Archive for February, 2009

S92A deferred

Written By: - Date published: 5:25 pm, February 23rd, 2009 - 15 comments

Looks like the introduction of s92a has been deferred… It is still a bit of a rumour (at least until I find the press release). Good! Hopefully this will concentrate the minds of the parties involved in the code of conduct. Update: From 3 News UPDATED: 5:10pm The government has called for a delay in […]

DL Wellington with Grant Robertson

Written By: - Date published: 4:24 pm, February 23rd, 2009 - 3 comments

Under Patrick’s iron fist, things seem much more organised with DL Wellington. For just about the first time ever, there will be a DL a fortnight after the previous one, as they originally planned. This Thursday, Wellington Central’s new MP, Labour’s Grant Robertson will be speaking. So, if you like Wellington or you like drinking […]

Judith Collins – nascent Minister of Embarrassment?

Written By: - Date published: 4:15 pm, February 23rd, 2009 - 6 comments

Should have seen it coming Judith Collins has been vying politically with Rodney Hide to become the NACT’s Minister of Embarrassment (and Comedy). This is creatively portrayed in today’s Mike Moreu cartoon, as he ties her last weirdo play for the kneejerk vote to her current one. For a background on this current Judith Collins […]

Flashback from way back

Written By: - Date published: 3:16 pm, February 23rd, 2009 - 23 comments

Anyone else read Audrey Young’s interview of Bill English in the New Zealand Herald and get a massive feeling of deja vu? Here’s a typical outtake: Rather than the Treasury working out where to cut spending, he wants the departments to change the way they think. “We will get them doing it. They are going […]

Fitzsimons to step down from Greens’ co-leadership

Written By: - Date published: 1:54 pm, February 23rd, 2009 - 20 comments

Jeanette  has announced she will be stepping down at co-leader of the Greens. Technically, she will just not be putting her name up for re-election – the Greens elect/re-confirm their leaders at their annual conference (the only party that elects their leaders with the votes of the membership, not just the MPs). Jeanette has made […]

Being stupid on the economy

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, February 23rd, 2009 - 20 comments

Brian Fallow  has some extraordinarily good analysis of the economic situation in his piece today. Here’s some important passages (and my, unfortunately, extensive comments): “We are really talking about two recessions back to back,” AXA Global Investors chief economist Bevan Graham said. “Last year it was a domestic one, that we needed to have. There […]

Protest mode on Section 92A

Written By: - Date published: 9:36 am, February 23rd, 2009 - 3 comments

This Saturday, February 28th, Section 92A of the Copyright Act is due to come into force. It is currently unworkable. This website has voluntarily been taken down in protest against this clause. In its current form the clause will allow for arbitrary disconnection from the net on an accusation. That will result (at best) with […]

Granny’s baked some patsies for you, dearie

Written By: - Date published: 10:48 am, February 21st, 2009 - 23 comments

Can you spot the question that wasn’t asked of Key by Armstrong and Young in their six page interview with him in today’s Herald? Is there too much “doom and gloom” talk at the moment, especially by and in the media? There’s a lot of debate among commentators as to whether your stimulus package will […]

Education lesson from UK

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, February 21st, 2009 - 59 comments

Last year we saw how unpopular National’s “national testing” policy was going to be. Now a major study in the UK is highly critical of what appears to be a similar policy. The Guardian says: Children’s lives are being impoverished by the government’s insistence that schools focus on literacy and numeracy at the expense of […]

A sign of the times?

