Open mike 03/04/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 3rd, 2013 - 111 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

111 comments on “Open mike 03/04/2013 ”

  1. Morrissey 1

    “Listen to John Key, he makes good business sense”
    Is The Panel making us stupid?

    Radio NZ National, Tuesday 2 April 2013
    Noelle McCarthy, Graham Bell, Islay McLeod

    “There are some people at the far extreme who you just have to say are idiots.”

    The former television weather-presenter was talking about something else when she uttered those words at 4:15 p.m., but by chance she was presaging two upcoming guest appearances on today’s show: first the dismal Nevil “Breivik” Gibson, and then an even more dismal far right farmer-politician from the Far North.

    First interview though was Christchurch East M.P. Lianne Dalziel, who was treated with a combination of ignorance, condescension and outright aggression, primarily by Graham Bell, operating in his default mode of bully-cop. Now of course, Lianne Dalziel is more than capable of looking after herself, and Bell is not smart enough to upset her; however, what he can do is trivialize and hijack a discussion, and that’s what he did. What will have concerned many listeners was the fact that Bell, who knows next to nothing about Christchurch, was allowed to take over that segment and effectively destroy it, silencing the voice of one of the most effective members of parliament.

    After the 4:30 news, the Panelists vapored for a couple of excruciating minutes about pop music. It came as no surprise to this writer to learn that Graham Bell and Islay McLeod are both fans of the leather-lunged Australian belter John (AKA “Johnny”) Farnham. They then spoke about a few more of their musical preferences….

    ISLAY McLEOD: And don’t forget Anika Moa and Lawrence Arabia. I’m loving his music at the moment!
    GRAHAM BELL: Our greatest singer-songwriters have to be Neil Finn and Dave Dobbyn.
    ISLAY McLEOD: Don McGlashan?
    GRAHAM BELL: Yes, he’s good.
    NOELLE McCARTHY: All right, time for the Soapbox, where we find out about what our Panelists have been thinking about. Islay, would you like to go first?

    …[Unfortunately I missed every word Ms. McLeod uttered in this segment, due to my being interrupted by an unfortunate fellow trying to flog subscriptions to the New Zealand Herald. After telling him I would never pay a cent to any publication that employed Wynne “Sensible” Gray or Rod “Unfunny” Emmerson, I hurried back to the lounge to hear Graham Bell railing against people who had annoyed him over the Easter break on State Highway No. 2]…

    GRAHAM BELL: Brickbats to those drivers who drove slowly and hesitantly and then sped up on the straights. Especially those pulling trailers and boats. Very frustrating!
    NOELLE McCARTHY: [tones of mock sympathy] Mmmmmm, mmmmm.
    GRAHAM BELL: [warming to his task] And one more thing! The murder of George Taiaroa. The investigation into this has been hindered by the media chasing rumors. It’s so frustrating. Very frustrating! It causes nothing but problems!
    NOELLE McCARTHY: Complicates things all round.
    GRAHAM BELL: YES IT DOES! Some of the stuff you see on some of these forums [sic]. Just such nonsense! But that’s the world we live in.
    ISLAY McLEOD: And, similarly, there have been all sorts of rumors about the bashing of Jesse Ryder. [She vents about the bail laws.]
    NOELLE McCARTHY: Islay McLeod and Graham Bell at a quarter to five. The Green Party says that, with the Rio Tinto stand-off over the electricity price, the Government has to stop the asset sales.
    BELL: Easy for the Opposition to criticize. But what would THEY do?
    McLEOD: We should call Rio Tinto’s bluff!
    BELL: Exactly!
    NOELLE McCARTHY: [unimpressed] Hmmm. Nevil Gibson is the editor of the National Business Review. He joins us now to discuss this. Good afternoon Nevil.
    BREIVIK GIBSON: Good afternoon Noelle!

    [Breivik Gibson proceeds to talk sympathetically about the stance taken by Rio Tinto. Suddenly, at the end of his talk, he unleashes one of the funniest quotes of the year, albeit unwittingly, as he advises people to, well, just trust the Government…]

    BREIVIK GIBSON: [with utmost gravitas] I would advise people not to listen to any political statements, and instead listen to what John Key is saying. What he says makes good business sense.
    NOELLE McCARTHY: [clearly horrified] What are the implications of the asset sales?
    BREIVIK GIBSON: Oh, NONE WHATSOEVER! The government will still be owning fifty-one per cent.
    NOELLE McCARTHY: [shaken and disturbed] Nevil Gibson, thank you.

    The last few minutes of the program involve an interview with a lunatic named Ken Rintoul, a Kerikeri “farmer and businessman”, who has obviously never wasted any of his valuable time reading books. Mr Rintoul obviously knows nothing at all about economics, but that has not stopped him from forming a new party for doctor-bashers, grave-robbers and kiddie-thrashers…….….

    NOELLE McCARTHY: Do you think we NEED a new right wing party?
    GRAHAM BELL: [slowly, with gravitas] Yes. I think so.

    [At this point, Bell made what I think was a disparaging remark about Hone Harawira, but I was again interrupted by a door-knocker, who was also dispatched post-haste….]

    NOELLE McCARTHY: Well, the party is called Focus New Zealand and its leader is Ken Rintoul. He’s a farmer from Kerikeri. Good afternoon.
    KEN RINTOUL: Good afternoon.
    NOELLE McCARTHY: Tell us about Focus New Zealand, your new party.
    KEN RINTOUL: Ummmm. Ahhhhh. Okay! [Mr Rintoul sets off on a wandery and confused speech making it clear to anybody with any common sense—not Graham Bell—that he is to the right of Genghis Khan, but lacks the astuteness of Rodney Hide, the charm of David Garrett or the electability of Don Brash. When he finishes his confused spiel, there is an awkward silence for several seconds.]

