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Archive for April, 2010

Big fat Tolley folly

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, April 26th, 2010 - 35 comments

Comment from an international expert reported in The Herald today reminded me that National Standards aren’t the only ideologically driven folly that Tolley is forcing down the throats of schools. She’s also doing her bit to contribute to a major health problem…

Xena and Sheryl do the dirty on Brownlee

Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, April 26th, 2010 - 22 comments

Remember back in 2007 when Gerry Brownlee took some really bad PR advice and unfathomably released a video entitled “Sexy Coal”? It was bound to come back and bite him; it’s the 21st century after all. What’s particularly salacious is that Lucy Lawless is doing the biting….

Pollyanna Finlayson ignores reality

Written By: - Date published: 10:33 am, April 26th, 2010 - 21 comments

The other day, Chris Finlayson described himself as a Pollyanna – it’s an American term (of derision) for someone who sees everything as positive, ignoring unhappy realities. Finlayson is all bouncy and optimistic, selling his ‘no-one owns it’ ‘solution’ to the F&S issue. But I have not heard a single Maori leader who agrees with his offer or anything like it.

Another hand-out for bludgers

Written By: - Date published: 9:09 am, April 26th, 2010 - 98 comments

Our glorious capitalist system should mean farms that can’t handle a bad time fail. Just like any other business. Land gets used for something better. It’s the market. But capitalists don’t really believe in the market. Come the bad times, the farmers want another hand out. So government’s giving them the dole. Yup, the dole.

Open mike 26/04/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 26th, 2010 - 21 comments

Open mike is your post. It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Comment on whatever takes your fancy. The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Anzac day gazetted

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, April 25th, 2010 - 9 comments

While digging out the poppy that graces our banner this weekend, I also dug out this bit of history. Anzac Day notice, New Zealand Gazette, 1916

Point 5 particularly intrigued me.

I robot

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, April 25th, 2010 - 10 comments

News is already suffering from the “downsizing” of reporting and editing staff. What happens as the process goes further, with the automation of the collating, ranking, and even the writing of the news? How long before gaming news rank is the next political battlefield?

Open mike 25/04/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 25th, 2010 - 18 comments

Open mike is your post. It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Comment on whatever takes your fancy. The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Goff: I’ll reverse unfair tax cuts for the rich

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 pm, April 24th, 2010 - 125 comments

Labour leader Phil Goff has come out swinging against National’s proposal to cut the top tax rate. It’s great to see Phil living up to his promise to stand up for the many, not the few. National’s plan to cut the top rate will only benefit the very wealthy, like John Key. Now we can stand assured, the 6th Labour Government will fix that injustice.

Mining spin: Govt try improve palatability of unpalatable plan

Written By: - Date published: 1:04 pm, April 24th, 2010 - 26 comments

The Government is trying to run a campaign to try and minimise public outcry of its plan to desecrate areas areas of our National Parks. By purposefully releasing its mad initial plan, Minister of Energy Gerry Brownlee hoped his second-choice would appear more palatable. Well, let’s be very clear here Mr Brownlee. You have no right to pick and choose to desecrate any of our special National Parks.

When a newspaper gets useful…

Written By: - Date published: 11:28 am, April 24th, 2010 - 7 comments

Public transport in Sydney - CityLink

I’m not usually envious of Sydney, but they have a newspaper that actually researches the issues that matter to their local audience.

The Sydney Morning Herald has been researching transport issues in their city. If newspapers are to survive the transition into the networked era, they’re going to have to relearn how to focus on local issues. Otherwise why would we pay the pay-wall for material we can get elsewhere?

Full extent of Nats’ mining plans revealed

Written By: - Date published: 9:26 am, April 24th, 2010 - 27 comments

The full extent of just how far the Government would like to push mining on conservation land has been revealed in documents obtained by Radio NZ. The documents show the Nats wanted 90% of Rakiura/Stewart Island, which is still on the table, open to mining activities. In total opening 467,517 hectares for mining were initially signed off for mining (roughly one and half times the area of Samoa).

Weeding out low quality

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 am, April 24th, 2010 - 58 comments

The Nats are looking to cut $1.8 billion in spending over four years. Where from? What and who will be deemed to be “low quality” in need of “weeding out”? The answers are going to tell us a lot about the National Party’s values…

Open mike 24/04/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 24th, 2010 - 14 comments

Open mike is your post. It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Comment on whatever takes your fancy. The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

DRIP-fed

Written By: - Date published: 12:44 pm, April 23rd, 2010 - 51 comments

Anyone who still thinks the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is going to have any real world effect in New Zealand needs their head read. The first thing that a court will do when someone cites the DRIP as authoritative is check what the Government said about its intention to be bound by it. It will find statement after statement that the Government sees it as purely symbolic.

Canterbury’s dictators

Written By: - Date published: 11:55 am, April 23rd, 2010 - 91 comments

No Right Turn’s typically forthright take on the sacking of the ECan councillors and the makeup of the government’s appointed directors.

