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Open Mike 15/09/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 15th, 2016 - 181 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

181 comments on “Open Mike 15/09/2016 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Let me know when this sounds ironic.

    Yesterday the government agreed to commit $1.7 billion tax dollars in a 50-50 share of a fully electric urban rail extension in Auckland.

    On the same day, government-owned Kiwirail signaled that it’s likely it will retire its 35-year old electric trains and go back to diesel, with only the promise that it will keep the electric wires operational.

    Now of course, Kiwirail is a ridiculously subsidized tax money sinkhole, and has made one bad decision after another in its procurement. So it’s pretty hard to have any sympathy for them.

    I would simply prefer a government that had a transport policy that made sense.

  2. Philj 2

    Underfund and run down the rail, and government supports the trucks. 35 yr old trains need upgrade. The majority of the juggernaut trucks look spanking new. It’s a bit like comparing the starving poor and the obese rich.

  3. Garrett talking for sensible sentencing trust in tv – I feel sick and need a wash after seeing and hearing the shit spilling from that bullshitter.

  4. Sirenia 4

    Easy to electrify the whole main trunk and get new rail stock (could even be built here), then could even have more commuter rail eg Wellington – Palmerston North, Hamilton- Auckland etc. Would be a lot cheaper than all the current monster road building (even without the shonky steel which will have to be replaced soon), and also much more accessible to the whole population including those who don’t drive or can’t afford cars. Could fix up Wellington- Gisborne line as well. Only takes a bit of government commitment and confronting the power of the road lobby and the traditional hatred of rail by the National Party.

    • Ad 4.1

      Electrifying the entire main trunk line is not easy.
      You would have to electrify the whole of the south island tracks. That would be a Think Big scale project.

      I’m not suggesting this government walk away from cars entirely and make commuter rail the preferred choice across the entire country. They are committed to the private vehicle – with some promotion of electric cars – and I guess good luck to them.

      And I know I am being slightly unfair comparing urban commuter public transport investment with freight investment.

      But with a few hundred million and some new electric trains, Auckland’s rail could be electrified to Hamilton and Tauranga. That would take more than half of New Zealand’s freight onto an electric system.

      It would make a whole bunch of sense for at least the North Island rail network to be run on one mode.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        You would have to electrify the whole of the south island tracks. That would be a Think Big scale project.

        And your problem with that would be?

        The only problem with Think Big was how it was financed which was by borrowing offshore. Muldoon should have created the money and then we wouldn’t have been in the dire straights that we were in when the 4th Labour government set about totally destroying our economy.

        • Ad

          My only problem is political reality. We have a state with far, far fewer of the executive instruments than in Muldoon’s day. I don’t live in the world of ideals any more.

          I live in the world of what is able to be done in any one term.

          I know you don’t, and you’re perfectly entitled to that.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I want to change the system from one where we whinge that it can’t be done to one where we get stuck in and do it.

          • Colonial Viper

            I live in the world of what is able to be done in any one term.

            You can’t do anything in a single Labour term. You can try, but it can always be killed within the first 3 months of the next Tory term.

            • Ad

              It’s not usually possible to build anything big in infrastructure in the course of any three year term. Mostly because it takes too long to get the money together.

              Housing, however – there I think an alternative government has a good shot at making a visible difference. If I were part of an alternative government, I’d give every member a toolbelt and put them to work. Would do them good.

              • Colonial Viper

                It would be nice if Labour still put practical minded blue collar workers, tradies and miners in as MPs but those days are long gone. Lawyers and pol sci grads are the order of the day.

                • left for dead

                  Hey CV, you forgot, school teachers that get into PR, cant bear too say the whole word sorry. 🙂

                  And about Labour having time to deal with shite Nat,s policy, they seemed happy to leave a few of Ruthanasia in place, and no doubt the next chance they get at Gov’t, eg: 90 day,victimising beneficiaries partners etc.
                  Theirs many more but it does my head in.
                  Third way Labour can go to…

            • billmurray

              CV 12.01 pm, one term?, have you have lost your faith?, if so join the club. No membership fee, supply your own hankies.

  5. Muttonbird 6

    John Key’s brighter future is generating some headlines. A lot around previously denied but now documented increases in crime and homelessness.

    Homeless man found dead on Auckland’s Queen St.


    Perhaps this poor guy was on the cusp of something special?

    • mauī 6.1

      So this year we’ve had homeless people die in parks, recycling depots and now this. I wonder how long middle nz will keep ignoring it for.

      • Muttonbird 6.1.1

        A while, I think. It’s the National government’s policy to normalise these events as some sort of unavoidable consequence of economic growth. Rightwing people have no moral compass and perversely to them it’s a good problem to have because it shows NZ is successful.

      • Kevin 6.1.2

        As long as their property values keep rising, ignorance will be bliss.

  6. Puckish Rogue 7

    Well done to Labour for starting this and well done National for continuing it


    • Ad 7.1

      We have been incredibly fortuitous as a country to have the China market growing so fast throughout the GFC that hit Europe and the US, and through the mining collapse in Australia. So yeah, agree.

      Would still prefer to see no “unprocessed logs” leaving the country let alone to China. But that’s for a different kind of government, possibly a different kind of country.

      • Muttonbird 7.1.1

        Political and labour reform in China would also be good. This would level the playing field for NZ industry unable to compete with cheap labour.

        • Puckish Rogue

          As big a fan of John Key as I am I don’t think even he could overhaul Chinas political landscape

          • Muttonbird

            China would be a stretch – he’s too scared even to stand up to Frank Bainimarama.

            • Puckish Rogue

              I know right, he really should just go tell these countries what they’re doing wrong and how it should be done because it never turns out bad when the leader of first world, predominantly white, English speaking country does that

              • Muttonbird

                By that logic you’d be happy for a full and immediate withdrawal by western states from the middle east. You must also be against peoples’ struggle for democratic rights and representation the world over wherever that might be.

          • save nz

            Puckish – Keys wants us to join China’s political landscape – more corruption, more censorship, more spying, less human rights, more rights for those that know/donate to the ‘right political parties’, control of the media and public servants… list goes on and on. He just wants to ‘be at the table’ with the US too so a bit of a clusterfuck there with that approach, but logic never a strong suit.

