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Archive for December, 2012

NZ falling in education under Nats

Written By: - Date published: 9:20 am, December 21st, 2012 - 21 comments

The other day, David Farrar helpfully linked to an international report (here, here, and here) into achievement in education. Somehow though, he missed the part where educational achievement rose in all but one measure under Labour and then fell in each measure under National.

Open mike 21/12/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 21st, 2012 - 78 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…

Emerson on choices

Written By: - Date published: 1:25 pm, December 20th, 2012 - 15 comments

emerson-choices300

Media Bias & Democracy I: truth to power

Written By: - Date published: 11:49 am, December 20th, 2012 - 37 comments

Democracy needs independent news media, acting in the public interest, to speak truth to power.  The commercial imperatives and neoliberal capture of corporate news organisations skew their political coverage, and contribute to voter disengagement. A perfect context for Key’s government to dismantle democracy: ECAN, CERA, Auckland Council, asset sales.

Shearer Says

Written By: - Date published: 11:46 am, December 20th, 2012 - 55 comments

David Shearer’s weekly e-newsletter, this week – Merry Christmas!

We’re happy to post similar newsletters from other opposition leaders – our email is on our contact page.

The beggared neighbour

Written By: - Date published: 9:37 am, December 20th, 2012 - 12 comments

Japan just elected a Liberal Democrat government promising more jobs through a huge quantitative easing programme. The US has stated it’ll continue QE until unemployment drops below 6.5%. The effect has been to send our dollar to new highs, killing exporters and import-exposed local businesses. Contrary to media belief, Japan and the US aren’t in worse positions than us.

If

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, December 20th, 2012 - 221 comments

If you and I were told that (variously) our sons and daughters, grandchildren, nieces and nephews were going to be killed tomorrow, would I be right to suspect that we might sit up and take notice?

Sacred cows

Written By: - Date published: 9:02 am, December 20th, 2012 - 38 comments

An anonymous editorial in The Herald yesterday suggested that the government raise revenue by cutting the “sacred cow” of interest free student loans.  For some strange reason the sacred cow of National’s tax cut bribe for the rich was not similarly offered up for sacrifice.  I wonder why that might be.

Govt tries to bully Wellington Council

Written By: - Date published: 8:54 am, December 20th, 2012 - 14 comments

Wellington Council has voted to spend some time looking at a new alternative to the Basin Fly-over plan. The government’s response has been to threaten the council that other transport investment in Wellington will be scrapped unless they get their concrete monstrosity built. In related news, NZTA systemically under-estimates the costs and overstates the benefits of roading projects.

Open mike 20/12/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 20th, 2012 - 145 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…

Parata won’t quit, Key won’t sack her

Written By: - Date published: 9:52 pm, December 19th, 2012 - 59 comments

Parata isn’t the most corrupt minister Key has but she’s definitely the most incompetent. Now, the Secretary of Education has been paid out to take the fall for Hekia’s incompetence and that of her sister, Apryll, Deputy Secretary Performance and Change. Parata has maintained her reputation for nepotism being an appalling people manager. But she won’t go, and Key won’t make her.

Closing in on 500,000 comments

Written By: - Date published: 1:13 pm, December 19th, 2012 - 41 comments

We’re on track to reach half a million comments before the week is out. Who will be number 500,000? As always, its nice to mark these milestones because it’s a reminder of what a big and vibrant community this is. Those half a million comments have sure made writing here a lot more fun than it would have been if no-one wrote back. Cheers.

Longstone resignation

Written By: - Date published: 12:18 pm, December 19th, 2012 - 56 comments

Can’t say that I blame Longstone for bailing, she was working for a Minister who is clearly well out of her depth.  Another fail for Hekia Parata,  she’s the one that should be going.

 

Turei: Green Party retrospective

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 am, December 19th, 2012 - 44 comments

Green Party co-leader, Metiria Turei, was confident and clear on TV3, talking about their consistent, disciplined & successful year &: the RONS tax, MP pay rise, government’s poor record, the economy, printing money, jobs, equality issues and child poverty.  Little on green issues. Zero on the climate.  [Update] Turei RNZ interviews.

Margin of error

Written By: - Date published: 10:09 am, December 19th, 2012 - 16 comments

So, National’s still on track to surplus in 2014/15, eh? A $66m surplus. Well, don’t be counting those chickens just yet. That projected surplus is just 0.07% of projected spending and revenue that year. That makes wafer thin look fat. And it’s not exactly like Treasury has a good record predicting 2.5 years ahead. But there’s a bigger question: is any surplus worth any price?

