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Open mike 25/05/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 25th, 2011 - 54 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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…

54 comments on “Open mike 25/05/2011 ”

  1. Gus 1

    As Rob pointed out in his recent “A big gap to close” post, Labour is continuing to loose support with a further 3% lost to alternative parties and now sits on only 28% support, while the left as a whole sits 15% behind in the polls.

    What do people think Labour and the left have to do to regain traction and support from the voters?

    • chris73 1.1

      Remove the deadwood MPs and bring up/in new talent, at the moment Labour look old, tired and bereft of ideas

      Stop looking for dirt on John Key (or at least keep it quiet) because its just not there and makes Labour look sordid

      Try listening to what D O’Connor had to say but add in the teaching and university professions

      Most importantly Labour must start acting like a team and stop back-stabbing each other

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        Stop looking for dirt on John Key (or at least keep it quiet) because its just not there…

        None so blind as those who will not see…

    • ZeeBop 1.2

      The moment Goff declared the ETS policy, Key was rushed out with the lie that it would effect milk prices for shoppers. Only later in the day was the lie exposed.

      I would start declaring every policy will increase milk prices until everyone got the joke
      that is our PM. That we won’t be scared into voting National.

      • PeteG 1.2.1

        Talking of fibs, did Goff talk to Ferrier or not?

        • ZeeBop

          Labour is going to bring ETS in two years earlier. If Key is such a dick he
          thinks ETS will raise milk prices then he deserves the ripping.

          • PeteG

            Bringing the ETS forward may not affect international milk prices, but it could affect us locally like the Fonterra price freeze, and it will certainly affect farm profits, and it gives our farmers an unfair disadvantage.

            Talking of dairy I just heard some bullshit from Goff on NatRad. He said something like: “The rise in GST has pushed prices far higher than wages”.

            Significant price rises, like petrol and dairy products, have been due to international influences. The GST rise was offset by tax and benefit changes. If Goff understands that dairy prices are set on the international market then he must understand he is wrong about GST, so it is blatant bullshit – unless he’s parroting and doesn’t undeerstand?

            • Colonial Viper

              Significant price rises, like petrol and dairy products, have been due to international influences. The GST rise was offset by tax and benefit changes

              Free market failure.

              Time for the Government to intervene.

              and it gives our farmers an unfair disadvantage.

              So you want hard working NZ families to pay higher milk prices to make it OK for farmers? You know, at the same time that Fonterra is reporting record milk payouts?

              I wonder which side you are working for.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I wonder which side you are working for.

                I thought that was obvious CV – He’s working for his masters’ side.

            • The Voice of Reason

              The price may be set internationally, but GST is levied locally. The rise went on top of the then current price, Pete, therefore Goff is correct to say that GST has affected the price more than wage rises which have been internalised in the ‘international’ price.
              So the bullshit/failure to understand is all you, bud.

            • Deborah Kean

              The GST rise was offset by tax and benefit changes.

              Er, except – not really! (That is to say, not noticeably)

        • ianmac

          There is a post on Red Alert where Ferrier tells John Campbell exactly how milk prices are set.

      • chris73 1.2.2

        It was a morning post but what I should have said was: until you have actual proof because otherwise it makes Labour look cheap

    • Armchair Critic 1.3

      1. Focus on the economy
      2. Announce their policies
      3. Provide counters to/have answers for National’s BS
      4. Avoid scandals on their team, and in-fighting between parties on the left

      • Herodotus 1.3.1

        About tell the story as it is, don’t embelish it and then you look stupid “..they would have pulled back on their almost $25billion in tax cuts, which is responsible for roughly $130 million a week worth of our borrowing…”.
        And why are well selling our economy out ? Just to look good at the RWC, and I still after a nights sleep don’t get it with higher unemployment are we allowing govt policies to have tourists take the jobs that will be available over this period. And no comment on the Labour site.
        Who do these politicians represent??? Labour doesn’t want asets to be sold, but it appears it is ok to sell our jobs !!!. These are the day to day issues that effect people. Jobs, jobs, jobs and we hear nothing

    • Charlie Parker 1.4

      The Left need to stop being so utterly 19th century about everything. Yes, we know, they didn’t like the Industrial Revolution. Big deal, move on.

