremy Harris 16.2.3.3.1

            Jeremy, did you actually mean ‘extenuate’ there?

            Yes I did use an extra “t”, well done you get a gold star in your homework book… This is the form I meant it in:

            ex-ten-u-ate

            4. Archaic .
            a. to make thin, lean, or emaciated.
            b. to reduce the consistency or density

            I.e. The Police’s ability to deal with white collar crime is reduced by resources being assigned to the wrong (IMO) priorities…

  17. infused 17

    The Corporation is utter shit.

  18. Colonial Viper 18

    Gosman is on a shite spouting rant today.

    “Socialism” has very simple ideals. Both Social Democratic values and Democratic Socialism hold very important ideas that our society needs to learn from and integrate.

    Socialism has simple values. Place people and society as the priority which capital serves. Not the other way around.

    • Gosman 18.1

      This from the person that got pwned on Red Alert when debating with someone who escaped East Germany by saying that they had no idea of what Socialism was.

      LOL!

      [lprent: I don't like that term pwned or its variants. This place is an agree to disagree zone where it is unlikely that anyone winds up agreeing much with anyone else. Pwned (and the like) discussions usually wind up as irritating flame wars that I have to stamp out. Don't use it here because I usually stamp hardest on the first person to use it. ]

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.1

        :D

        Dude neither you nor Mr Infinity have any idea about economics, you are both serious disappointments as RWNJs.

        BTW East Germany was neither a Democratic Socialist or Social Democratic state. It was a police state subject to Soviet rule.

  19. Santi 19

    C.V. says: Socialism has simple values. Place people and society as the priority which capital serves. Not the other way around.

    Really? Tell that to the people of the former Soviet Union, Poland, Romania, Albania, Hungary, Bulgaria, GDR, etc, etc.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      None of those states were Democratic Socialist or Social Democratic states. None of those states even lived up to the ideals of communism for any length of time.

      Santi, I thought you of all people would know that Leninism is not Socialism.

      • Shamy 19.1.1

        Yet marxism / leninism is a *version* of socialism utilised by Lenin

        Socialism is still the building blocks of Leninsim – I thought you of all people would know that Viper

        Saying their no relationship between Socialism and Lenisim is like saying there no relationship between a Honda and a Ford because they a different type of car

        The looney (far) left must hate the fact historical case studies having proven many times that despite the naive appeal of their economic / political theories in practise they just ending up causing unimaginable hurt to the people they supposedly trying to ‘protect’

        • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1

          Shamy, no academics who have continued to develop socialist thought and have investigated systems of Democratic Socialism and Social Democracy see Leninism as meeting any kind of socialist (or even communist) ideal.

          The looney (far) left must hate the fact historical case studies having proven many times that despite the naive appeal of their economic / political theories in practise they just ending up causing unimaginable hurt to the people they supposedly trying to ‘protect’

          Uh why? Leninism is not Social Democracy and it is not Democratic Socialism.

          As for causing hurt to their own masses of people, capitalism is doing a stand up job of that today, day after day after day, just so a few wealthy capital holders can have their way.

  20. Gee

    Gossman makes a comeback and we get 102 comments in three and a half hours!

  21. Gosman 21

    Two serious questions.

    Why isn’t any mainstream political party in N.Z. advocating these ‘true socialist’ policies?

    Don’t you ever get disillusioned that these ideas are in such a minority that no serious country around the world is implementing these ‘true socialist’ policies?

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      1) Both Labour and the NATs were hijacked by Chicago school neo-liberals in the 1980’s and 1990’s
      2) Nope – many countries in Europe and South America actively practice elements of both Social Democracy and Democratic Socialism.

      • Gosman 21.1.1

        Which country on the planet has elements of a market economy AND has banks being non-profit organisations like you suggested as a viable, (indeed desirable), policy earlier?

    • Draco T Bastard 21.2

      Why isn’t any mainstream political party in N.Z. advocating these ‘true socialist’ policies?

      Just because they’re not in the MSM doesn’t mean to say that there aren’t any. What it means is that the MSM isn’t doing it’s job. This is most likely because of it’s psychopathic ownership clique that don’t want such ideas promulgated.

      Don’t you ever get disillusioned that these ideas are in such a minority that no serious country around the world is implementing these ‘true socialist’ policies?

      It’s not that they’re in the minority but because they’re actually oppressed which just means we have to try harder to point out that the world is presently controlled by a bunch of psychopaths that don’t want people to know the truth.

