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Open mike 03/02/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:23 am, February 3rd, 2015 - 338 comments
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338 comments on “Open mike 03/02/2015 ”

  1. “..Paying everyone a basic income would kill off low-paid menial jobs..

    ..What if everyone in Britain was paid £6,000 a year – and didn’t have to look for work?

    It would mean no more pensions – no basic welfare payments –

    – and a radical new labour market..”



    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Mason asserts that Corporations would rebalance their business models towards a high pay, stable consumption, low-ish profit world, and the tax take would rise as a result.

      It’s a good thing he stated that the article is conjecture, because otherwise he sounds like every other utopian economist, y’know, the ones that say “if we do a, then b would happen”, despite b never having followed a in any real world context outside of a dictionary.

      The first little pig built his house out of straw…

      • crashcart 1.1.1

        We are currently living in a system where a) has never lead to b). Until we try something else its projected failure or success is only ever conjecture. However a controlled and reasonable shift is far preferable to staying on this crazy round about we live on. I would give the quote about the definition of insanity but I think we are all familiar with it by now.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          We have some pretty good examples of systems that work better than ours in the real world already. Why not apply some lessons from them first?

          • crashcart

            More than happy with that. I agree the idea of a perfect system springing into existance is really far fetched. As mutch as the Venus Project sounds amazing I would love to see them argue how you set it up somewhere like India or China.

            Interested in what systems you are refereing too? I understand there are countries that use a far more social based form of Capatalisim to good results. I just worry that unless we move away from compitition and greed being the primary drivers of our society we will never see true and meaningful progress. We will always be one change of elected government away from regression.

            I am not a big proponent of the whole waiting for the revolution as some are. I do wonder however how far we can decend on the current system before it can no longer sustain itself. Don’t know if it will be in my lifetime, but I really think my two sons could see major shifts and they could be very turbulent unless our current trajectory is hlated and we find a new way of doing things.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Finnish education, anywhere unions are stronger, anywhere income inequality is lower, anywhere the government doesn’t introduce legislation that fundamentally undermines the rule of law.

              As for our trajectory, I suspect the weather is in control of that now.

              • crashcart

                All of those are good things but as I stated my concern is that they all work and exist in the current system. This means they exist based upon the continuience of governments that support them.

                Very good point about the weather.

            • dave brown

              You may be waiting for the revolution, but millions are not.

              “Mexican “43” Uprising
              The disappearance of 43 student teachers missing since September 26 has sparked an angry nation-wide protest movement. The 43 teaching students went missing from the Ayotzinapa Normal School in the state of Guerrero. The Attorney General said they had been killed by a local gang after the Mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, ordered the police to detain the protesting students. Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto defended the arrest of the students to avoid violence. A wave of protest exploded across the state and spread across the whole country and internationally against this state crime.
              Underlying this situation is the re-opening of the ‘frozen’ Mexican national revolution that threatens to overthrow the neo-liberal regime and complete the permanent revolution. Reactions on the left range from Amnesty International charging the Mexican state with condoning a wave of extra-judicial killings. We say this reformist position sows the illusion that the ‘crimes’ of the bourgeois state can be punished by the same bourgeois state to contain the growing militant resistance.
              Slightly more radical was the national meeting of all resistance organisations that accused the government of complicity with organised crime and the ‘criminalisation’ of protest. Its demands are to restore the Mexican state to its progressive role in developing the national interest and breaking with imperialism. All that is required is the ousting of Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, and its replacement by a populist regime along the lines of the Bolivarian states. We say that this position sows illusions in the Mexican bourgeois state can play a progressive role in completing the national revolution.
              Marxists do not go to the streets to defend the disappeared without calling for the disappearance of the bourgeois state. We are for arming of the masses to resist the bourgeois state forces, led by a Marxist party that calls for workers and poor peasants to form workers councils, and fight for a workers council government that breaks from both imperialism and the corrupt national bourgeoisie.”

              • crashcart

                Not sure where you get the idea that I am waiting for a revolution when in fact I stated that I am not. I am far more in favour of changing the system in a non violent manner. Maybe that is wishful thinking, but just call me a crazy optomist.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Non violent resistance and change is a must. The truth is that in western countries like UK and USA, the state is now set up to utterly crush any violent resistance.

                  Latest example is New York City where violent crime has been falling for years – they have just set up a new paramilitary police squad armed with automatic weapons to deal with terrorist incidents – and popular protests.

                  • crashcart

                    And a culture where when a 17 year old girl with mental issues feels that the easiest way to commit suicide is to turn up to a police station and say she has a gun.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      So they shot her 5 times after she pulled a knife, even though she knew that they already had their sights trained on her.

                      Pretty sad society.

                    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

                      I’m going to venture a comment (posed as a question) here:

                      It was likely that lack of taxpayer support led to her mental issues being insufficiently cared for, and it was thanks to taxpayer support that she died for?

                  • gsays

                    hi col, have you looked at derrick jensens’ endgame?

                    he has a good reasoned view on non violence or pacifism.
                    “you havent lived till you have been chased up the street by pacifists!”

                    i have some sympathy with what he has to say.
                    to pull down your masters house you do not use your masters rules.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      I haven’t read Endgame but I understand that he believes that a full mix of resistance approaches needs to be applied, particularly as the situation worsens for the majority.

                      to pull down your masters house you do not use your masters rules.

                      Do we really understand what these rules are, is my question, i.e. do we really understand how the systems of control actually work.

                      Because pulling down a house is a lot easier when you know which beams and pillars are structural and which are not.

                    • gsays

                      hi col, (sorry there isnt a reply to your comment)

                      in endgame he is quite explicit about premises, i may be wrong but he does refer to us as animals and not above or seperate from them.
                      therefore he says ‘ tell a mother grizzly bear, goose, dog, rat, cat etc, that violence doesnt work’.
                      he talks about the violence that is visited evry day by companies in the name of profit.
                      also that government is basically based on violence.
                      as you stated above about cops and soldiers and thier arms.

                      therefore i feel mildly compelled to challenge pacifism when it is mentioned, as i have recently done an about face on non violence.

                      “Do we really understand what these rules are, is my question, i.e. do we really understand how the systems of control actually work.”
                      ‘It’s all about money, not freedom, y’all, okay? Nothing to do with fuckin’ freedom. If you think you’re free, try going somewhere without fucking money, okay?’ bill hicks.

                      to my mind the ultimate sysrem of control is money.
                      move in a way that does not depend on money.
                      share rather than barter, volunteer, community gardens etc etc.

                      the other understated but possibly far more effective is in the subtle realm.
                      we are, in truth, all one.
                      when enough of us realize and act as so, it doesnt matter what you vote or what lie the pm tells next.

                    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

                      In relation to Derrick’s Premise Eight, it can be added:

                      “The needs of the natural world are more important than the needs of the economic system, or the demands of accounting fiction narrated by governments bought by corporations


                    • gsays

                      hi again col, the other aspect from derrick jensen re violence is that violence always goes down the power hierarchy.

                      ‘Do we really understand what these rules are, is my question, i.e. do we really understand how the systems of control actually work.’

                      this, to me, is control again.
                      another reason to be absolute about non violence.
                      dont get me wrong, there is a time to be peaceful, and a time to visit violence on those or that, where necescary.

                    • Paul

                      Brilliant book.

                • Sorry crashcart I misread your ‘waiting for the revolution’ sentence.

                  I think the case of the missing 43 Mexican students is still on point.
                  If you confine yourself to non-violent means of struggle, you will be still be waiting for the revolution when human extinction overtakes us.

                  The Mexican Revolution of 1910 was not peaceful as you well know.
                  The students today who are being met with state violence to suppress their mass protests, as was the Oaxaca commune in 2006, prove that the ‘non-violence’ approach to revolution is doomed.

                  Despite your and CR’s hopes in ‘non-violent’ change, the system always responds to non-violent protest with violence.

                  Revolutionary changes are always violent only because the opposition to revolution is violent.

                  History shows that counter-revolutionary violence on the part of small elite plus its mercenaries cannot suppress an armed revolution.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    History shows that counter-revolutionary violence on the part of small elite plus its mercenaries cannot suppress an armed revolution.

                    This is utterly false. An armed revolution is not going to survive one month against the SAS, STG and mass surveillance.

                    I don’t know much about the Mexican revolution of 1910. Reading wikipedia I see that it degenerated into a multi-sided civil war and that armed violence continued for roughly 20 years.

                    Then the PRI took over and ruled Mexico for 70 years.

                    And that’s supposed to be your example of successful peoples revolution???

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      I’ll add that empires throughout history have successfully and brutally suppressed armed rebellions…at least for a time.

                    • The Mexican Revolution was a war of national liberation that was incomplete as its economy remained dominated by the US.
                      Completion of that revolution today means kicking out the US and overthrowing the national bourgeoisie that rules on behalf of the US.

                      That is, a socialist revolution.

                      How violent that process is depends upon the ability of the masses to win over the ranks of the army form a popular militia and isolate the paramilitaries.

                      The Russian Revolution proves that it is possible to have an almost bloodless revolution by winning the army to the revolution. The bloodshed was caused by the counter-revolution.

                      This is evident in Syria today also.

                      No one is talking about a revolution in NZ in the foreseeable future. NZ is a privileged settler neo-colony with a comprador ruling class and affluent middle class, increasingly joined by wealthy foreigners, and subservient to US and Chinese imperialism. The working class is divided and subordinated through the unions and the Labour Party to the ideal of liberal democracy, even as that is being smashed by the NACT bonapartist regime.
                      [ e.g. Supreme Court decision on Dotcom raid
                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11395297 ]

                      Revolutions in Asia, Africa and Latin America that have a history of incomplete wars of independence and which are being reactivated today in popular insurrections will set the pace of revolution. Other crisis points like in Greece will have an impact too. The more the working class becomes a threat the more the fascist forces will be unleashed. Greece will show whether or not workers have the capacity to organise armed militias to defend a Gov’t that challenges the interests of the EU ruling class, from another colonels’ coup.

                      The role of the NZ working class will be to oppose the NZ ruling class participating in counter-revolutionary wars to smash these revolutions. Beyond that any confrontation between armed workers and the state forces in NZ in the foreseeable future would be adventurist and futile because not based upon a mass revolutionary movement.

                      But my point remains, when a mass revolutionary movement develops and arms itself, isolating the mercenaries of the state, then history shows that revolutions succeed.

                    • crashcart

                      Recent history is not so kind. Look to the Arab Spring. What was thought to be the turnign point for the region turned into more of the same. I have no doubt this is due to intervention from outside forces attempting to mould the new governments in a way that is more profitable to them.

                      That however is the primary problem with revolution right now. For it to truely be successful it would have to first be successful in one of the major powers. The US, Euro, Russia, or China would have to see their own revolution succeed. Whenever a smaller economy goes into a period of upheaval at the moement all that happens is that one of the big players jumps in to try and shape it the way they want. Just look at the Ukraine and the effect that Russia is having there.

    • vto 1.2

      The universal basic income is nowt to do with work (or rather of course it is as society no longer needs as many people to do the necessary work for our survival and prosperity)..

      The UBI is about society ensuring its members are provided for with the basics – a roof and food and base other support. Picture a pre-historic tribal village in Germany or Africa or Aotearoa…. it has 150 people.

      2 of those people own pretty much everything in that community. 30 of those people don’t have enough to eat or clothe themselves satisfactorily every day. 20 of them sit around with nothing to do, being berated by another 40 who have something to do (typically sweeping the floors of the 2 who have everything)….

      Is that sustainable? Does that make for a peaceful and prosperous community? No it bloody does not – it makes for one with disturbance and trouble. Like we have today.

      What makes a community sustainable is when its resources are spread around all, and the community ensure everyone has food to eat and a place to sleep. . . . This is Human Society 101 ffs.

      A UBI heads in the direction of a sustainable community.
      Current structures continue to take us to disturbance and trouble.

      Why cant people see this? Why do they vote for disturbance and trouble?

      • crashcart 1.2.1

        I am a fan of the UBI the only concern I have is how will it work in our current capatalist profit focused environment. I can see employers being happy to use the UBI to subsidise wages so that their staff costs go down. At the same time being that there is more moeny being spent in the economy (as we all know those on lower incomes tend to spend all of thier income because they have to) buisness will increase prices to extract even more profit.

        I guess what I am saying is that I would be concerned that a UBI would just become a benfit for buisness and those on the UBI alone would end up in pretty much the same place they are now. Along with even more working poor who only earn a little more than the UBI.

        • vto

          There would certainly be an adjustment period where prices, wages, costs, taxes would all slip and slide into a new paradigm. Bottom line though – there should be more of the nations economy coursing through the veins of the lower-incomed.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            There’s that word ‘would’ again.

            Crashcart makes a very good point. I’m all in favour of more of the nations economy coursing through the veins of the lower-incomed, and meaningful wage and benefit rises do that.

            • crashcart

              I agree. There needs to be no stand down period for benifits. If you are not in work you need support end of story. This includes if you stop working to raise a family. Be you a single perant or a stay at home perant in a relationship you are doing some of the most important work there is. You are raising the next generation. Yes you still have the option to work if you so choose but this would give people a realistic option to focus on their kids that not many actually have these days.

              Benefits need to be set at a level that you can have a decent standard of living. Get rid of this idea that they need to be punative to force people back into work. The employment market is deliberately scewed in favour of employers. There is an excess supply of labour and those that are currently out of work are made to feel that they are worth less than those who are as well as forced to subsist on the bear minimum to get by. This of course puts them in a poor negotiating position when trying to get work. The individual needs the job more than the employer needs the individual.

              It is a little out of left field I know but if you want to run the employment sector as a fair and even market (as any true capatalist should) then unemployment shold be a viable option with which employers need to compete. This would also help to raise real wages.

