Open mike 02/04/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 2nd, 2019 - 93 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

93 comments on “Open mike 02/04/2019 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Zuzana Caputova, the female and quite progressive lawyer, is now Prime Minister of Slovakia.

    Her campaign headline:

    “Stand Up To Evil”

  2. reason 2

    “a few weeks ago, I wrote a story about the outrageous sexism woven deeply into the culture of the company. We’ve seen it in the company’s PR team discrediting female passengers who accuse drivers of attacking them by whispering that they were “drunk” or “dressed provocatively.”

    We’ve seen it in CEO Travis Kalanick’s comments that he calls the company “boober” because of all the tail he gets since running it..”


    “When They Compared Their Females Drivers to Hookers
    In October, Uber launched an app that promised to pair male customers with sexy female drivers. “Who said women don’t know how to drive?” asked ads for the promotion, which was launched by the company’s office in Lyon, France. The fantasy rides had a 20-minute time limit, for reasons that are unclear.

    Thanks to a media back​lash, the creepy promo never actually rolled out. “They didn’t anticipate the reaction of Uber US,” ​said Pierre Garonnaire, co-founder of Avions de Chasse, the escort service that co-sponsored the idea.”In the US, you are more Puritan. For me and most of the people of France, it was a good [idea]. It was fun.”

    That point is up for debate, but the promo didn’t do much to quell Uber’s reputation for not giving much of a fuck about the safety of women in its cars. On the flip side of the equation, female customers are still frequently complaining that male ​drivers are harassing them and somehow managing to learn their identities”….

    “Private car services are popular among women who want to stay safe, but reports allege sexual harassment by drivers. Is it time to rethink services like Uber? ”

    “Not only has Uber vilified riders accusing their drivers of rape, assault or general bad behavior, they’ve also betrayed all their drivers; Kalanick has said he can’t wait to replace them all with self-driving cars…”


    I’ve heard a rumour uber are going to step in and buy ‘Gun city ‘ …. thereby saving customers from any regulations or ‘red tape’ ….. about valid firearms licenses and other such unnecessary rules … 😉

    Ignoring regulations is ubers business model … uber NZ see military style weapon owners, and semi auto aficionados offering solid consumer support and a enthusiastic customer base for Uber Gun citys … so the rumour goes 😉 😉

    Get the uber gun app ….leverage their immunity to improve your gun owning experience….

    ## I made up the uber gun bit to try and trick James

    He loves his uber ….

    • A 2.1

      Uber isn’t just creepy drivers and guns 🙂

      Watch out for

      1. Parking just a few doors down at pickup time, saying you didn’t show and charging the cancellation fee

      2. False cleaning fees

      3. When a “surge” is approaching they text each other. During a surge they get paid more so be prepared for multiple cancellations from cars that are apparently available during the hour prior, and when you eventually get that Uber it now costs more.

    • James 2.2

      Not tricking anyone – its a pathetic post the borders on hysterical.

      But you are right. I love Uber and use it multiple times per week.

  3. Kay 3

    @TRP- sorry I could reply to you question about TAS in the Labour thread last night. It was very late when I checked back in and I’m about to be going out of internet contact for the next couple of days so can’t give you any detail sorry. But in a nutshull, TAS is what one can qualify for when necessary outgoings (usually rent and ongoing medical costs) can’t be met any other way, ie pretty much everyone on a benefit. You’ve got to provide a load of evidence of no other income/savings/things you can sell/proof of how you’ve changed your spending habits and then reapply every 3 months.

    Good luck with your friend and thanks for being his advocate 🙂

    • Cheers, Kay. I can’t say I’m looking forward to it, but I’ll do my best.

      • patricia bremner 3.1.1

        TRP, if your friend ends up on a benefit make sure they get the Winter Warmth Payment 1 May to 1 Oct (only $20.42 a week single or $31.82 couple), but it is not taxed and does not affect any other payments .Cheers.

  4. Dennis Frank 5

    Chris Trotter makes a good point this morning, illuminating the difference between political perceptions and reality. Folks really do get captivated by the froth on the surface. He gives several valid historical examples to prove the point:

    What really matters is where the electorate is at, en masse. Like the ocean. Those waves may indeed be fascinating, and it’s understandable that media & commentariat get lost in the details, but election results hinge on the tidal flow underneath. Flow to the left, ebb to the right, and where the centrists are at the time of the vote. That’s all that really matters…

  5. Dennis Frank 6

    Spinoff examines “How TOP plans to rebuild”:

    “I think those picking up the cudgels – while I take my hat off to them for tenacity – have realised pretty quickly just how hard it is to do all the stuff needed to foot it with those parties that have been hanging about for decades. Others in TOP are just dreamers – think money grows on trees, and have no idea of the work needed,” said Morgan. They seem to be shuffling their deck currently, and struggling with logistics:

    “As part of the transition to new leadership, Gareth Morgan set up a board to run the party, consisting of Simmons, 2017 Rangitata candidate Olly Wilson, and 2017 Rongotai candidate Paddy Plunket. But both Wilson and Plunket have now resigned from that board, though have remained involved with the party. Two new people are now on the board, membership representative Donna Pokere-Phillips and Matt Isbister – six and 21 on the 2017 list respectively.”

