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Open mike 01/12/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 1st, 2015 - 123 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

123 comments on “Open mike 01/12/2015”

  1. Gangnam Style 1

    NZRS killed by Islamic terrorists in November = 0
    NZRS killed by their workplace in November = 3


    Teenage worker covered in bitumen, burned alive, the boss is sad.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Quoting article:

      “No business owner would ever wish this upon anybody in their workplace.”

      Actually, some business owners wish it upon the workers all the time. If they didn’t they wouldn’t be complaining about increasing health and safety rules.

    • greywarshark 1.2

      Some things in that item that stand out. The worker was 60 not 16.

      Corboy Earthmovers had been in business for a number of decades, Mr Baxter said, but was now under new ownership after the original founder – Craig “Cactus” Corboy – died in a digger accident about three years ago….

      The workplace fatality was November’s third. John Douglas Howe died last Wednesday when he was hit by a truck at a Mangere freight yard, and Mario Lelina was killed using machinery at a Southland gold mine on November 5.

      I remember a politician, may have been David Lange, commenting that ACC was needed by workers particularly – he had never heard of a solicitor falling off a chair and breaking anything.

  2. Paul 2

    ‘The release of a critical report on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ decision to grant immunity to a Malaysian diplomat will be put off at least until he is sentenced.’


  3. Paul 3

    More Kiwis face homeless old age

    ‘Growing numbers of Kiwis risk becoming homeless in old age because of falling home ownership rates, rising rents and static housing subsidies, the Salvation Army says.

    Homeless Baby Boomers, a hard-hitting report by the army’s social policy unit, says superannuitants in private rentals will jump almost four-fold from 61,000 in 2013 to 237,000 by 2030, as those owning their own homes drop from 73 per cent of the age group to 63 per cent.

    It says rents have risen 4 per cent a year over the past five years, while the accommodation supplement has not changed since 2007, making it harder for many elderly renters to survive.’


    • vto 3.1

      sad and shameful

      we should be ashamed of ourselves for what we have done to our society

      • Paul 3.1.1

        This is the result of 30 years’ neo-liberalism.

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata

          This article by Chris Hedges shows how the USA has progressed under neo-liberalism.

          The liberal class failed for decades to decry neoliberalism’s assault on the poor and on workingmen and -women. It busied itself with a boutique activism. It is not that cultural diversity is bad. It isn’t. It is that cultural diversity when divorced from economic and political justice, from the empowerment of the oppressed, is elitist. And this is why these liberal values are being rejected by a disenfranchised white underclass. They are seen as serving the elites, and marginalized groups, at the expense of that underclass.


          • tracey

            And a leaked Congress document shows that Obama can only talk hot air at the Climate Conference cos they aint gonna sign nothin.

            Even our own Media focused its coverage this morning, firstly on statements/actions against terrorism… not Climate, that came later

        • Draco T Bastard

          December’s Too Much

          Inequality doesn’t create every problem we face. Inequality just makes every problem we face much harder to solve. The latest case in point: the current four-year drought in California.

          This drought — the worst in recorded state history — has average Californians skipping showers and still paying fines for using too much water. Meanwhile, in the state’s poshest neighborhoods, the owners of manses are keeping multiple swimming pools full.

          In Los Angeles, investigators have revealed, one exceedingly wealthy “wet prince” went through 11.8 million gallons of water over a year’s time, enough for 90 families, and paid not one penny in penalty. Says his angry neighbor: “Someone has to say, ‘You can’t have five pools — you can have one pool.’”

          One pool per plutocrat? We have to start somewhere. Lots more on our inequality and the struggle for much less of it in this month’s Too Much.

          And the US has been neo-liberal for longer than NZ. The worship of the rich that we’ve had for the last thirty years causes huge problems for the poor and society in general.

          • nadis

            That story is only a look at a very minor symptom and kind of irrelevant in the greater scheme. The real issue is agricultural usage – more than 80% of water usage – growing high water usage crops in an arid region. Think the recent law about offering restaurant diners water without a request matters versus intensive almond and rice cropping? California even produces hay for export using irrigation.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Actually, it’s a major symptom as it’s indicative of how the unsustainable agriculture in California is treated. Those rich and powerful get to do whatever they like no matter how much damage it does.

              This kowtowing to the rich happens across the world and it causes all sorts of grief.

    • Chooky 3.2

      From Morning Report on this issue …quite comprehensive and thought provoking. It is not just young New Zealanders who are the new poor.

      ‘Looming homeless’

      A Salvation Army report published today warns hundreds of thousands of baby boomers could be left homeless in retirement.


      imo we need to retain a universal super … and we need to progress it further into a to a Universal Basic Income…universal super is the first step along the way to a UBI.

      So how do we go about doing this?

  4. Gangnam Style 4

    “She’s already kicked the guy’s arse once and it’s good to see her being saved the bother of doing it again – because she totally kicked his arse. It was amazing,” Tania Billingsley rulz!


    Also the report into why & how he was able to leave the country & Tolleys & Mcullys actions was completed last December has been delayed release again….nothing to hide nothing to fear is one of the right wings mantra innit? Bollocks!

    • tc 4.1

      Everywhere you look this toxic regime has been busy robbing kiwis of liberties, justice, resources and any ability to use the ‘independant’ bodies to bring them to account by gutting them of funds and placing their poodles in charge.

    • Chooky 4.2

      +100 …”Tania Billingsley rulz!”

