Open mike 04/04/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:35 am, April 4th, 2014 - 249 comments
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249 comments on “Open mike 04/04/2014 ”

  1. geoff 1

    More evidence that the electricity market is a crock of shit and National are clueless wankers:

    A report prepared for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment by the economic consultancy firm, COVEC, shows more people are switching companies, but there’s been no impact on prices.

    • Jim Nald 1.1

      Time for a change!

      Cunliffe’s comments about this earlier in the week were very fair and direct, as reported by karol (thanks!) in her transcript:

      “We have tried and tried and tried to get those damn Max Bradford reforms to work and after 15 years of trying I’m sick of it. And we’re actually going to move in and give consumers a decent deal.”

    • freedom 1.2

      If memory serves, a couple of years ago there was an excellent post here on The Standard that outlined how the current electricity market is set up and explained/translated all the bureau-speak into plain english.

      I have been unable to find it as I have no idea what the title was, and searching shows there have been a huge number of comments discussing the NZ electricity market. If someone has the link, or knows of another article with a plain english run down of the scam, could they post it here, thank you.

      What I do recall is it highlighted how ‘the second highest figure is selected for the wholesale price?’
      Is this accurate? or have I got my wires crossed ?

      • Ron 1.2.1

        Possibly by Geoff Bertram who has presented several talks for Fabians on the electricity market and has suggested alternatives that will work to provide power at reasonable prices to New Zealanders.
        You can see more at Fabians

  2. mickysavage 2

    As was noted last night the latest Roy Morgan poll is out. National is reported to be down 2% to 43.5%, Labour up slightly to 32%, the Greens are on 13% and New Zealand First is 5.5%. Just another poll but the trends are looking good …

    • amirite 2.1

      And it goes largely ignored in the media, tucked in the Herald somewhere where it’s not too noticeable. Meanwhile, the other two polls – Colmar Brunton and Reid Research which usually show National’s majority will be splashed all over the MSM and the usual presstitutes will be creaming over it.
      It’s getting ridiculous, really.

      • tc 2.1.1

        Been ridiculous since early 08 just not as blatant as it appears now.

        Across the ditch the liberals are targetting the ABC as the rest are just like our msm all toeing the neolib line. The ABC have nailed them on their boat people treatment and it pissed them off bigtime.

      • Pete George 2.1.2

        NZ Herald: National down as NZ First gains

        National has fallen two points to 43 per cent in the latest Roy Morgan poll.

        RadioLIVE Newsroom ‏@LIVENewsDesk

        National’s fallen to its lowest level in five months in a new Roy Morgan poll taken in the last two weeks of March – it has National at 43%

        MSN News – National support falls in new poll

        The Roy Morgan poll taken in the last two weeks of March had National … as New Zealand First would be kingmaker with 5.5 per cent support

        • Te Reo Putake

          Thanks for confirming amirite’s point, Pete. Largely ignored, presumably because it doesn’t fit the narrative.

          Also on the subject of the Roy Morgan, they now have this whizzy new feature that shows the trends in a particularly user friendly way:

          • bad12

            Te Reo, that’s quite a good way to publish a poll, two things worth a mention, the confidence rating has dropped 6 points,

            Second, i don’t think Roy has quite come to grips with our MMP system yet, when you consider that Labour/Green/Mana,(along with Internet), are all NOT about to support a National Government then the ‘Trend Line’ would be far more accurate if those parties were included as opposed to the current simple FPP Labour/National one,

            Of course, having said that, ACT(spit),and, the Conservatives would have to be included on Nationals side of the trend line,

            (Someone with more grey matter than what i have could probably knock a trend line like that together)…

            • mickysavage

              Yep that confidence rating is a very good predictor of how the Government is going to fare.

        • Clemgeopin

          Hopefully it will be

          Good bye Key,
          Goodbye Nats,
          Good bye Act,
          Goodbye Dunne,
          Goodbye Banks,
          Goodbye Colin,
          Goodbye Whyte,
          Good bye pro-wealthy policies,


          welcome back to Kiwi values, intelligence, wisdom, patriotism, justice and fairness for all, including the less well off, once again.

          • weka

            Cunliffe and Labour still need to signal more strongly a shift in the caucus towards traditional Labour values and a move away from neoliberal ones. At the moment the impression is still prevarication.

        • Tracey


          national in trouble as support collapses…

        • Jax Taylor

          So glad to see United Future’s Represenative so onto it but Pete can you ask the other Pete to give his mates a BIG NUDGE on this?

          Where’s National’s ‘corporate welfare’ reform?
          4 April 2014

          “As an Independent candidate for Epsom, back in November 2011, Penny Bright asked “Where’s National’s ‘corporate welfare’ reform?” as an anti-corruption / anti-privatisation campaigner.

          “How much public money at local and central government level, is being spent on private sector consultants and contractors, providing services for private profit, that used to be provided ‘in house’ under the public service model?”

          “Where is the ‘cost-benefit’ analysis which proves that the old Rogernomics mantra – ‘public is bad – private is good’, is actually more ‘cost-effective’ for the public majority of citizens, ratepayers and taxpayers?”

          “How many people know that in 2011, extensive research carried out by the USA Project on Government Oversight, showed that ‘contracting-out’ was actually twice as expensive as in-house service provision?”

          “It’s now 2014. Anyone else asking how many billion$ of public monies could be freed up for the needy poor on social welfare, if they weren’t being wasted on ‘corporate welfare’ for the undeserving rich?”

          Seems like a very pertinent set of questions to be asking right now in light of the furore over ‘jetsetting’ welfare beneficiaries and the dogwhistle on that one so 2011 almost made my ears metaphorically bleed..

          • Pete George

            That’s got nothing to do with me, I have nothing to do with UF. You could try asking him or them if that’s what you want.

      • ianmac 2.1.3

        As expected Audrey’s item on the Roy Morgan Poll has slipped down the page online this morning to be last cab on the rank of news items. By mid morning it will be gone. The Herald does not like contrary ideas.

        • bad12

          A Fruedian Slip by Roy’s computer???, if you scroll down the Morgan poll in Te Reo’s link above to: NZ voter intention since last NZ election the Green Party % of the vote is to say the least ‘interesting’,

          This could be read as either 13.8% or 15.8%, either way a ”what’s going on here then” appears in my mind…

      • swordfish 2.1.4

        Most of our leading political journalists have got the latest round of polls hopelessly wrong. I’m so irritated by this that I’ve been thinking of writing a Guest Post here on The Standard, showing just how misleading their analyses over the last couple of weeks have been.

        But now I’m thinking I might set up my own blog (for a more detailed analysis of media poll coverage) and link to it here. It’ll also give me a chance to set out my detailed analysis of the way support for the Right Bloc as a whole has been consistently over-stated (month after month) in the 18 months leading up to both the 2008 and 2011 elections. I’ve already put some stats on National’s exaggerated poll support here on an Open Mike a few weeks ago, but now I want to broaden the analysis out a bit more and say something about where I think the two Blocs are at the moment. My own blog will give me the room to do it without clogging up Open Mike with long comments.

        Gavin White’s comments have been very interesting, but they’re based entirely on analysis of just the final round of polls conducted before each of the last 5 elections. I want to go a lot further than that.

    • lurgee 2.2

      I see a very flat line over almost every time scale.

      Labour + Greens just about beating National, with Winston as the massive question mark.

      Been that way for ages, and very little evidence of any change to the trend.

      While it is possible, I think too many on the left are placing too much faith in the idea of a Labour-Green match up. the Greens will be very sceptical about allying with a party that finished a distant second. the coalition would be viewed – fairly or unfairly – as an illegitimate construct of losers, and every time something even slightly rubbish happened, voters would look at the Greens and think, “Scumbags. Why didn’t you put the other lot in? Fings were better under National.”

      • geoff 2.2.1

        Fortunately the Greens aren’t as uncompromising as you, lurgee. From Russel Norman’s recent interview on the Nation he seemed quite happy with the prospect of a coalition with Labour & Co.

        I suppose it’s because he wants the Greens to help kiwis however way they can instead of pissing and moaning like you about how inevitable it is that National will govern.

        • Mainlander

          Theres is your real problem Geoff vote Labour get Norman & co most normal kiwis dont want a bar of that lunitic fringe & their anti-progress ideals

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Nah, I think most “normal” Kiwis would reject the notion that you speak for them or represent anyone other than the people who feed you your lines and dupe you into voting against your own interests.

            • Mainlander

              Yeah Nah I dont speak for anyone but myself, but unlike you i listen to mainstrean NZ and we dont get fed lines or duped, that of course wont suit your myopic view that the majority of NZs are to stupid to think for themselves

              • framu

                theres that “we” again

                im guessing by your “anti progress” meme you havent read a single green policy

                speak for yourself – stop speaking for me – thats what your doing when you use the word “we”

                oddly enough your comments ARE lines which show you have indeed been duped

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                No, Mainlander, I’m not saying anything about “the majority of NZs(sic)”, I simply pointing out that you have less than no clue what Green policies are, and that that is a symptom of your stupidity and gullibility.

                Cowards like you always hide behind the moronic conceit that everyone thinks like you do. We don’t.

                • Mainlander

                  Ahhh your usual juvinile reply Coward Stupid Gullible No Clue Havnt read this or that blah blah and there you are with the WE again speak for yourself please , always attacking the person thats your only skill on here eh just curious if you wake up with as much hatred as you show on here or do you build up to it as the day progresses

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Oh noes, your facile lies met with a strong response. Diddums, asshole.

                    • Mainlander

                      You are right bad12 did have a good strong response you on the other hand just cry like a baby, throw ya toys a bit more sookie bub

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Sure. Cite an example of an “anti-progress ideal” by reference to actual Green policy.

          • bad12

            I am sure tho that given the choice between Colon Craig’s Conservatives and the Green Party most of us would opt for???,

            For most of US please do not include National’s 40 odd percent of the vote…

            • Mainlander

              Given a choice bad12 i would happily ship both Craig & the Greens off to a small island to play their idiotic little games in their own idea of whatever they consider utopia

              • bad12

                Given a choice Mainlander, considering your expressed opinions, it would probably be far more cost effective and less damaging in terms of carbon emissions to just ‘ship you off to a small island’…

                • Mainlander

                  Now thats a witty response bad12 i half expected to get your usual f… off etc must be a Friday thing, anyway like you say its just my opinion you have yours im sure we can live with that.
                  Note Framu i said “my” wouldnt want to get your frilly knickers in a twist again would we

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Except that it isn’t “your” opinion. It’s been spoonfed to you and now here you are dribbling it all over your chin.

