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Open mike 01/02/2015

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, February 1st, 2015 - 185 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

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185 comments on “Open mike 01/02/2015 ”

  1. Paul 1

    People in Britain are hearing about greedy, bully boy and culture less government.
    Eleanor Catton has shone a light on its crassness.
    Good on her.


    And a good article explains how Key and Plunket have proved the point Catton was making.


  2. Paul 2

    Europe in revolt.

    ‘Tens of thousands rally in Madrid demanding end to austerity
    Inspired by events in Greece, support grows for Podemos and its call for a new political order.’


  3. (gratified to see my milk-health-concerns seeping thru into the mainstream/corporate-media.)

    “..Milk does the body good? – A look at science..


    Some scientists have begun to question previous statements about milk’s benefits.

    For example – some researchers have noted low fracture rates in Asian countries where little milk is consumed-

    – and questioned whether there is enough evidence to support the federal milk consumption recommendations.

    What’s more – some studies have linked milk to risk of ovarian and prostate cancers–

    – though many scientists believe more research is needed before drawing conclusions about milk as a cause.


    Last year a Swedish study published in a British medical journal –

    – found women who drank three or more glasses a day died at a nearly twice the rate of those who drank less than one glass a day.

    Broken bones were more common in women who were heavy milk drinkers – too..”



    • weka 3.1

      In the Swedish study, they’re differentiating between milk, and fermented products like cheese and yoghurt.

      “Further analysis showed a positive association between milk intake and biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation.

      In contrast, a high intake of fermented milk products with a low lactose content (including yoghurt and cheese) was associated with reduced rates of mortality and fracture, particularly in women.”


      I would posit two things here. One is that modern diets are high in refined sugars and so eating another high sugar food like milk is probably overloading people into earlier deaths from things like Syndrome X (via insulin resistance). This is true for big populations that have been studied like the US. I don’t know what the usual diets are like in Sweden.

      The other is that traditional diets all over the world have prioritised fermented milk over unfermented. They also drink milk raw. These are crucial differences.

      That article you link to has a pretty misleading and narrow visioned public health control approach to raw milk, so I wouldn’t take anything it says too seriously. It also fails to point out that the Swedish researchers say there is a correlation but no proven causation between milk consumption and early death, and completely ignores that the findings for fermented dairy were the opposite. This is typical of much superficial health reporting, and it’s also grossly negligent IMO. You need to go to professional medical and health journalists if you want to understand the research and what it means.

      The Asian thing is a different story, because most people in east Asian countries are not genetically adapted to eating milk (although I’m curious about the cross overs between India/Tibet/Nepal etc and East Asia and where dairy stops being a traditional staple). The low fracture rate can also be attributed to other things in the diet rather than absence of milk.

    • tricledrown 3.2

      Moderation is thr mantra.
      Cheese yes cheese has been shown to be the most Dangerous food when it comes to strokes.
      Those with a high consumption of cheese are the most likely to die of strokes.
      High in fat and very high in salt!
      are the reasons.

  4. Paul 4

    With our government about to hack into state housing, we will soon be in the state London is in.

    ‘Thousands gather in London to protest against lack of affordable housing
    The March for Homes brings together campaigners, tenants and trade unionists to demand building of council homes and curbing of private rents.’


  5. North 5

    Here’s the guts of it by Paul Little –


    Bears repeating my earlier comment on “Eleanor Catton responds” –

    “Deep inside Plunket squirms with embarrassment because he KNOWS he’s been OWNED by Eleanor Catton. Deliciously it’s all his own work.”

    Is this a genuine John Key “muppet” or what ?

  6. LynWiper 6

    Never thought I’d recommend a Rodney Hide column but this is interesting reading.

    “Little spoke of reducing inequality. Good. And even here he was interesting: he says the spin-off of reducing inequality is better growth. That, too, would be better for business and farmers.

    Jobs and growth are his focus. And small business. That sets him apart from Key who, in his deals with Warner Bros, SkyCity and Rio Tinto, is tied to the big end of town.”


    • b waghorn 6.1

      What !! a labour leader who mentioned farmers ‘well I never’
      Angry greenys In 321…

      • phillip ure 6.1.1

        short-listed for silly-comment-of-the-day..?

        ..and so early in the day..!

        ..and did you miss the serial blowing of reassuring-kisses from norman to the cow-folk..?

        • b waghorn

          Cool to use a dog trial term ” I hope I’m still on the board at the end of the day “

        • b waghorn

          Yes I missed Normans comments? Look I support the greens I have voted for them once it’s the tarring us all as ecological destroyer s that I will attack at every chance.
          Just yesterday weka said something about farmers pouring shit into the rivers and that is a lie on the odd occasion a farmer gets caught literally doing that the book gets thrown at them and rightly so.
          I let it pass and I shouldn’t have.

          • BassGuy

            Before dismissing it as an occasional event, you should watch the documentary River Dog

            In short, it’s about a number of farmers in a region who regularly graze their cattle on a stretch of river and the lack of action by the authorities.

            [Link fixed – MS]

          • phillip ure


            ..if the farmers aren’t doing it…

            ..who is making most of our rivers unswimmable/polluted..?

            ..the tooth-fairy..?

            • b waghorn

              I have no doubt that that over stocking, use of urea and over irrigation is degrading rivers but as for pouring shit into the river, not happening and if any knows were it is they should report it.

