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Open mike 04/04/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 4th, 2011 - 171 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

171 comments on “Open mike 04/04/2011 ”

  1. William Joyce 1

    Despite hundred of submissions, the governments energy strategy remains unchanged. Beef up our oil and coal industries……for now.

    The Government intends to expand the coal and oil sectors at the same time as pursuing an objective of getting 90% of New Zealand’s energy from renewable sources.
    A revised draft of an energy strategy which is yet go to the Cabinet, has been published online.
    Despite hundreds of public submissions, opponents say it is virtually unchanged from the original draft last July.
     
    Radio New Zealand article

    • I seem to spot a pattern here:

      1. Spout platitudes making you sound like you actually care.
      2. In reality actually make the problem worse by choosing to engage in activity that will cause the greatest damage but which keeps your rich mates happy.
      3. Ignore submissions and the science. What do they know?

      Feck NZ still lovin’ it?

      • William Joyce 1.1.1

        Yep, throw the dirt encrusted masses outside the gate a cupcake, let them scramble over it, and you retire to the hearth and plot your evil.
        Deception, deception, deception – that’s their motto.
        Judith Tizard (TV3 breakfast) was ballsy to say it “They lied to us”. I don’t know how many times she said they were and are lying it but it was good to hear someone say it.
        If only Phil got ballsy (or has Helen still got them?)

    • Carol 1.2

      And according to NZPA on Stuff, this draft plan was posted online in error by government officials.

      The draft had been mistakenly posted online by government officials weeks ahead of its approval by Cabinet, Radio New Zealand reported today.
      Cana spokeswoman Frances Mountier said the draft showed the Government’s stated commitment to greenhouse gas emissions was “a sham”.
      “Its top priority is stated as being to develop petroleum and mineral fuel resources ahead of other priorities like developing renewable energy resources, and embracing new energy technologies.”
      Mountier said that was “completely incompatible with reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and will instead lead to major increases in emissions”.

       

      • marty mars 1.2.1

        Good stuff by the Coal Action Network Aotearoa in getting this ‘draft’ out there.

        What a display of arrogance from the Acting Minister on the radio before nine – shit mate ask her how many drafts she has had, ask her what the purpose of a draft is – ask her something, anything, to get inside that thick armour. But sadly the armour was not dented or scratched.

        • ianmac 1.2.1.1

          Great how a Key aspiration states that by 2050 the country will have halved (?) its transmission. Its the 2050 which is a date impossible to be accountable since those who promise will be well gone. Yet setting long term goals are important vital.

  2. PeteG 2

    Yesterday much was said about the need to ensure a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders.
    What would that take?
     
    Should minimum benefits be raised? By how much? Should it be across the board, or more targetted (noting that targetting opportunities also increase opportunities for some to work the system)? Should those who choose to live in areas where basic costs (especially rents) are higher automatically get more?
    What would it cost?
     

    • RobC 2.1

      PeteG’s opening post of the day only has six questions. Not bad.

      Q1 Lots
      Q2 Yes
      Q3 Lots
      Q4 Across the board
      Q5 Maybe
      Q6 Lots

      / end thread

      • PeteG 2.1.1

        15% more? 50% more?
        There may be a large gap between what we might like to do and what we can afford to do. A party may get away with going in to the election with a policy of a 16% increase in the minimum wage – they can just say businesses will pay for that. But if they suggest a similar level of increase for benefits they will get crucified on the costs.

        • felix 2.1.1.1

          Benefits are currently set at 20% less than the basic cost of living, and have been since Ruth’s MoaB.
           
          Your suggesting that benefits should remain below pre ’90s levels (still fuck all btw but enough for basic nutrition etc) is barbaric and inhumane.

          • higherstandard 2.1.1.1.1

            Happy to increase benefits if they are paid by way of a system that ensures they are spent on necessities.

            • felix 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah ‘cos now they’re all being spent on jewellery, shares, and antique furniture.
               
              Just give people enough to live with some sort of dignity ffs.

              • higherstandard

                “Yeah ‘cos now they’re all being spent on jewellery, shares, and antique furniture.”

                No only in very rare cases would this occur, but in some cases benefits are being spent on alcohol and tobacco as well as the lotto this IMO is a poor use of welfare funding.

                Some people budget and spend there benefits very wisely and don’t have enough they should be given more assistance.

                Some people spend their benefits unwisely and would have enough if they spent it correctly.

                Some people don’t need a benefit but it is available so they take it.

                Some people are rorting the system – they can get fucked.

                • Colonial Viper

                  “Some people are rorting the system – they can get fucked.”
                   
                  You mean like rich parents who have organised their tax affairs such that their kids still receive the student allowance at uni?

                • RedLogix

                  @hs
                  Funny how you guys like to bang on about the rights and freedoms of the individual so much… yet when it comes to the miserable sums we give to the poorest, suddenly you’re the experts on how they should spend it.

                  • higherstandard

                    RL any substantive response, or just more stinking up the internet with your drivel ?

                    • RedLogix

                      Yes I’ve got a substantive response… but if you thought about it for a few seconds you’d realise it was bleedingly obvious.
                       
                      I’ll leave it as a trivial exercise for your ‘higher mind’.

                    • William Joyce

                      HS, your argument is that individual responsibility and freedom of choice only exists for those with greater resources. Yet you’re in favour of big brother, nanny-state for people who rely on government funding.

                      Does that mean that they have the right to go to Comelco and tell them how to run their business because they get discount power. That gets my vote!

                      We tell Jackson and Warners how they should make the Hobbit because they have our money? Oh, that would be fun!

                      Let’s get stuck in to Mediaworks and see what they spend their (no – our money) on. Where do they get their underwear from – better be the $2 shop!

                      The government will be allocating 93 million carbon units, to the forestry and industrial sectors, during (CP1). From our money – let’s get in there and tell them how to grow trees. They better not be feeding their kids anything but cereals made from recycled cardboard!

                      Not higher standard – double standard.
                       

                    • higherstandard

                      Billy Joyce and RL

                      My argument is for allocating vote welfare in the most effective way possible, your response is to throw up a heap of nebulous waffle.

                      In the’ case of the cockroach’ which has got everyone hot under the collar my thoughts are that simply throwing money at the family in question is not the correct answer.

                    • RedLogix

                      It’s obvious that your idea of ‘allocating welfare in the most efficient way possible’ involves punitatively micromanaging how the poorest of people spend the miserly monies given them.
                       
                      Yet at the same time you have nothing to say about ‘allocating corporate welfare’ in the most efficient way possible.
                       
                      And as felix clearly explains, you get all anxious about a few millions that inevitably get rorted on the margins of any large welfare system, while blithely ignoring the implications of the far larger sums big business diverts from the public purse into private pockets.
                       