                    • Mainlander

                      And here you are again making up shit yet again with your usual eloquent turn of phrase now you are telling me what my opinion is and how i come by it what a pillock

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yeah, it’s a complete coincidence that your vague criticism of Green party policy exactly matches the vague criticism other wingnuts deliver ad nauseam like a cretinous Borg. Not only that, when challenged, you fail, like a recidivist failure, to come up with a single illustrative example.

                      After all, the Greens aren’t like the National Party, they clearly state their policies on their website. It wouldn’t be difficult for you to find one and cite it, or then again, yeah actually I think it would be too hard for you.

                  • bad12

                    Tsk tsk Mainlander, my usual f–off response???, pray tell me in the last week how many of these responses have i made, last month, last year???

                    i think you are over-inflating my use of such terminology…

              • Tracey

                except the greens support is close to 10% of the population. colin craig is not in parliament. the comparisson is misguided in that respect.

          • Murray Olsen

            In fact, a majority of Kiwis like Green policies when these are presented to them as ideas, without being identified with the Green party. This shows what a great job the spin merchants have done to paint the Greens as nutters, and how divorced their spin is from reality.

        • Tracey

          idiot. how many kiwis wanted acr or dunne? far less than wanted greens.

      • bad12 2.2.2

        Yes lurgee, that sounds like a good ‘wing-nuts’ view of what they would say about a Labour/Green Government,

        Most Green voter tho have, what for ‘wing-nuts’ probably looks like an aliens ability, to apply rational thought to what’s happening in the political world and whether or not it is their Party responsible for this…

        • lurgee

          Ah, so the personal abuse and branding starts.

          Look, it is simple. Of course Norman is going to talk up an alliance with Labour. It is the only way his party are going to get into power any time soon.

          But that’s now. Post election, once the numbers are in, it may all become a bit trickier. the Greens may find the prospect of some sort of maladjusted coalition unacceptable and refuse to be part of it, rather than risk the future of their brand.

          Labour + Greens is probably a go-er.

          Labour + Greens + Winston looks a lot more dubious.

      • weka 2.2.3

        Lurgee, for a leftie you some some daft things at times, but this has to be one of the daftest.

        the Greens will be very sceptical about allying with a party that finished a distant second. the coalition would be viewed – fairly or unfairly – as an illegitimate construct of losers, and every time something even slightly rubbish happened, voters would look at the Greens and think, “Scumbags. Why didn’t you put the other lot in? Fings were better under National.”

        it’s MMP. Of course the two parties are each going to have a lot less votes than National. Some of us consider this to be more democratic, because a coalition is more representative.
        In order for the GP to grow, they mostly need to take over the role of the main NZ leftwing party. Labour having less party vote over time is a plus for the GP so long as their own party vote increases. Myself, I hope Labout goes after the non-vote at this election, but if they don’t make a stand on moving away from neoliberalism, I hope they only just get enough votes for form govt.
        The GP will never go into coalition with National. What the fuck are you on about? If the GP went into coalition with National at this election, most of its membership would walk. The GP don’t have a responsibility to people that will never vote for them. They have a responsibility to their own constituents, and to the wellbeing of NZ. They know exactly what they are doing, and people after the election who complain about the GP being a leftwing party… well there is nothing that can be done about them other than for the GP to continue to operate with as much professionalism and integrity as the system allows. They’re still streets ahead of Labour and National on that score.
        I think you are just putting out this daft stuff because you want some kind of failure on the left. Not quite sure why.

        • geoff

          Well said, weka.

        • Tiresias

          “Some of us consider this to be more democratic, because a coalition is more representative.”

          Um, yes. But isn’t the problem here history’s lesson that all to often – if not invariably – the junior party in any coalition a) betrays most of those who voted for it to be a ‘check and balance’ in the major party and b) destroys itself in the process.

          For example, just consider Peters and NZF going with National in 1996, the Maori Party going with National in 2008 (in both cases I would suggest that the majority of their supporters at those elections felt ‘betrayed’ by the decision), and the Lib Dems going with the Tories in the UK in 2010.

          As a result I suggest many voters now are far more cautious of voting for smaller parties which might even represent their views better, and instead are turning back to what they see as the least-worst of the major parties.

          Far better than going into coalition, and thereby selling its soul for a ministerial position, I would prefer the Greens if they held the ‘balance of power’ this year to enter into a confidence-and-supply agreement with Labour so as to be able to fight their corner even against Labour.

          • weka

            I think that is a comment on Winston Peters. Part of his legacy is that it should be remembered that he buggered MMP early on. We still haven’t recovered from that.

            I was surprised at the time about the Mp going with National, but I hadn’t been paying much attention to Māori politics. I don’t know to what extent the Mp constituency felt betrayed (as opposed to the NZF voters, who were obviously betrayed and pissed about it).

            “Far better than going into coalition, and thereby selling its soul for a ministerial position, I would prefer the Greens if they held the ‘balance of power’ this year to enter into a confidence-and-supply agreement with Labour so as to be able to fight their corner even against Labour.”

            Are you a GP list voter?

            What makes you think the GP will ‘sell its soul’ for ministerial positions? Why is it not possible for them to negotiate with integrity for ministerial positions?

            • Tiresias

              I’m not a betting man but I’d consider it a safe bet that if the Greens went into a coalition Government with Labour you would see being formed before the end of that first Parliament a New Greens or a Deep Greens party comprised of the disillusioned while the Greens themselves struggle to reach 5% in the Polls.

              I don’t doubt Nick Clegg negotiated with integrity with the Tories in 2010 – and we’ve since witnessed the Lib Dems wholesale sell-out of their ‘principled’ position on tuition fees, their immediate u-turn on VAT, their support for the millionaire’s tax cut, their voting through the bedroom tax and their rubber-stamping of the break-up and commercialisation of the NHS. Now, because of that, Nick Clegg is massively losing TV debates with the odious right-winger Nigel Farage not, I suspect, because folk support Farage but because they see the opportunity to vent their frustrations with Clegg by kicking him in the cojones.

              Asking me to choose between National and Labour is like asking me to choose between the Anglican and Catholic Churches when I don’t go to church at all. The idea of the Greens actually getting power frightens me silly as what it would now take to really save the earth from environmental disaster and the inevitable humanitarian crisis would undoubtably impoverish me. However the alternative frightens me even more though I am consoled by the likelyhood that I’ll be dead before it happens.

              • weka

                “I don’t doubt Nick Clegg negotiated with integrity with the Tories in 2010”

                Really? Because you then go on to describe how they didn’t act with integrity.

                As far as I can tell the reason that people think the GP will be wrecked by being in govt are basing their opinion on what other, quite different parties have done. Or like you they are scared of the GP being in govt.

                I just don’t see the evidence for it within the GP itself. I’m prepared to be disappointed of course. But I’m also willing to support the GP to do their best.

                “I’m not a betting man but I’d consider it a safe bet that if the Greens went into a coalition Government with Labour you would see being formed before the end of that first Parliament a New Greens or a Deep Greens party comprised of the disillusioned while the Greens themselves struggle to reach 5% in the Polls.”

                That fails to take into account how successful the GP and many other people and organisations have been in shifting the importance that NZ places on the environment (and I think this election will establish the GP once and for all as a social justice party too). And the debate around AGW is going to shift dramatically within the next 3 years. There is nothing wrong with the GP becoming mainstream and this opening up something on the left for more radical greenies. But the scenario you describe would require the GP to give up its principles for the baubles of office and I can’t see that happening in the first term.

        • Tracey

          the winner of our election is the party or parties which can form a govt. the party with the most votes isnt a winner unless they can form a govt. its simple yet national still try to spin it.

          all those years the right didnt consider a winner was the party with the most votes…

      • Tracey 2.2.4

        im very sceptical that the grens would allow ket to govern again, if they can prevent it.

    • bad12 2.3

      National 41% by the election???, i would suggest in large pockets of the country they are polling just that, it’s not a given that we are gong to be rid of this motley crew befor Paula grows a third one, chin that is,,but, the feeling is there,

      Dare i suggest, again, that one policy i believe Labour should drop which i believe would give it a poll boost of 2–5%,

      Nah, there’s plenty of time yet, and why spoil the smile brought on by the Morgan Poll…

      • Jim Nald 2.3.1

        That one policy Labour should drop is the elephant in the room that is keeping many voters out of the room.

        But wait, there is more – John Key and compliant media have yet to nail that one in Cunliffe’s and the Labour caucus’ Achilles heel.

        • bad12

          The only reason i can think of for adhering to that ‘policy’,(the only other political party supporting it being ACT,spit), is that it gives NZFirst oxygen and my devious little mind suggests to me that its supporters in Labour pine for a cozy little arrangement with Winston as Helen Clark’s Government had…

          • Jim Nald

            If so, and big if, the messaging and positioning has been utterly poor.

            It would seem, more realistically, many in the Labour caucus, and a particular MP who appears to have a neural disconnect between the auditory cortex and the rest of the policy brain, have been entrenched in pushing forward with this policy loser.

            Tennyson comes to mind, and with some editorial liberty …

            Less than half a year, half a year,
            Half a year onward,
            Into the valley of political Death
            Rode the Caucus.
            “Forward, the Labour Brigade!
            “Charge for That Policy!” they said:
            Into the valley of political Death
            Rode the Caucus.

            “Forward, the Labour Brigade!”
            Was there an MP dismay’d?
            Not tho’ the Membership knew
            Someone had blunder’d:
            Theirs not to make reply,
            Theirs not to reason why,
            Theirs but to do and die:
            Into the valley of political Death
            Rode the Caucus with the Membership in tow.

            • Jim Nald

              typo. should read …

              If so, and big if, the messaging and positioning have been utterly poor.

        • Anne

          That one policy Labour should drop is the elephant in the room that is keeping many voters out of the room.

          The Nats are keeping that one for the campaign proper. You watch. They will be hammering it home at every public meeting, every media interview, it will appear in full page ads. in every newspaper:




          • Colonial Viper

            And BAM! An instant 2.5% free hit on Labour’s numbers, enough to tilt the entire election to National.

            • weka

              So how does that work internally within Labour? The decision was made at conference to let caucus decide, so the members have no input now? Or can the membership be lobbying internally to get that changed?

          • Jim Nald

            “making hard-working Kiwis work longer so a Labour government can spend more of their hard-earned taxes”


            ….. in relation to …..


            Natz have already started. They will test and plant a few more lines in the run-up to a harder hitting campaign.

            Meanwhile, the Labour Caucus keeps steadfast, and staunchly and stoically soldiers on.

          • Murray Olsen

            Why can’t Labour see that raising the age could lose them the election? In my opinion, it’s the most damaging policy they could possibly come up with. It goes dead against what should be their core constituency. People who do any sort of physical work, even if it’s mixed with office stuff, can be totally buggered and sick of it by 65. Professional people or parasites like real estate agents might see each day at work as a fresh challenge or an opportunity to scam a few more bucks. Workers don’t. Beneficiaries don’t. While a lot of the core Tory supporters might well keep doing what they call work well past their 70th birthday, Labour’s people want and need a rest.

