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Archive for February, 2013

Working for a Living

Written By: - Date published: 2:21 pm, February 24th, 2013 - 118 comments

The thing I like about the Living Wage campaign is the branding represents strongly both the problem and the solution.  The Prime Minister fell into its trap when he said that the Living Wage was not a priority for his Government. The statement says it all really. The Government don’t want you to work for a living, they just want you to work.

Back to basics

Written By: - Date published: 12:24 pm, February 24th, 2013 - 15 comments

Looks like we’re in for another round of nonsense in mathematics education from a bunch of politicians who know more about their own prejudices than they do about teaching and learning.

Sunday Reading

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, February 24th, 2013 - 5 comments

My regular Sunday piece of interesting, longer, deeper stories I found during the week. It’s also a chance for you to share what you found this week too. Those stimulating links you wanted to share, but just didn’t fit in anywhere.  This week: Feminism, tax and juries.

Open mike 24/02/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 24th, 2013 - 86 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…

ACT speaks its branes

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 pm, February 23rd, 2013 - 71 comments

According to ex-leader Rodney Hyde’s address to the ACT conference ACT hates the poor, hates Maori, and hates the unions. As far as I can tell this is not a joke. But clearly ACT is.

What have the Nats got right?

Written By: - Date published: 3:51 pm, February 23rd, 2013 - 186 comments

The list of National’s failures is long – and getting longer. So what have the Nats got right in their 4 years in office? What have they accomplished? Genuine questions, Nat supporters, I’m interested to know what you think Key and co. have achieved.

NRT: Climate change – Locked out

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, February 23rd, 2013 - 15 comments

I/S from No Right Turn describes another brick in National’s wall of stupid. “New Zealand will be locked out of the international carbon market in retaliation for our refusal to sign up for Kyoto’s Second Commitment period.”

Poverty Watch 20

Written By: - Date published: 8:17 am, February 23rd, 2013 - 11 comments

Welcome to Poverty Watch, a weekly update on National’s lack of response to the urgent and growing issue of poverty in NZ. This week, more from the Children’s Social Health Monitor 2012 Update Report, and poverty in Christchurch…

Open mike 23/02/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 23rd, 2013 - 147 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…

Fabian “Voyage” comes to Christchurch

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, February 22nd, 2013 - 3 comments

Christchurch readers please open here InvitationA5_Mar2013_1 to find your invitation to this free “economic revue” at the Court Theatre, Sunday March 3, 1pm for 1:30. Speakers Bernard Hickey, John Walley, Rick Boven, Sel Pellett and Bronwyn Hayward; with Michele A’Court starting them off. Titanic-themed, how New Zealand can avoid the iceberg is the topic. All welcome.

Weekend social 22/02/2013

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, February 22nd, 2013 - 36 comments

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?

Save the Trees!

Written By: - Date published: 12:11 pm, February 22nd, 2013 - 41 comments

The Government is currently attempting for a second time to remove blanket tree protection from Auckland’s district plan. Submissions close on February 28, 2013 – Greg Presland tells us why and how you can have your say.

Body on Mighty River

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, February 22nd, 2013 - 14 comments

body-on-mighty-river300

Nats’ fossil fuel bet & culture of excess bankrupted Solid Energy

Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, February 22nd, 2013 - 164 comments

A look at Solid Energy’s books highlights the diseased culture of the corporate elite in this country and National’s failed bet on fossil fuels. The blistering pace that executives’ ridiculous paypackets rose at shows a culture of pocket-lining in the company. The massive expansion of liabilities in the lignite bet, which has crippled the company, was part of National’s fossil fuels strategy.

Forgotten Christchurch

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, February 22nd, 2013 - 22 comments

Today is the second anniversary of the most destructive of the Christchurch earthquakes. Condolences to the friends and families of the dead. Greetings to all who lived through it and remember. Commiserations to those who have been forgotten by this government…

Open mike 22/02/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 22nd, 2013 - 87 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…

Bully Camps not the “Answer” for youth

Written By: - Date published: 6:34 pm, February 21st, 2013 - 61 comments

Boot camps by their nature are bully camps.  I know some young people enjoy the test of their physical skills but for those that don’t, they work by psychological pressure.  I haven’t read the text book that says kids thrive being shouted at, marched about the place and having their heads shaved, and what are we teaching them about the State?  That we accept bullying?  That the Government reserve the right to humiliate you?

