Archive for July, 2008

How Wal-Mart spread across America

Written By: - Date published: 4:23 pm, July 31st, 2008 - 10 comments

Here’s a cool animation of Wal-Mart’s spread across the US (click the image below to launch it): Wal-Mart is the largest corporation in the world by revenue, and the largest private employer in the world. Here’s a little Wikipedia info on them and a page dedicated to some of the criticisms of the chain. (Via: BoingBoing)

Lucky Aussies, they kept their work rights

Written By: - Date published: 2:12 pm, July 31st, 2008 - 61 comments

Some of our friends on the Right have been putting themselves through strange mental contortions over the recent series of posts we’ve had on the impact of National and the Left on wages. To recap: we’ve shown that National let the minimum wage stagnate while inflation ate its buying power, the Labour-led Governments have increased it, […]

Sickening

Written By: - Date published: 1:08 pm, July 31st, 2008 - 117 comments

Speaking in Rotorua earlier this week, John Key offered the following reason why you should vote for him to be Prime Minister: “The only time we’ve won the rugby World Cup we had a male Prime Minister.” You make my stomach turn, Mr Key.  You’re just another sexist old bigot.

Controversial advertising

Written By: - Date published: 11:35 am, July 31st, 2008 - 10 comments

Stuff reports that “a British commercial for a chocolate bar featuringThe A Team star Mr T has been pulled over concerns it could cause offence to homosexuals”.  Here’s one airing locally that’s likely to cause some controversy too. It’s from a campaign by athletic gear manufacturer Skins called (perhaps tellingly) “Beyond reason”.

Winston and the wanker

Written By: - Date published: 10:26 am, July 31st, 2008 - 47 comments

Today’s front-page story in the DominionPost on New Zealand First is a complete beat-up. It starts off: More questions have been raised about donations to NZ First over a $20,000 deposit to the party’s bank account that does not appear on its register of declared donations. Really? The story goes on: The Dominion Post has […]

90 Day no rights makes no sense

Written By: - Date published: 10:21 am, July 31st, 2008 - 18 comments

The National party may prefer not to have their policy examined in great detail, but in today’s Herald Nigel Haworth, professor of human resource development at Auckland University’s Business School, provides some interesting observations about their 90 no-rights plans. Nigel Haworth suggests that: “National’s intention to introduce, if elected, a 90-day probationary employment period, possibly in the small business […]

Flip-flops, it’s a matter of trust

Written By: - Date published: 6:12 am, July 31st, 2008 - 56 comments

I believe there are three core criteria on which a politician or party needs to be judged: (in no particular order) – policy, competency, trustworthiness – Do they have a good plan, are they capable of implementing such a plan, can we trust them to carry out the plan if we vote for them. National’s […]

Freedom Week

Written By: - Date published: 6:28 pm, July 30th, 2008 - 9 comments

Amnesty International does some great campaigning and human rights work around the globe and this week is Freedom Week, their annual fundraising and awareness drive. Most people will be familiar with Amnesty’s work, especially with the spotlight they’ve helped to shine on China’s appalling human rights record in the leadup to the Olympics. What’s often […]

Kiwi style to walk the world stage

Written By: - Date published: 5:03 pm, July 30th, 2008 - 7 comments

So US Secretary of State Condolezza Rice has left our shores. She inspired protest. She met the PM and said “New Zealand is now a friend and an ally.” She provided timely distraction for Mr Peters, travelling to meet with the Pacific Island forum. But the item that stirred my Kiwi pride was reading that […]

So National DO have a policy, errr sorry…

Written By: - Date published: 3:29 pm, July 30th, 2008 - 7 comments

So the news went out! National DID have some policy said Colin James: …in behind the bland one-pagers lies quite a lot of study, consultation with outsiders and internal shadow cabinet debate. A 34-page paper backed the workplace relations one-pager. Law and order policy was well footnoted… But no, Colin James seems to have got […]

Who you callin’ a moron Sunday magazine?

Written By: - Date published: 3:20 pm, July 30th, 2008 - 11 comments

Common sense from the Herald – stop the press!

Written By: - Date published: 2:05 pm, July 30th, 2008 - 59 comments

Brian Rudman’s piece in today’s Herald is so far the most sensible comment on the Spencer Trust affair. He points out that funding of elections in New Zealand has for far too long been vulnerable to the cheque-books of the rich. While some may be philanthropists like Glenn, or occasional players like Jones, others such […]

The Ultimate Flip-Flop

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, July 30th, 2008 - 6 comments

This straight from Public Address – Guest writer Simon Pound: John Key has announced the adoption of yet another flagship Labour policy having a female leader. In a one-page policy briefing released today he stated that under a National government he would undergo gender realignment to have what it takes to lead the Country. “I’ve […]

EPMU cleared to campaign

Written By: - Date published: 10:21 am, July 30th, 2008 - 38 comments

The Electoral Commission has decided the EPMU can register as a third party under the Electoral Finance Act despite the National Party spending big bucks to try to stop them in the courts. Given the EPMU is a democratic organisation representing 50,000 Kiwi workers and the other unions (dairy workers, meat workers, maritime workers and […]

Electoral Finance Act victory for free speech

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 am, July 30th, 2008 - 8 comments

The Electoral Commission has ruled that several unions affiliated to the Labour Party are able to register as third parties under the Electoral Finance Act. Their registration was objected to initally by David Farrar, the National Party frontperson who is the principal behind the registered third party known, ironically, as the Free Speech Coalition. The […]