            This one policy more than any other makes me ask how many in caucus actually want to lose the election. The dead wood have already shown they don’t want to help make a better society. They just want the perks of office and are prepared to accept the lesser perks of opposition. Bugger them. They should fuck off to ACT where they can at least be more honest about their ideas.

      • Wacthing 2.3.2

        Bad12 – why did you write this

        befor Paula grows a third one, chin that is

        Regardless of how you feeling about her political values you lose the argument when as a middle age white male your approach to convey a point is to attack a woman by their appearance.You can call this a Rachael Smalley comment – how you really feel not the public control words.

        If you believed in being consistent and fair then its reasonable to make similar comments on the woman MPs from Labour, Green or Mana and I cannot see you doing that!

        I am sure your response will be to attack me as somewhat thick but its you that has make a public statement on Paula’s weight.

        There are times when you write some good sh… but if this your approach to dismiss a middle age woman by her appearance then …….

        • bad12

          Yes you have obviously ‘got me’ there, i am neither reasonable nor fair when it comes to discussing politicians of the right or their supporters this may have something to do with the policies and politics put forward by ‘the right’ being neither reasonable nor fair,

          To be sure tho, next time i spot a politician of the left in danger of sprouting a ‘third chin’ you will be the first i tell,

          Is it a ‘medical condition’ perhaps, some would say that Paula is an extremely bad roll model when displayed to the public as ‘a leader’ and a personal observation would have me suggesting that what looks glaringly like ‘morbid obesity’ has every possibility of Paula might be at high risk of both Diabetes related health complications or Heart Disease,

          An unkind person of course might come to the conclusion that Paula just spends far to much time gorging Herself at the trough…

          Ps, a regular line of ‘attack’ by the ‘wing-nuts’ starts with ”you probably think”, going on to chastise a person using such a false proposition, unfortunately i can confirm in this instance that your proposition isn’t false…

          • Disraeli Gladstone

            You don’t have to be reasonable and fair. You’re not a journalist.

            There’s something ugly about male commenters attacking a female politician on her appearance, though. Indeed, really, attacking any politician for their appearance is quite silly considering it’s not relevant. However, considering the historical baggage and still prevailing macho-tendencies of politics, attacking a female politician for her physical appearance and weight is just wrong, plain and simple.

            Attack Bennett for being a hypocrite. For tearing down the ladders that she herself used to climb up. For implementing damaging policies. For being vicious in leaking private information to score political points. For being disrespectful to other politicians.

            Don’t attack her on her appearances. We’ve got enough legitimate, justifiable forms of attack.

            • weka

              From what I can tell, fatphobia is acceptable on ts (and the left in general) because the theory is that if a politician (or whoever) is doing bad things, then they lose the right to not have prejudicial attacks aimed at them. The problem with that, is that fatphobia affects all people, not just Paula Bennett. That the left considers use of fatphobia as a valid political weapon demonstrates a failure to grasp how bigotry actually works, and signals that the left is in fact ok with people being judged and put down because of how their body looks. That’s any person. You can’t say fatphobia is ok against Bennett, but not left wing people.

              It’s a bit personal for me, because I’ve seen exactly that same argument used by the left to denigrate sickness beneficiaries. As the recipient of such denigration from right wing people, some of which has had serious impacts on my health and life, I think it’s a self-serving and incredibly ignorant tactic – not least because when I’ve explained the quid pro quo dynamic, the left wing people defend their actions ie the politics of ill people are unimportant. We have a long way to go still.

            • bad12

              Amusing, which attack was this, i simply mention that Paula appears to be in danger of growing a third chin,

              She obviously has two of them now so a third one is far from an impossibility, from there you can make any inference that you like, the point being that will be your inference not mine,

              When the ‘Rules’ of the site prohibit the mentioning of any particular aspect of any politicians look,shape,or size on any given day about then i will comply,

              Other than that, i will ignore your list of ‘dont’s’…

              • weka

                you carry on with your fatphobia and we will carry on commenting on it 🙂

                • bad12

                  Fatphobia weka, Ha–Ha–Ha, if i were posting negative comments on Paula’s slimness i would have just said she is fat,fat,fat,

                  Double and triple chins do not necessarily appear because of a persons weight, many people of a far slimmer stature than Paula have developed double chins,

                  Gravity does it…

                  • weka

                    Don’t believe you bad, that you weren’t commenting on fatness, having read your other comments in this discussion.

          • weka

            “An unkind person of course might come to the conclusion that Paula just spends far to much time gorging Herself at the trough…”

            An ignorant and bigoted person of course might come to the conclusion that Paula just spends far to much time gorging Herself at the trough…

            fify. This isn’t about kindness/meanness.

          • logie97

            Now if I was passing through this site for the first time, having recently heard of it as heralding the left philosophy, I would have thought I was still in the sewer.

            A commenter has used an interesting choice of words, another has taken exception, and then there has been a whole load of “off message” comment. The original point appears to have been hidden with irrelevance.

        • vto

          wacthing, what has “white” got to do with bad’s abuse?
          what has “middle age” got to do with bad’s abuse?
          what has “male” got to do with bad’s abuse?

          Is it different if the abuse comes from someone is not white, not middle aged, and not male?

          you make the same mistake as mr bad you egg.

          • weka

            white middle aged men hold the patent on sexism. I know you think that prejudice is an individual thing, but it’s not. It’s about balances of power and societal context.

            • vto

              excuse my language weka, but bullshit.

              I guess you are applying the same definition logic that some apply to racism. i.e. it is about power imbalance etc. Unfortunately accepted scholarly definitions do not support that.

              “Prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex:” (I note no reference to age in there by the by… so that is just a bit of easy bigotry on wacthin’s part)

              Or, if you are right or partly right, then we need two definitions. One for structural prejudices, and one for daily personal prejudices, because people mix these mixed muddled ideas and definitions up all the time and all it does is result in confusion and wasted arguing.

              But what you state there weka does not answer wacthing’s racist and sexist mind-numbing assumptions about mr bad. As I said – as bad as bad’s chin comment. Perhaps if I repeat the question ….

              … Is it different if the abuse about Bennet’s person comes from someone who is not white, not middle aged, and not male? Is it different weka?

              • weka

                Yes, there is more than one kind of sexism (racism etc). More than two kinds as well.

                I don’t see the problem with naming bad12 as white, middle aged male (he is, right?). Unless you think that there is something wrong with being white/middle aged/male.

                Watching’s original comment –

                “Regardless of how you feeling about her political values you lose the argument when as a middle age white male your approach to convey a point is to attack a woman by their appearance.”

                I took that to mean that because middle aged white men hold the patent on sexism, it behooves those men on the left especially to not continue to promote sexism by their comments. That’s not an abuse of bad. That’s a comment on his behaviour. I’m curious as to how you see that as being abuse.

                Myself, I think attacking anyone on their appearance is stupid, but it’s even worse when you do so to groups that are already undermined regularly in society. Although in this case, I think pulling bad up on the fatphobia alone was probably enough.

                • vto

                  hmmmmmm, I will have to think think think some more on what you took from it ……

                  What I took from it is that wacthing distinguished the comment on the basis of the commenters gender, age and race, rather than the actual comment itself. And that somehow those features of the commenter determine the quality of the comment. To the definition I refer most often to (the individual one, not the societal one) this is a form of sexism, ageism and racism. That bigotry then gets further exacerbated by the implicit support for that sexism, ageism and racism that follows.

                  Really, I think it comes down to misunderstandings around the various forms and definitions of sexism, ageism and racism, as mentioned. i.e. societal vs individual for example.

                  Another recent example of this was Eleanor Catton’s criticism of her critics on the basis that they were (same again) white males over 45. To me the substance of the critics statements are what counts, not whether they are white, males or over 45 years. Hopefully you can see how Eleanor, as an example, comes across as just a young white girl…. oops, I mean ….. sexist, ageist and racist.

                  • Disraeli Gladstone

                    The thing is, those critics didn’t actually have anything worthwhile to say. Most of their time was spent talking about her age and gender.

                    I usually cringe when writers attack critics, but I actually felt Miss Catton was right there.

                    So not the best example.

                    • vto

                      Then Catton should have said that they had nothing worthwhile to say and question why her age and gender was of any import.

                      Having nothing to say and commenting on the age and gender of a young woman can be done by anyone. The fact she related it to the critics own age, gender, and race is the point I am trying to get to the bottom of. Why did she do it? And why does it matter, their age, gender and race? Especially given she has just reacted against being categorised by age and gender herself?

                    • Disraeli Gladstone

                      Because it speaks to a very real sexism issue in the publishing industry.

                      The people who say that we should be gender blind are the people who do not suffer from gender discrimination.

                      You’re not seeing your own privilege.

                    • vto

                      yes no I have never suffered gender or any other discrimination. you’re onto it. oh, and no answer to the immediate point I see, or was that where you see sexism to fight sexism as a worthy tool?

                    • Disraeli Gladstone

                      Quite simply, I don’t regard what Miss Catton did as “sexism”. There was a relevancy to the gender of her critics in the wider issue of gender and the publishing industry.

                      So your initial assumption that it was sexist is wrong anyway.

                    • vto

                      So where was that relevancy exactly? .. this being the point after all

                    • weka

                      How about you share your experiences of sexism directed at you vto? I’m curious as to how you perceive that.

                    • vto

                      Mr Gladstone, if you are around I wouldn’t mind getting to the bottom of this …. Where was this relevancy you refer to?

                      I think there was no relevancy and Catton fell into the very human trap (she is young after all) of biting back unthinkingly and exhibiting her own form of bigotry (here sexism), in trying to fight a sexism herself (if it is as you suggest).

                      Or maybe there is a grand and elaborate pinhead dance about to be performed…

                      Where was this relevancy Mr Gladstone?

                    • Disraeli Gladstone

                      The publishing industry is still very male-dominated. Especially in certain genres. Sci-fi writers are predominantly male and the books are pitched to male despite the fact that there’s evidence there is a strong female market share and female writers (Ann Leckie for instance). The same is true of the sort of frontier-crime novel that Miss Catton wrote.

                      The critics made repeated allusions to her age and gender as if her age and gender made her ill-equipped to write this book.

                      What this does is firstly reinforce within the industry itself that women don’t read or write these types of book. Secondly, perhaps even worst, a young girl may read this critic and see these men go “women can’t write [this genre], they don’t appeal to male readers, young people can’t write about [this issue], they just don’t know what they’re talking about” and lose their drive to write.

