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Archive for January, 2010

Colin James on Labour 2010

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 pm, January 31st, 2010 - 2 comments

I know Standard readers follow politics closely almost by definition, but for those who don’t here’s Colin James’ observations on the year ahead for Labour, and for Phil Goff (Press, 30 Jan ’10). He asks: Phil Goff cooks sausages to a turn on the barbecue. But can he cook up a strategic future for Labour? […]

Government by knee-jerk

Written By: - Date published: 1:56 pm, January 31st, 2010 - 22 comments

John Key has told us that his government’s unrelenting focus this year will be the economy. He has also said his government will focus unrelentingly on education. Already, it has relented to focus on increasing the maximum penalty for animal cruelty from three years to five. Of course what happened with the massacre of those […]

Nats’ polling

Written By: - Date published: 12:55 pm, January 31st, 2010 - 9 comments

Fran O’Sullivan wrote about how she was called by David Farrar’s Curia, National’s polling company, recently. What she was asked is revealing. She was asked to rate the National front bench plus Steven Joyce and Murray McCully. I’ve never heard of this been done before, asking for people’s views on individual ministers. It suggests an […]

The Great Giveaway

Written By: - Date published: 11:23 am, January 31st, 2010 - 83 comments

From where I’m sitting the Left will never be back in power, not because they will never win elections, but because the power game is over. The nation state as we know it is being slowly dismembered before our eyes, the leviathan of globalisation has one flank firmly grasped, while rapidly discohering communities of self-interest […]

John Key – still clueless

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, January 31st, 2010 - 25 comments

John Key is now stands as being first in NZ for being ‘clueless’ on searches in Google. He is number seven in the world as being clueless. The google-bomb is still running! It will be interesting to push him to number one in the world.

Open mike 31/01/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 31st, 2010 - 16 comments

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Key, the ABs, & the election date

Written By: - Date published: 2:02 pm, January 30th, 2010 - 74 comments

I’ve been talking with some people about when John Key will call the next election. Two common points emerge: 1) it will be after the 2011 Budget. A government doesn’t risk the right to lay down a budget lightly. It won’t want to be campaigning while trying to write and sell a budget either. So […]

Charlie Brooker’s school of news production

Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, January 30th, 2010 - 5 comments

His formula appears to have been faithfully replicated here. Our only significant divergence is the recent inclusion of a live cross to the news site webmaster who gleefully fills us in on ‘what’s hot’ on their site right now – often a heady mix of celebrity gossip, violence, stupidity, tragedy and cuteness.

Open mike 30/01/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 30th, 2010 - 15 comments

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

The Public Domain Manifesto

Written By: - Date published: 7:42 pm, January 29th, 2010 - 9 comments

The public domain, as we understand it, is the wealth of information that is free from the barriers to access or reuse usually associated with copyright protection, either because it is free from any copyright protection or because the right holders have decided to remove these barriers. It is the raw material from which new […]

Obama’s State of the Nation

Written By: - Date published: 4:11 pm, January 29th, 2010 - 5 comments

I suspect more than one reader of the Standard would have been glued to the live stream yesterday of Obama’s state of the nation speech. If you’re interested in reactions there’s a useful summary over at the Huffington post, which appears mixed. But what I really enjoyed was this visual from the Guardian, which asks […]

Discussion: The usual suspects in 2009

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, January 29th, 2010 - 43 comments

Ok, I promised a review of the comments in 2009. Here are the usual suspects with both the number of comments and the number of bytes in the comments so you can see who talks a lot and how much. This was a little tricky because I used the e-mails to select the top e-mails, […]

Steven Joyce and the new Think Big

Written By: - Date published: 12:59 pm, January 29th, 2010 - 18 comments

The first half of an excellent piece by Kent Dunston of Save the Basin (which is opposing the construction of flyovers around the Basin Reserve by National): Back in the halcyon days of the Muldoon administration circa 1979 the then-National government embarked on a series of large-scale interventionist construction schemes called ‘Think Big’ that were […]

Goff: no GST hikes or tax cuts for rich

Written By: - Date published: 11:06 am, January 29th, 2010 - 30 comments

In his speech yesterday Phil Goff articulated Labour’s position on tax in no uncertain terms and came out very strongly against wealthy tax dodgers : “Too many people on good incomes avoid and evade paying taxes. It’s not right that some top earners pay a lower percentage of their income in tax than those on the […]

Turei pushing me back to RAM

Written By: - Date published: 10:23 am, January 29th, 2010 - 62 comments

Check out this exchange between Trevor Mallard and Metiria Turei on his Facebook page (great how the new media allows these spur of the moment debates): Trevor Mallard: 25c/hour. $10 week for 40 hours then minus tax, extra acc, ets charges. Not fair John Key. It should be $15 Metiria Turei: Trevor, with genuine respect, […]

