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Shop til we all drop

Written By: - Date published: 9:46 am, December 27th, 2013 - 90 comments
Categories: benefits, brand key, class war, democracy under attack, election 2014, news, political alternatives, poverty, spin - Tags:

First came the consumerist perversion of an (allegedly) Christian festival, leading up to the 25th December.  During this period, the original *Christian message related to the birth of Jesus (“peace and good will to all men”) was marginalised.

As Wednesday approached, the MSM kept tally of how well the retail sector of society was doing – such meaningless stats based on turn over of resources, whether or not that contributes to the well being of our society.

The MSM, as usual, focused on the very good work of those administering foodbanks and City Mission Christmas meals, in order to ease any sense of guilt some may have at the excess of consumerism during the (alleged) season of “good will”. A window on charity during a few days of the year, while the underlying causes and solutions to soul-destroying poverty barely get a look in.

Then, once that day was over, we had all the news reports on how well the Boxing Day sales were going, with triumphant reports of record sales – except for in Lower Hutt, where the failings of another branch of the corporate wealth-extractors resulted in the day of sales being (unintentionally) sabotaged.

Retailers were fuming after a Vodafone glitch shut down eftpos for hours on the busiest shopping day of the year.

A broadband server problem with Vodafone crashed eftpos at some Lower Hutt shops from about 10.30am yesterday, with some experiencing problems through till late afternoon.

Many shops, including a number in the packed Westfield Queensgate Shopping Centre, were unable to process transactions because of the outage.

Oh, the outrage!

How can so many dance to the tune of the wealthy corporates, with the uncritical echo chambers in the MSM acting as cheerleaders?! Queue for some quotes from a very pertinent Guardian article, as linked to on open mike yesterday by Paul: ‘Brainwashed by the cult of the super rich” by Priyamvada Gopal.

Last week, Tory MP Esther McVey, Iain Duncan Smith’s deputy, insisted it was “right” that half a million Britons be dependent on food banks in “tough times”. Around the same time, the motor racing heiress Tamara Ecclestone totted up a champagne bill of £30,000 in one evening. A rich teenager in Texas has just got away with probation for drunkenly running over and killing four people because his lawyers argued successfully that he suffered from “affluenza”, which rendered him unable to handle a car responsibly. What we’ve been realising for some time now is that, for all the team sport rhetoric, only two sides are really at play in Britain and beyond: Team Super-Rich and Team Everyone Else.

The rich are not merely different: they’ve become a cult which drafts us as members. We are invited to deceive ourselves into believing we are playing for the same stakes while worshipping the same ideals, a process labelled “aspiration”. Reaching its zenith at this time of year, our participation in cult rituals – buy, consume, accumulate beyond need – helps mute our criticism and diffuse anger at systemic exploitation.

cult of super rich

And this cult of the rich is being actively promoted by such shows as Downton Abbey and, while damaging inequalities, and socially-destructive poverty are dismissed through a nasty, Dickensian meanness of spirit.  This meanness of spirit is personified by NZ’s bennie-bashing, poverty-policing minister, Paula Bennett. And she is enabled in doing this by the smile-and-wave front John Key presents to the MSM, while performing his nasty, sneering stand-up routine to the minority of Kiwis who watch Question Time in the House.

Bennett and Key – the two faces of the cult of the rich: one who went from social security state house to wealth extracting millionaire, the other from state supported single motherhood to minister of austere poverty. (Or is it more than two faces of the cult, given Key shows at least two faces at various times?)

Gopal ends her article:

Cultish thinking means that the stupendously rich who throw small slivers of their fortunes at charity, or merely grace lavish fundraisers – like Prince William’s Winter Whites gala for the homeless at his taxpayer-funded Kensington Palace home – with their presence, become instant saints. The poor and the less well-off, subject to austerity and exploitation, their “excesses” constantly policed and criminalised, are turned into objects of patronage, grateful canvasses against which the generosity of wealth can be stirringly displayed. The cult of the rich propounds the idea that vast economic inequalities are both natural and just: the winner who takes most is, like any cult hero, just more intelligent and deserving, even when inherited affluence gives them a head start.

We are mildly baffled rather than galvanised into righteous indignation when told that the rich are being persecuted – bullied for taxes and lynched for bonuses. The demonising of the poor is the flip side of the cult of the rich or, as a friend puts it, together they comprise the yin and yang of maintaining a dismal status quo. It is time to change it through reality checks, not reality shows.

Several important months coming up folks, as we get closer to the election date.  These are the realities that need to be understood, discussed and circulated.

*[I'm not a Christian, though was brought up in that religion].

90 comments on “Shop til we all drop”

  1. Paul 1

    Thanks Carol for picking up on this story. I tend to note stories at the end of the day and put them on Open Mike too late for most of the discussion.

    Connected to my comment yesterday, I have just noted the Herald’s obsession with the wealthy in this online article. It really is a tawdry sad little rag if this grovelling load of garbage is all it can muster.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11178384

    • Paul 1.1

      And this ….
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11178396

      Just imagine the Guardian reporting on a sports player landing at Heathrow Airport for Wimbledon as their 3rd headline!

      • Paul 1.1.1

        And this!
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11177831

        Celebrity historians???
        What on earth are they talking about?!

        • mac1 1.1.1.1

          Celebrity refers to the subject of historical research, (I hope), and describes their field rather than their status. Historians can of course have a focus on recent events. Such commentary as is happening here would be the stuff of research into the place of the celebrity in culture.

          Celebrity status/stardom/famous people is not new. Used correctly it provides us with models of behaviour and examples for living properly. In today’s Press is an article on the top students of ChCh schools- partly there to celebrate their achievement and also to encourage the rest of us.

          And it’s here that I part company with the reasons above. The media-driven, celebrity status stuff is there as a distraction from the meanness of life for many people; and the offering of an American style dream where each of us can, with the proper application of Randian individualism, attain the stars, is a cynical, condescending and cancerous corruption.

          It fits alongside “the freedom to shop” or, for historians, the Roman manipulation of the masses in the concept of “bread and circuses.”

          I do sometimes despair.

      • alwyn 1.1.2

        I just had a quick look at what the Guardian is reporting today. It is difficult to tell what the real sequence of their stories would be but at the very beginning of the web-site we have a story
        “Breaking News: President Obama’s Hawaii vacation Day 6″
        I’m not really sure which of them really is the least important. At least the Herald story is something happening in the home country of the paper, and isn’t labelled with the portentious description of “Breaking News”

        • karol 1.1.2.1

          Yes, the Guardian website front page is all about international news. But it is actually focused on news of import, especially political news.

          The top of NZ Herald online’s front page is dominated by local stories, it’s true – stories largely about crime

          PS: one of the main top of the page Guardian articles is this one:

          The research, which explores the reasons behind the precipitous drop in voter turnout – particularly among under-30s – finds that it is anger with the political class and broken promises made by high-profile figures that most rile voters, rather than boredom with Westminster.

          Asked for the single word best describing “how or what you instinctively feel” about politics and politicians in general, 47% of respondents answered “angry”, against 25% who said they were chiefly “bored”.

          • Zorr 1.1.2.1.1

            I think I fall in to that 47% category too easily and it makes communicating the anger I feel towards the ruling class difficult because such sentiment, almost by necessity, devolves towards the violent and irrational all too easily. I almost brought this up on the post regarding the Sex Pistols in response to MrSmith because it feels like the time for senseless anger has passed.

            That was then, this is now.

