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Archive for August, 2008

Williamson goes to ground

Written By: - Date published: 5:59 pm, August 25th, 2008 - 16 comments

From RNZ’s Checkpoint I hear they’ve been after Maurice Williamson all day to clarify what he said on Agenda yesterday (as discussed below). But he’s gone to ground and is not returning calls. Williamson may admire what they are doing in Australia but Gordon Campbell sounds a note of warning: Interesting that the National Party […]

Why I love The Daily Show

Written By: - Date published: 3:02 pm, August 25th, 2008 - 8 comments

They’ve just erected this billboard in Minneapolis-Saint Paul to welcome delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Whom to believe?

Written By: - Date published: 1:20 pm, August 25th, 2008 - 17 comments

On Agenda on Sunday, National’s Transport spokesperson, Maurice Williamson, said National would impose tolls on major new road projects – Transmission Gully, Waterview etc – and on the Harbour Bridge if a tolled second crossing of the harbour is built. Williamson said a typical person using those toll roads for commuting would spend about $50 a week […]

Nat: our ‘diversity’ is just a gimmick

Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, August 25th, 2008 - 35 comments

Unless a party has a systematic bias towards one sector of the population, it would be normal to expect that their candidates would represent a cross-section of the community – after all, talented, qualified people can be found in all groups; political aptitude is not just a Pakeha male trait. So, it was kind of […]

Beastly

Written By: - Date published: 9:37 am, August 25th, 2008 - 57 comments

[I do love the idea that someone would go to the zoo merely to hurl insults at the apes]

Adapting to the end of cheap oil

Written By: - Date published: 11:01 pm, August 24th, 2008 - 30 comments

On August 1, Transit NZ and Land Transport NZ were merged into the NZ Transport Authority. The new organisation’s first major publication shows a welcome shift in thinking and an acknowledgment that the age of cheap oil is over. Managing Transport Challenges When Oil Prices Rise contains a model built on the consensus of a number of international […]

TV3: Labour clawing back National’s lead in latest poll

Written By: - Date published: 6:50 pm, August 24th, 2008 - 31 comments

According to TV3 “Labour is on the move. The latest 3 News poll shows that less than three months out from the election, their support is heading upwards. And once you add the Greens and the Maori Party into the mix, a Labour-led coalition is not out of the running just yet.” Why will this […]

On grounds of race or trust?

Written By: - Date published: 4:28 pm, August 24th, 2008 - 15 comments

Regular Standard readers will know I like to keep an eye out on what’s happening in the States (where the arte of politic$s is bigger, brighter and harsher). While there’s been comment on Obama’s choice of running mate, it was this piece in the Observer that caught my eye, where Paul Harris asks “why has […]

Open democracy?

Written By: - Date published: 11:56 am, August 24th, 2008 - 20 comments

According to the Sunday Star Times the Sensible Sentencing Trust and Family First have decided to refuse to comply with the Electoral Finance Act. While the Sensible Sentencing Trust is outrightly claiming they are going to use their breach of the Act as a publicity stunt, Family First are absurdly claiming they can’t register as […]

Reflections on Shawn Tan

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 pm, August 23rd, 2008 - 57 comments

There’s a lot of heat but not much light in the debate about the EPMU’s suspension of Shawn Tan. What we know from the media is that Tan was told he had to seek approval from the union’s national executive in line with his collective agreement and the rules of the union and then failed […]

Foss puts foot in it

Written By: - Date published: 1:22 pm, August 22nd, 2008 - 58 comments

Craig Foss annoyed some students in Napier when he described early childhood teachers as “glorified babysitters”, according to a recent story in the Hawke’s Bay Today (sent in by a bemused reader). He admitted that he used the term “babysitting” yet also tried to argue he was taken out of context. Perhaps he realised his […]

The Standard Week: August 15-22

Written By: - Date published: 12:39 pm, August 22nd, 2008 - 56 comments

As expected, the polls out last weekend did not show National being hit by the secret agenda tapes scandal because they were conducted before the story had fully emerged. We will have to wait for the next round of polls to see what effect there has been – although sources say both National and Labour’s […]

Drinking Liberally (AKL) with Laila Harre

Written By: - Date published: 11:37 am, August 22nd, 2008 - 5 comments

WHAT: Drinking Liberally Auckland City WHO: You and any of your left-leaning companeros WHEN: 7.30pm, Wednesday 27th August WHERE: London Bar, cnr Wellesley & Queen Sts (opposite Civic). The entrance to the bar is around on Wellesley St, you need to go up the stairs and we will probably be congregating at the far end […]

Greens call for public input on ETS

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, August 22nd, 2008 - 22 comments

One thing you can always say for the Greens, they’re democratic to their core. Currently, they find themselves facing a tough choice – whether or not to support Labour’s Emissions Trading Scheme – and, true to their democratic principles, they’re asking for advice from the public on their decision. Jeanette Fitzsimmons outlines the following pros […]

Mythbusting: Half of new generation is thermal

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, August 22nd, 2008 - 16 comments

Reading National’s energy policy last week I was surprised to learn that of 1942MW of new generation that has come online since 2000 1073MW of that has been thermal*. Sure enough, John Key is going around using that as a ground for National’s policy of building more gas power plants and giving up on the […]

Another leftie in the ‘sphere

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 am, August 22nd, 2008 - 11 comments

