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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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    Left hand palm | 20-09
  • Speaker: A live peek at your cray
    On Saturday morning London time, a rag-tag bunch of left-wing weirdos will descend on my flat to huddle around the glow of livestreams, making panic pikelets and schadenfreude pie, and wishing it was evening here so we could justify sinking...
    Public Address | 20-09
  • Election Day Post # 10
    The last of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • Election Day Post #9
    The ninth of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • The Big Man
    So, Alex Salmond has announced he will step down as First Minister of Scotland.  This is, of course, being presented as throwing his toys and peevish behaviour following the independence referendum and the defeat of the 'Yes' campaign.Which is an...
    Left hand palm | 20-09
  • Election Day Post #8
    The eighth of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
    . . NZ, Upper Hutt, 20 September –  Cold, wet weather in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington may be impacting on voter turn-out. A head-count of people visiting the Trentham School Voting Station in Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, indicated...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-09
  • Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
    . . NZ, Upper Hutt, 20 September –  Cold, wet weather in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington may be impacting on voter turn-out. A head-count of people visiting the Trentham School Voting Station in Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, indicated...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-09
  • Election Day Post #7
    The seventh of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • Election Day Post #6
    The sixth of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • Another Song For Election Day (As Requested By “Kat”)
     NOT DARK YET: Bob Dylan's haunting hymn to the failing day and advancing night.   I was born here and I'll die here against my will I know it looks like I'm movin' but I'm standin' still Every nerve in my body...
    Bowalley Road | 20-09
  • Man Steals Nun’s Blue and White Livery, Says Newspaper Made Him Do It
    Tapping into the Party Line: A prominent talkback radio listener detected a subtle right-wing tone at work in The New Zealand Herald‘s advertising.    By Hemi Iti, 20 September 2014 An Auckland man was charged with theft and impersonating a...
    Snoopman News | 20-09
  • Election Day Post #5
    The fifth of my special election day posts, in which I honour our freedom to dare not say anything remotely political until 7pm...
    Imperator Fish | 20-09
  • Looking through dirty windows into an empty room
    A colleague of mine once described how he'd felt when interviewing a particularly nasty person who'd been engaged in some very unpleasant behaviour at work. He said that looking into the man's eyes was like, 'looking through dirty windows into an empty...
    Te Whare Whero | 19-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • A Fiji democratic mandate for the coup leader – what now for the media?
    Attorney-General Sayad-Khaiyum and Rear-Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama’s Fiji First party is poised to lead the country in the next four years. Photo: Mads Anneberg, an AUT Pacific Media Centre student on internship in Suva with Repúblika Magazine and Pacific Scoop...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Why I voted Labour and why 2017 will be different
    As a 3nd and 5th generation Kiwi-Indian (depending on which side of the family we have to go with), my relationship with New Zealand is a special one. Like other New Zealanders who are not of the Caucasian variety, the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Humble Pie
    Oh. My. God. This was a heartbreaking nightmare. I was wrong, horribly, horribly, horribly wrong. I honestly believed that the resources, the media attention, the vile toxic politics exposed by Dirty Politics and the mass surveillance lies would have seen...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Election 2014; A Post-mortem; a Wake; and one helluva hang-over
    .   . It would be fair to say that the results for Election 2014 did not go as anticipated. The Left has had a drubbing – and some of it was of our own making. In other aspects, there...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
    . . NZ, Upper Hutt, 20 September –  Cold, wet weather in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington may be impacting on voter turn-out. A head-count of people visiting the Trentham School Voting Station in Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, indicated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Final total of advance voting
    And the final total for the advance voting was a staggering 717,579 advance votes against 334,558 in 2011       Tonight, I’ll be watching the TV3 election coverage because I could bare Paul Henry’s smugness one inch more than Mike Hosking’s...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Vice article on NZ election
    Here is my Vice article on the NZ election....
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • The attempt to kill off Internet MANA
    It’s the last day of campaigning today and the long list of those attacking Internet MANA got longer yesterday with Winston Peters backing Labour candidate Kelvin Davis against the MANA Movement’s Hone Harawira. Davis is now supported by Labour, National,...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • A final word on the election – it’s now all up to you
    Brothers & Sisters, the fate of Aotearoa is now all in your hands. We here at the Daily Blog have thrown everything we can at this bloody Government and have spent every waking hour of this campaign trying to highlight...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – ...
    I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – but then again, I never could...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why Nati...
    TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why National Party is great...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • REVIEW: Royals of Kihikihi
    What an absolutely stunning show.  I had to ask twice to check I’d heard right that this is the first staged production for Samuel Christopher, who also played a raw, real, but vulnerable, Wolf Royal, home from London for his...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • 800 Cops to detain 15 ‘terrorists’ – why Australia’s hysterical Isl...
