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Open mike 02/07/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 2nd, 2016 - 60 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 …

60 comments on “Open mike 02/07/2016 ”

  1. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 1

    Just to start the weekend on a positive note (and to get in before Paul! – whose postings I really appreciate.)

    As a distant observer of the English political scene, I feel that Jeremy Crobyn has very little to worry about!

    There may have been a massive vote of no confidence in him by the PLP, but that just indicates how out of touch with their constituencies those members of parliament are.

    Corbyn has the backing of the mass of the Labour Party. He’ll keep his nerve and face the Blairites down. They’ll all, or most of them, be ‘deselected’ at the next election and a stronger, more working class party will emerge.

    This is not to suggest that Jeremy won’t have a difficult time. The MSM and the ruling elites will throw the book at him to try to discredit him between now and the next election.

    But, the tide is turning and that gives me great hope. Neoliberalism is proving, and will continue to prove (probably with a world-wide depression) that it is a defunct and morally bankrupt economic theory.

    Workers of the world, unite – you have nothing to lose but your chains! Now who on earth said that?

    • swordfish 1.1

      Hate to do this to you, Tony. But … not quite so fast … new YouGov Poll of Party members just released
      (see my comment below)

      • Kiwiri 1.1.1

        I would also like to hope things will turn out as Tony hopes BUT I am scarred from observing Syriza’s Tsipras-Varoufakis experience.

    • Rob 1.2

      Just in case you missed it. The workers have united , but not for your ’cause’ , they united to leave Europe. Corban has outed himself against them, the chances of him leading a mass uprising of ‘bitter and revolutionary’ workers, like some old school leftist wet dream aint going to happen.

  2. Paul 2

    Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare.
    We have become a cruel, greedy, uncaring and selfish nation under his wretched leadership.

    It was 3 degrees in Auckland last night.
    It was -2 degrees in Dunedin last night.
    It was 1 degrees in Christchurch last night.

    Not very warm to be sleeping in a car.
    Not very warm to be sleeping in a container.
    Not very warm to be sleeping in a garage.
    Not very warm to be sleeping on the street.

    The mainstream media may think that Nike’s Wimbledon dress is a news items, but is not.
    The majority of the media are doing everything they can to support Paula Bennett and move homelessness off the headlines.

    “Try walking in my shoes, it’s not actually that easy.”
    This was the challenge TA set to Prime Minister John Key. But really it’s a challenge for us all.

  3. swordfish 3

    Amongst all the current turmoil in the UK Labour Party, it’s been conventional wisdom that Corbyn’s support amongst Labour members is rock solid.

    The big problem for Corbynsceptics, the argument goes, is that he won big among Party members in September and his support has, if anything, increased since then – as a number of YouGov polls have shown. Blairite and Brownite members have left the Party, and have been replaced by Corbynites, in the process shifting the Party Left. So, how can MPs possibly pull off this coup d-etat and survive the collective rage of the Party membership ?

    Since the Brexit vote, some analysts (eg Stephen Bush and George Eaton at The New Statesman) have taken a few soundings of members and argue that they have detected some movement away from Corbyn – partly a corollary of a hatchet-job TV documentary, partly due to Corbyn’s alleged lacklustre performance in the EU Referendum campaign.

    But their impression was that, although his support was looking just a little more shaky, Corbyn would probably still win any Leadership contest by a fairly clear margin. He won the contest by 40 points last time and was 19 points clear of needing a second round, so his capacity to survive erosion seems strong.

    In addition, these analysts felt that those members who had moved away from Corbyn still supported his broad ideological outlook but were just looking for someone who they thought would have more political nous, populism and dynamism with voters.

    Things may, however, be a little more precarious than that. A new YouGov poll (carried out entirely after the Brexit Referendum) shows opinion has shifted fairly quickly since the last poll of Party members in May. The Labour Party membership has clearly cooled on Corbyn’s leadership – although, importantly, he still retains an edge.

    Last month, Corbyn’s net approval rating among members was + 45 (79% Approve / 27% Disapprove), now it’s just + 3 (51% Approve / 48% Disapprove).

