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Blindingly obvious – but secret

Written By: - Date published: 8:22 am, June 17th, 2011 - 119 comments

gerry brownlee as henry VIII

In the damaged suburbs of Christchurch, people’s lives, their emotions, in many cases their finances, are all stuck in limbo.  Residents need to know which areas are going to be written off.  What they don’t need is Gerry Brownlee telling them they are “simplistic”…

Scaremongering on credit cards

Written By: - Date published: 7:22 am, June 16th, 2011 - 100 comments


The Nats’ blogging poodles are still trying to spread disinformation about credit card details (we have the proof).  Are they just stupid, or do they know they’re spreading lies?  Either way it amounts to the same thing, they are deliberately trying to upset innocent members of the public.  The usual scummy tactics.

The silence of the poodles

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 am, June 15th, 2011 - 87 comments

shushing key

National’s first dirty tricks operation of the 2011 election campaign has ended in an embarrassing own goal.  But they’ll be back with more of the same.  Because the last thing National wants is an election campaign focused on the issues.

Blown up in National’s faces

Written By: - Date published: 6:26 am, June 14th, 2011 - 383 comments

slater key lee

National’s raid on Labour donor data was a grubby, amoral little operation, with no point except to intimidate innocent individuals.

Unfortunately for the Nats it has blown up in their faces.

Another quake

Written By: - Date published: 2:25 pm, June 13th, 2011 - 34 comments


The nastiest quakes since February. A 5.5 closely followed by a 6.0. Damage, injuries, utility outages reported.  How much more can Christchurch take?

Thank you donors!

Written By: - Date published: 7:34 am, June 13th, 2011 - 126 comments


At 9am today Slater is probably going to publish a list of some of the donors to the Labour Party.  A big thank you to every person on that list!  To anyone who is angry at being named, please don’t blame some hapless web admin working for Labour. Please blame the people who took this information and illegally made it public.

You can’t make this stuff up

Written By: - Date published: 10:21 am, June 12th, 2011 - 95 comments


The Nats, a party which runs as a franchise of an Australian company (Crosby Textor), reckon that the presence of a mate from Australia at a regional Labour Party meeting shows that Labour is “subject to foreign influence”.

Encouraging savings the National way

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, June 12th, 2011 - 15 comments

piggy bank

Amongst the many vacuous claims made in relation to the last budget, the claim that cuts to KiwiSaver would encourage savings always struck me as the dumbest.  Now the facts are in, and guess what…

Key’s Midas touch

Written By: - Date published: 5:08 pm, June 11th, 2011 - 16 comments

john-key finger new

John Armstrong reckons Key has the “Midas touch”.    Ahh, no.  Or at least, not in the sense that John meant…

Mining II: The Empire Strikes Back

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, June 11th, 2011 - 52 comments

mining protest

A little over a year ago the biggest single protest march in this country since 1938 put the final nail in the coffin of the Nats’ amateur hour plans to mine our most precious conservation land.  Or so we thought…

Blame Goff?

Written By: - Date published: 4:14 pm, June 10th, 2011 - 61 comments

darren hughes

There are far more similarities than differences in the Hughes / Goff and Worth / Key affairs, but that doesn’t stop the Right trying to rewrite history and blame Goff!


Written By: - Date published: 7:49 am, June 10th, 2011 - 27 comments


The Nats haven’t got a clue how to run a successful country, and most of the things they do try just make matters worse.  We’re drifting…

Bradford and the Greens

Written By: - Date published: 6:25 am, June 8th, 2011 - 69 comments


Is it just me, or is Sue Bradford working harder, and getting more media coverage than all of the Greens put together?  She’s not just campaigning for beneficiaries.  Yesterday Bradford came out with a strongly worded attack on the Greens’ positioning for the November election.

Nats testing the waters on eugenics

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, June 7th, 2011 - 217 comments


John Key “thinks” that parents on the DPB are “breeding for a business”.  Now his government is testing the waters for a eugenics program, to single out these undesirables and forcibly control their fertility.

Time for a cross party consensus on crime

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, June 6th, 2011 - 68 comments

racist prison system

All of a sudden National and ACT are sounding vaguely sensible on crime and prisons.  There seems to be a golden opportunity to reach a cross party consensus, and get some evidence driven policy and practice in this area.  Who is going to make the first move?

