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Archive for April, 2008

A broadband world

Written By: - Date published: 2:24 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 6 comments

So John Key has announced that a National-led government would spend “up to” $1.5 billion on fibre optic cable to the home. Well that’s a good thing right? Even I can appreciate the importance of Kiwi homes and businesses getting access to high speed broadband (even if it is solely for the use of my children’s […]

The cart before the horse

Written By: - Date published: 12:18 pm, April 23rd, 2008 - 28 comments

The internet is awesome; you can use email, learn heaps, and read sites like The Standard. Faster internet is awesomer; you can watch the Porirua market video without having to wait for it to buffer. Personally, I can’t wait until I’m getting the internet through a chip in my skull. Why, then, is National’s $1.5 […]

I’ve got a solution, what’s the problem?

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, April 23rd, 2008 - 38 comments

The junior doctors’ strike is a difficult issue. On the one hand, these are highly valuable workers whom we can’t afford to lose overseas and they do work long hours in difficult conditions. On the other hand, the pay rise they want would cost $50 million and is well above what other medical professionals have […]

Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand

Written By: - Date published: 9:33 am, April 23rd, 2008 - 2 comments

The NY Times reports on the symbiotic relationship between media “military analysts” and the Bush administration. Records and interviews show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse — an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from […]

Extra weight

Written By: - Date published: 10:05 pm, April 22nd, 2008 - 6 comments

A reader pointed out a set of hidden spam links that had attached themselves to the footer of the site. I’d noticed them previously and thought that I’d corrected them (see comment). But they turned up again. Turns out it was from an interesting flaw in the website, and was being inserted from outside. I’ve […]

Twin peaks

Written By: - Date published: 3:31 pm, April 22nd, 2008 - 50 comments

We have all heard of the peak oil crisis that is already manifesting itself in fuel prices. Now, consider peak food, the point where our ability to produce food peaks even as demand grows. Wheat was the first plant to be domesticated, around 10,000 years ago. Our civilisations are built on the excess calories available […]

Owen Glenn’s secret shame

Written By: - Date published: 1:20 pm, April 22nd, 2008 - 28 comments

As Robinsod notes below in his insightful review of Wishart’s Absolute Power it’s abundantly clear that the author specialises in a particular brand of “idiocy, madness and paranoia”. I was particularly intrigued by the sensationalist chapter accusing Owen Glenn of Mafia connections. The basis for this defamation? ‘Some of his associates allegedly have names like […]

What would National do?: Emigration

Written By: - Date published: 11:58 am, April 22nd, 2008 - 18 comments

Simon Power has hit on the fact that Stats New Zealand produces migration figures every month, and that means every month he gets to report the number of New Zealanders heading for Australia as if a) the number is unprecedented, which it is not b) it’s all the Government’s fault, which it’s not. Not that […]

Clearly confused but no conspiracy

Written By: - Date published: 10:43 am, April 22nd, 2008 - 47 comments

If there’s one thing the confused saga of Mike Williams and the Labour Party’s secret plot to use KiwiSaver and Working for Families pamphlets as campaign material has shown is that there never was a secret Labour Party plot to use KiwiSaver and Working for Families pamphlets as campaign material. Laila Harre put her finger […]

Book review: Absolute Power

Written By: - Date published: 10:38 am, April 22nd, 2008 - 80 comments

As regular readers will know, we’ve long refused to let Robinsod write for us due to his penchant for filth and gutter politics. But seeing as the book he’s offered to review for us is written by Ian Wishart we felt it was somehow appropriate. Attempting the unreadable A literary analysis of Absolute Power I […]

Emigration in perspective

Written By: - Date published: 4:35 pm, April 21st, 2008 - 28 comments

Last year, 99.33% of New Zealand citizens liked their country so much they stayed. Some left for short periods, and some left forever but they were more than replaced by new New Zealanders who also think this is a great place to live. There really is nothing extraordinary in the new emigration figures. The numbers ebb and […]

Blogger sweatshop

Written By: - Date published: 2:16 pm, April 21st, 2008 - 11 comments

(Via BoingBoing.net)

Interview the leaders V: Maori Party

Written By: - Date published: 2:10 pm, April 21st, 2008 - 41 comments

Even amateur, part-time bloggers sometimes make mistakes, and last week we didn’t send Clark her questions until Wednesday, rather than Monday, due to a miscommunication between ourselves. So, we extended her deadline to this Wednesday. We’ll post her replies when we get them. In the meantime, here are the questions to ACT’s Rodney Hide that […]

National makes work rights the defining issue

Written By: - Date published: 1:41 pm, April 21st, 2008 - 32 comments

National’s strategy, the strategy of a weak party, is to present a ‘small target’ by promising to change virtually nothing if they were in government. Problem is, their small target has a great big bull’s-eye on it called work rights. With flip-flops on health, education, welfare, annual leave, parental leave, assets, Working for Families, Kiwisaver, […]

Reading the tealeaves

Written By: - Date published: 12:06 pm, April 21st, 2008 - 25 comments

One News reports on their Colmar Brunton poll showing a 19 point lead to National and Key ahead in the preferred PM stakes: Labour continues to trail National – There’s more bad news for Labour in the latest ONE News Colmar Brunton poll. It’s trailing well behind National but the results suggest the governing party […]

Conflicting polls

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, April 21st, 2008 - 11 comments

The two political polls on TV last night say far more about the limitations of political polling than they do about the likely makeup of the next Parliament. Last night’s TVNZ poll, conducted by New Zealand’s least reliable polling company, showed National gaining ground, Labour down in the dumps and the Greens dropping out of […]

Note to John: get a new lawyer

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, April 21st, 2008 - 18 comments

