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Open mike 02/07/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 2nd, 2020 - 149 comments
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Step up to the mike …

149 comments on “Open mike 02/07/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Using his `agent of chaos' theory combined with a reality check, Danyl Mclauchlan shreds the NZF myth. https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/02-07-2020/the-winston-peters-paradox/

    First he illuminates the political psychology that drives Winston:

    I’m writing about the long list of this government’s initiatives which New Zealand First has vetoed or stymied over the past three years, many of which were campaign promises made by Labour or the Greens, some of which were in the coalition agreement signed by New Zealand First.

    But here’s the thing. I think Winston Peters wants people like me to write that piece. Not only that: I suspect the only reason Peters keeps scuttling policies of a government that he is Deputy! Prime! Minister! of! is to generate media about it. And this is because Peters knows the voters most available to him are the most socially conservative people in the country.

    He knows his competitor for those votes is the National Party. So he’s attempting to demonstrate his value to those voters by showing them that he can, if he wishes, prevent Labour and the Greens from doing anything meaningful in government. Which, full credit to him, he can. He’s the most powerful deputy prime minister we’ve ever seen.

    Then he lists 9 election promises from 2017 that Winston hasn't delivered on – then he lists 8 things he stopped Labour & the Greens doing. Then the tactical analysis:

    say nothing throughout the policy development process, not even indicating he’ll vote for something right up until the last minute, just before the public announcement, and then gleefully letting it be known that he’s withdrawn his support. It is a chaotic, anarchic way to conduct coalition politics and it wastes a huge amount of money and time that could be spent governing the country. But it wins him the most media attention.

    It's a persuasive critique. Winston seemed to be operating in the right spirit the first couple of years, but his credibility has become increasingly nebulous.

    • Chris T 1.1

      "but his credibility has become increasingly nebulous."

      His credibility was shot to shit a lot long ago than the current govt tbf.

      • Paddington 1.1.1

        "NO"

        /sarc

      • greywarshark 1.1.2

        the most socially conservative people in the country.

        ie the most backward, unthoughtful, cosseted people in the country, apart from well-off farmers who always have the edge of weather events and changing commodity prices to prick at them. They tend to vote for National.

        Winston has become a male version of Paula Bennett, having gone through rigorous self-awareness and makeover programs for body and clothing, to catch the eye of the various groups they pander to.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Chris Trotter waxes lyrical this morn, seeing a Nat defeat in the electoral pipeline: https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/07/02/why-todd-muller-and-national-are-toast/

    One of O’Rourke’s most memorable lines was: “First we got all the money. Then we got all the votes. Now we’ve got all the power!” Bennett’s celebration boogie, in anticipation of Muller’s failure to win O’Rourke’s electoral trifecta, has about it the same bracing honesty. Speaking of her hardcore National colleagues, she once told a startled journalist: “We didn’t come to Wellington to fuck spiders!” And wasn’t that the truth?

    Um, dunno. Could be. Ask Gosman. And the Nat leader apparently can't think or write for himself, nor do pr without help.

    National’s new boss has Janet Wilson handling his media and Matthew Hooton writing his speeches. Both are highly professional political and public relations specialists, and Muller is lucky to have them.

    when a traditional Catholic talks about “applied Christianity” – what, exactly, does he mean?

    Re-launching the Inquisition, obviously. He's a traditionalist. But best not to actually announce any such trad catholic methodology. Wokeists would get even more shrill.

    Then there's the spectre of radical conservatism. Looming? Lamely, limply.

    With some justification, they see identity politics as intrinsically hostile to the unequal distribution of power and wealth under patriarchal capitalism. Take patriarchy out of the capitalist equation and, in the view of the radical conservatives, it will fall.

    No worries. The residual patriarchy is well-entrenched. Not a cloud on their horizon. Doesn't really matter how many hallucinations the rabble gets off on.

    Indeed, it was to forestall such a radical-conservative deviation into Trumpland that the coup against Simon Bridges was mounted. That it succeeded only because the erratic Judith Collins anticipated taking more satisfaction from shafting Bridges and Bennett than from saving them, merely reinforces the scale of the dysfunction currently besetting the National Party.

    JC mastermind, not a new thesis. JC superstar? Never. Not even close.

    • greywarshark 2.1

      Oh lively summary DF. Interesting POV.

    • RedBaronCV 2.2

      I'd be really interested in seeing the group of hard line christian conservatives that he mentions being given a lot more publicity for their views with names mentioned. Much like I'd like to know what church our police commissioner is apparently so fond of – the christian bit much mentioned but source not named.

      Look what this small group has managed in the USA

    • Incognito 2.3

      The atheist’s favourite blood sport: demonising Christians or any religion for that matter. You can you recognise them miles away by the strong smell of garlic on their breath and their ‘arguments’ that are ironically outlandish.

      • Dennis Frank 2.3.1

        Hey, if you meant me I've never been an atheist. I did acknowledge my lifelong belief in a universal spirit in response to something Adam posted a couple of months back.

        I don't call it god because that might create the impression that I believe in the genocidal schizoprenic one encounters in the bible.

        And christians spent most of the past two millennia acting like demons in a concerted attempt to persuade everyone else that they actually were, so no really need for anyone to demonise them. They already did it to themselves!

        • Incognito 2.3.1.1

          People who project much tend to take things (too) personal, in my experience. If you feel ‘harassed’ by my comment then I’ll apologise; you seem very defensive.

