Open mike 04/01/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 4th, 2024 - 61 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

61 comments on “Open mike 04/01/2024 ”

  1. SPC 1

    Back in the day when Richard Long and Karl du Fresne ran the show at the Dominion, there was never any supportive commentary for the 1990-1999 government, nor any criticism – just balanced reporting and columnists and guest writers who added their expertise and insight.

    Nor had they any part in the Herald led winter of discontent in 2000 after Labour was elected in 1999.

    The only thing I could criticise about it was that it was so white, the constant support for a low tax regime and there was limited resort to left wing opinion to balance out the occasional lapse to right wing comment and reporting of pro business voices.

    So it is understandable, that someone use to balance in MSM, such as from former state broadcasters Mike Hosking and Sean Plunkett, would find it totally untenable for there to be any criticism of the dynamic and approach of the new government from anyone employed in state owned media, such as RNZ and TVNZ.

    https://karldufresne.blogspot.com/2024/01/an-epic-display-of-dummy-spitting.html?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

    • Ad 1.1

      The public servants this government will want to change the most, also happen to be in departments that will slow-walk the change the most: NZTA, Education, Welfare, Oranga Tamariki, DIA, and Kainga Ora.

      There are also many agencies that will do really well out of this government, like NZPolice, MPI, and Corrections. Believe it or not I think health will do really well too.

      A few like Kiwirail and ACC and HRC will shrink.

      The rest as usual will just assume a crouch position. And in that position they will assume rightly that this National-led government is so incoherent and inexperienced that little will occur to them or with them.

    • SPC 1.2

      I'll add this here as it was not "published" on the Daily Blog.

      Sean Plunkett never came out openly as, a knuckle dragging champion of white race nation supremacy via majority while the boomers live (and by landed gentry estate wealth and power afterwards), while working in state broadcasting.

      In his day, establishment expressed its cultural hegemony merely with the dominant presence of the white face affecting a toned accent of the wealthier suburb, or private school.

      Whereas du Fresne, one of the Mr Magoo's at the Dominion was always a Garth George, but one without a conscience.

      That said Plunkett has become boorish on radio and on x social media and Du Fresne can still write in complete sentences.

      PS The reason we have state radio and TV is so that there is journalism not beholden to the advertisers/corporate sponsors that serves all New Zealanders, especially those without a voice or status in society.

      • Incognito 1.2.1

        I’ll add this here as it was not “published” on the Daily Blog.

        I can’t see why this wouldn’t be published on TDB and perhaps it’s pending until someone releases it …

        • SPC 1.2.1.1

          He has a job at Sean Plunkett's, The Platform – the pertinent point being some want John Campbell to be accountable to the owner of TVNZ and not criticise the government in power.

    • David 1.3

      "…just balanced reporting and columnists and guest writers who added their expertise and insight."

      In a sense, Campbell is writing as a 'Columnist', is he not? His piece is clearly labelled as 'Opinion', and so his writing is his own and we are free to critique the points he makes, as Du Fresne has done with some skill.

      As to balance, the points Campbell makes about the Labour party under the sections headed "Then there was Chippy" and "Where is Labour now" are pretty brutal, so it's hard to get too worked up.

      Taking a wider view, I would like to see opinion pieces such as this subject to rebuttal in the same publication. That would surely lead to better quality opinion writing and provide a counter to accusations of a lack of balance.

      • SPC 1.3.1

        Sort of, his title is Chief Correspondent. He is like an investigative reporter with a license to do in depth stories.

        Such will usually question what is going on, thus will be deemed by some anti-government of the day (in this case more left than Labour, or just left under National).

        One would have thought serious people in the industry would get this but curmudgeonly they resile from their stated values and go partisan and demand complacency/complicity by those in state owned media – once National is in government.

  2. Visubversa 2

    When the "Ambassador for Women" is a man.

    https://fairplayforwomen.com/a-letter-to-un-women-this-male-does-not-represent-us/

    "In December the UN Women’s UK committee appointed a male who presents in a highly sexualised stereotype of womanhood as an ambassador for women. We coordinated a letter from seventeen UK campaign groups to register our dismay, as reported in the Times today.

    UN Women has made a point of demonstrating that it considers males can become women."

    • weka 2.1

      mindblowing. Even if one accepts males into women's roles*, Bergdorf is clearly unsuitable. Which makes me think this is about the new boys network and women who've lost their goddam minds.

      *there’s really no excuse for that either other than deciding that the needs of TW outweigh the rights of women.

      • adam 2.1.1

        Bottom line – women are going backwards with their rights.

        It's bullshit.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          it's so weird, but I guess not totally surprising. We all thought our liberal gains were grounded in something real. Apparently not.