            The modern counter-culture, from my perspective, is a growing sense of disconnection with the traditional media narrative combined with the desire to take direct responsibility for our own outcomes. We want to own the beginning, middle and end of our initiatives because when we leave them up to those that traditionally hold the power, they become perverted by conflicting interests. Principles of democracy, inclusiveness and progressiveness are often very central to these initiatives BUT they remove themselves from the current implementations maintained by society at large.

            Anyway, ramble over. It is a long December 27th at work with nobody else around… >_<

        • phillip ure 1.1.2.2

          alwyn sneers @ the guardian…in a comparison to the herald..?.?..!..!..

          ..wow..!

          ..where to start..?

          phillip ure..

          • alwyn 1.1.2.2.1

            But Phil, you really should read the whole of the comment stream.
            Paul sneered at the Herald and claimed that the Guardian would never cover a story like a tennis player arriving for the country’s most important tournament. It only covered important stories.
            I merely proposed that he may be being a bit optimistic in his views of the type of story the Guardian does cover, given that they regarded as “breaking news” a description of the sixth day of Obama’s holiday. For crying out loud Phil. How much less significant can a story be?
            Incidentally I suggest you get as much out of the Guardian as you can in the next few years. The paper is losing money and the trust that finances it doesn’t have that much left. There is only money for about five years if my memory is correct.

  2. Tracey 2

    Hear hear!

    The myth that if some people are spending shitloads everyones life will get better is tiresome.

    are there any journalists or editors who think they reflect and dont shape society?

    • rich the other 2.1

      Spot on Tracey,
      we should all spend less , it only creates employment and provides a reasonable standard of living for most of us, we don’t need that when the govt provides so generously for us.

      • karol 2.1.1

        Way to misunderstand, rto.

        It’s about spending less on the things that are not necessary. It’s about the mis-direction of focusing on spending of any kind, rather than on what is produced and how. It is about the lack of focus on production that will be the basis of a sustainable economy, and a living income for all. It’s about the focus on celebrating the lifestyle of the wealth extraction by a few, via consumerist excess: the wealth of the few that contributes little to a sustainable economy and misleadingly claims that the excessive wealth of the few is beneficial to the many.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          “we should all spend less , it only creates employment and provides a reasonable standard of living for most of us, we don’t need that when the govt provides so generously for us.”

          rich also lies. Before the consumer boom in NZ post-neoliberal revolution, we had full employment for many decades, a reasonable standard of living for many of us, and a smaller gap between rich and poor. It wasn’t paradise by any means, esp for those directly affected by colonisation, but to imply that the only way we can have national wellbeing is by buying into the consumerist ethic is disingenuous, selfish crap.

          • BM 2.1.1.1.1

            NZ was a mono cultural back water who relied on Mummy Britain to survive.

            It’s only the old fogeys that pine for those days, every one else has embraced modern NZ and all it has to offer.

            New New Zealand is a great place to live.

            • Macro 2.1.1.1.1.1

              New New Zealand is a great place to live for the uber rich

              FIFY

            • Tim 2.1.1.1.1.2

              “NZ was a mono cultural back water who relied on Mummy Britain to survive”

              - that is, for those that identified and engaged with mono-culturalism and Mummy Britain with a media – even then – that was constructed to service just that cohort (predominantly Aunty NZBC, a few residents of Burnell Ave in Wellington and others elsewhere) propped up with a bit of ‘old money’: those whose offspring today probably couldn’t establish anything of use without thinking about their inheritance and what mummy and daddy might leave them should things go tits up. (Many are still around today – others dead and buried, AND very quickly forgotten – even by their own)

              Meanwhile …. there were always those who considered all that entirely irrelevant – usually progressives, protesters, celebrants of diversity, challengers of the status quo who invested their time and efforts engaging in alternative cultures sans what we now think of “MSM”.
              But …
              -Some of them today battle on with those with the closed minds: the ideologically-driven, often the mono-cultural and stereo-cultural nasties (people such as yourself BM, and your idol – the Phil Stein, a Pulla Bent or two, the Krus (I saw the light) Finlayson, a fair few Uncle Thomases and Clutch Cargo’s, an (Oim so Broit – SPECTACULARLY handsome, eligible, mandated – with a tick in a box qualification from a highly respected ‘djacassional stute’ – but in reality thick as PIGSHIT) member fer tRANga called Soimon) – all legitimised by the daily Mora noicest man on Earth media pump and its enterage (Can I offer my condolences to that nicest man’s wife in advance of the inevitable, though she probably ‘wears the pants’ anyway).

              -Some at least have the decency to admit they’re self serving egotistical new age Masters and Mistresses of the Universe, and comfortable with the supposedly ONLY alternative ideology (as in those TINA adherents – in NZ’s case driven by a failed pig farmer and an RRL who had the gaul to attempt spreading her ego around South America not so long ago – her butch arrogance STILL astounds me to the extent I’d also LERV her to ekshly go live there without the aid of any sort of bodyguard or welfare of ANY description). All comfortable with their greed, propped up with bought lerv, the short term treats and trinkets bestowed on their offspring at Xmas time and, more often daily. Amongst those I know, and know of – generally their kids (kuds if their really really kinektid) have offspring that are now TOTAL fuckups.

              -Others are still pretending (perhaps also a bit like yourself BM). In this connected world, dropping your ideological spin, troll feeding, squeeling, spin meistering, (meedja) training and prop up artistry seems to be your intent.

              You do seem to overestimate the value of your intelligence and ego, and underestimate that of those you oppose. Indeed – you even reduce what you seek to achieve as an ideological battle.

              I fear I’m beginning to rave, and I’m loathe to get into a pointless battle with you with uphill shit-pushing – which in your case is an inevitable outcome of any sort of discussion (I mean I saw a thread yesterday where your obfuscation and attempts at diversion were spectacular to the extent that I was even beginning to feel embarrassed for you).

              And lest you think this is left/right or party politically based – there are still a number of ABCers that fit into the above crapolla.
              Stick a hat on them and label them “troughers” if you like.
              They ALL still ARE, or are going to become utterly irrelevant for a vast majority – whether its 2014, or whether their aspirations, or masochism mean it’s 2017.
              Sooner the better though really.

              • Tim

                Oops @ Macro – that comment/rave was in response to the gorgeous, the spectacular, the sage known in here as BM – not you.
                The size of his dick got in the way of my seeing the numbering scheme and I think I replied to you rather than him.

                [No problem. If you look closely you're in the right spot. RL]

                • Will@Welly

                  Don’t get suckered in by the likes of B.M., rich the little, Naki Man or the other time wasters, their “job” is to drain the left of the moral superiority and to distract from what is actually happening in society. Getting caught up in their crap will only see the initiative handed over to the morally corrupt right.

              • BM

                Good bit of old Man ranting there, you truly are a master.

                You do seem to overestimate the value of your intelligence and ego, and underestimate that of those you oppose.

                Not at all, the majority of posters here are very intelligent and well read, I consider myself an absolute thickey in matters political when compared to many who post here.

                Doesn’t stop me throwing in my 5 cents worth though, just don’t expect me to write pages and pages of waffle to back up my position, that’s not how I roll.

                • RedLogix

                  just don’t expect me to write pages and pages of waffle to back up my position, that’s not how I roll.

                  As felix would say … that’s not how you spell troll.

                • Will@Welly

                  Thus spoke the intellectual pygmy we all know as B.M.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  just don’t expect me to write pages and pages of waffle to back up my position

                  We don’t as we know you can’t back up your position at all.

              • Beryl Streep

                Tim, I realise you said “Uncle Thomas” instead of “Uncle Tom” so you could claim it as a Thomas the Tank Engine reference or something else if you were called on it.

