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Open mike 01/03/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, March 1st, 2020 - 53 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

53 comments on “Open mike 01/03/2020 ”

  1. Who is his 'handler'?

    Do you have a handler?

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • RedLogix 1.1

      50 Cent Party. Or maybe this guy comes cheaper, who knows. It's a judgement call.

      As for me having a handler … do you really think so?

      • Pete George 1.1.1

        You made a claim that he had a handler. Now you clarify saying it is 'a judgement, so I presume no evidence.

        I have no reason to believe you have a handler. Nor anyone else here.

        It is common to try to discredit people commenting in social media by suggesting they are paid by or employed by someone. It's happened to me. I may well have done it in the past.

        Without any evidence I think it's a questionable practice.

        It’s not unlike trying to ‘guess’ someone’s identity or connections, as has happened below. I thought that was frowned on here.

        • RedLogix

          By it's very nature there never going to be any direct information of what is going on in the background with these handles, so your attempt to demand I provide an impossible standard of evidence is rejected.

          At the same time we know the CCP runs a huge number of these types all over the internet for certain. Therefore you cannot say for certain this 'Josh' is operating in good faith.

          But in my experience all the clues are there.

        • Incognito

          Here’s the issue. A “handler” does not need to be taken literally, as that would be naive and you, Pete, have been around the block enough to know better. Through media people are constantly influenced and manipulated and this blog, which is not “just a blog”, is not immune to ‘subversive elements’ trying to use this free forum for their nefarious goals. When people are manipulated without realising it, their strings are pulled by their ‘handler’ unbeknownst to them, often perceiving them “in good faith”. Even you, Pete, may have one or more handlers without knowing it 😉

          Without any evidence I think it's a questionable practice.

          It’s not unlike trying to ‘guess’ someone’s identity or connections, as has happened below. I thought that was frowned on here.

          Why don’t you leave it with this site’s Moderators, Pete? They can see things that you can’t.

      • Pete George 1.1.2

        And I think making suggestions or attempting connections is particularly questionable when the person has made such abhorrent suggestions like dumping people out of planes.

        • RedLogix

          This shithead is reflecting precisely the 'human rights' record of the CCP.

          • Pete George

            Who do you judge this person may be reflecting?

            For the record, if I contract the Coronavirus I'll be attending every National & Act Party meeting that I can.


            • RedLogix

              Another marxist shithead, they come in all shapes and sizes. (It's also why I don't grovel about in that cesspit called Twitter.)

              • Looking at their list of followers, including an MP, and ex party leader, an ex part general secretary and someone prominent here at TS (none of whom are responsible for the comment) I'm not sure that's an accurate assumption.

              • RedLogix

                Do I look like I care? I'm not responsible for explaining every stupid thing everyone says on the internet … no matter who they are.

                Otherwise your attempt at re-directing attention from the issue at hand is noted.

            • Robert Guyton

              "A real person living in Northland. I've spent 40+ years keeping Kiwi's safe, also a volunteer firefighter."

    • David Mac 1.2

      Everyone's handler is their Mum. When they die, by default, it passes to an uncomfortable with the role Dad….sometimes an older sister steps in.

  2. More on party donations.

    Four out of every five dollars donated to big parties in secret, sparking new push for transparency

    Smaller parties like the Greens publicly disclose who provided most of their funding, but the big parties are secretive. 83 per cent ($8.7m over six years) of the money donated to National is from anonymous donors, and 80 per cent ($2.8m) of that donated to Labour.

    The worst offender is NZ First: Most years, it allows every single one of its donors to remain secret.


    The Labour Party is hiding tens of thousands of dollars in donations behind over-inflated art auctions – and naming the artists as donors instead of the secret individuals handing over the big bucks.

    The artists had no idea the party was naming them as the donors – they never saw a cent of the money. They say their works are auctioned off at well above market value to wealthy benefactors who want to keep their support for the party secret.

    Labour says the practice complies with electoral rules.


    That was in 2017. NZ First donations are under increased scrutiny and are currently being investigated by the SFO. Jami-Lee Ross is being prosecuted, Lianne Dalziel, Phil Goff are under SFO investigation over donations.

    Andrea Vance writes:

    Politicians write the rules they so blatantly flout. The parties manage their own accounts and the cash that flows into them.

    Now it's pretty obvious they can't be trusted, it's time to take away that power and ban them from accepting donations directly.

    The only way to transparency is for an independent body to handle and process the donations, which would not be disclosed publicly or to the party.

    That way the donor maintains their anonymity and privacy – and the law-makers cannot be in anyone's pocket.

    The perception of influence and corruption would also be removed.


    If donations remain allowed then this is one way of tidying things up a bit, but it wouldn't prevent what NZ First appear to have done, having donations paid into a separate NZ First Foundation and paying party expenses directly from the Foundation.

