Open mike 01/04/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:35 am, April 1st, 2015 - 235 comments
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235 comments on “Open mike 01/04/2015”

  1. tc 1

    TS could have a section ‘what you won’t see covered in the MSM’

    Read a superb analysis on how our economy is being impacted by milk commodity global pricing and fonterras payout trends, sobering read. Thanks Crikey, thanks for nothing NZ MSM.

    The rock star economy is having second album syndrome and the lead singer has been found to be miming others lyrics.

    • philj 1.1

      Sounds interesting. Crikey link analysis please.

      • tc 1.1.1

        behind the paywall from Glenn dyer apologies but no can link.

        ‘Not so golden dairy anymore. While the Kiwis bask in the reflected glory of a World Cricket Cup final (and a great game last night), for another Kiwi success story — dairying — the golden, winning glow has well and truly gone. This morning, Fonterra, the country’s dairy monopoly, cut its distribution/dividend guidance after net first half profit fell 16% to NZ$183 million (it was NZ$459 million for the first half of 2012-13). Revenue dropped 14% to NZ$9.7 thanks to a slump in global dairy prices up to the end of December, when they hit a five-year low. Prices rose from January onwards until that anonymous poisoning scare earlier this month caused prices in last week’s auction to drop 8.8%. Fonterra held its forecast farmgate return for the current season at NZ$4.70 per kilogram of milk solids, but cut its forecast dividend to 20-30 NZ cents a share. ‘

    • joe90 1.2

      This article?

      Already New Zealand’s October trade figures revealed a 70% fall in dairy export income in October, and October’s trade deficit was at a six-year high.

      http://www.crikey.com.au/2014/12/01/its-not-just-iron-ore-and-coal-tumbling-commodities-will-hurt-hockey/

      StatsNZ;

      Milk powder led the fall in exports to China, down $459 million (77 percent), with quantities down 67 percent.

      http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/imports_and_exports/OverseasMerchandiseTrade_MROct14.aspx

    • les 1.3

      the commodity boom is well over …countries need a weaker cross rate currency to boost exports, NZ $ is going the wrong way because interest rates are high comparitive to other stable’ democracys.John Spy has turned into Jonah ,when the AB’s fail to retain the WC ,its all over for the Natz Party.

  2. vto 2

    I see this morning that John Key has come clean on Mike Sabin, environmental reporting, is going to outline the TPPA to the people of NZ, and has registered for New Zealand history lessons at the local primary school.

  3. Pete George 3

    lprent has conceded that abuse and mob attacks have not been conducive to a vibrant forum for discussion. And he recognises the contribution I’ve made to improving the Standard stats at a time that other left wing blogs have been in decline.

    He went as far as asking if I’d become an author here, to give more diversity to content and reach out more to the middle, which would improve Labour’s chances of leading a change government in 2017.

    I haven’t decided yet. Are there any suggestions about what sort of different topics and alternate approach that anyone would be interested in?

    • b waghorn 3.1

      The fact that it’s April you could do a post on how key Fools people into voting for him.

      • Pete George 3.1.1

        Winston is more typical on that count.

        • Tracey 3.1.1.1

          please list winstons top 100 lies or misleading public statements.

          the people with their eyes open thank you in advance.

    • millsy 3.2

      1st April?

    • vto 3.3

      Do it Pete. At least then the usual unruly scrum that forms around you can heap itself on your post rather than clog up other threads.

      First topic: How to sit on the fence for 3 score and 10

      • miravox 3.3.1

        I thought the beige one had a sense of humour there for a minute – maybe that was the joke. He’s already arguing the validity of a comment that he asked for.

        Haven’t missed this a bit. 🙄

    • vto 3.4

      Pete I think you have scared everybody off. No decent comments since tc’s at 6.50am, over two hours ago

      • Rosie 3.4.1

        Scares me off vto. But maybe his presence today is an April’s fool joke after all.

        During those times when PG is in town the quality of craic drops like a stone in a well. More often than not I’m just reading author posts and comments, rather than commenting myself but when I see PG on the thread I just leave.

        • logie97 3.4.1.1

          Opinion
          Seeing George’s name appearing on OpenMike I know it will ruin the discussion, and frankly cannot be bothered scrolling down to see what other people want to discuss. Sad but true and have a feeling it has the same affect on many other readers of this site. Pete is as relevant to public discourse as Garth.

          It has been a wonderful period in his absence.

    • Philip Ferguson 3.5

      Which left blogs are in decline?

      At Redline we just had our best month ever (we’ve been going since June 2011). And our 2015 first quarter is up 120% on our first quarter in 2012.

      Of course, we have nothing like the stats of rightwing blogs like Slater but, frankly, we’re after a better class of reader and commenter.

      And you won’t find people slinging around personal abuse or wishing that this or that person got imprisoned and raped in jail, the way you will find people making those kinds of comments on rightwing blogs like Farrar’s and Slater’s.

      You might get a bit of a hard time on this blog, but it’s nothing at all like the virtual psychopaths who litter the comments section of those two rightwing blogs.

      I’ve had a few robust discussions/disagreements on this blog – I’m not a Labour supporter – but I’ve never once felt abused and the general level of comments and debate here is a world above the cesspools that make up the comments section on kiwiblog and whaleblubber.

      Phil

      • Gosman 3.5.1

        I suspect it is because you agree with the general thrust of the message being put forward. Right leaning people here are generally treated in a similar manner to how left leaning ones are treated on Right Blogs.

    • tc 3.6

      IF author = not commenting on other posts,THEN nirvana, ELSE same old PG

  4. amirite 4

    lol

  5. vto 5

    I see the people of Nepal have had the same problem as the people of Northland….

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/67571707/wild-rhino-chased-into-forest-after-deadly-rampage-in-nepal

  6. Pasupial 6

    11 days remaining till the return of the Rawshark 5:

    Murray Rawshark
    phillip ure
    greywarshark
    Colonial Rawshark
    Macro

    Another day on the picket line for me:

    Open mike 30/03/2015

    However, greywarshark may be back already; going by this comment that I missed yesterday (or that may have been a once-off clarification of position):

    Open mike 31/03/2015

    • Chooky 6.1

      +100 Pasupial…(yes I think greywarshark is back)…

      i love the analogies in your first link which i hadnt read before:

      Open mike 30/03/2015

      ( I tend to be a speed reader and commenter ….which I fit in coming to the Standard with many other tasks in my life except when I get embroiled in something like the two Julian Assange posts/comments first by Bill and then changed into something else by TRP ….which were a real turn off for me …especially the accusations of “rape apologists” … imo Stephanie is not the whole or even the most important issue here…she was the last straw in an accumulation of gang attacks by some commenters that probably made MR leave and others join him)

      I do think there is a case for an alternative to the Standard …based and run on a cooperate worker model rather than a privately and personally owned blog ….Lprent himself endorses other Left blogs….so I would be happy to endorse this…(however it would take the huge amount of skill and time that Lprent puts in)

      …for me it is some of the regular and not so regular heavy weight thoughtful , experienced , specialist commenters that I get most from (like the Letters to the Editor in a newspaper)…that are often more interesting/ valuable than the once over lightly summary Posts…(other commenters I ignore for obvious reasons)

      …that said the Standard has been, for a while for me at least, an enormously grassroots participatory educative experience ….and I have been put on to other media which i now look at regularly eg RT….so i am very thankful for this

      • just saying 6.1.1

        I do think there is a case for an alternative to the Standard …based and run on a cooperate worker model rather than a privately and personally owned blog

        Sounds like a plan.
        I’m staying here and hope to see Murray back soon.

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          I don’t follow that. The standard isn’t a private and personally owned blog. In terms of legal structures I think there is a trust, and the running of the place is done cooperatively by the people who work here.

          this from the About,

          We’re a collective who saw a gap in the New Zealand political blogosphere and decided that we should have a go at filling it here at The Standard blog site. We write here in our personal capacities and the opinions that are expressed on the blog are individual unless expressly stated otherwise (see the policy). We do not write on behalf of any organization. Legally this website is owned by The Standard Trust, an entity set up by the authors to own The Standard’s url and handle any advertising revenue.

          About

      • Once was Tim 6.1.2

        Just a thought ….. I wonder the wisdom of posters moderating their own threads – especially since there seems to be others online at the same time able to do so. However this is not my blog (and I won’t forget that goddamit!)

        • te reo putake 6.1.2.1

          Well, I guess we pay more attention to our own posts, OWT, so from a practical point of view, that seems to work. But, like most authors, I’d prefer not having to moderate anything and it’s a credit to the regulars that the vast majority of comments posted here at TS don’t cross the line, but add to the quality of the discussion.

          Just as an aside, for me, if I reply, (ie a comment with a blue background) I’m not actively moderating, but contributing to the debate. If it’s in bold black ink, that’s moderation. There’s no hard and fast rule about the difference, though, so other authors/mods might do it differently.

      • Bill 6.1.3

        Collectives are a great idea.

        But to actually work, there needs to be ‘a great levelling’ in terms of skill sets, input etc. Then there is the structural limitations imposed by legislation…trusts and incorporated societies are required to have identifiable ‘head honchos’.