    “Recently elected leader Geoff Simmons says the membership for TOP remains healthy, saying it is “about 4200, at the last count”. Of those members, only slightly more than 1000 voted in the recent leadership election – 678 of whom voted for Simmons – but he says that had more to do with the logistics of communicating details about the election to members than lack of interest. “We actually had a pretty big challenge just to inform our members about that stuff.”

    • mauī 6.1

      Fascinating… wise move from Garfield.

    • mikesh 6.2

      Even if TOP fades, I think their ideas have taken root, particularly the RFRM tax and the UBI.

      • KJT 6.2.1

        Hate to burst someone’s bubble but the UBI, was around long before, TOP.

        • Andre

          So was an RFRM tax.

          Cullen actually implemented one as the Foreign Investment Fund tax. Which I pay every year. While I’m not bothered by paying income taxes, capital gains taxes, GST or sales taxes, the FIF tax always feels like a maliciously capricious way to levy a tax. It irritates me enough every year that it would turn me into a single-user voter against anyone that proposed it. Indeed, I haven’t voted Labour since it was introduced.

    • McFlock 6.3

      Who the fuck plugs 2mill into a party for one election, then shafts everyone when he doesn’t get his way?

      Morgan quit because the country didn’t vote him into parliament on the first attempt.

      And if he was so fucking awesome, why are the new team having to redo party infrastructure?

      • Dennis Frank 6.3.1

        My reaction exactly. I just felt it appropriate to frame it in more dispassionate terms! Dunno if you noticed, but think it was RL who responded (to my initial comment) re his prior involvement with a Morgan enterprise (yesterday or last night).

  6. Kat 7

    Guyon Espiner was put in his place by Winston…. again….on morning retort today. Message to Guyon Espiner, give up trying to score points over Winston, at least in public and on air, Winston has knocked you for six so many times you are sounding very desperate to bowl him.

  7. Dennis Frank 8

    Xi: “Now [the] bilateral relationship faces new opportunities of development, our two sides must trust each other, pursue mutual benefit and strive to open up new grounds in our bilateral relations.”

    Begs the question of a basis for such trust, eh? Blind faith doesn’t work. So the political question becomes: how can NZ & China create a basis of trust in their bilateral relationship?

    ” Talking to reporters after the meeting, Ardern said she had not interpreted Xi’s comments about trust in any pointed way. She saw it as a comment meaning that all relationships were based around trust, “that we have a longstanding relationship where there is good understanding, where there will from time to time be differences”.

    “The differences between us certainly should not and will not define the relationship. Our relationship is too long, too great in history and has a layer of depth to it that I don’t think it should be defined by those differences and I don’t believe it will be.”

    Audrey Young reports that, on the issue of Huawei failing to get the green light from the GCSB on 5G, she said she had raised it proactively with Xi. She had outlined the clear process in New Zealand’s legislation which dictated how such decisions were made and she set out where the process was at. And she had also raised the issues of human rights “particularly as it relates to Xinjiang”, – a reference to the mass detention of Uighur Muslims.”

    The PM was adroit in pointing out that the relationship ought not to be defined by differences between the two countries. She neglected to point out that common ground is where trust gets built.

    We don’t know how she & Xi see such common ground emerging on Huawei. I suspect they tacitly assumed there was no time for indepth discussion. We don’t know how she & Xi see common ground emerging on civil rights. Likewise! So the basis for trust remains tenuous.

    • Dennis Frank 8.1

      Stephen Jacobi always presents as a nice, reasonable man. Talking to Garner this morning he did his China cheerleader thing as usual. Xi’s emphasis on trust slid right by both of them. Garner’s normally good at picking up on nuances, but not today.

      With Jacobi, I suspect the omission was deliberate. PR is all about managing perceptions, so bland is good. Ensure that discussion not only avoids getting to the crux of an issue, but heads everywhere but there so that distraction becomes a movable feast for viewers and listeners. The smokescreen.

      • Dennis Frank 8.1.1

        I’ve quoted trust expert Rachel Botsman once or twice here recently, and her published appraisal of China’s new trust-based system for ranking citizens on their performance is relevant to how kiwis are likely to view our potential for trusting China’s regime.

        “Ideas such as China’s Social Credit System show how distributed networks of trust could become national networks of shame and interference, controlled by governments.” That’s from the concluding chapter in her latest book (which examines how trust is formed via participation in online networks, using case studies).

        So, given that western countries have had seven or eight decades of distrust of state compulsion deriving from totalitarianism, how we can formulate a basis for trust with the current totalitarian regime in China is an interesting question. I anticipate the towering intellects in the Labour Party providing the answer tout suite. Just kidding!! 😎

      • Skunk Weed 8.1.2

        Learn’t his skills from Hone Shonkey, as smooth as silk ?

