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Class divide

Written By: - Date published: 4:08 pm, December 12th, 2008 - 117 comments
Categories: activism, john key, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

Taken a matter of minutes ago, the Workers Party protest outside John Key’s multimillion dollar Parnell mansion. Just to remind you that we’ve just seen a man worth tens of millions of dollars take work rights off a whole bunch of people who earn minimum wage.

In case you’re wondering what they’re holding up, it’s this poster.

117 comments on “Class divide ”

  1. Ben R 1

    Going outside someone’s home like that is a little creepy. Did anyone ever protest outside Helen Clark’s place?

  2. Duncan 2

    Looks like more of a compound than a house to me.

  3. Tim Ellis 3

    Yes, Ben, a few years ago I understand, a few people protested outside Helen Clark’s house. That was seen as pretty creepy too. It may have been the fathers’ rights movement.

    Nice to see you’re not stooping to the politics of envy IB. Would you care to have people protest outside your door?

  4. Billy 4


    Are you Steady Eddy?

  5. Billy. It’s not his house he’s publishing, its the political action. Don’t be such a dork, you’re better than that.

    They’re clearly only doing it outside his house because it exemplifies the class divide and which side Key is on.

  6. dave 6

    IB, your post is grossly inaccurate. Name one business that will fire current staff before Christmas under this law. Name one business – or class of business – that will have current workers’ rights taken away from them under this law. [neither the post, nor the poster in the pic say that people wil be fired before Christmas, it says they will be fired. SP]

    Nobody working yesterday can possibly be fired in their current job under this new law – let alone before christmas.

    Good to see that the protesters in the workers party have jobs to go to. [I got this same dumb line from tories at a protest outside the Nat Party conference on a Sunday. We responded ‘we can’t work on Sundays, we’re exclusive brethren’. SP]

  7. Billy, were you similar pissed off when the Sunday Star Times published aerial pics gushing over how expensive and exclusive his place is?

  8. Duncan 8

    You’ve touched a nerve with the right there IB.

    Billy I did a two minute google search “john key house” and came up with these public images of John Key’s houses –


    He’s also had video cameras all through his house like the major interview he did with Sunday.

    It’s not like anyone’s intruding on the life of a private citizen here, these are people outside the gate of the compound he calls his house and which everyone has already seen.

    Class divide’s quite striking though aye?

  9. Felix 9

    I have to agree, it is a little creepy.

    However harmless a particular protest may be (and surely most are) it’s still a family home.

    I understand the point they’re making, but no-one who lives at the Key residence is a public figure except John.

    Protest outside his office.

  10. IrishBill 10

    Tim, the politics of envy is a phrase the right use to make themselves feel better about the reaction they get when they shaft the poor.

    I’m sure John Key will be telling himself that the reason all those Kiwi workers are being mean about him is because they envy him. Nothing to do with the fact he’s just taken their rights off them, I’m sure.

    Billy, John Key has toured the media around his house. In fact I’ve been told it currently features in Woman’s Day. Perhaps steady eddy has moved onto more catholic pursuits.

  11. randal 11

    no job
    no bail

  12. IrishBill 12

    I just checked. It’s woman’s weekly not woman’s day. The story is titled “Our Private World

    I recommend you visit the linked page and take note of the strapline.

  13. Quoth the Raven 13

    Maybe they should get guards with tasers so they can taser the peasants whenever they get near their master’s estate.

  14. dave 14

    Neither the post, nor the poster in the pic say that people wil (sic) be fired before Christmas, it says they will be fired. SP]

    And that’s wrong too – which workers who currently hold jobs will be fired Steve? None. So they wont be fired. To be fired under this bill they have to be hired in the future . As of today, no people who have jobs will be fired under this bill.

    Shouldn’t it be “Merry Christmas – youre Hired? Yes, that`ll be more accurate.

  15. So let me get this right, these people find it okay to protest outside his PRIVATE RESIDENCE.

    Is this what the left is coming to?

    Key has kids for cripes sake.

    Protest outside the beehive or outside his office all you like, but not outside someone’s private residence, thats freakin sick even for commies.

  16. Tane 16

    Ah, a good Friday afternoon stoush. Have a nice weekend folks.

  17. Protesting outside someone’s private residence is wrong.

  18. Alexandra 19

    Whats wrong is taking away the fundamental right for a worker to challange a dismissal. The abuse of power by Key and his government in passing a law without the public having an opportunity to respond warrants protest outside his house.
    Good on the workers party!

  19. Billy 20

    Hey Duncan,

    All the information that Steady Eddy published about John Minto (see this post) was on the public record. I do not recall too many on the left letting him off on that thread, though. Same poster, different standards.

    Golly, all we expect is some consitency in your futile outrage.

  20. Billy 21

    Hey Steve,

    So, you’re sayng that, because John Key has made his house a matter of public interest, he has given up his right to pick and choose when he can have his privacy. That’s actually a pretty good argument and I think you’re probably right.

    Only, when Kate Sutton put photos of that hen’s night up on her facebook page, anyone who drew attention to it was, apparently, scum .

    How do we explain this inconsistency?

  21. Billy 22

    I don’t know why that Scum link didn’t work:


  22. Billy 23

    Same with the Minto one:

    Too far.

  23. Billy – If Irish had made Key’s house the central part of the post and accompanied it with a few hundred words of invective and/or used the pictures to elaborate a strange narrative about his sex life then I’d say he had gone too far. But he hasn’t… It’s about context and the cultural baggage the reader brings to the text – not that I’m evincing a Fishian method of interpritation…

    Oh and just for the record – I don’t think anything is off limits if it’s public… I just prefer to out folk I don’t like…

  24. Unaffiliated 25

    I remember that Irish bloke from last nights meeting. As an outsider to any political movement I do now feel more sympathetic to their cause. I suggested that activist groups have trouble finding a wider audience because they are seen as humourless.
    The meeting was a mixed bag but i did win some people over with my observation on the climate change science review.

  25. marco 26

    There is a right to protest here and the Workers Party are not the type to start harassing John’s kids….but, this does set a precedent, there are groups of potential protesters that could be encouraged by this.

    This is an extreme example but lets say the Man Boy Love Association started protesting the new tougher laws for Child Abuse outside John’s house while his kids are there.

    Would you consider that wrong, or do they have the right to protest outside his house because everyone else does.

  26. sweeetdisorder 27

    The protesters are very creepy and have gone too far. Any kudos they may have got from this have now been lost by simply involving safety issues for JK’s wife and children. A step too far guys and you will get pinged for this one. What might have been a good protest message has been lost and the protesters come off looking nasty. Who advises them?

  27. principessa 28

    Some people don’t have a house. Some people are living seven to a room and some people are living in garages. Maybe the PM could lend a few of his rooms to one of the families that would have a house right now if the tories didn’t sell 13,000 state houses in the 90’s.

  28. lprent 29

    sd: Beats me – it is the Workers party.

    If I understand your statement correctly, I should also view NACT as responsible for national front activity. Sometime I find some of your comments a teensy bit short of thought.

    Or should I remind you of our policy about posts and posters

  29. sweeetdisorder 30


    The line “A step too far guys and you will get pinged for this one.” was aimed at the protesters, not the standard. Is that what you were getting at? If so, then I was not clear enough. My comments were directed at and about the protesters. I was not (this time) attacking labour, just these protesters.

  30. Quoth the Raven 31

    macro – Rights are not just for some people they are for all people. It’s the old freedom of speech and Nazis thing.

    Billy – If John didn’t want his address known he wouldn’t have done a piece with Woman’s Weekly would he. Minto may not have wanted his address posted on the internet just as you may not.

