Open mike 04/05/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 4th, 2015 - 170 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

 

 

lprent: There was an minor outage last night (yawn).

170 comments on “Open mike 04/05/2015”

  1. i find it both fascinating and weird –

    – how labour seem to have decided that they have found the reason for their ’14 defeat..

    ..they have found their scapegoat..who/what to blame..

    ..and apparently it was their capital gains tax policy..(!)

    ..and before they start burning effigies of this policy..at their conferences..

    ..can i suggest the reasons for that defeat were a tad more complicated than that..

    ..and that this manic waving of crucifixes by anyone in labour – when that policy-idea is raised..

    ..is both overwrought – and unjustified..

    ..and a tax on speculators/investors/trust-funds..(what most mp’s are/have – funny story..!..self-interest rules..eh..?..)

    ..such a tax must be part of any labour policy prescription..

    ..end of story..

    • Can you point to anyone, anywhere, actually saying the capital gains tax policy was the only reason for Labour’s election result, much less “burning it in effigy”?

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        It may not be the only reason but Andrew Little indicates that it was a major reason.

      • phillip ure 1.1.2

        i am going on the reactions by/from little – when the capital gains tax option is raised..

        ..(i’m paraphrasing here) – he says ‘we’ve already tried that twice – the voters don’t like it’..

        ..that added to little whinnying in terror on the tv talkshow @ the weekend – at any suggestion of piketty-stylings solutions to inequality/poverty that so blights us..

        ..these lead me to believe their is a firming of that attitude within labour..

        ..and an apportioning of blame where it is not due – and a subsequent erroneous closing off of policy-options..

        ..and i don’t actually recall using the word you highlight – ‘only’..

        ..and going by yr question – are u accepting the contention from little – that the capital gains tax was (shall we say ‘a’) reason..?

        ..and just arguing there are more reasons..but that is definitely one of them..?

        (‘cos i wd disagree with that – i think other factors far more serious did that job..)

        ..and i fear the scapegoating of that policy will lead to no action in that area..

        ..and an ignoring of what really counted/mattered..

        ..just trying to head that off at the pass..

        • “they have found their scapegoat..who/what to blame..

          ..and apparently it was their capital gains tax policy”

          Sure looks like the “only” reason you give.

          I have heard more than enough Labour campaigners and MPs say that they received massively negative feedback on the capital gains tax policy. I’ll take their word over yours.

          • phillip ure 1.1.2.1.1

            but i didn’t say it was the ‘only’ one..did i..?

            ..there is a difference..

            ..it was a comment – not a thesis..

            so..from yr words.. i am correct – ?..you also oppose the cgt..?

            ..and that ‘negative feedback ‘ wd be more due to the crap way it was ‘sold’ to the electorate..

            ..labour let national drive the conversation on that one..

            ..their whole election campaign message was half-arsed/woeful..

            ..but of course they do have that underlying issue..

            ..in that if you look at an ideological-spectrum of the worlds’ govts/main political parties..

            ..there are two obvious surprises..

            ..one is that the national party is more ‘left’ that the american democrat party..

            ..the other is how you cd barely sllde a cigarette paper between national and labour..on that left/right spectrum..

            ..the tweedle-dum/tweedle-dee syndrome..

            ..labour are just so fucken lost…

            ..banging around up the end of some dead-end neoliberal cul-de-sac…

            ..and not knowing which way to turn..

  2. Paul 2

    ‘Foreigners buying houses in Victoria will be subject to two new taxes as the Australian state tries to cool the property market.’

    Maybe we could follow their line, so this does not keep happening.

    ‘The Salvation Army says housing problems like overcrowding, previously seen mainly in the country’s big cities, are spreading to the provinces.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/272709/oz-housing-tax-move-eyed-up-in-nz
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/272678/housing-pain-spreading-sallies

    • alwyn 2.1

      But this story is ridiculous.
      After all Victoria, like all of Australia, has a Capital Gains Tax. There cannot possibly be an overheated property market if you have a CGT can there?
      At least that is what the Labour and Green parties both claimed last year during their election campaigns.
      Surely they weren’t wrong. After all they were the claims by those great thinkers Cunliffe and Norman.
      Alternatively they were nuts and so were their claims that a CGT would solve New Zealand’s housing problems and stifle an overheated Auckland property market.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        And a RWNJ steps in with extreme BS and lies to try and discredit a policy of the Left.

        After all they were the claims by those great thinkers Cunliffe and Norman.

        No they weren’t. They both said that a CGT was necessary to help rebalance ‘investment’ but that it wasn’t a silver bullet and other policies were also needed.

        • Murray Rawshark 2.1.1.1

          Don’t be too hard on Alwyn. He wants citations for fairly obvious jokes, like Michele Bachelet advising Chilean schoolgirls to not have lunch with FJK.

          • alwyn 2.1.1.1.1

            Dear dear, diddums.
            I forget that you are a residence of Oz, and very easy to upset.
            Like all residents of the Western Island I suppose you also love telling sheep jokes do you?

            • Murray Rawshark 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Haha. You lot are losing it, and making it so obvious.

      • millsy 2.1.2

        Those poor poor property investors. God forbid if they get slapped with a CGT. They might have to ditch Rarotonga and go to Rotorua for holidays instead…

      • dukeofurl 2.1.3

        Really do you know anything about what they have done.