    • Tabletennis 2.2

      Being a Woman

      Whistle the Band

  3. Reality 3

    Some happy news – Jacinda and Clarke have set their wedding date. She so deserves a wonderful celebration at last. (Hope there will be some photos released!)

    • Rodel 3.1

      Yep. Happy news. I.wish them well

      Now wait for the conspiracy delusionists and naysayers to start posting crap.

      • Johnr 3.1.1

        Agree, lotsa people don't seem to like something nice happening to someone else

      • Visubversa 3.1.2

        It was almost instantaneous. The same buckets of hate and misogyny, and the same old lies given another turn around the ring.

      • Anne 3.1.3

        "Now wait for the conspiracy delusionists and naysayers to start posting crap."

        Yes. Like the horrible stuff that was tossed at Helen Clark and her husband, Peter Davis which in essence was: their marriage was a convenient arrangement that would allow both of them to have same-sex relationships under the radar. I knew them both and they had been in a stable relationship for years before they married.

        I still find it hard to believe that this kind of evil garbage is allowed to fester and spread without any attempt by the powers-that-be to bring the culprits to book. They are not hard to find. I knew one of the culprits well.

        It should be noted this kind of crap comes from right wingers, and their targets are always left leaning women politicians – something the MSM never see fit to highlight.

        • Visubversa 3.1.3.1

          I remember that well. A flood of bullshit about their marriage being one of convenience. And some very nasty mudslinging about Peter as well. Fortunately, it was all before the internet, but the anonymous letters were all over the place – I got at least one of them from London of all places.

          I knew the stories were not true. I have been in their house, I have even been in their bedroom – and you could tell by the books on each bedside table – who slept where!

          • Anne 3.1.3.1.1

            Visubversa, you might know – or at least know of – the person who started those stories. She was linked to the Mt Albert LEC in the 1970s and early 1980s, then moved on to the New Lynn LEC for a while. Her reasons for being in the LP were always suspect but that is another story.

            • Visubversa 3.1.3.1.1.1

              Very possibly. I moved into the Mt Albert electorate in 1981 and joined the Labour Party then. Helen Clark actually signed me up. However 1981 was a busy year, I had an old new house and there was that small interruption called a Springbok Tour – and I was living 800m from Eden Park. My deeper involvement with the Party was a couple of years later.

              • Anne

                She was part of the Douglas/Prebble faction battling to take control of the party in the 1980s. A large part of the game was to discredit Helen Clark and you will know better than I what happened because I shifted to the Shore in 1983. I do know however she caused a lot of trouble for a variety of high profile people in politics – and elsewhere – with her false claims about them. She was getting help along the way, but that is the other story.

        • Peter 3.1.3.2

          I'm not sure how that kind of 'evil garbage' being allowed to fester and spread could have been curtailed.

          Attempts by the 'powers-that-be to bring the culprits to book' ?

          According to some we had the most tyrannical despotic rule in our history under Ardern because of the way Covid was handled.

          The evil garbage is because we are, for all the lashings we trip out on happy occasions about how wonderful we are, a most nasty dysfunctional society. We are not happy unless we are asserting our importance, worth and qualities by putting others down, attacking someone we use to show our superiority. We're in a world of winners and losers and we sure as hell want to not be losers.

          The stuff about Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford which saw the involvement of the head of our police is a most astonishing, appalling episode. I was going to say 'bewildering' but it wasn't, it was how we roll.

          Curtailing the stories? It's the dumnness and nastiness in the citizenry which needs to be curtailed, the need to operate on the levels we're now accustomed to. Mid January '22 in Northland listening to the musos in the afternoon sun, a number of helicopters flew over during the afternoon, not the rescue ones. I was assured by a person I'd always considered sensible and intelligent that it was the overseas million and billionaires who'd been to the ritzy resorts up north, they were here for the Ardern/Gayford wedding. Adamantly. She was so brainwashed into anti-Arden position no way would she accept the known reality of that wedding.

          Mind you I'd seen on idiot sites that Gayford was appearing one particular day in the Whangarei Court for terrible things he was involved in. "Yep, today's the day," with the suitable frothing at the mouth. He would have needed those helicopters because others said on the very same day he most definitely was going to be in the Gisborne Court facing serious charges.

          I'm sure top cop of the time Mike Bush didn't get involved because on incidents like those. How to curtail? How to address whatever prompted Bush to act?

          Of course (some in) the media loved the situation. I think the position they found themselves in is called a 'no-lose' situation.' An expert in capitalising on that was Barry Soper. "Response to false Clarke Gayford rumour risks politicising police" was the headline and his "Ardern's refusal to confront the false rumours head on" reeked of chagrin at not getting a story straight from Ms Ardern.

