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Archive for July, 2010

The underclass

Written By: - Date published: 10:46 am, July 26th, 2010 - 16 comments

Remember when John Key used to talk about the “underclass”. Much recently of course John Key’s policy direction has been more about pandering to the wealthy elite, so you don’t hear so much from John Key about his concerns for the underclass anymore. But worries about the underclass still concern some people.

Promises

Written By: - Date published: 10:22 am, July 26th, 2010 - 14 comments

When is a promise not a promise? Clearly John Key has promises that he is afraid to break, promises that he tries to break (and backs down when caught), and promises that he feels he can break with impunity.

Another win for union members

Written By: - Date published: 7:50 am, July 26th, 2010 - 54 comments

The Herald reports that Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union members have won the right to a substitute holiday to make up for the fact that Anzac Day and Easter Monday fall on the same day this year as well as a three percent pay rise for this year and another next year.

You read that right, at a time when the government is attacking workers rights two thousand EPMU members are increasing their holidays and getting a pay rise.

Open mike 26/07/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 26th, 2010 - 12 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…

The states of John Key – Flexible in telling the truth

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, July 25th, 2010 - 7 comments

Fourth of a series by Guest poster Blue.

Honesty, transparency and trust were central planks of Key’s 2008 election bid. However the ‘Key wriggle’ was well on the way to becoming a signature dance move

National = Ideological Stupidity.

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, July 25th, 2010 - 8 comments

National have been undemocratically shutting down the avenues to amend their ideologically stupid legislation. They ignore submissions to select committees and abuse the parliamentary process of urgency. The only effective means of diverting them from pushing through unworkable legislation is proving to be protests and direct action. Consequently you can expect to see a lot more of it.

A few brief points about the attacks on workers

Written By: - Date published: 12:21 pm, July 25th, 2010 - 86 comments

Having just watched the q + a interview with Council of Trade Unions President Helen Kelly and Alasdair Thompson from the EPMA (a must-watch, Kelly did a great job) I think there are a few things that need to be said:

We have it wrong…

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, July 25th, 2010 - 2 comments

We have it all wrong. What Brownlee was really trying to say. From William Joyce

Open mike 25/07/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 25th, 2010 - 8 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…

Destroying the School Trustees Association

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, July 24th, 2010 - 5 comments

The NZSTA is supposed to represent its members – School Boards of Trustees. Instead they have become little more than a conduit of Minister Tolley’s National Standards propaganda.

A closer look: National’s Energy Strategy

Written By: - Date published: 12:25 pm, July 24th, 2010 - 10 comments

No Right Turn had an interesting post on National’s Energy Strategy or more correctly a general lack of it yesterday.

Yesterday the government released its Draft New Zealand Energy Strategy [PDF] for consultation. So, how does it compare with Labour’s 2007 version? The difference is easy to spot. Labour’s energy strategy was about shifting to a sustainable, low-emissions energy infrastructure. National’s is about finding oil.

The states of John Key – The Salesman

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, July 24th, 2010 - 18 comments

Third of a series by Guest poster Blue. Now looking at John Key – The Salesman.

An old post of Marty G’s on the Standard says “One of the stories from John Key’s days as a currency trader is that he was always more of a salesman than an analyst.

The states of John Key – The drivers

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, July 24th, 2010 - 21 comments

Second of a series by Guest poster Blue. Now looking at what drives John Key.

The biggest clue is how when he was younger, his aim in life was to ‘make a million dollars and be Prime Minister’.

The states of John Key – Quantum uncertainty

Written By: - Date published: 9:56 am, July 24th, 2010 - 41 comments

This series by guest poster Blue has a look at John Key now that we know a bit more about him.

Our PM is a marvel of modern physics – with any issue he manages to appear to be on both sides of the fence at the same time.

Why Socialism? – Albert Einstein

Written By: - Date published: 6:53 am, July 24th, 2010 - 42 comments

Albert Einstein’s essay “Why Socialism?”, originally published in the first issue of Monthly Review (May 1949).

