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The heart of darkness

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, January 27th, 2013 - 181 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war - Tags:

I wondered why the Herald had given a column to a barely literate liquidator, until now. They say sunlight is the best disinfectant, and running Damien Grant’s hateful, self-centred pieces exposes the ugliness at the heart of the neoliberal capitalist class. The titles alone are enough: ‘I’d rather a better phone than feed a hungry child’, ‘Life as the top capitalist in capitalism the only life worth having’.

The premise of today’s piece seems to be that there’s no poverty in New Zealand because there’s deeper poverty abroad, and we oughtn’t do anything about that poverty either because consumer electronics are more fun. (for what it’s worth, Damien, like most Kiwis I don’t have an iphone and give more to charity than I spend on my mobile).

Keep it up Damien. Sometimes, the most useful propagandists think that they work for the other side.

181 comments on “The heart of darkness”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Another little throw-away from this prick from another column regarding job seeking:

    If you are over 50 you will be overlooked. Unless the job seeks specialist skills, employers do not want overpaid baby boomers hanging around the office complaining.

    In other words explicitly condoning discrimination on the basis of age. Which is not only ignorant, probably illegal … it’s just stupidity. Older workers are in fact the most productive, by a solid margin. Besides, one day Damien Grant will be over 50 too. Yes he plans to be rich and not need a job .. but plans have a way of changing.

    The really interesting question is why does the Herald give this person a column?

    • PlanetOrphan 1.1

      Coz they’re trying to represent the biases of left/centre/right before they evaluate “civilised”, assuming they care about the later of course …

    • Andre 1.2

      Same reason we give knighthoods to the media ,OZ giving Australian of the year to an editor of a paper And don’t get me started on UK and there media .And Russia and Italy blah. blah Free press my arse.

      • RedLogix 1.2.1

        And less free as every year goes by.

        The left must understand once and for all that the media will never do them any favours … at best. Publishing, nay promoting, this sort of material is utterly hostile to the values of the left.

        For this reason we can no longer assume that simply ‘keeping your powder dry’ and ‘not fucking up’ is sufficient to deliver you into government every 2-3 elections. It’s a wrong assumption these days.

        • ak 1.2.1.1

          Spot on Reddy. Even if any old Dave of the Day suddenly morphed into Mother Theresa’s and Albert Einstein’s lovechild chanelling Michael Joseph, a few articles like this would hatemonger them into oblivion. The crucial 10% knows nothing but what the MSM feeds them.

          Death by a thousand selected unflattering soundbites and viewbites: a mumble is worth a thousand votes.

          Every battle is won on the streets and in the halls, with humour and heart: Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, we must keep the Standard aiming there. Death to infighting: bring back the caption contest and set up a cartoon comp.

          • RedLogix 1.2.1.1.1

            Every battle is won on the streets and in the halls, with humour and heart

            Truest.

            I tried not to say as little as possible the last few months on the ‘infighting’ thing. In the end it’s just plain unattractive and boring. Worse still Labour at heart seem to be playing the old game, over and over. A game they don’t seem to realise is stacked permanently against them.

            If we are to ever see worthwhile change in our lifetime we have to be doing something different….

            • ak 1.2.1.1.1.1

              I tried not to say as little as possible the last few months on the ‘infighting’ thing. In the end it’s just plain unattractive and boring.

              Same (sans “not”:). Ae, unatt, boring – and only negatively contributory in the heat of the embarrassing handbag slapping it’s descended into.

              Worse still Labour at heart seem to be playing the old game

              True, but in fairness it’s all they know: and more importantly, it’s all a large chunk of MSM-dependent voters know.

              The Greens now supply sufficient Progressive momentum; and “Labour/Green” is concrete in voters’ minds, solidified further recently by Shearer offering Norman Deputy PM.

              So Lab could do worse than not scaring the horses. Like it or not, they’re the TV1 of NZ politics; the default setting for a huge segment, whatever the boring content.

              Like your sensible self (et moi, en fait), sufficient greenward voting feet will ensure Progressive policy and action. Today’s Alliance.

              But continued infighting will again ensure Tory domination. Divide and Conquer. Lethal weapon of the Right through the ages, and the cancer of Progression.

          • CV - Real Labour 1.2.1.1.2

            Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer

            Nice. Very very nice.

    • redbaron77 1.3

      NZH posts them as business opinion. The cynic in me used to imagine DG came up with this bilge in order to promote his own interests within the business community on the premise “like favours those who are like”. However they appear to be bona-fide opinions held by DG. Nevertheless if his dredgings actually represent those held within “Business” then New Zealand faces a very bleak future. But I suspect that they are also repellant in various degrees to many businesspeople. Unfortunately no one from this sector is rushing to publicly repudiate DG and set the record strait.

      • damien grant 1.3.1

        “However they appear to be bona-fide opinions held by DG.”

        You are correct Redbaron. Bona-fide them views.

    • BM 1.4

      The really interesting question is why does the Herald give this person a column?

      Because there’s plenty of readers that agree with what he’s saying.
      His will no doubt be a well read and commented on column, just what a website wants.
      $$$$

      • RedLogix 1.4.1

        Yeah BM… there’s all sorts of things I could do to make shit-loads of money, but that doesn’t mean I’d sleep straight in bed at night.

        I find DG’s values narrow, selfish and repugnant. I guess you just worship the man.

        There’s the difference between us.

      • redbaron77 1.4.2

        Actually 90% of the comments are quite dismissive of DG.This probably because aside from the fact that DG polemical, bigoted views strike a major discord with the long-held New Zealand values of fairness and a fair go his opinion pieces also come across as shallow and unstudied.

      • handle 1.4.3

        “Because there’s plenty of readers that agree with what he’s saying.”

        Like all those zillions of Act voters.

    • damien grant 1.5

      “Older workers are in fact the most productive, by a solid margin.”

      Factually inaccurate I am afraid.

      • RedLogix 1.5.1

        You may be a lazy about your sources, but with just a few moments googling:

        Myth. Older workers cost more than younger ones and are less productive on the job.

        Reality. Both concerns are untrue. While older workers may take longer to recover from injuries, studies show that they use fewer sick days on the whole than their younger counterparts, says management professor Peter Cappelli, who directs the Wharton Center for Human Resources. Health care costs are actually less for older workers, according to Cappelli, because most no longer have small children as dependents on their health care plans. Workers also become eligible for Medicare at age 65, which can further reduce an employer’s health care bills.

        When it comes to job performance, older workers frequently outdo their younger colleagues, says Cappelli. Older workers have less absenteeism, less turnover, superior interpersonal skills and deal better with customers. “The evidence is unbelievably huge,” he notes. “Basically, older workers perform better on just about everything.”

        Myth. People at or near retirement age tend to lose interest in their jobs.

        Reality. Studies find the opposite to be true.In a report titled, “Working in Retirement: A 21st Century Phenomenon,” the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College reported that those who worked past retirement age became more, rather than less, engaged and satisfied with their jobs. And contrary to the belief that older workers resist learning new things, older workers ranked “job challenge and learning” as a top source of satisfaction with their work, says center director Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes.

        http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2644

        Or this document; Chapter 3 in particular:

        http://igps.victoria.ac.nz/Ageing/Downloads/Publications/Recent%20Publications/Maximising%20the%20potential%20of%20older%20workers.pdf

        Or you might want to ask yourself if the mere fact of being older = “less productive” why is it then that most senior managers are in that age bracket?

        • damien grant 1.5.1.1

          RedLogix.

          I am forty six (or forty seven, I am even forgetting that now) so I would like to think I am more productive now than I was when I was thirty, but the facts do not support this.

          For some areas, such as law and sales, experience can add value, but for most industries, the older you are the less productive you are.

          http://www.economist.com/node/2792423

          This line especially hits the mark I think;

          “That’s backed up by studies of work samples, which find lower productivity among the oldest employees. A study for America’s Department of Labour showed job performance peaking at 35, and then declining. It varied by industry: the fall was slow in footwear, faster in furniture.”

          The studies you quote are likely to be a reflection of confirmation bias amongst those who commissioned the study.

          I am in business to make money. I will employ whoever will make me the most money. I do not care how old they are, what their gender, religion, politics or sexual preference is. All I care about is the profitability of my business. So, if I thought an older worker would make me more money, I would hire them.

          In some cases, as I said, sales, this works. In others, it does not. Older workers also have an expectation that their experience should add up to a higher salary, but their productivity does not warrant this, creating a tension between older job seekers and employees.

          • RedLogix 1.5.1.1.1

            So I assume you will be sacking yourself if a few years time?

            And if everyone over the age of 50 is unemployable then you are arguing also to lower the age of Superannuation to 50 as well I take it?

            Besides I rather suspect that your idea of ‘productivity’ is narrow:
            http://familiesandwork.org/site/research/workinginretirement.html

          • KJT 1.5.1.1.2

            So. One study about low skilled jobs, like accounting, shoes, furniture sales shows older workers are less productive.

            I have seen many other studies that say the opposite. Especially for highly skilled jobs such as operations management, project management, teaching, trades and health care.

            I am much more efficient and productive, at 54, than I was at 20, despite the fact that I met a very high standard even then.

            Damian Grant is a prime example of the type of mean spirited neo-liberalism worshiping, sociapathic twit that has held New Zealand back for the last 3 decades. It doesn’t surprise me to find he is an accountant.

            The Herald is right to publish him. Sometimes people like that have to be held up to the light so society can be disinfected.

            • RedLogix 1.5.1.1.2.1

              Yes.. in fact if I was still doing the same type of work I was doing when I was 35 then I’m sure I’d be less ‘productive’ in terms of ‘widgets per minute’.

              On the other hand like you KJT I’ve moved on over the years to far more responsible and demanding roles. While I type this I’m also monitoring the performance of many hundreds of million dollars of asset, and I know that annually I return far more to my employer than my salary.

              Damien has a very narrow, mechanistic view of ‘productivity’. The nature of what a person is good at changes over their lifetime and intelligent employers will look to have a mix of age groups in their organisation.

              • damien grant

                “The nature of what a person is good at changes over their lifetime and intelligent employers will look to have a mix of age groups in their organisation.”

                Indeed, I have said exactly that, several times.

            • Jackal 1.5.1.1.2.2

              The Herald is right to publish him. Sometimes people like that have to be held up to the light so society can be disinfected.

              I have to disagree there KJT… The Herald is not right to publish such bigoted views. What it does is reaffirm and empower the belief systems of other bigots, and that’s what the main problem is.

              There might be a backlash from right thinking people, but that will simply be ignored, while the article strengthens bigotry that is a veritable plague on our society.

              When such destructive beliefs are not promoted, the bigot is further marginalized into insignificance… The confirmation that bigotry is somehow justified is reduced, and the bigot is therefore less likely to promote their destructive ideas onto others.

              • Gosman

                What would your solution be then? That media outlets such as the NZ Herald be instructed not to publish views of those you find objectionable?

                • Jackal

                  You will note that around 90% of respondents object to damien grant’s article as well… That would indicate that it’s not just me who has a problem with such bigotries being openly promoted in the NZ Herald.

                  The solution would be to have an editor that wasn’t a moron and didn’t allow the publication of divisive articles just to gain readership. Such an editor would strongly adhere to the publication rules that are meant to govern our newspapers, but are invariably not adhered to nor enforced properly.

                  Tell me gosman, why should damien grant’s putrid article have any relevance to the debate when it’s been proven to be totally incorrect?

                  • Gosman

                    It hasn’t been proven to be incorrect. You might disagree with it and you may well be persuaded that it is incorrect by the arguments against his views, but it is still on the whole a valid opinion.

                    Your view is why I am concerned by any hard core leftist group ever getting into power. It would be just like what happened and happens in places like Venezuela and Cuba.

                    • Mike

                      “It hasn’t been proven to be incorrect.”

                      His entire article tried to justify his position that there is no child poverty in NZ.

                      The Children Commissioner’s expert advisory group used an internationally recognized standard for measuring child poverty, namely the percentage of children living in households with disposable incomes of less than 60 percent of the median income, after housing costs.

                      The results of that measure was that 25% of children in NZ live in poverty.

                      Pretty clear cut. He has been proven incorrect.

