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Open Mike 03/11/13

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 am, November 3rd, 2013 - 161 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 Policy). Step right up to the mike…

161 comments on “Open Mike 03/11/13”

  1. Paul 1

    John Key’s New Zealand.
    A Playground for the international corporate elite.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      The corporates want the entire world to be their playground and no one else is allowed to play.

  2. John Dalley 2

    I see finally that questions are being asked of what Auckland City Counciller Cameron Brewer knew about the Len Brown affair. Are we expected as he makes out in this morning NZ Herald that in the immortal words of Sgt Schultz “I know nothing”

  3. Tat Loo (CV) 3

    Latest Gower revelations stun Labour

    The Labour leadership is already on the rocks with Patrick Gower revealing that David Cunliffe is about to launch a leadership coup, on himself.

    • David H 3.1

      Gotta watch that Gower…. Next he will be making up stories about himself.

      • fender 3.1.1

        Yeah next he will deny that Shrek is his father…

        • phillip ure

          i call him/my nickname for him is ‘smeeg’..(neo-dickensian..?..urban dictionary has a different take on the word..)

          ….and i feel he should wear a high collar..

          ..and a bowler-hat..

          ..and sit at his work on a high stool..

          ..and i am sure he does a good turn in handwringing..

          ..that smeeg…

          ..phillip ure.

  4. wyndham 4

    Er, is the Labour Party having a conference? Has David Cunliffe made an important speech indicating that great change lies ahead when Labour is elected?
    The Herald seems to place more importance on the All Blacks defeat of Japan.

    • miravox 4.1

      “The Herald seems to place more importance on the All Blacks defeat of Japan.”

      Yeah, it would be nice if the spinners for the right stopped saying the left is wrong for accusing granny of a bias against Labour now, ta.

      • David H 4.1.1

        Yeah and after reading Armstrong. I had to ask if his Alzheimer’s medicine had run out.

    • newsense 4.2

      and stuff breathlessly reannounces something that was already news two weeks ago, just Bevan – oh no not the media and the publicity- Chuang has said it again in a new interview.

      yes Len Brown gave her a reference, we knew that.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    My vision for the first Labour-Greens government:

    In March 2015, announce a high-powered working group to investigate the implementation of UBI in NZ – with the Big Kahuna as a starting point. Unlike National’s quickly-forgotten side-shows, this working group will act with the knowledge that their proposals will form a core of new Labour party policy, not a bunch of recommendations that the magpie government picks and chooses a few shiney gems from. New working groups and policy development/analysis groups can be kicked off as necessary to study particular areas in depth, eg the implications of UBI on the welfare system and UBI on pensions.

    Labour and Greens campaign in the 2017 election for the introduction of UBI. Within the first 100 days of winning 2017, they begin to pass laws to implement UBI.

    First nationwide UBI payment takes place no later than 1 July 2019.

    This is one of the policies that a 4-year parliamentary term would make more achievable.

  6. Saarbo 6

    q&a have 2 extreme right wingers on the panel…???

    Will be interested to see how these two view Labour conf/announcements???

  7. phil 7

    Instead of Labour looking at the disengaged, despairing poor and beneficiaries to turn out to vote for them, why don’t they seek voter support from the Nats that are dissatisfied with government handouts/hand ups to Big Corporates, SKY, Telecom, Rio Tinto, Bathurst, Fletcher, etc etc. I’m sure many Nats don’t like being spied on by their own boy JOHN Key. Or their pisstine rivers being shat in, overseen by a Government that turns a blind eye. Or their Public Broadcaster, TVNZ7 being killed by National. Or their youngsters leaving for Oz for a better life fighting fires. Surely, even some of the Nats might wake up to the fact that they are being done over. The superannuation issue is on Shonkey’s
    favour though. Taxing working superanuitants more could be worth consideration. Or, if you work, no super. Someone’s gotta be upset folks. The revolution has begun, you just don’t realise it.

  8. cunnliffe just gave a good performance on Q & A..

    (heh..!..and hooten is panicking..!..)

    phillip ure..

    • Saarbo 8.1

      Hooten’s line is Labour is “far left, far left, far left, far left….” predictable stuff, this will be National’s constant attack line. Labour just need to fight back with the facts.

  9. David H 9

    Now for Bullshit Benett

  10. David H 10

    What about that panel aye?? A real bright bunch of ex this, thats, and wanna be’s.

    • Paul 10.1

      You can’t have a functioning democracy without a free press.
      We are a corporatocracy.

    • what was particularly gag-inducing was williams trying to excuse the clark govts’ nine long years of ignoring the poorest/child-poverty..

      ..while providing subsidies for companies/corporates whose business-plans/profits rely on paying a slave-wage..topped up by taxpayers….w.t.f..!..

      ..williams sneered at/washed his hands of that neglect-responsibilty by stigmatising those ignored poor..as a ‘stubborn rump’ of individuals..who you just couldn’t help..

      ..and for that vile/cynical/lying claim..i wd like to award williams a special ‘self-serving/apologist-revisionism award’..

      ..and cd someone pass the vomit-bucket..plse..

      ..phillip ure..

      • phillip ure 10.2.1

        the funny thing about the disconnect that williams has running..

        ..is that he still clearly does not see himself..

        ..as being/having been part of the problem..

        ..in his role in the neo-lib consensus that has blighted new zealand for far too long..

        ..and his continued refusal to recognise this..

        ..only confirms that williams-disconnect..

        ..phillip ure..

        • greywarbler

          phillip ure
          I read your remarks about Williams and had to dig deep to find who you are talking about. More information please.

          I thought it might be Jordon Williams but decided you were possibly talking about QandA of today which scoop shows as having Mike Williams amongst these people discussing –
          On the panel this week, political scientist Dr Claire Robinson from Massey University, former Labour Party president Mike Williams and political commentator Matthew Hooton.

          • phillip ure

            @ greywarbler..

            are you unaware of the fact that the clark labour govt did nothing for those nine long years to undo the havoc wreaked on the poorest by shipley/richardson..?

            ..they turned their backs on the poorest/child-poverty..and just expanded employer-subsidies..?..(i.e..working for families..)

            ..and that the clark labour govt..at a time when williams was president of that party..

            ..were firmly in the poor-bashing/neo-randite/neo-lib consensus between the two major parties..

            ..which has brought us to our current sorry state of affairs/horror world-rankings..

            ..these are all facts/matters of historical-record/neglect..greywarbler..

            ..and this is what i was calling mike williams on..

            ..his cynical sneering at/stigmatising of those he/they so willfully ignored..

            ..kinda got my blood too near boiling-level..

            ..i couldn’t just let it pass..without comment/correction..