    I’m sorry but I can’t take this current Australian terror threat seriously. 800 cops to detain 15 people and arrest one of them? A week after Abbot decides to send in Australian forces to the cluster fuck of Iraq, suddenly...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Unbelievable corruption inside Government to attack Kim Dotcom
    The corruption inside this Government just more and more filthy – we now have an ex-Customs Lawyer quitting  after being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government, specifically to do with Kim Dotcom… Curtis Gregorash said he was told...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Everyone Loves A Win-Win That Keeps G...
      Permit me to quote some figures at you… -68% of New Zealanders think political news on television focuses too much on politicians’ personalities and not enough on real issues. This is the key result of a recent UMR survey commissioned by...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of being the most in demand broadcaster in the country...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: Te Tai Tokerau independent poll (44% Hone-27% Kelvin) vs Maori T...
    The Te Tai Tokerau Maori TV poll on Monday this week painted a bleak picture for Internet MANA supporters, and it’s results have been seized upon by Labour, NZ First and even the Maori Party (who seem set once again...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The time for TPPA weasel words is over
    Almost every day of the election campaign there has been a policy announcement that would potentially run foul of what I understand is currently in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA):  more constraints on foreign investment or investors … regulation of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • MELTDOWN – Maori Party turns on their own Te Tai Tokerau candidate – ag...
    The tensions are building in Te Tai Tokerau with the Maori Party on the verge of meltdown. Days out from the election, the Maori Party Executive has tried to heavy their own Te Tai Tokerau Electoral Committee and their own candidate, Te Hira Paenga,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • We Can Change this Government
    We Can Change this Government – Mike Treen at the First Union stop work election meeting...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Election 2014: For and Against
    With the general election tomorrow, we have had a very noisy campaign but little sign that the electorate wishes for a fundamental change of governmental direction. This reflects in part the fact that the economic cycle is close to its decadal...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eye To Eye Uploaded: Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury
    This interview was filmed a couple of weeks ago between Willie Jackson and myself, I was a tad off with my prediction of NZ First....
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair – The Players Revealed
      . . – Special investigation by Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules‘ Speculation that the Beehive office of Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, was behind the release of a letter linking Labour leader, David Cunliffe, with controversial Chinese businessman, Donghua Liu, is...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold NZ d...
    It should read ‘never stop spying’. As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold us down the river to the US by allowing the Southern Cross cable to be tapped… The ability for US intelligence agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work
    The final days of the campaign are ticking down and Labour and NZ First are manoeuvring to kill off the Internet MANA Party by both backing Kelvin Davis for Te Tai Tokerau. It’s a risky gambit that they better pray to Christ...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Bill English’s latest insult to beneficiaries – apparently they are lik...
    National’s hatred towards the poor continues unabated as National desperately try to throw raw meat to their reactionary voter base in the hope to inspire enough hate and loathing to win back their redneck voters from the Conservative Party and from...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eminem ain’t happy with John Key
    Eminem ain’t happy with John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Key claims he did not inhale
    Key claims he did not inhale...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Final prediction on election result 2014
    What an election campaign. The character assassination of David Cunliffe kicked things off with the Herald on Sunday falsely claiming $100 00 bottles of wine, $15 000 books and $150 000 in donations  from a donor that turned out to be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Live blog: Bainamarama takes commanding lead in Fiji elections
      Interview with Repúblika editor Ricardo Morris and Pacific Scoop’s Mads Anneberg. PACIFIC SCOOP TEAM By Ricardo Morris, Mads Anneberg, Alistar Kata and Biutoka Kacimaiwai in Suva WHILE the results are provisional at this stage, it is clear today that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ Elections Two Days To Go! + Edward Snowden + Julian Assan...
    Recorded live on 18/09/14 – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/multimedia-investments-ltd 5AA Australia’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning deliver their weekly bulletin: Across The Ditch. This week, they discuss the latest news as New Zealanders go to the polls on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What has Colin Craig done for his Press Secretary to quit 2 days before ele...
    This is VERY strange.  Colin Craig’s Press Secretary Rachel McGregor, has quit 2 days before the election, allegedly telling ZB that Colin Craig was a “very manipulative man”. I’ve met Rachel many times in the past as Colin’s Press Secretary, she is...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” – A brief w...