      Tania Billingsley and her courage is a role model for all facing and dealing with sexual assault!

  5. One Anonymous Bloke 5

    Christian with massive conflict of interest resigns, bad smell lingers.

  6. Tom Pained 6

    Could there possibly be a cultural link between the Salem Witch trials, Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’, McCarthyism, and Islamic State ?

  7. Link for Weka – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPH_mnWdmho @26 min –
    “Yes, flocks of chickens, herds of cows, and thousands of swine contribute to more green house gas emissions than all the worlds cars, lorries, buses, trains, ships and planes combined.

    • Paul 7.1

      We must stop using cars and we should stop eating meat.

      • Chooky 7.1.1

        …and then we can get down on all fours and eat the grass and veges and create our own personal green house emissions

        population control is a better solution…there are far too many humans on this planet

        • te reo putake

          Do you have a list, chooky?

          • Chooky

            i could work on it…but it might bring unfavourable comparisons…better for humans not to be born at all at this stage

            ….and for us to all hunker down and live frugally…this means overturning laissaz faire corporate controlled capitalism…and the Labour Party

        • Robert Atack

          Yep http://www.vhemt.org
          But even if the population went to 10 billion tomorrow, it wouldn’t change what is already locked in for the next 10 – 15 years.
          And if we all became walking vegans, the locked in shit will still get us, that is what 700ppm CO2/CO2e looks like 🙂 (happy face for Rosie)

    • weka 7.2

      not sure what your point is Robert. I agree that agribusiness is a huge contributor to GHG emissions. I just don’t think that making the world vegan will solve that. The solution to those GHG emissions is to eat local. That will do multiple things. It will reduce meat consumption. It will create better local economies and real CC age jobs for people. It will undercut agribusiness. It will support organics, regenag etc and shift us to sustainable land use. Win, win, win, win.

      What going vegan will do is shift the profits from dairy and feedlot cow growers to corn and soy growers. It won’t undermine agribusiness at all, they will just carry on regardless. It will also create a bunch of malnourished humans (there’s very good reasons why we don’t have vegan cultures on planet earth, it’s not sustainable).

      • Robert Atack 7.2.1

        My point is, you were giving me shit over http://www.cowspiracy.com/ , as if they were lying or something ?????, so just pointing out RT are saying the fing same thing.

        • weka

          They’re not saying the same thing, and Cowspiracy does appear to be lying.

          All I saw in the vid were some random figures about agribusines out of context that appeared to be saying that agribusiness is a huge contributor to GHG emissions levels.

          Cowspiracy is vegan propaganda, it has manipulated statistics to suit its proselytising agenda to turn the world vegan, it misleads the public because of that, and it has attempted to ruin people’s reputations in the process (see the shit it tried to pull on Greenpeace).

          So, yeah, I will continue to give you shit about using Cowspiracy as a source of valid data or commentary on climate change and what we should be doing. Especially when you ignore the counter arguments.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Cowspiracy is lying.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.2

        The solution to those GHG emissions is to eat local. That will do multiple things. It will reduce meat consumption. It will create better local economies and real CC age jobs for people. It will undercut agribusiness. It will support organics, regenag etc and shift us to sustainable land use. Win, win, win, win.

        No it won’t. All it would do is make it so that all the animals are grown locally. The problem is raising animals to eat – both as dairy and as meat. We need to decrease the number of cows in the world and we’d do that by eating less meat/dairy. In a market environment that means increasing the price of meat which would boost profits and so increase the amount of meat being produced.

        Basically, the market can’t do it. In fact, the market simply can’t do anything that we need to do to save ourselves. It is, in fact, what’s killing us.

        • weka

          Most meat and dairy farms in NZ exist because of exports. That’s a completely different issue than NZers eating locally, and NZers eating less meat and dairy won’t primarily affect the export markets. I agree there are huge issues with organising ourselves around the corporate market structure. Eating local undermines that because it connects people who eat directly with people who grow food. The ability to influence how food is grown increases exponentially. It also gives farmers a way out of the global economy export structure that most are caught in. Those are the farmers that are and will lead the way on sustainable agriculture.

          I think what you are describing is that the markets adapt to selling locally, which isn’t what I was meaning at all. Eating local is a highly political act because of the ways that it undermines the global economy. It has a culture of its own that precludes what you describe, although I do think it is open to corporate capture in similar ways to how organics has been.

          I agree that NZers could do with eating less dairy and meat, but it has to be done in a thoughtful and evidence based way, not in a ‘we should all be vegan because the global economy says eating industrial meat is worse for GHG emissions than eating industrial soy’. Swapping out soy for meat is daft, esp in NZ where most of our soy is imported from monocropped, Monsantoed farms in the US and China. Better to eat a range of locally produced protein and that includes meat/dairy for those that want to eat meat/dairy.

        • Robert Atack

          This might help the debate ?
          The link wasn’t working this morning? but is up again now.

  8. Paul 8

    What do dysfunctional and troubled societies do?
    They self-medicate.

    Just another consequence of 30 years of neo-liberalism.
    I don’t expect the msm to join the dots as it’s job is to prevent people seeing the big picture.
    However when will NZers make the connection.

    Neo-liberalism kills societies.


  9. Northsider 9

    What’s new?
    Nothing. This is the line up when Shearer announced his “team”.
    Robertson is pulling the strings today, just like he was when he put Shearer into the saddle three years ago.

