Nats step to the right with ACT

Written By: - Date published: 3:52 pm, November 16th, 2008 - 103 comments
Categories: national/act government - Tags:

As we predicted, National has used a confidence and supply agreement with ACT as a vehicle for its true right-wing agenda.

National has given a wide range of concessions to ACT, far more than is necessary to gain ACT’s already pledged support. Together, they amount to a far more rightwing policy program than National promised.

Here’s a summary (full version here):

Hide to be Minister of Local Government and Regulatory Control (= fewer controls on business, less public input). Roy to be Minister of Consumer Affairs (like appointing Paris Hilton to teach at a finishing school).

Life sentences for people with three serious convictions (what ‘serious’ is we don’t know). In California, this law has seen the prison population explode while crime rate reduction has been in line with falling rates in states without such laws.
The Emissions Trading Scheme will be suspended until ACT gets to have a review under its terms of reference, which are designed to have the ETS scrapped and preferably not replaced or replaced with a carbon tax. National and ACT opposed a carbon tax in 2004, it is just a delaying tactic.
“Task Forces that include private sector representatives and private sector chairs to undertake fundamental reviews of all base government spending. A focus of this work should be on elimination programmes* that do not deliver value for money”. Value for money being decided by the rich ‘advisors’ National/ACT appoints to carry out the review. I wonder how much value for money they will see in poverty relief.
Cap expenditure on government services by law. Which would prevent the Government responding to new policy challenges without cutting existing programmes. That will be a problem for National, it has already promised programs requiring thousands more public servants. It will mean the new prisons National/ACT will build will need to take money from other areas, like health.
Flatter tax. That means any future tax cuts will go exclusively to the wealthy. Most people will get nothing.
Further weakening of the RMA.
More money for private education = less for public education because expenditure is capped.

Your work rights will be attacked too. National/ACT releases this is sensitive so they’ve disguised their plan with coded language.

National/Act agree to close the ‘income gap’ between Australia and NZ by 2025, requiring ‘3% productivity growth per year’. Which is just economic techno-babble. What ‘income gap’ are they talking about? GDP per capita or wages or what? And how would a faster rate of productivity growth close this gap? Anyone who knows what productivity is (the amount of wealth produced in a unit of work) knows that merely increasing productivity doesn’t necessarily boost GDP or wages. GDP = productivity x work done. So, GDP not only depends on productivity it also depends on how many people are in work. And boosting productivity doesn’t lead automatically to higher wages – wages are determined by supply and demand in the labour market, nothing to do with productivity. In fact, productivity grows faster when employment drops because it’s the low quality workers that lose their jobs first and lower quality capital that sits idle first, but wages don’t go up because there is more slack in the labour market.

So, why this rubbish statement? The following paragraph gives the answer. National/ACT will establish “a high quality advisory group to investigate the reasons for the recent decline in New Zealand’s productivity performance”. New Zealand has grown faster than Australia and other countries in recent years. Overall, our productivity growth has been slower in recent years at about 1.5% than in past years (2.5%) but for a very good reason. Our economy has grown so fast that it has sucked in lower quality labour and capital, which brings down the average (if you look at just workers who have been in the labour force continuously for the past seven years their productivity has continued to increase at about 2.5%). Any first year economics student should understand this. So, what do National/ACT expect their ‘high quality’ (ie private sector) advisors to recommend? They’ll say work rights are the problem – that weakening workers’ rights is the way to boost productivity and, thereby, wages. It’s all rubbish of course. Just like ‘trickle down’ in the 1990s, the effect will be lower wages and lower GDP growth.

Is this the change that you felt it was time for? 

*(yeah, that’s right, National and ACT’s grammar problems have continued from their campaign ads to their official agreements. There are more grammar mistakes in the education section)

103 comments on “Nats step to the right with ACT”

  1. Tigger 1

    How much of this hard right subtext will be lost as the media rush to crown Key the champion of democracy? Answer: most of it.

    Oh well New Zealand, don’t say that some of us didn’t tell you so…

  2. “Flatter tax. That means any future tax cuts will go exclusively to the wealthy. Most people will get nothing.”

    What a crock of scare-mongoring rubbish! The deal is looking at working towards lowering the top tax rates to 30%. That will benefit everyone who earns more than $40,000. It will effect MOST people directly and EVERYONE indirectly as it impacts the economy.

    As if wealthy = $40k! What planet are you on where $40k makes you rich!?!? Try living in Auckland on that with a family.

    The tax range will still span 12.5% through to 30%. It is not remotely flat tax. Besides, flat tax still means that those who earn more pay more because it is based on a percentage (heaven forbid people get treated equally!).

    I realise that this might be difficult to grasp but I am sure Wikipedia could break it down for you.

    [Mad. do the maths, who gets most ff the benefit if you cut the current tax system to one with a top rate of 30 cents? Clue, it’s not the people on $40K. SP]

  3. Rex Widerstrom 3

    There’s good and bad in the agreement, Steve. I like the fact that it’s set down a goal of raising productivity by at least 3% a year, and to focus on reasons why our performance has recently declined, for instance.

    But you’ve highlighted many of the negatives. What especially concerns me from a personal perspective is the whole “three strikes” nonsense. Even if we assume “serious” will not have the meaning ascribed to it by some of the SST’s supporters and will actually mean serious, if I commit three (admittedly scary) armed robberies with a water pistol and harm not a hair on anyone’s head I go to jail for life whereas if you stab your ex partner multiple times in a fit of jealous rage then, providing it’s your first or second offence, you’ll eventually get out.

    Even DPF is worried about David Garrett at this early stage, and there seems no doubt that inclusion of the clause that says that gets referred to a Select Committee is payoff to him and the SST for their support of Act. It’s equally certain that they’ll be extremely vocal in garnering support for the Bill in its present form…and that that will resonate with a large proportion of New Zealanders who haven’t stopped to research the issue.

  4. RedLogix 4

    Now that Mr Hide is Minister of Local Govt, lets take a quick peek at ACT Party policy in this area:

    Local governments need to change, and to do so quickly.

    And this is what they have in mind:

    * Local government will be required to shed its commercial activity, thereby eliminating the need to separate regulatory and commercial functions between local and regional councils.
    * Roads and piped water will be supplied on a fully commercial basis.
    * Abolish the local government power of general competency.
    * Require councils to focus on their core functions.
    * Ensure there is much greater scrutiny of regulations that undermine property rights.
    * Promote contracting out of many council services.
    * Lower the cost of complying with the Resource Management Act and other regulatory regimes.
    * Review the two-tier structure of local government.