        Its a limited CGT. ie only those with more than one home pay it, and only then id they dont have children as they buy houses in their name.

    • vto 2.2

      Taxes will never work completely, they are just one of a set of tools.

      The only, and appropriate, solution is to only allow those who live in certain lands to own those certain lands.

      This leads to stronger communities
      This avoids more transient and less-at-stake tenant communities

      This should apply in all lands on the planet.

  3. felix 3

    Saw this earlier (non-twits: start at the bottom and read upwards 😀 )

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CEGRdCYWIAAP_BJ.jpg

    • vto 3.1

      Yep, doesn’t surprise me at all. She should note that the ‘jokes’ that go around in them circles often get at all sorts of people so she is not alone. There is a technique though – refuse to partake, turn the corners of the smile up just a teency tad and avert the eyes waiting for it to pass. Works for me anyway…

      • Molly 3.1.1

        Thanks vto. My occasionally successful response is to say honestly in a sincere jovial manner “Stop. Stop. Don’t keep going, I still like you all at this moment”.

        The verbal “stop” interrupts the flow, the following sentence draws gentle laughs. But importantly, the conversational flow redirects.

        This has worked a few times.
        (Maybe later, the discussion continues, but if it does it is without me anywhere around.)

        • vto 3.1.1.1

          Hmmm, good one. We have a situation where one of a team is rabidly racist and flicks eyes around to see who is laughing with him at his ‘jokes’….

          … thing is I detect a very strong pulling back on this bigoted manner the last decade or so or more. Next generation are hopefully much better (they are).

          But yep, can be very difficult when people toss their baggage into the supposedly professional arena when you are trying to get some work done.

        • McFlock 3.1.1.2

          good one.

          I once had a colleague who was prone to making some pretty extreme racial generalisations until I outright said (after pointing out every single error in his latest iteration of “the Chinese are…”) that if he kept it up I’d make a formal complaint.

          All well and good, but a couple of days later my supervisor made a wee comment in a similar vein, with a “pregnant pause” afterwards. I got the impression tht my colleague had made a little pre-emptive comment/complaint to the super, and the super was feeling me out to see just how sensitive I was.

          As it was, I never had to escalate because my colleague got a little too close to the folk we were protecting and got his ass fired. But fair warning of a jerk’s behaviour can simply give them an opportunity to prepare a defence.

    • miravox 3.2

      Culture is created at the top huh? Maybe a few Key people in public ‘service’ should be informed of that.

      I do agree that there is very much the unspoken challenge to disagree with racist and sexist jokes in some work environments (personal experience in warehousing and IT ) and accepting it leads to judgments that affect working relationships for a very long time. These challenges usually go unremarked on by management.

    • Charles 3.3

      Pity she contradicts her argument. Friend of mine was recently doing her best to avoid promotion, in an effort to remain free of the hellish environment she’d have to work in, and retain the work she loved. There was no bonus to climbing, for her, or anyone else. In the end she got more money, same responsibility, more informal power and no extra hassle. Culture isn’t always controlled by the top. Life is full of oddities.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1

        Pity she contradicts her argument.

        No she doesn’t. Just because your friend did something else doesn’t mean others have to do the same as your friend.

        Culture isn’t always controlled by the top.

        I suspect it depends upon the place. In a small workplace then culture could be directed from the top down whereas in a large place culture is more likely to drift up.

      • McFlock 3.3.2

        I tend to view workplace cred as a bank balance – if you don’t want to save up for a promotion, you can spend it on all sorts of other stuff, like cash or turning up late every so often.

        No point in building up a rep if you aren’t going to spend it 🙂

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      Sexism in Engineering and Science – you only know what you know

      Studies show that 40% of females who have engineering degrees leave the profession or never enter the field, and that seems like a terrible waste of resources for me as an educator, and for you as a taxpayer.

      In a recent study, psychologists found that the biggest pushbacks female engineers receive come from the environments they work in with an “old-boys club” still existing in many engineering organizations with many calling the engineering workplace unfriendly and even hostile to women.

    • Clemgeopin 3.5

      She makes good points. Thought provoking and behaviour modifying.

      I have a question though and I do not know the answer to this. Do women gossip concerning men’s private lives, make sexist jokes about them or make demeaning comments about men, among themselves? If yes, is that Ok?

    • Murray Rawshark 3.6

      I usually play dumb (not hard) and ask for the “joke” to be explained. It seems to work.

  4. Paul 4

    Why is it that RNZ only uses the high priests of neo-liberalism ( the banks’ economists) as their commentators in the Business instead of more independent thinkers?

    • felix 4.1

      Yeah it does seem like endless free promotion of the banks’ interests.

      Rod Oram seems an independent thinker. It’d be nice if they could use him in the business segment of the news as well as in the more in-depth Nine to Noon business bits.

    • Sirenia 4.2

      Because they are on speed dial and always available. Left needs some similar people.

    • philj 4.3

      Because they don’t contact academics from our universities. RNZ is not balanced any more, and here is another example.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      Talking about the high priests of neo-liberalism:

      Neoliberalism has spread relentlessly, from free-trade agreements and the World Trade Organization, to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its sibling the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), bearing the promise of fool’s gold – with carefree financial markets and banks in the lead.

      Paradoxical as it may seem, financial meltdowns have been part of the process. By one estimate there were 147 banking crises worldwide between 1970 and 2011, ever more frequent and extreme as they headed for the Great Recession1, but always with the same desired result – public bailouts followed by some form of neoliberal ‘structural adjustment’.