            ..phillip ure..

            • greywarbler

              phillip u
              You’re always or almost always, spot on. My point was which? Williams – I wanted a bit of extra information rounding off your thought so I can come onto the thread and pick up the point straight away.

              I have heard Mike Williams on Radionz with Hooten. I occasionally listen to him and wonder where the Labour went. The cloak of leftie has got such big holes in it. He is a living example of an art installation about the shoddy, market degraded, leaky House version of Labour that their subversive neolib s.ds delivered to our doors with no right of return.

              • Paul

                And an example of why career politicians can’t be trusted

                • greywarbler

                  I used to think that someone with experience would make a better politician, more effective. But now I’ve grown up and realised that is a foolish idea to apply in general . Now I think possibly some at some time, occasionally, perhaps. Even limited terms of service, with at least two terms out might be useful to give the best result for citizens. In the USA I have heard that some pollies manage to cling on to their jobs until they are almost fossilised.

                  Just heard on the radio that DOC is agreeing to 25 plane flights a day instead of present four to the glaciers. DOC is agreeing to a mountain bike track on the Auckland volcanic peaks such as Rangitoto . The tourist companies are going to swarm over the whole of the country invading the country so it won’t be able to be seen through the tourists, thick as ant colonies.

                  I don’t know what has been said at conference. I will have to try to find info but it is hard to get other things done and also keep up to date with the latest, often bad, news.

              • @ greywarbler..i think even hooten is getting embarrased by williams’ ‘i agree with matthew’s..

                ..last time williams trotted out that standard..

                ..hooten commented:.(sotto-voiced) .’that’s always nice when that happens’..

                ..phillip ure..

                • Tim

                  I once counted the number of times Williams said “I agree with you Mathew”, or “I’m inclined to agree with Mathew”.
                  I had to give up counting (I ran out of fingers).

  11. Bill Drees 11

    “We will invite New Zealanders to participate in a constitutional conversation to help us towards a mature, stable constitutional form.”

    David Cunliffe identified himself as a REPUBLICAN a long time ago.

    This sentence from his speech yesterday is the first step on that road.

    • Paul 11.1

      If you, like the corporate press, are intending to divert the debate away from the most important issues ( jobs, housing, education) with another royalty discussion, please be aware that most people can see through such smoke and mirror tricks.

      • Bill Drees 11.1.1

        I’m delighted that the Labour Party is addressing this important aspect of our identity. Economic sovereignty, an independent foreign policy, a prosperous multi cultural modern society all need a supporting constitutional form.

        I’ve no interest in discussing monarchy.

        Cunliffe is talking about our future, not the past.
        I understand your fear that silly issues distract us.
        I ask you to see the positive and important aspects of the conversation David asked for.

        • Chooky

          Bill Drees +100

          ….and agree Monarchy is not important…. in fact it gives legit to the Treaty of Waitangi ( monarchy issues are divisive side issue which the right wing would like to use to cause splits….especially from Winiie’s NZFirst…our British heritage is important ….we dont want to be rudderless on Chinese and USA manouverings South Pacific Seas)

          …let Queeniie stay….she isnt a bad bastard ( she didnt like Thatcher)….and Charles is GREENIE

          • Bill Drees

            Don’t get me wrong, we have to select our own Head of State. The constitutional conversation should focus on giving us a “form” that reflect who we are and how we want to position ourselves in the world.
            I see the discussion at a level above and beyond the simple HoS v Monarch noise. That debate is usually at a soap-opera level. Cunliffe is asking for a positive debate that will shape the rest of this century.

            Personally I find it incomprehensible that modern NZ have a London based hereditary figure as a monarch. I’m unable to become an NZ Citizen as swearing allegiance to that institution is a pre-condition to citizenship.

            • Murray Olsen

              The only real worry I have about becoming a republic is that injustices such as David Bain, Arthur Thomas, and hopefully Teina Pora in the near future, have only been partially righted because of the Privy Council. It seems that our law makers and great legal minds are all to close to each other to pick up on mistakes within the family. I don’t see that we need to acknowledge a German family in England to be able to right these wrongs, but we do seem to need an outside option, at least for legal appeals.

  12. an american-focused takedown of t.p.p..

    ..revealing it to be the corporate/compliant-politician driven scam on the rest of us..

    ..that it is..


    phillip ure..

  13. greywarbler 13

    At 12.11 pm today – RadioNZ on the 1913’s Great Strike in NZ –
    there is a very interesting labour piece on Spectrum on Radionz today. Have a look at the photos on the summary on the link. (There is also a link to a piece with information on how to make a radio documentary.)

    There is a great audio piece of the daughter of one of the militia saying in well-bred tones that her father was set upon and had come home exclaiming that it was the French Revolution all over again.

    Sunday 3 November 2013, with David Steemson, Deborah Nation, Jack Perkins & Lisa Thompson
    Sunday, 3 November 2013
    The War of Bricks and Batons
    In October 1913, minor disputes in the Huntly mines and on Wellington’s wharves soon spread to engulf the country. The Great Strike of 1913 reflected union dissatisfaction with the arbitration system and a growing confidence in union power. Some believed that if enough workers could join together in a general strike, they could take over their workplaces and run them for themselves. By November 1913 about 16,000 watersiders, miners, labourers, drivers and others were on strike, mostly in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch.

    Also there is audio to 27 October piece on the demolishing of the excellent broadcasting house
    by the neo lib National Government.
    Audio from Sunday 27 October 2013
    Spectrum for 27 October 2013 ( 26′ 21″ )
    12:10 In 1963, Broadcasting House opened. It was the nerve centre of the country’s
    radio networks and home to the Capital’s stations. Its Japanese-made technical equipment was state-of-the-art and its studios world-standard.
    It was demolished in 1997 to make way for an extension of parliament that never happened.
    In 1972, Spectrum’s Jack Perkins recorded a day’s activities in Broadcasting House. This rebroadcast of ‘Sound Around the Clock’ marks 50 years since the opening of Broadcasting House.

  14. Gutter Oil, The Irish “Famine” and Why John “Smiling Assassin” Key Wanted New Zealand To Be Like Ireland. A compulsory Max And Stacey as far as I’m concerned

  15. Morrissey 15

    How long can this go on?
    Down the List, Radio NZ National, Sunday 3 November 2013
    Written by Dave Armstrong

    They’ve gotten rid of Bomber Bradbury and Gordon Campbell. So how come this series continues to escape the Richard Griffin axe? In this morning’s episode, an American character called General Mayhem [geddit?] comments about the United States regime’s illegal spying—even against New Zealand: “Ha! Why spy on those guys? That chap Key does everything we ask.”