  22. Bored 22

    Just to throw a curve ball at this whole exercise: the best capitalists are not psychopaths. They are in many ways inspirational people who display real vision and leadership within the confines of the (pathlogically psychopathic capitalist) system. For example, Bill Gates is no psychopath, neither is Richard Branson, John Chambers or Steve Jobs. In any other system they would still have been people with drive, inspiration and leadership qualities. What sets them and the successful companies they have built apart is that they have the backing and faith of the people they work with, and they all show empathy and understanding.

    • Gosman 22.1

      Actually Bill Gates is a psychopath which you should know if you’ve attempted to integrate a Microsoft product with anything else ;)

      • KJT 22.1.1

        Wrong again! MS plays well with thousands of computer systems and software. That was their problem with XP. Trying to be everything at once with too many different drivers and computer manufacturers.
        You could level that at Apple though.
        Jobs and Gates standardized user interfaces which saves hundreds of hours of my time compared with all the wildly different geek type interfaces in the DOS days.
        They developed a product that works for millions of people.

        That is earning money fairly.

        Contrast with your standard corporate type who knows how to cost cut, pump up short term share value with smokes and mirrors, treat his workers like shit and asset strip.

        Even Management Magizine, hardly a left wing publication, says we have far too many of the second type and not enough of the first.

        • Bill 22.1.1.1

          They didn’t earn their money ‘fairly’. They competed and wound up basically in a monopoly position which they defend by buying out or otherwise neutralising any potential competition.

          Meanwhile, does Micro-soft produce the best possible interface? Probably not. Did competition produce a better interface than would have been developed in a command economy? Maybe. Maybe not.

          But what we do know is that in a market situation a lot of time and energy is lost on what might be fairly termed fashion; fashion that masquerades as something somehow innovative and new. And we know that to extract maximum profit, that a product is released and improvements held back and their release timed to continue generating maximum returns and to preserve any competitive edge rather than a fully fledged product being made available in the first place, as might be the case in a command economy.

          And we know that in a market, sensible levels of standardisation are resisted meaning that a lot of resources are wasted in producing what are essentially replica products that are unique only insofar as they wont marry up with existing competitors’ products.

          I mean, do we really need a dozen different phone charger fittings, requiring that the charger is thrown away if a new phone is purchased for example?

          • RedLogix 22.1.1.1.1

            And the other vastly inefficient waste of resources is the standard marketing trick of creating ‘ranges’ of products, all carefully aligned into a cascade of ‘features and benefits’ each at it’s own ‘price point’ designed to maximise profit. The result is an insane proliferation of models and variants… far more than can be justified on the grounds of consumer choice.

            Which directly leads to the practise of shortening life cycles, reducing product lifetimes and premature obsolecence… to maximise turnover.

            None of which would matter too much if the planet had infinite resources that were fairly distributed among all peoples. Instead a few of us wallow in obscene, obese luxury while billions languish in helpless poverty.

          • KJT 22.1.1.1.2

            A command economy is as impossible as a “free market” economy. Attempts at both have been equal failures.

            Agreed that many dysfunctional things are done for “market” reasons. Planned obsolescence being just one that will have to be dealt with for a sustainable economy.

            Market competition that unnecessarily duplicates resources like cell phone networks or rail ways should have the infrastructure under public control, as should competition that results in cartels or monopolies to avoid excessive load on the rest of the economy.

            However a fully fledged product in computer operating systems, like many other developments, would not have happened without competition, as innovators make real improvements all the time. Many are beneficial like greater memory, lower energy use and ease of operation.

            Competition works fine for food supplies, building and many other things provided those who cheat or cut corners are dealt with.

            P.s. Phone manufacturers have agreed to a common charger. Though I fail to see why a new phone or computer operating system every year is necessary.

            • Vicky32 22.1.1.1.2.1

              “Phone manufacturers have agreed to a common charger.”
              This can only be a good thing! :)
              Deb

            • Colonial Viper 22.1.1.1.2.2

              Though I fail to see why a new phone or computer operating system every year is necessary.

              Perhaps billionaires Bill Gates and Steve Jobs could provide you with the answer?

    • Jeremy Harris 22.2

      Bored, I think you can add the google guys into that catergory… The day off a week for new ideas is a great employment development I think…

      Captcha: Captains – lol

      • Colonial Viper 22.2.1

        You got to admire how the google guys run hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue through foreign countries and pay roughly 2 cents in tax for each dollar, if that.

        I need their accountants.

        • Jeremy Harris 22.2.1.1

          Well you know my opinions on taxes on successful business, the more they can legally reduce their tax burden the better I say, the more money to expand their operations and hire more people…

          The main point I was making was about their day off a week, basically to think… IMO if everyone working spent 20% of their working time thinking of new ideas related to their industry or better ways to provide or improve existing products we would see some remarkable growth…

          • Pascal's bookie 22.2.1.1.1

            Modern capitalism has been pretty successfully captured by management.

