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Open mike 03/05/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 3rd, 2015 - 168 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

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

Step up to the mike …

168 comments on “Open mike 03/05/2015 ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    How many cabinet ministers have brothers?

    The problem here is that they have to step down, as per Carmel Sepuloni, and stepping down will breach name suppression.

    Convenient, eh.

    • Paul 1.1

      There is a lot of detail in that article.
      Stuff weren’t very discreet.

    • miravox 1.2

      Surely a cabinet minster would only need to stand down if s/he was involved with the crime, the investigation or had ministerial responsibility for children, justice or police?

      • ianmac 1.2.1

        Trying to remember if National made any nasty remarks at Carmel at that time?

        • phillip ure 1.2.1.1

          i don’t recall any..

        • amirite 1.2.1.2

          I guess the Nats were silent about Sepuloni in anticipation of their own imminent court case, not for the decency or the goodness of their heart.

        • rawshark-yeshe 1.2.1.3

          I seem to remember it was the Nats who ‘exposed’ Carmel Sepuloni ?? I recall being very angry at them … maybe it’s just my natural state these days. 🙁

          This story from TV3News has Andrew Little stating clearly that Carmel had no knowledge “of the ordeal’

          http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/carmel-sepulonis-mother-due-in-court-2015022605#axzz3Z1E0H7Ij

          It always had the stench of dirty politics to me.

          And here .. TVOne News claiming to be first to discover the story … ( “Hello Corin — Jason here” and all that). It still stinks.

          http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/labour-welfare-spokesperson-stood-down-mother-faces-benefit-fraud-charges-6242031

        • Anne 1.2.1.4

          Yes ianmac, during Question Time. Paula Bennett made a reference to Carmel’s situation at the time of her mother’s guilty verdict. Someone will surely remember what she actually said – I can’t. I do remember the Labour members responding in disgust to Bennett’s vindictive comment.

          Surprise, surprise… I don’t think she was called to “withdraw and apologise” but I may be wrong.

          • rawshark-yeshe 1.2.1.4.1

            Anne .. I remember that too. Have just searched Hansard for Feb 25, but can’t find anything. Are you remembering it was AFTER the actual conviction then ? I can search again …

            • Anne 1.2.1.4.1.1

              I can’t remember rawshark-yeshe. I think it must have been after the guilty plea because she would have been treading a fine legal line had she commented beforehand.

              I do remember something happened in response to Madam B’s spite because she stood up and claimed she had only been responding to Sepuloni’s provocation. In other words she was suggesting Carmel started it. That was bullshit. All Carmel did was robustly question her about a social issue which was what she is supposed to do as Paula’s opposite number. Bennett was the one who introduced the personal aspect into the debating chamber.

              • ianmac

                Must have been after Carmel was returned to her spot.

                • rawshark-yeshe

                  which seems to be March 5 2015 but the house did not sit again til March 10 .. can’t find it, but I know it’s there !

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.4.1.2

              IIRC, it was actually the press that informed Sepuloni that her mother was being brought up on charges and they were informed by the minister before Sepuloni was informed at all. It was a nasty Nat attack on Sepuloni via the MSM who had assumed that Sepuloni had already been informed.

              Also note that the author of that piece can’t keep the story straight from one end to the other:

              Earlier this year, Labour spokeswoman Carmel Sepuloni stepped aside while her mother was before the courts on benefit fraud charges.

              Earlier this year Carmel Sepuloni was stood down from her social development spokeswoman role after her mother was charged with several counts of benefit fraud.

              Same fucken article, two different meanings.

              • rawshark-yeshe

                indeed. but we are trying to find Bennett’s attack on her in the house …

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I could be remembering it wrong and the attack was what started the whole rigmarole in the first place.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.2

        The article makes clear it’s a ‘he’.

        He can’t stand down because doing so would breach name suppression. He has to stand down under the circumstances you’ve outlayed.

        Is the National Party capable of negotiating this ethical minefield? Of course not. What will their self-interest dictate?

        • felix 1.2.2.1

          Where does it refer to the gender of the minister?

          • veutoviper 1.2.2.1.1

            This sentence in the Stuff article:

            The minister did not respond yesterday to questions about whether he would stand down while the case was before the court.

            • felix 1.2.2.1.1.1

              Ah thanks. Well that narrows it down considerably.

              • rawshark-yeshe

                might also explain why one Hon from down there has had a perpetual misery face for the last few months.

                • felix

                  I think he looks like he was frozen while emotionally transitioning between abject misery and outrageous smugness.