              • weka

                “Benefits need to be set at a level that you can have a decent standard of living.”

                So you’d be ok setting the dole at the equivalent of the living wage (eg $18/hr x 40hrs/wk)?

                How would you do that and manage the resentment from the people working 40hrs a week for the same income?

                • BassGuy

                  And what about those of us already working for next-to-nothing, who’ll get a marginal increase in our incomes, but won’t get more hours with a general wage increase?

                  (Why I wouldn’t get more hours is pretty much irrelevant.)

                • crashcart

                  So you are OK with those on benefits living on a subsitance income?

                  Why manage the resentment? Do you feel like you need to manage the resentment of those who are workign 40 hours for minimum wage towards those who work far less for a higher income based on thier skills.

                  I know it is just supposition but if a market workewd correctly offering an alternative to full time employment that can compete with it directly should force wages up. If you don’t have to do minimum wage work why would you? Therefore if an emplyer is going to want someone to do those jobs that were paying minmum wage then they will have to pay more.

                  • “.. If you don’t have to do minimum wage work why would you? Therefore if an emplyer is going to want someone to do those jobs that were paying minmum wage then they will have to pay more..”

                    + 1..

                  • weka

                    “So you are OK with those on benefits living on a subsitance income?”

                    No. Is there a reason you didn’t answer my questions?

                    “Why manage the resentment?”

                    Because the underclass are created not just by policy but by perception. I’m one of the underclass btw, whose life has been adversely affected by people with bene bludger chips on their shoulder. If you think the bene bludger meme isn’t real or doesn’t have real impact on people then you probably shouldn’t be commenting on this topic.

                    “I know it is just supposition but if a market workewd correctly offering an alternative to full time employment that can compete with it directly should force wages up. If you don’t have to do minimum wage work why would you? Therefore if an emplyer is going to want someone to do those jobs that were paying minmum wage then they will have to pay more.”

                    I don’t believe in the market’s ability to make these things better even if we could get it to work correctly. There is so much more wrong with employment, work and ethics in the is country than low wage rates.

                    “If you don’t have to do minimum wage work why would you?”

                    In the mid 80s the dole was in some cases the same or even higher than the lowest pay rates. How did you theory work out then?

                    Some people like working. They don’t do it just for the money. Some people would work at shit work or low income work just to be working. Others want that particular kind of work and are willing to do it because it gives them a step into something else. Lots of other reasons too.

                    If your theory is based on making benefits the same as the living wage, why not just do the UBI and remove all the bene stigma entirely?

                    • crashcart

                      To say I didn’t answer your question then quote my answer to be honest is a little baffling. I am not sure where you are coming from. Perhaps I was not a succinct as you would have liked. I felt gsays said it better.

                      Not sure where you get the idea that I think bene bashing is not real. Not a statement that I have ever made. I think if you are the kind of person who can judge whether or not I should comment on a topic then your opinion becomes worth even less to me TBH. I don’t begrudge you giving it but I could quite happily ignore it.

                      My initial forray into the market solving the issue was a little tounge in cheek. The fact that I have repeatedly stated that I think we need systamatic change and that tinkering insde the existing system is only temporary may have pointed to this but from where things went obviously not. There was a small basis in truth in it IMO. As I said if you set benefits at a level that they are competitive and make them more easily accessable then people have choice.

                      Yes people will work because they like working. But if you don’t have to do a shit job then you can work at what you enjoy. The whole point is that it offers choice. If you want to scrub toilets because that is what you find enjoyable then more power to you. However I doubt there will be very many people who fall in this catagory. Because people are no longer forced to do this work then if an employer wants you to do it then they are going to have to pay more.

                      In the 80’s the country was going through a huge neo liberal change. It was a period when entitlements were changed so that they were not as available. So yes they were high but they were far harder to get than what I proposed. So yea no comparison to be made.

                      I have already stated my issue with a UBI. I like it in princaple. Can you explain to me how it will not become a benefit to buisness when they use it to cut what they pay in wages whilst maxamising profit? Quid pro quo as it were. I addressed your question fully. Feel free to address mine.

                    • weka

                      “To say I didn’t answer your question then quote my answer to be honest is a little baffling. I am not sure where you are coming from. Perhaps I was not a succinct as you would have liked. I felt gsays said it better.”

                      I’m asking you if you think that benefits should be set at the living wage rate ie $18/hr x 40hrs? You haven’t answered that.

                      “Not sure where you get the idea that I think bene bashing is not real. Not a statement that I have ever made. I think if you are the kind of person who can judge whether or not I should comment on a topic then your opinion becomes worth even less to me TBH. I don’t begrudge you giving it but I could quite happily ignore it.”

                      I’m only going off what I am reading here, not what kind of person you are (I have no idea what kind of person you are).

                      “In the 80’s the country was going through a huge neo liberal change. It was a period when entitlements were changed so that they were not as available. So yes they were high but they were far harder to get than what I proposed. So yea no comparison to be made.”

                      Mid 80s, that’s not true. It was before the anti-bene thing really kicked in and it was easy as to get the dole. I remember this because I left school in 1983 and I saw the differences between my peers that went on unemployment and those that went into low waged work. This is also how I know that people will work low wages jobs rather than get the dole that is the same rate. And these were basically kids, although I think the work ethic has changed hugely since then.

                    • crashcart

                      I don’t know where they should be set. The living wage is a good place to look. It would certainly force employers to raise wages however that could be inflationary if we don’t combine it with a change in monetary poilcy and laws around bank leanding. This is the issue, you are trying to discuss the minutia of a concept. Exact numbers would only ever become important should a policy be prepared. That policy could only be prepared as a major change in how we approach not only benefits but also Monetary Policy. I acknowledge that there are weaknesses in the idea however I think it is more valid than a UBI…excepting that someone comes up with a solution to the concern that I have raised a number of times. So far I have not seen one.

                    • weka

                      Have you read the UBI links below?

                      It’s not minutiae, it was me wanting to know what you meant by saying benefits should be set at a living level.

                      “Exact numbers would only ever become important should a policy be prepared.”

                      Actually no. If we want to compare policies and see how they work, we need to work with examples. There is a big difference between raising benefits to the minimum wage and raising them to the living wage.

                • gsays

                  hi weka,
                  “How would you do that and manage the resentment from the people working 40hrs a week for the same income?”
                  i would suggest that handling the resntment is an issue for the employer.

                  • weka

                    no, we already have the resentment and it’s directed at beneficiaries. Why would an employer get involved in that?

                    • crashcart

                      Because now if an employer wants someone to continue to do that work then they will have to pay them more. This increase in wage should aswage some of the resentment.

                    • weka

                      People already get paid more than beneficiaries and the resentment exists. I think you haven’t thought this through very well.

                    • crashcart

                      An I think you haven’t thought through a UBI very well. It is essentially the same as making benefits easily available to all those not in work but instead you want to subsidise the profits of buisness at the same time.

                      Perhaps if I put it this way. Lets say I get paid $14 an hour to sweep a building. You introudce a UBI that pays everyone the equivilent of $13 an hour. How do you stop an employer only paying $1 on top of that. Have you made anything better for the working person? Are they going to have any less resentment towards someone not working? Is the contractor who pays you to sweep the floor going to charge a little less to keep the contract and still make a larger profit?

                      Your own solution has the exact same pitfall you are pointing towards in mine yet you have just given a whole lot of tax dollars to buisnesses. I am sure McDonalds and KFC will be really happy when the government starts paying the majority of their wage bill.

                    • weka

                      Well that avoids the bludger meme issue completely, let’s be clear about that (you have no solution).

                      UBI is not the same as raising benefit rates, and for very good reasons. Have you read the links below that outline how a UBI could work?

                      As for the empoyer rip off issue, there are others here better qualified to answer this, but I assume that (a) wages top up the UBI ie you don’t get a full salary on top of the UBI and (b) the govt sets a minimum wage rate that prevents employers from ripping off the system.

                      Some UBI systems don’t set the UBI at a livable rate (Gareth Morgan’s from memory) and so a system of supplements is needed for those on benefits. I’ve not seen a good outline of how to do that yet, but I think it’s possible.

                    • crashcart

                      I don’t get this. You accuse me of not coming up with an answer to the bludger meme when I have on numerous occasions said that it is something that has to be changed from the top. You have to make it clear that we all benefit from support from the government. The fact that you think a UBI is about getting rid of it I think is miss guided. Basically because your own example in no way addresses it either. I get the premise that if everyone is getting a benefit then we are all beneficiaries. Do you honestly think that will still stop the right pushing the meme that those who aren’t working are bludgers? Got some bad news for you mate.

                      Can you explain to me how the government setting a minimum wage that the employer can pay on top of a UBI is any differnt to the government setting a minimum wage that is slightly higher than a benefit that is easily accessable? Other than the fact htat in the latter teh company is wholey responsable for paying the wage. They both result in those not in emplyment receiving slightly less then those who are. The only difference being that government is now paying a portion of the wage bill of every company operating in NZ if a UBI were in place.

                      Honestly the solution where you set a UBI below living wage requires benefits. I conceed Greth Morgan is a lot smarter than me so I just don’t get how that is any better than the current system. I suppose it would encourage multinationals to bring their buisnesses here as it will be cheaper to pay kiwi’s to do the work. Do we really want to be a low subsidised wage economy?

                    • weka

                      I don’t get this. You accuse me of not coming up with an answer to the bludger meme when I have on numerous occasions said that it is something that has to be changed from the top.

                      No, I’m suggesting that you haven’t responded to the critique of your ideas. Sure a govt can lead the way. Let’s rule out National, which leaves Labour. How are they going to get elected and do what you suggest, when they have substantial issues with their voter base including the working poor and the self-employed working class who now vote National?

                      You have to make it clear that we all benefit from support from the government. The fact that you think a UBI is about getting rid of it I think is miss guided. Basically because your own example in no way addresses it either. I get the premise that if everyone is getting a benefit then we are all beneficiaries. Do you honestly think that will still stop the right pushing the meme that those who aren’t working are bludgers? Got some bad news for you mate.

                      I think a UBI will change the narrative and allow people who are feeling hard done by and are being hard done by to feel that they are being listened to and having their needs addressed. Those who are just bigots, can’t really do anything about them, so I’m not including them in the equation.

                      Can you explain to me how the government setting a minimum wage that the employer can pay on top of a UBI is any differnt to the government setting a minimum wage that is slightly higher than a benefit that is easily accessable?

                      That’s a really complex question, and I’m off out for a while now. I think the answers to that are in the links and some of this thread. I asked above about the abatement process applied to beneficiaries. You tell me how you would change that fairly and I might take your UBI/wage benefit reset comparison more seriously.

                      I don’t think Morgan’s UBI plan is the best one btw. Have you looked at the others? I don’t think you really understand what UBI advocates are proposing in terms of social change. There are multiple differences between a UBI and what you are suggesting.

              • Draco T Bastard

                There needs to be no stand down period for benifits.

                With a UBI there wouldn’t be any stand down as you get it all the time.

                • crashcart

                  As I said earlier I am in favour of a UBI in principle. I just think there needs to be clarification around how in a profit based system a UBI would not turn into a benefit for buiness that essentially moves even more working people into poverty. I just can’t see how that can be addressed personally but am very open to anyone who can.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    A UBI becomes the minimum income that anyone will ever have. The amount will be enough to ensure that people who only have that as an income are not living in poverty. Any income that people have from working is in addition to the UBI.

            • weka

              How would you solve the twin problems of the high dysfunction of WINZ, and the bene basher/bludger meme?

              • crashcart

                The first part to me would be about making WINZ non confrontational organisation. Try to simplify the rules around eligability so that people of all educational levels can understand what they are entitled too. WINZ staff are theer to explain and assist not be the gatekeeper. Of course the difficult part is putting in controlls to try and avoid abuse by both those seeking assistance and those there to provide it. I don’t pretend to have all the answers.
                As to the Bene basher mentality. Well that is a culture shift that has to start with the message from the government. Make it clear that support is not a bad thing. That at any stage any of us could be the one who needs it. Also make it clear that support is not only benefits. It also EQC, ACC, PHARMAC, TAX credits for buisness. As soon as people start realising that we all receive support from our government and that is what we pay taxes for then the sooner they understand that a person on the benefit is no different to an All Black receiving some of their wages (no matter how small) via SPARC.

                • weka

                  I think WINZ is almost wholly unfixable, even with the best will in the world. It’s been restructured so many times that it doesn’t know if it is coming or going. That’s culturally and technically and in terms of systems.

                  The abatement system alone is one that will always undermine beneficiaries who want to work, and I’ve not seen anyone offer a solution to it other than scrapping benefits and moving to a UBI. AFAIK no political party is doing any work on this, despite it being a huge issue in terms of both poverty and employment.

                  • crashcart

                    WINZ is often a reflection of the government that is in power. Unfortunately since the early 1980’s those governmetns have pushed the line that a benefit should only be for those who have absolutly no other option and then it shold only be just enough to survive on so that you feel like you have to work. This means employees of WINZ are pushed to give people less assistance and be obstructive.
                    Remove the barriers. Simply make their job to inform and facilitate. The moment they no longer have to act as benefit cops monitoring who does and doesn’t deserve their help the organisation becomes a helpful one as opposed to what it is today.

                    • weka

                      nice in theory, but it largely avoids addressing my points. I’m a long term beneficiary and I’ve seen what happens under different govts. Even where you have positive attitudes within the dept, it still doesn’t overcome the dysfunctional nature of the systems that have been fucked with for 30 years.

                      Focus on the abatement issue and see if you can come up with a solution to that.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Wages and salaries related to permanent jobs are drifting into history. We can all already see that with the massive increase in the self employed, contractors, owner operators etc.