    • Gabby 8.2

      She may have noticed the demand for trust is pretty much in the one direction franky and thought xi needx to praxis what he preaxes.

  8. reason 9

    To finish my posting today on a positive note ……

    Imagine having this brave woman as your first female leader of your country …

    Listen to her short speach

    Trump beater ????

    Can she defeat the usa media first ?

    • Shadrach 9.1

      “Can she defeat the usa media first ?”
      Do you watch any US media? Large swathes have Trump Derangement Syndrome, and will give a virtual free pass to any Democratic candidate. Trump’s a numpty, but he’s headed for a second term based on the Dem’s declared candidates.

      • Andre 9.1.1

        Just curious, in the view from Shadworld are there any Democrats that could win? Declared or undeclared? Or are we inevitably getting a second round of the 2.8 Handicap-in-Chief??

        • Shadrach

          “…are there any Democrats that could win? ”
          None that I’m aware of. I stand to be corrected. In fact I really hope to be!

    • Gabby 9.2

      The trumpatsies will note she’s a she and doesn’t hate immigrants reasy. They won’t hear a word she says.

  9. aom 10

    Two weeks of kindness and inclusiveness and we are already back to the same old shit. After some gang chapters were warmly accepted without qualification at Mosques, media soon set up their strawmen. The line was that if gangs really cared, they would hand in their guns – despite the police being the only ones who had firearms to protect worshippers and those expressing condolences. The president of ONE chapter of the Mongrel Mob said they would not be handing in their guns. It is conceivable that his chapter, the largest in the country, may only have legally held firearms and no semi-automatic or military style weapons. Before jumping to the conclusion that this is a naive assumption, the researcher Jarrod Gilbert noted that only one of the chapter’s members is in prison. More explicitly, Black Power made it clear they would not hand over guns that are used for hunting which on the balance of probably would be legally held. Of course, the media, having created the strawman, is now awash with commentary based on the assumption that the high profile gangs have vast numbers of illegal weapons. The dickwit Minister of Police is buying into the sensationalism and grandstanding about how the Police will prejudicially target gangs with only a quietly added afterthought that anyone illegally possessing semi-automatic weapons will be prosecuted. Meanwhile, how much publicity has been given to pro-gun lobbyists who have specifically stated they will not be handing in their military style weapons – bugger all! The media need to take some lessons on love and acceptance from the Muslim leaders and follow the lead of the Prime Minister. Instead they are dog-whistling the sorts of attitudes which were very briefly hidden under a thin veil of acceptance, kindness and inclusiveness.

    • marty mars 10.1

      + 1 great comment – I totally agree with your analysis.

    • Kevin 10.2

      So they took a day off from pushing P and synthetics. Whoopdy fucking do.

      I look forward to no longer reading about gang-related violence in Hawkes Bay but not holding my breath.

      • marty mars 10.2.1

        Be good to have no violence from anyone I’d say because it is there – sometimes hidden by the veneer of respectability. Substance abuse, child abuse, spousal abuse – all there in every circle – every circle Kevin.

        • Siobhan

          Too true..but just a smidgeon more in gangs don’t you think.

          We used to do business with The MMM, and the Captains especially, often really nice guys, often pretty smart, and often a lot more relatable than some of the ‘Suits’ I interact with in ‘Legitimate White Guy Businesses’…but NO ONE EVER get patched up for being a nice guy.

          Though these days the young lads in out neighbourhood (The ‘Nui) are able to buy their who knows, maybe they could transform into a ‘club’..but even then, a club making money from selling drugs and paying off debt with traumatised young girls with drug and mental health issues..and in their own community..nope, if they want to go round ‘Virtue Signaling’ during this crisis they deserve to get the big old finger of accusation pointed right back at them.

          I personally wouldn’t make too much of the low imprisonment rate of any Patched up gang members…I’m sure there’s very few Hells Angels inside, all things considered, but that’s because keeping within the law and driving round in white vehicles is simply common sense when your number one reason for existence is selling drugs.

          Though, I do totally agree, the intelligent conversation should be, 100% about the Gun lobby..they are the real power, and they are the one that needs to be made to pull their head in so we can lower the number of and otherwise, held in New Zealand.

          (disclaimer..I actually have no problem at all with restricted gun ownership)

          • aom

            Oh dear Siobhan – pulled on the knowall superiority boots this morning eh? Careful you don’t trip over the laces, “…. often really nice guys, often pretty smart, and often a lot more relatable than some of the ‘Suits’ I interact with ….”. Also, it might pay to take the boots off before you get dragged under the veritable sea of ‘Virtue Signalling’ non-gang members who have just discovered Muslims, the nearest Mosques and a bit of compassion.

            (disclaimer..I actually have no problem at all with heavily restricted gun ownership.)