    This series is always funny, and mordantly accurate. Time for the Prime Minister’s bully-boys to step in, surely?

    • greywarbler 15.1

      Morrissey Sssssh.
      The nasties mightn’t have heard it yet, and Richard Griffin once had some stake in being regarded a wide-thinking commentator on politics. . Don’t put at risk the tiny bit of satire we have that is actually funny. We have to be careful that we don’t end up with bans on the media like a Bananarama republic.

  16. tricledrown 16

    Trav brilliant
    Key was at the heart of the currency trading army that sold useless derivatives to Ireland as well as Key deeply involved with libor now JPMorgan is having to pay back all its I’ll gotten gains next on the block is Bof America
    incorporating Merrill Lynch who will be prosecuted as well.
    None of the players have had to face charges yet as the Republicans and Tories are cutting funding to the govt watch dogs so their corrupt mates don’t face charges.

  17. Populuxe1 17

    Labour seems alsmost determined not to get elected

    • Morrissey 17.1

      Yes, thoughtful, serious debate. What a travesty.

      • Populuxe1 17.1.1

        Hardly all that thoughtful if they failed to notice that at last measure support for the monarchy among New Zealanders was between 50 and 70%

        • Tat Loo (CV)

          Yep. The monarchy is not only widely popular, the constitutional relationship with the Crown also helps to serve the stability of the nation very well.

          • tamati

            And because Presidential Republics work so well, just look at America.

            • Morrissey

              That is no sort of an argument. Are you a member of ACT, perchance?

              • tamati


                Perhaps you didn’t sense my sarcasm.

                • Tat Loo (CV)

                  With you on this one. Constitutional republics just don’t tend to last very well.

                  • Morrissey

                    Constitutional republics just don’t tend to last very well.


                    Perhaps you could share that brilliant insight next time you talk to someone from the USA, France, Ireland, Switzerland, Iran or South Africa.

            • Lanthanide

              Being a republic doesn’t mean the head of state has to be elected by the public.

          • Morrissey

            You’ve learned to talk like a parliamentarian, Tat. You’ll do well. Just make sure you stand up and speak out on the really important issues, though, will you? We need another Mike Moore like we need another John Key.

          • Chooky

            +1 TL CV…spot on as usual !

        • Draco T Bastard


          The trend is downwards and so we need to have the debate.

          • greywarbler

            Thanks for the polling information. We need a debate like this just now as much as one about L Br’s peccadilloes or whatever. Let sleeping dogs lie till after the election.

          • Lanthanide

            Actually the support for the monarchy looks broadly flat there. There has been a modest conversion from “don’t know” to “republic” though.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Actually, no it isn’t. The support for monarchy is eroding slowly while the support for becoming a republic is increasing at a greater rate.

              • Lanthanide

                You can draw a straight line for Monarchy support from 1990 through to 2012, which cuts off a couple of very big peaks of support in the middle.

                To me, the clearest trends is Dont Know is declining, Monarchy is broadly flat and Republic is increasing.

    • Chooky 17.2

      Those on the Left who want to ditch the Monarchy are often of Irish Catholic extraction or sympathies

      ..if they want social justice they should sort out the sexism inherent in their own Irish Catholicism first….imo…(speaking as a feminist and also of Irish /Scottish Protestant extraction as well as English and Maori…also 3 ancestral witches burnt at the stake by the Inquisition….)

      The Labour Party goes here at its peril!

      • greywarbler 17.2.1

        Because you don’t indicate the name you reply to it looks as if you are directing your comments at Chooky. I find it hard to follow the various threads when people don’t include the name.

        I hadn’t heard about that Irish Catholicism connection. Interesting.
        I agree that Labour should leave it alone. Why muddy the waters more. There are so many issues, stick to the left and go straight on to the hoped for destination with a good load of policies. Not farting around with issues that are of not major importance and that people are not highly stressed about it.

        I was reading an old Listener that rated NZs in importance and Cullen was Two to Helen Clark’s One. The item pointed out how he blotted his standing as Finance Minister with a tax cut of 67c that was labelled the bubblegum tax. It seems that Labour loses a sense of proportion at times, or gets sidetracked from its task by wanting to clean up every policy corner.

      • Bill Drees 17.2.2

        Interesting to see that the anti Irish Catholic bigotry of old is still alive and chooking. William Massey will be smiling in his grave.

        Shame on you for bringing such shameful ignorant prejudice to these pages. Read a few history books and lift yourself up to a level that makes you fit to engage in dialogue with thoughtful people.

        • greywarbler

          Bill Drees
          You might be right in knowing all the relevant information and making a reasoned judgment. But you’re not right to come down so heavily on someone who raises questions. about matters that are historically pertinent. People who want to stifle comment are often more closed to reasoned discussion than someone they take offence to.

        • Chooky

          @ Bill Drees…(smirk)…..i have lots of friends of Irish Catholic ancestry..( and I love a good fight)……all my ancestors came to NZ in the mid to late 1860s plus I have an ancestor who signed the Treaty of Waitangi as a Maori Chief….so i dont have problems with the Monarchy …they have been good friends of the Maori!!!!..

          ..imo…the people who cant hack the monarchy are generally new immigrants who feel insecure in their own NZ identity and want to impose their own values/culture here

          yes i do read history books and I am afraid that Catholicism has not been good for women anywhere……. let alone Ireland!….suggest you widen your reading ..re -contraception, abortion, employment , equal pay, work outside the family , self-determination, priest abuse , church abuse, homophobia, treatment of unmarried pregnant women, divorced women, separated women , adultery…..etc

          (lol)”Shame on you for bringing such shameful ignorant prejudice to these pages. Read a few history books and lift yourself up to a level that makes you fit to engage in dialogue with thoughtful people.”….Get up to date with the 21st century and feminism!……as Christopher Hitchen said “Wherever you find Catholicism you find fascism!” (lol)

          At least the monarchy allow / have a woman head …now where is that woman Pope?!

      • Draco T Bastard 17.2.3

        Those on the Left who want to ditch the Monarchy are often of Irish Catholic extraction or sympathies

        [citation needed]

        • Chooky

          …well i cant find a citation but will this do?..ie .IRA blows up Lord Mountbatten….


          …seems to be commonsense that the Catholic Irish supported British Royalty as long as they were Catholic ….but when they became Protestant they did not

          Personally i am not a Royal watcher or fan…and I am not a fan of the British class system…..but I respect the monarchy’s role in NZ history ….and I dont think it is wise to make it a Labour Party issue at this time….that is , if the objective is to win the 2014 General Election.