    Of course this list of bullet points could mean anything in practise, but there are two things that absolutely stick out like the proverbial dog’s whatsits:

    1. The shedding of all activities they define as “commercial”

    2. The defining of roading and water as “commercial”.

    Bear in mind that 90% of all roads in the country are owned and serviced by local govt. ACT policy is to sell it all off to the private sector.

    Bear in mind that all privatisation of all natural monopoly infrastructure services, such as water supply, has resulted poorer services, increased prices and asset stripping. Now you get to soak in it.

    Now while National have promised not to sell any State owned assets in it’s first term, local govt roading and water supply assets are not technically speaking State assets. Which of course is the perfect weasel out.

    And while a Key led National minority govt is not beholden to implement every clause of ACT policy, appointing Hide as Minister of Local Govt demands collective Cabinet Responsibility in this portfolio. So while ACT cannot attack the govt in areas where they share portfolio responsibility, equally National is not in a position to attack ACT in the same area.

    In essence by appointing Hide as Minister of Local Govt, National has largely abdicated Government policy regarding Local Govt to the ACT Party.

    ACT policy states: Local governments need to change, and to do so quickly.

    A mass sell off of roading and water assets is a radical hard-right policy. Few New Zealanders would have voted last week for that. This incoming govt will attempt to ram this through as quickly as possible.

  5. Pete 5

    I find your rhetoric quite amazing. The pejorative terms used to describe parts of the agreement which clearly still need fleshing out before we can get a good handle on whether it is good or bad indicate to me that no matter what good outcomes derive from the agreement, you will be unable to see them. As for your limited understanding of productivity and the rational you provide for productivity increases (ie the supply and demand for labour) I respectfully suggest you go back and retake Economics 101. It seems to me you are locked into old and outdated paradigms that no longer have any relevance. Your response is driven by fear and ignorance not by any objective reality. The government for the last 9 years has absolutely failed to deliver any meaning full improvements in health, education, or employment. And please don’t quote lowered unemployment rates. We all know what a crock these are, with people being actively diverted onto sickness benefits. Just look at the explosion in this area.
    Frankly, I would rather give this lot a go than continue with the same sanctimonious, authoritarian, patronising bunch. Reading this blog it is apparent to me that you just haven’t cottoned on yet to why this election was won and lost.

    IrishBill: It seems you don’t understand basic economics, pete. Productivity is a measure of inputs to outputs. It is quite possible to increase productivity while decreasing outputs, if fact that’s what happened in the 1990’s where wages and investment in capital fell. The result was not good for our economy or our society. You also need to check your stats on the sickness benefit instead of regurgitating right-wing fibs. I suggest you start here.

  6. Quoth the Raven 6

    Any illusions that National was somehow going to be a centrist government should now be gone. A lot of the so-called centrist’s round here like Higherstandard (right wing troll masquerading as a centrist) will do some mental gymnastics to defend all this.

  7. gingercrush 7

    I don’t see it being much towards the right at all nor will the general public. Hence why any points you made were simplistic, inherently wrong and out of touch. This won’t worry anyone that voted National nor do I think it will scare Labour supporters.

  8. RedLogix 8

    Gingercrunch,

    If as Min of Local Govt, Hide implements his Party’s policy to:

    Roads and piped water will be supplied on a fully commercial basis.

    which can only mean the privatisation of both of these services.

    This means that some corporate, probably owned offshore, will own, operate and charge you for the use of almost all roads and footpaths.

    Every drop of water you use will be charged for by it’s private providers.

    If you think this is centrist policy, then how about letting us in on some real hard core right wing policies? I’d love to know.

  9. gingercrush 9

    You don’t understand legislation do you..

  10. Greg 10

    “This means that some corporate, probably owned offshore, will own, operate and charge you for the use of almost all roads and footpaths.

    Every drop of water you use will be charged for by it’s private providers.”

    red – Yup and if this policy were to be implemented we’d get roads and water cheaper too. You seem to be under the illusion that if they’re state funded we don’t have to pay for them. Any privitisation means lower taxes. Given the superior efficiency of the private sector this means more money in everyones pockets. Win win?

  11. John BT 11

    A National Act coalition with a right wing agenda? O my God! I am shocked!
    Selling off the roads ? Give me a break. Someone needs to check their medication.
    That nice man Mr Key has not even been properly crowned and people are already picking on him.

  12. bill brown 12

    Privatisation means for profit.

    That means if it isn’t profitable to supply water to your tap, there won’t be any.

    Just like the privatised electricity industry running the lakes dry so they could make huge profits during the Nat’s latest faux electricity shortage.

  13. TimeWarp 13

    JohnBT…

    Not necessarily a surprise, but not what Key campaigned on.

    But God forbid that anyone question a hidden agenda in advance.

  14. gingercrush 14

    Greg sorry but that analogy doesn’t work. Most low income workers barely pay tax now. So full user pay which is what Red suggests will happen (I completely disagree), means low income workers could pay zero tax and yet to pay full costs for roading and water will become essentially unaffordable.

    Hence, why this document Act and National released never points to that, nor will it happen and any suggestions that it will is only scaremongering by the extreme left. The agreement between National and Act and ministerial responsibilities does not point to Act’s policy in this regard. The left here believe it does. Why they come to such a conclusion is petty and ignorant, but the left have shown no willingness to be open to anything National will do. So while they scream National is going to the right, the world is doomed etc etc. Most people will be perfectly relaxed with such an agreement. You’ll see that the extreme left’s next step in their thinking process is to attack the mass-media. This is due to them believing that the mass-media are completely bias towards the right and are not independent. Such thought is pathetic. But that is how these people think.

  15. Kerry 15

    What else did one expect when dolts were elected in this new government!!!

    Only the worst kind of delusional ape would think Keys and his mob would give a shit about everyday New Zealanders…

    George W all over again……Keys a George W wannabe….they obviously have the same speech writer…..dah bah ah bah dahhhhhhh

    [lprent: probable troll? No points]

  16. RedLogix 16

    Yup and if this policy were to be implemented we’d get roads and water cheaper too.

    Yeah, like the commercialisation of Transrail, Telecom, the Electricity industry, and endless similar examples from all over the world… all led to cheaper prices?

    It never has. What it has resulted in is poorer services, asset stripping, run down maintenance and higher prices. And when the business fails, as they do from time to time (the notion of a free market necessarily implies business failure)… then because we cannot do without the service, the taxpayer is ripped off a second and third time by having to buy back a rundown asset that requires huge cash injections to restore it to functioning again.

    Only very young men, and aged ideologs still believe the propaganda lie that the private sector is ALWAYS more efficient than the public sector.