    NOELLE McCARTHY: Islay, you wanted to say something.
    ISLAY McLEOD: It all just seems a little bit… fairytale to me.
    KEN RINTOUL: Oh, okay, ummm.
    NOELLE McCARTHY: [gently] Ken Rintoul, thank you.

    • Bob Tambling 1.1

      Yes I was listening to that. Mr Bell also had his usual rant about the Greens
      Can’t say that I am going to continue listening to the right wing rants on “afternoons” for too much longer

    • felix 1.2

      I would advise people not to listen to any political statements, and instead listen to what John Key is saying.”

      Just about stabbed myself in the eye when I heard that.

      • Colonial Weka 1.2.1

        You have to admire the ironic beauty of the statement though. Classic.

        • vto

          Yep, Gibson went down a whole bunch of notches at that utterance, in mine own eye…

          • Ennui

            Poor old Nev used to sell Marxist papers as a young man, like our own ideologists here he stayed true to being an ideologue, merely changing horses. They are quite similar really.

            • Tim

              @ Ennui.
              Yep, I’ve come across quite a few of ‘them’ (half my vintage at Onslow College in fact).
              I suspect Jim Mora is one of ‘them’ as well. I often wonder what causes the shift. The only thing I can think of is …… comfort, camplacency, laziness.

              • Ennui

                I think it is mainly lazy thinking and a lack of breadth on which to base rational argument. If you begin with a stance using rational thinking without examining the base you start from you can prove anything…really does not matter whether you are using the materialist dialectic of Marx or Freidmans greed is good….both are perfectly cogent and please lazy minds. Both are of course nonsensical fantasies.

          • Dv

            >>NOELLE McCARTHY: [clearly horrified] What are the implications of the asset sales?
            BREIVIK GIBSON: Oh, NONE WHATSOEVER! The government will still be owning fifty-one per cent.

            EG Contact energy price fell 3% on the news that Rio might pull out.

            Obviously Gibson doesn’t understand how the the market works.

      • cricklewood 1.2.2

        When you look at some of Labours recent political statements it almost holds water.
        They seem to be oppose no matter what, even if this in direct contridiction to policy. It does give the impression that they are talking rubbish to score cheap points or they don’t really believe in the policies they have… I can’t tell which…

        I did watch Russel Norman on the tv3 this morning and he certainly comes across well and he was far from completely negative, instead talking about what the Greens would have done and why the Nat’s had gone about things the wrong way. Very engaging and beleivable IMHO

        • Arfamo

          I seem to remember Key doing much the same thing though cricklewood. Everything Labour was doing was wrong and wrecking the economy. He was going to bring in policies to stop Kiwis leaving for Australia, raise income levels here to Australian levels, not increase GST and so on. Brighter future my ass. That’s what’s making things so difficult for the voters. Both the Nats and Labour will say anything to get elected but after that they turn out to have no idea of what they’re doing.

          • cricklewood

            I agree, but I do think it looks ridiculous to send out press statements that directly contradict your own written policy. I would even say it is very poor strategy for an opposition party.

            Whilst in 2008 National were negative they didn’t contradict their own policy (they didn’t actually have much just tax cuts and vacuous statements like those you mentioned) once in power they raised gst took a hit for it and managed to do a convincing enough job to deflect most of the blame.

            All Labour are doing at present is opening themselves up for free hits…

    • prism 1.3

      A great report on the Panel. I wondered who that Islay McLeod was – Jim Mora doesn’t bother to tell us who his panellists are or their backgrounds. Talking about the weather authoritatively obviously would ensure great ability to talk about anything authoritatively. Everyone should know all these public figures who are his guests I suppose. I don’t spend much time with tv or Jim Mora so don’t know all the talking heads there. (Though John Campbell on tv sounds worth following.)

    • js 1.4

      I was appalled at the way Lianne Dalziel was dismissed by the panel. She was asked what she would do differently and when she tried to answer was cut off.

    • xtasy 1.5

      “The Panel” is a hand picked lot by Mora and his staff, merely there to gossip drivel about topics, to make them look trivial and irrelevant. It is nothing much serious about “the panel”, and Mora seems to get the same mouthpieces again and again. Picking Farrar shows his own bias.

      Farrar is clearly a propagandist operator for the Nats, and he makes no secret of it.

      Similarly the “political commentators” that Kathryn Ryan picks for each Monday late morning debate are equally selected. Williams is not Labour as the members would like it, he is an establishment person. And Hooton and Off, yes, that speaks for itself. He is like Farrar just another propagandist for National. Political commentators should not have any party affiliation and should be independent journalists or whatever, NOT pollies or former pollies or their mouth pieces.

      RNZ is at a sell out level and losing credit by the day.

  2. wyndham 2

    Rather long but a brilliant summation of what neo liberalism has done to the housing market throughout the developed world. Never was there a stronger case for capital gains tax !

  3. From an email sent by a friend …

    Want to have fun at a fancy dress party, and help protect the climate at the same time?

    Then dress in medieval attire and come along to the Fisher & Paykel Lecture Theatre, Auckland University Business School at 6.30 pm, Friday April 5th.

    On April Fools Day, climate change denier, Lord Christopher Monckton, begins a “Climate of Freedom” tour of NZ, with with the message that climate change isn’t a problem. Instead, he claims it is a hoax perpetrated by corrupt scientists who are conspiring with Green politicians to take over the world (sic).

    In reality,  Christopher Monckton has zero credibility regarding climate science. He has no scientific training or experience, but travels the world, apparently as a full-time propagandist for the fossil fuel and mining industries. His role seems to be to create controversy over the science and promote doubt as to the need for action to curtail greenhouse gas emissions.