      It’s long but well worth reading.

  5. Paul 5

    Pity Kim Hill is still not on Morning Report to ask Key some searching questions about his harassment of the waitress.

    • Skinny 6.1

      Tomorrow’s NZH headlines should read ” John Key tells Aucklander’s to get real the port expansion is going ahead.”

      That’s right National is behind destroying the harbour. You can bet behind the scene large amounts of political donations are being channeled through into the National Party coffer’s. The broker is a former Nat MP Ms Young who is both a lobbyist and executive director of the Shipping Federation. If you join the dots here you can see the connection;

      Young as lobbyist smears taxpayer owned Railway as a bottomless pit.

      National are all about roads and forge ahead with an unessential Northland toll road.

      North Port buys 50 million dollar crane so they can increase container loading.

      Port of Auckland build out into harbour so they can accommodate larger shipping vessels.

      Shipping line ships containers from North Port on small ship to load onto large vessel at Port of Auckland.

      If only we had a MSM that investigate dirty deals!

  6. are labour caucuses like prayer-circles..?

    ..where they all sit/holding hands – and pray to a (non-gender-specific) god that key will screw up some more..?

    ..is this their grand-plan for ’17..?

    ..is this all they’ve got..?

    • Incognito 7.1

      Labour is no worse than National; Bill English is like a gambling addict playing roulette in the casino who keeps stubbornly placing his chips on Number 13 while incantating “the surplus will come, the surplus will come”.

      • phillip ure 7.1.1

        “..Labour is no worse than National…”

        i agree – but is that really ‘enough’..?

        • Molly 7.1.1.1

          “…is that really ‘enough’..?”

          +100

        • Sabine 7.1.1.2

          in absence of better it might have to be.

          and no I do not see the Greens as an alternative that would be better than Labour.

        • Incognito 7.1.1.3

          Enough for what exactly?

          A lift in the polls?

          Winning a by-election?

          Winning the General Election in 2017?

          It is not clear to me what Labour should be gunning for in your opinion …

  7. Key’s squirming away on Morning report. “We live in a global world” (the earth is spherical, fancy that!), “we live in a tactile world”, “we live in a world where people have broad family” are about the most coherent statements he’s made. We live in a world where the rest is also eminently gigglesome.

    • Paul 8.1

      Key is in real trouble based on that interview….

    • Incognito 8.2

      Key lives on Planet Key.

    • wyndham 8.3

      If David Shearer has been classified as Dr. Mumblef**k what on earth was Key on about this morning ? The man was almost intelligible.

    • felix 8.4

      Oh gawd.

      Espiner: “Would you have done it to a man?”

      Key: “I could have, yup.”

      Key just went from David Brent to Gareth Keenan.

      • Exactly my thought, felix! Foxholes ahoy!

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.4.2

        ‘We take conflicts of interest seriously because we know Labour will criticise us.’

        Yeah, conflicts of interest are screaming Lefty conspiracy theories.

        • felix 8.4.2.1

          Yeah that was very revealing.

          Guyon asked what he’d done about a serious issue of process, and he answered unprompted that he’d done everything possible to cover his ass politically.

    • rawshark-yeshe 8.5

      any link pse ? thx

    • weka 8.6

      He can’t remember what hat he was wearing when he got legal advice 🙄

      He regrets that the incident occured. I suppose that means it was something that happened to him rather than something he did.

      • felix 8.6.1

        Yep.

        He has gone to great lengths to explain that we’re not allowed to criticize him in one role for something he did in another role.

        If he expects that to fly, he really has to be be able – at all times – to answer the question “what role are you in?”

        • weka 8.6.1.1

          One of his problems will be if he used that cafe to entertain in his role as PM. Lots of grey areas there though.

      • Anne 8.6.2

        I suppose that means it was something that happened to him rather than something he did.

        Of course something happened to him.

        Key; Well, this young woman kept pushing past me with a pony-tail that bobbed up and down all the time. What was a fun-loving laid back person like me supposed to do? Ignore it? No. I pulled it just like very other “fun loving” man would do.

        • weka 8.6.2.1

          She was asking for it, right?

          • rawshark-yeshe 8.6.2.1.1

            Can’t wait for him to try it on a man or perhaps even an All Black with a pony tail … especially while humming the theme from Jaws as his own is cracked as he falls slowly to the ground with his lights going out.

            • weka 8.6.2.1.1.1

              I can see him doing it to a male waiter who he decided was heterosexual, who was smaller in stature than him, who had a pony tail and who he knew as much as he knew Bailey. I think there would be an element of joshing, you’re weird as a man for having long hair thing, which in some situations would be part of that Kiwi blokes giving each other a hard time thing but ok. But in a work situation with these kind of power differences it would just be about shaming him. Which has some similarities to what he did to Bailey.

              The other thing I haven’t seen mentioned is that the back of the head is a vulnerable area of the body. Someone sneaking up behind you and pulling on your hair is likely to trigger a stress response in many people. Given he was doing this repeatedly and sometimes from behind when she was unaware of him, it’s probable that each time he came into the cafe she went on the alert automatically, which is horrible and stressful enough without then having him touching her as well.

              • CnrJoe

                And in Maori culture the head is tapu.

                • Molly

                  CnrJoe, I posted on that thought a few days ago.

