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Archive for January, 2011

Key: Mubarak’s last supporter?

Written By: - Date published: 10:53 pm, January 31st, 2011 - 82 comments

Like many of you, I stopped watching Breakfast after Paul Henry left* but an alert reader sent me this interview with John Key on the show yesterday. Before he makes his weak excuses for not Mondayising public holidays but he says something truly amazing: he thinks Mubarak should stay in power in Egypt just because he recognises Israel.

Be honest on holidays, John

Written By: - Date published: 1:22 pm, January 31st, 2011 - 44 comments

John Key says he needs ‘advice’ on Mondayising ANZAC Day and Waitangi Day. The fact is the move would be right and popular but his business mates are too cheap to pay an extra 4 days every 7 years. Key’s just playing for time.

It ain’t easy being green

Written By: - Date published: 12:38 pm, January 31st, 2011 - 13 comments

At his ‘Blue-Green’ conference Nick Smith talked up the Nats’ environmental credentials. Proclaimed a marine reserve … where commercial fishing will still be allowed. And pushed new air quality standards from 2013 to 2020. That will cost 635 lives and a million sick days. Smith says it will save $506m. Guess the ‘Green’ in ‘Blue-Green’ is money after all.

Greens state of the planet

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, January 31st, 2011 - 78 comments

Russel Norman followed Phil Goff and John Key’s state of the nation speeches with the annual Greens state of the planet address. The capital gains tax initiative grabbed headlines but there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface. As we face myriad economic and environmental problems, the Greens have the real answers.

Guest post: Why the left needs feminism

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 am, January 31st, 2011 - 134 comments

In the first part of a two part guest post, Queen of Thorns takes a look at feminism, the left, the labour party and funny old Chris Trotter.

An argument for hope?

Written By: - Date published: 6:03 am, January 31st, 2011 - 24 comments

It’s crunch time for humanity and for our current way of life.  Ever since the failure of the Copenhagen summit on climate change I have been less than optimistic about the outcome.  So the Christmas break was a good time to read Here on Earth: An Argument for Hope by Tim Flannery. An argument for hope was exactly what I was looking for…

Open mike 31/01/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 31st, 2011 - 72 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…

Hey Laydeez

Written By: - Date published: 9:57 am, January 30th, 2011 - 296 comments

Is it just me or is the idea of our Prime Minister joking around with Tony Vietch (a guy who threw his fiance down the stairs before kicking her in the back) about celebrities he’d like to shag just a little creepy?

Economic reform for sustainability

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, January 30th, 2011 - 50 comments

Continual growth in the use of resources is not possible. Society and the economy has to be structured to allow a steady state economy where resource use is within sustainable limits.

Open mike 30/01/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 30th, 2011 - 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…

Time for the Goffice to step up to the plate

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, January 29th, 2011 - 137 comments

We face a stark choice this year: a Labour-led government, which will create fairer tax and invest in jobs and innovation, or National-led government, which will govern for the kleptocracy, giving them tax cuts, then selling our assets and slashing our public services to pay for them. So why is the Goffice doing such a bad job making the case?

Food/oil crisis sparking revolutions

Written By: - Date published: 9:47 am, January 29th, 2011 - 17 comments

Food and oil prices have sparked unrest across North Africa. The Tunisian Government has fallen. Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak has declared martial law. In Cairo, thousands of protesters shook hands with the soldiers, and chanted: “The army and the people are united” and “The revolution has come.”* Yup. Mubarak’s screwed.

Contact Energy: A Case Study

Written By: - Date published: 6:01 am, January 29th, 2011 - 65 comments

We could look at bailed-out TranzRail and Air NZ, with privatisation leading to risk-free pay-outs for the temporary owners of infrastructure that couldn’t be allowed to fail. Or Telecom that doesn’t look out for NZers interests, and needs us to pay for it to build us a fibre network. But let’s look at the “success” story of Contact, the closest privatisation to National’s new plans.

Open mike 29/01/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 29th, 2011 - 76 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…

Friday Fun: raising your kid Objectivist

Written By: - Date published: 2:36 pm, January 28th, 2011 - 11 comments

“…When little Aiden toddled up our daughter Johanna and asked to play with her Elmo ball, he was, admittedly, very sweet and polite. I think his exact words were, “Have a ball, peas [sic]?” And I’m sure you were very proud of him for using his manners. To be sure, I was equally proud when Johanna yelled, “No! Looter!” right in his looter face…”

Caption Contest

Written By: - Date published: 1:36 pm, January 28th, 2011 - 40 comments

Stupid but dangerous

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, January 28th, 2011 - 25 comments

The Republican Party may be entering its death throes. In an unprecedented move, there were two competing Republican response speeches to President Obama’s State of the Union address. One from Paul Ryan, the powerful Chair of the House Budget Committee. The other from a Teabagger who looked into the wrong camera the whole time.