            It’s not going to end well for the National supporters too when you a tenant on planet Key.

            Key will go eventually but the damage to our country and economy might be irreversible.

      • Puckish Rogue 7.1.2

        I just think that when you look at the choices the USA are facing and you look at the options NZ have then it puts it all into perspective

        I mean in NZ we have better options then Trump v Clinton, in case anyone was wondering 🙂

      • save nz 7.1.3

        Tell that to the homeless, middle class and working poor, Ad.

        The only reason Kiwis are doing ok is because of immigration which was great boost to NZ at the time of the GFC, but now becoming a big problem. Bit like taking out a lovely loan and feeling great because you are still getting by, but then you have to pay it back with interest in social services – housing, medical, superannuation, transport… You then borrow more and more to fund it, now it’s a ponzi scheme.

        Of course if the government had targeted migrants in the new economy that set up businesses that were non polluting and employed Kiwis at good rates, different story. Nope the government did not target those migrants..

        Students, Fruit pickers, Chefs, drivers, property and farm investor migrants…

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      Yes both Labour and National would cheer at our free trade results with China. Now about those Auckland house purchases…

    • Chris 7.3

      Labour’s been presenting itself as a gift to National for over 30 years now. And still going strong.

  7. mac1 8


    An article from The Guardian about how Finland cares for its homeless. First, house them. Then deal with any underlying causes.

    “That just makes good sense” says Mrs Mac1.

  8. Sanctuary 9

    On September 15th 1916, at 6.20am in the morning, men of the New Zealand Division’s 2nd brigade climbed from their trenches near Caterpillar Valley and advanced up the slope to seize the German switch line. Then at 7.02am, the follow up brigades attacked down the other side of the slope and into the valley to capture the villages of Flers and Courcelette as well.

    If like me you’ve been lucky enough to visit the site of this attack, and walk from Caterpillar valley to Flers via the NZ Memorial, you’ll see what an an extraordinary victory it was in the context of the Great War. This is a doubly important date in the history of the 20th century as the New Zealanders used a new weapon that day for the first time ever in history – tanks. There wereFour Mk.I tanks with the NZers that day, and they were from D Tank Company, D8, D10, D11 and D12.

    670 New Zealanders were killed and 1200 wounded in the attack.

    • mac1 9.1

      I’ve been to the NZ Memorial and also saw the newly erected Irish memorial close by- a round tower with beautiful verse-inscripted stones. The tower had been built by youth from both sides of the Protestant/Catholic divide, in cooperation. The Memorial is known as a Peace Park.

      The NZ memorial had its power with, of course, its national associations and the simple message “From the uttermost corners of the earth” attesting to the universality of our human race and the need to help others beyond our borders- that, at least, is something that can be taken from four years of insanity.

      The ground around the memorials was a slope which I envisaged the divisions attacking uphill, into machine-gun and shell fire. One of the German pill boxes remained down the slope.

      At Gallipoli I was extremely moved by the inscription on the Turkish memorial at Anzac Cove- such generosity, and simple forgiveness- repeated on our Wellington coast.

      As a long term pacifist, battlefields still hold a strange fascination for me which I cannot explain. History, sacrifice, (in)humanity?

  9. Draco T Bastard 10

    The common culprit behind so many environmental problems

    Agriculture is undermining many ecosystem services

    Just last week the Committee on Climate Change released a major report on the impact that different categories of land use provide for energy, food, biodiversity, etc. But again, agriculture – here, arable and horticulture – undermines many of the services we rely on the natural environment to provide.

    So, farming isn’t just a problem in NZ.

    This is really a simple fact that we need to recognise and do something about. NZ is in a good position about farming in that we can easily reduce the amount of land in agriculture significantly and still produce enough to feed ourselves. The people thus freed up from farming could then be utilised in more important areas such as health and/or R&D.

    It’s time we started doing economics rather than finance because the finance is killing us.

  10. Draco T Bastard 11

    Diary of a Person of Interest – by Kiwi journalist Suzie Dawson

    Kiwi journalist and activist Suzie Dawson has been extensively targeted by Western intelligence agencies and their contractors. In the wake of several overt attempts on her life, she had to leave her home in New Zealand to live in exile in Europe. In her unique new documentary “Diary Of A Person Of Interest” Suzie details in a clear, concise and credible way what it is really like to be a target of the Five Eyes; why she was targeted, who she was targeted by, how they targeted her, what their end game is and how to try to counter it.

    • Chooky 11.1

      DTB +100 … that is explosive …Wow what a brave young journalist…!!!

      Every Labour Party supporter and voter should watch this!

      … as well as every Maori Party supporter!

      …and all activists and ALL New Zealanders who value their democracy and human rights should watch this!

      ….reasons NOT to collude with jonkey Nactional on the Spy Bill

      ….LEGITIMISING foreigners and foreign countries to SPY on New Zealanders

      ….hence violating OUR democracy , OUR democratic rights , OUR sovereignty and OUR HUMAN RIGHTS !

    • Chooky 11.2

      ..i see there a a lot irrelevant diversions below from this very important Suzie Dawson article on spying on activists

  11. Adrian 12

    Is this a left wing forum, news site?
    I am interested to know peoples view on this question.

    • save nz 12.1

      @Adrian – in my view it is, because the ‘left’ voice is pretty diverse.

      • Adrian 12.1.1

        Yes well that’s what I thought too, the name ‘The Standard’ being the first clue.
        The second clue are the types of stories presented, in The Standard today…
        “Right-wing mayor candidates try to kneecap themselves”
        “Labour Organizing”
        “Beware, creepy men of the right: Rawshark returns (briefly)”
        “Optimism, determination and, above all, unity” (about UK Labour)
        “India’s general strike”

        The third clue being their own description of themselves…
        “The Standard newspaper – from where our masthead comes – was founded by labour movement activists in the 1930s. They used it as a vehicle to share their views with a broader audience – a perspective they felt the mainstream media was representing poorly. We think the same is true today.
        What’s your political ‘angle’?