                  • Dave

                    Must be Lumberwhare then, mind you his frozen rictus never changes much.

                  • rawshark-yeshe

                    lol felix.

                    botox even ? maybe he got some from crusher who really does need to stop abusing it. dear crusher’s eyebrows are so very arched she has a look of permanent surprise built in .. must be disconcerting for those close to her.

                    not attacking but commenting on what is a dangerous habit for some. and the weirdest thing is the other facial muscles take over the work of the botox paralysed ones, and develop quite unexpectedly which leads to a great distortion over time and faces can change quite badly.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.3

        Under normal circumstances, assuming his areas of responsibility create a conflict, there are a range of options as listed below (1.3.1.1.1). The interesting aspect of this is that any public action will immediately narrow the field – how many brothers can a cabinet minister have, after all.

        National’s initial response – stonewalling – doesn’t bode well for their eventual decision. I expect the correct response would have been – “yes I’m standing down and if you report that you’ll breach a suppression order.”

        That isn’t what happened though.

      • Murray Rawshark 1.2.4

        I don’t think FJK even requires that, going by past events.

    • Charles 1.3

      I think, really, if a PM can go around dodging the law for his own openly admitted and socially condoned misdeeds, then the degree of seperation between siblings of MP’s is irrelevent, not in the public interest, and not even news. If people only get worked-up because of the type of crime, but otherwise believe the law applies only when it’s convenient, then it’s not a matter of law, or principle.

      Carmel stepping down was a complete idiocy. Hard to be an effective opposition when your own values are so puritanical you fire yourself for things that your opponent can’t comprehend. Especially so, if most of your electorate think the same way as your opponent, secretly, and do the same everyday. The outraged noise people make has no relation to their actual personal values. The end may not justify the means, but who said a politician had to continue with less-than-pure means past the short term end of actually winning?

      • phillip ure 1.3.1

        i think with carmel her spokesperson- role was factored into her?/the decision to stand down..

        tho’ i thought it was an over-reaction/wasn’t needed..

        • b waghorn 1.3.1.1

          I agree she shouldn’t of stood down and neither should the nat mp unless he’s linked somehow. No one should be held back because of the sins of there ralitives.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.1.1.1

            There are a range of options:

            taking no action;
            enquiring as to whether all affected parties will consent to the member’s or official’s involvement;
            seeking a formal exemption to allow participation (if such a legal power applies);
            imposing additional oversight or review over the official;
            withdrawing from discussing or voting on a particular item of business at a meeting;
            exclusion from a committee or working group dealing with the issue;
            re-assigning certain tasks or duties to another person;
            agreement or direction not to do something;
            withholding certain confidential information, or placing restrictions on access to information;
            transferring the official (temporarily or permanently) to another position or project;
            relinquishing the private interest; or
            resignation or dismissal from one or other position or entity.

            Dealing with COIs is commonplace in industrial and academic circles. Not sure how you justify ignoring them in politics.

          • felix 1.3.1.1.2

            “I agree she shouldn’t of stood down and neither should the nat mp unless he’s linked somehow. No one should be held back because of the sins of there ralitives.”

            It’s not about being responsible for the sins, it’s about conflict of interest.

            If, for example, it were the Minister of Police who’s brother were facing charges, there would be a clear conflict of interest for the minister.

            If it were Minister of Replacing Lightbulbs in John Key’s office (or whatever the fuck it is they’ve got Paula doing these days) then there probably wouldn’t be much of a conflict.

            • miravox 1.3.1.1.2.1

              I would have thought minister of police or some such would have stepped aside when he knew his brother was facing charges.

              That’s taking responsibility for the conflict of interest. Responsibility – something the NActs are big on, they say.

            • rawshark-yeshe 1.3.1.1.2.2

              well yes, of course ! But these are the Nacts. Nothing decent to be expected in any direction.

              Imagine the conflict for such a minister !

            • The Murphey 1.3.1.1.2.3

              It’s not about being responsible for the sins, it’s about conflict of interest

              Including blackmail

              Such ‘preferences’ are unlikely to be those of ‘recent first timers’ and so direct family relationship becomes very relevant to the discussion

              No doubt the lodges will be a hive of activity

            • McFlock 1.3.1.1.2.4

              it’s about conflict of interest

              Perceived conflict of interest.
              Sepuloni standing down for the duration removed any possibility of a conflict, or of an innocent question being mistaken as interference.