We finally get to welcome Chris Trotter to the blogosphere as he’s started a new blog at http://www.policy.net.nz/blog/ I’ve often thought Trotter’s solid smart writing and love of a robust argument would be suited to blogging and I fully expect his new blog will go on the must-read list of NZ political commentary. It’s also […]

Consquences on climate change

Written By: - Date published: 2:04 pm, August 21st, 2008 - 70 comments

Deputy leader Bill English yesterday late afternoon released what could barely be described as National’s policy on climate change. I was sorry to see such little detail on what they planned, despite his saying (again) that their structure would be in place within nine months. Surely they must know what they plan to do then? I also noted […]

Tasteless

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, August 21st, 2008 - 75 comments

Thank God for those individuals of high morals who are at this moment whipping themselves into a frenzy over Pharmac’s decision to fund different varieties of condom as well as the plain ones it has funded for years. Where would be without you? Here’s the facts: – people have sex, young people have sex, people […]

Briefly

Written By: - Date published: 9:52 am, August 21st, 2008 - 27 comments

The coverage of the Australian Dfat* briefing paper on Helen Clark is as unsurprising as it is depressing. Depressing in that this appears to be Martin Kay’s biggest scoop of the year (he’s dragged it out to a second article today) and no-one covering the issue seems to be aware of what these briefing papers […]

Lonely planet loves

Written By: - Date published: 5:53 pm, August 20th, 2008 - 13 comments

The Lonely Planet has a new guide on Godzone and has lavished praise on our beauty but also offers a warning on “the environmental cost, with extra visitors putting strain on the clean, green environment the country is renowned for.” So how are we planning to handle that? Not a bad question to be adding to examinations of political […]

Did you say “wages”, John?

Written By: - Date published: 2:07 pm, August 20th, 2008 - 62 comments

Watching Key on Breakfast this morning I was surprised to see him talking about the need for higher wages (about two thirds of the way through). That’s nice to hear but given National’s policy is to reduce work rights and make it harder for working Kiwis to negotiate a better deal it seems a bit […]

Key demands we publish full quote

Written By: - Date published: 11:43 am, August 20th, 2008 - 53 comments

John Key called us to task in his interview with Wammo today: “every leftwing blogger out there has a field-day going on and on about the fact that Labour say I said climate change is a hoax…they should just get their facts right down at The Standard because the facts are I said ‘Kyoto is […]

National’s “major policy shift it talks about behind closed doors”

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, August 20th, 2008 - 30 comments

This revealing quote is buried in the middle of today’s Herald story by Fran O’Sullivan headed “All change on the gravy train”. It does make one wonder where the real journalists are in that paper. If the Herald knows there is a major policy shift being talked about by National behind closed doors, why isn’t […]

Speaking of competence

Written By: - Date published: 9:24 am, August 20th, 2008 - 7 comments

Kiwis don’t trust Nats

Written By: - Date published: 6:13 am, August 20th, 2008 - 38 comments

According to the Colmar/Brunton poll, 50% of Kiwis don’t believe National is being open about its plans vs 37% who believe the Nats are being upfront (presumably, the other 13% offered no opinion). That’s got to be worrying for National. As I’ve said time and again, the three grounds that politicians are ultimately judged on […]

Leave it to the pros

Written By: - Date published: 4:20 pm, August 19th, 2008 - 51 comments

Thanks to what I can only presume is a technical glitch at the Listener there’s online access to a lot more of their current content than usual including Jane Clifton’s column in which she’s bemoaning the blurring line between bloggers and jounalists. Hilariously she focuses on the responsibilities real journalists have and bloggers don’t but […]

Key and McCain: underdogs rising

Written By: - Date published: 2:48 pm, August 19th, 2008 - 6 comments

The US presidential race in the States took a new direction with the McCain and Obama both appearing at a Forum on faith, held over the weekend, moderatorated by pastor and author Rick Warren. Commentators and opinion leaders are now disecting the event, offering their views. For example in the Washington Post Michael Gerson wrote: It is now […]

Ambitious for transport

Written By: - Date published: 12:32 pm, August 19th, 2008 - 40 comments

Why are we spending $1 billion on Transmission Gully when by the time it is finished the price of petrol will be up to $10 a litre according to a study by the Australian CSIRO? Look, we can’t expect better from National, they only just discovering climate change and that NZ isn’t only made up […]

Reflections on the war in Georgia

Written By: - Date published: 10:21 am, August 19th, 2008 - 79 comments

What can we learn from the war in Georgia? Without going into the rights and wrongs of the combatants, what I’m interested in is the geo-strategic implications, specifically the future of the democratisation project. And it’s not a pretty picture. See, for a while everything seemed to be going well with democratisation. The two great counter-ideologies […]

The Sensible Centrist

Written By: - Date published: 11:43 am, August 18th, 2008 - 120 comments

Tracey Watkins is said by some of her colleagues to be spending an ‘unseemly’ about of time hanging out in John Key’s office, she’s certainly spent enough time at National HQ recently to get similar with the wall hangings. So, it’s fairly safe to say we know where her loyalties lie, and it’s not with […]

Nats: some of us look like youse

Written By: - Date published: 10:33 am, August 18th, 2008 - 142 comments

National is desperate for you to know its party list is a diverse one. It’s a diverse list alright. I mean you’ve got a woman at 7, another at 10, yet more at 17 and 20 – you’re talking up to four women in a National Cabinet! And two of them aren’t even Pakeha! OK, all […]

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