Exclusive Brethren accused of fraud and kidnapping

Written By: - Date published: 9:57 am, July 30th, 2008 - 10 comments

The Melborne Age reports that: A writ is expected to be filed in the High Court on Wednesday alleging the involvement of the secretive Exclusive Brethren in a variety of crimes, including fraud and kidnapping. Three sisters, from India, who say they are on the run from the religious sect, allege they can link it […]

Ambitious leadership

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, July 30th, 2008 - 15 comments

(hattip: Kiwipundit)

Larger slice of the cake for workers under Labour

Written By: - Date published: 6:46 am, July 30th, 2008 - 43 comments

The essential debate in New Zealand politics (and all capitalist economies) is between Right and Left over how big a share of the economy’s production should go to the workers who produce it (ie wages, salaries) and how much should go to the capitalists who invested in the means of production (ie dividends, interest). The […]

What was it about that Herald poll?

Written By: - Date published: 5:24 pm, July 29th, 2008 - 20 comments

Should Labour be worried about today’s poll in the Herald which contrary to other recent polls showed the gap between the parties rising? Colin Espiner doesn’t seem to think so, suggesting: I wouldn’t take much notice of the Herald DigiPoll. This one’s even worse than the last one. It was taken over THREE WEEKS and interviewed […]

Does anyone care about the gender wage gap?

Written By: - Date published: 3:22 pm, July 29th, 2008 - 38 comments

I recently caught a story on the radio about the gender wage gap of new graduates – and in the failed search to locate it came across some other related stories. As we head into an election campaign with political parties offering up their solutions for the future I had to ask myself – does anyone […]

CTU critiques National’s employment policy

Written By: - Date published: 2:48 pm, July 29th, 2008 - 7 comments

Last week the Council of Trade Unions issued a devastating point-by-point critique of National’s ACC policy. Now they’ve followed up with an excellent and surprisingly balanced critique of National’s employment policy. When you compare the amount of detail the CTU has put into its critique with National’s policy bullet-points that barely even fill a page […]

Searching for the right answer

Written By: - Date published: 1:31 pm, July 29th, 2008 - 8 comments

Hint: it ain’t chocolate.  

Why Labour thinks it can win again

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, July 29th, 2008 - 54 comments

Here’s a well-reasoned article by Therese Arseneau in which she canvasses the reasons behind Labour thinking it can still win. She puts it down to: MMP, their ‘core vote’, voter mobilisation, National’s policies, Helen Clark herself and a bit of a mix of good management and good luck. Definitely worth a read.

The conservative brotherhood

Written By: - Date published: 11:38 am, July 29th, 2008 - 12 comments

Eddie’s already posted on the scripts the Tories in the UK used when it came to explaining (away) their associations with dodgy political consultants Crosby Textor. It was the same broken record used here by National in recent weeks. The anti-Blair “demon-eyes” ad below ran in 1997. The ad on the right ran here last […]

Fact: The Left has risen wages during its time in power

Written By: - Date published: 10:51 am, July 29th, 2008 - 26 comments

Inevitably, reaction from some to the post showing incomes fell 6.1% under National between 1990 and 1997 has not been horror at the fact the incomes of Kiwis went down  but ‘so, I bet the Labour-led Governments haven’t done better’. Bet again. The median income in 2007 was 32% higher than the median income was […]

Fact: Nats cut wages last time they were in power

Written By: - Date published: 6:12 am, July 29th, 2008 - 31 comments

For anyone who still doesn’t want to believe that National cut incomes for most Kiwis last time they were in power (and would do so again). Here’s something I came across in an incomes report from 1998: The median income earner was 6% poorer in after-inflation after 7 years of National government. That didn’t happen by […]

Will the real National policy please stand up?

Written By: - Date published: 3:25 pm, July 28th, 2008 - 17 comments

A reader noticed a difference between National’s workplace policy as quoted by us and as quoted elsewhere. We and some others have: “Continue to allow union access to workplaces with the employer’s consent.” taken from the PDF of the workplace policy. While others have: “Continue to allow union access to workplaces with an employer’s consent, […]

Nats painted into a corner

Written By: - Date published: 12:55 pm, July 28th, 2008 - 29 comments

John Key has announced Working for Families would be kept unchanged by a National-led government. That’s the same Working for Families that National attacked endlessly. Key himself said “Working for Families is a real ‘Maharey special”. It started as a mess, it was completed as a mess, and it will remain a mess the whole […]

For the people

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, July 28th, 2008 - 28 comments

A sage comment from our reader, Bill, got me thinking. He said “If political news was even given the same modest in-depth coverage as (say) sports news we wouldn’t be living in the NZ that we inhabit today.” I might put it like this: “If you knew as much about politics and how your country […]

Hunt for the real John Key proves fruitless

Written By: - Date published: 9:40 am, July 28th, 2008 - 82 comments

So, what have we learnt from the 18,000 words on John Key the Herald published with so much fanfare over the last two weekends? We’ve learnt that, even if you devote a good portion of three senior journalists’ time to study the matter for six months, it’s still bloody hard to get any clear idea […]

I despair

Written By: - Date published: 12:56 pm, July 27th, 2008 - 65 comments

Our national political debate is in a sad sad state. Agenda is meant to be our premier political interview and analysis TV show. Today, they had John Key on for the main interview. In twenty-odd minutes he was not asked a single question about the policies his party has released over the last three weeks. […]

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