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“But he hasn’t got anything on!”

Written By: - Date published: 3:43 pm, January 13th, 2015 - 64 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, activism, business, democracy under attack, International, Media - Tags:

The self righteousness of the leaders who marched in Paris was there for all to see, but few in the media decry and point out the hypocrisy. How smug the World leaders feel, marching for freedom of expression and the media which they largely control and use for their political purposes. So who will speak out. Who will cry out in their own countries

“But he hasn’t got anything on“?

s 162 (4) (a) (v) Education Amendment Act places a statutory obligation on Universities to be the critics and conscience of Society. It is worth quoting some of it in full here

In recommending to the Governor-General under subsection (2) that a body should be established as a college of education, a polytechnic, a specialist college, a university, or a wananga, the Minister shall take into account—

  • (a) that universities have all the following characteristics and other tertiary institutions have 1 or more of those characteristics:

    • (i) they are primarily concerned with more advanced learning, the principal aim being to develop intellectual independence:

    • (ii) their research and teaching are closely interdependent and most of their teaching is done by people who are active in advancing knowledge:

    • (iii) they meet international standards of research and teaching:

    • (iv) they are a repository of knowledge and expertise:

    • (v) they accept a role as critic and conscience of society; and

Jane Kelsey spoke of this obligation when recently interviewed by the SST and Dame Anne Salmond  Distinguished Professor at the University of Auckland and 2013 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year refers to it today in her brief, but challenging, analysis of NZ’s role in silencing its own press voices for political purposes. Having “tenure” used to be a way to guarantee a lifetime position as a researching/teaching academic thereby removing the fear of sacking for speaking out. I understand those days are largely gone?

For those who want a better understanding of the critic/conscience idea there was a good paper written in 2000 which gives a good overview.

Kudos to Jane Kelsey, Anne Salmond and all those who put their heads above the crowd and shout “But he has no clothes on!” It is not enough to be smug because we have better freedom of expression than China, or other regime with worse record. One act of incursion into our press freedom is one too many if we want to decry the actions of others.


note: 2 comments were under Anne’s article when I posted this.

Hat tip to Olwyn and OAB



64 comments on ““But he hasn’t got anything on!” ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    It’s well past time we had a discussion about what constitutes treason in a democracy. When does deliberately poisoning the well of public discourse in pursuit of self-interest or a political agenda cross the line?

    Can it ever?

    • tracey 1.1

      well, we need to start with the concept of treason. An outdated concept best left to the 20th to 10th century?

      noun: treason; noun: high treason; plural noun: high treasons

      the crime of betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to kill or overthrow the sovereign or government.
      “they were convicted of treason”
      synonyms: treachery, lese-majesty; More
      disloyalty, betrayal, faithlessness, perfidy, perfidiousness, duplicity, infidelity;
      sedition, subversion, mutiny, rebellion;
      high treason;
      rarePunic faith
      antonyms: allegiance, loyalty
      the action of betraying someone or something.
      plural noun: treasons
      “doubt is the ultimate treason against faith”
      synonyms: treachery, lese-majesty; More
      disloyalty, betrayal, faithlessness, perfidy, perfidiousness, duplicity, infidelity;
      sedition, subversion, mutiny, rebellion;
      high treason;
      rarePunic faith
      antonyms: allegiance, loyalty
      the crime of murdering someone to whom the murderer owed allegiance, such as a master or husband.
      noun: petty treason; plural noun: petty treasons”

      on its face the cabinet manual deals with it perfectly well… sadly the manual needs to be included in the Crimes Act for this PM to apply it 😉

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1

        The function of the fourth estate is vital to democracy. Can deliberate, consistent, malicious subversion of that duty cross the line into criminality, and if so, how?

      • vto 1.1.2

        Does treason even have the same purpose anymore ?

        Society is far more disjointed and members do not owe, let alone feel, allegiance to a “country” today. Witness recent “terror” attacks in the countries at war Canada, US, Australia, UK and France all being from within.

        So it seems dead as a concept. I guess in the past it was to ensure the society was protected but that too is unnecessary and not part of our world today.