              Also, the minimum wage is irrelevant if you are unemployed.

              My view:
              1) The minimum wage is boosted to 2/3 the average age = $32K pa.
              2) The UBI is set at half the minimum wage = $16K pa ($300 pw gross).
              3) The Government provides a youth jobs guarantee up to 25 years of age: full time minimum wage jobs.

              • nadis

                Ignoring recommendation # 1, the rough cost of 2 and 3

                3mm*16,000 = 48 billion.

                there are 620,000 under 25 adults. If you assume at least half would take up the minimum guarantee:

                620k * 0.5 * (32k -16k) =5 billion

                Lets say you save in social welfare costs everything except the top up between UBI and the current pension (thats about 25% of total pension payments = then there would be savings of around 19 billion.

                So net cost of #2 and #3 = 34 billion, thats an increase in govt expenditure of 35%. How do you fund it? Raise the tax burden by 35%? (Bear in mind that the UBI would remove something like 45 billion of taxable income from the calculation – call that 5 billion of taxation).

                So we now need to find 39 billion in new revenue….. lets round it down and call it 35 billion.

                some options (and these assumptions are very heroic as the assume no convexity in supply/demand):

                – raise GST from 15% to 150%
                – raise the company tax rate from 28% to 92%
                – raise the top personal tax rate from 33% to 163%
                – add $10 tax per litre of petrol…….

                These numbers are rough and ready but unless I’ve missed something obvious give a sense of the issue around UBI. Any good ideas on how to make it work?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Hmmmm some pretty serious numbers you have worked out there.

                  There are approx. 2M people employed. As crashcart points out, we can’t really have the implementation of a UBI become a direct subsidy for employers.

                  I am guessing that approx. $25B to $30B of the government revenue gap you are pointing out is currently being paid out in wages and salaries to these 2M people which would then be taken over by the UBI.

                • gsays

                  hi nadis, to finance this how about a financial transaction tax?

          • nadis

            The concept of UBI is good but the problem is always around how to make it work in practice.

            If you assume there are 3 million adults in NZ, and the UBI is set equal to the net pension, then the payments per annum are 58.8 billion. Even at the single adult unemployment net rate (excluding accommodation supplements) the UBI would cost 32 billion.

            Current spending on social welfare and pensions is 28 billion so it is a significant increase in spending.

            Total spending on education and health is around 27.5 billion so a UBI becomes a big ticket item.

            An easier to get to UBI like benefits is to increase the tax free threshold at the low end and pay for it with slightly higher tax rates in the upper brackets.

            • vto

              The devil can be in the detail sure, but the underlying basics are that New Zealand is rich – rich enough to be able to afford to provide all members of our society with the basics…..

              … if it is not rich enough then wtf are some members doing with too much while others suffer? That is just a completely f*%&$d way of organising the village.

              • McFlock

                Yes, NZ is rich.
                But another $28bil rich?

                • weka

                  I’m not sure if anyone is suggesting that UBI be set to the super rate, are they? Nadis’ figures are probably too high.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    It doesn’t actually matter what the UBI is set to as long as taxes are set correctly to offset it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke


                      I’d prefer a situation where higher wages* below the median rendered the problem moot.

                      *and benefit levels.

                    • weka

                      do you mean in place of a UBI?

                      If so, how would you solve the WINZ abatement problem?

                  • @ weka..

                    ..just up the thread u claimed it wd b a living-wage..(as a reason to oppose it..)

                    ..and here this..?

                    ..you claiming pension rates ‘wd b 2 high’..(!)


                    ..cd u explain the mental-process u went thru between those two wildly different claims/certainties..?..)

                    • nadis

                      Gross single pension is $410 per week or 21,320 per year.

                      Single adult UB is $230 per week or $11,960 per year plus accomodation supplement (max of $145 per week).

                      I’m pretty sure neither option is a gold plated lifestyle.

                    • weka

                      I haven’t said either of those things phil.

                      Nadis, I agree, but there is a huge difference between the two, right? UBI isn’t an income replacement. It gets topped up either via supplements or via wages.

                    • yeah..ok..

                      ..i am imagining so much today..

                    • weka

                      Is that you being passive aggressive?

                      I’ve already done one round with you this week proving you to be full of shit and unwilling to admit it. You really want to go another round?

                    • The Al1en

                      “yeah..ok….i am imagining so much today..”

                      Easiest way to prove or disprove is to direct quote and link to the comments you think were made.
                      Can you do that?

                    • is that u being aggressive-aggressive there..weka..?

                      ..found a wee bone..?

                      ..wanna worry/play with it for awhile..?

                      ..and seriously..a minor error from me..

                      ..and you go all swat-team/gangbusters..

                      ..whereas u have a history of talking serial utter-shite..

                      ..being called on it..

                      ..and never responding to those challenges..

                      ..u just ignore them..

                      ..is this how it’s done..?

                    • The Al1en

                      “Can you do that?”

                      “is that u being aggressive-aggressive there..weka..? ..found a wee bone..? ..wanna worry/play with it for awhile..? ..and seriously..a minor error from me….and you go all swat-team/gangbusters….whereas u have a history of talking serial utter-shite….being called on it….and never responding to those challenges….u just ignore them….is this how it’s done..?

                      So that’s a no, just like you can’t do a gracious apology.

                    • “…whereas u have a history of talking serial utter-shite..

                      ..being called on it..

                      ..and never responding to those challenges..”

                      ..that is why..in the main i now ignore you..

                      ..i tired of that exercise in futulity..

                    • The Al1en

                      ” “…whereas u have a history of talking serial utter-shite….being called on it….and never responding to those challenges..”
                      ..that is why..in the main i now ignore you….i tired of that exercise in futulity.. ”

                      And yet there you were, not ignoring her, because you thought you had an easy points win when in fact you didn’t at all. 🙄

                      But I wouldn’t stress about it too much, I mean every one of us makes a mistake. The main thing is to address your failing in a pleasant manner and vow to do better next time…. Like you have 😆

                    • weka

                      Easiest way to prove or disprove is to direct quote and link to the comments you think were made.

                      I’ll do it.

                      phil (edited punctuation and spelling for clarity),

                      Just up the thread you claimed it would be a living-wage (as a reason to oppose it)

                      and here this, you claiming pension rates ‘would be too high’


                      could you explain the mental-process you went through between those two wildly different claims/certainties?

                      weka translates,

                      phil thinks that I claimed that a living wage would be a reason to oppose ‘it’. I’m not sure what ‘it’ is exactly.

                      He also thinks that I claim pension rates would be too high.

                      Here’s what I actually said compared to phil’s interpretation,

                      1. phil: you claimed it would be a living-wage (as a reason to oppose it)

                      weka: So you’d be ok setting the dole at the equivalent of the living wage (eg $18/hr x 40hrs/wk)?

                      In context, that was me asking for crashcart to clarify if when they said we should raise benefits to a livable rate he meant something like the living wage. There was no intent to use that to oppose anything, I simply was curious in that debate what they had meant by liveable.

                      2. phil:you claiming pension rates ‘would be too high’

                      weka: I’m not sure if anyone is suggesting that UBI be set to the super rate, are they? Nadis’ figures are probably too high.

                      In context, that’s me asking about the people suggesting UBIs (not me) and that they haven’t said to set it as high as superannuation, and hence Nadis’ calculations on what a UBI would cost NZ were too probably too high. I didn’t claim pension rates would be too high at all.

                      In neither comment did I actually express my personal opinion, I just asked a couple of questions for clarity’s sake.

                      tl;dr, phil is having comprehension problems (no shame in that, we all do it from time to time), but when I state that I didn’t say what he claimed, he drops into passive aggressive, let’s start troling mode. There is nothing of good faith in phil’s engaging that I can see. Nothing.

                    • do you think u might need a hobby..?

                    • weka

                      why would I need a hobby when it’s such fun watching you continuously make a dick of yourself?

                    • The Al1en

                      Yes it was pretty obvious you made neither of the statements claimed. I think pu just got too eager to set up a cheap shot without pausing to reread and making sure of the facts.

                      Shame you couldn’t get a decent acknowledgement of his mistake, though the subsequent histrionics must be of some consolation as case closed, but well done for the translation effort.

                    • weka

                      misrepresenting people’s arguments and being unable or unwilling to be honest about that when called on it is the lowest form of debate here, lower even than what I’ve just done instead of ignoring him. It distorts what should otherwise be effective communication and affects more than just the person being lied about.

                      I’m ok to slap him down when he does it to me, and hopefully this won’t be too tedious for the community as I hardly ever read what he writes 🙂 (which means he’s probably telling more lies about me than I realise, but I think my occassional examples of this will suffice).

                    • u said..

                      “.. being unable or unwilling to be honest about that when called on it is the lowest form of debate here,..”

                      i repeat..

                      “..and seriously..a minor error from me..

                      ..and you go all swat-team/gangbusters..

                      ..whereas u have a history of talking serial utter-shite..

                      ..being called on it..

                      ..and never responding to those challenges..

                      ..u just ignore them..”

                      ..w.t.f. do/did u not understand about that..?

                      ..do i have to repeat it again..?

                      ..(see..this is why i ignore u..u r all over the fucken place..

                      ..i think the inside of yr head must be like a carnival sideshow.. at full volume..)

                    • The Al1en

                      The denial is strong in this one 🙄

                      Give it a rest bruv. You made a mistake and got pulled on it. No need to get your trollopian tubes in a twist.

                • vto

                  I think it is important to answer the issues in the right order. It is no use answering question 1 with the answer to question 3, 4 or 5. That is the method of the procrastinator and non-achiever.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  NZ can virtually eliminate child poverty with approx $2B pa in spending and the nation can’t even be fucked to do that.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  So, you’re saying that New Zealand can’t afford to feed, house and cloth our population?

                  • McFlock

                    I’m saying that there’s a lot of hand-waving to make the government able to pay for a UBI, whatever the final expenditure is.

                    New Zealand is not the government. The government is not New Zealand.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Everyone is talking as if an extra $28B spending (or whatever the number is) is unaffordable.

                  All this $$$ goes back into the NZ economy from whence it came. So of course it’s affordable FFS. The government spends a dollar into the economy, after bouncing around for a few days or weeks that dollar is eventually taxed back in. Closed loop.

                  What’s not affordable is the country losing billions overseas every year.

                  • McFlock

                    I agree with the last bit.

                    The middle bit, not so much. I suspect that a UBI might take that concept to the realm of absurdity.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      For a private individual or small business the timing of cashflow is critical. You know you have your pay coming to you tomorrow, but its not much good to you if your mortgage is due today.

                      A government has no such limitations.

                      By the way there are probably around $300B in bank deposits in NZ. And roughly $1900B worth of houses, farms and other property.

                      On that scale is a UBI that much? Especially if much of it is money which is being spent already in different forms. And as I said, child poverty in NZ could be ended for approx $2B pa spend. No one seems very interested though.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, I agree about the $2b. In fact I think that probably overstates the funds needed to fix the problem.

                      The issue with an additional $28bil (or whatever it might be for a dignified UBI) is that it doesn’t matter how much it is compared to private funds in the bank, or non-money items in the country. It matters compared with how much money the government has coming in.

                      A government has more leeway than a household, but the limitations aren’t non-existent. E.g. hedgefunds holding Argentine navy ships in port.

                    • crashcart

                      A great place to start is for the government to take sole control of money creation. Get rid of the fractional reserve banking system that allows banks to create the majority of the money that is supposed to be floating around in our system. Kiwi bank should be used as a means for Kiwi’s to borrow from the NZ goverment at the OCR. If the government becomes the one and only source of NZ dollars and loans them out to banks for their use then they have far more control over our monetary policy.

                      Be a blody good place to start when you are trying to fund social change.

                    • McFlock

                      That’s a bloody good idea.
                      Have first home criteria like the current loan scheme so that first home buyers have an advantage over speculators, that will help keep it from adding more heat to the market.

                      And above a certain level, it goes to winz as small buisiness startup loans at OCR.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      To my mind, each unemployed person represents approx. $20K too little being spent into the economy. 200,000 unemployed and under employed people suggests that we are underspending about $4B pa into our $200B pa economy.

                      If the private sector won’t do that, then government must.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      A government has more leeway than a household, but the limitations aren’t non-existent. E.g. hedgefunds holding Argentine navy ships in port.

                      well, if a country is crazy enough to denominate large parts of its national debt in a foreign currency, like the Argentines did taking on debt in US dollars, then yeah they are going to get smashed when the exchange rate players move against them.

                    • McFlock

                      well, if a country is crazy enough to denominate large parts of its national debt in a foreign currency, like the Argentines did taking on debt in US dollars, then yeah they are going to get smashed when the exchange rate players move against them.

                      Wasn’t the Weimar debt in Marks?

                    • nadis

                      Not just the Weimar republic but also Zimbabwe, Israel, Armenia, Serbia, Bosnia, Zambia, of the eastern european countries that end in ‘stan, Nicaragua, Hungry, Georgia etc. The list is long.

                      In pretty much every case the culprit was a significant current account deficit financed by unsterilised money creation by the govt.

                      And by the way, the fractional banking thing. Even though the trading banks are, in your words “creating money” they are doing this as an agent of the Central Bank. The Central Bank knows exactly how much of that lending is happening because the CB sets reserve ratios, and at the end of each day the trading banks have to have a nil balance with the central bank.

                      Heres an example: Assume the reserve ratio is 50%.
                      Bank receives $100 in deposits and lends out $200. It has to get the additional $100 in real cash, it does this by borrowing (on a daily basis) from the Central Bank. So reported to the CB is reserve assets of $100, plus a loan from the Central Bank of $100 = $200 in liabilities. Plus $200 in lending to clients as Assets.