            • blue2 1.3.1.1.2.5

              Seriously funny comment Felix. Minister of Replacing Lightbulbs. They’re all 1930’s vintage single filament incandescents!

            • blue2 1.3.1.1.2.6

              Minister of Replacing Lightbulbs. Totally succinct comment. As the Nats are full of 1930’s vintage, single carbon filament, low wattage types, it would be easy to say that describes them all.

          • RedBaronCV 1.3.1.1.3

            Note how Stuff put
            “Carmel Sepuloni was stood down” but at the time

            “We have agreed she will step aside” was what Andrew Little said after he appears to have been told very promply by Carmel.

            So it looks like Carmel had a part in the stand down and accepted it as a responsibilty for her not some thing imposed on her by the boss.

            Stuffs comment kinda implies otherwise. It’s a small thing I know but.. Mischief making. Not that any Nact ever seems to vountarily fall on their sword

            • mickysavage 1.3.1.1.3.1

              She did. She discussed it with Andrew and agreed that she should voluntarily stand down until the matter was resolved.

        • JanM 1.3.1.2

          Except that as we all know, with the bias of the MSM the left have to be more cautious than ‘the right to rulers’

        • JanM 1.3.1.3

          Except that as we all know, with the bias of the MSM the left have to be more cautious than ‘the right to rulers’

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.2

        Sepuloni wasn’t fired. She returned as soon as the conflict of interest was no longer an issue.

        It’s a perfectly acceptable way of dealing with such conflicts of interest when they arise. Your cynicism notwithstanding, many people understand that they are toxic because they lead to poor decisions being made.

        I agree that the National Party has plumbed new depths of corruption and denial in this regard. Even in their ranks there’s disquiet over it.

        • Incognito 1.3.2.1

          IIRC Sepuloni did not cease to be a politician and MP. From one of the links in comment 1.2.1.3:

          ”Carmel Sepuloni will remain on the front bench and as the party’s junior whip.”

          Sepuloni did not know anything till it became public knowledge and quick action on the same day was aimed to deal with possible spill-over and public perception.

          As it turned out, it was a temporary measure as Sepuloni’s mother pleaded guilty the next day so it was not going to be a long drawn-out legal affair, etc.

          IMO, it was the best action under the circumstances and has left no real ammunition for others to attack Sepuloni, Little, or the Labour Party with. So, at the end of the day (…), ‘the end did justify the means’.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.2.1.1

            Yeah, which is why the National Party now has an opportunity* to look corrupt and incompetent by comparison.

            *which I’m sure they’ll seize with both feet.

      • Murray Rawshark 1.3.3

        I think Carmel Sepuloni standing down was the best thing overall, because of her responsibility for welfare. A police minister, for example, should be required to stand down if a member of their family is charged with any criminal offence.

        NAct people seem to have a real problem keeping things consensual and legal, don’t they? I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll see a British type of scandal down here.

        • rawshark-yeshe 1.3.3.1

          kinda think that would also apply to the chair of a law and order committee,
          right ? Yeah? Nah.

          • Murray Rawshark 1.3.3.1.1

            At the end of the day FJK can actually find people who don’t think it should. Many of them are NAct MPs. That worries me.

    • felix 1.4

      English has at least one brother, Smith has four, Brownlee was hatched from a goose’s egg, Woodhouse is the fifth of nine children.

      Don’t know of any other male Cabinet Ministers from the South Island except John Key and he is so obviously an only child it’s not even worth looking up.

      One of the above would have a very serious conflict of interest due to the nature of their portfolio.

      • rawshark-yeshe 1.4.1

        Indeed. and all the more reason to try and keep it very, very secret and suppressed.

        old habit for Key by now .. he must have almost mastered it ?

      • weka 1.4.2

        Why the South Island Ministers?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.4.2.1

          The case is being heard in the Christchurch High Court, and the lawyer is from Dunedin?

          • weka 1.4.2.1.1

            which applies to the brother, not necessarily the Minister presumably, or am I missing something?

            • felix 1.4.2.1.1.1

              Not necessarily the Minister, but it does seem more likely, no?

              • weka

                Just seen the comments upthread about Dunedin 😉

                • felix

                  I know you’re winking but it looks like you have something stuck in your eye 😀

                  • left for deadshark

                    Good morning felix,
                    Whats happened to the old smilies.?

                    👿

                    • weka

                      WordPress redesigned them and we got them in a recent upgrade.