                  Seems like a major cultural faux pas for the PM of NZ. And definitely something surely that would have been mentioned to him at some time in his 53(?) years.

                  • Yes I have also mentioned this tapu nature of the head but it doesn’t count for key imo because he is a total know-nothing on Māori culture, ethics or belief systems. He has zero personal mana imo, the office of PM has some mana but that has diminished considerably and is only endowed by Māori and Māori are very generous in general.

          • Anne 8.6.2.1.2

            She was just asking for it, right?

            Key: Well, if she wasn’t then why did she keep pushing past me? What did she expect? That I’d turn the other way with her pony tail flapping in my face?

            Bystander: Perhaps she was just doing her job Mr Key. She’s a waitress after all.

            Key: Well (or should I say weel) if that was the case she should have gone and done her waitressing elsewhere.

            Bystander: I believe she tried but you kept following her around.

            Key: I dunno about that. Its just that I’m the sort of guy everyone wants to talk to so I move around so they can talk to me. That’s not my fault.

            and ad infinitum…

  8. rawshark-yeshe 9

    A compassionate animal lover leaves thousands over years to SPCA .. but look at the perfect nominative determinism of the man who managed her estate at the Public Trust.

    “Several SPCA kittens have been named Molly, Alberta, Beebe and Wyatt after their generous benefactor. One tabby was named Owen Whisker after the Public Trust staff member who had managed her estate for a decade, whose real name was Owen Whisker.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/68227041/wellington-cat-lover-leaves-400k-to-the-spca

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Would have been a lot simpler if you’d just put in the link, a small quote of the article and then you’re own comment. Save having to waste time going to your website first.

  9. Michael 11

    Sen. Bernie Sanders Says America Needs ‘Political Revolution’ in 2016

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/sen-bernie-sanders-america-political-revolution-2016/story?id=30771426

    • Maui 11.1

      Interesting, I was going to post a comment like “Good luck with him beating Hillary..”

      But by going on facebook likes alone I’m impressed. Hillary Clinton has 800,000. Bernie Sanders has a not insignificant 365,000. I think he could cause her a bit of a fright, go the truth talking people’s champion!

      America is showing the signs of wanting change with the recent huge marches on minimum wage and the shooting of blacks.

      • Michael 11.1.1

        And he raised $1.5 million in 24 hours, all from small individual donations, nothing from corporations. He beat some of the Republican Party challengers who receive huge amounts of corporate money. True grassroots support.

  10. Sable 12

    Interesting article on the trashy UK MSM. Seems our bunch have something to aspire to:

    http://rt.com/op-edge/255273-uk-election-media-politics/

  11. Kiwiri 13

    Coming to New Zealand, thanks to TPP?

    OceanaGold sues government with the aim to push ahead and dig for gold and silver near El Salvador’s last clean water source:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/254710/nz-warned-over-goldmine-legal-action

    Protests being planned for Washington, Sydney, Ottawa and Vancouver.

    OceanaGold owns the Reefton, Macraes and Frasers gold mines in the South Island and is listed on NZ’s sharemarket.

    Where are OceanaGold’s offices in NZ?

  12. Gosman 14

    Looks like Greece is entering the end game in terms of trying to have their cake (stay in the Euro) and eat it (ditch Austerity policies) too.

    When will leftists realise that you can’t beat the market?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11576465/Greeces-endgame-heres-why-it-could-be-forced-to-capitulate.html

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      When you get a time machine and make everything Alan Greenspan told Congress in 2008 disappear.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      When are the RWNJs going to realise that ‘the market’ is a human construct?

      • Gosman 14.2.1

        The market reflects fundamental human instincts and behaviour. You alter that then you can get your “new” system. Unfortunately for you altering basic human behaviour on a long term basis has proven difficult.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1.1

          The market reflects fundamental human instincts and behaviour.

          No it doesn’t as shown by the existence of successful societies throughout history that didn’t have one (see Debt: The first 5000 years by David Graeber).

          Also, if it was “instinctual” then we wouldn’t have to be taught it.

        • McFlock 14.2.1.2

          Upgrading from a warped mirror isn’t changing the object that is being reflected. Just reflects it more accurately.

      • The lost sheep 14.2.2

        When will Left Wing Idealists realise that all human constructs are human constructs?

        • McFlock 14.2.2.1

          We do. That’s why we realise humanity has the ability to change them, rather than having blind faith in their immutable perfection.

          • The lost sheep 14.2.2.1.1

            Absolutely McFlock.

            The test of the validity of a human construct is whether or not the human creators of human constructs collectively support it to continue, or they develop the collective will to change it.

            As a lost sheep, I’m just bleeting into the wilderness that the Left is doing an unbelievably piss poor job of putting up a compelling argument for change.
            Hence the lack of anything remotely like a realistic threat to the free market that you despise.

            But apologies if i am distracting you from much more vital issues like the totally obsessive cult of character absorption with the intellectual and political lightweight John Key.

            • McFlock 14.2.2.1.1.1

              Well, at about the time you posted I was watching GoT.

              But thankyou for descending from the heavens to waft your enlightenment upon us, oh great one.

    • vto 14.3

      the market? as in the free market? in the monetary system?

      planet key

    • adam 14.4

      Gosman I know you belive in medieval economic voodoo – You just don’t understand that t.i.n.a is the mantra of ideological bankruptcy.