    Dalziel dropped from Labour’s top 20
    25/02/2013. From STUFF

    “Annette King, Phil Twyford and David Clark have been promoted to Labour’s front bench in a party reshuffle unveiled today.

    Shane Jones will remain on the front bench pending the Auditor-General’s report into the Bill Liu case. Among the big losers were Trevor Mallard who was bumped off the front bench.

    Labour leader David Shearer unveiled his new line-up this morning. He said it was a mix of “new talent and experienced hands”.

    King returns to the front bench after some time in the middle benches following her demotion as deputy leader. She will take up the health protfolio. Dunedin North MP David Clark has flown up the ranks and will take on the economic development portfolio. Chris Hipkins will take on education, Andrew Little justice and Phil Twyford housing.

    Leadership contender David Cunliffe and Christchurch East MP Lianne Dalziel have been bumped from the top 20-ranked Labour MPs.

    Shearer said Clark was a “rising star” with the economic grunt needed for his new portfolio. He will work alongside David Parker who retains the finance portfolio. King was passionate and formidable, Shearer said.
    Twyford was “one of our top performers”.
    Wigram MP Megan Woods will pick up tertiary education and Sue Moroney has returned to the top 20.
    Those outside the top 20 MPs are not ranked.
    Iain Lees-Galloway and Kris Faafoi have also picked up new portfolios although they remain on the backbenches.
    Deputy leader Grant Robertson remains in the number two spot and picks up responsibility for jobs.”


    • Olwyn 9.1

      Thanks for that reminder Northsider. I am not close enough to the centre of the action to know exactly who is calling the shots, but I do see the continuous rearrangement of the same dwindling group of people. Sigh.

    • Chooky 9.2

      makes you wonder if there is a fifth column which has kidnapped the Labour Party

      same old cabal at work….and NOT the Labour Party memberships’ choice

      …and as CV pointed out yesterday “shitloads of electorate MPs got pushed out into unranked spots.”

      This is not grassroots democracy operating in the NZLP…it is a cabal…cabalism…cannibalism…Eat your own Best…baked Cunliffe for dinner

      • Nope. The simple fact is that the Labour party caucus did not get serious refreshment at the last election, so the talent pool remains pretty much the same. Little has played the cards he has been dealt and done a pretty positive job of it by promoting where he could.

        • Olwyn

          That does not explain electorate-winning MP’s being pushed out into unranked spots. On morning report, people were expressing anger at the demotion of Mahuta, given her contribution to bringing the Maori seats back to Labour.

          • te reo putake

            Yeah, Tuku Morgan was expressing outrage. You know, National supporting Tuku Morgan of underpants fame. Yawn.

            What difference does it make if MP’s hold electorates? They’re all part of the same caucus and it’s their work between elections that gets them higher rankings.

            • Olwyn

              Winning a seat does evidence the ability to garner active support within the broader community, which is where elections are won and lost. It is not everything, but it does give concrete proof that at least some people see you as up to representing them.

          • Chooky

            yes Mahuta helped Labour win back the Maori seats…this ingratitude and insult wont be forgotten by Maori


            …another reason for the Cunliffites and Labour membership ( which has been ignored and spurned ) to be jumping ship and help in the forming of a new and dynamic activist grassroots New Zealand Labour Party incorporating Mana and the Internet Party

            • Olwyn

              I do not think that we need a new party, but we desperately need an economically left wing activist movement, along the lines of the People’s Assembly in Britain. It is not hard to see why purportedly left wing MP’s end up representing the political establishment itself rather than a left wing constituency – the power of our historic institutional bases is too eroded to put anyone under real pressure, while the threat of being persona non grata in political/media/donor circles still has force. One by one the bases have been lost – job/income security, state benefits, housing – once a line of defense has fallen, the next is easier to take. We need to make up for our lack of institutional power with people power. Until we are able to muster such power, those meant to represent us will continue to largely dismiss us.

            • The Chairman

              There is definitely a need to replace Labour, but where would a new left wing party find the fiscal support required to win an election?

          • Lanthanide

            If Mahuta wants a high rank in the party, she needs to actually do something.

            • Olwyn

              As I have said, she played a large part in winning back the Maori seats. She does do stuff, although she does not have a high profile. The ability to win people’s trust, however, in a party with Labour’s recent history, is not something to be sneezed at, whether or not one’s accomplishments are heralded with trumpets and drums.

              • left for deadshark


              • Chooky

                +100 Olwyn …Mahuta, friend of David Cunliffe, works quietly and effectively behind the scene and brings in the Labour Party the Maori seats

                …what is her reward?…demotion by the WASPs…Little’s neo Liberal Party does not deserve Mahuta or Cunliffe

                …. if I were her I would be jumping ship and taking the Maori seats to a new Labour Mana/Internet Party

              • North

                Hear hear Olwyn !

    • Kiwiri 9.3

      And Charles Chauvel got it too.
      His plea for right wing to fly with left wing in his valedictory speech has been ignored.

  10. tracey 10

    I note that tanning beds need to be regulated. For the health and saefty of the pubic… but no sign of regulating junk food and beverages which also impact (in much higher numbers) on the health and saftey of NZers. Strange huh?

  11. As predicted in The Standard last week:

    “Jeremy Corbyn is to offer a free vote to MPs on David Cameron’s proposals for UK to bomb Isis in Syria but will make it clear that Labour party policy is to oppose airstrikes.

    The Labour leader will also press Cameron to delay the vote until Labour’s concerns about the justification for the bombing are addressed, as part of a deal he has thrashed out with the deputy leader, Tom Watson, and other senior members of the shadow cabinet over the weekend.