Open mike 24/07/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 24th, 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…

I’d phone a friend but they’re all Young Nats too

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, July 23rd, 2010 - 123 comments

Halfcaste interviews a selection of Young Nats at their recent conference. Interviewer: “What’s your favourite tribe?” Young Nat: “To be honest I don’t have a favourite Maori tribe” Interviewer: “Top three?” Young Nat: “Ahh… I don’t think I know…” Interviewer: “Don’t know any Maori tribes?” Young Nat: “Noooo… No, hang on, Maori tribes… no sorry…” […]

U turns

Written By: - Date published: 11:34 am, July 23rd, 2010 - 6 comments

Another gem from Tom Scott.

MFAT leak too convenient

Written By: - Date published: 10:16 am, July 23rd, 2010 - 16 comments

Why would someone in MFAT feel the need to interfere in the Australian election by leaking to the Australian media? I’ve been accused of conspiracy theories in the past but this leak seems all too convenient when National’s old mates Crosby Textor are up against it in Aussie.

I Owe My Soul….to the Company Store

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, July 23rd, 2010 - 66 comments

The words of this old song date back to the 1800’s when dominant and rapacious employers in small company towns would require their employees to purchase essentials from a ‘company store’. And because the employee was so badly paid, inevitably they would run up steep tab simply to keep their family fed and clothed. In […]

Retirement age

Written By: - Date published: 7:18 am, July 23rd, 2010 - 20 comments

Brash’s call for a “flexible pension” is the thin end of the wedge leading to a rise in the age of eligibility for super. At the moment National are rejecting his call, as Key would be obliged to resign if the age is raised. But the problem remains. National have weakened Labour’s Cullen fund and KiwiSaver, and they seem to have no ideas of their own…

Unusual uncertainty heralds an uncertain new world

Written By: - Date published: 6:55 am, July 23rd, 2010 - 42 comments

Despite a textbook response by the world’s major governments to the great recession, US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the outlook remains ‘unusually uncertain’. The economic players can’t understand why the normal strong recovery hasn’t followed the recession. They don’t understand we have reached the limits to growth.

Open mike 23/07/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 23rd, 2010 - 13 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…

Nats stand up for loan sharks

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, July 22nd, 2010 - 86 comments

Disgraceful to see that National and Act have voted down Carol Beaumont’s moderate and sensible bill to take action against loan sharks.

All we got from National was weak spin and misdirection, while they sat there and committed to doing nothing. The result will be more Kiwis getting ripped off and abused.

Brownlee’s power reforms hurt national interest

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, July 22nd, 2010 - 23 comments

We’ve seen the last minute back down on mining after tens of thousands of Kiwis stood up, we’re seeing a growing tide of anger as Kiwis realise that all our work rights and wages are for the chop.. but one policy that has avoided public criticism on the level it is getting from within the industry is Gerry Brownlee’s mad electricity reforms.

Empty promises on employment law

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, July 22nd, 2010 - 29 comments

National’s promises aren’t worth the paper that they’re printed on. They’ve broken plenty and downgraded most of the rest to “aspirational goals”. Now John Key’s current anti-worker employment policies add a whole new chapter to the list of broken election promises.

Open mike 22/07/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 22nd, 2010 - 42 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…

Caption contest

Written By: - Date published: 7:21 pm, July 21st, 2010 - 40 comments

Remember the billboards comparing Helen Clark to a series of dictators in 2008? Funny thing is she’d never had anything to do with a dictator. But at least one MP who will be voting for John Key’s attacks on workers did.

The euthanasia debate

Written By: - Date published: 3:15 pm, July 21st, 2010 - 21 comments

A terminally-ill Auckland doctor writes to New Zealand Doctor magazine arguing for the legalisation of euthanasia in New Zealand.

A new state housing agenda

Written By: - Date published: 2:31 pm, July 21st, 2010 - 35 comments

The country is short about 10,000 houses and many of the houses we do have (mostly privately owned rentals) are unhealthy. The housing shortage was a driver of the last housing boom and is still keeping house prices excessively high, while poor quality housing means higher health costs, more sick days, and kids that are sick so often it disrupts their education. It would be sensible on every level to build the extra houses we need, and the government should take the lead role.

Where is National’s economic plan?

Written By: - Date published: 12:20 pm, July 21st, 2010 - 106 comments

It became increasingly clear this year that National’s longer-term economic plan, such as they had one, could be summed up as “tax cuts and mining”.

With mining in national parks now out of the picture, just what is National’s plan to grow the economy and lift our wages to Australian levels?

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