        We come from a variety of backgrounds and our political views don’t always match up but it’d be fair to say that all of us share a commitment to the values and principles that underpin the broad labour movement and we hope that perspective will come through strongly as you read the blog.”


        Yet Siobhan, yesterday was insulted verbally and kicked off for two weeks for this comment on the story “India’s general strike”….
        “Then again, here we are on a so-called left wing site…and its taken 2 days to get 6 comments. That says something not very good about our attitudes towards the value of different groups struggles don’t you think??”

        India’s general strike

        She was called a nutter, a moron, a gormless idiot, lazy and stupid by the moderator, I mean, what the hell is gong on here? doesn’t anyone care that this abuse is coming from the actual moderator? or is everyone scared of being kicked off themselves, so won’t say anything? or are people here fine with this type of abuse? maybe a bit of stockholm syndrome going on here?
        I think lprent is totally out of control, co opting the name The Standard from our rich Labour heritage, and then abusing people like this, all under the cover of that proud banner of the Labour movement is absolutely outrageous.
        This abuse has got to stop.

        [lprent: Agreed. Trying to attack the site has to stop. Only a idiot would attack a site that they were freely commenting on when they provide absolutely now work or effort to maintain it. In short – a freeloader. ]

        • save nz

          I read the story about India general strike. But felt did not know enough to comment on it. I was going to say +1 because I thought it was a nice post. So just because a post does not get huge comments does not mean it is not read or important. In fact when people agree with the post I think it gets less comments than when the left disagree.

          It’s the left disagreement that gets the most comments!!!

          As for the rant against Siobhan, I think that was totally over the top!!! Maybe a bad day????

          • Adrian

            If it was only one bad day, I wouldn’t have brought it up. this abuse is the modus operandi of lprent, and it has got to stop.
            People on this site have got to stand up to this type of abusive behavior.

            • Puckish Rogue

              A someone that gets banned periodically I have to say that if you don’t like the rules then start your own blog with your own rules

              • Adrian

                Firstly it is not the rules I am talking about it it is the unfettered verbal abuse that is being disgustingly spread about by the moderator.
                Secondly I am also saying the The Standard by their own words have co opted the name The Standard from our Labour history, so can’t now claim that this site is not tied to the Left ( and by that definition Labour) in the public’s perception.
                This being the case, there needs to be better moderation of the moderators behavior, or are you quite happy at being yourself, or seeing other people being abused in this manner?
                Are you are also fine with the Lefts most well known New Zealand internet presence be known as a place where this type of abusive behavior is tolerated by it’s members?

                [lprent: Read the last section of the about.

                Just to return the judgement. I’d point out that there are a lot of people who really don’t bother pulling their head out of their own self-referential arse. You appear to be one of them. Try reading the about and the policy and then thinking how your critic stupidity looks from the side of the workers actually maintaining this site.

                Banned for a weeks to give you time to open the dictionary in your attempt to understand it. But frankly I suspect that you are way too rigid to bend your mind far enough to understand someone being productive. ]

                • BM

                  Bold font coming in 5,4, 3…………………………….

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    I’m surprised the hammer hasn’t come down already, the moderators must be getting soft 😉

                • Puckish Rogue

                  I vote right because I have certain views and one of them is whoever owns something gets to decide (within the framework of NZ law of course) what and how they run it

                  The bosses of TV3 decided they couldn’t sustain the dwindling audience of John Campbell so he was fired because they decide what is shown on their channel and I’m ok with that

                  The moderators of this blog decided how they moderate and they decide what can and can’t be posted because its their blog and I’m ok with that

                  If you’re not ok with it go start your own blog, its really that simple

                  • save nz

                    The more dwindling audience of Paul Henry National cheerleader TV3 bosses could stand of course. And of course the corporate welfare…

                    from wiki

                    “In 2011, MediaWorks received a $43 million loan guarantee for the Government to renew its licenses until 2030.[2] The deal went against official advice, and then Communications Minister Steven Joyce was accused of having a conflict of interest as the past managing director of the company’s RadioWorks division[3] The loan was described by AUT’s Centre for Journalism, Media and Democracy as a form of corporate welfare,[4] and was criticised by blogger Sarah Miles as a case of Government interference in the media.[5] Radio Bay of Plenty secured commercial loans, The Radio Network covered its own costs, and Rhema Broadcasting Group covered the cost with no interest loans.[6]”

                    • Doug

                      MediaWorks’ subsidiary RadioWorks has repaid the $32.28 million outstanding on a ‘loan’ signed off by former Communications Minister Steven Joyce that allowed the media group to defer payments to the Crown for radio spectrum licences.

                      The balance of $32.28 million of principal plus interest was paid yesterday – almost two years ahead of schedule, current minister Amy Adams said in a statement.

                  • Adrian

                    @Puckish Rogue, You see I can understand someone on the right like you defending this abusive behavior, of course you do, that goes with out saying…it’s part of your political ideology. True to form I like it.
                    It is when people on the Left defend this, that is when I get uptight.

                • b waghorn

                  I have to say i thought the goat comments of yesterday were lowering ‘the standard ‘ by a long way.

                  • James

                    Ive raised this a few times [TRP came back to me on it] – some of the comments have gotten down right disgusting. Including telling people to go hang themselves.

                    In the end – I came to the conclusion that it reflected on the poster more than the blog, but in time people will come here and read stuff – they will come to their own views – but honestly, it is getting worse – in the end the blog will be the worse for it.

                  • Adrian

                    @Puckish Rogue, defending privilege, yes of course you do, like I have said already, you are operating true to form, but you can’t help that, it is a core part your ideology after all.

            • BM

              Without lprent there is no The Standard.

              Therefore he does rather control the whip hand and tends to use it often, so getting the occasional lashing is part and parcel of posting on the standard.

              If that bothers you either go else where or learn to avoid raising topics that bring out the whip.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Some people pay extra for that:

                • dv

                  I agree with both BM and PR!!!

                • BM

                  Lol, that was a good show.