          You appear to have a habit of broad generalisations and stereotypes. Just saying.

          • Dennis Frank 2.3.1.1.1

            No need to apologise as I was merely seeking clarification. And yes, there do tend to be exceptions to generalisations. 🙄

            If you feel you are one such, and were aggrieved at being filed into an historical category by means of conventional labels, welcome to human society…

            • Incognito 2.3.1.1.1.1

              Has it occurred to you that I might be in the same ‘category’ as you are?

              Here is a generalisation for you: all individuals are unique and (yet) they have a lot in common with one another.

              • Dennis Frank

                No, it hadn't. Are you? And that generalisation of yours does double duty (also being a truism).

                • Incognito

                  I detected a potential lack of imagination but didn’t want to assume anything let alone jump to conclusions.

                  That generalisation is also a paradox.

      • SPC 2.3.2

        I'll out myself, I think theism (Jewish, Christian or Moslem) sucks.

        While I am no atheist, it's just so obvious that those who stole the authority to declare God are just outright frauds and their followers really believe in them and the cult others then organised around their fraud.

      • RedBaronCV 2.3.3

        Er Incog. The very conservative christians in the USA have been very active (supreme court appointments) in trying to skew institutions so that their views of what is socially correct are inflicted upon other's choices. Its not the religion as such but the lengths that are gone to by some of the cohort. Unfortunately these groups are usually called fundamental or conservative with the religion name (not necessarily christian) as the second part. Perhaps we need to habitually rename them. Bigot springs to mind. And where these very strong views are held they can influence the secular choices if they hold power in a secular organisation.

  3. Foreign waka 3

    2 issues stick out today:

    Fisheries, still no cameras on boats – well no surprise there really. Why would anyone want to be watched trawling and trenching the seabed right to its last dying breath. And shall we call out the perpetrators refusing cameras?

    NZ Super entitlement for Residence holders gone through the first reading of changing to 20 years. Absolutely right on the money – pun intended.

    • Herodotus 3.1

      Perhaps we have been framing the cameras in boats the wrong way

      in Alaska it is framed as a tv show Deadliest Catch – perhaps we tell the fishing companies that these are for NZ version of this 🤔

      [Fixed typo in user name]

      • Foreign waka 3.1.1

        Missing the point are we?

      • greywarshark 3.1.2

        That's a good idea – tv show. like the cop shows that are invasive of the desired privacy of land crims.

        Horrodutus – sorry about typo – what's wrong with yours?

    • RedBaronCV 3.2

      I wondered if the super entitlement should be more nuanced. Is it 20 years before 65 or just 20 years which for some could mean 5 years of work, 10 years of self support then bingo? Also perhaps more of a sliding scale, the 20 year block then pro rata entitlement for the next 20 years?

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      NZ Super entitlement for Residence holders gone through the first reading of changing to 20 years.

      Permanent residence holders should not have the right to vote nor be entitled to Super Annuation.

      In fact, we should do away with permanent residence. If they want all the benefits of being a citizen then they should become a citizen.

      • Incognito 3.3.1

        A special tax rate for foreigners living and working here?

        • The Al1en 3.3.1.1

          It would have to be lower than for citizens if they're going to be denied representation and a state pension.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.2

          I was thinking of no income tax for them but they still have to pay GST. It would also be a maximum five year visa though and none of this permanence. At the end of the 5 years they'd have the option to become a citizen (if they met all criteria).

      • The Al1en 3.3.2

        I paid $500 to become a resident back in '99, so lived here for more than 20 years. Worked, paid taxes, never had any trouble with the law apart from being pinged going 65 in a 60 zone, had a citizen child, bought a house out of earned wages and not imported foreign cash the same as every other kiwi usually does. You can fuck off telling me I can’t vote or take a pension.

        I should be granted citizenship, without paying for it now after all this time. What they gonna do? Use the fee to test for good character?

        • Draco T Bastard 3.3.2.1

          The problem with permanent residences is that it allows control of NZ politics by other countries once they've got enough of their agents here – and it really doesn't take a lot to alter an election.

          In other words, allowing permanent residence is an open attack route.

          And, yes, altering it now would mean giving those who meet the criteria their citizenship. Of course, for many that would mean having to drop the citizenship of their home country if they accepted it.

          • Incognito 3.3.2.1.1

            Somebody should study the impact of our immigration policy on the make-up of the populations and voting behaviour of those recent immigrants when they’re NZ citizens. Some countries allow for dual citizenship. I don’t think it is easy to alleviate your concerns about permanent residents.

        • gsays 3.3.2.2

          What has to happen for you to become a citizen?

          • The Al1en 3.3.2.2.1

            For it to be free or a nominal amount for long time permanent residents with good character. I don't have objections to getting it, but then I'm still okay with things as they are, as long as there's no fascist dictate that discriminates against me in the works.

  4. Janice 4

    I'm confused about the Team NZ thing. I would have thought they would be selling TV rights, not paying for them. But then I am just an old lady.

  5. Ad 5

    Great to see the UK government offering citizenship to 3 million people oppressed by the Chinese government within Hong Kong. A total political gift to Boris Johnson.

    https://time.com/5862191/uk-citizenship-hong-kong-china-law

    But one of the last tiny lights of democracy within the Chinese realm just turned a near-invisible shade.

    Taiwan could not have been given a clearer threat of what they will lose – and that we will all lose.

    • The Chairman 5.1

      Interesting conversations taking place in Australia.

