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Archive for August, 2011

Crushless Collins

Written By: - Date published: 11:06 am, August 26th, 2011 - 16 comments

Extraordinary attack on Maori Party

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, August 26th, 2011 - 8 comments

Waihoroi Shortland, the Maori Party candidate in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate, has been warned to “Watch your back, lest it be bitten by the Maori Party dogs”.  An extraordinary warning from an extraordinary source…

Farrar shills for NZ’s most racist academic

Written By: - Date published: 7:23 am, August 26th, 2011 - 103 comments

Remember Greg Clydesdale? He caused quite a fuss in 2008 when the Dom uncritically ran a frontpage story based on his “research” that concluded Pacific Islanders are a drain on a society who are, amongst other sins, crowding ‘our’ beaches. Well, he’s back, spouting more anti-immigrant trash, and Farrar’s blowing the dog-whistle for him.

Open mike 26/08/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 26th, 2011 - 111 comments

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Promoter Statements

Written By: - Date published: 1:19 pm, August 25th, 2011 - 71 comments

The “authorised by” promoter statement has become a political tool. Intended to prevent anonymous campaigns, now political parties, particularly National, try to find materials that are unambiguously from another party but lacking a promoter statement and try to get them defined as election ads. There’s no democratic principal there, just gotcha politics.

Angry Old White Man Party to attack young people

Written By: - Date published: 12:19 pm, August 25th, 2011 - 42 comments

Angry Old White Man Party (ACT) Leader Don Brash is to launch another attack on young people. It’s strange that this once significant and principled party has sent its dying days picking the on the young. The latest stupid idea is to remove the minimum wage for under 20s altogether and cut spending to cut taxes that the rich pay.

Cuts and consequences

Written By: - Date published: 12:10 pm, August 25th, 2011 - 23 comments

The government reckons it can cut the number of public sector workers without cutting services. That wasn’t the experience of the 80s and 90s when vital institutional knowledge and expertise were lost in a frenzy of asset sales,  privatisation and brutal job cuts– when public service numbers dropped from around 85,000 public servants  to under  30,000 […]

Benefit card lolz

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, August 25th, 2011 - 23 comments

Freedom and security

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, August 25th, 2011 - 30 comments

The government is planning a crack down on “organised crime”.  What could possibly be wrong with that?

Nats talk to locals in [insert region here]

Written By: - Date published: 6:32 am, August 25th, 2011 - 42 comments

John Hartevelt ran a piece yesterday about National’s paint by numbers press releases. The problem here is not with National MPs and candidates using the same words to describe their policies or government spin. It’s when they claim, in identical words, to have had information from the public when that isn’t true, it’s just a cookie-cutter line and a lie.

Open mike 25/08/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 25th, 2011 - 58 comments

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Academic quality under attack

Written By: - Date published: 1:29 pm, August 24th, 2011 - 24 comments

As National’s spending cuts come home to roost, tertiary managers are trying to save money by cutting professional development expenditure. Sandra Grey of the Tertiary Education Union’s guest post explains how this has an insidious effect in driving down the quality of our academics and encouraging them to leave the country.

Wanna trade Solid Energy for the Kapiti Expressway?

Written By: - Date published: 11:56 am, August 24th, 2011 - 41 comments

During his disastrous campaign trip to Kapiti yesterday, John Key said the Kapiti Expressway would be paid for by asset sales. Labour will do neither. National won’t release the Expressway’s benefit-cost ratio but it will cost $500m ($30K per metre). To get it, we would have to sell half of Solid Energy, which has paid us $310m of dividends in the past 5 years.

Chart o’ the day: drop meet ocean

Written By: - Date published: 11:01 am, August 24th, 2011 - 17 comments

Big trouble ahead

Written By: - Date published: 10:14 am, August 24th, 2011 - 20 comments

It’s interesting to watch the economists flip as the economic system implodes. The most dramatic (and welcome!) NZ example has been Bernard Hickey but many of his colleagues are also throwing off their neoliberal blinkers. In this post, a former NZ Reserve Bank adviser explains why the world economy is mired in crisis and why it won’t just fix itself.

Substance vs style

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 am, August 24th, 2011 - 75 comments

A couple of polls have now confirmed that on key issues voters prefer Labour policy over National.  When push comes to shove in November, will Kiwis vote for the style that they like, or the substance that they want?

Gareth Morgan’s Big Kahuna

Written By: - Date published: 6:17 am, August 24th, 2011 - 106 comments

Gareth Morgan and Susan Guthrie’s piece in the Herald brilliantly elucidates the crisis of capitalism and the inadequacy of an economic system that only recognises value in work that produces market goods and services. Their book, The Big Kahuna, on their alternative tax system has just been published and I found these videos of Morgan explaining.