                • Adrian

                  Very sad to see that you all find this outrageous behavior so funny, no wonder that the Left is so dysfunctional in New Zealand when we see no problems with abusive of power in own own ranks.

                  • One Two

                    Adrian as you can probably tell from the response to your observation, there is lack of care factor or a fear factor..possibly both

                    I’ve taken a look at the response to Siobhan and compared it to some other mod comments, the form is largely the same

                    Looking through archives the moderating has had a clear impact on the tone of threads which is essentially censorship, and could be handled more thoughtfully in some instances. Certainly the name calling and abuse is unnecessary, especially where moderating in involved

                    I think your observation is sound

                    • BM

                      Adrian as you can probably tell from the response to your observation, there is lack of care factor or a fear factor..possibly both

                      No, it’s about adapting to the current environment.

                      Something lefties tend to struggle with enormously.

                  • Planet Earth

                    On one hand the Rules state “What we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others.”

                    On the other hand we have lprent calling Siobhan “a liar, a nutter, an authoritarian moron, a gormless idiot, frigging lazy, stupid liar (again)”, and then banning her for two weeks, for having the temerity to suggest that TS is a “left-wing site”, when according to the About “all of us share a commitment to the values and principles that underpin the broad labour movement “.

                    I think you’re onto something Adrian!

                    [lprent: Tell me – does it say anywhere in the policy that moderators are subject to those limits? Doesn’t the policy rather explicitly state that moderators are expressing their limits to the types of things that are described. But doesn’t state anything else including that we are have any limits except what is in the policy?

                    Banned for a week for trying to redefine our rules – something that is explicitly against our policy. I’d ban you for a another week for being a stupid lawyer. However I suspect you can’t help that level of incompetence – it is probably genetic. ]

                    • Adrian

                      Thanks, I thought I fighting a solo rear guard action here, thank goodness there are a few sane people left.
                      I mean how can these people really be defending abusive behavior? and more importantly why would they want want to?
                      It is all quite sad, disappointing and baffling to me.
                      Here I was thinking that we were part of a progressive movement, helping with the evolution of humans, unfortunately this type of behavior only drags us backward as far as I can see.

                    • Grant

                      In order to remove any uncertainty perhaps it should be renamed the Double Standard?

                  • mauī

                    Agree with you Adrian, it’s not right. I’m gradually coming to the conclusion that nothing in life is perfect either no matter how much you want it to be.

                    • Adrian

                      Yes of course the World isn’t perfect, but to accept something that is in our sphere that is plainly wrong and do nothing, that is the point, do something, anything, say something, anything, but whatever you do, don’t do nothing.
                      That all these commenters come on here to defend this abusive behavior is incredible to me.
                      It’s like that case with the Crusaders and the stripper, you know there where other people in that garden bar who watched that woman get abused by those thugs, but none of them said a mumbling word to defend her…why, because those rugby players have a perceived place and power in our society, the stripper who’s she?
                      That is where these attitudes ultimately lead to, where else can this type of thinking take you in the end? In my opinion, It is really this simple.
                      And I also think that anyone who can’t put this simple piece of logic together themselves…. well they probably need to take a long hard look at themselves.

                  • gsays

                    Hi adrian, gotten say I agree with yr stance.

                    A word that hasn’t been used to describe the behaviour is bullying.

                    I regard this as a left leaning site and as such some of the left save their vitriol for others on the left because … well I just don’t know.

                    I am truly grateful for this site, the posts, and comments however I find some of the langauge from some moderators to be excessively abbrassive and antagonistic.

                    Well done in starting this conversation.

                    • left for dead

                      I’ll stick my head up” doing a full 360%” All clear, largely agree gsays.

                    • Adrian

                      Yes I really do appreciate this site too.
                      I know that it could reach out to so many more people, especially Woman and young people, if they could only say enough is enough… but no, here they all are defending this behavior….why?

                      [lprent: The moderating behaviour is to allow the maintenance of robust debate on the site when we have the potential to be overwhelmed with unthinking yobbos acting as trolls. Have a look back in the archive to early 2008 to see what that means. Since strong obnoxious moderation was put in to deal with the unthinking fuckwits of the net, the percentage of female readers has grown from less than 10% to just under 30%. The number of female writers has increased markedly as well.

                      Similarly the age range has shifted from overwhelmingly being in the 25-35 age group to being wide across the whole age demographic.

                      You really don’t think things through do you? Why do you think we have moderation? It is to increase the diversity on the site. ]

                    • Colonial Viper

                      +1 gsays

              • Adrian

                I could almost understand your reply if this were a radical right wing site. However to think you or anyone would defend this type of abusive behavior on a left site is beyond disappointing.
                Look I absolutely respect the amount of work, time and effort that must go into this site, but that does not in any way give anyone one the right to abuse another person, or do you think it does?
                Because if you do, then you just start to extrapolate that logic and see what path it takes you down very quickly.

    • Is this a left wing forum, news site?
      I am interested to know peoples view on this question.

      It’s a blog, and it serves whatever purpose the people putting the time and money into running it want it to serve. If you find that it doesn’t serve the purpose you, an idle reader and commenter like me, would like to see served, you’re free to go and start your own one and run it as you see fit. No-one running The Standard is accountable to you for anything.

      • Adrian 12.2.1

        Firstly, as I am sure you are aware, this site is now more than a private blog, it is, rightly or wrongly regarded, and is without doubt the main New Zealand left news site/forum.
        I also assume that by using the name The Standard, and stating in their own preamble…
        “The Standard newspaper – from where our masthead comes – was founded by labour movement activists in the 1930s. They used it as a vehicle to share their views with a broader audience – a perspective they felt the mainstream media was representing poorly. We think the same is true today.”
        …that the resulting public perception of this site was not unintentional.

        I believe people are accountable for their actions, and when those actions take the form of abuse, all while under the banner of an organization with it’s roots firmly planted in the New Zealand Labour party’s story and history, even more so.

