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Archive for February, 2012

Open mike 24/02/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 24th, 2012 - 51 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…

34 hours to help Australians save their oceans

Written By: - Date published: 1:59 pm, February 23rd, 2012 - 12 comments

In 48 hours, Australia could save one million square kms of ocean forever — setting up the largest marine reserve in the world and preserving thousands of delicate species. But they will need an global outcry to beat out commercial fishing and mining companies hoping to destroy the plan.

Life in the front lines

Written By: - Date published: 12:36 pm, February 23rd, 2012 - 33 comments

Hey remember how the Nats weren’t going to cut frontline staff? How’s that working out?

Tales from Christchurch

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, February 23rd, 2012 - 4 comments

As a followup to the “big media” coverage of Christchurch yesterday, there are plenty of people posting on their experiences of life in the quake-ridden city. One that I follow is the blog of award winning Kiwi author Helen Lowe.

The neoliberal plague

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 am, February 23rd, 2012 - 131 comments

Since New Zealand skulled the neoliberal cool-aid, hospital admissions for infectious diseases, the diseases of poverty, increased 51% while dropping in the countries we should consider our peers. The working class life has gotten worse; our wages are lower, our jobs gone, and our families living in unhealthy houses owned by slum landlords.

Joyce’s dirty deals: international convention centre

Written By: - Date published: 8:35 am, February 23rd, 2012 - 57 comments

Steven ‘White Elephant’ Joyce isn’t content with building highways to nowhere with costs that exceed the benefits. Now he wants an international convention centre in Auckland that’s just as pointless. But he doesn’t want the government to pay. So, he’s cutting a dirty deal with more law for sale and more pokie machines blighting our communities.

Open mike 23/02/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 23rd, 2012 - 122 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…

Rudd resigns – game over?

Written By: - Date published: 9:43 pm, February 22nd, 2012 - 17 comments

Kevin Rudd resigned as Australian Foreign Minister in a midnight speech from Washington. He will now return to Australia, consult, and issue a statement as to his intentions.  Nobody seems to think Rudd has the numbers to win a ballot this week; the issue will be whether he stays on the back bench and continues to undermine. I can’t see that lasting.

Fry puts heat on broadband

Written By: - Date published: 9:47 am, February 22nd, 2012 - 64 comments

Steven Fry’s outburst on broadband in NZ, however confused, did at least succeed in putting the state of our broadband access back in the headlines for a bit. It’s an issue that the Nats would rather we forgot.

Asset sales: No Dunne deal

Written By: - Date published: 7:37 am, February 22nd, 2012 - 71 comments

Asset sales will only happen if Peter Dunne votes for them. It is his choice whether we keep our strategic assets, or lose control of them forever. So, constituents in Dunne’s electorate of Ohariu have established the Citizens’ Select Committee to hear the arguments that the Government will not and a report to Parliament. Make your submission.

Quake anniversary

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, February 22nd, 2012 - 18 comments

The thoughts of the whole country are with Christchurch today.

Open mike 22/02/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 22nd, 2012 - 63 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…

Leaky McCully gives Mfat (another) headache

Written By: - Date published: 10:01 pm, February 21st, 2012 - 31 comments

National’s getting a reputation for not being able to keep its secrets secret. When its National’s political plans, it’s a public good when this info gets out. When it’s free and frank, and classified, communications with a minister about our diplomatic relations, that’s a risk to NZ. As we see a taste of the McCully emails, we wonder when Key’s going to hold his minister to account for his disregard for security. Updated.

What would Wilberforce say?

Written By: - Date published: 3:51 pm, February 21st, 2012 - 33 comments

Consciences are uncomfortable things and mine’s been giving me a bit of trouble lately.   I’ve been on the horns of a dilemma (sorry for the cliche but who can resist the imagery?) about employment practices. We allow ourselves a handwringing moment, a short burst of outraged righteousness and then run off to buy  a pair […]

RadioLive confirms PM’s hour an election programme

Written By: - Date published: 2:46 pm, February 21st, 2012 - 46 comments

RadioLive asked “Did the PM’s hour influence your vote?” on its website last Friday. Billy the Kid commented: “It was my first election. I heard Key and thought he sounded pretty cool so yeah I voted for him.” All it takes is one to confirm that RadioLive broke the law.

Crowd-sourcin’: asset sales question

Written By: - Date published: 11:37 am, February 21st, 2012 - 47 comments

Economic sovereignty is suddenly the hot issue with the vast majority of Kiwis opposed to more foreign ownership and asset sales. The Nats are in a spin: Key is desperately trying to upgrade English’s ‘guess’ on the fiscal impact of asset sales to a “best estimate”. Time for that asset sales referendum petition. Maybe you can help draft the question.

