Open Mike 13/09/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 13th, 2016 - 212 comments
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212 comments on “Open Mike 13/09/2016”

  1. The Chairman 1

    With the spate of violent dairy robberies occurring nation wide, isn’t it time the Government puts a halt to further tobacco tax increases?

    It’s not as if its the only tool in the box.

    Moreover, surely the bulk of those willing to give up due to tax increases has now eclipsed, lessening the impact of tobacco tax increases going forward?

    • b waghorn 1.1

      They won’t rob them if they stop stocking them. Giving up doing the right thing because of what scum bags are doing is never the right thing.

      • Paul 1.1.1

        The Chairman spouting Big Tobacco’s argument.

        • b waghorn 1.1.1.1

          Nothing wrong with a conversation starter. It is the open mike

        • The Chairman 1.1.1.2

          While my argument may seem to align with the industry, the question you and others need to ask yourself is does the argument have merit?

          By the way, can you link to where Big Tobacco are spouting the same argument, or did you just make that up?

          • Ad 1.1.1.2.1

            The same argument will have to be run for commercialised Marijuana.
            It will be taxed, corporatised, packaged and marketed just like tobacco – and just as worth robbing.

            • The Chairman 1.1.1.2.1.1

              As an illegal product, cannabis already has a high market value. Therefore, if legalised it would become far cheaper in comparison. Therefore, most users would be delighted and happy to pay.

              However, if the Government decided that tax would be used to fiscally force people to quit, it would quickly revert back underground. People would go back to growing their own or purchasing it cheaper on the black market.

              • Ad

                The price would be dominated by the taxes, very similar to tobacco now.

                • The Chairman

                  No. What we have now with tobacco taxes is a concentrated effort to deter people from smoking by applying excessive and ongoing tax increases.

                  • Ad

                    And I would expect the very same from Marijuana. Trust me the government will find a public health reason to tax the bejeesus out of it. After all, they’re going to need replacement income for declining tobacco sales!

                    • The Chairman

                      Attempting to would most likely fail.

                      Cannabis users won’t be inclined to pay more for a product they can easily attain far cheaper on an already well established black market.

                      As for the Government seeking replacement income, there is always the possibility of higher taxes on alcohol. Which seems to be more widely consumed and often touted to cause more harm.

                  • Brigid

                    It is all too silly to say tobacco taxes is a concentrated effort to deter people from smoking.
                    It’s a concentrated effort to gather more taxes, that’s what it is.

                    A concentrated effort to deter people from smoking would be to stop making the product available.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Everyone gets to keep playing the nice little game though, and everyone keeps getting nice pay packets from the nice little game.

                      Reminds me of western leaders who keep proclaiming peace, human rights and democracy, but who keep exporting billions in armaments to states like Saudi Arabia, Israel and Bahrain.

                    • The Chairman

                      No, not at all, Brigid. It’s two pronged.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      It’s a concentrated effort to gather more taxes, that’s what it is.

                      If people stopped smoking there’d be no taxes which proves that it’s not a way to gather more taxes.

                    • The Chairman

                      That’s a big if, Draco.

                      The notion seems to be failing. Although a number have quit, a number continue to smoke. And the desired outcome won’t meet the date set.

                      Smoking is strongly addictive, hence it would be easier to target people before they become addicted instead of fiscally punishing people who already are.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That’s a big if, Draco.

                      No, it’s simple logic. If nobody smoked then it wouldn’t matter how much tax they put on it as there would be no money raised. Obviously, if they actually wanted to raise money from taxing cigarettes then their best bet would be to lower taxes and have more people smoking rather than raising them and having people quit.

                      The whole They just raising this tax or that fine to raise money is obviously BS RWNJ meme as it does result in less people doing it and thus less money.

                      The notion seems to be failing. Although a number have quit, a number continue to smoke.

                      It’s not just a few, it’s the majority of smokers that have quit.

                      http://www.ash.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Factsheets/01_Smoking_statistics_ASH_NZ_factsheet.pdf
                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11170993

                      That figure doesn’t really go back far enough but it’s enough to show trends.

                      Smoking is strongly addictive, hence it would be easier to target people before they become addicted instead of fiscally punishing people who already are.

                      It certainly helps to discourage people from beginning to smoke but raising the price of cigarettes has also been shown to be effective in getting people to quit (pdf):

                      The cigarette companies have opposed tobacco tax increases by arguing that raising cigarette prices would not reduce adult or youth smoking. But the companies’ internal documents, disclosed in the tobacco lawsuits, show that they know very well that raising cigarette prices is one of the most effective ways to prevent and reduce smoking, especially among kids.

                      Bold mine.

                    • The Chairman

                      Again with the big if, Draco.

                      You clearly underestimate the power of addiction and the means some will take to continue smoking.

                      Taxes on tobacco is not what drives people to smoke. And considering tobacco taxes are now somewhat extreme, people are still taking up the habit.

                      And while they are continually increasing the tax on tobacco, it offsets the number quitting, thus maintains the revenue stream.

                      Tax revenue from smoking is still trending upwards (2009 -2015).

                      Health concerns present them with a somewhat legitimate excuse to tax the hell out of smokers.

                      As for your assertion. The link you provided stated figures show 15.1% of Kiwis 15 and over smoking, down from 20.7% six years ago.

                      That’s not an indication the majority have given up as you incorrectly claimed.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Taxes on tobacco is not what drives people to smoke.

                      What drives people to smoke is socialisation. Drives people to drink as well.

                      Basically, without an example of people smoking chances are that no one would take it up.

                      And considering tobacco taxes are now somewhat extreme, people are still taking up the habit.

                      Yep, some people always will no matter the cost.

                      Tax revenue from smoking is still trending upwards (2009 -2015).

                      [citation needed]

                      As for your assertion. The link you provided stated figures show 15.1% of Kiwis 15 and over smoking, down from 20.7% six years ago.

                      That’s not an indication the majority have given up as you incorrectly claimed.

                      SMOKING INEQUALITIES
                      Policies and patterns of tobacco use in New Zealand, 1981-1996(pdf)

                      Government efforts were rewarded by a substantial fall in New Zealanders’ tobacco use. The prevalence of smoking in the adult population fell from 33% in 1983 to 28% in 1990 (1). Decreases in tobacco consumption were even more dramatic: between 1985 and 1995, New Zealand had the fastest reduction in per capita tobacco consumption of any OECD country (2).

                      A decrease from ~33% to ~15% is a reduction of more than 50%, i.e, a majority.

                      Yes, I’m quite aware that over that time period many would have died but, based upon the demographic bulge of the Baby Boomers, at a guess I’d say that the majority are still alive and actually gave up.

                    • The Chairman

                      Draco 
                      Most smokers start when they’re young. And because they shouldn’t be smoking, it makes them feel cool and mature.

                      1983 is way before the tax increases we’re discussing. I was talking about the numbers quitting due to the tax increases that began in 2010. And how the numbers quitting aren’t expected to reach the target of the 2025 date set.

                      Treasury openly admits raising revenue is a reason for taxing tobacco. Stating tobacco taxes are very efficient at raising revenue as consumers are not highly price sensitive due to the strongly addictive nature of nicotine.

                      Treasury also admits taxes on tobacco are regressive (taking a larger % of income from low-income earners than from high-income earners) as smoking rates are highest in lower socio-economic groups.

                      Here’s the link to the citation you requested.
                      http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/passive_income

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Most smokers start when they’re young. And because they shouldn’t be smoking, it makes them feel cool and mature.

                      A price too far?

                      That tobacco tax increases are racist 
is countered by their original architect, Dame Tariana Turia, who told the 
New Zealand Herald, also on 30 May, that race had nothing to do with it but that “this particular initiative was about stopping the uptake of cigarettes by young people”. That’s a good argument. Forking over $30 every day may be something someone dependent on nicotine would do. A young person looking to experiment with being cool? Maybe not so much.

                      It seems to have worked. Youth health surveys by the University of Auckland have found youth smoking rates have plummeted, including for young Māori. For example, the ‘smoking at least weekly’ rate has fallen from 24.8 percent for Māori secondary students in 2001 to just 8.3 percent in 2012. Tax has probably had something to do with this.

                      But it seems it may not just be the Māori young. According to the 2013 Census, smoking rates for Māori women has plunged from 45.5 percent in 2006 to 34.7 percent. For Māori men, the fall has been from 27.3 percent to just 20.5 percent. Tax probably had something to do with that too, but it’s hard to be certain how much. What it does show is that two sources of statistics can contradict each other and that we don’t know for sure
 how many Māori smoke or whether the rates are still falling.

                      So what evidence do we have that tax increases reduce smoking rates? The studies have been plentiful.

                      In France, increases in tobacco taxation that began in the 1990s led to a threefold increase in the inflation-adjusted price of cigarettes and, by 2005, to a halving of cigarette consumption from around six cigarettes per adult per day to three cigarettes per day. Lung cancer rates in France among men aged 35–44 years fell from 1999 onwards.