    A Monckton performance is a tour-de-farce of pseudoscientific claims, half-truths, misrepresentations of scientific research and personal attacks. He is amusing, urbane, vicious, and extraordinarily dishonest.

    He does, however, have a fatal flaw –  he takes himself far too seriously, thus


    The Grand Wizard of the NZ Flat Earth Society, Nathaniel Pipe-Blower, has called on his flock and their friends to give Lord Monckton a rousing welcome to Auckland at Monckton’s public lecture at the University Business School, 7 – 9 pm on April 5th.

    As we Flat Earthers have endured centuries of oppression and ridicule from scientists with their so-called “evidence” that the Earth is round, we sympathise with Lord Monckton’s struggle, and wish to offer our support and friendship. 

    Just to be clear, this is not a traditional protest; we want to be FRIENDS with Lord Monckton and WORK TOGETHER TO BATTLE THE CONSPIRACY between the Corrupt Scientists and the Evil Greens.

    We will be handing out a “scroll” with our message, engaging in courtly conversation with members of the public, and expressing fulsome admiration for the Great Man himself (after all, he says he is a Nobel laureate who has found a cure for AIDS).

    Now for the fun part: Flat Earthers often dress in medieval garb, e.g. as damsels, knights, lords & ladies, priests, peasants, jesters, wizards and wenches.

    Flat Earthers also love music and entertainment, so it would be great to have pipers / minstrels /  jugglers or clowns.

    Most of all, Flat Earthers know how to MAKE MERRY!  Feel free to let your hair down.

    We will be meeting in the quad outside the Fisher and Paykel Lecture Theatre at 6.30 pm (or in the foyer, if wet).

    The (free) lecture starts at 7 pm; Flat Earthers will likely be so impressed by Monckton’s performance that they will clap and cheer the brilliance of his thought.

    Finally, for some light relief, there are those who suspect that Monckton is actually Sacha Baron Cohen in disguise…

    • The Al1en 3.1

      Nasa’s James Hansen retires to pursue climate fight

      “Dr James E Hansen has been the head of the Goddard Institute for Space Research since 1981.
      He is sometimes called the “father of global warming” for his early warnings about the impacts of rising levels of greenhouse gases.
      But some critics say he has hampered the cause by overstating the risk.”

      Overstating the risk, apparently not.

    • prism 3.2

      That is amusing and I think will be the most effective way of assisting Monckton towards his just desserts, which could well be a cheerio pie in the face.

  4. Is not climate change he most important existential issue humanity has ever faced?

    The climate has always changed, our sun is one of class of stars called variable stars. It’s simply the political motivator of the day.

    NASA is now reporting that atmospheric carbon dioxide acts as a coolant, which is obviously problematic for the “settled science” which says that it is a greenhouse gas.

    [lprent: if you want to start a new topic, then use OpenMike. Don’t use top level in a post on a different topic. Moved.

    BTW: the post you linked to was written by someone who is so ignorant of the science of the world we live in, that they appear to have failed to understand that without an atmosphere we would be living in the rough equivalent of a operating microwave oven. Perhaps they should look at the effect that O3 has compared to CO2 in the troposphere. There is a hell of a lot more of it and it does the same reflection of energy at a vastly high efficiency.

    Lord protect me from ignorant fools… ]

    • One Tāne Huna 4.1

      The Dunning-Kruger Effect is strong in this one.

      • Ugly Truth 4.1.1

        So what do you think the mistake was?

        • muzza

          This is no mistake – But lets hear the *science experts* talk around it!

        • Colonial Weka


          “NASA’s Langley Research Center has collated data proving that “greenhouse gases” actually block up to 95 percent of harmful solar rays from reaching our planet, thus reducing the heating impact of the sun.”

          I thought it was a given that most solar radiation doesn’t reach the earth, otherwise we would be fried.

          Irrespective of that, the NASA article doesn’t say wht PRI is saying it says. The NASA article is about solar flares and how much energy they have in them. It’s not about some NEW discovery that the atmosphere keeps heat out in ways we didn’t already know. In fact the PSI article appears to be such a classic example of how to misrepresent science that it should be used as a teaching tool.

          As for the idea that any of this proves anything against CC theory… isn’t a thermal layer acting in both directions? eg the insulation in my ceiling keeps heat out and heat in at the same time.

          • Ugly Truth


            Not by me. I said that NASA was reporting it, not that it proved anything.

          • Ugly Truth

            Colonial Weka, you’re right about the misrepresentation.

            While NASA did acknowledge that CO2 can act as a coolant, the role isn’t part of the standard greenhouse model.

            From NASA:

            Infrared radiation from CO2 and NO, the two most efficient coolants in the thermosphere, re-radiated 95% of that total back into space.

            “Unfortunately, there’s no practical way to harness this kind of energy,” says Mlynczak. “It’s so diffuse and out of reach high above Earth’s surface. Plus, the majority of it has been sent back into space by the action of CO2 and NO.”

            My bad for not checking the story first.

            • Colonial Weka

              Yeah, well, you might want to try being more critical of your sources too. Needless to say, having read that one article from them, I wouldn’t trust anything on the PSI site ever.

            • McFlock

              Where is the thermosphere?

              Now what effect would CO2 have in lower altitudes?

              • muzza

                Now what effect would CO2 have in lower altitudes?

                With the amount of chemical pollutants, at all levels, how would any calculations/measurements be meaningful, is a more relevant question!

                • McFlock

                  and yet the ones on climate change over the last thirty years have been reasonably accurate. Go figure.