    “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” said Key in the final leaders debate. Problem of course is that the 250 000 – 285 000 children living in poverty can not afford steak, milk, butter, eggs...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • National’s final bash of beneficiaries before the election
    On cue, whenever National feel threatened, they roll out a little bennie bash just to keep their redneck voter base happy. Nothing like a bit of raw meat policy to keep National voters focused on the evil threat solo parents...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • With All Of This In Mind, I Vote
    This is my last blog before the election and I really just want to speak from the heart. Right now in this country it seems to me that a lot of people consider the “essentials” in life to be simply...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Left has to vote strategically this election
    The dedication, loyalty, and tribalism of party politics means that sometimes the left lets itself down by not voting strategically. We all want our favoured party to get maximum votes, naturally, but the winner-takes-all approach doesn’t always suit multi-party left...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Dear NZ – as you enter the polling booth, stand up for your rights
    The last days before a NZ general election are a busy time as politicians make their pitch and party activists prepare to get out the vote. It is sort of weird watching from the distance of Europe the strangest election...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What is Waihopai, John, if it isn’t a facility for “mass surveillance...
    John Key assured us on RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme yesterday that “In terms of the Fives Eyes data bases… yes New Zealand will contribute some information but not mass wholesale surveillance.” How does this square with the operation of the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Mass Surveillance and the Banality of E...
    Renowned journalist and intellectual Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe the normalisation of genocide in Nazi Germany. I thought of her phrase when I was listening to Glenn Greenwald and other international whistle-blowers talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Election. Down. To. The. Wire
    Funny how last week it was John Key winning by 50%, now it’s neck and neck. I have always believed this election would be down to the wire and it is proving so. The flawed landline opinion polls the mainstream...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 3rd Degree uses Whaleoil for story ideas as if Dirty Politics never happene...
    TV3s 3rd Degrees smear job on Kim Dotcom last night doesn’t bear much repeating. It was pretty pathetic journalism from a team who have brought us some great journalism in the past. It is sad to see 3rd Degree stooping...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Live blog: Bainimarama takes early lead in Fiji’s election
    Pacific Scoop’s Alistar Kata reports from yesterday’s voting. By Alistar Kata of Pacific Scoop in Suva Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama took an early lead in provisional results in the Fiji general election last night. With provisional results from 170 out...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Has The NSA Constructed The Perfect PPP?
    Former intelligence analyst and whistleblower, Edward Snowden – speaking live to those gathered at the Auckland Town Hall on Monday September 17, 2014. Investigation by Selwyn Manning. THE PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY’s admission on Wednesday that whistleblower Edward Snowden “may...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • No way – Key admits Snowden is right
    After claiming there was no middle ground. After claiming there was no mass surveillance. After calling Glenn Greenwald a henchman and a loser. After all the mainstream media pundits screamed at Kim’s decision to take his evidence to Parliamentary Privileges...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Bad luck National
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • The incredible changing John Key story on mass spying – why the Moment of...
    While the mainstream media continue to try and make the Moment of Truth about Kim’s last minute decision to prolong his battle against John Key past the election into the Privileges Committee, the reality is that the Moment of Truth...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Themes of the Campaign
    There’s one area of a political campaign that just about everyone, at some point, falls afoul of. The campaign song. I’m not sure quite why it is, but it seems to be almost impossible for political parties to come up...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Denis Tegg – The NSA slides that prove mass surveillance
    The evidence presented by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden on The Intercept of mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB is undeniable, and can stand on its own. But when you place this fresh evidence in the context of...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland
    The Ukrainian civil war discomforts me. It seems to me the most dangerous political crisis since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. And it’s because of our unwillingness to examine the issues in a holistic way. We innately prefer to...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man – the relationship intensifies
    John Key’s love affair with the straw man is now a fully-committed relationship. It’s now the first love of his life. Sorry Bronagh. Yesterday I pointed to Key’s constant assurances that there is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Roy Morgan NZ Election Update With A Look At The Polls
    Roy Morgan NZ Election Update With A Look At The Polls National re-elected to third term with record high vote as Labour slumps to worst result in over 90 years...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • National-led Government wins mandate for RMA reforms
    An unprecedented increase in support for the third-term National Party, the best electoral performance since 1899, has delivered a clear mandate for reform of the Resource Management Act says Federated Farmers. “Vital reforms to the RMA have...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • New Zealand says no to Culture of Death
    Right to Life is pleased that the people of New Zealand have rejected a culture of death by refusing to elect a Labour/Green government that supported the decriminalisation of abortion....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – Steven Joyce
    CORIN Steven Joyce if we could start with how things are going to look now with your support partners. Can you just run us through, National can technically govern alone on what you’ve got at the moment, do you think...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – Kelvin Davis
    SUSAN Well earlier this morning, just before we came to air in fact, Corin spoke to Kelvin Davis, one of the big winners of the night, the new MP for Te Tai Tokerau....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – David Cunliffe
    CORIN Joining me now is Labour Leader, David Cunliffe. Good morning to you Mr Cunliffe. This is a tough result for Labour, how much personal responsibility do you take for this....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Grey Power congratulates Key
    Grey Power National President Terry King congratulated John Key for his party’s “resounding win “ in yesterday’s election and hoped that the new National Government would look hard at issues affecting the ever–growing number of older New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • EMA congratulates PM John Key and National
    The Employers and Manufacturers Association extend hearty congratulations to the re-election of Prime Minister John Key and National....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Helen Clark Receives Inaugural Women’s Health Rights Award
    Helen Clark was honoured as the first recipient of the Women’s Health Rights Award at the 121st Woman’s Suffrage event held in Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • National deal with New Zealand First unlikely
    The National party is unlikely to offer a confidence and supply agreement to New Zealand First according to Dr Ryan Malone, Director Training and Research at Civicsquare....