        Finally I find it ironic that you are using the Crass logo on your avatar, and would defend open verbal abuse of people who are respectfully expressing their progressive view’s on a left forum.
        Crass, you know that band that was perhaps one of the staunchest and most uncompromising defenders of freedom of expression that cut a side of vinyl, not a band that defended unquestioned power…if I remember rightly.

        • Psycho Milt

          Irony? If you’d turned up and told Crass how they were doing it wrong and you felt they needed to be accountable to you and make appropriate changes to the way the band worked, you’d have got an earful that would make Lprent look mild-mannered. That was one of the things I liked about them so much – they were excellent at telling people fuck.

          • Adrian

            Yes well as I am pretty sure that Crass would never have co opted an important piece of UK Labour phraseology and historical reference as a banner in which to organize under, I don’t think that would have ever been an issue, do you?
            So that logic doesn’t work in this debate, sorry.

            • Red

              Just take a concrete pill and harden up, you choose to be offended To argue it’s all love and roses on the left is delusional Sibonan obviously hit a sore point with LPrent who is not my cup a tea but he gave her a spray, so what, move on, I’m sure he has and at least she now not in two minds about his view

        • McFlock

          nah, it’s still a private blog run by volunteers and funded by a trust.

          As to how “left” you think the people who contribute are, that description is problematic because some contributors might be staunch proponents of the labour movement but not regard themselves as “left”. Some because they might think that label today involves issues beyond just labour and capital issues, others because “left” and “right” are just extremes on an obsolete continuum.

          Some contributors here support free trade agreements with greater or lesser equivocation, while supporting improved powers for workers. Others are more keynesian, while others still recycle Social Credit in various guises and with differing extremes.

          As to your comment about a mod’s abrasiveness, well – each to their own. Maybe they argue about it on the backend, maybe the consensus of authos/mods is that it’s just good to have an angry dog in reserve every so often, because kind words don’t always work.

          • Vinnie

            It’s called the standard, there is a red flag displayed as the icon, and the main disagreement with Adrian seems to be along private property lines, man that is sad.
            Maybe lprent could trademark that flag might be worth a fortune.
            And hey yeah, let’s every one on the left just start our own blog, we can have an audience of 1 and talk to ourselves.
            I agree with Adrian, and notice that all arguments against his position never mention the history or symbolism appropriated by this “private” site.

            • McFlock

              Well how about this perspective then: those who created the trust, worked to develop the website and established the process for its content creation, who maintain the servers, write the content and spend time moderating the worst of the internet out of the comments, how about those workers have control over the means and fruits of production?

              Seems fair to me.

              • Adrian

                How about this perspective, those people who founded our Labour party, that built a Labour Party of Men and Woman, who pushed and battled with their bodies and split blood to gain all the rights and privileges that we are fighting to maintain now, they would be appalled to see their own comrades bullied and verbally abused under the name one of their proud banners, The Standard.
                I will say this one more time, The Standards own preamble links it directly to the Labour movement, the name The Standard links it irrevocably to the labour movement, that is just a fact.
                Because this site has chosen to be linked so closely with our Labour movement, it has therefore surly obliged itself to operate at a level of normal public decency, is that to much to ask?

                Seems very fair to me.

                • McFlock


                  john a lee. When mjs was on his deathbed. How’s that for decent behaviour.

                  *Mic drop*

                  • Adrian

                    How about you pick up that mic and answer the question properly.

                    • McFlock

                      No no you must be correct. The stalwarts of the labour movement were all moonbeams and unicorn farts. /sarc

                  • Adrian

                    Like I said, how about you answer the question properly?

                    • McFlock

                      To spell it out for you, no, many of the founders and stalwarts of the labour movement would have considered the moderation here to be pretty tame stuff.

                      I gave you one easily googleable case in point above.

                    • gsays []

                      Hi mcflock, so…labour did it too?

                      I am not interested in a race to the bottom be it economically or behaviourly.

                      Too often it seems people get all worked up at their keyboards and type themselves into a corner. Usually over a pedantic point of order.

                    • McFlock

                      No, not “labour did it too”. A specific refutation that our predecessors in the labour movement were anything other than normal people, with normal behaviours. Some of the Fabians and Quakers were courteous and nice to all, no doubt. But we’ve always had our share of fighters and belligerents, too. There’s always been sectional, political and personal conflict in the labour movement. That’s what gives me hope – that they were regular people who made those achievements, not lionised saints.

                      The polite ones who used manners and doilies were often the ones who owned the sweatshops.

                  • Leftie

                    McFlock, interesting point. The great Michael Joseph Savage understood the rather conservative mindset of New Zealanders, even when he and his party won the 1935 general election in a landslide victory, he still had to assure New Zealanders that having a Labour government was nothing for them to be afraid of. Labour then, like now, has always had to be cautious, and I think that’s what some people, like the vehemently critical John A Lee, and others today, failed to understand.

                • How about this perspective, those people who founded our Labour party, that built a Labour Party of Men and Woman, who pushed and battled with their bodies and split blood to gain all the rights and privileges that we are fighting to maintain now, they would be appalled to see their own comrades bullied and verbally abused under the name one of their proud banners, The Standard.

                  It’s a matter of opinion. Personally, I think they’d be appalled to see members of a worker’s cooperative berated by someone who’d contributed no time or effort to it but wants to tell the cooperative how they should run things, effectively on the basis of a claim to superior left-wingedness. Because it is appalling.

                  • Adrian

                    @McFlock & Psycho, all I can say is, well done boys, in passionately defending your right to bully and abuse people, nice work.
                    I have learned a couple of things in this sad exchange, the main one being, this has helped in taking the guess work out of wondering who the guards would be.

                    • Grant

                      Well done Adrian for going where few dare to go.

                      You have some answers to the questions you posed. Unsettling isn’t it?

                      In some ways the comments section on the Standard has always reminded me of Fight Club. On the mezzanine floor above the ring are the moderators who keep redefining the rules of engagement, which keeps things interesting.

                      The first rule of fight club is, you don’t talk about fight club:

                      Bottom line, the playing field is deliberately designed to be uneven and this is an argument you can’t win.

                    • lprent []

                      Bottom line, the playing field is deliberately designed to be uneven and this is an argument you can’t win.