                      Or as WJ put it exactly:
                       
                      Your argument is that individual responsibility and freedom of choice only exists for those with greater resources. Yet you’re in favour of big brother, nanny-state for people who rely on government funding.
                       
                      Blatant double standard. … so unavoidably blatant you have no option but to stick your head up your arse and pretend your argument hasn’t been exposed. You are welcome to your comforting denial; happily the rest of us can see.

                    • William Joyce

                      If your point was that the money we worked to earn and paid to the government be spent with the usual checks and balances, and targeted at resolving this particular case – then we don’t have too much to differ on.
                      It did read like you were trotting out the usual patriarchal, condescending attitude that has all too often been exhibited by the right. “why should we give money to THESE people money because THEY will only spend it on booze and making more babies they can’t afford”.
                      It’s an ugly attitude and anyone who writes such a view will get the shit kicked out of them.

                    • higherstandard

                      RL how is it

                      ‘obvious that my idea of ‘allocating welfare in the most efficient way possible’ involves punitatively micromanaging how the poorest of people spend the miserly monies given them.

                      Did I not say that for those genuinely struggling i supported increased payments ? 

                      Is it punitive to suggest that for some welfare recipients the best use of the payments might not be how they are currently spending it ?

                      OH that’s right I forgot you’re not interested in a reasonably debate you’re only trying to create a meme that suits the objective of making your team look good and the other team look bad

                    • Colonial Viper

                      hs, just because the Government pays a benefit to someone doesn’t mean that the Government can then dictate how that adult uses the funds. How nanny state do we want to be? If you are rich the Govt will stay out of your way but if you are poor you are the ward of the State?
                      Are we setting a level of benefits which will allow people to participate in society or one which will allow people to only live in some limited way which someone else prescribes for them?
                      Now, I am of course disappointed that some few beneficiaries might drink away their DPB and run out of money by the end of the week to feed their children, for instance.
                      Now the question is – do we want to help change that situation (of course), and if so what is the best way to do it (I would say that encouraging and supporting personal responsibility is important, not merely the use of sanctions and limitations).
                       

                    • RedLogix

                      We all know how dysfunctional the poorest of the poor can be. We all know how some of them spend what little money they have in ways that don’t do them any favours. There’s absolutely no news here.
                       
                      But so what.  Just because the money arrived as a benefit, does not strip them of the human right to fuck up like everyone else. You can regret it, you can make an effort to try and change it… but it’s still their right to get it wrong like everybody else does. You can’t strip them of that last basic dignity.

                      And as long as that remains the focus of your remarks… you’ll keep getting the shit kicked out of you.
                       
                      On the other hand, demonstrate some understanding around the root causes of social dysfunction, talk to the corrosive cancer that is inequality and alienation then we’ll be somewhere on the same page… and may be able to stop shouting past each other.

                • felix

                  hs I don’t actually disagree with any of that, but I’d rather focus on making sure that everyone has enough to eat before getting too worried about the relatively small amounts of rorting that happen in any system.
                   
                  The former is a desperately urgent matter, the latter is a minor inconvenience.
                   
                  Also re:- alcohol, gambling etc – these are the refuges of desperate people.

                  • William Joyce

                    Felix – You make a some good points. There will always be rorting of the system and that should not be used as an excuse to squeeze the vice tighter on those who don’t. Like that nut job in Florida  burning the Koran – there is a price to be paid when we develop systems or hold to certain principles.

                    As for the alcohol etc…there used to be a definition of poverty that it was the inability to participate in society. Too many New Zealanders are unable to participate fully in society because they can’t afford to. So they resort to other “comforts” and we should not begrudge them that (except where there are the obvious social evils that can follow).

                    The government insists that high school children attend an away from school activity (I don’t know the name of the scheme) but you are given the choice of week’s camp, skiing etc. The kids are required to attend or they lose privileges – yet there is no state funding for them to attend.

                    Too many parents I know have to chose the cheapest option because that is all they can afford. An inability to participate in society creates a class system in the school and labels the child. Not the NZ I grew up in!

                    Interesting to note: NZ is one of the few western countries where is is legal to own a still and create your own spirits. It became legal in 1996. Guess which party was in power then? – give the masses cheap booze to keep them quiet and compliant?

                  • higherstandard

                    Agreed Felix.

          • RobC 2.1.1.1.2

            Felix, what else would you expect from someone who doesn’t believe living things have a right to life and dignity?

          • PeteG 2.1.1.1.3

            I didn’t suggest that benefits should remain anywhere. You’re misquoting me again.
             
            I’m saying that if you want to raise benefits to raise standards of living you have to be able to pay for that. Where does that money come from?

            • RobC 2.1.1.1.3.1

              Felix, he is correct – at best he implied it but that is arguable.

              Felix, I suggest you realise that our fellow contributor doesn’t actually say a lot and most of his time is spent kite-flying or as I prefer to describe it, pissing in the wind.

              Dear PeteG, to answer your ninth question on this thread, the General Consolidated Fund.

              • PeteG

                RobC, as you are presumably well aware, that doesn’t answer where the money will come from. If Labour tried proposing a 20% increase in benefits costed “from the General Consolidated Fund” they would get crucified, and you should know that. How they might pay for exisitng proposals is already an issue.

              • ianmac

                If employment was available most of the beneficiaries would become self funding.

              • felix

                RobC,
                 
                Point taken re:- Petey not actually stating a position, but seeing as he never does (or at most he states positions but then refuses to stand by them) I’m just going to take his use of phrases like “crucified on the costs” as a firm a statement as I’m likely to get out of him.
                 
                I’m sure he’ll go blue in the face denying that he thinks benefits are high enough already, but he’s also going to spend the rest of the morning implying and hinting just that.
                 
                In short, the day Petey starts answering my straight questions, I’ll start taking his curly ones at face value.
                 
                If until then all I’ve got to go on is his implications, then so be it.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.3.2

              <blockquote> I’m saying that if you want to raise benefits to raise standards of living you have to be able to pay for that. Where does that money come from?</blockquote>

              Reversing the tax cuts for the top tier, introducing a new 49% tax on those earning 5x the median income, and a property tax of 0.5% p.a. on net assets owned above $500K.

              That’s as a first step. Then you have to start investing heavily in added value manufacturing and product development. Also, in affordable quality rental housing.

              Next question?

              • PeteG

                And they would get crucified for vague shit like that too. How much would the benefit changes cost is a sensible starting point.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Hey PeteG you asked how I told you how, next please.

                  “How much would the benefit changes cost is a sensible starting point.”

                  Why should I use your bullshit starting point? My starting point is about delivering value to struggling NZ’ers.

