Archive for March, 2009

National dumps worker reps from ACC board

Written By: - Date published: 5:49 pm, March 31st, 2009 - 13 comments

Nick Smith announced National’s changes to the ACC board this afternoon. As expected they’ve kicked Wayne Butson and Ross Wilson off the board, meaning ACC no longer has any worker representation. In their place are a mixed bag of company directors and consultants headed by an affiliate member of the Business Roundtable. This isn’t just […]

Have your say

Written By: - Date published: 1:15 pm, March 31st, 2009 - 4 comments

Professor Paul Callaghan from Victoria University introduces the ‘Think Tech’ site via video. Panelists will look at what sorts of new technologies, in ICTs, nano-technologies, or bio-technologies, are likely to emerge in the future, and the effects these could have on our society and on our education systems. Are we prepared for this future? Are […]

Econopocalypse

Written By: - Date published: 12:33 pm, March 31st, 2009 - 1 comment

My pick for word of the day.

Cold.

Written By: - Date published: 12:32 pm, March 31st, 2009 - 18 comments

[click on image for full size]

Sean Plunket, “interviewer”

Written By: - Date published: 11:44 am, March 31st, 2009 - 19 comments

I’ve just listened to Sean Plunket interview Goff this morning. It was actually less of an interview and more an exercise in running cover for Richard Worth. And of course it’s not the first time Plunket has gone feral when National has been in trouble. A couple of weeks ago, he was demanding Labour produce […]

Repeat offender

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, March 31st, 2009 - 11 comments

Breakfast host Paul Henry is in trouble again after making fun of a guest’s appearance. “Shall I read these out? They’re a bit iffy,” he said, holding viewers’ comments. “Everyone in my ear is saying ‘don’t read it out’.” Co-host Alison Mau tried unsuccessfully to dissuade Henry and bowed her head as he began to […]

Worth’s story unravels

Written By: - Date published: 3:54 am, March 31st, 2009 - 55 comments

Despite getting a “bollocking” from John Key, Richard Worth last night denied that he had been acting as a minister when he went around India promoting flight training provided by a company he had shares in. Unfortunately for Worth, they have the internet in India too: Indian Express 28 Feb 2009 ‘My personal commitment to […]

Time for Fyfe to go

Written By: - Date published: 11:53 pm, March 30th, 2009 - 26 comments

It’s time for Bill English, as shareholding minister in Air New Zealand, to tell the AirNZ board that either they fire CEO Robert Fyfe or he will fire them. Yesterday, Fyfe directly attacked two government policies. First, he threatened to cancel flights if air traffic controllers take their meal breaks at the statutorily guaranteed times. […]

“Corrupt!”

Written By: - Date published: 4:19 pm, March 30th, 2009 - 61 comments

National rode to power off the back of years of rhetoric accusing the last Labour government of corruption. Who can forget the screams from the Nats? – “Corrupt! Corrupt! Corrupt!” they cried. The boys in blue were going to deliver us a new era of transparency and accountable government. Interesting then to see a report […]

Comparing freedom of information

Written By: - Date published: 2:59 pm, March 30th, 2009 - 2 comments

Idiot/Savant has a great post in an aussie blog Larvatus Prodeo on the legal and operational differences between our Official Information Act 1982 compared to the Australian Freedom Of Information Act. Journalists, academics, lobby groups, opposition politicians and ordinary troublemakers like me are routinely given sensitive documents they would never be allowed to see in […]

A healthy dose of reality on prisons

Written By: - Date published: 12:37 pm, March 30th, 2009 - 10 comments

Peter Williams QC was on Breakfast this morning giving a refreshingly frank assessment of the problems with our prison and justice systems – specifically how *not* to solve them: Our prisons are a complete and absolute disgrace but they’re not going to be helped by privatisiation. Worth watching.

Paul Henry defends his right to act like a child

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, March 30th, 2009 - 31 comments

Anna at The Handmirror has written a good post on Paul Henry and his obnoxious glee in denigrating someone for their appearance. I’m going to quote it in full for wider attention. TVNZ has received a number of complaints about Paul Henry, following his making fun of Greenpeace’s Stephanie Mills for her facial hair. But […]

Ad questions

Written By: - Date published: 10:55 am, March 30th, 2009 - 19 comments

Does anyone know why DairyNZ, the seafood industry, and the forestry industry are running ad campaigns at the moment? They’re strange ad campaigns because they don’t try to get you to buy anything. (‘oh, yeah, fish! I forgot about fish’). The dairy industry isn’t trying to get more people now the boom has passed. All the ads have […]

New Left blog

Written By: - Date published: 9:33 am, March 30th, 2009 - 1 comment

Fickle Cycle, a left-wing Kiwi blog with an international focus.

Brits aim assistance to the low income

Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, March 30th, 2009 - 22 comments

The irony of this article struck me when this week the well-off get the biggest boost to their wallet. From the Guardian : The chancellor is preparing to channel cash to poorer families in his budget as part of a mini-fiscal stimulus to kick-start the economy and protect the vulnerable. Senior cabinet figures are backing […]

SSTimes Editorial: Clark’s UN job great for NZ but…

Written By: - Date published: 2:59 pm, March 29th, 2009 - 35 comments

I haven’t spotted an on-line version of this yet (SStimes Editorial, 29 Mar 2009) but wanted to pull a couple of quotes out that made sense to me: Helen Clark’s new post is an achievement, both for her and New Zealand. She is the outstanding politician of her generation and this appointment recognises and rewards […]

Tax cuts for some

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, March 29th, 2009 - 46 comments

The Weekend Herald’s front page proclaims ‘$2 billion more in the pocket“. The article goes on to say “the average worker will get $15.66 a week”. But who is this ‘average worker’? The Herald has used the average wage, which is $47,500 a year, but that’s not what the typical employed person earns because the […]

Rehabilitated?

