Archive for March, 2011

Key: we were told SCF would fail

Written By: - Date published: 2:45 pm, March 31st, 2011 - 68 comments

In a raucous public meeting in Timaru last night, John Key said “The entire time I’ve been Prime Minister I’ve had Treasury in my office week after week, month after month telling me South Canterbury Finance was going bankrupt”. So, why did National sign SCF into the scheme and renew its deed three times?

NRT: Canterbury Enabling Act II

Written By: - Date published: 12:53 pm, March 31st, 2011 - 13 comments

Over at No Right Turn, I/S has written a useful summary of the government’s plan for new emergency legislation for Christchurch. It gives the minister largely unfettered powers with only limited rights of appeal for affected citizens. The mindset behind this legislation is that Gerry Brownlee and his developer mates know best.

A dirty deal requires dirty lies

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, March 31st, 2011 - 10 comments

You know your opponent’s stand is dishonourable when they resort to spreading lies and promoting falsehoods about your position. The government’s Acting Energy and Resources Minister, Hekia Parata, has been caught out lying and spreading slurs that misrepresented her opponents’ position on deep sea oil drilling.

Meltdown at Fukushima

Written By: - Date published: 8:39 am, March 31st, 2011 - 34 comments

Efforts to cool the nuclear fuel rods in Fukushima’s No 2 reactor have failed. The rods have become molten and it appears some have melted through the steel reactor core into a concrete layer. Two dangers now arise: radioactive chemicals created by the concrete reacting with the nuclear fuel and the nuclear fuel pooling enough to go critical.

Nice to have

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 am, March 31st, 2011 - 113 comments

Bill English wants to cut things that are “nice to have”, like the adult education classes (that he used to praise in opposition), and keep “necessities”, like tax cuts for the already wealthy.  This is the kind of economic “wisdom” that has Bill leading us into an all time record budget deficit.

Open mike 31/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 31st, 2011 - 47 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…

Cuts don’t make costs disappear

Written By: - Date published: 11:19 am, March 30th, 2011 - 58 comments

Key and English are trying to soften us up for big public service cuts this budget. They tell us it’ll just be ‘nice to haves’ and that the private sector will step in to fill the gap when they cut too close to the bone. The important thing to realise is that every time the public service doesn’t provide us with something either we have to buy it out of our own pockets (usually at greater cost) or we don’t get it at all.

No jury of their peers

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, March 30th, 2011 - 54 comments

Given the controversy surrounding the 2007 Urewera raids, the legal system should be bending over backwards to conduct a process that is above reproach.  Instead, they are doing the exact opposite.

Heroic cynicism

Written By: - Date published: 6:58 am, March 30th, 2011 - 139 comments

The government is backing a call for “heroic” student loan holders to pay their loans back asap to help fund the earthquake recovery.

But there doesn’t seem to be a similar call for “heroic” high earners to return their unaffordable tax cuts.

Open mike 30/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 30th, 2011 - 86 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…

Small talk on party activists and blogs.

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, March 29th, 2011 - 51 comments

Vernon Small says “Its activists on websites and blogs are openly questioning the party’s direction and Mr Goff’s judgment.” He seems to be looking at our non-Labour activists of the left and the astroturfers and seeing a movement against Goff.

Mostly it isn’t from Labour activists. It isn’t real. It is just designed for him and other journos  to read.

Goff’s leadership safe for now

Written By: - Date published: 1:21 pm, March 29th, 2011 - 171 comments

The Labour Party front bench meeting in Dunedin has just concluded.  Goff’s leadership has been confirmed, with unanimous support.

The Politics of the Three R’s: Roads, Reconstruction, Resentment

Written By: - Date published: 11:58 am, March 29th, 2011 - 11 comments

In Sunday’s Baden-Württemburg state election, the Green party was the highest polling party. Their leader will become the first Green ‘Minister President’ in Germany. Regular guest poster ChrisH takes inspiration from this victory for New Zealand, and sees a formula for a Left victory this year.

Key’s kiss of death for Chch workers

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, March 29th, 2011 - 57 comments

The $6.8 million package for businesses offered last week by the government was an insult: business mentors and export junkets – just what people who aren’t allowed to access their businesses need. Now, Key and Bennett have announced they are slashing wage support and and the job loss payment. It will hammer the Christchurch economy.