    • cleangreen 10.3

      aom; –

      If ‘kindness and inclusiveness’ is your stance;- ‘that is an honourable stand’.

      I wished it would also translate to the other ‘elephants in the room’ also eh??

      Labour has not been a ‘kind inclusive’ lot to us as their MP’s are as “cold and insular’ to us out there trying to fix nine years of national Party wrecking ball.

      As a member of a community group I explained previously that ever since the Labour Coalition took over government, we have sent repeated requests to the minister Phil Twyford as Minister of Transport to meet our committee either in Napier, Gisborne, or Wellington and always get the same message from his office staff, “the Minister is too busy to meet you”.
      Where the hell is the “kindness and inclusiveness” in that??

      It is so bloody perplexing to our community here.

      Get the labour coalition to answer community groups that come asking it meet these quote; “Kind, inclusive” MP’s please.

      • greywarshark 10.3.1

        I reckon Twyford has too much on his plate. Why not write to Jacinda and point out his list of portfolios and say that your region is not hearing much from anyone and point out the gripe you have about Shane Jones settling on a plan that is like a quick grab of something out of the lucky dip, not one tailored for your needs over there.

        • cleangreen


          Thanks for that but Shane and Jacinda always get a copy of our groups request for a meeting with Phil Twyford and we thought that would just get it done.

          So I sent a message to our local MP Stuart Nash to intervene but so far his office has not actually requested that Phil Twyford come to Napier and Nash’s PA at his electorate office has been trying to find out why ‘we are facing a wall of opposition’ (PA’s words) to meet Twyford.

          So you can see the trouble we face, and it is not only us here.

          We discussed this with other community groups who say they also have difficulty getting MP’s to agree to meet him also so it is endemic I am afraid.

          Like i said where is the ‘inclusion’ Jacinda promised us?

          • greywarshark

            Write to The Dominion perhaps. That might get read in the beltway.

            Or erect a cardboard cutout of a bikini girl at Parliament with sign saying SEX in big caps and Now I have your full attention Twyford I love you and want to have a train with you. Perhaps citizens need to embarrass them to get attention?

            A pair of briefs with a cheeky message on them on a sign saying Phil you didn’t leave these in Gisborne because you never came, and we have been waiting and wanting. Or something.

            Terrible ideas and we shouldn’t be forced into lowering ourselves to be so vulgar. But he does have some heavy lifting and I think he should have someone else do the other portfolios.

    • Jim 10.4

      I would of thought being a gang member would automatically exclude you from obtaining a firearms license, therefore all guns in gang members hands would be illegally held.

      • aom 10.4.1

        No Jim – and neither do we, as a society, blatantly discriminate against members of other groups in society if they can meet the requirements for gun ownership. If we were able to, there might be fewer firearms related domestic incidents – something gang members don’t appear to be renowned for.

        • Jim

          Really??? I was sure that being “of good character” was part of the license process, which excluded gang members from obtains a FAL.

          • greywarshark

            You are assuming that all gang members have criminal convictions and that they don’t need guns for their sustainable living – probably many shoot their own meat, pigs etc. Watch the assumptions, there is a bit of truth in most things, so see what it is before you pass your own judgment eh.

            • Jim

              Grey, come on.
              If the police arms officer, vetting a potential FAL holder, reccomends that a patched gang member should be considered of good character and suitable for any type of FAL, that’s just ridiculous.

              • aom

                Give it a break Jim. Your prejudices have taken you beyond your ability for rational thought. How many cases of gang members killing their partners with firearms in domestic incidents can you confirm? Bet it is less than the number of well heeled horse breeders that have. When did any NZ gang members use a military type weapon to take down 50 people in prayer that can you tell us about? Can you provide evidence of times when gang members have killed either police officers or innocent bystanders? Need one go on? Besides, if you bothered to look, ‘of good character’ is your own invention but admittedly, is only a bit more subjective than the actual requirement in the application process. Thank God that arms officers are more professional and better able to determine facts what than you would be. Incidentally, some gang members have not been approved for FAL’s and there have been occasions when some have been withdrawn – just like with non-gang affiliates when their actions or dispositions have given cause for concern. Actually, licences are probably given more liberally that what they should be, but probably not to gangsters.

    • Wayne 10.5


      Are you seriously suggesting that the gangs can keep the category of semi automatics that are to be banned?
      Basically the gangs can keep them but no-one else can?

      Presumably not, but that is how your post read.

      • aom 10.5.1

        Are you seriously that lacking in comprehension skills? NO!

      • greywarshark 10.5.2

        Perhaps you are knee-jerking again from the conservative POV – which aspect seems to need updated glasses.

      • Skunk Weed 10.5.3

        I doubt whether the Gangs AK 47’s and AR 15’s are legally registered anyway, so they are probably illegal weapons hence they are not eligible for compensation ?

        Hence I doubt whether the Gangs will hand them in as they need them for protection in case they are attacked by another Gang who wants to steal their drug stash or their cash ?