                  • PeteG

                    My starting point is about delivering value to struggling NZ’ers.

                    That’s a weird slogan. Meaningless.

                    See here: http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-04042011/#comment-315922

                    • Armchair Critic

                      Keep in mind that, as far as we know, CV is not responsible for developing policy for the opposition, and may have other things to do all day.  So demanding specifics is a diversion at best, and more likely it’s meaningless.  Also, it makes for dull commentary – I don’t want to read you and CV debating possible percentages to increase benefits.  Yawn.
                      My favourite meaningless slogan is “ambitious for New Zealand”.  That’s gotta take the cake for being devoid of content.

                • William Joyce

                  PeteG – perhaps there needs to be more imagination put into the whole debate than the two big parties and their short-termist thinking allows.
                  Yes, the RWNJs will go ape-shit if the benefits were increased. Yes, we would have trouble finding the money. But in these troubled times there is wisdom in getting a shed load of spendable dollars out there. The Bene’s don’t go buying 7 Series BMWs but lots of items that spreads the money around (and some I know even save – albeit $5 a week into Kiwisaver).
                  This type of thinking scares the shit out of the right because they have only one way of thinking and will foam at the mouth, cut themselves, and sacrifice their children on backyard bonfires than ever admit….
                  1. There is another way of thinking
                  2. That their wrong.
                  Their stupid, empirically refuted, demonstrably damaging ideology has held centre stage for far too long.
                  It’s time to get some central-planning going, taskforces and workgroups that don’t have predetermined outcome, science and research that eventuates in policy, state funding of good ideas even if we fund some bad ones along the way.
                  This government needs to go down. Now!
                   

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.2

          How about this?

          In the early 1990s Treasury calculated what was required to provide basic accommodation and food for a beneficiary and then lopped off 20% as an “incentive”.

          This has not been reviewed since and with recent increases in such staples as bread and milk beneficiaries are really hurting.  

          What  about working out how much is required to have a basic living and setting the benefit levels at that?

          EDIT: Oops just read Felix’s statement which I concur with.

          • PeteG 2.1.1.2.1

            What  about working out how much is required to have a basic living and setting the benefit levels at that?
             
            What about suggesting where that money is going to come from. If you want to suggest “taxing rich people more” provide the figures – ie how is required.
             
            The credit card mentality – spend what you think you need and struggle with the interest burden forever thereafter – is a dumb approach.

            • RobC 2.1.1.2.1.1

              “The credit card mentality … is a dumb approach”

              Hooray – looks like PeteG agrees that going ahead with tax cuts at a time when the Govt was borrowing $300 million a week was a “dumb approach”

            • mickysavage 2.1.1.2.1.2

              Well PeteG you work it out.  How about you come up with the figures and then let us know.

              How about in rough terms there are 300,000 beneficiaries.  If we gave each of them $10 per week extra that would be $156 million a year.  Overall Government spend is in the vicinity of $70 billion per annum.  That increase would be 0.2% of the Government spend.  $10 is probably not enough but is offered just as an example.

              If the top 500,000 taxpayers on  average paid an extra $312 a year or 6 bucks a week that would fund it. 

              Sounds fair to me.  

              Much preferrable to 6 year olds in my country getting by by eating cockroaches.  Or don’t you find that appalling?

              • Colonial Viper

                PeteG: champion for the misunderstood, picked on, descriminated against, richest wealth holders of the country.
                Mate, open me another Bolly.

              • PeteG

                The coackroach story does sound appalling, but we have only been told a part of the story, and it is not certain that it was due to benefits being too low.
                 
                I asked what was thought to be a sufficient increase. If we take it at 20%, Government expenditure for the 2009/10 financial year:
                Social security and welfare: $24.2 billion
                http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/expenditure
                20% on top of that is 4.84b.
                Do your sums again.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I think PeteG is a bad RWNJ
                   
                  I mean, he reckons that to lift benefit payments by 20%, you would also need to lift WINZ staff numbers by 20%, buy 20% more office furniture, use 20% more electricity and add 20% more office space.
                   
                  What an idiot.

                • RobC

                  Not all of the $24.2 billion is spent on “benefits”.

                  You do your sums again

                  (Touche CV – didn’t see yours)

                • PeteG

                  Avoiding the question. So what if it’s “only” $4b, or $3b. Where would that come from on top of the current promises.
                   
                  Is Labour promising to raise benefits? If so by how much?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hahahaha Pete wants us to reveal Labour policy to him exclusively 😀
                     
                    Hey ,ate I think you are the one who needs to do your sums again, coz you are crap at them 😀

                    • PeteG

                      What’s closer to the mark, $4b or $156m? Does MS get a free pass on his naivety?
                       
                      It’s not suprising no one wants to explain where the money would come from.
                      CV, you just want power at any expense, stuff the budget. Stuff the country.
                       

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “stuff the country”
                       
                      You really think that people are going to buy the idea that the poorest, most vulnerable, least influential people in our society are the ones who are going to stuff the country?
                      I guess some might. But even they are waking up my friend.
                       

                  • RobC

                    There you go again PeteG, another bullshit, pissing in the wind question. No wonder they get avoided.

                    Your Q is comparable to:

                    Is National planning to sell assets? If so, which ones and when?

                    • PeteG

                      Who’s pissing in the wind? Saying we must pay “the poor” more without any idea of how that could be managed is pissing in the wind. Those who say we must pay a decent level of welfare with no regard to the cost, where the money will come from and what effect that might have on the economy?
                       
                      Is $3-4b pissing in the wind?
                       
                      Not surprised everyone ducks for cover on that.

                      Ah, assets. What if some of those could be part sold to fund raising some benefits?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Is PeteG still pretending that he can do the sums? Hey PeteG, do the sums again will ya?

                      <blockquote>Saying we must pay “the poor” more without any idea of how that could be managed is pissing in the wind.</blockquote>

                      We’ve already told you how, higher taxation on the top 5% of income earners and wealth holders.

                      Hello, is anyone in there?

                  • PeteG you are a pillock, a heartless spinning pillock.  Fancy not being appalled at the news of a 6 year old eating cockroaches and elderly eating cat food.  And before you shut your eyes and then demand to be shown proof that you will then claim you do not see how about going out into the real world, try South Auckland and see what is actually happening.

                    Talk to Mangere Budgeting Services Trust chief executive Daryl Evans.  Ask him to show you what poverty is doing to ordinary Kiwis.

                    And then say why we can’t at least give beneficiaries $10 per week and justify your sums.

                    No doubt you wil wish to complain to moderation about this comment.

                    The address is wawawawawawaLeftiesAreBeingMeanToMe(at)gmail.com
                     
                     
                     

                  • RobC

                    PeteG, given you seem unable to think for yourself, here let me help you out.