                • Murray Olsen

                  I suspect climate scientists have some idea that there’s other stuff in the atmosphere besides oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. Their models also take methane into account, for example. I myself am beginning to suspect that the worst threat as far as global warming goes is the hot air spewed out to deny its existence.

            • lprent

              …the role isn’t part of the standard greenhouse model.

              Of course it is. The same ability to trap active energy that is an issue for greenhouse effects in the lower atmosphere is pretty damn useful in the upper atmosphere.

              The trick is to think about relative path lengths for energy to travel as its energy drops down in frequency. When an energetic electron (or for that matter most energetic particles) strikes the top of the atmosphere, they start running into molecules. Each impact causes the energy to reduce in the particle and to be partially imparted to whatever they strike. The impacts usually cause changes in vectors as well, so it increases the effective path length for the particle between upper atmosphere and the lower atmosphere.

              Eventually most of the energy winds up as heat, which because there is relatively little atmosphere spacewards tends to radiate in that direction because going the other way means it gets sucked up in making air molecules dance more. Obviously the converse is true. When heat is trapped in the morass molecules in the lower atmosphere it is like having a big heat retaining blanket between the heat radiation and space. So we remain warm even when the sun disappears for an average of 12 hours each day and stops adding heat to the lower atmosphere.

              That is all factored into the climate change models and always has been. Since the scientific moron in your link has clearly never read anything about them, it is pretty clear that what he was really saying was “I can wank stupidly in public”

  5. Ennui 5

    burt 8.1
    2 April 2013 at 3:26 pm

    It’s not about what is good policy for Labour – It’s about being popular… Sadly the muppets think that all they need to do is oppose the government and they will be popular.

    Nice comment Burt, so true. Cromwell might well have addressed them “You have sat too long, for Gods sake be gone for all the good that you have done”.

    Except they have done no good, merely sat, which as you imply in a nutshell is to their shame and damnation.

  6. vto 6

    So who is surprised to read that John Key continues to spout ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT AND OUTRIGHT LIES…

    It transpires he phoned the GCSB boss, his old school mate, and encouraged him to apply for the position. Fletcher subsequently applied and was the only interviewee.

    Fuck John Key.

    I no longer want a compulsive liar for our Prime Minister. It is impossible to believe a single word he says. He should piss of back to where bullshit artists and lies live – the money trading trickery world. Arsehole.


    • Ennui 6.1

      You obviously respect and fight for the truth….what you are witnessing is straight out of the Goebbels school of propaganda, tell a lie, repeat and repeat until it is accepted as the truth. Makes you mad enough to type in capitals.

      [lprent: please DON’T ]

    • Yep a week ago Key said:

      “The board and the panel knew. I didn’t undertake the recruitment, that was fully done by the State Services Commission, so you really have to say, in a small country like New Zealand … would the criteria be that no-one could get hired because I might know them?,”

      He is certainly telling fibs by omission and if you think that him ringing Fletcher and suggesting that he applies for the job is taking part in the recruitment he is lying by commission.

      Link is at

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Look around the world. Key is simply a bankster following standard bankster protocol, hiring cronies and mates into high government positions. It’s what any good friend would do. In fact, when you’re this self confident, who even needs to put up the appearance of impartial due process?

      • Murray Olsen 6.2.2

        He is lying deliberately and by commission. He can’t help himself and is doing more harm to our political bodies than anyone preceding him. He should be up before the Privileges Committee, but I won’t be holding my breath.

    • karol 6.3

      Yes. An amazing revelation. I have been looking at that news, and wondering if another author was in the process of writing a post on it. I expect so. [edit: Yep “Croynism” just up.]

      And so Key has an old crony as top spy, and knew nothing about Kim Dotcom?

    • Ben 6.4

      This sort of revelation doesn’t surprise me in the least – pretty sure lots of wheeling and dealing was done like this at Merrill Lynch.

      What surprises me is how OK ordinary Kiwis are with this: It’s a small country, everyone knows everyone, what difference does it make, blah blah.

      It’s a bit like the All Blacks: When they’re winning there’s nothing but support, and when they’re looking shakey there’s a rush to defend them – it was the ref’s fault, etc etc. Similar here, it seems.

    • Tim 6.5

      It’s all a bit like having Nick Leeson as Proim Munsta. In my experience, the harder they rise, the harder they fall. I keep telling myself that anyway as I look at various countries’ immigration requirements.

  7. Arthur 7

    Not just a liar, but a hopelessly bad one.

  8. rosy 8

    Why is the working class forgotten? The Guardian comments section produces four unrelated explanations, but it would be interesting to see them connected:

    1. Ten lies we’re told about the benefit cuts. Ricky Tomlinson

    We know most of them, but number 10 is well-worded:

    The attack on our welfare state is hitting a whole range of services – privatising the NHS, winding up legal aid for people in debt and closing SureStart centres and libraries. All this will make life poorer for every community. Some call these myths. I call them lies. We are being told lies about who caused this crisis and lied to about the best way out of it. But I know one thing to be true: this government’s polices will make millions of people poorer and more afraid. To do that when you do not have to, when there are other options, is obscene. That’s why I’m backing union Unite’sOurWelfareWorks campaign in its efforts to help highlight the truth about our welfare state.

    2. How the language of welfare poisoned our social security

    Language is important. The shift to using the word ‘welfare’ changes the way most people think about other people on benefits – are they welfare dependent, sucking up our money? Or do they receive social security – a public insurance that they have paid into through taxes to use when they fall on hard times and in all likelihood most will pay into in the future?