    • Gabby 10.6

      Did gilby point out the ganger in prison prolly isn’t armed aomy?

  10. greywarshark 11

    On james Casson – to be fair to him he spoke in anger in 2016 this:
    He agreed that in July 2016 he posted on Facebook after terrorist attacks in Nice and Paris, referring to an invasion of migrants into Europe. He had written that it was “time to get hard, time for retribution, and extreme violence to rid Europe of these scum”.

    He is going to apologise to the Muslim community. Perhaps the weight of opinion gives him the message to think about what he feels, and then think whether it is too black and white needing more understanding, and then think before he speaks about what feelings he will arouse in the wider community, and the small bunch of anomic hotheads.

    • marty mars 11.1

      I wish he’d shut up and piss off. I’ve heard enough from that person tbh.

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        Yeah as my Mum would say: He’s trying! Very trying.
        But still if he can bow and be humble, and then take a less aggressive stance on things that are so human and therefore irritating ie be more understanding of the power of emotions on the talker and the listener, your pain may not have been in vain.

        This on Radionz this a.m.

        • marty mars

          It is good you have a kind heart.

          For me – it’s all a lie. His views haven’t changed. It is damage control based upon his ego and his fear of losing stuff. As I said I wish he’d stfu and piss off. Insincere white apologists are a waste of time on this site and in real life imo.

          • greywarshark

            Actually marty I’m thinking in pragmatic idealist mode. I hope he will have changed, that’s the ideal. I think he may not have as these attitudes score deep in people’s psyches and it requires enormous effort to get free of them.

            I think you are probably right in your summing up. And I fear insincerity. It is very sad when you think that someone has goodwill for what you all seem to be working for but it is just a front; they have other plans.

            I liked this from an interview with a young woman in Nelson Mail Friday 3/22/2019.
            It is from A Muslim PhD student living in NZ. She says –
            All together we have failed the terrorist’s plans. But the question still stands there, what can I do? All that you have done is way more generous and beyond expectation and we do not want you to put in that burden, all you need to do is just accept us as we are, ordinary.

            We do not need sympathies, we do not need extra attention, and we do not want to be in limelight. We do not need platforms to speak, we just need acceptance, a place to be comfortable under our skin, a place where we have feeling of home, a feeling of co-existence not merely existence.

            • OnceWasTim

              I’m glad you’re thinking in pragmatic idealist mode @greywarshark and it’d be nice if he really has had some sort of epiphany.
              I agree with @ MM however, and that isn’t just because I see him as white apologist, it’s for reasons I’ve made comment over the past few days which include some of the antics and the way he and some of his ilk behave carrying out his job, and having been told how embarrassed one of his own former police colleague’s over their little ‘raids’.
              I’m more inclined to Angela Cuming’s view:

              He and Peter Dutton would make great mates I’m sorry to say and perhaps he should consider returning to his former ‘economic refugee’ status

        • WeTheBleeple

          Need to stop pushing this lone wolf fantasy. The guy had cheerleaders.

          • Skunk Weed

            The Lone Wolf will have been guided over the years no doubt about that, whether we ever get the full story is anybody’s guess ?

  11. marty mars 12

    Great work in so many ways.

    A city girl whose family had no direct connection to farming has made the finals of the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer Award.

    This year it’s the turn of the sheep and beef sector to be in the spotlight, and the three finalists are all shepherds.

    20-year-old Kirsty Roa works on the Hauiti Corporation’s Iwinui Station near Tolaga Bay, her first job after a course run by the Waipaoa Cadet Training Trust.”'s-life-draws-in-wahine

  12. greywarshark 13

    Chris Trotter sets out what has been occuring to me recently. That we are working so hard to turn back the clock and recover what we believed we had in NZ and making some small improvements. But why necessary, and why so hard to achieve? How come that we are in this pit, we can see the sky, we climb and slip back – is that it – a cycle of constant sacrifice of time and energy and sometime lives to achieve a better society and when we have, the children of the fighters don’t carry enough of the history of struggle with them, and let it slip away in favour of self-indulgence again. What prevents us from holding onto a society with values, sensible controls allowing all people the time and means to have an enjoyable life, and pass that precious package on to the next generation teaching them how to care for it, as its resilience is limited.

    Bowalley Road says:
    So many on the Left do not appreciate the true dimensions of the vast and immovable cultural-political consensus that allows Capitalism to survive and thrive. If it wasn’t there: or, if it was there, but amenable to reason and love: then Capitalism would long ago have given way to a more human order.

    This grim judgement is a lot easier for the Left to accept when reactionary ideas and parties are in the saddle and riding them hard. In those moments, it is easy to convince Capitalism’s enemies that it is, indeed, a monstrous nightmare pressing down upon the lungs of human hope.

    A Left without illusions has a much better chance of organising effectively and, on rare occasions, winning.

    The real danger comes when events conspire to make it appear as though the Left has already won.