                    MS quoted an approx. number of working-age beneficiaries.

                    A significant part of Social Security and Welfare is spent on superannuation

                    Whether MS deliberately or accidently left out superannuitants, I don’t know.

                    • PeteG

                      Surely MS would not have been such a heartless spinning pillock and left out the cat food eating pensioners.

                    • I did leave out superannuants, not intentionally.  I was trying to move the debate forward and the figures that I used were entirely off the top of my head.
                      Let’s include superannuants.  Again I do not know how many there are but there could be 500,000.
                      $10 per week would be $260,000,000.  Add this to the beneficiary (working age) figure and the total is in the vicinity of $416m.
                      The top 500,000 taxpayers would now have to pay $824 a year or $16 per week.
                      Government spend is closer to $65b to $70b so the proportion of Government spend would be .6%.
                      About a tenth of your estimate PeteG.
                       
                       
                       

                    • PeteG

                      But your proposal is something like a 2-4% increase, my figures were based on 20%. If you want to bump up benefits be a “decent” amount you’ll have to bump up your estimate substantially.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2.1.3

              What about suggesting where that money is going to come from.

              From the people who are taking more than they need.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Initially NZS could be left out from any increase.
                 
                The first thing Labour did when they came in  last time was restore NZS by the $20-00 per week. I’ve said it before and I’ll always say it but the Labour Government should forever hang their heads in shame that they did not put the $20-00 per week back on benefits.
                 
                It wasn’t a cost choice – it was cheaper to do it for benefits
                It wasn’t a necessity choice – NZS rates were already higher
                 
                It was purely a political choice with no moral justification what so ever.
                 
                It’s time to fix that.
                 
                When those cuts were originally made about 40 local businesses went bust in the following six months. Why cause these governments don’t really care about the small local businesses that people on benefit went to.
                 
                The butcher who’d help em out with some cheap cuts and let them buy just a couple of chops and a few sausages cause that’s all they needed and could afford – and they didn’t have a freezer to store meat in so didn’t buy in bulk, who helped the intellectually disabled girl round the corner by giving her a bit of advice on what to buy and how to cook it etc etc etc.
                Didn’t see the rightwhingers bleating then about NZS going up. Selective wankers.

            • Deborah Kean 2.1.1.2.1.4

              “is a dumb approach.”
              Using the word ‘dumb’ to mean stupid, is not just a meaningless Americanism, it’s also insulting to people with disabilities.
              http://englishusagewoman.blogspot.com/dumb

    • millsy 2.2

      <p>Actually I belive that we should chop the UB and replace it with a form of unemployment insurance, if you lose your job, you get 80% of your income until you find another job. People would pay into it like they do with ACC levies, and repiroritsing expenditure from other areas.
      I also think we should move sickness and invalids beneficiaries over to an expanded ACC scheme, with intense treatment and rehabilitation through the health system to ensure independence. It makes no sence that those who are injured in an accident get a softer blow than those who fall ill. The closure of the mental hospitals and the likes of Queen Mary was a the most stupidest thing ever done, and any money saved probably ended up going into the prison and welfare systems (I note that even the SST doesnt belive that mentally ill/disabled people should be in the prison system)
      Thirdly, I think KiwiSaver should be made cumplorsory and people be able to withdraw it for things like car repairs, dental treatment and new bonds for a flat.
      And yes, I think benefits should be increased. I just think the welfare system needs to be given a huge overhaul.</p>

      Also, an innovative way to help people into work would be to assit in the formation of community worker owned co-operatives.

      And Mr Prentice, can you please do something about the validation system. I dont want to end up losing everything I spent hours typing because I forgot to type in the anti spam words.

    • millsy 2.3

      Actually I belive that we should chop the UB and replace it with a form of unemployment insurance, if you lose your job, you get 80% of your income until you find another job. People would pay into it like they do with ACC levies, and repiroritsing expenditure from other areas.
      I also think we should move sickness and invalids beneficiaries over to an expanded ACC scheme, with intense treatment and rehabilitation through the health system to ensure independence. It makes no sence that those who are injured in an accident get a softer blow than those who fall ill. The closure of the mental hospitals and the likes of Queen Mary was a the most stupidest thing ever done, and any money saved probably ended up going into the prison and welfare systems (I note that even the SST doesnt belive that mentally ill/disabled people should be in the prison system)
      Thirdly, I think KiwiSaver should be made cumplorsory and people be able to withdraw it for things like car repairs, dental treatment and new bonds for a flat.
      And yes, I think benefits should be increased. I just think the welfare system needs to be given a huge overhaul.

      Also, an innovative way to help people into work would be to assit in the formation of community worker owned co-operatives.
      And Mr Prentice, can you please do something about the validation system. I dont want to end up losing everything I spent hours typing because I forgot to type in the anti spam words.

      • Marjorie Dawe 2.3.1

        The trouble with social insurance is that again, it promotes a reall imbalance and elitism.  The rich folks can pay more and get more.  The poor folks pay a lot less and get a lot less.  Many of them are unable to manage with 100% of their hard earned incomes let alone try to manage on 80%.

        The only way is to look after everyone because then everyone is able to participate and feel as sense of self worth.  It is only by removing the class system that this will happen.

        Oh and by the way, the rich dont pay a heck of a lot of tax in reality because they have so many ways in which to hide their incomes.  These free loading corporate welfare beneficiaries and bludgers will be the downfall of our economy.

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.2

        Actually I belive that we should chop the UB and replace it with a form of unemployment insurance, if you lose your job, you get 80% of your income until you find another job. People would pay into it like they do with ACC levies, and repiroritsing expenditure from other areas.

        Not so sure that is a good idea. Think of a $100K p.a. manager being made redundant then getting $80K p.a. to live off until finding another job. It’s a recipe for misuse and abuse.
        In the US employers and employees do not pay enough premiums into unemployment insurance funds for them to sustain payouts in the event of an economic downturn. They always have to borrow money form the Federal Govt.
         

  3. No doubt the astroturfers are preparing for another day of feigned indignation over Judith Tizard’s recent statements that she was “bullied” into declining to accept her seat.

    I have said nice things about her which I stand by.  But can I suggest that she is obviously upset and would do well to reflect on what she is saying.

    There is NO evidence of bullying by the party.  Judith suggests that Andrew Little was effectively “shouting” at her by talking to the Herald before talking to her.  Such a claim is preposterous.

    And Goff may have been less than fulsome when he talked to her but it sounds like he adopted a perfectly civilised manner. 

    Obviously Judith is feeling rejected.  But her recent claims lack credibility.  And the movement is bigger than any of its participants. All MPs need to reflect on this.

