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Archive for November, 2010

The role of the media

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, November 25th, 2010 - 91 comments

Some of the journalists covering Pike River have resorted to extreme measures (even posing as victim support workers) to try and contact grieving families.  This is an example of all that is wrong with the media taken to the very worst of its extremes.  I can see the problem, but I can’t see the solution.  Are the light and dark sides of the media simply inseparable?

Nats waste money on roads, ignore rail

Written By: - Date published: 6:17 am, November 25th, 2010 - 25 comments

It’s official: the Auckland CBD rail loop would bring more benefit to the country for its cost than any of National’s ‘Roads of National Significance’. And that’s even before we talk about peak oil. Any rational government would put the money into the project that gets most benefit for the taxpayer buck. Not this one.

Open mike 25/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 25th, 2010 - 111 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…

Hope ends at mine (updated)

Written By: - Date published: 5:01 pm, November 24th, 2010 - 116 comments

There has been a second explosion at the Pike River mine.

“Superintendent Gary Knowles told the Herald the miners couldn’t have survived a blast of that magnitude, which occurred at 2.37pm. Family members were seen crying as they left a police briefing a short time ago.”

My heart goes out to the families.

The luck of the Irish

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, November 24th, 2010 - 11 comments

In Question Time yesterday, Bill English said Ireland is an example of how bad the recession might have gone in New Zealand. That triggered a memory of John Key three years ago saying we should follow the Irish economic model. I guess we can just be thankful Key wasn’t in power at the time to put that crazy ‘aspiration’ in effect.

Fire at Will coming to your workplace

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, November 24th, 2010 - 33 comments

As of April 1 next year, I’m going to be a whole lot less confident moving to a new job. If I do, I’ll probably find the new contract gives the boss the right to fire me without giving me the right to justice if the firing is unfair. Reducing workers’ confidence to change jobs is just one of the stupid consequences of universal Fire at Will.

Does John Key still want us to emulate Ireland?

Written By: - Date published: 8:40 am, November 24th, 2010 - 36 comments

Reading the news on the current plight of the Irish with a economy in a tailspin and a tottering government. I can but reflect that it was a bloody good thing that the National party wasn’t in power after 1999. For instance, John Key as recently as 2008 was praising the fragile economic model that […]

How much security?

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 am, November 24th, 2010 - 50 comments

9/11 seems to have driven America crazy.  Most Americans, I think, don’t realise how much their country has changed around them.  But one very visible manifestation of the brave new world is getting right in the public’s faces, that is the new generation of airport security scanners.  Dubbed “porno scanners” for the body images that they produce, they have finally provoked a reaction from the great American public.

Where in the world is Wong?

Written By: - Date published: 7:13 am, November 24th, 2010 - 61 comments

Two Friday’s ago, corrupt Nat Pansy Wong resigns as minister. Key tells her not to talk to media. As if she can’t remember her own overseas trips. Gives her a week’s leave. Wong disappears. Week’s up – no Wong. Where is she? Mallard’s heard she’s overseas. Fundraising for the Nats. Is she using her travel perk?

Open mike 24/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 24th, 2010 - 73 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 Politics of Impartiality

Written By: - Date published: 2:59 pm, November 23rd, 2010 - 41 comments

I’ve never been one for censuring cogent voices from the wilderness when they carry far enough on the wind to reach our ears because the wilderness can hold treasure troves of intelligent dissent. Today I came across a neat illustrative example of a ham fisted attempt to consign a voice from the left to the wilderness in the name of…well, it’s called fairness or some such.  Apparently.

Amazing coincidences

Written By: - Date published: 2:07 pm, November 23rd, 2010 - 35 comments

You remember John Key’s ‘blind trust’ that turned out not to be so blind. Key denied all but anyone could easily see into the ‘blind trust’. Key certainly knew of his wine and dairy interests, giving him a conflict of interest he failed to declare. Now, after the furor, the ‘blind trust’ has sold the shares. Funny things, coincidences.

S&P downgrades defenceless, exposed NZ

Written By: - Date published: 11:41 am, November 23rd, 2010 - 69 comments

Standard and Poor’s shock move to downgrade our credit rating caused markets to plunge late yesterday. Bill English’s reaction, predictably, is to pretend nothing is wrong. John Key says it’s about debt, even as he borrows for tax cuts. But let’s look at what S&P says is wrong with us:

Meet the new EFA same as the old EFA

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, November 23rd, 2010 - 66 comments

In developing their replacement for the EFA the Nats have decided to limit what lobby groups can spend on election campaigning — despite strongly objecting to limits in 2008.  Interesting how the responsibilities of government mean that the Nats have to repudiate so much of their irresponsible opposition rhetoric!  But some of their spinsters are still stuck in the past…

Waiting on Wong to do right

Written By: - Date published: 6:12 am, November 23rd, 2010 - 67 comments

Why are we waiting for Pansy Wong to resign from Parliament for her corrupt use of her MP’s perks or, failing that, for the Nats to evict her? The theory is the Nats want to avoid a by-election over summer. As Trevor Mallard puts it – Key wants to have his Hawaii holiday in peace. But the NBR’s Matt Nippert has other reasons for Wong’s soft treatment.

