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Archive for May, 2014

Open mike 20/05/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, May 20th, 2014 - 284 comments

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

“Banks vs Mud”

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 am, May 19th, 2014 - 134 comments

John Banks murky past, including his metaphorical mud throwing at other politicians, came back to haunt him today: this as he headed into court to stand trial, accused of filing false electoral returns in an Auckland Mayoral campaign. Update: TVNZ report; Update #2: In court today

Denial

Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, May 19th, 2014 - 112 comments

There is no housing crisis. Everything is fine.

Open mike 19/05/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, May 19th, 2014 - 225 comments

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

Polity: Key: Pathological liar about tax

Written By: - Date published: 3:05 pm, May 18th, 2014 - 30 comments

John Key is clearly lying about tax again. He claims that most of “all nett tax” is paid for by the wealthy. As usual he ignores the 15% GST tax, the various sales taxes on things like petrol, and the many other sales and consumption taxes. GST and other consumption taxes are largely paid for by the not wealthy. Which is why they were raised to pay for National’s tax cuts for the wealthy.

NRT: MBIE doesn’t care about conservation

Written By: - Date published: 2:37 pm, May 18th, 2014 - 4 comments

No Right Turn turns his attention back to the hapless ministerial fool , Simon Bridges. It turns out that when he approved oil exploration in our biggest forest park without realising that he had, it was also what his advice had been. MoBIE simply didn’t consider if the oil exploration and presumably the eventual exploitation would conflict with something as economically vital as tourism. In fact, they appear to have ignored all other claims and uses of the land.

The Human Cost of Inequality

Written By: - Date published: 2:10 pm, May 18th, 2014 - 131 comments

The Sir Douglas Robb Lectures for 2014 start tomorrow evening in Auckland. These three free lectures are being given by the authors of “The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better”, a book much hated by those amongst us who would prefer that societies either didn’t exist or were more unequal and tilted in their favour. Based on many of the trolls here on this topic, it’d appear that most Act supporters and many National supporters appear fall into this category.

Penny Hulse and the decriminalisation of cannabis

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, May 18th, 2014 - 52 comments

Auckland Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse this week called for there to be a rational debate on whether organic cannabis should be decriminalised.  Her reasoning is sound.  The natural kind is better than the synthetic kind and prohibition is not working.

Open mike 18/05/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, May 18th, 2014 - 191 comments

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

EPMU wins for Tiwai workers

Written By: - Date published: 6:55 pm, May 17th, 2014 - 33 comments

News today that NZAS appeal against the EPMU’s claim for contract shift payments at Tiwai Point has failed is another well-deserved win for workers. True to form, the company is bleating that it might cost it $20million. That would be a drop in the bucket compared to what workers have lost there since Rio Tinto moved aggressively to de-unionise the site in 1990 after the introduction of the Employment Contracts Act.

Marama Davidson: candidate for Tāmaki Makaurau

Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, May 17th, 2014 - 40 comments

Marama Davidson, is on the Green Party list & is a candidate for the Tāmaki Makaurau seat.  Davidson is a really promising up-coming politician.  She is committed to working for people, communities, the environment, democratic process, & strongly supports wahine, Māori & young people.

The Budget and the Christchurch rebuild

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, May 17th, 2014 - 44 comments

In the pursuit of a balanced budget it appears that the Government has cut funding from a number of areas of Government activity, the Christchurch rebuild included. And Gerry Brownlee is refusing to accept that flooding has been exacerbated by the earthquakes and trying to undermine the suggestion that costs estimates are overly optimistic.

Open mike 17/05/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, May 17th, 2014 - 153 comments

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

Phil Twyford – Budget Ignores Housing Crisis

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, May 16th, 2014 - 90 comments

If New Zealanders needed any more proof of the National Government’s total failure on housing, this Budget has given them all they need to know. The Budget does nothing to address New Zealand’s acute housing crisis. There is nothing here for first home buyers. Nothing to build a single new home. Nothing to make rentals […]

Polity: House of Cards

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 am, May 16th, 2014 - 20 comments

Rob Salmond from Polity on how Budget 2014 figures show that the housing crisis will get much, much worse under National’s do-nothing approach.

Briefing Papers

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, May 16th, 2014 - 11 comments

New website “Briefing Papers” offers alternative briefing papers for incoming governments. The first is by Brian Easton, on the purpose of Budgets. Easton says that while all the debate is about economic growth, governments in fact can do little to influence it positively. What they can do is focus on quality of output, measures to combat inequality and provide employment, and invest in children. Worth a read.