                      The about and policy makes that perfectly clear.

                      We are strongly independent of any organisation because it allows us to argue how we want to. These days we don’t even run advertising because we neither need to (peoples occasional donations pay our minimal operating costs), nor do we have the time to organize it.

                      We strongly favour moderators and authors – because they are the people who keep the site running with starter content and effort.

                      What do you think? That we should favour people who freeload on the comments section? Some of them we will and do listen to. But they tend to be the people who invest effort and intelligence in their comments. Not something that I have noticed with Siobhan or Adrian.

                    • McFlock

                      You and I don’t get to dictate how the site is run. The people who run it do.

                      I have no more power to comment than you do, which hardly makes me an effective “guard”.

                    • Anne

                      @ Adrian
                      Careful. It’s a well known tactic of bullies to cry foul and accuse others of doing the bullying. Good example: Cameron Slater. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to acquire a similar reputation to him.

                      lprent has a tactic too – born out of experience. Come down hard on trolls and derailers in the hope they will cease their bad habits. It usually works and for those who choose to ignore… it’s the sin bin for a while or a permanent ban. Take it or leave it Adrian. If you don’t like the way TS is run I suggest you run away and start your own blog.

                      Edit: I see others have already suggested it so off you go and do let us know what it is called…

                  • Planet Earth

                    PM, no-ones telling anyone how to run things, they’re asking for a reasonable “standard” of discourse free of personal abuse, a la the “Policy”. Question, Psycho Milt, do you think calling a commenter “a liar, a nutter, an authoritarian moron, a gormless idiot, frigging lazy” for an innocuous (imo) comment meets that test?

                    [lprent: It wasn’t an innocuous comment.

                    In the last 9 years, it is exactly the type of comment that has prefaced about half of the attacks on this site from the right, the left, and the nutters.

                    I always ban fools who use it because it is completely stupid and idiotic to abuse people on their own site.

                    If you want to set the rules for a site – then start your own. If you want to continue in this vein, then I will give you ample time to do it without the distractions of commenting here. ]

                    • I think it’s not up to me or any other outsiders to tell moderators how to moderate their own blog, unless they ask me. Especially not when there’s a comments policy specifically warning against doing that.

                      In my personal opinion, it must be extremely annoying for the people who do the work involved in running this blog to have commenters implying some moral failing on their part, based on what hasn’t been written about, or insufficiently written about in the commenter’s opinion. If I were to imply moral failing on the part of participants here, it may be that it seemed innocuous to me, but it also may be that the moderator’s seen a great many of these sanctimonious, passive-aggressive attacks over the years and has no interest in dealing with them politely. I find that not implying moral failings on the part of moderators helps avoid such incidents.

                    • Planet Earth

                      To Psycho Milt @ 10.49 a.m. (no reply button) – what you say is correct, and would be relevant if we were talking about moderation, but we’re talking about abuse. Moderation good (great!), abuse bad.

                      Have you actually read Siobhan’s OP? There’s no way you can find an “implication of moral failing” or a “sanctimonious passive aggressive attack” in that.

                    • McFlock

                      Then again, here we are on a so-called left wing site…and its taken 2 days to get 6 comments. That says something not very good about our attitudes towards the value of different groups struggles don’t you think??

                      Seems pretty sanctimonious to me. Shades of the old “you don’t care as much or as broadly as I care, so you’re not really ‘left wing'” bs.

                    • Planet Earth

                      That’s fine, in your opinion it wasn’t an innocuous comment, I accept that. Whether you were “abused”, arguable.

                      That you descended to personal abuse in contravention of the Policy (“pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others), that’s indisputable.

                    • lprent []

                      My opinion when I am moderating is the only one that counts.

                      I have already pointed out further up how you should read the policy. It limits moderation techniques, but does not constrain them. In my case I tend to find that people remember moderation against themselves when they are accompanied with some personal observations. This reduces my future work load.

                    • lprent []

                      My opinion when I am moderating is the only one that counts. I’d listen to authors, but seldom with commentators. After all it is our site

                      I have already pointed out further up how you should read the policy. It limits moderation techniques, but does not constrain them. In my case I tend to find that people remember moderation against themselves when they are accompanied with some personal observations. This reduces my future work load.

  12. Chooky 13

    Other problems for Hillary Clinton:

    ‘FBI calls Clinton email probe ‘different’ as key witness ditches House hearing’


    …”Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was not satisfied with the two redacted documents, demanding full access to the investigation from Herring.

    “We decide what’s relevant – not the Department of Justice, not the FBI,” Chaffetz said during Monday’s hearing. “It’s unclear to me how the FBI can prevent a member of Congress from seeing what we’re already allowed to see by law, yet here they have done so.”

    “That’s the way a banana republic acts, not the way the United States of America acts,” Chaffetz added.

    “I don’t expect to have to issue a subpoena to see unclassified information.”…

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Although the US has historically been instrumental in the setting up and maintenance of Banana Republics…which sometimes literally grew bananas for US based corporations

      • Chooky 13.1.1

        …and now this …money talks you into becoming an Ambassador for USA (irony)…where are the career highly trained ambassadors?…they are obviously being sidelined in this ‘democracy’….which IS looking more and more like a banana republic

        ‘How much for ambassador? Hacked DNC files reveal plum posts for big donors’


        “Hacker ‘Guccifer 2.0’ has offered support for allegations that Democrats rewarded big donors and fund-raisers with plum diplomatic posts, by releasing a donor list from November 2008, when current VP candidate Tim Kaine chaired the DNC.

        Among the 500 megabytes of data released Tuesday was the document titled “11-26-08 NFC Members Raised,” listing the names and addresses of some 100,000 Democratic National Committee donors. Cross-referencing the top donors’ names revealed that they were later appointed to ambassador posts and other government jobs…

        …The documents cover a period between 2009 and 2011, when the DNC was chaired by Tim Kaine, currently Hillary Clinton’s running mate on the presidential ticket….

