Archive for December, 2010

Jackson statement worsens Hobbit fiasco

Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, December 23rd, 2010 - 78 comments

Peter Jackson yesterday did what the government has refused to do and commented on the revelation that he told Gerry Brownlee the Actors’ Equity blacklist was no threat to the Hobbit movies being filmed here. Unfortunately, Jackson has just further sullied his reputation by revealing the true motives for the Hobbit Enabling Act.

Open mike 23/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 23rd, 2010 - 26 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 million pageviews this year

Written By: - Date published: 12:13 am, December 23rd, 2010 - 25 comments

Yesterday, we hit 3 million pageviews for 2010. Today, we’ll have our millionth visit. 45% growth on 2009 even with the few days we were offline and a couple when stats data wasn’t captured. It’s not just a small cadre of hardcore fans (although, do we love you guys and girls) – over 212,000 unique visitors have visited The Standard this year.

Last Roy Morgan of the year

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, December 22nd, 2010 - 37 comments

It’s First Past the Post thinking to look at the polling gap between National and Labour and conclude National will romp home. MMP is here and set to stay – it means the coalition with the support of a majority of MPs governs, not necessarily the largest party. The final Roy Morgan of the year lets us look at the trends in support for Left and Right.

Straw Men

Written By: - Date published: 11:40 am, December 22nd, 2010 - 3 comments

On ACC, National are running out their favourite tactic again – the Straw Man.

We see it regularly with every highly-paid “Working Group” they establish.  They choose the participants to make sure they get the ideas they want to implement, plus a bit more.  Then they cleave off the extra bits to look “moderate”.

Key, Brownlee & McCully have questions to answer

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, December 22nd, 2010 - 44 comments

It seems we don’t have a government at the moment. John Key is incommunicado in Hawaii. The Acting PM, Bill English, and Key’s press people refuse to speak for him. Someone needs to front up because serious questions are emerging about the honesty of statements Gerry Brownlee and Murray McCully made in Parliament and to the New Zealand people.

Student freedom

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, December 22nd, 2010 - 107 comments

National and Act are attacking student unions.  The cover story is freedom of association, but it’s bollocks, freedom of association is already protected.  Without the unions students will still have to pay.  But they will lose the rich social and cultural heritage of the unions, lose the learning experiences that the unions provide, and lose their independence.  Hey students – does that sound like a good deal to you?

Open mike 22/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 22nd, 2010 - 31 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…

A very Tory Xmas

Written By: - Date published: 9:56 pm, December 21st, 2010 - 29 comments

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the House,
Nats announced policies, they’re usually scared to espouse.

Journos on holiday, Key out of reach on his Hawaiian vacation,
It was the time to let slip, their plan for ACC privatisation.

More Christmas Surprises

Written By: - Date published: 3:15 pm, December 21st, 2010 - 37 comments

The disastrous experiment of competition for ACC from the 1990s is to be repeated.  Businesses will be allowed to chose a private firm to cover their workplace injuries.  Workers won’t get to choose their level of cover of course, they’re just the ones who get injured or killed – why should they have a say.

National cause of dire economy

Written By: - Date published: 2:20 pm, December 21st, 2010 - 12 comments

National still seem to be getting a lot of cover for their economic mismanagement from the Global Financial Crisis way back in 2007-2008.  But New Zealand’s failure to be “roaring out of recession”, as John Key promised, is no longer tied to the GFC.  It’s Bill English and National’s economic policies that mean that the government deficit is pushing the limits with no reward for average kiwis.

Richlister calls for huge benefit increase

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, December 21st, 2010 - 25 comments

Mark Hotchin is expected to become a campaigner for beneficiaries if cleared of serious fraud allegations. His assets frozen, the SFO has given him a 1K a week allowance. Not enough for the basics: private school, hire car, mortgage on mansion. A family of 7 needs 360K a year, he says. Not being a hypocrite, he’ll be wanting more for beneficiary families too – eh?

Democracy Under Attack!!!

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, December 21st, 2010 - 18 comments

I couldn’t let the last of the year slip away without a fond farewell to the good old Electoral Finance Act.  Last week the government passed its replacement legislation.  It tweaks some thresholds, but retains the principles and much of the substance of Labour’s EFA.  But this time there is no “Democracy Under Attack” campaign.  I wonder why…

State asset for sale

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, December 21st, 2010 - 39 comments

Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee has waited, until after the year-end press gallery drinks, to announce that the state owned Whirinaki power plant will be sold by tender process.  The Government talks about having our interests at heart, but the truth is that it is selling off the family silver again.  And slippery John Key is doing it while we’re focussed on Christmas.

Nats & Jackson played us for fools

Written By: - Date published: 8:09 am, December 21st, 2010 - 129 comments

The Herald has used the OIA to get hold of emails Peter Jackson sent Gerry Brownlee during the Hobbit shakedown. They show that the Actors’ Equity blacklisting was not a threat to the film staying here – yet Jackson and Brownlee told us it was to justify handing Warners $34 million and rushing through an anti-worker law.