Celebrity PM withdraws endorsement

Written By: - Date published: 8:05 am, June 5th, 2011 - 11 comments


Following the news that “Celebrities who make false statements while endorsing finance companies could now face jail or fines up to $1 million”, we at The Standard have received the following important document, leaked by an internal National Party source…

Hansen on climate change

Written By: - Date published: 8:04 am, June 4th, 2011 - 36 comments


Visionary climate change scientist James Hansen recently toured New Zealand, giving several public lectures.  Here’s a quick summary, and a link to the podcast of the talk he gave at the University of Otago.  As expected, it’s an excellent talk, with some fascinating suggestions about what we the people need to do.  Interesting also to get Hansen’s take on Nick Smith…

How close is too close?

Written By: - Date published: 7:20 am, June 3rd, 2011 - 53 comments

money into pocket

How close should corporate interests be allowed to cuddle up to the government?  When is a gift not a gift?  If it isn’t influence what is it?
The Greens have raised important questions surrounding Westpac and the Nats.

Tell Key to keep Pharmac

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, June 2nd, 2011 - 35 comments


Like the ACC, Pharmac is a Kiwi institution that delivers benefits to everyone at a lower cost than other countries.  National has got ACC on the butcher’s block.  We must make sure that Pharmac doesn’t follow.

Hiding the costs from Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 7:58 pm, June 1st, 2011 - 18 comments

rodney hide laughing

Hide is trying to distance himself from his negligent costing of the Auckland merger, and the consequent $450 million blowout on IT systems alone.  Aucklanders won’t have the satisfaction of kicking him out at the election.  But they can still kick out the arrogant government that steamrollered all over the city, with no regard for good process or public opinion.

Rearranging the deck chairs

Written By: - Date published: 6:10 am, June 1st, 2011 - 41 comments


Renaming, merging and splitting agencies is what a government does when it wants to look busy but has no ideas.

Hard to believe it has only taken two and a half years for National to get to this point.

Campbell on welfare reforms

Written By: - Date published: 2:54 pm, May 31st, 2011 - 60 comments


Good old fashioned benefit bashing.  Another electoral battle line has been drawn – arm yourself with the facts!

The Right’s MMP conundrum

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, May 31st, 2011 - 12 comments

mmp poster3

If there is one silver lining to the cloud of a National government, it is that the MMP referendum has come up on their watch.  It rather cripples their attack lines.

Polls everywhere

Written By: - Date published: 9:29 am, May 30th, 2011 - 87 comments


Plenty of polls lately.  Do we really need so many?  Two released yesterday show some closing of the gap between National and Labour – but not nearly enough yet…

Heroes: José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and Maria do Espírito Santo

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, May 29th, 2011 - 8 comments


José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and Maria do Espírito Santo are heroes.  Like Chico Mendes before them, they have paid for their activism with their lives.

Aucklanders to pay for Nats’ negligence

Written By: - Date published: 8:35 am, May 28th, 2011 - 71 comments

burning pile of money

Auckland ratepayers are going to be stuck with a huge bill for the Nats’ failure to properly cost the merging of  the old Councils’ IT systems.  As Russell Brown puts it – “Someone has to be accountable for this”…

Genuine progress

Written By: - Date published: 7:13 am, May 27th, 2011 - 14 comments

light bulb idea

This story didn’t get any big headlines. This story slipped by almost completely under the radar.  But it’s a very important story. Much more important for New Zealand’s development than the smoke and mirrors of the do-nothing budget.

Who has the ideas?

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, May 26th, 2011 - 61 comments

dim bulb

Last week we had National’s budget and Labour’s conference.  A chance for both parties to set out their ideas for the future.  National’s do-nothing budget went down like a lead balloon, while Labour started setting out promising new policy.  Looks like the 2011 election campaign will  be a contest between ideas and schoolboy mockery.

CTU research on minimum wage

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, May 25th, 2011 - 24 comments

Helen Kelly

The response to two recent posts here at The Standard have shown what a contentious topic the minimum wage is.  So it’s timely that yesterday saw the release of the CTU’s summary of research on Minimum Wage and Jobs.

Choosing to be poor

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 am, May 24th, 2011 - 24 comments


Prominent  scientist Sir Paul Callaghan thinks Kiwis are choosing to be poor.  I reckon he’s right too, but we probably disagree about the reasons.

A big gap to close

Written By: - Date published: 9:12 pm, May 23rd, 2011 - 28 comments


The latest Roy Morgan poll is not good reading for the political left.  But it’s not quite time to despair yet!

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