      Nice parody site you have going here. If Labour ever get into power I imagine they’ll create a Ministry of E-ffairs to shut down such good-hearted hi-jinks.

      • todd 1.4.1

        Tell me Charlie Parker, what is 19th century about a green revolution? Clean tech is the cutting edge of development. It is a big deal with countries like Germany embracing the change instead of being stuck in the 19th century where coal is king. They have low amounts of wind and sun and not much space to implement renewables, but they have and this shows that any country in the world can.

        The only people who are stuck in the 19th century are the right wing hacks who have investments in oil and coal and therefore don’t want a renewable source of energy. They would rather destroy the world for a few bucks in the back pocket.

        Nationals outdated thinking and backwards policies mean New Zealand will not be on the crest of the wave surfing into a brighter future. A lack of R&D means that the only large implementation of new renewable infrastructure New Zealand will have is when we buy it from another country. By then the 19th century right wing environmentally ignorant fuckwits might have destroyed us.

        • Draco T Bastard

          A lack of R&D means that the only large implementation of new renewable infrastructure New Zealand will have is when we buy it from another country. By then the 19th century right wing environmentally ignorant fuckwits might have destroyed us.

          No “might” about it. The last three decades of unsustainable right-wing policies has almost done so already.

      • Lanthanide 1.4.2

        Yeah, the left really hated how the industrial revolution lifted the living conditions of millions of people across the globe. The left wish everyone was consigned to the poor house and child labour. That’s why they have so many policies about abolishing the minimum wage and getting rid of social welfare.
        Do you actually stop to think about what you’re writing? It doesn’t look like it.

        • Colonial Viper

          The industrial revolution effectively formalised the power of capital over labour. It took decades before labour laws and protections caught up with the changes wrought by the industrial revolution.

          Frankly, it would have been a far better change for the people if it had been the workers who had owned the new factories and the new machines. Then they might have been against things like sending child labour into coal mines etc.

    • ak 2.1

      Full marks for forebearance Scott. Pearls before swine, but such beautiful pearls, such fascinating swine….first-class entertainment.

  2. ianmac 3

    Stuff report on setting up of system to sell SOEs. This doesn’t sound like restricting to selling only to Kiwi Mums and Dads?
    “The Government favours an initial public offering approach, keeping at least 51 percent of each business and wants to give local investors priority over foreigners.

    • Deadly_NZ 3.1

      Is this the same treasury that gave such compelling advice to the idiots running this country ? and invented 170,000 jobs. Now what ? they are going to what come up with an even more fantastic document to encourage said idiots to sell more than the 49%.

      Oh great a bumbling idiot in charge of the government, and Treasury looks like they are all on drugs.

  3. The maori party are getting strong, smart advice and their latest campaign has legs because they are reiterating their key message of incremental progress. Unlike others i see no problems with multiple choices for Māori and i also see the debate as positive for empowerment of Māori so i say go hard maori party, the harder the better.


    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Dude I really really think that Mp should run with this campaign NB I am one who thinks that they should lose every seat they hold currently 🙂

  4. KJT 5

    Any one notice the latest bit of corporatist lunacy. One SOE power company being forced to pay millions to buy power stations from another SOE power company. As if that was not crazy enough, the buyer has been forced to borrow the money at commercial rates.

  5. Bunji 6

    Treasury is starting the asset sales process, KiwiSaver changes start from July… how is that seeking a fresh mandate before National start breaking all their 2008 promises?

    • PeteG 6.1

      Treasury is starting the asset sales process…

      A short-list is expected to be prepared by June 10, with the contract expected to begin on June 20.