                      Hence it’s a vicious cycle. Women don’t write in these genres because male critics and male publishers tell them they can’t write in these genres. Women readers are ignored by male critics and male publishers because they’re told they don’t read these genres.

                      Therefore, the fact that Miss Catton [a young woman] was attacked by critics [predominantly male and middle-aged] is relevant because it’s essentially a few out-dated voices who are established by their privilege alone sending messages which are false to readers and publishers.

                      Furthermore, the vast amount of critics adored the Luminaries. Which further highlighted the fact that the critics’ attack probably came from their dislike that a young woman was owning a genre that they regarded wasn’t for her.

                      But I’m not going to hand hold you through the intricacies of the publishing industry and basic feminist/privilege theory. If you can’t see where the relevancy is coming from, then I really can’t help you and I suggest you do some more reading on the subject.

                    • vto

                      Thanks Disraeli, I expected you would come up with something along those lines about the publishing industry.

                      Unfortunately though you didn’t answer the question. The relevance of the critics own gender and age to Catton’s retort is only intimated. Do you mean, most critics are old white men therefore what they say reflects old white men views? Does Catton mean old white men have had their time and that because they are old white men their critiques are less worthy?

                      Or was she just having a dig at their age, race and gender because they had a dig at her age and gender? You have shown nothing to dispel this view and in fact you appear to support this, without having the courage to say it.

                      The fact that the publishing industry is full of old white men does not permit people to judge them on the basis of being old white and male. This kind of behaviour is at the very heart of discrimination. But it is common – another such sector is the teaching sector – dominated by a certain type of female – imagine the uproar if this was highlighted in similar manner and circumstance (John Tamihere mutterings and responses anyone?).

                      You seem to be saying Disraeli that it is ok to reference the critics age race and gender because the critics are all of a certain age race and gender. Well, good luck going down that slippery slope – see you in a pile at the bottom…

                      The fact you have carefully ignored this and talked all the way around it was kind of expected. Like your second comment above where you simply threw a bland cover-all witty one-liner “those who cry gender-free have not experienced gender discrimination” as if such big round statements can in fact cover all.

                      Your obvious creativity and experience with the written word has not pulled you out of the hole here, imo, but I too wont be wasting anymore time on this – self-justification is a sight to behold…….

                      Catton was outright sexist, ageist and racist. The fact her victims may have done the same is no defence.

                    • Disraeli Gladstone


                      You’ve completely ignored the implications of what I’ve said.

                      I sincerely suggest you read up on these issues.

                    • vto

                      And I would suggest some clear-headed thinking on dismissing someone’s work on the basis of their gender and age.

                • karol

                  I didn’t think bad was white – he has written many times of his Iwi connections.

                  • weka

                    I thought his inlaws were Māori. I’m happy to be corrected on that, and as I said I think the fatphobia was enough of an issue to comment on. My responses to vto are more about vto’s ideas about sexism than about bad.

                  • bad12

                    i will try and not introduce the rac ummm ism into the conversation, the commenter is partially right, i choose not to be judged in an anonymous forum on the element of race preferring instead to have my comments judged upon merit, or lack of any…

            • Colonial Viper

              white middle aged men hold the patent on sexism.

              That’s an oddly ethno-centric view isn’t it weka? Many of the most sexist cultures in the world are not “white”, and the median white middle aged man in most anglo-saxon countries has seen their job security, income and societal status get trashed over the last 30 years as the very non-white manufacturing and industrial powers China and India gain traction.

              • weka

                Not sure how that’s relevant here CV. We’re talking about a NZ context, not a global one.

                That white middle aged men hold the patent on sexism doesn’t preclude their own oppressions.

                Also, I’m not willing to play the game of pitting one set of identity politics against another.

                • vto

                  Too simplistic weka. If you are meaning in that power / societal way then that power and societal structure is wielded by all, including, for example, all the women who support the few white middle aged men who run things. And there are huge numbers of them. How do they fit into your view? And what about white middle aged men who are on the dole and have no ability to do anything? How do they fit in your definition? Methinks you are too simplistic. Two definitions are needed.

                  • weka

                    You’re the one not coping with the complexities. As I’ve now said above, yes there is more than one kind of sexism. I’ve never said that sexism was one thing, that’s all in your head mate.

                    • vto

                      “I’ve never said that sexism was one thing, that’s all in your head mate”
                      but you just said this
                      ” I know you think that prejudice is an individual thing, but it’s not. It’s about balances of power and societal context.”

                      whereas I said this
                      “Or, if you are right or partly right, then we need two definitions”

                      anyway, lets not waste a Friday afternoon arguing semantics – I think we are on the same page. And we have wasted enough time doing this in the past….

                    • weka

                      It’s pretty simple vto. Sexism takes many forms, and they’re all best understood in the context of power relations and dynamics. If you don’t take into account those dynamics then you are unable to understand the difference between me call you a bloody man, and you calling me a fucking bitch. Now even in that example there are going to be other contexts (esp class ones), but the point still stands. If you don’t understand the politics of power across classes of people then you won’t understand how sexism operates in NZ and the damage it does.

                      Ditto fatphobia.

                    • vto

                      I have to race out the door but when Eleanor Catton dismisses one of her critics on the basis that the critic is white, male and over 45 years of age, is that a form of sexism / ageism / racism?

                      Genuine question.

                    • weka

                      “I have to race out the door but when Eleanor Catton dismisses one of her critics on the basis that the critic is white, male and over 45 years of age, is that a form of sexism / ageism / racism?”

                      You’d have to provide a context vto, a linked one I think.

                    • McFlock

                      what the hell, I’ll wade in:

                      when Eleanor Catton dismisses one of her critics on the basis that the critic is white, male and over 45 years of age, is that a form of sexism / ageism / racism?

                      It depends on the specific criticism, I would have thought. If the power and privilege of any/all of those characteristics led to the grounds of criticism or even the ability to criticise in that manner, then probably not.

                      If the criticism was (thinking of “Dracula”, here, as I’ve read neither the Luminaries or any criticisms of it) “sentences are disjointed and physical descriptions of the main characters are inconsistent from passage to passage, for example Lucy’s hair was brown, then black, then blond, then red”, then that’s pretty baggage-free, criticism-wise.

                      If the criticism is a bit more culturally-based (i.e. perspectives on the themes of the book, arguments about how believable characters were), then it might well be a valid description of the bases for the criticism rejection thereof.

                  • bad12

                    ”Too simplistic weka”, a statement that finds no argument here….

                    • I have found weka’s explanations to be quite detailed, complex and thoughtful – the opposite of simplistic. I suspect bad understands but is choosing to not go there because of his perceived humor in the situation (I’m sure that will be amended if incorrect 🙂 ) and vto genuinely is bewildered.

                    • bad12

                      Marty, i understand what the commenters in the negative are saying, coming from a society with far different ‘social mores’ than that of those commenters in the negative tho has me failing to agree with them,

                      My point,”having double chins is not confined to those with a large body mass”,poo pooed by those who wish to straight-jacket me with their ideals of political correctness is really the comment i should have used to answer the first negative comment,

                      i doubt tho that such a comment would have satisfied the ‘gang’ who have attached themselves to my later comment definitely designed to wind up the first negative commenter,(but they do have their reasons Lolz),

                      So, the proposition that having double chins does not necessarily presuppose a problem with body mass would have those who immediate connect a comment on double chins to such a disability directly to having the fat-phobia they accuse me of,

                      Plus i do so love a good argument…

                    • There is no point to the comment about chins unless it is related to body size. Unless I’ve missed it which may be the case.

                    • Tracey

                      vto may be genuinely bewildered but his reaction over the roast busters debate here suggests he is less bewildered than reluctant to allow a different light to shine on his sensitivity to the notion that white men feature quite strongly in nz when it comes to racism and sexism.

                    • weka

                      “There is no point to the comment about chins unless it is related to body size. Unless I’ve missed it which may be the case.”

                      I think bad is saying that it’s ok to comment on body shape when you aren’t talking about body size. Except of course then he made shitty comments about the woman’s fatness and her culpable behaviour.

                    • vto

                      “white men feature quite strongly in nz when it comes to racism and sexism.”

                      really tracey

                      from what I know of men and women in nz there aint no difference in their racism.

                      from what I know of the races in nz there aint no difference in their sexism.

                      race and gender have nothing to do with the ability to be racist or sexist.

                      think tracey think ….

                    • vto

                      Oh tracey, a bit further on your roast-busters brain fart “white men feature quite strongly in nz when it comes to racism and sexism.”

                      Roast busters involved non-white perpetrator and maori protagonists (JT and willie).

                      FFS. Exposes your own bigotry in fact.

                    • weka

                      I think she was talking about you vto ;-p

                      “from what I know of the races in nz there aint no difference in their sexism.”

                      Māori gender relations are quite different than non-Māori. So how sexism manifests is different too. Obvious overlaps, but I think to say there are no differences is just wrong.

                      “race and gender have nothing to do with the ability to be racist or sexist.”

                      Of course they do, and culture plays a big part in it as well. I think what you might be meaning is there is no biological underpining to differences between men and women when it comes to prejudice. I’m not sure about that.

                    • vto

                      Hi weka, sure those points have some validity. Just popping in here for a brief visit so wont be back again…. you know where it all comes unstuck…. let me explain by anecdote…. I understand how their can be and is cultural racism between the races and how institutional set-ups can be racist in the way they cater to only certain races etc. That all makes sense and can be seen. That is all the societal / structural stuff etc that you mention.

                      Where it goes astray is where people pipe up and say …. blah b;ah blah because you are white and male then you are more racist and sexist and you have a greater hurdle to jump over before.. blah blah b;ah ….. You see weka this moves it from the societal into the individual and this is where the back hairs stand on end. That is what tracey did above. It is what wacthing did at the very start that sparked this thread.

                      Sure, claim that society is inherently sexist and racist (always for historic and cultural etc reasons too btw not due to individuals in control) but just because, in this case, white men exercise most of the controls and powers in that society does not make them racist and sexist. They are merely levering the levers that have been there since Queen Vic reigned. I guess, in her time, that made her one incredibly racist and sexist old queen – and against her very own gender.

                      White people are not more racist than non-white people
                      Men are not more sexist than women
                      That claim stems from a poorly thunk approach to the difference between societal discrimination and individual discrimination. Tracey exhibits it and various others up through this mini-thread have exhibited it too, including you and your “white men hold the patent” claim… Mixing up the societal and the individual.

          • bad12

            You do have a point vto, but what is abusive about the fact that Paula has two chins and is in danger of developing a third(in my opinion),

            i detect another agenda here, a few days ago i made a comment about the ‘diet’ Colon Craig was on here in ‘Open Mike’, pointing out that with the mad staring eyes and the obvious weight loss he gave every appearance of having been kidnapped by aliens for a probing which collected far too much of a sample,

            Leaping to His defense over such ‘abuse’ was???, well no one really….