              • r u not just fussing over a mostly irrelevant point..?

                ..the facts r..the rivers r fucked..farmers did it..

                ..any questions..?

              • Draco T Bastard

                I have no doubt that that over stocking, use of urea and over irrigation pouring shit into rivers is degrading rivers but as for pouring shit into the river, not happening and if any knows were it is they should report it.


                It’s not just that farmers are pouring shit into the rivers but that we have far too much land as farms. We need to decrease the amount of farms to be enough to feed us and that’s it.

                • I’ll say it again – let farmers get their drinking and house water from the river below their farms. If they want to drink shit water they can.

                  • b waghorn

                    As long as all you’r water comes from below you’re town/city that’s fine

                    • I don’t live in a town or city but rain is good so I get mine downstream from the clouds.

                      I would never say there are no good farmers – hell I know a few – but the bad ruin it for everyone – the good farmers have to tidy up their sandpit (farmers) rather than just hold their hands up pleading ignorance – they derive their profit from the commons and i think they are responsible to the commons too. And the same for cityfolk.

                  • b waghorn

                    I’ve suggested to 3 bosses and two neighbours in the sheep n beef industry that they had a few creeks that would be easy to fence off it didn’t achieve much .
                    It’s going to take laws to make a change unfortunately.

          • weka

            I didn’t say farmers pour shit into rivers. I said NZers think it’s ok to pour shit into rivers. And I think it was obvious from the conversation that I didn’t mean this literally, but that we allow our rivers to be polluted by farming, mostly dairy farming. That’s not actually in dispute. Do you need a link?

            I think you will also find that I’m one of the ones that’s been arguing recently for not lumping all farmers into one evil group and that it’s better to name the ones that are causing problems.

            As for the GP, I suggest that you stop reading the spin via the media and go directly to the GP and see what they have to say about farming. They’re actually very supportive and progressive. You can look at their policy, which you may or may not agree with, but it’s not anti-farmer. You probably remember that Jeanette Fitzsimons was a farmer before during and after she was an MP and co-leader of the GP, and I see a lot of her influence in GP attitudes.

            • b waghorn

              http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-30012015/#comment-960150 This link would say other wise re cow shit and water

              • weka

                Yes, I know what you were referring to and I know what I said. I’ve just given you a detailed explanation of that. Did you even read it? How about you respond to my points?

                edit, and just to make it really fucking clear, here’s what I said,

                but these people are just getting on with doing the right thing by the land while NZ still thinks it’s acceptable to clear native ecosystems and pour cow shit into the water.

                That’s not a statement about farmers, it’s a statement about NZers. As I explained.

            • phillip ure

              then of course there are the green party bbq’s..

              ..where they show their support for the ‘industry’..

              ..in the most sincere/practical of ways..

      • weka 6.1.2

        “What !! a labour leader who mentioned farmers ‘well I never’
        Angry greenys In 321…”

        What does that mean?

        • b waghorn

          Its very rear that labour appears to think about the rural sector IMO.
          The next bit was a we poke/joke

          • weka

            Yeah, I don’t get it. Do you mean the greenies will be angry that Labour mentioned farmers? Bit subtle for me I’m afraid.

            btw, I don’t think Little was talking about farming in his speech. He was talking about Fonterra, and the context was business productivity and worker rights. He did mention something about payouts but again, it was in the context of how the unions and Fonterra worked together.

        • phillip ure

          i think that he was expecting u to come and grumble/grump at him..


    • Murray Rawshark 6.2

      I think it’s important to read as a warning that Little still intends to let business run the show. The planet cannot afford growth any more. We have to discover how to live without it.

      When Rodney Hide likes something, I worry even more. It’s quite possible they can see Key is on a downward slope and are grooming a right wing successor. Little already caved on squirrel powers. What is he going to give away without a fight next?
      FJK and FAL.

      • I disagree with your interpretation, I think Hide is just doing what all the other rightwingers have done in the wake of the state of the nation.

        Farrar and Hooton instantly jumped on the talk about small business to say “oh, but if you really cared about small business you’d scrap the policy to abolish 90-day trials!”

        Now Hide is trying to goad Labour into doing something stupid by “praising” Little as a non-leftwing leader. Look at the way he wilfully quotes “it’s important to create wealth before you can share it” then re-writes it one sentence later as “it’s important to create wealth before you can spend it.” It’s the same old rightwing claptrap about Labour being a terrifying tax-and-spend party. He’s dogwhistling to the right on one hand and trying to unsettle the left with the other.

        • weka

          +1 So many whistles, it might be a dog trial.

          He also pushed the divide between Labour and the crazy Greens who can’t be trusted.

          Fairly typical Hyde, hard to see it as anything other than PR for NACT.

        • Karen

          +1 Stephanie

    • North 6.3

      Hard case that Rodney Hide believes the best way to find out what politicians are about is to listen to what they say – see opening line of the article.

      By his own example that’s hardly good advice. Remember ThePerkBuster of yore ?
      Again and again and again he said he was a straight-up, rort-hating type of guy.

      Many people listened and believed that he was indeed what he said. Then it turns out that all along he was as bad a free-loading rorter, trougher, junketer, hypocrite as anyone. So no, listening doesn’t inform, particularly in respect of the Right.