                      (by people who have actually spent thousands of hours doing detailed research into the subject. I doubt Grant has done any, he is just trying to justify his incorrect belief. He is a classic example of someone exhibiting cognitive dissonance)

                      Just so you know, since Chavez won power in Venezuela, Unemployment – Halved, infant mortality – nearly halved, poverty rate – halved, Increase in public health funding – 600%, extreme poverty – reduced by 70%, oil exports – increased 500%, GDP per capita – increased 150%, private sector growth – greater than public sector growth, inequality – reduced substantially, primary care physicians in public sector – increased 1200%, Foreign debt – reduced by more than half to 9% of GDP, total public debt – reduced by over half to 14% of GDP, increase in number of students in tertiary education – 138%, increase in private sector jobs – 30%, etc,etc,etc.

              • KJT

                Plenty of people believe that crap. Publishing him gives us a chance to show him up.

                Certainly worked with his article on workers. My rebuttal is at the top of the “most liked” comments.

            • North 1.5.1.1.2.3

              Cargo Cult is what Grant is all about.

              Appealing to a bunch of selfish, insecure wannabees who fantasise they’re gonna be John Key with 50 million bucks, just by voting for the nasty little prick.

              The likes are not a new phenomenon. We’ve known them forever. Two Bob Tories. Nothings who borrow a pair of boots to walk 20 miles to vote Tory. Sociopathic snobs.

  2. alex 2

    I eagerly await his next column, “I’m a selfish cunt and I contribute nothing to the world”

  3. Anne 3

    They print his column because it gets page views. That’s the main reason. (also I suspect Grant’s world view aligns with that of Roughan and other top editorial wingers at NZH)

    Basically the trolling gets responses which increases page views and makes the ad spots on thoses columns more valuable.

    [Bunji: Hi Anne, thanks for contributing! We've already got a regular commenter called Anne - could I suggest you choose a slightly different name to differentiate? Thanks!]

    • Exactly.

      Herald Online and Stuff is all about pageviews. Hence why the front page stories are often garbage and you have to dig to find what else has been going on.

  4. http://www.solopassion.com/blog/5186

    Candidate for first up against the wall, come the revolution, comrade.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Besides Grant’s a company receiver. Mostly despised even by his peers.

    • damien grant 4.2

      Have no fear Allen. If your revolution was ever successful you would find my rotting corpse on the front lines in a desperate attempt to keep the Collective at bay.

      There would be no need to put me up against the wall. My life would have already been spent. Nice to know that you consider killing me though.

      Mind you, it seems to me that your world view prevails. We live in a socialist society, it is only the degree of socialism that is being debated.

      The concept of abolishing social welfare and the other organs of the state, from health to education, is never seriously countenanced. Surely, if there was to be a revolution, it would be the Ayn Rand Society at the vanguard and the bastions of retaining the status quo, yourself included, would be dying in the ditch to preserve the majesty of the state?

      • McFlock 4.2.1

        Given that (according to you) we already have an evil socialist society, I can’t help but notice that you’ve failed to die a glorious death in the streets to defend freedom.

        • damien grant 4.2.1.1

          Ah yes! You raise a valid point McFlock.

          Still, better to be a hypocrite than a martyr I think.

          • McFlock 4.2.1.1.1

            Option three is “idiot who can’t remember what he wrote two sentences before”.

      • the Al1en 4.2.2

        “Nice to know that you consider killing me though.”

        Uneducated as I am, I think it’s called a metaphor or something, Comrade.

        “If your revolution was ever successful you would find my rotting corpse on the front lines in a desperate attempt to keep the Collective at bay.”

        Nah, you’d be on the first plane out with your suitcases stuffed with other people’s loot… And you know it ;)
        Your types don’t have the stomach for it, and once again, I reckon you know it.

        “Mind you, it seems to me that your world view prevails. We live in a socialist society, it is only the degree of socialism that is being debated.”

        I thought it was about you rather buying a new smart phone (oxymoron if ever there were) than giving a shit about hungry children in our towns and cities. Bet you the herald doesn’t print the comment I made in reply to your article.

        “yourself included, would be dying in the ditch to preserve the majesty of the state?”

        Is that a metaphor?

        Short answer, you’re a cunt, and I’m happy to say it very slowly to your face, no spittle or bulging temple veins.
        Bring a film crew if you’re coming, though, I’m after the publicity for my campaign to grow and give food away.

        For you, and all like you.
        Viva revolution.

        https://soundcloud.com/theal1en/the-faeces-of-the-species

    • rosy 5.1

      Ha. A greedy, conniving, criminal. Who would have guessed?

    • damien grant 5.2

      Ah yes. I am soooooo naughty. Tsk tsk.

      Bad me.

      • bad12 5.2.1

        No not bad, thats me, more like you are the scrime that gathers around the edges of any device used in ablutions that have not been regularly disenfected…

        • damien grant 5.2.1.1

          Scrime! Oh, you wound me. I did have to google it to understand what it was. Not much of an insult really.

          Why don’t you tell me why I am wrong?

          The Standard bloggers never do that. You simply denounce me as being a bastard and leave it at that. Lets assume that I am a bastard, does not make my views incorrect.

          Do not fall for the genetic fallacy.

          A few times people here have engaged in a debate with me, but usually you do not. Tell me why I am wrong and I’ll debate you.

          Spit hate, well, what does that do? Makes you feel better I guess but achieves nothing.

          • CV - Real Labour 5.2.1.1.1

            Spit hate, well, what does that do? Makes you feel better I guess but achieves nothing.

            But this is exactly what you do in your write ups.

            • damien grant 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Actually I do not. I state a libertarian perspective.

              I make the claim that most people in new zealand do not care enough about child poverty in third world countries to do anything about it. So, if I am correct, why does a child in New Zealand, who is not going hungry, more deserving of help that an starving one in a third world country?

              No one here has argued that point. You play the man, but do not combat the idea.

              • McFlock

                The idea is utterly devoid of the concept of empathy. Most people understand empathy. You seem to have a very high threshold before it registers even a little. Try explaining “green” to someone who is blind, or the Brandenburg Concerto to someone who is deaf.

                But unlike the blind or the deaf, you’ve learned that behaviour, been rewarded for it. You’re the epitome of how capitalism alienates workers from each other.

                • damien grant

                  McFlock, you may be right about me lacking empathy, lets just assume that I lack it.

                  I am saying that almost all New Zealand citizens do nothing to help those in the third world who are in real poverty.

                  We could, but we do not. We prefer to buy a better car than the one we currently have, get a new television, whatever it is.

                  This choice that we make, we all make it. We do not care enough about poverty in the third world to actually do anything to try and stop it. I may lack empathy, but I am not alone.

                  So, if this assumption by me is right (prove me wrong if you think I am), then why should I think that a child in New Zealand is morally more important than a child in a third world country?

                  They both are humans, they are morally equal. Yet we choose to spend money on the New Zealand children, who are in no risk of going hungry, and choose to let African children starve.

                  Why?

                  • McFlock

                    then why should I think that a child in New Zealand is morally more important than a child in a third world country?

                    Because of human empathy. You know more about them, you are closer to them, you pass them in the street, so they’re within your horizon. The same reason PTSD is more prevalent in frontline infantry than in pilots of bomb freighters.

                    But then your argument seems to be “we do nothing in A, so we should do nothing in B, so I will buy C”. Whereas we SHOULD do more about A and B, and buy less C.

                    • damien grant

                      I do not accept that because a person is close to me physically that they are morally more valuable than a person further away.

                      Human empathy may explain why I choose to help my neighbour out when he cannot make his mortgage payment and do nothing while an africian child dies of hunger, but it does not make that choice a moral one.

                    • Jackal

                      So that’s your reasoning for doing nothing about the high level of poverty here? Fucking moron! Even worse you say in your article that there’s no child poverty here because you’ve personally not seen any impoverished children… But all that really shows is you’re an isolated and ignorant bigot that needs to wake up to reality.

                      The only real difference in the way charity is distributed is that we can more effectively change things closer to home. While New Zealand cannot hope to ensure all children in the world are fed and housed properly, we can do that here.

                      By ensuring there is less poverty in New Zealand, we will in fact be saving money in the long run. That money can then go towards helping to lift more people out of poverty in other countries. So it’s a financial decision just as much as a moral one, which is a concept you obviously struggle with damien grant.

                    • McFlock

                      I do not accept that because a person is close to me physically that they are morally more valuable than a person further away.

                      Is that what I said?
                      No. We should help people near and far. But your lack of empathy means that you can easily refuse to help someone in favour of buying an iphone when their need is staring you in the face, rather than requiring a bit of distance to disengage yourself from the problem.

                  • bad12

                    You fail at your first argument, 100’s of 1000’s of New Zealander’s donate weekly to various international charities tasked with doing just that, helping those in poverty in the third world,many give up their comfortable middle class lifestyles for periods of time to intervene in a hands on fashion in those countries,

                    i am not about to spend my day providing links to the proof of my above assertion, i only do that if i have a modicum of respect for the person i am addressing with any comment and your continual use of an argument that relies as it’s main pillar on bullshit just suggests to me that you may have been dropped upon your head at birth…

                    • damien grant

                      Bad12,

                      I suspect you are incorrect there. hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders do not make a large effort. They may have a sponsor child, but this is about three hundred to five hundred dollars a year, if that. Less than, as I said, the cost of a smartphone.

                      And that is those who do make that effort. Most do not. I have no idea how many people do contribute, bit it will be a lot less than we spend on lotto each year, which reveals our true preferences.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yes you are right; most families if they thought about it would agree that they could probably do more in the way of giving to others with more urgent, fundamental needs. Yet many thousands do give some modest amount quite routinely and I think you are quite wrong to be dismissive of that. (And what bad12 says below…)

                      Notably you will find that it is members of various Christian Churches who can be found putting the needs of others well ahead of their own; the result of years of moral and ethical development within their faith.

                      Human nature is not a fixed thing.

                    • bad12

                      The rest of society feels that through Governments foreign aid budget they do their bit, which in my opinion for a country that is at present mired in the mud of the Government borrowing 300 million dollars a week so the likes of you can have a tax cut seems to be reasonable,

                      As i said above your first argument fails in that through either personal donations or Government aid WE ALL give a little…

                  • KJT

                    Damien of course is fudging around the question. In fact he would rather we helped neither, so long as he can have his Iphone.. Not realising without the leg up our society gave him, someone with his degree of cognitive dissonance/stupidity would also be a rubbish dump scavenger.

                    Sociopaths like Damian fondly imagine that in a society like Cambodia they would still reach the top. Like the people who pine for the good old days of feudal lords and ladies, believing against all the evidence that they would not be one of the serfs.

                    Does any one else see the funny side, of an accountant, a profession which can only exist in a functioning interconnected society, advocating libertarianism.

                    As hypocritical as Ayn Rand, their hero, who lived on social welfare, and charity from her followers, for a large part of her life.

                    One wonders why Libertarians still live in, and persist in trying to fuck up, Western socialist countries, instead of their perfect, no taxes do anything you can afford society, Somalia!

                  • Jackal

                    damien grant

                    Why don’t you tell me why I am wrong?

                    The reason you’re wrong is pretty obvious bigot! In this case there doesn’t need to be any further elaboration on your defunct belief system.

                  • muzza

                    They both are humans, they are morally equal. Yet we choose to spend money on the New Zealand children, who are in no risk of going hungry, and choose to let African children starve.

                    Why?

                    Think you’ll find that that NZ tax-payers via the govt are already making donations to various parts of the world, in one way or another, even if, like you, they would rather not, and you’re talking absolute BS, about *no risk of going hungry* –

                    For the record, those who let Africans starve are those who , while receiving record amounts of foreign aid, are those who promote corruption/war, who financially/medically/physically rape that continent (and the rest of the world), using systems designed to enrich their clique! They are the same entities behind the NGO’s and the charities, derivatives/commodities markets, the destabilizes of nations, collecting the foreign aid handouts in one hand, and the weapons/oil/rebuilding contracts in the other!

                    That , at a high level is who is choosing to let people starve, not the people of NZ!

                    Why = Most people, can’t accept the concept that, when one suffers, we all suffer, just in different ways, and at different moments on the timeline. Money will not protect people, including you and or family, it will only prolong the time until it comes around!