            • weka

              Link please.

            • vto

              Yep, sure, but you are walking that fine line though I think here …… at what stage does it become abuse rather than a poke in the ribs?

              Is it when it brings in the personal element? Many would say yes, but there is a complicating factor there though isn’t there, that being that given the effects of Bennet’s decisions and musings are intensely personal to her “subjects” then everything personal is on the table …. in that context Bennett must suck it up. As must all politicians imo – they cannot hide behind their office given the intensely personal effect of everything they do on the people. Intensely personal. Inescapable.

              • weka

                A poke in the ribs would be – ooh look at Bennett’s ugly dress. Commenting on her body size in a society that actively discriminates against people based on how they look, is not a poke in the ribs, it’s a contribution to prejudice.

                Bad can try and make out that he was just making a passing comment, but it’s pretty clear that he thinks fat = person overeats and that this is merely a personal choice/failing (pretty ironic, given the political context). He’s just ignorant about what bodyfat on humans is, how it comes about, and how much control people have over it, and that ignorance supports his own negative ideas about fat people. I don’t get the impression that he hates fat people or is averse to them (but who knows), so as with sexim, fatphobia takes many forms.

                • bad12

                  weka, your waffling on what you think i think just goes to show that its probably best you don’t, think that is,

                  Seems the more of it you display here, thought that is, the weirder you look to me,just for your info i have my problems with body mass,and,it is a source of great amusement round here…

                  • weka

                    “just for your info i have my problems with body mass,”

                    I was already aware of that bad. Don’t see how that changes anything I have said. I notice that you’re not addressing the points, and are now trying to make this about how stupid and pathetic I am.

                    • bad12

                      weka, that isn’t a hard task at all…

                    • weka

                      perhaps not, but it’s still a reflection on you that you think putting me down is more important than addressing the political points raised.

                    • bad12

                      That’s funny weka, i have just made a number of comments which address the points you make,

                      Obviously you cannot get past the point that a person having double chins is not necessarily also having body mass problems,

                      The fact that you immediately connect a person having two chins to that person having body mass problems i would suggest makes you the fat-phobic and all your later blustering is simply that,(i am sure tho you have your reasons for such bluster Lolz)…

                    • weka

                      “The fact that you immediately connect a person having two chins to that person having body mass problems”

                      Except I didn’t make that connection. That connection was made by the original commenter and then your own subsequent fatphobic comments. You had plenty of time to correct the original comment, but instead of doing that you started in about the fat woman at the trough. And now you are surprised at people’s response and claiming there is a gang against you. If you like a good argument you’ll just have to suck that up.

                      Just had a scan through your responses to me, and they’re overwhelmingly ad hominems.

                    • bad12

                      There you go again weka, not only LYING about what i have said but using words which denigrate people with high body mass problems which neither of my first two comments you continue to whine about do,

                      Here’s a little read for you, not too long or complicated in light of the disability you seem to be laboring under,


                      You will be able to become enraged that one of the 3 doctors who answers this question dares to use the word FAT twice, obviously His mention of supraplatysmal FAT is a mere attempt to cover up His Fatophobia,

                      Oh and just for laugh pray tell me what exactly is either abuse or fatphobic about insinuating that Paula may gorge Herself at the trough,leaving aside for the moment that you deliberately LIE with your inclusion of the word FAT in what you quoted as my having written when there was no such inclusion of that word…

                    • weka

                      Sorry dude, but I have no idea what you are on about now. What’s wrong with using the word ‘fat’?

                      What did I lie about?

                      Re commenting on a large woman gorging herself at the trough. If you don’t understand what fatphobia is, try google. There’s some pretty good discussion in the blogosphere. You don’t have to agree with those who talk about and define fatphobia, but it would help if you understood what is being objected to here.

                      I’m quite willing to believe that you said something relatively benign and then the conversation got out of hand. But you had plenty of chances to clarify early on and you didn’t, you wanted an argument so you got one.

                    • weka

                      btw, linking to a liposuction website doesn’t help your argument. Quite the opposite.

                  • The Al1en

                    “just for your info i have my problems with body mass”

                    Not one to jump in with support for B12, but if he’s fat himself, then he can’t really be called a ‘fatphobic’, just like a black person can’t be called a racist for using the n word.

                    • weka

                      I disagree The Al1en. As a woman I can hate women. Or think they should be subservient to men. Or support/promote policies and structures that undermine women as a class.

                      I don’t really know what kind of problem bad has with people being fat. I do know that in this political forum he makes statements that promote fatphobic culture, and that damages us all. That he has his own body issues doesn’t mean it’s ok to denigrate other people for theirs. Nor does it render his comments politically neutral.

                    • The Al1en

                      I get how it detracts from the message, but don’t think we should be hanging B12 over chingate. I’m sure, now he’s knows it’s an issue for some on here, he’ll bear it in mind for next time. After all, there’s plenty of PB to pick on (no pun intended).

                    • bad12

                      i think Alien the first paragraph of weka’s last comment to you fully explains the absurdity of Her/His argument,

                      Probably explains a lot more too but i wont go into that, except to add a rather large and elongated LOLZ,

                      When all is said and done, i will take as much notice of those who immediately, like the original negative commenter did,took to my comment about Paula’s double chin in an accusation of FAT-phobia, in the same vein as i do anyone that tries to tell me how and what to write,

                      The only arbiter of good or bad taste that i take any notice of round here is the ones with the ability to write in large black lines through or under my comments,

                      If i dialled down my comments here to the extent of what other’s demanded sooner or late there would be little point in commenting at all,(left myself wide open there i know),

                      By the way, you are not alone, Colon may have been whisked off for a probing by ‘the other’ aliens…

                • Tim

                  Making fun of someone’s dress sense is in one regard even more hurtful than attacking their looks/shape – it is something which is more under their immediate control and which many people think represents their own unique sense of style and self.

                  If someone insults your weight or looks you can always fall back on the argument that it isn’t really your fault and that genetics just dealt you a bad hand (even though to a certain extent your personal choices regarding food obviously come into it too) but it’s not really the case with clothing choice is it?

              • bad12

                Yes vto, i see your point, i must remember that i am discussing such things with an audience far more ‘sensitive’ than those i would have the same discussion with on a face to face basis,

                However, as i comment to weka above, having a double chin does not presuppose that the person with one has any problem with weight, it is the supposition of the first negative commenter on my original comment that infers that,

                From that original wrong inference that presupposes that only over-weight persons have double chins all the other negative comments have also made the wrong negative inference,

                i will tho plead guilty, but not sign the sorry book, for my later reference to Paula gorging Herself too long at the trough,(although above that i do ask the question is her obvious body mass the result of a medical condition)…

                • weka

                  So the original comment on your comment was heading in the right direction – you are fatphobic.

                  • bad12

                    i would suggest that your comment makes you pathetic, a phobia hasn’t been dreamed up yet about that one,

                    but i am sure given time one will appear…

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      You’ve lost it, Bad. Bigotry is never good, and there is no excuse for it in a left forum. Fat is a class issue, both in that the food industry targets the poor relentlessly and that the nature of work in the post manual labour era leads to an energy intake/output imbalance. You can do better, Bad.

                    • weka

                      +1 TRP

                      “i would suggest that your comment makes you pathetic, a phobia hasn’t been dreamed up yet about that one,”

                      You think there is no phobia against people who are pathetic? Weakness is not deemed an acceptable quality in godzone.

                    • bad12

                      Oh yawn Te Reo, save the lost or won bullshit for someone that cares a toss what you think,

                      i will point out again, people with double chins are not necessarily overweight, only those who commented negatively on my original comment make that inference,

                      By making such a wrong inference such commenters show their preconceived bigotry…

                    • vto

                      what about those who have no chin?

                      does that count when considering their musings?

                    • “By making such a wrong inference such commenters show their preconceived bigotry…”

                      Nah – if you don’t get it fair enough but this argument never flies.

                    • vto

                      a room of darkness populated by people in blinkers

                    • bad12

                      Yes exactly vto, altho i imagine that the room and the people you see are different to those in my vision…

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      “i will point out again, people with double chins are not necessarily overweight, ..”

                      Key grade bullshit diversion. You were referring to Bennett by name. You even referred to her as morbidly obese. If you have a valid argument that what you did isn’t a form of bigotry, I’d like to hear it. But don’t try and weasel out. It’s poor form.

                    • bad12

                      Te Reo, your point is pathetic, i refer to Paula by name, but,i make no inference on Her weight or size only a blunt statement that she is in danger of growing another chin,

                      The fact that you and other’s then connect this as a comment on Her size or weight simply tells me that it is you that is firmly focused on Paula’s size or weight,

                      Thin people have double chins, quick bugle up the posse and try and have me be shamed in any way about that comment…

                    • Disraeli Gladstone

                      “but,i make no inference on Her weight or size only a blunt statement that she is in danger of growing another chin,”

                      From your very second comment on the issue:

                      “and a personal observation would have me suggesting that what looks glaringly like ‘morbid obesity’”

                      Everyone can go home now. Bad12’s been caught in his lie.

                    • bad12

                      Now that is just pathetic even for you Gallstone, morbid obesity is as far as i know a medical condition,

                      Shall i put that one on my list of words never to be uttered in the pages of the Standard…

            • Tracey

              so you meant it as a compliment???

              how do you think it enhanced the comment you intending making.

              you dance on the head of a pin bad12. at least when you respond with

              fuck off i will say what i like, you are staying honest.

            • The Al1en

              “he gave every appearance of having been kidnapped by aliens for a probing”

              I can confirm, for the record, that weirdo colin is not on our list of recently probed, so appearances are in my opinion, like colin, indeed deceptive. 🙂

    • veutoviper 2.4

      As you say, MS, just another poll but slightly more hopeful.

      What I found interesting in the actual RM report you linked to was this:

      Roy Morgan New Zealand Election 2014 Interactive Charts

      Today Roy Morgan New Zealand introduces our interactive New Zealand Election charts. These interactive charts allow a deeper look at voting patterns in New Zealand over varying timeframes and provide election observers with the ability to pinpoint key turning points for the political parties.

      In future weeks we will be adding key demographic variables to the charts including Age, Gender and Regional breakdowns to show which way key demographics are voting and which demographics each party needs to target to maximise their vote at this year’s New Zealand Election – called for September 20, 2014. View interactive New Zealand Election charts here.

      This is the actual link to the interactive charts.

      It will be interesting to see what the key demographic variables they will be adding to the charts will indicate.

    • Bearded Git 2.5

      National 43 not 43.5. That half percent could be crucial!

    • Disraeli Gladstone 2.6

      The problem is that whenever National moves up or down, it’s always mostly at the expense or benefit of NZ First.

