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Open Mike 01/01/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 1st, 2017 - 176 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 …

176 comments on “Open Mike 01/01/2017 ”


    Anonymous Message to David Rockefeller 31-12-2016.
    Merry Christmas Mr. Rockefeller, this one has been long overdue. We’re proud to say we solved your riddle, and we wish to contact you before you die to share it and help you come to a peaceful understanding of our concerns coming from the people your handiwork is effecting.
    Our members are specialists in technology, science, and communication; and the world order you are leading us into is a catastrophic, dire mistake. We represent the natural order, and there is a critical error in the format you’re building your entire foundation on which will stamp permanent negative effects in our biology, to be straightforward and brief.
    We will patiently await your response; know that we come in peace and mean nothing but good will for humanity. Please reconsider everything before it is too late to reach you.
    Anonymous Message to David Rockefeller 31-12-2016.

  2. Adrian Thornton 2

    2017 the year that hopefully heralds in a new deeper level of critical thinking for the progressive Left.
    The year when we on the left fully realize that so called liberal news sources like the Guardian, The Washington Post are in fact some of most despicable enemies of progressive change.

    2017 the year that people on the Left realize that if their political party still has any ties to the now debunked neo liberal, Laissez-faire free market economic ideological project that has been destroying the the left from the inside, then it is has come time to cut that cancer out, even if it is painful, it must be done to save the host.

    2017 is the year we must come to understand that while this cancerous growth exists within the Left movement, that there will never be real change to the political and economic status quo.
    The economic ideology of the free market cannot coexist with the ideology of a progressive left movement, that much has been made well and truly clear in 2016.

    Turn Labour Left 2017

    • Carolyn_nth 2.1

      The economic ideology of the free market cannot coexist with the ideology of a progressive left movement, that much has been made well and truly clear in 2016.


    • jcuknz 2.2

      Which simply shows how far from reality you are. A meld of the Douglas principles with some control of its excesses is the way of the future …the only way and moving to the left, further left,is just plain stupid. In anycase with Lange’s timidity/cup of tea we lost an essential part of the Douglas plan. leaving us with the salt without the sugar.

      • Adrian Thornton 2.2.1

        @jcuknz, No I think you are the one out of touch with reality pal.

        “A meld of the Douglas principles with some control of its excesses is the way of the future”
        Alan Greenspan one of the architects of your ideology admitted himself that humans didn’t respond and act as he thought they would, operating in a Laissez-faire free market environment….leading to the 2008 crash.


        Did you just miss the part where the Americans just voted (or not voted against) in a fuckin’ crazy walkin’ talkin’ orange baboon rather than continue with your ideological project?

        Did you miss that part where the citizens in the UK, in a fit of rage against your free market ideology said fuck you, and voted Brexit?

        If you can’t see the writing on the wall,,, well, I guess we all see what we want to see, even if you just walked into the wall and got a blood nose.

        • Adrian Thornton

          Sorry clip above is a bit buggered, here is Greenspan admitting his ideological world view was wrong, all wrong…. watch or re watch this to give yourself a super boost into 2017… I love this one.

        • Andre

          I reckon you’re reading a bit too much into how the fuckin crazy walkin talkin orange baboon is getting a seat in the Oval Office. Where he’ll be the biggest loser ever to occupy the chair, by 3 million votes. Because of a truly fucked up bizarre electoral system.

          While there’s certainly a large element of “fuck you” to the status quo in the vote, it’s a massive stretch to suggest it’s a ringing endorsement to abandon capitalism, markets, and individual enterprise in favour of some (undetermined) socialism or communism.

          • Colonial Viper

            The states within a federated republic of individual states overwhelmingly chose Trump. That’s all you need to know.

            • red-blooded

              And the people chose Clinton, dimwit. I know you don’t like her (you don’t have to bother telling me why, again), but close to 4 million more voted for her than for your guy.

              Plus, the point above was about whether choosing an embodiment of rampant capitalism and classist privilege was actually an anti-capitalist gesture. If it was, it was a bloody stupid one.

              • Colonial Viper

                Let Calfornia secceed then. That’ll return the popular vote to Trump by a million.

                • red-blooded

                  Second point unanswered, I see. (Don’t bother to try – it’s unanswerable.)

                  BTW, I’m off – some of us have lives. 🙂

                  • Colonial Viper

                    20 days to 16 years of Trump rule 🙂

                    • red-blooded

                      Hey, it’ll probably SEEM like 16 years, but unless he rewrites the Constitution, Trump can only serve a max of 8 years (and I predict he won’t get that far).

                • Clump_AKA Sam

                  Perhaps if you stop using theory to build out models and start using data you wouldn’t come across as such an ass hole

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Anyone with a calculator can work it out.

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      This chat board is glitchy on my end. I’d actually tried replying to Marty Mars iirc. Hence my sparse participation here.

                      I was thinking that there is no evidence that economies achieve equilibrium. In fact in places like Pokeno capital decays.

                      Any happy New Years viper

                    • Colonial Viper

                      To you too mate, from the Waikouiti New Years Day races. Best regards.

                      PS indeed, on the contrary, the empirical evidence is hugely against economic equilibrium in all except the most artificial circumstances

          • Adrian Thornton

            I completely disagree, it was revealed for all to see, that in the US, Sanders showed that even in the face of active and at time shocking bias from all MSM, and as exposed in the leaks, serious undermining from the structures of his own party, that even with these handicaps, a real progressive socialist message got real traction, and I would also say the same is true in the UK re; Corbyn.
            So yes while it is true that the neo liberal establishment, and it’s media wing would rather eat their own babies than have a real swing to a progressive left, citizens across the world have shown they are ready and want to listen to an alternative, and maybe even fight for a change.
            The Left needs to answer that call for change quickly, or that space will be filled by the right….as in Trump.