                    Keep believing your own grandiose language (which is cowardice on roids), and sleep well in the certainty, that your words/attitude are going to reverberate on you, and your family, directly or indirectly!

              • mike e vipe e

                as sister mother teresa pointed out before she died relative poverty did as much damage to society as abject poverty.
                you as a tax payer are paying more at the bottom of the cliff especially with the band aid solutions that the neoliberals propaganda hides behind the smiling assassin!
                berlusconi in drag

            • Rhinoviper 5.2.1.1.1.2

              Ignore him. He heard someone say his name and now he’s pulling faces in a mirror to look scary. If you go on, he might even flex his biceps and believe, me, you wouldn’t want that – the ennui alone could be lethal and even with protection, his malapropisms and grammatical errors could cause lasting harm. “Genetic fallacy” is only a foretaste.

              • damien grant

                “Ignore him. He heard someone say his name and now he’s pulling faces in a mirror to look scary.”

                Actually, I am offering to debate the issue, not sure why, Rhinoviper, that causes such a reaciton, but the offer is for a limited time I am afraid.

                • handle

                  It is like offering to debate whether the earth is flat. You will find most people see selfish stupidity for what it is and cross to the other side of the street to avoid it.

                • RedLogix

                  I’ve always donated around 5% of my after tax income to various ’causes’. Some of them political, some humanitarian. And I’m not on my own; many church members give very generously, many others simply give selflessly of their time and energy.

                  Much of this goes completely unseen.

                  Now most people have a certain ‘moral horizon’. They care most about family and life-long friends. If a neighbour needs help urgently, they’ll respond. If someone in their town is hurt, or if people in their community whom they can identify with (without necessarily knowing) are being badly treated … they will care.

                  If a sports-team from town, or province or nation are playing … they pay attention.

                  A few generations ago people went into two massive World Wars, because the issues of the day meant something to them.

                  Of course it’s a measure of a person’s ability to care as to how widely they can extend this horizon of caring. Certainly relatively few people will care for ‘children in Africa’ in a way they might care for their own children, because they are essentially too remote to identify with.

                  Yet they can understand in an abstract sense that such children are nonetheless cared for by somebody. Just because you don’t love a particular person, does not mean that this person is unlovable. We realise that these children inherently have the same human rights as do our own ones. If we deny them this, then how do we argue for the rights of our own?

                  Of course the first people to care for ‘children in Africa’ will be their own families. They are the ones nearest, who can make the most difference. But what if they cannot? If you were to die, be disabled, find yourself in famine or deep poverty… would you not want someone to help your dependent children if you could not? At the very least a better life for them?

                  Doing this personally from our own privileged lives is neither simple nor practical, so we use social mechanisms like UNICEF or World Vision, or the like to bridge the ‘caring gap’ for us. It’s not rocket science, I shouldn’t have to even explain this.

                  It’s easy to make the mistake of confusing emotional attachment (caring for your own family) for the more abstract notion of social and human justice, of compassion for the whole humanity. One is instinctive, the other is a matter of moral and ethical development.

                  • damien grant

                    Well, Redlogix, this is an excellent answer.

                    You are right, we do care for those closest to us. If we had an orphan drop on our door stop very few New Zealand citizens would turn it away. By nature humans are very compassionate but only for those we can see. Out of sight is out of mind.

                    You make the point “It’s easy to make the mistake of confusing emotional attachment (caring for your own family) for the more abstract notion of social and human justice, of compassion for the whole humanity”

                    This is close to my own point. That there is no moral difference between New Zealand children and those trapped in third world poverty. They are all people, and if we want to help people, given we have a limited budget, we should give to those most in need.

                    New Zealand children, relative to real poverty, are not that needy.

                    Of course, we will depart at that point. I am a libertarian, and I reject the idea that I should have my money taken from me to help others, you I suspect will think that it is morally permissible for the state to collect taxes for the purposes of re-distribution.

                    Different world views.

                    • Jackal

                      By nature humans are very compassionate but only for those we can see.

                      You really are pissing me off damien grant. Your claims that New Zealander’s don’t personally donate enough international aid seems to be your core argument, while you haven’t even bothered to check how much is actually being donated. Has the king of bigots just descended on The Standard in an attempt to fuck people off or something?

                      So let’s dispel some of misconceptions… poverty in other countries is a known phenomenon with advances in technology ensuring the empathy people have shouldn’t be limited by distance. The main factors that limits aid are difficulties in distribution channels and the actual amount of aid that reaches the people who need it in comparison to what is donated, not the level of empathy people feel.

                      New Zealand children, relative to real poverty, are not that needy.

                      Says the guy in the ivory tower.

                      Despite your belief that children in other countries should be helped first, you’re still likely to support the neoliberal agenda and a government that has both reduced aid to foreign countries and ensured that inequality and child poverty here are at unprecedented levels.

                      I am a libertarian, and I reject the idea that I should have my money taken from me to help others.

                      And that folks proves the point that damien grant’s argument that we should be helping impoverished children in other countries before helping our own is absolute bullshit! By not wanting his taxes to go to helping impoverished children anywhere, he ensures the blight of poverty on humanity doesn’t change.

                      But most sickening is the fact that elitists like him often gain satisfaction in there being an underclass of impoverished people, because it justifies their own egotism. That’s the main reason why there’s still poverty in the world, not because of a lack of empathy from the general public or funds available to rectify the situation.

                      Stupidly grant believes that the individuals personal empathy is enough to rectify the problem, while disregarding the strength inherent in advertising to entrench self interest and the ability of collective distribution systems to better effect change.

                      In other words damien grant’s argument is entirely worthless! The fact that fuckwits like him have space in our main newspaper to peddle their bullshit is one of the reasons New Zealand is in such a mess.

                      Crawl back to where you hide bigot!

                    • Mike

                      A libertarian??

                      Umm, hate to burst your bubble but you’re not. Might be because it would appear doubtful that you even know what the word liberal actually means.

                • emergency mike

                  “Actually, I am offering to debate the issue, not sure why, Rhinoviper, that causes such a reaciton,”

                  Could be because exactly the same lowbrow BS strawman arguments have been fended off ad nauseum on this website. Such debates never achieve much, so I think peeps here probably feel they have better things to do. I guess you’ll just have to return to your next ‘How come poor people like being poor?’ article.

                  Ayn Rand was a psychopathic hypocrite who couldn’t practice what she preached when put to the test. Her “Just be selfish, why not?” philosophy has blown the minds of a number of influential people in the US like Alan Greenspan who have been responsible for plunging that economy into a black hole following a libertarian ideology.

                  Extreme libertarianism is the wacky idea that people do, or at least should, act perfectly rationally in their own self-interests. Emotions, empathy, pity for others are apparently illusions that should be purged. This is the rationale of the psychopath. Most people are not psychopaths. I think that’s why libertarianism keeps on failing to catch on.

                  • Rhinoviper

                    Good, BM, you said during my afternoon nap what should be the perfect answer: everything The Standard stands for, every point that has already been argued… and which has been refuted not only on The Standard, but by history itself.

                  • Murray Olsen

                    Libertarianism doesn’t catch on because most people can get laid.

          • bad12 5.2.1.1.2

            Debate with me???, don’t be daft i don’t debate with right wing wingnuts, your only usefulness in a society that can have any hope of progressing past that of semi-Neanderthalic is that of a spitoon…

            • Rhinoviper 5.2.1.1.2.1

              Hey, all the archaeological evidence shows that the Neanderthals actually had compassion and a sense of community. Don’t defame them by comparing them to wosshisname and his ilk. :)

      • joe90 5.2.2

        I am soooooo naughty.

        No, it’s worse than that sport, you’re a filthy fucking tea leaf.

        • damien grant 5.2.2.1

          so true JoeP119.

          So true.

          I have not denied it. Do not run away from it,.

          My sins are in the public forum. So be it.

          • bad12 5.2.2.1.1

            How low can the Herald go, a convicted fraudster, a sniveling nark,and, a psychopathic right wing nut job all crammed together as one personality in the one cranial cavity,

            Years ago they used to send the men in the white coats around to remove the likes of you for the safety of the community, modernism seems to have dictated that for therapy your given column inches in a major news organ….

            • damien grant 5.2.2.1.1.1

              it must be my good looks I guess.

              • bad12

                Perhaps we at the Standard should start a little campaigning with the editor of the Herald decrying the fact that it sees fit to give column inches to convicted fraudsters,

                Tawdry rag that it is i don’t even bother to read the on-line version i can access for free…

  5. kiwi_prometheus 6

    Why zetetic has titled it “Heart of Darkness”, I’d like to know, probably hasn’t even read the novel.

    Reflects more on the Herald than anything else, the guy is obviously cracked.

    The Herald does give space, a fair bit actually, to non neo liberals – Gareth Morgan, Bernard Hickey, Bryan Gaynor, Rudman. Robert Fisk, even Pilger have been in the World section.

    • Tiresias 6.1

      “the guy is obviously cracked.”

      Don’t see the Herald so can’t comment on the specifics but anyone who writes a personal column like this – and like Bill Ralston’s et al in the ‘Listener’ – exposes themselves to amateur psychoanalysis. It’s reasonably easy to recognise sociopaths, psychopaths and even mild autistics by the views they express because the presentation of such conditions often includes an unawareness of the ‘sensibility’ of others to such clues because they lack it themselves.

      Mind you, exactly the same applies to Internet bloggers, and those who leave comments in response. Perhaps that’s why most of us have the nous to do it anonymously.

      • damien grant 6.1.1

        “Perhaps that’s why most of us have the nous to do it anonymously.”

        It could also be the fact that you are a coward. If you have an opinion, then own that opinion. Why hide behind an avatar?

        Are you embarrassed at your views, scared other people might disapprove of you?

          • damien grant 6.1.1.1.1

            Actually, every now and then I get an email from a gmail account inviting me to front up. I always take the time to do so.

            I read the posting you referred to. You would be mistaken to think that I face no economic cost for my views, but I proceed regardless. My views are in the minority, not even in the margin of error and the joy of having my past splattered about the place each time I am referenced can do me no good commercially.

            However, when I look at the real cost faced by those who have faced real risks for speaking their minds, I know I would never have their courage. Risking losing some revenue because someone is offended by views is inconsequential, and in New Zealand that is all anyone will ever suffer.

            You might lose some money if your views were public. No one is going to send you to the gulag.

            Come out of the shadows McFlock. It is not that scary.

            [RL: This site has a firm policy that posters have the right to remain pseudonymous if they wish. You may feel like you have the luxury of risking some income because of your views, but with so many employers with attitudes like yours in this country there are plenty of people who have very good reason not to put their name to their views. Besides on the internet anyone can call themselves by any name, and who is really to know? I could call myself "Jack Longbottom", would you be any the wiser?

            This policy is not up for debate. We are not interested in re-hashing it or tolerating attempts to pressure people into 'outing' themselves. This is one area where we almost always run into conflict when people from the media world enter ours. Fact is you are on our turf here, and you will be welcome to remain if you take into account the local etiquette.]

            • bad12 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Pathetic, i now have to amend the comment i made above, a convicted fraudster, a snivelling nark,a self declared heroic figure and a psychopathic right wing nutjob all fighting for oxygen in the same personality,

              Can the Herald not just get the patients of the ‘Mason Clinic’ to write it’s columns, or is that where you spend your weeks and the Herald stint is simply day release on the weekend…

      • Fiona 6.1.2

        Could you not lump autism in with sociopathy and psychopathy please. Different kettles of fish.

        • Tiresias 6.1.2.1

          I regret, but impaired social interaction and communication is a characteristic of ASD.

          However it is certainly true that sociopathy and pyschopathy are not included in ASD and if I carelessly implied that they were I am very happy to agree they are indeed different kettles of fish, as you put it.

          • CV - Real Labour 6.1.2.1.1

            Yeah but its also a bit tacky and false.

            Someone who’s had 3 beers too many, or is deaf also has impaired social interaction and communication.

  6. Rhinoviper 7

    mild autistics

    Oh thank you so very much for that bigoted remark.