Eye on the Banks

Written By: - Date published: 8:10 am, March 29th, 2011 - 21 comments

The next  Fabian Seminar at Connolly Hall Thursday 31 March at 5:30pm will feature economist Geoff Bertram examine how the high level of New Zealand’s overseas debt that figures prominently in much policy discourse is largely an increase in foreign-currency liabilities voluntarily taken on by mainly Australian-owned banks in pursuit of private profit. It will be interesting – all are welcome to attend.

Open mike 29/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 29th, 2011 - 51 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…

Political decisions

Written By: - Date published: 5:15 am, March 29th, 2011 - 87 comments

Whether Goff goes or not, the decision needs to be made based on what’s best for the party, for its members and for its constituency.  Because in politics sometimes the “clever” thing to do and the right thing to do are not the same.

Brownlee wrong for Christchuch

Written By: - Date published: 4:46 pm, March 28th, 2011 - 17 comments

Gerry Brownlee is making a mess of the rebuilding of Christchurch. In the latest fiasco, the person Brownlee tapped to head the new earthquake recovery authority apparently can’t face the prospect of working with him.

Half a million protest UK budget cuts

Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, March 28th, 2011 - 36 comments

I’ve been checking out some of the amazing footage and photos from friends who were in the London ‘March for the Alternative’. 500,000 people turned out to show the depth of feeling against the slash and burn budget of the Conservative-Lib Dem government. As the Nats plan their own shock doctrine budget, I hope they’re taking notes.

Hickey on borrowing

Written By: - Date published: 6:58 am, March 28th, 2011 - 79 comments

The latest piece from economist Bernard Hickey is a despairing warning on the subject of borrowing.  With the current government making things worse not better, is there any way out of this downwards spiral?

Open mike 28/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 28th, 2011 - 131 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…

Fukushima radiation skyrockets

Written By: - Date published: 11:16 pm, March 27th, 2011 - 45 comments

Normally, we get 3.65 millisieverts of radiation a year. Increased cancer risk is associated with 100 millisieverts per year. Nuclear workers are only meant to get 100 millisieverts even in an emergency with protective clothing. Today, water in No 2 reactor was detected emitting 1 sievert per hour – and they’re not sure of the source.

Steven Joyce: still living in the 20th century

Written By: - Date published: 12:32 pm, March 27th, 2011 - 45 comments

Steven Joyce and the NZ Transport Authority seem to be living in the 20th century. You know the time, when there was a strong causation and correlation between rising numbers of people and increased use of roads. But neither appear to have caught up with the 21st century where that isn’t happening. Yearning for the 1960’s in planning transport infrastructure doesn’t help Auckland or the rest of NZ

Tucker’s law

Written By: - Date published: 11:57 am, March 27th, 2011 - 13 comments

Tucker’s law (not at all suitable for those offended by strong language).

O’Sullivan gets it right & wrong

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, March 27th, 2011 - 65 comments

Fran O’Sullivan makes some pertinent remarks about John Key’s recent performance. The fact is, he wanted to be the Party PM, head clown presiding over good times, but times aren’t good and his heart just isn’t in tackling the hard issues. However, while saying these issues matter more than the Hughes affair, O’Sullivan makes one big mistake.

Open mike 27/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 27th, 2011 - 71 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…

Leadership rumours: Foreshore Bill passed

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 pm, March 26th, 2011 - 63 comments

The latest media frenzy about a Phil Goff coup is rapidly dying down.  The Government passed some controversial legislation in double-quick time with little coverage and somebody made a killing on iPredict.  Coincidence?

Arab revolt update: Syria rising

Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, March 26th, 2011 - 20 comments

The revolts around the Middle East are still heating up. The coalitions air strikes are dealing havoc to Gaddifi’s heavy weapons, giving the rebels a fighting chance. In Bahrain, the Shi’ites are brooding as the country remains under de facto Saudi occupation, Saleh looks gone in Yemen, while violence is escalating in Syria and Jordan.

Stop deep sea oil in NZ

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, March 26th, 2011 - 42 comments

Jenny argues that with the ink barely dry the new Foreshore and Seabed legislation is beginning to have effects. Oil drilling companies are rushing to take advantage. She argues that the Maori Party’s support gives the mining and oil companies the confidence they need to proceed with their plans to exploit the Seabed and Foreshore.

Leadership rumours

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, March 26th, 2011 - 247 comments

It’s been a dreadful week for Labour.  So out come the oft repeated rumours of a coup against leader Phil Goff.  Usually this is just the ever predictable right wing blogs stirring.  This time the excellent Scoop news site is making the claim.  Scoop has it wrong.

Open mike 26/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 26th, 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…

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