    3. Who represents you?

    If you’re Probably someone from outside your electorate and with a middle class background. They don’t have your interests at heart, They don’t live in the streets you do, work in similar jobs, nor have they been on a low wage. In Britain at least, the job of a parliamentarian is a stepping stone to big money jobs. How ‘our’ representatives going to defend our interests when they are planning on working for organisations and companies that are the very ones that we’re in conflict with? Just four percent of British MPs can claim a manual work background – the same percentage as went to Eton. I wonder how NZ parliamentarians stack up?

    This debasement of our politics starts early, with the exorbitant cost of being selected as a candidate. As Peter Watt, former Labour general secretary, recently wrote about his party’s selection procedure: “If you can’t afford to take a couple of months off work, pay for accommodation and travel, abandon your family and pay for your own materials you are screwed. In other words you need to be a political insider whose boss is supporting them; a trade union official or very rich.” And that’s before you even run for a seat, the bill for which can easily top £10,000. If Cameron, Miliband and Clegg want to fulfil their promises to make their parties more diverse, they can start by funding those on low incomes to become candidates. The Labour Diversity Fund calls for 5% of all party donations to go towards such a cause. It’s a small enough step that all the main sides could and should do it.

    4. Has feminism failed the working class

    The closing gender pay gap for professional women masks inequalities in the position of unskilled workers, where differences between men and women are significantly higher than differences for professional groups. Lower pay, more difficult child care choices and less family-friendly workplaces leave working class women left behind in the story of closing the gender pay gap.

    And then there’s the way the information is presented to the public….

    What we are seeing is an attack on the most vulnerable, clouded and reframed as fairness, through the use of deceit and fear. The idea it’s based on – “skiver v striver” – is an entirely false dichotomy: a picture of the economy and the people in it that doesn’t exist

    • Colonial Weka 8.1

      “Language is important. The shift to using the word ‘welfare’ changes the way most people think about other people on benefits – are they welfare dependent, sucking up our money? Or do they receive social security – a public insurance that they have paid into through taxes to use when they fall on hard times and in all likelihood most will pay into in the future?”

      I don’t know the history of the lnaguage in NZ, but I have no problem with the word welfare – it is after all about the wellbeing (welfare) of vulnerable people.

      The idea that welfare/social security is a public insurance that people have paid into in case they get into touble themselves smacks of 1980s neoliberalism – it’s all about the individual. Some people in need of social security have never paid tax.

      The point of the welfare state is to take responsibility for all the people in our communities that need assistance, not just those that have contributed via the tax take. That responsibility is based on compassion and acknowledgement that we are interdependent. It’s also based on the idea that without general wellbeing in society, it can’t function properly.

      • rosy 8.1.1

        “The idea that welfare/social security is a public insurance that people have paid into in case they get into touble themselves smacks of 1980s neoliberalism “

        I don’t see it at all that way – the focus is on each paying into the ‘pot’ according to ability and receiving according to need. I suppose that concept works better with progressive taxation. To me, the social security idea is that we all accept that we may be in a position that we need society to fall back on, whereas ‘welfare’ has become associated with the patently absurd idea of inter-generational dependency and ‘ripping off’ the taxpayer, with no concept that anybody could have unemployment, ill-health and the like befall them.

        I see welfare as a deliberate attempt to remove the safety net of the social security and implement U.S. style reforms.

    • Olwyn 8.2

      @ Rosy: here is Monbiot, also responding to the latest cuts. He sees hope in a UBI and a land value tax.

      A few days ago, Sanctuary said, “After the fall of the USSR across the Anglosphere the capitalist ruling elites first lost their fear then (with the opening of China, that totalitarian corporate capitalist nirvana) lost their use for the bulk of their domestic populations.”

      I do not think enough people see how dangerous this situation is. When you incrementally deny people the necessities of life while systematically vilifying them and at the same time demanding they be responsible for themselves this can only end in unthinkable horror, unless someone finds a way of putting the brakes on. One can see an example of the propaganda that keeps this going in the report of the Philpott case, in which it is claimed that the man had not washed for 12 weeks, which surely has nothing to do with his guilt or innocence. It does however, fuel the underclass myth in a timely fashion.

      • rosy 8.2.1

        “I do not think enough people see how dangerous this situation is. When you incrementally deny people the necessities of life while systematically vilifying them and at the same time demanding they be responsible for themselves this can only end in unthinkable horror, unless someone finds a way of putting the brakes on.”

        +1 on on that!

        Interesting re the Philpott case. The Daily Bigot (oops, Mail) has used this as an opportunity to rail against benefits and inform little England that the ‘welfare state created this evil’. that’s as far as it’s analysis goes.

        Nothing ever, of course, about the people who die because they can’t actually survive on no money and no care Even in Britain.

        Of course there is nothing to admire in the reports of the former soldier and his wife driven to suicide after their benefits were cut, or the child starved to death in Westminster, or the 32 sick and disabled people dying every week after failing new, stringent disability tests that found them “fit to work”.

        btw I was surprised it took so long for Monbiot to champion universal income and land tax. Great that he has though.

        • Olwyn

          Yes, I am glad he has come to it as well. Now all that’s needed is for people who can make things happen to listen. I am hoping these people get frightened by what they are creating before it ends in mayhem. It took a couple of wars to wake them up in the 20th century.

    • Colonial Weka 8.3

      Has feminism failed working class women? Sure, in many ways. But that article misses the core issue, which is that feminism has never had a free run. The gains at the top have always been compromised gains (you can have some power as long as you don’t rock the boat too much and make an effort to fit in). The structures that oppress working class women, also prevent feminism from achieving its aims. And those structures aren’t something feminism created or has had much control over.

      To what extent feminism can be criticised for not trying harder to sort out class issues I don’t know. It’s not really a secret that middle and professional class women don’t have a good understanding of working class issues, and certainly feminism has had to struggle with its own internal class and structural issues. Some criticism is warranted, but I think this from the article is a fail –

      “While feminism has delivered for some professional women, other women have been left behind. Many of the advances for women at the top have masked inequality at the bottom.”

