NRT: Everybody knows the dice are loaded…

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, July 5th, 2017 - 137 comments
Categories: democratic participation - Tags: , ,

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Everybody knows the dice are loaded…

 Around the world, we’ve seen a backlash against political establishments, driven in part by a recognition that economic and political systems are rigged to the advantage of the rich. And we have the same sentiments in New Zealand:

A new poll shows that a majority of the country think the economic and political system are rigged against them.The Ipsos poll, taken in May of 2017, shows that women and those earning less are even more likely to consider the system broken.

[…]

Fully 56 per cent of Kiwis questioned agree that traditional parties and politicians don’t care about people like them.

Just 16 per cent disagreed with that sentiment, and the unemployed were far more likely to think the system was rigged. In other countries like Australia dissatisfaction was higher.

But the economy got even worse marks than the politicians.

Six in ten – 64 per cent – agreed that the country’s economy was rigged to advantage the rich and powerful.

And they’re right. Just look at how National runs pretty much anything: to advantage their donors and cronies, and who gives a fuck about anybody else? And so we get employment laws designed for employers, housing policy designed for property speculators and existing Boomer homeowners, and climate change and environment policy designed for polluters. As for Labour, while their heart is in the right place, at the end of the day they’re about not rocking the boat too much. They’ll still let the rich fuck you over, but they promise they’ll give you a lollypop afterwards to make you feel better about it. Except they’ve already promised not to give anyone any lollypops, for fear of upsetting The Market, so its just the same old shit with different faces at the top getting paid.

And then we wonder why a quarter of kiwis don’t bother to vote…

The scary news about this survey is that 50% of respondents are so fucked off with this situation of establishment parties collaborating to fuck them over that they’d vote for “a strong leader willing to break the rules” – i.e. Trump. Of course, that would only make things worse. The solution here isn’t less democracy, but more: to vote for real change. The problem is that no-one is really offering that (no, Gareth Morgan, you’re not. And you hate cats, so you can fuck off). And the party closest to offering real change has tied itself to an establishment albatross, and in doing so promised not to change anything much.

Unless the establishment parties start delivering to people, this sense of political alienation is only going to get worse. The scary thing is that they probably don’t mind that one bit.

137 comments on “NRT: Everybody knows the dice are loaded…”

  1. Ed 1

    This reminds me of this amazing monologue by George Carlin.

    The table is tilted, folks. The game is rigged. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people — white collar, blue collar — doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-working people continue– these are people of modest means — continue to elect these rich ********** who don’t give a **** about them. …….

    They don’t care about all at all….at all……at all.

    • Ed 1.1

      Carlin’s words are a scathing attack on the scourge of 30 years of neo-liberalism.

      The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice.
      You don’t . You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations; they’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the State houses, the City Halls; they’ve got the judges in their back pockets, and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all the news and information you get to hear.

      They gotcha by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying — lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want — they want more for themselves and less for everybody else.

      But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that, that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting ****** by a system that threw them overboard 30 ****** years ago. They don’t want that.

      You know what they want? They want obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passably accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime, and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.

      • left_forward 1.1.1

        This is spot on Ed – the difference is that the author of this article loses it with some of his comments – but Carlin doesn’t make such mistakes – he is so clever at articulating what is just under the surface of our collective political consciousness and thrusts it out into the light. For many this revelation is so shocking.

        I am more of an optimistic than he is, I still think that we can change this – and I guess from the energy of many of the commentators here (other than the trolls) – that I am not alone.

      • mosa 1.1.2

        Totally agree Ed and summed up beautifully.

        Its modern day slavery with no escape and no one who can or will stand against it.

  2. garibaldi 2

    I hope BM looks at your contributions Ed, it will give him an apoplexy.
    Good old George Carlin certainly takes no prisoners.

  3. Ma Rohemo 3

    “And you hate cats, so you can fuck off”

    Oh, very mature. If you remove all the emotion you might begin to understand that Morgan wants to sort out the feral cats, not your domestic one.

    If people such as yourself put issues like this ahead of the rest of our countries problems there is not much hope for any of us.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      ++++ !

      Absolutely. What a brain fart from whoever the OP author is.

      Morgan is proposing little more than what is fairly common place feral cat control measures here in regional Victoria.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        I kinda figure that it’s going to be the feral cats that bring the possum population under control – once they evolve a bit. Like the possums themselves, I don’t see us ever getting rid of them or really controlling them successfully.

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          I doubt anyone would go tramping if the feral cats got big enough to take out possums 🙂

          I participate in other forums where this is a frequent topic, with very experienced people contributing. It’s a complex and interesting topic, with may newer tech solutions being tried out by all sorts of groups.

          The bottom line is that we can control overshoot populations of pests quite easily, but eradicating them is a much harder challenge.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1


            cats are already predators of possums.

            The possum has a number of predators in the wild, which vary depending on the region which the possum inhabits. Foxes, cats and birds of prey are the main predators of the possum but other animals such as Tasmanian devils, dogs, dingos and snakes also prey on the possum.

            I’d say part of the problem is that our control of possums is also controlling the feral cats.

            It’s a complex and interesting topic, with may newer tech solutions being tried out by all sorts of groups.

            I’m saying that we should stop trying to control them and let nature sort things. She’s quite good at it and has a hell of a lot more experience than we do after all.

            The bottom line is that we can control overshoot populations of pests quite easily, but eradicating them is a much harder challenge.

            eradicating them is pretty much impossible and trying to control them is, IMO, preventing the necessary evolutionary progress.

        • weka 3.1.1.2

          Possums unlikely. But cats in NZ already control rats, mice and rabbits. If we take them out of the equation that leaves us with using predominantly poison. Clean green NZ.

        • marty mars 3.1.1.3

          Lol evolution takes a while draco

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.3.1

            True but it will happen. Possums are an abundant source of food for such a predator.

            • marty mars 3.1.1.3.1.1

              Nah not without intevention which I’d oppose. Cats eat birds especially flightless fat birds. Bigger cars eat more birds and won’t eat possums imo.

    • Booker 3.2

      I agree, I was following this article just fine until I got to that point. The thing about TOP is that their focus is on policy, and we need that more than ever now, instead of the celebrity popularity contest that politics has become

    • mauī 3.3

      Yeah, TOP party has no policy on cats so its a strange statement. One of TOPs policies is to have an upper house in parliament to stop breaches in our constitution and shonky law, which is great. A pity the author didn’t give two hoots about that.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1

        One of TOPs policies is to have an upper house in parliament to stop breaches in our constitution and shonky law, which is great.

        Which is another reason why I won’t be voting for them.

        Upper Houses don’t fucken work.

        If they did then all the really poor law that gets through in the US,UK and Australia wouldn’t do so.

        Really, WTF do people hold on to this fiction that Upper Houses are a great idea?

        If we want to ensure that we get good law through then it needs to be vetted by the entire population via referenda.

        • RedLogix 3.3.1.1

          Completely disagree. One of the reasons WHY Australian politics has been so less extreme than NZ’s is the multiple layers of their system which has prevented any one political group from dominating.

          Sure it can be wonky, slow and sometimes quirky … but overall after watching Aussie politics closely these past few years I quite like it.

          • Ad 3.3.1.1.1

            Agree.
            New Zealand MMP has been a piss-poor substitute for a second chamber.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.1.1.1

              MMP is still representative democracy with all the power in the hands of the politicians and so it will be a general failure. An upper house doesn’t fix that.

              • Ad

                Completely disagree. “…and so will be a general failure” is just a pathetic fact-free generalisation with no point.

                My comment was to RedLogix about the prevention of “any one political group from dominating.”

                • Draco T Bastard

                  An upper house doesn’t do that.

                  • Ad

                    Not by itself.

                    Here’s the TOP policy on renewing democracy, which includes a bunch of other stuff:

                    http://www.top.org.nz/top4

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Correcting the concentration of power requires the resurrection of an Upper House that can consider legislation that parliament has passed and can ask it to reconsider, especially if it feels that constitutional rights are at risk.