  31. lprent 32

    sd: I thought that may be the case – ie no note. But I thought I’d better find out

    Personally I’d prefer that they picketed something more relevant. But the poster is pretty cool. I’d like to fire JK for non-performance, in particular for not working with established best practices (ie select committees). However I suspect we will just have to help in the re-education of a novice politician about the difference between government and opposition

  32. rjs131 33

    Perhaps people would take the workers party a bit more seriously if they didn’t have

    As part of their platform:

    1. Opposition to all New Zealand and Western imperialist intervention in the Third World and all Western imperialist alliances. (Yikes)

    2. Secure jobs for all with a living wage and a shorter working week. (Yep can see why the working party would want that – but who’s going to pay)

    3. For the unrestricted right of workers to organise and take industrial action and no limits on workers? freedom of speech and activity. (Yep absolutely fair enough as long as the activity is non-violent)

    4. For working class unity and solidarity – equality for women, Maori and other ethnic minorities and people of all sexual orientations and identities; open borders and full rights for migrant workers.
    (Perfectly reasonable except for that last bit which is insane)

    5. For a working peoples? republic. (Meh……so they don’t like the Queen)

  33. Pascal's bookie 34


    (Perfectly reasonable except for that last bit which is insane)

    This is one I struggle with. If we think that free trade in goods and services is dinky-dye, and that international capital flows and currency trading are hunky-dory then I’m not sure it’s easy to argue against open borders for labour on economic, justice, or moral grounds.

    Why is it insane exactly?

  34. rave 35

    Righties got the windup?

    This is nothing. Apart from such protests being pretty normal in Auckland for decades, wait till there’s a bit more action like in Greece…or Italy. Like tens of thousands on the streets, not tens. Key’s house stretches over three sections but it would pale into insignificance compared to the Parthenon or the Coliseum buried in a mass of protesters.

    As for humour, the right are so up themselves they couldnt laugh without choking, like how funny is a general strike when theres not a general in sight?

  35. John Edmundson 36

    rjs131 finds it hard to take the WP seriously on account of its 5 point platform. I’ll deal with the ones where there is least objection first:

    2. Currently much of the value produced by workers is taken as profit by the capitalist. Some of course ends up as tax which then pays for hospitals, schools etc, but much of it disappears into the hands of capitalists. If workers controlled production instead of capitalists, it would be possible to work a shorter week without loss of real income.

    3. Generally, I’d accept that qualification. But I would not oppose workers resorting to violence to defend themselves or their rights in certain circumstances, which are of course only hypothetical until they arise!

    5. No, we don’t like the queen but a working people’s republic is more than that. It means a republic run by and for working people, unlike the current system which is essentially run by and for capitalists and capitalism.

    rjs131 expresses more significant disagreement with points 1 and 4:

    1. Involvement in imperialist alliances is what got NZ into Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan,to list only a few. As long as New Zealanders believe we have the right to intervene in other countries in the interest of imperialism, we will never free ourselves from the hegemony of capitalism. I’m not actually sure what is so controversial about that from someone who “would take the workers party a bit more seriously”. Being opposed to imperialism, even in a humanitarian guise, should be a basic starting point for anyone on the left.

    4. This is actually related to point 1. As long as workers accept the right of the state to control the movement of workers, even as capital and capitalists have virtually unimpeded access to the globe, they will never break with their own national capitalist class. Open borders could not occur within capitalism because it is too important to the uneven functioning of capitalism globally. Imagine though, if workers were able to move freely. Capitalists could not threaten to relocate industry to low wage countries because they could no longer enforce low wages on the workers in those countries.

    New Zealanders generally expect to be able to travel wherever they wish, and in fact a New Zealand passport is one of the best passports in the world to hold. New Zealanders also expect to be able to apply for and get work in any country that they choose. They see nothing strange in going to work in high paying jobs in the Gulf, doing an OE and working in Britain or the EU, or even the USA. Where, as with the USA, getting a work permit (green card) is difficult, they (rightly) complain.

    National border controls are historically a relatively new thing, and they were not created to protect workers, but to gain control over the “national” working classes of the various countries. What the WP is saying is that all workers should have the right to travel and work where they wish. This could only realistically occur under a socialist system and under such a system massive relocation of workers would be unlikely anyway as in a system where people’s needs are being met, they don’t tend to up and move away from friends, family, familiar culture etc. However, the right to travel the planet and work should be a fundamental one available to all, not just the privilege of a select few.

  36. Janet 37

    Congratulations to the Workers Party for the first anti-Govt pro-workers’ rights protest. Clever, original short and effective and infuriates the righteous right. This is 21st century strategic protest. The people of New Zealand are now organising. In a few short days this National Act government with Maori Party support has managed to unite a large and growing opposition coalition.

  37. Dean 38


    :Billy. It’s not his house he’s publishing, its the political action. Don’t be such a dork, you’re better than that.

    They’re clearly only doing it outside his house because it exemplifies the class divide and which side Key is on”

    The ghost of Che is not dead. Keep fighting the good fight and do please attempt to be relevant.

    Please tell us all about social classes, and how they matter in a country like New Zealand. I’d be absolutely fascinated as to why you think they’re still relevant.


    “Personally I’d prefer that they picketed something more relevant. But the poster is pretty cool. I’d like to fire JK for non-performance, in particular for not working with established best practices (ie select committees).”

    As a member of the Labour party, you are aware of went on in select committees when they were government, aren’t you? Honestly, are you having a momentary lapse of reason? Do you know how forgetful you sound?

  38. Jimbo 39

    Hahaha, John E! Brilliant! Is that comedy or are you for real?

    “If workers controlled production instead of capitalists, it would be possible to work a shorter week without loss of real income.” I’ll call bvllshit on that – HOW!? Got any examples of where this is working in a sustainable way? There’s been 100 years for someone, somewhere to make your much-loved theories work, but still no cigar!

    On the other hand, I’ll show you quite a bit of evidence how the capitalist model and protection of personal property rights has seen steadily rising GDP, increasing incomes and real inroads into poverty.

    You talk about profits being “taken” by capitalists. What do you mean? Do they hide profit in tree stmps like squirrels? Bury it under mattresses?

    Your analysis of border-control is laughable. You seriously believe border-control is a capitalist construct to control workers? Nothing to do with national security, protecting the tax base, or ensuring resources are protected for a country’s inhabitants? How do you reconcile your theories on border control with what’s happened in the European Community?

    To read your analysis, you’d be forgiven for thinking that all of us are born with either a big “W” or a big “C” tattooed on our foreheads.

  39. Dean 40

    “So let me get this right, these people find it okay to protest outside his PRIVATE RESIDENCE.

    Is this what the left is coming to?

    Key has kids for cripes sake.

    Protest outside the beehive or outside his office all you like, but not outside someone’s private residence, thats freakin sick even for commies.”

    Watch the posters on this site condemn this kind of action. I’d expect LP and r0b to show up any moment now, telling us that families shouldn’t be involved in such political protests.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s going to happen. I wonder why?

    [lprent: I already have.
    However the same thing applies to the way that the nutters on the right have attacked Peter over the years or Micheal Cullens spouse – perhaps I should look back to your reaction to those? Not to mention that arsehole Wishart’s attacks on my friends. I suspect I won’t find you doing any major objections to those.
    Frankly the way that the right has operated over the last 5 years with a knowing grin and no serious objections has simply given a license to the extremists (on both sides). You are part of the problem. ]

  40. Dean 41


    “2. Currently much of the value produced by workers is taken as profit by the capitalist. Some of course ends up as tax which then pays for hospitals, schools etc, but much of it disappears into the hands of capitalists. If workers controlled production instead of capitalists, it would be possible to work a shorter week without loss of real income.”

    Tell me something. Have you ever read anything by Karl Marx? I think you might enjoy what he had to say.

  41. Jimbo 42


    “Exemplifies the class divide” is nonsense. Will the “John Key is rich” chestnut be rolled out for each new government policy? No one who supports this policy does so to keep the downtrodden worker low, or any other similar rubbish.

    How is this policy about class divide? One strong argument in favour is that candidates with no qualifications or a patchy CV are now far more likely to be given a chance in employment. This is the “lowest” in society, is it not?