      Labour is relatively static around 30-33%. If they could just take a few percentage off National then suddenly Winston doesn’t matter anymore and Labour and Greens can go on their own with Mana for comfort.

      • Tracey 2.6.1

        labour and greens will get more “air” closer to the election.

        the polls are also unlikely, in my opinion to be reflecting work on the ground.

        i am particularly interested in maori party versus mana party trends in the maori seats but i suspect no one who can afford those polls wants them.

        • Disraeli Gladstone

          Native Affairs does them sometimes, which is good. But they are very rare.

  3. miravox 3

    What is this all about? Why would MoBIE need a Crimestoppers line for employees to dob in a workmate? Privatising the union’s role?

    The Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation has been forced to backtrack on a policy which offered staff the opportunity to dob in colleagues to a tip-off line run by UK-based Crimestoppers.

    The Public Service Association (PSA) received a “flurry” of emails from disgruntled staff members when the policy was introduced on March 27.

    They were concerned that whistleblowers were contacting a company associated with the police.

    Crimestoppers is a private company that works with New Zealand Police by passing on details of crimes that have been given to them by someone who wants to remain anonymous.

    Workplace Integrity Line, run by Crimestoppers, is for employees to anonymously call to provide details of wrongdoing by fellow staff members.

    The Chairman of Crimestoppers UK is none other than Lord Ashcroft. A friend of Key’s, who he pops in to see whenever he’s nearby. No idea if he donates to National though, no siree.

    • framu 3.1

      calling all employment lawyers –

      wouldnt the Workplace Integrity Line be illegal as an employment contract would have measures for resolution built into it?

      also isnt this taking an employment issue outside the workplace before its been through the relevant channels? – again illegal?

      and if thats correct (if) doesnt that then require the tip line to stop operating?

      i dont know here – but it sounds like this is stepping way outside proper process

      • Te Reo Putake 3.1.1

        Sadly, not illegal, framu. NZ Post already has a ‘dob in a postie’ line where the public can anonymously get postal workers fired. Technically, having received the information, the employer then begins an internal investigation using the their usual policies, but with the advantage that the worker does not have access to some pivotal facts; the name and motivation of the accuser.

        • miravox

          It seems very weird that they go to an outside agency for a worker to dob-in a co-worker. Although legally it may be the same as a customer support line (or whatever NZ Post choose to call it), the in-house dispute ‘service’ that MoBIE has contracted out seems rather like taking on the union’s job. And how did Crimestoppers get the contract, how do you tender something like that?

          • Te Reo Putake

            Not sure that it’s the union’s role, exactly, but i get your wider point. I doubt there was any tendering involved, unless it was the tender love between a Lord and his favourite kiwi manservant.

            • miravox

              I see what you’re saying, I was thinking that maybe not exactly the union’s role, but if employee-employee / manager-employee / employee-lawyer dispute resolution doesn’t work, I’d expect the union would be in there somewhere, not Crimestoppers.

        • framu

          OK – but isnt that a communication from a customer to the business? ie: external to internal (which sort of makes sense as a customer wont have access to the internal dispute resolution mechanisms)

          how does it work if its internal to internal?

        • cricklewood

          I have contacted NZ post on two separate occasions after finding large quantities of dumped mail, they did respond very quickly in terms of coming to collect it etc.
          I guess that’s ‘dob in a postie’ but in my view necessary who knows who is missing out on vital information etc.

    • Not a PS Staffer 3.2

      The same Lord Ashcroft who came withing inches of having his title removed for not paying taxes in the UK (and as little as possible elsewhere)?

      “The focus on Ashcroft’s Caribbean business interests comes as the peer conducts a government review of UK military bases in Cyprus. Ashcroft, whose companies have provided private jet and helicopter flights to several Conservative cabinet members, including the prime minister, David Cameron, was given the role after renouncing his status as a “non-dom”. The peer’s shock admission before the last election that he was someone who did not have to pay UK tax on his overseas business interests prompted a furore and embarrassed Cameron.”

      Ashcroft likes to keep company with dodgy types who corrupt politicians.

      • miravox 3.2.1

        The very same tax exile. Very charitable man, it seems… donates to the UK Conservative Party and Australian Liberal Party. He may not donate directly to the NZ National Party, but help provide financial assistance in other ways. It appears he was also instrumental in bringing Crosby Textor into NZ and UK conservative politics.

        • Not a PS Staffer

          Ashcroft lives on a cruiser much of the time and in “Non-Dom” from anywhere some of the time. He has many of the characteristics of an Elizabethan privateer like Francis Drake, John Hawkins, Walter Raleigh or Martin Frobisher. Know as Sea Dogs because that is what the were. Their only loyalty was to their own greed. If that is they type of company the Key keeps in his private life then we should be scared of him winning the next election.

          “The support for piracy and privateering came from all quarters of the English society.
          Queen Elizabeth was a secret partner, but well known to King Philip. The Queen loaned ships and took her share of the loot from privateering expeditions aimed at Spanish or French shipping. The long conflict with Spain was rooted in an English hunger for Spanish treasure and a commercial and maritime rivalry.

    • Tracey 3.3

      what kind of wrong doing? serious misconduct of the instantly dismissable type or something else.

      morale must be great at mbie dontcha think

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    NZ banks embroiled in global inquiry

    New Zealand banks are embroiled in a global investigation into foreign-exchange manipulation, but the regulator will not say which banks have been put under the spotlight.

    Market watchdogs around the world are cracking down on the NZ$6.2-trillion-a-day foreign exchange market, after suggestions that senior traders have colluded to influence currency movements.

    New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has confirmed that it has its own active investigation under way.

    The market fails to work – again. Just more proof that the un-manipulable market is manipulable by those in the right place with enough money.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      The market fails to work – again.

      Well actually, it would seem to me that the markets are working exactly as intended – for the big boys.

      Did you happen to see this? An excerpt from the book “Flash Boys” detailing the HFT market manipulation scam on Wall St.

      As it happened, at almost exactly the moment Carlin Financial entered Brad Katsuyama’s life, the U.S. stock market began to behave oddly. Before RBC acquired this supposed state-of-the-art electronic-trading firm, Katsuyama’s computers worked as he expected them to. Suddenly they didn’t. It used to be that when his trading screens showed 10,000 shares of Intel offered at $22 a share, it meant that he could buy 10,000 shares of Intel for $22 a share. He had only to push a button. By the spring of 2007, however, when he pushed the button to complete a trade, the offers would vanish. In his seven years as a trader, he had always been able to look at the screens on his desk and see the stock market. Now the market as it appeared on his screens was an illusion.

      • marty mars 4.1.1

        True you two. When you read about just how manipulated the market and entities are it boggles the mind – the whole thing is a massive sham that delivers money to the top and increasing misery the further from the top you go. And imo it appears that those who were shouting loudest about this were often portrayed as envious, conspiracy addicts – yet they were right all along.

        • Colonial Viper

          I just think about all of NZ’s investment monies including Kiwisaver funds and ACC investments being exposed to this daily malfaesence. Funding the wide boys who do nothing productive for society, playing the casinos of Wall St to the detriment of everyone else.

          • marty mars

            Expanding the casino analogy a little – the elite own, run and profit from the rigged and slanted casino. Their flunkies run the tables and everyone else, from the big spenders to the slot players, lose money sometimes a little and sometimes a lot. The game is unwinnable in this form – the house always wins. But there are a lot more of us than them – they are always mindful of that.

            • Colonial Viper

              This is an even more complete casino analogy which has been used. Financial advisors, investment companies and stock brokers are the “tour bus operators” who are paid by the casino to bring in naive tourists (the general public) to the casino to get fleeced by both the casino, and the professional card sharks in the casino.

              LEWIS: So of course the tourists get fleeced all the time in the poker games, because they don’t know the deck is rigged. The poker players pay the casino a cut of what they make. The casinos, operators, pay the tour group — the tour group company money to bring in the tourists.

              So in this case, casino’s the exchange, the poker players are the high-frequency traders, and the tour group operators are the banks and the brokers that handle the stock market orders. And I think the analogy is pretty close. So is that rigged? Is that a rigged game? I think it is a rigged game.


    • Tracey 4.2

      and the freight cartel busted today by the commerce commission. i say busted but i mean fined of course. they prolly built the cost of the probable fine if caught into their strategy.

  5. logie97 5

    On RadioLive just now, Lush was interviewing the Petulant Bean. She was in a Henderson school waxing lyrical about the Foods in Schools programme. How brilliant it is, how wonderful it is, and particularly from a socialising point of view “This is GREAT!” she said.

    And this from a minister and government who didn’t want a bar of it. Congratulations Hone.

    • miravox 5.1

      Strange how Paula always pops up when the NAct machine is in trouble. No idea where she is the rest of the time.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Heard about this on the radio this morning. Apparently Ms Bennett was complaining that not all the kids receiving food were actually in need of it. I suspect this is National laying the foundation for removing this program.

  6. Comparing and averaging the three recent polls:

    National – 45.9, 47, 43 – 45.3
    Labour – 31.2, 31, 32 – 31.4
    Greens – 11.2, 11, 13 – 11.7
    NZ First – 4.9, 7, 5.5 – 5.8
    Conservative – 1.9, 2.3, 2.5 – 2.2
    Maori Party – 1.5, 0.9, 1.5 – 1.3
    ACT Party – 1.1, 0.3, 0.5 – 0.6
    Mana Party – 1.1, 0, 0.5 – 0.5
    Internet Party – 0.4, 0, 0.5 – 0.3
    UnitedFuture – 0.1, 0.1, 0.5 – 0.2

    Reid Research (18-26 March), Colmar Brunton (22-26 March), Roy Morgan (17-30 March) – Average

    There’s been some interesting poll posts and discussions:

  7. How worried are they?

    Press Release by Maori Party at 10:22AM, 03 Apr 2014

    The Maori Party is calling for the resignation of Mana Party president Annette Sykes and campaigner Sue Bradford.

    “I actually respect the work these mana wahine do in their communities but if they have any integrity, then they will leave the Mana Party in protest of their party leader’s silly plan to sell their soul to a man who has never done anything for Maori,” said Maori Party co-vice president Ken Mair.

    “I’d be extremely surprised if Annette and Sue allow their party to become Dotcomana because they aren’t the type of people to lay down and let others exploit them.

    “It is obvious to me that Hone ain’t listening to them and that he would allow his party to be divided for the sake of dollars.

    “If Hone isn’t deterred by a money-bag who appears to cherish Nazi artefacts then I think he might have no hesitation hoping into bed with someone wearing a klu klux outfit. And that isn’t something I think Annette and Sue would tolerate.