          • Draco T Bastard

            …well i cant find a citation but will this do?..ie .IRA blows up Lord Mountbatten….


            but I respect the monarchy’s role in NZ history

            Stealing land, abusing Māori, and other injustices. Well, to be more precise I suppose, not stopping those injustices considering that they happened to be carried out in their name.

            Yes, just sooo much to be respectful of.

            and I dont think it is wise to make it a Labour Party issue at this time

            Well, I want the discussion to start so that we can our time over it and get it right. That said, if the Labour Party want to start the discussion now then that would be up to the Labour Party membership.

            • Chooky

              @ DTB…..Well I dont believe you that the Monarchy stole Maori land or abused Maori….”Stealing land, abusing Māori, and other injustices. Well, to be more precise I suppose, not stopping those injustices considering that they happened to be carried out in their name.”

              …Sorry I dont think this abuse was carried out in the name of Queen Victoria

              The Treaty of Waitangi signed by Queen Victoria with the NZ Maori Chiefs, of which my ancestor was one…..actually set a legal framework for Maori rights …Australian Aborigines have activists who have been very envious of this Treaty….and New Zealand Maori had a much better time of it than the Australian Aborigine without such a Treaty.

              ….This Treaty agreement is a founding document of New Zealand Law…. Sure it hasn’t always been adhered to. There were gross violations and land grabs and wars by the early British Christian colonialists before the Treaty was signed and in some cases after. However there is legal redress under the Treaty of Waitangi under the crown and enshrined in NZ law. There have been court cases and multi-million dollar claims and legal redress of sorts
              … ( compare this situation with the annexing of land of Tibetans , the Palestinians, the American Indians and the Australian Aborigines)

              Who stole Maori land?…..greedy property developers stole the land( dont they everywhere?)….and the missionaries and the Christian Churches, in many but not all cases, acted as colonialising agents…Maori lawyer Moana Jackson has spoken movingly of the devastating combined effects of colonialisation and spiritual conquest on the old Maori soul….’The Treaty and the Word:The Colonialisation of Maori Philosophy’

              • Draco T Bastard

                Who stole Maori land?

                Don’t know about you but I’ve seen the law that was passed in December of 1863 that allowed for confiscation of Māori land if the tribe brought war against the crown. It was back-dated to 1st January 1863 and it was under that law that most Māori land was confiscated.

                Now, under the circumstances that obtained at the time I’d have some trouble with the law (Māori did have legitimate complaints and they weren’t being addressed by the justice system) but by back-dating it nearly an entire year it becomes nothing more than legalised theft.

                • Chooky

                  I am sure you can find quibbles…but I dont think throwing out the Treaty of Waitangi or blaming the monarchy is the way to go…..dont hear many Maori wanting to throw out The Treaty or the Monarchy….but I could be wrong…you may know better

            • Chooky

              @ DTB…

              Yes Labour Party membership is just one factor in winning the 2014 General Election….the other factor in is the New Zealand potential Labour Party voter…

              ….I am sure John Key and Nact would be delighted if the Labour Party voted for Republicanism and the getting rid of the monarchy!!!!!

              ……especially given that most New Zealanders support the monarchy and don’t want a Republic….you would be playing right into their hands

              • Draco T Bastard

                They’re not voting on becoming a republic but on holding a referendum and, according to the article:

                The move comes as a new poll shows a small majority of New Zealanders are in favour of such a referendum.

                Even those supportive of the monarchy should be in favour of a referendum on the matter. After all, according to you, they’ll win.

                • Chooky

                  well Ok …have a referendum on whether to have a Republic and throw out the Monarchy ….if it makes you feel better….but will the surrounding publicity and spin by Nact and the right wing msm help the Labour Party win the 2014 election?

                  DTB…..You could be right!….. this referendum could be a great vote winner for Labour …..amongst working class New Zealanders , the 50% women vote and the Maori vote…and the 800,000+ who didnt vote last time

                  ….maybe a referendum on whether to become a republic or not and ditch the monarchy is just what they have been praying for…..

    • Paul 17.3

      Says a lot more about the state of the media on the country.
      Your mates in the press are clearly determined to look for anything to keep this corrupt and traitorous government in power.

      By the way, are you:
      a) a disciple of neo-liberalism and so indoctrinated you believe in the cult of selfishness as proposed by Ayn Rand ..despite all the evidence now apparent.
      b) a paid puppet of the corporates who write their spin.
      c) a member of the 1% yourself who actually benefits from the present paradigm.

      Just wondering what motivates you to write the rubbish you do.

      • Populuxe1 17.3.1

        Don’t be ridiculous, it is a simple political observation – though if you are going to accuse me of all that nastiness you might look to the neoliberal third way agendas of Labour in supporting the TPPA and the sale of energy and broadcasting infrastructure, you silly little man. The Left and Centre-Left are diverse and appear in many parties – just because someone disagrees with your particularly tin-eared politics doesn’t make them of the Right. I would like Labour to be elected – I just wish they wouldn’t make it so difficult for themselves a year out from an election.

  18. greywarbler 18

    From that stuff link
    ‘Cunliffe said Prime Minister John Key would invite the royal family to bring “its newest and cutest member here for a long series of photo ops in an election year”, referring to Prince William, wife Kate and their baby George.
    “They should come. But will John Key dare take the Duke and Duchess back to McGehan Close? Will he take them to a closed sawmill in Rotorua or a boarded-up tannery in Shannon?”

    What a lot of waffle. It trivialises the NZ labour problem by joining it with a criticism of Key and questioning his possible interest in having a photo op with Royals.

    Cunliffe needs to separate the strands and discuss important things like unemployment and a poorly run economy in their own sound bite. Why is that sawmill running out of money and closing down? There is an interesting story there and I don’t know the details yet. But Cunliffe should and should be telling us that.

    • Populuxe1 18.1

      Exactly. There are far more urgent poverty-related issues to worry about

    • Tat Loo (CV) 18.2

      Plenty of the substantive is coming out; doesn’t hurt to have a few good stylish sound bites too.

    • Chooky 18.3


      Many more important issues than the Monarchy which has the danger of splitting the Labour Party anyway….pushing people towards NZF…. and playing into the hands of John Key and Nact

      ….and who says the Queen likes John Key anyway?…my bet is that she doesnt….and Charles is a Greenie

    • newsense 18.4

      think its exactly on the money. Key was happy to ride the ‘underclass’ BS for votes and the impression of centerism…but has made life worse for those at the bottom end of the scale and like the lady who was given a job in Jackie Blue’s office- they’ve been dumped and a long time ago…

  19. Morrissey 19

    “A man of middling talent and intellect”
    Mediocrity Watch No. 7: PAUL LITTLE

    In the late 1990s, after being removed from the editorship of Metro and then the Listener, one Paul Little became a “full-time writer”—which meant he lived off the earnings of his wife (Wendyl Nissen) while he tapped out instantly ignored bargain basement biographies of the likes of Aaron Cohen, Willie Apiata and Paul Henry. He was also granted a brief slot on Paul Holmes’ NewstalkZB show on Saturday mornings, straight after his wife Wendyl Nissen’s extended media review slot and before Grant Smithies’ extended music review slot.