                      Didn’t any of you study 7th form economics?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Wasn’t the Weimar debt in Marks?

                      In GOLD marks. Which could not be simply printed like paper marks. Or IN KIND eg. in timber, coal, petroleum and other real physical commodities which also could not be printed or electronically created.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Not just the Weimar republic but also Zimbabwe, Israel, Armenia, Serbia, Bosnia, Zambia, of the eastern european countries that end in ‘stan, Nicaragua, Hungry, Georgia etc. The list is long.

                      In pretty much every case the culprit was a significant current account deficit financed by unsterilised money creation by the govt.

                      Not quite – you’ve stated one of the typical preconditions for hyperinflation – there are others. Typically war, civil war, sanction, or financial attacks debilitating the productive capacity of the country are also required to cause hyperinflation.

                      And it should be clear that in developed economies it is extraordinarily difficult to cause hyperinflation, as most developed countries are edging towards a deflationary trap despite trillions of dollars/Yen/Yuan being printed.

                    • McFlock

                      I figured the deflationary trap was because neoliberalism’s inequality is shutting down economies more effectively than any energy shock.

                      And arbitrarily increasing the supply of money would devalue it, no? Supply and demand?

                    • nadis

                      CV – in Weimar Germany the papiemark was the hyperinflation currency, replaced by the Rentenmark which was not gold backed, but backed by land. It wasn’t until the Reichsmark came in – that there was a gold backed currency, and that was only made possible by loans from the USA (which were then used to pay reparations to the US, Britain and France). Crazy I know.

                      And in hyperinflation the printing of paper money is always necessary – I cant think of an example where that wasnt true – but you’re quite riight that the conditions that make that occur are usually the aftermath of a war, rampant corruption or some other cause of a breakdown in normal society..

            • weka

              Ways in which the UBI has been proposed to work. From what I can tell it’s not about having to generate more income for the govt, it’s about rearranging the tax system so that the benefits are more evenly shared, including who pays what tax and how.

              Universal Income Revisited


              Gareth Morgan’s Big Kahuna

              UBI. (Universal Basic Income).

              • nadis

                One big issue though is that in NZ we have already bought in a policy that rearranges income and tax a bit like UBI, but just more inefficiently. WFF means that many families (depending how many kids) pay no tax at all up to 70+k of income. So with good intentions, we have done an inefficient, somewhat arbitrary realigning of who does and does not pay tax.

                • weka

                  I take it you didn’t read the links and so are going to keep arguing that we can’t afford one based on the false premise that it’s not affordable (backed up by an example that isn’t an example).

                  • nadis


                    Where have I said any of what you claim? Seems like anyone that disagrees with authentic working class revolutionaries like yourself get accused of saying things they didn’t say. Apologies if my comments are too nuanced for your black and white world view.

                    Personally I’d like to see a UBI style structure – my difficulty is I’m not smart enough to invent a way that makes it work. Very happy to hear your ideas, and if I think it works I’ll even support it.

                    Gareth morgans plan would certainly help the perceived house price crisis. Thousands of distressed sales to fund the capital tax. from memory there were lots of other issues he glossed over like the fact superannuitants would be 50% worse off, lots of beneficiariees currently get more than his UBI etc.

                    I’m merely (and seem to be the only person) pointing out that dreams cost money. By all means have the dream but don’t get annoyed when asked to price the dream.



                    Income Sensitivity


                    Go for it, give me a plan that works.

                    • weka

                      without going back and rereading the whole thread, I may have gotten you mixed up with crashcart who I was also replying to. Sorry about that if that is true.

                      I’m not working class. I’m probably too old and tired to count as a revolutionary.

                      I think one of the problems with this thread is that comments are being made without the benefit of a post. If we had a post up that explained how a UBI could work, then we would have a shared starting framework rather than the all over the place one this afternoon.

                      Looks like it might be time to have another dedicated conversation on the UBI (esp as Little/Labour look they’re opening up to the idea).

                      “Go for it, give me a plan that works.”

                      I’m not a numbers person, so I can’t do that, but from memory it was Red’s post (already linked) that first gave me the understanding of how the numbers would play out via the tax rearranging.

      • The lost sheep 1.2.2

        “Why cant people see this? Why do they vote for disturbance and trouble?”

        Because they don’t see things as being anywhere near as dire as your world view paints it vto.
        Most people in Aotearoa actually have a predominantly positive view of the country and times they live in.

        “In general, 85% of people in New-Zealand say they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc.) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc.), more than OECD average of 76%”

        Why can’t you see that?


        • vto

          Oh I can see that lost sheep, but I suggest that people with that view have it because they tend to not be able to see the 30 people who cant feed and clothe themselves adequately, nor the 20 people who have nothing to do, and see only the 2 who have everything (who they wish to be themselves).

          The 150 people in the village is of course 4,400,000 today so of course people are not going to see the various components of our society in clear light. It is physically not possible to have the same contact and so not possible to have a clear view of our village.

          Conclusion: the positive view you highlight is misguided due to not having a full and clear picture.

          • The lost sheep

            I conclude you are making up purely hypothetical scenarios that just happen to support your personal world view.
            But to go with it for the sake of debate…

            In terms of the data i’ve linked to on modern NZ’ers, 129 people in the village feel there are more positives than negatives to life under the current structure.

            Presuming human nature was much the same in your ‘pre-historical’ setting as it is now, the community as a whole would only be keen on change if they had a compelling argument that the specific changes proposed would in fact result in a positive net gain for the overall community.

            • vto

              There is nothing hypothetical about a village of 150 people – it has been the default human living environment for most of humanity.

              As for 129 people in the village feeling positive, I have already responded to that with the point about it not being a clear view.

        • weka

          “In general, 85% of people in New-Zealand say they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc.) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc.), more than OECD average of 76%”

          Ok, so presumably that includes people who are in the 60/40 ratio, or the 52/48 ratio? Those positive and negative experiences aren’t mutually exclusive, and many people live with both. 50% is setting a pretty low bar.

        • tricledrown

          The lost creep.
          So why do we have one of the highest suicide rates in the world.
          In Heartland farmers are in a very poor situation record numbers commiting suicide.
          We also have one of the highest child abuse neglect rates.
          Pulling the Wool.
          Lost sheep.
          New Zealands Rugby thugby culture of just harden up is behind this deep darkside of New Zealands culture.
          Denial we have any problems is why we have failed to deal with these problems.
          Cold hearted emotional aloufness and Denial.
          New Zealanders are decieving themselves in this questionare.

          • The lost sheep

            I didn’t say there weren’t any problems.
            I was just pointing out the FACT that a large majority of NZ’ers feel very positively about their lives. In world terms in fact, right up there on most measures.

            I’m just pointing out that those of you that try to paint a picture of NZ as a repressive dystopian nightmare are well out of touch with the reality.

            Our suicide rate is not one of the highest in the world by the way.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              NZ has serious social issues.

              Get with the play.

            • vto

              I think you are missing some vital components.

              Such as why a majority thinking things are good means they are in fact good for enough people to stop society edging closer to dysfunction – why would that follow? Such a conclusion takes no account of the point made above about clarity of view.

              And such as why you think making such an assessment against other parts of current humanity has any meaning at all with respect to the functionality of society. Again, it doesn’t.

              You’re lost in a big paddock lost sheep

              • The lost sheep

                Agreed Weka, and obviously not good at all.
                I also believe that stat. is one that is heavily skewed by an exceptionally high rate among a particular sub group of young males?

                It was the blanket ‘highest in world’ claim I was contesting. I’m allergic to exaggeration.

                • weka

                  fair enough.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  heavily skewed by an exceptionally high rate among a particular sub group of young males

                  Don’t be so fucking coy. Citation please.

                  • McFlock

                    Lost sheep is allergic to exagerration. And swearwords literally make LS explode.

                    BTW, clusters count too.

                  • The lost sheep

                    I thought it was either among Maori or rural/small town – thought Weka might have the answer without me having to search.

                    But having looked, I’m glad to see the good news that rates are dropping (Finland now worst).
                    And yes it is a ‘skewed’ figure. Rates among Maori are at worst OECD levels, among non-Maori rates are at average OECD levels.


                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Thanks. Come and see the racism inherent in the system. Or change the system.

                    • weka

                      And Pine Ridge Reservation has the worst murder rate per head of population in the world. I know who I hold responsible.

                      It’s not a skewing of the stats, lost sheep. Māori are NZers too.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Of course Maori are NZ’ers Weka. Your point is?

                      By ‘skewed’ statistic, I mean one that taken at face value can actually obfuscate the reality the data presents.
                      (As the old saying goes, “there are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics”)

                      Where an atypical data pattern is clearly concentrated in one quite specific and identifiable grouping of a sample, it is highly misleading to dilute that finding by presenting the data as an aggregate of the entire sample.

                      There are significant implications in the difference between the statements ‘Young NZ males have the highest rate of suicide in the OECD’, and ‘Young Maori males have the highest rate of suicide in the OECD, and non Maori males suicide rates are at the OECD average’.

                      The most significant implication would be that the latter statement might lead you to put a higher percentage of effort into prevention among Maori youth than non Maori?

                      Just like you would for other areas where data identifies clear and specific groupings requiring extra levels of attention and intervention?

                    • weka

                      I wouldn’t use the word skew, which has negative connotations. Yes you can break it down into ethnicity, in the same way it’s been broken down into age, and I’m sure there are other categories as well (urban/rural, alcohol and drug abuse/use, mental health issues etc). But I wouldn’t say that the young men rate skews the suicide stats for NZ either.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Well, if you are convinced aggregating data doesn’t skew facts, I might need to change my thinking.
                      My initial observation this morning had revealed a heavy Aphis infestation in the 20% of my garden devoted to Cucurbit varieties, and none elsewhere, so I had formed a plan to blast just the Cucurbits with some Pyrethrum this arvo.

                      Realising now that I have been using a faulty methodology in my handling of the observed data I have recalculated.
                      The data is now showing that I have a modest level of Aphis across 100% of my vegetable patch.
                      Consequently I have decided to either spray the whole garden, or do nothing at all, as the infestation is not nearly as bad as I first thought.

                      As a bonus, my Potatoes, who can be a bit sensitive, will have no reason to suspect that I don’t consider that they are vegetables too. 🙂 (joke. Just in case the smiley face gets misinterpreted)

                    • McFlock

                      just to recap: we’re comparing national rates across the globe.

                      I’m sure the rates of every nation are similarly “skewed” by virtue of the fact that there are almost no phenomena that spread uniformly across a variety of demographic profiles.

                      So removing our cluster to say we’re not so bad as some other country when it comes to youth suicide is pretty lame, unless you remove similar socioeconomic clusters from the comparison sample.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Are you sure ethnicity is the determining factor and not socioeconomic status etc.?

                      unemployment, and the characteristics of youth employment (such as low skill and pay levels, insecurity, part-time or casual status…

                      Giskes 2004

                      Perhaps the problems are right wing employment law and institutional prejudice.

                    • The lost sheep

                      @ McFlock
                      “So removing our cluster to say we’re not so bad as some other country when it comes to youth suicide is pretty lame,”

                      It would be. And if you had read a bit more carefully you would have noticed that i didn’t suggest that at all.

                    • The lost sheep

                      I don’t know the answer OAB…but if that were the case, it does make me wonder how that could explain why suicide rates are so high in the Scandinavian countries?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Just saying that if the problem is a symptom of something else, you’re pointing your “prevention” at the wrong target.

                      Further, there are other indicators that this may indeed be the case: prison demographics, for example, and the aforementioned unemployment stats. Both factors are recognised as increasing risk.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Don’t have time to do more than a brief google out of curiosity…but found this piece a bit mind bending.

                      It raises the possibility that the study findings “may mean that increasing happiness by reducing economic inequality could paradoxically produce more suicides as a “side effect.”


                    • McFlock

                      So removing our cluster to say we’re not so bad as some other country when it comes to youth suicide is pretty lame,

                      It would be. And if you had read a bit more carefully you would have noticed that i didn’t suggest that at all.

                      Yes, I’m sure you just randomly responded to an OECD comparison with the “skewed” line, with absolutely no impulse or desire to minimise the fact weka had informed you of.

                      There is no depression in New Ze-eland (exceptForSomeClustersAmongMaoriYouthThatSkewTheStats), there are no sheep on our farms…

                      Catchy. The tories can use it next time instead of ripping off eminem.

                    • The lost sheep

                      I only answer to what I actually think and have said, not what you think I might be have been thinking and intending to say.

                    • McFlock

                      You see, we agree on what you wrote.

                      I just credited you with attempting a stupid mitigation, rather than throwing out an irrelevant diversion. At least the former is in good faith.

          • gsays

            hi heartland, can you plz point to evidence regarding farmers suicide rate?

          • A Voter

            All the hallmarks of rural kiwis battling the depression that comes from being self employed producers who always get hit the hardest because its the way of life they have been part off for many generations not jetsetting Wall st Yuppies who change like the wind that blows their money around and con us into believing that they are more important than the rest of us
            Well you cant eat money and shit in the morning Key you tight arsed warmongering Zionist creep

            • tricledrown

              Are you deliberately sabotaging this site your antisemtic comment is playing right into his description of this site.

    • tricledrown 1.3

      I doubt it very much phil.
      Whats happening now where people moving from the UB are aloud to earn $80 before abatement at 70 Cents in the dollar plus any supplementry benefits like perscription costs etc ate also cut.
      By the time tax is taken on the +$80 Income and the 70% abatement its a huge barrier to increasing any hrs that a beneficiary can do.
      Its totally Stupid.
      UBI is a smarter option.
      People can work partime without hinderance.
      Given now their are more partime casual job’s than ever it makes a lot of sense.
      Seasonal work would be far more viable for presently unemployed people.
      Secondary tax is another area that is out of Date.
      Especially for low waged workers who may work several partime jobs.
      We could do away with Work and Income altogether.
      And use those resources to help train low skilled to upskill and get better paying jobs!
      The number of beggars would go down.

