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Open mike 02/04/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 2nd, 2016 - 88 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

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

Step up to the mike …

88 comments on “Open mike 02/04/2016 ”

  1. Agora 1

    I saw Key’s grey chariot land at Rongo Tai yesterday – nice wheels – but where was our flag on its tail ?

    When will it be possible to have a full accounting of due process and public moneys spent on the Dish Rag project ?

    • Gangnam Style 1.1

      The Herald has been doing some investigative digging, & they came up with this “The text to McCaw had previously been revealed by the Herald but the Prime Minister’s reaching out to both McCaw and Carter shows his incredible range of contacts.” Fawn & yawn.

      • Keith 1.1.1

        Sadly the Herald is Nationals alter ego, the print version of Kiwiblog.

        Nats wanted to change the flag, the Herald wanted it on the Harbour Bridge and campaigned for change. Nats want to soften drug laws despite their so-called toughness against any such outrage as recently as 2014, the Herald campaign on it, etc, etc.

        They even quote the Taxpayer Union like its some kind of genuine objective organisation, rather than the reality of it being another of Nationals front companies.

        Anyway the good it did Key and what does it say about those who went into bat for him. And how many “sports greats” told him to fuck off?

        • tc


          The herald is nothing more than a national party newsletter masked as a news service acting as a conduit for dirty politics and the spin and bs that spews from govt ministers mouths.

  2. Tautoko Mangō Mata 2

    As John Campbell would say “Bloody Marvellous!”

    Glaxo Marvelously Upends TPP And TTIP With Change In IP Policies For Poor Countries

    Glaxo has just announced that it is to take the only and sole economically sensible approach to its intellectual property rights. The joy of this is that it runs entirely counter to the way that international trade agreements are set and settled these days. The policy change entirely blows a great, gaping, hole in the intellectual provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Indeed, it undermines the very TRIPs process (The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) which is the biggest thing wrong with current trade negotiations and treaties. If only more companies had the courage to do this.

    Essentially, they’ve realised that poor people and poor countries don’t have any money. So, why try to charge poor people and poor countries money they don’t have for the drugs they won’t buy because they can’t afford them?

    The news itself:

    Pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline has said it wants to make it easier for manufacturers in the world’s poorest countries to copy its medicines.
    The British company said it would not file patents in these countries.
    Chief executive Sir Andrew Witty said he wanted to take a “graduated” approach to the company’s “intellectual property” based on the wealth of nations around the globe.

    And in more detail:

    GlaxoSmithKline PLC said it would stop seeking patents for its drugs in low-income countries, a move the drugmaker said could help the world’s poorest people access copycat versions of its medicines at affordable prices.

    The U.K.-based company said it would take this approach in low-income and least-developed countries, a group totaling around 85 nations. In so-called lower-middle-income countries, a group of 51 nations that includes Vietnam, Cameroon and Sri Lanka, it said it would file patents but aim to grant licenses to generic manufacturers to supply low-cost versions of its drugs in those markets in return for a small royalty.


    Also on BBC

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 2.1

      It would be great if the forward-thinking action of GlaxoSmithKline to provide a principled and effective proposal to alleviate the huge problems of inequality and health access could spread to more corporations. Win-win solutions are possible if the public good is allowed to be part of the equation.

      Ratifying the TPP which entrenches the flawed IP system makes even less sense when the GlaxoSmithKline proposal is considered.

    • Kevin 2.2

      Well done GSK.

      How many of you know that this giant pharmaceutical company was started in Bunnythorpe in the Manawatu back in the 1850s (?) making animal remedies.

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 2.2.1

        “Obama’s ‘lame duck’ period best chance for US to ratify trade deal – John Key”

        “If it’s going to happen the consensus view is it will happen in the ‘lame duck period’, that period where the US president-elect is in place, so from November through the Christmas period,” he said after talks including with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, and US Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew.


        But, but, what if this happens, John?

        “House Conservatives Are Trying To Kill The Lame-Duck Session”

        Conservative members say they are trying to stop Congress from doing anything after the November election because Congress does some of its most slapdash lawmaking once the public has voted. The group of lawmakers, anchored by the House Freedom Caucus, doesn’t want to take any chances that the Senate confirms a Supreme Court nominee or that Congress rams through the expansive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal or a big budget agreement that raises spending.


      • Colonial Viper 2.2.2

        Yep, used to drive by that old Bunnythorpe site.

  3. maui 3

    Unbelievable, this is a quote from President Nixon’s domestic policy chief, John Ehrlichmann:

    The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. … We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.

  4. adam 4

    A very sensible approach to recreational drugs in sports from across the ditch.