                “Uncle Tom” is one of the most vile, condescending and racist terms in leftist politics. Can I ask why you chose to use it? I stopped reading your rant after that, so apologies if you’ve already explained it.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Don’t be so sensitive. And dont be such a PC language police.

                  [lprent: It always is in any of its handles. ]

                  • Beryl Streep

                    I don’t think I am being sensitive. The definition of an “Uncle Tom” is a black person who is regarded as being humiliatingly subservient or deferential to white people.

                    In a New Zealand context it’s used flippantly to describe Maori, Pacific Islander and other non-white citizens who don’t vote for parties on the left. This attitude dehumanises people and is a form of racism that seems to be prevalent and excusable in leftist politics.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      “prevalent and excusable” [citations needed]

                      On the other hand, it seems that the problem may be between Beryl’s ears.

                • Tim

                  @Beryl
                  I’m sorry for you that you feel offended.
                  I use it in the context of the Wiki definition – i.e.:
                  “The phrase “Uncle Tom” has also become an epithet for a person who is slavish and excessively subservient to perceived authority figures, particularly a black person who behaves in a subservient manner to white people”.

                  It’s in common use by members of my extended family who, after giving support and campaigning for politicians they felt were going to represent them felt both surprised and utterly betrayed by decisions made post 2008 election. Betrayed because those politicians misrepresented their positions, were party to worsening of housing, education and financial situations and who seem unconcerned over issues of sovereignty, self-determination and sustainable use of natural resources – especially when they had the ‘deal breaker’ power to actually make a difference.
                  I also hear it in use by policy analysts and others in regional offices of the Ministry of Maori Development and given their recent predicament, I’m surprised their language is as mild as it is.
                  As I said, I feel sorry for you if you are offended – that was not my intention however I am also aware of how offended many of my family and friends are by the dog-whistling, bene-bashing, ‘ladder pulling’, othering and punitive policies that are characteristic of this government and its support partners.

          • rich the other 2.1.1.1.2

            Weka,
            in those days we had at least a couple of million less people to provide for and still plenty of poverty.
            Perhaps you’re correct , in the good old days , no D P B , women in the kitchen etc etc, sounds ok , let’s go back to the ”good old days”.

            • Macro 2.1.1.1.2.1

              “in those days we had at least a couple of million less people to provide for and still plenty of poverty.”

              Bullshit!!

            • RedLogix 2.1.1.1.2.2

              rto:

              That’s nothing more than a particularly stupid false dichotomy – that the only choices are ‘the current state of NZ’ or the ‘previous state of NZ 40 years ago’.

              It’s reveals a desperate lack of imagination that you cannot think of any other alternatives.

              • rich the other

                Plenty of NZers are very happy with the current state and can see a good future ahead with National , I am happy with the current state and have no desire to turn back the clock, that’s what green/labour policy.

                • weka

                  That’s fine, just stop inventing untruthful arguments to support your selfishness. Try honesty and see how that works.

                • RedLogix

                  rto,

                  Again you reveal a complete lack of imagination when you make the leap from “plenty of New Zealanders are happy” to an implication that this should be good enough for all of us.

                  Presumably your “plenty of New Zealanders” does not include the 260,000 odd children growing up in poverty, or the 2,000,000 adults trying to live on a median income around $25k or less.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Plenty of NZers are very happy with the current state and can see a good future ahead with National

                  I’m sure there are but I’m also sure that there’s a lot more who are unhappy with it and only see more hard grind while going backwards.

                • Mel

                  Extrapolating from your own personal viewpoint does not counter the facts of child poverty in New Zealand, our current unemployment nor our low wage economy, which results in many families struggling to survive. The logical fallacy of this sort of thinking from groups of people can lead to some very inequitable outcomes for others. I call it the – ‘ Let them eat Cake’ type of thinking.

                  Its time to acknowledge the level of inequity in New Zealand and work as a community to ensure all of us have adequate housing, food and education if we want a healthier democracy.

            • weka 2.1.1.1.2.3

              “in those days we had at least a couple of million less people to provide for and still plenty of poverty.
              Perhaps you’re correct , in the good old days , no D P B , women in the kitchen etc etc, sounds ok , let’s go back to the ”good old days”.”

              You either didn’t read my comment properly, or are incapable of easy comprehension. See the bit where I said it wasn’t paradise? That was my shorthand for let’s not put up faux ‘good ole days’ arguments. Address the issues dude. You say a high consumption society provides jobs and a good standard of living for most people. I pointed out that prior to our shift to high consumption we had full employment and less disparity between rich and poor. Someone with better stats can argue if there is more or less poverty overall now than then, but my money is on there being more poverty now than prior to the 80s (allowing for the different kinds of poverty that exist in different times).

              • Polish Pride

                Speaking of addressing the issues.. The Left can have the things they want as can the Right but unfortunately not under the current system. The current system has two completely opposing views on how to bring about the well being of society. Both L&R do this through the redistribution of wealth.
                Whilst this remains the basis of L wing policy there will always be those to the right of centre that will always vote against it. (and vice versa for R wing policy)
                Thus neither the left or the right will ever get their desired outcomes under the current system.
                Change the focus to having a system designed to fulfill peoples needs and wants and doing so without the need to redistribute wealth and not only will you solve the problems of the Left but also the problems of the Right a the same time.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  …and Tinky Winky and all the little elves lived happily ever after.

                • karol

                  And what sort of system would that be, PP? Be more specific.

                  Because any system that fulfills needs and wants of all as the priority, would seem to be a left wing system.

                  The right largely want a system that enriches and benefits the few.

                  • Polish Pride

                    “The right largely want a system that enriches and benefits the few.”

                    It is in fact vitally important that people understand what it is the R and the L want and why they think the way they do? in order to come to a solution for both

                    Left and Right is not about The caring Left and the Greedy Rightwing Capitalist Bastards.. Nor is it about the Sensible Right versus a bunch of Commie pricks and a bunch of tree hugging hippies.

                    Left and the Right are just ways of thinking. They are two ends of a spectrum upon which everybody in the world falls somewhere depending on how exactly they see the world
                    Neither are right or wrong, they simply just are.

                    Someone on the Left views the world very externally. Sees things they want to change, they see people suffering, they see inadequacies within the system and want to change the system to address those problems for people.
                    example: They see families not having enough money and from their position in the system they would like to help those families but cannot (the system does not give them the resources to do this) in understanding this they then want the system to provide. This is currently actioned through various types of welfare.

                    Someone on the Right views the world with an internal view of their world. They understand the system, They understand the supposed rules of the game. Their focus is on them and their family within the system, and doing what they need to do to be successful….within the system.
                    They see taxes as being something that, although necessary, takes away from them and makes it just that little more difficult for them to achieve what they need to or want to in the system.
                    They see these taxes spent on welfare and unnecessary political activities, govt departments.
                    Both focuses are noble in their own right
                    The person on the left just wants to look after others who they think need help.
                    The person on the right simply wants to look after their family.

                    It is only through a solution that meets the needs and desires of both sides will you solve the problems we face today and have always faced as a society.

                    The system is the Resource Based Economy with a system designed to meet the needs and wants of the people. Where the goal of society is not maximum employment. Instead it has a goal of freeing as many people as possible through the use of technology and automation.

                    Clearly if I say Capitalism isn’t the way forward here I am preaching to the converted but neither is democratic Socialism as it still deals with money and limited resources. Neither system is designed to meet the true needs and wants of man.
                    A system for man should be designed to work for man. Man working for the system is like Henry Ford inventing the Model T but then having to push it everywhere he wants to go. Its ridiculous. Yet this is exactly what we do with our system now.

                    If a system were to be designed for Man what should that system look like, What does everyone want……?