    • Muttonbird 5.2

      How is Britain going to house 3 million Hong Kong Chinese when they have just Brexited in order to stop immigration?

      This offer is as meaningless as the one country two systems document they naively signed with China.

      • Dennis Frank 5.2.1

        If that 3 million were to accept the offer, yes the tories would probably encounter some kind of housing challenge. Perhaps it's only that wide open so they can out-flank Labour and become the pro-immigrant party? Pardon my cynicism.

        Likely those who flee HK will be the militants that the commo regime wants to capture. All others in HK will not be intitial targets. In that respect the plan seems clever: it tests the credibility of the pro-regime leader who declared that only the militants will be dealt with via the new law.

        • Muttonbird 5.2.1.1

          Yep, Boris is probably betting no-one wants to come to his shit-hole country.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1

            No, he'll be hoping that all the financial business that flows through HK will gravitate to the UK if all of HK's 'financial geniuses' move there.

      • Ad 5.2.2

        The miracle is that this is exactly counter to the Conservative Party anti-immigration rhetoric that has won them so many elections over two decades.

        And of course I'm not going to presume to write a re-settlement policy, but you can guarantee that it will be done gradually.

        There's about 350,000 UK passport holders in Hong Kong. You would expect a chunk of those will be thinking hard about returning soon.

        There's a further 2.6 million other eligible – and they would need to commit to the UK for six years before they can apply for citizenship. That's a pretty graduated approach.

        British National Overseas Passport holders in Hong Kong were granted special status in the 1980s but currently have restricted rights and are only entitled to visa-free access to the UK for six months.

        We can certainly point to all the other times Britain refused entry to people under massive duress. Granted.

        But this is not one of them.

        • francesca 5.2.2.1

          The oligarchs of Hong Kong should fit in with the ethos of the City of London at least as well as the Russian oligarchs

      • greywarshark 5.2.3

        Nothing naive about the UK Muttonbird. When you look at their history, it seems they are often quantum dealers at the political level, being in two different positions at the same time.

    • RedLogix 5.3

      Wow. A politically astonishing move, and one that complements a number of things that are moving very quickly right now.

      Now link that with the CANZUK proposal I've referenced below @8.0 and you can see how Aus/NZ would fit together with this.

      A Hong Kong daispora of that scale would have fascinating potential. The CCP's oppression of 20% of the human race is not a stable arrangement, I believe it will crumble within a decade; we need to be thinking of what may come after.

      • Ad 5.3.1

        Sadly, instead and standing up as a principled nation with more international political capital to spend than we have had in decades, we get to just talk up a big game.

        Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has expressed the New Zealand Government’s deep disappointment at the passage by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee of a national security law for Hong Kong.
        “New Zealand has consistently emphasised its serious concern about the imposition of this legislation on Hong Kong without inclusive consultation or the proper involvement of all of Hong Kong’s institutions,” said Mr Peters.

        “We share the international community’s stake in preserving the high degree of autonomy and freedom available to Hong Kong and its people under the ‘one country, two systems’ framework.

        "It is this autonomy and freedom, together with open governance, judicial independence, and consensus on the rule of law that has been fundamental to Hong Kong's growth as a global financial and economic hub since 1997.

        “As a strong supporter of the rule of law, we firmly believe that the maintenance of security in Hong Kong must be pursued in accordance with the obligations enshrined in Hong Kong’s Basic Law, the United Nations’ human rights covenants incorporated within it, and the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration.”

        “This is a critical moment for fundamental human rights and freedoms protected in Hong Kong for generations. New Zealand will be studying the legislation carefully, and closely monitoring its implementation and impact on the people of Hong Kong, with whom we share close links,” said Mr Peters.

        I mean, laudable words from the Foreign Minister, but the inability to make so much as a token gesture to practically help these people shows that a lot of Ardern's strong international standing remains due to luck and youth.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 5.3.2

        You believe the CCP's oppression will crumble within a decade? They'd better get in line – political stability is another dwindling resource on finite planet Earth.

        I wonder what else you believe will “crumble” within a decade?

        Human-assisted crumbling of ‘our‘ natural environments is real – no belief required.

        Species are becoming extinct 100 times faster than they would without human impacts.
        https://populationmatters.org/campaigns/anthropocene

      • Peter chch 5.3.3

        China is an empire and one under increasing internal and external pressure.

        Unfortunately, like all dictators Xi will seek war as a means of promoting nationalism.

        We see that on the India China LOAC, the South China Sea, the cyber attack on Australia, the incursion into Taiwan and Japanese airspace with fighters, the sinking of a Vietnamese and a Philipino fishing boat, and so on.

        Make no mistake, there will be a war within the next 10 years (unless Xi is forced out by the Li faction, which is possible as there is a clear split in the politburo) and one that China will lose. Nei Mongolia, Xinjiang, Xizang/Tibet will be nations 20 years from now.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 5.3.3.1

          Channelling Nostradamus?

          "He studied at the University of Avignon, but was forced to leave after just over a year when the university closed due to an outbreak of the plague."
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostradamus

          If only he'd been around to give Australasian Unis advanced warning of Covid-19. Those institutions are really missing their Chinese (and Indian) takeaways right now.