        And also, can treason exist when the “victim”, the government, is acting in treasonous manners itself against its citizens? I mean, who the fuck is being betrayed today?

        But I imagine it will remain as it is a set of the largest jackboots in the land that the government has to beat, bash and kill anybody who threatens it, not matter its own legitimacy in its actions.

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.1.3

        Remember the oligarchy comprised of the 0.001% is loyal only to their own; they are in fact the most class driven and identity conscious people in the world.

        • tracey

          take a peek at the shareholders of SKYCITY, apart from ACC it’s owned by Banksters

          • Colonial Rawshark

            It makes sense for them to invest in casinos, because that is what they have turned our “financial markets” (and in fact our entire economies) into.

          • Jones

            Got to launder their clients drug money somehow…

          • Murray Rawshark

            Tracey, are the banks actually the owners, or are they running shareholder umbrella groups to hide the names of the real shareholders? (And I don’t mean the illuminati or anything of that nature).

            • tracey

              I didnt go back that far, but apart from ACC they are all Banks… jp morgan, HSBC and so on.

              • Murray Rawshark

                Yes, I saw that, but my understanding of something like HSBS Nominees is that it’s a custodial company formed to hold shares for the actual owner. The bank itself doesn’t own the shares.

                If you practised commercial law, maybe you could throw more light on this?

              • Sacha

                What is ACC doing investing in an organisation that causes harm to New Zealanders? Do they have tobacco and booze shares as well?

    • Murray Rawshark 1.2

      I think that when Debbie Leyland and her friend threw eggs at Lizzie, they could have been charged with treason. Instead they were found guilty of assault in her majesty’s courts and given the maximum sentence of 6 months. I suspect the lot in power at the moment would push for a treason charge, unless the law has been changed. I’d rather get rid of the concept because it will invariably be used against the left.

  2. vto 2

    Good idea to concentrate in these areas traditionally at risk in times of war-mongering lying-arse politicians …………

    especially given blanket spying, increasing police state, freedom of expression under attack ..

  3. Paul 3

    World leaders at Paris march criticized for freedom of speech records.
    Hardly proponents of free speech!


    Daniel Wickham, a London-based blogger, detailed the contradictions and poor records of some of the leaders at the march in a long Twitter storm.

    “So here are some of the staunch defenders of the free press attending the solidarity rally in Paris today,” he wrote.

    1) King Abdullah of Jordan, which last year sentenced a Palestinian journalist to 15 years in prison with hard labour

    2) Prime Minister of Davutoglu of Turkey, which imprisons more journalists than any other country in the world http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2013/dec/18/journalist-safety-turkey

    3) Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, whose forced killed 7 journalists in Gaza last yr (second highest after Syria)

    4) Foreign Minister Shoukry of Egypt, which as well as AJ staff has detained journalist Shawkan for around 500 days http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2014/12/20/photojournalist-shawkan-describes-endless-nightmare-behind-bars/

    5) Foreign Minister Lavrov of Russia, which last year jailed a journalist for “insulting a government servant” http://en.rsf.org/russie-journalist-arrested-after-17-09-2014,46974.html

    6) Foreign Minister Lamamra of Algeria, which has detained journalist Abdessami Abdelhai for 15 months without charge

    7) The Foreign Minister of the UAE, which in 2013 held a journo incommunicado for a month on suspicion of MB links

    8) Prime Minister Jomaa of Tunisia, which recently jailed blogger Yassine Ayan for 3 years for “defaming the army”

    10) The Attorney General of the US, where police in Ferguson have recently detained and assaulted WashPost reporters

    11) Prime Minister Samaras of Greece, where riot police beat & injured two journalists at a protest in June last year

    12) Sec-Gen of NATO, who are yet to be held to account for deliberately bombing and killing 16 Serbian journos in ’99

    13) President Keita of Mali, where journalists are expelled for covering human rights abuses

    14) The Foreign Minister of Bahrain, 2nd biggest jailer of journos in the world per capita (they also torture them)

    15) Sheikh Mohamed Ben Hamad Ben Khalifa Al Thani of Qatar, which jailed a man for 15 ys for writing the Jasmine poem http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/10/qatar-court-upholds-sentence-against-poet-20131021123723850815.html