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/barry-soper-response-to-false-clarke-gayford-rumour-risks-politicising-police/YCK75V346VUMQRID7363UWCQ6I/

          The soon to be married couple are off the central radar for the moment. Dr Susie Wiles and other scientists have had their turn. (They'll be back.) Ashley Blomfield too although he built up a store of goodwill which cushioned him against much of the tsunami. Not having exotically coloured hair and unconventional clothing helped.

          Barry Soper isn't going to stop evil garbage spreading. There's no way it's in the interest of Mike Hosking (apparently the most listened to voice on radio in NZ) to have festering evil garbage cease. It's their currency, it's our currency.

          Maybe the only answer is when one of the culprits you easily identify has it brought to their attention how they're operating is at the first step. Hearing there are other perspectives than theirs, or they are nasty, negative, destructive cretins might be like a speck of sand on a beach but at least their attitudes don't get a free pass.

          Immediately of course the other common realm of the day has been entered – "You are being divisive." The no-win situation.

        • David 3.1.3.3

          "It should be noted this kind of crap comes from right wingers, and their targets are always left leaning women politicians "

          I don't think so. In February 2016, Geoffrey Miller wrote about the "nasty underbelly" that inhabits the "left-wing blogosphere". He quotes a tweet from David Cunliffe expressing concern at the support from Green Party activist Dr. Sea Rotmann (a female) for left wing activists who threw some kind of muck at Gerry Brownlee (a male).

          New Zealand’s increasingly dangerous level of political vitriol – Geoffrey Miller

          Around the same time, Bryce Edwards catalogued the increasing hate being expressed towards John Key by the left. He highlighted how "toxic comments about John Key" were allowed on the RNZ Checkpoint Facebook page.

          Political roundup: Increasing hatred for John Key? – NZ Herald

          The rapper Tom Scott wrote a song about killing John Key, and joked about raping his daughter.

          Rude rant goes to air – New Zealand News – NZ Herald

          This is the unfortunate, dark side of extremism. It is not exclusively left or right, male or female.

    • mary_a 3.2

      Best wishes to Jacinda and Clarke. No doubt little Neve will be the flower girl. Can't wait to see some pics.

  4. joe90 4

    Heck of a job, cookers.

    //

    Sue

    @inkblue01

    'There is no amount of money the government shouldn't spend to fix Long Covid. The problem is so large, the only question is will the prevention or treatment even marginally work. There is no amount that's overdoing it.' David Cutler PhD Harvard Economist.

    https://twitter.com/inkblue01/status/1742183209809453456

    Sue

    @inkblue01

    Long COVID may cost US economy $3.7 trillion PDF download – https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/cutler/files/long_covid_update_7-22.pdf

    https://twitter.com/inkblue01/status/1742184967096971396

    A growing consensus is emerging that receiving multiple doses of the COVID vaccine before an initial infection can dramatically reduce the risk of long-term symptoms. Although the studies disagree on the exact amount of protection, they show a clear trend: the more shots in your arm before your first bout with COVID, the less likely you are to get long COVID. One meta-analysis of 24 studies published in October, for example, found that people who’d had three doses of the COVID vaccine were 68.7 percent less likely to develop long COVID compared with those who were unvaccinated.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/vaccination-dramatically-lowers-long-covid-risk/

  5. Reality 5

    Anne, disappointingly a few men are still Neanderthals and cannot cope with women being in public roles (attractive and popular sets them off even more). Is it aging blokish blokes and/or youngish ones as well? As time goes by I hope those "blokes" become fewer and fewer.

    • Anne 5.1

      It's not just ageing blokes Reality. It's jealous middle-aged women as well. Some women had a hate on Helen Clark and even more on Jacinda Ardern. They disguised it by repeating the negative stuff coming out of the nay-sayer influencers' mouths (eg. Hosking) but in truth it was plain envy and spite.

    • aj 5.2

      Don't knock Neanderthals by comparing them to some modern men

      From Wikipedia:

      For much of the early 20th century, European researchers depicted Neanderthals as primitive, unintelligent and brutish. Although knowledge and perception of them has markedly changed since then in the scientific community, the image of the unevolved caveman archetype remains prevalent in popular culture"

  6. Reality 6

    Yes, the tall poppy fixation is also alive and well. Don't cope well with other people's success and popularity. Listened earlier to the warped Liz Gunn and her crazed accusations about Jacinda. How do they get like that? Are they desperate for attention or what?

    • Anne 6.1

      " Are they desperate for attention or what?"