                      Which doesn’t bloody work as the Real World has shown us.

                      Bringing New Zealand back to a two House system – which is the most common model internationally – will discourage the government of the day from cutting off debate on its legislative programme through measures such as urgency, supplementary order papers and closure motions.

                      No it won’t. What it will do is make those measures effective when both houses are dominated by the same party and all other times it’s going to be a game of political football between the two bloody houses.

                      There are major problems with our parliamentary system but an Upper House won’t fix them.

                      Having the people choose and pass the policies will. Parliament then becomes an administrator for those policies rather than a creator of them.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.1.2

            Operating gulags for boat people is less extreme?

          • DoublePlusGood 3.3.1.1.3

            So less extreme? They have concentration camps on offshore islands of compliant vassals.
            ‘Less extreme’ my arse.

            • RedLogix 3.3.1.1.3.1

              My arse indeed. NZ would have done exactly the same thing, except for the very large ocean which meant we could safely pretend it wasn’t a problem.

              Did Australia do the right thing? Of course not. Mass people smuggling is a huge issue with NO good unilateral solutions for any single nation. It is absolutely something that can only be successfully tackled at an international level.

              • Draco T Bastard

                NZ would have done exactly the same thing

                If we were going to do that then this government under Key would have done it. There was too much backlash though.

                It is absolutely something that can only be successfully tackled at an international level.

                Actually, it can only be handled by the nations that the people are leaving from. They need to make it so that their people choose to stay. They’re not doing that and are probably thankful that so many are leaving.

                Now, the international community could help them do that by making technologies freely available for those countries, to write off all debts to them and make experts available to teach their own people.

                None of that will happen though as the developed world seeks to use all of those things for making a profit.

                In other words: Capitalism fucks over those countries for the benefit of a few rich people in developed nations.

                • RedLogix

                  The reality is most people would prefer quiet lives in the towns and cities they grew up in, know and love.

                  Yet there are all sorts of reason why they choose to leave; desperate dead-end economics, persecution, wars, climate change and the dream of a better life for their kids.

                  No country gets to fix all of these things on it’s own; re-dressing the madness of unconstrained capitalism, fundamentalism, materialism and racism is a task for the whole human race, a task only some form of representative global governance will be able to achieve.

                  • Molly

                    “The reality is most people would prefer quiet lives in the towns and cities they grew up in, know and love.”

                    And if possible, many who leave for reasons of violence, war or destitution would like to return home if it was at all possible.

                    Many NZers think of only of emigration that they have undertaken – for personal benefit, or family reasons. And conversation on immigrants and refugees starts from that perspective. We would do well to remind others that many of those who leave their homes have more at stake than just a better income or lifestyle.

    • weka 3.4

      Morgan originally targeted all cats including domestic ones.

      • RedLogix 3.4.1

        This was one of his early public statements on this:

        “If you think New Zealand’s native species are precious and should be fostered then it’s important you be a responsible cat owner.

        “That means keep them inside 24 hours a day and if that’s impractical then when the time comes ensure this is the last cat you ever own.”

        Mr Morgan also suggests other ways to reduce the impact cats have on native bird populations.

        “I am advocating responsible pet ownership, not for people to bop their pets on the head. To me a responsible pet owner has their cat neutered, keeps it well fed and indoors as much as possible, and puts a bell on them. Then when their cat dies I think people should consider not replacing it”.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/8207096/Gareth-Morgan-wants-cats-to-go

        It was of course a lazy media looking for a quick hit that turned this into “Morgan hates cats and wants to eradicate them all”.

        Where we live now in Ballarat the council requires all domestic cats to be inside at nightime at a minimum. Rarely do we see them roaming. And 20m from our front door I can show you flocks of all manner of birdlife.

        http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/3577586/lake-wendouree-birds-doing-well/

        Incidentally the ‘musk duck’ pictured in that link is definitely our favourite. We call them ‘submarine duck’. They spend virtually all of their life on or under the water.

        • weka 3.4.1.1

          I think using the rhetoric ‘hates cats’ applied to someone who wants to lock up domestic cats and kill any that aren’t microchipped is reasonable.

          In NZ, what purpose does keeping cats inside at night serve?

          • RedLogix 3.4.1.1.1

            We have a close friend here with two cats. Both are tagged and stay inside most of the time. It seems OK and everyone here now regards it as quite reasonable.

            http://www.ballarat.vic.gov.au/ps/animal-registration/responsible-pet-ownership.aspx

            Oh just in case you think we hate cats the answer is no. Before we came over the ditch we always had one or two around.

            • Ad 3.4.1.1.1.1

              I own two cats and we are generally classed as “cat people”.
              We keep them rigorously indoors.

              We are also Forest and Bird members who also donate to the pest Free Aotearoa programme.
              We also have the gas-fired rat traps operating.

              We live in fully native forest, and if we could, we would get rid of all cats in our area. Regulation is well overdue.

              There is no way we will get a proper halo effect out here from the Ark in the Park programme that would enable them to release Kiwi back into the Waitakeres unless we can close-to wipe out cats and mustelids.

              I fully support the Morgan Foundation initiative for a pest-free Aotearoa.

              • weka

                If I lived in fully native forest I wouldn’t have cats (a personal thing). However where I live there are few natives species and keeping cats in doors just doesn’t make sense.

              • weka

                Out of curiosity, how do you keep the cats inside in the summer?

                • Gareth

                  The same way you keep flies and mosquitoes out. Fly screens on the windows and doors. We created our own window fly screens using magnetic strips and mesh so you can peel them off to reach past them, and use framed fly screens for the windows the cat can sit at, plus a sliding one with a dead lock in front of our ranch slider.

                  We also have a fully fenced back yard from when we had a dog, but even though it’s too tall for our current cat to jump over (she’s a terrible jumper), she doesn’t try to get outside even if you leave the door to the back yard open. She is much too frightened of the outside world. BTW, she is a rescue that we found abandoned in bush. She’s seen the outside world and survived in it by herself, but she’s much happier in a house.

                  • weka

                    Wouldn’t work where I live for most people. Fly screening a whole house would be a huge task, especially for renters assuming they were allowed to.

                    Then the ongoing hassle of how to get the flies out again when they inevitably come in with people coming and going. How do you stop the cats from going out with kids coming and going?

                    I’m also a fan of having the house open in the summer, the front doors basically stay open all day. Indoor/outdoor living. I assume flyscreen also affects visuals, light and airflow.

                    My cat is also a rescue and doesn’t like being inside that much.

                    • Gareth

                      That’s a bit like saying “Nah, it’s impossible to fence my yard. I’m just gonna have to accept that I can’t stop my dog from getting out”.

                      Fly screens keep flies out. We find very few get in when people open the door. Those that do get in, we kill. Are you telling me that you just shoo all the flies that come in your un-flyscreened house outside again?

                      Like flies, cats don’t generally try to get through a door when someone is using it, unless they are trying to escape. If you make your house cat-friendly and give them lots to do and places they enjoy being, then why would they want to make a dash for it between someone’s legs? Admittedly it took a while to train the kids to close a door they went through, but we’d have that problem anyway.

                      You assume incorrectly. A lightweight mesh does not appreciably stop airflow and is also see-through. I’m sure the total amount of sunlight coming in is reduced by some small fraction, but the big windows which don’t open anyway aren’t affected.

                      Maybe inside your house isn’t very attractive for cats? Have you tried creating spaces just for your cat?

                    • weka

                      “That’s a bit like saying “Nah, it’s impossible to fence my yard. I’m just gonna have to accept that I can’t stop my dog from getting out”.”

                      Not really. Where I live people that can’t train their dogs build fences or put them on chains, those that can train their dogs don’t bother because their dogs are trained.

                      Fly screens keep flies out. We find very few get in when people open the door. Those that do get in, we kill. Are you telling me that you just shoo all the flies that come in your un-flyscreened house outside again?