        In terms of a web based enterprise, I reckon the transfer of Lynn’s skillset, well…

        And then there’s the need to register the name, handle monies and because of potential legal actions being pursued….again, levelling becomes hugely problematic.

        For what it’s worth, I reckon the author side of things works pretty well and is essentially levelled. I write what I want , when I want, as do other authors. I moderate my posts as I see fit and others do likewise. It’s not perfect and I’m sure I’ve handed down bans for stuff that others wouldn’t have banned for, and visa versa.

        The way I look at posts is that the particular author, if they are around, is the co-ordinator of that discussion…and if they’re ‘in a shitty’, then hey.

        I baulk at moderating on others’ posts – although I have done it and will continue to do it…in fact, I’ll probably be doing it more than I have in the past.

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      🙄

    • lurgee 6.3

      I think the dictionary now has new definition of ‘futile’, ‘self-absorbed’ and ‘self-indulgent’.

      For goodness’ sake, are you trying to make The Left look stupider than it has to?

  7. Philip Ferguson 7

    It’s estimated there are possibly as many as 4,000 people from Europe who have joined jihadist groups in the Middle East.

    Here’s a thoughtful, interesting piece by Kenan Malik on why young people in Europe, often from moderate Muslim or secular backgrounds, join the jihadis:
    https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/why-are-young-people-in-european-joining-jihadi-groups/

    Phil

    • lurgee 7.1

      There are about 44 MILLION Muslims in Europe. That’s a 0.009% take up rate. I think the real question should be why so few Muslims are off to fight in Syria and Iraq.

      It’s almost like they have no interest in waging war in a sandy Hell hole on behalf of fundamentalist mad people.

  8. Karen 8

    It was such a beautiful morning, then I looked at Open Mike.

    • Once was Tim 8.1

      🙂
      Easy fixed …. there are other things in life. Why you could go for a walk thru’ the streets of Wellington and count the number of new faces begging on the street in this “Roskstar Economy” (and Mex is a d d d d DEE j j j JAY!)
      ….. or if that’s too depressing you could count the number of premises that once were occupied by small businiesses either gone under or getting out while the getting’s good
      ….. or you could take a stroll around Wellington Hospital and listen to a few stories of those left behind who frequent outpatients.

      The possibilities are endless.

      Or you could just drop a load of happy pills like half the population are these days (I think a few doctors even ADVERTISE their wares these days).

      Welcome to the consequences of neo-liberalism and the actions of its early adoptees (the Douglases, the Wildes, the MSM …… )

      • Rosie 8.1.1

        Once was Tim. I continue to struggle with the ever increasing sight of beggars in Lambton Quay. Never before have we had this number. It is fucking heartbreaking.

        Not for the first time in recent years have I felt ashamed to be an NZer, when I see men and women ranging in age from teens through to seniors sitting quietly looking down at the footpath waiting for the day to go by and for it all to happen again the next day.

        They are are most visual casualties of John Keys’ New Zealand.

        If there’s one thing that really triggers the very raw feeling of anger and sorrow at what our government has done to our country it is the sight of beggars.

        • Once was Tim 8.1.1.1

          Mee too! Utterly ashamed!
          It’s one reason that as soon as I’m able (IF I’m able), I’ll transfer all I’ve earned over a lifetime to somewhere that still sees the importance of community and collective (as opposed to the cult of I I I and me me me). That’s likely to be somewhere in northern India.
          I’m hoping tho’ that things may change – and we’ve just seen the first signs of that happening
          (I don’t ekshully see a ‘happy population’ btw – I see a divided one. One where there is an underbelly who anaesthetise themselves; a muddle class who’re ‘content’ by feeding themselves on consumerism and plastic; and a 1% who’re exstatic in the vein hope they’re going to be able to take it all with them. Amongst the !% and a sizable proportion of the muddle – their legacy they’re leaving doesn’t even enter their minds on a day-to-day basis

        • KJT 8.1.1.2

          Totally agree.

          It was one of the most shameful things to see in Queen Street on Saturday..

          At least some countries have the reason of much lower GDP, per capita, than ours.

  9. vto 9

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/67564608/farmer-dumps-poo-on-otago-regional-councils-doorstep

    This story is worth looking into in depth as it illustrates the problem our country has with intensive dairying.

    Forget the poo protest and look at the circumstances.

    This farm is on land which is entirely unsuitable for intensive livestock farming (i.e. dairying in its common current form). It has shallow aquifers and stony free-draining soils. In other words the cow shit etc leaches straight through the ground and into the aquifer. It is clearly not suitable.

    The farmer concerned was on Nat Radio yesterday and his sole problem became very very clear through his constant repetition of it. That sole problem was the debt he clearly has taken on for the farm. He cried about “loss of equity” and “burning cash to pay the interest” countless times.

    His problem is not the farm, or even the land which clearly has limits on what it can be used for sustainably, his problem is that he has borrowed millions of dollars from a bank.

    I feel for the guy, I really do, but life is sometimes fucking hard and unfortunately he has got smacked hard by it. I see no out for the poor prick other than acknowledging that the land is no good for intensive use and acknowledging the very real limits of banks and their debt. He shows no such recognition of these realities.

    The land is not suitable for what it is being used for.
    The farmer has taken on massive debt.

    Sound familiar? This is a sample example of the underlying problems in many many parts of the country.

    The chicken is coming home to roost

    • gsays 9.1

      hi vto, while i largely agree with where you are coming from;
      (The land is not suitable for what it is being used for.
      The farmer has taken on massive debt.)
      there are a few quetions i have.

      how long has the farmer been farming there?
      generations or a recent (last 12 years) arrival?

      also possibly to be filed under none of my business, but he bought it up..
      the reason for the borrowing? to improve existing systems or to keep on biggering?

      the answers only really ameliorate his situation a little.

      i wish the northland council shown on a recent native affairs item about cows polluting waterways was as proactive.
      the chairman of the council (a farmer) kept blandly talking about balancing the needs of the environment with what the community wants to happen.

      • vto 9.1.1

        Yes I wondered those things too i.e. the history of his farm. But in the end the problem remains and those historic circumstances are just that – historic.

        This type of situation will only become more common as farmers are limited as to the amount of their waste they can dump in the public estate (we cant dump any of our business waste in the public estate, and for very good reason).

        Wise farmers will be already responding to these circumstances and moving to accommodate. Foolish ones will do things like cry like a baby and dump poo on somebody elses doorstep. This particular farmers approach, as evidenced by his performance on te radio yesterday, is not a wise one. Probably just emotional. Too close to the action to see the truth.

      • Tracey 9.1.2

        and our over reliance on dairying is making us more reliant on dairying making our protectors more likely to stuff the environment and water quality to perpetuate a problem.

        businesses fail. they over extend… cant meet their aspirations and do not get the kinds of compromises some farmers seek and get.

        it does seem those farmers not over extended financially are able to plan to accomodate the demands of their councils to deal with nitrate etc over the next few years. many farmers are achieving that. this farmer seems to fit the 80/20 model.

        Many people dont get to stay in a career of their choice.

          • NickS 9.1.2.1.1

            Oooh, thanks.

            Pretty much spot on, though one thing not mentioned is using buffer zones around water ways and changing pasture management techniques to better utilise nitrogen for pasture growth and limiting nitrogen pollution.

          • Tracey 9.1.2.1.2

            Those with even a passing interest in the issue could do worse than read Sacha’s link (thnkas Sacha)

            “Endlessly citing the familiar litany of dairy pollution, though, doesn’t get us any closer to a solution. We need to understand the position some farmers have found themselves in. The Government has saddled them – dairy farmers in particular – with the responsibility for resuscitating a moribund economy (don’t confuse the cost of earthquake rebuilds for prosperity). Under the terms of the Primary Growth Partnership, ag minister Nathan Guy wants primary sector export receipts to double in value by 2025. Given that they have already wrung monumental production increases from their properties – an average 57 per cent per hectare between 1992 and 2012 – that demand in critical markets like China has flattened, exchange rates routinely swing against them, and international dairy prices tumbled more than 50 per cent last year, the only practical thing left for dairy farmers to do is to stock more cows.

            That, of course, is precisely what regional councils don’t want them to do – and nor does the public. But farmers find themselves in a crossfire of signals. The Government, like some Harlem pusher, is doing everything it can to coax farmers into still more expansion. It has adopted fresh water quality standards so lax they would give the filthy, lifeless Yangtze a clean bill of health. It removed the obstacle of a democratically-elected regional council in Canterbury that was proceeding on water issues with a caution mandated by voters. Instead, it installed pro-irrigation, agri-business-friendly “commissioners.” It has devoted $35m of taxpayers’ money to facilitating irrigation schemes. It granted agriculture exemption from the Emissions Trading Scheme on what is unfolding as a perpetual basis.”

    • Kevin 9.2

      We have the same problem here in Hawkes Bay, only they want $300 Million of public money to build a dam to satisfy their dairying fetish on land not suited to it.

    • DH 9.3

      vto. It also pays to differentiate between those who owned their property or business before 2008 and those who bought after.