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 pm, February 20th, 2009 - 5 comments

This item in the Brisbane Times caught my eye as to how the whole nature of campaigning is changing – and the mixed blessing of Facebook: A senior Liberal National Party staffer has been reprimanded over comments she made on a website attacking Premier Anna Bligh. Katherine Smith, a media adviser for LNP deputy leader […]

The praiseworthy and the pitiful

Written By: - Date published: 1:04 pm, February 20th, 2009 - 23 comments

The praiseworthy and the pitiful is our weekly post on the little things that caught our eye but didn’t lead to a full post. This week: Tracy Watkins’ new blog A best of the political journos’ blogs I reckon. Watkins has been responding to comments, showing a bit of a sassy side, and her pieces […]

Actions speak louder than words

Written By: - Date published: 10:53 am, February 20th, 2009 - 51 comments

Remember this infamous PowerPoint presentation from National’s 2005 campaign? Remember the Nats’ vote-winning strategy of targeting female voters as outlined in The Hollow Men? Remember Key’s answer to Investigate Magazine: Investigate: In terms of the votes that you’re out to capture by 2008, who are you after, what is your target market? Key: It’s got […]

Clare Curran on s92(a)

Written By: - Date published: 10:40 am, February 20th, 2009 - 12 comments

Yesterday, Labour’s communications and IT spokesperson, Clare Curran, sought Parliament’s leave to introduce a Bill to attempt to fix s92(a), the ‘guilt by accusation’ provision in the Copyright Act that is about to come into force. Any MP can deny leave and National did so. Following that, and her comment on the blog yesterday, we […]

Roy Morgan poll

Written By: - Date published: 9:29 am, February 20th, 2009 - 34 comments

Well, that’s slightly better. The new Roy Morgan poll has the Nats on 48.5%, still a solid result but well down on the TV3 poll on Wednesday that had them on 60. The numbers are: National 48.5% Labour 32% Greens 8.5% Maori 3.5% ACT 2.5% NZ First 1.5% Progressives 1% United 0.5% Others 2% Obviously […]


Written By: - Date published: 8:26 pm, February 19th, 2009 - 2 comments

I spent a very fruitful day at webstock in Wellington today listening to some heavy hitters from the US and UK talk about what makes good social media. For those of you who don’t know it, webstock is a movement/event based on the idea that the web is a tool of democratisation and community. Sort […]

The Standard and s92a.

Written By: - Date published: 6:20 pm, February 19th, 2009 - 39 comments

I’m not going to go over the whys and wherefores of this clause of the new copyright act. No Right Turn, Just Left, Public Address and David Farrar already have. I have a lot of sympathy for the intent of this clause. Many of the people I come into contact with do creative work, including […]

Copyright protest pics

Written By: - Date published: 2:40 pm, February 19th, 2009 - 44 comments

A reader has sent in some pics from today’s protest at Parliament against the ‘guilt by accusation’ copyright law. Looks like quite a striking protest, and not a bad turnout for such short notice. You can click on the thumbnails below for full size. UPDATE: In the comments Trevor Mallard and Clare Curran report that […]

Thankfully, the election isn’t tomorrow

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, February 19th, 2009 - 147 comments

When John Key and Pita Sharples were jostled by two Maori men opposed to the National-Maori Party alliance, the thing that stuck in my mind was Key’s smile. Like Donald Trump’s hair, it was back in place immediately, covering whatever lies underneath. That smile, and the intensive, expensive, extensive image management it represents, are the […]

Standing up for landlordism

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, February 19th, 2009 - 89 comments

So, National has decided to scrap a raft of tenant protections proposed by the last Labour Government and tilt the deck back in favour of landlords. Clearly the new Government thinks tenants have had it too good for too long, and in hard times like these it’s the 8% of New Zealanders who own investment […]

Tories bulldoze human rights, your rights

Written By: - Date published: 7:38 pm, February 18th, 2009 - 43 comments

The Attorney-General, National’s Chris Finalyson, has declared that the ‘3 strikes and you’re out’ Bill that National/ACT (and Finlayson himself) are about to vote for violates human rights. From Finlayson’s report: What does that mean? Finlayson is saying that giving a life sentence to a person who is on their third strike for an offence that […]

Obama’s elf

Written By: - Date published: 5:01 pm, February 18th, 2009 - 11 comments

I’ve tried all day not to post this, now I’m giving in to get a good night’s sleep.