    His decision averts the threat of a mass shadow cabinet walkout, while making it clear that his own firmly held opposition to airstrikes is official Labour party policy, backed by the membership.”


  12. Northsider 12

    A post from The Daily Blog

    DECEMBER 1, 2015 AT 1:26 AM
    Hey, Mr Little, was David Cunliffe not once voted for by the majority of the Labour Party membership? It was only too many in caucus that opposed him as leader before the last election. And as I hear it, there is still a fair level of support and sympathy that goes out to David Cunliffe.
    Maybe he disappointed some that once supported him, with his talk about being “ashamed to be a man”, and not answering one or another question well during a pre-election debate on TV.
    Cunliffe was already stabbed in the back, or at least undermined, while the election campaign was still in preparation last year, then when some polls did not seem to deliver, and when the MSM turned nasty at him and Labour, the rest of the stab in the back was dealt out by those in caucus that disliked him. Some in caucus got nervous or even panicked, and then turned at Cunliffe, I remember it well, it was revealed in comments after the election loss was announced.
    David hesitated accepting defeat on election night, but had to see the sombre reality afterwards. So after some reflecting he stepped down.
    Many still respect him for his skills and experience, and for his passion, expressed well and in oratory skill in his speeches. So some of us had hoped he may be back in a better role, ranked higher as he had been until yesterday.
    But why the hell did you rank him down to number 28 out 0f 32 (or is it 34?). That is an insult, a slap in the face of the man. Did he signal not standing again in 2017, or did some breathe down heavily on your neck, Mr Little?
    Have the ABC “gangsters” been putting on the pressure, or been pulling some strings behind the scenes? Did some of your caucus dare bully you? I cannot believe you, but your decision yesterday raises many, many questions.
    It does not make sense what I see, some like Stuart Nash now moving up, and Jacinda Ardern ranked higher than many can see as being justified. Annette King must be transitioning into retirement over the coming years, so why is she still right next to you, in the front line and co driver’s seat?
    Andrew Little, you have certainly disappointed me, if you would have appreciated and had been able to recognise talent and also fairness, you would have treated David Cunliffe differently, and given him a spokesperson role and ranking further up. That would have mended some divisions that still may well exist within the party.
    It appears that caucus considers itself as the dominant professional elite within your party, ignoring the input someone like David Cunliffe can still offer, by marginalising him.
    You only became leader with a rather marginal majority, so how does that feel? Are you having second thoughts now to hold the balance in the party, and have you given in to some others, who seem to be setting the agenda now?
    For me Labour has now become unvotable, I will not even vote for the electorate seat candidate anymore. My trust is gone, after seen what has been dealt out to the MP for New Lynn, David Cunliffe, that is NOT an olive branch for someone who could perhaps contribute so much for Labour in future.
    Good luck with your future as leader, and your campaign in 2017, you will certainly need it.
    – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/11/30/puppet-on-a-string-has-andrew-little-become-the-plaything-of-labours-dominant-factions/#.dpuf

  13. Morrissey 13

    Not Guilty, but the crap hasn’t ended. Chris Cairns will be
    thinking: God save me from my ex-friends and coaches.

    RNZ National, Tuesday 1 December 2015, 8:11 a.m.

    Chris Cairns may have got off free in his London court case, but nothing will save him from people like his former coach Glenn Turner.

    This morning on RNZ National, Glenn Turner told Susie Ferguson: “Sadly, there’s a lot goes on in the background today that the spin-doctors seem to be employed to conceal or fudge.”

    Not every listener will have got Turner’s witty allusion. In 1998, Chris Cairns and his father Lance started Cairns Fudge. Unwisely, he came onto TV3 to be interviewed by Pam Corkery about it. After he had spent a few minutes discoursing on the subtleties involved in producing Russian and chocolate fudge, Corkery delivered her coup de grâce: “Chris Cairns,” she cackled, “fudge-packer! Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh!”

    Chris Cairns did not laugh, much to her annoyance.


  14. BLiP 14


    The New Zealand Police new contract for academic researchers seeking access to data.


  15. joe90 15

    How ISIS squeezes every last dollar, dinar and pound out of the people it rules.


    Across wide expanses of Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State, with the goal of building a credible government, has set up a predatory and violent bureaucracy that wrings every last American dollar, Iraqi dinar and Syrian pound it can from those who live under its control or pass through its territory.

    Interviews with more than a dozen people living inside or recently escaped from the Islamic State-controlled territory, and Western and Middle Eastern officials who track the militants’ finances, describe the group as exacting tolls and traffic tickets; rent for government buildings; utility bills for water and electricity; taxes on income, crops and cattle; and fines for smoking or wearing the wrong clothes.


    In the short term, American and European officials are struggling to cut the group’s revenues. But the old strategy for stopping the flow of money to terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, which was largely based on cutting them off from donors in the Persian Gulf upon which they depend, does not apply to the Islamic State.

    “They derive so much of their resources internally, that more traditional counterterror finance tools we would apply, say in the case of Al Qaeda, to cut off a terror organization from its income sources are not applicable in this case,” said Daniel L. Glaser, the assistant Treasury secretary for terrorist financing. “They don’t rely on donors.”


    • Northsider 15.1

      They are selling oil. There must be a way of stopping that?

      • Pascals bookie 15.1.1


        It’s not as simple as you’d think.