      From my personal experience it is in part attention seeking but they also thrive on conspiracies and intrigue. If they can't find anything on someone they simply dream it up in their heads and convince themselves it is the truth. They almost always are narcissistic which adds another level of delusional grandeur to the mix. Donald Trump is a perfect example.

  7. SPC 7

    Belated action after it became clear the Zaidis were intent on blocking safe passage through the Red Sea for all but ships catering to Russia, China and Iran cargo.

    In a debate at the UN Security Council on Wednesday evening, there was unanimous condemnation of the Houthi attacks

    The group of 12 states – Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, the UK and the US – issued a formal warning to the Houthis.

    They called ongoing Houthi attacks in the Red Sea "illegal, unacceptable, and profoundly destabilising" and said there was "no lawful justification for intentionally targeting civilian shipping and naval vessels".

    They said if the group continued to attack shipping, it would "bear the consequences".

    The group comes from a sub-sect of the country's Shia Muslim minority, the Zaidis. They take their name from the movement's founder, Hussein al Houthi.

    They have been fighting a civil war since 2014 against Yemen's government and control both the capital Sana'a and the north of the country, as well as the Red Sea coastline.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-67878906

    Presumably the action would be based on eliminating sea going capability and active satellite oversight (identification of) and drone attacks of land based launch places.

  8. Grey Area 8

    One of the things that bothers me about Aotearoa New Zealand is that we are so binary. We seem to only exist on opposing poles and flip-flop between them.

    I have never forgotten first seeing and hearing Jacinda Ardern at a public meeting in Hawkes Bay when Andrew Little was leader of the Labour Party. I attended because I wanted to make my own assessment of the two of them.

    I came away impressed with her as she had the X factor, she was magic. Fast forward and the government she led saved tens of thousands of lives in AoNZ with Covid-19 but then stopped making decisions based on science and started making political decisions and abandoned us.

    And "transformation government" anyone? Yeah, nah.

    So I wish Jacinda, Clarke and Neve well.

    I have no idea of the cost of the vitriol she attracted, but can we have a balanced assessment of her years in politics? I'd give her perhaps a B+ – could have done much better with the political capital she burned.

    • Corey 8.1

      I totally agree. She definitely had the x factor and I remember going to see her speak during the 2017 and being utterly impressed with her, and stunned by the throngs of supporters she had following her, which only a few months earlier at a smaller venue Andrew Little couldn't even muster enough of to stand behind him let alone fill a room.

      She was pretty bloody good during that first term and that first year of lock down.

      That second term was a joke, her and her party stopped listening to the public and had a very smug self righteous tone and wouldn't listen or debate anyone or anything and thought by acting like grumpy librarians shouting "shhh" and blocking their ears and not engaging with media or Debates they didn't like would end, but in reality the debates continued just now without any counter arguments from the left.

      They focused on everything but class and pretended that identity and generational conflicts would replace class but low and behold now that gen y and Gen z are starting to inherit all this loot from their Boomer parents they are turning to right…. *gasp* shocker.

      She was great from 2017 til mid 2021.

      I'll never forgive her for leaving (on her worst day she was a thousand times better than hipkins and the loser bridgage in her caucus)

      And I'll always despise that a self confessed "nz republican" accepted a fucking dame hood. Hypocrite..

      All I want now is universalist policies on housing and a codified bill of rights, a formal written nz constitution and an upper house and powerful supreme court to hold the government of the day to account and slow their agenda down (all of which ardern could have done)

      • Obtrectator 8.1.1

        Lumme, I thought I was the only one who felt that way about the damehood. Agree totally: should never have been offered (and who did offer it, anyway?), nor accepted so eagerly. Not enough real achievement to merit it, in my view – leaving aside any conflict with JA's republican convictions.

        Another black mark: the self-congratulatory fence-sitting over the cannabis referendum. A decent push from JA could well have got that over the line, and paved the way for a more enlightened approach in general to drug addiction (it's a medical problem, FFS). Instead, another decade of the futile "war on drugs", which is never going to be "won".

        • Grey Area 8.1.1.1

          Reply to Corey and Obtrectator: Does Jacinda Ardern actually have republican convictions?

          All I can see online is a number of articles where she is quoted saying NZ will become a republic in her lifetime. But in none of them can I see anything more.

          "I do believe that is where New Zealand will head in time. I believe its likely to occur in my lifetime but I don't see it as a short-term measure or anything that is on the agenda anytime soon," Ardern said. Typical Ardern really.

          https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/new-zealand-may-become-republic-not-anytime-soon-ardern-says-2022-09-12/

          The remarks were an observation made in response to the death of QE2, not I believe as evidence of being a republican.

