Daily Review 25/01/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 pm, January 25th, 2016 - 80 comments
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Ted Cruz

Daily review is also your post.

This provides Standardistas the opportunity to review events of the day.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Don’t forget to be kind to each other …

80 comments on “Daily Review 25/01/2016 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Difficult question:
    can policy ever again overcome charisma?

    • BM 1.1

      No, the media won’t allow it.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Probably not because the right concentrate on focus group results and the media focus on personalities and not solutions to problems.

        • BM

          The media concentrates on what sells copy or gets website hits

          Therefore, personality trumps policy every day of the week.

          if Labour ever wants to win, they need to get some one personable up front and for me that person is Stuart Nash.

          • weka

            You don’t actually vote Labour though do you.

            • BM

              No, but I might with some one like Stuart Nash in charge.

              Strikes me as sort of guy, you’d enjoy having a beer with.

              • weka

                I’m not sure if that’s an argument for Nash and the Pagani party or an argument against it.

                Definitely not the Labour party though.

                • BM

                  It means he’d appeal to the middle.
                  Very important if you ever want to be in charge.

                  Andrew Little, nice guy, probably very intelligent, but a leader, 40 years ago yep, modern day not a chance.

                  • weka

                    Yes, I know what it means. It means that if he were leader of Labour it’d be fucked and if he were leader of the Pagani party he’d just replace Dunne and Peters as holding the country to ransom.

                    • BM

                      No, it means Labour may actually have a chance of winning.
                      He wouldn’t be Peters or Dunne, he’d be Key.

                      With Nash in charge I’d bet my balls Labour would be late 30% , maybe even 40% poll wise within a year of him becoming leader.

                    • weka

                      Labour under Nash might win the election but it would be the end of Labour.

                  • mickysavage

                    You are not the middle though BM. And I cannot think of a more damning indictment of Nash than the one that you just presented.

                    Sure he could not solve the world’s problems but he was good to have a beer with.

                    I have a former Australian brother in law I could say the same thing about. I would not trust him with the keys to the nation.

                    • alwyn

                      I can’t stand the suspense.
                      Is he a former Australian or is he a former brother-in law?

                    • mickysavage []

                      Feck the latter …

                    • BM

                      It’s not his job to solve world problems.
                      It’s his job to make NZ better for New Zealander not intellectually wank all over the world stage.

                    • weka

                      “And I cannot think of a more damning indictment of Nash than the one that you just presented.”

                      Precisely. BM, you’re basically proposing that Labour become a right wing party and while I’m sure that would suit you it’s not actually what Labour voters want. Or members. Remember the last couple of leadership votes?

                    • BM

                      I’m saying Labour needs to be initially a center party.

                      You can’t start right and then end up left straight away, you need to start from the middle first.

                    • weka

                      Labour is already a centre party. You are suggesting that it moves right so that it can be Nact Lite. Do you really expect anyone here to take that suggestion seriously?

              • Muttonbird

                Strikes me as sort of guy, you’d enjoy having a beer with.

                – BM

                And that folks is the start and finish of the way a John Key voter thinks.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Thank you for explaining, in clear and concise terms, why journalism shouldn’t be done by for profit corporations.

    • Thinking Right 1.2

      I’m presuming you are referring to the conundrum the left appear to be in in how to defeat Key/Nats.

      Personally I don’t think the left will gain the government benches until they achieve the following:

      1 Crave competence in their MP’s above all else. Forget filling quotas etc. elect people who have a proven track record of achieving in their particular field of expertise. i would add to this – divest MP’s who’s only achievement in life has been to work the political system in order to attain the Parliamentary Gravy Train.

      2 Competent Leadership. No one would accuse of Helen Clark of overflowing with charisma however she got elected 3 times on the back of a perceived ability to get things done. She had the ability (as does Key) that she could answer questions about most Government portfolios even if she wasn’t the relevant Minister.
      ( I cringe when I think of Goff and Cunliffe struggling to answer questions about various portfolios during election campaigns)
      I believe the Parliamentary Leader needs to be a Jack of All Trades and have the ability to herd a Caucus of Egos in a somewhat unified direction.

      3 Dead wood clearing. I know the right has harped on about this since 2008. Labour has never been able to tell the likes of Goff, Mallard, and King to take a hike. It is like they hang on to their Parliamentary jobs with a death grip – this is suffocating Labour.