      • millsy 2.2.2

        But what controls are you proposing?

        Without Lange’s cup of tea everything would have been privatised.

    • garibaldi 2.3

      I’m with you Adrian.
      Until the left dumps Rogernomics it will not be unified.
      Globalisation/ Free Market/Oneworld or whatever you call it ,is really just a race to the bottom for the vast majority, whilst lining the pockets of the unproductive / parasitic money lenders and power brokers ( and war mongers / military might).
      We need fair trade not free trade.

      • Paul 2.3.1

        Until the Standard gets rids of right wing shills, it will not be a place for the left to congregate.
        I suggest a boycott of the worst shills starting today by all left wing commentators.

        • James

          What a great plan.

          Then you can start boycotting other lefties who are not as left as you want them to be.

          Then you can boycott any leftie who perhaps has a differing view then your good self on any matter.

          In the end you end up with a sad echo chamber all saying the same thing – and that becomes your perception of how people think.

          Then you get all confused at election time when national get into power yet again because everyone you talk too say exactly the same as you.

        • marty mars

          Ban yourself, you and your fake left infiltrators have made this site unbearable.

          • Paul

            Hoping for the defeat of religious extremists in Syria – right wing?
            Opposing the extreme right and undemocratic Ukrainian regime – right wing
            Arguing for moves against the Saudi/ Israeli/US neo-con foreign policy – right wing?
            Arguing for the reversal of all neoliberal policies in NZ and the building of a socialist, environmentalist government ( not a Labour version of neoliberalism) – right wing?
            Making a case for the severity of the climate issue – right wing?

            Left wing is NOT what the Labour Party has been since Douglas.

          • garibaldi

            “Fake left infiltrators”?!
            Labour is the party that’s houses the ” fake left infiltrators” in the guise of neoliberalism.

            • marty mars

              I wouldn’t miss you either.

              • Colonial Viper

                Oh, for a nice safe space lefty echo chamber

                • Pus off [deleted] you’re alt-right remember

                • And that sums you up. Not left, doesn’t want spaces for the left to discuss stuff. No you are the well poisoner, the authoritarian, like the right wing hero’s you adore. The sooner you fuck off overseas to your right wing utopias, the better imo.

                  [edited] – B

                  [You know the deal with using real world names where people are using pseudonyms. And what’s with the ad hom nonsense yet again today? It’s boring marty. Please desist] – Bill

                  • You got the nice discussion you wanted yesterday didn’t you Bill with your innocent wee post. Fuck you and this bullshit im not hanging with your crew. To everyone who cares about people – have an empowering year. To tat and his mates – i hope i never hear any of your bullshit ever again. Dont worry ill keep fighting scum like you till i drop dead.

                    • Gabby

                      Being a bidduva snoflake matey.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Focus on sorting out your personal life first, marty mars.

                    • locus

                      marty i’m with you fully – i’ve watched quite a few spiral down into the trumpster world over the last year and for me TS is not a good place to visit any more

                    • James

                      Marty mars – again with the real names (that’s clearly against the rules) – and it’s not nice to call people scum just because they disagree with you.

          • miravox

            +1 Marty. Thanks for carrying the torch. I have nothing to say to these people.

        • Red

          to be fair Paul most of your beef is if with more rationale and balanced lefties who are not Pilger or Rt glove puppets, stop picking on us poor rwnj

          You can always start your own site where you and your fellow travellers can congregate, that is if 2 or 3 people can be called a congregation A possible domain names, Doom and Gloom, Assad Vlad and me , I don’t think I just hyper link. RT Glovepuppets ……..

          • Macro

            You know – I’m with you there all the way Red.
            I’m fed up to the back teeth with all this wonderful Assard, Amazing Putin, only RT tell it like it REALLY is, Fantastic Trump, poor Julian so misunderstood, and let’s all hate Obama, nonsense.

            • miravox

              Amazing Putin…. Can’t really discuss Putin’s motives unless you have a map with his warm water ports imo.

              And kudos to him… well played 🙄

          • mauī

            You’re missing out Red, the Doomstead Diner already exists, hosted by the egocentric RE and features the food stockpiling Norman Pagett, Steve Ludlum with an artistic view of the global economy and many other guests on the Collapse Cafe.

        • Wensleydale

          I don’t think getting rid of dissenting views is terribly helpful, despite how obnoxious and insufferable some of them can be. If anything, it’s a pertinent reminder of just what we’re opposing, and if you don’t know your enemy, you’re likely to be outmaneuvered more often than not. Sure, there are shills and yes-men, and pious members of the Church of Neo-Liberalism for whom the free market can do no wrong, and they’ll refuse to see common-sense and reason for the rest of forever, rather than admit that perhaps its all been a dreadful mistake responsible for a great deal of unnecessary suffering. But they’re entitled to their views, and they’re the ones who will have to contend with the prickling of their collective consciences… those who exhibit any sort of conscience. (And no, I don’t believe left-wing politics has any sort of monopoly on either compassion or common-sense.)

          Besides, I learned a long time ago that arguing with zealots, religious, political or otherwise, is a tedious and frustrating exercise in futility. You can’t badger and belittle someone into changing their mind. As irritating as it may be, they kind of have to arrive at certain conclusions themselves. And some of them never will. You have to accept it and move on, which is not to say that I don’t find some of their utterances both baffling and offensive.

          They’re not all bad. James, Alwyn and even BM can sometimes exhibit profound thinking and post insightful comments. I think Fisiani is probably the only one who persists in trolling for outrage, probably for shits and giggles.

