Open mike 04/03/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 4th, 2024 - 52 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step up to the mike …

52 comments on “Open mike 04/03/2024 ”

  1. Joe90 1


    Prof. Eliot Jacobson


    A sudden feeling of nausea and existential dread is a normal reaction:

  2. Hanswurst 2

    Interesting how the current government reaches for the urgency button in repealing legislation by its predecessor, despite not having replacement processes ready to roll, and without a discernible justification for urgency in many cases, but when it comes to the question of a functioning media landscape, where regulation and possibly financial intervention might be necessary, or at least highly advisable, and where warnings have been sounded for months, it's suddenly unavoidable to wait months for the select committee.

  3. Muttonbird 3

    An important in depth piece by Katie Newton here. Apart from the dereliction of duty by the associate health minister, it looks at the tobacco industry and their lobbyists:

    The tobacco industry has long since moved on from the days when it tried to discredit or distract from a mounting body of evidence that smoking kills.

    But researchers say it’s now applying the same tactics to a raft of next-generation alternatives to cigarettes.

    Otago University Professor of Public Health Janet Hoek says a really important part of that strategy is to “shape the discourse” and normalise the industry’s new products among members of the public, media – and politicians.

    “People have picked up on that [discourse] without realising how it’s been socialised and seeded.”

    This is the type of strategy coached by the think tank of think tanks, the Atlas Network; how to embed ultra free market thought within unsuspecting societies and their vulnerable communities, regardless of the damage it causes. In this case, normalising vaping through advertising and media as some sort of saviour product against their own previous product. Gaslighting, anyone? And seeding ideas that anti-smoking legislation is dangerously experimental. And framing the peddlers of this suite of killer products as innocent, victimised, hardworking families.

    It's why it's really important to identify early what these groups, their political clients, and their ultimate clients like the tobacco industry, do because the penalty is a drawn out war with many casualties.

    These groups know how important the strategy is, and they know how important it is to keep people from scrutinising that strategy which is why so much effort has been made to discredit and trivialise discussion around the new big lobbying movement.

    • Descendant Of Smith 3.1

      Part of the question then is how come left wing parties and trade unions etc are not able to use similar methods to change discourse?

      Apart from Labour being too neo-liberal rightwing to want to do so.

    • gsays 3.2

      Clearly there is anger and disappointment at this regime's direction of travel and the carnage they are visiting upon us.

      It must be a better approach to look at all lobbying in parliament and the public serv8ce to solve this and, arguably, other more important issues – housing reform, migration exploitation, trucking industry not paying it's way.

      Lobbying in all forms undermines democracy and weakens trust in institutions.
      Just going apeshit at tobacco lobbying is rather like killing the occasional ant rather than destroying the nest.

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    Some people I talk with are not overly concerned about the Govt. “snatch the patch” plans because they are not keen on Mighty Mongrel Mob, Mangu Kaha, Tribesmen and so on. There will possibly be a “proscribed” list, there are more mild patch wearers–Destiny Church, grey beard riders in say Ulysses and HOG, Harley Owners Group.

    It is actually a sneaky attack on everyone’s freedoms of association, assembly and expression. Who will be next I have said in letters to local papers and online blogs…union badges, GreenPeace banners, Rainbow clothing, Te Pāti Māori signs? Nah, don’t worry bro…well filthy Talleys/AFFCO have done it again, standing down workers for wearing union branded shirts (because they resemble gang regalia apparently…)–at least people not in an AFFCO plant will be better off from a health and safety point of view perhaps…

  5. Sanctuary 5

    Our Advantage gets mentioned by John Campbell (and dissed on X by David Seymour!) Just goes to show who reads this site.

    • weka 5.1

      fantastic. Great quote too.

      Here's the Seymour tweet.

      TVNZ’s Chief Correspondent is now quoting and linking to a left-wing blog that is promoting wealth tax-supporting David Parker for Labour leader 🫠

      There's a general RW strategy atm of criticising Campbell for being left wing while being TVNZ (govt tele) senior journo.

