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Archive for December, 2011

Congratulations Ralph

Written By: - Date published: 12:21 pm, December 31st, 2011 - 9 comments

Ralph Hotere has been made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Given his contribution to art and to the political discourse this is well deserved.

Congratulations Ralph, from all of us here at the Standard.

Whose Values?

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, December 31st, 2011 - 140 comments

Scott at ImperatorFish has a look at the moral blame game that some use when violence is used against children. If people want to talk about a lack of values, they could start with the set of neoliberal values during the reforms of the 1980s and 1990s. We are still paying the price for the massive trauma caused to communities in the name of greed.

Shapes of things (2012 and all that)

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, December 31st, 2011 - 29 comments

Gareth at Hot Topic makes some predictions about 2012. Looks about right. It is going to be interesting to see what happens on the ENSO this year. Do our farmers head into drought or get another good year of relief from the extremes?

Self inflicted injury

Written By: - Date published: 11:29 pm, December 30th, 2011 - 31 comments

FFS: If you are going to confess your foibles to Facebook, then don’t let a low-grade sociopath have access to your dribblings. Not only is it going to be embarrassing to you after you sober up. But you are going to find that every other border line nutter has liked it all over the net. A few simple rules when you are sober will prevent the problem.

Concerns Mount Over Absence Of Social Media Gaffes

Written By: - Date published: 9:52 pm, December 30th, 2011 - 1 comment

Scott at ImperatorFish is worried. A National Party MP’s colleagues have become increasingly concerned about his wellbeing, after he failed for two consecutive days to make a fool of himself on Twitter. Concerns were raised when colleagues of Tau Henare realised that they had not noticed a single social media brainfart from the list MP for over 48 hours.

Absolutely damning

Written By: - Date published: 6:04 pm, December 30th, 2011 - 25 comments

We have a government department which has acted deliberately to thwart judicial and Ombudsman oversight, for reasons of its own convenience, apparently in violation of New Zealand law. The question is whether the Minister will act – or whether he will effectively endorse this situation with his silence.

Peter Jackson – “Satan’s Little Helper”

Written By: - Date published: 4:34 pm, December 29th, 2011 - 113 comments

Ken Perrott at Open Parachute points out another of those strange absurdities of our time. The Christians (well some of the stranger sects) think he is… arghh it is absurd – I’m not going to say it. And it is too early to be a shameless self-promotion. My only question is to wonder how this will cause John Key to give taxpayers money away again? And how much this time?


Myths and moralising – the conservative trademark

Written By: - Date published: 2:17 pm, December 29th, 2011 - 36 comments

Even smart conservatives in my experience generally  think far too short term, fail to look at history  and in the final analysis view everything from their own narrow interests rather than those of society as whole. They prefer historical mythmaking and moralizing about others rather than thinking. The Economist throws up another telling example by David Brooks.

Inequality and the rich

Written By: - Date published: 1:56 pm, December 29th, 2011 - 75 comments

In today’s Herald, Geof Nightingale, PWC tax partner and member of the Nats’ Tax Working Group, joins the argument for greater inequality in New Zealand. Ironically in the same issue Garth George writes his last column as the editors decided that his column “does not fit in with their future plans for the opinion pages.” Garth thinks the most serious and vexing problem facing New Zealand – and the Western World – now and in the immediate future is income inequality and unemployment. I’m with Garth – I hope the Herald’s future plans are not with Nightingale.

Summer service: open mike 29-31/12/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 29th, 2011 - 65 comments

As usual, it’s reduced service over the summer break, unless anything big happens. We hope you’ll get a good break with those dear to you, and that we’ll have some decent weather to enjoy. And if you still need your politics fix… Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Step right up to the mike…

Petty

Written By: - Date published: 9:17 am, December 28th, 2011 - 126 comments

Under cover of Christmas, the Nats are following in their long tradition of intimidating journalists, by going after the teapot tape reporter for “costs”.

Rich attacks unions

Written By: - Date published: 6:56 pm, December 27th, 2011 - 98 comments

Katherine Rich attacks the waterside union in an opinion piece today.

But that’s not surprising given she’s being paid to speak on behalf of some of the biggest corporations in the world.

Anyone would think there’s some kind of connection between how strong unions are and how big a slice of the pie the rich can take for themselves…

Will Collins walk the talk?

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, December 27th, 2011 - 54 comments

Radio New Zealand reports that Peter Ellis has a petition to the Minister of Justice seeking a pardon. The current Minister of Justice, Judith Collins, signed another petition seeking an inquiry into his case in 2005. The question is will Collins now walk the talk?

Worst Election News Coverage

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 pm, December 26th, 2011 - 154 comments

According to Janet Wilson (I know – I was surprised she’s still around too) the Standard are blind to any rational coverage. Wilson makes this claim while posting her list of best and worst of 2011 (we got “Worst Election News Coverage”).