          • lprent

            Paul won’t be able to answer you for a week. He obviously didn’t read my post including its warnings and paid the price.

            I look at it as being a form of inoculation. One of the problems that various people around political systems have is that they don’t get enough exposure to dissenting viewpoints. To be able to argue with someone with a rigid mind you have to be able to formulate the argument against it. To do that you have to be able to hear the argument.

            I never expect to convince anyone from any side. However I am prepared to go as far as to sow serious doubt, indulge in serious levels of personal criticism and disdain of others to ram home the point, and to learn on those (fortunately) rare occasions when I am definitely caught on the wrong foot. Just as interesting is watching others fall into the traps that I would have if I’d had bothered to argue.

            That happens not only here, but also out in the real world as well. It is just a lot easier to learn here. It is all part of having a lifetime of learning.

            But I’m not really interested in having a nice echo chamber here. It tends to be dead boring. What I am prepared to do is to make the behavioural ground somewhat treacherous so that repetitive behaviours tend towards being risky. I find that is a lot better basis to level up the playing field.

      • jcuknz 2.3.2

        So funny .. if you cannot stand the heat of pragmatic ideas you seek to ban them … having no argument to oppose a meld of reality with restrictions on where it leads the wrong way.
        The point is that Douglas saved this country from the problems which affect most of the world but was stopped from introducing the safeguards which result in the problems affecting this country..
        There is absolutely no future for Labour if it continues to go left. One can have one’s ideals but pragmatists know if you want to govern you need the center ground. Hence my belief in a meld.

        • Adrian Thornton


        • millsy

          And what safeguards were those, might I ask?

          You have to remember that Douglas wanted to chop *EVERYTHING*. That is why Lange had to intervene.

          I have to admit though, the changes brought in between 84-87 were minor compared to the changes brought in between 1987 and 1996. The poor and unemployed managed to hang in there through a combination of generous redundancy payouts and a welfare system that still paid a decent amount. Things didnt really go to shit until 1991 when Ruth Richardson implemented austerity 2 decades before the UK decided to go back to a Walpole-era state. Market rents for state housing, benefit cuts, the chopping of home ownership subsidies, as well the changes in the health system did the worse damage, plus the privatisation and deregulation of utilities was backloaded to 1994-1998.

          Privatisation didnt really kick off on a serious basis until about 1988. I think the SOE system was a positive move on balance,though the commercial aspect was emphasised too much.

    • Jenny 2.4

      “2017 the year that hopefully heralds in a new deeper level of critical thinking for the progressive Left.
      The year when we on the left fully realize that so called liberal news sources like the Guardian, The Washington Post are in fact some of most despicable enemies of progressive change.”

      Adrian Thornton

      Adrian you still have Amy Goodman and Democracy Now. Unless of course you also think that DN and Goodman among some of the most despicable enemies of progressive change.


  3. Carolyn_nth 3

    So the news on TV1 last night was that Max Key was going to play the New Year in on Sky Tower just before the fireworks display.

    I can’t see it being reported very much today by most MSM websites – they just talk about the Sky Tower fireworks display.

    On TV1 they said preparation for the Sky Tower display began 5 months ago. An indication that 5 months John Key was still planning to be PM by 1st January?

    • jcuknz 3.1

      Who cares what TV1 says … time to get over your antipathy of the Key clan and get on with what is relevant to 2017…. I was fast asleep when all that rubbish was going on.

      • Carolyn_nth 3.1.1

        History is important to the present and future. It is important to understand it. Many things only come to light well after they happened.

        • JanM

          Terry Pratchett
          “It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.”

    • James 3.2

      Perhaps they hired him because a) he is reasonably popular and b) quite talented at what he does.

      (Not that im a fan of his music in the slightest).

      • Rosemary McDonald 3.2.1

        There you are James! Happy New Year!

        Tell me something…as a talented person yourself (you must be because they hired you to troll here as a professional de- railer) do you get paid double time and a day in lieu for working on a statutory holiday?

        Always wanted to know.

        • James

          Happy new year to you rosemary.

          Again with the “you must be paid” troll posted as a “fact”.

          Try another record for 2017. It’s not so much that it’s boring (which it is). It’s more that it makes you look stupid and all part of the tin foil hat club.

          You can do better.

  4. millsy 4

    My predictions for 2017…..

    – Steven Joyce unveils a large privatisation/outsourcing program in this coming Budget.

    – At least 4 more MPs announce their standing down at the 2017 election.

    – Gareth Morgan recruits Bernard Hickey and Shemanual Equaib (sp?), and other prominent technocrats to the TOP Party, but it just misses the 5% threshold.

    – John Tamihere and Shane Jones announce their initention to stand in the 2017 election, but not for Labour.

    – Sky announces its plan to sell Prime TV an an effort to jumpstart its failed merger with Vodafone

    – NZME and Mediaworks offer to sell a number of radio station to a third party in return for ComCom approval of their merger

    – At least 1 assassination attempt is made on Donald Trump

    – The All Blacks defeat the Lions in the upcoming series 2-1, but the Lions win all their matches against the Super 15 sides.

    – In his valedictory speech, John Key expresses regret for pledging not to tighten eligibility for National Superannuation, he also gets a column in a prominent newspaper, “Key Points” which he outlines a number of hard right policy prescriptions.

    – “Arise, Sir John Key”.

    – The election will be close, with a narrow Labour/Greens win that is not finalised till after the specials are counted, the Greens will be forced to accept a Coalition agreement that they get bugger all out of, but they sign because they do not want another 3 years in opposition. Winston NZ/First will also get into Parliament, but will not be in the coalition, Peters will announce that he is stepping down in 2020.