      And by keeping pushing t.i.n.a you look more and more like a vulgar marxist.

      Rather than someone who is looking for economics as a tool to work for the society.

      That said, you’re welcome to embrace a bunch of tired mantras – just stop thinking that they are the truth.

  13. Pasupial 15

    I had family obligations, so didn’t make it to the SDHB food outsourcing Octagon protest on Saturday. It looks like it went fairly well, good to see the Labour electorate MPs turned up:

    About 200 people packed the terraces in the Octagon on Saturday to demand the Southern DHB keep meals in house instead of following through with a proposed move to outsource them…

    ”The main point of the protest is to raise awareness and empower people to sign a petition and also lodge submissions for the DHB board meeting on May 7.”

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/340987/many-turn-out-protest-meals-move

    Does anyone who went have submission info for the SDHB meeting? The only upcoming meeting I can see on their site (http://www.southerndhb.govt.nz/pages/boardmeetings/) is on July 7th.

    Also, unless there is a different one, this seems to be the online version of the petition:

    https://www.change.org/p/southern-district-health-board-we-are-calling-on-the-southern-district-health-board-to-retain-our-food-services-in-house?recruiter=275172661&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&utm_term=mob-xs-no_src-no_msg&hc_location=ufi

    • Potato 15.1

      I believe the paper petition is being presented to SDHB at a meeting at Wakari Hosp on Thursday morning. (9am I think)

  14. greywarshark 16

    I had a little brainfart about an allegory for our economy. In Peter Pan, Tinker Bell the fairy becomes weak and listless and all the children in the world who believe in fairies are asked to clap their hands which will make Tinker Bell strong again. I suggest that our economy is in itself a matter of imagination, kept in place by the willingness of believers in the fairy framework that makes the financial fangdango to keep it blooming and floating.

    And Nz is a separate flimsy floating entity attached by visible and invisible strings. Sometime it is going to take a huge effort of will and positive affection from believers in NZ, with commitment to our country to stop it going down. And if not forthcoming NZ will end up like a squashed deflated balloon that cannot be mended, but can only provide some small residue to be recycled into something viable for the future. We have to stop drinking the Kool-Aid, it is poison!

    Captain Hook, who also tries to poison Peter’s medicine while the boy is asleep. When Peter awakes, he learns from the fairy Tinker Bell that Wendy has been kidnapped – in an effort to please Wendy, he goes to drink his medicine.

    Tink does not have time to warn him of the poison, and instead drinks it herself, causing her near death. Tink tells him she could be saved if children believed in fairies…. Peter turns to the audience watching the play and begs those who believe in fairies to clap their hands. At this there is usually an explosion of handclapping from the audience, and Tinker Bell is saved.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_and_Wendy

    • vto 16.1

      Yep it surely is when it comes to the fairytale part of the economy e.g. ‘house prices’.

      But it aint when it comes to the heartland of any economy which is the daily activities of inhabitants i.e. buying the milk, driving the car to work, watching the tele, doing the washing etc etc etc

      One of those parts is fluff. The other is real.

      • greywarshark 16.1.1

        Trouble is vto, we don’t have our own currency. And the whole exchange system is only as strong and continuing as the international system lets it be. If we had our own exchange system we would probably suffer quite a recession until we persevered and got the mainly localised system established and everyone did some free things for the community to make sure we covered services.

        The cost of being part of the international game, is that big boys with bigger marbles can hit ours out of the ring. Or to make the point on a more adult level, we have joined a poker game played by professionals where they will always win except when they are setting us up.

    • weka 17.1

      That’s kind of funny (couldn’t happen to a nicer species). Strange headline from the Independent though, it’s not the UK’s power supply that is reaching its limit from internet use.

  15. Gosman 18

    Here is another analysis of how the Syriza government has screwed up badly since coming in to power.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/03/100-days-of-solitude-syriza-struggles-as-greeks-once-again-stare-into-the-abyss

    It is much easier to get elected on a policy of ‘Screw the powers that be” than actually try and govern in a sensible manner.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      ‘Screw[ing] the powers that be’ is governing in a sensible manner. Nobody should have to live in a dictatorship ruled by the rich for the rich.

  16. Charles 19

    Anyone who hasn’t already seen it, or knew about it, can have a look on The Daily Blog site for the link to the latest “How not to be an Asshole” podcast.

    They’ve done quite few now, and they’ve managed to avoid being blantant assholes so far. I haven’t learned anything from them in that respect.

    Today’s podcast is the first time I’ve seen/heard their mask slip, and this podcast is the best I’ve heard, for interviewing prowess rather than content, although content is good too – or at least relevent to the concerns often talked about here. This week was a guest spokesperson from AAAP.

    Those two guys doing the interview take good cop/bad cop to a whole new level. Sharp as ghost-knives! It’s nice to know that there are people out there who are better at interviewing than any of the big name stars on TVNZ et al.

    It really is a shame that NZ still thinks that “if it isn’t on TV, it isn’t any good”. Probably if these guys became employed to do their thing on nationwide TV it’d be the end of them. But since so many people now have access via the web, what’s the excuse for TV to hold such a cultural stranglehold in the minds of people? None.

    Podcast total time takes about an hour.

  17. felix 20

    Matthew Hooten on John Key’s embarrassing, bumbling, inarticulate, blatantly self-contradictory, legal-weaseling, undignified, weak, quivering interview this morning:

    If it was a minister, that minister would’ve been fired.