    Three quarters of members who voted for Corbyn in the leadership race last year still approve of his performance as leader but he receives very little approval from people who voted for the other 3 candidates (although, as with all the various measures in this poll, an appreciably larger minority of members who favoured the Soft Left candidate, Andy Burnham, are favourable to Corbyn – compared to those who went for the Centrist-Brownite, Yvette Cooper, and the arch-Blairite, Liz Kendall).

    The EU Referendum may have played a crucial role in his loss of support.

    The poll shows an overwhelming 90% of Labour Party members voted for Remain in the EU Referendum and that’s presumably why his critics in the PLP have focussed on the idea of his “invisibility” and “lacklustre” performance in the EU campaign.

    When asked by YouGov whether they thought he did well or badly in the EU campaign, over half of Labour Party members (52%) said badly, with 47% feeling he performed well.

    And it’s noticeable that Corbyn’s ratings in this poll are significantly worse among members in the 2 Remain strongholds – London and Scotland – than elsewhere – the South of England (outside London), the Midlands, Wales and the North.

    Women members and those members who joined after the 2015 Election are clearly-to-strongly still supportive of Corbyn, Men are evenly-divided but tending slightly towards opposing him, and longer-term members (pre-2015) are clearly negative towards him on most measures.

    In May, members were split pretty much 50/50 on the likelihood of Corbyn ever becoming PM. Now, two thirds say Unlikely. Even people who voted for Corbyn are slightly more likely to say he probably won’t become PM in the future (although this may have something to do with recent revelations by Owen Jones that the Corbyn team’s strategy was to nurture a left-leaning MP to take over the leadership in 2018, 2 years before what was expected to be the date of the next election).

    In terms of a Corbyn-led Labour Party winning the next Election:
    May 2016 … Likely 53% / Unlikely 39%
    June 2016 … Likely 35% / Unlikely 57%

    By the same token, though, a clear majority (50/38) also felt that Labour were likely to lose the next Election under any putative New Leader as well.

    Should Corbyn continue as leader of the Labour Party
    May 2016 … Yes 80% / No 15%
    June 2016 … Yes 51% / No 44%
    (small minorities of those who said yes he should continue also believed that he should still stand down before the next election)

    Labour Party members, however, were rather less impressed with the way the PLP plotters have gone about their attempted coup.
    Were the Shadow Cabinet members right to resign this week and try to force Corbyn to step down ?
    Yes … 36%
    No … 60%
    An Overwhelming majority of members who voted Corbyn in 2015 said No, an overwhelming majority of people who voted Cooper and Kendall said Yes,
    while Soft Left Burnham supporters were much more split with a large-ish 35% minority saying No.

    If there were another Labour leadership contest, how likely is it that you would vote Corbyn ?
    May 2016 … Likely 64% / Not 33%
    June 2016 … Likely 50% / Not 47%
    Again, Women are more strongly for Corbyn than Men, majorities of members in the Remain strongholds of London and Scotland saying Not Likely, majorities in all of the other regions saying Yes Likely.

    However, fortunately for those of the Left, things aren’t so close when Party members are specifically asked about one-on-one contests (when its just an anonymous hypothetical opponent, it’s easy for respondents to project their ideal traits onto that candidate, they can’t do that when Corbyn’s put up against a specific, leading political figure with baggage of their own).

    In a hypothetical head-to-head match-up between Corbyn and Eagle, Corbyn would win by 10 points, against Tom Watson by 11 points and against Dan Jarvis by 17 points.

    Overwhelming majorities of members still see Corbyn as Honest (76%) and Principled (84%), and a slight majority see him as Sharing my (the member’s) political outlook (52%) but he has suffered clear declines in those who seem him variously as Strong, Competent or Likely to lead Labour to victory.

    On negative traits, you can see a clear gap between not only members who voted in Corbyn in 2015 and the rest, but also between Blairite Kendall supporters and those preferring Cooper or Burnham. Overwhelming majorities of Kendall supporters see Corbyn as weak, divisive deluded, indecisive and not sharing my political outlook. As you’d expect, only a tiny minority of 2015 Corbyn voters agree, while on most of these negs, large-ish minorities – rather than overwhelming majorities – of former Burnham and Cooper voters agree.