Summer service: open mike 25-28/12/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 25th, 2011 - 68 comments

Merry Christmas! As usual, it’s reduced service over the summer break, unless anything big happens. We hope you’ll get a good break with those dear to you, and that we’ll have some decent weather to enjoy. And if you still need your politics fix… Open mike is your post…

Latest quakes

Written By: - Date published: 9:13 am, December 24th, 2011 - 59 comments

Heartfelt greetings and commiserations to all in the shaky city. Use this post for general discussion of the ongoing quakes in Christchurch.

Workers beat the Grinch

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, December 23rd, 2011 - 22 comments

In a heart-warming Christmas story, 111 workers have stood strong and faced down Canterbury Meat Packers, which locked them out for2 months to extort a 20% wage cut and make them work harder for less money. It’s not a total victory, there will be small pay cuts, but they won improved conditions and they’re back at work. United, workers win.

Summer service: open mike 23-24/12/2011

Written By: - Date published: 5:59 am, December 23rd, 2011 - 108 comments

As usual, it’s reduced service over the summer break, unless anything big happens. We hope you’ll get a good break with those dear to you, and that we’ll have some decent weather to enjoy. And if you still need your politics fix… Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Step right up to the mike…

Together: union security for $1 week

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, December 22nd, 2011 - 75 comments

There’s a new union in town and who knows?  it might just prove to be the salvation of the union movement (so you can put money on  some hard-headed unionists opposing it for ideological reasons!) The concept  of Together is simple; if you currently belong to a union and you’ve got family members who work in places where there’s […]

Health, Safety and Accountability

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, December 22nd, 2011 - 40 comments

CTU President Helen Kelly talks about Pike River and the death of security guard Charanpreet Singh Dhaliwal and what these tragedies tell us about employer accountability for health and safety in the workplace.

Key: tired & bereft of ideas

Written By: - Date published: 10:05 am, December 22nd, 2011 - 56 comments

Shearer’s never going to be a Churchill but his address in reply was well-delivered, passionate, issues focused. What a contrast to Key. All he could serve up were the same old lame jokes. Where was the plan for the next 1,000 days? Where was the plan for 200,000 kids in poverty? Where was leadership from the PM? Key’s forgotten all that. He’s pure beltway politics now.

Still no plan

Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, December 22nd, 2011 - 59 comments

“Once in office, you’ve got to do something. That is why having a plan matters.” – Simon Power, 2011, valedictory speech to parliament

Open mike 22/12/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 22nd, 2011 - 220 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…

ImperatorFish: A Plea To Jim Hopkins

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 pm, December 21st, 2011 - 14 comments

Scott at Imperator Fish has kindly given us permission to syndicate posts from his blog – the original of this post is here

Did you realise Jim Hopkins abolished Climate Change last Friday? It was awfully good of him and his craaaaaaaazy red-rimmed glasses.

Key the politician

Written By: - Date published: 5:00 pm, December 21st, 2011 - 25 comments

Key’s anti-politician image is slipping – particularly as Labour’s new ‘anti-politician’ leader shows it up. Reasonable? Willing to accept good ideas from the other side of the house? That man is not Key…

Shearer shows he means it

Written By: - Date published: 4:40 pm, December 21st, 2011 - 84 comments

Labour’s new leader promised a fresh approach. He’s delivered already in his speech in reply today. Gone is the ritual opening denunciation of the government’s programme  – Shearer begins with where a new Labour government would start.

ImperatorFish: The Round Institute Of New Zealand Business Tables?

Written By: - Date published: 1:36 pm, December 21st, 2011 - 3 comments

Scott at Imperator Fish has kindly given us permission to syndicate posts from his blog – the original of this post is here

Who’s going to ‘boss the kiss’ of the Roundtable – NZ Institute ‘merger’?

Irony

Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, December 21st, 2011 - 71 comments

Irony will be if Anne Tolley gets sacked over a portfolio she no longer holds. And if she’s fired, not for turning one of the world’s most successful education systems into an ideological warzone over performance pay but, for lying to Parliament about a principal turned ministry expert with a sleazy husband being suspended.

Farewell NZ Institute

Written By: - Date published: 10:34 am, December 21st, 2011 - 14 comments

I’m really disappointed the New Zealand Institute is merging with the Business Roundtable. It smells like the NZI was out of cash. It’s a pity because, since getting rid of David Skilling, the NZI has been producing some good, broad-minded,practical work on the economy’s fundamental challenges. Merger just leave a shill for the neoliberal elite.

Brownlee moves to kill Chch democracy

Written By: - Date published: 8:20 am, December 21st, 2011 - 91 comments

How long until National usurps Christchurch Council? Brownlee’s doing the groundwork – creating a crisis, making the councillors to blame (for not automatically agreeing to whatever Parker wants), claiming public support. Reckon he’ll wait until rebuilding is just about to start. Then council gets blamed for the delays and he gets credit for the rebuilding.

Open mike 21/12/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 21st, 2011 - 70 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…

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