Archive for November, 2010

Open democracy?

Written By: - Date published: 1:03 pm, November 30th, 2010 - 11 comments

There used to be a webcam in the Beehive Theatrette run by R2 that broadcast the PM’s Post-Cabinet press conference. Anyone who could go to the site and watch – live and uncut. The very model of digital democracy. Now, that service is gone. R2 was being asked to pay too much and Parliament blocked maintenance. So much for transparency.

Labour’s Brotherly Dynamic Duo

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

They’ve already been dubbed NZ’s David and Ed Milliband.

Brothers David and Ben Clark will both be standing for Labour in the 2011 general election. David is standing for the safe Dunedin North seat, while Ben will be taking on Wayne Mapp on the North Shore.

Both would do well as MPs.

Prizes! Tickets to Gagarin Way

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, November 30th, 2010 - 10 comments

You may have seen ads on the site recently for a comedy play called Gagarin Way, which opens in Auckland this Wednesday. As part of the Scoop ad cartel, we have four pairs of tickets to give away. Here’s the game: best – ie most funny/apt – 2011 campaign slogan for each of the Nats, Labour, the Greens, and ACT wins a pair of tickets.

Leaked cables window into Superpower

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, November 30th, 2010 - 47 comments

Wikileaks latest coup is the release of a database of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables between American embassies, up to and including the highest security level “Top Secret”.  The cables provide a full, detailed and explicit account of many of America’s diplomatic secrets and the attitudes behind them.  It is a good long look through a window in to the mind of a Superpower.

Trans-Tasman: Key the smile & wave PM

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 am, November 30th, 2010 - 64 comments

The annual roll-call’ from the extremely pro-Nat Trans-Tasman says: “Key needs an agenda, not just the consensus he is building around personal trust.” In other words: ‘smile and wave is all very nice and good, John, but don’t you think you should do some actual work? Meanwhile, Key is spending two hours today digitally smiling and waving on Stuff.

Open mike 30/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 30th, 2010 - 45 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…

Unconscionable

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, November 29th, 2010 - 23 comments

It seems I’m not alone in feeling outrage at attempts to bury any sensible debate on the shape and extent of New Zealand’s coal operations

Don who?

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, November 29th, 2010 - 18 comments

Don Brash has been blurting at Orewa again, in a speech which has been reported as attacking Maori, attacking Key, and opening up divisions within National.  But I don’t think anyone cares, or indeed anyone should care, about anything that this fading clown says…

New Left Party coming, or is it?

Written By: - Date published: 12:29 pm, November 29th, 2010 - 99 comments

Matt McCarten is doing the dance of the seven veils on the issue of a new Left Party. He and the other players have been denying they have anything planned but, at the same time, have spoken of the need for such a party, as Labour paddles around in circles, and said they might join were such a party to eventuate. I say go for it.

Sickening attempts at political-point scoring

Written By: - Date published: 11:15 am, November 29th, 2010 - 61 comments

It’s dismaying to see a few rightwing commentators using the Pike River disaster to attack restrictions on mining in national parks. The claims are baseless and crassly opportunistic. One expects the like of Matthew Hooton, Whaleoil, and Paul Holmes to try to score political points off tragedy but I thought better of Fran O’Sullivan.

Gaynor on something important

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, November 29th, 2010 - 4 comments

“New Zealand investors are facing an accounting crisis. This is because domestic companies have rejected many of the new international financial reporting standards (IFRS) and are declaring “adjusted”, “underlying”, “operating”, “excluding non-trading” and “from continuing operations” profits that vary significantly from audited IFRS-compliant profits.”

Cunliffe’s bad politics

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, November 29th, 2010 - 166 comments

By backing private public partnerships David Cunliffe has potentially given the government a free pass on privatisation – one of the biggest issues of the next election.

That’s bad policy and bad politics. I expected better from him.

Open mike 29/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 29th, 2010 - 34 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…

Wong & Carter: Key’s corrupt little piggies

Written By: - Date published: 11:17 pm, November 28th, 2010 - 11 comments

Wong briefly came out of hiding to answer questions from Parliamentary Services on her abuse of flight perks. Back in hiding now. Key’s still telling her not to talk. But surely she can tell journos what she told the invesigators. Will the report on her corruption be the worst problem for the Nats this week? Or will corrupt David Carter overshadow it?

Carter must go

Written By: - Date published: 9:43 am, November 28th, 2010 - 84 comments

Agriculture Minister David Carter has been exposed abusing his ministerial powers to protect the trade interests of his private investments. Earlier this year, Carter banned Jewish religious slaughtering practices because of perceived risks to the meat trade with Muslim nations after being briefed by companies he owns that take part in the trade.