                      No, I close the doors and open the windows and they go out again (blowflies, that’s what they do).

                      Maybe inside your house isn’t very attractive for cats? Have you tried creating spaces just for your cat?

                      Yes the cat has its own space. And will spend time inside, but is still outside more than it is inside unless it is sleeping. It’s like the difference between a kid that wants to roam around the neighbourhood and one that wants to be in front of the computer. Mines definitely a roam around the neighbourhood cat. And yes, it will make a dash out the door I am using if it wants out. Which is normal for cats that like being outside.

                      The house I rent is built for visuals. I can’t imagine the landlord letting fly screens be installed. Still not convinced about light and airflow. Someone could do a calculation I suppose on the space taken up by the mesh vs gaps.

                      So, you and I have adapted to our environment and values. But here we are talking about policy and enforcement, and I still think that most cats in NZ are happier with freedom of movement and most people aren’t going to flyscreen their whole house, and make sure the screens are shut at all times. Nor should they have to. The biggest threats to native wildlife in NZ are habitat destruction and feral predators, going after domestic cats simply doesn’t make sense unless you are talking about places that have existing native ecosystems.

                    • Gareth

                      Let’s try that on the other species: People that can’t train their cats, fly screen their house, those that can train their cats, don’t bother. Let me know if you have much luck training your cat.

                      If the fly screens are readily removable, I can’t see why the landlord would have a problem with it. Sticky magnetic strips are pretty cheap at Bunnings and not hard to put up.

                      In the end, it’s not really about making cats happy. We make them as happy as they can be with the reality of what we have decided for them. If you decide that your cat is going to be an inside cat, then it has to live with that. They are imported predators to a country that doesn’t have any native wildlife capable of adapting to them.

                      Native NZ wildlife has a lot of threats. We should address all of them or as many as we have budget to. We can walk and chew gum at the same time. Dealing with cats doesn’t diminish our ability to deal with other predators and all threats to native wild life need to be addressed.

                      In the same way, you don’t stop dealing with cow poo in rivers to concentrate on banning fracking because one damages underground aquifers more than the other.

                      The whole country has an existing native ecosystem. I like seeing native birds around my house in the city. I don’t see many where I live, which happens to have a lot of cats in the area. My mother lives in another part of Auckland where there aren’t many cats, and strangely (maybe related, maybe not) she has lots of native birds in her garden.

                    • weka


                      Let’s try that on the other species: People that can’t train their cats, fly screen their house, those that can train their cats, don’t bother. Let me know if you have much luck training your cat.

                      Now you’re getting to the nub of it. Cats can’t be trained, dogs can, because of their inherent characteristics. What you are suggesting is to curtail the cats natural catness. I’m saying that is cruel.

                      If the fly screens are readily removable, I can’t see why the landlord would have a problem with it. Sticky magnetic strips are pretty cheap at Bunnings and not hard to put up.

                      Have you tried this? Do they leave marks? Are they reusable?

                      In the end, it’s not really about making cats happy. We make them as happy as they can be with the reality of what we have decided for them. If you decide that your cat is going to be an inside car, then it has to live with that. They are imported predators to a country that doesn’t have any native wildlife capable of adapting to them.

                      As I’ve said, there are bugger all native birds where I live because of what humans have done to the ecosystems. When that gets addressed I’ll be more willing to have a conversation about the cats. But what I see happening is humans wanting to do whatever they want, and now there is some superficial ethic around native they want to curtail the freedom of animals that are also already here. And still lots of the issues I raised have gone unaddressed.

                      In the same way, you don’t stop dealing with cow poo in rivers to concentrate on banning fracking.

                      Thing is, we’ve had cows pooing in rivers for a hundred and fifty years. Before that it was moa and other birds. See where I’m going with this? There is nothing ecologically wrong with faeces in water per se. Hell, fish shit in the water. The problem is that we lack the ability to see ourselves as part of nature. So we can fence waterways from cattle and we will still fuck up the environment because it’s all about us.

                      There are places in NZ where stock should be allowed access to waterways on animal welfare grounds. Because that’s what animals do in hot climates, the drink and stand in water. What the problem is is that humans want to have their cake and eat it too. We want the first world lifestyles that go with the global economy and that means industrial farming, and that means shit in the water or somewhere else instead. Just like the cat litter and the rat poison. It all ends up in someone else’s backyard.

                    • Gareth

                      Yeah… cats definitely can’t be trained to do anything….

                      Yes, we created fly screens for our house using mesh and magnetic strips. The sticky stuff on the back doesn’t leave any marks I’ve noticed, but we haven’t taken them all down again. I’m not sure what you mean by re-usable. One set of magnetic strips are on the frame and the other set are on the mesh so that it sticks to the frame. I could replace either the strips or the mesh if I needed to?

                      So what are you doing to address the lack of native wildlife in your area? Your sentence reads “Once someone else has fixed the lack of native birds in my area, I’ll be willing to talk about what happens to my cats”. It seems like a pretty passive attitude.

                      Actually there is something ecologically wrong with faeces in water. It’s not cow poo vs fish poo, it’s the quantity. Every ecosystem has mechanisms to deal with pollution. When the amount of pollution overwhelms those mechanisms, then you have a problem.

                      “There are places in NZ where stock should be allowed access to waterways on animal welfare grounds.” No. There are places in NZ where farmers should be required to provide access to water for their animals. Possibly until those farmers have done the requisite work or been jailed, you could make an argument for allowing access to the communal resource.

                      Again, you go back to the argument that if you have a need, then it’s everyone’s problem. If the farmer doesn’t give his cows water, why should he be allowed to poison everyone elses (overwhelm it’s limited ability to manage faeces) by letting his cows shit in it? If you can’t keep your cat entertained inside or don’t want to clean up after it, why should everyone else have to put up with less native birds, skinks etc and cat poo in their garden?

                      You’re right about the last part. Unless we do something to control the problem, it ends up in someone else’s backyard. So if it’s your shit, cat, whatever, then stop it from being someone else’s problem.

          • DoublePlusGood 3.4.1.1.2

            The cats aren’t off massacring native wildlife.

          • Gareth 3.4.1.1.3

            Primarily It reduces the amount of time they have to hunt native birds and other wildlife.
            It also reduces the number of fights and vet bills.
            It even reduces the number of times your pet gets raped. This has happened to a spayed female cat of mine and a cat belonging to my uncle as well.
            It reduces the amount of cat shit in your garden from other people’s cats.
            It reduces the number of cats killed by cars on the roads.

            A year-long study of 208 cats in urban Dunedin in 2010 showed that they kill more birds, skinks, geckos, and weta than rats and mice.
            Near Tongariro National Park, one feral cat was filmed killing 102 short-tailed bats in the Rangataua forest, on the side of Mt Ruapehu, in just seven days in 2010

            • weka 3.4.1.1.3.1

              But cats generally don’t catch birds at night. At night they catch non-native prey mice, rats and rabbits. Probably skinks too, which is not good, but not birds. So unless it’s an area that has native ground birds it seems more like a stealth policy to eventually lock cats up all the time. That’s cruel.

              • Gareth

                Your comment “But cats generally don’t catch birds at night.” is backed up by what exactly? Your personal opinion?

                Cats hunt at night. Most birds sleep in trees at night. Cats climb trees. Lots of native birds sleep on the ground. Even easier to catch. Even if the bird wakes up and flies off, cats will eat eggs. If you go into the Kiwi House at Auckland Zoo you’ll see an informative video showing a feral cat hunting native birds at night and eating the eggs when the bird flees.

                Cats kept inside at night poo in their litter box. I have observed my own cat doing this. It’s common sense. If you need to go, you go. You might hold yours in till the morning, but normal people (and cats) don’t.

                Personally, I’d like to not have any poo on the vegetables in my garden. I’d like not to have holes made in the netting that I put over the garden to stop things like cat poo. I’d also like to stop finding cat poo in my kid’s playhouse. My neighbours and their half dozen cats don’t give me that option however. I can only ensure that my cat does not contribute to the problem and is not involved in any of the relatively frequent fights that go on at night.