    “Like all other political parties right now we’re trying to raise campaign funds as well, but we’d never allow a donator to dictate to us what Dotcom is expecting of Mana – to ride into Parliament on the back of a Maori seat.”

    The irony is deep in this one – I initially thought it was a joke email so full of bile and spite it is. It makes me think that I may have been too hasty in writing this idea off and therefore i’ll hold my decisions around it for a bit longer.

    • bad12 7.1

      Gurgle, gurgle,gurgle, and down the plug-hole went Ken, along with Him the Maori Party, that email could suffer a slight editing, inserting the name National Party for DotCom/Internet Party, and be sent straight back to Mair,

      If Ken’s looking, i can assure Him that Annette Sykes is far to busy to take notice of His drivel preparing to give Te Ururoa a fitting haere ra from the Waiariki electorate,

      At which point Ken can be el presidente of, well nothing really…

      • marty mars 7.1.1

        I wonder/worry about te tai tonga – I hope Mana gain traction there. How’s it looking bad?

        • bad12

          Sorry Marty i can’t report positively on Mana here, there’s a small group over in Newtown but aside from having a candidate in the Wellington Council elections i havn’t heard much from them,

          Even their facebook page is pretty much a ‘closed shop’,(if there was a branch over my way i would have been offering them a bit of help),

          The Maori Party i would suggest ‘burned’ a lot of political capital here in Wellington,(thus the loss of Te Tai Tonga last time round), i was hugely impressed with the number of bumper stickers and Maori Party flags that were flying, a year later tho most of them had been scraped off and the flags quietly put to another use,

          The problem with having the young so fully engaged, and they were, on the positive side the only party door knocking around here, is that when they feel so badly let down, ‘burned’, by their party it simply puts them off being involved in the political process at all,

          The same happened with me doing the hard yards for Labour way back in history, spending hours and energy stuffing letterboxes only to get the payoff of Sir(spit)Roger Douglas, it was only MMP that got me interested again,

          Although i havn’t heard to much coming from Aunty Tariana’s neck of the woods i don’t think Mana are particularly strong there either,

          Hopefully after the electioneering is all done and the numbers counted the party can advertise locally to get anyone interested together for a meet and greet with a view to getting more branches open around the rohe, there’s probably enough interest out there but no ‘start point’ to get things rolling…

          • marty mars

            Yeah i saw that facebook closed sign – weird.

            Further south pretty quiet too from what i hear although the pockets of Mana are there and nothing has changed for them. i do foresee a good result coming up though overall.

            • idlegus

              mana is actively vociferous here in dunedin, particualry social activists olive mcrae. for instance shes been vocal & supported victims of acc & prisoners. just doesnt get the press, of course.

              maybe bad12 you should try & get the ball rolling where you live? young people just dont know about political gatherings & leaflet dropping, its a hard thing for them to get organised. & one thing you can say about the internet party, is it is going to have a VERY strong youth contingent (esp those that have never voted before), & theres not much the nats or whoever can do about that.

              • bad12

                idelgus, aha, i probably should, being a Green Party member tho does pose the odd problem,

                As i point out in the final paragraph of my comment above i would suggest the Party advertise in the local free Papers a Hui of those interested in expanding the number of branches of the Mana Party here in Wellington to gauge the interest level and get the ball rolling,

                Having done so befor, i would be happy to arrange the printing and delivery of Pamphlets but while i know where to find the ‘resources’ to bring such things into existence,(how this happens is best left in the ‘another story to be told’ bin), i cannot simply do so off of my own initiative,

                Hell i could probably do a leaflet drop in 4 Wellington electorates for around a thousand dollars, however, there is still the issue of the Party being involved…

                • idlegus

                  thanks bad12. im a general ‘left’ voter, paid up mana member. this election i plan to help labour, greens, internet party (maybe) & mana anyway i can, pamphlets wotnot. im very optimisitic about the lefts chances & i really like david cunliffe, but of course anything can happen, its exciting tho! feeling positive.

          • Tracey

            would dotcom have any appeal to young maori voters?

          • Murray Olsen

            I thought Grant Brookes was having some success organising Mana stuff down there. As always, it’s possible I got the wrong impression.

  8. Chooky 8

    Very good piece by Chris Trotter on the Daily Blog looking critically at the NZ media’s coverage of political issues

    Phil Wallington has always been a fearless commentator and is a hero imo…I heard him with Jim Mora dissecting the attacks on Kim Dotcom

    • karol 8.1

      Trotter made some good points. But he has ignored how the right have moved to ensure a NAct friendly media, especially by destroying the remnants of public service broadcasting: axing TVNZ7, udnerfunding RNZ and moving to get more NAct friendly people in significant positions…. etc.

    • veutoviper 8.2

      Thanks for that link, Chooky. I don’t often read TDB and have mixed views on Chris Trotter these days.

      Although he did not cover some issues as Karol has pointed out, I found that piece well worth reading as well as the comments and agree with most of it.

      Phil Wallington’s section on RNZ National’s Afternoon programme on Tuesday was one of, or probably, the best thing I have heard on that usually abysmal shallow waste of time programme. (When does Mercep take over?)

      Here is a link – well worth listening to.

  9. bad12 9

    Future flashpoints in the fabric of New Zealand society???, it appears that the Wellington Regional Council is ‘exploring’ taking all the land in a Wairarapa valley so as to dam it for an ‘irrigation scheme’,

    The proposal is that the dam to be built will be constructed and owned by ‘private interests’ presumably selling the water to other private interests in the form of another province’s farming community rushing headlong into the gold rush of milk production

    One landowner interviewed on RadioNZ National this morning said that of the 14 landowners 13 of them have told the regional council they do not want to sell,

    The specter of the Public Works Act has been raised as a means to force these landowners off their properties,and, Steven Joyce was on air this morning claiming that this will not be a misuse of the Act as it can be used in favor of private interests if there is a wider ‘public good’,

    i fail to see where in all this is the ‘public good’…

    • RedBaronCV 9.1

      Given the supposedly left wing background of a lot of the councillors, many of whom rode into the council under a party logo , have they conveniently forgotten this?
      BTW I’ve always menat to ask, Celia Wade Brown was eleceted as a green party mayor firts time up. Last time she didn’t stand as a green. Are saome people using a party logo to get them past the first election?

      • bad12 9.1.1

        By the way, i have always been meaning to ignore questions when they don’t relate to a comment, so i will…

  10. Bearded Git 10

    Chris Trotter’s latest ( makes reference to “(David) Parkers stout defence of public health and education”.

    Parker is much maligned in the Standard from time to time. I think he is one of the better performers in the Labour party. The Trotter article is excellent and well worth a read.

    • Anne 10.1

      That’s the problem BG. Parker is one of Labour’s best policy wonks and a steady performer but he’s made one big mistake. He’s produced a blueprint for the future of the Super Scheme in a politically suicidal way. It has the potential to sink Labour’s chances of leading a left of centre coalition government. At this stage a change of government must take precedence over everything else if we are to prevent NZ going to hell in a handbasket.

      • greywarbler 10.1.1

        I don’t think that some commenters here exist in the real world of today’s NZ. Some are full of fine opinions and ideas that have great credibility, especially to themselves, but happily ignore that first, Labour have to get elected into power. Then there are the others who can only think of personalities and feel the pulsating rage of a Barcelona bull each time they hear or see John Key or Mobie Dicky or….any number of NACTs. Their synthetic masks have the effect of a bite of some tainted, disease-carrying mosquito.

        We need people who can walk and chew gum at the same time in politics and critiquing it, in 2014.

        • Chooky

          @ greywarbler…walk , fart and chew gum at the same time ?

          Labour should ditch the unwanted, unpopular toll motorways and put the billions into other social welfare things like reducing the retirement age for super …this would be a vote winner!

        • Anne

          I don’t think that some commenters here exist in the real world of today’s NZ.

          Hi greywarbler,
          When reading that sentence of yours, I was reminded of an experience last evening that isn’t directly relevant to the subject of superannuation (or commenters at TS) but does show how ignorant, gullible and lacking in cognition so many voters have become. I attended my first phone canvassing session of election year and was gobsmacked by the lack of comprehension concerning political events over the past six months or so. I give two examples:

          1. An entire family will never vote Labour again because of Len Brown. When I inquired further, it seems that Len Brown has shown that Labour Party people are not fit to govern. That was the essence of the response.
          2. A gentleman in his sixties (not that old) regarded David Cunliffe as a very nasty, untrustworthy person because of the way he knifed David Shearer in the back and made himself the leader of the Labour Party. He, too, will never vote for Labour again.

          That is the level of ignorance and stupidity Labour is up against and that is why they can’t afford to release policy fundamental to people’s expectations that can be misconstrued by their opponents. I am convinced from years of experience that the level of political sophistication in NZ has deteriorated. It would make a good thesis subject for someone with the talent and knowledge… exactly why has the population become so politically dumbed down?

          • greywarbler

            Well Anne I think that backs up my feelings. Now thinking of papers which many don’t get, tv which is centred around some crime whether the announcer’s hair is conditioned or hangs naturally and whether that colour suits her and whether the guy is bouncy breezy and brash or sombre and authentic and then commercial radio – well where are people going to hear their news. The morning show and lots of kidding around, life is great for the lads. Bah humbug.

            Who knows the difference between a reality show and reality. The world is a stage and disasters are pulled off so we can have something to goggle at and exclaim about. Did that US singer Don someone do something on the news, with pass the cornflakes while there is a war going on in front of you?

          • Ergo Robertina

            ‘ why has the population become so politically dumbed down?’

            I often wonder this. I think the internet, with its ghettoising effect of people filtering information to suit preferences, made public broadcasting more important. And New Zealand made very poor choices in this regard, to the point NZ on Air is subsidising programmes like X Factor!
            We are the case study of what not to do when it comes to public broadcasting.

            • millsy

              “And New Zealand made very poor choices in this regard, to the point NZ on Air is subsidising programmes like X Factor!
              We are the case study of what not to do when it comes to public broadcasting.”

              Maori TV seem to be able to do talent type shows for a fraction of the budget.

        • Murray Olsen

          Got me, gw. I live in Brisbane. I try to stay grounded and see past personalities. Hope I’m successful now and then 🙂

      • Bearded Git 10.1.2

        Agreed Anne-I have been advocating copying the pension age
        policies in Germany that were forced on Merkel by the Social Democrats as part of the recent grand coalition. This from the WSJ:

        “The bill, which was endorsed by the cabinet and which will be debated in parliament, makes good on a campaign pledge by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and their coalition ally, the left-leaning Social Democrats, to review and amend a phased increase in the retirement age to 67 from 65 that was enacted in 2007”

        “Under the bill drafted in little over a month, employees who contribute to Germany’s state pension insurance system for 45 years may retire on a full pension at the age of 63 instead of 65. Stay-at-home parents of children born before 1992 would see their pensions rise.”