  17. Graeme 17

    Life sentences for people with three serious convictions (what ‘serious’ is we don’t know)

    Well, the law’s been drafted here, so you should be able to figure it out. Murder, rape, serious assault, smacking your kids … that sort of thing.

    [lprent: Fixed the link so that it works. Have a look at this to find out how to do them cleanly]

  18. RedLogix 18

    The agreement between National and Act and ministerial responsibilities does not point to Act’s policy in this regard.

    That was my first reaction too. But do you imagine that after spending so many years in Opposition, and when Hide is going to finally get his butt into a Ministerial limo, that he his going to be content to footle about implementing National party policy?

    Why accept the portfolio if you are not going to do anything? Key only committed to not selling state assets. Most roading and water assets are not state owned. There is nothing in the agreement limiting Hide’s potential agenda either.

    Still I am interested to see you admit that by merely pointing out ACT Party policy direct from their website I am ‘scaremongering’.

  19. bill brown 19

    “…smacking your kids ”

    Even if it’s done in a loving way?

  20. bill brown 20

    What’s with this sudden inrush of Act trolls?

    Were the photon torpedoes primed in advance?

  21. gingercrush 21

    Your scaremongering because you IMPLY that is going to happen.

    As for you bill brown. From what I have seen most of the people you could possibly be referring to are centre-right supporters but that doesn’t point to them being a supporter of Act. Also none of us are trolls and each are here I suspect independently. We just happen to have a different view than you lot. A difference of opinion is not trolling. Trolling is insulting people or deliberately getting a ride out of others by attacking them. I think you’ll find that is mostly done by a few here with left views.

    “An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of provoking other users into an emotional response[1] or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.” – Indiana University Knowledge Base.

    I don’t see many people who are centre-right as doing such things.

  22. John BT 22

    Gee whiz, wasnt it Helen Clark who sold Telecom? I wonder if any comments she made affected its share price. The govt owned power companies returned over $450,000,000 to taxpayers last year but labour still did not renationalise them.
    Anybody who thinks the public sector could ever,ever be as productive as the private is either insane or a public servant. Or both.

  23. bill brown 23

    JBT, I think you may want to take your attempts at redirection somewhere else. Most people here have heard them all before, over and over and over again, yawn.

    GCrush, you talk too much and say too little

  24. MikeE 24

    “Life sentences for people with three serious convictions (what ‘serious’ is we don’t know). In California, this law has seen the prison population explode while crime rate reduction has been in line with falling rates in states without such laws.”

    Yes we do, the crimes are specifically listed, and include only violent offences. The judge must warn criminals when convicted of their 2nd offence after conviction, and it is not retrospective.

    I don’t see how ANYONE could argue against this.

    Also – Labour supports the introduction of a productivity commission, well at least Hon Lianne Dalziel did the last time I spoke to her.

  25. RedLogix 25

    Anybody who thinks the public sector could ever,ever be as productive as the private is either insane or a public servant. Or both.

    Are you not forgetting about all those highly productive private sector banks that are in the process of destroying uncountable trillions of dollars of wealth as we speak?

    Your scaremongering because you IMPLY that is going to happen.

    Well it is there right on ACT’s website. Roads and piped water will be supplied on a fully commercial basis.

    Not partially commercialised, or part owned, or operationally contracted out. The phrase used is ‘fully commercialised’. That means selling it off 100% to a private owner. If you have any other interpretation I invite you to offer it for consideration.

  26. TimeWarp 26

    Diversion JohnBT.

    Simplistic half-truth statements, throwing of brickbats, avoidance of debate.

    In fact typical of the slogan-based rhetoric without any fundamenal ideas and ability to engage in a discussion.

  27. TimeWarp 27

    MikeE

    Even if you don’t argue against it – which one might, but I shan’t – does it fix the supposed current crime wave?

    How much crime (what proportion) is committed by the individuals the law will apply to?

    A slogan-based bandaid is what it is. Whether it has merits (or not) in itself, standing alone the policy is a meaningless piece of granstanding. It does nothing to either address the causes of crime overall, or redress the symptoms.

  28. John BT 28

    Golly gosh, I point out that labour sold assets and that is a diversion or redirection or simplistic. Thank goodness I did not mention that the train set Dr Sullen bought has already lost $250,000,000 this year or Air NZ has lost $900,000,000 over the last year. That would probably be right wing propaganda.
    The way things currently are is …. its about the stupid economy stupid.
    So who do you trust and who will most people vote for .
    O thats right. Its that nice Mr Key

  29. Chris G 29

    Madeleine:

    “As if wealthy = $40k! What planet are you on where $40k makes you rich!?!? Try living in Auckland on that with a family.”

    Well… as much as you might think the top tax rate people are in large number and have things tough…. Try asking the 70% of New Zealanders who earn LESS than $40000.

    Got any sympathy for them?

    Oh na, thats right, tories dont care about them.

    Madeleine seems to suggest all of new zealand is in the top tax bracket

  30. TimeWarp 30

    You’re flailing around John, without making any coherent point or strategy.

    Are you, for example, suggesting that we should have let the national flag carrier fail? What would our current Minister of Tourism make of that? Should Bolger and Richardson then likewise have let the BNZ fail?

    These are just a couple of questions, I could go on at length but there is little substance in what you say to respond to directly.

  31. Chris G 31

    John BT,

    Got any evidence showing an astonishing $900 million loss for airnz in the last year?

    But thats besides the point… You conveniently neglect the fact that the government bought 80% in AirNZ in 2001 when after a decade of being a free market enterprise it bombed out!! Shares in it were worth 32 cents!!

    Was it therefore a poor idea to rescue our national carrier?

    Good point John!

  32. Chris G 32

    Of particular interest to me is the success thus far of Keys crusade to slash red tape and put a clamp on ‘core public bureaucracy’

    Already we have seen a new ministry created – Infrastructure

    and we have created a minister who will no doubt have his own ‘bureaucrats’ tagging round with him: A minister of Regulatory reform!

    But I thought tories dont like big government?

  33. I have massive sympathy for anyone on a low income Chris G.

    First of all I will point out that a $40k income does not put you in the top tax bracket. It puts you at 33% (well you have to add $1), the top tax bracket is 39%.

    I lived 6 years as a solo mother on the DPB with an income that ranged from $13k to $18k and spent another 5 years living on $20k per year on student scholarships while my husband studied with 4 kids and through Dunedin winters at that. Living hand to mouth sucks.

    However, I think you were so choking on rich envy hastily making assumptions that I have no idea and cannot empathise that you failed to note my point was that $40k is not “wealthy”; the claim that “tax cuts will go exclusively to the wealthy” is false.