          China dominates Australia’s international student numbers
          https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-01/australia-to-open-borders-for-one-group-international-students

        • RedLogix 5.3.3.2

          Yes. If Xi continues to make mistakes and miscalculations there will be real pressure to oust him from with the party factions. That would certainly remove a lot of immediate pressure for the rest of the world, but would only kick the can down the road on the CCP's many other structural problems.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.3.3.2.1

            If Xi continues to make mistakes and miscalculations there will be real pressure to oust him from with the party factions. That would certainly remove a lot of immediate pressure for the rest of the world

            Or, more likely, it could be the trigger that pushes Xi to actually start a war. Nothing like a war to keep people in line.

      • francesca 5.3.4

        How about the Uighurs Red, wouldn't they be more worthy.?

        They could come straight to us from Idlib,Syria.

        https://cgpolicy.org/articles/uighur-jihadists-in-syria/

        • RedLogix 5.3.4.1

          From a humanitarian perspective that may well be the case francesa. However culturally they are a Turkic people, and perhaps a case could be made for Turkey in particular, or Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan to step up first.

          Then of course there is the question of why they should be forced into becoming refugees in the first place, and the onus for that lies firmly with the CCP.

          • francesca 5.3.4.1.1

            If the Uighurs are culturally a Turkic people, aren't the Hong Konger's a Chinese people which NZers for the most part aren't .

            I'm not sure why you think the wealthy of Hong Kong , one of the most unequal cities in the world are a good fit for the sort of society we would like to see in NZ(hopefully)

            https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-15/how-hong-kong-s-taxes-spawned-billionaires-and-bred-inequality

            I think the wealthy are more interested in protecting their wealth(which they will most definitely lose as Hong Kong becomes more integrated with China) than any notions of democracy you ascribe to them

            • RedLogix 5.3.4.1.1.1

              Hong Konger's a Chinese people which NZers for the most part aren't.

              I think that's the point I made elsewhere, it's a mistake to see the people of China as a single monolithic culture, when on closer examination they really are not. In particular the Hong Kongers have a very long cosmopolitan history of being an outward looking trading people, quite different to the much more insular, nationalistic mainlanders to the north of them.

              South China is a wild mess of hills and mountains extending south from the same ranges that so constrain the Yangtze. Such rugged topography has a similar impact on cultural and political unity— and wealth— as the rough terrain of say Mexico or the Balkans. Very few coherent large powers have ever arisen in the south.

              The climate is far more subtropical than the northern temperate zones of the Yellow and Yangtze rivers, was always physically isolated, and historically the area has always been much easier for maritime outsiders to reach than it was for the northern mainlanders.

              The lack of large river plains to grow food has meant these cities have always imported a large fraction of their food supply, and their large deep water ports made this relatively easy, compared to the northern coast which is flat, choked off by sandbars and offering few decent ports. These people have always traded, just to survive.

              Southern China is also the remaining stronghold of most of the ethnic minorities, further reinforcing their sense of regional uniqueness. Combine all these factors and secessionist impulses have run deep among Hong Kongers much longer than the current crisis. Put them anywhere in the world, and they adapt quickly, it's part of their cultural DNA.

    • Koff 5.4

      I doubt if Boris would win kudos from the millions of Brits who voted for the Tories in the last general election on a platform of reducing immigration. Why on Earth would 3 million Hong Kongers want to flee to blighted Blighty anyway?

      • Peter chch 5.4.1

        Because they value freedom. Because they despise the evil Chinese Empire as much as most of the rest of the world does. And the UK, far from being blighted, is still a much sought after residency.

        And Brexit was not so much about anti immigration, but rather the mass undermining of western society by Merkels ludicrous no borders stance.

        • RedLogix 5.4.1.1

          Because they despise the evil Chinese Empire as much as most of the rest of the world does.

          I draw a clear line between the vast mass of the Chinese people and the CCP. It's the regime I find objectionable, not the people.

          You only have to look at Hong Kong and Taiwan to see what the mainland could and should have looked like if it hadn't been run by a pack of power mad thugs for 50 years.

          • Peter chch 5.4.1.1.1

            Agree Red, but 70 years of a mix of an almost totally closed state and, from the early 90s, semi closed, have created a mindset that leaves many in mainland China effectively brainwashed.

            The older generations of mainland Chinese are just plain racist, which is not surprising. Even the younger Chinese, many of whom travel and study overseas are still seriously blinkered about just how superior their country is.

            Remember, even in China today, the Chinese are still taught that they are the only pure race on earth (Han Tzu), and the oldest continuous civilisation. With indoctrination like that from a young age, reinforced by a state directed and controlled media all their lives, scarce wonder that even the ordinary mainland Chinese still supports their government, no matter what.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.4.1.1.2

            You only have to look at Hong Kong and Taiwan to see what the mainland could and should have looked like if it hadn't been run by a pack of power mad thugs for 50 years.

            Taiwan was run by a bunch of power mad thugs for decades after the previous Chinese dynasty moved themselves there. They did calm down a bit but it must still be remembered that they were, and are, an invasion of Taiwan.

            Lost amid all the military conflicts and great-power tussles of the 20th century, however, is the voice and history of Taiwan’s indigenous people, who today number over 500,000, or 2% of the country’s population. Like indigenous peoples in other countries in the world, they’ve experienced hundreds of years of exploitation and colonization from a series of conquerors. “We… have witnessed the deeds and words of those who came to this island, including the Spanish, the Dutch, the Koxinga Kingdom, the Qing Kingdom, the Japanese, and the Republic of China,” the letter says. Koxinga refers to the Japanese-born Chinese conqueror who fled Ming dynasty China to establish a government in Taiwan in 1661, then under Dutch control. Koxinga himself is claimed as a national hero (paywall) by Japan, Taiwan, and China, underscoring the complex history and notions of identity in that part of the world.