Key lied to Parliament?

Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, February 21st, 2013 - 71 comments

Breaking news, but it certainly looks like John Key has (1) made up nonsense about Sky City, and (2) lied to Parliament.

Update: Key is publicly backing down. Looks like an apology and explanation to Parliament will be needed.

Re-run: SkyCity’s convention centre would need $10m+ subsidies – MED

Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, February 21st, 2013 - 15 comments

A year ago, I wrote that SkyCity was pursuing the dirty practice of ‘subvention’ – where owners of white elephant infrastructure extort governments for subsidies – for the convention centre. The msm has caught up and is reporting on it now. MED denies there will be any subvention; but Joyce says it’s all on the table. And what about the $10m+ in operating subsidies the centre would need?

Key implicated not vindicated

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, February 21st, 2013 - 22 comments

As John Armstrong puts it the AG’s report on the Sky City bid was “deeply disturbing” and “verging on banana republic kind of stuff without the bananas”. One of the competing bidders is talking about a refund of costs “wasted on a bid that was never seriously considered”. And why wouldn’t they?

Open mike 21/02/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 21st, 2013 - 169 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…

Mr Answerer

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 pm, February 20th, 2013 - 70 comments

Oh dear. Lockwood Smith was by common consent one of the best Speakers we’ve had. David Carter seems to be heading in a different direction. Lockwood required Ministers to give direct answers. Today in the House Carter gave the answer for Hekia Parata, interpreting her words to  get her off the hook. He may well have put himself on one though, if that is the way he is going to go.

Leaked: draft blueprint for future recruitment to ACC sensitive claims unit

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, February 20th, 2013 - 10 comments

An accidentally-mis-addressed email from ACC’s HR department reveals much-needed changes are going to be made to their sensitive claims unit.

Family members of traitors of the Motherland

Written By: - Date published: 1:16 pm, February 20th, 2013 - 85 comments

No-one likes fraudsters, whether they’re ripping us off as beneficiaries or as suit-clad businesspeople. National’s announced some ineffectual steps to ‘crack down’ on the minor amount of benefit fraud that occurs (no similar crackdown on white collar fraudsters). But they’ve gone to far in trying to criminalise people just for being partners of benefit fraudsters.

Think tanks & global-local networks

Written By: - Date published: 10:52 am, February 20th, 2013 - 25 comments

George Monbiot exposes how well-funded right wing ‘think tanks’ and individuals operate through networks including the AEI, IEA &  Koch.  These have links to the NZ Initiative (BRT & NZ Institute). The coming DailyBlog may help challenge such influential networks and their destructive ‘neoliberal’ politics.

Sorry seems to be the hardest word

Written By: - Date published: 9:20 am, February 20th, 2013 - 23 comments

Hekia Parata is in deep trouble. She has even resorted to grudgingly forcing the word “sorry” from her lips. But it isn’t even close to the apology that is needed…

That ‘ol margin of error

Written By: - Date published: 8:52 am, February 20th, 2013 - 32 comments

There is no sensible “political narrative” that makes sense of the two most recent polls, it’s just noise – the margin of error. But the underlying trend is still good for the Left…

Labour: the democratic reforms continue

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 am, February 20th, 2013 - 98 comments

The focus in recent months has been on the democratisation of the leadership process. But actually, a far more important change is coming.  Over the next few months, the party is going to roll out the draft policies and the proposed policy structure to a series of membership meetings. The new regional hub structure will also be explained.

Open mike 20/02/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 20th, 2013 - 175 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-G reveals details of Nats’ dirty deal with SkyCity

Written By: - Date published: 3:07 pm, February 19th, 2013 - 129 comments

The Auditor-General’s report catalogues a dirty deal hatched between Key’s office and SkyCity execs to give SkyCity more pokies ‘in return for’ a convention centre. It shows the bidding process was a farce and reveals that the whole ‘trade-off’ of pokies for convention centre is a con hatched by SkyCity and the Nats. And there’s a deeper issue.

Reshuffle for unity

Written By: - Date published: 11:28 am, February 19th, 2013 - 229 comments

As you all know I haven’t been the biggest cheerleader for Labour in recent times. And let’s not beat around the bush. I still have my concerns. But there’s a real opportunity on the near horizon. There’s hope for Labour yet. While the plan for the reshuffle before the vote was clearly punitive  things may have changed. Indeed they should have. Update: Oh dear.

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