    Wonderful response from AFL boss when asked about zero tolerance.


  5. maui 5

    David Cunliffe, Dita de Boni, Chris Trotter and Rachel Stewart wrap the political week in 30 mins on Waatea 5th Estate.

    • ianmac 5.1

      Thanks for that maui. Fascinating to hear opinions uncluttered by spindoctors. David Cunliffe was fluent and informed. Dita sharp and concise and Chris indepth as usual. Rachel Stewart for my first time and down to earth is she. Glad I watched it.

    • RedLogix 5.2

      Big tick from me too. Thoroughly enjoyed watching this.

    • left for dead 5.3

      Once again maui , thanks for the link. I think Andrew Little is a good man, someone we need in Government, But David Cunliffe would make a great Prime Minister in this current type of Politics.

      • Colonial Viper 5.3.1

        Shame the majority of the Labour caucus thought they knew better than the membership and decided to screw him over in 2014.

        • left for dead

          I’m finding it increasingly hard to understand their attitude, but without trying too cop more flack, their are a number still there that should stand aside or do what the other wreckers did and start their own party. eg: act, disunited etc.

          • Colonial Viper

            Those people aren’t going to stand aside because outside of Parliament they have no other career or job to go back to.

            And without the Labour brand name that they have hijacked for their own purposes, few voters would be in the least bit interested in their pale neoliberal politics.

            • left for dead

              TRUE. That is the achilles heal of an awful lot of humans. consciously or not.

              • Colonial Viper

                Maybe if we give them a decent UBI they’ll finally go.

                • alwyn

                  Just what do you think Cunliffe could do if he got the push?
                  He has basically been awarded a DCM in every job he has had.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I’m talking about the useless careerists in the caucus mate. Cunliffe, he’ll just go back to corporate consulting or something.

                  • left for dead

                    While I’ve slipped out too do some work alwyn, you have fill a vacuum, have you citations, links or are you prepared to confess to a lie and face the consequences.
                    I am lead to believe you are retired, that brain of yours lets you down. 👿

        • Reddelusion

          Plus 70pc of the electorate

        • Draco T Bastard


      • mary_a 5.3.2

        @ left for dead (5.3) Absolutely correct.

        David Cunliffe is the best thing Labour has to lead the party and the country towards a progressive future. The lite blue ABC neo libs still infecting the party, are still pulling the strings. They know a much wiser and forceful Cunliffe would have a big cull of the deadwood pulling Labour down, this time if he got the leadership back and the thought scares the bejeezus out of them!

        Wake up Labour and look what’s there in Cunliffe!

      • Hami Shearlie 5.3.3

        Totally agree about David Cunliffe! It was a good show on The Daily Blog on Friday!

    • Reddelusion 5.4

      Hardly balanced, basically a bunch of champaign socialist having a collective…….

      • left for dead 5.4.1

        Did you mean “champion socialist’s Red, how thoughful. 😉

        Edit: as an after thought, is that what you mean by Reddelusion.

      • adam 5.4.2

        Oh don’t give us faux angst Reddelusion, fair and balanced is a Fox news line…

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 6

    Hope it’s ok I post here as I thought it might be of interest. Is held tomorrow at Victoria University @1pm and I would assume it’s free.


    First speaker is Andrew Campbell (Greens) discussing political lobbying.

  7. AsleepWhileWalking 7

    Ugh. I can hear it already…”Nobody forced them to take that loan….”
    Won’t be long before it happens here.

    Senior citizens who failed to pay off their student loans are having their Social Security seized. One of these is an 80 year old who due to dementia can no longer read. She took out her loan in the 1980s.


    • ianmac 7.1

      Pretty ghastly for those in their 70s – 80s.

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        The length of time between school finishing and retirement means that older people are really dealing with life with the equivalent of an intermediate school level compared to today’s knowledge. We are supposed to be perfectly informed in an individualistic neo liberal-run society. Every over 50year old should be given free tertiary education to ensure understanding. But that wouldn’t suit gummint, they don’t want understanding from the citizens.

        And the chirpy PR spreaders in the 1980s and 1990s saying that in this modern fast changing world we might have four careers in our lifetime, and those who were able to adapt would be all right. Oh yeah? The jobs have diminished, extra training has to be paid for, and gummint help is thin and when you grasp it, it breaks and you fall between the cracks. Don’t believe any of them who talk positively about the future, they are either liars, or self-deceivers, neither of whom are authentic people fit to advise anybody.

    • weka 7.2

      Some libertarian was trying to argue here the other day that benefits in NZ aren’t entitlements.

      • adam 7.2.1

        That’s because anarco-capitalists are essentially stupid weka.