    16) Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who had several journalists jailed for insulting him in 2013

    17) Prime Minister Cerar of Slovenia, which sentenced a blogger to six months in prison for “defamation” in 2013
    2:07 AM – 12 Jan 2015

    18) Prime Minister Enda Kenny of Ireland, where “blasphemy” is considered a criminal offense

    19) Prime Minister Kopacz of Poland, which raided a magazine to seize recordings embarrassing for the ruling party

    20) PM Cameron of the UK, where authorities destroyed documents obtained by The Guardian and threatened prosecution

    21) Saudi ambassador to France. The Saudis publicly flogged blogger @raif_badawi for “insulting Islam” on Friday http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/09/saudi-blogger-first-lashes-raif-badawi

    • Wayne 3.1

      So are all leaders and all nations are equally as bad? Judging by your list, I think not.

      Because I think (going by your list of “offences”) there is a pretty big difference between say Ireland and Saudi Arabia.

      After all being caught going 110 kph is quite different to dangerous driving, even if they are both traffic offences.

    • millsy 3.2

      19) Prime Minister Kopacz of Poland, which raided a magazine to seize recordings embarrassing for the ruling party

      Probably worth mentioning that Polish women enjoyed a high level of sexual and reproductive freedom under communism (and control over their own bodies — access to abortion and contraception) prior to the Catholic controlled Solidarity “union” coming to power in 1989.

      Now they are back under the thumb of the Catholic Church.


  4. Ad 4

    Not sure this post is going down the right path. Academics haven’t been a social or media force in this country for 30 years (with noble exceptions). They no longer have the will to oppose – just like NZ trade unions, they take small often very small wins where they can.

    Whereas the crowds are speaking now, and in their millions, and they have political and media sentiment fully on their side. This is no time to do what the left usually does when it sees a win in front of it: quibble about everyone else’s motives, and then decry all efforts as simply too hard.

    British, German and French people and politicians are all acting, and in their millions. They are all putting different shades of meaning on it, sure. But the right and the left are being co-opted by television together towards well established progressive goals.

    This is probably the first time since the GFC that we have seen real populist fervour over a values issue.

    The left were completely unsuccessful in sustaining the GFC as a political crisis.
    But the left can help steer the crowds already on the street, with enough good tactics, theming, and leadership.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        As indicated, those slain magazine workers are now a small part of a far larger dynamic fully in play.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Well I suppose I dishonestly co-opt your political narrative spit on your grave too then, Tovarishch.

      • johnm 4.1.2

        OAB They’d be stopped if it were anti semitic, because the subject is moslem it’s ok. The moslem faith with no doubt at all is being picked on. Charlie Hebdo is an organ of western prejudice against the moslem faith: Shame on them! Time to stop and relate to moslems in a human and decent way.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          The notion that drawing Mohammed is a fatal challenge to Moslems is racism. Of course the Moslem faith is being picked on. So is the Christian faith, and the Zoroastrian faith, and the Hindu faith, and the neo-Liberal faith, and all the other mumbo-pocus. Why wouldn’t it be?

    • tracey 4.2

      That is because the 80’s saw a move to profit motive for universities, in a minor way, and to neuter the statutory obligation to speak out. Those who do so, do so at some risk to their funding and thereby their livelihoods.

      Owen Glenn funded business school in Auckland is but one example.

      Jane Kelsey has been pre eminent in steering the crowds on the streets regarding TPP, without her I wonder how prominent the issue would be? So, I respectfully disagree about the importance of academics in this re-steering of society.

      Did you read Prof Salmond’s piece?

      • Colonial Rawshark 4.2.1

        That is because the 80’s saw a move to profit motive for universities, in a minor way, and to neuter the statutory obligation to speak out.

        Just remember that academic PhD economists through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s played a pivotal role in establishing the theoretical rationale and intellectual cover that right wingers used to undermine all of western society.

        Those who do so, do so at some risk to their funding and thereby their livelihoods.