                    To be happy?

                    Everyone is different so how can we determine what is required to make every one happy?

                    Maslows Hierarchy of needs is fairly widely accepted in Economics as benchmark for what a person needs to be happy.
                    How does Capitalism stack up on Maslows?
                    How does the Resource Based Economy stack up?
                    Can a Resource Based Economy be structured to meet the needs and wants of mankind and still have an abundance of resources?

                    Through removal of the profit motive and planned obsolescence and through active management and technological and scientific solutions to problems untainted by profit but for Man – arguably Yes

                    • karol

                      All very theoretical, PP. But you have a very generalised and reductive view of the difference between left and right – like someone sitting on a cloud, trying to be an eye of god, but without any strong commitment to a set of values – other than perhaps some enlightenment ideal of being “objective” and “balanced”.

                      Your view of the left is that of welfare capitalism – itself a compromise with capitalism or the right.

                      It is rather common place to say that left and right have a different view – more importantly, underlying any political position are some core values. And you articulate some as if they were opposite sides of the same “noble” and “correct” coin, which can be somehow resolved by dropping underlying values….I think, although it is not totally clear how you think that can happen, other than maybe expecting people to be “balanced” and “objective” like yourself.

                      The person on the left just wants to look after others who they think need help.
                      The person on the right simply wants to look after their family.

                      Well describes a quite paternalistic left – actually, the left is more about an inclusive, fair and just society for all, especially when it involves grass roots participatory democracy.

                      And righties may or may not care about their families – some see no responsibilities to anyone bu themselves. Nevertheless, what do you call it when people are so focus on themselves and those nearest to them that the rest don’t matter? I’d call it lack of compassion, empathy and understanding of, or concern for how we all operate within society. Ultimately it’s a pretty narrow self-interested view of life from where I’m sitting.

                      This – I don’t know where to start with this muddle:

                      Clearly if I say Capitalism isn’t the way forward here I am preaching to the converted but neither is democratic Socialism as it still deals with money and limited resources. Neither system is designed to meet the true needs and wants of man.
                      A system for man should be designed to work for man. Man working for the system is like Henry Ford inventing the Model T but then having to push it everywhere he wants to go. Its ridiculous. Yet this is exactly what we do with our system now.

                      Goodness me – that’s a pretty skewed characterisation of democratic socialism. And I would say socialism IS about meeting the true needs and wants of humanity/society within the context of the environment, resources, etc.

                      Through removal of the profit motive and planned obsolescence and through active management and technological and scientific solutions to problems untainted by profit but for Man – arguably Yes

                      Sounds like socialism to me. And I can’t see how you will get any rightie to agree – one of their underlying values IS the belief in the profit motive as a way to incentivise human endeavour within a competitive system.

                    • RedLogix

                      Where the goal of society is not maximum employment. Instead it has a goal of freeing as many people as possible through the use of technology and automation.

                      I strongly recommend you look at this graph:

                      http://www.alternet.org/files/styles/large/public/screen_shot_2013-12-20_at_3.12.44_pm.png

                      Look at the date of the break-point. 1973. Forty Christmases ago.

                      It’s also the date when industrial automation became mainstream. I know this personally – I’ve met the two key people involved Dick Morely and Odo Struger both of whom are credited with the invention of the PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) between 1969 and 1972.

                      However what is also plain from the rest of the article is that technology was used to capture and concentrate wealth. And that I would argue is a political question that actually has relatively little to do with the traditional demarcations between left and right.

                      http://www.alternet.org/economy/how-fix-economy-13-easy-charts?paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

                    • Polish Pride

                      RedLogix

                      Under a Resource Based Economy money is taken from the equation. Money was originally used as a simpler and more portable method of exchange. It has become a barrier to getting the things done we need to. Remove it and the barrier is no more.
                      Think of the things use in your everyday life. Think of the things you want. Those things are things you still either need or want if money is removed from the equation.
                      Goods are produced to excess in the current system because of the need to make a profit continuously in order to pay people be they investors or workers. Everyone needs to obtain money somehow through System in order to fulfill wants and needs

                      Remove the money and without the drive for profit a system can be transitioned too that is designed to meet the needs and wants of everyone in a sustainable manner.

                      Auckland has a transport problem. It can be resolved a number of ways, more motorways, rail and so on.
                      Why isn’t it being built?
                      We have the knowledge of how to do it..
                      we have the resources..
                      We have the manpower so why isn’t it being done…
                      Money – not enough of it. This mechanism for exchange has come to the point where it has become a barrier for many.
                      Remove money and you could build maglev trains or monorails or whatever the best solution was. Why? because your not constrained by lack of it

                      Removing money and changing the design of the system to work for man, to meet our needs and wants and ensures that what happened with the industrial revolution can’t happen again.
                      The goal of society also becomes to design technological solutions to free people from having to work where possible.
                      Just by removing money and all of the jobs that come with it. Banking, Accountancy, Share trading, Insurance, you free a large number of people from having to work. A redistribution of jobs resulting in job sharing and ongoing automation could result in people needing to work half the time to the system going.
                      Would you switch to a system where the goal of the system is happiness through meeting peoples needs and wants?
                      you only need to work half the time you do now and meets your needs and wants are met as the goal of society.

                    • Polish Pride

                      No Carol instead of merely holding your values up as right and theirs as wrong, you should instead be focusing on trying to find a solution that meets and enables both sets of values to be upheld.

                      “Your view of the left is that of welfare capitalism.”
                      Nope but my view of Left does not matter one little bit. What matters is that what the Left want cannot be achieved through the current system. This is because of the role of money and everything that comes with it. Nor can the Right for that matter.

                      No-one actually needs money.. they need the things that money can buy.

                      it comes down to one question: What should goal of the system should be to do.
                      To enable Man to be happy.
                      Designing the system to work for Man, not having Man enslaved by it.

                      “the left is more about an inclusive, fair and just society for all, especially when it involves grass roots participatory democracy.”

                      Great a Resource Based Economy has all of that.

                      “And righties may or may not care about their families – some see no responsibilities to anyone bu themselves. Nevertheless, what do you call it when people are so focus on themselves and those nearest to them that the rest don’t matter? I’d call it lack of compassion, empathy and understanding of, or concern for how we all operate within society. Ultimately it’s a pretty narrow self-interested view of life from where I’m sitting.”

                      What you’d call it unfortunately doesn’t matter.. the fact that people do value and focus on those nearest to them to the point where the rest don’t matter does matter. Provide a way for both sets of values to be met and both are happy.
                      The Resource Based Economy enables the primary values of both L and R to be met at the same time.

                      Unfortunately the current system will always fail both sets of ideals as they continue to vote against one another.

                      “Sounds like socialism to me. And I can’t see how you will get any rightie to agree – one of their underlying values IS the belief in the profit motive as a way to incentivise human endeavour within a competitive system.”

                      Call it what you like but unless Socialism is a Gift Economy with no money then we are talking different systems.
                      The only question is does a Resource Based Economy uphold your ideals and provide what you want in a system for everyone.

                      As for those righties. Show them a way that they can have their needs and wants met, be able to work less that does not require continuously taking from them (their view) in the form of taxation and they will agree as well.
                      Again show them that it is not actually money that they need the the things and experiences that money can buy. Those things still exist with or without money.

                    • karol

                      PP, I have no problem with a system where money is taken out of the equation, nor, i think, would quite a few people who lean left, once that is fully explained to them.

                      However, I think you are being naive to think that a lot of righties can just be talked into excepting such a system – too many live for money and what they hope it can do….. it’s quite basic to their value system. And I also think you are naive that the powerful elite will willingly give up their power and advantages by explaining a n alternative system nicely – just not going to happen.