                It’s true that at night there is less traffic than during the day, however there is still traffic, and cats are both more active and less visible at night.

                I’m not the one reaching, when your response to the possibility of someone’s loved pet being killed is “Should be fine, there’s minimal traffic at night”. I have had two cats who were run over at night, before I stopped letting my pet out.

                Dogs are contained and not let out to roam the neighbourhood, usually in a fenced yard. Cats should be no different. You don’t inflict your pets on other people.

                • weka

                  Cats hunt at night. Most birds sleep in trees at night. Cats climb trees. Lots of native birds sleep on the ground. Even easier to catch. Even if the bird wakes up and flies off, cats will eat eggs.

                  Ok, do you have research on this? And yes, my comment was based on my experience. My cat brings in rabbits and mice at night, birds during the day.

                  If you go into the Kiwi House at Auckland Zoo you’ll see an informative video showing a feral cat hunting native birds at night and eating the eggs when the bird flees.

                  I’m not talking about feral cats, I’m talking about domestic cats esp in urban and farm areas. Are you advocating for making changes to both those landscapes in order that we can have thriving kiwi populations there?

                  Cats kept inside at night poo in their litter box. I have observed my own cat doing this. It’s common sense. If you need to go, you go. You might hold yours in till the morning, but normal people (and cats) don’t.

                  Yes and my cat will do that too. But there’s all that extra work, cost and effect on the environment. How do you dispose of it? What litter do you use, what’s its ecological footprint?

                  There is virtually no traffic at night were I live. If you want a bylaw for your neighbourhood to protect cats, I’d be interested to see what everyone else thinks.

                  Personally, I’d like to not have any poo on the vegetables in my garden. I’d like not to have holes made in the netting that I put over the garden to stop things like cat poo. I’d also like to stop finding cat poo in my kid’s playhouse. My neighbours and their half dozen cats don’t give me that option however. I can only ensure that my cat does not contribute to the problem and is not involved in any of the relatively frequent fights that go on at night.

                  It’s not that hard to provide an adequate environment for cats and dogs to poo in. But I agree that in some built up areas this is not addressed properly (where I live dogs are far more of a problem). So are you suggesting that cats should be locked up during the day too?

                  • Gareth

                    Are you asserting that feral cats and domestic cats have different hunting habits? You accept that ferals hunt birds at night but think domestics are different somehow?

                    If you’re not prepared to cater for your pet, don’t have one. I do the same thing with the cat poo from the litter box as I do with the cat poo deposited on my broccoli. It goes into a biodegradable pet poo bag and goes in the rubbish. Those and the litter are all part of owning a pet. The ecological footprint of owning a cat doesn’t go down just because you let it poo on other people’s properties. You’re just making it someone else’s problem.

                    No traffic where you live? Well woop-de-doo for you. You didn’t include any disclaimer that your attitude might be irrelevant to other people’s situations when you were dismissing the possibility of someone’s pet being run over.

                    I am perfectly comfortable with the idea that cats be locked up during the day. I have a cat, and she is. That doesn’t mean you just keep them shut inside. You need to provide them with a good environment as well. Our cat has a lot of toys, she has her own inside garden of cat mint, cat grass and cat nip as well as tunnels, climbing posts and elevated areas especially for her to sit on and explore.

                    Plus, as I mentioned in another comment, our cat would never go outside by choice anyway.

                    Here are some things to read:
                    https://icatcare.org/advice/keeping-your-cat-happy/indoors-versus-outdoors
                    https://www.peta.org/living/companion-animals/caring-animal-companions/caring-cats/indoor-cats/
                    https://www.petfinder.com/cats/cat-care/6-indoor-outdoor-cat-myths/
                    http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/files/file/responsiblecatownership.pdf
                    http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/files/file/CatFactsheet.pdf

                    • Karen

                      “Are you asserting that feral cats and domestic cats have different hunting habits? You accept that ferals hunt birds at night but think domestics are different somehow?”

                      I have lived in the same house in a suburb of Auckland for the past 37 years. In that time I would have had more than 20 cats live here at different times. All were strays who turned up looking for food. I would trap and neuter them and continue feeding them – some I was never able to touch, some became tame enough for me and my partner to pat but nobody else, and some had obviously had homes at some stage became completely domesticated.

                      I only ever had one cat that would hunt birds. Every other cat I had would happily share their food with the various birds that developed a taste for cat food – my back deck often has cats lying around while various birds peck at their food. I put 2 bells on the bird-catcher and the number of birds she was able to catch dropped significantly. She also caught rats so I suspect it all evened out in the end.

                      If I lived in an area where there were native birds nesting at ground level I wouldn’t have a cat, but I don’t think there is any reason for me to keep my three cats inside in the city. None seem to have the slightest inclination to hunt at all, in spite of there being so many birds living in my garden that people talking to me on the phone ask if I speaking from an aviary.

                      Maybe it is because I only ever have cats that have at some stage had to fend for themselves and therefore are only too happy to give up hunting.

                    • Gareth

                      Hi Karen,

                      Studies have shown that cats generally only bring home 20-25% of their kills. I wouldn’t rely on their behaviour on your back deck for the true number of animals they kill.

                      Also, bells don’t stop them from catching native skinks and weta which are also endangered species.

                    • Karen

                      I mostly work from home so I have a pretty good idea of where my cats are day and night, and how much hunting they are doing, if any.

                      I agree about bells not stopping the catching of skinks and I have had a couple of cats that regularly brought skinks home. It was always during the day and they would let them go as soon as they got inside, so I would catch them and take them down to the garden of a neighbour who didn’t have cats.

                      None of my current cats catch anything – they just don’t seem to be interested, even when the birds come inside through the cat door (a hole in the door) looking for cat food.

            • weka 3.4.1.1.3.2

              “It reduces the amount of cat shit in your garden from other people’s cats.
              It reduces the number of cats killed by cars on the roads.”

              Cats kept inside at night then go outside in the morning and poo where they poo. And at night there is minimal traffic. I think now you are reaching for arguments.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    The problem is that no-one is really offering that (no, Gareth Morgan, you’re not. And you hate cats, so you can fuck off).

    QFT

    Except they’ve already promised not to give anyone any lollypops, for fear of upsetting The Market

    They could still give out lollipops if they changed the financial system and removed the banks ability to create money.

    Of course, that’s a big if as they all seem to be terrified of the banking sector.

    Unless the establishment parties start delivering to people, this sense of political alienation is only going to get worse. The scary thing is that they probably don’t mind that one bit.

    Representative Democracy was designed to prevent the people actually having any power, ensuring that all power stays with the rich and it does that really well.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Sighs. I’ve no problem with you or I wishing for dreams. Really I don’t.

      But when I look at TOP I see the most pragmatically radical party on offer.

      • weka 4.1.1

        In the context of what I/S is saying about the dice being loaded, my reading of TOP and Morgan is that they still want to consolidate power in the hands of the few. Yes they want to do that more fairly but the economy comes first. That’s why when you scratch the surface of many of their policies you find that they are willing to penalise the most vulnerable in order to make it work. This is what happens when you start with an economics mindset and try and apply social justice after. So sure, in terms of conventional economics he has some ideas to change things that appear radical, but they’re still problematic.

        I also think that they’re just not that good at working with people, including the most vulnerable. Their policies look like they’ve talked to professional experts, I’d rather they talked to the people affected first and then get the professional advice on how to implement what is needed. So it looks like a different arrangement of power consolidation to me.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        TOP isn’t what is call radical. It’s more about entrenching the same failed system that we have now with some tweaks. It’ll have the same problems.

        • RedLogix 4.1.2.1

          So which radical party are you going to vote for DtB? You know the one that is going to overturn the system?