    Ouch.

    • Gosman 20.1

      Aren’t you going to start looking for some hidden subtext in what he was trying to state? Surely he can’t be giving his honest impression of the affair as he is part of the VRWC against the left / sarc

      • McFlock 20.1.1

        What, the vast right wing conspiracy that was thoroughly documented using their own fucking emails? Nah, not a bit of it /sarc

        Tories eat their weak. And Key is weak.

        • Chris 20.1.1.1

          Considering Little is looking like being over taken by Winston as preferred leader I wouldn’t get too excited

          • McFlock 20.1.1.1.1

            oh okay I’ll just go looking over ther- waaaaiit a minute!!!

            Nice try /sarc

            The thing is that Little and Peters have over a year before the campaign to scrap it out without looking like their parties are falling apart. If the nats lose 5% due to internal warfare, they’re out of total power, even if winston decides to support neolibs on confidence and supply (rewriting the deal every budget).

            The only question is whether the caretaker pm the other parties face is Collins or some other numpty.

      • weka 20.1.2

        Are you referring to Key or Hooton?

      • emergency mike 20.1.3

        What, you mean like Matthew ‘DP crew 4 life’ Hooton could have some political angle he’s playing by announcing that Key has jumped the shark every five minutes?

        Sounds a bit far fetched /sarc

    • Kiwiri 20.2

      How about John Key try pushing this line?

      That he has been fondling girls’ hair in his capacity achually as Minister of Tourism. And in his capacity as Prime Minister, he will be firing John Key the Minister of Tourism.

      Done and dusted.

      /sarc

    • rawshark-yeshe 20.3

      on twitter or where felix ? thx

      and Hooton has to be on Collins payroll, doesn’t he ??

    • greywarshark 20.4

      He must know that there is a determined group with someone else in mind, so he is prepared to drop his fawning support for Key and just leave the hole lightly patched at present, ready for a new plant to push through.

  18. Chris 21

    Anyone mentioned Little looking like a deer caught in the headlights every time he got asked a question on where Labour are heading, on Q&A

    • b waghorn 21.1

      Little said he was going to spend the first year listening talking and learning to find out what nz needs. I’m happy to wait ,although with the imminent collapse of the national party possible , little might need to speed it up.

  19. Clemgeopin 22

    Three figuratively and literally piss-taking news links :

    Key taking the piss:

    Politician taking a piss:

    An annoyed bite stopping a piss:

    • ianmac 22.1

      Hooten reckons he has been to most of the cafes in question and has never seen any “horsing around” in any of them. Only people drinking coffee, reading and chatting. Funny that.

      • Clemgeopin 22.1.1

        May be Hooton should try pulling Bronagh’s hair in fun when they are there just to horse around a bit.

  20. Draco T Bastard 24

    I think this may be the perfect symbol of consumerism:

    If you want to understand the latest trend in craft cocktails, you could do worse than to listen to Outkast. What’s cooler than being cool is indeed ice cold. Specifically, it’s stored at minus-2 degrees, sculpted with a Japanese band saw, and retails for $1 a cube.

    Costs a huge amount, causes environmental damage, is completely useless and melts away in minutes.

    • McFlock 24.1

      and all so that you can’t see or taste it.

      Besides, ice waters it down anyway.

  21. Bill 25

    Oooh. Quake. (tremor) Dunedin.

    • Kiwiri 25.1

      Anyone in Wanaka? About 6 there?

      • weka 25.1.1

        Just txted some friends close to the epicentre, seems all ok, but I bet the people at Treble Cone got a fright. Looks like it was up the Matukituki Valley in that mountain range.

        Geonet have it as a 6.0/severe, US Geological Services as a 5.6 (but they also think it was near Queenstown).

        edit, btw it’s worth bearing in mind that quakes in the mountains are different than the ones that Chch had, so a 6.0 is big enough but not like what Chch experienced.

        • Kiwiri 25.1.1.1

          cheers.

          did you mean that at the same measurement, a quake in the mountains would be felt less severely than on the flat?

          • weka 25.1.1.1.1

            the richter scale doesn’t reflect people’s experiences very well, I guess because of the different geology (mountains of stone vs plains of alluvial gravel). It will be interesting to see what the intensity scale measurement ends up being, Chch2 was very high from what I remember despite the Richter number not being that high.

            Here we are,

            Wanaka http://geonet.org.nz/quakes/region/newzealand/2015p332712

            Chch2 http://info.geonet.org.nz/display/quake/M+6.3%2C+Christchurch%2C+22+February+2011

            Both at a similar depth, although the Chch one was very close to lots of people, whereas the only people likely to be that close to the Wanaka one would be climbers or farmers, and probably no-one, so it will be hard to compare.

          • lprent 25.1.1.1.2

            It depends on the type of weathered material around. If you had (as they did in Nepal) a lot of loosely compacted material on the mountains, then you’d feel the resulting avalanches of snow and rock more severely than you would with the liquefaction and jiggling of sediments on the flat.

            The energy measurement of the earthquake matters a lot less locally than the type of earthquake (extensional, compression, strike slip or combinations of those), the local geological structures and the types of buildings that people have. They also depend on the amount of surrounding faulting and what stage the stresses in those are.

            Mountains generally have smaller effect earthquakes than plains simply because they get triggered by other faults earlier. But it is a bit meaningless as an idea if a fault there triggers a series of immediate secondary earthquakes that carry on from the original one.