    Yes $40k is an improvement on $13k and on $20k and on the average wage but it is not wealthy. Especially if you have dependants to support and you live in a main centre.

    You are kidding yourselves if you think “tories” are all rich pricks. I voted right wing when I was on the DPB.

  34. gingercrush 34

    They don’t typically but there are still a number of Muldoon type supporters in the National party. I think the creation of an Infrastructure ministry is worthwhile. Sure in implementing it, that creates more public bureaucracy. But its generally a principle to say that they won’t hire more than necessary. Though the agreement with Act may point to cutting of public servants. But we’ll see I guess.

    One thing I do have to criticise the National party and their agreements with the Maori Party, Act and United Future is their sheer vagueness. I expected more detail with the election over but sometimes Key seems to still be in campaign mode. These agreements all seem to have much leeway for the National party. Seems to be many statements with, “we will review”, “we will have a look” etc etc etc. I just expected more detail and I think there is a possibly that how they are written could cause friction. To review something is fine, but surely if you’re the Maori party you will the Foreshore Bill to be removed. United Future surely in the future wants more than just a first reading for Income splitting and Act may want more hard-right agenda. And because of how all three are set out it means National can say, “Its in our agreement” and leave it at that.

    The way policies were written and these agreements suggest that National is likely to be more adaptive to public sentiment than Helen Clark was. May be good for the left, but then it means less clarity in governance. That I can’t find a good thing.

  35. Pixie 35

    “Even if we assume “serious’ will not have the meaning ascribed to it by some of the SST’s supporters and will actually mean serious.”

    I’m not sure what you base this statement on. I think you’ll find that SST’s primary focus is on the sentencing of serious violent offenders. Its constituents tend to be the victims of recidivist violent offenders, many of whom are on bail or parole at the time.

  36. Scalia 36

    I hope that the government act quickly to overturn all the human rights abuses your employers inflicted on this country.

    [lprent: *Sigh* Looks like another troll. I suggest that you read the Policy. If you’re just here to drop hackneyed lines without participating, and I could probably write a program that does the lines more coherently and with more intelligence – then I consider you a troll. Trolls do not last long here.]

  37. Chris G 37

    Madeleine,

    No I’m not envious of the rich, both my parents are in the top tax bracket.

    Your original comment to ‘Flatting tax = cuts for wealthy’ was that it was a:

    “crock of scare-mongoring rubbish”

    However when I pointed out that 70% of New Zealanders earn less than 40K it seems that it may not be rubbish after all. Instead you thought you’d combat that statistic by saying that I call all tories ‘rich pricks’, Interesting….

    You went on to suggest in your original comment:

    “The deal is looking at working towards lowering the top tax rates to 30%. That will benefit everyone who earns more than $40,000. It will effect MOST people directly and EVERYONE indirectly as it impacts the economy.”

    That, Madeleine, is trickle down theory and its a crock of shit.

  38. Pascal's bookie 38

    Ginger, I’m interested to hear that there are still Muldoonists in the National party. Are you talking about the rank and file, or MP’s? If the latter, got any names?

    I also find the vagueness annoying, but not surprising. I infer from what you say, (and correct me if I’m wrong) that you assume that this is the National party retaining control of the agenda by simply promising reviews that won’t amount to anything.

    If that is true, then the coalition will fail rather spectacularly I think. It’s not like these issues are side issues for the minor parties. If they get nothing from them but National party policy, (or the status quo), then what are they getting in return for C and S? Just the baubles of office. United Future will be happy with that, but the others not so much.

    Given that they have Ministerial warrants, and given that there are no (public) deals on policy within those portfolios, why shouldn’t we look to the Minister’s party policy for clues as to what policy is for that portfolio? The only other option is to assume that these people have all just signed a blank cheque to National, who is planning on shafting them, and destroying any future goodwill. That seems unlikely to me. Instead I think that these reviews are likely to favour the Ministers’ views over National’s, and that ACT will get more than the mP.

  39. Oh my,

    Was it only a week ago that I said that under JK everything would be sold off to the highest bidder. LOL.

    And this is only the beginning. That nice Mr. Key eh, and what’s more they let their dogs of the leash doing their dirty work for them.

    Well done. Are you ready for this? How about paying toll every time you want to go the nearest village or if due to the financial hardship because of the financial collapse you can’t pay for your water bill. What you gonna do? You will die within three days if you don’t have water.

    This what Noam Chomsky has to say about privatisation:

    “Privatisation does not mean you take a public institution and give it to some nice person. It means you take a public institution and give it to an unaccountable tyranny.”

    Maybe the NZ National voting suckers will wake up when we will have to have water riots like in Bolivia in order to have access to the most vital element for survival.

    The next drought means in capitalist terms there is an increase in demand. In other words: Let’s charge the suckers a bundle. FFS. How stupid can you get.

    Oh, and Enron/Merrill Lynch anyone?

  40. gingercrush 40

    I’m talking about National Supporters. They aren’t exactly fans of hard-right thinking but likely too stubborn to have shifted to New Zealand First and won’t vote Labour on principle. As for the MPs. I doubt it but to be honest half of the MPs in the National Party are a mystery same with a number of Labour MPs. Seemingly invisible members rarely seen, rarely heard.

    I do see it as them retaining the agenda. But I also think its to ensure they never go too far if a policy is very disliked out in the public. One criticism of Key is he doesn’t seem to stand for anything. I think there is some truth in that. Thus his persona is likely being reflected in policies, statements and how he’ll lead.

    travellerev you dont have any faith in National whatsoever do you? I see you don’t have faith in Obama either. Did you have faith in Clark and Cullen or were they just better than anyone else?

  41. Pascal's bookie 41

    Whether or not National voters are muldoonist is kind of irrelevant. If they were prepared to vote for National after Richardson, and under Brash then their Muldoonist feelings won’t be hurt by Douglas. If, as you suggest, they have no where else to go and will vote Blue no matter the policy pretty much, they are not a threat. So we can forget about them No? (I actually doubt their existence in any great numbers 25 years down the track to be honest).

    How do you think the minor parties, and more importantly their voters, will react to being shafted by these faux policy reviews? Can you see the problem? Key can’t use one hand claim to be a transformational MMP leader dragging National toward inclusiveness, while with his other hand sell his coalition partners a pig in a poke. Can’t work, he’ll get a hernia.

    If Key really doesn’t stand for anything, doesn’t that actually make it it more likely that he will give policy concessions to coalition partners in return for longevity? Seems that way to me.