    And now, when we have won some time in the sun of relative goodness, what will the children of the complacent do? Can they take their minds out and check them for rips and weak points, can they limit their meditation, their gym workouts, their marathon training and put those times into skill and community building. Half hour per day to talk about work, school, people met, the day’s news, and some of the weekend into community input for the Council and the strugglers; that’s if they have a weekend.

    • Ad 13.1

      A left without illusions does not exist, and nor should it.

      Sure the workers won big in France in 1968.
      And yes de Gaulle resigned the next year which was no accident.
      But the biggest win was to the feminist movement. By 1974 they had won national health insurance for contraception. By 1975 they had legalisation of abortion. Also in 1975 they got reform of divorce laws.

      Mitterand was a bit of a disaster, but he would not have had a shot at nationalising the entire banking industry without the impetus of 1968 and beyond.

      Trotter is a useful writer for the right and for the status quo, because he is profoundly pessimistic. He is the very definition of Left Melancholy.

      Trotter revels in the political disasters of the last two years of the Lange-Douglas years, and discounts the effects in our society of our own home-grown revolutions.

      Our own revolutions in ecology, feminism, Maori land rights, anti-nuclear and anti-war protests, anti-development protests, and anti-racist Rugby protests, well they are the collective essence of left activism today.

      They gave rise to the idealism within Ardern today.

      Trotter will realise within 6 months that Ardern is shifting wealth through existing instruments of the state already – in many cases not particularly gradually either. She also has the opportunity to go after the really hard-right and hard-to-reach places in gun ownership and armed criminal conspiracies that have held this country back for decades.

      The left led by Ardern is not the problem.

      Old, spent commentators like Trotter who remain bereft of hope and trapped by history hold us all back.

      Time to dare.

      • marty mars 13.1.1

        “The left led by Ardern is not the problem.

        Old, spent commentators like Trotter who remain bereft of hope and trapped by history hold us all back.

        Time to dare.”

        + 1 well said

        • patricia bremner

          Ad, you are so right. He is hidebound and Trots out the same sour notes.
          If we are in, “Watch out it won’t last because…..” If we are out “We lack….”
          Jacinda Ardern is such a consummate conductor, it is a pity Trots can’t learn the new tune.
          She knows how to blend the best of each instrument to make hopeful strong music.
          Each person who takes part grows in courage and belief. She is a force for good. She is growing seemlessly into the role.

      • greywarshark 13.1.2

        I think you are holding back. Trotter is looking at ways Labour Coalition can achieve in the three year period of power which seems to be zooming along.
        Good for doing things of yesterday. They and any other work didn’t prevent us from being up the creek, if we can find some water that hasn’t been utilised by some incomer for profit. We were without a paddle till Labour got back in.

        People need to understand that Labour are doing their best but need to know they are limited by their bureaucracy and their financiers, and the fickle prejudiced, emotional market pretending to be staunch. School of fish rather. it might be better if thethe Labour Coalition ask the nation to help them carry out the good things for the country. Get the poor people involved on something in every community.

        And it would be good for the public to read the Good Man of NZ’s effort to tell it like it is so they understand the huge reality of all those men with power and money who look through people like an X-ray. They are like a black hole in space, sucking everything into their giant schemes. It is too hard to comprehend for most people and if we can be kept busy enough always short of money, and have enough tragedies one after the other, and television to take our mind off the tragedies, then we may never have time to think.

        • Ad

          People need to do exactly the opposite of what you suggest.

          I think it was Stendahl that said
          “Where the danger lies, there the saving power also grows.”

          We are going through a liberative moment, led by charismatic, principled leadership.

          Always obstacles. Always.
          But each win catalyses another.
          Each grows in speed.

          The only question is how she deploys this political capital.

          Always a fun question.

          • greywarshark

            Just thinking. Everyone has different ideas. Good if everyone thinks. My thinking – We are all on a hunt for the idea/s that are best for a near-future NZ.

            It could be interesting and a ‘fun question’ to have a game of Where’s NZ. A sort of improv session for weekend participants who would put up scenarios, and then have an economist like Rosenberg or someone from BERL, Brian Easton, Max Rashbrooke etc give us scenarios using computer graphs of how they would work under different variables. (Something different and independent like this budget from 2018 –

            Say, what would happen if f the inflation level was eased and the base level came up from 2-4%?
            (The fundamentalist economist – Inflation — a thief in your wallet 3m:43s
            Head of Economics, John McDermott, explains how inflation is measured and how it manifests itself in everyday life. He also explains the importance of maintaining price stability.)
   (think this is 2019)
            Since 2000, New Zealand CPI (Consumers Price Index) inflation has averaged around 2.7 percent. This compares with averages of 2.4 percent in the 1990s, and averages of over 11 percent for the previous two decades. Since September 2002, the inflation target has been to keep inflation within a range of 1–3 percent on average over the medium term.