      No-one who owned prior to 2008 can complain about paying interest. Well they can complain but they’d have no credibility. Their interest bill fell by some 40%, if they were surviving on their old interest rates then they’d be raking it in on the newer rates post 2008.

      A person with a $300k mortgage balance pre-GFC received the equivalent of a $10k pay rise when interest rates were cut post GFC. No-one else was blessed thus.

    • Nick S 9.4

      Heh, in other words it’s land that would be good for cropping, with some soil improvement of course, or could be used for viticulture or fruit trees depending on sunshine levels.

      Instead dumbarse is running dairy, probably with high stock levels, and on a feedstock of plain grass which causes cattle poop to be more liquid. Which by running high stock levels, combined with pasture management is preventing soil carbon build up, from plant root growth, that would alleviate some of the nutrient pollution issues.

      And what’s to bet he stupidly assumed the high milk solids payout was going to continue, so thought getting in to significant debt to upgrade the farm was a good idea. Which is now nearly unserviceable unless he ignores parts of the resource consent and local legislation his farm operates under vis water quality.

      Fuck, even at my most spare even I’d recognise the failure states and would have shifted my land use patterns to avoid the problems. With looking at different business plans that limited nutrient pollution runoff, but still allowed the farm to viable without getting into massive debts.

      Case in point, he could go with mixed, slightly weedy pasture, which would provide more protein to the cows, thus higher milk solid levels, meaning you could run with lower stock levels. And it would reduce nutrient run off via increased root mass and increase drought resilience due to weedy plants being able to tap into the low lying aquifer, while the more fiber from them leads to more solid cow pats, which leach nutrients more slowly. Change over to organic and use it for cheeses etc and bang, you can potentially run at lower operating costs, tap into a growing market and still potentially make a decent profit. With room for expansion into other stuff depending on the farms soils etc.

      • b waghorn 9.4.1

        We as a nation may have to look at a subsidy to help indebted farmers transition to more sustainable methods to meet the coming tide of regulation that is coming there way.

        • vto 9.4.1.1

          get away with ya….

          we got and continue to get nothing in our industry and we are constantly assailed by changing regulation. So much so it has become a deterrent and investment is leaving.

        • NickS 9.4.1.2

          Nyet, the writing was on the walls over a decade ago on water quality issues, if they didn’t pay bloody attention to the longterm risks to their business plans from that direction then the problem lies with them.

          Furthermore, much of the debt is their own damn fault for assuming the high payouts would continue and that droughts wouldn’t hit production and so took on loans that they knew they’d have issues with if payouts dropped. Although the banks also share some of the blame for offering the loans in the first place, knowing damn well that the boom wouldn’t last.

          • b waghorn 9.4.1.2.1

            You’re right if they knew the new rules were coming but if they were farming to the rules at the time and then the rules are changed/tightened then I think there is a case to help farmers transition to lower production levels.

            • vto 9.4.1.2.1.1

              That doesn’t happen in any other industries b waghorn and everyone gets slammed constantly with regulation change.

              Farming gets helped all the time over and above other sectors. Examples – being left out of ETS, being given donkeys years to get water issues right. There is plenty of transitioning ability provided to the farming sector. Always treated like a special child – spoiled

      • weka 9.4.2

        Case in point, he could go with mixed, slightly weedy pasture, which would provide more protein to the cows, thus higher milk solid levels, meaning you could run with lower stock levels. And it would reduce nutrient run off via increased root mass and increase drought resilience due to weedy plants being able to tap into the low lying aquifer, while the more fiber from them leads to more solid cow pats, which leach nutrients more slowly. Change over to organic and use it for cheeses etc and bang, you can potentially run at lower operating costs, tap into a growing market and still potentially make a decent profit. With room for expansion into other stuff depending on the farms soils etc.

        I don’t think farms with high debt get to make choices like that.

        • NickS 9.4.2.1

          Well, not after they get themselves in debt of course…

          • weka 9.4.2.1.1

            No, and the problem with the story today is we have no idea why this man is in the situation he is in.

  10. An interesting employment case is going to be discussed on Radio NZ at 11.30 this morning. It involves a worker who was sacked from his job and charged by police for things he hadn’t actually done, then required to sign an agreement saying he’d been made redundant. After the charges were dropped, he made an online whistleblowing video explaining what he’d been through and his former employer has sprinted to the court to force him into silence.

    • Tracey 10.1

      can you post the link when it is up for those who cant hear it live?

    • http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/20173253/employment-law-with-charles-mcguinness

      Reading between the lines, the worker concerned was, ahem, ‘made redundant’ before the charges were dropped and now that he has been cleared of any wrong doing, he wants to be able to publicise what appears to be shabby treatment by his employer (a council?). However, there is a gagging clause that might prevent that, even though it was signed under the duress of having the criminal charges pending.

      • Tracey 10.2.1

        Thanks TRP. I had a listen.

        It possibly comes back to cost of legal representation (again). IF this employee could have afforded legal representation he/she may have chosen to not settle and go to a hearing by which all that was said and done at the hearing could be in the public arena. He/she would still have won their employment case, got some compensation and been able to speak publicly about it?

        • te reo putake 10.2.1.1

          Yep, that’s my reading of it, too. I’m guessing the employer has deeper pockets than the worker. Plus the worker has to have been crushed by the thought of losing the job and being prosecuted for crimes not actually committed. A shitty place to be.

          • adam 10.2.1.1.1

            If I was to go all 1930’s on this.

            Was not the employee held to a good old fashioned Shake Down?

            Seems to me calling the cops, and getting charges pressed was just another form of milking it.

            I thought we had laws against coercing people.

            Oh wait is it that old chest nut – of that our laws sort of work – because good people don’t need them – and bad people will just ignore them.

  11. Tracey 11

    when did Key resign as minister of tourism and appointed Bridges

  12. Skinny 12

    National Party campaign master stroker, Stephen Joyce attributes the loss by their candidate Mark Osborne to breeches of the Electoral Act. John Key backs up Joyce’s sentiments by saying prior to these front page ads “Winston Peters had zero chance.”

    Do not rule out a petition to force a re-election.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11426087

    • tc 12.1

      straws….clutching….desperation.

      Go on petition a re-election, I dare ya in fact double dare ya.

    • philj 12.2

      It is April 1. Is this a Herald, JK,SJ cunning stunt?

      • Tracey 12.2.1

        when i read this i genuinely misread your last 2 words.

        • alwyn 12.2.1.1

          “misread your last 2 words”
          I have a choice of three options after that remark. Either –
          1. You have a dirty mind or
          2. I have a dirty mind or
          3. We both have dirty minds.

        • northshoreguynz 12.2.1.2

          Used to be an girl group many years ago. Unsurprisingly their singles never got much air play!

      • Skinny 12.2.2

        Mine was a joke 🙂 but I think Claire is serious. Little surprised she never attached an online petition form.

        I note the spin department of the National Party were prepared in advance for the loss by launching ‘proven policy winners.’

        Their first home buyer kick start policy, animal welfare & the tried and true winner cracking the benefit bludgers. All designed to counter the slide in popularity when the pollsters do the next rounds.

        It will be a nervous wait to see how bad a hit they suffered Nationally from the Northland routing.

    • Tracey 12.3

      what happened in the eminem case ?

        • Tracey 12.3.1.1

          That must be different then. At least in John and Steve’s co-joint mind. You know, cos they won.

      • Skinny 12.3.2

        Well really it’s a quick back up mocking of campaign master stroker Joyce, if the MSM had any clues, however they were asleep with the recent win that saw Martin Gayle copyright breach, why this wasn’t headlines like ‘Lookout National Your Next’ defies belief.

        Collin’s will be gaming it to unstable Joyce. Legally they should be protected by the ‘fall guy’ 3rd party that they sourced the song from.

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 12.3.2.1

          Knives are out in the Natz Club.

          There are also rumours that a Nat MP has been a bit naughty. Save that for after this weekend for some more heat to be applied to hatch.

        • Tracey 12.3.2.2

          Isn’t Collins brand tainted now, in terms of reigniting a leadership challenge? Might be different for Mayoralty of Auckland (sadly)?

          But Bennett seems to be the biggest beneficiary of the falls from grace over the last few months.

  13. Tiger Mountain 13

    the old “cone of silence trick” eh 99; can be counterproductive as the filthy Nats found out in Northland

  14. Rosie 14

    10.32am and no more PG. Seems safe to return.

    Place your bets now for the timing of the usual right wing media bash and press releases from whiny shop owners against GASP! shops closing for two days over Easter, followed by the predictable whiny customers who just about faint at this time of the year because their lust for consumerism is curtailed.

    Will it be an editorial tomorrow morning in your local paper?

    Will it be a nutty little known Nat list MP whose cabinet club palm greasers are no more than small business owners?

    OR

    Will it be Rimmer, who as the very lonely voice in the wind that he is, decides he better do something and stand up for small business and their deprived customers?

    The countdown commences………

    Happy Easter break workers 🙂

    • weka 14.1

      It’ll be a pre-emptive strike by a business owner in a tourist town (how can they be expected to close?!!!).

