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The Standard

Then why don’t you release the advice John?

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 am, May 21st, 2013 - 151 comments
Categories: accountability, john key, law, national, Parliament - Tags: , , ,

New Zealand has soaked up a lot of constitutional arrogance from this National government (see herehere), but Key might have gone too far this time. On 17th May Geddis posted this on Pundit:

I think National just broke our constitution

In the wake of the budget, the Government is pushing through a whole bunch of bills in one great rush of non-stop, orgiastic lawmaking. Most of these measures are to do with the budget. But at least one isn’t […] a bill intended to sort out the problem of paying family members of severely disabled people to look after them.

… all the relevant discussion of legal risks produced by the legislation has been redacted from the publicly available information about it. You can see this for yourself in the Regulatory Impact Statement that must be provided to the House when the Bill is introduced (there’s a more arresting visual of it here). So not only can’t I say for sure what risk there may have been that the legislation would have had the effect of dumping the Government back in court, neither can the MPs who are being asked to debate it and vote on whether it should be law.

… By passing this law, Parliament is telling the judicial branch that it is not allowed to look at a Government policy (not, note, an Act of Parliament) in order to decide whether it is in breach of another piece of legislation enacted by Parliament (the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990). In other words, the judiciary’s primary function – to declare the meaning of law and its application in particular cases – has been nullified.

… what Tony Ryall’s doing here is, as far as I know, unprecedented (at least in recent constitutional history).

I covered the post here the next day. Yesterday Keith Ng at Public Address unleashed his version on an unsuspecting world:

What Andrew Geddis Said, But Shorter and With More Swearing

… Geddis suggested that you “might need a moment to let the implications of this sink in”. In the interest of expediency, I’m going to start you off:

NOT. FUCKING. OKAY.

In the GCSB case, they did something illegal, then just changed the law to make it legal (which is already quite a large crazy basket of NOT OKAY). Here, they’re doing something which was against the Human Rights Act before, and is still against the Human Rights Act after, but just made sure the people on the receiving end can’t have their legal rights recognised or enforced.

It’s saying, sure, the Government’s doing something illegal to you, but it’s okay, because we just made a law to say there’s nothing you can do about it. Lolz!

Well, it’s not okay. It’s not okay that human rights promised by law are not honoured because it costs money. It’s not okay that due processes promised by the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply because the Government says it doesn’t apply. It’s not okay that advice about how Parliament is about to piss all over the rule of law (at least I assume that’s what the legal advice says, because we can’t see it) is denied to Parliament. It’s not okay that saying “Budget, Budget, Budget” means that the Government can bypass all the checks and balances of Parliament itself and just put itself above the law overnight.

NOT. FUCKING. OKAY. 

With that tail wind the story crossed over (via Twitter) to the MSM.  The Herald has covered it, so has 3 News, and it was the focus of a Bryce Edwards political roundup. Which seems to have put enough pressure on Key for him to issue a weak denial:

PM says family carers legislation is constitutional

Prime Minister John Key says a new law that pays family members for looking after their disabled relatives is constitutional, even though it prevents legal action by new claimants.

… The bill caps payment at 40 hours a week, enables family carers to be paid less than others and prevents legal action by new claimants. It contains a clause stating that no one can complain on the grounds of discrimination, which the Attorney-General says breaches the Bill of Rights Act.

Mr Key said on Monday the Government believes that the legislation is legal and constitutionally correct.

John Key, of course, believes whatever it is convenient for him to believe. But his own Attorney General disagrees:

18. New s 70E appears to limit the right to judicial review because it would prevent a person from challenging the lawfulness of the decision on the basis that it was inconsistent with S 19(1) of the Bill of Rights Act.

19. On balance, I have concluded that limitation cannot be justified under s 5 of the Bill of Rights Act.

20. I draw these matters to the attention of the house.

To make matters worse Key’s government will not release the advice on “SIGNIFICANT LEGAL ISSUES AND RISKS ARISING FROM THE PREFERRED RESPONSE” with respect to the Bill. Those sections (and many others) of the Regulatory Impact Statement have been completely blacked out:

regulatory-impact-statement-blacked-out

Why would anyone believe this thoroughly tarnished PM when legal experts have raised the alarm, when is own Attorney General has raised the alarm, and when his own government won’t release its advice? Bollocks to that. If Key wants to make his case then at the very least he needs to start by releasing the advice that has so far been redacted. What is he afraid of I wonder?

Update: An anonymous editorial in The Herald this morning “Disability bill demonstrates contempt for due process”

151 comments on “Then why don’t you release the advice John?”

  1. I am sure that Key believes he will find a lawyer to say that what he is doing is all ok and therefore his decision is appropriate …

    That statement that he made spoke volumes about his moral compass. Basically he does not have one and will do whatever he wants unless there is a irreversible force against him.

    The failure of the Government to even send the disability bill to a select committee reinforces the contempt Key has shown for our constitutional processes and you have to ask why he did not even let the bill go through even the most cursory of select committee processes so that people could at least have their say.

    It appears that the bill had to be put through under urgency because in the Government’s haste to produce a “surplus” it had to get a potential liability off its books. Even very modest potential liabilities can negate the wafer thin surplus the government is pinning its reelection chances on.

    So our constitution had to be sacrificed so the Government could preserve it’s election year slogan about how it has balanced the books.

    Utterly shameful.

    • Mary 1.1

      What’s interesting about the disability bill is that is was a response to the findings of the HRRT, confirmed by the Court of Appeal, that excluding parents who care for their adult disabled children is discriminatory. That response was by way of legislation which according to the A-G, using the same test as what the HRRT and CA used, is also discriminatory. On top of this that same legislation attempts to curtail the right to bring a claim on the grounds that the legislation is discriminatory. Government has responded to findings of discrimination with further discrimination. Marvelous stuff. Key and his mates have so much respect for the protections under our HRA and NZBORA that they think we don’t need them.

      • Anne 1.1.1

        We have the Govt. responding to the GCSB’s illegal spying by legalising ALL spying activity. And now we have Govt. responding to discriminatory practices affecting the care of the disabled by legalising further discriminatory practices.

        There must be a special name for such ‘inside out’ and bizarre governance procedures. What is it?

        • toad 1.1.1.1

          It is worse than that, Anne. The discriminatory practices have not been legalised. They remain unlawful – but the Human Rights Commission cannot investigate claims of unlawfulness and the Human Rights Review Tribunal and the Courts’ jurisdiction to hear claims of such unlawfulness has been removed.

          So, essentially, the Government continue to discriminate unlawfully and or develop new policies that discriminate unlawfully, but no person adversely affected by that unlawful discrimination will have any redress.

          This is the sort of outrage you expect in Fiji under Bainimarama, not in New Zealand.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1

            This is the sort of outrage you expect in Fiji under Bainimarama, not in New Zealand.

            It’s exactly the sort of outrage that I expect from a capitalist society no matter where it is in the world. The anti-terrorism laws passed under Labour are another example.

  2. We have had many false dawns where it seemed the bankster key and his mates would be exposed and fall – I hope this one does the job and with the high-powered focus on this appalling breach maybe it will, I’m ever hopeful.

    • The Al1en 2.1

      Well it won’t be on breakfast, where they’ve just gone on about dress code questions under urgency.
      Instead of focussing on the cost to the taxpayer of filibustering tactics, Royden should have asked why legislation like this be put through under urgency in the first place.