    Would chanelling donations through an independent body (the Electoral Commission has been one suggestion) mean that limiting the size of donations wouldn't be necessary?

    An independent handler would impact on all parties (especially the Greens) using donations drives as a part of member recruitment and communications.

    It wouldn't stop donors advising parties they had donated certain amounts to the party via the independent handler.

    I don't think there are any simple solutions to this.

    The Electoral Commission and the SFO actually investigating and prosecuting will help, electoral rule had appeared to have been broken with impunity in the past.

    We can't trust parties to set their own rules on this, they have proven to be too self-interested.

    But I think there should still be some sort of independent review of how donations are handled. Perhaps by an independent panel of experts, but this could be informed by some sort of 'people's panel'.

    • Craig H 2.1

      I'm just a member of the Labour Party, but it seems pretty clear from the LEC meetings that this year that any officially Labour fundraiser donations will be declared correctly, including any auctions above market value.

    • Incognito 2.2

      But I think there should still be some sort of independent review of how donations are handled. Perhaps by an independent panel of experts, but this could be informed by some sort of 'people's panel'. [my italics]

      Good to see that your thinking about this has evolved in just a few days.

    • Gabby 2.3

      Vance is in dreamland if she thinks that would prevent beholdenness. There are ways of making clear to the pollie you've bought, just who owns him/her.

  3. Reality 3

    Recently there have been snide comments at our PM gracing the covers of women’s magazines and Time. Well, what will those same critics say at Paula Bennett being on the cover of a couple of recent magazines. Hmm, there will be silence I suspect. The latest PB cover has her grinning maniacally and saying she is proud of her body. Classy?

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.1

      OK. As one of the guilty, I'll bite.

      Paula Bennett is performing as one would expect for someone of her ilk. The right have always used the mass media to sprinkle glitter on their turds. To deflect and to distract. To shamelessly self promote when credit is undeserved.

      Not read and won't read the article, but I guess there's a lot of "effort" and "discipline " and "sacrifice"…..?

      I have a loathing of the 'cult of celebrity' type crap that so called Leaders have recently embraced. Even Helen Clark resisted the glamour shots …until she shamefully buckled.

      Maybe this is the reality of politics today. Don't examine actual achievements and pre- election promises kept, as long as the cover shot looks great all's good.

      They're all cast in the same mold.

    • The latest PB cover has her grinning maniacally and saying she is proud of her body.

      Seriously? She had gastric bypass surgery – if anyone gets to be proud of the result, surely it's the surgeon? In any case, "I'm proud of my body" is code for "I look so much better than you losers," and narcissism isn't one of the features a voter should look for in a politician.

  4. joe90 4

    The coat ladies' faces.

  5. Ed1 5

    I noticed a post in "Feeds" that led me to https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2020/03/01/february-20-nz-blogs-sitemeter-ranking/

    and I was intrigued to see that most blogs that I have bookmarked are not listed. This does not seem to be new – previous rankings are also given, and I see they haven't included some of the "majors"for quite a while.

    Can anyone comment on the reason for the change? Are measurements now essentially irrelevant where they can be so easily manipulated?

      • Ed1 5.1.1

        Thanks for that. From below that FAQ, I looked at results for August 2012. At that time the highest ranking blogs were Whale oil beef hooked, Kiwiblog, The Standard, Throng New Zealand, NewZeal.

        I suspect the first three of those disappeared from the rankings some time ago, but at lest Kiwiblog and The Standard still exist. I have not seen why – the FAQ indicates technical reasons why some may not be included, but both Kiwiblog and The Standard appear to be well managed technically; I may have missed the reason for deciding not to have the traffic information available for ranking purposes.

        • weka

          Lynn (TS sysop lprent) has commented on this from time to time in the past. It's a technical issue.


        • lprent

          When you get tens of thousands of pageviews per day, everything counts. From memory I disabled statcounter in April 2017 because it was slowing the pages at the client side. After I removed it the perceived render time increased by about 25% because the statcounter server was running slowly – and we were running on a paid account. The page would load on the client side but not fully render the css while it tried to update statcounter.

          I actually turned on the free statcounter again in December for evaluation. They have shifted to an async counter (like google analytics) which causes less of the client side page loading problems. They also appear to have fixed up their server side issues.

          Waiting for a larger traffic day so I can see what the performance is like.

  6. Ad 6

    Luxembourg is the first country in the world to make public transport free.


    We certainly have pretty good subsidies for the old and the young here.

    But fully free done in New Zealand would be reasonably well targeted as it will mostly benefit the less-well-off, the students, and the unemployed. The ones with really nice cars who prefer their own stereo and freedom can continue along as they were.

    Hopefully MoT policy teams are watching this one.