      • The Al1en 5.4.2

        Maybe to avoid the coming persecution at the hands of the ccp. I wonder how many Uighurs would take a blue passport now? Or Tibetans? Or christians?

        And it's quite probable the British would accept any British National Overseas Passport holding Hong Kong immigrants with much open arms than they ever did the Poles and other east Europeans who would work under the table for less than minimum wage, and those who would immediately sign on for benefits paid for by UK tax payers, and send child support payments back 'home'.

      • RedLogix 5.4.3

        Certainly not all 3m would likely leave for the UK, but it would give a fair fraction of them an option they do not have right now.

        And if as I suggested above that the UK became part of a CANZUK agreement that included freedom of travel to Canada, Australian and NZ, well such an offer would immediately become a lot more valuable.

  6. Andre 6

    laugh

    I really shouldn't troll our local Pavlov's dogs by posting this – but hey, cheap laughs.

  7. Thanks for that endorsement of Russia's soft power Andre .They can swing things to their favour on the smell of an oily rag! Kudos!

    Roll over Crosby /Textor you has beens.Roll over Cambridge Analytica you expensive failures with the Toff backers

    Pootee can do it for a fraction of the outlay

    Guess he just must be smarter.

    Us Rooskie trollers got to troll

  8. RedLogix 8

    While I still maintain a strong SE Asia alliance is the natural geographic configuration NZ should be looking to, there is a Plan B that works to our cultural strengths … CANZUK.

    Right now it looks like the four governments are on board with this and are quietly working towards a free trade agreement. Already Morrison, Ardern and Peters have initiated talks.

    A freedom of travel agreement would be the next major step if and when COVID is brought under control.

    Personally I can see it working, but the major assumption it is based on is freedom of navigation, the ability to safely ship goods around the planet, without risk of interference. We've more or less taken this as a given since the end of WW2, thanks to the default security put in place by the US Navy, but that is going away very soon. The US will continue to control the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic. If Aus/NZ/France can provide cover to the mid Pacific, then getting goods to Canada, transhipping by rail, then across the Atlantic to the UK would in principle provide a reasonable conduit for the CANZUK deal to work.

    I still prefer a SE Asian alliance as the geography favours it. Plus you have to say that after watching the Brexit debacle, no-one wants to let the Brits be in charge of anything ever again. But there is no special reason why we have to pick one lane or the other, and a post-COVID, post-BREXIT CANZUK configuration looks to be a thing.

    • Dennis Frank 8.1

      Seems a nicely imaginative scheme on first impression. "CANZUK International is a non-profit advocacy organization headquartered in Toronto, Canada." Unless someone is quick to spot a downside, I reckon it would operate as a helpful complement to any regional alliance, as you suggest.

      • greywarshark 8.1.1

        I note the sort of people that manage to claw (these days, bluff and jibe) their way to the top positions in a trading partner as giving some ideas of what can be expected from that place/country.

        Toronto Canada is where they elected as Mayor someone with the same proclivities as Trump, and when he died they elected – his brother, I think.

        Here is something about the deceased Mayor: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Rob_Ford_video_scandal

        However it may be a case of choosing the best offering from a lot that is a bad job. If that's what's offering at the auction house at this time, maybe we should consider it on the basis that something is better than nothing, and it's unlikely there are going to be better paths towards something more like our ideal. Are there any better choices? Perhaps have to settle for pragmatism?

    • Ad 8.2

      Australia and Indonesia need to form a real defence alliance treaty.

      It would not be hard to expand ANZUS to include Indonesia and Singapore.

      Everyone can figure out what that nine-dashed line is doing.

      • Just Is 8.2.1

        I think you'll find Indonesia and Australia only tolerate one another, the "Boat People" illegal migrants leaving Indonesian shores for Aus created an issue for Indonesia as the Australian Navy was turning boats around and returning them to Indonesia, the Navy bought old life boats and loaded the boat people into them, scuttling the vessel at sea, the life boats were GPS controlled with the engine area locked, the life boat would just land at one of the beaches in Indonesia.

        • Ad 8.2.1.1

          Agree with the history.

          The larger common threat must unify them.

        • RedBaronCV 8.2.1.2

          Indonesia's blind eye being turned to people smugglers and trafficking (and the money and crime involved) also caused a problem for Australia.

          • Just Is 8.2.1.2.1

            A percieved problem that the Australian Govt used it as a political foot ball to denegrade asylum seekers, more than 85% were found to be legitimate refugees, but that didn't stop them from locking them up for 6 yrs on a remote island in the middle of nowhere at a cost of $2.5B a year

      • RedLogix 8.2.2

        On paper that's a good idea Ad, but as others have said there is a fair legacy of distrust that would make it a tough ask to achieve.

        But with the right leaders in place I could see it happening if the CCP's expansionary rhetoric and punking turns into something serious.

  9. newsense 9

    So as well as Bennett and Collins switcheroo, why was Amy Adams so out and then so in? She certainly had little sympathy for Teina Pora.

    • Peter 9.1

      Adam Adams. She like Simon Bridges and Judith Collins trained as a lawyer. She like those others has demonstrated that the concept of 'justice' is beyond her.

      She demonstrated that with the Pora case. She had a title at the time – the Minister of 'Justice.'