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        I haven’t read about the dress code stuff and thankfully I don’t have a TV so I get to not see royden every day.

      • Suitably Clueless 2.1.2

        bingo! In NZ if we are experiencing a filibuster, it most probably means that the particular law in question should not be passed. Which I am now waiting for big bruv or some other troglodyte to remind me of the ‘anti-smacking bill’

        • freedom 2.1.2.1

          Any association to the ‘anti-smacking bill’ was rightly rubbished in The Herald editorial’s comments. It has no resemblance to this issue as full parliamentary process was followed when passing the law that allowed victims of abuse to be rightfully protected.

          As OAK suggests below, the odds are this new dictatorial decree will only increase the hardship and desperation experienced by those struggling families.

          • McFlock 2.1.2.1.1

            sigh.
            Some tories want you to beat your children while the spy agencies watch.

            • freedom 2.1.2.1.1.1

              can even imagine one or two who would happily step in if your arm got tired

    • Bill 2.2

      We have had many false dawns…

      But any measures that have had the potential to hammer a cross section of the middle classes?

      GCSB doesn’t impact on them as they are all ‘upstanding and law abiding citizens’.
      Benefit crackdowns won’t impact on them if they maintain their position in society (which, of course, they believe they will).
      CERA might be seen largely in the light of being a practical measure and dovetails with a ‘rightful’ deference to authority.

      And so on.

      But this? Well, disability and family members in need of caring doesn’t care about class boundaries and social attitudes. And perhaps that makes it a different kettle of fish to what has gone before.

    • Murray Olsen 2.3

      Constitutional matters don’t get the talkback radio crowd riled up. Key would have to ban rugby on Sundays or bring back 6 o’clock closing to really get people up in arms. Or maybe bring in efficiency standards for lightbulbs.

    • mac1 3.1

      This Herald editorial has to be read! Referring to the NZ Public Health and Disability Bill, the second sentence reads-

      “Both its content and the manner in which it made its way through Parliament warrant the strongest criticism.” Strong words indeed.

      The editorial and following comments are worth reading, too.

      Mrs Mac1 says that she has noticed a change in the media towards this government, which was being referred to all over in terms of “the ‘born to rule’ attitude of the National party politicians, typified in Aaron Gilmore.

      The same arrogance is seen throughout Government, as the list of its constitutional authoritarianism gets longer.

      • mac1 3.1.1

        The list, as compiled by Wiseacre, in comments responding to The NZ Herald editorial.

        Legislation passed under urgency discriminating against family caregivers of severely disabled people, with a clause preventing those discriminated against from challenging the law in court;
        legislation that bans protesting against deep-sea drilling;
        the 35 year compensation clause for Sky City Casino;
        scrapping the undertaking to reform MMP;
        massive expansion of powers to the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders;
        retrospective legalisation of the police’s illegal spying;
        the unconstitutional powers granted to Gerry Brownlee after the Christchurch earthquake;
        the suspension of democracy in Christchurch;
        the constant abuse of urgency;
        the constant crony appointments.

  3. One Anonymous Knucklehead 4

    Yeah, “It highlighted “a really challenging issue about where you draw the line between family responsibility and where the state should play a role”, says the “Prime Minister”.

    Let’s assume that just this one time he isn’t lying through his teeth. Apparently this issue is so “challenging” we’re not allowed to know what it is, and neither are our elected representatives.

    One thing is clear: the executive just voted “no confidence” in Parliament nor the courts. Andrew Geddis might be able to explain why that doesn’t constitute contempt of both houses. Can’t we just get Dame Sean Elias to issue a warrant for their arrest?

    • karol 4.1

      Yeah, “It highlighted “a really challenging issue about where you draw the line between family responsibility and where the state should play a role”, says the “Prime Minister”.

      However, the subtext that the neolib ideologues don’t acknowledge is that such care activities in the home contribute to the social and economic good of the country. Basically, that seemingly movable line the PM refers to, is artificial. In reality, the two responsibilities are one.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1.1

        From a practical (and rather distasteful) perspective, if families simply abandoned disabled members at eighteen, the state would bear the whole burden. Key’s line in the sand is one his ideology put there.

  4. Ant 5

    This law just make me sad because it is just flat out mean, even sadder that people will still vote for this nasty government in droves.

    It’s a divide and rule government – and bit by bit this country is just getting meaner.

    • ianmac 5.1

      This is worse than just mean Ant.
      Every citizen must have access to the Courts. To be denied access is so wrong and for an elected Government to be actively denying that access, points to a very sinister direction. (Just read comments to the Herald Editorial and almost unanimous in contempt for the Government action!)

  5. ianmac 6

    Does he mean that the change in the Law last week was justified to prevent future legal action that could be taken OR its OK because future legal action could be taken. I’m confused Mr Davison!

    Herald: “Prime Minister John Key has defended the urgent passing of controversial legislation which restricted who could be paid for caring for disabled family members, saying that the Government faced further legal action if the law was not changed.

    The legislation has been slammed as rushed, unconstitutional and lacking transparency after it was passed under urgency on Friday, a day after being introduced by Health Minister Tony Ryall……
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10884985

  6. Pete 7

    This is New Zealand’s most authoritarian government since Sid Holland.

    • ianmac 7.1

      Funny you should say that Pete. Last night I was recalling the time when Sid Holland Nat PM used incredible draconian powers to beat the watersiders Union. For example any person who helped a striking watersider by supplying food or clothing would be arrested. No person could report the activity of vigilanties, police or army as they demolished the workers.
      This in the early 50s was the last time (only time?) that the Government got away with usurping the democratic and legal rights of its citizens.
      Until now! I be angry!

    • Murray Olsen 7.2

      Holland only got away with his crap because the leader of the Labour Party was totally hopeless and refused to take sides in the waterfront dispute, along with the craven scab behaviour of Walsh and the FOL.

      Nowadays the unions have been beaten into near irrelevancy, but at least we have a strong class warrior in charge of the Labour Party. Oops……….

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        You better tell McFlock that strong left wing leadership does make a material difference. And so does weak left wing leadership.

  7. tc 8

    Wake up nz before they’ve sold out everything.

    My concern is the lack of bollocks the opposition is showing which all helps the NACT run the meme that they are all the same, maintain the apathy folks like in 2011, move along sheeple it will not be any better under DS and his cronies

  8. tracey 9

    My brother in law suffered brain damage at birth. The on duty resident ignored the sisters advice that due to complications during pregnancy the specialist needed to be called. He ignored it and delivered the baby. He used forceps and crushed the baby’s brain.

    ten days later during discharge my mother in law was told her son would never walk or probably talk. It was the first she heard of it.

    She didnt sue anyone. She and her husband got on with the job of caring for their baby. They had a second child. The focus and energy for the next decades was on their first child. They did not get respite care or any support from Government. They joined the Crippled Children Society.

    My MIL paid for changes to her house after her husband died (she was only 52 at this time) and she made Kim’s room more like a tiny apartment. She got no subsidy or assistance.

    In 2004 we convinced her to use the respite care allowance. However the crowd she used would get paid for two days but pick him up at midday and drop him at midday, because as part of a disabled group it took hours to collect everyone. I don’t begrudge them the money but comment that the actual time relief for my MIL was 1 day not two.