        The smuggling networks are old, and tribal. It’s not just a metter of ISIS having taken the fields and selling the oil on a black market. They repaired the firleds, if you like, and allow the local smuggelrs to operate in return for a massive cut. It’s more like a mafia economy, or warlordism. They set up favorites with power, and then take their cut. Same as it ever was.

        So when you hit those networks, you are not just hitting ISIS, you are hitting the local tribes and economy.

        The Kurds in that peice, talking to wetsern journos, talk about ‘oh we do what we can about kurdish smugglers, but the big fish always escape,’ and frame it as ‘corruption’ but in reality it’s just how an economy works in a civil war.

        • CR

          And the other hard questions need to be faced, you can’t have a market without willing buyers

          View at Medium.com

          • Pascals bookie

            Sure, it is no secret that there is a strong demand for oil, and people will do all sorts of awful shit to get their hands on some.

            • Colonial Viper

              Bilal Erdogan (son of the Turkish PM) – a key middle man in the sale of ISIS oil:

              And while we patiently dig to find who the on and offshore “commodity trading” middleman are, who cart away ISIS oil to European and other international markets in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars, one name keeps popping up as the primary culprit of regional demand for the Islamic State’s “terrorist oil” – that of Turkish president Recep Erdogan’s son: Bilal Erdogan.


              ISIS uses thousands of oil tanker trucks to move their product. These trucks form queues at the Turkish border many kilometres long – easily observable from the air or space. The Russians and now the US have started destroying hundreds of these vehicles.


              “Raqqa’s Rockefellers”

              How Turkey and others handle “illegal” Kurdish (and ISIS) oil for profit.


              Bear in mind that lab tests will easily show which specific oil field a particular lot of crude has come from.

              • Pascals bookie

                Yeah. That’s known, it’s all the old smuggling routes, not really new. Everyone is involved.

                While you’re here though, why do you think Assad released all those hard core Islamist terrorists from prison when the rebellion was kicking off?

                Why do you think he put them in with captured university students and Marxists first CV? What do you think he was up to there?

                Was that all part of the CIA plot too was it?

                And why doesn’t Putin do more to stop the flow of militants from Russia, where he has his state security people coming down on Muslims, to Syria? Why are these things happening CV? Mystery eh, probably the Saudis making them do it I guess.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Not sure why Assad emptied out the prisons. I suspect many reasons behind such a general amnesty.

                  And why doesn’t Putin do more to stop the flow of militants from Russia, where he has his state security people coming down on Muslims, to Syria?

                  Yes, several thousand militants have come from Russia to help ISIS. But have you seen how large Russia’s borders are? And Putin is currently incinerating said militants from Chechnya and the Caucuses.

                  Per capita however, France, Austria, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden contribute notably more fighters to ISIS than Russia does.


                  Yeah. That’s known, it’s all the old smuggling routes, not really new. Everyone is involved.</blockquote

                  it's the elites turning a convenient blind eye to the corruption and malfeasance of other elites.

                  • Pascals bookie

                    It wasn’t really a general amnestry though. many were not released. many bloggers, poets, civil servants, artists who opposed the regime were not released.

                    He released the hardest jihadis though, veterans of the Iraq insurgency with links to Al Qaeda in Iraq.

                    Come on CV, what is the obvious reason for doing that.

                    And given I know your deep concern about war crimes, what are your thoughts on the torture he is using? And how do you feel about cluster munitions?

                    Are they ok when Assad or Russia does it?

                    And the point about Russia is that they are doing very little to stop militants from travelling, (it’s not the length of the borders, they aren’t even trying) while they are doing things that radicalise them to go. Do you think Putin is unaware of this dynamic, given his history?

                    Why can’t you offer the slightest criticisms toward Russia or Assad for doing things you would condemn the West for?

                    I know you have seen me condemn the west for doing the things I criticise them for, so what is your problem?

                    it’s the elites turning a convenient blind eye to the corruption and malfeasance of other elites.

                    what of your blind eye CV? Is Putin not an elite?

                    • Pascals bookie

                      Take a long read, with the type of mind you would use to read if it was about US or Saudi or Turkish* detainees:


                      and just think about what you are supporting.

                      *I’d add Egyptian here too, obviously, but god knows what you think of them at the moment

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It wasn’t really a general amnestry though. many were not released. many bloggers, poets, civil servants, artists who opposed the regime were not released.

                      He released the hardest jihadis though, veterans of the Iraq insurgency with links to Al Qaeda in Iraq.

                      Come on CV, what is the obvious reason for doing that.

                      And given I know your deep concern about war crimes, what are your thoughts on the torture he is using? And how do you feel about cluster munitions?

                      Frankly, if he released highly trained militant jihadis back into the general populace, he harmed his own government stability and military control to a great extent.

                      Yes, the US did use Syria as one of their CIA torture black sites after 9/11. That’s kind of place Syria is. Like Egypt is. Like US supervised Iraq was.

                      And cluster munitions, like AP mines, are commonly used in war nowadays.

                      Assad has by now lost 100,000 or more men from his army to overseas funded foreign fighters. He’s not going to be holding back.

                    • Pascals bookie

                      “Syrian government officials could face war crimes charges in the light of a huge cache of evidence smuggled out of the country showing the “systematic killing” of about 11,000 detainees, according to three eminent international lawyers.

                      The three, former prosecutors at the criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Sierra Leone, examined thousands of Syrian government photographs and files recording deaths in the custody of regime security forces from March 2011 to last August.”