            It is no accident that finance as an industry, which is almost by definition a beast of bureaucrats, has been grabbing a larger and larger share of gdp in modern western countries. It is no accident that bankers and associated thieves are getting bailed out, making record profits and bonuses the next year, all the while complaining about the ‘socialism’ they are suffering under and spending millions lobbying for:

            austerity for thee, tax cuts for me.

            Have a good look at the foreclosure mess, and realise there will be no reckoning.

            The banks, who completely ignored the very basis of capitalism, keeping track of property ownership through legally binding documentation, will lobby and get their way.

            We’ve gone from too big to fail, to: Too big to be charged with basic fucking fraud.

            Wall st managed to lobby itself extremely favourable tax treatment over the last 15 years, the theory being that, well it would encourage their awesomeness and general freakish ability to promote growth. Or else they’d go galt. Fucking please.

            And here we are.

            The same thing applies within the corporate culture of the rest of the modern system. CEO’s and boards are simply not accountable to shareholders in the sense that the myth tells us. They are accountable to each other, if anyone at all. When you look at how much of the wealth is owned by the top 1 %, and how much is controlled by the mangers of pension funds? Well. The gig is up. Innit?

            She has run her course.

            The monkeys are in the kitchen: they is eating all the food.

            • Pascal's bookie 22.2.1.1.1.1

              Whoops, put that there kind of by accident Jeremy, sorry. Obviously not really in response to what you said.

            • Jeremy Harris 22.2.1.1.1.2

              I was wondering… Damn U2 is loud I must be 5 kms away and can hear Bono’s individual lyrics…

              Just to add to the randomness…

              • Colonial Viper

                Ha I know a bunch of middle agers who really should know better partying in on in there lol

          • KJT 22.2.1.1.2

            Jeremy says if business taxes are decreased they invest more in the business.

            Except they did not. Decreased taxes and wages in NZ resulted in less investment in productive business, not more. It is now less than a third of what it was in 1980.

            That is because business people know that low wage earners do not buy their products, so they put their money in US derivatives instead.

    • KJT 22.3

      I think they would come under the category of innovators and entrepreneurs who would stand out under any system..

      Note that, unlike the million dollar bankers, most of them also give back in some way. A very socialist thing to do!

    • Bill 22.4

      “What sets them and the successful companies they have built apart is that they” were successful in competing in the market and laying claim to more resources, manufacturing capacity and market power than other would be ‘top dogs'; not that they were nice guys who “have the backing and faith of the people they work with, and they all show empathy and understanding.”

  23. Sean Brooks 23

    I judge Capitalists by people like Peter Leitch, people who start up a business hires thousands of people, treat their workers right and give back to society.

    A true New Zealand hero.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      I agree Sean Brooks, lets start judging all major corporations by these same criteria – creating thousands of new jobs in NZ, treating their workers right and paying their workers well, giving back to NZ society and paying their way in taxes to the Government.

      So, who else on your NZ corporate list meets these criteria Sean?

      Am keen to hear which other corporate citizens you admire who are also true heroes

      And tell me where you think the Australian owned banks appear in your rankings too.

      And don’t forget Wingnut studios and Warner Bros

      • Sean Brooks 23.1.1

        I do know that the lower level staff (filing clerks/ dataentry clerks) at some of those aussie banks you talk of, are paid a much higher rate than they would get elsewhere.

    • Rosy 23.2

      I’d love most capitalists to be like Peter Leitch. He encompasses many of the attributes New Zealanders admire. Sadly I believe he’s more likely to be the exception that proves to rule. The differences between him and the the Hotchins of this world are glaring. Not likely to see him having long champagne lunches and an massive house in the exclusive suburbs with another showpiece at the beach and/or Fiji, kids in private schools and shopping in designer stores ….

  24. Jimbo 24

    Psychopaths are among the most successful
    – Sports people
    – Politicians
    – Surgeons
    – Managers
    – Entertainers
    – Musicians

    This character trait has been and will always be an important part of being successful in a competitive environment and competition will always exist. So psychopaths will continue to be among the most successful people in any society, under any political model.

    • RedLogix 24.1

      This character trait has been and will always be an important part of being successful in a competitive environment and competition will always exist.

      Discounting of course the enormous damage they cause. They are only successful in environments where they can prey on lots of victims who are powerless to stop them.

      • Jimbo 24.1.1

        Agreed the damage often is enormous – however i can imagine any attempt to change this would eventually be dominated by psychopaths – just look at every revolution – the cream of human kindness very rarely reach the top.