    • RedBaronCV 4.1

      I’ll be more specific:

      The election won’t be held until after the Queens Birthday Honour’s List has been issued so the “arise Sir John” moment actually happens.

      One of the retiring MP’s is Shane Reti who stands down from the Whangarei seat.
      Shane Jones is the NZFirst candidate who wins the seat.

      • alwyn 4.1.1

        It won’t be like that.
        John Key will receive the Order of New Zealand in next years New Year Honours.
        That award does not have the honorific ‘Sir’ attached.
        He will receive a Knight of the Garter from the Queen at the same time. That one does rate a ‘Sir’.

        • RedBaronCV

          Frankly I can’t see anything being awarded to him after Nact lose the 2017 election.
          So it’s before or nothing. As I understand it the government of the day does the “Sir” recommending to the Queen.

          But I am in awe of such a detailed time table – has this already been organised with Bill English? Could this also be known as “the fix is already in? “???

          • alwyn

            ” I can’t see anything being awarded to him after Nact lose the 2017 election”.
            Do you really think that that miserable little rat-bag Little would be such a prick in the unlikely event he became PM?
            After all the Key Government gave the award to Clark, and a knighthood to Cullen. They were magnanimous I suppose. Even the Clark Government made Bolger a member of the Order of New Zealand. Would a Little Government really be so little minded?

            ” As I understand it the government of the day does the “Sir” recommending to the Queen”
            Not for the Garter. From
            “appointment to the order is solely at the discretion of the British monarch”
            New Zealand has only had two, to date. Holyoake and Hillary.

            Actually “the fix being in” is the knife being sharpened by Grant Robertson to slip into Little’s back after National lead the next Government following the election.
            The timetable is merely reflecting the fact that such awards are normally made after the MP leaves Parliament. See Goff’s award.

            • alwyn

              I had better correct this. The Clark Government did not award the honour to Bolger (He already had it). They did give it to Don McKinnon though.

          • Wayne


            While I think it probable that John Key will get whatever he gets at Queens Birthday, in the event he did not, it would be extraordinary for a different govt to deliberately not give him an honour.

            That would be against all precedent going back many decades. Helen Clark got an ONZ from National, Sir Michael Cullen got a KNZM.

            Andrew Little, if he was the PM, would simply be not that small minded. And you saw that in his quite generous remarks when John Key stepped down.

            While that type of civility might annoy many Standardnista’s, it is a desirable and perhaps a necessary part of constitutional govt to ensure neither side acts out of spite and vengeance when they have their time in office.

            The US has got altogether too near that space, and most people think that they are poorer for it.

            • garibaldi

              Funny how they are all the best of mates when they are out of office. Wouldn’t be because they have the same paymasters by any chance?

            • millsy

              Which is why honours should be determined by an independent body.

            • Anne

              Goodness me. I agree with you Wayne. I guess there is room for integrity and old fashioned courtesy on both sides of the political equation. It would be very nice to see some of the old fashioned courtesies of yesteryear return to political life everywhere. The world would not be in the turmoil it is today if that was the case.

            • RedBaronCV

              How interesting Wayne – the right spend considerable time attacking the people who criticize them ( with no need to be civil apparently! Paula Bennett releasing personal details of people who commented on a policy – and the whole of “dirty politics” ) but this is now “a bad thing” according to you.
              Maybe Nact could get busy and practice what you suggest?
              I look forward to the wholesale apologies from the right along with appropriate restitution for all the times they have attacked people who have done nothing personally to deserve it.

              So if John wants his “sir” rather than the classless ONZ (Labour may be happy to recommend that) I can’t see us having too early an election – which was what the post was about.

              As to generous – JK has been far too generous with my tax money paying for public services by dodgy corporates and running up a record debt so high earners can have tax cuts.

    • Anne 4.2

      Here’s Scott Yorke’s predictions for 2017:


      No 8.”Andrew Little will be accused of smiling. An internal Labour Party investigation will determine that he was in fact just grimacing in an unusual manner.”

    • red-blooded 4.3

      Peters stepping down? I think he’ll die on the perch (and then his party – which stands for what, exactly?) will wither away pretty damn quickly.

      • repateet 4.3.1

        They stand for National losing Northland if nothin else. Which is not to be scoffed at.

      • millsy 4.3.2

        Even Winston will want to move on. He has been involved in every election going back to 1975 when he stood for what is now Te Tai Tokerau.

  5. fisiani 5

    2017 got off to a great start when Celtic trounced a team calling itself “Rangers” and moved 19 points clear at the top of the SPFL. That really felt good. Some things in life are more important than politics. Good friends, family, and supporting the best team. That’s me. Enjoy 2017. It looks like its going to be a great year.

  6. The Chairman 6

    Labour often talk about giving people a fair go. Are they prepared to give smokers a fair go?

    Tobacco tax increase comes in today


    • red-blooded 6.1

      Maybe the government (and any possible Labour/Greeen government of the future) are more interested in giving smokers and those who live with them a fair go in terms of greater life expectancy..?

      • The Chairman 6.1.1

        While that may benefit those that manage to quit, it leaves those that don’t far worse off.

        Greater life expectancy is also related to ones diet. Therefore, fiscally punishing smokers robs them of their disposable income to maintain a healthy diet. Resulting in compounding the problem as they continue to smoke and have less for things like heating and food.

        • garibaldi

          You are clutching at straws there Extremist. Smoking is probably the biggest hindrance to any health program. A better solution, if you can’t give up, would be to cut back wouldn’t it?

          • The Chairman

            “Smoking is probably the biggest hindrance to any health program”

            So are a number of things sold in your local supermarket.