    The party really now needs to move on and deal with the pressing issues, stuff like why was a 6 year old eating cockroaches to stay alive, why are our elderly eating cat food, why is the Government refusing to listen to us and engaging in conduct that will make climate change worse, why does it want to sell our assets to overseas interests, why won’t it rebuild Christchurch, why is it weakening Employment Law protection …

    • Tiger Mountain 3.1

      Labour gets a pasting from the right because of Judith not returning (or at least the alleged circumstances of her non retun), and would have got an even bigger one if she had!

      There are any number of serious issues to go on the front foot about. Where are the jobs Mr Key? rights at work, cuts to the public service etc etc.

    • Carol 3.2

      And still the MSM keeps on with being critical of these Labour Party issues, and has yet to make much of a comment on the fact that Key had been told well in advance that the SCF was in trouble…. and still went on to give them a guarantee that has cost the tax payer large amouts of money.
      I’m ready to get out on the streets and protest against all that is wrong with Key’s government & leadership, and their MSM lackeys.

    • PeteG 3.3

      If the new party list is not a done deal perhaps this will add some incentive to ensuring those who can give Labour a fresher, younger look to help future rejuvenation are chosen higher up the list.
       
      The five on the list that are being encouraged to stand aside would have been expected to have had a very good chance of making it into Parliament after the next election. Not a good look.

      • Pascal's bookie 3.3.1

        The five on the list that are being encouraged to stand aside would have been expected to have had a very good chance of making it into Parliament after the next election.

        Cite?

      • RobC 3.3.2

        FFS – the five on the list that are being encouraged to stand aside have been encouraged to stand aside because they are not standing at the next election.

        Some friendly advice PeteG, spend more time reading/listening and less time talking/writing

      • The Voice of Reason 3.3.3

        I didn’t think any of them were standing this year, hence the scrolling up to Louisa Wall who actually will be a candidate. Nice try though, Pete, have another crack after you’ve had a coffee or two.

      • lprent 3.3.4

        The five on the list that are being encouraged to stand aside would have been expected to have had a very good chance of making it into Parliament after the next election.

        Idiot. None of them are standing for either the list or an electorate. The electorate selections have mostly been made. The list selection at regional level is complete.

        You do follow politics don’t you?

      • PeteG 3.3.5

        I stuffed that up, I meant to say “after the last election”.

        I hope this year’s list has more candidates on the way up rather than on the way out.

        • RobC 3.3.5.1

          You continue to stuff up. Why their chances of getting elected in 2008 should be a consideration in 2011 is irrelevant.

          • PeteG 3.3.5.1.1

            It’s relevant to the quality of the list – two years ago those five were considered worthy of a place in parliament (by Labour, not by the electorate) and would have been expected to have got in and still be in now – now they are considered past their use-by date.

            Are similar types of list candidates being “encouraged” by Little and Goff to stand aside from this year’s list or accept ungettable list positions to make way for rejuvenation?

            • RobC 3.3.5.1.1.1

              No it’s not. Putting aside politics, if you had six people available for a job, five indicated they were only available for 6 months while the sixth is available for at least 3 years 6 months, in many situations the sixth would be picked even if the first five were better qualified.

              As a taxpayer, I’m actually stoked that someone is replacing Hughes who will be (or have a chance of being) around for a while rather than picking up a fat cheque for 6 months and not much chance to do anything useful.

              It is not a Q of past their use-by-date, it’s a case of for whatever reasons, they are not standing in the 2011 elections.

              Your additional Q is ignored .. another tangential distraction encouraging speculation with no way of being answered, or as I described yesterday “pissing in the wind”

              • PeteG

                I don’t think the lack of quality and depth of the party lists is a distraction, it’s a major problem with all parties.

                • RobC

                  I agree with the first three words of your reply.

                  You keep widening the parameters, I’ll keep bringing you back. This is about the replacement of an MP who has resigned about 7 months before the General Election and the wisdom of allowing those on a party list who have already decided not to stand for election in 2011 to take up their list place.

                  If you want to blow hot-air about “the lack of quality and depth of party lists”, start a new thread.

        • The Voice of Reason 3.3.5.2

          Memo from C/T:HR to Pete George.

          It is with considerably little regret that we advise that we are terminating your 90 day trial with immediate effect. While, as you know, we are not required to give a reason for this decision, in this case we feel your inadequacies are so obvious that there is no point denying that it’s all your fault. Please return your laptop, plastic pen holder and I Luv John pillow case to HQ.

          That is all.

      • ianmac 3.3.6

        I think that none of the next five are on the new list. Wonder at what time does the new list supercede the old?

    • Anne 3.4

      Re Judith Tizard
      I have said nice things about her which I stand by.  But can I suggest that she is obviously upset and would do well to reflect on what she is saying.

      Same here ms. In her criticism of Phil Goff and Andrew Little, she  appears to be thinking less than straight.  That’s understandable given the gamut of emotions she’s been through, but I suspect she is also being influenced by one or two people who think they have a personal axe to grind against Goff and Little.

    • Lanthanide 3.5

      Yeah, I agree with your sentiments. My boyfriend thought the same.
       
      Lynn – good work on the new comment editor! Much appreciated.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Joe,

      You really do come up with some great links. And that one says it for me.

    • LynW 4.2

      Sigh..a profoundly moving article joe90. The immense value of each individual human life. The devastation of grief. While we are not facing this extent of horror in NZ, grief comes in many forms and is affecting NZ’rs more and more as unemployment /or low wages and the ensuing hardships follow. Oh to have the ability to write of these matters with such clarity and impact.

      • LynW 4.2.1

        I should add that’s why I follow this site. Reading others thoughts and viewpoints on current issues is very helpful. Certainly can’t rely on an unbiased press!

    • ianmac 4.3

      The Americans call their own as kindly “sharpshooters.”
      The Americans call the nasty enemy as “snipers.” (Hope that is in context Joe.)

  4. logie97 5

    Just a thought.

    Anyone else wonder what kind of cardigan old Jeff Robinson on RNZ wears?
    And what type of slippers he walks around the office in. Gosh, he asks such pithy questions doesn’t he – really cutting, really investigative.  I expect he will roast those politicians closer to election time…

    Sorry to upset any blue-rinsers who might perchance read The Standard.

    p.s The new text editing feature looks good (and just when I was learning xhtml)

    • Tiger Mountain 5.1

      C’mon Jeff is part of the furniture, he is just not an in your face interviewer but does get the odd good shot in. It must require a lot of patience enduring duplicitous politicans everyday. 

      When it was revealed the NZ Army had been running paid live ammo jaunts for business groups he asked the Defence spokesperson “do you really think it a good idea to have 70 businessmen running around with sub machine guns (archaic term)?”  Intsantly putting the issue in perspective.