            Discussions would take place with ideas coming from the floor .
            – on monetary policy for the average person, why some have worked at different times.
            – on how the import-export balance of trade works on employment levels and job stability.
            – on how low wages and rising house rates keep the domestic flow of money from the average person low, and insufficient to power retail businesses and pay for the mostly imported goods they bring in, so that tourists are propping up the economy and exports have to be kept high just to keep us in business etc. –

            With lots of questions and groups putting forward scenarios to see what could be done, how it would be regarded internationally, how self-sufficient we can be, how much we make that stays in NZ from large overseas businesses coming here, how they undercut and swamp our own initiatives, how the country is being stolen from us brick by brick and we don’t notice it till it doesn’t pass an earthquake inspection.

            We need to understand what our dark matter is, find it, feed it, get cohesive, with our feet firmly on the ground.

            Try not to pooh pooh this, I can’t bear too much cynicism.

      • OnceWasTim 13.1.3

        I like that!: “Left Melancholy”. I hope you don’t mind if I use it from time to time @Ad. It could catch on, but we’d better be careful the Soimon or the shock jocks don’t get hold of it.

  13. mosa 14

    Will we ever be mature enough to act on our horrendous road toll ?
    People will continue to die on the roads as they always have because

    Excessive speed
    No respect for the law
    No respect for other road users
    No police enforcement
    Weak driver education and licence rules.
    No serious punishment for driver misdemeanors.
    Poor roads including the condition of most of them.
    The mentality that before action is taken to make a road safer there has to be multiple deaths before anything is done.

    Total failure right across the board from government to local authorities and the public who behave like they own the road and can speed doing 80MPH down a residential rd which has a limit of 50 ! despite the possibility that they could kill a child at the speed they choose to drive at.
    And the attitude that it is the kids fault for being there not their speed that is the problem.

    • cleangreen 14.1

      Yesterday I sent a letter to ‘Minister of Transport Phil Twyford, to get passenger and freight rail going in all provinces again, – as used to be using some of the taxes.

      That should lower the road deaths if these folks all had a good rail system to carry them along the tracks avoiding the roads entirely.

      • mosa 14.1.1

        Great work CG

      • OnceWasTim 14.1.2

        Indeed, and that’s probably if they stick to the speed limit, which they don’t – because they’re trying to earn a living under arduous and impossible circumstances.
        (And all that’s allowing for the margin of speedometer over-read, and all that shit about “this vehicle is governed…….etc.”)

        And how about this:

        Given that complete fuckup of a 4 lane tolled road that ends in Paengaroa (they call it an Expressway I think, but in reality, the ‘truckies rest break’ where they can travel while having a snooze because there’s fuck all else going in the same direction, and it doesn’t matter if they cross the centre line from time-to-time). Imagine if the money spent on that white elephant had been spent on something useful. (Like maybe double tracking where necessary in that “Golden Triangle”).
        Thank Christ Joyce never got near the place – he’d have been trying to sell off as much of the existing rail corridors as possible in the area.

  14. Dennis Frank 15

    Jeremy Corbyn on the latest shambles: “On a point of order, it is disappointing that no solution has won a majority this evening but I remind the House that the prime minister’s unacceptable deal has been overwhelmingly rejected three times.”

    Three strikes and you’re out!!! “The margin of defeat for one of the options tonight was very narrow indeed and the prime minister’s deal has been rejected by very large majorities on three occasions.”–brexiters-dismiss-customs-union-plan-as-unacceptable-as-mps-prepare-for-more-indicative-votes-live-new

    “If it is good enough for the prime minister to have three chances at her deal, then I suggest that possibly the House should have a chance to consider again the options that we had before us today, in a debate on Wednesday, so that the House can succeed where the prime minister has failed; in presenting a credible economic relationship with Europe for the future that prevents us crashing out with no deal.”

    Diffident as he is, he seems to be giving a vote of confidence to their parliament. If he’s right to assume that the narrow defeat of a non-May motion is the basis upon which to proceed, then I endorse his political judgment in suggesting they take that opportunity.

    • Dennis Frank 15.1

      “The option that came closest to being passed, which was defeated by just three votes, was remaining in a customs union with the EU – a key plank of the so-called “soft Brexit” option, under which the UK would leave the EU but retain very close trading links with the bloc.”

      “Its supporters say it would mitigate the damage caused to the British economy by Brexit, particularly if combined with staying in the EU’s single market. Detractors say such an option in effect means not really leaving at all, as the UK would be subject to EU rules and regulations it had no say over – and would have no right to strike its own trade deals with non-EU countries.”

      “Nick Boles, the Conservative MP who proposed the EFTA/EEA motion – the so-called “Common Market 2.0″ option – resigned from the party immediately after the vote results were announced.”

      • Dennis Frank 15.1.1

        The naked truth, rarely seen in politics, was almost evident: “Protesters stood in a line with their backsides pressed against the security glass of the public gallery. Most were only wearing knickers or underpants, while two were dressed in elephant masks.”