    When she was dying my Brother-in-law agreed he wanted to stay in CHCHCH rather than move to Auckland with us. We found him a space at the Laura Ferguson facility (please note there is a waiting list). He has been there for 9 years.We buy his clothes, pay for his doctor and dentist visits, any outings, fixing his stereo and anything else he needs. His fellow residents, mostly, get no such top ups from their struggling families, they go without.

    My point is this is an incredibly selfless section of our society. Yes, they are their children, but these were days before anyone knew before birth, and in any event many do not want to abort due to a defect. So, they get on with it. But it is expensive, financially and emotionally. It is extremely tiring.

    Finally after a court process they were awarded a small recompense for their 24 hour jobs. The disabled are generally happier an healthier cared for at home. That saves all of us money. The worst thing that seems to have ever happen to our PM is growing up in a state funded home with a pensioned mother who worked two jobs. He and his ilk (male and female) have a total inability to imagine themselves in someone else’s shoes. They imagine the world is for everyone as it has been for them (usually white and middle to upper class ).

    So let’s cast these disabled and vulnerable members of our society into homes. Like Parklands maybe? or run their parents or siblings into the ground because we know they wont let their relatives suffer. All of this from National and ACT who tell us they stand for personal accountability. Well, these folks have withstood any personal accountability test and they deserve our praise and support.

    I am mortified at this open display of callous disregard by this government. Even those of you without a disabled relative need to stand up and be appalled. Write letters to your MP’s to your papers.

    Apart from being the right thing to do, none of us know when we might be caring for a disabled person through accident or disease, and it might be us who needs the caring.

    • ianmac 9.1

      The story of your brother-in-law’s journey and the dedication exhibited by his Mum, Dad, and extended family is an example of the reality. Nothing to do with the millions of dollars the so called big picture that Key talks about. Just a bit of help needed for a few individuals and it should be an automatic part of NZ’s Social Contract.
      But it is not in the minds of certain Nat MPs. Shame on them. But good on you tracey and your family.

      • freedom 9.1.1

        what sticks in my craw, is how the money given to certain private schools last year alone would have allowed for full funding of this urgent assistance

    • BLiP 9.2

      There is no doubt that under this John Key led National Ltd™ government it is the most vulnerable who bear the brunt of its feed-the-rich business breakfast-meeting launched policies. I would point out, however, that in this case it was the Labour government who sought initially to deny parental care-givers their human rights. All signs were that this situation would have been similar to anything Labour could come up with, the only different being that John Key put the boot in as well.

      • tracey 9.2.1

        Agree, and Ruth Dyson put families through hell when she decided that maybe there had been a cure for cerebral palsy and so sufferers had to be re-tested to see if they could work (notwithstanding there were no employers willing to employ them).

  9. gobsmacked 10

    Yes, the Herald and (some) MSM have noticed, bloggers have noticed, lawyers have noticed … so could somebody let us know when the “leader” of the “opposition” notices? (scare quotes, sic). Links to a speech, preferably an angry one?

    Why do Tories get away with this? Because they can.

    • Rhinocrates 10.1

      preferably an angry one

      Oh haven’t you noticed? Mumblefuck’s very angry. He’s angry about beneficiaries painting their roofs and he’s angry about uppity teachers.

      Because they can

      +100

      Mumblefuck and Robertson are fucking cowards while Goff, who’s long been out of the closet as an authoritarian, is waking up with his sheets sticky and damp.

      • McFlock 10.1.1

        Yes. Because it’s all about labour /sarc

        BTW, who’s that pictures in the post holding up what looks like the redacted regulatory impact statement? Must be a Green.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          It’s the Labour Leader Lees-Galloway???

          • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1

            Nope.
            Just pointing out that there’s more to the party than the leader.

            • Rhinocrates 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Yep, as well as Mumblefuck, there are all his supporters who find that he he helps their rights to the best deck chairs on the Titanic. All those toadies – Goff, King, Hipkins, Mallard… and the hopefuls like Tamihere.

              Yep, there’s more to the front bench than Mumblefuck – there’s the arsewipes like Curran, King, Goff, Fenton and Hipkins who find it useful for them, and them alone, to keep him there so that they get their meals at Bellamy’s. Fuck the country is what they think, it’s those subsidised Bellamy’s meals and those BMW limos with their heated seats that matter most.

              But you’re right, there’s more to the party, the labour movement, and liberalism than those swine.

              My God, BMW must make amazing cars, since anyone will crawl naked through shit-smeared broken glass to ride in one.

              • McFlock

                That’s nice.

                Any thoughts on National removing the possibility of judicial review from government policy, and/or redacting large portions of the document that would analyse the impact of such a move? What about pushing it through under urgency, with very limited time for MPs to read it?

                • Rhinocrates

                  Indeed I do have thoughts. I’ve made them clear on this very blog, so that’s a very dumb attempt at diversion. Would you care to have a look?

                  Or are you just going to say that I advocate genocide yet again? You seem to be about as unintelligent and as lazy as Hooton.

                  Again: there is indeed more to the party than the “leader” and that’s its history, its ideals and its membership (not “followers”).

                  • McFlock

                    Lol

                    Never said support. Just that you were happy to watch and do nothing.

                    As for your thoughts, all you’ve said on this good post is that labour is shit and that I’m as bad as hooten. That’s a massive hit agin them tory swine, you valiant hero of the left.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “Valiant hero of the left”

                      you set higher standards for people posting here unpaid than you do for Labour MPs and Labour Leaders. Or are you so jaded that 31%-34% mediocrity is all that you are looking for out of a centrist Labour Party? I suppose squeeking in for a win is still a win eh?

            • The Al1en 10.1.1.1.1.2

              “Just pointing out that there’s more to the party than the leader.”

              Again :lol:

        • gobsmacked 10.1.1.2

          It’s not “all about labour”. But it is about the leader of the opposition, neither leading, nor opposing. His job is being done by Gordon Campbell, Andrew Geddis, Danyl McLauchlan, the Standard, even a few journos. All of them paid a lot less than the guy whose job is to say what they’re saying.

          • McFlock 10.1.1.2.1

            Add a hefty chunk of the Labour caucus to that list, speaking on that bill.

            Pretty regular press releases coming from shearer’s office. Good speech on budget day. But because he didn’t give a speech on this issue, he’s not doing his job. Even though his caucus did well trying to fight it rather than using it as an opportunity to snipe at the caucus colleagues they disagree with.

            • gobsmacked 10.1.1.2.1.1

              Speech? Statement? Interview? Please link. Anything at all by Shearer, please.

              Seriously, your defence of the leader of the opposition’s silence is … that he gave a speech 5 days ago on a different subject?

              • McFlock

                He was on telly last night re the gcsb. But of course if he’d mentioned this particular topic, and it’d been aired, national would have immediately apologised and repealed the legislation.

                “Defend”? Pfft. I think it says much about the “attack” that the first impulse some people have when the nats so something evil is to launch a diatribe about one man.

                • Colonial Viper

                  It might help to rationalise setting the performance bar even lower for the Labour Leader, you know.

                  • McFlock

                    And you’re as blinkered as rhino.

                    • The Al1en

                      Not this again.
                      I thought we all decided to give him another six months.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah sorry, jumped the gun there, Shearer does deserve 6 months to get on top of the job and get traction.