      • Rosie 14.1.1

        What’s the bet Todd Barclay on behalf of those business owners has a little bleat? Mind you the area he represents includes Queenstown, which I think, alongside, Rotorua,being tourist towns, have an exemption from Easter trading hours regulations

  15. There’s a new political party emerging, as a response to the concerted effort of diverse parties overturning a ‘safe’ National seat in Northland over last weekend. It’s aim is to strategically embrace MMP in an effort to curb single party dominance of NZ politics. It’s called the ABACUS party, which stands for “Aotearoa’s Bold And Calculated United Stance”……(though I’m not sure if we have the numbers).

  16. Gosman 16

    Interesting idea that Left wing revolutionary governments require strong charismatic leaders at the implementation stage. Has there ever been a Socialist State that didn’t have a charismatic strongman leading it?

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100260605/venezuela-the-lefts-favourite-socialist-paradise-is-sliding-into-poverty-and-dictatorship/

    • Bill 16.1

      Both left and right authoritarianism requires the charismatic or ‘big man’ shit. I’m failing to see the ‘interesting’ aspect.

      There is one interesting aspect to Venezuela that ‘everyone’ prefers to overlook. Chavez tried to use the power vested in the state to peacefully undermine the state and set up viable demcratic alternatives to either private (market) or state power…a million miles away, in fact the opposite, from anything tried in the USSR under the heel of the Bolsheviks.

    • DoublePlusGood 16.2

      Sweden?

  17. Sanctuary 18

    “…Socialism, Laclau and Mouffe argued, should no longer focus on class warfare. Instead, socialists should seek to unite discontented groups – such as feminists, gay people, environmentalists, the unemployed – against a clearly defined enemy, usually the establishment. One way of doing this was through a charismatic leader who would fight the powerful on behalf of the underdogs. Laclau and Mouffe encouraged this new left to appeal to voters with simple, emotionally engaging rhetoric. They argued that liberal elites decry such tactics as populism because they are scared of ordinary people becoming involved in politics.

    “There is too much consensus and not enough dissent [in leftwing politics],” said Mouffe, an elegant 71-year-old, at her London apartment in February. To her, the rise of rightwing populists such as Marine Le Pen’s Front National in France or Nigel Farage’s Ukip in the UK is proof that the post-Thatcherite consensus – cemented by “third way” social democrats such as Tony Blair – has left a dangerous vacuum. “THE CHOICE TODAY IS BETWEEN RIGHTWING AND LEFTWING POPULISM,” Mouffe told Iglesias in a TV interview in February….” –

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/31/podemos-revolution-radical-academics-changed-european-politics

    We often argue about the place and vying for primacy of liberal identity politics and class on the left, and how best to synthesise the foundations of Marxism with a new form of socialism for the 21st century. The ideological underpinnings of Podemos offer (to me at least) a really interesting study in an attempt to do exactly that, and to challenge the neo-ilberal hegemony. I am off to Spain next year for a year, I cannot wait to get there and get involved in this!

  18. Skinny 19

    Come on Phil Goff Off, wakey wakey get your arse into gear and get hammering this anti Union scumbag Gibson. Your mates in Labour have given you the plum Auckland issues portfolio in order to strength your chances of the Mayoralty, now get cracking and earn your keep, and tap Tindal to pay for the by election campaign too, when ever that is? Oh and see you pay for it ‘ahead’ of your mayoral campaign.

    I mean surely this is why ‘Transport spokesperson’ Phil twiddling Twyford has been invisible on the reclamation issue.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11425422

  19. Molly 20

    Trivial, but indicative slip by Key in his facetious response to Winston Peters in the TV3 video of Sit down…. there’s a good lad

    At 8:26 during his evasive response to Peter’s supplementary:

    “…… I look forward to the member working constructively in areas like the RMA reform – Mr Speaker – so we can see more investment going in to Auckland – Mr Speaker…”

    Even when he is given lines to recite, his disdain for the concerns of Northland come through.

    • felix 20.1

      I’m sure I’ve heard him make that same Freudian slip at least twice in the last couple of weeks.

  20. b waghorn 21

    Peru just sacked there prime minister for using there spy agencies to spy on rivals ( on 1 news mid day.)
    Be nice if our government had those sort of morals.

    • Draco T Bastard 21.1

      It’s not that our government should have morals but that we should have laws to enforce morals and ethical behaviour. IMO, a large part of the ‘deregulation’ that comes with neo-liberalism is the deconstruction of laws that enforced ethical behaviour.

      • Tracey 21.1.1

        Yeah but none of that is necessary if the people we elect have ethics… and I am not talking about sexual morality.

        • Draco T Bastard 21.1.1.1

          The problem is that the people we elect don’t always have ethics and it’s almost impossible to determine that beforehand. Just expecting people to act ethically isn’t going to achieve anything except that the liars and psychopaths gain more power.

          • weka 21.1.1.1.1

            I agree. It would be nice to think that the kind of democracy we have could promote ethical politicians and weed out the powermongers and sociopaths, but it doesn’t. Better to have systems in place to protect us if they do get in.

            • Tracey 21.1.1.1.1.1

              the only way we can change it is to not re-elect people whose ethics are low. Why? Because who makes the laws in NZ? parliament made up of people with the ethics we are questioning. MPs egislating for their own ethical standards? I think you will find that is why it is in the cabinet manual (cos it is unenforceable)

              We don’t teach ethical reasoning in schools.

              We directly and indirectly by our behaviours teach youngsters that the law is the maximum standard of behaviour, and as I wrote to DTB, that is set very low indeed.

              Most people never consider their own ethical foundation, most don’t realise how many ethic based decisions they are making each and every day, and so they dismiss it all with one of several self excusing statements including:

              “it was legal”
              “everyone does it”
              “I deserve a break”
              “no one got hurt”
              “it’s a stupid law”

              • weka

                Labour got colonised and hijacked by neoliberal radicals in the 80s, and we’ve never recovered from that and not have too many generations who have no lived experience of what a fairer society is. If processes had been place wihtin Labor to prevent that, we’d be in a very different situation today. I agree we need to teach and model ethics, I’m just not sure how we would do that in a country in the state it is in now.

                • Tracey

                  we get stuck cos we now rely on those who we might regard as unethical to see he value of teaching and modelling ethics in our schools.

                  I do think the recent outcry over bullying on a reality tv shows that teaching about bullying and how to stand up to it works. Same might be true of ethics…

                  kids pointing out their parents unethical positions puts parents on the spot… as it does with bullying, smoking programmes etc…

              • Draco T Bastard

                the only way we can change it is to not re-elect people whose ethics are low.

                And National just got voted in three times in a row despite constantly lying and they’ve shifted more power to the corporates, themselves and sold out NZ. This is why relying upon people being good doesn’t work. We need processes in place that detect and then remove these people with no ethics from positions of power.

                We directly and indirectly by our behaviours teach youngsters that the law is the maximum standard of behaviour, and as I wrote to DTB, that is set very low indeed.

                Then we need to set high standards rather than low standards.

                Most people never consider their own ethical foundation

                Yep, we need to change our culture and sometimes that change needs to come from a rule change.

                • Tracey

                  it can start with rule change but which MP will present the Bill and which will vote for it? Who do you think will do this? and vote for it?

                  I mean why is the Cabinet Manual unenforceable at law do you think?

                  47% of the voting population don’t care that national are liars and deceivers, and another percentage also wouldn’t care if their team are in Government. Those who claim to decry lack of ethics from one band of pollies will do a contortionist proud excusing their own band of pollies.

                  The answer is with each and every one of us frankly and how we choose to behave.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    it can start with rule change but which MP will present the Bill and which will vote for it? Who do you think will do this? and vote for it?

                    We’re a democracy. Stop waiting for unethical people to do it and start forcing them to do it.

          • Tracey 21.1.1.1.2

            its what we do when they display a lack of them, starting with not re-electing them. Each time we bring in a new law to set minimum behaviour we are actually setting maximum behaviour… and we never set that high enough.

        • b waghorn 21.1.1.2

          I’m going to assume when you mention sexual morality that you are excluding people that jump that fence like Brown ,Brash and Clinton from showing a lack of ethics .
          Surely if someone can’t stay loyal to there partner it shows a lack of ethical behaviour, If you’ll cheat on the person closest to you then you are capable of all sorts.

          • Tracey 21.1.1.2.1

            I stated that to prevent the thread becoming a specific exchange on the morality or otherwise of sexual dalliance in hopes the focus could be on ethics broadly.

            Morals are not black and white, as a rule, just because you think certain behavior is unethical doesn’t meant is factually so.

            Ethical reasoning is also a process of approaching an ethical dilemma, how to deal with it from more than just a “I think that is wrong” standpoint.

            There are a few different ethical theories which when applied to an ethical dilemma can produce several different options to resolve it.

          • Draco T Bastard 21.1.1.2.2

            Surely if someone can’t stay loyal to there partner it shows a lack of ethical behaviour,

            Nope because having sex with someone else doesn’t mean that you’ve become disloyal to your partner. It just means that you’ve had sex with someone else.