      The implication being that feminism had the power to change the conditions of working class women, but didn’t. That’s not true.

      “New research reveals that advances for women at the top have not been matched by progress for those at the bottom”

      New research, but hardly news for anyone that’s been paying attention.

      • karol 8.3.1

        Well said, weka. I was involved in the women’s movement in London in the late 70s and early 80s. It was strongly left wing, and interconnected with other left wing organisations and activities. It was always about social justice, and a fair society for all women. I had working class friends who were part of the women’s movement as a whole, but who also part of some working class women’s groups.

        One of the things about the movement in the UK, was that, the left wing approach was for a network of groups and against the promoting of “star” feminists, unlike the US. The movement never got a very good press from the MSM. Then, Thatcherism started to bite with her targeting of grassroots left wing organisations that weakened the grassroots women’s movement.

        This was at the same time as the Murdochisation of the MSM. It tended to promote “sexy” middleclass women and appropriated aspects of feminism that suited their neoliberal agenda.

        The power of the wealthy elites is not to be under-estimated.

      • Ennui 8.3.2

        I don’t know if feminism has failed working class women: it is a very good question.

        What I can do is reflect on my lifetime and the changes that have occurred. My grandmother worked all her life, including in service and factories. Only in the 1950s could she throttle back and live off my grandfathers wages. My mother worked by choice, we children were expected to do housework etc from an early age. No sexism there, we were both boys, my mother did not buy the concept of “women’s work”. She was unusual in that during the 50s, 60s and early 70s women (it was not the acceptable norm for men) were able to raise and nurture children because wage rates were high enough for a single income to support the average family. My friends thought it rather unusual my mother worked full time. My own wife chose to stay home with the children only because I earned plenty, it could easily have been her out doing the earning as she is far more competent than me.

        Come the 70s newly arrived feminism coincided with erosion of the wage packet through out the western world. Which meant working class women in particular were caught in the unenviable position of being expected to raise families, and find extra money. The implication is that the influx of women into the workforce again depressed labour rates for both men and women: I dont know if this is the case. My suspicion is that the aspirations of women raised by feminism, coinciding with consumerism, neo liberalism, de unionism etc etc created a perfect storm which capital has taken advantage of to depress wages.

        On that basis you could say feminism was a factor in the impoverishment of working class women, BUT certainly not the cause, and certainly not intentionally.

        • karol

          Large numbers of working class women have always had to work – whether it was in the organised workforce, or by taking in washing etc in the informal economy.

          • Ennui

            Very true, what I was driving at was the failure of the single income family scenario that we managed to achieve in the 50s 60s.

      • rosy 8.3.3

        But that article misses the core issue, which is that feminism has never had a free run. The gains at the top have always been compromised gains “

        Yep. This was probably the article that prompted me to think about how these different ideas on working class issues cannot be seen in isolation. Why has feminism not delivered for working class women? As Karol notes, Thatcherism is at the heart. This, at the very least, marks a divergence between working class and professional women’s interests.

        The decline in organised Labour almost certainly has had an impact on the chances of women keeping pace with men’s wage rates (I guess though, there’s another story about organised labour and fear of women taking men’s jobs).

        It would be interesting to link this with the article about David Miliband and look at who exactly represents working class women’s interests in government, in local bodies and labour organisations (not just the top level, but at the workplace level). A few more working class women in government in NZ would have swamped the one who seems to have forgotten where she came from.

  9. joe90 9

    Teaching to the test.

    Ms. Parks admitted to Mr. Hyde that she was one of seven teachers — nicknamed “the chosen” — who sat in a locked windowless room every afternoon during the week of state testing, raising students’ scores by erasing wrong answers and making them right.,0,595854.story

    A parade of Atlanta educators trooped to the county jail beginning in the early hours of Tuesday morning and surrendered to officials on criminal charges stemming what is believed to be the biggest testing scandal in American education.

    By early morning, at least four of the 35 teachers, principals and school officials had turned themselves in and were expected to post bonds ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than $1 million.

  10. millsy 10

    Remember the ’90’s?

    The Macarena, Jonah Lomu, ‘Friends’, Tamagotchis, ‘The End of History’?

    National slashing and burning their way through the health system, privatising large parts of it and charging for the rest?

    Looks like Treasury put out a report that recommended that the government charges for more health services.

    Phony Tony slapped down the idea of more charges, but am finding it hard to believe him.

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    Not that there is anythin fucked up about USian gun culture or anything!

  12. prism 12

    Some of today’s bad news. In Brazil, three taxibus operators forced passengers off their vehicle so they could rape a young woman who was travelling with a boyfriend. It sounds like a copycat version of the Indian one. We seem to be scraping the bottom of our social morals bucket. What next? And what can be done to change this trend?

    • Colonial Weka 12.1

      “We seem to be scraping the bottom of our social morals bucket”

      Sorry prism, but for me it looks like business as usual. It’s just there is a shift happening in public awareness and media reporting. That will probably turn out to be a good thing, time will tell.

      • Murray Olsen 12.1.1

        When I was living in Rio a woman was raped near the entrance to one of the local favelas. The perpetrator was found by people early the next morning outside the favela, impaled on a broken broomstick. Street justice over there can be pretty brutal.

    • Colonial Viper 12.2

      I’ve been told that the answer is to fight rape culture in all its many permutations. Hope that gives you some ideas.

      • Colonial Weka 12.2.1

        One needs to understand what rape culture is in order to fight it 🙂

      • prism 12.2.2

        Thanks CV I feel better now.