      The rest of his article – faint praise he can invoke later on to claim objectivity and balance. He remains an extreme right wing fantasist who’ll engage DP at will. Not to be trusted. Especially not on the score of what he says.

      • John Shears 6.3.1

        I never read Roddy’s columns why would I he is a non event politically and a certified failure.
        Try NOT reading them a save your bloodpressure.

        His last task of any note was throwing the carefully studied and thought out
        plan for Auckland City into the rubbish bin and coming up with his version in a matter of months. Enough said.

        Just another Herald hack.

  7. Pete George 7

    And there’s more from NZH where they report on a 3 News/Reid Research poll and asks Has Key met his match?

    A 3 News Reid-Research poll has revealed 55 per cent of voters think Little is potentially a better match for Prime Minister John Key than his Labour Party leader predecessors.

    3 News political editor Patrick Gower said the poll result was a huge boost for Little.

    “It means more than half of voters think he can do a better job than Phil Goff, David Shearer or David Cunliffe,” Gower said.

    “And the fact that it’s over half shows it’s well and truly beyond the people who vote for Labour normally and into centre voters and probably some National voters as well.”

    It’s too soon to tell, and Labour’s recovery will take more than Little to step up a few notches, but this poll result looks promising for Little’s prospects.

    Little said the poll result was “nice” but he wouldn’t be taking any false hope from it.

    “Things like this kind of go up and down. You’re in favour and you’re out of favour … it’s nice to have the kind of start that I’ve had. But we’ve got a long way to go yet and a lot of work to do so I’m focused on that.”

    Little sounds realistic about where he’s at now.

    So this is promising for Little but more important for Labour will be the party poll result, which will be revealed on 3 New tonight at 6 pm.

    • weka 7.1

      Pretty shifty there Petey. After yesterday’s all out troling, a pretty much unanimous cry from participants to stop, including being being told off by a moderator, you’ve picked a topic that all the lefties here might agree with and will want to talk about despite it meaning having you in the conversation.

      It would be nice to think you learnt something yesterday, but I think the thread showed that the community had learnt something instead.

      I think you have a lot of bridges to mend before you can expect to take part here in any genuine way.

    • Skinny 7.2

      How about these idiot pollsters actually run polls on topic’s that people care about. Who gives a toss about dead beat former Labour leaders like Goff, Shearer, and too a lesser extent DC.

      How about polling the U turn on further asset sales, given John Key wearing his National leaders hat categorically stated ‘no more asset sales’ during the last election campaign.

      The Aussies in Queensland just threw the Tories out for the sheer mention of asset sales.

      Did you vote for National to further sell public assets?

      A public march protesting selling off state housing should be on the cards. Might see what can be arranged for up at Waitangi. Bit of a focus on asset sales might make the Nats visit that little bit more unpleasant.

    • tricledrown 7.3

      Petty George.
      Your Wikipedia stats don’t match up to stats nz or treasury numbers.
      Quite often wikipedia is historically inaccurate as it is a popularity contest.
      And often Right wing spuriously funded insitutes Spam Wikipedia to alter historical facts!

    • All this does is clearly display the dismal level of political reporting in New Zealand.

      The article tells me absolutely nothing of any import.
      I want the 20 seconds of my life I wasted reading the article back!!

  8. Murray Rawshark 8

    Yeeha! Good news from Queensland. The toxic little imitation of a man, Campbell Bjelke-Newman, has gone. Now I’m hoping for a reconstituted Crime and Misconduct Commission to put a few of the corrupt inbreds in prison.

    • that is an astonishing turn-around..

      ..i think labour were down to about 7-9 mp’s after the last election..

      ..where they were whupped for promising not to sell-assets..

      ..and then selling assets..

      ..(much like key is doing here with state houses..and whatever upcoming/still-secret nasty-surprises he has lined up..)

      ..labour have again promised not to sell-assets..

      ..and they will likely keep their word this time..

    • tc 8.2

      That and reversing newmans gutting of the party donations legislation Anna Bligh rolled out so they could do as has been done here.

      Unlike here Newman couldn’t own the MSM and had the bad luck / karma of getting on the wrong side of Alan jones over a mine in his home area. Jonesy paid out on him big time.

      That and the perception that Campbell comes across as an arrogant bullying establishment twat.

      • Murray Rawshark 8.2.1

        Jones works in NSW. The LNP does pretty much run the Queensland media. The Courier Mail, Brisbane’s only daily, is a piece of Murdoch trash. It makes Whalespew look balanced.

        • tc

          Jones was raised in Acland, west of Brisbane where a coal mine expansion isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

          Yes he works in Sydney, most of the top shock jocks do but they treasure their Aussie battler image, good for the ratings etc and Newman went up against that.

  9. Shane Le Brun 9

    A return to work thanks to the pain relief effects of Cannabis, here in NZ, cost savings abound.

    Alternate address

    • as you are a running-dog/fellow-traveller with the beige-one..

      ..r u able to confirm 4 us the beige safari-jacket/perma-press polyester-trousers/ elastic-sided ‘loafers’ rumours..?

    • weka 9.2

      That’s such a great write up Shane, thanks. Her story covers so many important points, esp about the failures of legal meds and the problems when medical staff get stuck in their prejudices about pain syndromes. Very good to hear the success too, and the details on how she figured out what to do.

      btw, your blog is looking good. Nice layout, uncluttered, easy to read and access, all of which is important for people in pain. The only thing I’d suggest is changing the header texts to a dark colour as the white is hard to read.