      4 Policy. Obviously I am not the one to tell Labour what policies to put up but I suggest that they need to be relevant to 2016 NZ not harking back to a yesteryear which is gone forever. I suggest that the voting public have a 5 second attention span towards a policy point – in that 5 seconds they decide if they like it or not. Once they make up their minds – tis very hard to change them.

      • Ad 1.2.1

        Key – Little

        Corbyn – Cameron

        Trudeau – other guy

        Trump – Hillary

        Blair – Corgi guy


      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.2

        1. work the political system in order to attain the Parliamentary Gravy Train. Sounds like good advice until you consider the rank hypocrisy – cf: Blabbermouth Lusk’s insights into the National Party’s “lucrative business careers”.

        As for the “merit” argument it’s flawed: whatever your opinion of the Greens you can’t fault their talent pool: clearly quota are not the problem.

        3. An inevitable artifact of FPP. Who can tell whether it is a bad thing or a good thing?

        4. a yesteryear which is gone forever. This isn’t the first time financial and labour markets have been liberalised munted by faith-based incompetence and greed. Who’s trying to turn the clock back again? I can see few reasons why the solution this time won’t borrow some ideas from the past.

        • Colonial Viper

          As for the “merit” argument it’s flawed: whatever your opinion of the Greens you can’t fault their talent pool: clearly quota are not the problem.

          You are right, competence isn’t the issue for the Greens.

          The Greens have softed out in order to gain the comfortable middle class Prius/Volt aspiring voter.

          The 1970s Values Party were far harder core on their principles despite the world being in a far more disastrous shape today.

          • weka

            If the GP had stuck to the expression of the values of the Values Party, they probably wouldn’t even be in parliament. NZ had it’s chance to vote for the GP when it was more radical and it didn’t. Or are you suggesting that it would be better if the GP were still on 5%?

            I’ve said this to you before – much of the Values Party ethics and principles are still there in the GP charter etc. When NZ is ready for those things, they ready and waiting. I’m guessing you’ve never voted for them.

            • Colonial Viper

              Much of the original Labour Party ethics and founding principles are still in their constitution and other documents.

              Need I say more.

              If the GP had stuck to the expression of the values of the Values Party, they probably wouldn’t even be in parliament. NZ had it’s chance to vote for the GP when it was more radical and it didn’t.

              Sadly, the Green Party wasn’t willing to wait for the times to catch up to where they were at 15 years ago. All around the world today, voters are voting in droves for the “radical” option (sometimes left wing, sometimes right wing).

              The Greens made the wrong strategic decision, in other words, by heading straight towards the safe middle of the road mainstream.

              • McFlock


                It sounds like you’re really getting keen on joining the Greens, CV.

                lol just saw below – snap 🙂

              • weka

                “Need I say more.”

                I think so. The two very obvious differences between the LP and the GP are that the GP don’t have an entrenched stand off between the neoliberals and lefties (nor the history that Labour has with the electorate). The other is that the GP has a different set of structures that mean that it can still work according to those principles. As far as I can tell that’s not true for Labour eg Labour MPs can do what they like so there really isn’t a lot that the party can do until the neoliberal MPs are gone and replaced with ones that want to work with the values.

                There is no evidence that the GP made a mistake to become more mainstream. I also don’t think they are ever going to be the left wing saviours that some say they want them to be. if you look at their kaupapa they are positioning themselves outside the traditional left/right divide. Not because they’re actually right wing, but because they’ve long recognised that that dichotomy is not workable within their values. As for making good choices, how interesting that they now are on 11% at a time when so many voters also don’t relate to the left/right divide.

                “The Greens made the wrong strategic decision, in other words, by heading straight towards the safe middle of the road mainstream.”

                Except they’ve not really done that. Here’s the other difference from Labour. The GP are still largely working from within their values and principles. So while they have gone mainstream on things like presentation and marketing, their policies and ways of working as still not that conventional. You can soundbite the criticism to being about Prius drivers, but in fact the GP members and voters are reasonably broad. I know you want a party that will represent the working classes, but that’s not the GP and never was going to be, despite them having the best policies on offer currently. And the criticism of them for not being a working class party falls flat in an age of MMP.

                “btw I believe I am like the vast majority of NZers, who will probably never ever vote Green other than as a one off only protest vote, etc.”

                Perhaps, but a far more interesting dynamic to me is why people like yourself won’t vote for them despite you apparently approving of their principles and much of their policy. Like I said, until NZ decides that it wants what the GP has on offer and is willing to put it’s money where it’s mouth is, the GP have pretty narrow options and they all involve becoming more mainstream. Time is running out.