    Overall, then, Corbyn still has the edge and his support may be enhanced by non-member sign-ups. YouGov separately polled Labour supporters who haven’t yet joined but may do so if there is a Leadership contest (the Corbyn-supporting Momentum group have been organising among these supporters for the last 10 months). They were more strongly pro-Corbyn than everyone except those members who had voted for him in 2015.

    There is also a suggestion that Corbyn still has a good deal of Union support.

    • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 3.1

      Thank you, Swordfish. Perhaps I am too much of an optimist – but I still feel Jeremy will emerge from all this infighting in a stronger position and with a much more left-leaning Labour Party.

      Time will tell!

      • Jenny 3.1.1

        Indeed “Time will tell.”

        And there are lessons for the Left and the Centre Left, here in New Zealand.

      • Pat 3.1.2

        good analysis swordfish…a question that isn’t answered (and probably can’t be in advance) is what happens to the Labour Party (UK) IF Corbyn wins the leadership vote as even the recent polls indicate is probable?

    • Jenny 3.2

      “Since the Brexit vote, some analysts (eg Stephen Bush and George Eaton at The New Statesman) have taken a few soundings of members and argue that they have detected some movement away from Corbyn – partly a corollary of a hatchet-job TV documentary, partly due to Corbyn’s alleged lacklustre performance in the EU Referendum campaign.”

      “Overwhelming majorities of members still see Corbyn as Honest (76%) and Principled (84%), and a slight majority see him as Sharing my (the member’s) political outlook (52%) but he has suffered clear declines in those who seem him variously as Strong, Competent or Likely to lead Labour to victory.

      On negative traits, you can see a clear gap between not only members who voted in Corbyn in 2015 and the rest, but also between Blairite Kendall supporters and those preferring Cooper or Burnham. Overwhelming majorities of Kendall supporters see Corbyn as weak, divisive deluded, indecisive and not sharing my political outlook. As you’d expect, only a tiny minority of 2015 Corbyn voters agree, while on most of these negs, large-ish minorities – rather than overwhelming majorities – of former Burnham and Cooper voters agree.”

      Jeremy Corbyn has suffered unrelenting negative pressure from the establishment media, and even the Tory Prime Minister David Cameron has called on Corbyn to step down as Labour’s leader. As well as this there is an unprecedented and ongoing effort to topple him from within his own shadow cabinet, allegedly for not fighting the conservative Remain cause hard enough.

      But behind the number crunching of how Corbyn’s support bears up (or not), under this establishment pressure there is a bigger story.

      After the Referendum: What’s Left?

      “There is nothing to celebrate today. The vote by a small (but significant) majority of people in the UK to leave the EU is not a victory for working people, for migrants, for socialists or left activists of any stripe. It could have been: if Labour and the main trade unions had seized the moment and set out a strong, principled, anti-racist and anti-capitalist case for leaving the EU. They didn’t, and the moribund radical left was so fragmented and disorganised, that it’s interventions had little or no bearing on the debate. As a result charlatans such as Nigel Farage are able to portray themselves as champions of “ordinary people” standing up to the “elites and fat cats”.

      Race and immigration were certainly important issues in this campaign, and the mainstream narratives (whether for Leave or Remain) were racist and xenophobic. But race wasn’t the only issue, and if we fail to recognise this from the outset then we will be unable to respond meaningfully to the altered political landscape. The distribution of votes indicates that the Leave position was strongest amongst working class communities, in particular white working class communities. It is an indictment of the British left, and a reflection of their historical failure, that such communities now look to UKIP and other such racists for solutions to the marginalisation, exclusion and powerlessness they feel.”
      Paul O’Connell 24 June, 2016


      This is a must read.

      Click on the link to read the full analysis of how the Centre Left have failed the British People by letting the extreme Right capture the political highground.

