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Archive for July, 2009

Caption competition

Written By: - Date published: 4:44 pm, July 31st, 2009 - 75 comments

Just when we thought he couldn’t top the comic value of the cycleway…

Youth Court Judge speaks out, sky doesn’t fall

Written By: - Date published: 3:08 pm, July 31st, 2009 - 14 comments

A couple of weeks ago Justice Minister Simon Power slammed Chief Justice Sian Elias for commenting on possibilities of change in the criminal justice system. He was unimpressed that the Chief Justice would dally into the realm of policy when it is the job of judges to apply the law, not to make it. Setting […]

Use of weapons

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, July 31st, 2009 - 89 comments

I’ve been thinking about the different ways ministers from the Left and the Right approach governing. I think it goes back to where they come from, where their ideological roots are. Ministers from Labour and other leftwing parties tend to have backgrounds in serving a wider community. Teachers, professors, union officials, public servants. Those roles […]

Benefits, wages and anger

Written By: - Date published: 11:51 am, July 31st, 2009 - 69 comments

The recent furore about benefit levels has brought a lot of comments along the lines of ” I don’t get it why should they?” out of the woodwork along with a lot of hardluck stories from low wage earners such as this one from Phoenix on Colin Espiner’s blog: I am 6 months pregnant with […]

Chilling effect

Written By: - Date published: 11:41 am, July 31st, 2009 - 8 comments

I’m frankly a little surprised at the way the media and The Herald especially has jumped on the attack the victim bandwagon in the Bennett scandal. If there’s one golden rule of journalism it’s don’t be seen to be fucking over your sources, and that’s what the Herald is doing. I guess they feel some […]

Wee gripes: spreading ignorance

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, July 31st, 2009 - 13 comments

Tracy Watkins: “productivity as a country – the amount of goods and services each worker produces and the value they add” God. Here’s a correct definition: “productivity – the amount of output per hour of work” The difference? Use Watkins’ definition and it seems if you work longer you’ll be increasing productivity. That might increase […]

The Herald soils its pulpit

Written By: - Date published: 9:16 am, July 31st, 2009 - 52 comments

Thundering from the pulpit is a fine old editorial tradition, and The Herald has often held forth on the rule of law. Starting with the basics: The law must be upheld… The law matters, as The Herald feels perfectly comfortable pointing out to those it feels need the advice: If the law is enforced impartially […]

Wee gripes: doublethink

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 pm, July 30th, 2009 - 31 comments

If you read Kiwiblog or listen to talkback radio (basically the same thing – smart guy baiting reactionaries for his political ends) then you’ll have noticed the latest line on Bennett. It boils down to ‘remember how Labour did similar things to Bennett? Like Dalziel and that Sri Lankan girl. They were bad and evil […]

Brash speech confirms National’s secret agenda

Written By: - Date published: 5:04 pm, July 30th, 2009 - 79 comments

This is simply stunning. Don Brash, our new productivity tsar, has just released a speech where he proves he hasn’t changed a bit from the nasty, bigoted far right radical of the Douglas-Richardson era. It’s a typically long and long-winded speech, but in the first two paragraphs he shows how unsuited he is to fill […]

Comfortable with bullying

Written By: - Date published: 10:55 am, July 30th, 2009 - 96 comments

John Key is “comfortable” with his Minister Paul Bennett releasing private information (in breach of the Cabinet Manual, Privacy Commission guidelines, and the Privacy Act). This was a move designed solely to harass and bully two individuals that Bennett wanted to silence. How could that Nice Mr Key be comfortable with such a gross abuse […]

In bed with bigotry

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, July 30th, 2009 - 34 comments

Maori Party MP Rahui Katene’s Matariki Public Holiday Bill was before the House last night (I understand National is planning to vote it down when it comes to the vote in three weeks). Anyway, as a precursor, Katene asked a question on the Government’s attitude to Maori holidays during Question Time. Chris Finlayson answered with nice platitudes. […]

Substance matters

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, July 30th, 2009 - 32 comments

Last night, our positive and ambitious National/Act government: Voted against Green MP Metiria Turei’s bill to protect the 111 Maui dolphins left. Voted against Labour MP Maryan Street’s bill to ban the importation of goods made by slave labour. Indicated they will vote against Maori Party MP Rahui Katene’s bill to institute Matariki as a […]

Horrific and ugly

Written By: - Date published: 5:50 am, July 30th, 2009 - 19 comments

That’s what Bennett is calling the Right’s attacks on the women she released confidential information about. As if she didn’t know that would happen. As if she didn’t know that releasing this information on what seems like large amounts of money when you don’t have the facts would send every knuckle-dragging redneck, reactionary in the […]

Fishy

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 pm, July 29th, 2009 - 38 comments

Here’s one of the solo mothers targeted by Bennett appearing on Checkpoint last evening. She’s angry and eloquent and clearly aware of the game that has been played. Talking about the attacks that have been made on her by talkback callers she says: It’s been really heartbreaking but they feel they have the right to […]

Change to policy – Privacy Consent

Written By: - Date published: 3:41 pm, July 29th, 2009 - 26 comments

This has been added to the policy because as Lew points out there appear to be morons in government, blogs, and in journalism who appear to think that by speaking out on a blog about politics implies that you lose all expectation of protections on privacy. I’d suggest that all blogs insert this or something […]

Bully State

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, July 29th, 2009 - 42 comments

NZPA reports: An MP from government confidence and supply party ACT today told prison officers who spoke out against private prisons that they had hurt their future job prospects. David Garrett’s remark came hot on the heals of accusations yesterday that the Government attempted to intimidate and silence people. Those claims were sparked by Social […]

Apologists

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, July 29th, 2009 - 58 comments

Picture this: Anchor “and now we go live to whatsherface outside the High Court in Christchurch to tell us the latest in the Weatherston trial” Whatsherface “the prosecution is saying that Weatherston committed a grave breach of the Crimes Act but, look, I know of this other guy who killed someone and he was never […]

Straight answers? Short supply.

Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, July 29th, 2009 - 12 comments

Here’s Bennett’s answer to Chauvel’s question in the House yesterday: Charles Chauvel: Was the Minister advised that the individuals concerned had given implied consent to the release of their personal information; if so, on the basis of what precedent; if not, why did the Minister not take advice on that point? Hon PAULA BENNETT: I […]

Memo to the Herald

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, July 29th, 2009 - 25 comments

Dear nzherald.co.nz, The opinions expressed in the Your Views section of your website are not an accurate reflection of public opinion in New Zealand. If anything, they are a reflection of a self-selected minority of opinionated internet users who have access to a computer during work hours and a level of proficiency in the English […]

Nick Smith lying with numbers.

Written By: - Date published: 11:55 am, July 29th, 2009 - 12 comments

Nick Smith is the front-man for this government on climate change, and it appears that he knows absolutely nothing about the numbers. The ones he has been using are not related to his claims. It is puzzling because he was an engineer who are usually accurate users of numbers. It is more likely he is […]

Coverage round-up: Bully Bennett

Written By: - Date published: 10:22 am, July 29th, 2009 - 71 comments

Sean Plunkett: Being vocal in a democracy shouldn’t mean you lose your rights and protections under the law. Tracey Watkins: “The Privacy Commissioner advises that ministers can release information about an individual who has criticised a department but only that which is “relevant to the issues raised by the individual”. I would take that to […]

Recovery nightmare

Written By: - Date published: 9:25 am, July 29th, 2009 - 27 comments

‘A nightmare’ scenario. That’s how ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie speaking on Morning Report described the outlook for the economy as the recession comes to an end. Wait isn’t growth good? Well, not all growth is created equal. The problem is where our growth prospects are coming from. It’s the housing market once again. Interest […]

Beware of unbridled government

Written By: - Date published: 6:53 am, July 29th, 2009 - 33 comments

‘Beware’ that was Mary Wilson’s conclusion to her interview with Paula Bennett yesterday. The audio is here: Beware of Bully Bennett – Beware that if you voice any opposition to a government policy and the minister decides it has been going on too long or it’s too damaging, they will release confidental information on you. – […]

Privacy Commission guidelines

Written By: - Date published: 3:32 pm, July 28th, 2009 - 121 comments

Paula Bennett is trying, unsuccessfully, to dig herself out of her hole by arguing that the Privacy Commissioner’s website said the solo mums she’s bullied had given “implied consent” for their personal financial details to be released in the media. Actually, Paula, that’s not the case at all. In fact, the Privacy Commission’s checklist for […]

What are we fighting for?

Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, July 28th, 2009 - 60 comments

A reader sent through this article from the Guardian by Malalai Joya, who was the youngest woman to enter the Afghan parliament before being suspended for denouncing the warlords and war criminals sitting beside her. Almost eight years after the Taliban regime was toppled, our hopes for a truly democratic and independent Afghanistan have been […]

One small step for a man . . .

Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, July 28th, 2009 - 13 comments

It took just a few seconds, it was reasonable and considered, yet, amazingly, a suggestion from David Slack of Island Life has achieved what The Standard and many others have been pleading for years: the cleaning up of the filth at Kiwiblog. David Slack accurately described Kiwiblog as “a little crucible for rabid bigoted unthinking […]

Bennett must resign

Written By: - Date published: 1:06 pm, July 28th, 2009 - 132 comments

I’m no expert in these things but Paula “bully” Bennett appears to have put herself in breach of the cabinet manual by disclosing private information about her critics’ personal finances for her own political gain. Cabinet Manual p 117: 8.60 The disclosure of information about an individual by Ministers is governed by both the Official […]

Spin cycle

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, July 28th, 2009 - 16 comments

Normally, $9 million in government spending is such a puny amount it’s not worth covering but as Key has nailed his crediblity to the success of his cycleways, let’s crunch some numbers. These seven tracks will supposedly cost $9 million to build and create 280 jobs (only 140 in the near future). Other details, including […]

Nice try, Roger

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, July 28th, 2009 - 14 comments

Sir Roger Douglas has a go at my post that looks at the GDP per person gap between Australia and New Zealand and concludes that, since it doubled during the neoliberal revolution of the late 80s/early 90s, implementing more neoliberal policies is unlikely to close that gap. His first complaint is that my numbers and his […]

Bully Bennett

Written By: - Date published: 8:03 am, July 28th, 2009 - 71 comments

Stunned. I’m simply stunned. After speaking out against Paula Bennett’s cuts to the Incentives Training Allowance two solo mothers have had their entire financial details publicly released by her. This is a disgraceful act of bullying which must surely breach the privacy act but it fits with the pattern we’re seeing from National of digging […]

Truly ambitious for America

Written By: - Date published: 7:22 am, July 28th, 2009 - 15 comments

America faces a hell of a lot of problems at the moment, but if there’s one man with the ability to inspire and lead them through, it’s Obama. “when I see the young men on the corners [of the ghettos] I say there but for the grace of God go I. They are no less […]

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