                      Labour is polling a consistent 5%-6% ahead of where it was at the last election so it’s performance is definitely on track.

                    • The Al1en

                      And in six months time we can all have the mother of a party on his inept, malfunctioning arse if he’s still shit.

                      I’m going to start a little diary so I don’t forget anything between now and then.
                      Would be a shame to waste the good stuff.

                    • McFlock

                      you guys are funny.

                      I would suggest you make it your day job, but it’s too close to call.

            • Rhinocrates 10.1.1.2.1.2

              Oh fucking press releases and speeches that nobody’s going to care about. Dear God! Who gives a phuque?

              Elections are not vending machines, you do not just stick press releases in them until government falls out.

              You do not just tick boxes on a checklist.

              You advocate, you fight. You take risks, you organise. You march, you protest, you strike, you sabotage.

              You risk failing.

              You do not just masturbate, you do not make “accommodations”, you do not make apologies for National.

            • Rhinocrates 10.1.1.2.1.3

              Really, I don’t get this. Are you serious?! “Press releases”?!

              “I’m sorry, but you have cancer.”

              “That’s alright Doctor, I have a press release saying that cancer is bad!”

              “It’s a miracle! You’re cured! It’s in permanent remission!”

              • McFlock

                Take a pill.
                My point was that he’s not as invisible or inactive as some might suggest. The site I did a quick search on was scoop. Tv1/3 also do hits, but I was busy.

      • Murray Olsen 10.1.2

        I always wish I’d got around to stealing Goff’s Commando back in the 80s. He was and is a totally authoritarian prick. As a resident in his electorate, it wasn’t even possible to get to see him. He was guarded by a Corporal Jones type who basically only let church members and real estate agents in. I can never understand why he didn’t join ACT.

        The only thing he ever did that I begrudgingly give him credit for was to visit Arafat, telling the Israeli government that they didn’t choose who Kiwi Ministers visited.

    • MrSmith 10.2

      “Why do Tories get away with this? Because they can”

      No G/S probably because Labour sat around sucking there thumbs on this issue when last in government and will have that pointed out to them day after day if they bring it up.

  10. BLiP 11

    And, another one for the list, which makes two this week . . .

    – the food in schools programme was announced in the 2013 budget

    – the new law that pays family members for looking after their disabled relatives is constitutional

    . . . thanks John, I’m lovin’ it

    • McFlock 11.1

      you need to be in the olympic list-writing team to keep up with the nats :)

      • Rhinocrates 11.1.1

        Indeed. It would be nice if the so-called major opposition party actually stopped eating deep-fried cheeseburgers and actually got on the treadmill.

        • McFlock 11.1.1.1

          You’re one to talk. When did you last criticise the nacts ?

          • Rhinocrates 11.1.1.1.1

            I have, I do. I even do it for free while Mumblefuck is paid very handsomely.

            However, most criticism of the Nacts to me is along the lines of “cancer is bad”… cancer is very tautological – it is what it is and it does what it does. They’re a disease: eradicate them, don’t wring hands at them.

            If a quack doctor turns up with nothing but placebos and fails to treat it, then I get angry at the quack.

            • McFlock 11.1.1.1.1.1

              You have and do. So when?

              Nats aren’t a disease. They are people. Some people, especially voters, can be persuaded.

              Why is one party a force of nature while you think another might change if only you can abuse people a bit longer?

              • Rhinocrates

                The party is a disease, its neoliberal ideology is a disease.

                800 000 non-voters aren’t Nacts. Labour should be chasing them, not trying to “persuade” Nacts my trying to be just very, very slightly different.

                I oppose enemies, I despise traitors.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  “Labour should be chasing them, not trying to “persuade” Nacts my trying to be just very, very slightly different.”

                  That’s an incredibly stupid comment, Rhinocrates. Labour is undergoing a significant transformation internally and, externally, has already promoted policy platforms that are radically different from National and have set the scene for a change of Government. And there is more good stuff to come. Don’t blame my party for your ignorance. Take your bigotted blinkers off and start working for the change we so clearly need.

                  • Rhinocrates

                    Good for the already comfortable perhaps.

                    I, my family and my closest friends are all groups – sick, under- or unemployed whom Shearer has explicitly thrown under the bus in order to get those precious Nact votes. Take YOUR blinkers off and see how the poor and chronically unwell are living.

                    I supported Lange, and even Clark.

                    I will be voting, but I’ll be voting for a genuine left wing party.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Where did Shearer explicitly ‘throw them under the bus’? Answer: he didn’t and you are talking rubbish.

                      The major policies that the next Labour led government is going to be elected on are not even fully formulated and endorsed yet. But I like what I’ve seen so far from Shearer on policy, and the Tories hate it, so he seems to be actually listening to Kiwis.

                      We, the members of the party, get to decide the full policy platform later this year at the regional and national conferences. And I’m putting my efforts into making sure we have left wing, caring and future focussed policies for all Nzers. That’s what will win us the next election and bring the changes you claim to want but are actually working to stop happening by your Tory enabling bigotry.

                      By all means vote for a ‘left wing party’, if you can find one pure enough for you. The rest of us will get on with the job at hand.

                • McFlock

                  my point was that to you one party is a disease but another party gets some utility from your abuse and instructions.

                  But they are both political parties. Either both will respond to your abuse, or neither will.

                  • Rhinocrates

                    I am really uncomfortable talking about my personal circumstances – privacy and pride matter – but I feel very definitely scapegoated by Shearer declaring in public that I and people like me are deliberately rorting the system.

                    I have a long-term chronic illness requiring continual medication (I’ve had to up the dosage lately). My closest friends are in a similar position and my remarks about cancer aren’t entirely metaphorical when it comes to my family.

                    I look like I could paint a roof perhaps…

                    What part-time contract work I do is ironically in another sector that was traditionally Labour’s constituency, and which the ignorant, bigoted Shearer has also made a show of getting tough on.

                    Fine, do your work, but remember that Tory is right wing, not just Nact. Stop enabling the right in Labour, work to get it back to its roots.

                    My hope is to see a sufficiently large genuine left wing Mana or Green or both – in a coalition that won’t have its bills strangled at the second reading, which Robertson has signalled he intends to do.

                    I actually admire much of the Labour caucus, unfortunately most of those have been banished to the back benches, so it’s disingenuous of you to say that I oppose Labour. I oppose careerists and the ABC club – the Tories in Labour, who must be rooted out or forced out like Prebble and Douglas were.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, no, Robertson hasn’t.

                      And if the matter is sufficiently important, that would be the end of the coalition.

                      And there’s still no indication as to why you think abusing labour would be more productive than abusing national.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The other thing you are seeing evidence of ‘crates, actually has absolutely nothing to do with this current cadre of Labour leaders.

                      It’s the fact that the Left has almost no muscle left to work with, short of one or two very specific (and often highly unionised) sectors of society. Every other organ and muscle of the Left has become atrophied over 30 years.

                      Essentially, when you note the endless stream of ineffectual sounding press releases coming out of Labour you are describing a lack of action options on the Left: a lack of real political economic levers with which to pull (and sure, also the lack of will power to pull them).

