Open mike 01/12/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 1st, 2023 - 51 comments
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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 …

51 comments on “Open mike 01/12/2023 ”

  1. SPC 1

    The new team.

    1. Chris Hipkins – leader
    2. Carmel Sepuloni – welfare, Pacific Peoples, Auckland issues
    3. Grant Robertson – finance and racing
    4. Megan Woods – climate change and energy
    5. Willie Jackson – Māori development, broadcasting, employment
    6. Ayesha Verrall – health, public service and Wellington
    7. Kieran McAnulty – Shadow Leader of the House, housing, regional and local government
    8. Willow-Jean Prime – children and youth
    9. Ginny Andersen – police, violence prevention, social investment
    10. Jan Tinetti – education and women

    It’s great that Hipkins has kept failed Ministers in their portfolios, so the public can be reminded of how bad things were in health and education under them.

    So National's intelligentsia thinks it will improve health and education while transferring scarce national resources into the pockets of the landlord and employer class and it diminishes the rights of workers and tenants.

    How historic are their ambitions

    And while there are differences in health outcomes for many groups (much due to lifestyle choices), the improvement over 125 years has been immense. The life expectancy for Maori men has gone from 25 to 73 and for Maori women from 23 to 77.

    For European NZers, the change over the same period has been from 55 to 81 for men and 58 to 84 for women. So an increase of 48 years for Maori men, 54 years for Maori women, 26 years for European men and 26 years for European women.

    Oh so lifestyles of poor people will be an excuse … for any failure.

    https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/

    • mikesh 1.1

      Why not Greg O'Connor for the police portfolio. He seems an obvious choice being a former police officer and, later, spokesperson for the police union.

      • alwyn 1.1.1

        I suspect he is not very popular with the hierarchy of the party. He is Labour of fifty years ago when they actually tried to represent the working people.

        He didn't go on the list. He was probably offered position 95 or so. I doubt if Hipkins would have minded in the slightest if he had lost his seat. H also admitted before the election that Labour were going to get badly beaten.

        https://www.thepost.co.nz/politics/350076455/labour-mp-concedes-his-party-will-likely-lose-election

      • SPC 1.1.2

        Greg O’Connor was not an MP until 2017.

        His first priority has been to win the electorate seat and secure it for Labour – after the Dunne era.

        He is now age 65.

      • Jilly Bee 1.1.3

        I believe Greg O'Connor is Assistant Speaker in the new parliament, which probably precludes him from having spokespersons roles. I may be wrong and stand to be corrected.

        • SPC 1.1.3.1

          Deputy Speaker in the former parliament 2022-2023.

        • Craig H 1.1.3.2

          Those are yet to be elected but you are correct that it precludes spokesperson roles.

          Standard practice is to elect at least one assistant speaker each from Labour and National (Jacqui Dean was the National MP in the last Parliament) – will be interesting to see which Labour MP is elected as assistant speaker.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Latest bout of US corporate infighting has been fun, and there's even top-level foreign policy mixed in:

    During the conversation with Netanyahu, which took place shortly after Musk attacked the Anti-Defamation League, Netanyahu urged the billionaire to strike a balance between the protection of free speech online and fighting hate speech.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/nov/29/elon-musk-hurls-defiant-profanity-laced-retort-at-fleeing-advertisers

    Playing the radical chic card. The idea that media ought to be balanced is an unusually clever notion from the yahoo – almost worth pondering the possibility that Elon took it on board as sage advice.

    • SPC 2.1

      Some firms have paused advertising on X amid concerns over antisemitism, including a post from Mr Musk himself.

      The Tesla and SpaceX boss apologised on Wednesday for that post, saying it might be the "dumbest" thing he has ever shared online.

      I am not sure because

      At an event in New York, he accused companies that have joined an ad boycott of the site formerly known as Twitter of trying to blackmail him.

      "I don't want them to advertise," Mr Musk said at the New York Times' DealBook Summit.

      "If someone is going to blackmail me with advertising or money go [expletive] yourself.

      For mine at least one person thought he might have done it again

      In the room with Mr Musk was Linda Yaccarino, X's chief executive, who has been charged with trying to bring back advertisers to the platform.

      When she moves to another jobs, she'll have on her CV, carried fresh nappies for a billionaire.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-67574396

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        How's X faring as a money-making machine? Seems okay according to this market appraisal: https://www.searchlogistics.com/learn/statistics/twitter-user-statistics/

        • There are 237.8 million monetizable daily active users (mDAU) on Twitter.
        • Twitter’s revenue in 2022 was $4.4 billion.
        • The truth is that Twitter lost around 32 million users since the takeover

        So they dropped 13%, no big deal really. Those who threw a tanty about Elon will seek out some other media icon to worship.