            This is far from the first tobacco tax increase, thus a number of smokers have already cut down as far as they handle. While some others have turned to more desperate and underhanded measures.

            We are largely dealing with the hardcore smokers now.

          • The Chairman

            As for clutching at straws, you need to widen your perspective.

            A number of smokers are currently struggling to get by.

            If they continue to smoke (and many will) this tax increase will force them to cut back on the essentials even more.

            Keep in mind we are dealing with a highly addictive substance. And a good number of smokers come from a lower social economic background (making them potential Labour supporters seeking that fairer go).

      • The Chairman 6.1.2

        Is tobacco tax increases shortening the life expectancy of dairy owners?

        If Labour genuinely wanted to give everyone a fair go, they would approach this problem in a fairer, less damaging way.

        • fisiani

          On average a smoker who stops gets another six years of pension. Stopping smoking is always a good thing. Annual tax increases are part of the solution.

          • The Chairman

            The price incentive to quit is there now. Therefore, annual tax increases no longer need to be part of the solution.

            The approach must now change to help deal with the hardcore and prevent the new uptake.

            • garibaldi

              Would it be feasible for those lovely caring tobacco industry people to manufacture a far less dangerous fag with less tar, and the other nasty chemicals, but with ‘flavour’ and nicotine?

              • jcuknz

                Good point Garibaldi though better all round to give it up completely as i managed in 1974 … ten years before I had my heart quad bypass.
                My smoking addiction, which I probably still have but doesn’t trouble me these day, consisted of two things the sucking and the inhaling.

                With a bad attack of a cold I gave up smoking for two or three days and as I recovered I simply sucked but didn’t light up. Trouble was helpful folk kept offering to light my cig . I spotted a miniature ‘alpine pipe’ and bought it to suck … obviously no tobacco to light up so no more ‘offers’.
                After two or three months I had bit through the pipe stem and filed another grip for my teeth. another few months and I was happy to let the pipe go.

                I hope my story will help a smoking addict kick the habit because even at twenty a day and particularly at today’s prices I have been considerably richer financially and health wise .

                Come ‘bypass’ in 1984 I felt for fellow patients as they tried to fool the nurses by ducking out of the ward … but you could smell it on them when they returned. Really sad.

              • millsy


    • Labour often talk about giving people a fair go. Are they prepared to give smokers a fair go?

      Nope. If anything, they’re even more intent on creating a black market for tobacco than the current government is.

    • millsy 6.3

      The best way to crack down on smoking is to nationalise the tobacco companies and close them down over the next 10 years, selling the plant for scrap and the buildings/land to recover the costs. Then fully legalise e-cigarettes.

      • The Chairman 6.3.1

        That overlooks the black market, gave no indication on pricing while also overlooking tobacco companies are largely the suppliers of e-cigarettes.

      • Psycho Milt 6.3.2

        The best way to crack down on smoking…

        What really would be best would be if governments stopped seeing it as their job to “crack down” on people’s recreational drug use. As to your suggestion: excellent from the gangs’ point of view, not so hot for those of us who aren’t gang members.

      • Red 6.3.3

        considering very little tobacco is manufactured here legallly, fk all land or plant to sell, so dumb plan, BAT 75 pc market share and import every thing

      • millsy 6.3.4

        I never said anything about banning tobacco, but anything has to be better than imposing further financial strain on the poor, and demonising those who smoke for various reasons — ie stress relief, food substitute, etc.

        But we do need to fully legalise e-cigarettes. They are the future IMO.

  7. greywarshark 8

    The twelfth day around Christmas and a finale of quotes on Friendship. And that is important to look for, and to find the genuine article.

    To look for the good in people, and try to resist calling people you don’t agree with a piece of pus. I think handle it to try to limit responses to feisty people, one poke and then leave the aggro to settle.

    Frankly I believe that the blog is being so constantly aggravated by provocative poisonous RW that don’t give a damn about a better world for all, that ithe blog’s good effect and value is being severely blunted. Limiting comment numbers per day would be one way of limiting the pollution, and everyone would be forced to limit their sayings or miss the chance for something meaningful. And this would deter them from starting flame wars because it would be wasting their opportunities to put forward their hopefully, intelligent, witty opinions.

    It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.
    Irish proverb
    Friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief.
    Swedish proverb
    Keep gude company, and you’ll be counted one of them.
    Scottish proverb
    Friendship! mysterious cement of the soul!
    Sweetener of life! and solder of society!
    Robert Blair
    A friend is, as it were, a second self.
    We cherish our friends not for their ability to amuse us,
    but for ours to amuse them.
    Evelyn Waugh
    A true friend stabs you in the front.
    Oscar Wilde
    Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
    Victor Borge
    The only way to have a friend is to be one.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  8. Penny Bright 9

    Happy New Year folks!

    I predict that 2017 will be the year that deep-rooted and endemic corruption arising from the Neo-liberal private procurement model for public services (at local and central government) will be finally exposed.

    As a result – I predict that the Neo-liberal myth, that ‘public is bad – private is good’, will be finally shattered, as the facts and evidence prove that the private procurement model, (contracting out of public services), is more costly, a less effective use of public (tax and rates) monies, and it breeds corruption.

    That there are, in my view, billion$ of public monies being spent on ‘corporate welfare’, which could (and should) be spent on ‘people’s welfare’ – particularly our most vulnerable.

    I predict that ‘the books’ will be opened, and the Public Records Act 2005, WILL be implemented and enforced, starting with Auckland Transport, and the following details of awarded contracts WILL be made available for public scrutiny:

    * The unique contract number.