                • Colonial Viper

                  the Greens are a bad cultural fit for me, plus their policies neither give me the benefits of a burn it all and enjoy it now approach, nor a more radical alternative approach which is going to actually deal with the problems we are facing. it’s watered down pretence in other words, just like Labour does, but in a different direction.

                  • weka

                    Interesting CV. It’s easier for me because while the GP aren’t radical enough for me they’re a pretty easy cultural fit. However that’s not why I vote for them (or anyone) and I think one of the things we have to get past is this idea that political parties are there to serve our personal needs (culturally, via direct benefits etc). I vote pragmatically. At this stage of the game that’s down to Labour or the GP and I’ve made the case elsewhere for why voting Green in 2017 is the better strategic move. It’s not about where I feel comfortable or what suits or matches my politics. It’s about what’s going to do the best good.

                    Even if the GP do peak at 13%, NZ is still far better off having another Green MP in parliament than another Labour one (or god forbid another National one from people not voting). For all sorts of reasons. That might not match your personal values or agenda or politics (or indeed even mine), but it’s a pretty hard one to argue against (by all means have a go).

                • Colonial Viper

                  btw i reckon the Greens will hit a max of 13% next election, and probably not even get that. Totally plateau’d out.

            • Colonial Viper

              btw I believe I am like the vast majority of NZers, who will probably never ever vote Green other than as a one off only protest vote, etc.

              • Poission

                it is often the case that the third party vote,or the rejection of incumbents inso far is not on policys but on the electorates having enough of the persistent platitudes.

                Woodrow Wilson for example on the New Freedom (1913)

                Now this has come about naturally; as we go on we shall see how very naturally. It is no use denouncing anybody, or anything, except human nature. Nevertheless, it is an intolerable thing that the government of the republic should have got so far out of the hands of the people; should have been captured by interests which are special and not general. In the train of this capture follow the troops of scandals, wrongs, indecencies, with which our politics swarm.

                There are cities in America of whose government we are ashamed. There are cities everywhere, in every part of the land, in which we feel that, not the interests of the public, but the interests of special privileges, of selfish men, are served; where contracts take precedence over public interest. Not only in big cities is this the case. Have you not noticed the growth of socialistic sentiment in the smaller towns? Not many months ago I stopped at a little town in Nebraska, and while my train lingered I met on the platform a very engaging young fellow dressed in overalls who introduced himself to me as the mayor of the town, and added that he was a Socialist. I said, “What does that mean? Does that mean that this town is socialistic?” “No, sir,” he said; “I have not deceived myself; the vote by which I was elected was about 20 per cent. socialistic and 80 per cent. protest.” It was protest against the treachery to the people of those who led both the other parties of that town.


    • Pascals bookie 1.3

      It’s not binary eh, but yeah it can.

      cf, George W Bush, charismatic as fuck, destroyed by catalcsymic policy failures to the point that his base is spitting on his brothe and he is having to sit on his hands because he can’t, even as a very recent former president who once had record approvak ratings, do anything to help.

      Charisma is agreat thing for them to have, but it’s capital. Key doesn’t really spend his, he husbands it. Right wingers like him right now because he is beating the left, not because he is doing any great rw things.

      To stay popular he’s been compromising rw policy all to hell: raising benefits, the ridic half arse and economically pretty silly ‘MOM model’, U-turning on mining and RMA;

      he isn’t actually getting a lot done structurally, (and yes, I know about the welfare stuff English has been working on, but mush of that can be co-opted by a progressive govt fairly easily by removing the more punitive aspects that are not actually core to the ‘investment’ philosophy of the reforms).

      Once he stops beating the left, or gets bored, that’s when the rw will start to assess his record based on policy

      • Lanthanide 1.3.1

        I hope you’re right.

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.2

        I think your analysis is a bit out.

        The truly right wing/neoliberal set don’t really like the John Key/Bill English combination; they are simply tolerated.

  2. joe90 3

    ‘Y’all Qaeda’ and the Mormon connection.

    For nearly seven hours last week, we were granted a rare level of access. The militant leaders allowed us past the media staging area to roam, without escorts, through the compound—including in buildings the Bundys had kept off-limits to most other press.

    But a spot in the prayer circle with Bundy? No dice.

    As the mother and kids entered the headquarters, this observer could see Bundy form a circle with five children and two adults and bow his head to pray.

    Snatches of conversation could be heard: Bundy explaining his political system, called the five circles of authority, which laid out the power of local and federal governments under the authority of God.