                    • lprent

                      In their infinite wisdom the WordPress designers decided to change the defaults. They have apparently missed some out. It is possible to revert. Can’t be bothered…

                    • rawshark-yeshe

                      lprent .. I have a nice bottle of wine or some beersies for you if it helps with the bothering ? 🙂

                    • Lanthanide

                      +1 for rawshark. The new smilies suck.

                      Look what they’ve done to the roll-eyes one: 🙄 pathetic!

                  • weka

                    You look like you’ve got a very large wedge of grapefruit in your mouth.

                    I hate these fucking Smilies. Bloody wordpress designers, what were they thinking? Not about communication obviously.

          • veutoviper 1.4.2.1.2

            According to the article, the actual case is scheduled for a District Court hearing (location not specified) – but the interim injunction on naming was issued by a Christchurch High Court judge, presumably pending the DC hearing considering a submission for name suppression.

      • veutoviper 1.4.3

        Key is not an only child. He has two older sisters here in NZ. He also has two much older half-brothers in the UK. IIRC English has at least two brothers.

      • yabby 1.4.4

        Key has two sisters – but is an only son

    • weka 1.5

      “The problem here is that they have to step down, as per Carmel Sepuloni, and stepping down will breach name suppression.

      Convenient, eh.”

      Two ways to look at that. One is that if there were a conflict of interest the Minister would have stepped down by now for personal or family reasons, but since there isn’t, they haven’t. The other is that it’s National, and why would they do the right thing unless they were forced to?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.5.1

        Would this fall into the ‘no surprises’ category?

        I assume the Police Minister would have been informed. That’s Michael Woodhouse, a list MP from Dunedin.

      • RedBaronCV 1.5.2

        or all the four cabinet ministers that fit the criteria could stand down, Key could reshuffle the lot and we would be none the wiser on the specifics. Well no further ahead than now

    • weka 1.6

      The courts granted an injunction to prevent publication by the SST of the Minister’s name. Does that injunction apply to the public?

      • lprent 1.6.1

        Likely. As I have no idea who it is, So to conform to the reported suppression, I will just limit people saying explicitly which minister it is.

        I also note that there has been nothing reported about the alleged victims seeking suppression.

        Mind you, after the questions on how Carmel’s mothers name got into media, I am only inclined to follow the letter of suppression orders when it comes to the politically associated.

        If it is good enough for Paula Bennett to play games with the courts and relatives, then I can’t be bothered fighting dirty politics with my hands tied….

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.6.2

        They’ve finally got their story straight. They’ve known about this all along and steps have already been taken to do nothing.

        • McFlock 1.6.2.1

          Two things spring to mind:

          He refers repeatedly to the “advice” he’s received, but (as he made plain on HardTalk) he views the purpose of “advice” as being to endorse the decision he wants, rather than a genuinely impartial and expert opinion of what should be done; and

          if “there is no conflict of interest”, then surely there is no “issue” than “can be managed”.

          Fucking slimy liar.

  2. i heard the idea the wharf-extensions be named after our mayor..

    (as an act of gratitude on the part of his bosses @ the wharf-company..?

    ..esp. seeing as he cast the casting vote for it – in a split council..eh..?..

    ..he made it happen..all his own work – lest we forget..)

    …so..’browns’ dump’..?…’browns’ car-park’..?…’browns’-folly’..?..’browns’-brown-nose’..?

    ..suggestions welcomed

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    Another mental health victim failed by indifferent DHB staff. How many more will die before anyone is held accountable?

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/05/01/guest-blog-tony-stevens-why-did-my-brother-die/

  4. the idea – now law in victoria – that foreigners be only allowed to buy new houses..

    ..is a good one..

    ..and one we should adopt..

    ..it will add to the housing stock – and will stimulate ‘the market’ to build the houses needed..

    ..what’s not to love about all that..?

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/may/02/extra-tax-on-foreign-property-investors-in-victoria-to-balance-infrastructure-cost

    oh..!..and of course an extra sales tax and land tax…

    ..and of course foreign investors will have to register..

    ..with serious penalties for scamming the scheme..

    ..that all looks quite tidy to me..

    • greywarshark 4.1

      Sounds good medicine in the present housing climate. And then reduce the number of immigrants. We need to sop behaving like Mr Cresote taking more on all the time. Is there a medical doctor in the House that can administer it plus laxative to those sitting with minds and ends bound up and stultified?

      I am not happy about the many ordinary people who might have their lives ruined when the bubble bursts. I have seen the disruption it causes in good people’s lives as they try and adjust to financial difficulties and their drop in the pecking order when they have been working hard, bettering themselves and doing all the right things.