      • SPC 5.1.1

        Seymour/Atlas Network (capital on high above all below) wants

        1.all media and political party funding to be dependent on either private ownership or funding attack any identifiable resistance to neo-liberalism – whether from within academic institutions or via charitable foundation funding alternative opinion media.

      • Muttonbird 5.1.2

        The focus of that hit was David Parker because Seymour and his fellow travellers are absolutely terrified of CGT and wealth taxes. Not only because of what they mean to property grifters and the idle rich, but because they are a thing in many countries and it's not hard to make the case in NZ, will notwithstanding.

        Here's an exclusive list of counties with a low or no CGT:

        1. Andorra
        2. New Zealand
        3. Bahamas
        4. Bahrain
        5. Barbados
        6. Belize
        7. Bermuda
        8. Belgium
        9. Brunei
        10. Cayman Islands
        11. Dominica
        12. Grenada
        13. Hong Kong
        14. Kuwait
        15. Maldives
        16. Malaysia
        17. Monaco
        18. Oman
        19. Qatar
        20. Saint Kitts and Nevis
        21. Saint Lucia
        22. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
        23. Singapore
        24. Switzerland*
        25. Thailand
        26. Turks and Caicos Islands
        27. United Arab Emirates

        See a pattern there?

        *Switzerland has a very effective wealth tax earning 5.12% of revenues in 2020.

        • weka

          Both I guess.

          Former Dominion Editor and long-time blogger Karl du Fresne recently called for the sacking of TVNZ’s Chief Correspondent John Campbell for hijacking “the government’s most potent communication medium” for his own “highly political mission”. Jeremy Rose takes a look at the accusation and the long-running debate on whether “objectivity” is desirable or even possible.

          • Muttonbird

            Yes, I totally agree there is a concerted campaign to get Campbell. It's an example of RW activists and politicians working in concert to seed media and public opinion that Campbell has to go.

            I suspected @3 on this thread that these are new tools, developed globally through well funded think tanks, RW activists and politicians employ to, “shape the discourse”, eliminate opposition, and push through agenda.

        • Mike the Lefty

          To hell with Cayman Islands bank accounts, may as well keep your ill-gotten gains here and save a lot of trouble.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          Interesting list.

          Singapore seems odd – it is on the face of it low tax and has generally first-world quality of life. But there are some oddities – highest private car ownership charges in the world, profit-making government-owned public transport and 80% of the population live in costly government-owned housing – so a lot of revenue (and possibly property value capital gain) is collected by other means.

          • KJT

            Singapore is run as a giant SOE. Temasek Holdings – Wikipedia

            That, along with ground rents and other Government income, such as property capital gains retained by the State, accounts for the ability of the Singapore Government to pay for first World services without higher income taxes.

          • Nic the NZer

            Yeah, Big problem with that list is CGT have very little to do with public spending and the size of the public sector in the economy.

            That surplus is not a valid economic goal of the public sector should at least be understood by commentators on the left, but unfortunately neo-liberalism has run such circles around even left wing thought that its frequently pushed in it's name.

            A hint that your thinking is wrong on CGT is, the ideal result of a CGT is that nobody earns capital gains (or excess capital gains) and the tax collects no or minimal revenue as a result. It's not that the government collects loads of CGT because speculators a making loads of capital gains.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.2

      This is a brilliant opinion piece by Campbell I think – very worth reading.

      Becoming one of our best and most insightful political and social commentators I believe.

    • Tiger Mountain 5.3

      I better look up my urban dictionary more often then, and use some modern language… or more Mao quotes…

  6. Sanctuary 6

    I am a bit miffed at the criticism of Advantage's prose!

    • SPC 6.1

      The phrasing was probably based on ignorance of the move south – to a place where people ride bikes.

      It is true that blog posts are not written the same way as published articles in the news media – they are rushed off in a shorter time (without revision to make it more temperate). Warning, unconcealed partisanship can involve emotive language.

      • Ad 6.1.1

        There's so little reader patience now for anything over 300 words, so concision may indeed make it gallopy.