                    • infused

                      Polish Pride actually makes a lot of sense.

                    • Polish Pride

                      Karol no offense but I think I have a better grasp of what the right want. I have been cleaning the floor with Right wing Capitalists with this stuff for a few years now. Not all but many are quite interested in this way of thinking and want to know more.

                      “However, I think you are being naive to think that a lot of righties can just be talked into excepting such a system – too many live for money and what they hope it can do….. it’s quite basic to their value system.”

                      Don’t be lulled into thinking that a Right winger is your stereotypical loves money above all else. They are not and just like those on the Left they come in all shapes and forms. I’m sure the stereotype exists but it would only be as a very small minority in the bigger scheme of things. Most are just trying to do the best they can within the system for themselves and their family.
                      It isn’t quite basic to their value system at all. It is however the most key component in the current system and as such it can be argued that they are simply behaving accordingly. It is also easy to misconstrue their value system to being exactly what you think it is. I can assure you that for the vast majority it is not. It (money) is simply the mechanism under the current system that they need in order to obtain their goals. Provide them an alternative that enables them to obtain their goals without money and without taking from them and their family to give to others and they will look at it. Many have and many actually want to know more and start to ask a lot of questions.
                      There is skepticism sure, but there is genuine interest and that’s what matters most.

                      The thing is that the goals of the left and the right will never be fully met under the current system. Under the one I am talking about both sides would have their goals met due to the very nature of the system.

                      As for the global elite well you have two choices as I see it. Continue to play their game as you are now and see how far that continues to get you. Or change the rules of the game right out from under them….. and a system that meets the needs and values of both sides has the ability to do just that.
                      All you have to do is start changing the narrative.
                      Capitalism as an ideal is easy to destroy but only if you can replace it with something better for both Left and Right.

                    • Polish Pride

                      “too many live for money and what they hope it can do”

                      Sorry Karol I reread your post again. For many this on some level is true. But this is the nature of the current system. (Human behaviour is often determined by the system they are placed into. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_San_Fernando_massacre)
                      It is the last part that is key though – what they hope it can do.
                      Give them an alternative that enables them to achieve this and eliminates the need to tax them and redistribute their wealth to others and they will be open to change.

                      The Global Elite use “problem, reaction solution” to get what they want. The same mechanism can be used to change the system.
                      I’m not saying it will be different tomorrow but its either doing something designed to meet the needs and wants of man …..or continuing with the same system we have now and expecting a different result which is just simply never going to materialize….

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Left and the Right are just ways of thinking. They are two ends of a spectrum upon which everybody in the world falls somewhere depending on how exactly they see the world
                      Neither are right or wrong, they simply just are.

                      That’s a load of baloney. The political right are, more often than not, provably wrong. The left can also be wrong but they tend to make an effort to correct while the political right will deny the physical evidence of them being wrong.

                      It is only through a solution that meets the needs and desires of both sides will you solve the problems we face today and have always faced as a society.

                      And yet, according to what you wrote, those needs and desires directly contradict each other.

                    • Polish Pride

                      No DTB at the most fundamental level those needs and wants don’t contradict each other at all. They only contradict so far as the way they would be provided for within the structure of the current system. This is because in the current system, regardless of whether you are on the Left or the Right you need money to be able to do what you want. Remove the money and the needs and wants start to align quite nicely.
                      The reasons remain different but both can be satisfied under a different system. One not focused on money. One instead focused on meeting the true needs and wants of those in society.

                      You and many on here have a perception of those on the right which is stereotypical yet largely inaccurate.
                      If you want to win a war it helps to understand your enemy…. Reading what I have here you guys have unfortunately failed to do that

                      “”Left and the Right are just ways of thinking. They are two ends of a spectrum upon which everybody in the world falls somewhere depending on how exactly they see the world
                      Neither are right or wrong, they simply just are.””

                      “That’s a load of baloney. The political right are, more often than not, provably wrong. The left can also be wrong but they tend to make an effort to correct while the political right will deny the physical evidence of them being wrong.”

                      What is a load of baloney? Left and Right and the spectrum that exists in politics? No that exists. The only thing I can understand you saying is a load of baloney is me saying that neither are right or wrong, they simply just are. This would be because it simply differs from your opinion and your view.
                      If there is something that you think is baloney state what it is and why?
                      Even if they are provably wrong the exact same is being said about the Left by the Right. But you know what who’s right and who’s wrong in the bigger scheme of things doesn’t matter, not one little bit.
                      What matters is being able to deliver what each side wants.
                      That’s unfortunately not possible under the current system by its very nature.
                      A system designed for Mankind the the goal of enabling Man to be happy does this. It by its very design is set up to meet the needs and wants of Man. It’s goal is to free man from the system or to have the system work for Man rather than Man working for it.
                      Its at this point you have a choice. You can continue to argue over who’s right and who’s wrong. Whether that’s you or me or the right vs the Left. Or you can start looking at solutions that will work for both sets of ideals and will at the same time fix the problems that we face in society today and in many cases have always faced. The choice is yours.

                      But I’ll tell you what go and spend a couple of years posting on Whaleoil and hanging out with Right wingers rather than spending your time on here preaching to the converted. Do that and you will quickly come to the realisation that The system cannot deliver what either side wants. (I am pretty sure you already know that part though). Determine what each side wants and see if there is a system that can provide it.
                      There is. It is called a Resource Based Economy.

                      In fact you don’t even have to worry about the Right. All you need to be concerned about is if the system could or would meet or surpass your values and the values on the left. If it doesn’t what changes would be required to enable it too.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The only thing I can understand you saying is a load of baloney is me saying that neither are right or wrong, they simply just are. This would be because it simply differs from your opinion and your view.

                      Nope. I said it because being wrong really is actually being wrong. It’s not just an opinion but a physical fact. Same applies to being right.

                      But you know what who’s right and who’s wrong in the bigger scheme of things doesn’t matter, not one little bit.

                      Actually, it does matter quite a lot because if we keep doing things wrong then we will never be able to correct those things.

                      What matters is being able to deliver what each side wants.

                      Which is impossible as one side wants lots of personal riches and the poverty that goes with it (Yes, they actually want the poverty to improve their own status) while the other side wants to eliminate the poverty which must get rid of the vast personal wealth that the other side wants.

                      That’s unfortunately not possible under the current system by its very nature.

                      Correct and so the system needs to be changed. Problem: The RWNJs don’t want to change the system because they’re quite happy with it.

                      So, how do we change the system? My solution there is democracy and bypassing the so called leaders. I really, really, really don’t like representative democracy especially as I know it was put in place to prevent democracy.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.3

            +1

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        Yes, we should spend less because our actual economy is severely limited and using up all those resources as fast as we can will end up with a) everyone being poor and b) the collapse of society. All the RWNJs advocate irrational economic policies that result in us being worse off in the long run for short term monetary gain of the rich.

  3. Tiny Tom 3

    For an article along similar lines I recommend “Was Scrooge a neoliberal?”:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/12/scrooge-neoliberal.html

    While one can rant that consumerism has perverted the original Christian message, it should not be forgotten that Christianity itself stole and perverted the original Pagan midwinter festival marking the turn of the solar calendar with its promise of the return of Spring and Summer.

    Personally, growing up and living half my life so far in the UK I very much enjoyed the Pagan aspects of Christmas – the lights in the longest nights, the warmth and cheer in midwinter, the recogniton that the days were getting longer again – while doing my best to ignore the mawkish religious nonsense clinging to its coat-tails. Here in the southern hemisphere celebrating Christmas in mid-summer strips away even the legitimate Pagan elements making the whole event ridiculous so I treat it the way I do the idiots selling religion on my door-step – ignore it in the hope it will go away.