    Do you have anything to say to help these people ? If you don’t like this law, then what’s your alternative policy to deal with the issue?

    People who aren’t yet employed don’t have any “rights” with a particular employer Practically speaking, the job interview process has been extended. So what?

  42. Jimbo 43

    Dean re Karl Marx – haha!

  43. Murray 44

    As far as I’m concerned they can all go and get fucked. If this is an example of thier work ethic who in their right mind would want to employ them. Do a good job and you are safe in your employment, fuck your employer around and you deserve the arse. Pretty simple really.

  44. deemac 45

    murray you are on the wrong blog, this is for people with a serious point to make, not for morons to do name-calling
    since you so clearly don’t get it, what are you doing here????

  45. Hector 46

    Speaking as somebody who was at this very small and peaceful protest, I can assure all the nay-sayers on this thread that John’s children were never under any sort of threat or attack whatsoever–that would have been well beyond creepy, not to mention utterly pointless! Besides, even if they were, I think John’s vast private security team would have had the advantage!

    With regards to his residence being off-limits, why? As others have already stated, the compound is a shining example of the class divide John represents, and he’s making it very clear which side he’s on. That was kind of the point of the protest.

    Moreover, he has courted a large amount of media attention there on numerous past occasions, so guests outside are also nothing new. Maybe it’s just that angry ones are what is so shocking? Who knows.

    Finally, I would just like to point out that this action was not organized by The Workers Party, but was a cooperative effort by activists from Socialist Aotearoa, the Workers Party and the Greens.

    Expect to see more.

  46. Gustavo Trellis 47

    Protesting outside a person’s residence makes a mockery of the distinction between people’s personal and professional lives. No one from any political persuasion should be involved in such a thing.

  47. John Edmundson 48

    Jimbo respectfully writes “Hahaha, John E! Brilliant! Is that comedy or are you for real? … bvllshit on that – HOW!? Got any examples of where this is working in a sustainable way? There’s been 100 years for someone, somewhere to make your much-loved theories work, but still no cigar! … Dean re Karl Marx – haha!”

    Actually if Jimbo is genuinely interested there are a large number of such examples. Even within the confines of otherwise capitalist economies, worker control has proven to be capable of delivering better results for workers while also being sustainable. The Mondragon cooperative is probably the best known but factory occupations in Latin America too have proved to be more than capable of turning production into a social good by providing for community needs while also delivering better working conditions and incomes to the workers. I’ll let Jimbo investigate further before s/he unleashes more of that characteristic wit and intellect.

    As for capitalism’s delivery of GDP growth, I don’t recall ever saying that capitalism is not a system based on growth. In fact I would argue that capitalism is unable to survive longterm without growth. The delivery of “real inroads into poverty” have been somewhat more patchy however, as plenty of people in the 3rd world have discovered.

    I’m not sure where Jimbo got the idea that I believe capitalists hide profit under “tree stmps[sic]”. I would have thought it obvious that they spend some on personal consumption but reinvest most of it in the hope of making more profit . . .

    As for the absurd caricature of my position on open borders, of course borders are used for security purposes etc. My point, that they control workers without controlling capital, appears to have eluded Jimbo, so consider it restated. Jimbo might be surprised of course to find that national borders are singularly ineffective
    at protecting taxation revenue, as the existence of various tax havens around the world demonstrates. The EU has decided to allow free movement within its border but maintains draconian controls to keep out workers from other places. Where’s the contradiction.

    And no Jimbo, I don’t think we’re born with a C or a W tattooed on our foreheads, but I would have thought it common knowledge that being born into a particular family might just have some bearing on likely success in the economy.

    ps. Dean, yes I have read quite a bit of Marx, more I suspect than Jimbo for example 😉

  48. Santi 49

    Who gives a toss about a bunch of unkempt protesters? I’d call the police to clear the entrance.

  49. Quoth the Raven 50

    Jimbo – And where has this steadily rising GDP led us in recent times? Yet another crisis of capital. Such a great system is surely beyond reproach.

  50. lprent 51

    Santi: Protesters usually know the laws as well if not better than most individual police.
    What if they are not covering the entrance? BTW: The law is that they may not block the entrance.
    What if they are not breaking any laws? Which they don’t seem to be.
    You’d clear them because santi says that he doesn’t like them?

    There is a name for that kind of society – police state.

    Of course JK could probably push a bill through under urgency avoiding select committee scrutiny. It would certainly fit the pattern. That would get me out protesting for a 5th time – defending my ability to protest would be sufficient. I’m sure that we’d get a vast increase in the level and quality of protest, and a rapid change of government.

  51. Byron 53

    “No one who supports this policy does so to keep the downtrodden worker low, or any other similar rubbish.”

    Of course no one supports it to “keep the downtrodden worker low” an employer generally doesn’t care what sort of conditions a workers lives in so long as they show up to work on time in a fit state to do their designated job. This law however will have the effect of keeping pay and conditions down as it will make unionisation difficult in many industries. The provision that the law applies to employers with 20 or less staff is the thin end of the wedge, the government is already saying they want to extend it to cover all employers, imagine how this would affect workers in the fast food industry?

    Fast food has an annual staff turn over greater than 100%, meaning most people who work there will do so for less than a year (often around 3 months) many fast food places have “now hiring” signs up 365 days a year to keep replacing the inevitable loss of staff. So at any given time over half the workers there could be in their first 90 days of employment, given these workers could be fired for any reason with no right to take up a person grievance, they could legally be fired for joining the union (though of course the employer would claim some other reason, but they now don’t need to prove it) with this practice in place, union density would be constantly less than 50% making gains very difficult to achieve as the employer would always have staff to cover strikes.

  52. Alexandra 54

    The government has denied the public the opportuniuty to have a say by not allowing the select committee process. The ramming thru of legistlation, without giving due respect to many dissenting voices warrants the peaceful protest outside Key’s house.

  53. Concerned of Tawa 55

    “this action was not organized by The Workers Party, but was a cooperative effort by activists from Socialist Aotearoa, the Workers Party and the Greens.

    Expect to see more.”

    Good. More of these protests should see these Values Party hangovers and their 1970’s class war struggle consigned to the Lada and crimplene suit dustbin of NZ history.
    Keep it up!

  54. gomango 56

    Lynn – let me guess what your fourth time out protesting was about. Was it making your displeasure known about the restrictions on free speech imposed by the Electoral Finance Act?

    Defending your ability to free participate in democracy etc and all that. The Act that Labour now says was wrong.

    There is hypocracy on all sides here. There’s no problem wit peaceful, legal protest, and the protesters need to judge whether picketing a private residence does their cause harm or not. Labour was just as guilty as National at ramming through policy the opposition opposed bitterly. Thats our political system. At least its not as bad now as FPP in the old days – much more real chance of change every three years if the electorate really wants it.

  55. IrishBill 57

    gomango, what restrictions did you personally endure? How was your freedom of speech affected?

  56. ianmac 58

    Gomango: Yes. What freedom did you lose? And when the Nat Act govt write a new EFA I wonder if you will cry loss of Freedom?
    (Sometimes when writing here the text just stops and I have to delete some words which might get it going again. Only happens here. Might be Firefox for Mac??)

    [lprent: Probably something on your machine. Usually I’d suspect a spell checker or a background process. It is completely on the client side]

  57. lprent 59

    No – why would I protest about making campaign rules clearer after the debacle that was shown up in the 2005 campaign?

    For all of the whining that went on in 2007 and 2008 about the EFA, it was significantly better than what it replaced. We didn’t have too many issues with the rules in the campaigns I was involved in. But it did make us significantly more aware of accounting for what we were spending and doing.

    The last protest that I went on was about the raids late last year by the police and the internal intelligence community. Quite simply the basis of those raids was blatantly incorrect through bad intelligence. The raids were a real threat to democracy in this country, and incredibly stupid. Sure there were a few nutters there and something probably needed to be done – but within the usual legal structures. But a sweep across virtually every activist group in NZ was just blatant overkill.