                      The evidence is that raising taxes on cigarettes works to decrease smoking is fairly robust across the world including NZ.

                      Here’s the link to the citation you requested.

                      Yeah, definitely not going to believe anything from that bunch of liars.

        • The Chairman 1.1.1.3

          Listen Paul, there is a darker side to this which is getting little (if any) any media coverage. And it relates to the posts you tend to put up.

          The increasing price of tobacco is creating fiscal hardship for those that can’t quit.

          For the wealthy it may be an inconvenience paying more, but for those already struggling it’s becoming extremely hard.

          And there are more tobacco tax increases to come.

          Therefore, you need to ask yourself do you support putting people into further fiscal hardship when there are other avenues to take that could still achieve the non smoking goal?

      • The Chairman 1.1.2

        As reported numerous times, not stocking them will result in a decline in their turnover. It’s a very competitive sector.

        Whether tobacco tax increases are the right thing is questionable.

        Moreover, halting tax increases wouldn’t be giving up, there are a number of other tools in the box still to be applied. For example, on going increases in the age allowed to purchase, preventing the young from starting up.

        • b waghorn 1.1.2.1

          ”. For example, on going increases in the age allowed to purchase, preventing the young from starting up.”
          Age limits have never stopped kids from accessing smokes , but price will , as a young milk boy one days money got my smokes for a week, if they had of been two weeks income like they are now i would not have brought them.

          • The Chairman 1.1.2.1.1

            While age limits are not full-proof, if well policed, they do have an impact.

            As for price, they’re already rather expensive now.

  2. b waghorn 2

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/84166141/doug-bailey-should-politics-be-a-career-in-itself

    Having people as politicians who have never done anything but politics is bad for democracy, maybe we need an entry age limit of over 30

    • Puckish Rogue 2.1

      I agree

    • Ad 2.2

      In Germany you get streamed really early into technical, craft, or professional careers.

      Don’t be afraid of specialisation.

      Law degrees at least should be pre-requisites for being an MP.
      That is the job: forming law.

      • save nz 2.2.1

        God NO, less lawyers in parliament! Also they don’t seem as voter friendly as the bad accountant turned financial currency speculator and his merry gang of woodwork school teachers, DPB recipients, and who knows what the rest of them used to do, before they took hold of a country and turned it to mush.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.2

        Law degrees at least should be pre-requisites for being an MP.
        That is the job: forming law.

        You’ve just centred the job of being the peoples representative and the leaders of the nation into a professionalised white collar technocratic role.

        Bad move.

        Even though that’s pretty much all those MPs in Parliament are now.

      • Macro 2.2.3

        Law degrees at least should be pre-requisites for being an MP.
        That is the job: forming law.

        They have the Parliamentary Counsel Office for that.

      • Macro 2.2.4

        Here is an idea!

        Until philosophers rule as kings or those who are now called kings and leading men genuinely and adequately philosophize, that is, until political power and philosophy entirely coincide…cities will have no rest from evils…there can be no happiness, either public or private, in any other city.

        Socrates quoted in Plato’s “Republic”

        (by the way – Socrates also included women.)

        At the outset of Book V, Socrates is challenged by his interlocutors to explain this last proposal. In response, Socrates expounds three controversial claims, which he acknowledges will expose him to ridicule. The first is that the guardians should include qualified women as well as men; thus, the group that will become known as “philosopher kings” will also include “philosopher queens.” The second claim is that these ruling men and women should mate and reproduce on the city’s orders, raising their children communally to consider all guardians as parents rather than attach themselves to a private family household. Those children, together with those of the artisan class, will be tested, and only the most virtuous and capable will become rulers. Thus, the group to become known as “philosopher kings” will be reproduced by merit rather than simply by birth. Finally, Socrates declares that these rulers must in fact be philosophers:

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.4.1

          Or we can abdicate all this untidy philosophizing and prioritise the “wisdom of the market”

          /sarc

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Should we also require them to have lived a few years unemployed?
      How about a requirement for them to have worked across broad sectors of industry and been to tertiary education multiple times learning different things each time?

      All so that we know that they’ve got the experience to understand and represent everyone.

      Of course, even that may not actually change anything. We have the National Party and their supporters who obviously have some experience of the ‘real world’ and yet they still support Nationals delusional ideology.

    • The Chairman 2.4

      What’s bad for democracy is dictating who can and can’t stand.

      Regardless of ones background, it’s up to voters to decide.

  3. ‘It nearly destroyed her life’, rich-lister’s son told after punching female police officer”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/84151321/it-nearly-destroyed-her-life-richlisters-son-told-after-punching-female-police-officer

    Apparently beating a cop almost senseless does not warrant jail time.
    Only 300 hours community service & $5000 fine. Nice for some.
    A search of Judge Kevin Phillips’ conduct (on and off the bench) ranges from comical to questionable.
    Here’s an image that inspires confidence. Perhaps this is how he dresses when passing sentences.
    https://static2.stuff.co.nz/1403667194/911/10198911.jpg

    • save nz 3.1

      @William Joyce – amazing how you can buy justice these days as long as you are in the right circles.

      • Rodel 3.1.1

        The photograph which appears on page 5 of the Press. is of of Nikolas Delegat, the rich- lister’s son who repeatedly punched a policewoman several times even after she lost consciousness
        Actually the photograph nearly doesn’t appear. Interesting that other Press photos and the one on Stuff are clear but the same one of Mr Delegat on page 5 is darker and his features are obscurely unrecognizable.
        We wonder why his features are hidden? Coincidence?

        Also interesting that winemaker Delegat’s son has now sworn off alcohol.
        I think of Tui ads.

      • Michelle 3.1.2

        It is all part of our brighter future those with money can now buy citizenship so why not justice everything is for sale with these tory b’s

    • mauī 3.2

      Meanwhile a Māori trout poacher is sentenced to one years jail for apparent feeding the whanau.

    • Pasupial 3.3

      But even 300 hours of community service may prove too much for one of the rich-listers offspring. The $5000 in reparations seems to be regarded with the same seriousness as a parking ticket:

      The son of a multimillionaire wine magnate has not ruled out appealing his sentence… Delegat (19) sought a discharge without conviction… His lawyer, Auckland barrister Mark Ryan, said a conviction would prevent Delegat from becoming a licensed authorised financial adviser under the Financial Markets Authority – a career which he was pursuing – and from entering the United States to compete in yacht races…

      “Tell me about his financial position,” Judge Phillips said to Mr Ryan.
      “He’s able to pay a fine,” Mr Ryan responded.
      “I’m not talking about a fine. I’m talking about emotional harm reparation. This has almost destroyed her life,” the judge said.

      https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/court-news/sentence-may-be-appealed

      This was a sustained and vicious attack, but the sentence is a testament to the value of an expensive legal team. Privilege means “private law”, as the late Terry Pratchett was fond of observing.

      Trigger warning for this bit!

      During the row, which occurred due to a friend’s derogatory remark about his then girlfriend, Delegat also punched a Campus Watch staff member, causing him to slip. Delegat then kneed the grounded man in the face…
      Const Kane was taken to Dunedin Hospital, where she required 15 hours of treatment…

      some details of Const Kane’s victim impact statement, read yesterday by sentencing Judge Kevin Phillips, provided an insight into her feelings.
      “She considers the defendant as showing no remorse,” …
      “It is very recently when he pleaded guilty that there was an approach for a restorative justice conference,” Judge Phillips read…
      Const Kane felt “he had 18 months to do something about it”.

      https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/court-news/long-and-winding-road-sentencing

      • Rosie 3.3.1

        It was this bit, in light of the damage that the brat has done that really got me:

        “His lawyer, Auckland barrister Mark Ryan, said a conviction would prevent Delegat from becoming a licensed authorised financial adviser under the Financial Markets Authority – a career which he was pursuing – and from entering the United States to compete in yacht races…”

        Oh diddums!

        I hope he is getting some help for his issues so he can become a better and more responsible citizen, who people can feel safe around. He’s got the $$$ to pay for the help. As David Cunliffe would say “man up”.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.1

          It was this bit, in light of the damage that the brat has done that really got me:

          Yep – that pisses me off as well. Unfortunately, it’s the excuse that’s normally used by rugby players to get off without conviction on violent offences and they usually do.

          Personally, they should have thought about that before they got violent.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      In her victim impact statement, Kane said Delegat showed no remorse and she believed she was “very lucky” to have escaped without more injuries.

      Lucky to be alive by the sounds of things.

      Yeah, I’d say jail time was far more appropriate. And that doesn’t have anything to do with her being female or a cop. When somebody does that to a person they deserve jail time.

      Of course, our jails need to be more focussed upon rehabilitation than punishment as well.

      “This incident was completely out of character.”

      No, that was very much in character and the idea that he could get away with it was very much a part of him being rich. It’s known that rich people have such sociopathies and sense of entitlement simply from being rich.