      The initial term will end on November 26, the day of the election, with an extension dependent on whether the elected Government proceeds with the asset sale programme.

      So it’s preliminaries, not actually selling anything.

      KiwiSaver changes start from July…

      In theory perhaps, but nothing actually happens until July next year. If a different government like the Greens takes over in November they could change what is paid out in plenty of time.

      • Lanthanide 6.1.1

        “In theory perhaps, but nothing actually happens until July next year. If a different government like the Greens takes over in November they could change what is paid out in plenty of time.”
        I’m sure the accounting changes have happened already.

      • felix 6.1.2

        Nah, not actually selling anything.

        And I’m not actually off to the pub.

        Then where are you going?

        Oh, I’m just walking out to the car.

        So you can drive to the pub, right?

        Well yeah, but I’m not actually “going to the pub” right now, I’m just “walking to the car”.

        So you might decide to drive somewhere else?

        No, I’ll definitely be going to the pub. But right now I’m just walking to the car.

        I don’t think you should be driving to the pub.

        I’m not. I’m just walking to the car.




        • Armchair Critic

          And by the same logic, Customs should not stop the import of bulk pseudoephedrine. After all the recipient may just have an enormous headache.

    • Herodotus 7.1

      Call me superficial or that I display ageism traits, yet I hope that is not THE reason not to sell our power coys, retiress in skimpy outfits. If it is I may have to review my oponion. 😉

    • ianmac 7.3

      In an age of choosing sides I’m not sure what the choices are! Very odd. Is it officially Labour made or…

      • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1

        I thought it was a piss-take (a poor taste one at that) at first but apparently it’s actually an official Labour site.

    • Armchair Critic 7.4

      Yeah, I’m not sure either.
      It runs really slow. And I chose the apple. After all, apples are good for you, and a little bit of sin is good for you too, in moderation.

  6. Draco T Bastard 8

    Brownlee puts his foot down

    Its a perfect example of everything that is wrong with National’s approach. The people of Christchurch are being shut out of decisions about their own city, their own future, by back-room deals cooked up by a micromanaging dictator. They deserve better.

    So, the dictatorial, non-consulting nature of CERA shows it’s teeth.

  7. Armchair Critic 9

    How is it that the US government could get two of the tallest buildings in the world demolished, top down and falling within their own footprints in less than a couple of weeks, yet ten years later the NZ government can’t get a building a quarter the size demolished in a year? Have they not seen travellerev’s youtube links?

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      Except the US government also managed to get tower 7 taken out, by mistake.
      I think we’re trying to avoid that sort of scenario here.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Most likely that was not a mistake. Hard to mistakenly control demolition a large building since it takes months of planning and preparation, checking and rechecking.

  8. Chris 10

    Labour will win the election if they 1/ stop the politics of envy and 2/ forget socialism 101 – robbing from the rich for ‘redistribution’ 3/ promote hard work and success – even if ones comes from a background of adversity.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      It’s not “robbing from the rich” as they didn’t produce the wealth – merely appropriated it.

  9. NickS 11


    A prime example of how not to argue with science. The research says that the pesticides used on GM food crops in North America + a modified form of the bt toxin Cry1Ab. Where as Physicians and Scientists for Global Responsibility New Zealand*, without taking into account that fact that the pesticides have been in use since the 1970’s[1], as have bt bacteria sprays, chock full of Cry-toxins since the 1930’s[2]. Observed toxicities of both are considered low to humans compared to other toxins, due to the specificity of the mechanisms of toxicity for them. Plus it doesn’t call for ban, merely more lots more research.

    What glyphosphates do is block shikimate synthesis, which plants require in order to biosynthesise aromatic side chain amino acids, various aromatic chemicals that plants use for protection, and lignin which glues plant cells together. Animals have generally lost the ability to synthesise shikimate and kinked compounds as they generally acquire what they need from their food. However, biology is messy, and thus glyphosphates can interact with other enzymes, and in case of being used near freshwater, need to have the right formulation to prevent it becoming a problem for aquatic animal life. However, I can’t provide a better breakdown on dosage effects due to not being at uni any more, as there are hints of impacts of pregnant rats, but the abstract has no info on dosage given.