                      In fact, this is what made NZ Power so effective and had the Tories apoplectic – it created a new political economic lever which could be pulled, should Labour win in 2014.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Thanks for mentioning NZ Power, CV. Right after that was announced, quisling Roberston rapidly put out a… wait for it… a PRESS RELEASE saying that Labour-led government would not “intervene” in any other market. To do that, inevitably they will stall any legislation deemed “interventionist.”

                      So much for being “hands-on”.

                      Pay attention McFlock.

                      Also, I do have some sport with Hooton when he pops over for his racist, misogynist dog-whistling.

                      Furthermore, your continual characterisation of me as anti-Labour is disingenuous – so I repeat, I admire the party, its traditions, its history, its members – but they’re much, much bigger than Shearer and the ABCs (now that could be a name for a band…). This is not Labour Tribe versus Nact Tribe, this is Progressive, Democratic, Socialist versus Tory.

                      I generally can’t be bothered abusing Nact Tribe because I have limited energy and because they’ve never betrayed me – because they never claimed to represent me. Others, such as I/S are so much better at it anyway, with their access to facts and processes. The Tories in Labour, like Prebble, Douglas, Goff, Mallard were or still represent betrayal. So I’m genuinely, deeply angry that they’re tolerated and enabled.

                      CV:

                      a lack of action options on the Left

                      Indeed, but not necessarily. The front half of the Labour caucus is about career, forgetting that The Standard Version 1.0 was both the voice of the Labour movement and the Labour party because they were one and the same. The Labour party today needs to reforge its links with the movement and act like a movement and perform like a movement. Parliament and the press gallery is not the movement – unions, workplaces, NGOs, spontaneous demonstrations, web organisations and so on and so on are all available. It can do that and the caucus needs to get on board, rebuilding the activist base, not exploiting and suppressing it.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, you’ll be able to link to Robertson’s press release then. You know, in the real world.

                      As to the matter of your abuse, do you actually expect anything to result from abusing labour, or what?

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Link:

                      http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/04/25/hey-julian-we-are-not-pleased-grant-robertson-calls-off-labours-assault-on-neoliberalism/

                      See, shearer isn’t the sum total of labour. Try to focus.

                      Advice you should follow yourself.

                      And if the matter is sufficiently important, that would be the end of the coalition

                      Ah, “sufficiently”… Do I detect a whiff of potential blackmail? Let you bill be quashed, or else it’s the end of the coalition – a great basis for government.

                      nats aren’t going to change for anyone this term

                      But, but but… didn’t you just say that they could be persuaded?

                      Take a pill

                      Classy.

                      I have taken a pill – two in fact this morning according to my doctor’s advice. Thanks for being so classy – that’s just what I expect of you.

                      Yes, I do have a mental illness and thanks for pointing that out to everyone. To be specific, it’s an autism spectrum disorder and its (common) corollaries are depression and anxiety… but of course such subtleties are irrelevant to you. All you have to say to discount me is that I’m CRAZZZZZY!!!

                      Which is exactly what that ignorant bigot Shearer tries to do to get those precious, precious Grey Power votes.

                      Aside: Now, does anyone want their roof painted? I might be able to do that, but please pay me under the table and don’t tell anyone that I’m either crazy or a fraud.

                      OK McF, do you think that your jibe is trivial? Then remember this proverb:

                      The boys throw stones in jest, but the frogs die in earnest.

                      There are real consequences to real people who get sacrificed at the altar of PR by the likes of Mumblefuck.

                      So ha ha ha, very witty, Oscar McFlock. Very witty indeed.

                      Actually, no; not witty. But not surprising either.

                      So stop making shit up.

                    • McFlock

                      a PRESS RELEASE saying that Labour-led government would not “intervene” in any other market.

                      Actual quote from the link:

                      As we said on the day we launched NZ Power, we have no plans to intervene in any other markets

                      Lol
                      The two comments don’t match.

                      Ah, “sufficiently”… Do I detect a whiff of potential blackmail? Let you bill be quashed, or else it’s the end of the coalition – a great basis for government.

                      Yes. Yes it is. It’s called “compromise”.

                      nats aren’t going to change for anyone this term

                      But, but but… didn’t you just say that they could be persuaded?

                      “Voters especially”. Maybe one or two backbenchers on one or two issues, if they’re not confidence votes. Cabinet? almost certainly not. But calling them traitors and diseases won’t exactly help persuade them, either.

                      Take a pill

                      Classy.

                      I have taken a pill – two in fact this morning according to my doctor’s advice. Thanks for being so classy – that’s just what I expect of you.
                      […]
                      So stop making shit up.

                      What was I making up?

                      I almost apologised for the pill line after you told us of your difficulties. But then I realised that everyone has fucking difficulties. Some mornings I scream in pain when I try to walk. Stop being so precious – you call people “traitors” and a “disease” and say “eradicate them”, then you haul me up for unbecoming language? Fuck off.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Labour-led government would not “intervene” in any other market.

                      Actual quote from the link:

                      As we said on the day we launched NZ Power, we have no plans to intervene in any other markets

                      Lol
                      The two comments don’t match.

                      So where’s the contradiction? Quisling Robertson wants to assure the industry barons that he won’t upset their profit flow.

                      It’s called “compromise”.

                      No, it’s called “hegemony.”

                      Voters especially

                      Yes, like the 800 000 who spent the last election day painting their roofs.

                      I almost apologised for the pill line

                      “Almost” perhaps, but you decided not to. Instead you decided that it was clever and appropriate after all, just like the genocide accusation. Hypocrite.

                      That says everything. You think that illness is an aberration, something trivial to be ignored and that spite and misrepresentation is suitable. They’re not.

                      Yes, we all have problems, this is not a world of Supermen, so a party that pretends that we should be is out of touch with reality.

                      unbecoming language

                      Yes. Scepticism about mercenaries does not make me a supporter of genocide, so stop insinuating that I’m some sort of Nazi. That is utterly vile and dishonest. You can apologise any time you like – but as usual, it will be “I might apologise for being a lying shit, but…”

                      Moreover, I will NOT acquiesce to being used as a convenient scapegoat in cheap demagoguery. Shearer can fuck himself. Don’t tell me how poorly he’s been treated when he shits on others.

                    • McFlock

                      So where’s the contradiction?

                      One is a categorical denial that such a thing will ever happen.

                      The other is not a commitment to any particular cause of action.

                      And I’m not sure what you mean by “hegemony”. The OED definition doesn’t seem to be at all suited to parties learning to work together so they can form a stable coalition.

                      Never thought the pill comment was clever. Simply appropriate.
                      As for your own circumstance, either your calling people (people we both disagree with, but people nonetheless) a disease is a symptom of whatever issues you have, or not. In the former, I suggest you have gone overboard (oh noes, made a reference to drowning people!) and need to take a step back. In the latter instance, you’re a dick.

                      Shearer can fuck himself. Don’t tell me how poorly he’s been treated when he shits on others.

                      Well, don’t tell me how poorly you’ve been treated when you say that some people need to be eradicated like a disease.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Never thought the pill comment was clever. Simply appropriate.

                      Both sentences say more about your character than mine: not clever, but nasty-minded.

                      Well, don’t tell me how poorly you’ve been treated when you say that some people need to be eradicated like a disease.

                      A party and an ideology.

                      Not an advocacy of genocide of people, as you repeatedly insinuate.