Nats’ 170,000 jobs evaporate

Written By: - Date published: 6:46 am, December 19th, 2012 - 33 comments

In Budget 2011, National made a big song and dance over the projection that ‘they’ would create 170,000 jobs in the next four years. Leaving aside the fact that they were counting jobs from the year before in their four year total, the promise basically rested on creating 57,000 jobs this year. So, what’s the latest update on that figure? … 0.

Open mike 19/12/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 19th, 2012 - 40 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…

How to mess up “good” news

Written By: - Date published: 5:17 pm, December 18th, 2012 - 57 comments

Trying to distract attention from the increased taxes required to maybe balance the budget one day, Key was pushing supposedly good news on health.  Instead he scored a social media own goal.  Ooops.

Well done

Written By: - Date published: 5:16 pm, December 18th, 2012 - 83 comments

This is one of a series of posts I hope to write over the summer based to some extent or other on a recent presentation by Kevin Anderson: Professor of Energy and Climate Change, University of Manchester, Tyndall Centre.

Making you pay for their folly

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, December 18th, 2012 - 112 comments

Well it looks like the government has finally listened to all of the arguments about how unaffordable the Roads of National Significance are.

Their response? To tax you more to pay for their white elephant.

The spinmeister of Planet Key: Retrospective

Written By: - Date published: 10:07 am, December 18th, 2012 - 37 comments

On TV3 this morning, John Key was soothing and slick.  All is well on Planet Key, and critics are delusional.  He reeled of numbers and facts, but material realities of daily lives, and the suffering of people on low incomes aren’t mentioned. And asset sales?

Don’t blame MMP for Nat stupidity

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, December 18th, 2012 - 18 comments

Recent pieces by Bernard Hickey and John Armstrong both highlighted the problem of our aging population and the unsustainability of super – in Hickey’s memorable words we are “consuming our future”.  Armstrong tries to balme MMP, but that won’t wash, it’s just the usual short-sighted Nat stupidity…

Greens pony up for a second cable

Written By: - Date published: 6:52 am, December 18th, 2012 - 43 comments

Market failure is one of the marks of our time. From unaffordable, low-quality housing to child poverty to the over-valued dollar killing jobs to over-priced broadband and failed government IT procurements, the market keeps getting it wrong. The Greens and Labour know the answer is for the Government to step in; National just turns a blind eye. Russel Norman did it again yesterday.

Open mike 18/12/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 18th, 2012 - 136 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…

Cyclone Evan

Written By: - Date published: 11:42 am, December 17th, 2012 - 7 comments

I’m sure our thoughts are all with Fiji as it braces itself for disaster.

What’s new? Shearer retrospective.

Written By: - Date published: 11:35 am, December 17th, 2012 - 124 comments

David Shearer was on TV 3 this morning, reflecting on his last year. He claimed that he and Labour are doing well under new and settled leadership, taking a new direction.  How accurate are his claims?

Port workers show how its done

Written By: - Date published: 8:07 am, December 17th, 2012 - 22 comments

You have to respect how the Ports of Auckland workers stood staunch in the face of the bosses’ attempt to contract out their jobs, without support from the ‘leftwing’ mayor and against an expensive PR effort. They’re still getting their own back. PoAL has just been fined for employing a strikebreaker. And, in Lyttelton, wharfies have started a smart new campaign.

Boot camps – Key doesn’t know best

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, December 17th, 2012 - 106 comments

Key was wrong about boot camps.  He’s wrong about education, the environment, the democratic rights of Canterbury, the miraculous power of cycleways, the economy, New Zealand’s international obligations on climate change, and much more besides. Every year in office this arrogant government does yet more damage.

Open mike 17/12/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 17th, 2012 - 88 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…

Christmas gifts

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 pm, December 16th, 2012 - 14 comments

Looking for Christmas gift ideas?  There are plenty of ways to give a gift that will really make a difference.  Here’s a small selection.

Sunday Reading

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, December 16th, 2012 - Comments Off on Sunday Reading

My regular Sunday piece of interesting, longer, deeper stories I found during the week. But this week it’s mainly your chance for you to share what you found this week, as I’m off overseas for a month by the time you read this.

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