      The problem at RNZ is Jeffs new foil should have been an attack dog, not a Jeff junior in the form of Simon Mercep.

    • lprent 5.2

      Thanks. I was getting too many questions about XHTML. This has been a low priority subproject for the last few years, it got a priority boost. Umm just figured out the issue with bullet points. The kses system s removing them

      • joe90 5.2.1

        lprent, trying to work out how to use the new comments system but no luck so can you point me to a tutorial.

        • lprent 5.2.1.1

          Haven’t written one yet.

          But basically you select an area of text (mouse drag with left button down is simpliest).

          To Bold the selected area, press the B button.
          To Italicize the selected area, press the I button.

          To BlockQuote, press the ” button.

          To link using a hypertext press the chain button (and it will pop up a dialog).

          To unlink, click on a link and press the broken chain.

          The bullet list is off at present because I have something in the backend removing them before storage (fixing tonight).

          The eraser just gets rid of formatting.

          It should work on most browsers and turn itself off on browsers it doesn’t know about (I’ll be testing an updated version after I get this one working correctly).

  5. Bob 6

    I think its one of those nice brown cardies with the little leather patches on the elbows and hey come on he does put the slipper in when he can .

    • LynW 6.1

      The pipe..don’t forget the pipe (unlit of course..just there for effect!) and I imagine the slippers are tartan.

      • felix 6.1.1

        On very cold mornings he might sport an aran jumper. In summer, walk shorts and sandals.

  6. millsy 7

    Watched an episode of the BBC David Attenborough doco “Life” with its brilliant camera work and depiction of the daily challenges that the animal kingdon face every day, followed by a thrilling documentary of a Mossad mission to assasinate a Nazi war criminal in South America.

    Public service broadcasting at its finest.

    On Prime.

    Flipping over to TV1, some mundane show about an Australian nurse\’s effort to sleep her way through the hospital she works in….

  7. Tigger 8

    So which piece of Labour ‘muck’ will the MSM orgasm over this week.  Hughes…Parker…  Robertson was profiled in the paper, maybe they’ll decide to do a number on him next.  But surely they want to bash women or Maori next – why not go for Louisa Wall, two for one there, National.

    • Carol 8.1

      Hooton’s just taken a shot at Andrew Little on RNZ – saying he’s over-rated.

      • Tigger 8.1.1

        Oh come on Hooten, that’s hardly in keeping with National’s new ‘let’s dredge up personal crap’ approach!

        • Carol 8.1.1.1

          Hmmm… maybe they’re running out of attack lines.  Hooten was frothing about various things, and claiming if the price of oil was going to stay high, then it’s good reason to mine oil & coal to sell overseas to those who need it, while developing a clean green image at home… and, Ryan called him on calling the oppositon to this nut jobs.

          • ianmac 8.1.1.1.1

            Whenever Hooten and his mates start shouting you know that there is panic in their ranks. Interesting that he thus helps in spotting where they think that they are vulnerable. Perhaps as Sue says, the Labour cause is not yet lost.

          • Deborah Kean 8.1.1.1.2

            Ryan was interesting! Hooten seemed to be going off on a tear, and she seriously reined him in, I don’t remember her ever doing that before, it was brilliant!

      • millsy 8.1.2

        Personally I think the biggest problem that the right have with Andrew Little is that he is a union man, and god forbid that those cloth capped trouble makers get anywhere near power. Might have those peasant workers wanting more money…

      • PeteG 8.1.3

        Little as an MP is so far unproven. First he has to become an MP, that’s likely but not certain. Then he should have to prove himself as both an MP and a party player. I doubt that all other Labour MP’s will be happy for him to race up the part pecking order unchallenged.
         
        Considering him as Labour leader is premature, I think 2013 is the soonest he should be seriously considered, if he has proven his political ability sufficiently by then.

        • Bored 8.1.3.1

          PeteG, you say “Little as an MP is unproven….considering him as Labour leader is premature”.

          Consider this, Jonkey served a term prior to becoming PM, then showed that he could not even deliver to me a cycleway. An itsy bitsy little cycleway. Two tenths of sweet f.a. Not much to ask at all.

          Using that criteria with Key as the measure how could Little possibly fail?

          • ianmac 8.1.3.1.1

            Wonder who are the likely successors should John Key tire of the celebrity limelight? We could analyse the failings of the Nationa MPs especially of unknown backbenchers- like Colin King.
            I think that Mr Brownlie would be well received as PM. He has gravitas  and a bulk of experience. But am afraid English would be a failure from past experience. (My point is how come there is not examination of the other lots’ chances?)

            • Pascal's bookie 8.1.3.1.1.1

              Collins is very ambitious.

            • PeteG 8.1.3.1.1.2

              Interesting question. It does seem likely that Key will continue as leader if National win the election so it’s probably moot, but if they do lose he has said he will go. I don’t see an obvious successor – if they lose and Key resigned there could be a mad scramble for the top spot.

              • Pascal's bookie

                I’d hardly say it’s moot.

                Key’s statements about post election possiblities are pretty bizzare. On the one hand it makes sense for him to leverage off his personal popularity and warn that if National can’t govern, then he won’t stay. His pledge re Winston is from the same mold.

                On the other hand it’s indicative of just how hollow National’s support is. I’ve said before that there is a very strange dynamic in place where Key distances himself from the ideological right within his own party, while at the same time shifting the discourse of the cente in their direction. It’s cleverly done, but it’s a one term trick.

                Whatever happens, win or lose, that dynamic will change and Key will have to choose between his current persona and that of the right faction that he has held at bay while he grooms the electorate. Insofar as his popularity relies on his distance from the ideolougues, that popularity will be at risk. Should it fall, succession comes into play.

                On the Winston pledge, it’s interesting that key thinks a Goff/Winston govt would be better for the country than a Key/Winston one. Or if he doesn’t think that, then the good of the country is not his top priority.

                • PeteG

                  Key has said what he will do if he loses, that’s ok, it’s pretty much stating the obvious (have any PMs hung around after losing?)
                   
                  But I agree, if the Nats win then it will be a whole new ball game for Key – much more competition with the Natfactions wanting their political wishes after waiting out the first term, most likely a less definite and more difficult to manage coalition arangement, and there <i>should</i> be more threat from Labour.
                   
                  Key will have to raise his game significantly, or it won’t be long until we smile and wave him goodbye.

                  • mcflock

                    “Key has said what he will do if he loses, that’s ok, it’s pretty much stating the obvious (have any PMs hung around after losing?)”