      Here’s an image that inspires confidence. Perhaps this is how he dresses when passing sentences.

      How the judge dresses in his spare time has nothing to do with his capability as a judge. You thinking it does only reflects on your inability to accept people for who they are and how they enjoy life.

      • You thinking my comment only reflects on my inability to accept people for who they are and how they enjoy life only reflects on your inability to …

        “omg I am a liberal, I should be offended here. Give me a minute, I will find something. Oh yeah, there it is, take his comment far too seriously, parse it through the prism of a “social crusader” and reflect it back to him as moral failure and make judgements about him…Now I feel better….My work here is done”

    • left for dead 3.5

      Theirs also one of him skinny dipping, I think Warrington beach early this year, not named as such, but you could make out that rotund body and the hairdo of the clown in the Simpsons so many of us ex Qtn will remember.

  4. Garibaldi 4

    The Colmar -Brunton poll yesterday was disheartening, but I guess it proves several things about NZ today…..
    1) Many people are doing OK and are happy to put business before people.
    2) The Nats own the media ,and the media is the message.
    3) Labour is having next to no impact.
    4) NZF is on the rise.

    This is not going to end well.

    • save nz 4.1

      @Garibaldi agree disheartening and agree with most of your points apart from 1) Many people are doing OK and are happy to put business before people. I don’t think people are feeling like they are doing ok or business is more important, but I also think the Lab Green approach is making them feel they could do worse.

      I just think Lab- Green are not paying to their strengths and instead going for side issues that are more Nat issues such as the economy, that are very polarising.

      They need to focus on big picture. Most people can work out that Globalism is really affecting their lives from climate change and pollution to jobs opportunities and wages.

      But have yet to see a ‘big picture’ approach from Labour in particular. They need to inspire people. Think nuclear Free – where NZ actually took a hard stand on an issue and communicated it well.

      As for Greens if they concentrated more on environment which they are known for they would get more votes than advocating crashing the property market. They fucked up last time with that approach. For gods sake do they want to make a difference and get into power or not???? Why pick an issue to alienate a massive group of people when there are more important catastrophic events coming our way like climate change?

    • Puckish Rogue 4.2

      No no its ok, Andrew Little says its a rogue poll because it doesn’t match the internal polling he’s seen (which won’t be released) so no need to worry 🙂

    • Anne 4.3

      Why don’t the Opposition parties – or someone – release the results of the UMR polls? I understand they were the closest to the final election result in 2014, and they apparently have consistently placed Labour in the early to mid 30s this year. Nor sure where the other parties are placed, but UMR sounds far more representative of reality than the media polling companies with their ongoing bias towards National.

      • Puckish Rogue 4.3.1

        I’d go with David Farrar as a general idea of where the parties are because hes what National uses to work out what they are or aren’t doing properly so he has to be accurate (or at least as accurate as you can be with polls)

        http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2016/09/latest_poll-45.html

        “At the last election in September 2015 this same poll had Labour at 25.2%. They got 25.1%. They were very accurate for Labour. In fact it was National they got a bit wrong with a poll of 45.1% vs an actual election result of 47.0%”

    • Ch-ch Chiquita 4.4

      I was talking to a Labour candidae in my local election ward here in Christchurch and he agreed with me it doesn’t make sense Labour isn’t sending a stronger message. He was taking part at the rally for democracy on Saturday and said if Labour took a harder line on issues such as the TPPA they would gain more traction. The more people like him involved maybe the top will listen

      I know I’m going to do what I can to help him in the local election and later in the central next year. He is doing door knocking and said some people, who are Labour supporters said they didn’t have a candidate door knocking for 15 years! No wonder local election participation is so low. Yes, it is a very much a blue ward, but if you don’t put an effort you will never have a chance to change anything.

  5. The lost sheep 5

    The delusion that Corbynism represents a mass uprising of far left support is neatly punctured by these two new polls.
    Labour’s current opinion poll ratings are the worst the party has ever experienced in opposition
    77% of British voters now see themselves as centrist or right of centre – and only 20% believe Jeremy Corbyn shares their position

    What Corbynism actually represents is a very astute manoeuvre to successfully take over the Centre Left Labour by a very small number of voters aligned around a Far Left ideology.
    ‘Very small’ in that the 250,000 new voters that have enrolled in the Party represent a mere 0.53% of the UK voting population.
    Genuine Far Left support in the UK (and NZ) is somewhere below the 20% mark, and that’s where the Corbynistas are headed.

    The Centre Left only have 2 alternatives if they want any hope of regaining Govt. an election or 3 from now…
    Give up the Labour Party as lost, and start a new one, or….
    Arm up, and mount a counter revolution to take back the old one.

    • Gangnam Style 5.1

      ” Far Left ideology.” – what’s that?

      • The lost sheep 5.1.1

        those that place themselves to the left of social democracy, which they see as insufficiently left-wing. The two main sub-types are the so-called “radical left”, for their desire for fundamental change to the capitalist system while accepting of democracy, and the “extreme left” who are more hostile to liberal democracy and denounce any compromise with capitalism. March sees four major subgroups within contemporary European far-left politics: communists, democratic socialists, populist socialists and social populists.

        • Olwyn 5.1.1.1

          So a handful of categories into which to chuck anyone who might prove a threat to the status quo – the same status quo that demands that dying people attend job interviews, inflicts austerity on the already deprived and laughingly refers to those same people as chavs, while knocking back a couple of Roijas and snacking on gluten-free tapas. Here’s a couple of questions: is it “hostile to liberal democracy” to oppose austerity? Or is a regime that imposes an austerity program targeted solely at the have-nots still upholding liberal democracy?

          • The lost sheep 5.1.1.1.1

            How would you classify ‘Far Left’ then Olwyn?

            You don’t think your views as just expressed fit into the definition above?

            • Olwyn 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I think that capitalism should be answerable to a broad conception of the public good, which includes such fundamental human rights as access to housing and earning a living. I also prefer that certain things, such as power, water and public transport, are in public ownership. Let the capitalists be as creative as they claim they are, rather than latch on to a guaranteed income stream and then pat themselves on the back for being captains of industry. I do not consider that my position is far left, since it does not rule out democratic elections or good faith negotiations between different interest groups. An actual far left position would either rule these things out out or render them toothless, and perhaps also nationalise the farms and turn them into collectives.

              • Draco T Bastard

                An actual far left position would either rule these things out out or render them toothless

                Actually, it wouldn’t but it would render the powerful under the present paradigm powerless.

                • Olwyn

                  OK. But wouldn’t that leave a power vacuum, and if so, how would it be filled? I favour a broad conception of the public good to which we are all answerable over a situation where this-or-that constellation of interest groups is able to dominate the rest, and benefit themselves at the expense of others.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    But wouldn’t that leave a power vacuum, and if so, how would it be filled?

                    It would be filled by everyone having equal power through collective decision making.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Hey Draco, you seem to be here for genuine and honest debate. You constantly challenge others to it.
                      But check our discussion below. My comment below at 8.24am is the third time now we’ve reached this point in a discussion, and you’ve then walked away.

                      I’d be genuinely interested to see where the discussion might progress if we resolve these points.
                      It should be simple enough : either produce some examples that disprove what I say, or concede there are no such examples.

                      Shouldn’t be too difficult either way for someone with an open mind and some intellectual honesty.

              • The lost sheep

                I would say placing major infrastructure into Govt. hands is a bit further than ‘centre Left’ Olwyn. And by the definition above wanting fundamental change to Capitalism while still accepting of democracy is in fact a Far Left position.
                But i notice you refer to ‘the Capitalists’ in the third person, and there is a definite edge to your commentary on them!
                Are you for or against Capitalism? Would your ideal system incorporate it?

                • Olwyn

                  Capitalism began its rise about 450 years ago, and has enjoyed about 200 years or so of dominance (since the French and US revolutions). During that time it has been modified to varying degrees by religious sensibilities and competing political/economic philosophies, and has generally worked best where it has been thus modified. Capitalism is an economic philosophy, not an absolute authority – it is up to capitalism to serve humanity and not the reverse. There is no guarantee that it will not go the way of the kings it displaced, and the less the restraints on it, the more likely that is to happen.

                  • The lost sheep

                    All very good. But would your ideal system incorporate it?

                    • Olwyn

                      Conditionally, as is surely obvious by all of my answers. I do not have a fully thought out “ideal system” – I just think that a broad, conception of the public good, along with the mechanisms for making that genuinely inclusive, rather than the return to the shareholder, should be the standard.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Yup. I like the way you’ve stated that, and I agree with your broad conception.

                      It’s always the catch though. The ideal is great, but you can’t propose a coherent and compelling plan for achieving it.

                      It’s the interface between ‘public good’ and ‘Human self interest’ (return to shareholder) that is so difficult to find the perfectly balanced mechanism to control, and more importantly, to get people to sign up to.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      It’s the interface between ‘public good’ and ‘Human self interest’ (return to shareholder) that is so difficult to find the perfectly balanced mechanism to control, and more importantly, to get people to sign up to.