    Scoop politics | 20-09
  • Daily Election Update #12: NZ First to hold balance of power
    Winston Peters’ NZ First Party will hold the balance of power after tomorrow’s election, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Mr Peters is then expected to back a National-led...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies
    Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus on dirty politics and spying, and not a lot on policy. With election day looming, Gareth Morgan is calling for people to refocus on the issues....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • The Kiwi FM Alternative Election Commentary
    Saturday 20 September from 7pm on 102.2 Auckland, 102.1 Wellington, 102.5 Canterbury, or KiwiFM.co.nz...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Beneficiary Bashing unacceptable
    Kay Brereton of the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand says “ the comment made by Bill English yesterday comparing beneficiaries to crack addicts is shocking and incredibly poorly timed.”...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • UN Experience Beneficial
    Acclaim Otago representatives have just completed their participation at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability examination of the New Zealand government in Geneva, Switzerland. "It was an interesting two days which we believe has...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Changing face of NZ should be reflected in newsrooms
    With Fairfax Media’s Journalism Intern search closing on Sunday, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging aspiring journalists from Maori, Pacific and ethnic communities to apply. The deadline was recently extended to 10pm, Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • SPCA expresses concern over toxin in waterways
    Ric Odom CEO of Royal NZ SPCA has expressed concern over the toxic poison 1080 entering waterways, but DoC, Council’s and Ministry of Health have colluded to make it legal....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 13-18 September
    Below is iSentia’s final weekly Election Index, covering the period 13-18 September and showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. The methodology used...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Epsom Candidate (Adam Holland) More Liberal Than ACT
    For the past four years I, like 500,000 other New Zealanders, have been illegally smoking cannabis for medicinal purposes and/or even just for the occasional laugh with friends on the weekend. We don't hurt anybody, we don't cause nuisance, we...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Left Coalition Will Save Dolphins
    A left coalition would safeguard both Māui and Hector’s dolphins, as well as revive our inshore ecosystems. Labour, Internet Mana and the Green Party all have strong policies in place for dolphin protection. The Maori Party, and to a certain...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Waihoroi Shortland: Ngāti Hine is not standing alone
    The Chairman of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi, Sonny Tau is blowing smoke worthy of a Dotcom rally with claims that Ngati Hine is standing alone in its opposition to Tūhoronuku says the Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngati...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Oceania voices on environment loud and strong
    While money and energy continues to be spent on global talks about climate change, Pacific islanders are scrambling to build sea walls out of sticks, stones, shells and coral, to protect their lands and homes from erosion and rising sea...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunket – Tonight
    No MPs tonight --- the campaign will be over at 9 30. Instead we will look back --- and possibly forward on what we have learned and what might happen. Listener Political Columnist Jane Clifton Editor in Chief, NZ Herald,...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election fails to address youth financial wellbeing
    Young people don’t feel included in New Zealand’s financial success and believe inequality is a problem, according to a new survey conducted by Westpac’s Fin-Ed Centre at Massey University....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Winston’s Waffle doesn’t hide the facts
    The Conservative Party is celebrating the ASA's finding announced today that rejected all but one of the complaints raised against its controversial “Conservatives or Peters” pamphlet. “Despite pages of complaints from Peters legal team the only...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ Independent Coalition looking forward to tomorrow
    “Our team is looking forward to tomorrow. It is a real opportunity to reclaim politics for the people,” said NZ Independent Coalition leader Brendan Horan....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Insights Issue 35/2014 – 19 September 2014
    Insights Issue 35/2014 - 19 September 2014 In This Issue • RMA reform the golden unicorn of policy | Jenesa Jeram...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Special voting arrangements made for NIWA crew
    One of the most unusual polling stations for this year’s general election is in the middle of the ocean miles from land. NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa, has been doubling as a polling booth for crew and scientists at sea....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Tourism operators urged to vote strategically
    Tourism operators should make sure they know their local candidates’ view on tourism and use their vote to support the country’s second largest export industry, says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA)....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • WGTN: March for free education
    We are students, university staff, and members of the community. Whichever parties form a government after September 20th, we are demanding an end to corporatisation of education....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Evidence of Corruption a National Scandal