  42. gingercrush 42

    United Future and Act will be happy if its a centre-right agenda. Considering there isn’t that many United Future supporters and Act supporters can’t exactly go to Labour. I can’t see them having a problem. The problem lies with the Maori party. Is the agreement signed between Maori and National have that many gains for Maori? To be honest I was thinking we’d see more detail in regards to maori and health and Maori and education. Neither is there. Sure there are associate minister portfolios but i essence lacks policy. Their supporters I think would want more.

  43. Quoth the Raven 43

    The way policies were written and these agreements suggest that National is likely to be more adaptive to public sentiment than Helen Clark was.

    How Ging is that actually going to work in practice? Please tell us. Or is this just a prepared line?

  44. TimeWarp 44

    The irony of the title of the thread just occurred to me.

    The last time Rodney was stepping to the right arm-in-arm with anyone…

    … he left them sprawled awkwardly all over the floor.

  45. Pascal's bookie 45

    TimeWarp, nice!

    Ginger, ACT supporters will not be happy with a centre right agenda, unless by centre right you mean something well to the right of what Key campaigned on.

    Saying they’ve got nowhere else to go, is narrow minded, arrogant, and false. ACT may decide that if there is little significant (in their eyes) difference between National and Labour, why should they compromise themselves by giving power to the Blue Socialists. Far better to fight on for their principles, take down the Blue socialists if need be (especially if they feel they have been shafted by them), and force National to move right.

  46. gingercrush 46

    What I meant by that Quoth was Helen Clark was adaptable but she always drew a line where she would not go. I don’t think John Key is like that. Even if something proved unpopular, one example could be the anti-smacking bill, Clark would still sign it. Basically I’m saying Clark had a set of principals which she wouldn’t cross. Key however, I think this term will be swayed by public sentiment. National want a long-term government and if they’re getting reaction that something isn’t liked Key would be willing to change it.

    I have to disagree Pascal. I think National is already delivering a premise that isn’t far right. It may be far-right for you and other people at The Standard. But I don’t believe its seen as far-right by the general public. And going by what I saw in the media isn’t seen by them as far-right either. Act gets concessions and portfolios and things may get reviewed. But I don’t believe there is anything that far-right. Take the three strikes. You and others here may see it as that but for the general public I really don’t think they will.

    Add to that, most of Act’s support this year was generated right towards the end of the election. That would suggest the majority of Act supporters lean more to the right than National generally but not so principled they’d only vote Act. That and a Green-Maori and Labour government is likely far more scary for them.

    Also can National go right and govern? They tried that in 2002 and they got to 41%. That suggests there is a clear limit as to how far New Zealand is willing to go in a clear right agenda. The most notable thing this year is New Zealand will go centre-right but they don’t right. Thus there is a clear limit as to how far New Zealanders are willing to go. And if that happens then once again Act’s support will be completely swallowed up like last time.

  47. Millsy 47

    If blood be the price of their cursed wealth, then by god, we will buy it fair…

  48. GC: I think that they’re strategy was just better this time. Do you really think that the average voter really knows the difference between left and right?

    Sure, Brash was exposed as being further to the right but I don’t think that Keys really that different. And now with Act in the mix, they’ll get pushed further and who knows what will happen to the tri-agreements, not to mention National’s factions.

    If NZers really understood the 90-day bill and other right-wing anti-worker policies, National/Act wouldn’t have had a show. That’s what you get with a superficial media, that doesn’t really focus on the matters that affect ordinary NZers. I could go on..

  49. TimeWarp 49

    “Key has no principles.”

    Nice GC.

  50. gingercrush 50

    I think the average voter does know the difference between left and right. National has always had anti-working policies. It hasn’t scared people any other time. I also think we should be careful in making assumptions about the average voter. They’re not nearly as thick or gullible as we like to think.

    I was wondering when someone would pick that up TimeWarp. I think Key has principles and is a fair-minded person. But I think there is an essence that the left tried to project and that was Key didn’t have many principles. And there is probably some truth in that.

  51. TimeWarp 51

    Well GC….

    Following from your comments:

    Key either has no principles, OR

    he is prepared to shelve them.

    Which would it be?

    My problem with Key is not what he stands for… it’s knowing what that might be.

  52. gingercrush 52

    I’d go with the latter but then if you’re prepared to shelve principles you really don’t have any.

  53. Felix 53

    gc:

    National has always had anti-working policies. It hasn’t scared people any other time.

    Can you please expand on this fascinating observation?

  54. gingercrush 54

    I suspect you’re pointing to “anti-working” as meaning National party doesn’t mind people on benefits etc. In which case I didn’t mean to say that and should have used better terms. I meant anti-worker or more to the point their long-held stance against Unions.

    If that wasn’t about that then here’s my answer:

    —-
    National has always been a party for businesses and the rural sector and has largely been anti-union. Which is what I was implying there. And I don’t think you can point to National’s anti-union stance damaging the party. Neither the First, Second, Third or Fourth National party governments were damaged by their stance as being anti-union.

    First National Government had the waterfall dispute. That actually increased their vote. The downfall was simply a tired government.

    Second National Government relaxed compulsory unionism. That didn’t damage them. Once again it was largely due to people wanting a change.

    The third National government likewise didn’t fall due to its anti-union stance. Rather it was due to Muldoon’s “think big” policies, his own personality and the economic problems that plagued this period.

    The fourth national government arguably brought in the most brutal anti-union legislation seen in this country. But I would personally argue that benefit cuts and National doing an about turn in regards to rogernomics was the reason for the downfall where Labour nearly won in 1993.

    —-

    In spite of the National Party having a long held stance of anti-unionism I don’t think you can point to that as being the downfall of National. Rather it has been either because the nation was tired of a long-term government (1st and 2nd National Governments); or personality, big government and economic issues (Muldoon); or a party that went back on its word and continued the policies of the Third Labour party.

    And as for this Fifth National government. Yes anti-union legislation may lose it some support. But it will either be a hard-right agenda, a messy coalition relationship or some other reason for its downfall.

  55. GC,

    I had faith in HC and MC to the point that I knew that they were the last leaders that had NZ’s independence and well-being at heart.

    That is gone. John Key is a banking foot soldier carefully groomed to do their bidding. And he is a cheap one. Only $ 50 mill. Chomp change for the guys he’s working for but then perhaps he will be awarded with a percentage of the loot, who knows.

    Maybe Rodney Hide is just your average, fascistoid, greedy, right wing asshole with a fake tan who hasn’t got a clue but he will implementing the Smiling Assassin’s hidden agenda of privatisation and the big selling off of NZ’s resources and assets to his rich prick banking mates in Wall street and the city of London. In the next three years you will learn what it means to be owned.