          You show me any party I can vote for which matches this for radical. Point by point DtB:

          http://www.top.org.nz/policy

          Certainly not Labour, and I can only wish it were the Greens. This is what I really sense is going on here. It’s Green party loyalists who know their party’s radical days are long gone, who can sense Morgan eating their lunch, who are viscerally resenting his appearance.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.1.1

            The most radical party at the moment would be the Internet Party. But even they’re still looking at capitalism.

            No one’s really looking at changing the system which is the big problem.

          • weka 4.1.2.1.2

            Best way to get the Greens to go to the radical end of their spectrum is to vote for them. Still plenty of people in the party who want to be more radical but can’t because NZ is still tiptoeing around them.

            • The Chairman 4.1.2.1.2.1

              “Best way to get the Greens to go to the radical end of their spectrum is to vote for them. “

              Is it though?

              Wouldn’t voting for them merely confirm a mandate for what they are currently presenting?

              As politicians seem to be more interested in voter’s desires when they require our vote, wouldn’t that be the best time to attempt to influence them?

          • garibaldi 4.1.2.1.3

            RedLogix@10.08 .You are right. TOP policies certainly make sense and read like a breath of fresh air and seem more reformative than the Greens. How much of the Green vote will go to them is a worry. I certainly won’t be one of them. I think like weka on this one. My confidence in the Greens is based on their list and not the underperforming Shaw.

            • RedLogix 4.1.2.1.3.1

              Fair point. As I said elsewhere, the most visceral opposition to TOP is coming from Green supporters who see Morgan treading firmly into their patch; even while they loudly proclaim ‘he’s not left-wing’.

              While that may be certainly true if you are looking for policy framed with ‘deeper social values’ as the primary driver, my reading is there are many other voters out there who may well have voted previously National or NZ1 who are interested as well who, like yourself garibaldi, can see the ‘breath of fresh air’ in TOP’s approach.

              And the more votes Morgan can snatch off Winston the better in my book.

              • Draco T Bastard

                And the more votes Morgan can snatch off Winston the better in my book.

                QFT

                I’d much rather have TOP in parliament and government than NZFirst.

                • The Chairman

                  “I’d much rather have TOP in parliament and government than NZFirst.”

                  Hell no!

                  TOP wants to screw with pensioners, cutting back their current rate of entitlement and means-testing top ups (messing with our current universal basic income) while taxing them and anybody else on a low income out of their homes.

  5. roy cartland 5

    Great, timely and worthy post. I’ve been waiting decades for these ideas to filter through to a critical mass; still possible something better could rise from the ashes.

    Can I query a couple of points:
    ‘ that they’d vote for “a strong leader willing to break the rules” – i.e. Trump’
    …or Corbyn.

    ‘Gareth Morgan … hate cats’
    …isn’t that a little bit straw-manny? Or have I misread the rant-balancing joke?

    • weka 5.1

      I took it as pointing to Morgan being establishment (so no real change) and his hating on cats points to him being a problem (which I agree with). Morgan wanted to impose a pretty stupid and cruel animal practice in NZ, he got a huge backlash against that which forced him in turn to tone down his position, but honestly I can’t be bothered with any more politicians with egos like that. Cf Tr*mp to Corbyn on that front too. Morgan believes in using his power to push his ideas, and he’s not good at engaging with people on that.

      • Carolyn_nth 5.1.1

        Morgan believes in using his power to push his ideas, and he’s not good at engaging with people on that.

        Yep – power via wealth. And the cat thing just points to Morgan using his platform, via his wealth, to push his own agenda. Just another rich man who thinks he can rule the world better than any collective, party, etc.

        TOP just looks to me like an attempt at idiosyncratic, self-consciously “caring” capitalism – individualistic, from the TOP down.

        [Edit] Sorry, weka. I removed my original comment because I had posted it at the bottom, instead of under your original comment. looks like you tried to reply to my now deleted comment.

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          All good, I just said great summary!

        • RedLogix 5.1.1.2

          Look at Morgan’s entire story; he’s no stranger to living an ordinary life much like the rest of us. It was only a pretty unusual turn of events that changed everything for them; and since then I’ve only ever seen the Morgan’s try to use this constructively.

          And what would you use that much wealth for? You too have many good ideas and dreams, would you not use the opportunity to leave the world a better place than you found it?

          Or are rich people only allowed to be greedy, self-centred arses?

          • Carolyn_nth 5.1.1.2.1

            TOP policies aren’t left wing. They talk pretty, but scratch the surface.

            Compare TOP on education;

            With NZ Green Party on education:

            Both aim for good education for all. Much more breadth and depth to the GP policy. They explicitly oppose PPPs; they address the diversity of our population, ethnically and re-disabilities, etc; they see education as for the whole of life within a community.

            TOP pays lip service to special education; it aims to impose group funding set-ups on schools that are financial “inefficient”; but ultimately, it seems to see education as preparation for the workplace; and argues that the current and workplace TOP aims to prepare young people for, is one where they contract out their services, thus life-long learning is required.

            The reality of graduates doing jobs that are not rewarding, of a growing percentage of self employment and casualization of work – all suggest that the 4C’s are the essential skills. The ability to start again, to contract yourself out and work alongside other contractors, to embrace modular learning for the next employment phase – all point to a very different skill set than the information cramming that schooldays or even an early adult tertiary degree, confers.

            I’m for life-long learning for life in a democratic community, not just for work; I’m not for perpetuating the casualisation of the workforce (as TOP seems to be).

            The TOP approach is ultimately quite individualistic, and work focused, and ultimately for a capitalist economy, and is not left wing.

            • RedLogix 5.1.1.2.1.1

              And then immediately under your quote above it continues:

              Most disturbing is the tendency for whole-of life learning to open up even more inequality in our society – because it is only undertaken by higher earning workers

              OK so this concern with inequality is somehow ‘not left wing’? Or did you omit that in the interests of brevity?

              Absolutely TOP does frame much of it’s policy in economic terms; hardly surprising really. But given the root of so many of our social problems lie in an extraordinary, grotesque and morally indefensible mal-distribution of wealth … exactly what is so virtuous about ignoring economics again?

              Which is more fundamental? Social or economic policy? It’s an old debate but for decades the left solved it by clustering to the social end of the policy spectrum and more or less abandoning the economic argument to the neo-liberals. Well it’s been a bad habit and look where it got us.

              • weka

                No-one is arguing that economics be ignored, just that it be the servant of deeper values. From a Green perspective, economics is a subset of the environment. Morgan has it the other way round.

                • RedLogix

                  Exactly. And how successful has that set of priorities been these past 30 odd years? The Greens have been firmly stuck on 15% or so these past four elections and show no sign of doing better this time. (And just to be clear I voted for them each of those four elections.)

                  There is no point arguing chicken or egg here; social, economic and environmental policy are all mutually entwined.

                  • alwyn

                    ” The Greens have been firmly stuck on 15% or so these past four elections”.
                    As that great Australian comedy “The Castle” would have it. “Tell him he’s dreaming”.
                    The actual Green Party vote in the last four elections was
                    2005 5.30%
                    2008 6.72%
                    2011 11.06%
                    2014 10.70%
                    Not really the 15% or so you seem to remember is it?

            • Bill 5.1.1.2.1.2

              The TOP approach is just a variation on the theme of the NZ Labour approach, and the National Party approach, and the United Future approach. None of them are “left wing”. All of them are liberal.

              And that means that all of them elevate notions of opportunity above notions around equitable outcomes. And all of them will, in the event of another financial crisis, bail out financial institutions to the detriment of ordinary people living in New Zealand (our wage rates and job security etc) as well as our services/systems such as health care and education.

              The reason for that approach lies at the ideological heart of liberalism, and it’s simply, and quite laughably, that equal opportunity before the market is the way to secure freedom for individuals.

              Which brings us around to the idea that anything changes from swapping out one person or party for another when they are all tied to the same nonsense. The ideological underpinnings that inform NZ’s parliamentary politics has to change. People get that (I’m not at all surprised by those Ipsos poll findings) and are disengaged because of it. What’s the point of wasting time and energy on a personality contest that will only throw up a change in face, when actual change is what we need?