DL Christchurch with Therese Arsenau

Written By: - Date published: 1:13 pm, February 18th, 2009 - 4 comments

Drinking Liberally Christchurch has its first meeting of the new year on March 5, with political commentator and academic Therese Arsenau to speak. She had some interesting perspectives on what the Left needed to do during the campaign and I’m sure she will have some comments on what the Left needs to do now. As […]

Protest against copyright law

Written By: - Date published: 12:29 pm, February 18th, 2009 - 17 comments

Creative Freedom NZ has organised a protest against the “guilt by accusation” copyright law tomorrow in Wellington: When: 12:00, Thursday 19 February Where: Parliament forecourt Wear: Bright colours, with a black placard. Please head along and show your support for natural justice. [Hat tip (in fact nicked verbatim from) No Right Turn] [Update, time has […]

On ACT’s three strikes policy

Written By: - Date published: 11:42 am, February 18th, 2009 - 13 comments

ACT’s infamous three-strikes-and-you’re-out policy will get a first airing in the House tomorrow when the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill is introduced. Violent and sexual offenders will face harsher penalties each time they reoffend – a first “strike” will earn a warning, a second will get a no-parole jail term, and a third a life […]

Bill English – Ashamed of being a hypocrite?

Written By: - Date published: 11:29 am, February 18th, 2009 - 12 comments

David Cunliffe has been doing something that Bill English really hates – asking questions about actual accounting and fiscal practices. The reason that Bill hates this is because he keeps getting caught in his mythologies of opposition. These were designed more for the dogwhistle brigade who prefer a good incorrect story to what is required […]

Nat Minister unhappy, leaks Key email

Written By: - Date published: 9:29 am, February 18th, 2009 - 53 comments

Well, that didn’t take long. In the first 100 days of the new National government we’ve seen a clamp-down on workers’ rights, tax cuts for the rich, and now tying everything up nicely in a big bow, we have the first leaked National Party email of the term. Another day, another leak in the National […]

Sleight of hand

Written By: - Date published: 5:55 am, February 18th, 2009 - 27 comments

We’ve been saying for some time that the $9 billion of fiscal stimulus that the Government claims it is putting into the economy in reaction to the global recession is no such thing. In fact, the Government is spending within the ordinary increase in spending allotted by the Budget back in May. And it is […]

Free doco

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 pm, February 17th, 2009 - 13 comments

There’s been a lot of talk over the last couple of days on Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and the controversial referendum on removing the two-term limit on standing for re-election. As it happens I recently discovered John Pilger’s recent documentary The War on Democracy is now available for free on Google Video. Granted, Pilger’s a […]

Ryall sacks DHB Chair

Written By: - Date published: 5:47 pm, February 17th, 2009 - 30 comments

Health Minister Tony Ryall’s decision to sack Richard Thompson as Chairman of the Otago District Health Board on the grounds of historical fraud by a staff member has a nasty whiff of political interference to it. Considering the fraud began before Thompson became Chairman and it was caught and stopped under his watch the case […]

Maintenance and upgrades

Written By: - Date published: 4:06 pm, February 17th, 2009 - 25 comments

The latest load of bill-paying work has finished (and the site is paid up until June). I’m at a relatively loose end for a few weeks. There are a number of postponed tasks that I’ll catch up on, but there should be a lot of time for the site. Tonight there will be some work […]

Fueling the PR machine ain’t cheap

Written By: - Date published: 2:53 pm, February 17th, 2009 - 13 comments

Just like petrol prices, the cost of fueling National’s PR machine is on the rise. Tracy Watkins reports that “National has employed 18 press secretaries on salaries of $100,000 or more.  Seven are employed in the $10,000 band below $100,000”. In the past Winston dubbed the National Party PR machine “The ministry of National affairs”. No […]

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