    Obama is a puppet and has been bought and paid for by the same banking scum.
    His running mate Biden is a CFR puppet master and if Obama doesn’t tow the line its goodbye to him and his beautiful little family providing the next shock to implement the end game for America: Civil war and Martial law.

    400 FEMA camps fully up and running, hundreds of thousands of coffins and battle(Fallujah) hardened US troops training in crowd control and on US soil in direct contravention with the Posse Comitatus act tell me so.

  56. higherstandard 57

    Have you moved on from 911 now ?

    Can’t way to see what your next theory is they read like cheap thrillers.

  57. Janet 58

    Pity that NZ has gone from world leader to world betrayer in climate policy in less than two weeks.

    I remember when travelling overseas in the Muldoon days you were always apologising for him, as he was such an international embarrassment. A new era of international shame looks to be here.

  58. higherstandard 59

    Janet

    On behalf of NZ farmers ……….. diddims.

  59. Janet 60

    Climate change is the most important issue that faces the world. HS Your puerile response will not be appreciated by the children of the future.

    The Kyoto forrests assn seem pretty angry too – they are about to lose a $100 million or something deal.

    Giving credibility and power to the climate change deniers is just so last century. It’s not fair that they are putting our country and our world at such risk.

  60. higherstandard 61

    Why don’t you decrease your own emissions and stick a cork in it.

    NZ could decrease emissions to zero and it would make not an iota of difference to global (or local) climate change.

  61. Billy 62

    HS: Have you moved on from 911 now ?

    And what ever happened to depleted uranium? At least there used to be some variety. Now it’s all “banksters” this and “LOL” that.

  62. Tigger 63

    Redlogix – love your posts here.

    HS – Rodney, is that you?

  63. Janet 64

    NZ is the 5th biggest per capita polluter. We also have a responsibility to do our bit for the countries in the Pacific that are sinking. Climate change also means we are all at risk from extreme weather.

    HS Will you be crying out for government help when you are flooded/hit by a tornado or drought? Or say we deserve this because we didn’t do our bit to prevent climate change?

  64. Janet 65

    Nat Rad just had a love in between Rodney and Pita – sickmaking.

  65. My point was and remains that $40k is not wealthy. The claim that “future tax cuts will go exclusively to the wealthy’ is rubbish.

    In the main centres the average wage is over $40k, check statistics NZ. So this would apply to the majority of people living in main centres.

    As I said, try living in Auckland with a family on $40k, if you did have any experience of that you would know that such a family would not be “wealthy’.

    “That, Madeleine, is trickle down theory and its a crock of shit.’

    Well after that devastating point by point explanation of economic theory I will just
    throw away my text book and chant the mantra.

    Here I was thinking that moving towards a flat tax where everyone pays the same percentage, which still means the rich pay more, was equal treatment. Given that flat tax economists tend to argue for the tax rate to be set at around 20% that would benefit almost every worker in NZ to some degree, the trickle down would only apply to those on $14k. Further, with everyone being able to keep more of what they earn and no disincentive to achieve or earn more in place more people would be able to realise their potential and the average wage would rise.

    Do you realise that in our current system a family of 4 on $40k and a family of 4 on $70k earn a difference of $190 a week? Where is the incentive to try harder to be more productive to create more jobs? The equalisation you support has screwed our economy and has stuffed over the poor, but hey as long as the evil people who are successful in life get screwed who cares, $40k is more than enough to make the rich list and lets ignore the fact that a top tax rate of 30% means that the “wealthy” would still be paying 7.6% more than the poor.

    No wonder you got creamed. Normal people just don’t buy the lie that $40k makes your rich no matter how you dress it up.

    So go on nit-pick something else I have said, quick, or you might have to defend the claim that earning $40k makes you wealthy.

  66. HS and Billy,

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share with you some material only released a week ago through a court case against the FBI.
    This is a video of the North tower when it starts to collapse (Collapse only takes 11sec). Funny how it starts explode above the impact and while this might be caused by a raging inferno (black smoke indicating a low temperature but oh well) what could have caused the rest of the tower to collapse at such a speed when no fires were present I wonder. Funny, those banana shaped billowing clouds of dust 1.5 hours after impact. Oh, no it’s not so funny actually since the dust in the lungs of first responders (remember those heroes) are killing 50.000 of them and 20.000 of NY citizens are also dying from that dust.

    About the Wall street/City of London/CIA connection you might want to read up on
    insider trading connected to the events of 911 and Buzzy Krongard

  67. Billy 68

    Now that’s more like it, Ev.

  68. higherstandard 69

    Janet

    Frothity froth froth !

    NZ has an extremely large agricultural sector in proportion to our population hence we are deemed to be a large per capita polluter – whoopee. If we slaughtered our entire dairy herd and all the remainder of the farm animals in NZ it would have no effect on climate change.

    This would wreck NZ’s economy and have no effect on climate change ? Why do it- your rationale seems to be because you would enjoy the ability to pontificate on the subject of how great NZ is in regards to acting on climate change ?

    Janet your second sentence reeks of the crap I got through the mailbox from the greens which said something along the lines of ….’ vote Green to stop the East Coast beaches disappearing ” .what complete drivel.

    Edit

    Huzzah 911 is back ……. (Buzzy Krongard give his parents a red card)

  69. Carol 70

    Ev the video link doesn’t work for me.

  70. Hi Carol,

    My bad. Here is the correct link. It is about 8 newly releases video’s.
    There is another 50 something in the pipline.

  71. Carol 72

    Thanks, ev.

  72. Wil 73

    As expected, act policy will dominate this national government; amazing when you consider act got only 2% of the actual vote which corresponds to around 1% of the population.

    So by end of next winter john key will likely be polling as PM around 20% if hes lucky and the poll trajectory is all down from there; suddenly politics not so much fun for him any more. And act are going to fill the vaccuum to control government policy but not by stealth as they are such arrogant assholes. So most likely people will wake up to the reality of their “change”. So bring on the next election campaign…

    Kudos to Chris Trotter for saying it as it is in yesterdays SST. Hopefully the Maori Party wake up, spit the dummy sooner rather than later leaving Act exposed as the real engine within this “change” government. But then again, maybe hopefully not, for then their votes will all revert to Labour.

    But alas, relitigating the maori foreshore seabed legislation gives the ACT/nat govt a golden smokescreen opportunity to dominate the msm to divert attention, and already they will be working out these strategies. Imagine the racial issues they will play.

  73. Cheers Carol,

    Yep Wil, my idea exactly.