Commercial whaling plan to be announced

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, April 23rd, 2010 - 11 comments

A deal to re-introduce commercial whaling is about to be announced. Anti-whaling groups are organising a snap protest at Parliament, today at 12. Be there. Japan has agreed to lower its ‘quotas’. But since it never kills its full quotas this will not save a single whale. Key will proclaim himself saviour of the whales. The reality is he is legitimising the slaughter and saving nothing.

RNZ reveals ACC privatisation agenda

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 am, April 23rd, 2010 - 71 comments

National’s hysteria around ACC last year was focused on creating an air of crisis. Now they’re going to ‘do something’. That something is privatisation of ACC. It won’t work, it won’t save money. The costs of injuries will still exist. Privatisation will put more of that cost on the injured. Added ligation and profits will mean worse cover for more cost.

Can the Maori Party save itself?

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, April 23rd, 2010 - 59 comments

On Wednesday, I asked whether we, the Left, could save the Maori Party. The response from Maori Party supporters was a lot of misplaced invective at Labour. Its by its own values that the Maori Party is failing. No-one’s forcing the Maori Party support a government that is working against its values. Perhaps, my question should have been: can the Maori Party save itself?

Open mike 23/04/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 23rd, 2010 - 21 comments

Open mike is your post. It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Comment on whatever takes your fancy. The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

John Key to slash public services

Written By: - Date published: 8:16 pm, April 22nd, 2010 - 48 comments

John Key is planning to slash and burn $2 billion out of our public services. Key says the slashing is needed to pay for increasing health and education costs. Bullshit. It’s about paying for John Key’s and his rich mates’ tax cuts.

Stewart vs. Fox

Written By: - Date published: 3:02 pm, April 22nd, 2010 - 19 comments

When will conservative commentators stop picking fights with Jon Stewart? It never ends well for them.

John Armstrong: Welcome to the cool, funky, and er, sober, Labour Party

Written By: - Date published: 2:11 pm, April 22nd, 2010 - 22 comments

Read John Armstong’s take on Labour’s brand survey

Octagon Mine Plans Announced

Written By: - Date published: 11:58 am, April 22nd, 2010 - 12 comments

The Great National Mining Corporation has chosen Earth Day to announce its plans to seek government approval to mine in Dunedin’s Octagon. Commenting on the irony of the timing of the release of their plans, GNMC spokesman Doug de Houlle said “What better day than Earth Day? The government wants mining and we can move the earth to do it.”

English & Key cost us another $18mil

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, April 22nd, 2010 - 35 comments

The other week Vernon Small said that canceling the Cullen Fund contributions was “a dumb, short-sighted decision that has cost the fund heaps in the long run“. Hell, don’t worry about the long run just yet, Vernon, it’s been only 8 months. And the losses are accelerating. Last month the Nats cost us a further $18 million – that’s basically a million a work day.

More on Crosby-Textor, mining, and the Nats

Written By: - Date published: 6:53 am, April 22nd, 2010 - 18 comments

We all know that long before John Key got into the gold and uranium mining industry, Crosby Textor Chairman, Robert J Champion de Crespigny was pushing the mining industry’s cause in New Zealand. So, who is this CT man who has been called Australia’s ‘Mr Gold’, a “mining magnate”, a “resource-sector heavyweight” and “a legend”?

Open mike 22/04/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 22nd, 2010 - 51 comments

Open mike is your post. It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Comment on whatever takes your fancy. The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Battlers vs billion dollar banks

Written By: - Date published: 11:56 pm, April 21st, 2010 - 33 comments

Finsec’s Andrew Campbell introduces the union’s Better Banking, a trans-Tasman campaign they’re running with their Aussie counterparts to get a better deal for bank workers and bank customers. Campbell notes the banks’ $1 billion profit in the last 3 months alone and asks “Have your fees gone down? Has your mortgage payment become more manageable?”

Asking your members’ opinions? Outrageous!

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 pm, April 21st, 2010 - 27 comments

TVNZ: “Labour has been rumbled secretly polling its own members”. Jesus, can’t Labour can’t even poll its own members without the media playing silly buggers? They’re asking their members about the party’s branding (not its values, its branding). That’s a good thing. It’s the members’ party after all. Good stuff, Labour. You don’t see National asking for its members’ opinions.

Maintenance

Written By: - Date published: 10:08 pm, April 21st, 2010 - 6 comments

The new server seems to be doing the job.

However it will be going down for ten minutes at about midnight while it reboots to install upgrades including a new linux kernel.

Can we save the Maori Party?

Written By: - Date published: 12:37 pm, April 21st, 2010 - 125 comments

Rodney Hide was furious at John Key for signing the Declaration of Indigenous Rights behind his back but he’ll get over it. ACT is getting tonnes of real policy wins. What’s disturbing is seeing the Maori Party celebrating a ‘win’ then meekly rolling over when Key tells them it’s meaningless. Why does this keep happening? Because the Maori Party is stuck. And, sadly, each loss just mires them further.

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