      • Jenny 3.2.1

        “In response to the outcome many people will, understandably, be angry and unsure about what steps to take next. In this context it’s crucial that we do not allow anger or fear cloud our judgement or assessment of the situation. It is not the case that in this referendum good was defeated by evil, love conquered by hate, or the white British working class revealed as inherently reactionary or racist. Millions of people who have, for decades now, suffered under the yoke of neoliberalism and feel (inconsistently) that the political establishment (including the EU) does not represent their interests, have rejected the status quo. And they were right to do so.”
        Paul O’Connell 24 June, 2016


      • swordfish 3.2.2

        Amazing how many Labour seats in the North and in the Midlands now have Ukip in second place. Labour still tends to win in its heartlands but often on a plurality (38, 44, 48%) of the vote rather than with the 60, 65, 70% + it used to receive.

        While Ukip’s vote seems to derive mainly from former Tories in the South, it looks more like two-thirds former Labour voters / one third former Tories and Lib Dems anywhere north of Leicester.

        The EU Referendum stats suggest to me that, overall, Labour-voting working and lower-middle class C2DEs were pretty evenly split on the issue (though probably mildly favouring Brexit in the Midlands and the North, and perhaps fairly strongly so in a handful of East Coast ports). But then you also have to factor in all those former traditional Labour voters who swung to Ukip at the last Election. Add former to current working class Labour voters and you see that a significant majority opted for Brexit.

        Significant cleavage opening up (or suddenly being revealed in all its glory) between
        (1) affluent middle-class Labour-voting Metros and (2) working and lower middle-class Labour and former Labour voters in the urban “Rust Belt” sprawls and satellite cities surrounding the big Metro Centres.

        Current post-Brexit shorthand for this divide is Hampstead Vs Hull.

        • Colonial Viper

          I think the cleavage has been there for some time, but now people are seriously considering real political options and finding that there are some available…

        • Jenny

          The gains by the Far Right in formerly labour strongholds reflects the failure of the Centre Left to take on neo-liberalism especially the EU central banking system, and EU imposed “Austerity”.

          I know that it is an extreme comparison to make, but all this brings to my mind the failure of the Centre Left in Germany in the ’30s, who by failing to unite with the Left to take on the neo-liberal banksters of their time, left the political field open to the Far Right who deflected people’s anger against the bankers and financiers, into racism, by falsely depicting the financial and economic crisis as being the result of Jewish domination of the banking and financial sector.

          You can hear echoes of this false fascist deflection in the UKIP argument that the British people’s problems are all caused by immigrants and refugees flooding into the country.

          Even the UKIP messaging is the similar with the notorious poster depicting a crocodile of refugees, reminiscent of Nazi anti Semitic posters, which was greeted with (almost) universal revulsion.


  4. Paul 4

    Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare.
    We have become a cruel, greedy, uncaring and selfish nation under his wretched leadership.

    Yet there are people who still care and who are unselfish.
    David Tua represents the best of New Zealand.
    A government that does not house its citizens adequately represents the worst of New Zealand.

    The former heavyweight hardman opened up to the Weekend Herald about his new wife before his Park Up For Homes event – where he will spend tonight sleeping in his car in Onehunga.
    The newlyweds say a strong desire to help others and a shared belief in the importance of family drew them together.
    “Our love for our local community is top of the list of things that we do, outside of our families,”
    The desire to help those in need is behind Tua’s Park Up event. He lived in a car for six weeks in Florida in 2009 when his American promoter ran out of money.
    “Living in a car myself is one thing, but all that aside it’s about doing what’s right for the people who are without homes right now.
    “It affects all of us. As a staunch community leader, it’s about standing up and doing what you believe is right.”


  5. Paul 5

    Today in the Herald.

    ‘What an official September 11 photographer filmed and why he says it cost him his freedom’

    Hours after planes flew into the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, Kurt Sonnenfeld was given unrestricted access to ground zero.
    Sonnenfeld was working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, an organisation tied to the US Department of Homeland Security and charged with co-ordinating first response to disasters.
    Armed with camera gear, the 39-year-old was asked to film everything he saw. His documented evidence was supposed to form part of a report about what happened, but he never handed back the footage.
    His life began to unravel spectacularly in the following months and years, culminating in the death of his wife.


  6. Paul 6

    A call to collapse Auckland’s property market deliberately.