        • SPC

          Sure, 20 years ago even discussions on blog posts were written like letters to the editor, with a deliberate elaboration of the points made.

          • bwaghorn

            Elaboration is achievable by asking questions in the comments if one desires

        • Tiger Mountain

          Elaboration contributes to the “pearls before swine” phenomenon, SPC at is right. Write a novella online and many will skip it. Pithy works unfortunately in this culture.

  7. gsays 7

    Here is another angle of austerity Aotearoa style.

    2 young workers, killed and Worksafe decides sitting on it's hands is the fiscally appropriate thing to do.

    There is power imbalance, cruelty and exploitation visited upon the families of two young men.

    The bean counter public servant that made this decision should be ashamed of themselves.

  8. Muttonbird 8

    Simple, no nonsense stuff from Barbara Edmonds. Be afraid Willis will jack up GST to 17.5%, and yes, we are considering a, "fairer and more progressive tax system". Deal with it.

  9. joe90 9

    Looks like Nactional's been making shit up.



    A quick look through the financial position of NZ Govt. The actual accounts rather than the fantasy land, austerity-justifying crap we are fed by politicians (and a mostly confused media). First up – here's the scary 'debt'. Aaaagh. Look at those private sector assets! [1/n]



    NZ Govt has built up a massive portfolio of shares, equity, cash – saving up for a 'rainy day'. As a result, NZ Govt is not in 'net debt' at all. They just invented a definition of debt that didn't include their savings so they could pretend to be skint / prudent etc… [3/n]

  10. SPC 10

    Seymour wants the food in schools programme to end and with this agenda openly stated is seeking to convince coalition partners to spend less on it because he wants them to agree that this is not good use of taxpayer money – that is assist in the well-being of children to ensure equality of opportunity.

    He is going to use the old, cannot it afford it right now argument to get others to buy in – but really wants to end all of it.

    The amount of waste is lower than the administrative programme of other spending programmes.

    For whom is the food in school progamme wasteful?

    Those with children in private schools, for those in his Epsom decile electorate …

  11. That_guy 11

    Pure Trans Joy news: a young man violently and repeatedly assaulted an elderly woman who wanted to listen to other women discussing their rights.

    As a result, he was discharged with no conviction and permanent name suppression. Because he “ got caught up in things” and because neurodiversity.

    By my count that’s two assaults on women on camera in broad daylight resulting in zero convictions.


    • That_guy 11.1

      By my count thats:

      2 assaults on women in broad daylight

      0 convictions

    • SPC 11.2

      His counsel said her client had ADHD and autism, it was the judge who cited "neurodiversity" and accepted the man was genuinely remorseful and acted in a way that was completely out of character.

      As per usual, the difficulty of gaining employment, if there is a conviction, is an argumement made by the defence counsel.

      She said a conviction would be out of proportion to his offending and would result in difficulty in the young man gaining employment.

      her client had taken responsibility, was truly remorseful and willing to engage in restorative justice

      Since the offending, he has undertaken 180 hours of volunteer work at the Red Cross, completed the Man Alive programme and counselling sessions, Priest said.

      The man also offered to pay $1000 in reparation.

      The defence had a fully formed position.

      The judge could have convicted and yet provided name suppression, as the police asked, but this would have to be mentioned if asked by employers.

      • That_guy 11.2.1

        Sure, a fully formed position I disagree with fundamentally. This wasn't a random assault in a bar. This was a violent (and IMHO successful) political act. The whole debacle was violent suppression of the right of a marginalised group to organise and discuss their rights.

        Since when is “getting caught up in it” a defence against such a serious crime? What message does this send to women? Yes, you may be violently assaulted, but hey… people get caught up in the moment! No biggie!

      • Muttonbird 11.2.2

        Also what should have been considered in the granting of name suppression is danger to the individual. We've already seen Leo Molloy harass and threaten him outside court and now the deputy PM is whipping up fear and hatred.