                    Another RWNJ apology that has already asked, answered and <a href=”http://thestandard.org.nz/key-to-spit-dummy-if-voters-reject-him/”>discussed </a>before. I’m surprised that you brought it up again. But yes, he has said what he will do if he loses – throw his toys like a little bitch and sulk in a mansion somewhere. Contrary to the practise of his predecessors..

                  • felix

                    have any PMs hung around after losing?
                     
                    No, none.
                     
                    Apart from:
                    Rob Muldoon,
                    Mike Moore,
                    Jenny Shipley,
                    David Lange,
                    Keith Holyoake (twice!),
                    Walter Nash,
                    Jack Marshall,
                    and Peter Fraser.

                    There are plenty more I’m sure, but those are the post-war examples.

                    Is Key going to stand in Helensville again? (What a joke that is btw)

                    If he wins but National don’t form a govt, what do the voters of Helensville do for an MP for the next 3 years while Key fucks off to Hawaii?

                    • Bored

                      Rob was far more fun post his loss to the L monster. I think he used the parliamentary salary to subsidise his greatest triumph in life, compere of the Rocky Horror Show

                    • felix

                      Yeah, no responsibilities + big salary + notoriety = good times.
                       
                      Also I forgot about Bill Rowling (that’s not unusual in itself) who stuck around as opposition leader for SEVEN YEARS after his term as PM.
                       
                      Key must be the softest saddest sack of shit of a PM ever.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.3.2

          I would suggest that being party president is fairly clear evidence of political ability, albeit outside Parliament.

          • PeteG 8.1.3.2.1

            I would suggest it is very different.
             
            Norman Kirk went from president through to PM. Apart from him no one has succeeded at both. Ruth Dyson and Maryan Street are not being promoted as leadership contenders.
             
            Little has to learn to go from Union leader and party president to a new MP at the bottom of the pecking order. He will need to prove adept at humility as well as parliamentary and causcus politics – and if he has ambitions to rise amongst the factions.

            • Colonial Viper 8.1.3.2.1.1

              Apart from one bullet point on their CV’s (lol) why the parallels between Dyson, Street and Little?
              If you are talking about political nous Dyson and Street clearly had Ministerial ability, there’s no reason to assume at this point that Little could not match that.
              It is an open case however, watch this spot.

            • The Voice of Reason 8.1.3.2.1.2

              When the Labour Party list comes out in a month or so, you’ll have a very clear indication of Little’s status in the next caucus. It won’t be at the bottom of the pecking order by any means (a position you’d be very familiar with, Pete) and should the leader’s postion become available, post election, I think you’ll find he would have the support from most MP’s for at the very least a senior leadership position.

              My preference would have been to find a way to get him in now as Hughes’replacement but as he wasn’t on the last list, apparently that can’t happen.

        • Tigger 8.1.3.3

          PG, you really should charge Labour for all this wonderfully useful advice you dish out…

        • Carol 8.1.3.4

          Hooten’s argument wasn’t about inexperience, but that Little only appealed to a small group in Wellington beltway and wouldn’t be popular beyond that.

      • Bored 8.1.4

        Just ask Hooten how Shonkey has got on using all his great financial and management skills in the delivery of a cycleway.

    • todd 8.2

      Reminds me of an abusive relationship.

  8. todd 9

    Never Forget Fukushima

    http://thejackalman.blogspot.com/2011/04/never-forget-fukushima.html

    There is an acknowledgement that unit two has had a meltdown or a core on the floor, however confirmation of this and information as to how much radiation has been released is limited. The environmental impact of the disaster is as yet unknown.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      Yes, I’ve been following developments closely on at least two other sites, theoildrum.com and physicsforum… and while there is a hell of a lot of speculation and unknowns still out there… the overall pattern is chilling.
       
      Every bit of news is a little worse than before, every implication is being played down in the official media, and all the while there is absolute denial of the sheer impotence of TEPCO or anyone else to turn this train wreck around.
       
      Nowhere is there any credible plan to actually contain or decommission these four now destroyed reactors. At least two of them are open to atmosphere, meaning that they have no possibility of ever restoring a contained closed loop cooling system.  A third retains pressure but every expert agrees that sooner or later it too will leak.

      And real uncertainty swirls around the status of the Spent Fuel Pool in #4, full of very hot fuel recently removed from the reactor (and in it’s most dangerous state). The photos I’ve seen suggest that the Fuel Handling Machine is a wreck, lying on top of the pool obscuring visibility and access. Needless to say no-one can go near it.
       
      So they have no choice but to continue pouring in water to prevent the now fully melted cores from heating up again and burning their way out of the remaining steel containment, releasing huge amounts of volatile iodine, and cesium….cesium 137 being the long-term dangerous one. But doing this creates tonnes of heavily contaminated water every day.
       
      Any attempt at repairing the leaks will imply stopping the cooling feed, which will cause more melting. Melting of the fuel also hugely enhances the possibility of localised criticality which has huge implications for the people working on site…. plus releasing even more dangerous isotopes of strontium and ultimately plutonium.
       
      It’s so tempting to play Cassandra with this… but frankly I’ve yet to see any credible narrative about how this will have a happy ending.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        No happy endings here. Once the plant locality becomes too radioactive for workers to stay onsite there will surely be no ongoing repairs or control actions possible. Remaining control of the reactors will quickly be lost, and there will be multiple total meltdowns.
         
         

        • M 9.1.1.1

          Agreed CV.

          Watched ‘On the Beach’ with Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner (what a woman – sassy, risque and a knock out) about fallout after a nuke war in the northern hemisphere and I think oddly prescient if Murphy’s Law wins out. 

      • joe90 9.1.2

        Cryptome flyover pics and the IAEA update log.

        btw, never let a disaster interfere with business

        The billionaire “King of Superfund Sites” wants to open a giant radioactive dump in West Texas…what could go wrong?

        • todd 9.1.2.1

          I can understand why people would bury their heads in the sand about it.

        • uke 9.1.2.2

          Thanks, those cryptome flyover shots give a chilling close-up of this disaster in process. Very high resolution. I have no idea what it is, but the greenish tint to some of the steam-spewing holes in the reactor buildings is pretty scary-looking.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2.2.1

            I have no idea what it is, but the greenish tint to some of the steam-spewing holes in the reactor buildings is pretty scary-looking.

            Looks like paint or something. It’s not the steam and it’s in one building.

            • uke 9.1.2.2.1.1

              Yeah I think you’re right about the paint, re. Reactor 4. Looks like there are green pipes in there behind the steam. But down the steam hole in the close-up of the Reactor 3 looks all green too. Maybe pipes, again. Maybe my imagination. It’s a huge mess anyway.