        It’s more severe than that in the teaching of economics – you cannot get published in the important journals if you deviate too far off the accepted neoliberal orthodoxy. All the editors and peer review panellists on those journals are neoliberal economists. The publishers of those journals are large corporations like Elsevier.

        As Steve Keen once put it, imagine having the Catholic Church in charge of what gets OK’d to be published and what doesn’t, for the entire world of religious and spiritual belief.

        No peer reviewed journal publications means no promotions, no grants, and finally, no job.

        • McFlock

          Yes and no – the neolib economists provided an excuse for thatcher et al, but when most of the same economists realised that the reality didn’t match the theory they stopped getting calls from thatcher et al.

          There was an interesting bbc doco called ISTR “Pandora’s Box” that finished an episode with one of those economists saying something along the lines that he occasionally woke up at night with the worry that the leaders simply used his initial advice to justify their actions, and didn’t care about the negative results.

          The thing is that people who hire economists are usually the ones with money, so short-term economist training and academics who might have to bounce between academia and the private sector have a vested interest to follow the doctrine of the moneyed, rather than any doctrine that helps society as a whole.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            According to Steve Keen, most neoliberal/neoclassical academic economists believe strongly that the work they are doing is altruistic and helping society as a whole.

            • McFlock

              You can convince yourself of anything if you don’t look at the downsides too closely.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                And seriously, what are the downsides as long as the $130K p.a. assoc professor pay keeps rolling in

        • tracey

          it depends on what came first the cart or the horse. Academics study, hypothesise and speculate. Politicians latch onto particular ones which serve their ideological ends, not quite the same as “the economist made it happen”.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            It really is a team approach by the corporate oligarchy. Different organisations and professions have different roles to play. Each has access to different kinds of capital.

            The Left on the other hand has fuck all to play with.

            NZ Labour keeps insisting that it has the advantage in “on the ground” organising, but as we have seen, the use of methodologies based in the 70’s and 80’s is woefully insufficient in the modern day.

            As I mentioned, the academic economist (and the undergraduates they train whom are eventually hired by investment, retail and central banks) provide the theoretical and intellectual cover.

            Most of our politicians (MP’s) aren’t smart enough to develop novel economic paradigms without being handed them on a plate by such people.

            Politicians are also just one part of the team used by the corporate oligarchy.

            • Ad

              Blogs have dump trucks more power, and are more persuasive, than academic journals.

              • Olwyn

                However, publication in academic journals allow people to get academic jobs and keep them. Blogs do not have that particular power.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Blogs have dump trucks more power, and are more persuasive, than academic journals.

                99% of what what is written in 99% of blogs is trite and meaningless.

                Bloggers rarely get grants, government funding, or access to policy teams and top level decision makers.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  “Bloggers rarely get grants, government funding, or access to policy teams and top level decision makers.”

                  Not on the left, at least. We know Whalespew and that Farrar thing do. There may be others.

      • Ad 4.2.2

        Yes I read it.

        I would have taken more notice if it was by Ted Thomas.
        She is a glorious luvvie. But she ain’t no challenge to nuthin’.

        • Olwyn

          I agree that Ted Thomas is very good, but the linked article by Anne Salmond clearly and unequivocally points out some important fields in which our safeguards and freedoms are being eroded: the fourth estate, the public service, law and academia. That they are being eroded matters hugely, since their strength or weakness in largely makes the difference between actual progressiveness and window dressing.

          You were going on elsewhere about how the left should build on the outpouring of feeling in Paris, but that is very hard to do when the institutions that would safeguard any gains are eroded. Under such circumstances, propaganda can end up being protected by “free speech” while people like Nicky Hager still find themselves under investigation. I would not be so dismissive of Anne Salmond.

          • tracey

            nor would I (dismissive of Salmond). She gets into the MSM and speaks truth to power. Ad’s view that is “nuthin” is at best odd.