Open mike 23/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 23rd, 2010 - 43 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…

What really rankles about National’s Standards

Written By: - Date published: 5:17 pm, November 22nd, 2010 - 34 comments

Kids Can get it.
“Kids Can is dedicated to removing barriers preventing less fortunate children from getting the most out of education.”

Anne Tolley prefers instead to concentrate on the diversion that is National’s Standards. It must be easier implementing a political slogan than actually doing her job.

A miss as good as a mile

Written By: - Date published: 3:45 pm, November 22nd, 2010 - 26 comments

Key talking on Breaskfast about Mana: “we slashed the majority from 6,155 to 1,080. So by any measure, you’ve got to take that as a win.” Apart from the one measure that counts. Eh John?

Of course, this is also the dude who reckons that sitting “pretty much next to” Obama for a few minutes is a foreign policy achievement.

So Sport and Politics Should be Kept Separate?

Written By: - Date published: 2:56 pm, November 22nd, 2010 - 3 comments

Seems Eric Cantona wasn’t listening.

I particularly liked the response given by Valérie Ohannesian of the French Banking Federation who, seemingly devoid of any sense of irony stated that,  “One of the main roles of a bank is to keep money safe. This appeal will give great pleasure to thieves, I would have thought.”

Doing nothing in the face of climate change crisis

Written By: - Date published: 1:50 pm, November 22nd, 2010 - 23 comments

The Commissioner for the Environment says New Zealand’s greenhouse emissions will be 26% above 1990 levels in 2020, compared to the Nats’ promise to cut them by 10-20% – leaving us with a $1b bill. Worse, the IEA shows that even if we and other countries meet our promised cuts its only half of what’s needed to avert disaster.

Thoughts with the Pike workers and families

Written By: - Date published: 11:42 am, November 22nd, 2010 - 21 comments

It can only be an unthinkably tough time for all Pike River miners, their families, and the communities on the Coast. I’m sure I speak for all The Standard writers and contributors when I say that our thoughts are with them. Despite all the dire news so far three days after the explosion, we simply don’t have the full story till the rescue team get down there and try to bring these guys back to the surface. Till then, we can only hold on and hope.

Kiwis feel worse off after Nat tax swindle

Written By: - Date published: 9:43 am, November 22nd, 2010 - 23 comments

A new Horizon poll shows that the vast majority of Kiwis at all incomes level, but especially low-income families, feel worse off after the Nats’ October 1 tax swindle. John Key claimed the vast bulk of us would be better off but clearly we aren’t; shuffling money around and giving more to the rich leaves the rest of us with less.

Can the Left save the world?

Written By: - Date published: 7:37 am, November 22nd, 2010 - 196 comments

It takes many people working together to achieve anything really worthwhile. This also applies to our biggest project yet. Saving a planet. So why can’t we get started? Because human society based around the market can not do it. The answers will only com from the Left. The Left parties, Labour in particular, need to get serious and move Leftward.

Open mike 22/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 22nd, 2010 - 70 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…

Fabian Seminar with Bernard Hickey

Written By: - Date published: 9:57 pm, November 21st, 2010 - 1 comment

Financial journalist Bernard Hickey of interest.co.nz and Selwyn Pellett of the Productive Economy Council will discuss the need for a complete rethink of our approach to economic policy Monday evening in Wellington at Connolly Hall at 5:30pm. Besides writing regular opinion pieces and providing information on his site, Bernard Hickey writes a regular column in […]

Assessing Labour’s Mana result

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, November 21st, 2010 - 93 comments

Labour can be reasonably pleased with the Mana result. The majority is small but that does not mean anything for the wider party. To win Labour had to overcome 1) a weak candidate 2) a ferocious Key-centred National campaign  3) a threat to its left 4) a media narrative that damned it thrice over, and 5) a very low turn-out.

Spirit Level author on Q+A

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, November 21st, 2010 - 11 comments

The Spirit Level is the book that the loony right of politics loves to hate.  Today, Sunday morning political analysis show Q+A features Emeritus Professor Richard Wilkinson, co-author of The Spirit Level (9am on One).  Should be an interesting programme…

Open mike 21/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 21st, 2010 - 37 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…

Congratulations Kris

Written By: - Date published: 8:14 pm, November 20th, 2010 - 50 comments

With a majority of votes counted it’s clear that Kris Fa’afoi is going to be the next Labour MP for Mana. We’re sure Kris will show his mettle in standing up for the people of Porirua and Mana in Parliament. All the best Kris. Show those Nats what you’re made of.

Mana by-election results

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, November 20th, 2010 - 46 comments

Final update: With all booths counted. Fa’afoi-10397, Parata-9317. Majority 1080.

McCarten hardly featured on 816.

Pike River fears grow

Written By: - Date published: 5:02 pm, November 20th, 2010 - 38 comments

The news coming out from the Pike River mine disaster is not sounding good. Spare a thought tonight for the miners and their families.

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