      • phillip ure 9.2.1

        heh..!..and there is some more of that passive-aggression..g.p.-style..

        .’cos..y’see..that weka has done nothing but serially-sneer at my efforts/postings in support of medical-cannabis..

        ..and then you come along..and she falls over herself in her fawning…


        ..and so so obvious..it sticks out like a vegan at a green party bbq…

        • weka

          Hang on, did you just say that I’m having a go at you by commenting positively to someone else when you’re not even in the conversation??

          I’ve not serially sneered at your efforts/postings on dak. I’ve said I can’t read your comments because you insist on posting illiterately. Apart from you being pro-cannabis, I don’t actually know much about your position.

          You’ve done this before phil, confused my critiques of your position on veganism with my non-critiques of your views on cannabis. I suggest from now on you link to show what you are talking about, otherwise I’ll just be telling you to fuck right off.

          • phillip ure

            oh..!..i must have missed yr fawning-support for all the med-pot pieces i have posted..

            ..my bad..!

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Did you read what Weka said, Phil? Make any attempt to understand it?

              • did you miss my point..?..(selective-fawning..)

                ..(the ‘point’ that still stands..)

                “..Make any attempt to understand it?..”

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Like Weka, I find your comments unreadable.

                  However, in this case, I think the spectacle of a grown man whining that someone else is getting attention is a little…Petty, to say the least.

                  • that’s ‘petey’..

                    ..and no..’whine’-free..i am laughing @ the inconsistancies/blatant-biases/passive-aggression of the weka..

                    ..i really couldn’t give a fuck..otherwise..

                    ..and that wd also go for yr also being ‘unable to read’..

                    ..go and stand in the corner..next to her…

                    ..share yr ignorance..

                    • One Anonymous Bloke


                      Keep telling yourself that Phil.

                    • yr..right..!..

                      ..i really just want weka/you to love me..!

                      ..i lie awake at nite – tossing and turning..(that’s ‘toss’ in its’ rolling-over meaning..but not always..)



                      ..you’ll get comedian-of-the-day – if yr not careful..

                    • “.i really couldn’t give a fuck”

                      funny you’re making plenty of comments like you actually do give a fuck – you know, often the trailblazer doesn’t get the recognition they covert but that doesn’t mean the contribution wasn’t valuable

                    • interesting/amusing typo..

                      ..and arguing for med-pot in the 60’s might have been ‘trailblazing’..

                      ..hardly now..

                      ..and i am pointing out a knowledge-asset to a (welcomed) new campaigner in that cause..

                      ..who seem to believe i have done ten yrs of bong-reviews..

                      ..and that his ‘rational’-arguments will be like a tsunami in a desert..(more than a whiff of hubris there/in that..)

                      ..and when general-polling shows 87% of new zealanders favour ending prohibition..

                      ..is he targeting that recalcitrant 13% of right/left-wingers/non-thinkers..?

                      ..to my mind the arguments have been made/won..

                      ..it is the politicians who are the problem..

                      ..not the proving/arguing of the ‘rational’ evidence..

                    • no typo 🙂

                      but seriously – what’s the point?

                      ahh I see you added the point – seems a bit more to it than that but whatever

            • weka



              Grow the fuck up.

          • phillip ure

            “..I’ve said I can’t read your comment..”

            ..yet..u seem to be able to..

            ..does someone translate 4 u..?

        • Shane Le Brun

          I know your supportive Phil, my POV is from the middle using rational arguments, I haven’t read your work, but If you are a sufferer yourself, you may not be looking at things from the other side of the fence? this post was to appeal to Tory concerns of cost etc, one less person a sickness benny, but there are many more like her.

          • phillip ure

            yes..that is one of many facets i cover/have covered..

            ..I don’t just do bong-reviews..in fact i have never done a bong-review..

            ..what i have done is cached ten yrs worth of material/evidence in support of that cause..

            ..maybe you need to read not so much /’my work’..

            ..but the small mountain of evidence from others..

            ..that i have collected/collated/cached..


            (and i don’t wanna go all sub-editor on you..

            ..but i wd tweak the end of yr intro..

            (in my ‘teaser’ i inserted another word..did the edit for you..)

            (and we are all ‘sufferers’..it’s the human-condition..)

            • Shane Le Brun

              thanks, will keep that as a bookmark to go through, thanks for the repost. (I assume it was you)

            • Shane Le Brun

              thanks, will keep that as a bookmark to go through, thanks for the repost. (I assume it was you)

        • Murray Rawshark

          Get over yourself, FFS. There was no passive aggression in weka’s comment. There was in your one about PG’s clothing. You should just be happy that someone is pushing something that you agree with. Try it.

      • Shane Le Brun 9.2.2

        yeah I know, unpaid one wont let me change the color, 🙁

        • phillip ure

          that’s a bit harsh on petey..!

          ..does he insist on pastels..?

        • weka

          bummer. WordPress went more towards paid in recent years. You used to be able to get themes with lots of control for free. The theme you are using is very nice otherwise though.

          • phillip ure

            ‘should i break out the doilies..?..cup of tea..?..’

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              How about a nice cold cup of sour grapes? 😆

            • Stephanie Rodgers

              Jesus phil, if you’re trying to convince us that you really don’t care about weka paying someone else positive attention you’re going about it all wrong.