                      Actually, it’s not. Get rid of the bludging shareholders and you’ll find that the public good and self-interest coincides.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Get rid of the bludging shareholders and you’ll find that the public good and self-interest coincides.

                      Now that’s the central delusion that undermines your philosophy Draco. You are assuming that
                      a. ‘shareholders’ are different to other humans.
                      b. That you can get rid of them.

                      Both are utterly false presumptions.
                      You can’t ‘get rid’ of Human Nature’, and the ‘shareholder’ is simply another manifestation of that ‘human self interest’ that has expressed itself in every civilization that has ever existed.
                      It is an intrinsic and vital aspect of our collective nature.

                      That’s why you are unable to provide a single example of a civilization that has been free of a hierarchy of privilege. eh?

                      That’s why the only realistic option is to attempt to balance off that self interest with the public good, as Olwyn put it so well.

                      The only other possibility is suppression. And we know where that leads don’t we comrade.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You are assuming that
                      a. ‘shareholders’ are different to other humans.
                      b. That you can get rid of them.

                      a. No I’m not
                      b. That’s actually easy. Just requires making it illegal to own a business or shares in a business. Businesses would be cooperatives run by the people working there and those people would get the full benefits of the businesses profits.

                      You’re making the false assumption that the way things are are the way things must always be.

                      You can’t ‘get rid’ of Human Nature’, and the ‘shareholder’ is simply another manifestation of that ‘human self interest’ that has expressed itself in every civilization that has ever existed.
                      It is an intrinsic and vital aspect of our collective nature.

                      And there you’re making the mistake of assuming that all humans are exactly the same and have the exact same traits as the greedy capitalists. Research shows that only about 20% of the population have such psychopathic traits and good nurture and a culture that restricted such could probably decrease that as well.

                      That’s why you are unable to provide a single example of a civilization that has been free of a hierarchy of privilege. eh?

                      Except for the fact that I have.

                      The only other possibility is suppression.

                      No, that’s not the only possibility. Two points:
                      1. Getting rid of capitalism doesn’t actually oppress anybody
                      2. Empower people through a full democratic system
                      3. Capitalism is oppressive. It needs to be else there’d be no rich people and so it actively oppresses the majority

                    • The lost sheep

                      That’s why you are unable to provide a single example of a civilization that has been free of a hierarchy of privilege. eh?

                      Except for the fact that I have.

                      No you haven’t Draco.
                      All you have ever been able to point to are subsistence hunter-gatherer societies as examples.
                      Where no excess wealth exists and where everyone absolutely relies on the effort of every other individual for mere survival, the only option is full equality and co-operation.
                      That kind of society is only sustainable in very small groupings at very low overall population densities. They are not civilizations and they actually disprove your point.

                      As soon as technology develops, and excess wealth begins to be created, ALL human societies that have ever existed have developed on a very similar pattern away from ‘primitive communism’ towards hierarchy and inequality; Tribes, Chiefdom’s, States and Civilizations.

                      That is ‘ALL’ Draco, and you are unable to provide examples to disprove that.
                      The fact it is ALL, not some and not most, regardless of the many separate times and places this pattern has occurred, tells us very clearly that it is an inevitable result of the Human condition. It is our natural form of organization.

                      All attempts to artificially re-organise Human societies along the lines you propose have failed miserably.
                      And again, you are unable to provide an example of one that has succeeded.

                      They simply don’t work because human nature subverts them.
                      ‘Animal Farm’ describes the process perfectly.
                      And so the attempts to create the kind of situations you propose ALWAYS lead to corruption, usually combined with murderous suppression.
                      That’s why the political structure you propose has almost zero support Draco. We’ve seen the results and we’re not interested thanks.

                      Any Human Society that is going to ‘work’ on any level is going to have to accommodate the realities of the human condition, in all it’s glorious imperfection.
                      Your egalitarian co-operative non hierarchical civilization is an impossibility, because human nature does not accommodate it, and that is why you can’t show me a single example of one actually existing.

                      You my friend, are pissing in the wind.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That is ‘ALL’ Draco, and you are unable to provide examples to disprove that.

                      No, it isn’t:

                      There is no single form that equality takes in past societies. Some societies, horizontal egalitarian systems, manifest absence of hierarchy, but in other societies (vertical egalitarian systems) privileged status coexists with substantial equality. A detailed comparison of the Halaf culture of northern Mesopotamia and eastern Anatolia with the Samarra and Ubaid cultures of central and southern Mesopotamia, examining settlement pattern, economy and burial customs, reveals the ways the vectors of egalitarianism in these two contrasting systems and enables key variables determining the nature and distribution of equality to be distinguished.

                      It appears that it was the rise of unequal societies (paywalled) that did in the egalitarian ones and not the rise of corruption.

                      Any Human Society that is going to ‘work’ on any level is going to have to accommodate the realities of the human condition, in all it’s glorious imperfection.

                      Yes and so we go back to those societies that were egalitarian and look at what they did to prohibit the rise of corruption. IIRC, one of those societies prevented thieves from reproducing unto the seventh generation. What they didn’t do is reward the fuckers with even more wealth as we do today.

                      Corruption is most definitely endemic to capitalist type societies and it’s what’s been destroying them throughout all of recorded history. It’s what’s destroying our society and the environment now.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Fascinating links Draco, some good reading there thanks.
                      But by my reading, they actually reinforce the points I made?

                      I can’t find a non pay walled copy of the New scientist article, but the abstract seems to echo exactly what I am saying above: non-hierarchical egalitarianism is a necessary response where there is no option but subsistence…
                      ‘Keeping the playing field level was a matter of survival. These small-scale, nomadic foraging groups didn’t stock up much surplus food, and given the high-risk nature of hunting – the fact that on any given day or week you may come back empty-handed – sharing and cooperation were required to ensure everyone got enough to eat. Anyone who made a bid for higher status or attempted to take more than their share would be ridiculed or ostracised for their audacity. Suppressing our primate ancestors’ dominance hierarchies by enforcing these egalitarian norms was a central adaptation of human evolution, argues social anthropologist Christopher Boehm. It enhanced cooperation and lowered risk as small, isolated bands of humans spread into new territory’.

                      I did find a copy of the article about The Halaf transition here….
                      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4522825/
                      This article outlines the very transformation towards hierarchy and inequality I describe.

                      They had a specific situation that allowed them to exist a long time at the very limit of a hunter gatherer society, while other societies around them were developing hierarchical structures.
                      But ‘it is probable’ they went into crisis due to ‘Social and environmental constraints. The possible adoption of new sociopolitical models from Southern Mesopotamia may have therefore been an answer to this crisis’.
                      After that time the Halaf and neighbouring society mingle and assimilate (with) each other to the point that the old local culture seems to have disappeared.
                      The article sums up the process of transition…
                      .The disappearance, at least as we may see it, of the indigenous Halaf culture, its subsistence modes, and organization system seems to have been the result not only of an emulation of foreign cultural components, but of having adopted the structural and social relational models of the southern neighbors,

                      So Draco, whether it is because of being unable to compete with hierarchical societies, or willingly adopting their components, or naturally developing that structure as technology moves them away from subsistence, or an intermingling of all 3 factors…
                      We are still left with the same reality.
                      There is no example of an egalitarian co-operative non hierarchical society being able to move past a situation of semi-nomadic subsistence.

                      And as the article you quote states, it is necessary for such societies to actively suppress individualism in order to survive. The result is that very little if any innovation can occur, and such societies tend to remain at subsistence level for a very long time. (Papua New Guinea being the best known example).

                      So from a modern human political point of view this seems to be the issue you have in ‘selling’ an egalitarian co-operative non hierarchical society to ‘the people’…..
                      It is a model that has only ever worked at a subsistence survival level, and at the expense of individuality and innovation.
                      Do you see the problem?

                      So tell me how you think you could make it work in today’s world for today’s humans?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But ‘it is probable’ they went into crisis due to ‘Social and environmental constraints. The possible adoption of new sociopolitical models from Southern Mesopotamia may have therefore been an answer to this crisis’.
                      After that time the Halaf and neighbouring society mingle and assimilate (with) each other to the point that the old local culture seems to have disappeared.

                      That first paragraph is sitting in the may or may not have but we just don’t really know category. Then they got assimilated into the neighbouring society.

                      And as the article you quote states, it is necessary for such societies to actively suppress individualism in order to survive.

                      I see the oppression of individuality in capitalist societies as well. In fact, over the last three decades I’ve seen that oppression increase in NZ as education, the real basis of innovation, is taken away from the majority of people, as their wages are cut so that they don’t have enough to live on and thus have no hope of ever having enough to innovate with. The end result is the increasing inequality and poverty that we’re seeing.

                      And all that so that a few bludgers can have ever more money.