  5. johnm 5

    A collection of war criminals: Cameron and Sarkozi helped destroy Libya ( Through the agency of NATO and its bombing of Gadaffis civil defence forces defending a beneficient social order for all )
    Which now is suffering a civil war. Netanyahu bombs women and children as collective punishment in Gaza. Poroshenko massacres with artillery and bombing and sniper fire Russian Ukrainians with the ok of Merkel and Hollande and Cameron ( along with Warshington they could stop all this in a heartbeat with pressure on Porky to make peace with the separatists ). They are all part of the U$ Warshington hegemony system that finances and arms anti Assad fighters in Syria. The Hebdo killers learned their trade in Syria. Blowback anyone? IMHO NZ is politically a zombie nation it’s so provincial and fearful of understanding the reality out there in the big bad world. Keep getting fed BS by Shonkey: enjoy.

    • tracey 5.1

      Interesting that Netanyahu marched within a week of scoffing at Palestine wanting to join International Criminal Court which would make both israel and Palestine subject to charges of war crimes. Yup, he loves freedom does benjamin

      • joe90 5.1.1

        Netanyahu huh.

        In France, freedom of speech is considered a universal right, while in Israel such a weekly would not be able to exist because of the Israeli law that bans “offending religious sensibilities.” During my years as a cartoonist I have had to become familiar with the laws restricting the Israeli press.

        But note that the law against offending religious sensibilities is not a law against racism, smut or slander (there are other laws for that). This is a very specific draconian law, a real anti-Wolinski law. The law prohibits illustrating Moses, Jesus or Mohammed in a way that would hurt the feelings of believers


        I found out about the law only years later, when my caricature in a well-known newspaper that criticized the cruel pre-Yom Kippur custom of kaparot — swinging a chicken over one’s head to atone for sin — was brought up for discussion in the Knesset. (And there weren’t even any boobs in the picture!)

        From the rostrum, the police minister compared my work to the caricatures in the Nazis’ Der Stürmer, and on the minister’s instructions my editor and I were summoned for questioning. Sometime later I was cut from the paper’s staff.

        Since learning about the law, I’ve noticed court decisions based on it. In 1997, Tatiana Soskin was sentenced to prison for drawing her famous “pig poster” in Hebron. In 2006, a campaign ad for the Shinui party was banned because of offense to religious sensibilities.


        • tracey

          and the israeli ultra orthodox paper removing pictures of women from photos for “modesty” sake…

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    Lieutenant Kijé.

    a clerk miswrites an order promoting several ensigns (praporshchiki) to second lieutenants (podporuchiki): instead of “praporshchiki zh … – v podporuchiki” (“as to Ensigns (names), [they are promoted to] Second Lieutenants”, he writes “praporshchik Kizh, … – v podporuchiki” (“Ensigns Kizh, (other names) [are promoted to ] Second Lieutenants”. The Emperor Paul decides to promote the nonexistent Kizh to first lieutenant (poruchik); he quickly rises through the ranks to staff captain and full captain, and when he is promoted to colonel the emperor commands that Kizh appear before him. Of course no Kizh can be found; the military bureaucrats go through the paper trail and discover the original mistake, but they decide to tell the emperor that Kizh has died. “What a pity,” the emperor says, “he was a good officer.”

  7. Ross 7

    Tracey, can I underline your story with a repeat of my comment to Mickey Savage’s post yesterday on this topic (and that many seem to have missed). It is a simple and chillingly incomplete list to which I can now add three names: Jon Stephenson, Andrea Vance and Nicky Hager. So, before I paste the list can anyone enlighten me as to any University’s response to these atrocities?

    Each name is an act of State sanctioned terror on American and British (and NZ) journalists over the last few years. These are ordinary working journalists and photographers going about their lawful duty to observe, record and report. These were important events like Occupy Wall Street, Earth Day and NATO demonstrations, and the Ferguson shootings. Arrested. Assaulted. Detained. Harassed. For being journalists. I list them below, each to their own line so they don’t get absorbed into a category: Arrested Journalist, that can be used as a label to dismiss them. Each to their own line because each is a death, the end of our freedom.

