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Open mike 03/06/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 3rd, 2012 - 62 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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…

62 comments on “Open mike 03/06/2012 ”

  1. Carol 1

    What sort of tabloidish personality politics piece is this, written by Tracy Watkins?

    Favourite phone game, TV programme and meal to cook?

    But doing it by comparing close suck-buddies David Cameron & John Key?


    But even though the article starts by talking up the friendship, even Watkins can’t avoid mentioning that maybe being friends with Cameron isn’t so much of a winning ticket these days:

    Old mates Key and Cameron catch up at Queen’s jubilee

    One of them “chills” by playing Angry Birds – the other reckons he is too busy for computer games.

    They are also separated by a few years and their taste in music.

    But for all that, British Prime Minister David Cameron – the Angry Birds addict – and his Kiwi counterpart, John Key, call each other soul mates.
    When Cameron was confronted with an MMP style result on election night 2009 it was Key who offered advice by phone and text.

    Key, for his part, thinks of himself, Cameron and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who will be joining them for dinner, as a special breed of modernising, less ideological, right wingers – so much so, says Key, that US President Barack Obama sees them as having as much in common with him as they do with each other, despite coming from what is traditionally seen as the other side of the political spectrum.

    “President Obama has said to me …some of the leaders around the world he would count as friends are fundamentally from centre right parties – Harper, me and Cameron,” says Key.

    But moderate or not, the tide has been going out on the centre right internationally in the wake of a backlash to the global financial crisis.

    While Watkins mentions some of the unpopular austerity measures in the UK and NZ, she fails to mention the stench coming from those close to Cameron (and hence Cameron too) in relation to the Murdoch news investigations.

    So while Watkins foregrounds an international network of like-minded political leaders, the underlying implication is that this is a network of neoliberal righties (and I would count Obama as a right-winger). In this network, these leaders consult and co-ordinate their approaches, but it’s also a network with an unhealthily co-operative relationship with the manipulative, right-wing corporate media.

    • I am amazed that in the week that the budget melted down and the future career prospects of the Minister of Education evaporated a senior political journalist for one the largest newspaper chain in the country would print this pap.

      It reads like the sort of propaganda piece the North Korean Government puts out. 

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        I suspect that’s what it’s supposed to be. A piece trying to bring back the friendly and approachable PM that NACT went to such efforts to create prior to the 2k8 election.

    • rosy 1.2

      After I tried to not vomit a little in my mouth I started laughing… I like your last paragraph Carol, it seems that if one has a problem the other gets on the phone or text with a couple of handy hints…

      Hey John – we’ve a wee prob here on ministers being a bit too close to business. Old Jeremy has got in a spot of bother with the Leveson inquiry over texts to Murdoch’s man. The opposition are calling for his head.

      Acshully Dave it’s no problem. Stand up and say he was unwise but didn’t break the Ministerial code of conduct… works a treat, the civilians out there fall for it every time…. oh and about that pasty tax, just u-turn mate and all’s good. Done it heaps myself, pretty relaxed about it really. Lol.

      Don’t even get me started about the ‘austerity’ measures handy hints going in the other direction!

      • ianmac 1.2.1

        Crikey! Key’s favourite programs:”Key – Biggest Loser, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy”.
        A psychologist would have lots of fun with those choices. Key/biggest Loser?

    • marsman 1.3

      I wonder when Cameron , Key and the Canadian PM sit down to dinner whether their puppet master Ashcroft will be there too?
      Tracy Watkins specializes in cutesy pap pieces for Nat scum e.g. the sickening two page spread on Judith Collins some time ago. Very impartial journalism from the DomPost.

    • Blue 1.4

      Perhaps you missed her piece yesterday:


      It’s every bit as nausea-inducing as the headline suggests. Kevin Taylor should watch out, Tracy Watkins is after his job, and she’s making a very determined play for it, too.