  13. Draco T Bastard 14

    New Zealand begins WTO bid to ban harmful fishery subsidies

    New Zealand is joining the United States and 11 other countries in negotiating with the World Trade Organisation to ban harmful fishery subsidies, particularly those that contribute to overfishing and overcapacity in the sector or are linked to illegal fishing, they said today.

    Although I agree with the action is the government doing anything to end the unsustainable practices that occur here in NZ?

    Or are they, as per usual, still in denial?

  14. rhinocrates 15

    Couldn’t decide on “respect mah authoritah!” or “protest is terrorism” as a comment but anyway…


    • Macro 15.1

      Good God! They really are a pack of wet willies these Nats. NZ is rapidly becoming a police state and the soon they are gone and the oppression removed the better.

    • Ad 16.1

      Check it out.

    • b waghorn 16.2

      superb; ? he must be fucking delusional if he thinks Hone would ever go with national.

      • Bearded Git 16.2.1

        @ b wag Your considered opinion is gratefully received (sarc)

        Of course Hone will never go with National, he has far too much sense. But that is a tiny side issue to the main theme of the article.

    • Chooky 16.3

      @ Bearded Git…yes liked this

      “Key emerges from this whole episode with very little honour. Such craven compromising is a very long way from the extraordinarily bold behaviour of the John Key who took up the Opposition leader’s role in 2007. That John Key would have weighed the Greens’ 13 percent of the Party Vote against the Maori Party’s 2 percent and adjusted his strategy accordingly.”

  15. Colonial Viper 17

    The Obama legacy: teens in impoverished inner cities selling their bodies in exchange for food.

    This is happening in inner city areas with high proportions of Black and Latino households.


  16. joe90 18

    There’s that empathy, again…..

    People are making less real wages than 18 years ago, Trump says in Ohio. "Me, I’m working harder also so I don’t feel sorry for any of you."— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) September 14, 2016

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      He’s now up 5 points in Ohio, so they get what he is saying in that state even if you don’t.

      • joe90 18.1.1

        Polls, huh.

        A new poll showing Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton by 4 points in Ohio set the media buzzing, but a look at the polling data reveals that CNN under polled younger voters.


        Update: It turns out that CNN did poll voters under 50, but the reason why their crosstabs showed no data was because they polled too few younger voters. Younger voters have made up 44%-51% of those who voted in the last three election cycles. CNN’s sample was made of 18% younger voters. In essence, CNN cut the number of younger voters in Ohio in half.

        Donald Trump will definitely win Ohio if no one under the age of 50 comes out to vote, but that is not going to happen. It may just be an error, but if CNN shaped their numbers to get a newsworthy headline, it would serve as a perfect example how news networks use their polling to make the news instead of reporting on it.


  17. fisiani 20

    Question time 1 Growth 3.6% 3rd highest in oecd

  18. fisiani 21

    Question 2 Turei quotes wrong document

  19. fisiani 22

    Question 3 Robertson trying and failing to understand that increasing the denominator is a good thing.

  20. fisiani 23

    Question 4 $209M for multiplicity of science research projects

    • fisiani 23.1

      Question 5 Hipkins flailing and failing -this is embarrassing.

      • Puckish Rogue 23.1.1

        Its like the last election where it got to the point where you almost started to feel sorry for Labour, like watching the All Blacks play Scotland, you know Scotland are going to lose and you know they’re trying their best but you know theirs a hiding coming up soon…


        • fisiani

          I’ve said it before but in the same way that plucky Scotland will never beat the All Blacks it now seems obvious that Labour will never be the government again. Despite MMP making it hard to obtain a majority it seems obvious that as long as John Key is the leader then National are unbeatable. 2017,2020 and 2023 are all probable National wins. The wealth of talent that entered Parliament in 2014 will be promoted soon. My pick for Premier at 2026 is Chris Bishop who has scared Trevor Mallard from even standing next time.

        • Gabby

          It’s not great comfort, but at least nazianal will get to own the collapse.

  21. save nz 24

    Does anyone else think the Spinoff has become a type of Sky magazine with sponsored articles? I first thought is was going to be Herald for younger audience, but it’s kinda of worse than that in terms of shallowness.

    While I would normally congratulate anyone trying to push a new media platform in NZ away from MSM, but the Spinoff is all that is bad about the media under a new and less improved and even less informed news (is that even possible, yes with Spinoff) click bait tactic.

    Had just started looking at it for the Dotcom coverage. But really… I mean meaningless, content free, awful and trivialising is an understatement. If this is an example of journalism covering a man’s freedom here and a test case for extradition – it’s written like The bachelor but from someone who sends the 10 year olds out to court to cover the case for a school project.

    If Spinoff is an example of the future of journalism in NZ, I really hope not!!

    extract Dotcom case…

    Friday September 9: Day 10 of the hearing, Day 8 of the livestream


    Thursday September 8: Day 9 of the hearing, Day 7 of the livestream


    Mockery , injustice and shallowness made into entertainment – seems more like The Hunger Games.

    Thanks Spinoff (sarc).

    • One Two 25.2

      The numerical value published of 66bn may be of interest to certain folk

      Mergers are an undersized life raft at best for the companies involed

      Chemical poisons/toxins and the companies/industry that peddle them are on the way out, its over for these entities now and this merger signals as much

      This is the final through of the dice for both companies

      Too many are aware of what is going on and the momentum can’t be stopped on the march towards good health through natural nutrition and healing

      Another brick from the wall

      • stunned mullet 25.2.1

        “Too many are aware of what is going on and the momentum can’t be stopped on the march towards good health through natural nutrition and healing”

        Damn those medicines and vaccines, can I have a double serving of woo.

        • Colonial Viper

          Nah, you can go wreck your kidneys and your liver with your toxic pharma drugs, the gift of WOO is not for rational materialists like you.

          • stunned mullet

            I need some chiropractic for my diabetes.

            • Colonial Viper

              Chiropractors don’t treat diabetes lol. Also, remind me what the scientific intellectual west’s track record with diabetes has been over the last 50 years? Incidence going sky high right? More cases and more early deaths than ever, right?

              You rational materialists are no where as clever as you are narrow minded.