  22. Clemgeopin 26

    Nate Silver’s UK election prediction: May 3

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/interactives/uk-general-election-predictions/

    • if it follows that – the likes of sinn fein will be in a box seat..

      ..to reach that needed 326 for a majority..

      ..and it looks like miliband + snp + incidentals..

      ..once again..going on that poll..i cant see the tories being able to pull together that magic number..

      ..the lib-dems have lost a lot of support..

      ..it’s good news..

      ..bye bye tories..bye-bye…

      • te reo putake 26.1.1

        Yep, looks good. Regarding the majority, while 326 is the target for Labour, anything above 275 will almost certainly see them form a working minority government. They won’t need the SNP for C&S at that point (assuming of course that the SNP abstain and don’t deliberately bring them down). Tories + Lib Dems + DUP can’t muster a majority, so they would be immediately sunk on C&S if they tried to cobble together a minority coalition of their own.

        My pick is Labour + SDLP, with an outside chance of the Lib Dems joining them.

        • Bill 26.1.1.1

          Reads as though you’re looking at this through the lens of Parliaments as they were before the Fixed Term Parliaments Act?

          Labour don’t need the SNP, or any one else for Confidence and Supply at any point because… The Fixed Term Parliaments Act. There will probably be no coalitions formed by anyone for the same reason…they aren’t needed. And so, the principle party (the one that presents a Queens Speech that receives 50%+ backing) doesn’t have to enter into horse trading over cabinet posts or anything of that sort.

          The SNP have openly stated, as have Plaid Cymru, that they will vote against any budget containing austerity measures. That doesnt bring the government down. At that point Labour will simply have to rewrite and re-table to get 50% +…just as the SNP had to do with one of its Holyrood budgets.

          All in all, and rather oddly, a far more open and transparent Parliament than anything we can hope for from the Beehive.

          • felix 26.1.1.1.1

            How does the Fixed Term Parliaments Act work and why does it mean no coalitions?

            • Bill 26.1.1.1.1.1

              Essentially, once a government is sitting, it’s kind of ‘locked in’ bar a 3/4 majority voting to dissolve Parliament after a no confidence vote.

              I’ve cut and pasted from the Act, then altered it a bit to read a bit closer to plain English and highlighted a couple of obvious bits.

              The link to the Act (it’s very short) is here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/14/section/1

              Early parliamentary general elections

              An early parliamentary general election is to take place if the House of Commons passes a motion “that there shall be an early parliamentary general election”. That motion must be passed by a number equal to or greater than two thirds of the number of seats in the House (including vacant seats).

              An early parliamentary general election is also to take place if the House of Commons passes a motion ““That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.” andthe period of 14 days after the day on which that motion is passed ends without the House passing a motion “That this House has confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.”

              edit. The PM then recommends a date to the Queen…blah, blah

              3Dissolution of Parliament

              The Parliament then in existence dissolves at the beginning of the 25th working day before the polling day for the next parliamentary general election as determined under section 1 or appointed under section 2(7).

              (2)Parliament cannot otherwise be dissolved.

          • te reo putake 26.1.1.1.2

            Cheers, Bill, correct as usual. As I understand it, it’s only votes of confidence (or no confidence) that can now bring a Government down. The change was brought in by the Lib Dems as part of their coalition deal in 2010. However, coalitions are still the best way to avoid that happening, where there is no outright majority available. The more votes in favour, the less likely a Government will fall.

            I think the process is now that the German woman in Buckingham Palace asks someone to have a crack at forming a Government and if they survive the confidence motion, they’re in power until for 5 years or until they lose a no confidence vote. Presumably Queenie will ask the biggest party first, but I suppose if a clear majority of smaller parties is available, she’d go with the largest of those. Probably Labour this time around.

            • felix 26.1.1.1.2.1

              Cheers. How did it work before 2010?

              • If memory serves, a Government could be bought down by losing C&S, or a (no) confidence vote or if the Queen’s speech was not adopted by Parliament. A simple majority against was enough. The Lib Dem’s change thinned down the options and lifted the majority needed to scupper the PM.

            • Bill 26.1.1.1.2.2

              Got to do more than simply lose a no confidence vote.

              If the Tories put up a Queens Speech, it will be voted down by (at least) Labour, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens. That gives Miliband 14 days to put a non-contentious Queens Speech together that the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens will vote for. And a Labour government comes into being.

              After that a specifically worded ‘no confidence’ motion has to be backed up further by a 3/4 seat majority for dissolution.

              Now, the SNP and others will vote against Labour on some stuff…including budgets. But then all they (the SNP etc) do is not vote that vote of no confidence and Labour have to go back to the drawing board.

    • millsy 26.2

      Labour wont get in. I just dont see them getting there. Narrow victory to the Tories I am afraid. Ed to become a page in someone else’s history book, as he is ousted from the leadership by autumn, the Blairites, led by Chuka Ummana (sp?) taking back control…

      Liberal Democrats wiped out to less then 10 MP’s including Clegg, and UKIP a complete fizzer, getting a number of thirds, but no seats. Greens to get 2 or 3 seats. Scottish National party will do well, but not as much as expected.

  23. Weepus beard 27

    Who is the “prominent New Zealander?

    Who is the Minister?

    Do they both involve children?

    If not, why are we not allowed to know?