            • b waghorn 21.1.1.2.2.1

              Obviously ethics are in the eye of the beholder because I can assure for some it shows the height of disloyalty .

              • Draco T Bastard

                That doesn’t make it so.

              • weka

                “Obviously ethics are in the eye of the beholder because I can assure for some it shows the height of disloyalty”

                Sure, and for some it’s not. Likewise, some people being unfaithful goes hand in hand with their general low ethics, but for other people that’s not true ie they can be unfaithful in one area of the lives and yet faithful and trustworthy in others. In the same way that some people can be trusted in some areas and not others.

                • b waghorn

                  Yeah na cheating is cheating
                  If I had two possible people to vote for I’d pick the one who could keep it in there pants.
                  I can see why Tracy wanted to avoid this part of the ethics debate .

                  • weka

                    “If I had two possible people to vote for I’d pick the one who could keep it in there pants.”

                    Even if they were a liar, or beat their children?

                    • b waghorn

                      I might just not vote if they were my options a liar and a cheater are the same thing IMO

                    • weka

                      I meant lying about politics.

                      Part of the problem is there is this moral taboo on having sex outside of marriage. So all people are expected to live up to a certain standard whether its realistic or not. For many people it’s not realistic, so we have this crazy situation where people are expected to death do us part and they’re probably just not capable of it, but they agree to it because it’s the only thing on offer.

                      This is not a cross cultural standard btw, it’s specific to ones like ours (my guess is it occurs in cultures with strong patriarchal dominance where controlling women and esp who they have offspring to is paramount). But if you let people do what they want, and teach them to be ethical within that, it’s a different story. For people like you, it’s very clear that whoever you are with needs to be faithful, and I completely support that (there’s always going to be a portion of the population who can do permanent marriage). But for others, once the moralising is gone, it’s actually less of a problem. For me personally, I value respect for my wellbeing more than fidelity.

                    • lprent []

                      Part of the problem is there is this moral taboo on having sex outside of marriage.

                      There is?

                      I have never had sex within marriage. I am a serial monogamist interspersed with long celibate periods.

                    • weka

                      I was meaning common law marriage (where two people are committed for life/a long time irrespective of the state or church involvement).

                  • KJT

                    Kennedy was a cheater.

                    Would you have picked Nixon for president, then?

                    Some of the nicest people have the weirdest, to me anyway, sex lives. So long as it suits them, they are consenting adults, and they “don’t frighten the horses”, it is their business.

            • vto 21.1.1.2.2.2

              That’s an out there one mr bastard – not sure how many you would get agree with you…

              but nonetheless, if that is so then what would constitute disloyalty?

              • Draco T Bastard

                I suspect the question is more: What constitutes loyalty?

                • vto

                  synonyms: allegiance, faithfulness, fidelity, obedience, fealty, adherence, homage, devotion, bond;

                  you must be a lightweight person to skate across this thin ice

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    If a person stands by their partner, helps them with their life and goals and sharing pretty much everything and doesn’t go behind their back about anything then how is having sex with someone else being disloyal?

                    • b waghorn

                      If its open and honest of course it’s not cheating but that would be a rear situation.

                    • The Murphey

                      Q. Does the partner know what is going on or is it behind their back ?

                    • vto

                      DtB you ask how that is being disloyal?

                      It is disloyal by showing a lack of allegiance,
                      a lack of faithfulness,
                      a lack of fidelity,
                      a breaking of a bond (see the bloody dictionary synonyms above)

                      As I said to you before draco, your musings are useful in their purity as you keep very specific to particular points and take no interference, but when it comes to bringing that pure thought down to application on the ground it gets stuck in the mud and goes little distance.

                      I think this is what you are doing here. It is all well and good posing the question you have above but the problem is, I would surmise, most everyone reads the term “loyalty” in a partnership to include sole and exclusive sexual relations. Sure some don’t but they are in a small minority.

                      thin ice fulla, thin ice

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      If its open and honest of course it’s not cheating but that would be a rear situation.

                      Actually, multiple sexual partners is more the natural state of humans. the problem comes because of some idiots enforcement of cultural norms against the normal state which causes people to hide having sex with other people.

                      It is disloyal by showing a lack of allegiance,
                      a lack of faithfulness,
                      a lack of fidelity,
                      a breaking of a bond (see the bloody dictionary synonyms above)

                      None of those things is broken in an open and honest relationship.

                    • vto

                      You’re really one of these excessively friendly and peace-loving bonobo people aren’t you draco…

                      Open mike 01/04/2015

                      edit: plus you moved the goalposts with your last sentence, naughty …. “None of those things is broken in an open and honest relationship”. Those things are most definitely broken when there is disloyalty which is what the specific and particular subject was. Nothing to do with “open and honest”

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Those things are most definitely broken when there is disloyalty which is what the specific and particular subject was.

                      No it wasn’t. The subject was: having sex with someone else doesn’t mean that you’ve become disloyal to your partner.

                      You’re the one moving the goal posts.

                    • vto

                      what on earth are you talking about? you have even stated just now that it was about whether having sex with someone else is disloyal. You said it wasn’t. I showed how it was.

                      You then changed it to something about “open and honest”

                      Where is “open and honest” mentioned in “having sex with someone else doesn’t mean that you’ve become disloyal to your partner”?

                    • Molly

                      Agree with you there Draco.

                      I’m in a long-term monogamous relationship myself, but the relationship is the one we have defined for ourselves. And if other relationships define theirs in such a way that sexual fidelity is not a requirement, then why should anyone else have a say in that decision?

                    • vto

                      Sure that’s right molly however that is not what the issue was about, as explained.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      VTO, it seems you need to learn to read.

                      You said it wasn’t. I showed how it was.

                      No you didn’t. You showed a list synonyms and I pointed out that a number of those synonyms wouldn’t necessarily apply thus making it so that having sex with someone else doesn’t mean that you’ve become disloyal to your partner.

                    • vto

                      that doesn’t follow

                      bizar
                      u
                      ar

    • the pigman 21.2

      I’m not sure I’d use the term “Peruvian government” and “morals” in the same sentence.

      I presume they can now look forward to the return of the esteemed Fujimori Dynasty. w00t?

  21. Nick S 22

    Oh joy:
    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/child-youth-and-family-10-years-behind-in-thinking-tolley-6275304

    CYF’s main issue has always been lack of resources and funding, with a side order of trying heavily to maintain contact with the biological parents/family, which admittedly does need an overhaul. Anyhow, since they’ve given the review to Paula Rebstock (wingnut welfare for the win) and it’s being classed as, I kid you not, a “business case” I fully expect them to try and defund CYF and shove it’s various roles off to private interests and already under resourced charities. Instead of giving CYF’s the funding it needs and ignore the body of academic studies out there on how best to deal with familial abuse and abused children etc.

    Because why pay attention to empirical reality when you can cut costs and screw people in need of a helping hand over instead? Which is pretty much par the course for National over the last 2 terms…

    • Tracey 22.1

      I am involved in teaching tertiary students involved int he health sector. Out of my class of 18, one is male.

      We overwork and underpay these people already and expect miracles.

      • NickS 22.1.1

        Aye, it’s fucking disgusting the way we underfund the health service, particularly mental health.

        The idiots up top like to forget it takes years to train people in the health sector, and the ability to replace them is limited by low pay rates and underfunding of other resources that help contribute to burnouts and lead to feedback from friends etc that dissuade people from going into health care in NZ.

        /sigh

  22. joe90 23

    If you’ve got an hour or so Bruce Schneier and a panel discuss data collection, business, and who’s controlling who.

    Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World

    With Berkman Fellow, Bruce Schneier. Moderated by Jonathan Zittrain with special guests, Yochai Benkler, Joe Nye, Sara Watson and Melissa Hathaway.

    You are under surveillance right now.

    Your cell phone provider tracks your location and knows who’s with you. Your online and in-store purchasing patterns are recorded, and reveal if you’re unemployed, sick, or pregnant. Your e-mails and texts expose your intimate and casual friends. Google knows what you’re thinking because it saves your private searches. Facebook can determine your sexual orientation without you ever mentioning it.

    The powers that surveil us do more than simply store this information. Corporations use surveillance to manipulate not only the news articles and advertisements we each see, but also the prices we’re offered. Governments use surveillance to discriminate, censor, chill free speech, and put people in danger worldwide. And both sides share this information with each other or, even worse, lose it to cybercriminals in huge data breaches.

    Much of this is voluntary: we cooperate with corporate surveillance because it promises us convenience, and we submit to government surveillance because it promises us protection. The result is a mass surveillance society of our own making. But have we given up more than we’ve gained? In Data and Goliath, security expert Bruce Schneier offers another path, one that values both security and privacy. He shows us exactly what we can do to reform our government surveillance programs and shake up surveillance-based business models, while also providing tips for you to protect your privacy every day. You’ll never look at your phone, your computer, your credit cards, or even your car in the same way again.

    https://cyber.law.harvard.edu/events/2015/03/Schneier

    • weka 23.1

      I think a lot of the cooperation is because we are given few choices. I do small things like turning off certain functions on my phone by default and avoiding FB as much as possible, but it takes effort. I’ve tried running anti-tracking addons on my mac and it just creates too many problems. I use gmail, but I’d quite happily switch to something else if there was something else.