  74. Janet 75

    It would be a great idea to let the current livestock die off from old age and for NZ to go vegetarian, and be a grower of crops instead. The carnivorous lifestyle is on the way out as it is unsustainable.

  75. higherstandard 76

    And the humans Janet let’s get rid of the humans as well ………. dirty polluters …. pfffouagh !

  76. Chris G 77

    Madeleine,

    Because you suggested, I went and am now looking at the 2006 census data for incomes.

    Im struggling to find where, as you suggest: “In the main centres the average wage is over $40k, check statistics NZ.”

    Auckland City: Median income: $28,100
    North Shore City: Median income: $29,100
    The trend continues (Well actually declines in $s) throughout the country.

    Notice those are the areas of Auckland that are most likely the ‘richest’ or as I would say, according to Madeleine, ‘Pricks’. Goodness knows how you manufactured your statistics madeleine. Maybe try here? http://www.stats.govt.nz/census/census-outputs/default.htm

    With regards to your rant about flat tax. I disagree with flat tax and support progressive taxation. No doubt we will disagree on that.

    eg. “The equalisation you support has screwed our economy and has stuffed over the poor”

    …Riiiight.

  77. Janet 78

    Wil
    Have you got a link to the Chris Trotter piece in the SST? Not on their website, nor the policy.net site which is still saying that Chris has hung up his lap top.

  78. Chris G 79

    hs,

    Although you take it to the extreme. Humans are infact terrible to the environment and the population problem is a big deal.

    But if one mentions it as a problem, comments like yours will be fired in reply.

  79. higherstandard 80

    Chris

    Yes population is a problem ……..but not in NZ.

  80. Quoth the Raven 81

    GC – You’re too honest most National supporters won’t say they’re anti-worker they use a lot meaningless statements and platitudes. They realised long ago that you must deceive the plebs.

    HS – Take it back to kiwiblog.

  81. QtR,

    I’ll second that.

  82. Matthew 83

    Hi Chris

    I noted this comment

    “Got any sympathy for them?

    Oh na, thats right, tories dont care about them.”

    here you claim that tories ( conservatives) do not are about the poor.

    In fact there is some statistical data which suggests that this is false, and in fact conservatives actually give more money to chartities assisting the poor than liberals do. See for example the findings here :http://philanthropy.com/free/articles/v19/i04/04001101.htm and discussion of the details here http://philanthropy.com/live/2006/11/brooks/

    I criticised the standard when it made these kind of comments in the past.

    I know that Labour supporters think its acceptable to enage in political debate by slandering their opponents and accusing them of bad motives. But I ask you please detist from this.

    Moreover you claim you are not envious against the rich, the problem is your sole criticism on the policies in question is that “someone else” benefits. Thats what envy is, its getting upset at the fact that someone else benefits. Apparently because your “class” does not get the benefit as well its unjust. Thats called envy.

    Finally you suggest that people earning over 45,000 are rich. Why then do you support working for families? If these people are so wealthy why does the government think they need welfare to help them live. Convenient that they are rich when the government wants taxation and then poor when it wants to justify welfare don’t you think?

  83. Matthew 84

    Madeliene states that 45?000 living in Auckland does not make you rich. You have not responded to this, you comment is only that the median income in Auckland is 28?000 , The problem is that wealth is not determined by how much you earn, it depends on what you earn relative to the cost of living. Your welcome to believe that a person who has say 4 children on a 45?000 income, paying the rental and food costs in Auckland is rich. But if you truly believe this you are wrong.
    A person who is on 45?000 earns around 800per week. A decent house for 4 children costs around 400$ per week in Auckland, petrol is at least 100$ per week, food for a family of comes close to $200. If you factor in power, heat, electricity etc I think you?ll find that a person on 45000 is not rich. And only civil servants with no kids living in wellington would be under the illusion that it does. In fact to site from you linked to notes

    “Households in main urban areas had the second-highest average household expenditure of any profile area ($45,075, compared with $43,682 nationally). Housing is usually the major household expenditure; households in main urban areas spent the most on housing ($10,798, compared with $10,159 nationally). The average expenditure on housing varied considerably across main urban areas, with the Auckland urban area having the highest. Households in Northern Auckland had the highest average household expenditure for main urban areas ($53,005) of which an average of $13,865 was spent on housing. Households in Gisborne spent well below the national average ($35,758). Their average expenditure on housing ($7,727) was almost half that of the North Auckland zone.”

    So according to your own sources 45?000 is less than the average household expenditure in Auckland. Now it could be that the average household simply spends extragantly. Most families are simply to stupid or irresponsible to spend wisely. Or it could be that these figures give us some idea of what it costs to maintain the average family in Auckland.

  84. Lew 85

    So much for National not privatising anything in their first term. Yes, I know, the government won’t be privatising anything they own directly – but requiring local authorities to privatise amounts to the same thing.

    L

    Captcha: `enemies consumer’.

  85. Scalia 87

    Why is it that the minute someone raises human rights abuses of the left they get deemed a troll?

    You raised work rights “They’ll say work rights are the problem – that weakening workers’ rights is the way to boost productivity and, thereby, wages.’ I point to the human rights abuses your mates inflicted on us and I am a troll.

    You want me to engage? Fine. No one wants to weaken workers rights, did ACT call for the abolition of contractual rights? Did national call for a return to the 60 hour week? Did United Future argue for slave labour or 10 year olds to join the workforce? Come off it.

    Some people view unions being all powerful as being good for workers and some workers, see powerful unions as weakening workers rights. It is a matter of perspective as to what you think, it is nothing to do with “rights’.

    I have never understood why a union has to be compulsory or have the playing field tilted their way in order to achieve, surely if they do a good job and represent the views of the workers people would join them freely.

    How you can describe grown adults freely contracting as a human rights abuse is beyond me. Apparently grown adults cannot do this without state intervention when it comes to work but when it comes to sex the state should but out. As usual inconsistent application of the rules strikes again.

  86. bill brown 88

    freely contracting isn’t a human rights abuse.

    Freely is the important word – if you have no choice your not freely contracting – like the MP, they’re not freely nodding and smiling with JK – they know they’ll lose their seats otherwise.

  87. Lew 89

    Scalia:

    1. You didn’t specify who was supposedly abusing any rights.
    2. You didn’t specify or identify any supposed human rights abuses perpetrated by that government.
    3. You referred in the abstract to `your employers’ without specifying whose employers. That implies that you still believe that Lynn, or perhaps Steve as author of the post, are or were employed by the supposed abuser to write The Standard.
    4. You didn’t actually make any points – and no, `you did it too’ wouldn’t be an actual point, even if you did prove it.