              • stunned mullet

                Diabetes, Type 1


                In the 1950s, about one in five people died within 20 years after a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. One in three people died within 25 years of diagnosis.
                About one in four people developed kidney failure within 25 years of a type 1 diabetes diagnosis. Doctors could not detect early kidney disease and had no tools for slowing its progression to kidney failure. Survival after kidney failure was poor, with one of 10 patients dying each year.
                About 90 percent of people with type 1 diabetes developed diabetic retinopathy within 25 years of diagnosis. Blindness from diabetic retinopathy was responsible for about 12 percent of new cases of blindness between the ages of 45 and 74.
                Studies had not proven the value of laser surgery in reducing blindness.
                Major birth defects in the offspring of mothers with type 1 diabetes were three times higher than in the general population.
                Patients relied on injections of animal-derived insulin. The insulin pump would soon be introduced but would not become widely used for years.
                Studies had not yet shown the need for intensive glucose control to delay or prevent the debilitating eye, nerve, kidney, heart, and blood vessel complications of diabetes. Also, the importance of blood pressure control in preventing complications had not been established yet.
                Patients monitored their glucose levels with urine tests, which recognized high but not dangerously low glucose levels and reflected past, not current, glucose levels. More reliable methods for testing glucose levels in the blood had not been developed yet.
                Researchers had just discovered autoimmunity as the underlying cause of type 1 diabetes. However, they couldn’t assess an individual’s level of risk for developing type 1 diabetes, and they didn’t know enough to even consider ways to prevent type 1 diabetes.


                The long-term survival of those with type 1 diabetes has dramatically improved in the last 30 years. For people born between 1975 and 1980, about 3.5 percent die within 20 years of diagnosis, and 7 percent die within 25 years of diagnosis. These death rates are much lower than those of patients born in the 1950s, but are still significantly increased compared to the general population.
                After 20 years of annual increases from 5 to 10 percent, rates for new kidney failure cases have leveled off. The most encouraging trend is in diabetes, where rates for new cases in whites under age 40 are the lowest in 20 years. Improved control of glucose and blood pressure and the use of specific antihypertensive drugs prevent or delay the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure.
                Annual eye exams are recommended because, with timely laser surgery and appropriate follow-up care, people with advanced diabetic retinopathy can reduce their risk of blindness by 90 percent. A new study shows that vision loss that is often associated with laser therapy can be reduced when the drug ranibizumab is used in combination with laser.
                For expectant mothers with type 1 diabetes, tight control of glucose that begins before conception lowers the risk of birth defects, miscarriage, and newborn death to a range that is close to that of the general population.
                Patients use genetically engineered human insulin in a variety of formulations, e.g., rapid-acting, intermediate acting, and long-acting insulin, to control their blood glucose. Insulin pumps are widely used.
                A major clinical trial, the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT; http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/control), showed that intensive glucose control dramatically delays or prevents the eye, nerve, and kidney complications of type 1 diabetes. A paradigm shift in the way type 1 diabetes is controlled was based on this finding. As researchers continued to follow study participants, they found that tight glucose control also reduces cardiovascular complications, such as heart attack and stroke. This research has contributed to greatly improved health outcomes for patients.
                Patients can regularly monitor their blood glucose with precise, less painful methods, including a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). Technology pairing a CGM with an insulin pump is also available and was found to help patients achieve better blood glucose control with fewer episodes of dangerously low blood glucose compared to standard insulin injection therapy.
                The widely used HbA1c test shows average blood glucose over the past 3 months. The HbA1c Standardization Program enabled the translation of tight blood glucose control into common practice.
                Scientists have identified a key gene region that contributes nearly half the increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes, and have also learned a great deal about the underlying biology of autoimmune diabetes. They have used this knowledge to develop accurate genetic and antibody tests to predict who is at high, moderate, and low risk for developing type 1 diabetes. This knowledge and recent advances in immunology have enabled researchers to design and conduct studies that seek to prevent type 1 diabetes and to preserve insulin production in newly diagnosed patients. This new understanding has prevented life-threatening complications in clinical trial participants at risk for developing diabetes.
                Scientists have identified nearly 50 genes or gene regions associated with type 1 diabetes.
                Many people who received islet transplants for poorly controlled type 1 diabetes are free of the need for insulin administration a year later, and episodes of dangerously low blood glucose are greatly reduced for as long as 5 years after transplant. But, the function of transplanted islets is lost over time, and patients have side effects from immunosuppressive drugs.
                The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study (www.searchfordiabetes.org/) provided the first national data on prevalence of diabetes in youth: 1 of every 523 youth had physician diagnosed diabetes in 2001 (this number included both type 1 and type 2 diabetes). SEARCH also found that about 15,000 youth are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes each year.


              • Colonial Viper

                And the stats for Type II Diabetes, brain box?

  22. North 26


    There’s a subliminal preference for those we identify with. This results in Maori/Polynesian/down-and-out-whites being given XXX and the rich white boys being given X for no other reason obviously than they’re rich white boys. In front a rich white boy/girl.

    I gotta chuckle when I hear QCs saying no problem, quite normal. One lawyer from Dunedin shrieking that it was “outrageous” that anyone should comment. Normal my arse. We all know it’s not FFS. This unlucky female officer’s prior attacker got 30 months so I’m told today by a sergeant of police. Brown boy up there in court for this ? Forget about checking the Home D address bro’……

    It’s not normal that at least four aggravating factors, in a nasty combination, with significant physical and medical consequence, will result in a sentence three pegs below a generous starting point of imprisonment for 18 months. What factors mitigated the offending so as to wipe out prison, and Home D, and Community Detention, and wipe out 100 hours of the maximum of 400 hours Community Work available to the court – only 300 hours were ordered. How do we get to the 4th point down the heirarchy of sentencing ?

    I hope the Police appeal. And the High Court registers a severe slap to this classist, subliminally racist, nonsense of a sentencing.

    • Chooky 26.1

      …not to mention “sexist”…he whacked a female probably smaller than himself….bet the gutless bully wonder would not have whacked a BIG POLYNESIAN COP! ( or he would have been flattened)

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