        • Gangnam Style 5.1.1.2

          & what is John Keys Govt in this magical spectrum?

          • The lost sheep 5.1.1.2.1

            Centre Right by a NZ Standard, and Centre Left by world Standards.

            • Gangnam Style 5.1.1.2.1.1

              Thanks Lost Sheep, kinda shows what bollocks it is really if selling assets & hassling beneficiaries & dodgy deals is ‘Centre Left’ (tho we spell it center in NZ usually yeah?), thanks anyway.

              • alwyn

                “we spell it center in NZ usually”.
                Bloody Americans.
                I assume you write liter for litre, meter for metre, theater for theatre and fiber for fibre as well?
                http://owll.massey.ac.nz/academic-writing/american-vs-british-spelling.php
                You must watch too many American TV programs.

                • Gangnam Style

                  No I don’t actually, thank you once again ALwyn for showing me the error of my ways, my mistake.

                  • alwyn

                    I am showing my age. When I went to school all the spelling was the English version.
                    Metre was a distance. Meter was a measuring instrument.
                    Do most people in New Zealand really use “center” these days. I am surprised, although I’ll take your word for it.

                    Many years ago when I was involved in IT I had a boss who tried to ban the use of the American word “Program” in any situation. He insisted that it always be spelt “Programme”.

                    Our programmers, who coded in Cobol, assured him that they could do no further work as the very first thing in every Cobol program(me) had to be, in the Identification Division a mandatory paragraph “PROGRAM-ID” and that alternative spellings were not allowed. (At least that is how I remember the required statement but it is a long, long time ago.)

    • Nick 5.2

      @tls, don’t you think the worst rating is driven by the infighting of Labour? I think people see themselves mostly as wanting to be in the middle Centrist with 20 % either side. Owen Smith is just a Bullshit artist, politician from what I have seen and heard, just wanting power and a pay rise, like a lot of them. Corbyn seems to have a long track record of principles. He’s driven a huge increase in people joining Labour, I think the figures you quote are misleading.

      • The lost sheep 5.2.1

        No doubt the leadership issues within the Labour Party are putting off many voters Nick. But who will those voters be?

        If a voter strongly supported Corbyn, would they not still be voting for Labour regardless of the opposition to his leadership?
        But if they identified themselves as Centrist / Centre Left, and not especially aligned to a Corbyn they see as Far Left, and were dismayed at the current dysfunctional nature of the Labour Party, could they be taking their vote elsewhere?

        As the polls above strongly support, I would say UK Labour is bleeding Centrist support.

      • Gangnam Style 5.2.2

        I wonder too if there was a question ‘would you vote for anyone but the present Govt’ what the polling would show. I imagine a lot of tribal tories are so certain they would vote National no matter what whereas ‘the left’ are a bit more discerning. I mean National voters know their leader is a lying hair pulling hollow man but they still go googly eyes at him.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      What Corbynism actually represents is a very astute manoeuvre to successfully take over the Centre Left Labour by a very small number of voters aligned around a Far Left ideology.

      UK Labour is about as centre-Left as National and the position of Corbyn isn’t “Far Left ideology” but just a bit closer to reality than the prevailing orthodoxy.

      • The lost sheep 5.3.1

        Someone as Far to the Left as you would say that Draco!
        80% of Britsh voters would disagree with you though.

        Which do you think matters most?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1.1

          Reality has a Radical Left Bias.

          • The lost sheep 5.3.1.1.1

            Reality is 77% of UK voters see themselves as Centrist or Right of Centre, and the same would apply in most Western Countries.

            What part of reality is escaping you Draco?
            Maybe if you spent less time in this tiny bubble you might get more to grips with it.

            • framu 5.3.1.1.1.1

              and those exact same people will likely tend to strongly agree with left wing ideals

              go figure

              i think its much like modern marketing these days – people buying things based on the sales pitch – even when they know its bad for them (Not talking left/right – just how people tend to go about things)

            • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1.1.1.2

              That’s not reality but opinion. Adhering to reality requires actually taking into account the real physical world which none of present parties do.

    • framu 5.4

      i think we can quite easily blame “yet another public war started by MPs who wont do as they are told by the members” for the poll drop

      the exact same thing happened here

  6. Penny Bright 6

    FYI

    Seen this?

    http://www.indianweekender.co.nz/Pages/ArticleDetails/7/6860/New-Zealand/Meet-the-citys-potential-future-leaders

    With a 20-year experience in local government, defending the public and their interest, as a self-funded anti-privatisation and anti-corruption ‘public watchdog’, Penny Bright says that as mayor, she would bring council services and regulatory functions back “in-house” under the public service model, and stop corrupt cronyism and corporate welfare.

    _____________________________

    In my view, Neo-liberal , ‘Rogernomic$’ helped to wreck Auckland (and New Zealand).

    Fellow Auckland Mayoral candidate Phil Goff, was a Cabinet Minister in that 1984-87 ‘Rogernomic$’ Labour Government.

    That’s where I first met Phil Goff, when as the Minister for Housing, Muldoon’s ‘rent freeze’ was lifted, which affected low-income families.

    A few of founded a group – ‘AARH’
    (Action Against Rent Hikes), to fight this.

    In my view – the debate that should be happening – is (genuinely and fiercely politically ‘Independent’ Auckland Mayoral candidate Penny Bright, campaigning to ‘roll back Rogernomic$’, and current Labour MP, Phil Goff, defending the ‘Rogernomic$’ reforms that he helped instigate, and their continuation via Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) then Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs)?

    Who would like to see THAT debate, to help enable Auckland electors ‘cast an informed vote’?

    Auckland Mayoral candidate Penny Bright vs Auckland Mayoral candidate Phil Goff – ‘Is it time to ‘roll back Rogernomic$’?

    Penny Bright

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    ‘Activists – get things done’.

    • Peter Ch Ch 6.1

      Do you think endlessly posting self promting pieces is a good way to persuade people to vote for you? May be a good idea to read a good book on selling 101. Selling without selling.

      Might be a good idea to delete your footer for the same reason. Its shameless self promotion. Never works.

      Just a piece of helpful advice Penny.

      • Nick 6.1.1

        @peter ch ch….. I find some of Penny’s posts informative, even the ones about herself. Beats the hell out of ShonKey and his Bullshit relentless propaganda lies….. Don’t you think?

    • jcuknz 6.2

      Roger saved NZ from Muldoon madness and the real villain was Lange who chickened out and called for a cup of tea instead of letting Roger introduce things like UBI that a true socialist would want for the people.

    • The Chairman 6.3

      Isn’t it interesting, Penny. You’re standing against Rogernomics, yet the left have endorsed Goff.

      City Vision (the coalition of Labour, Greens and community independents) are endorsing Goff.

      Go figure?

      When will the left start backing candidates that genuinely represent them?

  7. esoteric pineapples 8

    Given that this government is not doing anything about global warming does this warrant John Key and his leading cabinet members, especially those assigned climate change portfolios, being charged with criminal negligence?

    http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2016/09/climate-change-no-path-to-lower.html

    “Generally, criminal liability requires not only the doing of a prohibited act but also either an intention to do the harm proscribed or recklessness whether it ensues. In other words, there must be a guilty mind (mens rea) as well as an unlawful act. There are, however, many exceptions to this in New Zealand, especially in the case of regulatory offences. Moreover, some crimes, notably manslaughter, are based on negligence. This country differs from most others in that the test of criminal negligence is, in many cases, the same as that for civil negligence – failure to observe the standard of care of a reasonable man – and even a slight degree of negligence can give rise to criminal liability.” Bruce James Cameron, B.A., LL.M., Legal Adviser, Department of Justice, Wellington.

    Source: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/1966/criminal-law

    • Nick 8.1

      @ep….. ShonKey is a criminal who hasn’t been caught yet……crimes against NZ in his pursuit of money and power…..and girls/womens ponytails….. Creep

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      Given that this government is not doing anything about global warming does this warrant John Key and his leading cabinet members, especially those assigned climate change portfolios, being charged with criminal negligence?

      Probably should be. Does it come with a possibility of more than two years jail time?

  8. Rosie 9

    This is an odd story – a bit murky:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/84158063/dispute-with-prime-minster-john-key-over-82-dinner-bill-heading-to-court

    I would say, however, it would have been good if the PM’s DPS could have reacted this way:

    “The DPS pulled the men aside and held them, calling Wellington Police, who arrested the pair and locked them up overnight for breaching bail and theft of the $82 meal.”

    when the PM was harassing and assaulting Amanda Bailey. Key should have been held aside, the Police called and put in a cell.

    • Puckish Rogue 9.1

      Sounds like a couple of guys trying to pull a fast one and get a meal for free, probably watched too many episodes of Hustle and thought they could pull it off

      • Rosie 9.1.1

        It’s not entirely clear what happened, to me at least, in regard to what happened with the DPS and the request for the PM to pay the bill. Then the guy was let off the theft charge as well a judge saying his bail conditions hadn’t been breached after all…….