    I will be blogging on this tommorrow.

  58. Hector 60

    As only an occasional viewer of this site, I must say I’m actually quite surprised at the sheer volume of moral outrage over this! This is not to say that I thought the people here were “better” than that (pre-empting the accusation), but simply that I was under the impression that this is basically where the so-called radicals meet on the internet. That’s the way it’s basically portrayed in the mainstream media, anyway 😉

    So, what I want to know is what is so upsetting about protesting outside John’s compound? And I am not interested in any response that employs ad hominem, red herring, or straw-person responses. Honestly, why is going to his shrine of capitalism so off-limits for we the people, but all fine for his supporters and positive-spin media?

    By all rights, those that are upset at us should be equally outraged by the people that were outside his house on election night, possibly more–it was night-time then after all, and they were blocking the street and sidewalk.

    For me, I see no real problem with either group, but if you can provide me a legitimate argument to the contrary, I’m certainly willing to listen.

  59. AngryTory 61

    Christ these so-called “workers” make me furious.

    When will they next be outside Key’s house?

    If the CTU & Greens want a “Class War” – it’s time they got one

    We won! You lost! EAT THAT!

    [lprent: If you ask they may tell you (as well as the police). It will be good publicity. However I suspect it will simply be boring even for TV.]

  60. gomango 62

    Ian – I’d like to think I would cry loss of freedom in the same way if the Nat version of the law is as bad.

    To me its really simple – full disclosure is all that needed. Nothing wrong with the Bretheren having their say, as long as it is clear that it is them saying it. Full disclosure. Nothing wrong with Velas giving 100k to whoever they want – as long as it is fully disclosed the day they give it. Nothing wrong with unions stating their opinion. We don’t need restrictions around donations etc, just full disclosure. There should absolutely be no place in a democracy for anonymous donations. Daylight is the best antiseptic against corruption, as Winston now knows.

    For the record, I also regard the terrorist raids as a travesty. Our existing laws are perfectly adequate to deal with a few nutters mouthing off and pretending to be rambo in the bush. The way the police and politicians beat this up is embarrassing and I think we’ll see plenty of back tracking on this and only very modest charges being proven, which will be about the right outcome.

    If I got off my fat arse, those are the two issues I would get out and protest about.

    The other travesty that springs to mind in recent years is the confiscation of property rights over the foreshore bill. This was a disgrace, complete abrogation of existing property rights without compensation.

    The 90 day bill doesnt worry me – even with my oldest two chilldren entering the workforce now in entry level jobs. The 90 day bill is irrelevant- in a years time, yes you will find a few examples of workers getting treated badly by a few crappy employees. That would happen regardless – they are the same employers who currently treat their workers badly. But I think you will see way more success stories as the vast majority of employers who are good use the flexibility to theirs and their employees advantage.

    And as a general point anytime the expression “class divide” is bandied about you lose 90% of the general population. People in the wider world (as opposed to the left wing political blog community) don’t think like that – they want education, aspiration, opportunity, not to relitigate northern England politics from the 1930’s.

    Off topic but slightly related, had a very interesting discussion with some Scots relatives recently about the tribalism of British (more specifically Scottish) society and how the Protestant/ Catholic divide still creates issues today. NZ was like that in my parents generation but today most of us would laugh if Grandad forbid us from marrying a proddy or a left footer (depending on your bent) as still happens in parts of Scottish society. Couching today’s economic arguments in the same outdated language (class divide, class struggle, capitalist scum, rich pricks etc) looks just as silly to wider society and puts your message on the back foot from the get go.

  61. gobsmacked 63

    Pretty simple really.

    John Key’s family: off-limits. He hasn’t used them in politics (except the election night celebration, which is fair enough). They are entitled to privacy.

    John Key’s house is featured constantly in the media, hardly a week goes by without it. He has given many interviews for TV, magazines, etc, “at home with John Key”. These are arranged by him (or his staff), to promote him. His choice.

    So taking a photo outside his house is not crossing any line. Harrassing his kids certainly would be.

    But hiring private detectives to follow his spouse around would be REALLY creepy. Or constantly smearing her on the internet. Now, has that ever happened in NZ politics? Oh, right …

  62. mike 64

    What a bitter sad lot they look.

    The poster should say ” If only I got off my fat arse and aimed a bit higher I could be living here”

    [lprent: why would you want to? Looks big, difficult to clean , and not particularly computer friendly (too many windows)]

  63. Daveski 65

    i don’t often agree with GS but his post at 12.03 makes sense. I personally don’t like the line between the person and the politics being crossed and this would lose its impact if it became a regular occurrence.

    But as for the class divide BS – this is an own goal of biblical proportions. If there was a class divide, then logically the system would prevent one from moving from the lower class to the upper (however you define it). Key is the poster boy for the opportunities to be upwardly mobile (regardless of whether you agree with how he achieved his fortune).

  64. John Edmundson 66

    Mike: ‘ If only I got off my fat arse and aimed a bit higher I could be living here’

    Why didn’t I think of that??? If we all got off our fat arses we could all be millionaires. Yeah, that’d really work . . .

    Some of us Mike have noticed that in the economic system that we live in right now, it is completely impossible for everyone to get to be the rich person. Now some people think that’s fine, that living in a society that institutionalises and requires great inequality is fine, and that anyone who challenges that is guilty of the sin of envy, and or is lazy and has a fat arse. Personally, I’d rather work towards a society that not only doesn’t celebrate inequality, but doesn’t even need it.

  65. John BT 67

    It looks like a really nice house in a nice neighbourhood so it really is a shame about the riffraff out front.
    Can anyone supply the names and addresses of those poor envious people ? If so I will try to pop around to their places and give them a taste of their own medicine.

    [lprent: Before protesting, I’d suggest having a good look at the laws that cover this area of endeavor. Providing your own address would also help with the tit-for-tat.
    Silly bugger, I can see now why I dropped you in moderation – how about lifting your standard.]

  66. John Edmundson 68

    Daveski declares:
    “But as for the class divide BS – this is an own goal of biblical proportions. If there was a class divide, then logically the system would prevent one from moving from the lower class to the upper…”

    Not at all. Capitalism is very different from other class societies in that class mobility is not only possible, but positively encouraged, even though it is difficult and relatively uncommon. This does not mean that there is no class divide. A number of people in this thread seem to be equating the class divide with the kind of “feudal” society we often associate with the British aristocracy, where you can tell someone’s class the moment they speak. Of course even at the height of previous class society, “some” class mobility was possible – some Roman Emperors came from the ranks of the army, occasionally loyal servants would get elevated to higher status as a reward for service. In Victorian English capitalism, where no one would deny the existence of class society, someone like Josiah Wedgewood was able to make it from worker to capitalist.

    However, as long as we have a class that owns capital and a class that sells its labour power, we have class society and therefore a class divide.

  67. coge 69

    Regretably another own goal for the left. Most Kiwis, quite rightfully, don’t like protests taking place outside private addresses. Quite frankly this is a violation of a family’s right to privacy & quiet enjoyment. Kiwis have an innate understanding of this.

    Maybe an abandonment of the seventies mentality & a general reinvention of themselves will be more fruitful for these protesting individuals.

  68. rave 70

    Well isnt this Rogernomics Mark 2?

    Tax breaks for bosses, income tax cuts and contributions to Kiwisaver cut to 2%.
    Attacks on workers, tax increases, cuts to Kiwisaver, 90 day fire at will, national standards. Banks guaranteed. Warnings against SOE price rises. As Bomber puts it, Daddy State is having a domestic.
    Looks like a large part of the not so secret agenda in a week let alone 100 days. The old Douglas trick of shock therapy. And there he is again zombie back from the dead.

    As many of us have been saying for months this blitzkrieg was well planned and executed against the majority of workers in this country who still hate the 1980s and 1990s attacks, and who will now start to rally against these attacks.