      • phillip ure 1.3.1

        “..I doubt it very much phil..”

        what xactly r u ‘doubting’..?

        (i defend yr right to ‘doubt’..

        ..but dunno what it is u r angst-ridden about..)

        • tricledrown

          The number of low paid jobs phil a lot of people on the dole are wanting partime work but are put off or work for even lower wages under the counter.
          A UBI would put an end to barrier nastybehaviour of investigating,prosecuting and persecuting beneficiaries.

          • phillip ure

            a ubi wd enable us to do away with most of work and income..

            ..and as they often have the best digs/kit in most rural towns..

            ..i wd suggest turning their offices into community-owned/run learning/service-centres..

            ..give them back to the people that paid for them..

      • gsays 1.3.2

        hi tricledown, can you plz point to evidence of growing farmers suicide rate?

    • McFlock 1.4

      I lean towards disagreeing with that idea.
      I’ve seen similar objections to the Star Trek universe: who plunges the loo after a Klingon has left a destabilised the warp core in it?

      There are basically two objections: the first is that people are grown-ups who generally don’t like to live in filth. That’s why we have cleaners in the first place. If we can’t afford to pay cleaners at home, we still do the job no matter how filthy, because it needs to be done.

      The second is that not everybody has aversions to the same types of shitty jobs. I used to work in a particular role that involved very drunk people, which means puke. I was never a sympathetic puker – there were only a couple of instances where I was even reching a little bit. It was never pleasant, but it never flipped my revulsion switch. Other colleagues really didn’t like that job, but could handle things that I just thought were ohfucknoway.

      So in an office or whatever, if people don’t want to empty the rubbish themselves, they’ll rustle up the cash to make it the job of someone who doesn’t particularly mind doing that task. And if a klingon uses the bogs, someone with an interest in plumbing will figure out a way of ejecting the waste.

      • The Al1en 1.4.1

        “I’ve seen similar objections to the Star Trek universe: who plunges the loo after a Klingon has left a destabilised the warp core in it?”

        Captain James T. Kirk: Captain’s log, stardate 9522.6: I’ve never trusted Klingons, and I never will.

        Captain Spock: If I were human I believe my response would be “go to hell.” If I were human.

      • phillip ure 1.4.2

        actually unsure w.t.f. u r banging on about..

        ..but ‘bots’/smart appliances will take over much menial-work..

        (and more..if i were ..say a lawyer living from clipping the tickets of house-buyers etc..they should listen up..a bot/app cd just as easily/more efficiently execute that same task..the same with many other white-collar jobs/professions..)

        ..and a ubi will also help to steer us thru those tumultuous upheavals..

      • Psycho Milt 1.4.3

        The second is that not everybody has aversions to the same types of shitty jobs.

        True. I’ve coped fine with using my arm and hand to unclog toilets (fucking useless American toilets, how I hated them), but someone spewing next to me will find me joining them a few seconds later.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.5

      But for both left and right it would challenge the last vestiges of what Gorz called “the utopia based on work” which has sustained us for two centuries, but may no longer.

      And that is something that our political parties need to understand and apparently don’t.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    John wants to remind us all that there’s a fight at Waitangi this Thursday, and everyone’s invited.

    Thanks Prime Minister.

    • tc 2.1

      What a classless redneck piece of work designed to create further distraction from the sabin saga which granny obliges with its own extra sprinkles.

      Be nice to see some silent protests about the broken assett sale pledge though. Placards themed like their billboards with a tag like ‘3 terms of pulling up ladders’, ‘ cronyism and corruption, thanks for another term’ etc

    • Molly 2.2

      Went to Waitangi last year for the first time, with the kids.

      Biked down to the marae, and saw the lines of blue acting like the Secret Service as the PM’s car drew up. (Two straight lines, back to the road, looking dispassionately over the public). No hassle, no drama except that created by the visual of the very over the top police presence.

      (As usual with human nature, the weighty presence of the police created a peverse desire in me to throw a couple of dozen eggs – in order to bring back some kind of balance.)

      • Anne 2.2.1

        I would have gone for squishy tomatoes.

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

          Yeah, tomatoes.
          Shouldn’t put the eggs through the experience or must apologise to the chooks first otherwise.

      • phillip ure 2.2.2

        he should use one of those civil-disturbance-suppression armoured road-vehicles that clark bought…

        ..he cd ride onto the treaty grounds in it..

        ..his head sticking out of the turret..waving to the crowd..

        ..(and of course..wearing protective head-gear..)

        • phillip ure

          and if the demonstrators are smart..they will not play into what key is trying to stir-up..

          ..they will refrain from the usual argy-bargy..

          ..and should think theatrical/lateral..

          ..one suggestion i wd have…wd be a still/silent protest..just all glaring at him..(tongue-action optional..(underpinned by te playing of maori wind-instruments/a single drum beat(ing)/wiata/whatever is deemed most powerful….

          ..finishing with a mass co-ordinated baring-of-the-cheeks..

          ..(to my mind..a demo such as this…wd be very effective..and wd get global media coverage..

          ..and wd ‘outplay’ key…(and his attempt to pump up the usual brouhaha/using of waitangi to stir/shore up his reactionary voter-base..)

          • gsays

            hi phil,
            “..finishing with a mass co-ordinated baring-of-the-cheeks..”

            i appreciate the sentiment but i have images of people ending up with their nose in someone elses backside.

        • David

          What vehicles are these Phil? Methinks you are talking nonsense.

          • phillip ure

            lav’s..?..was that their name..?

            ..there was general moaning at the time at how useless they wd b for both jungle and desert..

            ..at the time i pointed out they were bought to use here in nz..

            ..for which they are perfectly suited..

            ..those are the vehicles i am talking about..

      • tc 2.2.3

        Yes shonkey does love the OTT security whilst radio rant land salivates in the hope someone does something they can all dog whistle over.

    • BassGuy 2.3

      “I think we get some marks for constantly turning up year after year…”

      Well, I wondered why he keeps turning up given how often he shows he doesn’t give a damn about anyone but himself. It should have occurred to me that it’s because it makes him look good and tolerant.

      • phillip ure 2.3.1

        and it stirs up/reinforces his maari-hating voter-base..

      • TE 2.3.2

        IMO key keeps showing up, on the off chance Hinewhare or Titiwai bitch slaps that condescending smile of his serial lying face,
        Then he will be able to justify giving Maori and Waitangi the middle finger he thinks they so richly deserve.
        Then feel justified to celebrate the treaty at the governor general’s residence in Wellington, like all the other scaredy cats.

    • Paul 2.4

      Anything to distract from the Sabin story.

  3. logie97 3

    English tells us that now is not the time to be giving pay rises.
    He would say that though whether inflation was at 2, 3, 5, 8, 12, 15 percent.
    I would suggest that now is a perfect time to give a pay rise. We have a rockstar economy and the lower paid could really benefit from a genuine raise, rather than one that is pegged as just a “cost of living rise.”

    “Increase productivity and you will get one…” – Bullshit. Doesn’t happen.

    In fact the only operators who regularly appear to get more than a cost-of-living-rise-and-some are the likes of English themselves.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      The median and minimum wages rose faster than inflation under Lab5. Unemployment fell to its lowest level in New Zealand history.

      The facts speak for themselves 🙂

      • alwyn 3.1.1

        You really should check your facts before you make a claim like
        “Unemployment fell to its lowest level in New Zealand history.”.

        From this Wikipedia article
        We have the statement
        ” The official number of people unemployed in 1959 was only 21. A year later it was 22″.

        The facts speak for themselves.

        • Philip Ferguson

          They used to say, back then, that the prime minister knew the names of all the unemployed.

          It pointed up how low unemployment was.

          That was what the long postwar economic boom did – it virtually wiped out unemployment (although keep in mind that married women weren’t registered as unemployed back then). This puts in perspective the nonsense that NZ today has a ‘rock star’ economy.

          Despite the removal of pretty much everything that the neo-liberals said were obstacles to a dynamic economy, the NZ economy remains relatively stagnant. There has been nothing that vaguely resembles the long postwar boom (late forties to early seventies).

          A ‘rock star’ economy now means 6% unemployment and a load of under-employment at one end of the workforce and a large number of people working over 40 hours to make ends meet at the other end of the workforce.




          • Draco T Bastard

            Despite the removal of pretty much everything that the neo-liberals said were obstacles to a dynamic economy, the NZ economy remains relatively stagnant.

            According to the economists high employment is a barrier to a dynamic economy as it decreases profit and causes high inflation.

            • tricledrown

              DTB Economists have researched whats good for the economy and what’s good for the sharemarket.
              Full employment is bad for the sharemarket good for people overall.
              But Capitalism has control of our Media !
              Profit pays for Propaganda !

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Median and minimum wage rises outpaced inflation and unemployment fell to its lowest level since 1974.

          Thanks Tricledown for helping improve the quality of this statement.

      • tricledrown 3.1.2

        Since 1974 OAB.
        But highest worker participation in NZ history maybe correct.
        Alwyn Women weren’t participating in the Work force to the same level that Women are now!

        • alwyn

          Your statement may be correct, at least about unemployment. I can’t find a consistent data set for the whole period but it sounds about right.

          The one as originally written was just too easy a target to resist though.

          Your comment on the worker Participation rate is at least arguable.
          According to the Stats dept
          the peak worker participation rate was 69.6% in the Dec 08 and Mar 14 quarters. Since the election was on 6 November 2008 it is unclear who you would credit the 2008 figure to. The highest unconditionally credited to the Labour Government was 68.9% in Dec 07.
          Your statement about women’s participation is of course wholly accurate. My mother stopped any paid work when her first child was born. That was normal in her day. My wife worked until our final retirement.

      • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.3

        The median and minimum wages rose faster than inflation under Lab5. Unemployment fell to its lowest level in New Zealand history.

        Wages didnt go up faster than house prices or private sector and mortgage debt levels.

        That also says a lot about Labour 5.

    • millsy 3.2

      If English and co had their way, we would never get pay rises.

      Simple as that really.

  4. Saarbo 4

    Key just claimed in TV3 that Kiwi’s were concerned about sending soldiers to fight IS because they were listening to “ISIS propaganda”???

    His bull shitting is reaching new heights, I suspect he feels under pressure…good to see.

  5. key did not stand down sabin..

    ..’cos..’cos..’when helen clark was being investigated by the police’..(paintergate/speeding/showerhead-pushing?)..

    ..’she didn’t stand down’…

    (look..he has to get a gold-plated false-equivalence award for that one..surely..?


    • tricledrown 5.1

      Shifting the Blame the expert Liars best option!
      Key made a big song and dance about holding his MP,s to a much higher standard of behaviour.
      Yeah Right!
      Next question time Little Peters Turei etc should all remind Key of his BS promise!

  6. framu 6

    Ive been scratching my head a bit regarding the slew of recent stories re: “council spending gone wild”

    To me it seems highly unlikely that they would all have blow outs at the same time – so has there been some changes to the local govt legal framework (carried out by central govt) that has triggered this rise?

    It just feels like something fishy is going on, and its no secret the nactoids have local govt in their sights – any one know more?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      Key was pouring cold water on right wing plans yesterday, so that probably means it’ll be introduced as a private members bill by David Seymour Rimmer then rammed through under urgency by Friday.

      • framu 6.1.1

        so theyre still using act for the dirty work 🙂

        didnt they do a local govt review a while back as well? – trying to track back in time and see if the timelines start to match up – but these thoughts only came to me this morning – so early days and all that

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

          If the government is short of numbers (for this bill or others in this term),
          I do hope Andrew Little will not be contemplating
          the apparently genius strategy of indulging
          in so-called statesmanlike negotiations over
          the Nat’s pre-engineered nasty and draconian clauses,
          having MPs stand up in the House and
          complaining about the terrible contents of the bill
          as well as crying about the awful process of urgency being used,
          but then going along and voting with Nat anyway 🙁

          • framu

            yes – but given the spy bill thing i dont hold much hope

            they really have to stop dancing to nationals tune

    • vto 6.2

      central government has been foisting things on local government since day dot, so they have more to do with the same revenue base (rates). On top of that people expect more, for example roads all need to be sealed and drained with sumps galore and footpaths paved with gold, so yet more to spend from same revenue base (rates). (And don’t even start on the demands of professional business people like Richie McCaw and Todd Blackadder for the Councils to pay for their workplaces……)

      It is entirely correct that rates cannot support the demands placed on local government today. Assistance is required from elsewhere to fund all of this. Central government is the place to go for that answer.

      Alternative is do less.

      • framu 6.2.1

        true – but that doesnt explain the fishy smell – it just doesnt add up that all of the local councils are having massive blowouts all at the same time

        • vto

          Most definitely fishy as the politics around this is, well, all political, to the highest extent politics gets. Get politics and politicians and get horrible stinky smells like rotting fish…. bleeargh … to be expected..

          Blowouts have been building for a very long time though, it is nothing new as the demands have been there for a while.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Are they having blowouts? Sure, Tories love to manufacture a crisis, and they’re not above pretending there’s a crisis to get what they want either.

    • Molly 6.3

      Auckland Council currently has it’s Long Term Plan (Budget for the next ten years) out for public consultation.

      (The budget plans for the general spending for ten years and this is reviewed every couple of years to ensure that it is still on track).

      • framu 6.3.1

        do you think this would be the same planning time frame and schedule for all councils?

        ie: the all have 10 year plans and they all have to review them at roughly the same time

        admitedly – i know very little about whats going on behind the scenes at a national level (fully aware of auckland issues 🙂 – i just have that feeling that theres more to this than meets the eye

        • Molly

          I agree, there is usually more behind the scenes than what is readily apparent. Seems to be, from what I can see anyhow, so you may be right to speculate.