    Here, let’s try this variant:

    exposes themselves to amateur psychoanalysis should actually read exposes themselves to facile prejudice with psychobabble justification

    This sort of amateur psychoanalysis was endemic to TS for a while and it was that which put me off it for a long time. Don’t tell me it’s fashionable again.

    I’m not a psychopath, but I am on the autism spectrum. You know fuck all about autism and indeed you display yourself in that post a lack of regard for the sensibilities of others.

    It’s ironic that you’ve chosen the handle of “Tiresias” since Tiresias gained his insights by having to take on the identity of those he’d considered “others”. Perhaps you’d like to practice empathy too?

    • Tiresias 7.1

      Actually I have been diagnosed with ASD also, which is how I know it.

      And how I can sometimes recognise it in others.

      And is why I am aware how easy it can be for me to write what others might regard as ‘the wrong thing’ when to me it is simply a case of being honest.

      And is one of the reasons why I write under a nom de plume*. Another is that my ‘real name’ is shared by a number of other people on this planet who might not share the views I would be expressing under ‘their’ name. Indeed I understood this was the primary reason for the use of an assumed and obviously ‘non-real’ name in these situations.

      *Oh and Damien, an avatar /ˈævətɑr/ (Hindustani: [əʋt̪aːr], from Sanskrit अवतार avatāra “descent”) is a deliberate descent of a deity to earth, or a descent of the Supreme Being (i.e., Vishnu for Vaishnavites), and is mostly translated into English as “incarnation”, but more accurately as “appearance” or “manifestation”. I would not make any such claims for myself.

  7. damien grant 8

    Right, I must away.

    Thanks Redlogic, Bad12, Joe90 and McFlock.

    The Standard is always a bit of fun.

    If you want to follow up you know where to find me.

    Cheers,

    Damien

    • Eddie 8.1

      Damien. I see on twitter that you were jailed for fraud in the 80s. https://twitter.com/mattnippert/status/295313770132160512

      What did you do?

      How much time did you spend behind bars?

      • Eddie 8.1.1

        ah, here we are:

        Mr Grant was convicted in 1994 and sentenced to two and a half years in prison. The Court of Appeal described the $280,000 fraud as a “complicated scheme which used stolen investment records, fraudulent declaration of loss of scrip, and interference with postal boxes, in order to obtain duplicate stock certificates which were then sold and the proceeds converted into gold bullion.”

        Now, I understand you say that was a youthful indiscretion and you’ve left your past behind you. In which case, you may now understand why some people don’t want any fucker on the internet to be able to track down their life history if they make a comment on a blog that that someone else disagrees with – hence the use of pseudonyms.

        On the other hand, others might counter that the same mind that takes part in the theft of $280,000 and then rats on his co-accused to get off more lightly can be seen in your columns, and leopards never do change their spots.

        • Rhinoviper 8.1.1.1

          Hmmm, muses Rhinoviper, aka Rhinocrates, in the third person… Hmmmm…

          Eddie, this is not intended as a criticism of you or anything you’ve said.

          Also, when I use the word “essential”, I mean something that is at the core of one’s nature, without which one would be fundamentally different, not simply something that is merely important or even necessary, ie., oxygen is necessary for me to live, but my basic, deepest qualities are essential.

          I had a student once who was jailed for – I don’t know how many years – for GBH. A stabbing. Also did some stuff related to heroin – not sure if that had anything to do with that particular sentence (I had a few others who have done crimes as well).

          Now and again I run into that individual and they just confirm the image the impression that I had of them: that they’re one of the best people I’ve ever met. They were an angry person who had a tough life and none of the tools at the time to escape it. They don’t thank the cops and the prisons – and they needn’t, cause they acted like shits – but they do recognise that they had to make an essential change in themselves, to contain that anger, to direct it.

          So they did.

          Now that person is a social worker, dealing with troubled youth who can’t bullshit them because they’ve seen worse, and who gains their loyalty because they know where they’ve been, and who can direct them because they’ve got a heart.

          They’re also a successful sports coach who knows that the urge to violence may not go away, but it can be ruled.

          They know exactly what they did wrong, and they’re doing good in the world.

          (Of course I’m using the third person, engendered, to protect their identity, even though I’m saying nothing that isn’t true or which wouldn’t – IMO – bring them into disrepute.)

          Now let’s compare this person with other “criminals” theologically. Dante’s Divine Comedy isn’t just a lurid fantasy of the afterlife, but a sophisticated, philosophically consistent attempt to understand the nature of sin and virtue. In Inferno, sins and their punishments are arranged according to their fundamental nature. The lesser sins are those driven by passions and they receive the lesser punishments, higher in the levels of Hell, but those who commit sins motivated by cruelty, by malice, by contempt for others, are deeper. These are the sins against morality itself: lies, fraud, treason, an unwillingness to acknowledge that there is even a concept of right and wrong. According to Dante, it is worse to lie to someone than it is to hit them because if you hit them, you are angry, but if you lie to them, you deny truth itself, and you think that the person you lie to is unworthy of honesty and that truth itself is meaningless.

          Now, you don’t need to be a Christian like Dante to appreciate the logic fully, but you should be able to see the deep malice behind a lie. Damien Grant, other white collar criminals and those fraudsters who have escaped justice and those people who spin the truth, like Matthew Hooton, are in my opinion worse than those who in a pub fight knock someone’s teeth out. Someone who punches someone in the face or stabs someone even, is someone who might understand that they have a problem with anger that needs to be managed and corrected*… but we see in this very thread that Damien Grant has no remorse whatsoever about the essential flaw that made him commit his crimes. The person I use as an example wasn’t really reformed by the police and prisons – they were reformed by their own willingness to look at themselves, find out who they really were.

          Damien Grant has given no sign that he has changed in any meaningful way at all. Instead his essential criminality still exists and he boasts that it is in fact sanctioned by capitalism, as the editor of The Herald is fawningly happy to demonstrate. He has not changed – he has merely adapted.

          *And those who are violent for a long time, those who are abusers and rapists – they are people who know that they are violent and wilfully continue to be so, with no intention to be different.

          • CV - Real Labour 8.1.1.1.1

            Interesting. Thanks for these reflections.

          • Rhinoviper 8.1.1.1.2

            “engendered”

            UNgendered damnit. Bugger autocorrect.

          • RedLogix 8.1.1.1.3

            Thanks. That was valuable, coherent and I enjoyed reading it.

            • bad12 8.1.1.1.3.1

              + 1 here,having lived part of the lag exactly how and why Rhino has pointed out…

              • Rhinoviper

                Thanks. I’m much more aware of and interested in how “imperfect” people live their lives and do good in the world than “perfect” market units of the sort praised by Key and his ilk, or the cartoon “hard workers” Shearer blithers about to appease Key’s sycophants and enablers.

          • just saying 8.1.1.1.4

            Do you have a blog Rhinoviper?

            • Rhinoviper 8.1.1.1.4.1

              Nope.

              I’m too inconsistent, too prone to prone to alternating between ranty moods and extended periods of hermetic withdrawal to think of maintaining one. I’m more interested in other people’s blogs with wide viewpoints from a lot of people – indeed I keep telling myself I should stay away from this one because I’ve got too many other things I have to/should/want to do. Therefore I prefer to pop up and then disappear as my mood/schedule/commitments allow me.

              Maybe some time, when I have time.

  8. Nicolas 9

    I’m a bit confused… Why the hell are people trying to convince this guy of ANYTHING? He’s beyond any help.
    This is a man who’ll never change his world views and any time spent on trying to do that will be wasted time. I’d rather talk about child poverty with the more open-minded people at my university, even those who lean towards the right.
    Right or left, if you’re as arrogant and stupid as this old fool, nobody will never teach you anything.
    Also, let’s face it, this is a guy whose mentality doesn’t reflect the views of a significant part of New Zealand; far from that.
    If that was the case, I wouldn’t even be here today because the place where I’m from (and where, by the way, this fool’s “real poverty” is found) is full of Damien fucking Grants. Brazil is shit because of it.

  9. Simeon 10

    The Herald lets Damien speak as it does for Matt McCarten. We are all entitled to speak no matter how extreme. Hence this website.

    After my parents separation I grew up in a statehouse area (but not in a statehouse my mum got a mortgage for her house). I still remember most of the statehouses having Sky UHF which was amazing how these people who needed subsidised housing could afford this luxury. We didn’t have Sky. Now the UHF ariels have been replaced with a satellite dish.

    While there are probably some extreme cases it is probable that a lot of the “poverty” is caused by the mismanagement of ones budget or their decisions. If people in “poverty want to play housey, not get an education or have children that they cannot afford then this is fine. They make this decision to forgo the necessities.

    Perhaps it is because they learnt nothing from their parents or listened in class. Whatever the case they have been given many chances to understand. In sex ed we learnt about the 2 results of having unprotected sex. We are taught about money and the way of the world.

    But that probably doesn’t get heard by people in “poverty” or those who are advocates for taxing the rich to redistribute the wealth. All they heard was their rights especially the option of a benefit. They are not taught their responsibilities.

    Instead of asking for more money why don’t the people in “poverty” be grateful and tidy up their statehouse? Why don’t they go to the Family Client and get a free pack of condoms before they sleep with a guy who is so sweet and is possibly the one? Again no responsibility.

    When I was 16 I worked at a local supermarket on $4 per hour. I bought a baseball cap (it took a week to save for this) only to have it stolen by some kid in “poverty” who ran of into the ghetto. So even then I was double-taxed in the sense I had to pay for this bum to live from my PAYE but also for him to have something to steal.

    We are make our own decisions. To penalise those who make the decision to make something of themselves and giving to those who haven’t is simply unfair. If someone makes a bad decision that shouldn’t affect me. We don’t get a thanks, we only get the other hand out asking for more. Or even a welcome message with a broken window and the place ransacked.

    When we have children my boss won’t give me a pay rise and I we will only get W4F when we have the 3rd child. If you want to pay for the people in “poverty” then all good. Don’t use your believes to take mine.

    • CV - Real Labour 10.1

      You better be supportive of funding parenting training and mentoring programmes.

      You better be supportive of a higher minimum wage and full time work for all those who want it.

      You better be supportive of cheap social housing for new families.

      Yes individuals need to fulfill their side of the social contract, but the state damn well better take responsibility and do its part too.

      The Herald lets Damien speak as it does for Matt McCarten. We are all entitled to speak no matter how extreme. Hence this website.

      A cheap shot, and also a false one, which creates a deliberate framing for the rest of your message. The Standard is not extreme, neither is McCarten, but Grant’s particular brand of sociopathy is right out there. Don’t try and defend it.

      • Simeon 10.1.1

        Someone is a bit touchy. I guess you like Russell Norman’s idea of printing more money? We all know the results of what printing more money does. While the extra zero’s mean the balance in my internet banking wrap it is a distorted value.

        While I am not choosing between a Smartphone or poverty per se I would very much like to receive some of the $538 a week taxes I pay back and start a family or put it towards education, police and DOC. I heard on the news tonight that it costs $90k to house each prisoner. I guess the subsidies went to great a cause then (yes I know there are white collar criminals also).

        Re training: again people are given support in their younger years so if they choose to ignore it why should we keep helping them? Seriously how many chances to we give? If someones parent chooses to booze it up at the league club then that is a family issue.

        Re a higher minimum wage: where will the money for a higher minimum wage where exactly will it come from? Your number will be based on the fact it wouldn’t come from your pocket.

        Re benefits and social housing: these should be temporary. Not like the Auckland couple who have been in their statehouse since 1941 or the Waikato woman who has been on the DPB for 31 years and having 6 children. While you some can blame the system it is only a small majority.

        I never hear welfare advocates saying they have a obligation. Sue Bradford just tells them how much they are entitled too.

        Pulling figures out of thin air will not improve anyones life. The government can create a environment where businesses and therefore wages can thrive. But it goes both ways: they will put everything in place to help grow the economy but those in need to keep their end of the bargain. To some extent this is already in place with most of us doing this.

        Simply saying you want to take money of people who have done well to pay for numerous mistakes committed by the poor is not the answer. Take some responsibility and take advantage of what most of us have. Don’t gripe at $13.50 per house we all had shit jobs at one point.

        • the Al1en 10.1.1.1

          The way the world’s going, you’re $538 a week taxes aren’t going to cut it very much longer.
          Stop resting on your ever so hard earned laurels, quit slacking and pull some double shifts or something.