  3. Draco T Bastard 4

    Education is for everyone. We all benefit from having a well-educated population. Even the mega-wealthy, who think that because they can afford to pay for their children’s education everyone else should be able to do the same, need the services of an educated workforce. It is thanks to our public education system that there are people out there who know how to make a trim latte just right, to prune the roses, create the perfect water feature, fly planes and helicopters. Not to mention teachers, nurses, plumbers, electricians, doctors, rubbish collectors, cleaners, care workers.

    A world where only the wealthy can access a decent education is not a good place for anyone. Education should have a big sign across it CAPITALISTS KEEP OUT. There is no place for market forces ideology in the education system. Education is purely and simply for the common good. No money needs to change hands.

    Free education. No fees, no loans, no debt. Enjoy!

    Simple truth.

  4. b waghorn 5

    national the party that screws war vets , heartless fuckers.

    • Anne 5.1

      I’m speechless – almost. But also, what does it say about the “Ministry of Social Development”?

      • weka 5.1.1

        The issue is whether the cutting of a benefit under those circumstances (and the reinstatement) is discretionary via policy rather than mandated in law. If it’s the latter then WINZ have their hands tied (probably). If it’s the former, then they’re just nasty fucks.

        • Anne

          If it’s the former, then they’re just nasty fucks.

          And racist too.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          If the government employs nasty fucks that’s on the government. The Minister’s personal responsibility.

          I expect Labour did it too. /sarc

          • weka

            My experience of WINZ is that they’ve always had a proportion of staff who are just plain nasty and punitive irrespective of who was in government. But under Labour the percentage dropped either due to different hiring practices, or more likely, due to those staff needing to hide their nastier inclinations due to a change in culture. Ultimately it shouldn’t matter what the personal feelings of staff are about beneficiaries, the policy directions from management should make it clear what can and should be done.

            Given how appalling the Bennett remoulding of WINZ is I’d guess that the pressure on staff is horrible too, so even the good people might be finding it difficult to do the right thing.

            • Colonial Viper

              Go to a UBI and get rid of 95% of “WINZ”

              • weka

                May as well use WINZ to administer a UBI. They will also be necessary to manage the supplementary benefits, so the culture and management issues still need to be addressed.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Indeed, but you can jettison most of WINZ, including the problem managers/supervisors.

                  • weka

                    The problem managers exist because of the governments and how they manage the culture. It’s not as straight forward as you suggest. In a UBI system there might be less staff overall, but I’m not sure the % of nasty people would necessarily decrease. Plenty of bigotry of sick people and solo parents still left to go around.

              • maui

                The UBI is very appealing, but what say NZ hit the economic doldrums, would a Government still be able to fund it?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Hi maui,

                  There are a few different ways to answer this question.

                  If NZ communities found themselves in an economic downturn (as many areas outside the big cities are right now) why not use a UBI to help get money moving through those local economies where it can actually do some good for struggling Kiwis?

                  Also, a Government spending NZ dollars into the NZ economy doesn’t destroy them or somehow make those NZ dollars disappear. The government will collect up those same dollars very quickly via various taxes.

                  • maui

                    Thanks CV, makes sense, although it does sound a bit too good to be true for me. It would be good if there was a case study of an economy being bought out of depression in this way and how it faired in the long run.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  A government can always fund that which is produced by the countries resources.

                • gsays

                  hi maui
                  re affording a ubi two things:
                  the scf bailout, money was found in quick smart time.

                  a financial transaction tax, .1% on every $ that changes hands.
                  gets rid of gst and income tax and brings in all that speculation activity.

                  • maui

                    Good points gsays, I wonder about the FTT as a source of funding though, if things got really bad people wouldn’t be making eftpos transactions – they wouldnt have the money and they’d be much more likely to use the black market and cash.

                    • Molly

                      I thought gsays was talking about a financial transactions tax on trading and financial products. He can correct me if I am wrong, but I always think of Bill Nighy’s explanation when I think of this type of tax:


                    • Molly

                      I let the Youtube run in the background and a follow-up item came up which I had not seen before:


                    • gsays

                      hi maui and molly,
                      i was thinking of trading and financial products, as well as wages, purchases etc.

                      if things are ‘that’ bad then the ‘black’ market will grow.
                      rather than seen as a bad thing i see it as a positive as we are doing things for each other and being more helpful as opposed to ‘selling our labour’ to an employer who then handles tax on behalf of the state.

                      good clips molly.

                      or as either cv or draco often point out, let the state print and issue funds.