        • Colonial Weka

          So not really that interested in what to do about rape? or did I misunderstand the question?

      • QoT 12.2.3

        Woooo, yeah, let’s be glib about crimes against women because we don’t want to take any time to engage with the discussion on how to make people take rape seriously, woooooo.

        Meanwhile, CW’s comment above yours demonstrates how us silly little feminists talking about silly concepts might just have actually forced people to start taking incidents like this more seriously. God, we’re so ineffective with our silly talking.

    • DH 12.3

      You think that’s bad, try the Saudi cleric who recently raped, mutilated & murdered his 5yr old daughter. His punishment was a $50,000 fine. That’s about as sick as it comes and yet we heard very little about it from the media.

      • chris73 12.3.1

        Yeah its a funny thing (in a not actually funny at all way) because the idea is we’re supposed to be tolerant and accepting of other cultures which seems to be driven by mostly middle to upper class men and women (sickly white liberals)

        Yet I have no problem stating that the western democratic 1st world system (for lack of a better description) of laws and morals is superior to any other

        I’m not saying its perfect, far from it in fact but when you look at whats happening in other parts of the world I’m just glad I was born in NZ

        • QoT

          Nia Glassie.

        • rosy

          Delcelia Witika

        • Draco T Bastard

          Yet I have no problem stating that the western democratic 1st world system (for lack of a better description) of laws and morals is superior to any other

          That would just prove how ignorant you are. The increasing poverty forced upon the world by Western Colonialism shows a distinct lack of morals.

  13. freedom 13

    just sharing a little data because it happens to be available again and many have never seen it.

    this is the article on thermitic material in WTC dust. The article regularly gets removed so just sharing whilst i can.

    • Colonial Weka 13.1

      “The article regularly gets removed so just sharing whilst i can”

      By whom, from where?

      • freedom 13.1.1

        you want to know who removed it?
        sure CW, i’ll just get that name for you

        ahh hang on a minute … you got me good, you’re funny
        interpret as: how the hell would i know? stuff gets removed from the web all the time
        sometimes for an hour sometimes for good. If you deny that as well, you are a crazy person.

        and if for some reason your ability to read has tragically vanished in a puff of retro-logic, the address of the site is in the address of the pdf, wow, what will these interweb folk think of next

        before you start I am not offering any opinion on the site as a valid source, I am not a scientist and have no input as to what the scientific community think. But it chose to publish the paper and it is a paper most journals run from because facts often have a way of interfering with funding.

        All I know is that the pdf IS the paper that was written by Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley, and Bradley R. Larsen

        It has NOT been seen by many people who often ask for more raw data in the ongoing WTC discussion and I am confident that those with a functioning brain cell can seperate the article’s contents from the location of its discovery. The internet is not a place for squabbles on the proprietary nature of published material that its authors have stated are a public resource.

        • Colonial Weka

          Oh yeah, my bad. See I thought you were meaning that people put the information on the internet, and other people, who don’t own it, take it off. The former being good reliable people, and the latter being nasty secret govt types.

          But now I see that I actually have no idea what the fuck you are on about, except that when I make a reasonable request for clarification I get an insulting rant.

          “stuff gets removed from the web all the time
          sometimes for an hour sometimes for good. If you deny that as well, you are a crazy person.”

          Yes, it’s just most of us don’t believe that everytime something disappears from the internet that it’s a nefarious act. If that’s not what you meant, please do say because otherwise I’ve completely missed your point.

          • freedom

            that’s good CW, make sure attention is diverted from the data. An irrelevant perceived slight is far more important. – and Felix, stop smirking 🙂

            Anyhoo, I never claimed any ‘nefarious acts’ had taken place regarding the file’s accessibility. I simply stated the fact, that the file is sometimes not found at the places it occassionally resides. More importantly, to call the above an insulting rant is an insult to insulting rants everywhere. If you have never done so i recommend looking through the file. It is very interesting, even to a layman like me. Have a nice day.

            • Colonial Weka

              Here’s a better link. It contains the PDF link, but also the full abstract plus some excerpts.


              freedom, I really do think your link would have been taken more seriously with the SHOUTING at the start, and without the ambiguous assertion of things going missing off the internet.

              • I have noticed that ‘Derailing for Dummies’ is very hard to find too – if anyone has a solid link I’d appreciate it.

                • Colonial Weka


                  I’m guessing lots of things fall off the internet because of copyright issues and people failing to pay their yearly domain name or hosting fee.

                  Someone in RL said something to me the other day about a website having been removed from the internet, the implication being that this was nefarious, but when I queried them they hadn’t really considered other reasons.

                  The most obvious bullshit disappearance I’m aware of is the Te Ao Cafe site that got stolen by the police during the Tuhoe Raids. I don’t know if it was ever returned, but it’s not been seen since. The most serious bit of that is that it’s not even evident in the wayback machine (which I assume means that the Internet Archive people have arrangements with various governments).

              • freedom

                umm CW my link goes to a full pdf of the paper in question including all images, your link goes to a link promo page that links to nothing but a dead page,

                this really is not a pissing contest but how is your link better?
                or you were you just being a tad sardonic ?

                and you are corect there was no need for shouty first line of original post

                • Colonial Weka

                  Sorry, didn’t follow the link. I just thought an explanation of what the PDF was was useful. The PDF itself is fairly daunting without that. No, not a pissing contest.

                  Seeing the dead link, it looks to me like that science publisher just doesn’t use permanent links. Sorry if I misinterpreted your original comment, but in that context it did come across as paranoid.

    • muzza 13.2

      An american national, one of the head of the department, has contracted with the DoD among other well known US entities, states his position as being – The towers were, *blown up*!