        But yeah, it does look, on the surface like they were trying to pull a swifty.

      • Gangnam Style 9.1.2

        & you reckon they would pursue it still? Maybe Keys speech was a bit slurry that night & no one knows WTF he said.

    • McFlock 9.2

      Yeah, and apparently restauranteurs who report dine&dash customers now get told that it’s a civil matter. But try and put it on the pm’s tab, even when he might have offered to pay it… heaven forbid…

      Not paying for meals is not theft, anyway. First year law: it’s obtaining credit by deception. Key’s personal enforcers couldn’t even get that right.

      • Rosie 9.2.1

        “Not paying for meals is not theft, anyway. First year law: it’s obtaining credit by deception. Key’s personal enforcers couldn’t even get that right.”

        I didn’t know that. How does it work in a situation where you have drive off’s from the petrol pump? Is that theft, or that “obtaining by deception” There appears to be similarities in the way the product is procured. Procure first, pay second.

        And if not paying for a meal is obtaining credit by deception, is that why the Police would have dropped the theft charge?

        • McFlock 9.2.1.1

          Basically, if it’s freely given then it’s not theft (theft, btw, is an intention to permanently deprive the owner of the item, but just borrowing it is conversion).

          However, if it’s freely given in the expectation that you will pay for it after receiving it, then basically they’re extending you credit to cover the purchase.

          They might have dropped the charge because they used the wrong charge, but more likely because the two chaps would have stated that they had made good faith arrangements for the pm to pay for their meal, and/or they had intendedto make good if it fell through but the cops arrested them for drunk&disorderly before they could pay. Credit by deception and theft have the same penalty for that value, anyway. Pretty minor.

          I’m not a lawyer, but I actually got a friend of a friend off a charge of offensive behaviour because he’d only been taking a widdle. Excreting in public is a trivial matter, offensive behaviour slightly less so ($100 vs $500 as I recall), so when he got to court he told the judge that the cops had obviously charged him with the wrong offense because the summary of facts was just about urinating. Case dismissed.

          The flipside is driving offenses: if you drive into a ditch they do you for failing to stay in the lane, even if it was a pretty minor misjudgement. As soon as you complain they threaten to escalate it to dangerous driving or tack on failing to drive to the conditions, the tossers. Just to make you pay the ticket and fuck off.

          • Rosie 9.2.1.1.1

            Well, thanks for clarifying that. That’s very interesting.

            On the other side of the public peeing situation – For over two years I put up with builders pissing on my back fence in full view of me, and in full view of public walking by on the street.

            Fence is only 1.5 metres high, with fairly wide gaps.

            I’d previously been threatened by a builder for reporting him to the council. For some of the guys I believe the pissing was part of the intimidation tactics that the builder has instructed his subbies to take part in.

            I had the police around a few times to the house, talked to them on the phone and went to the station.

            Nothing happened. Zilch. They couldn’t care less. I would have been thrilled if those guys who’d been pissing on my fence had a offensive behaviour charge slapped on them. I would have also been thrilled had they cautioned the builder(or whatever you call it) when I made a complaint at the station about being his threats towards me.

            They never once took me seriously. It was offensive and frightening at the same time, being around those men. So, it wasn’t a trivial matter for me.

            • Puckish Rogue 9.2.1.1.1.1

              I’m sorry you had to go through that, its not right

              • Rosie

                Thanks PR. I actually ended up with stress related health issues after all that. It’s over for me now though. They will be peeing on someone else’s back fence no doubt, somewhere else on the development by now. These guys have form for intimidating residents. Nothing was done about complaints to the police from others either.

            • McFlock 9.2.1.1.1.2

              well that bites.

              In those situations community constables can be useful. They tend to be more helpful than station officers for ongoing problems. Also specifically chasing down environmental health officers might be an interesting tactic if you encounter neighbours who have to suffer through it. Not to mention videoing any unsafe work practices they might be doing and flipping it through to DoL… mind you, I’m a bureaucrat who can be a bit of a bastard. Part of my job used to be making jerks’ lives hell simply by using the same powers as any other member of the public, in the hope that the jerks modified their behaviour 🙂

              There is a defense to urinating in public if you take reasonable efforts to hide your behaviour from the public, but in your circumstances (being ongoing activity that you had previously raised) it could count as harrassment.

              Anyway, I hope you’re on the mend in your new-found peace and quiet.

              • Rosie

                I did speak to the community constable. She was great! Then she left and no body else wanted to take up the case. I also contacted several council officials, including the environmental health officer and the deputy mayor to see if they couldn’t introduce a bylaw to make portaloo’s mandatory on building sites in built up residential areas.

                RMA says no.

                Spoke to Worksafe about the law around toilet provisions for builders. (even though there was a loo 50 metres away) I had to quote the relevant Act to them because they couldn’t find it.

                Worksafe says no.

                And yeah, I witnessed too much private parts flashing that I would have liked to. That should only ever happen on my terms 😀

              • Rosie

                Thanks joe90 but they lie! I went through all that with them. See response to McFlock above. They told me it was a council issue. The person I spoke to was quite offended and angry that I questioned him.

      • Gabby 9.2.2

        That’s the sort of distinction that convinces me that we’re at Peak Lawyer.

  9. Ad 10

    Preparing for the NZ GDP figures on Thursday, which will be very high, we need to debate a binary economy.

    Those who have property, those who don’t.

    Those still exporting, those not.

    The ones going up, the ones going down.

    It’s a society in such churn that I’m not phased by one poll. We’re going in the wrong direction.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      GDP, seriously who gives a flying F*** other than the wealthiest 5% to 6% i.e. 200,000 adult NZers busily hovering around the elite classes of this country.

      Everyone else is trying to just make their way week to week month to month, hoping they won’t have to work until 70 years old under a Labour Government.

      • Ad 10.1.1

        The media and particularly the news does, as do bank commentators, and therefore so do all politicians.

        The three of them still dominate discourse about the economy.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          Like I said, it’s fuck all people, but of course, it’s basically everyone within that specific small circle.

          • Ad 10.1.1.1.1

            Every person with a well funded megaphone and a spare barrel of ink.

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1.1

              So it is hardly a surprise when lots and lots of adult NZers not in these circles really don’t give a single flying f*** as to whatever this statistic might be because they’ve long figured out that it doesn’t matter in the slightest in their lives no matter how excited the talking heads on the tube seem to get.

              Hence my original response.

              • Ad

                That depends on your view of the role and effect of the media in politics. So far as I can tell, political parties and their policies are the primary target of the business and business-media commentaries. They are by a fair margin the best funded influencers in New Zealand today.

                GDP discussions aren’t targeted at ‘ordinary people’. People notice GDP – and its distance from lived reality – only if it becomes a story in and of itself. I suspect it will.

                GDP, together with the unemployment rate, is the largest vulnerability to any change of government occurring. If overall the media, the bank commentators, and political leaders agree that the economy is in the right direction, that’s a massive win for the political status quo and makes it really hard to change government.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Firstly, both Labour and National have formed the consistent neoliberal political status quo of this country over 30 years. There is not going to be any change in that, and changing the government isn’t going to do very much in terms of a change in that long term direction.

                  Secondly, the corporate MSM, the major banks, the political leadership of this country are all elements of the nation’s power elite, and they are quite welcome to keep talking to each other, and to the top 5% or 6% of the country that still pays close attention to them.

                  Everyone else however has long learnt that the well dressed well made up Koru member Gold Elite six figure salary talking heads are really in their own world.

                  • Ad

                    I think you are confusing your frustration with lack of differentiation with the economic policy of Labour and National, with the need to promote good discourse about the economy. That’s what we need to prepare for.

                    I’d like it if the top whatever had no power, and the MSM had no influence. But they really do. Speaking up into the discourse about the economy is the thing to prepare for on Thursday.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I don’t feel any need to “promote good discourse about the economy”, that’s too much like the conversation they are having up in First Class about what vintages of wine they are carrying on board. They can have the pleasure to themselves.

                      I think you are confusing your frustration with lack of differentiation with the economic policy of Labour and National

                      Me and about a million other non-National voting NZers who won’t be voting for Labour again. I expect Winston’s vote to climb further before election day.

                    • Ad

                      I can respect the disengaged. And I can certainly see the temptation of New Zealand First.

                      I can also see you are repulsed by engagement with those on six-figure salaries, people who wear suits, people who drink wine, and people who have Koru Lounge memberships. I think that repulsion is pretty evident.

                      Regrettably, those people run the country.
                      They have all the power. That’s the field we’re on if we are engaging in politics.

                      The trick is not merely interpret the world, the trick is to change it.

                      You don’t have to engage with such people if you don’t want to. They certainly don’t need you to. And the fewer people who don’t engage with them, the more that status quo is reinforced.

                      There’s no alternative but to engage. The left, in reality, have nothing but discourse left.

