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Archive for June, 2009

Justifying the unjustifiable

Written By: - Date published: 8:03 pm, June 30th, 2009 - 20 comments

Spending time with DC neo-cons must be going to Farrar’s head. I thought better of him than supporting the Honduran military’s overthrow of President Manuel Zelaya. Farrar offers a legalistic justification for the military/rightwing coup (yes, it is actually the right behind the coup with the support of the military, read up): Zelaya has been elected to a four […]

Tories fearing Goff

Written By: - Date published: 3:54 pm, June 30th, 2009 - 38 comments

The last few Question Times, the Tories have been whipping out old Goff quotes. Patsies are set to bring them out. Key goes off on wild side-tracks as an excuse to use them. Labour asks serious questions like ‘what are you doing about jobs’ and get back: ‘In 1986, Goff said we have to get the […]

No more Mr Nice Guy

Written By: - Date published: 3:04 pm, June 30th, 2009 - 23 comments

John Key has a carefully constructed image as a “nice guy”, with a self professed “sunny nature” no less. There is ample reason to believe that the image is far from the reality. In his previous work Key appeared proud of his ability to fire, without emotion, hundreds of people (earning himself the nickname of […]

Nats give ticket-clipper to private hospitals

Written By: - Date published: 2:20 pm, June 30th, 2009 - 8 comments

The government has changed the rules so that DHBs can make standing contracts for private hospitals to perform public elective surgeries. If DHBs start to contract large numbers of electives to these private providers, they will have to hire more medical staff and they’ll have to poach them from the public system. It’s not like […]

Two birds with one stone

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, June 30th, 2009 - 11 comments

In 2007, in election mode, John Key was talking up National’s commitment to the environment and the Enviroschools programme: Without a trace of irony, the video ends with ‘join the conversation’. It’s clear now that you can converse all you want with Key. He won’t listen. They’ve cancelled Enviroschools. Undermining education and the environment with […]

Pay equity protest TODAY

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, June 30th, 2009 - Comments Off on Pay equity protest TODAY

It’s pissing down with rain here in Wellington but the pay equity protest is going ahead. Grab your workmates and head down to Parliament at lunch to tell the government to reverse their cuts and start taking pay equity seriously. What: Pay equity protest Where: Parliament When: 12.30 today More info at www.union.org.nz/payequity

A rolling maul or treading water?

Written By: - Date published: 5:58 am, June 30th, 2009 - 33 comments

In the face of widespread criticism that his government is asleep at the wheel, John Key has boldly relaunched some tired old spin. See, we’re meant to believe the reason why our government, alone amongst the developed countries, has done bugger-all to save and create jobs is that, rather than a ‘big-bang’, Key has adopted […]

Bluehost have been a pain, but it is all over now.

Written By: - Date published: 4:59 am, June 30th, 2009 - 34 comments

Ok. The new server is up and running after a few painful days with the system being suspended, and then after moving it to a backup and having a partition run out of space (yesterdays problem). The ostensible reason that Bluehost were suspending my account was because the processing usage on their CPU’s was exceeding […]

Bugger the polls

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, June 29th, 2009 - 34 comments

With every new cock-up or dereliction of duty from this Key government, righties point to the Roy Morgan polls and say ‘seems the voters don’t care’. It’s true that National is still polling around 50% in the Roy Morgan and parties’ internal polls. Yet the old hands in the Left aren’t too worried. Short of […]

Banks and tax avoidance

Written By: - Date published: 9:16 pm, June 28th, 2009 - 1 comment

The appeal by the BNZ against the IRD assessment of $466 million for avoiding income tax has wound up in the High Court and the decision is still to appear. We don’t know yet whether our Finance Select Committee will conduct an enquiry into the banks’ interest rate margins. The Prime Minister and Finance Minister […]

Emperor’s new clothes?

Written By: - Date published: 6:41 pm, June 28th, 2009 - 3 comments

I was in relaxed, Saturday mode, perusing the Dom Post at my leisure. Then I read this from Tracey Watkins and checked that the world had not shifted in alignment: Has the Government lost its mojo? How else to explain the uncanny quiet that has descended on the Beehive in recent weeks? It may be […]

National’s successes

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, June 27th, 2009 - 72 comments

National’s 2008 election victory was undoubtedly a great success for the Party. Just two terms after humiliating defeat under the leadership of Bill English, National rose from the ashes to claim a convincing win. Forming a broad coalition that brought the Maori Party into the fold, thus simultaneously broadening National’s coalition options and lessening the necessity to […]

Nats ignored Treasury’s warnings on cancelling Cullen Fund payments

Written By: - Date published: 2:27 pm, June 27th, 2009 - 18 comments

In the newly released Budget papers Treasury acknowledges that cancelling the Cullen Fund contributions would only reduce debt by 5% (more than offset by increase in assets) and it will put our ability to pay for superannuation at risk in the long-term: While the contributions holiday component of the package helps to reduce gross debt, […]

Tax cuts, one-off payment, or something better?