      Worked for the DoD, does not believe they were involved per se, but is certain that there were state/corporate sponsors. He does not buy into the OBL myth, he knows the history, having worked for the DoD!

    • felix 13.3



      • handle 13.3.1

        It’s ongoing apparently. Who knew?

        • McFlock


          “look, I’ll just play with my apparently empty revolver why Archduke Ferdinand and his wife drive past in downtown Sarajevo. What’s the worst that can happen?”
          [4 years pass]
          “Who knew?”

  14. prism 14

    I was thinking about the education of our politicians and why some are so comfortable with pushing education around – and our children’s futures and our own too. I thought about two ex-teachers I know of Trevor Mallard and Gerry Brownlee. Both confident know-alls.

    I don’t know how many ex-teachers there are in government, it seems well-stocked with farmers. Brownlee was a teacher, in technical subjects which involve work with physical materials not abstract ideas or facts. Mallard is also another one with physical skills, and both with verbal skills rather than in rationality or intellectual analysis. I think they have found that working as a politician forcing their ideas on the public is easier than teaching, helping and inspiring children through their learning process.
    Trevor Mallard – Minister for controversy
    He’s been called a few names, including bully, but he says he doesn’t think he’s a bully, “I think I’m a gentle lamb.” So why all the bully labels? Why the perception that he does Labour’s dirty work in Parliament, such as making the Brash/Foreman comments?
    Mallard didn’t like accounting and went into teaching. He didn’t last long. He loved coaching sports and working with children, but doesn’t think he was a very good teacher. He found himself getting a bit bored in the classroom and almost by accident became an MP.
    He stood for Hamilton West, pretty much on the understanding that he would not win. He did. It was a pleasant surprise but six years later, in 1990, he found himself voted out.

    An obscure, to me, comment by Claire Trevett.
    The idea that only people with higher learning should become MPs is worrying given the relevance of higher learning to both MPs’ jobs and to real life.
    Gerry Brownlee bio
    Born in Christchurch, Brownlee has lived there ever since. After leaving high school, he worked in his family’s timber business, and received training in carpentry. Later he qualified as a teacher. He then taught woodwork and crafts at high-school level at Ellesmere College, and later at St Bede’s College (which he himself had attended as a pupil). At St Bede’s he taught woodwork and graphics.

  15. aerobubble 15

    Socrete was not a christian, he died for reason by taken hemlock. The central focus of a court, where laws are tested and emerge, is the confrontation between reasoned sides of the case.

    So when a lawyer on RNZ says christianity should be thank for our law, I was incredulous.
    Our Law didn’t get off the ground until the papest central authorities were given the boot.
    Our laws would never stand up if they were based on faith.
    Our laws have more basis in the Ancient Greeks of individualism and reason.
    Hell, even the Pope was elected by a pagan democracy means.

    I ask you how is the weakness of Christianity a strength, that’s just spin.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      If the witch drowned, she was innocent, if she lived, she was clearly a witch and burnt at the stake.

      You can’t say that’s not a fair and balanced trial.

  16. joe90 16

    Reptilian overlords….

    4% of voters say they believe “lizard people” control our societies by gaining political power

  17. Morrissey 17

    How lazy, how stupid can a commentator be? Well, have a look at this….
    Jim Mora reckons Giuliani “cleaned up” New York

    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Wednesday 3 April 2013
    Jim Mora, Liz Bowen Cluely, David Farrar

    In the course of a discussion about police apprehension of criminals in New Zealand, Jim Mora casually commented that the notoriously corrupt former mayor of New York Rudolph Giuliani had “cleaned up New York.”

    Flabbergasted at such glibness and lack of seriousness, I quickly dashed off the following response….

    Dear Jim,

    Giuliani did not “clean up” New York

    You claimed that Rudolph Giuliani “cleaned up” New York. In fact his regime was utterly corrupt. Giuliani’s first Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik, was found guilty of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and lying to the Internal Revenue Service. In February 2010, Kerik was sentenced to four years in federal prison.

    Kerik’s successor Raymond Kelly was even more controversial; his officers were involved in many killings of “undesirables” in the New York suburbs.

    Killing New York “low-life” is one way of “cleaning up” the city; the Gestapo “cleaned up” Berlin, and so did those South African policemen caught on tape a couple of weeks ago dragging a young man to his death along a city road.

    Please think carefully before you praise rotten, corrupt politicians in future.

    Yours sincerely,

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point


    So far, no response from the great communicator….

    • xtasy 17.1

      Mora is very shallow, hollow and gossiping wishy washy jabbering nonsense all the time. He turns me off RNZ. Sometimes it is worth to listen to 9 to noon, and certainly to Checkpoint, perhaps (at times) Morning Report and so, but the standards are getting lowered, given we have a government that pulls some strings behind the scenes.

  18. vto 18

    jeez jim
    where’s the wood?

  19. xtasy 19

    So tonight, more BS on “3rd degree”, stories for heart breaks and from overseas, rather than raising issues about what goes on and affects hundreds of thousands inside NZ! NO mention of welfare reforms, NO mention of GCSB scandal, NO mention of asset sales, NO mention of Rio Tinto and the Tiwai Point smelter, is this damned “current affairs” or “current distraction” Msrs Garner and Espinner. Yes “spinners” and “garners” that is what the show is about, no real current affairs reporting and no investigative journalism. Keep NZers dumb, dumber and the dumbest, it is what the dictatorship of Aotearoa NZ demands, coming from High Command, John Key and Steven Joyce!

    • ianmac 19.1

      There was a short interview with Mr Key and Espiner at the end re Afghanistan and a mention right at the end over spy non-scandal.

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    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    2 weeks ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
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    2 weeks ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
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    2 weeks ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
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  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
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  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
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    2 weeks ago

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