      • swordfish 1.4.1

        Yep, just the standard Nat Party puff-piece from Our Tracy.
        In her brilliantly incisive ‘Key Relishes International Role’ (or, in the hard-copy version of the Dom Post, “Wearing the Role like a Favourite Suit’, Saturday June 2 2012), Our Tracy employs her searing critical skills to tell readers that “many wondered if (John Key’s) easy charm would travel well in the world of international diplomacy. As it happens, he took to it like a duck to water.”

        She backs this critical insight up with the equally potent “It is certainly true that Mr Key’s engaging manner has won him admirers”. Political commentary at its incisive best.

        Her 3 sources for the story ?: Such objective analysts as (1) US-apologist/ANZUS/Nuclear warship-boy Stephen Hoadley, (2) US Assistant Secretary of State, Kurt Campbell and (3) wait for it…..wait for it…..Mr John-Boy Key himself !!!!! In fact the vast majority of the latter half of this very long article consists of quotes from Key. He’s essentially written the 2nd half himself.

        mickysavage and Draco T Bastard have hit the nail on the head motivation-wise. Very interesting timing.

    • Te Reo Putake 1.5

      Some deep questions there. Is it true that both of them put Smarmite as their favourite food?
      Nice photo of Cameron after being told his BFF Johnny Sparkles was in town. Nah, just kidding, but have a look at that YouGov poll result. Pretty soon Key and Cameron are going to have something else in common. Public rejection.

  2. Olwyn 2

    The Watkins piece reads like a Fanzine piece; as if the three in question are branded in terms of a star-fan relationship with the public, in lieu of a leadership-trust relationship. Cameron seems aimed at the 30-40 something NME reader who now works in IT, Key at the North Shore/Howick barbecue attendee. Don’t know enough about the Canadian one to comment on him; but the theme seems to be, don’t look at my policies, look how cool/personable I am.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    It seems Watkin’s response to the growing unpopularity of the government is to double down on the sycophancy in the hope of turning the tide!

  4. rosy 4

    900 mil for Wellington rail – benefiting Kapiti commuters among others – what’s the catch? Will Transmission Gully be put on hold? Has anyone asked?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Always good to support the Chinese train industry.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      That’s an extra $900m nationally – not just for Wellington.

    • David H 4.3

      Pity they won’t do the job properly and run the line to Palmy North and stop at Otaki, Levin, on the way.

  5. Oil price

    @ $158.00 NZ a barrel the pump price was 219.9 per litre
    now it is $130. NZ = 215 a litre
    @ a 17.5% reduction in the per barrel price ‘we’ should be paying something like $181.42 per litre
    And about 16 – 18 cents of that is tax.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      Taxes have gone up quite a bit since then, Robert. Not only GST but fuel excise and carbon tax.

      • Robert Atack 5.1.1

        Just talking about the 33 cents we are being ‘over charged’ at the moment?
        So how much is tax? I thought about 60%?
        You don’t hear the AA going on about the govt ‘over taxing’ when the barrel to litre price is ‘out of whack’

  6. Metiria Turei has call for a cross party approach on poverty, “like super” (which doesn’t have cross-party working on it).

    It’s far more complex. Metiria: Cross-party poverty?

    • Jackal 6.1

      Here’s the link.

      While calling for the superannuation age of entitlement to gradually increase from 2020, Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan has commended the universal pension as an effective measure for preventing poverty among the elderly.

      The OECD has put poverty among the elderly in New Zealand as among the lowest in the developed world, at about two per cent.

      In a separate study, however, the OECD found that child poverty in New Zealand had increased from 10 to 15 per cent since 1985, which ranked “at the higher end” of OECD member nations.

      “The super accord has worked for older people. They have had some of the best outcomes in the OECD, while our children have nearly the worst,” Turei said.

      I’m not sure what you’re on about Pete George… have you gone bonkers?

      The problem is that National aren’t interested in addressing the growing epidemic of childhood poverty that leads onto many social problems that cost New Zealand billions in lost productivity and human potential. It’s not their kids who are struggling after all.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        A simple and easy solution for both problems – Universal Income. Eliminates poverty and all income is appropriately taxed no matter how old the recipient is.