    Little was given less than three minutes to deliver his invariably anodyne reviews of one or two books, which Holmes had usually read himself anyway, and far more perceptively. As he also did with his hapless sports correspondents, Holmes seemed to take a mischievous delight in demonstrating how much more intelligent he was, and in lording his dominance of Little in the most humiliating fashion. He would make a point of flustering and harrying Little, resolutely refusing to laugh at his attempts at humor, before listening with ill-disguised impatience to Little’s opinion of the book, which he then had to categorize as either “Quick flick” or “Down the dunny”.

    On one toe-curlingly embarrassing occasion, Little unwisely attempted to ingratiate himself by calling Holmes “Sir Paul”. (This was several years before Holmes received his knighthood.) Holmes, contemptuous of the display of self-abasement by an underling, sneered: “Oh yes, ha ha ha, you know what to say, don’t you.”

    Recently, Little has formed his own publishing company as an outlet for his own books, the most recent one being GRUMPY OLD MEN: 47 KIWI BLOKES, WHO’VE BEEN AROUND LONG ENOUGH TO KNOW, TELL YOU WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE WORLD. The tone and quality of this opus can be caught quite clearly from the promotional blurb on the website: “They’re all irate about something, sounding off in Grumpy Old Men on alcohol, speed limits, education, jet-skis, nutritionists, pinot noir, small change, tee shirt labels and a whole lot of other things they’d like to shake a stick at”. Somehow Little also found the time to produce the magisterial 50 Shades of Key: The Unofficial John Key Joke Book, hailed by Paul Little as a “laugh-out-loud collection of photos that show the Prime Minister as you’ve never seen him before.”

    Another earner for this “full-time writer” is his Herald on Sunday column. You might have guessed by now that Paul Little’s byline on any article is a virtual guarantee that it’s going to be shoddy and third-rate. If so, you have guessed right.

    For this morning’s instalment of his column, Paul Little has seen fit to add his voice to the pandemonium of abuse directed at comedian Russell Brand. Without showing the slightest sense of irony, Little damns Brand as “a man of middling talent and intellect” and claims, incorrectly, that some people have compared Brand to Socrates, Oscar Wilde and Gandhi. I suspect that Paul Little has not read anything written by any of them—although no doubt, as a dedicated television viewer, at some stage he’s caught a BBC version of The Importance of Being Earnest. He goes on to belabour Brand for his “mind-bending banality”, his “narcissism” and his “pontificating”, which has driven “the wittering classes into an orgiastic frenzy of enthusiasm”. Even worse, Brand is “petulant, ungracious and unfunny” and a “cut-rate Chomsky”.

    Once again, I suspect that Paul Little has read little or nothing written by Noam Chomsky. A year or so ago, another third-rate columnist from the Herald stable, Paul Thomas indulged in some wandery and ill-informed comments about Chomsky; maybe Little remembered that spray. But I would bet Bill Clinton’s weekly whoring budget that Little has not actually read anything by Chomsky.

    If you can bear the unedifying spectacle of “wretchedness o’ercharg’d”, here’s the offending item….

    Little is also a reliable attack-dog against the poor….

    and the unjustly imprisoned….

    Meanwhile, despite getting rid of Little, the Listener, incredibly, was saddled with an editor even more lacklustre than Paul Little. After Pamela Stirling was appointed in 2004, circulation plummeted, and it continues to drop by the week, due to this kind of thing…..

    Mediocrity Watch aims to keep you informed of—or, to quote the epically mediocre Simon Dallow, to be “right across”—the shoddiest, least professional, most insulting journalism from all over the world, but especially New Zealand. It is produced by DeakerWatch®, a division of Daisycutter Sports Inc.

    Check out these other third-raters….
    No. 6: David Farrar: “Things were generally very relaxed in this area.”

    Open mike 15/09/2013

    No. 5: Jordan Williams: ““Capping rents seems like a recipe for disaster.”

    Open mike 12/09/2013

    No. 4: Prof. Robert Patman: “Hezbollah is “totally a creature of the Iranian regime.”

    Open mike 11/09/2013

    No. 3 Jeremy Wells: “What evidence is there that secondhand smoking does any harm? Where is the evidence? WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE?”

    No. 2 Gavin Gray: “…never been any problems associated with the name King George.”
No. 1 Susie Ferguson: “If, as you say, this has all been done before, why do it all again?”

  20. Tat Loo (CV) 20

    Goff and several other MPs just spoke passionately for withholding support for the TPPA. With bottom lines of protecting Pharmac, etc.

    Pleasantly surprised, to be honest.

  21. Morrissey 22

    The assault on South American democracy continues:
    Thousands of Venezuelan pro-government twitter accounts deleted

    Open Media Network, 2 November 2013

    Around 7,000 Venezuelan Twitter accounts were deleted yesterday, including those of an elected state governor, three cabinet ministers, a radio station, a revolutionary daily newspaper, and the official accounts of ministries and other institutions. They all appear to have been pro-government accounts, and none of them of the opposition.

    Twitter has been an effective means of communication for supporters of the Bolivarian revolution, since late President Hugo Chavez opened an account in 2010 and reached 4 million followers, making his the second most popular account globally for a political leader, after Barack Obama’s.

    This appears to have been a coordinated, politically-motivated attack, but we don’t know yet how it happened. Twitter spokesman Nu Wexler has flatly refused to comment.

    There are basically three ways it could have occurred. Large-scale coordinated hacking and deletion of accounts by opposition supporters is a possibility. It could also be that a similar campaign of reporting accounts for spam triggered an algorithm in Twitter which automatically blocked the accounts (I’m being generous to Twitter here!). Thirdly, and less likely in my opinion, it could be something much more sinister involving Twitter and for instance US Intelligence agencies.

    As of this afternoon, some 50 accounts have been restored by Twitter, including those of Governor Aristobal Isturiz, which has 332,000 followers, and of Communications Minister Delcy Rodriguez. However most accounts have not been restored, for instance of Minister of the President’s Office Wilmer Barrientos and of the Women’s Ministry and the Bolivarian University of Venezuela.

    It is important to set this attack in social and historical context. After….

    Read more….

    See also….

