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Archive for February, 2009

Remember the big picture, Fran

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 pm, February 28th, 2009 - 66 comments

Fran, you’re pretty smart, you can do maths, and you understand the economy. You’re ideology is fundamentally flawed but at least you’ve got the analytical tools. So, how can you go and write something like this “It can cut a number of Labour’s own expensive prior election bribes, like making student loans interest-free.” Fran, think […]

Just saying

Written By: - Date published: 1:36 pm, February 28th, 2009 - 30 comments

Let me just say I’m not against public spending on things like conferences. But I feel obliged to point out the job summit had a budget of $65,000. For 200 people for one day with no travel, accommodation or dinner. That’s the same amount Housing NZ spent on a two day conference with travel, accommodation […]

Granny’s little fit

Written By: - Date published: 1:14 pm, February 28th, 2009 - 44 comments

The crazy right-wing antics of today’s Herald would be funny if it wasn’t for the fact it’s the main paper in New Zealand’s largest city. First we’ve got Fran O’Sullivan talking about the need for the government cutting costs (I suspect she wrote the absurd editorial I commented on earlier this week). Essentially it’s more […]

Nineteen fifty one

Written By: - Date published: 10:55 pm, February 27th, 2009 - 18 comments

Today marks the anniversary of Holland’s deployment of the army to break the waterfront union in 1951. The documentary produced for the dispute’s 50th anniversary is available here. Unlike some other commentators on the left I don’t celebrate this. Nor do I celebrate the strike of 1913, despite it’s IWW origins. In both cases a […]

It’s raining men

Written By: - Date published: 5:21 pm, February 27th, 2009 - 60 comments

A reader just sent us this one minute montage of photos from John Key’s jobs summit. Enjoy.

Launch of DL – Dunedin

Written By: - Date published: 4:18 pm, February 27th, 2009 - 8 comments

I’ve just got an email on the launch of the Drinking Liberally chapter in Dunedin: Come raise your spirits as you raise a pint as New Zealand’s network of progressive drinking clubs arrives in Dunedin. Drinking Liberally is an informal, non-programmatic gathering of like-minded left-leaners, an opportunity to share you ideas while you share a […]

Spot the odd one out

Written By: - Date published: 3:32 pm, February 27th, 2009 - 39 comments

I grabbed the stills from this Herald video of the Jobs Summit – can you see her? Worth watching the first 10 seconds of the vid too for Key’s sleepytimes moment. Poor dear, this running the country thing must be exhausting. Play more Jobs Summit spot the odd one out below:

The praiseworthy and the pitiful

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, February 27th, 2009 - 4 comments

Trevor Mallard for getting himself into one of those complex, multi-blog conversations and pulling it off. A Started when he commented on a Kiwiblog post about the Backbenches show he was to be on that night. Mallard noted that, once again, no Nat was fronting on the show. Torrent of abuse from righties follows. Farrar asks people to […]

No, you leave YOUR ideology at the door

Written By: - Date published: 2:39 pm, February 27th, 2009 - 49 comments

There’s all this rubbish at the moment about people moving beyond ideology. At the Jobs Summit, attendees were harangued to ‘leave your ideology at the door’. Everything I’m hearing out of the Summit says they haven’t. The business leaders want weaker work rights, lower tax, and subsidies. The few workers’ representatives that were invited want […]

Emigration still trendy

Written By: - Date published: 1:15 pm, February 27th, 2009 - 23 comments

Herald: “Almost 1000 a week leaving for Australia. The flood of migrants across the Tasman continues unabated, with latest figures showing New Zealanders leaving at a rate approaching 1000 a week, breaking a 20-year record.” But, guys, come back. We’ve got a National government. No more of ‘that woman’, no more CFLs, no more nanny state and we’ve […]

I wish my house was clean coal clean

Written By: - Date published: 12:16 pm, February 27th, 2009 - 1 comment

Re: cycle

Written By: - Date published: 12:06 pm, February 27th, 2009 - 36 comments

According to Stuff: “Another idea on the table [at the Jobs Summit] is a $50 million cycleway built the length of the country. It would provide 3700 jobs and would take two years to build. The government is keen on it for its tourist potential.” A summit attendee writes: “Oh dear. Less than four months […]

The cost of doing (next to) nothing

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 am, February 27th, 2009 - 18 comments

Bill English is holding the country’s purse like an old woman on the subway. Far from doing what every other country is doing, injecting an adrenaline shot of spending into the economy to restore confidence by breaking the negative cycle, English is repeating the mistakes he made when he was Finance Minister during the Asian Crisis […]

Views from the Job Summit

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, February 27th, 2009 - 30 comments

– “Very clear that this is all about showing a consensus behind Key. That’s the mood among my colleagues. Seen some unionists about, their strategy seems to be to engage, rather than be left out” – “I saw a brown face. Turned out it was the cleaner. I hear Michael Jones is here too. So that’s […]

Airbrushing at will

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 pm, February 26th, 2009 - 25 comments

Via Farrar’s site I’ve come across this a lovely piece of Government spin. It’s a PDF document checking off everything National’s done in its first 100 days. It’s pretty comprehensive. Funny thing is, despite mentioning everything from bonding doctors to line by line spending reviews, they seem to have completely forgotten the unpopular 90 day […]

Previewing the jobs summit

Written By: - Date published: 5:50 pm, February 26th, 2009 - 20 comments

Tomorrow, John Key’s much anticipated jobs summit will take place. It’s a big deal, it’s got a logo and everything. Unfortunately, John seems to have left The Standard off the invite list along with all but a few unionists, the unemployed, women’s groups, and any party left of centre. If you’re going to be there, […]