                      That’s the first 6 months of the uprising, he took the gloves off early.

                      I strongly recommend people read that link to see what CV is minimising, and refusing to condemn.

                      The rest of his comment where he justifies the use of cluster munitions, and I assume everything else Assad has been using (white phosphorous etc) speaks for itself.

                      For the record, the obvious reason to release the jihadis was sp that they would join the rebellion, and use their skills to take it over, justifying the claims that he is fighting terrorists.

                      This is what CV supports, and has been given ample and repeated oppurtunity to condemn. Not a peep. You can imagine what he would be saying if it was the US being accused of these things with the exact same evidence.

                      Like I said, it speaks for itself what he has become.

                      I’m done here.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      PB you are a blind man. Assad, Hussein, Gaddafi, were all bad men. They all killed their own people. Yet the Western Cure to the Arab Strong Man disease has always proven one hundred times more deadly and tragic than the original ailment itself.

                      Look at Afghanistan. Look at Iraq. Look at Libya. Look at Syria. Look at Yemen. Now all failed states or states on the verge of failure.

                      PB, the West has caused the death of 2M-3M or more Arabs and Muslims since Gulf War 1. And the western Empire of Chaos is still rampaging through the Middle East. But all in a good (anglo-american) cause, right?

                      And the US were more than happy to use Saddam Hussein and Assad to get the dirty work done when it suited them.

                      Don’t get all moralistic and uppity about it now.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      you want Assad gone PB? Fine, say that Assad’s government collapsed tomorrow and Assad and his family are hunted down and killed in the street by western supported Islamists like Gaddafi was.

                      And just like in Libya, Syria will have a dozen or two dozen heavily armed Jihadist militias left fighting it out to fill the power vacuum as Syrian civil society and social services collapse, just like Libya. The death toll, bad as it has been will climb exponentially as the likes of ISIS and Al Nusra finish off the minority Christians, Druze, Alawites and Shia in the country, and enslave the women.

                      Wake up and realise what you are advocating for. The west and NATO countries have allowed many tens of thousands of Islamist fighters to enter Syria to take out Assad. US intelligence reports give this strategy the thumbs up as a good way to finish off Assad. This is utterly illegal regime change by Western nations who still see themselves as the rightful colonial masters of the Levant.

                      PB you are nothing but an advocate for the western Chaos strategy that has plunged country after country in the Middle East into jihadist militant hell.

                      And then have the nerve to pretend to be morally superior. God the western colonial mindset are such pitiful slow learners. You keep making failed states as easily as bad batches of scones.

                      As for Putin. Not only has he had enough of the West using Islamic jihadists to institute regime change – a CIA strategy from the days of Soviet Afghanistan and before – but he has actually been legally invited by the sovereign Damascus government to put an end to it.

                      No wonder the western colonialists are bitching and moaning. Imagine a sovereign state having the nerve to declare independence from western interference. How unacceptable.

                    • Pascals bookie

                      And there we have it, instead of codemning torture and war crimes, the targeting of civilians, and hospitals and bread factories etc, CV choosese to make up shit about what I support. Classic mixes of There Is No Alternative and You Did It Too.

                      In support of torture. 50 People a day tortured to death. The Regime deliberately releasing jihadists and CV is fine with it because it’s not western. In fact he just ignores it and claims all the jihadists are actually there because of the CIA because of one briefing paper that mentioned they exist.

                      I’m on the record all over this blog opposing western policies in the ME, opposing torture and all CV can do is lie about me and claim that all of a sudden he is some sort of hard man realist and make arguments that are the perfect mirror image of those used by neocons.

                      So much for all the arguments CV has made about western torture, turns out it isn’t the torture part he actually opposes.

                      Good luck with your new left venture CV, you stalinist fuck.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      PB, for starters fuck off with your “unless you condemn this to my satisfaction, you’re an evil prick” bullshit. Newsflash – you’re not a moral authority.

                      In support of torture. 50 People a day tortured to death.

                      That’s a convenient round figure. Works out to just over 18,000 per year under Assad’s rule. Which is BS considering (as you said) he kept people alive in prisons overflowing with military, religious and political enemies. So he was hardly mowing them all down.

                      Make up your mind eh.

                      Yet with the West’s facilitated colour revolution and sponsored Jihadi campaign against Assad, we are getting 70,000 deaths a year and maybe 4M people displaced or homeless.

                      Guess what, I think the West’s Empire of Chaos strategy is far far worse than Assad ever was. Mind you, the West didn’t mind using Assad to get their dirty work done when it suited them, eh?

                      So PB, you want to see Assad and his government gone?

                      And which of the Jihadist groups (or “moderate terrorists”) would you prefer to make that happen, and to take Damascus? Do you really think they will improve governance in comparison to Assad?

                      Will your moderate Jihadis have women and minorities in universities and as government ministers, like Assad does, for instance?

                      Of course, like the current crop of western leaders you can’t think more than one step ahead of your own self proclaimed moral righteousness.

                      Good luck with your new left venture CV, you stalinist fuck.

                      You clearly have no idea. European and American leadership were more than happy to facilitate the illegal and permanent disappearing of people picked arbitrarily into torture black sites like Syria and Egypt whenever it suited them. As well as innocent taxi drivers and shop keepers caged up and tortured in Guantanamo Bay. Thousands of innocent bystanders droned and bodies left where they fall.