      • weka 3.1.1

        “Here in the southern hemisphere celebrating Christmas in mid-summer strips away even the legitimate Pagan elements making the whole event ridiculous…”

        lolz. Kiwis on a beach in summer, or getting uber-pissed at NY strikes me as relatively pagan ;-)

        Pre-Christian Pagans celebrated the year in a wheel – the two solstices and the two equinoxes. No reason why we can’t keep Christmas, and have Matariki, plus Easter (needs to change to an Autumn fesival though). That just leaves the Spring Equinox.

        Then there are the cross-quarter dates/festivals which lie at the midpoint between the solstices and equinoxes. Matariki is interesting because it spans the cross-quarter before winter solstice and the winter solstice.

        I feel way more annoyed by Northern hemisphere expressions of Halloween (cross-quarter date) in NZ than I do with Christmas (and Halloween is following the same crass consumerist path). I think NZ is making a fair transition away from winter themes at Christmas. Would love to see Halloween transformed in the more appropriate Beltane bone fire festival.

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

  4. Sacha 4

    “the original *Christian message”

    the original Pagan festival

  5. Steve Wrathall 5

    Oh no, the Labour/Green/Mana decision to go into election year as a bunch of sour Sadies claiming there is a manufacturing crisis and no jobs is collapsing before their eyes. What now? Go after John Key? It’s worked so wonderfully before eh?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOGQ-4fR0YQ

    • karol 5.1

      is that the best you can do Steve? the post is about so much more than John Key: it’s about the whole big, international neo-liberal scam and the way it is expressed in relation to “Christmas”, as promoted by the MSM.

      It is about a whole discourse that creates a myth of the benevolence of the super wealthy celebrities, on behalf of the corporate elites.

      Of course, I know righties just want the debate to be only about John Key – he’s all they’ve got going for them in maintaining this slowly collapsing house of cards.

  6. Tracey 6

    Rich the other

    whoooooooooooooosh

  7. Philj 7

    Xox
    And people pay money to purchase this ‘newspaper’? Is this tragedy or comedy, or just modem day life? Haha.

  8. aerobubble 8

    Non-religious now make up majority in census, could this have anything to do with Christmas themes of winter being so out of place in summer NZ? When it doesn’t make sense to dress up in winter clothes, eat too much in swelting heat, and sing about song, then it follows quite naturally that the whole Jesus thing is fake too.

  9. Will@Welly 9

    Since the economic crisis of 2008/09, the dominance of the banking/financial sector now take seems to precedence over everything else. The only way people seem to want to reward themselves is with a bit of blanket commercial retail therapy -i.e. overspending at Xmas/the Boxing Day sales.
    My “retail therapy” consisted of buying some milk.
    As a nation we appear to have lost the ability to enjoy life without it costing a fortune. Everyone either appears to want to “clip the ticket” thereby inflating the actual cost, or others are out to prove, regardless how cheap or expensive things are, they have pockets deep enough to pay whatever, just to let everyone know that they are important. Bulls**t.
    If you’ve ever watched little children open presents, sometimes its the most incongruous present that holds a child spell-bound the most. This rampant commercialism that we’ve fostered on the world is just so out of place.

    • aerobubble 9.1

      I think a lot of people have heard that interest rates will rise, and have been saving, they realize that now’s a good time to buy, have a party after a few years of belt tightening.

      Key has delayed the ChCh rebuild to peak next year, the question is will voter notice that instead of having built up the economy Key has stymied it. Key consistently oppose endeavors to deepen the economy, inject long term plans into the fabric of the economy, (commuter trains lines in the plans for ChCh!!! etc, etc). Key’s willing to interfere but not in any positive way that supports long term NZ growth.

      • Paul 9.1.1

        I imagine there’s quite a few people maxed to the hilt who will be in real trouble if rates increase.

  10. Good thing about consumption as fetish is that it is the height of alienation and in direct contradiction with the collapse of capitalist production.

    We go from commodities that we need to consume to work, to commodities as the embodiment of value to be accumulated, only because we don’t see that the only commodity that produces value is the commodity labour-power.

    But as capitalism destroys the natural base of its productive system and makes living labour-power more and more redundant, the inability to consume to work will explode the fetish to buy to live.

    The image of zombie consumers will be replaced by mass uprisings.

    http://redrave.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/marx-is-right-again.html

    • “To be sure, Marx did not himself follow out the full ramifications of this distortion of use value (and of labor’s own usefulness). Although he raised the question of the qualitative, use-value structure of the commodity economy he was to leave it largely unexamined in his critique of political economy.55 It was generally assumed in the context of mid-nineteenth-century capitalism that those use values that were produced—outside of the relatively insignificant realm of luxury production—conformed to genuine human needs. Under monopoly capitalism, beginning in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and with the emergence more recently of the phase of globalized monopoly-finance capital, this all changed. The system increasingly demands, simply to keep going under conditions of chronic overaccumulation, the production of negative use values and the non-fulfillment of human needs.56 This entails the absolute alienation of the labor process, i.e., of the metabolic relation between human beings and nature, turning it predominantly into a form of waste.”
      http://monthlyreview.org/2013/12/01/marx-rift-universal-metabolism-nature:

  11. captain hook 11

    why dont you try a little kindness
    and take away the blindness
    of the narrow minded people
    in their narrow minded streets.

  12. chrissy 12

    Saw a bright young thing being interviewed on telly last night at one of the malls having sale. She was so excited because she had bought al of this STUFF for $10.00 each and was off to another mall to carry on buying more STUFF. Loaded down with bags and I bet she didn’t have a clue what was in them. Thing is if these are all bought on credit cards doesn’t the interest on the cards cancel out a lot of this so called saving on purchases. Pretty sure most of them will be maxed out and if you have the money to pay it off in next month or so why are they buying cheap crap that can be sold at $10.00 each with the shops still making a profit.
    Also, I was going to go to Briscoe’s to buy a cake mixer but was put off with their over the top advertising. So, won’t be going there. My own silent little protest.

    • rich the other 12.1

      A sign of the times,
      Shame on you chrissy ,even thinking about buying a cake mixer at Briscoe’s ,you’re obviously the idle rich , what’s wrong with the ware house , a wooden spoon and a bowl for less than $5.

      • Paul 12.1.1

        You have nothing constructive to add.

        • rich the other 12.1.1.1

          Yes , here’s something constructive,
          repent ,beg for forgiveness , recognise the error of your ways and then vote NATIONAL.

          • Will@Welly 12.1.1.1.1

            Well we all know where the wooden spoon dangles from at your place rto, and certainly, no one other than you would ever be lining up to lick it, that’s for sure.

          • Tracey 12.1.1.1.2

            kind of like the mafia, kill opponents, sleep with women, kill anyone who sleeps with your women, then go to church and confess and do it all again next week.

          • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.1.3

            That’s not constructive but destructive as National works to destroy our economy for the benefit of the rich.

            • rich the other 12.1.1.1.3.1

              Mixed message there draco,

              ”National works to destroy economy” according to the left it’s already destroyed.
              And the logic of destroying the economy ??
              No one will ever make money from people who have no money, benificiary’s are a cost , not an opportunity to make money.

              I suppose if you are prepared to vote green/labour then you are obviously not logical..

              • Draco T Bastard

                No one will ever make money from people who have no money, benificiary’s are a cost , not an opportunity to make money.

                According to the right, so are employees.

                The real cost is profit.

                I suppose if you are prepared to vote National/Act/CP then you are obviously not rational.