                      Disingenuous and slanderous again.

                      This may be a surprise, but people can disagree with you without being insane genocidal Nazis in need of medication.

                      Possibly you might be able to construct an honest argument. I’d like to see that.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Well, don’t tell me how poorly you’ve been treated when you say that some people need to be eradicated like a disease.

                      I really can’t tell if you are really so stupid that you can’t tell the difference between a reference to an abstract collective body and an ideology versus actual people while Shearer did definitely refer to real people.

                      Are you stupid, or opportunistic?

                    • McFlock

                      Both sentences say more about your character than mine: not clever, but nasty-minded.

                      Still, I’m not sure I’ve likened anyone to a cancer, simply because of their political beliefs.

                      Well, don’t tell me how poorly you’ve been treated when you say that some people need to be eradicated like a disease.

                      A party and an ideology.

                      Not an advocacy of genocide of people, as you repeatedly insinuate.

                      Lol. Because “parties and ideologies” don’t involve people at all.

                      And actually, this is the first time I’ve suggested that you’re advocating genocide.
                      The other one I just said you’d stand around and watch it happen.

                      Disingenuous and slanderous again.

                      This may be a surprise, but people can disagree with you without being insane genocidal Nazis in need of medication.

                      At least I never said that whatever party you support is a disease that needs to be eradicated.

                      Possibly you might be able to construct an honest argument. I’d like to see that.

                      I’d like to see you realise that different words do not always have the same meanings.

                    • McFlock

                      I really can’t tell if you are really so stupid that you can’t tell the difference between a reference to an abstract collective body and an ideology versus actual people while Shearer did definitely refer to real people.

                      After lecturing me about a general “take a pill” comment that happened to coincide with whatever you’ve got going on, are you saying that a nat reading that their party should be eradicated wouldn’t feel that your comment was similarly personal?

                      You hypocrite.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      “hegemony”. The OED definition doesn’t seem to be at all suited to parties learning to work together so they can form a stable coalition.

                      Has it occurred to you that someone can say “compromise” and mean “hegemony”? No, of course not.

                      Lol. Because “parties and ideologies” don’t involve people at all.

                      They involve people, but they are not people. One can eradicate an ideology and a structure that constitutes the entity of a party without killing a person, but you don’t want to admit that. Your “logic” is incoherent and irrelevant.

                      Again, I wonder if this is stupidity and a lack of basic English comprehension, or rhetorical opportunism serving misrepresentation.

                      I’d like to see you realise that different words do not always have the same meanings.

                      Oh, I’m well aware of how tricky words can be, how they can obscure by being euphemisms and how they can be used to insinuate and dog-whistle.

                      Consistently, any criticism of the Labour caucus is presented by you as personal evil instead of examining the actual ideas that they should be promulgating.

                      But then I’m just a crazy, Nazi, genocidal maniac who rorts the welfare system. I should just take my pills, right?

                    • Rhinocrates

                      After lecturing me about a general “take a pill” comment that happened to coincide with whatever you’ve got going on, are you saying that a nat reading that their party should be eradicated wouldn’t feel that your comment was similarly personal?

                      That is completely incoherent. I said that a party – an abstract structure and ideology – should be eradicated while you said that I – a person – should take a pill. It was not a “general” statement, it was a specifically-directed personal jibe. Can you really not understand the difference? Maybe that this inability to distinguish is why you think that opposition to Shearer is somehow a personal moral and medical failing that has to be highlighted.

                    • McFlock

                      Has it occurred to you that someone can say “compromise” and mean “hegemony”? No, of course not.

                      It didn’t occur to me that I’d used it that way.
                      If neither party in a coalition is prepared to walk away from it, even if the dominant party’s policies are contrary to other parties’ policies and principles, then that might well fall under a common use of the word “hegemony”.

                      But working with another party until it asks you to go against your policies? That’s not hegemony. That’s simply a coalition that no longer works.

                      Lol. Because “parties and ideologies” don’t involve people at all.

                      They involve people, but they are not people. One can eradicate an ideology and a structure that constitutes the entity of a party without killing a person, but you don’t want to admit that. Your “logic” is incoherent and irrelevant.

                      Not without eradicating the party members’ beliefs.
                      And how do you do that if they do not wish to change their beliefs?

                      Without killing them, of course.

                      Again, I wonder if this is stupidity and a lack of basic English comprehension, or rhetorical opportunism serving misrepresentation.

                      So when I make a comment, it has whatever meaning you apply to it. When you make a comment, it has whatever meaning you apply to it.
                      No matter you think “compromise” equals “hegemony”.

                      I’d like to see you realise that different words do not always have the same meanings.

                      Oh, I’m well aware of how tricky words can be, how they can obscure by being euphemisms and how they can be used to insinuate and dog-whistle.

                      Consistently, any criticism of the Labour caucus is presented by you as personal evil instead of examining the actual ideas that they should be promulgating.

                      But then I’m just a crazy, Nazi, genocidal maniac who rorts the welfare system. I should just take my pills, right?

                      Nah. I just think you’re a dick.
                      How the fuck is your comment

                      Yep, as well as Mumblefuck, there are all his supporters who find that he he helps their rights to the best deck chairs on the Titanic. All those toadies – Goff, King, Hipkins, Mallard… and the hopefuls like Tamihere.

                      Yep, there’s more to the front bench than Mumblefuck – there’s the arsewipes like Curran, King, Goff, Fenton and Hipkins who find it useful for them, and them alone, to keep him there so that they get their meals at Bellamy’s. Fuck the country is what they think, it’s those subsidised Bellamy’s meals and those BMW limos with their heated seats that matter most.

                      But you’re right, there’s more to the party, the labour movement, and liberalism than those swine.

                      My God, BMW must make amazing cars, since anyone will crawl naked through shit-smeared broken glass to ride in one.

                      possibly interpreted as “examining the actual ideas that they should be promulgating.”

                      I mean, it has a certain charm in the style of William S. Burroughs, and “crawl naked through shit-smeared broken glass” just rolls nicely off the tongue, but it’s hardly an in-depth discussion of policy and tactics, is it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Not without eradicating the party members’ beliefs.
                      And how do you do that if they do not wish to change their beliefs?

                      Meh, the beliefs of the Labour parliamentary wing and the beliefs of Labour party membership are too often completely different and non-aligned things. Especially in terms of political economics.

                      And has been for at least the last 30 years in Labour.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Without killing them, of course.

                      If you are – yet again – going to be using ridiculous hyperbole like that, I can only assume that you need to take a pill.

                      William S. Burroughs

                      Nah, I’m thinking more Harry S. Plinkett crossed with Harlan Ellison.

                      I’ve never said that Shearer advocated genocide. You regularly, tiresomely say that I do. Indeed, that seems to be one thing you constantly, obsessively harp on about as kiwi_procrustes did on “deconstruction” and “feminists say that E=MC2 is a sexed equation.”

                      Perhaps you should see someone about this?

                    • McFlock

                      Great work. Consecutive stupidities.
                      Cv – much lols. The question was how do you eradicate an ideology without killing people. Your irrelevant rant about labour was pretty funny, given that you accuse me of intellectual dishonesty.