      • vto 9.1.3

        I recall a coule of days or so after the quake/tsunami/nuclear disaster the head of some European Nuclear Authority body said the words “It is the hands of god”. It a rare day when a leading bureacrat like that uses words like that.

        So what happens with this nuclear fuel? Does it just keep reacting like some gigantic sparkler and melt itself down into the ground to meet up with its maker? (Or is it like Homer Simpson tossing green things around willy-nilly).

        And how on earth could it be contained? What about building two U-shaped steel and concrete wall/buildings, one each side, which can then be slid into place and clamped shut? Or what about actually nuking the place to somehow speed it up?

        I’m sure the world’s best minds are on it.

  9. William Joyce 10

    I’m wondering if anyone else here is thinking that its time we put the whole “succession”, leadership, list debate to bed?
    I have my opinions and have taken my shots but the MSM are acting like a dog with a rag doll in it’s mouth and shaking it from side to side as if doing so gives it life and it will fight back.
    It’s inanimate, lifeless, dead.
     
    anti-spam : wasting

    • Bored 10.1

      I have put it to bed with myself: the decision is that I will criticise Goff where he needs it and I WONT VOTE for him.

      The MSM are a sad and pathetic bunch who never report anything of substance with both eyes open, I put them to bed with a touch of the remote.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      They have to otherwise they’d have to go off and actually do some investigative reporting which would result in an informed citizenry which NACT and their backers, which includes the MSM owners, don’t want.

      • Bored 10.2.1

        Spot on Draco, I gave up reading the mainline news a while ago, I do a sort of filter reading headlines then search for more informed voices. The Arab thing was really interesting, I got good links from Aljazeera, and got onto Arab blogs on the spot. Also read Tariq Ali and a few other commentaries. The Energybulletin was also very informative as it was on the Japanese disasters. On US economics people like the Automaticearth and the Keiser report leave the MSM for dead. Plus there are a heap of alternative radio commentaries out in webville.

        Which raises the interesting question: do we actually need the MSM anymore?

        • M 10.2.1.1

          Like you Bored I usually only see the news by accident and go to the AE and Keiser whose sardonicism I adore.

          Earlier this year Keiser interviewed Karl Deninger about the markets for 2011 and thought people would do well to heed his thoughts. 

  10. Tigger 11

    NBR print version (can’t find it online) decries not being able to name the complainant in the Hughes matter.  Yes, the say they wouldn’t name him but weren’t happy about the name suppression order preventing them from doing so.
     
    Funny how they whine about this but they and other media know who leaked the Hughes matter to the press and no one is naming him – when there is real public interest in knowing this (hint: it came from the Beehive).  And if they don’t know the leaker, they should, I’ve had at least six others tell me who it was.

  11. vto 12

    A wee earthquake nugget…

    The first days after the earthquake I was absolutely certain I could feel the ground moving under our house. I mentioned it in a post soon after I think. It seemed to be moving constantly with many many small shakes and shudders and groans and whistles and beeps and other weird sensings. It could be felt and sensed and heard from our seemingly highly sensitive house. It wasn’t stop start stop start, it was a constant move with rubs and catches being the ‘aftershocks’.

    Well I see in the paper today that a reassessment of the quake by seismologists indicated that the ground hardly stopped shaking in the first hour. There were many many quakes and shakes measured and this seems to correlate with what was being felt below our house. In that first hour I suspect the immense slabs of rock not too far below us cracked and they started to move not in one jolt but as part of a long slow move over a few days. Hence the constant ground movement measured in the first hour and the weird sensations emanating from the devil’s lair below us.

    hmmmm, bery interesting…

    • ianmac 12.1

      Aha VTO. And you thought that the Devil was mythical! Beware of the Hot Stuff that lurks beneath your feet!

      • vto 12.1.1

        Yes and clearly he is PISSED OFF cause he just shook the bejesus out of us again now.

        edit: I tell ya, the number of times he lets loose when talking behind his back. A mate was shaking the table once to show how a shake went and right then whammo the devil shook the table for us. Among others. Always makes everyone laugh nervously….

        • vto 12.1.1.1

          Funny, that one only a 2.9 but felt like a mid 4s. Shook the trees. Weird. edit: oh, he had two goes at us I see now. What a bastard

  12. Bored 13

    Just went onto the Greens site and got this little gem.

    Pre election positioning:

    (ii)   To support any government, we would need significant progress on key Green environmental, economic and social policies such as cutting greenhouse gas emissions, reducing poverty and inequality, cleaning up waterways and retaining public assets for future generations;

    Pretty simple positioning from the Greens, looks to me like what was core Labour policy years back. Who do you trust more to stand and deliver?

    • felix 14.1

      Shock, I am!
       
      Another example of how any numbers released by this govt are pure Billshit (Labour you can have that one)

  13. felix 15

    There is a dead animal on John Key’s head. John why don’t you man up and accept your baldness.
     

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=93209735106

  14. William Joyce 16

    The Great Electricity Reform of the Fifth National Government.
    Last Saturday, as if electricity was not already absurdly over priced, wholesale electricity prices spiked to between $19,000 and $20,000 Mega watts per hour (MWh) where normal prices would be about $100 MWh.
    It remains to be seen if the Electricity Authority will find that there was an Undesirable Trading Situation (UTS), finds that the prices were too high and directs a fair final price.
    This will be the first test of changes made under Brownlee’s tenure.
    I’m not holding my breath and if it goes the way all things go that National touches, it will be a case of mimicing Margot Leadbetter…..”Well, thank you very much, Gerry!”
     

  15. Draco T Bastard 17

    Opinion: Here’s three charts showing how the foreign profit and interest drain has made New Zealanders poorer since 2003

    Essentially, any GDP growth since 2003 has been gobbled up by interest payments and dividends. We are essentially now borrowing to pay the interest on previous debt and the rent on foreign-owned assets. We have passed the point of no return.
    It shows clearly that New Zealanders have been living beyond their means since at least 2003 and probably earlier. It’s clear now that any growth we produce is going offshore to service debts and pay the rent. We are already tenants in our own land.

    And those idiots in government want to sell even more of our assets. I think this proves that they are not working in the interests of NZ.

  16. Don 18

    To be brief. The National Party in govt should move on into the past as they seem to be absorbed by it .
    They havent bothered to tell NZ that the price of a free trade agreement with the states is oil and their job was to make it happen thru the revised foreshore and seabed bill.
    The constant blaming of Labour for what was a global finacial crisis is indicative of the lack of ability by them to grasp the reality that NZ a very vunerable country geographicaly as well as financially.
    Constantly selling us the same old tory line that the rich and powerful by right should bend the masses to the line of the right, which National are in fact, rather than the centre right propaganda they sell us thru their media lackeys.
    Democracy is a farce when the country is run by an international financier.

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