      There are independentt tech developers out there trying to offer alternatives, but too few and far between at this stage and caught up in the geek ghetto so that non-geeks have trouble getting on board and supporting them. One of the best things that could happen at this stage is for people to help geeks make their ideas and actions and tech more accessible to the wider public.

      • Tracey 23.1.1

        and now banks are teaming up with eftpos to make all our money transactions go through phones… nervous I am.

        http://www.computerworld.co.nz/article/571601/semble-three-telcos-two-banks-one-nz-mobile-wallet/

        • weka 23.1.1.1

          There’s been some public resistance to the pay and wave thing. I think my bank was initially going to enforce it then backtracked and made it optional. Time will tell I guess.

          • McFlock 23.1.1.1.1

            yeah – the bank ad where they have the guy in a tinfoil hat is a clear indication they’re getting pushback from customers. They wouldn’t spend thousands on the ads if the ads weren’t needed.

            All my rfid cards (except one door access card that also requires a PIN for anywhere fun) are in a metal holder, and all together (they can interfere with each other). I’m also going to see if sticking a holepunch through the corner of the card will work by breaking the antenna, but closer to the expiration date in case I kill the card entirely 🙂

            At least phones you can turn off bluetooth etc. Saves battery life, too.

            • weka 23.1.1.1.1.1

              Haven’t seen the ad, what bank is it?

              How do you now if a card has RFID? And are all such cards activated by default or do you have to do something when you get it to do that?

              • McFlock

                the ad was westpac I think.

                Basically, all the proximity cards (pay wave, not swipe) are rfid (a chip that’s powered by a foil antenna coil sandwiched between the sides of the card). The card would be active, but not sure whether the bank chooses to speak to it automatically. The emphasis they’re placing on it, you’d probably have to get the bank to stop speaking to the card. Easier to break the antenna, I reckon.

                • weka

                  Ok, so it would be obvious which cards are rfid and which aren’t?

                  I found the Westpac ad. Pretty slimey, would love to know what they found out from their marketing research dept afterwards. Trust us because we tell you to trust us, yeah right. Nothing to fear, nothing to hide, blah blah.

                  • McFlock

                    I reckon all chip cards (insert, not swipe down the side of the terminal) would be rfid.

                    The chip cards are actually more secure than the magnetic swipe cards – one reason they take a bit longer when inserted than the old swipe cards is that they have an extra layer of encryption so that a rogue eftpos trader can’t match your PIN to specific card data. But then they bunged in the proximity bollocks to make life quicker (and it probably uses lower-strength encryption to make the transaction quicker).

        • vto 23.1.1.2

          Why do you use eftpos? Its slower, less convenient and can be tracked.

          Eftpos has no good use.

          Get the cash and stick the folding in your pocket – makes you feel better too. A stash of cash takes up no more room than a few bank cards.

          People aren’t thinking on this issue I think

          • Tracey 23.1.1.2.1

            I don’t use eftpos. I do use cash for a number of reasons and have for a very long time.

            One advantage of cash, I find, is you can see it diminishing in your pocket/wallet and it helps me think harder about what I am about to spend on.

            • Draco T Bastard 23.1.1.2.1.1

              The real problem with cash is this:

              Counterfeit $20, $50 and $100 banknotes are circulating in the North Island, police say.

              It really is an incredibly insecure monetary system.

          • Draco T Bastard 23.1.1.2.2

            Eftpos has no good use.

            I stopped using cash more than ten years ago because it is, quite simply, a PITA.

            Get the cash and stick the folding in your pocket – makes you feel better too.

            If it makes you feel better then you’ve been socialised to have cash in your pocket. It doesn’t actually make any difference to you.

            A stash of cash takes up no more room than a few bank cards.

            Actually, a stash of cash takes up huge amounts more room than the two cards I carry one of which is my debit card and the other my AT_HOP card. Mostly due to having to carry a bloody wallet.

            People aren’t thinking on this issue I think

            Getting rid of cash is one of the steps on the road to getting rid of money.

            • vto 23.1.1.2.2.1

              Your thinking DtB is often helpful due to its purity, but less so when the rubber meets the road.

              For example, how would people get rid of money? Money meaning a means of facilitating an exchange. Humans have always exchanged, always. Methinks impossible. Completely impossible

              • McFlock

                well, as a thought experiment you could simply change what the magic numbers value or represent.

                It used to be the gold standard, now it’s how much people want to own it as opposed to other currencies.

                But that doesn’t require eftpos over notes/coins, other than that eftpos is more of an abstraction (no monarchs, signatures of bank directors, as easy to spend $1k as is is 10c, etc).

                But we could replace the international value of the currency with a representation of “work hours” for example (or some other quantification of social worth), and give everybody a UBI of 30hrs per week.

                • vto

                  “we could replace the international value of the currency with a representation of “work hours””

                  But money is already, in this sense, a representation of work hours. Such a representation would remain “a means of facilitating exchange” and as such still be “money”

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    But money is already, in this sense, a representation of work hours.

                    We wish. These days it’s more of a representation of how much profit the banks want to make through excessive lending.

                  • McFlock

                    No, money is a representation of capital. Whether we work or merely accrue those tokens through other capital is irrelevant to the fact we have an income.

                • b waghorn

                  Would a doctors work hours be of the same value as shepherds or a street cleaners.

                  • McFlock

                    That’s one of the questions facing the work-hour system. It’s an old tweak on socialism, which I suspect would be unworkable because people are dicks.

                    It was simply an example I picked as a transition from the means of exchange being based on conflict to the means of exchange being based on cooperation.

                    There are other methods of exchange and distribution.

                    • b waghorn

                      Yes we are dicks there’s lots of great solutions to mankind’s problems but our feeble little ape minds still want all the goodies for ourselves.
                      Is it even possible for humankind to evolve past this obstacle?

                    • vto

                      that is the question absolutely

                      maybe john key would know the answer to this?

                    • McFlock

                      I would prefer the bonobo approach to social interaction, but we seem to be more like chimpanzees…

                    • vto

                      Looks like mr draco t bastard might be part of this bonobo clan…

                      Open mike 01/04/2015

              • weka

                “For example, how would people get rid of money? Money meaning a means of facilitating an exchange. Humans have always exchanged, always. Methinks impossible. Completely impossible”

                But people haven’t always had money, so it’s technically possible to run exchanges without it.

                • vto

                  Sure, there was likely no money when straight barter of ten potatoes for one phone was feasible between very low numbers in a community……

                  but clearly straight barter is impossible in todays world, is it not? As such a means of facilitating an exchange is required….

                  otherwise all the phone manufacturers would end up with excessive numbers of potatoes…

                  surely

                  thinking practicals here

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Sure, there was likely no money when straight barter of ten potatoes for one phone was feasible between very low numbers in a community……

                    And interesting point made in Debt: The first 5000 years is that the archaeologists have never found a true barter economy.

                    • vto

                      Really? What do you mean? What did they do? Live in equality and harmony? …. surely not…. I didn’t think we were capable of that but then I have only been around for mumble years..

                    • weka

                      I’m curious what that means too Draco.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Economics essentially states that we started bartering and then we invented money to assist with trade. The problem is that such a barter economy hasn’t been found. This calls into question the idea that we’ve always traded.

                    • weka

                      Ah, ok, I’m with you now. What are the definitions of barter and trade that the book uses?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The ones you’d expect if you read a bloody dictionary.

                    • weka

                      Funnily enough, I did look this up before I commented.

                      Barter: exchange (goods or services) for other goods or services without using money.

                      Trade: exchange (something) for something else, typically as a commercial transaction.

                    • Molly

                      The book Treading Lightly by Karl Erik Sveiby & Tex Scuthorpe has an interesting information about the economic structure of the Nhunggabarra tribe in Australia.

                      A couple of quotes from the 16 page paper they have on their website (pdf):

                      On the structure:

                      The Nhunggabarra society was carefully balanced with checks and balances and reinforcing loops. Their economy was dominated by intangible production and consumption. The farming methods were built on intimate knowledge of the ecology of the land. Individual know-how was the decisive power factor; keeping a tight rein on men’s ego-drive spread leadership roles; building community also outside one’s own country kept peace and increased survival rates. Their spiritual belief was that ‘all are connected’, the core value ‘respect’ for all life, so care for the ecosystem was not only a matter of immediate survival, but also the purpose of humanity: to ‘keep all alive’.

                      Trading model:

                      The Aboriginal model (applied all over Australia) was to select items from their country that they had a surplus of and bring them to the trading place on the country border. There they placed a message stick and left. The neighbouring people would see the message stick and leave items of their choice at the trading place. Both trading parties had to accept all the items, even if they did not need them; to leave anything would have shown disrepect. What they did not need they would in their turn trade with people further away. In this way a vast trading network was maintained across all of Aboriginal Australia.