                      These same leaders have waged a campaign which since Gulf War 1 has killed 2M-3M Muslims and Arabs, perhaps more.

                      That’s “Stalinism” mate. A body count so high it makes Assad’s bad deeds look like a rounding error.

                      These same “leaders” want to turn Syria into yet another failed state, and have already halfway succeeded. Israel and Saudi Arabia and Qatar would love to see Syria fall into chaos to fuck both Hezbollah and Iran in one foul swoop.

                      And idiots like you are willing to ignore how disastrously the same playbook has worked out in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, while giving them morality cover to justify their plan.

                      No wonder Putin decided to throw a spanner into this western scheme by intervening directly.

                      I think Assad needs to transition out of power. Even Putin thinks so. That’s what Vienna was about. But no way should the sovereign government of Syria be permitted to collapse and be taken over by the Islamists supported by the west and western Gulf allies.

                    • Pascals bookie

                      Why do you keep saying I support things I have repeatedly said I do not support?

                      And the point isn’t that you haven’t condemned things to my satisfaction, it’s that you refuse to condemn them at all, you justify them.

                      You suggest I’m riding a moral high horse, but I’m not. I’m just condemning torture and other massive war crimes. You don’t need a high horse for that.

                      You were condemning the shooting of a pilot, yet you ignore worse crimes. That’s all I’m saying.

                      And your ranting about western this and that is shown to be hollow becaus eyou are supporting more of the same behaviour from Assad and Putin. That’s all I’m saying, that it is legitimate to say:

                      “fuck this noise, and fuck that noise too”

                      You don’t have to support Putin and Assad in order to oppose current or historic western policy. That is a choice you are making. And you are allowed to, but stop acting like I’m being mean for calling it what it is.

                      And stop lying about what I support.

                      the 50 a day stat comes from here:


                      and it isn’t for the whole of Assad’s reign, but from a Syrian whistleblower type who smuggled docs from the first 6 months of the rebellion.

  16. Lucy 16

    If you listen to John in http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/close-up-big-dealers-john-key-1987 the way he talks is so different to now makes me think that his swallowed vowels and mooshing of the language is a deliberate ploy to appeal to middle New Zeland

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1

      I figure he rushes his words to obscure their meaning – Key, or his advisers, is/are very good at constructing ambiguous statements.

  17. CR 17

    At first I thought he needed a speech therapist. When it didn’t improve over time, I figured he must be a drunk. Now I think it’s deliberate.

    From a 2008 article ‘Who is John Key’:
    ‘The only tangible sense in which Key asserted a persona of his own was in his accent. “We sometimes felt he would lay on his Kiwi accent so thick in meetings that none of us could understand what he was saying, it was kind of deliberate,” says Kelly.’


  18. mickysavage 18

    Paul Henry is running a poll on whether or not David Cunliffe should resign.

    Go ahead and have your say!


    • Northsider 18.1

      I’ve voted for him to stay. Don’t let the Right’s agenda win. Don’t let Paul Henry win.

      • b waghorn 18.1.1

        henry was at his worst this morning ,doing a complete hatchet job on Cunnliffe.

      • Grindlebottom 18.1.2

        It’s a useless poll. There’s no Up Yours Paul Henry option.

        • weka

          lolz, I was looking for that too. I couldn’t find the results of any of their polls, so presumably you have to actually watch the dipstick to find out. Ain’t gonna happen, so I didn’t vote.

          Besides, whether DC wants to resign or not is his business. I’m willing to be there are aspects to consider that aren’t in the public domain.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.2

      Would you resign if you were David Cunliffe?

      An impossible question to answer as I’m not DC. Considering his principles that he has shown he probably should resign from the Labour Party and join either the Alliance, The Greens or Internet Party.

    • Halfcrown 18.3

      “Paul Henry is running a poll on whether or not David Cunliffe should resign.”

      Who gives a shit what that prat does

    • Peroxide Blonde 18.4

      Cunliffe’s NO vote seems to be winning at nearly 2:1

      Would you resign if you were David Cunliffe?
      64% are saying Cunliffe should stay and fight on.
      36% are saying they would leave a party that behaved in such a bastardly manner.
      100% are saying See You Next Tuesday Grant Robertson.

  19. vto 19

    Has tv3 lost the plot completely?

    In an ad break during their 6pm news the other night, it cut first to an ad about tv3 programmes (as they do), namely Paul Henry’s awful breakfast show…..

    ….. the ad involved Paul Henry talking about how if some person bent over naked the asshole would change from the appearance of a bud to a flower.

    I kid you not

    child toilet humour

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry

    I don’t know if it reflects on society or on tv3 (it most definitely reflects on Henry tho)


  20. Rosemary McDonald 20


    Du Plessis -Allan home raided by cops.

    New standard of journalistic cred?

    • Manuka AOR 20.1

      What is it that police have against journos in NZ?

      • CR 20.1.1

        Ummm, because there’s a War on Truth?

      • Anne 20.1.2

        Manuka AOR @20.1
        I think you will find the raid on Du Plessus-Allan was carried out as a warning to all journalists and reporters – DON’T MESS WITH US OR ELSE.

        In other words authoritarian intimidation.

    • Manuka AOR 20.2

      Something very strange about the timing of the raid – So soon after we’ve been told to (in effect) “be afraid, be very afraid” of radical extremist thuggos planning an attack, possibly a gun-fuelled Paris-style attack .

      … They want the guns to be easily accessible by these attack plotters?