    Kristyna Wentz-Graff
    Lucy Kafanov
    Ryan Harvey
    JA Meyerson
    Keith Gessen
    Julia Reinhart
    Molly Crabapple
    John Bolger
    John Farley
    Natasha Lennard
    Kristen Gwynne
    Stephanie Keith
    Marisa Holmes
    Bob Plain
    Peter Harris
    Jonathan Meador
    Malina Chavez-Shannon
    Jonathan Foster
    Ian Grahan
    Susie Cagle
    Alisen Redmond
    Judith Kim
    Stephanie Pharr
    Katelyn Ferral
    Josh Davis
    Julie Walker
    Jared Malsin
    Jennifer Weiss
    Matthew Lysiak
    Karen Matthews
    Seth Wenig
    Justin Bishop
    Patrick Hedlund
    Paul Lomax
    Doug Higginbotham (working for TVNZ)
    Peter Harris (again)
    Faith Laugier
    Mark Taylor Canfield
    Yasha Levine
    Tyson Heder
    Calvin Milam
    Matthew Hamill
    Carla Murphy
    John Knefel
    Nick Isebella
    Justin Wedes
    Paul Sullivan
    Lorenzo Serna
    Jeff Smith
    Charles Meacham
    Renée Renata Bergan
    Stanley W. Rogouski
    Victoria Soble
    Zach Roberts
    Jennifer Dworkin
    Elizabeth Arce
    Alexander Arbuckle
    Adam Katz
    Susie Cagle
    Gavin Aronsen
    John Osborn
    Vivian Ho
    Kristin Hanes
    Yael Chanoff
    Kim Beavers
    Christina Kay
    Luke Rudkowski
    Carlos Miller
    Jerry Nelson
    Alex Darocy
    Bradley Stuart Allen
    Jacquie Kubin
    Elizabeth Arce
    Shawn Carrié
    Steve Rhodes
    Daniel Arauz
    Jessica Chornesky
    Jenna Lane
    Amber Lyon
    Kenneth Lipp
    Maximilian Braverman
    Joshua Lott
    Taylor Hall
    Jess E. Hadden
    Scott Olson
    Kerry Picket
    Ryan Reilly
    Wesley Lowery
    Ansgar Graw
    Frank Herrman
    Lukas Hermsmeier
    Ryan Devereaux
    Coulter Loeb
    Robert Klemko
    Rob Crilly
    Neil Munshi
    Denise Reese
    Trey Yingst
    Mary Moore
    Bassem Masri
    Bilgin Şaşmaz
    Tom Walters
    Pearl Gabel
    Matthew Giles
    Ryan Frank
    Antonio French
    Umar Lee
    Alan Lodge
    Ben Gibson
    David Hoffman
    John Warburton
    Nick Cobbing
    John Fraser Williams
    Roddy Mansfield
    Simon Chapman
    Ben Edwards
    Ursuala Wills Jones
    Justin Cooke
    Paul Smith
    Campbell Thomas
    Martin Palmer
    Maggie Lambert
    John Harris
    Rob Todd
    Jon Stephenson
    Andrea Vance
    Nicky Hager

    • tracey 7.1

      Thanks Ross

      Any further information on them and what they “did”?

        • tracey

          Thanks Joe90

          The point of Salmond’s article, to my reading, is that we cannot pretend all is good here because things are worse for journos elsewhere.

      • Ross 7.1.2

        I had my references attached to the original post Tracey. For fear of being tedious I left them off here. As to what they did – they were doing their jobs. Apparently it is routine now to assault, arrest, imprison and harass journalists in our culture, as they make notes and take photographs. This was news to me, even though I had read the “journalists arrested” headlines. It wasn’t until I decided to spend a lazy hour checking exactly how many and for what reasons that the horrifying truth emerged. It quickly became immaterial to me what they were arrested for or what happened to them. It’s the bald fact of it that makes my blood run cold. That and the utter silence of those you would expect to be crying out the loudest. Where is the leadership in this issue? As you say, where are the universities. Or for that matter the media themselves. It seems to me to not even be an issue at all (look at the reader numbers of both these related posts). To me, it’s strange beyond belief.

        Sadly I suspect it is because it is an issue too far up the Maslow hierarchy. When you have your baby at the table and no tucker in the cupboard well, you know, fuck the journos. Perhaps we have all been reduced to wage slaves who can only afford to think of our survival and leave these higher fancy issues like freedom to those who have the spare time. Like the 1%. Isn’t that a cheerful proposition.