Written By: - Date published: 11:58 am, March 29th, 2009 - 9 comments

On Q+A this morning, Judith Collins couldn’t defend prisons for profit but she sounded quite reasonable when talking about the need for more rehabilitation. She even criticised Labour for longer sentences that are leading to overcrowding in the prisons. Good sentiments but, funny, it doesn’t sound like the Judith Collins we know. 19 July 2007 […]

Ralston’s hackery continues

Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, March 29th, 2009 - 12 comments

Earlier this week we pointed out that John Key has started running a new line. Now instead of calling touchy-feely liberal policies on things like climate change and public health ‘PC gone mad’ (too Don Brash), National is referring to them as ‘hug a polar bear’ programmes. Right on cue, Key cheerleader Bill Ralston is […]

A hint of uranium on the breeze

Written By: - Date published: 9:55 am, March 29th, 2009 - 32 comments

Well well well. According to the Herald: “New Zealanders are being asked whether the Government should allow nuclear-powered ships back into our waters … workers for a market research company have disclosed they have been polling voters about nuclear power”. Bravo to the staff involved for blowing the whistle. The usual suspects, National, ACT and […]

What’s a Poor Pragmatic Key to do?

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, March 29th, 2009 - Comments Off on What’s a Poor Pragmatic Key to do?

Just when the Kiwi corporate kleptocracy was kicking into high gear to ensure that the taxpayer is properly stuck with the paying the whole of New Zealand’s Kyoto carbon bill according to the time honoured ‘privatise the profit, socialize the loss’ principle, the Labour /Green Opposition may well crank up the thermostat on the Govt […]

Herald cartoonist bereft of ideas?

Written By: - Date published: 3:36 pm, March 28th, 2009 - 12 comments

Seeing some of Rod Emmerson’s cartoons in the Herald over 2009 thus far, you’d think we were into the Right’s nightmare of a fourth term Labour-led government. With Helen Clark’s new position at the U.N of course she’ll continue to be in the news. But on Thursday all Emmerson could offer us was an image […]

Standing up

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, March 28th, 2009 - 7 comments

This week Sealord confirmed it would lay off 130 staff to improve its already healthy return on capital. The other 400 have been threatened with the sack if they don’t accept pay cuts. The Service and Food Workers Union has put together a youtube clip about community resistance to corporate greed, focusing on the rally […]

Fun with labour productivity

Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, March 28th, 2009 - 14 comments

We often hear that labour productivity is not growing fast enough and some argue it should be a focus of government economic policy. Yesterday, for example, Bill English was trying to blame the recession on the average growth in productivity under Labour. However, economists like Brian Easton point out that labour productivity growth is heavily […]

Sack Henry Now.

Written By: - Date published: 6:11 pm, March 27th, 2009 - 240 comments

When I first saw this clip of Paul Henry publicly ridiculing Greenpeace’s Stephanie Mills for (in his view) having a moustache I decided not to give it any more oxygen. But now that it’s on the Herald website I guess the horse has bolted. There’s nothing else to do now but call for his immediate […]

Update: Shepard Fairey v AP

Written By: - Date published: 2:48 pm, March 27th, 2009 - Comments Off on Update: Shepard Fairey v AP

Over at his site Shepard Fairey, the creater of the Obama “HOPE” poster, has an update on his legal wrangle with the Associated Press. I’m sure a lot of people are wondering about my case with the AP over the Obama HOPE poster. I can’t talk about every aspect of the case, but there are […]

Caption contest

Written By: - Date published: 12:31 pm, March 27th, 2009 - 57 comments

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Take responsibility or take the blame

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, March 27th, 2009 - 11 comments

As Minister of Works responding to a disaster in his portfolio, Bob Semple famously said ‘I am responsible but not to blame’. That has become one of our political mores. If they are not personally at fault, ministers shouldn’t have to take the blame when things go wrong but they are responsible for dealing with the […]

Who cares?

Written By: - Date published: 4:27 pm, March 26th, 2009 - 15 comments

Over the last few days the online news media have been getting increasingly wound up over some Australian expat guy who’s apparently said some rude things about New Zealand on his blog. I usually don’t bother with this kind of insufferable tabloid crap, but as the outrage continued my curiosity got the better of me […]

Blindly cutting away

Written By: - Date published: 2:08 pm, March 26th, 2009 - 23 comments

One of the most cavalier and foolish actions of the National led government during its first 100 day blitz of legislation (in itself described by many as an assault on democracy) was the cancellation of the R&D tax credit. The business community warned well in advance that cutting the credit was a very bad idea, […]

Mission-On off

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, March 26th, 2009 - 21 comments

If the definition of PC is doing things because they fit an ideology, not because they make sense, then it’s clear National and ACT are pushing their own PC agenda. It’s out with successful and value-for-money programs like Mission-On. For a small cost now in helping kids develop healthy eating habits we will save ourselves […]

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