  24. Iron Sky 28

    Some positive news for a change

    Tesla unveils batteries to power homes

    http://m.bbc.com/news/technology-32545081

    The rechargeable lithium-ion battery unit would be built using the same batteries Tesla produces for its electric vehicles, analysts said.

    The system is called Powerwall, and Tesla will sell the 7kWh unit for $3,000 (£1,954), while the 10kWh unit will retail for $3,500 (£2,275) to installers.

    Energy comparison firm USwitch estimates that one kWh can power two days of work on a laptop, a full washing machine cycle or be used to boil a kettle 10 times.

    Mr Musk said the company would partner with SolarCity to install the home batteries, but there would be more companies announced.

    Mr Musk is SolarCity’s chairman and largest shareholder.

    • Murray Rawshark 28.1

      They now have a partnership with Vector. The batteries will be expensive in Aotearoa.

      • Draco T Bastard 28.1.1

        They’re going to be about half the price of using lead-acid batteries, use significantly less space and hopefully they’ll come with a predetermined recycling process (lithium is both dangerous and scarce).

        • Murray Rawshark 28.1.1.1

          Are you including the Vector markup?

          • Draco T Bastard 28.1.1.1.1

            Yes.

            Last I heard, to get enough storage using lead-acid cost over $10,000 compared to ~US$3500 for the Tesla battery. Even with a high mark up I doubt it’ll come to NZ$5000.

            • Murray Rawshark 28.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s $4,600 already. I think they’ll probably charge between 6 and 7 grand. We’ll see. It’s a real shame no one more socially connected doesn’t have the partnership.

              A Harley Ultra Ltd costs $41,495 in Aotearoa, and $26,999 in the US and A, or $NZ35,785.55. This is a ratio of 1.16. That would make the battery $NZ5336, but I expect Vector to be more predatory than H-D because they will factor in that they will be losing other custom every time they sell one.

              I think my real worry is that they won’t be cheap enough for a lot of people to change over. Not many people change to a bank of lead acid batteries, although there are other reasons.

              • Draco T Bastard

                That would make the battery $NZ5336, but I expect Vector to be more predatory than H-D because they will factor in that they will be losing other custom every time they sell one.

                Vector is a lines company which means to say that they own the lines that delivery power to the house. As long as houses are still connected to the grid, and I suspect most would stay connected for times when solar doesn’t provide enough, they’ll get their monthly fixed charge. On top of that check out their solar plans. They’re obviously looking to get residual income from solar installations.

                I think my real worry is that they won’t be cheap enough for a lot of people to change over.

                It’s not going to be cheap enough for the majority of households and probably won’t be for some time.

  25. SPC 29

    Andrew Little is showing poor political judgment.

    He should be exploiting the PM’s position on the flag (alienating some conservatives in the centre and a lot of older voters who have voted Labour), thus when commenting about head of state matters saying that arrangements under Labour would be based on what the people want.

    Offering his personal opinion on having a New Zealander as head of state does nothing to broaden support for Labour in the centre.

    • Draco T Bastard 29.1

      What are you referring to?

      • SPC 29.1.1

        The interview at the weekend in which he said he wanted a New Zealander as head of state – that is no way to get older voters to return to Labour.

  26. rawshark-yeshe 30

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/concern-over-chinese-developers-million-dollar-northland-resort-6306920

    TVOne News tonight … Northland becomes a Chinese tourist paradise .. 1700-1900 visitors a week, and all run by CEO Mike Sabin. What could possibly go wrong. Yuk.

  27. Vaughan Little 31

    My comment here only tangentially relates to your post.

    why the hell are you still in the politics game? if I’d been thru the same florid surfeit of bullshit that you seem to have witnessed over the decades, the last thing I’d want to do for a HOBBY (defined as optional shit one gets up to in one’s free time) is driving a politics blog with open comments.

    or is the answer simply that you still give a shit…

    [lprent: Yes. But this looks diversionary. OpenMike. ]

    • lprent 31.1

      I have parents, siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, great nephews, great nieces and a pile of friends. I also hate arsehole bullies of all types.

      No difference to the way that I volunteered for the army, worked for the politician(s) of my choice for decades, and now spend time on a blog.

      So I always give a shit because if you don’t hammer the arseholes they’ll gut your friends, family, and anyone else. They will do this to crawl over them to money, power and money. It is part of the sociopathic profile that is the similarity between Cameron Slater or John Key and some pissant warlord on the Somali coast.

      If not me, then who else. If you don’t understand that, then I suspect you’re reading the wrong blog.

    • RedLogix 31.2

      Speaking just for myself – it is because I am old enough to remember growing up in a New Zealand before Rogernomics .

      Nope the ‘good old days’ were not all that good. Plenty of shit went down. Plenty of narrow-minded, petty little bigots and boofheads to be found.

      But the difference was that we had a political system that was anchored somewhat to the idea of ‘giving a shit’. Since we let idea go there may well be more bling and shiny toys for some people in evidence – but us ordinary people have been erased from the political map.

      If that makes me a pompous old dinosaur wallowing in long-irrelevant nostalgia from his boyhood – then so be it. But then I cannot blame you for not missing what you never knew. I’m genuinely sorry for that.

  28. Vaughan Little 32

    I mean, you seem to be in an interesting zone between believing that conventional party politics is well and truly broken, and believing that open debate about the same has some kind of merit…

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