          I'm not surprised she accepted a damehood. It was probably because it looks good on her CV and may be help to open doors influenced by those to whom such a title still matters.

    • Ad 8.2

      Crikey I think of it the other way.

      Very little of this current government is different to the previous one so far other than in some upcoming minor tax changes and some cultural emphases that people are spiting the dummy on.

      Jacinda did a great job for a term and was after that was a massive millstone around the neck of progressive causes. After the 2020 election Ardern was the anti-Midas: everything she touched turned to shit.

      • Robert Guyton 8.2.1

        "Very little of this current government is different to the previous one…"

        One was overly ambitious, the other is pinched and mean; hardly different at all!

      • SPC 8.2.2

        Kainga Ora and state housing enhanced not diminished.

        10 year bright-line tax revenues, not 2

        Incentives for investors to leave existing property for new builds to qualify for mortgage as a cost against rent income.

        Rights of tenants.

        MW increases above a dollar every year.

        Fair Pay Agreements/Industry Awards.

        Expectation of more action in welfare/child poverty/food in schools.

        Global warming pathway staying on track.

        Kiwi Rail.

        Defence of state (primary and secondary) education from becoming like under 5 – with large scale foreign investment buy up.

        • Ad 8.2.2.1

          They haven't made any changes to Kainga Ora yet, other than in the name. Maybe a few more criminal nuisance sorts get booted out. That's about it.

          Have they changed any rights of tenants yet? Not sure if that went through in the pre-Christmas urgency. Will it really make a difference?

          They've already committed to minimum wage increases.

          I don't think any of those MECA's actually got done. The near fully unionised education agreement was just the usual.

          Not seen any retreat yet on any welfare. Even in schools.

          Our carbon targets were based on international markets and were a proven lie.

          Kiwirail was showered in gold for 6 years and got what was coming to it. They prop up the high carbon high mass economy and deserve themselves.

          Sorry who is buying up primary schools?

          Your list is just mild left anxiety.

      • Pat 8.2.3

        Progressive causes tend to lose their import when the existential ones are ignored….id suggest the electorate understands that even if only at a subconscious level.

    • Peter 8.3

      "Could have done much better with the political capital she burned," is a good assessment.

      Is it possible that any party will have the will to take a bold path? If the Labour majority support wasn't enough to embolden a government what will be?

      • Robert Guyton 8.3.1

        They did take the bold path.

        They were thwarted.

        • Pat 8.3.1.1

          They took a bold path that was not the path wanted/needed….hence the rejection

          • Robert Guyton 8.3.1.1.1

            Not the path allowed by the pinched, mean…and moneyed.

            • Pat 8.3.1.1.1.1

              I suspect you will find many of those who didnt vote labour/green were anything but moneyed

              • Robert Guyton

                The voters were the responders, not the manipulators.

                The former did as the latter directed.

                • Pat

                  were they manipulated in 2017 and 2020?

                  • Incognito

                    influenced

                    • Pat

                      Apparently very selectively.

                      It is a strange process that appears so effective on some occasions and not others….one might conclude that there were other forces at play.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "It is a strange process that appears so effective on some occasions and not others….one might conclude that there were other forces at play."

                      Indeed there are and they're complex but in the recent case, the details have been well explored and broadcast – look to the cartoonists to lift the veil, pat!

                    • Pat

                      Look to the fact the incumbents had their own agenda and were not addressing the concerns of the voters Robert, and the voters reacted accordingly.

                      No cartoonists required.

  9. joe90 9

    Ethnic cleansing is an ongoing project.

    The “voluntary” resettlement of Palestinians from Gaza is slowly becoming a key official policy of the government, with a senior official saying that Israel has held talks with several countries for their potential absorption.

    Zman Israel, The Times of Israel’s Hebrew sister site, has learned that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition is conducting secret contacts for accepting thousands of immigrants from Gaza with Congo, in addition to other nations.

    “Congo will be willing to take in migrants, and we’re in talks with others,” a senior source in the security cabinet said.

    Congo has high levels of inequality, and 52.5 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, according to the World Food Programme.

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-in-talks-with-congo-and-other-countries-on-gaza-voluntary-migration-plan/amp/

    • SPC 9.1

      They can see Saudi Arabia/UAE/Qatar funding of the rebuild with EU/USA pressure on Israel to agree.

      Because defeat of the military wing of Hamas allows the political wing to come under the PLO and a return of the PA to Gaza. That allows parliamentary and presidential elections and growing world pressure for there to be two states.

      Netanyahu's ambition for victory over Hamas might be the first block in the road to permanent occupation of WB by Israel.

      "Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." – Confucius.

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