              • weka

                That’s a really good explanation and would make a good post.

              • RedLogix

                Again Bill, which party are you going to vote for that offers this magical, radical actual change you wish for? I’m not unsympathetic, just looking over your shoulder at a ballot paper.

                • Bill

                  I get suspicious of this “What party you going to vote for” malarky on the grounds it approaches some stfu line.

                  But anyway, if this helps.

                  • RedLogix

                    If you don’t have a good answer just say so. If it helps I don’t have an answer to that question either, but just pleading that TOP is ‘not left-wing enough’ also smacks of stfu.

            • Karen 5.1.1.2.1.3

              +1 Carolyn.

              TOP is definitely not left-wing – just another rich man’s vanity project along the lines of those headed by Bob Jones in the 1980s and Kim Dotcom at the last election.

              If you want a change of government you need to party vote Green or Labour. That’s it.

              • RedLogix

                And the Greens are just another failed hippie dream?

                Vision

                All people have aspirations, and all of us have a right to fulfil those aspirations. We also have a responsibility to ensure others have the same opportunity.

                In my experience if you help people pursue their own goals, you’ll find that they are curious, independent, creative and motivated. If you tell them what to do, or how they should live, or get in the way of their goals, they will shut down. There is simply no good reason to do this, particularly in today’s society.

                Being a New Zealander used to mean you get a fair go. But not everyone these days enjoys the same opportunities I had when I was a kid.

                I want my 4 kids and 6 grandkids to have the same opportunities that I did when growing up.

                TOP understands the importance of people starting businesses, or being in paid work, and we also acknowledge the contribution of unpaid work. Without it our economy would collapse.

                We seek to restore the Kiwi tradition of being the most equitable or fair society on the planet.

                We also want all Kiwis to benefit from our incredible natural environment. It is our greatest asset.

                We are intolerant of policies and regulations that protect the privileges of a few. We object to policies that allow people to get rich at the expense of others or our environment. We are equally intolerant of any policies that prevent our economy from performing to its potential. New Zealanders don’t have to put up with any of this.

                And exactly what part of this do you find a ‘vanity project’?

                Because here is one key point, TOP actually do not want to be in power. Their stated goal is to reach the cross-benches and be in a position to advocate their policies.

                • Carolyn_nth

                  And that TOP vision is different from a failed hippy dream… how? All very nice, but partly, the devil is in the detail.

                  Also, it is very individualistic, doesn’t address imbalances of power in society (as the GP do), and doesn’t focus on community engagement.

                  It’s a businessman’s idea of creativity in business, and attracting entrepreneurial workers.

                  • RedLogix

                    Fair cop the Greens have been around a long time and their policy development has more detail and depth as a result. Equally I totally accept they have approached policy through a different lens than TOP.

                    But if I had made a few obvious edits and told you that vision statement above was a cut and paste from the Green Party, would you have noticed the difference?

                    • Carolyn_nth

                      But also, the GP vision was grounded in a whole body of theory and practice. not just one man’s vision.

                      But if I had made a few obvious edits and told you that vision statement above was a cut and paste from the Green Party, would you have noticed the difference?

                      Yes (although, I’m not sure what you mean by “obvious edits” – some may be crucial to the difference eg:

                      An obvious difference between the TOP vision, and the GP one -s that of “I’ vs “we”

                      The GP vision is all “we”.

                      n our Vision, Aotearoa New Zealand is a place where people respect each other and the natural world we share. It is healthy, peaceful and richly diverse.

                      We know our different histories and we are secure in our identity. Our way of living honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

                      Our children, our elders, our families and our communities are at the centre of national life. Each person’s unique contribution is valued. Participation, justice and quality of life for all are valued over individual attainment of wealth.

                      This GP vision alone could seem a bit hippyish. But it’s also anchored by the

                      GP Charter – which focuses on:

                      Ecological Wisdom; Social Responsibility; Appropriate Decision-making; Non-Violence.

                      It encompasses the whole of life and community, including, but not solely focused on, the workplace

                      and the GP values

                      Includes:

                      Make decisions by consensus whenever possible …
                      Enable participation with dignity and challenge oppression

                      GP Aspirations:

                      Includes a community-based collaborative approach to the economy:

                      A thriving new economy, rich in creativity and meaningful work, results from business and the community sector embracing their social and environmental responsibilities.

                      Plus:

                      Power imbalances are reduced and resources are shared more equally.

                      The last is very important, and probably isn’t given enough pro-active prominence in the GP. It means some Greens can avoid really focusing on HOW to resist, challenge and supplant oppressive power blocks.

                      There are, however, Greens who actively take the importance of collective action against destructive power very seriously – in their campaigns.

                    • RedLogix

                      An obvious difference between the TOP vision, and the GP one -s that of “I’ vs “we”

                      GP:
                      Aotearoa New Zealand is a place where people respect each other and the natural world we share.

                      Compare with:

                      TOP:
                      All people have aspirations, and all of us have a right to fulfil those aspirations. “We” also have a responsibility to ensure “others” have the same opportunity.

                      GP:
                      Our children, our elders, our families and our communities are at the centre of national life. Each person’s unique contribution is valued.

                      Compare with:

                      TOP:
                      TOP understands the importance of people starting businesses, or being in paid work, and we also acknowledge the contribution of unpaid work. Without it our economy would collapse. We seek to restore the Kiwi tradition of being the most equitable or fair society on the planet.

                      Not a million miles apart really. I think that’s my point, while I agree the language and framing do come from different starting points, they land up not too far away from each other.

                      The GP for instance puts physical and emotional non-violence upfront, while TOP takes on the implicit economic violence in our rigged tax system, and We are intolerant of policies and regulations that protect the privileges of a few..

                      I’ve absolutely no issue with anyone voting Green; but nowhere in the world have they achieved political outcomes to match their worthy dreams:

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Greens

                      I wish it were different I really do; but here is a truth. When Sanders and Corbyn both started speaking to a framework and language that TOP is expressing above … they got results that shocked the pundits of two major nations.

                      Just saying.

                • Karen

                  “TOP actually do not want to be in power”

                  Rubbish. They are standing for parliament in the hope of winning seats.

                  They could continue to be an advocacy group supplying research to various parties, but have chosen to be a political party.

                  The main problem with TOP is Morgan himself, who gets irate with anyone who making even mild criticisms of his policies. He is a bully IMO and extremely intolerant, so it doesn’t matter what is said in their manifesto about tolerance, it will never ring true.

                • weka

                  Because here is one key point, TOP actually do not want to be in power. Their stated goal is to reach the cross-benches and be in a position to advocate their policies.

                  Are you saying that they have ruled out giving confidence and supply to a government? I’d like to see that.

                  • RedLogix

                    Our electoral ambition is to have a sufficiently significant share of seats to get our policy priorities implemented. We envisage a cross-bench position as the most effective means to that end.

                    http://www.top.org.nz/about_top

                    Interpret that as you wish, but on the face of it … cross bench it is. What if say National needed their confidence and supply to form a coalition? Well anything could happen; that’s MMP for you.

        • mauī 5.1.1.3

          If I have it right he spent a career advising government on policy from his independent economists perspective.

          If that’s his agenda I think its a pretty good one to be pushing out to the public.

          • weka 5.1.1.3.1

            I agree. But he would have been way better to do that from outside of politics. Politician’s pushing their economic agenda is not good for NZ 🙁

      • RedLogix 5.1.2

        Morgan wanted to impose a pretty stupid and cruel animal practice in NZ,

        I call bullshit.

        • weka 5.1.2.1

          You’d have to be more specific Red.

          • RedLogix 5.1.2.1.1

            Don’t be obtuse. I’ve already made it clear with both references and personal experience that what Morgan was raising is the issue of feral cats causing huge damage to native bird and invertebrate populations. And that responsible pet ownership had to be part of that story.

            http://morganfoundation.org.nz/cats/

            In our personal experience where we live right now, what you are calling ‘stupid and cruel’ turns out to be effective and sane in reality.