  7. Macro 7

    Yesterday the inevitable happened. Silently, and almost unnoticed, an event that will be more disastrous to human kind than any war in the Middle East:
    400.46 ppm

    • ianmac 7.1

      The Keeling Curve is alarming Macro. Beyond seasonal variations is that long time CO2 rise. Facts are facts. But suppose possible rough stuff at Waitangi is more important?

    • rawshark-yeshe 7.2

      We, human; the only creature on earth foolish enough to filthy its own nest and the only one with the acuity not to do so.

    • Paul 7.3

      Should be front page news all around the world.

  8. I have been invited to travel to Waitangi and stay there for three days. I hope to be able to post little vids, photos and maybe some interesting comments from a toa iwi point of view.

  9. nadis 9

    An interesting experiment:


    Not sure how this will go – conceptually a good idea, the fish hooks will likely be around implementation – anything free with eligibility thresholds creates incentives to cheat.

    From an economics perspective it will be fascinating to see if it works, how it works and any consequences – intended or unintended.

  10. nadis 10

    thanks – sorry didn’t realise it was paywalled. heres another link:


  11. weka 11

    Rachel Stewart with another good piece in the Manawatu Standard,

    That dairy farming, in its manic quest for growth, has lost a huge chunk of public sympathy.

    The reasons are myriad but they are real.

    Water quality probably heads the list, followed very closely by irrigation.

    However, animal welfare issues, lax health and safety, and climate change denial all do a pretty good job of getting the general public offside too.

    In my last column I pointed out that the public relations spin from the likes of Federated Farmers is actually doing more damage than anything I could ever write. In other words, the industry is effectively shooting itself in the foot.

    When an elected Feds representative writes that rapists and murderers are treated better in the courts than farmers, I can surely rest my case.

    However, none of this solves a very big problem.

    How can the gap be bridged between dairy farmers and the general populace?

    She then goes on to talk about some of the reasons how that gap bridging is failing.


    • vto 11.1

      Jeez, she got walloped by her detractors didn’t she ……. walloped by “neoliberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry” people.

      It is more support for Eleanor Catton’s description of, effectively, the National Party and its supporters, who, surprisingly enough, include the farming sector.

      Shame National Party, shame on you

      • weka 11.1.1

        plus NZ’s hidden shame. Misogyny runs deep and somethings it’s also closer to the surface than many realise.

      • mac1 11.1.2

        Eleanor Catton reminds me of the Roman Statesman, Cato, of whom Wikipedia says- “A noted orator, he is remembered for his stubbornness and tenacity (especially in his lengthy conflict with Julius Caesar), as well as his immunity to bribes, his moral integrity, and his famous distaste for the ubiquitous corruption of the period.”

        This, with small corrections, could read “A noted author, Catton is remembered for her stubbornness and tenacity (especially in her lengthy conflict with John Key), as well as her immunity to bribes, her moral integrity, and her famous distaste for the ubiquitous corruption of the period.”

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

          Can someone or an organisation please set up a bank account for people to donate into so that the funds can be applied to a cause for encouraging and supporting the literati to speak out against bullying politicians?

    • b waghorn 11.2

      I would suggest that her earlier article that was light on substance and heavy on sensation is part of the problem regarding the divide

  12. rawshark-yeshe 12

    Chilling indeed … each of us is without protection … only Chief Justice Elias stands against this opinion stating the Dotcom raid warrants were legal after all …


    Whatever you might think about Kim Dotcom personally, I rejoice and thank him for the sunlight he has brought to so many dark wormholes in our trusted democratic systems. We are decaying; so many rights and protections gone under this crooked and greedy Key.

    • ianmac 12.1

      Yep rawshark. Read that this morning. “This exchange between Paul Davison QC representing Dotcom and one of the Supreme Court judges Susan Glazebrook, gives a sense of the legal contortions necessary to arrive at the opposite point of view.” Pretty scary really. The Supreme Court appears to not support everyone’s right to legal privacy.
      Chris Barton wrote a great piece which should alarm us all.

      • Colonial Rawshark 12.1.1

        In any police state, the judiciary forms an integral mechanism in the legalisation of abuses against a disempowered citizenry.

    • Murray Rawshark 12.2

      What a bunch of supine arse lickers we have in our Supreme Court. I wonder how many of them will get “study” trips to the US and A in the near future? How many have been on Fulbright Scholarships? They seem to have no interest in ensuring that ngati poaka abide by the law. Another breach in the legal wall that defends us from unbridled state power.

      How long before we see a Poaka Innocence Act, which retrospectively allows serving poaka to do whatever they feel like, even after they’ve retired? That’d be one way for FJK to help his disgusting thug mate Sabin.

  13. Philip Ferguson 13

    Lost Sheep wrote in response to vto:
    “Because they don’t see things as being anywhere near as dire as your world view paints it vto.”

    It’s a valid point. There is a serious disjunction in this country between the harshness of reality and people’s consciousness (let alone their preparedness to do anything about it). In my view, people try to put a brave face on things and pretend they’re no so bad and, in a sense, that’s a real form of consciousness because what has happened over the past 30 years is that successive Labour and national governments have succeeded in lowering people’s expectations and horizons.

    People don’t expect much and so they’re content, in a kind of way, when they get anything.

    This is the reality of 21st century NZ capitalism (low pay, longer hours and less social mobility): https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/low-pay-longer-hours-and-less-social-mobility/

    But this is what people accept (widening pay and income gaps but no serious opposition): https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/3215/
    and more job losses but no fightback: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/more-job-losses-but-wheres-the-fightback/

    and the strange paradox of NZ workers accepting or being happy with this crap: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/a-strange-paradox-how-can-nz-workers-be-happy-with-this-crap/


    • Tiger Mountain 13.1

      “that’s a real form of consciousness”
      similar but different to ‘false consciousness’ where people of one class identify with, defend or aspire to join another? e.g. workers voting National.
      Or ‘last place aversion’ where low paid and mid income workers are into bennie bashing and not supporting minimum wage increases.

    • The lost sheep 13.2

      Philip, the point I am trying to get across is that the majority of NZ’ers are actively happy with the lives they lead.

      That is not to say they think there are no problems or that NZ is perfect or that there aren’t things they’d like to change.

      But almost everyday I see comments here along the lines of vto’s (sometimes many such comments) questioning why people vote to continue a situation that some of you perceive as being so dire.

      The answer is that most people don’t think things are that bad. That’s a fact, and no amount of rationalisation is going to alter that fact.

      I’m a great believer in the idea that it is very difficult to achieve the outcomes you want if you are working with false premises.
      On that basis, if the outcome you want is to produce change in NZ, then I think you need to factor into your strategy the reality of the majority worldview here in Aotearoa.

      • phillip ure 13.2.1

        @ sheep..

        ..given the fracturing of the neo-lib consensus currently underway..

        ..and nationals’ own polling that showed the high degree of concern..(even amongst those who are ‘comfortable’)..at easily fixable problems like child-poverty just being ignored..

        ..i think the public mood cd well come around to the idea of a u.b.i..

        ..(esp. when such savings as no more need for that huge cash-sucking behemoth that is work and income are taken into account..

        ..and that all that money instantly churns back into the economy into retailers’/service-providers tills/tax back to the govt….

        ..so everyone’s a winner..!)

        ..so i think that yr premise that the ‘i’m alright jack!’individualism over-rides those (recently polled) concerns..

        ..is the premise that is ‘false’..

        • The lost sheep

          You’ve jumped to some conclusions way outside my comments here Phil.

          vto asked a question, and I simply gave him what I believed to be an answer, backed by some concrete data to back my contention.
          i did not in way discuss why people thought they were happy, or whether I agreed with those reasons or not.

          Obviously this data does not suit many of you here, but so far no one has produced any evidence to contradict it?

          I’ll say again. My reason for making this point is that i believe you will have a greater chance of producing effective change if you are able to see the factors you must deal with for what they actually are, as opposed to what you want them to be.

          Believe it or not, I see this as a practical and positive suggestion!

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Well put too. It’s an impossible task, though: confirmation bias and so-forth. A good path is to assume you’re wrong and try and become less wrong.

      • vto 13.2.2

        lost sheep see my reply to you above on exactly the points you make here – namely the perceptions people have about NZ society and how that relates to reality……

        People in Germany thought their leader in the 1930’s would do great things for them too. The majority in fact. Just like you quote.

        You have some chunky chunks missing from your argument

  14. Philip Ferguson 14

    Further to people’s lowered horizons and resulting preparedness to accept crap and pretend it tastes nice:

    Low horizons and the legacy of defeats: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/low-horizons-and-the-legacy-of-defeats/

    The politics of stasis: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/a-few-thoughts-on-the-politics-of-stasis/


  15. (robert reich unpacks t.p.p…in 2 mins 15 secs..)

    “..VIDEO: Robert Reich Explains the Worst Trade Deal You’ve Never Heard Of..

    ..The Trans-Pacific Partnership, now headed to Congress –

    – is a product of big corporations and Wall Street –

    – seeking to circumvent regulations protecting workers –

    – consumers – and the environment.

    Watch this video – and say ‘no’ to fast-tracking this bad deal..” ,



    • tricledrown 15.1

      Tpp is going to undermine Democracy.
      New Zealand will be come a state of the US without voting rights.
      We will have a puppet PM oh sorry we already have that.
      Thes Giant Corporations have all the rights and no responsiblity!
      They have puppet political lacky’s pushing their agenda of personal responsibility but whenever they need to frnt up the opposite is true!
      They don’t pay taxes don’t fair trade,don’t look after their workers allowing slave conditions like Apple the most profitable company in the World still using sweet shops to take massive profits while minising tax in just about every country it operates in.
      Robber barrons on steroids!

  16. rawshark-yeshe 16


    Key has shit in his brain. according to Slater … damning criticism over Sabin and even suggests the teflon is slipping with caucus.

    • ianmac 16.1

      What the! Ages since I read anything of Whaleoil’s but fancy an attack on Key’s credibility! Amazing and maybe true!

      • rawshark-yeshe 16.1.1

        i had a feeling he would do more on the sabin matters so i checked … first time in months for me too. amazeballs, isn’t it ! but an awful saga indeed .. key is going to wear this once and for all i hope.

  17. John Shears 17


    Bernard Orsman in the Herald today writes about another attack on democracy.
    He wrote yesterday on this subject also.


    I have sent a letter to the Editor, which may or may not be printed suggesting ,that the Auckland Transport Committee, AT, may need to change its description from CCO to COCO

    (Completely Out of Control Committee}

    Seriously who do these unelected twits think they are?

    • The Murphey 17.1

      Q. What else might AT seek to hide from public view ?

      The surveillance system exposure went down poorly it would seem

      • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1

        Would it seem? Under what circumstances?

        Q. What else might AT seek to hide from public view?

        A. Their inherent conflicts of interest. Their private lives. Their agenda. Their genitals. Their incompetence. Their lights under a bushel. Their impatience with passive-aggressive rhetorical tricks.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.2

      Makes you wonder what else might constitute an “inherent conflict of interest”.

      “Being a Tory shill” probably counts.

      “Suffering from an evidence-free belief system” definitely counts.

  18. Morrissey 18

    Sir Paul Holmes’ home movies

    Rare footage of Sir Paul Holmes from the 1970s….

  19. logie97 19

    Would love to know what Key believes are the qualities required for political comment/analysis.
    – being an MP.
    – being a press gallery journalist.
    mmmm. What else? Doesn’t leave much for the rest of us.

    Having a thorough or even reasonable knowledge of New Zealand history? – Key fails.
    Growing up in a politically active period of history (Apartheid/Nuclear disarmament etc.) and having accurate recollection of events or having a point of view? – Key fails.
    Being literate and having a thorough knowledge of the English language? – Key fails.
    Being economical with the truth – ah Key passes.

  20. ankerawshark 20

    Don’t know if anyone has raised this topic. But the couple filmed having sex at their workplace, speaks to me of what is wrong with NZ culture. NOT THE COUPLE! The people who watched and filmed.

    A group of people at a tavern filming and watching something that was intended to be private. Then loading it on the internet.

    Voyeuristic, peeping toms, reptilian brains. Lack of empathy for the couple and the shaming and humiliating impact this would have on them.

    If I was one of the couple I would be consulting a lawyer about legal re-dress (even if there is unlikely to be any.

    Nasty people (the bar patrons) to do this. Somehow sums up many NZders. Brainless, thoughtless, unempathic and an uncaring.

    • Murray Rawshark 20.1

      Voyeuristic children.

    • Molly 20.2

      Agree. A complete “change of conversation” is needed.

      The Guardian had an interview with Patricia Arquette that touched on the posting of naked celebrity pictures:

      Women being sexual in Hollywood has proved pretty problematic for young female actors in the last year. Did you reach out to any of the actors affected?

      My position is: “Are you going teach your son or daughter to be a peeping Tom? Are you going to break into someone’s house, hide in their closet and watch them have sex? You’d never teach your child that that’s OK. It’s no different looking at those pictures. And to everybody who says “it’s stupid, of course their phones could get hacked”, I’d say: “Well, say your kid was kidnapped from your house. Is the reaction supposed to be, hang on, your kid was sleeping behind a thin pane of glass? That’s so stupid – you let your child, the most precious thing in your life, sleep behind a little piece of glass? You should have got steel windows. Your whole house should have been a fortress.” Because, no. What we need to recognise is that we need to change the conversation.