  22. Draco T Bastard 24

    and this is why we need to ban foreign ownership in NZ:

    For staff of companies like Navman and The Hyperfactory it’s a familiar story. A hot NZ technology company is sold to offshore buyers, with its founder pledging jobs will stay in New Zealand – only for that promise to melt away as the new owners take control.

    The latest casualty is NextWindow, a company whose revenue hit $60 million+ as it supplied touchscreen technology to PC makers like HP, Asus and Lenovo.

    The recipient of a $6 million, no-strings government grant is gutting its local office, a source close to the situation tells NBR ONLINE.

    Grabbed the government subsidy and run.

    • greywarbler 24.1

      I think we should have strings attached to that sort of money. Perhaps the government needs to get 80% of shares in return.

      There was a patent suit against Next Window which they couldn’t afford to defend. Another way of harrassing creatives.

      Costa Boda was being interviewed this morning on Radionz and said that the piracy against his work is so tough he can’t carry on as a small doco maker. Youtube has copies of things within a short time of release of the DVD. Sales soon stop. A showing in Canada of some of his works was cancelled when they advised that they had been copied and put up on youtube. And once on youtube they get copied by other pirates down the line.

  23. Treetop 25

    Person was on the electoral roll last year, but are not this year in any electorate.

    Am I right to assume that they are dead or that they are living overseas because they are not on the electoral roll?

    • Daveosaurus 25.1

      Or they’ve asked their name to be withheld from the printed roll. Or they moved and forgot to get their mail forwarded so the re-enrolment forms bounced back ‘returned to sender’.

  24. Chooky 28

    My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, anyplace, anytime. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line and kiss my ass.

    – Christopher Hitchens

    • Morrissey 28.1

      ….anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line and kiss my ass.
      – Christopher Hitchens

      That truculent defiance did him no good at all when he came up against a superior opponent. On different occasions, George Galloway, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein and Tariq Ali all handed the arse of the self-styled “contrarian” back to him in the most humiliating fashion. (Humiliating for Hitchens, that is; his comically dyspeptic last book was full of bitter parting shots against Galloway and Chomsky in particular.)

      • Chooky 28.1.1

        …well Hitchens did make a splash!….he said it with style ….and he certainly wasn’t always right!

        ….but then again, nor is Saint Chomsky always right

        …..sometimes one can err by omission or by selectively ignoring issues

        • Morrissey

          …well Hitchens did make a splash!….he said it with style ….and he certainly wasn’t always right!

          Hitchens was a callous liar and a bully. In his utterly risible, contemptible, idiotic final book, he indulged in a spurious attack on Chomsky, basing his critique on the tone of Chomsky’s voice. His systematic lying even extended to the captioning of the photographs—the most shameful being his labeling of Hugo Chávez as “the dictator”. And of course, after taking more than a few public hidings at the hands of George Galloway, he had to have an obligatory swipe at Galloway too. (He missed, as always.)

          ….but then again, nor is Saint Chomsky always right

          Nobody has said that. Could you explain your frivolous reference to “Saint” Chomsky?

          …..sometimes one can err by omission or by selectively ignoring issues

          Are you trying to suggest that Chomsky has done that, or does that?

          Here’s what a first rate thinker, and a genuinely brave man (as opposed to a shallow “contrarian”) had to say about the pet dog of the American extreme right…..

          • Chooky

            @ Morrissey….chill out!….no one is immune from criticism and no one is perfect

            …..agree Chomsky is very good, if not doggedly (boringly) brilliant, on American Imperialism!…..and he does seem to have a cult following of those who would countenance no criticism of him..hence my “frivolous reference to “Saint” Chomsky” ….( naughty , naughty….)

            ….but lets face it Chomsky does have his critics and not all are frivolous or ignorant …. some of them are heavy weight academics like Foucault

            imo…one important criticism is: where is Chomsky’s hard hitting critique at home of the very powerful pro Israel Lobby in the USA?

            …. this critique seems to be completely lacking in the USA, because it is framed as being Nazi or anti Semite… consequently the lobby gets away with aborting at the grassroots politician level any positive US led solution to the humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinians…and the Middle East



            • Professor Longhair

              1.) “…..agree Chomsky is very good, if not doggedly (boringly) brilliant”

              “Boring”? How so? You sound like Hitchens.

              2.) “a cult following of those who would countenance no criticism of him”

              Again, you sound like Hitchens. Your comments lack any substance.

              3.) “…heavy weight academics like Foucault…”

              So you think Foucault is a heavyweight. That confirms my suspicion: you are a fool.

              • Chooky

                @ Professor Longhair..(.your comments speak volumes for yourself and your own agenda…).

                1.) Sometimes people are BORING (while nevertheless “brilliant” at subterfuge)…when they are not genuinely and passionately engaged in dialectic

                2.)…and they are more interested in fobbing off with pat analysis

                3.)…giving formulaic answers

                4.)…. avoiding the real core questions which would make a genuine existential /moral/political difference

                5.)..interested in indoctrination…..ie warping peoples thinking to their own power and ego agendas

                6.) abusing, and ridiculing anyone who dares to genuinely question

                I note neither you nor Morrissey have dared answer the questions and issues put by Professor Petras in his critique of Chomsky



  25. does anyone else dislike the bloated-ramblings of tolkien as much as i do..?

    ..(and i do mean ‘ramblings’..all the/that walking..!..lordy..!..all the/that walking..!..)


    “..Tolkien is the wen on the arse of fantasy literature.

    His oeuvre is massive and contagious –

    – you can’t ignore it – so don’t even try.

    The best you can do is consciously try to lance the boil.

    And there’s a lot to dislike –

    – his cod-Wagnerian pomposity –

    – his boys-own-adventure glorying in war –

    – his small-minded and reactionary love for hierarchical status-quos –

    – his belief in absolute morality that blurs moral and political complexity.

    Tolkien’s clichés – elves ‘n’ dwarfs ‘n’ magic rings – have spread like viruses.

    He wrote that the function of fantasy was ‘consolation’-

    – thereby making it an article of policy that a fantasy writer should mollycoddle the reader..”

    ..phillip ure..

    • Draco T Bastard 29.2

      does anyone else dislike the bloated-ramblings of tolkien as much as i do..?

      Probably. I read it when I was younger but I can’t say I actually liked it.

      his small-minded and reactionary love for hierarchical status-quos

      Over the last few years I’ve come to understand that most fantasy books are like that. See it quite a bit in science fiction as well.

    • halfcrown 29.3

      “does anyone else dislike the bloated-ramblings of tolkien as much as i do..?”

      Yes and crap called Game of Thrones which is a bigger heap of shit than Bored with the Rings.

