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Archive for March, 2011

Darren Hughes resigns

Written By: - Date published: 5:50 pm, March 25th, 2011 - 204 comments

Darren Hughes has resigned as an MP.

Weekend social

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, March 25th, 2011 - 61 comments

Let’s try a new experiment. Weekend social is for non political chat. What’s on for the weekend, gigs, film or book reviews, sports, or whatever. No politics, no aggro, why can’t we all just get along?…

Earth hour 2011

Written By: - Date published: 3:35 pm, March 25th, 2011 - 16 comments

Where does a year go?  Tomorrow is Earth Hour 2011.  Will you go beyond the hour?

Some Accuracy on the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, March 25th, 2011 - 27 comments

Our guest poster takes on the fear-mongering and race-baiting coming from ACT and the Coastal Coalition over the new foreshore and seabed deal. It’s a blight on New Zealand that we can’t have a debate over this issue without some rightwing extremists trying to exploit people’s fears and prejudices.

Zero is a cut

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, March 25th, 2011 - 26 comments

As we brace for this year’s budget it’s important to remember that no change is a cut. A dollar today buys nearly 5% less than it did a year ago and there are 1% more New Zealanders. This is the most subtle and insidious way that the Right can undermine public services, by letting inflation and population growth do the work for them.

Begging the question

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, March 25th, 2011 - 43 comments

Yesterday, John Armstrong wrote “Goff’s management of the crisis has already begged a major question.” Apart from making me wonder if the question was ‘is it OK for the Minister of Police to leak stories about ongoing police investigations for political gain’, Armstrong’s misuse of ‘begging the question’ reminded me of this song.

Germany abandons nuclear power

Written By: - Date published: 7:22 am, March 25th, 2011 - 31 comments

The world will gradually be forced to abandon fossil fuels.  Fukushima (and Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island) show us that we can’t trust nuclear power.  It has to be green, renewable energy sources.  Can’t be done?  Germany thinks it can.

Open mike 25/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 25th, 2011 - 106 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…

Hughes stood down

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 pm, March 24th, 2011 - 114 comments

Darren Hughes has been suspended from his shadow portfolios due to the continuing police investigation.  Goff probably should have done this earlier, despite the understandable wariness of a leader can’t punish an MP on the strength of a complaint alone. As Key did with Wong and Worth, Goff has waited until the media issue became too big.

Flat as a pancake

Written By: - Date published: 12:43 pm, March 24th, 2011 - 59 comments

The economy grew just 0.2% in the December quarter, enough to avoid the technical definition of recession but did it feel like that for you? No. It felt like recession because the economic pie grew slower than the population. National’s economic record is GDP per capita 5% below its peak and down another 0.6% between […]

Spending up large

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 am, March 24th, 2011 - 24 comments

So what are you gonna do with the 9K of tax cuts you got with your 400K pa job since October? Why not pay 7K to shack up with 65 of the elite and eat a 6 course meal from foreign chefs?… What do you mean you’re not on 400K, you haven’t pocketed 9K in the last 5 months, and price rises ate your ‘tax cut’?  You need a real job.

30% of Chch workers jobless by quake

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, March 24th, 2011 - 14 comments

62,000 Christchurch workers are now receiving special earthquake payments. Most of these workers’ businesses have been closed by the earthquake and plan to re-open at some point by 6,300 jobs are gone for good That’s about 30% of Christchurch workers out of action and 3% without the hope that their workplace will re-open.

English vs. Key on rebuilding costs

Written By: - Date published: 7:13 am, March 24th, 2011 - 49 comments

The PM and the Minister of Finance are at odds on how the cost of rebuilding Christchurch will be met.  Bill English thinks that the costs are too high to be met by cuts, and significant borrowing will be required.  John Key wants to avoid borrowing and cover the costs with budget cuts.  This disagreement is indicative of the Nats shambolic preparation for the road ahead.

Open mike 24/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 24th, 2011 - 165 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 Humor #philgoffevil

Written By: - Date published: 3:45 pm, March 23rd, 2011 - 20 comments

Rob Carr over at Political Dumpground has provided me with my third glimpse at why twitter can be useful. After you’ve seen your first hundred or so of “killer app like Lotus 123″turn up, flare for a while and then disappear, you learn to be skeptical of investing too much effort into them (especially if they have the word Microsoft associated with them).

Back to corned beef & frozen peas for Brash

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, March 23rd, 2011 - 10 comments

Turia’s learning the price of loyalty. Her Whanau Ora is getting cuts. Key knows she’ll roll over and vote for any budget to keep her seat in the limo. Hide’s 2025 Taskforce is for the chop too. Key says it’s not worth the money. Never was. 300K down the drain. Brash off the gravy train; back to corned beef and peas. Bet Key’s silly cycleway won’t be cut.