The joy of tory trolls

Written By: - Date published: 8:54 am, January 29th, 2010 - 32 comments

One of the great pleasures I get from writing for The Standard is making the trolls scream. There’s no better sign that you’re on the right track than when you sit down and think through a post, do the research and try to put forward your argument in a clear and concise manner and the […]

Thanks Jeanette

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, January 29th, 2010 - 14 comments

So Jeanette Fitzsimons is, as expected, resigning from Parliament. After 13 years her last day will be February 11th. Parliament will miss her energy, her honesty, her sanity, and her clear strong voice on Green issues. It is a huge loss, but no one deserves a long and happy retirement more than Jeanette. Frogblog has […]

Goff advocates real solutions to crime

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 am, January 29th, 2010 - 41 comments

Goff and his advisers knew that the wage cap on public service CEOs would be the headline grabber of his widely praised speech. It succeeded beautifully and has drawn greater attention to the rest of his message. It also maneuvered National into the position of having to advocate for higher wages for public servants on […]

Maintenance time

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 29th, 2010 - Comments Off on Maintenance time

On Friday at 7 p.m the server is getting kernel upgrades and other maintenance upgrades. They reckon that it will take 10-15 minutes. In the past this has taken from 5 minutes to 45 minutes depending on the disk state. Be warned and don’t get alarmed – the server hasn’t gone down.

Open mike 29/01/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 29th, 2010 - 13 comments

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Keys ‘Master Brand’ marketing.

Written By: - Date published: 2:45 pm, January 28th, 2010 - 38 comments

The John Key led National Ltd® government lands yet another axe blow on our 100% Pure brand by cancelling a scheme recognised internationally as a best practice model. This latest announcement caps off a busy year for National Ltd® on the environmental front. Its list of actions include spending millions on establishing the 100% Pure Brand as the “Master Brand” of Aotearoa while simultaneously it has:

The many. Not the few

Written By: - Date published: 2:16 pm, January 28th, 2010 - 104 comments

Phil Goff has just delivered his first major speech of the year to state what Labour stands for and where it is going. I have to say, I’m impressed. You really should read it. It sets out a clear agenda for Labour and that agenda is firmly rooted in Labour’s deepest principles – decent pay […]

Minimum standards

Written By: - Date published: 1:10 pm, January 28th, 2010 - 20 comments

Drinking Liberally – Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, January 28th, 2010 - 11 comments

The first Auckland Drinking Liberally of 2010 takes place NEXT TUESDAY upstairs at The Purple Bar @ The Naval and Family and features new Labour MP Kelvin Davis (and we’re hoping to get Maori Party leader Pita Sharples) to talk about the Treaty of Waitangi in the 21st century.

Colin, I missed you

Written By: - Date published: 11:17 am, January 28th, 2010 - 44 comments

Colin Espiner’s back with his first blog of the year. It’s so much fun having him back. In his first outing, he comes up with four suggestions for government action in the year ahead. Since the government doesn’t seem to have any other ideas, let’s look at two of them: End interest-free student loans Yeah, […]

Meetings: Auckland super-shitty

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, January 28th, 2010 - 2 comments

Phil Twyford has been organizing a series of meetings about the impending Auckland super-city 3rd bill. The date for submissions to the select committee closes on Feb 12. Write a submission and maybe go to Wellington  and give Rodney hell – that is if he dares to turn up to the select committee. These meetings […]

Privatisation failures: Telecom

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, January 28th, 2010 - 28 comments

If Telecom were an SOE there would be cries to privatise it. These repeated crashes of XT simply aren’t good enough. Just the latest in a litany of failures since it was sold. Fact is, we should haven’t sold Telecom in the first place. Just needed to start running it properly. Now, we’re sending profits overseas […]

Joyce’s holiday highway

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, January 28th, 2010 - 60 comments

Steven Joyce has announced plans for a  motorway from Puhoi to Wellsford at a cost of $2 billion ($1.4 billion in today’s money). The route is used by just 15,000 cars a day (and that has been falling the last few years) and is estimated (optimistically) to save just 15 minutes off the travel time. […]

Open mike 28/01/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 28th, 2010 - 32 comments

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Outsourcing away

Written By: - Date published: 6:18 pm, January 27th, 2010 - 8 comments

We’ve had a few posts about the lack of action from the government – but over on Bernard Hickey’s blog he’s spotted progess being made on the topic of outsourcing: Treasury and the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) said they had asked outside companies to bid to run administrative services for the government, including information […]

Year of the wolf?

Written By: - Date published: 3:55 pm, January 27th, 2010 - 115 comments

I really thought the rumour that the minimum wage would only rise by 25c had been put out by the government to make their eventual 50c or 75c decision look generous. But for a change they’ve surprised me. This is the first time in a decade the minimum wage has been cut in real terms. […]

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