      We need to say it’s perverted to steal someone’s things like that, it’s disrespectful. Of course these actresses have every right to be intimate with their partner. They spend months without them. If these were women who had soldiers fighting in Afghanistan or Iraq, half the country would be offended that anyone broke in and took their pictures – and believe me, they’re all sending pictures to each other and they have every right to. They’re lovers. We don’t have to make them guilty. We have been making victims of sexual crime feel guilty for decades. Women, especially, have to say: “No. We’re never doing that again. No.”

      I had a conversation with my partner about this last night, and said the same thing, but not as articulately.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 20.2.1

        It’s like ‘God’ and the apple. “Don’t eat the apple”. You just know they eat the apple.

        Temptation, perversion, purity, watching two people shagging in the office building across the street…

        The problem is always the judgement that comes with it.

        • ankerawshark

          ONB @ 20.2.1.

          The problem isn’t the judgement as such. The problem is that those people in the bar never thought about how this would be for that couple to be expose in that way. Which wasn’t what the couple intended.

          We have a culture of voyeuristic people, who think it is o.k. to watch and observe something that was intended to be private. No sense of decency and integrity.

          I feel very sorry for this couple and worried for their mental health. Who would like to be observed and filmed under such circumstances. It could be extremely bad for their mental health (remember the nurse in the UK and the Australian Radio DJ’s pranks.???????

      • weka 20.2.2

        Great quote from Arquette. Sexuality has become such a degraded thing that the idea of privacy for lovers seems radical now. That applies to our bodies and sovereignty too. Then onto privacy rights in general – if you’ve nothing to fear you have nothing to hide.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Sexuality doesn’t degrade people. People degrade people.

          • weka

            That’s right, and I didn’t say that sexuality degrades people, I said it’s been degraded.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Degraded from some less impure state? You have to make a judgement before you can do that.

              • weka

                Yes, although I wouldn’t use the term impure (or pure) in a conversation about sexuality, as they get used in other conversations about sexuality in ways that just muddy things.

      • ankerawshark 20.2.3

        Thanks Molly, that is a great article. PA made some great points.

  21. Morrissey 21

    Despite massive propaganda efforts, Israel’s reputation continues to plummet;
    The wages of mass murder is international opprobrium.

    Folowing Israel’s murderous escalation last July of its daily war on the people of Gaza, a Chatham House-YouGov polled shows that the only country Britons dislike more than Israel is North Korea….


    Which raises the question: when will Britain’s parliamentarians reflect the true and decent thoughts of the British people?

    Not every MP in Westminster is totally spineless….

  22. Morrissey 22

    Greece Under Attack;
    Pray For Yanis Varoufakis


    February 02, 2015 “ICH” – Greece’s new Finance Minister is a highly intelligent person. His likes are not to be found in any Western government. As he stands in the way of those who are determined to complete their looting of Greece, the Western looters are out to get him.

    The BBC, as the interview in the link below demonstrates, was sicced on him. Much more is to come. Moreover, if the new Greek government is able to stand its ground and to prevent the continuation of the horrific looting of the Greek people, assassination of its leading members is not unlikely. Washington will not permit any independent governments to arise in Europe. If a Greek government succeeds in standing up for the Greek people and actually representing them, the idea might spread to Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland, and then into Eastern Europe. Washington’s control over Europe would unravel.

    The BBC presstitute substituted a deposition for an interview. She reeked with hostility toward the minister, an indication of the fury that foreign financial institutions and their vassal governments feel toward the new Greek government. As I wrote the other day, if western elites hate something more than they hate democracy and truth, it is accountability for themselves. You can bet your life that presstitutes like the BBC will do the elite’s hatchet work on the new Greek government just as they do on the Russian government, the Chinese government, and the Iranian government, and just as they did on the Serbian, Iraqi, Libyan, and Syrian governments and on the Taliban.


    • Colonial Rawshark 22.1

      That was a good little interview ha! Varoufakis is an interesting quantity indeed, if you haven’t already check out his many presentations, speeches and interview on YouTube, done over the last few years.

  23. Amanda Atkinson 23

    Interesting conversation yesterday about the non vote and how National do not have a mandate because the non vote means only 30% of the country actually voted for them. In 2005, Labour got just 41% with only 2.3 million Kiwis voting. So does that mean Labour even had less of a mandate than what National have now? What was the mood of left supporters on that issue back then? Anyone remember? I went back through this blog but couldn’t find anything about that.

    Gareth Morgan is doing a good job with Willie and Ali, of explaining why it would be helpful for our country to spend more time educating Kiwis about the Treaty, so that people can form a view either way, based on sound information. Very helpful.

    [lprent: This site started in August 2007. It is also a labour movement site, not a Labour party site. Read the about and the policy. There were few left blogs in 2005 and no Labour party ones.

    But also your understanding of electoral maths sucks badly. Have a look at http://electionresults.govt.nz and look at how many people were in the electorate and how many voted a decade ago and for what parties. Percentages are rather meaningless unless you look for all of the electorate and where they voted. National / Labour comparisions are meaningless in a MMP environment with many parties winning votes. ]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 23.1

      Being elected confers a mandate to govern. In 2005, Labour formed a government with NZ1st, and the Greens on c&s. Together, they had a mandate to govern.

      Having a mandate to govern doesn’t mean you can implement every hare-brained scheme your personal sky fairy (be his name Milton or Jehovah) dreamt up. Consultation is required. Select committees and so on.

      It’s easy to understand, unless your opinion depends upon you not understanding.

      PS: just a friendly warning: this is not a Labour Party website. Pretending otherwise can get you banned.

      • Amanda Atkinson 23.1.1

        “It’s easy to understand” … yes, I understand what a mandate is, thank you … however, I did not ask for the concept to be explained. My question was “what was the mood of the left back then on this issue?” … because I cannot remember.

        …”unless your opinion depends upon you not understanding”

        It was question, not an opinion.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          I’m not “The Left” – we don’t have a hive mind. Individually, I was quite relieved that the economic extremist racist Brash hadn’t been elected, annoyed at Winston 1st having the balance of power, and hoping the Greens would at least keep the government honest.

          My attitude to mandates hasn’t changed since then.

          • Amanda Atkinson

            I did not say “you” were left. My question was for those who DO consider themselves “the left”. Clearly, there is a view that my question is not valid. I’m sorry. I’ll move on.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              You’re missing the point: I am a left winger, that doesn’t mean I or anyone else here speaks for “the Left”. If you are finding this concept difficult to absorb I suggest you read a book called The Authoritarians.

              It isn’t so much an invalid question, as one that has been done to death over and over ad nauseam. Hence the jaded responses.

              • Amanda Atkinson

                It was a simple question. Maybe no one remembers the mood back then, in which case, ignoring my question, or “I do not remember” was all that was required.

                • weka

                  Or there was no collective mood, because as OAB pointed out the left wing are not of the hive mind.

                  I think your basic premise for this question is unsound.

                  And let’s remember that this discussion arose from your statement yesterday, “Most Kiwis seem to like the direction the Nats are going”. I think you haven’t really understood what was said after that, and you are trying to make a point based on that misunderstanding.

              • Bill

                Hmm. The ‘collective mind’ or ‘hive mind’ thing. Of course there is! For fucks sake, how the hell do you think social democratic governance persists? !!

                squeaks : – ‘Oh – we’re not ‘of a mind’, (are you picking up the scathing tone here?) we just prefer these overlords over those overlords’.

                It would be all so fucking laughable if it wasn’t all so fucking…pervasive.

                • weka

                  yeah but that’s not really what’s being talked about here. What’s being suggested here is that there is no hive mind on the left that says we want that overlord there. Some say this one, some say that one etc.

                  • Bill

           – hive mind denial – what I was responding to. end

                    • weka

                      yep, got that. I’m not sure lefties have a hive mind beyond the very generic (most people think democracy is a good thing) or the meta (we’re ok with overlords, although even that is stretching it because if people were given a genuine choice, I think there would be a fair amount of diversity of opinion).

                      The two things in question were “most NZers are happy with the way National is going” (hard to prove either way, but unlikely), and “what mood were lefties in in 2005 regarding whether Labour had a mandate to do whatever it wanted?” (almost certainly there was no hive mind on that one).

                    • Bill

                      It gets odd Weka. As you know, I’m libertarian – steeped in anti-market anarchist libertarianism – as opposed to cognisantly dissonant free market libertarianism. ( sorry – cheap shot 😉 )

                      But that aside, the vast majority of self appointed ‘lefties’ are authoritarians. I mean, fuck it, they’d laud Stalin, but in the absence of a Stalin (or a, preferably, ‘gimme hope’ Lenin) they’ll vote in whatever soft authoritarian left shit that’s on the go…hence the ‘roll-over’ of social democratic governance that, as most people are unaware of, was a theory that purported to deliver socialism via parliament…and 120 – 130 years later…hmm…vote this, vote that.

                      edited text.

                    • weka

                      What about the ones that aren’t self-appointed? I think most people voting left in NZ don’t think about Lenin or Stalin and I’m not sure how we would assess their authoritarianism tendancies or not. How would we know in the absence of any real alternatives? Don’t people just vote for the best of what is in front of them?

                      The self-appointed ones on the other hand, feel free to ascribe a hive mind because they probably deserve it 😈 (sorry, it’s getting late). I’m fortunate to have had bugger all to do with the authoritarian crowd, so I bow to your superior experience on that one 🙂

                      thanks for recognising cognitive dissonance as a real phenomenon ;-p

                    • Bill

                      ‘No-one’ who votes has Stalin or Lenin or Hitler or Mussolini foremost in their mind. Little, Key, Clark, Foot, Blair, Savage…they’re all points on a line. ‘We’, for better or for worse, vote for them…

                      That we vote for govern-ship (Lord me! Lord me!) is, in and of itself ,a bow to authoritarianism – benevolent or soft or hard… all the same in the end, because the same structures of governance can just as well throw us a Savage…or a Stalin (okay, that one, -as well as Lenin- wasn’t voted for) …or a voted for Hitler.

                      And I never suggested that cognitive dissonance wasn’t real. I merely observed, that in relation to CC, it’s a cop out – justification for hypocrisy (where ones actions contradict ones intellectual understanding) …e.g. I don’t have to ‘get’ all the gory medical and physical/mental consequences of walking in front of ‘the big yellow truck’, to not walk in front of ‘the big yellow truck’. All I have to ‘get’ is that no good will come of it, yes? And then, hey…,I don’t do it. No cognitive dissonance involved in so far as to whether I do or don’t.

                    • weka

                      I was meaning the most people voting left don’t think about Stalin or Lenin or authoritarianism at all. You haven’t addressed the point about people voting for the best of what is in front of them. How would we know if we are all enthralled by the hive mind if we’ve never had a choice?

                      re cognitive dissonance, I think your paragraph demonstrates you missed what I was talking about the other day. The whole point is that CC isn’t the same kind of threat as walking under a bus, or being chased by a lion. We have these hardwired mechanisms for flight/fight/freeze that are very useful for buses and lions, but tend to not work very well for things that are too big to take in. To get to where you yourself are re CC, most people have to go through an emotional and psychological shift, and that’s a process.

                      Until they do that, there is cognitive dissonance, a kind of shock that sets in when faced with the impossible, and people have to find a way of dealing with that before they can move into meaningful action. Marty talked about the grief cycle, someone else talked about having to face up to losing all one’s hopes and dreams. Those are very real things for most people that you can’t intellectualise away.

                      If it were as simple as intellectual understanding, most of us here would have taken to the streets by now. The charge of hypocrisy is unhelpful to say the least (apart from the fact that we’re all hypocrites in the face of CC).

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Ok, you have a hive mind.

                      I certainly don”t feel qualified to speak for it.

      • Amanda Atkinson 23.1.2

        a warning that I will get banned? good grief

        [lprent: Yes. I don’t take kindly to gormless idiots accusing me of running a Labour party site or having any other ulterior motives that aren’t in the about. My usual response is to ban as per the policy so I don’t have to listen to the stupid arseholes repeating a myth – just as they have for the last 7 years.

        OAB was being nice. I am not.

        Read the policy because I do ban people who are stupid enough to not read it. I think of it as “evolution in action” ]

        • weka

          Read the Policy and About links, Amanda. How many times does this have to be said?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Don’t twist my words.

        • Amanda Atkinson

          I accused you of running a labour party site? Where did I do that?

          Add “stupid arshole” to the descriptors I have encountered today. What a beautiful bunch of people you are in here.

          I thought Whale Oil was bad. Well, they are actually worse than you lot to be fair, with the personal attacks. Bloggers are clearly a different breed, you lot and Whale Oil. Abusive vitriol from keyboards to someone just asking a simple question. Nice one. So brave. Real names as well to boot, even braver.

          But yip ok. Just ban me. I don’t care. Says more about you than it does about me. See ya.

          [lprent: That was a generic expression of my dislike for some of our dumber trolls. Interesting that you considered that it included you eh?

          You just ‘happened’ to use the exact kind of phrasing used by our 2008 generation right wing trolls when they want to attack this site? How coincidental.

          Read the policy, act smarter, and avoid forcing me to look at you based on your behaviour. ]

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Get down from your high horse, unless you’re here to repeat myths, no-one’s calling you that.

            Nor have you been banned.

          • weka

            Have you read the About and Policy yet Amanda?

            Or do you prefer to play the ‘poor me’ card in the face of people trying to help (and yes, I was pre-empting lprent’s moderating yesterday, so my suggestion to read the links was me helping you understand how things work here before one of the moderators had to step in).

          • Amanda Atkinson

            Well it was included in a reply to “me”, so I assumed it was directed at me. I assumed you would not waste your time writing if it was not.

            “You just ‘happened’ to use the exact kind of phrasing used by our 2008 generation right wing trolls when they want to attack this site? How coincidental”

            now you are just being silly … you just made that up. How do I know? Because I searched exact match AND broad match for those phrases on your site, nothing comes up except my comments.