  5. Paul 5

    Important investigation into Foetal Alcohol Syndrome on RNZ at the moment.
    When will we tackle the multinational liquor companies ?

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight/audio/201752639/insight-for-3-may-2015-nz's-neglected-foetal-alcohol-problem

    • Molly 5.1

      I have a close friend with a daughter who has FASD, and the disability is heartbreaking and permanent.

      After years of reading and researching this condition in an effort to provide support, I despair when I read reassurances by experts in newspaper articles that moderate or light drinking is fine. (An obvious problem with this is that people’s ideas of moderate or light vary greatly).

      That is also the recommendation I was receiving while I was pregnant.

      Knowing now the damage that can be caused, only abstinence is the reassurance most mothers would need to avoid this syndrome.

      • Paul 5.1.1

        Pity governments do not listen to the public and experts on the matter.

        NZLC R114 Alcohol In Our Lives: Curbing the Harm

        ‘Key policy recommendations include:

        _ the introduction of a new Alcohol Harm Reduction Act;

        _ raising the price of alcohol by an average of 10% through excise tax increases;

        _ regulating irresponsible promotions that encourage the excessive consumption, or purchase, of alcohol;

        _ returning the minimum purchase age for alcohol to 20;

        _ strengthening the rights and responsibilities of parents for the supply of alcohol to minors;

        _ introducing national maximum closing hours for both on and off-licences; ( 4am and 10pm respectively )

        _ increasing the ability of local people to influence how and where alcohol is sold in their communities;

        _ increasing personal responsibility for unacceptable or harmful behaviours induced by alcohol, including a civil cost recovery regime for those picked up by the police when grossly intoxicated;

        _ moving over time to regulate alcohol advertising and sponsorship.

        http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/project/review-regulatory-framework-sale-and-supply-liquor/publication/report/2010/alcohol-our-lives

        http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/sites/default/files/publications/2010/04/Publication_154_464_Part_2_Intro.pdf

        • tricledrown 5.1.1.1

          Paul they certainly listen to the alcohol lobby.
          Maybe its because they are aloud fund political parties especially the National Party.

          • phillip ure 5.1.1.1.1

            i wd actually give dunne the ‘bleary-eyed-award’ – for his services to big-alcohol..

            ..national are close behind –

            – but runners-up to dunne – in the sell-out stakes..

            • halfcrown 5.1.1.1.1.1

              “i wd actually give dunne the ‘bleary-eyed-award’”

              Nah, I would give him The Biggest Traitorous Self Seeking Turd Ever Award.

  6. Penny Bright 6

    For those concerned Aucklanders who want to ‘stand up and be counted’ against Mayor Len Brown’s , (in my view) treacherous sellout – supporting the Ports of Auckland ‘compromise’ in extending one wharf?

    PROTEST!

    WHEN: Today – Sunday : May 2015

    TIME: 11am

    WHERE: Quay Street

    What is happening here, in my view, is a disgrace.

    Where’s the fire? What’s the rush?

    The legality of the (non-notified) resource consents upon which these wharf extensions are based, as I understand it,, are still before the Court.

    The idea that the wharf extension work can go ahead – then be ‘deconstructed’ at a later date, if found in Court to be illegal, is simply madness, in my view.

    It is not just multi-national shipping companies or overseas cruise ship companies that have an interest in the Ports of Auckland and how that land is developed, or harbour ‘reclaimed’.

    Why on earth would you charge ahead with wharf extension work, before full, proper, comprehensive, consultation and consideration of the issues involved?

    Whose interests are being served in this unseemly and ill-considered rush?

    Follow the dollar?

    What do concerned citizens need to do to STOP extension work on the wharves?

    Physically occupy them?

    What a disaster this corporate-controlled Auckland ‘Supercity’ (for the 1%) has been for the majority of citizens and ratepayers!

    Penny Bright

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

    • Bearded Git 6.1

      Somebody should maybe apply for a “stop-work” directive now while the court decides whether the wharf consents should have been publicly notified.

      Given the completely bleedin’ obvious public interest in this matter I would have thought that the court action to have the wharf consent publicly notified has a high chance of success. In fact by backing down on one wharf POAL have already considerably weakened their case.

      I don’t think POAL can argue that this work is in any way urgent.

  7. JanM 7

    What a delightful idea of Jonathan Milne (Editorial in Stuff) to name John Key “Father of the Year”. I’m sure every child would be thrilled to have a father who has sexually harassed a young woman and, thereby, made himself an international laughing stock!