Open mike 24/08/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 24th, 2011 - 55 comments

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Farewell Le bon Jack

Written By: - Date published: 5:10 pm, August 23rd, 2011 - 6 comments

“Courage my friends, tis never too late to build a better world” was Jack Layton’s motto. He led Canada’s NDP from 37 seats to 103 in this May’s election. They called him “le bon Jack”. He died of cancer yesterday. His last letter to Canadians ends: “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.” He was an inspiring leader and will be missed.

Sepuloni on why voting matters

Written By: - Date published: 12:44 pm, August 23rd, 2011 - 33 comments

Return to [insert region here]

Written By: - Date published: 11:11 am, August 23rd, 2011 - 7 comments

Jackie Blue, MP for [insert region here], accidentally unmasked National’s media practices when she published a blog post called “Generic Column – Lifting Education Standards” and forgot to add the ‘personal touch’. Now, the Dimpost has shown that the Nats are still using these [insert region here] columns to spread the party line.

Grey and Hackwell on MMP this Thursday

Written By: - Date published: 11:11 am, August 23rd, 2011 - 3 comments

Sandra Grey from the Campaign for MMP and Kevin Hackwell from Forest and Bird will speak at a Fabian Society event this Thursday at 5:30. Sandra will outline the issues for the referendum and Kevin will give an account of the recent UK referendum on Alternative Vote. Venue is Connolly Hall behind the Cathedral in Hill Street, all are welcome.

Pull your head in, Curran

Written By: - Date published: 9:47 am, August 23rd, 2011 - 109 comments

90% of Labour’s MPs are hardworking, principled, and bloody good at what they do. Cunliffe, Fenton, Parker, Nash, Moroney, Ardern, King, O’Connor, Shearer, Twyford, Davis, Mahuta. The list goes on. It’s the quality of these people and what they believe in that makes me support Labour. A pity, then, that loudmouths like Clare Curran taint their public image.

Only 56%?

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, August 23rd, 2011 - 55 comments

According to one poll 56 percent of Labour voters say Labour won’t win.  Good on them I say.

Darkhorse: Why selling infrastructure is stupid

Written By: - Date published: 6:51 am, August 23rd, 2011 - 59 comments

Darkhorse on why it’s foolish to sell infrastructure assets: Infrastructures do not, at their optimum service level, usually operate profitably, they create opportunity for profit making activity. It is impossible to run an infrastructure to maximise returns to the owner while also maximising economic value to the economy.

Open mike 23/08/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 23rd, 2011 - 43 comments

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Interesting elections #3 – recall in Wisconsin

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 pm, August 22nd, 2011 - 2 comments

The recall elections in Wisconsin over Governor Walker’s attempt to remove collective bargaining for public servants had it all – Republicans running fake Democrats in primaries, massive spending by faceless outside bodies, and two Republican senators losing their seats in the subsequent ballot. Democrats did not succeed in overturning the Wisconsin Senate majority for  Walker’s Republicans, but it is down to one and there is one Republican who voted against the anti-union law.

Your Tory: A Care Guide

Written By: - Date published: 5:17 pm, August 22nd, 2011 - 44 comments

Below are the care instructions for your Tory. Please read them before using your Tory for the first time. Provided you follow these instructions you can look forward to many years of uninterrupted conservative cronyism.

Your Tory comes with a three-year warranty. In the event you are dissatisfied with your Tory for any reason during that period, please remember that you were the fool who voted him in.

Labour’s awesome mining policy

Written By: - Date published: 11:48 am, August 22nd, 2011 - 43 comments

Pike River had lax safety systems. Profits came first. The workforce was highly casualised to weaken the bargaining power of the union. The boss, Peter Whittall, will end up getting the blame. Labour says it will restore miners’ power over their safety by bringing back check inspectors. It’s now up to the Nats to explain why they won’t.

The Greens’ awesome water policy

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, August 22nd, 2011 - 75 comments

The Greens want to charge 10 cents per tonne of water used by farmers. Use the revenue to restore our rivers and lakes. Even Actoid types can support this: internalise externalities, use price mechanisms to encourage efficient use of resources. Naturally, the farmers don’t want to pay. Funny how ‘wealth creators’ never want to pay their fair share.

Democracy at its finest

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, August 22nd, 2011 - 24 comments

Seems like Key isn’t interested in listening to Christchurch quake victims.

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