        I remember the intense disappointment i felt on meeting two of my child hood idols – both very successful sports people, when i found out that they were complete bastards – brilliant at what they did – but bastards.

        • Colonial Viper 24.1.1.1

          I believe its a mistake to think that only psychopaths are the ones who can smash hard and are willing to therefore its a mistake to think that only psychopaths are the ones who can get to the top.

  25. Jimbo 25

    Yes nice people do often succeed – however in almost all endeavours being ruthless is a definate advantage.It should be also stated that even the nicest of people have the ability to display psychopathic tendencies.

  26. There is a great story on politicians and psychopaths sharing the same traits and it also makes some comments about stockbrokers.

    http://www.ontariotenants.ca/articles/1996/reu96i05.phtml

    It will give you some good insights and a good laugh.

  27. Swampy 27

    More accurate to say psychopaths make the best ideologues, that includes people more on your side of the spectrum e.g. Stalin. Actually it can be either psychopath or sociopath

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      He was one guy in one position in the USSR whereas capitalism can accomodate tens of thousands of these guys (and yes they are mostly, though not all male) in executive and senior management positions.

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    Kiwipolitico | 23-10
  • Hard News: Friday Music: An accompanied korero
    I'm chairing the LATE at the Museum event next month, under the title The Age of Slacktivism. We've picked a strong lineup -- Nicky Hager, Matthew Hooton, Marianne Elliot, Laura O'Connell Rapira -- and it should be a rousing hour's...
    Public Address | 23-10
  • 6 amazing renewable energy projects that we love
    Here's a few renewable energy projects from around the world -- ones that we totally love.1. Germany has invested big in solar and wind. And in the first six months of 2012, the amount of electricity produced using renewables jumped from...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • China’s coal use actually falling now (for the first time this centur...
    Coal use in China is falling this year - according to official data reported in the Chinese press.It is the first time this century that China has seen year on year quarterly falls in coal use. The Chinese economy continues to grow...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Can new roads pay for themselves?
    It’s common to hear people say that because roads are paid for by their users (fn 1), we should build more roads. After all, the new roads will fund themselves! At first glance, this seems convincing. But a closer look...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies, sons & daughters were sent to d...
      As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies Sons & daughters were sent to die Meanwhile at home democracy cried But his government crowed Everything’s fine.   Other peoples’ children signed up for his war While at home in comfort...
    Politically Corrected | 23-10
  • Why I am on the left
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Post by Jem I am left first and...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Minister to attend TPP Ministers’ Meeting
    Press Release – New Zealand Government Trade Minister Tim Groser will depart today for Sydney to join Ministers from countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for the next round of negotiations.Hon Tim Groser Minister of Trade 24 October 2014...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    Press Release – The Nation This weekend on The Nation with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP
    Press Release – Federated Farmers International Agricultural and Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP At the round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations taking place this week in Australia, agri-food producer and processor groups from Canada, Australia …International...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Grant Robertson is not as much like Joseph Stalin as some would have you th...
    It’s not often you see a New Zealand political figure compared favourably to Stalin, but this is what Chris Trotter has done to that decidedly non-genocidal non-lunatic Grant Robertson.  ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance
    It is depressingly apparent that powerful forces in the global economy are set to carry on with the exploration for and use of fossil fuels ass a primary source of energy for decades to come. Oxfam has produced a report...
    Hot Topic | 23-10
  • 2014 Arctic sea ice extent – 6th lowest in millennia
    The National Snow and Ice Data Center has reported that this year we saw the 6th-lowest minimum Arctic sea ice extent on record. Research has shown that most of the long-term decline in sea ice, or the “death spiral” as...
    Skeptical Science | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    Today I made my oral submission to the Environmental Protection Authority on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine phosphate from the seabed approximately halfway between the mainland and the Chatham Island. In a nutshell this application is for the deepest...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • Surrounded sex offender still won’t come down from roof
    While they would still appreciate him coming down, police say they’re confident the man has “nowhere to hide.” After an agonising 54-year wait, it is beginning to appear as though a notorious sex offender dressed as Santa may not, in...
    The Civilian | 23-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #46 On the Way or Already There?
    46: On the Way or Already There? What if we dropped the pseudo-word “roading” from Auckland’s vernacular? Roads are on the way somewhere; streets are already somewhere. This simple difference in understanding and perspective between movement and place often results...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health about Katherine Rich’s c...
    KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health : Is he satisfied that there is no conflict of interest in the head of the Food and Grocery Council, Katherine Rich, being a board member of the Health Promotion Agency; if so,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister on the Deployment of New Zealand Speci...
    Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be "no greater than I think the...
    Greens | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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