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Author Archive

Calling it a day

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, May 12th, 2009 - 47 comments

When I first started writing for The Standard way back in August 2007 I never envisaged it would become what it is today, nor that it would take up anywhere near as much of my time as it does. A year and half later, I’ve decided I want my life back. Contrary to the conspiracy […]

TVNZ upholds Paul Henry complaint

Written By: - Date published: 5:03 pm, May 5th, 2009 - 29 comments

I see TVNZ has upheld the complaint against Paul Henry over his disgraceful abuse of a guest on his show. TVNZ spokeswoman Megan Richards said TVNZ had upheld the complaints against Henry because Ms Mills was treated unfairly. It had written back to the about 30 people who complained and apologised to them, she told […]

Public want banks pulled into line

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, May 5th, 2009 - 28 comments

Last week I posted on Finsec’s petition to make job protection a condition of the Government’s bank guarantees. Today Finsec are delivering that petition to Parliament, along with more than 10,000 signatures in support. Great stuff to all of you who signed the sheet and sent it in. The union’s position is pretty simple. At […]

Backlash building on supercity

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, May 5th, 2009 - 24 comments

The unseemly haste with which the National/Act Government is pursuing its undemocratic supercity is causing more and more people to wake up to the con job they are pulling. A Reid poll (ignored by the Herald but run by the community newspapers) shows where just weeks ago the public was split evenly on the proposed […]

Oh dear.

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, May 4th, 2009 - 36 comments

A while back we heard a rumour that National had already printed its billboards for the Mt Albert campaign – with Melissa Lee as the candidate. We decided not to run it. It was too implausible to think they would run the risk of doing that before they have their selection process tonight and name […]

Quarterly Employment Survey

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, May 4th, 2009 - 27 comments

The Quarterly Employment Survey out today shows that 46,700 jobs disappeared between December and March. That’s 2.6% of jobs gone in a single quarter. Unemployment is probably well over 6%, we’ll find out exactly what it is later this week. 47,000 jobs lost while the government has done next to nothing to create and save […]

Progressive?

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, May 4th, 2009 - 95 comments

It was deeply depressing to wake up this morning to the sound of Russel Norman running National Party attack lines on Radio NZ. For a party that has the best policy by far on how to deal with the huge economic and environmental challenges we face, it’s disappointing to see the Greens voluntarily descend into […]

Coincidence?

Written By: - Date published: 5:00 am, May 4th, 2009 - 17 comments

Here’s the cover of Ian Wishart’s latest piece of scientifically illiterate climate change denialism, Air Con: And here’s the poster for World Fair Trade Day 2008: It seems an unlikely coincidence. [Hat tip: forgetaboutthelastone in the comments.]

The republic can wait

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, May 2nd, 2009 - 26 comments

No Right Turn highlights Thursday’s Herald editorial calling for our political leaders to step up and take some leadership in the republic debate. The Herald argues: If republican sentiment is to blossom, it needs to be galvanised from above. Such a process, done well, would lead to a seeping into the national consciousness of the […]

Herald preaches class warfare

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, May 1st, 2009 - 39 comments

If you’d told me the Herald would use International Workers’ Day as an opportunity to preach class warfare I wouldn’t have believed you. But there’s really no other way to describe today’s editorial. We all know the Government is running a large deficit at the moment. Of course, the deficit would be much smaller (about […]

Politicising the public service

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, May 1st, 2009 - 48 comments

During the last Labour government the Kiwiblog Right used to call Wellington ‘Helengrad’, a play on Leningrad. Ironic then that, after the election of National, David Farrar humorously changed the name to ‘St Johnnysburg’, based on the Russian city’s czarist name. Because the Nats are making Labour look like amateurs when it comes to authoritarianism. […]

International Workers’ Day

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, May 1st, 2009 - Comments Off on International Workers’ Day

If you’re in Auckland tonight get along for the annual May Day march up Queen Street. Poster below. More events, including for other centres, are listed here.

Entrenchment back on the agenda

Written By: - Date published: 5:18 pm, April 30th, 2009 - 44 comments

Good to see Labour pursuing a private member’s bill to entrench the Maori seats. Mita Ririnui, who’s lodging the bill, says it “will ensure that the Maori seats in Parliament will not be able to be abolished unless 75 per cent of MPs in any Parliament vote in favour of such a move. ‘The only […]

Lane Walker Rudkin

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, April 30th, 2009 - 54 comments

I see poor management and a bitter marital tiff have put the jobs of 470 workers at Lane Walker Rudkin on the line and cast doubt on the future of yet another iconic Kiwi company. As the NDU’s Maxine Gay points out, communities like Timaru, Greytown and Pahiatua simply can’t afford to take a hit […]

On that Trevett piece

Written By: - Date published: 12:37 pm, April 29th, 2009 - 23 comments

Continuing with today’s media criticism theme, I’ve got to disagree with my comrade Eddie’s post this morning about the Claire Trevett piece in the Herald where she appears to celebrate John Key’s obfuscation over his position on the supercity rather than demanding answers herself. While it would be easy to attribute the style of the […]

Gordon Campbell on the MoU

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 pm, April 28th, 2009 - 29 comments

Gordon Campbell’s latest Scoop column takes a very critical view of the Greens’ Memorandum of Understanding with National. While the Greens’ strategy is based on the need to cooperate with what they see as a likely two-term National Government, Campbell argues their cooperation may help turn that likelihood into a certainty. Despite the genuine merits […]