            I recommend you just relax a little. I recommend to not be so suspicious of people. Sometimes people just have question. In my case, yes, maybe a stupid and invalid one in hindsight, but still, just a question.

            Clearly, me and your readers are not a good fit. I am not quite at the level of intellect to participate at this high echelon of our society. I would hope when someone asks a question, even if it is a stupid one, people would have the decency to point it out in helpful way. Weka was good at that. The rest of you who did not even try to answer my simple question behaved like a pack of wild dogs in a feeding frenzy. Weka said there is no “collective mood” in here, well there is for sure, in my experience, a “pack mentality”.

            Thanks for the helpful, mature, insightful and mature discussion on The Standard. Well done.

            Oh and …. Add to that … the number times a sentence written to me to beginning with the words “I think you…” I think that pretty much sums it up.


    • weka 23.2

      Amanda, I’m the one that made the argument about the 30% (which swordfish corrected to 33%). And in that conversation I said that the same thing applied to Labour and that we should be moving towards more representative democracy. I think you have missed my point, despite me putting effort into explaining.(edit, plus what OAB said).

      Your questions look loaded to me, and asking what lefties in general thought about about this issue nearly a decade ago strikes me as disingenuous. If you have a point make it directly.

      Have you read the About and Policy links at the top of the page yet?

      • Amanda Atkinson 23.2.1

        weka, I was curious about this is all. I looked back through Whale Oil and here to establish whether the right say the left do not have a mandate when they win because of the non vote, and vis vers for the left when the right win. Fair question I thought. No I did not see that you had said the same applies to labour in your opinion. However, you are only 1 person. My question was not loaded. I was just asking if someone remembered the general mood back then. My thinking was, that they kind of sentiment, was probably coming from the right, back then, when Labour won.

        • weka

          Why are you asking this question? Like I said, it’s better to state your points directly.

          “My thinking was, that they kind of sentiment, was probably coming from the right, back then, when Labour won.”

          Which is why I think you still don’t understand my point.

          Consider that both National and Labour were almost all wholly against MMP before it was brought in.

          • Amanda Atkinson

            forget about it weka. It was just a question about the collective mood back then, and where it came from. I don’t have a point. I had a question. I cannot remember the mood, so I asked if anyone could remember. I guess no one else can. I should have thought of that before I asked.

            • framu

              well people might have an answer for you – but please remember that weve seen numerous trouble makers over many years start flame wars etc using the exact line of questioning and debate you are using.

              That is why you are being treated with suspicion

              If you are indeed being honest about this please start again 🙂

            • weka

              “It was just a question about the collective mood back then, and where it came from”

              Remember how I said 30% of the population wanting something wasn’t able to be extrapolated out to represent most of the population. I doubt that there was any mood amongst the left wing in the way you mean, because very large groups of people almost never think the same thing at the same time.

              I think your question has been answered and you don’t like the answer.

              • Amanda Atkinson

                So it’s not OK for me to ask about a “collective mood”, but it is ok for you to answer a question using the phrase “collective wisdom”. OK.

                Here is what I am getting to a very simple question … not all from Weka I hasten to add … I am disingenuous (132.8 times I think that has been said), I am a troll, I have an agenda, my activity is suspicious, my question is loaded, a friendly warning you may be banned.

                OK seriously people … this is all getting just a tad silly now.

                • weka

                  It’s actually fine for you to ask the question. It’s how you’ve responded to the answers that I don’t like.

                  Off the top of my head I can think of a few things where we could say that most people in NZ agree. Asset sales is an obvious one. Not everyone agrees but the overwhelming majority do. But other than those kind of examples, there aren’t very many times where the country does that.

                  My comment about collective wisdom wasn’t about a large group of people like a country or one side of the political spectrum. It was a colloquial way of saying that there is a kind of general consensus on the left and the right, amongst the people that have looked at this kind of thing, that people not voting favours the right. I couldn’t be bothered going and finding the research (OAB has since posted it in that thread), so I shorthanded. I didn’t mean that all/most lefties thought that way. If I had to be more specific I would say that the group that believes that are the hard core political types and their belief is evidence based (out of necessity).

                  That’s an entirely different thing than wanting to know what the mood of ‘lefties’ was in 2005. By all means provide some evidence if you can, but I think you are simple engaging in the same kind of rhetoric that you did yesterday when you claimed that most NZers are happy with the direction National are going in. It’s a kind of thinking that is not evidence based (as we demonstrated yesterday), and that is probably why you are getting a negative reaction to it again today.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  For such a sensitive wee picked on thing you sure like to make your presence felt over and over again.


                  • Bill

                    If I’d put up a comment that received that ‘level’ of response, I’d have been present…again and again. Just saying.

                • Bill

                  OK seriously people … this is all getting just a tad silly now.

                  Having just read the thread, (and as a some time moderator and author) I’m tending to be coming down on your side on this. Your initial question is convoluted and may or may not be genuine. Me? I’m going for the benefit of the doubt and passing on by anyway because I can’t answer and don’t care to, because such questions don’t interest me.

                  But then there’s ‘Swordfish’ breaking it down for you, and anyone else interested.

                  Were you being mischievous or genuine? Did you deserve to be ‘mobbed’? Regardless, some information got shaken from the mix. All good.

      • swordfish 23.2.2

        “swordfish corrected to 33%”

        I based that figure on memory (did the calculations last year and haven’t had time to track them down). I think I also said in yesterday’s comment that Govt Bloc support comprised about 37% of enrolled voters.

        Today, I re-calculated from the official election results – and I find that although my memory was relatively sound on the Right Bloc figure, it wasn’t on the National Party figure (the moral of the story being: don’t rely entirely on memory – always track down those results first)

        So, here are the actual stats (from today’s re-calculation):

        Enrolled (at time of 2014 General Election) = 3,140,417
        Estimated Electoral Population = 4,244,355

        Party/Bloc Support as….(1) % of Enrolled……(2) % of Electoral Pop

        Govt Bloc…………………………37.7……………………….27.9
        Broad Right………………………40.8……………………….30.2

        (Govt Bloc = Nat+ACT+Maori+UF)
        (Broad Right = Govt+Con)

        • swordfish

          Ah Haaaar !!!……. Curiouser and curiouser

          My memory wasn’t faulty at all !!! How could I have doubted myself like that ??? I’ve just beaten up on myself for no reason !!!

          I’ve just realised (after looking at some Electoral Commission figures) that my calculation last year was, in fact, party/bloc support as a % of the Estimated Eligible Population (ie all those entitled to enrol and vote) rather than the Enrolled or the Electoral population.

          Eligible Population = 3,391,100

          Party/Bloc support as % of Eligible Voters

          Govt Bloc….35.0
          Broad Right….37.8

          I was right all the bleedin’ time !!! I’ll never doubt myself again.

          Note: so, the Electoral population is either: (1) Everyone 18 years and over (regardless of eligibility to vote) or – more likely – (2) the Entire Population (Adults+Children). 4.2 million sounds about right.

    • Te Reo Putake 23.3

      That’s an interesting question, Amanda. While OAB is correct that simply having the majority, however cobbled together, grants the mandate, it’s a pretty vague concept and subject to change. For example, it could be argued that Tony Abbott has now lost his mandate to govern. Or, in a Kiwi context, Key argued that he had a mandate for asset sales, despite many (most?) National party supporters being opposed to the sales.

      Another grey area is what is going to happen in the period between Mike Sabin leaving and his replacement arriving? Has Key temporarily lost his mandate to govern? If they lose the by-election is the loss permanent?

    • framu 23.4

      “National do not have a mandate”

      can you explain what you mean when you say mandate?

      ie: a mandate to govern or a mandate to enact policy?

      also – your not providing comparable data

      national – how many % of the 30% that voted?
      labour – 41% of 2.3m kiwis – is 2.3m those that voted? or all voters? If its only those that voted what % is this of all voters?

      Your asking people to answer all of that before they can answer your question

      And its a tactic everyones seen before – so maybe to avoid further confusion you could give us some comparable data and actually ask the question we all suspect your really working towards?

      • Amanda Atkinson 23.4.1

        I got the stats from the election results on wikipedia, it’s not hard to work out that 2.3 million kiwis in 2005 is not the whole population …. anyway … don’t worry about it, it’s obviously a very difficult question to answer. I’m tired and it’s not a big deal, so let’s stop making it one. Case closed.

        • framu

          ” it’s not hard to work out that 2.3 million kiwis in 2005 is not the whole population”

          yeah thats obvious – but thats not the question is it

          how can anyone answer your question if you cant be arsed providing comparable data?

          Its not a hard question to answer as much as your motives are highly suspect and you fail to take heed when people point out why you come across as suspicious

          so up your game or forever be considered a troll

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          No. It’s a very easy question to answer, because it’s been answered a billion (I looked it up and it’s a billion) times before.

          • GregJ

            It’s not really – you’re using an American Billion rather than a British Billion – so it’s really just been answered 1,000,000,000 rather than 1,000,000,000,000 – I know ‘cos I checked. (I simply refuse to acknowledge American cultural and mathematical hegemony).

  24. freedom 24

    Does anyone have any current knowledge on the Tania Billingsley case ?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 24.1

      The Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail case. FIFY

      • freedom 24.1.1

        Thank you OAB, absofuckinglutely right !!
        I should know better

        Does anyone have any current knowledge on the Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail case?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          There’s a new ambassador to Brazil, apparently.

          • northshoredoc

            Colour me surprised that loose ends are being tied up……gets more and more like Yes minister/House of cards every day.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              That’s just your confirmation bias talking 😉

              PS: not even sure it’s true: Murray ‘Dunning-Kruger’ McCully wrote it.

          • Murray Rawshark

            I visited the embassy in Brasilia in 2003 and chatted with the ambassador. She made me a cup of coffee and asked how I managed to work there without speaking Portuguese. I replied, “Falo português fluentemente, mas meu sotaque de Kiwi é forte demais. Há alguns brasileiros que não me entendem muito bem.” It was immediately obvious that she didn’t speak a word of the language. I hope the new one does better.

  25. prime news..their big finishing-item..

    ..something i posted yesterday morning..

    ..i do like it when that happens..

  26. Chooky 26

    ‘When you collect everything, you understand nothing’ – Snowden


  27. b waghorn 27

    ‘Little joy looms for Labour in byelection’
    The headline on Armstrongs latest story in the herald telling how labour can’t win the buy election because Little says so.
    What was he thinking.
    (Can’t link from the herald for some reason)

    • GregJ 27.1

      I like “buy election”!!! Very apt for a National held seat. 😈

    • Chooky 27.2

      yes Little should be saying we will be putting up a fight here …not giving it away

      i am a wee bit disappointed with Little’s political acumen

      and …why would Little say he would change the flag when all the surveys say NZers…especially young New Zealanders … want to keep the flag as is …..in these uncertain times? ( i mean the Union Jack and Southern Cross is preferable to a lot of other things ( eg Stars and Stripes and a Blue Star on a white background for example)…..and it represents NZ’s South Pacific location and ancestors and ANZAC history of which many Maori were an important part )

      …imo Little is jumping on John Key’s bandwagon ( and a most unpopular one at that….as well as being a JonKey red herring diversion) ….Little is putting his own personal preferences for flag change ahead of a cool intellect….who cares what Little or Key personally thinks?….Labour should be going where NZers want to go on this and creating a point of difference between them and John Key Nactional who would foist flag change upon us

      ….oh well Winnie will be the winner here once again,….not a good look Little Labour

      • b waghorn 27.2.1

        Didn’t know Little was on the flag band wagon all though personally I don’t like the union jack ( can’t stand the concept of royalty.)
        The one thing that drove me bonkers in the election was cunnillife always going on about how well key had handled the GFC bloody lefties are two nice some times.

        • Chooky

          yes agree…i couldnt believe Cunliffe saying that! …really does show Labour is little more than a shadow of Nactional at times…Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee

          ….am seriously thinking about resigning my $5 membership

          • b waghorn

            Got all keen a while ago about joining but have decided to hold off and see how Little shapes up ,I might donate for the b election if I start to see some fight in them.

  28. that british tory prick here insisting we have to go to war..

    ..should be told to fuck right off..

    ..we already gave…

    ..we’ve already earned our permanent-place in ‘the club’..

    ..hasn’t he noticed the war-memorials every which way he turns..?

  29. tricledrown 29

    How about compensating all servicmen who were exposed to radiation deliberatly by the British govt to start with.
    The club membership is not paid by those asking but the grunts on the ground and their families.

  30. weka 30

    Summer Fairey
    For those who were wondering the specific gender breakdown on New Years Honours this is from @ncwnz’s newsletter


    115 men = 63%
    68 women = 37%

    Breakdown by each honour here,

  31. Colonial Rawshark 31

    USA decides to re-arm ISIS in Iraq with Main Battle Tanks

    Sorta tongue in cheek….sorta

    It appears that the US has decided to restock ISIS, if only indirectly. As Matthew Aid’s Strategypage.com discloses, the US is now selling a whopping 170 M-1 tanks to Iraq in order to restock the 40 lost to ISIS last summer, and then some. And since ISIS will promptly recapture a substantial portion of this latest batch, the US now appears to have found a fully covert, backdoor ISIS-restocking supply channel: one where Iraq pays to US military contrators (using US taxpayer aid money) such as General Dynamics, and subsequently the inventory mysteriosuly finds its way to barbarian, headcutting terrorists.


    • Bill 31.1

      When the mafia…jeez, that reference is just a bit unfair to those dog shit expressions of humanity, yes? Hmm. Let me rephrase. When these motherless fucks, in all their cold, clinical lifelessness, take and cut, do they care for anything beyond the take and the cut?

      Rhetorical, I know.

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