Open mike 28/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 28th, 2010 - 57 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…

Tougher than the rest.

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, November 27th, 2010 - 1 comment

One of my favorite Bruce Springsteen tracks from when I was somewhat younger is “Tougher than the rest”. As heresy I’d have to say that I like the version by Everything But The Girl somewhat better. It has been coming up a lot on my playlist while pushing through the last month of coding. It was also the track that was playing when I heard the news about the second explosion at Pike River earlier in the week. I’d guess that will stay embedded as an association for a while.

Armstrong on Pike River

Written By: - Date published: 11:27 am, November 27th, 2010 - 70 comments

As the public and private mourning for the Pike River 29 continues, focus will begin to shift to how this event occurred with no less than five inquires soon to begin. John Armstrong has a very good article on the issues that will be in the spotlight. This is not about political point-scoring, it’s about preventing future tragedies. I ask for comments to be in that vein.

Kettling the kids

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 am, November 27th, 2010 - 22 comments

The UK government is currently trying to balance its budget by shifting costs onto the young, through a trebling of university fees.  This will prevent many kids from poor families from going to university, and they’re not happy about it…

Cancun: No will to save ourselves

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, November 27th, 2010 - 51 comments

On Monday the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference begins in Cancun, Mexico.  This is the successor to last year’s spectacularly failed Copenhagen Summit.  Nothing useful will be accomplished there. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that we lack the will to save ourselves.

Open mike 27/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 27th, 2010 - 40 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…

3:44pm one minute silence

Written By: - Date published: 3:39 pm, November 26th, 2010 - 13 comments

Pike River chief executive Peter Whittall has called on the country to mark one week since the West Coast mine exploded with a moment’s silence at 3.44pm today, in remembrance of the 29 men who died

Lost in Wiseacre Wood

Written By: - Date published: 1:49 pm, November 26th, 2010 - 4 comments

Feel like some Friday fun?  Do you know a haycorn from a heffalump?  If you answered “yes” to both questions then I think you’re going to appreciate this piece of genius from Lyndon Hood.

Unravelling at both ends

Written By: - Date published: 11:57 am, November 26th, 2010 - 40 comments

The new foreshore and seabed deal is going sour for the government at both ends. The Maori Party is in a state of virtual civil war with the fundi faction led by Hone Harawira gaining support against Tariana Turia’s sell-out faction. Meanwhile, National is feeling the heat as ACT targets its redneck vote.

Psychopaths make the best capitalists

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, November 26th, 2010 - 217 comments

It’s a special breed of people who can deny workers a cost of living pay increase while pocketing a hundred thousand dollar a week pay cheque. It’s a special breed who can take people’s livelihoods or risk their health and safety to add a few cents to the share price. Research names that breed: psychopaths. Capitalism is built by and for them.

Police Commissioner: prison breeds crime

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, November 26th, 2010 - 224 comments

It’s pretty bloody late in his tenure to be saying it, but Police Commissioner Howard Broad has joined with every expert in telling politicians that their braindead, populist policy of increasing the number of crimes and ramping up prison sentences has to stop. It’s not a solution to crime, it’s making it worse.

Open mike 26/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 26th, 2010 - 102 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…

Fabians in Auckland Friday

Written By: - Date published: 7:08 pm, November 25th, 2010 - 1 comment

The Fabians’ Resilient Economy series run through this year has been stressing the looming problem with New Zealand’s private debt and the need to focus more on exports. Now everyone has noticed the problem, including the Reserve Bank, the Treasury and Standard and Poors. Financial journalist Bernard Hickey of interest.co.nz and Selwyn Pellett of the […]

Welfare working group follows the formula

Written By: - Date published: 1:17 pm, November 25th, 2010 - 33 comments

I’m not going to waste a lot of time on the Welfare Working Group’s report. It follows the Brash-esque formula of mis-representing the issue as some massive problem and then presenting ‘solutions’ that have failed overseas. Like the Brash reports, it will be used by the Nats for bait and switch, making their actual cuts seem moderate by comparison.

Wong: frequent flyer

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, November 25th, 2010 - 33 comments

Labour revealed yesterday that Pansy Wong traveled abroad an astonishing eleven times as Minister for Women’s Affairs and Ethnic Affairs, spending $147,000 in two years making her one of the highest spending ministers. Six of those trips were to China. What was she doing? Why did Key sign off on these trips?

A sad day

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, November 25th, 2010 - 8 comments

It’s an incredibly sad day for NZ. Today the country mourns for the 29 miners who have lost their lives after a second explosion at the Pike River mine. Our thoughts are now with the families, the communities, and the people of the Coast. The Standard will keep its half mast headlined all day today. Anyone wishing to donate to help the families of the miners, the details are here.

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