        They have given up critical thinking, and have rejected even their god father, Adam Smith. I think it has dawned on some of them, Adam Smith was very critical of parasitic capitalism, the only type they seem to understand.

        Actually in discussions with most of them you get the impression they have never read any of the classical economic theorists, or at the very least, never finished any of the works.

        They rely on bullying, diversion and a unnerving belief they are right – to push an agenda of stupid.

        • Colonial Viper

          That’s because anarco-capitalists are essentially stupid weka.

          They are religious zealots.

          • Stuart Munro

            I’d be inclined to say cultists – their metaphysics is mighty primitive.

        • weka

          Ok but you realise I’ve not read any classical economics either 🙂

          • adam

            As you don’t espouse economic purity, I never assumed you had.

            That said, I also thought you had a reasonable grasp of economics, and when you don’t know something you ask. Which is always, always a sign of an open mind.

            • weka

              Cheers adam. Tbh I don’t know what that guy the other day was. Libertarian seemed the best easy label.

        • weka

          Ok but you realise I’ve not read any classical economics either 🙂

          • alwyn

            Neither has Adam.

            • adam

              So alwyn what is a market?

              • alwyn

                Oh dear. You really are starting at a very low level aren’t you?
                Why don’t you tell me what, if anything, about Economics you do think you understand and I’ll give you a short reading list.
                I knew you were struggling but I didn’t realise that you were quite so deficient in your understanding of the field.

            • Draco T Bastard

              I have. Smith, Ricardo and a few others would be disgusted by how capitalism has turned out. All of them would recognise the feudalism that it is.

              • Stuart Munro

                The nutbars still don’t understand that Theory of Moral Sentiments was (and is) much more important to a prosperous society than Wealth of Nations.

  8. adam 8

    Interesting that the US geological society now recognise Fracking as a basis of man made earthquakes.


    A link to the research if you need it, it is a lot. Also a complex web site, be warned.


    This end us leaving me with more questions than answers.

    Was/is there not Fracking happening up and down this country?

    What does that mean for our future, if Fracking earthquakes are going to keep happening?

    What does it mean when we already prone to earthquakes?

    And what would it mean for insurance claims and the EQC?

    Would the companies who do/did this practice be liable?

    What about ministers and local governments who still let this to happen?

    Is anyone responsible for deaths and injuries when a man made earthquake occurs?

  9. Olwyn 9

    A rather lengthy but interesting transcript of an interview with Yanis Varoufakis, by Jeremy Cliffe, for The Economist: http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2016/04/01/interview-with-the-economist-full-transcript/

    A few gems from it:

    On Germany’s establishment left: They sold themselves to Mephisto, and then at some point even he didn’t care for them.

    On current politics more generally: Politics attracts the least well-meaning and least talented people because the political sphere has been devalued.

    On the need for basic incomes: But we, the Left, must not be fearful. I gave a talk some time ago in the United States and said: yes, surfers in California must be fed by the rest of us. We may not like that, we may feel they are bums, but they deserve a basic income too.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      That’s not the wider world – that’s the financialised world. Where central banks are a tool of the financial elite used to bail out big banks, inflate the asset portfolio value of capitalists, and give free money to billionaire speculators.

      As for everyone else suffering from austerity imposed from above – they can eat cake.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        Yep, still trying to make the present failed system work rather than accept the simple fact that it doesn’t and put in place another system.

        • adam

          You mean parasitic capitalism is a abject failure, and no one wants to talk about the fact capitalism has eaten itself.

          Where are the factories, fields and workers? Where is the great capitalist investments in anything real?

          • Draco T Bastard

            Capitalism is always parasitic. That’s the big lesson that we should be learning from 5000 years of recorded history. It should be no surprise that the two main religions that came out of the birth place of Western Civilisation have bans on usury.

            Capitalism is inherently usurious.

  10. Paul 11

    Inequality in New Zealand will get worse if the government follows United States policies, film maker Michael Moore says.
    In his latest documentary Where to Invade Next, Moore compares social welfare and justice policies in Europe with the United States.

    He told Saturday Morning that New Zealand should learn from mistakes in the US.

    “Your government over the past decade or two has often tried to emulate the American way with neo-liberal policies that are not in the best interests of the people of New Zealand and you need to take a look at what those policies have done in the US.
    “I would not try to emulate us in this way because you will have more income inequality – you already do, but it can be worse and you want to stop that.
    “You want to preserve the good things you’ve had over the years, the belief system that you have, the values what you have and not allow conservative politicians to manipulate people into believing it we would be so much better if we did things the way the Americans did it.”