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, June 27th, 2009 - 46 comments

Budget papers just released reveal that Treasury recommended a package of measures to reduce debt including an 8-year suspension of the Cullen fund contributions, new operating allowances of $1 billion, rather than $1.75 billion and cancelling the tax cuts and giving New Zealanders $1billion worth of one-off payments instead. This either would have taken the form […]

Libertarian laughs

Written By: - Date published: 11:19 am, June 27th, 2009 - 17 comments

[Hat tip: onegoodmove]

Labour’s labours lost

Written By: - Date published: 5:26 am, June 26th, 2009 - 69 comments

I remember just over a year ago, Helen Clark announcing that the number of people on the unemployment benefit had fallen below 18,000 for the first time in 30 years. The roomful of Labour supporters erupted into applause. Contrary to the crap you hear from righties, Labour top priority is making sure everyone who wants one […]

Rough and tumble

Written By: - Date published: 8:49 pm, June 25th, 2009 - 14 comments

I didn’t listen to the House today but Tom Frewen did, and he points out there was: Squabbling over minister’s answers to opposition questions continues with surprise twist when the Speaker upholds Labour’s complaint that the Finance Minister failed to answer a patsy question from one of his own backbenchers (visit site for the audio) […]

So, what are you going to do?

Written By: - Date published: 5:22 pm, June 25th, 2009 - 8 comments

Over at the Labour MPs’ blog, Red Alert, Brendon Burns has written a piece criticising Agriculture Minister David Carter on the welfare of pigs in sow crates. But while it’s good to see Labour, or at least a Labour MP, finally take a stand on the sow crate issue (God knows the Tories won’t), I […]

Reminder

Written By: - Date published: 4:57 pm, June 25th, 2009 - Comments Off on Reminder

No Right Turn reminds us that submissions on the government’s election funding issues paper are due in tomorrow. It doesn’t have to go into huge detail, a few key points will probably do the trick. If you want some pointers on what to say Rob Salmond has some suggestions here, and you can download his […]

Roger Award nominations open

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, June 25th, 2009 - 27 comments

Nominations are now open for the 2009 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand, which is organised the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa and GATT Watchdog. You can download the nomination form (in either Word or PDF) here. The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation which […]

Cash (for the rich) in Auckland’s attic?

Written By: - Date published: 2:58 pm, June 25th, 2009 - 31 comments

The soften up for the next big fire-sale of Kiwi assets is well under way in Auckland, as Rogernomics morphs into Rodneynomics. On Tuesday 16th June the Herald published a special section “Project Auckland” sponsored by a number of companies including Deloitte’s. In it was an article by Fran O’Sullivan called “Cash in Auckland’s attic” […]

Crossing the line

Written By: - Date published: 2:16 pm, June 25th, 2009 - 38 comments

Tuesday’s post, A Rankin headache started: There must be an automatic recoil on the Government benches when Christine Rankin’s name is mentioned. In the comments, “gobsmacked” makes the observation [abridged]: John Key has decided to respond by indulging in some very nasty mud-slinging. This what he said in the House on Tuesday: ‘When National was in […]

Don’t just stand there

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, June 25th, 2009 - 20 comments

John Key’s government has reacted to the thousands of job losses occurring each week in this country in much the same way a possum crossing a road reacts to headlights. Since over-promising and under-delivering with the Jobs Summit, they’ve been exposed as completely out of ideas. The dole queue is growing by 1100 each week, […]

Moreu on the Jobs Summit

Written By: - Date published: 12:28 pm, June 25th, 2009 - 1 comment

Change of tune

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, June 25th, 2009 - 30 comments

A couple of weeks ago, David Farrar was all for investigating MPs’ expenses here. He was covering the UK scandal in depth. He tired to make a mountain out of a molehill when the Greens released their expenses. Now his tune has suddenly changed. Now he’s going to great lengths to explain the system isn’t […]

McJobs

Written By: - Date published: 11:13 am, June 25th, 2009 - 83 comments

John Key, 20 May 2007: My legacy will be a strong New Zealand economy with higher wages, lower taxes and greater competitiveness. My legacy will be a country that young New Zealanders want to stay and work in. The Press, 25 June 2009: Thousands of beneficiaries could soon be flipping burgers under a deal between […]

What, me worry?

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, June 24th, 2009 - 53 comments

Apparently, Minister for Unemployment Paula Bennett doesn’t like reading too much, She prefers to have things explained to her with whiteboards, charts, and graphs. Now, we’ve received one of those graphs with Bennett’s notes added. Seems she’s as relaxed about soaring unemployment as Key:

Sell-outs

Written By: - Date published: 12:26 pm, June 24th, 2009 - 61 comments

Tariana Turia has put out a press release today having a bit of a cry that Labour MPs have been calling ‘sell-out’ when she and Pita Sharples speak in Parliament. Clearly it’s hit a nerve. Well, Tariana, if you don’t like to be labeled a sell-out, simple solution: don’t be a member of a government […]

The truth will out

Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, June 24th, 2009 - 28 comments

Key’s excuse for not telling Parliament why he lost confidence in Richard Worth is that it isn’t in the public interest to say. So let’s think about this ‘public interest’ excuse. ‘Public interest’ is very rarely used; Trevor Mallard said he can think of two other times it has been invoked during his time in […]

Server move

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, June 24th, 2009 - 19 comments

The hosting company has moved the site to a new server last night at about 10pm. That is nice, however they didn’t bother to inform us that it was happening. Of course it was 0400 their time. I noticed it because I was working on a few bugs like the archive page at the time. […]

Asleep at the wheel

Written By: - Date published: 1:14 am, June 24th, 2009 - 25 comments

Yesterday, Goff asked Key for some evidence that his government is doing something to save jobs. Key squirmed and squirmed. Goff: What have the three main ideas that emerged from the Job Summit, and that he promised would save or create thousands of jobs, delivered in actual job numbers? Key: I would say that the […]

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