    • QoT 29.4

      Tolkien’s clichés – elves ‘n’ dwarfs ‘n’ magic rings – have spread like viruses.

      Might help to get a clue before commenting: they weren’t cliches when he wrote about them.

      And someone who invests as much literary thought as Tolkien into creating whole languages, histories, and technically-brilliant poetry is hardly mollycoddling the reader.

      • Huginn 29.4.1

        “they weren’t cliches when he wrote about them”

        So you say.
        SO YOU SAY!!!

        I expect next thing you’ll be trying to defend that Robert Louis Stevenson and his fucking parroty pirate clichés

      • Draco T Bastard 29.4.2

        Elves have been around since the 10th century

        Dwarves, not quite as long. Only since about the 13th century.

        I think ~1000 years is long enough for them to become cliches.

  26. Chooky 30

    I like Tolkien but I don’t like Peter Jackson’s films of his works

    …….mind you I was about 15 when I read them

    • Chooky 30.1

      imo…actually when I read Tolkien at age 14 or 15….I saw the hobbits as the humble working unpretentious peace loving proletariat….up against the dark invisible awesome forces of Fascism….which were actually looming in the 1930s as Tolkien was writing…..

      Peter Jackson turned much that was subtle and atmospheric …filled with invisible menace …into an in- your- face cartoon of fast paced splatter , gore and monster violence..

      • Draco T Bastard 30.1.1

        Peter Jackson turned much that was subtle and atmospheric …filled with invisible menace …into an in- your- face cartoon of fast paced splatter , gore and monster violence..

        And it still took too long 😈

  27. BM 31

    TV3’s coverage.

    Have to say, not particularly positive, think Cunners may need to invite the press gallery up to his Herne Bay mansion for a BBQ and some beers.

    A bit of bridge building may be in order.

    • fappity 31.1

      BBQ at Trevs !

    • bad12 31.2

      Nah David Cunliffe in His next guise as Prime Minister should instead invite NZ on Air over to His office for a roasting where He can direct them to either pull all the NZ on Air funding for the hopelessly biased Media-Works or resign so He can find some heads that will…

  28. xtasy 32

    FASCISM often has a habit of coming in through the backdoor in societies, and I sense it has been given access by the ones at the top of the Ministry of Social Development already. This is what I have been on about, and some have thought it may be a bit over the top or paranoid, but bit by bit we are getting a clearer picture, of where the journey is going with New Zealand welfare reforms under this government:

    “Contractors to assess sick and disabled for work”



    “Private contractors will be paid $650 an assessment to get thousands of New Zealand’s sick and disabled ready to return to work.”

    “From February, Work and Income will pay private “medical assessors” to scrutinise sickness and disability beneficiaries who it believes can work.”

    “The medical assessors will be paid $650 per assessment, which are expected to take about three hours, and are prompted to recommend lifestyle changes to help the beneficiary get a job, such as a “positive approach to life” and more time at the gym.”

    “It is expected eventually 3000 disabled people a year will have to visit an assessor, who will judge their fitness for work and report back to Work and Income.

    The scheme, revealed in a tender proposal, is part of the biggest welfare shake-up in decades, with the Government aiming to have 28,000 to 44,000 people off benefits by 2017, saving up to $1.6 billion.”

    Whosoever saw that lying, two faced Paula Bennett on Q+A today, may have realised what a mercenary she has become.

    It is about to happen now, ATOS like assessments will start in February next year, and about 3,000 a year will make about 30,000 in ten years. Going at that rate, there will be few “sick” and “disabled” in New Zealand, either they will decide to opt out of their physical, mental and spiritual existence themselves, or will with bad backs, knees, or whatever ailments, or mentally ill fed with medication, be turned into submissive, obedient “slaves” as modern day “job-seekers”.

    They do apparently at MSD and WINZ have NO faith in client’s own doctors anymore, hence this agenda now! If the “soft” approach does not work, it will be off to your WINZ HATCHET DOCTOR!

    No more “slackers” in New Zealand, I suppose, there is no one too ill to not work, they will claim.

    And while the Labour members will be celebrating their successful Conference 2013, where are their voices on this??? I dread the future in this country!!!

    • BM 32.1

      I don’t see the problem.

      • xtasy 32.1.1

        You would not, and nobody is surprised about your ridiculous comment, as you love “brown ideology”, right?!

        • BM

          Lots of people on the sickness bene that shouldn’t be there, druggies, people with “depression”, people with “back injuries”.

          It’s easy to settle into that sort of life style and just cruise through life bludging off other tax payers, if this more pro-active approach gets a few able bodied people off their arses and back into the work force I’d consider it money well spent.

          Maybe this sort of approach will finally sort out the truly sick from the ones who are just taking the piss.

          • amirite

            Maybe you may fall on hard times and become one of those ‘bludgers’ and then you may just have to change your petty, nasty little mind.

            • BM

              I’ve been through hard times, I’ve been on the bones of my arse.

              Only you can really get yourself out of that hole, it’s up to you to make that effort, in the past a lot of people just had to do it alone.

              From what I see here, National’s actually extending an arm and giving people a hand, that’s to be encouraged not derided.

          • xtasy

            The Otago Daily Times already wrote about this on 25 October:

            “Tests for disabled ‘flawed model”


            Quoted extracts from the article:

            “New work assessments for the disabled and people with health conditions will impose ”unnecessary angst” and wrongly put the onus on clients rather than employers, CCS Disability Action Otago patron Donna-Rose McKay says.”

            “Mrs McKay believed New Zealand was adopting the same ”flawed model” as Britain, where work-testing the disabled was highly controversial.”

            ”The process focuses on the person as having to overcome the barriers, but in reality for many people with impairment or many people who have an illness, the barriers are not with themselves; the barriers are with employment and other people’s attitudes.”

            “Work and Income expects up to 1000 clients to be referred for a ”work ability assessment” between February and June next year, about 2000 in 2014-15, and about 3000 the next year, the proposal document said.

            The provider would receive $650 (GST exclusive) for each completed assessment.”

            “Dunedin disability researcher Chris Ford said the tests were likely to find most people able to perform some kind of work, taking no account of the wider economic situation.

            In effect, this depressed wages in the employment market for everyone, he said.”

          • felix

            “Lots of people on the sickness bene that shouldn’t be there, druggies, people with “depression”, people with “back injuries”.”

            Let’s ignore for now the back injuries and depression as I can’t be bothered unpicking the quote marks from the words.

            How would you prefer drug addicts be financially supported if not by some sort of benefit?

            • BM

              They shouldn’t be there long term.