      Why was Adams so out and then so in? She wasn't getting her own way with the Bridges regime. She was just like another 8 or 9 year old girl playing 'clubs' and making up huts. She wasn't Queen Bee so decided to take her dolls home. She could see the writing on the electoral wall and didn't want to be a loser and not be in Government.

      The environment changed and the new 'in crowd' was where she could be 'in' and the breath of fresh air with the changes would see them governing.

      One of the being pleasures about National losing the election would be seeing Adams po faced after September 19.

  10. observer 10

    Todd Muller has just been asked (at press conference) about National's attack ads.

    He said he hasn't seen them. He is the leader.

    A Prime Minister has vastly more work to do and issues to address than any leader of the opposition. But Todd can't even spare the time to see the ads put out by his party, under his name.

    (obviously he's lying, but if we pretend he isn't – it's worse!).

    • Just Is 10.1

      Pleading ignorance is NOT an acceptable excuse, it shows up the lack of Leadership that he continually displays, one of the biggest issues for me is that belief of self entitlement, you know, we don't have to justify our actions, we should be running the country not the group that was democratically elected.

      Muller reminds of Bolger, less aggressive than most Nat MPs, but he didn't last long and then we entered the Ruthinasia era, which took the country backwards, fast.

      Muller is a temporary leader, the one to take the fall at the election and then be replaced with the next John Key choice, Luxon

      • In Vino 10.1.1

        No, I think he is trying to ape John Key, who told obvious fibs, but got admiration for it from his fans. But no admiration coming this time.

  11. Ad 11

    Minister Clark has resigned.

    Whew!

    • Peter chch 12.1

      Totally agree. Clark was a cowardly incompetent weasel with a history of avoiding responsibility.

      Now we just need to get rid of that other embarrassment, Twyford, and maybe Labour will sail into a second term.

      • greywarshark 12.1.1

        'Unhelpful distraction': Health Minister David Clark resigns'

        It would be helpful to put heading of any Herald articles as they don't give anything away in their link.

      • Ffloyd 12.1.2

        Oh to be you. Righteous pillock. To Peter ch h.

    • observer 12.2

      "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one" – Mr Spock.

      Total contrast between Labour (take one for the team) and National (team? what team?).

      Ardern can be ruthless. Muller is toothless.

      • Paddington 12.2.1

        Ardern ruthless? I could give her many compliments, but that isn't one of them. In the end, this incompetent idiot had to sack himself.

    • RedBaronCV 12.3

      Gone because of substantive actions (and remember he was penalised for the quarantine travel) or because of media harassment and beat ups over fixable issues?

      I think the media need to be very careful about overstating any "crime" and blowing it out of proportion because when there is a actually a serious issue it gets tossed into the same basket and the perpetrator can feel free to ignore the backlash and stay in the job.

      This helps contribute to political instability but no doubt the media are enjoying the results of their tantrums. Shows who’s really in control after being shown as lightweight.

      • Paddington 12.3.1

        Gone because of prolonged incompetence. This is a Health Minister who went for a 20km drive to the beach, took a bike ride, then moved house, all during the lockdown. Who went MIA during a global pandemic. Who pubicly threw the DG of Health under the bus. This is the same MoH who the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists ED decribed as having “rambling, confused or nonsensical” leadership, and who called his political leadership "fiscally irresponsible" and without vision (https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12253092).

        So blame the media all you like, but this guy gave them ammunition in spades.

        • Just Is 12.3.1.1

          But you don't care that Bridges drove weekly more than 900k weekly each way for a committee that was specifically set up to be run ONLINE, he didn't resign, no, he was overthrown by his mates, replaced with a human being.

          Clark achieved more for the Health system in the time he was there than the previous Govt did in a decade.

          • Paddington 12.3.1.1.1

            Clark achieved very little as it happens. Labour was always going to put more money into Health, even if Donald Trump had been the Minister.

            • Just Is 12.3.1.1.1.1

              I'd say you need to look at some facts, Clark did far more in Health in 2.5 years than the previous Govt did in 9.

              There's a good post in the David Clark resigns Topic outlining the achievments he was responsible for, it's actually quite an impressive list.

              • Paddington

                I've seen it. Most, if not all, are government initiatives. Any minister of health could have 'achieved' those. But only David Clark could have driven to a beach, moved house and gone moungtain biking during a health crisis lock down. Or mismanaged opening the borders so badly. Gone MIA during the lockdown. I could go on, but I'm almost feeling sorry for the guy.

  12. ianmac 13

    Maybe David Clark resigning is to remove a distraction and National will claim it as their work ably helped by media. Good on him for stepping down but the denigration was not justified in my opinion.

    • observer 13.1

      They can claim it, but a resignation always kills a story. They wanted to shout "Resign" for weeks more.

      Public opinion has been clear (it may not be fair, but politics rarely is). The only major obstacle to Ardern's re-election has removed himself.

      • Peter 13.1.1

        Now only Twyford and Lees-Galloway to go?

        Clark's domain was health. For that in 2020 read Covid-19. How'd that go?

        What are (were) Twyford and Lees-Galloway's areas? How are they going?

        • observer 13.1.1.1

          There is no evidence at all that they are obstacles to Labour's vote (as in polling of the wider public, not reckons on political blogs).

          Clark was – in effect – up against Ashley Bloomfield. There is no comparison in other portfolios.

          • Incognito 13.1.1.1.1

            There is no evidence at all that they are obstacles to Labour’s vote (as in polling of the wider public, not reckons on political blogs).