      • weka 10.1.2

        “Everyone else is trying to just make their way week to week month to month, hoping they won’t have to work until 70 years old under a Labour Government.”

        Not true. A big chunk of the middle class is doing well.

        • The Chairman 10.1.2.1

          With wealth being consolidated at the top end, isn’t the middle class in decline?

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.2.2

          Not true. A big chunk of the middle class is doing well.

          What, maybe 250K of NZ’s top households by socioeconomic status? That’s all it is.

          Maybe a few more are doing well *on paper* as the value of their single home rises, but even then that’s purely on paper as their week to week income is being continually squeezed and they cannot convert any of their capital gains into spendable cash.

          • Ad 10.1.2.2.1

            Everyone except the very very rich and very very poor is in churn now, either up or down.

            That’s one of the areas that need debating once the GDP figures come out on Thursday and we have to start the actual debate about the economy beyond the bald figures.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.2.3

          Let’s say there was a 3 income household up in Auckland. Mum and Dad both hold full time jobs which are around the minimum wage, and so does their daughter who is 23 and still at home.

          The total income of their household is approx $95,000, which is above the average household income for NZ.

          Is this really a middle class household? Is this household truly comfortable, “doing well” and not struggling?

          • Rosie 10.1.2.3.1

            Good golly. reading through the above thread, I find myself in agreement with your comments today CV!

            Personally, what I witnessing and watching in our little part of the world, the Ohariu electorate, is

            1) the disappearance of the traditional middle class into the not doing well/making cut backs/cash asset diminishing class but house value rising class.

            2) Squeezing of some of the two parents former middle class working in highly paid jobs up to the upper middle classes and upsizing their houses on the new developments where houses are typically in the $700K – $800K bracket and both owning two brand new luxury SUV’s. Their dogs are always well groomed pedigree, no hound mutts for them.

            3) An alarmingly growing number of impoverished working people, increasing demand at local food banks, increasing crime stats in our local newspaper, shops closing down in the main shopping centre and fast food outlets opening up.

            Just what I see with my peepers. I would however like to see some sociological evidence on how our class system is shifting.

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.2.3.1.1

              🙂

              These trends are so obvious to you an to me Rosie, Labour and the Greens should be able to capitalise on them very easily.

              Except they keep listening and talking to the wrong audience.

              • Rosie

                It’s groups 1 and 3 the opposition need to be having a good look at. Those falling away from economic security.

                It’s also up to us get our voting turn out rate up. When I speak with people who are struggling and I talk to them about voting, they tell me they don’t, they’ve given up and say “they’re all the same”. But unlike you CV, I don’t think they’re the same.

                We’d probably agree though it will be a long time, even with the right state interventions, for individual households to bounce back? It would depend on what those policy interventions were though, whether they were radical or whether they were soft.

                (But soft is better than nothing and I will vote for that)

                • Colonial Viper

                  When I speak with people who are struggling and I talk to them about voting, they tell me they don’t, they’ve given up and say “they’re all the same”. But unlike you CV, I don’t think they’re the same.

                  Cunliffe once talked about how it wasn’t good enough simply to be the alternative where you cut people off at the leg, but with anaesthetic.

                  I agree.

                  • Rosie

                    I remember that. Very well. I was a major Cunliffe supporter.

                    But now it is different. Unfortunately, depending on which way you look at it. Now I accept we take what we have and run with it.

        • Macro 10.1.2.4

          A big chunk of the middle class is doing well.

          Only in so far as their paper wealth is currently increasing with rapidly escalating house prices giving them a false sense of worth. In comparison to their “betters”; (the top 1% or even the top 10% of income earners) Middle NZ’s income stream has increased only marginally from $28,900 in 1982 to $34,400 in 2011, and they are falling way behind. This is a global phenomena with the continual exportation of skilled work off shore, the importation of semi-skilled workers to replace locals at minimal rates of pay, and the replacement of skilled and unskilled labour with bots..

          • Rosie 10.1.2.4.1

            From the closer together link: Thats are pretty poor statistic for middle NZ’s income stream isn’t it?

            +1 to everything else.

            • Macro 10.1.2.4.1.1

              Are you saying that middle income NZers have increased their income stream significantly in the past 5 years?

              • Rosie

                No no no. I’m agreeing it has “increased only marginally”. I was plus one to your last sentence.

                Our household knows even good salaries are stagnant.

  10. Ad 11

    Mark Thomas is today begged by his people to withdraw from the Auckland Mayoral race.

    Too late name is on ballot paper.
    Big vote split looming, blame to follow.

    Can the right just get their shit together please?

  11. Draco T Bastard 12

    New Zealand’s tax system: Internal coherence is not enough

    We need to recast the tax system as a tool of the economy, and a tool that serves New Zealand more broadly. A coherent tax system with high integrity is very desirable, and it is something we should strive for. But more broadly than that, we should strive to meet New Zealand’s social goals. The tax system should be a tool for achieving those goals, rather than an end in itself, to be admired for its purity.

    Part of the problem we have is that we view our economy backwards. We see it as the private sector creating the wealth which then funds government. What we should be seeing it as is the government providing the funds in the form of a UBI and infrastructure spending, the resources in the form of extraction and processing and the infrastructure in forms such as power and telecommunications for the private sector to do it’s thing. Taxes then become a way to balance the amount of money in the system against government spending. Most notably, it’s the government spending which funds the entire economy.

    Done properly we could actually get rid of income taxes although that would be a long term goal.

    • Ad 12.1

      From the article, which I liked:

      “So if they earned $50,000 from their salary, but made a loss of $20,000 on their rental property, then they would offset the loss from the rental property against their salary, and pay tax only on a net income of $30,000. This is negative gearing. In effect, because the person pays less tax overall, other taxpayers end up subsidising their investment in a rental property.”

      Another way to look at it though is that negative gearing enables people to take risks gradually as they move from a salary to a business with a major asset within it. That doesn’t just apply to beginner landlords, it applies to any major new business with a chunky asset. Most will start off making a loss, and needing a ‘day job’ to keep it going. This negative gearing enables that perfectly.

      I wouldn’t want ‘fairness’ dominate the tax discussion without considering what kind of economy you really want.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        Ah yes, the fairness of helping wage and salary earners become capitalists in their own right, It’s been mightily handy.

        • Ad 12.1.1.1

          We are a people of small businesses.
          It’s our commercial and social character.
          So the current tax setup suits us pretty well in that respect.

          I do get her point that income from assets should be taxed far harder.
          She just needs to think about it more broadly than from the point of view of the tax system representing ‘fairness’.

          • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1

            We are a people of small businesses.
            It’s our commercial and social character.

            That’s just the outcome of the social engineering of the last 25 years. Before that the vast majority of people were straight forward wage and salary earners, not the independent contractors, consultants, sole traders and small business people of the neoliberal era.

            • The Chairman 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Don’t forget Kiwisaver turning people into shareholders. Encouraging them to favour what’s best for the shareholder and not the employee.

              Thanks Labour.

              • Colonial Viper

                Got to feed Wall St with NZ wages

                • The Chairman

                  Yes, an ongoing revenue stream for them to clip the ticket and gamble on the market.

                  Go Labour.

                  And to think, the Greens want the kids signed up from birth.

                  Who was the banker that conned them into that?

            • Ad 12.1.1.1.1.2

              Were that true – and I’m not so sure – it’s not going to be reversed. You can argue if our structural adjustment has been good overall or not.

              The tax system should reflect our economic character. If it’s more, it needs to be debated very carefully.

              • Colonial Viper

                OK so just manage the existing neoliberal reality that has been created for us out of what was a formerly and recently public service mindset?

          • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.1.2

            We are a people of small businesses.

            Actually, we’re not. Only about three percent of business is small business and that’s a drop from five percent a few years ago. We like to tell our selves that we are but the reality is quite different.

      • Siobhan 12.1.2

        Though a problem with landlords, and especially beginner, socalled Ma and Pa types, is they tend to be offering rentals at the lower/middle end of the market, so their ‘customers’ are having to be subsidised through Accommodation supplements and rent subsidies etc to the tune of $2 billion annually.

        If only all small businesses could have that type of subsidy available to their customers, to make up for the overcharging as a result of spending too much money on overpriced stock.

        Thanks tax payers.

    • The Chairman 12.2

      The Right don’t tend to favour tax. However, left wing policy that favours Government further venturing into commerce (allowing them to broaden and grow their revenue stream) gives them the scope to lower taxes. With the end goal of Government becoming fiscally self sufficient.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1

        However, left wing policy that favours Government further venturing into commerce (allowing them to broaden and grow their revenue stream) gives them the scope to lower taxes.

        That’s not Left-wing policy but Right-wing. Left-wing policy runs government services as, well, a government service rather than as a profit making venture which acts as a particularly nasty regressive tax on the poor and can even prevent people from, say, starting their own business because they can’t afford the necessary government services.