    A former Reserve Bank chairman has called for the Government and Auckland Council to enact policies to deliberately “collapse” the city’s house prices by at least 40 per cent and intensify building along Tamaki Dr with Gold Coast-style towers.
    Arthur Grimes delivered a hard-hitting speech at an Auckland Conversations event, calling for swift action to resolve the housing crisis, and the city’s eastern suburbs to have high-rise residential blocks, ready for the next generation of Aucklanders.
    “I think we should set ourselves a target now of looking for a collapse in house prices of at least 40 per cent in Auckland, OK? And that should be a political approach … central Government and local government politicians should be out there saying, ‘We’re trying to have policies in place that will collapse house prices in Auckland by at least 40 per cent’, because that will only take them back to a level where they were too high already five years ago,” Grimes told the Auckland Conversations forum.
    “Realistically we have to do that, right? When I’ve put this to politicians, they’re not too keen on it. How do we then go about trying to achieve it? We need to intensify in Auckland.
    “I don’t think there’s any doubt. It doesn’t matter if it’s Freemans Bay, Parnell, Remuera, Kohimaramara, Ellerslie. We certainly need to intensify,” Grimes said.


    • Pat 6.1

      intensification or a state housing build (or both)…..effect would be the same

    • ropata 6.2

      Could only happen by accident, it seems the main purpose of politics is to enable the wealthy to pillage the rest of us

    • Greg 6.3

      Aussie banks wouldnt allow it.
      They have stopped loaning to overseas buyers.
      Now that raises the question some numbers of foreign ownership are immediately available, which is something National always claim to be unable to get.

      The Reserve Bank got concessions for not dropping interest rates.

      Meanwhile, inflation keeps heading towards zero.

  7. jcuknz 7

    As I see a collapse would be a good thing so long as the government protected those who get caught. That would be a legitimate use of government powers to protect its citizens who foolishly or not succumbed to the pressure to ‘get in before prices rise any further’ For those who will have lost their ‘gain’ remember it is just theoretical and for those who owe more than the property in now worth it is a government action for the good of the country but they must be protected … government taking over the excess proportion of their mortgage perhaps.

    • BM 7.1

      Apart from bringing a few more people into the market, collapsing the property market will achieve very little apart from economic hardship for many.

      Rents won’t change, why would they?, there’s still the same amount of houses in the market so rents will stay the same.

      The only thing that’s going to fix the Auckland property market is to build more houses and that’s going to take years.

      • Richardrawshark 7.1.1

        It’s nigh on impossible to get prices of anything to go down, they put them up at a drop of the hat too.

        I agree with you BM , rents won’t change or if they do not by what they should even if we halve the cost of a property.

        The best thing for Auckland is diversifying. We need to reduce the need to live there by making other places attractive with employment and housing.

        There is no fix to any issue, they all link, housing links to availability links to affordability which links to employments which links to remuneration ..

        • BM

          The problem is most of our higher paid/higher tech jobs are in Auckland and large cities appeal more to immigrants.

          By their standards Auckland isn’t particularly large or overcrowded.

          • Colonial Viper

            Although they think it absurd that the public transport system is so primitive and limited, and that the traffic problems suit a city of 3M people, not 1.5M.

            And unless they are multimillionaire immigrants, they can’t afford housing, unless they are earning well into six figures.

        • Stuart Munro

          Regulate rents downward and property prices will follow.

        • Draco T Bastard

          We need to reduce the need to live there by making other places attractive with employment and housing.

          I agree with you but that’s going to take a huge amount of government investment in education and other infrastructure in those areas up to and including building the factories that make stuff. Of course, they need to fund the R&D for those factories first. They need to be 3D printed factories that can produce a multiple products at the same time (eradicates economies of scale).

          Then there’s the resources needed for those factories which means that we need to develop the resources that we have here to keep prices in line. So that’s extraction and processing that needs to be developed. R&D needed so that we don’t have to send people into mines and instead can use remote controlled drones – electric powered ones.

          That’s going to require more generation capability so a mass building of wind and solar power. Probably best to R&D those as well.

          Yes, we should develop the outer areas but we can’t just leave it to the market which means that the government is going to have to make plans.

      • jcuknz 7.1.2

        I think a combination of both our ideas is the answer BM …. and as Molly pointed out rather than the flash houses she linked to we need small compact houses at a sensible price … $26T rather than $2600T. Need rather than desire.