          “mistakes committed by the poor” :lol:

        • fatty 10.1.1.2

          Simeon,
          When did you become so angry with poor lazy people? And when did these poor people become lazy?
          NZ unemployment in December 2007 was 3.5% …so the poor people must have become lazy between 2008-2012. Can you specify when people became lazy? Do you think it might have been around the same time as those tax cuts for the wealthy a couple of years ago?

          • Simeon 10.1.1.2.1

            The numbers obviously fluctuate but since labour initiated it’s welfare dependency.

            Many examples. The longest HNZ tenant has been in the house since 1941!!! And a Waikato woman being on the DPB for 31 years. Since then she has popped out 6 kids.

            When did you become angry with “rich” people? When you stop attacking us for doing something but are more than happy to take our earnings we will stop calling for more responsibility from individuals.

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.2.1.1

              More taxation of the highest incomes and asset wealth, yep. You’re like well off right? How can you be so stupid to try and position outliers as the norm? Duh.

              By the way, to be clear, ITS NOT YOUR MONEY lol

            • fatty 10.1.1.2.1.2

              Simeon, I’m not angry at rich people…it amuses me when lonely people try to fill the empty hole in their soul by consuming. I live on little, have little, want little…possessions will limit your freedom. That is why you are angry at poor people.

              Yeah, Labour are as shit as National.
              I just hate to see people in poverty being kicked around so you can consume more of that stuff you think you need in your life.

              • Simeon

                fatty, you may want little but that isn’t the case for others who have been told they can have a subsided house for life, be paid to have children and not to work.

                I prefer to save than consume to the levels I am suspecting you mean. I do not share the view of Narissa Naidoo expecting the taxpayer to put me in a 3 bedroom place in nice Auckland suburb.

                One note people who consume put money into the shop tills that pay the staff. If we did all earn less and therefore spent less how can it work?

                • Colonial Viper

                  lol just because you pay your taxes doesn’t mean you’re now Narissa Naidoo’s keeper.

                  You loser.

                  If we did all earn less and therefore spent less how can it work?

                  The government can tax you and spend the money back into the economy more efficiently than you can.

                  Also get your head into the game. Its the end of real growth per capita, globally, with only a few exceptions.

                  • Simeon

                    Name calling? So mature.

                    Re how the government spends the taxes. All parties have different views. National believe it is consumers who best decide while labour think their way is best. In 2008 and 2011 more people believe those of the National Party not yours.

                    Do not get stroppy if you now have to go to interviews and take a drug test.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      lol as if your own insults are so classy and clever and “mature”.

                      That’s why I determined, correctly I believe, that you are a loser.

                      National believe it is consumers who best decide while labour think their way is best.

                      Bullshit. National advantages the top capitalist investing classes. Not ordinary consumers who they make poorer bit by bit. Idiot.

                    • Simeon

                      Russell Norman is on TV now. Hurry you don’t want to miss out on of the extra notes he had the Reserve Bank print. Better take the wheelbarrow that it comes in because you will need it to buy the loaf of bread.

                    • rosy

                      “Hurry you don’t want to miss out on of the extra notes he had the Reserve Bank print.”

                      Oh look Japan’s printing money

                      Japan will embark on a “bold”, unlimited money-printing programme next year, the Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, said today.

                      The “monetary regime change” sees the Bank of Japan adopt the same strategy as the US Federal Reserve, which has committed to unlimited quantitative easing until the US unemployment rate drops below 6.5 per cent.

                      Japan’s central bank has also set a 2 per cent inflation target to help tackle prolonged deflation. Price increases have been hovering below 0.5 per cent for two years despite surges in energy costs, while the world’s third-biggest economy is also back in recession.

                      Pretty sure Japan’s stock market rose on the news and the yen dropped. Just the impact the government was looking for.

                    • rosy

                      Also, didn’t the IMF tell George Osborne in the UK to ease up on austerity? That the fiscal and taxation models failed to predict quite how strong these drivers were in squashing the life out of the economy. Even Goldman Sachs, that bastion of keynesian theory, is in on the act.

                      The new head of the Bank of England also added his 2 cents worth hinting at plans to ramp up the printing presses to stimulate the economy.

                      So we have Bill English, George Osborne and practically no-one else sticking with the tried and failed austerity policy since 2008 and almost anyone else with a bit of an economic background saying it’s time to let it go.

                      Norman is talking about what is fast becoming a new wave of economic orthodoxy

                    • Simeon

                      And the US decided not to print the $1 trillion dollar note.

                    • rosy

                      Well, you can’t take these things to extremes ;-)

                • fatty

                  Work less, buy less, live more. And share stuff around.
                  We can do it now or be forced to do it later, this world can’t keep consuming shit at this rate. I hope this happens soon and we see an end to capitalism.
                  I see capitalism as a set of rules to a game with sadistic outcomes. Our current system guarantees that we have massive inequality, and then we blame poor people for being part of the system.
                  There’s plenty of houses to go around. If we move away from a capitalist system built on consuming shit, then what’s the downside? What are you losing that’s important to you? Our so called progress is now causing us more problems than its solving.
                  Do you like being in a system that forces you to work more than you need to so that you can save money as a form of protection?…meanwhile, as you sit on that money, other people go without their needs.

                  • Simeon

                    I apologise for this in advance but how are Cuba and North Korea doing?

                    Seriously though it would be great if we were similar to Norway or Brunei (sans a royal family) but we are not.

                    To suggest what you say then why stop there? Right now I am watching the mens final at Melbourne. If Novak wins should be share it with Murray? If so what would the point be for the match?

                    How boring would it be to have no reward? There goes the endorphin’s?

                    We can subscribe that capitalism is a conspiracy for the rich to get rich but not all people were born rich. We are individuals and should be able to make decisions but at the same time accept the consequences.

                    Housing is a issue but maybe we should move the people and jobs out of Auckland and forget Len’s $2.2bil train set.

                    I am not against welfare. But I am against the belief that they can have it and choose whether to find a job or have more kids.

                    • rosy

                      If Novak wins should be share it with Murray? If so what would the point be for the match?.

                      There would be no point. But what's the point of playing a final if you don't pay enough if the money paid to the lesser beings is not enough for the players who don't make it to the finals?

                      The top tennis players faced exactly this situation when they were offered pay rises by the powers that be last year. what did they do? They went to the powers that be and requested pay rises go to lower ranked players. If the lower ranks couldn’t afford to play there would be no competition.

                      Makes me think about what’s happened with the pay your own way ethos in U.S. Is this why they have no top players while Europe, with it’s ‘hand outs’ to encourage sports participation does? Hope all those players pay their full taxes to the countries that invested in their talent. They wouldn’t be where they are today without it.

                    • fatty

                      I apologise for this in advance but how are Cuba and North Korea doing?

                      Apology accepted, I realise you’ve been programmed since the 1960s to give that response. Ironically, people would have used China as an example 25 years ago.
                      I’m no fan of North Korea’s form of communism. Cuba have done better than many other capitalist countries. The success of China is no reason for ditching democracy.

                      I don’t get you tennis analogy. Why would people stop competing at tennis if they live in a system that does not stimulate consumption? Do you see consuming as a game, is that what you mean?

                      We are individuals and should be able to make decisions but at the same time accept the consequences.

                      Hording money while others go without is a form of violence. It is not a game of tennis. Within capitalism, one has power and uses it to ensure another goes without. No different to a person holding physical strength and punching a weak person in the face. The use of economic violence is OK under capitalism, but the use of physical violence is illegal in our society. They are both unethical…economic violence is not a game.

                      I am not against welfare. But I am against the belief that they can have it and choose whether to find a job or have more kids.

                      I’m more worried about the selfish people trying to buy happiness and hording resources. I don’t want kids. But I want to live in a society where all young kids have an opportunity and so that when I’m old the generation before me have the foundation and skills to provide for my generation. Currently, the boomer generation looks back at the generation they have created and can see Gen X are in no state, either financially, morally or ethically to provide for boomers. As a result people feel the need to sit on cash while others suffer.
                      …if you are gonna try to defend this system you will need to do waaay fucking more than reference 2 third world countries.
                      I wish more of my tax goes to single mothers with children. I don’t wanna pay shitloads to imprison people who have suffered since they were born. Our birthrate is not too high, our children in poverty rate is too high.

                    • Simeon

                      Rosy and Fatty,

                      Firstly I am 32. So yes I am part of that me-me-me generation. But I don’t expect anyone else to pay for me.

                      The tennis analogy was in response to “we are all equal ideology”. If every player was paid the same then why would anyone play? In this world everyone are winners.

                      Re the payment of subsidies. I agree here. Infratil uses the rates to help provide NZBus. So in effect this is propping up the business. If the council thinks this is vita then perhaps they should run it. Surely they would receive the same fares and rates so it should be the same. What about Xero? It has received circa $5mil of taxpayer money. Since then the CEO has cashed in > $7mil of his shares. The company has a near $1bil valuation yet hasn’t made a profit in 5 years. No I do not agree with this. The subsidies and change in employment law for New Line Cinema is suspect.

                      The share market is all speculation. I didn’t think socialists believed in this capitalist tool for wealth and confidence. Didn’t Apple’s share price drop a few $bil recently. Poverty reports is your benchmark and you work backwards from there.

                      Re hoarding cash and buying things I am sure no one will decline a Powerball win. Have you contacted the Lotteries Commission for the contact details of the people who won on Saturday night so you can tell them to share the wealth?

                      I do not need any more examples as you have not even provided one. Which country has the system you propose? China while communist in name isn’t in reality. What caused the latest smog in Beijing? The new rich middle class driving their cars. Is that possible in a communist regime?

                    • rosy

                      “The tennis analogy was in response to “we are all equal ideology”

                      I used your analogy as an analogy to show that even rich people know you need to look after those who are not as talented and as doing well as you might be (the point of this post). Even they know that there is a point where growing inequality is detrimental.

                      Lots of people from many differing perspectives are saying that, like tennis, society has gone beyond the point where that inequality is helpful, even if they believed at some stage it was. See for instance capitalists are focused on capitalism’s flaws?

                      …Far from being an end of an era, the Great Recession was a temporary blip in the global march of the oligarchs. They will pass their wealth to their children and establish aristocracies of wealth – not only in the US, but in Britain, China, Russia, India, Mexico and Brazil too. After 1929, the Roosevelt administration took political action to make American society fairer. After 2008, the Obama and Brown administrations did nothing and so nothing changed. They did not even tell the banks that had taken public money that they could not give bonuses to their staff.

                      At a meeting in the House of Commons last week, Chrystia Freeland cited Saez’s research and shared her worry that democratic capitalist societies cannot survive if such lopsided inequalities of wealth persist. They will go the way of the Venetian republic, she said: an open commercial society that was taken over by a hereditary elite. If you look at how popular the old ideas of limiting trade union influence, encouraging corporate political donations and keeping taxes low and regulation weak remain in conservative circles, you have to concede that she has a point…

                      …Her audience merited a close examination, too. It was not made up of leftists. Jesse Norman, an independent and thoughtful Conservative MP, chaired the debate. The Henry Jackson Society, a neocon thinktank, organised the meeting. If anything, they were more worried than Freeland.

                      .

                    • Simeon

                      But it still isn’t equal rosy.

                    • fatty

                      Firstly I am 32. So yes I am part of that me-me-me generation. But I don’t expect anyone else to pay for me.

                      I’m about the same age. I think the same…that’s why I don’t like capitalism. Most of the leeches are in management, or hold power through resources, numerous contacts, their social circle, connections, family wealth and skills that resonate with capitalism (ability to deceive, seduce, trick).
                      Worst of all, not only does capitalism rewards these traits and privileges, it assumes they are natural. As a result people claim that poor people are inferior or lazy or selfish…when it is often those who are successful under this system who are really lazy and selfish (inferior is a judgement call).

                      The tennis analogy was in response to “we are all equal ideology”. If every player was paid the same then why would anyone play? In this world everyone are winners.

                      Can you name a tennis player that has said money motivated them to become the best? Money as a motivator is limited and often results in a loss of performance. This short video here challenges the capitalist idea that money creates positive results.