    So righties your complaints are hollow. Its this rightwing government that is trampling on children with nationalised tests, not protestors outside Key’s house. Key did a lot more to upset children when he brashed his way into McGehan Close. Branding them an underclass and holding out the hand of private charity in a neighbourhood that had suffered kids dead from suicide. This can only get worse when Ann Tolley fines “bad parents” when their kids wag school while they are trying to hold down 90 day jobs on falling wages to make the profits for Key’s bankster mates to suck off.

    Rogernomics Mark 1 took the labour movement by surprise and they never recovered sufficiently to fight back against Douglas and Richardson. Don’t expect workers to be so compliant today. Get used to us being in your face.

  69. lprent 71

    coge: The ‘left’ are not exactly a monolithic group.

    However, I consider that this a lot less of an issue than what the Right has done with the continual smears against Peter Davis. You as a member of the Right are obviously responsible for those as part of a group responsibility. If I am to be smeared as part of the Left, then the vice versa also has to be true.

    For a starter at least the people in this protest do it overtly, publicly, and with a clear objective in mind. They did not do it covertly, maliciously, and in the cowardly manner that has characterized the efforts of parts of the Right over the last years.

    Or perhaps I should suggest that you share the same viewpoints, value, and share in the responsibility of the actions of the National Front (or whatever their splintered names are these days)? Or that you share the attributes of that well known member of the Right Ian Wishart?

    ie don’t be a fool. Engage your brain before making stupid comments

  70. John BT 72

    Iprent, these people are outside the mans home! Where his kids live! I dont give a damn about the politics of whatever they want to protest about Their behaviour is disgusting.
    And you ask me to lift my standard?

  71. lprent 73

    jbt: Tell me which to think is more damaging to a kid.

    Having a controlled group of protesters outside a house.

    Or having a Right author publish a book in which he states that the parents of a kid I know, are not a ‘real’ couple (with zero evidence) and that getting back to her at school. Not to mention all of the crap blasted around the net by the sleaze of the right.

    I’m afraid that after finding out about that, I realized that the right had hit a new low for NZ politics – the name is Wishart. This protest by comparison, is almost benign.

    I don’t give a damn about Wisharts politics, but I do care about that kind of crap. How do you feel about it?

  72. Swampy 74

    He hasn’t taken rights of people who are actually working so your statement is misleading at best.

  73. Jimbo 75

    John Edmundson – Sorry mate, I still reckon you’re having a larf. There is a huge difference between a limited set of examples of successful co-ops working within capitalist economies and believing that Marxism works as a policial system.

    Of course I’m genuinely interested in this – I’m a political junkie like a lot of us on here – but before I check any of your examples on the internet, can you tell me which ones produce, say, more than US$1 billion of goods or services per year (thought we’d keep the number reasonably small to make it easy for you), or which ones have over 100,000 people depending on them for their livelihood?

    It’s not IN SPITE OF being in capitalist economies that marxist co-ops occasionally survive and have success, it’s BECAUSE they’re in capitalist economies (where they get left alone by government, their personal property rights are respected and protected, government has taken enough in tax from cpitalist businesses to provide infrastructure , people like you are desperate to make them work and other companies exist to produce related goods and services).

    Do you REALLY believe, for example, the “workers” of AIR NZ could boot out all levels of management and start running the airline themselves (and AIR NZ is a tiny, tiny company in global terms)? I BEG you to say “yes” to that question – it’ll make my day 🙂

    Let’s get this straight. I have no issue with a bunch of workers owning their factory and running it however they like, including on co-operative lines. Good luck to them – if they have the skills, the willingness to take on board the risk, etc, then all power to them. Some people are good at running businesses. Others aren’t. Some businesses suit that model, most don’t.

    However, I think you have absolutely NO evidence to support the Marxist idealistic claptrap about workers ALWAYS being able to produce greater output that “capitalists”.

    If you are so blind to the world around you – economic and political history, human response to incentives, etc – that you truly believe what you write here, then good luck to you I say. But please allow me to be astonished to find someone waiving the flag so vigorously for Marxism. In this day and age, it’s like seeing an Amish person drive down Queen St in a horse-and-buggy.

  74. Jimbo 76


    Now that I’ve stopped giggling, this is the bit where what you believe really falls down. You said:

    “Some of us Mike have noticed that in the economic system that we live in right now, it is completely impossible for everyone to get to be the rich person. Now some people think that’s fine, that living in a society that institutionalises and requires great inequality is fine, and that anyone who challenges that is guilty of the sin of envy, and or is lazy and has a fat arse. Personally, I’d rather work towards a society that not only doesn’t celebrate inequality, but doesn’t even need it.”

    What do you mean by “ineqaulity” and why is that the goal.

    1000, 750, 500, 200, 100, and 50 years ago, what the poorest person in England has now would have been regarded as unimaginably well-off. TV’s, computers, paid parental leave, certain minimum health protections, cheap cures for various previously fatal diseases, instantaneous communications, etc, etc, etc. The list is endless.

    The days of sweatshops, death from “old age” at 40, nothing to eat, etc. ARE GONE in capitalist economies. Because the real goal is being met with ease, people like you change it to a stupid and meaningless one – “we should all be “equal””

    Your paragraph above is not so much about whether poor people are better off. Your concern is more that there are richer people than you or me out there. So what? I don’t give a toss.

    I would rather work towards a society where the poorest people have food on their plates, dignity, opportunity and education.

    Modern marxism (‘woe the inequality! – even though it does seem we’re ALL better off now’) is nothing more than a convenient cloak for tall-poppy syndrome. Even learned academics like a little jealousy, now and then…

  75. rjs131 77

    red rave is the loud mouth of members of the Communist Workers’ Group of Aotearoa/New Zealand, member of the Leninist/Trotskyist Fraction, committed to building a new communist international to lead workers to the revolutionary overthrow of global capitalism


    You’re as mad as a hatter living in the past with your bosses and down trodden workers go back to Eve’s blog where you belong, only the terminally deluded are wanting to encourage and commit to creating different classes of people in NZ and a class war.

    In fact if I can borrow from Helen Clark ……. you are a wrecker and hater.

  76. Pascal's bookie 78

    Jimbo, most of the ‘capitalist’ countries that have done so well over the last hundred years have had their governments spending at least 30% of GDP, with top marginal income tax rates ranging up to 75% and higher (they have been reduced greatly over the last 20 years, and the system is showing signs of fragility, make of that what you will). The greatest stabile period of global growth was prior to the 70’s oil shocks, the effects of which lead to the neo-liberal reforms. Since those reforms there have been a number of crises; again make of that what you will. Your use of the word ‘capitalism’ is as anachronistic as any marxist. Capitalism failed in the late twenties, some decades earlier than totalitarian communism, (which is not really Marxist as I’m sure your aware). Since then we have had a market based mixed economy that draws as much from Marx as it does from Smith.

    Just sayin.

    I’d also be interested in hearing why you think trade in labour should be restricted where trade in capital, goods and services is not. You weren’t very clear about that.

  77. giggles 79

    since when did 9 people qualify as a protest? Looks more like a queue for a bus lmfao

  78. Pascal's bookie 80

    1000, 750, 500, 200, 100, and 50 years ago, what the poorest person in England has now would have been regarded as unimaginably well-off. TV’s, computers, paid parental leave, certain minimum health protections, cheap cures for various previously fatal diseases, instantaneous communications, etc, etc, etc. The list is endless.

    The days of sweatshops, death from “old age’ at 40, nothing to eat, etc. ARE GONE in capitalist economies. Because the real goal is being met with ease, people like you change it to a stupid and meaningless one – “we should all be “equal'”

    That’s because capitalist economies no longer exist. Capitalism as a system died in the early twentieth century. What we’ve had since then is varying strengths of socialist democracy.