    Moore visited Finland, Italy, France, and Portugal to look at those countries’ ways of dealing with social and economic problems experienced in the United States.

    He said Americans were oblivious to what life was like elsewhere.

    “They don’t know what it would be like if we paid just a little bit more in taxes, how many more services we would have, how much easier it would be to go to university, how there would be day care, how if they got pregnant you actually get to take a few weeks off – how about a few months – Americans don’t know you get these things in these other countries and so it’s been a very big eye opener for people in this country.”

    His first film in six years, Where To Invade Next, will screen at the New Zealand Film Festival Autumn Events programme in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, during April and May.


    • Reddelusion 11.1

      Thanks for the warning, will make sure to avoid

      • adam 11.1.1

        You’re good at avoid any meaningful debate reddelusion, so no real need to comment on your part.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.2

        Yes, you can’t let facts get in else you might have to change your beliefs.

  11. ianmac 13

    Interesting discussion over on Public Address where Rob Salmond takes Hooton to task over his NBR column on UBR, and Hooton responds point by point.
    Hooton points out the little know fact that Lockwood Smith spent 7 years working on a policy vaguely like UBI, but didn’t publish because it was feared that it would be thought to be National Policy, and it wasn’t. Irony?
    “Lockwood, “Not many would know that I put 7 years’ work into a project to redevelop New Zealand’s income tax, benefit, and tax credit systems. The work started on trying to find a way round the massive churning involved in employers deducting PAYE, only for the Government to pay it all back to some employees in family tax credits. My research unravelling that interface soon got into the challenging area of effective marginal tax rates. At the time, a single parent with three dependent children seeking to work their way off the domestic purposes benefit and trying to get from $10,000 of earned income a year to $25,000 would have had to work an extra 20 hours a week at, say, $15 an hour. The problem was the effective tax on that extra $15,000 of earned income was about $13,300, meaning that even though the parent was paid $15 an hour, their take-home pay would have been little over $1.50 an hour….”

    “….to prepare a paper for it to publish. At the last minute it was pulled, for fear it might be seen as official National Party policy, and it was not. ”
    About 3/4 way down:
    And Public Address:

    • weka 13.1

      Salmond nailed it. I saw a bit of Hooton’s spin, but basically they need to get over themselves. They’re naysaying because it’s an opportunity to bash Labour and because a UBI would help poor people and they can’t tolerate the idea. Fuck em, we should just carry on with the discussion and name the lies and the liars as they appear.

  12. Paul 14

    Prominent New Zealander charged with indecent assault keeps name suppression

    A prominent New Zealander facing indecent assault charges will keep the name suppression protecting his identity until the end of his trial.
    The trial is due to begin on Monday. The man has denied the charges against him.
    There are heavy suppression orders over the case, meaning the man cannot be identified, nor can his alleged victims or their ages.
    The man is facing 12 charges of indecent assault against two people including two representative charges.
    The charges, which include allegations of touching the complainants on the breast, buttocks, groin and thigh, are punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment.’


    • weka 14.1

      What’s a Representative charge?

    • Fustercluck 14.2

      Any bets the trial of the prominent NZer, and/or its appeals, will be dragged out until after the next election?

    • RedLogix 14.3

      As a moderator I’m going to ask everyone to consider very carefully whether their contribution on this topic is useful, or even necessary.

      I do not want The Standard to hash over this for the prurient joy of it.

      There is reason to consider discussion around wider concerns of name suppression, but for the time being I would advise all regular commenters to have a long hard think before adding more to this.

  13. Anne 15

    Someone may have already supplied this link from today’s The Nation, but it’s one of the best local interviews I have seen in recent years:


    • Paul 15.1

      Meteria Turei plainly calls Key a liar.

      • Anne 15.1.1

        Here’s a better link without the ad plus a good write up:


        Prime Minister John Key denies he misled the public, he told The Nation last week that there was nothing in his past statements on the matter to correct. He claims the point is not where the women leave from its whether they are from New Zealand.

        Where they left from is the most important point. While nothing can be claimed for certain – because all the facts have not been made available – the balance of probability is they were radicalised in Australia. If that was the case then it is an Aussie problem. We don’t even know if they were ‘radicalised’ but left for a different purpose.

      • Stuart Munro 15.1.2

        Good on her. He is.

  14. Fustercluck 16

    Any bets that the trial of the prominent NZer, or at least its appeals, will drag on, under suppression, until after the next election?

    • Fustercluck 16.1

      The above comment did not post at first for some reason so I did it again as a reply a bit farther up. Please delete if this is annoying (it is a bit, to me).

  15. greywarshark 17

    Brian Eno’s suggestion – Start cooking, recipe to follow.