                      Rhino – how was the comment of yours that I quoted a “examining the actual ideas that they should be promulgating.”? Because it just looked like a string of hyperbolic abuse to me. And it’s pretty typical of your style.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Oh all right, I’ll come clean. I really am a genocidal maniac and the medication I plainly need simply isn’t good enough. Obviously I need to take more.

                      Hyperbole? You’re the one who accuses me of harbouring genocidal tendencies. I don’t know if you’re being silly, genuinely thick or have some weird obsession (if that’s the case, I’m afraid that I’m already taken – sorry).

                      How’s this then?:

                      Last month, I killed the last Oompa-Loompa with an eggbeater, and a week ago, I slaughtered the last Smurf using a photocopier and a can of baked beans. Next, I’m going after the Elves – but since almost everyone agrees that they’re bastards, I think that I’ll get away with it.

                      That’s a confession right there! Only you can stop me before I wipe out an entire civilisation again!

                      Quick, contact the International Criminal Court! If you do not act now, blood will be on your hands!

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

                      Oh alright McF, I would engage you seriously, but you won’t – instead, it’s all “You support genocide! You’re Evil! You’re insane! Take Your pills! You haven’t met your quota of saying bad things about John Key’s small pee-pee!” I just can’t take that seriously. Sorry. Winding you up though is quite fun…

                    • McFlock

                      It’s a simple question. How was your rant “examining the actual ideas that they should be promulgating”, as opposed to the abuse it appeared to be?

                      I’m surprised you’ve got such difficulty addressing it, given how you are so skilled in the english language.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      You know what? I don’t give a fuck.

                      I would debate you seriously if you took it seriously and honestly, but all you can do is scream “murder!” and “genocide!”

                      You’re trying to be all po-faced and serious, but the fact is, the essence of your argument is that I’m a genociadal maniac because I don’t like Shearer using me as a scapegoat. You know how absurd that is, so like a cat caught being clumsy, you sit upright and start licking a paw as if nothing happened. It’s cute in a feline, but obviously stupid in a human.

                      All I can say is that Hannibal Lecter lacks ambition. Now, if you’ll give me time, I’ve got some races to wipe out – the Munchkins, the One-Eyed One-Horned Flying Purple People, those bloody fairies, the goblins…

                      I am simply not going to regard you with any respect while you say that I am a genocidal maniac. Why on earth would you expect otherwise?

                    • McFlock

                      Lol

                    • Rhinocrates

                      And thank you for confirming my point.

                  • McFlock

                    Confirming your point?
                    “Lol” is a scream of neither “murder” nor “genocide”.

                    You so funny.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      My point is that you’re an idiot whose vanity far exceeds his intelligence. Your constant blithering about murder and genocide is really weird. I suggest that you get help.

                      Do I need a whiteboard and a pen to make diagrams? Do you have the attention span of a goldfish with Korsakov Syndrome? Or do you really have an obsession with me? I’m sorry, but as I said, I’m taken. She’s a really nice woman. I don’t find you attractive at all. Sorry.

                      Meanwhile murder, genocide, country music, tweed with jeans and so on and so forth seem to be your obsessions. OK, I’ve done them all, love ‘em. Guilty as charged. Happy? Get your KY and a rag and have a good night.

                    • McFlock

                      Korsakoff’s Syndrome?
                      So now who’s treating mental disorders flippantly? And so the circle of your hypocrisy is complete.

                      And if this is how you avoid answering a simple question, I reckon I’ll take your examination of labour and its ideas with a grain of salt.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Okay, this just getting creepy. I do not want a stalker. Really, get help. You may not be able to recognise it, but you need help.

                      I don’t think that mental disorders should be treated flippantly at all because the one you appear to have is quite disturbing. I’m glad that you don’t have my address.

                    • McFlock

                      It takes two to tango :-)

                    • Rhinocrates

                      McF,

                      this is not at all funny, you are acting like a stalker. Your obsessive claims of criminality against me, your fixation on everything I say are all telling. I’m not going to submit or let it pass this time. I’ve had one in the past and you’re repeating their pattern.

                      Back off. You need help. Seriously. This is no joke.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh wow, being laughed at and having your hypocrisy pointed out isn’t persuading you to re-evaluate your point of view? Heck, the incessant abuse you throw at shearer and labour must be the way to get them to change their minds, then.

                      Night night, fool.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      I repeat:

                      Back off. You need help. Seriously. This is no joke.

                      I’ve tried to make light of things, but it’s clear that you’re not well and a potential danger to others.

                      I’ve had a stalker in the past. I know the pattern, I’ve seen it. You’re acting exactly like them – weird accusations continually repeated, obsessive following, taunts to get attention. Get help. You need it.

                    • ghostrider888

                      goodness gracious me!

                    • Rhinocrates

                      The terrible thing about mental illness is that you’re completely within it and looking out, so you think that you’re perfectly justified. Having to live with anxiety and depression for many years, I’ve learned to recognise the symptoms and seek help when they become debilitating.

                      He is showing the behaviour of someone with an illness, but not the awareness.

                      Obsession and accusations continually repeated of outrageous sins (it might be of murderous/genocidal tendencies as in McF’s case, but my previous stalker simply thought that I breathed the wrong way – it may seem trivial, but that was of overwhelming importance to her, blotting out everything else. McF’s obsession with seeing murderous intent in others is of the same stripe) and moreover, there is usually an obsessive desire to “do something” about them, to “fix” them, to “make them right” so that they will be as perfect as they “should” be.

                      A stalker cannot let go. They have to “prove a point” to the object of their obsession. They seek them out and have to interject or latch on to them. I’ve no interest in McF, but he obviously wants to prove his points to me.

                      As I said, I’m glad that he doesn’t know my address.

                    • ghostrider888

                      I do understand, and I empathize; McFlock is clearly an intelligent person like yourself; I too, am a ‘madman’, yet you know what I have learned about that, just ‘search’ my ‘comments'; there is nothing to fear, even when biology rears it’s uncomfortable head; happens to me periodically, and thanks to google, privacy breaches etc, most people know who I am, and where I live; nothing occurs, integrity matters.

                    • McFlock

                      Nah ghost, that ain’t it.
                      I’m just the sort of guy who pulls on a thread to see how long it’ll get, where it’s coming from, and whether it’ll get tied up in knots. :)

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So the equivalent of doodling? Bullshit mate.

                    • McFlock

                      Doodling’s not a bad analogy. I’m always doing at least a couple of other things at the same time – watching telly, running analysis scripts, cooking tea, whatever.

                      Hit refresh, and see someone has replied to me with fresh idiocy.

                      You might think I sit in the dark for 40 minutes, refreshing every ten seconds, just to hang or your guys’ every word, but not. A few minutes snatched here and there when there are pauses in real life.

                    • tracey

                      It turns out (all of you guys) that it’s not always about you. Some serious injustices are being perpetrated in NZ, not least tot he most vulnerable sector, those with disabilities (particularly mental disorders). You guys have totally derailed this thread for your own agendas. It doesn’t matter which way any of you vote, you have that in common, much like the politicians you say you loathe.

                    • ghostrider888

                      With some clever writing along the unwind Flockie.

                • McFlock

                  By the way, when did you last oppose the nats rather than going off on a rant about labour?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    lol critically judging our unpaid performance opposing the Government instead of critically judging Labours paid performance opposing the Government?

                    • McFlock

                      See, shearer isn’t the sum total of labour. Try to focus.