What a joke

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, April 28th, 2009 - 48 comments

This shows how meaningless tax cuts are. From last night’s TV3 poll: When you receive tax cuts this month [they began on April 1], do you think you will be most likely to spend it, save it, pay off debt or other? *Spend it 25.3 per cent *Save it 30.1 per cent *Pay off debt […]

The Backlash Begins

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, April 28th, 2009 - 43 comments

We’ve been warning that John Key faces a backlash in Auckland if he doesn’t rein in Rodney Hide and present a democratic supercity structure instead of the rort that is on the table now. We’re starting to see it. A poll out yesterday shows only 12% of people in Key’s own electorate support his government’s […]

Finsec petition: Make jobs a condition of bank guarantees

Written By: - Date published: 5:00 am, April 28th, 2009 - 3 comments

Does it strike anyone else as odd that at a time when taxpayers are guaranteeing the banking system with public funds, banks have made no such guarantee to their staff about job security? While the banks made combined profits in excess of $2.5 billion and CEOs recieve salary packages of more than $2 million each, […]

Budget 2009: Why not tax the rich?

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, April 27th, 2009 - 55 comments

With the Government openly preparing the public for spending cuts in the upcoming Budget, No Right Turn reminds us that there are alternatives – rather than cutting services and harming the poor, we could always raise taxes on those who can most afford it. The state of New York is doing this, hiking state income […]

Fran gets it

Written By: - Date published: 12:22 pm, April 25th, 2009 - 17 comments

Fran O’Sullivan shows that she gets it – National-Act’s supercity is designed to serve the interests of the business elite by taking democracy away from the people of Auckland, and that’s the reason for their refusal to give the people of Auckland their referendum. Problem is, Fran’s all in favour of getting rid of democracy: […]

Greens join call for referendum

Written By: - Date published: 4:44 pm, April 24th, 2009 - 65 comments

The Greens have joined Labour and an array of groups calling for Aucklanders to get a referendum on the supercity. Great stuff. Sue Kedgley points out that much of the Government’s proposed structure was not recommended by the Royal Commission and Aucklanders have not been consulted on them. ‘Rodney Hide effectively threw the Royal Commission’s […]

Goff calls for supercity referendum

Written By: - Date published: 12:56 pm, April 24th, 2009 - 22 comments

Phil Goff has put out a press release calling for a referendum so that the people of Auckland can decide whether the Government’s Auckland supercity plan should go ahead. Excellent. A referendum is the only fair and democratic way to proceed. Especially when polling shows the people of Auckland are evenly split on whether or […]

PM’s pay

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, April 23rd, 2009 - 28 comments

Interesting question over at Big News: In 1998, just 10 years ago,the Prime Minister was paid $185,000. The speaker was paid $126,000. A Chairperson of a Select Committee got $86,500. John Key gets more than all three combined in 2008. That’s not including his allowances. Is your position paid more than double it was 10 […]

David Shearer

Written By: - Date published: 5:49 pm, April 22nd, 2009 - 33 comments

So, Labour’s flying in some bloke called David Shearer to have a tilt at the Mt Albert selection. Apparently he’s been working for the UN Development Programme in Iraq and has quite a bit of foreign policy background. People like him, wife and kids, ticks all the boxes. He also seems to be pretty close […]

Arrogance

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, April 21st, 2009 - 12 comments

John Key on criticism that the Government is arrogantly ramming through its Supercity plans without consulting Aucklanders: “The Government is not so arrogant that it won’t listen to the submissions that are made before or during the select committee process,” Mr Key said yesterday.* If Key doesn’t want to look arrogant then he should stop […]

Mt Albert date set

Written By: - Date published: 4:57 pm, April 20th, 2009 - 34 comments

From Newsroom: The bi-election for the Mt. Albert seat vacated by Helen Clark is set to be held on Saturday June 13, according to an announcement today by Prime Minister John Key. UPDATE: Key dates in the Govt release. Update 2: Isn’t it “by-election”, “bi-election”? Electoral Act says ‘yes’. Good one Newsroom.

Transparency

Written By: - Date published: 4:29 pm, April 20th, 2009 - 8 comments

The Government announced two nine day fortnights today. Interestingly, they’re refusing to tell us who one of them is. From the Government’s press release: Ms Bennett confirmed today that Oamaru-based Summit Wool Spinners and another manufacturing firm, which wishes to remain anonymous, had joined the scheme Now call me old-fashioned, but this strikes me as […]

Bad medicine

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, April 18th, 2009 - 8 comments

Questions

Written By: - Date published: 12:24 pm, April 16th, 2009 - 26 comments

We should expect National as the political arm of business to surround itself with dirty money and conflicts of interest. As a self-proclaimed social democratic party Labour has no such excuse. So: – What is Labour’s education spokesperson Chris Carter doing accepting election donations from a private college? – Why is Shane Jones accepting money […]

Out of her depth II

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, April 15th, 2009 - 29 comments

As if any more evidence was needed that National’s Paula Bennett is completely out of her depth as Minister of Social Development, it appears Work and Income is turning away the hungry while Paula can’t even get her lines straight: Despite a high court ruling in 2002 instructing WINZ to tell beneficiaries what their entitlements […]

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