        Elon Musk holds the top spot as the most followed person on Twitter/X, with 156.8 million followers.

        Such loyalty to the boss is so traditional it almost brings tears to one's eyes. Hipkins may even be so inspired by it he'll issue another random reflex captain's call.

        • SPC 2.1.1.1

          X generates revenue from advertising, not numbers of users.

          • Dennis Frank 2.1.1.1.1

            Yeah so that $4.4 billion will get compared with the 2023 revenue to assess the effect of selective rejection of advertisers, which is the strategy behind the mouth (even if inadvertent). Accountants must do their thing re cost/income ratio to report whatever corporate profit to the market. My guess is that any dent in Elon's reputation for gambling will emerge in a few months from now. Dunno if they do march end-of-financial-year like us (bequeathed by pagans long ago).

  3. SPC 3

    A precedent has been set.

    New CTU analysis of the National & ACT coalition agreement has shown the cost of returning interest deductibility to landlords is an extra $900 million on top of National’s original proposal. This is because it is going to be implemented earlier and faster, including retrospective rebates from April 2023.

    If backdating stuff is now OK, why not backdate a future CGT to the original purchase?

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO2311/S00204/christmas-coming-early-for-landlords-with-an-extra-900-million-present-from-nact.htm

  4. Ad 4

    Estimate number of months it will take to put out Shane McGowan's cremation.

  5. Phillip ure 5

    Political prediction:

    Question time is going to become appointment-viewing..

    (I might start doing commentaries on it…again…

    There is often much humour to be had ..)

  6. Peter 6

    I sometimes watch US political comment all they way through and was pleased I watched all of 'Orange Jesus: Media still not ready to cover Trump after years of his lies." Comments are pertinent to how our media, and specifically our political media operates. It also has some blunt historical stuff.

    Brian Klass is quoted

    "This is what I call the Banality of Crazy and it's warping the way that Americans think about politics in the Trump and Post Trump era

    Trump scandals have become predictably banal and American journalists have become golden retrievers watching the tennis ball launcher. Every time they start to chase one ball, a fresh one immediately explodes into view, prompting a new chase. Eventually chasing tennis balls gets old.

    The media fixate on John Fetterman’s hoodie pretty instead of on stories about the relentless but predictable risk of Trump inspired political violence. In ordinary times this approach may be ill-advised but not dangerous, today it’s dangerous – by breathlessly covering every minor gaffe by Joe Biden while ignoring unhinged incitements to violence by Trump most voters never see the sides of Trump that should most worry them.

    The press has succumbed to the numbing effect of the Banality of Crazy, once reporting on every single Trump tweet in early 2017 because it was unusual but now ignoring even the most dangerous policy proposals by an authoritarian who is on the cusp of once again becoming the most powerful man in the world – precisely because it happens like clockwork almost every day."

    The true cost of the Government's tobacco policy, the true cost of returning interest deductibility to landlords, the effectiveness of boot camps? Nah, let's talk about Tory Whanau.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bB6S7SRrBY

  7. Anne 7

    The stupidity is mind boggling:

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/503646/coalition-s-who-policy-leaves-public-health-expert-baffled

    A “National Interest” test? So, just in case they’re planning to harm the entire population a security service investigation must be conducted first?

    Professor Baker calls it incoherent. That is the nice way of putting it.

    • Ad 7.1

      Nothing to fear from a national interest test for signing up to such multilateral agreements.

      It's how NZ has and continues to function for over a century, and those tests are routine.

      What Verrall etc will need to be vigilant over is crappy public health medical facts being inserted by tinfoil-hatted morons.

      • Descendant Of Smith 7.1.1

        Are there any examples of ones we have not signed up to previously?

        • Ad 7.1.1.1

          Not aware of any in international public health.

          But I claim no expertise in this field.

          • Descendant Of Smith 7.1.1.1.1

            So it isn't really how we've functioned?

            I'm bemused as to the point of the legislative changed wanted,

  8. Pat 8

    "But, no. One of the later acts of the dying Labour Government was, having said we couldn't just 'turn the tap on' again to inbound migration, then itself turning on every tap in view and leaving them all on."

    https://www.interest.co.nz/personal-finance/125426/david-hargreaves-has-look-economic-developments-past-year-and-lines-these

    Which begs the question…. has the election result had any more than a marginal impact?

    • Ad 8.1

      Yeah it's tempting.

      But let's wait for Speech from the Throne next week and mini-budget week after that.

      • Pat 8.1.1

        The mini budget may contain some interesting details but do you think the general direction of the NZ economy will be fundamentally changed..i.e. a substantial reduction in migration?

        Anything short of a fundamental change to the economic drivers will have no more than a marginal impact on how we fare in the near term future and I see nothing in the coalition agreement that changes the economic fundamentals.