    * The name of the consultant /contractor.

    * A brief description of the scope of the contract.

    * Contract start /finish dates.

    * The exact dollar value of each and every contract – including those sub-contracted.

    * How the contract was awarded – by direct appointment or public tender.

    In order to help achieve this –
    I shall be standing as an
    ‘anti-privatisation / anti-corruption’ Independent candidate in the upcoming Mt Albert by-election.

    If you would like to help – please send me a personal message on Facebook.

    Also – please help by SHARING this post!

    2017 is going to be a DOOZY!

    Starting today ……


    Penny Bright

    • Jenny 9.1

      Good to see Penny that in the new year you have decided to stop peddling support for corruption and genocide in Syria.


      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        The sovereign government of Syria is gradually reasserting control and safety over the country.

        Without help from the apologists for illegal foreign sponsored regime change, like yourself.

        • Penny Bright

          On this issue CV – I agree with you.

          Kind regards

          Penny Bright.

          • Jenny

            Really Penny?

            Do you still really support the despotic junta in Syria that is responsible for over 400,000 deaths mostly from aerial bombardment?

            If you do, I have to ask you; Are you and your new neo-fascist mates planning to disrupt the Mt Albert by-election by picketing the Green Party candidate?

            Just like you have been harrassing the Syrian refugees?


            • Penny Bright

              Define ‘harassing’ Jenny?

              In New Zealand, our democratic rights as citizens to freedom of expression and peaceful protest are protected by law under the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990.

              (Sections 14 and 16).

              Perhaps you’d like to (re)read this legislation?

              Kind regards

              Penny Bright

      • Penny Bright 9.1.2

        Do you, or did you Jenny, support the ‘White Helmets’ in Aleppo, Syria – yes or no?

        Asking nicely.

        Kind regards

        Penny Bright

        (Who did not / does not support the ‘White Helmets’ in Aleppo, Syria.)

        • Jenny

          Absolutely, yes. I support the White Helmets. In my opinion, only a pschopathe wouldn’t.

          What’s your point?

            • Psycho Milt

              But Paul, yesterday you were claiming Patrick Cockburn and Robert Fisk were the authoritative sources on the White Helmets, not the political activists at Alternet and Counterpunch. Did you finally notice that neither Cockburn nor Fisk actually make the claims you imply they do?

              Alternet and Counterpunch aren’t authoritative sources on anything – in fact, the Counterpunch piece even offers regime propaganda sources like Vanessa Beeley, Solidarity with Syria and Russia Today as “raising investigation-based questions” about the White Helmets, rather than the more accurate “promoting the regime’s talking points.”

            • Jenny

              Any force that deliberately targets ambulances, search and rescue services and hospitals to quell and intimidate their opponents, whatever the pretext, are by definition psychopathic, and under the Geneva conventions, war criminals.

          • Penny Bright

            Missed this did you Jenny?


            The White Helmets – here are a few facts that you need to know.

            Share this to your family and friends who subsist on Western corporate media:

            * The White Helmets, also called Syria Civil Defence, are not who they claim to be.

            The group is not Syrian; it was created with USA/UK funding under the supervision of a British military contractor in 2013 in Turkey.

            * The name “Syria Civil Defence” was stolen from the legitimate Syrian organization of the same name.

            The authentic Syria Civil Defence was founded in 1953 and is a founding member of the International Civil Defense Organization (1958).

            * The name “White Helmets” was inappropriately taken from the legitimate Argentinian relief organization Cascos Blancos / White Helmets. In 2014, Cascos Blancos / White Helmets was honored at the United Nations for 20 years of international humanitarian assistance.

            * The NATO White Helmets are primarily a media campaign to support the ‘regime change’ goals of the USA and allies.

            After being founded by security contractor James LeMesurier, the group was “branded” as the White Helmets in 2014 by a marketing company called “The Syria Campaign” managed out of New York by non-Syrians such as Anna Nolan. “The Syria Campaign” was itself “incubated” by another marketing company named “Purpose”.


            Kind regards

            Penny Bright

            PS: Yes – I was appalled to hear Green MP Julie-Ann Genter publicly support the ‘White Helmets’ at a recent anti-Assad / anti-Russia demonstration in Auckland.

        • Jenny

          Of course. Yes, I support the first responders known as the White Helmets absolutely. In my opinion, only a psychopath wouldn’t.

          Let me Penny, ask you a question in return.

          Do you support this?

          • Paul

            What a ridiculous question.

            • Morrissey

              Paul, you’re trying to engage with a fanatic. It’s pointless.

              • Jenny

                Morrissey, Do you dispute the fact that the destruction evidenced in the video was committed by the Assad regime?

                Since the total destruction of this city described as “The Capital of the revolution” was undoubtably committed by the regime, and that Paul and yourself support that regime, I don’t think the question is “ridiculous” or “pointless” to give your answer, I am sure our readers would all like to know.

                Do you Morrisey and Paul support the methods used by the regime to quell the uprising?

                The fact that you refuse to answer these questions. Exposes the depth of either your hypocrisy and/or depravity.

          • Colonial Viper

            Yes, I support the first responders known as the White Helmets absolutely. In my opinion, only a psychopath wouldn’t.

            The White Helmets are a foreign funded propaganda NGO which works closely with the former terrorists in East Aleppo.

            Very few (if any) residents in East Aleppo ever saw them perform any actual rescue work.

            Now that East Aleppo has been liberated, the White Helmets have basically disappeared with the rebels.

            • Jenny

              CV, since the White Helmets are targeted by the regime.

              (Something which you support and even applaud)

              What point are you trying to make?

              • Colonial Viper

                CV, since the White Helmets are targeted by the regime.