    Because at the moment we are putting a lot more into large capital projects, rather than massive operational subsidies on the Luxembourg scale

    • Sacha 6.1

      Not just operational spending. They already have a PT system capable of delivering those free trips. NZ will not until we have made up for decades of roads-first spending. Yet we are still funding the wrong capital projects.

    • AB 6.2

      Making more and more things 'public goods' that are free at the point of use and funded collectively based on the ability to contribute, is an obvious way forward. Public luxury and private sufficiency' -as Monbiot (I think) described it. The obstacles to it are political rather than financial .

      However you do need an infrastructure capable of supporting it – and in the case of PT it would likely result in overwhelmed and under-performing services that give the whole concept a bad reputation as a result.

    • Gabby 6.3

      Luxembourg is quite wealthy. That's an understatement. It's got about 5km of roads. I'd imagine it's pretty cheap to get around.

  7. Andre 7

    Biden's back.

    With around 30% of the vote counted, Biden has around 52% of the vote share and Bernie around 18%. All others well below 15%.

    If that vote share stays about the same, that would give Biden 40 of the 54 pledged delegates and Sanders the remaining 14.

    • arkie 7.1

      A very good showing for Biden and the first State primary victory of his political career. This will keep the race interesting.

    • Andre 7.2

      Steyer is apparently dropping out …


      Hopefully Biden's showing is good enough that Bloomberg realises his chances of becoming prez have just become zero so he drops out too. That would take one of the worst possible primary outcomes off the table.

      • Bill 7.2.1

        Biden hasn't campaigned in Super Tuesday states and has run next to no advertising in those states either. Now sure, no doubt CNN and MSNBC et al will suggest that S. Carolina is really the first state that actually means very much and give Biden wall to wall positive coverage over the next three days. Enough to give him unprecedented bumps all across Super Tuesday states in these days of increasingly popular internet alternatives to "official" news channels? I'd doubt it, but we'll see.

        Any idea what the under 40s split was in S. Carolina btw? 😉

    • Bill 8.1

      Not the first piece of possible fuckery this primary season, and probably not the last.

      Apart from closing and moving polling stations at the last minute, South Carolina is 100% electronic voting, and the capacity for monkey-wrenching those voting machines and their computer generated "paper trail" is kinda jaw dropping.

      To anoint Biden as "the comeback kid", he had to get a margin of around 20%. But people will also have to not remember he had a 50% margin in South Carolina a few short months back 😉

    • joe90 8.2

      You reckon.


  8. David Mac 9

    Jacinda was the opposition spokesperson for what isn't flash for kids and families.

    The stats haven't moved much. The opposition's silence on matters of this nature leads me to wonder if they're preparing.

    When attacking an opponent, no matter if in the ring, on the track or in politics, we aim for the weak spots. The escalating demand for state housing by qualified applicants, it's accelerating fast. Demand for rentals is so strong landlords choose from a selection of applicants that will adminster the wear and tear of someone with no arms or legs.

    The prime things a left govt were going to fix. Roof, food, health for all.

    Why aren't National punching at Labour's bloody eye?

    • Sacha 9.1

      When attacking an opponent, no matter if in the ring, on the track or in politics, we aim for the weak spots.

      Unless you follow dark PR gurus Goebbels or Karl Rove who advocated attacking their strengths.

  9. Eco Maori 10

    Kia Ora The Am Show.

    That's good that the comunity payment is made available for the people affected by the North land droughts.

    All of my Offspring have been vaxcernated.

    Aotearoa needs to use smart solutions to our traffic jam problems.

    The longer summer weather tells a big story 3 weeks longer.????.

    Ka kite Ano.

  10. Eco Maori 11

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News the sis sandflys are stuffing with my devices.

  11. Eco Maori 12

    Kia Ora The Am Show.

    Good to see our government investing money into Christchurch the City needs all the help it can get.

    Children learn to bully from bulling happening in their home.

    No need to be scared of God's little creature in Aotearoa. I just put them outside spiders and insects in the whare

    Wow those Whare in Americas Lake Erie look like Ice sculpture.

    That's it treat people the way you want to be treated or like you treat your own.

    The Ion age is here and now new 5G phones E money Electric Cars.

    Ka kite Ano

  12. Eco Maori 13

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    In Te Tairawhiti a lot of land that should have been left to drystock farming was planted in pine trees now that move is affecting Te Tairawhiti negatively.

    Isn't it Ironic.

    I can see why Shane Jones is being defensive especially if some in the Indian community are attacking Te treaty of Waitangi validity.

    Sea level rising of course its happening our polar ice caps are melting our Glaciers are melting cause Global warming.

    Ka kite Ano

  13. Eco Maori 14

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    I think if the virus problem gets worse our government will step up.

    Six emergency whare is good but tangata whenua o Aotearoa need many more emergency whare.

    Timothy's travels will be a good story.

    Ka kite Ano.

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