  8. r0b 8

    Having “tenure” used to be a way to guarantee a lifetime position as a researching/teaching academic thereby removing the fear of sacking for speaking out. I understand those days are largely gone?

    Those days have been gone for decades – anyone is sackable. There are various other factors at work too which reduce academics’ willingness to speak out. It is IMHO one of the many symptoms of the growing sickness of society.

    • tracey 8.1

      I knew they disappeared bigtime in the 90’s. After the employment contracts act 1990 in fact..

      • burt 8.1.1

        Thankfully, the union grip imposing the unworkable fantasy that the employer owed you a job was reduced in the passing of the employment contracts act.

        Unfortunately this blog still runs like a Muslim extremist using banning like murdering. People who offend the sensitive souls who love a failed ideology get banned by the angry and self righteous lprent who’s anger management problems are mocked extensively in other blogs.

        Je suis TheStandard

        [RL: Dear burt – welcome back. You should know I have released you from moderation because well – the purpose of this blog is not to silence people. Consider the number of right wing commenters who have been here over the years. Many of them for very long periods. Yourself included. We may well have disagreed with what you were saying – but your right to say them was never in question. I ask you to accept that truth in good faith.

        At the same time, there is no question that the internet is also infested with fools and idiots whose purpose is not to express an opinion, but to disrupt and derail. They see a relatively open target like The Standard and have a go. That is an unfortunate reality we cannot ignore. What usually happens is that ordinary moderators like me will make an attempt to resolve this behaviour. If that does not work – Lynn wheels out his ‘repel the idiots cannon’ and gives them a broadside. (To be fair he does take a delicious pleasure in it. I see that as his reward for all the hard work he does keeping this place going for people like you.) If that does not work – they get banned.

        You are welcome to comment constructively here. But please do not assume bad faith on our part. That is just bad manners.]

        • RedLogix

          the union grip imposing the unworkable fantasy that the employer owed you a job was reduced in the passing of the employment contracts act.

          Fair enough. Legally all an employer really owes you is your pay for turning up and undertaking your assigned tasks.

          But any good employer knows that the relationship goes further than this. Good employers know that attitude, engagement, initiative, leadership and commitment are all highly valuable to the business. And that these qualities are not measured by hours worked or boxes ticked.

          So when you argue that ’employers don’t owe you a job’ that gets heard by most people as ‘you are as disposable as toilet paper’. How do you think most workers respond to that? Not very well either.

          Somewhere in between those two extremes lies a workable balance. And in real life that balance is best achieved between two powers with roughly equal influence. The bosses have considerable organisational power – and that is best balanced by workers having a matching organisational power as well.

        • tracey


          by allmeans criticise lprent but your choice of words and phrases reflect badly on you and make the intent all but meaningless…

          “like a muslim extremist”

          “banning like murdering’

          get a grip

        • gsays

          hi burt, i am keen to hear what you view a job to be to a worker and employer.

          whether it is something that is limited to a physical workplace, (factory, office, kitchen etc) and the relationships within.
          or if a broader, wider view is taken. fabric of community, investing in youth (work ethic, live skills etc).

          the first is a balance sheet view of life, the other is less tangible and not expressed in accounting terms but clearly has extremely high value.

  9. Chooky 9

    This piece by Keith Locke on freedom of speech is very good …freedom of speech is a core issue in the whole debate….and those in power will be looking to restrict it which is not good for democracy…in fact it will spell the end of democracy the tighter those in power seek to pull the noose on freedom of speech and dissent

    ‘Free speech for everyone, from Charlie Hebdo to the jihadists’

    By Keith Locke

    – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/01/12/free-speech-for-everyone-from-charlie-hebdo-to-the-jihadists/#sthash.nrnntRGl.VPDYvuDK.dpuf

  10. Sable 10

    This has already happened in Australia. I was talking with an Australian academic a while back and what she said they are very much under a microscope. Say the wrong thing and its bye bye job. Quite a ruthless system, I’m not surprised to see it happening here.

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