John Key: ‘ my lawyer actually does those things clearly [he] had the wrong information.’ That’s how Slippery John explained why legal documents showed him living at different addresses at the same time. For election purposes he had claimed to be living at his $1.1 million home in Waimauku in his electorate, but on documents […]

Ralston sez: leave poor Johnny alone

Written By: - Date published: 5:45 pm, April 20th, 2008 - 61 comments

In the Herald today, Bill Ralston sticks up for poor John Key who has been the subject of personal political attacks recently. Like Key, Ralston wonders what is “the cost of the Government using countless bureaucrats to endlessly scour records in an attempt to discover inconsistencies in any utterance [Key has] made”. Ralston needs to […]

ACT: shamelessly campaigning with your money

Written By: - Date published: 3:46 pm, April 18th, 2008 - 81 comments

Earlier in the week we heard that Heather Roy may have broken the Electoral Finance Act by including party advertising messages in her weekly taxpayer funded newsletters without the required authorisation by ACT’s financial agent. This time round she’s added the necessary authorisation but decided that it’s still ok to bill us for hearing from […]

Hutchison chases the Green Fairy

Written By: - Date published: 2:59 pm, April 18th, 2008 - 18 comments

Earlier this week, John Key had a whinge about ‘personal’ political attacks on him. Particularly, he thought it was a waste of taxpayers’ money that some Labour MPs wrote and performed a version of The Gambler mocking him. The song was written in a pub on a Saturday night (Key thinks they should been reading […]

Business to Key: ‘You’re ruining everything’

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, April 18th, 2008 - 54 comments

Business is starting to get worried. This was meant to, finally, be the year that they got the Left out of government and started making New Zealand work for the business elite again. But there’s a problem: the man they chose for the job. Sure, Key’s got a cheeky grin but on real ‘prime minister […]

Herald’s anti-EFA campaign in tatters

Written By: - Date published: 10:25 am, April 18th, 2008 - 14 comments

As predicted by The Standard earlier this week, the Press Council has upheld the Coalition for Open Government’s complaint against the NZ Herald’s Electoral Finance Bill campaign. The Press Council found that the Herald’s front-page editorial last year contained a “mis-statement of fact”, which the paper should have promptly corrected. At heart was the paper’s […]

Last chance to grill Rodney

Written By: - Date published: 9:46 am, April 18th, 2008 - Comments Off on Last chance to grill Rodney

Remember, our party leader in the ‘interview the leaders’ series this week is ACT’s Rodney Hide. Questions are picked on Sunday, so take the opportunity while you can. Ask them here. Helen Clark’s respones are due to be posted on Monday.

A ring of truth in the Hollow Men

Written By: - Date published: 11:33 pm, April 17th, 2008 - 18 comments

Congratulations to Dr Brash for fronting up and going to see the play The Hollow Men at the Maidment Theatre in Auckland (that’s based on Nicky Hager’s book of the same name). Dr Brash admitted some parts of The Hollow Men were spot on. I wish I knew which bits weren’t! The Hollow Men is […]

The shape of things to come

Written By: - Date published: 5:10 pm, April 17th, 2008 - 74 comments

With the loss of 500 ANZ National jobs to Bangalore India and 430 jobs from Fisher and Paykel to Mexico announced today, a pattern is emerging. The race to the bottom has picked up speed. Companies are increasingly outsourcing their work to low wage economies, like China, India and Mexico, putting hundreds of New Zealand […]

Spot the difference

Written By: - Date published: 4:35 pm, April 17th, 2008 - 33 comments

Hmm, spot the difference in the headlines of two press releases out today: ‘Fisher & Paykel Appliances Announces Global Manufacturing Strategy’ ‘Next Steps in ANZ National’s business transformation’ Cut out the weasel words and what is the net result 930 fewer jobs in New Zealand. The two companies involved, Fisher & Paykel and ANZ National, […]

Flip-flopping at warp speed

Written By: - Date published: 3:13 pm, April 17th, 2008 - 31 comments

On Monday, I wrote ‘Stay tuned for National’s next assets policy, due out sometime next week.’ It seems I miscalculated. Here’s what Key had to say on asset sales today on newstalkzb: ‘I’m going to go into an election with a group of policies and those policies we will implement or not implement as the […]

Cost of benefit system plummeting

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, April 17th, 2008 - 26 comments

Continuing our benefits theme, here’s a look at how much the benefit system costs you. The figures are the combined expenditure by the Government on the Unemployment, Sickness, Invalids’, and Domestic Purposes benefits per day per working age New Zealander, in 2007 dollars. Sources: MSD (1,2,3), StatsNZ (4,5) The portion of the working age population […]

If I were the Maori Party’s campaign strategist

Written By: - Date published: 12:02 pm, April 17th, 2008 - 27 comments

The Maori Party is in an enviable position going into this year’s election. It is likely Kingmaker, and the more seats it gets the more likely it will occupy that ground. Polls project the Maori Party to possibly win all seven Maori roll seats while obtaining around 2% of the party vote. That will create […]

Fewer on sole parenting benefit

Written By: - Date published: 9:25 pm, April 16th, 2008 - 41 comments

You may have seen the announcement that there are fewer than 20,000 now getting the unemployment benefit, down from 160,000 odd when Labour became government. And now there’s news that there’s been a drop of 13,000 of people receiving the DBP, since the introduction of Working for Families in 2004. Parenting and paid work is […]

Running scared

Written By: - Date published: 4:18 pm, April 16th, 2008 - 32 comments

Why did National block Parliament from debating the Auckland Airport sale? Only last Friday, Key was ‘fuming‘ over the Government’s decision to prevent the sale, claiming it would be the end of foreign investment in New Zealand and cause a plague of boils to descend on our land. Yesterday, when New Zealand First offered them a […]

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