    In this particular case, I’m sceptical given what I know about developmental biology that very low levels of glyphosphate will have major impacts on foetal development, compared to the vast array of other common chemicals we already know to disrupt endocrine signalling or have other know toxic effects on development. Like methyl mercury from salt water fish, like tuna, or various other pesticides we haven’t outlawed despite known issues.

    As for Cry toxins, they rely on binding to specific cell surface receptors so they can create a large pore in the cell membrane. Which without, unless used at rather insane dosages, they have very very low toxicity to non target species, although there are issues with other insects such as bees and evolution of resistance in target pest species. The source bacteria as mentioned before was and still is used as a spray, and if memory serves me right is considered okay to use for organic crops. The modifications made to the various Cry toxins used in GE plants are missing a protein chain that’s cleaved off by insect gut proteases to activate the toxin, to make them faster acting. Personally, this was probably not the brightest of ideas as it remove a specificity filter, but to date evidence has been sketchy on toxicity in humans at low levels. Thus I’d bet that the amounts found are unlikely to be an issue, especially as the mean of action by cry toxins doesn’t interfere with developmental signals, which is what endocrine disruptor’s and thalidomide do.

    If anything, the glyphosphates are a possible issue, but as I said earlier, prior hasn’t produced any signals of problems on that front. It definitely is worth researching, because as the authors state there’s a dearth of research into this. But is it worth banning GE crops over? Hardly.

    Thus I sort of consider Physicians and Scientists for Global Responsibility New Zealand claims to be a bit dodgy on this, more knee-jerk than anything based on teh literature.

    *hmmmn, not sure what to make of this group, especially given the lack of any major genetics researchers in their trusties list, particularly as one of my former lecturers is very involved in dealing with possible GMO issues. Suggests group is “amateur” and google turns up links to an NZ anti-fluoridation group, spouting the usual science-fail/toxicology 101-fail claims about the horrors low levels of fluoride in water supplies will cause. Also, they refer to “toxic chemical based agriculture” and want organic farming everywhere. Make of that what you will, especially if you know thy basic organic/biochem (we’re made of chemicals) and issues with mass production of organic food.

  10. Draco T Bastard 12

    Labour is demanding answers after a multi-million dollar Government contract was awarded without any competition.

    Oh dear, it seems that Nact have been going round giving out non-tended government funds – again.

    The chief executive of Parents Inc is Bruce Pilbrow who was appointed by Bennett to the Families Commission two years ago

    More of our money for their mates? At the very least it looks like a company getting the job because they knew what the specs would be because of the CEO working for the government. In fact, reading that article, it seems the CEO managed to sell the product to the minister directly.

    • Hilary 12.1

      Parents Inc is a Christian based programme, and Pilbrow was one of her Christian fundamentalist appointees to the Families Commission. Why is government money going to this programme without a tender process? I think the Auditor-General should investigate as usually anything over about $20,000 has to go out on the GETS tender system. 1. Why did it go without tender? 2. Why this company (which has little evidence-base for effectiveness)?

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1

        Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said that was the product the Government was after.

        ”It’s really the tool box that we are buying and no one else has it, so if we put it out for tender someone else would have to create something that is already there,” she told TVNZ.

        Well, that’s the excuse but really they should have determined what they wanted to achieve and then put it out to tender and not give the sale straight to the salesman who also happened to be a Paula Bennett appointee.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      Damn, stuffed up the link:
      Call for $2.4m Govt contract to be scrutinised

  11. PeteG 13

    Can you roll eyes and cringe at the same time?

    Maybe when this was suggested the answer should have been “let’s not”.

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