Hughes investigation

Written By: - Date published: 12:56 pm, March 23rd, 2011 - 2 comments

Darren Hughes has identified himself as under investigation by the Police. No details on the issue. Hughes says he did nothing wrong. Clearly not what was needed with Labour hammering National on the economy. Comments off on this post and strict moderation elsewhere for legal reasons.

‘Crisis’ but tax cuts for the rich keep coming

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, March 23rd, 2011 - 43 comments

The Nats want us to believe there is no other option than massive cuts to government spending. Roughly, a third of the cuts covers the earthquake rebuilding, another third covers the Nats’ tax cuts for the rich, and the last third covers the revenue loss from this neverending recession. So, how come the Nats can afford another round of tax cuts for the rich?

Informed consent

Written By: - Date published: 10:08 am, March 23rd, 2011 - 47 comments

Owners of businesses in the red zone CBD want brief access to their premises to retrieve items and data that are vital to whatever remaining chance they have of keeping their enterprises alive.  The government is refusing access on the grounds of safety.  There’s right on both sides of the issue, but whatever happened to informed consent?

A hell of a speech 2

Written By: - Date published: 8:40 am, March 23rd, 2011 - 32 comments

“The Prime Minister’s out of touch. Here’s a man who got well over$1000 a week from his own tax cuts… He may know where his bread is buttered on but it’s a different side of the loaf to most Kiwis… who every time they go to the supermarket are asking “how come this trolley of groceries is costing $20 or $50 more than it seemed it did last week’?”

Future Auckland Transport

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 am, March 23rd, 2011 - 78 comments

This post was going to be about Auckland Unleashed which is being released today, but has been somewhat, er, derailed, by the bridge vs tunnel report that’s come out.

Open mike 23/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 23rd, 2011 - 206 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…

Another foreshore hikoi

Written By: - Date published: 4:07 pm, March 22nd, 2011 - 13 comments

Around 300 hikoi marchers arrived at Parliament this afternoon to protest against the Nat / Maori Party rebranded version of the  foreshore and seabed bill.  The numbers weren’t huge, but the hikoi brought a powerful symbolic message.

Armstrong on Key’s thinking

Written By: - Date published: 12:07 pm, March 22nd, 2011 - 30 comments

John Armstrong’s contacts in National are telling him that Working for Families and student loans are the targets for cuts in this year’s budget. He also reveals the real reason for National opposing the widely-supported earthquake levy: putting on a tax would be an admission that tax cuts for the rich were a mistake in the first place.

A hell of a speech

Written By: - Date published: 10:40 am, March 22nd, 2011 - 74 comments

“The worldwide recession is not your fault… You are being softened up for cuts in social spending… It’s easy to see the people this government is looking after. If you are a bank boss on $5.6million, helping cause a recession, you get an extra five thousand a week. If you are on the minimum wage – you get an extra 25 cents an hour.”

Fact checking Key

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 am, March 22nd, 2011 - 17 comments

According to Scoop, the PM is telling porkies about the average income of New Zealanders.  On behalf of the various authors here at The Standard I’d just like to say, well, gosh! — imagine our surprise.

Open mike 22/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 22nd, 2011 - 59 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…

Slash and burn, Key’s choice

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 pm, March 21st, 2011 - 96 comments

John Key says there’ll be no new money in the Budget. The health, education, and other locked-in increases  plus the Christchurch rebuild will come from cuts elsewhere. Cuts of up to 32%. It doesn’t have to be that way. The rebuild and the shortfall can be easily covered if Key wanted to. If he chooses to slash and burn, it’s because he wants to.

Arab revolt round-up

Written By: - Date published: 1:50 pm, March 21st, 2011 - 41 comments

There’s a hell of a lot happening in the Middle East right now, with protests and violence from Morocco to Bahrain. It seems likely that more governments will fall in coming days. In every instance, these revolts appear to be genuinely grassroots movements. The West is turning a blind eye to some government crackdowns. Its support for democracy is overridden by the need for stability to secure its oil supply.

Cuts! Cuts! Cuts!

Written By: - Date published: 12:42 pm, March 21st, 2011 - 42 comments

There was already going to be too little money in Budget 2011 for maintenance of public services. Now what little there was is being further slashed in the name of Christchurch. An Earthquake Levy is not an option, rather we’ll all pay through increased borrowing and 25% cuts in services like police, transport, justice and social services.

Get well soon, Trev

Written By: - Date published: 10:47 am, March 21st, 2011 - 28 comments

Trevor Mallard

As you know, Trevor Mallard is a keen cyclist. He touched wheels with another competitor in the R&R sports tour on Saturday. 3 cyclists went down at 40km/hr. Trev broke his femur and shoulder blade. It looks like he’s dealing with it OK. Maybe he should stick to leisurely rides on the John Key Memorial Cycleway in future.

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