                      Re hoarding cash and buying things I am sure no one will decline a Powerball win.

                      You are right…but we are not talking of an instant reward of millions for a $10 ticket…we are talking of spending your whole life doing work that you wouldn’t do for money, so you can buy stuff that you don’t need, so that you can feel as though you are ‘winning the game’.
                      Are people happy to work their life away so they can consume? I’m not, and deep down I am convinced other’s are not as well. Excessive choice when you are ‘successful’ does not improve your life. It often makes us unhappy, frustrated and likely to blame innocent people for our own unhappiness.

                      China while communist in name isn’t in reality. What caused the latest smog in Beijing? The new rich middle class driving their cars. Is that possible in a communist regime?

                      Yes, China are not a straight up communist country. They run a capitalist economy that is controlled by their Government. They are repeating the same mistakes the West made after WWII – creating a capitalist house of cards

                      I do not need any more examples as you have not even provided one. Which country has the system you propose?

                      None. I don’t think a viable new form of communism is possible within a global capitalist system. Ideally, I think we need a new kind of communism where we work together to have as much free time as possible. We should resist luxury products and so called advancements that revolve around looking ‘beautiful’.
                      In the meantime, I’ll vote and promote equality, or any moves towards it. Sorry if that clashes with your strive for success.

                    • rosy

                      No, it’s not equal. But it’s not winner takes all either and there are a fair few people from all sorts ideological leanings and wealth strata saying we’re getting far too close to that situation. And that for society to be a little more equitable, and maybe to even save themselves, people who have the most are going to have to be a little more gracious and generous and give up a little.

                    • Simeon

                      rosy,

                      You are choosing which opinion matches yours. Not everyone believes the same thing. The tory woman is exactly the same with Nikki Kaye debating Brownlee on mining on Waiheke.

                      Ideally you want us to all be the same where there are no winners and no incentive to work. So the rich would no longer have any wealth to exist.

                      Capitalist is wrong but you are writing on a product that derived from capitalision along with using a internet provider to connect you to the world.

                      How would would this system be funded?

                      fatty,

                      I do not have a problem with you wanting more free time. Similar question that I asked rosy though – how will this be funded. Drive through Otara and look at the graffiti on the fences. If those on welfare cannot respect others peoples property how will they be able to respect another person? The “rich already help out (through taxes) those less fortunate or who choose not to keep their end of the bargain.

                      Look at Russia and China. Given the chance the citizins are rushing to get wealth i.e. they didn’t like the equal model. It’s a shame Fantasyland was renamed to Splash Planet.

                    • fatty

                      Simeon,

                      I do not have a problem with you wanting more free time. Similar question that I asked rosy though – how will this be funded.

                      Easy…just stop buying stuff. We need to readjust what we consider our needs and wants. Why do we want the latest gadgets? – because we are seduced into needing them. Our economy runs on desire, greed, selfishness and jealously…it does not run on needs and sustainability.
                      What’s the difference between an iphone 4 and an iphone 5? – sweet fuck all, but people are seduced into needing the new product. Copyrights withhold technology for economic gain. I am suspicious of the claim the capitalism stimulates progress more than collective effort. Did you watch that RSA video about what motivates us…the link was on my last post.

                      Drive through Otara and look at the graffiti on the fences. If those on welfare cannot respect others peoples property how will they be able to respect another person?

                      Is that graffiti a response, or an initial reaction?
                      Graffiti is a very interesting phenomena…our contemporary form of graffiti began, and still should be considered, a very political response to economic and geographical exclusion. That is why it happens more often in poor areas, and also urban areas. When a few people own the resources and exclude (even silence) young urban people – graffiti will be the response. The East side of Chch at the moment is another example.
                      Why do we expect young people to respect property when they are excluded from having the opportunity to use that property? In addition, by being excluded from having access to the property, the young people suffer from a lack of resources and find themselves oppressed by our system of private property ownership. Our urban youth have given up, there access to resources is so limited that it is a slap in the face.
                      Graffiti is a response…or are our poor urban youth predisposed to making things ugly?

                      The “rich already help out (through taxes) those less fortunate or who choose not to keep their end of the bargain.

                      See my last comment where I noted that to be on top in this game called capitalism, there are a number of ways we get an ‘invisible boost’ (or google Peggy McIntosh – The invisible Knapsack…she talks of how race can give some an advantage, and others a chain around their ankles – and that’s just racial privilege). I wrote that to win in capitalism, some of us hold power through resources, numerous contacts, their social circle, connections, family wealth and skills that resonate with capitalism (ability to deceive, seduce, trick)…there are many many others.
                      You mentioned you were born into humble beginnings…but did you have the benefit of any of these? For me, I have access to all of them except family wealth…I am well connected (and getting better connected every day – that’s how it works)…so well connected that I will never fail at this capitalist game, unless something horrific happens to me like a an accident or a drug addiction etc. I am fortunate, and most people on top are too. You may not have had these ‘boosts’, and good for you, you may have done really well for yourself…but now you do hold good contacts, you can probably not fail at capitalism from where you are now (possibly from your own hard work).
                      Unfortunately others never have the contacts and support that I have had…I believe its important I do all I can to ensure all people have contacts and support – even if that means they tax the shit out of me and throw money at the poor. I think that’s the right thing to do. Yes, some might milk the system and blow it all on drugs, but the more equal we are, the less likely it is that people will rip the system off.
                      Did people rip off the system in the golden years after the war when many provisions were delivered by the government? No, almost everyone worked cause their was a fair wage and more social inclusion (ignore the post-war sexism and racism for my point here)…the stigma then for not working was powerful. Stigma (used now as the primary weapon on beneficiaries) is ineffective on people who have nothing to lose…that is why the drive to stigmatise tobacco has been effective on middle and upper classes, but not on the poor.

                      Look at Russia and China. Given the chance the citizins are rushing to get wealth i.e. they didn’t like the equal model.

                      Yes and no. Russia switched to capitalism over a period of minutes, the result is that as a country, there economy switched to ‘crabs in a bucket’ mode. So, naturally, they would do anything to survive. Is this moral? Is this ethical?…(remember, I am not an advocate of their former kind of communism in the 20th century, I am just saying that capitalism should in no way assume moral superiority over other economic systems)

                      Sorry that turned into a rant…in a hurry and gotta go

                    • rosy

                      “Ideally you want us to all be the same where there are no winners and no incentive to work. So the rich would no longer have any wealth to exist.”

                      Can you point out where I said that?

                      “You are choosing which opinion matches your view”

                      Actually, if you look, I chose opinions from people who usually support your view, they think things have gone too far. They’re not talking in absolutes. They’re talking in degrees and outcomes.

                    • Simeon

                      You mentioned that we need a society that shares the personal wealth. As that doesn’t happen now nor anywhere else in the world the only way to implement this is higher taxes. People who work won’t now as there is no benefit. For those who have assets they will sell them at a instant and take the proceeds abroad so no retrospective law can grab it.

                      No one would play professional sports and there would be so much spare air time as the TV can not show competitor shows as everyone is equal.

                      Everyone who talks about sharing the wealth either has never had any or stole the money through stupid charges e.g. Bill Gates and Sam/ Gareth Morgan. It is all very well that they suggest this given Windows is a rip off and senior and son Morgan keep saying that they should pay more tax but since there is no GCT they don’t. It wasn’t until 2006 that Warren Buffett suggested the wealthy should donate all of their wealth when they die.

                      Very similar to religion I hate people who preach and tell people what to do. Only fools drink the Kool Aid.

                    • Simeon

                      fatty,

                      With the exception of Greenpeace most charities are thankful for what they receive. Rioting and destroying private and state property is not very wise. More money wasted fixing it up. Tagging a fence in the alleyway with statehouses either side is highly disrespectful to the help that is currently given. Marching on parliament is probably more constructive and less expensive for us all. Perhaps the Labour MP for Rimutaka should have intervened more and worked with the residents of the Pomare statehouses that were eventually bulldozed?

                      A livable income would be ideal and I do not debate that. But taking more from the rich will not achieve it. No one wins here as there is no incentive. There will be no positive immigration as it will not be attractive to live here.

                      I think $1,050 is too much to spend on a smartphone. But does that mean we shouldn’t have spent $3,600 for our flights to the US last year (add the hotel costs and spending money)? If it was then how will we learn and explore? There is more to know than what’s in the Little Red Book.

                      I do have contacts and my family is not wealthy (one parent just gambled it all away and the other just spent it all. A brother committed suicide). But I decided not to whine and just got on with it.

                    • locus

                      Simeon, you are in such desperate need to prove your belief in unregulated capitalism that you have no intention of thinking about how this kind of society ultimately kills itself – the US is well on the way to recreating those conditions.

                      “Ideally you want us to all be the same where there are no winners and no incentive to work. So the rich would no longer have any wealth to exist.”

                      Have you considered that the creation of an obscenely wealthy elite is increasingly strangling the availability of money for improving living conditions and availability of jobs everywhere in the world? If wealth weren’t tied up in the credit ledgers of the rich we’d all be more wealthy and there’d be fewer people on the dole.

                      “Capitalist is wrong but you are writing on a product that derived from capitalision along with using a internet provider to connect you to the world.”

                      Have you bothered to find out how the internet was invented…..the military and then universities, both funded by taxes? Perhaps you should do a bit of research… on the internet.

                      Oh and maybe you’d benefit from reading a bit of history, and some of the many links commenters have provided on this post, before you spout off your ill-formed opinions.

                    • Simeon

                      Sorry I did misread the word.

                      Your comments are based on circumstance (as are mine). But to quote the right, market and any new unproved ideas and not have the income to sacrifice what you propose is a weak argument. To shift rewards to those without is not equitable, it is a penalty and theft for success.

                      Money doesn’t grow on trees. It comes from hard working salary and wage earners. The real money in the forms of dividends are taxed. So that leaves you with taking money from persons on the NBR Rich List.

                      I think your comment that you will talk when you come down to my level is false. You talk about taking it from “them” not you. I have shown all my cards now. Have you?

                    • Simeon

                      Locus,

                      Yes I knew where it originated from. Ultimately what system funded the taxes to pay for the US military? You failed to note my point about the ISP. Oh I forgot to mention is your PC built by the folks at Lada?

                      As I mentioned earlier get Mark Zuckerberg to sell his shares so he can share it. Remember the poor guy who wakes up one morning and the share price has plummeted.

                      I have read history and I keep up with news (or this MSM conspiracy). We learn from this. Most of us understand that nothing is free.

                      You give a little and they want more. Sharing it just creates dependancy. It’s not produce anything as they will just consume, they very thing that is frown upon.

                      Just sit there and get angry at us, as Michael Cullen one eloquently said, rich pricks.

                      Tall poppy or envy? Probably both.

                    • rosy

                      I’m assuming this comment is for me? If so…
                      Sorry I did misread the word.

                      Actually you did. I’ve never once stated that wealth should be equally shared. I said it should be equitably distributed.

                      Your comments are based on circumstance (as are mine).

                      My comments, unlike yours, are based on reading and listening to a variety of sources, a bit of study (including economics) as well as (I admit ) an in-built leaning towards fairness. Strange how you and I can come from poverty and state housing areas and think quite differently about cause and effect.

                      But to quote the right, market and any new unproved ideas and not have the income to sacrifice what you propose is a weak argument. To shift rewards to those without is not equitable, it is a penalty and theft for success.

                      This sentence makes no sense at all

                      Money doesn’t grow on trees. It comes from hard working salary and wage earners.

                      Exactly, on this we can agree. And if you paid attention those hard working salary and wage earners are getting a decreasing share of the pie. Once again – do some reading, get a handle on the stats and trends over time.

                      The real money in the forms of dividends are taxed. So that leaves you with taking money from persons on the NBR Rich List.

                      No. It means that I think workers should be paid fairly and taxed fairly – as should the rich. Currently you probably pay more tax than the person who owns the business you work for. But that’s ok because the new meme is for some unscrupulous business owners to justify not paying tax by saying their employees pay it for them.

                      You may also note that the only one talking about taking personal wealth is you. I’m talking about the distribution of wealth at the source of production and the fair share of contributions to the national pot – you know, for things like hospitals, roads, police and schools and things. I also view tax as an insurance policy for hard times. A social security that some people draw on sometimes, and others later. Like all insurances some people will never need part of it. It’s especially necessary for workers who are not paid enough to insure themselves. Very few people are long term beneficiaries.