    I am giggling at your strident labeling of systems where the state spends upwards of 35% of GDP on universal education, healthcare, and social insurance as ‘Capitalism’. Sheesh, it sure aint great grand daddy’s capitalism that’s fer shure. What better evidence that capitalism has failed, than that the post WWII mixed economic model is defended as ‘capitalism’.

  79. John BT 81

    Iprent, I have not read the writings of Mr Wishart and it does not sound good if he attacks the family in any way whatsoever. However, you seem to be saying that two wrongs make a right. So, sorry, that is not good enough to justify such bad behaviour regardless of the political leanings.

  80. Dean 82


    “However the same thing applies to the way that the nutters on the right have attacked Peter over the years or Micheal Cullens spouse – perhaps I should look back to your reaction to those? Not to mention that arsehole Wishart’s attacks on my friends. I suspect I won’t find you doing any major objections to those.
    Frankly the way that the right has operated over the last 5 years with a knowing grin and no serious objections has simply given a license to the extremists (on both sides). You are part of the problem.”

    Is that anything like Len Richards hitting someone with a megaphone?
    Besides which, I agree that Whale and co are morons. It doesn’t mean I have to think it’s ok for people to stoop to their level.

  81. Quoth the Raven 83

    Jimbo – What you call capitalism couldn’t possibly survive without immense state intervention. One only has to look at the military industrial complex of the U.S. to see this. Like you said in the Occupy resist.. thread you don’t know much about economic history. To go along with John’s examples there is the Israeli Kibbutzim and then collectivisation in Spain during the civil war, especially so in Catalonia. These two were by no means marxist they were just collectivisation. There have also been large numbers of various agricultural collectives all over the world in the past. You have a view of the left which is misguided. The left have many different currents and many more so than the right.

    1000, 750, 500, 200, 100, and 50 years ago, what the poorest person in England has now would have been regarded as unimaginably well-off. TV’s, computers, paid parental leave, certain minimum health protections, cheap cures for various previously fatal diseases, instantaneous communications, etc, etc, etc. The list is endless.

    You think that is wholly due to the economic system or do you think that has something to do with technological advance? People couldn’t very well have had TVs and computers 1000, 750, 500, 200, 100, years ago could they. Cheap cures for various previously fatal diseases, instantaneous communications etc, capitalism or scientific advance? Paid parental leave and “certain minimal health protections” are provided by the state – so what is your point?

    I’m not a marxists but a marxist would say to you that a capitalist economy is rife with inefficiencies and holds back the marterial, economic and intellectual growth of a people. They would say this “because economic crises constantly cheek production; because production is for the market, and as the market is restricted under capitalism, the growth of the productive forces is restricted; because monopoly buys up technical inventions, and prevents them from being widely used; because production cannot be planned, and so there is no systematic growth; because capitalism has kept agriculture separate and backward; because capitalism has to devote enormous resources for wars between rival groups, wars against the colonial peoples; because capitalism separates manual from mental work, and therefore does not open the floodgates of invention; because the class struggle absorbs an enormous amount of human energy; because capitalism leaves millions unemployed.” [That’s from What is Marxism?]
    Socialists and communists believe production should be for use and not profit and that the principle of life should not be “every man for himself,” “gain wealth, forget all but self”. You may believe that human nature is not fit for such a society, but a marxist would say that human nature reflects the society it belongs to. They would hold to the maxim “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”
    I’m not trying to advocate anything here I’m just trying to inform you Jimbo of the argument before you go spouting off about that which you do not know.

  82. Santi 84

    By the way dear protesters, take a good look at some property you’ll never be able to afford if you continue your mischievious ways, instead of working bloody hard,

    Envy won’t take you anywhere. Heads up comrades.

  83. Bill 85

    Dear Righties.
    Capitalism is just swell innit?
    Dispensing with any analysis ’cause you just don’t seem to be too hot on the analytical front, thought you might like to enjoy leaving the following in isolation rather than draw any obvious conclusions.

    Having left the quotes below in isolatin you might nevertheless ponder the growing numbers of people in the west  ‘rediscovering’ the fact of class war thanks to the clear demarcation set by governments between financiers and ‘the rest’. Nice one.

    Jean Ziegler”When the rich lose weight, the poor die,” says a proverb. World hunger is increasing at a breathtaking rate. Every five seconds a child under ten dies of hunger in the world and 100 000 people die every day from hunger or its immediate after-effects. 923 million people, more than one in six, are permanently severely malnourished. The daily massacre of hunger is increasing. (…)The United Nations has identified eight priority tragedies to be eliminated. (…)by 2015: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, ensuring all school-age children a basic education, promoting gender equality and the empowerment of  women; reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating AIDS, malaria and other epidemics; ensuring the protection of the environment, establishing a global pact for development. The cost of these objectives has been set at 82 billion dollars annually over five years. Since 2000, the West said there was no money. However, on October 12, at the Élysée Palace [2], in three and a half hours, the 27 EU countries released €1 700 billion for credit to be used between banks and to raise the floor of pure capital for the banks from 3 % to 5%. 1% of these €1 700 billion would suffice to eliminate the eight tragedies afflicting the Third World countries. This world order is not only mortal, it is absurd.

  84. Jimbo 86

    We’ve moved the whole argument to now pointing out examples of market failure in capitalist economies, or arguing that certain amounts of state welfare are necessary in capitalist economies (neither of which I disagree with).

    When the argument gets to this stage, it goes around and around in circles. QTR and PB – how much technological advancement is due to the fact that the people who invented the new technology knew they would get rich off it…?

    Sorry PB – don’t accept what you’re saying at all. The political economy of the modern era is a hell of lot closer to Adam Smith than it is to Karl Marx.

    I believe the goal the far left (and let’s face it, that’s what where you sit) -“equality” – is irrelevant and a smokescreen for envy. I believe the premise is fundamentally flawed. Finally, I believe the weight of evidence is stacked against you blokes who argue nonsense such as overthrow of the “capitalists”, etc.

    The point is simply that, when you’re so far out on the extreme of the political compass that you actually believe employers are evil per se, then of course you don’t agree with a 90 day trial period in employment. It’s a waste of breath going into the arguments on that policy when what you really want to do is throw out all employers and install a political system that has been a total and abject failure whenever someone’s had the will (i.e. the FORCE) to try it.

    I certainly do not, and never have, believed in a pure market economy where there is no welfare of any type. I’d be an idiot if I did. You, on the other hand, believe in a collectivist ideal that simply has not worked – and in fact has led to misery – whenever its proponents have forced their subject to adopt it.

    The only time collectivism works in when the actors chose it voluntarily. That’s your problem, right there…!

  85. sweeetdisorder 87


    “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.’

    That is the most disgusting statement anyone can ever utter.

  86. Kerry 88

    Jimbo – your are talking shit!

    For the moment NZ is still a democracy…people can stand and hold a sign wherever they want….dont like it pack ya bags and get to Russia!

    If you want privacy dont enter a profession in the public arena, particulary when you start stripping rights away from people…there will be a price to pay.

  87. Quoth the Raven 89

    Jimbo – Allow me to quote Marx: “Our task will first of all consist in transforming their individual production and individual ownership into cooperative production and co-operative ownership, not forcibly, but by way of example, and by offering social aid for this purpose.’ You’re the only one to bring up force. Do you think that capitalism was never forced upon people. How do you think we got to this modern state of affairs? We got there thorugh revolutions, wars and so on. Did the people of India willfully submit to British imperialism and hence capitalism? There was no force involved in past agarian colectives they were just natural states of affairs before more pwerful peoples imposed their ways upon people. The collectivisations in Spain were nearly on the whole not forced ( A reading of Orwell’s homage to Catalonia would be good for you), but voluntarily entered into as with the Israeli Kibbutzim. Learn a little about history before you continue spouting inane bullshit. As I’ve already told in the other thread which you don’t seem to understand Lenninsm, Stalinism, Trotskyism weren’t marxism in practise they were disociable states and like I pointed out then they have much in common with modern corporatism.
    Adam Smith give me a break. If you really think Adam Smith writing in a time before modern captialism or states acutally envisioned what we have now you are sorely mistaken. Here’s a quote from Smith decrying the division of Labour as Marx did: the man whose life is spent performing a few simple operations, of which the effects too are, perhaps, always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding… and generally as stupid and ignorant as it si possible for a human creature to be… But in every improved and civilised society this si the state into which the labouring poor, that is the great body of the people, must necessarily fall, unless governments take pain to prevent it,
    On the subject of force and capitalism again: To the natives however, both of the East and West Indies, all the commercial benefits which can have resulted from those events have been sunk and lost in the dreadful misfortunes which they have occasioned. These misfortunes, however, seem to have arisen rather from accident than from any thing in the nature of those events themselves. At the particular time when these discoveries were made, the superiority of force happened to be so great on the side of the Europeans, that they were enabled to commit with impunity every sort of injustice in those remote countries.

    sweetd – I guessing you hold to “gain wealth, forget all but self’ then.