            QFT

        • RedBaronCV 13.1.1.2

          Nah – labour should go for a civil service restructure to get some better performance out of some entrenched nests.

      • Peter chch 13.1.2

        Not the 'only major obstacle'. Twyford is still there, despite the fiasco of Auckland Light Rail and Kiwi Build. This will come back to haunt Labour during the election campaign.

        Only difference between Clark and Twyford is that Twyford knows no shame. Ardern is weak (in this area) and should have had him quietly put to sleep for the good of the party, and of NZ.

      • Paddington 13.1.3

        Ardern will get Labour re-elected in spite of itself. She has a team with such a shallow talent pool she has had to hand the Health portfolio (albeit temporarily) to the Minster of Education. And that's just a week or so after calling in Megan Woods to sort out Twyfords balls ups in housing and Clark's screwing up the quarantine. Thank goodness for the handful of highly competent people around the PM. The rest are f'wits.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 13.1.3.1

          Agreed, our internationally respected PM does have some highly competent people around her. IMHO Judith Collins is currently the greatest political 'talent' the Nats have, with the possible exceptions of Drs Smith and Yang.

      • SPC 13.1.4

        Not my opine, they've given National and the media a scalp. They will now both

        1. target other ministers instead.

        2. pose the lack of a permanent replacement as indicative of a lack of depth and use it for campaign advantage.

        Because it's all they have apart from their common gated community upper 50% middle class interest.

  13. ianmac 14

    Technology + sewer. Just watched pipe experts unroll a plastic pipe which looked like a limp silver snakeskin, and insert it into a dodgy sewer pipe. Heat is pumped into the pipe to inflate it and then it sets hard. A new sewer pipe. Minimal digging up of road.

    The sewers in most towns have limited life but whoever invented this dramatic cost effective solution deserves recognition.

    Did anyone else know about this?

    • Matiri 14.1

      I think some engineers were flown in from Germany to do just this in Wellington in April/May – special exemption but had to quarantine.

      • greywarshark 14.1.1

        It has been said for years in the USA that Brooklyn Bridge is falling down. Perhaps they pioneered the repair system over there; and then moved to sewers.

        The sewers in all big cities are needing cleaning out – 'fat bergs' etc. They are a solid reflection of what goes along them below ground, and an analogy? for above-ground communication and actions. It illustrates civilisation stuck in its own excrement, literally and physically. But maybe we can shine our little candle in the world, after cleaning up a bit using this technology

    • Andre 14.2

      It's a technology that's been getting press in the composites industry for decades. Pretty sure I was reading about it as far back as the 90s. So it seems fairly well proven by now.

      UV curing seems preferable to heat curing – if the liner is inflated hard against the old pipe walls heat is conducted away quick enough that it takes an awful lot to get it up to high enough temp for long enough to get a good cure. Whereas to UV cure it you only need to send the robot with the UV light down it at a specific speed and you can be very confident of the quality and uniformity of cure.

      • ianmac 14.2.1

        Thanks Andre and others. Glad there might be a way to fix the thousands of Km of ageing sewers. The people up the road had clouds of steam issuing into a frosty morning so must have been using heat rather than UV light.

    • RedBaronCV 14.3

      There has been relining of other sorts of pipes for a while. The gas companies used the existing pipes and threaded a new one through them. That resulted in a stoush with the IRD . Was it deductible repairs and maintenance or a depreciable capital asset

    • RedBaronCV 14.4

      Yes and yes to 14. maybe we could get a couple of them back to do a lot of training in this area because there are a lot of pipes that need it . Happy to volunteer my sewer laterals for training purposes!

      [Fixed error in e-mail address]

    • mac1 14.5

      Could this be sent to the National caucus so they could seal their leaks? I'm sure they'd like the silver bit and then it's a matter of science, really.

  14. Just Is 15

    I see Muller has just reinstated Bridges back into the "Team", he will take over the foreign affairs portfolio from Brownlee, that'll be handy for him, he'll be able to visit China for some financial support prior to the election, no doubt

  15. RedBaronCV 16

    And our latest group of "leaders" with zero flexibility and unable to create a new path. I'd have been so much more impressed if they had asked for a package to reskill teachers who had left the profession but wanted a short paid updating course to return, And another package to enable graduates to do some limited teaching while being supported to finish qualifications again with a suitable maybe part time wage. And more part time positions to keep some of the older teachers for a little longer?

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/300047135/principals-want-foreign-teachers-exempted-from-border-restrictions

    • greywarshark 16.1

      RBCV +100

    • RedBaronCV 16.2

      Further thought – schools could even interview returnees first and offer the job subject to successful completion of the refresher course

    • Just Is 16.3

      Interesting, seems it was only a year ago that principles were saying they didn't want teachers from overseas as they didn't meet the NZ standards, most rejected for an accent.

      I know of two currently active teachers who are in their 70s and loving teaching, even more so than 5 yrs ago

  16. Hooch 17

    People thought NZ quarantine was a shambles but we ain’t got nothing on Victoria

    A report in the Herald Sun claims that guards also had sex with quarantine guests who may have been infected with COVID-19.

    surprise

    • RedBaronCV 17.1

      I had wondered if that might be the source. I saw a small mention here from the cops that they had been called to some of our facilities for parties and other guest to guest interactions. I'd be very surprised if there wasn't some FWB going on but apparently they review the security tapes too. Hopefully offsite so staff can't conceal their own misdemeanours.