                      Their Aboriginal community to community trading model for tangible goods seems designed to minimise conflict. By leaving the goods in a neutral trading place they avoided arguments about the value and they also avoided entirely the risk inherent in warehousing goods. Instead of trade in tangible goods being risky and a potential source of conflict it became a trust building mechanism.

                    • weka

                      Thanks Molly!

              • Draco T Bastard

                For example, how would people get rid of money?

                By ensuring that there is enough for all.

                Money meaning a means of facilitating an exchange. Humans have always exchanged, always.

                Just because we have always done so doesn’t mean that we will always have to do so. And there have been some cultures that didn’t.

            • b waghorn 23.1.1.2.2.2

              Getting rid of cash would be a good way to get rid of petty crime and tax evasion as well

              • vto

                Really? That’s an out there one too

                • b waghorn

                  Why? It seems like a natural transition to me or should we still be using shells and beads for money.

                  • vto

                    Well there aint no difference between the paper that forms money and the shells that form money. They are both inherently worthless so not sure what you mean there.

                    My point was that if you think you can change human behaviour by just removing cash from the system then you have a bigger brain then me….

                    Like banning alcohol or legal highs the problem just gets forced underground. Or like legalising marijuana to get rid of the gangs behaviours just squirts into another corner of our world.

                    Crime will not reduce by getting rid of cash – it will merely move to another location.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Crime will not reduce by getting rid of cash

                      Yes it will simply because, if it’s done correctly, it will be impossible to hide the criminal transaction.

                    • b waghorn

                      How would a tinny house operate without cash or Joe farm boy sell his crop ,these are not high tech crims and I’m sure most here push for loop holes to be closed for tax evaders so no cash in the system would kill the cashy over night.
                      The shells comment was just in case you’re anti anything new.

                    • vto

                      If crims like those who sell tinnies for cash are unable to operate what do you think they will do instead? Get a real job?

                      Seriously?

                    • b waghorn

                      It’s possible if you you take the easy cash trap away that they may indeed get a real job , of course it would help if there’s a real job to get .

                    • weka

                      If I break into your house and steal your flat screen tv and there is no cash, why don’t I just give it to someone who then gives me my month’s supply of dak? The dealer then gives the tv to someone to repair his car. etc.

                      Criminals are enterprising, they’ll always find a way around if they need to.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Because the whole point of crime, just like capitalism really, is to accumulate wealth and you can’t do that bartering because everyone can see it.

                      Then there’s the fact that TVs have serial numbers. These numbers are recorded against monetary purchases. Cops get suspicious for one reason or another, walk in, scan the TV serial number and catch one and, from there, the rest of the network.

                      I’m sure that people are terrified of this idea. The ZOMG, my every purchase and sale is recorded reaction but it really can go a long way to eliminating crime especially tax dodging by the rich.

                    • The Murphey

                      The ZOMG, my every purchase and sale is recorded reaction but it really can go a long way to eliminating crime especially tax dodging by the rich.

                      Q. Do you actually believe the owners and controllers of the digital ‘money system’ are going to allow it to be used against their ilk ?

                      Those who believe a cashless society would be a step forward disqualify themselves from such discussion on account of narrow band thought and inability to imagine the negative consequences

                    • weka

                      waghorn mentioned petty crime. It’s pretty easy to see how petty crime will continue if there is no money. When it’s not about acruing capital, but instead is about feeding oneself or other survival needs, of course it can work.

                    • b waghorn

                      @weka I didn’t say it would get rid of crime but it would make it harder and for our more pariniod friends a cashless society will happen so the best thing we can do is to keep pushing for strong honest government.

                    • The Murphey

                      a cashless society will happen so the best thing we can do is to keep pushing for strong honest government

                      Q. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most naive) how naive are you ?

                • b waghorn

                  @ Murphy probably a 5 but working on it

                  • The Murphey

                    Good on you bw

                    We must continually challenge and cross examine our inner thoughts beliefs and points of views

          • weka 23.1.1.2.3

            I use eft-pos and online banking because it’s easier for me to budget that way, and I don’t run out of money unexpectedly. But it’s a consequence of the society we live in. Quite happy to go back to cash if all the electronica disappeared.

        • vto 23.1.1.3

          Does anybody if it is true that you can still insist on being paid your wage in cash?

          • Tracey 23.1.1.3.1

            Wages Protection Act, as I understand it still requires you be paid in cash unless you and your employer reach a different agreement or you work for the gummint and prolly some other exceptions.

            • alwyn 23.1.1.3.1.1

              So it does Tracey. I thought that would have gone years ago.
              Imagine getting paid monthly and having to worry about carrying $5,000 or $10,000 in CASH. Can’t say I would be very keen.

              I remember, many, many years ago when I was a student and worked each summer in the wool stores. If we weren’t paid, in cash, before 5pm on Thursday, being the day before the late night closing day, we automatically went onto double-time rates until we were paid.
              Got pretty close some weeks but never actually happened damn it.

              • felix

                Not too many people need to worry about carrying home $5000 – $10,000 a month http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/income-and-work/Income/NZIncomeSurvey_HOTPJun14qtr.aspx

                • alwyn

                  I guess $10,000 is pushing it a bit. I can dream of course.
                  I suppose I was thinking of the back-bench list MPs and their swollen salaries.
                  Or perhaps the Government Departments that were in the news the other day where the average salary figure for the department was over $100,000/year.
                  Some, such as The Serious Fraud Office and The Crown Law Office, I can understand but what does the Ministry of Woman’s Affairs do to have average salaries that are that high?

                  • felix

                    Are those mean averages?

                    If so, it probably indicates pretty ordinary salaries for the people doing the work and a couple of executives creaming it.

                    e.g. 8 people on 50k + one person on 500k = an average of 100k.

                  • tracey

                    ah but they are the first exception to the must be paid in cash rule alwyn…

                    If you work for government department you dont get cash…

              • tracey

                I hear you…

                I wouldn’t need to worry about having to collect 5-10,000 a month…

                BUT I was thinking about it as workers ruse…

                I recall it used to a be a wee brown envelope… There was something cool about getting it as cash.

                I DO like the idea of it in some ways…

                • felix

                  My partner’s eftpos card expired the other day. Not a credit card or a chip card, just a bog-standard old school cashflow. One minute they have a means of exchange in their pocket, then nek minit the bank has switched it off.

                  Did you even know they could expire? There’s no date on them.

                  Usually when I take mine back to the bank for a replacement they treat me like a deviant for not making them last forever.

                  So yeah, that reminded me of one of the reasons I like cash. Another is that it’s actually no-one’s business who I’m trading with or what I’m buying and when.

                  • tracey

                    Yeah, well it just means i have to make the trip to the bank to withdraw my cash rather than my employer… but imagine if you had a disagreement with a big employer and so everyone asked to be paid in cash each and every pay day…

                    Legislation under urgency?

                  • alwyn

                    I must admit I’ve never seen one without an expiry date. I just checked my current ones for two NZ Banks and one in Australia.
                    They all have expiry dates.
                    Incidentally did you know that they are not “your cards” anyway?
                    They are, and remain, the property of the bank and can be withdrawn at their discretion. When you say “My partner’s eftpos card expired” you mean “The card that the bank owns and that it has so kindly been allowing my partner to use has, at the whim of the bank, expired …….”.

                    Your bank wasn’t hit with a skimming attack like this one by any chance was it?
                    http://www.sharechat.co.nz/article/dace2e52/kiwibank-cancels-eftpos-debit-cards-after-2-atms-hit-by-card-skimmers.html
                    This sort of thing would cause them to cancel cards. I am not meaning to imply by the way that this is unique, or common to KiwiBank. It was just the first example that Google showed me.

                    • felix

                      Probably wasn’t that particular incident but maybe something similar, we’ve been busy so haven’t gotten around to finding out yet.

                      re- ownership of the cards, I suppose technically the banknotes aren’t really “mine” either, the reserve bank just lets me use them. Bit harder for them to change their mind though…

    • McFlock 23.2

      Schneier has a really good blog (link in the wikipedia article) that covers all aspects of security. Some of it you’d need an IT or advanced math degree to get, but a lot of it is also pretty simply put.

      He has interesting discussions on things like the “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” argument, and how the US fucked up the airport security that Israel handles fine (the post-911 yanks for years had one perimeter to get through, the Israelis do tiered evaluations and interventions from the airport offramp to the departure lounge).

      Interesting guy. Most security “experts” are either only known in their precise industry, or are publicity-hounds who aren’t as “expert” as their advertising suggests. Schneier has definitely done and is still doing the yards (I use a couple of products he was involved in developing), but also isn’t averse to publicity.

  23. mary-a 24

    Anyone else notice in Parliament today, when Winston Peters raised a motion for the implementation of a nationwide register for sex offenders and paedophiles, when put to the House for agreement or objection, the Natsies objected?

    Obviously a somewhat sensitive topic for Key’s mob! Bit too sensitive perhaps?

    • Philip Ferguson 24.1

      Not long ago there was a very good article in Jacobin about the importance of workers involved in the circulation of commodities (and thus commodity capital); we’ve struck it up at Redline because, while it’s about the US, it’s applicable right across the developed capitalist world.