    • Craig H 8.2

      The tap was turned on a lot, but could have been turned on a lot more. One change signalled by the new government is the removal of the median wage minimum for work visas, which could significantly increase migration.

      • Pat 8.2.1

        Given we have had record immigration in the 12 months prior to the election (118,000 net) the application of median wage minimum for work visas appears not to have been applied in any case.

        As the reports from within Immigration NZ appear to support with staff being told to rubber stamp applications.

  9. Dennis Frank 9

    Elon's not the only gambler on the global stage:

    The UN climate summit clinched an early victory Thursday, with delegates adopting a new fund to help poor nations cope with costly climate disasters.

    COP28 President Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber said the decision sent a "positive signal of momentum to the world and to our work here in Dubai."

    In establishing the fund on the first day of the two-week COP28 conference, delegates opened the door for governments to announce contributions.

    Several did, kicking off a series of small pledges that countries hoped would build throughout the conference to a substantial sum, including US$100 million (NZ$162m) from the COP28 host United Arab Emirates, at least US$51m (NZ$82m) from Britain, US$17.5m (NZ$28.4m) from the United States, and US$10m (NZ$16.2m) from Japan.

    Betting on human survival in such an organised way is helpful, I guess. Helps victims while the problem-producing behaviour is unaffected…

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/503648/cop28-kicks-off-with-climate-disaster-fund-victory

    • SPC 9.1

      How many countries have funded their previous committments …

      It's another pretence of momentum, they are not even trying to hide it any more.

      • SPC 9.1.1

        I should expand.

        There have been past promises to fund assistance to the third world for renewables etc. But the money has not been forthcoming in the amounts promised (GFC and pandemic since etc).

        Last year at 27, they talked about setting up a fund to assist nations suffering from "weather/climate change – flood or drought" related events.

        Over the past 12 months countries had argued about the rules, where the fund should be located and who should pay in.

        The US is wary of it being seen as an admission of liability (little wonder they are not with the ICC). And offer an amount as risible as their honouring of a promise back in the 1970's to provide 0.7% GDP in foreign aid (one of many nations in this category).

        https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-67581277

        The US offer of $17m says a lot, we could afford to do more ourselves but the landlords got all the money.

        • Dennis Frank 9.1.1.1

          It was worth the effort to contextualise the UN `climate victory' framing as you did. Tokenism can be overly cynical but this context does give it partial basis.

          admission of liability

          Yank paranoia is rational inasmuch as they took over from the Brits as primary culprit, yet China took over from them as primary culprit this century.

          However it's technically possible for each of those 3 to grow up & act like adults on a better late than never rational basis. The UN could ask the 3 reps to all join hands and wish upon a star for instant transformation in front of a media cabal with live global coverage. The UN guys could stand by with 3 conical dunce hats with the word dunce in bold capitals as brand labelling so neolibs get the message if any or all 3 wimp out when encountering this challenge in front of the global audience.

          Watching all three dorks simultaneously trying to stop the UN dunce hats being placed upon their heads would entertain kiddies everywhere.

  10. Dennis Frank 10

    Labour were the last of the big spenders? Farrar gets specific about it:

    The last Government increased spending by over $1 billion a week

    https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2023/12/listen_to_the_auditor-general.html

    Is he right about that amount? I don't recall govts being rated on weekly spending increases before so it could be an accountancy spin thing.

    In a report this month, the Auditor-general finds three weaknesses that need to be “urgently” addressed: measures that aren't meaningful or comprehensive; gaps in measuring what difference is being made; and poor measures for assessing the stewardship, oversight, and monitoring functions of departments.

    Well obviously that's due to allowing Labour & National to be in govt way too long past their use-by date. These leopards don't change their spots. Only way to improve is to delete both options. System re-boot!

    • SPC 10.1

      Ever noted an Auditor-General (or any auditor) asking for less meaningful and comprehensive measuring what difference is being made; and less systems in place to assessing the stewardship, oversight, and monitoring functions of departments?

      This has nothing to do with political parties and their coming and going, but the increasing bureaucratisation of governance itself in all areas subject to a regulatory compliance regime.

      The problem I have with his concern about integrity when process is rushed is that government is responsible for acting in emergency situations – and might well need to develop an alternative process in that circumstance.

      PS DPF’s billion dollar figure does not come from the link, he is once again slipping in a misrepresentation aside – and way out of context.

      When do governments expand spending like that – GFC, pandemic …

      • Dennis Frank 10.1.1

        Thanks, I wondered if he was finagling the data somehow. If he was accurate someone in the media would have spotted it due to headline appeal, I suspected.

        Yeah pandemic spending is a credible dimension too. Re A-G wish-list, I'm agnostic about the realism. Efficiency & accountability are excellent aspirations but politicians are slippery fish…

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