A component of a component

Written By: - Date published: 4:14 pm, February 26th, 2009 - 12 comments

A regular reader of The Standard, Adders, has sent us in this cartoon, inspired by Key’s answers in the patsy interview with the Herald on the weekend, which reminded us of those classic Bush-isms

Electives

Written By: - Date published: 2:33 pm, February 26th, 2009 - 33 comments

If the 20 new elective surgery theatres Health Minister Tony Ryall has announced were going to be funded with new money, I would say ‘sounds good, let’s hope we can get the staff’. But Ryall is taking the money out of the existing budget and, so, I have a couple of issues to raise. Ryall continually says ‘the […]

Conferences are wasteful, unless you’re hosting

Written By: - Date published: 1:13 pm, February 26th, 2009 - 16 comments

Lyndon Hood does it again: The National Government has cancelled another conference, with Prime Minister John Key describing it as “a waste of public money at a critical time”. During a line-by-line review of spending by the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Mr Key discovered the so-called “Summit on Employment”, which was to be held […]

Now comes the hard part

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, February 26th, 2009 - 25 comments

I get why the government is riding so high in the polls. John Key looks confident amd relaxed albeit a little goofy sometimes but lord knows that can be a nice change after the grim sternness of Helen.  His Ministers seem pragmatic and sensible.  You can almost hear the swish swish  of 350 percale cotton […]

Herald: “we’ll dig our way out of this hole”

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, February 26th, 2009 - 4 comments

The Herald is again demonstrating its economic ignorance with its call for spending cuts in today’s editorial: Something has to give. If National will not postpone tax cuts due in April, it must trim some of the programmes it has inherited. The most costly of them, interest-free student loans, free childcare, KiwiSaver subsidies and the […]

‘Iconic’ bailouts

Written By: - Date published: 11:34 am, February 26th, 2009 - 9 comments

Bailing out a company like Air New Zealand is one thing. It has a multiplier effect on the local economy in tourism marketing, air freight, and just having a airline that is interested in having routes in and out of NZ. Giving money to your mates because they are your mates… Well this is the […]

What’s Bill planning?

Written By: - Date published: 9:20 am, February 26th, 2009 - 10 comments

Yesterday, Finance Minister Bill English made a big deal over the loss the New Zealand Superannuation Fund incurred last year. When you don’t need the money for twenty years, the current value of your asset is irrelevant. When there’s a boom on the paper value of what you have will skyrocket, when there’s a bust […]

Brian Easton’s DL talk now online

Written By: - Date published: 1:27 pm, February 25th, 2009 - 33 comments

For those of you who missed Brian Easton’s recent talk on the recession at Drinking Liberally Wgtn (or just couldn’t hear over the rain) the papers are now up online. It’s fascinating reading, if a little frightening. Part I on the world economy is here, and Part II on the New Zealand economy is here. […]

Act MP caught out

Written By: - Date published: 12:56 pm, February 25th, 2009 - 44 comments

Rethinking Crime and Punishment Director, Kim Workman, has caught Act MP David Garrett being less than honest about how many extra prisoners his draconian three strike law world create (the answer is about 14,000). In a particularly aggressive media release yesterday Garrett claimed Workman’s figures were false. Unfortunately for Garrett, Workman’s OIA request on the […]

Tax cuts no help for those worse off

Written By: - Date published: 7:59 pm, February 24th, 2009 - 73 comments

According to RNZ: Official papers confirm low income families will be worse off under the National Government’s tax cut package, compared with Labour’s. Radio New Zealand‘s political editor says papers obtained under the Official Information Act, also show higher earners will be better off. From April 2011 a person with children earning $40,000 per year […]

Shepard Fairey

Written By: - Date published: 4:12 pm, February 24th, 2009 - 2 comments

Good Copy Bad Copy (repost)

Written By: - Date published: 2:06 pm, February 24th, 2009 - Comments Off on Good Copy Bad Copy (repost)

I posted on this in the early days of The Standard but now might be a good time to check it out if you haven’t seen it already – the copyright, piracy, free culture documentary “Good Copy Bad Copy”. You can (legally) download the hi res version from bittorrent here – if you do, consider […]

Once bitten

Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, February 24th, 2009 - 43 comments

After his gaffe last time Key’s made a point of openly announcing his next meeting with the Tories’ deputy chairman, strategist and largest donor, Lord Ashcroft. A company controlled by the billionaire is currently being investigated back in the UK for possible breaches electoral law relating to its political donations. Key insists that Ashcroft hasn’t […]

Don’t kill the Cullen Fund

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, February 24th, 2009 - 46 comments

Michael Littlewood has made a career of advocating superannuation privatisation and is part of an international organisation called Pension Reforms dedicated to the privatisation of superannuation. Yesterday, he was given a platform in the Herald and on the news (one or three, can’t remember), to argue the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (known as the Cullen […]

The ink’s red, there’s less of it, and no-one’s reading it

Written By: - Date published: 7:55 pm, February 23rd, 2009 - 17 comments

New circulation figures show that the number of papers sold by the major dailies continues to slide. In 2007, the big three (Herald, Dom, Press) published 384,037 papers a day on average each. Now, that’s down to 358,047. Last year alone, circulation fell nearly 24,000 or 6%. Of more importance for papers’ revenue than circulation […]

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