  88. AngryTory 90

    Well isnt this Rogernomics Mark 2?

    Just how fucking old are you? This is nothing like Rogernomics Mk 2 and more’s the pity.

    There aren’t any real tax breaks; KiwiStealer stays; the change to employment law is inconsequential.

    Real Rogernomics Mk 2 would have wiped out KiwiSaver, sold off KiwiBank, AirNZ, KiwiFuckingTrain, the Power companies (while the fucking NZ$ is still worth something!) chopped the benefits you scum live on, wiped out WFF, made every job “fire at will” (and removed the stupid fucking good faith & antidiscriminiation provisions Key left in); removed the minimum wage & child wage laws; sold the state houses; bulk funded the schools; privitised the hospitals; deregistered the unions…

    and the police would have charged your pathetic “protest” with PR 24s and then the hosptials wouldn’t have taken you in.

    Rogernomics Mk 2 is what NZ needs; this is what Key damn well should have done!

    But don’t compare what he did do to anything like this!

    Hardworking, taxpaying New Zealanders can only hope that he will soon grow a real backbone and the the silent assassin will start to assassinate “haters and wreckers” like you lot,

  89. Chris G 91

    “chopped the benefits you scum live on”

    Ah, what a laugh.

    Top marks for an entertaining rant AngryTory. May your extreme neo-liberal poison have a very short half-life and rest in peace the day it dies out.

    “Hardworking, taxpaying New Zealanders” You speaking for yourself or are you including those who work very hard on the minimum wage? Ah yes.

  90. Hector 92

    Hardworking, taxpaying New Zealanders can only hope that he will soon grow a real backbone and the the silent assassin will start to assassinate ?haters and wreckers? like you lot,

    OMFG, you’re psychotic!

    Why would you assume that everyone who objects to these or any other right-wing, anti-worker policy is unemployed and not contributing? Personally, I am very well educated, have a decent job, pay heaps of taxes (in fact, I will even benifit from the “cuts” pushed through the other day), and yet I still think these moves by the new government are deplorable. Moreover, the fact that they have been pushed through in “urgency” without the usual due course is even worse. As such, I think protesting is the least that John deserves!

    However, I would never call for his, nor anyone else’s, assassination–democracy is always king!

    But hey, feel free to rant like a nutcase, it really helps us “over here” in the long run anyway.

  91. Lew 93

    Hector: OMFG, you’re psychotic!

    Welcome to the blogosphere. For what it’s worth that lot were no better before the Nats won.


  92. Jimbo 94

    Kerry – take a deep breath now… Where have I even mentioned the protest outside Key’s house?

  93. rave 95

    Angry Tory:

    Good. Give them a bit more than a week. They did say 100 days. And they did sneak in under cover of Labour lite. Don’t be so hard on them. Roger’s there in the flesh (did I say that). I’m sure he has a list like yours. Give it a go, don’t give up to impotent rage already. That’s supposed to be the fate of the left only it aint.


    Go visit some other country where there is a million or more on the streets against the crisis (Italy), where the country is in a state of youthful rebellion (Greece), where the country is being run by some guy who says he’s a Marxist as well as a Christian etc (Venezuela); where the auto industry is collapsing (US); and talk to the masses (there are the masses you know) and feel what it is like to be a greedy little bastard squeezed between these masses and your rich mates (Bolivia).

    Get out of the playground and into the world. Karl Marx is stalking Wall St and your funk is showing.

  94. Chris G 96

    rave. just thought I’d say I particularly like reading your comments. Good sort.

  95. Pascal's bookie 97

    Jimbo, what makes you say I sit at the far left? For fuck sake, I know you are a rightie commenting on a left wing blog but there’s no need to just put everyone on the left into your little stereotype boxes.

    There is actually a hell of a lot of technology that has been developed by the state, and certainly had it’s development subsidised by the state. The internet for starters, and the computers it runs on, the space program, satellites ( who did that first by the way?), our transport, energy and communication networks and so on.

    My point is that ‘capitalism’ is largely a myth. Particularly now. I just got a laugh out of you mocking people for using Marxist language as being anachronistic, when your own language comes from the same era.

    Apparently that makes me a far leftist. If you think the New Deal, Mickey Savage, the welfare state, universal health care and education are best described as ‘capitalism’ then you are pretty far out on the left fringe yourself mate.

  96. Spectator 98

    Hector: “I must say I’m actually quite surprised at the sheer volume of moral outrage over this!”

    It looks like your problem could be timing. Your group might be a handful of harmless pro-worker activists, but (if a report in this morning’s paper is to be believed) John Key’s house has in recent weeks been the focus of loud protests by a group calling itself “the Fathers’ Union”. Judged by its name, in the absence of any other information about the group, it sounds like one of the deeply unpleasant so-called “men’s rights” groups that have proliferated recently. (One such person – “dad4justice” – used to post here and elsewhere to claim some vast conspiracy of women was behind his (by his own admission, long) criminal record. He has not, to my knowledge, actually owned up to what crimes he was convicted of, but in the context of his ravings it appears that “dad4violence” would be a better name for him.)

    True, no criticism of Key from any group so far has been anywhere near as disgusting as the bile emanating from certain National-linked commentators (one such has been manufacturing material so objectionable that I suspect even Wishart would recoil from its use), but any targeting of politicians’ families would be best avoided.

  97. sweeetdisorder 99


    “sweetd – I guessing you hold to “gain wealth, forget all but self’ then.”

    If we are going for 6 second sound bites, then my own is, ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

  98. Quoth the Raven 100

    sweetd – You made a mistake. You were supposed to say the capitalist version: Sell a man a fish you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you lose a good business opportunity. What you’ve said is thoroughly leftist. Shame on you.

  99. ianmac 101

    I am not envious of the wealthy. I feel a bit sorry for them as they seem to have less freedom to be themselves. Fell very sorry for that sorry old man Owen Glenn as seen on TV doco, who seemed to exists on the bought attention of nubile wenches and bought admiration of the local chief who honoured him with a patch of land to build his house onthe island . Sad pathetic old man. Envy? No way.

  100. AndyC 102

    Meanwhile…back on topic. Where were the DPS while all this was going on.

    I can just see the scene . A flash protest somewhere in Auckland. Half a dozen SWP and Green members huddled in the back of a white 1970’s transit, placards in hand. “Right comrads , we’ll have 30 seconds before we get tazered by the DPS , get out there and lets make it count”. In a cloud of oil smoke the van pulls up and the brave freedom fighters hold up their placards for half a dozen photo’s. A rustle in bushes panics the younger members and they all bolt for the van trampling the big guy in the white T shirt.
    Legs and posters hanging out the back the van coughs and splutters off leaving its own smoke screen to deter the snipers. “Bloody hell. We got away with it..” whoops all round. 50 meters down the road the comrads spy two DPS officers standing outside a similar coloured expansive house. “Oh Bugger.”

  101. rave 103

    Chris G:

    Yeah the righties are whimps really, they hunt in packs, like spoiled brat banksters.