    Fix those four things and you might not find yourself labelled a troll. Good luck.

    L

  88. Lew 90

    Bill Brown: like the MP, they’re not freely nodding and smiling with JK – they know they’ll lose their seats otherwise.

    Interesting argument. I don’t think it’s the case. It seems more likely that there’d be a civil war fought in this country if Māori representation was unilaterally done away with, and even National don’t want that.

    L

  89. bill brown 91

    Oh come on, the Nats don’t really give a shit about the Māori seats, they just used them as a bargaining chip.

    Threaten to take away something you know the other party wants, and “give it back” during negotiation – every used car salesman uses it.

    That’s why you always drive away with that sinking feeling in your stomach.

    (Reflected in Sharples’ face last night on TV!)

  90. Matthew 92

    Hi Lew

    I don’t follow: how does abolishing maori sets, do away with maori representation?last time I checked maori can be on the general role. If your suggesting that being on the general role does not equal representation, then it would follow that no one except maori are currently represented.

  91. Lew 93

    Matthew: I was unclear. Clearly I meant specific Māori representation in its customary form, i.e, the Māori seats.

    L

  92. Lew 94

    Ok. I accept your assertion that National doesn’t care too much about the māori seats. That also forms the basis for my argument that they wouldn’t risk the fallout of abolishing them without full and proper consultation with Māori. So your proposition that the māori party are being held hostage here still doesn’t stand.

    L

  93. bill brown 95

    Fallout from who? Māori? – they don’t vote Nactional anyway. Do you really think the vast rump of the voting public really cares that much? I don’t.

    Was the rumour going around true that it would take 75% to entrench the seats?

  94. Lew 96

    Bill: Not direct electoral fallout – think Foreshore and Seabed crossed with the Springbok Tour. It’d be horrific.

    L

  95. Lew 97

    Bill: Oh, and your other question – yes, entrenching any provision requires 75% of parliament, or the suspension of a standing order – I forget which – but the word is that’d never happen.

    Graeme Edgeler on publicaddress, I/S on No Right Turn and others have discussed this in more detail than I could.

    L

  96. Chris G as you have accused me of manufacturing statistics, I suggest you look up the source I referred to at I
    refered to at Statistics New Zealand
    . You will note that it records the quarterly mean earnings as $12,090 for Auckland which is $48,360pa, $12,240 for Wellington = $48,960pa, $10,080 for Christchurch = $40,320pa.

    Hence, I put to you again that $40,001pa is not rich, and that many people earn in this tax bracket. The claim that the tax cuts “exclusively benefit the rich” is false.

    Consider also Matthew’s point that wealth is determined not by mean earnings but by mean earnings relative to the cost of living. As such, when you factor in the cost of living in somewhere like Auckland would mean that people who live on $40,001 are not wealthy.

    Further, there is also the fact that Working for Families treats people in this bracket as beneficiaries in need of assistance. Did Labour really give out benefits to the rich? Where were your howls of outrage?

    Truly patronising isn’t it?

    When you want to justify high taxes such people are rich.

    When you want to justify high government spending they are poor.

    Its almost as if one’s status of being rich or poor is determined not by ones actual ability to provide for oneself and ones family, but rather is conveniently defined and redefined in what ever way expands the state’s power over people’s lives and property.

  97. Anita 99

    Madeleine,

    Can you provide the link to the page about those stats rather than just the spreadsheet? From the looks those numbers come from only part of society.

    The Auckland Region Quarterly Review, for example, gives an average weekly income which works out to a much lower annual total than yours.

  98. Pascal's bookie 100

    I don’t think anyone has said that people on 40k are rich.

    Maybe they did, but I doubt it. It smells like a crappy libertarian piece of dishonesty to me. I suspect someone said that National is offering tax cuts that will mostly benefit high earners and these new lib’s with the same old arguments are bringing up 40k as a strawman.

    Are National’s tax cuts going to mostly benefit those on 40k? If so then they’ve got a point. Somehow I doubt it though.

    It’s the same BS that people use about Cullen’s ‘rich prick’ jibe, pretending that Cullen was talking about everyone in the top tax bracket, when he was just talking about Key. God what dishonest pieces of muck some people are.

    They drag out these shamefully dishonest lines by the bucketful, argue that those lines are what their opponents really think, and when people fail to address one or other of the more ridiculous smears, use that omission to claim that ‘that proves it’, or that it is some sort of admission.

    I don’t know who they think they’re fooling.

  99. Chris G 101

    To be clear to Matthew and Madeleine,

    I never said someone earning $40K was rich.

    to be honest im a bit Yawn about debating about the merits of flat tax (yuck)

    Im still awfully confused madeleine as to why you think the census data means nothing. By the way when you use mean for income that skews the statistics and a stats course will quickly tell you median is a more appropriate measure of average income.

    And Matthew/Madeleine (You both link to the same site so Im gonna lump you together)

    “Madeliene states that 45?000 living in Auckland does not make you rich. You have not responded to this, you comment is only that the median income in Auckland is 28?000”

    Ah, No… Madeleine stated:
    “In the main centres the average wage is over $40k”

    The census disagrees.

    Finally: If you are so worried about those who struggle to survive on $45K, granted people may. Does your virtuous concern lend a hand to the 70% of income earners who earn less than $40K? And dont respond by calling me for the umpteenth time ‘Envious of the rich’ cos thats a crock and is just spin

  100. Madeleine 102

    By all means lump Matthew and I together, it is fairly common knowledge we have a connection.

    I never said the census data means nothing, I said that the basis of my claims was the data I got from Statistics NZ, which showed the median wage in the main centres was a bit over $40k.

    Finally, I stand behind my claim that $40,001 per year does not make you one of the wealthy, especially if you live in a main centre, especially if you have a family to feed.

    Yes, it makes you ‘wealthier’ than someone on less money, but ‘wealthy’ means something else entirely and that was the term used to describe who the tax plan would benefit.

    So once more for clarity, the statement “any future tax cuts will go exclusively to the wealthy” is false because $40,001 per year with a family, living in a main centre does not render you wealthy.

  101. Anita 103

    Madeleine,

    I never said the census data means nothing, I said that the basis of my claims was the data I got from Statistics NZ, which showed the median wage in the main centres was a bit over $40k.

    I don’t think you ever asked my question, what’s the context of the table you linked to? The spreadsheet doesn’t actually describe the source of the data or anything else which explains what it is it could be, for example, horticulture industry only or any other limited data set.

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    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    4 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    5 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    7 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    7 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    1 week ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    1 week ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

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