Welcome to Election Year

Written By: - Date published: 10:33 am, January 28th, 2011 - 28 comments

John Key was interviewed on Morning Report less than a handful of times each of the 2 years between winning power in 2008 and Sean Plunket leaving. He’s appeared on Radio NZ before 9.30 for lengthy interviews 3 times this week.

Election year accountability, you gotta love it.

Selling assets to pay for tax cuts for richest 1%

Written By: - Date published: 7:50 am, January 28th, 2011 - 171 comments

John Key, very optimistically, reckons he can raise $10 billion by selling our assets. Key’s Government gave massive tax cuts, averaging $16,000 each, to the richest 1% of taxpayers that they’ll get year after year. The present value of those tax cuts for the richest 1% is over $10 billion. He’s selling our assets to pay for tax cuts for the richest 1%.

Open mike 28/01/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 28th, 2011 - 56 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…


Written By: - Date published: 6:06 pm, January 27th, 2011 - 22 comments

John Key 2008: Follow me and we’ll be like Ireland.

John Key 2011: Follow me or we’ll be like Ireland.

Hone and the lawyers

Written By: - Date published: 5:45 pm, January 27th, 2011 - 21 comments

The Maori Party has budgeted $22,000 for legal advice regarding the complaint made against Hone Harawira for stating the obvious, and hired Mai Chen to boot, to coin a phrase. Chen has pointed to the decision in Peters v Collinge where Justice Fisher stated that disciplinary matters were political issues and all that was required […]

Debt an excuse for enriching the elite

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, January 27th, 2011 - 24 comments

In 2008, John Key’s line was ‘New Zealand doesn’t have a debt problem, it has a growth problem’. In Budget 2010, he said the Crown would be back into surplus in record time. In December, he said debt wouldn’t force a downgrade. Now, he says debt is such a problem we need to slash and sell. When did he mean what he said? Never. It has never been about debt.

Slash & sell … then crash

Written By: - Date published: 10:55 am, January 27th, 2011 - 6 comments

Ironically, the best response to Key’s ‘slash and sell’ agenda came from Obama, whose spotlight Key is always trying to share: “Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may feel like you’re flying high at first, but it won’t take long before you’ll feel the impact.”

Why selling assets won’t solve our debt problem

Written By: - Date published: 9:41 am, January 27th, 2011 - 38 comments

this is not the hope you were looking for

John Key is busy raising the canard of our economy being as indebted as the PIIGS countries that are in trouble in Europe.  He’s talking about net foreign debt, and he’s suggesting lowering government debt is the solution. But New Zealand’s debt problem is not a government debt problem, and with asset sales he has the wrong solution to the wrong problem.

Political “courage”

Written By: - Date published: 7:51 am, January 27th, 2011 - 99 comments

Just what is this political “courage” the Herald speaks of?

Pride cometh

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 am, January 27th, 2011 - 17 comments

Senior Maori Party staffers have been deserting the party in droves in recent months, including chief of staff Harry Walker, repulsed by the leadership selling out to National. It’s gotten so bad that they’ve had to out-source their spin doctoring to the Tories. You think I’m joking? I wish. This illuminates Hone Harawira’s fight with the leadership.

Open mike 27/01/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 27th, 2011 - 53 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 start the election campaign

Written By: - Date published: 7:12 pm, January 26th, 2011 - 53 comments

Halfway through last year I suggested we’d see a July election as National raced to lock in a second term before their numbers fell.

I reckon that’s exactly the strategy we’re seeing today. The tories know that their numbers are only going to go down this year as their policies bite so they’ve decided to put the pedal down.

6 quick reasons why asset sales suck

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 pm, January 26th, 2011 - 83 comments

While we’re all eagerly awaiting Tracy Waktins et al’s reviews of John Key’s controversial decision to wear a mauve tie in his state of the nation speech, I thought I would look at some of the reasons why asset sales are such a stupid idea.

National’s Impending Swingeing Cuts

Written By: - Date published: 2:42 pm, January 26th, 2011 - 31 comments

Whilst John Key’s raising of privatisation is the first focus of his State of the Nation speech, perhaps equally as important is his intention for swingeing cuts to public services. Health and Education will have to pay higher wages from the same budget, but the likes of Police, Justice, Conservation and Social Services can expect cuts of more than 10%.

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