    Yanis Varoufakis follows suggesting that all of Greece’s debt is to German banks not to the state of Germany. It is the banks that have taken the risk, they need to accept the full effect of business practice and lose some money.

  16. Molly 19

    Bella Caledonia has an article up about the Yes campaign that took place in 2014.
    (Full Report here

    Might be of interest to those who want to see a grassroots campaign here in NZ.

    The volunteers spent an average of 10hrs a week, with just under 50% spent 1-5 hrs, 25% spent 5-10 and the remainder working between 11 and 100hrs a week. They performed a very broad range of tasks but were united in undertaking a core set of similar activities where in particular they discussed Independence. 99.5% of volunteers had conversations with family/friends and 98.3% had them with strangers, indeed in the virtual world where the corresponding figures are 85.1% and 81.87%. They showed their allegiances and normalized Yes with badges worn and window posters displayed. Very high percentages of volunteers demonstrated their support visually for the campaign. 96.7% said they displayed posters (90.1% doing this frequently or very frequently) and 95% wore Yes branded merchandise with 77.3% doing so frequently or very frequently. A quarter of them built things, designed things and put their creative energy into the campaign. It was these sorts of activities that suggest that the referendum campaigning was different to more traditional election campaigning, though they still canvassed (42.7%) and delivered leaflets (63.2%), frequently or very frequently. 27.8% felt confident enough to have spoken at a public meeting.

    So why did they take part and do all this work? We asked this in two ways, in the first, they were asked to rate a series of potential motives and we found that they were motivated to take part for a number of positive, hopeful and negative reasons. The most common categories were A belief in independence for Scotland (mean = 4.79 out of 5 on a scale ranging from 1, Not at all important to 5, Very important) and a belief in Independence being a route to a more equal, socially just society (mean = 4.67) were very important reasons for them taking part. A belief in a greener country (3.94) still important but less so. Disillusionment with Westminster politics (4.59%) also acted as a powerful motivator.

    In the second way this question was asked, respondents were free to write what they wanted. When categorized (each respondent could be motivated by more than one reason) 34.5% mentioned the importance of seizing the opportunity or avoiding the regret of not having got involved, 24.5% said they were took part because long term supporters suggesting many new converts got involved. The themes, oft repeated by the Yes campaign and in their marketing materials resonated with the volunteer, where 28% said they were motivated by being against the Westminster system and the UK, 19.6% by democracy, 12.4% by socially justice and 10% because of fairness (10%). The type of campaigning also had an effect with 11.8% being motivated to take part because of No campaigns negativity and media bias with 4.3% specifically mentioned BBC bias acted as their recruiting sergeant. A very similar 11.4% joined because of the inclusivity and exciting nature of the campaign. Whereas there are differences between when people joined a political party, between different ages and between those with and without a British identity, the variations whilst statistically significant in no instances are they dramatic, for example the mean score for women when asked to rate how important To be part of the democratic process was in becoming involved, the average score for women was 4.37% and 4.17% for men. Instances where any one group might score high and the other low, were not found- hence the earlier conclusion about the remarkable homogeneity or similarly of the Yes volunteers.

    So in many ways we provide additional evidence to the understanding that many commentators and activists hold. Those who took part The Yes campaign was something that the organisers and the volunteers can (and were) be proud of. New people were brought to politics and democratic campaigning, it was exciting, it was social and it was positive and it will continue.
    If you will allow us to finish by highlighting what we think are some of the most important findings: It was enjoyable, liberating and social experience and people tend to want to repeat such things or join in next time, if they missed out first time round. Also the bonds formed during such periods are likely to survive arguments about speed or change or priorities as long as the inclusivity, openness and respect remain. This remains an obligation on the Yes supporting political parties, whose loyalty must be independence, not power, as this is where the volunteers loyalties lie.

    The volunteers see themselves as closest to the Greens in their left-right political leanings but were also close to the SNP and the SSP and that significant numbers of ex labour members took part. It strikes us that you don’t need a particularly large political umbrella to cover these groups and cover the majority of political beliefs feeling in Scotland. We see strong evidence in these results that the uniformity of beliefs about what Scotland can be, the shared experiences that brought people together and the passion of the cause built before and during the first referendum will provide an extremely strong foundation for indy ref 2. Was it the biggest campaign in Scotland’s history- we don’t know but the results of this survey strongly suggest that when the starting gun is sounded, the next grassroots campaign will contain a formidable range of experienced, knowledgeable passionate campaigners who know how to run local groups, know how to run local campaigns and know how to persuade friends, families and strangers alike. We were unable to discover if this is the case for No.

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