        • Bearded Git

          Am I being thick here-what does $26T mean?

          • ropata

            I assume “Thousand” ?? strange expression tho

          • mikesh

            It looks like “tera”, but I think that means ” billion”.

            • Draco T Bastard

              No, Giga is billion. Tera is trillion.

              I have NFI WTF jcuknz means when he uses T that way.

              • jcuknz

                Sorry Draco but you are simply not up with the play. T is used as a shortened version of thousand. obviously you did not read Molly’s informative posting a couple of days ago.

                • Pat

                  try using K for kilo (thousand)

                  • jcuknz

                    Yes Pat I could but not in the context?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The ‘context’ is using the correct symbol so that people know WTF you’re talking about. Going round randomly changing meanings prevents communication.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  T is used as a shortened version of thousand.

                  No it’s not and never has been. For thousand you want ‘k’ or, if you’re a little more old school, you could use ‘grand’ but that ones pretty much gone now.

                  ‘T’ is not used because it already has meaning and that meaning is actually ‘tera’.

                  • jcuknz

                    Oh you poor old soul, stuck in the past I see 🙂
                    Language changes with time and I am setting a new trend that T can stand for thousand except for those stuck in their groove 🙂

                    NYT words smith ” words mean what I mean them to mean”

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      NYT words smith ” words mean what I mean them to mean”

                      Actually, that was Humpty Dumpty.

                      And words may change over time, Gay is a brilliant example of that, but mathematics symbols don’t. Just think of how confused Blinglish would be if ‘T’ was both 1000 and 1,000, 000, 000, 000.

      • Zachary Smith 7.1.3

        Oh the pain ,the pain…..

    • Greg 7.2

      Aussie banks would lose a lot.
      What do you think they will start doing with their farming debt, if their mortgages in housing went down.

      National expect Aussie banks to keep the farmers going during this dairy price downturn.

      • Macro 7.2.1

        Exactly! A collapse of the housing market would see the Aussie banks pulling support for the farmers. The Aussie banks are here simply to pull profits from the country – not for any philanthropic reason. Why we need control of our own finances.

  8. Richardrawshark 8

    The Nations ruining my weekend but I can’t stop watching it. Fkn McCully, Fkn Key…

    Did anyone see the Saudi sheep.. lets call it what it is..a huge scandal.

    • jcuknz 8.1

      Why give them an audience?
      I gave up TV years ago in disgust at how it was going 26 years ago and it has only got worse since from what I can gather.

  9. Gabby 9

    What? Has Munter emerged from hiding? What does he have to say for himself?

  10. Richardrawshark 10

    If you didn’t watch it you should have, McCullys gone when the auditor general repoirt comes out but the AG is procrastinating on her reportthe Nation exposed more shocks and a government scandal of sickening proportions the public should rightly be outraged at if it ever gets more then ignored

    He’s fkd. McCully that is. It’s just a matter of when.

    • ianmac 10.1

      The other day McCulley could not answer questions in QT regarding an employee of his, allegedly double dipping during the tenure of McCulley at as Min World Cup. Why not? Because he was no longer Minister of World Cup.
      Nor is Brownlie. No longer Min of Earthquake repairs so cannot answer for last years problems.
      So when McCulley steps aside he is no longer held accountable.
      But according to Mallard, the PM could be. Mmmm!

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    Known Chechen terrorist was given refugee status in Austria and protected from extradition to Russia. Now suspected as leader of Ataturk Airport attack

    It has been also revealed that Chataev was long wanted by the Russian authorities for terrorism-related offenses but he fled to Europe, where he was granted asylum, and successfully managed to escape extradition to Russia. The alleged mastermind joined Islamist secessionist militants that fought against Russia in the Second Chechen War between 1999 and 2000, where he lost an arm. Later, he was considered to be a representative of Dokka Umarov, once a “terrorist ?1” in Russia, in the Western Europe.

    The attack coordinator was on a wanted list in Russia since 2003 for sponsoring terrorism, recruiting extremists and membership in a terrorist group, Russian media report. However, in the same year, he received asylum in Austria. Chataev reportedly claimed that he lost his arm as he was severely tortured in Russian prison adding that he is being persecuted by Russian authorities.