                FTFY

      • chrissy 12.1.2

        rto. Do you have a cake mixer, or any other appliances that make life easier? Do you have a stove or do you cook over a campfire? Do you have a washing machine or do you wash in the local stream? Do you have a camera, or do you do rapid sketching? Of course I’m one of the idle rich, that’s why my husband needs a cake mixer because he has a shoulder injury and can no longer use the wooden spoon and bowl. I’m far too rich to do my own baking.!

    • Macro 12.2

      There are other places… but their advertising is just as invasive. (sometimes you just have to hold your nose and go ahead and do it) -and I understand the need for these devices too having had a shoulder injury as well.- I just wonder if those produced these days last as long as the ones 40 xmas’s ago?

  13. karol 13

    A pertinent press release from the Uni of Canterbury: “Inequality keeps rising, says UC social research expert”

    Inequality continues to rise in New Zealand and many families will struggle to cope over the holidays, a University of Canterbury (UC) social research expert says.

    Dr Annabel Taylor says research shows that reliance on voluntary help is not nearly enough to help families that are struggling.
    [...]
    “This means that every dollar counts when given to food banks and the like. At the same time, we need to pause and ponder on what needs to be done to reduce inequalities in our communities.”

    “The problem with relying on well-meaning voluntary support is that it cannot possibly replace the population-based health, education and social support necessary to ensure healthy New Zealanders.

    Violence continues to be the driving challenge for New Zealand communities with nearly half of all homicides in New Zealand resulting from family violence, Dr Taylor says.

  14. weka 14

    There are currently 1509 listings in Trademe’s post-Christmas ‘regifting’ promotion. Funny use of the word ‘regifting’.

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/unwanted-christmas-gifts?utm_source=TradeMe&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=TM_Regifting

    • Will@Welly 14.1

      First heard this back on Seinfield. “Regifting” was a no-no, then. It’s what you did with presents you couldn’t return/didn’t want. Now thanks to Trade Me and E-Bay, people just flog them off.
      Talk about commercialism gone wrong.

      • Well quite a lot finish up in the local Op shop .
        My wife accurately forecasts to me just what will be among the latest “must haves” that will,turn up each week at the one she works at. Top of the list at the moment is exercise machines and teddy bears ,

  15. infused 15

    Someone buy Karol a present.

  16. BEATINGTHEBOKS 16

    The reality is people like a bargain and if they have good fortune to have the money then go to it. Now if you compared NZ with communist Russia at boxing day you would see some interesting things, the lack of anything useful to buy would be one of them, and very high prices. Boxing day sales are and hopefully will always be a fun day out for some. If Labour want to win the next election the middle class working person needs to be wooed, nonsensical ideas that normal people wont buy bargains if they are educated about the suffering of poor people will not impress anyone. People want to be rewarded for their hard work. People don’t want to have to work an extra 10 hours a week to feed someone else’s children. Just talking about the average swing voter here not the uber rich, whose vote will be blue no matter what measures are taken.

    • Murray Olsen 16.1

      “If Labour want to win the next election the middle class working person needs to be wooed, nonsensical ideas that normal people wont buy bargains if they are educated about the suffering of poor people will not impress anyone.”

      I don’t see anyone putting that idea forward except yourself.

      “People don’t want to have to work an extra 10 hours a week to feed someone else’s children.”

      Did you read that one on WhaleSpew? Where does the 10 hour figure come from?