      • James 20.2.1

        How the hell is this a raid?

        They called and made an appointment. They went at a time suitable with the occupants.

        Kim Dotcom – that was a raid. This was just a search warrant. Good try using the language trying to make it worse than it is.

        “Asked how du Plessis-Allan had reacted to the police search, he said: “It’s always worrying, these things. But the fact is that the story was done in the full knowledge that there could have been repercussions.”

        And repercussions she deserves.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          My turn to feed the troll!

          James…have you ever been subject to a Search Warrant?

          Given one has no choice in the matter…and the definition of “raid”

          surprise attack, hit-and-run raid, tip-and-run raid, assault, descent, blitz, incursion, foray, sortie

          this was a raid.

          It is an invasion of your home, your safe place, by those who you were idling under the illusion were charged with protecting.

          And no, there can be smoke without fire….just to save you having to make another comment.

          Enjoy your snack.

          • Gangnam Style

            “The police have been caught napping and publicity was given to it, they don’t like the fact that they’ve been seen as perhaps not doing their job as well as they could have, so this is a way…because its a high public profile case now and its a way that the police can get back at those who made them I guess look a bit foolish and it would seem that there’s nothing more to it than this.” – Barry Soper.

        • Lanthanide

          The whole thing is pointless, though. If it ever gets in front of a judge, it’ll be pleading guilty and discharge without conviction.

          1. She’s a journalist, it’s her job
          2. They didn’t make any sort of secret of it
          3. There was legitimate public interest, and the police closed the loophole after it was reported (having previously done nothing about it)
          4. If she gets a conviction from this, it would harm her ability to enter foreign countries to do her job

          • Rosemary McDonald

            With any luck, she’ll plead Not Guilty and there will be a hearing and she will have the charge dismissed.

            Methinks this is a bit of staged willy waving from the plod.

            That gun peddler sounds like a right charmer.

  21. Rosemary McDonald 21

    There’s a lot about this that bothers me…not the least of which is that they raided their Welly home and they kinda phoned to make an appointment to do so.

    Weird…were the cameras there by any chance?

    All very confusing. I’m off to polish my hat….

  22. Draco T Bastard 22

    So, just finished my study year living on the Student loan. Applied for Hardship over summer and found out that that has a one week stand down on it as well.

    This government is cutting everything it can to save money but, of course, they only apply it to the people who need it most. Rio Tinto and SkyCity still get the millions of dollars subsidy. Meanwhile, people are going hungry because of Nationals ongoing attack on the poor.

    • Rosemary McDonald 23.1

      You’d think, perhaps, that under the circumstances they’d simply let the matter drop….?

    • McFlock 23.2


      I love how it’s ok for the Speaker to be “incompetent, bias, doesn’t like the job, lazy, sexist and doesn’t give a toss”, but pointing this out is a serious undermining of the integrity of the House.

      Fuck, the only thing Carter has contributed to the integrity of the House is its structural integrity – propping up the back of the Speaker’s chair as he slouches his way through another abuse of power.

  23. mac1 24

    I attended a question time a fortnight ago, and then the Speaker said that the public could judge whether members were right or wrong………………… you should have seen the rolling of eyes around the public gallery at the Speaker’s ruling that day! This member of the public adjudged the Speaker to be incompetent and ineffectual.

    And good on you , Ruth!

  24. Morrissey 25

    The King of Contra claims that Hans Kriek is “bordering on espionage.”
    Even for Mike Hosking, this was a particularly braindead performance.

    Seven Sharp, Television One, Tuesday 1 December 2015, 7:17 p.m.

    I’ve just watched what was possibly the most ridiculous television interview of the year. In his typically bumptious manner, Mike “King of Contra” Hosking accused SAFE’s Hans Kriek of endangering our international reputation by releasing secretly filmed video of bobby calves being tortured and killed on Waikato dairy farms. They should have “had a quiet word” with Fonterra instead of “going international” like they have.

    “It’s bordering on espionage,” he fumed.

    In response, Hans Kriek simply laughed.

    What other reaction is possible in the face of such militant ignorance?

  25. The Chairman 26

    Green Party to vote against National’s RMA changes.


    Labour says it will back National’s proposed changes to the Resource Management Act.



    • The Chairman 26.1

      Anybody know which way NZ First will vote on the RMA?

    • Sacha 26.2

      Thoughts? Pretty obvious choice for left voters. And probably won’t make the slightest difference.

    • Anne 26.3

      Labour says it will back the legislation through it’s first reading. I presume it then goes to a select committee and they will wait and see what comes out of that committee before making a final decision whether to vote for or against the ‘amended’ RMA.

      • The Chairman 26.3.1

        Parker says it’s a step in the right direction, seeing it as a surrender by National because they know “gutting the Act is not the solution”.

        Yet, Eugenie Sage said National has wasted its opportunity to strengthen the RMA, stating many of the changes proposed to the Act weaken rather than improve the protection of the environment and reduce the opportunities for public participation.

        A rather stark contrast in their positions.

      • The Chairman 26.3.2

        It seems the RMA will be another example of Labour aligning with National while further distancing themselves from their potential coalition partner.

        Reinforcing the annihilating perception of the opposition rowing in different directions.

  26. The Chairman 27

    For those that are interested

  27. odysseus 28

    Of no significance to anybody but I will not be renewing LP membership due to the relegation of David Cunliffe. Nothing ideological or personal but he is simply one of the most obviously competent.
    Andrew – what were you thinking?

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