      See: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/the-importance-of-circulation-workers-in-21st-century-capitalism/

      Jacobin certainly has some excellent work in it.

      Phil

    • Tracey 24.2

      and no one has to say why they object? Perhaps a good journo will follow up afterwards?

      BUWAHAHAHAHA

    • whateva next? 24.3

      I popped into see democracy in action, and wondered how anyone is supposed to hold this government to account when speaker treats anyone questioning the government as “Men behaving badly”?
      Very worrying when perfectly cogent questions are dismissed by National as “wrong”, and when followed up, speaker tells questioner to sit down and shut up.

  24. the pigman 25

    Lundy found guilty at retrial. Brace for another set of appeals to be exhausted over the remainder of his 20 year non-parole period…

    If there was one good thing to come out of the whole process (and there were many bad things) it was Braunias’ coverage. Despite being irreverent it somehow worked, and was full of expertly-observed detail.

    His piece on the “jailhouse snitch” is memorable: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11419476

    • GregJ 25.1

      I not surprised though. I’ve found in my experience (7 jury trials – 2 High Court, 5 District) that juries are almost always predisposed towards the prosecution and the police (“no smoke without fire” etc. etc.). I thought the judge sent some pretty obvious coded messages to the jury in the summing up.

      I would have convicted on what I saw reported (I wouldn’t have the 1st time either) but I wasn’t in the courtroom to hear all the evidence or watch the body language so who knows.

      • GregJ 25.1.1

        I wouldn’t have convicted…

        • the pigman 25.1.1.1

          Easy to say from the sidelines, but you get no opportunity to truly assess the credibility of witnesses unless you’re in the courtroom with them. I don’t think the forensic evidence was a home run, but it ran pretty close.

          Also, despite how it was reported, apparently there was a consensus among the newsroom media pack reporting on the trial (bar 1) that Lundy “did it”. Whether they would have convicted him if they were the jury is another matter.

          Personally, although Lundy didn’t take the stand at the trial (wisely) every time he has opened his mouth about it (to police in the immediate aftermath, to his family and to his legal supporters) he has sounded less than convincing.

          Not in evidence and completely extraneous to the trial, but you might enjoy this analysis of his letter to supporters on his website: http://www.verify.co.nz/case-marklundy.php

          • GregJ 25.1.1.1.1

            I though I made it clear that as I wasn’t in the courtroom to hear all the evidence that there was possibly elements I missed however based on what I saw reported I wouldn’t have convicted.

            And I wouldn’t take anything the media pack says as worth anything of any particular value. 👿

            • the pigman 25.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s fair enough 🙂 The point about the media view was only to illustrate that, if their reporting conveyed the idea that there wasn’t enough evidence to convict, that wasn’t representative of their personal views.

              Again, based on media reports only, I thought the defence did a pretty good job of impeaching the prosecution’s case (around motive, the rather imprecise measurements of distance driven/petrol used/etc).

              The “CSI effect” does kinda boost the stock of forensic evidence though, and it appears to have swayed the jury.

              You are pretty unlucky to have been called to jury duty so many times (assuming you weren’t counsel/the accused 😉 but I don’t think you’re wrong about the observations of jury bias. There are lots of articles/studies about how juries react to the accused too (too tired to fish out links sorry). But by the same token, you’d hope the Crown wouldn’t bring prosecutions if they didn’t think they had fairly good prospects of success.

              I think the “coded messages” in Simon France J’s summary are in the eye of the beholder. Some would argue they trivialise the consequences of returning a guilty verdict, whereas I take it you read them as an impeachment of the evidence. I don’t think they were either (except, perhaps, his comments about the “snitch”!)

              • GregJ

                Fair points.

                Summonsed for jury duty 13 times! Attended 10 times, selected 7 (never been challenged – must be something about my face I reckon!) First in 1986, last time 2010. The other 3 times I was excused – once because I was working with MoJ, once because I was actually living overseas and once because I was going on my honeymoon! (Court Registrar figured that was a good enough reason!).

                My wife has never been summonsed, nor my parents or 4 siblings! I seem to be carrying the civic load for my whole family!

      • Anne 25.1.2

        I’ve found in my experience (7 jury trials – 2 High Court, 5 District) that juries are almost always predisposed towards the prosecution and the police (“no smoke without fire” etc. etc.)

        My thoughts too. I guessed from the start they would find him guilty on that basis alone.

        Don’t profess to know whether he did it or not (didn’t follow the case) but what I can say: my one and only experience with the NZ police left me feeling I would never ever trust them again. That was 20 years ago and my opinion hasn’t changed!

      • tracey 25.1.3

        I know you know, from your experience, that what a jury sees and hears is far more
        than a media article can or does report.

        The difficulty in any appeal as I see it is;

        The brain tissue issue has now been traversed and all defence witnesses heard on it;
        The jury as given a possible alternative to Lundy doing it and still found him guilty.

        On a side note I bet the brother-in-law slept better last night.

    • millsy 25.2

      The jury got it right IMO. Lundy made poor financial choices (ironically he looks like the kind of guy who would ring talkback and complain about those on benefits), and brought his family to the brink of destitution to fulfil his dream of owning a wine tasting emporium, and set himself up as this wine snob leading a hedonistic happy go lucky lifestyle.

      The guy thought he could get away with the perfect murder. Go on a business trip, stay at a motel, sneak home in the middle of the night, do some ‘carpentry’ and then head back to the motel for breakfast — the perfect alibi, no one would ever suspect him, the cops would pin the blame on some drugged up homey, and he would have endless orgies at his wine tasting outfit in the Hawkes Bay. Hell, he could have even voted for Key in 08!.

      Lundy was entitled to appear his conviction and take his case to the Privy Council, but just because you can appeal, doesnt mean that you are innocent.

      And note: The Privy Council said his conviction was “unsafe”. That didnt mean they thought he was innocent.

      • GregJ 25.2.1

        That he’s a knob and a blow-hard and a spendthrift is not really a reason to convict though. The Prosecution couldn’t use any of those as reason for motive.

        The fact the prosecution had to change substantial elements from their case from the first trial should cast grave and reasonable doubts. Could he have done it – of course yes – but I seriously question beyond a reasonable doubt. We should bear in mind the State can and does put enormous resource into achieving a prosecution (apparently $5 million for this one ) which is why we maintain innocent until proven guilty and require the state to prove the case.

        I thought the judges summing up sent a pretty strong message to the jury which cleared the way for a “Not Guilty” verdict.

        Key points:
        * The jury has retired after the judge said there was no “rule” about how they should come to a verdict.
        * Evidence of a jailhouse confession by Lundy should be treated by the jury with “great care”, the judge said.
        * An expert’s evidence suggesting the stains on Mark Lundy’s shirt contained signs of human brain were not verified by any other witness but that did not mean they were incorrect, the judge said.
        * Establishing the whether or not the stains on Mark Lundy’s shirt came from Christine Lundy’s was “very significant fact” the jury would have to give “careful consideration”, the judge said.
        * Some alleged changes of evidence could be used to asses the police investigation, the judge said.
        * It was up to the jury to decide if Lundy could have travelled more than 460km on one tank of fuel, the judge said.
        * The Crown being unable to prove a motive did not mean Lundy did not kill his family, the judge said.
        * The jury should should not ignore expert evidence because of its complexity, the judge said.
        * Justice Simon France started by telling the jury to put aside any prejudice or disgust about the use of prostitutes or the injuries the victims suffered and focus on the evidence.

        • the pigman 25.2.1.1

          Like I said above, Greg, I think any inference you draw from Simon France J’s comments are in the eye of the beholder. Except the comment re: Witness X.

          As to millsy’s comment, I don’t think it’s uncommon for small business owners to take on huge lines of credit from time-to-time. Playing devil’s advocate for a moment, the threat/shame of facing bankruptcy is not a reason for any sane/normally-functioning person to kill their wife/daughter. There was no evidence of a history of domestic violence or threatening behaviour by Lundy towards his family.

          But who knows for sure, huh? Sadly only Amber and Christine (and probably Mark).

  25. adam 26

    Interesting poll this one. About possible Mayoral candidates in Auckland.

    http://www.horizonpoll.co.nz/page/397/brown-down-g?gtid=7629406811827NCH

    • the pigman 26.1

      TY Adam. What a terrible mess that is. Of all the righties pondering a tilt, Banks leads? Christ almighty..

      • adam 26.1.1

        If Banks got it – I think howitzers on Avondale ridge would be a real possibility.

  26. weka 28

    Long, very interesting conversation from some serious debaters on a book on how to raise children by abusing them and whether it should be in the Auckland Libray or not. It covers a lot of ground around censorship, book banning, the difference between books that are about something vs instruction manuals, the extent to which something being illegal is the issue etc.

    Giovanni Tiso starts with his blogpost and then it carries on in the comments.

    http://bat-bean-beam.blogspot.co.nz/2015/03/suffer-little-children.html

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    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    5 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    7 days ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    7 days ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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