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  • Mike Hosking & the benefit of low expectations
    Labour has been bleating about Mike Hosking being used as moderator in a TVNZ election debate. There is even the unconvincing talk that Labour may boycott the debate if Hosking takes that role....
    Pundit | 24-07
  • Brownlee Should be Arrested like we Would be
    If you or I broke aviation security laws we would  be arrested. Why wasn’t Brownlee?  ...
    An average kiwi | 24-07
  • No time. No manners. No respect.
    H/T @nintendoug...
    The Jackal | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking as TVNZ’s moderator for political debates?! WTF?!
    . . I checked the calendar, and it’s not April 1st. An April Fool’s joke is the first reaction I had when I heard  that someone at  TVNZ had appointed Mike Hosking to be the moderator  for live, televised election-year...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking as TVNZ’s moderator for political debates?! WTF?!
    . . I checked the calendar, and it’s not April 1st. An April Fool’s joke is the first reaction I had when I heard  that someone at  TVNZ had appointed Mike Hosking to be the moderator  for live, televised election-year...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • National Standards are awesome: Parata
    Hello everyone! I am the Minister of Education and I am more stoked than an illegal Christchurch log-burner. How exciting is a day like today when we can release a vast amount of information to our good friends in the...
    My Thinks | 24-07
  • Neo Liberal interest rate hike
    In order to honour his commitment to keep inflation in check, and due to the gross negligence of the current Government in failing to deliver large scale housing developments in Auckland and Christchurch, the Reserve Bank Governor today increased the...
    Closing the Gap | 24-07
  • The Dark Snow team investigates the source of soot that’s acceleratin...
    Around the planet, wildfires are becoming larger and more destructive. This summer, a series of wildfires enveloped large areas of Canada’s Boreal forest, blanketing western North America with smoke. One key question is, do these fires have an effect on...
    Skeptical Science | 24-07
  • Hosking votes National
    It never ceases to amaze me just how arrogant and/or deluded the right wing media are here in New Zealand. Not only did we have TVNZ trying to portray Cameron Slater, a blogger known for his hate speech, as some...
    The Jackal | 24-07
  • Gerry Brownlee offers to resign
    Gerry Brownlee offered to resign as Transport Minster today after getting caught out skipping security at Christchurch airport. Prime Minister John Key says he was “really disappointed” after Gerry Brownlee bypassed airport security this morning, but he has been quick...
    Transport Blog | 24-07
  • Step back: What WWI can teach us about Ukraine
    For the past year I have been on the World War I Commemoration Panel. The members include people as diverse as Sir Peter Jackson, Dame Anne Salmond, and Sir Bob Harvey. One of the most interesting things I have done...
    Pundit | 24-07
  • There’s a name for this…
    The latest atrocity in the Australian government's war on refugees: covering up the rate of self-harm and attempted suicide:Harrowing eyewitness accounts from the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission and a team of medical experts say there is a...
    No Right Turn | 24-07
  • Deep State Power Crimes: An Anglo-American News Blindspot in MH-17 Coverage
    MH-17 vs Ukrainian SU-25? Russian Defense Ministry claims a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet was within 5-10 km of MH-17. By Snoopman, 24 July 2014 No Brainer vs No Brainer It’s fascinating to see TVNZ’s One News ask its viewers on...
    Snoopman News | 24-07
  • UK police spied on their critics
    First, it was the family of Stephen Lawrence. Now we learn that the UK police spied on other people seeking justice from them as well:Undercover police gathered intelligence on grieving families who were battling the Metropolitan police for justice, including...
    No Right Turn | 24-07
  • Gerry
    So Gerry's a complete screw up. (Again.) That sounds like something for Gerry to explain all by himself. Have fun, Gerry. Filed under: nationalGerry Brownlee...
    Polity | 24-07
  • An answer to the anti-fluoride critics – in one image
    Click image to enlarge.  The chemical website Compound Interest, is producing a series of infograms to communicate some chemistry.  Here is an excellent one they produced on fluoride. I think it would make a great poster. It is accompanied by...
    Open Parachute | 24-07
  • Everything in moderation
    I’m not sure it really warranted being front-page news (Gaza? MH17? Anyone?) but the announcement of Mike Hosking as the anointed moderator for TVNZ’s political leaders’ debates was always going to lead to a bit of head-scratching. Hosking’s political leanings...
    Boots Theory | 24-07
  • Key and Hauiti – don’t ask, don’t tell
    How much money did National’s soon-to-be-former List MP Claudette Hauiti misspend on parliamentary credit card? We don’t know. As a mere backbencher, her credit card information can’t be OIAd, meaning that they only way we’ll ever find out is if...
    Occasionally erudite | 24-07
  • Exports continue to simplify under National
    Export data released today from Statistics New Zealand today shows a continuing and disturbing trend in the New Zealand economy — we are exporting less high-valued manufactured goods (down 12.5 percent) and less high-valued manufactured goods as a proportion of...
    frogblog | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking is not a Thing That Matters
    TVNZ plans to have Mike Hosking as its moderator for the network’s televised leaders’ debates. To my mind, it’s a stupid choice, but then I’m someone who can’t stand Mr Hosking’s brand of ageing hipster, Paul Henry-esque, elitist minority bashing “broadcasting”....
    Occasionally erudite | 24-07
  • Another botched execution in the US
    Another US execution has gone horribly wrong:The controversy engulfing the death penalty in the United States escalated on Wednesday when the state of Arizona took almost two hours to kill a prisoner using an experimental concoction of drugs whose provenance...
    No Right Turn | 24-07
  • A serial offender
    So it wasn't just a holiday in Oz Claudette Hauiti tried to stick us with:Outgoing National MP Claudette Hauiti admits using her parliamentary charge card to buy petrol for her personal car in a further breach of the rules on...
    No Right Turn | 24-07
  • Should we charge tourists extra for driving on NZ roads?
    There have been a few suggestions recently that international tourists should be paying more to drive in New Zealand, or have to pass a driving test, or things along those lines. Winston Aldworth, the Travel Editor at the Herald, wrote...
    Transport Blog | 24-07
  • Govt gives $107m for Lincoln buildings, $0 for staff
    Hau Taki Haere Vol 17 No 24 The government has agreed to give up to $107.5 million in capital funding toward the rebuilding of Lincoln University’s science facilities destroyed in the Canterbury earthquakes. While welcoming...
    Tertiary Education Union | 24-07
  • Can you really trust your gut? And should you?
    Have you ever been in an interview and thought to yourself “this person just feels […] The post Can you really trust your gut? And should you? appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 24-07
  • Non-teaching staff claim to join AIS agreement
    TEU members at Auckland Institute of Studies (AIS) started bargaining with their employer this week and they have want non-teaching members want the chance to bargain too this time. AIS, a large institution with a...
    Tertiary Education Union | 24-07
  • Nurses petition for entry programme for new nurses
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation has launched a petition to get a nurse entry to practice (NEtP) position for every new graduate nurse. NZNO spokesperson Liz Robinson says New Zealand is facing a significant nursing shortage...
    Tertiary Education Union | 24-07
  • Cleaners, kitchen and services staff want professional development
    Tertiary education cleaners, service staff and kitchen workers need more professional development opportunities says TEU national president Lesley Francey. Her call follows a mini-conference of TEU members working in cleaning, kitchens and services held...
    Tertiary Education Union | 24-07
  • TEU develops strategy to support Māori students
    TEU’s national council wants more action to address the needs of Māori students following information earlier this year that Māori students take significantly longer to pay back student loans. TEU’s Te Tumu Awhina, Margaret Taurere...
    Tertiary Education Union | 24-07
  • From Here To There: How Did Labour Become So Hopelessly Lost?
    No Direction Home: Has Labour ever been so lost? Has the path to electoral victory ever been so obscured? Starting from where they are now, how can they possibly get to where they need to be on 20 September?WRITING ABOUT...
    Bowalley Road | 23-07
  • Internet Mana party highlights
    The Internet Mana party road-trip has been putting to shame National's badly attended meetings by packing halls around the country. Not only is the party party getting people who don't usually engage in politics to participate, the ground swell of...
    The Jackal | 23-07
  • Claudette Hauiti is a thief
    When Claudette Hauiti was appointed an MP just over a year ago, on the back of Aaron Gilmore having to quit because he abused his position, many people were happy to see a person who has a lot of attributes...
    The Jackal | 23-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime a...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties fo...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties for war crimes Amnesty International called on delegates to the Central African Republic (CAR) National Reconciliation talks due to take place...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign agents’ The Russian Ministry of Justice today registered four more Russian human rights organizations and one environmental group as “foreign...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community The decision by a World Bank Inspection Panel to refuse to investigate a complaint about forced evictions linked to a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: National out of touch with the regions John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Restoration of Post-graduate Allowances to be Key Issue
    As students prepare for the early voting that will take place on all university and many polytechnic campuses next month, the restoration of post-graduate allowances, removed by the current government in 2013, is emerging as a key election issue....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Honesty for Taxpayers
    ACT has a new proposal to make our democracy more accountable. The proposal may seem small but it could be the most significant idea in this election....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week. "The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity
    ..:: For immediate release ::.. 24/07/14 David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity - (and in fact enjoy lunch with them)...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • More kids in Southland and Otago are achieving
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay says the Public Achievement Information for 2013 shows New Zealand children are doing better across the whole education system....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Flavell mistaken
    In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Lay Complaint with Speaker
    The Taxpayers’ Unio n has written to Parliament's Speaker, the Rt. Hon. David Carter, asking him to step in and investigate the claims on the WhaleOil blog that taxpayers’ money is being improperly used for Mana Party election campaign hoardings....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • MANA launches te reo Māori policy
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Candidate welcomes award of platinum exploration permits
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay has welcomed the Government’s decision to award Lynx Platinum Limited two exploration permits in Southland. Mr Barclay said the minerals industry is an important part of New Zealand’s economy...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Pokie spending and numbers continue to drop
    Pub and club gaming machine expenditure in the year ended June 2014 fell 2.4 per cent from $826.3 million to $806.2 million. There were also fewer licence holders, gambling venues and gaming machines compared with 12 months earlier. Licence holders...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Zealand Police to assist in MH17 victim identification
    New Zealand Police is sending three Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists to the Netherlands to assist in the international effort to identify victims from the MH17 tragedy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Oil Spill Response Strategy available for consultation
    Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is inviting comment on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Police response to IPCA report on Rewa investigation
    Police accept the findings of today's IPCA's report regarding its investigations into offending by Malcolm Rewa in Auckland in the 1980s and 1990s....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Well-known kiwis sign on to stop ivory trade
    Today the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will consider a complete ban on the ivory trade in response to a petition by Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Commonwealth Games are not being captioned in New Zealand
    As members of the Captioning Working Group, The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand call for broadcast captioning of the 2014 Commonwealth Games...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Majority of Commonwealth countries are already republics
    The Glasgow Commonwealth Games are here and it's a common misbelief that a Kiwi republic would mean that New Zealand would have to leave the Commonwealth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • IPCA findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Good morning everyone. I’d like to begin today by explaining that this is an informational press conference and that I will not be taking questions at its conclusion. The reason for that is the report’s findings are the result of...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Pay It Back Ms Hauiti
    Responding to the Newstalk ZB report that disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti is refusing to confirm whether or not she has reimbursed taxpayers for misuse of her Parliamentary 'P-card', Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Ms Hauiti...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • RSA thanks NZ for $1.7m collected during Poppy Appeal
    The RSA today announced that over $1.7 million was donated to the 2014 Poppy Appeal for the support of veterans, ex-service men and women and their families in need....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Students encouraged to be brave and never give up
    Students encouraged to be brave and never give up if they want to 'make it happen'...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • New Zealanders want to pay more to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
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