    • Chooky 11.1

      +100…obviously hypocrisy and double standards prevail in the EU….pretty shocking… so much for EU security and surveillance and protection of the public from terrorism

      …and yet they still want Julian Assange extradited when it is clearly State trumped up charges and the women ‘victims’ have denied the charges laid against him

      …Julian Assange is a threat because he exposes the truth about USA and its friends

      …a terrorist on the loose is not regarded as a threat because he is perceived as being anti- Russia

  12. Glenn 50 12

    “Trump picked the town of Monessen in western Pennsylvania on Tuesday and a backdrop of rubbish to declare “American economic independence” – six days before the July 4th Independence Day holiday – and to trash what he called “failed” trade policies. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee wants international trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership that President Barack Obama wants to sign with 11 Pacific Rim countries and the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico renegotiated or ripped up.”

    “Trump sharpened his rhetoric in a later speech in Ohio, saying that the Pacific trade deal was being “pushed by special interests who want to rape our country”, feeding supporters angry at the establishment.”


  13. Graeme 13

    More from the guy who thought GPS would be the way to go for tolling Auckland’s motorways…

    There’s been a lot of little white boxes, with solar panels attached, sprouting on poles every 3-400 m apart along highways down here over the last month. They are for this endeavour http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/307789/rental-cars-kitted-out-with-talking-safety-tips

    Article seems to imply that they are government funded, and that was what the guys in the white van who were putting them up said.

    Be interesting to see the costs of the program, and what it actually does. At a rough guess I’d say the boxes would be around $1000 each by the time they were up and working, and there’s a lot of them. Reporting could be suspect too, bluetooth from the box to car????

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    Nine years of censorship

    The crackdown on government scientists in Canada began in 2006, after Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party was elected prime minister. During the nine-year Harper administration, the government placed a priority on boosting the economy, in part by stimulating development and increasing the extraction of resources, such as petroleum from the oil sands in Alberta. To speed projects along, the administration eased environmental regulations. And when journalists sought out government scientists to ask about the impacts of such changes, or anything to do with environmental or climate science, they ran into roadblocks.

    Which is absolutely bloody atrocious and shouldn’t be allowed. Thankfully, that’s now changing under Canada’s new government:

    Six months later, the government is loosening its grip on communications but the shift at some agencies has not been as swift and comprehensive as many had hoped. And with the newfound freedom to speak, the full impact of the former restrictions is finally becoming clear. Canadian scientists and government representatives are opening up about what it was like to work under the former policy and the kind of consequences it had. Some of the officials who imposed the rules are talking about how the restrictions affected the morale and careers of researchers. Their stories hint at how governments control communications in even more politically repressive countries such as China, and suggest what might happen in Canada if the political winds reverse.

    Now NZ needs a government that will open up our researchers as well, one that will protect them from those that will attack them for what the research says.

    • Pat 14.1

      a few points of commonality…9 years, neolibs and Crosby Textor

      “Gretchen Goldman, the lead analyst with the UCS on this issue, says that one thing Canada might learn from the US experience is that it takes time for a culture of transparency to take root. Even after a more open administration assumes power, many staff members remain from the previous government, and have been trained in the more-restrictive policies. “Practices often lag the policy,” she says.

      It could take years for Canadian scientists to recover from heavy funding cuts, low morale and tight control over communication. Looking back over what happened, Macdonald remembers something his grandmother once told him. “It takes ten years to make a good garden, but you can wreck it in six months,” he says. “It’s like that with science.”

    • ropata 14.2

      I wonder what horrible skeletons the Nats are hiding in the closet. Judging by the stuff that DID get out (dirty politics, Oravida, Saudi sheep, etc), whatever else they have covered up must be pretty damn nasty

  15. Chooky 15

    Where is the democracy?…Democratic Party rigs election in favour of Clinton

    ‘Sanders supporters sue DNC & Debbie Wasserman Schultz for rigging the system’


    ‘Guccifer 2.0 reveals Clinton expenses, clues on identity & slams presidential hopefuls’


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