                      I think your comment that you will talk when you come down to my level is false. You talk about taking it from “them” not you. I have shown all my cards now. Have you?

                      You can think what you like, but it’s not false at all. If you want to know my cards do a search function on this site for me + …. It’s all there.

                    • locus

                      Simeon,

                      “Just sit there and get angry at us, as Michael Cullen one eloquently said, rich pricks.”

                      “Tall poppy or envy? Probably both.”

                      Oh dear, you are mistaking me for someone else…. I don’t envy rich people nor reward for hard work. I just have a strong desire to inform you a bit.

                      Capitalism only works well if plenty of the crinkly stuff is shared around to the people who spend it, i.e. not stacked up in zeroes in rich people’s bank accounts.

                      And consider for a moment… do things only get invented or made because there’s a capitalist system?

                      Regarding taxes…. these provide the lifeblood of our society. And since you seem to think all rich people can’t possibly want to share their hard gotten gains with the taxman, let me be clear… I pay a lot more tax than you do and I’m pleased I’m not tempted to hire slithery accountants and tax advisers to try and avoid doing so.

                      Regarding the profit motive… Financial profit would be fine if the companies or individuals making it were paying an equitable rate of tax. But inevitably the profit takers do everything they can to find loopholes to evade or avoid their responsibility to pay tax. While they happily reap the benefits of all the tax that their employees are honestly paying.

                      But why is paying your full tax liability (i.e. no clever tax minimisation or avoidance strategies) a responsible thing you may ask?

                      Well, without a tax system and all that the government does with those taxes the profit makers would not have workers who can get to work (roads, public transport etc), they would not have healthy workers, nor would they have sanitation, fresh water supply, power and telephone networks (which incidentally were paid for by tax before neo liberal ideologists sold them off to workforce screwing, asset stripping, tax avoiding, monopolists)

                      So in summary, why don’t you join the good guys and fight for a society where we are all taxed equitably? A society where we hold a government to account for using taxes wisely for the long-term interest of all citizens. Why not side with most reasonable people who see the value of a social security system that protects people who have the odds severely stacked against them, or who need a leg up until they get back into the workforce?

                      Do you realise how much of the ‘me me me’ ideology you have sucked up into your psyche? You find it so easy to pigeon-hole anyone who supports a decent sharing society, and arrogantly assume they must be screwing the social welfare system, or that they hate rich people, or that they are poor, or, or, or .

                      Why don’t you think just for a minute what kind of society is being created by selfish individualistic attitudes?

                      And do you realise what kind of person you come across as when you sneer or spit at everyone receiving social security?

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      :shock:

                      locus :D

                  • rosy

                    So you can’t point out where I said that. I’ll help you find what I did say – to paraphrase…

                    ‘It’s not equal but it’s not a winner takes all view and even the financial people who follow this stuff for a living are saying there is an unequal distribution of wealth that could bring down the the economic system’.

                    You haven’t read any of the links and now you’re telling me how I think yet you’ve provided nothing to support your opinion. You do realise, don’t you, that they’re also talking about wealth in terms of rewards from production – that’s work – not stuff you steal off other people?

                    P.S. you might want to read some stuff about the root causes of the 1930s depression to see why the finance people are cautioning about the seriously unequal distribution of wealth.

                    • Simeon

                      The crash in 1929 was caused by speculators. Look at Xero this company has made no profit in 6 years (circa $20 mil revenue last year) but is worth nearly $1bil. A lot of this “wealth” is false. If Mark Zuckerberg sells some shares some poor bloke will be much poorer when the market decides the tool is a fad. But at least more people have been feed with it eh?

                      You said: “And that for society to be a little more equitable, and maybe to even save themselves, people who have the most are going to have to be a little more gracious and generous and give up a little”.

                      As the huge “wealth” that people are holding is a dream the equality will come from salary and wage earners. As it will take a lot to give every one a equal share it means the earners will receive the same as those on welfare. No one will create as what is the point? If you say to help people well why do you have to do this through theft and not choice? You cannot make people be nice. I will not join your church.

                      When you pay $538 a week in taxes then I will listen.

                    • rosy

                      Maybe you need to learn the difference between equitable and equal.

                      Maybe you should also read a little wider around the 1930s depression instead of … what was it… “choosing which opinion matches yours. Not everyone believes the same thing”

                      “When you pay $538 a week in taxes then I will listen.”

                      lol assumptions. When we get our income down to that level, I’ll let you know.

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      Once again Simeon states his implicit attitude: the voice of the monied mean more than anybody elses.

                      Newsflash dude, its not only white land owning Christian men who have a say in society nowadays.

            • mike e vipe e 10.1.1.2.1.3

              Sinmeon one old guy who couldn’t run his company properly cost us taxpayers $1.7 billion!
              John key got a $10 million hand out from the us govt rescue of BofA ML bailout!
              Dole bludgers extrodinaire!

              • Simeon

                See earlier comments re SCF.

                Was John Key working for or had shares at Merrill Lynch in 2008? I do not remember seeing this on the MP’s financial interest register.

                • mike e vipe e

                  Merrill lynch was taken over by bank of America s part of the US govt bailout!

                  • Simeon

                    Yep and his payout was before that. I used to work at X a few years back. Am I in trouble with their current scandal?

                    • CV - Real Labour

                      I guess you are ignorant enough to think that no longer being employed by a bank means that you are no longer working for the banksters.

              • Tim

                Shit. push. uphill.
                As it happens, during various times in my life I’ve paid that amount in taxes though Simeon seems very anxious to tell us all that’s how muxh he/she pays.
                I’m wondering if he’s an “IT Professional” or something similar.
                Amusing though how (at the age of 32) he wants to lecture us all on 1929.
                Still – no doubt he’s a man of experience who’s “paid his dues” and owes no one nuttin.
                All the best for the future Simeon and IF you have kuds, all the best for the legacy you’ll leave them. I’m picking they’ll turn out just fine (ahem)

                • Simeon

                  My comments are in response to people telling me I need to do this, that and something else with my money. The communists loved to tell people what to think but how did that turn out.

                  A bit rich suggesting I am lecturing on 1929 as it was initiated by someone else who I am certain was around and it initiated from someone else.

                  My parents haven’t ended up so good but did I cry about it? No.

                  We might join the stats where those working are not having kids because our tax rate is 50%. This will leave the dependents to contribute to the gene pool. Great.

                  • CV - Real Labour

                    Couching narrrow self interest in such grandiose but ultimately blind terms. Wake up and see that the top 0.1% in society have very minimal care for the other 99.9%. And that includes their pretender hanger-ons.

                    • Simeon

                      Fight hard. No one cared about that Occupy Wall Street protest. People just get on with it and don’t complain from Aro Valley.

                      If people cared then they would help. As that isn’t the case you just have decided you have the authority to steal what is not yours.

                      Hope you have spare pictures of Michael Joseph Savage to put up on your kids walls.

        • Mike 10.1.1.3

          “I guess you like Russell Norman’s idea of printing more money?”

          I guess you don’t understand much about money.

          Here’s a hint. The National government has been borrowing money at levels greater than any government in our history.

          Here’s a bigger hint. Say the government needs an extra 100 million dollars. What’s the inflationary impact of borrowing 100 Mil and spending it into the economy? what’s the inflationary impact of creating 100 Mil and spending it into the economy?

          “I would very much like to receive some of the $538 a week taxes I pay back”

          Are you saying that you receive none of the benefits that all NZ citizens are entitled to and which your income tax helps pay for? Just as a side note, are you aware that half of the entire working population of New Zealand earn less income each week than you pay in income tax each week?

          You display one of the standard typical arguments (it’s ‘their’ own fault they’re poor, people are poor because of bad choices, having too many children, being lazy on benefits, blah, blah, blah) that unfortunately for you has been proven in a multitude of peer reviewed international research to be completely incorrect and without any basis whatsoever.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 10.2

      “When we have children my boss won’t give me a pay rise and I we will only get W4F when we have the 3rd child.”

      When I started work in the 80’s your boss did give you extra money if you had a family to support – and I was in the banking industry.

      Yep those who had families got extra and those of us who didn’t never begrudged them that for one moment.

      So screw your boss – he wants to use your labour and have you spend time away from your family and raising goods kids but at the same time he doesn’t want to pay tax and wants the state to pay for the support that he should be providing.

      And poor you will only get money from the state when you have kid number 3.

      Presumably you won’t be doing that cause then you’ll become one of them – a beneficiary – one of those things you detest and despise.

      And if you don’t get anything for 2 kids you must be getting at least $74,000 per year but even then you might be claiming IWTC which doesn’t cut out until $90,000 per annum. Hope you’re not bludging by claiming that.

      Bloody taking my tax money when you are in the top 15% of income earners in the country.

      Anyway follow the good old right wing advice – if your job don’t pay enough get off your arse and get a better one. Stop bleating. It’s your own fault if you only earn $74,000 a year. Lazy shit.

      • CV - Real Labour 10.2.1

        You really are a treasure.

      • Simeon 10.2.2

        Wasn’t there only 2 TV channels in the 80s? Didn’t our mums stay at home and didn’t walk us to school because it was safe? And the home PC was a Commodore 64?

        Yeah screw my boss. I deserve more than my $90k salary. Someone else can pay for my decisions so I will take a lower paying job with less responsibility but still over 30 hours per week so I can get the IWTC and full W4F.

        No wonder with logic like that the hands are out.

        • the Al1en 10.2.2.1

          “Yeah screw my boss.”

          Welcome to the fight, Brother. :lol:

          “I will take a lower paying job with less responsibility but still over 30 hours per week so I can get the IWTC and full W4F.”

          Twenty hours if you’re a solo parent with a minimum 40/60 shared care agreement.
          The best ever thing I’ve seen a government for it’s people to empower solo mums and dads and improve outcomes for children.

          What you’re saying to solo parent beneficiaries is that despite all the abuse the state can muster and throw in your direction, if you do as they say and get back to work, we’ll still give you a kicking.
          Not thought that one through, but then why would you, Jack? You’re all right.

        • Colonial Viper 10.2.2.2

          Wow Simeon you sound like a programmed Friedmanite who runs their career and life according to the numbers on the calculator.

          How sad for you. Haven’t you learnt that there is more to life and a career than the bottom line?

          No wonder with logic like that the hands are out.

          I bet you claim every deduction and expense that you can get you little weasel.

          • Simeon 10.2.2.2.1

            You don’t need a calculator: income – expenses. Not hard really you do not need to carry the 1. A dummy could do it. Maybe not if the life is sitting back and smoking dope.

            I receive PTS’s not IR3’s. Any other questions? I walk to work and have health, accident and redundancy insurance. I have been on the dole once returning back from overseas (it was only a summer job so I declared my overseas earnings). I was on it for 2 weeks until I found a $9.50 per hour job (as I have said before it should be temporary).

            • Colonial Viper 10.2.2.2.1.1

              Hey mate your all superior act by the numbers is serving you well in life, so good luck with that.

              • Simeon

                Well someone has to worry about the bottom line so we can pay for your views of a 20 hour week. How’s France doing lately?

                Good luck with your matches on parliament. Keep advocating free rides and the likes. Can’t wait to see how that turns out.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Oh you’re such a Capitalist God Simeon. Hail!

                • the Al1en

                  Not just a view, a treasure and a lifeline for our solo parents.
                  Communism by stealth it may be, but however it comes, tens of thousands of kiwis lives are much better because of it. That makes it good, the end.
                  You should be proud that in paying your share, you’re accepting the burden of failure from our collective fathers that caused the mess in the first instance, and are taking a responsibility they clearly did not.
                  Go on, pat yourself on the back.

                  Anyway, seeing as you’re paying, leave a contact address and I’ll forward it to my beneficiary mates, so when they want a pay rise, they know where to come.

            • mike e vipe e 10.2.2.2.1.2

              sinmeon narcissist

        • Descendant Of Sssmith 10.2.2.3

          “Yeah screw my boss. I deserve more than my $90k salary. Someone else can pay for my decisions so I will take a lower paying job with less responsibility but still over 30 hours per week so I can get the IWTC and full W4F.”