    • Paul 7.1

      The NZ media really is a propaganda arm of the multinational corporates who are benefiting from Key’s looting of the country.

    • b waghorn 7.2

      I’d conslder myself a failure of a father if [r0b: Leave Key’s family out of it please]

      • b waghorn 7.2.1

        Yeah did try to delete it but was to late sorry

      • JanM 7.2.2

        That’s a bit hard, perhaps – as adults we make our own decisions for our own reasons and we don’t always do things the way our parents would like us to. Interesting that she feels the need to explore that subject, though, as she has perhaps received some negative or disempowering messages about women in her upbringing.

    • philj 7.3

      The story seems to have disappeared before my eyes.

  8. andrew little back from hanging with miliband and piketty..

    ..but has come back with no new ideas..(he says he was focused on ‘organisational’-stuff..(!)..)

    ..he almost left skid-marks on the screen – he reversed so severely away from any pikkety-stylings solutions for here..

    ..(oh dear..!..)

    • Once was Tim 8.1

      ah …. now I see what you mean! (at first I was confused as to the kind of skid marks you were meaning). my judgment was obviously clouded when I first read your comment @PU – Mediawatch in the background where the name Hosking was getting a run

  9. Once was Tim 9

    Another Macskasy gem ( http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/05/03/the-nation-reveals-gobsmacking-incompetence-by-ministers-english-and-lotu-iiga/ )

    Sums things up fairly well really.
    What’s really sad is that such a huge proportion of the population has become so disengaged, so utterly disinterested and completely dumbed down they’re unable to see the bleeding obvious when it jumps up and bites them in the bum.

    My biggest hope that any new government will recognise just how huge the media’s role in all of this has been and they commit to a PSB system.

    • Kevin 9.1

      If The Nation carry on like this, they will be up for ‘review’ in no time.

    • halfcrown 9.2

      I saw that dick Jamie White on the panel afterwards praising prat English and how debt really was not a problem. Funny that I thought, wasn’t the vast amount of debt left by Muldoon, that fucking Douglas, you know Douglas who founded the Act party, used as an excuse to pillage the country’s infrastructure to sell off to every known spiv to mankind.

      • repateet 9.2.1

        Jamie Whyte’s thinking about the end game. Running up debt is not serious for us, our descendants will take care of it. Selling off the education system will make billions and save billions … and hospitals … and anything else.

        • halfcrown 9.2.1.1

          Hey thanks for that repateet, I noticed I spelt Whyte incorrect.
          Can’t win them all I suppose.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2

        Well, I suppose debt isn’t a problem when you’re planning on using it as an excuse to loot the nation as both Act and National have done.

  10. Congratulations, it’s a royal! So what’s the new sprog going to be called?

    I’m told Prince Philip is keen on naming the newbie Nigella Faragia, but according to the betting sites I’ve consulted the most popular options are Borisina at 6/2, Cameronella 8/2, and the favourite, Dame Margaret Hilda Thatcher Windsor, at 7/4.

  11. Credit for Andrew Little for being prepared to listen and respond to policy ideas from a rank and file Kiwi voter concerned about the housing bubble:
    http://readingthemaps.blogspot.co.nz/2015/05/andrew-little-my-father-in-law-and-new.html

  12. i just realised why the nation was markedly better than usual..

    ..there was no gower gurning/glomming/sneering at us..

    ..no gower doing the interviews..

    ..to the nation – gower is like a thermometer on a clock..sitting on a mantlepiece..

    ..it just makes you ask..’why would you?’..

  13. les 13

    Lisa Owen gave Sam Lotu-Iiga and Serco a thorough pasting on the Nation.

    • b waghorn 13.1

      I have second hand anecdotal word that serco prisons are far more violent than state ones ,contraband is more freely available ,prisoners spend more time locked down due to lower staff numbers. But the menus better.

  14. greywarshark 14

    I’ve just been reading John Cleese’s bio. He has been Labour, SDP and ha views on the Liberal Democrats, and was for proportional representation.