        • prism

          DTB Before I vote you in as Finance Minister – will a pensioner with few assets and other income still get as much dosh as at present under Universal Income? Morgan talks about $10,000 as the base, I’m getting about twice that and have to watch the spending. Op-shop clothes, a second hand car with a great garage that helps with problems etc. keep me going.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Is that you alone or as a couple?

            My own thoughts would be that it would be set somewhere around 17k per individual. Higher than the present UB so that people can actually afford to do stuff but not so high that it bankrupts the country.

          • KJT

            It should be the the same as present pension levels. At least.

            10k is way too low. It should be enough so everyone can afford for to feed, house educate and obtain healthcare for themselves, as well as be a part of society.

            I do not hold with the view that those who are suffering the most from the failings of our leaders should be punished by being asked to live at a level of asceticism the ruling classes would never accept for themselves.

            However cutting super payments to pensioners who have more than sufficient income/ assets, anyway, is one way of ensuring we can afford a GMI for everyone..

        • Draco T Bastard

          Am reading An Interesting Idea over on Red Alert. I haven’t finished reading it yet as I’m reading this report(PDF) about some experiments in a Universal Income which has this bit in it:

          We found:
          1. Effects on Fertility:
          a. Before MINCOME, women aged less than 25 years in Dauphin were more likely than the controls to have given birth. By the end of MINCOME, they were significantly less likely than the controls to have given birth.
          b. Total number of births to women less than 25 in Dauphin was significantly higher before MINCOME and significantly lower by the end of MINCOME.
          c. These patterns are also observed for women aged under 19, but the relatively small numbers of births make the results not significant.
          2. Effects on hospitalization:
          a. Subjects were more likely to be hospitalized, more likely to spend more days in hospital, and more likely to have longer stays than controls before MINCOME.
          b. By the end of the period, the results were reversed.
          3. Effects on hospitalization with mental health diagnoses:
          a. The same patterns held for mental health hospitalizations.
          4. Effects on hospitalization for “accidents and injuries”:
          a. The same patterns held for accidents and injuries.
          5. By 1985, seven years after the money stopped flowing, there were no significant differences between Dauphin and the controls on any measure.

          So, on a social level, a Universal Income has some fairly serious positive effects.

    • Dr Terry 6.2

      Pete, with a bit of research, I think you will find that Key rejected any idea of cross party collaboration on poverty some time ago.

      • Pete George 6.2.1

        Yes, I think so too. But there’s major budget implications with this, so it would be a problem.

        It’s better to ignore National and do cross-willing-party in preparation for change of government.

        • Colonial Viper

          It’s better to ignore National and do cross-willing-party in preparation for change of government.

          Please tell your leader.

          Or are you still busy distancing yourself from United Future?

          • Pete George

            No, same distance.

            I’m referring to dealing with specific policies, not in general. Although “poverty” is a fairly general topic covering many things.

  7. prism 7

    What about Bashup Brian Tamaki eh? Exhorting followers to leave their jobs and their rohe and move to a city he has envisionaged. Like Jones from the USA. It’s like watching an avalanche gather weight – when will the edifice fall and how many will it take with it on the way and at the end?

    • mike e 7.1

      brian should invite bert potter. and the national party who have given destiny $880,000 in funding.easy votes their aye shonkey.

    • Vicky32 7.2

      Like Jones from the USA.

      That’s exactly the thought I had! Let’s hope it won’t end the same way…
      mik.e, didn’t Bert Potter die recently?

  8. felix 8

    Thanks National for cutting all those back-office bureaucrats. And thermometers.


    • Dv 8.1

      Too busy spending on slick branding for the new primary industries Ministry.

      Much more important than thermometers!!


      The new Primary Industries Ministry has been accused of squandering taxpayers’ cash with a plan to spend $900,000 on its new brand.

      That includes alterations to uniforms, new stationery and replacing hundreds of signs at its offices and at fishing spots and airports around the country.