              • r u seriously saying u cannot see the incongruities i highlighted..?

                ..the sneer/fawn-contrast..(and weka suddenly finding an inner pot-warrior..?..whoar..!..colour me pot-surprised..!)

                ..i actually find it filed under ‘funny’..

                ..along with being ‘unable to read comments’..but seeming able to do so..

                ..when it is so desired..

                ..no amusing-pattern available there 4 u..?

                ..nothing of any note..?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Unreadable prose
                  Or unread erudition
                  Meh I scroll along

                • weka

                  Last time phil did this, in the Spring, it was the claim that while he was on his ban I’d “pumped out yr (un-cited/footnoted) prohibitionist/anti-pot bullshit while i wasn’t here”.

                  I tried to point out that wasn’t true and eventually posted this comment, which is a search engine result for the time period in question, of weka +cannabis. The results show that I am pro-use and pro-decriminalisation (which I am).

                  Open mike 24/11/2014

                  What I didn’t say in that thread was that while phil was on his ban I posted some critical comments about vegan diets when they are presented as the one true way for all humans (I would link but the search still doesn’t go back past 35 pages. 35 pages of phil’s comments only takes us back to the end of Dec).

                  I think phil has gotten confused between his two pet projects and is now set in his head that I am anti-pot. I’m not even anti-vegan except where it’s presented as the one true way or as a quick fix for CC/the environment.

                  Phil, I haven’t said I can’t read your comments, I’ve said they are difficult for me to read so I don’t usually bother. Please don’t distort what I say. It’s starting to look like you are making up another lie about me.

                  Now, unless you can link to back up your assertions about me, I’m just going to keep linking back to this comment and the link above to demonstrated what you are more than happy to tell lies about someone even when you’ve been proven wrong (twice).

                • Categorising weka’s response as “fawning” because she gives a few simple compliments on a new blogger’s work is a sad little tactic.

                  You have outright lied about weka’s past behaviour and comments in order to fabricate a “pattern” to justify your harassment.

                  I’m also in the club of people who, 95% of the time, scroll past anything you say because it’s rarely worth the effort of interpretation. But when I see you having a personal go at someone just because they liked someone else’s work and didn’t kiss your ass sufficiently to your liking, I make the effort.

  10. Once was Tim 10

    Does NZ still have some sort of press club – as in 4th Estate?
    Back in the 70’s there used to be a primitive sort of thing in Hobson Street where various journalists went to get pissed as newts – even then nothing like the Australian Press Club that provides a venue where journalists and jonolists can have politicians give speeches and call them to account.

    • tc 10.1

      Oh there’s a club alright, but not as you’ve described it.

      • Skinny 10.1.1

        A long list of media hacks in club national too.

        • tc

          Henry, hoskings, Sabin, Simpson, young, hide etc as one subset of them with public declarations of support for national and or family connections before we start on the ones who play the impartial commenter role.

          All that and DP thrown in for good measure, relentlessness and effective is what it has grown into while the sheeple graze on gazing at their house values thinking all is well in my world.

      • Once was Tim 10.1.2

        as I imagined then. One where they all go to get pissed and feed off each others egos. Where is it? The TVNZ caf, or Backbenches, or Mermaid’s possibly? Or maybe Barry and Heather’s basement?

        • Skinny

          They rotate venues think it’s Hoskings or Smiths, correction it’s a BBQ on the back lawn at Garner and boyfriend Gowers place.

  11. Morrissey 11

    “Shoot him in the back of the head.”
    The BBC’s comedy crisis is now more than just a sick joke.

    Since it was effectively spavined following its brief deviation into the reporting of facts that exposed government crimes in 2003 [1], the BBC has turned into nothing much more than the propaganda arm of the British government. In the rare event that a dissident, no matter how brilliant and respected, appears on a show like HARDtalk, he or she is almost inevitably hectored and ceaselessly interrupted, [2] in stark contrast to the virtually open forum accorded the continual stream of paid government, corporate and military spokespeople who appear.

    The BBC has moved to censor, curb and/or ban its own “unacceptable” and critical voices too: clever and thoughtful talents like Frankie Boyle are systematically excluded from its increasingly anodyne comedy panel shows. Even the hilarious—and nonpolitical—Jack Dee was recently in danger of being censored by the mediocracy in charge of the modern BBC, [3] while crude, racist, unfunny but government-friendly louts like Jeremy Clarkson are indulged repeatedly. [4]

    And now the BBC, which has given the world such immortal comedy-writing teams as Galton and Simpson, Croft and Perry, Esmonde and Larbey, Jay and Lynn, Clement and La Frenais, Curtis and Atkinson—to name only a few at random from a stratosphere of brilliance—has commissioned a team of “comedy” writers to make light of the British government’s persecution of the dissident journalist Julian Assange. I say “make light of” advisedly, because in case anyone harboured any lingering hope that the BBC might extend even a hint of fair treatment to Cabinet Enemy No. 1, consider this grim fact: the writer of this new “comedy” once called for the police to publicly shoot the Wikileaks founder in the head.