                Of course. Because they are not an impartial civil defence organisation.

                They are a propaganda arm of the rebels.

              • mauī

                What sort of reputable civil defence organisation would pull this shit:

                • mauī

                  And the white helmets have been in existence for a total of 3 years, for about as long as a war has been going on. Hmm?? The real Syrian Civil Defence was formed in 1953 and through western media we hear nothing about, it’s all the white helmets..

                • Colonial Viper

                  Rehearsal is an important part of getting the propaganda just right.

                  • Jenny

                    Rehearsal is also a very important part of getting a rescue just right.

                    Just ask any Fire Fighter of Ambo.

                    And remember that these are all civilian volunteers.

                    CV you may mock and sneer as much as you like.

                    But it is on same flimsy grounds, that you bring up here, that the regime have marked the White Helmets for death.

                    A position that you support and even applaud.

                    Not being a Dr I obviously can’t diagnose your view as psychopathic.

                    But in the common parlance of the lay person, it certainly looks like it to me.

            • Psycho Milt

              Very few (if any) residents in East Aleppo ever saw them perform any actual rescue work.

              You spout these assertions as though they were generally-agreed commonplaces. The fact is, you have no basis for that claim beyond fellow conspiracy theorists and regime propaganda. And even if it were true, it would leave open the not-insignificant question of who the fuck else you think was doing emergency response during the siege. This really is contemptible stuff.

              • Colonial Viper

                Regardless, it has been sorted. Peace has been returned to Aleppo. Ankara, the CIA and the Pentagon have lost their proxy war for that city.

                • adam

                  For the love of God C.V. Psych Milt has a point. They were actually boots on the ground trying to help people, it’s just plain wrong to condemn them for trying to help.

                  • TheExtremist

                    CV is fucking mental

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      6 years ago all this Alepo bullshit kicked off with a series of 13 suicide bombings, Assades response was America is funding terrorism. The western response was you lie. The Wikileaks says Saudi sponsors ISIS.

                      And it’s been a gradual decay of western debate ever since.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      CV is fucking mental

                      Cheap ad hom is cheap.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    They were actually boots on the ground trying to help people, it’s just plain wrong to condemn them for trying to help.

                    No; the White Helmets were propaganda actors aligned with the terrorist rebels.

                    They weren’t actual civil defence, they had no presence independent of terrorist fighters, eg they never performed rescues in government held areas of western Aleppo that were under attack from the rebels, they never assisted the Syrian Arab Army in helping rescue civilians.

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      Further. The western ground game is a myth. They’ve been kindly asked to leave every time they but in.

                      Iraq asked Turcky to fuck off, US backed rebels have been asked to fuck off because they attract Russian bombs and so on.

                      I repeat, the entire western ground game is a myth. Happy to provid links upon request

                    • …they never performed rescues in government held areas of western Aleppo that were under attack from the rebels, they never assisted the Syrian Arab Army in helping rescue civilians.

                      Uh, duh-uh – the regime has its own civil defence operating in regime-held areas, and any of these guys operating there or trying to “assist the Syrian Arab Army” would be arrested immediately as terrorists and tortured for details of where to find all their friends. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but there’s a civil war happening in Syria.

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      Honestly Milt. This isn’t some hurricane to mope up after. It’s a war zone. Even the US bombed these guys. And when some jihadi wana be disobeys US orders. The Pentagon organises an attack starting with a bombing campaign so stupid moderate rebels form up on the front lines and America says, nah boi, no bombs today. And those rebels get fucked beyond all recognition, then the US points the finger and says see, Assad bad, US good. Your being played by the White House bro.

                      If you are trying to find a moral high ground out of all this, there isn’t any.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Which is why Russia and Iran finally stepped in, in a big way, to sort out the US/NATO/Turkish run “Assad must go” regime change proxy war programme in Syria.

              • mauī

                it would leave open the not-insignificant question of who the fuck else you think was doing emergency response during the siege.

                Maybe it was the real Syria Civil Defence? The one that became a member of the International Civil Defence Organisation in 1972 and appears to have some international street cred. The white helmets came into existence 41 years later, so it can’t be them.


                • Maybe the regime was providing civil defence services within the rebel-held areas it was busy bombarding? And doing it invisibly so that no-one knew it was happening? I can’t stop the loons at Counterpunch from putting deranged shit on the web, but it would be nice if the people reading it applied their brains while doing so.

                  • mauī

                    Ok, so its attack the source time and ignore the ICDO certified civil defence info.

                    You know quite well why the established civil defence is completely ignored by the media. It doesn’t fit the narrative.

                    • No, it’s attack-the-logic-fail time. Ridiculing the source of the logic fail was an aside.

                      I do know quite well why the official civil defence was ignored in media coverage about the siege of east Aleppo – it’s because the regime doesn’t operate emergency services in rebel-held areas, for fairly obvious reasons. That’s also the reason why unofficial first response groups were set up in the first place. No amount of peddling conspiracy theories about a “narrative” can alter that.

            • Psycho Milt

              And this:

              Now that East Aleppo has been liberated [sic], the White Helmets have basically disappeared with the rebels.

              No fucking shit, Sherlock? Now that the bombardment’s stopped and the winners are keen to apply torture or summary execution to anyone involved in making them look bad these last few years, the White Helmets aren’t holding any parades in the streets? It’s just plain unfathomable!

              • Colonial Viper

                The Russians and the Assad government allowed rebels and their sympathisers to peacefully leave Aleppo with their light arms and head away to ISIS held territory.

                Therefore any summary executions and ad hoc reprisals by the Syrian Arab Army in Aleppo are likely to be minimal.