      • North 8.1.1

        Does anyone know the cost of canning prison officers’ uniforms coloured an army-like khaki-ish green, for the new blue police-like uniforms ? Would have to be significant one would think.

        That’s without asking why there was a change in the first place. And who ticked it off, Colllins or the number they shuffled out of Education, Tolley – bet they wish they never had given the extraordinary train-wreck her successor’s created.

        Anyone adept with the OIA process care to follow it up ?

  9. Anne 9

    I enjoyed Michelle Boag’s spin on the subject of David Shearer’s first six months as leader on Q&A this morning. Clever piece of PR work on her part. On the one hand she appeared to be supportive and approving of him, while at the same time giving him the ultimate put down by comparing his tenure thus far with Helen Clark… when it should of course be John Key.

    She pointed out that Clark spent five years (I think it was six) as Labour’s opposition leader before being handed the reins of power, and she couldn’t quite understand why some people seem to think Shearer has a chance of winning in 2014 after only three years. That was the essence of her comment and nobody pulled her up on it.

    How disingenuous can you be? Helen Clark took over from Mike Moore around Feb, 1994. In 1996 under our first MMP election Labour/Greens and National/ACT were virtually a dead heat, so the outcome was left to the whim of one man, Winston Peters. He chose to go with his former party, National. It had nothing to do with whether Helen Clark was ready to govern or not, which is what Michelle was insinuating.

    On the other hand the similarities with John Key’s rise to power and David Shearer are easy to see. Both took over the leadership of their respective parties after humiliating defeats. Key spent three years as oppo. leader before taking over as PM in Nov. 2008. So why can’t Shearer do it three years later in 2014?

    Good try Michelle but not good enough!

    • Jackal 9.1

      Boag also said that students are only protesting to get onto TV… seriously! The right-wings psychosis seems to be getting worse.

    • Anne 9.2

      Apologies to Jim Anderton. It was the Alliance Party who ran in 1996. The Greens were then part of that party.

    • David H 9.3

      Yep I too watched that. It made me want to look for the hidden ‘Troll’ sign flashing. And her only claim to fame is the presidency of the National ripoff bullshit party.

      • North 9.3.1

        And discovering when checking in at Auckland International Oz bound that she’d left her passport back in Waiheke which problem she met by having the Westpac Rescue helicopter zip her over there to get said passport. Reported cost, apparently met by her – $4,500.

        That said, does sound high. Perhaps she should be remembered in that instance more as one with extraordinary pull. How come ?

    • millsy 9.4

      Michael Joseph Savage became Labour leader in 1933 and won in 1935
      David Lange became leader in 1982 and won in 1984

      And on the other side…

      Our great and glorious omnipotent leader become PM in 2008 after assuming the National leadership in late 2006
      Muldoon was Opp. leader in 1974 before winning in 75 (though he was an MP since 1960 and cabinet minister between 1967 and 72)

      In Aus:

      Kevin Rudd, Labour leader in 06, and then onto victory the next year
      Bob Hawke, Parliament in 1980, and then Labour leader in 83, the day that Fraser went to the Governor General to call the election that year.

      My point being that Ms Boag is incorrect in her statement.

      • Anne 9.4.1

        Key’s apprentice-ship as oppo. leader was only two years not three. That makes Michelle’s attempt to patronise Shearer and at the same time muddy the waters even worse. I’m surprised Mike Williams let her get away with it.

  10. Penny Bright 10

    WOW! NZ – ‘the least corrupt country in the world’! NOT.

    The Tax Justice Network is worth checking out, in my opinion.

    They too, are very critical of Transparency International, whose Corruption Perception Index, which in 2011 ranked NZ as ‘the least corrupt country in the world’ is arguably not worth the paper upon which it is written – given that this ‘perception’ is that based upon the subjective opinion of anonymous business people.