          Way to miss the point. And then to compound that by talking about logic.

          Comprehension can’t be your strong point.

          But then that’s obvious anyway as you use the observation of a few to tar the majority, draw conclusions about people’s circumstances from media reports and highlight things like insurance as a thing to be proud of which is socialism with profit while taxation to pay for benefits is simply socialism without profit.

          If you were truly going to take full responsibility for yourself you wouldn’t have insurance either.

          Bloody bludger spending my insurance premiums when you make a claim.

          “Didn’t our mums stay at home and didn’t walk us to school because it was safe?”

          Obviously the 80’s and in particular 87 never happened in your world where the start of the dismantling of the welfare state, the reducing of taxation to pay for it, the increasing shift of wages into profits, share and property speculation, high inflation, the removal of payments such as the one I referred to earlier where men with families got additional allowances paid by their employers, where we paid 22% on our mortgages and I saw my wife for 5 minutes each morning and night as we passed each other in the driveway as I worked during the day and she at night.

          And nahh it wasn’t any safer than it is now (think say Theresa McCormick and Kirsa Jensen for a couple of examples) nor any worse than it is now. Most people still get killed by someone they know and most kids still get abused by a family member or relative and most women still get killed or raped by someone they know.

          Previous generations abused and molested and raped and killed just like any other generation.

          The 80’s reality is that if you said in 1985 that over the next twenty years we will:

          1. Reduce workers rights
          2. Reduce workers pay
          3. Privatise public services that were for the common good
          4. Reduce the amount of tax both businesses and individuals pay
          5. Allow businesses to reduce their costs by making people contractors e.g. courier drivers, cleaners and reduce their liability for supplying equipment, annual leave and sick leave
          6. Allow businesses’ to keep more and more profit ( in fact move it from 30% of GDP to 70% of GDP)
          7. Allow much of that profit to go offshore
          8. To reduce incomes that both partners going to work was the norm o survive
          9. To no longer have full employment as a goal
          10. To urbanise large parts of the population by removing services from rural areas e.g. hospitals, public service jobs, banking, etc
          11. Remove centralised wage bargaining so that business’s would compete on lower wages
          12. Have the state pick up subsidies for wages via WFF and landlords via AS
          13. Increasing alcohol sales and availability
          14. Introducing casinos and pokies
          15. Allowing easy credit and loansharking ( and yeah banks really did send out unsolicited credit cards to people en mass)
          16. Removing reserve bank ratios which restricted how much banks could lend

          how would we look?

          The financial pressure put on families in the 80’s created the real significant growth in sole parents. How we stayed together during that time I’ll never know but many of the people I raised my family alongside did not – and these were often people in much better paying jobs than me. The forced move from being a tradesman or a courier driver or a cleaner to a contracted worker / self-employed not only drive their incomes down in some cases they committed suicide because they went from being a skilled tradesman on a wage /. salary to a hopeless businessman.

          Personally I think we could have come out a lot worse and the reason we haven’t is because people have resisted these sorts of changes as much as they can and we used to have more examination of these issues via select committee etc.

          If you don’t like the country you are in now you would like it even less if people like The Act party had fully got their way.

          You’d also have a darn sight more people to bleat about and a darn sight more people to be fearful of.

          • Simeon 10.2.2.3.1

            At the last election my party vote went to the Greens and ticked Pita Sharples to be my MP. My rationale was that National was going to win but with poll results showing the Greens at high levels I thought they could have worked with National again and compromise of each parties different ideas. They say National and Labour would be a good coalition but I don’t think so they are pretty much the same. In 2014 Act will be gone, unsure about Maori and United. Peters might sneak in as may Hone. I don’t know who I will vote for.

            I am against asset sales, convention/ pokies deal but I also think it is fair that people are not paid to not work when they can. No one will work if they are promised a livable raise which gives a conundrum of how we pay for this.

            We have all been given the same opportunities, what we do with them is our decision. This is not a failure of capitalism but a failure of the individual and its family. The numbers support this. Remember the kids who disrupted the class all the time, wagged or smoked in the alley way?

            If those on welfare want more perhaps ditch the Sky, pokies and takeaways. Manage your money better.

            But this is not to stay that the corporates are clean. Far from it. This sanctioned speculation is disgusting. As we know shit happens when it all comes crashing down and we all have to pay for it.

            Re the offshoring of the profits especially the banks: simple solution move to Kiwibank.

            Re taking insurance means I am not taking care of myself. Jezz what a way to say thanks to people who choose to not bludge of the taxpayer so you can ask for more.

            Everyone who says that the wealth should be redistributed has never had it. They probably never came in the top 3 spots in the cross country. Anyone who wins is evel. My two older brothers. They blamed all their misfortunes on everyone else. It is more envy that about beings fair. Any person on welfare who won wouldn’t send a cheque to WINZ saying thanks.

            No one supports your looney ideas. Look at the world.

            • CV - Real Labour 10.2.2.3.1.1

              You should really support asset sales, someone with significant spare discretionary income to invest would do very well in the long term investing in the energy sector.

              Re the offshoring of the profits especially the banks: simple solution move to Kiwibank.

              Yes. While curtailing the activity and size of the other banks.

              but I also think it is fair that people are not paid to not work when they can.

              Of course, I agree. And if the private sector cannot provide decent meaningful employment to such people, the Government shall. That’s something useful to society that tax monies taken from your pocket can be used for productively.

            • Descendant Of Sssmith 10.2.2.3.1.2

              You’re such a generalising prick it’s not funny.

              Those looney ideas you refer to are things that used to exist and were taken away. They existed and the country was more egalitarian and equal than it is now.

              The lunacy was taking them away.

              The trouble is, is that you don’t know what was there and what’s been lost cause you’re not old enough to have known what it was like.

              “Everyone who says that the wealth should be redistributed has never had it.”

              That’s just a bizarre generalisation. There’s quite a few on these forums including myself who are a darn site better off than you are. I neither asked for nor wanted tax cuts and would much much rather have those who don’t have the same advantages that I have be supported through the non-moralising support of welfare than the prejudiced favours of charity.

              “We have all been given the same opportunities, what we do with them is our decision.”

              Nah we haven’t and to think that is to deny reality. It’s also not just about opportunities it’s about genetics and intelligence and skill and luck and illness and accident and so on.
              It’s also about resilience. The mistake you make is thinking that just cause you are resilient enough to escape from a shitty background so are others.

              With support many more could but by simply saying you’re a loser and it’s all your own fault to them you don’t help one iota.

              Starving them sure isn’t going to help.

              “Re taking insurance means I am not taking care of myself. Jezz what a way to say thanks to people who choose to not bludge of the taxpayer so you can ask for more.”

              Again you miss the point. Insurance isn’t taking care of yourself – should your home get destroyed the socialisation of all our premiums will go to rebuild your house. The only difference between the socialisation of the insurance industry and the socialisation of taxation is profit. Why is the socialisation of risk via insurance OK and the socialisation of risk through taxation not?

              You should also bear in mind that private sector socialisation for profit is very limited hence when you have your car accident or your stroke or your heart attack you are fixed up via taxation. The cost of the facilities to do that work are beyond the scope of the private insurance industry as are treating the poor and homeless. Shit in the US Walmart employees have to go to the public system even though the employer is supposed to provide them with medical benefits.

              Not sure where I’m asking for more – I’m asking for less. I want the government to take more of my money and give it to those less fortunate.

              Remember the kids who disrupted the class all the time, wagged or smoked in the alley way?

              Yep at my school they were predominantly the ones with wealthy parents who didn’t give a shit. They were also the bullies in the school.

              If those on welfare want more perhaps ditch the Sky, pokies and takeaways. Manage your money better.

              Most on benefit don’t do any of those things. I’ve given away plenty of my stuff over the years to people struggling to know that. Most people on benefit also don’t stay on it very long and have paid plenty of tax while working to pay for their benefit. You know just like paying insurance. And if they haven’t cause they are young their parents have.

              • Simeon

                There is nothing stopping you giving your tax cut away. Don’t be arrogant and suggest what others do with theres.

                Insurance is not socialism, it is not compulsory. IAG et al reinsure the premiums and it is used to settle claims for other people who pay for it. People on welfare don’t really pay tax and they certainly can not afford insurance. With the tax and health premiums I am paying more than my fair share than someone on welfare is.

                I went to a school that had many pacific islanders.

                After uni I worked for the a government department. We had the union reps tell us we need to sign up to recognise what they fought for and pay for the bachs. Pay rises will be given to everyone so don’t worry if you are crap. Remembering the soldiers is more important.

                Lets all live in the past. There was not crime then I heard and people could leave the house without locking the doors. If we went back to the old days then at least there wouldn’t be a forum for you to TELL everyone what they should do with their money.

                • Mike

                  “People on welfare don’t really pay tax”

                  Really? I never knew beneficiaries were exempt from paying GST, or petrol tax, or drivers license tax, or registration tax, or marriage license tax, or inflation tax, and so on and so on.

                  You seem to think that you’ve got to where you are (career and salary wise) all by your lonesome and it’s all through your hard work. You’ve benefitted from infrastructure paid for by previous generations taxes, same with education system, public healthcare, etc. You only survived your childhood because an adult or two looked after you, fed you, clothed you, etc.

                  You’ll look back and laugh in disbelief one day when you finally get over yourself. (I hope you don’t wait too long to do it though)

            • Mike 10.2.2.3.1.3

              “We have all been given the same opportunities”

              You don’t do much research do you…

              Try thinking about your comment, you might have a lightbulb moment and realise just how wrong you are.

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 10.3

      You make it all sound so simple, Simeon.

  10. Descendant Of Sssmith 11

    “If someone makes a bad decision that shouldn’t affect me. We don’t get a thanks, we only get the other hand out asking for more.”

    You mean like those who invested their money in SCF?

    • Simeon 11.1

      Haha. I am not a National or ACT follower. Asset sales are just dumb. I really do not want to pay higher Powershop prices because the board needs to meet shareholders expectation.

      Short answer yes. These people took the risk and decided to invest. Would they send a check to IRD if they made a profit? They just took the money and invested elsewhere.

      Eric Watson, Mark Hotchin et al are scum but at the end of the day people chose to invest.

  11. Rodel 12

    DG was interesting for a sentence or two. Then I wondered why anyone bothered responding to such stuff. It sort of reminds me of Al Capone who truly believed he was clever and a benefactor but couldn’t understand why society didn’t like or respect him.

  12. Andrew 13

    “The Standard bloggers never do that. You simply denounce me as being a bastard and leave it at that. Lets assume that I am a bastard, does not make my views incorrect.”

    No, but being an intellectual midget with extremist Libertarain views which have shown time and time again to be idiotic does.

    The only reason you get a platform is because you’re a ‘bastard’. Causing outrage (which you clearly get off on, and also says something about your chosen profession) grabs headlines and makes your tediously banal and clichéd libertarian/Randian drivel entertaining, in a way it never would be if you just set out your illogical and irrational views. (Go to ‘solo passion’ if you want to see how Randian Cultists are just as boring as any other group of ‘true believers)

    Your silly extremist positions are about as relevant to a modern capitalist/mixed economy as those of a communist, just as practical, and just as likely to ever come to fruition.

    Sadly The Herald will continue to give your borderline psychopathy dressed up as philosophy a platform, not because you have anything worthwhile to contribute but because provoking a reaction is good for business.

  13. Peter 14

    I read Damien Grants article which was clearly trying to provoke. Though I don’t agree with his views I did find what he said confronting and thought provoking. I don’t personally have an iPhone but I do feel we are all of us guilty to some extent by the very fact of living in a first world country with its consumption driven economy.

  14. “Sharing it just creates dependancy.”

    Probably my quote of the day, from a polar opposite, that makes the face :lol: but the heart :sink:

    • Mike 15.1

      yep I cracked up at that one too, then realised he probably actually believes that shite.

      There is hope though. When I was simeon’s age (well a bit younger) I had remarkably similar views and I also earned a high salary working in IT. As I’ve gained more life experience, wisdom and knowledge about how things really work, my views have changed completely. Maybe his will too.

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    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • New research quantifies what’s causing sea level to rise
    There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a...
    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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