        “The Metropolitan Police said it had arrested 12 people on suspicion of outraging public decency, while officers had “negotiated” with one naked protester who had successfully glued themselves to a window.”

        You may be wondering at the political relevance of elephant masks. Google provides some insight into this: “In West and Central Africa, the elephant is a potent image of political force and the accumulation of wealth by those in power. This is true for the art of the Cameroon Grasslands… The Kuosi, members of a society that served as the king’s representatives, and at times the king, wore this mask and headdress as they performed the prestigious elephant dance during rituals, festivals, and funerals.”

        The Brooklyn Museum features this example: but it remains to be seen whether the protestors were making a deep philosophical point about political hierarchies…

      • greywarshark 15.1.2

        Have you put up a comment with link to the Norway deal with the EU? I don’t know anything about it. I heard something on the radio this morning and it sounded a possibility. I may have missed it here.

        • Dennis Frank

          No, didn’t hear that. Just looked online & found a Politico report from last year with this interesting bit from their PM: “Solberg said there is a “problem with referendums” for solving the EU membership question because voters engage with the question on an emotional level rather than making an assessment based on economic pros and cons. Norway has had two votes on EU membership, opting both times to stay outside.”

          “We have lost twice. We accept that,” said Solberg, whose Conservative Party is in favor of being inside the bloc. Solberg has been Norway’s prime minister since 2013.”

  15. Dennis Frank 16

    Also the guy who resigned was the Tory whip. He was pushing the Norway model:

  16. marty mars 17

    Dismiss these turkeys they are worthless

    “The Thames-Coromandel District Council has outraged local environmental advocates by voting against signing the Local Government Leader’s Climate Change Declaration.

    The move at a packed council meeting in Thames saw the councillors rejected impassioned pleas from school children and locals to show environmental leadership by voting six to three against signing the document.

    The vote led to loud booing and cries of “shame on you” from about 30 protesters in the public seating area, who had earlier gathered outside the building in the hope that councillors would support the declaration.”

  17. Dennis Frank 19

    Re crossing the line on hate speech, Pablo gets it right: “When it comes to free versus hate speech the issue is simple: any speech that incites, encourages, supports, applauds or otherwise instigates or excuses violence against individuals or collectivities because of who (as opposed to anything they have done, although even there the call to violence is debatable), has crossed the line from protected speech into hate speech. Offensive speech remains protected, but the urging of violence is not. The issue is not about causing offence; it is about causing harm.”

    Then he ventures into this interesting social context: “I have been told by informed community members that Islamophobia is very much a staple part of sermons in some Pacifika Christian churches.”

    “Assorted talkback hosts and politicians are now in full “whataboutism?” mode, trying to equate the evils of Muslim extremists with those of other fanatics. Sensing an opportunity, people with agendas are in full throat, be it as purported experts on gangs and terrorism or pushing lines such as that the 1881 assault on Parihaka is a comparable atrocity (in which no one died).”

  18. piper 20

    minimum wage risen,as also the living,wage,these wage rises,i as a imigrant in new zealand,1972,where wages paid minimum wage rate for Trademen,at that now proper progress Trades Person,that took how long,only to be capital bastered to traddies,Trades extent to skill level five years training,Trade Person,you going to let your in most exploiter call you one of my his top dollar wage was paid back in 1972.

  19. McFlock 21

    And in other news baseline level for child poverty reduction has been released.

    23% of our kids in poverty after housing costs are paid.

    That’s where we start. This government will be judged on where we are about now (June 2019 data will be reported in 2020).

    And in 2020 we will see whether honest attempts to reach clear goals actually get support from the electorate.

  20. piper 22

    1972,THESE WAGE RATES AROUND,WHATS THE BIG DEAL OR LIE.bringing back who how old these new bread property ivested politicians who understand capitals exploit of their how control profit max your investment.Shame,yous labour carers,unemployed on the state support,single care one ninty,how much your rent cost 260 a week,ok landlord get your exploited profit exploit for and most are slums,how much left for you the unemployed state cared for,well my rent is 260,the state gives me 290,power food and trouble looks ahead.

  21. Jenny - How to get there? 23

    Government forced to buy KiwiBuild houses that weren’t selling

    Anna Bracewell-Worrall

    For the first time, the Government has been forced to purchase KiwiBuild homes off a developer because the houses weren’t selling.

    The Housing Minister insists the homes will still be snapped up by KiwiBuild buyers….

    ….For the first time in KiwiBuild’s short history, the Government had to purchase homes off the developer. Four of the homes are still unsold nearly six months after being balloted to first home buyers.

    But Twyford says this is not a problem.

    “We are not struggling to sell them. Those houses have only been completed for a few weeks so they are on the market.”

    Give it up Phil. Keep them as State Housing, (which they should have been in the first place).

    Here’s an idea; Stop trying to bail out the failed private housing market, rent them to needy families instead.

    John A. Lee, John A. Lee, John A. Lee

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