    Tax Justice Network: More on New Zealand as a rogue financial state

    The Tax Justice Network (TJN) is an international, non-aligned coalition of researchers and activists with a shared concern about the harmful impacts of tax avoidance, tax competition and tax havens. http://www.taxjustice.net


    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’


  11. We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected the promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world-government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the National autodetermination practiced in past centuries.– David Rockefeller in an address to a Trilateral Commission meeting in June of 1991

    Bilderberg discussed on BBC 1, 2, Washington post and the Guardian. Finally the Mainstream can no longer deny the existence of the Bilderberg group.
    We have our own Bilderberger and globalist. His name is Mike Moore and he is the NZ Ambassador to the US.

    • Populuxe1 11.1

      Way to through your tinfoil hat into the ring, Ev. Yes, the Builderberg Group exists, no it isn’t the secret shadow world government – it’s just like Rotary for very very rich and powerful people. And Mike Moore isn’t a “Bilderberger”, he’s a Rosicrucian Illuminati Loyal Order of the Golden Brussels-sprout like me.

      • felix 11.1.1

        Are you disputing the authenticity of the quote?

        Or do you have an alternate interpretation of it that hasn’t been considered?

        • Populuxe1

          Not disputing the quote, just the authority of the Trilateral Committee, which is not even the same thing as the Bilderberg group – though they have similar goals of globalisation. Much, I would suggest, depends on your interpretation of “globalisaton”.
          And I am finding it quite difficult to see Mike Moore as something sinister.

          • Colonial Viper

            it’s just like Rotary for very very rich and powerful people.


            If that’s true, what are the big community minded projects that they’ve done near you lately? Or do they just run big projects for the benefit of their own interests?

            • Populuxe1

              Oops, forgot </sarc>

              • Colonial Viper

                And I am finding it quite difficult to see Mike Moore as something sinister.

                For the sake of clarity, did you also intend tags here?

          • felix

            Pop, could you please be a little clearer?

            Was your entire response intended to be sarcastic? Including the bit about the tin-foil hat?

            Because you haven’t offered any alternative interpretation so presumably you accept that Mr Rockerfeller’s words can be taken at face value.

            So why the “tin-foil hat” reference? We generally understand that to mean someone is being paranoid or irrationally concerned about people plotting one thing or another in secret. But here we have a clear statement that someone has been plotting and is specifically praising others for helping to maintain the secrecy.

            So where’s the paranoia? Where’s the irrationality?

      • muzza 11.1.2

        LOL – There you are pop..

        When people have to use terms such as “tin foil hat” in abusive derogatory ways, its because they are themselves scared. Not necessarily in an obvious way, but the scardness is generally a symptom, of the individuals root cause issues!

        You have shown yourself on these boards to be scared in all manor of things, from germs, to freedom of choice, and prepared to make violent statements to express your desire to control things which scare you!
        These are not the root cause of what scares you, they are only the external view into your internal thoughts, the true fear lies much deeper than that.

        When groups spend decades denying they exist, yeah they are just like Rotary! I have some rather strange contacts in Rotary, perhaps you are one of them!

        Ill spare you the free online assessment into your personality this time around, except to say the following..

        Fear, agression and abuse, denial – Control freak traits, among other things!

        • Populuxe1

          Strangely, muzza, nonsense doesn’t scare me, nor does the sort of person who likes to make amateur psychological diagnoses about people they have never met.

          • muzza

            POP, anyone who says things like “Ill happily hold the rifle while a nurse gives you the shots”…Followed up with “No, I’d quite happily say it to your face while holding the rifle” (Your words).

            Is not in control of some serious personality defects, which are linked to potentially serious psychological defects!

            • Populuxe1

              I believe that was in the context of you spreading smallpox, in which case I feel entirely justified.

    • North 11.2

      Mike Moore was always a self self self promoting pig – from the earliest days – and I mean from before his days as the young and engaging MP for Eden.

  12. Raoul Pal is a guy who retired a wealthy man at age 36. He is what you might call a finance insider and while he suggests at the end of his presentation you might want to don a tin head and hide out until it’s save to come out again, he is not your average “conspiracy theorist”.

    Here is what he has to say about the pending financial collapse

  13. Step right up to the mike…I will mike, see you around.

    Jerico at after tenancy cleaning reviews.

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