                      And yeah, I criticise your obsession with inventing fault in Labour rather than spending as much effort opposing the nats.

                      Because the nats aren’t going to change for anyone this term. But how much work we do against them now will help determine whether they are in government next term. Labour and the greens are pretty much on track. So really all you’re doing is giving comfort to hooten et al.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      But how much work we do against them now will help determine whether they are in government next term.

                      Against the Tories, wherever they are.

                      Remember a song by The Who?

                      “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

                      I don’t want that to happen.

                      So really all you’re doing is giving comfort to hooten et al.

                      “You’re with us or against us.” Dubya would understand perfectly.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      See, shearer isn’t the sum total of labour. Try to focus.

                      Back to your “the Leader’s just one person and not that important in the scheme of things” canard?

                      The National Party is 100 miles away from what this country needs. The Labour Party is 90 miles away from what this country needs. Excuse me for not being evangelical about the difference.

                    • Arfamo

                      DS, today : “I fully support free markets, but when they stiff consumers and hold back our growth, we must act.”

                      http://www.labour.org.nz/news/nz-power-balancing-the-budget-boosting-people-and-the-economy

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s a neoliberal economics, orthodox monetary nightmare. Basically Shearer has no idea how the “economy” works or how to “grow” one, or why maybe it’s the last fucking thing you would want to aim for in an era of currency wars and resource and energy depletion.

                      And for fucks sake, talk about the people and the citizens you want to protect, not the “consumers” you want to look after.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Arfamo:

                      Very nice sentiments, but how does that square with quisling Robertson’s assurance to the markets that a Labour-led government will NOT interfere in the markets? I call bullshit on that.

                      CV: “consumers” Oh yes, let’s file that beside “New Zealand Inc.” I thought that this was a nation and that we were citizens, but apparently that’s not the case.

                    • McFlock

                      lol CV

                      You’re not evangelical about the difference between labour and it’s leader unless it suits you.

                    • Arfamo

                      Rhino – I don’t know. I don’t think Shearer knows his arse from his elbow about the economy. I have no idea whether Shearer and Robertson actually listen to each other when they talk. And even Norman’s adopting corporate speak with his “NZ Inc”. I’m guessing they’re either worried about not scaring the horses or they want to follow Blairite policies.

                      I have the feeling at the mo that voters will basically just be confused and have to decide whether we’re now at the point that frankly anyone would be better than the Natsys.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Arfamo:

                      I’m guessing they’re either worried about not scaring the horses or they want to follow Blairite policies.

                      I don’t know or care what they think. The fact is, their policies are indistinguishable from Blairism.

                      I have no idea whether Shearer and Robertson actually listen to each other when they talk.

                      That does not fill me with confidence in their competence.

                    • Arfamo

                      That does not fill me with confidence in their competence.

                      Rhino: Nor me. I am still in the process of deciding whether the devils we don’t know couldn’t possibly be as bad as the devils we do know who are currently in power.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Sigh, Arfamo.

                      As CV put it, they might well be better, but as CV put it, 90 miles away is not really better than a 100 miles away in any meaningful way.

                    • Arfamo

                      I know, Rhino. I know. I don’t see any other party offering a viable alternative approach. It’s a question of will we be worse off with another 3 years of Thatcherist National if voters don’t give them the push in favour of the Blairites.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re not evangelical about the difference between labour and it’s leader unless it suits you.

                      As you know, I was talking about the (non-existant) vast policy differences between National and Labour, but yeah, whatever.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      As you know…

                      CV, I think it’s been made abundantly clear that intellectual honesty is not McFlock’s overriding concern.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And I actually find that quite curious ‘crates. It’s not like he’s even particularly subtle about it.

                    • McFlock

                      Riiiight. After all, it’s not like you guys arbitrarily change whether you’re referring to shearer or labour as it suits you.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      There’s clearly no problem with either the Titanic or her Captain. Full steam ahead!

                    • McFlock

                      Do you think that comment followed logically, or is it merely your default statement when you have nothing meaningful to say?

                    • Rhinocrates

                      But those deck chairs! They’re so comfy, and having the one in the very best position matters so much! Stop being hysterical about that so-called “iceberg”. Imagine Maggie Smith saying this: “Have you no idea how much social precedence matters? No, of course you wouldn’t.”

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Pretty much, Mr ‘crates. It was a pretty simple metaphor that I used. Those in steerage may have drowned first, but should that really be consolation to those in 2nd class and 1st class who went under next.

  11. Mr Interest 12

    http://vimeo.com/52617766

    Award winning dark & tragic tale.

    ‘This Is Vanity’ tells the story of a tiring mother who struggles to protect both herself and her teenage disabled daughter from the continual attacks of local adolescents. Repeatedly rebuffed and frustrated by the authorities, she ultimately turns to a far greater power than can be found on her failing human plane.

    Winner of Best Drama at Magnolia Film Festival Starksville, Mississippi 2013
    Winner Audience Choice Award at Bermuda International Film Festival 2013
    Official Selection: Hoboken IFF / Rochester IFF / London IFF / Fingal (Dublin) FF

  12. irascible 13

    KeY’s attitude to the law is totally reasonable, from a Nactional supporters point of view, apparently. Recent polling that poses questions about govt decisions and the respondents attitudes to the Parties shows an acceptance of unconstitutional behaviour and legislation because KeY says it will “rescue” NZ… and a belief that the Opposition are unimpressive because they constantly “whinge, complain and criticise” the policies KeY has proposed to “rescue” the country.
    The respondents all seem to accept or believe that the purpose of Parliament is to endorse, without question, legislation put up by KeY regardless of questions of legality, of over-riding or selling the NZ legislative process or economic independence off to corporate bidders and that the Opposition must not offer any critique or engage in public debate on the issues.
    Such an acquescient acceptance of dictatorial power is expremely disquietening if NZ is to remain a democracy.

  13. tracey 14

    If anyone dares compare any of this as being on the same scale (somewhere on there) as facist governments will be pounced upon. Accordingly I won’t write that.

  14. Prove It 15

    The AG opinion is not inconsistent with Key’s statement.

    Inconsistency with the NZBORA does not make legislation illegal or unconstitutional. Rather, the NZBORA is subordinate legislation (s4). In effect, this means that the NZBORA is subject to, and overridden by, all other enactments.

    To partially mitigate this subordinate status, s7 of the NZBORA requires the AG to opine on Bills which are inconsistent with the NZBORA. That said, an AG opinion of inconsistency has no legal consequences. The political consequences are, however, a different story …

  15. tracey 16

    Are there exceptions tot he law that you can spy on NZ citizens without permission?

    • Prove It 16.1

      S14, Government Communications Security Bureau Act 2003:

      “Neither the Director, nor an employee of the Bureau, nor a person acting on behalf of the Bureau may authorise or take any action for the purpose of intercepting the communications of a person (not being a foreign organisation or a foreign person) who is a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident.”

      • McFlock 16.1.1

        but that’s so confusing – that means they CAN intercept the communications if someone else asks them to, right? What if they feel like it? What if the FBI and New Line cinemas are watching? It’s just sooooooo unclear…

      • tracey 16.1.2

        Crazy confusing that.

  16. “PM says family carers legislation is constitutional”. Yep, National just makes up the constitution as it goes along and ignores UN conventions it doesn’t like.

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