        Something like this might work for Labour here-maybe 40 years not 45?

    • bad12 10.2

      David Parker should by now have learned that the words ”There is no alternative” are like a red rag to a bull,

      Considering what particular ‘policy’ Parker was referring to when He recently used the above words i am quietly wondering if the economics of Parker are that much removed from those of a previous Labour Minister of Finance…

      • Bearded Git 10.2.1

        Let’s hope he is flexible on the pension age policy

        • bad12

          Given Parker’s recent ”there is no alternative” i am pessimistic about any such flexibility, which is a pity,

          From my view if used as the plank as the opening of the real election campaign in a few months an announcement that Labour have abandoned this policy,(or a proposal to put it to a referendum), would probably take a couple of % off NZFirsts vote thus leaving that party high and dry,

          Along with that i should imagine there’s 1–2% of Nationals vote that could be shifted by such an announcement…

  11. Has anyone got links and good information on Fukushima and the rod thing they were doing – it’s quiet, makes me uneasy.

    • Bill 11.1 has some good recent info….forcing residents back into the area, contamination types and levels and so on. Can’t see anything specifically referring to the rod removal though. I guess that whole operation is being kept under tight wraps by TEPCO and the Japanese government. I don’t imagine it’s going to take long to know if or when something goes awry. And so, I’m guessing ‘no news’ is about as good as it’s going to get on the rod removal front.

      • marty mars 11.1.1

        Thanks Bill – yep no news is the best we have and we’ll just have to wait and see because sure as hell if anything did happen they wouldn’t tell us anyway.

  12. Cheery McWavy scampered off south, past the heifers and lardos to Government House.

    But no sooner had McWavy woofed, “Friends, follow me!” a litter of runts trapped him in Lambton Quay.

    “You are arrogant, dishonest, sneery and vain,” said a voice down the road from Kirkcaldie & Stains.

    “I know who that is!” huffed Muffin, all twinkly. “That’s Cunliffe, fiendish old Tricky Malinki!”

    “What the woof?” wheezed Cunliffe, “Don’t call me that.” But the truth is he did look a lot like a cat.

    Then suddenly waves started splashing around, and screeches rang out, a strange dolphin-like sound.

    Rusty McTurei said climate change beckons. But Cheery went, “listen, here’s what I reckon.

    “Hardworking Kiwis, and wow! and so funny. And you can woof off and go print some more money.”

    Hone barked, “McWavy, You’re so bloody dumb.”

    “That’s quite right,” deadpanned low-tummied Schnitzel Dotcom..

    The rest of it: Cheery McWavy – A Kiwi story for baby George

    • bad12 12.1

      A low brow failed attempt at humor only amusing to the George that posted it…

      • veutoviper 12.1.1

        Not actually Pete George’s work, bad12, if you don’t already know that.

        It is actually an excerpt from Toby Manhire’s weekly opinion piece in the Herald posted today. Not that you would know that from how PG has posted the link. I thought initially that it was yet another link to one of his posts on his own blog site.

        This is not the first time that PG has posted something that is not his own and failed to properly attribute to the actual source/creator, leaving the reader to think that it is PG’s own work.

        I know this as some time ago he ‘borrowed’ some detailed workings from a press release by the organisation which had done the work; posted this on his blog and here on TS without attribution; and this was then picked up by another Herald contributor (Bryce Edwards) and attributed to Pete George with praise for the work. BE was somewhat embarrassed when he was informed of the actual source of the workings,, and had to amend his column.

        When PG posted that work here on TS, he was praised until I recognised where I had already read it, found the original press release and posted this on TS. I am about to find my comment in anticipation of PG demanding the link ….

        • Pete George

          Scraping the attack barrel here.

          It’s blockquoted so it’s obviously a quote. It’s obviously linked to the Herald. Can’t you just enjoy the bloody thing?

        • lurgee

          This is not the first time that PG has posted something that is not his own and failed to properly attribute to the actual source/creator, leaving the reader to think that it is PG’s own work.

          Oh, good grief. That really is pathetic. You don’t even need to clicl on the link to see where it takes you. Hover over it for a second and it should tell you what the url is.

          Some hereabouts come across as actively looking for reasons to take offense at Pete George. Which just makes them look a bit useless and silly. A bit like him, in other words.

          (Sorry, gotta be balanced and unbiased)

      • Disraeli Gladstone 12.1.2

        It’s actually quite a decent pastiche of Lynley Dodd by Toby Manhire.

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    US Supreme Court opens the way for even more money in politics:

    After this decision, how much can Shaun McCutcheon give? Hypothetically, a single donor can now contribute as much as $3.5 million, to be divvied up between candidates, PACs, and political parties. No single entity could receive any more than the legal limits, and when you add up all the contributions a donor could potentially make without the aggregate limits, you get $3.5 million. (The overall aggregate limit was raised to $123,200 for the 2014 cycle.)

    Who benefits from the decision? This one’s easy: Politically motivated rich people, the types who can afford to cut six- or seven-figure checks.

    So, the biggest rogue state in the world’s political system is open for even more corruption and the buying of Congress by the 0.1%.

  14. Bill 14

    Hey Lynn – if you happen to be around, there be some gremlins up to mischief. Using Firefox. Tried to post Weekend Social. When I clicked back to the front page after submitting, it seems I was automatically signed out and the post was nowhere to be seen. (btw, it’s not the first time that navigating from the back end to the front end has signed me out) Anyway. Signed back in. The post was showing up on list of posts and also showing up on side bar, but not on front page. When I navigated to it via the ‘Opinions’ sidebar, only the headline came up, but the explanatory text was missing. Hit ‘edit’ and the text shows up as being entered in the edit function.

    While I’ve been typing this, I fully expect something to have mysteriously changed 😉

    • Bill 14.1

      Okay. So as suspected, something changed. The post appeared to be up. But then my comment (above) wasn’t showing up. Things only came sorta right again after signing out and refreshing.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      You’ll get logged out after a time no matter which browser you’re using. That’s a normal part of the security measures.

      The rest sounds like FF not refreshing the page each time you visit and just using it’s cached version.

  15. bad12 15

    Banks is in the High Court at Auckland this morning trying to have the Crown withdraw the charges against Him,

    Hopefully this travesty of a person cannot be allowed to wriggle out of facing the rigor of proving His innocence simply on the basis of having the coin to be able to sustain such legal challenges,that would simply be a travesty of Justice…

    • vto 15.1

      If Banks is interviewed on the telly tonight listen carefully to what he says because his sentences no longer make any sense. They cannot be understood. He is the new Joh Bjeikle-Petersen, with Winnie coming a close second…

    • Tracey 15.2

      and was it all over the news today

      Banks back in court today

      yea right

    • Tracey 15.3

      nothing to fear nothing to hide is tryong to get it chucked out again? could have been all over and banks found innocent if he hadnt kept trying to avoid a hearing that would vindicate him.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.4

      And he’s using the same excuse that got him off before – that he just signed it but didn’t read it. Considering that the whole point of signing it is to say that you read it and agree that it is correct this is nothing more than an attempt by Banks to dodge his responsibility.

      • Tracey 15.4.1

        he seems to do his business that way. draco, any idea what he was paid as an executive director of huljich

        i also wonder how much doug graham took at lombard

        while both pleaded ” i knew nuffink”

  16. ianmac 16

    “Majority think National will lead after election, but would prefer Labour.” -Horizon Poll.
    In the Horizon Poll it is interesting that of those who vote NZF 56.9% think Labour will lead a coalition after the next election,
    But 73% of NZF voters would prefer that Labour lead a coalition.
    If this is a fair reflection of NZF thinking it would be interesting to see what actually happens.

  17. greywarbler 17

    Probably everyone has heard about this. But I didn’t know that about 3,700 bomb blasts were carried out from Whangaparoa Pensinsula and New Caledonia in 1944 with US and NZ co-operation. It had been noted that as the US had blown up coral reefs in the war (and I wonder how that has affected the islands concerned since) they created shock waves. It was thought possible that a number of such bombs could inundate a small coastal city with a tsunami.
    3 Jan 2013

  18. captain hook 18

    dont look back.
    what does the future hold?
    A National Party free New Zealand and rational policies.

  19. Te Reo Putake 19

    National’s picking winners strategy fails again:

    $14 million tax payer dollars down the gurgler …

    • BM 19.1

      Good comment from David Shearer, Cunliffe could learn from that.

      Shame he got canned as leader, he’s got 10x the mana of that weasel, Cunliffe.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.2

      $14m of government subsidy over nine years isn’t a lot. BTW, that subsidy started under Labour and it really actually looks like it is a winner. Really, what should happen is now that they’re moving to the US is that we should demand our $14m back. After all, we didn’t provide them with the money to benefit the US.

  20. Something other than roots and leaves for the herbivores to chew on

    “Vegetarians are less healthy and happy – scientist”

    I myself am going to try this diet for a while… I already have the Neanderthal back hair

    • Chooky 20.1

      ..imo…..the best way to lose weight is to go to India for 3 months …drink lots of water , eat lots of lentils and rice and get various stomach bugs to add to the intestinal flora ….come back as skinny as a rake

      ….should be tours for fattys

      • The Al1en 20.1.1

        Aye, a daily swim in the Ganges will help out that tour group too, though you don’t have to swim, just go through the motions.

        • Colonial Viper

          Fat Chance 2.0

          Well worth watching…on the evils of added sugar and especially fructose, including how it screws with the body’s normal hormonal and brain function.

          • The Al1en

            Looks interesting, will give that a watch later when freeview goes poo again, after the new Simpsons

          • Chooky

            @ CV…thanks for that link on sugar and fructose….very interesting!

            ……i would be interested if they have looked at artificial sugars eg aspartame, as found in diet soft drinks, which are even worse….and which are often advocated as a way to combat the worst effects of sugar and obesity

        • Ad

          Excellent ewwwww!
          Greens cannot survive on watermelon alone

    • bad12 20.2

      The Herald article tho appears to be comparing apples with oranges, most ‘dieters’ are not doing so to avoid issues of happiness and depression, most, if their body mass is on the high side are trying to avoid diabetes and/or heart conditions,

      Have taken off a kilo a month since going on the fruit/fish/vege/brown rice/wholegrain diet, befor that 7 kilo came off on the ‘crash’,(don’t try this at home kids its dangerous), i am probably eating more by volume than i was when i was scoffing all that yummy meat,(the skin on the chicken lasting mere seconds after it came out of the oven), so if i were more restrictive on the volume i could probably lose more,

      As for ‘happiness’ never been better am a veritable box of birds…

  21. tricledrown 21

    Parental Guidence.
    Required by george
    Laugh now
    Good Morning Vietnam Puerile Grovelar.

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