    The Corporation’s comedy crisis, which was already painfully obvious, is now an unmitigated embarrassment. We are now accepting from the BBC the kind of anti-dissident ridicule that spewed out of Moscow in the 1930s and ’40s, and out of Peking in the 1960s and 70s. I would not be surprised at all to see some vicious moron like A.A. Gill appear on a special broadcast some time soon and start ranting from his prepared script: “It is our aim to expose and criticize the ways in which the political swindler Julian Assange made use of reactionary trends and reactionary schools of thought to attack the proletariat, so that we can fight more effectively against such swindlers.”

    And they say the AMERICANS have no sense of irony…

    Fury over BBC writer’s ‘kill Assange’ tweet
    Chortle, 30 January 2015

    The writer of the BBC’s new comedy inspired by Julian Assange once called for the police to publicly shoot the Wikileaks founder in the head.

    Supporters of Assange say tweets Thom Phipps posted about him were ‘shocking’ and ‘dangerous’ – and make him unfit to write about the issue. BBC Four’s new three-part sitcom Asylum is inspired by the controversial figure’s enforced stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He took refuge there in June 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges, which he fears will pave the way for him to be sent to the US to face an espionage trial.

    Two months after Assange was given political asylum, Phipps posted: ‘If the met [police] want to regain my trust they should drag Assange out the embassy + shoot him in the back of th head in the middle of traf square.’ Phipps now says: ‘It was something I tweeted over two years ago and it was clearly a joke.’

    However, backers of Assange took the issue more seriously, and have complained to the BBC over its ‘shameful’ decision to employ Phipps. One of them, Emmy Butlin, said Phipps ‘advocated for the public extrajudicial assassination’ of the Wikileaks founder and queried why the corporation would ’employ someone with extreme views’ to write the comedy.

    She is also angry that the show is to air as part of the BBC’s Taking Liberties season to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, saying: ‘Mr Phipps has called for Mr Assange’s assassination, going against the most fundamental principals.’

    On her blog she also highlighted another tweet Phipps made in 2012, saying: ‘its cool to imagine assange as a spartacus figure cuz that means he’s going to be forcibly nailed to a piece of wood at one point.’

    Another blog, Domestic Empire, complained that the ‘writer chosen to write Assange-inspired comedy advocates murder over democratic free speech’.

    Butlin complained to the Corporation saying: ‘I find it offensive that Mr Phipps who has publicly incited violence and propagated the murder of Mr Assange, has been employed by the BBC’ and calling for action…..

    Read more….


    [1] http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2004/07/butl-j16.html
    [2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B00qgKnz-uU

    [3] http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2014/jun/20/jack-dee-threatens-to-leave-im-sorry-i-havent-a-clue
    [4] http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/lostinshowbiz/2011/sep/15/day-the-festival-dream-died

    • weka 11.1

      Morrisey, I can’t tell if those are your words or someone elses. Didn’t we have this conversation?

      • Morrissey 11.1.1

        Sorry, weka. My words are the first four paragraphs, and then I cite the article from Chortle. Maybe I should just give the link in future after my preamble.

        • weka

          You obviously know how to use html tags. Is there some reason you won’t use blockquotes? Or italics?

          • Morrissey

            Actually, I don’t know how to do the blockquotes technique. I don’t use italics except for emphasis and titles.

            What do you have to mark up to get blockquotes?

            • weka

              Instead of bold /bold write blockquote /blockquote


              Most people on ts are using either blockquote or italics to quote, or if it’s very short, “double quotes”. It’s a kind of informal house style. Not saying you have to use these, you may find another way, but it’s that same thing of making comments accessible and respecting the readers enough to make it clear what you are saying, and what is something else’s words (that’s respect for the other writers too).

    • swordfish 11.2

      Interesting to see the way Frankie Boyle’s been given the cold shoulder over the last couple of years.

      • Morrissey 11.2.1

        He is especially impressive and thoughtful in the following interview, in spite of the irritating interviewer….

  12. weka 12

    Short but crucial reading for anyone wanting to understand more about the role of women in Islam in the US context. I think there are also things here for the West to learn about the value of gender specific spaces, and how culture affects that.


    • Weepus beard 13.1

      Yep. According to David Seymour, it seems perversion is the point at which a teacher becomes unsuitable.

      Any other dodgy behaviour?

      In fine ACT tradition, no worries.

      • freedom 13.1.1

        David Seymour is reported as saying “The worst thing I could do is to prejudge it if there isn’t anything perverse,”

        So he was saying perversion is the point at which they can be prejudged, which might be unwelcome news by any who have been falsely accused of a crime.

  13. Reddelusion 15

    Is weka the most bat shit crazy contributor on this site


    [r0b: I will let this comment through, but I strongly suggest not feeding the troll]

  14. weka 16

    Murdoch on the differences between Norman’s resignation and Sabin’s (also GP leadership and National).

  15. This battleground between indigenous people and projects designed to maintain the extravagant western lifestyles is HOT and will continue to heat up.

    The LA Times indicates, we are at a “Flashpoint” between competing value-systems. Bodies have been exhumed, and geoglyphs destroyed, in an area that is a long-term indigenous settlement.

    “Who Are My People?” depicts how the world’s energy firms like Solar Millennium, have met their match in a small group of Native American elders, in the hottest desert on the planet.

    The film takes us behind the scenes of two of the largest solar projects in the world,
    “fast tracked” by US renewable energy policies.


    What price progress? Who pays that price?