        • That_guy

          Getting punched repeatedly in the head by a young, strong 21 year-old male is a "danger to the individual". Not applying any meaningful consequences to said male makes this type of "danger to the individual" more likely, since now any trans-identifying male (or even someone who actually believes that TERFs are Nazis) will likely take this ruling to mean: I can hit women with little consequence as long as I'm "getting caught up in things" (ie in a mob).

          Why is it that in this case, the very real assault on an elderly woman that actually happened (and the light sentence handed down) is not thought of as "a danger" but the possibility of a violent man being accurately named as a violent man is thought of as "a danger"?

          Because danger to women isn't taken seriously.

          Just because Winston is a wally and a climate ignoramus doesn’t mean he’s always wrong. The sentence was absolutely ridiculous and out of touch.

          • Muttonbird

            I think you are reaching a bit there.

            I'll go out on a limb here and say most, nearly all, violence by men towards women is domestic/sexual in nature. The violence in this case was not, it was at a protest where the perpetrator and victim did not know each other and it was not sexual assault.

            So you can't frame this incident as part of the general, 'danger to women' culture which continues to be problematic in all societies.

            The sentence is ok given the context, and the name suppression is justified because there are not a few people who would like to teach him a lesson.

            • That_guy

              So you can't frame this incident as part of the general, 'danger to women' culture which continues to be problematic in all societies.

              I explicitly framed it as a political act designed to stop women from gathering and talking about their rights.

              there are not a few people who would like to teach him a lesson.

              Then those people should also attract the attention of the criminal justice system. It's not a reason to minimise and trivialise serious, politically motivated violence directed specifically against a marginalised group in society.

            • That_guy

              Just as an aside: even though I explicitly framed this as a violent political act..

              So you can't frame this incident as part of the general, 'danger to women' culture which continues to be problematic in all societies.

              I kind of can, you know. Because it's at least partially a result of the societal minimisation and indifference towards violence towards women. Which is on full display in this case, due to the very light sentence, which shows exactly the indifference and minimisation I'm talking about. The perpetrator now knows that you can commit violence against women and as long as you show "remorse" and retraumatise the person you assaulted by offering to meet with them (why would they want to?), it's all gravy.

              And so does everyone else. And that's why I say: us men will never solve the problem of male violence against women (a male problem caused by men) by minimising it, dismissing it and trivialising it. Hasn't worked for 10,000 years, isn't going to work now.

          • Law

            Even a stopped clock is right occasionally , enough of this name suppression bullshit ,. let the sunlight clean it all …

  12. Belladonna 12

    Apologies if this has already been covered – my reading on TS has been a bit spotty recently (life, work, etc.)

    But it looks as though the long boom in mining revenue in Australia has come to a crunching halt – with the collapse in international prices of their most significant minerals.

    Given that mining profits account for around 15% of their economy (IIRC) – we may well see Kiwis returning home after finding that Oz isn't such a great place to be.

    • SPC 12.1

      The real story is why.

      It only impacts on those in the mining industry and those in mining states where there is a wider economic downturn.

      • Belladonna 12.1.1

        Pretty big impact on the tax take. And even bigger if the government needs to bail out the mining industry (not saying they should – but if they do)

        More likely to tip Australia into recession.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 12.2

      Given that mining profits account for around 15% of their economy (IIRC) – we may well see Kiwis returning home after finding that Oz isn't such a great place to be.

      Let's hope that any homeward-bound Kiwis will boost NZ's productivity and resilience.

      Dig this [4 March 2024]
      In 2040, if I have anything to do with it, there will be a flourishing mining sector employing all my nephews who are currently going to the figurative Kalgoolies of the world, and I will have served my penance for having acquiesced in the closure of oil and gas off the coast of Taranaki.

      In three weeks, RMA Minister Chris Bishop will introduce legislation which will enable Jones’ promises to be realised.

      That legislation will reach back to the Muldoon 1981-84 government for its inspiration in that it will reserve the right for the final approval of resource consent for Ministers rather than independent tribunals.

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    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
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