            • weka 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Morgan quite clearly targeted domestic cats in his original foray into this. He still does. He wants to control domestic cats in ways that are stupid and cruel.

              Locking cats inside in urban areas is both stupid and cruel. In rural areas even more so.

              Stupid is this. What happens on a hot night when someone wants all their windows open? Where does the cat pee and poo? How will the rats, mice, rabbits etc be controlled if cats are no longer doing this? How will the blackbirds and other pests in the garden be kept off the garden during the day?

              Cruel is this. Cats are not dogs (Morgan seems to think they’re similar and can be treated similarly). Cats do best with freedom. Anyone who understands cats knows this, which I’m guessing is why NRT said what he said.

              Controlling feral cats is a different thing entirely, I have no problem with that were there are native species issues. But most of NZ isn’t well suited to native species yet. Many places don’t have good native species not because of the cats but because humans have altered the landscape massively. Start restoring native ecosystems in those places, see what native species come back, then look at the best way to balance that against other predators. In some cases complete eradication is viable, in other places it’s not and in some of those cats can be part of the mix that controls rats, mice, rabbits etc.

              • RedLogix

                Not so. Are you calling our friend (who incidentally is a life-long social worker, artist, and hugely caring person) ‘stupid and cruel’ because she happily confines her cats inside the house? As does everyone else around here? I invite you to come and say that to her face.

                Cats do best with freedom.

                And freedom for your cats is death to so much wildlife.

                • weka

                  Humans have caused far more death to wildlife than cats have. And some of the wildlife that cats kill (rats, mice, rabbits) will have to be killed in other ways. Which generally means poison, which brings another whole set of problems.

                  “Are you calling our friend (who incidentally is a life-long social worker, artist, and hugely caring person) ‘stupid and cruel’ because she happily confines her cats inside the house? As does everyone else around here? I invite you to come and say that to her face.”

                  I think the policy push in NZ is stupid. For the reasons I outlined. How about you argue the actual points?

                  People who choose to keep their cats inside, it probably depends on the cats whether it’s cruel or not, but most cats in NZ are not bred or raised to be kept inside, so yes, that’s cruel.

                  Still curious how people are keeping their cats inside in summer. Are they putting them in cages?

                  • RedLogix

                    161 pages of detailed argument and planning:

                    http://cdn.morganfoundation.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/NCMSG-Strategy-Implementation-Background-Document-Sept-2016.pdf

                    This hour long studio audience presented all the points of view on cat control in Australia but by far the most encouraging thing for me was the responsible attitude taken by the various cat caring organisations including Australia’s SPCA. It really did emphasise how far ahead of thinking in New Zealand, Australia has moved. The various States with all their requirements that cat owners have their pets microchipped and registered and the councils with their sanctions upon owners for allowing their cats to wander, are an exemplar for New Zealand which, on the area of cat confinement remains like a Wild West.

                    http://morganfoundation.org.nz/eradicat-discussion-sbs-television-in-australia/

                    Actually quite interesting with a range of viewpoints.

                    Off to work now.

                    Cheers

                    Edit: Summer time? Insect screens are universal here.

                  • RedLogix

                    Summertime? Insect screens on all external doors and opening windows are universal here.

                    • weka

                      And the cat doesn’t try and get out?

                    • RedLogix

                      Sometimes they’ll sneak out under your feet as you open the screen door, but usually they come back inside under their own steam within a short time.

                      If you give them the right stimulation, feed, attention and critically the vertical space to climb and hide, they seem to adapt just fine.

                      Honestly they seem quite normal, content cats like you’d find anywhere on the internet. They certainly don’t seem driven to get outside and roam.

  6. weka 6

    nice summary!

  7. DoublePlusGood 7

    Morgan’s main problem is he doesn’t consider ideas outside of what he considers wrong. Just look at his reactions whenever someone makes a reasoned criticism of TOPs policies on facebook. Those aren’t the reactions of someone who can govern well.

    • weka 7.1

      Twitter as well. He pretty much burnt those bridges and showed himself and Geoff to not be interested in engaging on ideas or policy. That alone is a big red flag.

    • RedLogix 7.2

      Yes Morgan is an unreasonable man; people who want to change things usually are.

      As for ‘governing’ he’s explicitly said he has no expectation of forming a government; that is not his goal.

  8. patricia bremner 8

    Top is a “Distraction” from the real problems.
    Noise and no substance.

  9. Bill 9

    In terms of the liberal parties on offer, TOPs looks like it could be the least shitty of the bunch. And by quite a long shot. At least they’re committed to sitting on the cross benches.

    In terms of anything that might pass as social democratic, there’s only NZ 1st, and that’s…that’s…yeah, fuck no. But they could making significant gains this election just because they’re not quite like the others (Trump effect).

    Then there’s the Greens. They’ve never quite defined the framework they hang their policies from, and I reckon that’s what’s made them somewhat dismissible in the past (ie – nice sounding stuff, but no cohesion…TED Talks as it were). If they could very quickly do two things…1. cut NZ Labour loose, and 2. define the political philosophy that encapsulates and informs their policy, then they could be the Sanders, the Corbyn, the SNP of NZ.

    But then, I suspect polling day will roll around and be accompanied by levels of enthusiasm that might go along with checking out undies after a suspiciously a wet fart.

    • weka 9.1

      Hmm, the Greens have a clear political philosophy, well understood within Green politics internationally. Did you mean economic philosophy?

      • Bill 9.1.1

        What I mean is that they have, at best, a disjointed framework (maybe a couple of part frameworks) that they hang policies from. Some of their policies are quite social democratic. Some are quite liberal. Some are just kind of nice sounding but floating in a vacuum.

        If there was a recognisable framework, then everything would dovetail into everything else, or to some extent or other, predict and inform everything else. And all of their policies would be sensibly and primarily informed by that overarching ideological or philosophical framework.

        late edit: (Quickly and maybe not expressed very well) Given that the Green Party comprised itself of, and so was influenced by such diverse groups as anarchists, Maoists, middle class liberals, new age types and so on, it’s not surprising the cohesive framework is lacking. Compare to the Labour Party, that had a very definite social democratic framing in the beginning, that was informed by ideas about socialism, and that had some (crazy) notion that social democracy could progress towards socialism. They were ‘forged’ and had a framework that could be pulled this way or that. The Greens lack that solidity.

        • weka 9.1.1.1

          I think they do have an overarching philosophical framework though. It might not fit neatly into conventional historic notions of political frameworks, but that’s because Green politics was designed outside of that. It does have its own structure and consistency that all the policies sit within.

          • Bill 9.1.1.1.1

            And can you explain that framework (the philosophical and political underpinnings) and how it informs the policies they have?

            • weka 9.1.1.1.1.1

              am thinking I might write a post about it. Can you give me some examples of more conventional ones, so I know we’re talking about the same thing? Do you mean things like a social democracy framework that might be defined thus,

              Social democracy is a political, social and economic ideology that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a capitalist economy, as well as a policy regime involving a commitment to representative democracy, measures for income redistribution, and regulation of the economy in the general interest and welfare state provisions

              And then all policy generally fits within those parameters? e.g. bottled water would be ok so long as there was no worker exploitation, the people had a say, any profits were shared fairly rather than being accumulated by company shareholders as is now the case, probably some environmental protections to prevent the resources being negatively affected and thus not available to the people any more. Etc.

              • Bill

                Yeah well, but you’re going to get exploitation in your example because social democracy exists within a capitalist framework. And people only have a limited say (representative governance structures). Profits are made and accumulated (capitalism again). Legislation and standards (good and/or bad) would likely be laid down whether a centralised governance system is social democratic or not.

                But yes, something like that.

                What is the lens that Green Party policies should sensibly be viewed through so that they made overall sense, instead of coming across as separate packages that are not necessarily connected within any bigger picture.