    • weka 18.1


      It’s why the whole green tech as saviour thing is just wrong, because it keeps us in the same belief systems, value systems and behaviours as what got us in this mess in the first place. It won’t solve CC, and even if it did we would still fuck up all the other things that are consequences of humans ruling the world.

  16. weka 19

    Am I missing something or is John Roughan actually saying something quite on to it here?

    Basic benefits have been increasing with the cost of living as measured by the consumer prices index, which was generous in the 1970s when wages could never quite catch galloping inflation.

    Since the reforms of the 80s, New Zealand has enjoyed low inflation and economic growth that has enabled wages to rise more than prices, increasing the national living standard.

    Boston and Chapple make a good case for increasing benefits by the rate of average wage rises.

    It is strange that Labour did not make this change 10 or more years ago when it had budget surpluses, National should do now. Ideally, it would backdate the increases as far as surpluses might permit, giving benefits quite a boost in the next few years.


    • see first comment in yesterdays’ o.m..

    • Naturesong 19.2

      I find this:
      “Since the reforms of the 80s, New Zealand has enjoyed low inflation and economic growth that has enabled wages to rise more than prices, increasing the national living standard.”

      Hard to square with this:
      “child … poverty rate in recent years has been around 25%; this is almost twice the rate experienced during the 1980s, which averaged about 13%” (Perry 2012, 124)

      • weka 19.2.1

        How so? Isn’t that the discrepancy between beneficiaries and wager earners, with child poverty being weighted into the beneficiary group? I would expect the increase in standard of living just means some people are doing way better and others are doing worse ie they’re not using a very subtle measuring tool.

        • Naturesong

          I imagine he is technically correct, and the average standard of living has increased.
          Real shame that during that time the percentage of children in poverty has nearly doubled.

          Might be worth seeing if the median standard of living has increased.

          • weka

            Well he is of the class that has done very well out of the 80s reforms, so I expect he is blind, probable willfully blind, to the numbers of people that haven’t done well.

            I don’t know how they measure standard of living. Hopefully a boffin will post.

            • Jenny Kirk

              The child poverty increased with the Richardson black budget which slashed beneficiary rates – and these have never been increased back to the level they were at during the 1980s.

  17. Pat O'Dea 20

    Let’s all ignore climate change.

    “Why the Keystone XL Will Be Built”
    by DR. KENT MOORS | published January 30th, 2015

    “So far, the biggest hurdle has been the environmental concerns.”


    By far, the biggest hurdle has been concerns about climate change.

    The Keystone XL requires an appraisal by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and approval by both Congress and the President.

    So far, the biggest hurdle has been the environmental concerns.

    Most of them have been dealt with in a preliminary DOS finding (the full report has yet to be released) and with the recent verdict by Nebraska that the pipeline poses no environmental threat.
    DR. KENT MOORS Oil and energy investor

    Why climate change is not an environmental issue

  18. joe90 21


    Plot idea: 97% of the world’s scientists contrive an environmental crisis, but are exposed by a plucky band of billionaires & oil companies.

  19. One Anonymous Bloke 23

    As students prepare to return to their studies in a few weeks, many will be wondering how on earth they will be able to afford it, and survive getting a mortgage of student debt many years before the can dream of owning a home. Let’s remember that when we help the next generation to fulfil its potential, we help our whole country to be the best it can be. Labour will do a ground-up review of student loans and allowances when next in office.

    David Cunliffe on Facebook.

    I for one hope that means scrapping the student loan scheme is on the table.

    It’s time NZ started following international best practice, by making education free, rather than continuing to unthinkingly follow failed ideology. This applies to other policies too.

    Be nice to see Labour wake up from its market fundamentalist stupor.

  20. fisiani 24

    TV3 poll out tonight. Oh well. Never mind.

    • Skinny 24.1

      I wonder if they are going to announce Gerry Brownlee comes out in support of his mini me national list MP to seek the party nomination to contest the candidacy and become the next Northland MP. This comes after he failed to beat Shane Reti for the Whangarei candidacy. Brownlee is rumoured to be heading to Waitangi in an attempt to secure the nod for his mini me from party members.

      Apparently Gerrys errant boy has contacted the head chef at the Copthorpe hotel Waitangi and will be forwarding Gerrys dietary requests, including his favorite pork pie recipe.

      • phillip ure 24.1.1

        is that the one where he gets served the whole pig on a platter..?

        ..with some pastry on the sides..?

        • Skinny

          Close Phil.

          The whole 200kg pig is spit roasted and then pastry wrapped and glazed. The newbie MP’s get briefed not to get too close to Brownlee whilst eating his pork pie. Appears Gerry is well known for lashing out at the trough, guess you just have to look at Nic Smiths scarred face as proof.

          • phillip ure

            does anyone know how long nic smith has been a gurner..?

            ..it is one of the highlights of commentating on q-time..

            ..smith somewhere in shot..

            ..gurning his little head off..

        • Neil

          Rumor has it Gerry prefers whale blubber.

  21. what is it with the young people of today..?

    ..that lorde..and that ko…

    ..are they trying to make the rest of us feel inadequate..?

    ..or something..?

    • b waghorn 25.1

      Girls to we’ll have to left our game us blokes.

      • Colonial Rawshark 25.1.1

        Kiwi boys are doing much worse in school and university numbers these days, not that anyone cares enough to take affirmative action.

        • McFlock

          well, that went downhill quickly.