    Of the present. Talking to Der Spiegel in 2015, Cleese took a critical position on how the things were in the world. He told he had reached a point when he “saw that our existence here is absolutely hopeless. I see the rich people have got a stranglehold on us. If somebody had said that to me when I was 20, I would have regarded him as a left-wing loony.”[51]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cleese

  15. Philip Ferguson 15

    Children of the ayatollahs flaunt their wealth:

    “Three deadly road accidents in one week, involving expensive cars driven by super-rich young Iranians, have dominated the past week’s news in Iran – especially after the country’s supreme leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei, used a meeting with police chiefs to criticise fast-driving, wealthy youngsters. Khamenei said: “I hear that young people from the generation of wealth, a generation intoxicated by their money, are driving luxury cars and parading in the streets, making the streets insecure. . . This is an example of psychological insecurity.”1

    “The cars involved in these accidents were Porsches, Ferraris and Maseratis driven by sons and daughters of ayatollahs or their cronies. . .”

    https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/05/03/iran-children-of-ayatollahs-flaunt-their-wealth-but-new-wave-of-workers-protests-begin/

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    Ricky Gervais

    I’m sick of Trophy Hunters trying to excuse their grim sport by saying they provide a service. They exploit the needs of the poor. They pay lots of money to go and shoot a magnificent animal because the authorities need the cash, and then claim they are doing a good deed.

    If they really wanted to do a good deed they would donate the money, and NOT shoot the animal. They would be heroes then. As opposed to murdering scum.

    This unnecessary killing is one of horrible effects of the ‘market’ where everything is for sale.

    • ‘magnificent’/beautiful animals – those cows…

      ..and of course their offspring..

      ..what do people call them..?…’veal’..that’s right..!

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1

        Why Almost Everything Dean Ornish Says about Nutrition Is Wrong

        Ornish goes to argue that protein and saturated fat increase the risk of mortality and chronic disease. As evidence for these causal claims, he cites a handful of observational studies. He should know better. These types of studies—which might report that people who eat a lot of animal protein tend to develop higher rates of disease—“only look at association, not causation,” explains Christopher Gardner, a nutrition scientist at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. They should not be used to make claims about cause and effect; doing so is considered by nutrition scientists to be “inappropriate” and “misleading.” The reason: People who eat a lot of animal protein often make other lifestyle choices that increase their disease risk, and although researchers try to make statistical adjustments to control for these “confounding variables,” as they’re called, it’s a very imperfect science. Other large observational studies have found that diets high in fat and protein are not associated with disease and may even protect against it. The point is, it’s possible to cherry-pick observational studies to support almost any nutritional argument.

        We have to eat and a good, healthy diet with a variety of fresh foods (including meat) seems to be the best option. And that makes animals killed for food a necessary killing.

        I won’t bother replying to you after this as, quite frankly, the argument’s just not worth the time.

  17. Reddelusion 17

    I see little is now polling lower than cunliff and shearer, peters has taken over as opposition, greens and labour relationship dysfunctional, national on 49pc, all trending well for 2017

    [lprent: so where is the link to the poll. ]

    • Clemgeopin 17.1

      Ah, but The Parnell Pony-Tail Puller is still doing well. That should keep you and all other RW pricks happy!

      • greywarshark 17.1.1

        Why Key 49%? It has just occurred to me, late, that we are no longer looking at politicians as servants of the country and the people, we are looking at them from a point of view of them appearing in a reality show. Key is the most amusing, fluent and attention-grabbing on offer. He could be replaced by, is it, Paul Henry if he can keep his ratings up. Understanding the reality of reality shows for life is the answer I think.

        • felix 17.1.1.1

          So can we still vote him off the island?

          • greywarshark 17.1.1.1.1

            @ felix
            LOL. But seriously, good question! Waghorn below may have an inkling of future events. His crystal ball is showing portents.

    • b waghorn 17.2

      Collins will roll key next year then she will become the next Shipley kicked out at the next election to spend the rest of her life putting her snout in one trough after the other.

  18. Clemgeopin 18

    Nate Silver’s UK election result prediction, updated for 2 May:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/interactives/uk-general-election-predictions/

  19. Clemgeopin 19

    And it’s a win for Mayweather, unanimous on points.
    All 3 judges in favour of Mayweather.
    116-112×2 & 118-110 all judges for FM

    Floyd “We did what we had to do tonight… I’m a calculated fighter and he’s a tough fighter.”
    Pacquiao says “I thought I won the fight, he didn’t do nothing.”

    • b waghorn 19.1

      Always going to be tough for Manny to win on points.

      • Clemgeopin 19.1.1

        Snippets from news items. [I am sure you WANT to know this!]

        As Mayweather put it: “Tickets are going for between $8,000 and $400,000 to $500,000. You know, we call this the billionaire boys’ club.”

        Plenty have stumped up big bucks to be there, with Tony Buzbee, an attorney who paid $74,000 for a pair of 12th-row seats, telling CNN: “It’s going to be a once in a lifetime type of fight, and I’m going to be there just for the event of it all.