National tacks left with its fudge it budget

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, May 16th, 2014 - 174 comments

National must be worried about its prospects in this year’s election.  Because its budget did not have the normal hard right policies that we have come to expect of it and it is trying to lessen the attraction of some of Labour’s announced policies.

The over-sold Budget

Written By: - Date published: 8:20 am, May 16th, 2014 - 82 comments

You could tell it was coming.

When, about two days out from the Budget. English started trying to downplay expectations, you knew there wasn’t enough in it.

Open mike 16/05/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, May 16th, 2014 - 165 comments

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

“Collect it all”, “exploit it all”: 5 Eyes economic surveillance

Written By: - Date published: 9:10 pm, May 15th, 2014 - 54 comments

Glenn Greenwald, interviewed on Democracy Now, outlines the extent of the NSA-led 5 Eyes surveillance systems. It is a leap from sci fi into our daily lives. Economic surveillance dominates.  John Key & Ian Fletcher have some questions to answer – have they misled us? [Update: documents link]

All Down to Dunne

Written By: - Date published: 7:31 pm, May 15th, 2014 - 37 comments

In the next few hours Peter Dunne could stand by his word and help Kiwi Families.

The question is, will he do it?

Update: No he didn’t. So much for his principles.

David Cunliffe Q&A on Facebook this evening

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 pm, May 15th, 2014 - 14 comments

For Facebook users there will be a chance to ask David Cunliffe questions on the budget this evening.

Polity: Budget 2014: Over-promise. Under-deliver.

Written By: - Date published: 3:18 pm, May 15th, 2014 - 40 comments

Earlier this week I predicted the Budget would be Labour-lite. I was right, but only in part. By far the biggest disappointment is in housing. The government signalled help for home buyers would be a highlight in the Budget. A few pathetic morsels isn’t a highlight. This will make next to no difference to the housing affordability crisis. First home buyers aren’t $3,500 short of a house. They are hundreds of thousands short, because there aren’t nearly enough homes.

John Key’s surplus

Written By: - Date published: 2:09 pm, May 15th, 2014 - 86 comments

A tiny surplus. After six years. And how much does New Zealand owe six years later? That’s right Seventy Five Billion Dollars. Mayby it should be you that apologises, John.

How stupid can you get?

Written By: - Date published: 12:48 pm, May 15th, 2014 - 24 comments

Despite recent controversy about MPs employing their partners as staff Claudette Hauiti has employed her partner as an issues assistant and says that she did not know about the rule.  How likely is that?

National’s proposed public spending to GDP ratio – the election’s clear blue line

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, May 15th, 2014 - 72 comments

The real story of the coming election is what was revealed in Bill English’s reported pre-budget speech to the National Party’s Southern Region conference at the weekend. He signalled an intention to reduce the proportion of government spending to 26% of GDP over the next 6 to 7 years. The current level at 30% already places NZ in the lowest quartile of OECD countries, having fallen from 35% of GDP in 2008. Most developed nations spend a significantly higher proportion of GDP on government goods and services.

Tax cuts for all!

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, May 15th, 2014 - 227 comments

Despite having never presided over a budget surplus and despite the nearly tripling of core crown gross debt John Key is talking about the possibility of future tax cuts.

Open mike 15/05/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:35 am, May 15th, 2014 - 209 comments

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

The desperation of the National’s sockpuppets

Written By: - Date published: 6:51 pm, May 14th, 2014 - 77 comments

National Party pollster David Farrar must be seeing some numbers he really doesn’t like because he is claiming that David Cunliffe photoshopped himself into a rally that he was really at!  Yeah right – a doyen of the local net governing body failed to use google before making a complete dick of himself on the net. I expect we will see a lot more of National’s paid for bloggers acting like fools heading into this election because National only being good at putting us heavily into debt (again!) rather limits the good news they can write.

John Key’s bullshit about rising inequality

Written By: - Date published: 2:41 pm, May 14th, 2014 - 86 comments

In Question Time today.  John Key has rejected evidence such census statistics, as reported on RNZ, that the inequality gap in Auckland is growing. He crowed about his government’s record & launched diversionary attacks on the opposition. Update: Question One video; Transcript links – Transcripts & other links updated. #realbudgetnumbers

Labour membership greatest in 30 years

Written By: - Date published: 2:17 pm, May 14th, 2014 - 11 comments

Moira Coatsworth recently announced that last year’s party membership was the greatest in 30 years – ie, it is higher than even before the 4th Labour Government did such damage to membership numbers. This is a sign of rude health. And it shows in the quality of new candidates being selected.

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