          From young people are awesome to the men’s rights brigade in three short comments.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Like I said, few people give a shit.

            • McFlock

              That’s not actually true.
              It’s just that few people are so obsessed with whinging that they push that particular barrow at the slightest (and yes, it was very slight) excuse.

          • b waghorn

            Shit I was having a joke didn’t work obviously.

            • McFlock

              Depends on the audience.
              I thought it was pretty reasonable.

              And (sadly) one of the few times I could both understand and agree with ure, the thread gets zonked by someone who can’t just feel happy about recognising the success of others without turning it into a whinge-fest.

      • phillip ure 25.1.2

        that battle is well lost..

        ..tho’ lord did have little-the-ditty-maker..

        ..and ko did have that bloke-coach for all of those development yrs..

  22. Neil 26

    Just watched TV3 news & Gower was showing his bias & arse licking towards Key & was blatantly putting the knife into Andrew Little, while reporting on the latest poll. Every time I see Gower or hear his voice it makes me want to puke.
    I wondered how long it would take Gower to put the knife in to Andrew Little.
    Looks like Dirty Politics part 2 has begun

    • Colonial Rawshark 26.1

      Do you remember the poll numbers?

      • Neil 26.1.1

        I think it was 49% national & 28% labour.

      • Pete George 26.1.2

        – National 49.8% (up 2,8)
        – Labour 29.1% (up 4.0)
        – Greens 9.3% (down 1,4)
        – NZ First 6.9% (down 1.9)
        – Conservatives 2.7% (down 1.3)
        – Maori Party 1.3% (no change)
        – Internet Mana 0.6% (down 0.8)
        – ACT 0.4% (down 0.3)
        – United Future 0% (down 0.2)

        More details: http://yournz.org/2015/02/01/3-news-poll-first-for-2015/

      • fisiani 26.1.3

        NAT – 49.8% –
        LAB – 29.1 –
        GRN – 9.3
        NZf – 6.9
        CON 2.7
        MAO- 1.3%
        INT-MANA 0.6
        ACT – 0.4%
        UF – 0

        National really high and Labour cannabilising the Left

        • b waghorn

          It will be interesting to see if you’re still crowing here in 2016

        • swordfish

          Awwww, Fisi, Fisi, Fisi, why must we go through this charade every single time ?

          Labour cannibalising the Left, National cannibalising the Right.

        • Ovid

          National would have drawn its gains from the Cons and NZF. Labour would have made its gains from the Greens, NZF and IMP. Internet-Mana is pretty much dead (although I wouldn’t rule out Harawira making a successful run in 2017).

          NZF is the big loser in this poll. As Little continues to build his profile, he should start pulling some soft National supporters too as the year progresses.

          I also think international trends will play into 2017. We ‘re looking at a single-term LNP government in Australia and in the UK Labour are enjoying a narrow lead (with the further spoiler of UKIP likely to split the Tory vote in this year’s election). Our electoral outlook may synch up with the rest of the Anglosphere.

          • Skinny

            Yes the Tories have wreacked havoc in the UK, Cameron and his cronies will be sent packing as will idiot Abbott in OZ.

            Which makes things a lot easier here. Little is smart enough to either get the Left leaders out here or get on a plane and go on a visit to strengthen relationships. Key should get the cold shoulder from them.

            New Zealander’s are sheep and if the slogan ‘time for a change’ is repeated often enough they will duly oblige by voting the Nats out. The odds are Key will hand over the leadership once the worm really turns. Sabin’s hurried exit is the start of a bad year for Key and it will get worst I’m picking.

            • Paul

              I just hope you are right.
              I am worried the government will press ahead with the TPP, charter schools, destroying the RMA, and privatising health and housing further.

              • Skinny

                Key is desperate to comply with instructions from America to get the TPPA signed and our fate sealed, the EMA is all part and parcel. The Maori-Tory party should ethically cross the house as the TPPA & RMA reforms will lead to bad outcomes for Maori in particular.

                Anyway the last anti TPPA rallies were well attended, I can see huge crowds at the next round.

        • phillip ure

          fisi..never mind a silly poll..

          ..isn’t it exciting what has happened in greece..?

          ..and is about to also happen in spaim/portugal/scotland..and likely ireland..

          ..in the fairly near future..

          ..the destruction of the neo-lib paradigm..?..(i do so like writing those words..)

          ..isn’t it exciting..?

          ..and given yr political-analysis skills..

          ..how much contagion d’ya reckon will have seeped down here by ’17..?

          ..and how about that labour in that queensland..eh..?

          ..from 7 mp’s to ruling..now that is a landslide on steroids..

          ..are you at all fretting about these outbreaks of lefty-looniness all over the place..?

          ..if u aren’t..u r seriously in denial..eh..?

          ..and for us..happier days soon..eh..?

      • Colonial Rawshark 26.1.4

        Cheers fellas.

  23. Paul 27

    If only our opposition politicians dealt with our media the way Greece’s New Finance Minister handles a Newsnight Interview.

    Greece’s new finance minister Yanis Varoufakis interviewed on 30 January 2015 on BBC’s Newsnight.

    “As a fan of the BBC, I must say I was appalled by the depths of inaccuracy in the reporting underpinning this interview (not to mention the presenter’s considerable rudeness).Still, and despite the cold wind on that balcony, it was fun!” – Yanis Varoufakis

    Full interview here.


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