        Pacquiao fan Mark Sarmiento, paid $7,500 to be there,

        Here’s a look at the numbers behind the boxers:

        60:40 — revenue split in favor of Mayweather.

        $300-400m — the estimated total revenue for the May 2 bout.

        38 — Mayweather’s age; two years older than his opponent.

        5 — The number of years it took to strike a deal between the two boxers.

        $1.5m — How much Pacquiao’s shorts alone will be worth after six companies bid for sponsorship space.

        $25,000 — The value of the mouth guard adorned with diamonds and gold Mayweather will wear on fight night.

        $1,500 — starting price for tickets in U.S. dollars.

        8 — Pacquiao is the first and only eight-division world champion with 10 world titles to his name.

        1 — Mayweather’s ranking on last year’s Forbes highest-paid athletes list.

        $105m — The amount “Money” earned last year.

        $180,000 — The price ringside tickets had skyrocketed to by April 27 (5 days before the fight.)

        16,800 — Capacity at the MGM Grand Garden arena where the fight will take place.

        5 — The number of boxers Pacquiao and Mayweather have both fought. The “famous five”: Juan Manuel Marquez, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto.

        $100 — The fee pay-per-view subscribers will shell out to watch the fight, which will be aired jointly on Showtime and HBO.

        $300m — Expected pay-per-view buys with the most sales coming from U.S., Puerto Rican and Canadian markets, according to Repucom.

        $5.6m — The winning bid for official fight sponsorship by Tecate beer.

        57 — The number of wins throughout Pacquiao’s career. Mayweather has less at 47 wins, but…

        0 — Mayweather remains undefeated in his fight career (Pacquiao, on the other hand, has suffered 5 losses.)

        .@FloydMayweather got hanged a check for $100 million tonight. "There's nothing you can buy anymore." #MayPac— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) May 3, 2015

  20. felix 21

    So it seems there’s these weird calendars with pictures of Young Nats girls with long hair wearing not much except “I’m a Key Person” t-shirts.

    Oh yeah, and Collins is giving them to journalists.

    • ianmac 21.1

      Wonder if Key was cropped out of the photos?

    • b waghorn 21.2

      Just when you start thinking things couldn’t get weirder .
      If Collins isn’t gunning for key I’ll eat my hat, imagine if that photo was taken in keys house!!!

      • rawshark-yeshe 21.2.1

        seems certain your hat is safe !!!

        • Skinny 21.2.1.1

          Collins is on an upwards march and she won’t stop till she sits at the top of the pile. Curious to know who is the spin merchant she has hired to do her PR. Hooton would know which one of his ilk has a clean enough record to do the job?

          • b waghorn 21.2.1.1.1

            On the bright side between the stuff and tv3 articles I’ve seen in the last day I’ve only seen one pro Collins comment from the I reckon crowd and that was from a rwnj .

  21. Rosemary McDonald 22

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/68234530/key-says-minister-willing-to-step-down-over-brother-facing-indecency-charges

    “”The advice I’ve received is that there is no conflict of interest and the issue can be managed. People appreciate that Cabinet ministers, like anyone else, have family but I’m quite confident the position can be managed.”

    Thus spake Our Leader.

  22. lprent 23

    The server had an error with its mail system yesterday. One of its virtual drives dropped out due to windows server munting its structure.

    Last night while restarting the system after fixing that, it uncovered a InnoDB database index error. Maybe from the power plug problem earlier in the week.

    It’d work most of the time, but the database that The Standard runs on would abruptly crash while reading comments (or just counting them for posts). The safety system would restart the database, and then it’d do the same thing a few minutes later. Damn irritating getting slow pages and the odd message about the database not being available.

    After a bit of pain trying several ways of fixing that, I extracted the database using a kludge to bypass the errors and rebuilt the database from scratch.

    No comments appear to have been lost, just some sleep and probably some words of wisdom from offshore.

    I now suspect that the database error has been there a while. All of a sudden the database backups got faster and quieter, the way they were last month when I made them nice.

    • miravox 23.1

      “One of its virtual drives dropped out due to windows server munting its structure.

      Yep. I understand that sentence, I think. As for the rest – I’m pleased you’re there to sort it. Thanks so very much. Sorry about your destroyed sleep,

  23. Heartbleeding Liberal 24

    Was there a post on this? I think there probably should be.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/corrections-minister-defends-serco-run-prison-2015050217#axzz3ZEpLFqlM

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