    • observer 17.2

      People are having sex?

      Thank goodness that won't happen when thousands of students arrive in NZ, away from home for the first time in their lives, all in university accommodation together.

      (actual National party policy …)

      • Incognito 17.2.1

        It is called socialising nowadays and Tinder is Social Media. People shouldn’t be so judgemental about what other people do in their own time. However, when guards are meant to be working, it is in the boss’ time, obviously. In which case they should be sacked for getting in the sack. The Taxpayer shouldn’t have to pay for free sex!

        • Peter chch 17.2.1.1

          Umm, I think Observer was being tongue in cheek, not judgemental.

          And yeah, Muller is big on the idea but leaves out the detail of actually how we would apply quarantine to all these new visitors, particularly as the numbers would be overwhelming.

          Best we take things slowly, as this government is doing. Inevitably better ways of managing c19, whether by vaccine or antibody stimulation and supplementation is on the horizon.

          • Incognito 17.2.1.1.1

            Umm, I think Observer was being tongue in cheek, not judgemental.

            Yes, I got that and so was I (i.e. thong in cheek); I thought that was obvious but maybe not.

  17. indiana 18

    Can't say I agree that Nash should have apologised…he's only made NZF look stronger.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300046795/stuart-nash-apologises-to-winston-peters-and-shane-jones-over-fisheries-comments

  18. Ffloyd 19

    Is Megan Woods going to go after Woodcock for his blatant lying. Until he fronts up with evidence of his claims he is a liar and should be held accountable..imho

  19. Stephen D 20

    The Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs at 17 on the list.

    Not an important enough portfolio for Todd to take seriously. If he has, then if the best they can do is a former dreadfully bad leader, their ranks are thinner than we thought.

  20. Just Is 21

    Maybe he thought Bridges had something to offer for the upcoming election, as we know, Bridges is big on procuring donations from donors and some of those donors probably come from overseas.

  21. Morrissey 22

    If Russiagate was an actual rather than a metaphorical dog, it would have been shot as rabid long ago.

  22. Just Is 23

    Just caught up with the recent stats on Covid19 for Australia, 81 new cases today and 807 active cases, NZ has 2 new cases and 18 active cases.

    I'd say It'll be a while before we have a travel bubble given the Federal Govt controls the border.

    I think NZ has achieved an excellent outcome thus far, something every NZer should be proud of

    • Muttonbird 23.1

      Apparently quarantine security guards were having sex with returnees in Melbourne facilities.

      Kind of puts our case of the two Covid-Karens in perspective.

    • Bearded Git 23.2

      7 billion people think NZ has handled Covid superbly….Muller thinks it has been a shambles.

      • In Vino 23.2.1

        And Mike Hosking kept shouting that Australia was doing it better! (He seems to have gone all quiet on that point…)

        • McFlock 23.2.1.1

          The plan B crowd also seem to have run out of countries who are doing it better.

          Bunch of shitbirds the lot of 'em. NZ's response hasn't been perfect, but there aren't a lot of countries who did it better. And can you imagine Bridges or Muller being in charge? Fucking hell, we'd be as screwed as the UK.

          • In Vino 23.2.1.1.1

            True.. Sweden, Australia – suddenly the people who claimed they were doing it better have faded away.

            By the time Election day comes, maybe nobody will be able to point to a country that has achieved better than NZ economically either. (That will ruin somebody's election campaign.. If so, I will enjoy the bathos.)

  23. greywarshark 24

    I remember having to point out to drug rehab residential manager that the person trying to get informed about addiction as part of necessary steps for change, couldn't handle it. He could read a page but at the end hadn't retained the points made from the print he read. So he was distressed and appeared to not be trying, getting negative feedback. They had not realised how long, long-term use could affect the brain.

    So after that am I against marijuana? No. But it has to be managed carefully. I was disappointed to read that Fonterra was growing it. I would like some recovered people who were committed to responsible plantings with limited potency, to be able to handle some of the growing. Give them a chance to do something they know FGS. Fonterra to stick to its dairy addiction er skills.

    I have a relation who is an alcoholic. He is lucky to be alive and it has got in the way of him being a reliable good man able to think things through, tough things out. Drinking was strong in the 1950-70's and lives were diminished by the culture of drinking to excess. No doubt still is. Restraint needed to be 'cultivated', and if marijuana had been cultivated, perhaps that would have been learned.

    What has forbidding marijuana ever done for us? It has led us to drugs and crime being connected and brought lively lads and lasses into the police orbit when they would otherwise not have been. Mr Asia in Australia and here was mostly white by the way if you connect drugs and not being pakeha together.

    Now it is time to bring mj out in the open, let people grow their own with some controls – a few plants, not commercially. Lighten up, let people out of the controls of might-be that scared NZs throw at every desire for change. See how it goes and if something is unsatisfactory after a three year run, and a review, then make changes. Just don't cop out and throw your hands up in the air. Making sensible decisions for the country is the job of a citizen in a democracy, not sitting back and applying moralistic strictures just because no-one you know ever uses it. That verges on theocracy.

    • Just Is 24.1

      And it's not like NZs a leader in Marijuana reform, many countries and states have made change, many of them a decade ago.

      There's an old saying

      Everything is good for you in moderation, well nearly everything

  24. Bearded Git 25

    7 billion people think NZ has handled Covid superbly….Muller thinks it has been a shambles.

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