        • b waghorn

          Your riight the winz workers hands are tied ,but what a commentary that story is on how nz is becoming a cold heartless place to live.

          • weka

            As it turns out, WINZ workers’ hands aren’t tied in this case, they had discretion they just used to wrongly. Part of the cold heartlessness 🙁

    • Rosemary McDonald 5.2

      Add my voice to this…the man is eighty nine fucking years old….jesus bloody wept…

      Eighty nine….

      And look…Kaitaia cops not issuing tickets to drivers failing to stop for 3 seconds at a stop sign, or prosecuting some unfortunate bus driver who got stuck in a hole on Ninety Mile…

        • Jenny Kirk

          I am really puzzled by this matter as well, Rosemary Anne and others.
          Is NZ Super a benefit, or is it a “right”?
          You don’t have to go thru beaurocratic hoops to get it, you just have to be aged 65 and be a NZer, or sufficient years as a resident.

          What is more, WINZ has separate office spaces for those on NZ Super, separate from all those on benefits. So NZ Super recipients are treated differently from people on benefits.

          If it is a “right” to which all NZers are entitled – presumably WINZ do not need to regard it in the same way as a benefit which does have a penalty if a person on a benefit is arrested.

          Has WINZ overstepped the mark on this case? Certainly sounds like it.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            Just what I was thinking. I understood that there were sanctions on Jobseeker Allowance recipients and perhaps eve SLP recipients…”if you can do the crime you can bloody well work”…but an eighty nine year old Nat Super recipient?

            Selwyn Clarke is an activist from way back…Bastion Point, no less. He was the guy that tossed the table at the Statoil meeting.

            And Sam Kuha http://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503450&objectid=11078184

            They have some staunch kaumatua in the Far North.

            Quite often they step outside the ‘accepted’ Maori representation.

            I don’t know…and it kinda concerns me as some of us older folk feel we can be a bit more involved now that the kids are grown and at least the super was safe….is there a message being sent, you think?

          • weka

            That’s a bloody good point Jenny. Are we about to find out that Super is not an entitlement but is instead discretionary?

    • weka 5.3

      ok, according to this, whether a benefit is stopped or not on the basis of a warrant is discretionary,

      If a person receiving a benefit has an arrest warrant, Work and Income will tell them that their benefit may be reduced or stopped unless it’s cleared or they’ve taken all reasonable steps to clear it.


      and this,


      • Jenny Kirk 5.3.1

        Yes, Weka – the brochure is clear “a beneficiary” is likely to get their benefit stopped if they are arrested.
        BUT – is a NZ superannuitant a “beneficiary” or a “pensioner”?
        I would have thought there is a distinct difference between the two, and the 89 year old superannuitant should not have had his super stopped.

        This sort of nonsense needs sorting out promptly because like Rosemary says many older people are appalled at what is going on in this country and doing what they can to protest about it ….. and should not lose their super if they transgress the law.

        • weka

          I had a quick look on the WINZ website last night. Superannuation eligibility is dependent on two things: age and residency/citizenship. WINZ have Super listed under main benefits, so yes it looks like it is considered just another benefit.


          My previous links are important because they show that this is a policy issue not a legislative one, which means that individual staff can use discretion i.e. they’re not legally obligated to cut a benefit for someone who has an outstanding warrant. Which begs the question of why they chose to in this case.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      It’s basically National making sure that anyone who stands up to them can have everything taken away from them.

  5. weka 6

    Bloody good description of the mire that is water in NZ.

    Blame is complicated, I wonder if stopping this shameful environmental abuse will be as complicated? Accountants and banks encouraged farmers to convert sheep farms to dairying, local governments have allowed resource consent and water rights, central government allowed and encouraged unsustainable growth. Land is being farmed intensively that never should have been. As a result rows of trees planted by New Zealand’s first farmers have been removed to make way for centre pivots that deliver precious water to the parched soils. Soil erosion results with sedimentation build up making a perfect environment for algae to flourish and river flows are compromised. Some dairy farmers wanted to make a living, and some were driven by greed. Some are doing a fantastic job planting riparian strips, showing best practice animal care and management, and 100% compliance with regional council rules. Others I believe are not, and don’t care.

    More at https://www.facebook.com/choosecleanwaternz/posts/1690903644528249

  6. fisiani 7

    Is Andrew Little for or against the TPPA? serious question. He waffled this morning on National Radio for six minutes but was unable to answer the question.

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