Another ‘aggressive recovery’?

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, February 21st, 2012 - 54 comments

Key upbeat about quake recovery work – Headline

Here’s a couple of numbers that might sober Mr Smile and Wave:

  • 28,200 fewer jobs in Canterbury now than a year ago. 1 in 11 jobs lost.
  • Net international emigration from Canterbury, 3,634 by December.
  • 5,086 building consents in Canterbury in 2011. 100,000 houses damaged or destroyed.

Nats’ debt pile hits $50b

Written By: - Date published: 6:23 am, February 21st, 2012 - 210 comments

For the first time in history, net government debt has passed $50 billion. New Zealand’s net international liabilities, the amount New Zealand owes the rest of the world, is also skyrocketing: $140 billion now, $197 billion in 2016. John Key used to say we had a growth problem, not a debt problem. With GDP per capita down 2% under National, we now have both.

Open mike 21/02/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 21st, 2012 - 46 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…

Pat Kelly speaks

Written By: - Date published: 10:33 pm, February 20th, 2012 - 7 comments

It’s not Helen’s dad but former Scottish TUC Leader Pat Kelly who will speak at St John’s this Tuesday 21st at 6pm on his book Scotland’s Radical Exports – Scottish expats who led unions and Labour around the world. All welcome.

ImperatorFish: Closing The Incompetence Gap

Written By: - Date published: 3:40 pm, February 20th, 2012 - 3 comments

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

Bollard says the NZ-Aus income gap may not be as large as suggested – but what about the incompetence gap?

Young Labour taking the lead

Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, February 20th, 2012 - 2 comments

Labour is currently undertaking a review of its organisational capabilities. It’s a process looking at what it means to be a Labour member and supporter and how Labour can better engage with our supporters. Young Labour have a website for ideas. The Labour party website still hasn’t heard about it.

How low will they go?

Written By: - Date published: 11:53 am, February 20th, 2012 - 11 comments

The Nats are looking to Queensland for lessons in privatisation. They want to see how incentives for locals to hold on to their shares work. But you don’t pay for incentives with magic beans. Any incentives for the few locals who can afford to buy shares just means a diminished return to the government, making the economic and fiscal rationale for selling even weaker.

Greens becoming the new opposition leaders

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, February 20th, 2012 - 242 comments

Last night, I saw Kevin Hague on the news talking about mine safety – mining, West Coast, labour rights, and no Labour voice. Same with minimum wage and asset sales. A hungry Green Party is leading issues while Labour appears immobilised. No wonder Metiria Turei is saying they won’t play little sibling; I see them being a third or more of the next governing coalition.

The long slide

Written By: - Date published: 6:34 am, February 20th, 2012 - 66 comments

According to the latest 3 News poll. National’s long slide has begun. Key’s popularity has also fallen to its lowest level yet as PM…

Open mike 20/02/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 20th, 2012 - 44 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…

A call to arms for all coders

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 pm, February 19th, 2012 - 10 comments

The Global Square “aims to be the first massive decentralized social network in the history of the Internet”. Can you help?

Sack ’em all

Written By: - Date published: 12:17 pm, February 19th, 2012 - 40 comments

Two weeks into the political year, who deserves the sack? Bill ‘it’s a guess’ English, Lockwood ‘small hands’ Smith, Paul ‘cheeky darkies’ Holmes, John ‘DJ’ Key, Maurice ‘Dumb’ Williamson, Jonathan ‘Dumber’ Coleman, Craig ‘Goebbels’ Foss, Stephen ‘Riefenstahl’ McElrea, Trevor ‘Scalper’ Mallard, Tariana ‘Slush Fund’  Turia, Murray ‘Security Risk’ McCully…

Behind the hockey stick

Written By: - Date published: 11:09 am, February 19th, 2012 - 137 comments

There have been several interesting pieces on the politics of climate change recently, including some reflections (and a new book) from Michael Mann (the scientist behind the “hockey stick”), and leaked documents from the denier industry.

I will always love you

Written By: - Date published: 11:04 am, February 19th, 2012 - 15 comments

Whitney’s funeral was today’s news – across the BBC, Fox and CNN for over three hours. It was riveting; a great tribute to a warm and loving woman, and a reminder of how hard it can sometimes be for those whose gift it is to sing from the heart, but also of how much love and forgiveness is available to them.

Open mike 19/02/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 19th, 2012 - 32 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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