              Once someone has been labelled an addict all emphasis should be on getting that person off their drug habit and back into society as a functioning contributing member.
              Sometimes a bit of toughness is required to kick people into action.

              Just leaving people to rot on a bene helps no one.

          • miravox

            The thing is BM, this assessment system doesn’t work – it just costs more.


    • johnm 32.2

      Hi Xtasy
      This rubbish government are copying the Atos obscenity being perpetrated in the now despised scum country the U$K (Completely lost the plot with privatising the NHS and Royal Mail) which is fast going down the neoliberal plughole. Shame on this regime here for paying private mercenaries to harass sick and disabled people. SHAME ON PULLYA BENEFIT. BM illustrates The Standard has many aren’t we smart in the club wafflers who really don’t want to face the reality. There are simply not, not the jobs to employ all the able bodied let alone the ill and disabled. BM smears the majority due to a small minority of marginal cases.

      • Chooky 32.2.1

        +!00 Xtasy and Johanm…..it is disgraceful the way the most vulnerable in New Zealand are being treated!!!!!

        ……..the unemployed , disabled and youth …and those who are struggling on low incomes

        ….I add to this, university students who are being saddled with horrendous lifelong debts around their necks…..

        …concentrating on these issues should be the Labour Party’s priorities!

      • xtasy 32.2.2

        This New Scientist article may be familiar to you, johnm, it shows that “austerity” and similarly “pressured”, draconian social conditions actually lead to ill health, rather than “help” people get well and work ready:

        “The hidden costs of austerity”


        “In making deep budget cuts, politicians are experimenting with the health of nations, not just their wealth”

        So I am sure that the “health” of the nation in the UK will down the line actually look a lot worse than what it may look like at present, given such scientific findings.

        BM would not care, as he adheres to this kind of view:



        • johnm

          Hi xtasy
          Yes I’ve seen this report. Yes I’ve been poor at times and if you’re scrabbling and in addition being abused by the social system one’s intelligence can shut down just to cope until one is almost zombie like and proneness to depression increases greatly, if prolonged people sometimes never recover.
          It’s like defeated soldiers in a war shuffling dejectedly to the work camps of their oppressors their faces blank with dejection and hopelessness.
          People bullied and kicked down often stay that way all their lives, a vital spark of life has permanently died within them. That is the Atos obscenity of cruel harassment that this scum government want to copy.

    • xtasy 32.3

      With this contracting out, WINZ and MSD are apparently going onto totally new territory.

      It appears that these will be assessments that are not just “medical”, they will be comprehensive assessments, looking at a wider range of health, social and other aspects, and that could well mean, the recommendations made WILL NOT fall under the provisions allowing clients of WINZ to appeal on MEDICAL grounds (to the Medical Board), as they presently can with disputed medical based recommendations and decisions!!!

      So this is a serious softening up on the whole assessment criteria and regime, kind of going into murky territory.

      As this will also mean recommendations will be made by non WINZ staff, it may be possible for WINZ to claim these are “independent” and outside assessments, that they can rely on, so decisions based on that may be more difficult to challenge by the usual process of reviews, of going to a kind of committee and to the Social Security Appeal Authority and so forth.

      I fear that clients affected by this will face major problems challenging such supposedly “independent” assessments. Another issue will be, the contracted service providers will most likely not come under Official Information Act provisions. That will protect them from many queries about what they are up to.

      This is dangerous stuff coming up!

  29. MrSmith 33

    In Berlin that hot bed of socialism the community are proposing to buy back their power companies, while down here in back water NZ we are selling ours.

    “Such protests have transpired to something much more radical for the local energy market. If neither the state nor the private sector can be trusted with public services, community ownership and governance must be the answer. So runs the logic for citizens in Berlin.”

    • insider 33.1

      That’s the local lines network they are talking about. Many are community owned in nz. Vector for instance, which continues to fight regulation of its prices and was convicted of unfair pricing practices a couple of years ago.

  30. Morrissey 34

    Malala and Nabila: Worlds apart
    Posted on Media Lens Message Board by JMC on November 3, 2013, 2:10 am

    For those of you who may have missed it, last week a family from North Waziristan whose grandmother had been killed and the grandchildren and other cousins etc injured in a U.S. unmanned drone strike, went to Washington to put their case to Congress and try to get some answers as to why they were targetted. Only five members of the 430 person Congress showed up for the hearing.


    The article linked above talks about the dramatically different responses to Malala Yousafzai (who was injured by the “right” people) and Nabila, the 9 year old girl who was injured by a United States drone. While it does LINK to articles highlighting the fact that Malala herself spoke out to President Obama urging him to stop the drone strikes and was also roundly ignored by him (that part of their conversation was omitted from the White House report of their meeting and, as far as I know, neither Obama nor the White House commented when she mentioned it herself) I don’t think it brings out strongly enough how only part of Malala’s message to the Taliban AND the west is being reported.

    See my post from October 17th for some additional background on Malala….

    Nabila and family were also interviewed on Democracy Now!….. http://www.democracynow.org/2013/10/31/too_scared_to_go_outside_family

    and there is a blog about their story here….

    To add an extra level of irony to the whole thing, both the husband of the woman killed and their son (the one who came to Washington with two of his children) are or were school teachers, committed to bringing literacy and education to the people of their impoverished village. Not so different from Malala in their aspirations and efforts to help their community then…


  31. logie97 35

    Barclays suspends currency traders.

    Just what contribution to the social fabric does this lot do anyway?
    Flash Harries making fast bucks on the backs of ordinary folk – and creating misery for many.

    • insider 35.1

      Every shipload of butter, lamb or kiwi fruit that leaves these shores involves a foreign currency transaction. Same for every barrel of oil coming in or container of computers. So yeah, creating misery all around.

      • felix 35.1.1

        Yeah that’s what John Key used to do isn’t it, facilitate butter and fruit sales 🙄

      • logie97 35.1.2

        Merchants selling their wares in international markets does not need currency speculators …

        • insider

          That’s right, they can use that new invention bartering, just like we did with the Russians. We got ladas. What a deal that was.

          • felix

            How long are you intending to pretend you don’t know the difference between international trade and currency speculation?

            Also, this you lying piece of shit.

      • Draco T Bastard 35.1.3

        Every shipload of butter, lamb or kiwi fruit that leaves these shores involves a foreign currency transaction.

        Which is, more than likely, done by computer – really don’t need humans for that. The currency traders, on the other hand, are pure speculators buying and selling money solely to make a profit without them actually producing any wealth.

  32. tricledrown 36

    Outsider you lyingbor.
    Tell me why nearly all the currency trading banks are having to pay billions of dollars back to those they have ripped off including NZ farmers!

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