Open mike 21/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 21st, 2010 - 35 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…

Blood for milk? Pull the other one

Written By: - Date published: 8:44 pm, December 20th, 2010 - 28 comments

It’s surreal to see people who cried that not going into Iraq has cost us a trade deal with the US, now saying that the Reconstruction Team Labour sent was to get access for our milk exports. The claim’s based on a US Embassy cable but that doesn’t make it gospel. In reality, the Right wanted us to fight in Iraq to get an FTA with the US.

The real target of DB Export campaign

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, December 20th, 2010 - 56 comments

There’s an ad campaign at the moment about how DB Export was supposedly created in reaction to the Black Budget. It’s full of lies and a lot of people see it as a slur on Arnold Nordmeyer and Labour in general. In fact, this odd campaign under the slogan ‘how to lose an election’ isn’t about Labour. It’s a warning to National.

2011: year of the next mega-shock

Written By: - Date published: 8:40 am, December 20th, 2010 - 45 comments

Liam Dann had a very good piece in the Herald the other day about rising commodity prices. Despite insipid growth, prices of food and oil, the fuels of our civilisation are through the roof. The underlying meaning of those high prices is we’re having to devote more of our resources to feeding and fueling ourselves, leaving less for anything else.

Write your own headline

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, December 20th, 2010 - 45 comments

“PM plays power games with President Obama” reads the headline!  Sounds exciting doesn’t it?  Alas.  The actual events described are somewhat pathetic.  Key went personally begging for a photo op but the President of the US was too busy doing stuff that mattered.  I think I could have written a much more accurate headline.  I’m sure you can too…

Open mike 20/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 20th, 2010 - 105 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…

Electricity privatisation begins

Written By: - Date published: 1:58 pm, December 19th, 2010 - 37 comments

What to do if you’re a government with an ideological fixation on selling assets, which is hugely unpopular? The public will catch on if you put SOEs as full entities up for auction. So, you don’t sell off the companies. Instead, you sell off the things they own or, through bond issues, their profit streams. We’ve been warning this would happen. Now, it is.

Wikileaks NZ cables

Written By: - Date published: 10:03 am, December 19th, 2010 - 52 comments

Odd timing as everyone powers down for Christmas, but The Herald has published the NZ Wikileaks cables.  A rather far fetched attack on Clark (covered by Eddie yesterday), the Nats breaking promises and misleading Parliament.  But if that’s the worst in the cables then I’m guessing that politicians on both sides, past and present, will be vastly relieved.

NIWA vs the nutters

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 am, December 19th, 2010 - 19 comments

NIWA has had some of their data, methodology, and results checked by the aussies. As expected by anyone who knows something about the subject, they came back with substantially the same result. For the others like the nutters at the CSC and their political allies – well I can just see another conspiracy theory arising…

Open mike 19/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 19th, 2010 - 60 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…

Herald into smear mode for election year

Written By: - Date published: 11:19 pm, December 18th, 2010 - 69 comments

It must be coming up to election year, because whenever I load Granny Herald there’s some ludicrous attack on Labour or love-piece on Key. The Herald on Sunday has some Wikileaks cables and the ones they’ve chosen to pre-release supposedly shows Labour was willing to give up the anti-nuke law  but didn’t to win votes. They show no such thing. [Updated]

Phil Twyford for Te Atatu candidate

Written By: - Date published: 6:01 pm, December 18th, 2010 - 25 comments

Phil Twyford is selected as the new Labour candidate for Te Atatu from a strong field.

Phil Twyford is a formidable campaigner, as I know from past experience. I almost pity whatever sacrificial lamb that National put up in that electorate.

Christmas gifts

Written By: - Date published: 2:23 pm, December 18th, 2010 - 4 comments

Perhaps, like me, you have left your Christmas shopping to the last minute.   Fear not – help is at hand!  Here’s a roundup of some real gifts that you might give this Christmas.

Is free trade worth it?

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, December 18th, 2010 - 23 comments

Over at No Right Turn, I/S has picked up on some Aussie research that shows Free Trade Agreements aren’t the huge money spinners they’re sold as. Because FTAs create different rules for different trading partners, exporters have to meet complicated ‘rules of origin’ to prove they quality for the lower tariffs. The cost can eat up the supposed benefits.

New uses for iPads

Written By: - Date published: 10:54 am, December 18th, 2010 - 11 comments

Ok this is seriously weird, too cool, and as bad as the elevator music is. But at least it is not John Key mangling songs with syncophantic radio announcers declaring it to be music.

The band running on iPad’s and iPhone – North Point’s iBand

Armstrong on soap opera politics

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, December 18th, 2010 - Comments Off on Armstrong on soap opera politics

Armstrong makes a powerful attack on the media’s “increasing appetite for personality-based politics at the expense of more serious discussion about policy”. If only Armstrong were one of half a dozen political editors who shape the media discourse. To be fair, Armstrong hardly writes about soap opera stuff. Some of his junior colleagues should follow suit.

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