    Internet Party leader Laila Harré will take evidence of corruption to international forums if there is not a full Royal Commission to investigate the growing evidence of the systematic use and abuse of democratic institutions and processes for political...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt continues to throw money at charter school experiment
    Official documents reveal the three primary sector charter schools approved last week will cost $2 million to set up as well as divert another $1.5 million of potential taxpayer investment from local state schools next year....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ACT Final Election Rally
    Elections campaigns are an opportunity for political parties to put candidates and policy to enable voters to choose what sort of New Zealand we want. In this campaign there have been three tests by which you can assess the electoral...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Taxpayers on Hook Again for Solid Energy
    Responding to the Fairfax article that taxpayers are extending another $103 million to keep Solid Energy afloat, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Invermay Petition Tops 10,000 Signatures
    People across New Zealand continue to express their disgust at the downgrading of Invermay, says Dunedin North MP David Clark, as the Save Invermay petition he instigated earlier this year topped the 10,000 signature mark just days before the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • McVicar vows to continue fight for police
    Garth McVicar stated at a public meeting last week that he would fight to retain a 24/7 Police Station in Napier and no reduction in the number of police staff for the Hawkes Bay region, some said he was simply...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Party Vote Our Weapon in Fight Against Government Corruption
    Internet MANA urges New Zealanders to use their party vote to confront corruption in any new government....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Election day is tomorrow – make sure you’re a part of it!
    Tomorrow, Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Is the Shape of our Government out of the hands of Voters?
    In the last stuff.co.nz / Ipsos Political Poll before Saturdays election, National is down 5.1% to 47.7% and Labour up 3.7% to 26.15%. These results are remarkably similar to the 2011 election where National received 47.3% of the vote and...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Spirit of Suffrage a Call to Action for All Kiwi Women
    Internet MANA is drawing on the courage and integrity of New Zealand women on Suffrage Day – Friday, September, 19 – to encourage them to pay tribute to the spirit of their foremothers who gained women the vote....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Live Election Night Coverage on TV And Online
    Māori Television’s KOWHIRI 2014 – ELECTION SPECIAL kicks off at 7.00pm this Saturday with a five-hour broadcast focusing on the Māori electorates....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Judge’s Decision Disappoints Fish & Game
    Today’s decision to give a Temuka man 100 hours of community service for selling sports fish to the public has disappointed Fish & Game, which believes the sentence handed down was “too lenient and will not go far enough to...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Cutting-Edge Graphics Fire up TV3’s Election Night Coverage
    TV3’s Election Night coverage, hosted by John Campbell, will be enhanced by cutting-edge graphics that will showcase the night’s results....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt rushes to open charter schools in New Year
    The government’s decision to approve four new charter schools last week to open in January next year goes against the Minister of Education’s own advice that the schools ought to have at least a year’s preparation time....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • 7 Days And Jono And Ben at Ten Hijack Election Weekend
    The 7 Days and Jono and Ben at Ten (JABAT) comedians are running their own version of election coverage, with a schedule of entertainment and comedy across TV3, Kiwi FM, the web and social media this Friday and Saturday under...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Fewer Prisoners Equals Less Crime
    In its latest blog, ‘Abolishing Parole and other Crazy Stuff’,’ at http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/09/krill-and-womble-independent-policy.html , Rethinking Crime and Punishment urges government to rethink its approach to releasing prisoners. “The public expectation is that the excellent reductions in the crime...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • McVicar slams his political opponents
    I want a safe and prosperous society and that can only be achieved if we have strong and vi-brant families – McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Falling economic growth – wage rises overdue
    “The lower GDP growth in the three months to June is further evidence that growth has peaked. New Zealand’s economy is on the way down to mediocre growth rates,” says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “Yet wage rises are still weak...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Get Out and Vote campaign a success
    Tens of thousands of workers from all around New Zealand have embraced the Get Out and Vote campaign and have created their own personalised voting plan, the CTU said today. “With three days of voting left in the 2014 General...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Animal Research Failing – So Do More Animal Research?
    Victoria University of Wellington is about to host a lecture on why the success rates of pharmaceutical development is so low and what can be done about it. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) welcomes discussion on this important...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
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