                • weka

                  Basically it’s the ‘Green politics’ lens, which is an actual thing (have a look at the wiki entry as a starting point). I haven’t studied this in depth, but afaik there was an initial framework setting the 1970s especially from things like the Limits to Growth work done. That would have followed on from previous environmental issues but I think that’s the time when formal frameworks were established as a counter to the perpetual growth paradigm (one could also consider it a counter to capitalism). In working through that, the social justice aspects were also established, in part for their own sake but also because you can’t have environmental justice without social justice.

                  According to Derek Wall, a prominent British Green proponent, there are four pillars that define Green politics:

                  Ecological wisdom
                  Social justice
                  Grassroots democracy
                  Nonviolence

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_politics#Core_tenets

                  That’s the basis of the GP in NZ, is still in their core philosophical documents, and IMO is still core to the culture within the party. It’s easy for me to see how all the policy flows out from that, but then it’s the natural cultural fit for me and the one I’ve been in and around my whole adult life, so when I read policy it’s obvious. I’m going to have a think about why its not obvious from outside the culture, that’s a good point.

                  Some people believe that it’s possible to work within capitalism or outside in regards to Green Politics (in the same way that social democracy could I guess). Personally I think that capitalism will have to fall if we want to attend to CC in particular but I also see the value in working with existing structures in the meantime. Hence my not having a problem with Norman or Shaw, and having some sympathy for their needs to work with mainstream economic structures unless they get to be the main party in govt.

                  • Bill

                    That’s not at all what I’m on about at all.

                    In essence, all you have done there (by way of comparison) is to take Labour Party values and then say those things are the lens through which to view the party politics.

                    But I’m asking what informs the values. None of those “four pillars” are unique to ‘Green’ politics. All individually pre-date any modern ‘Green’ political philosophy by many, many years – ie, hundreds of them.

                    I just find it very odd for you state, that as far as the Green Party goes, its values don’t spring from any traditional sources – in which case, the European Enlightenment and all it entailed is irrelevant.

                    If you have some idea of parliamentary politics within a capitalist context that preserves some form of representative democracy, and that offers up an alternative to both social democracy and liberalism (ie – isn’t “third way” compromise), then I’m all ears.

                    I’ll add that it was never said their policies are difficult to understand – but rather they failed to form a definitive “sum of their parts” – ie, are they liberal; are they social democratic; a “third way” combination of the two?

                    Or is it perfectly reasonable to view them as a mash that lacks definition, and to put that down, perhaps, to attempts made to please or accommodate all the constituent influences present at their formation as a party (eg – anarchist, Maoist, social democratic, liberal, new age spiritual plus whatever else)?

                    And if that last bit is a reasonable take – and obviously I think it is – then what happens next? Will they manage to define themselves as social democratic and gain ascendancy (my strong preference), or will they remain somewhat diffuse or vague because of competing internal dynamics or ideologies, or is it possible they may even slide into a liberal space?

              • Carolyn_nth

                Somewhere in this discussion, NZ First was describe as a social democratic party. I see the NZ First as being stronger on economic justice than on social justice.

                The Greens used to have a section on their website explaining their vision and principle. Now they only have policies, around 2 planks. Big mistake IMO.

                • weka

                  It’s still there but it’s harder to find since they upgraded the website for election year. I agree it’s better to have it more visible. Might point that out to them again.

                • Bill

                  I see them as very conservative social democrats. The conservative bit is their social agenda, and their social democratic part is their economics.

                  Old school Tory in other words.

              • SpaceMonkey

                I like where you’re going with this. When considering the Greens, it may be that that their philosophical framework is based around the environment, i.e. environmental considerations are paramount. Whereas other parties might put the economic needs (National?) or social needs (Labour/NZ First?) at the centre of their philosophy. I realise it is a lot more nuanced than that, especially when the party is more mainstream, and it comes back to what Bill said earlier around those three categories all needing equal weight.

                It is when the pendulum has swung too far in one direction (e.g. economic needs) at the expense, or to the detriment of, the social and environmental needs as we have today that the space is created for new parties to enter and stake out the ground they intend to represent on.

                I don’t know, just postulating… happy to discuss further.

    • garibaldi 9.2

      I agree Bill, but it won’t happen under the current leadership. There’s no fire in Shaw’s belly.

      • Adrian Thornton 9.2.1

        Yeh the Greens lost me when they lost Sue Bradford, you can be sure we all would know exactly where the Greens stood today if Sue was co leader.

        • Bill 9.2.1.1

          Let’s imagine Nandor and Sue had both won their leadership challenges. That would have been a parliamentary party being led by two people who were politically informed by anarchism and Maoism.

          Would they both have been able to put those things aside(or on the back burner) given the constraints of the environment they were in, and forge a social democratic identity for the Greens?

          I guess we’ll never know.

  10. Michael 10

    Labour continues to identify itself as another neoliberal brand in the political marketplace. As a result, people who would have voted for it are either turning to populists, notably Winston, or abandoning politics altogether. I can’t figure out whether Labour’s strategy is diabolically clever or culpably reckless. Whatever: it stands a good chance of coming fourth on 23 September – after the Nats, No Vote, and Winston (in that order).

    • Adrian Thornton 10.1

      Yes I agree, Labour seem to be on the rod to nowhere.

      Strangely enough they could well have the right leader in Andrew Little, I think he is widely seen as an honest and sincere man, I can’t really think of anyone ever seriously questioning his integrity, so you would think that that would be the foundation of a really strong and powerful campaign for Labour, but no, they are hobbled by their own neoliberal policies and ideologies, so cannot, and probably will not gain any real traction in this election cycle…and just when the country needs Labour most…..

      Turn labour Left!

  11. joe90 11

    And you hate cats, so you can fuck off

    We live in a coastal community and for twenty years we had Jack, a mad keen bird fancier/keeper in the neighbourhood, who relentlessly shot and poisoned any cats, including the two we moved here with, who had the misfortune to try their luck around his aviaries.

    He’s since died and the impact on not only bird song but invertebrates and amphibians is apparent and devastating.

    Consequently, there’s a big push in the community to either ban the damn things or take up Jack’s cat killing ways.

    • ropata 11.1

      +1 we seem to be in a minority here, cats are a pest akin to mustelids/possums and the damn things should be tightly regulated as Gareth proposes.
      Your cute moggy is a highly evolved predator that regularly embarks on nocturnal killing sprees.

  12. greywarshark 12

    Listening to the business report on Radionz pre 7am.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/businessnews/audio/201849924/business-news-for-5-july-2017

    E&OE
    *Growth in property prices is down. Only 8% in year to June, lowest in two years.
    Banks are cutting risks with tighter LVRs**, cutting down lending to investors, but a broad brush approach is affecting movers, first home buyers and developers building new homes. (So banks are still screwing us.)

    * Small private tech companies fail to get returns to match costs of growth, and need to build before they go public.

    *Listed tech companies cut staff, research, administration etc – returns not matching shareholding expectations.

    * Prices are affected by tough competition in retail sector eating into profit
    Building industry confidence fell sharply , service sector okay cost pressure remain an issue, difficult to put prices up to match.
    (Strong population growth has been behind growth in business.)

    *Then on confidence surveys from UBS Global
    Media excited by these surveys which are just good PR economists do not they are opinion polls with good pr. Exaggerating on confidence data from one firm and the markets expecting better times got to correct down over the next few months and reality is needed!!

    **(The Loan to Value ratio (LVR) is the amount of your loan compared to the value of your property. LVR is calculated by dividing the amount of the loan by the value of the property. For example, if the property is worth $250,000 and you have a deposit of $50,000, the LVR will be 80%.)

    So my take on that. Too much competition making business unprofitable and unstable. Investors looking to cream off everything looking for fast easy buck and not being prepared to stay and help develop the business. NZ looking to the glamorous IT firms which are very volatile and needing R&D to keep up from year to year, yet they are short of funds. No business is stable apparently, and export orientation is stripping us down to basics. Hard for small business to compete, and if succeeding will only last for under a decade, or be bought out by overseas so that one big cash return, then drain on NZ to pay profits overseas.

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