        With the end goal of Government becoming fiscally self sufficient.

        If the government was the sole creator money in the economy then it would, by default, be fiscally self-sufficient. And despite the rhetoric, it’s still government spending that supports the economy anyway. It’s just that our financial system has been set up to hide that fact.

        • The Chairman 12.2.1.1

          Government being part of the means of production is left wing.

          Whereas, the Right want to reduce Government, hence opt to privatize everything.

          I support the notion of Government providing local services at cost. However, in NZ we lack companies of scale to take on exporting opportunities. Thus, creating a market void which Government could help fill and prosper from.

          • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1.1.1

            However, in NZ we lack companies of scale to take on exporting opportunities.

            I’ve said elsewhere that government should build and run infrastructure. Now, what happens if we class factories as infrastructure? Government pays for maintenance, R&D to update them and ensures that they’re supplied with the raw and processed resources needed to keep them going.

            Then all the private sector needs to do is research and design the products that those factories will produce.

            Government has the scale to build and maintain those factories whereas no private company in NZ does and doing so would be beneficial to NZ as a whole as it would allow us to develop our economy.

  12. Puckish Rogue 13

    Remembering what I read in various Jeffry Archer novels about politics and the role of the media, specifically what photos are used, I find it interesting the respective photos of Little and Key in this article

    You have happy, smiling, jovial John Key and scowling, (dare I say it) angry looking Andrew Little

    I don’t know if it falls under censorship but maybe media outlets should only be using neutral pics of politicians (in cases like this)

  13. greywarshark 14

    For deep thinking fact and knowledge junkies. Rod Oram is talking this morning about a small book he has written as he looks at a trio of points, ecology economics and ?
    can’t remember, he has just mentioned ‘the collapse of civilisation as we know it’.

    And he is looking at the way that others are looking at what can be done to cope and build the new civilisation. He visited Beijing, Chicago and London and talked to people there. Look for his little book in the BWB Texts series (Bridget Williams Books).

    You can hear him on Radionz audio if you go their site. He’s always interesting with a cool intellect, but today was quite pointed at matters those of us who want to influence a good future, so there is one.

  14. Colonial Viper 15

    Major new engineering analysis effort on the collapse of World Trade Centre 7 on 9/11

    This is one to look out for. They are creating fully transparent, full reproducible finite element modelling of the structural failure of WTC 7 on the afternoon of 9/11.

    They have already determined a number of critical problems with the NIST computer modelling of WTC 7, and found that NIST analysis conclusions were not consistent with what happened in the actual collapse of the building.

    http://www.wtc7evaluation.org/

    • So what? If their modelling finds that the building’s collapse was due to the collapse of larger buildings next to it, the tinfoil-hat industry will smoothly shift to vilifying them as participants in the cover-up. And if it finds that the collapse was due to the US government/the military-industrial complex/the Lizard People having developed and installed micro-nukes to demolish it, there’s still the problem that when your computer modeling and actual events are in conflict, it’s most likely not the actual events that got it wrong.

    • Paul 15.2

      WTC is the smoking gun.
      Cannot be explained by the official story.
      So they yell conspiracy theorist at anyone who questions WTC7.

      BTW, for the benefit of those saying that, the official story is also a conspiracy theory. A conspiracy hatched by some Saudis and led by Atta.

      • Psycho Milt 15.2.1

        …the official story is also a conspiracy theory.

        Well, it is a theory, yes – in the same sense that the theory of evolution is a theory. You guys are the equivalent of the creationists in that sense.

        • Colonial Viper 15.2.1.1

          I think the University of Alaska analytical effort has in a relatively short time frame already produced modelling work that is far more detailed and far more rigorous than that of the official government investigation into what happened with WTC 7.

          I look forward to the results of the next stages of their work, where they will be testing many different modelling parameters and seeing how the results of the various scenarios correlate with what was observed physically on the day.

          Well, it is a theory, yes – in the same sense that the theory of evolution is a theory. You guys are the equivalent of the creationists in that sense.

          Except you are the faith based dogma preserving operator here decrying the new critically oriented scientific endeavour.

          Ironic, really.

          • Psycho Milt 15.2.1.1.1

            Except you are the faith based dogma preserving operator here decrying the new critically oriented scientific endeavour.

            I don’t recall decrying any scientific endeavour on this blog, ever. The one you linked to may well be a thoroughly scientific endeavour, although the fact they’re modelling the collapse of WTC7 suggests the possibility of tinfoil-hattery in the hypothesis. Either way, I have no views on the merits or otherwise of the computer modelling involved, just a prediction about how the 911-Truthers out there will approach the results.

  15. fisiani 16

    You can turn $20 into $720 overnight by picking Celtic to beat Barcelona by 1 goal. Hail hail.

  16. joe90 17

    Another day, another scam.

    Donald Trump’s tale about why he took $150,000 in 9/11 money is as tall as the Downtown skyscraper he says he used in recovery efforts, according to government records.

    Though the billionaire presidential candidate has repeatedly suggested he got that money for helping others out after the attacks, documents obtained by the Daily News show that Trump’s account was just a huge lie.

    […]

    That government program was designed to help local businesses get back on their feet — not reimburse people for their charitable work.

    If Trump’s company had asked for money for that reason it would have been rejected, officials said.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/exclusive-trump-didn-post-9-11-funds-helping-people-article-1.2786879

  17. adam 18

    You know I’ve been think about John Key, and what worries me about him and his time as P.M.

    To help with that, I’ve been wondering who, or what politician he reminds me of historically, and I’ve come to the conclusion he is in the mold of Warren G. Harding.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_G._Harding

    Now history is only a guide, but I think this national government has passed a lot of bills which will have dire consequences down the line. I’m picking that the land and water ways have been damaged in such a way, we are going to struggle in the years to come, other factors aside.

    I also believe our underlying economic structure has been shallowed out, for short term electoral gain, and actually is close to having no real basis to string anything too.

    The infrastructure has been left to wallow. Particularly in the regions. Drinking water anyone…

    Debt has become inter-generational.

    Our international relations are messy – We seemed to have pissed of China, and the USA is not that good a friend.

    Our standing internationally has taken quite a few hits. Begs the question why Helen Clark decided to run, I’m sure she is getting a few ribs about national and there not tax haven which is a tax haven, but if we say it’s not a tax haven enough then kiwis will believe it even when the rest world thinks we are dirty tax cheats. Enter troll stage right…

    And all the time Key is wildly popular. No matter about his fetish to touch young women and children’s hair. No matter that he lies on a almost daily basis, and lets leave aside the fact he runs the most incompetent set of minister this country has ever had the misfortune to live through. People will go on loving him.

    History will be harsh though. The homelessness, the growing conflict between haves and have not’s, and a state falling apart at the seams. All these things can be band-aided over with, but the damage has been done, it won’t happen over night, but Key has laid the ground work for a very divided nation.

    • Puckish Rogue 18.1

      Ok so that’s a (for the sake of argument) problem, what’s your solution?

      • adam 18.1.1

        There is none, Like Harding we have to wait till we see all the problems that manifest themselves. I’m guessing with this lot, and the labour government before it – we will be having a lot of problems.

        In my humble opinion, the land issue is the big one, and will take at least four years, before the major crisis, water about the same. Only when we are in crisis will we address it. Indeed like Harding , it will all be exposed at the next crisis point. At which time we ALL get lumbered with solving it. We are not going to divest from dairy, and poor land use until it is to late.

  18. joe90 19

    Does the piece of shit known as maninthemiddle think National’s intention to make non-fatal strangulation a stand alone offence is grandstanding, and on a serious issue?.

    The Government will create new offences of non-fatal strangulation, coercion to marry and assault on a family member, which will carry tougher sentences than common assault.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/84189235/family-violence-response-to-undergo-major-overhaul–govt

  19. rhinocrates 20

    Heh.

    Support Trump probably doesn’t want, but then…

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/pharma-bro-martin-shkreli-endorses-donald-trump-article-1.2651758

    “I’m always cheering for a huge recession, global mayhem,” he said, commenting on his personality.

    “For me it’s mostly about spite. I really just don’t want Hillary to win.”

  20. joe90 21

    Winding the clock back.

  21. Gangnam Style 22

    Holy motherfucking fuck, now this is getting obscene, Parliamentary Services scanning Opposition MPs email, well what have the freedom loving right wingers got to say about that?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/84212899/parliamentary-service-blocked-email-between-mp-and-fairfax-journalist

    • The Chairman 22.1

      “What this has done is tipped us off to the fact that they’re monitoring what we’re sending in our emails, which is completely unacceptable,” Hipkins said.

      Looks like Hipkins has been given a taste of our big brother state.

  22. Ed 23

    With local elections coming up, are there any websites that discuss all the candidates? I’m interested in Wellington (Lambton and Eastern Wards), Auckland (Albert-Eden-Roskill) and Christchurch (Riccarton Wigram).

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