    Don’t be too sure that Marx is dead. If Roger Douglas can re-appear there’s hope for Marx. And Pascal lives on surely.
    Keynes was under no illusion that he had replaced capitalism, just given the duffers who were fixated on the short run some long run iron up the backside.
    Its long run capitalism weve got, almost at the end of its run.

  102. Quoth the Raven 104

    When the argument gets to this stage, it goes around and around in circles. QTR and PB – how much technological advancement is due to the fact that the people who invented the new technology knew they would get rich off it ?

    God you’re dull Jimbo. Have you ever thought of other motivations people may have in life apart from accumulating huge masses of wealth? No. Didn’t think so. Scientists seek knowledge, they seek intellectual fulfilment, even (gasp) the betterment of mankind. I don’t deny that in this day and age where captialism has progressed to such a degree some may have self serving agendas. In the past, 18th, 17th centuries, &c, men of science were nearly on the whole already wealthy. They didn’t pursue science for financial gain they did it for for the sake of knowledge. Darwin, for instance. And what of Einstein, did he do it all for money? – he was a socialist. Gregor Mendel? he was a monk. Come back to this thread when you have the slightest inkling of the transgressions of human history.

  103. northpaw 105

    gosh, this is quite a thread.. read down etc..

    seems I’m alone however in observing that the ‘protesters’ have the brains to face the front.. ie backs to the atrocious language of that property.. yeah, I wonder whether its owner and the residents are aware also. Or are they to be included among the mundane, tasteless trojans or titans..of our world..

  104. sweeetdisorder 106


    Not at all. Hand up not hand out. Good National and capitalist policies.

  105. infused 107

    Bill: Population control.

  106. Bill 108


    The misanthrope in me is all in favour of eat thy neighbour.

    But looking at the problem sensibly, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that our production and distribution system is the root of it all and that it is shot.

    Capitalism dictates that production is slave to profit. This means that socially beneficial production will not happen automatically. Worse, environmentally and socially disastrous production is often encouraged because of adherence to the profit motive.

    On the distribution side, it is patently obvious that the market does not work. Starvation and malnutrition offer a good example. There is more than enough food produced to feed the global population yet 1 in 6 of us suffers permanent and severe malnutrition alongside 100 000 deaths from hunger every day.

    The solution? Well, capitalism has encouraged GE as a ‘cure’ to all this. Studies show crop yields to be lower than yields from conventional seeds. But it’s profitable.

    Of course, the 82 billion dollars annually over five years that the UN asked for could have dealt to the hunger as well as the other targeted areas of concern.

    But since governments claimed that no money was available for this it didn’t happen. Then, €1 700 billion appears out of the hat when the banks suffer a bout of peckishness!

    A pathology that set profit before people might anger me, but the reality of the total disregard for people and life is something else altogether. The watchward for capitalism is larger profit before lesser profit and regardless of all else, always profit.

    Thankfully, it appears that people are wakening up to this fact again and class war is being engaged after a lenghy lull during which it was viewed as a quaint anachronistic term applying solely and decidedly to yesteryears realities. Early day, for sure. But the signs are there that a resurgence of left traditions is under way. No doubt you are infused with optimism when viewing the prospects for the next decade.

  107. George 109

    Honestly, if the protesters spent more time doing what they believe everyone else should, by borrowing a capitalist running-dog slave-owning business owner approach, and leading by example, they could probably fix whatever problem they are protesting about. instead of barking at somebody and expecting them to listen, why not just do something to fix it? and if they are doing something do more.

    protesting in a group is not doing something either, it’s a thuggish way of getting your point across in this setting. did protesting about the springbok tour really finish apartheid? does protesting aginst whaling stop the japanese killing beautiful creatures of the sea? will protesting about class divide really get all those evil rich people to share out there hard earned dosh with those supposedly less fortunate?

  108. Bill 110

    I basically agree with what you are saying. Protest with no alternative vision/practice is, at the very least, a waste of time and energy.

    But there are alternative visions out there. And some are being put into practice. And a lot more would be done if the environment within which these alternatives must survive wasn’t so inimical to them.

    Give it time.

  109. higherstandard 111

    An especially fatuous thread.

    Regarding the protesters – who really cares. They weren’t doing any harm and they were likely there for only a couple of minutes for a photo op, if it was anything more than a gimmick the protection squad would have moved them along. I personally think they are a pack of numpties but am very happy that we live in a country that freely allows numpties to behave in this way.

    That the thread has then moved on to a debate about the “class” divide is bizarre with certain posters trying to try and create a class divide and war among the classes where there is no need for either and the usual “I love capitalism ……no it’s evil I love socialism no it’s evil ……I love marxism” as usual ignoring the reality that there’s no nations that are pure examples of these systems anywhere and that no ideology is the answer to all of lifes/societies problems.

    Anyway weather’s too nice to hang around here.

  110. George 112


    The best thing about tolerance and diversity and to a lesser extent democracy is the ability to understand that other people do not share the same opinions and vision that I, for instance, may possess. It doesn’t bother me and i have every faith that people holding such views are earnest about them. which is a good thing.

    could it be possible though that the environment is adverse and opposed to these views because of the strident militancy and the chest-beating rhetoric that accompanies the presentation?

    maybe if more time was spent working towards changing the environment, without using polarising tactics, more could be achieved in the long run. surely methods involving hostility must only serve to harden the resolve of the very people whose opinions are trying to be influenced?

  111. Sophira. 113

    I’ve never posted here, but this it really creepy.

    Leave his wife and kids alone, go protest at his office if you have to, but leave his family out of it.

  112. Doug 114

    What a sorry arse bunch of Union losers, I wonder if the Police officers from the Special Investigation Group (SIG) have carried out surveillance of this motley bunch. At least you can blame Phil Goff if you run into trouble with the Law.

  113. northpaw 115

    That last remark from Doug re ‘Union losers’ kind of stuck in my mind.. so when Paul Krugman wrote a piece today about the anti-union action in the US Senate re carworkers’ jobs etc.. I got to figure well who, why.. Paul obliged:—

    Bob Corker, the Senator from Nissan — I mean Tennessee — and his fellow Republicans, who torpedoed last week’s attempt to buy some time for the U.S. auto industry. (Why was the plan blocked? An e-mail message circulated among Senate Republicans declared … an opportunity … to “take their first shot against organized labor.’)

    My point: we need to know who if anyone is behind the antis in this country. It is an important as knowing per the GW Bush dictum of knowing and knocking out those interests/parties and individuals who support terrorists.

    What’s good for the goose applies also to the gander.. yes..

  114. rave 116


    Because the nature of the capitalist crisis is that it can’t be resolved in their interests until they devalue masses of fictitious capital as well as the value of labour-power. At that point the amount of money capital left can be productively invested to exploit a devalued labour power and make an adequate profit.

    So attacking unions is the only way they can win, because union solidarity limits their attempts to cut wages and recover profits. The fire at will Act is their first broadside, and put that alongside keeping unions out of workplaces, cutting bosses Kiwisaver costs, tax cuts to the rich, forcing mums and dads into casual jobs and lower wages to pay for their kids truancy fines etc all of this is designed to weaken and ultimately destroy the unions and so cut the value of the wage.

    Key has the money backing of big business, and the votes of small business, but he knows that like Roger Douglas in the 1980s, he has to do it fast before he completely blows his cover and the opposition wakes up. Hone Harawira appears to be waking up, but he is still in bed with the Maori bureaucracy and the NACTIONALS. Its only a matter of time before the MP splits along working class and petty bourgeois class lines.

    The righties got very upset about the protest outside Key’s house because it sends them exactly the message they don’t want to hear: “We Will Not Pay for Your Crisis?”

  115. northpaw 117


    a couple of things if you don’t mind.. plain explain your – in the above cases – sense of capitalism.. AND.. to what Crisis (please be exact) does your final sentence refer..?

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