                Remember, unlike the foreign Islamist fighters, many members of the Syrian Arab Army actually grew up and lived in Aleppo – it is their home town and their home neighbourhoods that they have liberated.

                BTW there are plenty of statements from Eastern Aleppo residents that the rebels when in charge performed many summary executions, torture, shooting of civilians who tried to leave the area, etc.

                • Irrelevant. My points were:
                  1. Now that there’s no bombardment, it follows that there’s no guys in white helmets digging people out of the rubble after a bombardment.
                  2. These guys have actively made the regime look bad in the international media. They’re not going to share your sanguine appraisal of the likelihood of reprisals for that.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    1. Now that there’s no bombardment, it follows that there’s no guys in white helmets digging people out of the rubble after a bombardment.

                    You’re clearly not that smart if you think that legitimate Civil Defence activities cease when the bombs stop falling.

                    Because that’s when legitimate civil defence efforts START.

                    Distributing emergency supplies, identifying individuals and families with medical needs, ensuring that communities are kept informed, checking and clearing each and every apartment in every apartment block for people who are wounded or need any other help.

                    So where are all these White Helmets doing all these necessary Civil Defence activities?

                    ***POOOF*** gone

    • Sacha 9.2

      For the benefit of any new readers, the Public Records Act does not control making available to the public any information about either central or local government dealings. That is instead a function of the Official Information Act (OIA) and the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA).

      Wishing all a happy and truth-filled year.

      • Penny Bright 9.2.1

        Here’s the underpinning legislation folks.

        Read it for yourselves:

        The Public Records Act 2005 – section 17:


        17. Requirement to create and maintain records

        (1) Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its affairs, in accordance with normal, prudent business practice, including the records of any matter that is contracted out to an independent contractor.

        Have you studied the 225 page reasons for the decision of Justice Sally Fitzgerald in the unprecedented bribery and corruption conviction of a corrupt contractor and two corrupt public officials, who both worked for Rodney District Council and then Auckland Transport?

        It shows what happens when you don’t have full and accurate public records, and there is a ‘culture of collaboration’ between public officials and contractors?

        $1.2 million in bribes – that’s just between one corrupt public official and one corrupt contractor.

        This Judgment, in my view, completely vindicates what I’ve been saying for years about corruption in New Zealand.

        I look forward to more people paying attention.

        Some are.

        Have you read the two latest investigative articles about corruption in the NBR by Karyn Scherer?

        I recommend you do.

        Kind regards

        Penny Bright

      • Sacha 9.2.2

        As noted above, “made available for public scrutiny” is not a function of the Public Records Act. Penny has been told this many, many times now. The public deserve better than wilful ignorance.

        • Penny Bright

          Really Sacha?

          Would you like to share with us the basis for your supposed ‘expertise’ on the Public Records Act 2005?

          And share with us, if you would, information which pertains to any consultancy work you may have obtained from Auckland Council or any Auckland Council Controlled Organisation (CCO), if that is the case?

          Kind regards

          Penny Bright

          ‘Anti-corruption campaigner.’

        • Sacha

          Being able to read a law is not rare expertise. I have no intention of debating matters of fact with a recidivist dunce, let alone a malicious one.

          • Jenny


            Someone who imperiously demands that you answer her questions. And then when you do, arrogantly refuses to reciprocate, when you ask her a question.

            So Penny, are you, or are you not, planning protests against the Green Party candidate in the Mt Albert by-election?

      • Sacha 9.2.3

        I have now read much of the Judge’s reasoning. It becomes clear that successful prosecutions were possible only because the records held by public agencies including AT were kept in accordance with the Public Records Act. Nothing in that law stops somebody lying on a Conflict of Interest form, but preserving the evidence can be helpful later.

  9. Steve 10

    The year that might be: Fairfax political predictions for 2017
    Number 19. There will be one more political bombshell in 2017 that will change the course of the election and install Andrew Little as prime minister.

  10. Paul 11

    Unintended irony by the Herald on Sunday

    Page 1 ( channelling Paul Henry and Mike Hosking)
    ‘Welcome to 2017 in the greatest little country on Earth’

    Page 2 ( only story) ‘Homeless man told to live in car.’

  11. James 12

    My predictions for 2017. A national / act / nz first government.

    Andrew little replaced by Grant Robertson with jacinda and deputy.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      There is a better than even chance of this happening, IMO, particularly if National plays the shell game I think it is. A low party vote means Little may not even get back into Parliament.

      • James 12.1.1


        Little needs a seat – they are too close to having zero list MP’s on some polling.

        I think not going for Kings seat was a major mistake from him.

        Then again he prob knows without winning the election he is toast anyway.

      • millsy 12.1.2

        I wouldn’t write Labour off just yet. It all depends on whether or not Little chooses to seize the initiative at the start of the year.

  12. Draco T Bastard 13

    US Govt Data Shows Russia Used Outdated Ukrainian PHP Malware

    Overall Conclusion

    The IP addresses that DHS provided may have been used for an attack by a state actor like Russia. But they don’t appear to provide any association with Russia. They are probably used by a wide range of other malicious actors, especially the 15% of IP addresses that are Tor exit nodes.

    The malware sample is old, widely used and appears to be Ukrainian. It has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence and it would be an indicator of compromise for any website.

    You can find a public repository containing the data used in this report on github.

    As always I welcome your comments. Please note that I will delete any political comments. Our goal in this report is to merely analyze the data DHS provided and share our findings.

    Mark Maunder – Wordfence Founder/CEO

  13. James 14

    Oh oh oh another prediction. Little will try to chicken out on the hagamans court case.

    he cannot afford to lose that either (or his house).

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